January 23rd, 2010

and you search for comfort in words you do not comprehend.



3) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

My parents aren’t the most religious, they are what we call “holiday christians” and even then it’s rare that you will find them anywhere near a church. Hence I never read the Narnia books while growing up. I read Roald Dahl, J.K. Rowling (in the fifth grade ha), and those books about the royal princesses when they were growing up. I started reading the Narnia series last year and have been reading them in order of the series rather than how it was published. I know that there is a big debate over if it is better to read by publication or by storyline. I’m not one to really bother with it. I have to say that so far this was probably my least favorite of the books. I’m not sure why I didn’t like it as I did the others, but it just didn’t capture my attention. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t as interested in the islands and what not, but oh well it’s done and over with.

On to the next!

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Book #4 - 1984

Book #4: 1984 - George Orwell (1950, 328 pages)

Winston Smith is stuck in a world he doesn't want to be a part of in George Orwell's horrifying classic 1984. Basic human rights are limited - there is no such thing as love, as marriage is only approved for procreational purposes; language is condensed into Newspeak, where sentences and expressions are reduced to bare bones in order to take away emotional expressionism; and where your every move and even thoughts, whether outright expressed or not, are carefully monitored by Big Brother's form of regulators, the Thought Police.

With life so carefully structured, and knowing that his sentiment differs from many of his peers in Oceania, Winston must carefully watch his actions. But when the beautiful Julia comes into his life, Winston becomes reckless as he is truly experiencing love and wants to find the freedom he feels he deserves. But it comes at too high a cost.

Orwell's book is a frightening glimpse at the way things could have gone in World War Two. Thankfully, this is solely fiction, but it is terrifying nonetheless. Orwell brings start realism and grit to the story, and though it is so dark, his writing style and great grasp of suspense leaves readers unable to put the book down, no matter how bad things get, which of course explains why this book has become the classic it is.

I really found myself surprised with how much I enjoyed this book, especially when I do not care for such dark stories. That is why I must give this book a very strong five out of five Big Brothers watching me.

Total Books Read: 4 / 50 (8 percent)
Total Pages Read: 1,357 / 15,000 (9 percent)
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Me again

Mostly Julia.

So far this year, I've only read two books, but I will continue on and believe I can reach my goal again this year.

The first book I read was Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams, the last (or so I thought) in the 5 book series that starts with The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. Quite honestly, I was very dissapointed in this last installment. I felt that it let many story lines go without any real conclusion and ended abruptly. I am very glad to have found out that Eoin Colfer has written a sixth book and I plan on reading it before years end. I hope that it at least touches on some of the things that were dropped in the last book.

The second book I read was Julie and Julia by Julie Powell. I am sure you have all heard of this book. It was recommended to me by my writer's group and I am very glad that I read it. The movie is a good translation but I felt the book was much more edgy and true to life. I enjoyed it immensely and would recommend it to anyone.

Hopefully I'll soon be posting about more books. Happy Reading!
hand, butterfly

Books 21 - 25

I'm really flying through these books, to the detriment of other things in my life. I'm up to 25 books for the year, and I'm not even 4 months in. At the rate I'm going, I'll easily hit 50 books, even without reading anything once school starts in August.

21. Vampire Academy, by Richelle Mead
Genre: YA, Supernatural

I'm pretty ambivalent about this one. I think I expected more out of it, though I'm not entirely sure what I expected. Maybe more with the vampires, rather than their guardians. Meh. It had some very interesting elements in it, it just didn't hold my attention as well as some other books I've read recently, and I feel that sometimes Mead explains things too long after she mentions them initially, leaving the feeling that you missed something while reading.

Rating: 3.5/5

22. Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen
Genre: Historical Fiction, classic

This is no Pride and Prejudice. You can tell it's one of Austen's first book, and it's more of a coming-of-age book than it is a romance, and I'm more fond of the romantic aspects of them. Still, it was worth the read, if only because Austen wrote it.

Rating: 3/5

23. Choosing a Jewish Life, by Anita Diamant
Genre: Nonfiction, Religious

Written from the perspective of a Jew-by-birth, this book goes over the process of conversion via the liberal movements in Judaism. It didn't really tell me anything I don't know, but I did enjoy reading it and it is a nice quick overview of everything I'll hopefully face within the next few years.

Rating: 4/5

24. Dead as a Doornail, by Charlaine Harris
Genre: Mystery, Supernatural

Not as bad and cliche as I expected. The tension between Eric and Sookie is classic, though I wish more would've happened upon hearing what happened last book. Interesting all around, and I can't wait to read the next book.

