Archive for ‘college’

May 1, 2012

School’s Almost Out Book List (Sp2012 edition)

Every summer I make a list of every book that I plan on reading over the summer; then while I’m at work I find all the books that have shiny pretty colors that I buy because they have shiny pretty colors.

Trapeze

The House of Velvet and Glass

Let’s Pretend this Never Happened

There is No Dog

City of Lost Souls (May 8th)

Abandon Book 2: Underworld

Hemlock

Size 12 and Ready to Rock (Jul 12th)

Throne of Glass (COME OUT NOW)

Abused Werewolf Rescue Group

From Bad to Cursed
(sequel to Bad Girls Don’t Die;
which was one
of those books that kept me up for
days because I was terrified)

I think I’m going to stop here, but there is so much to this list it’s a little bit embarrassing. I have it written down on a piece of paper, and  it’s a wonderful list that has a bit of everything.

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April 30, 2012

Book Marketing

I’ve been taking some advertising and marketing classes for pure entertainment, and I really actually like them. As a result, I took a gander at some book marketing strategies that companies, authors, and agents have been doing and I decided to do a quick rundown of the strategies they use.

First, the book trailer.
Possibly the most annoying thing every created by the internet. It’s a book commercial. These things can make even the best books look kind of boring, and I just have never really liked them. But I understand their purpose, these spots are usually only 30seconds, and whether they’re aired on TV or just on YouTube, they let people know that books are coming out.

Then, my personal favorite: Author interaction.
Plenty of famous authors have had websites since the internet began, but they couldn’t interact with their fans in a quick and convient way (yeah email existed, but who answered those?). Twitter, (which has connected me to many of my favorite authors in recent years) is an awesome way for authors to get in touch with potential readers, agents, and publishers. It’s also great for people who have already been published who want to let people know about their books!
One great example of this is an author who I began following recently, S.M. Boyce. Her book is a fantasy called The Grimoire: Lichgates (you can get it from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords). She followed me on twitter, and I decided to follow back. Then a few days later she tweeted that her book was free on Amazon for the day. I downloaded it to my kindle, and I’m really enjoying it.

Third is publisher promotion:

Those are just published Pinterest pages, but you get the idea. Publishers spend time promoting their books in ways they havent before, and I love it. They promote new releases, and old titles, and just plain interact with fans of books. Except now, publishers aren’t these weird book middle-men. They’re these cool groups of people who are passionate about what they do, and they spend lots of time on twitter, Facebook and Pinterest letting people know about cool new products (aka awesome new books).

I miss my childhood though. When I would just go to the bookstore and see shiny new book covers, and choose them based on how cool they looked. I still do that a lot, but it’s getting harder since when I’m at school the closest bookstore is a Walmart.

This post is going to get a follow-up of all my favorite author/publisher twitter pages and Pinterests.

March 22, 2012

The Benefits of Binge Reading

In the last 12 hours I’ve finished 3 novels. One of which I reread for my own pleasure, and the other two simply because I was in a ready mood. There’s really no other way to explain that. I lazed around my house with all the windows open, sun streaming in, and just felt like it was the perfect day to read things I wanted to read, and not homework that had been assigned by professors.

The first new book I read was Across the Universe by Beth Revis. It’s one of those books that’s been sitting on my shelf for a while. I was drawn in by the cover, so I bought it. Then I was put off by the corniness of the quote on the cover: “What does it take to survive aboard a spaceship fueled by lies?”. Then the second book in the series came out, a year later. Ladies and Gentlemen, this book  has been sitting there unread, for over a year. Now it wasn’t my fault! I was travelling after I bought it (in January 2011) and then I just, forgot. Nonetheless, I picked it up today, a full year and two months later, and actually loved it.

Let me give you a quick rundown of this book. Amy is a 17 year old girl who is given the choice by her parents (and I suppose the government) to be cryogenically frozen and travel with them to Alpha Centauri to inhabit a planet that is reportedly fit for human life. The novel opens with Amy watching first her mother, then her father, go through the freezing process before she inevitably decides to give up her life on Earth and stick with her parents. Once she gets frozen, the POV switches to Elder, the future leader of Godspeed, the ship that is taxed with the 350 year journey to Centauri-Earth. The population of the ship has been ravaged by a recent Plague that required a new system of leadership to be put into place, and he is the next in line. Elder is only 16, and like any young leader to be, he is reluctant to conform to his teachings, and prefers the company of his friend. He gets pointed in the direction of the cyro chamber, where he finds Amy frozen in her tube. A series of events takes place that involves Amy being reanimated incorrectly (and most importantly before her time). There’s some mystery, and some romance (dur) and the best part is the dictatorship that thinks that individual thought is the root of all fighting.

