Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Books Published in 2010:
Heist Society (Ally Carter)
Mystery, adventure, history, art, and thievery come together in this book for a fast-paced and exciting read.
A Conspiracy of Kings (Megan Whalen Turner)
I've always loved the wittiness and clever twists of the Attolia series, and this newest release did not disappoint.
Shakespeare, magic, legends, costumes, mischievous fairies, and lovely words... what more could you ask for? I adore this series (and the covers are amazing as well!).
Scarlett Fever (Maureen Johnson)
Maureen Johnson's writing is so much fun to read. Her characters are so endearing and hilarious, making this a great feel-good book.
Mockingjay (Suzanne Collins)
Although I despised the ending (I'll always be Team Gale!) and was very disappointed in Katniss at the end, this was such an anticipated, mind-boggling, EPIC read that I had to put it in.
The Dragons of Noor (Janet Lee Carey)
Rich in storytelling and magic, Janet Lee Carey's new book is imaginative and original - a must read for anyone who likes fantasy!
The Heart is Not a Size (Beth Kephart)
I actually read this last year, but it's still one of my favorite books. I enjoyed reading about Juarez and the surprising strength of the people there, and this book was written in a simple yet touching manner.
Dangerous Neighbors (Beth Kephart)
Can you tell by now how much I love Beth Kephart and her writing? :D Dangerous Neighbors is a wonderful showcase of her amazing writing talent, and the story kept me reading until the very end.
The Lost Hero (Rick Riordan)
Although this book was a bit of a letdown after the Percy Jackson series, it was still nice to reconnect with the characters and dig deeper into the history and mythology of the Greek gods. And the ending.... all I can say is that I can't wait for the next book!
Clockwork Angel (Cassandra Clare)
A great prequel to the Mortal Instrument series with well-developed characters and a unique story. I would recommend reading City of Bones/Ashes/Glass first though.
Books Read This Year (but not published in 2010)
Study series (Maria V. Snyder)
This is one of my favorite series - it's so full of adventure and exciting escapades and magic that I could never put the books down!
City of Glass (Cassandra Clare)
Thrilling and suspenseful... I don't know how Cassandra Clare does it every time. :)
Leviathan (Scott Westerfeld)
Before reading this book, I barely knew anything about WWI, and I hadn't read anything in the steampunk genre. Leviathan was surprisingly interesting and informative at the same time, and I loved all of the drawings that accompanied the story.
The Mystery of the Third Lucretia/Rescuing Seneca Crane (Susan Runholt)
I discovered this series through another blogger and immediately got hooked! The characters are great and so much fun to read about, and the stories are exciting as well. These books are perfect middle grade mysteries for the average sixth or seventh grader.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
the sky holds its breath
in anticipation of the coming snow,
tonight's stage prepared:
frosty cold air stagnant and muffling
while northern winds dance, frenzied,
among the upcoming performers
the moon a blurred pastel smudge
the color of yellow diamonds,
edges gray and foggy.
moon of purest white,
like a diamond inlaid in a
stone of cold winds and
clouds of indigo blue.
all hardened edges and
rims of amber gold,
light reaching to all four
corners of the sky.
the night quietly waits,
and below, the cries
of a child and the
slamming of car doors
sound oddly out of place.
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Friday, December 03, 2010
snowflakes giggle and
chase each other,
following gusts of wind and
swooping through the air,
performing their own ballet.
the choreographer is displeased.
they calm down and tumble quietly
to the snow-softened earth.
the music strikes up again.
frenzied, the winds roll
nimbly in the sky,
caught up in their own
Sunday, November 28, 2010
- One person will win a $65 gift certificate to use at any of the CSN Stores!
- Open only to US and Canadian residents (sorry!), and the gift certificate will not cover international fees to Canada.
- Giveaway ends on Friday, December 10th, 2010.
Because this is a bigger giveaway than the last one, and because it's the holidays, I decided to add in the opportunity to earn extra entries! I want to thank all of my followers and everyone who has supported me so far on this blog. So here's how that will work:
- +1 for simply filling out the form below and entering the giveaway.
- +2 for being a follower of this blog, Book Crumbs
- +1 for every time you link to this giveaway in a blog post, tweet, blog sidebar, etc. (So for example, if you link to this giveaway twice, you will get 2 extra entries.)
To enter, please fill out the form below. After the 10th, I'll randomly select a winner. Good luck!
Saturday, November 27, 2010
One thing that disappointed me was how much sitting around there was. I know that most of the first half of the book was just sitting around and going from forest to forest, but I'd hoped that they would add more action in the movie. The action scenes were few and far between, and they were quite short and abrupt as well. Most of the movie focused on the emotional trauma and difficulties that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were going through. The only reason why I wasn't bored was that I knew what was going to happen next, so I could eagerly anticipate it.
