Monday, October 31, 2016

Updates, And November TBR

Updates:

As you all have seen I have been very sporadic this year with posts, I am very sorry about that. I love blogging and sharing my bookish thoughts with you, however I have yet to finish a single book since being here at University. I have some tags and a book haul that I will be filming and uploading to the channel in the near future, however I am trying to finish a book first to review on here for you all. I promise I still am reading, it is just at a snails pace. 

Another reason why I needed to come on here is to say that the posts will be sporadic for the next two weeks at best. Many things have recently gone downhill in my life and I need some time to process everything and get on my feet again. I do not wish to put this burden on you all however I don't want you to be questioning my absence. Know that I am okay, and I will be back I just need some time to take a break and stand once again on solid ground on my own. The reason why the blog would not really help me through this is because it reminds me so much of the recent events; though this blog will live! I promise that in two weeks time, the blog, and myself will be stable and back into the swing of life however for now we are going to take a break. 

During this break I am going to focus on reading what I want to and actually completing something to review for you all! I have so many books on the go right now that I cannot even keep track so I am going to take some time to fix that. I promise you I will have read atleast one book in these next two weeks so look out for a review! 

I would love for all of you to not loose touch with the Empire, so please follow me on Twitter @Komondor70 (MyBookishEmpire) and I will post daily on there, I just cannot promise that for this blog at the moment. 


November To Be Read Pile: 

This month I have decided to go light on what I choose as I have not finished anything these past few months and I need to in order to reach my Goodreads goal for the year. I am picking three books and leaving the rest open to my own choices for the books to fill the extra gaps.

  1. The Phantom of The Opera
    1. By: Gaston Leroux 
    2. This book is something I have been curious to pick up for many years and recently I picked it up to do a buddy read with someone and they are not around now to do the readalong (part of my sadness). I had bought two copies on for me and the other for her, and I cannot justify letting them sit and go to waste. Though this is a book that causes me great pain to even look at I will plow on. 
  2. Alexander Hamilton 
    1. By: Ron Chernow 
    2. This is the wonderful biography that has inspired the amazing musical HAMILTON! As many of you should be aware I am obsessed with all things Hamilton therefor it is about time that I read this book and then I can hopefully get tickets to the show and see it next year! I am a total fan and I honestly never thought I would read such a large biography, but I guess it is fitting with Non-fiction November. Non-fiction November was created to make us step out of our fictionalized worlds and explore other topics, that is exactly what I aim to do with this book.
  3. Jerusalem 
    1. By: Alan Moore 
    2. Hopefully this is the last month I will need to mark this as currently reading. I love the story but man is Moore long winded in this epic! I am going to be reviewing this for the lovely folks at Liveright Publishing which I could not be more happy about; though I must complete the tome first. 
These are the only books that I am marking for me to read in the month of November because I know the next two weeks I am going to need some introspective time and time to think. Not to mention another round of exams are coming, and I will need to focus a ton of energy into those instead of my free choice readings. I will be back you guys! Mark your calendars for November 14th, because that is the day you will have new and awesome content back from the Empire! 

Happy Reading!

I hope you all understand why I need a break. Please keep checking the blog; I may have some surprise posts coming up throughout my two week hiatus but there will not be the usual three posts a week. 


Monday, October 24, 2016

Update time!

 An Update:


Hello everyone!

I am writing a quick update post for today instead of doing the regularly scheduled Monday Madness. My reasoning for writing an update instead is because I have not completed anything or changed my goals yet with the books that I am reading, I am still reading: 
  1. Jerusalem by: Alan Moore
  2. Americanah by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 
  3. Summerlong by: Peter S. Beagle 
  4. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by: Marisha Pessl
These books will continue to be on my currently reading que until I finish them, sadly I do not know if I will finish anything for the month of October. I have been in a book slump for the past month and I just cannot seem to get back into the wonderful books that I started prior, however I do not want to start anything else that is new. You all understand what a book slump is, I hope. 

Book Slump: When you pick up as many books as you want to start reading and slowly loose interest in completing them, yet no book captures your attention at the same time. 

