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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Play Hooky With…

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

After having so much fun coming up with my top ten last week (see here for last week’s top ten), I decided to participate again 🙂

And the topic of this week’s ten feels rather appropriate considering that right now writing this list I am procrastinating from studying and other mundane things! 😀

Top Ten Books I’d Play Hooky With…

1. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – I’ve been reading this book since I was 15 and I’m still yet to finish it. My copy is all dog earred and creased because it’s been my constant companion for years. Because I like it? No. Rather the opposite. I can’t manage to finish this book. I find it boring and I think that a day off work and school would be excellent motivation to try and get a little further into the story.

2. Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon – I love this book. It makes me cry but I love Ash. He is and will probably always be my favourite character from the Dark Hunter series. This book was so sad and heartbreaking but it was great to see that he got his happily ever after.

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon– This book intimidates me. I want to read it and have wanted to for so long but because I’ve heard such good things about it I want to put aside a decent amount of time so I can really get into it before life gets in the way and distracts me. It’s my intention to read (or at least start) this book over Easter. I’m actually rather excited. I hope it lives up to my expectations.

4. Kiss of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning – I love this series. Highlanders are a weakness of mine. If he’s in a kilt, I’m weak in the knees.

5. The Selection by  Kiera Cass – I know it was on my list last week but I really want to read it. I’ve pre-ordered it and can’t wait till it arrives.

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth – I’ve heard such great things about this one. I just need to make the time to sit down and read it.

7. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series – I’m not one for re-reading books. There’s just so many out there that I want to read and haven’t gotten around to. My Goodreads “to-read” list is over 500 and I keep finding books to add to it every day. I think I’ve added 10 already today just from reading other people’s Top-Ten list. But this is a series that I do re-read. Every time I read it I pick up things I haven’t seen before. Sometimes I read it when I’m in a romance mood – other times when I’m wanting something more urban fantasy based… It always manages to satisfy me. Unless it’s Lover Unleashed. That one I try to forget ever happened.

8. Torn by  Amanda Hocking – I’ve just finished reading Switched and I really can’t wait to read the next in the Trylle trilogy.

9. The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling – This series cemented my love of reading. I was already a bit of a booky person before I read this series but my mother gave me the first two for my 12th birthday and I was hooked. I read the books dozens of times. I forced everyone I knew to read them too. This was the first series that I recommended to my older brother who never took my advice on anything and he read them and said they were okay. That was high praise coming from him! I still love the series. I belong to a Harry Potter forum site and love discussing the books with other fans. Despite coming in at number 9 on my list, they are probably the first book I’d choose to go off and play hooky with.

10. The Princess Bride by William Goldman – Why? Because this is my all time favourite book. Sword fights and giants, wizards and ROUS – there is nothing this book has that doesn’t appeal to me no matter what mood I’m in, no matter what the weather is like – this is the book I turn to.

Booking Through Thursday: Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme that asks a book/reading related question.

This week’s question is: Ever read a book you thought you could have written better yourself?

My answer?

I don’t think so. Not seriously. Most books that I think could have been a lot better are the ones with characters and stories that just don’t capture my attention. I couldn’t stick with them long enough to write them better. Writing a book takes so much time! And thought! For the books that when I’m at my most judgemental and I think I could have written better – I would not be able to have the sort of long term relationship  with them that rewriting them would require. I think I’d probably lose patience and then end up writing them more poorly than they were written in the first place.

Top Ten Tuesday: Upcoming New Releases

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I’ve never done a meme before (mainly because I have no idea what I’m doing) but I’m trying to post more regularly so here you go.

This week’s topic is top ten books to read from March 20th and June 21st 2012. My list is entirely made up of new releases during the next three months.

So here we go:

1. Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #10) I know I’ve mentioned how excited I am about this book but I’M STILL REALLY EXCITED. I love this series and after the disappointment of Lover Unleashed I have incredibly high hopes for this one. Only a few more days to go!

