Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookstores!

 


Okay, I know it's hit and miss with me regarding Top Ten Tuesday (and yeah blogging in general) but I will keep trying! 

Today's prompt is Favorite Bookstores OR Bookstores I’d Love to Visit .

Oh man there are so many! And I'd love to make it a feature on my new channel (yes I have a new channel, but I will reveal that in another post!) to visit bookstores all around the world! 

Anyway, some of my favorites:

The King's English in my (mostly) local city. This is where we go for tons of author visits. Or at least we used to pre-covid. I hope the tradition starts up again. 



Pioneer Bookstore (which is truly local). Tons and tons of used books!



Powel's Bookstore in Portland (I featured it in one of my unfinished stories). It's fun to have this refuge in a city that seems to be dying a slow and painful death. But inside here, things are still amazing. I always buy at least one book when I visit!


Shakespeare and Company in Paris is a must stop every (two) time(s) I've been there! All English books in the middle of Paris. And when you buy one, they stamp it on the inside cover so you won't forget where you got it. I make it a point to buy a souvenir type book here (The Hunchback of Notre Dam for instance.) 


In Tokyo there's a whole street full of bookstores and I made everyone go there just to see it! There is not English here at all though, but the books are all so cool looking!





We also went to this high rise bookstore FILLED with manga! Every floor! Oh my word it's overwhelming!


I went to a HUGE bookstore in Korea too, but can't remember the name of it now. It was cool, but I didn't take pictures. It was like a Barnes and Noble type place. I bought a fan there, lol. But we also went to the library and that's a picture worth sharing:


The other day we went into a local "rare books" bookstore (Moon's Rare Books), and I was too scared to take any pictures. That place was POSH! The rare books they had were thousands of dollars. I was entranced! But it looks like this inside:
Yeah, it's also kind of a museum of this dude's collection. Really really cool stuff.
 



As far as where I want to go:

If I get to go back to England I want to go to the bookstores on The Strand. I think we walked along there, but didn't spend near enough time there. And I don't think I have any pictures or anything.

I want to investigate all the small town bookstores along the coast in Oregon. Any small town bookstore really. 

And I'm sure there's a bunch I'm forgetting! I just want to see them all!



Monday, October 3, 2022

Book Review: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

 Book: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

Genre: literary fiction/mystery

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


This was September's book club book. A bunch of the members of book club have been raving about this author and I've never even heard of her. So it was fun to see what all the fuss was about!

In this one we have two sisters, each telling their story, including what life was like growing up with their mom. Most of the story is from the point of view of the sister who seems a bit autistic (Fern.) And then we get journal entries from the other sister, the one who it seems feels a bit of responsibility for the other sister (Rose.) 

Who is the "good" sister is anyone's guess at this point!

Rose is struggling with her husband and feels like having a baby would solve all the problems. But she can't seem to get pregnant. So Fern decides she is going to help her by getting pregnant FOR her. So she sets out to find a guy. And in the process, she actually falls in love with a pretty interesting dude. So things should be easy now, yes? 

But not at all. This is when things get pretty interesting and we start getting the very strong feeling that all is not as it seems. 

Most people say they can figure it out, but I can never do it, so I was pretty hooked until the end trying to figure out what was going on. 

So, yeah. I really enjoyed it! It was quick to get into it and quite easily readable. I'm good to read more by this author should she come up again.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

The Sunday Post: First Post

The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted at Caffeinated Reviewer.


I've seen Jenni Elyse doing this meme for quite awhile now and we were talking about blogging last week and I said maybe I'd give this one a try. I've done my own newsy "Currently" post for several years, but it would be fun to try and connect to with others, so here we go!

LISTENING:

I've been all about this song by ONEUS this week/month. It's called Same Scent.


 

 Here's another one from them from the same album, but a totally different feel. Just them standing and singing and not be too distracting with the dancing, lol! This one is called Gravitation.


