I kind of want to run George R. R. Martin over with my car.

So I don’t usually do the daily prompt, but yesterday’s prompt looked like a nice little goldmine of possible humor, so I decided to go ahead and do it anyway. The prompt is:

Kick It

What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?

 

Of course, in order for my eleventh item to gain any significance, I should probably tell you my first ten, which are the following:

1) To save someone’s life

2) To take someone’s life. (Preferably Jeb Bush, but I’ll settle for his loved ones.)

3) To get thrown in jail for a joke I made on the Internet. (#2 should get this done.)

4) To get a book published.

5) To somehow join the cast of Orange is New Black.

6) To work a night shift as a paramedic. (I have no idea why, but this really appeals to me.)

7) To become old and overweight enough so that I could get a job as Santa Clause at the mall.

8) To Kill a Mockingbird.

9) To become fluent in another language. (Could it be dothraki? I wanna learn dothraki.)

10) To sign up for sky-diving, only to back out at the last moment. 

And number eleven is . . .

. . .

. . .

To meet one of my favorite authors in real life. 

Ha! Didn’t see that coming, did ya? Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever met a famous author in real life. Well, maybe I did and I just didn’t recognize them at the time. I’m reasonably sure that both John Green and Stephen King were within thirty miles of my house at one point, because 1) Stephen King totally name-dropped my hometown in one of his short stories, and 2) A major plot point of John Green’s Paper Towns has to do with the sort-of town of Agloe, New York, which (fun fact!) is also sort of close to where I live.

Unfortunately, both of these stories were written before I became a fan of their work, so if I had bumped into them at one point while their doing research, I don’t think I would’ve known. 

That being said, if I had to pick the author I’d most want to meet, it would be either Maggie Stiefvater or George R. R. Martin. For completely different reasons.

I want to meet Maggie because there’s a whole bunch of questions I’m dying to ask her, mainly:

  1. “The check engine light in my car is back on, and I just got it back from the repair shop yesterday. What’s up with that?”
  2. “Also, my car makes squeaking sounds whenever it’s really cold out. Is that normal?” And:
  3. “How do you pronounce your last name?”
You can’t deny Martin’s sense of fashion.

If I ever met up with George R. R. Martin, I’m not sure what I’d say. I’d ask him about his books, although somehow I don’t think he’d want to talk about it, considering that rather unfortunate case of writer’s block he’s had on and off for the last, oh, fifteen years or so. (The poor guy.)

Instead I’d ask him, “Hey, would you mind if I ran you over with my car? Because Stephen King had a similar problem as you with his Dark Tower series. I don’t know what exactly was his issue with that story, but it was only until after he was hit by a car that he started to write them at a fast pace.”

He’d probably say no, or maybe he’s become so desperate at this point that he’d actually consider it. Either way, I’m running that fucker over. I’ll slam on my gas pedal so hard he won’t even see me coming. Hopefully I’ll get to meet Maggie before I meet him, so she could give me advice on how do this with the least likelihood of killing the guy. 

Please don’t judge me. I love Martin’s books. I’ll just do whatever it takes to get more of them. 

Totally forgot to mention this . . .

I recently did a collaborative review with Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel, for the Doctor Who episode: “The Witch’s Familiar.” 

But Matt! That episode came out over a week ago, and the review itself came out five days ago. 

Yeah, well too bad. You should all go over and comment on it anyway, and then maybe check the rest of the blog out. Then you should go take that Sarcastic vs. Genuine quiz I did a few days ago, because c’mon, guys, I need more participants. 

In completely, one hundred percent related note, last night I had a dream that a release date for The Winds of Winter was announced, and then just twenty minutes ago I found myself questioning whether that had actually happened. It didn’t.

Needless to say, I’m disappointed.

____________________________________

“Life is meaningless and full of pain.”—-George R. R. Martin.

Game of Thrones: Season 5: To Watch or Not to Watch?

I am a hardcore fan of A Song of Ice and Fire, which may surprise some of you, considering how I never talk about it. Ever. Like, not even a little bit. So like many people across the globe, I am struggling with a bit of a dilemma. A conundrum, if you will. 

