Why? Whyyy? WHY? (Basically, me whining)

Cinder

 

Look at it. Look at it. 

Pardon my use of bold and italics, but I’m in a state of extreme over dramatics right now, wherein everything I say and do is five times more hyped up than it needs to be. But, even acknowledging that…IT’S JUST NOT FAIR.

This is the third time I’ve checked, in the second local bookstore I’ve gone to, for Cress, the third book in the Lunar Chronicles series, and it’s never there. I just want to know what happens. Please. Please, world, you can’t leave me hanging like this. You have one copy of Cinder left. You have several copies of Scarlet. But never, ever any copies of Cress. 

And yes, I could be proactive and say, go to another bookstore that is known for having a wider selection of books. Or, I could, say, order it online. Maybe I could stop writing this blog post and just go to the bookstore online and reserve a copy, waiting the necessary seven days or so for it to come in.

Maybe.

But the truth is, I’m just too lazy. I’ll walk every day to the bookstore looking idly for a copy of Cress, but I won’t take the three minutes it would take to reserve my own copy online. Why is this? Honestly, I’m not sure.

One theory of mine is that since I just *have* to keep checking the bookstore, I get to keep *accidentally* buying replacement books. Seriously. In the quest for Cress, I’ve found myself with Fangirl, The Secret History, Throne of Glass, We Were Liars, Sharp Objects, and Mockingjay. Guys, this is bordering on a problem. I think a big component of it is that right now, I don’t have a library card, because I’m in the process of finding a new library. In the resulting book famine, I just can’t control myself.  It’s like I’m Becky from Confessions of a Shopaholic, and I’m filling my head with these awful delusions that if I just keep looking for one book, then the rest of the books I’m buying aren’t actually real. But my wallet says they are real. Oh so wonderfully, terribly, beautifully, achingly real. I know this, and yet I still find myself wondering into the bookstore much more often than I can afford. I guess love really is blinding.

But not literally blinding, you know, otherwise I wouldn’t really need to buy all of those books.

Anyways, at risk of rambling (and I know that I do too much of that as it is–I try to edit my posts down to spare you guys!), let me end this post with a question.

Do you find yourself buying books beyond the point of reason? What do you do to quell the urge to buy, read, buy, and read some more? Or do you just give into bookish lust with the reasoning that skipping dinner every night is just that worth it? 

 

 

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Blogging Break: I’ll Be Back Soon!

Hi, all. I know I haven’t been posting much. It’s been crazy preparing to leave America, and the free time that I have had I’ve been trying to spend with my family. Now, I’m finally heading out to England, and as I get settled in I already know that I’m not going to be posting much for a couple of weeks. Hopefully I’ll be back to scheduling regular posts in the very beginnings of September, once all the madness dies down a bit. On the bright side, I’ll probably be reading a bunch what with all the time spent in airplanes and at hotels that may or may not have wi-fi. So, with a tad of luck, September will bring many book reviews with it!

Wish me luck,

Erin

Sunday Funday: Week in Review (3)

Q: What kind of money does it take to buy a cow?

Ready for this? Ready? Are you sure?

A: Moola¹.

Since this feature is called Sunday Funday, I thought I’d open with that lovely joke. You’re welcome.

Anyways, this weekly meme is hosted by Girl in the Pages. If you, too, want to do your own Sunday Funday post then head on over to that page, and link up to her blog.

Life has been treating me rather nicely, lately. While earlier in the month I was fretting about my visa application and securing loans and all these other important, but slightly dull, processes, I now have my visa, got my loan, and am, for the first time all summer, free floating. Yay! I hope everyone’s own life is going great, as well. 🙂

