Saturday, January 29, 2011

On My Shelf (1)

On My Shelf highlights books I've acquired and read in the past week, as well as a little about what I'm writing, and other blog worthy news. I think it's pretty obvious where I got my inspiration for the feature from, but I will follow blog etiquette and link to Kristi (In My Mailbox @ The Story Siren), Sheila (It's Monday, What Are You Reading? @ Book Journey), and Kate (The Shelf Report @ The Neverending Shelf) anyway. ;)

Brace yourselves, it's a long one. 0.0

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mini Blog: New Background

I know, I know. I just changed my entire layout at the beginning of the month/year, but the colors of the old image, and the fact it tiled a million times really started to bother me, so I decided to change it again. I'm really happy with the new look! The colors are much better than before, and the image fits the screen better. I think I'll keep this one around for a while. =)

Cover For Me 2

Cover For Me is all about book covers and what I think of them. Sometimes it will just be one cover, sometimes it will be different covers for the same book.

This week's cover is...

Raven's Gate by Anthony Horowitz
This cover certainly caught my eye when I first saw it on Scholastic's site a little before the book came out. It's a little mysterious and, in my opinion, really cool looking. I like the design over the radiation symbol, and the colors give it a sort of sinister feel, which is perfect for the book. I also like the font, though I think the title could have been a little bigger.
This cover is definitely... for me.

I was really disappointed when I saw the paperback of this, and insanely happy I owned the hardcover. I just don't like it. It makes the story seem cheesy and Goosebumps-y. The font is so plain, the image unimaginative. Had this been the original cover, there's a good chance I wouldn't have read the book.
This cover is... not for me.

(paperback reprint/UK cover)
Scholastic must have realized the mistake they made with the first paperback, because they made a new one (which I think is also the UK cover). To be honest, after seeing the US covers for Evil Star and Nightrise (which followed the theme of the first Raven's Gate paperback), and seeing the UK covers for the same books, I was a little jealous of the UK covers. They were so much cooler than the half face thing! As much as I like this one and think it fits the book better than the original paperback, I still like the hardback more. The colors and font are nice, and I like that this one has the good guys' logo instead of the bad guys' (even though the bad guys have a slightly better symbol).
This cover is... for me.

So, what do you think of the different covers? Which one would you be more likely to pick up?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday 7

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply 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 & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This week's teaser is from Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith.
"It was only at the end of the dream that I realized the figure before me, on the other side of the glass, wasn't a gas mask at all. It was my reflection."
Page 81


Friday, January 21, 2011

2011 Pre-Order Winner!

Before I announce the winner, I'd like to give a big THANK YOU to all the people who entered and helped spread the word! I have some awesome followers, both new and old. Thanks for reading, guys!

There was a total of 403 entries for 57 entrants. Wow! That is a lot more than I expected! And the lucky number, and winner of the 2011 pre-order is...
#84 Mikki Mano of Enchanting Days

Congratulations, Mikki! I've already emailed you, and you have 48 hours to get back to me with your mailing address and book choice from the list.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Giveaway @ Jennifer Laurens' Blog

Jennifer Laurens, author of the Heavenly series, has an awesome contest going on right now. Five winners will get to choose a book from the list below:
A Season of Eden

Click HERE to enter. But first, watch the trailer for Heavenly.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

In My Mailbox 43

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.
I meant to post this weeks ago, like, right after Christmas, but kept forgetting. Anyway, here's my (slightly overdo) holiday IMM.


Matched by Ally Condie
Pub. date: November 2010
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.
I pre-ordered this from Book Depository a few months ago, and was really excited to get it. But as the months passed, and the release date came and went without the book arriving, I started to lose hope that I would ever get it. Luckily, it finally came in a few days before Christmas (a Christmas miracle, perhaps?). I can't wait to read it! I read the first few chapters of the ARC and absolutely loved it!

