When I’m Not Blogging or Reading I’m…

Today I thought I would dedicate a post to my life outside the blog and books. Believe it or not but I do more than read in my free time, granted not much, but still– there are different activities that shape who I am today.

1. Participating in Theater

I LOVE theater, especially the acting aspect of it. When I was about twelve I would write out plays for me and my sisters to perform in front of the family (I would always give myself the best parts). My mom would make it a grand event too, she invited the entire family and served appetizers and drinks while we sold our cut out tickets we made earlier that day. In seventh grade I performed in my first play at the community theater. My role was ‘Head Elf’ and let me tell you, I knocked everyone’s socks off.

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30 Day Book Challenge: Day 14

picsart_1375358545585Good evening fellow readers! So of course I found a new challenge to participate in the hopes of proving myself better than the last. I picked up this challenge from The Chronicles of Radiya and very much look forward to 30 consecutive (hopefully, gulp) days of blogging.

Day 14: Your Favorite Author(s) From Your Childhood

There’s absolutely no way I could choose just one, so my top three favorite are:

  • Lemony Snicket– Author of The Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Carolyn Keene– Author of the Nancy Drew Series
  • R.L. Stine– Author of the Goosebumps Series

Shall I explain why? (No? Too bad.)

Lemony Snicket— What I love about him is that he really understands what children want. They want fun and whimsical. They want something outrageous and funny. They want something they can count on again and again. The Series of Unfortunate Events does just that; his writing style captures the child’s attention with his mystery and alluding, we are constantly asking ourselves what happened to Beatrix? How does Lemony know so much about the children? Then of course you can always count on your favorite protagonists Violet, Klaus and Sunny to save the day from whatever concoction Olaf will cook up. It’s a matter of whether Violet will invent something, Klaus will remember something he read, Sunny will bite something or a combination of all three. As children you need that regularity and Snicket knows how to combine that with a whimsical element that makes for an excellent read.

Carolyn Keene— This woman created one of the best role models for girls of all time– Nancy Drew. Again, we see another master of knowing what the child wants, there are elements in Nancy Drew books, that we as readers can always rely on; Nancy Drew is going to get curious and there’s a big chance she’s going to get knocked out. Carolyn Keene writes her characters brilliantly especially our heroine, I mean who didn’t want to be Nancy Drew when they were younger? Whenever I was scared I would try to channel my inner Nancy Drew, knowing that she would be too curious and brave to face whatever danger lay before me. I love the series and I can’t help but admire the author that wrote it. Well done, Keene! (P.S.– Does anyone else play the computer games by Herinteractive? They are awesome and I can’t wait for the latest one, The Silent Spy, to come out)!

R.L. Stine— I was the biggest scardy cat when I was younger (okay I still am) so I don’t know what compelled me to pick up the first Goosebumps book, but once I did I was hooked. They were so fun and eerie at the same time. Once again, we could always count on an element in these books. Children were going to get themselves in a mess with a supernatural item and (maybe) get themselves out of it. What was great about R.L. Stine’s series was that he provided a wide variety within his Goosebumps series ranging from just plain silly to down right scary. I remember the scariest one I read about was a puppet that came alive. Just thinking about it scares me. He also made some of them interactive, you could make choices for the characters and depending on your choices determined the outcomes. What child could resist that? R.L. Stine will always be a happy memory of my childhood.

Who was your favorite childhood author? Did you have more than one? Share it below and happy reading!

How the Reading Taste Evolves

genreMy reading taste has evolved immensely since I started loving to read in the third grade. (Thankfully). Some of you may know that the reading bug hit me with Treasure Island, but I never pursued another book similar to that genre.

My obsession turned to children’s literature (appropriate considering the fact that I was in fact, a child).

I only read R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events and Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series. My mother would try to offer different choices but I just shook my head at her and pointed at the next Nancy Drew book to add to the shopping cart.

You see, my thinking was that since I loved these kind of books I couldn’t possibly like a different genre that wasn’t in any way similar to MY books. Why should I even try them out?

