Bookworm Blogging, Not Books, Personal

200 Follower Giveaway!

200follows

I’m incredulous at the fact that I’ve finally hit 200 followers! I am so grateful to be part of this community and am so glad you’ve all chosen to join me on my blogging journey. To celebrate, I’ve decided to do a book giveaway! The prize will be any one book less than $20 on Book Depository. The giveaway is international, but only includes countries that Book Depository will ship to. In order to receive the prize, you have to be comfortable providing me with a shipping address.

There are several ways to enter! To earn entries you can follow me on twitter, tweet about the giveaway, and/or comment on this post. In order to officially enter, please use the rafflecopter information provided below. Good luck to everyone, and thank you again for your support! 🙂

Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Book Tags, Not Books

The Mystery Blogger Award

Thanks so much to Hannah for nominating me for this! Please go check out her blog if you haven’t already, she writes very good reviews. 🙂

What is Mystery Blogger Award?

“This is an award for amazing bloggers with indigenous posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.” – Okoto Enigma

Rules

  • Thank whoever nominated you and include link to their blog
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Nominate 10-20 bloggers you feel deserve the award
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

3 things about me:
1. Last year I got into baseball and this year I am officially a Big Fan of baseball.
2. My favorite animals are every single cephalopod.
3. I love pretty much anything having to do with cryptids.

My answers

What did you study at university or what trade did you learn?
I studied Psychology for undergrad, which I kind of regret and kind of don’t. I sort of wish I had ended up focusing on English or Gender Studies, but I’m also glad my life has brought me where I am now so I’m ok with how things turned out. 🙂

What was your favourite book growing up? And why?
This is so tough! I’d have to say the Harry Potter series, because I re-read it so much. I found it really easy to lose myself in the story and the characters and could stay up all night reading them even after I already knew what happened. My answer could definitely change depending on age, but as whole I think Harry Potter is the right answer.

If you could live anywhere, where would you?
This is also difficult because I haven’t had the opportunity to travel much. Ideally, I’d still like to live in Austin, TX someday. I have several friends there and visited once for a week. It was really lovely and I feel like I didn’t even come close to scratching the surface of what I could do there. I’d also love to have a rural home in New England someday, but only if I had a job where I didn’t have to drive anywhere in the snow! It would be nice to work remotely from a little house in the woods. 🙂

What is the greatest place you have ever been?
Again, I wanna say Austin, but more specifically: the Castle Hill graffiti park in Austin blew me away.

Which book recently surprised you? (Either in a good or in a bad way)
A Head Full of GhostsI borrowed the audiobook on a whim and ended up totally loving it. I listened to most of it in just a couple days. I didn’t have much in the way of expectations, so I ended up being completely blown away by how good it was.

I nominate:
Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog
Lilly @ Lair of Books
Ashley @ Thrifty Bibliophile
Destiny @ Howling Libraries
Jenna @ Falling Letters
…and anyone else who would like to do it! 🙂

My questions:
1. What’s your favorite animal?
2. What’s your favorite form of art, whether to create or to take in?
3. What’s the best inside joke you have with someone? Provide no context.
4. What’s your ideal vacation?
5. Who is your personal hero?

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Bookworm Blogging, Not Books

The Liebster Award [tag]

2018-03-20

Thanks so much to Alyssa @ Queerly Texan for nominating me for The Liebster Award! Alyssa has a great blog that covers a lot of topics, ranging from chronic illness to queer issues and more!

Alyssa’s Questions:

What is your favorite thing about the city/state/country you live in?

I love how old and historical a lot of the areas within Boston feel. There are a lot of cobblestone streets. It’s such a nice city to wander around in and I love going for walks.

How do you come up with ideas for new blog posts?

Almost all of my posts are book reviews, but my other posts are usually tags or wrap-ups, almost entirely inspired by other bloggers!

What song means the most to you?

This answer can vary a lot, but I’d have to say Home by The Dear Hunter. I was in a really bad place when I heard them play it live for the first time and it hit me on a level that surprised me.

What was your favorite game to play as a child?

