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Velox's Blog


Top Ten Tuesday #8: Series I'd Like To Start But Haven't Yet

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Mar 06 2013 · 928 views
Top Ten Tuesday, #8, books and 2 more...

Top Ten Series I'd Like To Start But Haven't Yet

  • Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. I'm reading it this year, over the summer. I'm not letting myself go another year without doing so. Reasons are obvious. Although technically I guess I've started this, but that was years ago.
  • Jack Reacher, by Lee Child. I love Vince Flynn and Tom Clancy and Alex Berenson and Ben Coes and Stephen Hunter. As another master of thrillers, I've always wanted to read Lee Child's books. Not to mention the new movie looks fantastic, but I'm waiting to watch it until I read the book.
  • Alphabet Mysteries, by Sue Grafton. I love mysteries and I've heard Grafton is good. Plus I love the idea of the books named after a letter of the alphabet.
  • Wheel of Time, by Robert Jordan. After reading A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin, I've been craving to read more epic fantasy stories. After LOTR, this is the second fantasy series I want to read most as I've heard it's amazing.
  • The Dark Tower, by Stephen King. Really just anything by Stephen King, but I've heard this series is good. 
  • Star Wars, by Various Authors. A lot of people seem to like them, so I want to give them a try. 
  • Hannibal Lecter, by Thomas Harris. Seems like an awesome(ly dark) character. And also so I can finally see the movie Silence of the Lambs, because I've been waiting to read the book.
  • Chaos Walking, by Patrick Ness. A Monster Calls is one of my all-time favorite books. It'll be fun to read some of his other work. 
  • Lord Peter Wimsey, by Dorothy Sayers. I love classic detective fiction, and Dorothy Sayers is one of the masters. I'm really excited to get all of her books (I only have three, and two short story anthologies, unfortunately) and read them. 
  • The Presidential Agent, by W.E.B. Griffin. I've had this whole series for a while now, so it's about time I started it. 
~ Velox


Introducing the First Ambage Anthology

Posted by Velox , in Personal Writings, BZPower, League of Authors Feb 06 2013 · 1,248 views
Ambage, anthology, X:15, writing and 1 more...

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But it here: https://www.createspace.com/4145933
That's right, the Ambage has published a book. You can read the full announcement/details in this post. So please, give it a read; tell us what you think! We hope you enjoy it. =]
~ Velox


Top Ten Tuesday #7: Best Bookish Memories

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Feb 05 2013 · 495 views
Top Ten Tuesday, #7 and 3 more...

Haven't done one of these in a while, but I didn't really have anything to put for the last few except one or two, plus I was busy with other projects so I figured I just wouldn't do anything. But this one I liked. 


February 5: Top Ten Best Bookish Memories (waiting in line for a new release, meeting an author, or some sort of great experience with a particular book that was unlike others)

  • Vince Flynn Booksigning in 2010. Definitely my favorite bookish experience, as he was really one of the writers that got me interested in reading, and is still one of my favorites. So when he was speaking/having a book signing at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, of course I had to go. Unfortunately I missed the book signing (but I did pick up a signed copy), but I got to hear all of his talk which was really enjoyable. Plus, it was my first time going to the RR Library, even though it's only ~an hour from my house, so that was a fun experience. 
  • Meeting Michael Connelly. Much more recently, only last December 2012. One of my favorite authors, I was extremely excited that he was speaking/signing at a Barnes & Noble only ~20 minutes from my house. And this time I got there in time for everything, and got to meet him (I wrote an entry about it a few below this one, with a picture). His talk was awesome as well, and just an awesome experience. 
  • Discovering A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness, and how it's a picture book. When I first heard that I was a little put-off. What, a children's book? But no, it's definitely not, and it was amazing. Definitely one of my favorite books, and discovering this book was an awesome memory. 
  • Pre-ordering books (I only do it for my favorite authors). Yes, this one's a little lame, but it's true. Whenever I pre-order books for my favorite authors, I'm just super excited and can't wait for them to come. 
  • Watching the Hobbit. This may sound weird, I know, but it's true. This is only the second movie I've seen just after reading the book. The other was The Lincoln Lawyer, by Michael Connelly. But this was different. I mean, it was Peter Jackson's The Hobbit for crying out loud, and it was just an amazing, amazing experience. Saying lines with the movie that are from the book, seeing the similarities, the differences, etc. 
  • Receiving The Last Man, by Vince Flynn, in the afternoon, starting it, and finishing it that night. Again, he's one of my favorite authors, and becoming so caught up with his book to read it in a single evening was just really fun. 
  • Reading The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, and telling everyone about it. Similar to AMC, I was extremely (and pleasantly) surprised at how amazing this book was, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. 
  • Finishing the Harry Potter Series. Simply just the feeling of "I finally read it" after reading it for the first time last August (2012). A great series and extremely enjoyable. 
  • Reading A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin. This was the first book series that I've read that was high fantasy. This is the first book series that I've just gotten completely captivated by, and immersed myself in the world of ASoIaF. Reading these books was like living in a different time as I allowed myself to just become completely caught up in it.
  • Michael Connelly marathon. Late last December I read 9 books in 13 days of his Harry Bosch series. Really an amazing experience and some amazing novels.
~ Velox


Top Ten Tuesday #6: Bookish Goals For 2013

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Jan 09 2013 · 625 views

Top Ten Bookish Goals For 2013

  • Read at least 52 books -- a book a week. I've been doing it the past two years, I don't plan on stopping now.
  • Read 12 books that have been on my shelf for over a year. I have over 500 books on my shelves, and I've probably only read half of those, if not even less.
  • Read the Lord of the Rings. I still can't believe I haven't read these yet, but I will this year. 
  • Read the rest of A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin. On Monday I picked up A Clash of Kings again after having put it down last September at 300 pages (not that it was bad -- it was amazing -- but it was hard to focus during school, and unfortunately I needed a faster-paced book). I'm now over page 850, and should finish it tomorrow. 
  • Read more Sherlock Holmes. I've actually only read a few of his short stories, so I plan to read more, if not all, this year.
  • Finally read a book by Stephen King. Another author that I surprisingly haven't read anything by yet. 
  • Finally read Without Remorse, by Tom Clancy. And perhaps his other early Jack Ryan books, as I've only read Dead or Alive and later.
  • Read at least two Science Fiction books from my shelves. I don't read Sci-Fi much. In fact, I could probably count on one hand how many Sci-Fi books I've read. So I hope to read at least a couple this year.
  • Finish collecting some book series that I am in the middle of collecting. I have a small obsession where I like to have every book in a series if I enjoyed the first book (or even if I haven't read a book yet =P).
  • Stop buying so many new series until I've read the ones I have. Because I can get so many books for so cheaply at my local used books store (both hardback and paperback for either $1 or $5), and mostly in good-to-new condition, I'll often go on book-buying sprees. While I love it, and I think there's anything wrong with it, I do think I should hold off buying entire new series until I've read the ones I have. =P
~ Velox


The Hobbit Review

Posted by Velox , in Reviews Jan 07 2013 · 767 views
The Hobbit, Movie Review, Review and 1 more...

