Saturday, September 26, 2015

Book Haul

Good afternoon, everyone!

Today I took a trip to Barnes & Noble with the intention of buying a gift for a friend, buuuut seeing as how it is physically impossible for me to go into B&N for only one thing, I picked up a few things for myself as well. I don't even need anything new to read, but that will never stop me. Side note: If anyone has any suggestions on anything they've read lately, let me know! See? I can't help it.

So, let's get started:

The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath by Ishbelle Bee: I actually bought this one awhile ago, but it was so so good I had to mention it. It's about a little girl, Mirror, who after being stuffed into a clock by her grandfather, becomes something more than human. She's rescued by a policeman (Goliath) who then becomes her protector, oh and also, he's a shape-shifter. If that wasn't enough, the two of them are being tracked by the ever-so creepy, John Loveheart, who is the adopted son of Mr. Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Mr. Fingers wants to capture and eat Mirror because her soul is the key to his eternal reign. It is so well written and the storyline is so different and exciting. I finished this in about two days because I just couldn't put it down.

The Martian by Andy Weir: I heard that this was becoming a film, and then I saw a clip of it and then I decided I needed to read it. I always like reading a book before seeing the movie adaptation, then pointing out all the differences to myself (or whoever's around me, whether they want to hear it or not.) The story is about astronaut Mark Watney who gets trapped on Mars after a dust storm causes his team to evacuate. He has no way of reaching Earth, and even if he did, he doesn't have enough supplies to last until a rescue team could get to him. All he has are his brains, engineering skills and the will to stay alive. The man ringing me up at the store told me that it was really good as well and that I wouldn't want to put it down. That's some big talk so I hope he's right.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: There's a pull quote from a USA Today review on the back of this book that says, "The Tear is just as easy to get sucked into as Westeros or Hogwarts or Panem." How can you pass that up?! The story follows Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn and her upcoming 19th birthday and ascension to the throne as Queen of the Tearling. The young princess is surrounded by enemies (including an evil sorceress, because no princess story is complete without one), but she finds she has some pretty impressive weapons of her own. With a war approaching, Kelsea must race to save her kingdom and meet her destiny.

The Princess, The Scoundrel, and The Farm Boy by Alexandra Bracken: If it's about Star Wars, I'm all about it. This is a re-telling of A New Hope, and according to the synopsis on the jacket, it takes a deeper look into how exactly the trio crossed paths and became the legends that they are. While flipping through the pages, I also noticed that there are drawings here and there that correspond to the story line which look really fun and almost like they were plucked right from the story boards of Lucas and the gang.

Armada by Ernest Cline: Ready Player One is one of my favorite books, so naturally I had to give this a go as well. I just love the way that Cline weaves pop culture references in to every nook and cranny of his stories. In this one, a high school student named Zach notices a UFO while staring out the window of his classroom. This isn't just any UFO though, it's one that he's seen every night while playing one of the most popular video games, Armada, in which players have to defend Earth against alien invaders. Zach then gets picked up by the ship and there he and other recruits learn about the Earth Defense Alliance (EDA), and how the video game was actually set up to find the best drone pilots to help with an impending alien attack. While going through all this, Zach finds his father that he thought was dead and that there may be more to the attack than meets the eye.

Poison by Sarah Pinborough: I had been eyeing this book for a while because the cover is just so nice. I love the simplicity of it and I'm a sucker for a ribbon bookmark. This is another one I got awhile ago but had to add. Again, this is a retelling of Snow White but more from the point of view of the Evil Queen. It's a bit more like the original fairy tale, a bit darker than the shiny Disney version that most people are familiar with, but it's definitely one to check out if you like fables. I saw a few other fairy tales done in this style, so I think I probably need to pick those up as well!

 And just because I love toys, I had to pick up some R2-D2 string lights and my girl Sailor Mars :]

Have any of you read any of these? What'dya think?

Friday, September 18, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: 5 Favorite Things About Autumn

Ahoy everyone!

