Books, Musings

Betwixt the Books Discuss! Some People Want to Read Your Sh!t

So this hangout actually occured a week ago but I figured that I should post it sooner rather than later in the hopes that it would still be somewhat topical.

This was Gretchen and my sort of response to a fellow booktuber declaring to the community that he would not read unsolicited material for free.  This led to discussions of policy and reviewing, endorsements, ethics, all sorts of stuff.  If that sounds like your jam then please watch the discussion.  We also really want any sort of input that people can give us on the topic.  Is he right, are we?

There we are!  I hope you guys enjoyed it!  Still going strong on the post something every day front! *laughs because it is only the second of September*


Books, Comics

April Monthly Pull

I was going to do a weekly pull, but I realized I don’t buy that many comics at once so it might be wiser to talk about what I read in a month.

Here is the toddling baby of that idea that hopefully will grow and flourish later… because its a bit of a mess right now.

Hope this wasn’t too cringe worthy.  I will be back on Friday for a review so get excited about that!

Adult, Books, Musings

A Myriad of Mini Cookbook Reiews

Pop Sugar Reading Challenge Update: 14/40
A Satirical Book

206960321I figured I would start with the highlight and work my way down.  This is the book I am referring to in reference to my Pop Sugar Reading Challenge.  This book was hilarious.  On top of being filled with some of the most delicious vegan food I have ever seen and want to make to put in myself.  Jesus Christ.  If you aren’t a fan of profanity then this probably isn’t for you but it felt like one of my friends was sitting me down and telling me what is what when it comes to food.  This had personality as well as good recipes, great photography and a lot of creativity.  Definitely the best of the bunch here and worth checking out whether you are vegan or not, because eating more vegetables will not hurt you.  I promise.

23492253The next book I was torn on.  I didn’t hate it, there were some recipes in here that honestly looked good and that I felt I could make and would enjoy, but I am not one to follow a strict menu.  This was set up in such a way that it seemed like a gimmicky give me your money so you can lose weight diet guide.  I don’t think that any of those really work, but if you believe in it, then more power to you.  So I was a bit put off by the presentation, but again there were recipes in here I flagged to try one day, so there is that.  I guess its up to you to pick this one up or not.

17167085As a graduate of Ithaca College I am well aware of the Moosewood Restaurant.  I only actually ate there once but it was mind blowing and when I saw that the library I work in has a cookbook of their most popular recipes I couldn’t help but check it out.  I’m so glad I did.  While not everything in here was for me, I felt like because the collected their most popular dishes there will be something in here for everyone.  The presentation was pretty straight forward but there was some really great photography and some really delicious sounding recipes.  I would say give this one a try if you are vegetarian/vegan or just need to incorporate more veggies into your life.

8857133I saved the worst for last… is that not how you are supposed to do it?  In any case, I was not a fan of this cookbook at all.  There wasn’t a single recipe that I was interested in cooking.  I don’t think it helps that this was published in the early 2000s.  It feels like the most stereotypical vegan cook book there is.  I didn’t feel like there was any creativity or innovation.  It was a bunch of boring raw and cooked veggie recipes that are either really obvious, or things I could have come up with on my own, I didn’t need the cookbook to tell me how to make it.  I don’t know.  I guess it is a good place to start if you don’t want to be adventurous in your cooking, but honestly there are a lot of better recipes and cookbooks out there.

I bet you noticed that there was a particular theme with my cook books.  I have recently become lactose intolerant, and by recently I mean I probably have been for a while and have just been in the delicious chowder and macaroni and cheese based denial.  I am not vegan, I am probably closer to vegetarian but I eat meat a couple times a week, mostly chicken, in any case.  I needed to find recipes that were built around non-dairy and lactose free recipes.  I knew vegan food could do that for me, and I have nothing against the lack of meat.  If you are open minded or actually strictly vegan, more power to you and see what you think of these recipes.

