Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Faves

So much for blogging this week...I went to blog yesterday afternoon and my laptop wouldn't come on. :(( I am taking it to my dad, Mr Techie, tomorrow and hopefully he can fix it! I decided to do a quick Friday Faves today instead to tide us over. :) In no particular order, here are 5 things I've been fangirling over this week:

1. Robin Thicke's new song "Blurred Lines" is my new lady makes me wanna dance in my bedroom and I hardly ever do that. (the vid is a little NSFW)

2. I started an Instagram to continue my 365 project from Flickr and I am loving it! So much more fun and interaction there. Also, now I get to participate in Momiji contests and Throwback Thursdays...check out this cute pic of my sis & I (posted by sis-I'm the taller one)! :)

3. I am halfway thru my first reread in 3 years of Terry Moore's amazingly awesome graphic novel, Strangers In Paradise. And it is just as stupendously wonderful as I remember. If you think you aren't into graphic novels, try this one. It'll change your mind. If you are into graphic novels and haven't read this one, you're missing out!
(go to terrymooreart for more artwork & book info)

4. This pic from AwkwardFamilyPhotos is my new profile pic on Facebook. It makes me giggle every time I see it. And bonus points, it kind of looks like a cross between me and my sis lol.

5. I've decided (just this minute) to have a no-buying books summer. More out of necessity...we have 3 graduations, 3 birthdays, 1 baby shower, & Father's Day to buy for lol. I have more than enough on my to-read shelf to keep me occupied and I am going to do my Annual Summer Reread of Harry Potter, so hopefully I can do this. I may have to check out a classic or two from the library or onto my Kindle, but that's okay. I want to read my shelves, I have so many good books there!

And that's it...what are you loving/fangirling over this week? So You Think You Can Dance? BEA13? Your new puppy? I want to hear about it! :D

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Review: "Sense & Sensibility" Classic a Month #5.2013

Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
3 out of 5 stars

Maybe I'm not destined to be an Austen-ite. I enjoyed this novel, maybe a little less than Pride & Prejudice (which I can see myself rereading and enjoying more the second time), but I just can't get into them like others. This one seemed overly long; it really dragged in the middle, but the ending was super rushed. Also, it's like Austen was using her first 350 pages to try and prove that money doesn't buy happiness, love conquers all, etc...and then she used her last 9 pages to completely disprove that. And that's my super short review lol, but I guess maybe I should say a little more? (I'm not going to worry too much about spoilers, since it is a classic, so be warned if you haven't read it & want to still!)

Okay, so this book is essentially about 2 sisters, Elinor (the older, around 17-18?) and Marianne (16-17) Dashwood, and their quest to find love. When their father dies suddenly and leaves them with very little money, they are forced to move with their mother and younger sister to a small cottage owned by a distant cousin. The girls' half-brother is willing to help them out with a yearly allowance and such, but is "convinced" by his wife that they don't need it, it would be an insult, they just can't afford it, and so on. There was some dry wit going on in this book, similar to P&P, that made it quite enjoyable. Also, I think the believability of this world compared to P&P is much higher...this is a story about life and the happenings of the common, normal people.

Elinor is the "sensible" one, always calm and responsible, even when the man she loves & thinks loves her turns out to be engaged to another woman. Ouch. "Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty. Elinor, where is your heart?" Marianne, on the other hand, is passionate, outgoing, careless at times, and knows exactly what she wants in a man...or thinks she does. "I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with my own. He must enter into all my feelings: the same books, the same music must charm us both.” 

The relationship between the two sisters was enjoyable to read. Neither can understand why the other acts the way they do, especially with matters of the heart. When Marianne is heart-broken over that cad, Willoughby, she moons about for ages, making everyone around her miserable too. Elinor nurses her sister for weeks, even though she too is going thru a terrible time. Honestly, I feel like Elinor had it worse off...she had a more "real" relationship with Edward and then that little skank, Lucy Steele, shows up and rubs it in her face that nope, that's her man and she wasn't letting him go. Ugh, I hated Lucy. But she kept it all closed up inside so as not to make her mother and sister suffer more. 