Thanks to George R. R. Martin’s notoriously slow writing pace (which isn’t even that slow, when you consider the sheer length and complexity of his books), the show has now reached the point where the show is going to finish before the books do, and it’s probably going to happen in this season. And now I’m stuck with the decision: do I continue watching the show and having the books spoiled, or I do I try to ignore the show and wait God knows how long for the next book to come out?

I started off by watching the show. I watched the full first season and loved every moment. Then my HBO subscription canceled at the worst possible time, and instead of just enjoying watching gratuitous nudity and people dying horrible, I was forced to read about it instead. And I know this may annoy some of you hardcore show fans when I say this, but the books are just so much better.

Don’t get me wrong, the show is brilliant and for the most part did a great job, particularly with characters like Cersei, Arya and Sam. (Stannis? Not so much.) And even when the show went off course, I didn’t care because I understood the reasoning behind most of the changes and I liked how it turned out. 

It’s understandable though, that with only ten episodes of time a season, the show’s not able to go into the depth that the books do, and certain characters pay the price. Such as Sansa, whose character development and storyline in the books is much more realistic and well done. (As in, she doesn’t suddenly turn into a master manipulator within the course of a single episode.) Then there’s Tyrion, who may be much nicer than his book counterpart, but comes not even close to his level of complexity. And then there’s Margaery, who— okay, I have nothing bad to say about TV Margaery. The show handled her perfectly.

(Side note: I really feel bad for the fans who started reading the series back in 1996. Imagine waiting almost twenty years for an ending only to have it spoiled by the TV adaptation. Just to put in perspective as to how much of a wait that is: Hell, I wasn’t even alive back in 1996. This may seem weird, considering I’ve been told I give off the impression of an ageless, all-knowing god, but alas it is true. There are poor unfortunate fans out there who’ve waited longer than my entire lifetime for the end of this series, and there’s still at least two more installments to go.)

What I’m trying to say is, I’d rather experience the ending by the books than the TV show. But because the series probably won’t be ending for at least another four years. I know that won’t be possible, because there will be spoilers. Spoilers everywhere. And because there’s no chance in hell The Winds of Winter will come before the end of season 5, I’m just going to watch this season and hope TWoW comes out before season 6.

So for anyone reading for the sole purpose of finding out whether I’m going to be reviewing this season’s episodes or not, the answer is yes, I will.

Better brace yourselves, readers, because my reviewing skills have improved tenfold since last summer. I’m like a reviewing wizard at this point. Zap! Zap!

That was the sound of my wizard curses, by the way.

Zap zap!

5 Reasons to Try out NaBloPoMo

I’ve done NaBloPoMo twice before. And while sure, I failed the second time I tried, I succeeded the first time with results that were roughly 507 times better than what I expected. This year, however, I’m disappointed by how few other people are trying it out. Sure, I know two or three bloggers at the moment who will be attempting this, but most of the others I know of are either doing NaNoWriMo or nothing at all.

The good news is: depending on the time zone you live in, there’s still time to participate, and here are five reasons why:

1) Because blogging about your NaNoWriMo progress is boring.

I’m going to be honest, I’d don’t give a hoot about how many words you wrote today, (unless you’re George R. R. Martin), and I don’t really care about any excerpts from your novel you post because the scientific study of probability tells me that they’ll be horrible. It’s not your fault; it’s just that you’re supposed to be writing 1,667 words a day in a project where editing your work is actively discouraged. Not to mention, the first draft of any novel is almost universally awful, no matter how talented you are or how quickly you write it.

When bloggers spend a month on NaNoWriMo, they usually neglect their blogs, and the quality and quantity of their posts always suffers. And no one wants that. Well, no one except that one blogger rival you have, who’s currently looking at your lack of posts and thinking, “Aha! S/he’s not writing any blog posts. Now my blog will reign supreme!”

Do you really want your enemy to laugh evilly as your stats decline? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

2) You might actually succeed.

It’s tough to explain how I felt at the end of last years NaBloPoMo, but I’m going to try it anyway: it felt great.

