Tuesday, December 8, 2015

別れ [farewell]

This is my final blog post.  I attempted to keep up with this blog during the semester, after my required # of posts needed for my project.  But honestly, it wasn't a priority.  Other things took up my time like other school projects, work, family, you know... life.  I want to thank any and all random internet travelers who stopped by.  I do appreciate you reading!  

I will not leave you empty handed!  Here is a link to one of my favorite book tubers (on YouTube).  Go check her out! I love her reviews and I'm sure you will too!





Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Sharp Objects {book review}

 Trigger Warning
This book has triggers for cutting which can also lead to triggers for other self harm.

 Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family's Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.



I normally would have never picked up this book.  But it was the pick for a book club I'm in.  I usually stick to fantasy and romance books.  Not psychological thrillers.  I didn't want to pay money for a book I wasn't sure I'd like at all.  So I found an audio version for free on YouTube.  Now, you know how I feel about narrators with audio books.  The narrator was Ann Marie Lee, and she did a fabulous job!  
I'm so glad I gave this book a shot!  It was amazing!  I loved the details in the story and the investigation!  And I totally called the ending!!!  When I get a chance, I'm going to pick up a used copy of the book to have in my personal library.  I also plan on picking up other books by Gillian Flynn. 

I gave this book a 5/5 bookworms.  






Nerdy Links

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

No Spend 2016



I've decided one of my bookish goals for 2016 is to not spend ANY money on books!  I know what you may be thinking - "How are you going to get new releases?"  "What are you going to read?"  

So here is my game plan for succeeding at my goal - 

  •  Finish any books on my TBR.  Like I mentioned in my TBR post, I will probably not finish my TBR pile by the end of the year due to my other life commitments.  So they will get rolled over into the new year! 
  • Re-read books I own and already have read!  There's always been a new book to read so I've never actually re-read a book before!  I'm not sure how it will go to be honest.  Will I get bored?  Will I fall in love with the books all over again?  Will I read things I may have missed before? 
  • Utilize my library!!!   I'm the worst library supporter ever!  I haven't used my library in YEARS!  It's time to change that!  It's a great resource and this is how I'll get new releases that I just have to read!
Let me know - have you ever re-read a book?  How'd it go?!  How often do you use your local library?! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Divergent {book review}

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.


I know, I know... I'm so behind the times in reading this!  Hell, the movie is out on DVD already!  Better late than never, right?  The concept for this book is great and I loved it!  I loved the story and character development.  There was a major letdown with this book - the ending.  It felt rushed and anti-climatic.  Like the last episode of Season 1 of Heroes.  This definitely tanked my rating.  The ONLY reason I'm continuing is because of the popularity of this book series.  My hope is that all of you can't be wrong and the series gets better!  

I wound up giving it a 3/5 bookworms (I told you the ending tanked it).






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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Ereader vs Audio vs Paper

Ah... the endless battle!  What's the best way to read a book?  On paper?  On an ereader?  Or should I listen to it? 

The bottom line is, there is no right or wrong way to read.  No matter how you read (or listen) to it, it's the same story!  It's whatever works best for you.  Let's look at some real world examples (AKA - my world examples).

Paper 
Paper books are my true love!  Nothing with ever replace them 100%.  I love the feel of the book in my hands, the smell of the paper, and seeing the progress I've made when I see the difference between my dog eared pages.  Yes, I dog ear.  I also love the look of used paperback books.  They just look so loved!

Ereader
Reading a book electronically is just easier sometimes.  When I'm at work, there isn't any room on my desk for a book.  But I can sit my tablet up so I can read in between phone calls.  Also, no matter how big of a book you are reading, the weight doesn't change with an ereader!  This makes it easier to transport your books during a commute or even a move!

Audio
I personally used to think audio books were for old people.  But then I actually listened to one!  And you know what?  I liked it!  Now, not all audio books are created equal.  The narrator of the audio books plays  HUGE role on if I like the book or not.  Honestly, if I don't like the narrator, I stop listening to the book.  I don't hold the narrator against the book itself, so I still give the book a shot in some other form.  When I'm doing some menial task like house work or overtime, I love listening to an audio book!  It helps pass the time more enjoyably!

So what's your favorite way to read?

 Nerdy Links

Pros and Cons of Paper Books and Ebooks

Reading Books vs Audio Books

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dorothy Must Die {book review}

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?
Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still a road of yellow brick—but even that's crumbling.
What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.
My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas. I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I've been trained to fight. And I have a mission: Remove the Tin Woodman's heart. Steal the Scarecrow's brain. Take the Lion's courage. And—Dorothy must die.