Things I’ve Been Doing 

This week, I’ve mainly been reading, writing, and hanging out with my friends and family. I leave for my university (eep!) in less than two weeks, so I’ve been trying to spend time with those closest to me as much as I can. My friends and I wanted to take a road trip to the casinos right before everyone started to disappear, and much to my surprise, for once our plans actually went through! I studied the rules of black jack before I went, practiced with my friends beforehand, and walked into the casino feeling like I should be wearing shades as smoke wafted behind me, I was that cool. Then, I promptly forgot everything that I had learned, and just stared at the dealer, wondering if it was too late to smile and back away. Fortunately, there was a nice man at the table who was willing to mentor me and my friend a bit, and I actually walked away with twenty more dollars than I went in with. Of course, I then lost thirty on the slot machines, so not much of a victory there…not that I was expecting any winnings, though. Like Neil Gaiman writes in American Gods: “The secret is this: people gamble to lose money…They may brag about the nights they won, the money they took from the casino, but they treasure, secretly treasure, the times they lost. It’s a sacrifice, of sorts.” Still, I don’t want to make that many sacrifices when it comes to casinos. I think I’ll stay away for a while, yet.

Another fun thing I did was go see Guardians of the Galaxy. Parks and Recreation is one of my favorite shows of all time, and Chris Pratt as Andy is one of my favorite characters. That was the main reason I went to see the movie–I was interested in seeing how he did as a superhero instead of the lovable, child-like Andy. So, yes, I went for Chris Pratt. But now I’m getting excited for the next installment, and that’s just because the movie was awesome. I’m a big fan of superhero movies (aren’t we all?), and while Guardians of the Galaxy was no Ironman (because let’s face it, nothing will ever be Ironman), it was still massively enjoyable. It was way funnier than I was expecting, and Chris Pratt did, indeed, pull off his part as the Star Lord. I’m not ashamed to say that I was tearing up within the first ten minutes (why did the beginning have to be so sad?! My 3D glasses were all fogged up!) and close to doing the same in the last ten minutes.

Books I’ve Been Loving 

American Gods by Neil Gaiman. And now, Stardust by Neil Gaiman. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (a re-read). The Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series (re-reading these, as well).

This book was so good. And, at times, devastating.

(This book is so good!)

Blogs I’ve Been Loving 

www.divascancook.com

www.aladyinlondon.com

www.anotherafterthought.wordpress.com

Upcoming Plans 

Well, I’m off to London in only a little more than a week! And so, mainly packing. And more packing. And then once I’m done packing, I’ll continue packing.

Thanks for reading! Anything interesting happening in your life? Tell me about it in the comments! 

¹Taken, in case you were wondering, from an old book call Pinocchio Was Nosey by Roy Doty.

 

My Bookshelves

So, I’ve seen a couple of posts around the Blog-O-Sphere showcasing reader’s bookshelves, and since I really enjoy looking at other’s shelves, I thought I’d do a post showing my own.

I don’t know about anyone else, but reorganizing my bookshelves is a recurring phenomena. I can only go so long with the same book shelf layout. Over the years, I’ve organized my books by author, by title, by genre, and even by color. Usually, I end up reverting back to the last name of the author within the set genre. Since I have a fair amount of  books it can be a bit of a hassle getting them all lined up again, but it’s actually quite soothing to sit on the floor surrounded by hundreds of books, stacking them into pile upon pile. It takes me hours to organize them because I always get distracted by books that I haven’t read in a while, and the first page turns into the second which turns into the third–and you know how the story goes. (Haha, story. Get it…book…story? Sorry…that was lame.)

My Bookshelves

My Bookshelves: (From BL up, to TL, to TR then down to BR) 1. Literary Fiction, Horror 2. Fantasy Pt. 1 3. Action/Adventure/Misc. 4. YA Contemporary Fiction, Chick-Lit, Romance 5. Mythology and Fairy Tales 6. Humor, TBR, Books That Have No Other Home (So…like Hermes’ Cabin in the Percy Jackson Series) 7. Books written before 1950, children’s books 8. Favorite’s Shelf 9. Paranormal Romance/Dark Fantasy 10. Science Fiction 11. Books in Diary Form, Historical 12. Mystery, Fantasy Pt. 2 

These are my bookshelves from my latest organizational overhaul. (It’s funny…I’m a self-proclaimed and other people-proclaimed disorganized person in almost all aspects of my life. But my books are the one thing about me that I keep in tight running order. Even when my books are scattered on my floor, I still always know where they are.) Instead of an alphabetical variation which is what I normally do, I decided to just clump shelves by certain genres and organize in different stacks and sorts the books that belong to said genre. It’s the first time all my books aren’t just lined up spine-to-spine, and although I’m two months into liking it, I have a feeling I’ll switch it back to alphabetical and straight before long.

