Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream or cupcakes, planning trips she has no money for, having brunch with friends, listening to music with oversized headphones and hanging out with her dog Finnikin.

Q&A With David Arnold, Author of Mosquitoland & Kids of Appetite

kids-of-appetite

 

I’m so, so delighted to have David Arnold on the blog again (you can check out our first chat here). I loved his debut novel Mosquitoland and recently devoured (in the midst of a major reading rut) his latest Kids of Appetite which I cannot wait to write about in more detail. It was FANTASTIC truly. I fell in love with this group of characters and totally was engaged by the structure of the novel and how things unfolded.

So, grab a cuppa something and get to know David Arnold a bit more as we talk about his book Kids of Appetite, music and more!

 

 

1. If books used pick-up lines when readers stood by the shelves trying to choose which book to pick up, what would Kids of Appetite’s pick-up line be?

I imagine KOA trying to woo readers with a song, something like Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get it On.

 
2. I always love knowing the spark (a character’s voice, seeing something in the news, a line of dialogue) that led to the writing of a book. What was the spark of inspiration that produced Kids of Appetite?

I’d recently finished rereading S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, and I adore the band Arcade Fire, and I realized that the feeling I got while reading that book was similar to the feeling I got when listening to that band. If you’ve never heard Arcade Fire perform, it feels like at any minute they might hurl their instruments into the audience then run down the street for an ice cream cone, and The Outsiders captures this same sort of youthful recklessness. I wanted to try and write a book from that place.

 

3. One of my favorite things ever in books/tv shows/movies are ragtag groups of misfits who maybe wouldn’t otherwise become friends and I fell in LOVE with the group of individuals that made up the Kids of Appetite. Tell me one or two of your favorite bands of misfits from another novel/show/movie.

 
Well, The Outsiders is one of those, obviously. Off the top of my head, two others would be Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom and Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go.

 
4. I loved the idea behind the Super Racehorse that comes out throughout the novel. What does the idea of “Super Racehorse” mean to you and 1) tell us someone in your life who you think is a Super Racehorse and 2) someone maybe in the public eye whom you don’t know but exudes the qualities of a Super Racehorse.

 
Well, you can be a Super Racehorse on a micro level (say you fix the garbage disposal, or you ace a test), but you can also be one on a macro level, which is a lot harder to define. I dedicated KOA to both of my grandfathers, who passed in the last few years, and I think for me, they’re the ultimate Super Racehorses. As far as someone in the public eye who I don’t know, but who exudes the qualities of a Super Racehorse, I’m going with Mindy Kaling.

 
5. I’ve loved watching your career blossom from when you were awaiting your debut novel, Mosquitoland, being published and now as Kids of Appetite is on the verge of being out in the world. What is the biggest lesson you think you’ve learned along the way?

 
Enjoy the process. Enjoy the people. Do your work, and don’t get hung up on what other people are doing or getting. Just be you—in person, and on the page.

 
6. I always love imagining who characters I love would be friends with from different books! Tell me another character from any book that you think Vic and Mad (individually) would be friends with and why.

 
This is a shipping question, isn’t it? It’s a shipping question in disguise. I’m old, Jamie. I barely understand the concept, but I will try: I think maybe Vic would like to be friends with Theo Decker (as a kid) from The Goldfinch. They could talk art and family, and I think they have similar philosophies on a few things. And I think Mad would be friends with Cassie O’Malley from Kerry Kletter’s The First Time She Drowned.

 
7. One of the things I loved about Mad was her unadulterated passion for The Outsiders and her Hinton Vortex theory — what’s that one book for you?

 
When I was in middle school, I just read Jurassic Park over and over again until the cover literally fell off. Other books I reread are J.D. Salinger’s Glass family novellas, Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings.

 
8. I always love the little tidbits of music (especially the Elliott Smith) in your books and I loved that both Vic and Mad had favorite songs that were really did mean a lot to them. SO, what is your all time favorite song AND a current favorite song that you’ve been playing on repeat a lot lately?

 
If I had to pick one all time favorite song, I guess it would have to be Jeff Buckley’s rendition of Hallelujah (written by Leonard Cohen). Or Debussy’s Clair de lune. Or maybe Elliott Smith’s Speed Trials. (Sorry! I gave you three.) As far as what I’m listening to now, it’s been a lot of The Antler’s Familiars and Daughter’s Not to Disappear. Oh, and I recently got Sufjan Steven’s 10th Anniversary Blue Marvel Edition of Illinois on vinyl, so I’ve been rediscovering that too.

