Note-Able: AWOLNATION’S “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)”

Note-able is my very, very irregular post in which I talk about songs, musicians, bands, concerts…in other words, any music that I find special or worthy to be discussed.

Note-Able on Caught Read Handed

I love AWOLNATION. Their album Megalithic Symphony is one of my most played albums. The physical CD is one of the few that is constantly in my car AND on my phone AND my MP3 player. I will play that CD until it’s dead and then I’ll buy another one. I don’t care that I have it on my computer and could just burn another. When I found out yesterday (apparently I’m a little behind) that they were FINALLY releasing a new album in March and had already released a single – Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) – I immediately bought it. I have played it at least thirty times.

I’m so excited to have new music from them. My favorite thing about AWOLNATION is that while they do have a distinct sound, every single one of their songs is different. And incredible. They’re versatile and unique. Plus, Aaron’s vocal range is amazing. Yeah, alright, I’ll tone down the fangirl. I just really appreciate them as a band, and I’m really happy about the new music. I’ve included the music video for “Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf)” below. It’s a fun video so you should definitely check it out.

What do you think? Do you have a song you think is note-able? Link me up in the comments! I love discovering new music.

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First Monthly Link Up for My WatchPlayRead Reviews! – January 2015

I was supposed to be (according to my own schedule, not anyone else’s) posting a review of Jasmine Warga’s debut My Heart & Other Black Holes today, but for several reasons I can’t. I haven’t been able to write it because I will probably be sucked up into my own black hole if I try to write about it this week (not in a great place this week) and because I just haven’t had time. SO instead, I’m going to do a link up for WatchPlayRead. Some of you might know that, in addition to my blog, I write comic reviews over on WatchPlayRead. I know a lot of you aren’t interested or don’t read comics, so I don’t post many of them here, but for those of you that do, I decided to start a monthly link up to all the reviews I’ve done on WPR that month. Feel free to check them out and any other posts on WPR – we do a mix of books, comics, video games, movies, and nerdy products. 🙂

WatchPlayRead.com logo

Feathers #1I started off the year with a review of Capture Creatures #1, a quite young all-ages comic featuring barely any creatures in the first issue but lots of exaggerated fun!

Next up was Feathers #1, another all-ages comic from BOOM! Studios (probably my favorite comics publisher – or at least closely tied with Image). Feathers (cover to the left) is a fun adventure comic for fans of Peter Pan or fairy tales.

Bodies issue 6 CoverThen I reviewed Bodies #6 – I’ve been having a love affair with Bodies for six months now and it’s coming to an end soon. I’m not sure how I feel about this as I mostly don’t want it to end but I can’t wait to see how it all comes together. (Bodies #6 cover to right)

After Bodies #6, I reviewed the Cutter mini-series from Image and it wasn’t that great. Mostly like a bad slasher film.

Reyn #1I reviewed the Memetic run from BOOM! Studios (do you see a pattern?) next. It’s all about a killer meme, you guys. How could you not want to read it? I also posted this review on the blog, so you might’ve seen it.

Reyn #1, from Image Comics, is an accessible, fun fantasy comic with a self-sufficient, awesome female character and some lizard men. Also, it has lizard dudes. (Cover to left)

And finally, I posted a review of Creature Cops #1 yesterday. It wasn’t for me but it might be good for you.

I usually post 2 reviews per week, sometimes more but sometimes less. I love being able to talk comics, and I’m sure you’ll find my reviews are just as passionate as they are here. If you are interested in reading comics or already do, make sure you head over to WatchPlayRead to check out my reviews (and everyone else’s! We are all pretty cool over there).

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday (TGIF!) and I’ll see you tomorrow. 🙂

The TBR Tag

I was tagged by the wonderful Rachel at Confessions of a Book Geek AND Brandie at Brandie is a Book Junkie to do the TBR Tag! Thanks, lovelies!

1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Goodreads mostly. I have a “to read” shelf and a “physical books I own TBR” to keep track of books I own and want to read and those I don’t own but would either like to own or just read.

2. Is your TBR mostly print or eBook?

Print. I mostly only use my Kindle for e-ARCs. I have a couple of books on my Kindle I’ve bought because they were really great deals, but I prefer physical books 9.5 times out of 10.

