Sunday, October 5, 2014

NQAC: Biweekly Update #3 with Mini-Movie Raving

Another two weeks flew by and I didn't have the energy to write about my creative confessions, so you're stuck with this. The mini-movie raving will be at the bottom of this (In My Life) and features "Belle", a movie about a baseborn girl who is raised as a lady, despite her unusual ancestry. I thought it was historical fiction, but it isn't! There is some 'Hollywood stretches the truth' moments though.

Recent Acquisitions (or the Piling of the-Piles):

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman ($1.99 for a limited time)
(Magical Realism- I'm guessing) Because I can't go wrong by buying short stories written by one of my favorite authors, especially if it only costs $1.99 (Kindle).
Something Borrowed / Something Blue by Emily Griffin ($1.99 each Kindle Daily Deal)
(Contemporary Women's Fiction) I'm not into women's fiction (which is disgracefully called chick lit) or stories of contemporary romance, but given these are some of the most popular offerings I decided to give it another try. This is about two best friends who may or may not remain best friends.
The Plains of Kallanash by Pauline M. Ross ($0.99)
(Epic Fantasy Romance) This is by a fellow book blogger who I found through my book blog hop. I'm always interested in cheap books by out-of-the-box (i.e. not published by mainstream publishers) authors.
The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow by Cory Doctorow (I think $0.99- Kindle Daily Deal)
A sci-fi novella about a semi-dystopian Disney-dominated future. With a title like that, it has to be good.

the-pile (TBR Physical Books)

Usually I can't find anything in my current city at the thrift shops to read- the books are usually by popular authors or thriller writers. However, I always glance at the sparse shelves just in case, and this time I found some I've been looking for.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield ($1.95 + tax)
This is something I first heard of on Goodreads, but didn't want to read it because a lot of popular books end up in the "meh" pile with me. Then I began some research into quotes about books I could write (or make into art) on my library's walls and found a lot of quotes I ended up liking were from The Thirteenth Tale. Therefore, I needed it to give some context to the incredible quotes.
Priestess of Avalon (Avalon #4) by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Diana L. Paxson ($1.95 + tax)
I have a habit of accidentally buying books in series out of order, but I kind of figured this was from the author's Avalon series. I've always wanted to read a book by Marion Zimmer Bradley, but due to her bad press I don't want to buy the books new (despite her being deceased). I try to separate the story from the author, but sometimes it's a bit hard, so buying secondhand is the best way to go.

I won some cool books through my participation in the Travel the World in Books Readathon: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick and An Old Betrayal (Charles Lenox Mysteries #7) by Charles Finch.
I was lucky enough to win Guiltless Reader's Map Mini Challenge and get to choose a book as a prize- I chose Nothing to Envy based on a Twitter recommendation during the Travel the World in Books Readathon chats.
Hopefully I'll be able to read An Old Betrayal without reading the previous books- it sounds like an awesome Victorian mystery series.
A thanks to both Aloi of Guiltless Reader and Trish of TLC Book Tours for generously providing this reader with books to devour!

Currently Reading:
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick (Page 75/314)
A fascinating account of a communist regime by a journalist who covered news stories from both Koreas. I love the cover, because it gives you a feel for the setting- all the colors in North Korea are dark or dingy, with the exception of red, which is used for propaganda posters and paintings.
Poe by J. Lincoln Fenn (15%)
This is a book I chose for Halloween because it is horror, but I didn't realize the book itself takes place on Halloween. So far I'm pretty pleased- this book has a lot of funny moments. My favorite so far is this:

"I'm an atheist," says Lisa.
"I admire that," says Nate. "But I could never give up hamburgers."

      ~Poe by J. Lincoln Fenn, page 36

Umm... yes, I know people like Nate. Don't you?

The Broken Eye (Lightbringer #3) by Brent Weeks (Still at 39%)
Why have I not been reading this? Lots of unexpected review copies (I clicked Request on NetGalley a few too many times) and I want my full attention to be focussed on this when I start reading again, mostly to keep up with the plot twists.
Death Masks (The Dresden Files #5) by Jim Butcher (27%)
I think I just picked this up to challenge my brain into reading a lot of books at once. I also really want to knock down the number of books in my piles.

Finished These Books:
At Grave's End (Night Huntress #3) by Jeaniene Frost
I enjoyed this a lot more than the other Night Huntress books, I think mostly because it was less about sex and more about relationships. Sure, it had more than a few improbable twists, but there was nothing that really irked me, like with One Foot in the Grave.
Cipher (The Shadow Ravens #1) by Aileen Erin
I liked this book, but I had issues with the world it was set in. It was supposed to be sci-fi, but it is definitely very light sci-fi, with romance kind of taking over the plot. I never felt like I understood what the author was doing with the elements that were sci-fi- a lot of things were set up and never questioned. The beginning was strong and the ending left me with a few too many doubts. I think this is more YA than adult, which might be why I didn't like it as much as the other reviewers: it's currently an average rating of 4.5 stars on Goodreads.

In the Blogosphere:
  Book Blogs:
   Book Reviews:
    Dead Spots – Melissa F. Olson [Book Review] (Emily Likes Things)
    The female man, by Joanna Russ (I, fat robot)
    Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore By Robin Sloan (Benni's Bookbiters)
    You Drive Me Crazy: The Worst Word Tropes in Literature (Bibliodaze)
    A Life Update...(Because I've Been MIA For Waaay Too Long!) (Ivy Book Bindings)
    Blogger Shout-Outs #11 (I'm Lost in Books) This may be selfish, because I'm mentioned. ;)
  Fashion and Lifestyle:
    Fall Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate Recipe (Diary of an Urban Housewife) Coffee!
    12 Fall Coats Under €50 (I Am Fashioneer) The leather jackets!!!

In My Life:
Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin Elizabeth Murray From Wikipedia
I watched an incredible movie this weekend (which I rented at Redbox) called Belle: that is rated PG in an age where PG is for kids, shines a light on a story I've never even heard about (despite being a bit of an insufferable know-it-all), and doesn't give you that "that was kind of a dumb story" post-movie watching feeling. I really can't recommend it enough: the costumes are fantastic, the actresses and actors acted in a historically accurate manner, and it's rated PG (no weird sex scenes, only tobacco and descriptions of the Zong massacre).

The plot is basically that Dido is raised as a lady, experiences the world of privilege in a slightly different way because of her skin tone (also has to deal with some idiot racists), and becomes an heiress, holding a position that most girls in her position would never even dare to dream about.

I personally loved the way the movie encorporated the actual portrait of Dido (as seen above) into the end of the movie. You'll have to watch it to know what I mean.

Have you read any funny books lately? Or watched any excellent movies?

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