Don’t worry I moved on. I left elementary school for the scary and new middle school where there were no swing sets. My mother had been trying to get me to read Harry Potter forever but of course I would just say, “Why? There’s a new Goosebumps book right there!” She took me to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at the movie theater which convinced me to give the book a try. Low and behold, a new obsession was born.

My new obsession was fantasy

I hungered for Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia and the His Dark Materials trilogy. If it didn’t have magic, talking animals or dragons then it simply wasn’t a book worth reading. My mom would shake her head at this and I would shake my head back. She didn’t get it. She would read anything. But I was a one genre kinda gal.

So I survived middle school in one piece and moved on to the even scarier high school. My freshman year (please try not to judge me on this part) the Twilight fever hit.

New obsession: Paranormal Romance

Yes I am admitting to hopping on the train of the Edward craze. Soon after that I was reading everything that promised angst and love triangles. (Mortal Instruments– I’m looking at you). Simply because, love triangles were SO original and SO realistic and was made all the better if there was a mythical creature involved. “No.” I would tell my mother, “I don’t want to read that, I want to read this one about this girl who falls in love with this vampire.”

Which one, she would say.

Towards the end of my high school career I had to read The Kite Runner for my English class and was utterly captivated by the novel. I immediately went to my mom and demanded she read the book, “It will change your world,” I said, “Read it!”

She laughed.

Of course she had read The Kite Runner already and loved it so much that she not only owns it but also A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini’s other novel. But this isn’t why she laughed.

She laughed because here I was telling her to read a book. Telling HER! When she had recommended hundreds of books to me over the years and every time I would just stick up my nose at her and say no.

Needless to say, I got a taste of my own medicine.

I learned to broaden my taste. When someone recommended a book I would take the time to read it. As a result I have discovered a love for historical fiction, science fiction and classical literature. I’m also going to try horror very soon for which I am both excited and scared about, but nonetheless I’m going to try it, because my mother recommended it and she has never led me astray.

Every time my taste developed it was forced because of my stubbornness and snobbery. If my mother had never made me try other books I could still only be reading Goosebumps books today.

I’ve noticed that not only am I better reader for it, but I’m a better person for it too. My views on life have broadened dramatically and I’ve learned an incredible amount of interesting things that I never would have from Twilight.

Now, I’m not trying to take away anything from those genres. I still enjoy young adult novels, I’m just happy that along with City of Bones on my bookshelf I also have The Pillars of the Earth.

I also know that it’s perfectly okay for someone to only like one genre. As long as people are reading, we should be happy.

I just know that I am so grateful for all those times others broadened my reading taste. Does anyone else feel this way? Comment below and let me know! Happy reading!

15 Day Book Blogger Challenge

15-Day-ChallengeThis great idea came from the wonderful blogger of Good Books, Good Wine (what a great title). It’s as simple as following the challenge day by day– so here I go. (Oh how I have a way with words).

Day 1: Make 15 book related confessions:

1. The Harry Potter series is my biggest source of comfort.

2. My mom has been trying to get me to read Stephen King forever but I’ve always been to big of a scaredy cat. Yesterday I decided to add some of his novels to my get-to-eventually list. (If I have a nightmare I can tell you guys about it right)?

3. Fantasy is typically my favorite genre.

4. I didn’t think the Twilight series was terrible (please don’t hate me).

5. I would marry Will Herondale from, The Infernal Devices, in a heart beat.

6. I have 169 books on my Barnes and Noble wish list.

7. There are many children books I still love to read: Nancy Drew (the original series) and A Series of Unfortunate Events being included.

8. I have to finish a novel even if I hate it. (Often times this rule extends to a whole series).

9. The scariest book I have read is A Thousand Splendid Suns, because those terrible events still take place today.

10. After I finish a great book I beg my family members to read it so we can discuss it but they never do. (Part of the reason I started a blog).

11. I am scared to pick up a novel in which I am unfamiliar with the author.

12. Even though its typical, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite Jane Austen novel.

13. The first time I read a novel with the word “damn” in it, I told my mom so she could make sure it was age appropriate.

