Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read

 




Today' prompt for Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read was a painful one just because it made me realize YET AGAIN how many books I have sitting around unread! Ah I had such intentions! Why haven't they been ready yet?? Here's just a sampling of ten I quickly found that I truly remember being so excited about. Maybe I should get to them soon? Which one do you suggest I read first? (And I don't know how long these books have been waiting but let me just say YEARS... lots and lots of YEARS!)










Monday, May 16, 2022

Book Review: The Iron Flower by Laurie Forest

Book: The Iron Flower by Laurie Forest

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ 


This is the second in this series wherein we continue the story from book one The Black Witch. Our girl Elloren is still at school and still hanging out with the "misfits." But now she is determined to save them. Because her people who rule the land currently, have decided to start rounding up certain races and banning them, or killing them, or otherwise persecuting them. 

So, in other words, she is going against everything she's been taught and totally turning on her people. While at the same time her people think she is next in line to be the Black Witch, or ruler of them all. 

She has a made alliances with several of her friends, and found others who are against what's going on, and together they make up the Resistance. Their first task is to save some of the people... the Fae and the Selkies for starters. Meanwhile, her aunt is determined to have her "wandfasted" (engaged with no going back) to a dude who is NOT part of the Resistance. But if she does agree to marry him, than maybe she can get him to turn and be of help because he is high up in a power position. But that's a big maybe.

Oh my word. There's so much. I can't even summarize properly!

Anyway, it's all very crazy and detailed and there are a ton of characters as is expected in a high fantasy of this sort. And so many types of people and the prejudices everyone has against each other is rampant. I don't know how Elloren is going to fix any of it! But it's a great ride trying to hang on with her while she tries. I'm going to have to finish this series with the next book, aren't I? 



Sunday, May 15, 2022

Currently: Post Conference Depression

  


We talk a lot about PCD regarding concerts, but I think it can totally apply to conferences too. Coming back down from a high is always rough, no matter what the thing was that caused it, right? LOL!

Anyway, I think it's about time for another monthly CURRENTLY check in post! 


Listening:

Maybe my favorite song of the week? Not your typical kpop I must say:

 

But also this one. TXT is just killing it for me lately:

 

Watching:

Enjoying yet another season of Survivor! And it's almost over again already!

Halfway through a kdrama called Tomorrow about grim reapers who save people from suicide. Lots and lots of tears with this one. 

 Reading:

Finished Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth for book club this next week. I loved it! Review to come soon...

I can't figure out what to start next. I am overwhelmed with possibilities. 

Writing:

I went to an awesome writers conference this past week (thus the bit of PCD) and learned so much amazing stuff! I hope to ride the wave and get going with things! Before the conference, I spent a lot of time this past week going through edits from beta readers for my high school 80s story. But I really really need to finish the space story. I also need to start a tiktok for writerly things. LOL! That cracks me up.



Blogging:

Still here!

YouTubing:

I put every single BTS song into one 8 minute video. Seriously. For reals. Also, I'm going to start a regular series of vlogging type videos. Just me talking. Awesome, right? Ha. That also cracks me up.


   

  

I have plans to do another non-kpopper series. I have a victim in mind. Stay tuned... WAH! So excited!


Health Watch:

I started keeping track of food again. I've had a couple of days of eating better. And lots of days of not. Why is this so hard? I can't even tell you how bad I hate this.


Misc:

* I went to Las Vegas to see BTS at the huge new Allegiant Stadium on their last day in concert there. It was awesome. Here's our vlog and concert footage of that experience.

* In two weeks I'm driving back to LA to see another group in concert. They are called The Boyz and they are awesome. Here they are being unbearably cute, click if you dare.

* I sent daughter Toto off to Korea to spend the summer with her aunt there. She will have a blast I hope and I will be fine without her here. Right?

* I need to plan another Oregon escape. 

* Our fridge broke so we got a new one.

* Our fence fell down, but we didn't get a new one. Yet.








Saturday, May 14, 2022

Kdrama Review: Snowdrop

Drama: Snowdrop (on Disney+)

Genre: Historical (1987)

Starring: Jung Haein, Jisoo, Yoo InNa, 

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


This is another drama I went into knowing absolutely nothing and I left totally blown away.

It takes place at a women's college dorm in 1987. Our girl and guy randomly meet at a group blind date event that one of the girl roommates set up. A few days later, our guy is being chased and ends up shot. He climbs the wall and hides in the dorm... in our girl's bedroom. They don't know what's really going on, but they (the girls) end up hiding him, taking care of him and helping him to escape.  

