Category Archives: Booking Through Thursday
Bah humbug! No, really, I love Christmas. I’m sitting at work right now in a holiday shirt and antler horns headband because today is our Christmas party and we can win prizes if we make fools of ourselves. (I have no dignity. High school burnt it out of me.) My cubicle is decorated. My apartment deck has garland strung around it and I have a pretty wreath on my front door. I love Christmas. Christmas is just something that happens to other people. Since the death of my maternal Grandmother, the whole holiday thing has fallen to the wayside. I won’t bore you with details but my family is small and doesn’t really bother with that anymore. I know. It depresses me too.
It’s been years since I’ve actually shopped for gifts for my family and even though my mother is a veracious reader, she has a Kindle and prefers to read off of that. I guess I could get her a gift card but what’s the point in that? She also reads romances, which bore me to tears. When I was a teen I used to get gift cards to bookstores because nobody wanted to be bothered to actually go out and get the books themselves. When I was about 12 or 13 years old my Uncle and Aunt (this is back when my Grandparents were alive and we actually made an effort to gather for the holidays) gave me a couple books. (One of which had an incestuous relationship in it. I don’t think they looked too closely at what they were buying.) So, no, I don’t expect to be getting any books this year. I expect to be handed a check, which will be spent on gas and groceries because being an adult sucks.
I am, however, giving a book as a gift. My friend Jamie’s little daughter is about a year and a half old and she will be getting a copy of The Little Prince from me. Allyson is already amazingly talkative and I know Jamie works with her none stop to develop those skills. Everyone needs their own copy of The Little Prince. A couple months ago I gave her a colors book with an Alice in Wonderland theme and now she can point to all the pictures and say the colors. She can even tell the Cheshire Cat is both pink and purple and that Alice’s dress is blue and her hair is yellow. She’s a good kid. (As long as she’s had her nap.) I thought about getting her the Horton Hears a Who popup book but it said ages 3 and up and I thought she’d tear it to pieces at her age. I’ll wait a few more birthdays to give her that.
Two similar questions this week: Overall, what factor most influences your choice of your next read? What is it that makes you want to read a book by an author you have never read before?
It’s got to have an interesting element that I’ve never seen before. Right now I’m devouring I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga and while I’m not a huge, huge fan of mystery, I had to read this book because of the interesting take on the classic mystery formula and the fascinating male main character. It’s a mystery with a killer’s perspective. That little twist is making for an awesome read. I don’t read much contemporary fiction, I’m more a fantasy girl, so it has to have an interesting hook to catch me. It’s the same when looking at authors. Life is too short to be reading boring books. Books with generic plots or stereotypical characters won’t get a second look from me.
What are some things I look for when I pick up a book? I present you, a mini list!
1) A male main character. A lot of YA books have female main characters but I’ve noticed I have more luck with books that have male main characters. A book with a male main character will have a better chance with me.
2) Does it have a fantasy element? Reading is an escape and the farther I can get from reality, the better. I enjoy fantasy books more than contemporary fiction for this reason.
3) Does this character sound like they’re going to annoy the hell out of me? Female characters often have several behaviors that drive me up the wall. They are avoided at all costs. Same goes for two dimensional males and small, irritating children.
4) Stupid romance? Instant true love just because she’s beautiful and he’s hot? I’ll pass. Thanks.
5) The Comma Rule. Open the book and flip through. Does it look like the author is using commas correctly? Yes? Then you’re good to go. The book is probably passingly well-written.
How is it possibly possible that a short week can feel so bloody long! I can’t believe it’s only Thursday. It should be Friday. This is the longest week ever and we weren’t even at work on Monday. (Memorial Day. It rained. I stayed inside and read.) Ugh. There is some sort of time bubble going on here. I know it. However, it is time for Booking Through Thursday! Enough procrastinating! Let’s book it!
Our prompt for this week is: If you could write a book, what would it be about, and why? (Though, of course, some of you already HAVE.)
