Lists Galore (#8)

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(The above image is from My Future Listography by Lisa Nola)

Hello Readers!

Today’s topic is one that I think that we all think about from time to time. Especially when the lotto jackpot gets higher and higher.  Yes, today’s topic is about money. But not just money, what one would do with a lot of it.

Today’s topic is …

List of What You’d Do With An Enormous Amount of Money

Pay off any outstanding student loans – I think this is a no brain-er.

Buy, not one but two houses – one for me (obvs) and one for my parents. They’ve given me so much as is, and if I hand an enormous amount of money I’d like the chance to give them something.

Travel …. and travel some more – I have lofty dreams of traveling all around the world. But in order to make those dreams a reality, you need to have money.

I’d buy a L.A.M.B. handbag – this doesn’t sound like a big thing. But as much as I love handbags I don’t like to spend a lot of money on them. I have a ton of bags from Gwen’s Harajuku Lovers line, I have to from her Gx line, and I even have my prized L.A.M.B. bag. With an enormous amount of money I’d buy another L.A.M.B. bag simply because it would make me happy.

A rare edition of Alice in Wonderland – Everyone knows that I’m an Alice in Wonderland fanatic. I’ve been collecting various editions of Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass for I don’t know how long. I would treat myself to a rare edition of my fave book.

Go  see Sir Paul McCartney – Technically this is something I could potentially do the next time this legendary Beatle tours. But for really great seats you’d have to drop a pretty penny. With a lot of money I’d be able to do this.

Save for a rainy day – I know this is the boring answer, but it’s the truthful one. I’d probably save a good portion of that enormous amount of money.

So there’s my list, readers! What would you do if you had an enormous amount of money? Please share in the comments!

Lists Galore (#7)

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(The above image is from My Future Listography by Lisa Nola)

Hello Readers!

Today I decided to choose a topic which I may never really get to around to actually doing? Why? Well, if there’s one thing to know about me, it’s to know this: I am NOT an outdoors kind of person. I don’t like to lay out at the beach on hot summer days nor do I like to hit the snow slicked slops on cold winter days.

Todays topic is ….

List of Outdoor Adventures You Want to Have

Readers I am not promising that this is going to be a long list. Because I am not an outdoors loving girl, there are only four adventures that immediately come to mind. So here they are!

Camping ….

Now I’ve been camping before, probably about 20 + years ago or so. And it wasn’t a great experience. And I sometimes think if the experience had been better, I would have turned out to love camping. But sleeping on the hard ground with a leaky tent, with the rain pounding down didn’t make for a pleasure cruise for 10-year-old Nicole. Since then I haven’t camped. But I’d like to give it another go… and this time around I would not sleep on the ground in a leaky tent. I would opt to stay in the Catskills at Kate’s Lazy Meadow.  As much as I want to give camping another whirl I really want to go because Kate from the bang B-52’s owns Kate’s Lazy Meadow and I just know it will be filled with all sorts of kitsch!

Mule Ride ….

To the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I’m hoping to visit the Canyon later on this year, but truth be told I don’t think this is an activity I will actually participate in.  The thought of riding a mule ride down a steep and narrow canyon makes me nervous.  This may be an outdoor adventure that I may never get around to … but it’s fun to dream about.

Going on Safari …

I just think it would be awesome to see animals in their natural habitats.

Ride in a Hot Air Balloon …

And luckily there’s a company in near by New York that I can make this a reality … one day. The Champagne Balloon Adventures. Thinking about it, I can only imaging what the view would be.

So there you have it! That’s my entire list. What outdoor adventures do you want to experience readers? Please share in the comments below!

Arisa Vol. 1

Arisa Vol. 1 by Natsumi Ando

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Arisa and Tsubasa are twins who have been separated for the past three years due to their parents divorce.  At one point in time, the twins were close … so close they could practically read each others minds.

But three years is a long time not to see or talk to one another. So when they finally meet one day at a local park, Arisa and Tsubasa realize that twin connection is still alive and well! Getting to know each other, they realize that even though they are twins, they are very different.