This is a retelling of the sequel to The Wizard of Oz - The Emerald City of Oz.  Dorothy came back to Oz and became a Hitler-like dictator.  Poor Oz was turned into a Nazi Germany like place to live, with fear and death everywhere. 

This story is really good and I enjoyed the new take on this classic tale!  I knew that this was not a standalone piece, but I couldn't help my rooting for Amy during her fight scenes and maybe dropping some F bombs when things didn't go the way I wanted.  I'm currently waiting for the second installment of the series, The Wicked Will Rise, to come out in paperback!  I can't wait to continue the story!!!

I rated this book a 4/5 bookworms!  







Nerdy Links

Dorothy Must Die
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Goodreads

The Wicked Will Rise
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Goodreads

Saturday, October 24, 2015

#currentlyreadingtomydaugter




In an effort to regain her stolen crown, Princess Twilight Sparkle steps through a magical mirror into a completely new world where some things have changed, but true friendships remain magical.










My daughter is obsessed with My Little Pony.  No big deal, I like the show myself!  My daughter hates reading.  As a bookworm, this breaks my little wormy heart!  She's in 1st grade (6 years old) so she's still an early reader.  Hubby and I have tried to read to her for at least 15 minutes a night at bedtime.  But to be honest, it's been a struggle because all she picks are quick books.  We wanted something longer to read to her, for our sanity, and to possibly get her hooked onto reading since she wouldn't get the full story in one go.  We tried to see if she wanted to read something we already owned, like Harry Potter.  She declined.  My Potterhead heart broke a little then, too.  So we hit up the book store and she picked this.  It's not super long but longer than the standard books for her age.  But it's something a bit longer and more complex to help with her vocabulary and thinking skills.  It's something she loves and she's already seen the movie of this story (which came out before the book) 100 times, so hopefully this will work in our (mom and dad's) favor!  

So here is to raising a little book worm! 

Nerdy Links 

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Letting Ana Go {book review}

TRIGGER WARNING
This book has triggers for eating disorders, self harm, and depression.



She was a good girl from a good family, with everything she could want or need. But below the surface, she felt like she could never be good enough. Like she could never live up to the expectations that surrounded her. Like she couldn’t do anything to make a change.
But there was one thing she could control completely: how much she ate. The less she ate, the better—stronger—she felt.
But it’s a dangerous game, and there is such a thing as going too far…
Her innermost thoughts and feelings are chronicled in the diary she left behind. 



Ana is short of anorexiaThis book is done in a diary style by a teenage cross country runner.  *sigh*  Where do I start with this review?  Let me start at the end - this book gave me a bookhanger over for 3 days.  I had to listen to a light and fluffy audio book to get over itI wound up crying twice during this book.  The first time was out of self realization that I've had a lot of similar weight related thoughts that this girl has had.  The second time was at the end.  

I'm hesitant to say I don't recommend this books for teens.  On one hand, it might enabling said teen to have an eating disorder.  On the other hand, this book does show how easy it is to have a diet take a turn for the worst and turn into an eating disorder.  Ultimately the choice is yours on to read this or not.  But please do take my warning into consideration.  

Overall, I gave this book 5/5 book worms!



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Saturday, October 17, 2015

Current TBR

In case you don't know, TBR stands for To Be Read.  Here is the pile of books I own that I have not read yet:



As you can see, there is lots of variety and quite a few thick books here!  My goal is to finish these all by the end of the year.  This is a pretty big feat at the moment.  Working full time, going to school full time (all online), and doing the whole wife and mother thing does not leave much time for recreational reading.  I'm most excited for the Crown of Stones series by C.L. Schneider.  I met her at a local Comic Con, where I also bought the books and got them signed!  She's an indie author and I've started stalking her on Twitter and Goodreads.  The first installment of the trilogy is hopefully going to be out the beginning of 2016 so I need to get reading these books!

