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Everything posted by Kasei

  1. Meant to spend the afternoon drawing and ended up browsing the forum for hours...this always seems to happen when I come here, haha!

    1. Chrissy


      It's the booky spell that's been cast over the site - it gets to us all!!

  2. Recommend a sci-fi/fantasy?

    Surprised no one has recommended Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss to you yet. I heard the second book is not as good, but the first was quite enjoyable. Also, really glad to hear that you are enjoying Mistborn. I think I need to add that one to my list of soon-to-reads, especially since it's going to take so long for the sequel to Way of Kings to come out (another AWESOME Sanderson read that you should check out)
  3. Brandon Sanderson

    Bumping because Sanderson is closer to completion on the next installment in the Stormlight series (aka the sequel to The Way of Kings) anyone else excited?? There is a projection for sometime this year, the website says he's around 80% done......gah! So close! I don't know about anyone else, but I am dying to know more about what happens to Kaladin. Seriously, if you have not read Way of Kings yet, do. Just do.
  4. Book survey

    The Past When did you start to love reading? Ever since I can remember. I have always loved the places reading takes me. Nothing like an adventure in your hands! What books did you love as a child (either read to or to read yourself)? I loved reading animal stories mostly. My first book re-read was Lassie Come Home...I would check that out in elementary school and read it constantly, it was a favorite of mine. This lead to other classic animal reads like Lad, Big Red, Kavik, The Black Stallion series (which I now finally own all of. ) I could go on....the Secret Garden is a book that, for whatever reason, I read annually. It's like my go-to nostalgia read, I love it. Narnia as well, although I would say I probably read that series every 5 years or something, but I love those as well. I would also read Goosebumps, Encyclopedia Brown, Hank the Cowdog, etc...the usual ones. It wasn't until middle school that I discovered fantasy novels (if you don't count Narnia), some of my first being the Tamora Pierce books and Redwall. Childhood memories of reading (if you have them)? I do actually remember reading certain books from the list above in certain places, but nothing exciting to relate. I suppose I do remember on many, many occasions having stacks of books piled around my room because the checkout limit at my library is 99 and I would go there every day after school in High School and almost always ended up browsing and finding interesting looking titles. This is before I was working mind you and had time for such things. Ahhh, good times. Did you read books for school? Oh absolutely. In fact, I kept all my summer reading lists/book suggestion lists for reports so that I could go back later to read them and see what I had missed. It always seemed a shame to not get to read them all. xD Favourites Favourite book: How on Earth do you pick a favorite book? It's like flavors of candy, you get bored if you can only pick one. I guess if favorite equals longevity then the books from my nostalgia list will do. However, I will say that the most impacting book I have ever read is a book called Irresistible Revolution. The Alchemist is also an amazing read and definitely one of my top faves, highly recommended. Favourite author: Hmm....I am quite fond of Robin McKinley. Her first book, a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, is lovely. I also will read anything by Shane Claibourne and Brandon Sanderson, albeit for very different reasons. Favourite genre(s): Fantasy primarily. I am mostly an escapist reader, to be sure. However I dabble in basically everything but horror/thriller, though I suppose to be fair I have never actually tried to read one. Just doesn't interest me I guess. Unless you count House of Leaves....I really liked that one, admittedly mostly for the intriguing book layout. Your Collection Do you own an ereader? Yep, a Kindle, but not the fancy new ones, mine has buttons and a screen, not touch-sensitive. Ebooks or physical books (or both)? Never thought I'd say this, but both actually. My Kindle was a gift from a friend a year ago and I actually love being able to slip it into virtually anything to take with me. I've even taken it backpacking in the Rockies! The only downside is I am cheap and usually borrow my books, it is expensive to purchase them. :/ So all the books on my Kindle are the free classics, but that's okay since I've always wanted to read those anyway. I mostly read actual books though. Hardcover or paperback (or both)? Appearances don't matter, I care what's on the inside! New books or used books (or both)? I'm more of a reader than a collector, so this also doesn't matter to me. Though when I buy I usually buy used because, again, I am cheap. Big books or small books (or both)? Both! Most large books I own are art books though, not really reading books, though I suppose you could read them. What language are most of your books written in? English because I am lame and that is all I can speak. Favourite book shop(s): Half Priced books and/or any book re-sale shop! Do you buy a lot of books? Not really. More than the average person I suppose, but I'm sure most of you here will have me beat. Do you spend a lot of money on books? Nah, the library is my best friend. Amount of owned books: Oh geez, I don't know.....*does a quick glance around room* I have caches of books on top of almost everything and two bookshelves, there's no telling and I am far too lazy to get up and count them all right now. So I'd guess around 250? Amount of books read: Um, also no telling. I've almost always got a handful checked out from the library and have had for at least a decade....seriously, do you guys actually keep a running tally? It never even occurred to me to do so. 0_o Amount of books TBR: All of them. However many I can squeeze in from here to the grave. Reading How often do you read? As often as I can. Lately every couple of days. Where do you read? Usually at home or outside. And if I'm traveling, naturally. I don't get motion sickness which makes road trips that much better. When do you read? Usually after dark when I'm done going about my day. How fast do you read? Don't know. Depends on how much time I have available to me I suppose. I just read, I don't time myself. x) The Forum When did you join this forum? Six years ago, but I didn't really get active until 2010. How did you find this forum? Googled "book forum" one day because I was tired of having no one to discuss the books I was reading with. Most of my friends are casual readers at best.
  5. Kasei's 2013 Read-a-Blog!

