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Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 Resolutions and Reading Challenges!


I love new years. It's always just so exciting to me getting to make tons of new plans and wondering where the year will take you.
Last year was a crazy year for me in my real life, so my blog suffered. 2013 I will be back in full swing on the blog. I missed everything about blogging so I can't wait to jump back in and really give it my all again.

So for 2013 my blogging/reading list of resolutions is:
- Read at least 100 books. (That was my goal last year, but I only read half that...oops)
- Comment more.
- Get involved in the author/blogger community again. I miss you guys.
-Take it easy. I stress myself out so much for not having been able to post that much, but I don't want blogging to be a stressful thing. It's my fun thing, so when I don't get posts up there will be no stressing.
-Expand my reading horizons. Last year I stepped out of my comfort zone and picked up my first romance novel. I loved it and devoured many throughout the year. This year I will try more books that I never thought I would pick up. Suggestions are welcome :)

So far, that's what I have. I may think of more later if any come to mind.

For my reading challenges I am joining:

I love debut authors and I get so excited for new authors to have their books FINALLY get released. I'm super stoked to take part in this challenge again and be able to celebrate these awesome authors accomplishments again!
I will have a tab up by the end of the week with some of the debut books (with links) that I want to read.

TBR Pile 2013 hosted by multiple bloggers. (6 to be exact)
I have a lot of books. When Borders went out of business I went a little over board with buying sale books, I frequent Half Price Books almost weekly, library sales happen, school fund raiser sales, Amazon cutting prices on ebooks....throughout the years I acquired more books than I realized. This is the perfect challenge for me to get in gear and get some of those books I already have read.
Since you can move up levels but not down I'll start out with the goal of 'A Sweet Kiss' which is 21-30 books. Hopefully I'll be able to move up.

I love most British things so this sounded like a fun challenge to take part in this year, getting to branch out and find some British authors to love :)
The first two weeks of January I'll be looking up some books to read for this one and will post them on my challenge tab soon.

2013 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
I did this one last year...and read 30 books less than I did in 2011.
So here's to hoping I do better than that in 2013.
I'm going for 'Breaking a Sweat' which is 11-15 more books than last year.
Piece of cake :p

Around the World Challenge hosted by Giraffe Days
This one just sounds like so much fun. Hunting down a book from each of these countries and giving them a whirl. Count me in!
These are the countries we will be visiting:
JANUARY = France
MARCH = Wales
APRIL = Fiji
MAY = Belgium
JUNE = South Korea
JULY = Israel
AUGUST = Palestine
DECEMBER = Argentina

And last but not least, I'll have my Goodreads reading challenge which will be set to 100 books!

Happy 2013 everyone!!

Bout of Books 6.0

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 6.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books 6.0 team

I attempted to do Bout of Books, I failed miserably. I challenged myself to 1o books so that I could work on catching up on my TBR pile. Not even one book was finished.
The second half of 2012 was pretty stressful for me, but with this year ending and 2013 just beginning I've made one of my resolutions to stress less and take more time for the things I love. So what better way to start that than with a read-a-thon since I love reading. 

Even though I didn't make even the slightest dent in my challenge last time, I'm sticking with trying to get 10 books done the week of the read-a-thon.  The books are still to be decided, but I am behind in review books so that might be what I will focus on.

I hope to see you participating in the read-a-thon as well!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

'Tis the Season for a Giveaway!


Giving is my favorite part of Christmas so I've put together a little giveaway for all you wonderful readers.

What can you win?
A snazzy swag pack that includes:

 Some bookmarks.
 A Snitch Christmas Ornament
 Matched Trilogy Button Set
 Breaking Dawn Slap Braclet
Vampire Academy Temp Tattoos
Beautiful Creatures Mini Poster
Book Sample

And my favorite part of the WHOLE giveaway:

The Fault in Our Stars (B&N Exclusive Edition)
A copy of the Collector's Edition of The Fault in our Stars by John Green!

