Tag Archives: thursday thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: Love Triangles

thursday-thoughts-bannerThursday Thoughts is a weekly discussion meme hosted by Ashley at Ok, Let’s Read! She has a linky on her site so even if you don’t participate, make sure you check out other bloggers’ links!

This week, we’re talking about love triangles. Do I hate them? Love them? Feel like they’re overdone? Do I think they deserve a chance if they’re done properly?

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First of all, I’d like to go on record saying that in real life, love triangles are just a bad idea. I understand feeling something for more than one person at a time but I genuinely think that it’s usually just a case of someone being to scared to admit they’re unhappy in one relationship and want out, but don’t know how to do it.

But in fiction, love triangles usually serve as a plot device. They’ve been used for centuries, the Queen of Romance (that’s not an official title, as far as I know, it just felt appropriate), Jane Austen, being one of those who excelled at them. So yes, I think love triangles can be great if they’re executed properly. See, Jane knew what she was doing – she made Wickham really appealing at first but gave him a nasty, nasty character, for example, while she made Darcy really gruff and gave him a heart of gold. So in the end, Elizabeth had no doubt she was making the right decision.

Nowadays, however, there’s an overabundance of love triangles where the heroine (let’s face it, it’s usually 1 girl + 2 boys) seems really confused about who is the right choice. Take Bella (Twilight), for example. I wanted to beat her over the head with something really heavy when she was oscillating between Edward and Jacob – I just think there’s no way a person can feel like that about two people at once. It might be my appalling lack of experience in love-related drama (I was lucky that way, I guess), but there you have it.

I dislike love triangles where the heroine leads both guys on, only to choose the obvious one in the end and leave the other broken-hearted, so someone else has to pick up the pieces. Again, Bella seems like a really good example of this – and Meyer did the creepy thing, making Jacob fall for Bella’s baby daughter instead…

But the bookish community seems to thrive on love triangles – there’s always the question of Team Jacob versus Team Edward, and I’ve even seen book bloggers feature banners which declare their allegiance. I guess I always choose sides in such a situation, as well: Team Ziri over Team Akiva (Daughter of Smoke and Bone), Team Chaol over Team Dorian (Throne of Glass), Team Jem over Team Will (Infernal Devices).

So the bottom line is: I think love triangles can be good if executed properly. But I do think that stashing one in every novel with a slight romantic twist might not be a good idea – there are other ways of building tension within a romantic relationship, after all.

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What’s your take on love triangles? Are you fed up with them?

Or do you like to choose a side and root for the guy you prefer?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! :)

Thursday Thoughts: Reader Problems

thursday-thoughts-bannerYay, I’m doing a Thursday Thoughts post again after two weeks! As always, it’s a weekly meme hosted by Ashley at Ok, Let’s Read! Don’t forget to go and check out other participants’ posts!

This weeks’s topic is reader problems. I actually have a “bookish pet peeves” post stashed somewhere for a rainy day, so I’ll be focusing on these questions: Do you deal with book hangovers often? How do you react when a character you like is killed off? Do certain books you might be reading affect your daily life? Do you catch yourself daydreaming about the characters in your books?

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I absolutely hate book hangovers. They happen every once in a while after I read a particularly awesome book and then I stare at a full bookshelf, browse my massive tbr list and don’t feel like reading anything that would spoil the lovely mood that great book has left behind. But while I sometimes wish I could only read 5-star books and nothing else, I know I have to read some crappier/average ones in between. You know that saying about needing the darkness to see the stars, right? I think it holds for books as well.

As for authors killing off characters I like… Well, I kind of hated George R. R. Martin for a while because he kept murdering people I cared about. But I totally get it – it’s a great plot device. Nevertheless, I’m still holding a grudge against Scott Lynch and Laini Taylor *spoiler alert: the text is white so you have to mark it to see it* – Scott for killing the Sanza brothers and Laini for killing Hazael. *end spoiler* I mean, how could they?!

As for the effect that books have on my life – I’m certainly susceptible to books. For one, I often cry when reading, whether it’s a serious, hard-to-read book or just something really sentimental in a romance. One of my all-time favourite books, Les Aurores Montreales by Monique Proulx, made me cry so hard – at three in the morning, no less – that my husband (then a boyfrind of two years and unused to my more watery reading habits) was seriously concerned about me as I sat in bed, sobbing quietly while trying to dry my tears enough to see the words on the page.

Other than that, I had a couple of unpleasant days when I read Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind and I started being much more mindful of the smells in my surroundings. It made riding on a bus in the sweltering heat of the summer a bit of a nightmare (humans can be smelly creatures!). Yann Martel’s Beatrice and Virgil also left a very nasty aftertaste that took me days to shake – it kept intruding on my thoughts.

When I’m super interested in a book, especially one that my husband has read as well, I often catch us talking about characters as if they were real people. We discuss what they’d do if their circumstances were different and wonder if they’d like characters from other books (I would *love* to see how Kvothe and Locke would hit it off… They’d either become best buddies or kill each other.). This is more common with series, because I get more attached to characters when I can follow their various adventures. I love series.