Favorite Books

Favorite Books

This is my favorite shelf of all my book shelves. Literally…it’s where I keep all my favorite books (only one book from each series). The newest addition on there is American Gods, which found its way there early this morning. I’m so glad somebody recommended it to me on one of my blog posts. I think that’s one of the great things about having a blog and interacting with other people–I’ve read so many awesome books that I might never have done if not for all of you. My favorite shelf is fairly constant, although some books find their way on after a second read through, and some books I eventually decide aren’t up to par compared with all the other books I love. But for the most part, they are my precioussssss, and I love them. Like, a lot. Like, my love is actually kind of destructive. I’m so sorry Jane Eyre. So sorry.

Anyways, those were my bookshelves! They’re no grand library, no magnificent, beautiful, soul-searching enclave of wonder…but they’re mine. I’ve travelled to different countries and brought back those books. I’ve visited countless Half Price Book Stores, Barnes and Nobles, and Books-A-Millions for them. I’ve read them by the pool, in my bed, lying on the floor, while on road trips, and when I’m feeling particularly fearless: in the bath (again, so sorry Jane Eyre!). They’ve been laughs at two in the morning, friends during my worst moments, and a source of inspiration, always. They’re home. And I’m so lucky to have them.

Do you have a favorite shelf on your bookcase? What kind of books are on it?

Do you have any cool ways of organizing your books? I could use an awesome new method! Let me know in the comments below! 

Sunday Funday: Week in Review (2)

With the end of the week comes a week in review, hosted by Girl in the Pages.  This is a fun meme that has you recapping the things that’s been happening in your life, whether book related or not. If you want to join in, click on the link above–it’ll take you to Cristina’s page where she explains what the meme is all about.

It’s summer time, which means I have a fair measure of free time floating around. That said, you’d think I’d be doing all these cool things and adventures, when in reality I’m just kind of milling around, drinking coffee at coffee places and reading books at home. Not that I don’t love doing those things, but they’re kind of a given for me, you know? I’ve done a couple of different things this week, though.

Namely: 

  • I made baklava. This dessert dates back to the Assyrians in the 8th century B.C., and consists of seven hundred thousand like twenty layers of phyllo dough, whose sole purpose in life is to dissolve into sneaky little shreds that are then deemed unusable until you go into rage mode and start tearing them into shreds on purpose. Between these layers go chopped up nuts, and lots of butter, before you bake it and drench it in honey sauce.

Even though I had a little trouble with it (I’m looking at you phyllo dough, and you, almost empty pot of honey) Baklava wasn’t as hard to make as I imagined it to be. And that’s saying something, because I’m no gourmet chef. Like, I’ve been baking more often lately, but that’s only because I like challenges, and cooking is somewhat of a challenge to me. Anyways, if you want to try your own hand at Baklava, the recipe I used was based on the one here: The Kitchn, with a couple of twists because I ran out of honey, and had to improvise…

IMG_2616

 

(This is the baklava pre-syrup, so it looks more glossy afterwards. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of the after version until several chunks were torn out unceremoniously.) 

  • I cut my hair. Well, not I personally, but I in a decision-making way. It’s now a little below shoulder length, and when I saw those huge chunks of dead ends falling to the floor, I had to summon the strength that every Gryffindor possesses. My friends! My memories! The long-haired time we spent together shall not be forgotten…and, truth be told, it will probably be back in a couple of months. But still.

