Monday, 29 October 2012

Book Categorization

Hello everyone! Welcome to my list of books to read for the coming months. We'll see how well this works out. If it doesn't, I'll scratch the idea. Once I've read the book, I'll put a checkmark beside it. If you have ideas for themes or books, please let me know! Also, some books I haven't added yet because I am still unsure of what I will be reading.

Some books are surprises... I will read more than what is listed here. I can't make everything toooo predictable. :)

November- Dystopia
Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder √
Outside In by Maria V. Snyder √
The Unidentified by Rae Mariz √
Variant by Robinson Wells √
Feedback by Robinson Wells √

December- Christmas/Wintery Books
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman
The Amber Spyglass by Phillip Pullman

Random Books (to read by the end of 2012):
The Book of Awesome √
The Book of (Even More) Awesome
The Book of (Holiday) Awesome

January- The Last Survivors Trilogy + Other Dystopia novels
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Host by Stephanie Meyer

If any of you read these books and I enjoyed them or say yay/nay to them, please let me know!

Reading Reflections

A few updates on the books I've been reading!

The Fellowship of the Ring... Ya, I've taken a break. After reaching Book Two of the first part of the novel, I was ready to start reading other books. So I did, and read about 6 books so far in between. And I still don't want to read it right away. So... I'll let you know when I continue to read it again, and finally finish it.

September and October... I've finished a lot of books since then. So here's the list, along with the ratings. Remember */* is a half star!

Insurgent- ****
Matched- ***
The Serpent's Shadow- ****
The Princess Bride- *****
Stargirl- ****
Love, Stargirl- ****
Survivors: The Empty City- ***
The Fellowship of the Ring- Incomplete (a little over halfway through)

Impressive! This was a fairly good month, the books I have read ranging from three to even five stars. I hope to read some more really great books in November and December.

I am not a horror fan, but in spirit of Halloween I am currently reading Lament by Maggie Stiefvater, which is a kind of creepy fantasy novel. So I'm really excited to dive into that.

As inspiration from The Readables as well, I am going to start categorizing my books. For each month I will plan the books I will read as best I can (but you never know when I'll see something that catches my eye, or that I've been waiting for and be like OH! That looks good!). I may have themes for some months, though not always. I will start doing this starting November... Only a few days away. To be more organized I will have another post that will contain this information once it has been decided. Keep checking for that new post!

And finally, I have been writing lot's and lot's (and lot's) of book reviews lately. Slowly I will begin to post them all over the course of a week. Please don't get overwhelmed. :)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Stargirl Inspiration

I recently read Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli, and am now reading Love, Stargirl, the sequel. It was a really inspiring book of friendship, acceptance, and love. In honour of Stargirl, and because I was rather intrigued by this idea, I have now started my own version of a "happy wagon". In Stargirl, she has a small wagon on her shelf with 20 pebbles in all. She puts a pebble in the wagon when she's happy, and takes one out when she's not. I put 20 pebbles in a small dragonfly dish of mine. At the moment there are 20 pebbles in the dish, and I will begin to take out and add ones over the next weeks and see how it turns out. Here is my "happy wagon":

Have you read Stargirl? Are you going to? If so, will you start your own "happy wagon"?


Hello everyone! This is going to be a page where you can comment in the comments section and ask me questions! These questions can be anything about reading or writing. Sometimes I might post a question too and you can all answer it in the comments. You can also tell me if you would like to keep it anonymous, because I will be posting who the comments are from on this page, but deleting the original comments. So please, go ahead, ask away!

What fictional book that you have read best relates to your life? -Brianna
Wow, that's a great question! I honestly don't know. I think there are snippets of books or emotions that relate to me. I think some parts of Love, Stargirl relate to me personally as opposed to my life, such as her revelations of little things taken for granted, the happy wagon (which I got the idea for by Stargirl), and that need to stay true to yourself and not change for others, which I think everyone has experienced at some point. I also relate to certain characters in novels, such as Ginny Weasley and Jess and Emma from the Mother Daughter Book Club. So overall, I can't say! None really, which is pretty much why I love reading so much. To escape my own world!

What is your favourite classic book you have read? -Brianna
I really enjoyed a lot of classics I have read (which isn't too many). I really liked The Little Princess when I was younger, as well as Heidi and the Call of the Wild. Now I am a big fan of The Hobbit, and to me, Harry Potter is classic enough to count as my favourite!

