Bookish Playlist: Transport Me Somewhere Good

I’ve shared some bookish playlists before on the blog and some seasonal inspired playlists and I decided it was time for another bookish one because it’s been far too long. I always love making really random playlists with alllll the music I’m into because it helps me listen to different things…seriously some of my playlists are like Men With Beards or Song With Colors In Them (along with normal ones like Dance Party and songs to listen to on a rainy day).

Today I’m going to make a playlist with some of my favorite cities and give you some book recs for books that are set in that city!

 

music-playlist* There’s 22 songs (the widget makes it look like less so just scroll down) and here’s the link if you want it on Spotify!

books set in Paris for teens
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Just One Day by Gayle Forman: One of my all time favorite books! A great story of romance and self discovery that all starts in Paris!
French Milk by Lucy Knisley: I really enjoyed this graphic memoir about a girl and her mom who move to Paris!
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: SWOON. A girl gets sent to boarding school in Paris and meets a boy there! I’m simplifying it soooo much but it’s so romantic and sweet and Anna is so funny!
Isla & the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: This one also takes place in NYC (and some other places) but it also goes back to boarding school in Paris!! It’s a companion to Anna and Lola so I’d recommend reading those first for the BEST experience but you don’t HAVE to. But seriously you should.

The Beautiful & Cursed by Page Morgan: Gothic setting + Paris + paranormal!
Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Moss: Historical fiction + aristocracy + Paris + romance!
The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan: Paris in the late 1800’s! Sisters! Dancing!
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly: A modern day story alternated with one from the French Revolution and the story of two girls whose lives collide when the girl (in the modern time) goes to Paris for break and become bound by a diary.
A Darkness Strange & Lovely by Susan Dennard: This is the sequel to Something Strange & Deadly and the main characters are off to Paris from Philadelphia. THIS SERIES IS SO GOOD GUYS.
The Chocolate Thief by Laura Florand: UM Paris and chocolate and romance?!? SWEETNESS OVERLOAD.

book set in NYC
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The Darlings Are Forever by Melissa Kantor: Cute story about friendship set in Manhattan!
The Geography of You & Me by Jennifer E. Smith: The whole story doesn’t take place in NYC but there’s an important night that starts everything when a blackout happens in the city.
The Edge of Falling by Rebecca Serle:
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan: A fun Christmas-y book set all across the city!
Also Known As by Robin Benway: Teenage spy! Cute romance!
Where She Went by Gayle Forman: Companion to If I Stay and it’s Adam’s story and it might even be better than If I Stay to be honest with you!!
Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg: The story of 4 gift students studying at a prestigious performing arts high school!
The Ward by Jordana Frankel: I didn’t love this one I have to tell you for the sake of full disclosure but I thought it was interesting to imagine a NYC that was underwater.
Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt: OH THIS BOOK. It’s an adult book but the main character is a teen and you should just really read it!
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer: One of my favorite books. It deals with a boy who lost his father in 9/11 and a mystery that takes him all across the city.
Over You by Nicola Krauss & Emma McLaughlin: This one was just pure fun — a girl who has her own business fixing broken hearts and helping girls get over guys who dumped them.

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight: A mother tries to put together the pieces of her daughter’s final days and the secrets and mystery around how she died.
It’s Kind Of A Story by Ned Vizzini: About a boy who almost succeeds in killing himself and finds himself checking into a mental hospital. It’s been on my TBR for a while and I think it’s going to be even harder to read now that Ned Vizzini passed away (suicide).
The Diviners by Libba Bray: 1920s + NYC + supernatural things!
When I Was The Greatest by Jason Reynolds: This one sounds so good and I’ve heard the author speak and he’s great. It’s set in a more rough neighborhood in Brooklyn. I honestly don’t know much more than that but I hear it’s AMAZING.
Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham: I hear this is kind of autobiographical in a way and it’s about a young girl trying to make it in the city as a struggling actress.
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead: Middle grade + I think some sort of time travel element.

Books set in San francisco


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Lola & The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins: Looooove this companion to Anna and the French Kiss so much!

Eve & Adam by Michael Grant  & Katherine Applegate: Full disclosure..I did not care for this book. But it was set in San Francisco and lots of other people I trust DID like it. I did not though.

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr: A piano prodigy who quits and is trying to figure out normal life without piano and if that’s what she even wants.

Angelfall by Susan Ee: Angels of the apocalypse + a journey from Northern Cali to San Francisco to get the main character’s sister back when she is taken by warrior angels!

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: A story centered around this mysterious sounding (as someone who hasn’t read it) bookstore in San Francisco!

 Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs: A spin on Medusa set in San Fran!

Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett: Roaring twenties + San Francisco + paranormal!

 

Hope you enjoyed the playlist…it ended up being a pretty chill one overall!Let me know if you discovered any new songs you love/what you think of the playlist! Let me know if you’ve read any of the books on my TBR and tell me which ones I should move up! Do you have any book recs set in these cities? I was going on memory mostly and I know I probably missed some!!

