The Friday 56: William Shakespeare’s Star Wars

the-friday-56Hosted by Freda’s Voice, The Friday 56 follows these simple rules:

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
  • Find any sentence (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  • Post it.Shakespeare's Star Wars

Published last summer, Ian Doescher’s work falls somewhere between ‘Zounds!’ and ‘Revolutionary’. I’ve only read snippets so far (I’m waiting to get it out at the library), and can already tell that the force is… um yeah I better quit while I’m ahead.

Luke – …Verily, I loathe the cruel

And noisome Empire, aye, yet nothing ‘gainst

It have I pow’r to do at present. Fie!

It doesn’t get much better than that, people. Have a good weekend!

Shakespeare's Star Wars1

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Young Adult Series

As hosted by the Broke and the Bookish, this week allowed me to choose any genre I wanted. I read all genres and found it tough to narrow it down, however I have a lot of YA books in my repertoire, and thought to keep it to YA series, since I just finished Cress, the third book of Marissa Meyers’ Lunar Chronicles series. Even this is a little tough! I don’t include Harry Potter or Anne of Green Gables books, which usually fall under Juvenile fiction. I figured I’d give some other books a shot at being on the list.

Graceling#1 Graceling Realm Series, Kristin Cashore

These are some of my all-time favourite books, which I’ll read over and over again.

Cinder#2 The Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer

I’m loving these fractured fairy tales! Retelling the Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White stories, they focus on a future time when Lunars, colonists from the Moon, threaten to take over Earth. Cinder is a main character throughout the novels, and the supporting cast are great entertainment.

Hunger Games Trilogy#3 The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

Even though the last two books are not that great, there’s still a lot to salvage; evidenced by the great movie adaptations.

The One#4 The Selection Novels, Keira Cass

Again, not the greatest writing, however I love the story that Cass tells here. I’m also looking forward to the conclusion to the trilogy, The One, which comes out in May!

Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging#5 Confessions of Georgia Nicolson Series, Louise Rennison

I’ve only read the first of the ten books in this series, but plan on pulling the other ones out on the beach this summer!

Heist Society Series#6 Heist Society Series, Ally Carter

This is a fun little series of wealthy teens with abnormal abilities to steal high-security items from museums and other collectors. The relationship between Kat and Hale makes this series a page-turner.

Ender's Game#7 The Ender Quintet, Orson Scott Card

This one’s a little different. I loved Ender’s Game, merely enjoyed Speaker for the Dead, and don’t have any plans to continue in the series. However, I really loved Ender’s Game. So, yeah.

Vampire Academy#8 Vampire Academy Series, Richelle Mead

I expected very little from this series, which I judged both by its awful cover, and by the word ‘Vampire’ in the title. It ended up being very enjoyable, and main character Rose kept my attention with her spunk and tenacity. Her relationship with Dmitri didn’t hurt, either.

His Dark Materials#9 His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman

Now 15 years old, this series was greatly enjoyed by me in the past, and is due for a re-read (which it hopefully lives up to!).

Wicked Lovely Series#10 Wicked Lovely Series, Melissa Marr

I only read the first in the series a few weeks ago. Marr creates a detailed world where Fairy royalty and other mythical creatures walk among us. I love the covers, and will definitely get around to the second one eventually.

Bonus! Least Favourite YA Series (From Best to Worst)

#1 The Divergent Trilogy, Veronica Roth

I don’t hate it, in fact I loved it the first time. Unfortunately the re-read didn’t live up to expectations. Looking forward to the movie though!

Uglies#2 The Uglies Series, Scott Westerfeld

Not enough interest there for me. But kudos for being one of the ground breakers in the genre!

#3 Chemical Garden (Wither), by Lauren DeStefano

Started with an interesting idea, then went a little crazy with it.

#4 The Matched Trilogy by Ally Condie

Again, started with a really cool concept, and made it weird and ugh.

