Sunday, 25 December 2011

25122011: In My Mailbox (5)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren
First of all, Merry Christmas guys! I hope you all got lots of books for Christmas, more importantly ones that were on your wishlist ;)
Books Won:
The Monster's Corner: Stories through Inhuman Eyes: An all original anthology from some of today's hottest supernatural writers, featuring stories of monster's from the monster's point of view. In most stories we get the perspective of the hero, the ordinary, the every man, but we are all the hero of our own tale, and so it must be true for legions of monsters, from Lucifer to Mordred, from child-thieving fairies to Frankenstein's monster and the Wicked Witch of the West. From our point of view, they may very well be horrible, terrifying monstrosities, but of course they won’t see themselves in the same light, and their point of view is what concerns us in these tales. Demons and goblins, dark gods and aliens, creatures of myth and legend, lurkers in darkness and beasts in human clothing… these are the subjects of The Monster’s Corner.
Accountable to None: 
Glorious revenge, the dish known as best served cold. Audra Tanner has waited for five years to invite her unwitting guests to her feast of just desserts and now her dinner party approaches. Audra was a brilliant CPA that for years, worked the grueling hours her job demanded as she made her way from lowly grunt auditor to a minority partner at a prestigious accounting firm located in the southwest. Her dedication took a tremendous toll on her not only mentally, but physically as well, and culminated the night that she met with the sadistic managing partner, Olin Kemper, to discuss her promotion to equity partner. That night, Audra learned that to become part of the ‘elite’ at Winscott & Associates required much more than she was willing to give. Unfortunately, that knowledge came too late and partnership was granted as a reward for her silence after her violent beating and rape. Five years later, Audra is now an entirely different creature at work, a shell of her former self that wears the guise of partner during the day yet retreats at night to her hidden self as she plots her revenge on not only her rapist, but all those in power at the firm who knew what Olin had done to her, yet did nothing to stop him, as they were immersed in their own corrupt behaviors. Now head of the IT department and a self-taught hacker, Audra has spent the last five years perusing the firm’s computers, searching and digging through the mounds of encrypted words for anything that she can use to allow her the opportunity to exact revenge on all those responsible for her pain. What she finds changes the course of not only her life, but everyone else’s as well, as her research leads her to the impending demise of the firm as well as an unsolved murder of a local college girl over thirty three years ago, both which stem from the monstrous hands of Olin. In her climactic confrontation with all the partners, Audra eviscerates all their hidden deceptions as she finally obtains her long awaited revenge and rocks the firm to its core.

Christmas presents:
Soul Eater Volume 4: I'm not posting a synopsis purely because I haven't finished volumes 1-3 yet and it will be a major spoiler for me and you! *I ALREADY OWN THIS SO NOW I HAVE TWO COPIES, UH OH*
Pandora Hearts Volume 4
I'm not posting a synopsis purely because I haven't finished volumes 1-3 yet and it will be a major spoiler for me and you!
Pandora Hearts Volume 5
I'm not posting a synopsis purely because I haven't finished volumes 1-3 yet and it will be a major spoiler for me and you!
Dead Inside: Do Not Enter: 
Post Secret meets World War Z in this chilling vision of the fallout following a global zombie pandemic. A gradual mutation of a virulent strain of super flu gives rise to millions of the undead, who quickly overwhelm treatment facilities and swarm cities around the world, leaving survivors on their own against a legion of the infected. This chilling story is told through the scraps of paper, scrawled signs, and cryptic markers left by survivors as they struggle to stay alive and find those they've lost in a world overrun by zombies. Through these found notes and messages letters to loved ones, journal fragments, confessions, and warnings readers can uncover the story of what went wrong, and come to know the individual voices of those affected by the zombie crisis.
The Inbetweeners: The Rudge Park Comprehensive Yearbook: 
A celebration of the hilarious, award-winning cult Britcom about the cringe-inducing humiliatons of adolescence Fully illustrated, this spoof yearbook is a must-have for fans of the incredibly successful show about the lives of four run-of-the-mill teenagers living in the London suburbs. Completely original material by the show's writers references events in the show as well as giving character backstory and brand new stories about Will, Simon, Jay, and Neil. Readers should expect lots of rude words, lots of photos, and lots of pissing themselves laughing.
Beano Annual 2012: Pretty self explanatory

Ebooks - free:
That Voodoo You Do (That Old Black Magic #1)For ten long years Griffin Trudeau has managed to keep his paws off Jemma Finnegan, best friend and leading star of his kinkiest fantasies. As her appointed cat familiar, indulging those fantasies with the delectable witch is strictly forbidden. But when Jemma shows up at his door with seduction in mind, control goes right out the window. Too late he realizes making love to Jemma is the trigger that launches a zombie apocalypse. Jemma's been dealt a double whammy: she's just discovered she's a witch. And Griff has been hiding whiskers and a tail. Oh, and if her life wasn't crazy enough, a dead voodoo queen needs her blood to raise a legion of zombies. There's one plan that might work to increase Jemma's powers so she can put an end to the looming holocaust. A sexy threesome with Griff and Logan Scott, a werewolf familiar with a history of rubbing Griff's fur the wrong way. A cat and a wolf playing nice, much less sharing? It'll take a miracle. Warning: A witch, tiger and wolf doing naughty things. A dead voodoo queen doing evil things. And zombies doing zombie things. Get your shovels ready.
Plague Z: A group of soldiers training in the Welsh mountains are suddenly air-dropped weapons and commanded to return to base ASAP. Civilians are now considered hostile and a deadly infection is bringing the dead back to life. Sergeant Harry Crawford must get his men off the mountain and lead them into the carnage that has erupted everywhere. Plague Z has taken its first victims. The dead are rising and they are hungry for living flesh. And Harry's family is out there somewhere. Plague Z is a 10,000 word short story about the zombie apocalypse. “George A Romero had become more than just a screenwriter; he was a prophet of the end times.” - Sgt. Harry Crawford
Ebooks - bought:
Solomon's Seals (The Ghost Hunter Chronicles #1): Welcome to Los Angeles. They call it the City of Angels. They got it half right. In a town where demons masquerade as children in order to protect humanity, while angels gain power by destroying the souls of the dearly departed. Good and evil is determined by whoever has the better P.R. firm. Humans remain blissfully unaware that a struggle is taking place, unless they make the mistake of inviting one of these creatures into their homes—or they happen to be one of their offspring. Meet Alexa Dawn, the Ghost Hunter. She doesn’t try to coax, whisper, or talk to the dearly departed. She’s not there to help them crossover. She’s there for one reason, and one reason only, to make sure the dead—stay dead. Alexa Dawn has spent her entire adult life chasing the shade that killed her parents, leaving a trail of dead spirits in her wake. When her latest house cleansing goes terribly awry, she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation. Suddenly her clients start dying at an alarming rate. It doesn't take a detective to figure out that she’s next, unless Alexa can find a way to stop the creature that wants her dead.
Wolfsbane and Mistletoe: "The editors of Many Bloody Returns deliver the perfect howl-iday gift, with new tales from Patricia Briggs, Carrie Vaughn, and many more.New York Times bestselling authors Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Keri Arthur, and Carrie Vaughn-along with eleven other masters of the genre-offer all-new stories on werewolves and the holidays, a fresh variation on the concept that worked so well with birthdays and vampires in Many Bloody Returns.The holidays can bring out the beast in anyone. They are particularly hard for lycanthropes. Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner have harvested the scariest, funniest and saddest werewolf tales by an outstanding pack of authors, best read by the light of a full moon with a silver bullet close at hand.Whether wolfing down a holiday feast (use your imagination) or craving some hair of the dog on New Year's morning, the werewolves in these frighteningly original stories will surprise, delight, amuse, and scare the pants off readers who love a little wolfsbane with their mistletoe."

Sunday, 18 December 2011

18122011: In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren
(Sorry that I haven't been up to date, I had a busy last week in college)

I actually won an ecopy of this book which I'm super stoked about, I've read 3% of it as a teaser on my iPhone so I will force myself to read my other books quicker. I was hooked straight away!

This Brilliant Darkness by Red Tash: When an ancient, deeply troubled entity identifies quirky Christine Grace as his latest threat, all hell breaks loose in the urban forest of Indiana University's Dunn Woods. Will Christine piece together his destructive plan in time to save herself? And what exactly is going on with this peculiar star, Stella Mirabilis? This fast-paced story moves quickly from character to character, introducing us to the headspace of not just Christine and the monster Greachin, but also to Tom, her devoted boyfriend, and Richard, an aging physicist interested in the time-traveling star overhead. Along the way, singing street people, cosplaying environmental activists, and heaven-sent beings come to populate the unique cityscape of Bloomington, IN, where encountering the bizarre is an everyday experience.

The second book, Dead of a Murderer, is what I'm reading this month for my college book club, I probably wont start it until after Christmas.

Death of a Murdered by Rupert Thomson: The story of a woman who, even after her death, inflames an entire nation, and of the man who comes under her spell. Having spent decades in prison for crimes gruesomely familiar to everyone in England, this murderer has finally died of natural causes but is no less notorious in death than she was in life. Billy Tyler, a career policeman, has been assigned the task of guarding her body—to make sure, he’s told, that nothing happens. But alone on a graveyard shift his wife begged him not to accept, Billy has occasion to contemplate the various turns his life has taken, his complicated thoughts about violence in himself and society, the unease that distances him from marital disappointment and a damaged daughter, and, finally, why it is that this reviled murderer, in the eerie silence of the hospital morgue, seems to speak to him directly and know him more fully than anyone else. In this dark night of the soul, his own problems and anxieties gradually acquire a new and unexpected significance, giving rise to questions that should haunt us all: Whom do we love, and why? How do we protect our children? And what separates us from those we call monsters? A gripping revelation of crime, of punishment—and of what we desperately seek to hide from ourselves.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

17122011: The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart

Title: The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Author: Mathias Malzieu
Page Count: 176 

Summary: Edinburgh, 1874: Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation — the implantation of a cuckoo-clock in his chest. From then on his days all begin with a wind-up, in this dark, tender fairy tale spiced with devilish humour.
My Review: Initially I had mixed reviews on how I felt this book was, but at my book club discussion I found out that it is actually a prequel for a different book that Mathias Malziue has written and with knowing that it has helped me realised exactly what I felt was wrong with the book. Basically I can't help but comment on how this book was a lovely read and completely well written, almost poetical in some places (but what do you expect when the author is in a band) and the story was also very interesting! The fault comes right at the end (why have I read so many books with weak endings?) I felt that the book did round off well without leaving too many questions but it just ended so abruptly that you're left for wanting more and pretty confused as to why the ending was so drab, but as I have mentioned that it's a prequel so really it does makes sense. I guess he must have written this to add more of a background to the other book so in that case it does exactly what it was supposed too, unfortunately the other book hasn't been translated so I can't read it, yet. This book is very good and as soon as I know the other book is available I will be reading it, mostly in hope that it will improve my opinion on this dull ending. Okay, I really need to stop focusing on that because holy poo the rest of the book WAS good, I promise. The whole idea, concept and storyline was so well written and strung together.
Recommend: Yes.
Rating: 3/5 - may become a 3 after reading the other book.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

10122011: On My Wishlist (4)

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City

This week I have selected the first three books that I ever added to my "wishlist" on GoodReads. This didn't include one of the books which I have already mentioned here. I hope I introduce you to something new.

The Upset: Young Contemporary Art: A new breed of contemporary artists is celebrating newfound international recognition for their style and approach to creating art that is sprouting from and largely influenced by visual subcultures. These young artists, who are associated with the widespread movements of Lowbrow Art and Neo-Surrealism, share similarities with the popular art movements of the 1960s and 70s as well as urban art. The term Lowbrow may sound self-deprecating; rather it represents a distinctive artistic composition and technical approach in which art is produced. The Upset documents this movement and the artists associated with it. Feeding off an array of popular subcultures, they often draw influences from anime, comic books, graffiti and street art as well as character design. The often figurative and narrative artworks featured here employ classical techniques with great skills to create sculpture, illustration, design and painting with the use of spray cans, sharpies and elaborate colour palettes on canvas. With the evolution of new media, artists are also blending these elements with various disciplines in contemporary visual art. Many of the artists in The Upset enjoy international fame and are represented in prestigious galleries and museums worldwide. The book also introduces a selection of promising talent who are breaking new ground, making it the perfect source book for those interested in fine art and discovering young artists.

Cathy's Book: If Found Call (650)266-8233: This stunning debut combines reading with the world of internet gaming to create a masterful new genre that will allow teens to take the story from the page into the world of cyberspace and beyond. Things weren't so peachy in Cathy's life before Victor broke up with her. Her father died unexpectedly, she's failing school, and her best friend is mad at her. But when Cathy decides to investigate Victor's reasons for ending their relationship, things suddenly go from bad to very, very, very bad as her findings produce more questions than answers. For instance, what does the death of Victor's co-worker, the strange mark that appeared on Cathy's arm, and the surreal behavior of several Chinese elders have to do with it? Through Cathy's unique and irresistible voice—and lots of proof in the form of letters, photographs, date book entries, telephone numbers readers can call, websites they can access, as well as secrets only a careful reader will be able to decipher—readers will enter a strange and fascinating world where things often aren't how they appear. Two-color illustrations plus supplemental material. Ages: 12 and up.

Opening with the exotic Lady Death entering the gumshoe-writer's seedy office in pursuit of a writer named Celine, this novel demonstrates Bukowski's own brand of humour and realism, opening up a landscape of seamy Los Angeles.

Monday, 14 November 2011

14112011: In My Mailbox (3)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren
It's a day late, oh no! Oh well, I had a legitimate reason though, with a banging headache yesterday I tried to avoid the computed except for necessities, and by that I mean finishing up my Art Evaluation. During this week I didn't actually buy anything but instead got this book out from the Library for my college book club, not only does it have a beautiful cover, it sounds pretty interesting!

The Boy With The Cuckoo-Clock Heart: Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine is no conventional medic and surgically implants a cuckoo-clock into his chest. Little Jack grows up different to other children: every day begins with a daily wind-up. At school he is bullied for his 'ticking', but Dr Madeleine reminds him he must resist strong emotion: anger is far too dangerous for his cuckoo-clock heart. So when the beautiful young street-singer, Miss Acacia, appears - pursued by Joe, the school bully - Jack is in danger of more than just falling in love... he is putting his life on the line.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

12112011: On My Wishlist (3)

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City
I selected books a little differently these week, I have already read all these books but for one reason or another don't own them or they need replacing. Hellsing Vol 2 - I used it for my art project in highschool so there are pages missing, His Dark Materials - my favourite trilogy of all time, I read my Grandma's copy but would love my own and Ink Exchange - I leant it to a friend who is no longer much of a friend, I keep asking for it back but still don't have it - if I'm able to find this cover in hardcover then I'll buy it again cause it's so pretty, if not I'll just have to keep asking and hope. 

Hellsing Vol 2: Hellsing continues with more blood, guts, ghouls, and gothic murder. Created by Kohta Hirano, and making its way into an incredibly popular anime, Hellsing pushes the boundary of horror, yet looks so visually stunning and graphically cool that instead of being scary, it's super fun. Certainly not intended for younger readers, this series follows the Hellsing Organization, an old institution created by English royalty to squash the ghoulish undead of the world, as they face an insurgence of murderous monsters running rampant across the isles, fueled by... could it be... Nazi's? Watch the dark story unravel as Dark Horse Manga presents Hellsing volume 2.

His Dark Materials: A luxury edition of all three books in the His Dark Materials trilogy in one volume. Contains 'Northern Lights', 'The Subtle Knife' and 'The Amber Spyglass'.

Ink Exchange: 
Unbeknownst to mortals, a power struggle is unfolding in a world of shadows and danger. After centuries of stability, the balance among the Faery Courts has altered, and Irial, ruler of the Dark Court, is battling to hold his rebellious and newly vulnerable fey together. If he fails, bloodshed and brutality will follow. Seventeen-year-old Leslie knows nothing of faeries or their intrigues. When she is attracted to an eerily beautiful tattoo of eyes and wings, all she knows is that she has to have it, convinced it is a tangible symbol of changes she desperately craves for her own life. The tattoo does bring changes; not the kind Leslie has dreamed of, but sinister, compelling changes that are more than symbolic. Those changes will bind Leslie and Irial together, drawing Leslie deeper and deeper into the faery world, unable to resist its allures, and helpless to withstand its perils...