Arisa is sweet and the center of everyone’s attention, while Tsubasa is fierce and passionate. But the one thing they both have in common is that they are both lonely. Even though Arisa is the center of attention, she carries the burden to keeping everyone’s secrets, even her own dark one. And then there’s Tsubasa, the Demon Princess, who seems to get into fights left and right.

To Tsubasa, Arisa’s life is near perfect – she has friends, a boyfriend, and everything a teenage girl could want. But when something terrible happens to Arisa, Tsubasa decides to figure out why Arisa is so unhappy.

Disguising herself as Arisa isn’t difficult, she seems to easily slip into Arisa’s seemingly perfect life.  Now on the inside, Tsubasa too quickly discovers that something isn’t right, and that Arisa’s life is far from perfect. Something, or rather someone named the King, is hell-bent on destroying everything and everyone who makes a wish.

Who is the King? And is Arisa next on his list?

Arisa Vol. 1, written and illustrated by Natsumi Ando, is a manga series opener that is full of mystery.

The writing that fills the thought bubbles of this manga is simple but strong. The words that fill this book capture and captivate. Twisted with hints of mystery – who is the king? And why is he so determined to make everyone’s wish come true – readers will easily get caught up in the story.

But Ando doesn’t rely simply on telling Arisa and Tsubasa’s story, she let’s her vivid black and white illustrations do that. Both bold and beautiful, Ando’s illustrations  are expressive. Readers fully see and understand every single emotion the characters are feeling.

I’m new to the world of manga, so I admittedly do not know much. But I know that I really liked this one. I liked that there was just enough mystery to keep me guessing, and that it made me excited to continue on with the series.

But with that said, there were a few minor things that I didn’t like. But I honestly think it’s because I’m new to the whole manga thing. The biggest thing that bothered me was the fact that I couldn’t tell Arisa and Tsubasa apart. I know, they’re twins … they’re hard to tell apart. But they are explained as not sharing the same hair color. Because of the black and white illustrations, that tidbit was kind of lost I thought.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book. And I think, especially if you are a manga reader, that you will really enjoy it too readers.

(Image from GoodReads)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Recently Added to My TBR List

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(The above image was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.)

Hi Readers:

After having just recently attended ALA’s Midwinter Conference in Boston, and picking up a few new books my TBR list has certainly grown.

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  • The May Queen Murders by Sarah Jude
  • Whisper to Me by Nick Lake
  • Love  & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
  • With Malice by Eileen Cook
  • The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith

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  • Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins
  • Unbecoming by Jenny Downham
  • Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer
  • The Haters by Jesse Andrews
  • The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

What new books have you added to your TBR list?

List Galore (#6)

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(The above image is from My Future Listography by Lisa Nola)

Hello Readers!

I’m really excited about today’s Listography post. I love to travel. I’m always thinking about all the places I want to see and explore one day. And I’ve been lucky – I’ve been overseas twice and have visited many states within the U.S..

Today’s post is all about unique places to visit ….

List of Unique Sights To Visit

For this post I enlisted the help of one of my favorite websites: Roadside America. This is a site that is dedicated to all those strange and unique sights within the U.S. . I decided to make a list of all the unique sights I’d like to visit, but I decided to list a unique sight in each state.

Without further adieu …

So readers, what unique sights would you like to visit?! Please share in the comments!

ALA Midwinter Recap

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Hello Readers!

Happy Friday!

Last weekend, I found myself in one of my favorite cities to visit — Boston! I’ve been to Boston before, and each time I visit I find something new and exciting to love about it. From the food to the sights and everything in between. Boston has so much to offer, and this past weekend it offered books, books, and even more books.

This past weekend just happened to be the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference. And I found myself in the midst of it all.

While I didn’t participate in any of the big, important meetings I did have an exhibit hall pass that allowed me to, not only pick up some new and exciting books, but also let me sit in on some panels and discussions.

