Monday, October 26, 2015

Top Ten Books to Read for Halloween (Depending on your mood)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This list is confined to what I've read, and I haven't read many scary things, but here we go. Things to read on Halloween based on what you're in the mood for:

Something creepy:

I Am Legend // Richard Matheson. Vampires and isolation and one of my favorites.
Carrie // Stephen King. Not very scary,
The Turn of the Screw // Henry James. Ghosts and apparitions. See my review here.

Something classic:

Frankenstein // Mary Shelley. Although I felt that this was more sad than scary.
The Castle of Otranto // Horace Walpole. Castles? Ghosts? This totally has a Halloween feel to it.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde // Robert Louis Stevenson. Short and sweet and full of mystery.

Something with witches:

Macbeth // William Shakespeare. Something wicked this way comes.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone // J. K. Rowling. Troll in the dungeon! 

Something modern:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children // Ransom Riggs. Creepy photos, charming story.
Dorothy Must Die // Danielle Paige. Gruesome and twisted retelling of Oz.

Something disturbing:

Nothing // Janne Teller. Not a Halloween story, but seriously disturbing. See my review here.

Something lighthearted:

Arsenic and Old Lace // Joseph Kesselring. Old ladies and murder. Surprisingly hilarious.

Something short:

The Yellow Wall-Paper // Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Psychotic woman.
The Black Cat // Edgar Allan Poe. Psychotic man.
The Adventures of the German Student // Washington Irving. Psychotic everyone.

currently listening to: Hello by Adele

Friday, October 23, 2015

NaNoWriMo Tag 2015

Hey guys! Kristina Horner on YouTube started this tag, so I thought I'd make a video for it. =) I have like 0 experience with making videos, so forgive me if this isn't very good. Also I'm sorry that it's ridiculously long.

Original tag:

The Questions:
1. How many times have you done NaNoWriMo?
2. How did you first find out about NaNoWriMo?
3. What was the name of the first novel you attempted with NaNo?
4. Give us a 1 sentence summary of what you’re writing this year.
5. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?
6. Did you ever take a year off from NaNo? Why?
7. What's your biggest inspiration when figuring out what to write?
8. Read us the first sentence from one of your novels.
9. Why do you love writing?

Hope you all do this tag!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Dear Book Genie

The Top Ten Tuesday prompt today is ten wishes you'd like the book genie to grant you. And I've tried to think of ten wishes, but the only thing that comes to mind is my dream library.

So Dear Book Genie,

I would like my own personal library someday. A beautiful library with big, comfy chairs and a fireplace. It must have a fireplace. But also a safe one because books and danger. I want to be able to spend hours in there comfortably (and have snacks brought to me on a tray, but perhaps that is too demanding). I want to be able to walk through the doors and not know what era I'm in. I would like a lot of natural light, but also a lot of lamps for when I'm up reading in the wee hours of the night. A desk would also be lovely, for the days when I would rather write than read.

This is the library of the Biltmore House, built by George Washington Vanderbilt II. It is the largest privately owned home in the United States with 135,000 square feet and 250 rooms.:

Just about perfect.:

Equestrian Style is always gorgeous- especially in a library:

Library with fireplace, vintage rug, cozy oversized chair, sconces <-- So much goodness in one spot, it's overwhelming.:

I am so in love with personal libraries. The smell, the lighting, the warmth.:

Please and thank you.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Top Ten Characters That Made Me Swoon

I'm not a huge romantic. I don't really read romance very often, but every now and then I come across a character that just makes me swoon. Here's my top ten!

10) Captain Thorne // Cress
I didn't much care for Thorne in Scarlet, but I felt like his character really developed in Cress. He gives me major Han Solo vibes.

9) Johnny Cade // The Outsiders
So in middle school, when other girls were dreaming about Darry or Sodapop, I had a thing for Johnny. Still not sure why. I think it might be the "looks like a puppy that's been kicked too many times" description. Pulls my heartstrings. 

8) Prince Kai // Cinder
I love that his character has so much depth. It would have been easy to make him the typical stock prince character, but we see him grow and mature and make really tough decisions. Really stupid decisions. And he's still so dreamy.

7) Tommy // Never Let Me Go
I just want to steal Tommy away from all the bad things that happen in this book and never let go.

6) Ian // The Host
HE BROUGHT HER CHEETOS and from that point on my heart was a puddle.

5) Augustus Waters // The Fault in Our Stars 
Normally, Gus isn't the type of character I fall for. But he was so sweet and charming and funny. Won me over.

4) Peter // Peter Pan
So Jeremy Sumpter's performance in the 2004 version really solidified this, but I love Peter's character in all versions. And I'll never get over that Peter and Wendy didn't end up together.

3) Edward Cullen // Twilight
Yeah, I was that girl. Even now, whenever I reread the book, he still gets me. 
So suave. So pale. 

2) Mr. Darcy // Pride & Prejudice
Do I even need to explain this one? 

Honorable Mentions: 
Chaol // Throne of Glass
Four // Divergent
Peeta // The Hunger Games
Poor guys. They tried so hard.

1) Levi // Fangirl
I can't even explain how much Levi made me swoon. He was so dorky and caring and sweet and also had some major character flaws but he felt so real. I never wanted Fangirl to end.

It's your turn: Which characters made YOU swoon? Did you feel the same way with the characters on this list? Any that I missed out on? Let me know!

currently listening to: Begin Again by Taylor Swift

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Top Ten Books I Never Finished

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
I don't usually DNF a book. If I decide to sit down and read something, I want to see it through, especially since I'm such a slow reader. HOWEVER. Here are a few instances where I decided to stop reading a book before I had finished it.

10. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
I think I read this for approximately 1.4 days and then gave up on it because it did not have any of the charm that the movie had. I pretty much gave up on Nicholas Sparks after that, though I did get through A Walk to Remember a few years later.

9. Without a Map by Meredith Hall
I kind of got into a memoir kick at some point in high school, but something about this did not click with me, so I turned it back in after reading about half of it.

8. All-American Girl by Meg Cabot
My sister really liked this book so I wanted to give it a try, but I checked it out at the end of the school year and it was thick and terrifying. I had to turn it back in after just a chapter or two.

7. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket
I read the first installment in A Series of Unfortunate Events in a single night. This remains the only book that I've ever checked out of a public library, and it just could not hold my interest, so I had to return it unread. I think I turned it in past the due date, too, and I was so ashamed that I never wanted to enter that library again.

6. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
I love this movie. But the book felt somewhat juvenile to me, which was really strange considering the content. I kind of want to give it another go someday, though.

5. Intensity by Dean Koontz
I tried to read this a few months after I read Velocity by Koontz. The two stories are unrelated, but have the same feel. For some reason, Velocity sucked me in, but I could not get into Intensity. I'll probably try it again another day.

4. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
My 5th grade class started reading this, got at least halfway through, and then my teacher decided to stop because everyone in the class already knew what happened. But not me. I had never read it and I had never seen the movies. Although now I have a pretty good idea about what happens, I'm still bitter about the whole thing.

3. Messenger by Lois Lowry
I loved The Giver. I got through Gathering Blue. The series lost so much steam by the time I got to Messenger that I was no longer interested. Plus I liked the ambiguous ending in The Giver and did not really want to find out what happened to Jonas.

2. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
Last year, I got into a severe reading funk and could not find anything that held my interest. I normally love Mitch Albom's books, and this one was okay, it just was not for me at that particular moment.

1. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
My sister loves this series and I saw the first movie with her. I kind of liked it. I decided to give the book a shot. I got 40-ish pages in and could. not. go. on. All of the special lingo really got on my nerves. I'm not sure I can give it another shot. I'm kind of done with dystopia for awhile.


Do you guys ever decide to DNF? How do you make that decision? Any books on here that I must go back and read? Let me know!


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Early October Updates

I've been writing this post since September but never got the chance to finish it. Sorry about that!

Rex visited parents. In our hometown! We had been putting this off because he's not the best around other animals, but it went pretty well. 

- My sister-in-law got married! And I wish English had a word for the spouse of your spouse's sibling. Because other languages do, and we don't. Anyway, Tori & Tony were married and it was so beautiful.


- So, I might kind of like coffee? It came upon me suddenly, because as you may recall I've always hated coffee. I hated the taste, and it always made me feel sick afterwards. And now I'm kind of turning into an addict.

I've lost seven nine pounds! I haven't been able to keep up with my Fitbit goals very well now that school has started, so the weight loss has kind of tapered off, but I'm less than five pounds away from reaching my goal.

- I tried yoga and really liked it. Deacon's parents go on Saturday mornings and invited me to come with them and I found it to be really relaxing. Much breathing. Such wow.

- Star Wars order. Okay, so I started watching a new Youtube channel called SuperCarlinBros which is basically a knockoff Vlogbrothers about movies (mainly Pixar). In one of their videos, they pose the question over the correct order to show Star Wars to your children (excluding the sequels that haven't been released yet). So you're probably familiar with the debate of whether to watch them in the order they were released (4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3) or chronologically. Growing up, I watched them mostly chronologically, although it was more like half of 1, 3, 2, half of 4, 5, 6. 

This video discusses the idea that the best order to introduce Star Wars to someone is in this order: 4, 5, 2, 3, 6. AND I THINK IT IS BRILLIANT. You get all the action and mystery of the original movies, and you still get the big reveal at the end of Empire Strikes Back. But then you take a break and episodes 2 and 3 essentially function like a big flashback that explains how that happened, and then at the end of 3 you find out about the other major reveal. And then you are fully prepared to enter the conclusion. Now, you completely cut off Episode One, which means no Darth Maul, but I think the only important point you miss out on is that Anakin made C3PO, but that detail isn't really essential to the plot. What do you guys think?

-Levi is a Hufflepuff! Okay, so I read Fangirl in July and pretty much completely loved it and Levi became one of my favorite characters of all time. OF ALL TIME. I started following Rainbow Rowell on Twitter (excellent decision) and last month she was sorting her characters into houses to raise funds to help with the Syrian refugee crisis. And she sorted Levi into Hufflepuff.
And you know what? I THINK THAT'S AWESOME. Because Levi is a Hufflepuff. If you read the book, you will have a hard time disagreeing with it. But he is also an excellent and loving person. Even though I'm not a Hufflepuff, I think their house is seriously misunderstood, so I was pleased with this reveal. 
(Also, a sort of Fangirl spin-off novel, Carry On, comes out next week!)

I hate the new sans-serif typeface. Ugh.

tv shows
The Royals (I've recently taken an interest in the British monarchy.)
Once Upon a Time (just the first few episodes. Meh.)
I've mainly been watching Youtube channels.

Still Alice (loved it, though it's not particularly enjoyable. I was crying literally the entire time.)
The Others (liked it.)
The Machinist (not sure how I felt.)

Wintergirls (it was okay.)
Throne of Glass (meh. I will probably write a ranting post about it someday.)

currently reading: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (audiobook)

As always, tell me how your October is going! I'm sorry I missed September entirely, it just kind of slipped by. (I'm not complaining, though. It's my least-favorite month.) Have you guys seen any good movies lately? HAVE YOU READ THE NIGHT CIRCUS? Which way do you prefer to watch Star Wars? Tell me all the things!