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So I saw The Hobbit the day after it came out in theaters, and I’ve been meaning to write a review since. This review will contain some slight spoilers, so if you haven’t seen it yet, I’d wait to read this entry until then.
I want to start off with saying that the book is fantastic – it’s a perfect kid’s fairy-tale-type-book, but then again, that’s not surprising, considering Tolkien wrote it. However, the movie is not the book – not exactly, anyway. Of course this was completely expected, and I personally didn’t have a problem with it. But if you’re expecting it to be the book line-by-line, you’ll be disappointed. 
That said, it is “the movie” – it fits in very nicely with the LOTR movies, and is a great prologue to the trilogy. Half of me wants them to release a “book version” (basically, cut out all the extra scenes, change some of the changes slightly to better fit the book, etc.). I realize this is improbable, but I still think it’d be cool. Don’t get me wrong, I love the movie, and I’m sure I’ll love the extended edition, too. I just think it’d be awesome to have both; a “book version” and a “movie version.” But yeah, that’s not going to happen. =P Anyway, it's also obviously a lot darker, but that's to be expected -- I wasn't disappointed with that bit. 
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins is the absolute perfect choice. He was completely fantastic, and is the perfect, perfect Bilbo (and Watson, for that matter). His whole part was extremely well-done, and I loved every one of his scenes. Ian McKellen, too, did a supurb job. Of course all of the other actors did too, but I thought that they, particularly, did an outstanding job.
But of course that list of “outstanding jobs” would not be complete if I didn’t include Andrew Serkis in that list. His performance as Gollum was absolutely amazing, and was one of the best parts about the whole movie. The Riddles scene was very well-done (sure, some slight inconsistencies like there being more light than there should be, but again…this is the movie, so that didn’t really bother me. And the riddles themselves were fantastically done – I’m really hoping all of them are included in the extended edition).
Back to the movie itself, the beginning was absolutely fantastic. Yes, I’ve probably said “absolutely fantastic” or some variation of a dozen times already, but I don’t care – because it’s true. The history of the Lonely Mountain was done extremely well, and I loved how you saw Smaug but at the same time…you didn’t (if you saw the movie you’ll understand what I’m saying =P). On that note, everything about Smaug was well-done. Sure, I wish we could’ve seen him in this movie, but at the same time, I think they built him up spectacularly, and I’m sure the second part of the trilogy will be amazing with him.
The very beginning narration with Ian Holm and the tie-in to LOTR was also extremely well-done. I really, really enjoyed this, and the first…30 minutes or so all together, with Bilbo and Frodo and later Bilbo the Younger. As implied, I really liked how they tied this movie into Ian Holm telling Frodo about his adventure, the switching to Martin Freeman. And I liked how for the first part with Martin Freeman, some lines were copied directly from the book. I had just read the book a few days before, so it was cool seeing that.
The dwarves were over-all well-done. I had some concerns about them at first, but after seeing the movie I was pleased with their performance. I do wish they could’ve had their instruments and their coloured hoods, but their “That’s What Bilbo Baggins Hates!” song was very well done. Even more so was the Misty Mountains song – that was just simply fantastic, and one of the best parts of the movie. Which, speaking of, the whole soundtrack was extremely well-done. Of course, that was expected with Howard Shore, but still. I can’t wait to buy the Deluxe Version at some point.
As for the Azog inclusion…I guess I both liked and disliked that. Obviously it’s not true to the book, but I liked how there was a single antagonistic character for the dwarves and Bilbo. I also thought that Azog was very well-done, himself, and seemed to be a cool character. At the same time, I think they could’ve gone slightly more in-depth with him. Sometimes it seemed like he was placed in simply so there was an “enemy” for the company. The inclusion of the Necromancer, too, was cool, and I definitely look forward to Cumberbatch playing him in future films (who is, of course, a perfect Sherlock as well). And I thought most of Rivendell was well-done. I also liked Radagast for the most part. 
The troll scene was obviously different from the book, which I both liked and disliked. The personalities were very well done, but I kind of wish Gandalf would have done his voices trick. At the same time, I understand having to introduce Bilbo as the “hero” early on, since they’re dragging it out to three, three-hour-long movies.
I was very pleased with the portrayal of the goblin king. I was interested to see how they would do that, and I think they pulled it off well. His death, however, not so much. In fact, it was rather lame, unfortunately. Which is really too bad, considering I liked the rest of him. Oh well. But on that note, I didn’t like the front porch scene. I really wish they would’ve kept truer to the book here (I liked how there was a crack in the wall, and the ponies disappeared, etc., rather than the movie version). Oh, well.
The stone giants, too, was a little over-done. I really liked it, up until the point that they were stuck on the giant’s legs. That just went overboard, and wasn’t necessary. I wish they would’ve kept it off to the distance – have them dodging boulders, sure, but to be actually on a giant was a little much. 
And lastly, the ending could’ve been done better. The very, very end was done well, I think, in the sense that it was a good way/place to stop it (I hope that the eagles speak in the second movie, though). But the tree scene was…disappointing. Of course you had to have the dramatic Thorin and Azog (which wasn’t even done all that well, unfortunately). The idea itself wouldn’t’ve been too bad if it were done a little differently, I think. Even Bilbo saving him, I can see how that’d be useful to develop Bilbo’s character. But it just wasn’t executed as well as it could’ve been. And the falling trees and domino effect was even worse. I have to say I was disappointed with that. Oh, well. 
This was the first time I had seen a 3D movie, and I think it worked well here. Also the sped-up frames-per-minute was kind of cool. I didn’t really notice it all that much, but coupled with the 3D at times it definitely worked well. I’ve heard some people say that the movie seemed too long, but personally I didn’t think so, and I was happy with the length (in fact, I was surprised it was over all ready when it was – didn’t seem like nearly three hours).
Overall, The Hobbit was a great movie, and I’d highly recommend it. Sure, there were other small little problem I had with it (mostly from differences between the movie and book), but overall it was amazing, especially if it’s looked at as a prologue to the movies more than an exact movie-version of the book. Peter Jackson did well, and I look forward to the Extended Edition and the next two movies. 
~ Velox


2012 in Review

Posted by Velox , in BZPower, Other, Life Jan 05 2013 · 1,280 views

So 2012 was an amazing year. Most probably the best year I’ve had yet. I’ve made some mistakes, I’ve done some stupid things, I haven’t done quite as much writing or reading as I would’ve liked, and there’s been a few other small downtimes, but overall it was amazing. So, let’s break down the categories (I considered separating them like Nuile did, but I figured why not just put them all in one entry…maybe that was a mistake =P): 
Writing ~ I’ve made amazing progress with my writing this year. Previously it was rare that I write – a short story, maybe two, a year and otherwise that’s about it. This year that has grown exponentially. Starting in around June, John (55555), Micah (Kakaru), and I, along with many others, started doing nightly “Write-Offs” where we’d write about a theme for 15 minutes and then comment on each other’s works. While we took a long break (like, 5 or 6 months =P), recently John and I have started doing them nightly again, and it’s amazing. They’re not my best writing, but just writing almost every night is something that I truly love and am thankful for.
Perhaps my biggest writing achievement this year was 30,000 words for NaNoWriMo (I meant to write an entry on that, but I guess I forgot…). No, I didn’t quite make it to the 50k, but considering how little I had been writing in previous years, and how this is the first year I’ve written (while also juggling the first semester of college), and how I’ve never written a single story longer than 1.5k, this has been a huge step for me. Writing this much in one month about one single story is just awesome. I’m still surprised I was able to do this much, and I look forward to getting the full 50k next year.
What I wrote was an espionage and psychological thriller. My old, 2010 short story “Hope” is actually the prologue for it. I definitely had a lot of fun writing and planning this, and I hope to finish it soon, as I’m only about half-way done with it. I’ll probably write another entry sometime just about this and other writing, but since I’m covering a lot in this entry I should probably leave it at that.
I’ve also written four poems this year – the first poems I have written since freshman year of high school. While they were for my creative writing class, I’m still fairly pleased with them and look forward to writing more poetry next semester, as I’ll be taken a poetry class (same professor, too, so that’s cool – I really liked him). Additionally, I’ve written several short stories in 2012, two of which are over 2,000 words – longer than any short story I’ve written before 2012 – as well as several over 1,000 words. These are both big steps for me as, again, I really hadn’t been writing much and it was hard for me to write long stories. Now this year I’ve written several. I may do another blog entry some time specifically about my character Detective Calvin Duster and the stories I have planned for him and the stories I have written.
But all in all, it’s been a great year writing-wise. I still haven’t written as much as I would have liked, but that’s what 2013 is for, and I’ve written more this year than I have in all other years combined, so for that, I am happy.

