What Book To Read Next?

22 04 2015

The Young Elites (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers - 2014)

When you are reading a book and begin to see the end in sight (which mainly involves counting how many pages there are left) one question instantly pops into your head that requires an answer, and soon. What book am I going to read next? It’s a big question for a big reader and unless you get a new book soon, you could find yourself in a spot where you may end up not reading at all. Now if it’s the case that you are reading a book in a series, and that you are enjoying it well enough to keep reading it, then you are pretty much sorted, until the series ends and have to go out and find either a new book or a new series to read. What book to read next is a question that has been plaguing me recently, as it’s the case that I have nearly finished a book, and need a new one to begin reading, and soon. Recently I have been getting back into reading at bed time again thanks to the recent acquisition of a new bed. Reading at bed time is actually quite enjoyable and something I have enjoyed in the past, such as when I read The Hunger Games. More recently though I have been reading Eve & Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant.

Eve & Adam (Egmont - 2012)

Eve & Adam has been a lot of fun to read and I consider it one of the best books I have read this year so far (along with A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness). But with just a few chapters left to read, I needed to start thinking about which book I was going to try next. Now while I am currently reading Patrick Ness’s Monsters of Men, that has still some time to go until I have completed that, so I don’t need to worry about what after that just yet. Luckily though, I do visit Waterstones a lot and keep an eye out for books. Also, any books I have spotted either online, personal research or seen in Waterstone’s  I catalogue onto my wish list on Goodreads and put them in some sort of order as to which I most want to read next. This I find useful more as a guide though of things to look out for, especially as I know some of the titles in the list off by heart, usually the ones quite near the top. This however presents the issue of having to actually choose which one to read. My excitement for one book at a time (such as Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson) might not much be the case later on and I really need find a real way to choose one.

Steelheart (Orion Books - 2013)

Sometimes though it can be the case that my choosing of a book may depend on the books word formatting. I can find it a real struggle sometimes to read a book that has short words and not a lot of spacing, which can lead to my eyes hurting/straining. A lot of the books I read I do find give me plenty of this, and when I buy a book I do like to have a look at it to see how the words are spaced out. Sometimes I am able to read shorter text but as a result can find it harder to really get into it. This is one of the reasons that Michael Crichton’s Micro really appealed to me when I saw it on shelves in Waterstone’s. Another thing on my mind when choosing which book to read next includes considering my collection of as yet unread books. The collection is mostly made up of books I really wanted to read but did not get round to reading them as planned. The Spook’s Secret by Joseph Delaney was a case of me buying it at the same time as The Spook’s Curse, but having had Michael Grant’s GONE on my shelf for many months, I decided to give it a go, and then did not get round to reading Secret. Other books like Battle Royale by Koushun Takami are ones that I have yet to get round to reading, although I am considering reading Battle Royale after I have read Monsters of Men.

Battle Royale (VIZ Media, LLC - 2009)

As to what to the decision of choosing what my next bed time read would be however, I have had my eyes on a few things and have chosen what to read next. Roughly this time last week I was chasing up a book by Jeremy Robinson called Project Nemesis. A book which involves Giant Monsters or Kaiju trashing a city, the sort of thing I like, especially with my high interest in Godzilla films. I had once heard about the book many months ago but did not think much about it. I decide to chase it up and after having a glance at it and the other books in the series, I really wanted to read them, so when I was in Waterstone’s yesterday I asked if they had a copy of it in. They didn’t. It turned out that the book may not have been released in the UK (either yet or at all) and while I could order one, due to it not being released in the UK, it would be pricey. So with my hopes of reading it so far dashed, I had to have a think.

Project Nemesis (Smashwords Edition - 2012)

Another book I considered reading recently is a book called The Deadly 7 by Garth Jennings, a story about a group of monsters, each one representing one of the Seven Deadly Sins make friends with a boy. From the books cover it looks rather fun, however, it is not the book I asked about in Waterstone’s.

The Deadly 7 (Macmillan Children's Books - 2015)

The book I asked about was one I voted for in the Goodreads awards; The Young Elites by Marie Lu. Yes, I have not read it, but have voted for it, the reason was due to  both its cover and premise. It came to mind just as I stepped into the shop, and as it was a passing thought, I decided to ask about it. I checked the book cover and it was the one, and so it is now on order for me. So The Young Elites is to be my next bed time reading and I am really excited to read it. It’s also the first in a series, so that might cover me for a while, even though the third one may be a year or so before it is released, however, this could lead to other things. Because I did not remember the author’s name when I asked about The Young Elites, I did not realise that she had also written another book (Prodigy) in my goodreads wish list, one that’s been there for about year now (I think). More strangely though; it’s the second book in a series: The Legend series, of which I don’t know much about.

