June’s Pick For The Happiest Reading Challenge

If you’re taking part in The Happiest Reading Challenge you know that June calls for reading “a book someone has recommend to you“. It didn’t take long to decide on what book I would read for this month’s part of the challenge. Like some of you guys, book and baked good blogger Cupcakes and Machetes has been throwing book upon book into my TBR mountain for quite some time. One of these books is The Lies of Locke Lamora (Book 1 of the Gentleman Bastard series), written by Scott Lynch.

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“An orphan’s life is harsh–and often short–in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly.

Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game–or die trying…”

Sounds pretty good to me! 😉

Epic fantasy is always a plus in my book. It also helps when it passes the C&M seal of approval. And by seal of approval, I mean she was willing to bare-knuckle fight anyone in a mud pit that had the audacity to say that Scott Lynch wasn’t a “fantastic fucking author.”

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I’m really excited to finally read this one. 🙂 I hear it is a seriously amazing debut from Scott Lynch. It’ll be nice to get to experience it for myself after hearing so many good things.

So, how about you? Reading anything good right now, or taking part in any reading challenges of your own? I’d love to hear about it! It’s always nice to talk about good books. 🙂

 

Haircuts, Mushrooms, Baby Birds and a New Job

I feel like it’s been too long since I last posted, but I am super sleepy, so this is just gonna be a random update post full of Blah Blah Blahs.

Blah #1: I finally decided it was time for a change when it came to my long hair and I went and got 10 inches of it chopped off. It’s the shortest I’ve ever had it before, and I love it! ❤ I went to a beauty school and got it done by a student which was kind of scary, but she did a great job though and I’m absolutely loving it. 🙂

Blah #2: I got to try morel mushrooms for the first time just recently. They might not be much to look at, but once they’re cooked they’re delicious!

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Morel mushrooms: hideous to look at, tasty to nom.

Blah #3: There’s a nest with a couple little baby robins in it out back. I got to see them today while the mama robin was out and about. I kept a good distance so as not to disturb them but it was really cool to finally get to see the little guys. 🙂

Blah #4: I’m in the works of getting a new job! I’m pretty excited about it. Part of me is nervous since I’m always a little nervous about change, but I’m really looking forward to it and I know it will be a good thing. 🙂 It even has the hours I was really hoping for.

That’s it for the blah blah blahs right about now. I can barely keep my eyes open at the moment, so it’s off to bed for me and Bailey.

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Bailey, the beast that dwells beneath the blankets. Disturb her slumber at your own peril.

 

Review- How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You

If you’re familiar with the webcomic The Oatmeal, chances are you know what you’re getting into with this one. 😉 Written and illustrated by Matthew Inman (aka- The Oatmeal), this book is full of craziness in comic-form, crass humor, and cats. Oh yes, so very many cats.

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I find it rather appropriate that I write this review as my cat slumbers at my side, no doubt dreaming of murder and mayhem. Those of you with fuzzy hell beasts, er, I mean cats of your own, are sure to recognize plenty of your own cat’s habits throughout the pages of this book. But, as The Oatmeal will point out, Some of the most mundane-seeming things our feline friends do in their daily lives might just be major red flags indicating their nefarious intentions.

You might think it’s cute when your cat kneads you with their paws, but what if this is really just their way of checking your internal organs for signs of weaknesses? And what of that excessive shoveling they do when burying their poo in the kitty litter box? Yup, practice for when they have to bury your body later. Also, despite what most people would tell you, it isn’t a gift when your cat leaves you a dead bird or mouse. It’s a warning.

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This art-filled book spans various cat-related subjects including, but not limited to:

6 ways to tell if your cat thinks it’s a mountain lion.

How you see your cat and how your cat sees you. (Hint: They see us as “giant hairless gorilla-pig slaves” only put on this earth to fulfill their every want and need.)

How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you.

Having a baby vs. having a cat. (Quote from this section in regards to human infants: “Comes shrieking out of a vagina like some kind of jam-covered goblin.”) lol If you haven’t already guessed from that quote, this section is heavily in the favor of cats over babies.

If we treated our cats like they treat us.

The Bobcats. (If you’ve ever wondered what life at the office would be like if you had a couple of cats for co-workers, wonder no further. The Bobs are here to steal your sandwiches from the break room fridge, terrorize interns, and lick their own genitals all on the company’s dime.)/

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I think this book could be the perfect gift for any cat lover you might have in your life. (Assuming they don’t mind some naughty language and potty humor, of course.) It’s makes for a fun little coffee table book, too. How could a title like that NOT spark up conversation? 😛 It was a fun and quick read (finished it in one sitting).

 

Review- DC Bombshells, Vol. 2: Allies

Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s been nearly five months since I finished reading Volume 1 of DC Comics Bombshells! I absolutely loved the first volume so I was pretty excited to finally get around to reading the second volume.

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You know how sometimes you read something and it just really resonates with what is going on in the world around you? I definitely had this feeling while continuing the Bombshells’ saga. Between the current political climate and a particularly frustrating 48 hours where I had not one, not even two or three, but FOUR personal reminders of the importance of feminism, I was more than ready to see these female heroes kick some Nazi and misogynistic asses. 😛

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Volume 2 takes us all over the globe to locations like Berlin, London, and Greece as WWII continues to rage on. Even on the home front in Gotham City, tensions rise and danger looms. One thing I really like about DC Bombshells is that it touches on both soldier and civilian life during the war. No one goes unaffected by the horror going on in the world.

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As if the Axis Powers weren’t enough to contend with, a sinister supernatural influence continues to grow in power, bringing a horde of undead soldiers with it.

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The art continues to stun in this volume and the characters are fantastic. (Batwoman is still, of course, my fave!) Strong female relationships aplenty in these pages, both platonic and romantic alike. Also, just strong, kick ass females in general. The characters are believable with their own motivations, insecurities, weaknesses and strengths.

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The biggest bummer for me was that I was missing my girls, Harley and Ivy in this one. They were nowhere to be seen in volume 2. *Proceeds to pout in the corner.*

But, hey, at least we get more of Zatanna and Bunny Constantine!

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All in all, I really enjoyed volume 2. I think I enjoyed volume 1 a little bit more, but I’m still looking forward to reading the third volume very much.

What Time Is It? UPDATE TIME!

Hey, guys! Just popping in for some quick updates!

As last month came to an end I posted about some of the book options I had proposed for June’s book club meeting I’ll be hosting. Things got nuts after that. lol A tie breaker vote had to be done and it was so close even then that we nearly wound up split right down the middle for a second time! There was joking about bribery with cupcakes and cookies among the book club ladies because they were so adamant that their book choice won. All the chaos eventually settled and we finally had a winner . . . The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu!

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Ooh, and some exciting news . . . I recently won my first ever book giveaway!! 😀 And it was even right here on WordPress! If you haven’t ventured on over to The Book-Filled Day yet, I’d say you should rectify that and check it out. 😉 It’s all books all the time over there so what’s not to love? I entered their giveaway for the Glimmers series and was so pleasantly surprised to discover that I’d actually won it! From what I’ve read about the series it’s a witty and fun series full of magic about a young fairy godmother in training.

glimmers trilogy.png I’m so very excited to have won, and to get to read this series soon, so a massive thank you to The Book-Filled Day and to the author of the series, Emma Savant! ❤ Seriously, I never win anything, so this was really exciting! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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In other reading news, I just finished the second volume of DC Bombshells, so I’ll be posting a proper review of that soon. 🙂 I’ve got a couple canvas prints from this series on my wall, but I want to hunt down more of them the more I read this series. The ones I have are of Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn, but I’d love to find some of the other ladies as well, especially Batwoman! 😀

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Oh, and I started watching the new American Gods TV series based off the Neil Gaiman novel. I’m only two episodes in, but I’m liking it so far. There’s still a lot of questions at this point, but that’s just fine by me. 🙂 It’s weird as hell so far too, and that is also just fine by me.

So, yeah, those were my quick updates. Feel free to share any of your own recent updates if you’d like. I’d love to hear about them! Are you watching any new shows or reading anything new at the moment?

