Saturday, July 26, 2014

So, I finally went to the library today. It's sad that I haven't been there so long, but I've had so much craziness in my life lately (enough to one day warrant a Lifetime original movie, I assure you), that I just never got around to going. I even had to fill out another library card application, because my previous one had expired. At least the new card had only cost me $2. Anywho, there were a lot of good books available to choose from - and a much bigger YA section than they had a couple years ago, which I was happy to see. Here's what I ended up getting this first trip back:

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clark
Dead Reckoning by Mercedes Lackey & Rosemary Edghill
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge
Paige by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge
The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone

Also, since my last Stacking the Shelves post, I made a trip to Mervyns and discovered all of the fun stuff they have in their books & stationary section. I ended up picking up my first listography book there for only a few bucks, and then got hooked and purchased a music one on Amazon. Have you heard of the listography series? They're basically books that feature a different topic on each page, and you have to fill in the lines with lists pertaining to whatever they ask you. I think they make a fun keepsake, and as I am addicted to making lists for absolutely everything, I've been having a blast filling them out! I plan on getting the film listography book next, but for now, here are the one's I have:

Finally, I know these aren't books, but these do tell stories (in addition to stacking my shelves), so I thought I'd share my recent tabletop-gaming purchases. I have a huge love for playing games, whether they're video games, board games, card games, party games, etc. The games below have been on my wishlist for quite a while, and I'm glad I'll finally get the chance to play them:

What's New On My Kindle

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Top 10 Favorite TV Shows

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 with 11 comments
A Meme By The Broke and the Bookish
Everyone was given the opportunity to list some of their favorite movies AND television shows, but I had a hard time just narrowing things down to ten for each category that I don't think I could have beared narrowing them each down to five. Instead, I chose to just stick with one category, and TV was the winner! After agonizingly picking and choosing the shows that would make the final cut, I finally decided on the following:

I absolutely LOVE this show!!! It may be my favorite show of all time, though I admit that lately I've been having a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. I think I'm still going through withdrawal from Russell T. Davies's departure. And David Tennant's. Still, I have really high hopes for Peter Capaldi (who will be playing the next incarnation of the Doctor.) Gosh, this show makes me wanna travel through time and space so bad!

One of the best shows about kickin' monster ass, eating pie, and listening to classic rock that I have ever seen. Plus, there's Cas. Lot's of Cas. And did I mention the pie? Mmmm...

I love anything as long as it has Peter Dinklage, and 'Game of Thrones' is no exception. There's action, adventure, blood, dragons, incest, intrigue, revenge...what more do you need? Oh, that's right - Kit Harington. Don't worry, he's there, too. Though sadly, I still have yet to read the books. I'll get to them, I promise!

I can't imagine going through life without watching this show. Every single episode still has the power to make me laugh uncontrollably, even to this day. It is utter perfection, and one of the best sitcoms that I have ever seen in my life. Period.

For the longest time, I just could not admit that 'The Vampire Diaries' had become one of my favorite shows. I suppose that may be due to the fact that Elena Gilbert is the most annoying protagonist that I have ever encountered in prime-time television. Still, every episode manages to keep me glued to the screen. Not to mention, the songs featured in the show are AWESOME, and there are plenty of hot vampires to keep me satisfied.

Until I started watching 'Smallville,' I never really cared much about superman. I guess all the previous portrayals of the character just made him seem rather boring. This show completely changed my mind about Clark Kent, though. Plus, Erica Durance plays the most kick-ass Lois I have ever seen. Too bad this series had to end, but at least it lasted a good 10 seasons first.

My list would not be complete without some 'Boy Meets World!' I think I love this show as much as I love 'Friends.' Maybe more. But while Cory and Topanga make a really cute couple, it was the bromance between Cory and Shawn that really made the show. In fact, their bromance is the best that I've ever seen in a television series.

I only hope that the new sequel, 'Girl Meets World,' keeps at least *some* of the charm that made its predecessor so successful. I'll try and keep an open mind, but one can only hope.

Most addicting cartoon series, ever. Even 'The Legend of Korra' is really good, though not as great as this original series. I just can't get enough of the beautiful animation! And, there are so many running gags and background jokes sprinkled throughout the show that almost every time I re-watch it, I find something I didn't catch the previous time around. My favorite character? Zuko, of course.

Perhaps the longest-running anime series that I have ever watched. Even though I am a bit behind, I am so emotionally invested in this show that I honestly don't know what I will do once it ends. With 220 episodes in the main Naruto series, and almost 400 episodes in the Naruto: Shippuden series (in addition to the manga, movies and video games), one would think there'd be enough Naruto to tie one over for many lifetimes to come. But one would be wrong.

Where would I be without my regular dose of Sheldon? I love that this show continuously cracks me up, and I can't get enough of the nerdy references! 

Honorable Mentions
(Because some shows I just could NOT leave out!)

