The Things I Do When I Should Be Reading

Being a book lover and having more unread books than one person could ever read in a lifetime, one of the biggest struggles is making time to be an adult and read books. It sad that I am at that point in life where I am to schedule out time in the day that can be set aside for reading. I have even gotten to the point where I listen to audiobooks so that I can listen while I cook, clean, get ready for work and workout. There just never seem to be enough time and yet so many books that I am dying to read. There are other books I get FOMO (fear of missing out) about because everyone else has read it and is talking about it. With all of that being said I have also noticed lately that I seem to find anything and everything to distract me from reading. My procrastination always gets the best of me. I will sit down to read and then 2 hours later I have somehow ended up deep down the hole of something that was not the book I was meaning to read. I thought I would share some of those things that have been distracting me and I have been doing instead of reading.

♥ Binge Watch Netflix/Hulu/HBO

I am not a fan of silence since I live alone so I  spend a lot of time streaming TV shows and Movies. Especially rewatching tv shows I have seen so many times. Gilmore Girls is a constant fall back and a show I have seen more than 4 times completely all the way through. I usually put something on for background noise , but end up getting sucked into the show. I am currently rewatching Reign so that I can watch the final season. If you are ever in need of tv/movie recs from Netflix, Hulu, HBO, or Amazon Prime, I am your girl.

 

♥ Bothering/Playing with the Kittens

Usually my bratty cats are always bothering me and get into a lot of things making me get up and stop them. I spend so much time as I try to read chasing after them when they get into things they shouldn’t be. There are also a lot of times they bring me their toys to play fetch or I am busy cleaning up their messes. They are like having small children. Even as I am typing this I have had to get up multiple times to deal with them. On their defense sometimes they are just very cute and I spend time taking pictures of them.

 

 

♥ Social Interactions

It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes I do come outside from my isolation from humans and do social things. A few months ago I attended the Macklemore and Ke$ha concert in Kansas City with a coworker. It was the second time seeing Ke$ha and lets just say she is my spirit animal for sure! Just recently I also went on a day long float trip down a river with another awesome coworker/friend and a group of her friends. It was definitely quite the experience, but made for some good memories. I also am a Big Sister in the Big Brother Big Sister Mentor Program. My little sister and I get together at least twice a month and always do fun things. We recently saw The Meg and let me tell you I do not believe it was something a 9 year old should see since even I jumped multiple times.

♥ NAPS

Another thing I am so very guilty of is taking naps. I struggle a lot to fall asleep and stay asleep at night, but I am a Nap Queen. I can basically nap anywhere and nap multiple times a day, you would think I am an expert sleeper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

♥ Trip to the Zoo!

I finall made it to the Omaha Zoo, it only took me a whole year. I absolutely adore the zoo and cannot believe I have waited this long to go. I could have spent all day there, the animals were absolutely beautiful, but it was so humid I was dripping sweat.

 

♥ Baking Goodies

One of my other passions besides reading is definitely baking. I enjoy being in the kitchen and baking up a mess (not so much cleaning it). I love trying out new recipes and trying different things. I spent this past weekend baking some cookies as well as watching the newest season of The Great British Baking Show!

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Do I Read/ Continue? | Rants & Riddles

So I recently was going through my kindle and updating my goodreads with the books I own. I realized I own a lot of ebooks that I have forgotten about and that I need to be better at keeping track of these. Also I need to start reading these books because as I went through the list I noticed some books that I am intrigued by and want to read sooner than others. I also noticed something else really interesting. There are a few kindle books in which I own the 1st and/or the 1st and 2nd books. As I was looking at them in goodreads it became apparent that the books following in the series are not out yet. Now of course this comes to no surprise because you cannot expect all the books in the series to be out right away, but with these books they have been out for years. There is one book, which is a fantasy book (so you know those usually are not standalone and don’t just end with everything all wrapped up nicely) that the 1st book came out in 2013 and there is still no information about when the 2nd book will be published if it even will. The best example I have is the Gentleman Bastard Series by Scott Lynch. When I first discovered The Lies of Locke Lamora, I was so intrigued and fell in love with Lynch’s writing, world development and the overall story. I have put off reading the 3rd book forever because the publication date of the 4th one keeps getting pushed back. It would be so sad to see this awesome series just end where it is without being completed. But if I knew that before I read the 1st book I might not have picked it up at all.

