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August 31, 2021

Judging Books I'll Most Likely Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday badge with books and a cup of tea
This week's Top Ten Tuesday is Fictional Crushes. I don't have fictional crushes. Maybe there was one or two a while back but now I rarely find any characters to love. Instead, I'll borrow an idea from Lectrice Vorace's top ten list (link here) — books I'll most likely never read and what I think about them which also describes the reasons why I won't read them.  My judgements are based on reviews so maybe I'm wrong about some of these books. I was going to show the book covers but I really didn't want to look at them so, no book covers.

01 | The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab — 100 years and still, no life plan, just wandering about for no reason

02 | The Twilight Saga/That Edward book by Stephenie Meyer — teenage vampire angst

03 | Fifty Shades series by EL James — soft porn for respectable people or soft porn for people who thinks reading this is more respectable than reading actual porn

04 | Anything by Sarah J. Maas — People doing dumb things, making dumb decisions while having sex. (Maybe it's unfair to lump them all together but so what?)

05 | Anything by Cassandra Clare — People with problems making good decisions about their romantic relationships and also, vampires doing stuff, mostly bad (All her books takes place in the same world so I think it's fair to think of them as one entire series)

06 | The Cruel Prince or whatever the series is named by Holly Black — young adults making dumb decisions while being cruel to each other

07 | Simon Snow Trilogy by Rainbow Rowell — Harry Potter fan fiction with a couple of road trips

08 | Outlander by Diane Gabaldon — a woman travels back in time to cheat on her husband

09 | Caraval by Stephanie Garber — sisters making bad decisions and dating men who have no respect for them

10 | The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo/Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid — people with interesting lives but still sounds kind of boring somehow

What are some books you will most likely never read?

For more Top Ten Tuesdays, visit That Artsy Reader Girl here.

August 30, 2021

Fiction: The Cursed Princess and The Land of Happiness - Part 2

Fiction: The Cursed Princess and The Land of Happiness - Part 2
Note: I've read and took note of your suggestions in this post. As there were not many votes/suggestions, I decided to sort of use all of them but not exactly. I gave mutliple choices and also allow you to suggest whatever you like to happen as a sort of experiment. I like to see how my writing would be effected and also, it's kind of fun to have readers tell me how a story should go - that's mainly why I decided to do this. As I did not pre-write this story, I have no idea what happens next nor how long it would take to reach the end but I hope not too long. Thank you for reading and leaving your thoughts and ideas.

-- Read Part 1 here --

Fiction: The Cursed Princess and The Land of Happiness - Part 2
On and on, Prince Limberbean rattled while Eva tried to keep her mind from wandering. If only she could turn him into a frog. Perhaps then he would have more interesting things to say.
    Suddenly, Prince Limberbean stopped talking. He coughed once and then again. With a wild grin on his face, he said, "Do you know in North Island, they make handkerchieves with machines instead of by hand? I had already sent a few servants to purchase a hundred of them. Would you like some?"
    Eva nodded. "Certainly." She would use one of the handkerchieves to silence her screams.
    Prince Limberbean looked around him. "My father said this place had valuable history but it is quite dull, is it not?"
    Eva scoffed. He should definitely be a frog. A tiny one, the size of an apple. "Then why are you here?"
    "My father promised me I would be kin— Prince Limberbean froze. His face paled and then slowly turned a light shade of green. Bit by bit, starting with his shoulders, he began to shrink until he was the size of an apple - green with two bulging yellow eyes, a wide jaw and webbed feet. He squeaked and hopped. A scream rang out. The orchestra stopped playing. A few ladies fainted.
    Eva could only stared. Could she had done this? The frog that was once Prince Limberbean leaped here and there while everyone rushed about trying to avoid him. King Limberbean kept shouting, "Catch him! Catch him!" Guards started after the frog.

August 24, 2021

Point of Views I Sort of Don't Like Reading

Top Ten Tuesday badge with books and a cup of tea
This week's Top Ten Tuesday is Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time which is a good prompt but I just don't know why I would want to make such a wistful list when there are new books that I can indeed read them for the first time.
    So...I end up with is a list of point of view (POV) that I sort of don't like reading. I'm not saying I would never read books using these point of views but maybe I would hesitate in picking a book with them.

Here are my top 5 point of view I sort of don't like reading:

01 | Unreliable Characters — It's already fiction so why would I want to spend my time reading something that might just all end up being lies? I really don't get how you can enjoy such book.

02 | Cats/Dogs/Animal —  I don't quite like reading books told in an animal's perspective unless the animal is an extraordinary creature. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell is still one of my favorite books told in a horse's perspective so maybe I just haven't read enough books to like these points of views.

