Friday, September 24, 2010

Nihon No Kinyoubi (12)

Nihon no Kinyoubi (Japanese Friday) is a weekly feature here at Brizmus Blogs Books inspired by French Friday, which is a weekly feature hosted by Charlotte at the Book on the Hill. Charlotte features French bookish things, and I plan on featuring Japanese bookish things, though I won't limit myself if I find something non-bookish that I think will interest you guys.

This is my first Nihon no Kinyoubi using one of the new buttons, and I'm psyched! I hope you guys like it as much as I do!

Anyhow, this week, since the release of Mockingjay is so recent and the story so fresh in my mind, I thought I'd share with you guys the Japanese cover of the Hunger Games.
It's SO different from the US, British, and Australian covers, isn't it? It's really super cool, though. I actually kind of love it.
With the drawing and with Katniss looking so hardcore on the cover, it really seems VERY Japanese to me. The Japanese title is ハンガーゲーム, which, sounded out, is HungaaGeemu. They like to take English words in Japanese and keep then, just a little Japanesified.

Anyhow, what do you guys think? I would post some of the other covers, but I think we've all already seen them by now. And this is the only one released in Japan so far (the poor Japanese having to wait so long!).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

BIG CSN GIVEAWAY!!!!!!! + Review

****keep reading to the end for you chance to win a $50 CSN gift certificate!****

I'm SO excited! As I mentioned before, I was contacted by CSN Stores a while ago, and I am SO excited about the opportunity to work with them!

I received a gift certificate, and with it, my mother and I decided to buy her dog, Sugar, a new bed. My mom always reads in bed before going to sleep, and Sugar likes to sit in her bed and watch my mom read. Unfortunately, her bed wasn't very comfortable, and she would often get restless, trying to jump up in bed with my mom or walk around the room whimpering.

No longer the case - Sugar absolutely ADORES her new bed! Every night when it is time for bed, she runs over filled with excitement, wagging her tail and practically smiling, as if there is nothing more in life she wants than to lie down in her new bed!

It's sturdy enough that I don't think we'll be buying a new bed any time soon, pretty enough that it doesn't take away from the decoration of the room, and Sugar makes it seem like it's so comfortable that even I wouldn't mind sleeping in it. More than that, my mother's reading (and sleeping) time has become far more peaceful, with Sugar not moping around the room all the time. She WANTS to be in her bed, and I think that's what a dog bed is supposed to be about. AWESOME!

Now, whether you're looking for a bed for your dog or a bookcase or a nice new exercise bike, CSN stores is definitely the place for you!

Which is why I am SO excited to have up for grabs a $50 CSN gift certificate! All you have to do to win is fill out the form!
Open only to the US and Canada, I'm sorry, as CSN is based there.
Ends Friday, October 8, 2010. Don't forget to comment on this post! :-)

Small Blogger Hiatus

It's VACATION TIME!!!! Every three months at the school here in Japan, we get a two week break. And that break starts TODAY!

So, I am headed up to Tokyo for a few days (I'm meeting up with my boyfriend! Yay!) before then moving my way up to Hokkaido. I'm so excited! I've been to Tokyo twice already, but I've never been to Hokkaido, and I am PSYCHED! Seems like it's going to be beautiful, especially since it's fall now and all!

That said, I'll be taking next week off from blogging, as I plan to spend as little time on the internet as possible!

Soooo, you after the review I post today and the Nihon No Kinyoubi tomorrow, that's it, that's all, and I'll see you in a week!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (20)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Basically, I pick a book I'm excited about that's coming out sometime soon.

Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn

Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Release Date: October 5, 2010

Summary: Zoe Ardelay receives astonishing and unwelcome news: she has been chosen to become the king’s fifth wife. Forced to go to the royal city, she manages to slip away and hide on the shores of the mighty river.

It’s there that Zoe realizes she is a coru prime ruled by the elemental sign of water. She must return to the palace, not as an unwilling bride for the king, but a woman with power in her own right. But as Zoe unlocks more of the mysteries of her blood — and the secrets of the royal family — she must decide how to use her great power to rise above the deceptions and intrigue of the royal court.

I've never actually read a Sharon Shinn book, but I've heard lots of wonderful things about her, and I've been on a mega fantasy kick lately, and this looks amazing! I'm glad that it's coming out so soon! :-)

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Things I Love As Much as Books (9)

So, I think it's a given that I love to read. Don't we all?
The thing is, though, there are a TON of other things in my life that I love just as much as reading. Sure, most of these things aren't as constant as reading, but they count just as much in my life when I'm loving them.
SO, I decided to start this weekly feature in which I write a short post about something in my life that I am loving just as much as reading!


I wish I had long beautiful hair (though I prefer to keep mine brown), like they do, and perfect skin and beautiful features and, yeah. . .

Okay, that's sort of a lie. The love thing and the wanting to be like them thing. I'm very happy with myself.

