Thursday, June 19, 2014

Feature and Follow #4: My favourite mugs (and the best books of this year)

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

I haven't done one of these in ages!  Luckily it's right up my alley - all I want to do these days is drink coffee and wine (yay no school!  Boo loving drinks that cause dehydration...)  So with no further ado...voila!


The mug on the left was actually a present I got for my dad...probably for Father's Day?  ...but I liked it so much that I nabbed it when I moved out haha.  It just fits so perfectly in my hand and it's fun and bendy :)  The other mug I've long as I can remember.  I originally had four - one for each season, but sadly over the years all the others have broken, and all that's left is winter.  The scene is from the chapter where Winnie the Pooh is building Eeyore's house (...accidentally using sticks from the house Eeyore had built himself haha).  Yes I have read the books that many times lol!

And last but not least is a mug with a quote from Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice""You cannot be more than twenty, I am sure therefore you need not conceal your age."  My mom gave it to me for my twentieth birthday because she always knows just what to get me :)

Now I want to see all your favourite mugs!  Leave me a link in the comments!

(P.s. In case you were wondering, that's Haven on the tv in the background. I've been watching it nonstop thanks to Kirsty and my lack of self control.  Soooo addicting!)

Edit: So apparently Alison and Parajunkee had different questions, so to answer Parajunkee's, I will direct you to my Top Ten Tuesday post from last week.  The post has pictures, links, and why I like them (and why you should read them).  Here's the quick list:

 1. The Newsflesh Trilogy by Mira Grant
2. The Drowned Citiies by Paolo Bacigalupi
3. The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta
4. Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor
5. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
6. The Harper Hall Trilogy by Anne McCaffrey
7. The Gentleman Bastard Series by Scott Lynch
8. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
9. The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


  1. Your mugs are so pretty! I really like that Jane Austen one :D
    Also, Anna and the French Kiss was so cute! I can't wait to read Lola's and Isla's tale (I'll get there eventually ahaha.)
    Thanks for sharing :)
    New Follower Via GFC. :D
    My FF:

  2. Thank you! Although really my mom should get all the credit, considering she gave me two of the mugs haha.

    I'm with's like..yay next book! many others to read...I expect I won't get to it until next year haha!

  3. I don't know the books, but I really like your mugs :)

    New follower :)

    My FF

  4. Your Jane Austen mug is so pretty!

    New follower via GFC. MY F&F!

  5. I just love that Jane Austen mug! I need one! Following you on GFC!
    MY F&F

  6. Angela ReadingCaveJune 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    Your mugs are cute! I read Fangirl this year and liked it. Great list. GFC and twitter follower.

    My Feature&Follow

  7. Red @ Red Reader ReviewsJune 20, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Very cool mugs. Didn't post about mine but I have a favorite Jack Skellington mug I've used for several years now. New Twitter follower. (Love your blog name, by the way. Hitchhiker's guide ftw!)

    My F&F
    Red @ Red Reader Reviews

  8. I adore your mugs and I want them! Seriously.

    New follower via GFC.

    Nina from J'adore Happy Endings

  9. I'm pretty sure my mom grabbed it from an etsy shop. Etsy can get sooooo addicting because it just has so many awesome things~

  10. Yay! I feel like because I talk about primarily YA and fantasy on the blog that NO ONE gets the Hitchhiker's reference and are just like...what a weird blog

  11. You should go browse Etsy - it's where the Jane Austen mug came from. But seriously, Etsy is like...the magical collection of all things wonderful. (It also will suck your bank account dry while you aren't many things to buy...)

  12. Aww... I love your mugs! I especially like the Winnie the Pooh. In other news I've tagged you for a test: since you are out of school and may be missing them:0) Feel free to participate or not and I promise I will be posting my answers to your Liebster Award tag fro a bajillion years ago!

  13. Bahahaha missing tests!! Ahh I don't ever have to take one again! (Except for this one obviously :-p). I'll probably get to it in a few weeks - I'm going to be in Wisconsin for the first half of July and I got the impression there was no phone service and very poor wi-fi

  14. The Pride and Prejudice mug is so beautiful :) I haven't seen that particular quote from the novel on a mug either! Digging your top ten book list too. Have a great weekend, I'm a new GFC follower :) Jen @ Ink on the Shelf

  15. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsJune 23, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    Cofffffffffeeeeeeeee monster! I limit myself otherwise I'd be awake waaaay more than I already am. Mugs and me don't have a very good relationship.I have two left. A Capricorn one, because *waves* Capricorn here. And (don't laugh) a New Moon one that one of my cousins bought me for Christmas two years back. My favourite one (a black cut-out butterfly one that I loved) met the floor and died a few months back, and I was just staring at the New Moon one and was just WHY COULDN'T IT BE YOU?! :( I feel like the only person who hasn't read Anna and the French Kiss, I've had it since January and haven't read it. The next free space between review books IT IS MINE. And now I'm going to go read your review, so buh-bye.

  16. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsJune 23, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    Oh oh, and HAVEN. Now I'm leaving.