Any kind of make-believe game. I’d always pretend I was an animal, or some kind of adventurer in the woods.

What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about you?

One time a small girl standing next to me pointed at me and said “WOW, you’re BEAUTIFUL” and it is probably one of the purest, most genuine compliments I have ever received.

What is a social justice cause you are passionate about?

There are several, but right now I’m working my hardest on learning more about racism, including how to fight against it as a white person.

Who is your favorite person to be around? And why?

One of my best friends, because he’s hilarious! He can always make me laugh and makes even the most otherwise inane days more fun.

Have you ever travelled abroad?

I live in the US and once I took a day trip to Tijuana, Mexico while visiting my great-grandmother in San Diego. I was about 12 then. My mom and I are going to Canada in a couple months, which will mark my second time ever out of the country. I actually only got my first passport for this trip, but I’m hoping now that I have a stable job and PTO that I’ll be able to plan a trip to Europe sometime in the next year or two.

What are you excited about this year?

Incredibly, we’re through almost four months of this year already! I’m really excited to go to FlameCon in NYC with a couple of friends in August and to go on my aforementioned trip with my mom. I’m also excited to go to a lot of baseball games this summer (I’ve been to two already this month!).

Would you ever want to be famous?

Only lowkey famous, like as a bookblogger maybe. I’m bad at confrontation and dealing with trolls (it’s hard for me to detach emotionally) and I know famous people deal with a lot of negative attention, as well as positive. I guess I’d like to have an influence and to be admired, but I also don’t want to live in a spotlight.

My nominees:

Wendy @ what the log had to say
Avery @ Red Rocket Panda
Anna @ reading peaches
Ashley @ Thrifty Bibliophile
Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Rules for if you chose to accept the nomination:

• Write about it on your blog and thank the person who nominated you. Write about their blog too.
• Display the award on your blog.
• Nominate 5 or 10 blogs which you feel deserve it.
• Let the nominees know that you nominated them.
• Don’t forget to create 10 questions for them to answer. Notify your nominees and provide a link to your post so that they’ll know what to do.

Questions for my nominees:

• What hobby would you get into if time, money, and energy weren’t an issue?
• How would you describe your “aesthetic?”
• What fictional universe (game/book/movie) would you most like to live in?
• What is your favorite thing about yourself?
• What is your favorite thing to introduce people to?
• What’s your favorite article of clothing you’ve owned?
• What’s the best Halloween costume you’ve ever had?
• What fictional character do you relate to the most?
• What’s the last text you sent?
• Do you believe in any paranormal creatures?

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Not Books, Personal

Unique Blogger Award 1 & 2

I was tagged for the Unique Blogger Award by both Steph and Rachel. 🙂 Thank you both so much!!

The Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you
  • Answer the questions
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award
  • Ask them 3 questions

Steph’s Questions:

What is the lock screen and home screen on your phone? (I’m just curious)

Lock screen is my roommate’s cat and home screen is… my roommate’s cat. Different pictures. I just love this cat a lot, okay??

What’s something you were really into/obsessed with when you were a kid?

HORSES. I was THE horse girl. Also books, obviously. 😉

What was the best birthday you’ve had?

Last year! I threw a party at my apartment and most of my favorite people were there and there was pizza and drinks and youtube karaoke and lots of laughs. I’ll cherish that party forever. 🙂

Rachel’s Questions:

Where’s the farthest place from home that you’ve traveled to?

Mexico! I went for a few hours once while we were staying in San Diego visiting family.

What is your favorite fictional relationship?  Either romantic or platonic.

Potential spoilers for Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom and The Raven Cycle ahead???

I am currently OBSESSED with Jesper and Wylan right now. And Blue/Gansey also destroys me.

What is one food that your town/state/country is known for, and do you like it?

My general region is known for maple syrup, and I love it! My dad had a sap house set up when I was a kid and we made our own from the trees in our backyard (we lived in the woods).

