Fantasy · Sci-Fi · Uncategorized

Top 10 Tuesday: Doctor Who Edition

Since The Broke and Bookish, who typically comes up with each week’s theme, is on brief hiatus, I’m doing something a little different for this week’s Top 10 Tuesday. Instead of talking about books this week, I’m going to talk about a few of my favorite moments from Doctor Who instead.

*insert TARDIS sounds*

Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead – This two-parter was my very first exposure to Doctor Who ever and for that reason it holds a very special place in my heart. Silence in the Library introduced me to some of my favorite characters: the 10th Doctor, Donna Noble, and Riversong. In the episode the Doctor investigates a planet that is the biggest library in the universe, (A LIBRARY PLANET!!!) only to discover that the library is completely devoid of people and has been sealed shut. There he meets a strange archaeologist named Riversong, who seems to know everything about the Doctor even though he knows nothing about her. 

The Eleventh Hour- This was Matt Smith (the eleventh doctor)’s first episode and it was absolutely brilliant. It was impossible not to fall in love with his performance as a quirky, playful, and youthful iteration of the Doctor, especially given he had such big shoes to fill after David Tennant’s departure. 

Blink- This was one of David Moffat’s best episodes and interestingly enough the Doctor only played a minor role. In the episode we encounter a young woman named Sally Sparrow who receives a mysterious message on the wallpaper: Don’t Blink. The message is from the Doctor, warning Sally to be aware of the Weeping Angels, alien angel statues with the ability to send you back/forward in time. 

Doomsday- The 10th Doctor and Rose’s final moment together on the beach before they had to part ways, separated by different universes forever, was such a tear jerker. I can’t even…*bawls* 

Vincent and the Doctor- Amy and the eleventh Doctor travel back in time to visit Vincent Van Gogh and help him combat a monster that only he can see. 

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances- Another prime example of Moffat’s early storytelling. This two-parter brought the ninth Doctor and Rose back to the London Blitz where there is a child in a gas mask terrorizing the city. It was creepy as fuck. 

Human Nature/The Family of Blood- The Doctor and Martha are stuck at an all-boys school, with the Doctor believing that he’s a school teacher. For some reason he can’t remember who he is. It’s up to Martha and the school nurse to help him remember before a sketchy ass student and an army of possessed scarecrows kill everyone. 

Adult · Book Reviews · Books · Fantasy · Fiction · Young Adult

Vacation Reads Update

Happy Tuesday!…Wait, it’s only Tuesday? Ugh. Jet lag is kicking my ass this week. Aren’t you supposed to feel rested after you go on a vacation? :\

Back before I left I did a post on the books that I took on vacation with me. Not surprisingly, given the couple of long traveling days, layovers, and hours spent in the car, I was able to make a nice little dent in my TBR list.

11235712My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I remember when this book came out, back in 2012. I was still working at the library and everyone was raving about this book. I’m pretty sure we didn’t even have any copies on the shelves for months, because it had a reserve list a mile long. At the time I read the blurb on the back and thought “Meh.” Young adult Cinderella meets cyborgs. No thanks!