3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I’m a bit of a mood reader, so I mostly just pick up the book I feel like reading. However, I also have a lot of e-ARCs that I try to read at least a couple weeks before their release date, so I have to factor that into my reading schedule.

4. A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest.

The Bone Season

I bought this book in 2013 while I was working at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It’s signed and everything. I just haven’t read it. Why haven’t I read it??

5. A book you recently added to your TBR.

The 100 by Kass Morgan    Confess by Colleen Hoover

Bought: The 100 by Kass Morgan / On GR: Confess by Colleen Hoover

6. A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover.

I don’t tend to buy books just because of their cover. I like to at least read the blurb if not a few reviews. But my favorite cover that I physically own but haven’t read is a tie between

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black    Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda    Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

7. A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading.

Probably none. I don’t buy books I don’t plan on reading. If I don’t like a book, I will either DNF it or give it to someone else.

8. An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for.

Pretty much everything on my 2015 releases shelf, but a few I’m really excited about (I obviously don’t know how to pick only one):

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan A Court of Thorns and Roses

9. A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor   The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey   Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo   The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

10. A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.

See above.

11. A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read.

ALL OF THEM?! Here are three I wish I was reading RIGHT NOW SIMULTANEOUSLY.

Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater    The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black    Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

12. How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

General “to read” shelf – 363. “Physical books I own TBR” shelf – 73, and this needs to be updated. CUE ANXIETY.

Spongebob anxiety GIF

As always, I’m leaving it up to you to participate or not. This was a lot of fun (and anxiety inducing!), so if you guys feel like participating, DO IT! Link me up! 🙂

Waiting on Wednesday – A Court of Thorns and Roses

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

A Court of Thorns and RosesPublisher: Bloomsbury Children’s

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Release date: May 5, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

Why I’m excited: Seriously, who isn’t waiting on this one? I feel like almost everyone in the book blogging world is looking forward to it, and I am seriously jealous of everyone who’s received an ARC of A Court of Thorns and Roses (they all came with a beautiful mask). I feel like all I keep seeing on Twitter is “AHHH! I love ACOTAR!! It’s amazing!” and then I just feel the NEED all over again. Beauty and the Beast, fairies, a kick ass heroine, magic, Sarah J. Maas? I don’t really need anything else, honestly. It sounds really awesome, and I can’t wait to read it! Also, it’s “sexy and action-packed”? Can I have this NOW, please?

Top Ten Tuesday: Adult Fiction Picks if I Was in a Book Club

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club/If I Had A Book Club (or you could pick a specific kind of book club — like if you had a YA book club or an adult book club or a science fiction book club etc.)

I don’t have a book club (unless you count my blog) but I’ve often thought about joining/starting one. I read a lot of YA, and while I would enjoy discussing the YA books I read in a group, I kind of use my blog and other blogs for that. So I’d like to be in a book club that read adult fiction – to keep me reading more adult fiction and to be able to discuss it with other adults. So if I had a book club that read adult fiction, I’d love to read these books with them. [GR behind each explanation is linked to Goodreads]

BOOKS I’VE READ AND WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS

The Book of Strange New Things  The Humans  Rivers by Michael Farris Smith  The Labrador Pact by Matt Haig

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber – we all know how much I LOVED this one. I’d love to talk about it with a book club! GR

The Humans by Matt Haig – who’s surprised by this choice? I’ll answer for you – no one. I want everyone to read this book. GR

Rivers by Michael Farris Smithanother book I loved. Would be interesting to discuss Rivers with a book club especially since I live in Mississippi and know people who were really affected by Katrina. GR

The Labrador Pact/The Last Family in England by Matt Haig – a book written from the perspective of the family dog? Yep. Matt Haig has a beautiful way of making you realize things about yourself and humanity that you never would have thought of in his books. GR

BOOKS I HAVEN’T READ AND WOULD PICK TO READ

If On a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn  Landline by Rainbow Rowell  The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey  Us by David Nicholls  The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Cavino – Have been told by several people I need to read this one, and I would love to! GR

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – I know, I know. I’m not sure why I haven’t read this yet either. Probably because I tend to stay away from hype. I don’t know what the major twist is, but the fact that I know there’s a major twist kind of irritates me. I’ll be looking for it the whole time I’m reading. BUT I do want to read this one eventually. GR

Landline by Rainbow Rowell – I really liked Rowell’s other adult book, Attachments, so I want to check this one out too. Would be fun to read with a group. GR

The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey – I don’t know if this is really book club material, but I’m going to assume if I joined a book club, it’d be full of really cool people who’d want to read this. GR

Us by David Nichols – I enjoyed One Day, and I think this would be a good book to read in February. GR

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick – I’ve heard that this one is weird and wonderful. I like both of those things. Plus, I liked The Silver Linings Playbook, and I want to read more by Quick. GR

What about you? What books would you read if you had a book club? Or if you do have one, what are some books you’ve read and enjoyed? Link me up to your TTT if you participated!

