Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Day in the Life (26) - In which Elizabeth acts like a spoiled two-year old

This should be retitled: In which Elizabeth kept not posting this so she's been adding onto this post for over two weeks now...

Man, I am in an irritable and whiny mood these days. I don't know what's up, but I hope it stops soon because I don't like listening to my brain these days!  But I'm feeling whiny enough that I'm going to unload it onto all of you poor unsuspecting souls and hope I feel better.

Amongst my first world problems:

Tamora Pierce is going to be near where I live. TAMORA PIERCE. Aka my freaking hero.  Guess where I'll be?  A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT PART OF THE COUNTRY. *Sobs*

Next on the list: my favourite band Mae (I've mentioned them before) is back together! And touring! *Shrieks and flails with joy*! And they're going to be near me in a few months!  But guess what. Did you guess that once again I will be across the country when this happens? If you did, you're right.

*Throws myself on the floor and has a tantrum*

Uggghhhhhh whhhyyyyyyyyy.

(But on the upside I'm seeing family during both of these absences, which I'm really excited about since I don't get to see them often. You know, being across the country and all. At least I'm closer to my mom now that I've left Chicago! Closer being relative, and only lasting a little while until she too moves. Then I'll be all alone on the east coast agaaaainnnnnn.  And now I'm whining again. BRAIN. STAHP.)

Lastly, is something that I'm actually legitimately hurt by.  In case you didn't know it, I'm hosting a giveaway as part of Cuddlebuggery's blog hop. (Which is super awesome - getting people to know each other in the blogging community!)  This was my first blog hop, which I was already excited about, but I'm also excited because I'm giving away one of my favourite books.  So what's there to be upset about?  Well, I was looking at my Rafflecopter, because I wanted to see how many people entered vs. number of entries, and I noticed something funny. Huh. This person entered all 5 times, but I don't recognize their name. Maybe I just forgot? *goes to check entry thingies*. You have GOT to be kidding me.

This person didn't do ANY OF THE THINGS.  Like...guys, I put a free entry in.  It's totally cool if you don't feel you have anything to say and if you don't want to follow me, you get a free entry just for stopping by because why not?  You can even go back and do the free entry every day.  It's just...I didn't really think people did that. I'd say I'd lost faith in humanity, but I actually don't hold a particularly high opinion of humanity, so I guess it's that I lost faith in the book community. I guess I shouldn't be that surprised, because we are comprised of such a diverse community in all ways - and that's awesome! Unfortunately, that also means people acting like assholes.  On top of being unreasonably cranky for the past week for no good reason at all, I now actually have a reason to be irritable. Plus now I know I'm going to have to check all entries for every giveaway ever.  It's not all bad though - I've already met so many awesome people through this bloghop!  There have been so many interesting people who I never would have gotten to meet if it weren't for the bloghop.  AND I've met people who share the other fangirl/actual parts of my life - music and K-dramas/anime! And I always get excited about that :)

Anywho, no more moaning.  Onto fun linky things from around the interwebs!  Other things this post should be known as: that time when Elizabeth found all of the disturbing, weird, but hilarious videos.

Yeah. I know. What even was that?! But it's also crazy awesome - I mean you don't see many cross-discipline productions like that!

Bookish News


Common Archetypes: Invisible Bisexuals - Yes. Just yes.
Here's The Scientific Reason Why You Get Lost In a Book - This is so interesting! I mean I'm unsurprised at what they found I guess, but it's awesome that there have been studies done on it.
Fiction and Pretext - Janet talks about her theories on why pretty much every other genre appeals to her more than contemporary fiction. I have to say it's a very similar case for me.
21 STAGES OF FINDING A NEW OTP - Oh yeah, we have TOTALLY been there. Tv, books, it doesn't matter.
The Scary Place: The Art of Binging and Total Fictional Obsession - Speaking of ^ - man. I mean, I knew you guys loved books the way I do (and most of you love tv the way I do), but I've never truly believed people go into these dazes/obsessions the way I do. Let me tell you, it makes me feel SO much better. The way that Gillian describes the feeling is spot on.
The Habits of Bibliophiles: Observations - Nafiza's put together a pretty funny post about us readers!
On Being Bookishly Awesome - And on a similar note...
Sci-Fi Month 2014: Blogger Panel #2 – Scientific Knowledge - I do like to have a little prior knowledge, but I rarely require it to enjoy the book.
Do You Write in Books? - Oh the dilemmas involved!
Nerding Out: YA Books We Wish Were Video Games (3)- These would be so. freaking. awesome.

Ready for another weird video? Good.

This is the creepiest, most hilarious thing EVER.