The giveaway is from now until December 24th and I will announce the winner on the 25th for Christmas. The winner will have 72 hours to get back to me or I will choose another winner.
Since this edition of TFioS doesn't release until January 3rd I will preorder it and send everything once I get the book.
This giveaway is open to US Residents only (unless you know someone in the US who I can send the box to and they can forward it along to you). I wish I could afford international shipping.

So get to entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Top 10 Books I Would Love Santa To Bring.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and The Bookish.

Since this weeks topic is which books would we like Santa to bring, and he is magical and all, I decided to put some books on my list that are not yet released.
(This list is in no particular order)

The Selection (The Selection, #1)
As soon as I read about this book I knew I wanted it, especially since I was going through a "The Bachelor" phase and this was being compared to that show...and it's dystopia. Yeah, I swore I had to have it...but it's been out for a bit now and I still haven't gotten it. 

Warm Bodies
I like the new take on zombies.
And it has been made into a movie. I prefer reading the books before I see the movie.

There is no cover for this one yet, but I'm sure it will be just as cute and romance-y as Stephanie's other covers.
But I've read Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next this one is a MUST.
Though it doesn't release until May 7th I know Santa could work a little of his Christmas magic ;D

This is another one that I don't want to have to wait for (releases June 4th).
I love apocalyptic and dystopian stories so this was right up my alley.
Come on, Santa! Put this under my tree. It will be a Christmas miracle!

The Madman's Daughter
This book may be a little bit more reasonable than the other two, seeing that it releases end of January.
It sounds really creepy though.
And right in the synopsis it pretty much states there will be a love triangle...and I am a sucker for a GOOD love triangle.

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone was weird to me. I wasn't sure for a while after I read it how I felt about it.
Now thinking about it I've decided that I really liked it. And all I see is that the sequel is even better, so naturally I want it.

Guys, the synopsis had me giggling. This book came out of nowhere and very few blogger friends seem to have read it, but the ones that have say it's hilarious and really entertaining.
Bring on the funny!

Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2)
I can haz more Rhine for Christmas, please?

Second Chance Summer
This book just screams emotional summer contemp.
I want.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)
So I met Sarah at ATBF12. She stood on a chair which almost gave Libba Bray a heart attack, talked about killing the other people on her panel Hunger Games style, and was just genuinely funny. 
Why have I not added her book to my shelves yet? I really don't know.
So Santa, let's remedy this.

That's only a small part of my Christmas Book Wish List. There are so so many more that I would be perfectly content with showing up underneath my tree.
So, fellow book lovers, what books do you want Santa to bring you?

Monday, December 3, 2012

2012 End Of Year Book Survey

Hosted by the wonderful Jamie @
best books read in 2012

The books used in this survey are from January 2012-November 2012. If I read any in December that just HAVE to be added, I'll come back and edit it

