2012 In Review: Adam’s Top Five Films of the Year

moonrise_kingdomWhen Kim asked me for my top five films of the year, I thought “wow that’s going to be really hard to decide”. I love films and I love reading critics’ top ten films of the year lists. Sports people get excited for draft days and signing of free agents. I, on the other hand, get excited for the end of the year and the start of Oscar season. To read what critics loved and loathed and being able to see how my own list compares to theirs greatly excites me. To finally be able to do my list is really awesome! Unfortunately seeing films in Manhattan is expensive, so I haven’t seen that many 2012 releases.

Author’s note: I have not seen Les Miserables yet.  Odds are once I do, that will be number one (unless it sucks). But as of December 9, 2012 this is my top five list.

Number 5: Moonrise Kingdom: An extremely unique love story told by the massively creative Wes Anderson. Just from viewing the trailer, I knew this would be a classic Wes Anderson film. Seeing Moonrise Kingdom offered me some of the most carefree time spent at the movies this year.  A great ensemble and great cinematography make this a film not to be missed.

2012_5_25_AbrahamLincolnVampireHunterNumber 4: Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter: Ah, yes the lesser known of the two Lincoln “biopics” films of 2012.  Adapted from the equally entertaining novel of the same name by Seth Grahame- Smith, this film tells the unknown history of one of the greatest leaders this country has ever had (you can read my book review here and my page to screen review here.) With action sequences and solid performances that kept the audience at the edge of their seat, this film proved once and for all that there is such thing as a good book to screen adaptation.

Number 3: I couldn’t decide between The Hunger Games and 21 Jump Street, so I picked them both!

HG PosterThe Hunger Games: Another excellent page to screen adaptation and definitely this year’s first blockbuster hit (rightfully so). The young cast, in particular Jennifer Lawrence as heroine Katniss Everdeen, jumped off the screen and made the audience feel like they right there in the games with them. I think the shaky camera work used by director Gary Ross helped illustrate this feeling as well. Every emotion I felt while watching that film lined up perfectly with how I felt as I read the book.  If you’re one of the very few people who haven’t seen this film yet go check it out, but read the book first!

21 Jump Street: I’ll admit it. I was highly skeptical that this film would be funny. Channing Tatum in a funny role? No way. I saw his SNL performance and thought it was pretty bad.  After seeing this film, I take it all back. Channing Tatum, funny? HELL YES! This is probably the most quotable film of the year.  My side hurt from laughing after seeing this film. Jonah Hill as the sidekick was hysterical and his performance just made my night when I saw it. Definitely check this comedy out, it’s so worth it.  I’m hoping the film receives a Golden Globe nomination for best comedy.  I’m doubting that it will happen, but after The Hangover received one and won it a few years ago, so  you never know.

darkknightrisesNumber 2: The Dark Knight Rises- First things first, screw The Avengers. It was semi-entertaining, but nothing compared to the final installment of The Batman Trilogy. From the bad ass-ness of Bane, the twist ending, and the incredibly gorgeous Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, I could not have scripted a better ending to one of the greatest trilogies of all time (only behind The Godfather Trilogy in my opinion).  Like his other two Batman films, Nolan was able to leave the audience wanting more when the credits rolled. He was able to create a Gotham City that was real and very life-like. The film had a tough predecessor, especially with Heath Ledger’s genius portrayal of The Joker, but this film came really close and in some aspects topped the previous two films. Also how could you hate a film that spawns something as awesome as this picture?

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And number 1……….

argoArgo: Ben Affleck, you are forgiven for Gigli and Jersey Girl (actually I was never mad at you for those because I never saw them). This film left me absolutely speechless. Ben Affleck is a master director and because of that was able to tell this unknown story of a classified CIA case with ease and honesty. If you are unfamiliar with the story, six people were able to escape the American Embassy the day the Iranian Hostages were taken. They hid at the Canadian ambassador’s house until the CIA concocted a plan to rescue them. CIA agents went undercover, stating that they were a Canadian film crew scouting a site for their new film, aptly titled Argo. The suspense you felt in this film was real and genuine because it was a real story. Even though the end was fabricated for the screen, I was still on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen to these people who had suffered so much already. It was a mesmerizing story with excellent ensemble acting, and perfect direction from Ben Affleck. He has definitely found his niche as a director and found a fan in me. Definitely check it out.

Well readers, there you have it. My top five (really six) films of the year.  Do you agree with my selections? What are your top films of the year?

