A Simple Reflection On Friends

There are a lot of things I could write about today. TV shows that are starting up; current events; new books that are out; the upcoming holiday season. Mucho mucho stuff to write on. But as I sat down to write, I knew I’d write about my friendships. Just because.

I like that you can count on your friends to know you and to want to make your days better. I’ll give you two instances.

1.  My super ninja librarian friend (get better soon, lady!) has a love of British television (although she has not gotten into Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman which I JUST DON’T GET!!!). There are many things that we share in common, namely books and an irrational, nay, unhealthy love of the movie Brown Sugar with Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan (RAP COACH!!! That one’s for you, pal.) Plus, we still act like we’re teachers even though we’re not technically teaching in the classroom. But once a teacher, always a teacher. Anyways, she knows me so well, and she wanted somebody to share in the silliness, so she introduced me to British comedy Miranda, starring Miranda Hart from Call the Midwife. If you haven’t watched it yet, and a) are awesome; b) enjoy farcical comedy; c) need a reason to laugh uncontrollably at a ridiculous woman (who actually reminds me of myself quite a bit…I’m one bad day away from creating my own ‘vegeta-pals’ – scary), then this is the show for you. My friend and I can now share this show and I’m so grateful to have a person who just ‘gets’ me. It’s a beautiful thing to be understood like that. And yes, I’m waxing poetic about the connection a television show has given me with my friend. Don’t judge me. As Miranda would say, “Rude!”

2. My other friend, my best friend since junior high school, is another person who can make my day in very small days. She called me the other day and asked if I was home. When I told her yes, she merely said, “Ok,” and hung up. Not five minutes later, she called again and told me to open my front door because a surprise was waiting for me. What I saw had me laughing at the utter silliness of it all (I think you’ll learn that we can be great friends if you have a touch of the silly in you…I’m easy that way). What did I see there that made me giggle? Let me explain…My friend and I have been watching the Outlander series on Starz. I’ve read the books, she hasn’t. She was at work one day and found a website where you could make a “Pocket Jamie”. She was bored and so she proceeded to print out, cut, and laminate a bookmark sized Jamie Alexander Malcolm Fraser and drove over to my house to put him at my doorstep. She has since created a twin. I fully intend on making him my Elf on the Shelf this year and sending her pictures of him to show her how much I enjoy her gift. Now why is this a big deal? Because after so many years of friendship, we are still those two twelve year olds who met on bus going to Six Flags. She is still one of the people that I can share anything with, whose family has become my own, and who will understand and share in my hobbies. It is sometimes scary how she can text me when I’ve been thinking about something I want to share with her. Have you seen that saying on Pinterest or Tumblr or somewhere that states something like, “If other people overheard your conversations, they’d think you belonged in a mental institution?” That’s us.

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I am blessed to have these ladies, and others, in the silly sphere I call my world. (Silly is the word for the day, I guess). I am grateful for them, and hope that others are just as blessed.

Book Feelies…the good kind

What are book feelies? In my world, it’s usually the collection of various feelings you get as you’re reading a book that is just fantastic. You get the book feelies when you’re reading something that simultaneously makes you think, wonder, and feel a lot of different things. Now, the last time I posted I mentioned a list of new-to-me books I was going to read. Wellllllll, I have yet to read them. But I have a good excuse! In their stead, I read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan and The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.  Can I just say….book feelies, people. Major book feelies. And here’s why.

1. These are both debut novels. As in, they are the first published works of both writers. THAT BOGGLES MY MIND! They are so good in vastly different ways. I went from the ultra-fast, uber modern landscape of Google territory in Sloan’s book to the mysticism and novelty of the Ellis Island frontiers. The knowledge, not to mention research, that went into these works of fiction was no small feat, and the writing is stellar in both. I have the highest respect for the writers and can honestly say I await their next works with bated breath. 

2.  I was immersed in the worlds. More so with The Golem and the Jinni because it had more of a magical realism element that is right up my alley. I’m a girl who loves her fairy tales, legends, and folktales…A LOT. 

3.  I was envious, in the good way – the way that shows how much respect and admiration I have for these authors. I get the book feelies when I find myself thinking I wish I could write like that or I wish I had written this. Again, based on my preferences, I found myself more swayed by Wecker’s book. She masterfully laces together a fabric of legend and history, not only of two characters, but of several, and when you look back by the end of the last page, you can’t help but wonder, “How did she do that?” Because, truly, it’s beautiful. 

So, in conclusion, dear friends, I have a reason for not reading the other books yet, and I wouldn’t trade these book feelies for anything because it’s been awhile since I’ve felt them. It makes me love the written word even more than I already did, it it’s at all possible. 

The end. For now. 

Girl Walks into a Bookstore

I am so uncool. I went to Barnes & Noble during a lunch break (thus breaking my Thou Shalt Not Visit A Bookstore Commandment – why do I have this? Because, folks, I am a book floozy and I can be had very easily for the price of a book. I have no willpower. Sure I can tell myself I’m only going to get one book, but who am I kidding? Not me, that’s for damn sure. So, I get too many books, my bank account begins to complain and it just gets sad. Anyway, this has turned into a long sidebar, so I’m going to move on. Follow me outside of the parenthesis). 

Like I was saying. I went into the bookstore looking for Volume I of Raymond E. Feist’s ‘Riftwar Saga’ entitled Magician: Apprentice. I’ve been wanting to discover a new Sci Fi/Fantasy writer (I’ve read Terry Goodkind and George R.R. Martin and I need another series in this genre). I mistakenly got the second book in the series, thus breaking the commandment that states Thou Shalt Not Read A Book Out Of Order. So I took the plunge and went into that bookstore. Want to know what happened? Four books. Four books is what happened, and you know what? I’m counting that as a win because it could have easily been 5-10 books. 

I’m determined to find a new Sci Fi/Fantasy book/series that I like/love. Then I took a detour into Thrillers/Mysteries. It was a strange day. I didn’t even go into the romance aisle ONCE. So, here’s what I got.

 

1. Raymond E. Feist’s Magician: Apprentice

2. Robin Hobb’s Dragon Keeper 

3. Preston & Child’s Fever Dream

4. Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None

 

This has officially become a reading challenge since I have not read any of the works written by these authors. I will record my thoughts here as I go. 

But again, four books! That’s pretty good, right? I’m really just trying to rationalize here. 

 

What Fictional City Should You Actually Live In?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/what-fictional-city-should-you-actually-live-in?bfpi

It’s been awhile…

I always mean to write a post, and then I don’t. Well, here I go.

I found this fun quiz about what fictional city you should live in. You get a selection of questions and have to answer them. I don’t know how some of the questions have any bearing on where you should live…lol, one of the questions asks which Justin Timberlake song is your favorite. What?! How does that make any sense?  Anyway, it’s fun. A little fun for the end of a weekend, not unwarranted, I think.

Enjoy:)

Calling Out to All Romance Readers…Help!

Ok, maybe my title is a little misleading…I don’t have a severe emergency. HOWEVER, I do need some help. We are officially in holiday mode, people! For me, that means all things holiday-ey. I’ve written before about how I love holiday movies. Add to the list holiday music, holiday crafts and activities. (I’ve recently succumbed to an ornament addiction…I don’t want to talk about it. I can stop whenever I want. Honest!) But as a romance novel devotee, I love me some holiday romance literature.  This is where you come in.  I need suggestions! I may have read some of the holiday offerings already, but chances are I may be turned onto books I’ve never read before.  I would love suggestions for new books to read.  If you think you can help, please post in the comments section. 

Thank you!

“Cat Ladies, Sex Kittens, and Romance…” I am intrigued

http://bookriot.com/2013/11/11/cat-ladies-sex-kittens-romance-rest-us-interview-sarah-maclean/

I am anxiously awaiting Sarah MacLean’s third book in her “Scoundrels” series. It’s due out later this month, so I’ll have a satisfying read with that extra piece of pumpkin pie…That I shouldn’t eat…But will…Then feel bad because I wasn’t supposed to…Then say, “to hell with it.” It’s a crazy dialogue that goes on in my head, people, and that’s all I can say about it. Don’t judge me.

But back to the book.

