20 Magical Years of Harry Potter

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I can’t believe it’s been 20 years now since Harry Potter made his literary debut. With all the books, movies, merchandise, and amazing amusement parks that have since followed, it’s hard to remember life before we knew of Hogwarts and dreamed of getting our very own acceptance letters delivered to us.

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I was first introduced to the Harry Potter series many, many Christmases ago when my grandmother surprised me with a copy of the very first novel. I’d never heard of Harry Potter before that moment and had no idea that I (and so many other people) were destined to fall in love with this book and the others to come after it, so big thanks, Grandma. (I also have her to thank for introducing me to South Park and the Evil Dead movies, so major props to her.) lol She knew cool shit when she saw it. πŸ˜›

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20 years later, no one can deny that J.K. Rowling truly created something special with her intriguing world of wizards and mythical beasties that intertwined with our very own world of muggles. She gave us such a delightful range of characters that many of us were lucky enough to get to grow up with. The Harry Potter series is one that stays with fans for life and can be visited time and time again, be it through the books or the films. Or both!

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Here’s to 20 magical years, and the countless more to come!

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Fight Like a YA Girl Book Tag

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Books and wine make an excellent pairing, and this is something proven frequently over at the YA and Wine blog where you can find awesome wines to go with awesome books, fantastic reviews, and exciting posts about book/author-related events. I was thrilled to be tagged for Krysti’s newly created book tag about the many types of kick-ass ladies in literature. Big thanks to her for tagging me to do this awesome new tag! Now, let the ass-kickery begin!

THE RULES:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator Krysti at YA and Wine
  • Match at least one YA girl with each of the themes below.
  • Tag as many people as you like!

WARRIOR GIRLS:

Okay, it’s been a very LONG time since I read this book, but I’m going with the Slayer (named Sophie) from Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row (A Buffy the Vampire Slayer novel). Slayers are total warrior girls! πŸ™‚

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GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR MIND:

How could I not choose Hermione Granger for this category? I mean, c’mon, she was the brightest witch of her age. πŸ˜‰

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GIRLS WHO FIGHT WITH THEIR HEART:

Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Karou has a lot of heart, and love plays a large part in her story.

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GIRLS WHO ARE TRAINED FIGHTERS:

Virginia au Augustus (aka: Mustang) from the Red Rising trilogy. I nearly picked her for the “girls who fight with their mind” category since she is known to be highly intelligent, but she is also trained to fight with more than just her mind so here she goes!

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STRONG GIRLS OF COLOR:

Inej Ghafa (aka- “The Wraith”) from Six of Crows. She’s strong in every sense of the word, and she’s one of the many reasons I can’t wait to read Crooked Kingdom!

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GIRLS WHO FIGHT TO SURVIVE:

Temple from The Reapers are the Angels. She’s grown up in a tough, zombie-filled world, and she’s never known anything else.

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GIRLS WHO ARE WEAPONS MASTERS:

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games trilogy. Total pro with that bow and arrows. I wanted to list Inej and her trusty blades again for this, but I’m mixing it up with another girl and another type of weapon instead. πŸ˜›

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Fan art of Katniss by Me

GIRLS WHO DON’T CONFORM TO GENDER ROLES:

Okay, this series isn’t YA, but the young-but-fierce Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire immediately came to mind, so she’s who I’m going with. πŸ˜€

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GIRLS WITH KICK-BUTT MAGICAL POWERS:

Nina Zenik from Six of Crows. She’s part of the Corporalki order of the Grisha (a heartrender, to be exact), which means she has the ability to snatch the air from your lungs or even stop your heart if you’re in her line of sight.

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STRONG GIRLS IN CONTEMPORARY NOVELS:

Honestly, this isn’t really an area of reading I’ve explored, so I’m stumped for an answer. Here’s a cute puppy instead!

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SERIOUSLY FIERCE GIRLS:

Isabelle Rossignol from The Nightingale. This book really isn’t strictly YA, but I feel like Isabelle’s half of the story could be considered YA, and she becomes one hell of a fierce girl. Not through brawn, but through her determination and spirit.