03 | First Person Present Tense — I don't mind reading in first person past tense but when it's first person present tense, it just sounds awkward to me. There are really only two books I read with first person present tense that I liked so maybe I haven't read enough to judge?

04 | Second Person
— I just don't like it. All that you, you, you, just annoys me. Also, I don't want to be as if I'm one of the characters in the book. For self help books, using the second person is fine, but not fiction.

05 | The Villain/Baddie/Evildoer — I don't really want to know their story or how they became or why they became the villain. I don't think there is a reason good enough for a villain's cruelty that will truly justify their actions. I guess what I really don't like is reading how a person becomes/changes to the worst person they can be.

What POV don't you like reading?

For more Top Ten Tuesdays, visit That Artsy Reader Girl here.

August 22, 2021

Some Favorite Male Bloggers

I don't know if it's just me but there seems to be more female bloggers than male. For whatever reason, most blogs I come across are run by a female. I'm sure there are plenty of male bloggers, it's just that, I haven't find them yet. I usually find blogs reading other people's blogrolls, blog posts, random links and wherever blogs are link. If I find a new blog, I don't try to find out who runs it until I read a few posts first.
    Sadly, the blogs I would have put on this list no longer existed or that they are no longer being updated. It's why I have such a short list.

Some favorite male bloggers (in no particular order):

La Vie Graphite01 | La Vie Graphite  > link
Lots of profound writings, travel notes and photography and if you're especially into reading intellectual essays, then this is for you.

Cranky Old Man
02 | Cranky Old Man > link
A personal blog that's full of cranky ideas and notions and fun, humorous observations about life.

Tokyo Times
03 | Tokyo Times > link
Lots of photos of Tokyo and their old and old fashion landscapes and people.

Wrong Hands
04 | Wrong Hands > link
Funny and fun comics on life and books and all sorts of things.

Book Haven
05 | Book Haven > link
It's a blog with amusing topics, featuring amazing artists' artworks, some fiction, thoughts on book, movies, tv shows and there's even book reviews.

Too Clever by Half
06 | Too Clever by Half > link
This is all about Blogger - news and changes google has made to Blogger. I try not to read this blog often because I don't always want to know what dumb changes google has made.

Art vs Entropy
07 | Art vs. Entropy > link
It's an artist's blog but mostly it's more of a personal blog on various subjects.

Do you know of a blog run by a male? Leave a link in the comments.

August 18, 2021

Fiction: The Cursed Princess and The Land of Happiness - Part 1

The Cursed Princess and The Land of Happiness
For five hundred years, the people in the Land of Happiness was always happy and always lucky until the one hundred and eighth princess was born. That day, when the first cry of Princess Evangeline Lauren Sophia Penelope Elizabeth Trinity Harriet was heard, the sky cracked opened and flooded Happiness. Crops were ruined and water consumed the land. Nearly one hundred lives were lost. Through the years, the bad luck continued in Happiness with fires, storms, duststorms, droughts and various, unexplained accidents.
    The queen and king of Happiness, Queen Anne and King Fortune the Third sought advice from several royal fortune tellers. They all agreed the princess must marry a man of wealth and good fortune in order for luck to return to Happiness. Many suitors came and went but none ended in an engagement.
    On the eve of Princess Eva's twentieth birthday, an engagement was announced to the prince from the north island kingdom. Soon after, good luck poured in. For six months and two days, the Land of Happiness was thriving. Then the princess' betrothed broke off the engagement and married his cousin. The people of Happiness was once again suffering from unlucky fortunes.
    Today, as people of Happiness celebrated Princess Eva's twenty-first birthday, there were prayers throughout the land. Each villagers hoped this time the princess will indeed get marry and save their land.
    In Castle Fortune, Princess Eva made her way down the long stairwell to the ballroom. The party was held in her honor but Eva would rather run and hide. Being known as the cursed princess who brought down the land by being born was a horrid thought that visited her every night. Some days, she did believed she was not cursed and other days, when she heard news of another disaster in the village, her belief quickly vanished. Many sleepless nights, she would pray that lightning would strike her down or a carriage would crush her to pieces so she would no longer bring bad luck to her people.
    A few heads turned to watch as Eva stepped onto the marble floor. Several couples were dancing while others were conversing. Eva kept a smile on her face. Suddenly, one of the dancing ladies tripped and fell on another couple and all the other couples nearby tumbled to the floor. There were gasps and shouts followed by a brief silence. Then Queen Anne declared it was time for dinner.

August 12, 2021

Hello 2.0

drawing of girl against floral wall patterns
wallpaper girl
Hello again. I had already written an introduction over here but I thought I share more of why I decided to change url and other garbled thoughts that might have escaped.