Specific Books and Authors

From ‘Mockingjay’ to Narnia: Fantasy Series Conclusions, Ranked - I have to say I pretty much agreed with all of these. More or less anyway.
The True Stories Behind Classic Fairy Tales - I actually didn't know most of these! This is...horrifying yet interesting?
9 writers on the inspiring books that shaped them - Hey-o there was a Redwall shout out on the list!
Not A Drill: Dragonriders of Pern Movie Nabs Female Screenwriter! - AHHH I'M SO EXCITED FOR THIS!!!
The Blogging Unicorn and the Goblet of Fire: A Harry Potter Newbie Visits Hogwarts - Shae's finally visited the 4th book! Hilarious as per usual :)
The Harry Potter Alliance’s #MyHungerGames Brings Awareness to Stories of Income Inequality - I had no idea this was a thing, but I LOVE that it is! ...has anyone noticed that like 1/3 of these posts here always end up being HP related?
Holy Crap Tamora Pierce Showed Up: The Mary Sue’s Favorite Comments Of The Week - GUYS GUYS GUYS GUYS!!! I wish I'd written a comment Tamora Pierce commented on!!! SO JEALOUS.
Beyond the Pages: Bright Before Sunrise - Jaimie talks about how this book made her think about how much people's opinions used to matter to her

On a significantly less creepy, but still charmingly odd note, here's a renaissance band covering a Metallica song!


What's Your Reading Personality? - I got the Lionizer!
The Reality Is … - Yash has some recommendations for contemporary fiction graphic novels
I Am A Hopelessly Peer Pressured Reader - I'm a bit half and half. I very, very rarely comment on reviews of books I haven't read (because I feel like I don't have anything to say, and there's always the threat of dreaded spoilers). But, on the other hand, the more a book is pushed on me, the longer it usually takes for me to pick up, because for some reason reverse psychology works on me at the worst times.
13 Best Book Beginnings Of Ever - I actually thought I'd already posted this...shows how long I've been making this post haha!  But yeah. These really are the best book beginning of ever!

You go Meryl! So much color in this song!! I'm excited/dreading this movie so much gahhhhhh!

Nonbookish News

In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist - I adore Indiana Jones. There doesn't need to be a justification for loving this post. (Except that it is, in fact, very interesting)
This Hella Old Book of Spells Has Finally Been Deciphered - So apparently I'm way more superstitious than I thought because I think freaking out is a totally reasonable reaction haha
Morning Meanderings… What I Have Been Doing While I Was Away - So interesting!  I'm a bit obsessed with bees, actually, so I though this was really awesome!
What it really means to be a public school educator today - YES. I couldn't agree with this article more. 
27 Nerdy Scarves To Get You Ready For Winter - So I pretty much want ALL THE SCARVES. But especially the maps. And vaporeon (aka probably my favourite pokemon)

And on a final note, I can't stop listening to K-Pop!  My brother recently discovered that I was not in fact a crazy person, and that K-Pop can actually be really, really awesome!  So he wanted some recommendations.  Cue video montage of Elizabeth only watching K-Pop music videos for an entire weekend.  I CAN'T STOP. I've had a total relapse!!  So here's a couple of my favourites.

Guys. I didn't think I liked Hyuna. But this music is so freaking catchy, and the music video is hypnotic! I seriously can't stop watching it.  It's pretty risque by Korean standards (as far as I've seen anyway), but nothing too scandalous by American mv standards.  But seeing as Hyuna is kind of the bad girl of Korea, I guess that isn't too surprising haha.

Actually, you know what? I think I'm just going to do a whole post on K-Pop. Maybe I'll do a series of posts on K-Pop/Dramas/Anime. If I ever stop being lazy.  So I'll just leave you with that music video (but if you feel like jumping down the rabbit hole and exploring K-Pop in the meantime, I have a handy youtube playlist just for you!), and since I've waited so long to post this that it is officially Thanksgiving here in America, happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Magic Warble - Victoria Simcox

Wow. I should look in my drafts folder more often. I've had this review written for a WHOLE year! Good news for me, I actually have something to post haha


From Goodreads:
Twelve-year-old Kristina Kingsly feels like the most unpopular girl in her school. The kids all tease her, and she never seems to fit in. But when Kristina receives an unusual Christmas gift, she suddenly finds herself magically transported to the land of Bernovem, home of dwarfs, gnomes, fairies, talking animals and the evil Queen Sentiz. In Bernovem, Kristina not only fits in, she's honored as "the chosen one," the only one who can release the land from Queen Sentiz's control. But it's not as simple as it seems. To save Bernovem, she must place the gift she was given, the famous "Magic Warble," in its final resting place. She must travel through the deep forest, climb a treacherous mountain, and risk capture by the queen's "zelbocks" before she reaches her destination. Guided by her new fairy friends, Clover and Looper and by Prince Werrien, a teenage boy, and an assortment of other characters, Kristina sets off on a perilous journey that not only tests her strength but her heart

First Line: "Kristina awoke when the jangling of her alarm sounded right in her ear."


