Musings

Monday Musings: On Reading Slumps, Depression, and Anxiety

I made a really quick video for you guys, wherein I talk about where I’ve been and why, at least on a surface level.

I have something scheduled for every day this week so hopefully we can bring ourselves back on track a little bit … this one is a bit late, but I tried, in fact I succeeded.  It is here, late or not.

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Adult, Books, YA (Young Adult)

The Weekly Wrap Ups That Never Were~

Wherein Michaela is the sickest thing and under ludicrous amounts of stress and Gretchen can’t help her even if she wanted to.

You know I’ve been behind because of the shoddy content and the complete and utter lack of book reviews on the blog as of late, but I couldn’t even edit together these two wrap ups until now.  So here they are in one Frankenstein’s monster of a post.  Enjoy.

 

Monday 5/23: Gretchen’s From the Notebook on A Court of Mist and Fury
Tuesday 5/24: Gretchen’s Ruler of Books Tag
       Michaela’s Ruler of Books Tag
Wednesday 5/25: Gretchen’s Worth it Wednesday on The Queen of the Tierling
       Michaela’s Review of The Vision: Vol. 1
Thursday 5/26: Michaela’s Thursday Musing on Moving Out
Friday 5/27: Gretchen’s Review of Lady Midnight
       Michaela’s Discussion of Book Hoarding

Monday 5/30: Gretchen’s May Wrap Up
Tuesday 5/31: Bibliomancy for Beginners Discussion of The Bone Gap
Wednesday 6/1: Michaela’s May Wrap Up
        Gretchen’s Worth it Wednesday on Circle of Magic
Friday 6/3: Gretchen’s Review of The Vanishing Throne
        Michaela’s Summer Reads Recommendations 

I did it… it took two weeks but by god its here.

Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books, Musings

#NostalgiaJunkie Season 2?

Remember the good old days when I wasn’t late posting?  I have been struggling again guys, come help me out!  Send me all of your love and well wishes~

In any case, this was supposed to be posted yesterday and it completely slipped my mind.  It was live on the YouTube channel in time but that’s about it at this point.

I will also be posting something that has been missing the last few days on the blog later today, and the Wednesday post that was supposed to be out today anyway.  ALL OF THE POSTS ALL OF THE TIME…. or all of the posts just on Wednesdays… how would you like a weeks worth of content in one day.  Probably will be way too overwhelming.

 

Whose ready to read some middle grade fiction?  We are!  I’ll be back in a few hours don’t you worry.

Adult, Books

The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell Review

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

This book will be released Tuesday June 7th!

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Title: The Girls in the Garden
Author: Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Atria Books
Page #: 320
Genre: Mystery

Lisa Jewell was a name I was well acquainted with but never really picked up any of her books. I heart they were mysteries and I am very picky when it comes to the writing in mysteries so I was always wary. I saw this book on net galley and requested it because the premise appealed to me and at the very least I had heard of her so she was popular enough.

I’m not sure if it was just the fact that I had barely heard of her but I was pleasantly surprised by the way that this book felt more like a thriller than a mystery. Don’t get me wrong, I am just as picky with my thrillers, I’m just more inclined to like them I suppose. This book did read a little like soap opera at times, but I felt like the atmosphere was as far from soap opera-y as possible. That might have been a useless explanation. If you took out all of the writing and I were to regurgitate a summery of the plot you would probably say, “Gosh, sounds like day time tv.” I think the real beauty of this book was hidden in the garden itself.

I always love a book that can make the environment its own sort of character. In a way, this book did just that. The way she was able to blend the different pockets and edges of the garden into various different tonally appropriate spaces. It was a little bit weird for me to think about a garden in a way I might a winding wood in a thriller or maybe even the seedy underbelly of a metropolis but at times I almost did. Not quite, it was still a garden but it really took on a life of its own in this.

I think that’s really all I have to say on this book. It wasn’t my favorite book ever, I did enjoy it though. If the premise intrigues you I think its worth picking up I’m not sure I would hand it to someone and say they need to read it right now, but if someone asked me about good mysteries that came out this year I might mention this one in there.  I feel like this was super short, but it was just one of those books that fits nicely into its genre and doesn’t stand out all too much, which explains why she is such a popular author.  If you can find a niche and stick too it, then by all means, milk it.

Die hard fans of this blog will note the distinct lack of videos from me, and I do have to apologize for that, but I have been moving and the internet at my new place is kind of the worst.  I need to figure out a way to edit and upload my videos without it taking 300 years.  I don’t have the patience I need.  Hopefully we will get it all together soon.

Adult, Books, YA (Young Adult)

Summer Recommendations!

I figured that since I haven’t finished reading anything in a while I should talk about books I’m excited to pick up… or I think you might be excited to pick up.  I’m going to talk about three books that are coming out this month that I will hopefully be reading asap as well as three books that I’ve already read that I think would be good summer reads for you!

