Top Ten Tuesday, oh how I’ve missed you!

I can’t even remember the last time I participated in TTT. That’s horrible. I haven’t been a very good bibliophile lately. But I’m getting back in the game today! Today’s TTT (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) topic is top ten new-to-me authors of 2013. I’m not sure I actually got around to reading ten new authors sadly, even though I know I have numerous on my TBR list.

1. E.B. Hudspeth
PicMonkey Collage2. James Dashner
PicMonkey Collage23. Daniel O’Malley
PicMonkey Collage34. Stephen Chbosky (I know, it’s a shame I didn’t get to Perks before 2013)
PicMonkey Collage45. Irvine Welsh (again, shame on me!)
PicMonkey Collage56. Hilary Mantel (and again)
PicMonkey Collage67. Therese Anne Fowler
PicMonkey Collage78. Peter Ackroyd
PicMonkey Collage89. Helen Fielding (for shame, yet again!)PicMonkey Collage9

Now, in keeping with today’s bookish theme: this came from Life With a Side of Coffee, who co-hosts the Literary Junkie link-up. I’m not actually linking up, but I still wanted to play along :).

  • If you were to write a book, what would it be about? Most likely, it would be in the fantasy/supernatural world with a healthy dose of mystery and history.
  • If you had to read one book and/or one series for the rest of your life, what would it be? One book…right now, I’m going to go with The Historian. Or Jane Eyre. I can’t decide. Series – it would either be Harry Potter or the All Souls trilogy.
  • Who is you current favorite book character and why? I’m going with Bridget Jones. Why? Because I can identify with her in many ways–though I’m not sure that’s a good thing–and because I adore her.
  • Is there a book you read every year during the holiday season? Why? As a matter of fact, I usually read Jane Eyre. I don’t know why, it’s not really a “Christmasy” sort of book, but for whatever reason, I always end up reading it around Christmas. Maybe it’s just because it’s one of my favorite books ever written.
  • What are the books on your Christmas list? Really, I want every book that I don’t own that is on my TBR list. But seeing as that’s currently around 700 books, these are the ones I asked for:
  1. the Bouchon Bakery cookbook
  2. S by Doug Dorst & JJ Abrams
  3. Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg
  4. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
  5. Quiet by Susan Cain

Now, speaking of books on my Christmas list…this was my first year to participate in the TBTB Secret Santa box exchange. It did not dissapoint. I was so much fun putting together my box to send to Candice. And I got an amazeballs box from Elizabeth. I’m not gonna lie, she set the bar pretty high for whoever I get paired up with next year. Not only did she send me two of the books of my TBTBSS list (Bridget Jones’s Diary & The Night Circus), she also sent me Unnatural Creatures by Neil Gaiman, just because she thought I would enjoy it. And she was right. It has been on my TBR list since it came out! I was so excited to see it I gasped and frightened my dogs. And she sent me the most adorable, folksy card with an owl on it!

See. I told you, she did good. Thanks again, Elizabeth!

Ok, now I’m off to see the Wizard via TARDIS…

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And another one begins!

Another week has started & it’s looking like it’s going to about as stressful as last week was, unfortunately, as I try my darnedest to get completely caught-up before I’m off for Christmas & New Years. Otherwise, I may be quitting my job come January 2nd.

My blogging has been very sporadic as of late, and I don’t see that changing until after the first of year. It’s a shame, but something has to give and the creativity center of my brain has been pretty dried up. There is hope though, at least according to my horoscope via the Free People blog:

leo star sign illustrationLEO

July 23–August 22

You could feel pulled in different directions when an excitable full moon in your group sector conflicts with five other planets this week. Emotional drama with friends, colleagues or an organization you belong to are possibilities, or you may suddenly feel like your social obligations are too much. Being yourself will seem at odds somehow with the needs of a group. Family, work or spirituality may also come into conflict with your social life, your love life or professional networking. But with independent Uranus going direct in your vision sector after five months retrograde, your optimism will gradually return if it’s waned, and your anticipation over broadening horizons builds. As your ruler the sun enters your details-and-duties house at the winter solstice, you’ll become more focused on your job, health, diet, fitness, daily routine, time management, habits, pets, chores, errands, skills and responsibilities. With Venus turning retrograde there hours after the sun changes signs, a reevaluation process of many of these issues will begin. Follow your heart and concentrate on aligning self-improvement with your inner values.