Friday, 11 November 2011

11112011: Shades of Grey

Title: Shades of Grey
Author: Jasper Fforde
Page Count: 792

Summary: Hundreds of years in the future, after the Something that Happened, the world is an alarmingly different place. Life is lived according to The Rulebook and social hierarchy is determined by your perception of colour. Eddie Russett is an above average Red who dreams of moving up the ladder by marriage to Constance Oxblood. Until he is sent to the Outer Fringes where he meets Jane – a lowly Grey with an uncontrollable temper and a desire to see him killed. For Eddie, it’s love at first sight. But his infatuation will lead him to discover that all is not as it seems in a world where everything that looks black and white is really shades of grey... If George Orwell had tripped over a paint pot or Douglas Adams favoured colour swatches instead of towels . . . neither of them would have come up with anything as eccentrically brilliant as Shades of Grey.

My Review: Wow, completely speechless! This is book is truly fascinating and completely different to anything I've read before. The whole idea and back story is so well thought out and unique that it's actually a little difficult to get used to at the start, but you soon learn to understand what's going on, on the other hand this doesn't mean that you aren't constantly surprised throughout the whole book. I'm actually stunned at what to write because I can't mention too much without giving away just how extraordinary this is, the way Fforde writes at times makes it seem almost poetical. I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for something a little different to their normal reads and I can guarantee you'll like it. This also means I'm really looking forward for the next two books but Painting By Numbers has an expected publish date of 2013 so until then I'll have to read books from my to read shelf.
Recommend: Yes!
Rating: 5/5

Sunday, 6 November 2011

06112011: In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: Abraham Lincoln was just a boy when he learned that his mother's untimely death was actually the work of a vampire. From then on, he vowed to devote his intelligence, strength--and skill with an ax--to the elimination of the soulless creatures. It was a path of vengeance that would lead him all the way to the White House. No one ever knew about Lincoln's valiant struggle against the undead... until author Seth Grahame-Smith laid eyes on Abe's secret journal--the first living person to do so in over 140 years. Putting a supernatural spin on revisionist history, Seth has reconstructed Lincoln's true life story--while revealing the role vampires played in the birth, growth and near-death of our nation. 
The Redbreast: Harry Hole, drunkard, loner and brilliant detective is reassigned to surveillance after a high profile mistake.He-s bored by his new job until a report of a rare and unusual gun being fired sparks his interest because of its possible links to Neo Nazi activity. Then a former soldier is found with his throat cut. Next Harry-s former partner is murdered. Why had she been trying to reach Harry on the night her head was smashed in? The investigation leads Harry to suspect that the crimes have their roots in the battlefields of Eastern Front during WWII. In a quest that takes him to South Africa and Vienna, Harry finds himself perpetually one step behind the killer. He will be both winner and loser by the novel's nail-biting conclusion.The Redbreast.He-s your judge, jury and executioner-And he must be stopped

Saturday, 5 November 2011

05112011: On My Wishlist (2)

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City
I felt that it was appropriate to mention three books that have had most of my attention for a while now, this being said I know I wont get them until Christmas as they've made it to my Christmas list. I am desperate to read them!

Dead Inside: Do Not EnterPost Secrets meet World War Z in this chilling vision of the fallout following a global zombie pandemic. A gradual mutation of a virulent strain of super flu gives rise to millions of the undead, who quickly overwhelm treatment facilities and swarm cities around the world, leaving survivors on their own against a legion of the infected. This chilling story is told through the scraps of paper, scrawled signs, and cryptic markers left by survivors as they struggle to stay alive and find those they ve lost in a world overrun by zombies. Through these found notes and messages letters to loved ones, journal fragments, confessions, and warnings readers can uncover the story of what went wrong, and come to know the individual voices of those affected by the zombie crisis.