WATCHING:

Still trying to finish up a kdrama called Extraordinary Attorney Woo. Everyone else has loved this one, but man I am SLOGGING through it! In the meantime we started a reality show called Young Actors Retreat with a bunch of kdrdama stars doing games and interacting and being funny. I'm loving it. 

We watched the movie about the dude who wrote Rent... Jonathan Larson called tick tick BOOM. That was really good and fantastically acted, especially by Andrew Garfield. 




I'm wondering if Survivor should be starting up soon! Isn't it about time? We can't miss that show after watching it for 23 years! WAH!

READING:

I read the book club book (The Good Sister) and another for fun kpop love story book. I started J. Scott Savage's latest one in the Lost Wonderland Diaries series.  I acquired two fun romance books at the Rom Con I went to yesterday. More on that later. 

WRITING:

UGH! Thinking about my story ALL THE TIME, but never actually sitting down and finishing it! I need to figure out how to get back in the groove of the voice. That is SO HARD for me!

BLOGGING:

I did a lot of catching up posts the past couple weeks. Pretty much reviewed my whole summer's reading and watching consumption. I think there's a few more to go still until I'm truly "caught up."

YOUTUBING:

I'm doing a ONEUS (see above) week on the kpop channel this week.  I'm also working on my 25 favorite songs of the month video. 

And I'm pondering starting a booktube/writing/life learning channel. What do you think? Am I crazy? Am I too late to the game? Is the booktube community already too saturated? If I do this then I really need to step up my reading game and get back in the loop. But I do want to do something else on YouTube in addition to the kpopping. I can't stop thinking about which is usually an indication I need to just jump in and don't look back. But I'm scared. Sigh. 

EATING/EXCERSIING: 

I walked once and did Supernatural once this past week. At this rate, I'm going to never make any goals in this category!! I also made a lot of cookies and treats this week. Baking is one of my biggest life joys and I wish SO BAD it wasn't something that was "bad" to do... 

MISC:

* We have another kpop event in LA to go to this month. If only all the groups would stop coming! Anyway, this is a huge festival thing and we'll be seeing a ton of groups all at once including the one that starting this whole crazy thing... Super Junior! YES!!



* I spent a week with my daughter and granddaughter this past week. It was fun being a grandma for a bit again! 



* I picked a couple of things in the garden. I think it's all we'll get! Seriously one of the most depressing things in my life!




Saturday, September 17, 2022

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Book: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Genre: YA SF

Rating:  ★ ★ 


Awhile back I made a pile of books for a Top Ten Tuesday with the theme of "books I've had for years but never read." That stack has been mocking me ever since. So I grabbed one off the top and read it! So there!

This particular one was interesting to me too because of the scifi theme, since that's the sort of book I'm currently trying to finish up writing myself. So I was kind of hoping that reading this would spur me on to finishing my own story. Ha.

Anyway, I remember this one getting a ton of buzz years ago and I'm assuming many of you have read it, yeah? What did you think? I should look up old reviews!

It's about a girl who decides to go on a mission with her parents, which involves them getting frozen for 300 plus years while the ship travels to the new planet they are going to settle and start civilization there. So the catch is, someone wakes her up WAY too early and now she is part of the crew of the ship that lives and dies there while they make their way to the new planet. 

She makes friends with the dude who is up next to lead this crew and there are so many strange things going on and together they get to (or try to get to) the bottom of it all.  Basically, this crew and this mission in general, is not a happy one. WAH, these people are messed up!

So of course this book is just the start and to finish the story, one must keep going! I have so many books where I've read the first one and then totally forget to keep going, even if I'm intrigued. Sigh. Has anyone read this whole series? Is it worth it? Should I keep going?


Friday, September 16, 2022

Book Review: The YouTube Formula by Derral Eves

 Book: The YouTube Formula by Derral Eves

Genre: NF self help

Rating: ★ 


I randomly ended up getting my hands on this book and was curious about what this dude had to say, so I read it. 

Let me first say I have seen/heard this guy at several conferences for Youtubing and while I can admit he is knowledgable and passionate, I just always get the impression that he struggles with how to actually TEACH his ideas. In these classes, I always get frustrated that he ends up talking about what great things he's done for other creators, but never really gets down to the nitty gritty of HOW he did it, or how things can apply to all creators, or a nice clear list of stuff to do. You know? It's so very frustrating.

Well, and of course, this book is the same way. I gathered a few intersting tidbits, but mostly it's just about experiences he's had in the youtubing world and how great it's all been. I could probably do a page or two of the bottom line tips he gives, whereas this book is like, 200 plus pages. WAH!

Anyway, it was fun to read and see how it's been done for all the popular people. Not much of it can I really use in my own experience and niche.  But some. Yeah, some. 

Youtubing is pretty much the weirdest thing. And all these experts can guess at how it happens, and what to do to make it better. But basically, people are going to click on whatever, and there's not a whole lot you can do to make them do anything different. 

My channel grew really fast and strong for the first couple of years, but then we changed directions a bit and that is a pretty big no no because your audience doesn't change with. It's so very frustrating. So now I'm in a place where I have to decide, do I keep going and try to find the viewers who like what I'm doing? or do I change directions again? Do I start over with something different? or do I just give it all up!

So, yeah, much more than any of you wanted to know about my youtubing struggles, but there you go. I've also been watching a lot of channels that talk about how to get better at this game, and those are interseting too and sometimes even motivating, but mostly, I just keep wondering why I'm even trying. 

It's because I love it I guess!

Anyone else out there reading this trying to do Youtube? Let's talk!



Thursday, September 15, 2022

Book Review: Lines of Courage by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Book: Lines of Courage by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Genre: MG Historical Fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


This was last month's book club book as part of our Utah Book Month. Does anyone remember when we used to have a whole month celebrating our Utah authors? And a bunch of us bloggers hosted it? Yeah, good times, those. Anyway, we like to give a nod to those memories and still read a Utah author in our book club. It's great!

One of our favorite Utah authors is Jennifer Nielsen. She's pretty awesome, both as an author AND a person. So she often ends up on our lists. There are so many books to choose from. Personally, I'm way behind in keeping up with her. 

She has a line of historical fiction books so we ended up choosing one of those. This one tells the stories of five different kids during WWI, from all their points of view and ends up weaving their stories together in a really interseting way. We have the boy who witnessed the Archduke's asscination, the girl who is trying to become a nurse like her mom, the girl who is the son of German military leader, and the Russian boy fighting on the front lines. I found all their stories to be quite compelling and hopeful.

I mostly had a problem feeling like, could kids really do these things? It was hard for me to imagine. I know others in our book club had issues with how sweetly and neatly everything was wrapped up and how it all worked out so well. Granted, this is for a MG audience, but I do agree that everything seemed a bit too perfect. 

That being said, I still enjoyed reading about all these kids and look forward to trying to catch up with all the other books of hers that I have yet to read! I do wish there were more like The False Prince though. That one still remains my favorite! 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Kdrama Review: Dear.M

Drama: Dear.M (on Viki)

Genre: rom com

Starring: Park HyesuJeong JaehyunRoh Jeongeui and Bae Hyunsung, Lee Jinhyuk

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤


Everyone was excited about this one because Jaehyun, kpop star in NCT 127, is in it. It got delayed for some reason or another (a scandal with the original co-star or something?) but it finally aired this past summer so I jumped on in and watched it while it was airing! 

It's a cute college drama about a group of friends and roommates who are intrigued by a mysterious letter that's posted on the campus forum talking about how this person is in love with someone. They are all trying to figure out who it is and end up assuming it's one of them. 

We have all the fun different romances in this one. Our main couple have been best friends forever, but the dude is suddenly realizing he likes the girl more than just a friend. Meanwhile, she is intrigued by some hot new guy in school. Another couple has been together forever (they are the campus couple) but they start having struggles when another girl comes in on the scene and obnoxiously causes problems trying to creating a rift between them so she can steal the dude. Not cool. 

