Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Kick Ass Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme started over at The Broke and the Bookish where they give us a topic and we give out top ten.

This week: Kick Ass Heroines

1. Keladry of Mindelan from The Protector of the Small by Tamora Pierce
There had to be one Tamora Pierce character, didn't there? (I only let myself pick one) But Kel has always been my favorite. She stands out to me as the most kick-ass because, for the most part, she does what she does without magic. She goes in there, proud of who she is and what she is and owns it.

2. Tris Prior from Divergent by Veronica Roth
Tris is just awesome. She is constantly ready to fight and constantly ready to do what she thinks is right. She proves that being smaller doesn't make you any less fierce. It's okay to be afraid but you need to be able to work through that fear.

3. Mara Dyer from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
We see Mara during such an uncertain time, where she's not sure what is real. But she's always willing to find out the truth and she acts when she needs to. Her bad ass level kicks into high gear in Evolution as well. Plus, she's a snarky bad ass.

4. Kami Glass from Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
There is something to be said for someone who so tirelessly pursues the truth. That is Kami's mission in life. Not to mention she has had years of fending off Rusty so she's pretty physically bad ass as well. Add her wit and ability to take almost everything (we haven't really had the chance to see how she handles the end...) in stride and she is totally bad ass.

5. Puck Connolly from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
(I was only allowed to pick on Stiefvater heroine as well) Puck is the epitome of feisty. She's fierce and brave. She enters into the Scorpio Races on a horse that physically shouldn't stand a chance and she goes into it knowing that she's afraid. She risks everything with a frank attitude.

6. Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
Tessa never really has much of an idea what's going on. Ordinarily this would be a major fault but why it works for Tessa is that she doesn't know but is still willing to do whatever it is that she needs to. She isn't necessarily the obvious choice but I think it's great that she's still kick ass without completely ignoring the bounds set by her time period.

7. Lila Zacharov from The Curse Workers by Holly Black
Lila goes through so much and still comes out of it cool and fighting. She's not exactly the most upstanding member of society but she knows what she has to do and she does it. Lila is shrewd and detailed and clever. She embraces who she's supposed to become.

8. Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
I've only read the first and I know she's a total bad ass. Arya refused to be bent by the pressure to do what she's "supposed to." She learns to fight and, later, get revenge on those who have wronged her.

9. Sophie Hatter from Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Sophie's amazing. She starts off a little down trodden and resigned to an unremarkable life. When the curse is placed on her it would have been easy for her to become more resigned but it allows her to blossom. She makes mistakes but she fixes them and learns to take control of herself.

10. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I feel like this one is obvious but I love that on top of everything else that Katniss is going through, she's trying to navigate her love life.

I tried to do mostly ones that I didn't think everyone would do (there are a couple of exceptions) which is why Hermione and McGonagall and Molly Weasley are not on my life. Though they are all kick ass.

Who are in your top ten?


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Reading Free-For-All Update: The Evolution of Mara Dyer

There was spluttering involved in finishing this book. I need you to know that right off

I read this book in one sitting. Well, almost I had a bowl of cereal and made tea but I would have read while doing that too but my roommates were hanging out in the kitchen and I had to socialize.

I devoured this book. I loved this book. The Evolution of Mara Dyer was everything I could have hoped that it would be. Twisty, mysterious, hot as hell, and heartaching. Michelle Hodkin continues to cover all the bases with this one.

Also, spoilers.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Reading Free-For-All: The Night Circus

Before I really begin:

No Top Ten Tuesday the last two weeks. I should have done them earlier and scheduled the posts but I didn't. So I suck there. I should be back up and functioning next week.

And now....

So, I finally read The Night Circus. My roommate has been pestering me for ages about it. I'd wanted to read it when it came out and just never got to it. I finally did.

Initially I only read it at work and then didn't read at all for a couple of weeks. I got about twenty pages in and then devoured the rest of it in two days.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The So-Far-Beyond-Epic-There-Are-No-Words Meeting of J.K. Rowling

 I have had so many formatting problems with the entry. I hope it's okay. 

Also, the title lies a little. There are words. Lots of words.