If you haven’t read any of MacLean’s stories yet, I suggest you do so immediately. I know what kind of books I like, and in romance, I stick to specific writers because I know I’ll like what they write, and I feel invested in the worlds they create. Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Lisa Kleypas, Julia Quinn, Jennifer Crusie, Mary Jo Putney and Mary Balogh. The list goes on. But because I get carried away with reading every single thing those authors have written, I sometimes find myself with the tough task of having to search through the bookstore racks to “discover” new authors (as if I’m going to see them in a mall, and say, “Kid, I’m going to make you a star!” That’s not how it happens, I know, but in my head, that’s how most movie stars get made. Does it make sense, no. Is it fun to imagine pre-famous movie stars in malls, yes.)

But back to the book.

I found Sarah MacLean by going to the Avon Romance website avonromance.com, where MacLean posts regularly. So I read her books. The Rules of Scoundrels series revolves around a group of men who are not your run-of-the-mill London gentlemen, thus the scoundrels part. I’ve been waiting for the third book, and soon I’ll be able to catch up with all the characters that I’ve come to invest in.

Anyway, this tangent of a post is really just a way to share an interview of Sarah MacLean’s where she (eloquently) lets everyone know you have a right to your guilty pleasure books, and there is no need for them to be “guilty”. Make honest women and men of them, why don’tcha? I liked the interview, so anyway. Here it is.

Veronica Roth’s ALLEGIANT

http://www.bookish.com/articles/allegiant-spoilers-gif-reaction-best-moments-veronica-roth

I just finished the book. My Super Librarian friend (that’s my new name for her because she’s like a superhero, or a ninja, only better because her job deals with books) told me that there was some hullabaloo over this third and last installment of the series. I wanted to read for myself before finding out what said hullabaloo was about. (Tangent: Hullabaloo is a fun word. We don’t say it nearly enough. That, and shenanigans.)

Apparently, many people are not happy with certain things that happen in the book, or the handling of some technical and literal aspects. I’m not here to sound off. Instead, I want to share this funny compilation of gifs that a blogger posted on Bookish.com after reading the book. They’re amusing and I associated with some of them. If you want to read, just click on the link above.

OH! And beware – there are SPOILERS aplenty at this site, so if you haven’t read the book yet and plan to – wait to read this.

Malala Yousafzai – Girl Wonder

Malala Yousafzai, the teen activist from Pakistan who was targeted by the Taliban for speaking out for education rights for girls, stuns Jon Stewart into silence. Frankly, she did the same for me. She is incredibly poised, intelligent, and has an innate integrity that is rare in one so young. I wanted to cry in delight that she is alive and thriving; I wanted to cry in anger at the injustice of the world because so many other girls and boys are not thriving; and I wanted to cry because she moved me. This young woman could have simply gone away. She could have been so traumatized by the events that transpired the day she was shot, that she no longer wanted another person to so much as look at her, much less know her as the face of advocacy for education for girls in her country and internationally. And yet, she has turned her tragedy into a platform to speak her truth, to reach out, and to promote change. To encourage a dialogue, as she stated in this interview. I simply had to share.

Buzz, Buzz, Buzz…it’s 1943!

Buzz, Buzz, Buzz…it’s 1943!

I just wanted to share my love for the Apple Sisters. I was listening to their podcast today, like I do every once in awhile, and found myself laughing for the umpteenth time. If you’ve never heard of the Apple Sisters, then please check out their website. They’re three musical comediennes who form an Andrews Sisters sort of trio on their podcast, with the premise that it is 1943. You’ll hear plenty of references to the war, popular music, and FDR. FDR has made a few appearances, specifically a memorable one on Thanksgiving. FYI, he likes to dance. The humor is sharp, and often absurd, which I love, and their voices harmonize well. The Halloween podcast is particularly ridiculous and fun. Also, they have a YouTube channel where you can watch their Holidoozy Christ-mess Spectacular, that ends in an unexpected, but touching, way.  I won’t ruin it for you, but there’s an off-script moment for one of the performers that I’m sure she’ll remember for the rest of her life. 

Anyway, just thought I’d share my love of the clever and humorous. Happy Thursday, all.