Sunday, November 9, 2008

Day 1 full of books

Oh my happy books. My loves. My life. How can I only narrow it down to six? I’d probably forgo clothes and much food to bring books. Well, maybe equal books and food.

BTW: I switched books. *runs away and hides*

Twelve Kingdoms; Junni Kokki by Fuyumi Ono

Where do I even being about this series? For one, this isn’t a romance. Two, it’s a Japanese Young Adult novel and I watched the anime first. In order to obtain it (the series technically isn’t finished so the anime was also partially completely), I currently have two sets of the DVD (10 disks per set), the Japanese original novels and the Chinese translations. I cannot read either language fluently, but I don’t care. It’s mine. Only two of the eight in existence so far translated into English and. Two. Let me tell you, even with my extremely limited understanding, the translations still fell short of the originals. Even written for teens, Fuyumi Ono has this incredibly beautiful style that cannot help but be lost in the translation. Would it freak people out to know that I studied Japanese in college for a year just to try and read this book? Didn’t work that well, but I tried.

An interconnected fantasy world deeply rooted in Asian mythology; focused combination of Japanese and Chinese, the series have some of the most intense character growths and fleshed out world ever. There are a lot of main characters and they often have their own books with ‘glimpses’ of each other at different points.

What do I love most about this series? Yoko. The main protagonist and she go through what would be considered a hero’s journey. Seriously, in the beginning, you want to smack some sense into her. Half way through the novel, you start to empathize with her and by the end, I loved her. Love her. Her stories broken into two parts. Only the first has been translated into English right now. Lame translators. Stupid economy. Too slow…Want more…

Yoko ‘falls’ into another world at the beginning of Sea of Shadows (sounds better in Japanese). She changes from a weak unsure girl to a hardened selfish person until the end where she comes to better understand herself and becomes a whole person.

It’s so hard to write anything without giving away the whole story, but I love this series. The music runs through my entire body (yes, I have all the CDs and the piano book despite being horrible at reading notes or playing in general). I still have the posters up even now, some 5 years later. There are two parts in the later part of the anime and books that I will literally cry on cue. Even as I know it, I cannot make myself fast forward and I cry. Sometimes, if I’m not careful, I listen to the music and it’ll trigger the memories. I don’t think anyone else cried at where I cried, but this book has more meaning for me than I could possibly explain.

The anime itself does change the story by adding more characters, but it merely creates a better contrast for the characters…hmmm…I need to watch this again and then read the novel. I’ve been known to both at the same time. =D Teehee

If I could meet one author in the world (aside from my love the authors so far) would be to meet Fuyumi Ono because I say this with the most seriousness and sincerity that I would be here now without her stories. Well, I’d still be here, but just a bit more messed up than I should be. This book isn’t for everyone, but for me, it’s a bit of what’s left of my heart.

Craving Beauty by Nalini Singh

I already did my gushing before, but I really do like this short book. It has a beauty and the beast theme to it with a good amount of focus on the two main characters. No mystery, no murder, no world to save. Just two people working towards a relationship. It’s nice. :) Am much as I love murder, mayhem and larger than life stories, just reading about two people trying to understand each other and work together is sometimes more potent in seeing the growth of a relationship.

Hira made a minor appearance in a former book made to seem like those ice b**** we usually read about as a villain, but she’s not. Granted, there will usually be one of those types in these books, but I love how heroines know they’re worth something. Even if it’s her looks, Hira values herself more than that and I seriously can count on one hand the number of heroines out there that actually knows they look good. Enough with the self pitying, I’m too plain/plump/weird/ugly/etc. etc. types.

Together, Hira and Marc compliment each other. Even with understandings, they try. I kind of want the books to be longer, but I’m happy to have it.


Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu

Even though someone already took him into her hut, I still have the book. ;p

Tiger Eye is the first of the Dirk and Steel series but this is my favorite. Hari could have been 100 types of a***hole given the experiences he went through and, honestly, in the hands of any other author, he probably would have turned out to be some cookie cutter angsty boohoo me character who’ll probably be some shithead that I’d rather bitch slap than read about, or I’d read about a promptly forget. Instead, Dela and Hari won my heart over in their gentleness. Somehow, even in the most intense actions, there’s this underlying gentleness to the characters that I have no idea how it was captured in writing without explicitly typing it out. Besides, which other books out there have your characters traveling all over the world (I’m including the other books too).

Marjorie’s writings are so lyrical I always feel as if I’m reading written music as it floats and wraps itself inside me. Her writings have serious side effects (most authors have that influence on me, which is why I became so picky) and I’ll be posting a little something funny online later. :) Can I have Marjorie for my birthday? If Sarai gets Lara Adrian, I want Marjorie. ^_^ Well, I’d be happy with any of the authors listed here today. Specifically: Fuyumi Ono (don’t care she’s in Japan, don’t.care.)

