March is Women’s History Month, so it’s the perfect time to celebrate the awesomeness of women. Cupcakes and Machetes had the wonderful idea to host a blog event to do just that, so of course I had to participate! 🙂
Her mission is pretty straight forward, so I’ll let it speak for itself with a quote from her post: “Let’s celebrate women. Every kind, in every way, in whatever way you see fit. For myself, I’m going to read only female authors for the entire month. My hope is that other blogs sign up to celebrate women in any way they would like to contribute and I’ll post weekly updates to these blogs and what they’ve worked on. Not only will this be great fun, I think it will be a helpful way to highlight your blog and meet other interesting people.”
If you’re interested, head on over to C&M’s awesome blog and leave her a comment on her event post. I’m going to be joining in on the fun by illustrating different women who have left their marks on history in one way or another. I’ll try to squeeze as many as I can in throughout the month, along with short little bios explaining the things these bad ass ladies have accomplished and how they’ve helped to change the world and inspire others. I’ll also be posting reviews of comics that feature ladies as the protagonists. (My plans are to read and review Paper Girls, Lumberjanes, some more Giant Days, Bitch Planet and some more Rat Queens!) It’s gonna be a busy, lady-filled month of posts, and I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully some of you will decide to join in on the fun, too! 😀
How in the heck is the first month of the new year already almost over?? Where is the time thief that is responsible for this madness? I demand answers! Seriously, though, every year that goes by makes me feel like time just keeps slipping by quicker and quicker.
I noticed that I’ve been slacking a bit in posting reviews for some of the stuff I’ve been reading and watching lately. Time’s really been getting away from me with everything that’s been going on, but I still want to shine a little spotlight on some of the stuff I’ve been enjoying in the past few weeks, so I bring you this post of mini-reviews! 😀 It’ll be like a little sampling rather than a full course of reviews, but I think it’ll certainly get the job done. 😉
The Plucker, by Gerald Brom:
This illustrated novel was a real treat. I’ve been a fan of Brom’s work for quite some time. Growing up, my mom had multiple books featuring his artwork and I was hooked from a young age. I loved the dark and twisted aesthetic he had going on. One of the things I like about Brom’s novels, is that he carries over his wonderful artwork and includes tons of illustrations, sketches, and paintings to accompany the story he is telling.
When a young boy’s father unwittingly brings him a gift containing an evil spirit known as the Plucker, it quickly makes itself at home and decides to claim the boy’s life for its own. It begins its reign of terror by going after the boy’s toys, the very things the child has poured so much of himself and his love into. Thus, the toys in this book have a life force all their own, one the Plucker is keen on taking to build up the needed strength to claim the soul of the boy and take over his body. What the Plucker has no way of realizing, is that aside from his toys, the boy also has one badass little old lady for a nanny. One who knows some things about magic herself. It’s a good story with fantastic artwork. I gave it 4/5 stars.
Stranger Things 2, on Netflix:
Remember when I mentioned how busy I’ve been and how fast time has been flying by? That’s the only explanation I have for why it took me sooooo long to finally finish watching the second season of Stranger Things. I (and countless others) love this show and the awesome 80’s dose of nostalgia it’s been rocking. Season 2 was awesome. We met some new characters, got to see older characters continue to grow, and learn some more about “the Upside Down”. The horror element of the show continues to grow in a really satisfying slow-burn sort of way, but it never feels dull and boring because you love the characters so damn much. This was a solid second season to a great show, and I may have even liked it more than I liked the first season, which is really saying something. I would give it 5/5 stars. Can’t wait for season 3!
Phantasmagoria and Other Poems, by Lewis Carroll:
One of my reading goals for this year is to read more poetry books since it isn’t really something I’ve read a whole lot of. Since I have always been a fan of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, I definitely wanted to check out this book of poems from Carroll. I’ll admit, I wasn’t as smitten with this as I thought I was going to be. I liked the titular poem Phantasmagoria the best of the lot, finding that it had the most character to it. It tells the tale of a little ghost who has mistakenly come to haunt the wrong house. Carroll has a certain easy-to-read quirky charm to his poems, but this book wasn’t my favorite of his works. 3/5 stars for this one.
Milk and Honey, by Rupi Kaur:
Another book of poems! 🙂 This was a quick and moving read. I admire Rupi Kaur’s ability to pour her soul out onto the pages of this book. Divided into different categories, the poems contained cover topics like love and loss, surviving after trauma, and the power and unity of femininity. I think many of us will be able to find something they can identify with or relate to somewhere in Milk and Honey. 4/5 stars.
The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden:
I can’t believe I somehow never got around to reviewing this one. I read The Bear and the Nightingale with my book club ladies in December, and it made for the perfect winter read. It was both enchanting and addicting. Much like how the main character Vasilisa is enthralled with the fairy tales she is told growing up, you will become enthralled by the one she winds up living. Russian folklore and mythology enrich the story, and the backdrop of winter is capable of being both cruel and kind, with moments that are cozy and heartwarming, and others that are harsh and bitter. 4/5 stars.