 

Obligatory “I’m GONE This Week” Post + Fun Stuff Will Be Here For YOU!

IT IS THAT TIME. I will be getting my butt on a train from Philly to NYC and having book-filled shenanigans tomorrow afternoon for the Book Expo of America.

If you are going:

* LET ME KNOW. I would love to see your face & chat! I’m sure you know my face at this point but here’s my post from last year in which I have the Many Face of Jamie.
* I am trying to get a group together to get ice cream if you are in town Tuesday night (probs around 7:45). I’ll be tweeting about it that day so keep an eye out if you want in! Possibly an afternoon trip to grab food (Macbar) on Wednesday! Open to anyone who wants to hang!

If you want to follow my adventures:

* Follow me on Twitter —> @brokeandbookish  I’ll be tweeting a little bit here and there. Probably not TOO much because I need to save my phone battery but I’ll be keeping you up to date on what’s going down.

* Follow me on Instagram —-> perpetualpageturner  I will be definitely be uploading BEA related pictures & books I’m excited about. Last year I even snagged a pic with RL STINE! You just never know what will go down at BEA!

I’m apologizing in advance if I miss your tweet in the BEA rush! I will try so hard to respond to all the things before I pass out each night!

What this means for the blog:

* I will be having a couple giveaways and my John Green interview up for you guys this week. Keeping it light and fun and with the hopes to give you guys at home some book love and make you feel at least a LITTLE bit like you are there? To further that feeling, you should PROBABLY check out Armchair BEA. Lots of fun prizes and chats going on this week!

* I will not be responding to emails or comments unless they are like super, super important and cannot wait. ( I don’t know what kinds of emails or comments those would be but I’m leaving that open).

* I shall be back (and hopefully in full capacity) next week with the normal content — book reviews and other shenanigans.

I SHALL MISS YOU GUYS!!! Be prepared for a recap and a highlight of the books I picked up at BEA!

Odds & Ends

1. Let’s talk books:

What I Just Finished
: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang
What I’m Reading Now: The Prince of Venice Beach by Blake Nelson

 

2. What Books Have Made Their Way To My Shelves:

 

3. I will be leaving for BEA in about a week! (WILL I SEE YOU THERE?).  Here’s some of my Very Important Facial Expressions so you will be able to identify me. If you ARE going I’m thinking about crossing off some of my bucket list food items (specifically Big Gay Ice Cream Shop & Macbar) on Tuesday night (say about 7:30ish) and Wednesday afternoon..time to be decided. I’ll tweet it out for specific details but anyone who wants to come is welcome! I’m still open for BEA questions!

4. Giveaway winner has been posted and contacted for my Morgan Matson prize pack! Thanks to all who entered!

5. I am going to be tweaking my “book talk” thing a bit. I gave up star ratings a LOOONG time ago. Like back in 2010 or early 2011. But I know that a lot of people like them so it WAS hard to give that up because people want to know how you rate things. I gave them up because I had such a hard time being consistent with my star ratings. I felt conflicted about giving a book that might be a fun, high level enjoyment sort of read 5 stars  but then also give a 5 star to some book that was just a beautiful piece of work that shook me to my core and made me think about a lot of things. Because the 5 stars weren’t always for the same things and I just personally became frustrated and kept agonizing over it. HOWEVER, as clear as I think I am in my reviews with where my level of love is for a book (esp with my book review on a post-it) I do want my readers to know where it rated for me in the grand scheme. SO I’ve been tinkering with re-introducing a rating system that fits what I want and you will see that tomorrow and I’d love feedback. Basically it will have my rating and then it will have a FACTORS section below it so that I can explain the things that made it rate where it did so I can clarify that it was really loved because it was just absolute fun or if I’m rating it high for the writing and how it made me FEEL. There are SO many factors to why I love books and I LOVE books of all kinds and, for me, the star ratings limited me. Not all 5 star reads were 5 stars for the same reasons. SO I am hoping this works out for me!

6. What You May Have Missed On The Blog This Week:

Oh The Pressure — I’m talking 3 reasons why I’m afraid to borrow your books!
In which I talk about the book I FINALLY read after 2 years because I was scared.
Date With My Bookshelf #2 – back with a video and talking about 3 books on my shelves!
Absolutely illustrated my biggest struggle as a reader — 5 books I almost put down and I’m glad I did vs. 5 books I didn’t book down but WISH I did.
On Mother’s Day – talked a bit about how I was honoring my mom this mother’s day and some things I miss about her.

 

Let me know what you are reading and what you just finished!! And let me know if I will see YOU at BEA!!

