Sunday, December 29, 2013

Books I am looking forward to in 2014

Hey!
So this is a list of books I am looking forward to in the coming year, as for the first time in a long time I am currently reading a couple of different series, this means that there is a greater than normal amount of books that I am currently waiting on to read in the new year. In no order what-so-ever

Isla and the Happily ever after:
I mentioned this one earlier thinking that it came out last year (nope) anyways so it is a third in a series,(in so much as the same characters crossover the book itself is actually about a different girl each time) and I read the first and second and they were really cute and so I am looking forward to more love.

5th in the Lost Heroes Series:
I love this series and everything to do with it. I am patiently (ish) waiting for the last book, this especially excited for this novel because in Rick Riodan's last series The Percy Jackson Series the last book was my favorite it was wrapped up well and I thought it was the best story of them all, so I am hoping for an encore of good story telling in this last book.

Darkest Minds #3:
Although the title has not been release yet apparently all the three novels are suppose to add up to create a sentence (or so I've heard) which is actually really cool. I loved the first one of this book and I am currently reading the second, and if it is anything like the first I shall have to get the third -and last one- as well.

Hold me closer Necromancer #3:
I really enjoying the first book in this series and the second one was enjoyable-although less so, I shall read the third one because I find the topic and the magic interesting and I want to know how the story ends (I think this is the last one).

These are only the books I can think of wanting in the new year, I might think of some later, but these are what I am most excited for!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top ten books of 2013

Hello! So in this post I thought I would make a list of the top ten books I liked the most of 2013, mind you these are the books that I read in 2013 not necessarily the ones that came out in 2013. Also keep in mind I only read 63 books this year so that's not a whole lot of books to pick from and there are 12 books this year that were written by the same author (Rick Riodan) and it sounds silly to list him again and again so I am going to lump him into one book to represent the series of his which I have read which leaves about 50 books to choose from, so without futhur ado, let's countdown my favorite books!

10) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd -
I will not explain why I liked this book so much but I will say this, I can see why it is a classic mystery novel.

9) Shadow Blackbird
-Now this book I thought covered an interesting topic I have read about academically but never in fiction (although I am sure there are other books out there about this as well.) It takes place around spiritual photography and is set journeying WW1 in America where the Spanish influenza was sweeping the nation on one side and WW1 was killing soldiers on the other hand. I actually remember my great-grandmother telling me stories about this and how everyone couldn't meet in public and just how scary the entire thing was, which when you think about it on one hand you have fathers/sons/brothers dying in WW1 and the other the people at home dying from disease so an interest in the occult and getting in touch with the people who died far too young occurred. This novel sets itself in the heart of the influenza with our main character who talks to a ghost. I really liked this books however I gave it 4.5/5 because sometimes I thought the main character was a little too perfect. Although, what this book does well is create a mood, it really has depth and fleshes out the world that the main character is a part of. I found it extremely atmospheric, and as good books tend to do I was very interested in the subject manner after reading it and would like to read more books that tackle the interest in spiritualism/occult that occurred around this time. 

8) Lola and the Boy Next Door
-This is a romantic story and I read pretty few pure romance books (you know the kind where everyone lives to the end XD!) But oh my gosh was this adorable. I loved it, the characters were a bit "oh my goodness this could be solved with a good conversation" but at the same time it was sweet and cute and I am willing to make the excuse that  I doubt many teens are willing to be completely honest and open with their feelings to people that they are interested in. I should read more romances.

