Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Reading Recap May 2016

I love rose season!

Only two books, again, this month:

Summerlost by Ally Condie: A sweet story about how a young girls deals with grief during a summer stay in her grandparents home town.

Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie: Sometimes when you can feel the emotions of everyone around it can get awfully confusing!

Plans for June:

  • finish The Raven King
  • read I Am Malala for book club
  • I think I need to read some contemporary YA/romance stuff. So I'm going to search my shelves for something that fits, or check out something from the library.
  • Wish me luck!

Anyone else in a slump? How's it going for you? Have you managed to get yourself over it?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Thirty Days of Books: Loves and Hates

Oh my word! I'm going to do FOUR prompts today for Jenni's 30 Days of Books! I'm not sure this is the point of this meme, but it's working for me so I'm running with it! Here we go!!!

A book I thought I wouldn't like but ended up loving:

So I usually don't read books that I don't think I'll like... unless perhaps it's a homework assignment (which doesn't happen these days) or once in awhile something for book club, but that's really rare too. Anyway, I looked at my ongoing favorite list from the blog and tried to remember if there were some on that list I was dubious about when I started it but ended up loving. This one jumped out:

Why was I dubious? Probably because I didn't know what it was about. Maybe it looked too serious or literary. I really don't know why I was leery. It's been too long. But let me just say... WOW I was sucked in and became all emotionally entangled fast and hard. Such a crazy book and one that messes with everything you've ever thought about right and wrong and good and bad. I loved it.

A favorite classic:

Ah sheesh. I love so many. But the first one that came to mind when I saw this prompt is this book:

The first time I read it in 9th grade I didn't understand a thing. I've since read it a couple more times and there's so much between the lines stuff and funny things and snarky sarcastic bits and then the love story is just so...so ... awesome. And the history and the setting and the emotion. All over the top. And the end will forever be one of the best and saddest endings ever in all of literary-dom. The best I tell you.

A book I hated:

There are very few books I actually hate, like truly hate, but the one that I always come back to is one I tried to read years and years ago. I can't remember if I actually got all the way through it. I think I did. I tend to block it from my mind. But anyway, I can truthfully say I hated this one:

Ugh. Nothing redeeming about this book at all. And nothing at all funny. Sometimes I think my sense of what is funny is completely and totally different from the rest of the world. This book pretty much confirms it. Did I say ugh already?

A book I used to love but don't anymore:

Umm... what book don't I love anymore? This is a hard one. Why would I not love it anymore? Something perhaps that I've re-read and it didn't live up to the memory of the first reading? Usually I'm the other way around... I will think I didn't like something but then upon reflection I decide that it was actually the most awesome thing ever.

So I've just browsed through my goodreads list of books I've given 5 stars to, pondering which ones I might change. Here's one that jumped out at me:

Yeah. I mean I'm sure I enjoyed this book a lot. And I loved getting to know the characters in it, but I bet you anything that if I were to re-read it again today I'd be like... five stars? Really? Jinjja? I don't think so!!! Sometimes it happens.

Stay tuned for more 30 days of Books prompts. You should join in and write a post too!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday Snapshot: Catching up and Sing Along Saturday: Space!

 I haven't shared pictures for the West Metro Mommy's Saturday Snapshot meme for a few weeks, so here's a catch up!
The daughter is moving so here's a last picture of all
the my four kids together for awhile.
Gah, blurry. Ick.
My daughter-in-law graduated!
A couple more years and she'll be full RN. :)

I found Korean kids books in the donation
pile at the library. I didn't nab them yet.
I can't read them but they look cool, 네?

My youngest kid with my oldest (only) grandkid!

My nephew got married.

I went to a writing conference
and had my first chapter critiqued by a bunch of nice dudes!
Sounds like a way too exciting life, yes? Ha!


And now music for the Sing Along Saturday found over at Bookish Things and More. Today's prompt:

What song goes perfectly with a book?

I have several spotify playlists (one I created, some I follow) dedicated to music that has a science fiction space-y feel. I love love love this sort of music and every single one of them could fit to a science fiction book such as Illuminae or These Broken Stars or the one I'm trying to write myself or Ender's Game.... or any of them.

So I guess I'm cheating a bit and sharing a couple favorite songs that fit a genre and not a book. Ready? Ok!

This one makes me think of the end of a long crazy book when all is well again. It starts out a bit slow, but give it a chance and you'll have goose bumps I promise:

M83 always delivers for cool space-y sounding music. I love this one for its build up too.

