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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Positives of Blogging

Blogging Extravaganza: The Positives of Blogging

This post is part of the Get Up Offa That Slump: A Blogging Extravaganza, hosted by Rachel at Beauty and the Bookshelf. I'm so happy she created this extravaganza as I've been in a blogging slump lately (or maybe just too busy) but the topics listed got me excited to write posts, so I decided to jump in. Today is Day Ten, the very last day of this blogging extravaganza! The last topic to discuss is the positives of blogging.

First and foremost, the books. One of my favorite parts of blogging is, no surprise, the books. I have always loved reading, and getting to read and then gush over a book is definitely a positive of blogging. I don't request books often, so when I mention the books, I don't mean the "free" books. I mean any and all books and then getting to share the love of books with others.

Speaking of books, I also mean those I wouldn't have read before. There are a ton of books that I never would have heard of if it wasn't for blogging. Blogging opened my eyes to other readers who recommend some fantastic books (especially you, Maraia!) that I may or may not have read, but did end up reading based on recommendations (Thank you!)

Making Friends with Bookish People (Yes, I mean people like you!). I have loved making friends in the book community. Having the love of books in common with someone pretty much guarantees an instant friendship and I'm so happy to be a part of a bookish community. I have made some pretty great friends through my blog, and through the doors my blog has opened for me, and I'm so thankful for those friendships!

Getting to talk books. I am avid reader, but the people around me in real life are not. My blog lets me talk about books and gush/discuss books with other readers. This is one of the reasons I started my blog. When I finish a great book that I have so much to say about, the first thing I think is that I need to write about it on the blog. I just need to get the feels out, and my blog lets me do that.

Recommending books. I absolutely LOVE recommending books. I love hoping that I'll open someone's eyes to their next favorite book. Yes, I also dread that they'll hate the book I recommended them, but the chance that they may love it is reason enough to recommend it!

Blogging is hard, and sometimes when I go awhile without posting I wonder if I ever will again. But I always do. I miss my blog when I'm not posting. I miss YOU guys when I'm not posting. And when life is too busy to post...well it is what it is and I'm sure I'll be back eventually. Because I can't stop (won't stop) blogging.

P.S. HUGE Shout-out and THANK YOU to Rachel for hosting this awesome blogging extravaganza! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

My Dream Easter Basket

Blogging Extravaganza: My Dream Easter Basket


This post is part of the Get Up Offa That Slump: A Blogging Extravaganza, hosted by Rachel at Beauty and the Bookshelf. I'm so happy she created this extravaganza as I've been in a blogging slump lately (or maybe just too busy) but the topics listed got me excited to write posts, so I decided to jump in. Today is Day Nine and the topic I chose is My Dream Easter Basket. Since Easter was yesterday, the prompt gets you talking about what you'd love to see in your Easter basket!






And of course, some treats too!

What would you like to have in your dream Easter basket?








Friday, March 25, 2016

Planning a Fictional Trip

Blogging Extravaganza: Plan a Fictional Trip


This post is part of the Get Up Offa That Slump: A Blogging Extravaganza, hosted by Rachel at Beauty and the Bookshelf. I'm so happy she created this extravaganza as I've been in a blogging slump lately (or maybe just too busy) but the topics listed got me excited to write posts, so I decided to jump in. Today is Day Eight and the topic I chose is Planning a Fictional Trip. The prompt here is to talk about all the fictional places you would go with no budget to worry about.


First Stop | Forks, Washington & La Push Beach

I've been to both places before and I really fell in love with them. Forks was exactly what I pictured and La Push was even more beautiful than I thought. When we were there, we were on a bit of a time constraint, so I would love to go and explore the beach. I didn't know this until I got there, but La Push has three separate beaches and we only got to visit two of them. And we didn't get to do much hiking. I'd love to go back and do some hiking and then camp out on the beach (which we also saw some people doing). 

Second Stop | Red London

Victoria Schwab knows how to create a complex world that completely immerses you when you read it. I've been reading A Gathering of Shadows all month (and absolutely LOVING it) and I just want to visit the place I've been reading about. I want to see what Kell and Lila and Rhy all see. I want to experience the market. I want to see the river run red. I want to hear the language spoken aloud. And, of course, I would love to see some magic.

Third Stop | Tortall

Can I just hang out with Alanna for an afternoon? Also, Daine, too? I know I just met Daine, but I like her already. Alanna is such a fierce and awesome lady that I would love to just be around her for a day. I think I'd come away from that feeling like I could do anything I wanted to do. The world feels so magical when reading that it would feel incredible in real life (I imagine it would, at least :) ). 

Fourth Stop | The Institute 

I would love to take a tour of The Institute and see all the inner-workings of the Shadowhunter world. If I could visit the Institute when Tessa and Will and Jem were all there, then that would be even better. I'd love to see the magic, the runes and the practices of sword wielding. 

Fifth Stop | Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and Hogwarts 

This is the last Hoo-Rah of my trip. The biggest part. I want to see and visit pretty much EVERY single place in Harry Potter. I want to get a wand at Ollivanders. I want to see Weasles' Wizard Wheezes. I really want to have a butterbeer in the Hog's Head. And I want a grand tour of Hogwarts that hopefully includes the Room of Requirement. I want to see and experience alllll of the things in the Harry Potter world. 


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Puppies & Books

Blogging Extravaganza: Puppies & Books

This post is part of the Get Up Offa That Slump: A Blogging Extravaganza, hosted by Rachel at Beauty and the Bookshelf. I'm so happy she created this extravaganza as I've been in a blogging slump lately (or maybe just too busy) but the topics listed got me excited to write posts, so I decided to jump in. Today is Day Seven (I'm a day late, oops!) and I chose to talk about puppies and books since it was National Puppy Day yesterday.

Before I get into the photos, let me do a little announcement that has to do with puppies... This past weekend, we adopted a puppy! We will be able to get him on Monday so alas, I don't have any cute pictures to share, yet. So these past ones will have to do. :)

A few summers ago, my grandparents got a new puppy and I happened to snag two cute pictures of her laying on my books. She just happened to walk in and make herself quite comfortable in a rather adorable way.



I look forward to sharing a few more pics once we get our puppy! :) 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Book Spine Poetry

Blogging Extravaganza: Book Spine Poetry

This post is part of the Get Up Offa That Slump: A Blogging Extravaganza, hosted by Rachel at Beauty and the Bookshelf. I'm so happy she created this extravaganza as I've been in a blogging slump lately (or maybe just too busy) but the topics listed got me excited to write posts, so I decided to jump in. Today is Day Six and the topic I chose is Book Spine Poetry.  I have always seen these popping up in challenges and such, but I've never been brave enough to try it. Until now, and why it's pretty bad poem, haha, I'm glad I, at least, tried.


Winter
Snow Like Ashes
Ice Like Fire
Into the Still Blue


Have you ever tried Book Spine Poetry?


Friday, March 18, 2016

Mad Libs with To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Blogging Extravaganza: Mad Libs

This post is part of the Get Up Offa That Slump: A Blogging Extravaganza, hosted by Rachel at Beauty and the Bookshelf. I'm so happy she created this extravaganza as I've been in a blogging slump lately (or maybe just too busy) but the topics listed got me excited to write posts, so I decided to jump in. Today is Day Five and the topic I chose is Mad Libs.  It was SO FUN to make this passage and have my hubby help me with it. My Mad Libs passage is from the first paragraph in To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han.

I like to _____(verb) things. Not _____(adjective) things like _____(plural noun) or _____(plural noun) or  the _____(noun). _____(adjective) things. _____(adjective) bells, the kind you get at _____(noun) shops. Cookie _____(plural noun) you'll never _____(verb), because who needs a _____(noun) in the shape of a _____(noun)? _____(plural noun) for my ____(part of your body). Of all the things I _____(verb), I guess you could say my _____(adjective) letters are my most _____(adjective) possession.

Here's my version I did asking my husband for the terms needed. I had a hard time not laughing while filling it out!

I like to rake things. Not stinky things like penguins or sharks or the bathtub. Scaly things. Slimy bells, the kind you get at president shops. Cookie books you'll never run with, because who needs a kid in the shape of a motorcycle? Televisions for my armpit. Of all the things I swim with, I guess you could say my hairy letters are my most rough possession.

I would love to hear how your Mad Libs turned out! Hope you enjoyed :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Dear Worst Book I've Ever Attempted to Read

Blogging Extravaganza: Bash That Book

This post is part of the Get Up Offa That Slump: A Blogging Extravaganza, hosted by Rachel at Beauty and the Bookshelf. I'm so happy she created this extravaganza as I've been in a blogging slump lately (or maybe just too busy) but the topics listed got me excited to write posts, so I decided to jump in. Today is Day Four and the topic I choose is Don't Post that Ranting Review/Bash That Book.


Dear Worst Book I've Ever Attempted to Read,

I don't even know where to get started with you. I picked you up after hearing so many trusted people rave and rave about you. People LOVE you. and I am COMPLETELY stunned and lost as to why. How can people love you when you are incredibly disrespectful and violent in the worst way possible. You involve people in situations that should never even be thought of. You create a completely absurd and unsafe world that people seemingly ignored and I'm so lost as to how people can move past that.  You are completely disturbing and disgusting. I just don't get how you are so hyped.

I wanted to give you a chance, I truly did. I was SO SO excited to start you and see what the hype was all about. But I wish I had been warned because maybe I would have been able to finish you. (nope, I lied, I couldn't finish you. ever.) I had to quit you and I have no regrets about that. I can't believe that you've been finished so many times and have been loved so much, I truly don't get it. I really want to burn you. I really want you to know that exploiting the things you did in a way that makes it somehow "okay" in the book is so hurtful and disrespectful to those that have been there or have been put in a similar situation. 

I'm still completely shocked that people love you as much as they do. But know this, book, you will NEVER be recommended by me. I'm sad that I got you as a gift, but glad I didn't spend my own money on you. However, I'm sad that my family who gave me you spent money on you. I really want to donate/sell you, but to be honest, I don't want anyone picking you up who thinks they're getting a good read. I hope the hype for you ends.

Sincerely, 
Katie


P.S. I wish I would have been able to include more details to explain exactly why I hate this book so much, but that would have given the book away...and that wasn't part of the exercise. Sorry if you are completely confused reading this, but I hope you enjoyed my rant! :)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Throne of Glass Book Tag

Blogging Extravaganza: Throne of Glass Book Tag

This post is part of the Get Up Offa That Slump: A Blogging Extravaganza, hosted by Rachel at Beauty and the Bookshelf. I'm so happy she created this extravaganza as I've been in a blogging slump lately (or maybe just too busy) but the topics listed got me excited to write posts, so I decided to jump in. Today is Day Three and one of the options to post about is a book tag, so I choose the Throne of Glass book tag.

Throng of Glass Book Tag

This book tag was created by Alexa over at Alexa Loves Books and Hannah over at So Obsessed With 

LYSANDRA | A book with a cover change you loved


I really liked the cover change between the US and the UK versions. I don't mind the US, I feel like it plays to story in the way it has a fairy tale theme and tone, but the UK cover is just STUNNING. 


ABRAXOS | A book that's better on the inside than it looks on the outside



I have read the first two books in this series so far and I love them...the covers? Not so much. The covers looks so cheesy, like most urban fantasy covers, but these books are SO GOOD on the inside.


ERILEA | A series with great world-building


This series is incredibly well-built. I loved the world almost as much as I love the characters. Marchetta really knows how to create a beautiful world with beautiful characters. Which is why I'd give a part of myself for another fantasy series by her.


RIFTHOLD |  A book that combines genres


I know that this book is really more Sci-Fi but I can't help but feeling there's definitely some fantastical elements throughout the series. I would say that this series is more of a sci-fi fantasy series than just strictly sci-fi..which is one reason why I love it so much. 


DAMARIS | A book based on/inspired by a myth/legend


This was the first book that came to mind when I read this tag question. I'm a huge fan of greek mythology and that's partially why I adore this book/series.


KALTAIN ROMPIER | A book with an unexpected twist


This book threw me through quite a loop when reading it. I didn't know what to expect and all the twists and turns were ones that I never saw coming. This was a brilliant, unpredictable and thrilling read.



ASSASSIN'S KEEP | A book with an unreliable narrator


Let me be honest for a moment, I really didn't like this book when I read it. I hated that Mara was so unreliable and because of that NOTHING was making sense. I was so frustrated. But then I read the second book and I felt it redeemed this first one and then the third was good but mostly meh. However, I started to appreciate the mystery that came with Mara being unreliable. All around this series was pretty good. And if you enjoy unreliable narrators...definitely check this out!


ASTERIN BLACKBEAK | A book that's SQUAD GOALS


I just couldn't get enough of this crew together. They are all so different and bring something unique and great to the team. I CAN'T WAIT for Crooked Kingdoms!


TERRASEN | A book that feels like home


When I pick up a Harry Potter book (or listen to it) it makes me feel at home. There's something so dear to me (and I know for so many of you, too) about this series and when I read about Hogwarts or any of the characters or Diagon Alley or anything HP really, I feel completely at home.


AELIN ASHRYVER GALATHYNIUS | A book with the power to destroy you


The romance in this book destroys me. I don't want to get into spoilers, but there's swoons and then there's other things and just ugh, I love this series so much. 


MANON BLACKBEAK | A book that intimidated you


I was so intimidated by the size of this book and I remember thinking that I wouldn't ever be able to read it. I'm so glad I did, because since reading it I feel the confidence to take on big books. I'll admit that I still feel intimidated when I pick up the subsequent books in the series as well. >.<


ROWAN WHITETHORN | A book that makes you swoon
(isitokaytoadmitthatRowandoesNOTmakemeswoon?)


This book had me swooning all over the place. The romance was my favorite part of this book. Though I have to shout-out to the writing and the world, because they were brilliant and wonderful. I'm dying for more of Shahrzad and Khalid. (thank goodness the release date for The Rose & The Dagger was moved up to April 26th!)


CHAOL WESTFALL | A book that challenged you to see things differently
(TeamChaolForever)

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This book really challenged the reader to think about their own lives and how they respond to people with unique characteristics or "deformities". The book has different perspectives from a variety of people in Auggie's life which was very raw, honest and eye-opening. I wanted to hug Auggie throughout the whole book. It is one of those books that I want to hand out to everyone to read, one that I wish was taught in schools. 


FLEETFOOT | A book that you received as a gift


My husband surprised me with this one when he got home from work one day. He stopped at the bookstore on his way home and pick it out for me, I think he's a keeper ;)  


EYE OF ELENA | A book you found right when you needed it


This book is more so about finding yourself than anything else and I happened to read it at a time that I was trying to find myself too. It also has quite a bit of traveling and at the time, I was dying to travel. So what better way to travel, then to read a book with someone traveling in it. This book will always hold a special part in my heart for helping me to find a part of myself while reading it.





Friday, March 11, 2016

Five Bookish Things I'd Give My Kidney For

Blogging Extravaganza: Bookish Things I'd Give My Kidney For

This post is part of the Get Up Offa That Slump: A Blogging Extravaganza, hosted by Rachel at Beauty and the Bookshelf. I'm so happy she created this extravaganza as I've been in a blogging slump lately (or maybe just too busy) but the topics listed got me excited to write posts, so I decided to jump in. Today I chose to write about some bookish things I'd give my kidney for.

 I'd give a kidney to finally get my Hogwarts letter. 
No explanation needed here. :)



A timeturner (just like Hermione's).
There isn't enough time in the day to do what I want to do, especially to read all the books I want to read. BUT with a time turner, I could get much more reading in throughout the day. 



Another fantasy series from Melina Marchetta.
I LOVE The Lumatere Chronicles and I've been dying for some more fantasy from Melina Marchetta. I know she's written some contemporaries and I've read Jellicoe Road so far. But I'd love another fantasy series with the wonderful world building, amazing characters and all the feels that she delivered with The Lumatere Chronicles.

My Throne of Glass ship to sail off.
I'm DYING for Chaol and Celaena to sail off and be happy forever. 

and last but not least...

A follow-up book to Just One Year that goes beyond Just One Night.
I LOVED Just One Day and Just One Year. They were so open-ended that I was overjoyed when Gayle Forman came out with Just One Night. While that gave a little bit more of a solidified ending. I still want more! 

What are some bookish things that you'd give a kidney for?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

My First Interview...with Myself.

Interview with Myself: Blogging Extravaganza

This post is part of the Get Up Offa That Slump: A Blogging Extravaganza, hosted by Rachel at Beauty and the Bookshelf. I'm so happy she created this topic as I've been in a blogging slump lately (or maybe just too busy) but the topics listed got me excited to write posts, so I decided to jump in. Today is day one, an interview with yourself. 

Here's mine:


Katie: So, what's your name?

Katie: Aurora according to my old high school Spanish teacher. But really its Katie. Same as yours, what a coincidence!


K: Hmm, I guess you kind of look like a Katie. So what are you currently reading?

Katie: Yeah, I've gotten that once or twice.. Umm well I'm actively reading A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab. But I've also been reading Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce and Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson.



K: That's three books your reading...do you normally read a few books at a time?

Katie: I am a polygamous reader...there I've said it. I've admitted it. I didn't used to be, but I am now, and honestly? I'm okay with it. I get to pick up whatever book I'm in the mood for. And I have more than one book to look forward to jumping back into.

K: Interesting. So what do you do when you're not reading?

Katie: Most of my time is taken up by my two little boys. Here, my youngest one would like to say something....nntdkj nv nicv. I think he was saying nice to meet you. He has quite a bit more to say to you since he's still trying to get the keyboard. He'll be six months in just a couple weeks. Now my older son has something he wants to say, or rather "wants to push the buttons"...iuytr\ttttttttttttt heilo. He wanted to say hello so I told him the letters to find. That uppercase "I" looks like a lowercase "l" hence hello with an "i". heilo! haha, he's 3 years old. He's smart, goofy, and also a threenager.

K: Did you intentionally avoid talking about yourself there?

Katie: uhhhh, no? Well, you see, I'm terrible about talking about myself. Also, the boys were asking for my attention there.

K: Okay..Let's try it this way, just answer these questions with what comes to your head.

Katie: um, okay. Let's do this!

K:....

Katie: Sorry. I'm ready.

K: What cd do you have in your cd player right now?

Katie: Adele - 25.

K: Last book you bought?

Katie: Thats a tie between Six of Crows and These Vicious Masks.

K: Favorite hobby?

Katie: Reading.

K: Obviously...haha, anything else?

Katie: Crafting, coloring and knitting.

K: Favorite tv show?

Katie: New Girl. The Shannara Chronicles was excellent, I'm already dying for season two.



K: What's the first thing you do when you wake up?

Katie: Open my eyes.

K: And thennnn...

Katie: Check on the boys. Then I MUST brush my teeth.

K: What's your drink of choice?

Katie: Sparkling water. It helps me drink more water throughout the day.

K: Favorite food?

Katie: Crab legs. Also cheese and fruit.

K: Okay let's do a couple bookish ones, since this is a book blog after all.

Katie: Okay, I'm ready.

K: Last five star read?

Katie: Me Before You! I saw the trailer and immediately had to pick up the book and read it.

K: Favorite book series?

Katie: That's not fair, next question please.

K: uh, you're just supposed to answer what first comes to your head.

Katie: I did. I was bombarded with all the ones I love.

K: Are you saying your books talk to you?

Katie: Sometime they do. Calling to me to read them. Or think of them.

K: hmm. Moving on, what did you check out from the library most recently?

Katie: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

K: I've heard good things about that one. Well I think that's all for today. Thank you for the interview.

Katie: Me too! I'm excited to read it. Oh, great! Thanks for interviewing me, this was fun!