It’s That Time…

About a month until BEA (the Book Expo of America aka HEAVEN ON EARTH for those of you who aren’t familiar). The autographing schedules are going up. Everyone is flailing about meeting each other. Those who aren’t going are stabbing their computer screen (or are laughing at the rest of us..who knows?). And some of you are sitting there going OMG THIS IS SO OVERWHELMING. HOW? WHAT? AM I GOING TO SURVIVE MY SURVIVE MY FIRST TIME??

You got this! And I’m here to help! Basically, if you have a BEA question please ask in the comments (or email me) and I will answer to the best of my abilities with my experience going into year 4 here! I didn’t want to do a series of tips posts because there are a lot of them out there but I just want to open myself up to any and all questions BEA related. Hit me with them…I’ll be honest! And I’m sure other veterans will jump in too! I already asked on social media and got some great questions so you might want to stalk that all here! Seriously, you can give me a huge laundry list of questions and I really don’t mind asking them so we can have a convo about it and maybe it will help others who are reading the comments?

 

So, yes, I will be attending again this year for the 4th time (CRAZY!) and I’m so excited. Please let me know if you are going in the comments because I would LOVE to meet you!! Last year I put together a crazy post about the Many Faces of Jamie so you can recognize me. Seriously…I put pictures like this of me on the internet.

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I look like that still but I will probably be wearing my hair naturally curly this time around because in the past year I’ve gotten lazier. Easy hair is easy. Also, it helps me not to have to wake up so early especially at BEA because a night of cocktails + 5:30am alarm clock = ZOMBIE FACE JAMIE.

So if you see this head of hair coming at you…say hi! (If it’s before the doors actually open at BEA..approach slowly. I may be in a trance like state that looks like I’m awake but I’m not).

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If you have no idea what I’m talking about, bloggers, here is the info for BEA. It’s a good time. SEE:

 

You get to nerd out with fellow bookworms and friends! And meet authors! And get books!

BEA-bloggersmeeting RL StineYEAH THAT IS FREAKING RL STINE. Only at BEA, friends, only at BEA can you meet your childhood IDOL. (Okay, that probably isn’t true but I’m just trying to persuade you into coming. Also, I hear Judy Blume is coming this year sooooo year 2 of Kid Jamie being veryy happy??)

If you are NOT a blogger, you are in luck! There is a book con day on Saturday, May 31st, that is open to all readers — not just industry professionals. SO if you are in the NYC area and are interested, check this out!

If you are interested in my write-up from last year to see what the experience was like, check here!

If you are a blogger and are so, so overwhelmed by the autographing listJenna made a REALLY awesome spreadsheet for all the YA authors that could be helpful!

Want a list of tips to start with? These ladies have compiled some BEA tips posts!

 

SO:

#1: If you are going to BEA, please leave a comment so I can know you will be there/so we can make sure we meet up or say hi or whatever! I might even hug you..don’t be scared!
#2: If you are veteran, leave the tip that you wish you would have heard before going to BEA! And just for funsies, you should tell me a fave BEA moment because I like getting even more excited about BEA!
#3: If you are a first timer (or anyone really) and have questions…ask away! Seriously, anything. A billion questions. Don’t feel bad. I’m asking for it.

 

Loveathon 2014 Fun (All In One Post)

 

Book Spine Poetry Mini-Challenge #1

This was soooo fun. I didn’t think I was going to be good at it (maybe I’m not..but I’m happy with what I wrote) but now I want to keep doing them!! Very addictive!

Pretty much this poem is me right now if I’m honest. I’m in the middle of some major winter blahs and some personal setbacks and I just….yeah. This poem pretty much explains how I feel.

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Alexa and Katelyn created a very fun community event for book bloggers , the Loveathon, as a way to get out and meet new bloggers, participate in mini-challenges, just have fun and spread the love! I’m going to try to participate in it this year because it seems like a lot of fun! :) I’m going to be putting all of my posts into one post!

 Mad Libs – Mini Challenge #3

So very fun and silly this was!!

One day, I was dancing with Adam (If I Stay). Out of the blue, a unicorn came out of nowhere! It was so shiny, majestical and unicorn-y. At first, we were afraid, we were petrified, but we prevailed. We hopped on the motorcycle to make our getaway.

As we escaped, we turned up the radio because On Top Of The World came on and made me shimmy. Everything was extremely smooth sailing until an snake appeared in the middle of the road. We swerved to avoid it, but while Adam stayed on the motorcycle, I got thrown onto my side in the woods.

I couldn’t get up, and felt dizzy as I lay there staring up at the trees. What was I going to do? I heard a rumble among the leaves, and felt petrified. Surely, this was going to be my end. As my eyes fluttered shut, the last thing I saw was a head of brown hair and green eyes.

When I woke up again, I was on a bed. My body hurt a whole lot less, and I could sit up. There was a book and claw foot tub in the room, along with Nutella and water. The door suddenly opened to reveal St. Clair, a concerned look on his face. I blushed and averted my gaze, but he smolder-stared and said, “Don’t be shy. It’s okay.”

