Friday, May 29, 2015

Armchair BEA 2015: Character Chatter

For me, the most important components of a book are the characters. Even more than the plot and the writing, a book is made memorable by the characters created.

But what makes a good main character?

Armchair BEA 2015: Introduction Questions

I know that I'm late to the party, but I just found out about Armchair BEA yesterday. So...better late than never.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, Armchair BEA is a virtual conference for bloggers who can't attend Book Expo America or the BEA Bloggers Conference. If you want to learn more, check out the official blog.

The kickoff post was supposed to go up on Wednesday, but I'm still going to do it because it's a set of introduction questions (of which I choose five), and introductions are always important.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Book Review: This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park

"Happiness came that day - she knew nothing - and asked her to say yes and she did not. Why did she assume it would come back again, when there were so many others waiting for it to visit" (pg. 245)?

This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park
Simon & Schuster
6 March 2012
336 Pages
Literary Fiction
5 Stars

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads 

On the eve of her marriage, beautiful and strong-willed Soo-Ja Choi receives a passionate proposal from a young medical student. But caught up in her desire to pursue a career in Seoul, she turns him away, having impetuously chosen another man who she believes will let her fulfill her dreams. Instead, she finds herself tightly bound by tradition and trapped in a suffocating marriage, her ambition reduced to carving out a successful future for her only daughter. Through it all, she longs for the man she truly loves, whose path she seems destined to cross again and again.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Top 10 Recommendations for Classic Literature Beginners

Ever since discovering Frances Hodgson Burnett as a young girl, I have loved classics.  Though they can be dry and difficult to understand, I find them witty and intelligent, with themes that persist over time.

However, not everyone feels this way.  Many people struggle with classics, especially when forced to read them for class.  As someone who loathes being forced to read, I completely understand this.  Moreover, I think that many of the books chosen for curriculum are not selected for their enjoyability.

Yet, even with having a few horrible experiences in literature classes throughout my academic career, I think that classics can be entertaining, hilarious, thought-provoking, and tear-inducing.  So, if you're interested in trying out classics again (or even for the first time), here are ten that I would recommend.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Top 5 Wednesday: Debut Novels

To learn more about Top 5 Wednesday, check out the Goodreads group.
This week's Top 5 Wednesday topic is the top 5 debut novels.  For this list, a few came immediately to mind, but I had to research in order to fill the rest of the slots.  

Let's see what I chose.

Book Review: The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa

The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa
Picador USA
22 January 2008
164 Pages
Japanese Literature
3 Stars

Barnes & NobleBook Depository; Goodreads

The first major English translation of one of contemporary Japan's bestselling and most celebrated authors From Akutagawa Award-winning author Yoko Ogawa comes a haunting trio of novellas about love, fertility, obsession, and how even the most innocent gestures may contain a hairline crack of cruel intent.  A lonely teenage girl falls in love with her foster brother as she watches him leap from a high diving board into a pool--a peculiar infatuation that sends unexpected ripples through her life.  A young woman records the daily moods of her pregnant sister in a diary, taking meticulous note of a pregnancy that may or may not be a hallucination--but whose hallucination is it, hers or her sister's?  A woman nostalgically visits her old college dormitory on the outskirts of Tokyo, a boarding house run by a mysterious triple amputee with one leg.  Hauntingly spare, beautiful, and twisted, The Diving Pool is a disquieting and at times darkly humorous collection of novellas about normal people who suddenly discover their own dark possibilities.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Bout of Books 13: Wrap-Up

Bout of Books 13 is over, and I am already having withdrawals!  The next one is in August, so be sure to follow the Bout of Books blog in order to stay informed about sign-ups for that.

I had originally set goals for myself that I deemed completely reasonable given my schedule.  However, these did not account for Typhoon Dolphin, which hit Guam on Friday night.  My power and water were out until Sunday evening, and having to prepare for the typhoon, cope with the darkness, and then clean up afterward really cut into my reading time.  Hence, I did not achieve all of my goals; however, I am still pleased with what I did manage.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Bout of Books 13: From Modern to Classic Challenge

Day four's challenge is being hosted by Rebecca at Ranty Runt of a Reader.

Her challenge is for readers to name one book, published after 2005,  that they expect to be a classic in 100 years and give two reasons why.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Bout of Books 13: Midway Update

It's Thursday afternoon here, and I'm halfway through with Bout of Books!

I feel like that went really fast, and I hope to make the most of the rest of my time.  So far, I'm pleased with how this week has gone.  I have gotten a fair bit of reading in, as well as participated in a few challenges.

Let's look at my progess thus far, shall we?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bout of Books 13: Challenge - Bookish Survey

Today is the first in the Bout of Books week-long read-a-thon!  And with today comes the first challenge.

Today's challenge is over at Writing My Own Fairy Tale, so thank you to Lori for kicking the week off with an awesome giveaway.

For today, there is a short list of bookish questions to be answered.  So let's get to them.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bout of Books 13: Goals & Tracking Spreadsheet

Bout of Books 13 is this week, and I am ready for it.  Even though I will be busy throughout the week, I want to set aside as much time as I can to concentrate on just lazing around with a good book.

I have set very loose goals for myself, as well as put together a pull-pile.  As always, I reserve the right to deviate from this stack of books.  They are just what I anticipate wanting to read throughout the week.

I am also providing my progress spreadsheet if you want to track your reading throughout the week.

Book Review: Death of the Family (Batman Vol. 3) by Scott Snyder

Death of the Family by Scott Snyder
Batman Volume 3 (The New 52)
DC Comics
12 November 2013
176 Pages
5 Stars

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

After having his face sliced off one year ago, the Joker makes his horrifying return to Gotham City! But even for man who's committed a lifetime of murder, he's more dangerous than ever before! How can Batman protect his city and those he's closest to? It all leads back to Arkham Asylum.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Top 5 Wednesdays: Books I'd Want to See as TV Shows

If you want to join Top 5 Wednesday, check out the Goodreads group.
This week's T5W topic is books you'd love to see as television shows.  This doesn't include books you'd like to see as movies.

Since I don't really watch television, this is a difficult topic for me, but when I envision them as mini-series, it becomes much easier.  

So, let's get into my list of books I'd love to see brought to life on the TV (or Netflix).

Monday, May 4, 2015

Book Review: The City of Owls (Batman Vol. 2) by Scott Snyder

The City of Owls by Scott Snyder
Batman Volume 2 (The New 52)
DC Comics
2 April 2013
208 Pages
3 Stars

Barnes & Noble; Book Depository; Goodreads

Night of the Owls continues here! Batman must stop the Talons that have breeched the Batcave in order to save an innocent life...and Gotham City! In the backup story, learn more about the Pennyworth family and the secrets they've kept from the Wayne family!

Friday, May 1, 2015

April Wrap-Up and May TBR

How is it already May?  We're almost halfway through 2015, and I am feeling jet lagged.  How is it that time moves so slow when you're a child, but increasingly picks up speed as you age?

With the first of the month comes my wrap-up from last month.  And even though I don't normally do TBRs, I started a few books last month that I want to continue, and there are two books I already know I have to read, so I decided to do one.