That moment when all the things you’ve requested comes in at once… yup. I have to pick up 10 things from the library today. Here we go!

What I’m picking up:
Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
The nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Ms. Marvel Vol II
Bitch Planet Vol I
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
UnWholly by Neal Shusterman
The Princess Bride (Illustrated edition) by S. Morgenstern
The Easy Vegan Cookbook by Kathy Hester

This doesn’t include the movies and TV series I have to pick up and already have at home!

What are you picking up today? How should I prioritize my list? Let me know in the comments below. Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fellow bibliophiles!

Life is What Happens While You’re Busy Making Other Plans

Hi all,

I’ve been absent – and I apologize about that. I didn’t mean to completely fall off the face of the internet. I definitely miss writing about the books I’ve been reading and I miss reading your posts. Ok, enough mush.

What Have I Been Doing All This Time:
Since we last talked, I had worked two jobs, then three jobs, and now back to two jobs. I made a huge change in my career and am now focused on libraries, whereas before I worked full-time for an online company. I’ve started taking classes to get an LTA, which is like an Associate’s Degree for library science. I’ve moved out of my apartment with my roommate, spent some time at home, and now own my very own condo (which I’m still unpacking and generally trying to be an adult)!

So, yeah. A lot has been going on.

What Hasn’t Changed:
Reading. I’m still reading and currently have read more than 50 books (51, if you will). While, I haven’t really been following the challenge I’ve been doing, I definitely haven’t put down my best friends.

What’s To Come:
I’m not going to lie. I’m not going to tell you that I’m going to write twice a week and they’ll be brilliant; they’ll be worthy of awards. I’m not going to do that to you. Instead, I’m going to be real. I’ll try to catch up with book reviews for the rest of this year (all 2 and a little bit months of it). I won’t promise that I’ll review all of them; and I won’t promise that they’ll be earth-shattering. I’m getting back into the swing of things. I just miss it – and I’ll be carving out time to write these posts and actually take notes while I’m reading, which I haven’t been doing (womp womp).

But You Miss Me So Much:
Check out my goodreads! Be my friend. Follow me. Whatever you feel comfortable with.

Let’s do this!!

Until next time my fellow bibliophiles!

2015 Reading Challenge: The Skriker by Caryl Churchill

Photo Cred: goodreads.com
Title: The Skriker
Author: Caryl Churchill
Series: N/A
Release Date: September 1, 1994
Publication: Theatre Communications Group
Medium: Paperback
Fulfills: A play
Finished Reading: March 28, 2015

About: “Premiered at the Royal National Theatre, this extraordinary new play by one of Britain’s leading playwrights combines English folk tales with modern urban life. In terms of its language alone, it is as exciting and challenging on the page as on the stage.
The play follows the Skriker, ‘a shapeshifter and death portent, ancient and damaged’, in its search for love and revenge as it pursues two young women on London, changing its shape at every new encounter. Along with the Skriker come Rawheadandbloodybones, the Kelpie, the Green Lady, Black Dog and more, till the whole country is swarming with enticing and angry creatures that have burst from the underworld.”

I was running through my list of things that I had to read for this 2015 Reading Challenge and saw that I had to read a play. One of my coworkers is a fabulous costumer for various theater companies around the Chicago area. My costumer-coworker immediately said I had to read The Skriker. She then went on a frantic search to find the monologue to get a taste what I was getting myself into. Alas, she couldn’t find it, but the next day I found this play in my work mailbox.

What the heck??

The cover really drew me in. Something about it being dark, but so alluring at the same time. Awesome.

I absolutely loved the whole concept. It sort of reminded me of something that would happen in the show Sleepy Hallow. I was waiting for Abby and Ichabod to make an appearance in one of these pages. After reading it, I’d love to see it performed. I’m curious and excited to see how they’d stage it and how they’d do some of the things described.

My costumer-coworker was absolutely right about the monologue. Talk about being quite the wordsmith. I wholly bow down to Churchill. This was ridiculous. She takes double-speak and stream of conscious to a whole other level. (One that I need to get on.) She doesn’t lull you into this absurd language and colloquial of the Skriker, but rather throws you right in and it’s either sink or swim. I loved it. I LOVE LANGUAGE.

My rating and why: I gave this one four stars! I read it and I really enjoyed it. While, I’m not 100% on every single thing that happened, it was just what I wanted. It was dark, gritty, sarcastic, and definitely right up my alley.

Your turn! What’s your favorite play? What reading challenges are you doing this year? Let me know in the comments below. Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fellow bibliophiles!