Werewolves just may be my favorite sort of monster. I’ve been a fan of these primal shapeshifting beasties for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, even I must admit that not all werewolf movies are up to snuff. In fact, there are many more bad ones than good ones it would seem. I decided to share some of my faves with you guys, though. These of course aren’t ALL the good werewolf movies out there, but they’re just a few of the ones I find myself watching again and again.
Dog Soldiers (2002)
“A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness.” Dog Soldiers is basically an action film blended with a horror movie with a touch of comedy thrown in just for kicks, and it’s fantastic. Also, I just love the design of the werewolves in this film! Holed up in a Scottish farmhouse, the military trained characters must do everything they can to survive the flesh-hungry pack of werewolves roaming the surrounding forest.
Ginger Snaps (2000)
I actually really like all three movies in the Ginger Snaps trilogy, but we’re just gonna talk about the first one here because it’s my absolute favorite. 🙂 The story follows two incredibly close (and very morbid) teenage sisters, Ginger and Brigitte Fitzgerald. Most werewolf movies involve the characters undergoing major physical and emotional transformations, but Ginger Snaps takes that concept and effortlessly weaves in the parallels between lycanthropy and puberty in a way that brings both horror and humor to the table. The movie’s got a lot of snark and angst to it, but it’s one I’ll always love watching. Katherine Isabelle (Ginger) and Emily Perkins (Brigitte) are fantastic as the Fitzgerald sisters.
The Company of Wolves (1984)
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit: this movie is weird as hell. But something about the eerie dreamlike quality of it appeals to me. It’s basically a surreal retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with lots of extra werewolf goodness thrown in. Some moments seem very much a fairy tale, others like something out of Hellraiser.
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
How could I make this list and NOT include An American Werewolf in London? 🙂 It’s a great werewolf movie, and one of the most notorious. The makeup and practical effects are a real treat, and like most of the werewolf movies on this list I like the humor that accompanies the horror.
So, there’s some of MY favorite werewolf movies. How about you guys? I wanna hear what ones you personally enjoy, or even the ones you think are terrible or cheesy.
I’ve enjoyed reading so many awesome book/film reviews (and other fun posts) over at Reads & Reels, so I’m very excited about today’s big launch party for R&R Book Tours!! Get your party hat on and bust out the confetti, because it’s a blog party, folks! Everyone’s invited to join in on the fun to help R&R Book Tours kick off their official launch. With the festivities starting at 9am (EST), there will be plenty of fun to be had throughout the day. And plenty of great giveaways, too! 😀
This bash is all about the indie authors, so expect six different indie authors, six different books, and (you guessed it!) SIX different giveaways! 😉
So be sure to check it all out. I hope you guys all have fun over there at their launch party, and best of luck to those of you who enter those exciting giveaways. 😀 Cheers to R&R Book Tours on their big day!! ❤
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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:
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.
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! ❤ ❤ ❤
“Tale as old as time . . . Song as old as rhyme . . . Beauty and the Beast.”
Beauty and the Beast (1991) is definitely a favorite among many Disney fans. So when the new live action version of the film opened in theaters this past weekend, hopes were high to say the least. I think a lot of people had their torches and pitchforks at the ready just in case.
I, for one, LOVED it. The film was visually stunning. Emma Watson made a fantastic Belle, and the rest of the cast shined in their roles as well. The movie really stayed true to the animated version, but also added in more backstory and expanded on the relationships (friendships included) of so many of the characters. One of the characters I found much more fleshed out and enjoyable in this version was Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, a character who has recently stirred a lot of controversy due to *MILDEST OF SPOILERS* his character being Disney’s first openly gay character in one of their films. Kudos to Disney for finally taking this important step in the right direction. To any of the theaters that refused to play this movie due to it having a gay character in it I simply say “Shame on you” and also “Your loss. Because LeFou is the shit.” ❤
The characters were awesome, but so was the music. The film included all of your favorite Beauty and the Beast songs as well as a few new ones. Nearly 24 hours later I still have the songs stuck in my head. And I am NOT complaining. 😉
I just want to gush and gush about this movie, but I will only say one more thing before I end this. If you think you enjoyed the library scene in the original, baby, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
Woo! With so many outstanding blogs on this site, it’s always a pleasant surprise to receive a nomination for an award. 🙂
Many thanks to The Comic Vault for the nomination! If you love comics I can pretty much guarantee you will love his blog. I know I do! 🙂 With the excellent reviews, informative character spotlights, and creator spotlights featuring artists and writers in the business, what isn’t to enjoy? He even throws in other fun stuff like pop culture playlists centered around specific characters (I’ve seen playlists for the Joker, Thor, and Gambit so far since following).
Thank and link the person who nominated you.
Answer the seven questions your nominator has provided.
Nominate 7 other bloggers and create 7 questions for them.
THE COMIC VAULT’S QUESTIONS:
Q: If you could be any kind of animal what would it be?
A: Hmmm . . . probably a dog or a cat. lol That might sound lame, but I know my cat’s got it pretty good, and that sounds like a way better existence than having to worry about predators, hunters, parasites, etc.
Q: Where is one of the best places you’ve traveled to?
A: I haven’t gotten to travel anywhere near as much as I’d like to. I’ve only been out of the US once, to Canada, and it was so long ago that I honestly don’t remember a whole lot about the trip. I’ve been to Chicago several times and have always had a blast there, so I’m going to say Chicago. It’s a fun city with countless things to do, wonderful museums, a fantastic aquarium, conventions, and I went to the Fangoria weekend of horrors there where I got to see Voltaire play and even meet him and get his autograph. I also got to meet the lovely Lori Petty in that city, so it definitely is a place full of fond memories for me.
Q: Who is your favorite superhero?
A: Sorry, Batman, you’re gonna have to sit this one out on the bench since you lack the superpowers and whatnot.
This question is just cruel! Cruel, I say! There are so many good ones out there and you expect me to pick just one?? (Not to mention the fact that I’m more of a villain/antihero kind of girl anyway.) 😛 Hmmm . . . I guess if I had to pick a single superhero, it would be Spider-Man. Or Rogue. Or . . . ah, hell. That isn’t keeping the number to one at all, is it? Well, two is about as good as it’s gonna get I’m afraid!
Q: What would your ideal home be like?
A: I love Victorian style houses, but as long as the place has a massive library and a jacuzzi bathtub for epic bubble baths I’m pretty easy to please! 😉
Q: What is one of your favorite books?
A: A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin. I don’t think I have ever simultaneously loved a book and wanted to throw it off the roof as much as I did this one. Oh, the feels.
Q: Do you think there is such a thing as fate?
A: Honestly, I have no clue. I think life is for living in the moment and doing the best you can with the time you’ve got. It’s far too short for trying to figure out all the answers to things we have no definite way of knowing. Spend it loving people worth loving and doing the things that bring joy to you as well as those around you.
Q: What kind of music do you like?
A: I enjoy a lot of different types of music, but here’s a few of my favorite artists/bands: The Birthday Massacre, Falconer, Lindsey Stirling, Motorhead, King Diamond, The Misfits, Horrorpops, The Distillers, Emilie Autumn, Amanda Palmer/The Dresden Dolls, Voltaire, Creature Feature, Arkona, Slough Feg, Grand Magus. I also really like instrumental music like video game soundtracks and whatnot, Danny Baranowsky being a top name that comes to mind for that sort of thing.
Cupcakes and Machetes: a blog that juggles all kinds of fun topics like delicious recipes, entertaining book reviews (most frequently fantasy/science fiction-related), adorable critter pictures, and other miscellaneous goodies. If you think your TBR list is long now, wait until this book demon gets her clutches on you. 😛
The Shameful Narcissist Speaks: A bountiful cornucopia of reviews, fan fiction, fan theories, essays, and a mad amount of love for things like video games (she is the reigning queen of Final Fantasy related posts), ASOIAF/GOT, writing, and books galore.
Gamers United GG Blog: A new and highly entertaining blog with frequent posts on video games, Netflix shows worthy of binge-watching, reviews on hidden gem movies, games, or shows that you may have missed, collectables, and more!
Precinct1313: A blog brimming with exciting news, comic cover spotlights, recommendations, and reviews related to the fantastic world of DC comics and more! Very informative and fun posts, featuring fresh news as well as tributes to the older days of comics.
Unbolt Me: A collaboration of creativity between writers Tony Single and Tetiana Aleksina, this blog is full of their poems, spun tales, six word stories, and other creative endeavors. Like a surrealist painting spun into words.
Cheap Boss Attack: A friendly and informative social hub for gamers to enjoy reviews, chat about their weekend gaming plans, check out recommendations for current games on sale, catch up on related news, and more!
Forged From Reverie: A journey across several categories of content including: the beautifully written stories and lore from the Realms of Ayl’gard, adorable and hilarious posts of a man and his pug, and the current ongoing apprentice guide to Skyrim.
The Necro Nom-Nom-Nomicon: Horror fans won’t be able to help but marvel at the deviously delicious/deranged recipes on this blog. These morbid morsels are so creative and creepy-looking that one has to wonder what nightmares they sprang out of.
(I know the rules say pick seven bloggers, but I picked eight cuz I’m a rebel like that!) 😉
MY 7 QUESTIONS:
1.) What is your favorite memory of 2016?
2.) If you could make a living in any profession (your absolute dream job) what would it be?
3.) Have you ever met anyone famous?
4.) If you could travel to any one place in the world right now where would it be?