TOP TEN *THURSDAYS* | Insert Evil Laugh

I could’t help it. I posted up my actual Top Ten TUESDAYS entry on my other blog; it was a freebie week and I ended up with a non-bookish list. As I was finishing that one up, I suddenly got inspired by to do another list on a book-related topic.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday , we’re listing down a FREEBIE – Top Villains.

I originally wanted to do Top Book GIRLfriends but it sounded quite similar to a previous TTT post about Girl Power. And besides, majority of the women in the books that I’ve read are more kickass than the guys. Just sayin’. 😉 Guys can be cute like Peeta Mellark but can you call Katniss “cute”? She might shoot an arrow through your thigh.

Anyway, I decided on best villains. In the Robin LaFevers author appearance, she gave a great answer to the question, “What makes a good villain?”

A villain thinks he’s the hero of his own story. A villain is someone you can hate guilt free but is challenging to the hero.

For me, a sign of a great villain is when s/he brings forth the feeling of great dislike from me. I’m pretty emotional and I hate it when a character I feel strongly about gets pushed around or wronged. I mean, you can see me knit my eyebrows together and grip the book a little bit tighter when I read the villainous parts. Haha, who else does that? 😉  Here’s a couple of characters that do exactly that.

1. Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. She was the first character to ever elicit HATE from my insides. I hated the injustice that she was doing to Harry… and Harry wasn’t even my favorite character! I don’t care for Harry but whenever she punished him for no reason – or if the punishment was too much for such a small act – I wanted to strangle her. It took me 2 days to read this book because I was pissed at her, I had to take breaks.

2. Blackjack Randall from OutlanderOh man, this is a testament of how brilliant Tobias Menzies is as an actor. I absolutely hated this character in both the book and TV show. But I’m not one of those crazies who can’t separate actor from character. I love Tobias; I think he’s fantastic and so very dapper. But Blackjack Randall, oh god. He’s sadistic, cruel… EVIL. And he’s hurting Jamie in the worst possible way. *tears in my eyes*

3. Nils Bjurman from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Or as we call him, Advokat Nils Erik Bjurman. I love saying his full name and title. But he’s an awful person. He got what he deserved, that fat bastard.

4. The Reed Family from Jane EyreI remember how I puked all my emotions towards the Reeds when I wrote my NaNoWriMo piece in 2010. It was a Brad/Nate fan fiction loosely based on Jane Eyre. Nate was Jane and – I’m not tooting my own horn here – every time I read back to this yet unfinished piece, I get tears in my eyes. But anyway, I just don’t like unfairness… especially from those who got undeserved power. Eh, this gets a bit personal for me. I better stop before I spill.

5. The Grandmother from Flowers in the AtticI think this lady’s a psychopath. She was just so fcking evil. EVIL. How can you do those things to your own grandchildren? They say blood is thicker than water. For this person, it’s not.

6. Waleran Bigod from The Pillars of the Earth. That’s spelled with a D not with a T, if you know what I mean. He’s a man of the cloth but he’s the personification of self-righteous evil in The Pillars of the Earth. He’s corrupt and he will bring anyone down in order to lift his status in society. I just… he’s awful.

7. The House Bellona from Red RisingI understand power dynamics and politics but once that persecution becomes physical and violent, I sets me off. One of my main issues with this book is that it seems a little emotionless. But the House Bellona was able to make me feel mad towards their members and pity for Darrow.

8. Nolan Sorrento from Ready Player One. I didn’t want him to win. It infuriated me whenever he earned a key or opened a gate. I just… no.

9. Cujo from Cujo. Well, duh. I went through a Stephen King phase in college and this was one of those that stood out to me. (I have an irrational fear of clowns so I wouldn’t even dare It.)  I’m more of a dog person vs cats but I’ve never been 100% comfortable around dogs. But it’s not about Cujo being a dog. He’s a rabid, crazy, KILLER dog. Just read it and see for yourself.

10. Sauron from The Lord of the RingsHe forged the One Ring to rule them all. That alone makes him immensely powerful. Why couldn’t the other races do the same? (Yes, you can argue greed and the hunger for control being the root of Sauron’s evil but take all that away, he’s still pretty powerful.) I wonder how the disembodied Sauron would use the One Ring had it found its way back to him. I guess we’ll never know.

BOOKING THROUGH THURSDAY #2

I haven’t played this meme for a long time.  While I do have another Thursday meme, That’s What He Said, I’m might go ahead and change the name to That’s What JAMIE FRASER Said because all I’ve been reading is within the Outlander world and the most recent book that I finished, Drums of Autumn, has a TON of quotables from this man.  I don’t want to flood the meme with just Jamie quotes although I am so tempted to so just that.