That whole “more focused” thing – I really hope it’s true.
Now on to…I don’t remember! I know there was something else! Oh! I remember now!
Yesterday, I started binge-watching a new series, Les Revenants (a.k.a. The Returned). I’ve been reading alot about this show lately, specifically on Empire Magazine year-end review of 2013’s best TV shows/miniseries. I actually added it to my Netflix queue just last week. Then, to my surprise & excitement, Sundance Channel ran a marathon Sunday & I caught it just in time. No more waiting until January for the DVD release for me!
Many have called it “the French version of The Walking Dead,” but that really isn’t an appropriate comparison, in my opinion. The speed of shows is completely different: The Returned is a much slower-paced show, at least thus far. There is alot going on. It’s intriguing, to say the very least.
The only thing the two shows really have in common is the undead. That’s it. They are, in all actuality, very different shows. For example, where TWD have your more traditional zombies, The Returned‘s “zombies” look just as they did before they died.  I was hooked before I even finished the first episode. The show is so good it aired, in it’s original French, in both the UK and the US. I still have three episodes to watch tonight before the finale airs later this week. I’ve been looking forward to it all day long.
Conclusion: WATCH IT! If you get the chance (I believe it’s all airing again sometime this week on Sundance), take it! You won’t regret it!
Now, I’m off to go home, bake cookies, and watch The Returned!
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About that goal I set…

…It’s not quite working out, is it? I have a good reason though: this week has been insanely busy & chock-full of issues & problems (all work-related). It’s actually ridiculous. I feel like my attempts to get caught-up are completely futile. But I’m trucking along! I only decided to make this quick post today to share the video below. It’s a new version of a Christmas music classic & it’s absolutely fabulous.

Unfortunately, the embed code isn’t functioning correctly at this juncture, so until it’s fixed, you will have to click here to watch it. Do it now. Seriously.

Also, for my bookish peeps, read this.

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And another (busy) week begins!

I feel like I have been very absent from my blog for last while. I can’t pinpoint a reason, really, I just haven’t felt that need to write in a while. And I’ll be honest, I’m  really starting to miss it. So this week, my goal is to write a post everyday, to try and get myself back in the groove. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Now, my weekend re-cap. It wasn’t very exciting & I got absolutely nothing done due to a horrid migraine that set in Friday evening & is still plaguing me this morning. I took some (more) ibuprofen, turned the brightness on my screen all the way down, and I’ve got my migraine playlist going (binaural beats, isochronic tones, and rainfall) so I can buckle-down and attempt to get caught up at work. After being off for Thanksgiving, then off early last Thursday & only being in for about 4 hours on Friday due to the snow, I am WAY behind.

Another reason this weekend kind of sucked: OSU lost the Bedlam game. I didn’t watch all of the game (thanks to the migraine), but what I did see was the we just played bad. Granted it was utterly freezing. But our QB just couldn’t get into a rhythm, and frankly, I think we were out-coached. And you have no idea how much it pains me to admit that. But it’s the truth. It’s sad, but it happened. And it has still been a great season. And we are still going to the Cotton Bowl. And OU has to play Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Good luck to them, because they are going to need it :).

The weekend wasn’t a complete bust, though. I did have a small break here & there from my headache (after standing under a very hot shower for a while), so I finally watched Mud. Very good movie. VERY good. I also watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I had planned a HP marathon for Saturday & Sunday, but alas, it didn’t happen. It has been rescheduled for this coming weekend, after our work Christmas party Friday night.

One last thing for today, a quick little survey (a.k.a. weekly social) I commandeered from Life With a Side of Coffee. (She doesn’t the actual weekly link-up with A Complete Waste of Make-Up.)

  • What is the wallpaper on you phone?

I actually have two (lock screen & home screen):

screens

  • What do you keep beside your bed?

Books, Carmex, hand lotion, phone charger, remote, and usually a candle.

  • What is your least favorite chore?

All of them? If I have to pick one, putting up my laundry.

  • If you could eliminate one thing from your daily routine, what would it be?

Fixing my hair. It takes forever & by the time I get to work, it doesn’t even look like I fixed it. Which is why I wear it up most days.

  • How do you vent your anger?

I’m really, really good at holding it all in, but when I do vent there tends to be alot of crying. Sometimes throwing things followed by more crying.

  • What is your favorite holiday and why?

It’s a toss-up between Halloween and Christmas. I love that at Halloween, the dark, macabre, weirdness is totally acceptable, as is letting my witch/vampire obsession show :). Christmas, it just gives you that special feeling. It’s about family & it’s cozy, and I love the trees and the lights and the decorations, too.

