Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (Aug.18)

WWW Wednesdays are hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott.

What did you recently finish reading? Wives And Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell and The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.

What do you think you'll read next? Odd Thomas by...oh Dean Koontz and Watership Down by Richard Adams, its got rabbits and I love rabbits. :D

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Top Ten Picks: Favorite Books to Movies

Hi, top ten picks is a bookish meme hosted by Random Ramblings where we pick our top ten favorite things about books according to the topics she picks. This weeks topic: Our favorite books into movies!

1. The Thin Man
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. I love Nick and Nora Charles, they never fail to make me smile. I think this is my favorite book into movie because I read the book, and while I enjoyed it, it wasn't as much fun as the movie. This is a rare case of the movie was better than the book, and I think that's all thanks to Myrna Loy and William Powell who have the best chemistry together as the witty, cocktail drinking couple who solve crime, with their faithful dog Asta.

2. Anne of Green Gables
I have gone on a lot about this series only because that's how amazing it is. I like this book into movie because it is superbly cast, well acted, and the storyline is spot on. I don't think anyone could do a better version ever.

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
This is my favorite book of the series so I was really anxious when this movie was coming out. Now this is my favorite movie of the movie series. :) It was very well done, the directing was particularly good. Also the acting was better at this point as well. I actually liked Hermione where as before she had always driven me crazy.

4. A Little Princess
This movie makes me cry every time I watch it. It is brilliantly filmed and acted. Absolutely heartbreaking and heartwarming all at the same time. While not entirely faithful to the book, it is still a fabulous adaptation of the classic novel. But in all seriousness I prefer the movie ending anyway. :P

5. Fantastic Mr. Fox
This movie is absolutely stunning in every sense of the word. Expanding on the underdog story by Roald Dahl Fantastic Mr. Fox has everything you would expect of top notch entertainment, stellar voice acting, wonderful direction and script, and it is really one of the best stop motion if not one of the best pictures to come out of Hollywood in 2009. Yeah I really love this movie. If you haven't seen it, see it! :D

6. Horton Hears a Who!
After butchering two of the best beloved stories by Dr. Seuss Hollywood finally came out with a movie that wouldn't have the poor guy rolling around in his grave. This colorful adaptation of his book Horton Hears a Who, reminds us all why we love this brilliant fellows creative imagination. While adding on but not taking away from the original source HHAW is heartwarming, funny, and just nice to look at. I mean who doesn't love Horton? Who doesn't love those fluffy little who's? Someone with no heart that's who. :P Anyway, a lovely adaptation well worth watching.

7. Hoodwinked!
Loosely based off of the classic fairy tale "Little Red Riding Hood" this imaginative, inventive, and just plain all around clever retelling is one of my favorite movies of all time. Bringing new twists, featuring a mystery complete with a Nick Charles based detective, and wonderful characters you only thought you knew, this low budget flick is one to re-watch and re-watch until you've caught every wonderful detail and subtle bits of humor.

8. Howl's Moving Castle
Based off of the lovely book by the imaginative Dianna Wynne Jones this adaptation is by renowned filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. With two such unique minds as Jones and Miyazaki this film cannot help but be amazing. While not entirely faithful to Jone's original novel, Miyazaki's admiration for her work shines through in this heartfelt, and magical movie about finding your worth. An absolute gem you must see.

9. Sense and Sensibility (2008)
I know lots of people lean towards the 1995 version, and I will be one of the first people to tell you how brilliant that adaptation is. The script is amazing and a credit to Emma Thompson's amazing talents. But I absolutely loved the 2008 version. I don't know why really, I was just glued to the screen the whole time, which is amazing because I read the book and seen the 1995 version about a million times since my childhood. I just found it thoroughly enthralling and dramatic and I really liked the cast. I get particular giggles from both movies, since in the 1995 version Colonel Brandon (whats his first name?) is played by Alan Rickman who goes on to play Snape in the HP series, and I know the guy (but not his name) who plays CB in the 2008 version from Doctor Who.

