Book Meme

Jan. 30th, 2014 06:58 pm
xerinmichellex: (stock: book & birdcage)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] rhoda_rants

List ten books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take but a few minutes and don’t think too hard — they don’t have to be the “right” or “great” works, just the ones that have touched you.

1. The Map of Time by Félix Palma

2. The Final Descent by Rick Yancey (the last book of the Monstrumologist series; only because this is the most recent book I've read and I AM SO MAD)

3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

4. The Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

5. A Series of Unfortunate Events (entire series) by Lemony Snicket

6. Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis

7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

8. Death in the Haymarket by James Green (this book basically shaped what The Book would be about)

9. Kiss the Girls by James Patterson (I stole my mom's Alex Cross books from her beginning in 5th Grade...and I was way too young to be reading those things)

10. The Nancy Drew mysteries by Carolyn Keene (I burned through these things in 4th Grade ~memories)
xerinmichellex: ([stock]: books)
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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It made me feel ~all the feelings.

Success!

Oct. 13th, 2011 10:25 am
xerinmichellex: ([stock]: books)
As of 12:33 am this (early) morning, I've read 100 books this year and completed one of my resolutions. Actually, the original resolution was to read 61 books--11 of which were for the 2011 Debut Challenge. I passed that number for both cases a few months ago and decided, since more than half the year was left, I'd shoot for another 39.

Now, it's just my own curiosity interested in seeing how many more books I can cram into the last three months. (And yes, I'm still working with two TBR piles.) I hope it's not a lot because in terms of my writing-to-reading ratio, the odds are in reading's favor--but that's a post for another time. Instead of sticking my credit card in the freezer, I think I need to encase my library card in a block of ice.

ETA: Aaaaaaand an hour after I posted this I made a mad dash to the library to get Scott Westerfeld's Goliath...and two more books. *cries*
xerinmichellex: ([stock]: books)
First order of business: The Emilie Autumn concert has been postponed to March on account of Emilie having laryngitis. This doesn't mess up my plans too much. (Unlike the people who came out of town. For that, I'm so sorry, guys, but there's always something to do in Chicago.) It would've been nice to do something fun for my birthday, as I usually am morose on the 18th of February, but I cannot get too upset if she's really sick. And judging from the accounts of her last show, she is really hurting.

So, instead of posting "OMG, THE SHOW WAS AMAZING--SO AMAZING THERE DOESN'T EXIST WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE AMAZING-NESS I JUST WITNESSED. IN CONCLUSION: AMAZING!" I'm gonna post about a book series that is amazing in its own way.

I am the Circle and the Circle is me )
xerinmichellex: ([stock]: books)
A little update on my read-61-books-this-year resolution. As of now, I've read 20 books...so I'm about 1/3 of the way done. I've been in a reading frenzy since January, cut that'll probably slow down since I'm started a new manuscript today. (Almost at 2,000 words, which is the farthest I've gotten these past 6 months. I am not even kidding. Fingers crossed that I can actually stick this one out.)

Going over my Read-Books List, I realized that most of the books were YA--13 paranormal/sci-fi/fantasy and 5 contemp. Compare that to the one adult Sci-Fi, H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, and one classic, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Yeah. I know it's great and all to have a nitch-genre, but I kinda feel bad for not going outside my comfort zone. That's not to say that reading YA is a bad thing, 'cause there's plenty of smart, edgy YA choices to make, and if I want to write YA, I have to know what's out there. I just feel like, being 23, I should, you know, get some adult novels. I'm old enough to drink--I think I can handle a grown-up book.

So, I've decided to broaden my reading choices. This is the perfect time, as with the way things are going, I'll have 61 books read by September. Plus, this will help me get through my miles long list of books I want to read. I forced myself yesterday to grab a Stephen King novel (The Green Mile) at the library. (My first Stephen King novel too! Don't judge me!) (Okay, I also walked out with two other YA novels. Again: Don't judge me!) I just have to stop making a beeline for the YA section at the library, and choose books off the adult fiction aisles. Next time, I promise I'll get two adult books. And maybe the last Wicked Lovely book if it's there.
xerinmichellex: ([stock]: books)
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The best book I've read this year is Fool by Christopher Moore. I hardly ever laugh when reading, but this book had me in tears. (The last book to do this was, oddly enough, Christopher Moore's Lamb.) I had to put it down a couple times so I could catch my breath. I plowed through it, and while I never read King Lear, the plot was easy to follow--not to mention highly entertaining. I also kinda wanted to read King Lear afterwards, so bonus points there! Considering I read this in the beginning of the year and am still thinking about it, that's really all there is to say. Also: fuckstockings. Hee!
xerinmichellex: ([stock]: books)
Just because I'm being a writing fiend--or, at least, trying to be one--doesn't mean I don't have a looming stack of books next to my bed. ;)



Top to bottom: My Soul to Save and My Soul to Keep by Rachel Vincent, Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison, Everlost by Neal Shusterman, City of Glass by Cassandra Clare, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins, Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon, and Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Not pictured, but I also have Becca Fitzpatrick's Crescendo, the sequel to Hush, Hush, in the TBR pile.

