Friday, 30 November 2012

Bookshelf Tour!!!

Bookshelf Tour- November 2012.
I finally figured out why this wasn't uploading! Turns out the file was too big... So I have uploaded it in two parts, however I didn't plan it in two parts so the cut might be a little abrupt. It's also veryyyyyy long... So I suggest watching it in the two parts or finding somewhere comfortable to sit while you watch. ;)

Part 1:
video

Part 2:

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Note: This was filmed a short while ago (I think something like a week... Probably exactly a week, seeing as today is Friday), so some of my "currently reading" books are inaccurate. For example, I am now done The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon and Wish You Were Eyre by Heather Vogel Frederick. Check the sidebar to see what I'm reading now! :)

AH! Darn title text again. I know for certain I wrote something there. Anyway, it was meant to say "I apologize again for random darkness."

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bookish Tag

This tag I am writing about today is the "Bookish Tag" from Sonythebooklover on YouTube (check out her channel). So let's get started with the questions.

1. What genre of books do you prefer?
I read such a wide variety that it's very difficult to choose. My long time favourite has been action fantasy or adventure novels, but my current phase and new favourite genre is science fiction/dystopia. But there are a few realistic fiction books that I completely love.

2. What are some of your must-have books in your library?
Everyone in the universe needs to read Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling does an amazing job of creating a fantastical world, intricate plotlines, and intriguing characters. Seriously a masterpiece. Other books I own and recommend include are Stormbreaker (and the entire Alex Rider series, but I only own the first) by Anthony Horowitz, and I have never read the Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen yet, but someone in my house did buy it and it sounds excellent.

3. What is the most expensive book on your shelf?
I don't really know, but probably the Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. I plan to read it sometime, but not right away.

4. What book do you covet the most?
I would love to have the Uglies quartet by Scott Westerfeld and the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. And definitely the Tales of Beedle the Bard, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling. It would be awesome to add those to my collection. And ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I want Divergent #3 SO. BAD. This is torture, Veronica Roth!

5. How much to you spend on books?
Honestly, not much. I love books (as you can tell), but I don't really buy them often because of price and uncertainty if it is a book I'm going to want to own. And space. My bookshelf is on the side of my desk and it's really small.

6. What do you think of the current trend in YA books right now?
I am really liking YA books right now. Love the Hunger Games, Uglies trilogy, Inside Out/Outside In, Divergent and Insurgent, Blood Red Road... as you can see, tons of dystopia. And I'm loving that too. What I'm not liking is amazing ideas behind YA books that become distorted by unnecessary, full-frontal romance. I want more intense action and background on the society, not romance. If I had wanted a romance book, I would've taken one. Seriously. And would they STOP with vampire romance? I get it if a few series draw on that, but when almost everything in YA fiction now is about that? Please.

7. What series do you wish you had more books of?
The Mother-Daughter book club! These are like classics to me. I only own the fifth in the series, Home for the Holidays, and would love to own the whole collection because they're the type of heart-warming books that I could re-read if I was feeling downhearted. I am on the sixth and so I've heard, last volume, in the series and I could seriously go on reading these forever. So I would love to see more books of this, I'd never get tired of the girls adventures and real life situations. And, of course, Harry Potter further stories. Of course. I think that's obvious.

8. What are your go-to books in your library?
People who have done this have generally gone for more genre rather than specific titles, but I'll go for both. Specific books are all seven of the Harry Potter novels and the Chicken Soup for the Soul books that I own. Genres right now is dystopia/science fiction and classic books, which is kind of unlike me.

9. What book is currently in your bag?
Wish You Were Eyre by Heather Vogel Frederick, the sixth Mother Daughter Book Club book, and the Book of Even More Awesome by Neil Pasricha, which is easy to read a short section when I have a free, but short, moment.

10. What is your most prized book in your collection?
Harry Potter. :D Ya, I'm obsessed. Also, I love the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien copy that I have. It is so old and worn, but I love it.

11. What are some of your non-fiction books on your shelf?
Well, I have three chicken soup books on my shelf, though three others are around the house somewhere, and I love those. I have a few craft-ish books from a while ago, I have a baking book, a dictionary, atlas, etc. and that's about it.

