Jan 10, 2012

Fifty Followers Story Time Give Away

I want to say thank you to everyone who has followed my blog. It means a lot that you are interested in what I have to say, and I'm thrilled and touched that this is so. I really wanted to say thank you in a special and unique way, one that will hopefully mean as much to you as it does to me. It occurred to me that the best way to do this would be by hosting a giveaway for all of you. But it had to be something special, something that represented this blog in a way.

I've shared so much about what stories I love, but now I want to know what stories YOU love. What I'd love for you to do is to leave me a comment telling me just that. Let me know what sort of stories appeal to you and why. Is it a certain type of character? An element of plot? Is it a genre? I want to know! Name drop titles if you wish - though this is certainly not a requirement.

In return I will select one comment in a month's time. I'll read what they have to say and will select a story for them based on what I know from their post. After I've found a story for them I'll create a lucky pack themed around it. This may include jewelry, hair accessories, candy and small trinkets, but will all include elements of the story you like.

I'm really looking forward to reading what you have to say and selecting and crafting a prize package for the winner! Please keep in mind that this is a thank you to followers, so you must be a follower of this blog in order to win the gift, though new followers are more than appreciated.


  1. Directed here from the egl comm.

    Stories that appeal to me always deal with a person who does things they believe or have been told are the right thing, but in the end the consequences are not as expected, and so they have to accept the outcome, or change their moral/world view. I guess a good example would be Ender's Game. The archetype isn't genre specific but I guess while you read these kind of stories you also learn in the end something about the way you think.

    I like stories that make me question my own beliefs or give me another outlook to see. I think another good example would be the Mistbourn trilogy by Sanderson.

    I like characters, (main or otherwise) that have a strong set of code of conduct (stubborn maybe?) but along the way have to change their perspective to succeed in the end. Or along the lines of having an authority figure telling the character what/how they should act/react and in the end being wrong which gives the character their own path to choose what they believe in.

    Hopefully this isn't all over the place.

    Dragons rock socks too, just throwing that out there.

  2. I love so many different things about so many different stories, genres, and characters that it's really, really hard for me to pinpoint exact themes between my favorites. But I'll try!

    Usually when it comes to characters, I connect with the loner of the group, the one that no one quite understands, and no one quite understands why that person is hanging around them in the first place. For example, Raistlin Majere (in the Raistlin Chronicles, or the Dragonlance Chronicles, take your pick, both are uh-MAZE-ing.)is the quiet type, ambitious in his goals and constantly crosses lines in order to get done what needs to be finished. He's a -strong- loner, and that's what I tend to attach to in a character.
    On the other end of the spectrum,I do enjoy a good love story. Gone With the Wind, anyone? Scarlett O'Hara was a lucky lady who had no idea how lucky she was to snag Rhett Butler. I could go on forever and ever about this story in particular, so I'll stop here so this comment will still be of a decent, readable length.

  3. I ADORE book! Even books I dislike I dodn't think should be thrown away but given to someone who will love it. But enough of that ^^;

    So one thing I love is fantasy. Expecially things based on Greek myths!!! I think the reaosn why is because I love the complexity of the characters. I also really love when stories let you look into the mechanics of who the characters think which I really enjoy. Also when things ad described in detail because I cain imagine it with ease and the story unfolds like a movie in my mind.

    My top story is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland because it has more or less all the above elements; you peer into Alice's mind as she goes through Wonderland, fantasy and wonferful, whimsical details. I also love how, to me, it's a wonderful satyr of society back then and it's still applicable today. ^-^

    Other titles I love are the Percy Jackson series, the Kane Series, the House of Night, Kamikaze Girls and for manga series Tsubasa and xxxHolic.

  4. I learned to read very early. I grew up reading. Before I could even read that well, my mother bought me all the harry potter books and had me read along to the tapes. This helped me increase my vocabulary and I graduated onto reading large books by myself. I remember how proud I was when in the sixth grade I had a 12.9 reading level. (for those of you with different reading standards and levels, that's .1 below college reading level) I've been through many books--but I've found my favourite books to read are books that allow you to get into a character's MIND.