I tag:

Avery @ Red Rocket Panda
Ashley Rae @ Thrifty Bibliophile
Wendy @ What the log had to say
Destiny @ Howling Libraries
Danielle @ The Introverted Book Nerd
And anyone else who would like to do it. 🙂

My questions:

  • If you could have ANY (non-fictional) animal as a pet, which animal would it be? In this hypothetical scenario, there are no legal limitations and you are able to give them the best care possible.
  • What and where is your ideal vacation?
  • What is one thing you love about yourself?

Please let me know if you do this so I can see your answers!

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Not Books, Personal

Boskone 55 Day 1

Hey everyone, I went to my first SF/F convention last weekend! It was a pretty spontaneous decision. A few weeks ago I was looking at Tamora Pierce’s events page and noticed that she was slated to be at an event right here in Boston! I took a look at the schedule of events and between the awesome panels and Tammy being there all three days, I decided to get tickets.

I ended up going alone, which I didn’t mind at all. That way, I got to go to all the panels I wanted to go to and could take breaks whenever I felt like it. It was really nice! There was so much going on that I decided one blog post would not be enough. SO, for the next couple weeks, I’ll be doing a post a week about the convention! This post will cover my first day.

I left work a few minutes early so I could make it over to sit in on an interview with none other than Tamora Pierce herself. She was hilarious and had a lot of interesting things to say. She talked about why having publishers is helpful (“If I had to do all that stuff, how would I write?”), said that she is pro-fanfic (but doesn’t read them because she doesn’t want to accidentally steal fans’ ideas), and revealed how she creates such dynamic characters (bases them off of real people!).

Directly afterward, I went to a panel called Exploring Gender in Speculative Fiction. The speakers were Stacey Berg, Suzanne Palmer Julie Holderman, Stephen P. Kelner Jr., and Inanna Arthen. They discussed a lot of different pieces of media where the idea of gender, or a gender binary, is played with in some way. One of the ideas mentioned was that SF/F may be a safe place to explore things that could otherwise be considered strange or scary by some. Julie also said one thing that I particularly related to: “It takes an incredible amount of emotional energy to educate people about yourself all the time.”

I took a couple hours for dinner and relaxation before going to Evolution and Alien Psychology, featuring Stephen P. Kelner Jr. again. This was one of the most fascinating events I attended the entire weekend. Most of the discussion was based around evolutionary psychology and the potential impact of certain environments upon species. It was a lot of speculation, which I really enjoyed. There’s a lot to take into consideration for authors who are writing fictional species.

By then it was 10pm and waay past my usual bedtime, so I headed home to get a good night’s rest for the next day. I was already unbelievably excited, since the first day had been so much fun already! Next week I’ll be publishing my Boskone Day 2 post, so keep your eyes peeled. 🙂

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Movie Reviews, Not Books

Lady Bird [movie review]

Lady Bird Movie Poster

Lady Bird [2017] directed by Greta Gerwig
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
rotten tomatoes:
100%
Spoiler-free Review

I recently saw the previews for Lady Bird and knew it was something I was going to have to see. The scenes selected for the trailer made it look like a comedic, emotional coming-of-age film. Going into the theater I was very excited, and this movie definitely delivered!

I haven’t been a teenager for a little while now, but I found Christine (“Lady Bird”) to be an extremely relatable character, when I thought about myself at her age. She was awkward, naive, and certain she knew everything she needed to. Also refreshing is the fact that Saoirse Ronan actually looked like a teenager. Too often we see teenagers in media portrayed by much older adults, and it’s usually pretty obvious.

The whole film felt so authentic to me, from the settings to the actors. It felt like it was all pulled straight from real life. Usually I don’t love movies with slow-moving plots that are character centric, but this was so well-done that I didn’t mind at all. It did feel like it dragged on just a little too much, but maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, I highly recommend y’all give this a watch! It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in the entirety of 2017.

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Not Books, Personal

One Lovely Blog Award [tag]

I was tagged for the One Lovely Blog Award by the One Lovely Wendy (see what I did there? 😉 ) @ What the log had to say.