And one with words now! Starchaser, which is self explanatory for this assignment! I really love this one too:

Thanks for listening! What songs makes you think of a book?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thirty Days of Books: Under vs. Over

Here are two more prompts for the 30 Days of Books event going on over at Jenni Elyse's:

An underrated book:

Ah this book and this series. So so so good. And why does it not get the buzz that so many other series get? It's every bit as good as them, and better in fact. I pondered using this one for my favorite series prompt but decided to save it for this prompt because I feel it is so very underrated. Guys. READ IT. I promise you'll  love it.

An overrated book:

On the flip side, the buzz this book got made me think it was going to AH-MAZING. Like blow my mind out of the water suspense and twisty-ness and all that. But no. It was same old same old in that category and really really below par in all the other categories. Snoozer! Guys. If you haven't read it... please... skip it!

Participate with your own answers by posting and linking up at Jenni's!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Book Review Thoughts: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie

Book: Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆☆

We read this one for book club because a bunch of us went to the book launch and bought the book. I'd heard great things and the premise sounded awesome, but because of the ongoing book slump and a weird inability to focus on reading these days, it fell a bit flat for me in the end... generally speaking.

This is the story of girl who is born with the ability to sense the emotions of everyone around her. It's troublesome because she has a big issue distinguishing between her own emotions and those of others. Especially when there's a build up of emotion from a huge group or crowd. This happens in the beginning and causes and incident at the convent where she is being trained and it changes her life. Mostly because right after that, the prince came to retrieve another Auraseer for the Emperor, because his has just been executed.

And because now she is the only one (mostly) that's left... she gets picked to go.

And now she has to hang out with this Emperor and tell him if she senses anything wrong with the people around him. Like... perhaps... if someone wants to kill him.

Ah, this dude. He's a slick one. And because he decides he wants to seduce her, she suddenly feels like she's in love with him. Tricky, these emotions!

And the prince, the one who came to retrieve her... he's awfully attractive too. She is confused and wow, the emotion is swirling!! Does she like him or does she not?

Much of the book is this issue with these two boys set in the backdrop of the political maneuverings going on by the masses to try and change how they are governed. Do they kill the Emperor? Make him abdicate? Or figure out some other nicer way?

It reminded me quite a bit of Red Queen and also Throne of Glass. Same sort of setting and feel anyway, so if you like those books you might want to give this one a try.

But for me, most of the time I had to push myself through and had to glaze over the detailed political talk and deal with the repetitive emotional upheaval. Also, I found myself especially critical of the writing as I saw so many of the "don'ts" that I'm constantly warned about in my writing classes happening in this book.

Bottom Line: I mean... it was okay and was pretty exciting in parts. But it mostly made me want to read a contemporary romance or something.

Other Reviews:

Without revealing too many spoilers I was happy with the overall result but the last few chapters just did not sit well with me. From Dark Faerie Tales
It is the perfect book for any kind of occasion, whether to pick you up out of a reading slump, or to brighten your mood, or you keep you on the edge of your seat and make you want to stay up all night. From Behind the Pages

Still I liked exploring the Auraseer ability, and I liked the suspense of the story. If you are one who likes YA fantasy, this is one to try, but keep in mind it might require some patience. From Rainy Day Ramblings

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Thirty Days of Books: Happy and Sad

The latest two prompts for Jenni's 30 Days of Books:

What book makes you happy? What book makes you sad?

Well, the first one is hard because what do you mean by happy? They pretty much all do that. What makes me laugh? I can never remember the laughing ones. All my favorites though seem to be a bit on the tragic side. However, when looking through my list of favorites I think this one does the trick for making me feel happy and good and warm and light:

On the other hand, this one makes my heart hurt and oh so sad. The end pretty much kills me:

What books make you espeically happy and/or sad? Come link up with us over at Jenni Elyse's!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Movie Review: Captain America Civil War

Movie: Captain America: Civil War
Genre: Superhero adventure
Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and many more!
Rating: PG 13
My Rating: two thumbs up

Well wow it took me awhile to get to this one. Life has been crazy the past while. But finally, this past Saturday afternoon... there we were, at the IMAX with 3D glasses on. YES!

I was worried about this one. I mean how would I ever pick sides? Who would I be rooting for? I knew I needed to see what the situation was to cause this civil war. And I was a bit sad before it even started!

