31 August, 2010

Teaser Tuesday (4)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should be Reading.


Here are the rules:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My teaser is from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. (This is about the Vogons.)

The fact that they did is some kind of tribute to the thick-willed slugbrained stubbornness of these creatures. Evolution? they said to themselves, Who needs it?, and when nature refused to do for them they simply did without until such time as they were able to rectify the gross anatomical inconveniences with surgery.

-p. 33

XD. I'm loving this book so far.

What are your teasers?

-----The Golden Eagle

30 August, 2010

Book Review: The Reformed Vampire Support Group



Title: The Reformed Vampire Support Group
Author: Catherine Jinks
Publisher: Harcourt
Genre: Paranormal
Page Count: 362
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Cover Rating: 3 out of 5. Meh. It's not terrific, since I don't really think of the vampires as looking like that. They're too freakish, while in the the book they're just pale and physically weak. Not that, uh, grotesque. HERE is a cover I like a whole lot better.

Inside flap:


Contrary to popular belief, vampires are not sexy, romantic, or powerful. In case you hadn't noticed, vampires are dead. And the only ones who don't get stakes are the ones who avoid attacking people, admit they have a problem, and join a support group.
   Just as Nina Harrison--fanged at fifteen and still living with her mother. She hasn't aged since 1973, and the highlight of her sickly, couch-bound like is probably her Tuesday-night group meeting, which she spends with a miserable bunch of fellow sufferers, being lectured at.
   But then one of the group is mysterious turned to ashes . . . and suddenly they're all under threat. That's when Nina decides to prove that every vampire on earth isn't a weak, pathetic loser. Along with her friend Dave--a former punk rocker who could be pretty cute, if he weren't such a vampire--she travels way out of her comfort zone to track down the killer.
   It could be that there is a lot more to being a vampire than Nina realized.

My expectations: They were high, since I really, really liked Living Hell and the Evil Genius series. I expected the plot and characters to be well done.

They were.

About the book: Believe me, this is no sparkly-stalker-vamp thing. This is a book that couldn't be more different than The Twilight Saga, and I loved it. 

Nina Harrison, the main character, is a vampire who goes to weekly sessions with Father Ramon, who leads vampires who call themselves The Reformed Vampire Support Group. She's 51 years old, bitten by a vampire when she was 15. The rest of the Group is mixed, with different people from all different places and backgrounds.



This starts out with a murder, so it throws you into a world of vampires immediately--none of that drag-it-out-for-weeks sort of plot that a lot of vampire books have. Casimir--the murdered vampire--is found in his coffin as a pile of ashes, and then they realize that the killer might have found his address book, or another source of personal information that reveals where all the other vampires are. Then they start hunting down anyone who ordered a surprising amount of silver bullets, since one of the Group discovers one of them inside the ash pile.

Plot:


Fast, strong, and complicated. Jinks's plots are always fast, strong, and complicated, and that's one of the main reasons I LOVE HER BOOKS. They keep you guessing, and once the answer's discovered, the endings/resolutions can be pretty wild--in a good way. I loved the ending, although at first it made me pause, but they always grow on me until I'm thinking "Exactly how it should be done!"

Characters:


I loved Nina Harrison. She's so strong when she wants to be, and I liked her attitude. She's also a writer, and--being a writer myself--I enjoyed the writer aspect. Nina is spunky, smart, occasionally stubborn, (well okay, stubborn a lot of the time), and she has her opinions. I really like protagonists with those traits.


Dave Gerace is a good character too. He has his faults of course, but most of the time he's collected, calm, and sticks to certain rules. Loved him too.


Reuben is volatile. Violent. And a werewolf. He's an interesting foil to the vampires who would prefer less violent means, and he does come up with a good plan, I'll give him that.


Father Ramon is a priest, so of course he's full of morality and has a sense of what's right and wrong. Good thing to have, especially if you're in a Support Group. Liked him as a character.


The McKinnons are cruel. Cruel and money-driven, which is what you want in a bad guy(s). There was plenty wrong with these people, and they were believeable. In the evil-person sense.