First off, I would like to thank Vailia's Page Turner for running the giveaway that gave me a chance to read this story (And you should go check out her blog, she's always hosting great giveaways!), and secondly I would like to thank Victoria Simcox for being kind enough to allow me to host a giveaway of her book!

This was such a charming read!  It is definitely more for the middle grade reader than for the more teen oriented YA, so don't go into the book expecting instalove and love triangles (thank the lord for that!)

Here's what I loved:

- If you cross The Chronicles of Narnia with The Lord of the Rings, you get The Magic Warble
- Kristina's family is so very much what family is like when you're twelve (in most households anyway). Her parents clearly love her, but they are also clearly out of the loop when it comes to Kristina's relationships to other people and how she feels.
- I love Raymond!  Rats aren't generally thought of as pets, but I would love to have a rat like Raymond as a pet!  It also suits Kristina that she doesn't have a "usual" pet like a cat or dog.
- Talking animals, 'nuff said
- Kristina is a really great character.  She's strong and determined, but she's not superhuman.  She feels terrified and isn't afraid to admit it, but she keeps going despite her fears.  It makes her so likeable, because she's everything you'd want to be when you are twelve, but she's not a perfect character (which probably would have made me hate her a little bit if I read this when I was twelve)
- Werrien becomes Kristina's first best friend, and it was really sweet seeing them grow to be friends.  It wasn't instafriend (my version of instalove for younger readers).  They didn't know each other, there were plenty of misunderstanding, but when push came to shove they had each other's backs and they really grew to appreciate and love each other.
- Also Werrien is awesome with the bow and arrow and there's a lot of great action scenes.  Not too long which might bore some of your girl readers (some of them...some of us are all about knowing when to use a battle axe or a broad sword), but definitely plenty to engage those of us who love our action scenes!
- The concept of fairy blossom felt new and unique to me.
- Miss Henlsey reminded me so much of Miss Honey from Roald Dahl's Matilda.  I instantly fell in love with her! (And I'm really curious what her connection to the Magic Warble is!  I mean, I can guess, but I wonder if we'll get any of her story in the sequel?)

Most of what I didn't love as much has little to do with the actual story, and more to do with me as a reader.  It's been a long time since I've read a middle grade book that I didn't read when I was a kid.  I actually can't think of any at the moment!  So it took me a while to get into the story.  I think anyone who regularly reads middle grade stories, and particularly the age group it is aimed at will fall in love with the story immediately.  If I look at it analytically, you get the perfect amount of time set in our world, getting background on our characters, and then you jump to the magical world and the fast paced adventure starts right away!  I honestly have no idea why I didn't jump into the story right away.  I also had a hard time with the good vs. evil - and again I think it's because I primarily read stories aimed at older audiences (if we're going to be honest, I probably read more NA than YA since that's a category now).  The Magic Warble is full of villains - and the villains are perfectly villainy.  Again it reminds me of The Chronicles of Narnia - you've got your true evil, and your only sort of evil (there are so many twists and turns in The Magic Warble!  I don't want to give anything away, but I was constantly being surprised).  I've gotten used to explanations on the truly evil, but it is characteristic of middle grade stories for evil to simply be evil.  Overall, I only wish there had been more character development for the secondary characters, but I think part of that is being set up for the sequel.  The second half of the book flew by for me!  I got really into the story, and when I found out there is a sequel out, I was super excited!  It might have taken me a while to relax and get into the story, but when it happened, boy did it happen.  I'm definitely going to get my hands on the sequel when I get chance!

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely.  Buy this for your younger readers - or really just readers that aren't hooked into the romance aspect of books yet (which generally means younger readers).  The cast is a great mix of all genders and species, there's loads of adventure, fairies and gruesome creatures, and some really nice world building. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait to Read (That Are Already Out)

To help limit my exhaustive list on sequels I need to read, I've limited myself to books that have already come out. (Or we'd be here all night and I'd work myself up into some serious freaking out about all the books I need to read)


I NEED THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW.  I want to own it, so I should just buy it, but I've been waiting for library to get it in for like TWO. MONTHS. I'm first in line though, so as soon as it gets here I'm going to devour it.


I frelling love this series!  Sadly, I know definitely that the library isn't getting a copy (they don't have the series at all), so the question is going to be whether I'm going to get this on audiobook or not.


I listened to the first book in my car, and man this is NOT what I was expecting!  Things took an unexpected turn and the story was so much more complex and heartbreaking - I had thought is was going to be a fun, fluffy book.  So I don't think I'm going to listen to the second book on audio (trying to drive while bawling your eyes out is not recommended), despite the fact that the narrator was wonderful.  But I can't wait to grab the next book so I know what happens next!


The Demon Catchers of Milan showed me that paranormal as a genre could possibly be a thing I love, so of course I'm excited for the next book!