 2. The Selection by Kiera Cass – The description of this book sounds right up my alley. Sort of like The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games? I’ve read a few reviews from people who received ARC copies who weren’t thrilled by it but The Bachelor is my guilty pleasure so I’m excited for this book. And plus, the cover is beautiful!

3. Grave Mercy by  R.L. LaFevers – A seventeen year old escapes an arranged marriage and now works as an assassin. Mix in a little romance and this book is one I can’t wait to read.

4. Purity by Jackson Pearce –  Stories about why people decide to pledge purity on current affair shows always interest me and whilst this is a fictional story I have some kind of bizarre curiosity for the topic.

5. Under A Vampire Moon by Lynsay Sands (Argeneau #16) – This series is one of the first paranormal romance series I ever read and because of it I’ve been hooked ever since. The stories aren’t as interesting to me as the earlier ones in the series but they are ideal when I’m looking for something that’s not too heavy, some thing funny and something that’s packed full of romance and sexual tenstion. I love these books. And to top it off Christian Notte has been one of my favourite characters in the series for a long time. I can’t wait for him to get his HEA (Happily Ever After)!

6. Royal Street by Suzanne Johnson – Lately I’ve been reading more Urban Fantasy and this book really intrigues me. Voodoo serial killers, magic and New Orleans? I’m there!

7. Deadlocked by Charlaine Harris (The Southern Vampire Mysteries #12) – I love the Southern Vampire Mysteries series. I’ve loved them since I read the first book all those years ago. And in the time that’s passed I’ve also watch True Blood and re-read the series a few times. Sookie may have sort of gone off the rails as far as I’m concerned but I’m going to stick with her till the end and see where everything ends up.

8. Rapture by Lauren Kate (Fallen #4) – I have a soft spot for this series. The first book left me a little cold as it reminded me too much of Twilight (just without all the vampires and werewolves). But it’s really grown on me. I loved the third book and can’t wait to see how the series wraps up.

9. Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown – I love mermaids. And this story sounds a little more dark and gritty than your average mermaid tale. When a book mentions revenge in it’s summary – I’m there.

10. Lethal Rider by Larissa Ione (Lords of Deliverance #3) – Larissa Ione is one of my favourite authors. I devoured the Demonica series and adore the Lords of Deliverance series nearly as much. This next books is featuring my horseman (or should that be horseperson…), Thanatos. And I love the cover work for this series. It’s beautiful.

There are dozens more books that I’m excited about that I couldn’t fit into my top ten. But I think my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I won’t be able to fit them all into my reading schedule. There’s just so many good books out there! But here at the ten upcoming releases that I’m most excited about.

Five Things I’ve Learned From Books

“Life is pain, highness. Anyone who tells you differently is selling something.”
and also:
“Life isn’t fair, it’s just fairer than death, that’s all.”

― William GoldmanThe Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure: The “Good Parts” Version, Abridged

5

“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
― Chuck PalahniukFight Club

5

“…talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.”
― Patrick SüskindPerfume: The Story of a Murderer

5

“Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.”
― David LevithanThe Lover’s Dictionary

5

And one more for luck:

“Urban survival rule 22: Never annoy an armed man.”
― Kelley ArmstrongBitten

5

E-readers vs. Paper books?

Or more specifically, kindles vs. paper books.

I’ve had a kindle since November and since then it’s become somewhat of a constant companion of mine.
There are so many things I love about it but lately I’ve  been thinking about kindle versus paper books. I have always loved paper books. Everything from the smell to the feel. But since getting my kindle my purchasing of paper books has declined. Lately, I have bought dozens and dozens of ebooks but only two paper books (and they were to complete series that I owned other paper books from. I like having complete collections.)

So here is a list I’ve compiled of pros and cons of both – kindles and paper books – to help me work out for myself which I prefer.

