Thursday, 30 June 2011

June In Review

I can't believe June is over already! The year is going scary-fast. It's been a whole month since I was in the US, and I've well and truly come down off my holiday high. But I've had a very busy (and fun) time blogging!

I read and reviewed...
I swooned over...
I listed my top five...
I created new features...
Other fun stuff: I was honoured when Chloe from YA Booklover featured me on her blog; I crossed two out of 12 books off my Books I Should Have Read By Now challenge list; Advice Peeta, dogs reading books and Letters to Dead People made me laugh; and I appreciated the hell out of the totally awesome Darren Criss. Overall, it's been a pretty sweet month!

How was your June?
Image via We Heart It.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

My Book Boyfriend: Dimitri Belikov

My Book Boyfriend, a meme dedicated to our many fictional loves, is hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader. This week I've chosen my second Russian book boyfriend: Dimitri Belikov from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.

About Dimitri
  • He's a 24-year-old from Siberia with a hot Russian accent.
  • He's a dhampir (half-vampire), meaning he has super-strength and fast reflexes but doesn't need to drink blood to survive. Dimitri is described as looking like "a god" when he fights (natch).
  • He works as a teacher at St Vladimir's Academy and personally coaches Rose, the feisty heroine of the series. They really enjoy getting hot and sweaty together. Ahem.
  • He's the strong, silent type and sticks to his principles, but his calm exterior masks a fierce passion underneath. Ahem.
  • He's mega tall - over six foot - and has brown eyes, tanned skin and shoulder-length brown hair. Google image search "Dimitri Belikov" and you'll see that Ben Barnes is a fan favourite for Dimitri, but personally I always pictured him looking more like Ian Somerhalder.
Swoon-worthy Quotes
"'You are so beautiful, it hurts sometimes.'"

"'Roza. I did want you. I still do. I wish we could be together... If I let myself love you, I won't throw myself in front of her. I'll throw myself in front of you.'"

"There was a tremulous note in his voice. 'You're strong—you're so, so strong. It's why I love you.'" 

"'Wait until next time,' he warned. 'I'll do things that'll make you lose control within seconds.'"

"It was sweet and wonderful at the same time. When I looked into his eyes, I could see without a doubt that he loved me more than anyone else in the world, that I was his salvation, the same way that he was mine."

Bookish Fun: Dogs Reading Books

The Uniblogger recently posted about this little guy:

Which got me thinking - I wonder if other types of dogs like to read? Apparently they do, because look what I found:


Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Pash, Pick or Pass: Sookie's Harem

In honour of True Blood returning to TV this week, the contenders for Pash, Pick or Pass will be selected from amongst Sookie Stackhouse's many admirers:

My Choices

Pash: Alcide. Why? Well...

'Nuff said.

Pick: Eric, because he's sexy, powerful, intelligent, passionate, cheeky, protective, caring and, ahem, good in bed:

Pass: Bill, because I hate him so freaking much. He's manipulative, selfish and whiney. In the first book/season of the show, I actually really liked him, but as both versions of the series progressed he just got more and more douchey and waaay less attractive:

Want to play?
Go here if you want more info on Pash, Pick or Pass. Join in by sharing who out of Bill, Eric and Alcide you'd: 1) pash and dash; 2) pick for a long-term relationship; and 3) pass on altogether. Create your own post (linking back to this one) and share the direct link here, or simply comment below with your choices!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Mag Monday: True Blood Stars Cover EW

FINALLY, season four of True Blood is here! Well, not here here, but there here, as it hit US screens last night. I'm tossing up whether I want to a) stay spoiler-free and wait until I can see all the shows in one go, as I have in past years; b) read spoilers and still wait until I can see all the shows in one hit; or, c) give in to my impatience and watch each ep as it becomes available, so I won't have to worry about spoilers. I'm leaning towards the latter, because I'm dying to see how the season pans out - I hope it stays faithful to the fourth book (my fave), or I might just get stabby.

Anyway, what this ramble is eventually bringing me to is this: I love the Entertainment Weekly covers this week! The Alexander Skarsgard one is my favourite, of course - his expression cracks me up. Know what else cracks me up? Stephen Moyer's shoulder pads.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Top 5: Series That Defined My Childhood

When I think about the books that I read as a child, they always seem to be a part of a series or collection. I read individual books, of course, but I guess purely because I read more of them, it's the series that seem to have stuck in my mind the most. Here are the ones that dominated my early years:

1. Little Golden Books (Ages 1-10)

For as long as I can remember, I had a shelf full of Little Golden Books to dive into. Before I could read myself, my family read them to me, and once I learned I spent many an hour with a Golden Book in my hand. Later, as I outgrew them, I had the excuse of a little brother to share them with - though admittedly I would still pick up my old favourites when I was alone. Even as a kid I was super nostalgic, never quite ready to let go of past joys.

