Thoughts on Books

I’ve read a lot this year- an amazing 98 books.  I’ll definitely hit 100 next month- if I read anyway, which I probably will.  Knowing me, and my obsessively large (495 books and counting) to-read list, I’ll definitely read some number over 100.  I need to start making a dent in that to-read list after all.

A majority of the books I’ve read this year can be classified as either children’s books or young adult books, and there’s something I’ve noticed.

Why does everything seem to have at least a sequel?!  Some books have had a sequel, others are a part of some sort of series.  Some of the “Adult” books I’ve read have been a part of series too, so it’s not just children/young adult arena that’s guilty of this.  But children/young adult being the largest genre I’ve read…that’s probably why I’m noticing it.

*Random, but very important note: From here on out, a series will refer to books that have at least 2 books in it.

How hard is it to come up with an idea that’s contained in one book?  Why is there a need to have so many series?  It’s really overwhelming, especially since a lot of them don’t seem to have some kind of numbering or ordering system.  Like, the Vampire Academy Series or the Pretty Little Liars series.  There doesn’t seem to be any indication on the covers as to which number in the series it is.  At least there’s a “here’s what’s coming next” at the end of each Pretty Little Liars book.  But since I’m requesting a lot of books from other libraries, I’m utterly clueless as to which book is first and second and so on.  I seriously need to have a list of the order right next to me.  Google and Wikipedia help, since I can google the series to figure out the order.  It’s really not that much work, but it’s still frustrating.

But back to why everything I’m reading seems to be part of a series.  Is it because series are just insanely popular, or is it the types of books I’m reading?  I am reading a lot of historical fiction/fantasy/historical fantasy and supernatural/paranormal books.  Do these genres lend themselves to being a part of a series or are young adult authors really unable to wrap up their story in a few hundred pages?  Some of the authors I’ve read or want to read seem to have multiple series.  It’s like their mind works in series, and not in something that stands alone.  A combination of all of these questions seem likely- a mix of reading certain genres, series being popular, storylines that can’t be wrapped up in one book, and quite possibly marketing.  Honestly, I don’t want to think about the role marketing has.

And why is there a lot of title: a novel?  Is adding a novel after the title necessary?  I think not, because I feel like I’m pretty good at figuring what is a novel and isn’t a novel.  Is it a way of distinguishing themselves from all the series out there?  Or is there some other reason?  I just don’t understand!

I think that’s enough ranting and raving for now…I’ll need to save up my ranting and raving energy for November, when I’ll need it the most!

And The Dreams Keep Coming

Over the last few months, I’ve had a few dreams where I’ve been at a grocery store.  According to Dream Moods, shopping for groceries means that I’m currently lacking some emotional or physical need- I might be in need of nurturance and/or fulfillment.  That’s what I get for writing in my journal about how anxious and worried I am right before I go to bed.  But to a certain degree, it is right. 

Or maybe it just means I’m not at all prepared for disasters, as evidenced by the ranom county-wide power outage last week.  Especially when it comes for food. 

I also had this dream a few days ago where I was running around this really weird looking locker room because there were 3 guys chasing me.  It was implied that I was attacked (or at least the very least, they tried).  I couldn’t get their names right, so no one could do anything about it.  The guys were happy about this.  One of the guys I met (but wasn’t after me- there were several men that I met that weren’t chasing after me), smiled at me, like he was going to try to do something terrible to me. 

Then I was randomly in a lecture hall, where the professor specialized in dead babies, especially orange leathers. 

And then I was at my house, where one of the neighbors came over in the middle of the night to tell me that one of my rearview lights was on.  I moved my car a little, and one of my tires was all weird.  Not flat, but something was wrong with it.  And then my battery died, and the neighbor said he’d fix it.  I woke up after that. 

I have no idea where to begin with that dream, but it was weird.  Especially the 2nd part, with the professor who specialized in dead babies/orange leather.  The dream wasn’t exactly clear on that, so I have no idea what the connection between the dead babies and the orange leather was. 

At least my dreams are somewhat entertaining.

The Dreaming, Volume 3

Book: The Dreaming, Volume 3 by Queenie Chan

Pages: 192 (Paperback)

What Did I Think? This is my favorite volume in the trilogy.  I was thoroughly creeped out by the end of the book!