  17. Yeah I have to limit myself to 1 cup of coffee a day if I
    often ends up at two haha. And no coffee after 2 pm. If it's an
    emergency, decaf. If it's an EMERGENCY than I can drink as much coffee
    as I want lol! ...I make all these rules and then break them all the
    time haha.

    AHAHAHA! I feel your pain though - I only have those
    coffee mugs left really. I've got a few ceramic cups but I only drink
    tea out of them. It feels weird to put coffee in them for some reason?
    And then a couple travel cups that I can use. So I guess I didn't really
    need all those cups I broke over the past few years, since it seems I
    still have a lot haha!

  18. I wish I didn't have to wait for Season 4! It's the same problem with Warehouse 13 - it's already started season 5, but Netflix and Hulu still haven't put up season 4! Buh.

  19. Thank you! I have to say it isn't necessarily a popular quote, but as it was for my 20th birthday, it really couldn't have been more perfect. Thanks for stopping by!

  20. This sounds like a great idea in trying different books Elizabeth, its definitely one of the reasons that I added polls to my monthly recap, so that other readers could decide on books that I wouldn't normally pick up. I will certainly have a peek at your shelves in a bit!

  21. That's a good idea! I'm not sure I have enough readers who stop by enough and would actually take a poll, but I might try it and see - I'm terrible about procrastinating on books I'm uncertain about haha

  22. Oooh, Challenge Accepted! I'm going to really think about this one. It's a little hard because we both tend to like the same vein of books. But maybe that will actually make it easier? Because then I can think about the books outside of my comfort zone, but still really liked.

    I totally agree with you though. My reading has become fairly narrow in scope. Part of it is review books that occupy a lot of my time, but the other part of me just gets frustrated with other stuff. For example...I've never been interested in "Classics" or "literary" books. They usually bore me and are filled with horrid people. The last time I read a Booker Prize winner, I was so completely turned off that I am very reluctant to read another nominee. But at the same time, I don't think everything I read is fluff either. But maybe I just need to find the RIGHT book. Any suggestions on a classic I should read? I'll do it. And I'll try to enjoy it. Haha.

    Ok, I thought of a few books: Reservation Blues (Native American Lit), Life After Life (Adult Fiction), The River of No Return (Adult Fiction/Sci-Fi/Time Traveling), Devil in the White City (Non Fiction - although I would be surprised if you haven't read this one yet, especially since you were living in Chicago). I'll think of some others, I'm sure.

  23. So trying to branch out of YA fantasy but still books I think you would like: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller; House of Mirth or The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton, The Vorkosigan Saga (Sci Fi with the first book:Shards of Honour) or The Chalion series (adult fantasy First book: The Curse of Chalion) by Lois McMaster Bujold; Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce; Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Some of these you have maybe read but they are all really kick ass and a little outside of what you say you've been reading lately.

    I do feel I read a varietyof books bit have noticed lately that it's been a while since I read a book that pushed me. Like nothing this year really so I want to address that soon...

  24. OKay, Sorry I thought of another one! Hyperion by Dan Simmons - Amazing Sci Fi!

  25. I have trouble with reading outside of my comfort zone too! "I want books to push me" <-- this is why I keep trying, haha. Two non-fantasy books you might want to try are The Martians by Andy Weir and The Humans by Matt Haig, which are both sci-fi.

  26. I didn't realize Sherman Alexie had written so many novels! ...I still haven't read his Part Time, but he's always been an author I've meant to read. And I've heard of Life After Life - it seemed like a lot of people liked it, but somehow I've not heard a thing about what it's actually about. I just looked at the synopsis and holy crap it looks awesome! So I'm really looking forward to that. ...And prepare to be surprised, I haven't read Devil in the White City either haha! I think I've even been gifted it more than once. It just comes with that nonfiction label that automatically makes me resistant to reading it. BUT I WILL DO IT. In any case all books have been added to the list!

    Yeah I'm with you...all the literary/Booker Prize books seems to be...long winded, boring, and full of terrible people haha! I have read literary books that I liked, I've just mostly read all the books from the authors I like haha. Have you read any Barabara Kingsolver? I LOVE her works - they always feature a really wide range of female protaganists, and pro-environment stuff. (Pro-environment stuff seems to be like religion for a lot of people - even a mention of it makes them itchy, so I don't recommend her for everyone for that specific reason). The Poisonwood Bible is probably her most famous work, and my first of hers so I'd recommend that, although Prodigal Summer was another of my favourites. There's also Margaret Atwood - I know Handmaid's Tale wasn't one of your favourites, but her books seems to vary quite a book in subject matter. I've only read The Blind Assassin outside of The Handmaid's Tale, but I really loved that and it was a completely different story. I haven't made it to her other books. I'd pick Barbara Kingsolver for you over Atwood though probably. Oooh! Maggie O'Farrell's Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox was one of my favourite reads a couple years ago, and it has a lot of similarities in feeling (and that I can't say much without spoilers) to The Thirteenth Tale so you might really like that!

  27. You've really nailed a lot of books I've either really wanted to read or have heard a lot of great things about! There was a point where I'm pretty sure I saw Song of Achilles on all sorts of TTT lists, so it's been languishing on my TBR pile for ages haha. So now it's bumped up to the top of the list!