This series is so amazingly fantastic that I can't believe I haven't read the last book yet!  It's set in New Orleans after a hurricane wiped it out years ago, and it's chock full of mythological creatures. Seriously - there's a gorgon curse, a powerful vengeful Greek goddess, swoony love interest, lovable side characters, a kick ass lead character...I mean the list goes on. Sadly this is another one that I can't get at the library so it looks like I might be in for a bit of a wait :-/

Unravel (Linked #2) - Imogen Howson


Linked was one of my favourite books of last year. I actually loved it as a stand alone, but I'm interested to see if the sequel measures up.


I'm actually a little shocked I haven't read this yet. I've read the first Dragonriders of Pern book SO MANY TIMES, and I read all of the Harper's Hall trilogy, and started on McKinley's Brainship series, as well as sporadic books later in this series, so I don't know what on earth possessed to move onto all of those before finishing the original trilogy!


This series is one I am so sad never got hit with any hype because it's fun and creative and I love it!  But because no one else seems to have read it, it's not so easy to come by copies of this (me being the broke person I am and try not to buy copies of books I know I'm not going to reread)

Liberator (Worldshaker #2) - Richard Harland


OH MY GOD GUYS MY LIBRARY HAS THIS BOOK!!! Seriously, this is the most difficult book in the world to get. I even tried to buy it once, but they weren't selling it anymore!  So you can understand my excitement when I saw the library had this - I almost forgive them for not having the other 200 books I've been looking for. *Scowls*. (But seriously - Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery? WHY DON'T YOU HAVE THAT LIBRARY?)  If you liked Scott Westerfield's Leviathan series at all, you should give this a go because they are very much in the same vein.  I actually prefer Worldshaker (from what I can remember), but they're both awesome books.

Unmade (Lynburn Legacy #3) - Sarah Rees Brennan


I don't know what's wrong with me. I've been wanting to read this book for over a year, so much so that I immediately pre-ordered it when I discovered the library wouldn't be getting it in.  And it's been sitting on my shelf now for a month or so.  And yet...I still haven't read it.  I'm actually scared to. Which I'd say was laughable and unreasonable...but it's SRB. What's she going to do to my heart?! (It's pretty limiting to read heart wrenching books these days since my options are at work or listen to it in an audiobook in the car. Neither is conducive to emotional reactions lol)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Getting To Know You Blog Hop (And Giveaway US/UK)


So I suppose the first thing to know about me, is that I am extremely forgetful.  Seriously.  Even the four year old I babysit constantly laughs and says..."You forgot again didn't you?"  (It's seriously taken me 3 months to remember their pet fish's name. Sometimes I am shocked at my own extreme lack of ability on this front)

Point in case:  My reaction when I saw a ton of hits on my blog (considering I've been crazy busy and therefore haven't posted anything in practically a week)

These are *squints trying to think back*

Wait...hold on...something's coming back to me...

 Bloody hell was that today??

1.  Most followers of my blog already know I'm a musician. (Mostly because I spent the month of April and May freaking out about my graduate recital)  I'm an oboist, which is both one of the most rewarding and most painful things I do on a regular basis haha.  Most people also don't know what it is, which is totally fine, because really most people don't have a reason to.  But, if you're wondering what it sounds like,  I posted my recital performance up a while back.  BUT you should really listen to Eugene Izotov play.  I was lucky enough to study with him for a bit, and he's hands down my favourite oboist (Other than Albrecht Mayer). Really they're both amazing artists!

2. I also used to dance a long, long time ago, but I still consider it one of my biggest passions (although as an audience member, not a performer!)  Last year I was lucky enough to see the Joffrey Ballet and it was one of the most memorable performances I've ever seen.

3. I pretty much credit Tamora Pierce, Madeline L'Engle, and Robin McKinley for shaping me as a reader, and Tamora Pierce in particular for shaping who I have become as a person.  Not that I didn't devour plenty of other authors, but these three were particularly influential.  

4. That being said, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy was probably the first time that I pretty much questioned everything about life after reading it.  I can still remember exactly how I felt upon completing the trilogy the first time, and I can't really say that about any other book.

5. I LOVE Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  For those of you who haven't listened/read/watched any it, that's where my blog title comes from.  It's the title of one of the books (admittedly, not one of my favourites - I tend to think of it as a quote from the first book, which is how I originally chose it for my blog).  As of this moment, I've done everything except listen to the radio series (which was its original format I believe)

6. I originally started this blog because I didn't really have anyone in my life I could probably geek out on about the books I read.  I tend to get...really...really excited when I talk about things I love, so I often get kind of disbelieving/terrified looks haha!  I've been so lucky that I've truly met some awesome people in the past year, so I'm incredibly glad that I ended blogging. I don't really go by a day without talking to someone about books now!

7. I do try to read a ton of different genres, (and until pretty recently I thought I did) but I have definite rather extreme leanings towards fantasy.  Even though I've found books I really enjoyed in almost every genre, I just get really reluctant (particularly with contemporary).