Rating: 4/5

25. Definitely Dead, by Charlaine Harris
Genre: Mystery, Supernatural

Nice mystery in this one. I feel in some ways, though, that Harris doesn't really give any clues as to the identity of the mysterious person until she reveals it. This may just be that I'm horrible at spotting such clues, but still, it often feels more like a drama novel than a mystery novel. Still, with that being said, I loved this book, and could hardly stand to put it down. I found myself whirling through all the possibilities while I laid in bed thinking about the plot as a whole. I wish some more characters had had a little bit more prominence in this novel, as they seemed to flit in and out of the plot without a second thought, but it was still nice to see them. Will be starting on the next book shortly.

Rating: 4/5
bleeding

Book 6

6. Title: Frankenstein: Dad and Alive
Author: Dan Koontz
Genre: Horror
Pages: 352

Summary: "As devastating hurricane approaches, as the benighted creations of Victor Helios begin to spin out of control, as New Orleans descends into chaos and the future of humanity hangs in the balance, the only hope rests with Victor's first, failed attempt to build the perfect human. Deicalion's centuries-old history began as the original manifestation of the soulless vision -- and it is fated to end in ultimate confrontation between the damned creature and his mad creator. But first they must face a monstrosity not even Victor's malignant mind could have conceived: and indestructible entity that steps out of humankinds's collective nightmare with powers, and a purpose, beyond imagining." ~Jacket Copy

Thoughts: This book is just a extension of the last two. It is still a good and engaging story. When this book ended, I wished Koontz would have taken the time to explain the mutations, why the happened, what it meant, etc. Aside from that, this was an enjoyable read.

Pages-to-date: 1693
Currently: ?
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Telling a Story with Pictures











Book # 3

Title: Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels

Author: Scott McCloud

Genre: Comic book. Graphic novel. Non-fiction.

What’s it about? As the title itself tells you, Making Comics is the book to have in your bookshelf if you want to make comics with everything about comics and related literature in its 272 pages.

My opinion: I can draw good pictures but my art skills aren’t anywhere near excellent but there was still that time when I have wanted to make comics (more like manga – they are the same but still different) not too long ago and because of that, my uncle (the same good ol’ uncle who gave me my Death Note light novel) bought me this book to help me more. I’m no longer interested in making comics though since I’ve realized that I enjoy reading more so now the book serves a different purpose.

Even if you’re just a plain comic book reader like me, owning this book is still worth it because it helps you understand more about the paneled pages that you’re reading. The methods, mediums, techniques and other stuff are all discussed in a comic book format, which I really love (it’s simply brilliant – a comic book about comic books!), as well as the differences about the types of comic books in both the eastern and western side of the world. There’s also information about materials used and the different artist styles. Simply put, the book’s a goldmine for comic book lovers and I like the light-hearted humor in this one – a reason why I keep on re-reading it.

Yuuko

Moving on

6. Some Die Young by Jeanne Hart

Summary: In the town of Bay Cove, nothing really happens. Then a twelve year old girl, Lisa, goes missing and if later found to have been murdered. The police, her friends and friends of the family try to go on but are a little apprehensive. The main suspect is an older man. Meredith, Lisa's close friend, starts a journal where she wishes to be the next Anne Frank. She begins talking in her journal about an older man she has been spending her time with. Marriages start falling apart, jobs are on the line and people are falling in and out of love all over the place. Can the police find out who killed Lisa before he gets to another girl, or even Meredith?

Review: This is a mystery novel. Usually I like mysteries, but this book wasn't that great. It took me a while to get through it and I almost gave up on it. There were so many characters and the story was told from many people's viewpoints. I was happy to find out that I had guessed correctly on who killed Lisa but it was sort of a lucky pick. Either I missed the clues that were mounting against the killer, I didn't care enough or Hart hadn't included anything to really point to this person. But, hey, I finished it and I can see why my library sold this book to me for a quarter or less.
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bookworm

1-3 / 50 for book challange 2010

1. Takashi Matsuoka - Cloud of Sparrows (2002)


Summary :
Takashi Matsuoka's first novel takes us to 1861, six years after the opening of Japan to the West. Genji, the young, charismatic Great Lord of Akaoka, welcomes a small group of American missionaries—all with hidden agendas—to his province, where they plan to build a church. Two of the missionaries, Emily and Matthew, befriend Genji, and as cultural barriers among them fall, they become integral to Genji's survival. Ancient enemies are conspiring against him. With the help of loyal retainers—notably his master samurai uncle, Shigeru, and his beautiful and brilliant geisha lover, Heiko—Genji struggles to repel his enemies and to understand and fulfill the visions he receives of the future.

My thoughts:
Delightful read, full of unpredictable twists, taste of japanese culture, beautiful scenery, fast-paced plot and witty style. It's a must read for anyone interested in ancient Japan- times of last samurais, overwhelmingly beautiful geisha, honor and betrayal. I loved the construction, enjoyed Matsuoka's style. Not one second wasted on this one.



2. Mythology - People of Ancient Korea (2008)

Summary:
The look at ancient Korea and it's mythology, consisting of national legends and folk tales. Korean shamanism and totemism. Beliefs about Creation of the World, Coming of Humankind, Settling of the World, Establishment of Korea. Religion, folklore, animals in mythology.

