Archive for May, 2012

Media Monday: Once Upon a Time FINALE

May
14
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Media Monday

Last night was the season finale of Once Upon a Time, ABC’s smash hit new drama about fairy tale characters forced to live in the real world, who all happen to have a severe case of amnesia. [More on the IMDB page] Since I’ve already talked about this show (possibly more than once) I’d like to do just an overview of things that were good about it. I’ve done my best to avoid spoilers, but to REALLY avoid spoilers, you should stop reading and watch it. Seriously, how many times do I have to tell you?

1) This is a Disney sponsored show, on at a time when kids can watch – in fact, I would say it’s at least half geared at kids. At the same time, I would call it the perfect “family” show. It has the fairy tale creatures and the semi happy endings that appeal to the younger crowd. It also has some very big issues about loyalty, love, belief and the meaning of happiness that are the perfect conversation starters.

2) As I was saying to a friend of mine, back when it happened, I am incredibly proud of the writers of the show for doing something that is practically taboo in American television, much less Disney. They killed a character. And it wasn’t just a villain! It was someone aiming for redemption, someone we actually liked (I threw things at the television when it happened). This seems to happen ALL THE FREAKIN’ TIME to the characters I love in British television (I’m surprised Andy Lee Potts has lasted as far as I’ve watched in Primeval, if I’m honest! BTW if you know something PLEASE don’t spoil me on that one, I’m behind.) but it doesn’t happen in American, at least not in the prime time, non-cable mega-shows that I’m familiar with. I’m still not entirely sure I *trust* the death, because, well, like I said, it’s Disney, but SO FAR the death stands.

3) They got a composer, and actually PAID HIM TO DO HIS JOB! (At least I’m assuming they did.) Again, a difference I’ve noticed between the British TV shows I got hooked on and American TV shows is the music – a lot of this is because the BBC has money to throw at an in-house orchestra and any composer they want. In the US most studios think it’s a waste. But for Once (tee-hee that makes for so much pun!) they got Mark Isham to actually compose score throughout the series, going beyond a single cue for the opening credits and some basic incidental music that for the most part would have been indistinguishable from the hundreds of other series’ music. As a musician highly interested in film scores, this is a HUGE plus.

Okay, so it certainly helps that there are tons of really wonderful characters, and clever twists on the traditional fairy tales too. It’s almost like Disney is trying to fix the fact that they ruined a bunch of fairy tales by sugar coating them, so now they’re giving us the “uncorrected” versions of them – and I’m loving it! I can’t wait until the DVD’s come out so I can buy them and watch it again!

Oh, and PS, Once has been renewed for a second season! I can’t wait till it’s back on the air and they explain all that cr*p (aka STUPID CLIFFHANGER!) they just pulled!





Bout of Books Updates

May
14
4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Community Events
Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

When I made up that first goals post, I wasn’t thinking practically about updates. All those covers take up lots of space, especially when Blogger screws up their positioning! So instead, I’ll be updating all week here.

My Goals:

  • I’m going for a minimum total of 6 finished books. In a really good week I can do 7+, but I still have to work and go to band rehearsal etc.
  • I’d like for at least 1 of those 6 books to be a book I received for review.
  • NEW FROM ORIGINAL GOAL POST: I know this is technically about the books, but I want to use it to meet new people too, SO I’m making it a goal to meet [at least] 1 new friend per day.

Books To Read:
For Review: Advent by James Treadwell, Blackwood by Gwenda Bond, Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Off the TBR pile: Map of Time by Felix J. Palma, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, The Nightmare Garden by Caitlin Kitteridge, Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin, Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday.


Updates
5/14
Number of books/pages I’ve read today: 2 and a bit/467
Total number of books/pages I’ve read: 2 and a bit/467
Books: Night Watch by Terry Pratchett, Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
New Friend of the day: I followed @BletheringBkwrm and Northern Plunder and I’m looking forward to getting to know them!

