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 and 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?

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. 😉

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. 🙂

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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 you’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! 😀 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. 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. 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. Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’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. 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. 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! 😀

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! ❤ ❤ ❤

100 Follows and a Healthy Necro Rhino

Hey, guys!:D

Just popping in for a couple weekend updates.

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Update #1: Big thanks to all of you awesome people who have made this blogging experience such a joy. I’ve just reached 100+ followers and I’m really thankful for it and for all of the wonderful folks I’ve met here and had such great chats with. ❤ I think we have such a great community of bloggers here, and it’s been so much fun sharing thoughts and ideas with you guys. ❤ ❤ ❤

Thank_you!!!!

Update #2: The Necro Rhino Writing Challenge is getting pretty close to completion. By the end of March 30th I’m really hoping to have at least 50,000 words written for the rough draft of the story I’m working on. That was the goal I set, to complete 50,000 words in 30 days, and so far so good. 🙂 I just passed the 40,000 word mark this morning, so I’ve got 5 days to write the remaining 10,000. That means I need to write 2,000 words per day and I think that’s totally doable. 🙂 Keep it up, Necro Rhino! So many words to be written and brains to be eaten. It’s gonna be a busy 5 days.

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Thank goodness for caffeinated beverages!

Hope you guys are all having a great weekend. I’m off to work on what remains of my writing challenge. Anyone else got any exciting updates you’d like to share of your own? I’d love to read about them!

 

 

Back On Track & 1 Sick Girl Hack

Soooo Tired. Sooo very, very tired. I was up most of the night last night coughing my brains out, but I still managed to continue my writing frenzy and smash my writing goals Hulk-style. The two days I was without power due to those crazy Michigan winds really put a damper on my word count goals, but now I’m back on track! Germs be damned!

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I’m just relieved that I’m where I need to be with my word count now and can go back to writing at a much more normal pace. And the Necro Rhino writing challenge is almost at the halfway mark!

Also, for a random little side note, I thought I’d share one of my odd (but very helpful) sick girl hacks. It sounds weird, but people who wind up trying this after I’ve told them about it agree that it does wonders. So, ya know how constantly blowing one’s nose often results in chafed, raw little noses? A cheap, easy little remedy for this is to simply get a plain stick of chapstick specifically for applying to the bottom of your nose. I know it sounds weird, but it seriously helps. I even put an “N” on the cap with sharpie so I know that that tube of chapstick is specifically for that purpose. Trust me, give it a shot next time you get sick with a runny nose and you’ll never go back to suffering from a raw nose again. Plus, it’s really quick and easy to apply. Anywhoooo, I’ve got some sweet Nyquil calling my name and then it’s off to bed for some glorious (hopefully) sleep.

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Return of the Necro Rhino!!

*Cue spooky music*

 

Okay, I’ll admit, perhaps that wasn’t the spookiest choice of music. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. But why the spooky music in the first place, you ask?? Because, today marks what I’m morbidly dubbing: The Return of the Necro Rhino!! Aka: Me not waiting until November to try again at NaNoWriMo’s (National Novel Writing Month) goal of writing 50,000 words in the span of 30 days.

The whole Necro Rhino thing is a play on words because my boyfriend and I refer to NaNoWriMo as “Nano Rhino“, as in “a very tiny rhinoceros” after he misheard me when I first told him I was participating in last year’s NaNoWriMo challenge and thought I’d said “Nano Rhino challenge”. This also resulted in us going on a very last minute, but very determined, shopping adventure at our local mall to find a tiny rhinoceros figurine to be my little mascot. This was not as easy to find as one would think, but after four stores we found a toy kit of assorted African animals, and it thankfully had two very small rhinos in it. I keep one at my place, and the other at his. They serve as my writing mascots (and reminders) because I am ridiculous like that. No shame here, folks. Since I didn’t make my goal back in November, I consider this second attempt to be the resurrection of the Nano Rhino, hence why it is now a Necro Rhino. That and I’m a silly girl who likes horror too much.

Anyway, I keep a dry erase board mounted on the wall next to my desk and I always update it with my monthly goals I wish to accomplish. Today I drew a freshly resurrected zombie rhino rising from the grave to mark this return to the madness that is NaNoWriMo. On a side note I google’d “Beast Boy rhino” hoping for drawing inspiration since his rhino form is green like a zombie rhino would be. Seems innocent enough, right? Well, the internet being what it is, I proceeded to have to scrub my eyeballs with bleach due to some fan art someone posted of Starfire and Beast Boy (in his damn rhino form) participating in some seriously cringe-inducing activities with one another.