14. I have yet to read a book that was not better than it’s movie adaptation.

15. Reading is the only thing that can make me forget food.

Now that I’ve told you my 15 confessions it’s only fair for you to share yours, so tell me about them (even if you have to make some up– not saying that I did or anything like that) and have a wonderful day!

The Liebster and Inner Peace Award

liebster2You know, when I started this whole blogging thing I really wasn’t counting on anybody reading what I wrote. I just needed an outlet to express my creative frustration and knew that book reviewing was the route to go. Then people started reading and I got to share my favorite joy in life.

Now to my surprise I have been awarded the Liebster (means “dearest” in German) award and the Inner Peace (means “inner peace” in German) award by the wonderful and wise, Steve, author inner-peace-awardof the Imagineer-ing blog. (Go check out his blog this minute, it’s awesome, just remember to come back).

Thank you Steve, I am most honored to even be considered by you let alone nominated. Congratulations yourself on being nominated, you most certainly deserved it!

So there seems to be a list of tasks upon receiving the awards. They are:

  • list eleven random facts about me
  • nominate eleven bloggers upon receiving nomination
  • ask eleven questions the bloggers must answer upon receiving the nomination
  • answer the eleven questions you were asked when you were nominated
  • link back to the person who nominated you

(Someone likes the number eleven)!

Alright fellow book lovers, (as said in numerous action movies) let’s do this!

Eleven Random Facts:

  1. dinosaurssI love dinosaurs! Always have since I was little and now own all of the Jurassic Park series, Land Before Time series, Dinotopia miniseries and am always taping televisions shows that promises dino action.
  2. I am the least photogenic person in the universe– hands down. I don’t need words of reassurance this is not an insecurity its a fact I have resigned too. Very rarely I get lucky but most of the time the photo comes out as if I was posing for a circus magazine. (Actually its much worse than that).
  3. My feet are famously known for their freezing temperature. They are always cold. I’ve been to a doctor and nothing is wrong with me, I just have cold feet. (Good luck to my future husband)!
  4. I love to play tennis even though I’m not very good at it (requires hand eye coordination).
  5. spyroI’m kind of a gamer. I say kind of because I’m not one of those hard-core gamers, but I do like video games. My favorites are Spyro for Playstation, Zelda for gameboy and Nancy Drew for the PC. (When I say my favorites I mean the only games I play).
  6. I LOVE Disneyland. Seriously I believe it’s the happiest place on Earth. I know it’s always crowded and expensive but I don’t care what anyone says, Disneyland IS magical.
  7. wickedI have seen the musical Wicked three times, it’s my favorite musical (and I’m not just saying that because it’s the only musical I’ve seen).
  8. I’m an actress. Not professional or anything but I am involved in my local theater and enjoy it very much!
  9. I love to sing! No, I’m not good at it and no, I’m not just saying that, I’m terrible; but I’m always singing (often the wrong words to my sister’s frustration).
  10. I latch-hook. It doesn’t require any skill just patience and its very relaxing.
  11. Me getting ready to play Annelle in Steel Magnolias

    Me getting ready to play Annelle in Steel Magnolias

    (Get ready for a shocker). I’m not a natural red-head. I was born blonde, but now dye it. I was always a true red-head at heart though.

That’s eleven facts, now you know that I’m a dino loving, terrible singing natural blonde with cold feet. (Does it adjust your mental image a bit)?