“What do you know of my heart? What do you know of anything but your own suffering? For weeks, Marianne, I've had this pressing on me without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature. It was forced on me by the very person whose prior claims ruined all my hope. I have endured her exultations again and again whilst knowing myself to be divided from Edward forever. Believe me, Marianne, had I not been bound to silence I could have provided proof enough of a broken heart, even for you.”

I think I identified more with Elinor, but that could just be because this was her story. If it had been Marianne's point of view, there would have been more action and suspense for sure. But would she have been reliable? Probably about as much as Mrs Jennings, the old biddy-boddy gossip lol. I loved that old lady, by the way. And what about the romantic leading men? Eh, not so much. Edward was kind of a weenie and Willoughby, you just knew was going to be a jerk after he left so suddenly. My favorite, by far, was Colonel Brandon even though I think he ended up with the wrong girl. This might put me in the minority, but I think he was much more suited for Elinor and I think it was a severe disservice to his character to have Marianne "settle" for him in the end. Actually, I think it was a disservice to Marianne too. Like I said above, I was dissatisfied with the ending. The way she wrote it didn't make Marianne and Brandon's romance believable to me. In the slightest. But, that isn't going to stop me from trying more Austen and I think I'll go for Persuasion next. In a few months. ;)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Why I haven't been blogging and what I've been doing instead

1. Sometimes I just want to be lazy and read all the time and not think about how I'm going to review a book or what "this or that" means. And I've been in kind of a slump lately of that. So that's what I've been doing...reading. And watching all the season finales on TV heh.

2. We got to go to Dallas Comic-Con (thanks to my dad & stepmom for tickets!!) and it was totally crazy and so much fun! Nathan Fillion cancelled at the last minute, we waited in line for 2 hours in a hot garage to get inside and 45 minutes to get on the escalator (yes, for real. photo below by @ElizaGolightly4) and those were the bad parts. But I got some fun toys and art and I got to meet Terry Moore and he signed some books for me and my dad which was so amazing. We took a Doctor Who pic for all you Who-vians. :) My sis even had fun and agreed that we should dress up next time (I have the most amazing costume idea already!) and definitely try to go on Friday or Sunday instead of Saturday.

3. A lot of reading...but hey, I'm at 48% to my Goodreads goal! And I finished my May classic yesterday and will have that review up this week. Also, I've read so many books that I'm not currently reading anything lol. And I'm getting excited to start my Annual (except last year) Summer Reread of Harry Potter. I would like to do some kind of special blogging for it, but I'm not sure what yet. Any ideas? Still trying my hardest to get my sister to read them with me too.

4. I cleaned up my bookshelves too! They were a little out of control. I got all my to-reads on the shelf and put away the 40 books (actual amount eep!) that were in the living room/craft area and was so proud of myself...and then Half Price Books had their 20% off sale this weekend. And I now have a stack of books on the floor again. And this comic by The Infinite Curio is almost the exact conversation I had with my sister. But I'm okay with that. :)

5. I started an Instagram this weekend to continue my 365 toy pic project because the new Flickr is not appealing to me at all (and that's putting it mildly and nicely). Feel free to follow will be mostly toy pics, but also bookish findings, cute animals, and weird pics of me.

6. Thanks to number 4, I have a stack of giveaway books too, I just need to figure out how to split them up. I also have the library con books to giveaway still...maybe I'll try to do a whole month of giveaways or something. :)

And that's where I've been. I'll have reviews up this week for my May classic, the latest BSC book, and maybe another Green Gables? Hopefully.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Baby-Sitters Club Master List

I thought it'd be nice to have all the BSC books and specials that I've done in one place, so you can just scroll down the list and find it easily instead of searching or looking at the tags. And maybe you've missed some of my specials and this is a nice way to discover them. :) The links will go straight to my blog, so if they are blank, that means I haven't read and/or reviewed them yet. If you see any mistakes or feel like I'm missing something, please comment below or email me!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Light & Fluffy Books

Sometimes you just need a light and fluffy read, right? Maybe you've had a hard day at work or school and you just don't want to strain your brain too much. Or you're feeling down because your cat snubbed you that morning. Or your favorite book character is having difficulties. (I've been waiting for the perfect time to use this image lol.) Whatever it is, you need those warm & mushy books and thanks to The Broke & The Bookish, we're discussing them today! :)

1. Anne of Green Gables -yep, I'm back to adding this on every TTT. It is just the perfect feel good book (except for the end boo). Anne has such vivacity and imagination, you can't help but be swept along with her.

