Archives For Books

Maybe..

Do I really think it’s a problem? No. Could I have acquired e-books to save space? Probably, but I much prefer to have a physical book in my hand. Gives me fewer headaches too. I’m not too keen on having a screen in front of me at all times. It used to be my favorite thing, now it is just a nuisance.

I used to collect games, collect magazines, but they never gave me that same sense of accomplishment as collecting books does. They didn’t smell as good either. I recently purchased a 20-fantasy-books-bundle thing and they all smell like incense because the storage facility they were in stored that too, and I love it. I don’t think I have ever owned a book that didn’t smell good. Does this talking about smelling books make me seem weird? If you enjoy smelling books too I’m sure you will understand me.

My collection mostly consist of fantasy books, some books based on video games, some books that have been made into movies, things like that. When I read, I really enjoy being able to escape into a world different from ours. I don’t necessarily want an altered reality, I just want something different, something that doesn’t feel like the world we know at all. I love learning about new worlds, new characters, new ways of living, magic, dragons, the lot. I also love post-apocalyptic stuff, for those who know me, they know that the Fallout game series is one of my favorites, and it is post-apocalyptic. It is a bit contradictory because it just shows a different version of what could be our future, but it still feels like a whole new world because, you know, do you think the world will be almost completely annihilated by atomic bombs by tomorrow? I sure hope not


 

This is just what I keep in my bedroom. I have a few more shelves full of books. If you notice any silver lines on them, it is books I have read, or re-read this year. 

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Some may think it’s a waste to spend so much money on books, but honestly, I buy almost everything on sale, or in bundles, I do everything I can to spend as little as possible. I really enjoy going to thrift stores to find cheap and old books too. I also have a few in my collection that were left behind by my grandmother who passed away in December. Some of the books are really old, the oldest from 1927, the second oldest from 1934. They still smell like her house and I enjoy just looking through them sometimes.

I don’t even really know why I wanted to write this post, I suppose I just wanted to talk about books for a while, about how happy they make me. My fondest memories of my childhood is from reading, staying up late with a small flashlight to read, hiding away from my parents. There was also a library on wheels, a bus that was modified with a lot of book shelves. It used to visit where I lived every other Wednesday, I was their most frequent visitor. Our library was never really open so this was pretty much my only way of borrowing books as a child. I’m so grateful for what they all did for me back then, and I’m so sad that it no longer exists. I guess I will just have to start driving to the next city over to borrow books, or just continue to purchase and hoard like I do now.

Do you have any fond memories of reading? Or do you hoard books like I do?

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What I read in July

July 28, 2017 — 30 Comments

The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

[ completed ]

I’ll comment on the series as a whole after the last one.

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Cinder

“Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.

But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.”

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Scarlet

“Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.”

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Cress

“In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.”

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Winter

“Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.”

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I first found out about this series through one of Michala‘s blog posts, I ordered the first book off of eBay, and when I read it I fell in love. I was later lucky enough to have the others sent to me digitally by her so I wouldn’t have to spend all of my money on the rest of the books. I don’t think I have ever finished a series this fast, and I haven’t been so emotionally invested in a story in a long while. Now I think we both suffer from Lunar sickness because we just can’t handle that the series is over. If you’re into fantasy and young adult books, you should definitely check this series out. I couldn’t recommend it enough, honestly.


Armada by Ernest Cline

[ unfinished ]

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“Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders. No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it.

It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar? At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you’ve ever read before—one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon.”

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After reading “Ready Player One” and loving it, I was expecting a really pleasantly nerdy book that would hit all of the right spots for me with its pop culture references, but boy was I disappointed! The story itself isn’t bad but the book is riddled with so many references that it kind of breaks the whole book apart. There’s no room for dialogue or character improvement when all you can see is obscure references to things from earlier decades. Sure, if you’re into the exact same things as the author, maybe you could enjoy it, but I couldn’t even finish the book because it was so frustrating to read.