And then we have the quirky comic relief roommates... our lovely dude (one of my favorite kpop guys and in fact the one dude I've met in real life and had taken a picture with!) who has OCD about cleanliness and a girl who has diabetes to deal with, but a fun and crazy personality that you'd THINK would clash with the OCD dude. LOL!

Anyway. It's all of their stories with the bottom line mystery of whoever wrote the letter. It was your basic fun romcom with all the expected angst. I totally enjoyed it. I know some other kdrama fans found it annoying. But I found it all worth it to watch both these kpop boys doing their acting! 

There's one moment when someone is trying to get Jaehyun's character to sing a song and he is all "I don't do ballads." I died, because this dude and ballads in real life are perfection. Seriously.  

But yeah. This one is simple basic fun!


A trailer highlighting our lead couple:

 

 A trailer highlighting my boy the OCD dude:

   

 And a song from the drama with Jaehyun and his co-star actually doing the singing. This is him "not singing ballads" lol!

 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Kdrama Review: Sh**ting Stars

Drama: Sh**ting Stars (on Viki)

Genre: romcom

Starring: Lee Sung Kyung, Kim Young Dae

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


This is another one of those dramas that I at first dismissed just from the title and that it sounded silly. But of course, we all know, that is not usually how it really is!

What a cute fun romcom this one is! 

The story follows the antics of a company that hires celebrities, mostly for dramas. Our girl is the PR person and solves all the crazy messes that the celebrities get themselves into. Our guy is their top star. He's HUGE in the kdrama world. And she thinks he is just awful. Except when he's not. He is intrigued by her and admits pretty fast into the drama that he wants to be with her. They have a back story (not a tragic one as is the case a lot, they just knew each other at college) and so there is a  lot of banter... SO MUCH AWESOME banter!




Anyway. The situations are all funny and our couple is very fun and crazy and cute and lots of heart pitter pattering. It's great. And all the side characters have great stories too. 

And in case you are wondering the ** in the title can stand for either two O's or an I and a T. LOL! 

As for the leads, I was familiar with the girl (she's in Weightlifting Fairy) but the guy was new to me. And of course, he was amazing. And then one of the side characters suddenly turned out to be another favorite kpop dude, Seunghyub from N.Flying. That was a fun surprise!


Here's trailer to give a feel of what it's like:


And a song of course!


And now, I just kind of want to watch it all over again!

Friday, September 9, 2022

Kdrama Review: Tomorrow

Drama: Tomorrow (on Netflix)

Genre: Fantasy

Starring:  Kim Hee-sun, Rowoon, Lee Soo-hyuk and Yoon Ji-on.

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


This was a drama that was quite hard to watch. But at the same time it was so so good. 

The premise is our main characters are working for the afterlife, and their specific job is to save people from suicide. Some of their colleagues are traditional grim reapers that meet people as they die and escort them to wherever they go next. But our group has a device that shows them who is about die by their own hands, and they insert themselves into their lives and fix things.

It's heartbreaking. Everyone's story brings you, the watcher, literally to tears every single time. Every story is very relatable, and so real. Or they are stories from history that are crazy disturbing and awful. But every single one ends with uplifting and hopeful feelings.


Our main dude is hanging out with this group just on a temporary basis. He's in a coma, and while his body heals, he is helping this team. And he is awesome. He learns so many things and helps them in so many ways. 

While all these stories happen, we get the back stories of the main characters. And those are especially heartbreaking. Oh my word. 

Anyway, that's all to say this drama is fantastic, but highly emotional. So watch at your own risk and when you are in the mood for much crying. But also a lot of wonderful emotions. So very cathartic all around!

Our main dude is played by a kpop star, Rowoon from SF9 and wow. He is amazing. The other actors blew me away too. And many episodes have guest stars that I was familiar with (from kpop mostly) and they too were all wonderful. I can't believe how talented these people are. It's so not fair. Geez.