Setting/Other Factors:


Vampires and werewolves are horribly overused--I don't want to know how many books take off on that original Twilight storyline. THIS book, however, is nothing like Twilight, despite the werewolves and vampires. The plot has no correlation whatsoever, there is action, a little romance, intrigue, danger, plots and counterplots and subplots.


I also liked the Australian aspect. There aren't many books in the library that take place in Australia.

Other: Bad word here and there, but that's the worst of it.

Do I recommend this book? Absolutely!


-----The Golden Eagle

29 August, 2010

Books, I Tell You

Hello everyone. I had an really, really good time at the library yesterday and found a lot of books that look EXCELLENT.

Not all expeditions to the library are this successful. :) You're probably wondering what's making me so enthusiastic, so here's a list:

Foundation, Foundation and Empire, and Second Foundation by Isaac Asimov. (Don't ask me why there are so many books beyond the original trilogy. There's the Foundation Series and I read on Wikipedia that other people wrote six other books continuing it. I think I took out the right ones for the trilogy, though.)

Nightfall by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg. (It was nearby! I can't resist a good-looking book if it's nearby another good book. If that makes any sense . . . anyway, position on the shelf can play a part in what novels I take out.)

Stranger in a Strange Land and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Robert A. Heinlein. (More SF. Hey, I write it, so why not read it? It's sort of disappointing, but all of the SF books I took out of the library are from the Adult section. Not YA and not MG. I think I've only take out 1 YA SF book in my entire library history. And the two MG novels weren't books--they were anthologies, and more Fantasy at that. Also, I think with the sort of content that's in them they should have been in Adult. DOES NO ONE WRITE YA SCIENCE FICTION 'ROUND HERE?)

The Hitchhiker's Quartet by Douglas Adams. (They didn't have the books separate, so I had to take the whole enchilada. But I don't think that's a bad thing. It is, however, 600+ pages long. And kinda sorta falling apart.)

White Cat by Holly Black. (Love. Dat. Cover. Although, why is her name like HOLLY BLACK when White Cat is like White Cat? Too much text and not enough cover. But despite that--conmen! And cats. And the fact I've only read her short stories and never an actual book. I never touched the Spiderwick Chronicles; I think I thought it was part of The Edge Chronicles which it is NOT.)

The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks. (I really like her work, especially the science fiction and Evil Genius series. And hey, a new spin on vampires that's totally different from The Twilight Saga? I'm there.)

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner. (I see this book EVERYWHERE. And I want to read it! I want to see if Eugenides really did deserve that triumph over Howl in the YA Fantasy Showdown. Oh, I know this is part of a series . . . but I've jumped into series' before. Then again, if I'm making some grave mistake, do tell me! I'll resist the temptation.)

The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell. (Yes, yes, superheroes and bad guys. But sometimes playing on stereotypes can have its advantages--I want to see what she does with it. Also, an evil genius? Wonderful.)

Paper Daughter by Jeanette Ingold. (Interesting summary, and I love that cover! And it even has an ASIAN ON IT. I am aware that some people don't like this--but at least this library doesn't seem to discriminate. Actually, they've got pretty much everything--books on LGBT, race, etc. Thank goodness for that.)

Pastworld by Ian Beck. (Interesting cover/summary. Plus, I remember reading a few positive reviews.)

Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simmer. (I recognize the cover, but not the author.)

She Thief by Daniel Finn. (Dark, rough cover and the summary sounded intriguing. I'd never heard of this book before, and that was another draw. I like books that I haven't heard of before.)

Doppelganger by David Stahler. (Doppelganger says it all, I believe. It's MC is one. I haven't read that much about the Doppelganger, so I figured it would be a good idea to take it out.)

The Humming of Numbers by Joni Sensel. (I thought that idea of numbers humming was great. The cover's all right, but not terrific, so I wouldn't have picked it up if it hadn't been on the "NEW BOOKS" stand. There was another Heir book by Cinda Williams Chima on that NEW BOOKS stand, but I bypassed that. The Warrior Heir was just too flat.)

That is all I got at the library. Now the question is: Where the heck do I start?! And yes, I realize that there are 17 of them.

Well, I suppose I should get going and tell you which ones to read in reviews. I haven't reviewed a book in 8 days! I'm slipping.

-----The Golden Eagle

28 August, 2010

GAH!

