Sunday, October 26, 2014

read | Draw-A-Saurus

by James Silvani
This is amazing. This book is actually really effective. It's not just a gimmick to sell you a three-step drawing "tutorial" where the picture jumps from a marshmallow to a mighty dino. I definitely don't consider myself an artist, and when I tried to draw a T-rex to test out the book, it turned out surprisingly well if I do say so myself. One bit of advice - NEVER draw a dark line. Ever. I made this mistake only to turn the page and see that I needed to erase it completely. If you're going to make a feature so dark it's permanent, make sure you look ahead to see if it actually sticks around.

My dino partly finished
In addition to the surprisingly effective tutorials, this book is adorable. It's filled with fun facts about anatomy and the dino lifestyle in general, and they aren't just the typical "Tyrannosaurus Rex was the King of the Lizards." The illustrations are wonderful, of course, and the book is great quality. This book is packed with color and the paper is almost velvety. This is a book that appeals to kids and grown-ups alike. I can't recommend it highly enough.
5 out of 5
More Info

Author Bio

The finished product!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hour 24 | Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

1,025 pages later, it's that magical moment - wrap-up time!

The Aftermath
  1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
    Hour 3, when I realized I'd fallen back asleep after about 30 minutes. That plus knowing I had other stuff I had to do during the day was a disheartening start.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    I powered through Anatomy of a Misfit at the end, it's an easy read and I really enjoyed the narrator's voice. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist - pretty much the same type of story, and I liked it for the same reasons. And Ready Player One and Heir Apparent for some YA virtual reality - how's that for a genre?
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
    I loved it, brutal though it was. It would be cool if for photo-related challenges there were a gallery where you could see them all in one place instead of jumping from tumblr to Twitter, but now that I think about it that cuts down on exploring everyone's blogs so never mind I'm tired.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
    The mini-challenges are awesome. I love the excuses to take a break, and they're a great way to keep you engaged with the community, which is kind of the whole point of doing an event with other people. I did not know there were that many book-themed activities, and I was definitely impressed by them all.
  5. How many books did you read?
    Three, and I listened to a smidge of an audiobook.
  6. What were the names of the books you read?
    Horns, The Eternal Ones, and Anatomy of a Misfit, and I listened to The Cuckoo's Calling.
  7. Which book did you enjoy most?
    I enjoyed reading Anatomy of a Misfit the most, but looking back I think Horns was the better book.
  8. Which did you enjoy least?
    The Cuckoo's Calling. I think I'll try it again in print form.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
    I wasn't a Cheerleader. :( Maybe next year?
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
    Very! My level of dedication depends on my schedule / morning after, but this is a really cool experience. I would definitely like to get more involved where I can - Cheerleading here I come!

Hour 22 Challenge | Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

Is it bad that I had to pull up a list of what I've read this year to remember what I liked this year? I think not.

Best Book of Your Reading Year - The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud. I LOVE the Bartimaeus series, and I was looking forward to reading this book just because of the author. And it's completely different from everything I'd been reading lately (aka dystopian). And it's well-written, which shouldn't be out of the ordinary but it is. This book made me so happy on so many levels.

Best Main Character of Your Reading Year - Tarzan. Because he is legit. He teaches himself English without hearing English (which doesn't actually work, by the way) and basically civilizes himself and is also the toughest dude around.

Best Character You Love To Hate of Your Reading Year - The Gone Girl antagonist. You know who I mean.

Hour Barely-Keeping-My-Eyes-Open Update | Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

These mini-challenges are killing me. Because they're all so cool and I want to do them and suddenly I've spent a solid hour working on a promotion for my favourite genre and I still have three books in my TBR. And I'm loving every excruciating minute of it. Got through two books so far, woo hoo! I finished Horns by Joe Hill, in which I had 286 pages to read, and I read The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller (411 pages), so I guess my total so far is *pulls up calculator program* *realizes 411 ends in 11 and is actually pretty easy to add* 697 pages - definitely more than the average day - plus an hour or so of The Cuckoo's Calling audiobook, whatever that is in pages. I'm getting ready to start Anatomy of a Misfit. I really wanted to get into Shadow and Bone, but I'm no longer at the mental capacity to grasp an entirely new world right now.

Hour 19 Challenge | Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

In order to show my favourite genre (can you tell what it is?) I've made a movie poster-style-ish promotion.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hour 15 Challenge | Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

Thieftaker Atlas
shrugged the eternal ones,
Shadow and Bone

Austen Hour | Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

When I can't keep myself from actively choose to spend my time binge-watching Netflix, I like to trick myself into thinking I'm still being productive by designing and embroidering cross-stitch pieces. Sometime last year I made a piece with a few Austen heroines (sorry Fanny, it's not your fault your name is so unfortunate).

Which I have no idea what to do with, so suggestions are more than welcome.

Hour 13 Challenge | Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

Clutching my TBR with fear in my eyes
So I took some creative license with this challenge - I cobbled together a version of Belle (from the original fairy tale, of course) (or the Little Golden Book of the movie) (pick one). PS Full-length selfies are HARD.

Hour 6 Challenge | Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

My "Name Your Read-a-Thon" entry - sadly, my e-books aren't too photogenic so just imagine Anatomy of a Misfit and The Cuckoo's Calling are in the stack.

Hour 5 Challenge | Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

Another hour gone, another 64 pages down. Time to break for the Book Staging challenge! (I don't have easy access to a pitchfork so I've gone with the kitchen variety.)

4 Hours | Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

We're four hours in and, not gonna lie, I missed a bit of that when I fell asleep with my open book on my face. Still, I've made decent progress - 114 pages of Horns (I started on 84, so I'm at 198 right now) and 20 minutes (whatever that converts to) of The Cuckoo's Calling while I made breakfast.

Friday, October 17, 2014

watch | The Maze Runner

I read The Maze Runner a million years ago, and I remembered that it involves boys running through a maze. So I went in to this story for pretty much the first time. This is a fun new installment in that cool trend where everything's a trilogy (any bets that part three is just too action-packed to be contained by a single film?). And it shows. Not that this is a bad thing, I'm just sick of watching twelve Part Ones a year. This movie presents (brace yourself) a dystopian world where pretty much nothing makes sense. And then the film's resolution... takes what you already didn't know and mixes it up some more. Do I want to see the next movie? Yes, good job Hollywood. Am I satisfied with The Maze Runner as a film? Nope. There's a lot of racing toward something, I just wish I had any idea what that might be.

read | Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

So I have rather spontaneously decided to participate in Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. While I do have some commitments that require me to function as a person for a few hours, I'm just looking at them as built-in breaks. Which I am sure I will desperately need. I have stocked up on pre-made meals and varieties of tea, let's do this!

My reading goals (or should I say opportunities?) are:

Horns by Joe Hill
The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes

And an audiobook that lets me do mobile things while still reading (not quite sure how to convert pages to minutes):

The Cuckoo's Calling by *ahem* Robert Galbraith ;)