Here's a trailer:


And one of my favorite songs EVER was used in this drama... sung by one of my favorite dudes ever:



Thursday, September 8, 2022

Book Review: Will by Will Smith

Book: Will by Will Smith

Genre: memoir

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ 


For book club in July, we decided we'd have a "memoir" month, and each of us would choose a different book and then share what we learned about our person. I loved this idea! It was awesome! 

Funny thing though was, two of us choose this book! HA! 

Anyway, I got this book for Christmas from one of my kids and so I decided to go ahead and choose it for my book. (I had so many others I wanted to read too... next time!) 

This book, of course, came out just before his big faux pas at the Oscars. But having that incident in my head (and I'm sure in everyone's head who reads this book) makes the book even more interesting. 

Bottom line though is, I loved this story so much. He is not a perfect person by any means, but his thoughts and outlook on life are very interesting. I tabbed so many spots to share at our book club, but we ended up doing it on zoom (that was back when we had covid at our house for a minute) and it just didn't work as well. Maybe I can share some of those with you all here and now?

Talking about the look on his grandma's face when he played the piano in public for the first time:

"But I was only playing for one person. And the look on her face... I still struggle to describe it. The words "pride" or "approval" are pale and inadequate. I can only say I've been chasing that look in the eyes of every woman I've ever loved ever since."

Talking about his first girlfriend:

"The look in Melanie's eyes became the substitute for Gigi's (grandma's) approval. I've always needed a woman to achieve for. When I performed, I was now performing for Melanie...... If she was happy that  meant I was a good person. If she was unhappy, that meant I was a monster."


Talking about his dream, that he didn't even realize he had :

"I need to know what the goal is," JL asked.

"The goal is not to be broke. To be able to have fun, to be able to travel and live how we want. To not have the IRS taking our stuff no more." 

 "So that's FIVE goals...but what is the dream? What are we trying to build? What do you want?"  JL said. 

 "I want to be the biggest movie star in the world."

  "Now THAT'S a goal, " JL said.


 Talking about working on that dream:



 

 Anyway. And so it goes. Fascinating the way things have gone up and down for him. And how he got all the gigs he got and yeah. Totally fascinating. I recommend if you are at all a Will Smith and even if you aren't. 

Can't wait to read the rest of the memories on my pile!


Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Book Review: Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras

Book: Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras

Genre: romance

Rating: ★ ★ 


When I went to a writing conference back in May, I found at that one of the visiting authors there was a friend of my kpop author friend. So on a whim, I bought her book and talked to a her a bit at the signing, dropping my friend's name and making all the connections. Very fun!

Anyway, this is a pure romance book and I haven't read something like this in a long time! It was fun and a perfect summer read! Location and subject both!

This takes place in Key West, and is about a girl who goes on vacation there and is hoping her boyfriend will join her so she can present him to her family. But he doesn't show, so she asks this random dude at the airport to stand in for the week as her boyfriend. Because...reasons. 

So yes, it is a the fake boyfriend trope... and also forced habitation trope (because he ends up staying with them in the airbnb in order to keep up the story!) Two awesome tropes!

In the process of truly falling for each other, they find out they both have back story issues that need resolving and so they help each other figure that stuff out too. 

It was totally fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it! And now I need to go to Key West!


Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Book Review: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

 Book: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Genre: urban fantasy

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


We read this book for book club WAY back in June. I had heard so much about it. I just knew it was going to be so awesome!

So... was it awesome? I would say it was mostly... weird.. .and yet quite intriguing and thought provoking. 

It's about a girl who wants to die, but instead of dying, she ends up in the Midnight Library where the librarian she remembers from her childhood tells her to think about her perfect life, and she can go try that one out instead. 

So so goes back to life, but this time in her fantasy life and she finds out pretty quickly, all is not so well in this life either. 

And so she tries out another, and another and another. Until she FINALLY finds the perfect life, but is it really? 

I enjoyed it and the "moral" of the story quite a bit. It was a little preachy I suppose in parts, but mostly I didn't notice. It reminded me a lot of the movie It's a Wonderful Life. 

