Thursday, October 31, 2013

Alternatives to Pirating Books

Thursday, October 31, 2013
I have a few bookish pet peeves. Spoilers, dog-ears, the way people leave a book open and face-down so that the spine is damaged, etc. Book piracy, though, is one of the biggest of my pet peeves.

By pirating a book, you are stealing. You're taking something that the author (plus the editors, marketing team, literary agents, and others who are behind the novel) put months into making and that something is the way they make their money.



This was part of a long Twitter rant this morning.

So why do people pirate books? Well, there are a few reasons I came up with...

1. They don't want to spend money
2. They don't want to wait for a book's release date
3. The book isn't available in their country

As for #1, there are legitimate reasons for not having enough money. Books are expensive, especially new hardcovers. But that's why libraries are so fantastic- you can take out books for free! There are usually e-book copies on top of print copies! And if your library doesn't have the book, you can always put in a request. (Of course, there are libraries who don't have the means to fulfill all the requests, and that does pose a serious problem to which I honestly don't have a solution. I do know that in my library system, if your branch doesn't have a book, odds are another branch in the system will.) If the library option doesn't work, ask to borrow the book from a friend or ask for it for Hanukkah/Christmas/your birthday or enter a hundred giveaways online... the point is, you can get books without breaking the bank and without stealing.

The Retribution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #3)As for #2... it may sound harsh but, tough. Sometimes you'll get lucky and you can win an advanced reader's copy or even receive one from the publisher. But when it comes to big books (books like Veronica Roth's Allegiant or Michelle Hodkin's upcoming The Retribution of Mara Dyer), advanced reader's copies aren't even made since there's already buzz surrounding the book! That means that all fans have to wait for the release date and, really, if you're supporting a beloved author, you can wait a few days. The book will be just as good on the actual release date as it would be the week before... it will actually feel better because you won't have piracy on your conscience.

#3: It stinks that the book isn't available in your country. HOWEVER, there are ways to get the book that don't involve piracy! The Book Depository, besides having great prices and a large selection, ships worldwide for free. Curious to see if your country is on the list? They have over a hundred that they ship to, so I'll just link you to the list.
People who pirate books obviously love to read. Logically, then, they want authors to keep producing books so that they can keep reading them. The only way to guarantee this is to actually buy the book (or to borrow it from the library). But piracy? That means no money which means the publisher has no incentive to continue to work with the author and I know no one wants that.

So what is your solution to book piracy? Is it ever okay?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (107)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

TOP TEN Books for Halloween

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

1. The Diviners by Libba Bray
2. Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
3. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
4. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
5. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
6. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
7. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
8. Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
9. Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
10. Everlost by Neal Shusterman

Which spooky books will you be reading this week?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Book Review: All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

Monday, October 28, 2013
All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1)
Genre: Western
Publisher: Vintage
Series: The Border Trilogy #1
Age Group: Adult
Source: Borrowed
The national bestseller and the first volume in Cormac McCarthy'sBorder TrilogyAll the Pretty Horses is the tale of John Grady Cole, who at sixteen finds himself at the end of a long line of Texas ranchers, cut off from the only life he has ever imagined for himself.  With two companions, he sets off for Mexico on a sometimes idyllic, sometimes comic journey to a place where dreams are paid for in blood.
Summary from Goodreads. 

As anyone who read my review of The Road knows, that book made me fall in love with McCarthy's writing style. I went into All the Pretty Horses expecting to similarly love the prose, which I did... however I didn't connect with this book in the same way.

First of all, ATPH is a *slow* read, in that the first 150 pages felt like the reading equivalent of being stuck behind someone driving at 15 mph on a 50 mph road. And while that may be a bit hyperbolic, you get the idea; if I hadn't been reading this for class, I'm not certain whether I would have continued. However, my teacher did promise it would improve after page 150 and that proved to be true (though if half of a book is so dull, is it worth reading for a fantastic ending half?).

But even in the first half, I did really like and sympathize with John Grady's character. This boy has been through so much- his parents neglect him, he's lost his closest family member, his mother is selling his childhood home, and that's not all. On top of all this, he's clinging to traditional frontier-esque values in a world that's increasingly embracing new technology. And yes, this is sad and on one hand you may want to pity him, but it's also really admirable and kind of incredible that he is able to maintain his idealism.