I will be back tomorrow with a tag video so let’s hope that turns out well (I haven’t edited it yet…)

Books, Musings

Weekly Wrap Up/ What We Read 2/28/16

Um… so every Sunday you get a post that looks exactly like this so I need a new intro for it… do I even need an intro?  What do you need me to introduce?  The title tells you what you need to know.

Sunday: Last Week’s Wrap Up
 Michaela’s Monday Musing on Unhauling
           Gretchen’s From the Notebook on the lack of YA for boys
Tuesday: Betwixt the Books Reviewed The Gracekeepers 
Wednesday: Michaela’s Review of the Deadpool Movie
            Gretchen’s Worth it Wednesday on Insignia
Thursday: Gretchen’s Thesis Thursday hauling sources for cover design
Friday: Michaela’s February Book Haul
            Gretchen’s Review of Choosing My Religion

Books, Musings

Weekly Wrap Up/What We Read 1/17/16

It is Sunday and you guys know what that means! or maybe you don’t since this is only our second one!  Its time for the #betwixtthebooks weely wrap up.

This week we both had oodles of content for you guys so be sure to check it all out if you haven’t already!

Also go tell Gretchen how lovely she is for showing up to make a video after having her wisdom teeth removed!  She cares so much you guys!  Go love her!

Sunday: Last Week’s Wrap Up!
Monday: Michaela’s Monday Musing: Top Tips for Learning a Language on Your Own
             Gretchen’s From the Notebook: Top 5 Disappointing Reads of 2015
Tuesday: 30 Seconds to Disagree: Mr. Penumbras 24 Hour Bookstore
             30 Seconds to Disagree: The First Test
Wednesday: Michaela’s Review of Southern Bastards Vol. 2
             Gretchen’s Worth it Wednesday Post on Incarnate
Thursday: Gretchen’s Thesis Thursday Post
Friday: Michaela’s Review of Night Film
              Gretchen’s Review of Orphan Queen
Saturday: The Betwixt the Books Book Haul #1
              Bibliomancy for Beginners Discussion of The Magician King

Adult, Books, YA (Young Adult)

July 2015 Wrap Up

I haven’t been reading much as of late, and I find that its because I feel guilty reading.  I feel guilty taking the time to read, even though it is something I love.

Just to prove that point, all but one of the books I read and finished this month were for book club.  I could only read them because I had a deadline.  Everything else just gets nibbled at.

The first book I read I technically did not read in its entirety but it is a giant collection of short stories so it is something that I will pick up and read a bit from forever and may never be read in its entirety.  That does not however mean that I did not greatly enjoy it.  Borges, stories are so delightful.  They are strange, and thought provoking.  i really enjoyed the experience.  If you like literary fiction and haven’t read these yet, who are you… how dare you… get on that, please.

This was followed with my rereading of the first Pendragon book for our #Nostalgiajunkie project.  I really love these books and it is difficult for me to criticize them.  I first encountered this book when my teacher back in grade school was reading it aloud to us in class.  I was so upset at how she had left it one day I asked my Mom to take me to the book store and get a copy so that I could know what happened next.  I ended up finishing quickly. I recommend this to all children ages 10+.  It is such a good series, even if this isn’t the best book. It is a lot of world setting, but it continues to build.

Of course the next week we read and discussed the second book in the Pendragon series.  We all liked this book more than the first.  It is more exciting, the pacing is better, it introduces new characters, it kills off others.  It is a good book.  Is it perfect, no.  It is however and improvement on the first book.  Hobey ho, I love Spader so much.  He will always be dear in my heart. So dear.  I don’t want to spoil anything else so I will leave it at that.
The next main book club book, I just posted a post for on Wednesday so it should be familiar to you.  It is the graphic novel Through the Woods.  I really liked this collection.  The discussion we had about it was interesting as well, because we seemed to disagree with certian aspects of certain stories a lot.  Gretchen didn’t much care for the way these stories are, but Taylor loved them.  You can read this book really quickly if you want to, but I would advice against that.  Take your time, stare at these pages, soak them in.  It is worth it.