2. Anna & The French Kiss -I've seen this one on at least 5 lists already this morning lol, so obviously you all know about it and how it's the perfect blend of lighthearted and serious moments.

3. Any books you read between the ages of 8 and 14, which for me would be Bad News Ballet, Baby-Sitters Club, Hunky Dory Dairy, Sweet Valley Twins & High, mysteries by Betty Ren Wright, Lois DuncanChristopher Pike, and lots more! :)

4. Any in the Nerds series by Vicki Lewis Thompson -romance books that are almost on the naughty side, about hot nerds. :) My personal favorite is Talk Nerdy to Me.

5. Harry Potter -hah, thought I was going to leave that one out, didn't you? ;) I would only include this one if you've read the whole series at least twice though. Then it's like coming home. (Have I used this pic before? I don't really care, just wondering heh.)

6. Pretty Little Liars or Gossip Girl -both are supreme fluff, but still enough intrigue and scandal to keep your interest. Plus, then you can have a marathon TV viewing party after you read them.

7. Silly romances with ridiculous premise(s?), like Trish Jensen's Stuck With You (two lawyers are quarantined together after getting Tibetan Concupiscence Virus. No, really.) or Phi Beta Bimbo.

8. Anything by Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, Jane Green, etc...

9. Bossypants (Tina Fey) or Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (Mindy Kaling) -these chicks are super funny, so if you need a laugh, pick up one of their bios.

10.Arg, I've completely blanked out on a last one! So how about some more old school reads like Dean Koontz, Mary Higgins Clark, Piers Anthony...the first 2 may be suspenseful or scary sometimes, but I still consider them light "junk food" reads.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me! :)

Today is my birthday, so I thought I'd do a shameless post for more birthday wishes hah! I am off work today and tomorrow and don't plan on doing much at all. Perfect, right? It's also Mallory Pike's birthday! :) Do you share a birthday with a literary figure? I share one with The Rock and David Beckham too...not too shabby!

Yeah, I don't really have anything else to write lol...I wonder what I'm getting? I didn't really ask for anything, that may come back and bite me. Nah, my family is usually pretty good with presents. :) And I won't really cut you if you touch my cake, I just thought this was hilarious.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review: "Friends With Boys"

Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks
3.5 out of 5 stars

This graphic novel had been on my to-buy list for a long time and when I saw it at the convention Saturday for $5, I figured that was a sign for me to buy it! Unfortunately, I missed the sign that said it would be $2.50 10 minutes later. :( But I was still happy I bought it. This is a quick little read, I actually started it on the train home and got halfway thru it. I marked it down half a star only because I really feel like it needs a sequel, but it doesn't look like there are plans for one right now. I'd love to check out some of her other work though.

Maggie is the youngest in her family, with 3 brothers, and is about to start high school. This is a big deal for her, not just because it's high school, but because she has been homeschooled by her mom all her life up until now. The family has a tradition of going to public school starting in 9th, which I think is not a great time personally. Way too many changes and rules and chaos going on. Maggie is both excited and terrified. Apparently, their mother ran off a few months (weeks? days? not sure) before and their father is the new chief of police. Things are tense, to say the least.

I really liked all the characters, even though some weren't as fleshed out as I would have hoped. Maggie is that perfect blend of awkward and quirky, even when she is being haunted. Yes, there are ghosts too...this book has everything! Her twin brothers and oldest brother all had their own stories that I wanted to read more about. For example, Daniel is a senior and apparently had a rough time when he first started, with the popular group of boys on the volleyball team. Because of that, he is suspicious of Maggie's new friends, outcast siblings Lucy and Alistair. There are hints of a crush on and by several people, but the book is just not long enough for anything to develop. That is honestly my biggest criticism, so that's pretty good right? I want more!

The artwork and style was decent and worked well with the story. Hicks is very good at emotional faces (although Maggie looked a bit too much like her brothers (boyish) in some spots) and she really knows how to use her positive and negative spaces well. (That was fancy art wording hah!) Overall, I would definitely recommend this book!