Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: My Summer TBR

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the first Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Books to Read By the Pool/At the Beach (this can also serve as your Summer TBR), so I'm going to share some new and upcoming releases coming out this June - August.  Hopefully, I'll be able to get to all of these books on my Summer TBR this season!  Here we go:


A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews - Release date: June 7th - I'm really excited to try Paper Fury's debut novel - my hopes are very high to say the least!  I've ordered a copy, now I just have to hope it shows up soon!

A Reaper at the Gates (Ember Quartet #3) by Sabaa Tahir - Release date: June 12th - I have absolutely loved the first two books of this series and I'm absolutely dying to get to this!  I just picked up my copy this past Friday and I just can't wait!

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows - Release date: June 26th - My Lady Jane was so much fun, I can't wait to see what these authors do with Jane Eyre!

Trail of Lighting (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse - Release date: June 28th - I don't know about you, but I think this urban fantasy novel is going to be absolutely awesome!


Smoke and Iron (The Great Library #4) by Rachel Caine - Release date: July 3rd - I love this series and I can't wait to dive into both book 3 and 4 (at least I won't have to wait long after reading Ash and Quill until the release of the next installment)!

Hullmetal Girls by Emily Skrutskie - Release date: July 17th - I don't know about you, but this sounds like it's going to be a stunning YA sci-fi story! I added it to my tbr as soon as I heard of it.

Kill the Farm Boy (The Tales of Pell #1) by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne - Release date: July 17th - Terry Pratchett meets The Princess Bride as written by Dawson and Hearne?!  I need it!

Scream All Night by Derek Milman - Release date: July 24th - YA horror that dives into cult horror classic movies - this sounds like the kind story of book I'll get hooked on!


#Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil - Release date: August 7th - I was approved for an ARC via NetGalley and the concept of The Hunger Games meets The Purge sounds pretty intriguing to me.

The Raging Ones (The Raging Ones #1) by Krista & Becca Ritchie - Release date: August 14th - I've seen this one all over the place lately and it sounds like it has a lot of potential.  I wish the cover wasn't quite so boring though.

What books do you want to read this summer?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting down below!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Music Monday: Beck & The Record Company

Happy Monday everyone and welcome back to Music Monday! Let's share some songs we've been enjoying lately!  If you would like to play and I really hope you do, please see the rules and link up below.


Every Monday share a few songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

If you would like to participate in Music Monday, please join the link up by sharing your post's url.

I've been hearing both of these two songs on the radio lately and I love the sound of both songs.  I've enjoyed Beck's music for a while and I really like "Dreams" as well, especially when you hear it back to back with "Life to Fix" by The Record Company.  I'd never heard of that one before, but I've got to say I'm a new fan.  Now, I'm off to listen to more of their music!


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Funday: Weekend Update, Book Haul, and Incredibles 2 (2018)

Oh my!  What a week - so much has happened!  Earlier this week I went on a road trip to Cincinnati with a friend.  We'd been planning it for ages and it was so exciting to actually go down and see the sights.  I also had the opportunity to pick up a few new-to-me books that I'm really looking forward to trying.  Plus, on Friday night I treated myself to seeing Incredibles 2 which was absolutely awesome!  Keep going to see some of my favorite photos from the trip, my book haul, and my mini review of the movie:

Newport Aquarium

A shark and a giant grouper saying hi during the dive show.
That grouper is probably about 800 pounds by the way.

Moon jellyfish - so ethereally beautiful, don't you think?

A shark swimming overhead - so creepy!

That giant grouper's back!

The Cincinnati Zoo

A couple of elephants playing in the water while another one grabs a bite to eat.

It took me forever to spot the vulture - see him?

I've never seen young giraffes race before these two - their legs were going everywhere!

Fiona and her mother, Bibi, are taking a nap.  I'm going to be honest Fiona is one of the animals I was most looking forward to seeing.  That little hippo is just about 800 pounds now, so about the size of that giant grouper from the Aquarium in comparison.

I took a lot of pictures of the penguins, but this one is one of my favorites of one partially underwater.

I really love this one too - I mean, what secret meeting did this guy stumble into?

This owl, the one in who's really leaning over to look at me, was really staring at me from the second I walked into the room.  I thought he was just looking in general, but as soon as I moved he had to keep his eyes on me!

Cincinnati Art Museum

This was an amazing surprise - we didn't realize they were having special exhibition featuring the Terracotta Army!  I've always wanted to see these figures, but never expected I'd get the chance in person! Being in the presence of these 2,200+ year old warriors was easily the highlight of the entire trip!  It's simply extraordinary (and almost overwhelming) to see them up close and in person - the photos just don't do them the justice they deserve.  You need to do yourself a favor and try to see this exhibit - it runs until August 12th if you're in the Cincinnati area.

Even the horse looks so realistic and stunning!

Look at that detail - there is even tread on the bottom of the kneeling archer's shoe!

