RSS

Category Archives: Reviews & Recommendations

Got Writer’s Block?

I love to write. I do. Create stories and different characters. But at times I find myself stuck. Sometimes it’s because it’s a complicated scene I’m having a hard time describing in a way I find satisfying. At other times it’s because I feel like my knowledge is not enough and I need to stop to do some research on the subject before I can continue with it.

However, from time to time, as I proceed with a story, I’ll find myself stuck for no reason at all. Or so it seems. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what’s wrong or how to continue, and that’s why I found this map by NY Book Editors very helpful.

Book Editor Map

And of course, sometimes I’m just procrastinating. Sometimes I’m just finding excuses not to write because I think there’s something else I need to do or because I see something shiny. Sometimes I walk to the table to get some paper and a pencil (yes, I write with a mechanical pencil and I have lots of them all over the house, just in case) and then I look out the window and “Look! A squirrel!” And the squirrel is eating and that makes me hungry so I have to find something to eat. But should I eat something sweet or not? Maybe a yogurt. Or cottage cheese. I’ve been eating a lot of cottage cheese later, that thing is addicting. Now I’m thirsty, let me get something to drink. And that’s how my ADD mind works. And now you’re probably both hungry and a little dizzy. You’re welcome.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Anya’s Ghost

anyas-ghostHave you read it? I’m not going to lie, I don’t usually read graphic novels. I saw the name Vera Brosgol somewhere, saw she was involved with the film Coraline (as storyboard artist) and was curious, so I looked for her as an author at my library’s website. That’s how I found Anya’s Ghost.

The cover was interesting and so I decided to give it a try. It started out as a story about a girl having a hard time fitting in at high school. Then she skips school and falls down a well. This is the moment you yawn, right? Not really.

Inside the well there’s a skeleton. And the skeleton has a ghost. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering the title of the book, of course. But who is this ghost? Is she a friendly ghost? What’s her motivation to do what she’s doing?

I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, so I’ll just say I really enjoyed the book. And don’t try to speed-read it. Take your time and enjoy the pictures, the expressions, the looks, they are all there for a reason.

If you’re curious about the author, you should check out her website: verabee.com.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

And then this finally happened

And so I went to a book signing. And it was awesome!

It was for Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened paperback book tour. She told us a bit about other signings from her book tour, read a chapter of her book, and answered questions from the audience. Jenny was amazing. She handled it like a pro and made us all laugh. A lot.

And yes, that is Copernicus the homicidal monkey trying to steal my book. Not happening, Copernicus.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Book Thief

book-thief_custom-5556fa04c9c8b2854fecdce5f096940a892255db-s6-c10The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, is the story of Liesel Meminger, a blonde girl with dark brown eyes, living with a foster family in Germany during World War II. But the most interesting thing is the narrator of the story: Death.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul. (Random House)

It’s just a small story really, about, among other things:

* A girl
* Some words
* An accordionist
* Some fanatical Germans
* A Jewish fist fighter
* And quite a lot of thievery

I saw the book thief three times.

A long time ago my grandmother was reading this book and insisted I read it. At the time I was busy with other things and found excuses not to do so. Then last December I saw the title again and decided to give it a try. But I read about a third of it and had to return the book to the library. At the end of January I got the book again and devoured the last two-thirds of it.

When I was done reading the last page I felt this emptiness inside of me. Do you know what I mean? It was as if I had been in a cave and had suddenly emerged from it. My eyes took their time getting used to the light of day once again. That’s how I felt. I held the book in my hands and just said the last line of the book in my head.

I loved it! And that made me really, really sad.

You see, I love libraries. Love them! I love going to the library and just touching the books on the shelves. I love the ability of reading anything I want without having to worry about money. To be honest, if I could, I’d buy all the books I want to read. But unfortunately I don’t make that much money. And that’s why libraries are so amazing, because they are for everyone, regardless of how much money they make.

But every now and then, when I read a book I truly enjoy, I get sad because I know I have to return the book. It’s not my book to keep. Is this silly? Maybe it is. But it’s okay. At least I have one more book to add to my ever-growing list of books to buy even though I’ve already read them.

If you have a chance, read it. It truly is an unforgettable story.

A few quotes:

“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”

“If only she could be so oblivious again, to feel such love without knowing it, mistaking it for laughter.”

“I guess humans like to watch a little destruction. Sand castles, houses of cards, that’s where they begin. Their great skills is their capacity to escalate.”

“I like that every page in every book can have a gem on it. It’s probably what I love most about writing–that words can be used in a way that’s like a child playing in a sandpit, rearranging things, swapping them around. They’re the best moments in a day of writing — when an image appears that you didn’t know would be there when you started work in the morning.”

“Can a person steal happiness? Or is just another internal, infernal human trick?”

“You cannot look afraid. Read the book. Smile at it. It’s a great book – the greatest book you’ve ever read.”

“I am haunted by humans.”

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Signed copies

i-died-once-coverDo you like books? Of course you do! If you didn’t… well… who doesn’t, right? I always believed that people who say the don’t like to read is because they spent their lives reading what [insert here name of school/ adult/ organization] told them to and never ventured out there to find something else. The fact that someone likes a book doesn’t make that book perfect for you. And sometimes we must read the book ourselves to see what we think of it. Have you ever seen how many different opinions you can find if you try to find reviews from books?

So how do you feel about copies signed by the author? Pretty cool, huh? I couldn’t care less about autographs from celebrities (sorry guys) but I love books signed by the authors.

Okay, so James Mahoney has a deal on his website for signed copies of his books. You can click on the book titles to know more about them. On his website, not here, of course.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Life is about the little things that make us happy, right?

Sorry about the last post, people. I was feeling down and just had to vent a little. I try to remind myself that things happen when they are supposed to happen, that there’s a reason for everything, and that there’s also a right time for everything, and that it’s not up to us to decide when and how things are going to happen. I believe that if I’m here and if things are the way they are is because that’s how it’s all supposed to be. Not that I think we should all sit back and wait for everything to just magically solve itself, but that there are things we can’t control simply because we can’t really grasp all the future consequences of our choices.

We constantly ask ourselves if things would be different had we chosen a different path, and to that I think the answer is yes, things would be. Had I married my high school sweetheart I would be in a completely different place right now. Had I married my ex-fiance I would have never moved here. Had I not decided to move from my hometown to a place where I literally knew no one, things would certainly not be the same. But can I say things would be better? No, I can’t. And to be honest, I believe that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. No, things didn’t turn out the way I expected them to, but they are a result of the choices I made in life. And for now that’s good enough for me.

So moving on, guess what great news I have just received that made me do a little happy dance? I’ll be seeing Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess in March! She’ll be on a book tour and will finally come to my town! Not only that, but she’ll be here on a day I can actually go see her. It’s the “now in paperback” book tour of her book (well, what else could it be, right?). In case you’re wondering, yes, I do have her book (hardcover) already, and yes, I will be getting a new one (paperback). Why? Because there’s a new chapter in the paperback and I just have to see it. That’s why.

Anyway, I’m really excited! It will be a great way to celebrate my birthday.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Passenger

Okay, since I’m a little obsessed with in love with enjoying looking for new animated short films all over the interwebs, here’s another one:

The Passenger is an animated short film by Chris Jones. It was an one-man project created between 1998-2006. You can find out how and why at chrisj.com.au, where you can also see all kinds of info on the making of the film, including useless information, which was the first link I checked. What does that say about me? Never mind, better not know.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: