Summer 2018 Wrap-Up

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I don’t know about you, but I am always excited to see summer coming to an end. Fall is my favorite time of the year and I just can’t stand the humidity, blazing sun, bugs, and heat of summer. Bleh! Bring on the cool, crisp weather, gorgeous scenery, tasty treats, and Halloween festivities! πŸ˜€

Although I’m excited to see it go, this summer wasn’t a total bust, so I figured I’d do a wrap-up post with some of the highlights for this particular season as it comes to an end.

In June I went to my little cousin’s wedding. It was a fantastic celebration. Funnily enough, this was the first wedding I have ever been to where I was simply a guest and didn’t have any responsibility so that was interesting. Everything was amazing and everyone had a wonderful time. I’m so happy for her and her new husband and the life they’re starting. ❀

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Look how cute their dessert table turned out!

In other news, we got some succulents! I’ve been wanting to get some of these little bad boys for a while, so I was beyond elated when my boyfriend took me to pick a bunch out for the house and get all the supplies we needed to take care of them. πŸ™‚

Speaking of plants, we also took a day to visit Grand Rapids this summer and made sure one of our stops was at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. This place was MASSIVE. I feel like we could have easily spent the whole day just at this one place, but we had a zoo and brewery to go to that day too, so we had to hustle just a bit. We got to see some wonderful and bizarre sculptures as well as tons of gorgeous and interesting plants. If you ever find yourself in Grand Rapids, Michigan it is definitely worth a visit!

We didn’t end up going to the movie theater quite as much as we normally would these past few months, mostly due to how busy things have been, but we did manage to squeeze in a few good movies.

I only got to review one of these three films (Deadpool 2) but I did actually enjoy all three of them. πŸ™‚

Haven’t gotten to do very much reading this summer, either. Squeezed in a few things, and slowly chipped away at a few more, but I’m hoping fall will prove to be better for getting cozy and curling up with some good books. πŸ™‚ In other book-related news, I did score some great deals on books I will (hopefully) be enjoying soon.

We got some major yard work done this summer, so it’s been cool seeing how the property has really transformed. You can tell someone who lived in this house previously really enjoyed gardening and had quite the green thumb and eye for landscaping. Years of renters, however, seem to have let things grow a little out of control, so we had some hard work to do, but I love our yard and all the cool plants that came with it. We even started using out fire pit and I’m looking forward to some fun bonfires come fall.

Well, that is my summer wrap-up post for the year. I’m excited going into fall mere days from now and plan on doing a lot of fun stuff throughout that particular season before winter comes creeping in. Expect a fall bucket list post in the near future! πŸ˜‰

How about you guys? What were your own personal summer highlights? Anything you’re particularly excited about for fall? What’s your favorite time of year? Let’s talk about it!

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Two Hearts (Peter S. Beagle Short Story Review)

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Peter S. Beagle’s whimsical fantasy tale The Last Unicorn is a classic. It’s one of my favorite books of all time, so when The Shameful Narcissist recently read and provided a link to a short follow-up to the story, of course I was eager to return to Mr. Beagle’s rich and enchanting world of magicians, unicorns and other mythical beasts.

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The original tale is a clever and spellbinding journey all its own, so I was very hopeful that this newer adventure would be able to capture some of the magic woven in the first book. I was obviously hopeful, but I had to wonder, could Two Hearts manage to match the charm and whimsy of its legendary predecessor? Well, as Captain Cully would say: sit down, have a taco, and let’s talk about Two Hearts.

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Although this short story features multiple characters we came to love in The Last Unicorn, you may be surprised to learn that the main character is someone new entirely. Sooz, a young girl from a small village plagued by a child-eating griffin, is done waiting for the king to send more knights who all seem to fall prey to the very beast they’ve been sent to slay. She’s decided to take matters into her own hands and runs away from home to seek the king out for herself, to get his help specifically. Young Sooz, you see, has heard all about brave King Lir and the dragons and giants he’s slain, the impossible riddles he’s solved, and the maidens he’s saved.

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Unfortunately, no matter how noble the hero, the one thing they may never vanquish is time, and the king is now in the later years of his life, his mind often failing him. On her way to seek the king, Sooz befriends the infamous Molly Grue and Schmendrick the magician from the first tale. Although King Lir is frequent to forget and lose himself as he admits to Sooz, the mention of a familiar character always manages to bring him back, if even for only a matter of time.

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Lir’s bravery and kindness propel him to agree to help Sooz and her village, but will the best intentions of an aging hero be enough to finally bring an end to the griffin? You’ll have to find that one out for yourself. πŸ˜‰

I will tell you, however, that Peter S. Beagle definitely captured the enchantment of his original tale once more, much to my delight. Especially in the last third or so of the story. We finally get to see what has become of the characters he introduced us to so many years ago, and he introduces us to a brave young girl who would do anything to protect those she cares for against a hungry monstrous creature. For fans of The Last Unicorn, I would definitely say this one is easily worth the read. I enjoyed it and it made me want to re-read the original book again.

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Monstress, Vol. 3 (No Spoiler) Review

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Marjorie Lui and Sana Takeda’s gorgeously rendered epic Monstress is back with its third volume, Haven. If you’ve read and recall my reviews for Volume 1 and Volume 2, it will come as no surprise that this is something I’ve been eagerly awaiting all year.

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Throughout the story of Monstress, our main character Maika Halfwolf has seen some shit. Potty-mouthed poet cats, crazy-ass witch-nuns with a deadly agenda, ancient gods that hunger for flesh, and bipedal shark people to name just a small few. Really, that is only the smallest of tastes for the complex and layered world presented to readers throughout the series. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, Monstress has the most detailed and fleshed out worldbuilding I’ve ever seen in comic form. The more you read of the series, the more things begin to come together and take shape, especially in volume 3.

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The kind of villain I can get behind: knows how to rock an all black outfit, loves a good book, and cuddler of dogs!

The artwork, as always, continues to shine in the third installment, and the characters are being forced even more out of their comfort zones (well, what little bit of comfort they were previously able to cling to in their war-torn world, anyway). Kippa is finding direction in her life and becoming stronger, Ren is forced to make a difficult decision, and Maika might even have to start playing nice(er) and make . . . dun dun dun . . . friends! GASP! πŸ˜› Even the ever-growing, ever-hungry god Maika constantly struggles with is taking shape, both literally and figuratively.

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Although we get more answers, there are still plenty more questions you’re left with by the end of Volume 3, but it only makes me look forward to Volume 4 that much more. Especially with such a doozy of a cliffhanger.

Three Things Tag!

It’s taaaaag tiiiiime, guys! Big thanks to Random Melon Reads for tagging me for the Three Things Tag! πŸ˜€ If you haven’t yet ventured on over to their blog, I suggest you rectify that and experience their humorous and entertaining posts for yourself. πŸ™‚ Now, onto the tag at hand:

3 Read Once & Loved Authors:

Well, might as well start with my most recent newly loved author! πŸ™‚ After hearing so many good things about V.E. Schwab, I’ve finally begun my first venture into one of her books, A Darker Shade of Magic! I’m loving her writing and fully intend on reading more of her stories in the future. ❀

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V.E. Schwab

Of course I would have to include Leigh Bardugo on this list. Her writing is always a treat for me, but it just seems to keep getting better and better. She’s definitely one of those insta-buy authors for me.

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Leigh Bardugo

This list wouldn’t be complete for me without mentioning George RR Martin.

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George RR Martin

3 Titles I’ve Watched But Haven’t Read:

I mentioned in a recent blog post that I happened upon 2 of the books in the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz. I enjoyed watching the film version and am definitely looking forward to reading the books that inspired it, starting, of course, with the first one.