12. Name your favourite authors (up to three).
J.K. Rowling, because she's brilliant. Heather Vogel Frederick, because, though I have only read one series of hers (... or wait no... I read another series of hers but that was when I was much younger....), I love her story-telling ability and how she can successfully create five amazing characters and plotlines that weave perfectly with one another. Finally, Scott Westerfeld. I have only read the Uglies series from him, but it was amazing, and I definitely plan to read "Peeps" and "The Last Days" by him as well.

*Update: Jan. 16/13 I now HAVE to add Maria V. Snyder because Inside Out and Outside In were great, Poison Study is amazing so far, and all her series sound just amazing! I love her writing style and unique ideas.

13. Favourite bookstore?
Indigo bookstores. Not only do the carry so many books, they also have cool little things there like bookmarks and earphones, as well as a few CD's and movies. And a lot of them that I've been in have Starbucks in them. Awesome.

I am going to tag a few people from some of my favourite blogs.
Julia @ Books As Wings (http://write4porsche.blogspot.ca)
Brianna @ The Book Nook (http://glowgold24676.blogspot.ca)
Kirsten @ K's BooK's To Read (http://ktoread.blogspot.ca)
Jami @ Bookworm's Blog (http://purpleninjaas.blogspot.ca)

Have fun everyone! If you aren't tagged by still want to do the challenge, go ahead.

Hope you enjoyed! :)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Technical Difficulties

Hey there. I have a few videos that I want to post (Bookshelf Tour and November book reviews), however, Blogger is currently not cooperating with me and will not upload the videos. Hopefully this will be fixed soon and then I will be able to post the videos. In the mean time, check out my other videos and posts, or give me feedback under my "Future Posts #2". Thanks. :)

Update, November 26- Still not working! Hopefully this will get sorted out soon.

Update, November 28- Well apparently it's just that one video that refuses to upload. I tried exporting it again and uploading it, but that seems to be messing up my computer. So anyway, in the mean time I would like to post some more written things, but it's been pretty busy.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Future Posts #2

Hey! Since it's been about a month, here is my second post of my series "Future Posts" which will talk about the types of posts I am hoping to do in the future and the recent posts I have done (by the way... this post will be long.)

October's Future Posts:
  • Literary Dinner Party √
  • The Serpent's Shadow book review √
  • The Princess Bride book review √
  • Bookshelf Tour
  • 7 Deadly Sins of Reading √
  • More word art!
  • Book Recommendations
  • Cover to Cover √
  • Q&A √
I have yet to do my Bookshelf Tour which I've been planning, as well as book recommendations. However, both my word art and bookshelf tour are in the making. Sorta.

So anyway, here is a list of things I would like to do now, so please let me know your top two favourites. This time I will explain what each thing is. :)
  • Bookshelf Tour- I've been really wanting to do this! But I haven't had the opportunity yet. For those of you who don't know, a bookshelf tour is just that: I'll talk about the books on my bookshelf. 
  • Princess Bride Word Art- I'm getting used to using Illustrator, because I've never used it before. I have a certain quote from the Princess Bride that I am working on. If you don't know, word art is taking a quote or phrase (from a novel, in my case) and adding images/sketches, fonts, colour, etc. to represent it.  
  • Book Recommendations- For this, I would basically just recommend books by specific authors, specific genres, if you like____ try _____, etc. 
  • Cover to Cover- Check out this post to see what it is all about. :)
  • This or That- Have you ever heard of the game "Coke or Pepsi?" Well, basically it's where there are questions such as "dark chocolate or milk chocolate", and you have to answer which one you prefer. Often times it is done where you try and guess what your friends would say. If I were to do this on my book blog, I would post book or writing related questions that I would answer, and anyone who wants to could create a post on their blog and join in by answering my questions and/or creating their own (don't forget to link back here ;)
  • Book to Movie Adaptation (The Princess Bride): Pretty self-explanatory. 
  • Top 10 Books to Read- I have a veryyyy long list. But this would be me explaining my top 10 if I HAD to choose. 
  • Dream Cast for Divergent- Yes, the movie is coming out in 2014! So I thought I could say who I think should play who. 
  • Literary Mix Tape- Character TBA. ;)
I guarantee there will be other things that will be posted that are not on this list. I also guarantee that the following posts will be posted by February 8. 
  • Two reviews of another blogger's review
  • One alternate-text review (something other than a book- I know right!)
  • Another book-related challenge of some sort (such as the Literary Dinner Party)
  • 2013 Book Resolutions
  • A picture of my owl decoration I bought. I don't care if it doesn't relate to books. Whatever. (I ended up adding this to my bookshelf tour). 
So that's what I can guarantee. Sorry, this post was kind of long and boring (gasp!) but that's ok. I gotta have them once in a while. So please, comment on the two things you would most like me to do. 