What would be even cooler - seeing them with their weapons intact, in this case a bow!

This charioteer is only missing the reins of his chariot.

I took these two photos to show the general layout of the main room of the exhibit - for the most part my photos of the figures travel in order of the display.

I can't describe this experience in any better way than to say it was absolutely mind blowing!

Book Haul

Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown - I've been looking for a copy of the third book to complete my collection, and now I'll be ready for when I get there as a part of the #BeatTheBacklist Challenge.  I can't believe I dug up such a great looking copy from a thrift store!

Necropolis by Michael Dempsy - I spotted this at a thrift store too and I honestly couldn't pass it up either.  I mean, noir cyberpunk - how could you go wrong?

A Reaper at the Gates (Ember Quartet #3) by Sabaa Tahir - I'm dying to see where this series goes and when I saw it for only $12 at WalMart I couldn't resist!

The Renegade Queen (Rebellious Times #1) by Eva Flynn - I picked up this fictionalized story of the life of Victoria Woodhull at the library.  She was a fascinating real life figure - in fact, she was the first woman to run for President of the United States back in 1872 - and I'm intrigued to see how she'll look in historical fiction.

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl - I had no clue that Pessl, the author Night Film which is one of my all time favorites, was releasing a new YA sci-fi mystery thriller novel at the beginning of this month until I happened to see it come across my desk at the library.  Although I've seen a few mixed reviews for her newest released, I'm still really excited to give it a shot.

❋ ❋ ❋ 

I can't believe it's been fourteen long years since the release of the first movie. The first film is still one of my favorites, and luckily this sequel is pretty fantastic. Seeing Incredibles 2 on the big screen is so much high octane fun and it has a great sense of humor. Plus, it has a killer soundtrack. Even though I've seen a lot of superhero movies since 2004, this movie still manages to feel refreshing. I absolutely love getting to the dynamics of the Parr family again. Elastigirl and Frozone are still some of my favorites, but Jack-Jack totally steals the show. I loved getting to see more of his powers - his scenes with that raccoon and his interactions with Edna Mode are absolutely priceless. Of the new supers to join the team, my favorite is easily Voyd; her powers are similar to Blink's from X-Men. My only issue with the movie is that the third act is a bit predictable, but overall I absolutely loved this movie and I wouldn't say no to a third outing with The Incredibles. By the way, did you catch the references to The Outer Limits, Johnny Quest, and Dementia 13?

My review was originally posted on Letterboxd.

Next Up At The Movies:

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - Release date: June 22nd - I've loved this series for the last 20+ years, so of course I'm going to see this!

Ant-Man and the Wasp - Release date: July 6th - I enjoyed the sense of humor in Ant-Man a lot more than I expected to and I'm really looking forward to this, especially since Hope gets her moment.  Plus, it's the newest installment in the MCU - I have to see it in theaters!  Of course, I've also got to know what these guys have been doing since Avengers: Infinity War.

Finally!  If you've made it all the way to the end, congratulations!  What have you been up to?  Have you been on any little vacations, seen anything cool, picked up any new-to-you books, or seen a great new movie?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog, and perhaps even commenting down below!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Summer 2018 Comment Challenge - July Sign-Up Post

This July (hopefully August, as well) I will be participating in the Summer 2018 Comment Challenge, hosted by Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense and Lonna @ FLYLÄ“F.  This will be my fourth season participating in the challenge - Summer 2016, Winter 2017, Summer 2017, and the first month of this Summer (my partner now is Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books) as well - and it is perfect if you love comments and making new blogging buddies.  For each month that you sign up, you will get paired up with a blogger (a different one for each month - if you sign up for more than one) and you will engage with them by commenting on either 5+ or 10+ of their posts for the month.  It's a brilliant way to reach out to new blogs, make connections (and get your comment activity up at the same time)!  There's even a social media option to connect further with your partner which I plan on taking advantage of on Twitter using the hashtag #Summer18CC.  In short, I plan on being just as ambitious in July by commenting 10+ times with my to be announced partner - I can't wait to "meet" you!

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings): The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide #1) by Mackenzi Lee + 50/50 Friday

On Friday's I take part in three weekly link ups - The Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice, Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, and 50/50 Friday is a new weekly link up and it is hosted by Carrie @ The Butterfly Reader and Laura @ Blue Eye Books. For The Friday 56, you choose a book, a book you have just finished, a book you are about to start, your current read, and share a line or a few lines that grab you (but don't spoil anything) from page 56 or 56% of the way through the ebook. Post it and share your post's url on Freda's most recent Friday 56 post. As for Book Beginnings, you share the first sentence or so and your initial thoughts, impressions, or whatever else it inspires, and then link up your post's url with Rose City Reader. Then, for 50/50 Friday, every week there's a new topic featuring two sides of the same coin - you share a book that suits each category and link up on the hosts blogs.

This week I'm spotlighting one of my current reads, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide #1) by Mackenzi Lee.  I'm so excited to be starting in on this - I honestly have no idea why I've put it off for so long actually.  Anyway, since June is Pride Month I'd say it's a great time to pick it up.  If you follow me on Twitter, I held a poll asking people to vote on the order of my four book #PrideTBR - thanks for voting this novel to be my first choice!


On the morning we are to leave for our Grand Tour of the Continent, I wake in the bed beside Percy.  For a disorienting moment, it's unclear whether we've slept together or simply slept together.


It plays in my head for days, over and over no matter how hard I try to shake it off or console myself with the memory of how good it felt before it all fell apart.

50/50 Friday - Favorite/ Least Favorite Book With A Short/ Long Title  - This was a difficult topic for me, especially for the short title option, so I decided to feature titles from the same author for both categories.

Short Title - Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - This was actually my first exposure to Gaiman's work and it's still one of my favorites.

Long Title - Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman - This is a fantastic collaboration and I absolutely love it.  I don't know about you, but I'm dying to see the adaptation starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen!

Have you had the chance to try these novels?  As always thanks for perhaps even commenting down below.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Awaken the Travel Bug In Me

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Welcome to the first Top Ten Tuesday now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.  This week's topic is Books That Awaken the Travel Bug In Me.  All of these books make me want to travel to these real world places.  Some of the locations I've mention below are from my home state and some are locations around the globe.  Plus, some of the places I've visited before, but would love to make a return trip.  Here we go:

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey - As an Ohioan, I was so pleased to see that a good chunk of the action takes place near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio and in the Cincinnati area.  This book totally reminds me that I really want to pay another visit to the National Museum of the USAF at the Base.  The exhibits and the artifacts they have on display are absolutely amazing.  I especially love seeing the WWI and earlier era stuff as well as the WASP in WWII exhibits.   

Behind the Scenes at Downton Abbey: The Official Backstage Pass to the Set, the Actors and the Drama by Emma Rowley - Downton Abbey is one of my all time favorite tv shows and I would love to have the opportunity to visit Highclere Castle one day.

Blood of the Prodigal by P.L. Gaus - I haven't actually read this one yet, but I've been eyeing this Amish mystery set in Ohio at the library.  It's supposed to feature Holmes County Amish country, which isn't actually all that far from where I live and Middle Bass Island on Lake Erie.  Definitely a lot of great places to visit on the islands of Lake Erie and in Ohio Amish Country.  I'd love to try this series and see if I can recognize real life locations.

The Historic Licking County Jail: Untold Stories of the Murderers Who Lived There by Neil D. Phelps - I actually went on the tour of this old jail in Newark, Ohio several years ago, but now that I've read this book I'd really like to go back now that I know more than the first time around.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - As much as it pains me to say that I'll never be able to actually visit Middle-Earth, I'd love to pay a visit to New Zealand someday to see locations used in the movies!

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis - The progressive Ohio Asylum that Grace goes to in this novel is based on the real life Athens Lunatic Asylum in Athens, Ohio which is now called the Ridges and is owned by Ohio University (a good deal of it is used by the school).  Plus, OU's Kennedy Museum is now housed in one of the most recognizable buildings from the complex which is now know as Lin Hall.  This year the Southeast Ohio History Center is holding Walking Tours of the Athens Asylum.  I think I'm going to have to check the museum and the walking tour some day!  If you're interested, you can learn more about the history of the Athens Lunatic Asylum here.

Mrs. Parkington by Louis Bromfield - This novel is also on my tbr and as far as I know it isn't set in Ohio, but the author is from Mansfield, Ohio and built Malabar Farm which is near Mohican State Park and Lucas, Ohio.  Anyway, Malabar Farm is now an Ohio State Park and it's a really nice place to visit from checking out the farm itself, going hiking, and taking a tour of the Big House (Bromfield's home).  Fun fact: Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall got married at the Big House in 1945 since they were good friends with the Pulitzer prize winning author.  The house has a really cool connection to Old Hollywood.

My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell - This memoir is one of my all time favorites and I'd just like to experience the flora and the fauna of Corfu, Greece myself.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - To start off with, I've only ever read the first book in the series and it wasn't exactly my favorite, but I particularly enjoy the tv adaptation.  I'd love to visit the Highlands of Scotland to see castle ruins and standing stone circles, as well as beautiful scenery and to learn more about the fascinating history of the country. 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty by James Thurber - This short story by Ohio author James Thurber is very fun and inspired the classic movie featuring Danny Kaye and the newer adaptation with Ben Stiller - both of which I really enjoyed, by the way.  The author was from Columbus, Ohio and some time I'd love to pay a visit to his home, Thurber House, in my state's capital which is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is always hosting plenty of intriguing authors and events.  I can't believe I've never actually been there before although it's so close to home.

What books make you want to travel?  Have you read any of the books on my list, or have you visited any of the places I mention above?  As always, thanks for visiting my blog and perhaps even commenting below!