Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Sunday Post: New Blog, New Books, New Beth

The Sunday Post

This week:
This week was a little different for me. A few days ago I switched over from WordPress to Blogger. I spent a lot more time trying to figure out WordPress than it took me to actually make posts, so I decided to switch over. I'm loving Blogger so far and I think I'm here to stay, at least until I can get a domain and go explore the Plugins at WP. I also put in an application for a job at an assisted living facility. About three days after that I got a call asking for an interview. Less than two hours after the job interview I got a call saying I had the job. I start this Tuesday! So, life seems totally different now than it did last Sunday. It's a good one, though and I'm really happy.

This week on my blog:
Wednesday: My Reading Quirks
Thursday: Review: Fangirl

What you'll see this coming week:
Monday: September TBR
Tuesday: August Recap
Wednesday:Wishlist Wednesday
Thursday: Review: Anna and the French Kiss
Friday: Free Time Fridays
Saturday: Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Sunday: The Sunday Post

Books read this week:
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle (finished)
Since You've Been Gone by Anouska Knight (finished)
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

Books received this week:
I got four books from the library-
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  • In The Woods by Tana French
  • A Tap on the Window by Linwood Barclay
I got Landline by Rainbow Rowell from a giveaway I won.
Boyfriend bought me Rumble by Ellen Hopkins for an early birthday present

Goals for this week:
I'd like to finish a few of the library books that I got this week.
Read at least one Stephanie Plum book (this will be talked about in September TBR) 
I'd like to get a few reviews written that I've been slacking on.
I'd like to read at least 800 pages this week.
Have fun at work and don't get lost.

Have a good week everyone! Happy reading :D

Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Love For Libraries


If you follow me on Tumblr, then you probably know how much I use the library. I work there every Thursday and I come home with at least one book every week. That may not seem like a lot, but when I'm trying to read my own books, it seems like a lot. Ask my boyfriend; he is progressively rolling his eyes every time I bring a new book home from the library. I currently only have nine books on hold at the library. Notice the "only" there. I had about 15 at one point and will probably be adding more soon.
But why do I love libraries so much? Why do I choose library books over my own most of the time?
1. It gives me ambition to read the book. I know that sounds really weird. It probably doesn't really make sense. But when I get a book from the library, knowing that I only have three weeks to read it, I get excited to read it and I want to read it right away. If I have to read a book in a certain amount of time then I will read it a lot quicker than when I know I can set it down whenever I want. I have a few of my own books that I've been trying to read for weeks now but always seem to just set it down because I know that I can.
2. It gives me incentive to treat books better. Confession: I'm not very nice to my own books. I dog-ear. I eat right over them. I bend back the front cover. If I've had a book for over a year and I've read it more than once, it probably looks very well loved. I've been known to highlight in very few books. But still, highlight! I toss books around. I find them under beds. I have used books as coasters. I am not good at taking care of my own books. Using library books reminds me that I shouldn't do some of these things with books, and I've gotten better at not doing some of these.
3. Even when I don't have money for books, I can still read new books. I have quite a few books. Not nearly as many as other people I've seen, but that's okay. I don't have a lot of money to spend on books right now. But I do have a well used library card and it allows me to get tons of books FOR FREE. There are so many books at my library that I would like to read but may only read once and would rather spend the money I have on books that I'll read more than once.
4. I have stepped out of my comfort zone. Before my senior year of high school, I was all about YA. That's all I looked at and all I read. But then my senior year, the school librarian shoved a mystery book in my hands and said "try this" and I was hooked. For years, mystery was my main focus. I occasionally read something else, but mystery was what I wanted to read the most. I used the school library to get me more mystery books. The librarian gave me recommendations and I sucked myself in to the world of mystery. Earlier this year, I moved to a different city that has a HUGE library (the one I work at now) and there are so many books to choose from it's almost stressful at times. The YA section is better than any section of any library I've been at. Thanks to Tumblr, I went back to YA. I didn't give up on mystery, but I stepped out of the comfort zone and read more YA, non-fiction, and chick lit/romance. Instead of going to a bookstore and spending $20 on a book I MIGHT like, I go to the library and pick up a book I might like and if I do, then that's awesome! I stepped out of my comfort zone and found a book I like! If I didn't like it, then I'm glad I didn't spend money on it! It's a win/win for me.
5. It's just a nice place to hang out. Don't get me wrong, I love laying in bed at the end of the day and reading a few pages. I love sitting in my chair and reading for a few hours a day, but my favourite place to read is at the library. It's quiet and everywhere I look is books. I can take my stack of books and sit in a big comfy chair upstairs and just read for a couple hours. No one judges me, no one pays attention to me, and I can just focus on reading.

