Grumble Grumble . . . Cancellations . . . Grumble Grumble . . . Mini Rant

Ughhhhhh, I don’t watch a whole lot of TV so when a show I really like gets canceled it results in me being the crabbiest crap sandwich to ever crab around town. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but still, you get what I’m saying.

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Not too long ago I did a couple reviews for two shows I’ve been enjoying called Sweet/Vicious and Powerless. Well, I just found out that Sweet/Vicious has been canceled, and that though it apparently isn’t 100% “official” yet, Powerless seems to be heading down the same path.

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WHYYYYYYYYY?!?! Why can’t we just have nice thiiiings?!

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Sweet/Vicious was so good, well-written, and so damn relevant. I really hate to see it go. I’m hoping to see it picked up elsewhere through Netflix or Hulu or something because it would really be a shame to lose out on the great characters and the positive impact this show is capable of having on people. It took on several major issues that affect countless people including rape/sexual assault and racial injustice, and still managed to have a light and funny side to it as well. It was the perfect blend of light and darkness.

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Oh, and Powerless, you sweet little cinnamon bun of a show. Please, say it ain’t so. I can’t bare to lose you too. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ This is one of those shows where it is impossible to remain in a bad mood when you watch it. I just love it. It’s cute and funny with some really good jokes and amusing characters. It’s definitely cheesy at times, but in a good way. It’s meant to be silly.

Anyway, mini-rant over. I normally try to keep things pretty positive here, but I just had to vent those little frustrations.

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May’s Book Pick For The Happiest Reading Challenge

I accomplished some really exciting things in April, so I’m feeling really good going into May. One of the many things I’m looking forward to in May is starting The Happiest Reading Challenge created by fellow blogger, The Happiest Pixel. The challenge theme for May is to read a book by an author you already love.

The first book to come to mind was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

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I became an instant fan of Leigh Bardugo while reading The Grisha Trilogy a few years back. So, naturally, I was quite excited when I learned that she would be taking us back to the enchanting but dangerous world of the Grisha.

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The three books making up The Grisha Trilogy.

Six of Crows is the first book in Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology. I actually have both of the books (the second book is called Crooked Kingdom) sitting on my bookshelf just waiting to be read. Let me tell you, these books are just absolutely gorgeous to look at. The first has black-edged pages, the second has red-edged pages, and both books have stunning hardcovers featuring a crow on them.

The Six of Crows blurb:

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

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I’ve been hearing so many good things regarding this book, and I can’t wait to read it. Even more so since I have the second one on hand already in case of a cliffhanger ending. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Leigh Bardugo, I’m also really looking forward to her upcoming Wonder Woman novel, Wonder Woman: Warbringer. It comes out in August! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Lantern City, Vol. 1

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“The city above is the city we love.”

“The Greys provide so we survive.”

“The guard protects so we may serve.”

“The actions of ONE are the actions of ALL.”

“In Grey we trust . . . “

These are the words drilled into your head if you’re born into the lower class of Lantern City, a steampunk dystopia walled off from the outside world. The place has a very “Big Brother is watching you” vibe to it, and you can (and will be) punished harshly if you act so boldly as to step out of line. Even by doing something as simple as singing as you work.

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It’s no wonder the main character, Sander, is reluctant when his brother-in-law tries to pull him into the rebellion. He has a family to consider, but it’s for this very reason that he knows things must change whether he is afraid or not.

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With little time to even think about what he is doing, Sander is thrust into the rebellion headfirst as he infiltrates the Guard, posing as one of their own. Forced to think on his feet, he must learn quickly and stay one step ahead of his enemies if he hopes to keep not only himself, but also his family, alive.

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So, let’s talk pros and cons.

The Pros:

  • This hardcover beauty has some nice artwork and lovely extras at the end of the book about the world itself. I’m a sucker for worldbuilding so I thought this was pretty cool.
  • A clear, solid plot with good narration and very easy to follow panels.
  • The world is intriguing and leaves you curious and wanting to explore more of it.

The Cons:

  • I couldn’t help but feel that Sander had too easy of a time infiltrating the Guard. Not only did he seamlessly (with the exception of one person who just wasn’t buying it) step into the shoes of another man, but it was a captain no less. A highly trained captain. Somehow, despite having no proper training, Sander breezes through just about any obstacle thrown his way.
  • The characters didn’t really leave as much of an impact on me as I would have liked.

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All in all I liked my first visit to the world of Lantern City, and I would check out volume 2 in the future. I’d give the start of this series 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Next up on my comic reading list? Volume 2 of DC Bombshells. I’m really excited to read it. How about you? Reading anything good lately? Let’s talk about it! ๐Ÿ˜€

 

Spider-Gwen, Vol. 1: Greater Power

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After a lukewarm first dip into the world of Spider-Gwen with Volume 0: Most Wanted back in March, I wasn’t in too big of a rush to move onto Volume 1: Greater Power. I didn’t hate it or anything. I just wasn’t as into it as I would have hoped to be. Here’s a link to clicky-clicky if you want to read my thoughts on volume 0.

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Fortunately, Volume 1 carried over the things I enjoyed about volume 0, but toned down some of the things I wasn’t as crazy about (like all the angsty band drama). I’m still a big fan of the popping color schemes, Gwen’s costume design, and this alt-Gwen herself as a character. She’s corny and loves puns. I can appreciate that. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also like that she isn’t perfect. She makes mistakes and she owns them and learns from them.

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We get to meet more alt versions of characters as some iconic baddies as well as good guys, and I use the term “guys” loosely, entering the fray. No worries, I won’t spoil the fun by saying who they are. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here’s the fist of one of them though:

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We also get to learn more about Gwen and her friends before she was bit by that radioactive spider, as well as get some hints at some of the shadier stuff going on behind the scenes with some of the other characters. The story overall still wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, but I think it may just be a slow beginning to something better in the long run perhaps. Only time will tell. I’d say I definitely enjoyed this volume more than volume 0 though, and would probably give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

And just for fun, here’s some of the variant covers included in the back of volume 1:

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Book Club Options- Waiting on the Votes to Roll In

I recently volunteered to host June’s night-out-on-the-town for the book club I’m in, which means I got to pick the book options! So as I wait for Wednesday night to roll around so I can tally up the votes I figured I would share the options I put out there with you guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

Option #1: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts

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Phew! That is one lengthy title, but it definitely gets a person’s attention, so well done.

To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Oceanโ€™s Eleven.

Yup. Sign me up for this one. I’m sold. We’ve got several hardcore nonfiction lovers in our book club so I figured this was a good choice. ๐Ÿ™‚

Option #2: An Ember in the Ashes

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โ€œAll the beauty of the stars means nothing when life here on earth is so ugly.โ€

I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this one, so of course I had to include it in the list. (And if it doesn’t win I’m reading it anyway at some point!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Option #3: In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom

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This is my other nonfiction selection. After listening to Yeonmi Park’s emotional and heartbreaking speech for One Young World I felt really compelled to read this book. Here’s the video of her moving speech if any of you are interested in listening. (Trigger Warning: topics such as intended suicide and rape are brought up in this video, among other tragic and unjust things, so just warning you guys).

 

Option #4: Red Sister

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It is important, when killing a nun, to ensure that you bring an army of sufficient size. For Sister Thorn of the Sweet Mercy Convent, Lano Tacsis brought two hundred men.

Here’s another book I’ve been hearing amazing things about. If this book wins it will be my first venture into the works of Mark Lawrence. (Honestly, even if it doesn’t win it probably still will be with all the great reviews I’ve been reading about it.) ๐Ÿ˜›

Option #5: Stalking Jack the Ripper

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A fictional tale involving Jack the Ripper. I enjoy historical fiction so this one seemed interesting.

So, those are my choices I selected for my fellow book club ladies to vote on. I’m very curious to see the winner once all the votes are in. So far it’s kind of all over the place, so I’m hoping the remaining two votes will nail down a concrete winner.

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think? ๐Ÿ™‚

Reading Updates + Inside & Out Book Tag

Hey, there! So now that I’m back home and things have settled down a wee bit (for now anyway) I figured I’d post some quick reading updates, but then the lovely Irena (blogger behind Books & Hot Tea) tagged me for the Inside & Out Book Tag so I’ll just go ahead and blend the two things into one post! If you’ve yet to venture over to her blog I definitely recommend you grab yourself a nice cup of tea and head right on over. Don’t worry about bringing a book of your own though since she always has plenty of good ones to recommend. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, let’s talk a bit about the most recent book I finished reading:

While visiting, celebrating, and marching in the name of SCIENCE this weekend with BFF an fellow blogger Cupcakes and Machetes, I did manage to squeeze in the time to read next month’s assigned reading for the book club I’m in. C&M had already read it and still had her copy from the library so I just went ahead and gave it a go. The book’s called Finding Me- A Decade of Darkness, A Life Reclaimed – A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings, written by Michelle Knight with Michelle Burford.

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The book really pulls you in right from the beginning. I honestly feel like I could have read it in a single sitting if I’d just been at home when I’d dug into it. The things Michelle and her fellow survivors went through at the hands of their captor are unspeakable and yet somehow this woman bravely recounts the horrific events that unfolded over the course of the 11 years she spent trapped and tortured in a mad man’s hell house. Not to mention, the hard and tragic life she led up until that point as well. I was in awe of the strength she had, not only to survive through all of it and be able to share her experiences with the world, but also for the incredible level of compassion she had and still does have for others despite the things that people have done to her throughout her life. I would highly recommend this book. It won’t be a pleasurable reading experience because of the terrible things these girls had to go through, but it is definitely an eye-opening one. Cupcakes and Machetes did a review of this book as well if you’re interested in reading another person’s take on it as well.

Now, onto the book I’m currently reading:

The next book I’ve started is so much lighter than the last one it isn’t even funny. I know I am incredibly late to the party on this one, but I’ve finally started reading The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time.

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The decision came during Easter, a holiday that always makes me think of my late grandmother on my dad’s side. I spent a lot of Easters at her house, as well as plenty of other visits, and I always remember seeing this book series on her bookshelf. For whatever reason I never wound up actually reading it though. Well, I recently found her copies of the books in a box of old books my parents had and I’ve decided to give them a read. Call it being sentimental if you will. They’re short books, not very long at all, but I’ve just begun reading the first, The Magician’s Nephew. I’ll probably review the series as a whole once I’ve finished it. I’ve only just gotten into it, but I hope it is a series that an adult can fully enjoy even if they don’t have the nostalgia factor of having loved it as a child. I hear C.S. Lewis is good for that though, so I hope that turns out to be the case. I love fantasy and fairy tales, so the odds are probably in my favor for it. If you’ve read this series, I’d love to hear what you thought of it. Especially if you’ve read it as an adult. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Oh, and here’s the reading challenge I’m going to try to take part in for the rest of the year:

So, I was reading The Happiest Pixel’s recent post about her newly made reading challenge and I’ve decided to join in on the fun. It starts in May and then carries on each month through the rest of the year with one challenge for each month.

MAY: a book by an author you already love

JUNE: a book someone has recommend to you

JULY: a book published in 2017

AUGUST: a book set in a country that youโ€™ve never been

SEPTEMBER: a nonfiction book

OCTOBER: a book you chose for the cover

NOVEMBER: a graphic novel

DECEMBER: a book set around Christmas

I’ll post each month about the book I wind up reading for the challenge, so if you wish to join in with your own choice of a book that fits the challenge theme each month, the more the merrier! ๐Ÿ˜€ I think I even have my book for May already picked out. I love Leigh Bardugo, and I really enjoyed The Grisha Trilogy when I read it, so I’m finally going to venture into her latest duology set in the same world and read Six of Crows.

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So, those are my reading updates! What are you currently reading? What’s the latest book you finished? Do you ever do reading challenges? Lets talk books! And while we’re on the topic of books, here goes my stab at the Inside & Out Book Tag:

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1. Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough?

Hmm . . . well, it depends entirely on the book. It varies. I like when the summary gives me enough info to get me really excited to read it, but without spoiling anything for me in the process. Most books seem good about not doing that but I’ve seen a couple that do and it’s kind of a bummer when that happens. My biggest pet peeve is when there’s like no real information about the story on the inside flap or the back of the book. You gotta gimme something to work with here, people! lol

2.ย New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, E-Book, Paperback, or Hardcover?

I usually go for paperback, but as long as the story is good I don’t normally fuss too much about the type of book it is.

3.ย Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean?

Ooh, this is a topic that can get pretty heated with readers. lol For me, it 100% depends on the TYPE of book it is. If it’s a fictional novel I never write in them. Ever. I keep it clean with those. However, and omg, I feel like people are going to come for me with pitchforks at the ready when I confess this, but some of my books I own are FILLED with notes as well as pages of highlighted and underlined text. Mostly my history books. Basically, if it is something I’m reading to learn about a certain topic, things are going to be highlighted and what were once clean, blank parts of the page will become littered with scribbled notes. Oddly enough, even in books I write in I still never dogear a single page. I might be reckless enough to write in them, but I am no monster.

