Five Friday F[th]oughts 12/18

B L O G M A S  D A Y 18

  1. My coworker has been playing The Sims 4, and he has been updating me on his family (he’s been playing Mortimer and Bella Goth). It is truly my FAVORITE thing ever to listen to, and I have been spending far too much head space on his fictitious family.
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  3. Last night (Thursday) I ended up getting sidetracked talking to the guy that runs the fitness center in my apartment complex. He almost seems like a character from a book or movie because he is so passionate about his job. What qualifies a person to be a character in a book/movie and what doesn’t qualify them? Just the amount of time I think about them and spend time figuring out which book they relate to the most?
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  5. How do you know which situation calls for the bravery to say something or the bravery to stay bite back certain words? Is it whichever is harder?
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  7. I want to start a tradition of baking a certain cookie or thing every year at Christmas (or maybe a different time of year), so in 50 years I can say I’ve been making this one recipe for 50 years. It’s a lot of pressure to commit to a recipe though… I feel like it should connect with my history, so I should make pizelles but I kind of traumatized myself with that one… I had some trouble following my grandma’s recipe and it was the great pizelle disaster of 2012. Maybe I will try again. Or maybe I will try a cookie a month, and whichever one I enjoy the most I’ll stick with for that month for the rest of my life. 🙂
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  9. I’m having a hard time having the concentration to fall back into a book, so I’ve been between books this week. I might be starting Loving Day or A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. Oh, I don’t know!

That’s all for today – thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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A BOOK : Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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This little beauty snuck its way into my life, and ended up being a top favorite for the year. It’s about a girl who is basically allergic to the world and needing to stay in an uncontaminated environment. As a result, her life is pretty limiting. At the start of the book she has turned 18, and she has lived her entire life in her house with just her mother and her nurse for company. She has managed to make a life out of her life, but when new neighbors move in next door she realizes she might want more out of her life– whatever the cost.

So time to parse everything out!

1- I love the formatting. Included throughout the story are just little scraps from inside Madeline’s head- diagrams and definitions and an “insert” of a few journal pages from when she is 8. It fit with the flow of the story so well and as a result it didn’t feel gimmicky. It helped crystallize Madeline’s character and what she was going through.

2- The tone of this was beautiful. At its core it’s about living– what constitutes it, and what doesn’t? What happens when you want more than what you’re given? What do you do?

“Everything’s a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It’s up to you.”

3- In many ways, it was so so so sad. I think I mentioned this in my top ten tuesday which featured this book on that list, but I was most definitely crying in public. But it’s not the most depressing book in the world, because….

4- MY GOODNESS CUTENESS OVERLOAD. There were lots of cute moments with a certain boy… and some surprisingly some extremely attractive moments over little things.

5- Speaking of which, I LOVE the dialogue between Olly and Maddy. It was adorable. Especially because since the girl is trapped in her house, they can’t do much else than talk and their conversations are so much fun.

Everything, Everything is definitely a must read if you like interesting characters put in interesting places.

Take a look at it on Goodreads!

Do You Bullet Journal?

I don’t. But I want to. Soooooooooo badly.

Oh yea, happy….

B L O G M A S   D A Y  16 !

🙂

Okay, so bullet journaling. It’s this method of organizing your life in a notebook, and you have complete control over how it’s set up and what you keep track of. It also looks really useful in maintaining your life and actually getting things done.

A BRIEF OVERVIEW:

Except you don’t have to do it the way the officially man says you should do it… you can do it HOWEVER YOU WANT TO.

If you have a spare 30 minutes and you find watching people share their journals/planners online, this is my FAVORITE video ever:

I am about to say the word you a lot. Know that in this instance, when I say YOU I really mean ME ;).

Her flip through just gives you so many ideas and so many ways to actually keep track of your life. I like how she had looking at her budget on her habit tracker. Actually, I love that you can SEE her habit tracker!! She shares that with you!! And her goals!!! You can see it and get ideas for YOUR life too! And her doodles are super cute and she has really great handwriting and man.

I just wish I had the commitment to actually follow through with this. I tried to bullet journal a little bit ago– and it just flopped. Part of it is because I always decide I NEED to bullet journal in life right while I’m in the middle of TOO MANY THINGS TO DO so I don’t spend enough time prepping ahead of time. Also my desire for it needing to look PERFECT flares up, so then I start to not want to write anything in fear of making it messy. Or. I pre-write things in a separate notebook, and then copy it down into the notebook after, so it takes forever because I have to write everything down twice. haha.

So maybe I will start again. If I do I’ll update you all. Or maybe I won’t and I will be scouring bullet journalists on their websites, youtube channels, and intagram feeds.

Regardless, YOU’RE WELCOME FOR THAT FLIP THROUGH VIDEO. It is the best.

Top Ten Books I Read in 2015

B L O G M A S   D A Y   15

Every Tuesday The Broke and the Bookish hosts Top Ten Tuesday in which they ask a question and you list your top ten answers.