 

  • Speaking of Gryffindor, when I’m bored, I take quizzes, and I was particularly bored at three in the morning last night, so I ended up taking a 150 question test that sorts you into your Hogwarts House. This test is one of the coolest I’ve found, because it’s so comprehensive, and bases it more off personality traits than ‘what would you do in this situation’ questions. Don’t trust me, though. Go take it for yourself, and tell me what house you were sorted into! I got Gryffindor, followed a little ways behind by Slytherin.(Harry Potter Quiz)
  • I also had to go get a shot this week. It went a lot smoother than I thought it would go. In fact, if you’re interested, this was the unofficial transcript:

Me: You must not embarrass yourself, Erin. Stop shaking. Stop that. And don’t make that face. Oh, no. The nurse is coming closer…oh, no…she has the needle with her. Oh, my gosh, that’s not even a needle. That’s a sharpened version of the Empire State Building. 

Nurse: Are you ready?

Me: Of course. I love shots.

Nurse: Okay, in that case, you’re going to need to give me your arm.

Me: The needle has to go INSIDE ME? This is worse than I could have imagined. Maybe I don’t need the shot…yes, I need it for my university, but does anybody really need an education? Maybe if I take laughing gas first, then I’ll be ready, and–

Nurse: Done.

Me: What? Preens. I’m so brave! 

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t that bad. But I was definitely anticipating the pain, and when the shot came, I realized that I’ve had more intense ant bites. I never know why I hype up needles to be more than they are; I’m not exactly new to pain. My brother and I used to play a game where we’d slap each other until someone gave, and that was considered fun, so I really should have no trouble, but what can I say?

After I was done, I decided to reward myself by going to the nearby Starbucks. I’m not that much of a girly girl, but you would not know that by my choice of drink. I introduce to you: the iced caramel macchiatto with two pumps of raspberry.

IMG_2606

 

(Order for the delicious fruity-caramel flavor. Instagram for the appearance.)

  • And finally, I ordered the newest Nancy Drew in order to indulge my inner-sleuth. (Warning: My inner sleuth was drinking coffee and drawing pictures on her wrist when the instructions on how to be a proper detective were passed out.) I always get super excited to play a new Nancy Drew game, but I love it more for the story lines than the actual solving puzzles thing. Usually I have the walk-through pulled up on my phone to sneak glances whenever I get stuck for too long. I can’t help it! I just want to know who the villain is, and what happens in the end! This means I usually blow through a Nancy game in less than a week, while my sister actually solves the riddles and ends up taking six or seven months, working meticulously on the game, taking the time to read the journals, use up every conversation line on the people, etc. Anyways, after the completion of Nancy Drew #30, I got to see a teaser clip for the next one. Which, can I say this: YES. It takes place in Greece, and it centers on the mythology of Hades and Persephone. I’m psyched out! I’m so excited I might not even use the walk through fifty percent of the time…maybe.

How has your week been? Done anything interesting or out of the norm or normal or not interesting but you want to share? Let me know in the comments below! 😀 

 

 

Sunday Funday: Week in Review (1)

Yay! I saw this cool meme at Girl in the Pages. It’s basically a fun way (hence funday) to talk about what’s happening in your life, apart from all that reading, of course!

Week Of: July 7th – 13th 2014

1. I finally submitted my visa application. So happy I can barely breathe. I always go overly cautious when I’m dealing with important documentations, so it took me longer than it should have to gather all the necessary materials and send this off. But I did, and now (hopefully) I’ll be able to spend the year in London as part of my study abroad program for my university. Travel is one of my favorite things in the world, and so I’m kind of freaking about this. So, seriously happy! Coming from a relatively suburban place, the chance to not just spend the year in a big city, but in a whole different country (and continent!) has me  dancing all over the place.

2. After two attempts at making macarons went less than ideal, I finally, finally got it right! I made chocolate macarons with chocolate ganache filling, and besides tasting great, they even look like real macarons! Just so you can compare the difference, here’s my second batch of macarons compared to the ones that finally behaved.

