weeklygeeklyfeb2016

The Weekly Geekly: 08.26.16

abridged classics - found via upworthy.com
abridged classics – found via upworthy.com

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a weekly link round up, but I’ve got a pretty great assortment just waiting to be shared and more than five minutes to tell you about them, so let’s get this party started?

My friend shared this article about 2 basic personality types on Facebook and a lengthy discussion followed: Are you a round or a pointy? Unsurprisingly, I’m as pointy as they come.

Who wants to go on vacation to Prince Edward Island with me? Caroline shares all the deets on her recent trip there and it’s swoon worthy.

The new IKEA app is perfect for those of us who cannot simply “imagine” a piece of furniture in our home. Now you can see exactly what it looks like and confirm it will fit before you drive out, buy it, drive it home and put it together. The future is now.

Have you seen this collection of terrible real estate photos? This post made me laugh so hard I almost stopped breathing. For realsies.

I want to make this slow cooker creamy coconut oatmeal soon! I can always use more oatmeal in my life, but I’m too lazy to cook in the morning, so.

What were your #firstsevenjobs? Mine would be something like: filing clerk, clothing store, electronics store, news editor, managing editor, nanny, bookstore employee…

Kerry Washington made this “horror movie” about the terrifying beast that is group text messages:

This completes me, because group messages truly make me a jittery, irritable monster. They need to disappear and never come back. Who’s with me?

So what are you guys up to this weekend? I’m going to see Bad Moms with friends tomorrow night and can’t wait!

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The Mid Year Book Tag 2016

I’m stealing this book tag from Mom’s Radius because I just got back into town after a long vacation and my brain is too fragged to think of something extraordinary to write about. A mid year review seemed like just the ticket. Steal in kind if you are feeling the same need.

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far In 2016

Winter41VgvI2digL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_ by Marissa Meyer – This was such a satisfying end to an amazing series that seriously took over my life for awhile! I think Meyer did an amazing job of weaving all these tales together into one cohesive plot that never disappointed. This book felt like the fireworks finale that it should be with #allthefeels all over the place. Every moment you were waiting for finally happens and Meyer only tries to break your heart eleventy billion times so it’s all good.

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2016

26074213The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson– I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed this book more than the first one. Something in the writing felt fresher and tighter and it probably helps that I’d grown accustomed to the cast of characters. I also really loved Oliver – probably more than I’d liked Keith in book one.

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

615s-d3gm7L._SY346_Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany – The internet kind of exploded when this title came out (hell, it exploded when it was first whispered about) and the reviews have been mixed. My husband wrote it off immediately after realizing it’s the written screenplay and not in novel form, and I’ve heard some reviews that it just isn’t up to Rowling par. But… I’m so jonsing for a Potter fix that I’m likely to read it anyway, I’m just waiting for the right moment / price.

4. Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year

heartlessHonestly there are a few, but I think Heartless by Marissa Meyer is probably at the top of my list because I’m still riding the Lunar Chronicles wave, you know? November is feeling so far away. I’m also looking forward to books by Amy Schumer and Anna Kendrick.

5. Biggest Disappointment

13449693I thought I was going to love The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater a lot more than I did. This was probably an instance of hype ruining a good thing, I might have had lower expectations if the bookstagram universe weren’t loving it so hard. Something about the book just never let me settle into it desp

ite being intrigued by the premise.

6. Biggest Surprise

18770398I read a murder mystery horror story of sorts and loved it.  Night Film by Marisha Pessl is such a departure from the types of books I normally read and there were definitely times I thought, “This book is too dark for me, I should walk away,” but because it was a book club pick, I soldiered on and I’m glad I did. Somewhere around the middle the plot really picks up and the last 150 pages I read in basically one day. I found the overall story to be really fascinating and the pictures and clippings were a nice touch. I was kind of disappointed that the google play app at least doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Unless Cordova got to it.

7. Favorite New Author

18079710Richelle Mead is a recent new fave. I read The Vampire Academy in like two sittings despite having seen the movie like a year ago. This is unheard of guys. Seeing the movie before reading the book is a rookie move that never works in my favor but I could not put it down! I also really enjoyed reading books by Kathleen Ernst, Maureen Johnson and Heather Cocks this year.

8. Newest Fictional Crush

Dimitri from The Vampire Academy is definitely up there and certainly qualifies as most recent.

9. Newest Favorite Character

22840421I’m reading My Lady Jane by coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows right now and I love Jane and Edward and really everyone. It’s such a funny book and so cleverly written. It’s kind of historical fiction but the original premise has been entirely turned on its head to the point of being unrecognizable in all the best ways.

10. Book That Made You Cry

I’m honestly not sure. I feel like I must have cried at some point reading several but I don’t remember any specific scenes. Likely contenders include The Royal We by Heather Cocks, Winter by Marissa Meyer or maybe Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld because Pride and Prejudice always gets to me.

11. Book That Made You Happy

41C+ffCh5dL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling because she is so funny, she always makes me laugh. I think I liked this book even more than the original. It was funny, informative, dishy and inspiring jut like Mindy. I’m a sucker for these celeb memoir humor books but this one was really, really good.

12. Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year

26067879I saw Me Before You by Jojo Moyes and it was allllllllll the things. Talk about making a girl ugly cry, the plot is just heart breaking but the casting was brilliant and everybody was on point. Of course when you bring the Mother of Dragons onto your set, you know it’s going to be good.

13. Favorite Review/Post You’ve Done This Year

booksuggestionstweenI wrote a list of book suggestions for your reluctant tween reader and I enjoyed it so much that I wrote another list of book suggestions for 10 year old boys. Being a huge book nerd who worked in a book store for several years and spends an inordinate amount of time talking about books and recommending books to friends, these posts were kind of an excuse to just delve into my recommendations and keep digging without worrying that my friend is going to implode trying to retain all the suggestions.

14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year

51MIi4p2YyL._SX418_BO1,204,203,200_I’ve indulged in some beautiful hardcovers this year like Eligible, The Girls or Rich and Pretty, but the Illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is just stunning and continues to be stunning page after page after page. It really enhances the read aloud quality of the book as well.

15. Books You NEED To Read By The End Of 2016

I still haven’t read The Girls or Rich and Pretty because you know, so many books so little time. I’d also really like to read After You, the sequel by Jojo Moyes and of course the other eleven hundred books on my bookshelves upstairs (not to mention my kindle). I’m going to refrain from making a thorough list because it will give me a migraine but really I just want to dig into my stacks a little more and thin the herd.

What is the best book you have read so far this year?

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weeklygeeklyfeb2016

Weekly Geekly: June 10th

Hey dudes,  it feels like it’s been forever but there are a few links I’ve been meaning to share with you so before my attention span flits in another direction…

This Mean Girls / Game of Thrones mashup made me seriously giggle. Just me?

A father’s day craft idea if you roll deep in Popsicle sticks like we do.

This video that explains how consensual sex works with a cup of tea has been making its way around the internet again in light of recent news. It’s hilarious and poignant and I kind of think it should be required watching.

On a lighter note, who wants to make summer bucket list charm bracelets with me?

Finally, does anyone else wish that all news was delivered via slow jams now?

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Ten Reasons I Love Rainbow Rowell

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday they post a new Top Ten list prompt. This week’s prompt is… Ten Reasons you love “X”.

I wasn’t sure which author to base my top ten list off of so I started this post by trying to write ten things I loved about several authors like Jane Austen and Jasper Fforde and then I got to Rainbow Rowell and the list started to come more naturally and I knew I could get to ten things easily. Once I started reading old interviews with her, my list far exceeded ten things.

Rowell has quickly became a trusted entity for me. I have loved all the books I’ve read of hers to the point where I don’t even question whether or not to read her books now. They are Must Reads by default. Here are ten reasons why:

  1. She understands the heart of socially anxious girls everywhere. AKA me. Her characters are just the right amount of broken in a way that makes them feel real and easy to relate to and root for.
  2. She fangirls all over the place just like the rest of us. “I’ve always been a very fannish person. When I like something, I usually love it, and when I love something, I CAN’T GET ENOUGH.
  3. My fave novel of hers, Fangirl, was originally a Nanowrimo project! I love that this massively successful author has experienced the joys and frustrations of National Novel Writing Month just like the rest of us and actually made something amazing with it.
  4. Her take on YA literature: “A lot of people look at something popular, and they’re dismissive of it because they don’t understand it. If you think YA is simple, you probably haven’t read a lot of it. But YA is not a genre. It’s just this really loosely defined category of books. If YA had always been this popular category, a lot of books we think of as classics would be YA. The Catcher in the Rye? Without question.”
  5. Her response to the question of whether or not Eleanor is actually fat is just perfection. I couldn’t decide on a single quote to share – just go read her whole response.
  6. Nostalgia reigns supreme in Rowell’s novels. Each of her books seems to single out a generation and a pinpoint in one’s coming of age and she captures the essence of those times spectacularly.
  7. She’s a champion for so called “girlish interests”: I think anything that predominantly women like is discounted, and anything that teenage girls like is absolutely reviled. It’s the lowest of the low. If teenage girls like something, everyone feels like they can — and maybe should — hate it, even the girls themselves.
  8. Her Instagram feed looks like everyone else’s Instagram feed. Rowell actually seems like she manages to be a real person even in spite of her fame. Like you could go out for frozen yogurt or watch a Star Wars marathon with her.
  9. This quote: “I don’t think ideas are as clean and separate as we think they are. Everything is derivative in a way. What you write is often a reaction or a response to the things you’ve read.”
  10. She wrote fictional fanfiction within a novel that became so good that it ended up getting its own novel. I think this makes her a rockstar.

OK so let’s take a vote? What’s your favorite Rainbow Rowell book?

What author would you share ten favorite things about?

 

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Ninja Writers: Nobody’s Perfect

I joined this writer’s group on Facebook called Ninja Writers. The ninja genius behind the group, Shaunta, shares lots of writing advice and prompts and invites members to share samples of their writing and get feedback from one another. Today she prompted the group to write about a time when their protagonist acted more like a villain.

I’m working within the world of a story I’ve been trying to write for years now – the setting and characters change constantly, but the general gist stays the same. Anyway, here’s a story from the point of view of someone my main character might consider an enemy. I’m not sure when my main character turned into Robin Hood, but we’ll just roll with it, mkay?

Collection day was the worst day of the month. Nothing makes you feel more like the villain in your own story than marching through a poor neighborhood and shaking down tired mothers and overworked husbands. Taking money from a family that should have been used to feed babies or mend fences. But Gus had to make a living, too, had his own mouths to feed – and this was how he earned that money. He suggested trimming down taxes often, but nobody ever listened. Nobody else seemed to care – they drank their wine and ate their rich, fatty meals. They had an extra slice of cake and loosened another notch on their belt loops while the farmers in town tightened theirs to keep their threadbare clothing from falling off their limp frames. The upper crust of society doesn’t see these people, they don’t know how wide the gap is between have and have not – or maybe they just don’t care.

Gus tried to help where he could. He looked the other way when possible so a new mother could afford milk for her baby. He came by after his shift was over and helped put up the fences. He kept asking the king to lower taxes, dodging a look that burned through his soul, hoping his impertinence wouldn’t put his family at risk, too.  But first, he collected.

He climbed off his horse and walked up to a brick house that had seen better days. Children played noisily in the front yard but scampered to the back when his footsteps approached. He frowned at the idea that his presence scared young children, but walked wearily up to the door, attempting to hush the rebellious whispers in his mind. He knocked and waited, listening to the weary shuffle and then stepping back as the door opened, tired mother appearing with an infant in her arms.

“Good afternoon, ma’am,” he said, taking his hat off to greet her. She rolled her eyes at his attempt at polite conversation.

“We ain’t got no money,” she said with eyes slanted, begging him to contradict her.

“I know times are tight,” he said slowly, making sure his words were civil but firm, “But whatever you can spare is needed for the rebuilding efforts.”

“We ain’t got no money,” she said again, with venom in her voice. He coughed uncomfortably, desperately wanting to look at his toes instead of her hateful glare. But he held her eye contact.

“Any goods that can be traded then? How are crops? Let’s see what we can arrange,” he offered, mentally calculating how he might turn corn into cash in the next city before heading back to the capitol.

“Allright,” she sighed after a moment, then turned inside and yelled, “Boy, get this man a bag a corn!”

An energetic little boy of seven or eight came running at her call, disappearing around the corner before Gus could so much as blink. The woman shut the door in his face then, her duty done and Gus blinked slowly, then turned and went around the corner to see if the boy needed help. He was already halfway back, dragging a bag almost twice his size full of corn. He met the boy halfway and picked up the bag, patting the tyke on the head.

“Go on back to your momma then,” he said and carried the bag back to his wagon and nearly died of shock when he found it completely empty. Just moments before it had been filled after a four day trip through the city, four hard days on the road – four days of having doors slammed in his face and four days of children running from him as though he were an ogre.

He’d been making his last stop of the night, about to head home to the capitol and his wife and children but how could he go home now with nothing but a bag of corn? He stared in disbelief at the empty street. He thought he saw a flash of brown hair disappear into the woods but after a quick jog into the forest, he met nobody except a few curious rabbits and a perturbed deer. He fought back tears as he made his way back to his wagon, afraid for his job and his family and nauseous at the prospect of figuring out what to do next.

I kind of liked writing from Gus’s point of view – I don’t know that we’d ever really meet him in the actual story and I have no idea why I named him Gus, but there you have it. Also, we never interact with my main character at all, sorry about that. She prefers not talking to people and follows that act first, apologize later mentality.  I’m not sure if she would feel bad for Gus or not. Thoughts?

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7 Summer Reads I Loved

Today’s prompt for the May Instagram challenge I’ve been doing was favorite summer read which resulted in me perusing my reading lists from the past 7 years and coming up with seven favorite titles that I read during the summer months of those years. Which was a super use of my time, I’m sure.

These were the winners of that search, the cream of the summer crop top:

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

20910157I read this last summer and like everyone else in the world, I loved every minute of it. Poehler is a tremendously talented, incredibly funny woman who is also a great writer with good stories to tell. Whether you are in it for the Parks and Rec / SNL scoops or her witty view on womanhood and motherhood, this one will deliver and then some.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

15749186I was just talking about this book to a mother at school pick up today when her teenage granddaughter ran over with it excitedly and I squealed with delight:

OhmygodIlovedthatbook!!!!

Jenny Han is all the things and I loved this story and Lara Jean. This is the feel good YA love story that you can ignore the world with while your kids are in swim class.

Paper Towns by John Green

6442769What’s summer without a book about going on a road trip with friends, honestly? Follow slightly nerdy Quentin on his search for his missing crush / next door neighbor the summer before he starts college. And if you like John Green (of The Fault in Our Stars Fame), I’d also recommend An Abundance of Katherines which is actually my favorite John Green novel – but I read it in March so it technically didn’t qualify for a “summer read” of mine. YOU could totally read it in the summer though.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

15790857My book club read this a couple of years ago and much squealing and gushing occurred. This is kind of a mystery story but not really and it’s written in mostly emails and memos and letters but it doesn’t feel trite like those kind of books sometimes to and it’s a story about an upper middle class family in Washington state and their eccentric neighbors and the stuff that happens in suburbia but you haven’t already basically read this story twelve times, I promise. This one was really good and definitely pushes the limits of the genres it falls into until it slowly turns into something better than you were expecting.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

10507293If you haven’t already heard of this series, I’m impressed because the internet is kind of losing it’s mind over it right now with the recent release of the last book in the series. Start where it all began with this book and soon you’ll be able to get all jumping up and down excited, too. I seriously fell down the rabbit hole with this series which is kind of like The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor and somehow that isn’t annoying or dumb. This series is a perfect summer read – both intense and filled with adventure and intrigue but with lighter fluffy moments like first dates and ballgowns. (bonus: the kindle edition is only $4.99 right now)

Sweet Life by Mia King

2873085I read this one about six years ago and, folks, it doesn’t get much more summery than this. How about a story about a momma who moves her family to Hawaii to try to save her marriage and reconnect with her daughter? I love Mia King’s writing because she is so real and honest in her story telling and she creates characters that you understand, truly. It’s a make you laugh, make you cry kind of story and there are even some yummy recipes to try!

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

2599655Here’s another oldie but goodie – I read this one right around the time that my daughter was born (during my twelve minutes of free time, I guess) and loved it. It has a vibe that is very Practical Magic but the story definitely stands up on its own. It’s about the Waverley family and their walled garden that mysteriously blooms year round. It centers around the two Waverley sisters and their somewhat tumultuous relationship. And of course there is a love story.

What are some of your favorite summer reads?

What books are you hoping to read this summer?