Elisabeth Sladen: The AutobiographyWhen Elisabeth Sladen first appeared as plucky journalist Sarah Jane Smith in 1973 Doctor Who story The Time Warrior, little did she know the character would become one of the most enduring and fondly remembered of the series’ long history. The years that followed saw Elisabeth traverse time and space alongside classic Doctors Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, whilst a generation of children crouched behind the sofa, terrified but transfixed as their tea-time heroine found herself menaced by Daleks, dinosaurs, Cybermen, Egyptian mummies, extras in Bubble Wrap and even the Loch Ness Monster. By the time she quit the TARDIS in 1976, making front-page news, Elisabeth had become one of the most familiar faces of a TV golden age. But you don’t just walk away from Doctor Who. Elisabeth was asked to reprise the role many times, appearing in anniversary specials; an ill-fated 1981 spin-off with robotic sidekick K-9; radio plays; and for the BBC’s Children in Need. She toured the weird, wide and wonderful world of Doctor Who fandom and became one of the series’ all-time favourite companions. So when TV wunderkind Russell T. Davies approached her to come back again, this time to a Doctor Who backed by multi-million-pound budgets and garlanded with critical plaudits, how could she refuse? This warm and witty autobiography, completed only months before Elisabeth died in April 2011, tells her remarkable story, from humble beginnings in post-war Liverpool, through an acclaimed theatrical career working alongside stage luminaries such as Alan Ayckbourn and Stephen Poliakoff, to Coronation Street, Some Mothers Do ’Ave ’Em and the furthest reaches of the Universe. A unique, insider’s view of the world’s longest running science fiction series, and of British television yesterday and today, Elisabeth’s memoir is funny, ridiculous, insightful and entertaining and a fitting tribute to a woman who will be sadly missed by millions.

A Whisper of Blood: Originally published in two separate volumes: Blood Is Not Enough (1989) and A Whisper of Blood (1991). Not all vampires shun sunlight and not all drink blood. In A Whisper of Blood you will encounter thirty-five of the most horrifying vampires you are ever likely to meet: monsters who often walk by day, look and think very much like you, and differ from ordinary people primarily by the zeal with which they prey upon others. You won't know them when you see them - and you may not even recognize their appetite for our destruction.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

03112011: Little Gypsy

Title: Little Gypsy: A Life of Freedom, A Time of Secrets.
Author: Roxy Freeman
Page Count: 277
Summary: "Born in 1979, Roxy Freeman grew up travelling around Ireland and England in a horse-drawn wagon with her mother and father and five siblings. Life was harsh but it was a childhood of freedom spent in harmony with nature. Roxy didn't know her time-tables but she could milk a goat, ride a horse and cook dinner on an open fire before she was ten. But when the family came to England, they faced prejudice and hostility and Roxy started receiving the unwelcome attentions of a family friend known as 'Uncle Tony', which she endured in secret for years. Then, one day, she told the police about Tony and a manhunt ensued for the man newspapers dubbed 'Britain's most-wanted paedophile'. Despite all of her difficulties, Roxy developed a passion for music and her dancing skills took her around the world. This beautifully written story is a frank portrait of an extraordinary life, and a unique insight into the lives of girls born into traveller communities."
My Review: Honestly I'm not sure where to start. I had a lot of trouble with this book due to the fact I have no interest in the outdoors and for a lot of the time throughout the book couldn't really relate to anything, the only part I could relate to was how she felt when studying. With my lack of interest of things I must say that this book is interesting in itself, before hand I didn't know a lot of gypsies/travellers so it was good to know that I was actually learning something whilst reading. Much like the summary gives away, it isn't just about their lifestyle but to the horrors she had to face at such a young age, it certainly was eye opening. Even though I found this book an interesting and eye opening read it just wasn't my cup of tea and I couldn't wait to finish reading it so I could move on, this doesn't mean it's a bad book though. I'm sure many people will find it much better than I did, it's just very different to what I've read in the past and unfortunately, left me unsatisfied.
Recommend: Not unless you are already thinking of reading
Rating: 1/5

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

02112011: Uzumaki

Title: Uzumaki, Vol 1
Author: Junji Ito
Page Count: 202
Summary: Kurôzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but by a pattern: uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself in small ways: seashells, ferns, whirlpools in water, whirlwinds in air. And in large ways: the spiral marks on people's bodies, the insane obsessions of Shuichi's father, the voice from the cochlea in your inner ear. As the madness spreads, the inhabitants of Kurôzu-cho are pulled ever deeper, as if into a whirlpool from which there is no return...
My Review: I ordered this book second hand off amazon, the cover is different but not available on goodreads and my Dad currently has it so I'm not entirely sure how many pages my version has. Any how, once it arrived I picked it up and didn't put it down again until I had completed it. This book is far from ordinary and certainly puts a spin on things (haha)! I can't begin to describe how much I loved this book and how eager I am to get my hands on Volume 2. I'm aware this is only a short review but with this being a graphic novel/manga rather than a book it's a lot shorter and I don't really want to give anything away. Also, the art work is beautiful.
Rating: 4.5/5

Monday, 31 October 2011

31102011: 2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012 is hosted by The Book Vixen


  • Runs January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012 (books read prior to 1/1/12 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2012 than you did in 2011. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. Nothing is set in stone; you can change levels at any time during the challenge.
  • Books can be any format (bound, eBook, audio).
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • Grab the reading challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you could track your progress on Goodreads or LibraryThing.

