Monthly Archives: August 2011

Books: Guess who has an e-Reader now?

Posted 26 August, 2011 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

And thus Li enters the electronic reading age =P

As you may remember, I was pondering whether or not to pick up an e-Reader earlier this year. Since that post, I decided not to buy one just yet (expenses, etc.) Plus, I still enjoyed reading paperbacks regardless or how large they were or how much they took up in my room (and trust me, my room is almost completely overwhelmed with books). However, to my surprise, my parents gave me one today—as an advanced birthday gift, lol.

I have the black one ^_~ It’s the latest version of Kobo, which is touch screen in addition to all of the other existing features. It’s a lot smaller than the earlier version (which looked like this) and lighter, which makes for easy handling and for packing away when traveling. Like the old version, it uses e-ink, which is easy on the eyes. It’s easy to navigate around once you get used to its features. I like that you can download previews to novels before you buy it, which makes sense since you can do that at the bookstore.

So what do I think of it? It’s too early to say but so far it’s been great! I only have a few free classics that I downloaded from Kobo Books but the quality’s great. It’s still different from reading a physical book but at least it doesn’t feel like I’m reading a computer screen or anything (that was my issue whenever my profs would post our readings via .pdf instead of giving us a course reader—you know how much time I would’ve saved? But that’s neither here nor there). At least I’m saving some space in my room.

The one thing though that’s irked me a bit is the prices of the e-books; some of them are reasonable whereas others are listed as $20+; at that price, I might as well get the physical copy. I know that publishers and others still get a cut from the e-book sales but the prices doesn’t seem to make much sense IMO. I reckon I’d either end up getting the physical copy or wait until a sale or until the prices go down like with regular paperbacks.

Despite of that observation, I’m excited about my new Kobo—can’t wait to really start reading with it! =)

Movie: Moon (2009)

Posted 19 August, 2011 by Lianne in Entertainment / 0 Comments

Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet’s power problems.

I was on a sci-fi kick and decided to check this movie out. I’ve long heard about this movie and good things associated to it but for some reason never got around to it. I noticed that this movie and Sunshine flew low on the radar for whatever reason; they both deserve more publicity. Anyways, spoilers ahead!

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Movie: Sunshine (2007)

Posted 19 August, 2011 by Lianne in Entertainment / 0 Comments

Before I start this review, I just wanted to mention that for now on, I will do my best to add the trailers to my movie reviews/commentaries. I’ll be going back to older entries and embedding them when I can, just so you have a visual sense of the movie as well (if you haven’t heard or seen them).

Fifty years from now, the sun is dying, and mankind is dying with it. Our last hope: a spaceship and a crew of eight men and women. They carry a device which will breathe new life into the star. But deep into their voyage, out of radio contact with Earth, their mission is starting to unravel. There is an accident, a fatal mistake, and a distress beacon from a spaceship that disappeared seven years earlier. Soon the crew is fighting not only for their lives, but their sanity.

I remember hearing about this movie in passing when it first came out in 2007 but then it slipped out of my radar again. It was only recently that I remembered this movie when I came across a number of comments somewhere praising this movie (and okay, I admit, I was looking at Chris Evans’ filmography to see what other work he’s done and this movie stood out for me =P). I like science fiction and the premise of this movie sounded really interesting so I decided to check it out. Spoilers ahead!

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Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 16 August, 2011 by Lianne in Meme / 4 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week’s topic: Freebie! Use this week to write a top ten list about ANYTHING in literature.

So my top ten this week is going to be on my Favourite Fantasy novels/series! =D

01. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien — Hands down, my favourite fantasy novel of all time. I first read it when I was 15, right before the first movie came out. Tolkien’s worldbuilding–right down to the history, lore and language of each of the major peoples, continues to astound me to this day. And there’s just so many great, classic, memorable moments from this book. My entire high school consisted of me quoting or associating anything and everything to LOTR.

02. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy by Tad Williams — This series was an early suggestion made to me after finishing LOTR. It’s just as epic with sprawling regions, mythical peoples, prophecies mixed in with medieval politicking and the rise of a young hero. It can be underrated at times when placed beside other authors in the field like Jordan, Goodkind and Martin, but this trilogy is definitely worth checking out. Fantastic stuff.

03. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson — All of the Sanderson books I’ve read so far (well, only this and Elantris; The Way of Kings is sitting on my TBR pile) have been fantastic but I decided to put Warbreaker on the list because of its balance of mythology, social issues, character development and humour which made it a fast favourite of mine. He’s currently working on a number of books, including the conclusion to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series so he’s certainly someone to look out for; his creativity and imagination in the genre is just amazing.

04. The Abhorsen trilogy by Garth Nix — This is one of those novels that I wish I had written, lol: the magic system is creative with the tug between life and death. The world that Nix created for this trilogy was also interesting and the characters are memorable. And did I mention the magic is unique and even creepy at times?

05. The Lighthouse Duet by Carol Berg — This two-book series caught my attention because the main character was definitely an anti-hero of sorts: a rebellious son of a royal family with a drug addiction and trying to escape the prophecies foretold of him. The world that Valen lives in is fascinating with the social structure and manners as well as the overall plot. Not to mention it’s short compared to some of the series out there these days.

06. The Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett — Light-hearted good fun, spinning fantasy around and populating the world of Ankh-Morpork with such wacky, memorable characters. My personal favourite character is Death =D

07. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin — It’s funny because a couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have put this series on such a list, if only because I am still scarred by certain events that took place in the books! Heck, it took me over five plus years before I picked up the second book because I was still mourning over the first book. Yet you can’t deny the imagination that GRRM has in creating such a dynamic of individuals fighting on the political landscape for the Iron Throne. I’m glad I read the rest now because I can appreciate the dynamics and the inner developments going on.

08. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss — When I first read the novel a few years ago, I could see why everyone was raving about this novel: the set-up is unique and the reader is left curious to see how he became the hero that everyone perceived him to be. I remember it left a very good impression on me, though I admit that it’s been a while to remember the precise details of what I enjoyed from the novel.

09. The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone by Greg Keyes — Definitely an underrated quartet, it certainly holds a special place in my ranking of fantasy books because of its scope. While I admit that I was a bit dissatisfied by the ending, the build-up was exciting: you’re left wondering how everything is going to work out and whether, *gulp*, all of the principal characters will make it.

10. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch — I re-read this book recently and I realised how amazing this novel was in character interaction and worldbuilding. It feels like medieval Venezia in a way, but it’s more than that, it’s totally distinct. And the dialogue can be pretty amusing.

Special mention (though I’m sure there’s a ton more): Susanne Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (not quite sure how to categorise it but impeccable read nonetheless), Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, John Meaney’s and Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana.

Meme: Teaser Tuesdays

Posted 16 August, 2011 by Lianne in Meme / 3 Comments

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
– Grab your current read
– Open to a random page
– Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
– Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Should Be Reading

I have two teasers to share this week =) Here`s the first one:

“The glory of Him who moves everything
Penetrates the universe and shines
In one part more, and, in another, less.”

– 352, Paradiso in The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

And here’s my second teaser:

“It was a peasant’s house, but as far as hospitality was concerned it was the equal of a king’s palace. On our arrival, the master came out to shake our hands and without further ado beckoned us to follow him inside.”
– p. 62, Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

I finally managed to get around to reading the rest of The Divine Comedy after having read Inferno back in my first year undergrad. Purgatorio was a slow journey but it had interesting moments here and there. I’m looking forward to reading Paradiso (which I just started). Felt like reading poetry for a change anyhow xD As for Jules Verne, it’s been years since I’ve read any of his stuff and his work is just fantastic (and to think that he was thinking up of all these fantastic adventures in the nineteenth century!) =)