(Okay, that was easier than expected.)

Seriously, nothing beats that feeling you get when you succeed at something like this; you feel accomplished, proud, and confident in your blogging skills. You feel like a superhero: a sleep-deprived superhero who doesn’t get outside much. It’s great.

3) You will gain followers, no matter how bad your posts are.

Even if you don’t get Freshly Pressed, (like I totally did, no biggie) you will gain views, followers, and best of all, commenters. There’s nothing better than having a reader who consistently comments on your blog. Well, maybe there is, but I haven’t found it yet.

Not to mention, you could write about just about any topic, and chances are you’ll find like-minded people out there who are interesting in what you say, assuming you post consistently on the topic. You could be writing about paint dry, and chances are they’ll be at least one person out there who finds that to be a very interesting subject, and BAM! You’ve gained a commenter.

4) You will undoubtedly experience a huge increase in creativity.

Forcing yourself to write may be hard at first, but if you keep at it you’ll find all those creative juices flowing. It’s like unclogging a drain. Once you wash out all the crap, the water starts flowing.

(In this metaphor, the crap is “writer’s blog” and the water is “inspiration.” I’m not sure if it works or not.)

5) Even if you fail, you’ll still get something out of it.

The same is true for NaNoWriMo. Even if you’re like me, and come down with the flu halfway through the month, you’ll still have at least written a couple posts, posts you wouldn’t have written had you never tried to begin with. And that’s something to be proud of.

The Way of Kings, A Dance With Dragons Review (No Spoilers!)

Yes, this was stolen from Liam, Head Phil. You didn’t actually think I’d come up with an original idea, did you? Anyway, enjoy. There are no spoilers, so you can read each one.

The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

So now that I’ve finished all the available ASoIaF books, it appears I’ve found a new epic fantasy to become obsessed with, one that’s almost just as great.

This book has just about everything I could want in an epic fantasy novel: Multiple interesting, realistic characters? Check. A rich, well thought out world that’s not described in page long info dumps? Check. An apocalyptic disaster bound to happen later on in the story? Check again. That’s three for three, if you were keeping track.

There were a lot of battle scenes in this book, and not a single one of them lacked tension. The first three chapters, including the prelude and the prologue*, all feature epic battles that could’ve been the climax of some other, lesser fantasy series. Despite feeling like a video game at times, I flew right through them.

The only thing that really annoyed me were the cheesy “Storm you!” curses. Yes, I understand that this is a completely different culture with different swear words and all, but I can’t stand it when authors try to replace real curse words. It never sounds authentic. I even put “never” in bold to further empathize this point. I would be reading a huge, heartbreaking scene, and then a character would shout out “Storm off!” and it would immediately take me out of the story. I managed to suck it up and enjoy the rest of the book, but still. Knock it off, Sanderson.

Also, Shallan (my favorite character) really needs to work on her sense of humor. People in the story kept calling her clever, and maybe she was, but I would just roll my eyes at her supposed wittiness most of the time it popped up. Maybe this was intentional, but another character, nicknamed Wit, had a lame sense of humor too. The jokes mostly felt like the author thinking he was clever. (And he is clever, just not in a funny way.)

(Maybe I’m the one who doesn’t understand comedy? It’s possible.)

If you’re a fan of morally ambiguous characters, you’ll be disappointed. Of the three major characters, Shallan is the only one with real shades of grey. But just because they’re not dark, gritty anti-heroes, doesn’t mean they’re not interesting in their own right, which in a world of Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, seems to be a common belief. Kaladin and Dalinar are both basically saints, considering the situations they’ve been put in, but they’re very complex saints, who are good at killing other people.

Rating: 4/5.

*That’s right. There’s a prelude and a prologue. Deal with it.

A Dance with Dragons, by George R. R. Martin

So here’s a list of some of the complaints I’ve seen about this book:

  • “Nothing happens.” (False.)
  • “Half the book is just describing the types of food.” (Also false.)
  • “The quality of the series is deteriorating.” (Eh, not really.)
  • “The author better not die before finishing the series.” (Well you’re just a terrible person.)
  • “Martin has lost control of the plot.” (Oh shut your damn mouth.)
  • “Too many descriptions of bodily functions.” (Okay, I’ll give you that.)