He came over to sit by me, and we started talking after I told him my name. We chatted about traveling , reading and Pilates and realized we had a ton in common! I thought he was perfect and couldn’t help feeling a little swoony.

Just as he reached out for my hand, the door crashed open and in came Levi (Fangirl). “Don’t let him charm you away, my love!” He yelled, running at St. Clair. They each had spatuala in their hands and began to fight. “Stop!”, I yelled, feeling so CONFUSED. They didn’t listen to me. Before I could intervene, St. Clair fell to the floor and disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

“What was that?” I asked, staring at the empty space. Levi dropped his weapon, and came over to me. “Magic, but you are safe now, sugar-bottom (haha I’m dying because this is a fake pet name Will and I jokingly use because Sugar Bottom is a road name).” He hugged me close, and I suddenly knew that this was the real deal and not just a dream.

Just as You and I by Ingrid Michaelson (mine and Will’s wedding song) started playing in my head, I woke up. I cursed my shitty luck. Why had it only been just a dream?

Interview Questions!

1. How did you come up with your blog name?

Will always joked, we were dating at the time back in 2010 when I started my blog, about how marrying me would entail being okay with the constant turning of pages of books and “just one more minute..I have a few pages left.” I just kind of thought that and came up with the fact that my life is a perpetual turn of the pages.

2. What genre/subject matter do you read and review most on your blog?

I am a pretty eclectic reader and blogger so you’ll see just about anything on here — all genres of YA mostly and some adult books! I think my MAIN genre is contemporary YA though!

3. Name the 3 books you’re excited for in 2014!

I have a post of 10 of my most anticipated 2014 debuts and 2014 releases posts so you can check those out for a more comprehensive look. I’m going to say Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (because she’s a fave author), Isla and the Happily Ever After (she’s a fave and omg I’ve been waiting so long) and Open Road Summer by Emory Lord (debut author, road trip and sooo reading this one soon!).

4. Where in the world are you blogging from?

Right outside of Philadelphia. Literally you can see the “welcome to Philadelphia” sign from my apartment.

5. Tell us — how did you get into blogging in the first place?

I was a really avid user of Goodreads and was into the groups function on there. I started a College Students group (because I was a college student back then when I started it in 2008) and one of the members was April from Good Books and Good Wine and that’s how I was introduced to the idea of blogging. I wanted to start a blog but didn’t think I could do it alone so I started The Broke and the Bookish with a few members from the College Students group and then within a week I was having such a good time I started this one!

6. Apart from reading, what other hobbies/interests do you have?

I love traveling!! I’m rather obsessed with music — seriously, one of my favorite things to do is just to lie down on the ground with my big ass headphones and just FEEL the music. I also love going to shows to see my favorite bands. I love trying new foods (though Will does all the cooking). I also became an aunt two years ago and watching my two nieces grow up is one of my current favorite things in life. I also really love watching movies — like really weird, obscure movies. And French films. Love my French films.

7. If you were stuck on a deserted island, which books would you bring with you?

I’d bring the Harry Potter series because, if you’ve read this blog you know I’ve only read book 1 finally last year, and I feel like I shouldn’t die on that deserted island without experiencing all of Harry Potter!

8. If you were stuck in some dangerous situation (like a fire, a sinking ship, a warzone), which book boy or girl would you want to come and save you?

Probably Katniss! Girl has seen it all and been through it all and she’s so resourceful that I know she’d save me. As much as I would want a hot fictional man to do it..I would totally trust Katniss with my life!

9. You’re attending a party with your friends. Suddenly, the DJ changes the song and it’s YOUR song – what song would that be?

Hahha oh boy. It would depend on WHO I was with and if I was wanting to dance or just sing loudly and obnoxiously. If we were going NOW and I wanted to dance? Anything Pitbull. I always want to dance to his songs. Also “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” If I was out and wanting to obnoxiously sing? Anything Meatloaf! Or Living On A Prayer by Bon Jovi. All my answers are hilarious if you know my typical musical taste because it’s all indie rock/pop/alternative kind of stuff. But I love my classics and dammit I love that Pitbull!

10. What 3 movies would you love to have your favorite author write into books, or vice versa?

I’d love my favorite movie Amelie to be a book! I also just watched Like Crazy and I think I would love that as a book. And to change it up…I’d love for Love and Other Perishable Items to be turned into a film — it would totally be a quirky, indie flick with obscure actors…I just feel it!

 

 

I Spent Some Quality Time With My Bookshelf

 

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If you followed my saga on Twitter, you know last week we had an ice storm and I lost power all day (thankfully we were one of the lucky ones to get it back relatively quickly..seriously DAYS for some people). I spent some time at Panera to get some things done but I came back at noon and figured I’d do some cleaning and organizing of my shelves because what else is one supposed to do when there is no power and I figured it would keep me warm?

Now my shelves are looking all beautiful — clean, organized and even dusted!

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Here are some thoughts that popped into my head while I did this:

1. I’ve realized, through the ebb and flow of my bookshelves, that it’s really easy for my shelves to get messy and disorganized. There is a constant flux of books coming in and going out. I pull things off the shelf and don’t put it back always in its spot and books just get piled up. I have my shelves separated (alphabetically last name) between adult fiction books, non-fiction, ARCs, and YA fiction and I find that when I get these new books, rather than figure out where it should go, I just stack them until it gets out of control. I think I’m going to need to stay on top of this/do this every month so it isn’t such a project! HOW OFTEN DO YOU CLEAN OUT/ORGANIZE YOUR BOOKSHELF?

2. It was interesting to really look through the books that I’ve accumulated and see how my reading has changed. I shared a lot about this in my Reading History post but I can see these stages so clearly on my shelves. I see the flux of adult fiction books I bought when I first joined Goodreads in 2008. Most of my adult fiction books are way older because I haven’t bought many recent ones as opposed to my YA fiction collection which is very current and new. I see clearly the books I bought when I first started blogging and was just getting into the YA scene. I bought so many books I didn’t know about because I was trying to figure out my taste and I would just see these popular books on blogs. Most of those ones are paranormal and I quickly realized that it wasn’t the genre I loved most. I’ve decided to cull a lot of those because if I haven’t read them in almost 4 years I’m probably not going to — some exceptions though! It’s AMAZING how long some of these books have sat unread on my shelves.

3. RIP BORDERS. So many books with Border’s stickers on them — even though that’s a pet peeve of mine.

4. I realized how many MEMORIES are on my shelves. There are the great reading memories of course but, MAN, are there some great memories related to these books — the signings I went to, the days when I was always going to used book sales, certain conversations I’ve had with people about a book and other books that were what sparked friendships for me. A whole life time of memories just sitting on my shelves! It’s kind of amazing. So many stories and characters and lives I’ve lived on these shelves.

5. My ratio of read to unread books is crazy. It’s obviously because I get rid of a lot of books unless they were favorites or I would reread them but also because 1) I acquire too many (ARCs/bought/using my library) and 2) I can’t read them at a rate that is fast enough apparently. EMBARRASSING. But yay so many adventures I’ve yet to have.

6. Related to that next one, I get so many shelf anxieties so to speak. I get overwhelmed because I’m never going to get to all of them in my life time. I mean, I definitely could if new books would stop being published but there are SOOO many new books that I want all the time.

7. I kept wondering which ones of these was going to be my new favorite book. That WOW knock-you-off-your-feet kind of read that I’m so in need of! I just want to know which one it’s going to be!! Hopefully there are many of them.

8. God, I really should dust more.

9. I wonder how many calories I’m burning because BOOKS ARE HEAVY AND I TOOK ALL OF THEM OFF MY SHELVES to dust/reorganize. I’ve gotta be getting some muscle definition in this task.

10. Even though I culled even more books, there STILL is overflow that won’t fit on my shelves. I had the most brilliant idea. The platform of our bed sticks out and there’s ample room underneath and you can’t really see it when you are standing up. SOOO I made some stacks of books on my side of the bed. They are hidden pretty well, especially compared to how I had them in piles before, and honestly when you do catch a glimpse of them it kind of looks like our bed is being held up by books. Which Will always said eventually, if I kept buying more books, that we were going to have to sleep on them? MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

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How often do you organize/clean up your bookshelves? Are your bookshelves pretty organized or are the disorganized? How do you deal with new books coming in — find them a home right away, let them pile up or something else? Tell me all things shelf related!!

Get In The Winter Mood: Playlist, Books & More!

I had so much fun doing my Fall post that I decided I’d like to do one for Winter too!

 

It’s not even officially winter and I’ve been hit with a decent amount of snow 2 or 3 times already so I was ready to put up this post for sure!

 

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My niece, Genevieve, playing in the snow for the first time. Last year she was too little to actually play!

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The Books

In the winter time I have this inexplicable urge to read the classics. I just want to curl up with some tea, snow falling out my window and get lost in them. This winter I want to tackle a classic but I also want to get into the Christmas/wintery romance books! I’m VOWING to myself to read one (I’ve only read like Dash & Lily and Let It Snow) and I think it will help because I just haven’t been in the Christmas cheer mood. So my Winter TBR is a combination of some classics and some winter-y romances! Hopefully I’ll have some snow falling to set the mood if the past week or so is an indicator of what is to come in Winter!

 

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The Music

 

I shared my Christmas music playlist here! This Winter playlist is not a Christmas playlist but rather the same as my Fall playlist in that I have so much music and like to make random playlists so I can stop replaying the same songs over and over again. So I make playlists based on the most random of things like these bookish ones. Or ones with songs from dudes with beards. Or with a food in the title. This one, like my Fall playlist, is comprised of songs I listen to with wintery words in the title — cold, December, snow, ice, etc. I’ve been listening to it a looot. Actually quite perfect for these cold days!

