Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Lights- Guest Post by Jen

Hello everyone! This is my absolute favorite time of year. What other time of year is so full of traditions? Old traditions that have been in your family for generations, new traditions you're trying out... As well as getting to do some of your favorite things that only happen once a year.
To help celebrate, I've asked a few of my favorite blogging friends to do guest posts over the next few days. Today is Jen! One of my fellow bloggers from The Broke and the Bookish . She wrote about something that is a favorite of mine as well... Enjoy!

Christmas lights. They make me happy. I love driving through neighborhoods and seeing the houses decorated with light displays. It's one of my favorite things to do this time of year. It's fun to see the different degrees of creativity and the amount of work people put into their Christmas light displays.
Some people go all out. Like all out. I'm talking about the ones who have a radio station you tune to that the lights are synced to. Those are always amazing and I wonder how long it takes the homeowners to string all the lights. These people usually even have lights on the yard and it seems every square inch of the house. There is a crazy light display near me and the homeowners serve hot chocolate and this year they are raising money to buy a local child a service dog. That is showing some definite Christmas spirit!
Then there are what I consider the "normal" light displays. Nothing outrageous but there's a good amount of lights. Then there are the "lazy" light decorators. The ones who run a string of lights around the doorway or put a couple netted lights in the bushes. They still have the holiday spirit but scaled down. If I ever own a house I will more than likely be a "lazy" light decorator. I'd rather see everyone else's Christmas lights.
In the town I grew up in there used to be a road where every single house would have crazy light displays (this was before you could include radio stations). The entire road would be lit up with colorful lights and it was so amazing. The unofficial name of the street was "Christmas Tree Lane". I have no idea what the real name was or even if all the houses still have a display of lights every year. I always loved going with my parents or grandparents when I was little. The houses always seemed magical.

Driving around to see the Christmas lights this time of year is one of my favorite things too. The things people come up with! My favorite is going to Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The light display is always incredible! What about you??? Any favorite light displays near you? Please leave a comment and share!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at my other blog, The Broke and the Bookish.

Cristin Terrill (All Our Yesterdays) Anything time travel grabs my attention, and this was no exception. I love her concept of time travel and of time itself.

Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass) LOVE LOVE LOVE this series! Now that I actually have time to read I get to read the sequel! 

Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl) Instant love. I've read Fangirl and Elenore and Park, I plan on reading everything else she writes!

Robert Galbraith (The Cuckoo's Calling) Okay, I'm totally cheating with this one. We all know that "Robert Galbraith" is actually JK Rowling. HOWEVER, I did not know it was her when I purchased the book. (The book was fantastic. Watch the blog for a review!)

Lauren Graham (Someday, Someday, Maybe) Yes. THAT Lauren Graham. Our own Lorelai. And she can write! Really enjoyed this, especially all of the wonderful details about NYC!

George R. R. Martin (Song of Ice and Fire) I knew who he was, but I hadn't read his books until this year. I'm completely addicted, just ask Daisy. I also refer to him as Evil Santa. 

Leigh Bardugo  (Shadow and Bone) Picked up one of her books by accident and fell in love with her storytelling and world building. 

John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) Yes yes yes, I know. I'm late to the party on this one. I had no idea who he was. Someone was talking about how much they loved TFiOS so I gave it a try... I don't think I've ever loved a book more.

Ruby Preston (Staged) I was introduced to this book by her publisher when she offered me a copy of the book for review. I loved it. It's another theatre book, and it shows the other side of theatre. Producing!

A.G. Howard (Splintered) I am so excited for the sequel for this! And completely envious of those lucky people who got an ARC!

A little exciting bit of news... I GRADUATED ON FRIDAY!!!! Yep! It finally happened! To show my excitement I leave you with a dancing Time Lord.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A to Z Bookish Survey

I'm not dead, and neither is the blog! I know it probably looked that way... That's the problem when you are in your last semester of college, take 20 credit hours, stage manage a show, work almost full time, and have a boyfriend. Sadly, I let my poor blog be ignored. 

But I'm back! I have 26 days to graduation! And here is a nice fun post to jump start my blog again.

