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bitter13

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A distinctive practice, system, or philosophy, typically a political ideology or an artistic movement.

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Babel Tower
A.S. Byatt
My Life
Golda Meir
The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway

Hearts in Atlantis

Hearts in Atlantis - Stephen King Another great Stephen King work although I have to say, William Hurt narrating the book makes it even better.

Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1)

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card I pick up SF once in a while but wasn't really a huge fan of the genre ... until I read this! Ender's Game was recommended to me by someone who read it the first time it was published (I was 2 years old then!) and I'm glad I listened. I love the characters and everything in it, especially the big twist. The thing is, I think some people might have marked this as a children's book. Now, although the main character (most characters too) is a child, this book is actually pretty violent. In a gist, it's a boy genius sent to battle school to fight alien invaders (all of the soldiers are especially gifted kids). The battle school is comparable to a normal school with bullies etc where (might be a bit of a spoiler here) the protagonist decided to fight back literally and since this is a school that trains soldiers you can imagine it could get brutal.This is a highly regarded book that won best novel in the Nebula Awards and there is not doubt why. Must read even for non SF fan.

Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1) - Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves This book is the mother of beating around the bush. It really is. It's not enough that the main characters were sent on a wild goose chase, there's also a back story in every back story. They have to find out things about every person they come across with. Whether or not it's related to the story, you decide. Well, actually, most of it is but that's not the point. Lol. I now understand why Stephen King said on his review of The Shadow of the Wind that "even the subplots have subplots". It's a good thing the prose was beautiful because if it wasn't I'd be lost following the twist and turns of the story. And there's A LOT of twist and turns in this book.Having said all that, no, I do not hate this book. I actually loved it. In another lifetime I might have found it dragging. But I don't. I think the formula of the book is pretty simple. Good prose, which I already mentioned, AND intrigue. Ripe, juicy, pure, unadulterated series of complications. People love hearing about other people's tragedies. We talk about it and it grows from that. Now this book is a combination of gossip and horror stories and superstitions that was all rolled into an elaborate story. We all love hearing how people died a horrific death in a house or how the last owner of an item suffered a tragic loss and cursed anyone who will own it to suffer the same fate as his. Heck, people even love rumors spreading around about their neighbor having an affair with the other neighbor's wife. A tragic story is a good story as long as it happens to someone else. I loved this book because it reminds me of that old movie Red Violin. It was so tragic but also intriguing you couldn't just let go.But you know the best part of this is? It actually has a happy ending. Err, that was a spoiler right there. :p

No One You Know

No One You Know - Michelle Richmond I don't know how to put it. Saying this book was a pleasant surprise doesn't seem to fit. It's so dark and so negative that saying it's a good story makes me kinda feel awkward. But it IS actually pretty good. Especially since this is supposed to be the author's first book. Some reviews pointed out how it was bad that 75% of the book only talked about the main character seeing his dead son over and over and over; and although that was apparent I didn't feel like it dragged too much. I actually read and was able to endure the supposedly "dragging" part. It was complicated and heavy (emotionally) but it was an easy read because of the words. The flow of the storytelling felt natural. I read it in less than 12 hours (with lots of breaks).There is no explanation how the guy can be seeing his son, whether it's paranormal or a psychological thing I guess is up for us to decide. I wanted to know but not knowing doesn't really make it less of a good story. I liked the inner dialogue/argument he was having with himself. I guess the story is a blunt way of showing how parents grieve? I did cry in some parts when they describe how Alex was. That's a plus for my review.I got this free from Amazon too so yay for me, eh? Lol.

Trapped

Trapped - Jack Kilborn, J.A. Konrath It's like a feminist, romantic (erotica), open-up-your-eyes story and even though it was easy to grasp, it's not very easy to accept. Lol. I'm a fairy tale nut and Beauty and the Beast is my favorite tale so I had to read this. I get where she's coming from, I really do. The intent is well appreciated, the delivery is just not that ... easy to absorb.