2015 Reading Challenge: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Photo Cred: goodreads.com
Title: The Magicians
Author: Lev Grossman
Series: The Magicians (#1)
Release Date: August 11, 2009
Publication: Penguin Audio
Medium: Audiobook
Voice Actor: Mark Bramhall
Awards: ALA Alex Award (2010), Goodreads Choice Nominee for Fiction & Fantasy (2009), The Kitschies Nominee for Red Tentacle (Novel) (2009)
Fulfills: A Trilogy (1/3), A book with magic, A book by an author I’ve never read before
Finished Reading: March 19, 2015

About: “Quentin Coldwater’s life is changed forever by an apparently chance encounter: when he turns up for his entrance interview to Princeton he finds his interviewer dead – but a strange envelop bearing Quentin’s name leads him down a very different path than any he’d ever imagined.
The envelope, and the mysterious manuscript it contains, leads to a secret world of obsession and privilege, a world of freedom and power and, for a while, it’s a world that seems to answer all of Quentin’s desires. But the idyll cannot last – and when it’s finally shattered, Quentin is drawn into something darker and far more dangerous than anything he could ever have expected…”

Before we get too involved in the book. Shout out to Bramhall. An amazing voice actor. Each character got a distinct voice and their personality was easily deciphered. Enjoyable listening experience with him behind the mic.

I love magic.

I can’t believe I haven’t read this book sooner. It’s right up my alley. Magic. Magic. Magic. I love magic.

I really liked Grossman’s take on how his version of magic is different than the typical magic that we think of. There are no wands. There are insanely intricate hand and finger movements with hard to pronounce incantations. These students need to be at the top of their class and still have that child-like wonder. I love how there’s different disciplines within the overall umbrella of magic. The physical kids are able to control physical things (duh), like fire or light spectrum.

So. I know I’m not the only person fangirling about the fact that these magicians were all fans of a book that focused on magic and a whole magical world. Does this mean that there’s hope to still get my letter to Hogwarts or a comparable school? I’m thinking yes.

The characters Grossman creates are all so beautifully flawed. They have the same worries, hopes, dreams, and inner demons that we do. The relationships between each of them is more than two-dimension. They’re so complicated and built on so many different threads of awesome. If you’ve read my previous reviews, you’ll know I get all weak in the knees for flawed characters and intricate relationships. *Swoon*

Throwing this out there: I love how Julia develops as a character. Since we’re focusing on Quentin, we don’t really get to see anything of Julia and how she’s progressing. We’re getting an outsiders’ view and it’s amazing. Each time we meet her in this book, I get more and more excited. She’s definitely the most interesting character and, for sure, my favorite.

I won’t lie, I was a little worried about the pacing of the book. They’re out of school before we’re even a quarter of the way through! There’s so much that could have been glanced over that I missed or should have been fleshed out. Never you mind, fellow reader. It all makes sense. The whole “we’re in school” section is just the basis for the actual story at hand.

HERMAHGERD.

I do have one small problem, though. Since I got this at the library, and as an audio, there were times when the disc skipped. There were several sections that I had to skip completely. Whole tracks! There was a point when I got out of the scratched up woods and all of a sudden there’s characters I don’t know. Like, who or what is Dint? Who’s Henry and Anais? I HAVE NO IDEA!

My rating and why: I gave this book four stars! I read it and super enjoyed it. At the time of writing this, I already have the second book on hold. (EEEEEEE!) Grossman’s writing is amazing. He throws in one-liners that grab at pop culture and make the read all that much more accessible as a reader. I believe this would to be real… and I’m waiting to take the test to get into Brakbills, the school (apparently that wasn’t mentioned before).

Your turn! Have you read this book and what did you think? What’s your favorite book or series with magic? Let me know in the comments below! Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fellow bibliophile beasties!

March Favorites 2015

Yup. It’s the middle of April and I’m just NOW getting to my March favorites. I feel like it’s the typing of shame right now. Well, instead of dwelling on my horrible timing, let’s get right down to it.

Fashion
I’ve always been really into hats, and this year I’ve decided to branch out and be more into a Kentucky Derby-esque theme. Big hats. One in particular I got at a place you wouldn’t typically think to look. The Icing. While shopping with my family, little niece included, we stopped in the Icing and I picked up two things – one being this amazing hat, which I wore for Easter Sunday.
It's a-me!
Yes, this is actually me!

I’d been meaning to get a new wallet for awhile, seeing as how my current wallet has decided to start ripping. And it might be because I like to shove as much as possible into it… maaaybe. SO! While on the high of finding this hat, I also grabbed this sweet wallet! I love all the space inside. There’s an insane amount of slots for your cards, window slots for your IDs and extra space for cash and change. I love it! Hmph. No image on the Icing site. But, what I love about this wallet, besides the size, is that it’s not one of those hard wallets. There’s some give, which allows me to stuff what I need inside and not have to worry about breaking anything.

Candles
Photo Cred: Bath and Body Works
Bath and Body Works is having their 2 for $22 sale on their collection of three wick candles. I didn’t go with their new Hawaiian line because that just really isn’t my style. Instead, I picked up Happy and Rainforest Gardenia. Both of these scents are amazing. They smell clean, light, and brighten up my area with that pop of color. I’m definitely looking forward to burning down these beauties.
Photo Cred: Bath and Body Works

Makeup Tip
My favorite makeup tip, for the month of March, is to put lighter colors, or shades, in the inner corner of your eye. I haven’t been getting a ton of sleep. The weather has been super gloomy. All these add up to a horribly tired look. Adding that pop of light to the inner corner opens up your eyes and makes you look more awake than you really are. It also makes you look more youthful and fresh. It’s a super easy trick that anyone can use!

