Monthly Archives: May 2012

Random: “Make Good Art”

Posted 31 May, 2012 by Lianne in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

I think by now a lot of people have seen this but if you haven’t seen it yet, this was Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech to the 2012 graduating class of the University of the Arts Class:

It’s a wonderful, inspiring and re-affirming speech not only for anyone leaving the safe walls of education but also for anyone who’s inclined in the arts. In a world as uncertain and as chaotic as ours, it’s always nice to hear such advice/reassurance to follow your dreams and passions and make the most of your life. =)

On a personal note, it’s timely to listen to his speech as I am slowly slipping back to some of my old hobbies (sketching) and expanding a bit (or attempting to, anyways_ on certain artistic endeavours (writing, photography).

Meme: Booking Through Thursday

Posted 31 May, 2012 by Lianne in Meme / 5 Comments

So it’s been a very, very long time since I’ve done a Booking Through Thursday entry; my Thursdays for the past few months have been busy because I had been taking Italian language classes but my schedule’s a bit free again so I might be participating more often ^_~

If you could write a book, what would it be about, and why? (Though, of course, some of you already HAVE.)

Booking Through Thursday

Great question! I’ve actually written a number of full-length novels already, albeit all of them are still in their first drafts (never got around to looking at them and editing them…yet). I have a number of other story ideas locked in my head and jotted down in note form in my journal (some of which I hope to get going with Camp NaNoWriMo starting tomorrow).

But going back to the original question, ideally I would like to write a high fantasy novel or trilogy, something really epic that involves a lot of the elements I enjoy when reading (i.e. great character development, characters you could emotionally sympathise with, interesting plot, fantastic world-building and history, etc, etc.). Aside from wanting to write a book in the vein of what I enjoy reading, I guess another reason why I’d want to write such a book is because I love the fantasy genre so much; I grew up reading a lot of fantasy and it’d be fun to contribute to such an imaginative body of literature.

And that’s my answer for this week! =) What kind of book would you write?

Review: Resistance

Posted 29 May, 2012 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

By: Owen Sheers

1944. After the fall of Russia and the failed D-Day landings, half of Britain is occupied . . . Young farmer’s wife Sarah Lewis wakes to find her husband has disappeared, along with all of the men from her remote Welsh village.

A German patrol arrives in the valley, the purpose of their mission a mystery. Sarah begins a faltering acquaintance with the patrol’s commanding officer, Albrecht, and it is to her that he reveals the purpose of his mission – to claim an extraordinary medieval art treasure that lies hidden in the valley. But as the pressure of the war beyond presses in on this isolated community, this fragile state of harmony is increasingly threatened.

Okay, I admit, I found out about this novel through the movie adaptation it was based from (haven’t seen it yet; I wanted to read the book first) because Tom Wlaschiha is part of the cast (known primarily for his appearance as Jaqen H’ghar in Game of Thrones this season). I don’t really read books set in alternate history (the student in me who studied history for 7 years I think is a little reluctant to foray too far into the genre…although upon reflection I think Susanne Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell (review) is considered to be alternate history) but the premise of this novel sounded interesting, one of those big “what ifs”, in this case what if D-Day had failed and the Nazis were able to occupy Great Britain. Contains spoilers ahead! (though I’ve marked out the section containing major spoilers concerning the ending)

Read More

Meme: Top Ten Tuesdays

Posted 28 May, 2012 by Lianne in Meme / 12 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: Top Ten Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years

Wow, awesome question for this week! Hmm, let’s see, in no particular order (and I had to go and check the dates on the publications to be sure, lol)…

01. Atonement by Ian McEwan (review) — Just my luck, this book was first published in 2002 =) Anyways, I hope that people are still reading this book 30 years from now; I suppose it’s a toss up between this book and Amsterdam (review) but I personally think this book is quite flawless from the way that McEwan uses his words to the internal dialogue within his principle characters to the questions he raises at the end of the novel. Absolutely wonderful, I hope people will continue to appreciate this novel years from now.

02. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky (review) — I think that this novel isn’t going to fade away anytime soon, especially after it resurfaced after having been locked up in a piece of luggage since World War Two. I say it isn’t going to fade away because it gives us readers a glimpse of what it was like living in France during the days right before Nazi Germany occupied all of France; you get a glimpse of how the average French citizen coped and survived amidst the chaos and the failure of its previous government. Oh, and if we go by publication date, this book was first published in 2004.

03. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak — First published in 2006, I hope this book continues to be read by many people for many years to come. It’s an emotional tale that also provides a glimpse of life in Nazi Germany as well as exploring themes of friendship and the value of books.

04. The Shack by W. Paul Young (review) — Okay, I understand this novel isn’t for everyone. It tackles some tough themes such as loss, faith and theological inquiry. I do include it on this list because, aside from personally enjoying it, I can see it being a valuable book in terms of understanding certain concepts; the two priests who recommended it to me told me that it makes understanding the Trinity a whole lot easier (which it does).

05. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer — I seem to be running through a theme of WW2 novels but this novel ended up on my list because I remember being astounded by this novel. It can be a little weird to get through at times, floating into postmodern writing at times, but the themes it dwells on are just fascinating. Not to mention it was just funny at times.

06. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (review) — First published in 2004, this book was not only her first novel but it also took how long for her to write? (I read a decade; I could be wrong) It’s quite a feat of not only imagination but a seamless weave of fantasy/magical realism with the early nineteenth century. I hope people continue reading this book in the future.

07. Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres (review) — I would have put Captain Corelli’s Mandolin on this list but that book was published in the 1990s so I went with this book, which was just as amazing. de Bernieres does such a wonderful job in showing the different sides of the war, encompassing the old and the young, the different peoples involved, the leaders directing the battles, etc. The scope is just epic and the subject, that of the end of the Ottoman Empire and the fight for Greek independence, makes it quite a timeless book.

08. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (review) — I think this book may continue on 30 years from now because of the amount of philosophy featured in this novel. I think it would be useful for people studying philosophy but it’s also an overall interesting novel and a fascinating character study.

09. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (review) — I would actually put any of Brandon Sanderson’s books on this list; I think he’s a great writer with such an imagination, I think he’s going to make quite an impact in the fantasy genre. So yeah, I hope his books will be read 30 years from now.

10. I will think of something for #10 =P

I would have added Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind to this list but it looks like it was first published in 2001…but yes, definitely that book too =P And Ann Pratchett’s Bel Canto I think (also first published in 2001) =) Anyways, that’s my TTT for this week; click here for my teasers for this Tuesday if you’re interested. What books made it to your list this week?

Meme: Teaser Tuesdays

Posted 28 May, 2012 by Lianne in Meme / 10 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 for everyone this week =) Here’s the first:

“All three of them were silent as Mary carried on turning the pages. It was not a thick pamphlet and she soon came to the last one, closing it to reveal the innocuous cover once more: The Countryman’s Diary — 1944.
Maggie spoke first. ‘That’s why I think they might not be back today. Or tomorrow.'”
Resistance by Owen Sheers

I wanted to pick up this novel ever since I found out that it had been adapted into a movie last year. I’m not exactly one to read books on alternate history (I guess that’s a result of having studied history for so long) but I thought the concept of this novel sounded interesting, posing the ‘what ifs’ (in this case, what if D-Day had failed and the Axis powers launched another assault on the UK in 1944). I’m about 12% into the novel (reading it on my Kobo) and I’m enjoying it so far. (Edit: 1) I stayed up all night reading this book (soooo gooood) and 2) I have read one other alternate history novel in the past, Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (review))

Kaladin’s father had told him of apothecaries–men who walked the line between herbalists and surgeons. Common people regarded the healing arts with enough superstition that it was easy for an apothecary to cultivate an arcane air.”
– p. 310, The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

At long last I’ve started reading this book! The first in his new epic fantasy series, I’ve had the mass paperback sitting on my shelf for the past year, waiting to be read. I was waiting for the right time, when my to-read pile wasn’t as sky-high. Plus, it’s a pretty thick book; at 1252 pages, it can make your wrist sore on occasion. It’s pretty interesting so far; still trying to keep track of all of the characters and the magical system that inhabits this world but it’s pretty good. Looking forward to reading more on the mystery and pressing issues that inhabit this world.

And those are my teasers for this week! Hoped you enjoyed them. What’s yours for this week? =)