In total, let’s see. I’ve written roughly…7? short stories, half of a novel, parts of two different Serials, 4 poems, and over 50 flash fiction pieces. 2011? I didn’t write a single short story, apparently. I must have written something, but nothing that I thought was good enough to post online.  Wow, that’s bad.
Reading ~ I’ve written several blog entries on books in 2012, so I don’t think I need to do that again. I’ll just link to my Best Books of 2012 and leave it at that. This is the second year that I’ve read more than a-book-a-week, and I’ve read many great books. I hope to continue my book-a-week streak for 2013 as well.
Blogging ~ So this year I started blogging for the first time (off of BZP), mostly for my write-offs. It’s been a great experience and I’ve met some awesome people. I just plan on blogging even more this year.
Movies ~ Wow, so 2012 has been a great year for movies. I’ve watched more movies in theatre this year than quite possibly my whole life combined, haha – I don’t go to the theatre often. The Hunger Games was enjoyable, and it’s been fun ranting about it and the book to various people. Seeing the Avengers at BricksCascade with the awesome people there was really fun. Then of course The Dark Knight Rises over summer was completely amazing and one of my favorite movies. I saw The Bourne Legacy with a friend, and enjoyed that. I really like Jeremy Renner, and it wasn’t a bad sequel to the Bourne Trilogy. The last two movies I saw were The Hobbit and Les Miserables, both of which were completely amazing. I hope to write a review of and ramble for both, but for now I’ll just leave it at saying they were amazing.
TV Shows ~ I’ve discovered several new TV shows this year. Namely, Castle, The Walking Dead, and Justified. All are amazing shows, and Castle is definitely one of my top 5 all-time favorite shows and is amazing, and Katie and Aimee are awesome for nagging me enough to finally start watching it.
Music ~ I’ve found a variety of new music this year. Most importantly, ThePianoGuys. These guys are amazing, and definitely my favorite band/music group. Many thanks to Will (Tolkien) for introducing them to me. Then Katie (Ezorov) has shown me some awesome bands as well, name Eisley, the Hunger Games soundtrack, and Adele’s Skyfall song, among other things. I’ve started listening to more of the Beatles and finally got their #1 Hits CD, and I’ve also started listening to Billy Joel, thanks to Grant-Sud. And lastly, I’ve started listening to soundtracks a lot more this year – Hans Zimmer, Howard Shore, etc., as well as other classical stuff like Handel’s Messiagh, etc. Really amazing stuff. I have of course listened to other things new-to-me this year, be these are all some of my favorite groups and songs, now.
Personal Life ~ With the help of the people mentioned below and other things in my life, I think I’ve definitely grown as a person this year, specifically in my Faith and beliefs. I can’t really get into the detail, but suffice to say I am extremely thankful for these people and the circumstances that allowed me to become, in my opinion, a better person. I still have a lot of work to do, and unfortunately I have also failed throughout the year many, and I’m not happy with many things that I have done, but I believe that I have gotten stronger and I hope to this year accomplish some personal, private goals that I was not able to accomplish last year, though I did make progress on them in 2012.
People ~ I’ve had some amazing relationships with people this past year. I’ve grown close to many, many people that I hadn’t been previously close with or as close with.
First and foremost, while we started talking since BrickCon 2011, Katie (Ezorov) and I didn’t really get super close until 2012. She is one of the most amazing people ever, and the best of friends one can have. Talking to her for literally hours a day is just really, really amazing, and she is a super awesome person. I just can’t put into words accurately how amazing she is and how amazing it is being so close to her.
Then there’s John (55555), who I’ve been friends with practically since I joined this site. But it seems like this year we became particularly close. Alike in so many ways, and just easy to talk to, he’s been an amazing friend this year and we’ve told each other practically everything. It’s been fun talking about our various struggles and wishes and people that we like, giving advice to each other and whatnot. He’s always there for me and is like a brother.
Micah (Kakaru), too, I feel like I’ve gotten a lot closer to this year, probably because I’ve gone to two conventions with him and talked to him a lot on Skype. Micah, as I’m sure is obvious, is an awesome guy (just ask Rob), always willing to talk and help out with things. I’ve also gotten closer to Jason (xccj), rooming with him at two different conventions and going on mini road trips to Seattle – it’s been really fun, and I love how it doesn’t matter if we disagree on politics or religion, we put those aside and just be friends while respecting each other. And everyone, at BCon and BCascade, I’ve had awesome times with and gotten closer to.
I think perhaps the biggest jumps I’ve made this year with people (previously rarely ever talking to them, and now talking to them very often and being good friends) would be Caleb (Cederak), Will (Tolkien), and Nate (GSR). I’ve always respected them a lot as writers (Nate less so, but that’s only because he wasn’t even active until like earlier this year, so I had no idea who he was until he entered those short story contests and then he immediately gained my respect =P). Caleb, especially, I’ve gotten really close to, and he’s helped me out a lot with things. Again I love how I can have practically completely opposite viewpoints on politics and religion with both Caleb and Nate, and we’re still great friends, because we don’t let that get in the way. Aimee (Aderia), too, I didn’t really know until this year, and now we’re great friends (and she’s also my Les Mis buddy that I can yell at about awesome Les Mis things any time I want. We’re also Les Mis t-shirt buddies!). And same with Kraggh – we’ve got a lot in common and we can both appreciate Les Mis for the awesomeness that it is.  
Although I went to school with her for 4 years, I didn’t really meet my friend Christina until early 2012. She really helped me become a better person and realize that there are other people out there like me (besides John [55555] =P), and since then I’ve grown so much in my Faith. Katie, too, has helped me immensely with my relationship with God, and she’s another person reminding me that there are people who share my views and beliefs. I’ve become a much better person this year, in terms of my beliefs, I think, mostly due to John, Katie, and Christina, and for that I will be forever grateful.
And I could seriously ramble on and on and on about all the amazing relationships I’ve had this year, and keep listing more and more people, but I’ll end with just mentioning the members of the Ambage Skype chats. Especially Nuile, who never gave up his writers club idea, and I’m so glad we were able to create the Ambage and how successful it’s been. Literally everyone there is amazing and are awesome friends, and I couldn’t be more grateful for how they have been so influential on my life.
And, well, that’s about it. I know I’ve probably rambled more than people care, but this was a fun entry to write. Here’s to 2013! *raises glass*
~ Velox