Anyway. So after an incident it's decided that the Avengers perhaps need some guidelines, maybe some direction, some rules to follow. Perhaps maybe they shouldn't just go into a situation with all their guns blazing and do stuff with no consequences.

Sounds good right. But then, perhaps there's something that might need doing where they won't have to go ahead to do it and then what. Then do they just stand back and do nothing.

Ah. It's a no win situation!

Well, in order to keep it spoiler free here I'll say that one of our heroes wants one of the above things and one wants the other. They each recruit their team and suddenly find themselves fighting each other. It's a bit funny and a bit confusing. I couldn't keep track of which one was on which team.

Let the fight begin!

But in the end, they join forces again and work together. That is. Until they don't. Because there's a big reveal which changes the game again and then things get serious.

Ah jinjja! It was hard to watch then!

And yes, there's a bad guy behind all of this and he is out for some bit time revenge and he wants to destroy the Avengers from the inside. He did an almost pretty good job of it to.

But let me just say that previous to this movie, Bucky sort of fell under the radar for me but after seeing this actor (Sebastian Stan) at Comic Con... let's just say, I'm a fan. Yeah. For me this movie wasn't really much about Captain America or Iron Man, but more about Bucky. Who's with me?


Bottom Line: Fans of the Marvel Universe won't want to miss it, that's for sure. It's up there with the best of them.

Here's the trailer:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Thirty Days of Books: Series Talk

I'll be trying to participate in Jenni's 30 Days of Books this next month, but I'll be hit and miss and sometimes two on one day, like today, where I'm covering two prompts in one.

What's your favorite series and what's your favorite book in your favorite series?

Okay, well. I'm having trouble thinking what my favorite series is, but let's go with one that is a recent favorite, which is the Starbound Trilogy:

I adore these books. So very creative and clever and different. A cool world, sometimes in space, sometimes not. Smart attractive awesome characters. An interesting bad guy. A situation that you wouldn't quite expect and one that they must all solve and there seems to be no solution.

I don't know. I just loved it.

And I supposed the first book was my favorite. Because... Tarver. And stranded with Tarver. And forbidden love and all that. And the surprise weird freaky ending. Yeah. I should totally read this again. Actually, I have read many of my favorite parts over and over.

It's awesome stuff.

What's your favorite series? Link up here!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sing Along Saturday: Love, True Love

Hey guys! Sharing more music today! The prompt over at Bookish Things and More is:

What's your favorite song that celebrates love?

Well. How about we go back to my Josh Groban days for this one? At least to start out with!

Here's one of my favorites JG songs called In Her Eyes. This live clip was filmed at the concert I went to years ago. Though sadly, he came down through the audience across the arena from where I was sitting. Still. It was awesome. That concert remains one of the best concerts I've ever been to.

There are so many more great love songs by Josh. Sigh.

Also, I think most of  Enrique Iglesias' songs celebrate love... the steamy steamy kind! I have a ton of favorites, but this one is probably the most well known and I've always loved the lyrics so so much:

And finally, here's my kpop contribution to the theme this week. This is one of my favorite Super Junior songs... I'm determined to learn the Korean lyrics so I can actually sing along with them.  Watching this video with the English translation makes me realize how poetic these lyrics are (like so many of them) and how much we actually lose in translation. Makes me a little sad. Anyway, this is a great love song called All My Heart.

And now don't you feel all lovey dovey? I hope you enjoyed  me songs. Post your own favorite love songs and link up over at Bookish Things and More!

I can't wait to see what'll be up for next week!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Thirty Days of Books: Three Times a Charm

Today's (actually yesterday's since I'm a day behind) prompt for 30 Days of Books happening over at Jenni Elyse's is:

What book have you read more than three times?

Well, here's the deal. After about three I start loosing track. But I can say that there aren't many books I've read much more than three. I'm not a HUGE re-reader...  especially to the point that I read something over and over and over again.

That being said, I think the book I've read the most times is:

Yeah, I think every time I read this one I love it more. I love the style, the language, the banter, the set up, the reveals, the crazy family life, the quirky characters, the swoony characters. All of it. I'm not a "read it every year" kind of person, but I'll re-read to read with someone, or skim through parts just to feel the feels again.

It's an awesome book.

But I think you all know that.

Join the party and link up here with the book you've read more than three times!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Thirty Days of Books: Favorite Book from Last year

Hey! Look what Jenni's doing!!! Yeah, it's a 30 days of books event and she has figured out prompts for all the days and everything. (Click over for that list!)