Here are the links and descriptions of the books in my pile:


Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.
At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.
But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson to take her there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.
Buy     Goodreads

Ian Troy is one of the Shinree, a fallen people with an inherent addiction to magic. Scorned and reviled for the deadly side of their spells, the Shinree are bred as slaves. Their magic is suppressed by drugs and used only as it serves the purposes of the other races. Descended from a long line of soldiers, Ian is conscripted into the Rellan army and made to fight in their longstanding conflict against the ruthless Langorian invaders. The downfall of Rella imminent, Ian goes against orders and turns to the Crown of Stones, an ancient Shinree relic of untold power. Ignorant of its true purpose, Ian uses the crown to end the war, and pays a terrible price. A decade later, still tortured by the aftermath of that day, Ian lives as a bounty hunter in self-imposed exile. Having renounced his magical heritage, he curbs his obsession with a steady stream of wine and regret. He struggles to put it all behind him, until a fateful encounter with a pretty assassin brings Ian’s past crashing into the present. Targeted by a rogue Shinree, and a ruthless old enemy, Ian is forced to use magic again. His deadly addiction is rekindled and his life of isolation is brought to a swift end. With the land he gave up everything to protect once more in jeopardy, and his people’s future at stake, Ian becomes embroiled in a violent race for control of the Crown of Stones. To save the realms and those he cares for, Ian must embrace the thing he fears most: his own power.


They took it all: his will, his memories, his freedom, his magic.
Imprisoned by his enemies, tortured and drugged to keep his magic suppressed, Ian Troy returns to a world as marred and broken as he is. Ravaged by the reign of her new High King, Draken of Langor, Mirra’kelan’s citizens live in fear. The Shinree, misled by Jem Reth’s promises, are no longer slaves, but they are far from free. Thrust together by necessity, refugees from all realms have banded together and formed alliances never before thought possible. They share a common goal: freedom from oppression. And a common, fragile hope: Ian Troy.
But as Ian struggles to put the pieces of his life back together, he finds he is not the same man as before. Afflicted by an unsettling, personal transformation, he strives to discover the truth behind his connection to The Crown of Stones. He searches for answers among the ruins of the past and uncovers ancient secrets that may have altered the course of his entire race.
The Price of Ian’s magic and his addiction have never been higher.


For more than 700 years Japan was dominated by a military caste-the samurai. To the Western mind these fearsome warriors-samurai, the masterless ronin, and the assassin ninja-have always been a source of mystery and wonder, combining the idealism of chivalry with military fanaticism. The Ways Of The Samurai digs beneath the myth and reveals a truth even more amazing about the men who practiced a discipline drawn from Zen and Confucian ethics-bushido, the way of the warrior.
 Buy     Goodreads 





For nearly twenty years, small-talk expert Don Gabor has helped thousands of people communicate with wit, confidence, and enthusiasm with his bestseller "How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends." This new edition brings the art of having a conversation up to date. By following the simple and dynamic guidelines in this easy-to-read book, you'll be ready to strike up a great conversation with anyone anywhere! And you'll learn how to keep the conversation going by asking the right questions, using body language effectively, and avoiding conversation pitfalls. Packed with charts, hundreds of opening lines, real-life examples, FAQs, helpful hints, and solid professional advice, "How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends" shows you how to: 
Identify your personal conversational style Talk to people from other countries and cultures Avoid mistakes while on a mobile phone or on-line in chatrooms Boost your personal and professional speaking skills to the next level.
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Lucy Delacourt's temp position isn't quite her dream job but it pays the bills. The highlight of her day is riding the elevator in the mornings with a handsome stranger. Tall, dark, and sexy as hell, Lucy knows he's way out of her league, but a girl can look, right?
Everything changes the day the stranger seduces her. Completely out of character, she yields without a fight, but she has no idea her wanton acts with a man whose name she doesn't know will change her life forever. Because the sexy stranger is none other than Jeremiah Hamilton, billionaire CEO of Hamilton Industries, and one taste isn't nearly enough to satisfy his need. As the billionaire pulls Lucy deeper into his world of high stakes business deals and ruthless takeovers, he demands nothing less than her complete surrender. But even as enemies seek deadly revenge against him, she'll discover that her greatest threat is falling for her fiercely guarded boss...and yielding to her own darkest needs.
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Sydney Zamora is fiercely independent, aggressively opinionated, and utterly self-made. She’s reshaped her body (into the perfect sample-sale outfitted size 6, thank you very much), organized a life for herself as a celebrity journalist at hot magazine Cachet, and strides through the canyons of New York City like she owns them. There’s just one problem: Sydney is so strong that she plays keep-away with men. But now that she’s hitting her midthirties, she wants one. Badly. For her birthday, Sydney’s sister ambushes her with the services of Mitzi Berman, $40,000 a shot Manhattan matchmaker extraordinaire. Mitzi also has her eyes on Max Cooper, the scion of Harvey’s department store, the chicest place to shop in America. And nothing could make either Sydney or Max Cooper run faster than Mitzi, with her rules and her Brooklyn accent—that is, if they didn’t concede her a point or two.
Peopled with vivid, hilarious characters, Feminista is fast-moving fiction whose themes of independence, image and the com pli - cated relationship between the sexes in the working world recall the best of Rona Jaffe.
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Moonwalking with Einstein made memory hot, and now beloved actress and New York Times bestselling author Marilu Henner presents an engaging, personal, and prescriptive guide to enhancing your life by improving your memory.Albert Einstein says, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Marilu Henner takes it a step further, explaining, “That’s not insanity; it’s bad memory.” Known for her relatable voice, sense of humor, and life-changing advice, Marilu now serves up an inspiring guide describing how an enhanced memory can help you to improve the quality of your life, come to terms with your past, and achieve your goals. 
In 2010, millions of viewers tuned in to an episode of 60 Minutes which featured Marilu as someone with Superior Autobiographical Memory—an uncanny ability to recall details of every day of her life—a talent shared by only six other people in the world. Here, in expanded detail, Marilu reveals the benefits having a great autobiographical memory has had for her, and then shares her personal insights and experiences as to how having a reliable memory has helped her in countless scenarios. She also gives readers advice in making memory work for them, from having the right attitude about life and developing a healthy mindset about the past, to building a personal history “track” and using it to actually change your life! Accessible, entertaining, and educational, Marilu’s latest is sure to resonate with readers everywhere.
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Long before Amy Gumm got swept away from a Kansas trailer park…Dorothy Gale received a package on the night of her 16th birthday: a pair of red high-heeled shoes. Dear Dorothy, the note read. I thought about silver to match the ones you lost, but in the end I decided that red was more your color. I think you know what to do with them.

