Book Haul: (#2) Books from Boston and Barnes and Noble Samplers!

(Pretty sure this is number two? If not than… psh. Now it is.)

Book Haul #2 - 1

I went to Boston for two-ish weeks, and of course I come home with more books. (At least it was only two this time!) I bought Since You’ve Been Gone at The Coop bookstore in Harvard Square- they have pretty much any type of book in that store. It’s fantastic.

I bought The Manga Guide To Physics at the MIT Museum. There was also a manga guide to calculus and electricity. Maybe if I like this one I’ll try to track those down too.

As of right now I’ve read ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ and flipped through ‘The Manga Guide to Physics.’

Book Haul #2 - 2

Also, earlier in July my parents were kind enough to stop at a Barnes and Noble to pick up some samplers for me while I was busy at a swim meet. I had only really wanted The Young Elites but they ended up taking one of everything that the store had. Along with these samplers there were also some freebie comics and two posters- one for The Testing series and one for the anime of Sword Art Online!

July 2014 Recap

July was a very busy month for me. Looking back, I can’t believe I’ve done all the things and gone to all the places I’ve been in a space of four weeks!

It all started out on July 1st when I left home to go to the USA Synchro National Championships in Seattle, Washington. (Our team came in 14th place. Hopefully we’ll make finals next year!) After that we had a few days more to practice and then the team was off to the Synchronized Swimming US Opens in Las Vegas, Nevada. There we swam as a senior team and a combo, and won 2nd and 6th place.

After that, I left Vegas early and went straight to Boston, where I’ve been for the last two weeks taking seminars at Boston University. I’ll be here a few more days, and then I head back home to get ready for the start of my junior year in high school.

July 2014

Books I Read This Month:

#1 – Heist Society by Ally Carter ★★★★★

[Re-read]

#2 – Uncommon Criminals (Heist Society #2) by Ally Carter ★★★★★

[Re-read]

#3 – Perfect Scoundrels (Heist Society #3) by Ally Carter ★★★★★

[Re-read]

#4 – Delilah Dusticle by A.J. York ★★☆☆☆

[Review]

#5 – Delilah Dusticle’s Transylvanian Adventure by A.J. York

[Review]

#6 – Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah Mlynowski ★★★☆☆

#7 – Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau ★★★☆☆

An exciting finish with lots of great reveals. This wasn’t my favorite of this series, but it was still enjoyable.

#8 – The Eighth Day (The Eighth Day #1) by Diane Salerni ★★★★☆

This book takes three or four chapters to really get into, but it turns into a great story with lots of twist and turns. I look forward to more!

Music

The music video for Barenaked Ladies’ song ‘Did I Say That Out Loud’ came out and I really feel in love with that song. Another song that has been stuck in my head a lot is Area 11’s Shi No Barado.

TV Shows

RWBY is back for Volume 2 and better than ever! The first two episode’s are out on Rooster Teeth’s website and I really love them.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite TV Shows

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish, and is a book blogging feature where every week there is a different ‘top ten’ list of books to make.

This week’s list is another non-book one and is instead top ten favorite TV Shows! I didn’t quite make ten here, but I only wanted to include my very favorite shows. And, as usual, I am listing these in no particular order. Plus, all of the shows included in this list are can be streamed on Netflix or are available online totally legally.

#1 – Eureka Now, I already said that this list is in no particular order, but this show is in the #1 spot for a reason. And that reason is that this is a show that more people should watch. It’s essentially a comedy/drama where almost all the main characters are brilliant scientist and it’s, well, brilliant.

#2 – Warehouse 13 This show had it’s fifth and final season this year, and I am very, very sad about that. But it does have five amazing seasons of great adventures and great characters and surprising overlying plots. So you should really go watch and appreciate what there is of this show. (Even though it got very rudely cancelled)

#3 – Supernatural To be entirely honest, there are times where I wonder why I like this show and chose to watch it. But when it has a good episode they are usually very fast paced and exciting, so there’s that. I also thought I’d mention that this is a show that has kind of gotten less horror-movie-ish and scary as it has gone on. There’s a lot more plot in season 6 than there is in season 1. But it’s also a show with a lot of episodes- and it’s still being made. Just so you know what you might be getting yourself into.

#4 – Doctor Who I have a feeling that this is a show that is going to be on a lot a of people’s lists, so I recommend hearing about it from someone better.

#5 – Generator Rex I will admit that while this is a finished (*ahem* cancelled) series, I have yet to actually finish watching it. I started it a while ago, but, things happen. Anyways, this is a show that I never thought I’d love as much as I do. It’s a sci-fi with great (very endearing) characters, well choreographed (awesome) fight scenes, a very engaging plot-line and very interesting world-building. Plus, it’s comic relief is very well done.

#6 – Puella Magi Madoka Magica This is by far my favorite of all anime I’ve watched. It starts off rather slowly, but everything ends up coming together in the main plot and it is amazing. It’s also technically a magical girl type anime, but it’s very dark. I recommend not watching it with younger children, no matter how happy Netflix’s cover art for it looks.

#7 – RWBY RWBY is slightly different from the rest of these in that it is a webseries, and each episode is around 5 to 15 minutes long. The whole of season Volume 1 is just a bit over an hour. Plus, Volume 2 comes out in 9 days and the entirety of the show can be watched on it’s company’s website here. It’s sort of a comedy set in a fantasy universe, but there are plot threads that promise to be pretty amazing. It also has awesome music.

