Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quick Blogging Break

Hello, just stopping by to say that I won't be posting on Picareads for the next 2 weeks or so for the start of summer. I will continue to update my other blog, The Bookbird and the Wordgirl every other day (when it's not The Politick's turn) with both stories. By the way, I'm currently in the middle of rereading all 7 Narnia books. I read the first few years ago, but never got around to the last couple of books. So now I'm determined to read all of them. I'm currently in the middle of The Horse and His Boy. But until I get back to this blog, happy summer!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teaser Tuesday, 20th Edition

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I am doing a slightly different version of Teaser Tuesday. Since I go through books so quickly, I'm going to put a quote from any book I've read in the past week.


I read a ton this week. Here goes:

"From Blade's point of view, the several thousand things to be done were all learning: learning the rules in the black book, the routes in the pink list and the green pamphlet, and the adventure points marked on the map. He had never found anything so boring." - Dark Lord of Derkholm, by Diana Wynne Jones

"'You,' she says, focusing her narrowed eyes on me. 'You are going to pay for this.'" - Divergent, by Veronica Roth

"She crossed her arms. It felt as if her body  held more energy - more nerves - than normal." -Heist Society, by Ally Carter

"The Countess laughed scornfully. 'There is no such thing as chance where magic is concerned.'" - The Emerald Atlas, by John Stephens

"I smiled at him, the handsome family forgotten, then turned and went through the door.
     This single room of the library was as large as our whole house in the city had been, and I could see more book-filled rooms through open doors in all directions, including a balcony overhead, all built from floor to high ceiling with bookshelves." - Beauty, by Robin McKinley

"'How much magic can I buy with this?' she asked, holding out Merchant Minitz's handful of gold coins with no attempt to bargain...
     The crone smiled, as well she ought. "It all depends on what you need it for,' she said." - Mira, Mirror, by Mette Ivie Harrison

"For old bookends, Skin and Bones still had a knack for stealth. Keeping to shadows, they manuvered through the darkened streets." - Between Two Ends, by David Ward

"As the truck turned a corner and vanished from sight, the chilly silence descended on the house once more. I shivered, rubbing my arms, feeling it creep into the room and breathe down my neck." - The Iron King, by Julie Kagawa

Each incident on its own would not have worried her - these things happened occasionally - but the cumulative effect had made Marcia jumpy. Which was why she now said to her Apprentice, "I know it's you choice, Septimus, but I would rather you didn't begin you Darke Week right now." - Darke, by Angie Sage

Some of these covers are just so great that I really should do a post just for them. Sort of like a Judge A Book by its Cover, but talking about covers for different books rather than different covers for the same book. Hopefully I'll gat around to that sometime. If not, I'd recommend looking up these covers, or clicking to see larger versions of the pictures in this and upcoming posts, because I think they're just great.

Also, I cannot get enough reading in before school ends and my schedule gets all crazy again with the end of school and beginning of all the summer plans. But then again, when is life not totally crazy and too jam-packed to think? Oh right, in the summer. Looking forward to that!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Judge a Book by Its Cover - Silver Phoenix

This edition of Judge a Book by Its Cover highlights the different covers of Silver Phoenix, by Cindy Pon. I decided to try out including a short summary of the book for people who have never heard of it.

Summary (from Goodreads):
No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved—despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family—to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger's subservient bride banished to the inner quarters.

But now, something is after her. Something terrifying—a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn't only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined.

Bravery, intelligence, the will to fight and fight hard . . . she will need all of these things. Just as she will need the new and mysterious power growing within her. She will also need help.

It is Chen Yong who finds her partly submerged and barely breathing at the edge of a deep lake. There is something of unspeakable evil trying to drag her under. On a quest of his own, Chen Yong offers that help . . . and perhaps more.

1. Hardcover Edition

2. Paperback Edition

3. Indonesian Cover

I think all three of these covers are beautiful and they represent different aspects of the story really well. There are a couple things I like best about each cover:

This 1st cover is my favorite of the bunch. I'm usually not a huge fan of real people on covers, but this one works really well. The fabric on on her sleeves always remind me of wings, like the wings of the phoenix in the title (mini-spoiler: there's no actual phoenix in the story, but I really like the connection). the girl is beautiful, the dress is beautiful, and the necklace even has a prominent place on the cover (although I didn't notice it until I started reading the book - silly me). I really like the font and general design of this cover as well, and the bright colors of this as opposed to the other covers draw me to it.

The second cover matches the sequel, which is a plus, but on its own I don't love it. I don't really like how the necklace is the focus of the cover. Sure, it's an important aspect of the story, but I'd rather the cover focus on Ai Ling.  Also, the cover is really dark, unlike the story, and it seems pretty similar to so many other covers out there - definitely unlike the story. Another thing that bothers me is the quote at the top. Not only are these not the adjectives I'd use to describe this book (well, maybe I would, but in a different context), but that quote makes me want to put the book back on the shelf. Although it is pretty, it doesn't fit this book, and it doesn't fit the kind of book I'd like to read.

At first glance, I didn't really like #3, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. Also, I think it's one of those covers that look better on the book than as a picture online. For this cover, if you have a brightness setting on your computer, I'd recommend turning it all the way up. At second glance, it's actually a lot prettier than the first glance. Although I think it could do with a little bit more color, I like how the text is the brightest color on the cover, and it's red. Also, the font is really pretty, and it goes well with the rest of the cover. I imagine the girl on the cover is pre-quest Ai Ling, which is why she doesn't have the necklace and why everything is in gray. I also like how it incorporates a lot more cultural elements than #2, and even more than #1, because that is one of the things that sets the story apart. I also really like the general design of this cover, and I think all the elements of it work really well together.

My favorite: #1

My least favorite: #2

What's your favorite? Judge this book by its cover!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My First Read-a-thon

Stopping by to let you know about the Read-a-thon that's going to happen in just a few short weeks. It's hosted by the wonderful Squeaky Books and will take place from June 17-18. There are going to be lots of fun contests and giveaways, and it seems like it will be a great event. Read THIS POST on Squeaky Books for more information.

Click the image to learn more!

This readathon is happening in pretty much the worst weekend of my summer for it, but I'm going to try anyway. No clue when I'll have time to read, but it can't hurt to try it out. :D


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