Archive | September, 2012

Relax & Read: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

30 Sep

Sunday is the perfect day to spend all afternoon in bed, curled up with that novel you’ve been meaning to read. And if you don’t already have one (or a billion!) on your reading list, I’m here to help!

I first read Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, in 2005 when I picked it up to flip through and saw all the markings, colors, photos, and overall unique format. At first, I actually thought someone had taken a red pen to someone’s novel in the middle of the store, but then I realized it was printed that way, and I was immediately entranced.

Tragically losing his father in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Oskar—a curious nine-year-old genius—finds a key, and travels all over New York City trying to find where it might belong.

The tale is touching, mournful, and challenging (one of the most challenging for me was when Foer contrasts 9/11 with Hiroshima and Nagasaki), yet the novel’s innocence remains within Oskar’s reality.

I would definitely recommend it, but it’s not intended for the soft-hearted. In fact, I would recommend the movie adaption as well—but even I have to admit I sobbed throughout the entire film. (I was so emotionally attached to Oskar already, and seeing his tale unfold on the big screen touched me deeply). This book, to this day, is the only novel to ever make me cry—really—and every time I read certain parts, I get shivers all over. If you want a novel that will truly take your emotions on an adventure with a nine-year-old as your guide, then pick this one up. (Click here to read more!)

But I’m leaving you (because I’m going to go read now!) with one of my favorite quotes from this novel:

“Literature was the only religion her father practiced, when a book fell on the floor he kissed it, when he was done with a book he tried to give it away to someone who would love it.”

~SAT

TV Time: Once Upon a Time

29 Sep

Fairy tale rewrites are HUGE nowadays. It’s almost the “in” thing with writers in all kinds of work (authors, television, movies, etc.). Think about it: Movies like Tangled, Shrek, and Snow White and the Huntsman are all fairy tale retellings. Novels like Throne of Glass and A Curse Dark as Gold (I had the joy of sitting down and talking with author, Elizabeth C. Bunce, but I will post about that another day—she’s an amazing author!) are as well.

I don’t watch television very often, so when I find a show that I really enjoy, I’m very conflicted about my day. (Watch or write?). In this case, when I need a break, I’m watching this show.

Once Upon a Time is a fantastic fairy tale series—magically transporting viewers into Storybrooke with every character you can imagine—Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Rumpelstiltskin, even the seven dwarfs! Because of the Evil Queen’s curse, none of the characters remember who they are, and it’s up to Emma (Snow White’s daughter) to break the spell and return everyone’s memories. (My roommate’s favorite game was guessing which fairy tale each character was before it was revealed.)  If you like magical tales, romantic princes, brave heroines, and an evil queen, this show is for you!

Season 2 premiers tomorrow, and I can’t wait to see what happens! (This review is difficult, because I can’t give anything away, but I want to sooooo badly.)

Once Upon a Time Season 2 premieres tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Watch free and full episodes by clicking here.

And join me in my fairy tale obsession,

~SAT

Relax & Read: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

28 Sep

I’m really excited to be recommending this truly touching novel as my first book recommendation. I’m a HUGE advocate of reading a novel BEFORE the movie adaptation, so I’m here to discuss the epistolary novel (which is a fancy way of saying it’s written in letter-format) and not the movie that’s released in one week everywhere. (Sometimes, I truly wished I lived in LA so I could go to these pre-screenings).

Before I ramble on forever—The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of my favorite books. One of my reading friends (everyone needs those!) suggested it to me. I was skeptical at first, because the coming-of-age tale didn’t exactly excite me at the time (I had just gone to college, so I liked to lie to myself that I was beyond that), but I read it anyway, and I’m so thankful I did.

From the first page, I couldn’t put it down.

Stephen Chbosky is deeply talented, writing with a personal prose that intimately attaches everyone to the protagonist, Charlie—an observant young man who is conflicted about the rapidly changing world around him. I was entirely submerged in Charlie’s world of emotional questioning, and I tied myself to him as if he was genuinely my best friend.

Charlie is the magic of this novel—you will love him, cry for him, laugh with him, and feel as if every letter was indirectly written for you. “We are who we are for a lot of reasons…” and this uplifting tale delicately describes those reasons.

Throughout the novel, and even after finishing the novel, the reader will probably feel…infinite.

What are you waiting for? Happy reading!

~SAT

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Music Muse: The xx

27 Sep

Okay. So every writer (and any kind of artist) gets inspiration from somewhere, and I’ve found that an array of music causes a positive flow to the story creation. Think of listening to music while writing like a movie soundtrack. Songs can add brilliance to emotional perceptions, but they can also be wickedly entertaining (and they’re on-the-go with an iPod!). Basically, I’ll be on here every once in a while, sharing some of my favorite bands I’ve come across that I love to use for writing, and here’s my first!

The xx. They first debuted back in 2009, but their new album, Coexist, was recently released, and I’ve been listening to it nonstop since it was gifted to me (See? Even my circle knows I’m crazy about this stuff).

I definitely suggest them. The xx is enchantingly mellow and deliciously personal. Coexist, an album generally described as experimental or indie pop, subtlety submerges the listener into the passionate desire of love and heartbreak. Even their first song, “Angel,” seems to melt the world away as the duet reconvenes time and time again, sending us through the dark, but beautiful, moments of coexisting with another person.

Songs like “Angel” and “Sunset” can truly encourage inspiration (if writing hasn’t done that to you already), and I think I may just start listening to them right now…

::starts dancing while typing:: (It’s like playing the piano).

Click here for more info and/or to buy it!

~SAT

“Coexist” album cover

Author: Meet Jessica Shirvington

26 Sep

So one of my favorite pastimes is to meet fellow authors. There’s nothing better than going to your local bookstore, grabbing a coffee and a novel, then shaking hands with the person behind the work.

Well, readers, yesterday one of my best friends was able to meet Jessica Shirvington, author of Embrace. Since I was unable to attend, she got this personalized letter from her to me (if only every person in this world was as sweet as my thoughtful friend).

Speaking of which, I am in the process of reading this novel right now! And I’ll be sure to give it my review soon.

Until then,

~SAT

Jessica Shirvington

My lovely letter from Jessica Shirvington

My Primary Post

25 Sep

Since this is my first post, I feel obligated to say something prolific and wise, yet words cannot express how excited I am for the future!

First, I’d like to thank the wonderful Robin Hoffman, The Get Published Coach, for exposing me to what is now my personal website and “coaching” me along the way.

Second, thank you for stopping by. I’m looking forward to writing about the publishing industry and my experiences as I submerge myself into it.

And remember, never give up on your dreams.

-SAT

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