10. Emma 2009
Ooooh I reached 10? Really I didn't think I could do it! Anyway this is the best adaptation of one of my favorite JA novels. Brilliantly acted, and wonderfully scripted, I watched this version while drinking tea and delicious light refreshments with my friend. It only added to the atmosphere. :D Anyway I love this version, I really need to own it.

Well that's all for this particularly late meme. There are still tons of other books to movies I love like Series of Unfortunate Events, Ella Enchanted, The breathtakingly spot on version of Pride and Prejudice from A&E that I've been watching again since I was a little girl, and Nancy Drew. But I ran out of numbers. :(
Until next time,

Hex Hall: A Book Review

Title: Hex Hall

Author: Rachel Hawkins

Genre: Fantasy/Mystery

Reading Level: Ages 14 and up

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

My Review: This one is woefully over due. Sorry about that. Anyway, this may at first glance seem like a lame mash up of HP and every other fantasy story out there. But Hecate Hall is no Hogwarts. It is a reform school for rebel magical creatures, where they are sent when they misbehave. I definitely enjoyed this different twist. This book is full of witty and clever characters, I really liked Sophie's narrative, she was a funny and likable heroine as well as one you could feel sympathetic towards since she is so obviously a fish out of water in her new surroundings. The supporting cast is also top notch, from Sophie's vampire roommate Jenna, who has an obsession with the color hot pink to Sophie's snotty conniving rival who's name escapes me at the moment. Anyway she was good. :P Oh and of course the ever enigmatic bad boy with a secret soft spot for the main character who always seems to crop up in every YA book I've read recently. The murder mystery sprinkled throughout this book is a page turner, creepy and intriguing I had a lot of fun reading it and it kept me continuously guessing. There are twist galore in this fantasy fare, and while it's not the YA book of the century if you want to read a light weight novel to rest the brain, one that's a lot of fun you need not look further than Hex Hall.

Content: If I remember correctly there are a few curse words, and kissing, as well as violence (murder anyone?) but nothing too descriptive.
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Recommend: Yes indeed for fans of lightweight mystery and fantasy

Friday, August 13, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: August 13-16

Hi Fellow Book bloggers, thanks for stopping by, it's time once again, and again, to do the Hop and visit other fellow book bloggers blogs!!!! The book blogger hop is hosted by Crazy-For-Books and if you want to join the fun, just head over there and add your link to the ever growing list!!!
Oh and this weeks question: How many books do you have on your 'to be read shelf’?
My answer: Wellll according to my goodreads, I have only 150 but I haven't put every single book I wanna read on there, because I have this big ol' mystery shelf in my room and figured I'd just add them as I eventually got around to reading them.
Well I hope you have fun looking over my blog, and everyone elses! Have an Extremely very goood weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Character Connection: Molly Gibson

Character Connection is hosted by The Introverted Reader.
We all have characters we love. Let's spotlight these fantastic creations! Whether you want to be friends with them or you have a full-blown crush on them, you know you love them and want everyone else to love them too!

Most of you will probably post about how much you love each character, but this is a great place for the more creative ones among you to let go and have fun! Write a love letter to Captain Wentworth. Write yourself into a scene with Anne and Diana. Draw a picture of yourself in Jamie's arms. The possibilities are endless.
Be sure to post the book's title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

Molly Gibson From Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
Having just completed this novel, I feel highly compelled to heap praise upon it's main character, loyal, lovable Molly Gibson. While most people would argue that Cynthia, her pretty, easily loved by many, step sister is a more interesting character I cannot help but disagree. There is a strong heroine inside Molly Gibson unlike many I have of yet read in classic fiction. While Molly does not posses the strong ready wit of Elizabeth Bennet, or the careless charm of Emma Woodhouse (excuse the overuse of Austen heroine comparisons but I have not read too many classics which I am trying to remedy >_<) she is fiercely loyal, and willing to do anything for the people she cares for, but she is not so passive that she does not argue against injustice and criticize people when they are clearly in the wrong. Here I think it is that I have grown to love young Molly Gibson, for her slowly revealed honest, and respectful strength against the trails in her life, and I'm sure if you take time to read "Wives and Daughters" you will discover exactly what I mean.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (Aug. 11) and Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesdays is a bookish meme, hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? I'm reading Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell! There is a light at the end of the tunnel!!!

