Library Haul – The Bibliophile Method for Cheering Up

So, I’m in a horrible mood. I have a ton of stuff to do today, so my anxiety is kicking in, and I had one of those mornings where every little thing went wrong. So I did what every good bibliophile does when they are in the dumps…I got some new books. 😉

Furthermore (Tahereh Mafi)

furthermoreAlice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Ferenwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss. — This is the book that actually inspired today’s trip to the library; I’ve been waiting on it to be available for a long time. 🙂

Rose Under Fire (Elizabeth Wein)

roseunderfireWhile flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that’s in store for her? — I recently read ‘Code Name Verity’, which was so good that I binged the last 70% in a few hours. (READ THAT BOOK!) I love Elizabeth Wein’s writing style and her attention to detail. Maybe this one won’t be as sad? Maybe? Should I have tissues ready? :/

The Diviners (Libba Bray)

thedivinersEvie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult. Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer. As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened. — I must be insane adding this almost 600 page book to a library haul that already includes 3 other decently long books, but the last time I read a Libba Bray book, I binged it in just a few hours, so ::fingers crossed::

Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories (Agatha Christie)

missmarplecompleteIt was, of course, the small village of St. Mary Mead that served as Miss Marple’s training ground in the finer points of criminal behavior, and this, according to the former commissioner of Scotland Yard, Sir Henry Clithering, was clearly a matter of “natural genius cultivated in a suitable soil.” While others are mulling over seemingly unfathomable situations, Miss Marple uses her principles to sort out facts and “go straight to the truth like a homing pigeon.” Presented for the first time in one volume are all twenty of the short stories featuring Miss Jane Marple, that delightful spinster whose innocent blue eyes belie her shrewd insights. Here, in her pretty Victorian home, her knitting needles clicking softly in the background, Agatha Christie’s famous amateur sleuth solves twenty crimes in her mild, quiet manner, basing her solutions on past experience and an insistence that human nature is the same everywhere. — This one is more just for fun and to be a palate cleanser between the other books. I liked the easy pace of the first Miss Marple book and, since my library doesn’t have a copy of the second book on it’s own, I decided to just go whole hog and snag this anthology.


What are YOU reading?

Mid-Year Freakout Book Tag

Hi all! Jessica from Ever The Crafter posted this book tag a couple days ago, and I’ve decided to join in on the fun! I’ll try not to double up books, but no guarantees! 😉

Best book you’ve read so far?

28449207Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Oh, how I loved this book. I actually hugged it before slipping it into the drop box at the library (yes, I’m a dork, I know). It’s just so beautifully written and the characters are wonderful and the world-building is amazing and…well, you can read my full review here. 🙂

Best sequel of 2017 so far?

10783250Hm, I haven’t read too many sequels so far this year…Let’s go with Dead Cold by Louise Penny. It didn’t come out this year, but I read it for the first time this year, so I’m counting it. 😉

New release you haven’t read yet but want to read?

thepearlthiefWell, now that I’ve finished Code Name Verity, I’d like to read the prequel that just came out: The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein. 🙂

Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017?

oddandtrueCurrently, Odd & True by Cat Winters. I first read Cat Winters last year, In The Shadow of Blackbirds. It was AMAZING. I’m not a fan of romances, but this one was sweet and creepy at the same time! 🙂 Odd & True looks super-fun, so I can’t wait to read it!

Biggest disappointment?

1964325The Mermaid in the Basement by Gilbert Morris. This is part of the Lady Trent Mysteries series and it looked really awesome; a book about a lady Sherlock would usually be right up my alley. But I didn’t realize it was also Christian Fiction. Even being a Catholic, I’m not usually a huge fan of Christian Fiction. It always seems so pushy; God IS wonderful, but you don’t have to turn every single conversation into one about him. I mean, your brother is about to be hanged for a murder he didn’t commit, maybe focus a bit on that?

Biggest surprise?