In case anyone is wondering, why yes, there is a theme among most of the books. And, why yes, that theme applies to my current WIP. Hopefully with the Get the Effin' Thing Done Challenge I can make this pile last to the holidays, upon which I'll get a slew of new books. The corner of my nightstand does not like to be empty; hence why I believe Amazon's 4-for-3 promotion on books was created by the Devil.
xerinmichellex: (Default)
For those out of the loop, Banned Book Week is at the end of September. It was never made a big deal during school--not that I can remember, at least. But I think I went to those dang "radical" schools where the parents complained about nothing. Because censorship interests me, I looked up the banned/challenged book lists for the year I graduated high school and the list for this year (technically May 2009-May 2010) and bolded all the books I've read:

The lists are as follows )

How about you guys? How many on the list have you read?
xerinmichellex: (Default)
Third Death-agon has gone back into hibernation after the passing of Rue McClanahan. He'll come again when we have another set of celebrity deaths--hopefully from the '60's or '70's time period. These '80's icon deaths are making me misty-eyed. Guys, we're down to one Golden Girl. I don't want to live in a world where we have no Golden Girls.

There's no appropriate segue, so...

I need to get a website blocking program on this computer and block Amazon.com. Their 4-for-3 promotion got me again! ARRRGGG! I was just trying to start my Christmas Wish-list (hey! Christmas is going to be here before we know it!) and you had to flash your 4-for-3 promotion all over the books I was selecting. I also bought The Hunger Games--sadly not part of the promotion. ($9-and-some-change is really cheap for a hardcover.)

While also browsing the evil that is known as Amazon.com, I stumbled upon Alison Weir's page and got all lovey-dovey with her Tudor books. Maybe I'm getting sentimental because this is the last season of The Tudors, but lately I've had this desire to read a bunch of Tudor history books. I've always been drawn to that family since being introduced to King Henry VIII and his six wives--a man's got to have a hobby... I just never took the time to read a bunch of books on them, but now I kinda want to. Also, Mary, Queen of Scots is pulling on my heartstrings.

Of course, all this could be my mind's way of distracting me from writing a query letter and the synopsis for my finished manuscript.
xerinmichellex: (Default)
So. The past couple weeks I had a major pile of unexpected shit bury me under, sucking out my mood to blog, write, read, pretty much everything thing. Battling the beginnings of a cold now, I have righted myself and returned back to my "normal" self...sort of. As the title suggests, this post is to discuss two things of little importance (but important to me):

GRRR! READ US!!! )
xerinmichellex: ([stock]: books)
Nothing new to report with my "ultraviolent teenagers" WIP. I was sidetracked this pass week with another finished manuscript--trying to get it ready for querying--and personal stuff. Blah, actual life. But! My research books came Friday, so I am hoping to dive back into the psyche of teenagers.

Those interested, here are the books which will pull everything together. I think...


(L-R: Battle Royale by Koushun Takami,
The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn,
and Children Who Kill by Carol Ann Davis)




(L-R: Inside the Mind of a Teen Killer by Phil Chalmers
and Columbine by Dave Cullen)


I swear they will all fit in...somehow. *crosses fingers* Also, I am really, really surprised the Book Police didn't show up on my doorstop and ask why I bought all these books on school shooters. ("No, officer, I'm not going to go to a school with guns. I'm writing a book where teenagers go postal. ... No, I don't have a literary agent...No, publishing doesn't quite work like that...Yes, officer, I understand. I will refrain from ordering any more teen rampage books. ... No, there are no sparkly vampires in my story. Those aren't even vampires...")

Battle Royale is the one giving me the sweats. (608 pages?! And the print is tiny!) It may be one I put on hold until after WIP is written, just because I cannot read and write at the same time. I either need MY thoughts floating around in my head, or someone else's. My brain is not that advance of a computer where I can process multiple things at once.

I think I'll start "smallest" (Phil Chalmers' Inside the Mind of a Teen Killer) and work to largest (Battle Royale, gulp!). I have one more book on my to-read list; but I'm going to wait until the paperback. Three books on school shooters should be enough, me thinks. Four might be pushing it where Officer Book Police shows up at my door.
xerinmichellex: (Default)
Whew. So glad that first draft is done and out of my system.