My thoughts:

Interesting read, but very vague. The book is rather an overview of main streams and ideas than actual study of Korean mythology, so I recommend it for someone, who wants to get a taste of Korean ancient world, but don't really wanna get deep into details and technicalities.








3. Dennis Lehane - Shutter Island (2003)

Summary:
The year is 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, Chuck Aule, have come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, to investigate the disappearance of a patient. Multiple murderess Rachel Solondo is loose somewhere on this barren island, despite having been kept in a locked, guarded cell under constant surveillance. As a killer hurricane bears relentlessly down on them, a strange case takes on even darker, more sinister shades - with hints of radical experimentation, horrifying surgeries, and lethal countermoves made in the cause of a covert shadow war. No one is going to escape Shutter Island unscathed, because nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is remotely what it seems. (book cover)

My thoughts:
I was totally dumbfounded and bemused by this book. Even after turning the last page I couldn't get my mind of it for a very long time. it's one of those books that makes you Think, and it makes you Think HARD. The story is very original and suspenseful, seems to be living on its own, which is kind'a scary in a way.. they way it grabs onto you and doesn't let you put the book down until the end. And even when you're done, you know, deep inside, it's still there.. in the back of your mind..
Definitely one of my favorites, can't wait to see the movie!


Currently reading : Takashi Matsuoka - Autumn Bridge
book

BOOKS 3-5




BOOK 3 : Tomorrow when the war began by John Marsden (Sci- Fi)

What happens to some teenagers when their country is invaded. How will they handle the situation? A good young adult book





BOOK 4: Graceling by Kristen Cashmore (fantasy)
I seem to have a Sci- Fi theme going this year. Another good readable book.





BOOK 5 : The Blood Detective by Dan Waddell (Crime)

An interesting crime book which delves into the past to try to find the killer of today.

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El Corazon

42. Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Volume ; 43. The Voyeur; 44. Buffy...Omnibus, Volume 5

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Volume 4
edited by Scott Allie

Started: January 22, 2010
Finished: January 23, 2010

This collection was half-filled with a single long story arc about a vampire who teams up with a plastic surgeon in Sunnydale and half-filled with shorter stories. Didn't care much for the long story, the short stories were mostly forgettable but not bad for the most part. There was one good slightly longer story about Angel fighting a demon called the Hollower. I liked that one. But, really, like I've said before, even at their best, the stories in these comics so far would only be second-rate stories on the television show. Nothing great at all but enjoyable if you're a fan. 368 pages. Grade: B-
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The Voyeur
by Alain Robbe-Grillet

Started: January 22, 2010
Finished: January 23, 2010

A novel about Mathias, a watch salesman who goes back to the island he was raised on to try and make some sales and a young girl is brutally murdered while he is there. This is a book that you have to devote a little time to and read enough pages in a row that the language and point of view and story just kind of wash over you. A truly great read. I'm usually not a fan of an unreliable narrator, but it is the perfect choice for this story. 219 pages. Grade: A+
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, Volume 5
edited by Scott Allie

Started/Finished: January 23, 2010

The first long adventure in this collection about the Mayor's ghost inhabiting vampire bodies was great, by far the best Buffy comic I've read it. Everything else was just decent. 368 pages. Grade: B+
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Total # of Books Read in 2010: 44
Total # of Pages Read in 2010: 8,081

Total # of Non-Comic Books Read in 2010: 14
Total # of Non-Comic Book Pages Read in 2010: 4,534

Currently Reading: Pulp Stories by Raymond Chandler; The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet
Reading Soon: More Tintin; Raymond Chandler novels; Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy; The Thirsty Muse: Alcohol and the American Writer by Tom Dardis; Chuck Klosterman IV; Seasons in Hell by Mike Shropshire; More Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus; More Detective Comics/Batman; World Made By Hand by James Howard Kunstler
Cardiff Tardis

(no subject)

1. The Queen’s Fool - Phillipa Gregory
Very good read, expected nothing less :)

2. The Magicians Nephew - CS Lewis
3. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
4. The Horse And His Boy - CS Lewis
5. Prince Caspian - CS Lewis
6. The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader - CS Lewis
7. The Silver Chair - CS Lewis
8. The Last Battle - CS Lewis
One of my all time favourite series! Prince Caspian is my absolute favourite book, then TLTWATW!

9. Ghostwalk - Rebecca Stott
Also very good. Recommended from here I believe, so thank you for that whoever it was! I def recommend it. A little spooky in parts but very well written!

10. The Genesis Secret - Tom Knox
11. The Alexander Cipher - Will Adams
12. The Gilded Seal - James Twining
All a very similar vibe - Da Vinchi Code types - but I do enjoy them! My favourite one was the Alexander Cipher I think.

Total Books: 12
Total Pages: 3678
Currently Reading: The Prophecy by Chris Kuzneski