Posted in Books

A Feel-Good Read or Two for Quarantine

Happy Wednesday, bibliophiles!

I’m fully aware that I’m fairly late on this bandwagon of sorts, but I figured that we could all use a few book recommendations for when we’re feeling low and lonely. I haven’t been able to find any good fluff lately, and even though I’m personally feeling okay with the quarantine situation, I still want a nice, fluffy, low-drama book to raise my spirits. And I figured that you would all need something similar. So, I’ve compiled a few feel-good book recs for your casual viewing and reading. 🙂

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Get it? Feel Good? Feel Good Inc.? (Why am I like this…)

 

I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith

Amazon.com: I Capture the Castle: Young Adult Edition ...

I have particularly fond memories of this one; my mom got it for me one day when I was sick and confined to the couch for most of the day. Since we’re all holed up at home (at least, I hope you are…please stay home…), we could all benefit from channeling our inner Cassandra Mortmain.

 

Pumpkinheads, Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks 

Amazon.com: Pumpkinheads (9781626721623): Rowell, Rainbow, Hicks ...

I know. Seasonally, this choice is way out of whack. But emotionally, I can’t think of a better novel–or graphic novel, I should say–to lift you out of any kind of sour, sad, or lonely mood. So cute 💗

Read my full review here! 

 

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet, Jennifer L. Armentrout et. al. (anthology)

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Though not all of the stories here are the greatest, there’s enough adorable fluff and sweet love stories to make up for the ones that don’t shine as bright. My personal favorite, from what I can remember, was Emery Lord’s Oomph. (And not just because of the Marvel references.)

 

The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang 

Amazon.com: The Prince and the Dressmaker (9781626723634): Wang ...

Come for the adorable art style, stay for the equally adorable story and the LGBTQ+ representation. 🏳️‍🌈💗

 

What If It’s Us, Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera 

Amazon.com: What If It's Us (9780062795250): Albertalli, Becky ...

If the premise of a sweet, mlm romance with lots of pop culture references doesn’t convince you, then I give you the GLORIOUS first line of this novel…

“I am not a New Yorker, and I want to go home.” 

If that isn’t a massive mood, that I don’t know what is.

 

Today’s song:

Sorry for putting two David Byrne & St. Vincent songs in a row, but I’m kind of obsessed with Love This Giant right now…

 

Do you have any favorite feel-good reads? Let me know down in the comments!

 

 

That’s it for this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Books, Geeky Stuff, Movies

Comfort Food (Musings on Books and Films)

Happy Friday, everyone!

 

Comfort food. We all have it. It comes in all shapes and sizes, and no matter how deep into the dark places we may become entrenched, it will always bring immeasurable joy to us. So this is sort of an appreciation post, but more just musings on a few books and movies that not only help me get through it, but are just fun to read/watch over and over, and they never get old.

 

BOOKS AND COMICS

Heart of Iron–Ashley Poston 

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Ever since I read Heart of Iron for the first time on a magical trip to Chicago, it’s been my go-to whenever I reach a reading slump, or just need a little bit more sci-fi fun in my life. Also, Jax. ‘Nuff said.

 

Pumpkinheads–Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks 

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This one’s a more recent addition to my list, but no matter the time of year, Pumpkinheads is especially good for curing all that ails you. I mean, it helped me recover from the initial speechless shock after seeing Joker in theaters, if that’s any proof. (And that was a seriously rough movie…so well-done, though)

 

B.P.R.D. vol. 2: The Soul of Venice and Other Stories–Mike Mignola 

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Let me make myself clear: in the grand scheme of all things B.P.R.D., The Soul of Venice is nowhere near the peak of mastery that this comic series has achieved. But that’s not at all to say that it isn’t a ball of spooky, paranormal fun from cover to cover. Part of why this is one of my most frequently re-read trades is for a few reasons, but the most important one is that, like Heart of Iron, is that it brings back some of my fondest memories, those from when I went to Sequoia National Park one spring break. We stopped in LA before the drive there, where I got this at a comic shop just about a month before it closed. I spent almost the entire trip reading and re-reading that trade, even though I had…oh, three or four books loaded up on my Kindle?

