New Year’s Goals: Books and Blog

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I started this blog in September and I started it because I wanted to have my little corner where I could talk about books, writing, and anything I felt like. I’m glad I  started it. I’ve discovered some like minded bookies out there and that alone has made it worth it.

I have plans for this blog in 2014. I want to make a schedule and keep it. I’m thinking at least a post every Wednesday. I know there might  weeks where that won’t be possible because next semester is my last. However, I plant to stick to that schedule as best I can.  I rarely make new year’s resolutions.  I like to think that if I want to make changes in my life I’ll just start at the moment I make my decision. Why wait for a specific day? However, I’m writing down a list this year. I don’t think of them as resolutions so much as goals and accomplishments. They are designed to be something to look forward to and keep me motivated.

I always give myself a challenge with books. Mostly it involves an amount and perhaps a genre. My goal for this year was 80 books. Ten more than last year. I surprised myself in finishing 119 books this year.  It helps of course that I am an English major, but still many of the books I read were entirely for enjoyment.

I also wanted to read more fantasy outside of YA, and I accomplished that goal.  I have a new found love for it, and tons more books on my list. Some of my favorites this year: The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning,  The Gentlemen Bastards Series by Scott Lynch, and The Sea Beggars by Paul Kearney. It’s been a blast discovering this genre.

Some Goals  for 2014

  1. Read 100 Books. It’s a challenge, but I did it this year, so I know I can!
  2. Write More. (Very Important)
  3. Try to Review every Book I read. (Or at least share thoughts)
  4. Post once a week.
  5. Explore my city’s bookstores and libraries more.
  6. Read more nonfiction
  7. Read more Sci-fi.
  8. Abandon books  if I’m not enjoying them.
  9. Always remember to have fun.

I will also be participating in the Electric Reader Challenge. More on that in my next post as well as my top 5 books of 2013.

So that wraps this up. I am hopeful for 2014. It’s been fun having this blog and interacting with some of you. I’ll be ringing in the new year with my loved ones and my twelve grapes. Let’s see what 2014 has in store for me.

Cheers to 2014!

-Anasylvia

Finals and a very late November Wrap-Up

 

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                                                                                       Beautiful L.A. Beach Day

I’ve been away for what feels like awhile. I had a ton of things come up. I wrapped up finals, and celebrated the end of what I have dubbed the semester from hell. I mean every semester feels hellish when you’re in it right? But this one felt particularly brutal. Then I got a bit sick which kept me in bed most days. Now I have to prepare myself to brave the last minute Christmas shopping. Joy.

Now I finally have time to read again. Not that not having time stopped me before, but  now I don’t have to feel guilty, or stop myself because I have to get back to a dry twenty page paper. Time to be lazy. Time to make a dent in my Netflix queue. Apply for internships.  Enjoy the rare rainy days in L.A. Take more walks. Maybe go somewhere who knows. Well at least till January, then I will start my final semester. I’m nervous and anxious but mostly excited. I’m tired of being a student.

I hope I can catch up on book reviews I’ve been neglecting to do those. I’ve been reading, but due to a previously mentioned twenty page research paper, plus other papers, presentations and such, I’ve been a bit drained. Which has been making me sluggish in all things. I wrote a book review for Looking for Alibrandi ,a book I really enjoyed, yet when I started editing it, I realized I didn’t like what I had written and then deleted it. I’ve been doing that a lot lately with stories or poems. I spend all this time on something, then I delete it.  I can be a bit of a perfectionist. Even with the small stuff which is a good trait to have, but also annoying especially when applying it to a hobby. So I hope I can get back to writing those and posting them on here for you kind souls who take the time to read them. I appreciate it.

Lastly here is a very belated November wrap up. Just wanted to keep the flow going with these.I’m not doing any summaries this time around. I enjoyed all them for the most part, except for The Raven Boys

82436Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta 

16248114Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende

15798757Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

887877Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

12600138Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

760  Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 

2187Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenidies

17675462The Raven Boys By Maggie Steifvater

561456The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

Thanks for reading!