For the first half of the novel, some of these complaints appeared to be true. At first I was just glad to be back with Jon, Tyrion, and Dany (whose chapters I’ve been looking forward to during the entirety of A Feast for Crows), but suddenly I found myself annoyed with the sheer amount of time they were given. They got about thirteen/twelve chapters each while Davos only got four chapters, Bran three and Arya two, which sucks because Bran and Arya easily had some of the best chapters in the whole series.

I wouldn’t have minded if not for the fact that both Tyrion and Daenerys’ chapters weren’t nearly as interesting as they used to be. For the first five hundred pages or so, Tyrion was a shell of his former self, wallowing in self-loathing, making the occasional misogynist remark and generally just being no fun to read about. Even the interesting stuff surrounding him wasn’t enough to keep me engaged. It wasn’t until the second half that Tyrion actually became likeable once again.

Daenerys, meanwhile, had the most frustrating storyline, for reasons that should become obvious while reading it. Luckily, her storlyine picked up speed in the second half, including one incredible badass moment (that I can’t wait to see the HBO series adapt) that almost makes everything worth it.

The reason for the lull in the first half, I think, is because of the aborted five year jump. Martin had originally planned to skip five years after all the crazy shit that went down in A Storm of Swords, but decided against it because he would’ve needed too many flashbacks. As a result, The entirety of A Feast for Crows and the first half of A Dance of Dragons were just the author filling in that gap. And once that gap was finished (When you start seeing A Feast for Crows POV characters pop us) is when things start moving at the speed you’d find in the first three books.

Though I still love the series and can’t wait for The Winds of Winter, there were still a lot of problems with this novel. Mainly, the POV chapters. A lot of them could’ve been cut out, or just condensed to a single paragraph. Quentyn’s first two to three chapters were pointless. So, (arguable) were Victarion’s. Jon Snow’s first chapter added nothing,, and a lot of Dany and Tyrion’s early chapters should’ve been edited down. I miss the first three books, where important events were occasionally allowed to happen off-screen.

Despite it’s flaws, I loved it like Daenerys loves her dragons, though it wasn’t much of a novel. While the first three book all made terrific novels when taken by themselves, A Dance with Dragons and it’s predecessor were really just one big chunk of the story, with no real climax or resolution.

And I don’t get why some people think it’ll be impossible for Martin to wrap the series up in two books. A Dance with Dragons ends with multiple story lines about to converge and a whole bunch of major, groundbreaking events, so it’s going to be very, very hard for The Winds of Winter to not be amazing. Assuming the next two books have about the same pace as the first three, the series can easily be wrapped up in the planned seven volumes.

Rating: 3.5/5

Game of Thrones: The Lion and the Rose Review

(Click here for my review of “Two Swords.”)

Caution: Extreme Spoilers, but only for this episode and the episodes before it. Anything that happens afterwards in the books will not be mentioned.

What this episode should’ve been called: Finally!

I’m so glad Joffrey just kicked it, not only because he’s perhaps the most hateable villain I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching, but because now I can talk openly about his death. And man, what a satisfying death that was.

I mean, did you see his face? Blood was pouring out of just about every orifice, and I like to think he was in extreme pain, yet somehow in all this, Joffrey still managed to find a way to mess with Tyrion. By blaming him for his death. Which is a bit ridiculous because if anything, Tyrion should be rewarded for killing Draco Malfoy’s cousin.

I’m not sure if it’s a spoiler to say whether or not Tyrion is innocent, because for all I know some TV-viewers think he is, but I’m just going to say it: he didn’t kill him.* Tyrion isn’t dumb enough to poison Joffrey when he knew he’d be the number one suspect. Of course, he’s still going to be blamed for it, and that sucks. But surely they won’t kill off such a major character, right?