Hari and Dela are too cute and I know there’re discussions of a few of the sex scenes (you know which one I’m talking about) and I gotta say, it didn’t bother me in the least.
I found it kind of sweet in that they really fully accept each other. It’s not done perversely like some erotica’s out there. Just something that’s natural to the characters. For that, it made me fall into this world more fully and they’re not really bound by the laws of real life. This series will also introduce the Gargoyles whom I’m completely in love with. *happy sigh*

Lisa Kleypas: Worth any Price and Someone to Watch Over Me

Okay, I don’t really mean to bring both, but I distinctly remember someone having Worth Any Price before. Except, I don’t see it anymore and I got listed with it. Totally okay with it, but I’m having Someone to Watch Over Me as back up.

Of course I’m going to a Lisa Kleypas, one of my many Demi-Goddess (note, just about all the authors here are my demi-goddesses), book with me. Her ability to turn a simple plot into the most passionate and explosive storylines not only portray realistic aspects of life but they’re good role models. (What? I told you books have a really strong influence on me)

Someone to Watch Over Me was the first Bow Street Runners (maybe I should have just listed that I want the series…can I do that?). What I loved about this was the idea of being careful of assumptions and how looks really can be deceiving. Grant really was an idiot at times, but I felt that the heroine was a wonderful foil and match.

Worth Any Price, the last book, was another story with an early marriage (I prefer these, for me, the story actually starts after the wedding), but with Nick Gentry was originally an anti-hero character and Lotte, a level-headed and strong woman, able to do something rather incredible back in the day. I like their story. It makes me happy and every time I read it, I still cheer them on to both try that bit much harder to make it all work. Of course, we also catch a bit of Westcliff in his early days.

Not that I need to preach to the choir, but I honestly love almost all of Lisa Kleypas’ books. They progress realistically and honestly. So happy.


Hot Spells anthology by Emma Holly, Lora Leigh, Meljean Brook and Shiloh Walker----replaces Lesson in Seduction by Melissa Schroeder
Yes, I changed again. Please don’t hurt me. Lesson is Seduction is good and I do recommend it, but I realized I probably would read Hot Spells more.

Emma Holly, *sigh* she’s awesome. Probably one of the few authors I’d read with ménage a trios and sex at the beginning of the books. I don’t why, but I’ve always enjoyed her stuff. The world’s she creates are really different from the usual types even as they deal with vampires, demons, fairies or just plain humans. The cultures so familiar yet not. Her story deals with the Yama series. I especially liked this short story.

Lora Leigh’s short is a normal hot sexin Breed story. I can only take those in small doses, but I do need my ‘meds’ once in a while. Besides, this is a cute short one. Hmmm, homemade bread, is that good? I’ve only had homemade noodles.

Come on, you all took Meljean’s stuff so of course I’m resorting to this. The first of the series. Teehee.

Shiloh Walker’s story is a nice one too. Fully of vampires and werewolves from one of her series. Much hotness and fun.


The Flying House series of Diana Wynne Jones --- switched from Lori Foster The Winston Brothers

The last of my only two series that I brought. If you’ve ever read Diana Wynne Jones, you’ll probably know why I love her. Ms. Jones does a wonderful job creating and making fun of the fantasy world/genre. She incorporates these wonderful social commentaries and humor into a grand story that actually reveals more about characters and humanity than possible.

The books:
Oh, Howl, Sophie and Calcifer. I love them. Not only do we have these grandiose plots that only Ms. Jones could pull off, but the characters are wonderful. Granted, I’m more like Howl than Sophie, but eh. I gave up my heart eating days. =P Joking. Now you just need to figure which part I’m kidding on. Hehehe.

The three books are actually told with different main characters, but the original casts always do appear in some what or another as secondary characters. Everyone’s so unique and strong. They learn and change all the while learning to accept each other. Oh happiness. I’d like to explain more, but the stories are really separate in their arcs; the characters change and grow, and the world expands. Sorry Harry fans but Ms Jones’ stories can kick Rowling’s any day. Fantasy forever!

So, here we are. My books. I almost brought the Hotter than Hell anthology, but I only have two stories in there that I really like, so…look at how much fantasy I have.

A sign that I need to grow up? Nah. My head's always in the clouds.

