NaBloPoMo 2013

NaBloPoMo November 2013

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo (or in long form: National Novel Writing Month)? Basically, November is novel writing month and every November thousands of people dedicate themselves to trying to write an entire 50,000 word novel. From what I understand, an outline and some planning can be done prior to November and the novel does not have to be edited or polished by the end of the month. Haven’t heard of it? Up until a couple of years ago, neither had I. Since then, I’ve had a few friends participate and many people I now follow online (blogs or YouTube) participate. “But Megra,” I hear you say, “the title of your post isn’t NaNoWriMo, it’s NaBloPoMo.” Ah, good catch, you’re right. The reason for that is that I am not participating in the challenge. I toyed with the idea, but in the end decided against it for this year (maybe next year). I have, however, decided to participate in a different writing challenge that grew out of NaNoWriMo. NaBloPoMo is for bloggers, who dedicate themselves to blogging (any type of blog – written, photography etc.) every single day in November.

Unlike NaNoWriMo (which has a word count), there is no daily word count for blog posts. I think some people self-impose challenges on themselves, but the only restriction from the group I’m participating in (on is that you blog daily. (Writing a bunch of posts one day and then scheduling them throughout the week is not allowed). As I said before, it can be a writing post, a photo blog post, poetry. Anything you set your mind to. I am not giving myself any additional requirements. Writing a post a day is going to be challenge enough – especially as I just started back at my old job and November can be a busy month.

“Now Megra,” I hear you say (so many questions today!), “why are you telling us about this today? Why not just wait until November 1?” Another good question! Remember how I said I’m not imposing an restrictions or guidelines on myself? That may not have been entirely true. I am going to try to keep a little bit to the structure I have already set up. So Friday’s will remain Library Day (book related) posts. Monday and Wednesdays currently have less structure so I won’t be as picky about what I post those days but my goal is to keep them consistent with the regular content (you won’t hold it against me if I vary a bit will you?). The other difference you will notice (if you haven’t realized this already) is that posts will also appear Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. <Megra12 Note: Did you get confused there? To sum up: the introduction is today because tomorrow is scheduled to be a book related post. So consider today a bonus post>

One more thing – I have a bunch of ideas ready for the month and both BlogHer and WordPress will have prompts to help inspire content. That being said, if you have any suggestions for posts, let me know in the comments and I will consider adding it to my list.

Keep Smiling!

“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.” — Anthony Trollope

(Crossposted to BlogHer)


Doctor Who Series 7 – May contain Spoilers

Now I say “May Contain,” but there is a very good chance this post will contain spoilers. Probably nothing major (I’ll try not to give away major plot lines since I know a bunch of people I’m still trying to convince to watch the show that may read this). If you are allergic to Doctor Who Spoilers in any shape or form (even the little ones) you should probably avoid this post (sorry, I know how frustrating it is, I’ve been dealing with it all summer). <Also – the pics included in this post are all Pinterest finds>

I finished watching the seventh series last week (well, yesterday at the time of writing, but last week to all you lovely readers). If you read my post about catching up (here) you will see that I finished the series in less than a week start to finish. Yep, I put off watching it for months because I didn’t want it to end and then only managed to make it last a week once I started watching. I know that Series 7 has a lot of mixed reviews and there is a lot of negativity throughout the internet about various facets of where the show is going. So, that being said, I’m going to be right up front in saying that I enjoyed this series. Were there some story lines I didn’t love? Yes. Would I have like the series to include a few more episodes? Yes. But that is the case in pretty much every series I’ve watched so far (yes, I started at the 2005 reboot and haven’t gone back yet, doesn’t mean I’m not qualified to comment on whether I liked it). So, without further ado, here are some (not even close to all) of my thoughts.