I’m a wanna-be writer. (hangs head in shame) I have lots of ideas but rarely ever finish things. I do write fanfiction and I’ve finished a great many of those stories. But for every fanfiction story I finish, there are about 3 others languishing as half done or just a nice idea. It’s the same way with original fiction. Every year in November, I participate in National Novel Writing Month. NaNo, for short, is a month long game, I guess you could call it, where writers write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Or at least we try to. I’ve participated the last 5 years and I’ve reached the 50K mark 3 times. These stories are at least half done. But, inevitably, I lose interest or don’t know what to do with it after that and the story will languish in that state forever more. (headdesk) God, I suck…
Almost all of my fiction stories feature witches or some sort of paranormal element or character. During NaNo I’ve written a Banshee story, 3 different witch stories, and one ghost story told from the ghost’s point of view. I have no shortage of ideas; I just lack a drive. Maybe I need a cheerleader? Somebody to crack that whip and make me finish things! This is probably why I’m more likely to finish a fanfiction story than an original story because I post the fanfiction pieces on the internet. Even one comment is pretty much enough to keep me writing something. (See, dear fanfiction readers? Your comments do matter!) All of my stories are fantasy or paranormal.
Why? Well, that’s just how my mind works. I have a very active imagination. (An imagination I wished would slow down because it’s always racing to the next idea before I get a chance to finish with the current idea. I have the shortest attention span and I bore easily.) I read to escape. So the further away from the real world a book can take me, the better I like it. All my story ideas function the same. They are created for the sense of the fantastic and unreal. I don’t read much contemporary fiction for this reason. If I wanted realism, I’d stay here. But here is boring with work and bills and leaking faucets and humidity that is killing my hair. So, I read and write fantasy. As for why I write at all? Well, if I didn’t write at least some then I’m pretty sure my head would just explode and nobody wants to clean up that mess.
Happy Thursday everybody! The regular receptionist at work has the next two days off, which means I now get to come in early and stay late to handle both the phones and my normal job. Since the front desk and the printer are nowhere near each other, I get to run back and forth between them in order to handle the drawings that print out. I’ll be lucky if I get to eat lunch on the fly today and we’re having a bbq lunch for Memorial Day. This stunning example of managerial incompetence is brought to you by “the people who make decisions” in my office. Otherwise known as “the people who are so removed from the actual functioning part of this office that their dumb decisions are harmful.” Or “the Morons”, for short. Anyway, time for Booking Through Thursday!
Our question this week: Do you have any pets that have a name inspired by your readings? If not, what would you pick if you DID? Do any of your friends have book-based names for their pets? (Or their children?)
I have a cousin who named her daughter Emma but I’m not sure if it was for the literary character or because of Emma Watson from the Harry Potter movies. (She’s not the brightest crayon in the box, if you get my drift. I doubt she even knows who Jane Austen is, let alone picked up a book by her.) I had a fish that I named Elrond when I was a teen. (The movies were just coming out and I had reread the books just before.) He was a blue Siamese fighting fish. You know, those fish that have the long pretty tails? I had three goldfish I named Frodo, Pippin, and Merry but they didn’t last very long. Elrond lived for almost 6 years but the Hobbits all died within a week. Goldfish don’t live long with me for some reason. I’m like goldfish death.
I can’t think of any other pets named for literary characters. If I ever get a calico cat I’m so naming her Alice. Or one of those white cats that have one blue eye and one green eye. I’m weird.
It’s entirely possibly I’m going to have to kill a co-worker today, so if you don’t hear from me ever again it’s because I’m in jail for homicide. I swear it will be justified. Anyway, happy Thursday everybody! It’s a beautiful day in the midwest of America and I’m stuck inside an office with windows that do not open. Lovely. But, being Thursday that means it is once again time for Booking Through Thursday. So, without further ado…
Our question for this week is: If you had to choose to live within a novel, which would it be?
Tough one. I don’t want to pick a novel I’d be unhappy in! I need plumbing and air conditioning. But, since nobody ever seems to need to shower or go to the bathroom in books, I’m going to assume I don’t need to worry about that either. Would I be completely bonkers if I said Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland? Yes? Well, okay then. I’m already mad, mad, mad. I also have a deep obsession with Alice in Wonderland and anything Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). I’d fit right in! And I want to wear a frilly blue dress and talk with cryptic caterpillars and play croquet with flamingos. Mostly I just want to wear a frilly dress.
(Interesting little fact about me. I’ve dressed up as almost every character from Alice in Wonderland for Halloween at least once. Some of them more than once. I’ve been Alice and the Mad Hatter more times than I can count because they are my favorite. I’ve also been the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and even the March Hare but I kept having to explain the March Hare one and it was very frustrating by the end of the night. Apparently nobody got the straw on top of the head reference. I ended up using most of the March Hare costume for a steampunk getup later on.)