27213244Since I already did Strange the Dreamer, I’m going to go with The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. This book was amazingly well done. The author managed to create an entirely new universe, with several believable species and planets, in a single novel. There also wasn’t a single main character that I didn’t like. Great book!

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)?

28517611Again, I want to repeat! But instead I’ll do Jackson Lear. The Kingston Raine series is hilarious so far. Great series for bibliophiles who love a good laugh!

Newest fictional crush?

I don’t really crush on characters. I’ll have favorites, but not really crushes.

Newest favorite character?

20312462(Don’t say Lazlo, don’t say Lazlo…) I’ve really enjoyed Jackaby from the series of the same name by William Ritter. Jackaby can best be described as the 11th Doctor with Sherlockian tendencies who investigates supernatural crimes. He’s the closest I think we’ll ever get to the SuperWhoLock dream. 😉

Book that made you cry?

codenameverityI don’t cry easily when reading, but Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein certainly choked me up. Oh my gosh. Poor Verity! Poor Maddie!

Book that made you happy?

23604559My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman. This was such a fun book. Have you ever seen the movie Big Fish? It’s kind of like that only main character is still the little girl who believes her grandmothers stories. This was one of the sweetest “growing up” tales, I’ve ever read.

Favorite book to movie adaptation you’ve seen this year?

I haven’t really seen too many new movies this year…does Beauty & the Beast count? It’s actually a remake of the Disney movie as opposed to an adaptation of the original story, so…but it was still really good! 😉

Favorite review you’ve written this year?

29511753I’m going to go with The Juliet by Laura Ellen Scott. While not my favorite book I’ve read this year, it was still REALLY good and it felt nice to review a book from a local author who I’ve actually met. You can read that review here. I definitely recommend the author to everyone; she knows how to write so that you get caught up in the story. 🙂

Most beautiful book you bought or received so far this year?

sagavol1Like, PHYSICALLY beautiful? Hmm…actually, I’m going to go with Saga Vol.1 by Brian K. Vaughan. The artwork in this graphic novel, done by Fiona Staples, was extremely good!

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

My goal is 60 books this year and I’ve already read 40, so I’m doing pretty good!


Feel free to snag this Book Tag if you want to do it. Also, check out Jessica’s Book Tag Post!

Library Haul – Look What You Made Me Do!

So I got to reading everyone else’s T5W: Books Without Romance lists and I ended up popping over to the library…where I went a little crazy. I came out with five books. FIVE! Which may not sound like a lot until I tell you that my library has a check out period of THREE weeks (Private Library = Weird Rules).

Here’s what I got…

Murder at the Vicarage (Agatha Christie)

murderatthevicarageColonel Protheroe, the magistrate whom everyone in town hates, has been shot through the head. No one heard the shot. There are no leads. Yet, everyone surrounding the vicarage seems to have a reason to want the Colonel dead. It is a race against the clock as Miss Marple sets out on the twisted trail of the mysterious killer without so much as a bit of help from the local police.  A couple of years ago, I discovered the Poirot series on Netflix and became instantly infatuated. After that, I kept getting recommendations for Miss Marple, but since that show ISN’T on Netflix, I’ve decided to try out the books. This is the first in the series and I’m enjoying it so far! 🙂

Beauty Queens (Libba Bray)

beautyqueensWhen a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island’s other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition. Ok, so this one could go either way…it will either be HILARIOUS or completely cheesy and dumb. I’m leaning towards hilarious because it was written by Libba Bray and I’ve really only heard good things about her. Fingers crossed!

The Cure for Dreaming (Cat Winters)

curefordreamingOlivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.  This one actually DOES contain romance, but I was looking up ‘Odd & True’ by Cat Winters and found out that it hasn’t come out yet, so I snagged this one instead. I loved ‘In the Shadow of Blackbirds’, so I’m hoping this one is just as good.

Code Name Verity (Elizabeth Wein)

codenameverityI have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do. That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine – and I will do anything, anything to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again. He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France – an Allied Invasion of Two. We are a sensational team. I’ve had this one in my TBR list for a LONG time, but for some reason thought there was a love triangle. I hate those, so I kept picking up other books instead. Seeing this on someone’s ‘No Romance’ list made me actually giddy! I can finally go ahead and read it without worrying! 🙂

This Savage Song (Victoria Schwab)

thissavagesongKate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.  I’m ecstatic to find out this doesn’t have romance in it, because the description totally makes it sound like it does. I love monster books and I love them even MORE when they focus on the actual fighting of the monsters instead of “I hate this boy but I also love him”. 😉


What books are in YOUR reading piles?

Top 5 Sidekicks (aka: Happy Birthday Dr. Watson!)

According to Goodreads, today is Dr. Watson’s birthday! In order to celebrate, they have posted a list of their 14 Favorite Sidekicks. While their list is totally awesome, they didn’t include a few that I might have picked, so I’m making my own list! 😀

Note: I’m leaving off Dr. Watson, since this is basically a tribute to him, so I’m considering it implied that he’s a great sidekick. 😉

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter)

bdc3c1f9b2d2f1b64a50d373f3529049--hair-looks-hermione-hairLook, I love Ron as much as the next person, but if I had to choose between them: Hermione all the way. She’s loyal, honest, and smart. She will tell you to your face when you’re being a jerk, but also have your back against anyone who you might have (accidentally on purpose) offended AND she will know just where to look to figure out how to save your butt when you do something stupid.

Samwise Gamgee (Lord of the Rings)

ROTK-Sam-Faces-Shelob-2I am not a huge LOTR fan when it comes to the books (partying for a month in a tree when you are supposed to be saving the world? really?), but you can NOT have a best sidekicks list without Sam. He is completely loyal to Frodo, to the point of being willing not only to die for him, but also carry the ultimate evil just to give Frodo a break. Sam is DEFINITELY the kind of sidekick you want to have with you during an adventure.

Pantalaimon (Golden Compass)

hisdarkmaterialsthegoldencompass2007_91927Who wouldn’t want a little friend who follows you everywhere and knows you better than anyone? I guess daemons are not really sidekicks, considering they are technically like your conscience in physical form, but Pan was basically another character, so I’m counting him. 😉 He was a good balance for Lyra, his cowardice causing her to at least think before she leapt; a fine trait for any good sidekick.

Robin – Tim Drake (Batman)

Tim Drake List 10One of the original sidekicks in comic-dom, there has almost always been a Robin covering Batman’s back. And while each Robin brought something unique to the role, Tim Drake will always be my favorite. I’ve always felt that he was the one that most resembled Batman “The Detective”. He was smart, thought things through, didn’t jump in recklessly…but that caution didn’t stop him from leaping into danger when necessary. He took down some of the most powerful Batman foes all on his own…Joker, Lady Shiva, and more…and he never let it go to his head. That’s MY Robin. 🙂

Merlin (King Arthur legends)

7-7-2017 12-37-44 PMOk, this might be cheating a bit, since I dunno if you can really call Merlin a “sidekick”, but can you imagine having him as your best friend? Granted, he’s definitely not the most noble of characters (especially in the original legends), but he WILL fight fiercely to protect his friends. Also, he can basically do any magic imaginable AND see the future, so that’s pretty awesome. Now, my favorite version of Merlin has to be the one from BBC’s Merlin (2008-2012). He made mistakes, but he always really tried his best to do the right thing. It also helps that Colin Morgan is pretty adorable. 😉


I’m going to leave it at 5, though I could probably write all day on this topic. Feel free to add more in the comments! Who are YOUR favorite sidekicks? 🙂

One Check Mark for the Bucket List!

Ok, this is NOT going to be a book post (obviously). But I finally got to live a childhood dream and, hey, I wanna brag about it. 😉

This past weekend, my friend Melisa and I got to finally see New Kids on the Block in concert!!! It was AMAZING. Even people who don’t like their music would have to admit they put on a heck of a show.

20170701_192510
Say “Hi”, Melisa!

Even the sideliners were awesome! The starting bands were…wait for it…Boyz II Men & Paula Abdul! Each group did about half an hour, mostly featuring their classics.

20170701_193520

Boyz II Men did a great set with everything from ‘In The Still Of The Night’ to ‘End Of The Road’. They even handed out roses during ‘I’ll Make Love To You’! Paula danced for half an hour straight; I don’t know how she does it! She also did a nice homage to Gene Kelly. 🙂

The New Kids themselves did a full hour and a half! They started out with a bunch of new songs, which I will admit I mostly didn’t know. 😉 They were jammin’ though! The boys were all over the place: on the back stage, the front stage, lining the audience…Donnie even crowd surfed!

20170701_222312

Towards the end, they did a wonderful timeline montage of older songs (they even did a quick change to look the part!). Joey pulled out ‘Please Don’t Go Girl’ and Jordan gave us ‘I’ll Be Lovin’ You Forever’, both in their signature falsettos. The boys all sang a cute little Christmas song and Jonathan even sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to one lucky audience member. 🙂

20170701_220720
Ah, the denim romper; how I haven’t missed thee. 😉

My friend and I had REALLY good seats, but we still couldn’t resist rushing the stage when the boys came down to the secondary stage to sing ‘Summertime’ (even though it DID end up putting us in the line of fire for a couple of overly-enthusiastic fans who almost got in a fistfight over who got to stand closest to Jordan! Eep!).

20170701_214958
Look how close we got! 😀

All in all, it really was the concert of a lifetime. I had an amazing time and am ridiculously happy that I was able to attend. 🙂


What are the best concerts that you’ve been to?

T5W – So Long Old Friend…

Hidy Ho! Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is: Fandoms You Are No Longer In. “But isn’t it only Tuesday?” you say. Well, yes, but I’m going on vacation tomorrow, so you get to enjoy this post a day early. 😉

I’ll be honest, I don’t really consider myself to have abandoned ANY of my fandoms, but there are a few that I was really intensely into and have since tempered my feelings for. So while I still consider myself to be IN those fandoms, I’m not the rabid fan I used to be.

Uh, also, these are almost all tv/movie fandoms…though I DO own at least one book from each, so that counts right? 😉

SeaQuest DSV – Does anyone even remember this show except me? This was actually my SeaQuestDSVMainTitlevery first fandom (and my first celebrity crush; you are missed more than you know Jonathan Brandis 😦 ). Not only did SeaQuest kick off my love of sci-fi (and science in general), but it is the series that introduced me to fanfiction! I still really like the show and watch it from time to time (Yea Netflix!), but I’m not as obsessed with it as I was when I was a kid.

Rise of the Guardians – This was a short-lived fandom for me. The movie 6-reasons-why-rise-of-the-guardians-is-still-the-best-holiday-movie-of-the-decadewas WAY more amazing than I thought it was going to be, and since I was really hung up on Pinterest at the time, it was extremely easy for me to fall into the fandom. The artwork that came out of this fandom was completely astounding and there are a TON of fanfics out there with some really great writers. Unfortunately, I fell out of the fandom as easily as I fell in. I think there just wasn’t enough story to keep me enthralled for very long.

Merlin – If you haven’t yet watched BBC’s Merlin…DO IT. It’s a wonderful show. It manages to be both a serious drama and a hilarious comedy, without looking like it’s trying too hard. I really enjoyed the fandom too, the fanfic was fun and some of that artwork was AMAZING! I was devastated when the series ended (Especially like that! What were they thinking?!?), but I’ve since calmed down and mostly moved on to new obsessions. I still watch the show sometimes and occasionally get on Merlin fanfic kicks, but I’m not AS angry about it ending as I used to be…maybe…kinda… 😉

merlin3
Random: This picture has always weirded me out. Doesn’t it look like Arthur is about to kill Merlin? Think that was intentional?

Sherlock – I have actually always loved Sherlock as a whole, but when I discovered BBC’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in BBC Sherlock Season 1 Episode 3 The Great GameSherlock during the hiatus between series 2 & 3, I fell HARD. The show was SO GOOD and it had been a LONG time since I stumbled across something that I fell in love with. So I went with it. I followed all the Pinterest boards I could find, read all the crazy conspiracy theories, bought the dvds and watched them over and over again for clues…I went a bit crazy. 😉 I still love Sherlock, but I have calmed down enough about it that I have completely accepted that it might end. In fact, I think series 4 was a wonderful conclusion to the show and probably SHOULD be the last season. Is this what growing up looks like? 😉

Harry Potter – Man, I was so far gone down the Harry Potter rabbit hole when I was in high school & college. Don’t get me wrong, I STILL love Harry Potter. I still read the fanfic (in fact, I’m re-reading one right now), am collecting the Illustrated editions, went ballistic when The Cursed Child & Fantastic Beasts came out, and still to this day have a giant poster ad for Book 5 that my friend snagged me from her job at Books A Million hanging in my book room. But…I’m definitely not still insane about it. I think I burnt myself out a bit. Harry Potter will always hold a place in my heart, it just doesn’t consume my life like it used to.calling_all_harry_potter_fans__you_can_now_enrol_at_a_real_life_hogwarts


 

What fandoms are you no longer a part of?

T5W – There’s No Such Thing as a Small Part

It’s time for another Top 5 Wednesday! This week’s topic: Favorite Minor Characters.

I’ve been having so much trouble with this one, you guys! I will be the first to admit that my memory isn’t the best, so trying to think of my favorite minor characters (that weren’t all just from Harry Potter) was SUPER difficult for me.

Here’s what I came up with…

Smokey Lonesome (Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe – Fannie Flagg)

8b67d259aee82e2eee1f97b3b3634fedSomething about this character pulled me in; I just felt so much compassion for him. I also loved that he was willing to stand up for his friends, even against someone who could easily have taken him down.

Calixte (Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor)

61yt-aCI16L._AA300_I loved this character. She was charismatic, feisty, and wasn’t afraid to stick up for herself. She also didn’t rag on the main character, Lazlo (with whom I felt an immediate kinship) just because he was bookish, unlike a lot of the other characters.

Rubeus Hagrid (Harry Potter – JK Rowling)

ebafecac73151e5c53694808c9a14ce0Well, I had to give myself one! 😉 I LOVE Hagrid. I always have. He’s compassionate towards the children and animals, extremely loyal to those he deems worthy, and just so…well…lovable! (Side note: I still think Robbie Coltrane was the best casting in the entire HP series. He completely epitomized my Hagrid!)

And, now, since I’m having so much trouble with this category…I’m going to cheat a bit and give you three books where the minor characters turn into the main characters!

Welcome to Night Vale (Joseph Fink & Jeffery Cranor)

51IZUXor7hL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_The authors of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast took a handful of very minor characters and an even more minor subplot and managed to turn it into a brilliant novel-length adventure, delving into parts unknown for parts even more unknown.

NPCs (Drew Hayes)

22088245In this book, the NPCs (non-player characters) in a role playing game end up having to become the heroes they usually despise in order to save their town from a tyrannical king. It’s actually a really great story about finding strength you didn’t know you had.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here (Patrick Ness)

23830990Ever wonder what it’s like to live in an apocalyptic town when you aren’t the hero? This book reads like a John Green novel set in the Buffy Universe, but focuses on the kids who aren’t trying to save the world.


So give a girl a hand, who are some of YOUR favorite minor characters?