This is my favorite topic thus far because I. Love. Autumn. I mean, a lot. Fall is my favorite time of the year, not only because my birthday is in the fall (come on, November!) or because my pasty Irish skin doesn't have to worry about burning anymore, but because I feel there is something so pretty about how the world looks during autumn, even though everything is dying. Plus, New York in the fall is always a sight to behold.

So, here are just a few of the things that make this my favorite season:

1. Apple picking!: Every year, my friends and I go to an orchard way out east on the Island and pick apples. We usually go around this time and it always feels like the official start of fall. I make my way through the orchard picking as many apples as my little paper bag can hold and it's the best. It's a little tough reaching some of the apples though because I'm a tad on the shorter side, and they even have "dwarf trees" that are meant for little kids and things like that, which I still barely can reach! Once I even made homemade apple sauce, but I learned I should leave that to Mott's because it was terrible haha.

2. Football!: Now, I'm not a huuuuuge sports fan, but college football is my jam. Growing up in my family, you were either a Yankees, Giants or Notre Dame fan. I actually didn't start getting into football until about 6 or so years ago; I would watch it here and there with my family, but one Saturday I had nothing better to do, so I sat down with my brother and watched a game and from then on it was like our little weekend tradition. We even went out to Indiana and saw a game at Notre Dame stadium and it was unbelievable. We're going to another game this year in Pittsburg and I can't wait!

3. Clothing!: First off, I wish I knew who made that picture because it's adorable. Secondly, can we all agree that autumn attire is the best attire? I feel like I can finally wear all the clothing I actually like now. I'm one of those people who only feel comfortable if I'm covered from neck to ankle in fabric. Bring on all the thick sweaters, boots and tights, I'm ready for ya.

4. Tea!: Now, I drink tea year round, but there's something way cozier about curling up with a nice hot cup of tea (or hot chocolate, I'm not picky) when it's chilly outside. Throw a book into that mix and add maybe a dash of rain outside, and that will always be my ideal day.

5. Halloween!: My favorite, favorite part of fall. I've always been obsessed with Halloween-- everything from the decorations to the costumes (I always make my costumes-- last year I was Elliott and made a handlebar/basket to carry my ET doll in) to the movies. I have a yearly tradition starting October 1st going all the way to the 31st of watching one Halloween themed/scary/sci-fi movie a day, and I'll always end it with Halloween because I mean, obviously! I can't wait until I have a house of my own because there is no doubt in my mind that I'm going to be one of those people who goes all out with the decorations. And I will regret nothing.

Honorable Mention:

My Dream Fall Trip: I'm a huge fan of the supernatural and history, so I've always wanted to head up to Salem, MA and go on all the witch tours and see all the sights, but whenever the fall comes it's like that feeling grows tenfold. I try to convince my friends to take a road trip all the time, but so far no dice. One day I'll get there!

What are some of your favorite things for fall? Let me know!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Lets Talk: Current Obsessions

Hi everyone!

So, since it's September and my favorite season fall is right around the corner, I figured I'd let you guys in on some of my other recent favorites.

1. Badlands - Halsey: I discovered Halsey a few months ago from a gif set that I saw on Tumblr, and I've been a fan ever since. This record just came out at the end of August and I'm not even kidding when I say it's been on repeat ever since. Definitely check out "Roman Holiday", "Colors" and "Control" if you're looking for some new tunes!

2. New Star Wars toys: I didn't go out on Force Friday when all the new toys were released (very large chaotic crowds and my anxiety do not mix well!), and I'm a little bummed I missed out on most of the good stuff, but I'm really glad I was at least able to pick up this little cutie.

3. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige: I've always loved The Wizard of Oz, but lemme tell you, we're not in Kansas anymore. Danielle Paige takes the story we all know and love and goes in a totally different direction, and it's great. Basically (without giving too much away), Dorothy goes back to Oz and takes over with Glinda and makes a right ol' mess of everything. The characters that we all know are completely unrecognizable-- the Scarecrow is a mad scientist who uses his brains to experiment on living beings, the Tin Woodsman is head of a brute force military squad, and the Cowardly Lion runs wild destroying villages and eating the fear out of innocent people. Then a tornado drops in another girl from Kansas who joins up with the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, and just as the title reads, must kill Dorothy. It's such a page turner, and it also had two prequel novellas that are available as e-books which help set everything up--No Place like Oz and The Witch Must Burn.

