A List of Things I Have Done Since My Last Post

1. I went to a panel with the Jane the Virgin showrunner as well as several members of the writing staff. They played the clip of Jane’s reaction to the major spoiler that happened at the end of last season and then answered questions from the moderator (who was the show’s narrator!!!) about the process.

Two fun facts: (1) The whole season is planned in detail from the beginning. (2) They always reveal secrets instead of having characters keep them.

secrets

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Rereads abound!

I have reached the stage of my life where my body literally rebels against me trying to work on Saturday. I had plans to finish grading Saturday, but instead I took not one, but two naps. Two! I was just exhausted.

source

It’s cool, though. I finished grading this afternoon and will write up an assignment sheet before I go to sleep tonight–unless I fall asleep first. We’ll see how it goes.


This week on the blog, I started the A to Z Challenge, so it has been pretty busy around here. I posted some things, basically:

I forgot the hashtag for some of my posts, but all of the lettered posts are part of the A to Z Challenge. My theme, btw, is gratitude.

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But if you try sometimes, you get what you need: February/March in review

1. March was all about the Slice of Life challenge. I posted every single day in March, and, if you missed any, you can find them all here.

If I were still doing the challenge, I might have posted yesterday about going to the NCAA regional semifinals for gymnastics which was pretty cool. I would have complained about the lack of distinctive leotards and how bars seemed to be every single team’s nemesis and also the awful, awful music used for some of the floor routines. Also the price of stadium food. I would have gloated about spending time with a super cool lady friend and that our team made it to the finals. But then I would have possibly made a sadface as I described how me and my friend figured out there’s no way we can make it to the finals.

2. In February, I read five books:

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Picking Favorites for the end of February

Links
“As my colleague Yoni Appelbaum pointed out on Tuesday, citing the work of the Yale history professor Joanne Freeman, it was, in the United States’s antebellum years, typical for violence—duels, even—to attend almost every session of Congress. The telegraph, and its attendant ability to send information to far-flung places, almost instantly, changed that.” — The more things change, etc: ‘Nevertheless, She Persisted’ and the Age of the Weaponized Meme

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It’s Monday! What are you reading? (7/18/16)

Oh, so I finished some books since the last time I participated in IMWAYR. I haven’t really had time to post (even missing the Top Ten Tuesday I was most excited about–ten random facts about me) because I bought a house on July 1, and my life has been pretty hectic since. So this will cover all the books I’ve finished since June 20. I mean, it’s not that big a deal since I only finished one other book in June anyway.
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It’s Monday! What are you reading? (6/20/16)

So I realized I did the thing where I read comments and thought about what I was going to reply but never actually replied but thought I had actually typed up my replies. So I’ll be getting on that later this week. My summer class is almost done, so who knows what wonderful things await me. I mean, besides answering comments, obviously.

Continue reading “It’s Monday! What are you reading? (6/20/16)”

It’s Monday & I’m Never Going to Finish All the Books on My Shelf

No, seriously. I still have ten left in the stack that I want to get to before the move, and I don’t think it’s going to happen. Also, reading them is starting to feel like work now–probably because I am trying to read them in a specific order. It might be time to start jumping around the stack.

This past week, I read:

Dear Bill, Remember Me? and Other StoriesDear Bill, Remember Me? and Other Stories by Norma Fox Mazer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The best stories were the title piece, the first story, and “Chocolate Pudding.” But these are all honest, real, and raw and, as someone who will likely be a spinster, I appreciated the last story a lot.

View all my reviews

Two weeks ago, I saw:

Love and Friendship

I forgot to mention that I went to see Love & Friendship, which is based on the novella Lady Susan by Jane Austen. I am not a huge fan of Austen’s books, but I think they translate really well to screen. I should state up front that I’m also not super into period pieces. However, I liked the humor in this, and I loved how Lady Susan was always ten steps ahead of everyone else. This movie is very talky-talky, so if you don’t go in much for that, you might not like it. I am generally a fan of talking movies, though, so this worked for me.