I decided that the best way to approach this post is to break it down by day. Starting with ….

Friday, January 8th …

Mom and I packed up the car in the wee hours of the morning and started our four hour journey up I-95 North.  Even though – for me – Friday wasn’t a conference day I wanted to get up there relatively early. Why? I wanted to hit up Primark – a store that I discovered a few years ago when I visited London.  And I was super excited about that.

A few hours into the drive mom and I made a pit stop at Georgie’s – an old school diner in Connecticut.  I had been to Georgie’s once before, and knew that I would have to make it a point to go again. Heading up to Boston was the most opportune time! The atmosphere is charming, the service is great, and the food is simply yummy!

After our hour stop it was full speed ahead to Boston. It took us longer than either of us had expected (that’s what happens when you stop for an hour) but the perks of taking a bit more time was the fact that our hotel room was ready … early! Woot woot! We stayed in the financial district, which was about a 15 maybe 20 minute walk to the Boston Convention Center. Ideally I would have preferred to have stayed closer to the convention center, as to not to have to lug bags of books around.

But that’s what I get for booking a hotel a mere week and a half before the actual conference, right? Seriously though, the hotel we stayed at (The Langham Bostom) was beautiful, and I’d stay there again in a heartbeat.

After a few relaxing moments in the hotel room, mom and I immediately headed out to find Primark. It was closer than I had anticipated, and much easier to find as well. (For those of you who don’t know me, I’m not great with directions, and tend to get lost easily.)

Since this isn’t a clothes haul post, I will not go into detail about the items I purchased. After spending some time (and money) in one of my fave stores, mom and I at a late lunch and headed back to the hotel. Getting up at 3:30 in the morning was taking a toll on us.

The rest of the even I spent lounging on the comfy bed, planning the weekend that lay ahead of me. ALA weekend!

Saturday, January 9th …

Admittedly the bed was glorious … but the pillows not so much. (I think EVERYONE has heard me complain about them by this point.) Running on only a few hours of sleep and pure energy my girl goal was to find nourishment.

At the recommendation of our hotel, I found myself at Flour Bakery – a super cute bakery a few minutes from the Boston Convention Center.

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In Flour Bakery I not only found a comfy atmosphere full of other ALA attendees, but I found quite possibly the most delicious french toast that I have ever eaten. And the coffee was top notch too.

Fully charged, I was ready to tackle my first official day of ALA Midwinter. That is, I was completely unsure as to what to expect. The only book conference I have ever attended is Book Expo America, and from what I had been told the two conferences are completely different. And I quickly found out that they were.

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As soon as I walked into the exhibit hall floor I seriously had to stop and take a moment, and gather my bearings. Not sure what was what and where was where I immediately looked up! Each isle and booth was clearly marked, and this direction-less girl was happy about that.

Strictly by chance the first booth I stumbled upon was Macmillan’s booth. I was one of the fortunately attendees to pick up a copy of the highly anticipated Summer Days and Summer Nights. I’m still kind of shocked that I was able to get it.

From Macmillan I walked and wandered the floor at my leisure, picking up books that struck my interest (I was trying to show restraint people, I opted NOT to bring my trusty suitcase and instead only used my oversized tote — big mistake on my part).

Me showing restraint mean that within the first hour and a half my oversized tote bag was 3/4 of the way full!

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See!

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Saturday I was lucky enough to attended a few buzz panels where I had the chance to learn what upcoming books the publisher’s were excited about. I also went to Robin Talley’s panel where she talked about her latest book What We Left Behind and the importance of representing authentic LBGTQ characters.

It was a really great panel – Robin Talley was engaging and thorough. What We Left Behind was a book I wanted to read going into the panel. After, it’s a book I REALLY want to read.

Another highlight of my Saturday was that I met up with Nicole from Nicole’s Novel Reads. Nicole isn’t just a fellow blogger, but she’s a friend and my last Secret Sister! It was so great to take a break from the exhibit hall floor, grab a cup of coffee (or chai tea in my case) and just chat!

