Friday, July 26, 2013

The Intriguingly Epic Taken

I am continuing to work my way through the awesome debuts for the panel at work next Saturday. Thus far, I'm impressed and excited to meet the authors. I'm just under halfway through the list but looking forward to continuing.

The book I've just finished is Erin Bowman's Taken. The ARCs showed up at work and I snagged one but hadn't gotten to it until yesterday. The idea intrigued me but things kept coming up. I'm glad I finally dove in.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Epically Awesome The Cadet of Tildor

As I mentioned in my last post I picked up The Cadet of Tildor because the author is coming to my work for an awesome panel on August 3rd. I read that it was a combination of Tamora Pierce and George R. R. Martin.

That kind of sounded right up my ally.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The epically (sort of) spontaneous The Cuckoo's Calling

So, I, obviously, went out and got The Cuckoo's Calling as soon as I could after I heard the announcement. Much like The Casual Vacancy it's not necessarily something I would have picked up on my own. Even though the cover looks a lot like a YA book.

A lot of people will roll their eyes at me for reading anything that J.K. Rowling puts out. They're entitled to do that. I think they're jerks but, hey, go for it. At the very least I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and for a book that I know is going to be well written, even if it's not my cup of tea.

I'm going to keep this one as spoiler free as I can but be wary.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Not Pick Up A Book


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

This week: Ten Words or Topics that Will Stop Me From Picking Up a Book

None of these are 100%

1. Summer Romance
There’s something about books that flat out talk about beautiful summer romances that make me sort of pause. I’ve never really given these much of a chance, admittedly but they’re…I don’t know. I feel like they often take themselves too seriously.

2. Pregnancy
Something about reading books where the main concern is that they get pregnant. I’ve tried, they always end up being too sentimental. I just don’t like them.

3. ‘Temptation’
Books with this in the title/tagline are usually super cheesy romance novels. And I’ve tried to read some…and I can’t…Even ones that are in series that start of strong (Anita Blake) peter off into awfulness at an alarming rate.

4. “Save each other”
Even in books I like when they use this phrase I roll my eyes a little. There has to be a better way to say it! But when they use it on the blurb I twitch a little. The books tend to be sentimental.

5. Can they resist each other?
See above.

6. Verse Novels
I like poetry...well...some poetry. I don't mind quoting poetry a character of mine does it a lot. But I just don't do stories written as a series of poems. Maybe I just haven't found one I've been impressed with. Or what that's been interesting enough to really entice me in.

7. Turning to God
I am potentially the least religious person you'll ever meet. I see the appeal, in a way, but I don't really get it. So a book that deals prominently with this hold no appeal to me.

8. "Good Girls"
Okay, I'm pretty much a good girl but no one is as naive and sweet as some authors try to make their characters seem (case in point The Collector). It's usually done to highlight the 'badness' of another character. It comes off as flat.

9. BDSM
...I just...no. Not until someone can direct me to one that is honestly well done, and legitimately appealing for more reasons than just sex.

10. Suicide
Okay, I won't necessarily not pick up a book, but I definitely hesitate.

Basically, I’m not a huge fan of romance novels. Or things that take themselves too seriously when they should lighten up. And as I said earlier, none of these are fool proof. An interesting enough plot or enough praise will entice me in.

What are on your list?

-A.M.Y-A

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Epically Amusing The Symptoms of My Insanity

I picked this book up because Mindy Raf is coming to my work next month (with a few other of the Lucky 13s. If you live near Boston come check it out). It sounded funny enough, the flap copy is wonderful.

I was delightfully surprised. I read that whole strong of bad, dramatic but "funny" YA and I was a little afraid that this was going to be yet another of those. I was convinced that I couldn't win.

There was something so wonderful about The Symptoms of My Insanity. The humor is clever and witty without being hopelessly cynical. The situations that Izzy finds herself in are serious but they're handled in a way that reminds you how important they are without crossing the line into after school special territory.

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

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


This week: Ten authors who deserve more recognition

I took this as authors who aren't as widely known as some. Some of them might be well known in the literary world but not in the world at large.

1. Holly Black
Arguably she has plenty of attention. However, I think she is far better than a lot of the other authors who have garnered more attention. She has this amazing ability to capture this dark, cynical, teenage darkness that’s just brilliant.

2. Maggie Stiefvater
Nobody writes a story like Maggie Stiefvater. Nobody. She writes these complex, mythological plots. I love recommending her to people because she should get way more attention.

3. Cate Tiernan
The Sweep and Balefire series are such brilliant studies of being a teenager and of magical stories. They’ve stuck with me for so long and I wish more people would read them.

4. Tamora Pierce
Okay, so perhaps this is the most controversial pick on my list but come on! She influences so many people are seem to be bigger than her. It makes me so sad.

5. Scott Westerfeld
I just recently heard that they’re meeting for the chance of an Uglies movie. I love the Uglies but he has so many other brilliant, wonderful series.

6. Sarah Rees Brennan
She is so funny and so awesome and no nearly enough people know who she is.

7. Stephanie Perkins
She writes the ultimate feel good books. I love giving them to people at work.

8. John Corey Whaley
He only has the one book (but Noggin, guys! Noggin!) but it’s full of so much heart and soul. I give it to people who like John Green and they usually really like it. And he won all sorts of awards but people still aren’t aware enough.

9. Maureen Johnson
As big as she is in the literary and internet worlds there are still so many people who don’t know who she is. She’s brilliant and wonderful and clever.