Prodigy (Putnam Juvenile - 2013)

GENEPOOL

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Top 10 Eurovision Song Contest Songs (Part 2)

9 05 2014

ESC Logo

For those of you who spotted my post on Wednesday, this week it is the Eurovision Song Contest and as I have been watching the contest for 10 years now, I am counting down my Top 10 Eurovision Songs from the last ten years. I have already said what my 10 through 6 songs (including a range of other songs of note mostly seeming to be from 2006) were, if you haven’t seen it yet, please check it out, but here and now are my Top 5 Favourite songs from the Eurovision Song Contest.

Hanna Pakarinen

5. Finland 2007 – Hanna PakarinenLeave Me Alone: With Finland’s ground breaking, history recording as well as record-breaking victory the previous year, Finland’s presentation of the contest in 2007 was one of the best years yet, but that didn’t stop them from entering an absolute monster of a song. This song may not have won, but it was certainly the loudest song in 2007. Leave Me Alone is a song sung with passion. The lead singer is talking to someone, who she wants to leave her alone but as the song progresses, she gets a lot angrier, leading to what may be something bigger but what is actually sadder, as if she has had enough and has broken down but managed to keep it together. Such lyrics work in good tandem with the tune as that progresses in a similar fashion but gets heavier and louder. The gothic theme presented from Finland in 2006 continues into this song with a gothic fantasy design for the clothes, set and background images, but the tune itself is very dark and offers a gothic fantasy piece in parts, but altogether it is more of a rock-based tune than pop, but as shown the previous year, that works and works well, and with the inclusion of the passion that singer is producing, it is one song that anyone can join in, feel and enjoy. Hanna is an amazing singer and her style is very clearly represented, one of the best vocalists in the contests history (not to mention that once again, YouTube has a problem with the video being up here, so please click the below picture to watch the video, thank you).

Leave Me Alone Song, Please Click To Watch Video

Eric Saade

4. Sweden 2011 – Eric SaadePopular: It is a well known idea that Eurovision likes Pop Music as it is something that mostly everyone can join in. The most popular of songs as well as those who have won a lot are in form of usually upbeat light songs which the audience viewing the contest can join in with as well as everyone at home as it releases a form of energy inside everyone to join in with in some form. This is a good sign as to the success of bands like ABBA in the past. It is only really in more recent years that music in different forms and styles are stating to get a shot in. But Pop will always have a place, as shown with this song. I don’t like pop as much, but you can’t help but like this song, from the opening quick beat, to the dark style throughout in the low pitch moments to the more out loud chorus, to the great dancing that you want to join in with, the amazing vocals by everyone involved, the glass breaking near the end and not forgetting the great lyrics as is the song while not forgetting the amazingly lit stage and background imaging. And with saying all that I have pretty much summed up how good and what this song is, and while I could go on by talking how the song shows the optimism by those who want fame but the tune shows the dark side of fame, I don’t really need to do that all that much as the song really carries itself. I am not much a fan of pop in the contest as can be seen, but I really do approve of this song.

Vanilla Ninja

3. Switzerland 2005 – Vanilla NinjaCool Vibes: In 2005, Switzerland did something odd by asking a prominent girl band from Estonia to represent them in the contest. Now, while it does sound odd that a country asks a band from another country who did previously try to represent their own country a couple of years previously without much look and tried again for 2007 as well as the bands lead singer (Lenna Kuurmaa), as a solo artist trying three times to do the same thing, (in many respects it would be like France asking Motorhead to sing for them), I am glad that Switzerland decided to do so, as they are Awesome. Vanilla Ninja is a girl band from Estonia who have enjoyed widespread critical success in continental Europe whose style ranges from pop rock, to hard rock and gothic rock. The first time I heard of them was at the 2005 contest, and I am glad I did, as I am now a fan. They are an incredible band, and I don’t use the term lightly when I state that in my opinion that they are the Best Girl Band. Their song at the contest in 2005, starts off in a dark operatic piece for about a minute before the lead singer announces the beginning of the main bit. The song then keeps it’s dark gothic tone throughout with cooperation with the lyrics. the band is nicely presented with an absolutely fabulous choice of clothing, keeping a similar rock look but also wearing the same colour and playing it as well given the choice colour for their instruments. For the whole song also, your concentration on the groups members is on all of them not just one, which  think the choice of clothing helps too. It is really hard to say anything more about this song with out talking so much about how amazing the band are, so I’ll leave it there, but I will say that if you have not heard the song, do give it a go, it is sheer brilliance, and if you have not heard of Vanilla Ninja, do look them up, it is totally worth it.