    Been flying through the Earthsea series...this last one felt so different than the previous three. Being written 20 years following its predecessors will do that to the tone of a novel I suppose. I kind of miss the storytelling of the first three, though honestly I loved the fourth book up until the last few chapters where it sunk a few points due to what felt like an incredibly hasty wrap-up. ...but I digress, I shall review later. Gonna go ahead and dive into the last book since I have it with me.
  6. Kasei's 2013 Read-a-Blog!

    The Tombs of Atuan Rating: 4/5 Fun. Just fun! I loved how this book was told from an entirely different place and perspective than the first book. Sparrowhawk wasn't even in the thing until the last portion of the novel. It reminds me a bit of The Horse and His Boy from the Narnia series--very removed and from and not starting the same way as the previous book. The book did drag a bit after the first few chapters because it just seemed to be more of the same--more explainations of a dreary life with mysteries that we were given little reason to care about until Sparrowhawk showed up....however, once that happened everything just fell into place suddenly and took off, which was exciting. I really liked the main character and loved how we got to watch her character grow and mature over time. She learned lessons and changed her thinking because of what she learned, and you could see/read it in her speech and actions, it was cool! And I really liked how quickly and believably she and Sparrowhawk bonded--they both needed each other and had to put a lot of trust in one another to get out of their situation alive, it was truly exciting and I was really sad to see the story end just when it did. Would love to know more about what followed in the months after all of that. So, in short, 4 out of 5 for the bit of a drag that was the first portion, but definitely another good installment in this series! I am starting to wish I had read these a long time ago, they belong in my nostalgic recollections alongside Narnia and the Hobbit.
  7. Kasei's 2013 Read-a-Blog!

    Aw, sad to hear it--just finished the second and am almost through the third and I must say I want to see more Tenar and Ged interactions at this point, the Jasper story arch is moot for me now. xD
  8. Okay, so, guess who might be back packing across Europe this summer? Yep, this Texas girl right here. I'm not 100% yet on whether or not I'll be going, but definitely leaning toward yes. I really want to, I was just kind of wanting to save up money to move to Colorado this year. If I go to Europe this basically uses up all of what I've saved so far and then some. However, the friend who is inviting me to go is about to start medical school and this could be my last chance to have an awesome adventure with her for the next six years. I am also told by nearly everyone to travel and see the world while I"m young and unattached....basically because kids and balancing someone else's schedule in your life ruins everything I suppose. xD I have neither of these problems right now, so maybe I should go see what's out there. I dunno. On average we are slotted to spend about 2 days in each country. This will be a month and half long trip going everywhere from the UK to Finland...and basically most of the western half of Europe. Not sure if we plan on hitting Greece or not, need to get the itinerary from her. Oh, and Denmark! We are going to Denmark! I have always wanted to go there, not sure why other than to see Jutland drafts in person. ^^ SO! I was hoping you guys could help convince me that I really need to do this by filling me in on some of the must-sees in Europe. I know most of you live there and maybe you could tell me some of the stuff I absolutely must do or see. Sell me on this trip before my practical side takes over and talks me out of it! P.S. For the record, I am not wanting to be super touristy about this. I don't feel like I will simply die if I don't see the Eiffel tower or the leaning Tower of Pisa or anything (though we do plan to see Stonehenge...) so unless there are some big tourist attractions that are must-sees, don't feel you have to mention them. I'd rather know what I should do/where I should go from a local's opinion of a place than follow a tourist brochure.
  9. Need Advice on Trip to Europe!

