Sunday, 30 April 2017

April 2017 Wrap-Up





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I was mostly happy with this installment. Kate seemed back to her true kickass self. However, her getting together with Curran reminds me of what happened when Kate & Castle finally came together on the show, Castle. Too smooth and too sweet to be real!


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Steven Brust is one of my favorite authors. His books soothe me when things get really rough, which is why I will hoard them until I can’t anymore and have to read them! He is also sweet enough to reply to his readers and followers on Twitter. I forget how to exhale every time he responds to me though!

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This book featured twin Frankenstein brothers. One of the quotes that stayed with me:
I looked at my brother. I often had the uncanny feeling that I was waiting for his show of emotions so I could better know my own.

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Betsy continues to be her clueless self yet manages to kick butt. For all the times that everyone around her sells her short, she still defeats the bad guys all by herself.


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Okay, how do I describe my issues with this book? It wanted you to think it was doing something new or unique but it wasn’t. It is the same YA formula where someone utterly powerful has been waiting for our heroine for thousands and thousands of years. Our heroine kept finding things that were supposedly untouched by anyone else yet in places that are very likely to be discovered. The story couldn’t make up its mind about whether it wanted to be YA or adult. And then, we find out that she is the reincarnated version of one of the three main deities. So, not a good fit for me.


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This one took me by surprise. The writing is disjointed to the extreme and yet it as musical as one of the characters in it who can only speak in music! It also involved a multiracial same sex couple but the romance didn’t sound made up. One of the characters wasn’t almost feminine despite their talking the way they did. I mean if someone can pull that off, I’d want to read other things written by them. The guy talked in musical notes, y’all! Anyway, I liked the book and everything about it, except for the ending, which was a letdown. I needed more!

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Gah, don’t even get me started on this one. The only reason I’m continuing to read this book is because I want to finish the series. It is one thing to ask the reader to suspend their disbelief, it is something completely different to ask them not to use any kind of logic at all. I mean, the woman has been mind-raped for a decade and one day with our hero is enough to undo all of that. I get that she feels safe with him but dude! Then there’s also this issue of the evolution of the series. It isn’t like there is no evolution. It just isn’t happening fast enough. Let’s see how I stick with this series and the spinoff that has made its appearance on the bookstands.

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I am reading this one for Work Bingo since I rolled the dice to a Based on a Myth shelf.

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Officially, I’ve started reading this one since you will find it on my TBR. However, I have yet to finish even a chapter. Luckily, I did find a copy at the Liberty Book Bazaar this month and I think I’d be more likely to finish this gargantuan volume with a physical copy in my hands. More about my book booty for this month in this post.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Book Booty Plundered in April 2017


 



I shopped in two batches this month:

Liberty Book Bazaar

This is the haul I ended bringing home from the bazaar:

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While I don’t mind searching for the books in the piles that are dumped on tables in Liberty, I do mind that the collection gets worse and worse every month. I had to do a lot of digging before I ended up with these baubles. The amount of digging has been increasing with each bazaar. In the past, I have defended it when people said that you can’t find any good books there because I did, time and time again. Now, I’m not so sure!

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I have yet to read anything by Kim Stanley Robinson, which means this might be the wrong book to start with. I’m going to give it a shot anyway, which is why I bought this.

The Thursday Next series is amazeballs as Icky will tell you. Like what she had to say? Read more of her musings here. I’m slowly collecting all the books in the series. This is such a pretty cover!

My reasons for buying Shogun can be found here.

Roth, Snicket, and the Irish Fairytales Omnibus all looked really interesting!

A look inside the minds that thought up Narnia & Middle Earth? Sign me up!

This will make me stick to my plan of reading more Non-fic. I thought if I started with books on subjects that interested me, success will be more likely.

I loved Night by Elie Wiesel and wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass me by.

