TV Talk: What I’m Watching

So, I love books THE MOST, but TV is my second favorite. It’s been a while since I’ve been super excited about the TV I watch–mostly because I’ve been busy, but also because there weren’t a lot of shows that were must watch for me. However, I do have a smattering of shows that I have on rotation, so here they are (in order of season pass priority) with a little about how I feel about them.

True story: I used to actually organize my season pass list in order of importance, but now I just add stuff and reorganize if anything overlaps.

Also, writing this list helped me realize why I’m always behind on TV. Apparently, I have thirteen shows in rotation, and I’m still looking to add more. Good grief.

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Top Ten Books about Friendship

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is FREEBIE, which means anything goes. And where did I decide to go? Friendship, one of my favorite topics.

However, before I go any further, I must thank my friend Jasmine for the post idea. Thanks, Jasmine!

Links go to my reviews!

1. Holes by Louis Sachar — You know what lifts a curse that’s affected two families for several generations? Friendship.

2. Big Mouth & Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates — Matt gets accused of being a school terrorist, and Ursula is the only one who knows deep in her heart he didn’t do it. And, lo, a friendship is born.

3. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein — “It’s like being in love, discovering your best friend.”

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Winter 2015 Mini Bloggiesta

BloggiestaI didn’t plan to participate in this weekend’s mini bloggiesta, yet here I am doing little things around my blog. So, this is me, making it official.

My to-do list:

1. Make my front page easier to scroll by adding “read more” links to the posts on the front page. (This one was inspired by my students. We did our blogging lesson, and a couple of them said how hard it is to navigate blogs with really long posts on the front page and that it’d be better/more attractive if it was only a preview.) √

2. Change 2014 to 2015 in my copyright widget. √

3. Change my theme. √

4. Schedule 2-3 posts. √

5. I have actually already read through skimmed some of the mini challenges, so I may go back and pay more attention to them–especially the meme and creative book reviews posts. √

Good luck to everyone on finishing your to-do lists this weekend!

UPDATE:

I finished everything on my list, including finding a theme that I’m happy with for now and scheduling two posts. New semester = new students blogging every week, and I plan to blog along with my students, so I’m glad to get a head start on that.

I’m already thinking about tasks I can accomplish for the next, week-long, Bloggiesta. Hmmm.

2014 End of Year Book Survey Part II

See my answers to Part I here. Questions still from The Perpetual Page-Turner.

Bloggish/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2014?

The most recent book blog I’ve discovered is Thoughts and Afterthoughts, and I am finding all the posts delightful. Joey has a great style. I don’t actually keep track of WHEN I find blogs to follow, so that’s why the most recent blog will always win.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2014?

Ugh, I’m not super in love with any of my book reviews this year. I think they’re all fine, but nothing stands out as a favorite. Skipping this one.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

5 Strategies for Reducing Student Email! Spring semester is about to start, so I’m really thinking about how to be as clear as possible in my writing so students can get their questions answered by the materials I provide.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I really had a lot of fun with A Month of Favorites. I found some new blogs to follow and actually posted some good content. Apparently, having predetermined topics to write about helps a lot because I can plan ahead.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

Marissa Meyer did a talk at our local library and part of the swag she gave away was some awesome postcards. Since my friend’s daughter is a fan, I got one signed for her, and mailed it to her. The effusive thanks I received for that surprise gesture really warmed my heart.

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2014 End of Year Book Survey Part I

Questions courtesy of The Perpetual Page Turner

Reading Stats

  • Number Of Books You Read: 80
  • Number of Re-Reads: 2
  • Genre You Read The Most From: realistic fiction

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

I gave the following books five stars on Goodreads:

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page — I could only make it halfway through this book, alas.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn — I figured out the plot twist, but I was not prepared for the batshit insane stuff that happened in that book.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

I convinced my book club to give Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple a go. They did not like it, unfortunately.

5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

The only series I started that I’m interested in finishing is His Fair Assassin by Robin LaFevers. Oh wait! I forgot that To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han has a sequel coming out next year. Add that one on, too.

Best sequel would have to be a tie between Marissa Meyer’s Scarlet and Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Cracks in the Kingdom. Obviously.

Since Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan is the only series ender I read this year, it wins by default. I’m glad I liked it, though.