7) Nietzsche 
-This was is less about the story itself (which at times was a little bit like 'oh Nietzsche, I realize you want everyone to overcome but your love for humanity and sheer misanthropy is kind of impressive') but about the ideas that I had never encountered before and became deeply interested in, and while I doubt I could live a life that Nietzsche advocates it is still interesting and I would like to incorporate some more of this ideas in my life. It may help that while my teacher was a terrible teacher in the marks/passing/assignment part of life he was VERY interesting the teaching/learning/explaining part, if a GPA wasn't a thing I would take that class again. A couple of his quotes stick with me (both the teacher's and Nietzsche, but I am referring to my teacher here) he said "Do not let others make you feel embarrassed!If others can cause you embarrassment, they can then control you." While I do think embarrassment is an important part of our social learning (what behavior are acceptable and what behaviors are not) at the same time I really do believe that we are responsible for our own morality and that while we may be embarrassed by something it is up to each person to decide for themselves if they care and realize that the only person whose morality you have to live up to is your own, which means you have to put thought into what you believe is moral and because you have decided that is moral, you are, as Nietzsche puts it (to my understand) you are your own judge, which isn't necessary a good thing -- also I got rather off of topic. Good book, interesting ideas is what I am trying to say here. 

6) Rick Riodan - The Percy Jackson series and the spin-off The Lost Heroes 
You know sometimes I am wrong. It happens. This was one of those times. See, Percy Jackson series is aimed for kids, under "Kids 9-12" is where I found it in my bookstore. Now, I figured to myself "I am a 24 year old woman, I do not read books aimed at children, because I read much more complicated things than that" this reasoning is rather silly because it is not like I read a lot of children books to even base this reasoning off of! So needlessly to say because it is on my list that I was wrong and these books do interest me, I enjoyed them so much, they are Greek/Roman mythology done in interesting ways, I ended up reading the original myths in many cases because Riodan is clever and works in homages to the original works in most cases. And even better than that, it was just interesting. I started this year off not knowing who "Percy Jackson" was and now I have read every book that is out so far (sans the handbooks) that he is a part of! Plus I have began the Kane Chronicles (Egyptian mythology) and while I do not like it as much, I am still going to read on in the series. Plus, apparently he is working/planning to work on/hopes (?) to work on Norse mythology and I will read that too. 

5) Across the Universe Series
-Going on a similar vein this is a Young Adult novel, after realizing that I had not read very much YA novels back in the day I would be considered an Young Adult (15-18 I think is about where they are targeted to, or at least that seems to be about how old everyone is) I have been reading them with a vengeance lately. This is how I came to this science fiction series. And I have to admit of the series I have finished lately (and there is a decent number- I think- of YA series I am finished off lately the ones that come to mind are Hunger Games, Twilight, Ruby Red, Divergent, and this one) this series has the best beginning, middle, and end. At no point did I think to myself "what is the point of that" or  "that seemed to be unnecessary" or "this didn't need to be a series/this many books". Now, this may be because I do have a love for science fiction, however, even my boyfriend read it and loved it (mind you he loves sci-fi too so that might not actually prove anything). This series was so interesting, I loved how they explained things, at time the character could be a little, hot-headed but I will roll, because you know flaws and such, but my gosh did I love the technology, it was explained in a way that was both easy to understand and yet really cool and interesting, which I think is hard to do (probably, I mean I have never tried it but still, it seems like it would be.) I was really intrigued the entire time, it gave me a mystery, it gave me good technology and even a bit of a love story. Gosh, I enjoyed it all the way till the end of the third book. 

4) The Summer of my German Soilder
-This book I read a long time ago (well, 8 years actually, so that not long but still that a third of my life - but I digress) and at the time I thought it was terrible, because a certain romance I wanted had not happened how I thought it should have happened. However, on this recent reread I think I got more out of it. Firstly the main character is very well developed, every choice she makes is understandable why she would make it. In a book where the premise is about a jewish girl taking in a german POW in WW2, to answer why she would do it is very important and this books makes it not only plausible but logical. It goes deep into what her life is like and how she lives day-to-day and it even briefly and subtly touches on how jewish people were perceived by others. It is much more than a romance or a forbidden love it is more about human desires and why people do the things they do. 