Christmas Presents

Eleventh Grade Burns by Heather Brewer
Pub. date: Augusr 2010
Eleventh grade at Bathory High is draining Vladimir Tod. Joss, a professional vampire slayer and Vlad's former friend, has moved back to town. The powerful vampire Dorian has an overwhelming desire to drink Vlad's blood. And his arch enemy, D'Ablo, has brought Vlad's Uncle Otis to trial for crimes against vampires. So much for dating. When the tables turn on Vlad, he has just enough time to return to Bathory for his final good-byes . . .
I love this series! It's one of my favorites. I already had an ARC of this, but I had to have a finished copy (in paperback, to match the rest of the series), so it was one of the first things on my Christmas list. HUGE THANKS! go to my sister for giving me this as part of my family's Secret Santa tradition. =D

Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev
Pub. date: May 2010
We are such stuff as dreams are made on.
Act Two, Scene One
Growing up in the enchanted Thèâtre Illuminata, Beatrice Shakespeare Smith learned everything about every play ever written. She knew the Players and their parts, but she didn’t know that she, too, had magic. Now, she is the Mistress of Revels, the Teller of Tales, and determined to follow her stars. She is ready for the outside world.
(The synopsis is really long, so I only put part of it. Read the rest here.)

*throws confetti and does happy dance* THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, AUNT AND UNCLE (who shall not be named on this blog)! I lovedlovedLOVED Eyes Like Stars, and have been dying to read this ever since! I can't wait to read it!!! ^_^

Those are all the books I got over the holidays. I can't wait to read them! ^_^

Friday, January 14, 2011

Manga Reading Challenge 2011

Found this challenge through Orchid, who heard about it from Vasilly, who I guess got it from the host, Rhinoa. ("My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night." Yeah, my knowledge of this challenge is kind of like that.)

Anyway, over the last year or so I've developed a love for manga and anime, so I was really excited when I heard about this challenge. The minimum goal is six. Yay! I only get mangas from the library, and I read quite a few last year, so I don't know how many they have left for me. ;)

So, here are the mangas I've read this year.
1. Fruits Basket vol. 12 by Natsuki Takaya
2. Fruits Basket vol. 13 by Natsuki Takaya
3. Fruits Basket vol. 14 by Natsuki Takaya
4. Instant Teen: Just Add Nuts vol. 1 by Haruka Fukushima
5. Tsubasa vol. 1 by CLAMP
6. Fall in Love Like a Comic vol. 1 by Chitose Yagami
Minimum challenge requirement met February 5.
Now, how many more mangas can I read this year?
7. xxxHOLIC vol. 1 by CLAMP
8. Fruits Basket vol. 15 by Natsuki Takaya
9. Fruits Basket vol. 16 by Natsuki Takaya
10. Fruits Basket vol. 17 by Natsuki Takaya
11. xxxHOLIC vol. 2 by CLAMP
12. Fruits Basket vol. 18 by Natsuki Takaya
13. Fruits Basket vol. 19 by Natsuki Takaya
14. Fruits Basket vol. 20 by Natsuki Takaya
15. Fruits Basket vol. 21 by Natsuki Takaya
16. Fruits Basket vol. 22 by Natsuki Takaya
17. Fruits Basket vol. 23 by Natsuki Takaya
18. Beauty Pop vol. 1 by Kiyoko Arai
19. Beauty Pop vol. 2 by Kiyoko Arai
20. Beauty Pop vol. 3 by Kiyoko Arai
21. Beauty Pop vol. 4 by Kiyoko Arai
22. Beauty Pop vol. 5 by Kiyoko Arai
23. Beauty Pop vol. 6 by Kiyoko Arai
24. Beauty Pop vol. 7 by Kiyoko Arai
25. Beauty Pop vol. 8 by Kiyoko Arai
26. Beauty Pop vol. 9 by Kiyoko Arai
27. Bleach vol. 1 by Tite Kubo
28. Beauty Pop vol. 10 by Kiyoko Arai
29. eV vol. 1 by James Farr
30. Torodora vol. 1 by Yuyuko Takemiya and Zekkyou
31. Toradora vol. 2 by Yuyuko Takemiya and Zekkyou
32. Gothic Sports vol. 1 by Anike Hage
33. Gothic Sports vol. 2 by Anike Hage
34. Gothic Sports vol. 3 by Anike Hage
35. Gaba Kawa by Rie Takada
36. Dramacon vol. 1 by Svetlana Chmakova
37. A Certain Scientific Railgun vol. 1 by Kazuma Kamachi

Last updated 12/31.

Monday, January 10, 2011

2010 Challenge Wrap Up

I've already signed up for one challenge this year, and have been considering a few others (anyone know of a manga reading challenge?), but before I join any more I thought I should post how I did on last year's challenges.