Booking Through Thursday
Okay, show of hands … who has read Shakespeare OUTSIDE of school required reading? Do you watch the plays? How about movies? Do you love him? Think he’s overrated?

Confession: I’m not much of a Shakespeare fan.  I’ve read a good chunk of his work and have seen adaptations of his plays. I never actually read him in school, like in an English class, but I’ve had Theatre courses. A couple of requirements in some of my classes was to watch a local staging of As You Like It in the local language.  I tried reading some of his work but I’m not cut out for poetry. Overrated?  Yeah, maybe.  Especially when there are other playwrights and poets and authors with works just as good as his.

However, one of my favorite musicals of all time is Roméo et Juliette: de la Haine à l’Amouradapted by Gérard Presgurvic.  It’s a French musical that I stumbled upon during my Theatre class in college.  I’ve been obsessed with it since then… up until now, I enjoy it immensely.  I love the music so much that I hunted down all the languages it was performed in.  French is still my favorite but the Russian version isn’t far behind.  While on the subject of musicals, West Side Story is one of my loves too.  After all, it was inspired by Romeo and Juliet.

Another R+J adaptation that I watched is the one with Leonardo di Caprio by Baz Luhrman.  I think every girl in my generation went through a Leo phase and I watched that movie before I was even allowed to watch those kinds of films.  It felt weird watching a film in modern setting but with archaic dialogue.  Still, I enjoyed it.  On stage, another hottie by the name of Orlando Bloom also played Romeo.

ROMEO AND JULIET on Broadway opened around my birthday last year and I totally planned on going up there to see it.  Alas, twas not meant to be.  I heard he was great.  I wish I could’ve seen it in person but a professional recording of it was shown during Valentines Day.  There’s that I guess.  (I then finally had the chance to meet him during the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug premiere and his Walk of Fame ceremony.)

As for other Shakespeare works, I do prefer seeing them in performance than reading them.  Like I said, I’m not much for poetry.  Besides, TV/film/stage adaptations of Shakespeare often feature some of my favorite actors: Hiddleston, Cumberbatch, Branagh, McAvoy, Stark Sands, Lee Pace… the list goes on!  His words are beautiful… just like those men that I mentioned.  😄

So I guess in a way, I’m a ~fan.  At least of the adaptations.  I can’t deny that Shakespeare is an important person in literature but I also can’t say that I’m a huge fan of his.

THAT’S WHAT HE SAID THURSDAY #4 | JAMMF

I’m not even gonna apologize for yet another Jamie edition of TWHST.  And it’s not even Thursday today, mind you.  No apologies on that either.

Every Thursday we are hosting a brand new meme called: That’s what HE said Thursday by Chapter Break.

Come join us every Thursday by posting a favorite line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind these are direct quotes from dialogue in a book. It is NOT a physical description of a male protag or a paragraph of dialogue. It is a line spoken by our favorite heroes to their lucky ladies.

I’m currently on the last 100 pages of Voyager and last night on my way there, I came across the part where Jamie had to drop something big on Claire not knowing that she already knew about it.  (I don’t mind spoilers myself but I rarely spoil people so if you’re read Voyager, you know what I mean, yes?)

Let me tell you… legit TEARS ran down my face by the time I came across this quote:

It affected me so darn much, I put it on Instagram.  ;___;  The whole chapter absolutely gutted me.  The angst, the heartbreak, the disappointment… I wept for Claire and for Jamie, too.  I truly felt how destroyed Jamie felt while telling Claire everything.  And yet, you believed with all your heart, as a reader, that he loves her fully and truly.

Miss Gabaldon, thank you.  I just… this is such beauty.  If the TV series would last until a 3rd (and more) season, this deserves its own full 15 minutes with no commercial.  I already hear it in Sam Heughan‘s voice, sad and breaking and everything.  If words destroyed me already, I can only imagine seeing this scene unfold before my eyes.

THAT’S WHAT HE SAID THURSDAY #3 | Peeta Mellark

I have more Jamie Fraser quotes but variety is the spice of life.  And I’m currently in my Peeta Mellark bubble right now, having met Josh Hutcherson last week at his charity basketball game.  I had the best time ever.  You can read about it here.  Or just click the photo at the bottom of the post. 😉

Every Thursday we are hosting a brand new meme called: That’s what HE said Thursday by Chapter Break.

