Thursday, March 29, 2012

Both the Epic New Rating System and My Hunger Games Movie Opinion


Hullo all!

So, I've had the new rating system done for quite a while but first I had planned to redo the layout and such of the blog before I put the post up. Then I couldn't decide on a layout. Then I decided that I was going to wait until I finished Where Things Come Back and but it up then. But I told myself I was not allowed to read that until I finished editing chapters 1-3. But chapters 1-3 don't need to be edited...they need to be rewritten and it's taking a bit of time. So I'm just going to put it up.

With the added bonus of my opinion of The Hunger Games movie. I mean, come on, how could I not fangirl?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Epic Reading List Mark Two: Page

List Mark Two Updated: 3/18

1. Mockingjay -Suzanne Collins

2. First Test -Tamora Pierce
3. Darkness Falls -Cate Tiernan
4. Page -Tamora Pierce

5. Where Things Come Back -John Corey Whaley
6. Squire -Tamora Pierce
7. Beautiful Darkness -Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
8. Lady Knight -Tamora Pierce
9. Cinder -Marissa Meyer
10. Trickster's Choice -Tamora Pierce
11. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
12. Trickster's Queen -Tamora Pierce
13. Halfway to the Grave -Jeanine Frost
14. Tortall and Other Lands -Tamora Pierce
15. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer -Michelle Hodkin


While reading Page it occurred to me that I don't have a least favorite Protector of the Small book. I could pinpoint which books were my least favorite in the other two series but not with this one. I adore them all.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Epic Reading List Take Two Updated: Darkness Falls

The Epicness of the Reading List Updated 3/15

1. Mockingjay -Suzanne Collins
2. First Test -Tamora Pierce
3. Darkness Falls -Cate Tiernan
4. Page -Tamora Pierce
5. Where Things Come Back -John Corey Whaley
6. Squire -Tamora Pierce
7. Beautiful Darkness -Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
8. Lady Knight -Tamora Pierce
9. Cinder -Marissa Meyer
10. Trickster's Choice -Tamora Pierce
11. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
12. Trickster's Queen -Tamora Pierce
13. Halfway to the Grave -Jeanine Frost
14. Tortall and Other Lands -Tamora Pierce
15. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer -Michelle Hodkin


So we keep moving along.

I was so excited about Darkness Falls and totally pissed when they pushed the release date back. Since I didn't get it until after my list started I made myself wait. I was a bit grumpy about it but I did it anyway.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Epic Life Lessons Learned From Books Round Three


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.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Reading List Update: First Test

Epic Reading List: Mark Two Updated March 11th:

1. Mockingjay -Suzanne Collins
2. First Test -Tamora Pierce
3. Darkness Falls -Cate Tiernan
4. Page -Tamora Pierce
5. Where Things Come Back -John Corey Whaley
6. Squire -Tamora Pierce
7. Beautiful Darkness -Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
8. Lady Knight -Tamora Pierce
9. Cinder -Marissa Meyer
10. Trickster's Choice -Tamora Pierce
11. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
12. Trickster's Queen -Tamora Pierce
13. Halfway to the Grave -Jeanine Frost
14. Tortall and Other Lands -Tamora Pierce
15. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer -Michelle Hodkin

We've officially jumped into the next series of Tamora Pierce's Tortall world. The Protector of the Small has always been my favorite. There was always just something about Kel and her situation that got to me a little bit better than the others. So I was excited to start this one, to jump into Kel's story. Excited but, at the same time, apprehensive. My affection for Alanna has grown a great deal since I last read her series and I was almost a little worried that Kel wouldn't be the same.

I didn't have to worry.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Reading List Updated: Mockingjay

So, Epic Reading List: Mark Two:

1. Mockingjay -Suzanne Collins
2. First Test -Tamora Pierce
3. Darkness Falls -Cate Tiernan
4. Page -Tamora Pierce
5. Where Things Come Back -John Corey Whaley
6. Squire -Tamora Pierce
7. Beautiful Darkness -Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
8. Lady Knight -Tamora Pierce
9. Cinder -Marissa Meyer
10. Trickster's Choice -Tamora Pierce
11. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
12. Trickster's Queen -Tamora Pierce
13. Halfway to the Grave -Jeanine Frost
14. Tortall and Other Lands -Tamora Pierce
15. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer -Michelle Hodkin

SPOILERS! TONS OF SPOILERS!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The In Between Books and The Epic Unveiling of The Epic Reading List: Version the Second

In the midst of all the hooplah surrounding my list overview and the personal life things that were happening (I lost my beloved beastie yesterday) I did not, in fact, ignore books. Nor did I start the second reading list but I did read. As silly as it seems I decided that these are my in between books. They weren't really list books (I'm not sure why but my brain decided that they aren't) but I wanted to read them so I did while I was organizing the overview of the first list. These will be slightly short reactionary reviews and then I'll unveil my next list.

First, I was at the library and randomly picked up Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. I can't remember where but I'd heard of it before but I recognized it on the shelf and picked it up. It seemed like fate. The name 'Amy' and the word 'epic' in the same title? Perfect.

It was such a cute a book and I have to say that Roger has the best taste in music. I flat out squealed when I saw both Jack's Mannequin and Something Corporate. Then there was The Format and Sufjan Stevens. I really wanted to hunt these songs down and make the playlists. I love his music choices and the names of his playlists.

