September 21, 2014

A List...

  • Good things will happen.
  • Tea is perfectly delightful.
  • I heart bookstores.
  • And libraries!
  • Former co-workers can become close friends.
  • Bad days come to an end.
  • Scroll through Pinterest funnies on those bad days. Smiles guaranteed.
  • Unexpected packages in the mail make me happy.
  • The minute a favorite song comes on the radio, my day gets a bit better.
  • People's stories are always worth listening to.
  • Ordinary life can be beautiful.
  • Library book sales = happiness
  • Planning trips brings anticipation and hope.
  • Therefore, plan more trips.
  • It's ok to not have it all figured out.
  • Food makes my tastebuds happy.
  • Free wifi is awesome.
  • Sometimes stuff I think I need turns out to be stuff I don't.
  • Sometimes it's just "stuff".
  • Sentimentality isn't all it's cracked up to be.
  • But I still treasure the crocheted tablecloth my grandmother made.
  • Moments of joy can be found in even the yuckiest of days.
  • Inspiration comes in unexpected moments.
  • Poetry that rhymes makes me happy.
  • Silly and crazy are some of my favorites things to be.
  • I can smile for days about one single compliment from a friend.
  • Sometimes I get "peopled out".
  • Solitude resets me.
  • My thoughts tend to never shut up.
  • I think way more than I say.
  • Falling in love with a new book is indescribable.
  • Words bring life.
  • Friendships bring joy.
  • Smile.
  • Breathe in.
  • Breathe out.
  • Just breathe.
  • Live.

September 19, 2014

A Piratical Blogathon & Review: Pirates and Prejudice by Kara Louise

Ahoy, matey! Aye, tis Talk Like a Pirate Day! An' me kind friend, Hamlette, is havin' a party to celebrate. Ye better be headin' right on over there and join in! Or stick around these parts and meet a privateer by the name of Captain Smith who might try an' hornswaggle ye, ifen's yer not careful-like. Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum. Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! (And whatever else an actual pirate would say.) (Also, if you're in need of some help in the "pirate speak" department, I discovered this helpful little website.)

(I contemplated trying to write this entire review in pirate speak, but alas, twas a bit too hard for me. So regular old English will have to do! ;)

Fun! That was the first word that came to mind once I closed the final pages of this book. As a Jane Austen fan, I've read several sequels and retellings of her stories. Some better than others, I admit, but I've read a couple by Ms. Louise before and enjoyed them immensely. So when I got the chance to read this one, I was rather thrilled! And I found it to be a quick and fun bit of Austen-themed fluff. Great for a moment when you're seeking some Jane-related goodness, along with mindless entertainment.

Based around Pride and Prejudice (as if you can't tell, right? ;), the story starts off just after Elizabeth has refused Mr. Darcy's proposal. And proceeds to venture into a completely different storyline from there! This is Mr. Darcy as you've never seen him before. Who would have thought he'd have a bit of pirate inside him? From mistaken identities, rope-swinging across ships, meeting Mr. Bennet's sister and her family, real pirates out for revenge, a possible suitor or two vying for Lizzy's hand, sword fighting and kidnappings, as well the search for a proper pirate crew, and everyone fighting for their lives, the swashbuckling adventure never stops. Ms. Louise packs quite a bit of storytelling in just one little book!

If you enjoy pirate stories, Jane Austen sequels, a bit of both, or are just looking for something a little different, this is the book for you. A bit silly in moments, but who wouldn't want to sail on the high seas with "Captain Smith" along? So just sit back, grab a bowl of popcorn, and let the adventure begin!

"Oh, thank you, so much!" Mrs. Dillard exclaimed. "I do not know whether I am more uncomfortable from being so hungry or soaked from the rain!"
The ladies laughed as Timmons turned to leave, but he abruptly stopped. Elizabeth looked up when she heard a gasp and saw four men standing menacingly at the entrance to the cave. She felt a great sense of foreboding as the men suddenly drew swords, muskets, and pistols from their belts. She shuddered as she noticed their glaring looks and threatening posture.
"Pirates!" Mrs. Joyner screamed and crumpled into a heap on the ground.

Or should I say: I'm shovin' off!

September 17, 2014

Explaining My TBR Pile...

I think a year or more ago, I wrote a post comparing my moods and what I read. I'm too lazy to go searching for it now, but I know it was quite a while ago. So I decided that made it okay to venture into this topic again! Sorta.