I've been reading book and regular blogs recently, and I noticed that there's a lot about Mockingjay. I haven't read either Catching Fire or Mockingjay, and I am DESPERATELY trying to avoid spoilers. I am now avoiding anything with a hint of either, since I don't want the trilogy ruined for me. I slam my eyes shut whenever I'm around posts that say "I just read Mockingjay! And it was _____"

I want to find out what happens on my own, so basically what I'm saying is: TELL PEOPLE IF YOUR REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS OF ANY KIND. Minor, major, allusions to what happens in Catching Fire and The Hunger Games.

Thank you. Poor, dear, deprived readers such as myself will be grateful.

(Surely I'm not the only one who hasn't read The Hunger Games . . . ? Tell me I'm not!)

*****

Busy day today. Usually Saturdays are slow . . . but I've got an eye appointment, and while we're downtown we'll get to go TO THE LIBRARY (*cheers*--I've got some books in my head that I really want to take out) and do some shopping. (I don't like shopping. Stores repel me, unless they happen to be this awesome grocery store I can't tell you the name of. Oh, and Wal-Mart is occasionally cheap, so that's less repellent.)

I think you've garnered by now I'll be gone for a lot of the day. Adios!

-----The Golden Eagle

26 August, 2010

Random Quizzer Thing (I love doing these)--What's Your Inner Dragon?





"Your Inner Dragon is to dragons what the Ranger is to humans. Silvers are one of three types of metallic dragon, the others being Gold and Copper. Like all metallics, Silvers rigidly adhere to an internal code of conduct. Unlike the other two metallics, however, this code is not universal. Each Silver must develop their code individually, a fact which explains their unique dispositions and actions. Silvers are often considered outcasts or shadows dwelling on the periphery of dragon culture (much like human Rangers), but they can always be counted upon to speak the truth and help their allies. Because no one but a Silver knows what they'll do next, their alignment is "Chaotic Neutral."

Being a Silver isn't all shady head-games, though. You possess considerable intelligence and self-confidence (whether they manifest themselves or not), and given the opportunity could make a great leader. Magic isn't really your bag, but you're awfully good at slipping in and out of a situation or conflict undetected. Which, by the way, may be due to your slightly-below-average size more than anything else. Your favorable attributes are dependability, durability, problem-solving, mist, fog, silver, and pewter. Like your human counterpart - the Ranger - you're a superb weapons user and have an especially good command of your icy breath weapon. Just keep in mind that even your friends may find your ethics hard to accept from time to time."





Well, now.



"If there ever was an apparition of balance, power and reclusive intelligence, your Inner Dragon is it. Whites are a fairly common dragon and are considered one of two harmonious dragons. Your antithesis is the evil Black Dragon. Together, you two embody the Yin and Yang concept of eastern religions (especially Taoism).

Though you might find that neat in passing, it's not really what a White is all about. You like to think things out, plot against enemies, and look down upon the world from the highest mountain peaks. Your favorable attributes are the Day, the Sun, reaching for spirituality, truth, a positive attitude, and helpful magic. Humans only need fear you when they stray into your domain without proper payment for passage. Of course, that payment would probably be a cake the size of a Volkswagen, but hey, if they wanted to move through your turf they should have brought it, right? If someone ever threatens you, your Inner Dragon would likely tell you to hit and run, or just plain run. If they really wanted a fight you'd be an impressive opponent, considering you pack a breath weapon combination of Fire and Lightning. Even the nicest dragons can do some serious damage."

Those are my results with a slightly different answers.





[DISCLAIMER: All images were found online, therefore I do not own/claim any of them.]

What do you get? Tell me! I want to know! :)

-----The Golden Eagle

25 August, 2010

The Four Winged Dinosaur

Microraptor is one cool . . . dinosaur-slash-bird. I mean, there aren't any animals with wings on their hinds legs and certainly not ones that glide like flying squirrels. And they don't look like anything from our time, either, with a dinosaur-like beak, a long tail, and four wings.

Dinosaurs are not what you usually think of when you think of the origin of birds. They don't really look like birds in, say, Jurassic Park or in the typical T. Rex image, but dinosaurs did have feathers. And now there's evidence that Microraptor may just have been the divergent point in evolution where dinosaurs and birds branched off. Unless, of course, an earlier fossil with wings appears somewhere around the world . . .













Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.


If that doesn't load, go HERE. Pretty cool animal, eh?

Another hit for NOVA. :)

(Hmmm. Think I should change my name to "The Golden Microraptor"? JK. I like eagles just fine.)

-----The Golden Eagle

24 August, 2010

I Keep Losing Internet Connection! (Plus, some other . . . stuff.)

Come on now, you-wacky-bird-that-is-Road-Runner! Use those oh-so-fast feet of yours and keep the internet working. It's all over your ads that the service is quick. :P

Anyways, it's probably just because of the heavy rain we had yesterday, though you'd think they'd fix it securely. If you notice that I'm absent for a while (I'll try not to be) then it's probably because of the connection.

A screenshot from To Beep or Not to Beep.Image via Wikipedia

(Hehe. Just though this was funny . . . )

*****

But on the upside to the day, the car's getting repaired and should be ready TOMORROW.

THAT MEANS WE DO NOT HAVE TO RIDE THE BUS ANYMORE. Zippity-do-dah to that! (I love the word--or phrase, actually--zippity-do-dah. Forget what it's from, but never mind.)

Seriously, though, I don't like buses, and they can get expensive. (The US needs a public transit overhaul. Why are the French and Japanese zipping around in TGVs and Bullet trains while we're sitting through really bad buses, eh?) But aside from trains, I'm glad to be rid of things that are a) Smelly. b) Slow. c) Inconvenient. d) Occasionally packed. e) Just darn nerve-wracking, especially when it comes to being early/late and when they're early/late.

And not to mention the darn system around here doesn't work. In fact, it was so dysfunctional that they threw it out, but since the county's budget is not doing so well (I think that's true for just about everywhere right now) they were told that they had to go back to using it. It really doesn't work.

Press 1 for ___! Press 2 for ___! Press 3 for PM! Press 5 for AM! [Customer: HUH?] Need a different location? Press ___ and leave a message! We *might* get back to you in time for you to schedule your trip! Have a nice day!

-_-

It's just SO much easier to get around if you have a functioning vehicle. Hey, our lives are modeled around transportation via car/truck/SUV/etc.

*****

Blogger installed that new "Comments" thing on my Dashboard, which I actually appreciate. I haven't gotten any spam or anything, but it's always a nice precaution. The line of things across the top of the screen is getting a little crowded, though, since Blogger-In-Draft now has Posting, Comments, Settings, Design, Monetize, and Stats. :P

-----The Golden Eagle
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Teaser Tuesday (3)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at the blog Should be Reading. (Love that title.)

The Rules:


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week I'm doing a teaser from Under a War-Torn Sky by L.M. Elliot.

Returning to the barn before a patrol showed up seemed like an excellent idea to Henry. He turned to go. But it was already too late to reach its safety.

(Yes, I realize that this is actually, in fact, three sentences. But I felt like it needed an extra. Debating on whether to review this later . . .)

What are you reading and teasing with?

-----The Golden Eagle

22 August, 2010

Miscellany

First off, I had an amazing writing day yesterday. I managed to get out 5000 words and pushed my book forward almost 10 pages. I finished a major plot point/scene and hammered out some things I hadn't been sure about before. Maybe I should have waited to write some of it and saved it for today . . . but I did do some editing on Part Three since it's been really bugging me.

*****

Second, a homeschooler award from Bleah Briann and Eldarwen! They're having a blog party focusing on homeschoolers right now--called Homeschoolers Appreciation--and today it's an award. So, thank you, Bleah and Eldarwen!


*****

Got my hair cut today. (Thank you Mom!) It's only down to my shoulder blades in a ponytail and that feels weird since it was down to the small of my back before. My head feels lighter than normal. :P But at least it won't be as hot anymore.

*****

Have you heard that there are salmonella cases breaking out around the country? And that companies are having to recall their eggs? 

Now, I always though that all eggs had salmonella in them and that was why you cooked them. Apparently, only a small percentage have the bacteria in them, but if they had it before, why all the fuss about it now? Sure, people are sick and that's serious, but aren't you supposed to cook the eggs before you eat them, and doesn't that kill the bacteria?