The book has a certain wit to it. It's not a dry wit but instead a slightly silly sort of humor. This is most memorable in the playlist titles and Roger's aloof comments. This is the sort of humor that I recognize most as the same type my friends and I often fell back to on long sleep deprived nights in college.

As much as I wanted to see more of the interactions between Amy and Roger (Why shouldn't we let Roger talk about The Wire in Maryland? Why?!) I see why we didn't get them. There was definitely a road trip feel to it with the scenes cut into the bits of conversations one is more likely to remember after a road trip rather than a whole conversation.

The intermittent pictures and receipts and such are exactly the kind of things that I always save from trips. Including the pictures of the meals that we eat.

Amy's journey in the novel is very believable. Her small breakthroughs and adjustments to Roger all happen slowly and subtly. It's well crafted. Roger's journey is equally as well done.

Overall Rating: Totally Epic.

My other in between book was to reread 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' by Brian Selznick. It's been a few years since I read it and I wanted to reread it before I watched 'Hugo.' I'm always just a little startled at how quickly I get through it for a book so hefty.

I don't often consider writing a book so cinematically. This really is a tribute to the power of film. But at the same time it's so heavily intertwined with, not just what movies, but what it takes to tell a story. The magic that goes into it. This is a story about so many people and it's so intricate and managed in so few words.

Plus, the illustrations are absolutely beautiful and designed to be like a movie. I could just see the cut scenes and why they were set up that way.

It's a book that was made to be a movie, I feel. Not too many extraneous detail or side plots. It's a massive story told simply. Which, as you may have notices is not generally my cup of tea. I like the details and the conversations and it took me a little to acknowledge that part of the beauty of this story is the simplicity and interactions of the story and images.

Overall Rating: Totally Epic.

And now...the big reveal of my new list and the new guidelines I tried to use when creating it. (I know I said I was going to be more flexible and I made guidelines. I don't understand why my brain works this way either).

So, Epic Reading List: Mark Two:

1. Mockingjay -Suzanne Collins
2. First Test -Tamora Pierce
3. Darkness Falls -Cate Tiernan
4. Page -Tamora Pierce
5. Where Things Come Back -John Corey Whaley
6. Squire -Tamora Pierce
7. Beautiful Darkness -Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
8. Lady Knight -Tamora Pierce
9. Cinder -Marissa Meyer
10. Trickster's Choice -Tamora Pierce
11. The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
12. Trickster's Queen -Tamora Pierce
13. Halfway to the Grave -Jeanine Frost
14. Tortall and Other Lands -Tamora Pierce
15. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer -Michelle Hodkin

Okay, I know I have this set up so my Tamora Pierce books aren't quite every other when we get to the beginning and the end but I struggled choosing my in between books. Plus, it's my list and I can do what I want, even sound like a petulant child about it.

The new guidelines or mental rules I've added are as follows:
-You'll notice that one of these books is noticably not a Y-A book. Jeanine Frost's Halfway to the Grave. We have my mum to thank for this. She reads a lot of paranormal romance books and is always trying to get me to read them too. So, one book on each list must be a Mum-Book. One of the books she's always telling me I have to read.
-Until I make a further dent in the books that I have bought already only one book can be a book that I have to buy in order to read. That is not to say that I won't be buying books, of course I will be. But I can't add a book that I haven't bought yet just so I have to buy it. This isn't conducive to paying student loans.
-I am allowed to fit in a couple of other reads as my mood strikes or as they come out. There will always be books that I drop everything to read. Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, the super exciting mysterious new J.K. Rowling! Those will not be on lists because they will be read when they come out regardless of where I am but every once in a while I am struck with the sudden desire to reread a book or read a book I've finally gotten my hands on. If not reading it is going to make me miserable, I am going to read it.

That's really about it.

So, I'm excited to start this one and pretty psyched about some of the books on it. Not to mention, Kel has always been my favorite Tamora Pierce heroine.

I shall see you all again soon! Thank you for sticking with me through my inconsistent promises of posts and my ridiculous commentary during the first list. Second list, here we come!

-A.M.Y-A

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Epic Reading List - The Not So Epic Awards

So, my last post was an overview of the list as a list. How I structured it and what I learned from doing so, you know, things like that. I didn't include any of my rereads in the general awardage but did pick my favorite reread. So here we go.

Overall New Favorite:

This one was not as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I was pretty sure that between The Hunger Games and Divergent that it was going to be a struggle. I wasn't.

I love The Hunger Games but Divergent clicked with me just a little bit more. The Hunger Games is beautiful and horrifying. It's a story I love but not really a world I'd want to be in. I want to be in Divergent. I want to be struggling beside Tris and Four. It's well crafted and enticing. I loved watching Tris come into herself.

That being said,

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Epic Reading List Basic Overview

My first reading list has been successfully completed. It took far longer than I had ever anticipated but it gave me a lot to think about in terms of my reading habits and what else impacted my view of books. Learning these things about my habits was interesting. It's given me time to consider balancing out how I spend my time. I'm still not very good at it but I'm working on it.

So, a recap of the list

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Epic Reading List Ended: The Realms of the Gods

List Update as of March 3rd

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 Realms of the Gods' -Tamora Pierce
I finished it... The list is done. Over. I read all the books! *clumsy, uncoordinated happy dance* ... *falls down*
Okay, now that that's done. Ahem.
I plan to do a series of posts about my experience with the reading list. Including an overview, favorites, least favorites, etc. It will end in a post with the new list. There's some life stuff going on in Amy-world so it may take me some time.