Eleven Questions I was asked:

  1. Which would you prefer to possess– power or wisdom– and why? Wisdom, without a doubt it can take you infinitely farther than power ever could.
  2. What invention do you think has been the most important to Humanity? I’m going to have to say the internet– it has completely changed the way the world works.
  3. Which would you rather have– the ‘perfect’ body or the ‘perfect’ mind– and why? Well considering I already have the ‘perfect’ body (JOKE) I would go with the ‘perfect’ mind even though I don’t believe in a ‘perfect’ anything. Perfect, like beauty, “is in the eyes of the beholder”. I don’t think being the smartest is perfect but others might disagree.
  4. Do parents have rights over their children– or duties to their children? I’m a little biased since I have only ever had experience as a child, never a parent. I don’t believe parents have rights over their children as their children are human beings and should grow up learning to make choices. There is a fine line however, when the child is too young to understand the consequences of their choices. This is when parents should do their duties TO their children.
  5. Your child asks you: “I want to be a footballer but I want to be an artist too. My teacher says I have to choose one. What do I do?”– Whats your reply? Both. I would go speak to the teacher and explain quite nicely that my child will be doing both and if that didn’t work I would explain not so nicely. It’s instances like this that make children believe they have to fit into a stereotypical mold. It’s outrageous that a child would have to choose and my future child never will have too.
  6. You have the ability to write the greatest epic novel of all time– given a great deal of time– or you can write a hundred bestsellers in a few short years. Which do you do, and why? Everyone that knows me should be able to answer this question. I have plenty of patience so taking a great deal of time to write the most epic novel ever is no sacrifice to me. This is actually a secret wish of mine, to write an epic novel that means something. I want to write something beautiful and full of truths and it doesn’t matter one bit if it’s a best seller or not. 88ddfdc04181dc35bbd96a91a3a58d7a
  7. You can go to the swankiest, most expensive, top-ranked chef’s restaurant– cost no obstacle– or you can go to a small family place with traditional, all freshly made, home cooked food. Which one and why? Well, I’m a picky eater so probably neither. I would just go through the drive-thru at McDonald’s.
  8. Traditional animation or CGI? I grew up with traditional animation and even though CGI is amazing the traditional way will always hold a special place with me.
  9. Whats your favorite tree? What a great question! It’s the oak tree for sure because it looks like the perfect reading spot.
  10. A field, a bat, a ball, or school sports day? Which is most fun? Well even though I lack the necessary hand eye coordination, I would say the ball is the most fun because I love a good round of catch.
  11. Which: lying on a perfect beach beside a perfect sea or getting bramble-scratched and nettle-stung picking fruit with the family? I couldn’t enjoy the beach without my family so it looks like fruit picking for me! (Mom, you better appreciate that answer).

Great questions Steve, I am officially intimidated to ask my own. Now I get to nominate eleven brilliant bloggers. Please note said eleven bloggers that you are being nominated for both the Liebster and the Inner Peace award. In no particular order:

  1. Book Adoration (a dedicated book reviewer)
  2. Getting Rid of Boredom (always leaves you thinking)
  3. The Librarian who Doesn’t Say Shhhh…. (for setting the bar high for librarians)
  4. The Skeptical Reader (this girl is in the midst of college and still manages to write beyond awesome posts)
  5. The YA Book Blog (for being an expert in all things of the young adult genre)
  6. Wrapped up in Books (for incredibly thorough book reviews)
  7. Disquietus (for her obvious love of books)
  8. Books for a Delicate Eternity (she always participates in fun weekly memes)
  9. Books and Bindings (the girl KNOWS how to run a blog)
  10. Project Light to Life (she inspires me to be a better person every day)
  11. Ramblings of an Elfpire (she shares my love for Harry Potter– and has a great book review blog)

It’s my turn to ask the questions (*insert evil grin*)

  1. If you were forced to choose between going deaf or blind, which would you choose?
  2. (The dreaded deserted island question) If you ‘planned’ on going to a deserted island what five books would you bring and why?
  3. If you could aspire to be anything in the world, no matter your skill level, what would you be and why?
  4. What is your favorite time of the day?
  5. What inspires your creative side?
  6. What was a magical moment in your childhood and why was it magical?
  7. Name something on your bucket list and explain why it’s there.
  8. Do you prefer an e-reader or a solid book?
  9. Set aside reality, if you could only operate one, would you choose the brain or heart?
  10. Are you an ugly crier? (No shame).
  11. Name a person that makes you happy and explain why.

Alright I’m off to inform my nominees, have a great day and happy reading!

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