Another set of books I would really love to sink my teeth into, would be Diana Gabaldon’sΒ Outlander series. ❀ I love the show and have only heard amazing things regarding the books.

Although I wasn’t too crazy about the third and final season of Hemlock Grove on Netflix, I did really enjoy the first 2 seasons and would definitely love to check out the source material some time. It’s been on my TBR list for a while, so maybe I’ll make this a priority on my reading list for October. It certainly seems like a fitting time to give it a go! πŸ˜‰

3 Characters You Love:

Lazlo Strange from Strange the Dreamer. He’s just such a good character overall. πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to read more about him and the other amazing characters when Laini Taylor’s Muse of Nightmares hits the scene in October!

I’ve always loved the Cheshire Cat from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. From his crazy grin right down to the very way he speaks.

It’s always been difficult for me to narrow down my favorite character from GRRM’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, so I’m calling it a tie between Tyrion Lannister and Arya Stark.

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3 Binged Series:

I binge-read George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books after having the first one literally thrust upon me by Cupcakes & Machetes years ago. Still waiting (and waiting) on the last 2 in the series to come out, but those two books will no doubt be binge-read as well upon release. πŸ™‚

If memory serves right, I think I also binge-read Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy a while back. I’m pretty certain I read the three books very quickly.

And, in the graphic novel arena, I definitely conquered Joe Hill’s Locke & Key series in quick succession. It was an excellent and imaginative series I just couldn’t seem to put down.

3 Unpopular Bookish Opinions:

Prologues don’t bother me. I know a lot of people seem to hate them, and I understand why to an extent, but as long as it is at least interesting, I’ve got no beef with a good prologue. πŸ™‚

If I’m studying a certain topic, and I’m reading an informative book about it, I bust out the highlighters and cover those pages in neon streaks. It’s quicker than writing the notes out by hand, makes for a quick reference, aaaand it’s my book so I do what I want with it! πŸ˜› Oddly enough, though, you’ll never see me dog-ear a page. I mean, I’m not a complete monster. πŸ˜‰

Call me crazy, but I hate book jackets (or dust jackets if you prefer). I know they’re to protect the book, and I get it, but they’re just so bothersome to me for some reason. I’ve gotten better about dealing with them in recent years, but they still tend to irk me just a bit. Plus, I always like the way the actual book looks underneath.

3 Current Favorite Book Covers:

Leigh Bardugo’s books are always lovely to look at, but I really like the cover for The Language of Thorns.

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Another book I just love the cover artwork for is My Life as a White Trash Zombie. The colors, the badass look of the character, it just all works for me.

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I had a really tough time picking three covers for some reason, despite always drooling over new cover art. I dunno, for some reason when I’m put on the spot my mind goes blank and I flounder about. But, I had to give some love to The Girl From the Other Side, with a cover and internal artwork that gives me the warm fuzzies. It blends two of my favorite aesthetics, monsters and cute shit.

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3 Goals For The Year:

Hmmm . . . well, there isn’t a whole lot of 2018 left at this point, it being September and all. That said, I really want to spend the remaining months of the year writing my ass off. NaNoWriMo is in the not-so-distant-future, so I definitely plan to participate in it again, but I also want to push myself to make more time for writing in general.

I’m also still working on my goal of reading 50 books/graphic novels for the year. With so little free time I’ve fallen a bit behind where I’d like to be by this point in the year in terms of my reading goal, buuuuuuut I’m confident I can catch up in the months to come. πŸ™‚

Aaaand my third goal is to continue being a boss bitch and getting shit DONE! πŸ˜› Haha and by that I mean to keep attacking my goals head on for the rest of the year. No sense losing momentum now. πŸ˜‰

Now, for the tagging! Mwa hahaha! If you’re reading this still at this point, consider yourself TAGGED! (Or not . . .) No pressure or anything. You know the drill, do it if you think it looks fun! πŸ˜€

Whirlwind of a Month: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of August

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Well, well, well . . . look who finally stumbled her way back onto WordPress. This old gal! It may have seemed like I dropped off the face of the earth, but it was only due to the frenzy of chaos I like to refer to as August 2018. Sooo, yeah, totally ready for this month to be DONE.