 

The Courtney Crumrin series–Ted Naifeh

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Ah, Courtney Crumrinmy first foray into spooky comics…

One of the first major comic series that I came to love (and collect in its entirety), Courtney always manages to dredge up so many happy memories for me when I go back and re-read any of the separate volumes. Of course, I end up crying (*coughcough THE COVEN OF MYSTICS coughcough THE FINAL SPELL coughcough*) every time, but it’s worth it. [sniffles] I swear…

 

MOVIES

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

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I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW FANTASTIC THIS MOVIE IS. Aside from being one of the rare sequels that surpasses its predecessor, it speaks to me as a person. I mean…a bunch of misfits and weirdos just trying to get through life. (And trying to take down an invincible, supernatural army, but, y’know, that’s just part of the job.) Over the past three or four years, it’s played such a big role in my life, and I know for a fact that I will never grow tired of it.

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X2: X-Men United

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Again. Misfits just trying to get through life, with some world-saving on the side. After all the criticism these films have gotten over the years (mostly for The Last Stand, that first Wolverine solo, Apocalypse, and Dark Phoenix), it’s so sad that they’ve been pushed aside in the grand scheme of superhero films. For if you think about it, these three two original X-Men movies (we don’t talk about The Last Stand) set the standard for the modern superhero movie. For lack of better words, the X-Men movies walked SO THE ENTIRE MCU COULD RUN. There. I said it.

Anyway, X2 was what rekindled my love of X-Men a few years ago, and in the span of about a year and a half, I’ve been able to watch it a good 5 times, and it will never. Get. Old.

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All of the Star Wars movies (minus The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, you know what you’ve done…) 

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Star Wars. Need I really say any more?

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Today’s song:

I’d already heard a few songs off of Strange Mercy before, but I downloaded the rest of the album a few days ago, and I am STUNNED by how phenomenal it is.

 

So what’s your comfort food? What books, comics, films, and more will you never be able to stop re-reading/watching? Let me know down in the comments! 

That just about wraps up this post! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

What Cats Do Book Tag

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Hey there, bibliophiles!

As you can all probably guess from my icon, I love cats, and this tag instantly caught my eye! I found this on Time for Tales and Tea, and the tag was originally created by Kate@ meltingpotsandothercalamities.

First off, I’ve seen most other people who’ve participated put in some pictures of their cats, so I thought it would be fitting to put mine in here as well.

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This is Padmé; she’s incredibly chatty, and has an affinity for clinging to people’s left shoulders. Doesn’t matter who’s shoulder it is, so long as it’s the left shoulder. Don’t question her.

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Here’s Anakin, Padmé’s younger cousin. He and Padmé are inseparable. He’s also an itty bitty little cat, even at about 11 years old.

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Finally, here’s Hobbes, the newest of the bunch. Most of the time, she acts too dignified to be petted, but when she’s affectionate, she’s the sweetest little cat around. (In fact, she’s sleeping right above me as I write this out.)

Now, onto the tag…

RULES: 

 

PURR – As cats do this when they’re happy or relaxed, what is the book that makes you happiest or relaxed?

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Pumpkinheads never fails to give me all the warm and fuzzy feels, no matter how I’m feeling.

SLEEP – What is a book that put you to sleep or was just boring?

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Though the cover was deceptively gorgeous, The Light Between Worlds very nearly put me to sleep.

TWITCH WHILE DREAMING – Have you ever dreamt of a book you read?

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An after-product of having read this innumerable times (“I lost count at 50,” as I used to say), I’ve definitely dreamt about The Search for WondLa series more than one time.

SEEMS TO PLAY NICE UNTIL THE CLAWS ARE OUT – Which book had the biggest plot twist(s)?

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As far as Dare Mighty Things goes…two words: Brace yourself.

