Tuesday, January 31, 2017

my favorite books with visuals.


Honestly, I haven't read very many graphic novels. At all. It's shameful. BUT I'M TRYING TO FIX IT.

So I can't really do my top ten favorite graphic novels this week. So instead I'm only doing 5 books and opening it up to any kind of visual in a book.

Today I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for a Top Ten Tuesday!
This week's topic: All about the visuals!

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children // Ransom Riggs
(I somehow don't own this, so I can't show you the physical book. Sad day.)
How creeeeepy are the photos in this book? And to take those creepy photos and make a book out of them? That was actually at least somewhat entertaining? Super impressed. I read this entirely for the pictures but ended up enjoying the plot.

Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels // Gene Luen Yang
Oh, gosh. The colors, you guys. Every panel in every one of these books is gorgeous.

Abarat // Clive Barker
Vastly underrated (says me, who never read the sequel). This book is kind of like Alice in Wonderland, and if you're not into that then you should read it for the artwork alone. It's so cool and really makes the world come alive.

Attack on Titan // Hajime Isayama
A lot of people don't really like the art style of this series? Granted, I've only read the first three, and the action scenes can be hard to make out sometimes, but I love it. I love how raw and furious it looks.

Nimona // Noelle Stevenson
(I literally just finished this last weekend.) 
It has a very unique art style. It's simplistic, but in an endearing way. (Everything about this book is endearing.) It's a bit of a spoof on traditional superhero comics, and there were several frames that were just gorgeously done. 

currently listening to: SinCast, Ep. 55 

What is your favorite book with visuals?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Rex Update // 2 weeks after 2nd surgery


Rex saw a lot of healing during his second week of crate rest. He's now walking on his leg almost like normal, and will only pull it up every now and then. He's done taking his medication now and doesn't seem to be in much pain. And he's started kicking his legs again after he pees, which is a sure sign that he's back to his usual self.

His two-week checkup was Thursday. Deacon drove him to Columbia because we had to get stitches removed this time (in his last surgery, he didn't have any exterior stitches). I was a bit nervous about it, especially since I wasn't able to go with them, but it all went really well.

And now that he is free of stitches, he doesn't have to wear the cone anymore, which makes everything so much easier. It's hard for him to turn around and find a comfortable position with the cone on, and it's difficult to take it on and off to feed him, so we're all a bit happier now that those days are behind us (hopefully for good!).


He's up to 7-minute walks now. I took him down the street to the park for the first time yesterday, and he was absolutely thrilled. He wanted to go everywhere at once. He's been pulling his leg up a bit right when we hit the 7-minute mark, so I've been carrying him back to the house after that.

I've noticed a bald spot on his ankle today and I'm not sure when it happened, but other than that he's been great. His incision site looks good, he hasn't been too agitated (though he has been "knocking" on his cage door a lot), he's been eating everything we give him. He hates being in the crate and whines if we're not in the living room with him, but he hasn't been biting the bars like last time (yet). We've been watching a lot of One Tree Hill together.

Let's hope the next six weeks go by quickly. :)


Friday, January 27, 2017

photos from early January 2017


I love living next to a park. Every now and then, there will be about a hundred geese just hanging out. It's the coolest thing. I didn't get great pictures (1. I brought the wrong lens, and 2. I was afraid to get too close), but it was incredible.

On a smaller note, my bird feeder has been pretty interesting lately. We've gotten these little black birds that I had never seen before. They're called dark-eyed juncos (I think) and migrate here during the winter. They're so adorable, I wish they were here all the time.

These were taken a few days leading up to Rex's second surgery. He's now on cage rest again. You can see his week one update here.

I hope you had a lovely January. =)

currently listening to: Sincast, Ep. 54

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

books that should have had dogs in them.

Look, I'm a sucker for a dog. Dogs are the best. Everyone should have a dogfriend.


They're such a prominent part of so many lives...I'm really shocked they're not in books more often? I mean, sometimes they are and it's great. Like as a gift between friends in Bridge to Terabithia. Or to show Celaena's soft side in Throne of Glass. Or to offer some hope/companionship in I Am Legend (actually the dog in the book plays a much lesser role but at least it's still in there somewhere). 

I really think this is an important side of human life and mammalian companionship that is being snubbed in literature.

So here's ten books that could have used some puppy love.

Today I'm linking up with The Broke and the Bookish for a Top Ten Tuesday
This week's topic: freebie!
[My topic: Books that should have had dogs in them.]

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower // Stephen Chbosky
You guys, poor Charlie went through so much in this lovely, disastrous story, and I know it's about the power of friendship and overcoming tough times, but what he really needed was some canine love and support. Because dogs will love you when you're at your highest and at your lowest. 

Cinder // Marissa Meyer
You guys, Bruno. WHAT HAPPENED TO BRUNO, MARISSA? I mean we get Iko and she's great. I don't want Iko to go away. But Cinder really needs Bruno in her life.