I stole this from Lori over at The Coffee Girl. Thanks!

Author you’ve read the most books from: Hmm… That is probably a tie between Mary Higgins Clark and J.K. Rowling. I’ve read all of the HP books, as well as the mystery novel she published under the name “Robert Gailbraith”.

Best Sequel Ever: “Where She Went” by Gayle Forman, hands down. I thought a sequel would be impossible. She proved me so wrong.

Currently Reading: I am reading “Twinmaker” by Sean Williams. I’m not very far into it, but it’s really intriguing so far!

Drink of Choice While Reading: A nice cold glass of milk. Yes, I realize that makes me weird. Most people over the age of 9 won’t drink it. I love it though.

E-reader or Physical Book? I have to say both. I read more often on my nook though, since I take it with me everywhere. However, I love the feel and smell of real books.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School: I have no idea. In high school I mostly just went out on dates with old friends, I didn’t really have any serious boyfriends until college… This question is so hard!

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: On the Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta. It was given to me as a Secret Santa gift and they requested that even though it starts slow, that I just give it a chance because it was their favorite book. So I read it, and fell head over heels in love. I recommend it all the time. No, really, you should read it!

Hidden Gem Book:  The River of Time series. Hardly anyone I talk to has heard of it, I adore it though. (They know about after I finish talking to them about it though!)

Important Moment in your Reading Life:  I have a lot! My dad, who never enjoyed reading, used to read to me when I was little. I still remember sitting next to him on the couch while he read things like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or James and the Giant Peach. My first grade teacher really instilled a love of reading into all of her students, I barely remember exactly what it was that she did, all I remember is that when I think of learning to love reading, she’s the first person I think of. Thanks, Mrs. Baker!  Also, Harry Potter. I went from reading skinny, lame books to a whole level! Thick, interesting books. Fantasy! I read Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy while waiting for book 4, I was 10! Then I joined Goodreads my first year of college, met everyone in the College Students group and was introduced into so many incredible books!

Just Finished: The Cuckoo’s Calling by “Robert Gailbraith” (aka J.K. Rowling). I listened to the audiobook. It was SO good. After not particularly caring for The Casual Vacancy, reading something else by her and enjoying it was an absolute delight.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read: Erotica. Just not what I look for in books. I like stuff with more story to go with them.

Longest Book You’ve Read: I’ve read the first three books in the Song of Ice and Fire series. I think #3 is the longest.

Major book hangover because of:  The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson. I had been waiting for what seemed like forever to read this, and it was everything I could have hoped for. It was so wonderful, I had MAJOR book hangover.

Number of Bookcases You Own: Two. Though really I should have three or four to contain all my books. All of my shelves are completely overflowing. I’m getting two more when I move into my apartment.

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: Harry Potter. It’s my “comfort read”. I go back to it time and time again.

Preferred Place To Read: My Grandpa’s old La-Z-Boy. It was my favorite when it was at his house, and when we moved it to my house I declared it mine. Now it’s my favorite spot. And my dogs’ favorite spot… I can’t sit down with a book without them joining me, not that I mind. Curled up in my chair, with a book and my dogs is the perfect way to relax.

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read: This is probably quoted on basically every blog out there, but I absolutely adore this quote from “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green. “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
 Reading Regret: Not reading some of the better children’s classics when I was younger. I TRIED to enjoy A Wrinkle in Time, I really tried! I thought I’d never be too old to enjoy children’s books. Turns out that isn’t entirely true. I couldn’t stand the book, and it makes me sad.

Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series): I honestly can’t think of a single series that is complete that I haven’t finished. Hmm…

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books: Harry Potter (All 7 count as 1!), Poison Study and Code Name Verity. (Ask me the same question tomorrow and you’ll probably get a different answer.

Unapologetic Fangirl For: Neil Gaiman!!! Love his books and everything he’s written for Doctor Who.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others: Too many to choose from! I think probably the new Mistborn books.

Worst Bookish Habit: I buy more books than I could read in three lifetimes.

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book: Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder. AWESOME book!

Your latest book purchase: I bought Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. Can’t wait to read it!

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):  Allegiant by Veronica Roth. Oh, this book. I gave it five stars. It also kept me up much later than was smart. I already only average about 5 hours of sleep at night.

Friday, July 26, 2013

A bit of an update...

Okay, so I haven't been the best about keeping my blog very active. In my defense, my life is incredibly busy right now. Let me give you a bit of a rundown of what's been going on.

First. I am graduating in December. I am taking summer semester right now, at the end of August I will start my last semester ever of my undergrad. WOOHOO! I have 140 days until graduation. Yes, I am counting down. I have a countdown widget on my phone.

I am working (mostly) full time. When I say mostly it's because I'm one of those lucky government employees who are being furloughed. Happy happy joy joy...

I am also working as the Stage Manager for a musical. Anne of Green Gables! Which is great fun, really. I'm working with a couple of relatives (cousin for a director, another cousin as a light/stage designer). I also get to do things that one might not normally think of for a play. Such as learning about maypoles and teaching a bunch of kids how to use one. (It's going to be AMAZING).  It also means that I have rehearsal every day, so when someone asks me to go do something...

I also just got back from San Diego Comic Con. Which was amazing and completely exhausting. I mean, 130,000+ people? I camped out over night in order to get into one of the biggest panels in Hall H. My friend and I got in line at 10:30pm the night before, the panel started at 10am. The line was already a mile long! I'm pretty sure I had to turn in my sanity for that week. I spent most of my time there completely fangirling over practically everything. I walked into a panel only to see Steven Yeun (Glenn from The Walking Dead) Kit Harington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones) and Matt Smith (11th Doctor from Doctor Who). I about died. Glenn, Jon Snow and The Doctor all sitting next to each other???! It's probably a good thing no one took video of me during Comic Con, it might have just been too embarrassing.

Oh, and for you Doctor Who fans out there... The preview they showed for the 50th anniversary special????

Basically, prepare to freak out. I barely remember half of what the diologue was because I was too busy screaming along with the entirety of Hall H.
Also, today is my birthday (yay!) so things are even more crazy. I mean, look at what I woke up to find in my car!

So those are some of the reasons I haven't been too active. Hopefully I'll do better!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday- Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at my other blog, The Broke and the Bookish.

Lisa T. Bergren- I’m not sure if I would have heard of her if a friend hadn’t recommended her book series, then later I saw someone mention it during a boutofbooks chat. After that I looked the River of Time series up… and fell in love with the story. 

Stephanie Fowers- I love talking about local authors. Stephanie’s books are light, and filled with humor. Her characters are so relatable that if I were to cast the actors in the play or movie version, I have a friend that would fit every role perfectly. 

Lindsey Leavitt- Okay, she’s fairly well known. But more people need to know about her. Her Princess for Hire series is an absolute delightful read.

Maria V. Snyder- How she isn’t more well-known is a mystery to me. Maria is the queen of strong, relatable heroines. Her Study series features a lead named Yelena, and is one of my absolute favorite heroines. Wonderful world building, fantastic characters (you’ll love Ari and Janco too!) and absorbing story telling.

R.L. LaFevers- I think by now a lot of the blogging community has heard about her and her fantastic books. However, if it weren’t for all the amazing bloggers out there I may not have found her books! 

S.J. Kincaid- Another author I know of because of blogging. I read Insignia last year and loved it. A YA novel with a male MC! 

Elizabeth Fama- I got to meet Elizabeth, be jealous. No seriously, you should be jealous because she’s awesome. When you think mermaids, you think red hair, dinglehoppers, heart of gold, couldn’t hurt a fly, etc, etc. Elizabeth takes that stereotype,  flips it upside down and makes it ever so much more interesting. Monstrous Beauty is a great read if you’re looking for something that’s a mix of romance, historical fiction, mystery, and fantasy. 

Chanda Hahn- I don’t even remember how I heard about her series, but it’s wonderful. I’m a sucker for a fairy tale retelling, and her books are fantastic! 

Jessica Day George- I discovered her by accident (another local author!) when I won the audio for her book, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. I think she might be more well known among MG readers, not many realize she writes YA as well.

So… I only made it to 8. Turns out a lot of my favorite authors are already well known. 

Who is on your list? What delightful authors have I yet to discover???

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top Ten Book to Movie Adaptations

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at my other blog, The Broke and the Bookish.

I prefer not to think of the adaptations that I didn't like (Eragon, Ella Enchanted, Percy Jackson...) so I decided to focus on the ones that left me smiling and happy. At the same time, this list makes me nervous. So many of these are close to my heart. What if someone hates one of my favorites? That's totally fine, everyone has their likes and dislikes... But someone hating something I love is a bit like someone telling me they don't like my best friend.

Anne of Green Gables- I am Stage Managing the musical adaptation this summer, and it's made me fall in love with Anne and her world all over again. I identify with Anne more than almost any other literary character. Daydreams, books... I'm not an orphan, and I'm still searching for my Gilbert, but Anne and I share a bond. And the movies! Oh those movies! Could they have possibly picked better actors to fill those roles? The books I so adore were so lovingly adapted. Beautiful Prince Edward Island, wonderful actors, the best moments from the books... I watch them at least once a year.

 I recently found out that some of my fellow Broke and Bookish bloggers have NOT seen the movies OR read the books! How terrible is that??? Do me a favor and go nag them. (Hint: it's Kelly and Jen)

Lord of the Rings/Hobbit- I recently got into an argument with a friend about these movies. He doesn't really like them, I adore them. The argument ended with me telling him he's not allowed to talk about the series around me. Again, BRILLIANT casting. Seriously.  There were changes from the original, but none of them bother me. The movies are beautiful. I have watched them numerous times and still love them.


Jurassic Park/Lost World- I was terrified of these movies when the first one came out. Now they are some of my favorites. If you've read the books, you'll know just how much they've changed. A lot. And yet these movies are great. My friends and I went and saw Jurassic Park at the IMAX, in 3D. It was like seeing it for the first time! I think I came close to dumping my popcorn a couple of times when I jumped, or one of my friends did.

Inkheart- I've read the books, and the movie strays a bit... but I love it with all my heart.  Can you name a movie more bookish? Elinor and her marvelous love for books... "But I just adore everything Persian"/ "You've been to Persia?"/ "Yes, a hundred times. Along with St. Petersburg, Paris, Middle-Earth, distant planets and Shangri-la. And I never had to leave this room. Books are adventure. They contain murder and mayhem and passion. They love anyone who opens them." The casting isn't perfect but some of them were so wonderful that they make up for the rest. Helen Mirren as Elinor? Paul Bettany as Dustfinger? Wonderful.

Howl's Moving Castle- I saw Miyazaki's movie first, then later went back and read the book. I love them both. (Though, it IS Miyazaki. I don't know how I could hate any of his movies anyway) They are almost identical until about the middle section, then they go separate ways, but I can't say which of them I prefer!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory- I don't mean the one with Johnny Depp (which is pretty good). I'm talking about Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. The music, the whimsy, the charm. My dad read the book to me when I was really little, and I've watched the movie multiple times. I love it. Pure Imagination is one of my favorite songs.


Princess Bride- I'll say it. It's better than the book! One of my all time favorite movies. I mean, really, how can you not like it? I know it's possible. I have an aunt who hates it. She also hates the Goonies, so I don't have a lot of faith in her taste in movies. (Love you still, Aunt Marci!) But the movie is so quotable, the actors took characters that were merely likable, and made us adore them.

The Great Gatsby (2013)- Not everyone liked this. I was enchanted by it. The style, the actors, the elements of the story they focused on.... They captured so much of the book.  It kept me thinking for weeks after I saw it. Although, I can't decide if hearing Leonardo DiCaprio say "Old Sport" makes me want to hit something, or laugh.

Stardust- Again, better than the book. I adore this movie. I've watched it... I don't even know how many times. I read the book, and just didn't enjoy it as much. Which is weird, because it's Neil Gaiman and I love just about everything he does.

Perks of Being a Wallflower- I liked the book. I loved the movie. Again with the casting. They were so perfect. They were characters that I liked in the book, but wasn't sure I could love. The movie made me love them.

What are your favorite adaptations??