For anybody who has tried to make macarons before, they’re pretty fickle creatures, with the ability to go wrong at any small mistake, especially when you don’t follow the directions to the very letter (something I’m notorious for). After drying up about fifteen dollars in lost supplies, though, I finally got my act together! I think a pinch of cream of tartar was really what did the trick 🙂

IMG_2473 (My failed batch of macarons. They tasted ok, but were horribly wonky looking.) 

 

IMG_2481 (Macarons just out of the oven. They actually rose this time!) 

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3. Went to see Jersey Boys (movie version, not play). The movie was good, but not great. The beginning was a bit slow, and I thought certain parts were kind of choppy and could have been put together more smoothly. The songs were cool, though, and now I have the Four Seasons on replay on my Spotify lists. Oh, what a night!

4. Been watching Netflix. Alarming amounts of Netflix. ‘Nuff said.

What have you been doing lately? Having any fundays? Let me know in the comments below! 

Top Ten Tuesday: Blogging Confessions

Hello there! It’s Tuesday again, and with my least favorite day of the week comes Top Ten Tuesday–a bright light among Tuesdays. If you don’t know already, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. If you like lists, and you like books, then go on over to their blog and link up! This week, I only did my Top 5, because I don’t have that many blogging confessions, and it’s always good to keep a few secrets up your sleeve.

1. I think I overdid it a little at NetGalley

This is a confession that I feel like a lot of book bloggers will have, because what’s better than free books, especially ones that you can read before they’re released to the public? When I started requesting titles on NetGalley I got click crazy, and now I have a lot of books in my review pile, and my review ration is miserable because of this. Like awful. Like I’m not even going to put it here because of the shame. But I am planning on getting to at least 80% of those, so that my ratio will be on-par.

2. And speaking of free books…

That’s kind of the reason I decided to start a book blog. That sounds awful, right? 0_0

I just saw on this one site that if you had at least 30 followers you could start requesting titles, and I had a mini panic attack thinking about it. Books! Free! All I need is a blog and 30 minions followers! I thought it would take me months. But then I started my blog, and within two weeks, I had the necessary amount of followers. By that time, I realized two things.

One, that I might have started the blog so that I could review books (and end up getting ARCs), but I wanted to keep running the blog because I love interacting with people, venting my thoughts, and reading other people’s’ blogs.

And two: I completely forgot what site gave out free books for reviews at 30 followers anyways…

3. I feel guilty when I don’t post something for days at a time

My blog is really recent, and so maybe this will fade as time goes by, but I feel like I’m slacking if I go two or three days without getting a post up. But going a couple of days without positing is sometimes inevitable for me. Not because of an actual life or anything (ha), but because I’m easily addicted to things. Like, TV series. For the past few days, my life has been consumed with watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Office, and Parks and Recreation, with a dabble of Portlandia. So not a legitimate excuse, but isn’t that the point of excuses?

4. One day, I want to add a vlog to my blog.

Not a near daily thing like my written posts, but maybe a couple a month. I think it would be cool to do book reviews or bookish rants or just my thoughts with that kind of outlet. I would try terribly hard not to be boring, and I think it could be fun! But as of now, I’m not sure if (or when) this will become a reality.

5. I’m overly paranoid about what I’m sending out into the Internet 

Like, even the description of number 5. I’m pretty sure that ‘sending out into the Internet’ doesn’t even make grammatical sense, and I spent a minute just staring at it, head tilted, before I realized that I’ll just put my struggle right here, and it won’t matter if it’s wrong. But, seriously, it’s usually not even grammar I’m paranoid about. I’m a bit of a people pleaser, and I want people to like my blog and my posts, and I’m worried that one day, like, seven dozen people will start commenting about the awfulness of my blog, of me, and possibly of my dog. Really, I don’t know why, because if people did start commenting about how awful my blog and I am, I wouldn’t be that upset. I’d probably reply with something snarky and move on…unless it’s about my dog. Nobody messes with my dog.

So those were my bookish confessions. What are yours? Be sure to let me know in the comments! Because another bookish confession is that I love getting comments just as much as I love replying to them! 😀