This book slump has been particularly nasty because of the amount of work that has been assigned here at University, which sadly I am unable to ignore. Every time I find time to read I do not have the beast of a book that I want to finish with me, Jerusalem. This book I find very hard to read without my ARC right in front of my due to the fact that my mind wanders without an object (book) to focus on while I listen to audiobooks. What do you all do while you listen to audiobooks to keep your mind focused on the story being played to you? 

Aside from trying to keep my head above the sea of work that I have to complete, I have been slowly sucked into the abyss that is Netflix for the next seasons of two of my all time favorite shows, Reign and Arrow! I am excited that the next seasons are released for both shows, however they have crippled my reading time. I this week am going to get to do some fun things such as seeing my parents on the weekend, and hopefully having a relaxing reading day at some point in the week. 

I am also sorry that no post went up on Friday, I was strapped with work and I did not have the time to post or even film for the Youtube channel. I will announce as soon as I post on the Youtube channel, though do not hold your breath for having a video go live this week. 


Happy Reading!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My Reader Manifesto

My Reading Manifesto:
Every time I see a Library.

Me, I am a reader who loves all things bookish not just the written word. I love the fandoms, the merchandise, and yes the books themselves. I am a collector of gorgeous covers, beautiful bindings, and the ink sodden pages. I display novels as though they were art, yet I read as though they are my lifeline. I am the quite person you will often seen curled up with a good book hiding away the day in a cozy coffee shop, or the reading nook beneath my bed. I am the casual lover of literature who will read almost anything that is handed to me, though my love and specialty is Science Fiction and Fantasy. Student by day, reader by night. I am a lover of the written word... 

I read for fun, I read for thought, I read for myself and myself alone. I read to experience new worlds, and walks of life. To me reading is not just escapism, it is a way of life; the way I live and experience the unimaginable. I love to read whenever and wherever I am, on a bus, on a train, or in the rain. Reading keeps me sane in this chaotic world that we all live in, though often times it drives me even more nutty along the way. 

I read to expand my mind with the many experiences that can be seen in fiction that are not available to me in life outside the pages. With the books I read, my aim is to share my thoughts and opinions with those who have their own innate love of reading, you all! I read to critique, I read to escape, I read to share experiences with those around me. I read day in and day out, for joy, for experiences, and for love of the written word. 

Reading, to me it expands beyond a hobby. 
Reading is my life!
Happy reading! 


Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Madness!

Monday Madness: 
10-17-16

Hey everyone! 

I know that this week and blogging has been very sparse and sporadic, however I am trying my hardest to keep this going  on a regular basis. I am back right now today to show you what I will be aiming to read through this week even though it is a chaotic and crazy week. I am going to go back to my bland and predictable reading schedule to leap back into Jerusalem by: Alan Moore! This as we all know was sent to me by the wonderful people at Liveright publishing, I have begun to work my way through some new books this week as well:


  1. Special Topics in Calamity Physics 
    1. by: Marisha Pessl
    2. Page Count: 514
    3. By what I have gathered so far about this book, it follows a girl through a grand sweeping mystery that weaves a cozy mystery in with the literary world. I found this book literally lying on a bench yesterday, with a note saying read me, so I picked it up and began reading. With the chapter headings pertaining to famous authors and their work, along with the novel's comfortable and relaxing atmosphere I am thoroughly taken by this novel!
  2. The Blinding Knife 
    1. by: Brent Weeks
    2. Page Count: 628
    3. I know this is going to be a fast and fun book! This is the sequel to The Black Prism which I read last year and could not get enough of. The fourth novel in this series, The Blood Mirror is coming out on October 25th 2016. I am eager to delve back in with Weeks' lovely world and very gripping characters for another twisting ride down the tragic trail of this series. 
Those are the only two new books that I may pick up this week. I am still working my way through the many other books I have been reading over the past few weeks, and I will need to push through and complete something soon to share my thoughts with you all! I am extremely close on a novel to being completed with: 
  1. Summerlong 
    1. by: Peter S. Beagle 
    2. Page Count: 236
    3. I am enjoying this so far, however I feel as though my choppy in and out reading pace may have hindered my potential love for this book. I will report in soon with a review.
I promise that I am reading and I am going to make my way through this rough patch of reading and work! I will make the most out of this scenario. I am off to read now for a while before class. 