    So, my friend and I were going over places we would like to go on this trip and here is what we came up with for the UK--we basically just wrote down cities we have heard of but have no idea what to do in them. If anyone has anything to add PLEASE let me know so we can look into it as we are going to start making lodging plans in the next few weeks...we decided against stonehenge because, well, rocks. For a lot of money. And out in the middle of nowhere. But we are looking for any tips on other must-see places/things. Ireland -Dublin -Temple Bar - Hurling (Gaelic Football) Croke Park Stadium - Howth (near Dublin) cave exploring and ocean adventures! Belfast -Giant’s Causeway Scotland -Edinburg - Loch Ness (because why not. Camping anyone?) England harry potter stuff! -Alnwick castle -The Elephant House -Manchester -London (help! Cool pubs? Non-expensive places to visit?) -Yorkshire moors Netherlands -Amsterdam (The Hague, possibly) Wales: No ideas yet. Help! Any summer festivals going on in the UK in June? Or must-see concerts? We have no idea what is going on over there this summer, so any tips-offs would be helpful. :3
  10. Need Advice on Trip to Europe!

    So! To help you think of ideas, my friend was thinking of maybe seeing some summer festivals (we would be there mid-July) or doing some hiking, I hear it's gorgeous up there. Not really set on staying in Helsinki unless you just know a ton of awesome must-check out things. This will be the end of our month-and-a-half-long-trip so we will be hurting for cash probably so nothing too expensive...unless, again, it's simply a cannot-miss. Note: I am a closet power metal fan. If you know of any cool rock concerts or local music scenes (even non-metal ones, we are music lovers) we should check out, please let me know, haha.
  11. Kasei's 2013 Read-a-Blog!

    A Wizard of Earthsea Rating: 4/5 A great little read! This is one of the parents of modern fantasy, written in the 60s when all there was to read was bad fantasy for adults, silly fantasy for kids, and Tolkein. It is aimed at teenagers so it was a refreshingly fast read, simple but fun to follow along with. The main magic of the book is using the true names of things to control them, so I feel like that is where Name of the Wind drew a lot of its inspiration. And while I know that this book came first it *did* make it harder to read and enjoy the book coming down from my Name of the Wind high. If you do read this, perhaps try reading NotW after or at least put more distance than reading them back to back. The writing style is very different from NotW though, which helped. Wizard of Earthsea has a more classic style of story telling feel, much like the way Narnia or The Hobbit was written. I did like the world it was set up in and the island of Roke as a place of learning--the whole idea of most places in the world only being accessible via boat was interesting. There were some characters I really wanted to see more of. For instance, I certainly wished to see more of the rival character story arch played out...am hoping he will make an appearance in the later books, which I will definitely be reading. It doesn't get five out of five only because I reserve that rating for books I feel everyone should read, books that I want to shout their merits from the rooftops--but please don't misunderstand and infer that this book is sub-par in any way; for what it is, it's a great book and I will be sweeping through the series as soon as they come in from the library. Wise Man's Fear will have to wait.
  12. Kasei's 2013 Read-a-Blog!

    Thanks! I'm glad someone reads them. xD Sometimes I think I get a little too into writing reviews, they are so long and I don't ever mean for them to be. And yesss the Walmart Effect is so good, you've read it then? If not you absolutely should, so interesting!
  13. Everything You Want - Vertical Horizon
  14. Kasei's 2013 Read-a-Blog!

    Name of the Wind Rating: 4/5 Okay, so before I start let me just preface by saying that I have been trying to read this book since 2009. I had a friend who was always talking about its merits and so it's been on my list for a while...but it is a hard book to get your hands on, it would seem! Between libraries being in constant demand and my tendency to read multiple books at once, it seemed I was always having to turn it back in before I'd even picked it up. So to say that I had built up a lot of anticipation for this book is an understatement....and we all know what happens when you build something up so much. Now, do not misunderstand me--it was a really fun book to read and very easy to get into. I enjoyed meeting the characters and getting to know the world in which they operate. It absorbed me for a weekend and left me daydreaming for a week, which is always a welcome after-effect that follows any good read. I guess after how much my friend raved about it I was just expecting more to happen. Not that a lot doesn't happen, it just happens subtly. This book sets the stage for what I feel is going to be a very grand series of adventures. This is the character background-and-introduction book. The story is told in first person, unusual for a Fantasy novel, from the mouth of the main character many years and trials into the future. The reader is not given a clear account of his age at the present, we only know that he is in hiding and giving his account of his life's events to a traveling chronicler who has sought him out for this reason. We are given to understand within the first chapter that our hero is (or at least at one point in his life was) a powerful and well-known figure of his time, if sometimes infamously. The true grab that the author uses to keep us hooked is this promise of more ahead as the main character references instances later in his life and the big questions of how on Earth he came to be where he is now. This book basically tells the story of our protagonist's childhood and coming-of-age as he lives through many varied seasons of life and experiences. He is a flawed person and readily admits it--however I am very hopeful that his pride and occasional pettiness is addressed later in the series as it sometimes irked me a little when he would behave thus and go un-rebuked. Not to say that he was always behaving wrongly, I was usually on his side, but I found myself feeling he was being quite hypocritical at times when he would despise another character for doing certain things and then got away with doing those same things himself when put to question. But I digress, he is after all human and we are all guilty of such things... ...so long story short, a good read that will leave you wanting more.
  15. Kasei's 2013 Read-a-Blog!

