Month: August 2014

Reading/Watching/Gaming/Etc August 2014

Posted August 31, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Other People's Creations / 3 Comments

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Monthly Round-up. The text 'monthly round-up' beneath a wrapped package. What I've been up to the past month.

August kind of ran away from me for some reason. But, still, I can’t really complain, as you’ll discover below. The goals post will be up a few days later than normal, just as a heads-up, and the Reading Month will have a final round-up post in the second week of September. (So if you wanted to join in and haven’t yet read a book, I’ve just snuck you in another week and a bit. I won’t tell.)

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Book Talk: Pantomime

Posted August 29, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 2 Comments

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Pantomime by Laura LamOut of all the books on my pile, Pantomime is by far the one that I was most scared of reading. Not because I didn’t think the book would be a good match for me, but because I had it in my head that one of my friends absolutely loved this book. I’d be sad to find out that I didn’t at all like a book my friends, or one of them, absolutely adored. It happens rather a lot. I did not, so very much did not, want that to happen with this book. So I put it off until the very end because I’m a scaredycat and I didn’t want to find out that I wasn’t loving a book a friend did yet again.

I needn’t have worried. Pantomine is probably my favourite August read. (It does touch on my pet peeve somewhat, but hey I have reasons for the first person narrative. I can be content.) I still haven’t figured out why I thought one of my friends adored the book, though. Anyway! What’s it about.

R.H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass – remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone – are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimeras is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star. But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

Below the cut lie spoilers. Some of them won’t actually be that spoilery in that Lam lays the foundations for them pretty much from the beginning and, as far as I can judge them, does so pretty well. (But I’m cisgendered, so please put the appropriate weight on that comment. I could easily be wrong.)

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Book Talk: Essence

Posted August 27, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Cover for Essence by Lisa Ann O'KaneWhen I went over all the books I could choose from, Essence is one of the books that I hesitated over because I wasn’t sure whether I was going to like it. It didn’t sound like the things that I usually read, after all, but it sounded quite interesting all the same. I’m glad I gave the book a chance.

Neutrality is the key to longevity.

This motto has governed 16-year-old Autumn’s life in the mid-21st-century Centrist cult, which believes that expressing emotions leads to Essence drain and premature death.

But Autumn’s younger brother’s death casts her faith into question. While sprinting through a park in violation of Centrist teachings, she encounters Ryder Stone, an Outsider who claims Essence drain is nothing more than a Centrist scare tactic. She agrees to join his Community, a utopia of adrenaline junkies living in the abandoned remains of Yosemite National Park.

Autumn learns about sex, drugs, and living life to the fullest. But as she discovers dark secrets beneath the Community’s perfect exterior, she realises that this illusion of paradise could be shattered…

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Reading Month Week 3

Posted August 25, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Banner for the Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Reading Month in August, 2014

Can someone tell me what happened to week 2, please? Because I think I kind of missed it. (I honestly have no idea what happened to it. I’m sorry!) I’m tempted to leave the round-up for the end of the month now since I’m already late, but I won’t. I’m a terrible-enough hostess as it is. Instead, I shall show you where I’m at with my pile:

Read

  • Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon
  • Playing Tyler by T. L. Costa
  • Stolen Songbird by Danielle Jensen
  • Feather Bound by Sarah Raughley
  • Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
  • Pantomime by Laura Lam
  • Essence by Lisa Ann O’Kane

Still Unread

  • Nada!

Yep. That’s right. I’ve read the lot! Well, almost. There’s actually one I didn’t finish on there. And I got a few more to read later. I won’t be able to read any of them before the end of the month (boo! Why’s it going so fast?), but if you’re curious… Newly aquired (or soon to be acquired) are…

  • Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier
  • Under Nameless Stars by Christian Schoon
  • Shadowplay by Laura Lam

I still want a few more from the backlist, but, um, I’m kind of out of emergency book funds. ^_^;

How about you? Did the second week of the reading month run away from you too? How has it been going so far? Did you get to any of the books you were hoping/planning to get? Did you read something else that was so good it pulled you away from the month? If so, what was it?

If you’ve posted or shared anything related to the reading month, drop a note in the linky provided below or leave a comment! I hope you’ve all been having a lot of fun!