Together or Not at All

Amy and Rory

1. The Ponds. I have always liked Amy and Rory as companions. There were some episodes throughout their storyline that I didn’t like and some things they did that just didn’t seem to fit their characters. But, overall, they’re probably among my favourite companions. At the end of Series 6 you are left with the impression that the Doctor is no longer going to see Amy and Rory but their storyline doesn’t truly end until about halfway through Series 7. As for the ending…wow. I mean, I had a pretty good idea what was going to happen to them (it is really hard to avoid spoilers when you lurk on pinterest and tumblr) but any pre-knowledge did not make the episode any easier to watch. I think the dramatic ending was necessary because they were never going to be able to gradually move to a point where they didn’t see him anymore. I guess it’s like tearing off a band-aid right – better to make it quick.


2. The Doctor doesn’t like endings. I guess this has been something common to Doctor Who and not specific to this season. You see throughout the years that The Doctor often just leaves companions without much warning because, seemingly, he always planned on returning. You get the impression (or at least I have though as I said earlier I haven’t seen any Doctor earlier than 9 yet) throughout that he doesn’t really do goodbye well. Even at the (almost) end of Nine, he makes his holographic self, break the news to Rose. That being said, I liked how it became a bigger part of the storyline in this season, with River saying many times “he doesn’t like endings,” to explain something to either Amy and Rory or Clara. I think it’s a sentiment that fits the show so well, and fits the feelings of the fans every time the Doctor changes, or a companion moves on. For a show built upon the premise of change, fans tend to not handle the individual endings all that well.


4. Clara. I like Clara. I would have liked to have more build up episodes with her before the series Finale changes and it drove me crazy not knowing what it was that made her “impossible,” but I liked her storyline. I don’t really understand why there is so much dislike of her character around the internet, but to each their own. I think her character is a lot of fun and I like how she sometimes she’s scared, and sometimes she’s bold and brave, and sometimes she’s sassy. I wouldn’t be upset if she was around for awhile, and I’d be very interested to see how her character interacts with the Twelfth Doctor next year.


3. Eleven/Matt Smith. I’ll be completely upfront here – I like Matt Smith as the Doctor. I like him a lot. It took me a couple episodes with Matt Smith before I completely warmed up to him (which is to be expected with a new actor) but once I was won over, I was won over completely. Nine was my first Doctor and I will be forever glad I started with him. I loved Ten and dreaded having to say goodbye to him. But… Eleven. I find him completely endearing. He can be goofy and funny and also brooding, sad and dark. Series 7 only confirmed my love for Eleven. I’ve heard him described as the “friend” and I think that’s a good description. Throughout the entire series, all I could think was how I’m not at all ready to see him go. As excited as I am about the changes Peter Capaldi will bring, saying goodbye to Matt Smith is not going to be fun times. <I was going to give more detail in this section but there would definitely be spoilers. Maybe another time.>

I found it surprisingly difficult to find a pin of River, that I liked, and didn’t contain spoilers.

4. River Song. I have never been completely sold on the River/Doctor storyline. I don’t hate it, but I also don’t love it. I’ve never really felt the level of relationship that is supposed to be there. I like River (for the most part) and I could accept the feelings on her part (especially in this season) but I never got past feeling like River/Doctor was a bit forced. I don’t know if more development would have helped or if it was just a storyline I was never going to love. Regardless of this indifference, I like where they went with River/Doctor at the end. I might not have bought everything about them, but they way the writers resolved it? Totally believable.

Look at that. I allude to spoilers here and there but overall, I think I avoided them (well, unless you didn’t know Matt Smith was leaving, in which case, I’m Sorry. I’m so sorry.) So, now that you’ve heard my rambling thoughts on why I enjoyed Series 7, what do you think? Did you enjoy the Series?

What I thought: Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner

What I thought - Bones of faerie Oct 25I had initially planned to write a full, somewhat structured, review for this book as well as others that I’ve read recently. They were supposed to start into the posting schedule a couple weeks ago. Clearly that did not happen. It would seem I find the idea of posting a structured review daunting enough that I can’t bring myself to start writing. That being said, I do still want to share my thoughts on books with you all. So, I came up with something of a compromise. If I can’t write what I would label “reviews” at the moment, I will write less structured “What I thought” posts. Maybe they’ll function as mini reviews? Or, over time they may become more like a structured review. We shall see. So, (without further rambling), here is the first installment of “What I thought.”

I picked up Bones of faerie from the library over a month ago. This pick was not the product of an internet review, or a recommendation from a friend, rather I saw the most recent book on the New Releases shelf. And, since it doesn’t make sense to start a trilogy at book 3, I went in search for book 1. Surprisingly (this never seems to be the case for me) book 1 was in the library, so I added it to my pile of books.

Synopsis: Bones of faerie is a post-apocalyptic/dystopian, YA-fiction, novel with a bit of a twist. Instead of a devastating world war between humans, the war in this story took place between humanity and Faerie. Since magic was involved, the devastated human world bears the scars of plants that move on their own and ground that is difficult to grow food on. Fifteen-year old Liza grew up in a town that her strict father saved from destruction by ensuring that all traces of magic are destroyed; even if that magic manifests in the faerie-pale hair of his own newborn child. The story begins when Liza’s baby sister is left to die on the hillside overnight and her mother disappears into the dangerous forest. When Liza discovers she has some magic ability she flees to the woods where she eventually encounters people that live differently than the people in her village. Throughout the story, she travels to Faerie and back and learns that Faerie has been equally, if not more, devastated by the nuclear weapons used to end the war.

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this story, and look forward to reading the other two books in the trilogy. The characters were well developed and the conflict, both within the world and within Liza, was well developed and built upon over the course of the story. The main quest, to travel to Faerie to find her mother, was paired with a personal journey quest. Liza, when presented with a reality different from the one presented to her as she grew up, had to figure out what to believe for herself. Was Faerie magic completely evil and wholly destructive as her father believed? Or, was it possible that Faerie and humans could live together peacefully and assist each other in the dangerous world left behind after the war? Simner created a well thought out and believable world that included both the familiar and the fantastical. I especially enjoyed how, despite the destruction and atmosphere that made most pre-war technology inoperable, things such as Tupperware remained.

Verdict: I am always hesitant when it comes to reading post-apocalyptic/dystopian stories. I either really like them, or I really don’t. There is rarely a middle ground, and I often avoid them because of that. After I read the Hunger Games trilogy (and loved it) I decided to try and branch out more often. I would say that Bones of Faerie is a good choice if, like me, you’re not entirely sure you like the genre. With its integration of a fantasy component it attempts to answer the questions typical of the genre, but in a less typical way. In short, it was a good read, and I recommend it.

There’s one other component I would like to include in these posts and that’s a rating out of 5. But I think that giving stars is just not exciting enough – so I’m going to give cups of tea. Sound good? I will look for a nice little image of a cup of tea to work with, but for now I’ll just need to use words.

I give this book 3.5 cups of tea out of 5

The Piano Guys in Concert

Last week my parents and I went on an adventure to see The Piano Guys in concert. The concert was in Buffalo (nothing in my neck of the woods in South-Western Ontario this year) so the adventure consisted of crossing the border and venturing into unknown territory. In the dark. While it was raining. Dark, rainy navigation is always so much more difficult when you’re headed to a completely new place in a different country. But we successfully made it to our destination in plenty of time for the start of the concert. We also made it home again. But let’s get on to the concert (since that was, after all the point of the trip).

The concert was fantastic. It was better even than I thought it would be. The music was, as expected, brilliant and the “other stuff” (explanations of songs, commentary/interaction in between songs etc.) was also fantastic. They did a really good job interacting with the audience and explaining some of the stories behind their formation and different songs. I think one of my favourite parts of the “other stuff” was when Steve Nelson introduced us to the three cellos he’d brought along with him (out of the 15 that he owns).

Now, if you’ve never heard of The Piano Guys you’re probably wondering why there were cellos. The Piano Guys is not a group of piano players. The group consists of one pianist/songwriter, one cellist/songwriter, one music producer/songwriter, and one producer/videographer. The name came from the name of the store one of the guys owned before Steve Nelson joined in with cello. For a little bit more background, the group got it’s start making YouTube music videos and they became a YouTube sensation and then were given a record deal. They make beautiful music, often composed of mash ups between classical music and pop hits, and they pair them with amazing videos. (One video includes a piano being air lifted to the filming location, for instance). They also play straight arrangements of some pop songs that become even more amazing when you hear them played on cello and piano. <Megra12 Note: The Pianist is every bit as amazing of a musician as the cellist and I loved every part of his performance, but I focus more on the cellist in this post because Cello has long been one of my favourite instruments. I just wanted to make this point clear – the pianist is probably one of the best I’ve ever heard and he deserves just as much praise.>

One of the unique things about the group is, since they began by making music videos, they can layer up parts. By this I mean that, though there is one cellist, sometimes he plays multiple cello lines that are then layered over one another (In one video he plays a song that was written for 12 cellists and a kickdrum and he plays it all by himself). I was really curious how they were going to deal with this complication in the live show (he may be good but even he can only play one cello at a time). This is where the audio and sound guys deserve props because when necessary they had background tracks of the other cello lines playing at the same time as the Nelson and Jon Schmidt (the pianist) were playing their parts live. For some songs they even played the music videos in the background. Every time they were perfectly in sync with the live performance.

Remember how I said that you can’t play more than one cello line at a time. Yeah, I was wrong. Nelson has an electric cello and a loop pedal. For one song he laid down about 7-10 tracks before they really got started playing (don’t get me wrong this part was still beautiful to listen to) and then they played with all the other tracks in the background. It was pretty amazing. They are both fantastic players and it is obvious that they absolutely love playing. As a side note – did I mention that Nelson names all of his cellos and gives them a bit of a back-story (favourite colours, marital status, musical influences, hobbies etc)? I mean, really, how could you not enjoy a cellist who has makes up stories for his cellos? Fantastic.

If you haven’t heard of The Piano Guys before, you should definitely check them out (I’ve include links to a couple of my favourites but there are so many other amazing pieces). If you have heard of them, let me know your favourite song they play in the comments!

(This last one they didn’t actually play at the concert, but it’s lots of fun and one of my faves.)

Keep Smiling!

“The artist must forget the audience, 
forget the critics, forget the technique, forget everything but love for the music.
Then, the music speaks through the performance,
and the performer and the listener will walk together
with the soul of the composer, and with
God.”   — Mstislav Rosropovich


Catching up on Who

Just under a year ago (I think it was end of November/Beginning of December while I was writing papers) I started watching Doctor Who (finally). I had been planning on checking out the series for awhile but had just never gotten around to it. Then my friend and I got to talking and it turned out she was also planning on checking out the series (in large part because of David Tennant as the 10th Doctor). Part of my hesitation to start watching had been based on not knowing where to start. Do you start with the First Doctor ever? Do you start with the most current Doctor (that would have been Matt Smith) or someplace else entirely? Eventually, (mostly based on her experience talking to people) we both settled on the beginning of the reboot (in 2005 with the 9th Doctor) as the best place to start.

(From Pinterest) The Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) was my First Doctor.

She started before me, (and I’m pretty sure was already into or mostly through the 10th Doctor by the time I started the first episode of 9) but it wasn’t all that long before I followed. I started watching while I was working on papers for Grad school – probably not the wisest decision since I was immediately hooked, but what can you do? I sped through the first Series and then, since it was Christmas Time, picked up a box set of Series 1 through 6 at a phenomenal price so I could watch easier on my T.V.

(From Pinterest)

I spent the next Semester watching on and off depending on how much school work I had to do. I watched episodes both by myself, and with my friend during our frequent work on school stuffs and hangout sessions. Eventually I worked my way through 10 (so many feels!) and then, after a gap between seasons, started watching 11. It took me a little bit to get into Matt Smith as The Doctor but eventually I found I loved pretty much everything he brought to the role. And just when I was starting to get comfortable with the thought that Matt Smith might just be around forever (unrealistic expectations, I know), the announcement came. Series 8 will see our Raggedy Man regenerate and once again become a new version of himself. (I am super excited to see what Peter Capaldi brings to the role, by the way).

Anyways, after that long introduction/digression you’re probably wondering where exactly the “Catching Up” comes into play since it seems much of my catching up is already done. Somehow, however, what with finishing Grad school, doing Summer things, and job searching, I became stalled in my Doctor Who watching. I am currently hovering at the start of Series 7. I think that part of the problem is that I now know this will be Matt Smith’s last season (I had the same delay at the start of what I knew would be David Tennant’s last season). I mean, there will be two more episodes with him in it (the 50th Anniversary and then the Christmas special) but essentially this is it. I think that some part of me hopes that if I just don’t start the Series the Eleventh Doctor will never leave. (Ridiculous, I know, but there it is).

I can’t, however, find myself behind in the Series when the 50th Anniversary airs (considering how much time I’ve had to catch up, that would just be ridiculous). In theory, catching up on the Doctor between now and then (November 23rd) should be much easier than catching up on Once Upon a Time was; as there are only 15 episodes (including specials) and I have over a month to do it. That being said, it’s amazing how other things come up to delay watching a show so I must be diligent! I will let you know how I progress and what I’m thinking of the series. Geronimo!

Keep Smiling!

“There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive… wormhole refractors… You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold.”
— The Doctor, Season 6, Episode 6

“Amy Pond, there’s something you’d better understand about me ‘cause it’s important, and one day your life may depend on it: I am definitely a mad man with a box!” 
— The Doctor, Season 5, Episode 1.

“We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”
— The Doctor, Season 5, Episode 13

(From Pinterest)

(P.S. all images included from Pinterest or other sites belong to their creators and not to me)

Harvest Fest, Youth Band Auditions and a Bicycle Wipe out

The post that I had planned for Monday (which clearly did not get completed) was going to focus entirely on the Harvest Fest at Martin’s Fruit Farm that I went to on Friday. But after my adventures Monday (which I’ll get into later on), I decided to make this post a more general, here are the everyday adventures I had over the last few days, kind of post.

Martin's Fruit Farm

Martin’s Fruit Farm

Friday morning my mom and I went to Martin’s Fruit Farm (not far from St. Jacob’s Market if you’re wondering) for their annual Harvest Fest (known in the past as Apple Fest). There were apple based treats to taste such as apple crisp, and apple coffee cake. There was hot and cold cider to drink (depending on your preference) and some fun activities and picture opportunities for the whole family. We went Friday morning, but I think there were specific activities for children planned for the Saturday. We bought some apples, a pumpkin, spaghetti squash (which I’ve never tried before) and, the most healthy thing of all, a candy apple!

Tasty apple treats

Tasty apple treats

Straw donkey and A buggy

Straw donkey and A buggy

Cute windmill

Cute windmill




Friday evenings during the school year, our church runs a Sr. High Youth Group, in which I am a leader. In addition to the typical youth leader things, I’m also involved in the tech stuff. This involves computer/projector things as well as sound board things. Last year I played mostly with the computer side of the tech booth, but this year I’m working on expanding my skills to include the band setup and sound board side. It’s lots of fun, and I love the sense of accomplishment when I solve a sound (often microphone) problem.

This past Saturday was the youth band orientation and audition day. And, since the other sound guy wasn’t sure he could be there the whole time and I was free during the afternoon, I attended to do sound stuff (I know, I know, I’ve used the very technical word ‘stuff’ way too much in this post. If you can think of a better word I’m all ears.) I’m so glad I was asked to help out. It’s great listening to all the talent the youth have! I also got to play with my sound balancing skills in an environment that wasn’t as tense as a Friday night (since it’s still new for me I’m always worried about messing everything up Friday nights). I’m really grateful I got to be involved in the process of getting the youth bands going this year.

Now, on to my Monday adventure (yes, this is the part of the title that refers to the Bicycle wipe out). I’ve been in something of a bike riding mood these last few days. I was hoping to go on a nice long bike ride Sunday afternoon and then they were calling for thunderstorms so I decided not to go. I ended up going on a short ride later in the evening because the thunderstorm didn’t actually arrive until much later in the day than predicted. But, I digress.

Sunday evening I discovered the existence of a series of bike trails in Waterloo (they Hydrocut trails) that somehow, I have never heard of even though I’ve lived in this area my whole life. I decided that, as long as the ground dried up in the next few days, I would check out these trails one day this week. <Megra12 note>The trail section of this story is kind of tangential but it connects in my head so it stays <End note>

Cue Monday. I decided Monday that I would ride my bike where I needed to go. It was close enough, and a nice day, so no need to drive. The first part of my ride involved a hill <this is important because I lowered my gear at this point>. Following the hill was a nice gradual decline on a road that can be busy but at this moment in time had no cars. So, since there were no cars I let myself coast a tad faster than I probably should have (but it felt so nice at the time!) Not long before the point where I had to turn, I decided I should start pedaling and slow down a bit. This is the point where everything went wrong. You see, I had forgotten to change the gears back after the hill. So there was not nearly enough tension in the pedals when I started up again. And my foot slipped. And since I was moving a tad quick, I lost control of the bike. And wiped out. Big time. I hit my chin, me glasses (so I have a bruised nose), my knee and my hands. And I sprained my ankle. Yep, fun times. The thing that annoyed me most at the time? Now I have to wait to check out those trails. <Don’t get me wrong, I was also annoyed at other things, such as those that involved pain and embarrassment>

So that was my adventure on Monday. And also the reason why there was no post on Monday.

Keep Smiling!

“One of the greatest myths in the world – & the phrase ‘greatest myths’ is just a fancy way of saying ‘big fat lies’ — is that troublesome things get less & less troublesome if you do them more & more. People say this myth when they are teaching children to ride bicycles, for instance, as though falling off a bicycle & skinning your knee is less troublesome the fourteenth time you do it than it is the first time. The truth is that troublesome things tend to remain troublesome no matter how many times you do them, & that you should avoid doing them unless they are absolutely urgent.” — Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator

Stacking the Shelves September 2013


Last month I posted a September Library Haul where I told you about all the books I’d taken out of the Library in the previous few weeks. Since then, I discovered a “link-up” that is similar to a haul, but allows for books acquired either, permanently or temporarily, from any sources (library, purchase, borrowed from a friend). Since it’s a lot of fun to link-up with others writing the same types of posts, I’ve decided to join the “Stacking the Shelves” link up hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves September - A bit out of control?

Stacking the Shelves September – A bit out of control?

My library card has been receiving a lot of exercise this month so my list of books from the library for this month (I am only going to talk about books I received in the previous month so, in this case, September) is exceptionally long. I’ve been watching and reading many book blogs and for a while every time I heard about a book I was interested in, I would request it from the library. It seems that at some point I started using the library request system as an informal “To be Read” (TBR) list. I’ve since realized this isn’t really the best system as it got a bit out of control and resulted in a crazy pile of books at the end of my bed. If anyone has any suggestions on a TBR list tracking system that works well for them, let me know in the comments!

So, now that I’ve finished all the precursor ramblings, onto the books!

Library Books:

Say Everything, The Sandman, Ocean at the End of the Lane

Say Everything, The Sandman, Ocean at the End of the Lane

1. Say Everything: How Blogging began, what it’s becoming, and why it matters by Scott Rosenberg

2. The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

3. Emma Vol. 1 by Kaoru Mori

4. Freedom is Blogging in Your Underwear by Hugh MacLeod

5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – I’ve had this book on request at the library for awhile (possibly since it was released) and my name finally came up on the list. I’ve heard great things about it, so I can’t wait to pick it up.

The Demonologist, The Alchemyst, Bones of faerie, The Monstrumologist

The Demonologist, The Alchemyst, Bones of faerie, The Monstrumologist

6. The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

7. The Alchemyst {The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Vol. 1} by Michael Scott – I’ve looked at this series and thought about giving it a try for years (I think it began around the time the Harry Potter series ended). I’m about ¼ of the way through it and so far I’m enjoying it.

8. Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner – When browsing the new arrivals shelf at the library I picked up the most recent book in this series, realized I should read the others first, and went on a mission through the shelves. To my surprise, the first book was on the shelves. I have already read this one, enjoyed it, and am looking forward to the rest of the series. Maybe I’ll review it or do a more thorough recommendation of it in the next couple weeks.

9. The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey – the person who recommended this book described it as a typical YA horror. I’ve never been a huge fan of horror (I like some thrillers and suspense but I’m picky) but I thought I’d give it a try because it sounded interesting. This is the first book in a series.

Leviathan, Beautiful Creatures, Far far away, Sweetly

Leviathan, Beautiful Creatures, Far far away, Sweetly

10. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

11. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

15. Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

16. Sweetly by Jackson Pearce

Across the Universe, A Million Suns, Shades of Earth

Across the Universe, A Million Suns, Shades of Earth

12. Across the Universe (Across the Universe series, Book 1) by Beth Revis – This is another one I’ve already read. It’s a dystopian, YA novel, set on a space ship that is supposed to be heading towards a new home planet. I won’t say too much more about it here but I enjoyed it so much I almost started the next one immediately after.

13. A Million Suns (Across the Universe series, Book 2) by Beth Revis

14. Shades of Earth (Across the Universe series, Book 3) by Beth Revis

The Diviners, Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children, The Fault in Our Stars, Doll Bones

The Diviners, Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children, The Fault in Our Stars, Doll Bones

17. The Diviners by Libba Bray

18. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – I picked this one up to read earlier in the summer and then never got to it. Since it has quite a waiting list at the library I was only just able to get it back out. I’ve started it (maybe 2 or 3 chapters in) and I’m enjoying it. It’s a mixture of writing and unique photography and so far the story is intriguing.

19. The Fault in our Stars by John Green – Here is another one that has a waiting list a mile long. I finally got it the end of last week, and I’ve already finished it. I Read it in an evening (I was up until about 2:30); I couldn’t put it down. Wow, just wow. John Green pretty much destroys emotions; but he does it with such elegant, smooth and captivating writing.

20. Doll Bones by Holly Black

Anna and the French Kiss, Longfellow, Anna Dressed in Blood, Girl of Nightmares

Anna and the French Kiss, Longfellow, Anna Dressed in Blood, Girl of Nightmares

21. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

22. Longfellow: Poems and Other Writings ed. J.D. McClatchy

23. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

24. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

The Spindlers, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Longfellow, Vampire Academy

The Spindlers, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Longfellow, Vampire Academy

25. The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver

26. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

27. Longfellow: Poetical Works – As this book, and a few further down indicate, I was in a poetry mood.

28. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m always leery in regards to Vampire books. I think they’re either really good and I enjoy them a lot, or they’re really bad and painful to read. We’ll see where this one falls.

E.E. Cummings, Vampire Slayer, Writ in Stone, The Haunted Dollhouse

E.E. Cummings, Vampire Slayer, Writ in Stone, The Haunted Dollhouse

29. E. E. Cummings Complete Poems 1904-1962 ed. George J. Firmage

30.  Nancy Drew Girl Detective #2: Writ in Stone by Stefan Petrucha and Sho Murase

31. Nancy Drew Girl Detective #3: The Haunted Dollhouse by Stefan Petrucha and Sho Murase

32. Nancy Drew The New Case Files #2: Vampire Slayer Part Two by Petrucha, Kinney and Murase

Received from Goodreads giveaways:



1. Urgle by Meaghan McIsaac – This one wasn’t an ARC (it was published earlier in the year) but I will review it as part of the Goodreads giveaways program

Well, now that you see how out of control my library list began, you can appreciate my need for a new TBR system. I may not end up reading all of these, and I may need to take some of them out of the library again (depending on whether I can renew them or not). I’m going to try and include a list of the books I read (with brief recommendations) at the end of each month as I find that it’s easy to let you know what books I think I want to read, but more helpful to know if I did read them and if I enjoyed them or not.

I also want to start posting at least semi-regular, more in-depth, reviews of some of the books I read. Do you have any recommendations for me? Or books that you’d like me to read and review? Let me know in the comments.

Keep Smiling!

What I’m Into: September 2013

What I'm Into September 2013I enjoy reading or watching people’s “what I’m into” posts (sometimes called monthly favourites). They’re fun ways to mention and discuss things that might not normally appear in a blog post. When I first decided to start up this blog, I knew I wanted to include a monthly post that fit this type. Since the time I made this decision, a friend of mine wrote one that she linked in with another bloggers “link-up.” Though many people write this type of post as a series contained to their own blog/vlog, I thought it would be fun to join in with the link-up. So I will link-up my “Things I’m into” with Leigh Kramers’ What I’m Into series.

I started a lot of books this month and didn’t finish nearly as many but there were a few I finished and enjoyed. (Hopefully I can make this section a bit more thorough next month). Some of these will probably also appear in a Library Day Friday post to come so the comments are very brief.

The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in ship of her own making by Catherynne M. Valente – technically I didn’t finish this until October, but it was so close I decided to include it in this month.

Bones of faerie by Janni Lee Simner – I picked this book up after I saw the fourth one in the series on the new arrivals shelf at the library. I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis – this is the first book in a trilogy. I wasn’t planning on starting it until October, but I just couldn’t wait. I really enjoyed it and I am excited to read the others.

J.K. Rowling Movie announcement – I know this doesn’t really fit in with books but since it’s going to be a Harry Potter type movie based on the text book from the series “Fantastical Beasts and where to find them,” I decided it could be included here.


Once Upon a Time – If you’ve been following my blog the last few weeks you know that I made a goal to catch up on the first and second seasons of this so I would be ready for the Premier. I didn’t quite make the goal but I’m all ready to start on the new season now.

The Mentalist – This isn’t a show that I just started watching. I think I’ve watched it pretty much since it started but I’ve been re-watching the old seasons this month and trying to catch up on ones I missed last year so I can understand what’s happening this season.

Avatar: The Last Airbender – I started watching this over the summer and finally finished last weekend. I really enjoyed it. The characters are great and there are so many quotable moments (which I really like).

New blogs/bloggers:

I have been reading a lot of blogs this month and I’ve started following a number of new writers. Here are a few that I’m really enjoying.

Sprinkle of Glitter


Leslie IRL

A Thrifty Mrs

Kristina Horner (I also really love her YouTube channel)


Here are some of the things I’m into that don’t really fit into any other categories or are “one off’s” this month.

Beauty and the Beast – Yes I mean the Disney movie. And no it’s not the first time I’ve seen the movie. Beauty and the Beast has always been my favourite Disney movie (technically it’s at the top of a list of favourites) and lately I’ve been in the mood to watch it.

Everything Apple and Pumpkin – I love how September always brings the first tastes of pumpkin (pumpkin chai lattes, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin loaf) and lots of apple things (cider, apple crisp).

Hank Green music – You may know him as one half of the Vlogbrothers. He made two of his CDS available as a bundle recently so now I’m enjoying his music in my car and not just off YouTube. You can listen to an example of one of his songs here.

Dare To Dream - Little Mermaid Sephora Palette

Dare To Dream – Little Mermaid Sephora Palette

Little Mermaid Sephora Palette – I am a sucker for so many things Disney and one of the vloggers I like mentioned this makeup pallet in a video or two. Now, I’m rarely one who talks much about makeupy things, but the colours in this pallet are fantastic and they work with my skin tone really well. The colours all have really great names like “flotsam,” “your voice,” and “treasures untold.”

The Resistance (board Game) – I played this game (where you have to lie sometimes and figure out who’s a spy and who’s on your side) with a group of friends at the beginning of the month. It’s a board game but really it’s all about what you say and how you say it.

Got my hair cut pretty short the end of August

Got my hair cut pretty short the end of August

My new haircut – technically (I know, this is a word I’ve used a lot this month) I got my hair cut short at the end of August, but now that I’ve had it for awhile I can truly say that I love it. I mean, I really liked it when it was first done, but the fact that I still like it a month later says a lot. I think it’s a style I’ll keep for awhile. And really, who doesn’t love a style that is super easy to take care of?


What have you been enjoying this past month?

Keep Smiling!

What I'm Into at HopefulLeigh