Month: February 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: music and books that go together

Top Ten Tuesday: music and books that go togetherI love books. I love music. So you’ll excuse the narcissism if I say that I feel like this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) was tailor-made for me! This week it’s all about music and books that go together—books that could have theme songs, songs that should become books, etc. Obviously I could go on and on about my favorite books and favorite songs but here are ten that really fit together perfectly (at least in my mind).

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Book review: Illuminae (aka, the book that restored my faith in YA)

Illuminae: aka, the book that restored my faith in YAConsider this the book that restored my faith in YA. It was almost a five-star book but I ended up deducting half a star; I’ll explain at the end why I’m taking off half a star.

I initially added this book to my TBR list because so many of my fellow GR readers were giving it the thumbs up and dropping phrases like “teen hackers” and “space zombies”, which, let’s be real, sounded kind of cool. But it wasn’t exactly a book I prioritized, even after I got approved for an ARC from NetGalley. The ARC sat untouched and while I meant to get around to reading it, for some reason, this book just didn’t jump out at me as a “must read very soon” type of title.

I think it’s mostly because of the blurb, which does not do this book justice. It sounds like basically every YA adventure/romance blurb on the back of every much-hyped YA book ever. In other words…snoozefest. But then my husband bought me a copy for Christmas and so I finally sat down to see what the hype was all about. And boy, am I glad I did.

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Book review: Choose Your Own Autobiography, by Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris "Choose Your Own Autobiography"(Thank you to Blogging for Books for the review copy!)

I’m beginning to think that maybe autobiographies are just not my cup of tea. I’ve read a few in the past year and haven’t enjoyed any of them that much. I think it’s partly that I’m just not a huge “fan” of very many celebrities and I don’t care that much about their life stories, so it makes it a little hard to get into their autobiographies. For Neil Patrick Harris in particular, I know very little about him or his career–I actually know him better from Harold and Kumar than from How I Met Your Mother or Doogie Howser–so while many of the career anecdotes are amusing, they just don’t mean much to me.

And to be honest, if you don’t know a lot about a celebrity, reading about their personal life is kind of a snooze. It’s like sitting next to a stranger on a bus while they show you pictures of their kids. You try not to be rude and yawn, but the whole time you’re thinking, I don’t know you or any of these people. I don’t really want to hear another anecdote about your family vacation!

I think if you were a fan of Neil and his work then you’d like this book much better. The Choose Your Own  Adventure-style format is fun and some of the stories are funny. The book overall was just not really my taste, I ended up skimming parts of it because I wasn’t that interested.

Choose Your Own Autobiography, by Neil Patrick Harris (paperback, 304 pages). Genre: nonfiction, memoir, humor. Two out of five stars.

Five books to read if you loved ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’

Five books to read if you loved 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'

I’ve loved Pride and Prejudice for years. I love books and movies with zombies. So obviously, when I found Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I fell in love! If you’ve already read the book and saw the movie this weekend, and are now looking for other titles in a similar vein, here are five of my picks you might enjoy:

Mr. Darcy, Vampyre, by Amanda Grange. What if Elizabeth Bennett’s beloved wasn’t quite the dashing gentleman she imagined him to be?

Phoenix Rising (The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences #1), by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. Corsets, check. Feisty heroines, check. Unabashed fun, check.

Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Not gonna lie, the ending wasn’t as tear-jerking as I hoped. But this was still an awesome book about (get ready) rage zombies in outer space.

The Zombie Survival Guide, by Max Brooks. You didn’t think this would not be on the list, did you?

Death Comes to Pemberley, by P.D. James. Not of the undead kind, unfortunately—just regular murder—but this is still a fun re-imagining of life with the Darcys. Also a PBS miniseries, if you’d rather watch it than read it.

Have you read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or seen the movie? What did you think? Any similar titles you’d recommend to me? (If you haven’t read the book yet, make sure to enter my giveaway over here!)

Whim: Thought Questions: 337-343

Whim: Thought Questions: 337-343(Whim photo by Greg Rakozy via Unsplash)

337: Who or what is the greatest enemy of mankind? Ignorance. It drives religious warfare, racial discrimination, and every other kind of spiteful, divisive activity that turns one man against another.

338: What’s something you wish you had done earlier in life? Probably traveled, before I was tied down. But I would say I am happy with my life overall today, the wanderlust gets a bit less with each passing year. I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.

339: What is the closest you have ever come to fearing for your life? I got horribly sick once and wound up in the ER. Passing out and waking up in the hospital is pretty scary, especially when you’re not often sick.

#340: How do you deal with isolation and loneliness? I don’t really get lonely. I guess I am not a very social person. But usually I can text one of my friends or snuggle a cat and that makes me less lonely.

#341: What do you know well enough to teach to others? How to make excellent chocolate chip cookies. This is a work of art years in the making.

#342: What’s a quick decision you once made that changed your life? Kissed a boy on a whim. Eight years later, here we are. (Happy Valentine’s!)

#343: What have you lost interest in recently? I’ve kind of lost interest in life in general. I’ve just felt a bit blah. I keep trying to feel better though. Hopefully as spring comes I’ll perk up a little—I think I’m just really tired of being cold!!