Let’s start with the shiny new books!

26869838The most stereotypical summer book on this list will be coming out the 28th of June.  If you couldn’t tell by the cover this is a fluffy contemporary young adult romance book.  Now I don’t often dip into this genre, partially because the pg nature of young adult romances kind of makes me uncomfortable, but I also feel like most of them don’t accurately depict love in the first place.  However, I figured I would add it to the list to show you guys an option that I think would fit most people’s idea of what a summer book is.  Light, fluffy, romance, and easy to read.  All of those boxes were checked with this one, so I thought I would mention it.

26893819Let’s go from that, to what is probably the complete opposite side of the spectrum.  I hadn’t heard of this one before my boss pointed out how excited she was for it to come out on the 14th.  This is a suspense thriller taking most of its inspiration from the Manson murders.  One girl who longs to be free loving finds herself caught up in something that is a little more than sinister.  This is definitely right up my ally and while it lacks the light fluffy nature of your traditional summer reads, sometimes the heat and the light help keep the spooks out of the closets and under the bed.  Plus the cover is striking and who doesn’t like pretty things.

26210464This next book comes out the 21st of June, and is actually the third in a series that Hogarth Press are putting out where popular contemporary authors rewrite popular Shakespeare stories.  This is a retelling of The Taming of the Shrew which is actually one that I might not have read.  It is hard to say because I have had to read so many Shakespeare plays throughout my years in school.  One play for each year in high school, some during the obligatory Shakespeare course for English majors at Ithaca, some for the survey class of Renaissance romances, too many to count and I’m not a particular fan of any of them.  I do, however, like quite a few Shakespeare retellings so maybe this will be more my jam.  We shall see?  What do you think?

On to the books I actually have an authority to speak about… at least in part …because I have already read them and think they match the summer vibe beautifully.

23282174This one you might recognize because I read it recently.  I did not however give it a full review which some of you might have been a bit upset about.  Well here, have a mini review.  I felt this book was a little bit weird to say the least and while I don’t think it accomplished everything it set out to successfully I think it would be a great summer read.  Aside from the fact that it takes place in a town that is a popular vacation spot near a lake, but it has to do with love and lust and the things we keep secret from each other, or at the very least assume are our own secrets.  It has a bit of horror and a bit of magical realism and whole lot of pain and guilt but hey, not every summer book needs to be happy.

43615This is one that I read last year around this time and fell head over heels in love with.  I was a fan of Stephen King’s writing but hadn’t looked into this one because I haven’t been a big fan of fantasy and looking at this I just knew it was going to be fantasy based.  What I didn’t realize was that it isn’t just fantasy, it isn’t just a western, it isn’t even just a meta pile of metaness, it is a masterpiece.  I honestly think that this series is one of his best and probably the one thing that I would recommend to anyone who hasn’t tried Stephen King before.  There isn’t really any horror in this one if you don’t like horror don’t worry.  This is just the story of one man chasing another man in order to get the information he needs and to do justice.

18209454Those of you with keen eyes for detail and an astounding memory for exclusive fandom t-shirts might have noticed that in some of my videos I am wearing a Veronica Mars t-shirt.  Yes, I did contribute to the Kickstarter for that film, and yes I did love it, and yes I did pick up this book to read it, and yes I did love it.  I did listen to the audio book and Kristen Bell does narrate this one so it was just a really lovely really long Veronica Mars Episode.  If you have never experienced the joy that is this tiny ball of snark and sleuthing then this might be a good way to get a taste of it… or you could just watch the show because it is one of my favorites.  It takes place in southern California so lots of house parties and rich kids partying.

We have reached the end my friends.  These are the books that I thought I would share with you folks and let you know a few of my thought on.  This weekend I’m planning to get at least a little bit of reading done so hopefully we can get back on the review train soon.

Adult, Books, Comics, YA (Young Adult)

May Wrap Up

Today would normally be comic book Wednesday, but seeing as I have spent the last week or so moving I have not read anything of note and therefor have nothing really to talk about.  On the other hand, it is June first so maybe I should tell you what I read this month?  Mayhaps?

I have to say it was a bit of a sad month this month, at least in terms of reading.  I moved out and got my own place this month so I won’t be too hard on myself for reading four comics, one book, and DNFing one.  Lucky for you, I have reviews of all of these, with the exception of one I believe, but its an ongoing series and who needs me to prattle on about something so much.

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Going to try something new this month and rather than giving you a paragraph of ramblings on each title, you can click on the image of the title that intrigues you and it will take you directly to my review of it (or the goodreads page for that one that I didn’t review… play Russian Roulette which one is it?)

As far as my reading challenges are concerned, the sorry state of the books I read mean that I did not complete a single Pop Sugar challenge, but they did all count toward my Goodreads challenge with the exception of the DNFed book which I myself am excluding.