The other characters are great, too. Rawlins (JG's best friend), at least in the beginning, is good for a few chuckles and I really wanted to give Blevins (a companion they meet along the way) a hug (though I get the sense that he wouldn't like that very much). My favorite character, however, is Duena Alfonsa. She's such a complex character and her back story combined with her intelligence, independence, and cynicism made me want to read a whole book about her alone.

One minor aspect that irked me was the way Spanish is used. I'm pretty good at figuring out root words and since I take French, I could figure out a lot of what was being said. Also, I have no problem if foreign languages are used in a few lines of a story to add to the atmosphere. It's another thing entirely, though, if I have to interrupt my reading to go translate an entire paragraph or page.

Ultimately, there is a lot to get out of All the Pretty Horses, but I'm not sure it's worth the initial frustration. Hardcore McCarthy fans may like it, but as a relatively new McCarthy reader, it isn't going to be one of my favorite books.
*3 stars*
A Quote from the Book: "We weep over the might have been, but there is no might have been."

Do you think a book is worth reading if the beginning is rough? What if it's the opposite situation and the ending is weak?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

In My Mailbox (100) + Weekly Recap

Sunday, October 27, 2013
The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova (won from author- thank you!)

MondayIn a (non)shocking turn of events, A.S. King's new book Reality Boy is amazing.

TuesdayThese character names are some of my all-time favorites.

FridayWith Hanukkah coming so soon, you might want to add these Bookish Buys to your wishlist.

Around the BlogosphereFiktshun is talking blog identity. Novel Thoughts is sharing John Green's take on the Allegiant controversy.

The newest Reader's Report (the newsletter for bloggers by bloggers) is out today!

What did you get in your mailboxes this week?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bookish Buys: Bendable Bookshelf and Bookish Charms

Saturday, October 26, 2013
Each week I post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. Please know that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items.

Personalised Bookaholic Mug - Purple
Bookaholic Mug
A very relatable mug for all bookworms.

The Fault in our Stars Headband
An accessory for John Green fans.

Book Charms
I can't even tell you how much I want the Graceling book charms. (*Adds to Hanukkah wishlist*)
Floating Book Shelf - L Shaped
Bendable Floating Bookshelf
This looks so cool (and I feel like it'd be perfect for a dorm room).

Have you found any great Bookish Buys lately? Share them in the comments and I might feature them in next week's post (with credit to the finder, of course).

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (106)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

TOP TEN Character Names

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Basically, all of Kristin Cashore's character names.
1. Katsa from Graceling
2. Po from Graceling
3. Bitterblue from Graceling/Bitterblue
4. Fire from Fire

And, of course there needs to be a Libba Bray shout-out.
5. Gemma Doyle from A Great and Terrible Beauty

And Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, of course!
6. Karou
7. Zusana

Can't forget about John Green.
8. Augustus Waters from The Fault in our Stars
You certainly can't leave out the Harry Potter series, either.
9. Hermione Granger

And my absolute favorite:
10. Peter Pan from, well, Peter Pan.

Which character names are you favorite? Share any of mine?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Review: Reality Boy by A.S. King

Monday, October 21, 2013
Reality Boy
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Series: Standalone
Age Group: YA
Source: Won from author (though this in no way affected my review) - thank you!
Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he’s still haunted by his rage-filled youth—which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school.
Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he’s tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone’s just waiting for him to snap…and he’s starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that.
Summary from Goodreads.

I want to give this book to every parent who has ever put their child on a reality TV show. And then I want to give this book to every single person who has ever watched one of those TV shows. And then (when they're old enough to read) I want to give this book to the kids who were forced on those shows.

Seriously, King's Reality Boy is biting at times in its (accurate) portrayal of reality TV, but it's also incredibly insightful, thoughtful, magical, and gritty. This is really just a fantastic premise for a book and one that is so flawlessly executed- it's everything the camera don't show and then some as the reader gets in the mind of a reality TV "star."

Said star, Gerald, is a very raw character and hugely sympathetic; King doesn't spare any of the horrid, heart-wrenching, and sometimes disgusting details of his life (as for the latter, I mean, he isn't known as "The Crapper" for nothing). I don't want to give away too much of his journey, but his progression throughout the story is tumultuous and quirky. It will make you laugh and cry and scowl at the utter injustice in his life, but Gerald's courage may just make you do a fist punch in the air, too (metaphorically, of course, especially if you're reading in public).

What's amazing is that every single character, even those who are there for only a scene, feels vital to the plot. What's even more incredible is that King can make you sympathize with any character, and considering one particular character (you'll understand when you read it), that is saying something.