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MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK WITH A STRONG LEADING LADY:

Wonder Woman: Warbringer! I can’t wait for this one to come out. πŸ™‚

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So, ladies & gents, there we have it. πŸ˜€ This tag was a lot of fun, so I’m tagging each and every one of you!! Let’s spread this tag like wildfire and promote the hell out of some badass ladies in fiction! Have a great weekend, folks! ❀

A Series of Blah Blah Blah’s . . .

I’ve got a teeny bit of free time right now so I’m gonna just share some quick updates! Here they are, in a quick succession of brief blah blah blah’s:

Blah #1: The new job is going great. πŸ˜€ I love being a program instructor and my class and team make me enjoy going to work every day. ❀ Plus the schedule is fantastic and I’ll never have to worry about working holidays or weekends.

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Blah #2: Had a great weekend with my boyfriend. πŸ™‚ We went and did a lot of things this Friday and Saturday (like see the new shark movie 47 Meters Down at my insistence). lol Sharks are my jam, what can I say? We also played a bunch of Shovel Knight which was a lot of fun.

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Blah #3: I failed at doing a Father’s Day blog post in honor of my dad like I did for my mom. I got to spend time with him though and we watched Star Wars movies and I gave him prezzies for being such an awesome dad. We had a nice dinner, too, so it was all good. πŸ™‚

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Blah #4: The new job (combined with the one I had) leaves me without as much free time so I’m doing me best to keep up here. If it takes me longer to post or comment and stuff that is why. I still love blogging and chatting with you guys! ❀

Blah #5: I haven’t done a writing update in forever here mostly do to lack of time, but I haven’t given up! I just need to find a happy balance and figure out ways to squeeze more writing time in. Hopefully I can do a proper writing update again soon.

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That’s it for my quick little updates. I hope you’re all having a great week. Feel free to share any recent blah’s of your own! πŸ˜€

I Dare You Book Tag

Big thanks to the lovely Raven & Beez who tagged me to do the I Dare You Book Tag. πŸ™‚ These bibliophiles run a snazzy blog together, so if you’re a book-lover as well be sure to check them out! πŸ˜‰

I’m shaking it up a wee bit and doing books AND comics for this because I love to read both. Basically, if it has pages, it counts in my eyes! πŸ˜› So, without further adieu, let’s start this tag! πŸ˜€

1.) What book has been on your shelves the longest?

Ooh, interesting question. I’ve still got a few books floating around from when I was but a wee moth. Pretty sure I have a couple of the Redwall books by Brian Jacques floating around. Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is another I’ve hung onto for as long as I can remember. (It was actually my mom’s book that she gave to me when I was little.)

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2.) What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

Let’s see . . .Β  for novels: Last read was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, my current read is Soulless by Gail Carriger, and my next read is gonna have to be The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer. Planning on plucking it up from my boyfriend’s library this weekend.

And for comics/graphic novels: Last read was DC Bombshells, vol. 2. Current read is Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt, vol. 1. Not sure yet what one I’ll read after that.

3.) What book did everyone like, but you hated?

Oh, jeez. This is a tricky one. I can’t think of any I’ve read and loathed that everyone else was really into off the top of my head. Lame answer, I know, but it’s all I got for now.

4.) What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

I have a mountain of a TBR list and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger thanks to all you wonderful book bloggers. I’m sure there’s plenty I’ll never get to unfortunately.

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5.) Which book are you saving for retirement?

I’m assuming they’re getting at which book has the heftiest word count and thus will take up a lot of free time. Hmm . . . I doubt I’ll wait til retirement to read this one in its entirety, but I have this old encyclopedia of witchcraft and demonology that had belonged to my grandma and I’ve picked at it here and there because it’s so interesting, but that thing is a tome, and the font is very small so it will definitely take me a while to get through it once I finally set out to read it from start to finish.

6.) Last Page: Do you read it first or wait til the end?

Last page is called LAST PAGE for a reason. lol Why would I want to ruin the ending? It would take all the fun out of guessing what was going to happen.