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4.ย Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when youโ€™re deciding on a book? What if youโ€™re unsure of the authorโ€™s gender?

No way. Doesn’t matter at all to me. People don’t write their books with their genitals last I checked.

5. Ever read ahead? or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?

Not really. Maybe if it winds up being a book I am condemning to the DNF list. Then I might, I suppose. But I love when a book surprises me too much to risk ruining it usually.

6. Organised bookshelves, or Outrageous bookshelves?

Kind of both? I always keep books that are part of a series together, sorted numerically, but my book shelves are not alphabetical or anything. I do tend to keep types of books together, though, so there’s that. (Like graphic novels and art books in one area, novels in another, history books in their own place, etc.)

7.ย Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

I have a weakness for a damn good cover, but I still need to see what the book’s about before I give into it just based off of what it looks like.

8.ย Take it outside to read, or stay in?

I usually like to be cozy and inside when I’m reading, but I will read outside on occasion if it’s nice out.

Who do I tag to do this? Why, anybody and everybody who loves to read books, of course! ๐Ÿ˜€

So, that’s it for my book tag and reading updates! I’ve been trying to catch up here on reading everyone’s blog posts I’ve missed but it isn’t easy since I was out of town this weekend, so if you have a post I may have missed that you wanna bring to my attention please link me to it so I can be sure to check it out. I’d hate to miss anything of importance! Thanks! Hope you guys all had a great weekend! โค โค โค

Updates: Bees, Mermaids, Jogging, Science, Margaritas & Pugs!

BLARRRGH! So many things going on right now. It’s all good though, just a bit hectic. I’m multitasking like a beast right now at least, so that helps.

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It’s probably going to be a few days before I can get back to my blog and catch up on reading others’ posts since I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me, so I figured I’d just pop in for some quick updates.

Update #1:

Remember my post about how Cheerios and Veseys Seeds teamed up to mail out millions of wildflower seeds to encourage people to plant them and help out with the lowered bee populations? Well, I checked the mail and discovered that they’d finally come! ๐Ÿ˜€ Huzzah! Looking forward to getting to plant them soon!

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Update #2:

You know those big props with the holes in them that you stick your face up to . . . I swear I am not talking about a glory hole here, people. I mean those big standup photo prop images where you put your face through the hole to take a picture? Here’s a Ghostbusters one Cupcakes and Machetes and I used to take a photo with in case my terrible description still hasn’t made it clear what I’m babbling about.

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C&M (on the left) and Me (on the right). “We came, we saw, we kicked its ass.”

Well, although mine I made was no where near as cool as this Ghostbusters one, I made one of these picture stand thingies! (I should really learn what they’re actually called.) A friend needed a mermaid one for her daughter’s birthday party, so here’s what I came up with for her. (Forgive the terrible quality of my kindle’s camera. The colors are a lot more vibrant in person, and this was before I used a blade to cut out the mermaid’s face hole. Which is definitely a phrase I never thought I would write.)

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Update #3:

I’ve decided to take up jogging! Which is something I never thought I’d say. Even more so than “cutting out a mermaid’s face hole”. ๐Ÿ˜› I usually prefer other types of workouts but it really wasn’t that bad. At least not as bad as I remember it being in high school gym class. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely feeling it in my legs, but it wasn’t as torturous as I’d expected it to be. My boyfriend was into running track and playing soccer in school so I asked him for some running tips, and I found that listening to music while doing so made it way more pleasurable of an experience. Well, as pleasurable as running can be, really.

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Update #4:

Getting ready for my weekend out of town. I’m so excited! ๐Ÿ™‚ Celebrating Cupcakes and Machetes’ dirty thirty birthday/margarita-fest! Book club! Participating in the local March for Science! There’s so much fun to be had. I’ve still gotta pack, wrap those presents, make her birthday dessert, and do what only feels like a million other things, but I’m really looking forward to hanging out with my friends. โค

There’s plenty of other things going on that have really been keeping me busy, but I won’t bore you with the details, and besides, I still have a lot to work on before I head out of town tomorrow. So with that said, enjoy some pugs!

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Gandalf, the smoosh-faced.

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Cutest infestation ever.