Image result for cinderella and bruno gif

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Every Day // David Levithan
So this book is essentially how two people can love each other despite one of them being in a different body every day. How great would it be if it was instead about a person and his/her dog, where the dog recognized the person no matter what body he/she was in?
(I like to think that Rex would still recognize me if I were transported into someone else's body. Our love runs deep.)

The Graveyard Book // Neil Gaiman
I mean, Bod lived in a graveyard...so he should obviously have a ghost dog, like Jack Skellington and Zero.

Image result for jack skellington zero

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Emmy & Oliver // Robin Benway
So, what if Oliver had a puppy that he loved when he was a kid? Like, really really loved. And then he's taken for ten years, and comes back to find his sweet puppy all grown up and elderly and completely different. But when he opens the door, the dog remembers him. After spending so long waiting by the door for him to come home, and finally realizing that he was never coming back, Oliver walks through the door. And the dog's ears go back, his tail wags, and he runs over to Oliver like the little puppy he was when they were last together.

The Catcher in the Rye // J. D. Salinger
So, this book is like ten times worse than Perks because Holden really doesn't have friends to lean on. He's just wandering around in turmoil because his life is a mess and he doesn't know what to do about it. He just really needs a dog beside him.


If I Stay // Gayle Forman
Mia really needs a dog at home waiting for her to wake up. That is all.

A Darker Shade of Magic // V. E. Schwab
This book has multiple worlds. You would think a dog would have come up somewhere? A little scrappy thing to help Lila steal stuff...like in Oliver & Company?

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Eleanor & Park // Rainbow Rowell
I mean pretty much the only things missing in Rainbow Rowell's books are pets. Where are all the animals? Can you imagine if Eleanor and Park shared a puppy or something? So. much. cuteness. 
I probably would have exploded. 

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Carry On // Rainbow Rowell
Okay I realize it might not be a good idea to give a vampire an animal but I really, really want Baz to have a dog. I want to see that side of him. Tough exterior, squishy interior. The dog knows his true heart.


Which book do you think should have had a dog in it?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab // more like a gathering of feels and tortured souls


YOU GUYS I read this gigantic book and am now totally caught up and ready for A Conjuring of Light. Aren't you proud? You should be.

I liked A Gathering of Shadows more than the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic. The first book seemed...I'm not sure. Formulaic? Like it was just a piece of what it could have been. The first book was mostly just to show readers the POTENTIAL of this series.

The second book delivers.

Goodreads Description:

- The characters.
Ohh gosh can we just take a moment to talk about how fabulous all the characters are in this book? KELL. LILA. RHY. ALUCARD. Give me all of them all the time. Their conversations, their sarcasm, their banter, their thoughts, their love, their pain. I want all of it forever thank you.

I mean, every character can stand on their own as great, but they also work great together. Kell and Lila LOVE EACH OTHER but will not admit it to themselves, much less each other. (I feel like they didn't even talk in this book? Did they even have a scene together?)

“I do not know why you two are circling each other like stars. It is not my cosmic dance. But I do know that you come asking after one another, when only a few strides and a handful of stairs divide you.”

And then there's Kell and Rhy who are wonderful little brotherly beings that literally feel each other's pain. And then there's Alucard who...I'm not ure about yet but I think I like him.

- The magic.
The first book in this series focused a lot on the different Londons and how the worlds were different. This one focuses almost exclusively on the world of Red London and the three nations that inhabit it. We learn about different ideologies and magical abilities and see people doing elemental magic everywhere. So that was cool.

- The ending.
I really want to discuss the ending so this is your warning. Carry on if you don't want to see.

- The length.
It was over 500 pages and I'm not sure much even happened? Like there were the Element Games, but those didn't happen until about 2/3 the way through and quite honestly they weren't that exciting. The first half of the book makes you think they'll be like the Hunger Games but no. Nothing like that.

- The rules.
I appreciate that there was a focus on magic in this book, but I don't understand how any of it works. Some people can manipulate elements, Kell does blood magic, most people can only control one or two elements, a few can do three. I get that. But how limited is their power? And how does this explain other things that happen--like Alucard making a glass explode, freezing the explosion, and then putting the glass back together? Because that's not really elemental. It's just confusing.

I'm also a huge Avatar: The Last Airbender fan so I was constantly comparing it to bending and that might be where some of my confusion came from.

This book was a great sequel, and I'm super happy I gave it a chance. I listened to the first book on audio, but I'm glad I made the switch to Kindle for this one. The audio for this series just doesn't do it justice, in my opinion. At least in the first book, the narrator's voice didn't accurately portray the characters for me. It was better to have them come alive in my head from the words on the page.

I'm really looking forward to A Conjuring of Light.

Rating: 4/5 stars


Have you read A Gathering of Shadows? Did you like it more or less than the first book? 
Who is your favorite character?

Friday, January 20, 2017

Rex Update // 1 week after 2nd surgery


It's been a week since my puppy's 2nd surgery.

He's doing well now, but it started off pretty rough.

We had some cold weather in the days leading up to his surgery, but he seemed to be doing pretty well. Two days before he was scheduled, he was active and playful and fine. We went outside for a few minutes, then came inside and played a little bit, then he napped in my office. But when he woke up, he couldn't walk on his front left leg.

His surgery was scheduled for his left hind leg.

It didn't go away the next day, and I was a nervous wreck because I wasn't able to go with Deacon to take him to the vet. When they got there, we had them do X-rays on the front leg. I had convinced myself at that point that it was something horrible. Apparently, it was just his arthritis. Deacon and I were concerned about his ability to walk if we went ahead with the surgery, but either way he'd have to be on cage rest and the same medicine, so we went ahead with the surgery.


He seemed to heal more slowly this time than last time. It seemed like the first time, he was walking on the operated leg the next day. This time, it was almost a full week before he started putting weight on it. It seems that the medicine he's on has helped his front leg, which is good. He hasn't shown any lameness in it since the surgery.

And now that he can walk again, he thinks he's healed and ready to take on the world.

His appetite has been good, and he's nearly done with all his pills. He hates the cone, but will let me take it on and off so he can eat and go outside.

I'm just worried about his temperament during the next seven weeks. He already seems pretty done with being locked in his crate.

Send him all your thoughts and love. He deserves it. :)

currently listening to: Yellow Light by Of Monsters and Men

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

in which I concede to read all the series.


Side thought: Did I use concede correctly? It's not a word I have to use very often. 
Also note: I actually started this list long ago and then abandoned it, so some of these are already in progress!

I'm not a big fan of series. You know this, I know this, the books know this. But over the past year, I've had a bit of a change of heart? I don't know. I just want to feel like I'm part of the group and conversation and can flail ecstatically with everyone else about a shared interest. So I am planning on reading a few series in the near future. 

1. The Winner's Trilogy // Marie Rutkoski
Finished! Sadly...I was kinda expecting more? I heard such great things and so I went in with high expectations, but I ended up giving each book only three stars. I couldn't really hop aboard the ship train, and a lot of the deals that were made didn't make sense to me. I might do a post about it soon. I'm still glad I read them, though!

2. Shades of Magic // V. E. Schwab (in progress!)
I just decided to pick up the first book one day and am now halfway through the second in hopes to be up to speed by the time the last book comes out next month. So far I'm really liking A Gathering of Shadows. I just wish I understood the magic + world a little more.

3. Seraphina // Rachel Hartman (in progress!)
Okay, I read the first book in this series and it was okay? I would be more apt to read the Shadow Scale if it wasn't as gigantic. And, you know, if Seraphina actually had more dragons being dragons? I want actual dragons, people!

4. Throne of Glass  // Sarah J. Maas (in progress!)
I read Throne of Glass last year and didn't care for it, but then I read Crown of Midnight and really liked it! So I miiiight read the next one and see how it goes. I'm not saying I'll make it through all six, though. Baby steps.

5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians // Rick Riordian (in progress!)
I read the first two books in this series last year but I really need to finish it.

6. The Wrath and the Dawn // Renee Ahdieh
I got bought of these books for Christmas and the covers are gorgeous and I need them in my brain right now.

7. The Raven Cycle // Maggie Stiefvater
Ughhh I know it's time for me to get on this. I have to borrow the books from my sister.

8. His Dark Materials // Philip Pullman
 I should have read this back in high school when there was a lot of buzz around it, but I put it off. I own the collection now, though, and I hope I'll be able to just go through it one day.

9. The Inheritance Cycle // Christopher Paolini
I own most of these books and there are actually dragons being dragons and I've been wanting to read it for probably a literal decade. It's been ages. (Seriously, though, do kids even know what this series is anymore? Am I that old?)  It just needs to happen, you guys. 

10. The Half Bad Trilogy // Sally Green
I hear these are good audiobooks. Can anyone confirm? I don't own any of them yet so audio might be the best way to go. I also...don't really know what it's about. But I've heard good things.

11. The Illuminae Files // Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
YOU HAVE CONVINCED ME. These books are scary because they're so giant, but I'm looking forward to the format and the beautiful pages I've seen glimpses of. I haven't read much by Amie Kaufman...except These Broken Stars which I had mixed feelings about. But I'll give it a shot.

Series that I'm still not planning to read:
1.  The Mortal Instruments // Cassandra Clare
2. A Song of Ice and Fire // George R. R. Martin
3. Maze Runner // James Dashner
4. A Court of Thorns and Roses // Sarah J. Maas
5. Red Queen // Victoria Aveyard
6. Divergent // Veronica Roth
7. The Wolves of Mercy Falls // Maggie Stiefvater


What's your favorite series on the list? Would you recommend anything that I missed?