    I really liked Edith Wharton - I read House of Mirth, and I think I started Age of Innocence but didn't finish it. Which I should probably do lol.

    After reading the summary for Shards of Honour, I've had a startling realization. Maybe my trouble with science fiction is that so little of it that I've come across feature any romance. And because I usually have the issue with disliking too much romance in my books, I've never realized that I really do have a harder time reading books without it (which is why MG can fall flat for me sometimes). WOAH. So. Now I know that about myself lol! I've added Vorkosigan specifically for this realization, and if I end up liking it, I'll make my way to Chalion. (Actually probably even if I don't because I'm predisposed to like fantasy in a way I'm not for sci-fi haha)

    Some Kind of Fairy Tale has also been bumped up my TBR list, and I have honestly had Never Let Me Go on my list for YEARS. It has the marks of everything I will love in a book...I'm not sure why I haven't grabbed it yet. (Probably because it's sad). I want to read any book by Ishiguro really, but Never Let Me Go looks like the best place to start! And I'm pretty sure all the people on talk about Hyperion all the time haha! I've heard SO many good things about it!

    Yeah, I'm not sure how you find a book that challenges you because I feel like it has to be something completely unexpected! I'm hoping getting out of my genre/audience rut will at least help! And thanks for all the recs - they're all on my list!

  28. I've heard really good things about both of those! I've just added them to my list - thanks for the recs!

  29. I've read most of Sherman Alexie's books. I minored in American Indian Studies in college, so it was prerequisite reading. Reservations Blues is by far my favorite. It has a really really awesome magical realism element to it that I like. DON'T read Indian Killer whatever you do though. Awful, awful book. Ok, so Devil in the White City is great because it reads like a fiction book. There is a plot and everything. Plus I think you will find the Chicago connections really interesting. Another nonfiction writer I recommend is Mary Roach. She takes some interesting subjects and writes from this journalistic subjective viewpoint. I think you would like her too. And I'm going to try Atwood again. I've heard good things about The Blind Assassin. I should probably also reread The Handmaid's Tale...just to give it a far shot. Ooh and Kingsolver. Yeah, I haven't gotten to her yet, but I really should.

  30. Well, suddenly that makes a lot of sense haha! Yeah you totally have my sold. Magic realism is my jam! And it sounds like Devil in the White City is the sort of nonfiction I'd like - i.e. has a plot. And you know, I can't remember who, but someone I know in real life recommended Mary Roach to me as a sort of nonfiction I would like and found a lot of her thoughts interesting.

    I'm of the opinion that sometimes no matter how much other people think you should like a book, sometimes it isn't for you. Which may be why I don't try and force myself too much when there's something other people love I don't like. I mean I personally think The Handmaid's Tale is one of the most important novels out there, and I LOVED it...but it is written in kind of an odd way. But definitely Kingsolver!

  31. Sherman Alexie was actually the commencement speaker at my graduation. It was the only reason I went. Hard to feel special when like 10,000 other people are graduating with you! Haha. Mary Roach's books are very approachable. I've heard Stiff is her best book, but I haven't read it yet. I've read Gulp and Packing for Mars. I liked Gulp better out of the two. :) I feel like I SHOULD give The Handmaid's Tale another shot. I read it when I was 15. I may feel differently about it now than I would as a teenager. I remember I liked it well enough, but I didn't love it. I think it is because I didn't feel very connected to the characters. But that really isn't the point of it.

  32. I didn't go to my graduation this year for very similar reasons lol! I think Gulp might have been the one the person talked to me about? It's been a while so I can't remember.

    Then you should definitely read it again! You'll have to let me know your thoughts on reread :)

  33. I feel like Lois McMaster Bujold is in the top ten of authors who are awesome and won a ton of awards but that nobody has ever heard of. Or maybe that was just my experience when I discovered her for myself a few years ago. Anyway, I recommended her because I know my problem with Sci-fi is that I am looking for stories with a focus on characters on the human element and Sci fi doesn't always do that. I though this might be something you also might have an issue with. LMB does this SO well - her characters and relationships are her strength - and The Vorkosigan series is really a space opera - there's some technobabble and such but the focus is on the characters and plots. That said I actually prefer her Chalion trilogy which does have some really well done romance elements - I totally get your preference for the inclusion of romance too!

  34. I mean I can't say I've ever heard of her, so it sounds like you're probably right! Her Chalion trilogy sounds right up my alley since it's fantasy, so I'm hoping her sci-fi will be too, particularly since it mentioned romance and you have said that it's got a lot of character...strenght? Sorry I'm hungry and can't think of the word I want haha! But yes - that's definitely a big part of my hitch with sci-fi. I need the focus on characters (there's that word I wanted) and at least a hint of romance to be happy!

  35. 1. I love Haven 2. I love your record collection 3. I love you mugs!

  36. I just stumbled across your blog, but had to add my 2 cents. You might want to see if Venus Envy by Rita Mae Brown is something for you to try. It has greek gods, letters written because the main character thinks she is dying and the consequences thereoff. I loved it.


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