Book
My favorite book for the month of March was… ok. I have more than one. This month was insane for insane (dammit, word choice) books. There were three books that I gave four stars! Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, The Magicians, and The Skriker (review will be out soon!) These are great books for so many different reasons, which I’ll go into more details in my book reviews. It was a great month for reading!

Food
Trader Joe’s Chocolate Covered Potato Chips. You guys. HERMAHGERD. This is the perfect combination of salty and sweet. This is… I can’t come up with words. I’m salivating as I write this right now. Just go. Go get yourself a bag and enjoy. They’ll be gone in one sitting.
Photo Cred: Traderjoes.com

That’s about it for March. We’ll be having an April Favorites before you know it thanks to my super late March updates.

What have you been loving for the month of March (if you can remember since it seems like eons ago)? Let me know in the comments below. Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my beasties!

Woke Up On The Bayside Of The Bed: Bayside Concert Review

Photo Cred: BaysideBayside.com
So, I went to this concert awhile ago. So long ago that I debated if I should even write and post this one. I decided to quit being a baby with my excuses and to start regularly writing again. Sorry to all my readers – a ton of stuff has been going on in my personal life. I might (miiiiight) break it down in a later post, but not here and not now. ON WITH THE SHOW.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015. Concert Day. Once again, the knight-in-shining-armor and I ventured out to see Bayside. This is our third time seeing them, and second time seeing them at the Concord Music Hall. Yes, it’s a week day. Yes, we had work the following Thursday. No, we weren’t going to miss this.

Before The Show

After picking up knight-in-shining-armor’s baby sister, we headed out! Concert started at 7PM, but since we’re super cool, we didn’t head out to the concert until 7PM. We got to the venue, no problems. We rolled up to the CVS next door where we parked before. There was a Parking Sign for the concert and everything, however, we were denied. APPARENTLY you were supposed to pre-pay online and APPARENTLY they were sold out. SOOOO we parked on the street. It was a whole ordeal with downloading the parking app and – well – it was a mess. But we finally got it all settled, parked, and ready to go.

Ok. The frisking is a bit much. And by that I mean, groping. But, for our safety… it’s ok…? When we got in Senses Fail had just finished their set. Good thing: we didn’t miss any of Bayside. We wouldn’t miss any of Bayside on our trip to the merch table. We were able to find a great spot to stand. Bad thing: We missed Senses Fail. We got our shirts and found a place by a pillar toward the middle-back. (This is when you know you’re old… no longer battling for the front.)

The Show

Bayside just has an amazing stage presence. They feed off our energy and we feed off theirs. This was the 15th birthday of Bayside and they told us multiple times how opening and welcoming Chicago has been. That it’s their second home. The set included everything from their LPs to their newest album, Cult. (Side note: followers of Bayside have often been called a cult because there are not a “ton” of them, but they’re very dedicated. My knight-in-shining armor is the perfect example with the Bayside bird tattoo’d on his forearm.)

Photo Cred: decalsplanet.com

Of course, after mentioning their admiration for the Smoking Popes, Bayside played “Megan”. Guys. It’s my song. You know, in movies or TV shows, when the crowd parts and there’s just a beam of light connecting two people and nothing else matters in the world? That’s definitely what happened during this song. Anthony Ranieri and I had a connection. (Yes, this is a fangirl moment. Deal with it.)

So. Since when did mosh pits get to be so lame. It seemed that most people were concerned with lifting each other up (literally) rather than running around and just being crazy. Guys. Let’s bring real mosh pits back.

After an awesome set, it was time for Bayside to leave the stage. BUUUUT – that just means it’s time for a great Encore presentation. We were not disappointed. A beam of light came on, but not pointed toward the stage. Confused, we turned around. There he was. Ranieri with his acoustic, right in front of us. The masses pushing through couldn’t get past us. We had prime positions for serenading. (More fangirl moments – I’ll just fast forward through.) After another beautiful moment between Ranieri and me, he met the rest of the band back on stage and brought the house down.

Until Next Time

I only got beer spilled on me once, though I’d been standing in a beer puddle the whole set. I had sweat, mine and the sweat of others. Raspy throat. Crazy hair. Smeared makeup. Elation.

I went to work the next day with the same concert grunge and the tour shirt I bought. I couldn’t be happier, nor more tired at work.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If you get the chance to see them live, do it. What if it’s during the week? Do it. Don’t miss a chance to rock out with these boys from New York. Do It.

What’s a concert you’d love to go see? Who have you seen recently? Let me know in the comments below. Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fellow rockers!