Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Walking Dead Discussion: S5E15 Try (Spoilers!)



I thought there would be much more Noah mourning in this episode, but instead, everyone just goes crazy.

** Carl goes outside the walls just to run with Enid. They kill a few walkers and then hide in a tree. Sparks are flying. But Carl is crazy for just running in the woods with the walkers!

Hiding in three.
Dang this kid has turned out cute!

** Sasha sits up in the tower night and day, shooting walkers. Well, I guess she comes out to the woods now and then and shoots there too. Just shooting and shooting and shooting. Totally crazy!

** Deanna listens to Nine Inch Nails (no I didn't know that at the time but learned it later... and no wonder I wasn't much into that music!) to remember her son. Want to hear it? Click here!

** Michonne seems unsure about the whole being a cop thing, but she seems to be the only one still thinking clearly.

** Daryl and Aaron are going crazy because they are finding evidence of something really creepy happening beyond the walls that has nothing to do with the walkers.

Daryl and Aaron
A strange pair.

** And then there's Rick. So, he's ready to kill Pete. He comes onto Jesse trying to make her admit she needs his help. She finally says yes. Then Pete himself walks in. They start fighting each other. Rick knocks him out and then has a fit about I can't even remember now what all he was screaming! But it was very much crazy Rick! And then Michonne just walked up to him and knocked him out. BAM!
If that's not Crazy Rick I don't know what is!
The only Noah thing that happened was when Glenn confronted Nicholas and told him... never never go outside the walls again. NEVER. Nicolas says, are you threatening me? And Glenn says, no, I'm saving your life. Did I say I loved Glenn? Yeah.

So, compared to last week, this was a very tame episode. But we have one more and I'm guessing it's not going to be tame at all.

What did you think?


Getting to Know You: Dessert!

We're talking about favorite desserts today over at Jenni Elyse's blog! I did another collage and figured that there's really no explanation necessary. Enjoy!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Love, Lucy by April Lindner

Book: Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Genre: NA Romance
Rating:★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
For: Fun
From: the library

Short Synopsis: Lucy and her friend have been backpacking through Europe for a few weeks. When they come to Italy and her friend moans about getting a "room with a view" they end up kicking a couple of guys out of their room. Well, Lucy hooks up with one of them. . .Jesse! And has a whirlwind Italian romance! Her very own Roman Holiday. But then she has to go back home and start college, which her dad is forcing her to do. She loses track of Jesse and just when she thinks she has got her life all together, sort of,  he shows up on her doorstep.

My Response: Ah, it was lacking so much for me! I enjoyed the fact that it is set (some of it anyway) in Florence and Rome, which is cool, but other than that, I didn't take to it. I remembered her other books were re-tellings of classics, so I thought it would be fun to see which one this was. I had no clue through the whole thing and finally had to look it up somewhere. (I gave a very obvious clue up above!) But, it was lacking emotion. Like the romance was just. . .bam. With no emotion at all. I just did not connect. Maybe it was not a good book to read right after The Winner's Crime. Yeah. That was probably it.

Bottom Line: I suggest you skip this one. Sadly

Let's Talk About: Reading not so good books after really awesome books. Life is not fair to some books, you know? Has this happened to you? And your poor books?

Other Reviews:

A fantastic book with a perfect summer romance and the choice between a safe future and following your heart. From YA Book Nerd

I did enjoy the story, but Lucy annoyed me more than once with her immaturity. From Alexia's Books and Such

Vespas, cute boys, gelato, discovering your dreams, living your dreams, it's all in Love, Lucy. From Book Sp(l)ot Reviews

It was sweet, uncomplicated and relatable, especially as Lucy struggles to choose between a new love interest and the wild Jesse. From Write Meg

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Best Blogging Advice: Have Fun and Be Yourself!

As part of Bloggiesta week this time around, we thought it would be fun to have a linky going where everyone could link up a post they've written about the best blogging advice they have to share. Either something you've been told, something you tell everyone, or something you've found works for you. We'd love for you all to join us!

Please go here to the Bloggiesta page to link up and then click around to see the advice others are sharing today and throughout the rest of this week!

As for my advice, the thing that I say over and over and over again to new bloggers:

BE YOURSELF!


Everyone thinks... should I do this, or that or the other? Should I write only reviews? Should I participate in memes? Should do personal posts? Should I try to be funny? What if I'm too serious? What if I don't post everyday? What if I go weeks without posting? Maybe I don't like this or that or the other. Then what should I do?

Or.. maybe I have blog that says right in the title that it's all about books. But I really like music too. And movies. And writing. And The Walking Dead. Maybe I want to talk about "A Day in My Life" and share pictures and blather on and on about , I don't know, Josh Groban or something.

You know? Maybe that!

So, does that mean I stress about it?

No, I just do what I want, when I want, how I want, and have fun with it! No stress allowed.

And if I do get down, I can talk to people about it and vent a little maybe and share and find out that everyone stresses and that it's okay.

And then just keep having fun.