Today's prompt is: What is your favorite book from last year?

Without thinking and stressing about it too much I have decided to say that this book was my favorite from last year:

You know, sometimes it pays off to do something unique and different and unheard of and break all the rules and to not be afraid and just jump into an idea! I think that's my favorite thing about this book, that these guys weren't afraid to do something different.

That and space.
And plagues.
And space ships.
And plagues.
And suspense.
And love.
And plagues.
And a computer that goes crazy.
And a really really scary PLAGUE!

Yeah. I loved it.

Write a post and join us! Be sure to link up at Jenni's on her Day 1 post!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Book Review Thoughts: Summerlost by Ally Condie

Book: Summerlost by Ally Condie
Genre: MG contemporary
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

When I realized that Ally Condie based this book on her Utah hometown and centered it around Utah's famous Shakespearean Festival, I couldn't wait to read it! It got bumped up the stack! And it did not disappoint!

This is the story of a young girl named Cedar who comes to this small town for the summer. Her brother and father have recently died in a car accident and the rest of her family is trying to get a new start. They've bought this old house and plan to spend summers here and rent it out to college kids the rest of the year.

Every summer in this small town there's a festival that happens called Summerlost. Cedar ends up getting a job working concessions along with the neighbor boy that she at first finds nerdy and then finds fascinating. They have some sweet adventures together and learn how to deal with their respective issues in the process. It's the start of a beautiful friendship!

Bottom Line: It's cute simple story that deals with the not so simple subject of grief. and it's so so awesome. I loved it.

Other Reviews:

A strong and outstanding novel for middle grades, this book takes a courageous look at grief and the resilience it takes to continue to live. From Waking Brain Cells

It was hard to read at certain points because it is a highly emotional book but it’s so worth it. From Twenty Three Pages

Summerlost” is quiet and tender. You never feel rushed nor do you feel a lack of purpose. Ally has created a story of friendship and family that rings true whether you have experienced loss or not. From Cracking the Cover

Monday, May 16, 2016

Kdrama Review: Boys Over Flowers

Drama: Boys Over Flowers
Genre: high school drama
Starring: Lee Min Ho, Ku Hye Sun, Kim Hyun Joong, Kim Bum

Oh my word. This drama. It killed me. And I'm not sure I have the words to articulate this experience properly. But I'll try.

First of all, I think this one of the more "popular" dramas in the "normal" world. Meaning, people who aren't huge kdrama geeks may have actually heard of this one. Also, it helps that it's actually available on Netflix. (Though I think that might change June 1 according to the little notification I had as I watched the last few episodes.) So the fact that it's more known tells you something. I'm not sure what.

But I must say, that's kind of sad because though I LOVED watching it, it is a TERRIBLE representation of the whole kdrama experience!  (But since I loved it... five hearts from me!)

Here's the thing: It was so bad that is was good. So over the top angst and drama... over the top I tell you... and yet... because of that... you as a viewer are totally SUCKED in. Totally overcome with the feeling of "must keep watching" and "more more more!"

Our girl, Jandi

Okay. Here's the story. It's about this girl, she's poor of course, and she ends up getting invited to attend this rich school because she intervened as a suicide was about to happen and saved the boy. And so, as she starts going to this high school, she becomes aware of a group of flower boys (remember this term from a previous drama review?) who run the school. If they like you.. great. If they don't... then life is BAD for you. They are awful. Especially the leader, Joon Pyo,  who is ruthless and terrible. (And who also happens to be played by my most favorite Korean actor so far which is painful as it's hard to separate the actor from the character!)

Our guy, Joon Pyo (aka. JP)  as played by Lee Min Ho

Anyway, when JP sets his sights on our girl Jandi, she fights back. And he is blown away by this. No one has EVER fought back. And this attracts him to her and bam, he falls hard and fast. She is bugged by him still and is in fact much more attracted to his friend, one of the other flower boys,  Ji Hoo.  He is the soft sensitive artist type and comes to her rescue over and over and over again.

Our other guy, Ji Hoo  (aka. JH) as played by Kim Hyun Joong

And so, when JP starts giving her attention, she's not sure what to do. Because having his attention is kind of a cool thing. And it turns out, he might not be so bad after all. It's just that he sort doesn't now how to play well with others. But he wants to learn. I think. Most of the time.