DNF Review – Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross (ARC)

Tear You Apart by Sarah Cross is a Snow White retelling that was really intriguing at first, but I just couldn’t finish it. Reasons below.

Tear You Apart by Sarah CrossAuthor:  Sarah Cross

Genre: YA, fantasy, fairy tales, retellings

Publisher: Egmont USA

Publication Date: January 27, 2015

384 pages, hardcover

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Egmont USA for letting me read this.

Tear You Apart is set in a strange town called Beau Rivage that is full of the Cursed – people who’ve had curses places on them by malevolent fairies, each curse repeated over and over. So you have past Snow Whites and Cinderellas and Sleepy Beauties. It’s a seriously cool concept and I was really intrigued by it. Viv is a Snow White; she knows that her stepmother Regina (WHYYYY would you give her the same name as the OuaT queen??) will eventually order her best friend Henley (given the Huntsman curse) to kill her. I LOVED Beau Rivage, overflowing with curses and princesses and evil stepmothers. It reminded me of Storybrooke from Once Upon a Time, which was a plus. I could have really loved the fairy tale retellings but I couldn’t finish.

But there were a lot of things I didn’t like:

– The absolutely volatile relationship between Viv and Henley. Viv is jaded and horrible and she toys with Henley’s heart and if he were to want to kill her, she’d definitely be the reason why. She pushes him away for something he might do but then turns right around and cuddles with him. She got on my last nerve and is a big reason I stopped reading.

– I liked Henley at first – he was just trying to love Viv – but his obsession with her was creepy and weird.

– The darkness given to the story was really cool. BUT why does that have to come with abusive, clichéd relationships (can you say love triangle?)?? The characters are shallow and unlikeable on top of that. Strange that Tear You Apart has great world building and horrible characters.

I ended up taking a break from this book 50% of the way through to read something else in the hopes I’d want to finish it after. When I finished that book, I had no desire to pick Tear You Apart back up. And that right there is the reason I had to DNF this one at 50%. We all know that hardly ever happens for me, so I’m really sad about this. It’s also my first DNF review on the blog. I wanted to love this one so much, but I couldn’t do it.

I’m pretty sure I know what happens at the end anyway.

The bottom line: DNF’ed a 50%. I can definitely see some people liking this one. The retelling is interesting and Beau Rivage is a cool place. I just couldn’t get past the relationships and the MC.

Year of Happy – January Love Letter

#YearofHappy

Allisonleighann and October June have created a year-long monthly blog series called #YearofHappy. There’s a prompt for every month (an activity, project, or post) to inspire you to “go out, experience life, do crazy wonderful things and bring back the findings onto your blog, all in the name of a happier year.” I thought this sounded like a lot of fun. When I saw the first prompt though, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it. I don’t tend to get too personal on the blog (which is something I’m considering doing more of this year), but after I thought about it for a few days, I decided to go for it. Here’s the prompt:

Write a love letter to yourself. Write all the reasons you’re awesome, write down your hopes and dreams for the year ahead, any resolutions, heck, write what you had for lunch. Share why you’re grateful for 2014 and what you want to achieve in 2015. Share whatever you want – it’s your letter.

In the spirit of a happier year, my letter is more a list of things that make me happy versus hopes and dreams for the new year. Because, honestly, my hope for 2015 is to be happy. So my letter is short and to the point. Here we go!