So I'll add to my advice:

HAVE FUN AND BE YOURSELF!


What's your best blogging advice? Link up over at Bloggiesta!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Review Discussion: The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Book: The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski
Genre: YA Fantasy- ish
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For: Fun
From: bought at Amazon

Short Synopsis: (Spoilers for first book The Winner's Curse!) This book starts up shortly after we left off the first book. Kestrel is stationed in the palace of the emperor and is expected to marry his son. To celebrate the engagement, everyone is invited to party. Guess who shows up? Arin, yep. And they are both hurting and Arin is not sure what's going on with Kestrel, but whatever it is, he knows something is up and he's determined to get it out of her. She is determined to never tell him the truth. Meanwhile, she starts spying for his country (by way of his assistant guy) and you know, maybe that's not such a smart idea Kestrel! Oh, and bad stuff happens with her dad. And bad stuff happens with other people too. Pretty much this book is all bad stuff.

My Response: It's a painful book, to be sure. But the writing is so beautiful that it almost makes up for all the pain it's putting you through! Arin and Kestrel only have maybe three encounters this whole book and each one just makes things worse! If only Kestrel would tell him what's up! And then when he figures it out on his own, it's one of those situations where you, as a reader, are so anxious for things to work out that you are closing the book to pause for breath. . .often! So basically, it's a great book! The characters are awesome and I'm fascinated with their whole situation. Be warned, the cliff hanger in this the second book is much worse than the one in the first book. Much worse.

Bottom Line: Read this series! Maybe wait until next year and then read all three at the same time!

Let's Talk About: Do you enjoy reading books that are painful? Like your heart is just breaking for what the characters are going through? Or is there a fine line between good heartbreaking emotion and emotion that is just too too much?

Other Reviews:

I can only describe this book in one word: AMAZING!! From Books with Bite

It’s fast-paced, intriguing, and held my interest from start to finish. From Proud Book Nerd

A ton of emotion. And a truly excruciating cliffhanger. I can't believe I have to wait a year for the final book! From YA Romantics

. . .absolutely phenomenal with twists, turns, and so many secrets! Two lovers who have to be apart and pay the ultimate price for the safety of an entire country! From Bewitched Bookworms

But the characters are everything in this series. They're well rounded and full of flaws. And their flaws cause major problems. From Read This Instead

Throughout the entire book there is so much tension and no reprieve. There was no moment to breathe or calm down.  From Kami's Library Thoughts


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bloggiesta Mini Challenge March 2015: Twitter Chat Tutorial



I feel sort of silly volunteering myself to tell you all how to Twitter chat. If you knew me in real life you would really find this hilarious! In a crowd, I'm very quiet. And what's more crowded then Twitter? And Twitter often makes me feel like I'm talking to myself (there are those days of exception were I think... wow! Twitter is the coolest place ever!) but then again there are those times, like during Bloggiesta or when I'm hosting a read along, or when I'm participating in some other event like Bout of Books or ArmchairBEA or the Dewey's Readathon where talking on Twitter is fun and easy! It becomes the hub of everything that's going on.

And then I wonder what we ever did without it!

So many times, though, when I host a chat for Bloggiesta, there are always many new-to-Twitter bloggers or new-to-chatting bloggers who are wondering what they've gotten themselves into!  And if I could peer into the computer I could see their eyes big and huge, glazing over in confusion and pretty soon their hands being thrown up in the air!

So I'd love to explain how I see this all working.

But before we talk about chatting on Twitter, let's talk about hashtags. I'm sure you've all seen this explained other places, but just in case, here's the scoop. A hashtag (or the pound or number key #) is a way for Twitter to filter the things everyone is talking about. They are used many ways. There are some very established ones (#amwriting comes to mind) where people use it to connect with other Twitter users writing/talking/thinking about the same thing. Other times, people make up silly ones, that go viral for a day and wow, you can find some pretty funny things! Let me see what's trending today.... #DitchYourDatein5Words. Hmmm... okay.

Twitter is especially fun during a big event. . . like a few weeks ago during the Oscars. If you clicked on the hashtag #Oscars2015 (or whatever it was I forgot now) then you could see everyone's reaction to what was going down on the TV in real time. It's a blast. (This only works with TV if everyone is watching at the same time. Most of the time we are all on different TV times, so then you have to beware spoilers if you do this!)

So, Twitter chatting is the very same thing, only we set a time where all meet and chat together with the purpose of having actual conversations. Remember:  You have to use the hashtag that's been agreed on (in our case it's #Bloggiesta) or else the people in the chat won't see what you're saying! This is because during the chat we filter everything else that's going on on Twitter so we only see that one hashtag. We do this using various different methods. Some of the most common ways:

  • Twitter itself! You can search for a hashtag and then click on it. Now you'll only see what people using that tag are saying. (Click here and you'll only see stuff about #Bloggiesta.
  • Tweedeck, which is an app where you can create many customized columns to see different things going on on Twitter at the same time
  • Hootsuite is very similar to Tweetdeck in that you set up all sorts of columns with the hashtags you want to follow.
  • Tweetchat.com where you can log in using your Twitter name, plug in a hashtag and then only see that conversation. 
  • Twubs.com, same sort of set up as Tweetchat but seems to have less bugs lately.
I'm sure there are many more, but these are the main ones that I'm familiar with and the ones that I see most people using. I've become a big fan of Twubs for chatting. It's easy, you don't have to set anything up, and it seems to refresh pretty fast, which you need it to do for chats!