You can follow this playlist HERE!

 

The Movies

 

These are my staples that I watch over and over again. I know I need to integrate new ones so I’d love some recommendations. I’ve seen A LOT of Christmas movies but not all get in the “every year” rotation but I would loooove to find a new one!

 

christmas movies

 

Love Actually –I could watch this at any point during the year. PLUS a young Andrew Lincoln!!! SAWOOOON.
The Family Stone — God, I love this movie! If you love watching family dynamic kind of stuff, DO IT.
Elf — All of the LOLS. I can quote all the lines. YEP. Pretty much the only Will Ferrell movie I’ve watched more than once!
A Christmas Story — Classic! You’ll shoot your eye out!
Home Alone — I will never stop loving this movie. KEVINNNNNN.
The Santa Clause – Can’t go wrong with this one!
How The Grinch Stole Christmas — THE ORIGINAL, YO! Not the Jim Carrey crap. This reminds me of my mom so much <333
The Nightmare Before Christmas — TIM BURTON! Enough said!

So, have you gotten snow already?? What other songs have a wintry word in the title that you think I’d like and can add to my playlist? Discover any new songs from it?? What movies are YOUR staples to watch around the holidays?! Give me a rec for one I’ve maybe never heard of (I’ve watched A LOT)! AND MOST IMPORTANTLY…what books should I read??!

Book Club Goes To See The Book Thief: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

So you all saw that book club read The Book Thief this past month right? We made a date to go see The Book Thief together and I’d love to tell you our thoughts on the movie!

20131207-193639.jpgThe girls holding up their Book Thief survival kits before the movie

We were a little nervous, as most book nerds are, about it being made from book to movie. At least for myself and Ellie, it was a book that had been an all time favorite for years and rereading just confirmed that for us.

So pretty much that movie had a LOT to live up to. I SOBBED during the books so in preparation for the movie I put together The Book Thief survival kits for everyone:

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Tissues for your feels + chocolate (these crazy good Lindt chocolates) to help your heart

Overall feelings:

Thought it was done really well! Obviously not as good as the book but they did NOT butcher it so that made me very pleased! Wasn’t perfect but mostly positive feelings abound!

FEELS Factor:

I sobbed like crazy. Seriously I even made those little choking noises at one point. I’m pretty sure the other girls cried too or at least teared up. SORRY I COULDN’T SEE BECAUSE MY EYES WERE LEAKING PROFUSELY.

The one thing we talked about (and I also talked about with Kelly after she saw the movie) was that I’m not sure if the movie hits all the emotional punches as much as the book. I wondered, as did Kelly, if it was more the fact we had all the BOOK FEELS and it made us cry harder during the movie because everything meant way more to us and we had spent even more time with these characters in the book. So, while I did think some of it was very emotional on its own, I do think my reading and then seeing it happen on the screen made it way more emotional. I was already attached to the characters before the movie started.

The Good

– Overall it was a really good adaptation. It included Death as I hoped as a narrator of sorts. It stayed decently true to the book and had some really poignant scenes that I’d hoped for.

– Loved the cinematography — it just had this certain kind of mood that was perfect but it was pretty simple.

– Papa: OMG they could not have casted Papa any better. That casting was crucial for most of us (myself for sure!) and they made me fall in love with Papa all over again. Seriously. I love him. He was perfect. I LOVE YOU GEOFFREY RUSH!

– Mama: We were very nervous about the casting of Mama because she’s such a complex character because they needed to get how harsh she was but also that softness about her. It’s a difficult balance and based on the trailer I wasn’t sure if they had it but we all really thought Mama was well played and I think it made me love her as well.

–  Rudy was the cutest ever!!!!

– The friendship between Max and Liesel was really portrayed well. It was heartwarming and I just loved it.

– Liesel’s spirit contrasted with the harsh realities of things going on just jumped out of the screen. She was infectious and darling and, while it took me a little bit to get the Liesel in my head out of my mind, I really warmed up to her.

The Bad (Not BAD just maybe MEH)

– We didn’t like some of the small changes they made to it. We knew that these things happen in book to movie situations but we just really didn’t feel like they were necessary.

– We felt like Max’s return was so much more emotional in the book than in the movie. Or maybe I built it up in my head because I knew what was coming?

– I felt the end was really kind of rushed. That part wrecked me in the book, and while I was SOBBING because it was one of the most memorable and heartbreaking scene I’ve ever read in a book and I watched it play out, I felt like it it didn’t have that SLAYING kind of feeling like it did in the book. As I was reading I had to stop and let myself take it in for a second and I felt like the movie could have lingered a bit so we could see the enormity of what happened and just take it in.