*****

It's been raining for most of the day today. It's still dripping out there, and it's been coming down nonstop since last night. Sheesh. We're going to be a soggy mess once it does stop completely, and I really don't think the grass needed quite that much saturation. But it made the house feel cozy and that's a plus when writing. If it's bright and sunny outside, I'll get the urge to stop typing and do something else. Very distracting.

*****

You may have noticed I changed the template background. Do you think it's better? Worse? Completely horrible? I might play around with the link colors a little--the bright blue isn't quite my style.

*****

And if that's not enough miscellany for you, have you ever seen the movie The Series of Unfortunate Events? Love that movie. (I watched it last night.) It's weird, funny, strange, has a good cast, and while they certainly changed the plot, they managed to keep the mysterious feel of the books. What more could you ask for?

Ahem-hum. I believe that's everything . . . 

-----The Golden Eagle

61 Followers!

I would have done this before, when there were sixty, but I got up this morning and lo and behold the number 61 popped out at me on the Dashboard. THANKS ALL OF YOU! :D

And, as I do for every ten (or, in this case, eleven) followers that I gain, here's a list of everyone: (if you have a blog and I don't have your link, do leave a comment with it!)

Julie
TJ

-----The Golden Eagle

21 August, 2010

Book Review: The Warrior Heir



Title: The Warrior Heir
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: Fantasy
Page Count: 426
Rating: 2.7 out of 5
Cover Rating: 3 out of 5. It's all right, but it's a little bland. The sword's not . . . well, very decorative. From the descriptions in the book I would have expected it to be really, really bright and gleaming with jewels on it (there's one ruby-like stone, but it's really small). This thing is sort of tarnished and the blade's got little marks all over it. The black background is all right, and I like the way they put the words along the side, but I wish the font had been more dramatic. If the back had been more colorful it would have reminded me of Finnikin of the Rock.

Back flap:

Before he knew about the Roses, sixteen-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high schoolers. Then one day Jack skips his medicine. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great--until he loses control of his own strength and nearly kills another player during soccer team tryouts.
   Soon, Jack learns the startling truth about himself: he is a Weirlind, part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At their helm sits the feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose, whose power is determined by playing the Game--a magical tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death. The winning house rules the Weir.
   As if this bizarre heritage isn't enough, Jack finds out he's not just another member of the Weirlind--he's one the warriors--at a time when both houses are scouting for a player. 

My expectations: I expected a lot from this book, since I'd heard some stuff about it before and I thought it would be a good read.

Unfortunately, it didn't quite meet my expectations.

About the book: Well, for one thing, there's some training in this book. Jack's a warrior, and therefore he needs warrior training in preparation in case he has to fight in the Game. However, while I enjoyed that aspect, I couldn't really get into the experience. Basically, it's just "he trained for five hours" instead of a more detailed explanation of what he was learning, how, why, and what he and his trainer were doing with the learned material. It just felt hollow, and I couldn't get excited about it. It's the same for the actual fighting--dull, unexciting, and bland. (Maybe the cover fits the book better than I thought.)

Plot:

I could guess the ending halfway through the book, and no joke. I was like "um, folks? I already know what's going to happen in the end!" which sort of wrecked the ending for me. There was some tension, but based on characters' previous performance and personalities, it wasn't a great ending and rather predictable. 

Also, there was a deus ex machina ending added on to the guessable developments. (Deus ex machina means "a plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new character, ability, or object" according to Wikipedia. It's a take on the fact in some old plays they used to have a god come down in a chariot or whatever and solve everyone's issues). That's a really weak way to end a book. Really weak way to end a book. It's like saying "Oh, is there a problem? Let's bring in some grand force and end the problem! Woohoo!"

If I hadn't guessed the major plot points, I would have said this was a much better book. But some things are just so blindly obvious it's just "how could they not REALIZE that?!" and I felt like shaking the characters hard to clear their heads. But besides that--maybe I just read too much for anything to be a surprise, though that's a depressing thought--the plot's okay, even though there aren't a whole lot of twists. I still say it's pretty bland.


Characters:

I couldn't really get attached to anyone. It felt really sort of hollow and--if I might use the word again--bland, and I could never get all riled up, even when it was life-or-death situation.