8. I've also been lucky enough to find a few blogging friends that read manga (and watch K-dramas!) which was really exciting for me!  Even though I date a Korean, he mostly just laughs really hard any time he sees me watching a K-Drama haha.  I read pretty diversely in manga, although I mostly stick to shoujo, and I don't actually know that K-dramas have exact genres really?  In any case, I am ALWAYS happy to flail over these!

Eight's my lucky number (mostly I ran out of things to say), and I want to give myself plenty of room to talk about the book I'm going to be giving away.

Abarat (Abarat, #1)

Goodreads Summary: Candy lives in Chickentown USA: the most boring place in the world, her heart bursting for some clue as to what her future may hold. She is soon to find out: swept out of our world by a giant wave, she finds herself in another place entirely...

The Abarat: a vast archipelago where every island is a different hour of the day, from the sunlit wonders of Three in the Afternoon, where dragons roam, to the dark terrors of the island of Midnight, ruled by Christopher Carrion.

Candy has a place in this extraordinary world: she has been brought here to help save the Abarat from the dark forces that are stirring at its heart. Forces older than time itself, and more evil than anything Candy has ever encountered.

As is often the case, this summary really doesn't do justice to the magnitute and awesomeness that is Abarat.  Not a lot of people know about this series.  My guess is that a lot of it has to do with the slow release.  Clive Barker, the author of this books, does A MILLION projects in all medias.  He seriously does film, video games, books (and lots of different ongoing series at that), and art.  So considering the book came out in 2003, I guess I shouldn't be as surprised as I am that not a lot of people know about that.

BUT I'M HERE TO CHANGE THAT.  Muahahahahaha!

I've talked on the blog at length (aka every TTT post ever) about why I think this series is amazing.  Not only does it have fantastic characters and world building - they're so unique I honestly can't relate them to anything to give you an idea.  I know everyone says that every story has already been told, but I can honestly say that if I though that there was an exception to that rule, this book would be it.  It is like nothing else I have ever read.  If that isn't enough for you, Clive Barker paints around 200 paintings for each of the books in this series. TWO. HUNDRED. PAINTINGS.  In real life, they're full size. I mean the artwork is just...mind blowing.  In the book they can be as large as two full pages, or so small they fit in the margins of the page.   In one of my posts on Abarat, I show a few of the amazing paintings you can find in the book.  But because I love you guys and know some of you might be too lazy to click on the link, here's two of my all time favourites of his paintings:

The paperback version doesn't have this artwork, so I am giving away a HARD COPY of this book so that whoever wins this can revel in the full amazeballsness of this book.  On my link in Cuddlebuggery it says US only, but since I've ended up choosing a book I'd be getting from a store, if you're in the UK go ahead and enter if you live in the UK!  Sadly it's actually rather difficult to get your hands on a hard copy, and the only other store I could find it in was in the UK, or I'd open it up completely internationally.  (Hopefully I won't break the bank on accident by doing this) And because I can't help myself...

 Guys. There's a dude playing a very oboe-like instrument in this book. NO ONE PLAYS THE OBOE! Ok, I'm done now. Really.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Coming Out of the (Book Blogging) Closet

Now I really want to rewatch this show...

I used to be really shy about people knowing that I wrote a blog.  I can't even really put a finger on what it was I was so uncomfortable about.  I wasn't ashamed of it exactly, just afraid it would change how people see me (and I'm not sure how I thought that would change - just a niggling feeling that was the sort of thing people laughed about behind your back I suppose).  I felt like this even before I reviewed mostly YA books, so it has nothing to do with how society views someone my age reading those sorts of books.  Maybe it's because I haven't been an "adult" for very long, but I'm not even sure I knew that was a thing people were ashamed of!  (But it's also likely due to the fact that reading as much as I do in general provokes negative attention, so I used to only fangirl over books with my one or two friends who also loved books, or occasionally with my family when our reading interests lined up).  Probably close to a year ago now, I decided to let my family know about it since I'd started writing some personal posts.  I thought it was going to alleviate some of the guilt when I am a terrible daughter/grand daughter and drop off the face of the earth for a month.  (Mostly it's prompted phone calls wanting to know why they didn't know about things before I put them on the blog :-p. What can I say... I'm usually ok with communication, but I can be really, really terrible haha)

Since I've told my family about it, I'm a bit more relaxed about people in my life knowing about it.  I'm equal parts proud and embarrassed, and really it's a weird feeling.  It makes me feel alternately really shy and secretive and then like I want to say "Look at this awesome thing I do!" (And then I remember that normal people give me kind of disbelieving looks when I talk about books to them, so I try and reign it in haha).  So at the moment I'm kind of trying to act nonchalant (but mostly awkward). I don't want to hide it, because it's a big part of my life and that feels weird, but I try only talk about it if it comes up in conversation.  I'm trying to be a bit more brave about it, but then I worry it comes off as bragging? Or shame?  Basically it feels Part of me wants to be totally down with people I know reading it (because a few of them do), and part of me wants to keep these parts of my life completely separate (and's a bit late for that).  I've found that once someone knows about it, it's a little easier to talk to them about it?

