#T5W | I’m (a) Game(r)

This week, we are talking about Books That Would Make Good Games.

One thing you may not know about me is that I’m a gamer. Sure, I spectate more than I actually play but I’ve always had a controller in my hand since the classic Nintendo Famicom. I had three PSX consoles, 2 PS One, 2 PS2, a PS3, 3 PSPs, a PS Vita, and a PS4 Pro. My brother and I are actually planning to buy another PS Vita because the one we have now is rooted in the Japanese PlayStation store. And if it’s not yet obvious, we’re Playstation fans. I’ve never even held a GameBoy or a Nintendo DS in my life. No joke. XD

My favorite genres are Japanese RPG, survival horror, and fighting games. Tekken 3 is like the national video game in the Philippines. Final Fantasy VIII was my top favorite JRPG until recently. And while kids spend the day with their dads in parks, malls, or fixing cars… I was helping him beat Silent Hill. Today, I still love Tekken and have grown to love Street Fighter. Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has dethroned FF8 as my favorite JRPG so much that I am seriously contemplating on buying a Windows system so I can play the game’s re-release with 5000 extra voice over clips. And I think Resident Evil: Biohazard is one of the scariest video games ever! I can talk you to the ground about video games like I can with books and anime.

Anyway, I figure this is going to be a long post. I will not only name 5 (or more) books that would make great video games but I will try to mention games that can be good books too. And I will be categorizing them into genres/modes instead of the book’s genres. This is going to be fun!

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TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Because of Books

(I just finished my EVO 2016 post. Click on over if you’re more interested in that. I’m watching Lucifer right now. Where have I been? This show is awesome!)

TopTenTues

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday , we’re listing down the Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them.

This is such an interesting topic! Books are a huge source of inspiration. And one can always dream of doing the fantastical things on the pages. Contemporary books offer more realistic goals. Or if you are currently unable to do something, live vicariously through a book.

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – ARCHERY. This is a popular choice. Archery seems so cool. This was offered as a PE class at my university but I couldn’t get a slot. Especially with movie!Katniss being left-handed, I so want to try it out.
  2. Armada by Ernest Cline – PLAY MORE VIDEO GAMES. I also blame EVO for this itch. When I read this book, I really wanted to grab a controller and get lost in a video game, may it be a fighting game or RPG. I’m not the best at it but I can play.
  3. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson – MAKE PLAYLISTS. I already did the cross-country road trip thing. Twice. It was an awesome experience. But I suck at making playlists though.
  4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – GO TO A CIRCUS. It doesn’t have to be a magical circus. It’s been about 20 years since I last went to one.
  5. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab – PLAY THE VIOLIN. I just finished marathoning Your Lie in April so I’m in that violin mood. I already play the guitar but I’ve always been fascinated by the violin.
  6. Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys – SOLVE MYSTERIES. I’ve been a fan of forensic science and solving mysteries even before CSI was a show. I have these two series to thank.
  7. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien – LEARN ELVISH. I’m fairly good at languages. I want to tackle this one.
  8.  Divergent by Veronica Roth – DO “DAUNTLESS” THINGS. Jump off a plane, run off to the great unknown, get a tattoo.
  9. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden – DRESS UP. Yeah, this includes full on cosplaying. I’m fascinated with Japanese and Korean traditional dress. And that makeup? Yes, please.
  10. Not inspired by any specific book but… I WANT TO BE A VAMPIRE. Haha, if I were to choose from all the paranormal, supernatural beings, I want to be a vampire.

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Impulse Buys

This topic couldn’t come at a much better time. I just placed a massive Book Outlet order during their Mothers Day sale and walked away with 14 books for $30 (it came up to $40 with shipping). If you know me, I think long and hard about what I buy online – may it be cosmetics, clothing, or books. It can take me HOURS to come up with a cart that will get me the most with less monies. (More often than not, I actually end up spending more just to get that free shipping or $5 off, lol.) With this recent book haul – according to the tracking, it’s due to arrive either today or tomorrow at the latest – I have some wishlist items as well as books that I’ve never heard of before. It’s going to be exciting!