    You know, I think it may've been because of you that I added this book to my list years ago, haha! xD Just goes to show how slow I am at checking things off of my reading list. I once read a quote that I feel belongs in all of our signatures: "I was born with a reading list I will never finish."
  16. This forum is great!

    I absolutely agree--this place is so calm and fun and it's awesome to really be able to get into discussing a book and not feel like an outsider or that no one will care about what you have to say. These are the things that have kept me coming back here since 2007, even if I do lurk more than I post... ^^; If it wasn't a good place I wouldn't find myself returning in between the craziness that is my life. Thank you guys for all of the work and love you put into this place! <3
  17. Need Advice on Trip to Europe!

    We're up for anything, one of our group has a friend who lives in Finland so I think we will be crashing with him most of the time, but honestly I don't think we have to stay in Helsinki the whole time--Finland is a big, beautiful place and we want to see it!
  18. Need Advice on Trip to Europe!

    Just got our itinerary more narrowed down--here are the countries we will be visiting and (roughly) the number of full days we will spend in each, not including traveling: 3 days Ireland 4 days UK 2 days France 1 day Switzerland 2 days Austria 2 days Czech Republic 5 days Germany 2 days Belgium 2 days Netherlands 2 days Denmark 2 days Sweden 3 days Finland
  19. Need Advice on Trip to Europe!

    Ahh Berlin is going higher up on the list, everyone I talk to has been mentioning Berlin--certainly a must-see! Thank you vodkafan for the suggestion on Stonehenge as well as for the generous offer on lodging; not sure where we will be exactly in relation to Rugby, but it would be lovely to have a place to sleep and not pay and arm and a leg. We are meeting up later tonight to discuss the trip, I will certainly bring both of your points up.
  20. Need Advice on Trip to Europe!

    Thank you all for the help so far! I am getting so excited just thinking of all the cool places we'll get to see. To Talisman, yes, we are doing the rail pass and have looked at hostels. We may be couch surfing with a few people over there but lodging is a big expense issue--neither of us have a huge budget, so the more we can hack off of our total expenditure the better. So the big fancy tour groups thing is likely not happening, in other words. Athena, I will be in the Netherlands at some point. Pretty sure we are doing all of the UK. The range of days is not absolutely decided yet, so we may stay longer in some places and less in others depending on what we find to do. Right now I'm just taking suggestions. There will be two girls and a guy in this group and we are all in our mid 20s, fairly adventurous and okay with roughing it (we camped all last summer in the wilderness and climbed lots of mountains) so we are okay with off-the-beaten-path adventuring. I'm fairly outdoorsy myself so I would love any suggestions of places of natural beauty to go as well as the more usual city sights. All three of us are pretty interested in museums and things as well; that Viking ship suggestion sounded really interesting.
  21. Kasei's 2013 Read-a-Blog!

    Thanks you guys for the welcome. It feels nice to be greeted here after so long, I really appreciate you taking the time to stop by. I have only read about the first chapter of Don Quixote and I don't recall minding it very much, but to be honest I've been distracted by other books lately an haven't picked up my Kindle in a while (Which is where Don Quixote resides). The only Steven King novel I've ever read was The Green Mile, and it is SO different from Cujo! I only picked up Cujo because a friend was getting rid of it and it was one of those books I'd always heard of but never read, so I figured I'd give it a shot. I'm about halfway through it and so far it's been about what I expected. Hoping for some surprises to come. Oh man, my reviews can get so long winded! xD I always somehow seem to find time that I don't have to write them. I guess I like to pretend that people actually read all that stuff, haha. Though honestly I treat reviews as more of a book-journal than anything. I like to look back on them and recapture my immediate thoughts and reactions to books, it helps me remember the events of the story with more clarity, which is fun for me. I guess because I'm a book nerd like the rest of you.
  22. Kasei's 2013 Read-a-Blog!