Best In Books 2012

1. Best Book You Read In 2012? (You can break it down by genre if you want)
Ha! Do you think I could honestly pick just one?? Not at all, so I'll list a couple.
(Genre list copied from Jamie @ Perpetual Page-Turner)
Adult fictionThe Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning
This year I read a lot more adult fiction than I ever have , but this series was by far my favorite. It's fun, fast-paced, sexy...and it has Jericho Barrons. 'Nuff said.
Contemporary YAThe Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, The Fault in our Stars by John Green, The Summer Trilogy by Jenny Han.
I used to roll my eyes at contemps, never really understanding why people would want to read about real life, especially tragic situations. Then at the end of 2011 I read The Summer I Turned Pretty and my mind was changed forever. I love contemps now, particularly the ones listed above.
Dystopian YA: I read two dystopias this year....TWO! How incredibly lame is that??
This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne
Since I only read those two I can't really say I have a favorite...they were both only alright to me. 2013 I have a whole list of dystopians that I want to read since it is one of my favorite genres.
Sci-fi/supernatural/paranormal-ish (big lumping together):
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent
Mara Dyer was so so good. Even though it has the cliff hanger of doom. I've had the Evolution of Mara Dyer for a couple of months now...but I'm too scared to read it!
I really liked Rachel Vincent's take on banshees in her Soul Screamers series. Can't wait to get to the rest of them.
FantasyThe Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
The stigma that hangs over YA and middle grade books, that they are cheesy and have no literary merit, is so dumb. The Emerald Atlas proves that even a middle grade can have a great story. I adored this book.
2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers
I really liked Personal Demons so I was thinking I'd like this one just as much...but it really fell flat for me. It just wasn't as good as the first one...not even my angel Gabe could save it.
 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2012? 
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma- this one freaked me out a little bit. Definitely outside of my comfort zone, but it ended up being such a great, and tragic, story. Quite a few tears happened.
We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han - The final book in a series or trilogy always worries me. Especially if the other books were really good. I was so nervous that the final book in the Summer Trilogy was going to be awful...but it ended wonderfully though.
 4. Book you recommended to people most in 2012?
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Divergent by Veronica Roth
I told people to read TFioS so that they could feel all the things with me.
And Divergent because people want another great dystopian after The Hunger Games, so that's what I tell them to check out.
 5. Best series you discovered in 2012?
 6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2012?
John Green! TFioS was my first John Green book and it was fantastical. I can't wait to read more by him.
Michelle Hodkin. She created Noah that automatically makes her a favorite.
7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
2012 was the first year that I started reading some romance. That was a big change for me and most definitely out of my comfort zone. But I really enjoyed Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert. It was a fun read.
 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2012?
Being the last book of the series, Shadow Fever was an intense and very unputdownable read. Finally everything was being explained and was coming together.
Mara Dyer was so twisty and turny and it seemed like with the turn of every page more questions came to mind than answers. It was awesome.
 9. Book You Read In 2012 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year:
Even though I've already read TFioS twice, there is a very good chance I'll read it again in 2013. It's just too good not to read it on a regular basis.
The Summer trilogy are great summer reads. So when I get down to the coast next year, they will be in my beach tote...again :)
10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2012?
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #1)
I heart this cover so hard. It is beautiful. I love that it is underwater and that it is also intimate without being overtly sexual. It also wasn't one of those typical "beautiful girl staring longingly" covers.
11. Most memorable character in 2012? 
Noah Shaw from The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.
Augustus Waters from The Fault in our Stars.
Conrad Fisher from The Summer Trilogy.
Jericho Barrons from The Fever Series.
Yeah...I have a penchant for awesome guy characters.
 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2012?
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab.
She has the most amazing gift when it comes to words. It was such a beautifully written book.
13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2012? 
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I went through some very tough things this year and this book really hit close to home. In the way that there is always someone there to help you up when you've fallen, there is always room for forgiveness, and that fresh starts are possible.
 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2012 to finally read? 
The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
I really wish I had picked this book up when I was in highschool. It most certainly would have helped with some of the situations I went through.
 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2012? 
Oh lord.
“There's nothing like deep breaths after laughing that hard. Nothing in the world like a sore stomach for the right reasons.” 
― Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower

“He didn’t give me flowers or candy. He gave me the moon and the stars. Infinity

-Belly Conklin-” 
― Jenny HanWe'll Always Have Summer
“Headline?" he asked.
"'Swing Set Needs Home,'" I said.
"'Desperately Lonely Swing Set Needs Loving Home,'" he said.
"'Lonely, Vaguely Pedophilic Swing Set Seeks the Butts of Children,'" I said.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“I'm in love with you," he said quietly.

"Augustus," I said.

"I am," he said. He was staring at me, and I could see the corners of his eyes crinkling. "I'm in love with you, and I'm not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I'm in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we're all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we'll ever have, and I am in love with you.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars
 16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2012? 
Longest — Shadow Fever by Karen Marie Moning at 594 pages.
Shortest — My Soul to Lose by Rachel Vincent (Soul Screamers novella) at 61 pages.
 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!
The end of Mara Dyer made my jaw drop. Pretty much I was like "WTH just happened?!!"
And the end of TFioS had me bawling and I just wanted to bawl with someone.
18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2012 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).
Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters. Hands down. The witty banter that they had is some of my favorite ever. John Green knows how to create some incredible characters.
19. Favorite Book You Read in 2012 From An Author You Read Previously
It's Not Summer Without You and We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han.
20. Best Book You Read That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. Melissa from "I Swim For Oceans" raved about it on her blog and twitter, so before I really knew anything about the book I decided to read it solely based on her love for that book.

 Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2012 (optional)

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2012? 
I haven't been around that much in 2012 because of personal matters, so I've started following new blogs, but I haven't really had a chance to sit down and read them. I plan on changing that soon, so as soon as I do I'll post 'em here.
2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2012? 
Again, I haven't done very many posts in 2012 and even fewer reviews. But if I had to choose I guess I would say my review of "Anna and the French Kiss".
3. Best discussion you had on your blog?
Discussion posts are where I have always lacked. I always have such a hard time coming up with ideas for them. It's on my blogger resolutions for 2013 to do more of them.
4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?
I didn't read very many posts this year, sadly. And the ones that I did read were at the beginning of the year so I don't remember many of them :/
5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?
I got to go to the Austin Teen Book Festival, again! This year I went by myself, which was different, but still lots of fun since I got to meet new people, go to whatever panels I wanted, and all that bookish goodness. And I got to meet Libba Bray which was so awesome!
6. Best moment of book blogging in 2012?
There were a couple people at ATBF that told me they had heard of my blog, which was really surreal and incredible.
And right now is a good book blogging moment too. I've taken some time off from it to sort some difficult stuff out in my life and I finally feel ready to come back at full force again.
7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
My post on the incredibly nonsensical reasons for banning books  has been my most popular.
My review on Letters to Elise by Amanda Hocking still gets a lot of visits too.
8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?
Reviews seem to get the least amount of love...and not just on my blog, but a lot of blogs...which is weird since that is really the whole point of our blogs is reviews. So reviews. And my bookish crafts posts. I love the crafts that I find for those posts.
9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?
Book playlists on Spotify. I love listening to what songs authors were inspired by for their stories.
10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?
I failed at most of my goals. I was going to read more books off my shelf, read more books that I already had on my Kindle, catch up on my NetGalley review books, and read 100 for the year. I was doing really well, then about May my whole life was changed and things just went downhill from there (book blogging wise, not so much life wise). I only read 50 books, put more NetGalley ARCs on my Kindle...barely touched the books on my bookshelf...haha good thing 2013 is a new year with new goals that I am going to try my hardest to keep this time.

Looking Ahead…

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2012 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2013?
2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2013?
I'm working on my most anticipated list right now, so you'll have to check back on the blog to see what I put on it.
3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2013?
Keep up with the blog better and get a handle on my TBR pile. I haven't finished my blogging resolutions list yet, there will be some smaller goals set, but those are the biggest ones that I am going to focus on.

Can't wait to see what 2013 brings!

Monday, October 29, 2012

NaNoWriMo 2012

Participant 180x180 (2)

Can you believe it's already that time again?
Time to stock up on coffee & snacks. Time to lock yourself away in the writing cave. Time to really procrastinate on Twitter & Pinterest....erhm, I mean, to not look at those pages ever for the next 30 days.
That's right. It's NaNoWriMo time.

For those of you who don't know what NaNo is, it is National Novel Writing Month, and it is a month of pure insanity. During November, along with getting ready for the holidays, working, families, and normal life crazy, us writers thought it would be a good idea to try and write 50,000 words in a 30 day time period.
So from November 1st-November 30th we will be attempting to write 1,667 words a day to make sure we meet our goal.
What do we win at the end of this crazy month? The satisfaction that we have a word count equivalent to The Great Gatsby. So, we have actually written a novel's worth of words. Oh! And we get a winner's badge on our NaNo page.