TopTenTues

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday , we’re listing down the Ten Books I Picked Up On A Whim.

I have several reasons why I picked up books on a whim and some of them are: cover buys, title buys (yes it’s a thing), and one more to get free shipping. I haven’t read all of these yet but I do have physical copies of all of them.

  1. Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry. When I saw this week’s topic, this was the first book that came into my mind. I saw this briefly on a sidebar on GoodReads. You know, those random recommendations. The cover looked grotesque and interesting. So I went to my 3 trusty used book websites and the next thing I knew I had the first 3 books in the series in each site’s shopping cart. I talk all about it here. When I got the packages, I immediately read the first book and oh man, I could not put it down. I daresay I like it more than The Walking Dead. I didn’t know what came over me that day but I’m glad I saw this book. It’s now one of my favorites.
  2. The books from the Escape from Furnace series by Alexander Gordon Smith. Same story as above but I saw this on Book Outlet when I was checking out New Arrivals. I think I have all 5 books in the series on the way. Well, at least Lockdown was a cover buy. Then I read the synopses of the other books and I just decided to pick them all up. I’m hoping this is going to be a good one.
  3. Parasite by Mira Grant. This was a free shipping buy on Barnes & Noble. I’m familiar with the author by way of the Feed trilogy. My brother read that and highly recommends it. I’ll get to it eventually. But for now, I’m obsessed with her Parasitology trilogy. I picked up Parasite and instantly fell in love with it. So much that I even bought the 3rd book, Chimera, full price!
  4. Confessions by Kanae Minato. I needed one more book for that $5 off coupon at Book Outlet’s Mothers Day sale. I needed just one more dollar. This was that one-dollar book. I’m currently in my Japanese author kick and after hours of composing my cart, I was just too tired to look up more books. This was conveniently there at page something under Scratch/Dent and I went for it. Afterwards, I read the synopsis and it looks so promising. I like the dark and sinister Japanese novels and this definitely looks like one of them.
  5. Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn. This is another free shipping/deal book. I glanced at the description on the website and saw that one character’s name is “Cate” and I just jumped at it.
  6. Starflight by Melissa Landers. Simple. I found it for $1.75 at a thrift store ten days after its release date. I have absolutely no idea what it is about.
  7. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon this. All I remember is on that day that I first saw it, I bought it right away. I’ve since read it and well, I’m not continuing on with the series.
  8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This is one of my favorite books. And this was an impulse read from Target. I saw it on the shelves, took a photo of it, and bought it on ebook. Years later, I bought a physical copy of it.
  9. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. This was a total title buy. With a title like that, how can you not? Then I saw the pictures and I was hooked! This was waaay before this book blew up the literary scene. I have finished the trilogy and I’m so glad I picked it up that first time.
  10. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. Another title buy. It sounded so ridiculous, I just had to try it out. No regrets.

I realized now that I’m buying more physical books, I’m discovering more new (to me) and exciting reads. I got a little lazy there during my e-book phase and my excitement for reading dimmed a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my e-readers and see the convenience in them. But when stuck in an ebook rut, look to physical books. They’re awesome.

Also, I’m going on a trip at the end of the month. I am bringing my Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook to serve as an e-reader and tablet while I’m traveling but I’m also bringing a physical book on the plane. You know, battery life and all that jazz. I don’t know yet what to bring. So… how about you? What do you bring on a long road trip or plane ride?

MAILBOX MONDAY (MUSINGS) #5 | 12 Books

It’s another book haul. Are you sick of it yet? Because I’m not.

This is another two-for-one post. I have enough for both memes. They can overlap every time I get books in the mail. I enjoy both and am happy to do both. This falls right in the middle of the two because I did get 11 books in the mail and bought one more at last weekend’s WonderCon. Man, the post for that at my other blog… that’s gonna take a while. And I also have bookish news that will have its own post. At WonderCon, I met V.E. Schwab and it was one of the best author events and interactions ever. So watch out for that.