    The Battle of Evernight Rating: 3.5/5 Spoilers: I make some references to earlier books in the series This is the third installment in Cecilia Dart-Thornton's Bitterbynde Trilogy...I feel kind of odd reviewing only the last book but since this blog begins in 2013 and technically I finished the other two last year, it will have to be so. In light of this though, here is a brief run-down of the series so you don't feel so detached: The Bitterbynde books are FULL of lore, legend, and myth. If you have ever had a passing interest in the world of fairies (or the fae)then you would love this series. It's set in a world called Erith and everything functions much the same as dark ages-era Earth. There aren't a lot of human magic-weilders, those other than healers who claim to use magic seem very much of the parlor-trick variety and are of little note. The world is instead full of other-wordly creatures known as wights of which there are the seelie and the unseelie--basically harmless and harmful, respectively. Everything from Kelpies to the Pied Piper to Lords and Ladies of the Faerie realm make an appearance in this world. The authoress has basically taken loads of Scottish/Irish folklore and woven them all into a tale that follows a young adult lead who is basically learning everything along with the reader due to not knowing who or what they are. I won't go into detail about why so as not to spoil it for any potential readers, but basically this works really well for the first novel and it is for this reason that I feel the first book is the strongest of the three. Okay, now the review of this book: My overall response to this third book was pretty mellow. I mean, I was interested in what was going on in this book because of the events of the previous two...but not griping-the-edge-of-my-seat interested. It was basically just more-of-the-same type adventuring and there were no big mysteries left to figure out. Because of this, I basically spent most of the this novel just waiting around to see how everything would wrap up at the end. This made for a very slow read--I actually started this book back in Novemeber, which says a lot of how often I put it down since a YA book like this usually takes a weekend tops for me to get through. I'll give it this, things picked up very suddenly as the book drew to a close and I absolutely did NOT see the ending coming. So much so that I was left feeling slightly dissatisfied at the vagueness as to whether or not what happened actually happened...but now that I think of it, in a way it kind of fit with the whole book-full-of-legends theme. The ending made you feel like you had just heard a story about the Fairy realm and, just like all other fireside legends, it was left up to you to decide if it were real or not. So I kind of liked that in hindsight. I think the series as a whole is worth a read if you are a Young Adult Fantasy fan or interested in folklore of the Celtic variety, especially that which involves the fae. I had never been very knowledgeable about such things but after reading the first book I could definitely understand the fascination with them and actually felt like I could relate with people who believe in such things. This coming from someone who has always felt the idea of faeries was incredibly dim-witted and pansy-ish, I understand the alien/otherworldly quality of the lore now, so the authoress definitely did a good job with her research. I suppose the main problem I have with the trilogy is that what I initially found so compelling about the main character was taken away about halfway through the first book and it suddenly became a much more stereotypical fantasy tale for me. I think the series would've been so much more interesting had it carried over more themes from the original first half--there was some really great potential for analysis of the psychological effects of society and gender on a person...but it soon fell to the more common romantic adventure themes often associated with these types of books and left everything else by the wayside. In short, I'd like to be able to give this book a 4, but it lost so much of what was compelling about the lead character by the time it got to the third book that I honestly felt everything that happened in this third book probably could've been fit into the second one. Not that the plot wasn't interesting, just not enough to turn that half star into a full.
  23. Life-changing...

    I actually went to Rwanda in January and, I've gotta say, it was an eye-opening experience. Seeing people living life in such a different way at the same time as I'm sitting here in my air-conditioned, well-furnished home in the states typing on my laptop without a thought to the electricity usage is a very humbling and horizon-widening experience. I mean, I knew and "was aware" beforehand on a superficial level, but it is entirely another thing to go there and live it firsthand. And the history of that country and what the people are trying to come back from culturally and socio-economically...simply staggering. Not to mention the physical beauty of the nation...yeah, you should definitely go if the opportunity every presents itself. /end ramble
  24. Hey, no worries about the thread merge--just helps me find the answer to my question quicker. :)

  25. I definitely do. Though I take into account the genre and the age/bias of the people writing on Amazon. For instance, according to Amazon, Eragon is a must-read: However, it was deifnitely not written to my liking. The fact that mostly people who are quite young or praise the author just because he was young when he wrote it should've been a good indicator to me to skip it. A lot of times if I see a really well written review it can interest me enough to add the book to my reading list. That certainly happens all the time here.