Trust me when I say that I am always on the lookout for the next greatest show. Please leave me some recommendations in the comments! :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

It's almost time for the 2014 Fall Lineup, and let me tell you - there are a lot of shows coming out this year that are based on not only books, but comic books! Here's a look at what's to come (FYI, I've intentionally left out shows that are slated to be released in 2015):

Constantine (NBC)

Based on the DC comics. Warning: does not contain Keanu Reeves.

Recommended Reading:

Emerald City (NBC)

There hasn't been a trailer released yet, but like the name suggests, it's a re-telling of The Wizard of Oz. The executive producer of the series also produced Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, so here's hoping he has some influence on how this show turns out.

Recommended Reading:


The Flash (CW)

Yet another television series based on a comic book character, only this time, it's The Flash! It's a spin-off of Arrow, which I love, but am rather behind on. I'm excited for this one! Plus, it doesn't hurt that Grant Gustin makes pretty good eye-candy (he's only one year younger than me, so I can say that!)

Recommended Reading:

Fresh Off The Boat (ABC)

I don't know what to think of this - so far ABC's fall line-up includes a show about African Americans (Black-ish), Mexican Americans (Cristela) and now one about Asian Americans. All of them are half-hour sitcoms. See a pattern, here? At least this one is based on a best-selling memoir.

Recommended Reading:

Gotham (FOX)

About time they make a new Batman television series! Granted, this one is`more about a pre-Batman version of Gotham City, and follows a young Detective Gordon, but you still get the basic origin stories for both Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle (later on known as Catwoman.) I am hopeful - this is definitely one of the most talked about series starting this Fall.

Recommended Reading:

iZombie (CW) 

Yup, you guessed it - another show based on a comic book. There isn't a trailer out for this one yet, but the promo picks don't really seem to speak to me. Who knows.

Recommended Reading:

Outlander (STARZ)

I really need to get around to reading this series! I'm hoping the show is okay, since it's on a premium network, but I don't think I've ever seen a STARZ original series, so I'm not sure what to think yet. The cinematography looks lovely though, and I know the novels have a huge following. I should start reading them before this comes out...

Recommended Reading:

The Whispers (ABC) 

Based on the creepy short story "Zero Hour" by Ray Bradbury. This actually sounds appealing...

Recommended Reading:

I think I'm most excited to see The Flash and Gotham - I'm a sucker for superheroes, after all! Of course, there are some other great shows coming out that aren't book related at all, but that's another post for another day.

Did I miss something? If so, please let me know in the comments!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Thursday, July 10, 2014 with 4 comments

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
Wow. I did it. I finally got the chance to see what all the hype was about, and let me say - it certainly lived up. Gone Girl isn't just your everyday, run-of-the-mill mystery novel - there's enough twists and turns to keep readers fully on their toes at all times. Just when you think you know what's going on, everything explodes in your face, and you're left with completely different feelings than what you started out with. All in all, I'd describe it as a suspenseful and emotional roller-coaster of a tale.

Now, I'll admit, when I started reading this I already knew that Ben Affleck had been cast as the lead character, Nick Dunne, so I couldn't help but picture him as the character in my mind. He was just so perfect. It's so easy to picture Ben Affleck as the pretentious, down-in-his-luck asshole of a New York writer, who had once been a lovable small-town mama's boy. But despite his flaws, you just can't help but silently root for him. Perfect casting, right?

At any rate, throughout the majority of the novel, you really have no idea what happened. Every chapter alternates between Nick's point-of-view and his missing wife's old journal entries. You kind of start to have a feel of how these two think, but Nick has such a blasé attitude towards everything that it's difficult to fully tell why he acts the way that he does. I honestly couldn't tell if he murdered his wife or not, and I kept flipping back and forth  on my decision ("Guilty!....Wait...not guilty! I mean, maybe he did it. Or maybe not. NO - burn him at the stake!!! Oh, wait, I'm sorry - that poor, poor bastard.") the whole way through.

I don't want to get into too much detail because it's hard to do without giving away too much. All I can say is that it's best to delve into this book not knowing anything at all, because the real fun in reading this novel is not knowing where it's going to take you next, which is harder if you already have preconceived notions about what's going to happen. GRRRR!!!! Just read it already! Trust me when I say that there is a very good reason that this book remained at the top of the bestseller list for as long as it did. Recommended!

*And if it helps, the only word that popped into my head upon finishing this novel was a simple: "Fuck."


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

My Top 10 Book Blogging Confessions

Tuesday, July 08, 2014 with 10 comments
A Meme By The Broke and the Bookish

Lately I haven't had any time for blogging. At all. In fact, other than my blog tour review, this is my first post in over a month. Sorry guys, but work really takes a lot out of me, and in my free time I've been trying my best to create some sort of a social life. Unfortunately, this means that I also haven't been reading as much, and I really don't know how I feel about that. To be honest, I've never had much of a social life, other than those forged at school or work. But I'm only 25, so I can't say that I regret going to a music festival instead of picking up a book I've been wanting to read for ages, or hanging out with some strangers at a meetup instead of creating a new blog post. For now, I'm just gonna have to take things one step at a time, and hopefully I'll find a balance, without having to give anything up.

I love the Twilight series. So sue me. I don't like the movies, I know the writing isn't the greatest, and I know that Bella's obsession with Edward is really not that healthy for her, but still I continue to read and re-read those books. Why? Who knows. Maybe because I've never been in love, and I'm just a sap for the romance. Don't hate.

I often judge books by their covers. In fact, if I own a book I really enjoyed reading, but I hate the cover, I will scour the internet until I find an edition I like. I just like staring at my books, okay?!

I buy most of my books on Amazon. I know, I'm sorry, but there are no indie bookstores where I live, and I have too many student loans to pay to even afford buying them elsewhere. Plus, I'm addicted to their two-day shipping for Prime members.

I read a lot of blog posts that I never comment on. This makes me sad to think about, since I always get super happy whenever I get a new comment, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I just never have anything to say, or I just don't even think about it. I'll try to work on this, promise.

I have a book in my closet that was loaned to me by a college friend about three years ago. I even messaged her for her address a couple years ago so that I could mail it back to her, but I still have not done so. I am terrible.

I rely too much on Goodreads when deciding what to read next. It used to be that I'd pick up a book, and if the synopsis was good enough, I would read it, but now I have to check out its Goodreads rating before giving it a shot. Sadly, I've put down quite a few cool-sounding books due to less-than-satisfactory ratings - a problem that must be stopped. Someday.

I have a hard time reading the next book in a series without completely re-reading all the books that came before it. It won't do to re-fresh my mind by reading their synopsis, or other reviews - I have to start the series from scratch each time a new book finally comes out for it. This is why I am having a hard time making myself continue my beloved Morganville Vampires series - I just can't bring myself to read that many books over again just because there are so many. But I miss it...

The first time I picked up Harry Potter, in the sixth grade, I thought it was so dull that I couldn't get past the first chapter. In fact, I even let another kid who loved the book take the AR test on it for me *gasp!* Of course, when I picked it up again the next year, I loved it! Plus, I really needed it in seventh grade, as I was in the process of breaking up with my so-called "friends" at the time. I guess the series was waiting for the right time to enter my life. Weird, huh?

Sometimes I daydream myself into the books I've read and loved. Yup, I've been a student at Hogwarts, I've flirted with Edward Cullen, and I've even battled alongside Aragorn at Helm's Deep. Sad? Yes. Will I stop? Not anytime soon.

Monday, July 07, 2014

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Bad Blood by Nikki Jefford 
(Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #3) 
Publication Date: June 4th 2014
GenresParanormal, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Aurora returns from boot camp to a new assignment, an unwelcome roommate, and the increasingly amorous attentions of a certain vampire hunter.

College is starting, and so is Aurora’s undercover work at a network of swanky parties known as “Tastings” for high rolling vampires who like their blood laced with fine wine. But Aurora’s not the only one on the prowl. An underground investigation is under way to find out who killed one of Anchorage’s most prominent vampires… and Aurora is a prime suspect.

Wow, Nikki Jefford has done it again! In this novel, we get to see Aurora doing a lot more growing up - not only does she complete a vampire hunter boot camp, move out of her family's house, and start college, but she finally starts "growing up" in her decision-making, as well. Granted, for a *small* chunk of the book, I found her insanely annoying (due to the way she handled both her romantic struggles and her anger towards Noel), but eventually she started realizing that there were more important things to worry about, and she became much more interesting.

As always, I found the best part of this book to be the world-building. The world Aurora lives in is fascinating, and, like the previous books in the series, I found myself completely drawn in to the story (I read this particular book in less than a day!) I think what I like about this series so much is that it's just so different from other YA Vampire Romance novels. Not only is vampirism specific to AB bloodlines, but the heroine of the story is a vampire hunter who was recruited by the government to defeat them, without even being aware that (SPOILER!) she may even be a vampire herself. It's nice to read a vampire novel that deviates so far from the "normal" vampiric story-lines that I see around.

And, whereas normally I find myself completely rooting for one particular guy to get the gal, in this love triangle I'm totally on the fence. I like Dante and Fane, and I'm fine with Aurora choosing either or neither of them (or even both! (^_−)☆) It's not often that I feel this way about love triangles, so kudos to Jefford for creating two male characters that are equally flawed, yet awesome! Once again, I'm looking forward to the next book! (Though please, PLEASE release another Noel Harper novella - she rocks!)

Bookaholic, nature girl, and animal lover.

Nikki Jefford is a third generation Alaskan who found paradise in the not-so-tropical San Juan Islands (WA) where she is, once more, neighbors with Canada in a town without a single traffic light.

She married the love of her life, Sebastien, while working as a teaching assistant in France. They reside with their Westie, Cosmo in Friday Harbor.

Loves fictional bad boys and heroines who kick butt.
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***Don’t miss STAKEOUT, Vol. 2.5, a 54,000 word novella featuring Noel Harper and the entire Aurora Sky gang. Now available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, & iTunes.***