Turns out he's a spy from North Korea.

And he ends up BACK at the dorm with a couple of his fellow spies, and they take them all (the whole building full of girls) hostage. And it just gets more and and MORE intense from there! Oh my word!

In the meantime, our girl and guy are falling in love. He the captor, and she the hostage. 

We get the stories of all the awful politicians involved in the craziness.. .the ones who are supposed to help figure out this situation, but are actually part of the problem. Most of the problem. We see story form the perspective of the agency that deals with spies and other political criminals. 

Soon it's apparent that it's very very hard to determine who are the good guys and who are the bad. Every single episode ends on a massive cliff hanger. It's so much of an edge of your seat drama, and much finger nail biting involved. I seriously held my breath through most of the episodes. And sometimes you think everything is figured out, and BAM more twists and turns. What a ride!

It's very intense, very violent and very tragic. 

And also, very good. Amazing acting, storytelling, music, characters. All of it. 

From one extreme....



....to the other. 


Interesting side note: I know that when this came out, the people in Korea weren't happy and protested it. I think because it's based loosely on some very controversial events. I'm still not sure what was "true" and what wasn't. But lots of people weren't happy. 

It's very interesting too that Disney is jumping on the kdrama bandwagon. However, most of their dramas aren't available for us to watch here in the states. I have no idea what's going on with that, but hopefully they will learn a lesson and fix that eventually.. But this one is an exception.

But anyway, yeah. I loved it. 

Here's a trailer:


And the beautiful song:



And for those who like making the connections between all these players in the Korean entertainment industry. Jisoo, the girl who stars in this one, is a member of the VERY popular kpop girl group Blackpink:


Jisoo second from the right


And Sung SiKyung who sings the above song, was just featured on a bside of PSY's album that just came out. (I have no idea what's happening in this clip but you can see them singing it along with whatever crazy sense of humor this Korean show has going on. LOL!)


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Characters

 





Today's prompt for Top Ten Tuesday is to list some favorite Bookish Characters. Man, my book list is filled with such characters. Here's ten I thought of: 


My most recent favorite bookish character is A.J. Fikry in The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. He is a sad, lonely, no-nonsense book store owner. He knows what's good and what's not (in his very not so humble opinion of course!) He is an awesome character and I loved him from the get go. 

The Giver of Stars features a character, Alice Wright, who gets a job riding a horse to deliver books to the mountain folk of Kentucky. It's a powerful story about the importance of having books in your life.

The Starless Sea features an ancient underground library and most intriguing dude who runs it. I forgot his name though. But believe me, he's intriguing.

In the book What I Like About You we have Halle Levitt who writes a YA book blog that matches book covers with cupcakes. I mean it's pretty much the best thing ever. 

In the story about Thistle Tate, in The Undoing of Thistle Tate, we have a best selling 17 year old author. Or do we?

Another favorite bookish character is Eliza in Eliza and Her Monsters. She writes a webtoon that is hugely popular but she keeps her identity hidden. 

One of my favorite characters, Kvothe, from The Name of the Wind is VERY bookish and spends a lot of his time in the library. 

A very cute and fun bookish book is 84, Charring Cross Road which is a collection of letters between a bookseller and his customer. 

A book I haven't though about in a while is The Thirteenth Tale... about a biographer who has been commissioned to write the true story of a reclusive author. 

And finally there's Liesel from The Book Thief. I can't leave her off this list!


Happy Top Ten Tuesday!



Thursday, May 5, 2022

Book Review: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Book: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Genre: YA horror

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


We read this book for last month's book club and I went into it pretty much knowing nothing. It took me a minute to get into it, but then it was quick and fast reading after that. I started it late and literally finished the last paragraph as the first book club member was arriving at my house! WAH!

So this is a zombie story that takes place a few years after the Civil War. So it's an alternate reality story that basically answers the question "what if when Gettysburg happened, all the guys dying in that battle rose up as zombies?" 

Our heroine girl is a former slave, now "freed", but training to be a companion.. .meaning the one who escorts the rich white girls and fights the zombies off should the need arise. (Gah sorry I already forgot what the zombies are called in this world.) She seems happy to be learning to fight, but not so happy that this is the only choice she really has. 