CUDDLES – Which book character would you give a hug to?

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Without question, March from the Smoke Thieves duology. After all that he’s been through, he’s fully deserving of it. 💖

CAT BREEDS – What are your favorite books?

Frankensteinthe Arc of a Scythe trilogy, the Heart of Iron duology, anything by Ray Bradbury, and Like a Love Storyto name a few.

GETTING THE CAT – How did you find your favorite book(s)?

Most of my favorite books have been recommendations from Goodreads, but just as often, I’ll find them hidden between the shelves in libraries or advertised in the back of other books.

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THE VET’S OFFICE – Your least favorite book:

I know I’ve talked ranted about Smokeless Fire, Red Queenand The Witch of Blackbird Pond innumerable times, and I don’t wish to be redundant, so I’ll try out one of my much-loathed DNFs…

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OH. OH. I forgot this book existed for a minute there…

YIKES. The corny names. The cringy, fake slang. The timeline. God, Earth Girl really was something of a train wreck…

BEING IN PLACES THEY SHOULDN’T – Least favorite cliché:

If I had to pick…most definitely love triangles. Much of the time, they only serve to muddy the existing plot with unnecessary angst and bickering. I won’t be sad to see them phase out of YA literature. I sure hope they do.

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THE GOOD OLD CARDBOARD BOX – Most underrated book series?

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AAH! Without question, the Faloiv series! (consisting of A Conspiracy of Stars and An Anatomy of Beasts) I doubt I’ll ever find another series with this amount of attention to detail in the worldbuilding.

 

I tag anyone who wants to participate! 

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Today’s song:

 

That just about wraps up this tag! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

End of the Year Book Tag

Hey, fellow bibliophiles! Sorry that I haven’t been active since Tuesday. I’ve had a kind of rough, busy, and rather emotional week (and an awful lot of homework), but hey, at least I finally finished watching Good Omens. 

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I saw this post on Prose and Pancakes, and I figured that I’d give it a go. (And if you can, please check out Nikita’s lovely blog!) The tag itself was created by Ariel Bisett.  So, without further ado, let’s begin!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Well…not quite, in the sense of the question. I’d like to think that I’m pretty good about finishing books in one sitting. BUT, I did just start reading  Bill Konigsberg’s The Music of What Happens, which I’m enjoying so far! 🙂

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Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year? 

I read pretty much all of the autumnal books that I wanted to read either in October or over the summer (oops), but I think Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks’ Pumpkinheads would fit the bill perfectly.

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Is there a new release that you’re still waiting for? 

I think this one technically came out in November, but I haven’t yet read Marissa Meyer’s Supernovaand I am OVER THE MOON excited for that one!

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What are the three books you need to read before the end of the year?

Hmmm…

I don’t really have anything that I have planned for the end of the year, so I’ll just hash out a few books off of my TBR that I’m particularly excited about…

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Hopefully I can get this one on my next comic-shop run…

I’m fascinated by the direction that Magneto was taken in during the Brian Michael Bendis run, and I’m excited to see it all from his perspective. I also loved Bunn’s work on Harrow County, so I’m sure it’ll translate well to the iconic villain.

And speaking of X-Men (references, anyway)…

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I’ve been meaning to read Lyn Miller-Lachmann’s Rogue  for ages, and I haven’t been able to find it anywhere. I haven’t read much MG in a while, and it seems like this will be a very poignant coming-of-age story.

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Aaaaaaand completely unrelated from the other two, here’s Marcus Sedgwick’s The Monsters We DeserveAs Frankenstein is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) book of all time, I’m intrigued to see his take on the fateful night that Mary Shelley spun the iconic story.

 

Is there a book that could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

I doubt it, honestly. My expectations have practically shot through the stratosphere after the combined glory of Honor Bound, Aurora Rising, Like A Love Story, The Pioneerand The Toll(I’ll be reviewing the latter of those next week. MY GOD…)

 

Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?