The point of NaNo is not to write some amazing piece of work though. It is really set up to help get writers in the habit of attempting a solid word count daily. At the end of the month your story could be a steaming pile of crap, but who cares? You wrote 50,000 words.
You should not focus on editing, rewriting, or revising...or even really that much research. The main focus should be meeting your word count daily.
There is the chance that you have will have written something that has enough potential to start revisions on. Go you!
Even if you are not a serious writer you should give NaNo a try. At the end of November you could cross off your Bucket List "write a book". How awesome is that?

There are still a couple days (2 days and 12 hours to be exact) to prepare for NaNo, so I say you should sign up and join in the madness.
Go to the grocery store and get a cart full of coffee, energy drinks (I'm partial to Red Bull), snacks (both healthy and not. You need healthy to...well...keep you healthy. And non-healthy to help keep you sane. Trust me, they really do help), and freezer meals. Then make a binder of take out and delivery menus. Grab a couple notebooks, pens, and a flashdrive. Do a quick outline of the story you want to attempt. Boom. You are ready to write.
THIS page is also helpful when it comes to stuff you may want handy during NaNo.

So whether this is your first attempt or tenth, good luck and know that I am cheering for you!
And we should be writing buddies. My NaNo page is: justso_jessica.
I will also be posting my progress on Twitter throughout the month: justso_jessica

And if that wasn't enough reason to join, here is a video of John Green (from 3 years ago) right before he attempted NaNo. John Green is the best. If he can do it, so can we.

And then one more video to send you off with:

Because she's pretty awesome.

So join in! It's insane, but so completely fun! And after you sign up, let me know, so we can be writing buddies and procrastinate together....oops, I mean we can make sure we DON'T procrastinate :p
Good luck, NaNoers!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Books to Movies {1}

Some people that I know are very anti books being turned into movies. They believe that authors have come up with "original" ideas and Hollywood needs to stop taking them and come up with something on their own.
There are two problems with this. The first being everything has been done. There really are no more so-called "original ideas".
Secondly, movie makers have been turning to book for ideas for a long long time. In my brief research of the subject I found the first movie was made around 1878. The first book to movie was made around 1896.
I used to be against it. I always felt that Hollywood ruined my idea of how the book actually went and their idea of how it should go. But, nobody reads the same book. I could be talking to my best friend about a book we both just read and we both may have taken different things away from it. So when it comes to favorite books being put on the silver screen I just close my eyes, take a deep breath, and enjoy it for what it is. A movie. My idea of the book is still in my head and will always be how I picture it when I re-read the it.

In the very near future there are some books that I am very excited to be made into movies.

Les Miserables
Les Misérables Poster

The play is one of my favorites, and the cast for the movie is pretty incredible. I get chills every time I watch preview. So I am counting down the days til this one. I'm going to attempt to read the book before the movie...but at almost 1500 pages, it's pretty massive.
Releasing December 25th.

The Hobbit
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Poster

If you've know me for longer than 5 minutes you will know that J.R.R. Tolkien is one of my all time favorite authors and that Lord of the Rings, the books and movies, are my favorites as well.
So I am incredibly excited for The Hobbit movies. I'm not super thrilled that for one book it is going to be three movies, but Peter Jackson is also including content from The Silmarillion and the appendices, which makes it okay for me. The world that Tolkien created is so big and complex that I am glad some more of it will be brought to life. The longer I can be immersed in that world the better.
Releasing December 14th.

Warm Bodies
Warm Bodies Movie Poster

While the world is decaying and people have started losing touch with their humanity, it's all this nameless zombie wants. His humanity back.
Now that is intriguing.
Still haven't read the book, but I definitely will before the movie.

There are so many book-to-movies coming soon that I am pretty excited about and it would make this post way too long. So I've decided to start this feature that I can talk about ones that are coming and ones that have already been done. Because movie adaptions of books are still pretty bookish things :p
Also, there are some books that I actually would love to see be made in to a movie and I'll talk about some of those, as well.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

BBW: The Incredibly Nonsensical Reasons For Banning Or Challenging Books.

