A Song of Fire and Ice

So, I’ve finally finished Confessor (11th book of The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind), right? And I’ve finally found my reading groove again. It’s been too long since I last spent my time reading massive novel series like SoT and I’ve probably just read quite a score of YA novels the past two years. Now, now, YA novels are awesome in their own right and I think they really should be enjoyed as well. But I’ve missed those times during college — oh how long ago those times were — when I’d rather read Stone of Tears instead of revising for my Probability Long Exam. I really loved fantasy novel series back then. I can’t even … ugh.

Anyway, so there’s this new HBO series — well, it was new 9 weeks ago — based off the “A Song of Fire and Ice” novel series by George R. R. Martin that had Sean Bean (Boromir from The Fellowship of the Rings to those who don’t recognize him) at the lead. My friends were all going going gaga over it so I thought, what the heck, might as well join in the fun, too.

The series was awesome, despite holding back on some parts of the production because of budgeting shite and stuff like that. The cast is phenomenal and the plot is just so good, even if GRRM seems like a sort of sadistic maniac for killing off his characters just like that. Lena Headey is great as power-hungry Queen Cersei Lannister, Bean brings his understated and yet very good portrayal of honorable Eddard Stark, and oh gosh, Maisie Williams is just perfect as the headstrong Arya Stark. Peter Dinklage is also another one of the draws with his brilliant acting as The Imp Tyrion Lannister.

Anyway, so the TV show is awesome but some of my friends said that there are a lot of things missing from the series still, even if they really made quite a great adaptation of it. And so that’s why I’ve finally found myself picking up this book:

I’m actually enjoying the prose and the voice GRRM uses here. After reading Confessor and finding the narrative (and the endless sick-cyle-carousel type dialogues) somewhat lacking, I’ve latched unto AGoT like Robert Arryn to his mom. (This disturbed me to no ends when I watched this scene and again when I finally came to that in the book). It’s been an awesome, awesome read so far and I’m loving the characters as the story — more like stories — progresses.

30 Days of Literature — Part I

Permission to do this in two parts! Haha. I’m pretty sure I won’t finish this if I had to go through the questions daily.

* * *

DAY 001: How many books have you read so far this year?
This year? Uhm. Lemme see if I can remember all of them. So far I’ve finished Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay, Ash, Huntress, Confessor, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Hours, Game On! (by Jayda Evans). Currently I’m reading Fragile Things, Bird at the Buzzer, Geno: In Pursuit of Perfection, Game of Thrones, and other stuff.

DAY 002: Your favorite book of the last 365 days.
A toss between Mockingjay and Huntress. And probably when I finish the first book — Game of Thrones.

DAY 003: Your favorite book of all time.
Oh Lordy. Uhm. Let’s see. THG Series, LoTR Series, Silmarillion, Huntress, Harry Potter Series, and a host of other books that I’ll just keep to myself.

DAY 004: A book you love that everyone else hates (or at least that no one else seems to like!)
Hmm. Can’t think of anything. Anita Blake? But that’s only because no one else seems to know this series.

DAY 005: A book you hate that everyone else loves/is overhyped.
Hahahaha. Oh I dunno. I used to love the Bob Ong books but after so many releases I kinda got tired of him. Also, anything by Coelho. He’s too optimistic for me.

DAY 006: Do you prefer series or singular novels? Why? What is your favorite series?
Series. The longer the story the better for me. I don’t ever want a story to end. If there could be an epilogue to the epilogue to the epilogue, the better.

DAY 007: A literary cliche you hate.
Love Triangles. Goodness. Or if we actually had to have a love triangle, don’t make it equilateral. Make it an obtuse triangle — one character is actually closer to one, and the other so far but angsting LIKE A BOSS.

DAY 008: A genre you love!
I’ve always loved fantasy. I’ve been addicted to Goodkind’s characters — not so much his prose, now that I’ve started to read George R. R. Martin — and I absolutely adore Lord of the Rings and practically everything that had to do with Middle Earth. Guy Gavriel Kay and the Fionavar Tapestries too.

Aside from that, I also enjoyed reading about Mafia stuff books. Puzo for the mother-frakking win.

And lastly — Y.A. There’s only too much angst you can take from fantasy and mafia books. We all need the right dose of young love and *kilig* sometimes.

Y.A. + Fantasy, tho, is what I really love. No wonder I love Huntress so much.

DAY OO9: Your favorite quote.
“There are so many fragile things, after all. People break so easily, and so do dreams and hearts.” ~ Gaiman

DAY 010: A character you wish had not died.
Rue. And Dobby. And OMG Prim. And Dumbledore. And Hedwig the Owl. And — wait I can’t remember all the characters that died in the Sword of Truth Series.

DAY 011: Two characters you wish had ended up together.
Nicci with someone (SoT); Harry and Luna; Peeta Mellark with someone who deserves him; Kaede and Taisin, et cetera.

DAY 012: If you could take any character from one novel and set them into the world of another, what would you choose?
Hahaha. I saw an answer to this meme earlier that made me laugh out loud — PUT BELLA IN PANEM. That would be hilarious. She’d probably just stick to the Cornocupia and get killed the moment the Games started. Or put her in either the Imperial Order Camp or D’Hara circa Wizard’s First Rule. Or maybe throw her into a Mord’Sith Temple. That should probably teach her to become a strong female character.

DAY 013: The most agonizing cliffhanger is…
Katniss … there is no district 12. && Goodkind’s Phantom:
Richard is a captive in the Imperial Order’s main camp, without his sword or his gift; Kahlan is a captive of Jagang with a Rada’han; the Boxes of Orden are in play by Sister Ulicia; there is a problem with Chainfire and with magic; that the Imperial Order is slowly making their way into the central stronghold of the D’Haran forces: the People’s Palace, but also the D’Haran forces appear able to cut off the Imperial Order supply lines just as winter starts.

