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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

My Bookish and Bloggish Update

Updates on the Things
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March 2019 Edition

It's been much too long since I've written a blog post, and I miss it. I feel like I say this a lot honestly. And looking back at my new year's resolution to give more time to myself, I don't know whether I should take this lack of writing as a sign that I am giving myself more time to just be, or if it's the opposite and I don't have enough time to just be and write. Just some interesting food for thought while I'm in class.

This year though has been pretty amazing so far if I do say so myself. I've traveled to Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, and London. (Yes- LONDON London! Not London, Ohio or some shit like that. THE London, as in London, England. More of that in a later post.) I've done a lot of great work at school, which I'm really proud of. I'm not talking about papers there either, but the extracurricular stuff. Although, I've also done a lot of really important academic things as well, especially in regard to preparing for school next year (<-- intentionally vague; just roll with it).

Image result for londonSo this year's already been incredibly full and busy, but of course, in the best ways possible. But now the important part: what I've been reading.

I'm in quite a few play classes this semester oddly enough. There is a grand total of three of my five classes that have to do with plays and drama, one of which is, shocker, a Shakespeare class. But because of this, I've been reading so many more plays than what I'm used to. Some of which are really obscure, even by academic standards as one of my professors likes to point out. I've also read some really common plays though, like The Glass Menagerie and Romeo and Juliet (the one I'm actually reading now).

I like it. I don't think I will suddenly become a huge reader of drama, but I think I'll definitely be more open to picking up a play every now and then or using one to break up a reading cycle. Maybe at the end of my course I'll put together a list of recommended plays. Who knows? It may be fun to do.

Image result for stack of booksIn terms of other books that I'm reading for fun... oh boy. Very tragically, I haven't had as much time to read for fun so far this year. I've devoured the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward- more reviews will come, I promise- but other than that, it's been hard to find the time to just sit and read a solid book. I've dabbled in some Goodreads book clubs, like Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf where there was the anthology, The Things I Would Tell You edited by Sabrina Mahfouz. Side note: FANTASTIC read. I really want to do a whole post on that anthology. Back to the readings though, I am so behind. At least, I feel behind. I really want to just find more time to read and engage in the current books and the book community.

I hope everyone else's years are going well so far, both in terms of reading and everything else. We're a quarter through 2019! Which as I'm typing this is making me cringe, but whatever!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

BDB Series by J.R. Ward-- Review of Books 10-12

10993282Reviews of Books 10-12 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward

I'm almost completely caught up with the series at this point!!! I still have to read Prisoner of Night, but I'm done with everything else, including the Black Dagger Legacy books that are currently out. It feels a bit like I've been marathon-reading, but it has been a fun time in the process. I rated these next three all with four stars on Goodreads, but I think overall The King may have been my favorite out of this set?

Lover Reborn (Tohr and Autumn)
This book was definitely a high three start or a low four star rating for me. I was thrilled when Tohr first came back and all, but I just felt like the connection wasn't as strong with him and Autumn as Ward has shown other characters in the past. I'm not sure if it just took too long to get to this part of Tohr's arc, or if he was generally underdeveloped post-Wellsie's death, but it felt off. I also did not like how he essentially picked Autumn's new name for her. It was supposed to be a cute romantic moment, but it rubs me the wrong way.

Lover at Last (Quinn and Blay)

I think everyone saw this one comng from a mile away, which makes the title absolutely perfect. It was about f***ing time that these two realized they should be together. It was almost painful to see them try to resolve the tension between them in any way that wasn't a relationship. It was so natural to seem them come together by the end. They're such perfect balancing points to each other. I will say though that plot-wise, I cannot remember what else happened in this book, which I think says something bout content quality for it because I can remember all the other books.

18108281The King (Wrath and Beth)
As mentioned, of these three books this one is my favorite, mostly just because I think Wrath is hilarious and I love how Wrath and Beth work as a couple. Now, this book I already remember enjoying for the political events happening in the story. Yes, there is relationship drama between the main characters for this book, but it is such a pivotal moment of where the society and where the series goes politically. I thought it was so well handled and it combined these two elements of the book wonderfully.