Ruslana

2. Ukraine 2004 – RuslanaWild Dances: It really was a hard choice for second place between this and the above song. While the song may look tribal and the dancers and singer look like a group of Savages, don’t knock it because it worked, and well, it won the contest in 2004 and due to its appealing tune as well as the brilliant singing and dancing, basically the whole thing, it got me interested in the contest and without it, I probably wouldn’t be watching it. To call it a song would not give it all much justice as it is more of a performance than a song. The song is sung with a lot of passion from Ruslana, and the song is not dark at all, it is very upbeat throughout and the dancing matches it too and the tune is very memorable and uses more traditional forms of music such as traditional horns and drums. The song’s presentation is also of note as the singer and dancers choice of clothing really helps to represent the song and what they are trying to perform, but the song itself has a strange aura about it that produces tingles down my spine and so the song serves everything to the viewer if it can do something as well as be something more than just a song.

Lordi

1. Finland 2006 – LordiHard Rock Hallelujah: First entering the contest back in 1961, Finland for years was almost nothing more than a massive joke in the contest, getting zero (Nul Points) points on three occasions and finishing last eight times, there was even a popular joke going round about them. Then in 2006, Finland had had enough and unleashed something radically different that was ground breaking, history making and record-breaking. While the popular format at Eurovision is in the form of pop music due to its accessibility, Finland entered something that was definitely, very different as well as over the top and whose presentation scared organisers into trying to pull it from the contest but also released a rabid like reaction from the audience, a sort of essence which had stayed dormant for so long, that it hasn’t really been suppressed since. They entered a Hard Rock band with a Hard Rock song and made history. The song is, Hard Rock Hallelujah performed by Finnish Rock Group Lordi, is obviously quite different to any Eurovision song in the past as Rock is hardly entered at all, but this level of rock which is knocking on the doors of both Gothic and Heavy Metal has its dark style, but it’s also upbeat enough for anyone to join in at all. The lyrics are quite easy to learn and is great to sing along too and while maybe not a dance song, there is something literally for everyone. But the real success in the song is not just in what style the song is or what the lyrics are, it is also in what the band is, as in what it looks like. Eurovision has always been a place for gimmicks and dressing up in unusual ways, but Finland’s Entry were not in the usual sense, but in nasty looking monsters that while looking horrific really appealed to everyone and made the entire entry stand out above the rest. I don’t think that the costumes would have worked if the song had been pleasant, it would have been ironic, but the song released the rock fans as it were that Europe has all over it and got them voting in the contest while other people were voting for the monsters to win it, everything about the performance was being voted for and lead to not only a first time win for Finland but also the achievement of having the highest score in the contest’s history at that time at 292 and stayed like that until Norway’s victory in 2009. Hard Rock Hallelujah ticks all the boxes as a great song at Eurovision and while it could be some time until a song comes along to be better than it, Lordi’s performance as a whole will remain a key favourite for everyone for years to come (So Britain, if we want to win, it may be an idea to see if Kiss is willing to do it, or beating that, Iron Maiden with an appearance from Eddie).

GENEPOOL (Does anyone else think that Vanilla Ninja’s lead singer looks a bit like Jennifer Lawrence?).





Dragon Haikus

18 12 2013

Aeon

Aeon – The Eye of the Dragon

Beauty of a rose

Trapped in a puzzle of blue

The Dragon’s eye looms

Hermit

Hermit Dragon

A guide of the night

A protector of the light

A creature to trust

Lunar

Lunar Dragon

Terror of the night

The flying beast haunts the skies

Looking for its prey

Mist

Dragon in the Mist

A watcher of time

With a beauty long since gone

Flying misty skies

Olympus

Olympus Dragon

The king on his throne

With wings of glory and might

Ruler of his kind

GENEPOOL (All poems based on Artwork by Peter Pracownik)








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