July 29, 2020

2PM - My House: A Fairy Tale Mash-Up (KpopXBooks #5)

Hello, everyone! This week, we are back with another instalment of KpopXBooks. It's already the fifth post of the series and I have to admit that it has become one of my favourites. As a Kpop fan and a bookworm, it's always great to find the opportunity to combine them.

The previous instalments, like The Fairy Tales of IUThe Bookish Concepts of SHINee, and VIXX: The Book Concept Kings required a lot of research. However, this week I'm trying a different take on the series. In the fifth instalment of KpopXBooks, we are going to explore the concept of a single music video.

For this post, I had a few contenders. But I decided to go with 2PM's "My House". It's a song that I really like, and it's (almost) considered a classic in the Kpop community. The concept of "My House" is fairy tales. Some imagery (which will see in more detail later) refers to specific and well-known fairy tales. Moreover, other imagery reveals a fairy tale origin, even though I couldn't trace a specific one. Some examples are the castle, the goat's head, and the crests shown on the walls.

Before we start talking specifics, let's take a look at the MV of "My House" by 2PM.


Surprise, surprise! The music video begins with the clock striking 12 and our protagonist trying to run away from a posh ball. From all the fairy tales referenced on the MV, I believe that Cinderella and another one (I won't reveal it now though) are the main inspirations. The Cinderella reference becomes even more obvious at the ending of the video, where the protagonist takes off one of her shoes and throws it at the staircase. I like this more modern twist of the fairy tale, which is not the only one I have spotted in the music video! 

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is a favourite book for the Kpop art production teams. We've already seen a handful of MVs inspired by it, both by IU and SHINee. Furthermore, I have many other videos in mind, and one of the future instalments will be dedicated to this concept. The Alice in Wonderland imagery in "My House" is just the protagonist running through a long corridor and encountering this cute rabbit. 

Red Riding Hood

In the same corridor that the protagonist encounters the rabbit, she then meets a wolf. It could be Red Riding Hood or any other shapeshifter wolf. However, since we are talking about fairy tales, I thought that Red Riding Hood is the appropriate choice.

Snow White

Snow White is much clearer to spot in the music video. First of all, we get to see the apple (what else could it reference?). If it was this imagery alone, I would be hesitant to call it. However, we do get another one: one of our handsome princes/monsters is giving the apple to the protagonist, which she accepts. 

Beauty and the Beast

This is the second fairy tale hat I believe inspired this MV, even more than Cinderella. This visual is taken straight from the Disney movie. You can even see the fur in the back of the chair. As if this wasn't enough, we get more pointers that Beauty and the Beast is our main fairy tale.

The next Beauty and the Beast imagery couldn't be any clearer. The protagonist tries to leave and the beast grabs her and leads her back to the castle. While we get a closeup of the hands, we see that the prince's hand has turned into that of the Beast. Once more, the imagery reminds of the Disney movie.

Lastly, we get this shot. In my research, I've read that this might be Romeo and Juliet and even Rapunzel. If this were the case, the roles are reversed from the originals and I really like it! However, for me, this is just imagery from Beauty and the Beast. The red roses are huge in this fairy tale, just as the balcony is shown numerous times in the movie. 

This was it for today! Did you get any other fairy tale imagery in 2PM's "My House"?
Stay tuned for more KpopXBook lists!

July 26, 2020

Discussion: What are your Reading Quirks?

Hello, everyone! How is your summer going? As I've already told you, I'm in a somewhat inactive state, just working and reading Utopia Avenue. I've yet to finish it but I can already talk on and on about this book. However, I'll keep all my thoughts for the review, which will be live next week (I hope so). The only thing I will tell you is that this book will have a Play(list) by the Book, and a lengthy one.

Anyway, today we are going to talk about our reading quirks. A thing that you hear a lot about bookworms is how particular we are about reading and books. There are even jokes about it! And the thing is that it is completely true. There are no two readers that have the same habits. Some of the things we do might even be considered weird. I know, for sure, that some of my quirks can raise a brow or two, but we'll get to that later. So, let's get to it...

What are your reading quirks?

And with this, it's time to spill the beans. Some of my reading quirks are normal, for some I'm a bit embarrassed to admit, but overall they make my reading what it is.

I always, and I mean ALWAYS, read the last sentence of a book.

How do you determine if you want to read a book or not? Is it the cover, the premise, the first page, or none of the above? For me, it's the last sentence of the book. This is probably the weirdest and most embarrassing of my reading quirks, as many people look me in horror when they find out. However, I have always been subconsciously doing it.

For me, this is a clear indicator of whether I will enjoy a book or not and it's only on rare occasions that I was proven wrong. This reading quirk, though, isn't working well with e-books, as the preview usually includes only some parts from the first chapters.

As for spoilers, the last sentence is rarely one. Imagine a murder mystery - the killer is revealed in the last (or second to last) chapter, but not in the last line. It would be weird to just end "The detective revealed that it was all X's doing. THE END". I honestly don't know what it is, but there you have it!

I hate it when they change a perfectly fine book cover for the movie one

I know that this is more of a marketing thing, but is there a reason why they can't keep the two mediums apart? Yes, if I loved a book I will watch the movie and if I loved a movie I might read the book (but not always). I even own some books that have the movie cover, for example Atonement by Ian McEwan. However, I will go out of my way to find a book cover that I actually like to keep on my bookshelf.

If I have the choice, I will read the original version of the book and not the translation

I know that this might not apply to many native English speakers. However, as a native Greek speaker, I can find many books both in English and Greek. When I have a choice, I will always go for the book in English, if this was the original language. For example, right now I'm reading Utopia Avenue (I haven't already mentioned it 1000 times). Some days ago, a Greek publishing house announced that the book will be translated in Greek and will become available in 2021. There is no way that I could wait this much to read the most awaited novel of the year for me. Moreover, I'm not sure how this writing style is going to be translated (I know, I know, but more on that on my review). And, of course, I am a die-hard David Mitchell fan that I had pre-ordered a hardcover and signed edition of the book. 

However, as much as I would love to, I don't have much choice when it comes to Japanese literature. My level in Japanese isn't that advanced to understand a novel, and the majority of them aren't translated in Greek. So, almost all the Japanese literature I read is through English translations.

I don't mind spoilers

This applies to books, comics, movies, series, video games, etc. Luckily, this quirk enables me to watch/read the same story on different mediums and still maintain my interest. I could give Pride and Prejudice as an example, and I know that there are many other Jane Austen fans who do the same.

(I liked the Cloud Atlas movie adaptation, though)

I don't read all the books of a series one after another

It's so rare for me to pick the first instalment of the series, and then the second, the third,...., until I finish it. I will read the first one, then move on to other books, and some months later, I will move on to the second book. Even though I usually do that, I have no trouble remembering the characters and story. The longest I've done to read the last book of a series was 5-ish years! According to Goodreads, I read Artemis Fowl #7 in 2014 and Artemis Fowl #8 in 2019. Go figure!

I'm hesitant to read books that are 600+ pages long...

...but this doesn't mean that I won't read one if it piques my interest. Nevertheless, if I'm between two books, the number of pages can usually be the deciding factor. It's not that I want to show that I've read more in a year. Instead, I think that I feel that a novel this long is a commitment that I can't easily make. 

So, there you have it! What are your reading quirks?

July 24, 2020

Book Beginnings / Friday 56 - The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

Hello, everyone! How was your week? I have been feeling very inactive lately, so I was mostly doing the work I had to do and nothing much else. However, I am enjoying Utopia Avenue, for which I hope that you'll read the review soon. Anyway, today it's Friday, so I decided to drag myself  
to participate in these two fun bookish memes.

1. Book Beginnings on Fridays, hosted by Rose City Reads. In this meme, we have to share the first sentence (or a bit more) from the book we are currently reading.

2. Friday 56 that is hosted by Freda's Voice. For this one, we have to share a small snippet from a book, taken from page 56 (or 56% on an e-reader).

Since I'm still reading Utopia Avenue that I featured last week, this week I'll be featuring one of my favourite books: The Princess Bride. This book really has everything: action, adventure, romance, revenge, fights, pirates, and the list goes on! 

Book Beginnings

"This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it."

If this opening line can't pique your interest, which one can? The Princess Bride is actually about a book titles The Princess Bride. So, the story we all know and love happens in the book within the book. 

Friday 56

“Nonsense; you climbed the Cliffs of Insanity, and this isn’t nearly that steep.”

“And it took a little out of me too, let me tell you. And after that little effort, I tangled with a fella who knew a little something about fencing. And after that, I spent a few happy moments grappling with a giant. And after that, I had to outfake a Sicilian to death when any mistake meant it was a knife in the throat for you. And after that I’ve run my lungs out a couple of hours. And after that I was pushed two hundred feet down a rock ravine. I’m tired, Buttercup; do you understand tired? I’ve put in a night, is what I’m trying to get through to you.”

This snippet comes from 56% of the ebook. These lines summarise many of the adventures that have already happened in the book so far, and it's only midway through it! The continuation promises to be even more thrilling. Of course, if you've watched the movie, you already know what's going to happen.

What's a beautiful quote from the book you are currently reading?