As I have since gotten over my prejudice against YA novels, I decided to finally give this book a chance and see what all the hype was about. I breezed through most of it while in transit to Canada. It was an easy, but entertaining read. The story wasn’t overly complicated, but had enough surprise twists to keep you guessing. I enjoyed it and plan on checking out the second one to see what happens.

~~~

1215032

After finishing Cinder I jumped into The Wise Man’s Fear, which is the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicle series. I haven’t finished it yet,  but I can tell you that it is definitely living up to my expectations. I’ve had a hard time putting this one down the last few days. I really hope Patrick Rothfuss puts the third book out sometime soon. I don’t know how I’ll be able to wait for it!

I also knocked out a few more chapters of Talking As Fast As I Can. It’s been a slower read for me, but fun nonetheless.

Blogging · Books · Uncategorized

Oh Canada…

We’ve finally reached the end of our week long stay in Canada. (Technically, I’m still at the airport, but I don’t usually count travel time as “vacation.”)

First off, I will say that Banff and Canmore were both gorgeous places. I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere as awe-inspiring in my entire life. I’ve been in the mountains before, but seeing the mountains in North Carolina and climbing a mountain in Canada are two very different experiences. In addition to the mountain scenery, I also walked alongside waterfalls and a most majestic blue lake. At times it felt like I had stepped out of the real world and into the pages of one of my books. It just didn’t look real. 

That being said, I can’t find it in myself to lie to my readers. My week in Canada, albeit beautiful, was difficult. I went there with my boyfriend and his family, which had me slightly on edge to begin with. I’ve been around his family before, but not for extended periods of time, so I was a little unsure of what I should expect. In addition, I had already gone into the trip knowing that I would be a bit out of my element, as they are all really into hiking and outdoorsy activities, whereas I am not. (My idea of “hiking” is typically no longer than 3 miles and on somewhat even terrain.) The majority of our trip was spent hiking up steep hills, 7-10 miles at a time. I was worried about this from the get-go. I really wanted these people to like me (and didn’t want to ruin my boyfriend’s vacation), but I had no idea whether or not I was capable of doing that kind of strenuous physical activity. 

After spending a long (sleepless) day traveling and arguing over bedroom arrangements, we decided to start off our first real day there with an exhausting 10 mile hike up to the Plain of 6 Glaciers. I did pretty well for a couple of miles. It wasn’t exactly fun, but I was keeping up and thought I might actually be okay…

Then shit hit the fan. Halfway up the mountain we reached a large, unexpected expanse of ice. There wasn’t much of a foothold and we were at a 45 degree angle. I made it a few steps out onto the ice and then I froze (no pun intended). My brain failed me at that point and my anxiety took over. I began to cry. Halfway up a mountain. In front of my boyfriend’s mom and his kid. And at least 10 strangers. So much for thinking I would be okay. 😕 (Pictured above is me at the top of the mountain, post-embarrassing freak out.) 

The few hiking adventures I went on after that weren’t as bad or terrifying. Still reeling from my humiliation, I did my best to trudge along and try to keep my cool. For the most part, I did okay. I was still uncomfortable and in pain half the time, but at least I was able to keep the panic at bay. 

The most enjoyable part of the trip was when I went off by myself to explore downtown Canmore. That’s where I found the cool bookstore I mentioned previously, plus some other really fun shops and places to check out. Most of our meals were cooked at home, but at least when I went off by myself I was able to check out some local Canadian food and beer. (Pictured below is the amazing poutine I had with duck bacon and truffle oil. 😍)

It wasn’t all terrible. I really did enjoy certain aspects of the trip, but truthfully I am happy knowing that I will be back home in a few hours. 

(Bonus picture: LOOK AT THE AMAZING GRAVEYARD BOOK SHIRT I GOT AT THE BOOOSTORE.)

Books · Uncategorized

Cafe Books in Canmore 

Good day from Canada! I am currently sitting in a gourmet sandwich shop, mooching off the wifi and eating something delectable. I am out on my own today, exploring the streets of downtown Canmore. I plan on writing a longer, more detailed post about my trip to Banff towards the end of the week (Spoiler alert: it’s breathtaking here), but in the meantime I need to tell you about today’s discovery. 


In the middle of downtown Canmore lies an adorable independent bookstore called Cafe Books. (The cafe part refers to the quiet little tea room that lies adjacent to the bookstore.) It’s not a huge store but the selection is perfect, ranging from new fiction to arts and crafts to current affairs, with a little bit of everything in between. They also carry a selection of book-themed merchandise, like t-shirts and jewelry. 


I spent a good hour wandering around Cafe Books and probably would have stayed longer if my stomach hadn’t started growling. I almost dare to say that I may have liked the shop more than my other favorite indie bookshop in Asheville. I think I may have to go back one more time to make the final call. 

Adult · Books · Fiction · Young Adult

Banff Vacation Books

We are headed to Banff, Canda tomorrow morning (in the wee hours) for vacation. After contemplating what books I should bring with me I have finally decided on these particular four.

  • Because You Love to Hate Me by various authors
  • Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

I probably won’t get to read all of them, but as I am currently in the middle of two of them, only bringing only one additional book along seemed like a risk.

Here’s to hoping that these will keep me entertained and relaxed during the trip.

Blogging · Books · Uncategorized

Wave Your Weird Flag!

As part of his 365 day challenge, James wrote a post yesterday on what makes him a “weirdo.” I wasn’t even halfway through his post before I realized that I had to accept his challenge and write about my own weirdness.


I accepted the fact that I’m a weirdo a long time ago. There have been periods during my life when I tried to hide it and just wanted to be “normal” like everyone else, but that ship has long since sailed. Being the same as everyone else is boring. None of the people that are close to me are normal by any means. If they were I probably wouldn’t find them as interesting or want to hang out with them. If I was normal they probably wouldn’t want to hang out with me either. Being weird just makes life more interesting.

So, let’s talk about a few of the things that make me weird 🙂

  • Sleeping with a blanket at all times – I have to sleep with some sort of blanket/covering over me at all times. I don’t care if it’s 90 degrees and the air conditioner is broken. I’m still sleeping with the damned blanket.
  • My random fear of ladders – I don’t have a fear of heights. I pole dance in my spare time, meaning I regularly hang upside down from the top of a metal pole with no mat underneath me. Ladders though? You can’t pay me to climb higher than the first step on a ladder. I can’t even explain that one.
  • I make weird faces all the time – I randomly make goofy faces at people all day, simply because I enjoy it.

  • Tearing my food into pieces – I tear  a lot of foods apart into pieces before eating them. (Sandwiches, breads, granola bars, cookies, bananas, etc.) For some reason I am physically incapable of biting into a cookie or a banana. I have to break it apart with my hands first and then eat the pieces. Yes, sometimes this makes a bigger mess than it would be to just eat it normally.
  • Costumes! – I love making and wearing costumes. I would wear costumes all the time if it was appropriate. I make/wear costumes for my dance shows, Halloween, the Renaissance Faire, and this adult/exotic club we go to periodically. We need more costume-themed bars and restaurants so that I can just go out in costume all the time.