I finished my WIP early yesterday at 70,000 words, which will likely expand since I feel like I just dumped a load of crap to say I FINISHED the damn thing, now leave me alone. For some reason I was really questioning my writing abilities during this novel--my biggest issue in getting it done. Maybe I've been hanging around the Absolute Write Forums or author blogs too long, because all I could think about while I wrote was everyone else is writing Shakespearean lines and I'm writing, "See Spot. See Spot run. Run, Spot, run."

For the curious minds, I whipped up this quick synopsis:and my trip to the library )

Also: Just read J.D. Salinger died. I suspect an announcement that a film version of Catcher in the Rye will soon follow--unless his estate has specific instructions to honor his lifelong request to not sell the book rights. Though, reading what his daughter had to say about him...they might be sold in spite.

Also-also: Totally unrelated but, in case anyone wanted to know, Showtime premiered Twilight on Saturday. Within the first 24 hours they played it FOUR TIMES. FOUR! That's twice a day. Plus it's OnDemand. Those sparkles, I tell ya, they spread faster than herpes in the male locker room.
xerinmichellex: (emilie autumn2)
I have been having a mediocre week. I wanted to get a lot of things done, and I feel like nothing has been finished.

1. Still no word from Agent Z, and I am getting worried. Her assistant said to expect a response in 4-6 weeks. Checking Agent Z's profile on Query Tracker and seeing how quickly she positively responds to submission requests, has messed with my head. But, as long as I don't see my SASE in the mail, I think there's hope. Maybe...

2. I am trying extra-extra hard to finish my current WIP by end of October/beginning of November just to have it done. Afterwards, I think I'm going to take the remainder of the year "off". I think I need a mini-break. Yeah, I know, not the best thing for an unpublished, unemployed person to say. With my current WIP, I would have finished three manuscripts this year, with another two in start mode. Truthfully, I think I am about to burn out. Which is REALLY not good. Also not helping to bring a joyous mood is the subject matter of said WIP.

3. I just got an email informing me Emilie Autumn's The Asylum release date has been pushed back to mid-December. ACK! I don't blame Miss Autumn--printing issues happen. It's just delay, after delay, after delay, has occurred. I had this to look forward to at the end of the month, but now two more months have been tacked on. I just want it....

The bright spot is no new Vampire Diaries tonight. No worries to get a recap done tomorrow--so I could focus on writing, since today looks to be a complete wash. Also, I'll be seeing The Vampire's Assistant on Saturday. Yeah or nay? Dear God, I already imagine there will be another new version of the New Moon trailer.
xerinmichellex: (The Vampire Diaries)
I read The Fury, Book 3 in The Vampire Diaries, a couple days ago. I found no mention of a pocket watch, so still stumped on that front. Reading the book has me a little freaked out about Matthew Davis being cast as Alaric Saltzman. I do not see it. I am scared. Also making me scared is how far they can continue the television series. I see three maybe four seasons before the stories run out. That's being generous. Hell, I don't even know how L.J. Smith wrote Dark Reunion considering how The Fury ended.

You have no idea the future I planned for all of us, Stefan. You, me, and Damon. )
Episode 7: "Haunted"
xerinmichellex: (lillian gish2)
Over on the Absolute Write forum, there is a topic on edgy YA. Writing for teens is hard, for many reasons. The most important is nowadays the YA section is more for 12-16 year olds. Older teens, when they want hard novels, go over to the adult section. Many of the YA novels are light, fluffy, chick books where there is a girl--popular or not (mostly not)--in love with a boy--almost always popular--who has a wise cracking side-kick and, at the end of the whole thing, the girl gets the guy. There's very little depth in these types of books. And that is the point. The point is to make teens read when there are other activities to distract them: video games, the internet, television.

Which is why finding Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott in the YA section terrified me. Yes, the narrator is a teenager, but that is the only thing this book has with its similar shelf-mates. Living Dead Girl is amongst the likes of Twilight, Gossip Girl, and The A-List. You thought J.D. Salinger's tale of a wayward teen was disturbing? Living Dead Girl makes The Catcher in the Rye look like CandyLand.

Full Review with little spoilers )
xerinmichellex: ([music]: Emilie Autumn)
I've been up since 6:30 am to see Emilie Autumn perform on WGN. Note to the WGN producers: It would be nice to list what time people are going to be on. I understand you want people to watch the entire broadcast, but I could have slept for another hour. However, kudos for having EA and Madeleine Albright on the same day...which would have made a cool photo-op in the green room.

The lovely Miss Autumn performed on our local news program 3 years ago. I was not a fan at the time, so I was determined to see her and her Blood Crumpets (her "backing band"). All I have to say is Middle Illinois was woken up by her decked out to the nines. Bless you, Emilie Autumn. And bless you for performing your version of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" on live television. Her recorded version can be heard here for those interested. No, I don't think hers as good as the original. But, EA held her own and the song does sound pretty sweet on an electric violin. That girl has Victorian steel balls stockings.

