Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven't Read Yet

Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven't Read Yet

This is just sad, cause I literally have hundreds from before 2010...and most the books I've picked for Waiting on Wednesday since then (ekk). Procrastinators Unite...Tomorrow!

The Count of Monte Cristo - Was the first book I added to my Goodreads to-read list. I've enjoyed the movie and the anime series...but I've yet to read it and discover the many differences.

A Wrinkle In Time - It's a classic. Oshie even owns a copy and I've started it several times, but never finished. It's one that always remains on my back-burner.

The Uglies Series - Back in 2010 this series was everywhere. I read and heard good things about it. I generally like YA scifi/dsytopia, however I've never cracked it open.

Life of Pi - It comes highly recommended. Yet, after the movie came out, I sorta forgot about it.

The Book of Merlyn - After reading The Once And Future King in high school, I promised myself I'd continue the series with this book. And that's been a long, long, time ago....

A Series of Unfortunate Events - I intended to read this after Harry Potter, but never did. Again, the movie kinda pushed it further down my to-read list.

The Time Traveler's Wife - I like time travel, I like romance, and scifi/fantasy. Several of my friends read this and recommended it. I enjoyed the movie. But, me reading this bestseller still hasn't happened.

The Grand Sophy - Since adding this book to my to-read this I've enjoyed another novel by Heyer. Her work is awesomely Austen-esque. I've read that The Grand Sophy is one of her best, so I still need to check it out.

Les Miserables - Love, love the musical! I'll get around to tackling this juggernaut of a book one day...

The Phantom of the Opera - Ditto for this book! I have a copy, but there's just so much to read and so little time.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You've probably read dozens of reviews for this book/play by now...anyhow, here's mine!

I guess, we can ignore that, months and months ago, I was immediately disappointed to learn this was going to be a play and not a novel. I mean, I was happy to have new Harry Potter canon in any form. It just wasn't my ideal form.

Without J.K.'s beautiful descriptions, it took a little bit for the story to feel Potter-esque. But once it got going, I didn't really miss Harry as the main character so much. Once they got to Hogwarts, I was cool with following Albus and Scorpius. (Totally shipping Scorpius and Rose now, btw). I never thought I'd like a Malfoy, but Scorpius is a lovable dork.

Oddly enough, I actually ended up liking everyone but Harry in the story. Wow. Harry is old and kinda a dummy. He's "the man" now and has forgotten all the mischief he got into as a kid. Even though Harry saved Draco, doesn't have a problem with Albus being in Slytherin, and wants to honor Snape, he hates Scorpius based on rumors. Did Harry forget all the rumors that followed his path to adulthood? Anyhow, I suspended my belief. I might could have understood if Ginny didn't like Scorpius, based on her history being manipulated by Riddle's Diary and cause Malfoy was never nice to the Weasley family. I guess I thought Harry would know better. Anyhow, for the sake of the story, ok.

Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The time-turner was one of my favorite elements in the Harry Potter universe, and I was glad to see it back. Parts of the book were hilarious. The rest of the plot although shocking, felt right. It left me wanting another book/play/movie. Here's to hoping I can see the play someday or there's a movie in the works. Maybe even a movie of the play.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday REWIND: Ten Facts About Me

Ten Facts About Me

Gah, I meant to have this up last month, but got too distracted by Camp Nanowrimo and summertime heat wave.

In the past five years, I've went from being plus size to ideal weight for my height. It was hard work and a long journey, but I'm proof that if you stick with it, it can be done. I'm playing with the idea of writing an inspirational blog about it.

Speaking of starting new projects...I tend to spread myself thinly. Along with dabbling in blogging, I'm also into photography, NaNoWriMo, perler art, ancestry research, snail mail, collecting, EXERCISE, my bucketlist, classic movies, creative writing, cooking, shopping, adult coloring, on top of READING. So a lot of times I do a little of each and it ends up looking like I haven't updated anything.

And speaking of exercise, to stay healthy, I workout everyday. Exercise used to be a chore for me, until I discovered the Apple Music Membership and an endless catalog of new songs to workout with. That, and XHIT Daily. All the workouts you could ever want, for free.

When I'm not reading or blogging, I'm the wife of a frazzled medical resident. Most of my time is dedicated to him and tender loving care.

I've finally accepted that I have eccentric tastes in reading and blogging. I started this blog to focus on YA and children's books...but I end up reviewing everything from graphic novels to classics to historical romance. I guess it's a good thing I named this Vonze's Reader Blog, cause it covers all the stuff I'm into.

I discovered the joy of graphic novels while fighting through panic attacks. I love art and find it very relaxing, so interestingly enough, I found reading comics to be very calming. Now I'm hooked.

I used to judge people who read manga. I was under the impression that manga was exactly the same as the title's anime series, and therefore, a waste of time. Slowly, I came around and now I pretty much only read manga. Total 360.

I would secretly like to have a YouTube channel, do fan vids, and also have a webcomic...but I just haven't found a way to balance the effort to do it right. Poor time management skills.

I watch a lot of movies. As many books as I've read, I've probably watch five times as many movies. I wanted to be a director as a kid. Also debated if I should have a Vonze's Movie Blog...but yeah, managing the time to do it right.

If you haven't already assumed that I'm a fangirl, I guess it's safe to admit that I'd secretly like to get into cosplay photography. I love costumes, taking photos, and I'm nostalgic for great characters.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them

Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn About After Reading Them 

Hi, everyone! Just wanna give a shout out and apologize about my semi-hiatus. The July Camp NaNoWriMo is wrapping up.

Anyhow, here's a quick top ten!

1.) As You Wish by Cary Elwes - I've always found sword fighting to be very fascinating. After reading this book, I wanted to sign-up for a fencing class. On guard!

2.) Pride & Prejudice - After all the walking Elizabeth does, it makes me wish I could visit the English countryside, and well, take a long walk! Maybe fish in Darcy's lake ;D.

3.) Anne of Green Gables - Makes me want to write YA/children's comedy. Her character is so delightful and zany, while also being inspiring. The world needs more modern equivalents.

4.) Hyperbole and A Half - Made me want to create my own webcomic featuring the wacky and fun situations in my life. It's still on my bucketlist. Someday.

4.) Catching Fire - Loving the Hunger Games series, I was very excited many of the movie scenes were filmed in my state. Because of the book's movie, I decided to visit The Swan House aka President Snow's mansion in Atlanta. There I am commanding the districts!

5.) Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice - Ditto with this book & movie combo. As teen, even before Twilight, I had an odd fascination about vampires as a character archetype, and whether or not such an individual could be redeemed for good. Rice's vivid descriptions of New Orleans inspired me to plan a family vacation to the historic city.

6.) Wreck This Journal - Made me get over a dab of OCD perfectionism when it comes to keeping books and neat and clean. I like for books to look new. Some people love dog-eared paperbacks...I prefer mint condition. Anyhow, wrecking a book was a challenge for me. But it made me enjoy it.

7.) Christian Paths to Health and Wellness - This text was required reading at my college. However, it had a ton of inspiring and useful information. I started a weight loss journey and went from a size 20W to a size 2. I'll post pics someday.

8.) The Wizard of Oz - If you've ever read the book or seen the movie, you have to take a hot air balloon ride!

9.) The Saddle Club series - This series made me want to own a horse so, so very badly as kid. I still like horses and daydream about owning a farm. The influence of children's lit!

10.) The Neverending Story - Encouraged me to love reading, made me want my own Luck Dragon, and, again, a horse like the beloved Artax.

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!


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