Monday, December 31, 2007

Enchanted with"Enchanted"

So you’ve probably heard something about this new movie, Enchanted. Whatever you’ve heard, this is my advice:

Go see it. Now.

Okay, in all seriousness. I knew I was going to see it at one point because, after all, it is a Disney movie, and you all know how much I’m crazy for Disney. My expectations were completely blown of the water. I haven’t enjoyed seeing a movie like that since Pirates of the Caribbean.

Yes, it’s corny. Yes, it’s making fun of Disney stereotypes. Yes, the witch is ugly (well, really, what did you expect there?). But it is sooo good. I really can’t even put my finger on what I like about it, but I know I will be buying this one as soon as it comes out on DVD.

So go see it. Yes, it’s musical/romance/comedy/fairytale/culture shock/cheesy movie. But it’s a great one. Check out IMDB if you’re looking for a plot summary, because it’s altogether too complicated for me to explain without giving something away. And see it on the big screen if possible. You just can’t get the full experience otherwise.

Okay, you convinced me. For those of you who can’t click links, here’s a trailer for you to watch. But it truly doesn’t compare to the movie, so don’t use that as an excuse!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

New Challenges for the New Year

As most of you who read this blog regularly already know, I am addicted to challenges. And now I’ve also stumbled across two other interesting challenges:

The A to Z challenge- I can’t remember where I first saw this, but it’s definitely more of a personal thing. The idea is to read a book with a title that starts with all 26 letters of the alphabet. Now, this is a little more complicated than it sounds, since it’s very hard to find a book that stats with “X.” So I might be using a “modified” alphabet on this one, but it WILL still be 26 books. There’s no time limit, and I’m going to start recording on January 1, 2008.

The 888 Challenge- otherwise known as the 8 books in 8 categories in 2008 Challenge. You can read the challenge blog here. The idea is to choose your own 8 categories and read 8 books in each category. You are allowed 8 inter-category overlaps for a total of 56 books. The challenge runs from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008. I have no idea if I can commit that long, but I’m certainly going to try!

As of right now, my categories are: 8 Cybils nominees (past or present), 8 Graphic Novels, 8 Fantasy, 8 New to me authors, 8 First in a series, 8 rereads, 8 Just for fun, and 8 For school or school related. I’m going to try my hardest not to overlap (I think it’s more fun that way) but we’ll just have to see what the year brings.

Now, unlike past challenges, I don’t think I’m going to post a list beforehand. If there’s one thing I’ve learned since participating in my first challenge this past spring, it’s that my reading habits are never predicable. As a result, I am simply posting a blank form for each challenge. These will be separate forms that I can fill out as I go along, and then proudly display when complete. I’m adding a link in the sidebar, so you can track my progress. You only have to look if you want to (since this is for my own personal benefit) but you may never know whether or not I read a book you’d love. Then again, since I will likely blog a lot of my entries, maybe you will…

Anyway, you can go here for the A to Z challenge (note that this form is not the revised alphabet…yet) and here for the 888 Challenge. If anyone decides to join me, let me know. I’d love to see what you have to say on the subject!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Musical Meme Answers

Well, I’ve already posted the winner for the Musical Meme post, but now it’s time to post the answers… that is, assuming you’re interested to know at all. :-) I’d been meaning to post this earlier this week, but a nasty cold has somewhat thrown a wrench in my schedule.

Anyway, here is the answers for all 12 songs, including a video where available. And even if you weren’t interested to know the answers, maybe it will give you a bit of entertainment…

1. “Leave (Get Out)” by JoJo

2. “I Wonder” by Kellie Pickler

3. “Hey Hey Hey” by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband

4. “I Will Survive” from the movie Holes

5. Fantasmic! from the Disneyland (If you've never seen this before, you should watch it! The video clip projections you see throughout the show are actually done right on the surface of the water fountains. It's super cool!)

6. “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down

7. “You Are the Music in Me” from High School Musical 2

8. “Reach” by Caleigh Peters

9. “Like We Never Loved at All” by Faith Hill and Tim McGraw

10. “Potential Break Up Song” by Aly and AJ

11. “A Step Too Far” from the musical Aida

12. “I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You” from The Mask of Zorro

Vote for the new YABC Teen Reviewer

It's that time again. Help us pick who the new 2008 Teen Reviewer will be. Go over to the original post to get directions on how to vote. And good luck to the finalists!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fall Reading Challenge 2007: Wrap-Up

So it’s that time again. Yes, I know I didn’t manage to post any follow-ups during the process this time around, but I think it’s still good to reflect. So here we go.