-Ana

Book Thoughts: American Gods

           

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4.5
This is my first ever Neil Gaiman book. I read his short storyHow to Talk to Girls at Parties and as much as I enjoyed that story, it did not prepare me for the monster that is American Gods.

“You know,” he said, “I think I would rather be a man than a god. We don’t need anyone to believe in us. We just keep going anyhow. It’s what we do”

American Gods is difficult to explain. The story follows Shadow who is recently released from prison. He is serving out a six year sentence, but is let out after three years for good behavior. All shadow wants to do is go home to his wife Laura and rebuild his life; however, the day before his release he is informed of Laura’s death. Her death leaves Shadow dazed and confused which is how he finds himself accepting a job proposition from the mysterious Mr. Wednesday. Unsure of what he’s gotten himself into, Shadow agrees to do what ever Wednesday demands of him. The only thing Shadow really knows for sure, is that a storm is brewing and now he’s caught in the middle of it.

I think its best to go into this one with as little background as possible. That’s how I did it. I picked this up because I thought it was finally time I read some Gaiman. I am a huge fan of mythology and here we get bucket-loads of it, and not just the usual suspects like the Greek or Roman Gods. Gaiman touched on old African lore, Native American, Scandinavian, Indian etc. This even read like an epic poem, or a tragic heroic saga.

The novel is evenly paced giving just enough information to keep you intrigued. It wasn’t that the story was just enjoyable, but it was also so finely crafted. It had great attention to detail that my low attention span brain found easy to focus on, along with some gorgeous imagery. It had a healthy dose of humor. The most bizarre scenes were made so normal, and the writing had some very memorable quotes,

“So, yeah, my people figured that maybe there’s something at the back of it all, a creator, a great spirt, and so we say thank you to it, because it’s always good to say thank you. But we never built churches. We didn’t need to. The land was the church. The land was the religion. The land was older and wiser than the people who walked on it.”

“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore it knows it’s not fooling a soul.”

“He had known a man in prison who had been imprisoned for stealing library books”

So here I am finally on the Gaiman bandwagon. From what I’ve gathered, Gaiman wrote this book to pay tribute to America and its vastness and its multi-culutral melting pot, and I believe he succeeded.

Overall a fantastic read.

Small Book Haul From Small Business Saturday

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Yesterday  was small business Saturday, so I headed over to my local indie bookshop to show my support. I rarely allow myself to indulge in book buying  because1) I have way too many books I already own that I haven’t read. (I’m sure many of you understand this, so I am preaching to the choir)2) I am a broke college student and new books are bit on the pricey side for my budget at the moment.3) I just don’t have any more room!!

However, supporting local stores is important especially bookstores. I would hate to see my local bookstore be just another empty building.  So that eased some of my guilt… also the delicious new book smell.

These three books have been on my list for awhile. Have any of you read these? Let me know what you thought of them if you have!

1) The Bookstore by Deborah  MeylerIMG_0778

One of my life ambitions is to work in a bookstore, but my ultimate dreams is to own my own bookstore, so books about bookstores always get to me. Also look at the cover.

2) Among Others by Jo WaltonIMG_0779

I’ve heard noting but great things about this one. It’s supposed deal with magic and boarding school all of which  are right up my alley.

3) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss IMG_0777

This has been getting rave reviews from almost everyone I know who has read it. It’s a bit of a monster clocking in at 722 pages; however, everyone says it is well worth it. Let’s hope so!

And as a bonus they  let me chose from a rack of Advanced Reader Copies and I got,

Ten Things I’ve learned About Love by Sarah Butler.IMG_0780

I’ve never heard of it, but the blurb said something about travel and that was all I needed.

So there goes my mini haul. I probably won’t get around to reading these till after finals, but for now I can admire them on my shelves.

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Bye for now.

-Ana