Jack's all right. He's not great, he's not spectacular, and he's just your average guy who wants an average life in an average town like Trinity. He's not exactly dull . . . but he's not a terribly exciting person, either, like, say, Jace. I don't know why, but I felt that he was sort of younger than what his stated age was. Judging by his reactions, emotions, and personality, he just seemed like 14 instead of 16.

Leander Hastings is an odd character. I'm not sure what to make of him, since he's certainly not all that trustworthy, but I guess it fits into the plot well enough.

Aunt Linda. I wouldn't say she's a bee with an itch exactly, but really, she's--get this--an enchanter. And her charms work on men and women alike. Persuasion? Go to Aunt Linda. Manipulation? Aunt Linda's your girl. Seduction? Well, I'll bet that wouldn't totally be below her if necessary.

Ellen's okay as female characters go. I wasn't really attached to her, and I found her attitude all right, but that was about it. Nothing really special.

Will and Fitch--so-so, like most of the other characters.

Setting/Other Factors:

I like the idea of the Game. A lot, actually. I wished that Chima had elaborated more on its history, its rituals, etc., but I didn't get that much about it, since it was majorly glossed over even in parts where more could have been put in. I also wish that she had presented more about the wizards earlier in the book, because all of a sudden Jack's dealing with a lot of them and the reader hardly knows anything about them. It's more telling than actually showing about them.

That's another thing that probably contributed to the hollow-ness of the book. I felt like it was all "tell, tell, tell" and not "show, show, show", which I infinitely prefer. Show me he's in pain. Show me he's angry. Show me that there's tension. Show me the character's body language and reactions and don't just have words coming out of his mouth.

Other: One thing about this book is that it seems to be some strange sort of YA and MG hybrid. I felt that the language used was more of a MG type, but there is also some YA content. Because there's little descriptive fighting and graphic injury like in Eragon or a fantasy book like that I though it might be MG, but there are also scenes akin to waterboarding and there seems to be more romance stuff than in a MG novel. For example: there's a part where one woman goes over to a "young, good-looking man" (I think that's what it says) and the next scene is in the morning and it mentions that "he was willing to talk". So I suppose you could classify it as a YA book, although I do wish the language had been different in that case--more complex with more subtleties.

Do I recommend this book? Not really. It's not a bad read or a good read, it's just a so-so read.

-----The Golden Eagle

20 August, 2010

Guinevere's Blog Party




In addition to being a blog party, this event is also part-giveaway, and it looks awesome! Basically, if you go over to Guinevere's blog and follow her blog, (there are other ways to get extra entries) you are entered into a giveaway for either a complete makeover at Robin Blogs, (first place), and extra at Inspired Designs, (second place), or an extra at The Boutique Window (third place).  I've checked out the sites--they have some great stuff!


Right. On with the Blog Party . . .


1. What has been your favorite part of summer so far?
Enjoying the sunshine!
2. What is your favorite part of autumn? 
All the holiday preparations and the colorful maple trees.
3. Raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens?
Raindrops on roses! Kittens are . . . well, they're cute, but then they grow up into cats and they're not-so-cute.
4. Describe your dream house.
Can't I have some time!? Oh well, I guess right now my dream house would be in the hills in a meadow with lots of trees and an excellent view of the stars. But it would have to be in a safe area, too.
5. What's your favorite movie?
That's tough. I like Harry Potter, though!
6. Quote something from the book you most recently read:
"If this isn't nice, what is?"--Timequake, but Kurt Vonnegut.
7. What do you like/not like about my blog?
I love love love the header, Guin! I love the crystals on the right side.
8. Rain or shine?
Shine! Though I love rain now and then . . .
9. The worst grammatical mistake, in your opinion:
"There so ---!" or "Their it is!"
10. If you had a choice, would you want to live: in the mountains, in a rainforest, on a prairie, or by the beach?
Mountains!
11. What character from a book would you say you are most like?
Oh, Katsa. I love Katsa!
12. Be constantly talking the rest of your life or not be able to communicate in any way for the rest of your life?
Be constantly talking. I'm sorry, it might sound like I'm trying to be annoying, but I want my views to get across!
13. Owl City or Switchfoot?
I've never listened to either . . . *looks sheepish*
14. Taylor Swift or Selena Gomez?
Ah, could you tell me who Selena Gomez is? 'Cause I certainly know who Taylor Swift is. Oh, hold on, I'll Google her . . . hmmm. She's one of the Barney kids! *ahem* Okay, okay . . . I guess Selena Gomez. I've never heard her though, so I'm just sort of randomly choosing. (Because I don't like Taylor Swift all that much.)
15. Your pet peeve?
Doing things unevenly. If I do something with my right hand, I get the urge to do it with my left hand. Good thing I'm fairly ambidextrous.
16. What's your favorite font?
Eurostile! Preferably bold.
17. How are you educated? (i.e. homeschooled, public schooled, private schooled)
Homeschooled, and proud of that fact!
18. Do you consider yourself tomboy-ish or feminine? 
I'd like to say I'm a tomboy, (although my mom says I'm more feminine) but that's playing to a stereotype. I've had enough dealings with stereotypes.
19. What's your favorite song?
Here I Am--Bryan Adams. I guess . . .
20. Did you enjoy answering these questions?
Yes I did, Guinevere Amoureaux!