THE RULES:

-Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog

-Share 7 things about yourself

-Nominate others (up to 15)

-Include this set of rules

-Inform your nominees

1. I have three tattoos and I really, really, really want some more. My first was a truffula tree from The Lorax, my second was a bundle of lavender, and my most recent was a nautilus. I have three or four more ideas in my head, but I need to find the perfect artists AND save up some money!

2. I have lived in New England (USA) my entire life, but I haaate the cold and the snow. I have absolutely no cold tolerance and often compare myself to a small lizard — I just want to lounge in the sun all day.

3. I got into baseball over the summer and went to around 10 MLB games between May and October. My sister and I are talking about splitting season tickets for next year because we both go so much that it just makes sense.

4. Jurassic Park is my FAVORITE movie. I love the first three with my whole heart and thought Jurassic World was a travesty to the series, but fine as a standalone movie.

5. I loOoOoOove cephalopods so much (note the nautilus tattoo). My apartment is filled with cephalopod paraphernalia and I have an aquarium membership (also split with my sister). People usually give me octopus stuff for gifts and send me pictures of anything tentacle-related they see.

6.  I listen to podcasts whenever I’m walking somewhere and most of the day at work. I listen to a lot of podcasts. I can’t even tell you how much time I spend listening to podcasts.

7. I love snail mail. I love writing letters and sending people things and recently invested in a bunch of stickers to use for letters and cards!

I nominate:

Anna @ reading peaches
Rachel @ pace, amore, libri
Destiny @ Howling Libraries
Rachel @ Rachel Reading
Kathy @ Books & Munches

Movie Reviews, Not Books

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women [movie review]

Image result

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women [2017] directed by Angela Robinson
rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
cw:
homophobia, kink

Recently, I was scrolling through the Fandago app looking at current movies when this one popped up. I hadn’t heard of it and initially almost scrolled past, thinking it was just the new Wonder Woman movie, until the title caught my eye. I selected it and the summary read:

The unconventional life story of Dr. William Marston, Harvard psychologist and inventor, and the relationship between his wife and his lover, who became her lover after his death, that inspired the iconic super heroine Wonder Woman.

I was immediately intrigued. I hoped for a nice lbpq f/f relationship, and maybe a bit of polyamory. What I got was so much more than that.

I went to a matinee showing at 11am on a Sunday, and there were only a handful of other people in the theater. For the next two hours, I found myself wrapped up in the kind of story I never thought I would see on the big screen. The film is so much more than the blurb implies. In fact, that summary is actually kind of inaccurate. I would rephrase it as “[…] and the relationship between his wife and their lover, who remained together after his death.” 

This is not the story, as it initially seems, of a man who took on a lover and then left his lover to his wife. It is the story of a man who brought these two women together. I would argue that the relationship between the two women, Elizabeth (his wife) and Olive (their lover), began sooner, burned stronger, and was more important to the story the film told. Professor Marston did play a role and was part of their triad (a mutual relationship between three people), but the focus was much more heavily put on the women.

Y’all better believe I cried in the theater watching this. As a queer polya woman, this is the kind of representation I never thought I would see in a major theater, on the big screen. It was beautiful to see how deeply in love Elizabeth and Olive were, every scene between them had such incredible chemistry. And to see such a healthy, loving polyamorous relationship portrayed as just amazing. This may be my favorite film of the year, for these reasons.

There has been some talk of historical inaccuracy. I haven’t done a great deal of research, but there seem to be a lot of conflicting reports on the topic. I’m definitely reviewing this film through the lens of cultural importance and enjoyability and not as a documentary or a historical document of any kind.

All in all, this was just a beautiful film and I am so glad I got to enjoy it. It’s not doing very well in the box office, so I encourage you all to go see it and to support it in any way possible, to tell the film industry that movies like this are important, and are wanted.

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Movie Reviews, Not Books

Happy Death Day [movie review]

(Spoiler Free)

Although the majority of my content is and will remain book-related, I’ve been on a bit of a movie kick lately! So I thought I would share some of my thoughts on the movies I’ve seen. I also made an account on Letterboxd and I encourage y’all to join me if you’re interested! It’s kind of like Goodreads for movies, and I find it fun and interesting — you can rate and review movies, create lists of movies, and keep track of when you saw them.