I loved how honest it was. The two main characters, Elder and Amy, have absolutely no problems about being honest with themselves. That’s rare, especially for a YA novel. Amy quickly comes to terms with the fact that she will never see her parents again after she is reanimated, and immediately throws herself into a project. Elder fights the hold that the Eldest has on him in order to keep Amy safe, and in doing so reveals to himself the truth’s of his little society.

It was a pretty quick read, and definitely one you want to do in one go, mainly because the narrative is a little stilted. The POV switches for every “chapter” and often the sections are quite short. The second book is called A Million Sunsand apparently the spaceship is no longer fueled by lies, but chaos.

The second book I read was Legend, by Marie Lu. I’ve followed her for a while over on Pub(lishing) Crawl which is by far one of my favorite writing/publishing blogs since it’s run by a group of ex-fictionpress authors (including the wonderfully talented S.J. Mass, whose book Throne of Glass is FINALLY being released later this year) but there are so many super talented ladies that have come out of both fictionpress, and Pub(lishing) Crawl that their work is always worth checking out.

Legend is about two people (look at me with my POV switching books) Day and June.

June a 15 year old prodigy who got a perfect score on the Trials, a government test that judges the line of work a child is worthy for. Now the trials sound truly horrible. At the age of 10 you are judged on your agility, reflexes, and intelligence. If you fail you’re sent to the labor camps. If you pass you get to go to school. June, the only one to get a perfect score of 1500, (SAT’s anyone??) is in her final year of university, and causing trouble. Her section of the novel opens with her being scolded for traveling off campus to scale a building. Day’s section opens with him looking over his family. Immediately setting the tone for his personality, he’s watching out for them as the soldiers go door to door checking for plague victims. He’s essentially Robin Hood, except he mainly only cares about his family, and his friends, and messing with the oppressive government. Of course, they have to be enemies. June is a military girl at heart, and Day is a rebel because of what his government has made him.

Legend was fab, because it wasn’t just the usual dystopian lone girl defies government and blah happens book. It was a political thriller, with twists and turns (even though a few of them were predictable). It was fun to actually go along with the characters and figure out what was happening, and there are hints dropped throughout the novel, and most importantly, it fun to read. There were plenty of sections that got my adrenaline up, and it was totally not a book you should read before going to bed… because then you won’t. You’ll actually be too hyped up to do anything but dance and wonder when the second book is coming out (Fall 2012).

There’s also a game of this on facebook (I’m totally a member of the Capitol ya’ll).

There ya go! two books in one review.

February 13, 2012

Reading Tips + Recipe.

While I’m in school I don’t have a lot of spare time for fun reading between homework, extracurriculars, and trying to spend time with friends.  So I have a way of making sure I get in normal books in addition to everything else! I read while I walk to class, when I’m at the gym,  and in that wind-down period before I go to sleep. Mostly though I read while I cook since I’m fortunate enough to have an on campus apartment. So yesterday I was reading while I did some nice de-stressing baking, and I decided to post one of my favorite recipes so ya’ll can do the same.

White Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 Stick salted or unsalted butter (your choice) softened
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
3 Squares Baking White Chocolate (High Quality)
2(ish) tsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup of Cold Milk

Makes 14 cupcakes.

Preheat Oven to 350

In a small bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Then set it aside.

In a large bowl Cream the butter and sugar together, before adding in eggs one at a time. Then Chop the White Chocolate squares and microwave them till melted (it takes about 2 minutes depending on your microwave, but make sure you don’t burn them!) Stir the White Chocolate into the egg, butter and sugar mixture. Then stir in the vanilla extract. Now it’s time to stir in the flour mixture. Mix it into the butter mixture in parts, so you don’t overheat your mixer, or hurt your hand (if you’re old school). Then stir in the cold milk.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or till golden brown.

Cream Cheese Frosting
16oz Cream Cheese (two 8oz bricks, or one large brick)  softened
1 stick butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar (sifted or unsifted)

Blend together Cream Cheese and Butter till creamy. Then blend in the 2 cups of confectioners sugar. Taste it, then if you don’t find it sweet enough add in the extra 1/2 a cup of sugar. To make the frosting look brilliant, put the frosting in a plastic bag and cut a hole in the corner and use that to frost. It’s the poor mans piping bag.

Let the cakes cool for about 30 minutes. Frost and Voila! You’re done.

I bet you’re wondering how I read while I baked this huh? Well, I prop my book against various kitchen things and bend it back super far so it stays on on page, or I read on my kindle. :]

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