I feel like this situation is much like how I feel about TV shows that got cancelled. There are some that people rave about the first few seasons, but then the show gets cancelled for whatever reason. But you want to watch because everyone says its so good. In doing so though you know that you will be left with questions that go unanswered. I have a hard time doing this. Even with completed series of tv shows, there are endings that I am unhappy with or feel like it didn’t end right, answering all the questions I had.

So I guess what I am trying to get at is, Are these books worth reading? Do I spend my time reading a story that may never be complete?

First Read of 2018 | Discussion Post

I am sitting on my bed staring at my bookshelves trying to decide what should be my first read of the new year. For some reason after everything that happened in the last year I feel like choosing this first book is such a big deal. I need to set up my year for success and positivity, both in my personal and blogging life and goals. It may seem silly, but that is just the way my brain is working right now. It has always been books that have saved me from the downs of life and I want 2018 to be full of the ups and the good things! So I decided to share my thoughts and process for how I am going about picking which book will be my first read of the New Year!

I feel like if I start with the wrong book it can cause a massive book slump because I have been reading so much lately and want to keep up with it since I have so many books I want to read and get to some books I have waited to long to read. So here are my requirements for the book I choose.

⇒ Must be around 300 pages
[ I feel like 300 pages is an average length book and a god place to start. If I start with one that is too short I will get too fast of a start and it could lead to a book slump if the next book takes too long to read. And if it is too long it will drag out and make me feel like I am off to a bad/slow start]

⇒ Must be the 1st in a series/part of a series
[ I feel like if it is in a series it will cause me to want to keep reading and continue on with the next books. One of my goals is to read/complete more series and if I start of with a standalone I feel like that is what i will continue to pick up.]

⇒ Must be a backlist book
[This is another one that is partly because it will count for one of the challenges I am participating in so I will be able to check off a box and that will keep me wanting to continue. I am such a sucker for making list to be able to cross things off and makes me feel like I am making progress. It is also because if it is an older book there will be more reviews for it and you will have a better idea if you will like it or not. There is nothing worse then starting the year off with a book that you don’t like very much]

⇒ Must be a YA
[ I read YA a lot faster and think that it is a good place to start the year.]

⇒ Needs to be fantasy
[ I have been avoiding fantasy like the plague for some reason this past year. It is one of my favorite genres and I need to read more fantasy. So I thought if my first read of the year was a fantasy it would help me with reading more fantasy in 2018. ]

⇒ Must be an author I have read before
[Again this goes with the whole knowing I will enjoy the book because I have read the author before!]

So those are my thoughts on the qualities I need in the first book I pick to read in 2018! I will let you know once I decide which one it is. I have a couple choices that fit into these categories, but still not 100% sure which one it will be.

Let me know how you are going to decide what to read as your first book of 2018 or which book you have already decided will be the first one! 

TV Watch List


I have been watching a lot of TV lately and I thought it would be fun to do some TV series/ season reviews and thought discussions. I thought I would start with just listing all the TV shows I have completed and then when I get to the reviews and discussions I will link back to this post!