2. The Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin (Ages 8-12)

I first picked up a BSC book in Year 3, but I wasn't immediately hooked (probably because it was a Mallory story), reading the books at various times, in no particular order, as I got them from the library or as gifts over the next couple of years. Then when I was around nine or 10, my mum signed me up for The Babysitters Club Club. I got my very own BSC necklace, and was sent three books a month, in chronological order, starting with Kristy's Great Idea. By the time I got over it a couple of years later, I'd racked up 112 books (not counting doubles or super specials) and countless hours of reading, rereading, watching the show and movie, and trying to start up a BSC of my own (it didn't work out - astonishingly, parents in my neighbourhood weren't quite so eager as those in Stonybrook to leave their kids with 11-year-olds as sitters).

3. Paul Jennings' short story collections (Ages 8-12)

I still have a few of these books lying around at my parents' place, and from the sad state of them - dog-eared pages and missing or torn covers - you might think I neglected them, but in fact it's a sign of how very well-loved they were. I obsessively reread them, spending time assessing each story and ranking them in order from most liked to least, from saddest to happiest and so on (the first stirrings of the book blogger in me?). I was such a nerd, I know, but at the time it didn't seem so bad, coz Jennings' books were so awesome that they were actually considered cool to read. I remember having in-depth discussions (well, as in-depth as nine-year-olds get) with my friends about each story, and competing over who had read the most. Throw in Round the Twist, the show based on the collections, and I spent much of my formative years under the influence of Jennings' twisted mind.

4. Goosebumps by R. L. Stine (Ages 9-12)

Although I wasn't quite as obsessed with Goosebumps as I was with the BSC, I still amassed a considerable collection - in addition to devoting many library visits to the series. I was hooked on the mysteries, thrills and big twist endings, and loved the ghostly ones the most. When the show hit our screens I became addicted to that, too, roping in my poor baby brother to watch it with me. I wonder if this has anything to do with all the nightmares...

5. Series by V. C. Andrews (Ages 11-14)

My auntie introduced me to the joys of V. C. Andrews, first lending me her collection and then starting me off with my own when she gave me the full Flowers in the Attic set for my 11th birthday. Looking back, I'm amazed she encouraged me to read them - they're so trashy, twisted and just a bit naughty - but at the time, of course, I ate them all up. Though I guess I turned out all right, and I'm not gonna lie, I still love them today - for the same trashy, twisted reasons I loved them back then.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Bookish Fun: Letters to Dead People

I love this Tumblr - it's so clever, unique and funny. Who knew letters to dead people could make you smile so much? Here are some of my faves:

Friday, 24 June 2011

Friday Finds: My Wishlist Just Increased

Friday Finds is a meme hosted by MizB at Should be Reading, featuring books we've discovered in the past week. Ever since I joined the wonderful world of book blogging, my wishlist and TBR pile have both grown exponentially, so I thought this meme would be a great way to keep track of any further additions. Here are the books I'm currently eager to get my hands on:

After reading Audrey's review of Split by Swati Avasthi over at Holes in my Brain, I'm super interested in checking it out for myself. If a book can make you stay up to 3.30am because you can't put it down, it's gotta be good.

I saw Austenland by Shannon Hale reviewed by Melina at Reading Vacation and immediately added it to my wishlist. It's right up my alley, following the story of a Darcy-obsessed protagonist who goes on a holiday to Austenland, a Regency-style resort that sounds like my kind of place. If only it really existed.

I know you're not supposed to judge books by their covers, but let's face it, who doesn't?! I know I totally do. Take this one, for instance. Without even knowing what it's about I want to read it, because I freaking love the cover. Turns out it's about zombies, which is not something I usually gravitate towards - but I have been thinking it's about time I looked into it, anyway. Thanks to Sarah at Storybound Girl for featuring this in her Waiting on Wednesday post this week.

Nic at Irresistible Reads posted a wonderful review of Saving June by Hannah Harrington. It sounds like an awesome, character-driven tale and I can't wait to read it. Plus it has a super pretty cover. There I go, judging again.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Bookish Fun: Advice Peeta

In addition to coming across some very random pictures of Alex Pettyfer while I was looking for images of Peeta, my book boyfriend this week, I also stumbled upon this hilarious Tumblr called Advice Peeta. There's an Advice Gale and Advice Mockingjay too, but the Peeta pics are my fave:

Reading Icons: Audrey Hepburn

There are soooo many beautiful photos of Audrey Hepburn out there - including a whole bunch of her reading. Some of my faves are below. She's just so lovely. Apparently, her fave books included The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Heidi by Johanna Spyri, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and The Cocktail Party by T. S. Eliot.