I managed to read a good chunk (6 out of 11, more than half) of my list this time around. Here’s my original list with the ones I finished in bold:

Sense and Sensibility (Penguin Classics)
Wicked Dead: Lurker
Don't Know Where, Don't Know When (The Snipesville Chronicles, Book 1)
The Upper Class
The Magic Medallion (Cynthia's Attic) (Cynthia's Attic) Guide to Disney's Haunted Mansion
My Alien Penfriend
Kung Fu Klutz And Karate Cool 1 (Manga Chapters)
Toaster Pond
The Walton Street Tycoons
Sisters of Isis: The Summoning (Sisters of Isis #1)

Of course, I managed to get a few other books read as well. But most of them were not read by choice. I have that one thing in my life… what is it called… oh yeah, college. :-) I thought I would have a lot more time for reading that ended up never coming about. And, as always, I’m way behind on reviews. I plan to post more as soon as I get the reading for the Cybils out of the way.

I don’t really think there was a favorite book I read this time around. They were all fairly good, but none of them were to-die-for good. I did like the Sisters of Isis book, which is the new series by Lynne Ewing. I am so sad her Daughters of the Moon is finally over, but glad that the new series is good too (just not as good…)

Still, I’m glad I participated this time. I love these challenges, even if I don’t necessarily finish all the time. It simply an opportunity for me to, well, challenge myself. And it’s not a big deal if I don’t finish. I love having goals to work towards, and it’s always a fun deal for that.

Overall, I’ve got a lot of reading to catch up on. At last count my library has grown to 455 cataloged books (emphasis on cataloged, because I still have a lot floating around that aren’t) and a fair amount of them have not been read. Just too little time to read! I can’t wait until I can have more time to do so, although that is probably many long years coming.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Contest Winners

Drumroll please! The winners of this month's contests are:

Miss Erin & Anidori-Isilee

Congrats! Send me an email at shadyglade(AT) with your Top 3 choices from the Prize Box by December 31st.

Thank you to everyone who entered! Keep an eye out here for more contests, I'll be starting more in 2008. I'll be posting the answers to the Musical Meme tomorrow (hopefully) too. So check back if you want to see what you missed.

As a side note: I am willing to give away any book in the Prize Box as a trade too. If you're interested, send me an email.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Just a Reminder!

Today (Dec. 18th) is the last day to enter the Musical Meme contest and our Random December contest. Both are super easy to enter, you just have to leave a comment! Prizes will a book of your choice from the Prize Bucket, which should be updated by later today.

What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Orson Scott Card Giddiness

A note to my readers: I actually wrote this post earlier, but was unable to post it right away because of an internet crash. I'm a little embarassed it took me this long to rediscover it. Enjoy it anyway, just be aware that it's older than today's date. :-)

I met Orson Scott Card.

No really, I did.

I’m still a little in shock.

He was at my school for a forum (“Heroism as a Career Choice”) and the Pre-professional Conference we had here on November 17th. I got to hear him speak three times. Once for a panel entitled “How to Get Published” (very enlightening, by the way), once for the above-mentioned forum, and once for a Q & A session afterwards.

And look! He signed my book: (my first personalized signature ever!)

So here’s my impressions about that day.
1. He is extremely well-grounded.
2. He is very funny.
3. He knows what he’s talking about. I got a lot of good tips about the publishing industry, and I’m not doing the writing side of it at all. But he still had great advice for us aspiring editiors. So yeah, he knows what he’s talking about. After all he’s probably one of the most successful writers, at least in his own lifetime.

Funny story (in a sad sort of way): I asked my roommate if she wanted to come with me to the Orson Scott Card forum. Her reply? “Who?” So I said “You know, they guy who wrote Ender’s Game” Blank look. So I added “One of the most successful writers of all time?” Nothing. So I left. She honestly had never even heard of him. GAG ME! (And she calls herself a book lover…)

One other bit of news: if you’re waiting on the Ender’s Game movie, you’re going to be waiting a while. But good luck on that front!

To conclude, these are a few quotes I wrote down during the forum session. This was stuff from his new book, but I learned really quickly that he goes off on tangents occasionally. :-) Some of them are funny, some of them are profound. Some are just random. But I enjoyed them, so take it for what it’s worth. (These were scribbled down from notes. I hope I got them verbatim, but please don’t quote me because there is no guarantees here):

On the idea of the dominant male: “With gorillas only the strongest males get to reproduce. In the human species, it’s the wimps that get to date.”

“The more you trust others to help you, the more you will reach out and help others.”

On being at college: “You are here to be trained to make money… well, maybe not the English majors. But not me. Oh no, I had a real career path, I was studying theater!”

“There is no career that is a substitute for family.” *I love this one*

“I don’t know of any other art that takes more interaction from the audience than fiction.”

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The 2007 Holiday Guide

Per my earlier post on gift giving, here is a more specific list on what you can give this holiday season. I’ve included books for several ages, movies, a small selection of music, and some miscellaneous stuff. There’s also a lot of Christmas-themed stuff out there, so don’t miss those treasures. Make sure you check out the other post for additional guidance and ideas.

