Friday Five: William Blake

Happy Friday! I have been M.I.A. for a week because I went on vacation, and when I got back I was not really in the mindset for blogging, but I’m back now and ready to share some quotes for my friday five!

When I was on vacation, I stopped by this awesome used bookstore, where the books were literally flowing off the shelves–it was magical. Well, I couldn’t leave there without buying something, but I also didn’t want to buy a big book, because this was day 1 of my trip and I didn’t really have room for a big book, so I bough a little pocketbook size book of Selected Poetry of William Blake. Therefore, my friday five will feature five quotes from the wonderful poet, William Blake.

1.

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2.

“The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom…for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.”

3.

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4.

“Great things are done when men and mountains meet.”

5.

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Mystery Blogger Award

Happy Saturday!

I was nominated for this back in July, and while I said I would get to it ASAP, it seems I did not…I’m the worst with these things :/  Siobhan @ Siobhan’s Novelties nominated me, and I have to say, I’m so honored and so so sorry it took me so long to finally do it! This award was created by Okoto Enigmas, and I would like to thank both Okoto and Siobhan for this award!

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Award Rules

  1. Put the award logo on your blog.
  2. List the rules.
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  5. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
  6. Nominate roughly 10-20 people for this award
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
  8. Ask your nominees five questions.
  9. Share a link to your best/favorite post that you’ve written

Three Things About Me (these are all reading facts about me):

  1. I am in a book club called “The Well-Read Mom”– it is a book club that is spread throughout the United States, and in my group, I am the only person who is neither married nor a mom…I just really like the book selections 😉 If you want to check it out, you can go to WellReadMom.com.
  2. Inspired by Well-Read Mom, and out of request by one of my friends, I started my own book club/list for 2017, and I intend to make a reading list for next year as well. My list is a mix between classics and newer books, and if you want to check it out or join in the reading fun, you can check out my list here!
  3. I just joined the “Operation War & Peace” group on GoodReads…and it’s exactly what it sounds like. In September (and the first week of October) I, along with the rest of the group, am going to try to get through the entirety of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. It’s quite an undertaking, but I’m feeling oddly optimistic! Feel free to join the group on GoodReads if you want to participate, the more the merrier!

Siobhan’s Questions:

  1. Who is your guilty pleasure author/series? Do you love to hate it or hate to love it?
    • I don’t think I have a guilty pleasure author or series, but more a genre. I hate to love political thrillers. The reason I hate to love them is because I don’t think they are the best written books, and they are usually pretty predictable, yet I really enjoy them!
  2. What is the latest book you’ve read that you’ve absolutely hated/loved?
    • I recently finished Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis and I absolutely loved it! It took a little while for me to finish it, but I thought it was splendid!
  3. What bothers you in your favourite genre (e.g., love triangles in YA)
    • I love me some classics!…but I will say, some classics could use an editor who told them to cut, cut, cut….those classic authors tend to ramble and get sidetracked at times.
  4. What is the most underrated book/series/author?
    • Joan of Arc by Mark Twain. This book is absolutely fantastic, and it is in my top five favorite books! While Twain is not underrated, this book is almost unknown. Twain claimed that it is his best book, and it is the one he spent the most time on, and if you ask me, it deserves recognition.
  5. If you could pick a book you wanted to change, which book is it, and how would you change it?
    • Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. It’s not so much that I would change anything, that I would have it not be printed as it was. I did enjoy this book, but it was allegedly printed in haste and without being completed by the author, I think it did an injustice to her words. Now, maybe I’m wrong, and maybe it was printed exactly how she intended it, but from what I read and how the book “felt” it seemed that she was not quite done with it.

Ok, it is late and I am falling asleep, so I’m not going to nominate anyone directly, but please please please, if you have good answers to my questions and you feel inclined to answer them, consider yourself nominated! I would really love to learn more about you! I’m really sorry for breaking this part of the rules, but sometimes that just happens!

My Questions:

  1. What book surprised you the most or what book did you expect to dislike but ended up loving?
  2. Which author have your read the most of? Is he/she your favorite author or is it coincidence?
  3. What is your favorite TV show?
  4. Have you taken the Myers Briggs Personality test? If so, what is your personality type? Mine is INFP 🙂
  5. What are you currently reading and what do you think about it so far?