And with a knock of her heels, Dorothy returned to the magical land that made her a star—and Oz would never be the same again.

This bind-up of three prequel novellas to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die series follows Dorothy Gale as she transforms from good girl to Wicked Witch. Kiss the land where troubles melt like lemon drops goodbye. Here there’s danger around every corner, and magical shoes won’t be able to save you.

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Ebola, Lassa Fever, AIDS--few natural disasters inspire such utter panic as a rampaging virus. In this gripping, true account of the war against worldwide epidemics, one of medicine's frontline generals, Dr. Joseph McCormick, developer of the CDC's legendary hot zone, chronicles his decades as a virus hunter, working to combat the virus as predator. 16-pages of photos.
Buy     Goodreads 








 So what's on your TBR list?! 


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

To All The Boys I've Loved Before + P.S. I Still Love You {book review}

SPOILER ALERT
The following review containers spoilers.  If you have not read either book and do not want to be spoiled, stop reading this and go read the books instead.
  
Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control in this heartfelt novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.
What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.


Given the way love turned her heart in the New York Times bestselling To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, which SLJ called a “lovely, lighthearted romance,” it’s no surprise that Lara Jean still has letters to write.
Lara Jean didn’t expect to really fall for Peter.
She and Peter were just pretending. Except suddenly they weren’t. Now Lara Jean is more confused than ever.
When another boy from her past returns to her life, Lara Jean’s feelings for him return too. Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?
In this charming and heartfelt sequel to the New York Times bestseller To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, we see first love through the eyes of the unforgettable Lara Jean. Love is never easy, but maybe that’s part of makes it so amazing.


I actually didn't read these books.  I listened to them online back to back.  The narrator was amazing (Laura Knight Keating)!  I'm always hesitant with audio books because if there isn't a good narrator, I'm not going to enjoy the story.  

This duology is a young adult, contemporary romance.  This is a great light and fluffy series that is perfect to boost your mood or get you out of a reading slump!  

The first book seems to be all clichés.  Lara Jean and Peter pretend to date and then they wind up actually having feelings for each other.  No surprise there.  At the end of the first book and a majority of the second book, there are more serious issues the couple faces.  Like standing up for each other, jealousy, and trust.  Some pretty big things to deal with in a high school romance book, in my opinion.  

At the end of the second book, Lara Jean had to pick between two boys: Josh or Peter.  Peter was her (recently) ex boyfriend who I thought was a jerk a lot of times.  Josh was a boy who got a letter in the first book and pulled out a lot of stops to impress Lara Jean at a social they were having at the retirement home.  It's a toss - do you choose the boy you love but hasn't been the best boyfriend or do you choose the new boy who is full of potential and may be better?  Lara Jean picked Peter.  I'm still not sure how I feel about her decision...

All in all - I give the series a 4/5 book worms!





Nerdy Links

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To All The Boys I've Loved Before
P.S. I Still Love You


Listen
To All The Boys I've Loved Before
P.S. I Still Love You


Goodreads
To All The Boys I've Loved Before
P.S. I Still Love You