(Eclectic Reader) Challenge Accepted

Readers, today’s post comes to you in three parts.

Part One: The Challenge

Becky from over at Blogs-of-a-Bookaholic posted a while ago about the Eclectic Reader Challenge 2012, and as that year draws ever nearer it’s time I officially announced my undertaking of it.  Go here to see the page where the Challenge originated.  Essentially, those who take on this challenge must be willing to go outside their literary comfort zones and read at least one book from each of the following genres:

  1. Literary Fiction
  2. Crime/Mystery Fiction
  3. Romantic Fiction
  4. Historical Fiction
  5. Young Adult
  6. Fantasy
  7. Science Fiction
  8. Non Fiction
  9. Horror
  10. Thriller /Suspense
  11. Classic
  12. Your favorite genre

…and all by December 31, 2012, or December 21 if I want to be eligible for a prize at the end of it.  It sounds quite interesting, and I can’t wait to see what books I read because of this.  The only thing I’m a bit worried about is writing a decent review for each book.  You may have noticed that I don’t write reviews here normally.  That’s because I’m really awful at it.  Oh well!  Time to learn!

I’ll be following Becky’s example and creating a tab at the top of the Novel Journeys page to track my progress throughout the year, so stay tuned for that!

Part Two: The Award

I’d like to thank Kirsten over at Kirsten Writes! for giving me the Don’t Read This Blog at Work Award.  Here are the rules of this particular award:

  1. You may nominate no more than three bloggers, each of whom must have made you laugh out loud with at least one post.
  2. Those who receive the nominations may consider themselves as having received the award, and they must post a gushing acceptance speech thanking the person who nominated them, and perhaps thanking any companion animals they may blog about.
  3. Those who receive the award may, but need not, pass on the award, but will not themselves be eligible again until they have published at least ten more posts.

So, here goes said gushing acceptance speech:

“I’d like to thank Kirsten for giving me this prestigious award.  I’m bursting with happiness and gratitude that you think I’m funny enough to deserve this.  I’m not often humor-oriented here, but when I do post something that’s supposed to be funny it’s nice to know that other people like it and are laughing and not just me.  Anyway, Kirsten, thank you.  So much.  I’m glad you enjoy the ol’ blog.  I just…” *holding back tears* “I’m just so happy!  Thank you!  Thank you!”  *bows and scurries to sit down*

There!  That’s enough gushing for one day, yes?

Exactly.  Now, the rules say that I’m not required to pass on this award, and so I’m not going to.  Don’t think this is because there aren’t any wonderful and humorous blogs out there, because there are.

That Liebster award was only a short while ago, at any rate.  If you want to look at some blogs that I like and that deserve attention, please refer to that post.

Part Three: The Song

Time for a Hunger Games update!  Yesterday I discovered this amazing song, which is the first song we have from the official movie soundtrack, was released only Thursday, and which, within 24 hours, TOPPED THE SINGLES CHART ON ITUNES, and is still at the top as far as I know.  Without further ado:

I would love to get your reactions, readers.  What do you think of the song (not to mention the fact that Taylor Swift is on the soundtrack)?  Most importantly, where can you imagine this being fit in during the film?  For me, it definitely goes with Rue’s death, or rather, shortly thereafter.  Some, though, seem to think it’s for the cave scenes with Katniss and Peeta, and I’ll admit that’s a possibility (but I don’t believe it myself).

And that’s all I have for you today, readers.  In light of what tomorrow is, I’ll be posting next on Monday instead.

Merry Christmas and happy reading.

All Hail Queen Rowling (In Which I Also Talk About Other Things)

or, Hogwarts Finally Sent Me My Letter

So, along with this week came some very exciting news.  And I mean VERY exciting.  Like, monumental.  Like, the greatest thing that’s happened to me since A LONG TIME.

This is what happened:

Self-explanatory.

Yes, ladies and gents, I’m in Pottermore.  I got in back in early August, but, of course, I didn’t actually get onto the site until this week, and I’ve been DYING to tell you this but I thought it would be a nice surprise.

So, there you have it.  I’m finally in, and it’s AMAZING, and I can’t wait to see if any of you are in or are going to join.  I’m not going to post any pictures or whatnot (though there are quite a few floating around if you know where to look), because I feel like that would be spoiling it for anyone who’s SUPER EXCITED about it.

