Thursday, May 8, 2014

Throwback Thursday [1]

There are increasing amounts of versions of Throwback Thursday (#tbt) around the internet.  There are even a few in book blogs, but none of their rules fit for me well enough.  Thus I'm starting my own version.


1.  Pick a book, trend, character, book related item, or so on...

2.  The thing you pick has to be at least 3 years old to you (i.e. the thing can still exist new to others, but when you discovered it, it was 3 or more years ago).

3.  Review, give a synopsis, trash it, explain to us how it made you cry and hug your dog, whatever!  Just express the old.

4.  Link back here to spread the word!

It truly is that simple.  I'm thinking it'll be once a week meme (as long as I can keep it up).  I'm going to try to set up a link-me type thing to each post, but I don't know how yet, so for now leave a comment with your blog name/link.

So here's the first one:


In 2010 I discovered the wonder that is, and I'm not sure how I lived without it before.  It's like Netflix, but for books (and without the ability to stream books, but we're not going to split hairs).

Since the day I joined I've read roughly 260 books, and marked 551 books to-read.

The feature I love the most is the ability to scan a book's barcode from my smart phone and save it as a book I want to read in the future.  When you work at a library (like I do), you learn quickly that you can't take out every book that looks interesting every shift.  This gave me a better way than saving check-out receipts for books I never got around to reading before they had to go back.

My second favorite is the basic ability to put in what books you've read and rate.  I would say this would be convenient in the future when I won't remember what I've read, but I already have that problem!  So Goodreads to the rescue.

Are you all on Goodreads?  You can find my profile through my "Reading Challenge" link on the sidebar.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday [11]

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That I Would Like to Own

1.  Library Card Tote Bag - This would be perfect for taking my library books to and from the library.

2.  Alice in Wonderland Phone Case - I love switching phone cases at least once a week and the original Alice in Wonderland drawings are amazing.
3.  Reading This Bookmark Pad - This company and their products are so much fun, why not extend use to books?

4.  My Own Library - Don't all us book lovers want that?

5.  Book Necklace - I like how it's not metal; that it actually looks like a book.

6.  The Triangle Notebook - This concept is just awesome.

7.  Alice in Wonderland Mug - I have a thing for this quote, in all of its forms.

8.  Sherlock Holmes Book Scarf - It's Sherlock Holmes... and it's a scarf.  I rest my case.

9.  Book Lover Buttons - I collect buttons, and actually have a couple of these already.

10.  Embrace Your Narrative Key Chain - I love this because of its design and because of my life goal to publish a book of original fiction.

What do you want that will show your bookish love?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review: Allegiant

Title:  Allegiant
Author:  Veronica Roth
Series:  Divergent [3]
Rating: 4/5

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. 
But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love. 


For those of you who remember, I had the countdown ticker for this book on this blog for at least a month before it was released, and at least a month after it released.  I bought it early and started it the day it came out, then put it down for almost 4 months.  It lost my attention and school grabbed my free time.  FINALLY though, I finished it, just a couple weeks ago.

For those who haven't read this book or haven't read either of the others (and don't want spoilers) turn back now and go read one of my other fun posts, the spoiling will begin after the picture.

^My thoughts exactly, and yes at the end I ended up almost crying in public.  This is why you don't read emotional books in public!  Except I didn't expect it to be emotional, I expected it to be predictable with a quasi-happy ending like every other book series with a "hero."

I'm not going to say I loved Tris and wish she hadn't have died, because really I liked her, and she was a good person, but she was human and definitely shouldn't have been impervious to everything, highly divergent or not.

I did like her death in a way because it made a piece of dystopian fiction more real.  The characters weren't superheros and they weren't super human.  And even though Tobias was amazing, he wasn't divergent like everyone thought, and he went through an identity crisis because of it!

Biggest problem I faced in this book was that I didn't remember who everyone was by the time I reached this book because I had read the other two back when Insurgent came out.  I could have looked up the characters, sure, but I don't do that.

I loved the paradoxes and life questions that seemed to face the reader at every turn, even if we didn't realize it.  For example:
“Knowledge is power. Power to do evil...or power to do good. Power itself is not evil. So knowledge itself is not evil.” 
It gives you life questions and a lot of their lives were about making choices where they seemingly had none.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who has felt like that.

I just... I liked this book, not as much as the first two, but I love the direction it took.  I like that I didn't predict the end, and I liked that it incorporated human nature in "our world" back into the equation.

What do you guys think?  I give it:

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Comic Books [Part 2]

Comic books I read:

I'm back!  With more comic book awesomeness.  Sorry for the long wait, but life is crazy!  And not the fun kind of crazy where aliens invade and superheros come save you.

Anyway, I started reading "comic books" as Manga, and my favorite two series were/are:

                                  Godchild by Kaori Yuki             Rurouni Kenshin by Nobuhiro Watsuki

That was mainly in high school, though I still read what I have left of my collection from time to time.

Last year, again thanks to my friend Lita, I started buying American comic books.  I keep up with a number of them, including:
  • Black Widow
  • Empire of the Dead
  • Loki, Agent of Asgard
  • Ms. Marvel
  • Winter Solider
  • Wolverine
I also have miscellaneous volumes of Hawkeye, but I'm behind in the series and don't have the money to catch up.  Those volumes come out surprisingly fast.

I went from 100+ manga, to less than 50, but in the last 5 months I'm up to roughly 20+ comic books.  We now know where all my "fun money" goes.

Do you read any comics?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: The Devil's Arithmetic

Title: The Devil's Arithmetic
Author: Jane Yolen
Rating: 4/5

This critically acclaimed novel by award-winning author Jane Yolen is now available in a beautifully designed new edition. Hannah dreads going to her family's Passover Seder—she's tired of hearing her relatives talk about the past. But when she opens the front door to symbolically welcome the prophet Elijah, she's transported to a Polish village in the year 1942, where she becomes caught up in the tragedy of the time. "Readers will come away with a sense of tragic history that both disturbs and compels." 


I have a thing for Holocaust books.  I and I definitely have a thing for people who refuse to acknowledge the Holocaust so I really liked this book if only for those two reasons.  I get (sorta) how Hannah is sick of remembering her past, especially when she sees it just as a boring religious ritual that is only enjoyed by the adults.  I love the time she spent in the past and how it wasn't just a dream.

However, I hated spending most of the book with her questioning everything as a dream (and me thinking it was an alcohol-induced hallucination/collapse), and then telling the people how right she was.  I hate when people are like that, thinking they are all knowing.

Once her memories faded though I love how she found her inner strength and then the book was all neatly, satisfyingly wrapped up in the end.

I'm normally extremely sad at the end of Holocaust books, this time I was relieved/happy/content.  It was odd.  I highly recommend the read though (then again, when do I post a review and not recommend the book?  Maybe I should try that some day)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday [10]

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

It's my 10th Top Ten Tuesday!  That's so exciting for me!

[Top Ten] Items on My Bookish Bucket List

  • Own my very own library (in a my very own house) and have it completely organized

  • Read at least 10 classics in the next 10 or 15 years (so far I've only read Shakespeare in school and that doesn't count)
  • Get a book published, and not only independently published, but picked up by a real publisher and marketed
  • Own 1st editions of the British copies of the Harry Potter books
  • Keep this book blog going for at least a couple years (with semi-regular posting)
  • Re-read some of the books I hated reading in high school (maybe I'll like them more now)
  • Own more than 500 books (something tells me I'm halfway there already)
  • Travel to somewhere that I've visited only in a book
  • Design my own cover art to a book, hopefully my own book
  • Actually start reading books of the NY Times Bestseller list (that I read for that purpose only)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Comic books [Part 1]

Usually I avoid talking about my love of comic books (and manga in the past) because people are like Nerd Alert!  But I'm breaking my silence!  I am a comic book lover, I go to comic-cons, I watch the movies.  And I have a need, a mighty need, to share my love.

I'm going to break this post up into a series of four posts.  Because if I didn't this post would be so long I would loose you all pretty quickly with my nerd ramblings.  Also, disregarding manga for the sake of this post series and focusing on American comic books (mostly Marvel).  If anyone wants a post about manga, let me know!

Now, I'll map out the posts:

[1] My descent into the world

[2] Comic books I read

[3] The Marvel movies

[4] Characters and actors

I know it's a book blog, but I can't do this series without the movies and the actors.

My Descent:

How I got into The Marvel Universe:  my good friend (bad financial influence) Lita.  She convinced me to watch Thor, then The Avengers, and I've been hooked ever since.  The funny thing is that my descent into the world only took a month before I was going to my first comic-con.  For the con she made an amazing Lady Loki costume while I made a half-assed Captain America one.  It was an epic day.

It began with a basic love for the movies, but I leaped into the con with vigor and bought a handful of old comics which I quickly fell in love with.  I quickly realized how far the avengers/marvel universe reached and realized that The Walking Dead was also involved in comics and cosplay.  I have been a fan of The Walking Dead since season 2-ish.

Anyway, it was a quick descent, like I said.  I went from not watching action movies that weren't horror or cop related to re-watching Iron Man 6 times and The Avengers about 15 times in two months.  Since then I have collected about 20 comics and I'm planning my costume for my next con in April.

So my current favorite comic:

Black Widow
(I'm also going to try to cosplay her in the next con)

Thursday, March 6, 2014


I've officially joined the Standalone Reading Challenge of 2014! (Click the button on the right sidebar for more information)

It's a challenge to read books that are of children or ya level that have been published this year and have no known sequels or sequel plans.

So far I've read one that counts:

Click here to read my review of Me Since You by Laura Wiess

Join the challenge with me by visiting Dizneee's or IceyBooks and signing up!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mini Review: One Today

Title:  One Today: A Poem for Barack Obama's Presidential Inauguration January 21, 2013
Author:  Richard Blanco
Rating: 5/5

One Today is a commemorative chapbook of Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem, presented January 21, 2013 during President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony.


A mini review for a mini book (I think it's a total of 30 pages, maybe).  I picked it up while at work on the library and read it during my break (in 15 minutes).  I love poetry and I am getting more involved with history so I enjoyed the series of poems.

I saw it as both many poems and one poem that tie us, as a nation, together for a day.  Nothing extraordinary, just a day in or lives.

I recommend for a poetry lover who doesn't want a big read or heavy interpretation.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday [9]

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme by The Broke and the Bookish


Top Ten Childhood Favorites

I didn't read much during my "childhood" so I have very few favorites, but enough to make a list of ten.

     1.  A Mother for Choco by Keiko Kasza

Choco, a little bird living alone, sets out to find a mother, but he has no luck until he meets the warm-hearted, generous Mrs. Bear and her other children--Piggy, Ally, and Hippy.

     2.   Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Stellaluna is the tender story of a lost young bat who finally finds her way safely home to her mother and friends. This award-winning book by Janell Cannon has sold over 500,000 copies and was on the bestseller list for more than two years.

     3.  Sand Cake by Frank Asch

Papa Bear uses his culinary skills and a little imagination to concoct a sand cake.

      4.  Scribbler of Dreams by Mary E. Peterson

Kaitlin Malone has been raised to hate the Crutchfields, relatives the Malones have feuded with for as long as Kaitlin can remember. This legacy of hatred has never been questioned until Kaitlin meets a boy and begins to fall in love with him before she discovers that he is a Crutchfield . . . and the son of the man her father has gone to prison for killing. 
To give the relationship a chance, Kaitlin lies about her identity. But what was supposed to be one temporary untruth leads to yet another, and soon she finds herself tangled in a complicated web of deceit. In the course of her deception, she discovers an even bigger lie: The Crutchfields are not the monsters her family has always portrayed them to be. When Maggie Crutchfield, the matriarch who started the feud, reaches out from the past to right a wrong, she offers Kaitlin a legacy worth holding on to-if she can.

      5.  Till Death Do Us Part by Lurlene McDaniel

The doctor's diagnosis for April Lancaster is not good. April has a brain tumor which cannot be operated on. She's only 18, and her future is uncertain. But when she meets Mark Gianni, a 21-year-old with a passion for car racing, things change.
Mark is handsome and charming--and has cystic fibrosis. Despite herself, April falls completely in love with him. April  says yes when Mark asks her to marry him. But a racing accident aggravates Mark's CF, and April must make a decision that will change the course of her life forever.

     6. Everworld Series by K.A. Appelgate

David's life was pretty normal. School. Friends. Girlfriend. Actually, Senna was probably the oddest aspect of his life. She was beautiful. Smart. But there was something very different about her. Something strange.
And on the day it began, everything happened so quickly. One moment, Senna was with him. The next, she was swallowed up by the earth, her screams echoing from far, far away. David couldn't just let her go. Neither could the others. His friends and hers. So, they followed. And found themselves in a world they could have never imagined. 
Now they have to find Senna and get home without losing their lives. Or their minds. Or both...

     7.   I Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

An extraordinarily different story by Robert Munsch is a gentle affirmation of the love a parent feels for their child--forever. Sheila McGraw's soft and colorful pastels perfectly complement the sentiment of the book--one that will be read repeatedly for years.

     8.  Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind. But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories—they're dangerous! Full of unexpected twists and turns, Artemis Fowl is a riveting, magical adventure.

     9.  Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Come in … for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein's world begins. You'll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.Shel Silverstein's masterful collection of poems and drawings is at once outrageously funny and profound.

     10.  Amelia Bedelia and the Baby by Peggy Parish

Taking care of babyAmelia Bedelia has her hands full when she takes care of Mrs. Lane's baby. As usual, the literal-minded housekeeper mixes things up, but she also wins the heart of her newest and youngest fan.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday [8]

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten Reasons I Love Being a Reader/Book Blogger

  1. I love being a reader because... BOOKS!  I would say who doesn't love them as objects, but I know at least three people who would answer that they don't.
  2. I love being a reader because... As cliche and overused as the saying is: I love escaping to a world that isn't mine.  The ability to leave my life and experience the life of a character for a period of time is something invaluable that I never want to lose.
  3. I love being a reader because... There are no commercials and the pictures in my head are better than any a movie or TV show could give me.
  4. I love being a book blogger because... It gives me the ability and forum to share what I think about a book (in real life there aren't many people I can gush about a book to).
  5. I love being a book blogger because... There is such a wonderful community surrounding book bloggers of every genre.
  6. I love being a book blogger because... All of the cover art!  I love making lists of beautiful covers and seeing all the covers other bloggers recommend.
  7. I love being a reader because... You can travel through time, in whichever direction you choose.
  8. I love being a reader because... It's socially acceptable to be reading virtually anywhere, on whatever material.  With what other form of media can you do that?  None.
  9. I love being a reader because... Books give my imagination streets and houses; people and countries; and governments and leaders.  All of this makes my imagination, and my life more rich and full of color.
  10. I love being a book blogger because... All my fellow bloggers open me up to so many potential reads that I may never have found otherwise!  And let's not forget all the followers that make us feel good.
What are your top ten reasons?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: Me Since You

Title: Me Since You
Author: Laura Wiess
Rating: 5+/5
Release Date: February 18, 2014

Are there any answers when someone you love makes a tragic choice?
Before and After. That’s how Rowan Areno sees her life now. Before: she was a normal sixteen-year-old; a little too sheltered by her police officer father and her mother. After: everything she once believed has been destroyed in the wake of a shattering tragedy, and every day is there to be survived.
If she had known, on that Friday in March when she cut school, that a random stranger's shocking crime would have traumatic consequences, she never would have left campus. If the crime video never went viral, maybe she could have saved her mother, grandmother, and herself; from the endless replay of heartache and grief.
Finding a soul mate in Eli, a witness to the crime who is haunted by losses of his own, Rowan begins to see there is no simple, straightforward path to healing wounded hearts. Can she learn to trust, hope, and believe in happiness again?


It took me an inordinate amount of time to read this book.  And considering both the author and the subject matter, that has to be some kind of crime.  I got this book as an ARC and was immediately intrigued because I've read "Such a Pretty Girl" by Laura Wiess and she's an amazing, heart-wrenching, author.

I've thankfully never experienced the world of suicide first hand, but I can count the number of times it's been a close call. The emotions in this book are raw and uncensored.  The author isn't writing this book for us to read, she's writing it to tell Rowan's story, to help her heal.

A few times I had to put the book down before I started crying in a public place (and it takes a lot in a book to make me cry), and maybe that's why it took me so long to finish.  I had to continuously stop and breathe and wait until I was better mentally to go back to it.  I've read a lot of powerful books that take a lot out of you, but this one was different.  It was certainly emotional, and it took energy out of me, but it put something back too: hope.  Hope for healing and for human life.

I don't know I can possibly gush more about this book, but I hope Laura Wiess never stops writing, especially books like this.

I recommend this to everyone I possibly can.  (And it comes out to the public tomorrow so go and get it!!)


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Review: The War within These Walls

Title: The War within These Walls
Author: Aline Sax
Rating: 5/5

Summary: It's World War II, and Misha's family, like the rest of the Jews living in Warsaw, has been moved by the Nazis into a single crowded ghetto. Conditions are appalling: every day more people die from disease, starvation, and deportations. Misha does his best to help his family survive, even crawling through the sewers to smuggle food. When conditions worsen, Misha joins a handful of other Jews who decide to make a final, desperate stand against the Nazis.Heavily illustrated with sober blue-and-white drawings, this powerful novel dramatically captures the brutal reality of a tragic historical event.


There's a special place in my book reading heart for World War II novels.  Actually, it's one of the only pieces of 20th century history I care to study in any detail.  I think it's the part of me that has a deep-seated, strange fascination with human horrors and the great deal of pain we as a race can inflict upon one another.

My morbid fascination aside, this book was unique in it's structure from the general shape of the book to the drawings and text within.  The book is at least an inch taller than a usual hardcover book and the cover colors are mimicked throughout the text.

The protagonist was loosely drawn, which I found allowed for a more generalized experience.  I mean by this, that you could see the faces of history (more than just the character) in him and thus lends the character their pain and hardship on top of his own.

Plot-wise there were little to no surprises because it all fits with the time period and events of the Warsaw Ghetto, even if it is not perfect (it is fiction after all).

I would recommend this book to history book lovers, as well as those who do not like history but are looking for a stepping stone to get into the subject or an easy historical read.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

In My Mailbox [1]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren

I get my books from a number of sources including buying, ARC copies, and the library.  This week I struck gold with a library book sale!


From left to right the books are:

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Possession by Elana Johnson
Before I Die by Jenny Downham
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Illuminated by Erica Orloff
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Sticky Fingers by Niki Burnham
Pretend You Love Me by Julie Anne Peters
The Prophecy by Dawn Miller
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Bonus DVD:  Cloverfield

Borrowed from the Library

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman

What did you get this week?