Really, what sparked the thoughts in my head were a few things that happened recently.
  1. I saw a friend of mine in Barnes and Noble the other night and in the midst of me recommending this book and that book to her and her recommending this book and that book to me, I mentioned how I'd heard of several books, wanted to read them sometime, but it hadn't happened yet. I think I said something along the lines of "Do you ever not feel in the mood to read a certain book? Like you really want to, but you can't get any enthusiasm for it right this second? So you keep looking at it and thinking about it and planning for that someday when you actually will read it, because you'll be in the mood?" She very kindly responded, "I have no idea what on earth you're talking about, you crazy person." (It must just be me then.)
  2. I finally read Cress (which I had been anticipating for an entire year when I purchased it) a few weeks ago, after having it in my possession for months and months and months.
  3. I took a look at my bookshelves recently and realized that I have loads of books that I haven't read yet. I see people talking about one measly shelf of to-reads? I'm thinking I have a double-stacked shelf-full, if not an entire bookcase! (They're all spread out, so I haven't actually counted.)
  4. Liane mentioned via twitter, that she's been hesitating to read certain books (which she probably has very valid and reasonable logic for) and I thought, "Man, does that sound familiar." (while I do not have valid and reasonable logic at all).
The dealie-bob is, there is absolutely nothing wrong with these books. (Else they wouldn't be on my bookshelf, now would they?) They truly sound all kinds of awesome to read. So why haven't I read any of them yet? a very excellent question.

When I see them in the store, I'm terribly excited to read them. That's why they make their way in my arms up to the cash register, into a bag, into my car, and then onto my bookshelf. So what changes between picking it off the store shelf and placing it on mine? And it's also true of books that I do not own yet! I look at them in the store and really want to read them sometime. So why don't I? Why do I leave them there? Why do I hesitate? Why does my mood change?

Especially when it comes to a story I'm really excited about? Where does my enthusiasm go? Take Cress for instance. It was just as much fun as I'd anticipated it would be, yet I procrastinated for months before I finally read it clear through. And I knew the entire time while I was hesitating, that I was bound to really enjoy it! So what gives?
  1. I like to wait forever before reading awesome books? {absolutely not}
  2. I'm too lazy? {um....maybe}
  3. Fear that my anticipation and hope would be disappointed and let down? {quite possibly}
  4. I just like the feeling of hope and anticipation of a wonderful story? {getting warmer, I think}
  5. I have absolutely no idea at all. {bingo}
I cannot explain it. I only know it's true.

But the happy truth is! I do whittle down my TBR pile. Very slowly sometimes, but it happens nonetheless. Whatever my mood, this one fact remains the same. I. LOVE. TO. READ.
"I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book. When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library. ~ Jane Austen


September 15, 2014

Audiobook Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Well, no doubt about it. Ms. Meyer has done it again! As with her previous installments, she skillfully combines great characters, fascinating storylines, and fun world-building. I don't think it's possible for anyone to read this series and not get swept up in delight! Because that's the word that always comes to mind once I'm finished reading one of her books, delightful. And I'm constantly intrigued with how she has this ability to take a fairytale that we all know well, and twist and turn it until it's recognizable, yet all her own creation.

Poor Cinder never seems to catch a break! I confess I am so ready for things to actually go her way for once. (Although, there are a few sweet moments for her this go round. So yay for that!) As for Cress, it took a little for me to warm up to her. While she was by herself at the beginning I enjoyed her conversations with Little Cress a lot, but once she connected up with everyone else, her naiveté frustrated me. Granted, it did make sense when you consider that she'd spent the last several years alone. (But this is a fairytale! Anything's possible in a fairytale, right?) I guess I just wanted her to be a little bit more smarter in a few situations. (I got spoiled with Scarlet's awesomeness!) Regardless, she and Thorne had such cute interactions and by the end I was happily enthralled with their story.

This installment does not scrimp on the action scenes let me tell you! From attempted rescues, to several kidnappings, to the final climactic fight with the Thaumaturge, Ms. Meyer keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. And you love it! ;)

Action, adventure, romance, this series is wonderful. But for all the goodness that lies therein, I do have to admit that I felt the cast of characters (while I love them all!) was getting a little large. There were so many different things going on and I felt some of the storylines didn't get as much attention as they needed, simply because there wasn't the time. I'd've loved to get a few more details on certain scenes, but the action just flew on. So while I loved the story, Scarlet still remains my favorite of the series so far. Perhaps Winter will change that though. (Although the excruciating wait we have until it comes out is so not cool!) Also, the narrator of the audiobook, Rebecca Soler, is amazing! I've said that with every book so far, but she has yet to disappoint me with her skill with accents and voices. I'd highly recommend it just for her alone.

He leaned forward to inspect her closer. "Is that all hair?"

Sudden, overwhelming panic clawed up Cress' throat. With a squeak, she ducked out of view of the camera and scrambled beneath the desk. Her back struck the wall with a thud that rattled her teeth. She crouched there, skin burning hot and pulse thundering as she took in the room before her— the room that he was now seeing too, with the rumpled bedcovers and the mustached man on all the screens telling her to grab her imaginary partner and swing them around.

"Wha—where'd she go?" Thorne's voice came to her through the screen.

"Honestly, Thorne." A girl. Linh Cinder? "Do you ever think before you speak?"

"What? What did I say?"

" 'Is that all hair?' "

"Did you see it? It was like a cross between a magpie nest and ball of yarn after it's been mauled by a cheetah."

A beat. Then, "A cheetah?"

"It was the first big cat that came to mind."


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