  • Let me know what you are reading or have been reading recently? 

Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Reading Multiple Books at Once: A Discussion

Discussion: 
Reading Multiple Books at Once

I am sure we all have tried this method of reading, I am sure some of us even prefer to read multiple books at once; though it does not work for me. I do not understand how people are able to read multiple books at a time, I find myself always favoring one book over another. When I set out to read multiple books at once, I always have a reason for it because I know that I will end up favoring only one book by the end. This time my reasoning for trying to read multiple books at once was to try and complete some review copies for the blog. And as predicted it slowed down my reading pace a lot! I am still reading Americanah by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, Jerusalem by: Alan Moore, and Summerlong by: Peter S. Beagle all of which are books I have to read and review for either the publisher or a private journal. I feel awful about slogging through books but I am hopefully going to be able to plow through them very soon. My strategy when I read this many books at once is to: 
  1. Divide the book into sections. 
  2. Read one section of each every day. 
  3. Write some notes on that section to have for the review.
  4. READ!
This only works partially because I have very little time after doing work and other obligations to read daily, thus making these books stretch out over a long time frame. I would like to be able to read more in a day, alas I am a slow reader trying to read HUGE books. When reading slowly through multiple books it limits the amount of reviews that I can post and write for you guys, which is not something that I like doing. When I read a single book at a time, assuming it is not 1300 pages I can usually read it in one week, however I am a scatter brain when it comes to reading multiple books. 

I am going to slow down on my multi-book reading soon as soon as these three books are done because I need to sit and enjoy just one book in order to give it the attention it deserves for its review. I am going to focus on Jerusalem first because that was kindly sent to me from the publisher Liveright in June, yes June and it still is not done. In all fairness it is about 1300 pages and is going to take any reader a large chunk of time to dive into. 

I would love to be reading multiple books at once, however I am finding that I will always favor just one of the books that I am currently reading and complete that one first. I am abandoning the mountain of books on my TBR for the next week or so and I am going to solely focus on the amazing tome, Jerusalem. 

Questions: Answer these in the comments please. 
  • How do you read multiple books at one time? 
  • How do you make the most out of your reading time, to read more?
  • What are you currently reading? 
Happy Reading! 

~Sorry I had to run so fast. So many books to read, so little time!
Cheers!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Author Spotlight: Anne Rice

Author Spotlight: 
Anne Rice

Biography: 
PC Goodreads.com 
"Anne Rice (born Howard Allen Frances O'Brien) is a best-selling American author of gothic, supernatural, historical, erotica, and later religious themed books. Best known for The Vampire Chronicles, her prevailing thematical focus is on love, death, immortality, existentialism, and the human condition. She was married to poet Stan Rice for 41 years until his death in 2002. Her books have sold nearly 100 million copies, making her one of the most widely read authors in modern history.

She uses the pseudonym Anne Rampling for adult-themed fiction (i.e., erotica) and A.N. Roquelaure for fiction featuring sexually explicit sado-masochism." (Goodreads.com)

Bibliography: 
  • The Vampire Chronicles 
    • This series has about 12 books in the current series, and it is still ongoing. 
  • Wolf Gift 
    • There are only two books out in this series. Though I am hoping that she is going to re-visit this world soon because my love for this series is very strong. 
  • Christ the Lord
    • This series has only two books in the series. 
  • Songs of the Seraphim 
    • This series only has two current books in the series. 
  • New Tales of the Vampires
    • This series which I believe is on going has two novels out currently, though I think Anne will re-visit this world someday. 
  • The Mayfair Witches 
    • This is a trilogy that she wrote surrounding the witch and Wicca culture, one of the series that I am anxious to begin of hers! 
  • Including eight other single standalone novels...
A total of thirty one books in total and the infamous author is still writing her way through life :)

My Experience: 
As with many authors that we read, we all have different views and opinions about their work and how we enjoy it; which is a large reason for why I read. Connections with an author's style and or characters can be seen as an enjoyable act of relaxation, however there are some authors who we read that immerse us from page one and do not let go until the story is done; that is Anne Rice. We all have those authors that we love and enjoy their work to no end, however there is often times only one that we have a major connection with a story or life changing event, Anne Rice is my life changing author. I read as you all will know for fun and enjoyment, however Anne's books and uncanny writing style came into my life in a fun way, forever imprinting her work onto my mind only as she can.