 

My best and my favorite post’s I’ve written might be different, so I’ll share both. Before I do that, I will say I like my reviews better than my tags, because I’m more passionate about them, but my tag post have much more views/likes than my reviews, so I will share my most viewed tag post and my favorite tag post.

My most viewed post is my Top Ten Tuesday: Biggest Bookish Turn-offs post, but my favorite post is my Top Ten Tuesday: Dead Authors I’d Love to Have A Drink With post.

Thanks again to Siobhan for the tag and nomination! I hope to see some of you answer my questions (even if it’s only in the comment section)!!

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

It finally happened!  I’ve been given an award for being the ball of sunshine in everyone’s life 😉 all jokes aside, I am thankful to Rachel at the Pace, Amore, Libri blog for the nomination! Check out her Sunshine Blogger Award post because her answers are really interesting and fun! (Rachel, I took the graphic from your post, I hope that’s ok!)

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The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator has given you.
  3. Nominate 11 other people and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  4. List the rules and display the award

 

Rachel’s Questions: 

1.What’s the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?

Ummm. I think it was probably Moana, which is a little embarrassing, but hey, I’m a nanny and also Moana is awesome, so I’m not that embarrassed ;).  I really did like it. Some of the plot details bothered me, and the Shiny song makes me uncomfortable, but all-in-all it’s a good movie. I mean, it’s no How to Train Your Dragon, but it’s very good.

2. Do you have any weird or random talents?

Does having an insanely good memory count? I retain really random facts, so I feel like I know a decent amount about a lot of random things, and it’s all accidental. For example, I have memorized all the State nicknames (i.g. Minnesota is the North Star State, Idaho is the gem state, etc.) and I really didn’t try to do it, I just remember useless information–which basically makes my talent trivia. Other than that, I don’t really think I have any random talents.

3. What’s your favorite song at the moment?

I have 3. “Whatever it Takes” by Imagine Dragons, “One More Light” by Linkin Park, and “All We Ever Knew” by The Head and the Heart.

I’m also really digging the “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812” soundtrack.

4. What time of day do you do most of your blogging?

I almost always blog at night.

5.What’s your favorite museum that you’ve been to?

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium is my all-time favorite. A close second is the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands…I may or may not have cried when I went there.

6. When’s the last time you went to a wedding?

ha! well, I’m kind of a professional wedding-goer. I’ve been to 8 weddings this summer and I have 3 more this year…and I’ve been in half of them, so I’m a little done with weddings at the moment, but my last one was the last weekend of June.

7.Do you have a celebrity doppelganger?

Not that I know of, however many have told me I look like the Chesire Cat.

8. If you were a cat, what color cat would you be?  (Very important question.)

Going off of my last answer, I have to say purple.

9. Do you have a favorite publisher or publisher imprint?

I don’t know if they are my favorite, but I really like the little penguin on the Penguin classics books.

10. Have you ever dressed up like a fictional character?  (Bonus points for photo evidence.)

Other than in plays or for halloween, I really don’t think I have, which is kind of sad.

11. What’s your favorite thing about your city (or state, or country)?

I hail from the great state of Iowa. If you don’t know where Iowa is, it is right in the middle of the United States. I really love how kind everyone is here. People are just genuinely nice and it’s amazing. Every time I come back from traveling, I’m always pleasantly surprised with the people of Iowa–they are great. Also, barbecue.

 

For the Sunshine Blogger Award, I nominate:

My questions are:

  1. What is your all-time favorite book or books?
  2. What is your go-to binge show on Netflix?
  3. What is the best book you’ve read this year?
  4. Where is your dream vacation spot?
  5. What book would you recommend everyone to read, right now?
  6. Do you prefer a physical book, e-book, audiobook, or all three?
  7. What fandom are you least likely to join?
  8. Do you have a favorite piece of art or artist?
  9. Book clubs, yay or nay?
  10. Are you a morning, noon, or night reader?
  11. What does your dream trip look like?

 

Thanks for reading!!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite BFF’s

Happy Tuesday and first day of August! Woah, summer is flying by! I don’t know if the Top Ten Tuesday group is up and running with a new topic this week, so I just went with my own.

