Been really busy lately since summer exam time is rolling around again… and I have papers for my long-distance course to write so I haven’t had time to read (or write) as much (I’ve got to save my eyes for the textbook, unfortunately).
But here are a few things I am excited about!
1. Bellezza’s “Japanese Reading Challenge“. It’s really easy – all you have to do is read ONE work of Japanese origin. I love Banana Yoshimoto, so I may route around for one of her works (I’ve read Kitchen which was fantastic and funny and unique.)
2. I stopped by at Fantasy Sci-fi Girl‘s blog and she posted the trailer for the movie, “Dorian Gray”, which stars Colin Firth as Lord Henry Wotton and Ben Barnes as Dorian Gray, which is interesting. I still haven’t read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and I’ve been meaning to for a very very long time. So, that must be read before this movie comes out…though, from reading the comments, some people are already dismissing it as another movie-where-they-trash-the-real-essence-of-the-book sort of film. We’ll see…
3. Through browsing at Miss Remmers’ Review Blog (she does some awesome book reviews there), I came across the Book Blog Directory. Which is a pretty cool place for people like me who love to browse around Book Blogs. I spent a great deal (of studying time) just looking around and clicking, almost everything (I have a clicking problem). Put yourself on the list!
4. Also, despite being busy, I stopped by the library and picked up some books:
The Silver Wolf by Alice Borchardt. Angie over at Angieville (she writes some awesome and very heartfelt book reviews fyi) did an interview with author of Shiver, Maggie Stiefvater, and, as part of a little contest to win a copy, she wanted to know what was one of our favorite werewolf-themed reads. I had trouble thinking of one that I enjoyed. So, when I saw The Silver Wolf, a historical-paranormal story about a wolf-woman, I picked it up immediately. Plus, Alice Borchardt is pretty good… I remember reading The Dragon Queen which, though it ended abruptly, was a great read overall.
Siberia by Ann Halam. I’m not quite sure what this novel is about, but I think it is one of those historical fantasy books… set in the time of the Holocaust maybe? I don’t really know, and I’m looking forward to be surprised and hopefully, enthralled.
The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers. When I was in the fantasy section of the library, my eyes immediately gravitated to this one. I mean, it’s a lavender shade amongst dark black and blue-green spines. And the title caught my attention, not to mention the name of the main character… Optimus Yarnspinner… I couldn’t resist at least trying it out. I mean, I wonder how “reading books can be dangerous”? Unless you read them until your eyes start to blur and then you try to cross a busy intersection…
Unwind bv Neal Shusterman. It’s a sci-fi sort of book set in a world where “parents can have thier child ‘unwound’ whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end” (according to the back of the book). I don’t know what to think about this one either, but I have the occasional craving for stories with those sort of…. ethically questionable and sometimes cruel (can’t think of the right adjective) plotlines that make you think about “what if these things happened”… and generally feel lucky you don’t live in that sort of a world.
The Hollow People by Brian Keaney. Philip Pullman praised this author in the jacket flap, and the story line seems interesting so I took it. Might as well, right? Since I already have a huge pile of books anyway. What’s one more? (I will regret this if and when the library fines start accumulating)
So – Hooray! I’ve increased my to be read pile. I think it’s hooray…
5. I also just finished my first audiobook (or podiobook, rather ~ it was free!) – Shadowmagic by John Lenahan (read by him, too!). Apparently it’s out on paperback tomorrow (Aug 6th)! I downloaded it all on my mp3 and started listening to it right away. I must say, I really really enjoyed this podiobook. It’s a story about a teenage boy who always suspected something was strange about his father and their life. One day, his suspicions come true and he is kidnapped by his own relatives to Tir na Nog (my favorite Celtic fantasy place!), where he finds out he’s part of this prophecy… which, unfortunately, causes everyone – especially his relatives – to want to kill him. It’s a light-hearted, funny adventure story with romance and magic and drama. It’s always great when the writer himself reads the story, because he knows what emotions or moods to get through to the readers/audience. I laughed, I might’ve shed a few tears, but mostly I laughed and enjoyed the great storytelling. I am guilty of spending much studying time just lying on the couch and listening to it and laughing out loud. My roommates probably think I’ve loosened something in my head from studying too much Biochemistry (how is Biochemistry funny? It’s serious stuff! =P) But, it was hard to “pause” the story – every chapter ends at a cliffhanger! So, in between memorizing metabolic pathways, I was treating myself to a few minutes of storytime. *sigh* I’ve forgotten how nice it is for someone to read a story to you…it’s like bedtime all over again! (Rating: 4.5/5 Ancient beings with a wry humor!)
6. Kathleen Duey’s Sacred Scars came out (a while ago, actually). But, yay! I’m excited. I reviewed Book one – Skin Hunger – (my review of it here… if you’re interested to know what I thought) and I’ve been waiting for its sequel for a while now… since it had such a cliffhanger ending. Will get my hands on it before long… Mwahahaha.
and one other random thing… I recently had an exam (biochemistry) to study for, and the night before, I lay in bed for the longest time before finally falling asleep. Then I had a very vivid dream. I dreamt I was running around my garden, jumping over fences, climbing over rooftops, crawling under bushes because… Draco Malfoy (or rather, Tom Felton) was chasing me with his wand. And he kept shouting “Avada Kedavra!” but the lime green flashes kept missing their target. Then, somehow I made it into my house and I ran up the stairs, looking for someone to help me. But the only person up there was a black robed, sinister and emotionless looking Snape (Alan Rickman right there!) who took one look at me and paralyzed me. He strode up to me, dismissed Malfoy by saying he would take care of matters, and he started to strangle me! I think I whimpered (I have this very odd feeling that I was Peter Pettigrew) and that just caused him to curl his lip at me and squeeze harder! Needless to say, that was when I woke up… and turned on my little snail lamp. My heart was actually pounding very hard. But once the unreasonable fear that it was true (I was being hunted by two very good-looking actors ;P) went away, I laughed and thought, “Wow, what a nice dream!” I’m no hardcore Harry Potter fan, but, nightmare or not, that was one realistic dream. Have any crazy dreams lately?
Back to reality! Shadowmagic really made me want to visit Tir na Nog and have deep conversations with trees and hug them and taste some of that vintage wine… and if I ever have to say the name ‘Cialtie’ I won’t be able to refrain from spitting it out with fierce vehemence …. But, anyways, onwards with the studying! (Doesn’t life seem to stop a good few days before an exam?)