    You see, it's all well and good that you can visualize what a character is DOING, but when you can understand what a character is THINKING--my, my... That's a whole other story. It allows you to connect with the character on a personal level, and feel the things they feel. An example of a book I feel quite in love with would be Alice in Wonderland and it's sequel, Through the Looking Glass. This is a classic example of A story where you can delve into the character's mind and really understand THEM, not just what they're doing. Another example of a book I was completely enamored with would be Flowers for Algernon--A short novel about a retarded man who went through a procedure to boost his IQ. It's in the form of journal entries, beginning with his retardation and gradually growing into a whole new person, and then regressing to the man he was before. It was very sad and touching. I hope this post wasn't too very long;; and I hope I didn't bore you! If you haven't read the earlier mentioned titles you should definitely get your hands on them. They're must-reads.

  5. I love reading! I read a lot of stories, fiction and fantasy. I really like stories set in the past. I have always loved periods like rococo france, victorian england, etc. (It is my love for these time periods that eventually led me to discover lolita, and it was love at first sight!)

    The first books that come to mind is Black Beauty. It is such a sad but touching story! I love animals, especially horses, and i always wonder what they are thinking when you look into their big dark eyes. It feels almost as if they are looking into you. I loved reading about Black Beauty and knowing what he thought and what he felt, when in reality you can only guess to what animals are saying. It also apealed to me because of when and where it took place.

    I also really like the childrens stories that are written to imitate diarys. The royal diarys were especially fun to read about! My favorite, of course, was the one with Marie Antoinette. It also gives fun facts at the end about the "writer" and time period and place which was also fabulous to pearn more about!

    Alice in wonderland, through the looking glass, (obviously) Marley and me (another animal book, documenting real events), harry potter series(fantasticaly written!), and a novel called OUTA, which was about murder, and women trying to hide the evidence to save their friend. Gave me nightmares it was so good!

    I have a large variety of tastes. Honestly i reccoment OUT if you like thriller murder mystery type books! I didnt think i would like it, but once i started i vouldnt put it down!!!!

  6. I'm honestly not very sure at which genre or type of story I really do prefer to read. I don't really know what I like in specific. But I do know that I like a story that makes you think, or makes you feel as if a new part of yourself has just discovered to you, or added along : )

    These stories stay with you your whole life. And when you read them again, you feel true nostalgia, like you are meeting an old best friend.

    These stories are different for everyone. For me though, these are stories like "When We Were Orphans" by Kazuo Ushiguro, "I am a cat" by Soseki Natsume, all of the stories from Fran├žoise Sagan, and others.

    When I read, I feel like I jump into the story. Its as if you have entered a whole new world unknown to you previously. It makes me understand that there are boundless amount of stories in this world, happening all around me.

    I wasnt a follower of your blog, but I think Ill become one now :>

  7. I love to read I'm a big fan of the goth classics like Poe and Byron :)

  8. Directed here from the EGL comm...

    Personally, I'm a fan of dark/gothic fantasy stories -- things that deal with the realm of the supernatural and things beyond our control, as well as things that draw inspiration from old fairy-tales and myths as well things like Alice and Wonderland. Not necessarily horror stories, but stories with an element of terror to them -- just a sort of...gentle creeping eeriness about them. Stories that deal with the struggle between good and evil and most particularly ones that focus on demons/angels and heaven/hell. Not necessarily religiously themed, but with that sort of over-arcing feeling.

    Stories with the general feel that I'm thinking of are mostly in anime and manga but ones like Fullmetal Alchemist (good and evil within us, forces beyond our control), Pandora Hearts (the fairy-tale/myth sort of feeling, drawing loads of inspiration from Alice in Wonderland) and Alice Ever Falling by VemberJudgement (I'm not sure of his real name, but it's a wonderful, extremely dark and graphic horror novel based around AIW-esque themes and characters.)

    I also love stories that focus on the bond between friends or family members -- things that show how family and friends can pull us through even our darkest times.

    When it comes to characters, it can change a lot depending on their role. I generally prefer for the characters to be of higher-than-average intelligence; the misunderstood genius, the bitter skeptic and things like that. For protagonists, generally, I like characters with hard pasts -- people who have been through really difficult times and the rise above it to do something good; people who sometimes do bad things but always have the right intentions. Not necessarily selfless, but still generally good at heart. With antagonists, I really like characters who are misunderstood -- characters who, maybe at one point, were on the right road but eventually (possibly due to circumstances beyond their control) took a wrong turn and became villains. I also like characters who, on the surface, are horrible, manipulative and sadistic but might still have some trace of good inside of them.