7.) Acknowledgements: Are they a waste of paper and ink or interesting?

I think they’re great. They’re often pretty interesting to read.

8.) Which book character would you switch places with?

lol Bad things tend to happen to the characters in books I like, so I’m a little hesitant with answering this question.

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9.) Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

Sort of. It’s kind of like how you might associate a certain time with the point in your life when it came out. I mostly remember what stage of my life I was in when I read a certain book. I feel like that is such an utterly boring answer. lol

10.) Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

When I went through a really difficult time emotionally just over 2 years ago, a friend secretly purchased a couple books I had been wanting to read and mailed them to me with a sweet little note. She intended for it to be so secretive but it had her name on one of the papers in there so I figured it out. lol It still makes me smile to think about it because it was such a thoughtful and kind thing to do. The books were Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues and The Lies of Locke Lamora.

11.) Have you ever given away a certain book for a special reason to a special person?

I try to pick books I think people will enjoy (or that I know they’ve been wanting to read). I’ll never just go buy a book I hear is popular in the *hopes* that they might like it. Sometimes I do themes for gifts too, so you might get a couple books with some hidden theme around them because I’m a dork like that. lol

12.) Which book has been with you the most places?

Hmmm . . . I guess any of the books I have on my kindle. I’ve taken that thing with me so many places.

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13.) Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Nope! Chances are if I hated it then, I wouldn’t be too keen on picking it back up again. πŸ˜‰

14.) Used or brand new?

Either way! I’m just happy to get the book. Especially if it’s a great deal.

15.) Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Nope.

16.) Have you ever seen a movie that you liked better than the book?

I don’t know if I actually have. I feel like there was one time I told my boyfriend about before, but now it’s not ringing any bells.

17.) A book that’s made you hungry?

None, really. But Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland comes to mind when I think of scrumptious food in books. The Queen of Heart’s tarts and all the tea time goodies and whatnot. πŸ˜›

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18.) Who is the person whose book advise you’ll always take?

Cupcakes and Machetes. She has yet to lead me astray! πŸ™‚

19.) Most read authors?

Well, I’ve read several trilogies by various authors over the years, so authors I’ve read more than just three books by would be: George RR Martin, Leigh Bardugo, and J.K. Rowling.

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20.) Ship from two different books?

Ah, I don’t really have one as far as novels go, but if we’re talking comics I’m gonna do a Marvel/DC mashup here and say Deadpool and Harley Quinn. πŸ˜›

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Harleypool anyone?

As for tagging people, you guys know the drill: If it sounds like fun to you, have at it! πŸ˜€ If not, no worries. Anyone is more than welcome to join in on the fun!

The Happiest Reading Challenge: Updates

Just call me Scatter Brain McGee over here, because I’ve been meaning to (and forgetting to) talk about what I thought of Six of Crows after I read it! Oops! Shame on me, I know. As I’d mentioned before, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo was my May book selection for the Happiest Reading Challenge I’m taking part in, started by super-friendly blogger, The Happiest Pixel.

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Cover and Author of Six of Crows.

Despite what my lack of a timely review might indicate, I was absolutely head over heels infatuated with this book! It was seriously never a dull moment with criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker and his crew. From start to finish this book kept me intrigued and guessing as it surprised me time and time again with twist after delightful twist.

As is a very important thing for me when reading a book, I also loved the characters. They’re quite the mixed bag, and Bardugo manages to hop from POV to POV effortlessly throughout the tale in a way that never seems jarring or off-putting in the slightest. I myself have absolutely no problem with books with multiple POV shifts throughout the chapters, but I know some people who do, and I doubt even they would have minded in this book. It flows very nicely.

I’ve talked before about how beautiful I think the actual book is with its black-edged pages and gorgeous cover, so I won’t get much into that, other than to say that the writing is just as lovely as the book itself.

I could just keep on going on about how enjoyable of a read this was, but I’m gonna keep it brief and say: If you like a good heist story and want to read a book that lives up to all the hype, this is a damn good one to go with. Can’t wait to read the next one.