Image result for happy death day

Happy Death Day [2017] directed by Christopher B. Landon
rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
cw:
(besides blood & death) ableism, fat-shaming, bi erasure

Now, I’m going to start off by saying that this isn’t a good movie. Don’t go into this if you’re looking for a cinematic masterpiece. Don’t go into this if you want a scary movie. Go into this if you’re looking for something goofy and fun. In my opinion, the best way to describe Happy Death Day is “Groundhog Day with cheesy horror” and if you like the sound of that, I’d say it’s worth a shot.

I had a couple of qualms with it, but I also wasn’t expecting a perfect movie. My biggest issue was probably the bi erasure–in the movie the main character sees another character watching a porn scene with two men in it, and then later says that he’s gay and doesn’t like women. Not the worst thing they could do, but kind of annoying. The love interest’s most redeeming quality ends up being… that he’s not a rapist. Kind of a low bar there.

I will say that there is a montage with Demi Lovato’s “Confident” that I just loved (I kind of have a thing for montages featuring great songs). I genuinely had a good time watching it. I laughed plenty, and find myself talking about it a lot. If this sounds like it’s your thing, I highly recommend you watch it. But if it sounds like something you wouldn’t like, I wouldn’t bother.

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Discussions, Not Books

Podcasts

Okay, so podcasts aren’t books, but I’d argue that they’re closely related! They’re kind of like audiobooks! Some tell stories, some teach you things, and some are just plain fun. For today’s post, I wanted to show y’all some of my favorite podcasts and learn what some of your favorite podcasts are!

Reading Glasses with Brea Grant and Mallory O’Meara
[discussion, education]

Do you love books? Want to learn how to make the most of your reading life? Join hosts Brea Grant and Mallory O’Meara every week as they discuss tips and tricks for reading better on Reading Glasses, a podcast designed to help you get more out of your literary experiences.

As professional creatives and mega-readers, Mallory and Brea are experts on integrating a love of reading into a busy lifestyle. Listeners will get help for bookish problems, like how to vanquish that To-Be-Read pile and organize those bookshelves. Brea and Mallory also offer advice on reader dilemmas. How do you climb out of a reading slump? How do you support authors while still getting books on the cheap? Where do you hide the bodies of the people who won’t stop talking while you’re trying to read? No matter what you read or how you read it, Reading Glasses will help you do it better.

My Brother, My Brother, and Me with Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, and Griffin McElroy
[comedy, discussion]

My Brother, My Brother and Me is an advicecast for the modern era featuring three real-life brothers: Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy. For roughly five-sixths of an hour each week, with new episodes dropping every Monday, the brothers McElroy will answer any query sent our way, each fielding questions falling into our respective areas of expertise. We operate like a streamlined, advice-generating machine. It’s both terrifying and humbling to behold.

The Adventure Zone with Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy, and Clint McElroy
[Dungeons & Dragons, fiction, comedy]

Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy from My Brother, My Brother and Me have recruited their dad Clint for a campaign of high adventure. Join the McElroys as they find their fortune and slay an unconscionable number of … you know, kobolds or whatever in … The Adventure Zone.

The Heart with Kaitlin Prest
[discussion, storytelling]

The Heart is a show about love, life, bodies and feelings. With rich sound design, intimate subject matter and a critical lens, the stories on this show ask the important question of our era: What is love?

Image result for stuff you should know

Stuff You Should Know with Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant
[education]

How do landfills work? How do mosquitos work? Join Josh and Chuck as they explore the Stuff You Should Know about everything from genes to the Galapagos in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

It might have been overdoing it two put two McElroy podcasts, but you should just be grateful that I didn’t put three now that Wonderful! has started. Anyway, these are just 5 of the podcasts I listen to, but I’d say they’re my favorites! I actually went to see My Brother, My Brother, and Me live on Sunday night and it was an incredible experience! What are some of your favorite podcasts?

Thanks for reading! You can also find me on Twitter and Goodreads.
(All logos courtesy of each podcasts’ respective website.)