Monday is Labor Day here, so that means a nice three day weekend. While some of the people I work with are going on trips for the holiday weekend, the only trip I shall be taking is straight to the Oral Surgeon this Saturday morning. Yaaaaay. Wisdom teeth, amirite?

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Quit being such dickheads, Wisdom Teeth. Seriously, go home. You’re clearly drunk, growing in all sideways and shit. Get your act together.

Anywhoo, that sums up “the ugly”, leaving “the bad” as all the other stressful stuff that just never seemed to come to an end this month, so enough of all that, let’s get to the FUN stuff, THE GOOD:

August’s Book Haul:

After watching and enjoying the movie Odd Thomas, I’d been pretty interested in reading the book series that it came from. I was pretty pumped to discover two of the books in the series at a recent used book sale and so I promptly snatched those babies up. I’ve never actually read any Dean Koontz books, so I’m curious to see what I think.

Another author I’ve never ventured into reading yet is Laurell K. Hamilton. Not sure if it’s a wise or risky move diving into a collection of her short stories rather than an actual novel, but we shall see what happens! πŸ˜€

I’ve not really even dipped so much as a toe into the pool of mystery literature out there, but the Detective Lavender Mysteries series caught my attention when it popped up for sale on the kindle recently. Gonna give it a shot.

More volumes of Giant Days is always a plus, so getting volume 6 as a surprise definitely lifted my spirits on a particularly rough day this month. πŸ™‚ Don’t be fooled by the whole “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend” load of silliness. Sometimes, comics will prove to do just fine. πŸ˜‰ It’s all about the thoughtful gesture, not the extravagance of it.

The Resurrectionist caught by attention just from that snazzy cover quite some time ago. Caught it on a good deal via the Kindle and am looking forward to giving it a go!

And although I haven’t gotten to see the film version of The Meg like I’d have liked to by now, I did obtain the book, so yay for that! Will it be outlandish and probably ridiculous? Of course. Will I probably love it even more so because of that?? Most definitely.

I got some other books this month thanks to that used book sale I mentioned, but these are the six I’m most intrigued about.

Anywayyy, just wanted to pop in and say that I’m still kicking, just been busier and more stressed than normal lately. September is shaping up to be a busy month as well, but I hope to be able to squeeze in more blog time than I was able to in August. πŸ™‚ You guys are awesome and I’ve missed getting to see what adventures you’ve all been up to. I’m going to try to catch up some this weekend, but it may take a while. Especially since I don’t know what to expect after oral surgery (except a swollen face and a healthy dose of hurting). If you’ve had any recent exciting news or anything and wanna chat about it please comment it up so I can read all about it. Feel free to even link me some of your spiffy posts I may have missed. πŸ™‚ It’s always great catching up with you guys! ❀ Have a happy weekend, everyone! ❀ ❀ ❀

 

 

Batwoman Played by Ruby Rose?? Let the Fangirling commence!

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If you just heard a shrill, high octave bat skree come out of nowhere, that was probably me just learning the news that Ruby Rose has been cast to play Batwoman on the CW. I’d apologize for any bleeding eardrums, but this level of excitement just cannot be contained!