She and a bunch of other girls live and train in a sort of boarding house. One day when she fights a zombie off of the mayor (in a situation he himself created,) she suddenly gets some attention and he decides he wants her for special project. And THAT'S about when this book became very riveting and crazy!

It reminded me a lot of The Walking Dead, mostly in that people are trying all kinds of ways to survive, and this ends up turning the survivors into the bad guys. People are so awful when they are trying to take charge of survivors and lead them through an apocalypse! Seriously, if something like this every happens in real life, I hope we've all learned something from all the stories we've watched and read!

And then the book just ended when things were getting very intense which of course means I will be needing to find book two. 

Anyway, I really quite enjoyed it. It not only deals with zombies, but with all the hot button topic race issues of our day, but in a clever way. Very creative book all around. 


Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten ONE WORD Reviews!

 



The prompt today is to review the last ten books we've read using just one word! SWEET! Here we go!


Lemon Drop Falls by Heather Clark: TOUCHING

The Iron Flower by Laurie Forest: INTENSE

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland: CREATIVE

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon: ROMANTIC

Summer Rain by Trish Milburn: CUTE

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty: ENGAGING

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han: QUIRKY

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry: FANTASTIC

XOXO by Axie Oh: FUN

Keep Moving by Maggie Smith: THOUGHTFUL


I do realize my adjectives are boring, but I seriously just went with what I thought of first, with the exception of a couple that made me think way too much.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Readathon Report!

 



We had a great time reading and hanging out yesterday! I think I maybe managed about 6 or 7 hours total. I finished one book and got halfway through a second. I found that to be quite acceptable! 

Here's a few pictures from the day:

The friends came over to read together. Don't we look comfy?

The kitty wondered why I'd taken over her chair, but the window was a great distraction.

This was in response to the weather prompt. It was a fabulous day!

And my "pile." I managed to finish The Iron Flower and get half of Lemon Drop Falls read. 





Friday, April 29, 2022

Signing up for the READATHON!

 



It's been awhile but it appears I'm going to give Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon a try this coming weekend! It's tomorrow actually, like this is a VERY late sign up, but it's not too late! Click on the link and join us! Let's do this thing!

I'll post a couple things here, but will do most of my updates on Twitter, so be sure to follow me there @SueySays. I may do a couple of Instagram posts too, but I went private there because of all those creepy guys that going around following everyone. You know what I'm talking about?  But I will add my fellow booking loving peeps if you want to find me....@SueySays.

Man this feels just like old times. I can't wait! 





Thursday, April 28, 2022

Kdrama Review: Forecasting Love and Weather

Drama: Forecasting Love and Weather (on Netflix)

Genre: melodrama romance

Starring: Kang Song, Park Minyoung

Rating:  ❤ ❤ ❤


This drama is centered around a team of people who work in Seoul forecasting the weather. We learn what an intense job this is! But the premise is that the stuff going on with the weather can be applied to real life people relationships too. Which is kinda cool. 

So we have our main couple. She is the leader of this group and he is the newbie who just got reassigned here. He is quite impressive with his innate ability to predict weather and she is interested. He's so very confidant and sure that she can't help but take notice.

Then, we have the dude that she was engaged to but they broke up just as the drama started and he ended up getting married to another girl working in the company. And they instantly start having problems. Oh, and this girl was the ex-girlfriend of our above main dude. 

We have the former director of the team who is also have marital problems. He hasn't lived at home much because of his job and is just now trying to re-establish his place in the family. It's not going well.

We have the sister of our main girl who is quite flighty and air-head-y but a fun addition to the cast of characters. She ends up liking the dude (who also works at the company) that lives upstairs from her sister. 

There's a couple more stories going on, but those are the biggies. I enjoyed it for the most part, but many of these characters made me so crazy. I just wanted to scream at them so much! AH!  And our main couple, they just didn't have the something something... that umph, that chemistry, that I've come to expect in kdramas. One thing they didn't do was have the slow burn and build up of the relationship. It happened really fast... and then they backed off and most of the drama was spent most of the time trying to avoid each other. Yeah, not my favorite sort of love story!

They really are quite adorable, aren't they.


And there was a LOT of scientific weather talk. So if that's your thing... but my eyes glazed over and I had to push through those parts often. 


Still, it had it's moments and had a lot to say about relationships and normal life stuff and getting along and seeing people for who they are all that stuff. I teared up a lot toward the end, if that means anything! 