Kindles:

PROS:

  • Text to Speech function. For people with failing eyesight or those who love audio books, it’s incredibly easy to set their kindles on text to speech and have their books read to them!
  • Ability to change text size. We bought my grandfather a kindle for this past Christimas for this function alone. He was once a great reader but as he got older and his eyesight started to deteriorate, he could only read big print books. After reading all the larger print books his local library had to offer, he stopped reading altogether. The ability to change the text size of ebooks has changed his reading habits for the better. He can now read books again!
  • The internal dictionary. I think my vocabulary has increased experientially since I started reading ebooks. No longer do I need to go track down a dictionary or remember to look up a word later when it’s more convenient because now all I need to do is move the little cursor in front of the word I was unsure about and the definition pops up on the screen.
  • Free books. If you know where to look you can find many free and legitimate ebooks to download. Classic books can be downloaded from sites like Project Gutenberg  and Amazon have many free ebooks on sale every day.
  • Instant delivery! No more waiting 6-8 weeks for a book to be delivered (no kidding… Amazon takes an INCREDIBLY long time to deliver books internationally). You can receive books instantly on your e-reader.
  • Variety. Living where I do, most bookstores don’t have the books I’m looking for. I order a lot of the books I read online because of this and often have to pay a premium for postage as the books have to come from overseas. E-books don’t cost anything for postage! And the variety the ebook stores offer is incredible.
CONS:
  • Batteries. Although the kindle does have  a great battery life (depending on how much I used the light that’s inbuilt in my kindle’s case) the battery is great. It only requires charging every few weeks. But compared to paper books which never need you to remember to charge them, they do need electricity.
  • Cost. If you only read a few books a year then the initial outlay for an e-reader of any kind is a rather large expense that you won’t make up with the savings you spend on ebooks vs. paper books.
  • Not always practical. I was on a plane a few months ago and due to weather conditions, electronics were not permitted to be used at all during the flight. I was so disappointed. It was the first trip I’d taken my kindle on and I didn’t have a paper book back up for this kind of situation. I was left with no other option but the in-flight magazine to entertain me during the bumpy flight. Thank goodness it was only a two hour flight.

Paper Books:

PROS:

  • There’s nothing like that feeling of holding a real book. There’s the smell, the feel and the look.
  • A decorating option. I have bookshelves all over my house and they look fantastic when all filled up with books. They suit my minimalist version of home decorating.
  • They serve as a conversation starter. Many times I’ve started a conversation or had one started with me over book. You see someone on the train reading the exact same book that you just finished reading! Instant conversation starter! It feels a lot less natural to start a conversation after you spied what book someone was reading on an e-reader – it feels a little more voyeuristic if you have to read the page rather than looking at  the cover of a book someone else is reading.
  • Clumsy? No worries! As someone who has broken the screen on her phone after dropping it, I worry that my kindle will someday suffer the same fate. But with paper books – it’s no problem! Just pick the book up, dust it off and continue on your merry way. 🙂
  • Lending. Borrowing books and sharing them with friends and family are a lot easier with paper copies than with ebooks.
  • Browsing. I love book stores. I love the variety and just the option of picking up a book and reading the blurb. Shopping online for ebooks doesn’t quite deliver the same opportunity and experience.

CONS:

  • Not as good for the environment. Paper books require a lot of paper (wow… shock I know! 😛 ) and because of this they are more of a burden on the environment.
  • Space. Before I got my kindle I would carry at least one book with me at any time and often had a spare in my bag just in case I finished the first one. All the weight of those books does add up! With an e-reader I can carry hundreds of books and weight isn’t an issue.
  • Highlighting and notes. I am not one who likes permanently damaging books. And notes made in paper books last forever no matter how careful you were with that pencil. E-readers allow you to make notes and highlight passages and then reverse the process without leaving a permanent mark.

Verdict?:

I think I’ll stick to buying both paper books and ebooks. They both have a lot going for them. I don’t think e-readers will ever be able to replace that feeling I get when reading a paper books – and I’m not sure I’ll ever feel comfortable enough to take a e-reader into the bath… water and electronics? Not a match made in heaven – but they do have a lot of functions that I like.

