Tag Archives: Fahrenheit 451

A Belated Valentines To My Fangirls (and Boys): Book Crush Time!

Book Crush.

I recently discovered the term for this hormone-induced phenomenon thanks to a perfectly-timed article from The Huffington Post. I’ve linked the original post below, but it inspired my own ideas as to what a Book Crush really is. Unlike, the movie or tv show crushes that most fan girls experience, books are delectably intimate and communal. One fangirl can have a personal experience of her book crush without ruining the collective enjoyment of her friends about the very same character. It is one of the most fabulous and devious feelings in the world.
Naturally, I had to make a list of my own. I focused mainly on the fantasy and sci-fi books that have stood out for me and I didn’t separate for gender because sometimes you can’t help who your crush is—male/female, human/non-human, good/evil. Sometimes, a girl just needs to love her books.

Without further ado, I give you my list of Book Crushes because the Huffington Post list seemed to miss some of the most stellar examples in the book world today. P.S. these are in alphabetical order based on the book title or series title and there may be more than one if it’s a series.

11/22/63 by Stephen King- Jake Epping Although most people think of King’s MC’s as twisted or murderous, Jake is the exception to the rule. He is devoted, compassionate, and brave. Literally, the embodiment of chivalry, and he chooses to leave his life behind and change the world by saving one of the best U.S. presidents—JFK. I drooled for half the book at how easily he took care of a woman so damaged by her previous marriage she was afraid of going to sleep next to a man. If one man could heal a woman’s broken heart, it was Jake. Out of all of my book crushes, he’s the one I could easily marry and give children.

A Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin-Daenerys Targaryen/Tyrion Lannister-Mother of Dragons. Daenerys is by far the most interesting and fluid character in the entire series. That paired with a beautiful actress, who portrays her in the tv show flawlessly makes her a crush worthy character.

Plus—DRAGONS! She birthed dragons from the ashes of her beloved Drogo. So many fangirl love for Daenerys Targaryen called Stormborn, the Unburnt, Mother of Dragons, Khaleesi of the Dothraki, Trueborn Queen of the Andals, Rhoynar, and the First Men, and Lady of the Seven Kingdoms.

My runner up for book crush is Tyrion Lannister, Imp of Westeros. I would skip through most of the books (and have) just to read what happens to the Imp and what trouble he gets himself into. He may appear to be comedic relief in scenes, but I get all squirmy inside when I get to a Tyrion chapter or see Peter Dinklage on screen. I mean he’s one of the few honest and mostly good-hearted characters in the entire series. Look at the way he cares for Sansa. It’s just too bad that Martin doesn’t use two of his best characters more often.

Black Jewel Series by Anne Bishop- Jaenelle(Witch/Dreams Made Flesh)/Lucivar and Daemon-Besides the fact that this series is quickly becoming my most favorite fantasy of all time, Jaenelle or Witch is dreams made flesh for any avid fangirl. Even though she’s an 11-year-old, I became captivated with the presence Jaenelle brought to the page. If there is one person that I love as much as the other characters love—it’s Witch. The only relatable comparison that I can make is Harry Potter with a throne and 500% more power. But in reality, I love Jaenelle more than I’ve ever loved a singular character. She is fierce, dark, innocent, compassionate, animal lover, frustrated child, and one with the land. Gah! I can’t talk enough about her.

The very close runners up are the brother duo—Lucivar and Daemon. Now as bad as it would sound to have crushes on two pleasure slaves, there is a reason for my undying fangirl love. While they are powerful characters and warlord princes in their own right, they have an undying, unwavering love for Witch even before they meet her. No matter how much pain women have put them through, Lucivar and Daemon love Jaenelle with everything they have. How can I say no to that? And they happen to be the most fantastically sexy men in my mind.

Example: Charlie Hunnam as Lucivar (sans wings) and Aidan Turner as Daemon.

Example: Charlie Hunnam as Lucivar (sans wings) and Aidan Turner as Daemon.

Before I die of excitement, go buy Daughter of the Blood and fall in love with them too!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury-Guy Montag-Although the reader gets very little description about him, he automatically enraptures the reader will his willingness to question what he has “known” all his life and in the end chooses knowledge over living just on what he’s been told. He may not have the brains of a professor, but the heart of the every man lives in Montag, and I would be hard pressed to find a book worm who wouldn’t swoon for a guy willing to leave a society that burns books. Could you resist?

Iron Druid Series by Kevin Hearne-Atticus O’Sullivan-What do you get when you add 2,000+ years of Druid training, mad fighting/magic skills, nerdy quips, and tattoos? The hottest MC on every plane of existence. Atticus (Siodhachan O Suileabhain) is the last Druid alive, and like every fan girl who has discovered him—I am in love. He is witty (partakes in Shakespearian insult battles with vampires), knowledgeable (has the secret to stop aging from ancient Celtic god/has plethora of geeky facts), and sufficiently ripped from all the demons and gods he’s slain to stay alive. Did I mention he taught his dog how to speak telepathically? Or how about his ability to keep a professional relationship, through five books, with his gorgeous apprentice before finally giving the fan girls what they want—BOW CHICKA WOW WOW! I leave you to scour the interwebs to get your Atticus fandom on, but not before I share one of many fabulous quotes:

“Druid log July 15: Dark elves are not only quick and efficient killers, but creative and pyrotechnically inclined ones.”
— Kevin Hearne (Trapped (The Iron Druid Chronicles, #5))

Mortal Instruments Series-Magnus Bane-This crush was a hard decision, but instead of going with Jace (the typical choice) I decided to pick character I crush on regardless of if he likes boys. Magnus Bane! Again I state how can I not love him. He has panache, power, and the knowledge to make him a formidable opponent. Ignoring the actor who was chosen for the movie, I always imagined a type of Adam Lambert/Freddy Mercury look for Magnus, and I gobbled scenes with Magnus (and Alex) like candy. It made the cliched scenes with Clary a little more bearable.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory MaGuire-Elphaba-One of the greatest stories ever written was The Wizard of Oz, and then came Gregory MaGuire with his dark, sexual prequel that highlights what life in Oz is like before Dorothy comes bumbling along. I, for one, have to admit that although I love Jaenelle, Elphaba will always be my favorite witch. Cursed with green skin, the universe was bound to hand her the worst of life, but every page of this book just makes me adore her. She is the misfit I see in myself—the one that just doesn’t belong. And yet she manages a functioning friendship (several) throughout college before the corruption of society turns her against the world. I get goosebumps just thinking about how even at the end, Elphaba still gains the love of the Prince Charming a.k.a. Fiyero. The misfit can get the guy and the awesome magic power. Fangasm!

The Eyre Affair– Rochester-Let me preface this entry with the fact that I haven’t actually read Jane Eyre (on my list), but this science fiction novel gives me hope that it’s a classic well worth the read. He’s not only the gorgeous male lead in one book, but in TWO! Rochester manages to save the day for the main character, Thursday Next, who would have otherwise let a mass-murderer/lunatic run free through all of literature. He is sweet, gentlemanly, and always conscious of how much he loves Jane. Love, love love!

Weather Warden Series-David-My final, and probably most exotic book crush is a Djinn. Ancient, beautiful, fearsome creature that just happens to be pretty hunky. Did I mention the exceedingly limitless supernatural power with centuries of experience. I honestly don’t know if I have a normal expectation for men after David. He’s protective without crossing too many boundaries for a magical creature. Meaning, he’s not Edward Cullen status, but you don’t mind him being a little clingy, and he lets his main squeeze, Jo, take the reigns when she needs to. I could drone on about how he blossoms as a character over the nine book series, but I will let you find out.
Honorable mentions:
Blood Price by Tanya Huff-Henry Fitzroy-Vampire, graphic novelist, badass!

Faerie Tales by Fiona Skye-David Lo-Chinese version of a gollum only hotter and a great shot. Yes, I’ll have me one of him to take home. Plus he does dishes.

Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling-Draco Malfoy-Because he’s a complex, torn character and Tom Felton is hot.

Hollow Series by Kim Harrison-Kisten Phelps-gorgeous, blonde vampire with a complicated history.

Iron Druid Series-Granuaile-foxy redhead and newly made Druid. She can keep up with a 2,000-year-old Druid and his talking dog. She’s awesome!
All in all, I was throughly pleased with my choices, and the fun time I had writing this up. It’s just a shame I can’t poof all of  my enjoyable memories into your heads, dear readers, so that you could enjoy it with me. So, get reading! Pretty please? I do hate the feeling that you’ve found truly phenomenal characters with no one to share it with.

Who are your book crushes? Do you see any that should be on here? Please share. Happy Reading and Writing!

Also….Kitty picture!

Since it's Thursday, thought I'd throw in a Throwback Thursday photo

Since it’s Thursday, thought I’d throw in a Throwback Thursday photo

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Booker Award: I Am a Bibliomaniac and Proud Of It!

Thanks to my blogging buddy, The Other Watson, I have been nominated for yet another award. I am so happy to accept this award as books are vital to my existence as a writer and human being. My love for books has transcended hobby and soared to a life time commitment. I respect the art of writing/storytelling as one of the finest arts known to all of life.  Receiving the Booker award is truly gratifying, as I strive to write my own stories.

First, I must once more thank The Other Watson for nominating me for this award as he sees so much promise in my blog. We ironically started out blogs within days of each other, and we have been great support for one another.

Next, I’d like to nominate other bloggers for being as book fiend-ish as I am.

1) Wings and Water-One of my dear friends has a fantastic blog about her writing journey speckled with bits of politics, and fun topics of discussion. She loves fantasy books with her entire being, and will be a published fantasy writer someday.

2) Write to Perfect-This a fantastic blog dedicated to insightful advice/tips on writing. Of course, these are the stepping stones, which have made our favorite books great. It is only fitting that I should choose a blog that helps writers to create great books for us to read.

3) mywithershins-This blog is a lovely little outlet for an amazing writer. She has tons of tips for writers after having two novels published. Her ideas are interesting and fresh, with extremely well-written posts. Please check her out because it is definitely worth the trip to her page!

4) 101 Books– Since I received the Booker Award, it is only just if I nominate another blogger who appreciates books in all of their glory. He aspires to reading the 100 greatest books according to Time magazine, which has become the center of his blog. He has witty, interesting posts that always keep me coming back for more.

5) wanton creation-The man who nominated me deserves even more face time. His blog is full of  creative ideas in addition to his love of books/writing. He always makes jokes, and he has plenty of anecdotes to pull you in to each post. I suggest reading his blog at least once.

Now onto the main event–MY 5 FAVORITE BOOKS!

The following are five books that I have deemed well-written and entertaining for anyone who loves a story that will capture your heart.

1)  Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire- This dark novel follows the life of the Wicked Witch (Elphaba) throughout her life as she struggles to fit in with the people of Oz when she was born for something more extraordinary.  I fell in love with Maguire’s writing after I experienced the musical that was made from the book of the same title. The story you know from the movie The Wizard of Oz is not the whole story. Maguire gives us the dirty, and sometimes scary details of what happened before Dorothy came to Oz. In my opinion, one of the best books to expand upon an already popular story in an inventive way.

2) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury- This book is one of the most fantastic pieces of writing that I have ever purchased. The late Bradbury created a horrifying and realistic future where books are illegal and burned. It depicts the life Bradbury thought would come to pass if television became more popular than books. It subsidiary themes include love, censorship, and the power of knowledge. I will always hold this book close to my heart because I hope one day to create a novel that rises above my expectations, and inspires other in this field.

3) Being a Green Mother by Piers Anthony-  As one of the seven books in the Incarnations of Immortality series, this book should not be read outside of the series. While it is alright as a standalone, it is truly phenomenal as part of the series. What begins as a book about a woman trying to find her place in the world, it soon becomes a mystical place where ordinary people can become incarnations of the world such as Gaea (Mother Earth) and Thanatos (Death). It is a complex plot intertwining characters throughout 8 novels, and I hope that you enjoy it also!

4) Under the Dome by Stephen King- Ah, the man of my nightmares and dreamscapes. Stephen King may be known for gruesome horror fiction, but what his fans truly love him for is the character development he slaves over to achieve in every book. With around 6-8 central characters, the book creates a story that will never bore you. What would happen if you were trapped under an invisible dome and cut off from the world? Would people start killing because there was no one, but local people to enforce? The realistic quality of King’s writing allows your mind to melt with his ideas as if they were your own. His books are always exciting and hair raising, but this one tops them all!

5) Ender’s Game/Xenicide by Orson Scott Card-  My all-time favorite series to be published is the Ender series by science fiction writer, Orson Scott Card. He has mastered the genre of science fiction in these two books with gifted children, aliens, politics, and love. It is a culmination of what it means to be human in a world where aliens can potentially destroy the entire race or vice versa. Card flawlessly creates a world that you will get sucked into and love up until the final book (I have yet to read).

I can’t explain how much each and every person should read Ender’s Game, the first book in the series. If you can appreciate science fiction in any sense, you will most likely fall in love!

 

Hope you check out these books and the wonderful bloggers who have made a name for themselves through their fantastic blog posts. Happy reading/writing!

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The Funny Side to the E-book Debate

As the sales of e-books soar past print books without a second glance, I feel the need to bring some laughter to this heavy issue. I will not be stating any argument on the debate, as I feel there is merit to both print and digital books. I will, however, give you an example of the downsides to e-books only Cracked.com would bring to our attention.

http://www.cracked.com/blog/8-unexpected-downsides-switch-to-e-books/

What happens when you take a well-known comedic site and combine it with the debate of oh the next 50 years or so? The monstrosity of an article shown above. It details the satirical and true downsides to e-books coming to power.

The first downside, you ask? Where will assassins hold their guns? With security and surveillance becoming more high tech, assassins and hit men must become more creative in hiding their weaponry.  So why not just hide it in your coat? Metal detectors solve that problem outright and as the author of the article goes through the strangest places to hide a gun, we come across books as the cliched place to hide a gun. If e-books take over and make books obsolete (don’t think it will happen for a while) then carrying one around will be odd and out of place, making guns in books undesirable for killers.

The list continues to include mundane tasks like holding up a wobbly table and doodling in textbooks. While people might not find ultimate value in these odd reasons, the root of them is the same. What happens if we change the entire facet of books? Just like phones when they became mobile, the culture began to change to create something people 50 years ago wouldn’t recognize. The mobile phone example is perfect because while most people use their cell phones,  land lines are still prominently used. The influx of cell phone eventually leveled out and became consistent while land lines were simply used less. To me, this seems like a possible example future for books. As print books have been such a long standing form in the medium, I believe they will hold strong to the people who need them. At the same time, there isn’t anything wrong with using both for different reasons and keeping the history of the medium alive.

One of the most interesting downsides on the list is the use of ancient texts and mystical books in movies and games. Many movie plots and even whole genres rely on the use of books that either have a magical quality or important information only found in old books. There would be no plot to The NeverEnding Story without the old, mysterious book. If you replaced the mysterious, almost magical book with a Kindle, the movie wouldn’t have the magic in it.  Where would the old witch find her potion recipes or the young sorcerer learn his trade. For the fantasy genre, it almost solely relies on the use of these ancient books in the plot to suck us in to the story. Would we take those out and replace them with e-books as most technological updates have required of movies? I don’t know, but I sure don’t want to live in a world where I’d have to find out.

We move on in the list to the use of books in opening secret passages and the sanitation of bathroom reads. One of the things people don’t understand about new technology is how it truly affects our perception of the world and changes our culture. While some people prefer to read harlequin books in the bathroom rather than take them out into the world, e-readers require you to have all your books in one place. This isn’t ideal for the bathroom reader, but neither is by two Kindles just so you can read on the John.

Speaking of changing culture, the most shocking realization of e-books rising above print books is book burning. What has plagued controversial books for decades? The threat (or not) of book burning. Contrary to Fahrenheit 451, replacing paper books would make book burning less appealing. Would you rather burn a bunch of 5 dollars books or burn a $200 electronic device that doesn’t actually hold the only copy of the book. It make the statement of book burning completely useless.

For authors like Mark Twain and J.K. Rowling (as well as librarians and bibliophiles) this could be a relief. However, the point of book burning is not such a terrible thing, is it? Does it stand to reason that a book, which can rile the masses to burn its pages is important? Without this option, how would we know that books hold a power above just the pages? If a book on an e-reader is too controversial, you would just get rid of it. You wouldn’t burn your Nook. The only indication that a book was too controversial would be the peer reviews on the app and Oprah’s Book Club wouldn’t read it. Although I’m obviously against burning books (unless I’m stranded and have a bunch of Twilight books), there is something powerful in that action to stand against someone’s view of the world. Though many people would find it a blessing to be rid of this act, I find that the world would be a less honest place if radicals couldn’t burn books and provoke people to read them more.

Either way, there are upsides and comical downsides to e-books, but this much is true. There is no way for us to know the results (positive or negative) of this new technology until it has had more time to prosper. Print books have had hundreds of years of head start. Give e-books time. They may have their hindrances, but everything in the world does. Cracked as always gives you a relaxed way of looking at a heated, sensitive issue.

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Why I Love Real Books

Getting back to my blog’s main purpose, after some shameless self promotion, I address an issue many people must face in this digital age. How do we convince them these new books aren’t books?

For example, what would you say to an alien who has just landed on Earth when asked where our history and traditions are kept? Well, of course you would go to a library and show them books, right? RIGHT? But what if the new electronic book craze leaves us with a world of no libraries like Fahrenheit 451. No ancient books showing pictures and writing of the world’s history. You won’t be able to see the age on the tattered pages or smell the breath of the author on the pages.

Barnes and Noble suggests that by the year 2015, digital book sales with either match that of paper books or surpass it completely. Now for tech geeks like my boyfriend that is a testament to our ability to adapt and change. But for me, it means that all of the things I adore about books is threatened.

While I understand and respect the uses and need of electronic books, I struggle every day to give up my old “purist” ways and get e-books instead. Did you know that scientists are now using that “old book smell” that we love so much to tell how decayed historical documents are? Usually they would just take samples of the paper, but you can tell the history of the book or document by its smell.

According to Perfumes: A Guide, there is a chemical in older paper closely related to vanillin that has been broken down over the years, “which is how divine providence has arranged for secondhand stores to smell like good quality vanilla absolute, subliminally stoking a hunger for knowledge in all of us.”  The smell of old books is a gateway to our memories, taking us back to a different time and creating a bond between you and the book. These sniff experts go on to say that smelling is a direct experience, it can’t be recreated with sprays and imitation smells like this one attempting to make these digital hybrid into real books:

http://smellofbooks.com/

But we know the truth. That no matter how many realistic additions you add to the e-readers, you will never replace the feel, smell, and experience of a real book. It’s not some cop out that old fogies use to get out of changing. It’s about respecting the package the story comes in and how it affects your experience. I enjoy odd editions of books because of the personality that comes with it. Writing on the inside of the cover, underlining, notes in the margins, and that all too familiar musty book smell. There is also the flip side of a freshly pressed and wrapped book.

There is joy as a little kid, having mom or dad read a book and imagining the epic story unfold in your imagination. Once you learn to read yourself, holding the book in your hand, you become the master of the adventure about to be discovered. Each turn of the page, you wait in anticipation as you reach the bottom. When you finally get there, you flip the page so furiously that you get a paper cut or rip the page, but you don’t care. The story is too good to stop and worry about it.

To me, true readers never lose that joy while reading. When you take away the ability for the reader to be the master, you give up a fundamental right we have to do so.  When you can ctrl F key words or at the flip of a screen go to the end of the book, the mystery of the story is lost. Yes, technically you can do that to a real book, but there are unwritten rule when it comes to reading a real book. One of them is that you never skip to the end of the book to find out what happens. Unless it’s one of those choose your own adventure, a true reader just doesn’t skip to the end, but stories in electronic form don’t keep to the reading code.

There is a code for reading. You may not think it’s important to the experience, but reading has an important place in the history of our species. It is why an alien would be in awe of the collection of vanilla scented, leather bound books that has documented our history since the beginning. It is the reason I have cardboard boxes full of memories and a dream to have bookshelves line an entire room in my future home.

My favorite author, publisher of both electronic AND print books states his claim about real books in the following quote, which I find to be insightful and comedic.

I'm sold! Why buy a virtual book for $9.99 when I can get the same one with character in my hand for $0.10?

 

Regardless of what new technology graces the market, I know others will agree with me on one important point.  As long as there are tree growing, there will always be people buying real books.

 

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Idea of the Day: The Irony of Technology

The Idea of the Day is dedicated to a topic, article, or video that stirs a discussion in me.

Today’s idea is focused on one of the most influential fiction writers anyone has ever read. Ray Bradbury. Now in his 90s, Bradbury has changed the way readers look at books and censorship from his book Fahrenheit 451.

For those who haven’t read the book, it depicts a world in the future where print books of any kind are illegal and burned on sight by firefighters.

Ironically, the famed book has finally been made into electronic book form.

The article on the subject describes Bradbury’s previous notion of e-books and his dislike of them. The irony is not only that the Fahrenheit 451 is a book about burning print books, but that Bradbury is a futurist entirely against the progression of technology.  He has made negative comments about e-books and internet in general.

What I find the most compelling aspect of this story is that Simon &  Schuster purchased the rights to this intriguing novel for over $7 million dollars. The cost of making an e-book may be a positive one for self-publishing writers, but to keep a classic book available on the internet costs a pretty penny.

So, I pose another question, dear reader. Read the article…Who would you side with, Bradbury who resisted the temptation of the new medium or the publishers hell bent on putting the classic as an e- book?

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2011/11/simon-schuster-releases-ray-bradburys-fahrenheit-451-as-an-ebook.html

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