Kitabain

This online site continues to kick ass. It has an amazing collection of sci-fi/fantasy books, which is the only tab that I click on while there anyway. I mean, I found this gem on the site! They are prompt in delivering the books unlike some stores I know. They will never change the price of a book either. The rider will text you before leaving and if you mention a specific time for delivery, they will agree to it without any extra charges. The books are all reasonably priced. If I didn’t love going to bookstores and physically picking out the babies, I’d do all my book shopping from here. The only caveat that continues to be irksome is that often a book will be shown as available when it isn’t. I don’t like it!

Here’s my haul from Kitabain for this month:

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The two Douglas Adam’s are so beautiful that they make me want to cry! I have already read the first one in the series, so I just had to get the next two.

The two Frank Herberts are also the next parts in the Dune series that I need to read. These might be paperbacks but they’re in awesome condition as promised by the bookseller. My buddy read with Weird Enough can be found here.

The next couple consists of two compilations of sci-fi stories and I love how I get to sample the work of an author by reading a short story by them. It helps me decide if I want to try a novel written by that author or not. Also, one of them had a story by Clifford Simak and since I recently read and fell in love with his book, All is Grass, I was like:

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Then there are Asimov and Aldiss who are basically must-reads if you are into sci-fi, so I HAD to buy those. Right? Also, I loved Asimov’s Bicentennial Man and mention him here in my new short story for Wringo Ink.

Abercombie is an author that I have been wanting to try for a while now. Friends who like the kind of stuff that I do swear by him, so I thought what the heck!

For my previous book shopping posts, go here, here, and here.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

A Slightly Feminist Installment in Project Frankenstein in the form of My Frankenstein by Michael J. Lee.











So far, I've read about Frankenstein's twin brother whom he tried to save but couldn't, which lead to the events of the original version.

I have also come across his twin daughters, one of whom was curious enough to continue with his work.

And, this last book that I read mentioned him to be a champion of Industrial Revolution, trying to force a small town into the modern world.

What is evident in the Frankenstein family tree is there is a dark thread running through it, which appears in all its members!

What I Liked About My Frankenstein


The refreshing way Frankenstein acted to Eva's intelligence. It didn't matter to him if she was a girl. What made her beautiful to him was her mind. In fact, there was one scene where he sees Eva and her very beautiful friend together. Even then, Eva's beauty calls out to him while the friend he dismisses as an Amazon. That isn't to say that Amazons weren't awesomesauce. It is simply how Victor thinks because to him, brute strength is for mentally inferior people.

The "monster", Adam, is as innocent as the original monster. He also retained the stubborn nature and had a way with words. All of it kept the true spirit of the original alive.

Some of the words that stood out to me:

It's in that moment you discover that you never really cared about benefiting mankind. What you did, you did for yourself. To stand on the mountaintop and look down on mankind. The mortal sin of pride.

These words were spoken by Igor who assisted Victor in his quest and later came to regret it.

Maybe I feel nothing because I am nothing. Or am I nothing because I feel nothing?

Spoken by Adam, these words made me sad. They stem from all the brainwashing that Victor had done on the poor creature, even going as far as to tell him he wasn't even a thing, let alone a man!

What I didn't Like About My Frankenstein


There wasn't any depth to the story. I don't know why it felt that way to me. It could be the sequence of events, which wasn't surprising at all. It could also be how Eva behaved towards Frankenstein, which was again no surprise. It might be the ending as well, which doesn't fit in with the rest of the novel.

So, this is how the project stands now

  1. Parent Material: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  2. Others' Take: The Mammoth Book of Frankenstein by Stephen Jones
  3. Historical Retakes: Anno Frankenstein by Jonathan Green
  4. Genre Spins: Steampunk: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein by Zdenko Basic
  5. Young Adult Forays: Dr. Frankenstein's Daughters by Suzanne Weyn
  6. Sci-Fi Pastiche: Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz
  7. Philosophical Entree: Frankenstein and Philosophy by Nicholas Michaud
  8. Series Picker-Uppers: The Second Birth of Frankenstein by Will Hill
  9. Prequels: This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
  10. Precipitating Conditions: The Lady and Her Monsters by Roseanne Montillo
  11. Character Spotlight: My Frankenstein by Michael J. Lee
  12. Technological Difficulties: Frankenstein's Cat by Emily Anthes
  13. Changed Perspectives: Frankenstein's Monster by Susan Heyboer O'Keefe
  14. Graphic Detail: Monster Of Frankenstein by Dick Briefer, David Jacobs, Alicia Jo Rabins Edwards
     



I'm now reading, Undead and Unworthy, by MaryJanice Davidson.