And, WGN, you DID NOT seriously cut her off mid-song to go to a commercial! She even edited out most of the lyrics; so you could have shown the entire song! Be prepared for the Asylum Army. They are loyal muffins. They're coming to poison your tea, WGN!

Only 19 days until her novel, The Asylum, comes out! It's going to be the best $80 I ever spent!

ETA: The videos are now up! "Bohemian Rhapsody" is here and the too-graphic-for-early-morning "Liar" is over here. For some reason, the videos were real jerky until I kept moving my cursor in the upper left corner of the video window. Let's fix that, WGN, m'kay?
xerinmichellex: (Default)
The WIP I was struggling with last week has stalled out. I tend to do this. I get gung-ho about a project after finishing one, I start it, I seem to make lots of progress with the story, and then....nothing. My appetite for the story leaves me. My "muse" wanders off to show me another story she fancies. I'm beginning to think I caught my brother's ADHD.

Watching Ginger Snaps and reading Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead and Blue Moon by Alyson Noel did not help. For the life of me I cannot read another novel and write my own at the same time. Bless those that can. I am just not one of them. The three stories above were a deadly mix because I've had a story in my mind based on supernatural beings for a few months now. Against my protests, that was where my "muse" decided to hang out.

My reluctancy to begin writing this story is quite simple: It is meant to be the first in a series. The manuscript in Query Hell is also the first book in a series. Upon its completion, my whole focus has been to do a stand alone novel as my next one so, if I land an agent for the aforementioned novel, I could go back and focus on my series. Again, bless those authors that can juggle two--or more--series. I don't think I am one of those. In fact, I know I am not one of those. My grand plan was to write one novel per year in The Watchmaker Series. (It's why the sequel has already been completed.) I do not want to be bogged down by two series. Yes, I could always not query the supernatural series. But what's the point in writing it if not to query it, should Agent X or Y or anyone else who wants to join in not represent my current work? I would like to spread these series/all my novel ideas out in fear I'll be burnt out by the time I'm 40. Yeah, probably an overreaction. What can I say; I’m a writer.

Nevertheless, Book One in the supernatural series (coming up with book titles is not my forte) looks to be my next project. Unless my darn muse/story demon decides to walk out on me again... For fun, I've posted the first "chapter" of my new WIP below. It's meant to be a snippet of the main character's journal; so not really Ch. 1. A dreaded prologue, perhaps?

*snipped*
xerinmichellex: (The Vampire Diaries)
I nursed my vampire overdose by reading another vampire YA novel. This time it was Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. Apart from being sick of the word "vampire" showing up in these titles, I've found another gripe:

5. Stop giving vampires mystic powers! I don't want to read another vampire who can see the future, control elements, heal people, hear the inner most thoughts of the girl their obsessed with. I know, I know, Dracula controlled some elements and he was besties with wolves and other lower level animals. That's fine because he didn't flaunt it. I'm so sick of vampires being "one with the Earth". They aren't suppose to be. Their the world's rejects--forced to live on the plane of existence by feeding off of life itself. That's enough for me. Quick reflexes, superhuman hearing, and impressive strength are okay. Just knock it off with the psychic abilities, please.

Vampire Academy wasn't that bad. Richelle Mead got me at the "forbidden love" nonsense. Don't look at me like that! It’s not between a mortal and vampire. I'm sorry, but nothing beats two people from not being together because their love would jeopardize their sacred duty of protecting her best friend. Nothing! I'm such a loser...

Also-also: The Vampire Diaries pilot < last night's episode. I'm still wavering between continual watching the show; and yet, if VD keeps up its slow rise of getting better, it might become a not-so guilty pleasure of mine. Lots of stuff went down, including character reversals, baaaaaad vampire shenanigans, and a renewed hope that producers actually know what their doing with the changes they've made.

The comet is a sign of impending doom... )

Episode 3: "Friday Night Bites"
xerinmichellex: (Dracula)
My WIP and I are going through issues right now. We are working them out...separately...and currently not on speaking terms. I don't know how long we're going to glare at each other from across the room. The WIP isn't dead to me, per se, but he's on life support at the moment. (Just got off the AW boards where we were talking about dead manuscripts. A lot of medical analogies were thrown around, so pardon the dramatic sounds of above. I have not been having that great of a week.)

What's a girl to do? She--me in this case--finishes reading The Vampire Diaries: The Struggle. I'm going to say it here, on LJ, on the internet tubes where someone can dig it out if I ever become a successful writer to mock me with: I prefer The Vampire Diaries over Twilight. Before the firing squad preps their rifles, let me say that VD is the lesser of two evils. Dracula will forever be the best vampire novel, period. Respect your classics, people.

Does feeding off a girl other than your girlfriend mean you're cheating? )

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