Soon after our break, Nicole and I headed in different directions and I soon called it a day. Between the lack of sleep, the high of the exhibit hall floor, and dragging not one but two bags around I was wiped out.

Day one of ALAMW16 was a success! Not only did I pick up some great, highly anticipated books but I also learned about what’s new and exciting. Beyond that I bumped into and chatted with some friends/fellow bloggers (like Andi from Andi’s ABCs and Sajda from Across the Words)

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Sunday, January 10th …

Once again … exhausted but ready for the day ahead of me. I knew that Sunday was going to be even more relaxed, even though I had more on my schedule.

Sunday I was planning on attending two signings and attending three or four panels.  The first part of the day I spent walking the exhibit hall floor, once again picking up some highly sought after books.

After meandering, chatting, and picking up some great titles it was time for the first panel of the day. Presented by Scholastic and Simon & Schuster they both discussed upcoming books that each publishing house is coming out with. It was a really great to see what the publishers are excited about, and to get a sense of what was coming up in the book world.

After the panel I took a break – to cool off (because it was super warm in the Convention Center at least to me), to grab some food,  and to take a minute to sit since my shoulders were starting to hurt as were my feet.

Before I knew it, it was time for another panel I wanted to get to but last minute I decided to skip it in favor of heading to my first signing of the day. I’ve been super excited about this signing so I kind of figured a lot of other people would be excited about too. And getting their early proved to be to my benefit – I was first in line to meet Jesse Andrews. This was great, and all part of my master plan since there was another signing I was super excited about getting to with not one but two authors – Anna-Marie McLemore and Ann Jacobus.

Being first in line really helped, I was able to get my books signed and chat briefly with author Jesse Andrews and was able to quickly make it to the other time with plenty of time to spare. After meeting Anna-Marie McLemore and Ann Jacobus (both of whom were super sweet!) it was time for me to call it a day.

Even though there was one panel I really wanted to go do, I decided I’d skip it.  I was so tired, like eyes drooping tired. I took a taxi back to my home away from home and chillaxed for a few hours – waiting for the rain to pass so mom and I could find some place to eat for dinner (we ended up back by the convention center at a Mexican restaurant).

My last day at ALAMW16 was a success in my opinion. I got to chat with both friends and publishers, grabbed some books, made it to some fantastic signings, and of course took in some great panels.IMG_2069(1)

Before ending this post I just want to take the time to say Thank You to ALA for putting together such a great conference, to the publishers/publicists for being so kind, so friendly, and so generous, to the authors who signed books and even more books. The weekend was a blast, and one that I’ll remember for a long, long time.

For a full list of the books that I picked up at ALAMW16, check out my Goodreads shelf.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2015 Books I Meant To Get To and Didn’t

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(The above picture was taken and altered by me for the purpose of this post. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish)

Hello Readers,

I know I’m not alone in this boat. We all have books that we’ve intended to get around to, but just didn’t. For one reason or another, we haven’t read them year. And in 2015 I had quite a few of those books. So many that they are actually weighing my boat down.

All of the books listed are books that I’ve wanted to read in 2015. I want to read them for many reasons.  Some because I’ve heard a lot about – good, bad, and indifferent.  Some books because  I’ve been told I’d love. And still, some because I’ve been downright curious about.

So why haven’t I read them yet? Well, because time has gotten away from me. And quite frankly I’ve slacked off in the reading department. But now that 2015 is over, I’m sad I didn’t get around to them. So much so that I am trying my best to get to them in 2016!

TTT

  •  All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  • Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett
  • The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy
  • The Distance Between Lost and Found by Kathryn Holmes
  • Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius
  • Anything Could Happen by Will Walton
  • Proof of Forever by Lexa Hillyer
  • Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

So readers, what 2015 books did you want to read but didn’t squeeze in? Please share, I’d love to know what’s on your reading list!