Top Ten Tuesday #5: Books I Resolve To Read In 2013

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Jan 02 2013 · 489 views
Top Ten, #5, Books, Resolutions and 1 more...

(I'll be doing non-Top-Ten-Tuesdays soon hopefully, but for tonight I just wanted to post a quick entry rather than some other longer ones I have planned)


Top Ten Books I Resolve To Read In 2013

  • The Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien. Unfortunately, I have never read this yet. I've read The Hobbit thrice (at least), and the Children of Hurin once, but never LOTR. I may have read parts of it when I was younger, and I know that I had them read to me as a kid, but I've never read them, myself, all the way through. I'm going to do it this year.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R. R. Martin. I loved A Game of Thrones, but unfortunately I had to take a break from A Clash of Kings. They're not light reading, and I wouldn't consider them page-turners. They are, however, fantastic, fantastic books, and if you allow yourself to be captivated with them, they will become, in a sense, page-turners. But that means a lot of free time and little distractions. So once college started, it just became hard to get through ACoK, even though I loved it. So I'll read these during either winter or summer break, hopefully. 
  • The Circle Trilogy ("Quadrilogy"?), by Ted Dekker. Katie (Ezorov) just sent me this for Christmas, and I'm super, super excited to read it. After I finish my Michael Connelly run, I'll most likely read this next. I really can't wait, and she's awesome for getting it for me. 
  • The first Jack Reacher book, by Lee Child. I've been interested in this series for a while, but for some reason I've never read one yet. So I want to start with the first, and eventually read them all. 
  • The Firm, by John Grisham. I've thoroughly enjoyed the two legal-thriller authors I've read (Michael Connelly and Brian Haig), and I hear Grisham is the master, so I've been wanting to read this for a while. 
  • By Order of the Presdient, by W.E.B. Griffin. This one isn't all that important, but I've had this whole series on my shelf for a while now, but I haven't read them so I want to, and I enjoy Griffin's writing. 
  • The Bourne Identity, by Robert Ludlum. Loved the movie, he's the master -- why not?
  • Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. Katie and several others have been telling me I need to read it, and I definitely want to before the movie comes out. 
  • Open Season, by C. J. Box. I've had this sitting on my shelf forever now, and this author was recommended to me by Hugh Hewitt -- who was the first person to recommend Vince Flynn, who is now one of my favorite authors. As such, I assume this will be good, and I've been interested in reading this series for a while.
  • Without Remorse, by Tom Clancy. I've read all of his latest novels (the ones after his nearly-a-decade-break), with the exception of Threat Vector (his latest, which I shall read very soon as it just came out a month ago), but never any of his older novels, with the exception of Patriot Games. I've been wanting to read the whole Jack Ryan series for a while, though.
  • A is for Alibi, by Sue Grafton. I've heard her alphabet series is good, and this has been sitting on my shelf for a while.
  • Have Spacesuit--Will Travel, by Robert A. Heinlein. 55555 sent me this for my birthday this past year, and he talks very highly of it. I've also been interested in reading it for a while, so hope to finally do so this year.
  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. I've had this on my shelf for a while and have been really wanting to read it. I've just had other things I've wanted to read first. =P I hope to finally read it this year, though.
  • Holes, by Louis Sachar. Yep. Surprisingly, I've never read this. Or at least not that I can remember. Katie (Ezorov) gave it to me for my birthday, and I've been wanting to read it for a while, so I hope to finally do so soon. 
  • Coup D'Etat, by Ben Coes. I loved his first novel, but I just haven't gotten around to this one yet.