  • Levels:
    Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
    Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
    Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
    I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books
I am going to enter for the "Breaking a sweat" level and attempt to read 11-15 more books than I have this year, so in total I want to read 36 books during 2012. The books I have read during 2012 are as follows:
1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
2. Catching Fire  by Suzanne Collins
3. Mockingjay  by Suzanne Collins
4. Death of a Murderer
5. Harry Potter: The Prequel
6. This Brilliant Darkness
7. Waters for Elephants
8. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
10. Uglies  by Scott Westerfeld
11. Before I go to Sleep
12. 1Q84 Book 1
13.  Pretties  by Scott Westerfeld
14. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Marten
15. A Good Man by Vanessa Morgan
16. The Secret by Mike Richardson
17. Numbers by Rachel Ward
18. Specials by Scott Westerfeld
19. Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
20. Chanel Zero by Brian Wood
21. Intuition by J. Meyers
22. Intangible by J. Meyers
23. Pandora Hearts Volume 1 by Jun Mochizuiki
24. A Blood Seduction by Pamela PAlmer
25. Dragon Age: The Silent Grove by David Gaider
26. House of Night by P.C. & Kirsten Cast
27. Divergent by Veronica Roth
28. Free Four by Veronica Roth
29. Orchid by Tom Morello
30. Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen
31. Tallis by M.C. Rae
33. Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
34. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
35. Zelah Green by Vanessa Curtis
36. Enthralled by Melissa Marr
37. Paper Towns by John Green
38. Troll or Derby by Red Tash
39. Switched by Amanda Hocking
40. Section 132 by Helga Zeiner
41. Hannah Hoch: Picture Book by Hannah Hoch
42. Evidence by Candy Jernigan
43. Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar children by Ransom Riggs
44. Pledged by Gwynneth White
45. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
46. Backstage Pass by Oliva Cunning
47. End of Faith by Ren Willemin
48. Rock Hard by Oliva Cunning

Sunday, 30 October 2011

30102011: In My Mailbox (1)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren

This week has been a slow week for books arriving and as most of the books I get will be ones I have ordered myself, or received as presents I can't see their ever being more than one or two. On Tuesday I recieved Junji Ito's Uzumaki Vol 1 (second hand) from Amazon, I read it straight away and couldn't put it down (a review is to come later).

Uzumaki: Kurôzu-cho, a small fogbound town on the coast of Japan, is cursed. According to Shuichi Saito, the withdrawn boyfriend of teenager Kirie Goshima, their town is haunted not by a person or being but by a pattern:uzumaki, the spiral, the hypnotic secret shape of the world. It manifests itself in small ways: seashells, ferns, whirlpools in water, whirlwinds in air. And in large ways: the spiral marks on people's bodies, the insane obsessions of Shuichi's father, the voice from the cochlea in your inner ear. As the madness spreads, the inhabitants of Kurôzu-cho are pulled ever deeper, as if into a whirlpool from which there is no return...

Saturday, 29 October 2011

29102011: The Stand

I really want to get this blog to be much more book related so over the next few days expect a fair bit of book "spam".