DAY 014: A book that never fails to make you actually laugh out loud.
Harry Potter. I can’t think of another book right now.

DAY 015: A book that never fails to make you cry.
Mockingjay. Harry Potter. Mocking-frakking-jay.

* * *

Part 2 tomorrow. My eyes already hurt huhu.

 

Live-Blogging Confessor

After years (3++) of reading Terry Goodkind’s 11th book in the Sword of Truth series, I’m finally moving along. Yay, improvement. But anyway, since I waited this long and because I’ve read countless other works (yeah right), I’m not sure I’m enjoying reading this book anymore. Compared to others, Goodkind’s prose seem a bit, I dunno, not that pretty.

But anyway, since I apparently won’t be able to move on with my life if I don’t finish this and also I really really want Kahlan to kick Jagang’s ass or something, I guess I’ll just soldier on through this thing. After that I’ll decide if I’ll still read The Law of Nines and Omen Machine.

I have a lot of thoughts (and apparently, feelings too) when reading this book so I guess I’ll sort of do a live-blog thing while I’m at it. So, yeah, here goes:

# At Chapter ~11 — Why the fuck are all these people trying to push Nicci to Richard anyway? Don’t you guys fucking discount Kahlan!

# At Chapter 4 or 5 — How on earth did Zedd become the First Wizard if he cannot grip whatever Nicci was trying to tell him about the Ordenic Theory?

# Argh, Goodkind why are your explanations so long-winded?

# OMG, I thought I’d never say this because I kinda hated her when she captured Richard and made him stay with her in Altur’Rang but I sorta kinda like Nicci now. And her unwillingness to accept everyone’s urging for her to go get Richard for her own only increases my respect for her.

# O hai there Jennsen Rahl!

# After making me get annoyed at Prelate Ann Aldurren in Chapter 20, Goodkind had to make the Sisters of the Dark kill her?! What the hell!

# Oh God. Nicci’s captured.

# By the way, Book!Richard is way > TV!Richard. Probably the only reason why my sister doesn’t want to watch Legend of the Seeker ever.

# Still trying to decide whether I like Book!Kahlan over TV!Kahlan more. I have to say Bridget Regan is kinda close to that image I had of Kahlan in my mind tho.

# TV!Cara > Book!Cara. No doubt about it.

# I haven’t been so tired of long-winded conversations since Pillars of Creation, maybe even since Blood of the Fold. Discussions about Order, prophecies, and the teachings of the Order make my head hurt.

# Chapter ~25 — This opened my eyes to potential Nicci/Kahlan or maybe even Nicci and Kahlan as BFFs. So much admiration for the woman that Richard, whom you yourself had feelings for, wouldn’t give up on, Nicci.

“You have a beautiful voice, Kahlan Amnell,” Nicci whispered as she stared at Kahlan. “You really do.”

“Thank you, but it doesn’t seem beautiful to me. Sometimes I think I sound like a frog.”

Nicci smiled. “Hardly.”

Also, as much as Richard is the main protagonist in this story, I’m heartened to say that the series wouldn’t be without its strong female characters — Kahlan, Nicci, Cara, Prelate, Confessors, Sisters of the Light, Sisters of the Dark, Mord’Sith, Shota, Adie, Jennsen, Jillian, Rachel, Six, and countless others.

# Mistress Berdine.

Word

The Kilcher Library

“Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.”

– Rosemary Urquico

(PS: Why can’t I find anything about her in the interwebz huh?)

***

Okay, apparently, she’s been found. Her name’s actually Rosemarie Urquico, and she’s a writer living in Baguio City. The quote above is a series of emails edited slightly to fit one coherent post and a friend posted it in his Facebook Notes. Someone saw it, put it up on Tumblr and voila, the quote’s been all over the place faster than you can Google who the heck she is.

 

Scott Pilgrim Overload

So I really liked Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, right? I even looped through its OST for about a month before I felt the urge to kick myself and change the effin’ playlist or whatever. I thought that was the end of it.

But no, I actually started reading the comic. Hahahaha. I’m back to the Pilgrim obsession. I even changed the wallpaper on my little netbook (it’s a nifty little thing, perfect if I just wanted to read some monstrous novels and/or scan through scanlations of manga and/or comic).

デスクタップ


It’s gonna be a long time again before I completely get this out of my system.

Blast From The Past

I was sifting through my Google Reader feeds and came across Neil Gaiman’s latest blog entry [link] and saw the image below:

I was hit by this weird nostalgic feeling because, uhm, yeah, those words have a special meaning for me and it was probably one of my most favorite Gaiman quotes. I even used those words before to convey something I didn’t want to say directly [see this].

***

I still dunno if I really wanna get inked or not.

Team Katniss

I’ve just recently started reading The Hunger Games — 1st book of The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and I think Katniss Everdeen might make it into my most favorite empowered female fictional characters list below (in no particular order):

☁EKahlan Amnell (Sword of Truth Series)
☁E

未来につぁE

And it’s best if you know a good thing is going to happen, like an eclipse or getting a microscope for Christmas. And it’s bad if you know a bad thing is going to happen, like having a filling or going to France. But I think it is worst if you don’t know whether it is a good thing or a bad thing which is going to happen.

And whenever I thought about the future I couldn’t see anything clearly in my head and that made a panic start. So Siobhan said I shouldn’t think about the future. She said, ‘Just think about today. Think about things that have happened. Especially about good things that have happened.’

– Christopher Boone in Mark Haddon’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

***

Finally, I finished a book. Halleluiah.

* 未来につぁE