01 | Moving to a new url is not a big deal for me, not when I have done this many times before. Change is part of living, I think. But there are very little things I can change these days except where I blog. I really do like to stay in one place but I can't make myself stay where I don't want to. If I make money off my blogs, it would make sense to stay in the same url. But my blog is kind of a hobby and who makes money off my blog other than google?

02 | I guess the main question is why move to a new space when I'm just going to post the same things as my previous blog? I don't have an answer for that. I had thoughts about making this a book blog but now I think it's probably not wise for a moody reader/blogger like me. I could just say this is a book blog because I do blog about books although not in any particular way. It's just a nice thought to have but doubtable I would ever call myself a book blogger.

03 | Starting over is not for everyone. Not only in losing readers but trying to find new ones and/or maybe trying to retain the previous ones. I want to keep my readers but at the same time, I don't know think I can get them back, not when they have already lost interest in my blog.
    It's not easy to gain readers nor keep them interested either. It's much easier to ignore them and post what I want or so I tell myself now and then. But whenever I write a blog posts, I do think about readers and whether they will be interested in what I'm posting. People have preferences and if they don't like your blog, why would they stay?

04 | This year makes it fifteen years of blogging for me.
That sounds like a high number but I know it's not when compare to other people who had blogged longer. I don't know the exact month I started blogging as I switched accounts somewhere in April, June, or July but I've been saying I started blogging in April but I don't remember. Let's just say it's one of these months.
    According to a list that I had put together a while back, this would be the 27th blog that I blogged at which I suppose is a lot but that's fifteen years. When I do the math, it seems like I change blogs every year which is probably true. I might have a bad habit here. But to me moving to new urls is like moving to a nice new house which I've never had the joy of doing so maybe this is my way of moving without moving?
    Have I learned anything in all these years of blogging? I like to say yes but I can't remember them. All the advice I want to give to anyone who wanted to blog is over here on this post at my old blog.
    Some people believe experience is what makes a big difference between a novice and a veteran and I agreed with that. But I'm forgetful and all the experiences I had with blogging didn't make me a better blogger, just better at editing myself. I seem to omit things that might say too much or sound embarrassing or just in general, as my posts are often too long. But one thing I'm more certain now is that, no matter how long I've blogged, there will always be readers. Okay, maybe that's not quite true all the time but one reader is an audience in itself, right?

05 | Sometimes I think it's better to have a small audience. It's easier to see who your readers are and in a way, there would be less people to please. Even though we all give advice telling everyone they shouldn't try to please people but I'm not going to lie and say I didn't try to please readers because I sort of did from time to time. It takes me weeks to decide to post something. It's easier to say I will post what I want but harder to actually decide on what to post and what not to post.

06 | I doubt I would ever try Twitter or Instagram or other social media again but blogging I will always try again. I have read and stayed with many blogs for years even when there are no updates. I always wait a couple of years to see if any of them come back to blogging but they rarely do. Maybe you've noticed those who quitted blogging and switched over to social media rarely returned to blogging. That's been my experience as a blog reader.

07 | Blogging is a habit for me. Sometimes I really love it and other times it just seems like a burden to have a blog so I ignore it from time to time but I would always come back.

If you're a blogger, do you think it's better to stay in one place/url for as long as possible or move now and then?

August 04, 2021

Fiction: The Orphan, The Destruction and The Stranger

One: The Orphan
On Charm Island, everyone here was once an orphan. Here, your friends were your family and your home was wherever they were.
    Sam, a red-haired, freckle-faced, boy of fifteen, had never considered himself an orphan, not a permanent one anyway. He liked his family but there was always something he missed.
    For the first five years of Sam's life, he had a brother. He had not seen him in years, not since the day at the carnival. That day, Sam sneaked off to watch the elephants while his brother was distracted by one of girls from his school. Sam fell asleep on one of the haystacks and by the time he woke up, the carnival was closed and emptied of people.
    He ran around the place calling for his brother. After he realized he would not get any replies, he slipped out between the gates but he didn't know how to get home or where home was. For hours, he wandered the streets until he became too tired to move. He sat on the pavement and sobbed. A man appeared and asked him what was wrong. He took Sam to the police station. As Sam often called his brother Bobo, he didn't know his brother's name and as his brother was often the one to take him home and anywhere else, he didn't know their home address. Later, Same was sent to Charm Island.
    Sam walked toward the edge of the shore. It had been ten years and still, Sam sat on the sand and waited. Some days, the bottom of his pants would get soaked by the water. Other days, it would rain but he never moved, not until he grew too tired to stay awake.
    The sun began to set. Sam sighed. As he looked once more out toward the water, there appeared a boat with white sails. Was it his imagination? But as he blinked a few times and looked again, the sky darkened and all he could see were the clouds shifting. Then came a rainstorm.