-----The Golden Eagle

19 August, 2010

COME ON!

Can you believe this?! They've put together a whole bunch of awesome characters from a bunch of awesome books and they're pitting them against each other in a YA Fantasy Showdown! GO VOTE BECAUSE THIS IS JUST TOTALLY COOL! And nerve-wracking. I'm so glad though that Katsa won over Hermione, Aragorn won over Thorgil, and Percy Jackson prevailed.

BUT I'm enraged that Jace won over Ai Ling! AI LING IS ONE OF THE BEST PROTAGONISTS AROUND NO MATTER HOW WITTY JACE MAY BE!

LOL! I'm just really excited to see who wins in the end. Let me reiterate: GO VOTE! :D Because now it's Katsa vs. Jace and Aragorn vs. Alanna and Percy Jackson vs. Howl.

-----The Golden Eagle

Booking Through Thursday Meme: Reading Questions

Extra-long meme, involves books, looks fun. Recipe for a post.

1. Favorite childhood book?
Nate the Great. Adored that series.
2. What are you reading right now?
Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut.
3. What books do you have on request at the library?
None. I don't often do that because for one of the local libraries you have to pay to pick up a book you've put on hold. Also because the electronic system of holding books doesn't really work. :P
4. Bad book habit?
I have a habit of putting the next page in front of my second finger and pressing the side of my thumb against the edge of the page. Sometimes it bends the paper, especially if I tap the side. Which I do.
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Lots of books! I've got a list HERE. In addition I have City of Ashes, City of Bones, Timequake, Lord of the Flies, and some cooking books I took out when my mom forgot her card. I'm not reading those.
6. Do you have an e-reader?
NO. I like paper! You can sniff and hug and throw books against the wall, but you can't do that with e-readers. (I wonder if anyone has actually thrown their e-reader against the wall because they hated the book--I know I might by accident. LOL.)
7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
Depends on how riveting the books are. If I'm reading one and I LOVE it, then I won't start another one.
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Yes. I've started taking out books that I normally wouldn't take out because I saw that they were reviewed elsewhere and I wanted to form my own opinions. Also because I wanted to review them myself.
9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
THE FREAKIN' VAMPIRE DIARIES. Hate those books. They're just so horrible. I wrote a parody of the first two books HERE, in case you want to read it. :P
10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Toughie. I've read SO MANY good books this year . . . but I really did like I, Robot.
11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Occasionally. Like if I start a book I don't like I'll often finish it because I really don't like leaving books unfinished.
12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Now you ask me? Well, I'd say around 300 pages, Fantasy or Science Fiction, YA. There must be action, questions, and strong characters. And the setting plays a part too.
13. Can you read on the bus?
Gas! I'm choking! No, not very easily. I get, uh, sick. (I've never thrown up in bus before though, so no worries! ;)
14. Favorite place to read?
In what's called The Red Chair. It's soft and comfy and I can pull my feet up.
15. What is your policy on book lending?
Don't do anything to it, (besides read it, of course) don't lend it to other people while I'm lending it to you, and get it back to me as soon as you're done. Unless you want to reread it.
16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
I, uh, used to. But I don't now! Now I just memorize the page number.
17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
No! I find the extra words distracting.
18.  Not even with text books?
If it's my algebra textbook. I love algebra. :)
19. What is your favorite language to read in?
I wish I could read more in Chinese, (the most I can do is "The car is red" and "The woman is running"--no joke) but I can only do English right now.
20. What makes you love a book?
Good plot, good characters, no oh-I'm-gonna-die-if-he-leaves protagonists, and original ideas.
21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
All of the above-mentioned things.
22. Favorite genre?
*groans* You're asking me to choose between SF and Fantasy! CRUEL, I tell you! CRUEL! LOL. SF, I guess, if I was pressured.
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
But wish I did? Um, mystery. I haven't read a mystery book in a looooong time.
Favorite biography?
I don't think I've ever read a biography.