Oh! And also, I would love if you could answer this one question in the comments too... Do you prefer watching videos on my blog or reading written things (like this one)? Thanks!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Hunger Games Tag

Hey! Today I have decided to do a written Hunger Games tag by Aura at Aura's Book Box on Youtube. There are a variety of questions and I will be bolding the one I choose and explaining why. I would not read this if you have not read all three of the Hunger Games books. There will be spoilers. Enjoy! :)

1. Peeta or Gale?
Is neither an option? Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but I am on Team Finnick. Gale, to me at least, was arrogant sometimes, plus he ended up being a total jerk in Mockingjay. And Peeta was just too kind, and often too... soft. But Finnick... he's determined, strong, yet sweet with a vulnerable side too. He was just awesome.

2. Effie's crazy style or sweet and simple like Cinna?
Effie's style sure is entertaining but I think Cinna's is more tasteful, and more like me. I mean, imagine wearing what Effie does everyday! So I would have to say Cinna.

3. Life in the Capitol or Slug it in the Districts?
Life is different there. You aren't spoiled like in the Capitol, and you have to learn to be independent and do things for yourself. Plus, I for one wouldn't be able to live with the guilt if I lived in the Capitol. I don't mind roughing it in the districts. Everyone's gotta pull their weight.

4. Bread from district 11 or stew from the Capitol?
Well, I don't even eat red meat so, the option is obvious. But even if I did, I would still choose District 11 bread because it reminds me of Rue, and is a symbol of the districts.

5. Katniss's archery skills or Cato's knife fighting abilities?
Archery skills! I have always wanted to be able to use a bow and arrow, it sounds so amazing and would be dead useful too. Using a knife would be way to gory for me and I would never use the skills that I had with it anyway! I wouldn't be able to harm anything like that.

6. Peeta's gift of camouflage or Rue's gift of tree-climbing?
Rue's gift! How amazing would that be? It would be helpful in the Hunger Games and I already love climbing trees so if I could climb like Rue... Explosion of amazing. Peeta's gift is helpful too, but when I think of it in comparison to Rue's, it doesn't compare. Not only would it be fun, it also would be helpful to protect yourself, attack others in the Games, and catch food. Brilliant.

7. Become an Avox or get stung by a tracker jacker?
I admit it would be awful to have hallucinations of horrible things happening to yourself or your family but think about it... Not talking???? Ever???? That is not possible for me. At least tracker jackers would most likely be a short-term thing. Depending on the circumstance.

8. Join forces with the Careers or run for the Hills?
Run for the Hills!!!!!! I wouldn't be caught dead with the Careers. Ever.

9. Who's cuter? Prim or Rue?
Rue <3 Not only is her appearance adorable, but she also is so sweet, curious, and freaking ninjaa (yes, two a's)!!!

10. Run for the Cornucopia or run for the Hills?
Both. I'd run to the Cornucopia, grab something small like a backpack or whatever I could, then sprint away to the Hills and try to stay away from everyone and avoid killing people. I just couldn't do that.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Wordle

Hey everyone! Today I was on wordle.net, and decided to make a wordle for my blog. Thanks for the idea, Julia, at Books as Wings (the link to her blog is in the sidebar). Enjoy! :)


Friday, 9 November 2012

Harry Potter Literary Dinner Party

All-HP literary dinner party. Awesome ;)

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*SPOILER ALERT*  2:30-2:45
And seriously... If you haven't read the books and plan to, do not watch that snippet! :)

Thursday, 8 November 2012

The 7 Deadly Sins of Reading

Prepare yourselves... this is the 7 deadly sins of reading tag adapted by BookishlyMalyza. Here we go!