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Goals for 2015

This post is a Top Ten Tuesday/A Month of Favorites hybrid!

1. Forcing myself to post every week along with my students has really gotten me back into the groove/interest of blogging, so I’m going to definitely keep that up as much as possible in 2015.

2. I will keep not-reviewing every book! That worked really well for me. Goodreads for every book, blog for books I have lots to say about. Took off a lot of the self-imposed pressure.

3. I did not talk about teaching as much as I thought I would/wanted to, so I will probably try to do more of that.

4. I definitely want to create a header for my blog (or find someone to do it for me). I know exactly what I want, so it’s just a matter of doing it. Maybe during Bloggiesta?

5. I definitely need to do more discussion/opinion posts.

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Recommendation Wednesday (on a Monday): Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Let me just start by saying that I was going to recommend the WHOLE SERIES, but since I haven’t read the other books yet (except Cinder, of course), I don’t think that’d be prudent. I mean, there are five of them after all. But this book has effectively made me want to read every single word that Marissa Meyer writes in The Lunar Chronicles (and possibly beyond), so take that as you will.

Scarlet by Marissa MeyerNow. Let’s talk about Scarlet.

SCARLET. Oh, man. This book.

I honestly don’t know where to begin. So, a (non-spoilery) list.

1. The characters are so great. SO GREAT.

I found Scarlet herself infuriating in the best possible way. She’s so headstrong and determined and desperate, but she is also so caring and honest and FIERCE.

Cinder and Kai show up in this one, and they are just as delightful as they were in the first book. Also, [spoiler] Iko is back, and she is THE BEST, and I love her, so obviously that made me happy. [/spoiler]

Scarlet’s grandmére is so badass and amazing. She was a pilot in the military! She chases people away from her door with a shotgun! Also, she is the kind of person her granddaughter would absolutely die for, and she raised a complete badass, so, you know. Grandmothers, man. Also, I kind of love badass old people (see also: Grandpa Noirtier from The Count of Monte Cristo).

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A Month of Faves: Picking Favorites #3

A Month of Faves

So I really enjoyed all of the 5 Books I Almost Put Down and I’m Glad I Didn’t posts, so picking from one of those would be well nigh impossible. I would just say to check out the whole linky on that one.

As for the other topics, the stand out for this past week was definitely MG’s Christmas at Project Gutenberg for reminding me of such a great resource. I haven’t really gotten anything from over there since I read The Count of Monte Cristo, so I really could be getting way more use out of it. I tend to forget it’s there, alas.

Book Review: The Blood of Olympus

The Blood of Olympus by Rick RiordanWell, that was just delightful.

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan is the last book in the Heroes of Olympus/Percy Jackson series, and while I will miss the characters, I did enjoy this last installment.

There was much to like here! BUT. I will concede that the final battle was a smidge rushed, and I do wish we had seen a little bit more from all of the narrators. However, I know the latter would have been pretty impossible, and I do feel as though all of the characters’ journeys/narrative arcs were sufficiently wrapped up and satisfactory.

So, here is what I did like a lot:

– Reyna. I love her. She is proud and strong but also a little lonely.

– Leo. Of course. I love him. This is well-documented.

– Piper. GUYS. THIS IS HUGE. I spent most of the books in this series totally annoyed by Piper, and I actually really liked her in this book. I LIKE PIPER NOW. I am confused but also happy.

– Annabeth and Piper’s relationship. There’s a whole scene about how sometimes logic is best and other times going with your gut/feelings is best, and so the two girls learn to work together and trust one another and then they’re FRIENDS and COMRADES, and it gives me a happy.

– Oh, and also Reyna, Annabeth, and Piper get to pow wow and be amazing together as well. YAY FOR FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS! Yay for varied levels of badassery and acknowledgement of the different ways one can be a total badass.

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A Month of Faves: Picking Favorites #2

So I just need to accept that picking a favorite out of all the fantastic posts is going to be hard. There’s just too much good to choose from is the thing.

A Month of Faves

I’ll say the standout for me this week is Wesley’s 5 Favorite Travel Tips posted over at Library Educated. I’ll be doing some traveling next week, so those tips are right on time and handy. I especially need to remember to always have food. You’d think I’d know better by now. I mean, honestly.