And so it goes from there. Back and forth. JP or JH? Which one??? They actually end up competing for her. Which is just crazy.
The other love story
(friends of the main characters)
which also made me crazy because... reasons!

Meanwhile, we start getting their tragic back stories. And boy they rip your heart out! And then you want to root for both of these dudes. (At least I did, as you know from Megs' review from the other day, she could never stand JP and was always firmly JH!) As for me, I ached for our bad boy and wanted so hard to believe him good at heart. Which I think he is/was. And so I wanted for him to survive, like, really really bad. And I think the only way for him to survive was to have Jandi in his life.

Reasons this drama made me crazy:
  • they use every single trope to manipulate us... every single one!
  • a main girl character who was so wishy washy and often stupid
  • so many things happened that were completely unrealistic
  • ridiculousness at every turn!
  • a painful love triangle
  • long and drawn out... I thought I would DIE before it was over
Reasons I loved this drama:
  • swoony and sweet in so many places
  • beautiful flower boys who ARE truly good at heart
  • awesome soundtrack
  • um... Lee Min Ho (aka. bad boy Joon Pyu) and every single freaking time he smiles
  • I supposed I loved the addicting nature and I have since felt massive withdrawals, and so despite the long-ness of it, I also hated for it to end!
  • the heart, the emotion, the thought provoking-ness of it all
Bottom Line: Watch this one at some point because it's so popular, but save it until you are more familiar with the nature of dramas and when you are already in love with Lee Min Ho so it doesn't matter that he is playing a mean boy. 

(P.S. His mean boy-ness did not affect me much I guess because I'm completely smitten. SOME PEOPLE though still couldn't stand him in this even despite his extreme cuteness. You have to be strong to do that! STRONG I'm telling you!)

This was the kind of viewing experience where you moan and groan all throughout, but then you watch until your eyes blur shut. You say... "are you kidding me" and "give me more" in the same breath. I don't know how they do that!! I could go on and on about this one but I'll leave it at that. It was quite the ride I must say and I'm still recovering. I need to watch something else ASAP!

No real trailers for this one, but here are some clips set to my favorite song from the drama showing the intense love triangle:

And more clips set to my other favorite song from the drama showing the crazy angsty-ness:

Sigh. I kinda sorta want to watch it all over again. Someone help me.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sing Along Saturday: Favorite Genre (aka Kpop!)

This music/song meme is fun but oh so stressful to answer every week! This week Katrina from Bookish Things and More is asking this:

This week’s theme is: Favorite genre – what song do you love from the genre you listen to most?

Well. Since January I have listened to mostly (only?) Kpop. This genre has taken over my life. Not even kidding. For the first few months it was only Super Junior but this past month I have allowed the fact that there are some...make that hundreds... of other groups that deserve my attention and now...it's truly all-consuming discovering new bands, and new songs to completely fall in love with.

Are you still fuzzy on what I'm talking about when I say Kpop? Here's the explanation from Wikipedia which is pretty clear and straight forward:

  • K-pop (an abbreviation of Korean pop; Hangul: 케이팝) is a musical genre originating in South Korea that is characterized by a wide variety of audiovisual elements. Although it comprises all genres of "popular music" within South Korea, the term is more often used in a narrower sense to describe a modern form of South Korean pop music covering a range of styles including dance-pop, pop ballad, electropop, R&B, and hip-hop music.

Why do I love this kind of music so much? Do you think I'm crazy? Do you "get it" or do you feel I've lost my mind? Well, I will say that I am probably crazy and I have probably lost my mind, but... BUT I must say I haven't had this much fun with a music obsession since... since... well... since Josh Groban! I can't even begin to explain how fun it is.

But why do I love it? This is why: the upbeat nature of the songs, the "makes you want to dance"-ness of the songs, or (if they are slow,) the beauty of the songs, the beauty of the dancing, the beauty of the guys, (I'm not into the girl groups but they are beautiful too!) the pure athletic ability of these groups, the artistic nature of the "concepts" of the music videos, the intensity of the fandom... and mostly... I just love the songs.

Anyway. I thought about listing other genres I love (epic music, alternative, classic rock, broadway, and anything Josh Groban who sort of has his own genre going) but you'd all know I was avoiding the question which clearly states: favorite of a genre you are listening to MOST! 


And I've shared  a lot of this music already so what to share today and call it my favorite? This is where the stress truly comes in. What to share? What might you actually click on and listen to? What song can entice you to listen to more and join me in my craziness? Is this even possible?