You know, Thursday is a day I could do without. It just gets in the way of Friday. I say we do away with Thursday and just go straight to Friday. How does that sound? I have a huge headache and my jaw hurts and I’d like for this day to end now so I can go home and medicate myself into oblivion. (I have TMJ – this means my jaw is messed up and causes me to have pain sometimes.) But, it is Thursday, no matter how much I would like to make it disappear, and it’s my duty as a book blogger to make a posting for Booking Through Thursday. La. Aren’t I a brave little solider in need of Tylenol? (Shoot me.)
Our prompt for this week is: Do you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert?
Introvert! I could probably do without 99.9% of the Earth’s population right now. I’m perfectly happy to be left on my own for long extended amounts of time. In fact, I prefer it that way. I hate large groups of people. I much prefer being with just one person, possibly two if I’ve known both for a long time. I can handle big groups. Crowds don’t affect me (I’m not scared of them or anything like that) and I can be in a large group of friends just fine. But there is a point where all the chatter and split attention begins to wear on me. Then, I stop talking. If fact, if you see me being quiet and not trying to put in my two cents worth in a conversation anymore, you know I’ve reached maximum people saturation and I am probably wishing you’d all disappear. Generally speaking, I think people are irritating and exhausting. I probably have some mild form of a social disorder. Joy.
But, then, weren’t we all that weird kid who spent too much time in the library at some point in our lives?
This week is just dragging and dragging. We got a pasta lunch at work yesterday but then had to sit through an hour and 25 minutes long “update meeting” about software and sales figures and other crap I’m sure means something to them but is just a bunch of abbreviations and numbers to the rest of us. But I lived and here we come to Thursday. I’m tired and my neck hurts and I can’t wait for this week to be over. But, being Thursday that means it is time for Booking Through Thursday. (Because what is life without book memes?)
Our question for this week is: What are your literary “pet peeves”?
We all have our pet peeves and things that turn us off on a book. I think it would just be easiest to list them.
1. Letter format! Books told completely in letters between characters. I find it irritating because it is so limiting and you always feel like only half the story is there and you’re just being jerked along, like a badly edited film.
2. Too many points of view. I like books to be in third person, but books written in first or second person should only have (at most!) two points of view. There may be more than one side to a story but having too many just makes it confusing or cluttered.
3. Female characters that are too stupid to live. Yes, I know that characters don’t always know everything a reader does but at least have a little common sense and get your head of our your ass.
4. Instant love. Probably 95% of all YA books I read have this in some measure. It’s the situation where boy and girl meet and fall instantly, madly in love and it’s the type of love that can stop wars and save the world. I rarely see a nicely developed relationship that, well, develops.
5. Perfect People. The word “gorgeous” is used in the first sentence to describe them. This is usually the boy, who appears to be nothing more than a great body and killer smile. (Mysterious past optional.) However, the girl is always very pretty with bright blue eyes and lovely hair. Because nobody get pimples in fiction or might be overweight.
6. Authors that put in references to other books, pieces of art, movies, TV shows, or other media and somehow expect the reader to know what the hell they are talking about. That funny scene or vital piece of information won’t make a lot of sense without some explanation! You think everyone might know something but you’d be wrong.
7. Villains who do not have a real reason for being villains. Evil for the sake of evil is boring.
8. Books that are set in exotic locals and yet fail to make me feel as if I’m really there. If the book is set in Europe or Asia, I want to feel as if I’m half-way across the globe while reading that book. Good writers give a reader a sense of location. Great writers make the reader forget they’re sitting on the sofa in the living room.
9. Secondary characters that are cardboard cut outs. They are scenery. They have no personality and are only there to populate the book. That shrub other there is more interesting.
10. Ridiculous science or magic. Science has rules. Magic has rules. Both need a basis in fact to be believable. You might make those facts up, but “because I said so” does not count.
This week’s question is: Ever read a book you thought you could have written better yourself?
(GASP!) That’s my question! Oh my god! I’m going to have to go through everybody’s answers now and see what you all said. I asked this because I wanted to know how many of us book readers were also writers and how that might affect how we read a book. If something in a book doesn’t seem smooth or as defined as we think it should be, does the inner-writer think that if the author had just done this or that then it would have been so much better?