5/15
Number of books/pages I’ve read today: .25/110ish pages (I think)
Total number of books/pages I’ve read: 2.5/577ish
Books: Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Candlewax by C. Bailey Sims
New Friend of the day: I followed today’s challenge host Nyx Book Reviews this morning (I love that design color!). Then, this evening I stalked on a conversation between @DerpalinaE (Fortune Favors the Brave) and the @ReviewingShelf (Reviewing Shelf) and thought they seemed pretty cool, so I followed them. THEN, with the help of @SoulSwallo (who was on the @boutofbooks account at the time) I met @PrettyNiftyRdr (Pretty Nifty Reader) and we had a conversation about all those animals who never get considered to be were anything.
5/16
Number of books/pages I’ve read today: 0/around 140
Total number of books/pages I’ve read: 2.5ish/717ish
Books: Still working on Finnikin of the Rock and Candlewax, but I added Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft, cause I was in the mood for something different.
New Friend of the day: I met so many people during the Twitter Chat last night that I wasn’t keeping track. So YOU! Yes, you. Just, you know, remind me or something lol.

5/17
Number of books/pages I’ve read today: 1/300+
Total number of books/pages I’ve read: 3/1,144
Books: I finished Candlewax by C. Bailey Sims, which is also a review book! 1 goal down!
New Friend of the day: I… was at work all day, and when  I got home all I wanted to do was read. I’m sorry. Unfortunately, today won’t be any better. =( I talked to @Bookshop_Girl a bit, don’t remember when I followed her, but she’s cool!

5/18
Number of books/pages I’ve read today: 1/300ish
Total number of books/pages I’ve read: 4/1,392 (Yesterday’s page stat is off – I was going from the page count at the bottom of the screen on my Nook until I noticed the total pages for that book was 799 – twice what it said on GoodReads! Oops!)
Books: Finished Girl’s Guide to Witchcraft! I’ve had my fun, now back to the list.
New Friend of the day: I don’t know about new, but @BookBender, and @soulswallo, our hosts, are pretty cool!

5/19
Number of books/pages I’ve read today:
Total number of books/pages I’ve read:
Books:
New Friend of the day:

5/20
Number of books/pages I’ve read today:
Total number of books/pages I’ve read:
Books:
New Friend of the day:





Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge 3

May
13
4 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Clock Rewinders

Clock Rewinders banner

Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge is where Tara @ 25 Hour Books and Amanda @ On a Book Bender shamelessly plug each other, share the fantastic posts, giveaways, or whatever else we’ve found and loved by other awesome bloggers (or authors!) during the week, and talk about the books we plan on reading in the coming week. [Description borrowed from On a Book Bender]

 The Corner Newsstand
(This week on Creativity’s Corner)
I went to see The Avengers twice, and then told you all about why you should too!
I asked for your opinion on the WordPress vs. Blogger debate. I’ve pretty much made a decision, but I’d still love your input!
I posted my goals for Bout of Books.  
I reviewed Hourglass by Myra McEntire.

Behind the Desk

(My life behind the scenes)
 I signed up for Armchair BEA. I’m a little nervous about it, because I seem to get nervous about anything that requires me to “sign up” (what if I’m too busy that week? What if…? etc.) BUT, I’ve kind of decided I need to do these things that make me nervous. So there.
I fought with blogger over the covers on my Bout of Books post for so long and it was so frustrating that I have officially decided to move to WordPress. More on that in a post soon.
Bout of Books starts TOMORROW! Don’t forget to sign up and link up your goals if you want to participate. This is my very first read-a-thon in almost 2 years of blogging, so I’m really excited to see what it’s like!
Also, I caught a cold =( I hate being sick! Well, aside from having an excuse to park my butt on the couch and read all day.
Around the Corner
(Blog posts I found awesome this week)

Lori @ Pure Imagination, Angela @ Reading Angel, Candace @ Candace’s Book Blog are hosting the Spring Blog Carnival. It ends today so be sure to get all your entries in – there are tons of really fun challenges out there!

KM @ One Page at a Time says it’s time for Kick-butt heroines to retire or get a makeover. I kinda agree, but either way she makes a very compelling argument.

Emily @ Emily’s Reading Room posted Blogger Confidential: Keeping Content Fresh – I’m sure we all could use a post like this one time or another!

Rachel @ Fiktshun talked about Staying focused – a difficult task with all the social networking involved in blogging.