Musing

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

I’ve decided to go on a mini Graceling marathon and read Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. I recently finished Fire before my WonderCon adventure. I started a bit of A Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh but I wasn’t in the mood yet. I was too excited on my train rides to the convention center to care for anything else. And I was pumped for the V.E. Schwab panel. When I got home yesterday, I saw Bitterblue and had the urge to finish the series. So I’ll be reading that.

Speaking of V.E. Schwab… she’s awesome. Her panel was so much fun. And her book, A Darker Shade of Magic is amazing. I inhaled that book. OMG, it was just so good. I was so happy to know that she’s also a leftie. And a Slytherin! The sequel to ADSOM, A Gathering of Shadows, is part of my book mail haul and it came signed. At WonderCon, I bought Vicious and brought ADSOM with me so I could get them signed. Therefore, all my V.E. Schwab books are signed! 😉

At her panel, she shared that ADSOM was sold as a TV series instead of a movie. And she’s done writing the pilot! She also said that the network gave her creative control; sort of like what Starz did with Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I like that there’s a possibility of it being a TV series vs a movie because that way, the world can be explored more and stuff can be explained clearly. Condensing a whole intricate universe into two hours doesn’t work for everything.

For this week’s random question: Make a plea for your favorite book.

It’s Jane Eyre. Just read it.  Continue reading

TOP TEN TUESDAYS | Current All Time Favorites

Yes, I know it’s Wednesday, yeah yeah. Yesterday was… tough. But never let those things get in the way of you having a full and productive day. We all have our baggage and at the end of the day, we’re the only ones that can lighten it.

Anyway, I was excited about this week’s topic. Still am, actually. I love talking favorites even though it is a little bit redundant. We talk about things that we like a lot and for a book blogger like me who posts more lists than reviews, I can sound like a broken record. If you’ve been with me for a week of posts, you’d already know my preferred genre and my favorite books.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday , Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 3 years (you can extend it to 5 if you need to).

So let’s set a definition here. I will not include re-reads. Only the books that I’ve read for the first time on the years 2014, 2013, and 2012. I wanted to include 2015 books but it’s too soon to call them “all-time” favorites.  I found a lot of “favorites” in my 2014 book list. I read a lot of Outlander last year so I think that’s why. I devoured 5 books in almost a row. I loved all of them, some more than others. So let’s start with that, shall we?

1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I’ve walked past this book in used bookstores for years. I’ve been blind to its awesomeness for so long. No more. And you shouldn’t be too.

2. Voyager by Diana GabaldonOutlander is my favorite from the series but Voyager made me laugh and cry so much. It’s almost 900 pages and I don’t remember ever putting it down for more than a few hours.

(Right now, the browser displaying GoodReads is filled with Outlander DVD ads. Both the header and the sidebar ads.)

3. Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon. Same story. 900+ pages of unputdownable laughter and tears. There were new characters to love and never a shortage of great moments.

4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I’ve talked this book to the ground. It think, by now you should check it out for yourself.

5. Serena by Ron Rash. I may not be happy about the casting choices for the film but this book… oh man. It’s a very slow start and is over all sluggish yet I could not get enough of the story. This book got me back into book blogging. I haven’t looked back since.

6. A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin. The same story with Outlander, I read four books one after the other. I half-audio’d some of them to speed up the process but it’s still a brick of a book. The A Song of Ice and Fire series just kept on getting better and better with every book. So much death, newsflash! It’s so good.

7. Lexicon by Max Barry. A sign that I absolutely love a book is when I find it hard to review it. (I’m not saying I don’t like the ones I’ve linked here. It can happen the other way around too.) On top of laziness, of course. I can’t find the right words to describe this. It’s brilliant. Just brilliant.

8. Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It’s inspirational. It’s magical. Read it.

9. The Countess by Rebecca JohnsI have a favorite serial killer. This is about my favorite female serial killer.

I don’t have another one, honestly. So I’ll just cheat for the 10th. My all-time favorite book.

10. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. kthxbye.