So, that covers May’s part of the challenge, but what about June so far? I mentioned already that I would be reading The Lies of Locke Lamora for this portion of the challenge, but believe it or not, I cannot find where I put the book!! *GASP* Like, what the hell? Did it just sprout legs and bound off somewhere? There is a possibility that I may have taken it to my boyfriend’s and left it there, but as my brain has been busy forgetting to post about Six of Crows it also took on the task of forgetting to ask my bf about the M.I.A. book as well. Sigh . . . one day I’ll get it all together, but today is not that day.

In the mean time, I’ve begun reading Gail Carriger’s first book in The Parasol Protectorate series, Soulless.

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Cover and Author of Soulless.

I’ve already read andΒ reviewed the manga trilogy based off of this series of paranormal steampunk novels, so I knew what I was getting into already. And that is a witty historical fiction series set in Victorian England. I’m interested to see how the manga series (which was only three volumes) will compare and differ to the source material, which is five novels.

Those are my updates for the reading challenge so far. How’s your reading going at the moment? Into any interesting books right now?

201 Massive Thank You’s

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Wow! I was NOT expecting to sign into WP today and see a notification that I’d hit over 200 followers! Omg, thank you guys so much!! ❀ ❀ ❀ I’m sick with a real bastard of a cold right now so this really put a smile on my stuffy-nosed face. πŸ™‚

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It has been so awesome getting to know you guys through our interactions here and by reading your blogs. I’ve gotten to chat with so many different kinds of people from all over the world since I’ve started this blog and it never ceases to amaze me how great of a blogging community we have here. πŸ™‚

I’m a painfully shy person in the “real world”. An introvert through and through. Anxiety often keeps me from piping up in conversations at social events. I’m polite and friendly of course, but literally terrified to speak up most of the time. Blogging has been a great release, allowing me to express myself and my passions in life in a way I can be much more comfortable with. I had no idea when I started this blog that so many people would have any sort of interest in the things I have to babble on about, but it really does mean a lot to me. So, thanks, guys. You’re the best! ❀

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WTF Dream of WTF-ness

My dream last night was insane. Like, I don’t even know what the hell my brain was thinking when it came up with this one. I actually had a few WTF dreams last night since I woke up several times throughout the night, but THIS one takes the cake.)

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So, in dreamland it was apparently my BFF’s birthday. Yup, fellow blogger and my real life bestie, Cupcakes and Machetes was a major part in this dream. Sorry, Lady! No one is safe in this ol’ noggin when it’s sleepy time.

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Aside from diving with great white sharks and seeing an Alice Cooper concert for her birthday festivities, we went to this huge theater to see some new and highly anticipated film made by these guys:

PicMonkey Collagejjjj.pngYup. Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ron Friggin’ Swanson from Parks and Rec (please note it was literally the character Ron Swanson and not the actor) made a movie together. As we took our seats, Tyson and Swanson started going around to all the movie-goers and signing photos of themselves with jumbo Crayola markers. (Apparently even in my dreams I say “Rose Art products be damned!”) This is where things take a sudden turn for the worse in my dream.

Dream version of C&M is absolutely losing her mind with excitement at this point as Ron Swanson comes over to sign her picture. Like, she is fangirling as hard as any fangirl has ever fangirled. Things are going great, right? WRONG! Suddenly he rolls his eyes at her, scribbles all over her picture and then throws that jumbo Crayola marker right in her face like a massive jerk. Dream version of me then proceeds to absolutely lose her damn mind and takes Ron Swanson on in a straight up FIST FIGHT. Like, bloody knuckles and everything. It was insane. Please bare in mind that in real life I’m quite the pacifist. Plus, Ron Swanson is an awesome character! I’ve never actually punched anyone in real life, so it was like Dream Me was making up for lost time. Imagine the fight scene in Fight Club between Edward Norton and Jared Leto, and I’M Edward Norton.

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So, yeah, pointless post about a very strange dream. lol Sorry, guys. It was just too odd not to share. πŸ˜›