This brings my totals to:

Goodreads Challenge: 46/50
Pop Sugar Challenge: 19/40
#RYODB Challenge: 12/50

There it is folks, May in a nut shell.

Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books, YA (Young Adult)

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby Review (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

The semester is over and you know what that means! Bibliomancy for Beginners comes back!  Woo!  That means all kinds of great discussions about books and things.

For all of the information on this book club and how exactly you can join in, definitely check out the page up above marked with its name!  There are fun times to be had.

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Title: Bone Gap
Author: Laura Ruby
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Page #: 373
Genre: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Contemporary

That’s all we have for you guys today folks!  See you in two weeks!

Books, Musings

Am I a Hoarder?

So, while this isn’t a lovely review for you guys, like I was planning (I haven’t been able to finish anything this week) I figured it was something I could talk about and maybe you guys would empathize with the things that are going on in my life.

If you saw my post yesterday where I talked about moving out then you know that I have been trying to pack my life away in boxes and get it on its way over to a different city.  Well I knew I had a lot of books … I just didn’t realize how many different places I had squirreled them away.

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I have the large bookcase that is often behind me in videos, but I have a smaller one next to my bed, and an even smaller one on the other side (that admittedly houses not just books).  Then there are the books next to my bed, books in piles on the floor, books in my car, books under pillows in bed.  Anywhere a book could possibly be, there is probably a book.

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I don’t own that many things.  If I’m honest my life fits into one pretty small room, most of it just happens to be in the form of books.

We all say, well its a collection.  I’m building a collection of these pieces of paper with ink splotches all over.  In part, I think I am, but I also know … I just want them.

I want to have them.  I think they are pretty.  I think they are objects with value and import.  I want them in my life, around me.  They make me happy.

I realized, that this is what hoarders say.  I can’t throw away that particular can off food because what if I want it, or I need it.  That is probably problematic thinking, but its a book right.  It doesn’t have an expiration date.  I can read it today, tomorrow, next week, three years from now.  It won’t go bad.  I will just keep getting more and more.

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Maybe one day I will turn into a minimalist and donate all my books to charity, but as of today, I think I’m okay with being found dead in my house under a mountain of stuff … if that mountain of stuff is books.

I will be packing and moving them all.  They are coming with me.  I already purged once this year, can’t be doing anything too life changing … while doing other life changing things. Oh well.

Adult, Books, Comics, YA (Young Adult)

The Vision: Little Worse Than A Man Review

If you are wondering how I have read a volume of a comic that has yet to be released?  Well my friends, reading comics in single issues sometimes has its advantages.  Let me tell you about a thing you should budget for in June because boy is it a good ‘un.

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Comic Title: The Vision
Volume # and Title: 1: Little Worse Than a Man
Collected Issues: 1-6
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Colorist: Jordie Bellair
Publisher: Marvel
Page #: 136
Genre: Superhero, Horror, Science Fiction

It is super weird to see something from one of the big comic publishers on here.  It is even weirder to see one that is a superhero title.  Although I have to say that this isn’t your average every day super hero comic.

This is the story of an average family.  We have the over worked father whose job has no security and just wants to provide for his family.  There is the lonely house wife who just wants every one to be happy.  The heart broken daughter and the over protective son with slight anger issues.  Sounds like every suburban family to me?  They even get a dog by the end of this book.  They just happen to be bio-netic robots.  Doesn’t your neighborhood have one of those?

While the problems these family members have are very normal, the catalysts for each of their issues are … lets say … slightly out of the norm.  That’s why you should pick this comic up though. This is the story of a family who just wants to fit in.  It just isn’t your average, average family, they have little quirks that make the story interesting.

I honestly did not realize I would feel so badly for characters that have a hard time understanding human emotions.  They seem to be stuck somewhere in between a state of complete emotional break down and apathetic and mildly intrigued by human affairs.

This is the story of what happens when a super hero goes home.  This is the story of one man’s need to be normal, to live a happy life, to just be normal.  I love things like that.  I think I’ve had enough of the crime fighting and the bad guys moving the plot.  We need more stories about the internal struggles.  This is one of those, and honestly it was really done well.

So if you want a super hero comic for people who don’t really like super heroes… this might be the one for you.

I think that’s all I have to say on this one. So I will be back soon.  Whether it is tomorrow as a replacement Monday post or on Friday with a book review!

Adult, Books

The Ruler of Books Tag

So my allergies hit me really hard and I slept for 14 hours last night.  I didn’t manage to get my post up for yesterday because of that, but I woke feeling a little better and threw together this tag for you guys.  Hope it isn’t terrible!

I will have something for you tomorrow and Friday and I will see if there is something else I can do to make up for Monday.  Talk to you then!