Hey you,

I know this prompt was hard for you. I know that you struggle with happiness. I know that you fight every day to be happy, but I want you to know that you can do it. I believe in you. You are strong. For those days when you forget, here’s a list of things that make you happy:

  • Waking up early, getting a cup of coffee, and sitting in the quiet for a little while.
  • Having a dance party by yourself to some good music (your current favorite is “Uma Thurman” from Fall Out Boy)
  • Talking to fellow book lovers on your blog, on Twitter, on Goodreads. Do it often. You love them and they seem to love you too.
  • Listening to music in the car. I know you love audiobooks (they are awesome) but try not to overdo it. Remember to listen to music in between audiobooks for a day or two. You forget how much you love listening to music in the car every time you listen to an audiobook.
  • Going to the movies.
  • Working out. I know it hurts because of that darn arthritis, but stretch it out, go for a walk in the nice weather, lift some weights, anything. You feel better even if you are sore.
  • Go somewhere you’ve never been. Even if it’s only a couple hours’ drive. Just go! See beautiful places. Meet some strangers. Go on. You love it. Sometimes you just have to forget about money and do it. You feel restless ALL THE TIME if you don’t.
  • Taking pictures of books. Who cares how silly that sounds? It’s fun and creative and you need that.

Some things to remember:

  • Try not to get upset about the little things.
  • Try not to stress about the little things. I know you are a worrier. I know it’s hard not to stress when it feels like stress is a part of you, but do some of those things above and it gets easier. You can’t change what’s happened. Keep moving forward.
  • Don’t let the rude people get to you. You’re pretty good at letting the stupid things people say roll off your back, but sometimes the things people say still hurt. Just remember that not everyone is as nice or as polite as you.
  • Remember that you’re awesome. You tend to forget the things you can do when you put your mind to it. You can do anything.
  • Do those things that make you happy.
  • Don’t internalize your unhappiness, panic, stress, feelings. Write about them – even if no one reads it. Paint. Read. Even if you don’t really have anyone to talk to about it, you can find a way to let it out. Internalizing is bad. Bad, bad, bad.

2015 can will be a GREAT year. Don’t forget that. Do the things that make you happy. Keep moving forward but remember to stay in the moment. It’s okay to not feel happy every day and you are allowed to have bad days. That’s life. Just remember that you’ve got this. Be you, because you are awesome. You are a good person and I love you.

All the best,
Stefani
(January 2015)

National Readathon Day – I’m making #timetoread

National Readathon Day

Today is National Readathon Day! I don’t know if I’m technically too late to sign up, but I don’t really care. I’m making time to read today in support (mostly because I was going to make time to read today anyway!).

National Readathon day is sponsored and put on by Penguin Random House, GoodReads,Mashable, and the National Book Foundation. Join in the Readathon by reading from 12-4 p.m. in your own time zone.

I thought I’d do a post for this so I could share what I’m going to be reading. I’m FINALLY going to be reading My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga, which I first heard about in June (?) of last year and have been wanting to read since then. I started it yesterday and I’m already loving it, as much as you can love a book about a girl who wants to kill herself. I’m pretty sure it’s going to live up to my own personal hype. Yay!

Will you make #timetoread today?

Book Review: The Rabbit Back Literature Society (ARC)

A confusing but sometimes enchanting story that’ll leave you lost in the end, The Rabbit Back Literature Society is good but not great.

The Rabbit Back Literature SocietyAuthor:  Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen

Genre: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Literary Fiction

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (Thomas Dunne Books)

Publication Date: January 20, 2015 (US publication – first published in 2006)

352 pages, hardcover

Check out the synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Thomas Dunne Books for letting me read this.

What first drew me to this book was that absolutely gorgeous cover. Obviously. Then my friend Jo over at Drifting Pages bought it. Then I saw it on Netgalley and just had to read it. It has such an interesting concept. The Rabbit Back Literature Society was…good. Not great, but good. It’s well-written for the most part. The magical realism was really cool but also very strange, which I should have expected. However, it didn’t do anything. It didn’t go anywhere, which was really disappointing.

The thing that really disappointed me was the “mystery”. I like when books don’t answer all of your questions, leave you to figure out what you think happened. But I like when they answer SOME of them. One, even. There was little to no resolution for what was the biggest mystery in the whole book – the disappearance of Laura White. We do get resolution for one of the other mysteries, and I thought it was sweet and simple and wonderful, but we had NONE for the main mystery. It felt a little like I’d wasted my time.

The violence was also strange. I’m not sure if this is in part due to the fact that it’s been translated, but the authors of the society play “The Game” in which they can invoke a rule that allows them to hurt the other to get them to tell the truth. It was weird. There’s also one scene (only a few pages) that talks about an act of sexual violence that was seriously disturbing. I had to put the book down for a while.