What is the oldest book you have read (publication/copyright date)? -Brianna
Probably the Hobbit. I think. Most of the other classics I have read were abridged for younger audiences when I read them when I was younger.

Cover to Cover: Blood Red Road

I am really excited to be starting a new challenge on my blog: Cover to cover! This will be when I compare two or more covers of either the same book, books in a series, books by the same author, or just two random books! So I have decided to do my first one for a book I recently read, Blood Red Road by Moira Young. Please note this is entirely my opinion. Everyone has their own, so if you don't agree, you don't agree.

The first cover is the US version, which is one of the copies I read (don't ask why I had two....). Anyway, this cover really stands out to me. When I saw it on the shelf for the first time, it caught my eye. The large, red words drew my attention without looking too overwhelming. This caused me to pick up the book and read the back, which then caused me to put it on my giant to-read list, which then caused me to pick it up during a time where my stack of books was a tad smaller. Anyway, after reading the book (which was really, really good by the way), I liked this cover even more. The dull, grey background brought out the way the landscape looks, or at least how I pictured it. The clouds of dust with Saba walking forward explained the beginning of the plot extremely subtly while setting the perfect tone for this novel. Overall, this cover was really great and if I were Moira Young, I would be happy with the portrayal of the book through the cover.

This is the paperback edition of blood red road. I like this cover also, but somehow the blood red sky and landscape doesn't really click with me. Sure, there is one part where red rain falls, but aside from that, the book specifically describes that the landscape is barren, a bowl of dust. I like the effect of the shadow because it looks really eye-catching without showing the model's face (showing the model's face makes you not able to picture the main character in your head anymore). I do like this cover, but I also don't like how tiny the actual novel name is. That makes you think the novel name is Dust Lands, when it's actually Blood Red Road. But still an interesting cover.

I'm sorry, but I cannot STAND this UK cover of Blood Red Road. Believe it or not, there is not a lot of blood in this novel (I KNOW!), so the big red splatter on the front means nothing. I do like the illustration of the crow (that is prettttyyyy cool), but everything else (to me) is a bit of a mess. There is a lot of craziness going on, and too many colours and everything. This cover doesn't suit the novel in the slightest. The tone is craziness, not sadness, grief, and loss like the real book. Take a look back at the first cover I showed you. Look at the bowed head of the main character, Saba, and how she's fighting her way along with no hope. Now look at this cover. Do they even compare? If I saw this cover, I would possibly pick it up, look at it, and put it back on the shelf. Sorry!

So what cover wins Overall Best? Drumroll please...
The US edition!
Honourable mention to the Paperback cover.
Last place? Easily the UK cover.

Hoped you enjoyed this! Let me know what your first impressions of each cover are in the comments bar!

Photo Creds:

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

I watched and analyzed this in class and thought it was brilliant. This short film won Oscars and Academy Awards, and it deserved them. So get inspired and enjoy this film.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Future Posts

Hi everyone! I hope you're enjoying my posts so far. There are still a lot more things I'd like to do, but first I need to know which ones you'd like to see me do post! Now I will be starting a new series where, about every month or so, I will look ahead and talk about what posts I am going to do. So here's a list, I will try to get around to doing all of them, but if you could tell me your top two, that would be great!

  • 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
If you don't know what any of these things are, just leave a comment in the comments bar! :)

Monday, 8 October 2012

How I Write My Book Reviews

Ok, so before I continue writing book reviews, I think you should know a bit about how I write them. Please note this criteria applies to fiction books only.

First, the general information. I always list the key factors before the review, so please note that this isn't part of the review. The key factors I list are the title, author, series number/sequel/trilogy, genre, total page number and rating.

So let's talk about ratings. I rate the way Goodreads does. So if you don't have Goodreads and don't know how to rate books, here is the ratings I use. Three stars is not neutral! Three stars means I enjoyed it.
* Didn't like it
** It was okay
*** Liked it
**** Really liked it
*****It was amazing

Now moving on to criteria. I will always have two paragraphs in my book reviews, one for the synopsis, and one for the analysis, where I will provide my thoughts on the book. I, unfortunately, must have a word limit of 300 words.

So that's it. That's how I write my book reviews!