When it comes to Banned Books Week I know a lot of people tend to focus on the classics that have been banned. Most people that I have mentioned BBW to don't even know that books are still being banned and challenged on a regular basis. What surprises them even more are the books and the reasons that those books get banned and challenged.
"What reasons do books get banned for other than being sexually explicit? Or having too much violence?" is a question that I receive a lot. Instead of going straight for "well this book contained so much violence, sex, and course language" I like to start with the crazier reasons for certain books being banned.
Well, here are some of those books and reasons:

The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)Reasons: anti-ethnic; anti-family; insensitivity; offensive language; occult/satanic; violenceMockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)

Anti-family?? Really?! Did they really miss the part that Katniss volunteers as tribute for her little sister?
And of course it is's war. Violence tends to happen.

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Twilight (Twilight, #1)
Reasons: religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
I'm sorry, but sexually explicit? Apparently someone skipped over the part where Edward is a 108 year old virgin. There's not a lot of sex going on there.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Bridge to Terabithia
Reason: occult/Satanism, offensive language
I think by occult/Satanism they mean kids using their imaginations.

Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
Reasons: occult/Satanism, violence,being scary, portraying authority as "stupid", anti-family,
You know what, sometimes authority is stupid, sometimes it does need to be challenged and not followed blindly. Boo on J.K. Rowling for showing kids to look at what's going on around them and deciding for themselves if it is really ethical and the way they think the world should be.
And again, I would like to know what part of Harry Potter is anti-family. Harry Potter's family is his friends. Family isn't always blood and I commend these books for showing that.

And my personal favorite reason:
The Diary of a Young Girl
Reason: It's a real downer.
No's about the holocaust. Sorry there weren't more rainbows and butterflies in this one.

These reasons tend to drive me crazy. Though I don't believe in banning books, I can understand parents concerns on certain material being included in books and certain age groups reading them. But that doesn't mean take them away from everyone else getting the chance to read them. Especially if other parents have already given the okay for their child(ren) to read it.

What about you? Any specific book that you love that has been banned or challenged for a ridiculous reason? I would love to know so share in the comments!

Happy Banned Books Week!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bookish Crafts {4}

I know there are a bunch of book lovers, that also love coffee and tea. So I searched through my craft ideas to see what stuff I had that involved those two things. Because, I know for me, reading would not be the same without a cup of coffee in my hand.

This is the first thing that I found:

Now this is love!
(Found on pinterest. Links to: mariacandelaria)

How cute is that?!
And it would be incredibly easy, too. Just take a Starbucks cup, do a few cut outs in a pattern you like, and put it on a night light. The hearts are actually drawn on to the wall, they are not cast by the light.

I need dark to sleep, but like having just a small light on in case I get up in the middle of the night (which I normally do) so this looks like it would be just enough light to not trip over something when I'm still half asleep. This craft makes perfect sense because coffee makes my days a little bright, so why shouldn't it make my nights a little brighter too ;p (that was cheesy...but that's okay).
And it also pays tribute to two of my favorite things: Starbucks & coffee (or tea if you prefer to get that from there).

Definitely thinking this is going to happen soon.

Happy Crafting, fellow book and coffee lovers!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Banned Books Week Kick-Off!

As a reader, a writer, and someone who just loves freedom in general BBW is a special week for me.
It always amazes me when reading lists of banned books and the reasons for their banning. Some of the reasons are the silliest thing EVER.

I generally try to  make a point to read banned books on a regular basis and shine the light on them. Other times I've read banned books that I didn't even know had been banned or challenged until sometime later.

This week I will be spotlighting different books that have been banned and challenged but maybe aren't as well known as some of the banned classics.
And I'll go a little more into what exactly are banned books and why this week is so important.

I had been planning on reading about 10 books for this week...but that ended up being a bit more than I could do, so I'll just be reading 2 or 3 and posting reviews for them.

If you are partaking in BBW I would love to check out your post(s) so send me the link!

Happy Banned Books Week, y'all!

Austin Teen Book Fest '12

The Austin Teen Book Festival was yesterday and it was a blast!

Neil Shusterman was supposed to be the opening keynote speaker, but his mother was hospitalized so he could not be there. So Libba Bray took his place as opening speaker. As much as  I wish Neil could have been there, Libba was awesome.
She gave some great life advice:
"Pizza is always the answer."
"Pay attention to what is going on around you, or history will be written without your consent."
"There are no girl books. There are no boy books. There are books. Read them."
"Make life rue the day it thought it could give you lemons."
And what I believe was almost everyone's favorite piece of advice:
Don't be an asshole.

(Yeah, she's totally wearing a cape.)

There was so much more that people tweeted during her talk, but I can't find them all. It was pretty much a speech filled with awesome though. She is an incredible woman.
There were lots of people recording it, so I'm sure it's going to be on YouTube. You should go find it, and watch it, and love her too.
Then this happened:

This is what was being referenced as "Lightsaber Karaoke" for the rest of the day.
Libba and some of the volunteers starting singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and waving lightsabers.
They also had the music video+lyrics on a screen so everyone could sing along.

Turn around, bright eyes.

It was a pretty magical way to kick off ATBF12.

Then, after the singing had faded, and fog from the fog machine disappeared, the panels started.
There were six panels, but only time for 4 so it was a bit of a challenge deciding which ones to go to.
I ended up going to:
Where We're Going We Don't Need Roads
which featured Greg Leitch Smith, Marissa Meyer, Rachel Cohn, Jeff Hirsh, and Dan Krokos.

Right after the first panel we took a break for lunch. One of the things that I was most excited about was I knew that right down the street the food trucks would be set up for the day, so I headed down there.
If you are ever in Austin and stumble upon this food truck get something from there!

I had a bacon croissant that was to die for. And a strawberry basil smoothie. It was soo good that I went back after the festival and got another (bigger) one for the drive home.

Back to the festival for the next panels.
What Would You Do For Love?
which featured:
Tracy Deebs, Ally Condie, Kresely Cole, Jessica Shirvington, Tamara Ireland Stone, and Jessica Khoury.

We're Not In Kansas Anymore

Sarah Rees Brennan (who is standing on a chair), Libba Bray, Leigh Bardugo, Kami Garci, Margaret Stohl, and Rae Carson.
This was such a fun panel. Sarah was a fantastic moderator. She had this whole "Hunger Games" thing going on. Whichever author didn't get a lot of applause she was going to kill later. Turns out she got the least amount of applause :p

Then last, but certainly not least I choose to go to 
Creature Comforts
Sophie Jordan, Scott Speer, Anna Banks, Gina Damico, Tara Hudson, and Martha Brockenbrough.

Right after the last panel it was like a mad dash to the signing tables because there were people who skipped the last panel just to get in line. So people had started lining up over an hour before.
That's what was going on before the last panel. Some of these people were in line for over an hour.
It was really funny being in the Libba Bray line because Scott Speer's table was right next to it, and he had to get up to take pictures with almost everyone that came up to him (mostly girls) girl literally almost swooned walking away. He was dubbed ATBF12's heart throb author :p

All in all it was a fantastic day. I met some great authors, bloggers, readers, made some new friends, got some new books, and some really cool swag.
If you didn't get to make it this year, you should most definitely make a point to come next year!
It is so so much fun!

Thank you Book People, Austin Public Library, and all the volunteers for making yesterday awesome!

Did you get to go this year? Did you do a recap post?
Link it up in the comments! I would love to check out your ATBF12 experience!
In the next week, after I go through the swag, I'm going to do a giveaway for some of it! :D
So keep an eye on the blog.

Thanks Austin for such a great day!