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Book Talk: Playing Tyler

Posted August 20, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Cover for Playing Tyler by T L CostaOut of all the books I picked up for the reading month, I have to admit that this is one I’d pegged most likely to put it down because of a mismatch of taste and interests. You can’t be right all the time, though. (Well. I can’t, anyway.) And this is a case where I am… both right and wrong in equal measures.

Let’s start off with the description because it feels pretty durned long compared to the others I’ve shared so far.

Tyler MacCandless can’t focus, even when he takes his medication. He can’t focus on school, on his future, on a book, on much of anything other than taking care of his older brother, Brandon, who’s in rehab for heroin abuse… again.

Tyler’s dad is dead and his mom has mentally checked out. The only person he can really count on is his Civilian Air Patrol Mentor, Rick. The one thing in life it seems he doesn’t suck at is playing video games and, well, that’s probably not going to get him into college.

Just when it seems like his future is on a collision course with a life sentence at McDonald’s, Rick asks him to test a video game. If his score’s high enough, it could earn him a place in flight school and win him the future he was certain that he could never have. And when he falls in love with the game’s designer, the legendary gamer Ani, Tyler thinks his life might finally be turning around.

That is, until Brandon goes MIA from rehab and Tyler and Ani discover that the game is more than it seems. Now Tyler will have to figure out what’s really going on in time to save his brother… and prevent his own future from going down in flames.

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A More Diverse Universe

Posted August 17, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 2 Comments

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A More Diverse Universe Banner (September 14-27)

I’m just going to copy over the text from the original sign-up post.

For those who have not heard about #Diversiverse before, it’s a very simple challenge.  For those of you who have participated in the past, it’s even easier this year.  The criteria are as follows:

  • Read and review one book
  • Written by a person of color
  • During the last two weeks of September (September 14th – 27th) 

And that’s it. Any genre goes, any book goes provided it was written by a person of colour. Aarti links some really good posts on reading more diversely in the sign-up post, so please do take a moment to check them out. I’ll quote Aarti again:

You may have to change your book-finding habits to include POC authors in your reading rotation.  You absolutely do not need to change your book-reading habits.

I’m not officially joining because I can’t guarantee the review aspect of the event. We’ll see how it goes. It’ll be fun, anyway. ^_^ Come join #Diversiverse this September!

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Seven Deadly Sins (of Reading) Meme

Posted August 15, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 2 Comments

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Thoughts. The text 'rambling thoughts' underneath a burning lantern. For rambles, thoughts, and not-essays.

I found this one The Bibliophibian and it looked like fun. ^_^

GREED – What is your most inexpensive book?

Aside from the ones I’ve received for free for whatever reason? I don’t actually know. Probably either one of the $0.99 ebooks that convert to goodness knows what or the various ¥100 manga I bought when I was 17.

WRATH – What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

Terry Pratchett, I guess. I hated and loathed and routinely threw his books (borrowed from the library, I might add) against the wall not five pages in every time I tried. Up until about the time that The Last Hero came out and I decided to give his works just one more try. And then it shifted over into love of all things Discworld at least.

Other than that… I suppose there’s Tolkien where it really depends on the mood I’m in even for rereads. Either I get along with the style and have a blast or it frustrates me terribly, so I tend to swing about between loving his work and hating it in equal measures just because they’re very much mood books. (But only if they’re The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings. As of yet, the only time I’ve been in the mood for The Silmarillion has been when it was an audiorecording of Tolkien reading bits of it. And friends who know my bookishness well know that I am so not an audiobook person. I get flitty and antsy and wishing there was a triple speed option, but Tolkien reading things? Nary a twitch.)

GLUTTONY – What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?

I’m not a big rereader nowadays, but that honour definitely belongs to the aforementioned Hobbit and LotR. I reread those books endlessly as a child. When I wasn’t rereading them, I was probably rereading my copy of Grimm’s fairytales.

SLOTH – What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?

Er… I’m going to say The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione since I have yet to get around to it and it’s probably the one that’s been on my shelves unread the longest. But it’s more a case of not being very fond of nonfiction and finding lots of other shinies than outright laziness, I think.

PRIDE – What book do you talk most about to sound like an intellectual reader?