What about you? Do you spend hours a week at your local library? What are your reasons for why you love the library?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Review: The Stranger Beside Me

Book: The Stranger Beside Me | Author: Ann Rule | Started: July 31, 2014 | Finished: August 3, 2014 |Format: Large print hardcover | Own or borrow?: Borrow from library
Synopsis: How could someone so handsome, charming, and brilliant in fact be such a monster. And when you work side by side with that person, how could you not know. That's how Ann Rule felt when she began to put together the true picture of her former co-worker and friend. Ted Bundy was on the verge of a dazzling career, and at the same time was one of America's most wanted. On January 24, 1989, he was executed for the murders of three young women, having confessed to taking the lives of at least thirty-five more. This is the story of one of the most fascinating killers in American history -- of his magnetic power, his bleak compulsion, his double life, his string of vulnerable victims. It is also the story of Ann Rule, and putting together the pieces of the biggest story of her life. Twenty years after it was first published, The Stranger Beside Me remains a gripping, explosive, true-crime classic

Everyone has heard of Ted Bundy. You've probably been living under a rock if you haven't at least heard his name. But this book goes into depth about who Ted Bundy really was. It was creepy and scary and heartbreaking. 

This book was so different than anything else I've ever read about Ted Bundy. This book was more real. Sure, his Wikipedia page tells me that he was a politician-to-be, but this book taught me so much more than that.
This book is rated four stars when it should be really a three. Four stars for me mean that I would recommend it to a lot of people. Three stars means I would recommend it to people that asked for the specific genre. I would not recommend a book like this to anyone that did not want to read a book like this. There are many people that could not and would not read a book like this. But I enjoyed it so much that I bumped it up a star.
So what did I like about it? First, it humanizes the victims. Go to Bundy's Wikipedia page and what do you learn about his victims? Their names, ages, and what state they were killed in. But this book tells us what they were like before they were killed. Ted Bundy became the famous person out of the situation and this book brought to light and made the readers never forget that these women were real people.

I also liked that it was written by someone that knew Ted personally. She started writing the book before she knew it was Ted and she continued to write the book after she found out it was him. We got to see a side of Ted that no one else could have written about- because she was actually there. In a way, she humanized Ted as well.

The only reason it's not 5 stars is because the end was kind of slow at times. It was more about her life post-Bundy. And that's totally fine. I expected she would bring herself into the story at least a little bit considering she knew him personally and was allowed to write whatever she wanted. But that doesn't mean I was zipping through it like I was the rest of the book.

Ted Bundy was a scary guy. Everyone knows that. This book made me paranoid. I was scared to be on the downstairs floor at night if everyone else was upstairs. And I continuously checked under the car and in the back seat if I were leaving the house late at night. I was jumpy and nearly had a panic attack when I saw a deer in the backyard at three in the morning. Do not read this book if you easily get scared.

It was such a good book, but by the end I was getting so paranoid that I read 600 pages in two days just so I could finish it. I would definitely recommend it to people that are interested in Bundy or true crime. Extremely well written about an extremely interesting subject. Just scary. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: Fangirl

(Previously posted on my old book blog. I'm slowly switching over most of my review/monthly favourite posts.)

Book: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Started: August 7, 2014
Finished: August 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Own or borrow?: Borrowed from library
Synopsis: In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.
Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.
Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.
Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? Open her heart to someone? Or will she just go on living inside somebody else’s fiction?

Cath may be the most selfish fangirl. This whole book is all about her, her, her, her, her, her, her when it comes to fandom.

I am not a huge “fandom” person. I’ve never been to a midnight release for anything, I’ve never tried writing fanfiction, and the only fandom that I’ve been in that lasted longer than a few months was sports fandoms. So I may not be the best person to judge a book about fandoms and fangirls. But I do know that the most important part of sports fandom to me is the other people. Talking to other people. Crying over sports with other people. Seeing the same tweet 37 times from 37 different people because no one knows what else to say other than “ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW DID THAT JUST HAPPEN.” I am not a fangirl and I may never be. But as far as I’m concerned, neither is Cath.

Cath never talks about midnight releases (except once). She never talks about being on forums with other people until 5 am. She never talks about other people, period. You know what she does talk about? How many page views her fanfiction story gets. Seriously. That’s about the depth of her “fandom” that she goes into.

I know for a fact that Rainbow Rowell has a Tumblr (because I follow her) so why doesn’t Cath have one? Like I said, I’m not part of a fandom. But I do know that Tumblr is FILLED with fandoms that just go crazy. When Supernatural and Game of Thrones or Sherlock or whatever is on, you can tell. There are thousands and thousands of people on Tumblr and Twitter that are joined together and talking to each other about these shows. Cath is too busy writing her fanfiction and not talking to anyone else about the actual books to worry about Tumblr though.

I should also state that I’ve never read Harry Potter. Simon Snow is Harry Potter. I could tell and I’ve never read it. I have no problem with this. I’m sure others have because they DID read HP, but to me it didn’t make a difference because I haven’t read what Simon Snow is based off of.

Now, onto other matters. I liked Cath. And other times I wanted to punch myself in the face because I couldn’t punch her. How the hell did she get into a junior course without having any other writing experience except for her fanfiction, that she obviously didn’t turn into the school? Did she just write them a letter “hey I’m a good writer, put me in this advanced class as a freshman”? She also was very uppity about who constitutes as a fangirl and who doesn’t. She sees a girl wearing a sports shirt and then says “she doesn’t look like a fangirl” yeah god forbid she not wear Simon Snow t shirts every single freaking day of her life. I’m not even going to get into when she refused to go to the dining hall. Over it.

At this point you’re probably wondering “how did you give this four stars if you are complaining about it this much?” Well because I actually didn’t hate the book. I rather liked the book. I would reread it. I just didn’t like some of the things in the book and I needed to complain about them.

Now onto the things I did like! Rainbow Rowell has a way of writing relationships between characters that make me feel everything they are feeling. When Cath would talk about how worried she was about her dad, I wanted to call my dad and make sure he’s alright. When Cath was worried about her sister, I wanted to call my siblings and tell them I love them. Rowell writes characters so well.

Weirdly, I think my favourite relationship in the book was between Cath and Wren and their mom. I have the same type of mom as them and one of my sisters is exactly like Wren when it comes to our mom. I am exactly like Cath. I saw a lot of me and my sister and my mom in these parts.

I don’t think I can’t talk about Levi. At first I didn’t see them being together. I didn’t think it fit. But I grew to love them together and think they are adorable. As someone that frequently reads to her boyfriend, I think it was a good part of the book, especially since Levi “isn’t a reader.”

Overall, this was a strong book and I can see why people like it. I can see why it has so many 5 star ratings, but I can also understand why it has lower ratings.

Have you read it? What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My Reading Quirks

When I talk to other readers, many of them tell me that they just sit down at the end of the day and read as much as they can. This especially works for people that are busy during the day. Since I don't work right now, volunteer one day a week, and do school online- I have all the hours in the day to read. (Unfortunately, 10 of them are spent sleeping). So this is just a list of things that I, personally, do as a reader.
  • I will randomly pick up a book and just read a few pages of it and then set it down and read the book I already have been reading
-A few days ago I decided I was going to read "10th Anniversary" by James Patterson but I went upstairs and grabbed "Confessions of a Shopaholic" by Sophie Kinsella and just sat down and read 13 pages. Do I know why? No idea. I just picked up the book and started reading it. I've also been known to be reading two books at once and then add a third and leave the other two alone until I finish the third and then I'll go back to the first two.
  • I hate read.
-I KNOW I could spend my time reading a book that I'm going to love, but instead I spend seven hours reading a book knowing that I'm going to hate it. I usually live-blog it on Tumblr so other people have to deal with it as well. I've always done this. Whether it be books, articles, or comments on the internet. I am naturally drawn towards something that is going to annoy/anger me.
  • I love using scrap pieces of paper, receipts, and sometimes even (unused) napkins as bookmarks.
-I do own a few bookmarks, but most of the time it's a receipt or a scrap piece of paper. Since a lot of books I've been reading lately have been library books that were on hold, most bookmarks are my hold slip from the library. Bookmarks are cute but I use them for show mostly. If I'm sitting at home and have to set my book down, I'm going to just use whatever is around. 
  • Even though I have tons of books that I own, I am addicted to the library.
-I'm not sure if it's because I volunteer there once a week so I can easily go there to get books, but I have been getting so many library books and leaving my teetering stack of already owned tbr books alone. I've read 14 books this month. I owned 3 of those. Technically only two because the other book is the boyfriend's book. The rest were library books or books I borrowed from someone else. 
So that's my reading quirks. Do you have any of these? Do you have any interesting ones?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday [1]

Technically, this is not my first Top Ten Tuesday, but I am starting clean on it. I'm going to try to do this on a regular basis again. Anyway, Top Ten Tuesday was created and hosted by Broke & Bookish. It's simple: they give you the topic and you write down your top ten things in x topic. There is also no obligation to do a full ten if you just can't think of ten. It's fun, it's (sometimes) easy and it's a great way to find new books from other bloggers and a great way to find other bloggers!
This week's topic is: Top Ten Books I Want To Read But Don't Own Yet
Some of these are older and I just haven't found them at the library or the used book store and some are new and I don't have money to pay for them. They are also in no particular order. Just books I really want to read.
Landline by Rainbow Rowell- This has been on my radar for a few months. It came out in July 2014 and I haven't had the money for it. But! I won a giveaway last week and this was the book that I picked so it is en route to my house. Technically, I could take this off the list since I ""own"" it, but I don't trust the mail system and will only believe it when I have it in my hands.
I am Zlatan by Zlatan Ibrahimovic- Zlatan is everything. Seriously. He's kind of an asshole but he's also supportive and funny and seems like a good person. He's just Zlatan and there is no way to explain him otherwise. When I found out that Zlatan was writing a book, I needed it. Unfortunately I haven't gotten it yet. (Published June 2014) Technically, this book was published in 2011 I believe but it was translated from Swedish to English and published this year. I will probably cry when I finally get this because I love Zlatan.
Manson by Jeff Guinn- It's true. I like true crime and I am interested in serial killers. It's weird and I don't like to think about it too much. This book is actually first on my "to-read" list on Goodreads. I've wanted to it read it for years now and just haven't found it yet. Maybe I'll look at the library tomorrow. This isn't the only book about Manson on my list, either. (Published: August 2013)
Columbine by Dave Cullen- Everyone knows about Columbine. Truthfully, I don't know a whole lot about it other than it was one of the biggest American tragedies to happen. This has been on my radar for a long time and I just haven't taken the initiative to find it. I may also have to look for this one at the library tomorrow. I have looked for it at bookstores but haven't found it yet. (Published: April 2009)
Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich- Really this one doesn't have to be on my list because I haven't read the rest of the books up until this point. I could fill out the rest of the list with just Janet Evanovich books because I don't own 16, 17, 19, or 20 either. We'll let that slide. This has been one of the books I've been most excited for this year. I love Janet Evanovich and can't wait to read the rest of the series. (Published: June 2014)
Rumble by Ellen Hopkins- I saw this book at Meijer a few days ago and I literally pet the book and picked it up and hugged it. The cover is BEAUTIFUL. The story is just as heartbreaking as her other ones. It's the same amazing prose that she's used in the rest of her books. I nearly cried when I saw it. Unfortunately, I didn't have money and couldn't buy it. I tried to hint at my boyfriend (ALSO IF YOU READ THIS HERE IS ANOTHER HINT) I want this book for my birthday or just as a "hi I got you this book because you were emotionally invested in this book before you even read it" type of thing. I'm so excited for this book. I don't know when I'm going to get it, but I do know that I'm going to love it. (Published: August 26 2014) As I'm writing this, it's 6 days early so Meijer had it early and I might have missed my chance but THAT COVER
Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi- Technically this book is about 100 feet away from me. I could start reading this in 15 seconds. But that's my boyfriend's mom's copy and I don't want to steal her book. She's the one that told me about this book and I'm interested in learning more about Manson, so I want to read this book. Maybe I'll borrow her copy at some point but I would like my own copy as well.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie- I know, I like mystery and haven't read any Christie. It's weird. I feel wrong. BUT this book is at the library waiting for me to pick it up. I actually had it a few weeks ago but had to return it without reading it, so I ordered another one right away. I have heard so many good things about this book and I'm so excited to read it. 
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins- I recently read Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. I loved everything about Stephanie's writing, her character development, and everything else about her books. So obviously I'm excited to read Isla. Since it just came out and it's a month before my birthday, I'm not allowed to buy anything including this book. It was on my birthday list so hopefully someone gets it for me. I can't wait to be bad into the world of Stephanie Perkins.
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover- Only a few months ago I had no idea who Colleen Hoover was. Now I have read four of her books, one of them twice, and have another one on hold at the library. Ugly Love seems to be just as good as the others and I can't wait to get this one. I don't have it on my birthday list so if I get money for my birthday I will definitely be buying it for myself. I need this book in my life, like yesterday.

So that is my top 10. What's on yours? Have you read any of these books? Are you excited for any of these as well? Share your thoughts!