10. Michelle Hodkin
I have the hardest time describing Mara Dyer to people.  But I love it so, so much. It’s not like anything else I’ve ever read. It’s just so brilliant and I think more people need to pick it up.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Interestingly Epic The Raven Girl

A coworker acquired me a copy of Audrey Niffenegger's Raven Girl. He said there was something about it that made him think of me.

I'm pretty much okay with that. Just looking at the book is a treat. It's stunning visually, alone.

Raven Girl is a modern folk tale. It has all of the makings of a folk or fairy tale but with the modern twists.

The Incredibly Epic The Ocean at The End of the Lane

I mean, was there really any doubt that this book was going to be some high level of epic? I never thought it would be anything other than awesome.

I was right.

Spoilers ahead!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My Way Less Than Epic Desertion of The Collector

So, I heard a lot of great things about Victoria Scott's The Collector. So, I requested it from the library. It took ages to get.

I was hoping it would be good, better than the last couple that I read. I even read in a couple of reviews that Dante got more bearable with time.

Well, I made it a little over halfway through the book.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Movie Adaptations

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

This week: Ten best/worst movie adaptations. I chose to split my list half and half.

Best:
1. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe  (2005)
I really loved this adaptation. There are few movies that really capture the spirit and feeling of a book but this one did it. And the feeling doesn’t diminish no matter how many times I watch it.

2. The Hunger Games
I think they did a really fantastic job of capturing what Suzanne Collins did with the book. I know a lot of people would have liked more insight into Katniss’ head but I think a voiceover would have ruined the movie.

3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
I think this one was the most faithful of the adaptations. I really truly loved the feeling and magic of the first movie.

4. The Lord of the Rings
So, sure, they changed some things and I’m still not sure why. And, sure, there were some things that I wish that they had left in but you can’t deny that these movies are beautiful. They did such a brilliant job.

5. Pride and Prejudice
Not going to lie, I love both the 2005 and the 1995 adaptations. I think they both capture different aspects of the book. And they’re both wonderful. Especially since we don’t always have time to watch the Colin Firth version.

Worst:
1. The Queen of the Damned
I can’t lie. I sort of love this movie. It’s terrible in the best way possible. But it is most definitely not the book. Not even a little. It tried to combine Queen of the Damned and The Vampire Lestat and it..it’s just not either.

2. The Golden Compass
I had such high hopes for this movie. The cast was good the effects were good…the movie was just not good.

3. Mansfield Park
Hokay, I do like the movie. It’s enjoyable. But, since Fanny isn’t necessarily the most loved of Austen’s heroines they decided to combine it with pieces of Austen’s life. But it’s not really Mansfield Park.

4. Howl’s Moving Castle
I LOVE this movie. Really love it. But it took this wonderful fairy tale of a book and turned it into a commentary on war. It’s still a brilliant and wonderful story but it’s not at all the same thing.

5. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
This is a fun movie. Martin Freeman is awesome. It has a very similar sort of camp and humor but it’s definitely not the book. It doesn’t quite have the same wit.

And there you have my list! Did you have any of the same? Any you greatly disagree with?

-A.M.Y-A

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Nearly Epic Reece Malcolm List

I thought this book looked interesting but wasn't particularly notable on my radar. Then a regular customer came in and told me that it was "so, so good." I requested it from the library.

It was a fast enough read, not something that I wanted to read large quantities of at once, which I wasn't thrilled about because I sort of just wanted to finish it.

Which, isn't really a good thing.

I really loved the main idea behind this book. Well, I mean, I really loved Reece Malcolm. She was an interesting character. Unfortunately, and despite the name, we didn't see very much of her.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Almost Epic Falling in Love With English Boys

First off, I didn't do an individual post on Superman: Earth One because I didn't have any major thoughts about it. I liked the way the exposition was handled. It let us jump in in the middle but still get all of the information we needed. The art was fantastic. But I didn't get enough of the story to really feel like I had time to get engrossed in the story. I plan to read the second to see if the story gets any more engrossing.

Okay, on to Melissa Jensen's Falling in Love with English Boys.

I heard about this book a while back. The premise sounded really cute and interesting. I put the name in a memo on my phone and found it a few weeks back so I requested it from the library.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Intimidating Books

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

This week: Ten Books that intimidate us.

1. Middlemarch by George Eliot
The odd thing about this one is that I've read it before and I know that I really like it but the book is so long and the font is so small!

2.The Avengers, X-Men, graphic Novels
This could be said for so many comics and graphic novels but I would love to read some of the superhero ones but where do I even start? There's so many!


3. Handling the Undead by John Ajvide Linqvist
I loved Let the Right One In but it's a really disturbing book. Handling the Undead seems like it's going to be a little bit more touchy on the subject matter and that makes me a little nervous.

4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
It's just so long!

5. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
It is also so long. But not only that but I hear such odd accounts of people trying to read this. Some love it others said it's similar to reading white noise.

6. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
As soon as I saw that this book specifically had a scholarship for kids who finished it and wrote a paper on it I was immediately freaked out by it.

7. The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
They are so long. I know they're supposed to be really good but...so long.

8. Most Poetry
I've only just begun to explore my love for Romantic poetry and some Pre-Raphaelites but most of the stuff still freaks me out.

9. Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott
To be fair, this has more to do with how much my roommate loves this book that the book itself.

10. The Histories by Shakespeare
I love his comedies, I love his tragedies. I really struggle with the histories. Every time I was assigned one in a class I panicked a little. I'll pick some of the others up for fun but never these.

There are my ten intimidating books! What are yours? Any overlap?

-A.M.Y-A