I didn't like the casting for Yaxley at all (he was blond, I thought he should have had darker hair and a sharper face), the guy who played Mundungus Fletcher was weird and totally unexpected, but he still kind of worked. The casting for Bathilda Bagshot was spot on and even creepier than I imagined! The scene with her in Godric's Hollow was awesome.
Also, the scene where Dobby dies was so sad! I thought the dialogue in that part was absolutely perfect, especially what Dobby says right before he dies.
I thought that the decision to portray the Tale of the Three Brothers as a creepy animation was a great one - the animation definitely served its purpose and enhanced the story so much!
For those who have watched the movie, I also LOVED the scene with Hermione and Greyback, when she can see him and he can smell her perfume, but not see her due to the protective enchantments! Amazing!
One word of caution for people who are planning to see it - if you haven't read the books, then the movie is probably going to be confusing and/or boring (at least, that's what I think). The storyline can get complicated at times - before the movie, I was trying to explain the story to my dad and it took forever because I had to keep backtracking and explaining side stories of why this character would do this and how Horcruxes are different from Hallows, etc. I know that if I hadn't read the books, I would have had a tough time understanding what was going on. Especially since sometimes, with their British accents (as wonderful as they may be), the actors can be a bit hard to understand, and sometimes they swallowed the words at the end of their sentences.
Overall, though, HP7 Part 1 was a good, dark, and tense buildup to the last movie, which I can't wait to see!
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
So here's how it goes:
- One person will win a $45 gift certificate to use at any of the CSN stores.
Open to everyone*eta: Open only to US and Canadian residents (and gift card won't cover international fees to Canada) ... sorry for the mess up!
- Giveaway ends on Saturday, November 20th, 2010.
Since this is my first time hosting a giveaway, I've decided to keep it really simple - there won't be any extra entries or anything. To enter, please fill out the form below. A winner will be randomly selected after the 20th.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
On another note, a friend and I were doing Indian art (Rangoli) demonstrations at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) last weekend! It was a fun experience and we got to see the Pablo Picasso exhibit which is on display at SAM as well.
The art of Rangoli is an old and important tradition in India. The word “Rangoli,” which signifies colorful art in Sanskrit, refers to a drawing, pattern, or arrangement made on the floor. Traditionally, Rangoli is drawn in front of houses and front doorways, usually on religious festivals and occasions. However, more recently, Rangoli has also been drawn during birthday celebrations, weddings, and more. In certain parts of India, especially South India, drawing Rangoli is a daily practice.The main purposes of Rangoli are for decoration, to welcome guests, and to bring good luck.
If you're interested, here are some pictures from the event (all taken by my friend's mom):
Friday, October 15, 2010
In The Dragons of Noor, we get to see more of the amazing cultures and landscapes of Noor and Oth. How did you come up with such diverse and fascinating worlds? How did you create their language?
As a fantasy writer I’m always aware that I’m working within an ancient storytelling tradition. Many of us write of wild woods, strange creatures, fairy folk, and dragons. The challenge is to bring freshness to each new tale. World Building happens through a process of daydreaming and determined exploration. I put myself into the story; walk in it and through it as any explorer does. The world comes alive as I enter with my senses open. The practical side of World Building comes later as I try and create a consistent, vivid world. However, I’m keenly aware that the world doesn’t have to make complete rational sense. Our natural world is wild. Not perfect or neat. A perfect world is a sterile one. The worlds that evolve in my stories have to feel real.
You asked how I create the languages. I’m a very auditory writer. Language is music. In the beginning I hear the new words as a kind of music and spell them as I hear them. Language building like world building is a very slow process. I hope readers will enjoy writing messages using the Othic Alphabet in the back of the book. The letters correspond with our own so you can write coded messages in it.
Were any parts of the story based on old stories or myths?
The World Tree is an symbol used in many cultures and traditions such as Yggdrasil from Norse Mythology. You can see an illustration of Yggdrasil on this website [or on the right here]. Other Indo-European traditions and Native American tales feature a World Tree.
In the Noor books the World Tree, Kwen-Arnun, has its own cosmology. Kwen-Arnun is both male and female. In the second age a great quake shook NoorOth breaking Kwen-Arnun in two and splitting the worlds apart. The damage caused by the broken tree and the separation of the two worlds sets up The Dragons of Noor.
What is your writing process?
I do a lot of daydreaming before I ever go to the page. Once the story idea is strong and the characters are facing trouble, I dive in to see how they’ll handle it. I already knew Miles, Hanna, and Taunier from The Beast of Noor. This adventure had to challenge each of them in a new way. Once the first draft is finished, I circle back and read it to see what’s missing and what’s needed to strengthen the story. Later when I’m working with my editor, I rewrite it numerous times adding new scenes and cutting scenes (and characters) that no longer fit. I don’t toss out the cut scenes. An entire scene sequence from The Dragons of Noor ended up in another novel.