Greed- What is your most expensive and least expensive book?
Truth be told, I do not buy books often. I KNOW. Crazy. I get nearly every book I read from my local library (and trust me, I make many trips there...) because 1) I do not have enough space for tons of books 2) I do not have enough money for tons of books 3) I do not want to buy the book and realize I despised it once I read it. I only buy books when I really, truly LOVE the series and know for absolute certain I will re-read it at least (least!!!) one more time. But my most expensive book would probably be the Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling, which I plan to read when I am older, or my Harry Potter collection, though much of this was paid by my sister as a gift. My least expensive book would be my short, thin book about J.K. Rowling.

Wrath- Which author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
Suzanne Collins all the way. I loved the Hunger Games soooo much. It immediately made my top books list. Then I read Catching Fire. Not amazing, but still a very, very enjoyable sequel. But then came Mockingjay... Oh Suzanne Collins, what have you done? The ending was not satisfying to me at all, and the entire book was like a haze... I just couldn't dive into it. Sorry for those Mockingjay lovers out there.

Gluttony- What book have you deliciously devoured over and over again without shame?
I don't re-read a lot of books... well, except one. Harry freaking Potter, of course. I have read the series 5 times so far (and counting!), and plan to read it again soon, probably this February. Every time I read it, I get something new from the characters and series. It is safe to say I can absolutely not get enough of HP.

Sloth- Which books have you neglected to read due to laziness?
Lord of the Rings all the way. I've wanted to for a little, and then I started and I.... I just couldn't. So the book is safely returned to the library because I just couldn't read it right now. But I promise, I absolutely will! I also have neglected to read quite a few classics such as The Secret Garden, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the full version of Little Women, and of course, Watership Down. I will read them all. Of course.

Pride- Which book have you talked most about to make you sound like an intellectual reader?
Again, Harry Potter. Uttering magic spells and talking about all sorts of important, professional-sounding terms (priori incantatem, amortentia, thestrals, elixir of life, the philosopher's stone, and many, many more). Plus, I know my stuff so well from this book that often, I just can't resist. And luckily my family tolerates it. As do my friends (most of them have read HP anyway, so they relate).

Lust- Which attributes do you find most attractive in male or female characters in books?
For female characters, definitely strength. Any character that can hold her own and is tough and determined makes me very, very happy (Katniss Everdeen, anyone? How about Saba? Tally? Trella?). I really love that trait in a female lead. For male characters, I like any character that is flawed, which really applies to any character for me. To see vulnerability in really any character is helpful and relatable to me. A great example is Harry Potter. He is brave, smart, athletic... but he doesn't always make the right choices. But what makes him amazing is how he handles situations and recognizes his flaws. I also like male characters that are funny, amusing, or pranksters (cough, cough Gred and Forge ;). Pretty awesome.

Envy- Which books would you most like to receive as a gift?
I'm pretty content with my Harry Potter collection, but I would totally love to be gifted Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. I wouldn't say no to the Uglies series or Hunger Games series either, though. :)

So that's it! I really hope you enjoyed reading this. Tell me what your answers to the questions would be in the comments, or make a post on your blog and let me know!


Sunday, 4 November 2012

A Few Book Reviews

As to not overwhelm you with an enormous amount of written book reviews, I decided to take some of the written reviews I have wrote and transform them into a video. There are three reviews in this video. Hope you like the video.

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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Love, Stargirl- Book Review

My review of Love, Stargirl, the companion book to Stargirl. Hope you enjoy. :)


Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Sequel to Stargirl
Realistic Fiction/Romance
288 pages
**** (four stars)

    Through a yearlong letter to her former boyfriend, Leo, Stargirl reflects on her experience at Mica High and her new life in Pennsylvania. At her new home, she befriends her new, strange neighbors and finds herself drawn towards the nonchalant Perry Delloplane. As Stargirl struggles to find herself again, she thinks about Leo and tries to sort out her feelings for both him, and the strange delinquent, Perry, whom she finds herself oddly curious about. With new and old characters from Stargirl, this companion book allows us to follow Stargirl along her journey.
    "When a stargirl cries, she sheds not tears but light." (p. 182). This quote from Stargirl takes on a new meaning in Love, Stargirl. As a character in this book, Stargirl went through major changes. She lost her confidence and this quote didn't seem as true anymore as Stargirl lost what made her so special. However, throughout the book Stargirl transformed again to her refreshingly eccentric self, and these developments made me feel more invested in the story. I liked the format of the book as well, as they were organized in simple journal entries that made it easy to read and understand when it took place. Because of this, I was able to get through the book quickly, but I actually enjoyed it more than the first book, which is somewhat surprising. This book seemed to have more depth, and I liked Stargirl as a narrator better, though I did miss Leo's physical presence in the book. However, I was disappointed in Stargirl at first because she transformed from this unique, amazing character to an average teenage girl. I think Spinelli chose to write this from Stargirl's perspective to both reveal more about her character and way of thinking, and how she changed after meeting Leo. I admired how Stargirl rediscovered herself and realized she never had to change who she was, which was the theme of the book. Love, Stargirl inspired me to recognize and appreciate the little things that make our life special. 