I’ve been listening to a lot of The Great Comet of 1812 (the musical) and it got me thinking about literary friendships. If you don’t know, TGC is about a sub-plot in War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, and it deals a lot with friendships. I haven’t actually read War and Peace yet, but I have been so impacted by the friendship of Natasha and Sonya, it made me think of other strong friendships that have impacted me. Enjoy!

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1. Marie-Laure and Werner

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

This friendship is sweet and pure. Through the darkness of war this unlikely friendship emerges that brings two children together and shines a light in both of their lives.

2. Anne Shirley and Diana Barry

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 

Is there a more iconic friendship? I think not. Ok, well maybe there is, but not for me. I love these two with all my heart. They taught us the meaning of having a true bosom friend.

3. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

This classic friendship is one we all grew up on, and it shows the purity of childhood friends. It didn’t matter the class of the kids, or what their background was–if they could have fun together and look out for each other, they could be the best of friends.

4. Frodo and Sam/Merry and Pippin/Legolas and Gimli

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 

I can never decide which friendship I like the best in this book, so I just put down my three favorite. These pairs prove time and time again the lengths they will go for their friends, and they are examples of the power good friends can give each other.

5. Jo March and Theodore Lawrence

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Clearly the main friendship in this book is that between the sisters, but I have always cherished the friendship between Jo and Teddy. Although, when Jo denied his marriage proposal…yeah, that was tough.

6. Bailey, Poppet, and Widget

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

This friendship was, for the most part, a sub-plot in the book, but it became a treasure in itself. Poppet and Widget bring Bailey into their lives without question, and show him a sense of belonging he had never felt before.

7. Theo and Boris

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I did not like this friendship at first because I blamed Boris for most of Theo’s problems, but as I moved further into the story it dawned on me that Boris was of Theo’s most constant friend, and he was always there for him, no matter what.

8. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

Ok, maybe this is the more iconic duo…how can you not love these two? Whether it’s in the books, movies, or tv show, Holmes and Watson never disappoint, and they never fail to show how much their friendship means to each other (even if they show it in odd ways).

9. Liesel and Rudy

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak 

This friendship broke my heart because it was so precious. I mean, c’mon, everyone needs a friend who is willing to steal books with you!

 

10. Athos, Porthos, Aramis, & D’Artagnan 

The Three Muskateers by Alexander Dumas

“All for one and one for all!” This friendship is more than a friendship because it is a brotherhood. These men know that friendship means to die for the other, and they are more than willing to do so. It means you can quarrel and you can disagree, but in the end you come together again as one.

 

What are some of your favorite literary bff’s?

 

Around the World in 80 Posts: New York

I’ve started this series to highlight my favorite real world settings for books and what makes them so good! Feel free to join in on the fun and explore the world through your books! 

New York

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1.A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

I have said a few times that this is one of my all-time favorites (top 5 actually), but I really can’t praise it enough. This book shows the beautiful mess that is life. New York is a vital character, as well as setting, in this book, and the protagonist’s relationship with the city is wonderful.

“Look at everything always as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time: Thus is your time on earth filled with glory.”

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

That this classic takes place in NYC is no secret. The city is alive in this book and it shows us a glimpse of what it was like in the 1920’s. This is one of my favorite summer reads, and it is best served with gin.

“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

3. The Horses of Central Park by Michael Slade

This one brings me back to my childhood. After reading this book (and then reading it again, and again), I wanted nothing more than to move to NYC and explore central park. This book isn’t well known, but as a kid, I thought it was the best book I had ever read.

 

4. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

While this book takes place in both Las Vegas and New York City, NYC plays a bigger role than Vegas does. NYC is where the protagonist feels safe and content. It’s where he thrives and it brings him the most joy: in a word, NYC is Home.

“You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life”

 

There are so many more books I want to read that take place in this glorious city, I just don’t know where to start! What are your favorite NYC books?

 

 

 

June wrap-up & what’s up next


June was a hit or miss month for me in my reading life…and it didn’t help that I was so so so busy–audiobooks really saved my life. But now, my reading life is more or less back on track, so July is looking up! 