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Currently: SO BEHIND!!

   


I'm so behind in blogging I don't even know where or how to catch up. Maybe I'll do a mini review post with all the books I've read these past few months? And mini review post with all the dramas I've watched?  I don't know. If feels so pointless!

It's been a busy couple of months since I was last here. We had a family reunion trip, and I've gone to LA again for more kpopping. And I've had a lot of videos to edit for youtube, which tends to take priority. So yeah. I'm still here! But feel like even though it's been busy, I don't have much to say here on the blog! THE STRUGGLE!


Listening:

Here's a Spotify link to my favorite songs from August. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/22s5YlIVQT3kcBzHNs7lz3?si=1993ffa524cf4d4a

Here's a song I especially love of late. It's a kpop group, but they are singing English. And there's no dancing in this video for those who are annoyed by that. It's just singing. I love the upbeatness of this one. We got to meet this group during KCON. They are a blast. Boogie Woogie by Cravity:

 

Watching:

I've been catching up on some American TV these past couple of months. We watched all four seasons of Stranger Things. And then WandaVision, and now Loki. All very fun. Stranger Things is intense, yeah? But now I can finally feel in the know with regard to that series. It feels good! What should we watch next?

 Reading:

I am keeping up with book club reads and that's about it. I did just finish a random book from my pile... Across the Universe, which was popular years back and has been waiting its turn all these years. That was a crazy book!

Writing:

In June I did pretty good with writing. But then it all fell apart in July and August with all the stuff going on. I'm ready to start it up again. And have wondered if I will be doing Nano in November or not, because if so, it's time to start planning! But first I really wanted to submit my 80s books somewhere, and at least finish the space book. I am SO CLOSE! 

Blogging:

Last time I did one of these posts I wrote "still here" for this section. LOL, I can't even write that this time since I basically disappeared! Anyway, I listed all my excuses above, but yeah, I'm really struggling with it right now. 

YouTubing:

I've been editing like crazy. A KCON vlog and another nonkopper series, several Shorts. Anyway. It's taking up a lot of time but not giving any pay back. So I'm struggling there too. I want so bad for it to be a real thing, but I am missing some key ingredient that I either need to figure out, or just give it up. 

Health Watch:

I am at place now where I am just eating whatever. But still trying to exercise even though that has suffered with all the events of late. 

Misc:

* Tori came back from Korea in July, and then got Covid. So we hunkered down for a week or so, but I never got it. 

* I went to kpop concerts in May and July, and KCON in August. Three trips to LA. 



* The Oregon trip happened, with all the family. 

The whole family!

* The garden is failing as expected. We might have a pepper to eat one of these days. 

* Basically if you look back on what I've just written, I'm struggling with everything. No wonder I've been avoiding coming here to report! LOL! 










Thursday, July 28, 2022

Book Review: Hearts of Briarwall by Krista Jensen

Book: Hearts of Briarwall by Krista Jensen

Genre: Edwardian romance (A Proper Romance from ShadowMountain.com)

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


It's been awhile but here I am again to promote another Proper Romance book! Thank you to Shadow Mountain for this opportunity!

First how about a summary (provided by the publisher):

Lydia Wooding is fascinated by the latest inventions the new century brings, including motorcars. She longs for the independence they represent and believes that women should have a say in the future of the industry—just as they should have a say in suffrage, adventure, and, of course, love.

Spencer Hayes is a man of practicality and innovation, but he lacks the financial backing to make his dream a reality. When he contacts his childhood friend, Andrew Wooding, about a promising business venture, he is invited to Briarwall Manor to discuss the terms. Once there, he is surprised to find that Andrew's once shy, younger sister, Lydia, has grown into a young woman of beauty, wit, and a bit of fire. Even better, the two share a passion for motorcars.

Andrew, however, is wary of cars, having lost his parents in a tragic auto accident when he and Lydia were young. And he's not sure a relationship between his sister and Spencer is the best idea—not when Sir Lawrence is available and could match both Lydia's social status and her fortune.