We learn about the fairy king, which is told to Amber by Millie, the girl who died in the first book.  There was an orphan girl, who lived in a house with her stepmother and stepsister, and they’d look her into a small cupboard whenever she did something wrong.  To escape from them, she would take long walks into the woods, but her stepmother and stepsisters didn’t like the forest, so they never followed her.  One time, she came across the fairy king, who made her his queen, gave her the same powers he did, and she got her wish of revenge.  She went back home, and transformed them into creatures like herself.  It’s a warning that Amber’s possessed, just like Millie was.  We also learn about the Quinkan, who are shape-shifters who can walk through walls and take on the form of people that they have possessed before.  This is how all of the girls have gone missing, and smoke drives the Quinkan away.  We finally see Mrs. Skeener, who tells Jeanie that the school board decided to close down the school.  Mrs. Skeener gets sent to her aunt’s school, and Mary travels to Australia with her.  However, when they get there, they find that their aunt has disappeared.  The students at the school think Mrs. Skeener and her sister should suffer because their aunt got what she deserved.  Mrs. Skeener attacked the other girls after a trip into the bushlands, but her sister disappears days later.  Mrs. Skeener is eventually rescued, and spends years in a sanatorium, until she learns that her father has died, and the school has been left to her.  The school catches on fire, the students and Mrs. Anu escape, but Mrs. Skeener dies in the school that was her home.  Amber suffers from some permanent memory loss, took up painting, and moved to England, while Jeanie went to college and became a paralegal secretary.

The only thing I didn’t like was the epilogue at the end.  I would have been fine with it out, and it certainly wasn’t the ending I expected.  I expected something more creepy and dramatic than what the epilogue gave.  As much as I love horror (and I really need to start reading it again), I don’t feel creeped out very often.  And this book was definitely creepy.  I liked the artwork, and you could feel that there was something hiding in the shadows, waiting for the right moment to pounce.

Rating: 4 out of 5.  Really creepy, and I felt like it finally lived up to the horror genre.

Losing Power Is An Adventure

I totally had a different post in mind, and all planned out, but I decided that I wanted to talk about the joys of power outages instead!

So, I’m writing, just minding my own business.  Lately, I’ve started writing at around 7 pm or so, I have no idea why, but that’s when I feel all creative and stuff.  So, you know, typing, with the tv on in the background, and all of a sudden…tv goes off, lights go off…and…I realize the powers out.  I mean, clearly, right?  I start panicking (just a little) because my battery’s pretty much dead, and I can’t remember if I saved my work.  I tend to save after typing something, so I figure I’m safe until the power comes back on.  And that won’t be long, right?

Wrong…no power for about 4 hours, which isn’t too bad in the grand scheme of things.  It could have been worse, and while I really wanted to actually write, I couldn’t.  So…I started reading, at first by candelight, but that didn’t work out too well, since the candle was bright enough.  I read by flashlight instead, so I’ll have a couple book reviews over the next couple days, because of the reading I managed to do. 

It was really weird, and you don’t realize how much you use technology and electricity until the power’s down.  I was fine, for the most part, since I could read by flashlight, but…it was still weird not writing.  Or watching tv, or surfing the net.  Today is going to be a 2-post day, I’ve suddenly decided to post the book review I have, so enjoy the double posting!

Staring At A Blank Page

I’ve been staring at this post for a while, and I have no clue what to write.  I thought about not doing a post, but I wanted to write about something.  I still have no clue what that is. 

I didn’t do any writing yesterday…I still don’t want to think about yesterday, and I can’t get it out of mind.  A good chunk of the day…I just want to forget about it, and unfortunately, I can’t forget about it.  And I don’t think I will for some time.  I’m trying to take the high road, but it’s something I’m really struggling with right now. 

Hopefully, my writing will be a good distraction for me today, because that’s something I really need right now.  I think that wraps up today’s post, so have a great week.

Unsettled

Yesterday, I had this really unsettling dream.  It started off with me in backyard, and I was a very young child.  There was also a young boy, and then we were magically at a church, and we were in this small room watching tv.  There was this report of this girl who had gone missing a couple years earlier, and what she might look like now.  Then the reporters were talking about a girl who died because she went missing and they couldn’t find her in time.  It turned out they checked some area, and she was in on of the crates, which were conveniently not checked.  The guy who checked that particular area felt guilty because if he looked in the crates, she would have been alive.  I distinctly remember picking out a couple books and some jelly beans being knocked over.