    It all plays into that "conflict of good and evil" thing, I think. Characters who are, in the end, neither truly good nor truly evil; characters who are what they are because of the circumstances around them and the decisions they've been forced to make....

    Although, I have to admit, the irredeemable (or demonic) antagonist is also appealing... The more human antagonist is by far my favorite. They're just more likable. I want to be able to mourn the villain's inevitable death.

    I guess, to sum it up: I like stories with a dark theme that have clear fairy-tale/mythic inspiration with the theme of overcoming internal evils and intelligent, human characters -- in both the antagonists and protagonists.

  9. It may sound cheesey, but I'm a cheesey gal so here it goes: I adore love stories. I've never read a single romance novel...unless you count my husband following me around Barnes and Noble, reciting the dirty parts of them just to embarass me! Books that normally have a slight romantic flair to them, I blow way out of proportion. For example, I will sometimes pick up The Lord of the Rings trilogy just to read the sweet portions between Faramir and Eowyn at the end.
    Lately all I've had time to read is manga! Shoujo manga satisfies my sweet tooth, but if I had more time I would like to go back and read some classics that I really enjoy. My favorite love story of all time is Pride and Prejudice; I collect different print copies of it, actually! I have a huge collection of Jane Austen novels, too. I would love nothing more than to take a week off and blaze through them all over again.
    Perhaps I just enjoy romance so much because I have my own prince charming! I love reading about people finding their soul mate and living happily ever after :3

  10. Hi there! My favorite kind of story is fantasy stories that are written by women. Not necessarily with female protagonists, I just think women write stories I like better. They can have a happy ending or a sad ending. I like both :)

  11. I find myself drawn to books where the characters are flawed or struggling with the ups and downs of life like I am. One example is Georgia Nicholson of Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging who tries to be original despite her unconventional choices (For a costume party, she goes as a stuffed olive for originality but realizes that her friends decided to dress in typical angel/princess/devil costumes), psychotic cat Angus (who likes to chase dogs), and her attempts to tell cute boy Robbie that she likes him. (In one instance trying to use toilet bleach to dye her blonde to impress him and it falls out in his hand!)

    I also enjoy books where characters are forced to make difficult decisions which I feel shows what really matters to them. Speak, Things Not Seen, and A Certain Slant of Light are some of the books I've read that touch upon that idea.

    Another favorite genre I like reading is mystery, particularly Agatha Christie books. Her detective characters were unconventional figures of their time and kept me entertained through their dialogue, methods, and approach to handling clues in the cases.

  12. I love stories with strong main characters, especially girls. My favorite genre is fantasy. I love imagining the clothes and lifestyle that the people in the different worlds in fantasy stories have.
    I also love when there's a little romance, especially when the characters are just perfect for each other but go through that long phase before any of it comes out. Those moments when their eyes meet, and their cheeks turn red always makes my heart stop.

    And my other favorite is classic british literature. I could read pride and prejudice and jane eyre a thousand times.

  13. I think the most important element of a story [to me] is whether or not it captivates me, and makes me feel. I like a book that takes me far away from where I am (Memoirs of a Geisha, A Thousand Spledid Suns, The Kite Runner, Harry Potter, Life of Pi). I enjoy books that make me stop and think, and I enjoy books that have strong, loving characters that are not afraid to stand up for what/who they believe in (A Thousand Splendid Suns, i love that book so much). I like characters that yearn to be loved and to love. I think tasteful deaths can be a nice element, but I also love a (happy)resolution (once again, Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns are good examples). Throughout this, there should also be an element of humor. I love nothing more in life then to laugh (and feel). I do enjoy the occational fantastical plot (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), but I also really enjoy books about 'real' characters, ones whom could really exist, ones you can feel humanity with, relate to them, and learn from them. I liek books that are not afraid to be blunt, and hurt you, and show tough elements. I love those stories because they are so painfully human, so filled with truths. If they can manage to make the characters real, and honest to the point where it hurts AND are still able to make me laugh out loud, that story gets an A++.
    Also: Zombies. XD

  14. My favourite stories have a huge history behind them. I just can’t get enough of them.
    With J.R.R. Tolkien, I devoured every scrap of everything he wrote – appendices, histories, letters. Every hint of the history of his world fascinated me, the vast time and the distances and the subtlety of history.
    Same with Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (a fantasy novel about "practical magicians" set during the Napoleonic Wars)the world of fairy is hinted and it's so beautiful and old but the author doesn't give it all away.
    I love beauty of language, and a strong sense of place, and a journey. Not always a physical journey! Have you ever read the Emily of New Moon trilogy by L. M. Montgomery? After reading it I feel like I grew up in early 20th century Prince Edward Island! There is such a sense of the time, and the place and the characters.
    And for sense of place, I love Terry Pratchett, especially the Watch novel set in Ankh Morpork. Epic? Certainly! World and mirror of worlds!
    All these books gave me a springboard for my imagination, whether fantasy or historical or just epic!

  15. My favourite stories almost always will have an element of fantasy; I love to imagine that it is possible that there is much more in our world than we know or than we can see; for example, the Wicked Lovely series are one of my favourites. They create an incredible new fey world that lies within the world we know, yet that is completely separate and hidden. Though I equally love books that create an utterly new world, such as Lord of the Rings, the Inheritance Cycle, the Song of Albion - that create a world inhabited by fantastic creatures that live alongside man. There is something that, for me, is incredibly enticing about fantasy creatures - I want to be an elf, a fairy, a werewolf and experience their challenges and their joys, and I want to see and wonder at creatures that are totally other - dragons, phoenixes.. Even fantastic battles entice me, like the Icemark Chronicles. I can't explain why, I just.. want to be there.
    However, whether fantasy or not, if by the end of it, nothing has been learnt and nobody changed, it is not a story worth hearing. Occasionally you read books or see films in which the protagonist starts off mean and ends up mean but still wins. I know that might be how it often happens in real life but it teaches people a bad lesson in fiction.
    Also, a story is rarely complete without romance of some kind - it is beautiful when a couple you have journeyed with through the whole story are joined and you can imagine, or sometimes read, snippets of their life together. You personally know the characters and I get a warm, happy feeling. Especially when the idea of destiny comes into it - knowing that these two people are somehow destined to meet and to eventually fall in love reminds me that there is someone for everyone.
    Also, I love stories I can cry at - like in Sense and Sensibility I cry when Elinor finds out that Edward is unmarried, in Harry Potter I cry when Sirius dies or when Harry sacrifices himself, in Pollyanna I cry when she can't play the Glad Game anymore and everybody else can. Stories that having something so moving that I can cry at it.. I don't know. I want so much to be able to move people to tears by telling them a story someday.
    Sorry if I sound really corny by the way.. I get kind of carried away talking about stories :)

  16. Marian NavaJanuary 12, 2012

    I enjoy all kinds of books, whether it be Archie Comics, or Gothic Horror/Novels of the 1980's, such as "Flowers in the Attic."

    With that said, a book that has always resonated in me is Saint-Exupery's "Le Petit Prince" (the Little Prince.) I have read it in English, Spanish and French. Although most find it to be a Children's book, it is actually far more than that. It's about Human Nature and Life. As children, we are carefree and tend not to worry, but this book teaches the reader that sometimes, life is not so simple. As we grow older, we learn that "One sees clearly with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye," as the character of the fox teaches the young prince. With the difficult childhood I endured, this line has always stuck with me, since the first time I read this book at a young age.

    The character of the fox also teaches the young prince that we, as human beings, "are responsible for what we have tamed." As a soon to be mother, this is a big theme for me right now as well. The time we devote to what we love is what makes that thing so important, whether it be a hobby or my soon to be child.

    There are so many important life lessons in this book- many of them sad in nature, but realistic. The author is discouraged from being an artist (as I was,) the prince is in love with his rose, who is too vain to share the same sentiment with the prince, and the prince meets quite a few foolish adults throughout his travels. The lesson in the last part is to show both children and adults, adults are not always right. This is something I will need to keep in mind when deciding what is right or not for my child.

    In the end, the reader will learn that just as much as adults have a thing or two to teach children, children also have a thing or two to teach adults, eliminating the phrase, "Children should be seen, not heard." This is definitely something I will be keeping in mind for many years to come.

  17. I love stories with ingenious surprises within them; whether it's a pivotal oddball plot device, like Dorian Gray's cursed painting, or an eccentricity within a character. I love stories where stereotypes are subverted, like Angela Carter's decadent powerful women. I love stories with lazy, Wildean asides, cuthroat observations on society and how we lie.

    I read stories for escapism into worlds, particularly ones with political court intrigue and mind-games between two highly intelligent protagonists - Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty come to mind. I read stories for the characters, for the sad-eyed boy living with a clockwork heart, or for the monster chasing his creator across the Antarctic ice in search of love and a humanity denied him. I read stories to see the world reflected, and to come to terms with how brutal and wonderful life is because the truth is stranger than fiction, often.

    I read stories to live other lives, to experience a form of verstehen. I become a razor-brained detective, preparing a seven-per-cent solution, or a lace-veiled vampiress laying out her tarot cards and preparing for her next victim. I am a forlorn mermaid, a match girl, a soldier on an epic quest. I'm the boy-next-door and the forever-best-friend. I am everyone at once, and it's a strange, addictive form of immortality, where everything is possible, because in fiction, anything is: nothing is ever final, and all the unicorns are real. As G.K. Chesterton said, "Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us dragons exist, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten." I love stories for giving me that hope, curled up in their yellowing pages.

    I love stories for the sake of loving them, regardless of genre, plotline or characterisation; because really, how could I not?

  18. My favourite types of stories would be those that include intellectual and psychological themes. Stories which stimulate reader response and involvement are also very interesting. I find careful planning of the story and plot line, in how the story will progress is also very interesting and admirable.

    Not only do I love stories portrayed in novels, but I also love those in manga and anime. I recently finished reading Huckleberry Finn, a novel I perhaps should have read earlier, but I probably wouldn't have been able to see and admire at all the careful and intricate planning the characters make. My favourite psychological mangas include Ludwig Kakumei/revolution and God Child, as it stimulates reader response and displays a carefully planned story. Code Geass would perhaps be the best and my favourite anime I have watched as the story is planned out so well and carefully like the protagonist's actions. These stories have caused me to rethink and re-evaluate many things in life and the world today.

    I would recommend these stories to anyone whether they like these story types or not as they are my favourite stories and the first to come to mind!

  19. My favorite kind of stories are those about horror. My favorite writer is Stephen King, and of all of his books my favorite one is Pet sematary. On the other side I also like remantic novels that can make you believe in something that could be almost imposible. One of those stories is The Lady of the camellias. I cried at the end of the book ): and I almost never cry. That kind of stories that can touch your heart when you're unaware of it are beautiful :'). Fantasy stories are also of my like, when I was a child I loved Alice's adventures in wonderland but I must admit that I never read Through the looking glass (I was unaware that there was a second book of alice's adventures) and as I don't want to read it online (I hate to read "books" on the computer) I'm looking for it, but the book stores in my city don't carry it, so hopefully I'll buy it online anytime soon :)
    I read almost anything, and as my dad have a LOT of books I usually borrow the books that he recomend to me. I'm sure I'll never read as much books as him, but I'm happy to say that he inspired me to read more n.n

  20. I really love fantasy stories. One of my favourite series' is Harry Potter (I am a HUGE Potterhead :D. But before Harry Potter was a major thing in my life the series that has made me want to be an English major, even, is the Series of Unfortunate Events. It is a fantastic series that opens the imagination and makes the mind wander, but also teaches you things that are actually useful in every day life. I also, going with the theme of being an English major, love Shakespeare. My favourite play, going with the theme of loving fantasy, is a Midsummer Nights Dream. ANother of my favourite fantasy stories is Cube Route, the 27th story of Xanth by Phillip Pulman. I enjoy stories with strong female characters, people put into unbelievable situations and needing to defeat something great. I love books that show the importance of friendship.

    What can I say? I'm a huge cheeseball!