The cool thing about these (except for using Twitter itself and now I think bout it, it actually might do this too!) is that they will plug in the hashtag for you, for the particular chat you are in at the time. Which is great because remember what I said about forgetting the hashtag? If you do, we won't see you!!! And it's a pain to type that over and over especially because the chats move so so fast, you can barely keep up with them as it is. 

Another thing most official chats are doing these days is using the Q and A format. The person hosting will ask a question using Q1 and Q2 and so on. This helps the question to stand out in all the stuff that's going on. Then everyone responds using A1 and A2 and so on. It just helps the chat be somewhat more organized. 

Other than that, there's really nothing to it! You just jump in and talk to people, respond to the questions, reply, retweet and favorite as you desire!


So my Bloggiesta challenge to you is this:
  • join Twitter! If you've been on the fence about this move, just do it. Do it now! And then come and chat with us.
  • if you've never participated in a chat, now's your chance. We have SEVEN Bloggiesta chats happening this week! SEVEN! Try it, you'll like!
  • if you have chatted before, but haven't used one of the above platforms, pick one and give it a shot. Let me know what you think!
  • if you are expert at chatting, then be sure to join us for as many chats this week as you can to help us keep the convo going. Also, you can volunteer to host one for next time!
  • comment here with your experiences with any of these challenges. If you're feeling shy on Twitter, let me know. I'll follow you and talk you through things!
Here's the Twitter chat schedule for the upcoming week. We have themed days planned, but of course, we'll pretty much talk about anything:

  • Monday March 23rd at 4:00 p.m. Eastern: PEOPLE: Giving and Getting Comments and Followers
  • Tuesday March 24th 7 p.m. Eastern: E-PRESENCE: Social Media Savvy
  • Wednesday March 25th at 12 p.m. noon Eastern:DISPLAY: Side Bars and Page Layout
  • Thursday March 26th at 9 p.m. Eastern: REVIEWS and Other Content Ideas (guest hosted by Jessica from The Bluestocking Society)
  • Friday March 27th at 9 p.m. Eastern: ORGANIZE: No Stress Allowed (guest hosted by Amanda from On a Book Bender)
  • Saturday March 28th at 2:00 p.m. Eastern: Books and Reading (guest hosted by Rachel Noel from Purple Owl Reviews)
  • Sunday March 29th at 3 p.m. Eastern: Feedback and Free for All

Also, I thought it would be fun to list past challenges on Twitter, especially if you are thinking about taking the plunge and joining it for the first time. 
And while this is not a past Bloggiesta challenge, it's another tutorial from Buffer Social about chatting on Twitter that you might find helpful (thanks to Amanda for the heads up on this one!).

Have fun and see you at the chats!






Friday, March 20, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Book: Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Genre: MG
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For: Book Club
From: It was a Christmas present

Short Synopsis: August was born with a facial deformity. Up until fifth grade, his parents have home schooled him. Now, he's about to start normal school for the first time. This is the story how that all goes down as told from not only Auggie, but others around him like his new friends, his sister, and others.

My Response: Awesome. I really don't know what else to say! I thought it was very true to how things might be, how his parents were pained and conflicted, how his sister is loving but resentful, how the friends are wanting to do the right thing, but still scared. It was eye opening in many ways too... the thing about how we tend to forget that people who may look different are really the same and "normal" inside. How no matter how hard we try to act normal around them, they can sense all the strangeness we're feeling. How it takes courage to be the one going through it and to be the one being their friend.

Bottom Line: I loved it and think everyone, especially kids, should read it. I'm sad it took me so long to finally get to this one.

Let's Talk About: We discussed this one at book club last night and I was surprised that about half of us were just "eh it was okay" about this book. Have you read it? What did you think? Eh okay? Or it was awesome! Do you think books like this. . . books that have the desire to make us aware of something. . . are too preachy and agenda-y? Or does that even matter as long as the book is good?

Other Reviews:

I cried all different kinds of tears. Sad ones, happy ones, shocked ones, confused ones, mad ones, etc. I felt every emotion while reading this book. From Jenni Elyse

. . .just don't go in with high expectations and a tissue box. If you're anything like me you won't need it. From Alternate Readality

It is one of those rare touching books of such high impact and quality that I would recommend it to everyone – from middle school age to adults. From At Home With Books

Instead, Wonder is a realistic story, filled with the day-to-day suspense of middle school. And it's also a story full of heart that inspires readers to "Choose Kind". And that's a wonderful thing. From Jen Robinson's Book Page



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