August 03, 2021

Things that I don't like on book covers

Top Ten Tuesday badge with books and a cup of tea
This week's Top Ten Tuesday's prompt is: Titles or Covers That Made Want to Read/Buy the Book. As it's easier for me to say what I don't like than what I like, I decided to do the opposite: Covers that made me NOT want to read/buy the book or things that I don't like on book covers. For my list, I was going to gave examples but that doesn't seem fair and I don't want to spotlight any particular book but I hope it's clear what I meant.

01 | Surreal-looking people — Those 3D-looking people, they looked kind of real but you can tell they aren't. Honestly, they just creeps me out especially those ones with really large eyes.

02 | Shirtless men — I don't really read romance much but I keep seeing these covers even when I'm not looking for them. Every time I see one, I think, how is this romantic? I'm sure if I see men go around shirtless, I would tell them to put on a shirt. Maybe it's the prude in me but I just find these covers unromantic.

03 | Witches in triangular hats and striped tights — I should say women in triangular hats and striped tights as this is really a cliche image. The idea of designing book covers to a certain genre irks me especially books about witches. Why use such covers when the characters never ever wear striped tights or triangular hats?

04 | Movie tie-in covers — For some odd reasons, they always choose the least flattering image. It's like the people at the promotion department say to one another, 'Hey, let's choose the most unattractive, annoying image from the movie. That will sure to attract readers!' Sometimes I don't mind if the image fits with the book but most of the time, it's just faces of the actors which never makes me want to pick up a book.

05 | Ladies in ball gowns — For the most part, I see these covers as Cinderella romance stories because they are almost always involves princesses or royalties and also, the more glamorous these ladies look, the less appealing to me. I don't know who the audience is for these covers but they are not for me.

06 | Badass women that dressed a bit scantily — Women in some tight outfits like tank tops and leather pants or anything that enhance their bosoms and looking like a badass. I'm all for badass women but why do they need to dress like they are showing off their bodies more than their talents/abilities? I find these covers sort of degrades women. But you might argue a woman have a right to dress however she wants and I agreed with that. But are these covers saying women can't fight while dress modestly or that in order to be a badass, they have to dress sexy?

07 | Faceless people with lips — I have seen covers with people with detailed clothing and everything else but they have no facial features other than their lips. This freaks me out a little. If they don't want to use features, then why add lips??

08 | Snakes — I don't want to say snakes freaks me out but there is this quote from the show Early Edition: "See, I have this thing about snakes. It's called 'fear of death.'"

09 | Vampires, Zombies — I don't like seeing them especially when they show fangs with blood dripping down their chins for the vampires and someone holding a brain for zombies - aren't these a bit of a cliche? But also because they freak me out.

10 | Print-on stickers — I still hate regular stickers on book covers even if they leave a residue or even if the top coating of the paper is removed along with the sticker but at least, they come off. The ones that are printed on is worst because you can't remove them in any way unless you tear the whole cover off. 
    I understand these stickers are for promoting a book and enticing readers but for me, I didn't care for any of the information given. Most of time, the info is outdated. All the awards notices means nothing to me because I don't know them and I would never read a book because they received some award. I don't care if a book is made into a movie either. Extra features? Sure but most of the time, those extras aren't worth mentioning.
    So maybe this one is a bit superficial or shallow and I'm not saying I wouldn't read books with stickers on the cover but when I do purchase a book, is it wrong to want a cover without silly notices to ruin a good design? I'm already looking at the book and reading all the information on the book, I don't think I need a sticker to entice me.

What don't you like on a book cover?

For more Top Ten Tuesdays, visit That Artsy Reader Girl here.

August 01, 2021

Books Read in July 2021

When I said books, I meant one book. I don't know what happened but I can't seem to concentrate on reading so I only read one book. I'm not sure where the time went but it's gone and I can't get it back. But at least I can say I have read a book which I think is an accomplishment even if it's the greatest thing I ever done.

Premeditated Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery 1) by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Premeditated Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery 1) by Elizabeth C. Bunce > link
I think Myrtle is a great character and her governess Miss Judson is also someone quite likable. I had a somewhat good time reading this book. There were a lot of amusing moments but maybe I had too many children's mystery book but I find this somewhat boring but that might be because I wasn't in a good mood when I read this.
    I'm not sure I like the footnotes. As I'm reading an ebook version, I have to click on the symbols and see the footnotes but it just became annoying so I ended up reading the footnotes at the end of the chapter instead. If I'm reading a paperback or a hardcover, I can just see the notes at the bottom of the page which I prefer. I suppose since this is a children's book, these footnotes useful in helping them learn new things but are they necessary to the story? Not really.
Have you read any good books in July?