– I was sad about how Ilsa (the mayor’s wife) didn’t feel as important to me in the movie. Sure, we see that she IS important but she didn’t feel as important. And I don’t think it was shown that Leisel was taken in by her like in the book? I felt like that was an essential part to me that in all her sadness that, while she was able to save Liesel, Liesel really saved her and maybe gave her something for her to live for?

The Ugly

– The rude lady who sat in front of us but loudly complained to her husband that “she didn’t want to sit near us because she was sure we would talk through the whole movie.” SORRY LADY I WAS TOO BUSY CRYING TO TALK. Also, serious book worms here and we had a book to movie adaptation to experience.

- When that same lady’s PHONE went off during the movie very loudly.

– When that same lady’s husband kept sniffling the ENTIRE MOVIE. I’d rather sit near talking people than sniffly people. JUST SAYING, LADY! I also wanted to throw my tissues at his head. I mean, sharing is caring.

Unintentional Survey of Audience Members That Were Not Book Club

From the the old man sitting next to me: *wipes away tears discretely during the big scene at the end*

From the older man sitting diagonal from me: *lets tears fall* *wipes tears away*

From the very nice man after the movie: “What happened in the beginning? I missed the first 15 minutes” I tell him. “Man that was a really good movie! Wow!”

 

Thank you Big Honcho Media for providing me with this opportunity to take my book club on a hot date to see this movie! All opinions were my own for sure. I had lots of feelings about one of my favorite books being made into a movie.

Did you see the movie? What did you think? What parts did you think were well done? Not so much? Did any of you only see the movie and not read the book? I’m very curious how your experience was!

If We Were Having Coffee…

One of my favorite bloggers, Ashley at Your Super Awesome Life/aka the life coach I told you all about, did a post like this the other day and I decided I wanted to do the same because 1) I loved it and 2) sometimes I feel like we forget that there is a whole life behind the people that write and read blogs. She sat down and typed out what she’d talk to her readers about if she was meeting them for coffee. So let’s try it?

 

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So, grab your coffee/beverage of your choice and meet me for a chat. I’ve got tea right now but if we met earlier it would be a gingerbread latte. What are you having?

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you about how I’ve been in an epic slump for the past week. I’d tell you how I wasn’t sure if it was ME or the book (The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert). I’ve been really preoccupied/stressed so I know that could be my problem. I’d tell you that I decided to try something paced a little differently and ended up reading Ashes to Ashes by Melissa Walker and finished it in a day. Now I’m going back to The Signature of All Things but reading Picture Me Gone by Meg Rosoff at the same time to balance it out. I’d also ask you what you were reading.

If we were having coffee... I’d tell you about how I’m really having a hard time finding those books that just WOW me to the fullest degree. I’m talking those books that make you remember why you love reading. The ones that just knock you off your feet. I want to curl up and sob like a little baby because of how it wrecked me or because of how beautiful and amazing it was. I want to almost convince myself I never want to read again so this book could be the LAST BOOK I’D EVER READ if I died. End on an amazing note. I’d ask you what book last did that for you.

If we were having coffee.… I’d tell you how I’m really kind of nervous about this whole not having a job thing. I don’t know what I can do anymore honestly. I send out resume after resume and rarely hear ANYTHING. I’ve had people look at my resume. I’d tell you that my unemployment is up in December and I don’t know what were are going to do. I’m rather scared. I’m going to see what is hiring around the holidays and just go from there. Also, I’d tell you how demoralizing this all has been. And stressful. And all consuming. Probably contributing to my slump.

If we were having coffee…. I would tell you about how I’m really loving this auntie thing even MORE as Genevieve grows up. She is almost two and such a little person with a BIG personality. I love watching her grow and learn and I just get so much joy from being around her. I would tell you how she likes to say to my sister, “MOVE MAMA!” so she can be the closest to her baby sister Adela.

If we were having coffee…. I’d show you the bruise on my leg because I’m a klutz and ran into the side of the bed today and how it hurts so bad. I’d also ask you if my roots were showing really bad because I’m WAY overdue for getting my hurrr did.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how I’m really, really happy that I’ve been reconnecting with my high school/college bff again. We have been on rocky ground for the past couple years but it’s been really nice working on our friendship and both admitting where we messed up.

If we were having coffeeI’d ask you if you always knew what you wanted to be when you grew up and if you are happy doing what you are doing. I’d tell you how I’m so passionate about social media and marketing but I doubt whether I could do the corporate thing long term because my last job sucked the life out of me. I would tell you how I hate the notion that you have to pick what you want to be as an 18 year old kid, before you even really KNOW who you are, and pursue that as a degree for the next four years. 18 year old Jamie who chose to be a business major is a lot different than 28 year old Jamie and had different motives and priorities in life than me now. I’d tell you that it scares me that I still can’t answer the question of, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Can’t I just date a few careers first?

If we were having coffee….I’d tell you how I’m loving doing Blogilates and it’s the first workout I’ve stuck with ever in my life. I can feel myself getting stronger and stronger and more flexible since I started doing it in July. I’d also tell you how I’m a dummy and I signed up for a 5K on Thanksgiving and trained for one week a month ago. OOPS.

If we were having coffee…I’d tell you how excited I am about something that I’m working on. I’d also tell you that that something isn’t the NaNo project I promised myself secretly that I’d do this month without telling anyone. Not one word has been written.

If we were having coffee… I’d tell you how thankful I am for you. For reading what I write. For talking to me about books and other things. For encouraging me. For commenting. For letting me be myself.

 

If we were having coffee…what would you tell me? Come on…lay it all out! It’s just you, me, the pleasant sounds of a cafe…and maybe some other eyes in the comment section but NBD right?? Our we can have coffee in my inbox if you don’t feel comfortable. I really want to know! What’s going on with you?

The Book Thief + Book Club

Recently my book club and I got the chance to read The Book Thief by Markus Zusak together as part of a fun promo for The Book Thief movie — it comes to theaters in two weeks!!

 

Welcome to book club, friends! Let’s talk The Book Thief!

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The Food:

If you remember our book club meeting for The Program you’ll remember we went all out with themed foods. This one was a little bit more difficult of a task. For The Program, we tied together some favorite scenes and brought food based on those but there wasn’t a ton to go off of unless we wanted to eat Mama’s pea soup. (I will say two of my favorite scenes in The Book Thief involved champagne and a hard candy but a book club snack that did not make). I didn’t particularly want to make German specialties because 1) I’m not that good of a cook and 2) one of our book clubbers is a vegetarian and I didn’t think she’d be down with wiener schnitzels and 3) we are more of a snacky book club.

So, in the end, we decided to go with a couple of German chocolate items, a salty snack of German origin and a German adult beverage.

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The menu:

– German Chocolate Puppy Chow — UM AMAZING and super easy to make. Recipe below. (Original recipe here)
–  German Chocolate gelato
– German chocolate cookies
– Soft pretzels (I was going to make homemade ones but my car broke that day so I was stranded until Will got home!)
– Radler: Super yummy alcoholic beverage but dangerous because it tastes so good. Recipe below.

Radler beer recipe

 

 

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What Went Down:

The Book Thief Re-readers = 2 (myself included in that)
The Book Thief First-Timers = 3

The other re-reader, Ellie, and I KNEW what was in store for the rest of these ladies and we were both excited and nervous to re-read it and experience what we had experienced the first time. YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT IF YOU HAVE READ IT. All I remember was sobbing until I finished at 4am many years ago. THAT kind of experience.

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General Thoughts:
* For us re-readers: We both loved it just as much as the first time and the blow to our hearts was equally as hard even though we knew what to expect. We also both agreed that it was nice to reread because we forgot a lot and we got to notice smaller details this time around!

* One book clubber didn’t LOVE it but liked it. It had to do more with how it was told. She felt like death gave away a lot of the emotional blows for her early on and she didn’t feel all that motivated to read because you kind of know a bit of how it ends.

* Another book clubber had a slow start but wound up LOVING it and bawling at the end. It all came together for her albeit a slow start.

Related Movie Thoughts:

* We are curious to see how Death is going to be worked into the movie. We all thought Death was one of the most unique narrators EVER and felt it was really effective in the storytelling for the book but we are curious how Death will be worked in and how it will translate on screen if Death has a part in all this.

*  We all unanimously predict we will bawl to see this story on screen. Especially knowing everything. Bringing our hankies! GOSH, I can’t even watch the trailer without getting emotional. HOW are we going to survive this movie?

* We aren’t sure if we like the casting for Mama but we are going to give her a chance. Mama is such a vivid character to all of us that we all SEE her a certain way and we really hope the movie will capture that harshness of her but also that underlying tenderness. It has to be perfect!!

* We can’t wait to see the Papa and Liesel chemistry on screen. Some of our favorite parts were Papa and Liesel related and they are a very memorable father/daughter relationship and we hope that they can fill us with the same kinds of emotions on screen. Papa was pretty much our favorite character!!

* We were a little concerned about the trailer because Liesel’s outfit doesn’t look particularly poor like we imagined her in the book but we will see. It might be something to get over but if she is supposed to be as poor as she is in the book then that it is a little irritating.

* We are VERY curious to know how close they are going to stick to the book in terms of character deaths and endings. Are they going to deliver all the emotional blows that the author did or are they going to save some beloved characters? WE WILL SEE.

* Ultimately, from the trailer, we are all optimistic about the movie. It evokes emotion already and we just HOPE that it does the book justice. Here’s the trailer if you haven’t seen it!

Be on the lookout on opening weekend for our movie recap!!

Tell us..what are your thoughts on this book?  Do you plan on seeing the movie? What are your hopes for the movie? What are some of the things you are anticipating for the movie? Do you have any concerns? What did you think of the trailer? Did you cry just watching it??

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