I still need to watch a Kang Song drama that I love! This character was MUCH better than the other two I've watched, but he still tends to be in dramas that I'm just okay with. Maybe Navillera is the one! It's on the list...


Here's the trailer:



And of course you need a song, and if there's any song you need it's one sung by Onew:


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Book Review: Summer Rain by Trish Milburn

Book: Summer Rain by Trish Milburn

Genre: Kdrama novella

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


My friend Trish who writes the fun kpop series that I love has now started publishing a kdrama series called "Could Have Been A Kdrama". This one, Summer Rain, is the first instalment. They are short novella type books, under 100 pages. Knowing that, I choose this one to read on the plane a few weeks ago when we went to Mexico and it was the absolute perfect length for a short plane ride. 

In this first one, we have our girl who is coming to Korea to fulfill all her dreams. She has been accepted in a dream job and she arrives so excited to get started.

Only no one is there to meet her and when she calls them, the number is disconnected and she realizes she has been scammed. And now she is in this country with now where to go and nothing to do. 

Enter our hero, who happens to be a very famous kdrama star. He sees her and helps her and yeah. The cute and fun romance story goes from there! If you are in the mood for something short and sweet and romantic, here you go!

I'm looking forward to more in this series. Also, I need to catch up with the kpop one! Trish is writing stuff faster than I can read it!


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Kdrama Review: Business Proposal

Drama: Business Proposal

Genre: Romantic comedy

Starring: Ahn Hyoseop, Kim Sejeong, Seol Inah, Kim Minkyu

Rating:❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


Oh my goodness I loved it so much! This drama took every beloved trope and played them up perfectly! And the characters were all so FREAKING endearing, and the story just so simple and fluffy. It was literally the perfect kdrama! 

We have our rich boy CEO and his funny eccentric rich grandpa who owns the company. The grandpa is DYING for our boy to get married, so he sets him up on blind dates. The first girl he goes out with is having none of this, so she begs her friend to go in her place and act awful that there is no way he will even think twice about her. 

Well, the friend (our main girl) is so funny.. .and endearing despite her best efforts not to be, and so different from the girls he is used to... that he is VERY intrigued.

Big problem, she works as a lowly person in his company!  And they keep having run ins there! So she has to keep up the act to make sure he doesn't put two and two together and figure out how she really is.

The main couple.


Meanwhile the friend falls in love with the rich CEO boy's manly adorable secretary. So they get their own great story too.

When he does figure out that our girl is not who she says she is (he has to figure out she works at the company) he makes a business proposal... to act like his girlfriend so his grandpa will leave him alone. 

And it goes from there. And of course we know what will happen! And we will never get sick of it, will we!!

Our second leads get their own love story that's just a fun!


It's so cute and adorable and so many LOL moments.... true real LOL moments! And then the kisses start happening and it's great in the department too. All the secondary characters are great, there's no get on your nerves types at all. And yeah. It's so very romantic. 

The true definition of a romantic comedy for sure.

Did I gush too much? Oh well. It's all true.

It's on Netflix. Watch it!

Here's a fast trailer:




And some fun clips to a song sung by one of my favorite groups Victon... one of their guys is in the drama playing the silly fun brother of our girl. Ah and there's so many other great songs on this soundtrack too!


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Merchandise Want List!

 



Today's Top Ten Tuesday prompt

Book Merchandise I'd Love to Own


There's nothing really specific. Like most bookish people, I love anything to do with books! For instance:



BOOK NERD TSHIRTS



BOOKMARKS

QUOTE MUGS



BOOKISH NOTEBOOKS



COOL UNIQUE BOOKSHELVES



CHAIRS WITH WRITING ON THEM



THOSE BOXES THAT LOOK LIKE OLD BOOKS



That's all I can think of at the moment. But basically, anything bookish is going to be appealing! I know when I go around looking at all your posts I'm going to go... YEAH THAT TOO!!

Monday, April 18, 2022

Book Review: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Book: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola  Yoon

Genre: Contemporary YA

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


Here's another book that's been on my TBR for a long long time. I took it with me on my recent trip and read it while sitting on the beach. PERFECT!

I really do love this author's style. So very engaging and easy to read and totally so easy to love the characters. 

This one was about a kid who's about to head off to an interview that he does not want to deal with. He wants to do his own thing but his parents of course think otherwise. So he's begrudgingly off to get his hair cut (he has a ponytail... which I LOVE! Don't cut it off dude!) and then to the interview.

