Updates of the Reading and Working Variety

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Hello, lovelies! 😀 Despite my recent absence, I swear I have not been eaten by monsters. (Not yet anyway.) Halloween is slowly creeping up though, so I suppose it’s only a matter of time, isn’t it? 😛 I’ve just been insanely busy lately. A lot of it due to work. I still love my jobs though, so it’s all worth it. I just need to learn to manage my time and perhaps do more multitasking so I can have a wee bit more free time to do some of the things I enjoy (like blogging with all you awesome folks!) ❤

August has been an incredibly busy month, but it’s been a good one. It seems to be a big month for parties. I got to go visit Cupcakes and Machetes for her housewarming party earlier in the month and that was a lot of fun. My work just had their 25th anniversary Luau party yesterday. I baked some strawberry cupcakes with cheesecake mousse topping and they were a hit. 🙂 Aaaand my dad’s birthday is at the end of the month, so my mom and I are making him lemon cream puffs (his request), an awesome dinner, and spoiling him with presents (several of which are Guardians of the Galaxy related).

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I haven’t had nearly any time to read this month but I am squeezing in a few minutes of reading here and there where I can fit it in. This usually results in me being super grumpy when I’m really interested in what I’m reading at the time and have to put the damn book down. lol So infuriating. I’ve started Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, and The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn.

Though I’m not as far along in either of these stories as I’d like to be by now, I am enjoying them both. 🙂 Laini Taylor really does have a way with words, so it’s been awesome returning to her writing since it’d been a while. Aside from her writing style itself, I greatly enjoy her imagination. She’s so creative with her stories.

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Laini Taylor, pink-haired bad ass writer of books.

I feel like a lot of you already know about Strange the Dreamer, but for those of you who might not yet, here’s a quick blurb on what it’s all about:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.
What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?
The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

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Emilie Autumn, Singer/Writer/Violinist/Actress/Etc. Etc.

I’ve been a fan of Emilie Autumn’s music and poems for a while now, and this book of hers was on my TBR list for quite some time but A.) it was difficult to find B.) it was pretty damn pricey, so alas, it stayed put on my TBR list all this time. Buuuuut, it did recently get released on the kindle for a very reasonable price so I bought that baby right up! 🙂 Here’s a quick blurb regarding The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls:

Treated as a criminal, heavily medicated, and stripped of all freedoms, Emilie is denied communication with the outside world, and falls prey to the unwelcome attentions of Dr. Sharp, head of the hospital’s psychiatry department. As Dr. Sharp grows more predatory by the day, Emilie begins a secret diary to document her terrifying experience, and to maintain her sanity in this environment that could surely drive anyone mad. But when Emilie opens her notebook to find a desperate letter from a young woman imprisoned within an insane asylum in Victorian England, and bearing her own name and description, a portal to another world is blasted wide open. As these letters from the past continue to appear, Emilie escapes further into this mysterious alternate reality where sisterhoods are formed, romance between female inmates blossoms, striped wallpaper writhes with ghosts, and highly intellectual rats talk. But is it real? Or is Emilie truly as mad as she is constantly told she is?
The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls blurs harsh reality and magical historical fantasy whilst issuing a scathing critique of society’s treatment of women and the mental health care industry’s treatment of its patients, showing in the process that little has changed throughout the ages.

So, those are my little updates. Do you have any of your own? Lemme know, I’d love to hear them. I’m trying to catch up on reading everyone’s fantastic blogs, but I’m a bit behind right now, so feel free to fill me in on any exciting new news and whatnot you’ve got going on! Also, it’s Friiiiidayyyyyy!!! Have a great weekend, everybody!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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Rapid Fire Book Tag

I came across this tag done by none other than The Shameful Narcissist Speaks and just had to give it a go! Yay, books! Anyone is welcome to join in on the fun and do this themselves as well. 🙂

EBOOKS OR PHYSICAL BOOKS?

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That’s right, I like both. I love going into book stores and libraries. I love how a collection of books looks displayed with pride on one’s bookshelves. I just love books! That said, I’ve been on the kindle bandwagon since the first kindle came out. I love the convenience of being able to take a bunch of books with me wherever I go without having to worry about damaging them. I love being able to download sample chapters for free to see if I like the writing style of a new author before I purchase it. And I love having access to countless stories at any given time without even having to leave the house. Plus, there are a lot of money-saving perks to getting books on the kindle.

PAPERBACK OR HARDBACK?

Paperback. Don’t get me wrong, hardback books can be gorgeous and all, but this one simply comes down to cost in the long run. Paperback is cheaper.

ONLINE OR IN-STORE BOOK SHOPPING?

In-store. I know I said I dig the convenience of being able to buy books on the kindle without having to leave the house, but that is just for the convenience. I absolutely love book stores. Used book stores, thrift shops, big chains and independent book stores. (This pertains to comic book shopping as well.) I have my mother to blame for this. We always went book shopping together when I was growing up. It was like an unspoken oath that if we went out for a girls’ day out, there were going to be book shopping adventures. This is a love I share with my best friend, and our ideal BFF dates always include books AND coffee or ice cream. Point being, amazing adventures and memories are to be had in book stores, so get out there and revel in your bibliophile ways!

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TRILOGIES OR SERIES?

Doesn’t matter to me. Take as many books as you need to tell your story so long as you tell it well and keep me invested in it as a reader.

HEROES OR VILLAINS?