Well, back when I was listening only to Super Junior, I claimed that Opera was my favorite song (and video) of theirs. I've probably shared it before, but I'm giving you yet another chance to check it out now:

I love this song (is it a minor key Jenni? I have no idea but it feels "haunting" to me as you describe in your post for this meme) and I love their look in this video. Don't tell me they are "too pretty"... because what does that even mean? Yes, they are beautiful, pretty and gorgeous! And hot! Smokin' hot. They slay me.

But Super Junior is old news (even though they are still around and not over yet!) so how about a brand new song by the group that the whole world of kpop is loving RIGHT NOW, me included. And so I give you Fire by BTS:

I mean... that dancing!!! Can you even make your feet move that fast? Isn't it so cool? These guys don't kill me with their looks as much as Super Junior does, but dang, they are cute and I love that they try SO HARD to be bad boy and yet... they are WAY to cute to pull it off. Good luck with that guys!

And finally, one more that is by another old-ish group, but one that I have been loving on hard this week. Please enjoy Lucifer by SHINee:

And.. I don't know what else to say about that one except... LOVE IT! I want to learn that dance. And you may be thinking yeah, right. But believe me when I say... I will. I already have the pointing finger bit down. :)

Well, I hope you've enjoyed my sharing of this genre yet again. I enjoy sharing anyway. And gushing. It's not over yet. So hang on. Let me know if you listen and give it a chance. I'd love to entice friends into the fold! I know it's weird at first, but come over... it's a blast here, I promise!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Armchair BEA: Fictional Worlds

Here's the prompt for today's Armchair BEA post: We all know that sometimes, the worlds we love in fiction can be dangerous. Which fictional worlds would you want to live in? Which worlds do you never want to dive into? Which worlds are you content to stay behind the glass, so to speak, rather than wishing to dive through the page? And once you get there, what would you do?

Whenever I'm asked this question I realize that there's hardly any worlds I'd really like to go to. In fact, they are all pretty scary, are they not?


I would not want to go to:

Narnia (the witch)
Most of Middle Earth (the ring wraiths)
the world of the Lunar Chronicles (that plague is going around! But wait, I'd love to meet Kai.)
pretty much any dystopian world
The Fifth Wave world (no no and no)


I could handle maybe visiting:

The Shire
the spaceship Icarus BEFORE it goes down (curious to know if space flying makes me motion sick)
The Raven Boys 

Hmmm... I guess that's all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure there's so many I will wish I'd remembered as soon as I push publish!

Do you agree with me on these worlds? What worlds would you want or not want to visit?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Armchair BEA: Beyond Books and the Blog

Today's Armchair BEA is thinking beyond books and blogs. Here are my thoughts;

Beyond Books:

I'm still pretty traditional when it comes to what I'm reading. I have branched out a bit into graphic novels, but not a whole lot. I don't enjoy audiobooks (I can't focus on them and whenever a person would normally listen to audiobooks, you'll find me listening to music) and webcomics... yeah, I haven't even tried those at all! 

But I do believe that all these forms are great reading experiences and if you love them, embrace them! And, this is a question that as come up lately... count them as reading! For sure! 

As you know, I enjoy the art of story telling in many forms OTHER than books. Namely movies and TV. And music, which is story telling too, don't you think? Now these I don't count as reading of course, but definitely consuming stories. I love it in all its forms.

Beyond Blogging:

Ah, talking about books NOT on the blog. Yes, that would be book club for sure... going on 12 years which is awesome! Woot! And all the author signings and book launches we go to. That's awesome too. And writing... I'd say that's something. Oh my.. talking about getting consumed with a story.... write one and then you'll know! It's so very intense! Let's see, what else do I do beyond blogging? It seems like a lot... like it's pretty much my life so..... oh working at a library and having bookish people all around me all the time. Yeah, that's awesome. (Even if I don't get to work with the books and talk about them a whole lot.) Always promoting the local authors.... that's fun too. 

Yeah, bookish stuff beyond blogging is a constant and a given. Everything, everywhere. all the time.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

ArmchairBEA: Aesthetics

Today's ArmchairBEA topic is all about aesthetics. How do I look? I don't know about you, but I look GREAT!! 