♦ 13 Reasons Why

♦ Orange Is The New Black

♦ The 100

♦ Younger

♦ Buffy The Vampire Slayer

♦ Pretty Little Liars

♦ The OC

♦ Grey’s Anatomy

♦ Riverdale

♦ Game of Thrones

♦ Big Little Lies

♦ #Girlboss

♦ The Handmaid’s Tale

♦ Harlots

♦ Famous In Love

♦ Broad City

♦ Gossip Girl

♦ The Client List

♦ Scandal

♦ The Fosters

♦ Finding Carter

♦ The Bold Type

Mindhunter

♦ Slasher

♦ Lore

A Court of Thorns and Roses Fairy Tale Comparison

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This month Samantha @ Rambling Book Junkie and I are reading A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas for our new Rambling Down the Book Hole Blogger Book Club! As part of our book club we will be making weekly post revolving around the book. To check out Samantha’s post click here! If you are interested join us and read along, I tweet using #RDBHBookClub! So for my post this week I did a book comparison to the original fairy tale. Unknown

If you have read or heard anything about A Court of Thorns and Roses then you know it is suppose to be loosely inspired by the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. I thought it would be fun to do a slight discussion/comparison post about how the book parallels the original fairy tale. This post although I will try not to, will most likely contain spoilers.

When reading the book I could understand where the original story was woven through and caught the similarities, but I really think the book was completely its own as well. It was so unique and beautifully done that if I wasn’t aware that it was a retelling I would not have made the comparisons. But since it is a retelling and there are parallels between the story I will talk about a few of them now.

Girl being taken by a beast

So as everyone knows in the original the Beast keeps Belle as a prisoner after making a trade for her fathers life. She is locked up in his castle and set to spend the rest of her life there. In Sarah J. Maas own amazing way she kept true to this part of the story. Feyre traded her life to go live with Tamlin after she had killed a wolf instead of being killed herself.

Curse

In the original Beast has a curse put on him to find true love or he will forever be stuck in the form of a beast forever. In A Court of Thorns and Roses there Faerie lands are being plagued by a curse of sorts and although there are other curses involved they are twisted in a surprising way and come with tons of consequences.

Falling In Love

So this might be a complete spoiler, but what do you expect when a book is said to be inspired off of a known fairy tale. Of course in this book it deals with a human girl falling in love with a “beast”

Interest in the arts

Beauty loves to read. Feyre loves to paint and loves art. The twists that Maas does with this are so interesting. The way she plays with the original story and takes pieces and manipulates them to this story are amazing. In ACoTaR Feyre is illiterate, so it is quiet interesting.

It is apparent the inspiration that came from Beauty and the Beast when reading A Court of Thorns and Roses. There are many differences, it has some fantastic twists and surprises and has a little darker atmosphere.

What parts of the original story stuck out to you while reading this book?

Also don’t forget to check out Samantha’s playlist for A Court of Thorns and Roses!

Things I Love…

THINGS I LOVE ...

I have fallen into the New Adult bandwagon. I am all about it and devour new adult books so fast. It is a newer genre that has appeared in the book community and is one I am really grateful for.  NA bridges the gap between YA and Adult books, which is typically more geared towards romance, but has its fair share of paranormal options. Cora Carmack has put into words better than I could what this new genre is all about…

“These could not be a better way to describe the turbulent years between adolescence and adulthood, that terrifying in-between. Whether you’re at college or moving out on your own or working your first full time job—your life seems to change radically overnight. And yet for most people in that age group (18-25ish), you’re still not completely on your own. Your parents are still a large part of your life. You’re not a child anymore, but you’re also not quite an adult. You may call yourself an adult (as will others), but deep down in side you are petrified because you don’t feel like one.
At least, that’s how it was for me. It really did feel like my world was starting from scratch. I was searching for my perfect fit in this wide world. I once likened the feeling to leaving behind a comfortable pair of old shoes for new ones that fit a bit better. It’s not that you want to stay with the old shoes that have become worn out and are a bit too snug, but breaking in those new shoes takes time and can be painful. That is what New Adult books are about to me.
Young Adult books are about surviving adolescence and coming of age. New Adult is about how to live your life after that. New Adult is the “I’m officially an adult, now what?” phase. 
 Just like growing up, that life stage is different for everyone, but I do think there are some things that are constant.”

There are many things that I adore about these books and keep me coming back for more…

♥ Relatability   

New Adult books tend to focus on the age group of 18-25. Since I fall within this age range I am able to easily relate to the characters and what they are going through.