 I read Anne Rice first a few years ago when I had just started dating my current girlfriend, and she went away for a bi-annual trip to her extended family's home out west. Being away from her or having a fear that we would not be able to find anything to talk about, I pulled a random book out of my library and asked if she would like to read it with me while she was away (a novel idea I thought). However later to my demise it was not the first "buddy read" to happen. She agreed to buy a copy and read it while she was away so that we could converse about it when we called one an other. This book scared the living daylights out of the two of us while we read it, however to me it helped to bring us closer even though we were separated by over 1,000 miles of open road. This shared feeling of terror and hopelessness that we felt through her novel The Wolf Gift brought us together to embrace the distance and take comfort in each other's voice when we had time to speak about the haunting events going on in this book. This is a simple connection that I have to Anne Rice and her glorious writing style and lusciously rich writing style.

This connection that I have with Anne Rice is something that I will never be able to forget within all of my days of reading. I am going to slowly begin plowing through the bulk of her novels that she has written thus far. I am hoping to get started on The Vampire Chronicles by October 30th 2016 and then progress through them in the coming months! Do you all have an author that you are connected with, as I am with the amazing and ever prolific Anne Rice? 

Links: 
Please everyone I am urging you to go out and pick up something written by this wonderful author of horror. She is able to weave a characters and stories together that will make your head spin! Her love for the craft of story telling really shows in the quality of writing and world building which makes me overjoyed every time I pick up a new novel written by her. 

Happy Reading! 
Chat to you all soon, gotta run to go read more for this week's ambitious goals!




Sunday, October 9, 2016

Weekly Goals!

Weekly Goals!

I know you all will have seen my goals for my miniature vacation that I was on for the past few days, however I was unable to attain the goals that I set out to achieve during that time. I have many reasons for not completing my goals for the weekend; mainly I was not in the mood to read when my girlfriend was up staying with me. I am however going to me attempting to complete those goals in the rest of this week instead. I am currently working on: 

  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie 
    • by: Alan Bradley
    • I am on page, 46 and I would like to be at page 100 or 150 by the end of the week. This should be doable if I set aside time to read, as this book has an engaging plot and lovely cast of characters.
  • Shelter 
    • by: Jung Yun
    • I have not started to read this book yet, however my goal is 100 pages for the week still. This book is written in large font and I think that I should be able to get this done with the time I have allotted. 
  • Americanah 
    • by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche 
    • I am on page 8 out of my 100 page goal for the week. This is high on the priority list for the reads that will be happening this week as it is a review book for Social Book Co. I have been enjoying the rich and luxurious writing style that Adiche has in this novel, however it takes me a long time to immerse myself in.
  • Jerusalem 
    • by: Alan Moore 
    • I am currently on page 650 out of the 1279 that it is. I am hoping to read 300 pages this week in this book since it is very late on a review for the ever so kind folks at Liveright Publishing who sent it to me for a review in a publication. I am thinking that once I begin reading this again I will be immersed in the world as I have been prior to now.
Happy Reading! 
I am off to go read and get as much done tonight before I fall asleep :)

Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday Reads!

Friday Reads...
10-7-16


Hello everyone! 

I am coming to you this week after a very stunted week with little reading and blog posts. I am sorry for that. I have had to take three examinations this week for my classes, Ecology, Physics, and Organic Chemistry. I was busy studying all of these that I was unable to read for the blog and for the publishers I am obligated to. But this week I am going to change that since I only have one examination to worry about and a break through until Wednesday! I am going to be a little ambitious and I know that I will not get all of these books done; though I do intend to get through a large chunk of them! 

Reading for the weekend: 

  • Americanah 
    • by: Chimanda Ngozi Adiche
    • Read 106 pages 
  • Shelter 
    • by: Jung Yun
    • Read 108 pages 
  • The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
    • by: Alan Bradley
    • Read 91 pages
  • Jerusalem
    • by: Alan Moore 
    • Read 100 pages 
Total Page Count: 305 pages

I am going to be busy reading and hanging out with all of my friends. I am going to be reading and having fun relaxing with this lovely cool fall breeze and crunching leaves. I will be doing a very fun bookshop touring trip tomorrow Saturday October 8th with my girlfriend in New York; if that is something that you want to hear or see parts of follow me on Twitter @Komondor70 !

I will have a video live on my YouTube channel tomorrow, so be sure to check in and see the awesome Fall Book Tag!

Happy Reading!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Author Privacy

An Author & Their Work: 
Elena Ferrante

Just today, I was reading The New Yorker magazine and I came across an article speaking about the anonymity and the rights that authors have within their works and in relation to their lives. This author is notoriously shrouded in anonymity, they have not released their name or a photograph of even for the back jacked of the New York Times best selling series The Neapolitan Novels. This article speaks about the many fans and press agents who have looked for this information in the past and who will continue to do so in the future. To me I find that I am of the same opinion of the columnist who wrote the piece; Ferrante, regardless of who they are has a right to be private and secretive about her life beyond the page.

The columnist who wrote this piece used some evidence that was found through many tactics that I find to be frankly intrusive and unethical! This member of the "paparazzi" for lack of a better word has dug through many countless articles and biographical speculator pieces as well as he himself speculating on who this author is beyond he pages of her books. This member of the media went so far as to speculate about this authors financial struggles as a translator in real life and he targeted her for the fact that she had recently made purchases that her "meager" job as a translator would not allow her to afford. I can understand using different sources to speculate and later pinpoint your target, however I feel like making financial speculation based on how much you think they are making is beyond evil!

Using the media to find out who the author is can be justified if it is for personal curiosity however I think that the reasoning behind this member of the media's motive was a monetary and prestige grab. Because Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels have gained so much notoriety, and their creator is still unknown being the first to figure out who the mysterious literary mastermind is could be a game changer for the media mogul's life and that of the author. Digging into the lives of those who wish to be left alone is something that is unforgivable! As a society we have become so accustomed to having all the answers that we could possibly want at the tip of our fingers all the time; however I feel that in this case we should respect the author's wishes and diligence to remain secretive.

Another aside to this overarching frustration with the privacy or lack there of it that we have in this modern day, I feel that we should be able to love a book and appreciate it for its merit and style without any knowledge about its creator. I feel as though if we love a book for the characters and the plot, that knowing who the creator is has no other appeal than to be nosy and intrude upon their life. Some authors may love coming out and interacting with their fans about the work that they have produced, though there are some people who would prefer to be left alone with their "pen" to produce another line. I is the latter people that I think we all need to respect their wishes and cherish the words that they leave behind.

I am one fan who loves an author's work and will try to reach out on social media and let them know how much I loved it, however if they decline to respond it is their prerogative. I do not wish to force anyone to reveal who they are even if their works have been published in a multitude of languages and are known around the globe. The choose when to be discovered!


  • Do you all agree with my point of view or that of the Italian Journalist who "Outed" Ferrante?
  • Have you ever written something, though it may be very well crafted and not wished to receive credit for?
  • When reading a book, do you think that knowing how an author looks or where they are from influences your reading? 
    • I certainly do!  I think that if we know how an author looks we will judge their writing ability instantly and make many other subconscious judgements that may hinder our enjoyment of their books.
The article in reference: The "Unmasking" of Elena Ferrante
Happy Reading!



If you have not yet had the pleasure to read the wonderful and rich Neapolitan Novels by: Elena Ferrante, I would highly recommend that you all go out and pick them up right now!