The night circus by Erin Morgenstern

[ completed ]

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“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The black sign, painted in white letters that hangs upon the gates, reads:
Opens at Nightfall
Closes at Dawn

As the sun disappears beyond the horizon, all over the tents small lights begin to flicker, as though the entirety of the circus is covered in particularly bright fireflies. When the tents are all aglow, sparkling against the night sky, the sign appears.
Le Cirque des Rêves
The Circus of Dreams.

Now the circus is open.
Now you may enter.”

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The Night Circus was a wonderful love story, gave me wonderful visuals in my mind and it was the perfect amount of thrilling and grotesque. I don’t know if I have too much to say about this because I have already written a recommendation post for it, which you can find here. I’d say this is a good read if you’re into circuses, magic and all that!

Have you read anything interesting this summer?

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Image result for scarlet marissa meyerScarlet is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles, following the previous book I posted about, Cinder. The series is written by Marissa Meyer and I guess it’s technically written for teens, but it is interesting enough to catch the attention of older readers too. It deals with a lot of different mature themes so I didn’t find it to be juvenile at all.

In this novel we are introduced to a young woman named Scarlet, she works as a farmer/delivery girl and she kinda gets into trouble for trying to stand up for Cinder, who we got to know in the previous book. We are also introduced to a fellow named Wolf, and I found out that there is pretty much a whole fandom dedicated to the Scarlet x Wolf pairing, as you can see in the picture featured below, there is quite a few fan drawings of how they think they look, both separate and together. I’m not sure if it reflects how i envisioned them but it’s not bad at all! Anyways, here’s a summary of the novel, it’s more comprehensible than my mindless ramble about these two.

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

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If you have read the first book and enjoyed it, or alternatively didn’t enjoy it that much, give Scarlet a go! It has a lot more action and you get to know a lot more about the Lunar people, you experience deceit, death, revenge and love and it’s absolutely wonderful! I’m so glad I was introduced to this series. I only have the last book left now, not sure if I want the series to end so soon!

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After reading through Michala’s “What I read in June” post, I was intrigued by the description for this book and I went on eBay to purchase it the same night. When the book arrived in my mail box, I started reading it right away, and finished it after a couple of hours. It has definitely been a long while since a book made me want to finish reading it and not finish it at the same time. It is a great story, it’s really interesting, it contains cyborgs, moon people, war and love and I think it’s worth a read. As Michala mentioned, it is written for teenagers but it also has mature themes like death and disease and mutilation so it would cater to a more adult audience too.

Cinder, the main character, is really relatable and I could put myself in her situation at times, when dealing with her legal guardian and others prejudice of her. The characters are brilliantly written and each have enough depth for you to create a bond with them. If you’re into novels like this then you should definitely give it a read! Hopefully you would end up enjoying it just as much as I did! I have just started the second book in the series so I’m hoping it will be just as good as the first, if not even better.

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.

But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

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The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way–a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a “game” to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lives of all those involved–the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them–are swept up in a wake of spells and charms.

But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.

Both playful and seductive, The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern’s spell-casting debut, is a mesmerizing love story for the ages.

The night circus was truly a wonderful read! I have always been fascinated by the circus, specifically the type with only human performers (this one has that, save for a few birds and kittens) and I loved every moment of reading this novel. The author is really good at creating an environment and setting the scene and I found myself lost in the story at times because the descriptions were great.

I found the story a bit difficult to follow in the beginning, but that was because I didn’t notice that all of the chapters have different time stamps and locations. But as soon as I realized, I could follow the story properly. You get introduced to a very varied cast and interesting characters and the author focuses just enough on each of them to let you get a feel of how they are.

There are some gruesome events happening in the novel but most of it is implied, like one sentence that gave me chills at the end of one chapter. It went something along the lines of “But she didn’t see the train”. Ending a chapter like that just left me with a terrible feeling in my stomach and I knew something terrible had happened.

I’d recommend this for anyone who loves circuses and somewhat endearing love stories. I would definitely like to re-experience this one, it just resonated really well with me!

Also, the only thing playing in my head while reading this is this song from a Korean group called Sunny Hill.

 

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