Visual C 2005 - de basis + CD-ROM / druk 1

Visual C# 2005: de basis - Sander Gerz There are a few reasons why "nerds" and "geeks" are now considered cool (or hot); this book is one of them. I love how this book is a story about other books that tell different stories. It talks of the book's smell, even! And don't get me started with that! Lol! It puts books, words and letters in a pedestal and states the obvious and still makes me say wow! It's the kind of book that makes me feel good about everything for no reason at all. I was on the edge of my seat when I was almost halfway through the book and smiling when I finished. I had so much fun reading it and although the climax may actually be anti-climactic (and also a bit predictable towards the end?) it's still so worth it. Are you a bibliophile? Then this book is definitely for you. But this is also for techie people who spends most of their lives in front of a computer trying to figure out how to make our lives easier. There's a connection there somehow. This is way more fun than Da Vinci's Code haha!I've been seeing this book on the shelves and on Goodreads a lot but didn't add it to my pile of "un-reads" until a couple days ago. I was browsing Audible for a birthday present for a workaholic. I wanted something that's light and fun and one that might be an easy read after a long day of, well, being a workaholic. I found Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore under the gift suggestion pages of Amazon's audiobook store. Naturally, I wanted to know if it's worth giving a very particular person so I had to read it and I'm glad I did.Will I buy the Audible version as a birthday present? Yes. And then I'll cross my fingers and hope that this time, the workaholic actually has the time to enjoy it.

Civil War Stories (Dover Thrift Editions)

Civil War Stories - Ambrose Bierce, Candace Ward Nope ... not the kind of book for me :p

If the River Was Whiskey: Stories (Contemporary American Fiction)

If the River Was Whiskey - T.C. Boyle Four stars for a book that could easily be one of those from my dad's huge collection (before he gave them away, that is). This is the kind of prose I grew up reading. Books that were published in the 80's or well before I was born. I liked most of the stories. I think the only one I didn't appreciate much is the Miracle at Ballinspittle. But everything else was nice. Okay, not nice as in nice because some are depressing but kinda nice -- in a depressing way. You know what I mean. Lol.

Septimus Heap, Book Three: Physik

Physik  - Angie Sage, Mark Zug Allow me to read between the lines. Or too much into the story. Somehow I liked this book better than the first two. Although the characters are slowly growing up and we see more "evil" in the new antagonists rather than the comical characters of DomDaniel and Simon (I mean, who's gonna take a character named DomDaniel seriously? Okay maybe Simon but that's beside the point. Heh.), it's still too much of a children's book in a way that it's a bit predictable. Except what happened to Nicko and Snorri in the end, that kind of surprised me.Physik is the first one that made me accept the fact that the series is named after Septimus Heap. Septimus is starting to be the 7th son of a 7th son. I now see the potential. Lol. I think that was why I didn't rave for Magyk and Flyte. It made him just "one of those" characters and I needed to feel something great from a main character to be able to love them.The one thing I REALLY liked about this book, however, is the satire-ish instances. Kinda reminds me of what characters represent in the Discworld series. Thinking back, there's a satirical side to the series ever since, but it wasn't as pronounced for me. Here's a few I can think off of the top of my head.The Rat Stranglers could be a group of people taking action about things they don't understand. They choose to blame something else (that they don't understand as well). It makes people feel better that they're trying to do something, even though it's obvious it's not solving anything. It was funny, too, how they had some sort of a mob song that didn't make sense. Just a lot of kill, kill, kill and splat, splat, splat in it. Silas Heap and Gringe is another example. Here are two men who hated each other's guts from the time they saw each other but somehow manage to set their differences aside for the love of sports. Well, a board game but you get the drift. Silas is also one of those men who we're all so familiar with from movies or TV shows. A man who has a wife who has a lot of money so he stops working and writes a book that no one knows about or if it will be published (in this case, this is a man who has an adoptive daughter who turned out to be the princess and ends up pursuing his hobbies rather than providing for the family. Don't get me wrong, I love Silas.). Oh and Stanley and Dawnie? Don't even get me started on them. Lol.

Magyk (Septimus Heap, Book 1)

Magyk (Septimus Heap, Book 1) - Angie Sage I do love a story with a happy ending. And I like that the author spent time to tell the readers what happened to the other characters, no matter how brief their role was. Actually it's like saying no character is big or small. But that was the downside too. It was hard to know where to focus. The book is called the Septimus Heap series but it was the Queenling that was sort of the focus. If there was any focus at all. I realize he was thought to be dead and people don't often think of dead people but the fact that the series was named after him tells us he'd end up being alive one way or another. But of course, as Marcia said, things have a way of working out on its own. Eventually.Now this is a kid's book, it may be too much of a kid's book for me and it was a bit predictable but that was fine. What bothers me is how they spell some words. Adding "e" at the end of some words and misspelling terms on purpose. It's cute but for that reason I wouldn't advise kids to read this, maybe the parents could read it to them or they could get the audiobook. Children are the most impressionable people. Their minds are susceptible so there's a risk they may carry that growing up. Especially during this age when Tweeting and micro blogs force us to change and shorten words.The characters? I loved all the characters. Especially Marcia. The bad guy was pretty funny too.Overall, I really liked it. Apart from what I've written above this is pretty good for light reading. And, although this is the first of a series, it's also a good stand alone book.

The Girl on the Dock

The Girl on the Dock - G. Norman Lippert First, I don't agree that this could be a stand-alone simply because there's so much information gap for a reader not to look for answers. Unlike other open-ended stories, this one depends too much on a past story and a different world that HP and JP fans already know of. On the other hand, I do understand why it is said to be a stand-alone. I believe it's because the story gives light to the other characters in the series. It is a good branch of the story. It goes to show there's always a story behind the story. Or rather, a story always have different sides. Since were dealing with fan fiction here why not go all out, eh?People who haven't read the second JP book may not appreciate The Girl on the Dock entirely. I enjoyed the story (thus the four stars) because I have read JP2. As per the author this is a dark fairy tale and he's right (of course, he wrote it). It's sad, depressing, melancholic and all the other synonyms you can think of. I probably would've moved on without reading this but I'm glad I did.

Discourses of the Vanishing: Modernity, Phantasm, Japan

Discourses of the Vanishing: Modernity, Phantasm, Japan - Marilyn Ivy Excuse my fangirling but G. Norman Lippert totally changed my view on fanfic. As much as I love getting this book for free I hope he'd be legally allowed to publish this series and get profit from it (and yes I will buy them and re-read them like I did HP lol). It would be hard to come up with an original story that would captivate readers of all ages (and from all over the world) as much as the Harry Potter series did but if you think the author got off pretty easy with a world that was already created for him and that he didn't have to make up on his own, then I have to disagree. It's harder because he already have a fan base to target and try to please. That is if he's making any profit of this. As it turns out, he doesn't get any. Now, he may have written the story for his own benefit because he said he wanted to make a "what if" story after HP and what fan wouldn't? Or doesn't. I'm just glad I ran across this.What of the story? First off, I HATED the fact that (spoiler) that character we've all learned to love so much had to be the one to die but it was essential for the story. If it was someone else then it wouldn't have made that much of an impact. Bits of it may have also been predictable but even the original was like that in some ways wasn't it? Also, yes I find the older Hermione, Ron and Harry characters cheesy but it's also amusing. I think the best thing that I loved about this book is that it actually gave me not one, but two climaxes. And even then, it still left me craving for more.

I Am America (And So Can You!)