My Potter-loving friend and I got in together, and the past weeks have been horrendous for us, waiting for our letters.  Seriously.  You should see my Facebook wall.  Nothing but Potter, Potter everywhere for the past month.

Not that I didn’t enjoy it.  It was loads of fun.

Anyway…more about the site.  I got sorted into Ravenclaw, which is a HUGE relief.  I’ve known where I would be for years now, and I was afraid that Pottermore would send me into a SPIRALING IDENTITY CRISIS OF DOOM.

Luckily, that didn’t happen.

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw / If you've a ready mind / Where those of wit and learning / Will always find their kind.

If you have an account (or are getting one in October) and want to add me, my username is MagicSparks131.

Now that that’s out of the way:

I realized after sending out my last post that I neglected to post any Wrock/Rockingjay/Trock for you to listen to, though I talked about it.  Therefore, I’m giving you a couple of videos.  Please note that I really haven’t gotten into this area of music much, so my choices were limited to what I’ve heard on the Fireside Chat and whatever I could find on YouTube.  Feel free to comment with links to your favorite songs if you like.

This one is from the POV of Draco Malfoy, which is kind of interesting and SUPER funny:

And now for Rockingjay:

This is just a small selection, however.  If you’re interested, you should totally check some other bands and artists for yourself.  And there’s always Trock for you Whovians!

*Rejoices in the midst of unbridled geeky delight*

Happy reading!

Let It Wrock

I’m not a musical person, let’s get that out in the open right now.  My attempts at piano playing were disastrous and ended shortly after they began.  However, I somehow always have some song or another playing in my head on any given day.  I quite like to listen to music, actually, as long as the “artist” isn’t so autotuned s/he sounds more robotic than GLaDOS during the credits of Portal.*

That being said, I LOVE when music and books come together.  This happens both with the author and the fans.  On the author side, we have playlists that some put out for their books.  A book playlist is made up of songs that go along with certain scenes in a book, or whose music goes with the emotions and themes, usually that the author listened to when needing some inspiration.  Some of them are quite nice, actually.  Stephenie Meyer has playlists for all four books in her Saga up on her website.  And, of course, my favorite blogger author, Maggie Stiefvater, has made some too.  In hers, though, it’s even cooler.  Most of her protagonists are musicians, so they make up songs.  Eventually, this led to actual artists doing covers of one of them.  Here’s my favorite (of two):

That was a good day for me.

On to the fans.  As you can see from the title of this post, the most prominent fan-made homages to books are songs written about said books.  Such as Wrock, which is the shortened version of Wizard Rock.  Meaning Harry Potter music.  You can find a bunch of it on iTunes.

Epic.

And it doesn’t stop with the boy wizard.  There are songs for Dr. Who (called Trock, for Time Lord Rock [yes, I know it’s not a book, but it’s too geeky-cool to resist a mention]) and for the Hunger Games (otherwise known as Rockingjay).  There may be more, but those three are the ones I know of that have more than a couple of bands.

I think this is so cool, guys.  When someone is creative enough and talented enough to mix two art forms?  Absolutely awesome.  Plus it’s like extra stuff to go along with your favorite fandom!  And who doesn’t like belonging to an amazing fandom?

Lastly, there are the fan-made playlists.  You’ve probably done this before, though you might not have realized it at the time.  It’s when you listen to a song and you realize, hey, this song is exactly like that one scene in that one book I once read.  I definitely do this all the time.  Some examples:

This Taylor Swift song describes Bella in New Moon PERFECTLY:

There actually are videos on YouTube that show clips of Bella and Edward, but none of them seemed right, so I went with just the lyrics.

My second example is one I’ve been thinking about A LOT lately.  This song could be used in a couple of different specific situations, so I’m just going to call it a theme.  This theme, in my head, is about the Gale/Katniss relationship from the time she goes into the Games on:

There are a couple of others I could share (including a Haymitch song- which I think is pretty interesting), but I think this is enough for one post.

Happy reading!

*If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please, in the name of all that is geeky, watch this.  I guarantee it will get stuck in your head.