Naturally, since this book is written by A.S. King, you won't be able to put it down. Every time I pick up one of her books, I'm just wowed by the way she combines the crazy with the everyday while still keeping it fresh in each novel. So, as a warning, you should try to start this when you aren't particularly busy/in want of sleep because there is a large chance you'll want to shirk your responsibilities and just keep reading.
*5 stars*
For Fans Of: Going Bovine by Libba Bray, Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
Which is your favorite A.S. King book? OR Which A.S. King book do you plan on reading?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Weekly Recap: October 13-20

Sunday, October 20, 2013
Did you miss something this week? Don't worry- everything that's been happening on the blog is down below! 


I got a few books...(oh and I'm back from my week-long hiatus!)


The Sky Is Everywhere



The Sun Also Rises


Where The Wild Things Are Hair Bow - Novelty Hair Bow

Around the Blogosphere

From Pub(lishing) Crawl: Empowering Young Women with Fiction
From Stacked: Friendship in YA (we need more of it)

What's been going on on your blogs lately? Leave me a link!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bookish Buys: Bowties, Bracelet, and a Button

Friday, October 18, 2013
Each Friday I post a different collection of book nerd swag, from jewelry to action figures, that I find on the Internets. Please know that I am not getting reimbursed in any way, shape, or form if you choose to buy these items.
Where The Wild Things Are Hair Bow - Novelty Hair Bow
Wild Things Bow Tie
Perfect for formal occasions... well, probably not, but it will definitely be an ice breaker.

Miniature Book Bracelet Stack of 3 Mini Books and Leather Bracelet Red Gold
Book Bracelet
I would never take this off. Seriously.

Miniature Book Necklace My Hearts in Books Mini Stack of Leather Books Necklace Red
Book Necklace
To go with the bracelet, of course.

Bookish Keep Calm and Read On Pinback Button or Magnet
Read On Button
Solid advice.

iPhone 4 Classic Peguin book cover. Personalized hard case add your own title and author name.
Create-your-own Book Phone Case
I kind of want an iPhone just so I can get this... (Unfortunately, that would be inordinately expensive.)

Would you rock a bowtie like the wild things one?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What I've Been Reading

Thursday, October 17, 2013
Since I took the week off, I felt like this would be a good opportunity to discuss what's been going on (book-wise) for the past month or so since school has started. So come on in, kick off your shoes. Do you want something to drink? Tea, perhaps?

Okay, now that you're settled...

What I've Been Reading

Since school started up again I've been busy, to say the least. A lot of the books I've been reading are for school, some of which I've reviewed here (see The Alchemist and The Road).

The Sun Also RisesSiddharthaThe AlchemistThe RoadCrime and Punishment

And I've also been reading my last manuscript for my internship with Inklings Literary Agency, which was an amazing experience! 

Now that I have a short break before I need to read the next book for school (All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy- I'm really excited to read another McCarthy novel!), I'm reading The Sky is Everywhere per Dahlia Adler's excellent recommendation.

The Sky Is Everywhere
Seriously, this book is breaking my heart in all the best ways.

And in other book-related news...

I'm now in charge of my library's YA book club! This is a.) exciting and b.) sad, which I know is a weird combination. 

A.) Exciting
Of course I'm thrilled to get to run one of my favorite activities! I already have a whole herd of ideas running through my brain. I'm also flattered that my librarian asked me to take over! 

B.) Sad
The librarian I mentioned above, the one that started the YA book club and who is one of the sweetest people you'll ever meet, got a promotion at another branch. And while I'm really excited for her, it's also hard to say goodbye! (But her new branch isn't so far away, so I think one of the book club's activities will be a field trip...)

Next month's book is Thirteen Reasons Why, a book I read years ago and loved. Can't wait to read it again and to get discussing! 

As for everything else, the latest Reader's Report came out not too long ago, I shared a giant book haul collected over 3 weeks, and Inside the Industry will be returning soon with two more interviews!

