Girl Meets Bulgaria

Musings of an American expat in Bulgaria (with detours in Utah and Alaska)


The Hunger Games Trilogy

Since selling my car I have ridden public transportation (SLC’s TRAX light rail train system) to and from work. To keep myself occupied (and limit my obvious staring and people watching) I have started reading on my Kindle a lot more.

A few people recommended the Huger Games books to me, so I went ahead and downloaded them (I am a sucker for a good review). Turns out some pretty famous authors also like the books (Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer (UGH), and Rick Riordan).

In fact, Stephen King had this to say:

“[The Hunger Games] is a violent, jarring, speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense…I couldn’t stop reading.”

The books (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay) are written by Suzanne Collins and follow teenager, Katniss Everdeen, during her struggle to survive the “Hunger Games.”

While the books are written for “young adults,” I found them to be a fast read, quite interesting, quick-paced and well written. The concept itself is pretty fascinating.

I love reading and don’t really have a preferred genre. So “young adult” books are fine by me (just look at my intense love of Harry Potter)!

Anywho, here’s a quick blurb about the first book:

Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.

Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

I was sad to finish the series. I highly recommend the books and hope see more from the author soon.

Lucky for me the books are being made into movies! I don’t usually like the movie versions of my favorite books very much, but I’m still pretty stoked that I have them to look forward to. Wonder if they will air in Bulgaria…

If you’ve read them let me know what you thought!


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1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

As I am a huge fan of reading and all things “list-y,” I thought this list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, was pretty interesting. Although, there were some omissions that I thought were odd.


I skimmed through it and it seems that I have only read about 20 of the 1001 books.*Gasp*

I got a Kindle 3G for my birthday and have already downloaded over one hundred books, most of them from the out-of-copyright, pre-1923 category as they are free. I am on a very tight budget right now (saving for my move to Bulgaria and my wedding), so free is perfect for me!

I suppose it also helps that I am a big fan of the “classics” anyway. Jane Austen is my favorite.

A good portion of the 1001 books on the list were written before 1923.

I know it’s a little early to be setting New Years resolutions and goals, but I’m doing it anyway!

My very realistic and obtainable goal for 2011 is to read at least 12 more books from the list. Should be easy-peasy as there are at least 12 that I have been meaning to read for a long time anyway.

I have to just say that I REALLY love my Kindle! I have always been a reader, but over the past few years I was reading more textbooks than novels. Now that I am done with school, I want to get back into the habit of reading instead of watching TV. Already I am doing it. I am almost done with North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, though I still watch more TV then I’d like.

So there we go, the first of many 2011 resolutions/goals!


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Kindle Envy

My 25th (gasp!) birthday is coming up next month and I have been thinking about what I may want as a present.

Kindle 3G

I’m not a kid anymore (HUGE revelation, right!), so obviously I don’t get lots of gifts (nor do I expect any). However, my Mom and other family members usually, and very generously, give me some cash.

More and more I have mulled over the idea of getting a Kindle. At first the thought of not having an actual book turned me off. I love the smell, the weight, the texture of the paper. I really thought that there was no way a flat, cold, plastic, rectangle could match the allure of a good old-fashioned hard back.

Now, after hearing only great things about the Kindle (e-readers in general, but particularly Amazon’s Kindle), I am almost convinced that I need one.

With the big move overseas rapidly approaching, I am thinking more and more about the things that I will want to pack and take with me. I have hundreds of books in my room and hundreds more in boxes in my basement. Obviously I can’t and don’t want to pack a bunch of book to Bulgaria. But I still want to be able to read when and where I want to. And because I don’t know yet where I will be living-Sofia has bookstores with English language books, however the smaller villages probably won’t-I think the Kindle is a great idea. Plus, most books downloads are $9.99 or less, you really can’t beat that!

Today I was comparing the two models I am considering, the Kindle Wi-Fi and the Kindle 3G. I would love to go with the cheaper model (the $139 Wi-Fi version), but the $189 version boasts free 3G and global wireless coverage.

Another great thing about the Kindle (and other e-readers) is that I can download over 1 million, out-of-copyright, pre 1923 titles for FREE! How awesome would it be to have access to all of Jane Austen’s works in one place?

Ok, so I think I have officially talked myself into one! Guess I’ll have to wait until next month to what the Birthday Fairies bring me!