City of Bones#5 The Mortal Instruments (City of Bones), Cassandra Clare

Though I never really enjoyed this series, it sucked me in to read all the books. There were a few too many things going on in this series, though.

#6 The Caster Chronicles (Beautiful Creatures), Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Not sure if having a male main character was weird, or not, but this book is just a little bit better than the movie.

Legend#7 The Legend Series, Marie Lu

It looked like it would be so good, and it just…. wasn’t.

#8 The Gemma Doyle Trilogy ( A Great and Terrible Beauty), Libba Bray

See previous entry on said awful book.

#9 House of Night Series (Marked), P.C Cast and Kristin Cast

I haven’t read this one! But I’ve read the back cover, and a few reviews and that was enough to turn me off forever!

#10 The Wolves of Mercy Falls (Shiver), Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver is one of the worst books I have ever read. Like in the top two.

Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read

This weekly meme brought to you by the Broke and the Bookish!

This weekly meme brought to you by the Broke and the Bookish!

For your enjoyment, I’ve lovingly split this topic into two Top Fives!

Top Five Popular Authors I’ve Never Read…And Don’t Intend To:

  1. Stephenie Meyer, for two reasons. 1) I’ve never understood the romantic appeal of vampires (or invading alien species), and 2) I just can’t spell her name. I had to look it up in order to post it here. Which is irksome.
  2. Leo Tolstoy…and pretty much all the classic Russian authors. Because if things like difficult spellings deter me, multiple family trees with complicated Russian names spanning years and hundreds of pages doesn’t sound like the ideal book for me. I would, however, venture into Nikolai Gogol’s short stories. But no promises.
  3. Stieg Larsson. I have no desire to read The Millenium Trilogy, and I’m okay with that. Really people, I can live without it.
  4. Stephen King. I get the heebie-jeebies when a piece of paper sitting on the edge of my desk flutters to the ground for no reason. This is not the author for me.
  5. Dan Brown. I’m 99% sure I’d like his books once I got into them, but aside from theological implications I’m not much excited to explore, they plumb don’t interest me.

Top Five Popular Authors I’ve Never Read…And Super-Duper Can’t Wait to Try!:

  1. Kurt Vonnegut. Somehow made it out of high school without having to read any one of his novels, and now I feel deprived. I think there’s only one way to find out whether I actually am….
  2. Margaret Atwood. As a Canadian I think this is a bit shocking, and probably plain rude. As I foray into more sci-fi, this may have to be one direction I travel.
  3. Also without a doubt, Ursula K. Le Guin. I have no clue where to start, but she’s always been intriguing to me.
  4. Robert Galbraith. Tee-hee! It’s sort of a cheat, but technically I have yet to get to “Robert”‘s first novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling.
  5. Markus Zusak. Who knows what he wrote besides The Book Thief, but still! Slouch authors don’t win awards.

The Friday 56: Cress

the-friday-56Hosted by Freda’s Voice, The Friday 56 follows these simple rules:

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
  • Find any sentence (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  • Post it.

Decided to choose a book which I’m currently reading, Cress by Marissa Meyer. It is the third book of the Lunar Chronicles trilogy. I enjoyed the first two immensely, and have high hopes for this one.

“Nainsi, Kai’s android assistant, appeared in the office doorway, holding a tray with jasmine tea and hot washcloths. Her sensor light Cressflashed. “Daily reports, Your Majesty?”

“Yes, thank-you. Come in.”

He took one of the washcloths off the tray as she rolled by, chafing his fingers with the steaming cotton.

Nainsi set the tray on Kai’s desk and turned to face him and Torin, launching into the day’s reports that blissfully had nothing to do with wedding vows or eight-course dinners.”

Meyer’s fractured fairytales are always creative and entertaining. In Cress, the titular character is imprisoned in a satellite which orbits Earth. Looking forward to seeing where the story goes from there!

Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves

This weekly meme brought to you by the Broke and the Bookish!

This weekly meme brought to you by the Broke and the Bookish!

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Top Ten! I’ve kinda missed it…have you? I was especially excited to see that this week’s was a “rewind”: choose whatever topic you like from the past. And because I like complaining, I naturally chose my Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves.

  1. Old book smell. You know that musty scent library books are famous for? I can handle a whiff, but when the whole thing reeks of dust and neglect, it kinda makes me question why I’m not watching TV instead.
  2. Continuing on the subject of library books: sticky pages. Don’t eat while you’re reading. Just don’t. And please refrain from using any public-use books as your personal tissue.
  3. Dog-eared pages. Chances are there are about five options for bookmark alternatives in your immediate vicinity, at any time. Unless it’s a text book you’ll never use again outside the final, keeping your place by the permanent defacing of the book is just lazy.
  4. The movie poster cover. This is awful for two reasons. 1) Because it means the book is being re-marketed based on creative liberties taken by the film’s creators, and not the author’s original creation. And, 2) Because half the time the people cast in the book look different and that’s just step one of not being able to imagine things for yourself.
  5. Generic titles. Lately for me this means one of the following: “Girl in [fillintheblank]” and “The [fillintheblank]’s Wife”.
  6. Weird character names. I like it when there are one or two unusual names, but when everyone has a name like Bonnet, Shoehorn or Trapdoor, with no rhyme or reason or symbolism, it gets real annoying real fast. Same with the opposite: a book with only Janes, Johns and Marys is probably an indication how bland it is.
  7. Out-of-control punctuation. Some writers are comma addicts. Some rely too heavily on parentheses. One just wishes those types of things might be tightened up and taken out during the editing phase.
  8. Inversely, Writers who use 100 words to say what they could in ten. Nothing is worse than a rambling novel, when the idea alone would’ve made a great novella (or even a short story).
  9. 500-pagers in hardcover. I like fat books until they fall on my face while I doze off in bed. Those are the times I really wish there was some sort of lighter invention I could use to read books. Oh, wait…they’re called electronic readers. But that leads me to my latest, greatest pet peeve….
  10. Wait lists for e-books. I would like all those libraries with a cyber component to know: there is no reason for this! What is the age of technology for, if not instant gratification?!

Don’t forget to share your biggest book hang-ups below. Now’s our chance to commiserate together!

The Friday 56: Ender’s Game

the-friday-56Hosted by Freda’s Voice, The Friday 56 follows these simple rules:

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
  • Find any sentence (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  • Post it.

Described by some as Harry Potter in space (but not really), here’s a teaser from Orson Scott Card’s classic Science Fiction, Ender’s Game.

Tor Science Fiction, 2013, 324 pages (paperback)

Tor Science Fiction, 2013, 324 pages (paperback)

Maybe you’ll break down under the pressure, maybe it’ll ruin your life, maybe you’ll hate me for coming here to your house today. But if there’s a chance that because you’re in the fleet, mankind might survive and the buggers might leave us alone forever – then I’m going to ask you to do it. To come with me.

I’m still new to Sci-Fi, but boy oh boy am I fast becoming a fan. This one had all the classic elements I’d normally make fun of – space, alien invasions, no-gravity combat with high tech machines, a last-chance boy-hero – but I enjoyed it despite all that. If that makes me a nerd, I’m proud to wear the badge. Look out for my full review soon!

-Deborah

The Friday 56: The Jane Austen Book Club

the-friday-56

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, The Friday 56 follows these simple rules:

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
  • Find any sentence (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  • Post it.

It’s not often I’ll feel compelled to read a book after having watched the movie, but Karen Joy Fowler is quickly taking her place among my favourite authors! It feels appropriate that probably her most popular novel is about a book club, because so far I find her novels very book club-worthy.