On Tuesday I was one of those fortunate enough to attend the J.K. Rowling even in New York city and, as anticipated, it was amazing. Beyond amazing.

Getting tickets was a total group effort. I, unfortunately, had to work and could only participate for a little while in the calling loop. My mum, my roommate, and her mom were all calling repeatedly and refreshing the page all trying to get tickets. Initially our intent was to get four. One for me and each of my roommates and then one for my mom. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

On Bullies

October is Anti-bullying month. I didn't know that until today when a post by Cassandra Clare went up. But bullying is something that appalls and disgusts me on a level that very little else does.

Today Cassandra Clare posted an amazing response to the cyber bullying that's been directed at her. While, I wasn't aware that things were as bad as they are (I'm not on Tumblr) I was incredibly saddened to find that I wasn't surprised.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books/Series I Want To Reread

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme started over at The Broke and the Bookish where they give us a topic and we give out top ten.
This week it's a rewind and we get to pick an old topic.  I had a really hard time choosing but I eventually settled on ten books (series) I want to reread.

I chose this one because I always guilt myself out of reread because I have so many books (and series) I haven't read yet. But the reread list gets longer and longer.

1. Howl's Moving Castle - Dianna Wynne Jones
Let's see if I can fit this book onto any more lists. It's been on my to reread list for a while but I haven't yet been able to get to it. I love it so so much.

2. The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater
I know, this one just came out but I want to reread it so bad! There is a definite part of me that wants to read it and reread over and over until the next one comes out.

3. Unspoken - Sarah Rees Brennan
I just want to curl back up and read it all over again!

4. Divergent - Veronica Roth
I've been dying to reread both of these back to back since Insurgent came out and have yet to do it!

5. Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling
This one is, admittedly, a bit two pronged. I reread these every year, but last year I put it off, hoping to read them along with Pottermore (and then this year I wanted to wait until after The Casual Vacancy to give myself some distance). So, I kind of want Pottermore to hurry itself up! Though, I'm almost finished with the first audiobook.

6. The Guardians of Time - Marianne Curley
I haven't read these since they came out and I love them! Or...at least I did.

7. Sorcery and Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot - Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer
The first of the Kate and Cece books. I've reread these several times and they never get old but the first is my favorite. Kate and I are so much alike!

8. Sweep by Cate Tiernan
It's been far too long since I read these!

9. Darkangel by Meredith Ann Pierce
I remember finding these a little slow and a little odd when I first read them in early high school but I loved them. It's been so long that I need to reread them since I don't remember them all that well.

10. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
I have a lot of love for Arthurian myths. I've always had a soft spot for Morgana. It's been since my senior year of high school and I need to pick it back up.

There are ten of my rereads. They're definitely not the only ones.

I've been considering doing two top ten lists a week because I missed so many good ones. Maybe catch myself up...Hmmm.

Which list did you loves do? Have you read any of these? Are there any books you've been itching to reread?


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Free-For-All-Reading: Unspoken

Oh dear god.

It's been awhile since I've been rendered so flailingly speechless by a book (okay maybe since The Raven Boys). There was about ten minutes of stiff armed flailing and squeaking before I could even function.

I am in love with this books. Love. I need another copy stat (mine is signed and it makes me nervous). I want to curl back up and reread it right now and if my roommate wasn't already irate that I've put The Night Circus off so long I would do it.

But, seriously.

This book is amazing.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Reading Update: The Casual Vacancy

This is not a book to read when you're sick or all in one sitting. That is to say that I caught a cold just before it came out and was too fuzzy headed to really get into it when I started it. That concerned me a little. I mean, it's J.K. Rowling, I was supposed to instantly and inherently love this book right from the start.

Looking back, I think the cold was responsible for my inability to read more than 20 pages without having to stop and stare drowsily off into space for an hour, but I don't think it was responsible for my disinterest.

I don't mean disinterest in that I wasn't interested to read the book exactly. It's more that I was so disconcerted by the book at the start that I stepped back from it, refusing to get involved.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Not to Be Forgotten

I swear I do still exist and I am still reading. I've just been sick so I've been useless.

