Friday, January 24, 2020

Favorite Books of the Decade 2010-2019

So I thought it would be fun to look back over my favorites lists from the past ten years and pick out my most absolute favorites from those lists and create an all time favorite list from this past decade. Impossible? Probably, but I didn't really stress and just went with my gut feeling when I looked at lists and here's what I've come up with!

(These are not in any particular order, because that WOULD be impossible!)

Adult Books
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
The Passage by Justin Cronin
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

YA Books
The Queen of Atolia by Megan Whalen Turner
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
All the Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Winter by Marissa Meyer
Deacon Locke Went to Prom by Brian Katcher
Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Well? Do we share any favorites? What would be on your decade favorites list?

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Songs That Defined My Decade 2010-2019

While we are talking about favorite songs, I decided it would be fun to look back and figure out what songs defined my decade... 2010 to 2019. And so, I made a video. Because what is a list of music without the audio to go with, you know?

Some artists I loved these past ten years that are featured on this video include:

  • Muse
  • Adele
  • OneRepublic
  • Maroon 5
  • Josh Groban
  • Silversun Pickups
  • MIKA
  • Kendji Girac
  • Adam Lambert
  • ....just to name a few.

I have compiled the video by year (year I was into it, not necessarily year the song came out), so you can see the changes in the phases of music I was loving over the years. 

Anyway, check it out to see if it brings back song memories for you too!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Favorite Songs from 2019

Curious to know what songs I loved this year? I made a video! Here it is!

Yes, it's all kpop, but there's some ENGLISH kpop... if that's a thing. Which actually, it has been a thing this year, and will grow to be a bigger thing in the years to come . Many kpop artists are doing English songs. And while it sort of bugs me, it sort of is cool too, because dang, they can make songs in English just as good as they do in Korean. Imagine that!

Anyway, kpop fan or not, there are some really awesome songs on my top 30 list! :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

December 2019 Reading Recap

December  Book Club!!

I finished the year off with three more books read in December:

Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen: When two kids get together accidentally on a train ride and the train breaks down... adventure ensues.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden: A beautiful story based on a Russian folktale.

The Undoing of Thistle Tate by Katelyn Detweiler: What does Thistle do when her secret that she is NOT really the author of the famous Marigold books get leaked?

Favorites: Eh, they were all enjoyable. The Bear and the Train Wreck each got 4 stars, so I guess they tie for favorites of the month!

Goals for January:

  • Get going on the Scythe Neal Shusterman series in preparation for his appearance in April in which I get to sit by him and open his books for signing... LOL! At least, that's the plan last I heard. We'll see if it happens.
  • Finish off reading for the Beehive long list! I have one more on my kindle as of this writing. But I think the deadline is looming...
  • Re-read The Name of the Wind for book club... but this ain't happening sadly. I will just have to go look at blog posts to remember how much I loved this book.
  • Read Evan Hansen before the musical happens in a month or so.

Stay tuned for year end lists. I still plan on doing them! This first part of January has been INSANE, so... blogging has not happened. But. I'm here.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Book Review: The Undoing of Thistle Tate by Katelyn Detweiler

Book: The Undoing of Thistle Tate by Katelyn Detweiler
Genre: YA
Rating: ★ ★ 

This one started out promising. The premise is that our girl, ThistleTate, is posing as the author of her dad's books. In other words, her dad is a struggling author, but when they both of them came up with this book idea, he decided to submit them under her name, and bam. I was accepted and became a huge huge hit.

So now Thistle is famous for the books her dad actually wrote and has to deal with that.

Interesting yeah?

And just as the book starts, she moves from friend zone to more than friend zone with her very very best boy next door dude... and I was liking that... but then...

...a new dude appears on the scene. One who is a huge fan of her books. And has no idea about the big secret. The dude next door of course has known all along. And he gets very very jealous of this new dude.

Anyway. It was okay, this book. But it sort of fell flat for me mostly because I just didn't connect as I should have to these characters. I think I was rooting for the first guy and she did him wrong. And made me kinda mad. 

And I just didn't really care about what all went down in the end. So... yeah. Sadness. But. I mean. It wasn't bad, just you know. Okay.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Book: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: ★ ★ ★ 

This is a beautiful fairy tale fantasy based on Russian folklore and stories. Beautifully told with beautiful imagery. I really enjoyed it and became very immersed in it all.

To summarize, it's about a girl who is born to a noble family who lives far from the city up in the cold harsh northern forest. Her mom has magic, and when she is born, her mom knows this daughter will carry on that magic. But the mom doesn't live through the birth.

So then we watch this girl get older and deal with all the things that are different about her and have all the town people look at her like she is a witch.

The mythical but not so mythical being, the winter king, finds her and claims her for his own. He is a fascinating mysterious person and therein lies my only frustration with this book. I wanted SO  MUCH MORE with him. And it was just getting good with that when it ended! I wanted a sort of Beauty and the Beast type of thing going on and it just didn't quite get there... but it HINTED so many times. So I was left feeling a little ... wanting.

Maybe there will be more of him in the next books? But I think someone said no... so I can't decide now if I should keep reading them, or not.


Anyway. If you love darkish creepyish fairy tales, this one is for you!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Kdrama Review: My First First Love

Drama: My First First Love
Genre: Romantic comedy
Starring: Ji Soo, Jung Chae Yeon, Jung Jin Young, Kang Tae Oh
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

I watched this one, not only because everyone said it was fun, but because it had Kang Tae Oh in it who I had just fallen for (as the villain) in Tale of Nokdu. I wanted to see him in another role. And wow, but this one could not have been so different from the Nokdu one! Wow! Was this the same guy even????

Anyway, it also had two other favorites, Ji Soo and Jinyoung who I've loved from other things. So it was fun all the way around with regard to the cast.

It's about a rich kid who moves away from his family into an empty house they just so happen to have, and when a bunch of his friends get down on their luck, they all end up living at his house. Including the girl who has been his best friend for 20 years. The girl who is JUST HIS FRIEND. The girl who he is not at ALL attracted to or anything....

And he, our guy, is so excited because he is just getting into a relationship with a girl he thinks is the best, and he doesn't want to mess it up. And another of his friends (not on that ended up living with him, but still, he comes around a lot) is suddenly into the the best friend girl. And that suddenly bugs him, he does not know why.

Cute JiSoo with his best friend.

And so it begins... all the relationship craziness... and this kids all trying to make their own way, and solve their problems and deal with their crazy parents, and figure out who it is they REALLY love.

It's great. JiSoo is so different from the other roles I've seen him in... which have been quite serious. This one he was very fun and flirty and cute and silly and goofy and perfect. It was to seen Jinyoung in a different sort of role too. But he was as sweet and shy and cute as expected. Tae Oh was CRAZY silly in this one and totally different from his emo scary ruthless dude in Tale of Nokdu. Gah. He's so much fun. WHAT ELSE CAN I WATCH WITH HIM???

Kang Tae Oh... so adorable in this.

Anyway, it was great for a fun college kid romantic comedy. So much fun.

The trailer from Netflix:

And the love song with cute clips:


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