So obviously I went over 10, but that's because I have so many books that I need to read, many of which I already have. Every book on this list is already on my shelf. These are probably the books I want to read most (in no particular order), out of the hundreds I have that I still need to read. For the past two years I've read about 60 books each year, so I'm hoping to continue that with at least a book a week, in order to keep working my way through the hundreds of books on my shelves. I didn't include other books by the same authors on this list, but for most of those I hope to read the whole series. Maybe not this year, but at least the first book, and the rest some time.
I'm currently making my way through Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series. I'm more than half way through The Drop, and then all I have left is The Black Box and I'm finally done! In these past 10 days I've read 8 books in this series, haha, so yes, they're very good (unfortunately I am now on vacation, so that will slow down my streak). That would also be why I've been less active. =P Highly recommended, definitely. But so after I finish these, I'll probably read The Circle, by Ted Dekker and then...who knows. That's 4 books, and I never know what I may feel like reading after finishing a book.
So what about you guys? Any books you plan on reading in 2013?
And with that, I wish all of BZPower a very happy New Years. [Also, Isabelle Allen ("Young Cosette") is the most adorable person ever, and everyone should go see Les Misérables if just for her.] I may or may not make a 2012-wrap-up/2013-resolutions entry, as well as a review of Les Mis and The Hobbit shortly. I always plan on blog entries but never seem to finish them or actually write them. =P
~ Velox


Top Ten Tuesday #4: New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday Dec 22 2012 · 768 views
Top Ten Tuesday, #4, New-to-me and 1 more...

(posting this about a week and a half late, because I had finals last week)
Top Ten Favorite New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2012

  • George R. R. Martin. A Game of Thrones. Definitely an amazing book, and I look forward to reading the rest in the series and possible some of Martin's other works.
  • Michael Connelly. His Mickey Haller, Harry Bosch, and Jack McEvoy series. One of my favorite authors already, and I am quickly making my way through all of his books, having started and finished one yesterday, and am over two-thirds done with Lost Light today -- only 7 more books to read in the Harry Bosch series (I have already finished the other two -- besides that, he has a couple standalone novels that I haven't read yet).
  • Markus Zusak. The Book Thief. I've already talked about this enough, I think, but check out my review for more.
  • Patrick Ness. A Monster Calls (read twice). Again, I've already praised this book a lot. An amazing, amazing book.
  • J. K. Rowling. Her Harry Potter series. First time reading them, all in less than two weeks. Great series, and I look forward to reading them again sometime, as well as possibly reading her Casual Vacancy, though I know it's quite different.
  • Ted Dekker. Skin. Again as I've mentioned before, great book.
  • Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games trilogy. An enjoyable series, to be sure. I'm not sure if I'll read anything else by her, though.
  • Howard Gordon. Gideon's War. New to me, and new to writing novels, but it wasn't a disappointment. I'll probably read any other books he comes out with. 
And that's about it. There were a few other new-to-me authors I read, but they weren't exactly my favorite, so didn't include them. All of the above authors, however, I enjoyed.
~ Velox


Top Ten Tuesday #3: Top Ten Books I Read in 2012

Posted by Velox , in Top Ten Tuesday, Literature Dec 18 2012 · 504 views

So I know I've already made an entry like this, but I wanted to keep up the Top Ten Tuesdays (even though I missed last week due to finals, unfortunately -- I'll probably post it tomorrow or later this week) anyway. So without further ado...