Phew! So that's what's been going on with me. What books have you been reading?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (105)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

TOP TEN Required Reading books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

The Good

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Giver by Lois Lowry
3. Gideon's Trumpet by Anthony Lewis
4. Lies My Teacher Told Me by James Loewen
5. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Honorary Mention: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
The Great GatsbyThe Giver (The Giver Quartet, #1)Gideon's TrumpetLies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got WrongCrime and Punishment

The Bad

6. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
7. Beowulf
8. Call of the Wild by Jack London
9. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
10. Frankenstein: The Graphic Novel (this one is on here only because it was a graphic novel and I'm not a huge fan- I really want to read the original book!)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, #1)Beowulf: A New Verse TranslationThe Call of the WildHeart of DarknessFrankenstein The Graphic Novel: Original Text

Even though I didn't enjoy reading the last five, I'm still glad I read them. They all taught me something (for ex. about the ideas of the time period in which they were written) or hold some value (for ex. Beowulf being the first English writing). All of these books, the good and the bad, were an experience, you know?

Which Required Reading books made your list?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Book Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Monday, October 14, 2013
The Sky Is Everywhere
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Publisher: Dial
Series: Standalone
Age Group: YA
Source: Library
Seventeen-year-old Lennie Walker, bookworm and band geek, plays second clarinet and spends her time tucked safely and happily in the shadow of her fiery older sister, Bailey. But when Bailey dies abruptly, Lennie is catapulted to center stage of her own life - and, despite her nonexistent history with boys, suddenly finds herself struggling to balance two. Toby was Bailey's boyfriend; his grief mirrors Lennie's own. Joe is the new boy in town, a transplant from Paris whose nearly magical grin is matched only by his musical talent. For Lennie, they're the sun and the moon; one boy takes her out of her sorrow, the other comforts her in it. But just like their celestial counterparts, they can't collide without the whole wide world exploding.

The Sky is Everywhere is one of the most beautiful books I've ever read. I don't mean just the prose either, though it's gorgeous and there are so many quotes that I want to share with you ( you can check out my Tumblr archive for that). I also mean the atmosphere of the story. TSIE has the feel of a magical realism novel, without the magical realism... if that makes any sense. Somehow all of the darker, grittier events are seamlessly interwoven with the fantastic, fairy-tale-esque wonders, creating this amazing symphony of a book (which is actually a terribly corny pun, since a lot of the story does involve music, another plus).

And then there are the poems. They're found at the beginning and end of most chapters with pictures of the gum wrapper/crinkled paper cup/bathroom wall that they're written on (it makes sense when you read it, I promise). I'm very particular about the kind of poetry I like, and I found every single poem beautiful. Some of them I want to copy down and put up on my walls. And the way they're presented is simultaneously heartbreaking and wonderfully creative.

But my favorite part? The part that made me want to hug the book and never return it to the library? (Don't worry, I'm going to...but I am planning on getting my own copy.) That would be the characters, especially Lennie. Lennie, even though she feels differently for a lot of the novel, is so dynamic. As I read, I felt everything she feels. And even though I (thankfully) haven't been through a loss like hers, I know what it's like to have such a close bond with an older sibling.

I really want to go into all of the other characters in depth because they're AMAZING, but I'll spare you. However, I will say that a.) I want to be like Gram when I'm older b.) I want to hug Big c.) Toby's plot line just broke my heart over and over d.) Sarah (Lennie's best friend) and I would be best friends, and not just because of the name thing and e.) if you ever find a boy like Joe Fontaine, please oh please send him my way.

There is so much more that I want to say about this book, but I'm not sure I have the words to say it. The Sky is Everywhere is one of those novels that you love not just because of the writing or the characters or the plot but because of that overall feel, that wow factor. The closest I can come to describing it is to say that it's one of the most gorgeous books I've ever read- it's really so incredibly special- and everybody should go read it.
*5 stars*
A Quote from the Book: "You can tell your story any way you damn well please. It's your solo."
What's a book you've read that just has that special wow factor?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

In My Mailbox (99)

Sunday, October 13, 2013
Hi everybody! I'm back! (And a day early!) 
Thanks for understanding my week-long hiatus. Tomorrow my review of The Sky is Everywhere will go up and everything will be back in the bloggy routine. 

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (for school)
Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (see below)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (a belated birthday present- so happy to have my own copy!!!)
Reality Boy by A.S. King (see below)
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle (won from Riffle- thank you!)
United We Spy by Ally Carter (a belated birthday present-I don't want this series to end!!)
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (a belated birthday present- now I have the whole trilogy!)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (see below)
Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann (borrowed from a friend per his recommendation)

Signed Books!

All won from Susan Dennard as part of her Something Strange and Deadly Book Club! (Thank you, so much!)

Won from A.S. King- thank you so much! (Reading it now and it's really good!)

Since I was on hiatus, there's no weekly recap! However check back Thursday for some Bookish Updates. :)

What have you gotten in your mailboxes?