FIVE FRIDAY FAVORITES| Authors of 2014 so far

Every year, I set very modest reading goals for myself.  Twenty-five books instead of a hundred.  I’ve since passed that 25-book mark and I’m still going.  Almost all of the authors that I’ve read so far this year are “new to me”.  I may have encountered their titles in the past but it’s only now that I’ve actually picked up their work and read it.  I have a fairly small roster so picking 5 shouldn’t be too hard, right?

Five Friday Favourites is a weekly event hosted by me, Book Badger, where once a week, a five favourites subject will be posted by me and everyone is welcome to join in.

Favourite Authors of 2014 So Far

1. DIANA GABALDON.  I cannot get enough of the Outlander series.  And I can’t believe that it took me this long to finally give in and read it.  Actually, it took a TV show but ever since loving the hell out of the first book, I’ve plowed through the next ones.  I’m already on the 4th!  When you look at her bio, she is a woman of science but her writing is so beautiful, her settings are well-researched, and her characters are very rich and complex.  I was immediately sucked into her Scotland and absolutely fell completely in love with Jamie Fraser as well as Claire, Fergus, Young Ian, and Roger.  I figured if I survived the A Song of Ice and Fire series, I can do this one.  Turns out, this is a much easier read and it really tickles my romantic side with all of Jamie’s priceless quotes of love.

2. MAX BARRY.  You guys need to read Lexicon.  I’ve been trying to write a review on that for months but I keep postponing it.  Anything for an excuse to re-read it.  It’s one of the most complex yet engaging and intelligent thrillers that I’ve read ever.  It’s not for a newbie reader for sure.  But a hardcore bookworm will see the absolute beauty in that book and in Max Barry’s work.  I am looking into his other books and as soon as I finish with the Outlander novels, they’re next in line.

3. ERIN MORGENSTERN.  Her imagination is so awesome.  Her writing style is enchanting and it’s like she really brings you into the world that she’s built.  The Night Circus is one of those books that I picked because of the cover.  It ended up being one of my favorites.  And everyone I recommend it to get back to me with praises about the book.  So far, The Night Circus is her only book but I’m patiently waiting for her next one, her next world.

4. GILLIAN FLYNN.  I haven’t read Gone Girl yet.  But if it is anything like the writing style and build up in Dark Places, I’m in!  A lot of the mystery/thrillers that I’ve read are written by male authors; it’s refreshing to have a woman’s touch.

And that’s where my list ends.  I have a couple more names in my pool but no one else jumps up at me as a “favorite” apart from these authors.  I like their books but I don’t really remember them as the author of that particular work, you know what I mean?  (LOL, that sounds awful.)

I know for some that it seems that I like the book more than the author.  That does happen but for these authors, I will really actively seek out their other books.  I’ve since gotten multiple copies – and signed ones as well – for Diana Gabaldon’s books, and have met her in person.  All of them are on my radar; that if they come out with new material, I will definitely be interested.  Another author that should be on this list is James Rollins but I haven’t read anything of his so far this year.  However, in the case of John Green… I will religiously watch his Youtube vlogs and videos but I might not pick up his other books.  I wasn’t a fan of The Fault in Our Stars and the hype over that book spoiled everything for me.  While I do like John (and his brother, Hank) Green, the Youtuber, I’m not a fan of him as an author.

There are a lot of authors out there.  I understand that it’s a challenge to get your name out there.  I have so much respect for anyone who publishes their work, being proud of it, and ready to take anything that is thrown at them by the public.  Personally, I don’t think I can do that – both publish and take the heat from readers.  I’m lucky to have mostly positive reactions to my fan fiction but putting up original work is a whole different level.

TOP TEN EXTRA! | Books I’ve Read So Far 2014

I have some time to kill so I will do one more installment of my favorite weekly meme.  I missed quite a few.  I love making lists so this meme is right up my alley.  I picked the most interesting to me so here we go.

On the June 10th edition of Top Ten Tuesday , we’re listing down the Top Ten Books I’ve Read So Far This Year.