Meanwhile our girl, who is from Jamaica, is trying to talk to someone to figure out if she can stop her family from getting deported. She has a lead with a lawyer she thinks might actually help. She's out in the city (they are in New York I think, yes.) and feeling very frantic about her situation.

So their paths cross, and they have time to kill, so they hang out. And they learn about each other and fall instantly in love. But it's very complicated, so they know of course that nothing is going to come of it. But we as readers have hope that they might work it out somewhere. Our dude has hope too. Our girl is like, yeah, no. 

Lots of stuff happens in that day. And we get it from both their points of view, plus some views of some of the random people they come across in their travels. And also from people in their back stories. I thought it was a brilliant way to tell a story. So great!

So in the end, this author remains on my favorites list! If you haven't read her stuff yet, go for it!

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Currently: It's STILL winter???

 


I know today I'm supposed to be doing a Top Ten Tuesday post, but I had no idea what list there, so instead you get a little life catch up, since I've been gone for a bit.

Listening:

One of my favorite groups had a comeback last week and I love love love their new song. It's called X-Ray. Their dancing kills me every time.


 


And for something totally different from that, here's a group called Kingdom singing a song called Promise that I totally can't get enough of.

 


Watching:

Just finished one of the best kdramas I've watched in a while. This show is a perfect example of everything I love about kdramas. It's called Business Proposal (you can find it on Netflix) and I'll do a review here soon. But yeah, used nearly ever kdrama trope there is and I giggled through the whole thing. Here's a scene everyone went crazy about. This is the second lead couple, who got such as great a storyline as the first! 


 Reading:

While on vacation I finished a couple of books. The first one in Trish's new kdrama series, Summer Rain. And Nicola Yoon book that's been on my list forever, The Sun is Also a Star. I enjoyed them both! I've also been doing some beta reading for new writing friends. I wish I could clock these on Goodreads!

Meanwhile I'm still working on Iron Flower and I've started Lemon Drop Falls. 

Writing:

I haven't been writing at all lately. Just doing the beta reading. I need to get going again.

Blogging:

Well. I'm obviously VERY behind again. I need to do a couple of book reviews and one kdrama review. 

YouTubing:

I compiled 50 of my favorite BTS songs into one fast video.

 


And I put all my favorite songs so far this year into an even faster video:

 

Health Watch:

I'm gaining all the weight I lost in 2020 back very nicely. So much fun. I'm addicted to this collagen drink, which I like to think is helping me be healthy somehow. And I am still love love LOVING going into the virtual world to exercise. 

Misc:

* we survived our trip to Mexico. Sat on the beach beds and read a lot. And also got to visit Chichen Itza. 


* got together with old collage roommates last night (and I mean OLD in both senses of the word!) and that was fun!

Actually we don't look too bad for being so old!!


And that's about the sum of life around here lately. How's life where you are?



Thursday, March 24, 2022

Book Club Reading List 2022-2023



The IRL book club has come up with our schedule for the next year's reading! (Yes I know we do this at a weird time of year, but that's just how it's been for years!) We vote on books in March and come up with a list for our reading year which for book club goes from June to June.  

Here's what we'll be reading this coming year. We decided to shake it up a bit and do a "read your own memoir" month in July. We'll see how that turns out. And then we are keeping our August Utah Book Month tradition alive after all these years. I think we started this in what, 2010 or so? I don't even know! 

Anyway, for those interested, here's what our list looks like. Let me know what books you've read and what we have to look forward to:

June: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
July (memoir month:) Choose your own memoir
August (Utah Author month): Lines of Courage by Jennifer A. Nielsen
September: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
October (Halloween read): Feed by Mira Grant
November: The Maid by Nita Prose
December (Christmas read): In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
January: My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
February: The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty
March: The Silence of Bones by June Hur
April: The Girl’s I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe
May: The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

As always, I'm looking forward to them all!

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Books With an Adjective In the Title



Our Top Ten Tuesday prompt today is:

Books With an Adjective In the Title

Looking back over some books I've read most recently, I've come up with this list:


Anxious People


Sunkissed




My Plain Jane


The Black Witch


On These Magic Shores


Paul, Big and Small


The Starless Sea


Brass Carriages and Glass Hearts


Adorkable


Little Fires Everywhere


Well that's quite the little pile of different books! Fun prompt this week! Titles are fun! And hard. If you are trying to think one up!

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