Torn between risking their hearts and being loyal to their dreams in an era of whirlwind change, Spencer and Lydia anchor themselves with the determination they both share: to live life to its fullest.

********

I went into this truly not knowing anything. I choose to read this out of a line up books and it just sounded so fun! I don't think I've read anything set in the Edwardian era, not that I can remember at the moment anyway. And it's a pretty cool era! Lots of changes happening in the world! It's a fun time. (I had to look it up, we are talking early 1900's here.

There's four friends featured in this book, and this particular story is about one of them, Lydia, and her brother, and her brother's friend who comes to visit. (After finishing this I wondered if the other friends will have their story? I don't know.. I'm just guessing, but it sure seems like that would be a cool idea!) And this Lydia is fantastic awesome female character! So full of feistiness! And she truly doesn't care what people think. Wearing trousers. Wanting to learn how to drive. Fighting for the vote. Wanting to invest her money. Etc. I love it. She is so funny and witty too. 

And our cute boy Spencer kinda loves it too. He's not so sure he should, but he does. He has been hurt before, so he is trying SOOO hard to remain nonchalant. But that doesn't last long at all.

I really loved the banter and the romance in this one. All around so fun. It totally had me engaged and invested. I really do hope there's more with this world and these characters! 

So yeah, if you enjoy Victorian era stories, but want something a little different, a little more Downton Abby (as I saw it compared to somewhere) then you'll probably truly enjoy this one! This comes out next week on August 2!

*******

More about the author: 

Award-winning author KRISTA JENSEN works and plays in the Pacific Northwest with her spunky little dog and anyone else who wants to tag along. When she’s not exploring the outdoors, she can likely be found with her laptop, a pretty spiral notebook, and a Pilot Precise V7, writing about love, triumph, and really great kisses.

Either that or she’s switching laundry wondering who keeps wearing all these clothes. (It’s her.)

For book info and other good things, follow Krista on Instagram @kristajensenbooks.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Kdrama Review: Light on Me

Drama: Light on Me

Genre: BL

Starring: Kang Yooseok, Lee Saeon, Choi Chanyi

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


I figured since it was Pride Month I'd watch another BL drama and see what I thought. And if the drama I enjoyed from awhile back was just a fluke thing or if I might truly like them. You know? Anyway, I asked for recommendations from trusted friends who know my tastes which for this genre is "sweet and soft."  Many people suggested this one, Light on Me, and so I decided to give it a try.

And yes, sweet and soft this is! Cute and adorable all the way around. 

It's about a dude who is a bit of an outcast, totally keeps to himself. He's a little bit weird and people just don't get him. Mostly his "problem" is he is too blunt and honest. Anyway, he decides to try to actually put himself out there make some friends. So a teacher suggests he join the student council.

It's an all boys high school and so there's three other guys already on the council. The president is very VERY friendly and happy go lucky and cute and popular with everyone. The vice president is shy and quiet and he and our dude get off to a bad start because of an awkward moment that happened out in the hall. And then there's the third guy who is just the funny comic relief! Gah I loved him!

And so turns out, our guy kinda falls for the president. And then things get awkward when the president doesn't really want to be outed. Because he does kind of like our guy, but he just wants to be close friends. Lol... it's a formula trope, yes? 


But the dude who is quiet and stand offish, he starts to get jealous when he realizes HE likes our dude. And it's fun to see him finally open up and come out of his angriness and admit to his feelings. And start smiling. I love that. 

It's still strange and unfamiliar territory for me, but I have to admit that these cute BL's are quite enjoyable. There are a bunch looming on the horizon, since I have a several more favorite kpop idols that are going to be staring in them. And I will want to support and cheer them on. (LOL, as if they knew I was doing that. Geez, but sometimes it feels like that!) So... we'll see how it goes!