Wait, I sound like an intellectual reader? Honestly, if I wanted to sound like an intellectual reader, I would remind you all that I have an MA in British literature in general, not focus on just a single book. That leaves the playing field wide open for many of the classics, though. Oh! Oh! I know! Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. Because most lit students hate that book when it’s assigned (for understandable reasons; it is… very much not like anything modern readers would expect, even in an epistolary and it is boring as heck if you treat it the way you would a modern book), but I quite liked it. (I also made my way through Genjimonogatari, albeit it in translation, which gets me the pretentious honour of babbling about how I read what is possibly the oldest and longest book ever written. It took me something like a year and a half.)

So I suppose either Clarissa or The Tale of Genji goes.

LUST – What attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters?

Kindness, compassion, intelligence… I like well-rounded characters that seem like fun people to be around or be friends with, really. Beyond that I’m not too picky.

ENVY – What book would you most like to receive as a gift?

Em. Er. Um. Um. Um. I don’t know? A book that I’ll fall head-over-heels in love with and want to run around recommending to everyone in all the world because I love it that much? But I don’t know what book that is. No, you know what. This book. The Lord of Rushie River and Simon the Swan by Cicely Mary Barker. The first story in this book is one of my favourite stories ever and I’d never heard of the second until I came across that volume. (Also, my copy of The Lord of Rushie River is all tatty with age and rereading now and it’s a paperback. T_T)

This was fun! And harder than I expected it to be. (I should do a version with games. That should be a lot easier for me to fill in.)

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Book Talk: Zenn Scarlett

Posted August 13, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Books, Other People's Creations / 0 Comments

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Zenn Scarlett by Christian SchoonI kind of maybe possibly potentially perhaps mayhaps juuuuuuuuuust perchance want a rikkaset. Katie is my favourite part and favourite character of the whole book. (This will not surprise some of my friends in the least.) But. But. Go read this book and then come back and tell me you don’t want a rikkaset too. I DARE YOU.

*ahem* That out of the way (Can I have a rikkaset of my very own? Please, universe?), what is Zenn Scarlett about? Teenage apprentice exovets! Okay, that’s not helpful, sorry. Here you are, have a proper summary written by someone else entirely:

Zenn Scarlett is a bright and occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. She specializes in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. Her novice year of training at the Ciscan Cloister Exovet Clinic on Mars was going well – until there are a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school that Zenn finds herself blamed for. As if this isn’t enough to be dealing with, her father vanishes under strange circumstances, and Zenn is worried that she has started hearing the thoughts of the creatures around her… With the help of Liam, a towner boy, and Hamish, an alien bug also training at the clinic, Zenn must try to find her father, rescue the animals and unravel the mystery of who is behind the attacks on the school. And all without failing her first year.

As an additional note: I don’t think this contains any spoilers. Maybe something that leans towards being a spoiler, but is vague enough to pass as not-a-spoiler.

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Week 1 of the Reading Month

Posted August 10, 2014 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Banner for the Strange Chemistry and Exhibit A Reading Month in August, 2014

So far my reading month has been going pretty well! I’m really impressed with myself! Let me divide my original pile into two for you!

Read

  • Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon
  • Playing Tyler by T. L. Costa
  • Stolen Songbird by Danielle Jensen
  • Feather Bound by Sarah Raughley

Still Unread

  • Blackwood by Gwenda Bond
  • Pantomime by Laura Lam
  • Essence by Lisa Ann O’Kane

That puts me at half-way through my list! :O I feel like I’ve been focusing on stand-alones, even though it’s been a 50/50 split between stand-alones and first-in-a-series books. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get to Under Nameless Stars before the end of the month, but I hope so!

So far, most of my reading has been a lot of fun. I haven’t fallen head-over-heels for anything I’ve read yet (unless you count rikkasets, in which case I did), but I’ve been having a lot of fun with everything I’ve read. I’m pretty happy that I decided to dedicate the month to reading my stack of Strange Chemistry books (and sadly still have no recommendations for Exhibit A Books. Anyone want to help me out there? Please?) because I would’ve been sad to wait with experiencing these books.

The only review I’ve got up so far has been for Stolen Songbird, but I’ve been scheduling them throughout the month. I don’t want to post them as I finish and then leave the rest of August go by with only the round-ups.

How about you? How has your reading month been going so far? Did you get to any of the books you were hoping/planning to get? Did you read something else that was so good it pulled you away from the month? If so, what was it?

If you’ve posted or shared anything related to the reading month, drop a note in the linky provided below or leave a comment! I hope you’ve all been having a lot of fun!

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