Plume, 2005, 228 pages (paperback)

Sense and Sensibility features one of Austen’s favorite characters – the handsome debaucher,” Jocelyn said. “She’s very suspicious of good-looking men, I think. Her heroes tend to be actively nondescript.” …

“Except for Darcy,” Prudie said.

“We haven’t gotten to Darcy yet.” There was a warning in Jocelyn’s voice. Prudie took it no further.

Things are heating up!

-Deborah

 

The Friday 56: The Painted Girls

the-friday-56

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, The Friday 56 follows these simple rules:

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
  • Find any sentence (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  • Post it.

Riverhead books/Penguin USA, 2013, 357 pages (hardcover)

So far I’m making good on my Winter TBR. The Painted Girls is not everything I hoped it would be, but nonetheless it’s a solid read. From page 56 of my ebook version:

“There is a painter,” I say. “Madame Dominique lets him watch our class.”

Maman looks up at me with woolly eyes.

“He said my face is interesting.”

I can’t wait to review this one! Take care this weekend, friends!

Deborah

Another Non-Fiction Book From Kaite on the Friday 56

the-friday-56Hosted by Freda’s Voice, The Friday 56 follows these simple rules:Brysons Dictionary

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
  • Find any sentence (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  • Post it.

Not that I’m trying to bore you readers to tears, but my current read is, yet again, of polarizing interest to the lovers of literature. Bill Bryson, one of my favourite authors, wrote this 2002 book after his experience as a copy editor for the London Times. Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words provides real examples of the many times writers fall into the numerous traps the English language. Full of misused, misunderstood, or misquoted words or phrases, Bryson’s book is full of interesting tidbits, and provides clarity for many.

decimate. Literally the word means to reduce by a tenth (from the ancient practice of punishing the mutinous or cowardly by killing every tenth man). By extension it may be used to describe the inflicting of heavy damage, but it should never be used to denote annihilation, as in this memorably excruciating sentence cited by Fowler: “Dick, hotly pursue by the scalp-hunter, turned in his saddle, fired and literally decimated his opponent.” Equally to be avoided are contexts in which the word’s use is clearly inconsistent with its literal meaning, as in “Frost decimated an estimated 80 percent of the crops.””

Excruciating!

Happy Reading,
Kaite

The Friday 56 explores worst-case scenarios

the-friday-56

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, The Friday 56 follows these simple rules:

  • Grab a book, any book.
  • Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
  • Find any sentence (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grabs you.
  • Post it.

For Christmas, my dad gave me three very random and interesting-in-their-own-way type of books. Today I share with you not a novel, but a slightly tongue-in-cheek handbook which – you never know – might come in handy one day. (Remember, the rules for this meme do allow any book!) From The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook, I give you the full instructions about what to do if you are ever attacked by a mountain lion. I know it’s a bit long, but I wouldn’t want to be responsible for not giving you all the information! [Warning: the following excerpt contains animal-related violence. Read at your own discretion.]

Chronicle Books, 1999, 176 pages (paperback)

Most mountain lions are small enough that an average-size human will be able to ward off an attack by fighting back aggressively. Hit the mountain lion in the head, especially around the eyes and mouth. Use sticks, fists, or whatever is at hand. Do not curl up and play dead. Mountain lions generally leap down and prey from above and deliver a “killing bite” to the back of the neck. Their technique is to break the neck and knock down the prey, and they also will rush and lunge up at the neck of prey, dragging the victim down while holding the neck in a crushing grip. Protect your neck and throat at all costs.

For the record, this book generally says it’s a good idea to fight back when being attacked by an animal. When in doubt, go for the nose or eyes, and in the case of a shark attack, punch the gills.

Phew! That was pretty nasty. How ’bout we end this 56 with a somewhat disturbing yet oh-so-cute picture of my own little mountain lion?

Taken by the neck, as promised. Creepy, much?

Taken by the neck, as promised.

From Pippi and I, a Happy New Year! Protect that neck of yours!

Deborah