I know I do! If I come across something that seems odd, I think I would have just tossed that part out. Or if there is a section that is just too confusing, I think how a rewrite would have cleaned that right up. I sometimes rewrite whole sections of books in my head. It’s like my worst bad habit. You almost want to reach through the page and move around the words and then shake the author shouting “What were you thinking!” It must be the writer in me. Won’t shut up for anything.
This week’s prompt is: Have you ever written any fan-fiction? If yes, why and for which book(s)? If no, would you like to and for which books(s)? For that matter, do you ever READ fan-fiction??
Oh my god! Another person knows about fanfiction! I must find this person and internet stalk them! (cough) Ok. I’m done.
I both read and write fanfiction. (Fanficiton is a fan created story based on a TV show, movie, or book.) When I was a teenager (oh god, I’m old! When the hell did I get old!), fanfiction was pretty much all I read. I lost entire summers to the internet and fanfiction. I really get into a fandom and exhausted all resources until something else catches my eye. (Ooh shiny!) This has included through the years: several anime series, several 90’s cartoon shows, the Highlander TV show, everything Star Trek, the Lord of the Rings books, the Lord of the Rings movies, the Merlin BBC show, the Sherlock BBC show, the Sherlock Holmes books, any movie Robert Downey Jr. has ever been in including Ironman and the Sherlock Holmes movies, any movie James Mcavoy has ever been in but mostly X-Men First Class, the Grimm TV show, and probably more that I’ve just read but haven’t written anything in. Those listed above are fandoms I’ve both read and written for. Like I said, entire summers were lost to the internet back then. (We had dial-up back then too. You can imagine the arguments about me tying up the phone line 24 hours a day. Evil parents, trying to get me to go outside and play!)
I think the first fanfiction I ever read or wrote was for Sailor Moon. God, there’s a flashback. It was the late 90’s and Sailor Moon was the first taste of anime (Japanese cartoons) I had ever gotten. I was hooked. I spent a stupid amount of money buying DVD’s in the early 2000’s before Netflix caught on and I could get the shows through a rented disk. I still watch a huge amount of anime but it’s less all-consuming now than it was back then. Almost everyone I know has at least read fanfiction from Star Trek. Kirk and Spock are like, the original pairing and Star Trek was really the first show where fanfiction appeared in mass on the internet. Now, sites like livejournal and fanfiction.net allow for easy access and posting. Anyone with half a brain cell has posted some sort of fanfiction these days.
Why read fanfiction, you ask? Yes, some of it is completely stupid and shifting through the crap to find a good story can be exhausting but fanfiction is just the extension of the original source material. It’s a way to continue to immerse ourselves in the TV show, movie, or book after it’s done. It’s a way to get your own ideas out there and let your imagination run wild. In many ways, people find writing fanfiction easier because the characters are already there. Others find it harder because you are trying to match your writing to a character that already exists, trying to get the character’s ‘voice’ right. I mostly read and write fanfiction because it allows me to play out scenarios that would never have happened in the original source material, like a certain relationship or being able to focus on what was a secondary character. Fanfiction is like toys everyone can play with.
Our question for this week is: If you had to pick only 5 books to read ever again, what would they be and why?
That is a cruel question! End of the world for sure! What if I had a series bound in one book? Because I have the three Lord of the Rings books in one big, fat edition. Does that count as one? I’ll count that as one. Let’s see. What else?
Witchlanders by Lena Coakley because it is still my favorite book.
The Graveyard Book because I adore Neil Gaiman and need something from him.
Ummm… (God this is hard!)
Okay, this book requires a bit of explanation. There was a TV show a few years ago, Stargate: Atlantis, where a group of people are sent to another galaxy without a guarantee they could get back to Earth. One of the main characters takes War and Peace with him as his personal item and it’s a running joke in the fandon that he’s been reading the book for years. I like irony. Plus I’ve never read War and Peace. So, that will be my fourth book.
For my fifth book I’m going to cheat again became I’m evil that way. I have the works of Sherlock Holmes in one, big fat edition too. If I’m only going to have five book for the rest of eternity, I’m going to make them count.
1) Lord of the Rings collection edition.
2) Witchlanders by Lena Coakley.
3) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
4) War and Peace.
5) Sherlock Holmes collection edition.
Although, I want you all to know that if the world does end and I really only have five books to read for the rest of my life than I might just go a bit insane and there’s no guarantee I’ll be fit company afterward. Fair warning.