Villains, duh. Though I love me a good antihero, too. 😉

A BOOK YOU WANT EVERYONE TO READ?

I’m one of those sadists that always tells people they should read A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. Like the little devil on their shoulder, I urge them into it and when they finally give in and read it I sit back and wait with a smile on my face for them to thank me while simultaneously hating me for the emotional turmoil they go through while reading it. Same thing applies to the show, Game of Thrones. But, hey, I’m only paying it forward though, since Cupcakes and Machetes did it to me first. 😛

RECOMMEND AN UNDERRATED BOOK.

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Dweller, by Jeff Strand. A book that stirred such a range of emotion in me while I was reading it. This tale of a bullied boy who befriends a literal monster he encounters in the woods is definitely more than meets the eye. It manages to disturb you at times and then touch your heart at others. I actually cried a couple times while reading this book. This novel was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel in 2010, so it has received recognition, but I feel like it’s still one that not a lot of people I have encountered have read or heard of so I included it here as an “underrated” book.

THE LAST BOOK YOU FINISHED?

Well, the last novel I finished was Clovenhoof by Heide Goody and Iain Grant. The last comic book I finished was volume 2 of Saga.

WEIRDEST THING YOU USED AS A BOOKMARK?

Oh, jeez. lol What haven’t I used as a bookmark at this point? Hmmm . . . I’m going to say the floppy disc coasters at my boyfriend’s place. He got a set of them on his coffee table and I’m always using them in lieu of an actual bookmark when I’m over there.

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kind of like these ones from ThinkGeek.

 

USED BOOKS, YES OR NO?

Sure, why not? I have plenty of great used books. 🙂

TOP THREE FAVORITE GENRES?

Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Horror, and any blend of the three and their sub-genres. I also like science fiction, I just haven’t read all that much of it (yet).

BORROW OR BUY?

Either or. I would love to be able to buy every single book I read to support the authors writing them, but it just isn’t practical for me at this point in my life. But I regularly borrow and lend out books with my friends, check them out from the library, and purchase them when I can.

CHARACTERS OR PLOT?

Ooooh, tough question. I love a great plot but I’m going to say characters if only for the fact that I can deal with a book that is sort of lacking in the plot department as long as the characters are done very well, but I can’t stand flat, boring characters that I don’t find myself caring about as a reader. If the reader don’t care about the characters it doesn’t really matter what peril the writer puts them in, does it? That said, I love a brilliant plot, too. Give me a great plot AND great characters and you’ll have a fan for life. 🙂

LONG OR SHORT BOOK?

I’d probably say a long book if I’m really drawn into the story. There’s nothing worse than being so into a book and then noticing that there just aren’t enough pages left for all the things that you know still need to happen in the story. But if they can leave you with a satisfying ending, a short book is fine too.

NAME THE FIRST THREE BOOKS YOU THINK OF.

Well, the first books I think of are the ones I’ve just discussed in this post so far, so for the sake of not being redundant I’ll ignore those and pick the first book to come to mind from each of my top genres I previously listed. So, a book that springs to mind in the fantasy genre: Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. For historical fiction, of course the one I am currently reading comes to mind: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. And for horror, House of Corruption, by Erik Tavares.

BOOKS THAT MAKE YOU LAUGH OR CRY?

Well, I already mentioned that Dweller made me cry several times. I think it also made me laugh too if I remember properly (it’s been a while since I read it). There’s a particular scene in George RR Martin’s A Dance with Dragons that made me tear up a bit. Other than that, none particularly come to mind.

OUR WORLD OR FICTIONAL WORLDS?

Depends on the world. lol There are a LOT of problems in the real world today, but I wouldn’t want to add zombies or demonic beings to the mix. Some fictional worlds are awesome though, so yeah, depends on the book.

AUDIOBOOKS: YES OR NO?

I’ve listened to a few, but I usually read books rather than listen to them. I appreciate the fact that I can multitask while listening to an audiobook, though. That’s pretty awesome. It also really depends on the narrator of the audiobook though. If they just drag the story along at a slug’s pace in a monotone drone or just can’t keep my attention then I quickly lose interest and zone out.

DO YOU EVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER?

Yup! lol I know we shouldn’t, but I think that’s just how it goes sometimes. We see something that draws our attention or we find attractive and it causes us to pick it up off the shelf and look into it. That doesn’t mean I won’t read a book with a plain, or even ugly, cover though. I’m just more likely to notice a flashy cover.

BOOK TO MOVIE OR BOOK TO TV ADAPTATION?

I’ve really been digging book-to-TV adaptations. They tend to be less rushed and more detail oriented when done properly. But films can be done really well too, so it just depends on the series and the creators/cast/budget/etc.

SERIES OR STANDALONE?

There’s something special about reading a series. You get to fall in love with the characters, the world, and the story and not have to say goodbye once you finish the last page. You get to revisit these things in the sequels and build on them. Standalone books can be great too, but I’m going to say series for this.

Mix. It. UP!

I am a firm believer that variety is often the spice of life. This, too, applies to writing. Earlier this morning, I stumbled across this helpful little writing tip from Gary Provost and figured I’d share my find:

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Does it work for all writers? No. Of course not. Though it is something to think about, I suppose. 🙂

I love that writers have so many different voices with which to spout their tales, so of course what works for some will not work for others. And that’s okay! In my opinion, there are no true rules to art. And writing is indeed an art. So use your voice (whatever voice it may be) and get out there and get writing!!

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