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Do you curse authors for the decisions they make? Do you grieve for your favourite characters?

Do you cry when you read sad books? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

Thursday Thoughts: Where Do You Read?

thursday-thoughts-bannerThursday Thoughts is a weekly meme hosted by Ashley of Ok, Let’s Read and it has become something of a regular feature here on Of Dragons and Hearts. The prompts are always cool and I love reading other bloggers’ responses.

This week, we’re focusing on where we read. Do I mostly read in one designated place? Do In fall asleep reading in bed? Do I read in public? What would be my fantasy reading location?

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Hm, well… I think I covered quite a lot of these questions when I did a Thursday Thoughts post on reading conditions a while back. Also, my reading habits are changing rapidly because we now have a tiny new person in our little family, so I decided to focus on the fantasy part of the prompt and create a moodboard for what I think would be my dream reading experience. Unfortunately, this means that this post isn’t so much about thinking as it is about looking at pretty stuff. :) I’m a cheater. So here goes:moodboard

Images found on (from top to bottom): 123456.

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I love collecting pictures of books, lovely reading spaces and libraries. If you wish to see more, you can follow my board, Books, on Pinterest.

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Do you have a preferred reading space? What would your fantasy reading nook look like?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so don’t hesitate to share! :)

Thursday Thoughts: Cover Changes

thursday-thoughts-bannerThursday Thoughts is a weekly meme hosted by Ashley at Ok, Let’s read! She chooses really good prompts and I like participating. Go and check out other bloggers’ links as well, it’s always worth it!

This week’s topic is cover changes. Am I particular about having all the books in a series look the same? What do I think about movie tie- in covers? Which book covers are my favourite?

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Well. I’ve read a lot of complaints across the blogosphere about having lovely, matching covers and formats of books on the shelves. And I understand, especially if a person’s bookshelves are a focal point in a room. But I’m not too particular about this. I’m sort of ashamed to say, but I mostly go for the cheapest paperback issue of the book when I can get it. I buy so many books I’d go bankrupt if I bought all the lovely hardcovers of the world…

twilight-movie-coverMy bookshelves are filled with mismatched series. The worst, I think, is The Twilight Saga, where I bought the first book when the movie tie-in version was already out (it’s not too pretty but it was the cheapest, oops – and while I’m on the topic of movie tie-ins, I don’t really like them and usually prefer the original design), then I bought the second and third books as mass market paperbacks and then the last one also in paperback, but it’s in a significantly larger format.

The other mismatches series include A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, Gentleman Bastard Sequence by Scott Lynch and The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss, where my husband and I bought the first books as mass-market paperbacks and then couldn’t wait for the same format for the following books.

assassins-apprentice-horribleBut sometimes some novels have such atrocious covers that I eye-of-the-world-horriblesimply cannot make myself buy them, even if they’re cheaper than others. I don’t know why, but fantasy is particularly bad in this regard (to be honest, romance covers can be the worst, but it’s sort of expected there). I mean, just look at these: Robin Hobb’s and Robert Jordan’s books are terrible in some editions, so we always buy the more neutral covers.

That said, I’m really bummed thet my Kindle doesn’t display covers. I like a pretty cover and just looking at and feeling the book in my hands, and it’s sometimes a bit boring to just have a plain wall of uniform electronic text without the graphic design that accompanies the “real” version.

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So, am I a cover snob? I wouldn’t say so. Money is a significant factor for me when I’m buying books, I’m sad to say, but some covers cross that line from bad to horrible and even I can’t abide buying them. 

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How about you? Are you particular about your books’ looks? :)

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so go ahead and share!

 

Thursday Thoughts: Audiobooks

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Thursday Thoughts is a weekly meme hosted by Ahsley of Ok, Let’s Read! I highly recommend you go and check out other bloggers’ links because they always post interesting things. :)

This week’s topic is Audiobooks. Ashley’s prompt is pretty straightforward: Do I listen to audiobooks? Do I enjoy them? Are there certain genres that I prefer when listening to them?

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I listen to quite a lot of audiobooks. I’ve got my trusty old iPod (I’m not sure how much you audio know about iPod models but this Nano is almost 4 years old and I’m amazed it’s still functional) and I listen to them:

  • on the bus – public transport in Ljubljana is abysmal and it takes a while to get anywhere by bus
  • when cooking – I enjoy cooking very much and it’s even more enjoyable when combined with literature
  • when doing chores – I don’t enjoy these as much, but they are better with books
  • when my eyes feel to tired for reading – sometimes I fall asleep with my iPod on and have to go back and listen to half the chapter again because I’ve slept through it.

I *never* listen to audiobooks when driving – they’d distract me too much and I’d lose track of where I’m going / have an accident for sure.

I sometimes laugh out loud or nearly cry when listening to books I like, so I’ve gotten some pretty weird looks from fellow bus passengers and random pedestrians. I probably look slightly demented, staring into the distance with unfocused eyes, sniggering occasionally, but I comfort myself that I’ll never see these people again (hopefully).

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I listen to lots of different things in audiobook form. I find them particularly useful if I want to re-read a book but don’t have the time or will to read the hard copy. It’s usually just a matter of wanting to meet old friends again (I re-read a lot), but sometimes I want to refresh my memory when a new instalment of a series comes out and I’m not too sure about the plot of the previous parts or something.

There are some books that I can’t manage in audiobook form, though. I tried to listen to The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, for example, and it was just too complex for me because I haven’t read it yet in paper form. I think that books which require constant attention are better suited to “traditional” reading, at least at first, because it’s easy to get lost if you miss a bit of the narration becuase of a sudden noise in the background or something.

Much depends on how good the narrator is. I don’t care how brilliant the book is – I’ll drop it immediately if the narration is too affected or if I don’t like the narrator’s voice. I’ve reviewed the Cruel Beauty audiobook here on the blog and I mentioned this, as well.

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What are your thoughts on audiobooks? Do you listen to them? Do you have narrator/genre preferences?

I’d love to hear your opinions (and read your TT posts if you have them), so comment away! :)

Thursday Thoughts: the Power of Social Media

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Thursday Thoughts is a weekly discussion meme hosted by Ashley of Ok, Let’s Read. I really like her prompts and have been doing these posts almost every week this summer – do go and check the other bloggers’ links on her site, they always put up some fresh and interesting stuff!

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This week’s topic is the power of social media. And while I find the wording to be somewhat ominous-sounding, I agree that this is a really important aspect – both in the book blogging community and in our private lives.

So. What social media do I use? Umm… Twitter. That’s it. No, wait, I have a Pinterest account – and maybe we could count Goodreads and Bloglovin? No?

I’ve never had a Facebook account. The reason for this was quite silly at first – *everybody* (and their grandma) had it and I just didn’t feel like doing what everyone was doing at the moment. My husband (then boyfriend) luckily shared this opinion so I never felt the need to connect with my friends in that manner – instead, I trained them all to send me text messages or e-mails when they wanted something from me.

I’ve never had an Instagram account. The reason for this one is more practical: my Samsung phone is 4.5 years old, has an abysmal camera and no wi-fi option, so it’s quite impossible for me to use Instagram. I mean, I do have a new Nexus tablet but it’s not something I lug around in my purse every day. I’m actually pretty sure I’ll set up an account once I get a new phone, but it might not be for a while because I hate throwing away perfectly good things (and the phone’s still going strong, the battery lasts for a week…).

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I really, really like Pinterest. I think it might be my favourite site – but it’s not really social, is it? So I wouldn’t say it helps me with my blog in any way, but I love it because it’s a place where I can look at and collect beautiful pictures of beautiful things, people and places. And sometimes I really need to look at pretty things at the end of the day.

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I’d say Twitter is the most useful tool for book bloggers. It’s concise, fast-paced and easy to use. I still only have some 30 followers and I follow a little less than 90 accounts, but I feel like it’s doing its job for now. I’m sure there are ways to squeeze more out of it (scheduling tweets so the largest number of users is online etc.), but I’m not quite there yet. :)

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As for authors on Twitter… I still get all giddy when an author favourites or retweets something I’ve posted. I don’t know if other, more experienced bloggers still get a rush out of this and rationally, I *know* authors are just normal people, but they feel like something more and this makes their attention worth so much more. Those tweets also get the most views (according to my stats) and sometimes get retweeted or favourited by people who aren’t my followers, so I’d say an author’s notice is definitely worth a lot!

I have a batch of favourite authors, as we all do, but I don’t follow all of them on Twitter. Some of them just post too often for my taste – I’m not exactly sure what constitutes a “too much” on Twitter, but if I’m annoyed by them, I won’t follow, no matter how much I love their books (same goes for other celebrities and also bloggers of all sorts).

Here’s a list of my favourites, though, they are moderate, fun tweeters and I like that they keep their tweets informative, appropriate and interesting!

  • Scott Lynch – I’d read his grocery lists to be honest, so following him on Twitter doesn’t seem like such a chore :) I love his cat tweets, as well.
  • Patrick Rothfuss – he can be grumpy at times but I like his beard.
  • Laini Taylor – has awesome tweets, retweets fan art (so cool) and posts pics from her travels!
  • Karen Hawkins – her tweets are really funny + she posts pictures of men in kilts (she writes Scotland-inspired historical romance). I don’t think we need another reason for following her, do we?
  • Samantha Shannon – I love that her tweets are always engaged, she shares writing tips, fan art and is a really young author that I respect.
  • Victoria Schwab – ditto. She’s also just moved to Edinburgh for her studies, so I’m excited to follow her journey there.
  • Sarah MacLean – While I’m not sure this is her true name, she posts cool things and breaks the stereotypes for what people ususally think about romance novelists.
  • Robin Hobb – well, she’s awesome. She’s this kind-hearted lady with a kick-ass attitude and writing. Can’t go wrong by following her, I can tell you.
  • Susan Dennard – I like that she’s young and ambitious and posts cool writing tips.

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Do you have any favourite authors to follow? I’d love to hear some good recommendations! 

Do you have any suggestions for making a better use of the social media? 

Do you have a separate personal account – apart from the one you use for your blog?