 It is a part of the Undead series, which is a whole lot of fun. Give it a try, if you like Vampire Queens who have a killer sense of fashion and not much brains! I still love how she deals with being easily distracted and doesn't let it stop her from doing the right thing. It awes me that people constantly underestimate her and yet she just does her thing.




Because Tor has a re-read going on and I've been meaning to read it for a long time:




I will end this post with a Frankenstein joke:



Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Status of Project Frankenstein & Other Updates




Reading Goal


I have completed half of the goal that I set for myself this year. Really happy that I'm getting some reading done even with life being as crazy as it is.



Project Frankenstein


I have finished 8 out of the books that I originally included in the post. Right now, I'm reading My Frankenstein, which is fun. Frankenstein & Philosophy remains abandoned even now. It isn't just dry; it is also repetitive, which makes it even worse!


Book Bingo



Besides this, I am also playing Book Bingo with my workmates. At the moment, I'm reading a book for the Myth-Based shelf




this is the progress that I've made so far:






Wringo Ink.




As you guys know, we started a Writing Bingo game at work, as well. So far, I've written a short story in the Romance genre, one with a Philosophical twist, and a play! Now, I'm writing a story that starts with a certain phrase. The phrase was chosen by our long-suffering readers and goes like, "Once upon a time, sharks flew across the sky."




Booklikesopoly


As if I don't have enough things going, I am so tempted to start this game. If I do, I think I'll let it extend beyond May 2017 because I want to finish as many books off my TBR as I can! I have already rolled the dice for the first time and got 7 viz.


and I'm thinking of reading this one because I haven't had a chance to read it yet:



Five Exercises for Writing Stronger Narrative Personality


I think I'll be starting with this one and take my time to finish writing about each personality:

Exercise 1: Free Write


"Take three personalities, and spend fifteen minutes free writing in their voice. You can write about absolutely anything – what you ate for breakfast, which elder god will swallow the world, or what the character’s life is like – as long as you do it with their personality".

I want to start with, A cultist on the edge of losing their soul to an elder god, because it sounds very Malazan-esque and really cool!


The Missing Slate Contest


A short story content that I will be participating in. Here are the details:




The Salam Award for Imaginative Fiction


The daddy of all awards and I want to participate in this one. The deadline is mid of May and I kept thinking I had time but now April's almost gone and I'm panicking. I have the beginnings of an idea but I don't yet know how to pull it off. Moreover, the idea tells me that the story is going to be Military SciFi/Fantasy. I might have read books in this genre but writing a story seems impossible.


Stick along for the ride & I promise, I'll keep you posted!
Original post: miduhadi.booklikes.com/post/1553255/the-status-of-project-frankenstein-other-updates

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Wringo — A Story of 3 Readers Who Wanted to Read and 5 Writers Who Wanted to Write for Them






It all began when we were slogging through yet another round of Bingo. The dice was rolled at work and the category, Out of Your Comfort Zone, caused us much discomfort.

While reeling from having received the news that we’d be reading a book that we won’t normally choose, Qurat, thought she’d share an idea with us.

The idea was for us to combine writing and bingo where 5 of us who loved telling would write a story based on the genre dictated by a dice roll. Read this post for details on who you’d find on the writers’ team and the ladies who’d be reading their work.

Go here to find out more about how Wringo (Writing Bingo) works. So far, we have made it through four rounds. I have been a part of 2 of them.

One of my stories was an unusual “Romance” while the other was for the “Philosophy” round. They can be found here and here. Since we decided to keep the length of the stories between 300-1000 words, it won’t take long for you to sample them.

If you have any questions about #wringo or want to join in on the fun, let me know in the comments.