Today’s Question:

Top Ten Best Books We Read In 2015
Originally I was trying to participate in #libfaves15 where librarians count down their top ten favorite books of the year however I have learned I’m bad at tweeting daily so that fizzled for me quickly. One of the stipulations of that is it has to be published in 2015. I however am going to choose things published any year.
In order of when I read them, starting with the beginning of 2015….
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Red Rising by Pierce Brown
It was such awesome world-building and I love the undercover aspect of this. If you’re looking for great dystopia/sci-fi with underdogs, battle, and revenge read this!
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Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabe Quintero
Gabi is one of my favorite characters of the year. This is told in journal format and it just felt so achingly real. All of Gabi’s worries and insecurities and hopes and joys and issues were down on paper. It’s a girl who loves to write trying to navigate her way through high school dealing with terrible family stuff, confidence, friends, and romance. So good!
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The Family Life by Akhil Sharma
This just did so many interesting things. It’s a story about guilt and immigration and family. This also had one of my favorite “resolutions” of the year. If you have read it, that might sound weird, but I feel like it was just very much an echo of life in a way and for this that worked. A lot!!
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Becoming Abigail by Chris Abani
Well this book will wreck your heart. But goodness, gracious, if you love beautiful writing you should read this.
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Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis
I did not think I would have a book about cannibals on my top favorite list…. but this was so good! Love LOVE the main character and I’m not going to lie, but the ending is one of my favorites. Is it spoiler-y to say you like the ending? I don’t know. If so, I’m sorry!
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The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
This is a really sad sad sad sad middle grade book about a little boy who decides to run away to the mountains with his dog. It will make you cry.
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The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth
Just so stinking beautiful!!
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Barbara the Slut by Lauren Holmes
One of those stories features a woman who starts pretending to be a lesbian so she can work at a lesbian sex shop. It’s an eclectic story collection and loved what it explored.
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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
 Just finished this YA book this week– WOW. I. Loved. It. so. stinkin. much. Cute and I started to cry in public as I was reading because terrible things were happening and I was that emotionally invested.
THIS WAS SO HARD.
I read so many good books this year!  I hope you did too!

A BOOK : Sometimes I Lie and Sometimes I Don’t by Nadja Spiegel

B L O G M A S  D A Y  14

So today I finished a short collection of stories by Najda Spiegel titled Sometimes I Lie and Sometimes I Don’t.

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These stories are hard to describe. A lot of them are super short– by the time you gather your bearings they’re done. They focus less on plot and character development and more on trying to express a specific emotion and quirk of a character.

Some of the stories truly have a WTF factor, but in the end a lot of them just seem to quietly cut out the aches of life and display them for you. This is a more serious sad collection, perfect for a cold grey day where you want to exist in a sensitive state.

Also. The title captures the essence of this collection PERFECTLY.

So if you want to read something filled with very poetic writing brimming with emotion, and if you want to read something that’s a little quirky… then you should add this to your to-read list!

 

A BOOK : All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

 

B L O G M A S  D A Y  13

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Today we are talking about All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. You know how after John Green got SUPER popular suddenly every book that was young adult and contemporary had a little statement claiming it was EXACTLY LIKE BOOKS BY JOHN GREEN?

Well good news! I’ve heard little blurbs talking about THIS book saying if you like books by John Green you would like this, and I think that is SUPER accurate.

And I’m trying to figure out what it is about this one that seems like that is a very true statement. Because yes, in All the Bright Places you have two very smart seemingly very different from each other teens start becoming friends (and possibly more-ooh-la-la). You also have tragic stories mixed with humor.

On the surface all of those ring true, but that rings true for a lot of books that I wouldn’t say capture the same feeling and voice. Niven’s book speaks to that same feeling and voice though. It is of course completely its own story….

[SUMMARY TIME.

Finch is notorious for his weirdness and how different he is. Violet is notorious for her popularity. They are on polar opposites of the social structure, yet somehow they both end up on the roof of the school at the same time with possibly a similar idea… the book is told in alternating view points as they navigate their histories, trying to live in the present, and the possibility of a future.]

So even though the core of the story is definitely different, what Niven seems to do similarly is to put to words the yearning and emotion in life when you’re feeling stuck physically and emotionally that Green also seems to do. It’s idealistic in certain ways, yet grounded in harsh realities.

I will say, similarly with The Fault in our Stars there is an interesting tension between the lightness of the book with the seriousness of some of the situations being discussed.

Is it fair to spend so much time comparing one author to another? Probably not. But I think that was my strongest review reaction– especially because is has attained a similarity that a lot of marketing people seem to be striving for.

So if you’re looking for something that simultaneously somehow draws from your happy and giddy emotional pool and your my heart is breaking emotional pool, add All the Bright Places to your to-read list!

Heads up though- the book does discuss suicide a lot.

A BOOK : Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

B L O G M A S   D A Y   12

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson is a sobering look at the American justice system. It’s broken down into two parts essentially. As a young lawyer, Stevenson began working on this case involving a man name Walter McMillian who was going to be put to death for killing a woman in the town. It is a COMPLETE mess of an accusation. McMillian had multiple witnesses as to where he was that day and stories told accusing McMillian were later admitted as lies by the people that told them. Yet. Somehow, McMillian was still on death row.

So that’s the core of the book– Stevenson’s journey as he digs through the case and tries to get McMillian off death row.

Scattered throughout are more cases Stevenson has worked on throughout the years, so you’re able to see how the law plays out in different situations with different people– especially in regards to race, poverty, and gender.

There is a LOT of information about the law, but truthfully most of that didn’t stick in my brain. What stayed were the stories. Stevenson is passionate about what he does and his care and compassion is evident in the pages. He breathes life back to the statistics and share stories from the front-line.

Plus, I like that he includes the after. This is a case he started on in 1980, and I am not going to spoil what happened (although it’s easy to look it up if you’re curious before you read the book), but a decision in the end was made. Stevenson looked at the affect of a man being locked up for years and years and years had on the man and his family.

It’s an engaging piece of work. If you’re a To Kill A Mockingbird fan or a fan of Serial, this might be something you would be interested in.

Add it to your to-read list!