What did you recently finish reading? Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins and Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl.

What do you think you'll read next? The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith and probably something classic. :D

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks theme: Top Ten Most Dislikable Characters! Yeah I love to write about characters I hate! Let the fun begin.

1. Bella Swan From The Twilight Saga: Tis a given, so I won't go into the gory details. Possibly one of the weakest most co-dependant character to be created.

2. Bellatrix Lestrange From the Harry Potter Series: Yup, Lestrange is right! This insane and sadistic Voldemort supporting is first introduced in HP 4 as a psycho prisoner sent to Azkaban while Harry's chilling inside Dumbledores memories. Ever since then she's appeared in every book to create merry mayhem. SPOILER! I really hate this character particularly in the 5th book in a rather chilling scene when she tortures Neville Longbottom reminiscent of when she helped torture his parents into insanity. END OF SPOILER!

3. Bill Sikes from Oliver Twist: This abusive, murderous, character scared me to death when I was little and first read OT. I can't really remember much about him except that I hate him.

4. Isabella And John Thorpe from Northanger Abbey: These two annoying siblings really got on my last nerve. They were manipulative, only using Catherine and her brother to get what they want.

5. The Character of Wuthering Heights: An ever popular one. Never has there been so many selfish, self obsorbed, abusive, masochistic, people in one book. While you can't care for the characters in WH it's still a fast paced classic novel, well worth reading for it's plot and writing. It's one of my favorites.

6. Prince Humperdinck from The Princess Bride: A "fine" example of a bully and a coward who gets in the way of true love. Terribly annoying villain.

7. Elsie Father from the Elsie Dinsmore series: I don't remember his name, but anyway I've always hated him. A complete jerk of a father who leaves his kid with a relative, and then decides to come back into her life when it suits him, and demands blind and immediate obedience of which he does not deserve. He's suppose to improve in the book series and I read 3 of them and saw no such "improvements".

8. Princess Mia from The Princess Dairies: She was a bit too self absorbed and boy crazy for my taste.

9. Gwedolen Chant from Charmed Life: A selfish witch who is not above using and hurting her brother to get the attention of famous magician Chrestomanci. She was really bratty and terrible throughout the whole book.

10. Sally Lockhart from Ruby in the Smoke: I cannot stand this book, and mostly because Sally is one of the most colorless, uninteresting characters I've had the misfortune of reading. As much as they try to build her up as an independent woman she just ends of falling flat, and having other people solve her problems.

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's Time to do the Hop!!!

Hi fellow book bloggers! Today is another book blogger hop, that wonderful time of the week when we hop around other peoples book blogs! This fantastically fun meme is hosted by Crazy-For-Books, so if you wanna join head on down to her blog. Don't miss all the fun!
Now for the weekly Book Hop Question: Do you listen to music when you read? If so, what are your favorite reading tunes?
I usually like to keep it nice and quite when I read a book. But if there happens to be some awesome classical music in the background or a great musical score from a movie soundtrack I don't mind that, in fact I like it.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Enola Holmes: The Case of the Gypsy's Goodbye Book Review

Title: The Case of the Gyspy's Goodbye

Author: Nancy Springer

Genre: Mystery

Reading Level: Ages 12 and up

As Enola searches for the missing Lady Blanchefleur del Campo, she discovers that her brother Sherlock is just as diligently searching for Enola herself—and this time he really needs to catch her! He is in possession of a most peculiar package, a message from their long-lost mother that only Enola can decipher. Sherlock, along with their brother Mycroft, must follow Enola into the reeking tunnels of London’s dark underbelly as they solve a triple mystery: What has happened to their mother? And to Lady Blanchefleur? And what does either have to do with Mycroft, who holds Enola’s future in his ever so-proper hands?