The Books:

You know, I'm not picky when it comes to the look of my books. (You did read about what my bookshelf looks like in yesterday's post, right?) I mean, it would be nice if the covers matched in a series, if they were all hardback (or paperback as the case may be) or just... you know... matched. But, if they don't then... eh. Whatever. It's annoying, but not overly. For me. Anyway. But I'm not a perfectionist type and so things like that don't bug me too much. 

As for the cover matching the content. Yeah, that's always nice. But I usually don't pay enough attention to the cover to really think about it that much. Gosh, I'm such a shallow cover person type! 

The Blog:

Now, when it comes to my blog, yeah, I want it to look nice. I really love the clean look and I like blue because everyone tends to like blue, so that's why it's white, with a little bit of blue and splash of red. When I first went white, I thought it was too much, but I've gotten used it and really enjoy it now. Awhile back I went from three to two columns and that's been good. And I got rid of a ton of stuff in my side bar. The top menu is still a bit crazy though. So far, not crazy enough for me to get rid of it.  

I don't think a whole lot about branding I guess... but I do want to have a distinctive conversational very informal style. And I think that comes across pretty well for the most part. 

I don't know. What do you think? And do you concentrate on branding? And the look of your blog?

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

ArmchairBEA: Intro

It's time yet again for another Armchair BEA! How do the years fly by so fast? Sheesh. I kinda wish that some year I'll be reporting from the actual event, but by the time I can actually go I wonder if I'll even care anymore! I guess we'll see!

In the meantime, I'll play along from the armchair! Here are my intro questions for the day!


1. What is the name you prefer to use?

SUEY! Yeah. I know. It's weird. But so am I. And so it works.

2. How long have you been a book blogger?

In March I crossed over to the nine year point, meaning I'm now working on my tenth year. Freaky.

3. Have you participated in ABEA before?

Yeah, since the beginning!


1. Do you have a favorite book? If you cannot choose a favorite book of all time, pick your favorite book today - just this second. Remember that favorites are allowed to change if something affects you deeply enough.

I always say The Book Thief when faced with this ever impossible question. Because... you kno... The Book Thief.

2. What is your favorite genre and why?

Ah guys. I don't have a favorite! They are all my favorites! I'm especially fond of fantasy, science fiction, YA contemporary, and historical fiction, though I never seem to get to that one these days. Oh wait... why? Why...because... they are awesome! I love to escape, to read about new worlds, to see the amazing imagination of authors... and to learn about history. Oh, and all the angst and stuff of YA contemporary makes me happy for some strange crazy reason.

5. If you could create a playlist that reflects your bookshelf, what would be the first song you choose? (You can include more than one if you want :D)

This one for the space/science fiction stuff I've been loving lately: Louder Than Words
This one for the romance stories that are my most favorite: Neverland
This one for all the local authors on my shelf: Warriors

(P.S. Did you notice? I included no kpop. Just in case you didn't notice.)

6. How do you arrange your bookshelves? Is there a rhyme or reason? Or not at all? (#ABEAShelfie)

No rhyme. Or reason. The downstairs shelves attempted it once, but have been since messed up. Mostly it's classics in a spot, regular fiction in a spot, and lots of hardback signed books in spot. Picture books and MG have a spot too. I have award winners sort of on a shelf of their own too. Sort of. Mostly it's a mess.

9. If you could choose three characters to have lunch with, who would they be and why? 

I think I'd love to hangout with the couples from the Starbound Trilogy: Tarver and Lilac, Flynn and Jubilee, and Gideon and Sofia. Yeah. That would be fun. (P.S. I cheated, yes? I always do!)

Have a great Armchair BEA everyone! I'll see you out there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: My Favorite Nonbookish Websites

Oh hey! It's a non bookish topic over at The Broke and the Bookish today! I'm a bit late, but why not join in? And so I give you:

Websites I love not about books:

Pixlr online video editor: the easiest place I've found for making collages

YouTube to mp3 : for grabbing songs from YouTube

Korean keyboard: Just in case you want to type something in Hangul you know

Kpop Lyrics: because sometimes we do want to know what they're saying!

Viki.com: my new Netflix

NaNoWriMo: this mostly in November (this is not about books really right?)

Spotify: well, it's a website, but I use the app and I wonder how I lived without it

YouTube: um, is this a given?

(I was going to list Amazon, but then I remembered... not about books....)