Reading plans? What are these ‘reading plans’ you speak of?

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Not really, no. But, I’d like to up my Goodreads reading goal to…let’s say…250. I’ve already passed my goal of 200 this year, and my goal was 300 the year before, and that was veeeery stressful. Barely passed that one. So I’m hoping that 250 will be a happy medium.

 

And, that just about wraps it up! I tag:

 

 

I hope you had a wonderful week! Stay tuned for more content tomorrow!

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Posted in Book Tags, Books, Music

OMG This Song Book Tag

Good afternoon (or whatever time it is in your time zone), bibliophiles!

This tag was originally created for YouTube by Kate’s Book Date, and I was tagged by the wonderful A Little Haze Book Blog to take part in it. And honestly, how could I say no? I mean, books and music: two of my favorite things! (So thank you, both of you! 🙂 )

Alright, let’s get started…

1. MY JAM – a song you MUST listen to every time it comes on, no matter how old or how many times you’ve listened to it / a book you’ll never get sick of

This song is, without question, one of my favorites of all time, but it rarely comes on shuffle, and so I absolutely swell with joy when I hear it: David Bowie’s “Quicksand”.

 

The fact that Bowie created a song so profound, yet can also rock me blissfully to sleep like a baby, is sheer genius. If you haven’t listened to this song, PLEASE DO, AS YOUR LIFE WILL BE FAR BETTER FOR IT.

As for books, I’m going with Ashley Poston’s Heart of Iron

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In the 1.5(ish) years since its release, I’ve re-read it…oh, at least six times, and it never ceases to make me feel every possible emotion.

 

2. THROWBACK – a song that reminds you of the cringiest time of your life / a book that also reminds you of this time (or just something you wouldn’t like as much if you picked it up for the first time now)

Cringiest time in my life? 6th grade, here we come…

 

For the longest time, this was my favorite song of all time. I couldn’t stop listening to it, I tried to get my friends into St. Vincent, and…well, I pretty much became associated with St. Vincent among my classmates. (A blessing and a curse.)  Don’t get me wrong, I still love this song, but…man, 6th grade me was a nightmare. And speaking of being associated with certain things…

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This series…

The Search for WondLa  trilogy was my moon, my sun, and all the stars in my sky at that age. And, as with “Bad Believer”, I carried this bad boy around me whenever I re-read it, and that meant getting weird looks from my classmates, because, yet again, it was “that book

I still stand by that it’s a phenomenal series, but man, does it bring back a boatload of memories.

 

3. REPLAY – a recent song you have on repeat right now / a recent favorite book

I’m very, very late to hop on this bandwagon, but I just discovered Pink Floyd’s “Time” a few days ago, and I have not stopped listening to it since.

That surreal, dream-like quality, the poetic and yet blatantly real lyrics…man oh man, I love this song.

As for books, the last book (I believe) that I gave a solid five stars to was Like A Love Story. 

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gAH, TALK ABOUT FEELING ALL THE FEELS KNOWN TO MAN…such an expertly written, heartstring-ripping novel…

 

4. GETS ME – this song IS ME / this book is me in book form

[clicks on YouTube link] [gets flooded with Hellboy II memories circa 8th grade]

 

I’m not sure if this is necessarily me in book form, but I have often felt like an outsider, for several reasons. I’ve struggled to fit in for most of my life, and it’s only been in the past two or so years that I’ve been able to find my tribe. So, in a way, this song gives me hope. Hope that someday, maybe I’ll find true love from someone who sees me for who I truly am.

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As for books, I’d say…yeah, you guessed it, Aurora RisingBut really, the central theme of this book is finding your people, finding those who see you for who you are, and cherish you for the qualities that others abhor.

 

5. WUT – weird but I like it? / a unique book that stuck out to you for whatever reason

I mean, the weirdest part of this song is the title, but Sidney Gish’s music is generally filled to the brim with absolutely lovely, crafty lyrics that not only catch my eye (and ear), but resonate with me on some level.