Top Ten Books I Read in 2012

(In no particular order, really, because it's hard to choose one over the other in a lot of the cases)
  • A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness. I think anything I could say about this I've already said. An amazing book.
  • The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien. Should be self explanatory. It's Tolkien. It's the Hobbit. 
  • The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. See my review for an in-depth reason, but in short: it's an amazing book that I think everyone should read. 
  • Skin, by Ted Dekker. A great thriller that was extremely fun to read. I'm definitely going to be reading more Dekker after this.
  • The Last Man and Kill Shot, by Vince Flynn. Vince Flynn is one of my favorite authors, and these books were nothing short of amazing. I read The Last Man in a single evening after receiving it in the mail. 
  • Game of Thrones, by George R. R. Martin. I hope this is fairly self-explanatory, but Martin is an incredible author. I'm excited to read the rest of the series. 
  • The Four Loves, by C. S. Lewis. I can't say enough about this book. I love it so, so much. I'll definitely be re-reading it sometime, and it's one of my favorite books. The first non-fiction book I have ever read for pleasure, too. C. S. Lewis really is an amazing man. 
  • The Mickey Haller series and several books from the Harry Bosch series, by Michael Connelly. Another one of my favorite authors who I only started reading this year. I became hooked instantly, and every single one of his books are amazing. I can't wait to finish the series. 
  • The Harry Potter Series. Read them for the first time this year. Gotta say, I loved them, reading all of them in less than two weeks. I'm definitely going to read them again sometime. 
  • Cold Days, by Jim Butcher. Jim Butcher never disappoints, and I loved how this one was longer than usual. 
So it was hard to choose just ten books (and yes, I cheated by using multiple by the same author =P), and even then were a few other books that I really enjoyed. But I think these are my top ten. 
~ Velox


Meeting Michael Connelly

Posted by Velox , in School, Life, Literature Dec 05 2012 · 668 views
Michael Connelly, Book Signing and 3 more...

So on Sunday I had the honor of meeting one of my favorite authors: Michael Connelly. A master in the mystery genre, Connelly has just published his 25th book (in only 20 years); the 18th book in the LAPD Detective Harry Bosch series. I unfortunately have not yet read all of his books, but I am making my way through, having read 13 books so far (8 of which were Harry Bosch novels). Connelly has also guest-starred in the amazing TV show Castle, which just added to the excitement of meeting him. 

Anyway, it was actually extremely fortunate. For my Creative Writing class, I had to go to two readings -- one fiction, and one poetry, and then write a report on them. I was lucky that, the day before these reports were due, Michael Connelly was speaking at a Barnes and Noble near my house. 
Unfortunately, I didn't know I was going to be going to the book signing, so I had ordered his new book, The Black Box, online a few days earlier. And it hadn't come yet. So instead I was that one awkward guy with his second-newest book (The Drop) for him to sign (I also had him sign a label that I have now stuck on The Black Box when it arrived earlier today). It wasn't really that awkward, though, and it was extremely awesome being able to meet him and talk to other Connelly fans in line while waiting to meet him.
And I have proof!

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You can thank my phone for the blurry picture (and of course I wasn't looking at the camera. Oh well). 
So I went there, waited in line and heard him speak for ~45 minutes (which was awesome, though slightly hard to hear), then finally got up and had him sign my stuff and take a picture. Later that night I drove up to Santa Monica for a poetry reading (yes, I am a procrastinator, and waited until the day before to go to both readings -- I'm lucky there was even a poetry reading near me that night), and I was actually pleasantly surprised. I wasn't expecting it to be all that good, but it wasn't bad -- author/professor Carol Quinn read from her book Acetylene, and afterward I bought it and had her sign it. I had never heard of her before this, so I'm glad she turned out to be pretty good. 

Overall a good day. Two book signings/readings, was able to finish my homework barely in time for my Creative Writing class the next day, and I got to meet one of my favorite authors. 
~ Velox

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