My Reading Reflection: Since August

What did you read (genre)?

I’ve read: I Hunt Killers, Hoot, The Night Circus, I’m the King of the Castle, The Wasp Factory, Mark of Athena and House of Hades. Genres are thriller, adventure, action, mystery, romance, realistic fiction, fantasy and psychological.

What did you love?  

There is a lot of things I love in the books I have read so far, such as the enchanting and breathtaking descriptions of sceneries conjured by illusion/ magic in The Night Circus (especially the Ice Garden, Cloud Maze and the Wishing Tree). The thrill behind the fact that the main protagonist of I Hunt Killers is a son of a notorious serial killer and the dark psychological conflict in his mind where he is simply afraid that he will become like his father.

When and where did you get most of your reading done? 

Usually I read whenever I have the time to, which is almost anytime as long as I could relax and have no homework or tests to worry about. I usually read in my home, but sometimes if I find a really great book, I take it everywhere.

Are you growing as a reader? Explain. 

I believe that I’m growing as a reader because I’ve started to look for books/novels/series that contain a more mature understanding/ topic with more complex plots. I also think that my reading skills have improved as I’m able to read more quickly.

Estimate your growth in stamina. How long can you read at once? Has this changed this quarter?

I can actually read an entire book in a day, although this certain book must be a page turner in order for me to fulfill that. Otherwise I can read for hours, though this also depend on how riveting I find the book. I’m not too sure whether this has changed yet.

How do you plan to challenge yourself during quarter 2?

By reading books that require more complex vocabulary so that I can keep checking the dictionary and keep learning them.

What is your goal for the total number of books you can read this semester? This school year?

Maybe 3-4 books this semester? I would try 7-10 books for this school year (which includes the books I read before).

What have you learnt about yourself as a reader this quarter?

I learnt that I’m quite a greedy reader when it comes to reading books that I find thrilling.

Reading Goals, challenges & books I want to read

For my goals and challenges, I want to try attempt some difficult texts or maybe book genres that I don’t generally read (non-fiction, historical fiction, realistic fiction..etc) so that I can improve the style of my writing and understanding/ analysis of books.

7 Books that I want to read by May 2015 (in no particular order):

1. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

2. Mr Mercedes by Stephan King (I need to finish reading!)

3 . Mona Lisa Code by Dan Brown

4. The Enemy by Charlie Higgins (starting)

5. Extremely loud and incredibly close by Jonathan Safran Foer

6. Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (also need to finish reading)

7. Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff

In this list of books I’m planning to read, I think the most challenging books would be The Lord of the Rings series and the Mona Lisa Code. I’ll need to make sure I read carefully so that I remember the details and their vocabulary/ style would be quite harder too.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

Hew! Came back from a really long holiday away from home a few days ago, so I’ve decided that I should quickly get started blogging about the books I have read overseas in the past few weeks.

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Here is Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. Strange events takes place in Florida when a well-known American pancake restaurant, Mother Paula’s,  is about to begin their construction of their future restaurant, like alligators in toilet pots, a black spray painted car window, the disappearance of bulldozer seats and more. Although the police and the company tries to catch the one behind these events that caused the delay of the construction. 

I picked this book up when I was also looking for a thriller genre book (I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga) in the bookshop and I think it was an interesting story. At first, I didn’t really realise how the title of this book “Hoot” had any connection with these strange events, but now it really does make sense after the discovery of the burrowing owls.

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You won’t find out about their existence/ importance in this story until you read up to a certain point of the book (around halfway?). 

I liked how Roy Eberhardt, who is the main character of this story, isn’t really your typical schoolboy who likes to play video games and do things what boys of that age would do. An example would be that he extremely likes to read books and he seems to be a very mature and intelligent boy at his age. However, I wouldn’t call him a nerd because of these characteristics, as he also has a courageous streak in his character.

In this book, the story tells us about the important issues of the natural environment that is being threatened by modern constructions of buildings. I was curious in how (Roy and his friends) would handle the situation because they would not have much power over the construction site as the company did. In my opinion, I did not exactly feel excited or it wasn’t much of a page turner, but I felt it certainly did have an interesting plot line (I especially enjoyed the strange events that took place at the beginning because it made me really puzzled). 

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

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I decided to read a different genre and I came across this book when I was at the thriller/ mystery section of the bookstore. What caught my attention in I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga was the main protagonist, Jasper Dent, who is the son of a (fictional) notorious serial killer known as Billy Dent. I thought it would be very interesting how the author would have wrote about the life of a serial killer’s son. Also, since the story is in Jasper’s viewpoint it makes the story interesting. After reading this book, I am pretty sure this book would fit perfectly in the psychological genre section because there is a lot of internal conflict/ struggle that Jasper deals with throughout the story as he extremely dislikes his father and he fears that “like father like son”, he will also become a killer.

Prior the story starts, Billy Dent is caught by the police and Jasper begins to live with his grandmother because he does not have a mother (whom he believes she was murdered by his father).

The story starts off at a peaceful town (where Jasper lives) where a corpse of a woman is found at a field. Her death marks the first victim of the serial killer who calls himself the “Impressionist” and Jasper tries to catch the killer. Although he tries to convince the police for him to assist them, G. William (an officer he knows well) refuses because he is only 17 years old.

There are a lot of interesting elements/ concepts that the author included in this book so it has recently become one of my favourite. I have actually read the translated version (in my native language) because I thought that I should try to improve the vocabulary of my native language while reading the book. There were some parts that I found hard to grasp because of that; nevertheless I raced through the entire book in a couple of days. This book is the first of a series so I have started reading the next! This time in English because I can’t find the translated version here, but I’m hoping that the next book will be just as or even better than the first!

My Summer Reading Challenge: The List

Very soon it’s going to be summer so I came up with a list of books I’m aiming to read during this holiday. (I’ll be adding more books in this list soon) Here it is:

1. I’m the King of the Castle by Susan Hill

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2. Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

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3. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

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4. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga  (Korean Version…I decided it would be interesting for me to try reading it in my own language)

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5. Hoot by  Carl Hiaasen

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I’m the King of the Castle by Susan Hill: The Hoopers

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I’m the King of the Castle by Susan Hill is a new book that we have decided to read in class. To me, the title of this book sounds very nostalgic to me. It was during my summer holiday when me and my family went to a vacation. A kid was shouting, “I’M THE KING OF THE CASTLE! AND YOUR THE DIRTY RASCAL!”, to another kid. I didn’t understand what they meant by that, so I quickly dismissed it, thinking that they were simply playing one of those role playing game. But now that I’m starting to read a book with a title like that, I think I’ll be able to find out what they meant.

The beginning of the novel started out in a really gloomy mood. Edmund Hooper, one of the main characters in this book, had lost his grandmother and now his grandfather was passing away soon. From the start, after reading the first few lines, I knew something was going to happened and to me it felt like a foreshadowing. I’ve also realised that Edmund did not feel too concerned that his grandfather had died because he wasn’t that close to him.

Edmund and his father (Joseph Hooper) were moving to Warings, which is a very dark and sombre mansion that is left in their possession, but Edmund didn’t want to go there. The impression Edmund left of me after a few pages was that he was a difficult child. He doesn’t seemed like a child who would willingly follow or obey their parents (not that this is entirely bad because it means that they’re somewhat independent), but if he was told forcefully to do so then he would reluctantly do so in the end. I felt troubled by his character because Edmund is probably not one of the nicest characters I’ve met in a book so far. It’s almost like he’s brewing some kind of trouble for Charles Kingshaw (a poor child who’s going to suffer from Edmund’s bullying in the next chapter or something like that, but I won’t be saying much of him in this post because I want to base this post only from chapter 1). Also, his relationship with his father wasn’t that great either because his father would often seem to worry that Edmund did not feel close to him. I personally felt that his father was a good person. On the other hand, maybe his mother was different because his father believes that Edmund seemed more like his wife (who passed away).

I feel the need to read

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Currently, I’m reading a book called The Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb and I’m starting to like the book after quite a few chapters. The story focuses on a boy called Fitz, who is the assassin’s apprentice and also the nar. Immediately, the book really interested me and I wondered, “So what’s his story and what would it be like to be an assassin?”. This might sound like a pretty weird question because it’s pretty obvious what an assassin would do. But, when I started to read the book I realised that there was more to his story than what I thought it would be. 

In the beginning, Fitz actually doesn’t have a name. He’s just called, “Boy”. It was his mother who unwillingly gave him away to a member of the royal family, Regal. Fitz isn’t actually an ordinary boy, but he’s the bastard son of Chivalry. In the beginning, he is taken care of by Burrich, who is the loyal stableman of Chivalry, but later on he lives in Buckeep castle as he trains to become an assassin by Chade (Fitz master who teaches him assassination).

Although, I feel that the beginning is too slow paced, I’m starting to enjoy the book. Fitz finally becomes the assassin’s apprentice after a lot of chapters so don’t expect the story to go straight into his life as an assassin because it takes a while to get there. I’ll be making a separate post when Fitz became the assassin because it was a moment I was waiting for and I really liked how the writer wrote that part.