And I think that Taylor Momsen is a bratty b-word, and I think that there's no way we could get along, um, ever. But I also think that she is a GORGEOUS, extraordinarily talented bratty b-word. I mean, in Gossip Girl, Jenny is totally it - one second I am practically fuming from how much I hate Jenny and the next I'm next to crying because of how sad I feel for her. And that's all Taylor Momsen's awesome acting skills.
And plus, she has an AMAZING voice.
I mean, check this out!

The Pretty Reckless, her band, are basically pure awesome. It's totally Courtney Love/Garbage wannabe, except that I actually like it, which is more than I can say for Courtney Love or Garbage.

And then, of course, there is Taylor Swift, who seems like the happiest, sweetest most adorably wonderful girl ever. I have dreams that we could some day be friends. She also is TOTALLY gorgeous, in a way totally opposite of Taylor Momsen, but with some odd similarities.

I heard this song, Mine, for the first time tonight, and it actually made me cry. I know, I'm a cryer when it comes to most everything, but songs - for me to cry from a song is super rare.

So yeah, I love the two Taylors (even if I also sort-of don't).
What do you guys think?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Review: Fools Rush In by Bill Carter

Title: Fools Rush In

Author: Bill Carter


Who Should Read It? This book is for everyone, really, from high school on. There are those that won't love it as much as others - that might find it too gory or violent or too difficult to deal with Bill himself, but overall everyone will take something away from this book.

What I Have to Say:
Before I go into anything else, I want to preface by saying that I absolutely ADORED this book. I laughed, I cried, I hated Bill Carter, I loved Bill Carter, I felt inspired, I felt like I never wanted to leave my room again,. . .basically, I went through the gambit of possible emotions and was in no way left unscathed by this book.

Normally, I like to write my review for a book immediately after reading it. I don't want to give myself time to forget how the book made me feel, to forget the things about the characters that I loved and hated, or to start nit-picking about things that didn't ACTUALLY matter to me while reading the book. When I finished this book, though, there was no way that I could immediately review it.

I was still too engrossed with the war in Bosnia (which I horrifyingly previously knew absolutely nothing about) - with the horrors of the reality of what happened there while the rest of the world was left completely in the dark. I couldn't focus on the book itself, in which I learned the truths of this war, while in my head I was still living in the war. Was it his words that affected me so much, or was it merely the truths about which he wrote that had me so worked up?

And then, well, I just couldn't help myself. I needed to nit-pick. I felt like I couldn't get my feelings straight about this book until I really understood what would make a typical American (though I think I can very firmly state that Bill Carter is not your typical American), even one as torn-up and love sick as Bill Carter, to willingly head into war-torn Bosnia just for the heck of it. And then stay long enough for it to make sense for him to say. The staying I got, but the original entry, I think, is best explained by the title, "Fools Rush In."

And so, now, one month after the reading, I can finally say that I loved this book. Bill Carter writes about his experiences with the war with such straight-forwardness and honesty that I think it would be hard to do otherwise (unless you're one of those people that can't stop focusing on the fact that Bill Carter can be a bit of a jerk). His experiences are experienced that need to be shared, and even after the fact, I think it is important that people hear what he has to say about what he went through, voluntarily, if only to remind us that sometimes the obvious choice is not always the best choice. This book will shake you up, it will scare you, and it will, hopefully make you realize that you shouldn't take for granted everything you have. Especially when you sit back and remember that everything you are reading is real.

So, a big thanks to Bill Carter for sharing such a moving, heart-wrenching story with us, and doing it in such a comprehensible, enjoyable (if painful) way. Don't be fooled by the title like I was. "Fools Rush In" made me sure that the focus would be more on Carter's lost love than on the war, but I was wrong. The focus was on love, but in a very different way than I ever would have expected. Now, go get yourself a copy of this book and do what you do best - READ!

Summary: When tragedy strikes Bill Carter's life he finds himself drawn to an unlikely place -- Bosnia, in the midst of its civil war. Searching for meaning in the heart of darkness, he manages to find lodging in an abandoned tower block and sets out getting supplies to the starved, besieged citizens of Sarajevo. It is there that Carter emerges from his stupor. Inspired by a community of people working to bring relief to the city, he daringly enlists the help of music group U2 and its lead singer, Bono, who set up satellite links on the band's Zooropa tour that allowed ordinary citizens of Sarajevo to speak unedited and live on 90-foot television screens to thousands of concertgoers worldwide.

Just as Michael Herr's Vietnam memoir Dispatches captured the horror of war for the '60s generation, Bill Carter's Fools Rush In will be the seminal book for this generation on the visceral and transformative impact of war in our time.

Cover Story: I don't know what to think about this cover. It should have made me realize that this book wasn't what I thought it was going to be, but it didn't. I like the cover, but I think there is a definitely a way to make a cover that would have more of a profound impact.