Title: The Stand
Author: Stephen King
Page Count: 1344
Summary: When a man escapes from a biological testing facility, he sets in motion a deadly domino effect, spreading a mutated strain of the flu that will wipe out 99 percent of humanity within a few weeks. The survivors who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge—Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious "Dark Man," who delights in chaos and violence.
My Review: I completed this book on August 18th whilst in Rome, which meant I couldn't give it a proper review until I got home. The following is what I wrote on my other book blog: The reason I started reading this book is because my Dad is a very big Stephen King fan, in the sense that he owns every single book. I initially borrowed my Dad’s copy but didn’t really get in to but I had enjoyed the few chapters I did read, eventually I returned it to him and went and bought my own copy - which just so happened to be the “extended” version. Earlier this year I sat down and started reading and automatically fell in love and had no idea why or what held me back first time round. I love the way King gives you the chance to get to know all the characters fully, and by the second part of book you’re waiting anxiously to meet you favourite characters again and again (as he alternates which characters are in which chapters sometimes you find yourself waiting a while). It’s also really great how a character at the beginning you find yourself annoyed at and not wanting to read about them any more but by the end your their right beside him as he struggles with survival and wanting nothing for him but to live, or how another character can initially seem interesting and full of hope, yet how fate changes all this and you can see even though he had a chance to possibly become a good character, he actually had no choice to do this as he needed to survive. Yes I have a soft spot for Lloyd Henreid. To conclude I highly recommend that everyone should read this book at least once in their life, even if you have never read anything by King before and you’re unsure whether you’ll enjoy his writing style, it’s fairly easy to get into and has an interesting and gripping story line that will keep you hooked until the very last page.
Recommend: Yes
Rating: 5/5

Also, I guess I should give thanks to Rachel Skye cause I used her book reviews to help with my layout.

29102011: On My Wishlist (1)

On My Wishlist is a weekly meme hosted by Book Chick City.
Initially I couldn't decide which books to select but I then hopped over to my goodreads account and chose three books from my wishlist there that I really want to read at the moment: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and Abraham Lincoln: Vampure Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. All three I have wanted to read and own for a ridiculously long time.

The Picture of Dorian Gray: Oscar Wilde's story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is one of his most popular works. Written in Wilde's characteristically dazzling manner, full of stinging epigrams and shrewd observations, the tale of Dorian Gray's moral disintegration caused something of a scandal when it first appeared in 1890. Wilde was attacked for his decadence and corrupting influence, and a few years later the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde's homosexual liaisons, trials that resulted in his imprisonment. Of the book's value as autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, "Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps."

The Perks of Being a Wallflower:
What is most notable about this funny, touching, memorable first novel from Stephen Chbosky is the resounding accuracy with which the author captures the voice of a boy teetering on the brink of adulthood. Charlie is a freshman. And while's he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. He's a wallflower--shy and introspective, and intelligent beyond his years, if not very savvy in the social arts. We learn about Charlie through the letters he writes to someone of undisclosed name, age and gender; a stylistic technique that adds to the heart-wrenching earnestness saturating this teen's story. Charlie encounters the same struggles many face in high school--how to make friends, the intensity of a crush, family tensions, a first relationship, exploring sexuality, experimenting with drugs--but he must also deal with the devastating fact of his best friend's recent suicide. Charlie's letters take on the intimate feel of a journal as he shares his day-to-day thoughts and feelings: "I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they're here. If they like their jobs. Or us. And I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report due on top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why." With the help of a teacher who recognises his wisdom and intuition, and his two friends, seniors Samantha and Patrick, Charlie mostly manages to avoid the depression he feels creeping up like ivy. When it all becomes too much, after a shocking realisation about his beloved late Aunt Helen, Charlie checks out for awhile. But he makes it back to reality in due time, ready to face his sophomore year and all that it may bring. Charlie, sincerely searching for that feeling of "being infinite" is a kindred spirit to the generation that's been slapped with the label X.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: When Abraham Lincoln was nine years old, his mother died from an ailment called the "milk sickness." Only later did he learn that his mother's deadly affliction was actually the work of a local vampire, seeking to collect on Abe's father's unfortunate debts. When the truth became known to the young Abraham Lincoln, he wrote in his journal: henceforth my life shall be one of rigorous study and devotion. I shall become learned in all things—a master of mind and body. And this mastery shall have but one purpose." While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for reuniting the North with the South and abolishing slavery from our country, no one has ever understood his valiant fight for what it really was. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years. Using the journal as his guide and writing in the grand biographical style of Doris Kearns Goodwin and David McCullough, Seth has reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president for the first time—all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War, and uncovering the massive role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

26102011: Icons

So I recently got Photoshop CS5 and have joined a forum community based on graphic tutorials and help. I've been making my way through some icon tutorials with them being small, and fairly easy to alter and create. Not too time consuming either. Once I'm able to make some without referring to the tutorials I'll move on to something else. I'll share what I have so far:

Adam Baldwin / John Casey / Jayne Cobb:


Ellie Goulding (requested):

Vampire Diaries: