Books, Revisited: Why I Re-Read Books

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HAPPY OCTOBER, EVERYONE! Ok, so I’m not sure if you’d figured this out yet, but holy crap I love October. I’m so excited it’s here & cannot wait for Halloween (except that whole “I really need to start working on my costume” thing). Anyway, I’m feeling refreshed and totally energized by the prospect of a new month and a new season, and my trip to the salon a couple weeks ago definitely helped things, as well! Clearly, I’m feeling like rambling because of all the excitement. I haven’t had that much caffeine yet today, I swear!

Today I wanted to talk about revisiting/re-reading books. I’ve only read a handful of books more than once (children’s books excluded), and I was thinking this morning –  since I just finished re-reading Heir of Fire & have moved on to re-read Queen of Shadows – about which books I have chosen to devote more of my time to than others, and why.

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Similarly to re-watching movies over and over again, re-reading a book gives you new insight to the story. You pick up on things you didn’t notice the first time around and you put the pieces together in the way the author intended, rather than the way your brain decides to piece it all together before the author comes out & explains it (did that even make sense?). Let me try again: I love using an author’s foreshadowing & tiny clues to try and figure out the twists and secrets before they are revealed later in the story. At the same time, by doing that, I miss out on just experiencing the story and taking time to really connect with the characters. On a second (or third, or fourth) read-through, you know where the story is going & you can just marvel at the way the author brings the narrative together.

The obvious difference between re-watching a film and re-reading a book, though, is time commitment. I’m not a very fast reader, so reading a book multiple times really is a commitment & takes away from the time I could spend reading new books (and putting the tiniest of dents into my To Be Read list, you feel?). So, what makes a book re-readable for me, personally?

  1. FEELS. This is the primary reason I will re-read a book. If it makes me feel strongly – any emotion, really, but just resonates on an emotional level? It’s definitely worth reading again. This is basically the first criteria for whether or not I’ll take the time to revisit a book. If I didn’t feel anything for it, why bother, right?
  2. BEAUTY. I am a sucker for poignant books with beautiful language or beautiful settings. I have read The Great Gatsby more times than any other book (I think I’m sitting around 5 or 6) because it is just so beautiful to me. Tragic, of course. But beautiful. I’m certain that as my experience with classic novels grows, there will be a few more that I add to this list. I’ve also re-read the book The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant three times since the first time I read it. That book is like soul food for anyone obsessed with Renaissance-era art history.
  3. SEQUELS. So series are a huge thing right now, obviously. Seems like every book you pick up these days is part of some series or another, and finding stand-alone novels can really be a daunting task. What about that feeling when you finish a book that you didn’t KNOW was in a series and then you have to wait a year (or more) for the next installment? That might be one of the worst feelings. By the time that next book is released, you’ve likely forgotten some of the key points of its predecessor, and a re-read would help pull you back into the world and better understand what is happening in your new book.
  4. ADAPTATIONS. This is one I haven’t really experienced yet, but would definitely qualify as a reason to re-read something. In a time when Film/TV adaptations of best-selling books seem to be the norm, it’s likely that one of your favorite book series is going to be adapted at some point. Now, my previous exprience has just been to read books once the adaptation is already nearing completion, so it’s not a re-read scenario, obviously. But The Selection and Throne of Glass series have both been optioned recently for adaptations, and you can rest assured I will be re-reading if/when those projects reach completion.
  5. NOSTALGIA. There are always those books you read when you are young that stick with you because they resonate on some level or are really integral to developing the person you choose to become.  I started a Harry Potter re-read this year for that very reason. It’s a series I love desperately, that had a huge impact on me as a teenager (obviously I’m not alone in this), but I haven’t read the books since Deathly Hallows was released.  Another great example of this for me is Ella Enchated by Gail Carson Levine. I adored that book the first time I read it & it may have been the book that really cemented a love of reading in me. I have re-read it a few times over the years, but I’m actually probably due for a another read-through soon.

I mean it when I say I don’t have many books on my re-read shelf. It really takes a hugely emotional connection to a book before I’ll consider spending extra hours on it. Because, why would I when a new favorite could be next on my TBR pile?

Here’s a look at every book I can remember reading more than once. Again, excluding children’s books & beginning at about mid-grade level:

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Fun fact: Twilight should technically also be on this list, but I didn’t include it because the only reason I’ve read it more than once is that I completely forgot I had read it the first time. I don’t know if that’s on me or Stephanie Meyer, but apparently it really didn’t resonate that much the first time through.

So, how about you? Do you tend to read books once and move on, or do you re-visit old favorites? How do you choose? I’d love to hear from you!

Until Next Time ❤

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Fall/Winter TBR List: Books Galore!

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Well, I think I’ve finally put a finger on why I’m feeling so stressed out lately! Regardless of how excited I am for Fall (and Halloween, of course), I haven’t been able to shake this feeling like I’m never going to accomplish everything I want to by the end of the year. It’s been really discouraging, but I’ve realized it’s just because I’m too damn ambitious.

I read a quote the other day that was along the lines of “having too much freedom and too many options leads to procrastination” and I think that completely sums up my entire life perfectly. So. I’m going to try and cut back on my expectations of myself and work towards smaller goals – with the help of my trusty Passion Planner, obviously – and just make things more manageable for myself until I have developed better habits. All that’s a post for another day, though.


Today, I’m going to start small and share my To Be Read (TBR) list for Fall/Winter 2015. I’m under no delusions that I will actually get through all of these books in the next three months, but I’m already on track to make a pretty big dent (assuming I don’t hit a book slump after finishing Queen of Shadows for the 2nd time…eek!).

I went back & forth on whether I wanted to share these by genre or by the order I have tentatively assigned to them, and I think I’m going with my random order, so we can see how many I end up skipping by the end of the year. Because *that* won’t be discouraging to look back on (sarcasm sarcasm sarcasm).

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  • Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas (re-read)
  • Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas (re-read)
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman (AB read-along)
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (bookdrunkinlove read-along)
  • Through the Woods by Emil Carrol (AB graphic novel read-along)
  • Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling (re-read)
  • Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (re-read)

Books 11-20

  • I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
  • Heir to the Empire by Timothy Zahn
  • Dark Force Rising by Timothy Zahn
  • The Last Command by Timothy Zahn
  • The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  • With this Heart by RS Grey
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
  • Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling (re-read)

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Aditionally, I’ve got the following graphic novels that I’d like to finish before the end of the year:

  1. Sex Criminals vol. 1
  2. Wicked + Divine vol. 2
  3. Hawkeye vol. 1
  4. Saga vol. 5
  5. Halloween Eve

So needless to say, I’ve got an overly ambitious reading list for the season, and that’s only one aspect of my life I’ve been planning out. There is physically no possible way to get everything done that is on my to-do list, and I think that’s really got me frozen in place and feeling stuck. I’m sure someone out there can relate. I hope someone out there can relate…

In the end, I think it’s a matter of recognizing that it’s not the end of the world, and it’s definitely not something to be ashamed about if I don’t get around to everything. I mean, I’ve already surpassed the number of books I read in 2014. Right now I’m sitting at 33 books read this year, plus a ton of comics that I haven’t even counted towards my goal. I’d say I’m doing alright. And I need to look at things from this perspective more often. I also need to prioritize all of my 2015 goals to determine which ones I want to focus on for the next 3 months. It’s a work in progress, you guys… but aren’t we all? 🙂

Until Next Time ❤

*AB = AdultBooklr (what’s that?)

August Recap! I’m All Planned Out.

So blogcation is officially over, as evidenced by my two whole posts last week. Haha. Seriously, I’ve got to do some heavy-duty work to get myself ahead of the game. As I said before, August is a crazy busy month for us every year, so I was grateful to be able to focus on the things going on around me with minimal distractions.

Hubby’s 28th Birthday

This year, I had the hardest time figuring out what to get K for his birthday. I don’t know about you guys, but my husband is the WORST person to buy gifts for. Everything he wants either costs hundreds of dollars, or else he just buys it himself. I finally came up with a solution and ended up pooling money with his brother, his parents, and my parents so we could get him an electric smoker! This thing is awesome, has tons of room, and even has bluetooth capabilities so he can control it and check the meat temp right from his phone. Perfect for a techy dude like my husband. 🙂 We’ve used it a few times now, and have had a lot of fun figuring out the science of smoking meats. It definitely takes some practice to get things perfect, though.

As for a party, we decided to just have people over for a casual BYOB hangout at our house. We had a few people over for lunch and then just hung out for a few hours until the actual party started around 5:00. Over the course of the night I estimated around 40 people stopping by to wish him happy birthday! It was a really great night with friends, culminating in an epic Cards Against Humanity tournament dominated by the birthday boy. All-in-all, pretty awesome.

Kiddo’s 5th Birthday

We both took off work at noon on the day of her birthday to come home & re-arrange her bedroom to fit her new full size big-girl bed in. That was not an easy feat, let me tell you. Girl’s room is packed to the brim. Here, I’ll show you…

Yeah, Ernie wanted in on the action

See what I mean? It’s super full. But it’s cute as hell. After we did the re-arranging, we picked her up from school & brought her home to surprise her with it! She loves her bed & the extra floor space we somehow managed to create for her to play in. After the big reveal, she tore into a pile of presents that had come in the mail from various sources (mostly books from book club friends) and then we headed to Toys R Us so she could pick out $40 worth of toys from mom & dad (yes, we gave her the gift of shopping…she is certainly my offspring). She ended up picking out a Shopkins playset, a My Little Pony Funko blind box, and a few blind bags from Littlest Pet Shop and MLP.

The big party was the Saturday after her birthday – My Little Pony themed, of course – and like the terrible blogger I am, I didn’t manage to get any pictures of the party itself, just kids whacking at a pinata and crowding around the presents.  Everything was pretty much rainbow-themed, since Rainbow Dash is her favorite pony. I also went with enough sweets on the menu to make Pinkie Pie proud. My mother-in-law made an epic stacked rainbow cake with a MLP transfer that said “Happy 5th Birthday, Evvie!” It was a really great party with more kids than I really expected. Luckily I don’t really ever have to plan activities for her parties because we just set up our giant inflatable water slide & let the kids go crazy on it.