Disclosure: This book was sent to me for review by the publishers. This in no way affected my review.

I am so all about the unicorns! (plus a winner)

Hellllo everyone, and Happy Sunday!

Now, before I get to anything else, I think I have a winner to announce from my blogfest contest! It's a little late, but with two tests and school and working and having over 400 entrants with nearly 900 entries, let's just say the winner picking took a while.
But without further ado, the winner of my blog fest contest, picked by, is
Saba M.


Now that that's out of the way, we can get on to saying how much


When I first heard about the debate between unicorns and zombies, I was horrified. Mortified. I mean, how could ANYONE even THINK of comparing the beauty and majestic wonder that is the unicorn to, well, to zombies.
It seemed blasphemous, and I wanted nothing to do with it. And in any case, unicorns would just win, right? Because who would go in for the zombies? But then it turned out that LOTS of people were planted firmly on the side of zombies.
And I kept hearing about the debate in more and more places. And then
there is a whole zombie unicorn debate going on over at vvb32 reads, and so finally I had to put my opinion out there.

First of all, unicorns are pure and innocent and wonderful (despite some people having recently tried to turn them into an abomination of what they actually are). Second, unicorns are magical (and um, helllllo! Isn't magic awesome?!?), and through that magic, they inspire. They inspire in us beauty and wonder and majesty and everything that is good.

Do you think a zombie could every inspire music as beautiful as that?!? Images as beautiful as those? A movie as wonderful (despite what Tom Cruise says) as the movie Legend? Wait, don't answer that. I don't need you to. The answer is clearly no. It's all unicorns, baby!

And not to be forgotten of course, is, along with Legend (and the unfortunately unicornless the Neverending Story and Rad), one of the greatest movies of all time, the Last Unicorn.

Even Kenny Loggins was inspired to do something awesome.

Anyhow, now that I've persuaded you that unicorns are SUPER RAD TO THE POWER OF INFINITY, go check out vvb32's zombie vs. unicorn contest, make your own post (supporting unicorns, of course), and be entered to win some awesome prizes! There are also tons of different contests going on there all throughout the month of September. If you comment on this post, you can be entered to win without making your own post, so check out the prizes, and comment away! :-)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Blogger Appreciation : Day 5 finale!

Welcome to Book Blogger Appreciation Week!

Today's treasure: Future Treasures.

We want to hear all about your FUTURE treasures. We’ve been visiting each other and getting to know each other better…now is your chance to share what you enjoyed about BBAW and also what your blogging goals are for the next year!

So this is it, folks - the final day! I'm so sad. I feel like this week absolutely flew by. I don't want it to be over yet.

Anyhow, one of my favorite things about Book Blogger Appreciation Week is that it reminds me that I do deserve to be appreciated. Not just me, but all bloggers. We are doing something awesome here, and we devote a ton of time and energy and love and heart to it, and well, we deserve to be appreciated! Sometimes I feel that, with trying to balance a book blog with the rush and craziness of daily life, it's easy to forget that.

Of course, I've also loved browsing through and APPRECIATING so many of your awesome blogs.

Right, so my future blog goals - I DON'T HAVE ANY! I've been blogging for a little over a year now, and I absolutely love it! And one thing I've discovered is that, with me, goals can't be forced. If I plan to do something, chances are it won't happen. If I realize that something needs to be done and then just start doing it, it happens.

So maybe that should be my blog goal: let the motivation take me where it may. And try to make Brizmus Blogs Books the best for me and for my readers.

And now I'm off to read about your goals! :-)

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Book Blogger Appreciation : Day 4

Welcome to Book Blogger Appreciation Week Day 4!

Today's treasure: Forgotten Treasures.

Sure we’ve all read about Freedom and Mockingjay but we likely have a book we wish would get more attention by book bloggers, whether it’s a forgotten classic or under marketed contemporary fiction. This is your chance to tell the community why they should consider reading this book!

This is very hard for me. Because there are so many books that I LOVE that I have just never seen around in the blogosphere.
One of these books that has really been on my mind lately is Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. This is one of my favorite books of all time, and there was recently a great review of it on the Bookette that has had me thinking about it and remembering how much I love it. It's about a girl in boarding school who is, basically, me. When I was in boarding school. And as such, I am sure she is also every other teenage girl in high school going through an awkward phase and feeling super shy.
And really, the Bookette review is the only time I have ever seen this book talked about in the blogosphere. Why? I couldn't tell you. Because it is absolutely AMAZING, and everyone should read it!

I read it a long time before I started the blog, otherwise there would be a link to my review of it as well.

Summary: Curtis Sittenfeld’s debut novel, Prep, is an insightful, achingly funny coming-of-age story as well as a brilliant dissection of class, race, and gender in a hothouse of adolescent angst and ambition.

Lee Fiora is an intelligent, observant fourteen-year-old when her father drops her off in front of her dorm at the prestigious Ault School in Massachusetts. She leaves her animated, affectionate family in South Bend, Indiana, at least in part because of the boarding school’s glossy brochure, in which boys in sweaters chat in front of old brick buildings, girls in kilts hold lacrosse sticks on pristinely mown athletic fields, and everyone sings hymns in chapel.

As Lee soon learns, Ault is a cloistered world of jaded, attractive teenagers who spend summers on Nantucket and speak in their own clever shorthand. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of–and, ultimately, a participant in–their rituals and mores. As a scholarship student, she constantly feels like an outsider and is both drawn to and repelled by other loners. By the time she’s a senior, Lee has created a hard-won place for herself at Ault. But when her behavior takes a self-destructive and highly public turn, her carefully crafted identity within the community is shattered.

Ultimately, Lee’s experiences–complicated relationships with teachers; intense friendships with other girls; an all-consuming preoccupation with a classmate who is less than a boyfriend and more than a crush; conflicts with her parents, from whom Lee feels increasingly distant, coalesce into a singular portrait of the painful and thrilling adolescence universal to us all.

What are you waiting for? Go get your hands on a copy now!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Book Blogger Appreciation : Day 3

Welcome to Book Blogger Appreciation Week Day 3!

Today's treasure: Unexpected Treasures.

For this treasure, I share with you a book or genre I tried due to the influence of another blogger.

This one is really hard for me, as there are SO many books I have read over the past year based on recommendations from tons of different bloggers.

I think for today, though, I am going to have to go with a book that I read only recently: Soulless by Gail Carriger. I absolutely ADORED this book (I haven't posted my review for it yet, but it's written, and it's coming soon), and I don't think I would have ever even thought about it had it not been for bloggers.

It's hard to pinpoint just one blogger, though, that recommended this book. Fabulous reviews for it started showing up in so many blogs that I just had to find out what it was about for myself.

I think, though, that it was vvb32 Reads that finally pushed me over the edge. Velvet blogs regularly about steampunk, which seemed like such an exciting genre to me. And Soulless just kept showing up in her blog. Finally, I needed to see what this steampunk was all about, and I decided that Soulless would be my introduction. So, thanks vvb32 reads for pushing me over the edge and turning me on to such a fabulous book!

Look out for my review soon, and if you haven't checked out Velvet's blog, what are you waiting for?!?

And now I'm dying to hear what you tried!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Book Blogger Appreciation : Day 2

Welcome to Book Blogger Appreciation Week Day 2!

Today's treasure is a New Treasure - the Interview Swap!

I had the great pleasure of interviewing MamaKitty from Mama Kitty Reviews! Her answers were so much fun!

Brizmus Blogs Books: Tell us a little bit about your blog, MamaKitty Reviews. It's new to me, so it's probably new to my readers as well.

Mamma Kitty: I started MamaKitty Reviews last year because I'd had so many book reviews and "OMG I WANT THIS BOOK!" posts on my personal blog that I figured it was time to devote one special blog just for all things books. I still have a personal blog, but I don't update it nearly as often as I do MKR. Funny how that works, isn't it? On MKR, I review whatever books I've just finished, talk about books I want to read (I need to do that again... haven't posted one of those in a while), have a weekly HottiePants post, occasionally I have guest bloggers, interview authors, and give books away (because I love to share the love).

BBB:It seems to me from your site that you blog with 3 other people. How is that? Do you guys collaborate and talk about things going on in the blog, or is it more of a to each his own thing?

MK: When I started school again, I realized that I wouldn't have nearly as much time as before to read and review, so I asked my cousin MamaDee to review the book she was reading. Then, my goddaughter BabyK asked if she could review a book for me. She's only 13, so I don't allow her to come onto the site (since it's Rated R), but she's working on 2 YA books for me. Recently, I found out that my boss's daughter likes to read almost as much as I do, so I started giving her assignments too. She's almost 15, so she's not allowed on the site either, but she just turned in her first review. I have to type it up and post it.

I basically run the site as though I'm the sole reviewer, but if I have a back log or they have a book they're particularly excited about, I ask them to review for me. They're all in school too (MamaDee is pre-law, BabyK just started 7th grade, and BabyChica is in 9th grade), so we all have a lot on our plates.

BBB: Do you listen to music while you read? If so, what's your favorite reading music? If no, why not?

MK: Sometimes I listen to music while I read... mostly when I do, it's my "chill" playlist, which includes music by Josh Groban, Michael Buble, Norah Jones, Fiona Apple, Erykah Badu, Duffy, Adele, Ben Taylor, Leona Lewis, Melody Gardot, Anthony Hamilton, James Morrison... There's a lot more, but I could go on forever. I like music almost as much as I like books. :)

BBB: Now, I know that you mostly read romance, but what is your favorite out of genre book?

MK: Is Chick Lit out of genre? LOL I mostly stick to romance and all its sub-genres (PNR, UF, HR, & Contemp). I've recently started to like YA again, but mostly of the Romance variety. What can I say? I stick to what I know... I think the furthest out of the Romance genre I've truly enjoyed in the past decade or so was a non-fiction book I had to read for my history class. I'm a big history buff.

BBB: Since you started blogging, have your found yourself wanting to read more books out of your normal comfort zone?

MK: I've ventured pretty far out of my comfort zone in reading BDSM and M/M books... I'm actually doing a M/M reading challenge where I have to read 5 books by the year's end. I've read 3, and am working on the 4th. I already have the 5th as well (a signed copy by the author that I won in a fellow book blogger's birthday contest), and will likely read more.

BBB: What's your favorite color combination?

MK: I love pink and chocolate brown. I also love teal and chocolate brown (my bathroom color scheme). And light green and chocolate brown (my bedroom color scheme). The funniest part? I'm not a big fan of chocolate brown on its own.

BBB: That Cat in the Hat story on your blog is the cutest story ever! Do you remember some of the books that you read to your Twin?

MK: I can't remember any of the other books I read to him in the hospital, but when we were in... uh.... 6th or 7th grade, I had to read The Giver by Lois Lowry and I made him sit down so I could read it to him. That's the only book I actually finished for my Pre-AP reading class that year (I still have no idea how I managed to pass that class). I didn't hate reading at that time, I just hated the books we were being forced to read. Anyway, we both cried at the end of the book. Just don't tell him I told you that.

BBB: If you were stranded on a desert island for a year and only allowed to bring 3 books with you (which you would of course read over and over again), what would they be?

MK: OMG, only 3 books for a year?? Um... The first book would have to be Dirty by Megan Hart. My favorite author in the entire world and I luff her so. Then i'd have to bring Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between by J.A. Saare because I have to have my Disco fix. And finally, Remember When by Nora Roberts/JD Robb. Ok, I cheated on that last one, because it's technically 2 books in one. But it was my first introduction to the In Death series and the love of my life: Roarke. (lol!)

BBB: You're allowed 3 other items on your desert island. What are they?

MK: A notebook, a pen (that never runs out of ink, of course), and my hair straightener.

BBB:And that's it! Unless there's anything that you'd like to add that you think readers reading about your blog from my blog would like to know about.

MK: Um... I'm not very funny when I try to be, so the idea of saying something witty just went out the window. LOL.

BBB: Now, that was fun! And now I've got a few after interview comments I'd like to add. First, I'm sort of dying to check out this HottiePants feature! Second, me, too, I like music almost as much as I like books! And last, my favorite color combination is super pinky marroon with creamy mint green (sort of like the colors on my blog), and at first I didn't actually like creamy mint green by itself that much, but now I love it. So maybe you will soon love chocolate brown! :-)

Anyhow, thanks SO much for stopping by Mama Kitty, and readers, if you haven't checked out her blog yet, and you like romance, be sure to stop by Mama Kitty's Reviews!!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Book Blogger Appreciation : Day 1

I say finally, but I have to admit - I had actually FORGOTTEN about BBAW this year until, well, until I saw people blogging about it today. Horrifying, I know.

But still, that's in no way going to stop me from participating.
And so, without further ado

Welcome to Book Blogger Appreciation Week!

This year's theme is A Treasure Chest of Infinite Books and Infinite Blogs.

Today's treasure is: For those of you who participated in BBAW last year, what’s a great new book blog you’ve discovered since last year’s BBAW?

I have discovered SO MANY amazing blogs since I participated last year, when I was fairly new to book blogging, that it would be impossible to choose. I mean, there's Cleverly Inked and YA Vampire Books and SO many others that the list could go on forever.

Today, though, I'm going to showcase THREE (I couldn't pick just one!) of my favorite blogs that I have discovered since last year's BBAW.

The Book on the Hill

Charlotte is a French book blogger, and she always has the most interesting reviews and fun things going on at her blog. While she mostly reviews YA, occasionally other things sneak in. I love Charlotte and her blog! So much fun!

The Bookette

This is another YA blog. Becky is a UK blogger and a librarian, and when it comes to books, she totally knows her stuff. I have read and ADORED so many books based on Becky recommendations. Her reviews are clear and concise and really give you the best and worst of the book without telling you too much.

SFF Chat

Simcha blogs from Israel, and her blog is, well, awesome! She blogs mostly SF and fantasy, and every week she keeps us updated on some of the best sci-fi/fantasy releases. Her reviews are serious and well-written, and even if she doesn't like a book herself, I know I can count on her reviews to be balances and let me know if *I* would like the book.

One of my favorite thing about all three of these bloggers, I would say, is that, while they are a major part of the (or at least my) blogging world, they don't get caught up in blogging fads, and they blog about what they want when they want how they want. And it is awesome.

I look forward to hearing about the awesome blogs that you guys have discovered!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Win A Blogfest Kindle

So, I hope that you guys have all been blog-hopping and entering lots of fun Blogfest Contests! I know I sure have!