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Good Omens would be my obvious literary choice for this question. An absolutely madcap gem, this book never fails to make me cry laughing. Same goes for the series, too–I’m only three episodes in, but I adore it.

6. LET’S GO – best pump up song (for workouts or just life) / a book that inspired you

 

This song makes me feel unbelievably powerful, no matter when or where I listen to it. Björk is nothing short of a visionary.

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As for the book, The Martian Chronicles , I’d say. Yeah, I know, not the most inspirational, uplifting collection, but Bradbury’s writing is what makes me want to be a writer, what motivates me to dream, to create. Although I’ve read a few of his works, this is the first of his that I’ve read, and my personal favorite.

 

7. CHILL – fave chill, relaxing song / a book you’d curl up with and read on a rainy day

 

I mean, I could probably put most anything by Frankie Cosmos for this question, but this was the first song of hers that I was introduced to. Mellow, with a warm, nostalgic feel that never fails to make me smile.

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Kindred Spirits  is easily the shortest novel I own, and it’s filled to the brim with adorable, slow-burn romance. Not to mention the fact that it centers around Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Gotta love Star Wars.

8. ADDICTING – guilty pleasure song (one that’s catchy and addicting but not a whole lot of substance) / guilty pleasure/trashy/fast/light read

 

Yeah, pretty simple lyricism here, but I feel little pink hearts forming in my eyes whenever “Johanna” comes on. 💗

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Again with the Rainbow Rowell…you guessed it, folks…

I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again: Pumpkinheads is the ideal antidote for any of the sadness and troubles in your life.

 

9. NOSTALGIA – throwback you look back on fondly / a book you read forever ago that you look back on fondly or reminds you of a happy childhood time

 

I know, more Hunky Dory era David Bowie. But personally, I stand by my belief that this is easily the best album in the history of music.

“Kooks”, in particular, has a special place in my heart, for the simple reason that it’s the center of one of my earliest childhood memories. I was in the car, probably still a baby, and my whole family was with me. No idea where we were going, but “Kooks” was playing.

 

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Most of Roald Dahl’s novels have a special place in my heart, but Matildain particular, has the most vibrantly fond memories for me. My teacher read it to my class in third grade (we were on a Roald Dahl kick, as this followed both of the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory books), and I got it as a gift later that year.

 

I tag:

And you! If you want to do this book tag, feel free to give it a go! Have at it, fellow nerds!

 

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Posted in Book Review Tuesday, Books

Book Review Tuesday (10/29/19)–Pumpkinheads

Hi, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

I’ve been waiting for this book since before it had a title (only the promise of ✨RAINBOW ROWELL✨). It came out almost exactly two months ago today, and it’s the perfect fluff antidote to all of your woes. Best read during [clears throat] 🎃SPOOKY TIME🎃.

Need I say more?

 

Without further ado, let’s begin!

 

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Pumpkinheads–Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

 

Ever since the beginning of high school, Deja and Josiah have worked together at the local pumpkin patch. But this year is their senior year–the last year that they’ll be working there before they leave for college.

Determined to make this year the best year at the pumpkin patch (and to break Josiah out of his gloomy funk), Deja decides that on Halloween night, she and Josiah will chart every part of the pumpkin patch that they’ve never visited. Josiah reluctantly goes along with her plan, but realizes that this could also be the opportunity to finally talk to the girl he’s had a crush on since the beginning…

 

 

Pumpkinheads is, in a sense, the literary version of a candy corn: adorable, and all kinds of sweet. SO. CUTE.

 

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For anyone who isn’t into horror or drama, but still wants to read something fall-themed, Pumpkinheads is your book. Rowell’s writing and Hicks’ art are a match made in heaven–a pairing that I never would have considered, but one that works so seamlessly to create an adorable and delightfully surprising graphic novel. I absolutely adored the characters as well–they had such good chemistry, and Deja (though her orientation isn’t specifically stated) is definitely LGBTQ+ (probably either bi or pan)!!! 😀 🏳️‍🌈

 

Also, extra points because it allowed me to recover from the new Joker movie in peace. Whooooowee, that was a rough ride.