Also, Tyrion ends his “friendship” with Shae, in a scene that could’ve been heartbreaking had Shae been a convincing actress. Don’t give me those dirty looks; I didn’t buy into her tears for a second. Also, Shae: stop being so oblivious to how dangerous those pesky Lannisters are. It’s like you want to die.Meanwhile, the few minutes we actually got with Bran were actually somewhat interesting, but perhaps that’s just because I haven’t reached that part in the books. Were one of those visions (with the empty throne room) the same Daenerys saw in The House of the Undying? And does this mean Bran will finally figure out that the extremely close Lannister twins pushed him off that castle? (Though it’s not like he could do anything about it at this point.) Anyway, I just hope the best for Bran, but more importantly, I hope the best for Hodor.

“Hodor.”

Meanwhile, Melisandre gets an interesting scene with Stannis’s daughter, where she says, “There’s only one hell. The one we live in now,” which is a bit disappointing, because Joffrey better not be going to heaven.

I feel bad for Theon. (Show Theon, at least.) Being tortured for long periods of time is hardly fun, and it’s even less fun for those who have to sit through it every few episodes. Do we really need to keep seeing Ramsay do horrible things? We get the point. He’s evil. Let’s move on now. In fact, I seriously think season 3 would have been better off if Theon’s only appearance was in Mhysa (last season’s finale). It could’ve been a major shock to the audience, who’d be thinking, “Oh, so that’s what Theon’s been up to this whole time,” and not, “What body part is he going to lose now?”

Drawn out torture being implied>Drawn out torture being shown. I believe that was one of Pixar’s twenty-two storytelling tips.

That being said, I can’t wait to see where Theon’s storyline goes from this point on, because I’ve been told his chapters in A Dance with Dragons were some of the best in the series.

Other notes:

  • I like how this episode had Joffrey pulling countless amounts of obnoxious stunts, varying from the dwarrs reenacting the War of the Five Kings to him slicing up Tyrion and Sansa’s wedding gift. I knew about fifty kids in middle school who are just like him.
  • I’m a little upset they didn’t bring up an important revelation made in the books about Joffrey that would make everyone hate him even more. Book readers will know what I’m talking about.
  • Foreshadowing, foreshadowing everywhere! Particularly in the music. First, The Rains of Castamere was played, and then afterwards we heard the same happy music that played right before everyone you loved died at the Red Wedding.
  • Fun fact: the kid who plays Tommen is also the same kid who played one of the Lannister brothers in season 3; he was murdered by Karstark’s men. Also, Tommen is noticeably much less annoying than his older brother, so I think it’s safe to say he’d make a much better king.

Rating: “Out of ten? Eleven.”—The Doctor.

*Which is a shame, because if I could’ve chosen how Joffrey would die, I would’ve had Arya and Sansa take turns stabbing him while Tyrion held him down. But oh well, you can’t always get what you want. I’m a very sadistic person.

Things I Need to Stop Doing

I haven’t posted in a while. I would say I’m sorry, but it would come off as half-hearted, mostly because it isn’t true. I’ve been writing my 500,002th draft of my current work-in-progress, and I’ve gotten a lot done, despite not being even close to finished.

am sorry for not responding to comments, however. That was a cruel move on my part, so I apologize to anyone who commented a week ago and is only getting a response now. I will send you some metaphorical flowers and a metaphorical box of chocolates. Enjoy.

Anywho, I have a lot of bad habits. Not just for writing, but for life in general, so I decided to write them down in the hopes that I will become self-aware and stop doing them. Also, it’s kind of humorous.

I need to stop:

Searching all over the internet for news of George R. R. Martin’s The Winds of Winter release date. I’ve only just finished the fourth book, but I still find myself searching through spoiler-filled forums just for news of a possible release date.

The main reason I find this particular issue so worrying is because there’s a very real chance of the TV adaptation catching up with the books. While the TV show writers know how the story ends, I assume, I’d still prefer to read the books first, unspoiled. And I keep seeing people say things like, “the sixth book will probably come out in about 2019,” which is a more depressing notion than the books themselves.

This is hardly healthy, what I’m going through. Hopefully A Dance with Dragons will be so bad I’ll lose all interest in the series.  It’ll be disappointing, sure, but at least I’ll keep my sanity.