Reading Digest
(Books I’ve read in the past week and books I plan to read next)
I spent the majority of the week reading The Monstrumologist and Timepiece. After that I picked up The Book of Blood and Shadows and Candlewax. Hopefully I can finish these two today so I can start on my Bout of Books list tomorrow!
The MonstrumologistTimepiece coverBook of Blood and ShadowCandlewax
New Book Gazette
(Books I bought or received in the past week)
Bought (on my Nook): Deadly Cool, Hush Money
Deadly CoolHush Money

From the Library: Bitterblue, Mistborn, Masque of the Red Death
BitterblueMistbornMasque of the Red Death

From NetGalley: Blackwood
Blackwood

That’s it for this week – I’m off to cuddle my blankie and a box of tissues. Let me know if I missed out on any other awesome posts around the blogosphere this week!





Book Review: Hourglass

May
11
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

Title: Hourglass (Hourglass #1)
Author: Myra McEntire
Summary: [from GoodReads]

One hour to rewrite the past . . .
 
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

My Review: I can’t believe it took me so long to read this one! I will admit it is completely my own fault, and a case of judging a book by its cover. I saw so many reviews of this when it first came out, but I took one look at that cover and said “Oh it’s one of those really heavy contemporary books, I might read it eventually, but it’s gonna be hard.” WRONG! The cover totally doesn’t match what I thought it would be! What this book REALLY is about, is time travel, one of my favorite topics.

Time travel is a very difficult topic to deal with, and I felt McEntire did a very good job of knowing what her rules are. Every time she introduced a new event, she was careful to place it in perspective with the rest of the events. She made the changes in timeline make sense, on a level that even those unfamiliar with theories of time travel should be able to follow it.

My main complaint (and it’s not much of one) is that the love story seemed a little too pat. I’m not a big one for the “love at first sight” angle, nor the “I’m so in love after 1 week I can’t live without you” thing. It just feels too unreal for me. But, that said, McEntire makes a point of explaining the attraction beyond that, at least a little. I am curious what would happen if one of them lost their ability. Would they lose their connection? Would they lose their entire relationship? (Probably not – YA authors aren’t nearly as callous as that!)

So, bottom line: Don’t judge this one by its cover! Give it a chance!





Bout of Books Goals: Starting Line(ish)

May
10
25 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Community Events
Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

Can you believe it’s May already? I’ve signed up to be a part of the Bout of Books, which as you can see starts Monday! If you’d like to sign up, just click the banner to be taken to the official site.

I’ve been feeling really behind on my reading lately, so I’m really hoping to use this next week to catch up on all these books I have lying around that I’ve been meaning to get to.

I apologize now for the annoying arrangement of the covers. I spent a good half hour fighting with blogger to get it to put them where I want, swore a lot, was reduced to editing the bare HTML and it STILL won’t cooperate. I give up.


Note: I decided instead of making you scroll to the bottom of all those covers on this post, I’ll be putting updates HERE.

My Goals:

  • I’m going for a minimum total of 6 finished books. In a really good week I can do 7+, but I still have to work and go to band rehearsal etc.
  • I’d like for at least 1 of those 6 books to be a book I received for review.
  • NEW FROM ORIGINAL POSTING: I know this is technically about the books, but I want to use it to meet new people too, SO I’m making it a goal to meet [at least] 1 new friend per day.

Books To Read:

For Review:

 AdventBlackwood

Throne of Glass

Off the TBR Pile:

Map of TimeFinnikin of the RockBitterblue

Nightmare Garden

Masque of the Red DeathDeadly Cool





What’s up with WordPress?