FOOTBALL

We could talk about the first couple weeks of  September, here, too…because FOOTBALL! We’re huge Iowa Hawkeye fans, so we tailgated the first game of the year on the 5th and then had our 5th annual Iowa/Iowa State party for the Cyhawk gmae against our rivals this past Saturday. We even hauled our 55″ Plasma to the back yard so we could watch outside and then set up a projector in our den with something like 130″ of screen. It was good times, but I’m all partied out. No more. Until Halloween. Thanks 🙂

WORK

I don’t talk much about my day job because it’s basically just that, but we moved offices at the end of August, which was super chaotic for me, being the Office Manager-type person on our team. So that contributed to high stress levels & is worth mentioning .

BOOKS READ

Ah, the relaxing stuff! I was pretty productive in the reading category in August. At least, more so than most other months throughout the year. I knocked out 3 novels and 3 graphic novels this month:

  1. Stardust by Neil Gaiman – I’m actually working on a pretty comprehensive review/ film comparison post. No promises on when it’ll be done. But it’s coming.
  2. A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J Maas – Review pending
  3. Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling – Re-read thoughts pending
  4. Batgirl of Burnside– Adult Booklr read-along
  5. The Killing Joke 
  6. The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 1 – Adult Booklr read-along for September (omigosh, I’m ahead of schedule?!)
  7. The Martian – I only got 11% of the way through this before the end of the month, but I’m counting that 11%. This was one of the Adult Booklr read-alongs for August, and I’ll have a review up just as soon as I can stop fangirling long enough to form coherent sentences. Thanks.

So, that’s about it. Along with a BUNCH of planning – planning parties, planning blog posts, planning surprises for AdultBooklr…. Planning, planning, planning! Oy. Oh, and the cleaning was never-ending. I’m so far behind on laundry because I was either reading or cleaning almost every night I had free time.

What’d I miss while I was gone? I wasn’t keeping up with reading blogs, either, so if something exciting happened to you last month, let’s talk about it!

Until Next Time ❤

 

PS – If you’re a Throne of Glass fan, you can follow along with my unofficial AdultBooklr read-along of Queen of Shadows on Tumblr & Twitter. Just look for the tag #OGFQoS! I’m having a lot of fun reading this book, y’all!

5 Fandom Friday! 5 Fictional Pets I Wanna Adopt

My goodness, I miss 5 Fandom Fridays! What is wrong with me? Why do I think I’ll be fine skipping a week? It makes me so sad when I don’t get to hang out with everyone for 5FF!

This week’s prompt is hella cute: 5 Fictional Pets I Want to Adopt, and I’ve put a lot of thought into this. This list is, for once, in order of want.

5. Marcel (FRIENDS)

Sure, he’s kind of a little shit, but he’s so cute & smart & loyal. I’d snuggle him for sure.

4.  FalKor

Not TECHNICALLY a pet, but I want a Luckdragon!! Adventures abound!

3.  Abraxos

Loyalty and ferocity. Perfect for a badass pet.

2.  Lying Cat

Heh. The cake is a lie, you guys. Don’t even pretend you don’t want a Lying Cat.

1. Hedwig

Because duh.

 

So, yay for 5FF! Created by Kristin & Megan! Check out #5FF or #Fandom5 to see more!

 

Until Next Time ❤

[6] Obsessive Wednesdays: Break The Cycle

Wow. I’m having a hard time keeping on top of everything this month. I have a lot of excuses (which you probably don’t want to hear) about why I haven’t been around, but I’ll save those for another day. Instead, let’s focus on the good stuff. The stuff that I’m obsessing over this week! Most of these things are productivity tools or inspiration, to help me break this stupid cycle I’m in.

MUSIC

My SqugSquad Playlist.

This thing has been keeping me upbeat during some of the most anxiety-ridden days of my life. I challenged the SqugSquad to participate in the music shuffle challenge on Tumblr, and then I made a playlist out of everyone’s responses. It’s perfect. Like a sampling of all of my favorite peoples’ personalities.

TV / MOVIES

Pitch Perfect 2

Yeah, I finally saw it. I loved it, obviously. There were a few moments where the writers and/or actors were just trying way, WAY too hard to get a laugh, and I found myself irritated. I also found the music selection to be SIGNIFICANTLY sub-par compared to the first film. In the end, though, I give it a 7/10, which is a pretty solid score from yours truly.

Jurassic Park TRILOGY

Hubby & I watched the first 3 Jurassic Park movies in preparation to -FINALLY- see Jurassic World. I gotta tell you, I thought I had seen all 3 of the original movies, but I didn’t remember a single thing about Lost World. I’m guessing I either never saw it, or I blocked it out. It’s REALLY bad. Poor Jeff Goldblum just couldn’t carry the franchise like Sam Neill. Not many people can. I’m guessing Chris Pratt does ok, though. Because Chris Pratt.

The Fosters

Yeah, ok. I’ve been drowning myself in TV/Movies lately. Not only have I burned through the first season and a half of The Fosters, but Hubby & I have been flying through episodes of Friends & Buffy lately, Too. BUT. The Fosters. I had never heard of this until @loudlysilent started singing its praises one day a couple weeks ago. So, I clicked on it on Netflix & holy crap, do I love this show. It’s moderately melodramatic (almost to a fault), but it just tackles so many issues that don’t get enough screen time, or get glossed over with pop culture. It’s a very important show & resonates with all kinds of demographics. Love it.

BOOKS

Oy. This list could go on forever. The bad thing about making friends who are as obsessed with books as you are is that you NEVER stop adding to your TBR. How about I just stick with the thing I’m MOST excited about, eh?

HARRY POTTER BOX SET! Hells. Yes.

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This set was on mega sale over 4th of July. I scooped it up for $40. FORTY DOLLARS for all 7 books. In a box set. With the Hogwarts image on the spines. I’m in love.

COMICS

Hawkeye Vol. 1

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I’ve only read one issue of this so far, but I KNOW it’s going to be my favorite. Amazon had a deal on the Kindle version for $2.99 this past Sunday & I snatched that up like my life depended on it. I can’t wait to keep going on this. Although it’s a  little hard to read on my tiny, b&w Kindle Paperwhite. Now is the time I wish I had a Fire or an iPad, y’know?

TOOLS

Passion Planner

I just ordered this today & I cannot wait to receive it. I’ve been stalking Passion Planner’s Instagram for about an hour & I’m in love with the way people are using these extraordinary planners. I’m going to throw it in my giant tote bag with my multi-colored highlighters & Staetdler pens. It’s going to be beautiful & help me get on track. That’s the goal, at least. I’m going to fill it with positive affirmations and life/career goals.


I think that’s about it for me today, I’ll try my best to do better & come back tomorrow with a post. I actually have a book review in the works, but I can’t quite articulate my feelings the way I want to, so I’ve been in a writing rut. Boo.

Well, Until Next Time! ❤

The Adventure Continues… [Vacation Recap]

Hey! Remember that time I started recapping my vacation? Ha. That went well… it was like a month ago and I only got through 2 days before other posts started filling up my queue. You can read part 1 here.  Part 2 is DAY 2 of Universal Studios (and really, the day we accomplished the most in a park).

Monday

So Monday I woke up feeling even worse than I had on Saturday. Still thinking it was just climate change/ exhaustion, I sucked it up & got ready to head back to Universal with hubby at 9AM.  We had discussed it Sunday night and decided that since the weather outlook wasn’t great, we would push off Magic Kingdom for another day so we could make the most of our time there. All the grandparents were going to hang out and take kiddo to the beach since the weather looked more promising on the coast.

Off we went to Universal, sunscreen slathered on & super anxious to see what we had missed on our previous trip.  We ended up getting there around 9:30 and decided to start in Diagon Alley since that was one of the things we missed out on Saturday. I gotta tell you – Diagon Alley is boss. Hogsmeade is cool, but Diagon Alley FEELS like you would expect Diagon Alley to feel. All hidden & enclosed and simply magical. We bee-lined for Escape from Gringott’s, since they don’t take Express Passes for that one. We ended up waiting maybe 15-20 minutes to ride, but the whole line is like a tour of Gringott’s and it’s pretty immersive. I did not mind the wait & honestly could have waited longer (same goes for Forbidden Journey). The ride itself was a fun experience, but not as much of a thrill ride as I had heard. I would absolutely go again & again, though, just for the experience.

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After that, we headed to the Leaky Cauldron for breakfast. Pro-tip, you guys – if you’re at Universal, only ever eat in the Wizarding World – the food is really (emphasize: REALLY) good and you actually get a decent amount of food for less than the outrageous prices you’ll find elsewhere in the park (never EVER get food in Seussville – $10 for a hot dog & chips is absurd). After breakfast, we wandered Diagon Alley for a little while, checking out shops before hopping on the Hogwart’s Express back over to Hogsmeade to ride Forbidden Journey & Dragon Challenge again – this time we got in the front seats on Dragon Challenge, and it was AWESOME. By then, it was already time for lunch and I knew EXACTLY where I wanted to go. Three Broomsticks for Fish & chips with a butterbeer – it could not have been a more perfect meal that day.

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That’s attractive.

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Seriously, so delicious

Once we were certain we had exhausted all of the magical experiences in Hogsmeade, we headed out toward the Marvel Superhero Island. I had no idea what to expect, but I definitely didn’t expect to like it more than Wizarding World – *whispers* but I might*.  Superhero Island is freaking amazing, you guys.  It’s like stepping into a comic book.  There are little speech bubbles all over the place for photo ops, statues of favorite comic characters EVERYWHERE, and primary colors galore. Just being there makes you happy.

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First thing we did was rush over to the Incredible Hulk Coaster, where we opted again to wait for a seat in the first row.  This was quite possibly my favorite roller coaster ride of my entire life. It was perfect – corkscrews & loops & lots of drops that send your stomach  into your head. It’s a really great thrill ride.

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Our next stop was the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride. This is another one where the line experience is nearly as cool as the ride itself. Hubby was eating up all the comic & movie references as we walked through the offices of the Daily Bugle.  The ride itself was fun, if not a little cheesy – what do you expect from a comic-themed ride, though? And I nearly lost it when Stan Lee showed up at the end of the ride.  That is a seriously funny dude.

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We decided to take a break from rides & explore some of the shops – starting with the infamous Marvel Comic Book Shop. I died in there.  I found the House of M collection paperback & begged hubby to let me buy it, but we had already spent plenty of money on Universal Souvenirs.  I could have spent hours in that shop & dropped a whole lot of money, had we any to spend.

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By this point in the day, unfortunately, I was starting to feel pretty worn down. My throat was swelling up and hurt like a sonofabitch. It was only like 4:30 and I was in desperate need of a nap. Obviously that wasn’t an option, so we did the next best thing & grabbed a caffeinated beverage at one of the refill stations on our way out of Superhero Island.  We started making our way back to Diagon Alley again, crossing through The Lost Continent, where I decided to get some henna done and then we took on the Poseidon’s Fury attraction (some pretty cool effects, but the best part was the tour guide – she was pretty hilarious).  Once we made it back to Hogsmeade, it was time to board the Hogwarts Express for the 4th time.

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Once we were back in Diagon Alley, we cruised the shops a little more thoroughly than we had in the morning, since we weren’t clamoring to get on rides.  This is was maybe the most magical part of the day for me. We wandered around Diagon Alley, taking in all the detail & special touches, trying spells with my interactive wand, and just kind of hanging out with the wizards. We stumbled upon Knockturn Alley, which I didn’t even know existed in the park, and I was THRILLED to find Borgin & Burkes with all the dark Death Eater merch & a replica vanishing cabinet. We spent a lot of time hanging out in B&B and also right outside, where there’s a skeleton window display with a pretty awesome spell you can cast.

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By the time we emerged from Knockturn Alley, it had started to rain for real – as opposed to the random light showers we had gotten off & on throughout the rest of the day – so we ducked into Florean Fotescue’s for some ice cream (I got lavender, yum!) and to keep dry-ish. With snacks in hand, we found a bench under an overhang & parked it there until the rain let up. Just eating ice cream & drinking a beer in the rain was pretty awesomesauce.  And it helped my throat IMMENSELY. I hadn’t realized just how exhausted I was, though, until we were sitting there for a little while and my feet started to ache and I got really lightheaded… that’s about the time we decided it would be acceptable to call it a day.

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We waddled our way through the park & back out into CityWalk to find some dinner (and yes, I waddled because my feet were DEMOLISHED). We ended up going to Cowfish for dinner because sushi + burger bar. Duh. This is quite possibly the coolest restaurant I’ve ever set foot in. The decor was super modern & playful. The restaurant spans 3 levels, with a bar on each floor & two balconies on the middle & top floors.  We got lucky & got sat on one of the balconies, which was awesome when it started to rain again.  We ordered some crab rangoon dip that was super to-DIE for & I was absolutely heartbroken to find that my throat was so swollen I couldn’t eat my steak-sushi. It was pretty miserable, but I wasn’t going to let the stupid swollen throat detract from how perfect it was to end the day with a gorgeous view of the parks from the balcony in the rain and a cup of tea.

(sorry for the vertical video – it was a Snapchat)

After dinner, the walk back to our car was pretty excruciating. Apparently I had a huge welt in the arch of my foot because I decided flip flops were appropriate theme park footwear. [Note: they are not. Especially when riding roller coasters. Duh]. We’d had an incredibly busy day – those Express Passes paid for themselves tenfold. We managed to hit every major attraction we were interested in & then spend some time just exploring and being spontaneous. It was basically perfect, aside from my body trying to ruin things.

The next day was less perfect. Significantly so. (to be continued…maybe)

Until Next Time-ish ❤

Book/Comic Haul: Jan-April 2015

I don’t feel like I buy or receive enough books to do a monthly book haul. Most of the books I read I end up getting from the library. I definitely envy those of you with beautiful bookshelves lined with hard copies of your favorite books. I’ll get there some day. My collection will just take a little longer to amass.

I did get quite a few new books (and comics!) over the course of the last 4 months, though. So I thought I’d share my haul for the whole of January-April 2015!

BOOKS

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First up, this GORGEOUS edition of Neverending Story that my mom got me for my birthday! I’m so obsessed with it I almost don’t want to read it for fear of ruining it. I don’t think that will stop me in the long-run, though. I’ll just be suuuuuper careful.

The other two, I bought for myself – which I almost NEVER do, so yay! I picked up Throne of Glass and The Alchemist 25th Anniversary Edition on a trip to Barnes & Noble with my mom. I’m so, so excited to start reading Throne of Glass, since everybody and their mother is obsessed with it – I really just want to join that party. And this edition of The Alchemist is freaking gorgeous  with the cutout on the front cover & the deckle edge. I was too in love with the way it looks to pass it up. Plus, it’s on my Popsugar 2015 Reading List as a book that was published in the year of my birth. So, win-win!

Also, every single one of these fandom items has been acquired since December of last year, so I thought I’d throw them in the photo, too. You might think my Luna Lovegood wand is my favorite, but it’s actually Mr. Pointy. How many people do you know with a Mr. Pointy??

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Apparently I completely forgot about this as I was photographing my other books, but I picked up this copy of Fairest of All when we were at Disney World. I was really surprised when I took the dust jacket off to see the old hag underneath. I might leave the jacket off because I love it so much. I will admit that I was a little disappointed because we went to another shop immediately after I bought this & I found The Beast Within, which the first shop didn’t carry. I probably would have rather had that one, but I can always pick it up later 🙂

E-BOOKS

Oh! Let’s not forget about e-books! I do stock up on Kindle books pretty frequently, thanks to the Pixel of Ink newsletter! Yeah, ok. I didn’t realize how many e-books I get until I started compiling this list. Here’s everything I’ve added to my Kindle since January, in chronological order.

  1. Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice
  2. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  3. Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
  4. The Memory Game by Sharon Sant
  5. Someone Else’s Fairytale by E.M. Tippetts
  6. The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton
  7. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
  8. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  9. A Brush with the Moon by Raquel Lyon
  10. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  11. Insanity (Mad in Wonderland) by Cameron Jace
  12. Imperfectly Perfect by A.E. Woodward
  13. Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
  14. Wearing the Cape: The Beginning by Marion G. Harmon
  15. Riser by Becca C. Smith
  16. Queenie Baby: On Assignment by Christina A. Burke
  17. Modern Women by Ruth Harris
  18. Vampire in Denial by Dale Mayer
  19. Beastly by Alex Flinn
  20. Witch Hunt by Devin O’Branagan
  21. The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter by Jennifer Malone Wright
  22. Cress (Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer
  23. Sora’s Quest by T.L. Shreffler
  24. The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger
  25. Me and my Ghoulfriends by Rose Pressey
  26. Night of the Living Trekkies by Kevin David Anderson
  27. Audrey’s Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman
  28. The Diviners by Libba Bray
  29. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  30. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  31. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  32. Lost Girl:Hidden Book One by Colleen Vanderlinden
  33. Airel: The Awakening by Aaron Patterson

PLUS, I signed up for Kindle Unlimited & added all the Harry Potter books to my library ❤ So, as far as new reading material goes, I’m not exactly hurting… Ha.

COMICS

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Moving into comics, I’ve got the 4 issues of Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1982) that I picked up at Newbo Con in February, plus the Vision and the Scarlet Witch: A Year In The Life that my brother-in-law got for my birthday. And then, of course, the Avengers 100th Anniversary Special #1.

To be honest, I haven’t read any of these yet. But I will. I promise!

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So I read the first 4 volumes of Saga in trade from my library and then made sure to get it on my pull list at the comic book shop. I actually ended up with 2 copies of issue 25 because mine was back-ordered & I couldn’t wait – so I ordered one from eBay.  Totally worth it, though. I’m so in love with this series. I just read issue 27 last week and, while it slowed things down a LOT from the previous issues, I do think it’s a necessary lull & I still love it.  I’m not even gonna get into it, because I could write an epic saga about my love for Saga. And that’d just be saga-ception. Which sounds dangerous. (I fangirl so hard over Fiona Staples)

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I have heard incredible things about The Wicked + The Divine, so I ordered the first trade & put it on my pull list. I haven’t started reading the trade yet, but I did thumb through & slobber over the artwork by Jamie McKelvie & Matt Wilson.  I don’t think I’m going to start reading until I get my hands on issues 6-8, so I can just binge read the whole thing in one sitting. 🙂

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Last, but most CERTAINLY not least, is my itsy bitsy Spider Gwen collection (ha. I’m funny). Right now I have the Edge of Spiderverse collection and Spider Gwen #1 & #3. I’ve been waiting for issue 2 for what feels like FOREVER. But once it comes in, it is GAME ON for me and this series. I actually read the first Spider-Verse issue – the Spider Noir one, and I really enjoyed it. That was officially my first “Superhero Comic” that I’ve ever read. eek! I know. I’m a total newb. Oh well, can’t stay that way forever!


So, there you have it. That’s my entire comic collection, plus every book I’ve acquired between January & April. I’m actually already off to a good start on Books for May – maybe I’ll end up with enough to justify a May Book Haul – that would be just lovely 🙂

How about that list of Kindle Reads, though? Anything in there that I should definitely pay attention to? I’m reading Ready Player One right now, but there’s a lot of good stuff floating on my Kindle that I had completely forgotten about!

Until Next Time ❤

5 Fandom Friday – Favorite Fictional Moms

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I LOVE this week’s 5FF. Moms are everything. I’d be completely and utterly lost without mine, so I’m excited to start Mother’s Day Weekend by talking about some of my favorite FICTIONAL mothers!

1. Lorelai Gilmore. Duh. Obviously. Was there any question? Lorelai is almost the exact kind of mother I want to be (if we could just subtract the majority of the unhealthy co-dependence). The relationship she has with Rory is something I think most girls who grew up watching GG were incredibly envious of. An honest relationship where a mother & daughter confide in one another is all I’ve ever wanted for me  & kiddo. Hopefully I’m well on my way.+

2. Rosemary Penderghast. Ok, this might seem like an odd choice, but EVERY time I watch Easy A, I am giddy over the relationship between Olive & her mother. I love the snarky banter & the sarcasm, but there’s obviously an abundance of unconditional love. Allowing a child to flourish & make their own mistakes, while still being there to catch them if they fall – that’s the ultimate goal.

3. Molly Weasley. How about this for a change of pace? Molly Weasley is the ULTIMATE mama-bear mother. She is fiercely protective of her children, offers unconditional love, and even acts as a mother to her children’s friends. You know that every single bone in her body is filled with maternal instinct. I think this badass mama is popping up on everyone’s list today – and she deserves to!

4. [Mini-Spoiler?] America Singer. Just finished The Heir, and obviously can’t stop talking about it. I mean my Fangirl mode is set to 11/10 right now. America turned out to be THE BEST MOM. She was always so devoted to her family that I knew she would be, but damn. It’s super good. And that’s all I have to say about that. Which leads me to…

5. Mrs. Gump. I love Forrest Gump. It’s an absolutely timeless movie. And Mrs. Gump is just the sweetest little southern mother. She would (and kind of does) do anything for her son.  Never concerning herself over his “disabilities”, but encouraging him to do whatever he wants. Good mama status.

Who are your favorite fictional moms? Leave me a comment or tell me on twitter with the tag #Fandom5!

Thanks to The Nerdy Girlie & Super Space Chick for starting 5 Fandom Fridays! I love connecting with everyone at the end of the week!

Until Next Time ❤

Wildest Dreams: Taylor Swift Book Tag!

I’m a Tay Tay junkie, so obviously I couldn’t pass this up. Anna at Nerdy Alerty tagged me & I kind of jumped for joy. Not gonna lie.


 

1. We Are Never, EVER Getting Back Together (pick a book or series that you were pretty sure you were in love with, but then wanted to break up with)

   

*cough* DIVERGENT *cough*

UGH. If you’ve read the whole series, you know. I just can’t talk about it. It’s really upsetting.

2. RED (pick a book with a red cover)

Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace.

I haven’t read this, but I do own it & my dust jacket is missing, so it’s a red cover. Promise 🙂

3. The Best Day (pick a book that makes you feel nostalgic)

Harry Potter, of course! I just started my re-read yesterday & I was a little worried going into it that I’d just bumble along because I know what’s going to happen. BUT it’s been the opposite. I’m hanging on every single word & loving all the rich detail that I had forgotten by just watching the movies for the past few years. Nothing compares to the original text ❤

4. Love Story (pick a book with forbidden love)

The Birth of Venus. This is one of my all-time favorite books. It’s sexy & about the early renaissance. It’s also really feminist and, well, fantastic. The main character, Alessandra, is falling hard & fast for the mysterious painter her father brought back from northern Europe to paint the family’s fresco. That is, until her family marries her off to a much older, wealthy man. And, well. You know. I totally want to re-read this now.

5. I Knew You Were Trouble (pick a book with a bad character you couldn’t help but love)

The Duff! Wesley Rush is the epitome of this character for me. I mean, he’s not really THAT bad, I suppose –  just kind of ignorant. But still. He’s my pick.

6. Innocent (pick a book that someone ruined the ending for)

TFIOS. Ok, I know it probably wasn’t a TOTAL spoiler, because everyone knew how that book was going to end. But I was literally 5 pages away from the MOMENT things change and my BFF spoiled it over froyo. Rude.

7. Everything Has Changed (pick a character from a book who goes through extensive character development)

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Sydney Sage. Girl had what? 7 books to change. And she went from completely disgusted by and terrified of all supernatural beings to *SPOILER ALERT* a witch & vampire’s wife. I mean, that’s quite the development. And it was glorious.

8. You Belong With Me (pick your most anticipated book release)

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The Heir. I’m actually starting to feel like maybe this won’t live up to my expectations. BUT, it’s still my #1 awaited release since I loved the rest of the series so much! There are a ton of unreleased books I’m slobbering over right now, though.

9. Forever and Always (pick your favorite book couple)

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America Singer & Maxon Shreave. Like I said, I REALLY love this series ❤

10. Come Back, Be Here (pick the book you would least like to lend out, for fear of missing it too much)

The Birth of Venus. Most of my books are actually on my Kindle, so lending isn’t really an issue. The hard copy I have of Birth of Venus has been through some shit with me & I wouldn’t want to let it go for anything. I actually lost it once & bought a new copy because I couldn’t be without it. Then I found the original & gave the extra to a girlfriend 🙂

PLUS I found these bonus questions & had to include them, duh.

11. Teardrops On My Guitar  (pick a book that made you cry a lot)

Um, TFIOS. I tried to pick something I hadn’t already used, but come ON.  Nothing could answer this question better.

12. Shake It Off (pick a book that you love so much, you just shake off the haters)

SAGA.

I’ve gotten really into this series  and don’t care what anybody thinks – whether they finally realize the extent of my nerdiness or consider it to be porn, IDGAF. This series is one of my favorite things in my life right now.

 

I don’t really have all that many blog buddies, but if you choose to participate in this tag, but if you choose to participate, leave me a link so I can read yours & make some new blog buddies, k? 🙂

 

It’s Not All Sunshine & Rainbows: Vacation Recap

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Holy crap. I had ZERO intention of neglecting my blog over vacation, but there was absolutely no way for me to keep things updated in real-time. I’m honestly feeling lucky that I even survived the week. Don’t get me wrong, it was a ton of fun and we spent a significant amount of time chilling by the pool. Generally speaking, though, last week was one of the most exhausting weeks of my life. Let’s recap:

FRIDAY

Friday morning I got up around 5:30 (after packing until about 1:00 AM) to be at work by 7:00. I had to scramble to get everything prepped for me to be gone the following week & in only a couple short hours. I had a chiropractor appointment at 9:30 (still recovering from that stupid car accident) and a lunch date with my BFF at 11:15, which I got home from around 1:00 – leaving an hour to load up the car & make sure we hadn’t forgotten anything. Eep! By 2:15, we were loaded &  on our way to pick up the kid from daycare before heading to the airport for our 4:30 departure. Waiting in the airport is the worst. Mostly just when you have a kid who is all geared up for Disney – that’s a whole new level of insane, let me tell you. Also, ridiculous adorableness ensues:

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Oh my sweetness.

So we landed at the Sanford airport around 8:00 EST, collected our baggage, & made the ridiculously long hike to the Alamo rental suite (seriously, why is it SO far away from baggage claim?). We picked out a tricked-out (not really) Chrysler Town & Country and then we were on our way.  I think we arrived at the resort around 10:00, check-in took nearly 30 minutes, and then we had to drive alllllll the way across the resort to get to our villa.  We didn’t cross the threshold till close to 11:00 and then my parents & I proceeded to run up the road to Walgreens to stock us up on food & beverage for the next day. It was a long effing day. I think I went to bed around 1:00 AM, again. And then turned around & got up at 7:00 Saturday to head out to Universal Studios. Whew.

Saturday

Saturday I woke up feeling like crap, which, I suppose could be expected after a day like Friday & less than 8 hours of sleep. But I really felt like I had been hit by a truck. My throat was all swollen & irritated – presumably from the drastic climate change and maybe even the excessive air conditioning in our villa. I had no idea. But I got up & got ready to go to Universal Studios, anyway. Because Harry Potter will not be interrupted by a little sore throat. No way.

My Universal Studios experience definitely warrants a post all on its own, but I will say that this first day we just managed to ride a few rides & explore – we tried to stick to things that kiddo could do with us since we had an extra day that we’d be back without her (thanks, parents!). So we started out in Seussville at Islands of Adventure & rode the Caro-Seussel & one of their high-rise train rides.  These were pretty standard & tame rides to suss out how interested kiddo was gonna be in going on rides in general. Answer: SUPER DUPER.

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After lunch, we moved on to Hogsmeade & explored the magnificence of the Harry Potter universe. I got a Luna Lovegood interactive wand to perform spells throughout the park & my dad got Dumbledore’s wand/ the Elder Wand, which was pretty badass. We rode the Flight of the Hippogriff, which was the only rollercoaster ride we took kiddo on – she just BARELY met the 40″ height requirement, but she was so excited when we were done. I just know this kid’s gonna be an adrenaline junkie. When we were done exploring the shops & drinking our butterbeers, we decided to hop on the Hogwarts Express to go to Universal Studios & finish out the day. I honestly preferred the Universal side over the Islands of Adventure side, but I’m pretty partial to anything that feels kinda old-school, which is the whole thing with Universal Studios. I loved it.

At Universal Studios, we checked out the Shrek 4D show (cute, not exceptional) & got turned into Minions on the Despicable Me ride. Honestly? That ride is boss. Even as an adult, I had a blast on the Despicable Me ride, which was also kiddo’s favorite. When we were done she goes “I can’t believe they turned us into Minions! That’s so crazy!”

[I should sidebar here & mention that we paid an extra $65 per ticket to get the Express Passes on our Universal tickets & it was TOTALLY money well-spent. We never waited in line longer than 5 minutes on eligible rides. It really helped us make the most of our time there. The Minions ride alone never had less than a 45 minute wait the entire time we were there – we were basically able to walk right in.]

After we finished up on the Minions ride, kiddo was looking pretty wiped. My parents – who are by no means “ride” people – decided that since the weather was starting to look a little ominous (hello, Florida in April) that they’d take her & camp out in a store or a restaurant on the CityWalk while the rest of us went to ride some of the thrillier rides. We rushed back over to Hogsmeade to catch the other Harry Potter rides we had missed before: Dragon Challenge & Forbidden Journey. By the time we were done with those, the rain really let loose & we got D-RENCHED on our trek back to CityWalk. Like, we’re talking sloshy shoes & mascara dripping down my face. It was a mess. But it was a totally different kind of rain than we get in iowa. It was peaceful & warm & actually really nice. Apart from the mascara dripping. ain’t nobody need to be dealing with that. And then we proceeded to eat dinner in an air conditioned restaurant, which was remarkably uncomfortable. But it was delicious. Bubba Gump’s is always delicious.

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We had a pretty intense meltdown on the part of one VERY exhausted 4-year-old over dinner, which helped us make the decision to lie low the next day rather than bounding straight into Magic Kingdom, as originally planned. I cannot imagine how much of a nightmare she might have been had we tried to do two park days in a  row right off the bat.

SUNDAY

So, Sunday became the day of relaxation & we just hung out at the resort on the lazy river & in the pool. There were many delicious beverages & splash fights & a couple more meltdowns because my kid hates for water to go above her neck… but it was just a really nice day in the sun, which concluded with some delicious Margherita pizza from the resort’s pizza parlour. Mmmm.

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HOKAY, I’m thinking this post got out-of-control long already & I’ve only covered 3 days, soooo I’ll come back later with more. It got kind of dramatic, so you won’t want to miss it. Haha.

Until then ❤