Leaving valuable items in inconvenient places. Fun fact: I am in the ski club. Another fun fact: I couldn’t go the last trip because I had left my super-badass waterproof jacket at the last resort, who still haven’t sent it back to us.

(Side note: How the hell does it take over two weeks to mail a jacket over a distance that would take someone two hours to drive? The post office needs to step up its game.)

This isn’t the only time I lost something at the worst possible time. I had a season pass to Six Flags* last summer, and (almost) lost it before I even got to go once. It fell out of my pocket and underneath the car seat and I spent at least ten stressful minutes trying to find it.*

Trying to create lists when I only have one or two ideas to begin with.

As is the case with this post. When I decided to write this, the only thing I had in mind at first was The Winds of Winter topic; I just naturally assumed I’d think of something else that was both funny and interesting. And having just stated the third topic in my list, I am officially out of ideas. Eh, this was more of a “Guess who’s back?!?” type of post anyway.

Some other spectacular news:

  • More Than I Can Chew: Chapter 8 will be published tomorrow. If it isn’t, assume I’ve been mauled by a bear.
  • I’ll be doing Camp NaNoWriMo this April. I’m developing carpal tunnel just thinking about it.
  • I’ve decided to name myself “King of the GIFs.”

*Speaking of six flags, I went on Kingda Ka, which I think is the tallest rollercoaster in the galaxy. No biggie.

The Book Blogger TMI Tag

I’ve been nominated for this by the lovely Nevillegirl. I just found out that her real name is Engie, (I always just assumed Nevillegirl was her real name) and it was more surprising than all of George R. R. Martin’s character deaths combined.

How old are you?

Fifteen. But in ten years I’ll be twenty-five, so you should pretty much think of me as a twenty-five year old from now on.

What book are you reading?

Since I just finished A Storm of Swords, I’m now reading three (ish) books:

  1. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, by Douglas Adams. It’s a hilarious book, but it’s the type of book that reels you in and forces you to keep reading.
  2. Wizard and Glass, by Stephen King. This is the fourth book in his fantasy series, (The Dark Tower series), and it’s wonderful so far. And bizarre. Not many other stories feature Charlie the Choo-Choo Train as a villain and still manage to make him terrifying.
  3. Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson. It’s a great book so far, but I don’t think you should listen to it as an audio-book, as I tried. There’s a bunch of fictional names I keep forgetting.

What are you wearing?

Nothing, underneath my clothes.

OTP?

(One True Pairing, for those who don’t know.)

Peter Baelish and Lysa Tully. If only they’d married sooner.

Blogger or WordPress?

WordPress, although I don’t know much about Blogger except that it took me months to figure out how to comment there with a WordPress account. (It seems simple now, but I’m mad at the site for making me look stupid.) Also, I don’t think Blogger has a Freshly Pressed page.

Going outside being active or staying in and reading a book?

Despite the fact that it’s freezing outside, there’s still barely any snow for me to throw around. So I’ll pick reading.

What is the last book you read?

A Storm of Swords.  What I like (and hate) about these books is that Martin manages to write a couple truly despicable characters, that make you grit your teeth every time they talk. This makes it so much more satisfying when they get an metaphorical axe to the face.

It also makes me feel horrible for rooting for people who I’d normally hate in real life. (Jaime, Littlefinger, etc.). And I don’t think it’s a good sign when I find myself cheering on a nine year old girl as she repeatedly stabs a man to death.

What is the book you’re going to read next?

Besides the next two books in A Song of Ice and Fire? I guess I’d go with The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater. I know everyone’s raving about her other series, starting with the Raven Boys, but I want to get to know Maggie before I commit myself to another series.

Ebooks – yes or no?

Yes. Although I like the feel of a paper book better, eBooks are a billion times more convenient.

Where do you prefer to read?

In the comfy chair in the living room.

Who is the last person you tweeted?

I barely use my twitter account, so the last person I tweeted was Haley Davidson, way back in 2013.

Whose blog did you look at last?