~~~

Do you consider yourself weird? Do you embrace it or try to hide it? 

Blogging · Books · Favorites · Fiction · Uncategorized

Shelf Evolution

original

While perusing my beloved bookshelves last night I noticed how many different kinds of books I’ve collected over the years. The majority of them are either fantasy or classic literature, but there’s a smattering of everything else mixed in. Some are books that I will continue to read over and over again; others I will probably never revisit, even though I enjoyed them at one time.

I love seeing diversity on a person’s bookshelves because it gives you a glimpse into how they’ve changed over time. My own shelves are a reflection of this.

I enjoyed the usual suspects as a young girl: Dr. Seuss, Curious George, Amelia Bedelia, The Berenstain Bears, Fairy Tales (the Grimm brothers and Hans Christian Andersen), Roald Dahl…to name a few.

By late elementary/early middle school I was interested in mystery/horror type books. That was when I discovered R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series, Face on the Milk Carton, and Flowers in the Attic. My mother was a fan of Sandra Brown and Mary Higgins Clark at the time, so I read whatever books were laying around the house. Middle school was also when I first discovered the Harry Potter books.

I didn’t really read much “young adult” in high school. Truthfully, I don’t even remember there being a YA section at the bookstore back then. (Wow, that sentence makes me sound like an old fart, doesn’t it?) There probably was one somewhere, but I never really looked for it. I had a more varied taste in literature by this time, which school probably influenced somewhat. That was when I started reading classic novels, Shakespeare, and Poe. I also read whatever the big sellers were at the time – James Patterson, Mitch Albom, Nicholas Sparks, and Dan Brown. (All of which make me cringe now.)

College was when my tastes started leaning towards what they are now. I fell in love with historical fiction and fantasy. (My exposure to fantasy had been limited prior to this. Had I discovered the genre earlier I believe I would have been hooked.) I rediscovered fairy tales and the modern re-tellings of them, which over the past 2-3 years has opened my eyes to the world of young adult literature. Authors like Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Terry Brooks, Sarah Maas, and Colleen Oakes have found their way onto my shelves and I know they won’t be leaving any time soon.

Some people keep the same tastes in books throughout their lives. Then there are people whose tastes are constantly changing. To me, it seems pretty indicative of what we are going through in our lives at the time. I used to read mysteries because I was bored with life and was looking for more thrill/excitement. Historical fiction helped teach me about the world during a time when I was looking for more culture. (I didn’t have the money to travel.) Now, with all the ups and down I’ve been experiencing the past few years, fantasy helps me escape from reality when it’s just too heavy.

Even though my preferences have changed over the years, one thing has always remained constant: Books have been there for me, as a friend and form of therapy when I’ve needed it. Sometimes, even when I don’t realize I need it.

~~~

How have your book preferences changed over the years?