Because I am so caught up now, I will hopefully have the posts for books 13-16 and maybe even the Black Dagger Legacy books up very soon. These books are just so much fun to read, I can't seem to stop even to write a post. :)

Lastly, this is completely random, but I've looked back at some of my recent headlines and I think they sound hilariously stupid. Just enough to make me laugh and wonder what I was thinking, but I still acknowledge that some of them just sound plain odd and lackluster.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Movies of 2019

2019 Movies That I Am Excited For

13526165Below are some of the movies that are currently set to come out during this year that I can't wait to see! *** means that this is an adaptation from a book.

Ashes in the Snow *** (January 11)
Captain Marvel (March 8)
The Aftermath *** (March 15)
Where'd You Go, Bernadette *** (March 22)
Five Feet Apart *** (March 22)
Dumbo (March 29)
Avengers: Endgame (April 26)
Aladdin (May 24)
The Sun Is Also a Star *** (May 17)
Rocketman (May 31)
4038952728763485Spider-Man: Far From Home    (July 5)
Men In Black: International (July 14)
The Lion King (July 19)
Artemis Fowl *** (August 9)
Downton Abbey (September 20)
17333223The Woman in the Window *** (October 4)
The Goldfinch *** (October 11)
Little Women *** (December 25)

There will probably be more releases during this year that end up being amazing, but there are a couple on here that I am already hoping do really well, like The Aftermath-- that one looks like it's going to be amazing and I hope it actually is. But there's also Little Women coming out, starring Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, and Timothee Chalamet and Downton Abbey starring all the favs, so it's going to be a good year no matter what.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Image result for winter book photography#Begin As You Mean To Go On

Scrolling through the internet can be a distracting thing, or it can be a wonderful thing. One of the trends that I've stumbled across is from the author Leigh Bardugo (great books, go check them out) and it's called #BAYMTGO, or Begin As You Mean To Go On. And from what I can see it's just beginning the new year right by setting aside 15 minutes toward whatever resolution or goal you have for the new year.

I just wanted to say thanks! I think this is a great idea and I'm definitely going to be setting aside my own 15 minutes. I wrote out a whole bunch of stuff for 2019 earlier, but I think this will be a good step in starting off on the right foot. Thank you again to Leigh Bardugo for this and I hope the year is off to a good start for everyone!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2019

2019 Releases I'm Looking Forward To

3756155026032887It's officially a new year and I am so excited to see what this year brings in terms of books and movies and TV (but mostly the books)! Here are just some of the books that I am really looking forward to reading in the upcoming year. There are going to be a lot, so these are just some of the ones that jump out to me.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo (1/29)
3630763437569347The Wicked King by Holly Black (1/8)
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare (11/19)
The World of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (9/3)
Again, But Better by Christine Riccio (5/7)
Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi (4/2)
4114727917699853Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers (2/5)
The Shaw Confessions #3 by Michelle Hodkin (11/7)
The Au Pair by Emma Rous (1/8)
Crescent City #1 by Sarah J. Maas (2019)
3934019340492788The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer (2/5)
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See (3/5)

Also, slightly random, but Goodreads has its counter up for their 2019 reading challenge / counter and I LOVE THE COLOR. It's like a really dark violet and it is absolutely perfect to me.

Thanks for reading!

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2019

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge 2019
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I don't know how long ago, but POPSUGAR has announced its reading challenge of 2019!! They have a whole slew of book categories that they put together every year and present to whomever wants to participate. Last year I said I wanted to do all of it. Oh, how naive I was back then. If you want to see my posts from last years challenge, just follow this link because I made a tag for them all.

This year, I'm hoping to do half of it, which is roughly what I ended up doing for the 2018 challenge. There are a lot of categories that I have never heard of before, some that I know will be challenging, and others that are going to be a piece of cake. This is why I love this challenge though: it is a perfect mix of difficult and doable. Challenges that are way too far out there become too daunting but challenges that are so basic and easy become boring after awhile. This is a nice blend of the two.

Image result for books and teaSome of the categories that I'm worried about this year are "a book with a zodiac sign or astrology term in the title," "a book set in Scandinavia," and "a LitRPG book." I had no idea what that last one even was for a while-- I had to look it up. (It means Literary Role Playing Game and includes books like Ready Player One by Earnest Cline.) But this is why I love this reading challenge every year: they come up with the most creative categories! And I'm definitely going to be picking up some random books because of it.