Musings from Neville’s Navel, who nominated me for this award. Thanks, Engie!

Who is your favorite blogger?

Well, there’s Nathan Badley, because he’s hilarious (and probably doesn’t know I exist due to my lack of comments), and Engie, not just because she chose me as one of hers.

Who is your favorite book-tuber?

I don’t follow a whole lot of book-tubers, but I did do a book tag once, if that’s considered interesting.

What do you do when someone tells you reading is boring?

I say to him/her, “Hey, do you think a hardcover edition of War and Peace could stop a bullet?” Then I’ll proceed to tie the person up against their will, tape the book to their chest, and shoot away.

(Of course, I’d have to get a gun first, and I don’t think they’d give one to someone like me.)

Who is the last author you spoke to?

Well, I’m pretty sure Liam’s going to be a famous author some day, so I hope he counts. (I didn’t actually speak to him, but we communicated via comments.)

Who is the last person you texted?

I lost my phone about a week ago, so the last person I texted was my mom (from my friend’s phone) asking her to pick me up from school.

Who is your all-time favorite book character?

Joffrey Baratheon. I don’t care what anyone says, he is the one true king of Westeros.

Besides him, I guess I’d have to go with Arya Stark. It’s a close call, though.

UKYA or USYA?

It just occurred to me that I don’t read a lot of UK young adult books, but the few I have read were wonderful. In the end, I guess I’ll go with USYA. Why? Because Independence Day is coming up (in like, six months) and I have to show my patriotism.

What is your preferred drink whilst reading?

I’ll answer this question with another question: Is it weird that I enjoy the taste of water? Most people say it doesn’t have a taste, but I beg to differ.

If you hated reading, what would you be doing instead?

I’d probably be out making friends or something. Perhaps I’d buy a boat.

How many bookshelves / bookcases do you have?

I don’t usually buy books (libraries are where it’s at), and when I do, they’re usually eBooks, so I only have one shelf.

If you had the choice to meet all of your favorite book bloggers or all of your favorite authors, which would you pick? You can only pick one.

My favorite authors, because I have my own mental image of some of my favorite bloggers (the ones without a picture) and I prefer to keep them that way. I’m sure some of my readers have ideas of what I look like as well. (Hint: I do not have a mohawk.)

Insta-love: yes or no?

99% of the time, I’d say no. But there some characters in stories with large casts that haven’t met each other yet, but I’d think they’d make a great couple. How cool would it be if Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryan somehow met up and instantly fell in love? (If this happens somewhere in the fourth or fifth books, don’t tell me.) Just saying, they’d make a wonderful couple. Not as good as Petyr and Lysa Baelish, but still.

Favorite author?

It’s a three-way tie between Stephen King, Suzanne Collins and George R. R. Martin. As you can see, I’m not fan of happy stories.

What is the number-one book on your wishlist?

As in, a book I really want to read? I guess I’ll go with Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman.

Do you prefer books with female or male protagonists?

Depends on the character. But I tend to read science fiction/horror/epic fantasy books, which usually favor male protagonists. (Except for George R.R. Martin, who I think has about an equal amount of male-female POV characters, which is awfully nice of him.)

Which is your favourite book-to-film adaption?

Catching Fire. I very much preferred it to it’s predecessor, and hopefully Mockingjay will be better.

Does Game of Thrones count? It’s easily one of the best adaptations I’ve seen so far.

What is the last song you listened to?

Counting Stars, by One Republic. Holy Catchy-ness, Batman!

Which do you enjoy reading more – negative reviews or positive reviews?

When I love a book, I like to read negative reviews, and when I hate a book, I read the positive reviews, because they put me in a bad mood. (“What do you mean, ‘Paper Towns is too self-conscious to be a good book’? That doesn’t even make sense!”) Clearly, I need help.

Who are you going to tag?

Literaryvittles, Apprentice, Never Master, Simply Miko, Jigokucho, Infected Mongoose. And anyone else who happens to be reading this, feel free to take part.

10 Books I Plan to Read in 2014

On January 2nd, 2013, I made a list of ten books I planned to read in 2013. I only ended up reading 6.428571 of them, but I’m not ashamed, because I ended up reading a bunch of other great books instead.