♥ Real Life Struggles 

I have found that in New Adult more than Adult Romance novels focuses a lot of self-discovery as well as taboo topics not found in Young Adult. There is more than just a romance story, but a life story with some romance in it. New Adult covers topics such as sexual assault/abuse, mental illness, drugs, friendships, careers, school etc. It really encompasses all aspects of life and I find I can relate to many things that happen as I have or I am experience similar things.

♥ Intense, Gritty and Raw Passion

This does not only refer to the romance, but also the story as a whole. The stories are gripping and real, letting the walls down and showing the vulnerability found within everyone. It shows all sides of relationships not just the sparkling and glittery, but the tough, real and sometimes bad parts of relationships.

♥ Relationships 

From all the New Adult books I have read they tend to highlight and develop more than just a romantic relationship, but all forms from parent/child, siblings, and best friends. I love to see this happen. I think having these other relationships evolved and working on them as well is so true to this time in someones life. It also adds to the element of self discovery and finding ones self.

♥ Author Cross-Overs

I love that there are many YA authors who have started writing NA. There are so many that have that awesome writing style and character development that you love that appears in old characters within their NA novels!

♥ Happy For Now Endings 

Keeping with the realistic aspect that is brought from the new adult genre, it shows that there doesn’t always have to be a happily ever after. It is okay to have a happy for now ending to a story because life isn’t a fairytale and there are not always happily ever after endings.

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Volition by Lily Paradis                          ♠ I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre 

Rule by Jay Crownover                        ♠ Inspire by Cora Carmack

Losing It by Cora Carmack                  ♠ All Lined Up by Cora Carmack 

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For more information, books and recommendations check out these links! 

New Adult Genre                                              ♦ NA Next Big Thing 

Cora Carmack- What NA Means To Me            ♦ NA Book Rec Vlog – Kassidy

NA Alley                                                            ♦ NA Book Rec Vlog- JBookLover

A Beginner’s Guide to NA                                 ♦ Epic Reads Favorite NA

Addicted to NA Reading List                             ♦ Butterflymybooks- NA Book Recs

How Do You Rate? | Discussion

So while looking back through my review posts and ratings on Goodreads I have discovered something strange. Although it can be quite difficult to say a 4 star contemporary book is the same as a 4 star fantasy novel, they have the same star rating.

I have discovered that while rating series I tend to compare and rate the books against each other. So where I gave Spirit Bound #5 in the Vampire Academy a 3.5 star rating in reality is was probably closer to a 4/4.5 star rating, but in comparison to the other books in the series it was my least favorite. Is that fair to do?

How do you step back and assign a rating to a book based solely on that one book. How do you not compare it to another in the same series. Do you try and rate the book on a set of criteria regardless of its genre. Do you rate on what the author presented and accomplished in the story they were telling?

I haven’t really ever sat down and thought about this and realize now that rating books is such a struggle. I gave The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre both 4 star ratings, but there is no way I could compare these two to each other. To say I liked one more the other would be a correct statement too, but I gave them both the same rating.

I guess what I would really like to know is How Do You Rate? How do you approach this situation and what are the things that affect your ratings?

Guest Posting | Discussion

ThoughtsSo I was trying to think of something to post today and thought I would switch it up and do a discussion post. If you follow my blog you might have seen that I have been hinting to the fact that I might not be around a lot in the coming months and will be on a bit of an unfortunate hiatus from my blog (more to come on this topic in the next few weeks). With that being said I have been trying to schedule out posts and pre-plan for some of the time that I will away. Now if you blog you know how much of a task this is and I have found myself struggling a little.

This has led me to thinking about a couple different things. The thought of having a co-blogger has been thrown around a little, but I really don’t want to have to share my blog. I started this blog for myself and really want to keep it to be my own thing. But the problem that has presented itself is that I love interacting with other bloggers and highly enjoy all the other things that come along with having a blog (new friends, recommendations,learning new things etc) I am so thankful for all that has come from my blog and really appreciate everyone’s love. I am just afraid that all I have worked so hard this past year to create will disappear because of my current situation. That has caused me to play around with the idea of having some guest posting throughout my time away.