I was finally able to finish my reread of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy this month.  I have to say that while I did find it very funny, it wasn’t particularly blown away by it.  I reread it because I had read it so long ago that I couldn’t remember very much of it aside from the bits that have infiltrated pop culture.  I’m afraid that in a months time this will be true again.  It isn’t particularly outstanding.  It should be a quick read, when you aren’t in a reading slump like I am, but it isn’t going to stick with you.  Either, I am not in the proper mindset to enjoy it, or it just isn’t that great.

Finally, I finished the third Pendragon book.  It actually really saddens me that this book didn’t stand the test of time.  I remember it being one of my favorite books in the series when I read it the first time, but it wasn’t so great reading it as an adult.  I am more than twice the recommended age, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad.  I think it suffered for the fact that we as adults have been exposed to too much similar media.  I think that it would still be great for children, just less good for the adults who so desperately want to love it.

I have two books that I am currently reading that aren’t book club related that carry over from this month, because I haven’t finished them.  Me and the Devil by Nick Toches and Your Invitation to a Modest Breakfast by Hannah Gamble.  One is adult fiction and the other is a poetry collection (I know. Poetry. *scoffs*)

I am also reading the Fourth Pendragon book and Angelfall by Susan Ee to be discussed for book club on Monday.

I am a bit behind on my reading challenge and since the booktubathon is this coming week I am going to attempt to participate.  It is more likely or not that I will fail miserably, but I am going to try.  That means I should probably make a video announcing my intent to do so.  Let’s see if I can actually do it.

Adult, Books, Comics

Southern Bastards, Vol. 1: Here Was a Man Review

Have you heard?  Wednesday is comic book day!

Title: Southern Bastards, Vol. 1: Here Was a Man
Writer: Jason Aaron
Illustrator: Jason Latour
Publisher: Image Comics
Page #: 112
Genre: Mystery/Crime Drama’

1 Sentence Tag: The South is creepy people, why aren’t more horror/mystery type stories set there?

I have to say that this is definitely not going to be a comic for everyone.  This is a slow burn and not a flash in the pan.  When most people think about comics they gravitate toward those flashy high energy super hero titles, and this is probably as far away from that as you can get before you hit Archie Digest.  There isn’t action up the wazoo, there aren’t bright colors flowing across the pages and that might make you a little bit uncomfortable, but don’t write this comic off yet!

The selling point of this comic for me, is the atmosphere.  This should be split equally between the artist and the writer.  The writer perfectly portrays the southern attitude in the pacing and dialogue and the artist is using a style that is just this side of uncomfortable.  The two together create the perfect creepiness.  I love a good horror atmosphere that leaves you just creeped out enough when you set the book done that you think about picking up something else just to ease your mind a little.  I get that feeling more often in novels and short stories than I do in comics, perhaps because I haven’t picked up enough horror comics, perhaps because something in brain doesn’t correlate the pretty pictures as scary, not sure, but this one definitely has that tone and atmosphere and I’m giving it props for that.

The girl who works in my local comic shop told me that this title is not very popular and I have to wonder why.  Like I said it isn’t snappy or flashy, but different isn’t bad.  There has been a lot of talk about variety being a good thing in all forms of media, if you are looking for something different to add to your comic rotation then I would definitely recommend this title.  If you are looking for something that is a little calmer, a little slower, something mysterious and interesting then I would definitely grab this one.

The second arc started recently so pick up the trade and the last couple of issues and you should be all set with this one.  Its in my current pull list and it definitely needs more hype.

Did you guys read it already?  What did you think about it?  How about how the first arc ended?  (If you don’t want to be spoiled best stear clear of the comments!)

I’ll hopefully be back with a book review for you guys on Friday!