Essential Holiday Movies

Hey guys! Yesterday I shared a Holiday music playlist, so today I think it’s time I share my essential holiday MOVIE list!

These are the movies I watch every year, no-fail. And this is basically how I watch them – I tend to have a pattern :).

I always start with these:

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One big reason I start with these – I watch them  all-year because they are a few of my favorites. 

After those, I start adding these in (sort-of in this order):

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Then, once it finally get’s to December (I’m one of those people who breaks out the Christmasness right after Halloween :)), I break out the “classics”:

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And then it’s time for the the definitive Christmas movie:

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And there you have it! What movie(s) do you watch every Christmas?

A (Mostly) Indie Christmas Playlist!

And here it is: A (Mostly) Indie Christmas playlist!

You may have noticed my taste in music varies while still tending to focus on the indie/folk vibe. Why should it be any different for Christmas?! Don’t take me wrong: I  love traditional Christmas music. But everybody knows those. This playlist (hopefully) introduces you to some versions of classic Christmas tunes that you’ve never laid ears on! There are still some non-indie artists on here, too. I mean, I couldn’t just leave out Eartha Kitt or Michael Bublé. That’s sacrilege.

There were a few songs that I really wanted to include but couldn’t find amidst the awful covers on SoundCloud. Instead, I’ve listed them below & I implore you to seek them out and give them a listen!

  1. Fairytale of New York The Pogues (the original) & the version by Stars.
  2. Christmas Is Coming Soon – Blitzen Trapper
  3. Christmas Isn’t Christmas – The Boy Most Likely To
  4. Christmas in Prison – Emmy the Great & Lightspeed Champion
  5. Frosty the Snowman – Fiona Apple
  6. It’s Christmas So We’ll Stop – Frightened Rabbit
  7. Santa’s Lost His Mojo – Jeremy Lister
  8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Joshua James
  9. Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Glee 
  10. The entire A Very She & Him Christmas album
  11. Happy Christmas (War is Over) – Maroon 5
  12. All I Want For Christmas – Matt Costa
  13. Snow Will Fall Tonight – Peter Bradley Adams
  14. Christmas Eve for Two – Summer Fiction
  15. Holiday – Vampire Weekend

Hope you enjoy!

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Guess whose back?!

 That’s right! I’m back! At least I think I am! And it’s December now, so allow me to officially say, Hello December!

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Hopefully you all had good Thanksgivings. Mine could have been better, simply because I was rather overly emotional. But it was good to see my family, especially my mom & my brother.

I finally got my Christmas tree up this past weekend (it still needs a little work, so pictures will have to wait). It always makes me happy. I wish I could have one up all year round. Another thing that makes me happy is the coming winter storm! Alot of people don’t like the idea of snow on it’s way. I, however, revel in it. I can’t wait. And it will be over the weekend, so I will get to be at home to really enjoy it!

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Now, normally, it being Tuesday, I would have a Top Ten Tuesday list for you. But I don’t have time to do that today. It will take a little research, so I’m planning on posting it later in the week. In it’s place, I have something else bookish: It’s a game of Would You Rather: Book Nerd Edition! I found this fun little diddy over at Book Riot a week or two ago and started working on it then so it would be already to go when I came back from hiatus.

Here we go!

1). Would you rather: Never be allowed to read the last chapter of a book but be able to read as many books as you want OR only be allowed to read one book a year, but be allowed to finish it?

Easy – one book a year and be able to finish it. It doesn’t say anything about not be able to re-read that one book.

2). Would you rather: Have to marry Mr. Collins OR Catherine Earnshaw?

This is a toughy, but I think I’m going to have to go with Catherine. She would keep things interesting whereas Mr. Collins would probably bore me to death.

3). Would you rather: Have to start every conversation of your life with a quote from a book OR not be able to remember any quotes from any books but be able to speak normally?

I have to go with option A on this one, since I’m a quote hoarder.

4). Would you rather: Have to steal any book you want to read from the library and not be able to give it back OR have to pay $40 for every book you want to read?

I have to go with pay. I don’t want to steal anything unless absolutely necessary, even though $40 is alot to me.

5). Would you rather: Have to read 50 Shades of Grey repeatedly for an entire year OR go to every showing of the movie at your local theater for a month?

Movie, without question! I couldn’t even finish the first book because the writing made me cringe. I was editing it the entire time. Talk about frustrating. If I had been reading a physical copy of the book (not just on my Kindle), it would have ended up with a serious case of Red Pen Syndrome.

And that’s all from me today, folks. Back tomorrow with a special Christmas Edition of Music You Should Know Wednesday!

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