 

 

ABOUT KIDS OF APPETITE

Kids of Appetite

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

Stalking Jack the Ripper Giveaway

In the Fall I am obsessed with picking reads that just have that FALL feeling (here are some of my recs) and since the first day of Fall was yesterday I’ve already started to pick what books I’m going to read to get me in the ~mood~ for Fall — especially because here in Philly it was like 80 yesterday (I’m so not complaining but man I want to bust out my boots and flannel so hard) so I need ALL the help I can get to think of Fall because my brain is still in summer mode.

One of the books FOR SURE on my list, like on my nightstand, is Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco which just came out this week! I mean, JACK THE RIPPER + Victorian era + a highborn lady who is super into forensics trying to track him down. I’ve heard rave reviews from fellow book friends and I’m super excited to dive into it!

Stalking Jack the Ripper

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New To The Queue

New things to read, watch, listen to

New To the Queue is a semi-monthly thing around here wherein I give you a tiny glimpse into some of the books, movies, tv shows and bands I’ve recently added to my never ending queue of things to read/watch/listen to. For past posts, go here!

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Why I’ve Been MIA Lately

I’ve been pretty quiet in the past week and I figured I’d give a little update even though I’m not normally one to explain my absences with blogging — because sometimes I just take little breaks and I don’t feel like I need to explain it. BUT this is a relevant life update so it seems different. And honestly it’s the first time I feel like I could type this out without crying.

It’s interesting how you can wake up one morning and have your day just not at all go as you expected it to and everything kind of changes. That was this past Wednesday.

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When You Just Aren’t Reading Much At All

reading in pool

 

The other day I was sitting on the couch reading for a good chunk of time and Will remarked on how he felt like he really hadn’t seen me sit down and read much lately which was weird to him because normally I always found time to curl up on the couch with a book.

It was true. I’ve said as much on here about how I really slowed down on reading this summer and I really hadn’t been reading very much at all — at least not for the long chunks of time I normally do. It’s twofold I think: 1) I was really busy this summer — new friends, new experiences, saying yes to more things rather than staying at home and 2) I just haven’t been FEELING like reading (or really being able to concentrate on it) which I’m not one to force myself to do something…I just kind of go with the flow and know I’ll always read again at some point when I feel like it. So I haven’t FELT like picking up books or making myself try to sit down and concentrate on them.

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5 Quotes To Help You Refocus & Finish The Year Strong

5 Quotes To Help You Refocus & Finish the Year Strong

 

Every time September hits I have this back-to-school nostalgia that overcomes me. September always brought a new school year and I always felt the way I did about it as I did the New Year — fresh & new possibilities and goals and declarations of things I would do differently.

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4 Series To Catch Up On NOW Before The Sequel Comes Out

I’m getting really psyched up because some sequels to books I absolutely loved are coming out within the next few months and I want to take this time to YELL AT YOU urge you to read them if you haven’t already so you can be caught up before these sure-to-be-epic sequels come out!

 

So here are 4 series you absolutely should catch up on if you haven’t already:

 

4 Book Series To Catch up On

 

 

1. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard:

With Windwitch coming out in January, you’ve got plenty of time to meet best friends, Safi and Iseult, and go along with them on their wild journey on the run from people who want to use them in the midst of a brewing war. The magic system is so interesting with the various witcheries and the secondary characters are super delightful. So many twists and turns in this action-filled fantasy series — I’ve been pining for the second installment since I closed the book! Windwitch is out January 3, 2017.

 

Truthwitch

 

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.”

 

 2. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken:

Embark on this time-traveling adventure before January! It’s a thrilling & action-packed quest that sends our main characters across the world and through different time periods — settings that Alex exquisitely paints to make you feel like you are dropped right there with them — and a race against the clock to be one step ahead of a truly evil bad guy. The romance is sweet and complicated considering the perilous situation they are in plus the fact they live in different time. I NEEDED BOOK 2 YESTERDAY. Wayfarer out January 3, 2017.

 

Passenger Alex Bracken

 

“In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them—whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home… forever.”

 

 3. The Impostor Queen by Sarah Fine:

 

The Impostor Queen was definitely a refreshing and action-packed YA fantasy and I was disappointed that it has seem to fly a bit under the radar this year so I’m hoping more people will read this one before The Cursed Queen is out! I loved the world —  it was so rich magic-wise and the political setup was so interesting.  I really enjoyed watching the strength Elli exuded after her whole world imploded and the future she had for herself was no longer there. The Cursed Queen out January 3. 2017.

 
The Imposter Queen

 

“Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.”

 

 

 4. The Young Elites (& The Rose Society) by Marie Lu

Oh man this is one series I just cannot get enough of and Midnight Star is out soon — no time like a binge read of The Young Elites and The Rose Society between now and October! It’s a dark fantasy series with a compelling and complicated main character in Adelina. Truly, one of the most memorable heroines I’ve come across in a while. Ah, definitely one of my favorite fantasy series in a while!