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme started over at The Broke and the Bookish where they give us a topic and we give out top ten.
This week it's ten older books we'd like to be remembered.

We were allowed to define 'older' in any way that we'd like. I chose books that came out pre-2000 (or series that started pre-2000).

In no particular order.

1. Howl's Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones
     This may be the least likely of her books to be forgotten with the movie out and everything. But at the same time, I feel like that also makes it more likely to be forgotten because, though the movie is fantastic, it is not the book. This book plays with almost every fairy tale trope out there and, more importantly, it succeeds. It's brilliant and heart warming and clever. Everyone should read it.

2. Early Tamora Pierce
     Tamora Pierce has had such a large impact on me personally that I feel everyone should read her. I know a lot of people who have picked up books like Terrier or Trickster's Choice but never really started with The Song of the Lioness. I have always loved the older books more. They may be shorter (a source of agony for me) but they show how important pages can be, how much you can accomplish in so few pages.

3. Persuasion by Jane Austen
     I hesitated putting any Austen on my list. They seem unlikely to be forgotten. However, I do think some of her equally as wonderful books sometimes get over shadowed. Everyone fawns over Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility (my one professor in college loved Emma. Which is my least favorite) but I love Persuasion. This one says so much about being yourself and learning not to be led by others. As well as being constant. I love Persuasion and it should be a must read. Plus... THE LETTER!

4. Middlemarch by George Eliot.
     Middlemarch is probably not the first book to show how intertwined a community really is but it's the earliest one I've read and it does such a brilliant job with it. The Casual Vacancy actually reminds me of it...a lot. But this book has a little of everything and it all pulls together so nicely. I don't think it's very well known outside of literary groups but it should be. It takes some patience but it's brilliant.

5. Georgie Nicholson by Louise Rennison
     Let's take a break from the classics to turn to something more fun. And that's what these books are: fun. They're text book silly and ridiculous but they have so much heart. At their core they're about friendship and confidence, and being true to yourself. I think they are best appreciated by a younger audience but can be enjoyed by anyone. Georgie reminds me of a younger Bridget Jones. I think, especially with the diary trend in middle grade, these are easily forgotten but they shouldn't be.

6. Everworld by K.A. Applegate
     Before the Percy Jackson series there was The Everworld series. Though I would have absolutely adored the series to go on longer, it's brilliant. Applegate weaves all of these mythology sets together flawlessly. The protagonists are a little older than Percy and his crew. I love Percy Jackson but Everworld came first.

7. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
     As important and big as I think this book as been there are still a lot of people who don't know about it. I think in literary circles it is less likely to be forgotten but it deserves to reach a bigger audience. I also think it's easy to be dismissive of it hearing the plot because there is a sea of overly sentimental stories about similar topics but none of them address serious issues in quite this way.

8. In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
     Amelia Atwater Rhodes has a fair number of books out and I think it's easy to lose her first one. I think that's a mistake. As good as the book is I think it's important to remember that she was 13 when it written. That's the kind of story that gives young writers hope. They are creative and have brilliant ideas at any age. They don't need to go to college to be a good a writer. It's a great introductory book for the series and for the possibilities of the writing world.

9. Equus by Peter Shaffer
     I had the privilege of seeing this play on Broadway. It's not an easy play. It's not for the faint of heart. It's gritty and violent and graphic. It does so much and it doesn't shy away from what it wants to say about religion and the influence parents have on children even when they don't realize. I think we've seen an influx of international literature that covers sensitive information without touching it and dancing off but there are few that I've read that manage to be so poignant and have such an impact. I think it should be read and widely.

10. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
     With retelling always as big as they are there are tons of them. Mists of Avalon is such a powerful one. It reimagines and retells and completely revamps. It takes a tale traditionally full of male dominated power and turns it into a story about the power of women. It's well plotted and beautiful. I think anyone attempting a retelling should pick it up but I also think it could easily be lost in a sea of other retellings.

And what about you ducks? Which books do you think should be remembered? Why? Have you read any of these? Do you agree?