* Happy Mother’s Day! *

Woo! It’s Mother’s Day and I figured it would be fun to have the spotlight be on my own mom today. I consider myself very lucky to have the mom I do. Both of my parents are pretty damn amazing, but today’s Mother’s Day so it’s all about Mama Moth! 😛

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I went ahead and did an interview with the lovely lady I call Mom so you guys could get to know a bit more about one of the people who shaped me into who I am today.

Q: Are you more of a Science Fiction or Fantasy fan? Or both?

A: Fantasy! Your dad’s more into science fiction than I am.

Q: Favorite Mythological Creature?

A: Pegasus.

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Q: Favorite Visual Artists?

A: Ooh, I have so many. I love Brom. There’s Dali. Michael Parkes, Amy Brown and Brian Froud. I feel like I could keep going but I’ll stop with those.

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Q: What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

A: My kids. Watching you grow up into individuals. Spending time with you guys.

Q: What does your ideal “Girl’s Day Out” consist of?

A: Three things. Bookstore, Chinese restaurant, and then top it all off with iced cappuccinos.

Q: Favorite Family vacation?

A: Florida. All the winter breaks we spent in Florida were always nice.

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Q: What is one interest you had growing up that you’re surprised neither of your kids ever got into like you did?

A: Well, you like books like I do, you like art like I do, you like animation. You’re like a mini me, except a better version. So, probably sports. I think that’s about it, because you like baking and cooking and everything else I like. So yeah, sports.

Q: Do you think your kids look more like you or their Dad?

A: Your brother looks like my side of the family, but you definitely look like your dad’s side. So it’s a 50/50.

Q: Why were books so important to bring your kid up on and make sure they had in their life?

A: Because books are the best. They just rule. You could escape into another world and be who ever you want to be.

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Q: What are some of your favorite movies?

A: Hmmm . . . well, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, all of the Studio Ghibli Movies . . . oh, and Overboard!

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Q: Favorite Candy?

Black licorice

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your husband?

A: (Smiles.) He always makes me laugh and he’s got a good heart.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your children?

(About my brother) He’s my gentle giant. He has an old soul. He’s just such a sweet and loving person.

(About me) You, my dear, always make me laugh, you have such a great heart and you always care about others. Just an all around great person to be around. And you make bad ass cupcakes.

Q: How would you describe your family?

A: We’re a nerd family who is fabulous. I wouldn’t trade any of you guys for anything. Except maybe a Choco Taco (evil mom laugh). No, seriously, I think our family’s a good family. Each of us is willing to help others and that makes it even better.

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Please note that at the end of interview my mom declared “DONE!” and pretended to drop a mic. lol

Review- The Art of Alice: Madness Returns

It’s no secret if you’ve been following my blog that I have a passion for art and books. Because of this, I’ve always enjoyed books featuring art collections that range from rough concept sketches to beautifully detailed prints. My mom shares this interest and so we’ve collected many art books throughout the years. I figured I’d make a new category in my blog specifically for art appreciation where I can do artist spotlights and review some of the amazing art books in our collections. 🙂

To kick things off we’ll start with one of mine, a hardcover video game concept art book for American McGee’s Alice: Madness Returns.

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Just look at this creepy, gorgeous cover!

This book takes us down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass so that we can get a good peek at the creative process behind American McGee’s haunting version of Wonderland. With an introduction by McGee himself, we really get to see the long and creative journey that went into making this game. Different chapters cover subjects like pre-production, creating the final look for Alice and her costumes, the separate world building that went into London and Wonderland, cinematics and more!

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Whether you’ve played the game or not, this book is enjoyable for fans of all things Alice (assuming they don’t mind a good measure of horror thrown in the mix), as well as just art lovers in general. The images presented in the book are gorgeous and it’s definitely one of my favorite art books I’ve ever purchased. I’d highly recommend it! If you’re not already acquainted with this game, check out this old trailer for it. As I’m sure you can tell from the concept art seen above, it’s quite the surreal, nightmarish version of Wonderland.

Do you enjoy art books as well? What sorts do you prefer or collect? I’d love to hear about it! 🙂