Finished:

Winter of the World (Century Trilogy #2) by Ken Follett. ★★★

The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien. ★★★★★

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (Flavia de Luce #1) by Alan Bradley. ★★★★

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter. ★★★★ 

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. ★★★★

Mr. Rochester by Sarah Shoemaker. ★★★

Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner. ★★★

Coraline by Neil Gaiman. ★★★★

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab. ★★★★

**I stared reading The Badass Libranians of Timbuktu and it was very good, however I was not paying enough attention so I’m going to read it when I have the right mindset–so far, however, I highly recommend it. 

Bought or received: 

The Second World War Series by Winston Churchill

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

My Antonia, O’Pioneers, and Death Comes to the Archbishop by Willa Cather

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Angelhood by A.J. Cattapan 

Seven Riddles to Nowhere by A.J. Cattapan

St. Magnus: the Last Viking by Susan Peek

The King’s Prey: Saint Dymphna of Ireland

The Captain’s Daughter (London Beginnings #1) by Jennifer Delamere

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

The Lord of the Rings Box Set 😍😍😍

Currently Reading:
The Two Towers (Lord of the Rings #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Angelhood by A.J. Cattapan

A Good Man is Hard to Find and other stories by Flannery O’Connor

The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q #1) by Jussi Adler-Olsen

Next on the TBR: 

Well, I have quite a few review books I need to get to, so I’ll probably try to push through those soon, and I’m also working on reading all of O’Connors’s short stories, so I’ll continue on those as well. Other than those, I’m planning on reading The Name of the Rose, Neverwhere, The Benedict Option, and the next book in any of the series I started this year! 

There’s my wrap up! It’s quite a lot, but that’s what happens when you make two 20+ hour road trips and lots of audiobooks 🙂  have you read any of these? Or do you have any recommendations? 

Top Ten Tuesday: Recently added to the TBR list

Today the gals at The Broke and Bookish Blog asked us to make our Top Ten Tuesday about books from a specific genre that we have added to our TBR! This is a really fun challenge because there are so many genre’s out there that all the lists will be incredibly unique. My TBR is all over the place so I decided to do this week’s challenge about Foreign Translated Books on my TBR. 

I’m a sucker for a good translated book, and recently I’ve been eyeing them like crazy–there is something truly magical about reading a book that was written in a different language. The real beauty here is that books are so unique and yet so universal that even when they jump from language to language the ideas and the philosophies can be understood and discussed–ah, the beauty of words. 


1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 

Every time I look at the beautiful turquoise copy of War and Peace on my bookshelves, my desire to read it grows stronger–what’s stopping me? Well, it’s over 1,000 pages long, that’s what. However, I’ve recently become addicted to the new broadway musical “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812” which is about one of the love stories woven within this massive book. It has made me determined now to pick it up and read it! 

2. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon 

I don’t know much about this book aside from the glowing reviews and the amazing cover. I’m really looking forward to reading it! 

3. The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen

When I heard this book and it’s sequels were similar to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I was sold! I just got it on Audiobook for my trip this weekend, and I’m so excited! 

4. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco 

I have read very few books translated from Italian, and I’m looking forward to seeing the difference in styles, especially compared to old French writers.

5. Laurus by Evgenji Vodolazkin

This is probably my most anticipated read of this year. This is a newer book, but is said to resemble Russian classics in style, philosophy, and complexity. 

6. We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen

This one also had some amazing reviews, plus the description looks so intriguing! 

7. The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo

I’ve been meaning to read more Victor Hugo, and I added this one to the list mainly because I had never heard of it before. It looks beautiful. 

8. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

This is apparently a book everyone needs to read, and I’ve heard it’s a literary beauty.

9. The Emigrants by Vilhem Moberg

This is a story of a Scandinavian family who immigrants to Canada. I love these types of stories and I’m interested in reading this series and hear their story! 

10. The Big Green Tent by Lyudmilla Ulitskaya

Surprise! Another Russian novel! I have a problem, but it’s definitely a good problem to have! This book, I heard, is terribly sad, yet very good. It is about post-Stalin Russia, which isn’t as common in novels as other time periods in Russia. 

There you have it! My top ten most anticipated translated books! Should I add any others to the list? Let me know! 

Around the World in 80 Posts: London

I’ve started this series to highlight my favorite real world settings for books and what makes them so good! Feel free to join in on the fun and explore the world through your books! 

London

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London, London, London. My time with you was much too short. We will meet again, but until then, books.

 

1.The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

This may be one of the first classic that I really loved, and it was also the first book that helped me realize how awesome creepy books can be. The setting plays a pretty significant role in this book, as it helps visualize the different social parties Dorian associated with, and how the city changed while Dorian stayed the same.

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”

2. A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

If you have read A Darker Shade of Magic you know that the setting an absolute key component, if not the most important component, of the story. Whether you are a fan of Red London, White London, or Grey London, you surly agree that London is the perfect setting for this book.

“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”

“Seen what?”

Her smile widened. “Everything.”

3. The Man Who Was Thursday: A Nightmare by G.K. Chesterton

Most of G.K. Chesterton’s work takes place in London, so the setting here is no surprise, but this book happens to be my favorite Chesterton story and it deals with undercover agents in the heart of London. It’s a fantastic story.

“The Iliad is only great because all life is a battle, The Odyssey because all life is a journey, The Book of Job because all life is a riddle.”

4. 1984 by George Orwell

Is this techically in London? I mean it’s supposed to be London but it’s a rather disturbed version of the city…however, I’m counting it! This version of London is one we hope we never see, yet it shows hows easily and blindly people and cultures can be corrupted.

“But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”

5. The Girl of the Train by Paula Hawkins

This book really takes place outside of London, but when she’s on the train she is headed to London, so in that sense the city is influential to the story. This book surprised me because I thought it lived up to the hype and that doesn’t always happen.

“There’s something comforting about the sight of strangers safe at home.”

6. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I mean, I don’t really have to explain this one. One could easily argue that these stories are the most influential/popular stories based primarily in London. They were popular when Doyle was alive, and they remain just as popular, if not more, to this day. These stories prove that no matter how hard people try, Sherlock will truly never die.

“I listen to their story, they listen to my comments, and then I pocket my fee.”

 

And that’s a wrap for London! There are so many others that could be added to my list, but as I’m trying to keep these posts shorter, I’m limited myself to only six. If you have any suggestions of London books for me, please let me know, I love revisiting this city, even if only in books!

Reading Inspiration

Hey fellow readers!

I’ve been in a horrible reading slump as of late, and it’s really wearing me out. As someone who decompresses by reading, I really feel the strain not wanting to read has on me.

This slump has drastically affected my reviewing pace as well, I feel like either the books I’ve finished haven’t been reviewable or I just haven’t finished many books since I’ve been working on some longer ones recently. Having a book blog really adds the pressure to review what you read, and I’m sorry for not having many quality reviews lately 😦 I’ll get out of the slump soon, I’m sure!

Anyway, sometimes when I’m in a reading/writing  slump, I look to my favorite authors, and I’ll share some of my favorite quotes from them (about reading, writing, life, or all three).

 

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Well, let’s hope I get out of my slump, but in the meantime, if any of you wonderful bibliophiles have any suggestions, such as tips or quick reads you think will help get me back on track, please let me know!

 

 

Friday Five: Short Summer Reads

Summer is almost here!! Now is the time to get those summer reading lists going! I personally like conquering long books in the summer but sometimes you find yourself in a hammock all day and just need something short to read and fully escape into, and so for today’s Friday Five, in going to tell you some of my favorite short summer reads!

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

While this book is so popular, it really is my ultimate summer read. I love to sit on a porch with a drink and read this book on a hot summer day. I don’t know what it is about the story that brings out the summer in me, maybe it’s the drama, maybe it’s the heat, but I can’t resist reading it at some point during the summer.

2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This one would be a great hammock read. It brings you on an adventure, and it does it quickly. Plus, it has the “summer night” feel to it.

3. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

I first read this book in the middle of the summer on a hot train from Spain to Belgium, so I can personally confirm that it does well in heat. It’s a short, very funny book, that will make you want to travel in space.

4. The Alchamist by Paulo Coelho

This is for those who like to think while they relax. This book deals with life questions, and dives into philosophy and theology from time to time. However, it doesn’t dive to far, so it is still an enjoyable quick read for your summer day.

5. The Giver by Lois Lowry

For most of you this would be a re-read (if you went through the U.S. public school system), but it is a good one to re-visit. I remember the first time I reread this book and it was a completely different book then the one I remembered. While it’s not exactly a pleasant book, it is thought provoking and fascinating.

 

What short summer reads do you recommend? I love adding to this list!