 

Anyway, for all those who need a heartwarming distraction from whatever’s bothering them, Pumpkinheads is your next read.

 

 

Stay tuned for more content later this week! 🙂

 

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Posted in Book Tags, Books

Autumn Book Tag–Are You Ready for Sweater Weather?

That’s right! A perfect tag for SPOOKY SEASON!

This tag was created by Jenn @ Jenniely, and all of the tag headers in this post are from her original post. I was tagged by A Little Haze Book Blog (THANK YOU!), and I’m so excited to do this tag! 🙂

 

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Hot Chocolate: What is your comfort book? 

Sci-fi books are usually my comfort book; more specifically, those who have an extra-special place in my heart, such as The Search for WondLa trilogy, the Heart of Iron duology, and Aurora Rising.

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Pumpkin Carving: What is your favorite creative outlet?

Ooh…probably a toss-up between drawing and writing. I’ve loved to draw since I was little, and I usually like to experiment with pencils, ink pens, markers, and, as of now, a bit of watercolor.

As far as writing goes, I’d like to be an author someday. I try to write every night, and my mind is absolutely filled to the brim with all manner of story ideas. I mean, I’ve gotta let ‘em out somehow, right?

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Falling Leaves: Changes that appear bad that you secretly love

In a weird way, the first week of school always makes me a little nostalgic. I know, I know…school…but hey, there’s very little homework, and often times, it’s the first time you get to see all of your friends again after three months apart. It was better in preschool, but the first week is still oddly nice.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte: Something you love that others tend to judge

I mean, I know I’m not exactly a minority here, but I LOVE cats. It’s so strange that cats and dogs are such a polarizing subject: people either seem to adore them, or think that they’re heartless goblins bent on destruction. I’ve been around cats for as long as I can remember, and they’ve been my constant companions through thick and thin, always there to be adorable or snuggle with while I watch movies.

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Bonfire Night: What makes you explode with joy?

Going to see a movie or picking up a new book that you’ve been waiting for anxiously, and realizing that it was even better than you expected it to be. It’s the little things.

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Fright Night: Favorite Scary Book or Film

I’ve never been one for horror–movies or books. I mean, I totally chickened out on Aliens (1986), if that’s any indication.

However, I’m all for something spooky–just don’t give me much suspense, and I’ll be just fine.

In that creepy-but-not-nightmare-inducing vein, I’d have to say the Hellboy comics, and the Guillermo del Toro adaptations. NOT the 2019 reboot, mind you. Hellboy and that related universe will eternally have a special place in my heart.

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Halloween Candy: Favorite sweets to eat

Candy corns,  York peppermint patties, and anything with Oreos/oreo chunks in it.

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Scarves: Your must-have autumn accessory

October’s the perfect jacket season. I always like wearing my denim or leather jacket in Autumn, but I’ve got a soft spot for one jacket in particular; it’s black, with David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane lightning bolt on the back, and my collection of enamel pins and buttons on the front.

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Fire: A book or film that burns your soul

As far as books go, I’d definitely have to say Frankenstein. I haven’t gotten around to re-reading since I first bought it, but it’s left a permanent mark on my soul, to be sure.

For movies, hands-down, it’s The Shape of Water. Such a beautifully thought-out and moving film…I really don’t think I’ve been the same since the first time I watched it.

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Toffee Apples: A book or film that seems one thing but has a different inside

For this one, I’d have to say…Rainbow Rowell’s and Faith Erin Hicks’ Pumpkinheads. From the premise (and the pretense of Rowell’s previous works), you’d think that it would have some family drama or frustrating conflict. But, no, this one was so sweet and fluffy! Highly recommend it 🙂

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Well, that just about wraps it up!

I tag:

 

Thank you so much for reading this! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and be sure to stay tuned for more content next week! 😉