Monday, October 31, 2011

In My Mailbox October 2011

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi, The Story Siren.  It is a weekly feature where book enthusiasts showcase the books they got in the mail, from bookstores, from the library or anywhere else for the week.  However, I only feature books once a month.

So in October I ended up getting a LOT of books.  But I was good and I only bought one book.  Luckily it is my summer holidays starting Wednesday so I will have more time to read.  Anyway, here is what I got in October:


Bought:


The End by Lemony Snicket


Dear Reader,



You are presumably looking at the back of this book, or the end of the end. The end of the end is the best place to begin the end, because if you read the end from the beginning of the beginning of the end to the end of the end of the end, you will arrive at the end of the end of your rope.
This book is the last in A Series of Unfortunate Events, and even if you braved the previous twelve volumes, you probably can't stand such unpleasantries as a fearsome storm, a suspicious beverage, a herd of wild sheep, an enormous bird cage, and a truly haunting secret about the Baudelaire parents.
It has been my solemn occupation to complete the history of the Baudelaire orphans, and at last I am finished. You likely have some other occupation, so if I were you I would drop this book at once, so the end does not finish you.
With all due respect,
Lemony Snicket
I've been trying to collect these for ages now and after 7 years my collection is now complete.  Such a relief and they look awesome on my shelves.


Library:


Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart




I wanted to turn but I was held captive by the song on the wind. I’m coming, I told the voices. Please, wait for me.

When her sister becomes betrothed to a prince in a northern nation, Zeraphina’s only consolations are that her loyal animal companions are by her side – and that her burning hunger to travel north is finally being sated.

Already her black hair and pale eyes mark her out as different, but now Zeraphina must be even more careful to keep her secret safe. Craving blood is not considered normal behaviour for anyone, let alone a princess. So when the king’s advisor, Rodden, seems to know more about her condition than she does, Zeraphina is determined to find out more.

Zeraphina must be willing to sacrifice everything if she’s to uncover the truth – but what if the truth is beyond her worst nightmares?



Super excited for this one as it sounds amazing, and Rhiannon is an awesome blogger!


Gifts:


The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli




Rejecting the traditional values of political theory, Machiavelli drew upon his own experiences of office in the turbulent Florentine republic to write his celebrated treatise on statecraft. While Machiavelli was only one of the many Florentine "prophets of force," he differed from the ruling elite in recognizing the complexity and fluidity of political life. 


My boyfriend bought me this one to read because next year I am planning on taking a political philosophy paper so it should be interesting and give me a bit of background into politics.


Review Books:


Yes by Deborah Burnside




Flashcard: Determination. Make that, flashcard: Friendship - Foolishness - Fear. Because they can all look the same to Marty. M&M, as he's known to his friends, might have trouble reading people, organizing things or pleasing his father, but he knows that when his mate Luke - Legless - attempts to involve him in another crazy venture, it's futile to resist. This time it's the Young Enterprise Scheme. Luke believes it will make them rich and popular - and along the way will capture the heart of his elusive love. Marty wonders if it should be, flashcard: Madness. Reluctantly, Marty says YES. And what comes next is a whole lot bigger and weirder than he could ever have imagined.


Deborah Burnside is a New Zealand author, so it is always good to read books by New Zealand authors.  I'e actually read a book of hers before and it was really good so I'm looking forward to reading this one.


The Jesus Fish and Slaughter Bird by Clark Casey




An epic novella about four twenty-something lost souls who meet in a bar in Manhattan in the early 1980s. The rollicking narrative follows them for 20 years of their turbulent (and often funny) lives into the turn of the century. The cast includes an aspiring musician/artist and hypochondriac desperately trying to rid himself of his native Queens accent, a racist pool hustler who falls for a Chinese girl, a well-endowed shy girl in search of true love, and a pretty girl with abandonment issues and a dream of becoming a “florologist.”


This one looks like a quick fun read and right now I am really into reading funny books.  So I'm excited to read this one.


Equinox by Lara Morgan




It’s Rosie’s seventeenth year and she’s starting her first year at Orbitcorp Academy, but it’s not going to be all parties and pilot training. Helios hasn’t forgotten her – and she certainly hasn’t forgotten them. Bent on revenge Rosie is still working in secret to try to take them down.

But a terrible miscalculation will send Rosie once more on the run, this time into the unknown lands of the north, Gondwana Nation, where word has it Helios is building something big.

There will be a new friend and a new boy – the handsome and wealthy Dalton Curtis – who will surprise Rosie with a secret she can’t begin to guess. And Pip will return, but how does he feel about Rosie, and where has he been?