May
09
11 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion Day

WordpressBlogger                                                 VS
One of the big debates going around recently is the whole Blogger vs. WordPress thing. I find it fascinating, especially because there are lots of little things that have been frustrating me about Blogger recently. They have me seriously thinking about making the switch. (Note: I’m only considering switching to the self-hosting WordPress. If I do this, might as well do it once and be done)
The problem is, I’m bad at making decisions. I’m that girl who has to do research and work up the nerve to decide for months before actually doing what I thought I should probably do in the first place. I’m almost there, but research is hard to come by on this topic, because for lots of people it’s just a personal preference. So now, I want to know what YOU think!
Some pros I’ve heard about switching:
“You get better/more options with WordPress!” – That’s great! Like…what exactly? Maybe it’s just because I’ve always used blogger, but I’m having trouble thinking of specific things that I’d want that I don’t have. OK, I can think of a few things (the ability to design blog buttons, a skill that I totally don’t have) but they’re not the kind of thing that is likely to come with a WordPress blog. If you’re a WordPress user (especially one who has switched from Blogger) what is the one most helpful “better option” you’ve been using?
“You get your own domain name!” – Okay I hear ya on that one, and you’ve got me convinced. I’d love to have my own domain name. But you can do that on Blogger too, so it’s not too big of a factor for me.
“Google doesn’t own your stuff!” – Now THAT I can get behind. Not that I’m that worried or anything, but it’d be nice to know I’m the sole owner of my content and it can’t be deleted.
Some cons I’ve heard about switching:
“It costs money.” – Ok, so I kinda made that one up, but it’s true. And I’m cheap. Mostly, I’d rather save money for books and such. Even then 90% of my books come from the library. If I’m gonna spend money on something, I want to know that it’s worth it. Hence all the research.
“All my favorite blogs are moving and now it’s harder to follow them.” – I’ve only heard this one once, but it is a legitimate concern. I personally have an RSS reader app that I use to follow everyone who has switched, and I like that for the bloggers I love so much I can’t stand to miss a post. But I still use Google Reader for a lot of other blogs that I enjoy but don’t tend to visit every day (or even every week). The lack of GFC through WordPress is a huge concern of mine. If you’re someone on Blogger how have you handled the blogs that switched? Do you use an RSS reader to follow people? If you’ve switched to WordPress how do you feel the switch affected your readership? If you’ve always been on WordPress have you felt you had a harder time getting readership?
“I switched and lost all my followers!” – I’ve heard that one a lot. Unfortunately, without GFC there’s not much way around it, and that’s too bad. But, I know some of my favorite blogs have switched and somehow kept delivering to my Google reader. How does that work, and/or is there a tutorial somewhere? This isn’t quite as big of a factor, because, honestly, I had to work to get my followers originally, and I’m still going to have to work at it. It’s a fact of blogging, no matter where you’re hosted.
And finally, just a general one: Is there anything you wish you’d known before you made the switch? Is there anything else you think I should be considering in my “research?”
Thank you all so much for your help! This has been bothering me for a long time, and I really hope I can make a final decision soon!





Media Review: Avengers

May
07
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Media Monday

Title: The Avengers
Media Type: Feature Film
Director: Joss Whedon
Studio: Marvel Studios/Paramount Studios
Genre: Superhero
Summary: [from IMDB] Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his army. 

My Review: It has taken me a long time to start this review, because I’m not quite sure what to say. I’ve been waiting for this movie for a very long time, as many people have been. There are lots of reasons it sounded awesome – it’s a combination of several superheroes who don’t get along all that well, it’s directed by Joss Whedon (who can make anything amazing), it has lots of gorgeous men great actors in it… I could go on.

Despite the incredible amount of build up and anticipation, it did not disappoint in the slightest. A lot of the things I loved best have the unmistakeable stamp of Whedon on them. The lines were quick and snappy and filled with quietly funny one-liners. I spent most of the movie smiling or outright laughing at something one of them said in the middle of a very serious situation. Several of them are extremely memorable and had me laughing the whole way home (at stupid o’clock in the morning – what can I say, it was fun!)

The other thing I really appreciated about the film is how well they managed to feature each superhero. With such a large group cast, full of stars who already have films for their own characters, it would be far too easy to portray them as a group with a leader. Instead, each character gets their own leading moment. Their camaraderie comes from an uneasy truce in the bickering, and none of them truly leads, even in the final battle when they’re all working together.

Admittedly, in order to get all the jokes you probably should see the individual films first, but it isn’t necessary to understand the plot. But, if you are at all a fan of superhero films, this one is a must see!





Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge 2

May
06
11 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Clock Rewinders

Clock Rewinders banner

Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge is where Tara @ 25 Hour Books and Amanda @ On a Book Bender shamelessly plug each other, share the fantastic posts, giveaways, or whatever else we’ve found and loved by other awesome bloggers (or authors!) during the week, and talk about the books we plan on reading in the coming week. [Description borrowed from On a Book Bender]

 The Corner Newsstand
(This week on Creativity’s Corner)
I touted War Horse as the greatest war film I’ve ever seen (and that’s saying something because I dont’ like War films)
I participated in Top Ten Tuesdays, and told you what books I wish they’d make into movies.
I posted another set of mini-reviews, including reviews for Fairy Bad Day, Croak, Dragonswood, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
I told you why I love Goddess Interrupted.
Behind the Desk
(My life behind the scenes)
I went to see the Avengers! TWICE! Review coming tomorrow.
I signed up for the May Page Count Contest and failed miserably at Week 1.
Around the Corner
(Blog posts I found awesome this week)
My Best Blogging Friend Julie had an article on The Selection posted by Huffington Post this week.
Lori at Pure Imagination posted about why she (and others) has switched to wordpress.This has been really helpful to me, as I am seriously considering making the change.
Suey at It’s All About Books reviewed The Avengers and thought pretty much the same things I did!
Anna at Anna Reads talks about how books make her crazy. I think we all go through the same thing honey!
Reading Digest
(Books I’ve read in the past week and books I plan to read next)
I finished Eragon and Grave Mercy and then picked up The Monstrumologist from my actual physical TBR pile! I am so proud of myself! Unfortunately Starters had to go back to the library before I could get to it. Despite really wanting to love Witch Eyes it has gently been set in the DNF pile for now. I will reconsider it later.
Eragon CoverGrave Mercy CoverMonstrumologiest coverWitch Eyes Cover
New Book Gazette

(Books I’ve received in the past week)
For once I got some new books! We visited a store called Half Price Books while on vacation and I bought the omnibus of Maria V. Snyder’s Inside series, and the Encyclopedia of World Mythology.
Inside CoverEncyclopedia cover





Book Review: Goddess Interrupted

May
04
3 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

Goddess Interrupted Title: Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test #2)
Author: Aimée Carter

Summary: [from GoodReads] Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person whom she would really rather not meet. Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

My Review: I love, love, LOVED The Goddess Test. It was one of the very first ARC’s I received, and I raced right out and bought myself a copy soon as it came out in stores. It took me a little longer to get to the second one, because I just don’t keep up on series the way I wish I could. (Jamie has a post over at The Perpetual Page-Turner that pretty much sums up my entire problem.)

Once I did though, I flew straight through it in a matter of hours. These books are such nice vacation reads because they’re lightweight paperbacks and aren’t too difficult – but they still have a lot of issues that make you think. Right at first I was a little lost getting back into it, probably because of my issues with series, and I kinda skipped Goddess Hunt (the short story released between the two). But once I got into it, the action was fast paced, and the twists and turns kept me intrigued through the end.

I have to say, I had some issues early on with representation of the characters. Hera is the goddess of fidelity after all. She shouldn’t be getting her panties in a wad over Henry! Not that I blame her, and all, but being faithful is kinda her thing. But then, once it was explained, I started kicking myself. Carter makes even the parts that make the least sense make the MOST sense by the end, and I absolutely love that!

Add to that the teaser at the very end and I’m just itching to get my hands on the next book!





Mini-Reviews: Fantasies 2

May
03
2 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Book Review

I’m a fast reader, but a slow reviewer. These mini reviews are a way for me to feature all of the books I read, even if I don’t have time for a full review. All links will take you to GoodReads where you can find more info on each of the books.

Fairy Bad Dayby Amanda Ashby – A cute fluffy read that I easily went through in a few hours. Unfortunately it was just a little too simple and pat for me. The story moved incredibly fast, almost rushed, and there were a few places where I felt like I was being told, not shown. All that said, overall it was a really fun fluffy read with an interesting boarding school flavor.

Croak by Gina Damico – First in a new series from a debut author, I approached Croak not knowing what to expect. It has a strong quirky and satirical voice throughout and I loved every minute of it. The town of Croak was incredibly unique and I can’t wait for more of it!

Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey – The sequel to Dragon’s Keep which I have not read, this high-ish fantasy deals with issues of prejudice in an almost medieval society. Unfortunately this one just didn’t keep my attention, though I’m not sure why. Bottom line: not my favorite but it might be yours.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Princeby J.K. Rowling – It’s interesting how much you notice on your second or third time through. This is my second favorite in the entire series because we finally get to see what made Voldemort into the villain he is. Must read for everyone, along with the rest of the series.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling – What is there to say about this one? It’s the last book and such an epic ending, but it’s certainly not my favorite of the series, mostly because it is “The End.” Still, you should read it if you somehow have managed to miss it.





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