Here's a trailer:



And this awesome song, sung by one of my very favorite kpop groups, A.C.E:

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Kdrama Review: The Sound of Magic

 Drama: The Sound of Magic

Genre: Fantasy

Staring: Ji Changwook, Choi Sungeun, Hwang Inyoup

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


This is the first drama I've watched that's an actual musical.  I mean we always get great soundtracks, and songs happen all the time, but the characters don't break out into song and dance. But they do in this one! And it's awesome to see our Changwook singing in such a thing!

It's a story about a dude who claims to be a magician and is living in an abandoned amusement park. Our girl is really struggling in life, having been basically abandoned by her parents and having to now take care of her little sister while still going to high school. She happens upon the magician and he changes how she feels about life with his magic. 

Our boy is also struggling, more with the demands of his parents. He ends up getting to know the magician too, but is much more skeptical. He is worried about the involvement our girl has with the magician and wonders what's really going on.

And what IS really going on indeed? That begins to be the question as the story goes on. Something is up. 

Even though the story has many beautiful magical moments, there is also some disturbing bits too. An interesting juxtaposition. 


Some people I know were bothered by the singing (which I find funny because pretty sure everyone knew it's a musical going in) but I thought it was great fun and everyone was really awesome. There's really not a ton of songs either. And of course Ji Changwook is FANTASTIC as he is in everything he does. So so good!

I ended up enjoying it a lot. It's a really short drama (only six episodes I think) and worth watching!

Here's the trailer. 




And an example of one of the musical numbers. 



Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Book Review: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

 Book: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

Genre: YA science fiction

Rating: ★ ★ ★ 


This was last month's book club book. And now it's almost time for this month's! I am so behind!

Anyway, I went into it knowing nothing. And was pleasantly surprised with how fast I was sucked in and invested.

This one takes place on a planet where a couple of groups of people are in conflict with each other. Different customs and styles and goals. The story opens when the boy and his brother from one group get kidnapped by some people from the other group, after they murder his father. Now it's a few years later and he is older and ready to try to escape and take his brother with him before it's too late. Because the brother is being changed by the power of the dude who is the leader of these people.

And the sister of this dude has a special power that makes it so if she touches people, they feel intense pain. To the point where she can kill them. And the brother uses her like crazy for his power, and she is sick of it. And ready to escape.

And the story gets great when the two of them meet. 

"Carve the mark" refers to the tradition these people have of tattooing a line on their arm for all the people they've killed. It's a badge of honor. And our boy is collecting them whether he wants to or not, even though he is from the more peaceful people. 

Oh, did I mention that the boy CAN touch the girl? Because HIS power is that powers don't work on him! Yes. Very interesting indeed!

So they get help and concoct a plan and it's a crazy plan and wow. 

And then the book ends and it's really not over! AH, where's the next book?



Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Quotes

 


For the prompt today (Favorite Quotes) I did not go on a theme, but instead just copied and pasted my favorite quotes on my Goodreads profile. LOL! I put these up YEARS ago, but most of them still apply to my feelings today. Go figure! Some of them are bookish, some of them not.  



  • “Sometimes you read a book so special that you want to carry it around with you for months after you've finished just to stay near it.”
    ― Markus Zusak



  • William W. Purkey
    “You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
    Love like you'll never be hurt,
    Sing like there's nobody listening,
    And live like it's heaven on earth.”
    ― William W. Purkey




  • Groucho Marx
    “Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
    ― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Masrx


  • Mark Twain
    “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”
    ― Mark Twain



  • Josh Groban
    “Music is what I always turn to when I'm feeling a certain way. It's my reason for everything.”
    ― Josh Groban


  • Allen Saunders
    “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.”
    ― Allen Saunders



  • Josh Groban
    “There's no half-singing in the shower, you're either a rock star or an opera diva”
    ― Josh Groban





  • John Green
    “Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”
    ― John Green, An Abundance of Katherines


  • John Green
    “Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself.”
    ― John Green







  • “He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world.

    She was the book thief without the words.

    Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain.”
    ― Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

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