No one, not even Sherlock, is left unchanged or unsurprised in this brilliant conclusion to the Enola Holmes mystery series.

My Review: I'm really sad this is the last one. It was such a fun series to read. I had a lot of fun with Sherlock Holme's much younger sister. She was as ever a strong, and clever heroine, a credit to her family name. In this, the last book, Enola continues her job as a scientific perditorian who recovers missing people, but she is joined by her brother Sherlock who is working on the same case. I think the author did a decent job in portraying Sherlock as a confused older brother, trying to put aside his old english sensibility in order to understand his modern sister-sibling. As for the other brother Mycroft, well he hasn't shown up in any of the classic SH books I've read so I dunno if he was portrayed well or not. I think his acceptance of Enola was a bit rushed especially since it took Sherlock a fairly long time. But it was the last book, and thing's needed to be tied up. Speaking of which we find out what happened to Enola's mother and why she left her, and I enjoyed the closure as I'm sure other fans of the series will. The mystery wasn't quiet as sophisticated as the first and second novel's in this series, and I also am not a fan of returning bad guys, but other than those little critiques it was a fun, and interesting book. I finished it in one day. :) Yes I'm proud of that.
Content: Some violence
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Recommend: To fans of the series and parents looking for good mysteries for their children.

Imagination in Focus giveaway: The Eternal Ones

Hi everybody! Amelia over at Imagination in Focus is giving away her ARC copy of Kirsten Millers new book "The Eternal Ones"!

Here's the summary from Goodreads:
What if love refused to die? Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was. In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again...

If you interested in entering to win head over there right away!

Character Connection: Tuppence Beresford

Character Connection is a lovely meme hosted by The Introverted Reader, where we can talk about our favorite characters.
"We all have characters we love. Let's spotlight these fantastic creations! Whether you want to be friends with them or you have a full-blown crush on them, you know you love them and want everyone else to love them too!

Most of you will probably post about how much you love each character, but this is a great place for the more creative ones among you to let go and have fun! Write a love letter to Captain Wentworth. Write yourself into a scene with Anne and Diana. Draw a picture of yourself in Jamie's arms. The possibilities are endless.

Be sure to post the book's title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters."

My character connection is dedicated to Prudence "Tuppence" Crowley later Beresford. She is a detective created by Agatha Christie and first appears in the novel "The Secret Adversary".
"Tommy, old thing!"

"Tuppence, old bean!"

The two young people greeted each other affectionately, and momentarily blocked the Dover Street Tube exit in doing so. The adjective "old" was misleading. Their united ages would certainly not have totalled forty-five."

When we first meet Tuppence she is reuniting with her old friend Tommy. They are both down on their luck and don't know how they are going to make money to live on. That is until Tuppence comes up with a little plan.

"We've tried all the orthodox ways, yes. But suppose we try the unorthodox. Tommy, let's be adventurers!"

"Certainly," replied Tommy cheerfully. "How do we begin?"

"That's the difficulty. If we could make ourselves known, people might hire us to commit crimes for them."

"Delightful," commented Tommy. "Especially coming from a clergyman's daughter!"

Well they do go into business together, but not as criminals. :P They become amateur detectives instead.

I have to say one of the reasons Tuppence is one of my favorite characters is because of her adventurous spirit. She is a girl who likes to keep busy, a fearless go getter, who's always ready for excitement. She's clever and independent, and full of humor. I love reading about her and all the adventures she goes on. She is definitely a fictional role model of mine. :D