I’m not like a whole lot of you who put down 50-200 books to read for the year.  I set smaller goals then adjust it as I step closer to it.  Right now, I’m on 24 of 25.  Almost there!  (But really, if I finished all the books I started and not dropped them, I’m way over that number already.)

This list will be just 5 instead of 10 because these titles really are the best of the 24 I’ve read so far.  In no particular order…

1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Where have I been all these years?  I can’t tell you how many times I skipped this book at used bookstores.  I was tempted to pick it up handful of times but the teenage me was easily turned off by “costumed romances”.  Heh, how times change, yeah?  I was sucked into the world so hard – just like when Claire fell through the stones of Craig na Dun.  I fell so madly in love with Jamie Fraser… so hard.  I’m happy that there are many more books in the series.

At the recent Diana Gabaldon book signing for Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, many of the other fans there said, “I envy you. You have the rest of the books ahead of you.”  They are the sweetest bunch of fans and I’m so glad that I felt welcomed despite being a complete n00b.

Outlander is one of those epic books/series that you’re either a fan of or you don’t know about it completely.  It’s also like A Song of Ice and Fire where you know that it’s a series but you’re too lazy to start it because the world is already too vast, the fandom too deep.  But once you start that first book, let it take you places.  And I dare you not to fall in love with James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser.

2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The one word to describe this book is “MAGICAL.”  Magical.  I went into this book with no expectations, no assumptions.  I liked the cover and the title so I went for it.  It’s the best decision ever!  I think that even if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t have a very active imagination, you will still enjoy this.  The author does an incredible job of describing things and places.  The characters are so distinct and engaging.  It’s just so magical.  More so than Harry Potter. There, I said it. 😉

I’ve since added this to my list of recommendations.  I want everybody to experience the magic of this book.  I’m aware that it’s not for everybody but it’s definitely worth a try.

3. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
I was so excited when Quirk Books sent me a free copy of this book.  And I received, read, and finished it BEFORE the official release date!  I managed to get my review up before that date as well.  I give this book credit for getting me somewhat back into book blogging.

I loved this sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  I appreciated the character list included because I admit, I sort of forgot who was who in the last book.  I did have to brush up on the events that happened at the end of Book 1 but it was easy to follow.  Hollow City is definitely darker and more adventurous than its predecessor.  I finished it in less than two days.  And frankly, even without the deadline, I would’ve gobbled it up just as fast.  My mom and my brother love this series as well so after I was done, it’s their turn.

Honestly, I’m in the middle about the possible movie adaptation for this book.  Some days I want to see it.  It has the potential to be good.  But then again, I want the magic from the book to stay that way.  I don’t want some director to show me how I’m supposed to see these children. Eh, idk.  We’ll see.

4. Lexicon by Max Barry
This came as a surprise.  I had no idea what I was stepping into when I started reading this.  This is probably the cleverest book out of this bunch.  I read a review somewhere that this is a “thinking person’s book” and I agree with that opinion.  It’s intricate and definitely clever.  It’s not a beach read, it’s not what you call “light reading”.

But it’s not too complicated that it becomes too hard to follow.  In fact, it is becomes very engaging.  And if the story isn’t working that well for you, just appreciate the brains put into this story concept.  This is one of those books that will stick with you.

5. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
While everyone’s clamoring over Gone Girl, I decided to go for Gillian Flynn’s “less popular” title.  After all, it also has a movie adaptation coming up starring Nicholas Hoult.  Ms. Flynn seems to have hit the jackpot when her other book, Sharp Objects, is also up for a film version.  I will eventually get to those too but for now, Dark Places, wowed me.

It has a dark and gritty vibe, like something out of a Law and Order episode.  I can see it as a primetime series if not a movie.  It’ll definitely work as a mini-series because there is so much backstory to explore.  Come to think of it, I would’ve love it to be on TV.  It could be either an AMC special along the lines of The Killing.  It gave me that feeling while I was reading the book.

We’re halfway through 2014.  I hope I can add to this “Best of” list in the coming months.  I don’t plan my reading list so encountering hit-or-miss titles is what happens to me rather than scoring that win all the time.