The Young Elites Marie Lu

“Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.”

 

 

Are there any series that I should start/catch up on before the next installment?? Let me know! Have you read any of these? Planning to?

New TV Shows On My Radar For 2016

new tv to watch Fall 2016

Linking up with Top Ten Tuesday, hosted over at my other blog The Broke and Bookish, to talk about tv today!

As I wait with bated breath with some of my shows to come back (Poldark, The Walking Dead, How To Get Away With Murder, Grey’s) I’m always scoping out new shows that I might want to add to my Fall lineup — especially after some of my previous Fall shows got cancelled/ended/got pushed back.

Here are the new shows out this Fall that I have my eye on:

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If We Were Having Coffee

I saw a life coach I love, Ashley, do a post entitled If We Were Having Coffee and I decided to take her lead and do one myself in November 2013 because I loved it and sometimes I feel like we forget that there is a whole life behind the people that write and read blogs. I got such a great response to my initial post so I made it a  reoccurring thing for the past couple of years and do it when I feel so inclined!

 

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So, grab your coffee/beverage of your choice and meet me for a chat. Currently I’m drinking some La Croix…apparently I’m channeling my mom in the 90’s. I distinctly remember NOT liking this stuff as a kid.

 

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you that I’m currently reading Kids of Appetite by David Arnold. I’m literally on page 1 so I can’t tell you how it is but I’m super excited because I loved his debut Mosquitoland so much.

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If we were having coffee.…I’d tell you that I’m flabbergasted that we are in September. I feel like I say this all the time, “where did summer go?” “where did 2016 go?” but really. I was thinking about it the other day how when I was younger time really did seem a lot slower to me. I distinctly remember feeling like an hour was the whole day and the whole summer was an eternity until I could go back to school. Now I feel like an hour slips through my hands in a second and a whole summer can pass me by when I blink (no but seriously I had a whole list of fun things I wanted to do this summer and I did a quarter of them and WHAT HAPPENED?). Is it that I’m too aware of time and the fact it’s not endless and I’m desperate to hold on to it? Is it that I’m not living in the moment as much? Am I too distracted? Trying to do too many things? Not using my time wisely?  Whatever the reason is I’d really like to channel my younger self and see an hour as something that I can do a lot with. Now I think of an hour and feel like I can’t accomplish much in it (which sometimes because maybe I’m not 100% focused). I’d ask you if you are feeling like this summer or year in generally has flown.

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8 Ways I Use My Bullet Journal As A Reader & A Blogger

Ways I Use My Bullet Journal As A Reader & Book Blogger

 

Back in July I talked about how I started bullet journalling mid-month and here we are (well, as I write this) at the end of August and I have to say, with a full month of bullet journalling under my belt, that I really think this is a system that will work for me. Mine is super simple and not all pretty and creative but I would get way to hung up on that so a more simple approach definitely works for me. Literally the most I do is like use pretty colored pens — these ones actually. I’m using a journal that I had lying around (from one of my spontaneous journal purchases) so I would just get started with it but the pages are thin so the pens bleed through sometimes and I think I’d like to purchase one of these that are apparently all the rage in the bullet journal community.

I’ve found that I really like having all my lists in one place. I really like having the birthday calendar I made for each month to glance at every month to be more intentional about that. I made a tracker for some habits and things I want to work on because I am such a person who likes to check things off so it feels really nice to fill in my little bubble that I completed it for the day. It works SO well in helping me work on my goals.

I also have random pages I’ve really come to love like “Things To Look Up” because I always have random things that I want to research or look up and I always forget what they were. I love having various to-do lists in there but having a MASTER TO DO LIST that encompasses like everything — things I might not have a set start day for but that I want to do. It’s just a system that REALLY works. I don’t use all the things I see others do but I just put in it what I think I truly want and aligns with my life.

Anyways, I’m not at all an expert so this won’t be a post of tips or anything like that because I’m still a baby at this but I figured I would share things I’ve used it for as pertaining to my life as a reader and book blogger. (I highly suggest you check out Pinterest and just type in bullet journalling and you will find a wealth of info on how to start and ideas if you don’t know what it is and are curious if it would be a good system for you).

 

8 Ways I Use My Bullet Journal As A Reader and Book Blogger:

(no pics of these pages because like they are reaaaaaally ugly and not creative or fancy…just me writing these categories at the top of the page..maybe some little circles to track stuff. BOUT IT. Nothing to see. lol)

 

 

1. Books To Get From The Library: This might seem like a random one but EVERY FREAKING TIME I go to the library I know there are books I wanted to get out but I can’t remember half of them. And then I end up on Goodreads or on my library wishlist which is sooo inconvenient while I’m there but now I have a list that I can look at before I go or have in my purse while I’m there and, when I go to look for one, can make notes on if it’s in the library or if I will have to interloan library it.

2. Monthly TBRs: I’m always so off and on about doing Monthly TBRs on the blog or on Instagram so I really like that I can quick jot down a list of books I’m planning to read before the next month begins. It helps me remember any library books I have out or book club books or whatever. It also helps me when I can’t choose from what to read — even though, as a mood reader, I’ve totally thrown caution to the wind and gone off my TBR list…like a lot. I do like the idea of going through the notebook to see how many I actually ended up getting to.

3. Series To Finish: This has been SUPER useful for me. I was trying to keep track of it via a Goodreads shelf but it just got so hard to keep messing with and taking books off and putting them on and blah. This is great because I put all the current series I’m in the middle of and it’s so easy to cross it off if I finish or add a new series if I start one.

4. Comics I’m Reading: Pretty self explanatory. I like keeping track of what comic series I’m currently reading and make any notes to keep me updated when new stuff is released.

5. Reading Stats: I’ve never really kept many reading stats before in my life but I’ve been kind of curious to look at, especially after I wrote this post, what genres I’ve been reading. So for every book I read I make a little circle and then I fill it in with a color that corresponds to whatever genre it is (they are pretty loose genres because I’m simple). I also have been keeping track of some other stats like male authors vs. female that I’ve read and stuff like that. I would LOVE some other ideas for interesting things to track. I can see myself really tweaking this for next year based on what I find interesting/helpful to track.

6. Reading/Blogging Goals Progress: This is where I track these goals I make at the beginning of the year. It’s been really nice because I realized recently I’m SO visual when it comes to my goals and I like seeing the progress I’ve made (or not made). When I make goals and resolutions I typically forget about a lot of ones or they get pushed back but having this page (and doing my mid-year check-in) helps me sooo much. I need it right in my face.

7. Blog Post Idea Dump: This is where I literally just brain dump even the dumbest ideas for the blog. I’ve seriously filled sooo many pages. Before I would have tons of scraps of papers and random notesbooks with ideas jotted down, a notebook on Evernote (my faaave digital note-taking system), 100s of unfinished drafts in WordPress with post ideas and like one sentence for what I wanted that post to be. I’ve made this new system where I now use this to dump every idea (and it’s typically always with me) and then I only put the winners in my Evernote notebook that I actively want to work on and KNOW what I want to do with. Sometimes I still go for my Evernote if I’m on my phone and it’s more convenient to type into my app but I always transfer it to my bullet journal. I think this has also helped me do some brainstorming OFF LINE. I can take my notebook and really develop or brainstorm the ideas further without sitting on my computer looking at Evernote and getting easily distracted. DEFINITELY a winner of a system for me.

8. Blog Improvements: This is where I put more administrative/maintenance and behind the scenes blogging stuff — aka all the things I hate and put off for forever. Things like “make my about me page prettier” “go back or format/make prettier graphics for old posts that still get lots of traffic”  or  “figure out WHY THE HELL my email notifications when I get comments on my blog are no longer working” — still haven’t figured out that one. I miss getting individual emails every time someone comments..always made my day to read them throughout the day.

Things I might like to implement:

Books Read In X Year: I was too lazy to go back and list all the books I read from January through July when I started this but next year I would like to keep a list of books I’ve read throughout the year. I have Goodreads for that when I want to glance over but sometimes I just like that stuff written down.

Quotes: I already have a dedicated quote notebook that I’ve used for yeaaaaars so I’m still waffling if this is something I want to also go in this notebook. Maybe I could use this because I always have it with me and then transfer it to my quote notebook?? IDK IDK.

Books Recommended By Friends/Elsewhere: I typically just auto-add to Goodreads but sometimes I like to keep track of just WHO recommended it. I know I can do that on Goodreads but I’m not sure if I can do that from my phone and also it’s REALLY hard to find someone with the auto-fill in especially if they have a popular name. Especially for my New to the Queue posts it might be helpful to remember why I added something to my TBR — like from a person I know, a magazine I saw it in, a blogger whose post I saw it in that piqued my interest.

 

Soooo that’s what I’m currently using it for as it pertains to reading stuff and book blogging! It’s probably not that super interesting and I probably do not make bullet journalling all that appealing because I don’t have pretty stuff (seriously go search on instagram and Pinterest) but I’ve really enjoyed the system and will keep going with it!

 

Do you bullet journal? What kind of reading related or blogging stuff do you put in yours?

 

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