This year I’ll make another list of books I plan to read, not including A Clash of Swords, by George R. R. Martin and Wizard and Glass, by Stephen King because I already have those books with me. I won’t include War and Peace as well, because I’m probably not going to read it either.

1) Mistborn: The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson.

According to Liam, this book is amazing, and the two of us haven’t disagreed on anything yet. Well, except for Harry Potter… and anything written by Suzanne Collins. Still, I respect his opinion just like Lieutenant Gordon respects Batman.

Also, this is a fantasy book, and after A Game of Thrones, my interest in fantasy has increased dramatically.

2) Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King.

I will hopefully be getting a kindle this Christmas, so I will no longer have to deal with this whole “hardcover” nonsense. So far, the reviews seem preferable, and I read the free sample on amazon and loved the first few chapters.

Some other King books I want to read are: 1: The rest of The Dark Tower series, 2: Misery, 3: Joyland, 4: Cujo, and 5: Firestarter.

3) A Storm of Swords, by George R. R. Martin.

Unless A Clash of Kings is absolutely horrible (and I don’t see how that’s possible, considering it’s supposed to have fifteen Tyrion chapters and ten Arya chapters), I will be reading A Storm of Swords. And unless ASoS is horrible too (which doesn’t seem possible, considering that Arya gets thirteen chapters all to herself), I’ll be reading the next two books as well.

I just hope George R. R. Martin doesn’t die before he could finish the final two books of the series (sorry if that sounds cruel, but hey, he’s old). I wish he would just pull a Stephen King and finish the final three books within a year of each other.

4) World War Z, by Max Brooks.

There’s not a lot of books about the zombie apocalypse. Okay, there probably is a lot of them, but I haven’t heard of any of them (with the exception of John Green’s Zombicorns). People tend to frown upon zombie movies/stories, but I think they are great when the focus is not on the zombies themselves but on the characters’ changing morality. Plus, I need more zombies to fill in The Walking Dead sized hole in my heart, at least until the second half of the season comes back in February.

5) Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman.

This is a sequel to the amazing American Gods, which is one of my all-time favorite books. With the exception of Nightmare in Silver, Neil Gaiman hasn’t disappointed me once.

6) The Time Traveller’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger.

Recommended to me by The Plot Whisperer. this book appears to be about a time traveler. With a wife. I hope I’ll enjoy it.

7) The Casual Vacancy and The Cuckoo’s Calling, by J.K Rowling.

That’s right, I’m considering them as one book, even though they’re nothing alike. The Cuckoo’s Calling is the one I’m most looking forward to, since unlike TCV, it’s actually getting positive reviews. Plus, I’m a huge fan of mystery novels (see #9).

I’m expecting to like The Casual Vancancy because my expectations are already so low, the book’s bound to surpass them.

8) The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater

I’ve heard so many things about this book, but not much that actually explained what it’s about. All I know is that it has something to do with ravens.

I’m actually glad I know almost nothing about the plot of this book, because now nothing’s spoiled. A Song of Ice and Fire would probably be much more of a shocking read if I didn’t already know about almost every major character death in the series.

9) Any novel by Agatha Christie.

The Unicorn and the Wasp, an episode from the fourth series of Doctor Who, is what convinced me to give Agatha Christie a chance. I’ve always liked mysteries (Scooby-Doo used to be my favorite cartoon), and there is nothing more satisfying than figuring out who did it right before it’s revealed.*

Since Agatha Christie is widely considered one of the best mystery writers of all time, I’m setting my expectations high.

10) Les Misérables, by Victor Hugo

Sure, it’s over a thousand pages long, but I never really cared much about length, as long as it was justified by the story. I’d rather have a book take its time than be rushed just for the sake of keeping under a certain amount of pages.

If you’ve read any of the books above, what did you think of them? And if you have any other book recommendations, I’ll be sure to take them with at least four and a half grains of salt.

*I once solved a case on BBC’s Sherlock before Sherlock did. Never before have I felt so proud.