I enjoyed the mysticism and magical realism, and most of the writing was interesting enough to keep me going. But feeling like you’ve part of the point when you finish is not something I like. Not bad but not great either.

The bottom line: I never really figured out what was happening or why I was reading about it. I will say that the book will push you violently out of your comfort zone, which I appreciated, and the magical realism was interesting and enchanting. I haven’t said much about the plot because 1. I’m not sure what the point was, and 2. I’m not sure there was supposed to be a point. If you like magical realism and translation, read this. But if you need things to be wrapped up, you’ll go insane at the end. Basically, read The Rabbit Back Literature Society at your own risk.

Rating: 6 – good, but not great

Thursday Thoughts: Book to Movie Adaptations (Through April 2015)

One of my plans for my blog in the new year was to post more discussion/bookish-but-not-review posts. Thursdays seem the best day for that, as I’ve got something on my blog on Tuesday and Wednesday and I plan to post a review every Monday and Friday. So I’m starting Thursday Thoughts as a (hopefully) weekly post in which I talk about something bookish, whether that be about reading, bookish life, books themselves, new books, book to movie adaptations, whatever. Basically, every Thursday you’ll get a post from me about books. Of course, I’d love if you participated! You can post about what I’m discussing or just link me up to one of your discussion posts. 🙂

Thursday Thoughts at Caught Read Handed

As always, there are a TON of books being made into movies this year. I, like many of you, prefer to read the book before I see the movie, but I don’t want to waste my time on a book that I might not enjoy. So, I am listing some of the books below that will be on the big screen in the next couple of months for you and for me. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these books and if they are worth the readOr if you are looking forward to any of these adaptations. [All book covers from Goodreads. All movie poster from Rotten Tomatoes]

The World Made Straight Book Cover   The World Made Straight Movie Poster

The World Made Straight by Ron Rash (January 9) – I haven’t read anything by him before but he’s got TWO books being made into movies this year. Not in a theater near me though.

Mordecai movie poster   The Mordecai Trilogy Book cover

The Mortdecai Trilogy by Kyril Bonfiglioli (January 23 – Mordecai) – Can I just say that the cover for the book and what I’ve seen of the trailer don’t look anything alike??

The Last Apprentice Book Cover   Seventh Son movie poster

The Last Apprentice by Joseph Delaney (February 6 – Seventh Son) – described as a fantasy thriller and stars Jeff Bridges in the movie. Sounds like something I’d like. Also, Jeff Bridges. Did I mention it’s Jeff Bridges?

Where Rainbows End book cover   Love, Rosie movie poster

Where Rainbows End / Love, Rosie by Cecelia Ahern (Feburary 6 – Love, Rosie) – Same author as P.S. I Love You. I’m ready to cry and then go see Sam Claflin be gorgeous son screen.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of…HAHAHA. NOPE.

The DUFF book cover   The DUFF movie poster

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger (February 20) – I wasn’t sure about this one but I’ve seen so many bloggers talking about it recently, I think I’ll give it a shot.

Dead Stars book cover   Map to the Stars movie poster

Dead Stars by Bruce Wagner (February 27 – Map to the Stars) – Satire, Hollywood, culture and John Cusack in the movie? Pretty much sold. Probably won’t be in a theater near me.

Insurgent book cover   Insurgent movie poster

Insurgent by Veronica Roth (March 20) – I have, of course, read this. Putting it on the list in case you haven’t.

Serena book cover   Serena movie poster

Serena by Ron Rash (March 27) – I’ve wanted to read this one. Plus JLaw is in the movie. And Bradley Cooper. Should probably read before it comes out. Another that probably won’t be near me.

The Longest Ride book cover   The Longest Ride movie poster

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks (April 10) – I HIGHLY doubt I’ll read this one, but if you guys think I should, I’ll take it into consideration. Lol.

The Moon and the Sun book cover

The Moon and the Sun by Vonda McIntye (April 10 – no movie poster yet) – Not usually a fan of historical fiction, but “King Louis XIV seeks immortality by trying to steal the life force of a sea monster.” Um, yes.

These are the book to movie adaptations I’ve noticed for the first four months of the year. Have you guys read any of these books? Should I check any of them out? Let me know in the comments!