25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Self-help? Not unless you count American Girl books.
26. Favorite cookbook?
Don't read cookbooks.
27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
Inspirational . . . I'd really have to think about that one.
28. Favorite reading snack?
Grapes. I like eating grapes while I'm reading. They're tasty.
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
The Twilight Saga. Couple years ago I was all "Gee, that book is popular! I wonder if it's as good as Harry Potter!" (I love HP). I loved the Twilight Saga covers (weakness here!) but when I picked it up I was like "Gosh. This SUCKS!" (Pun intended.)
30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I think it's pretty much 50/50. Since critics (in my opinion) judge things on how popular the book is going to be, I sometimes disagree with them because--as with the Twilight example--some really popular books can be absolutely terrible. I don't find the NYT to be a reliable source, actually.
31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
Well, since I'm not trying to get published at the moment, I'm willing to write honest reviews. If I think a book is bad, I say so. If I think it needs improvement, I say so. And if I think it's parody-worthy, I write a parody.
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Chinese!
33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
Moby-Dick, maybe. I've also read Les Miserable, which was pretty hefty. (Cosette REALLY got on my nerves. She's such an airhead!)
34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Hmmm. I don't know . . . I still haven't tried tackling War and Peace.
35. Favorite Poet?
I don't read much poetry, and I don't have much memorized. I can't really give you a name, either. (I should probably read more poetry. My house is FULL of poetry books.)
36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
'Round 20.
37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
Not very often, but I might end up doing that with a couple on my shelf right now . . .
38. Favorite fictional character?
Man. There are a LOT of characters I like! I do like Sammy Keyes, though. She cracks me up. (This is, of course, not counting my own. :D)
39. Favorite fictional villain?
Villains . . . Redd. Definitely.
40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
The Five Ancestors, Sammy Keyes, anything else on my TBR pile.
41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
0 days. I read schoolbooks, I free-read, I read ALL THE TIME.
42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
The Dark Portal. I just found it weird, repulsive, and strange. Don't pick it up!
43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Reading a really good book that stimulates ideas for my own book. I'll be like "OOH! IDEA! BRAIN SPARK!" but then "But I have to finish this!" "NO! I have to write!" "No! I've got to read and get through this awesome book!" Torture, I tell you.
44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Chris Columbus did a good job on that one.
45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
The Rats of Nimh. THAT MOVIE STINKS! It twisted the original book and made it so WRONG that I hate it like everything.
46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
*ahem* I've never actually bought a book with my own money . . . it's almost entirely libraries or wonderful parental interference.
47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Almost never.
48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Infuriatingly stupid characters doing infuriatingly stupid things that are in an infuriatingly stupid environment. Actually, if it's all three then I read it so I can RANT and vent. :P
49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
YES! I hate having books that are disorganized.
50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
Library, people. I return them.
51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
I don't think so . . .
52. Name a book that made you angry.
Angel by Cliff McNish. Absolutely prejudiced and ignorant view of homeschoolers I felt like shouting "YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING!" because the homeschooler in it is so weird and stereotyped.
53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
Devilish by Maureen Johnson.
54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Dragonspell. Not much disliked . . . but some of the parts rubbed me the wrong way.
55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
The Five Ancestors. I love curling up with Fu and Hok and laughing at Malao.

-----The Golden Eagle