100+ Reading Challenge hosted by J. Kaye
Goal: 100
Books Read: 101
I'm really surprised I finished this challenge! I didn't think I'd actually be able to read 100 books in a year, let alone pass my goal (even if it was by just one book). I don't think I would have been able to do it if it weren't for all the mangas I read last year (I have to give some thanks to Orchid for that, since she introduced me to all of them). The challenge was fun, but got a little stressful near the end, so I won't be doing it again this year.

Debut Author Challenge hosted by Kristi
Goal: 12
Book Read: 3
I can't believe I didn't finish this one. I don't know if it was too small to read (I was kind if hoping it would be), but that number up there, after Books Read? Yeah, that's a 3. The goal was so low! Now, I admit I didn't think I'd be able to complete this one when I signed up, but as me, my friends, and my library got more 2010 debuts, I started to get hope that I'd actually be able to do it. So why couldn't I? I'm not entirely sure. I think it was a time thing. I just had so many books to read last year, many of which had been in my TBR pile for a long time, that I just never got around to reading all the other debuts I had access to. I think I might do a 2010 Debuts Take II this year. Anyone else interested?

Read Your Name Challenge hosted by Phantom Inkheart
Goal: 6
Books Read: 6
This was by far the easiest challenge I participated in last year. At first I had a little trouble finding books to read, but once I did it was super easy and quick. I signed up for this in early July and had it done by mid October. I don't know if I'll do it again this year, my name's so short now I'd have to use my blog name or something for it to be even slightly challenging.

So, those are last year's challenge stats. Can't wait to see how I do this year! :)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cover For Me 1

Cover For Me is all about book covers and what I think of them. Sometimes it will just be one cover, sometimes it will be different covers for the same book. This is one of the new features I mentioned when I changed my name, which I hope to do once a week.

This week's cover is...

The Dreamwalker's Child by Steve Voake

This cover is the whole reason I picked up the book. I had never heard of it before (this was before I started blogging and hearing about books up to a year before they came out), I was just looking for something good in the YA section during a slight reading slump. I saw people inside giant bugs and was immediately interested.
I like the font, though I feel like the title placement is a little boring. The colors aren't really my favorites, but I think they work for the book. As for the three glowing orbs, they're supposed to be suns (I think, I haven't read this in a few years), but they always make me think of fairies, like the three fairy godmothers from Sleeping Beauty (or whichever princess had three). The bug ship thing, while interesting, kind of creeps me out. I just don't like bugs, especially that close up. But this book is really good, so I can put my fear of bugs aside for it.
This cover is... for me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wish List Wednesday 32


The Gathering

My 6 Degrees Reading Challenge Post

I really should have posted this right after the host post, but I forgot. So here it is, a little late, my personal challenge post for the 6 Degrees Reading Challenge, hosted by me of this blog. ;)

I'm going for the Turning the Heat Up level, with 18+ books. Let's hope I can complete it (because it would be kind of sad if I failed my own reading challenge)!

I have my list all worked out, but I'm only going to post one book at a time. I'll add the connection as the other books are posted.
1. Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith

Decided to reverse my list. So, here's the new order.

1. The Julian Game by Adele Griffin
{high school revenge plot}
{character's name in title}
3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
{cameo in next book, as Hari Potter}
4. Fever Crumb by Philip Reeve

Monday, January 3, 2011

6 Degrees Reading Challenge

I have decided to host a reading challenge. I know, I know, there are already a million reading challenges out there and you couldn't possibly sign up for one more! Your plate is so full already! But you and I both know that even while you say that, you're busy filling out your entry for a new challenge. So why not make it this one?
You: I don't know what the challenge is, that's why!
Oh, right. Silly me! I forgot to give you the details before trying to get you to sign up!

Welcome to the very first

How does it work? Easy! (In theory.)

Read books that have something in common, going in a chain.
Book 1—character named John
Book 2—character named John, bunny on the cover
Book 3—bunny on the cover, set in Texas
Book 4—set in Texas, MC into photography
Book 5—MC into photography, MC is orphan
Book 6—MC is orphan, and if you really want to challenge yourself, you can try to connect this back to book 1 with something new.

There are four levels to this challenge.
  • Room Temperature: connect 6+ books
  • Getting Warmer: connect 12+ books
  • Turning the Heat Up: connect 18+ books
  • INFERNO!: connect 24 or more books
Each level has a different button (bottom of post), and you can change your level at any time during the challenge.