Pursued again and on the run, Rosie might not have time to find out all the answers, but what she will learn is that a capacity for evil can be equalled by a capacity for good - and she will be forced to make a choice that will change her future forever.



Scourge of an Agnostic God by Michael Juge




How would Metro Sapiens wired for instant gratification and global connectivity cope in a post-apocalyptic reality? Unwittingly living out a mordant version of the movie Groundhog Day, Intelligence Analyst Chris Jung, tormented by panic-fueled obsessive thoughts, stumbles towards suicide until a mysterious series of electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) strikes across the globe and plunges the industrialized world into darkness.
Motivated to protect his pregnant wife, Chris postpones his earlier plans and leads a small group out of the escalating lawlessness inside the Washington, DC Beltway into rural Virginia. Meanwhile, Unitarian Minister, Rita Luevano, battling with her own crisis of faith, guides her congregation to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello to escape the fires raging in Charlottesville. Chris and Rita, along with the remnants of a Marine battalion, establish communities of urban refugees in the Shenandoah Valley, and refuse to succumb to the enveloping chaos.
In the process, a tenacious spirit awakes in the haunted souls of Chris and Rita, which had lain dormant in the high-tech sedentary world. Scourge of an Agnostic God intertwines the depths of human experience with quirky, ironic humor as suburbanites battle for their lives out where Civil War trails converge with outlet stores.



A Hard Rain by Michael Juge




Our post-modern-addled friends from Scourge of an Agnostic God are back in the second installment of the Shift trilogy, the plucky post-apocalyptic thriller. It's been 5 ½ years since the Shift first plunged the industrialized world into darkness. Left with only a few old diesel engines and Classic Rock albums recorded on vinyl, the EMPs have forced the survivors to adapt to a world devoid of computers, bereft of a global economy and reeling without Facebook.
Our favorite obsessive compulsive Chris Jung has grown up (a little) and now leads the Vicious Rabbits Bicycle Mounted Cavalry through the necropolis of the DC Beltway region, protecting Rochelle and her allies in the Orange Pact from bandit raids. Meanwhile, Reverend Rita Luevano struggles to maintain an uneasy peace between the Unitarian majority and the Christian minority in Greater Monticello.
The Orange Pact allies are threatened by foes all around. Outnumbered and outgunned, they stand against the rising tide of chaos and tyranny largely through the wily interventions of the intelligence organization known as the Swan, headed by Meredith Jung. But the darkness is closing in on this little slice of sanity in the Shenandoah Valley. Meredith knows it's only a matter of time until the Lambs of God in Lynchburg decide to attack, and when they do, there will be no stopping them. Furthermore, Meredith carries a secret so potentially devastating that it dwarves the prospect of being overrun by religious fanatics bent on their destruction.
Rita is called to join Chris and his Bicycle Mounted Cavalry on a mission of utmost urgency that leads them into the heart of darkness: suburban Maryland. Along the way, they discover that nothing is as it seems. Between Meredith's secret and the revelations uncovered in Maryland, Chris, Rita and Meredith find themselves where they would really rather not be, at the center of the vortex where the entire fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Dude.
The Lens and The Looker by Lory S. Kaufman
There's hope for the future, but what about the past?

It’s the 24th century and humans, with the help of artificial intelligences (A.I.s) have finally created the perfect post-dystopian society. To make equally perfect citizens for this world, the elders have created History Camps, full sized recreations of cities from Earth’s distant pasts. Here teens live the way their ancestors did, doing the same dirty jobs and experiencing the same degradations. History Camps teach youths not to repeat the mistakes that almost caused the planet to die. But not everything goes to plan.

In this first of a trilogy, we meet three spoiled teens in the year 2347. Hansum almost 17, is good looking and athletic. Shamira, 15, is sassy, independent and an artistic genius. Lincoln, 14, is the smart-aleck. But you don’t have to scratch too far beneath the surface to find his insecurities.

These three “hard cases” refuse the valuable lessons History Camps teach. But when they are kidnapped and taken back in time to 1347 Verona, Italy, they only have two choices; adapt to the harsh medieval ways or die. The dangers are many, their enemies are powerful, and safety is a long way away. It’s hardly the ideal environment to fall in love – but that’s exactly what happens. In an attempt to survive, the trio risks introducing technology from the future. It could save them – or it could change history.
The Bronze and the Brimstone by Lory S. Kaufman
What could go wrong in the 14th-century
for three time-traveling teens?
How about – EVERYTHING!

Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln, three teens from the 24th-century, are trapped in 14th-century Verona, Italy. They’ve survived many deadly experiences by keeping their wits about them and by introducing futuristic technology into the past. Principal among these inventions is the telescope, which brought them to the attention to the rich and powerful.

But standing out can get you into unexpected and dangerous situations. The nobles of Verona now believe Hansum is a savant, a genius inventor, especially after he brings them plans for advanced cannons and black powder. Being the center of attention is great, but the potential for trouble is now exponentially greater because people are watching Hansum’s every move.

Meanwhile, artistic genius Shamira has fallen for a Florentine artist with bloody and disasterous consequences. Lincoln, considered an incompetent back home in the 24th-century, has blossomed – at least until he’s shot in the head with an arrow. And Hansum, after secretly marrying his new master’s beautiful daughter, Guilietta, is offered the hand in marriage of lady Beatrice, daughter of the ruler of Verona. To refuse could mean calamity for all the teens.

Amazingly, none of this is their biggest challenge. Because a rash illness is spreading across Verona – and it is threatening to consume everyone. 

Do they have a future in this past? 
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn.


I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her.
My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…

The Digging Crew by Nathalie Mallet

Sammy’s life is a nightmare, and it’s all her fault. First, she is caught shoplifting—a big no-no in the hard-on-crime Dominion’s world—and is shipped to a prison-mine for women on a faraway desert planet. Then on her first week there, she destroys a droid belonging to the prison…on purpose. So when she’s sent deep into the pit of the mine as punishment, Sammy doubts she’ll live to see her sixteenth birthday. After all, this is the diggers’ level, and they are the prison’s most violent criminals. To her surprise, she finds a new family in one of the digging crews. But she also makes a deadly enemy. Can she and her crew manage to escape the prison and regain their freedom?

Eden by Matthew C. Plourde


When an earthquake plunges the world into darkness, Alexandra Contreras struggles for survival and seeks answers. Guided by a mysterious, scarred man, she braves the wasteland in search of humanity's mythical birthplace: Eden. Once confronted with her tragic destiny, she must make a decision which will alter the fate of the world.

And that was my month in books.  Hopefully I manage to get them read next month.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

What Was I Thinking: How Not to Date by Annie Earley

Title: What Was I Thinking? How Not to Date


Author: Annie Earley


Published: Tribute Books, 2007


Pages: 124


Summary: I'm not one to sit around and wait for something to happen. I wanted a man. My Dating Profile Writing this book became an obsession with me. I want you to think, feel, eat, sleep and live the dating experiences I had over the course of a year. As you meet Sponge Tom, "Skip-To-My-Lou" Stew and Lame Joke Jim, I hope you recognize my determination to maintain my self respect and high standards in a relationship as well as the ability to find humor in any situation. The men I dated are all nice enough guys, I just took the opportunity to make light of their idiosyncrasies and things that happened in my relationships with them. With the help of my "advisory committee" I learn that physical appearance goes hand in hand with what's inside. Join me as I learn the ins and outs of online dating.  (Taken from Goodreads)


Thoughts: I was looking for a light and funny read and when I was flicking through my adobe digital editions I started reading What Was I Thinking and didn’t stop.  It was really light and entertaining and I guess it was really good because it wasn’t my usual kind of book.


I don’t tend to read much in the way of non-fiction these days and I was starting to feel a little bored with what I have been reading lately so What Was I Thinking was a really good refreshing read and it made me think I should be reading a bit more non-fiction because it was definitely enjoyable.

While I didn’t get as many laughs out of What Was I Thinking as I thought I would, I still cracked a smile here and there.  It was just interesting to read about someone else’s experiences with dating, especially when they had some funny little quirks about them.

If you’re looking for a fun, light afternoon read then I think that What Was I Thinking by Annie Earley is definitely a good choice of book.  I think it would especially make for a good beach read too!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guest Post: Matt Xell on Jacobius Trent

A little while ago I read and reviewed Tower of Parlen Min by Matt Xell.  Well, today I have a guest post from Matt all about Jacobius Trent who is a character in Tower of Parlen Min.


About Jacobius Trent


Hi everyone! I'm Matt and thanks so much for reading this somthing-of-a-guestpost. Super-thanks to Rabecca for inviting me on her blog. And today I'd like to talk about Jacobius, one of the five characters on the cover of my book.


Jacobius Trent is the most renowned inventor of the late 20th and early 21st century and wealthiest man in the world of Everlon. In Tower of Parlen Min, Jacobius is described as a  38 year-old man, with a mess of jet-black hair and blue eyes. He dresses smartly at most times, in custom tailored and mostly black suites and coats. He is very charismatic and well-spoken, albiet a little ecsentric, somewhat arrogant, overly optimistic and naive.