#8 – Sword Art Online The fact that I love the books Insignia and Epic kind of shows that I love full immersion type video games in fiction. I probably would never use one in real life because of all the mishap they’ve caused in stories, but, sacrifices must be made. And this anime is a great kind of story like the ones I’ve mentioned. (The second half of the first season has some kind of strange parts though…)

June 2014 Recap

I don’t want to say this month was hectic exactly, because really I’ve had a fair amount of time to myself, but I have been fairly busy. I finished school, but after that I went right into training for Synchronized Swimming Nationals in Seattle, which I will be traveling to as this posts.

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This Month I Read:

#1 – How To Catch A Bogle (Bogle #1) by Catherine Jinks

[Review]

#2 – Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle #1) by Rachel Hawkins

A very interesting series starter with cool world building and great characters.

#3 – The Miranda Contract by Ben Langdon

[Did Not Finish]I was halfway through, and far too confused and disinterested to read the rest.

#4 – Entangled (Entangled #1) by Amy Rose Capetta

This book’s writing was different and very poetic. The rest was… really strange. It was good but more introspective than I care for.

Music

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My favorite/most-lisened-to songs this month were Kill Your Heroes by AWOLNation, Na Na Na by My Chemical Romance and Recover by Chvrches. All three have been a major part of my writing playlist the last few weeks.

TV Shows

Early this month I started the 2010 Cartoon Network show Generator Rex (It’s on Netflix!) and discovered I absolutely loved it, so I’ve been working through that show very slowly. I also started and almost finished the Disney show Lab Rats during my first week off of school, and have been re-watching the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica which might not have been wisest decision but I love it and it was added to Netflix. I can’t believe that the first time I watched it was almost three years ago!

Events

Shadow and Bone + Monument 14

Fierce Reads

“Growing up isn’t something you do and then are done with.” – Ava Dellaira

I went to two book-related events during the month of June. The first one was a Fierce Reads book tour stop at the Red Ballon Bookstore on June 22nd. There I saw Leigh Bardugo, (The Grisha Trilogy) Jennifer Mathieu, (The Truth About Alice) Ava Dellaira, (Love Letters to the Dead) and Emmy Laybourne. (Monument 14)

My big secret going into this is that while these are all books I really want to read, I have yet to read any of them. But now after hearing the authors speak I am even more excited to read all of them!

I also happened wear one of my synchronized swimming meet shirts to the event, and I guess it was especially noticeable because when I went up to get my book signed they all commented on it. Jennifer even told a great story about how her speed swimming team used to practice in the same pool as a synchro team, and Ava Dellaira wrote a real sweet note in my copy of her book. It always makes me super happy when people genuinely are interested about synchro and think it’s cool.

Fierce Reads 2014

The second event I went to was also at the Red Ballon Bookstore (My trusty independent local place that hosts all sorts of awesome authors) and it was a book signing with Joelle Charbonneau, author of The Testing trilogy, to talk about the newly-released final book in the series. It was really interesting to hear her talk about her “accidental” writing carrer and about her processes and world building while writing the trilogy. As I write this, I’m currently reading the third book in the series, and I look forward to sharing my thoughts on it in a future post!

Graduation Day Signing

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Cover Trends I Like and Dislike

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish, and is a book blogging feature where every week there is a different ‘top ten’ list of books to make.

his week’s list is book cover trends (or elements of book covers) that you like and/or dislike. I decided to do both, so my first five will be trends I dislike and the second five will be trends I do like. None of these judgments have anything to do with the content of the books. For the moment I am just talking about their packaging. (I haven’t actually read all the books included in this list)

Dislike:

#1 – Overly Dramatic Expressions on Models. I feel that in general models are not necessary in covers, but sometimes they do work. But if the model looks overly dramatic it can kind of turn me off of the book. Main Offenders: The Goddess Test.

#2 – A Very High Hue/Saturation Level. You know those books where it looks like they made the saturation as high as possible or used one of the more… colorful Instagram filters on the picture? Yeah, I hate those. Please no. Main Offenders: CroakCity of Bones.

#3 – Bad Typography. I don’t bash fonts often, so I mean this in the most loving way, but sometimes certain fonts just don’t work. They’re to skinny or too flowery or I don’t even know why they look off but they just don’t work, and sometimes can make the book cover look very cheap.
Images Overlaid on Other Images. Occasionally this can look okay, (I think Entangled pulled this off for the most part) but most of the time, it’s just no. Please no. Main Offenders: Vampire Academy.

#4 – Shirtless Models. This just kinda screams stereotypical Romance to me. Not that there’s anything wrong with romance novels, it’s just… Kinda unnecessary. Main Offenders: City of Bones.

Like:

#5 – Illustrations. Ever since I started reading more YA than Middle Grade, I have read so many less books with illustrations on the cover. I really think illustrations are beautiful and can give you the best idea of what the book is even before you read the back. At least they are still common in Middle Grade fiction. Good Job: The School of Good and EvilThe Lost PlanetCinder.

#6 – Typography. I love typography when it’s done right. Most of the packaging I think looks best is just nice looking font work, and books are no different. Good Job: Promise of ShadowsThe End or Something Like ThatShadow and Bone.

#7 – Models/Illustrated People When Their Features Are Shadowed or Not Shown. Like I have already mentioned, models can work on book covers even though it’s not my favorite thing, and one of those times where they work is when their features and not shown. I also like when the main features of illustrated characters are not shown, such as if they have their back turned or something like that. Good Job: The Split SecondFalse MemoryThe Secret WarThe Battle of the Labyrinth.

#8 – Symbolic Covers. I love when covers feature some sort of symbol on the cover, especially when it seems abstract at first but comes to mean something about the book in an understated way. Good Job: The LoopThe Hunger GamesInsignia.

#9 – Scenery. I love photography or landscapes and such, so of course I also like scenery on book covers. Good Job: Every DayThe Maze Runner.