There have been SO many opportunities to win such amazing things, so a HUGE thanks to A Journey of Books for hosting this and to all the awesome blogs that are participating. I'm so excited about all of the new, fun blogs I have discovered!

Now, just in cased you missed this one, over at Bitten By Books, they're offering a Kindle 3 WiFi! Talk about an AWESOME prize!!!! Even though I want it for myself (I desperately need the new Wifi kindle, with how much I'm out of the country), I want you to have the opportunity to win it, too! So if you haven't checked it out yet, go do so NOW!

Other than that, I hope that you're having a happy weekend! I know I am, even though it is HOTter than HOT here! :-)

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's BlogFest Time!!!!

Sorry I'm a little bit late getting this started - I had this post scheduled, but for some reason it didn't post when it was supposed to.


BlogFest 2010Tons of blogs are participating, and each will be hosting one or more fabulous contests over the course of the weekend.

And then of course there's the massive BlogFest 2010 grand giveaway! Head on over to A Journey of Books and click on the Tracking Site link to head to their exclusive tracking site. Once there you can register with a valid email address (to be used solely for the purpose of contacting the winner). This site will allow you to track your progress through BlogFest 2010! You can log on from anywhere at any time and continue where you left off. The best part is that every blog that you visit and mark off through this tracking site will give you one entry into the massive giveaway! There's a great collection of books, goodies and other swag that is looking for a new home!

Now, on to my giveaway. I thought long and hard about what book I could offer you during such a massive, awesome weekend long contest, during which I am, of course, BROKE.

And I finally decided that I would let you choose between some books I have been SUPER excited about!
-Bartimaeus: The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud (to be sent after its release on November 2)
-Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins (in case you somehow haven't yet gotten your hands on a copy)
-Torment (Fallen) (yeah, even though I won a copy of Fallen and the person never sent it so I still haven't read it; this can be replaced by Fallen if you want)
-The Dreaming Place by Charles de Lint (old, but I've still been dying to read it)
-Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (also old, but I love it, and it was made into a Japanese anime, and I wanted something Japanesy on the list)
-Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham (my favorite recent comic!)

So that's it. Basically, if you win, you will get to pick one of these books. It's open INTERNATIONALLY, since the book will be being shipped to you from somewhere else anyway. All you've got to do is fill out this form (also found at the bottom of the post). Ends at the end of blogfest, September 12 at 11:59 Est!

You've just visited Brizmus Blogs Books, number 184 in the BlogFest Mania. Be sure to head on over to 185, IB Book Blogging! And be sure to check back tomorrow because another giveaway will be posted!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire

Author: Suzanne Collins


Who Should Read It? um, everyone. Unless you are just extraordinarily overturned off by violence.

What I Have to Say:
I'm thinking that I should have written this review BEFORE reading Mockingjay, as now the two are sort-of jumbled up in my head as one big mess of madness and fabulousness.

And anyway, I always find it hard to write about books in series after having already written about the first one. Unless there is some writing style issue or plot line issue that makes the second/third/etc. . . book in some way better or worse than the first book. If not, I always feel redundant.

And this seems like it might be one of those cases of redundancy. I adored the Hunger Games (check out my review if you haven't already), and I adored this book just as much for all the same reasons. Colllin's future dystopia is so horrific and so real that it genuinely feels as if it must exist somewhere. But, as I said before, thank god it doesn't.

To be honest, I was wondering how Suzanne Collins was going to make three books out of this story. I could see how one could easily write two, but I was really unsure as to how she was going to make Catching Fire happen without either being extremely redundant or taking away any possibility of a third book. While there was the occasional redundancy, I never really felt it. I shouldn't have been worried. She managed to pull off this book with fluidity and grace, and I once again found myself in a non-stop whirlwind of page turning and NEED for more. Questions will be answered, the Capitol will come to be better understood (and far more psychotic), and new characters will be loved.

And now I must be redundant - just like the first one, though this book is YA, it absolutely surpasses its' genre and will easily be enjoyed by people of all ages reading all different kinds of books.

There is one other issue that I would like to address before this review is over, and that is the violence in this book. As someone who is absolutely NOT a fan of violence, especially if it is gratuitous, I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy these books. While it's true that there is a LOT of violence involved, I don't feel that any of it was gratuitous or even necessarily negative. The violence in the book, in a way, made it very clear that violence is a bad thing just by being violent. If that makes sense. Sure, you have teenagers doing HORRIBLE things, but that's the horror. That's what makes this world so horrifying. And on of the things that makes it okay is that the people involved are still so good. Still so innocent.

Anyhow, read the Hunger Games, read this book. You won't regret it. But make sure you set aside enough time to finish it in one or two sittings, because stopping might be impossible.

