Top Ten Tuesday [7.08]

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Top Ten Blogging Confessions

♥ I am terrible at keeping up with the blogs I follow, absolutely terrible.  I follow a bunch of book blogs (obviously) and quite a few lifestyle blogs as well but there are honestly only two or three that I am check-every-day serious about following.  For the rest I usually scroll casually through my WordPress Reader or Bloglovin’ feed when I have some down time and see what catches my eye.

♥ I go back and read through my own blog posts all the time and if I stumble across any spelling mistakes or awkward phrasing I’ll fix it, mostly for my own peace of mind.  I’ve always got my blog and my Tumblr open in tabs so I can scroll through them and make sure everything looks right (even if making it “look right” means re-tagging a .gif of Sebastian Stan from back in February, for reasons).

♥ I’m guilty of judging a blog by its “cover” when I’m looking for blogs to follow.  I’m far more likely to follow a blog that looks clean and organized than one that’s in full technicolor and cluttered with blurry graphics.

♥ It can take me forever to write posts because I want my blog to read similarly to the way I think but I’m so used to the technical and formal writing that I had to do so much of in college that it’s actually difficult for me to type in a more casual voice.

♥ I’m very easily distracted from blogging so I’ll forget to keep up with posting or I’ll take a while to respond to comments.  Mostly I’m okay with this because I’m primarily blogging for me, so I can get my thoughts out of my head and share them with like-minded people, but I can definitely see how this inconsistency can be frustrating (even I get frustrated by it at times) so I’m working on my scheduling skills.

♥ I am super picky about grammar so if I’m reading a post where the grammar is sort of awful there’s a pretty good chance that I’m going to bail about halfway through (if I even make it that far).  If the content is something I’m interested in I’ll try to stick around but I can’t make any promises.

♥ I read a lot of blogs about blogging, is that weird?  I’m just really interested in the different approaches people have to making their blogs pretty or how they inspire themselves to write posts, the entire concept of blogging fascinates me.

♥ I find it kind of obnoxious when bloggers promote their posts via every single social media site ever.  I’m cool with seeing tweets about new posts on Twitter, same for anything that pops up on Tumblr, but when I start to see it on Facebook and Pinterest too?  And then I pick up my phone and see that they’ve posted a photo (that I already saw in their post) on Instagram?  Not cool.

♥ If I love a specific blog post I’ll end up keeping it open in a tab all on it’s own for a while, sometimes a long while, so I can go back and read it (or look through the pictures!) again and again.

♥ I’ve been some form of blogger for what feels like forever.  I made my first LiveJournal account at the age of twelve and while that first username didn’t stick around long (it had something to do with ladybugs, which is weird because I hate ladybugs) I eventually found one that worked for me and I reigned over my LJ kingdom until my sophomore year of college.


This one was sort of tricky!  I’m not sure all of these count as confessions but they’re the best I could think of.  What are some of your blogging confessions?  How about blogging pet peeves?

 

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Emily @ Books and Cleverness was so sweet to nominate me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award recently even though I’m just getting started and still finding my way in the book blogging world.  So, thank you thank you darling, I’m so glad that you’re liking my blog so far (and think others will like it too)!  Everyone should go follow Emily, her reviews are always making me add things to my TBR list and her blog is just super fun to scroll through because it’s so pretty!

The Award Rules:

  1. Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.
  2. List the rules and display the award.
  3. Share seven facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
  5. Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Seven Facts About Me:

  1. I have two cats, neither of them have tails and their names are Lex and Luthor (but I’m totally a Marvel girl)
  2. I read constantly – books, magazines, news articles, instruction manuals, textbooks, obituaries, Supreme Court dissenting opinions, I really read everything
  3. I have a very deep love for American muscle cars (and the fictional boys who drive them – Dean Winchester anyone?)
  4. I will read/watch anything that has dragons in it – I was totally “that girl” who was obsessed with dragons as a kid (who am I kidding, I’m definitely still that girl)
  5. I have a coffee problem, there are at least three different Starbucks locations where I have a favorite barista who knows me by name and drink order
  6. I watch Jeopardy! almost every night with my mom, I love trivia shows and games because they make the endless amount of facts rolling around in my head seem actually useful
  7. I love sending and receiving cute handwritten letters in the mail, I find all sorts of reasons to send little notes to people and I’d love to have a pen pal or two (or three!)

My Nominations:

Okay, since I’m still very new to this and have yet to make a whole lot of book blog friends I’m not going to nominate anyone quite yet.  But since I am all about sharing the blog love there will definitely be an addendum post in the future once I have explored a little more and found some awesome blogs to nominate!

Another big thank you to Emily for the nomination!  Being so new to blogging it definitely means a lot that someone is liking what I’ve had to say so far! ❤

 

Waiting on Wednesday [7.02]

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: The Queen of Zombie Hearts
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: September 30th, 2014
Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Synopsis: Alice ‘Ali’ Bell thinks the worst is behind her. She’s ready to take the next step with boyfriend Cole Holland, the leader of the zombie slayers; until Anima Industries, the agency controlling the zombies, launches a sneak attack, killing four of her friends. It’s then she realizes that humans can be more dangerous than monsters; and the worst has only begun.

As the surviving slayers prepare for war, Ali discovers she, too, can control the zombies and she isn’t the girl she thought she was. She’s connected to the woman responsible for killing and turning Cole’s mother. How can their relationship endure? As secrets come to light, and more slayers are taken or killed, Ali will fight harder than ever to bring down Anima even sacrificing her own life for those she loves.


I haven’t actually read the first two books in the White Rabbit Chronicles series but I stumbled upon this one via Book Rock Betty‘s YA Prom post (don’t get me started on how upset I am that I missed out on that) and now I need it in my life. I am always, always, always down for zombies – World War Z [x], The Walking Dead, you name it I’m there. Gena Showalter’s series looks a lot less bleak than my usual zombie reads and I’m actually really excited for that; I’ve found that the genre has a tendency to be a bit of a downer if you read it a lot (which I do), so I’m always interested in new interpretations of the living dead concept.

I’ll definitely be picking up the first two books in the series before September, and it’s more than likely that I’ll have them read by then too because zombie books have a tendency to creep up to the top of my to-read list (I just can’t help it, I love them), so hopefully I’ll be all set to read The Queen of Zombie Hearts as soon as it’s released!

Top Ten Tuesday [7.01]

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

Top Ten Favorite Classic Books

Already Read:
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley [x] – I’m firmly in the camp that refers to this book as one of the earliest examples of science fiction and it is truly one of my favorites.  Plus, even the story of how it came to be is awesome: Both Shelleys and Lord Byron amusing themselves with ghost stories while vacationing in Switzerland when Byron challenges them each to write their own and this is what Mary delivers. Brilliant.

Dracula by Bram Stoker [x] – The monster genre is a favorite of mine (in books and film) and I love seeing the influence that Stoker’s novel has had on the vampires that we see everywhere in books and on television today.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë [x] – I read this one during my senior year of high school while on spring break in Hawaii and was surprised by how much I loved it, I have very distinct memories of reading out on our hotel balcony and just refusing to put it down.

♥ The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [x] – This is my absolute favorite of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works and is easily one of my top five favorite books, I can’t even count how many times I’ve read it, I just love the story.

A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs [x] – The first of the John Carter/Martian series and one of my absolute favorite science fiction classics,  let’s not talk about the disaster that was the movie adaptation (I love me some Taylor Kitsch, but no).


Want to Read:
Paradise Lost by John Milton [x] – I’ve actually read excerpts of this one, I just haven’t found the time to read it as a whole even though it sounds fascinating to me.

The Call of the Wild by Jack London [x] – I have a deep, deep love for Jack London and after reading White Fang I know it’s just a matter of time until I pick this one up and I’m sure I’m going to love it.

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells [x] – Another science fiction classic (can you tell that I’m a fan of the genre?) that I’ll hopefully get a chance to read soon.

1984 by George Orwell [x] – I’m pretty sure this one was an option to read for an assignment in one of my high school Lit classes and for some reason I passed it up in favor of something else, since I have no memory of what I actually did read I’m thinking this one might have been a better choice.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley [x] – I’m super embarrassed that I haven’t read this one yet because it’s been recommended to me by multiple people for years and somehow I still haven’t gotten around to it.


Honorable mentions go to Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [x], F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby [x], and J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit [x] – it’s probably safe to assume that if I’m responsible for making any kind of book list that Tolkien is going to be on it, I’ll try to keep my Middle Earth feelings from leaking all over the whole blog though (hence the honorable mention).

 

Book of the Month! [July]

Book of the Month

Happy July everyone!  Starting today Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole and I are going to be starting a fun new feature on our blogs, we’ll be hosting a book club!  Each month we’ll be choosing a new book to read together and we’ll be posting our (probably spoilery and mostly uncensored) reactions to what we’ve read in weekly round-up posts either here or over at Ashley’s blog.  We would love to have all of you join in on our discussions or even read along with us too so we’ve created our own little book club group over on Goodreads, we are officially the Future Cat Ladies of America Book Club (though you need not be a lady, or American, or even a cat person to join us)! Feel free to join the group if you’d like to keep up with our discussion of the book, we’d love to hear your thoughts too. So, without further ado, here is our pick for July:

Title: The Raven Boys
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Synopsis: It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

 
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:

July 1-5: Prologue – Chapter 12
July 6-12: Chapters 13-24
July 13-19: Chapters 25-36
July 20-26: Chapters 37-48

We’ll also be tweeting as we read at @KittyCatReads and @downthebookhole using the hashtag #FCLABookClub if you’d like to join us there!

If you have any questions about the book club feel free to leave me a comment, we’re still very much in beta mode with this little feature so suggestions are more than welcome as well! Ashley and I will both be posting our own reviews at the end of the month too, so don’t worry, you’ll have more than just our ramblings throughout the month to help you decide if you’d like to add The Raven Boys to your to-read list!

Book Haul [6.30] – The Vacation Edition!

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You’d think that with all the books I took with me on vacation I wouldn’t need to buy more, but I am weak and I definitely did…you can’t take me anywhere. I could probably go camping out in the middle of nowhere and still manage to find a book that I just needed to have. I picked up a few at Blue Phoenix Books (gotta love those indie bookstores!), and got great deals on a couple more at Walmart of all places.

♥ The Summer Trilogy by Jenny Han [x, x, x] – This bind-up was one of my Walmart finds and it was such a good deal I just couldn’t pass it up, I’m hoping for some nice (not too humid) days soon so I’ll be able to read it while laying out on my deck in the sun.

♥ Pretties by Scott Westerfeld [x] – I am so late to the party with this series, so late, but I’m loving it so I just had to pick up the next one as soon as I finished Uglies.

♥ LA Candy [x] & Sugar and Spice [x] by Lauren Conrad – I’ve had my eye LC’s books since they came out since I absolutely love her (I was a huge Laguna Beach fan back in high school) and when I saw them for a seriously good price when I was on vacation I figured it was time to finally pick them up.

I also picked up the hardcover box set of the Divergent trilogy because I’m a terribly impulsive book buyer and I wanted my copies of the whole set to be pretty and matching (my paperback copy of Divergent is looking a little rough).  It’s probably time to reign in my book-buying urges for a while so I can catch up on reading the ones I already own, so we’ll see how that goes – there are just too many good books out there that I need to have in my collection!

Vacation Update!

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful week!  I can’t believe my vacation is almost over, I’m not ready to go home (or back to work – work definitely cuts in to my reading time).  I’ve spent most of the time out on our dock reading, which is one of my absolute favorite things to do, there is nothing better than this view accompanied by a good book.  I read most of Fangirl in this spot before it got too dark and I had to go inside to finish it – there will definitely be a review coming up once I’m able to type it without sighing over the cuteness every 30 seconds (you guys, I loved this book)!

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Today I’m out exploring with Ashley (of Falling Down the Book Hole, and my real life BFF), we’re planning on doing some blog-related things for a bit and then spending the rest of the week reading away.  We wandered through a cute little indie bookstore called Blue Phoenix Books in downtown Alpena, Michigan – I stopped in there earlier this week too and picked up a few things, I’m all for supporting local businesses (especially bookstores!).

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Shops like this one always remind me of how I spent most of my childhood wanting to work in the bookstore that used to be in the little town close to where I live (it was called Read Between the Lines, isn’t that clever?).  I would love to spend my day surrounded by books and have that be my job, that just sounds perfect, but unfortunately indie bookstores seem to be a dying breed.  Keep an eye out for a future post on my thoughts on this and the apparent decline of interest in reading physical books.

2014-06-26 12.15.52We found ourselves a cozy little coffee shop to hang out in for a little bit so we can do a quick catch up on blog things and skim some of the recent posts on the blogs we follow.  This place makes a drink called the Northern Lights Latte, it’s coconut and toasted marshmallow and it is to die for.  Coffee, books, and my best friend – can’t think of a better way to spend the last few days of my vacation.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of planning and brainstorming for the blog this week and I’ve got lots of fun things planned for it once I’m back home (with access to consistent WiFi), I’ve even got a little collaboration with Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole in the works that I’m really excited about.  I hope you’re all having a beautiful Thursday, and we’ll be back to our (relatively) regular schedule this weekend!


Just a little blog housekeeping: Follow my blog with Bloglovin!

Going On Vacation!

Starting today (tonight?) I am officially on vacation for an entire week! Since my current job rarely allows me to have multiple days off in a row (and weekends are a completely foreign concept – what is a Saturday?) this is basically the Greatest Thing Ever™. This week is my family’s annual vacation to a place called Fireside Inn that I lovingly like to think of as a rustic version of Kellerman’s from Dirty Dancing. Not nearly as fancy, and far less dancing – no Patrick Swayze to sweep me off my feet, that’s for sure.

Having a week off of work means I will have all kinds of time for reading by the lake (my favorite place to read) so I thought I’d share the books I plan on taking with me!

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I’ll be taking along my current book, Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies [x]. I’d hoped to have it finished by tonight but that just isn’t going to happen with the packing I still need to do (which is all the packing…oops).

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The rest:

♥ The World House by Guy Adams [x]
♥ Moxyland by Lauren Beukes [x]
♥ Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan [x]
♥ The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton [x]
♥ Frostbite by Richelle Mead [x]
♥ Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell [x]
♥ The Magician King by Lev Grossman [x]

I highly doubt that I’ll manage to read all of them but every time I tried to put one back on the shelf I convinced myself that I would need options.  Fangirl is number one on my to-read list for the week but after that it’s all up in the air, I’m taking a pretty diverse little collection with me so things could get interesting – I’ve even got A Clash of Kings all ready to go on my iPad just in case I decide to get really crazy.  It’s also very possible that another book or two will sneak in to my bag as I’m headed out the door, like I said, I need options.

I’ve got a couple things queued up for while I’m away but since I’ll be without internet most of the time it may be a little quiet around here, I’ll do my best to respond to comments via my phone if I can get the WordPress app to cooperate with me out in the middle of nowhere.  If you’d like to keep up with my vacation reading adventures this week come visit me on Twitter (@KittyCatReads)!

Have a wonderful week and Happy Summer Solstice!

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
– F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

 

 

Waiting On Wednesday [6.18]

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: Four: A Divergent Collection
Author: Veronica Roth
Release Date: July 8th, 2014
Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Synopsis: Two years before Beatrice Prior made her choice, the sixteen-year-old son of Abnegation’s faction leader did the same. Tobias’s transfer to Dauntless is a chance to begin again. Here, he will not be called the name his parents gave him. Here, he will not let fear turn him into a cowering child.

Newly christened “Four,” he discovers during initiation that he will succeed in Dauntless. Initiation is only the beginning, though; Four must claim his place in the Dauntless hierarchy. His decisions will affect future initiates as well as uncover secrets that could threaten his own future—and the future of the entire faction system.

Two years later, Four is poised to take action, but the course is still unclear. The first new initiate who jumps into the net might change all that. With her, the way to righting their world might become clear. With her, it might become possible to be Tobias once again.


I’m super excited for this one because Four/Tobias is easily my favorite character from the Divergent series and I’m definitely interested in reading from his perspective – I’m also really happy that they decided to bundle all of the short stories together in to a hardcover instead of releasing them separately. Veronica Roth is actually doing a Q&A at a local bookstore in mid-July (along with Phoebe North of Starglass [x]) and while I don’t think I’ll be able to attend the event I’m hoping I’ll still be able to pre-order a signed copy of the book!

What books are you waiting on this week?

Top Ten Tuesday [6.17]

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

Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin [x] – I’ve had this one sitting in my iBooks (which syncs to both my phone and my iPad so I’ve literally been carrying it around with me) forever, I think it’s time to start it so I can stop feeling guilty about continuing to watch the show before having read the books.

Under the Dome by Stephen King [x] – Another one I’ve had for a while, it’s pretty thick so it definitely won’t be one of my vacation reads but I do plan on getting to it in the near future.

Dangerous Women ed. by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois [x] – I honestly can’t believe I haven’t started this one yet, I pre-ordered it as soon as I saw how many of my favorite authors were contributors and then waited months for it to be delivered.

Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce [x] – Tammy’s books are my absolute favorite, specifically the Tortall series, and the Beka Cooper books are the only ones I haven’t finished/read many times over yet.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell [x] – Pretty sure this one’s going to be at the top of the pile of books I’ll be packing for my vacation next week, if I manage to stop myself from picking it up before then that is.

Frostbite by Richelle Mead [x] – Second in the Vampire Academy series and another one that’s definitely going on vacation with me (along with my digital copy of the Vampire Academy movie, I will never get enough of Danila Kozlovsky as Dimitri).

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart [x] – I’ve heard good things, so many good things, and somehow I have still managed to refrain from being spoiled so I think I’ll need to pick this one up soon.

Rebel Heart by Moira Young [x] – I am always up for some good YA dystopian fiction, especially when it involves a badass female protagonist, so I’m definitely looking forward to continuing this series.

Dark Lover by J. R. Ward [x] – This one’s technically a re-read but I’ve been missing the Black Dagger Brotherhood series so I think I’m going to start it all over again from the beginning.

The Merciless by Danielle Vega [x] – This one’s definitely going to be read before the summer is over, probably within the next couple of weeks even – or the next couple of days, you never know.

These are in no particular order, and I know for a fact that some of them will probably end up getting moved down my to-read list – it’ll probably be those heavy hitters at the top – in favor of things I stumble across at the bookstore (or on my own shelves), but at this moment these are definitely the books that I want to be reading in the near future.  Making this list made me realize that I’m right in the middle of reading a whole lot of different series, I’m going to need to reorganize my book shelves once I start catching up on them all!