I Am America (And So Can You!) - Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, Amy Sedaris, Paul Dinello Very funny though not for the faint-hearted, conservatives, easily piqued and those who take things too seriously. I especially liked his chapter on religion although I'm not sure I agree when he said all Protestants had to do was say a few Hail Mary's and feel guilty a lot ... I thought it was the Roman Catholics who do that? Lol. Four stars only 'cause it's really not something I haven't heard before. He just has a different tone of saying things. It's like he has his own version of sarcastic (and I love sarcasm). I'm also rating the audiobook (narrated by himself) so I thought it was more fun and would probably give only a three if I was just reading it.

Trial by Desire (Hqn)

Trial by Desire - Courtney Milan First off, I'm a huge fan of the Harry Potter series. I was one of those students (yes I was still a student at that time), who patiently waited for each book to come out ever since I read the first one. Having said that, people may think, "Of course she'll love a Harry Potter sequel!" Actually, no. I think, as a fan, I'd be skeptical about a fanfic of any book that I like. Why? Because I don't want the memory of something that I thought was so good be "tainted" by something trying to be like it in case the "copycat" turns out to be a bad one. But THIS! THIS made me G. Normal Lippert fan.At first, I was doubtful even if the reviews were good since each reader is different. I always thought that the original is always better then a fan fiction. I'm not saying James Potter exceeded Harry Potter but I would boldly say it's on the same level. Maybe the writer actually studied how J.K. Rowling wrote, I think he did because he used some of the characters too and he needed to use them the way Ms. Rowling did before. But in an older version of them, of course.The difference, other than the characters and the "era" is that James Potter is also part SciFi whereas Harry Potter is purely of the fantasy genre. Mr. Lippert's version is also more political (the story is) so, unlike HP1, JP1 isn't very much a children's book. It's about the level of HP5, HP6 and HP7 where things got darker and the characters are grown up. I think the more "children's book" genre of JP1 is mostly at the end whereas HP1 has children's section written all over it. Not that I mind.Speaking of characters. 1) Zane reminds me of the Weasley twins. 2) Ralph was a surprise waiting to happen. 3) Ted Lupin is also like the twins which is far from how I imagined him from the epilogue of HP7 but it was a pleasant difference, nonetheless. 4) McGonagall is still awesome! 5) Neville is still cute. 6) Hermione, I loved how Mr. Lippert immortalized her blowing-her-bangs gesture but that was actually part of the movies I think, not the book. 7) Ron ... I don't know what he does. He works for Weasley's Wizard Weezes? Maybe I'll confirm in the next books? 8) Harry (how can I forget) is just how I imagine he would be. Cheesy. Haha! and of course 9) James is much like his dad except more hot tempered. I guess that was what Dumbledore meant when he told McGonagall Harry was far better off growing up away from all the fame when he left him at the Dursley's. Speaking of which, I hope there's a Dursley story somewhere in the next books. :D So ... the things that I loved, pretty much all of it. Haha! Hard to pinpoint without spoiling it really. Some parts may be cheesy and I have noticed some inconsistencies as any fan might do but it doesn't matter right now. I'm a huge fan of HP not rabidly fanatic about it. :)

Just Can't Get Enough: Toys, Games, and Other Stuff from the 80s that Rocked

Just Can't Get Enough: Toys, Games, and Other Stuff from the 80's That Rocked - Matthew Robinson, Jensen Karp This is a bit ridiculous, yes, but G. Norman Lippert's short stories are much better than The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Sorry, Ms. Rowling. I wasn't very interested in fanfic but reading this and Harry's First Christmas made me want to read the James Potter series which I'm actually reading (and very much enjoying) now.P.S. Yes, I'm a Harry Potter fan. I think my HP ratings are a dead giveaway.

All I Know About Animal Behavior I Learned in Loehmann's Dressing Room

All I Know about Animal Behavior I Learned in Loehmann's Dressing Room - Erma Bombeck Not her best but still funny. I enjoyed reading this more than the other more housewife-ish books she wrote.