  • Be Creative - Books cannot be connected by author, genre, series, or publisher. Anything else goes. Using legitimate connections, you cannot connect more than 3 consecutive books from the same genre.
  • Deadline - All challenge books must be started and finished between January 1, 2011-December 31, 2011. Books started/read before signing up count as long as they're connected.
  • Data! Data! Data! - All connections must be listed on your challenge post.
  • Sharing is Caring - Books from other challenges count as long as they can be connected.
  • Make It Count - YA, mid-grade, children's, adult, graphic novels, mangas, comic books, and audio books count (all together now, "As long as they're connected."), but individual short stories DO NOT count. Books from the same series count as long as they're not read back to back (and try to limit the number of books you use from one series).
  • One Time Use - Connections and books can only be used once!
  • *singing* Put One Book in Front of the Other - You don't have to read all the challenge books back to back, but you do have to read them in the order that they're connected.
To join the challenge, just make a 6 Degrees Reading Challenge post on your blog (be sure to link back to this page) and add it to the Mr. Linky below. You do not need a blog to participate! If you're not a blogger, just comment here to say that you're doing the challenge, then comment again with your challenge list when you're done.

So, have at it, kiddies! ;)

Please include your name, blog name, and challenge level. Example: Ren @ All By MySHELF, Turning the Heat Up. Be sure to link directly to your challenge post.

EDIT: The buttons have been fixed.

<center><a href=""><img src="" /></a></center>

<center><a href=""><img src="" /></a></center>

<center><a href=""><img src="" /></a></center>

<center><a href=""><img src="" /></a></center>

<center><a href=""><img src="" /></a></center>

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Names and A Giveaway (CONTEST CLOSED)

It is time. Time for what? BLOG MAKEOVER! Yes, readers, at long last my new screen name and blog name will be revealed (along with a new layout to go with them). I know you've just been dying* to find out what they are, and I apologize for making you wait so long. I blame the holidays. Who wants to change their entire blog when there are cookies to eat, presents to open, and general merrymaking to be had? Also, I just didn't have time. xP

Anyway, on to the names. Goodbye Dahlia of Dahlia's Eclectic Mind. Hello Ren of All By MySHELF.

Wouldn't this look nice on your sidebar?

<center><a href=""><img src=""/></a></center>

A bit about the names: Ren is part of my middle name (what that name is and where Ren fits into it shall remain a secret). I wanted a non-name screen name (i.e. Purple_Gorilla or something, only better), but I stink at coming up with them, so I went with part of my name instead.
The blog name is, as I'm sure you've figured out, a play on the song title 'All by Myself'. It's also about the tenth blog name I came up with and the only one I liked that was available.

The name isn't the only new thing for the blog. I'll also be adding a few new features in the new year, so expect a bit more activity around here. I'll be revealing the first of the new features in early/mid January. Yay for new things!


I'm celebrating my new names in classic book blogger style, with a giveaway! 2011 is going to be a big year, with a new name, new features, and let's not forget all those fabulous new releases. So in honor of this big event, I'm going to be giving away a pre-order of one 2011 release from my wish list.

The options:
-Dead Is Not an Option (Dead Is #5) by Marlene Perez (May 2) - I love this series! They're wonderful, quick reads, and even though I haven't read the fourth one yet, I'm really looking forward to the fifth (and final?) book.
-Outside In (Inside Out #2) by Maria V. Snyder (March 1) - Inside Out was sooo good! I went from simply wanting to read the sequel to needing to read it when I read the summary. I can't wait until it comes out!
-The Serpent's Coil (Prophecy of Days #2) by Christy Raedeke (July 8) - The Daykeeper's Grimoire is one of the best books I've ever read, so obviously I'm dying to read the next one!

  • One winner will get to choose one book from the list to be pre-ordered from Book Depository.
  • Open wherever Book Depository ships (see if they ship to you).
  • Must be 13 years or older to enter.
  • Following is not required, but is much appreciated and will get you extra entries.
  • Comment with which book(s) you're most looking forward to in 2011 for extra entries.
  • Contest ends January 20, 2011 at midnight (eastern) and winner will be announced shortly after.
  • Just commenting will not enter you in the giveaway! You must fill out the form.

 Thanks for entering and Happy New Year!!!

*A bit of an exaggeration, but I like to think you're as excited about this as I am. ;)