I really wanted to know peoples opinions about this. I know I have been doing a book blogger shout-out feature (which I really enjoy and love to see others blogging styles and creative posts!) but I am wondering if it would be weird to have post from other people on my blog instead of post from me. (It is also a bit of an internal struggle going along with what I said early about this being my own blog I created for myself and I don’t want to lose my personality etc. in my blog) The other problem I struggle with this is finding people that are willing to create and give me posts within the next month that might not be posted until a few months from now.

Basically I just need some outside advice because I am kind of stuck with what to do.  So any advice or suggestions you have to offer would be greatly appreciated or any ideas for blog posts I can do!

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Falling For Autumn Read-A-Thon | Discussion & Giveaway

Falling for Autumn Read-a-Thon Button

 

“Falling for Autumn is read-a-thon where we welcome the Fall/Autumn by reading as many books as possible during a week. It’ll take place from September 22 to 28, with daily guest-posts, interviews, challenges and giveaways. Everyone is free to enter by signing-up and sharing the official blurb by leaving a link to this post on twitter, Goodreads or Facebook. For more information, please visit A Cup of Coffee and a Book


 

DISCUSSION ON SHOVEL READY

17834909Spademan used to be a garbage man. That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, and before the city became a bombed-out shell of its former self. Now he’s a hitman.
In a New York City split between those who are wealthy enough to “tap into” a sophisticated virtual reality for months at a time and those left to fend for themselves in the ravaged streets, Spademan chose the streets. His clients like that he doesn’t ask questions, that he works quickly, and that he’s handy with a box cutter. He finds that killing people for money is not that different from collecting trash, and the pay is better. His latest client hires him to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist. Finding her is easy, but the job quickly gets complicated: his mark has a shocking secret and his client has an agenda far beyond a simple kill. Now Spademan must navigate the dual levels of his world-the gritty reality and the slick fantasy-to finish the job, to keep his conscience clean, and to stay alive.

My review

 

So there were some really interesting concepts and technology included in this novel. One that plays a huge role in the story is kind of like a virtual reality bed. People spend a majority of their lives now “tapping in”. This is referring to the act of going into the this virtual world and living out a different life or fantasy/made up reality. It reminds me of like what happens in the movie Avatar except you dont have an actual avatar body to sync up to, it is you just like all in your head (if that makes sense) It makes me think of Second Life which is that virtual world that people can get into via the computer. They create avatars and live out faux lives. A couple years ago this was a big thing in the U.S. and I had watched a tv thing on it which many people spend a majority of their time online in these fictional worlds living out fantasy lives. While reading this is what I kept being reminded of, but the book takes it to a whole new level because it is actually something that you, yourself participates in with wires and everything hooked up to your body. People have to hire nurses to make sure they are healthy and feed via a bag because they spend so much time tapped in.

So to get to the discussion part of this. I felt like this was a really interesting thing to think about while I was reading. When the rest of the world in ruins, with much of what you knew as life destroyed, would you choose to live in a virtual reality world? Why or why not? If yes, what are some things that would be in your fantasy/virtual world? Are there anythings you wish you could do (different profession, living in different place, married to a celebrity) that would be greatly different from your current life? Do you think that this will be a real option in the near future? If it does become a technology that is introduced into our society, what do you think will happen to our world and society?

 

I felt like the book took me longer to read because I kept stopping and thinking about all the things that were happening in the book. I have to say that although it would be interesting to “tap in” every once in awhile, I think I would be one of those ones who gets so sucked into the virtual world that it would be the end of me. I feel like that is like reading for me now. Sometimes the world and reality are tough and it is nice to escape into a fantasy world, like books. For me I need reality to ground me and I would feel like I was just running away. There are many things that I would make true in my fantasy world, I mean who doesn’t think about that every now and then. There are so many celebrities and fictional characters I am obsessed with (probably to an unhealthy extent haha). I think I would want to travel the world and try everything, dabble in a few different professions just because I can. I think I would also have a pet unicorn because that would be fun! There are just too many options! I think it could be a real possibility, but still has at least 50 or so years before anything close to it could start to be developed. 