Life and 100 Films – Charlie’s Film Review of The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games is a science fiction action drama film directed by Gary Ross and based on the WORLDWIDE PHENOMENON novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins. It stars Jennifer Lawrence (LOVE HER) Josh Hutcherson (Finally is a household name), Elizabeth Banks, Liam Hemsworth (Thor’s lil bro and future father of Miley Cyrus’s kids), and Woody Harrelson. So yea, the cast is pretty awesome. Some fans at first were a little skeptical of some of the producer’s picks, especially Jennifer Lawrence as the beloved Katniss, but no one is complaining anymore.

Some people say the plot is unoriginal, and it’s been done, but I still think it’s awesome and original in its own right. The basics of the plot are that it’s set in a post-apocalyptic/future where people are distinguished by district and every year the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve different districts to fight to the death on live television for everyone to see.  The games are to set an example to remind the people who’s in charge. The story’s main protagonist, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers to take her younger sister’s place when she is selected to participate in the Hunger Games on her first year of availability.

There was no doubt in my mind that this movie was going to break records, and give the likes of Twilight and Harry Potter a run for their money. This is the first HUGE book series to come to the big screen after them, and it has major appeal. You all know I am a huge Potter fan, but the Hunger Games is a force to be reckoned with, and I feel has the broadest appeal out of them all.. When the film was released, it set records for opening day ($67.3 million) and opening weekend for a non-sequel. At the time of its release, the film’s opening weekend gross ($152.5 million) was the third largest of any movie in North America but now is fourth behind The Avengers, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, and The Dark Knight. I have a feeling the Dark Knight Rises is going to bump it down to fifth. It is also the first film since Avatar to remain in first place at the North American box office for four consecutive weekends.

For all you die-hard readers who aren’t always too keen on these types of adaptations, this is as faithful as they come. I may be going out on a limb saying this, but I think this is even better than the book. This series appeals to everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, which is why it has been so successful. The demand for the second film in the series, Catching Fire, is ENORMOUS, and is only growing bigger by the day. This is a MUST SEE in my eyes, not only because it is just great, but it also is one of the more gorgeous films cinematography wise that I have seen recently.  It’s a little upsetting that Gary Ross will not be returning for the next installment, but Francis Lawrence, director of I Am Legend and Water For Elephants is on-board this time, so I think we are in good hands.

So one last time: make sure you check out The Hunger Games film, and jump on the AWESOME bandwagon. Stay tuned for the Blu-ray release on August 18 and for Catching Fire’s release on November 22, 2013.  You can bet I’ll be at the midnight showing.

MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR…

5 out of 5 Stars

The Hunger Games (2012)
Lionsgate
PG-13,142 Minutes

SUCCESS!

It is with GREAT pleasure that I announce I’ve succeeded in completing my goal of reading 100 books this year!  I’m a bit behind on posting my reviews, but I promise you within the next week I’ll complete them and get on track for the new year! Since I’ve completed my goal of 100 for the year I’ve thought about increasing my goal for 2012 and am thinking of upping the goal to 110.  I’ll post my definite plans tomorrow in my kick-off post, similar to what I did last year.

2011 has been a pretty amazing year of reading for me.  Looking back I’ve read some fascinating memoirs, heartbreaking fiction, and  suspenseful mysteries among other things.  My top ten for the year with links to their reviews are as follows:

  1. Jane Eyre
  2. One Day
  3. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
  4. The Hunger Games
  5. Stardust
  6. The House At Riverton
  7. Lunch in Paris
  8. A Wife For Mr. Darcy
  9. Eat, Pray, Love
  10. Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian/The Silent Governess

It was SO difficult to come up with a top ten for the year; I have to pat myself on the back for choosing such a wide array of excellent reads.  I do hope that you’ll tell me what you’ve enjoyed reading this year! There is no better recommendation to read a book than a recommendation from a fellow reader!

In terms of the challenges I signed up for this past year I completed the Historical Fiction Challenge and the Page to Screen Challenge with flying colors.  The Chunkster Challenge continues through January 31, 2012 so I still have a month to finish my last two “mega-chunkster” books.  My Austen challenges I did not do so well on.  I only completed 2 of the Jane Austen mystery novels, and completed 50% of the Sense and Sensibility Challenge.  I’m disappointed that I did so terribly on them, but I guess the light at the end of the tunnel is that I still completed my 100!  I’ve already begun to sign up for 2012 challenges, so make sure you head over to my challenge page to track my progress.

I hope that you will all enjoy the holiday today, checking back in tomorrow to join me on my journey of reading in 2012.

Happy New Year, and happy reading!

Banned Books, and What We Learn From Them by Todd + GIVEAWAY

[eyechart.jpg]Have you ever heard of Farenheit 451?  To me, this book is the epitome of book censorship.  In the book, a dystopian government works hard to find and subsequently burn all books.  It is a book that parodies book censorship, showing that an extreme rejection of books causes an inhibition of learning, culture, and truth.  Therefore, censoring such a book that in turn is about book censorship represents circular logic that won’t accomplish any goals.

Book censorship is always a hot topic, with parents, teachers, principals, and others weighing in on what they feel is appropriate for their children.  While I feel that obviously there should be limits at the extreme ends of things as far as what is appropriate for school-age reading (extreme violence, explicit sexuality, racial hatred, etc), I sometimes think censors tend to hide behind these categories and paint their censorship with a broad brush.  Have an occasional “God damn” or “hell” in your book?  Censored due to profanity (the case of Farenheit 451 and Catcher in the Rye).  Have occasional fight scenes that are appropriate for the intended age group?  Censored due to extreme violence (recently happened to The Hunger Games).  Basically, the act of censorship can become a slippery slope very easily.  Who is to say what is and isn’t too extreme for children and teens to view?  Maybe if a few curses is considered too vulgar then we should remove them altogether.  Maybe if violence is unwarranted then it should be banned outright.  Obviously, these arguments don’t hold water, and therefore neither should the broad censoring advocated by some.  I feel that by and large parents and educators do an admirable job at mediating what their children read.  However, the few who do take the censoring too far are only harming their children by blinding them from what is actually going on in the real world (hence the picture to the above!)

Also, I feel that overzealous book censorship is almost a moot point in today’s environment.  Do people really believe that censoring a few curses or scenes of violence in a book will automatically protect their children from such things?  Children are surrounded by violence and profanity now more than ever.  Movies, video games, and television standards aren’t what they were when I was growing up, and children become exposed to such things at an earlier age.  If anything, these forms of media are actually more explicit in and of themselves, for they don’t rely on the child’s imagination to propagate unwanted images.  The blood and gore and cursing is there in full, vibrant color, brought to you in 1080p high-definition.  Therefore, those advocating more censorship should think twice about what their perceived effect is.  Granted, as adults we should attempt to limit exposure to such things as much as possible, but the world today is much different from what it was when books reigned as one of the sole media sources for children.  I believe that hands on parenting and regulation of the overall media content a child experiences is a much better tactic than broad book censorship.

In conclusion, here is a short list of banned books which I feel are important to the literary development of today’s youth.  If you’re a parent, I highly encourage you to get your children to read some of the following.  They are books that have the potential to change their lives.

1984
Animal Farm
Brave New World
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Giver
Of Mice and Men
A Wrinkle In Time
Catch-22
Flowers for Algernon
Harry Potter (multiple books of the series)
Huck Finn
Lord of the Flies
A Separate Peace
The Color Purple
Catcher in the Rye
To Kill A Mockingbird
Canterbury Tales
The Hunger Games
 
Giveaway
 
One lucky winner will have the opportunity to win a copy of The Giver by Lois Lowry.  For your chance to win simply leave a comment in the thread below.  Comments will be accepted through midnight of Saturday, October 8, 2011.  Winner will be picked at random and announced on Sunday October 9, 2011.  Giveaway open to US & Canadian residents only. Good luck!! 

Check This Out – The Hunger Games Fireside Chat

Tonight is the seventeenth episode of The Hunger Games Fireside chat, hosted over on the Picktainment website by friends of the blog Adam S and Savanna!  Todd and I were both asked to join in on this special edition where they’ll be discussing the differences and similarities between The Hunger Games and Battle Royale.  For those of you unfamiliar with Battle Royale it’s a similar book/movie in which teenagers are forced to battle to the death in an arena.

For the full list of tonight’s participants and a more specific breakdown of discussion points, check out the promo here.  You can follow along the discussion on Twitter as well.  Participants and their twitter names are below:

Adam Spunberg (Host): @AdamSpunberg
Savanna New (Co-Host/Producer): @MlleNouveau
Down with the Capitol: @HungerGamesDWTC
The Hob: @TheHobOrg
Crystal: @pikko/@mockingjaynet/@FictionalFood
Natalie: @nataliezutter/@crushabledotcom
Kim and Todd: @lifeand100books and @ttotheodd
Rebekah: @Rebekahdg
Jon Rosenthal: @tgtsnbn
Ariel: @Madam_Pince

Todd and I are super pumped to be joining all of these great participants tonight.  We hope you listen in!

Happy listening!

Todd’s Review of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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After hearing countless times that I should try a certain series by Suzanne Collins, I finally gave in and read the first novel in the series: The Hunger Games.  The increasing discussion and buzz surrounding this book as it is soon to become a movie made me interested in giving it a try.  I’ll admit, I am already a big fan of dystopian sci-fi, so I already knew I’d be interested in this book; I was still seriously impressed by not only the scope of Collins’ writing but her ability to make a story that has so many layers and interesting character development.

Our story begins with a continent called Panem, located in what was formerly North America.  Panem is comprised of 12 districts surrounding a central governing state, called the Capitol.  74 years before the start of the novel, a 13th district attempted a coup, which was subsequently put down and the district was destroyed.  In light of this, every year an event called the Hunger Games is held by the Capitol to remind the remaining districts of this insurrection and punish them.  In the games, a male and female teenager from each district, known as tributes, are chosen to battle each other to the death in an arena created by the Capitol.  The sole remaining tribute is showered with praise and gifts, bringing temporary wealth and gifts such as food and luxury items to his or her district.  The winner is also given a large home and is exempt from further participation in the games; the only caveat is that the winner must subsequently act as a mentor to all the other tributes chosen from his or her district in future games.

The novel is told from the point of view of Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old from district 12 who enjoys hunting in the woods surrounding her district and lives with her mother and younger sister, Prim.  Although she lives in relative poverty and must hunt every day in order to support her family, Katniss enjoys the relative safety and quiet that the woods provides her.  As the reaping (the yearly selection of Hunger Games tributes) occurs, Katniss does everything in her power to protect her younger sister from being chosen.  Unfortunately Prim is selected despite her attempts, and Katniss is forced to throw herself into the games as a substitute for her sister.  Terrified, Katniss must rise to the occasion and sharpen her survival skills enough to survive in the deadly arena.  To top it off, her co-tribute is a classmate who she never really liked named Peeta, and their mentor is a drunk named Haymitch.  Will Katniss be able to survive in the arena?  Will she be able to get along with her team enough to prepare in time?

When I first heard about this novel, I had serious flashbacks to a movie named Battle Royale, a Japanese movie about a bunch of students sent to an island in a battle to the death.  That movie was both the strangest and one of the most interesting movie’s I’ve ever seen, so I was interested to see how this book turned out.  In short, it takes the brutality and frankness of that movie and turns it to a touching and amazing book that is definitely worth all the hype.  The way in which Collins handles this bloody subject matter is quite good, telling us more about human nature and showing us what happens to relationships under stress rather than focusing on the killings themselves.  Katniss learns more about herself and how much she means to others during the games than she would ever have known if she was never chosen for the games.  Colllins’ character development is superb, making us learn more about ourselves and our own relationships with others through Katniss and her experiences in the arena.  Katniss’ story is one of love, loss, bravery, survival, and defiance.  Her struggle is representative of struggles we all go through ourselves, and we can learn a lot from her story.  All in all, this novel was an amazing read.  It made me think a lot more about myself and what is important to me.  I definitely recommend it as a story of survival and defiance that will make you excited to dive into the rest of the series.

5 out of 5 Stars

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Scholastic, Inc (2008)
Hardcover 384 pages

Living With A Book Addict – Traveling With A Book Addict

(Note: as you read this we are currently cruising towards Italy.  That is as long as we didn’t miss getting on the boat…)

What do you get when you have an 8 hour plane trip to Europe?  8 hours of uninterrupted reading, of course.  At least that’s how Kim sees it.  Yes, your beloved blogger Kimberly and myself, along with my sister-in-law Christine and her fiance Jason are going on a 7 day cruise in Europe!  We begin in Barcelona, traveling to Florence/Pisa, Rome, Naples, Palma Majorca, and finally returning to Barcelona.  It’s both Kim and my first trip to Europe, and we couldn’t be more excited to go.

I usually don’t consider myself a nervous traveler, but planes do make me slightly uncomfortable.  Facing an 8 hour trip across the Atlantic is something I’d rather not do, but I’ll most likely be able to distract myself with books and movies.  I hope to make a good dent in the first book of The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.  As most of you know, Kim is quite a fan of said series, and has even appeared on the well-received podcast “The Hunger Games Fireside Chat”, discussing the upcoming film and other Hunger Games related materials.  As for Kim, I believe she will be bringing a total of 4 books in her carry-on, as well as another 8 or so in her luggage.  Normally this would be cause for some astonishment, but as you know I am quite used to this now.  I can only hope that our carry-on will fit in the overhead compartment.

Aside from reading, I’m quite looking forward to the ability to experience Italian culture and cuisine.  Christine has made quite the itinerary for us to follow at our ports of call, and we will be renting a car in Rome to see the sights.  Jason and I get to drive the rental car, and I’m quite interested to see how driving will be in Italy.  Fortunately, we’ll still be on the right side of the road, although the kilometer/mph change will be disconcerting at first (how do you say “I meant to go 100 kilometers an hour instead of miles” in Italian?)

Additionally, we’ll have an extra day or so ahead and after our cruise in Barcelona.  My sister recently returned from a semester in Spain, and although she never went to Barcelona, the stories she’s told me about the people and culture seem to be really inviting and exciting.  Unfortunately, although she spoke almost fluent conversational Spanish, I can speak no more than a 1 year-old Spanish baby would.  Hopefully we can get by on some good ol’ fashioned English.

So, next time you hear from me I will be a world traveler (ok, not exactly world, but more than I’ve seen before).  Until then, happy reading and bon voyage!

Reflections of a Book Addict: ArmchairBEA Day 2 & 3

Unfortunately my day got a bit hectic yesterday, putting me a day behind on my ArmchairBEA posts.  The theme of yesterday’s post was supposed to be “The Best of 2011.”  Below are four of my favorite books that I’ve read so far this year!

  1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - Classic book that I just had the pleasure of reading for the first time.  (Epic failure on my part)  This tops my best of 2011 list because of how much I loved the book.  Jane Eyre embodied everything that is wonderful about books. The writing was superb; the story was dramatic, emotional, passionate, etc.  There is a reason why people still fall in love with this book 100+ years later.
  2. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - Amazing series of books!  Collins describes a post-apocalyptic world in which “tributes” are chosen to fight to the death for the honor of their home state.  Peeta and Katniss, two main tributes that hail from the same district, must fight for their own survival and deal with their feelings for each other.  It’s never a dull moment with this series: I was always on the edge of my seat! 
  3. Stardust by Neil Gaiman - Neil Gaiman writes the story of Tristran Thorn, an average young man living an average life until he goes on a quest to find a fallen star.  The writing of the narrative was very descriptive, allowing the reader to experience the world that Gaiman created.  It makes for an interesting way to read a fantasy novel.
  4. Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris - What can I say about Sookie Stackhouse.  Full of humor, violence, sex, plot twists, and other extremes, Harris creates an amazing novel where we follow Sookie along on her quest to live a normal life among the supernatural world.  Her hilarious asides blend seamlessly with the action and make this series one of my favorites.  I am already eagerly counting down the days until book 12 is released next May!

2011 has so far been an awesome year for books!  I’m really looking forward to continuing along my journey to 100.  If you’re interested in seeing what other books I’ve read so far this year check out my 2011 book list.

Today (5/25)’s theme was a way to create a network amongst the ArmchairBEA participants.  Bloggers interviewed other bloggers and posted the interviews up on their own blogs.  I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Bethany of Subtle Melodrama!  Bethany posted the interview today, and you can find a link to it here.

Due to my finding out about ArmchairBEA super last-minute I myself wasn’t able to interview anyone for today’s posting.  Fear not readers, as I will be signing myself up nice and early next year so that I can take part in all the festivities!

For more information on ArmchairBEA click here.

Until tomorrow, happy reading!!

My Top Ten…Villains (Part II)

As promised yesterday, here are my top five villains!!!

5.) Aunt Reed from Jane Eyre

Aunt Reed makes the list for being cruel and cold-hearted to young Jane Eyre.  For those unfamiliar with Jane Eyre, Jane is orphaned at a young age and is adopted by her Aunt and Uncle Reed.  Uncle Reed dies shortly after and makes Aunt Reed promise him that she will take care of Jane and raise her as one of their own children.   Once he’s dead she does the exact opposite, allowing her son to physically beat Jane, locking her in “haunted” rooms in their home, and eventually sending her off to a school that has horrible conditions.  Aunt Reed also makes sure Jane will live a meager life by telling a rich uncle of hers that she’s dead.  She’s a horrible woman made worse by the fact that kind-hearted Jane forgives her before her death for all her misgivings.  (I don’t think she deserved to be forgiven after everything that happened, but it just goes to show you how kind a person Jane truly was).

(You can find my review here)

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4.) President Snow from The Hunger Games Series

President Snow is the leader of the Capitol and ruler of Panem in The Hunger Games series.  We get to see what a truly horrible man he is in Catching Fire and Mockingjay as his interaction with Katniss grows.  You come to learn that Snow is a truly evil person, poisoning those that got in his way during his rise to political glory.  He tricks Katniss and the rest of the districts into believing that District 13 was destroyed and that they need to continue the hunger games as punishment.  He is a master at deception and is always playing a game with the people around him, using them as pawns.  He gets what he deserves in the end, but it still doesn’t make up for all that he’s done during his ruling years.   

(You can find my reviews for here for Book One, Two, and Three)

3.) Silas - The DaVinci Code

Ah, religious fanaticism.  A member of the Catholic organization known as Opus Dei, Silas is an albino who practices corporal mortification (flogging one’s self) while repenting for one’s sins.  Depicted in Dan Brown’s The Davinci Code, Silas is driven by a desire to atone for his past and discover the secrets protected by the Priory of Scion.  Driven to live on the streets after murdering his father (who had murdered his mother out of shame for having an albino child), Silas is given a second chance at life after an earthquake frees him from prison.  Driven to devout religious belief, Silas is especially villanous because of the rhetoric he believes in.  He justifies his murders and attacks by believing that it is the will of Opus Dei for him to commit these atrocities.  His blind faith in this organization makes him especially dangerous in the novel, and he is a constant threat to Robert Langdon, the protagonist.  All in all, Silas has nothing to lose as he is fully indoctrinated to commit evil acts and will stop at nothing to please those who are superior to him in Opus Dei.

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2.) Mr. Burroughs - A Wolf at the Table

Augusten Burroughs is famous for writing heartbreakingly honest memoirs.  A Wolf at the Table mainly focused on his childhood and the relationship he had with his father.  Mr. Burroughs is the only actual “person” on my list, and for good reason.  The man was an alcoholic, beat his animals, and definitely partook in abusing his sons.  Augusten had a dog that would physically sleep on top of him to protect him from Mr. Burroughs while he slept at night.  His older brother John taught him how to shoot a gun just in case he needed it one day.  After reading this book it made me see how truly malicious some people can be in the world.  Mr. Burroughs shot straight to nearly the top of my list of villains because he preyed on his young sons and helpless wife.  To be that type of man you have to be truly evil.

(You can find my review here)

1.) Voldemort – The Harry Potter Series

While the rest of the characters on this list have aspirations to conquer those around them and bring evil into their lives, none have grander plans than Voldemort.  Not content to just conquer the magical world around him, Voldemort set his sights higher, aiming to control the human (aka Muggle) world as well.  In hiding for years after a failed attack on Harry Potter that left him on the cusp of death, he slowly rebuilds his strength until he makes a triumphant return and power grab to control the ruling body of the magical world.  As if this wasn’t enough, consider his name.  Anyone who is referred to as “He Who Must Not Be Named” because he/she is so evil that their name can’t be spoken must be #1 in my book.  All in all, Voldemort deserves the top spot in this top ten countdown because of the encompassing nature of his power and ambition.  He won’t let anything, including death, get in his way to kill Harry Potter and rule all.  Now that’s villanous!

Well my fellow readers, who makes your list?  Leave your comments below.

Until next time, happy reading!!

Check This Out – Hunger Games Fireside Chat

About a month ago I got an email from Adam Spunberg, a co-creator of the Jane Austen Twitter Project, thanking me for the kind blog piece I wrote about the project.  The two of us began emailing back and forth talking about author events in our area and also about books that we loved.  Adam mentioned that he thought I would like the Hunger Games trilogy.   He told me about how awesome they were and about a podcast he was starting to discuss the books and the film that was going to begin production.  I went out that weekend and got all three books in the series, finished them, and proceeded to email Adam to tell him how much I loved them!  He was kind enough to offer me a guest spot TONIGHT on The Hunger Games Fireside Chat podcast.

For a brief rundown of what is going to be discussed tonight, along with the other guests, and a link for the podcast click here.

For my reviews of the books in The Hunger Game trilogy click below:

The Hunger Games

Catching Fire

Mockingjay

I have to thank Adam Spunberg and Savanna New for the awesome opportunity to be on the podcast! The podcast begins tonight at 10pm eastern time.  I hope you decide to tune in!

Until then, happy reading!