But I do have a rule for most ebooks – I won’t pay more than $7.99 for one unless it’s by one of my favourite authors. I can often find books using booko.com.au for less than $10 (including postage) and if cost is going to be relatively similar for ebook vs. paper book, I’ll buy the paper copy.

Three Books Being Released in March 2012 that I Can’t Wait to Read!

Happy Feburary 29th everybody!

As the end of a month is here I’ve decided to mention the three books that are being released next month that I’m most looking forward to.

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10) by J.R. Ward (release date March 27)
– The BDB is possibly my favourite series. It’s a mix of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Ward has created an incredibly parallel universe – Modern day Caldwell, New York but with supernatural beings. Vampires who have to fight bad guys and look great in leather whilst doing so.

Lover Reborn is Tohr’s story and one that I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time! Lover Unleashed (BDB#9) was my least favourite in the series so far so I hope that this latest instalment lives up to my expectations.

 

Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3) by Patricia Briggs (release date March 6)
– I’ve just finished the second book in this series and loved it! (I’ll post my review later today or early tomorrow). I can’t wait to see what happens to Anna and Charles next.  The blurb for Fair Game is very short and not very informative but I’m hoping that’s a good thing – less chance it can ruin any major plot points. It has a lot to live up to and only a week to go!

 

Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2) by Aimee Carter (release date March 27)
– This one I’m less excited about but still looking forward to see how Kate spends her time outside of Eden and without Henry.

 

 

How to Choose What to Read Next?

Photo Credit: The Pop Culture Divas

When I was younger I didn’t have many books. I’d read whatever I could get my hands on. I read text books from back when my parents were students, books about war – gun, planes and spies featured heavily in any book my brother owned and I read his entire library at a young age – and the occasional Mills and Boon romance novel that I found when I was visiting my parents. There wasn’t a lot of choice – I was just greedy for books and read without any real discernment.

These days I’m much more selective in my reading practices. Especially with online book stores – I don’t even need to get out of my pyjamas to browse millions of titles and one click gets them sent directly to my door.

With all those books out there, I decided to share how I decide to choose which books I choose to read.

  • Ask friends!

I’ve found some of the best books I’ve ever read have been recommended for me by friends and family. They know what I like and what I dislike. Often they even own copies of the books they’re suggesting so I can just borrow them without having to go out and buy a copy for myself.

  • Seen the movie? Now read the book!

It’s amazing how many of my favourite films were books first. It always surprises me just how many movies started off their lives as books. Many times I see a film and not until the credits and I see “Inspired by a true story” do I even realize that there was a book first. For all the dozens of books I’ve read and films based on the books I’ve seen, typically I find that I consider the book to be the better version. I recommend Google searching the titles of some of your favourite movies just to see if they were books first and is just waiting to be added to your to-read list!

  • Join a Book Club

There are millions of book clubs all around the world. There are ones devoted to specific genres or even certain authors (much like in The Jane Austen book club which coincidently is a book that has had a film based upon it). Either face to face or online, these book clubs offer many suggestions of what to read. I belong to a few book clubs. Typically they meet once a month and along with the recommendations, I’ve found that it’s a lot of fun to discuss books and literature with people who are as passionate about reading as I am.

  • I’m not sure I could live without the Internet…

I love the Internet but I’m not so sure my bank balance agrees. Thanks to the internet and sites like goodreads.com and amazon.com which give me recommendations of what to read taking into account authors I like and series I’ve read, I’m never at a loss of what to read next. I’ve also found sites like whichbook.net – just a few clicks of the mouse and it will give you many ideas of what book it suggests you read next.

  • Magazines/Newspapers

I often flip straight to the book recommendations in magazines and newspapers that I read. I don’t always select any of the books they review but I enjoy checking what is out there. The New York Times Best seller list is always a good one to check out for inspiration.