There are also some categories that I already know I'm going to finish right out of the gates, like "a book told from multiple character POVs" or "a reread of a favorite book," but this is what also makes this challenge really nice. I know that I will definitely be able to at least partially participate. I can challenge and make this harder for myself however much I want. It's up to me, but all the options are there.

I highly recommend this challenge. I've tried a couple of other ones and this has always been my favorite. I'll link the tag that I'm making for it to this post in case you want to follow along as see my updates on the challenge and if I review any books that qualify as being completed for this challenge. There's also a Goodreads group for this and I also highly recommend that because they'll help you find books to fit in categories that you don't necessarily know what to do with.

I'm really excited. I hope you're all excited for a new year of reading too. And Happy 2019!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

New Year's Resolutions 2019


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Happy New Year! 2018 is finally over and thank the Lord 2019 is here. I hope everyone has a lovely time and stays safe (because there are some crazyyyyy people out there... we all know it).

As we move into 2019, I think I'm going to do resolutions. I... have not done these for years. Generally speaking, I think they are stupid, anxiety-inducing, and ultimately lead to disappointment. But I'm going to try them this year, and I think I'm going to try relatively small and obscure. Little things, like take time to relax and enjoy yourself once or twice a week. Simple things that are normally brushed aside in everyday life, at least for Americans in my experiences and observations. I'm also going to try to not give myself too many resolutions. I don't want to have a million things or even more than a couple big things to worry about and hold myself to. Straight up- I'm not there yet. And I think that's fine.

Image result for journalingI feel like I'm rambling without really explaining. Let me rewind a bit.

When it comes to anything academically or professionally related, I'm on top of it. 110% and I'm not just saying that or trying to inflate an ego. I've had so many people come up to tell me in some variation how impressed they by my work ethic and organization and energy. Which all looks great, but I'm also not saying this as a good thing. It's not inherently bad either, but there's a flip side to it that I'm realizing more and more is not something that I want in my life. When someone works as much and as hard as I do, there is no time for personal reflection, fun, creativity, whatever you want to call it. My life is my work. And for some people that is fine. I don't think it's for me though.

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Breaks like the one I'm on now help me realize that I want more than the life that I have led so far- and that's okay. And looking toward next semester, I'm going to have a lot more free time than I have ever been used to. For awhile, I was seriously considering trying to find a part-time job or internship to fill in the hours and bulk up my resume even more. And what I've come to as a conclusion though is that I need that time. I'm not completely sure what I want to do with my life yet or where I am supposed to go with it (yes, I am religious) but a terrifying place to start is to slow down and take the time that I will have offered to me next semester.

Why is it terrifying? Because I'll have time to myself! What if I get bored? What if I decided to change career paths? What if I become super annoying? What if something extraordinary happens? And that last one is a weird one, I know, but nonetheless there's a certain comfort in repetition and I think there's a good chance I'm going to be breaking up that repetition. "Extraordinary" may be a strong word choice, but there ya have it.

Image result for zentanglingSo my resolutions are going to be small, but they are going to be mine. And I'm going to shamelessly retake that time back for myself. Here are the few and abstract things that I want to resolve to do in 2019:

1) Be more creative!
>>> For me, this can really run the gambit of blogging to writing (which I sort of have talked briefly about here) to drawing to playing music to so many other options. I've always loved creative outlets though and I've always felt good after being creative as well, so added bonus.

2) Journal more
>>> In grand total in my life I am on my third journal. And while they are not necessarily small journals, I can't help but feel I should be on like a fourth or fifth because I started journaling years ago . I just really haven't set aside that time for myself very much over the past two years or so and I want to get back into it.

3) Pay attention to me
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>>> Very vague. Very open to interpretation. Very intentionally so done. There's a lot of different ways I can do this and I'm not going to list them here because you can probably list your own for yourself. This is almost more of a motto for the year I think though because I've reached the point where not only can't I move forward in my life without knowing and taking care of myself, but I deserve to know and take care of myself.

If you stuck around through all this semi-emo, sappy whatnot, then great! Thank you! If you skipped to the end just now, LOL go back and reread so that you have more context. If you didn't read this whole thing, I really don't care. This post was mostly for me. :)

Thank you so much for reading and I hope your 2019 goes off with a great start!