Summary: Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Cover Story: It's lovely - the color and the mockingjay are just perfect. I also think that the title is just perfect - so many plays on words go into it. I love it all!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Time to Announce Some Winners!

Interrupting this regularly scheduled Waiting on Wednesday Programming to

First off, the five winners of my Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer contest, chosen by, are:

Jess from Park Benches and Book Ends

I have e-mailed all of you to let you know that you have won. You will have two days to get back to me with your address, otherwise I will have to pick another winner. Congratulations!

And now, for the winners of the contest I am sure interests you most: the Nihon no Kinyoubi button contest winners!

We actually have A TIE!!!!
In first place, with 18 votes each, we have

Michelle from the True Book Addict

Kirthi from Pages

Both of you will be receiving the book of your choice from the list. I will be e-mailing you shortly to ask you for your address and your choice! I will also most likely be alternating between the two buttons for my feature.

Not far behind in third place, we have the button I myself actually voted for.
Charlotte from The Book on the Hill

As I'm thinking about adding this button into the rotation as well, Charlotte will also be receiving the book of her choice from the books listed.

Congratulations to the winners, and check back soon because I've got a great contest coming up with CSN Stores!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Things I Love As Much as Books (8)

So, I think it's a given that I love to read.  Don't we all?
The thing is, though, there are a TON of other things in my life that I love just as much as reading.  Sure, most of these things aren't as constant as reading, but they count just as much in my life when I'm loving them.
SO, I decided to start this weekly feature in which I write a short post about something in my life that I am loving just as much as reading!
I love

Seriously, these little dudes are the coolest, cutest things ever.
I have this little guy, my skelhippo:

His Skelanimal name is Thomas, but I like to call him Morty (because mort means dead in French, and well, he's sort of dead). I'm totally feeling a skelanimals collect them all need.

More that just having the cutest stuffed animals to hit the market since, well, ever, they have some super rad clothes with to die for bright colors. I'm totally all about it. I've got a few shirts, but lately I've been feeling these mega cool capris.

How CUTE is that?

And you can bet that when I move back to the other side of the oceans, I will be NEEDING this bike:

Now, if I haven't convinced you that Skelanimals are the awesomest of the awesomest, go check them out at the Skelsite, and if you're still not convinced, well then, maybe you're not convincable.

Despite it seeming like I might have been paid to write a post promoting so blatantly a company, I assure you, I was NOT paid for this.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Review: Je t'aime a La Folie by Michael Wright

Title: Je T'aime A La Folie

Author: Michael Wright


Who Should Read It? If you like first hand accounts, pseudo-autobiographies of people coming into themselves (I do!), this book is absolutely for you! Especially if you have any interest in France!

What I Have to Say:
Je t'aime a La Folie is an absolutely adorable recounting of one man's quest to find true love while raising goats in the middle of nowhere countryside of darkest France. I have to say that my LEAST favorite thing about this book was the author's constant reference to where he lived as "darkest France." I got over the darkest fairly quickly and found myself pretending it wasn't there.

And that's the worst thing I have to say about this book. And let's face it, if the worst thing I can say about a book is that the author overuses the term "darkest France," it must be a pretty good book.

And this absolutely was.

While it was regularly repeated that no woman could survive at Michael's home, which he referred to as La Folie (because all homes in Southern France must, of course, have names), I find myself immediately falling for the charm of his quaint life amongst his chickens and goats. With his graceful, somewhat humorous (although I have to admit - there was some humor I just didn't get - times when laughing happened and I truly did NOT understand why) writing style, Michael drew me right into his world, and I was absolutely more than happy to be there. By the end of the book, I felt like Gaston the goat, Martha the hen, and Cat (who actually IS a cat) were my own, and I was sad when I was forced back to reality to discover that, no, they were Michael's animals.

I love it when an author has me on his side, and with such an honest recounting of Wright's year (or two) looking for love in France, he DEFINITELY had me on his side. Everything he thought or felt, he laid it all out there for us to see, and that made this book fabulous. While I'm still not entirely sure what a spitfire is, they were important to Wright and thus became important to me. While his friends did not seem like people I would normally enjoy, through his eyes they became boisterous, fabulous people. Wright is such a compassionate, forgiving person that I couldn't help but root for him all the way through.

My biggest disappointment is that I read this book before reading his first recounting of life in France, C'est La Folie. You can bet, though, that I'll be trying to get my hands on that first chance I get.

Summary: If you had three wishes, what would you wish for? Having spent two years alone in France, doing his best to survive in a foreign land, and failing miserably to woo a dishy French copine, Michael Wright has everything he ever wanted: manly powertools; a cat, chickens and sheep; earthy neighbours; an aircraft and a grand piano. Yet he is still alone and - in a moment of rare self-knowledge - decides that the only way to find the girl of his dreams is to stop looking for her. Yet barely a week after coming to this momentous decision, an email from an old school friend re-introduces him to Alice - a paid-up city girl who speaks only three words of French and comes with an expensive shoe habit and a deep-rooted mistrust of the countryside. Even worse, she lives and works on the far side of the Atlantic, in Baltimore, USA. And so begins an unlikely romance, conducted across two continents, as Michael the rustic hermit struggles to unlearn his lessons in living alone and contemplates the alarming prospect of sharing his French life (not to mention his aeroplane) with someone else...