Come join us every Thursday by posting a favorite line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind these are direct quotes from dialogue in a book. It is NOT a physical description of a male protag or a paragraph of dialogue. It is a line spoken by our favorite heroes to their lucky ladies.

I don’t remember Peeta or the whole The Hunger Games trilogy to be particularly romantic.  Mainly because Katniss Everdeen is anything but romantic.  To be honest, she’s more cynical than most YA heroines.  My main complaint is that she lacks character development.  She stays the same cynical bitter girl for most of the series.  As for quotes, hers are always hard and quite emotionless.  I’ve read THG fanfiction with sweeter lines.

As for Peeta, he’s amazing.  He’s a sweet boy that drew each and every short stick.  His love is not returned; people seemed to forget that he’s a Victor too; and he’s basically an adorable little doormat.    All because he loves Katniss.  I don’t consider that as unmanliness or weakness.  I actually think it’s sweet.

“My nightmares are usually about losing you,” he says. “I’m okay once I realize you’re here.”

This line is like something Jamie Fraser would say, don’t you think?  I seem to remember some lines from either Dragonfly or Voyager that sounds similar.  Maybe that’s why I picked this.  LOL.

That’s something similar between these two characters: they love their women so darn much.  So much that they’re willing to give their lives for them.  I liked the character of Peeta because he simply just loved and that love kept him going.  And poor, poor Peeta… no one really gave him the time of day.  Not even Katniss.  Well, there was Delly but… oh well.

Here’s a JHutch photo for you.  You can click through for the very long blog post about that incredible event.

THAT’S WHAT HE SAID THURSDAY #2 | JAMIE FRASER

After the sampling from last week, can you blame me if I pick James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser again?  Thought so.  I’m finishing off Dragonfly in Amber and even in the bloody, violent, gory scenes, Jamie finds the time to joke and to tell Claire that he loves her in so many ways.  Some people call it “Jamie-isms”.  And rightly so.  While there’s no question that Claire loves Jamie too (although, I argue with my feelings when she mentions her feelings for Frank), Jamie seems to be more adept in lightening the mood.  What I would give to have someone tell these cheesy as hell lines to me.

Every Thursday we are hosting a brand new meme called: That’s what HE said Thursday by Chapter Break.

Come join us every Thursday by posting a favorite line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind these are direct quotes from dialogue in a book. It is NOT a physical description of a male protag or a paragraph of dialogue. It is a line spoken by our favorite heroes to their lucky ladies.

Okay, the first one may turn some people off.  (And yes, this is a multiple quote post yet again.)  It doesn’t bother me; I actually think it’s sweet:

“Will ye let me do this later?” he murmured, with a soft bite. “When the child’s come, and your breasts fill wi’ milk? Will ye feed me, too, then, next to your heart?”

I clasped his head and cradled it, fingers deep in the baby-soft hair that grew thick at the base of his skull.

“Always,” I whispered.

Basically, what Jamie wants is to breastfeed from Claire. Let’s not sugarcoat things, okay?  I can only imagine if and how that’ll translate to screen, assuming we get that far.  (Let’s get to the US TV premiere first.)

I don’t know, can’t explain.  I find this so sweet.  Again, it shows how vulnerable Jamie is, how stripped down he gets when he’s with Claire.  To his men, he has to be this hardened warrior and a wise leader.  But all those walls come down when it comes to Claire and it’s like she’s the one place where he can let it all go and be himself.

“Don’t move, Sassenach,” Jamie’s voice came softly, next to me. “Just for a moment, mo duinne—be still.”

I obligingly froze, until he touched me on the shoulder.

“That’s all right, Sassenach,” he said, with a smile in his voice. “It’s only that ye looked so beautiful, wi’ the fire on your face, and your hair waving in the wind. I wanted to remember it.”

I turned to face him, then, and smiled at him, across the body of the child. The night was dark and cold, alive with people all around, but there was nothing where we sat but light and warmth—and each other.

This was a special moment.  Here, we see a glimpse of dad!Jamie with wee little Jamie.  And also, it’s one of those gem moments where Jamie, out of nowhere, just says or does something incredibly and heartbreakingly sweet.

He heaved a deep exasperated sigh. “Sassenach, I’ve been stabbed, bitten, slapped, and whipped since supper—which I dinna get to finish. I dinna like to scare children and I dinna like to flog men, and I’ve had to do both. I’ve two hundred English camped three miles away and no idea what to do about them. I’m tired, I’m hungry, and I’m sore. If you’ve anything like womanly sympathy about ye, I could use a bit!”