Um,,. that's pretty much everywhere I'm going these days. Where do you hangout online? That aren't too bookish?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sing Along Saturday (on Sunday again!): Moms

Here's a perfect song for today. And since it's also the theme of Sing Along Saturday, I figured I'd share, even though I'm sure you are all sick of Korean songs. Sorry, I'm not sick of them yet and it may be awhile.

I wish this version had English subtitles for the lyrics, but instead, I will just include the lyrics below it. Anyway, I wanted to share this live version of these guys singing about their moms because the solemnity and emotion of their faces is awesome. (Also, seeing the slides of them with their moms... ah!!) And Donghae (the darker haired one in this particular video) actually wrote this one, which makes it even more awesome.

Anyway... to mothers everywhere, I give you this song simply called: Mother.

(Thank you) I can’t express with words
(Thank you) I’m here because of you
You always embraced my young and immature self
(Love you) Words I couldn’t tell you
(I love you) I’m finally telling you now
Now I know your heart and how you always believed in me
And I know, Yes I know, you always look to me
And I know, Yes I know, even if the world turns away
Love you mother, I love you
Like no other, I thank you
I endlessly shed tears when I think about you
Love you Mother, I love you
Like no other, I thank you
Now I’ll be your strength and return that bright smile
And you know, You know,
You know, I love you, I thank you
(Thank you) Wherever you go, don’t be small
(Thank you) Because I’m standing right behind you
Even if your back is hurting or your eyes grow dim
(Love you) Words I’m so bad at saying
(I love you) Finally, I’m saying them
You’re the prettiest in the world, I’ll place you in my eyes
Look at me, don’t rush anymore
Lay down your heart, it’s alright now, slow down
Because of your endless love, your unchanging love
I am here today
Thank you Mother, I love you

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Kdrama Review: Descendants of the Sun

Drama: Descendants of the Sun
Genre: Military/Medical Drama
Starring: Song Joong Ki, Song, Hye Kyo, Jin Goo, Kim Ji Won
Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Up until now I've been "catching up" on past dramas...dramas that aired last year, or a couple or three, even four years ago. This time, I decided to be part of the current buzz and watch one that was happening in real time.

How it works is that it airs in Korea and then the next week, the episode is available on the site/app for all to see. I joined the party about 10 or so episodes in, quickly caught up and then had to do the waiting thing. Not fun! (I was very tempted to pay the monthly fee in order to get them faster, but held off for now. That might still come though!)

But fun to be part of the current buzz!

And this one was amazing! Oh my word! I can't even. It felt like a movie instead of a TV show. With sweeping epic music and special effects and amazing locations. Awesome.

Sheesh this guy!

It's the story of a guy who is on the "alpha team" for the Korean army which means he has to go diffuse highly toxic and volatile situations. And he's good at it. Dang good. But it's oh so very dangerous and scary.

One day on leave, he happens to meet this doctor girl and sparks fly immediately. I remember thinking.. wow.. if they are together so fast what story is left to tell? Yeah. Well, then so much happens! She decides he's not for her after all (she is crazy) and so all is off. Then he gets assigned to a country called Urk (heard of it? Me either. That's cause it's fictional! LOL!) and she gets assigned to be a medical volunteer squad to go serve in... yep.. Urk.

And so they meet again. And... sparks fly. And there's a bad bad guy, and a natural disaster, and some highly charged political maneuverings and a plague and... wow. So  many thing to keep them apart!

The romance is intense and lovely. Ah the banter! So much banter! This one has the best banter that I've seen so far in a drama. Also, there are several other romance stories going on at the same time. And tragic back stories to deal with. And all sorts of awesome side stories that totally suck you in.

Here's the other couple. They have an awesome story too.

For instance,  the sweet naive doctor who feels like he fails everyone and has to find himself again.  I later learned that was the acting debut of one of the band members from SHINee and wow. He blew me away. Sheesh, these guys can do it all!

Here's our main character doctor on the right with the new doctor
played by Onew from SHINee, Who was awesome.

My only complaint is the the few cheesy English speaking actors. I'm not sure what's up with that. You'd think they could get actors for the English parts that can truly speak English, you know? Anyway, I cringed a couple of times there. Other than that....

Bottom Line: I loved everything about this one.  Swoon swoon swoon! So glad I decided to jump on board!
And just one more.
My feelings exactly.

This one has a bunch of awesome trailers that are actually English subbed this time! I can't choose one! They are short, watch them all!

His story:

Her story:

Both stories:

And the epic instrumental theme song:

 And another favorite song this one highlighting the other couple:



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