Friday, January 20, 2012

Epic Life Lessons Learned From Books Part Two

If anyone follows me on Twitter they may or may not have noticed that I occasionally tweet something with the hashtag #LifeLessonsLearnedFromBooks.

This occurred to me randomly one day while I was reading Tamora Pierce's 'Mastiff' and I just sort of started keeping up with it. I don't do all of the potential life lessons from every book because I'm usually caught up in reading and not hunting for them. Usually I just post them when they strike me. This is why there are so many from books I've already read before.

I'll do more posts as I collect them further. Feel free to suggest some. The only rule is that they must be direct quotes. It would be far too easy to take general lessons from things that happen in books. Some of mine are excerpts from full quotes mostly because they needed to be shortened for Twitter.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Epic Book List Updated: Lioness Rampant and Amy's Not so Epic Stance on Her Reviews

First, before I get to the list update I want to briefly mention something. I don't follow everyone's blogs as closely as I should. I've sensed some tension on Twitter but didn't know much about this apparent pseudo-feud between bloggers and authors until today. Admittedly, I still don't know much beyond a really sort of ridiculous article in the Guardian and Maggie Stiefvater's post (if anyone would like to direct me toward more information or just tell me, I'd appreciate it).

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Epic Reading List Updated: The Name of the Star

List Update as of January 15th

1. 'The Hunger Games' -Suzanne Collins
2. 'Alanna the First Adventure' -Tamora Pierce
3. 'Anna Dressed in Blood' -Kendare Blake
4. 'In the Hand of the Goddess' -Tamora Pierce
5. 'Graceling' -Kristin Cashore
6. 'The Woman Who Rides Like a Man' -Tamora Pierce
7. 'The Name of the Star' -Maureen Johnson

8. 'Lioness Rampant' -Tamora Pierce
9. 'Tale of Two Cities' -Charles Dickens
10. 'Wild Magic' -Tamora Pierce
11. 'Catching Fire' -Suzanne Collins
12. 'Wolf Speaker' -Tamora Pierce
13. 'Matched' -Ally Condie
14. 'Emperor Mage' -Tamora Pierce
15. 'Divergent' -Veronica Roth
16. 'The Realm of the Gods' -Tamora Pierce

OH DEAR GODS!

I adore this book. It has everything. I laughed, I teared up, I gasped. It was glorious. When I really started reading it was all I wanted to do.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Massively Epic Debut Author Challenge!

I kept hearing about this Debut Author Challenge and sort of waved it off. Well, tonight I looked into it more and I absolutely love the idea.

The challenge is being held by The Story Siren. Information is at the link. The basic idea is that you challenge yourself to read at least twelve debut novels from Y-A and middle grade novelists this year. My biggest fear was that I wasn't sure how to find the debut authors. I didn't need to fear they even have a list.

Since it is my first year I'm only going to do the minimum number, twelve. If I read more, I'm all for it if not, I can't be too disappointed in myself.

I recommend checking it out if anyone wants to find some new authors they might like. I'll also post a list of books I'm hoping to read when I organize myself a little since I just now decided to do it.

Ta for now, lovelies.

-A.M.Y-A



Monday, January 9, 2012

The Epic Reading List Updated: The Woman Who Rides Like A Man

List Updates as of January 10th

1. 'The Hunger Games' -Suzanne Collins
2. 'Alanna the First Adventure' -Tamora Pierce
3. 'Anna Dressed in Blood' -Kendare Blake
4. 'In the Hand of the Goddess' -Tamora Pierce
5. 'Graceling' -Kristin Cashore
6. 'The Woman Who Rides Like a Man' -Tamora Pierce

7. 'The Name of the Star' -Maureen Johnson
8. 'Lioness Rampant' -Tamora Pierce
9. 'Tale of Two Cities' -Charles Dickens
10. 'Wild Magic' -Tamora Pierce
11. 'Catching Fire' -Suzanne Collins
12. 'Wolf Speaker' -Tamora Pierce
13. 'Matched' -Ally Condie
14. 'Emperor Mage' -Tamora Pierce
15. 'Divergent' -Veronica Roth
16. 'The Realm of the Gods' -Tamora Pierce

I think I was a little hesitant to start The Woman Who Rides Like a Man. I have always considered it my least favorite of the series. It's been a while since I've read it and I have to say that I like it much better this time around than I did before.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Epic In My Mailbox

In my mailbox is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren that encourages other book bloggers to share what they bought, won, begged for or borrowed. It is usually held on Sundays!