3. Raspberry Finch Etsy shop: This one is thanks to Ashlee for posting a link to this shop in one of her posts. Once I saw that poster (which is pretty much my motto in life) and that Buffy pin, I knew they had to be mine! Everyone needs to check this shop out for all its geeky goodness.

4. Homemade cinnamon rolls: I had to use up some of my vacation time at work last month, so I figured I would use that time to try tackling these babies. "Love" isn't even a strong enough word to describe my feelings about cinnamon rolls. I had always wanted to try making them from scratch, but all the recipes I had seen looked way too complicated and time consuming. Then I found one that said it only took 30 minutes, so I figured it was worth a shot, and I'm so glad I made them. They were aaaaaahhhhmazing and gone in a flash. If any of you would like me to put up a post of how to make them, let me know!

5. iPad Mini: My mom and I work for the same company, and we recently had our appreciation dinner (which is basically just a nice thing the bigwigs do to say thank you for all the hard work everyone does) and they give out prizes to everyone. A majority of the gifts are just little things like wine bottles, gift cards and things like that, but then they have 3 big prizes and this was one of them. My mom actually won this, but since the most tech savvy thing she can muster is turning her phone on, she gave it to me. I never really had any need for an iPad mini, but now that I have one, I love it. It makes reading the comics on my apps way easier too, so I'm all about that.

And last but not least,

6. My new tattoo!: I don't think I've ever mentioned this, but I have quite a few tattoos. I've always loved tattoos, whether just in flash prints or actually on someone, and I was so pumped on finally getting this one. If you couldn't tell, it's Spice Girls related. Everyone always thought I was joking when I said I wanted a Spice Girls tattoo, but they were very important to me growing up. My friends and I even got to go to their reunion tour back in 2008, and it was one of the best nights of my life, and if the rumors are true about them reuniting again, I will be the first in line for tickets. Now, I'll forever be about the Girl Power.

What are some of your favorite things recently? Let me know!

Friday, September 4, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Fictional Deaths I'm Not Over Yet

So, mix my love of list making with today's topic of fictional deaths and what you get is one bittersweet Fandom Friday. Now, I'm not one to get so emotional to the point where I'm heaving with sobs, but these five deaths made my tear ducts come thiiiiiis close to becoming Niagara Falls.

1. Dobby (Harry Potter): When I went to see this in theaters, a man behind me dropped his entire popcorn bucket on my head, and I still stand by the fact that it was just popcorn butter on my face and not tracks of tears.

2. Ellen and Jo (Supernatural): Out of all the deaths on this show, and holy cow have there been a ton (not counting all the times Sam and Dean have died themselves), this was the one that got me the most. I can't even re-watch this episode because I'm on edge the whole time because I know how it turns out and I hate it.

3. Wash (Firefly): This is the first of many heartbreaks that Joss Whedon has put me through. (Another one is to follow, just a heads up.) I always tell myself not to get too attached to a character if Joss has anything to do with them because I know it's just a matter of time before he impales them with a harpoon.

4. The Red Wedding (Game of Thrones): Ugh. Ugggggggghhhhhhhhh. I've read all the GoT's books, so I had fair warning that this was going to happen, and it was heartbreaking in the book but watching it unfold on screen was absolutely gut wrenching. It also didn't help that I went to my first wedding after seeing this and I spent a good majority of the time thinking "The Rains of Castamere" was going to start playing any second.

5. Joyce Summers / Tara Maclay (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): I couldn't decide between these two since both left me a complete and utter mess. To this day, I can't listen to Anya's speech in "The Body" about not understanding why Joyce was dead without getting so choked up it's like I swallowed a softball. Don't even get me started on Tara, no really don't because I will wallow and then have to eat my feelings away. I will never be over these two. Damn you, Joss Whedon!

Now, I need to go talk to some Ben & Jerry's about this list. What character deaths are you guys not over?