If all of you thought I was nutso at RWA, you’d love to be there should I actually meet either Fuyumi Ono or Diana Wynne Jones. I’m sure restraining orders would be placed against me. That’s if I don’t faint first.
Can you get them for my birthday here? I mean, if Sarai can get Lara Adrian, maybe I could get Fuyumi Ono? I’d be thrilled with Diana Wynne Jones. Or Lisa Kleypas…or Marjorie M Liu. Emma Holly?
Okay okay, I’ll be happy with apple juice. ;) And cake. :D

8 comments:

sharrow said...

I adored Howl's Moving Castle! What a fab list. I have not seen Twelve Kingdoms but will definitely keep an eye out for it. I am reading more and more manga at the moment. Mainly yaoi but love a good story.

I saw Howl the movie a few years ago in the theatre that Peter Jackson did up before the release of LOTR. It was magic. :)

AND Miss Lui, she is the bees knees :)

Kris said...

And I thought that I must've been the only 'adult' to have read Diana Wynne Jones before watching the mighty HMC.*g* I've read - and enjoyed! - some of her Chrestomanci series so must try CITA & HOMW.

I also loved the anime version of Twelve Kingdoms, but it sounds as though the manga is even better.

Great list!

Karen Mahoney said...

I'm so glad I found the Desert Island, thanks to the Book Smugglers! :) I've been lurking here for a while...

This is a great list. I know NOTHING about Twelve Kingdoms, but I can't wait to investigate more. Sounds wonderful! Also, I totally agree with you re. Marjorie Liu. TIGER EYE is probably my second favourite of her novels (after SHADOW TOUCH), but I do love that first one. And the... um... 'intimate' moments between Hari and Dela later on in the book don't bother me either. I think it's cool.

I read my first ever Lisa Kleypas book recently (Dreaming of You), so I'm looking forward to trying more.

Cheers,
Karen

Carolyn Jean said...

I love your imaginative and colorful list! And I think it is SO cool that you studied Japanese in college to better read Twelve Kingdoms. It sound amazing! So, you think we wouldn't appreciate these in translation? Or are they worth a try?

Worth Any Price was my first Kleypas. Really excellent!!

little alys said...

Sharrow- Thanks. ^_^ Howl's wonderful! Even the anime one (even though they changed lots of it). I haven't see the Peter Jackson one, but I'm going to look it up. :D Twelve Kingdoms originals were light novels. They had a movie print manga, but that's hard to get a hold of. I only got bits.

Miss Lui is the bees knees. =D

Kris- I feel like that too with Diana Wynne Jones' books. My friends (all book lovers) don't read her. They're soooo missing out! I have the Chrestomanci series, but haven't started it yet. Soon. ;D I loved her Dogsbody novel too!

Wasn't the anime awesome? And the music, seriously great. I read the novel translations, it's much darker for sure. Thanks!

Karen- Ah, the Book Smugglers sure do awesome stuff. I'm now a BS addict ^_~.

Its a great series, but because it's so long, I do recomment Nexflixing the anime series before purchasing and see if you like it. It's a lot of money for the whole thing and you kinda of have to get through the first disk to really get a kick out of the whole thing.

Shadow Touch was awesome! It tied with Tiger Eye. Both were great. Of course, I do love Charlie the Gargoyle even if it was a short novella. :D Tee hee, smexy scenes.

I love Lisa Kleypas. She's awesome and Dreaming of You was one of the best. Ever.
Thank you for commenting too. :D

CJ- Teehee, thank you for you kind words. People usually tell me to get real. I reserve that for daily newspaper reads so I blow raspberry at them! ^_~ So cool or really dorky. Hahaha. I didn't even do that well in class. I also too Chinese for a year to watch more chinese dramas. Such a dork I am.

It's very different for sure, but I think everyone here would enjoy the books. Just think dark young adult. :) Definitely worth trying, but like with the Animes, rent before buying. Check out the libraries. I think they're not for everyone, but it packs a punch if it's your type of story. ^_^ Does that make sense?

Worth Any Price was sooooooooo hot. I swear, toe curling hot. Suddenly You was my first Kleypas, but I devoured Worth Any Price. :D

Katie Reus said...

What a great list! I'm ashamed to admit I've never read any of these, but I plan on checking out at least three of them. (I think I'm one of the few people who's never read Lora Leigh..jeez)

little alys said...

Katie- Thanks, tho I think my list is a bit of an odd mix. Foreign translations, young adult, historical romance, erotica and paranormal. No literature. Hahaha. Lora Leigh's just fun smex reading. I was more into Emma Holly in that one, and of course the beginning of the Guardian series. :D I heart happy books. ^_^

Sarai said...

Okay reminder to Sarai add more books to the ever growing TBR. And hey why did you get to trade? I want to trade?

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