I've never done this before but here we are. I haven't begged anything from anyone cool yet

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Beyond Epic, Beyond Beautiful Cassandra Clare Book Cover and the Mildly Epic Holly Black Ones

As I'm sure anyone who might looking at this blog knows, the cover for Cassandra Clare's next book City of Lost Souls was released today via USA Today.
Here is the Hi-Res version Clare put on her Tumblr today:


SO PRETTY!
In all of the City of Lost Souls cover excitement it may have been lost that there was also a post on The Story Siren about Holly Black's Curse Workers series and the new cover designs.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The 2011 list of True Epicness


                Top Ten Books Read in 2011 (In some vague semi-order)

                1. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

                This probably doesn’t come as much of a shock to anyone but I love this book. Cassandra Clare has really hit her stride. The characters are beautiful and have some of the most intricate relationships of any book I’ve ever read. The balance of heartbreak, humor, and engrossing story telling is expertly handled. Even reading the and knowing that it is impossible for the story to end well for everyone involved it is wonderful to know that no matter what team you’re on the crafting of the story itself will not be a disappointment.


Monday, January 2, 2012

The Epic Reading List Updated: 'Graceling'

I want to thank everyone who read my No Kiss BlogFest post and especially those who commented on it. There were some awesome posts that I read and I'm glad people liked mine. Your comments mean the world.

List Update as of January 2nd

1. 'The Hunger Games' -Suzanne Collins
2. 'Alanna the First Adventure' -Tamora Pierce
3. 'Anna Dressed in Blood' -Kendare Blake
4. 'In the Hand of the Goddess' -Tamora Pierce
5. 'Graceling' -Kristin Cashore

6. 'The Woman Who Rides Like a Man' -Tamora Pierce
7. 'The Name of the Star' -Maureen Johnson
8. 'Lioness Rampant' -Tamora Pierce
9. 'Tale of Two Cities' -Charles Dickens
10. 'Wild Magic' -Tamora Pierce
11. 'Catching Fire' -Suzanne Collins
12. 'Wolf Speaker' -Tamora Pierce
13. 'Matched' -Ally Condie
14. 'Emperor Mage' -Tamora Pierce
15. 'Divergent' -Veronica Roth
16. 'The Realm of the Gods' -Tamora Pierce

Okay, first: before I launch into my reactionary review of Graceling I want to talk a little about somethings I've been thinking. I want to start giving the whole reading list and reactionary review system a little more structure. To start that I've decided to use a ranking system using the blog's theme word 'epic.' I'll list it below and then make a little diagram of it to go on the right side of the screen (hopefully soon) so it's easy to refer back.

Book Ranking: (There are six because I like multiples of three)
Beyond Epic
Massively Epic
Totally Epic
Mildly Epic
Sort of Epic
Not So Epic


Also, I've established some rules in regards to how I pick my reading list books but I'll talk about those later when I post the next list (when that eventually happens).
I've obviously been playing around with the layout and colors and such a bit and I'll keep doing that and actually working on the blog itself more until I'm happy about it. So, sorry if things are a bit messy for a while.

The Epic No Kiss BlogFest!

The epic No Kiss Blog Fest is here! Huzzah! I'm rather excited for something I didn't actually know about until yesterday but here we are.

First off let us start with one of my favorite massively epic No Kiss scenes. It's a classic and it totally counts.
Pride and Prejudice Proposal in the Rain

It won't let me embed it. Sorry lovelies.


And now my no kiss scene. It's from the current as-of-yet-untitled piece that I started for NaNoWriMo. It's a rough draft that neither of my usual readers have looked over for me yet (I'm not nervous about it or anything...).


                After several awkward minutes of shifting around each other they discovered that the most comfortable way to share the music was to lay facing one another, each with one of the ear buds. There was little conversation. Colin had taken over control of the Ipod with a quiet promise that he could construct a playlist more fitting of the moment than shuffle.
                So far he’d done a good job even if she didn’t recognize most of the music. It came to her in bits and pieces of lyrics like listening to someone read a poem rather than reading it herself. And with her head pillowed on the arm she was sure had to be numb by now, each song was accompanied by the backbeat of his pulse.
                Occasionally he broke the verbal silence to sing segments of songs quietly. Those were the moments that she wanted to break her promise and open her eyes. Was he gazing off at his city stars or was he looking at her? It was never the full song he sang, only pieces.
                “If we’re lost don’t turn around. We’ll take our time to arrive, where we are.”
                She smiled at his latest burst of soft singing and this time she could feel Colin’s eyes on her. Suddenly she was embarrassed under the gaze she could feel but not see to acknowledge. Knowing she was bordering on Crayola red, she tilted her face down into his arm to hide the best she could without getting up.
                His singing slowed until he lost the song and then it stopped all together. After a still moment filled with only music and a pulse that she smiled to note sped up a little fingers swept gently at the hair that had fallen across her face, pushing it back.  The light fingertips lingered on her hair and she lifted her face, eyelids trembling as they tried to open against her control.
                Paige squeezed her lids tighter together as his finger tips brushed gently down her jaw to her chin. Her breath stopped for a beat when one finger brushed across her lips and his thumb stroked the underside of her chin.
                “There are no ceilings where we are. I could be anywhere as long as I'm with you,” he sang quietly.
                Paige had gotten so use to keeping her eyes closed but this was something else. She ached to open them. To see the eyes that she’d heard were green set in the face that, though described as beautiful, could never be enough to match what she already knew about him.
                Her breathing shook as his hand moved down to graze the pulse in her throat and then the dip in her collarbone.
                ‘Passion's strength should nerve my arm, /Its ardour stir my life.’ She struggled to recall the word order of the poem under the touch of his fingers. Finally she brought her own hand up to touch his face but it was intercepted by his and he twined their fingers together.
                In that moment of stillness Paige struggled not to lean into him but it shattered when she could feel him lean forward and she was once again dying to open her eyes and see his own so close. To witness them flutter shut.
                His singing turned husky before it cut off once more and his shallow breaths mingled with her trembling ones. The heat from his lips kissed hers. Their hands tightened and she could feel the inch of space dwindle slowly.
                “PAIGE!”
                Colin jerked abruptly back, yanking his hand away from hers. The headphones pulled out of both of their ears. By the time Paige’s eyes snapped open Colin was halfway up the stairs with his back to her already. Dear Lord he was fast.
                “Paige Elaine!” her dad’s voice yelled from inside the apartment again.
                Muttering angrily, she collected her Ipod and phone and threw the window open. She shoved her head through the curtains. “What?”

I can't wait to read the other No Kiss posts! My lists will be up tomorrow or later tonight.

-A.M.Y-A


Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Epic No Kiss Blogfest and 'Mars' Manga Review Thing

First, I only just heard about it but tomorrow I will definitely be taking place in the 3rd Annual No Kiss Blog Fest, hosted over at: http://frankiediane.blogspot.com/2011/12/3rd-annual-no-kiss-blogfest.html
This is way short notice seeing as how it is tomorrow but I loved the idea too much not to take part. So come back tomorrow and check out my 'No Kiss' post and check out the page tomorrow to see the list of participants and check out their own posts.

Now, I know know I should totally be reading Graceling and that is actually my plan for the rest of the night but lately I've been rereading the beyond epic manga Mars by Fuyumi Soryo. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful and cinematic manga series that I have ever read. It's been years since I've read it and I am awed anew.

The panels are arranged and set up with utmost care and consideration for visual impact. The characters are believable and very easy to feel for. I absolutely adore the relationship between Rei and Kira. It's a beautiful addicting series. When I started I had intended to read one book a day (the series spans 15) and I've been reading for three days and will be starting 12 next and that has been a struggle, make no mistake.

It is a lovely example of a character's past coming back to hit in them and those they care for in face. It's a truly beautiful piece of literature. Unfortunately it is out of print but I highly recommend checking the library or used book store if you like manga or are willing to give a beautifully crafted story a chance.

Still reading Graceling. I'll have my No Kiss post up tomorrow and perhaps my Best of 2011 and Most Anticipated of 2012 if I can get my act together.

-A.M.Y-A