He was born Jacobius Abanon Sidler of The House of Trent on Janua 16th 1968; the son of Jerar Trent and Sarah Banten III, and is the last of the 5 Trent heirs to reside in the Tower of Parlen Min, in The Opus Empra's country of Machus Ina. Jacobius inherited the Tower at the age of 16 when his father and mother, who were both archeologists and explorers, were killed when a Tomb they were excavating in Aegyt caved in.
Though Jacobius first studied as an artist and an architect at Los Amiere's University in Bradil when he was 18, but during his time there he developed a keen interest in the history of the ancient olympians, their culture, art and, more especially, their science and technology. When an experimental art and engineering project of his, which was modeled on several concepts borrowed from olympian technology on flight and the use of alternative energy sources, caught the attention of several scientists and physicists at the university, his best friend and project partner, Susanor Blut, tried to convince him to drop out of art school and persue a career as an engineer instead. Jacobius agreed to major as an engineer but continued to minor in art and architecture.
After recieving several honorary degrees in engineering and physics, Jacobius and Susanor founded Alsa Labs in 1988. Susanor served as the CEO, Chairman and Head Engineer at the new Start-Up, focusing her attention on developing technologies based on Quantam and Astro Physics; then very risky and narrow fields of science in Everlon, mostly pioneered by the Scandanavian race, who are not allowed to share their knowledge by the Angels and High-Master of Orem. Jacobius served as the company's CFO and Head of Research, though he was intially lazy and unambitious in his role to Susanor's annoyance; focusing most of his time, money and resources on modifying already existing patents and inventions of industry, office and household machinery.
Jacobius and Susanor, who had secretly been lovers and had been in an unstable and often conflict filled open-relationship since their teenage years, married in Juls 1989. Sadly, Susanor died a year later in November 1990 shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Matisilda Amelia Blut.
After a 2 year period of depression and disillusionment over the loss of his wife, during which Alsa Labs lost most of its financial backing and went bankrupt, Jacobius assumed the role of CEO and Chairman of the company, taking over all of Susanor's unfinished projects. By the year 2002, after filing in over 1,500 modified patents as well as 200 new patents of his own inventions, Jacobius became the wealthiest man in Everlon when Alsa Labs and the newly founded Trent Industries Inc. went public. But it was also during that year that Jacobius suffered yet another tragedy, when his then 11-year-old daughter, Matisilda, was kidnapped and murdered after an attack on the Tower when he was away in Atlantis, during his company's IPO.
The event of his daughter's death was widely publicised by the press. Jacobius was horribly criticised by many for neglecting and estranging his daughter during his rise to power and fame, leaving her to the care of his butler, Lercia Cromweld, which many assumed made her an easy target for the kidnappers. But Jacobius stayed strong through the ordeal and by the end of his company's IPO, he'd gained an estimated and unprecidented wealth of over 105 billion dollars.
Jacobius is perhaps most famously known for his inventions of the self-energising and self-sustaining Alsa Astro Engine which revolutionised the flight industry (and cut down on the world's CFC emissions by 40%), the Alsa Anti-graviton Plate, and the Alsa Moltav Emulator Microchip.
In 2006, after achieving his goal of working and collaborating with others on over 5120 inventions and modified patents, Jacobius decided to retire and leave the Tower of Parlen Min. In memory of Matisilda and Susanor, Jacobius invited 20 children to the Tower to spend the last few days there with him and compete in the Sword Challenge; a series of intricate puzzles and daring tasks, for a prize of 12 million dollars. 
cheers and thanks again for readin'


Matt

Thanks, a bunch Matt!  Also, if you haven't seen it yet, there is now a book trailer for Tower of Parlen Min which I have linked below so be sure to watch it!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On My Wishlist (8)

So I am incredibly obsessed with Goodreads and I will surf the books on Goodreads for hours and I have found some really awesome looking books on there of late and I have added a truckload to my wishlist of books to buy so I figured why not share my findings because I am all for showing other people books that look simply amazing.



You are not alone
Discover how Lauren Kate transformed the feeling of that one mean girl getting under her skin into her first novel, how Lauren Oliver learned to celebrate ambiguity in her classmates and in herself, and how R.L. Stine turned being the “funny guy” into the best defense against the bullies in his class.
Today’s top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying—as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators—in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal.
Why is this on my wishlist?
It sounds like a really good book and I'm intrigued by what all these authors have to say.  Everyone is bullied at some point in their lives and I think this book definitely looks like something worth reading. 
Contributors: