Book of the Month! [August]

Book of the Month

Hellooo August – is summer really almost over?!  This month Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole and I will be continuing our little book club adventure and we’d love to have you join us!  You can read along with us on our blogs or head over too Goodreads and join the Future Cat Ladies of America Book Club – the Goodreads group is currently Ashley’s domain because I am bad at remembering to check it (I know, I’m terrible). We’re going to try fitting our book club choices to a theme each month, so for August we thought we’d go with something summery to help distract us from the fact that fall is quickly approaching:

Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Morgan Matson
Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Synopsis: Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.

We’re going to be spreading out our reaction posts a little more this month, so here’s the schedule for which chapters we’ll be reading each week (and covering in our reaction posts) if you plan on reading along with us:

August 1-15: Chapters 1-20
August 16-30: Chapters 21-40

We’ll also be tweeting as we read at @KittyCatReads and @downthebookhole using the hashtag #FCLABookClub if you’d like to join us there (I promise I’ll try to be better at tweeting this month)!

I hope some of you will join us in reading Second Chance Summer this month!  Our planned theme for September is ‘Back to School’ so if you have any suggestions for school-related reads leave them in the comments!

On an unrelated note, I’m thinking about changing the look of my blog because I’m just not feeling the color scheme I’m working with right now.  I’m thinking black and white with a pop of color, thoughts?


Top Ten Tuesday [7.29]

TTT BannerHosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Authors I Own The Most Books From

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♥ Tamora Pierce [25] – I looove her! I’ve got all of her Tortall books (including a hardcover set of the Protector of the Small series that isn’t in the picture) and some of the Emelan ones, plus an anthology that she has a couple of short stories in.

♥ Lemony Snicket [13]The Series of Unfortunate Events tridecalogy (Wikipedia tells me this is a word? I don’t know.) was a huge part of my childhood, they’re just so great!

♥ Patricia Briggs [10] – I’m working my way up to a collection of all of her books, her Mercy Thompson series is my favorite.

♥ William Shakespeare [10] – I have a great six-volume set of his completed works, plus some of my favorite plays individually.

♥ J. R. R. Tolkien [9]  – By now you’re all aware of my love for Tolkien, so it’s no surprise that I own a lot of his work. I’m also pretty sure that I own more than this but I only spotted nine on my shelves at the moment (I’m currently having a shelf organization dilemma).

♥ J. K. Rowling [9] – Six of the Harry Potter books (my copy of Half Blood Prince was lost, I don’t want to talk about it), a duplicate of The Prisoner of Azkaban that was gift, and the first two of the series supplement books (I have read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sooo many times!).

♥ Rob Thurman [8] – I’ve been collecting the Cal Leandros series for a while, I’m always down for urban fantasy.

Stephen King [6] – I feel like it’s very strange that this number is so low, it’s totally possible that I’ve stashed more Stephen King books elsewhere and forgotten about them because I’m sure I had more than than this.

♥ Chuck Palahniuk [5] – Definitely went through a Palahniuk phase in high school, I’m pretty sure my senior quote in the yearbook is from Invisible Monsters.

♥ Clive Cussler [25+] – Between my parents and I, every single one of his books has probably passed through our house at some point. I have five on my shelves in my bedroom, there are probably ten more on the shelves in our office, and who knows how many in boxes or stacks or somewhere around the house.

Honorable mentions to L. J. Smith, S. M. Stirling, Richard Dawkins (as an anthro major I read a lot of his books), and Lilian Jackson Braun – paperbacks of “The Cat Who…” series have been floating around my house for as long as I can remember, I’ve probably read them all. What authors are filling up your shelves? Leave me a link in the comments so I can check out your post!

July BotM | We Finished ‘The Raven Boys’!

I finished reading The Raven Boys with Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole this week – and we LOVED IT! If you’ve been following our posts this month you already know that we’ve loved the book from the beginning and the last few chapters were no exception. I think our only complaint would be that we were both left with so many questions! Honestly, it’s not even much of a complaint because all the questions have just made us more excited for the second book. Here are a few of the things we were left wondering about at the end (this may be spoilery!):

  • What does Adam’s sacrifice mean for his future?  How is it going to affect him?
  • How much do the ladies of 300 Fox Way know about the ley line? Were they aware of Whelk’s previous attempts to wake it?
  • Where did Neeve go?! Was it moving her mirrors that made her disappear? If not, what was she doing with the mirrors?
  • Are we going to hear more about Blue’s dad? He seems important!
  • Will we find out more about Ronan’s handwriting on the rock in the Cabeswater?
  • WHERE ARE THEIR PARENTS?! Yes, yes, I know, suspension of disbelief.
  • We’d also like to know more about the Lynch boys in general, we keep getting hints that there’s more depth to why Ronan is the way he is and we want to know more (honestly, I just want to know all the things about Ronan).

Despite the questions, the book was a fantastic read from start to finish and left me wanting more in the very best way! If you’ve read The Raven Boys I’d love to hear what questions you were left with at the end of the book – and if you’ve had the chance to read The Dream Thieves, hush hush!  I’m waiting for the paperback!

Keep your eye out for a full review of the book here, and over at Ashley’s blog too – we’re hoping to have them up soon!  And just for fun, here’s a picture of my kitty Lex trying to help me write this post!

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Fancast | The Raven Boys

Book of the Month

Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole and I wanted to add a little something fun to our FCLA Book Club posts for this month, so we decided to do fancasts for The Raven Boys!  This took me way longer to figure out than I thought it would and I eventually came to the conclusion that I was just going to have to settle for actors that are a lot older than the characters they’re portraying because my knowledge of high-school-aged actors is just about non-existent – so think of this as the boys (plus Blue!) 5+ years after the events of the book.

Blue | Ellen Page
She’s got just the right look to match up with the Blue that I see in my head (although Ellen has much longer hair than Blue does), and her demeanor seems very fitting of Blue’s personality too!

Gansey | Paul Wesley
I struggled with this one for a long time and I’m still not sure I got it right. Paul has the right look but he doesn’t smile enough (at least not in pictures, which is such a shame) to quite match up to the Gansey in my head.

Adam | Charlie Carver
Either of the Carver twins could work for Adam, but I’m definitely leaning heavily towards Charlie (not just because he’s my favorite) – there’s just enough of a difference in their looks that Charlie fits this character a bit better than Max.

Ronan | Charlie Hunnam
Even though the age is totally wrong the Ronan in my head is a close match to Charlie Hunnam circa 2005 (Green Street Hooligans specifically), especially with that smile of his that sort of destroys you every time you see it.

Noah | Iain De Caestecker
It took me a while to figure out who I would cast as Noah – putting a face to “the smudgy one” wasn’t easy – but as soon as I stumbled across Iain while scrolling through my Tumblr looking for options I knew I’d found the perfect match.


I had so much fun doing this! If formatting the entire post wasn’t giving me so many difficulties right now I’d add a couple of the ladies of 300 Fox Way – I’ve got a a few ideas as to which actresses would fit their interesting personalities. If you’ve read The Raven Boys leave me a comment and let me know who you would cast as our favorite Aglionby students (also, if anyone has an idea for Whelk I’d love to hear it, I just could not put a face to him) – and be sure to check out Ashley’s fancast here!

Top Ten Tuesday [7.22]

TTT BannerHosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Characters I Would Want With Me On A Deserted Island

Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) – With Hermione comes magic (and hopefully one of those awesome bigger-on-the-inside tents) which would make getting off the island easy, so we’d probably turn it in to a vacation instead and talk about the history of magic for a week straight!

Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games) – Whether we got off the island or not I know I’d be fine if I was there with Katniss, girl’s a survivor.

Daenerys Targaryen (A Game of Thrones) – Dany is pretty awesome, and also pretty good at coming out on top even when the odds are stacked against her – plus, if we’re talking most of GoT then you know Drogo would have his entire khalasar out looking for her, so we could just soak up the sunshine while we waited to be rescued.

Veralidaine “Daine” Sarrasri (Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books) – Daine could use her wild magic to ask the whales (not the dolphins!) to help us get off the island, and that would definitely be an adventure.

Isabelle Lightwood (The Mortal Instruments series) – She’s a tough one, and I want to be her BFF, so I think we’d have fun figuring out how exactly we were going to get off the island (and we would look awesome while doing it).

John Carter (John Carter of Mars/Barsoom series) – The man survived Mars, I think he can handle a deserted island, (and I wouldn’t mind sticking around for a while to enjoy the company of this particular southern gentleman).

Lord John Roxton (The Lost World) – If anyone was going to help be escape a deserted island while also turning it in to the adventure of a lifetime it would be this man, and knowing him he’s probably even been to this island before.

Aragorn (The Lord of the Rings) – We’d manage just fine on the island, and being stranded there probably wouldn’t even register as a concern for him (he’s been through worse); we probably wouldn’t be there very long (Isildur’s heir has responsibilities) but hopefully he’d tell me about all of the journeys he’s been on while we were.

Gansey (The Raven Boys) – Gansey would be great company on a deserted island, we’d probably end up spending all of our time talking instead of figuring out how to actually get off the island though.

Numair Salmalin (Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books) – He’s got plenty of magic to either get us off the island or raise a castle from the ground so we can stay there, and I’d be happy with either as long as he was around.

This one was a lot harder than I expected it to be!  I decided to go the “Who can help me survive/escape from the island?” route for most of them but I could definitely make another list of characters I’d just like to be stranded with, if you know what I mean? 😉


Book of the Month | Week Three Reactions

Book of the Month

As you know, Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole and I have been reading Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys together this month and this week I decided to focus our reaction post on our favorite quotes from the chapters we read (25-36, if you’ve been following along).  I won’t be including too much as far as plot-specific details go this week but it still may be a bit spoilery, so read at your own risk!

Ashley’s Favorites:

“As Adam stared at his lap, penitent, he mused that there was something musical about Ronan when he swore, a careful and loving precision to the way he fit the words together, a black-painted poetry. It was far less hateful sounding than when he didn’t swear.” (Ch. 25, p. 238 – after re-reading this part when I saw it was one of Ashley’s favorite quotes I found it interesting that Adam, who has every reason to, doesn’t even flinch when Ronan is swearing at him.)

“She felt like she’d done so much work to appear as eccentric as possible, and still, when it came down to it, she was sensible.” (Ch. 32, p. 303)

“Ronan looked pained; polite was not his style.” (Ch. 26, p. 247 – I am right there with Ronan on this one, oops!)

“He was cagey and cute, so I assumed he was trailer-park trash with a police record.” (Ch. 34, p. 323)

“Ronan’s smile cut his face, but he looked kinder than Blue had ever seen him, like the Raven in his hand was his heart, finally laid bare.” (Ch. 32, p. 304 – we both agree that this was one of our absolute favorites!)

Autumn’s Favorites:

“There was a flash of fangs from the passenger seat, but before Ronan truly had a chance to strike, they both heard Gansey call warmly…” (Ch. 25, p. 238 – Ronan gets a lot of animal-like descriptors, but this is probably my favorite.)

“Blue tried not to look at Gansey’s boat shoes; she felt better about his as a person if she pretended he wasn’t wearing them.” (Ch. 28, p. 262 – I laughed!  But seriously, Blue’s got the right idea here.)

“The thing about Ronan was that he had no limits, no fears, no boundaries.  If Gansey had been Ronan he would’ve crushed the gas pedal to the floor until the road or a cop or a tree stopped him.” (Ch. 33, p. 311-312 – oh, my heart…)

“Orla came down for the gossip but stared so admiringly at Ronan that Calla yelled at her to leave and give everyone more space.” (Ch. 35, p. 330 – I feel you Orla, I feel you.)

“A car was a wrapper for its contents, he thought, and if he looks on the inside like any of the cars in this garage looked on the outside, he couldn’t live with himself.  On the outside, he knew he looked a lot like his father.  On the inside, he sort of wished he looked more like the Camaro.  Which was to say, more like Adam.” (Ch. 31, p. 295)

We’re both pretty Ronan-centric with our favorites this week (when am I not Ronan-centric with my favorites?), there were just so many little insights in to his personality, it couldn’t be helped!  I ran out of sticky tabs a little while ago, but if I had them while reading this book I guarantee they would be marking almost every single Ronan moment (and plenty of Blue’s sassy remarks).

Our Thoughts So Far:

  • When it comes to the ladies of 300 Fox Way Ashley’s favorite is definitely Calla, hands down.  Mine is probably Orla, she doesn’t show up as often as the rest but when she does it’s gold.
  • We’re both really interested in the Cabeswater with its Latin-speaking trees and the time fluidity, we want to know more!  Also, how did the trees “know” Ronan and Blue?  Why could only Gansey and Noah hear them? We’ve got a few theories, we’d love to hear yours!
  • I think the last few chapters of this section left both of us a little worried for all of the boys, for different reasons, but hopefully we’ll get some answers before the end (and we’ve definitely still got some questions about Noah, even though we did finally get some answers about him).
  • I’m always a big fan of cars as significant objects so I’m loving how much the boys’ cars have revealed about them right from the beginning (“If his BMW was shark-like, it had learned how from him.” – Ch. 2, talking about Ronan), but especially so in this section of the book when it comes to Gansey his Camaro.

That’s a wrap for this week, a bit less chatty than our previous reaction posts because Ashley is currently in Las Vegas so we couldn’t have our usual idea-sharing Skype session, but I did my best!  Be sure to stop by next week for our final reaction post, I have a feeling it’s gonna be a good one!  If you’ve got theories, favorite quotes to share, or just wanna swoon over Ronan with me don’t be shy, leave me a comment! Here are the links to our previous reaction posts if you’d like to check them out:

Week 1 | Week 2

Also, if you haven’t been following Maggie Stiefvater’s tour adventures via her Twitter (@mstiefvater), you totally should be!

Top Ten (Let’s pretend today is Tuesday!) [7.15]

TTT BannerHosted by the lovely ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Favorite TV Shows

♥ Supernatural – My love affair with the Winchesters started during my freshman year of college when I was binge watching entire seasons of it instead of studying for my chemistry exams (it was a pretty popular topic for my LiveJournal posts back then too).  I still watch every episode but I’m not quite as in to it as I used to be; I was in love with the original five-season arc, particularly the dark and gritty feel of the early days.  Either way, I’m gonna be a Dean girl until the end (that girl in the .gif is totally me).

♥ From Dusk till Dawn – I was obsessed with this show before I had even seen an episode and once I was able to watch it I binge watched the entire first season in two days (and have done that repeatedly ever since).  It’s based on the 1996 Robert Rodriguez movie of the same name but is far less campy; DJ Cotrona and Zane Holtz give the Gecko brothers so much more depth than George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino were able to.

♥ The Walking Dead – As I’ve mentioned before, zombies are sort of my thing so this one is an obvious favorite.  It’s also the only show that I’m currently watching that I absolutely have to watch as it airs, do not get between me and my television on Sunday nights this fall.

HAVEN nathan & audrey♥ Haven – I started watching this one on a whim when it first started airing on SyFy and I’ve been in love ever since.  It’s inspired by Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid and has a pretty interesting take on the supernatural-themed drama (which I’m obviously a fan of).

♥ Sons of Anarchy – I love each and every one of the characters on this show, even the ones I love to hate (Clay, anyone?).  This show is also one of the few that makes me cry pretty frequently, I couldn’t tell you why, but it does.

♥ The 100 – It’s pretty hit or miss with me when it comes to shows on The CW, but this one was definitely a hit.  I got really drawn in to the premise of the show at first, then fell in love with the characters, now I’m dying to get my hands on a copy of the book that it was inspired by.

Game of Thrones – Is there anyone out there who doesn’t like this show?  Having read some of the series I can say that there are definitely some on point portrayals of George R.R. Martin’s characters going on in this show and I am always impressed by the on-screen adaptations of some of my favorite scenes (and disappointed by the omission of some of my other favorites, but we can’t have it all).

♥ Friday Night Lights – Loved the book, loved the movie, loved the show. ❤

♥ True Blood – I have yet to pick up any of the books even though I’m in love with this show, hopefully I’ll be able to remedy that soon. I’ll also say that I definitely became more of a fan once Season 3 started because werewolves, specifically Alcide (don’t talk to me 😥 )…I’d like to have Joe Manganiello on my TV at all times.

♥ Star Trek: The Original Series – I love this show because it’s absolutely hilarious and also one of the most aesthetically pleasing things ever.  All those primary colors plus 1960s film technology?  Beautiful. I used to get yelled at for DVRing too many episodes when they would air re-runs on PBS.

Honorable mentions go out to SuitsLeverageFirefly, Teen Wolf (ugh…so much love/hate), and every incarnation of Law & Order ever made.

This past week has been a long one, so let’s pretend that I didn’t have to back-date this because I totally failed to schedule it for Tuesday, okay?

Book Of The Month | Mid-way Reactions

Book of the MonthAs of today me and Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole are halfway through Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys!  You can see our thoughts on the first part of the book here, we had a lot of them.  In addition to our mid-way reactions I was inspired by the psychically gifted ladies of TRB to attempt a three card spread for each of us with my Thoth tarot deck.  I am very, very much a beginner when it comes to reading tarot cards and doing a spread for someone via Skype probably isn’t super effective, but we tried!  My spread was actually pretty interesting and you can see both mine and Ashley’s over at her blog along with our thoughts on everything we’ve read so far in The Raven Boys!

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I’ll be hosting our reaction posts for the second half of the month so be sure to stop by next week and join in on the discussion!

Seven Deadly Sins Tag

Happy Friday everyone! I found this little bookish tag/meme on littleonionwrites‘ blog earlier this week and thought it looked like fun, so here we are!

Greed – What is your most expensive book?
I’m honestly not sure!  It’s probably one of the ones in my coffee table book collection though, all those glossy pages can get a little pricey (especially the art books from sci-fi films, which are my favorite).  It’s very possible that the answer to this question will be Big Damn Sin City [x] in the near future though, because I need it.

Wrath – What author do you have a love/hate relationship with? 
George R.R. Martin.  Do I even need to explain?

Gluttony What book have you devoured over and over again with no shame?
All of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books, especially the Protector of the Small series, they are my absolute favorite.  Where are my fellow Tammy fans?  I know you’re out there!

Sloth – What book have you neglected reading due to laziness? 
I don’t think there are any that I’ve yet to read because of laziness, but I have been putting off reading Tolkien’s posthumous publications because I just know I’ll get caught up in them and I wouldn’t get anything else read for ages – I’ve read The Lord of the Rings three or four times and every single time I get completely drawn in to Middle Earth and I can’t bring myself to read anything else for a while after.

Pride – What book do you talk about to sound like an intellectual reader? 
I’m not sure it counts as intellectual per se, but I could probably have discussions for days about the cultural significance of science fiction throughout the genre’s history (how it reflects the culture it was born out of, the contemporary social issues it attempts to address, what it all means). Intellectual? Maybe. Super geeky? Definitely.

Lust – Which attributes do you find attractive in male or female characters? 
I always end up liking the troubled bad-boys the most.  Every. Single. Time.  In books where that isn’t an option I’m usually a fan of the quiet ones, the boys that end up more defined by their actions than the actual dialogue they have.

Envy – What book would you most like to receive as a gift? 
Definitely Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid [x], I’ve been trying to hunt down a copy for a while now and haven’t had any luck in any of the used bookstores that I frequent.

I’d love to hear what you have to say about the seven deadly sins so I’m tagging ALL OF YOU, lovely readers!  Leave me a link in the comments if you decide to post your answers so I can stop by your blog and check them out!

Waiting On Wednesday [7.09]

Waiting On WednesdayWaiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

Title: How We Fall
Author: Kate Brauning
Release Date: November 3rd, 2014
Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Synopsis: Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle’s sleepy farming town, she’s been flirting—way too much—with her cousin, Marcus. Her friendship with him has turned into something she can’t control, and he’s the reason she let her best friend, Ellie, leave. But now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police are looking for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that being with her cousin would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes Marcus away. Fall out of love. That’s the plan.

Like she wanted him to, Marcus falls for a new girl—but something isn’t right about her, and Jackie’s search for the girl’s secrets only drives the wedge between Jackie and Marcus deeper. When Marcus pays the price for someone else’s lies and the mystery around Ellie starts to break, Jackie makes an irreversible choice. She can’t leave her first love behind, and she can’t let her best friend be her biggest failure.

Her first love is someone she can’t have. Her best friend will never come home again. One summer ends everything.

I’ve had my eye on this one for a little while because it sounds like it’s going have some really interesting interpersonal relationships which is something I love to read. All of the reviews I’ve seen so far have been nothing but praise too, which is always a plus – if it’s something I think I’ll be interested in I’ll usually read it no matter the reviews, but it’s nice to see that everyone seems to be liking it so far, it just adds to the excitement! My best friend (Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole) was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of this one and as soon as she finished it she texted me to say that it had left her completely without words, in a good way!

Book hangover inducing? Sign me up!