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So, now that I’ve no doubt seared that awful image into your brain, let’s continue, shall we? I know it’s not November, so it isn’t the official month or anything, but I’m using the next 30 days to try to attempt to write the 50,000 word goal just as I would if I waited for November to roll back around. That means I need to write at least 1,666 word each day. I’ll update my progress here throughout the month and still try to blog regular posts as much as I can, but please bare with me this month if my posts happen to be fewer and farther between. I really want to give this my all and make that 50,000 words happen this time!

This was all a very spur of the moment decision this morning when I was figuring out my writing goals for the month, but I hope to make the most of it!  🙂 Do you have any particular writing goals for yourself this month? Or do you prefer to wing it and let it happen as it happens? What is your biggest writing motivation? Best of luck to each of you with this months creative writing/blogging/reviews/etc. ❤

Spread the Love: The One Lovely Blog Award

I was so pleasantly surprised to see that I was nominated by none other than The Shameful Narcissist for The One Lovely Blog Award! 🙂 Special thanks for the nomination. I really do appreciate it. 🙂 Her blog is a fun and well-worded medley of her love for retro video games, fantasy, books, her own reviews/fan fiction, and more! Her passion for these things shines through in her well-worded posts. I highly recommend checking her blog out!

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Although I had never heard of The One Lovely Blog Award until I was nominated for it, I can really get behind what it stands for. Those nominated share a few interesting facts about themselves and then nominate others to do so as well. As said by The Shameful Narcissist: “It creates a potentially never ending cycle of sharing and positivity, something there can never be enough of in the world.” I couldn’t agree more. With all the negativity out there, we could use a little more fun and love out there for one another.

The Official Rules of this Award go as such:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

  • List the rules and display the award.

  • Nominate 6-10 bloggers to receive this award.

  • State 7 facts about yourself.

So, without further ado, here are 7 random tidbits about yours truly.

Fact #1: I have what is often described as a “young” sounding voice. It makes doing most vocal impressions difficult for me, but I have a couple that I am quite proud of. One is the titular character of Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo when she gets excited and screams “HAM!” and the other is that I can do a mean impression of a Murloc from World of Warcraft. It isn’t much, but you work with whatcha got! 😛

Fact #2: When I was a kid my first little girl crush was on David Bowie in Labyrinth. I regret nothing!!

Fact #3: I have a cat who is my furry little minion. Her name is Bailey and I love her beyond measure. I call her by like a thousand nicknames. Some are plays on her name like “Bailbo Baggins” or “Peter Bail-ish”. Others are things like “Chub Cat”, “Pound Cake”, or “Chubkins”. She is a cheeseburger cat.

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Fact #4: I love learning. My favorite subjects are history, mythology and folklore, anatomy and physiology, and marine biology, but I love to research a wide variety of different subjects. I adore museums and libraries. If schooling was more affordable I would probably be enrolled in classes until the day I die.

Fact #5: My favorite holiday is Halloween! What’s not to love? The spooky fun, costumes, candy, scary stories and movies, pumpkin carving, apple orchards for cider and donuts, the list just goes on and on and on for me. It’s also the highlight of my favorite season: autumn.

Fact #6: I love sharks. There are so many kinds and so many interesting things to learn about them all. They truly are amazing creatures. They’re just fascinating. My favorite species is probably the whale shark. They’re gentle giants.

Fact #7: I am very passionate about people learning first aid and CPR. Sounds weird, I know, but these are easy things to learn that can literally save a life. I took my first CPR and First Aid class in 2009 and I remember as we learned the Heimlich maneuver thinking, I’ll probably never use this, but I guess it’s good to know. I kid you not, the following weekend I was out to dinner with my ex and his family and his great uncle began choking on his dinner. And I don’t mean he was coughing like crazy kind of choking, I mean his windpipe was completely blocked off and he could not breathe or even make a sound because of the food lodged in his throat. My ex’s step-mother noticed his situation just before I did and saved him by preforming the Heimlich on him at the table. A couple years ago, I myself was choking but there was no on there who could help me, so using a chair, I performed it on myself and saved myself. That was empowering to say the least. If I hadn’t known how to do it, I can say with almost certainty that I would not be here today. It’s a humbling thought how easily things can end if you are not able to take matters into your own hands when needed. I feel like these are things students should learn in school and that should be much more widely taught to the public.

So, there’s my 7 facts about me! 🙂 I tried to think a little outside the box with these since I’ve covered other more general facts about myself already in my blog. Thanks again to The Shameful Narcissist for the nomination. If you hadn’t already just completed this fact challenge I would have your blog on my list of nominees as well. 😀

I nominate:

Cupcakes and Machetes

The Mighty Castle

Forged From Reverie

Unbolt

Crumble Cult

Agatha Chocolats