The most unsettling part was when I woke up feeling like I was both of the girls who had gone missing.  I definitely got the impression that the case of the 2 different girls going missing were not related.  I’m not sure what it all means, because sometimes a dream is just dream.  Still, it was really unsettling, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind.

So: for something that’s not weird, Camp is going pretty well, and I’m not behind, but I’m not ridiculously ahead or anthing either.  Still doing some non-Camp writing, but no planning for November stuff.  I’m debating whether I should do it this month or next month.  We’ll see, though.  I really have been saying that a lot lately, haven’t I?  I’m just not really in the mood to do any planning, even though I know I should.

My current wordcount is 10,009.  Week 2 is upon us, and I’m not a big fan of week 2.  Still, I always manage to get through it, which is always amazing.  I’m also anxiously awaiting my pottermore welcome email, and I’m kind of-sort of checking my email obsessively to see if it’s there, even though I know it won’t be here this early.  I suppose it could be, but it would be a big surprise if it were.  They weren’t kidding when they said the clues would get easier over the course of a week.

I think that’s it, so have an amazing day everyone!

More Thoughts About Seeing Deathly Hallows

I have more thoughts about Harry Potter- some stuff I thought was weird, some stuff I wish were included, some stuff I wish were done differently, and some other stuff that I liked about the movie.

  • Why did George have 2 ears?  He should only have one, because the ear that got cursed off wasn’t able to be fixed.  Did he magically get a prosthetic ear or something?
  • Cho Chang: First, she was hiding in the room of requirement, and then she was a student in the Great Hall.  There are two things wrong with this.  One, she should have graduated from Hogwarts, so why is still a student?  Two, if she’s a student, then why would she need to hide in the room of requirement?  It makes no sense.
  • I wished that Harry killed Voldemort in front of an audience.  There was also no celebration either, which was sad.  Harry takes down one of the most evil wizards of all time, and no one seems to care?  How did Harry explain that to everyone?  “Oh, hey guys, I killed Voldemort.  I’m pretty sure he’s dead because he just vaporized.”  The movie was just over two hours, I’m pretty sure they could’ve worked a celebration in there.
  • As much as I loved the duel between Mrs. Weasley and Bellatrix, I expected it to be a lot more epic.  It was still really cool, and I loved how Mrs. Weasley got all don’t-mess-with-Mama-Weasley-or-else. 
  • I loved the soundtrack: it didn’t overpower the movie at all.  In fact, it added a lot to the movie.  I loved hearing Hedwig’s Theme and Harry’s Wondrous World a lot.  And the music definitely added a sense of urgency to all of the battle scenes. 
  • Breaking into Gringott’s and then riding away on the dragon was a fun scene to watch.
  • One thing I thought was really cool was showing how destroying the horcruxes affected both Voldemort and Harry.  And when Harry went to the forest- the scene with him, Ron and Hermione was really touching. 
  • More thoughts on the epilogue (aka, the 19 years later bit): I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I thought it was really well-done.  And honestly, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the epilogue when I read the book…but now I don’t mind as much.  Seeing Harry just be a normal guy, and passing the torch to the next generation was pretty touching.
  • Why didn’t Harry fix his wand with the elder wand?  I suppose they could have filmed it and then it didn’t make the final cut, but again, it is something they could have added without worrying about the length of the movie.
  • Another scene I wished they included was Harry going into Dumbledore’s office.  Would’ve been nice to see Harry talking to Dumbledore’s portrait.
  • I loved Neville’s speech to Voldemort, but I kinda wished that it was a little more like the one in the book.  I definitely expected it to be more in line with the book, but it still made me cry! 
  • Speaking of the chaos of the battle, what was going on with the Slytherins being banished to the dungeons, but none of the younger students being escorted to safety?  Yeah, Voldemort doesn’t care if he kills an 11 or 12 year old (he did try to kill a 1 year old, after all), but really?  Was there no one to escort them to safety? 

Seeing it a second time was amazing!  I still loved it, and I still laughed and cried.  I think it’s one of my top favorite movies in the entire series.