So I do you guys do it? Are most of you keeping it a separate thing? And if you don't, how do you become comfortable with talking to people about it in real life? (Or am I just a crazy super self conscious person and it's just not a problem for you to talk about it?)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Day in the Life (25) (Sorry if you read this yesterday when this accidentally posted, but I added some stuff!)

Wow, I haven't done one of these for like...almost a whole month!  So, here's an update on things that have happened in the past month:

1.  I had a tough couple weeks, but I've been holding up pretty well.  Thanks again to all of you who reached out to me - it really meant a lot to me, and I promise it made a difference.

2. My Halloween gig got cancelled (and therefore I had no Halloween plans, despite it being my favourite holiday. When the costume was going to be the three oboists as the "three blind mice", it's a bit hard to go out as the "one blind mouse". Also I didn't have half of my costume as one of the other oboists had it), but it was a surprisingly nice night in instead of dressing up and having adult fun times.  And my mom sent me a care package chock full of candy so yay for chill Halloween fun times!

3. Sejoon is a DANGER to my mugs!  Remember when I talked about my favourite mugs? He's one of (admittedly three) reasons why I ended up with only one Winnie the Pooh mug instead of 4.  And now he's broken my Jane Austen mug!!!! WHY?!?!?!?  I suppose 2 mugs in 6 years is a pretty good track record. Plus a sake cup. (In any case, it's a better track record than I have, seeing as I broke ALL of the champagne glasses. And a regular glass).  But did it have to be those mugs?

4. I dyed my hair purple! Well part of it, and it's more like a tint - you can't even tell it's purple unless you're close to me (For those of you would be concerned about this *cough* family *cough. *Ahem* I expect I'll probably get a phone call about this one lol)

 (See? Nothing too drastic)

5. A couple weeks ago, my boyfriend and I celebrated our 6 year anniversary!!!  It feels so crazy - like 6 years sounds so long, but at the same time it does kind of feel like we've been together forever.  We had a really frelling delicious meal.  My boyfriend was pleased to discover that he makes a better bolognese than the fancy restaurant was, but disappointed he didn't have better food. My food, on the other hand, was delicious. I think I had some sort of gnocchi? And they had cheeeeeeeese. Gooooood cheeeeeeese. *Sighs dreamily*. Also like some sort of fig/orange sorbet and it was UHmazing.  Basically, we had delicious food. And free prosecco and a free dessert. Yay for anniversaries!

(Don't ask. He's on KakaoTalk and loves their emoticons so this is how he sent it to me haha. We forgot to ask someone to take a picture of us, so we had to do a selfie. Which means you can't see our smoking hot outfits, alas)

6. I listened to Holly Black's Coldest Girl in Coldtown and hoooly mother of god.
  • It was my first American (sounding at least) narrator, and she was just perfect for this story.  I wasn't sure I'd love it at first, but her style was just a perfect fit for the story.
  • I think narration might make things even more intensely intense and gory.  There were definitely parts I thought I was going to have to switch to the radio because it was grossing me out so much I was getting light headed!
  • Speaking of light headed...can we talk about Gavriel?  Because he's delicious. There were definitely some...distracted moments there too.
  • I ended up LOVING this book, which I wasn't expecting since most of the reviews were pretty l         lackluster.  Maybe it's because I listened to it?  I think I'd read that someone didn't think this was as     gritty as Black's usual stuff, and I'd definitely have to disagree.  This is right up there with the fae books for me (although not quite, because they are the best ever), but above The Curseworkers, which I didn't love as much as a whole as I'd thought I would.  Although, it's Holly Black, so it's not like they weren't great books.
That pretty much sums up the past month (minus my ranting about classic literature and breasts. Turns out one of my friends here is reading it too, so he conned me into finishing the book with him. In case you were wondering), so now you're all caught up!

Bookish Links

In Theory I Like Rereading - Jamie talks about the issues of rereading in actuality when you're a book blogger!
Snow White: The Blankest Slate of Them All - A really interesting look into how Snow White doesn't have much base personality, so retelling her is easy (and can be really awesome).  The article looks into a lot of popular retellings/reinterpretations of her character (and they're all badass)
Where Are All the Disabled Characters in Children's Books? - I've mentioned this before, but Megan Quibell really hits home as to why this is important.
YA 2015 Trend Predictions - Cait and other bloggers talk about trend predictions, and holy cow am I excited if they turn out to be true!
None Of This Is New: An Oral History Of Fanfiction - My obligatory FANFICTION IS AWESOME post.
The Most Popular Passages in Books, According to Kindle Data - Some of these are a given (I'm looking at you Deathly Hallows and P&P), but others are a surprise!

