Sunday, October 31, 2010

Website: Shelfari


Shelfari is a website where avid readers come together. You can search for all the books you've read, are currently reading, or want to read, and add them to your own virtual "bookshelf!"

Readers can give the books a star rating and write reviews on books they've read. With books they own, there is a page to list the version, how it was obtained, and any other note about it. Users can also create a "wishlist" of books they hope to read in the future.

Shelfari is a community-based website that allows users the virtual hands-on involvement with information about books. On the novel's information page, users are allowed to submit a summary (short or long) about the book, detail the cast, explain the symbolism, and even give it a "parental rating." The users can also post their input on the authors' pages--their birth year, death year, nationality, biography, etc.

Groups are also available for users to join. These are user-run groups that aim toward certain audiences--the "Harry Potter fan club," for instance, or "National Novel Writers Month 2010." These groups are made for the purpose of bringing readers together over a common thread of interest to create friendships.

Sometimes it's hard to remember what you've read or what you want to read; that's where this website comes in handy. Shelfari is a brilliant way for readers to keep up with their long list of books. It's a wonderful community site to share opinions and information, and I highly recommend it to any big readers out there!

Join Shelfari Now!

Image: Screenshot of my personal Shelfari, Cheesy Cynicism.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Beastly was a big surprise to me. I just happened to pick it up off the library shelf and examine it. I almost put it back, but kept it in my stack of checkouts on a whim.

I started reading it that afternoon and I didn't put it down until late that evening. Beastly is an awesome, beautiful tale. About a third of the way into the story I realized that Beastly was, essentially, a modern spin on Beauty and the Beast--and a great spin on the tale it is.

Kyle, the protagonist, goes through dilemmas and circumstances that reminded me so much of many other tragic fairy tales, like The Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (two tales Kyle happens to read and empathize with, I might add). Anyone who loves the heart-wrenching tales that have you praying for the character's saving will adore this tale.
This story is not without its humor, however, so take heart; it's not at all a completely depressing novel.

Alex Flinn created an excellent tale that really and shocked me. I expected something about vampires, since that's such a hype lately (sparkling gaiety and all that). But, Beastly turned out to be a pleasant surprise and a great read!

Movie Moment

Beastly will soon have its own film counterpart. Company CBS Films will soon release the movie version of this book.
Take what you will from this film; I personally do not think it looks like it will at all measure up to the novel, but that's just a personal miff. I highly insist you read the book first before going to see the movie.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

This book was something I picked up because it reminded me of a movie I'd once seen. I was wary to read it, however, because it looked like it might be quite drab. However, I discovered that it was so enrapturing, I couldn't put it down until I'd read it from cover to cover.

It was a thrilling and engrossing tale. The story tied together three teens in a trek to survive a futuristic world where abortions are outlawed, but an alternative was created: if the parents still do not want the child once they've grown and hit their teenage years, they can have their children "unwound" and erased forever.

What really struck me was the realism and the high probability of something like this entering our society in the future. Unwind can tug at your moral code of conduct. It made me question: "What do I really believe? Would I really agree to this? Would I unwind my child?" It is an emotional tale that resulted in a few tears when I read a teenager's point of view while being unwound. It chilled me to the core.

An altogether amazing tale. Adventurous, chilling, and morally shaking.

New Beginnings

It feels great to create a new blog--especially one made just for books!
I've recently submitted my application for use on BookSneeze. Hopefully it will be approved quickly! As soon as I receive my first book I hope to immerse myself within its pages, and I eagerly await the opportunity to write my first review.

Hopefully this site will get up and running very soon! In the meantime, check out the links to NaNoWriMo and Shelfari on the right column of my blog! NaNoWriMo is a great opportunity and challenge to aspiring writers, and Shelfari is a brilliant website for avid readers to create a virtual "shelf" of all their favorite and desired books.

I hope you enjoy this site once it gets going!

What Is BookSneeze?

BookSneeze is a website (free to join!) that cooperates with bloggers and provides literature (mostly of Christian nature) for those bloggers to read and review.

As soon as you sign up and you are approved, you can request one of the currently available books. BookSneeze will send you these books (free!) for you to read, or provide you with a link to download an eBook version (which is highly popular on the site now). After reading, all you have to do is write a review of 200 words or less on your blog as well as a consumer website (such as Amazon). After you've finished reading and submitting the review, request another book and keep on going!

So what happens with the book once you're done with it? You keep it! It's free for you to put away on your bookshelf (or virtual bookshelf!), give to family or friends, or give away on your blog! It's yours!

I review for BookSneeze

Basic FAQs

Q: How did you find out about BookSneeze?

A: A friend at college mentioned it to me at lunch one day. I decided to look into it, and it seemed like a fabulous idea!

Q: How long have you been reading?

A: Since I was very little. My parents read to me a lot when I was a child, so I grew to love it. I was one of the first children in my elementary school class to learn to read because I enjoyed it so much.

Q: Why are you an English major?

A: Obviously, reading plays a lot into it. But also, I enjoy writing. I've been writing little stories all throughout my teenage life. I may not be too great, but I do enjoy it very much! I'm a bit of a grammar nut too, because bad spelling or grammar sends me into a tizzy. I hope to one day be an editor for a publishing company, so that I can do what I love most--read--and help authors improve their work in the process.

Q: And... A Chinese minor?

A: Yes! I enjoy foreign languages. My first semester at North Georgia College & State University was in the summer, and it was for a special program: The Summer Language Institute. From June 21st until July 30th, I was totally immersed in Chinese so that I could learn both the 1001 and 1002 courses in that single semester. I fell in love with the language, and decided that I want pursue it further!

Any other questions? Email Me!