Children’s Books (Picture and Early Reader):
Animalia by Graeme Base
Cinderella Penguin: Little Glass Flipper (Picture Puffins) by Janet Perlman
The Disney Fairies series is a good way to get younger girls reading. They start with Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg by Gail Carson Levine.
Emma's Gift by Molly Idle (Robert’s Snow Illustrator!)
Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman and Julie Paschkis
Holly Claus: The Christmas Princess (Julie Andrews Collection) by Brittney Ryan has beautiful illustrations. This is sure to become a Christmas classic.
Humphrey's First Christmas by Carol Heyer (Robert’s Snow Illustrator!)
If You Give a Moose a Muffin (If You Give...) by Laura Numeroff
Jingle Bugs (Mini Edition): A Merry Pop-up Book with Lights and Music by David A. Carter
Kilala Princess is a great comic series for young princess lovers.
My Mommy's Tote by P. H. Hanson
The Rainforest Grew All Around by Susan K. Mitchell

Middle Grade Books:
A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
The Dangerous Book for Boys is great for a variety of ages and so is The Daring Book for Girls
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
Warriors Super Edition: Firestar's Quest (Warriors) by Erin Hunter
How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen
Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff by Jennifer L. Holm
The Chronicles of Narnia Pop-up: Based on the Books by C. S. Lewis (Narnia) and Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy are here, but these beautiful books are really good for any age.
Regarding the Bees: A Lesson, in Letters, on Honey, Dating, and Other Sticky Subjects by Kate Kilse is the newest Regarding the... book to come out.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivan Vande Velde
The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 3) by Rick Riordan

Young Adult Books:
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Bad Girls Club by Judy Gregerson
Terrier: The Legend of Beka Cooper #1 (Beka Cooper) by Tamora Pierce
Before Midnight: A Retelling of "Cinderella" by Cameron Dokey is one of the newest from the Once Upon a Time series.
Cures for Heartbreak by Margo Rabb
Dramarama By E. Lockheart
Eclipse (Twilight, Book 3) by Stephanie Meyer
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7) by J. K. Rowling, but the Harry Potter Boxset Books 1-7 is also a good idea.
Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
Sisters of Isis: The Summoning (Sisters of Isis #1) by Lynne Ewing
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones
Daughters of the Moon: The Final Eclipse - #13 is the last Daughters of the Moon series book to be released.
The Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Adult Books:
Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale
Bradley Trevor Greive has a great number of excellent books, including the The Blue Day Book.
Christmas Time by Sandra Boynton is great for all ages, but parents will appreciate the humor most.
The Complete Novels of Jane Austen (Wordsworth Special Editions)
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Debbie Macomber is a great choice for romance lovers. If your receiver is already a fan, make sure you pick up Back on Blossom Street (The Knitting Books #3), out this summer.
Enchanted, Inc. (Katie Chandler Series, Book 1) by Shanna Swendson
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
The Heather Wells series by Meg Cabot is interesting. The first is Size 12 Is Not Fat: A Heather Wells Mystery.
Janet Evanovich is a good choice for romance, especially her Stephanie Plum series. Lean Mean Thirteen was just released this summer.
Just Jane: A Novel of Jane Austens Life by Nancy Moser

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Elf (Infinifilm Edition)
Disney Princess Enchanted Tales - Follow Your Dreams is great for young Disney lovers.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Widescreen Edition)
If your little girl is into the Barbie movies, the newest one released is Barbie as The Island Princess.
It's a Wonderful Life (60th Anniversary Edition)
The Muppet Christmas Carol - Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition
The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Widescreen Edition)
National Treasure (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) is sure to be popular once the new one comes out next week.
Night at the Museum (Widescreen Edition)
George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End (Widescreen Edition)
TV DVDs are also a great choice for gifts. The Office is really popular now, but I enjoy The Closer, The West Wing, and Psych.

Carnival Ride by Carrie Underwood
Enchanted Soundtrack
Noel by Josh Groban
Greatest Hits (Special Edition CD/DVD) by Keith Urban
Mannheim Steamroller: Christmas Song
Pytor Illych Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker - Complete Ballet
Still Feels Good by Rascal Flatts

Still stumped at what to give? Well, let’s try a few other things:
The new Amazon Kindle is a cool eReader. A great option for book lovers that you don’t know what to get for.
If you’re shopping for younger children, you really should consider checking into getting them a Webkinz. These cute plush toys all come with a virtual pet that they can play with. If you want to learn more about Webkinz, you can read my other blog.
Do you have music lover in the house? Why not get them new accessories for their iPod?
If you have TiVo system, Amazon Unbox is a great cheaper option for buying movies.
If you know someone who likes to experiment with new makeup, you might want to look into the new Bare Minerals collection. This is the same stuff I use, and you can snag some great deals on it if you buy it from Amazon.
And remember, gift certificates are always a good way to go too.

And just in case you wanted to see everything before you buy, here it is. A (nearly) complete sideshow of every book thing on this list:

And one of everything else: