Monday, December 11, 2017

Music Monday (7)

Music Monday is a weekly event hosted by Lauren over at Always Me.  Every Monday, you share one or two of your favorite songs you've been enjoying that week to help other people discover new music!  Here are my picks for this week:


Candy Cane Lane - Sia

I've been LOVING Sia's new Christmas album and this is one of my favorite songs from it.  She does such a good job of creating Christmas music that's Christmasy but still has a great beat to it (like all of her other songs!)


You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch - Lindsey Stirling ft. Sabrina Carpenter

I love both of these artists!  Lindsey Stirling plays violin and Sabrina Carpenter sings.  Lyndsey Stirling also released a Christmas album that is just gorgeous.  I love all her collabs and song choices.  This is one of my favorite Christmas songs merely because of it's absolute absurdity.


Make You Believe - Lucy Hale

I recently rewatched this movie (A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song) and became obsessed with the soundtrack all over again.  This is one of my favorite songs from the soundtrack!


To Be Human - Sia ft. Labrinth

I watched this movie a couple months ago and I just recently started listening to the soundtrack and it's so beautiful!  This is one of my favorite songs (can you tell I like Sia?)



Have you heard any of these songs before?  What have you been listening to recently?

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Novemeber Wrap-Up


It's that time again!  Honestly, I can't believe how fast this year is flying by.  There's so much I have to do by the end of the year, not to mention the end of the semester (which ends in the middle of December).  But we shall power on!  This month has certainly been interesting in terms of reading.


Statistics:


Number of Pages Read: 2,807

Total Books Read: 8
Rereads: 3
Reviews Posted: 2

Distribution of Ratings:
5 star: 1
4-4.5 star: 5
3-3.5 star: 1
2-2.5 star: 1
1-1.5 star: 0

Number of Authors Read: 8
Number of Series Books Read: 5
Number of Stand-alones: 3

The Books:
Reads:
Something in the Water - Ben Starling (#2) (4.5) (Review)
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf (3) (Review to come!)
The DaVinci Code - Dan Brown (#2) (4.5) (Review to come!)








18 Hours to Us - Krista Noorman (4) (Review)
The Known World - Edward P. Jones (4) (Review to come!)




I'd say it's been a pretty good month!  Again, a good portion of the reading I did was for an English course I'm taking.  I read by The Known World and Mrs. Dalloway for that course.  However, I did get two R&R's done this month and still managed to read a book I've been wanting to for a long time (and I want to rewatch the movie soon as well!): The DaVinci Code.  Something in the Water was actually very enjoyable.  I started out slightly confused because the book has so many different elements worked into it (the fantasy in particular threw me a little) but by the end, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Mrs. Dalloway was the lowpoint of the month.  I had to read a slew of Virginia Woolf in my high school days and I think I'm all Woolfed out.  I just can't really get into her writing anymore although I generally enjoyed the story.  It's so much more comprehensible when you understand the organization that Woolf worked in with the tolling of the clock.  The DaVinci Code was my fun read for the month as it's been siting on my shelf this whole semester, taunting me.  I picked it up at my local thrift store when I was just passing by and saw it.  I love browsing the shelves at my thrift store because you can find great gems for a fraction of the price.  The book itself was so great and I can see myself rereading it in the near future.  I'm especially interested to see just how much of this is actual speculation that's taking place in the academic world.  I received 18 Hours to Us as an ARC from the author (I've been working with Krista Noorman since her debut novel was published in 2014) and I really enjoyed it!  Noorman tends to write about fluffy, clean romances (think Kasie West) and I've never failed to enjoy them.  Finally, I read The Known World for that English course I'm taking this semester and while I did enjoy it, I think I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if I was just reading it on my own without the intense analysis.


Rereads:
Pandora's Box - Kayla Jo (#3) (2) (Review - original rating 2.5)
A Long Long Sleep - Anna Sheehan (#1) (4.5) (Review to come!)
Graceling - Kristin Cashore (#1) (5) (Review to come!)


I was a little more in the mood for rereads this month.  Once I get started on rereading, I just kind of keep picking up book after book, even if I have other stuff to be doing!  It's kind of dangerous, actually.  I did lower my rating for Pandora's Box mostly because I just didn't like it as much as I used to (like the rest of the series).  I'll be doing a summary post on that soon.



Currently Reading:
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz
Artemis - Andy Weir


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is the last book I'll read for my English course this semester!  I'm enjoying it so far (mostly because it has some Spanish phrases in it which means I get to practice my Spanish).  I ordered Artemis and it just came a couple of days ago so I'm just starting to dig into it!  (note: I just finished this but when I made this graphic I was still in the middle of it.  I'm too lazy to make another graphic though...)  I was also reading It by Stephen King last month and I have yet to finish it but I'm thinking I'm going to wait until finals are over and then I'll just binge it all in a day or two to finish it up once and for all.  I really want to see the movie once I move again so that will happen!



Life Updates:
This month has been such an intense month!  The first few weeks were jam packed with essays and exams and presentations and then, all of a sudden, Thanksgiving came along and saved me.  I did go Black Friday shopping with my mom which was really fun and I ended up getting a few things.  My Christmas presents this year are actually going to be done on time (flashback to last Christmas when I pulled an all-nighter on Christmas Eve to get everything done)!  Overall, though, there hasn't been too much excitement.  I did see quite a few new movies (and a few rewatches) and I've found some new music to listen to!  I'll be doing a Music Monday next Monday so I'll put more there but here are some of my favorites:

Barbies - P!nk

I love the nostalgic nature of this song and P!nk always has awesome beats!

Walk on Water - 30 Seconds to Mars

This music video is GORGEOUS!  Seriously, especially if you live in the U.S., you know what kind of year we've had and this video is exactly what I needed.

Gorgeous - Taylor Swift

This is my favorite song so far from Taylor Swift's new album!

Santa's Coming For Us - Sia

I couldn't not put a Christmas song in here!  I do like traditional Christmas songs, but I also love the Christmas albums some artists put out with reworked Christmas songs, too.


As for movies, I have a whole list this month!






Switched for Christmas






I've been watching Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas if you couldn't tell!  That includes anything with the word 'Christmas' in the title.  They've all been very sweet and adorable.  As for the others, it's been an interesting month!  Shin Godzilla is a Godzilla movie that was made and released in Japan.  I love watching movies from other countries and this is no exception.  I think they did a good job with it, with the exception of the appearance of the monster.  Just look it up and you'll see what I mean!  Everyone in the theater burst out laughing when Godzilla first appeared.  I'd definitely watch it again, though.  Spider-Man:Homecoming was... interesting.  I still haven't decided if I like it or not.  I love how they tied it in with The Avengers.  I'm such a fan of Marvel (except for the fact that Black Widow is literally the only female superhero and she doesn't have a solo movie yet which is a TRAVESTY) and I love what they're doing with the whole combined world/storyline thing.  It is kind of weird to have Spider-Man be a part of that world, though.  I think they did a good job with the visuals and script and such!  I did see the new trailer for the next Avengers movie and Dr. Strange is in it which I'm SO excited for!  Benedict Cumberbatch is lovely.  War for the Planet of the Apes was such a soul-crushing movie.  I've really liked the series, and don't get me wrong, I loved this movie.  It was just so sad to see what was happening with the human situation and how heartless people can be when they think their survival is at stake.  I could definitely see that happening too which makes it worse.  It's such a great conclusion even though it is sad.  The Dark Tower was a bit anticipatory for me.  I've been reading the series for the past few years (I'm hoping to actually pick up the next book soon - I'm on the... third(?) book I think).  I did like it although they pared down on the story line a bit which I do actually approve of.  There are certain things that just wouldn't do well in a movie and the drawn out and abstract nature of this series is one of those things.  The casting is stellar!

As for TV shows, I've been rather obsessed with Criminal Minds and have polished off 3 seasons.  I seriously have an addiction.  Also, Netflix has another season of The Great British Baking Show which made my year!  I LOVE that show and when I ran out of seasons to watch (there were only 3 previously) it was devastating.  I did hear that only Paul Hollywood remains after the whole network switch which is disappointing.

And that's mostly it!  It's been a rather busy month with university and seeing family and all so there hasn't been much in the way of exciting travel or anything.  I'm enjoying fall, though, and am looking forward to winter break!


So that's my November.  How has yours been?  Have you seen any of these movies or read any of these books?  What did you think of them?  Have you been watching Hallmark's Countdown to Christmas?

Friday, December 8, 2017

50/50 Friday (62): Newest/Oldest Book You Own

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Newest/Oldest Book You Own

Friday, December 1, 2017

50/50 Friday (61): Favorite/Least Favorite Book Read in November

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today's Topic: Favorite/Least Favorite Book Read in November

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A Guide: Blog Design


Welcome to the third installment of my Guide series, a series to commemorate my third blogoversary and serve as a collection of all of my blogging and reviewing knowledge thus far!  I'll be posting one Guide per month (I've published two previously, see them here: Pursuit of Reviewers, Review Writing).  I definitely don't know everything but if you're just starting out or you haven't had a chance to explore everything the internet has to offer, I've got your back!  You can see an upcoming list of topics on the Guide page.

Today's topic is all about the Blog Design.  I'm not going to go too much into code or anything and this applies mostly to Blogger blogs (I've actually been meaning to switch to Wordpress and an actual domain for a while but I just haven't had the time) because that's what I've had experience with.  Enjoy!

Friday, November 24, 2017

50/50 Friday (60): Book That Left You Hungry for More/Satisfied

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!


Today's Topic: Book That Left You Hungry for More/Satisfied

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review and Release Tuesday: 18 Hours to Us by Krista Noorman


Standalone to date

Goodreads Blurb:
"When Natalie Rhodes left her house early that fateful morning to catch the bus to her senior class trip, she never expected to end up in a car with Colton Daynes--the guy she's had a crush on since first grade, the guy who has no idea who she is. But when Colton's irresponsible driving causes them both to miss the bus, the unlikely pair set off on a road trip from Michigan to Virginia Beach to catch up with their classmates.

From the little village of Middleville, the popular football star and the quiet gymnast will navigate back roads and highways, travel from lake towns to waterfalls to mountaintops and beyond, all the while fielding texts from Colton's friends and mean girl, Lexi, who also happens to be Colton's girlfriend and Natalie's former best friend.

Hours spent together on the road will lead them to places they've never been, discovering hidden talents, revealing secrets and fears. And they just might realize they have more in common than they know."
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