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There are so many levels to this excitement. One being Batwoman (aka: Kate Kane) is a total badass and I loooove her, another being Ruby Rose is ALSO a total badass and I loooove her as well, and yet another level of awesomeness is getting to see more representation of an openly lesbian character portrayed on TV, something Miss Rose said she wished she’d been able to see more of when she was a young member in the LGBTQ+ community. πŸ™‚ SO. MUCH. AWESOME. I cannot wait! ❀

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Ruby Rose will be making her debut as Batwoman in the CW’s annual crossover event in December, but is slated to have her own upcoming show for the 2019-2020 season! I don’t watch a whole lot of TV, but this is one show I will NOT be missing. πŸ˜€

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Ruby Rose: With the look to steal your heart AND your panties. πŸ˜›
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Batwoman: See the above caption, because pretty much the same. πŸ˜›

The Eclectic Blogger Award

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It is always an honor and literally brings a smile to my face whenever I get nominated for a blogger award or tagged for one of the many fun tags floating around out there. Despite how much I always appreciate being nominated for tags/awards, I must confess that I am a forgetful master of procrastination who is normally horrible about getting around to actually doing them.

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Buuuuut, when the lovely Shameful Narcissist created, and was kind enough to nominate me for The Eclectic Blogger Award, well, of course I am going to participate in that! πŸ˜€

So, what is The Eclectic Blogger Award you may ask? And what are the rules, you also ask? Allow me to bestow you with the answers to those burning questions:

“The Eclectic Blogger Award is presented to those blogs that are both eclectic and engaging, where conversation flows freely, where new and different ideas are always welcome.Β  It’s to recognize blogs that always have interesting content to match the amazing, creative, and hard-working creators that make them possible.Β  These are the blogs that inspire you to read, watch, play, and/or create content to further enhance not only the blogosphere but also the general zeitgeist, because they themselves enrich it with their existence.”

THE RULES

  • Nominate whomever and however many bloggers you want for the award.
  • Share links from your blog for some of your favorite (or most eclectic!) posts.

So, that said, let the nominations commence!!

Read Rant Rock & Roll: Flower Fridays, Music Mondays, book reviews, Breakfast and a Book posts, adorable pets, this blog has a lot to offer and definitely falls under the category of eclectic. There’s always a fun variety of posts to enjoy and topics to discuss.

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The Happiest Pixel: Tasty recipes, creative writing tips, and a variety of other types of posts, there’s a lot of different things going on at this blog. Speaking of their tasty recipes, this blog is a bounty of meatless recipes, so if you just so happen to be vegetarian or vegan you’re bound to find some delicious ideas for things to make at home and promptly stuff in your face! πŸ˜›

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Imperial Rebel Ork: The passionate hobby of creating and painting miniatures is a big focus at this awesome blog, but IRO also presents a variety of questions and topics meant to get us bloggers talking, like his recent “Real Life Vs. Hobby Life” post. Creativity and hobbies are definitely the fuel that sets the blog ablaze and it’ll no doubt inspire you to make more time to enjoy your own hobbies as well. I’m always blown away at the variety and creativity in his work.

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All the Trinkets: This amazing feel-good blog is just filled to the brim with inspiration, motivation, humorous and endearing writing, as well as tips for personal growth. She also shares her own struggles, triumphs, and creative endeavors with us in the process, making it extremely relatable and a great place for discussion among bloggers!

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Invisibly Me: This is another inspiring blog that I just can’t help but admire. πŸ™‚ Spanning topics like invisible illnesses and awareness, Frugal Friday posts, and product picks, there’s always something to be discussed. I’m also always impressed by this lovely bloggers openness and fantastic and inspiring outlook on things.

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Aaaand even though I always tag these 2 ladies for things when I actually do tag people and even though one of them MADE this award, I gotta mention my BFF and partner in crime and general mayhem Cupcakes and Machetes along with the always-awesome and impressively organized The Shameful Narcissist. If you enjoy honest book reviews, yummy recipes, adorable pet photos, and only the cheesiest of puns, these blogs are for you! πŸ˜€

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There are so many other blogs I could (and want to) nominate, but I’ll spread that love on another day because after this dreadfully stressful day I am amazed I’ve managed to keep my eyes open long enough to make this post. Sleep calls to meeee . . .

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Thanks, as always, for reading. ❀ This is a snazzy new award, so if it looks like something you’d like to participate in just jump on in, and help spread this baby across the blogosphere. πŸ™‚