Cover Story: Aside from the blatant misspelling of fulfill right on the cover (which, I have just come to discover, is actually spelled that way, fulfil, in England - I am shocked!), I think this cover is adorable. I love the way all of the elements of the story are incorporated in in such a cute way. It's the cover that drew me to this book initially.

Disclosure: This book was sent to me for review by the publisher. This in no way affected my review of this book.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Avalon High


I know, posting on a Sunday - this is something I haven't done in ages. But I am just so excited that I can't help myself. I have to post!

What am I so excited about, you may ask?

Well, I was updating myself this morning by reading Meg Cabot's blog (this is VERY important reading material, guys), and I discovered a few things that I am sure I am very late to the game discovering.

One of these things is that she has a new series coming out in the spring (or the winter?) (and I STILL haven't read Insatiable or Runaway - I have REALLY got to get on that). I can't remember what it's called (maybe she didn't say, or maybe it's called Abandon), but it's totally going to be awesome.

I also learned that the Mediator series is being turned into a movie - I've only read the first one, so I guess I've got to get on that, too.

But what I learned that exited me SO MUCH has to do with Avalon High. I loved the book Avalon High, and when I learned that it was being turned into a Disney movie, I was of course thrilled. But now I am even more thrilled because:

That's a still from the Avalon High movie.

That's a picture from one of my present favorite TV shows, Life Unexpected.

Notice how the blonde girl in both pictures is THE SAME GIRL!!!! Who, through Life, Unexpected, I have come to ADORE! Seriously, I LOVE Brittany Robertson. As Lux in Life, Unexpected - seriously. She is absolutely amazing. And now she is going to be Ellie/Allie in Avalon High, and I really couldn't be more excited. I just hope that, when it finally does come out, my sister will Tevo it for me and be willing to keep it there for about a year so that I can actually see it.

So anyway, yes, I am psyched.
And now I have a huge test tomorrow for which I must study, so that is all.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Nihon No Kinyoubi (11)

Nihon no Kinyoubi (Japanese Friday) is a weekly feature here at Brizmus Blogs Books inspired by French Friday, which is a weekly feature hosted by Charlotte at the Book on the Hill. Charlotte features French bookish things, and I plan on featuring Japanese bookish things, though I won't limit myself if I find something non-bookish that I think will interest you guys.

This week is my last Nihon no Kinyoubi without a button. Voting is going on until Sunday, so if you haven't already,(be sure to go vote!) Yay! Right now Michelle from the True Book Addict is in first place with Kirthi from Pages in a close second!

So, since coming to Japan, I've been trying to find a manga that I actually WANT to read. Given how much I ADORE reading and how much I LOVE comic books and Japan, you would think that this would be an easy task. And yet, it is not.
Finally, on a recommendation from a friend, I have decided to try out Sugar Sugar Rune. It's about two young witches with French names that come from The Magical World.

How ADORABLE does that sound? It sounds super me, and now if I can just find it, I will be super excited about it. Apparently it was also, as most manga are, turned into an anime. And, oddly enough, I feel more excited about that than about the reading of the manga itself.

In any case, do you guys read any manga? If so, what do you read? Do you have any recommendations for good, simple ones that you think I might like (and that I might also be able to read in Japanese with my VERY BASIC Japanese knowledge)? I'd love to know what you think!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Book Trailer: Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

So I'm sure you've seen it in other blogs, but I just couldn't help myself, I have to post this beautiful trailer for Halo - it will absolutely make you want to read the book!

Isn't it beautiful! I absolutely cannot wait to read this book, Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto. It's out yesterday, and I am psyched!

Waiting on Wednesday (19)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Basically, I pick a book I'm excited about that's coming out sometime soon.

This week I'm waiting on
The Painted Boy by Charles de Lint

Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publishing Date: November 11, 2010

Summary: Jay Li should be in Chicago, finishing high school and working at his family's restaurant. Instead, as a born member of the Yellow Dragon Clan--part human, part dragon, like his grandmother--he is on a quest even he does not understand. His journey takes him to Santo del Vado Viejo in the Arizona desert, a town overrun by gangs, haunted by members of other animal clans, perfumed by delicious food, and set to the beat of Malo Malo, a barrio rock band whose female lead guitarist captures Jay's heart. He must face a series of dangerous, otherworldly--and very human--challenges to become the man, and dragon, he is meant to be. This is Charles de Lint at his best!

I L<3VE this cover, and the summary sounds super amazing to me! I absolutely can't wait to read this book!
What are you waiting on this week?

My Contests

None for now!