And this is Jamie Fraser, getting his kilt back on straight.

That’s What HE Said Thursday #1 | Jamie Fraser

I’m trying on another Thursday meme.  There are a TON of “quote of the day” meme spread throughout the week.  I decided to try one out for size.  The book I’m currently reading have a lot of quotable quotes but my favorite ones are by the hero to the heroine.

Every Thursday we are hosting a brand new meme called: That’s what HE said Thursday hosted by Chapter Break.

Come join us every Thursday by posting a favorite line from your book boyfriend to his heroine. Keep in mind these are direct quotes from dialogue in a book. It is NOT a physical description of a male protag or a paragraph of dialogue. It is a line spoken by our favorite heroes to their lucky ladies.

There is no secret that my new book boyfriend is Outlander‘s Jamie Fraser. He’s this tall and sturdy Scottish laird/warrior with fiery red hair and equally fiery personality.  He’s every bit a book hero but he’s not your typical jock-like character.  Jamie will tell you and show you that he is educated, can speak many languages, and very good with strategies.  He has a strong religious and familial base and is extremely loyal.  But most of all, he loves Claire so damn much.  So much that it’s painfully cute.  The quotes on this post are from the 2nd book in the series, Dragonfly in Amber.

Can you imagine your Eric Northmans or Christian Greys say this (oddly enough, I do picture Alexander Skarsgard for both roles):

“But I talk to you as I talk to my own soul,” he said, turning me to face him. He reached up and cupped my cheek, fingers light on my temple.

“And, Sassenach,” he whispered, “your face is my heart.”

Love.  Love.  LOVE.  I melted when I read that line.  Sure, it doesn’t look much without context but just it doesn’t have to be in any special situation.  If your man tells you that, I dare you not to cry.

“Oh, Claire, ye do break my heart wi’ loving you.”

Since we’re talking context, here’s a bit of it.  Jamie and Claire’s marriage is out of convenience.  At first.  The first book was told in Claire’s POV and she did admit that she finds Jamie attractive.  But she was already married and she very much loved that first husband.  She had to marry Jamie to work around some legal matters.  Later, we – she – realizes that Jamie had loved her since the first time he saw her.  He was man enough to go get whatever love and care he could from her, even fully knowing that she didn’t really care as much as he did.  At first.  😉

Eventually, she falls for him too but there’s always that other man, Frank.  For Jamie, it’s all Claire.  She’s everything.  That line above absolutely destroyed me.  That shows vulnerability and how much love Jamie has for Claire.

“Aye, well,” he said. “I dinna recall Adam’s asking God to take back Eve—and look what she did to him.” He leaned forward and kissed my forehead as I laughed, then drew the blanket up over my bare shoulders. “Go to sleep, my wee rib. I shall be needin’ a helpmeet in the morning.”

Go to sleep, my wee rib.  Oh goodness me.  I did an “aawwww…” out loud when I read that.  I remember this part.  Claire hinted at something religious in the line prior and Jamie picked up on it.  Smart and cute, Jamie Fraser.  I approve.

There’s so much more but these three stand out the most to me.

 

Booking Through THURSDAY #1

I finally found a Thursday weekly meme.  I don’t really need an excuse to post a discussion-like, word vomit type of posts.  But since I’m doing them, why not make it a weekly thing so I’ll actually do them regularly, yeah?  Yeah.

Booking Through Thursday
Do your reading habits change in the summer?

No, not really.

I’m not one who makes it a point to read “summery” books in the summer months.  I read beach reads any time I feel like it (if at all).  My summer reading list consists of anything from historical fiction, GRRM epics, to graphic novels.  Honestly, I’m not fond of the beach reads genre.  My TBR pile is large enough even without seasonal additions.

I do notice that I read a little less.  Just a wee bit.  But the season is not a direct cause of that.  Sure, I’m more comfortable reading in colder weather but I’m also busier in the summer.  Especially recently with a new job and all.  And I no longer have a long ass commute.  Basically, all my reading time is cut out of my schedule.  When at home, I’m catching up to lost time with my brother.  I try to read here and there but by the time I get around to doing it, I feel rather tired and I just want to go to sleep.

I know it sounds terrible to put reading at the backseat of my life but at least I know that I can count on that when all else fails.  There won’t be a TV that I’d want to watch all the time; I might get sick of rewatching a movie.  But there’s always going to be a book to start, a book to finish, a book to talk/write about.