I hope this all makes sense and that you take the time to add to the discussion. I would love to hear other peoples thoughts about this topic because it is so intriguing. I would love to have other people to talk to about this book as well so check out the giveaway!

 


 

Giveaway Rules:
♠ Must be at least 16 years of age or have parents permission
♠ Must be living in the U.S (sorry)
♠ Must be willing to give me your mailing address

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 


Brave New World | Mid-Way Reactions

Sept

 THOUGHTS & POINTS OF INTEREST| Chapters 1-7

* WARNING this post will contain spoilers and probably too much personal information about Autumn @Kitty Cat Reads and I. So if you haven’t yet read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley  I would recommend closing your eyes/computer/tab or anything else that might ruin the book for you. 

Ashley
♠ All the promiscuity
♠ The craziness of the process in which is gone through to create-raise a child.
♠ The caste system and predestined/determination of a persons life is crazy/interesting
♠ There are a few phrases that are found in so many dystopians today
♠ 1 ovary = 15,000 adults (WTF)
♠” FORD” replacing God
♠ Erotic play haha
♠ The parallels with our society today although it was written 80 + years ago
♠ First chapter is a little difficult to follow, get into the world
♠ What caste is Lenina in ?
♠ Soma is like modern day xanax
♠ Such unique wording used, like pneumatic 

Autumn
♠ She is very interested in the names and the use of the names
♠ They mock the former society for its religions but then participate in a ritualistic gathering/meeting that is very reminiscent of religion.
♠ Can’t figure out if Huxley was racist or is trying to comment on racism by making so many of his lower caste characters black or describing them as darker at the very least
♠I feel like I don’t know anything about Huxley aside from the fact that he was from a family of scientists to know what kind of commentary he would be making.

DISCUSSION POINTS|

(This is just basically like a stream of thought and might not be grammatically correct or form correct sentences. I just was typing up thoughts for discussion and would love to hear your thoughts on the topics. There is just so much in this book that makes you think and is so interesting.)

Parallels to our society

I noticed from the first half of the book there are some weird parallels to our society today even though this was written 80+ yrs ago. It is crazy how closely our society is leaning towards a less crazy version of this book. Test tube babies is a thing. With the advancements in technology and how people have began looking into altering and choosing features of their children. Socialization is also a thing that is happening around the world, not to the extent to which it is done in this book, but there are countries and communities in which want everyone working for everyone else in a way. Trying to create conformity and stability, taking away free will and the opportunity to make decisions in certain aspects of their life.

 
Sex, Drugs and Discrimination

It seems crazy with the way that sex is a part of the society and taking out the family aspect of life. The fact that someone only being with the same person for close to 4 months is seen an insane seems like nothing in our society. The conformity and silencer of the drugs that put them into a sleepy trance, not being able to think and do for themselves would drive me crazy. I am a very independent and individualistic person and dont think I would be able to fit into the cookie cutter utopian society they are trying to create. I still feel like although these people are conditioned to accept their status and situations in life, there is still such a divide(class system and all that marx shit) between the people. Though not done maliciously (or at least really done consciously), there is a lot of discrimination done even to those in their own class for physical differences etc. I feel like this goes along with the parallels and is a huge problem in our society today. The section about the “savages” I also found interesting because the Zuni people still live like that today (for the most part) even though there have been many advancements in the world and are still seen as culturally different (although I dont think anyone would consider them savages)

What are your thoughts and points of interest? We would love what you think and feel about this book and the world described. 

Follow our tweets using #FCLABookClub for other updates and such and also check out our  Future Cat Ladies of America Book Club on goodreads!