Which character do you relate to the most?
I’m close to Hanna. I felt unsure of myself growing up and somewhat out of place. Hanna is reluctant to take on a leadership role in this novel, but she’s challenged to do just that. She steps into her power. I learned something about how to step into my own power through her.
What was the most fun part of the book to write? What was the hardest part?
I loved writing the early scenes when the ancient forest is toppling down. I wrote those chapters in the hospital while my son was having surgery – they took me away from the hospital setting and the story seemed to echo in those places. Later I loved writing the scenes with the Dragon Queen who is powerful, frightening, and driven to do what she has to do to save her dragon pack.
You often do some kind of outreach along with a book launch. What are you doing for The Dragons of Noor?
Loss of the ancient trees is central to the book, so I looked for just the right charitable organization to celebrate the launch. I found a perfect fit with The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees.
Plant a Billion Trees' goal is to restore one billion native trees to Brazil's highly endangered Atlantic Forest over the next 7 years. “Tropical forests are the lungs of the earth, filtering out ten million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year. Every day these valuable trees help reduce global warming.”
Readers who want to help restore the forest can check out the “Giving Back” page on my campaign page.
What can readers expect from you next?
I’m working on the sequel to Dragon’s Keep. In this medieval tale, currently titled Tess of Dragonswood, an abused girl charged with witchcraft escapes in leper’s garb and challenges powerful fey magic to craft life and love on her own terms. We’re in the final revision stages now and hope to see it hit the shelves in fall 2011.
Thank you so much for the interview, Janet!
For anyone in the Seattle/Kirkland area, Janet's launch party for The Dragons of Noor will take place at Parkplace Books in Kirkland on Saturday, October 23rd, from 7-9 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
The old and ancient trees of Noor are dying, and the worlds of Noor and Oth are slowly tearing apart. Magic has started to disappear from Noor, and a mysterious and fierce wind has been picking up young children and carrying them away. Miles, his sister Hanna, and his friend Taunier, determined to find out what's going on and save Noor and Oth, travel to the forests of Jarrosh. There, they find the exiled dragons, who aid them in their quest to preserve the trees and "break beyond the boundaries of self to discover the ancient magic joining all to all."
Monday, October 11, 2010
Friday, October 01, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
"There was a lull in conversation, and in the quiet, someone from a side table addressed the king. 'Your Majesty,' he asked innocently, 'is it true that your cousins once held you down in a water cache?' ...'Is it also true that they wouldn't let you out until you agreed to repeat insults about your own family?'...
"The king shrugged his shoulders slightly and said, 'I could send you to ask them.'
"The man laughed. His laughter was edged with contempt. 'It would be a long trip, Your Majesty. I would so much rather hear the answer from you.'
"'Oh, the trip would be quicker than you think,' said the king, pleasantly. 'Most of my male cousins are dead.'"
I'd forgotten how funny this book was!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Maya and I standing next to a piece of the Berlin Wall, housed in the Microsoft Convention Center:
Friday, September 10, 2010
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I had mixed feelings about Mockingjay. Basically, I loved the beginning and middle and hated the ending. And I was very frustrated with the way most of the characters turned out, especially Katniss.
But it's hard to explain my position without giving away tons of spoilers, so I will instead direct you to my spoilery review on Goodreads. Feel free to also leave your thoughts in the comment section - a couple of us are having a fun discussion there.
Monday, August 23, 2010
For anyone else who's unsure if they should watch it or not, there aren't any spoilers in the excerpt. At least, there isn't anything that you don't already know or haven't already assumed.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I'm also looking forward to Mockingjay!!!! (Who isn't?) as well as Beth Kephart's new novel, Dangerous Neighbors. There's been a lot of exciting stuff going on in anticipation of Mockingjay... the YA Fantasy Showdown, the Hunger Games 13 District Blog Tour, and more. And the reviews coming in for Dangerous Neighbors makes me really want to read it too!
So what have you all been reading?
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Cate of Sparrow Review interviewed me as part of her "Under the Lamplight" feature, and the interview is up! Go check it out!
I will be gone until the 7th of August. See you then!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
We chatted with Katherine Grace Bond for a while...
caught up with Janet Lee Carey (who was incredibly nice and also introduced us to some other people)...
and quickly snapped a few pictures with readergirlz divas Justina Chen Headley and Dia Calhoun as well:
Holly talked about her book, previewed the book trailer, read an excerpt, and also made a very exciting announcement:
Afterwards, I gorged on all the delicious desserts there while Janet and my mom commiserated about the woes of driving in Seattle. (Really, it's like a maze there... full of one-way streets and crowded intersections and questionable parking garages...)
Anyways, the party was a lot of fun!