Specific Books and Authors
A Court of Thrones and Roses - Sarah J. Maas news on her blog!!!
Queer Representation in The Raven Cycle - This article is freaking fantastic. Go read it.
11 YA Fantasy Fandoms Before Fandoms Were Fandoms - Holy smokes guys - I literally belonged to ALL OF THESE FANDOMS.  Growing up this was pretty much my life. My life was awesome.
Happily Remixed and Mashed-Up Ever After: Modern Fairy Tales! - Leah Schnelbach at has compiled a great list of modern fairy tales/retellings worth checking out.
Life Lessons from Tamora Pierce’s Books  - I've mentioned on the blog before that I credit Tamora Pierce for shaping a lot of my values growing up, and I'm actually planning a post this week about books that were influential in my life as a whole, not just as a reader - expect to see Tamora Pierce on that list too.  It's wonderful to know that I wasn't the only one whose life she changed, and this post just had me nodding in agreement the whole time!
The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Gail Carriger - The pop quiz strikes again! Gail Carriger is as fun and kooky as I thought she'd be! (Guys she knows what her signature Doctor Who outfit would be if she was regenerated as the Doctor.)
Literary Love Connection: The Brooding and The Obsessive - This post features Scarlett O'Hara and Heathcliff! Is it true love, or will it end in tears? Read on to find out...

A Personal Response To A Shocking THING That Happened - Jamie talks about internet safety in response to..well, we all know what in response to.
Not A Slump But A SOMETHING. - Until a few days ago, I was definitely in this place! (Well on the reading front I suppose I sort of still am?)
CONDESCENDING SH*T TO SAY TO BOOK READERS - We've definitely all been there.


Nonbookish News

Hey, Marvel! Here’s 19 Actors You Should Seriously Consider Casting For Your Captain Marvel Movie - Holy cow, I have never seen a more perfect list in my life. Ever. Yes! All of these! Any of these! Like, I seriously don't even know who on this list I would want the most.
Geeky Celebs Dressing Up As Each Other For Halloween Is Our New Favorite Thing - Holy crap the Supernatural cast is perfect!
How Sleeping Beauty is Accidentally the Most Feminist Animated Movie Disney Ever Made - It took me a while to warm up to this theory, but as the author points out one doesn't have to intentionally set out to make it a feminist film for it to be feminist.  It feels a bit tenuous to me, but the author definitely has a point.

YES!! It looks like Fall Out Boy is going to make another movie out of their entire album! If you didn't catch The Youngblood Chronicles last time I posted, the whole album/movie has been finished and you can check it out all in one go here. And if you need more convincing, it features Elton John and is like watching Supernatural!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Audiobook vs. Hard Copy - Do you mix medias when reading your book series?

For the first time, I am in the unique position of having to choose between getting an audiobook or a hard copy.


When I first listened to Etiquette & Espionage, I knew next to nothing about the series. In fact, I don't even know why I decided to use that as my free audiobook from I must have seen a recommendation somewhere, because honestly for how charming these books are, I hear very little about them. Luckily, I forgot to cancel my audible subscription so I ended up buying the second book in the trilogy as well before canceling my subscription.  This puts me in a bit of a (admittedly first world) dilemma. I knew so little about these books that I didn't even realize they were a trilogy, let alone an unfinished one! I finally finished the second book last month and was pleased to find out that luckily the third book is coming out next week.  It only occurred to me this week that since I'd listened to the series so far, it might be kind of weird to start reading it!

There's a few problems with getting this on audiobook, however:

1. Audiobooks are expensive.
2. I pretty much exclusively listen to them in the car, which requires them to be in cd format. (This series I actually own digitally, so I listened to them a lot when I was in the shower/cleaning, but it takes forever that way, since mostly my showers are like 5 minutes unless I'm washing my hair)
3. Ergo, I'd ideally own this in cd format, but then my formats won't match since I own the other two digitally.  So that's not entirely ideal either I suppose...
3. Did I mention they were expensive?

On the other hand:

1. I love the narrator, and I'm glad this was my first delve into audiobooks because Moira Quick is absolutely perfect.
2. I already own the first two books on audiobook, and I do like having all of everything in sort of the same format. And it would feel weird to have the first two on audiobook and the third one on my bookshelf.
3. It wouldn't kill me to make some free time to listen this, even if it means I won't get to it anytime soon.
4. The library isn't getting this book anyway, so regardless of all my options, I'm going to have to buy it.  Might as well buy it in the matching format!

We'll see. I mean it's not like I'm going to have moneys/time to listen to this soon so I suppose just because the book is coming out (came out this week?) doesn't mean I have to make a decision right now.  But I'm curious - do you guys mix and match how you read books in a series? Or do you stick to one or the other?  Does it feel weird bouncing between the two?

(And under rhetorical questions, WHY doesn't my library have a cd audiobook of the Abhorsen trilogy? Tim Curry narrates! I want it!)

*P.s. I'm in the market for any recommended book narrators/ones to stay away from/books that are particularly good as audiobooks! I'm limited by what my library has, but other than the Garth Nix trilogy, they seem to have a good selection at least so far!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Reread the Most

I'm a pretty big rereader.  It's my go to stress mechanism.  Freaking out?  Go read these books!  Almost all of them I reread literally every year, although some of them are a little too intense for that.


I generally get in at least half of her total Tortall books every year.  Tamora Pierce is a serious staple of my reading - last year I read ALL of her Emelan books for the first time...which is like...15 books?  I also read her Trickster and Wild Magic books last year.  So far this year I've already reread her Alanna books, but I'm definitely looking forward to a Protector of the Small reread sometime soon!

His Dark Materials - Philip Pulman

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)

This is one of those series I probably hit once every 3-5 years.  I freaking love it...but it's also a little too intense for me to handle as a stress reread.  I'm about due to get to this series again soon as well...

Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen


This is another one I read yearly!  I don't know if I'll get to it this year though - I reread Persuasion instead (which totally deserves more rereads than I've given it - this was my second time through), and am getting through the rest of her books I haven't read yet (finished Mansfield Park, still haven't finished wading through Emma, and have Northanger Abbey to try out)

Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

This series has the phenomenal ability to immediately make me want to reread it once I put it down.  It basically means my need for this series is never sated.

A Ring of Endless Light - Madeline L'Engle

A Ring of Endless Light (Austin Family, #5)

Madeline L'Engle's Time Quartet definitely deserves a shout out here too - I can't tell you how many times I've read it.  But I can tell you it's not as many times as I've read A Ring of Endless Light!

Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine


In fourth grade I broke the AR record for our school.  My prize?  An autographed copy of this book.  It is by far one of my most treasured things.  I've read it so many times I probably have it memorized, the cover is falling off, and the pages are all bent.  And no matter how many times I read it, I love it just as much as I did the very first time.

The Blue Sword - Robin McKinley
(but really all of McKinley's books)

The Blue Sword (Damar, #2)

Once again, this is an author who deserves so many shout outs.  Robin McKinley is in my top 5 favourite authors of all time (right up there with Tamora Pierce, J.K. Rowling, Sarah J. Maas, and Madeline L'Engle).  Out of all her books, this is the one I have perhaps read the most, but it would be impossible to list a favourite.  The Hero and the Crown, Sunshine, Spindle's End, and Deerskin rank among my favourites, and at that point that's half of her books!

Abhorsen Trilogy - Garth Nix

Sabriel (Abhorsen,  #1)

God, I can't remember a time before this series. (Really, I can't remember a time before any of the books on this list.)  I reread this trilogy every year or two, and of all Garth Nix's other works, this is hands down my favourite and OHMYGOD GUYS I NEED CLARIEL.  My library still hasn't got it in. I'm tempted to just go buy it...but...moneys :-/ (the new covers for this series look freaking awesome).  Of all the books in this trilogy though, Lirael is definitely my favourite (although Sabriel sometimes is too. So maybe never mind).

The Year of Secret Assignments - Jaclyn Moriarty

Finding Cassie Crazy

I know this as Finding Cassie Crazy, but in America it's known as The Year of Secret Assignments.  This book is probably the first truly contemporary book I loved - Madeline L'Engle's books always have at least a hint of fringe science to them and Anne of Green Gables and Pride & Prejudice are more classics/historical fiction.  (You'll notice this is the only truly contemporary book on this list)

Cat Street/Kyatto Sutorito - Yoko Kamio


This manga has the distinction of being the only manga I've completely reread (although I've come close with Ouran and Fruits Basket).  It's almost mind boggling to see that this manga came from the same mangaka as her much more insanely popular work, Boys Over Flowers/Hana Yori Dango (a work I have a very complicated relationship with, mostly against my own will).  This manga is completely different than Boys Over Flowers in all the best ways, and is hands down one of my favourites.  It's beautifully drawn, the character growth is amazing, and all the tropes that make you groan start to happen - but then unexpectedly go an entirely different route, which I love.  For anyone who has seen/watched Princess Jellyfish, I'd definitely recommend this!

Honourable Mentions (Books I haven't reread the most, but have been craving to reread recently):  
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (despite my all consuming love for this series - hence my blog name - I've actually only read the first couple books twice!)
Heir Apparent (which I really just  need to own so I can reread it a billion times)
This Is All: The Pillowbook of Cordelia Chase (which, incidentally, is an incredibly difficult book to get ahold of, and I left my copy with a friend in SC)
The Faerie Chronicles - I remember really enjoying these when I read them, but for the life of me I can't remember a single detail about the series otherwise.