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.

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

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

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

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: