Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Top Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

 Top Ten Books I've Enjoyed That Have Under 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

Life Below Stairs: True Lives of Edwardian Servants - Anyone else missing Downton Abbey?? Ever wonder how accurate the show really was? Well, this nifty book will get you started.

Lord Greville's Captive - One of my first historical romance novels. There was an element of mystery and drama that got me hooked on this genre. I learned a little about the English Civil War in the process.

Love and Freindship by Jane Austen - At the tender age of 15 Jane Austen was already showing her genius wit. Seriously underrated, especially with all the great fainting scenes.

The Highwayman - If you're looking for a steamy read this summer, this one is red hot. Can't believe it's so under the radar ratings-wise. Great childhood sweethearts + hidden identity story.

How To Draw Manga by Katy Coope - After falling in love with anime in the early 2000s, naturally, I wanted to draw my own characters. Coope's book remains one of the most helpful books for beginners. I have her to thank for my chibis.

Songs For A Teenage Nomad - I recall liking the music-loving main character and the unique song journal she keeps. I feel like this one would make a good movie or tv series.

Find Momo Coast to Coast: A Photography Book - If you love dogs and picture searches (Where's Waldo, anyone?) Find Momo is great fun for kids and adults alike.

Silly Kingdom - If you're up for a good dose of Saturday morning cartoon nostalgia (somewhere between Adventure Time, Legend of Zelda, and Disney's Sword In The Stone) please check out Silly Kingdom. Hard to believe I've been following the authors for ten years. =O

Doctor Cat - For those who like Pusheen or Chi's Sweet Home, I think you'll also enjoy Doctor Cat, an adorable kitty who also happens to be a doctor. He has a friend who's a Lawyer Cat as well. Cuteness all around.

The Christmas Doll - One of my first reviews on this blog *jaw drops at the passing of time* (back before I knew what I was doing...wait I still dunno). This story has a "Little Princess" or "Oliver Twist" feel mixed with the beauty of the Christmas season.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Top Ten Books I Was "Forced" to Read

Top Ten Books I Was "Forced" to Read

How's the summer reading list going? I feel like kids have it lucky these days. I've crossed paths with people who were "forced" to read fun stuff like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Harry Potter. Here's the worst and best of my "assigned reading" days.

The Worst:

Moby Dick - Oh man, few books can strike fear into my heart like this one. So slow. Let's go watch paint dry and come back. I appreciate the allegory, but I recently watched "The Heart of the Sea" and had phantom pains. Maybe I just love whales too much to see them killed...

Death Of A Salesmen - Oh why did have to be assigned to read it twice?? The grandfather of all realistic "slice-of-life" family dramas. I appreciated it more the second time around, but seriously.

Ethan Frome - Like Days Of Our Lives, so is the scandal this man causes. It's a page-turner towards the end, but I still fail to see why my school thought this was a good choice for teenagers.

Where The Red Fern Grows - As if reading about the sweet dogs once wasn't enough, I had to bear the pain twice. Great story...except for the ending. I guess it's a heartbreaking right of passage.

The Odyssey - Some parts are very exciting, but anything involving Greek gods typically leaves me feeling overwhelmed. Kinda like jumping into a comic series and knowing the characters all have complex backstories, but it would take forever to fully understand it.

The Best:

The Once and Future King - Having loved Disney's "Sword in the Stone," "First Knight" starring Richard Gene and Sean Connery, and seeing the musical of "Camelot", this was perfect for me. I have a soft spot in my heart for medieval times.

To Kill A Mockingbird - Ditto, as I was introduced to the movie very young. An easy read for a Southern gal who ran around her small town neighborhood with her cousins all summer long. We never ran into the drama of this book, but the simple, adventurous spirit was there.

The Diary of Anne Frank - Heartbreaking, but an important, relatable book for teenage girls. By the end of it, she feels like your pen pal. It gives a face and voice to the horrors of war.

Hatchet - Again, growing up in the rural South, this was a big deal. Our teacher actually invited a survival expert to speak to us after we finished the novel. We were prepped and ready to survive the Hunger Games, before the Hunger Games existed...great fun.

The Hobbit - Imaginative adventure and wonderful writer. I enjoyed it, but that ending...*spoiler alert* Bilbo and his blackout...that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year

My Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year

Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh - Argh, I thought this was going to be released last year :(!! But I can't wait for more fun from the author of Hyberbole and A Half, both hilarious and relatable.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Adaptation
 by Chuck Wendig, Luke Ross -  Graphic novel of TFA??? I need this in my life! You guys know I love graphic novels, art, and Star Wars, so this a natural combo for me. *happy dance*

The Princess Diarist
 by Carrie Fisher - As I've blogged about before, Princess Leia was my fav heroine way before Katniss or Hermione. IMO, Fisher's take on the Star Wars DVD commentary is both fun and insightful. Can't wait to walk down memory lane with her!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One & Two (Special Rehearsal Edition Script): by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany - The series continues! Although I really wish it was a novel instead of a play, I'm very curious about what the future holds for the Potter family.

Manga Classics: Sense and Sensibility  - *More happy dancing* I feel like I asked for this and my wish came true! Oh be still my heart, classic lit + graphic novel art = awesome.

Manga Classics: Jane Eyre - Super ditto, it releases the same day!

A Royal Christmas Wedding (Royal Wedding Series)by Rachel Hauck - I adore Hauck's Royal Wedding Series and I'm excited about revisiting the royal family of Brighton Kingdom. "Once Upon A Prince" was a sweet, contemporary read.

The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill (Tales From Ivy Hill) by Julie Klassen - Klassen's "The Secret of Pembrooke" pleasantly surprised me with it's mix of historical mystery, action, and tender romance. Can't wait to check out her first series.

The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall - I'm looking forward to the suspense and romantic tension! I've heard it's a favorite and page turner among inspirational romance fans. :D

Pride and Prejudice: A Coloring Classic by Jane Austen, Chellie Carroll - Why merely color, when you can Pride and Prejudice color? I daresay!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Ten Websites I Love That Aren't About Books

Ten Websites I Love That Aren't About Books

OK, this is hard because my life is so tied up with books and literature-y stuff. Literally played the Jeopardy theme for weeks for this list...

Etsy.com - I could wishlist items on this site all day! So many unique and clever collectables. It's my go-to for gifts. Prior to Pinterest, I planned entire showers via Etsy.

ModCloth.com - Coolest retro-style clothes ever. Want a style that stands out? This is a great place for it. Something for everyone, all sizes. Never regretted a purchase there.

Ancestry.com - When I'm not reading, taking photos, running around - I'm a genealogy nerd. I see a million stories in the dates and details. Time flies when I get engrossed in the past.

Geocaching.com - Where had Geocaching been all my life? I always daydreamed about adventures and treasure-hunting and this is the dream come true. Fun way to spread the weekend.

American Film Institute (AFI.com) - Last year, I finally resolved to cross the Top 100 movies off my bucket list. Now I'm working on the 100 Passions. Culturally, I feel like I've learned a lot.

WatchXHit.com - I've also sworn off fitness clubs due to miserable experiences (creepy guests and employees...pain and suffering). A few months ago I discovered XHit and I've seen an awesome difference in my abs and thighs.

TeeFury.com - I've previously blogged about their great nods to classic and pop literature. But in all honesty, their daily exclusive tee shirt designs put a geeky smile on my face.

Funko.com - Thanks to Star Wars: TFA I've jumped on the Pop Vinyl bandwagon. You'll catch me on their blog, seeing what's new.

wikiHow.com - Why spend time googling and watching a dozen, barely relevant videos on Youtube when you can search this site? Also, the illustrations crack me up sometimes.

ICanHas.Cheezburger.com - I don't visit it as often as I did years ago, but I still love it. Provided me with tons of comic relief during my early college years. Memories.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday (30)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that was created by Breaking the Spine to spotlight a blogger's eagerly anticipated new books.

For this Waiting on Wednesday, I picked Bloodline by Claudia Gray.

Release Date: May 3rd, 2016

Book Summary: 


When the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace. But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory.

Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy — from both within and without. Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos in the galaxy. Desperate to take action, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. It is their hope that this influential post will bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy.

As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position — even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job. But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option. For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing…"

My Thoughts: If you're like me and can't wait for the next Star Wars movie (the unanswered questions are burning me up!), this appears to shed a little light on Leia's past. Leia's one of my long-time favorite heroines, so I'm wondering if this book will reveal any details on her and Han's marriage after "Return of the Jedi," the birth of her son, when she "sent-him-away," when her brother went missing, and how the First Order gained a foothold in the galaxy. *Fingers crossed*


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ten Childhood Characters Revisited

Ten Childhood Characters Revisited 

So, yeah, it's been over 25 years since I discovered the joys of reading. *feeling old* "What-If" I had an elementary school reunion, and by some fictional magic, literary characters could join the party? Here's who I'd invite:

Amelia Bedelia - She's the life of the party...well, and she might just ruin it by accident.

Fictional Laura Ingalls - After we reassured her that indoor toilets and computers are cool, I'm sure she'd fit right in.

Samantha Parkington (American Girl series) - Ditto for this chick. I'd also like to thank her for her influence on my dream of being a Victorian lady.

Ralph the Mouse - Somebody hide the cheese platter...

Arthur - Yeah, I guess DW could tag along too as the unofficial class mascot/little sister.

Corduroy - I hope that bear's fashion sense has improved.

Madeline - Cause she'd bring all the fancy French food.

Little Red Riding Hood - Maybe she has TomTom or GPS on her phone. Wouldn't want her to get lost.

Bastian and Atreyu (Neverending Story) - Cause ya'll know they were some of my first fictional crushes.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Review: Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys #1)Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This may be one of my favorite Julia Quinn novels. Definitely top three. Although, I suddenly feel the need to go back and re-read them all to make sure.

It has everything I've discovered I love about her writing. Above all, witty dialogue! There's a sense that it isn't just a Regency romance novel, it's a Regency RomCom. The banter between characters cracks me up and adds to the great romantic tension.

In this novel, the heroine, Billie, is an unconventional young lady. It was refreshing to follow a Regency heroine who wasn't overly obsessed about the season and husband hunting. Meanwhile, George is the uppity brother of Billie's best friends and neighbors. I don't normally jump for hate-turned-to-love plots, but this one worked out very naturally.

There's also the delightful sense of Regency community and family. Nosey somewhat meddling mommas. Best friend aka why-won't-you-just-be-my-sister-in-law-already? One brother who just wants to stack cards. Another brother who's fighting for King and country.

Ooo, that ending left me hanging! How much longer until the next book??? I have the feeling the setting will be very interesting.

View all my reviews


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