The Princess Bride- Book Review

Here is my review on the amazing fantasy/adventure/romance novel, The Princess Bride, by the brilliant genius William Goldman. 


http://samantharaephotography.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/princessbride.jpg

The Princess Bride by William Goldman
No series (though one long, long chapter of a long-lost sequel)
Fantasy/Adventure/Romance
512 pages
***** (five stars)
Original Tale by S. Morgenstern

Westley and Buttercup were meant to be together. As soon as Buttercup realizes she's madly in love with the farmboy, Westley, he sails away to earn money for them to build their life together. Buttercup waits anxiously for his return when the news reaches: Westley's ship sank, and he is dead. Buttercup, as she mourns the loss of her true love, becomes more and more beautiful, finally reaching the status of the most beautiful woman in the world. In a rapid turn of events, Buttercup then finds herself engaged to the awful Prince Humperdinck... until she is whisked away by a motley trio of kidnappers: the giant Fezzik, the swordsman Inigo, and the evil genius Vizzini. How will Buttercup ever escape?
This book was filled with delightful plot twists! I love plot twists! Not only this, but William Goldman, who abridged the story (hint, hint) filled the book with amusing and interesting pieces of information and sub-stories about himself (more hints!) throughout the book. This narration really added another layer of depth to the novel. I also really enjoyed the character development throughout the book. Buttercup matured greatly from start to finish, and I was very pleased to learn more about different character's backstory (such as Inigo, my favourite character). I believe S. Morgenstern chose to reveal more about the sub-characters because it made me connect with them and the plot more deeply. As an author, the entire aim is to have the novel and characters relatable, so I commend Morgenstern on succeeding. The theme of this novel is if you love someone with all your heart, you will always find a way to be together. With a perfect combination of adventure, love, and humour, this book let me fall right into its pages. If you are 12+ and enjoy intense yet comical adventures, I beg you to read this! 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Stargirl- Book Review

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
First book in series of two
Realistic Fiction/Romance
186 pages
**** (four stars)



    Leo Borlock and the rest of the student body at Mica Area High School have always been average. That is, until Stargirl Caraway shows up and turns Leo's life upside down. From her long, prairie skirts to her ukulele to her pet rat, Cinnamon, Stargirl is anything but average. First in awe, the high-schoolers welcome her differences with open arms, admiring her boldness. But as Leo's growing attachment to her grows, so does the hostility from the rest of the school as they shun both Stargirl and Leo from their lives. 
    Stargirl brought a smile to my face, both the character and the novel. It was a heart-warming tale of love and acceptance that was really inspiring to me. I could relate to the characters, both Stargirl and Leo, for different reasons, but I was with Stargirl 100%. This ability to identify with the characters gave the story more depth and reality, because this situation, on a lower scale, happens in "real life". Stargirl taught us to always be ourselves, and never change for anyone else, which was the theme of the book. I think Jerry Spinelli wrote this story to convey that message and teach us a lesson: being different is not a bad thing. I enjoyed this book, however sometimes I felt like the plot pace was a bit up and down. Something important would happen, and then one chapter later it seemed like it never happened. The ending was sad, and I finished the book with a heavy heart, which is why I picked up Love, Stargirl off my stack of books and immediately started reading to end on a happy note. I did really enjoy this book and definitely recommend it to 11+ because I think that you will be able to appreciate the book better if you are older. 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Literary Dinner Party

Hello everyone! Here is my literary dinner party video tag from Renee @ Nehomas2 on Youtube. The images and music I used are not my own! I have cited them at the end of the video. I had a lot of fun putting it together, so enjoy!

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