3) The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
-This book attempts to answer many questions, but the main question it attempts to answer has to do with identity and how human's identify themselves and what happens if you try to change your identity. It does this all while being from the point of view of a preteen native american. It has drawings which at are time funny and at others heart breaking because it reflects a reality that contradicts that idea that anybody can be "whatever they want to be" and yet that is what the main character strives to be. It is a really good book, and it covers a lot of deep issues while at the same time being something that realistic could happened.

2) The Great Gatsby
-This book was really popular this year because a film based on the book recently came out. So like many others I figured I might as well read it, join the bandwagon of people reading it before seeing the movie (which I haven't seen yet mind you...I should get on that) plus it was short and apparently an American Classic. So I read it. Wow, Fitzgerald can really write. Firstly his writing I found to be lyrical, beautiful and yet worked to tell the story. The story was interesting (which I know I have used a lot in this blog post, but they were!) I love stories that start with characters we are suppose to dislike (another notable favorite of this for me is Gone with the Wind) it is a bold choice because, at least I think that most people like to find similarities between themselves and the characters they are reading about and so when you choose characters everyone will dislike, well, usually it is for a reason. Great Gatsby looks at the jazz age with a light that is not very flattering. It focuses on self-discovery or the utter lack of doing so, it is about dreams and not giving them up even when you clearly should, it was about the wealthy and it mocks the idea of the "American Dream". This book is about so much and it cannot even though I have tried to convey what emotions this novel left me with I will inevitably come up short.

1) Black like Me
-This book shocked me. It is in the number one spot because this was a topic I knew little to nothing about, the treatment of african americans in the southern states in the 1950. It is a biography and it disgusted me. At first I was angry at the different people in the novel for being so cruel towards something this person could not change, but by the end I wasn't surprised just how ridiculously the people in this book were treated, but I was outraged, with so many no-win conditions, and the utter torrents of hate and not even the overt hate, but the subtly "you are not worthy" hate that parade itself as pity or as helping. This book made it to number one because it opened my eyes to something I did not know anything about and I was not happy with what I saw there, but one of the reasons I read is to come in contact with important things and learn about things I did not know about before. And I learned a lot in this book.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Myths

Hello "all", (the quotation indicate while I used a greeting that indicates more than one person reads my blog this may not actually be the case- but at any rate it is nice to be optimistic!)

Anyways, so I would like to talk about my little plan I have been planning for a while. This is the idea that I would like to read more myth/culturally significant books to different cultures. Although I do not really know what it very significant in a lot of cultures this is my little list:

-Iliad
-Oddesyses
-The Three Kingdoms
-Collections of Ancient Egyptian creation myths 
-Hawaiian Myths

- So while I realize this list is rather short and probably should content more religious texts (Koran, The bible, Book of the Dead ..etc) this is just an idea that I would like to try until I put it on the back burner or get bored and try to read a lot of something else, of course this will still mean I will read exactly what I planned on reading anyways, I will just attempt to read this sometime in the future. Also, for you reading pleasure (which is kind of a pun but meh) I do want to write down the things I have read this year and the things I want to read next. I may shorted that down to my favorite reads of this year!

Monday, December 16, 2013

The book lover's survey

This is actually a youtube tag I am answering, it was created by the youtuber

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sweater Tag!

Hey, so I am currently up late and so what better time to do a tag?

1. Favourite candle scent?I really love the scent of Bath and Body Work's Vanilla Fireside, however for some reason I find I can only burn it for short times before the smell is overwhelming, so for a scent I love that is soft enough to burn for a while is  Marshmallow Fireside candle from Bath and Body works!
2. Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
While I do love hot chocolate in the winter I will have to go with teas, usually I gravitate towards chia tea or Earl Gray
3. What's the best fall memory you have?
Hmmm, best memory? Sometimes just before to after halloween when the days start to get colder in earnest there is that smell, that rich fall smell is the only way I can think to describe it from the cold air that reminds you that winter and colder days are coming, and while I do love summer I love that smell and I think fall might even be my second favorite season (or spring, it is a toss- up between them).
4. Which makeup trend do you prefer: dark lips or winged eyeliner?
Dark lips, it's pretty hard to get those wrong!
5. Best fragrance for fall?
Chanel- Chance, I love it a heavier scent that most of my perfumes that are rather flowery, that or Lady Gaga's Fame for similar reasoning.
6. Favourite Thanksgiving food?
Turkey! And mash potatoes and Pumpkin pie!
7. What is autumn weather like where you live?
Chilly, and it can be windy at times, and at certain points it becomes actually freezing.
8. Most worn sweater?
I love sweaters, and to be honest my "sweater" I have been wearing the most lately are my sweater pants, however if we take those out because they aren't really a traditional sweater then I would have to say either my skull guess sweater,  my gray TNA sweater, or my maroon sweater from Walmart.
9. Must-have nail polish this fall?
Currently I am loving purples, I am currently wearing Pitter Patter on my nails from Butter London but before this it was Evening Seduction by China Glaze, I think.
10. Football games or jumping in leaf piles?
Errr- well, I am not really into football, I am more a hockey watcher kind of girl and I don't really like jumping in leaves because they are usually soggy from the rain in fall, so I suppose football because at least it is indoors and usually accompanied by snacks.
11. Skinny jeans or leggings?
Skinny Jeans, I have a nice dark pair and I like to wear them with boots (also I don't have to force them into my rainboots like my other pant legs)
12. Combat boots or Uggs?
Uhm, I haven't wore or ever felt the need to wear either of those. I would like to answer neither, although if I had to pick I think I heard uggs made slippers which are supposedly warm.
13. Is pumpkin spice worth the hype?
If you like coffee, sure, I had the pumpkin spiced milk and I liked it, but then I like pumpkin spice, so it's an easy sell.
14. Favourite fall TV show?
Jeopardy! Mostly because I don't really watch any other  T.V. shows in real time other than Doctor Who and Game of Thrones which air in Spring.
15. What song really gets you into the fall spirit?
Uhm, I don't know, I can't really think of any "fall songs". So I am just going to say country songs because they are comforting.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Palettes I want to own

Hello all,
So with all this cyber monday/black friday stuff going about recently it has really got me thinking about the palettes I would like to own in the future. These are a couple palette's I have heard good things about, although not all may be accessible from Canada, but hopefully when I go down to the USA this summer I can pick up any palettes that is hard to get here.

1) Lorac Pro Palette:
This is a really beautiful palette and it has been out of stock on the sephora.ca website for a while now, although it is currently in stock I don't really have the money to buy a 70$ (that's what it would cost with shipping). But I will keep in on my radar, and maybe sephora will have a free shipping event as they have had from time- to - time.

2) Too Faced Natural Eye
This is a cute little box of natural eye, and while I have the Naked 2 it isn't super awesome for traveling, plus I am scared I am going to break it, thus I would have to have this little thing to travel with, as well as it looks really nice.

3)  Sugarpill
I really want to try sugarpill, the palettes look super pigmented although a lot of them are not in the usual colours I use which combined with the price to ship them to Canada (you will notice this pattern) I haven't bought anything yet.

4) Naked 1&3
I own the naked 2 and it is easily my go-to palette when I reach into my collection, I reach past a lot of e make up but I almost always go to this palette, I just love it, perfect for an everyday look, or for something more smoky/more dramatic, and Urban Decay has unparallelled colour pay off at least compared to others in my collection, so I really want to grab the rest of the Naked Collection -perhaps the basic as well, although I have heard there has been issues about it showing up on pale face- and me and the urban decay naked line shall ride off into the sunset of awesome makeup!

5)More Indie Brands
I would like to try more indie brands but at the same time I am not sure where to start, so maybe after I get a couple of the other palettes I might look into this more, but for now I am content with trying indies "in the future".

Anyways, those are all the palettes I want to try out! See you later! :D