Also, I haven’t read the book but the movie kind of makes me want to and, as I said, I’m not a huge fan of Austen’s books, so it definitely has that going for it.

I do have to say that I don’t get the title at all. It didn’t seem to match the movie. Maybe I’m missing something, though. I think Lady Susan would have worked just fine. I mean, it is all about her and her machinations after all and not really all that much about friendship and Love & Friendship is so darn generic (I kept mistakenly calling the movie Love & Acceptance, for example). Ugh. Anybody else who saw it have an opinion on the title? (ETA: Duh, the title is meant to be ironic. But still, generic and bland, especially given the rest of the movie.)

As of today, I’m reading:

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

 

I was feeling kind of slumpy (and it’s almost time for The Cursed Child), so I decided to reread Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (I mean, it’s only been a little over a year since my last reread of Prisoner of Azkaban, so. It might be time is what I’m saying.) I’m about 1/3 of the way through, and I can tell you right now that the beginning of the book needed way less Quidditch. Also, there’s a lot of great foreshadowing and framing in all of the opening scenes when they head to the World Cup and before they get to Hogwarts. You know, minus the Quidditch match descriptions.

My plan was also to sign up for the Potterhead July Blog Festival, but I (a) totally missed the sign up AND (b) will be moving in July so it’s probably not the best time to commit to anything. I am looking forward to reading the posts, though.

 

Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older

Daniel José Older is one of my favorite people on Twitter, and my colleague highly recommended his book, so I finally decided to read Shadowshaper. I’m listening to the audiobook, and Anika Noni Rose narrates. I’m digging it so far.

 

Stepping to a New Day by Beverly Jenkins

I’m participating in a blog tour for Stepping to a New Day by Beverly Jenkins at the beginning of July. I’ll be starting this one later today.

 

Hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date. Children's lit version hosted by Jen Vincent @ Teach Mentor Texts & Kellee Moye @ Unleashing Readers.
Hosted by Kathryn @ The Book Date. Children’s lit version hosted by Jen Vincent @ Teach Mentor Texts & Kellee Moye @ Unleashing Readers.

 

Happy reading, everyone!

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Armchair BEA 2016: 4 Fictional Places I Want to Visit

1. I hate to be predictable, but, obviously, I would want to visit The Wizarding World from Harry Potter: Diagon Alley, Hogwarts, The Burrow, etc.

The saddest fact of my life is that I live SO CLOSE to Orlando and yet.

ronispoor
Poor like a Weasley. (source)

(I also like to recycle jokes. SUE ME.)

2. I would also like to visit the Kingdom of Cello from The Colors of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty. But only during one of the nice color storms, please. And if I get to tour the palace, Jagged Edge, and the Farms with my girl Princess Ko and the rest of the Royal Alliance.

3. I would love to visit Camp Half-Blood and/or Camp Jupiter from the Percy Jackson series, but only during one of the down seasons when no campers are disappearing or being chased by monsters. So this may actually be one of those worlds I would want to observe from a distance since those poor demigods are never safe–at least not the Greek ones.

4. I also want to visit Crab Claw Key from the Summer series by Katherine Applegate. (Of course when I read the books, they looked like this, but that’s neither here nor there.) (I can keep up with the times is what I’m saying.) But that’s because it’s SUMMER and I am always in need of a beach day. Beach! Beeeeeeeeach. If I were in Crab Claw Key, my life would be this:

modern family straw
Legit the most memorable scene from Modern Family for me (source

 

It would be GLORIOUS.

 

As for worlds I don’t want to visit, the first one that came to mind is Panem and the districts from The Hunger Games, which…obvious reasons are obvious. In fact, most of the fictional worlds I encounter and wouldn’t mind visiting have a great big old asterisk next to them anyway–simply because there’s usually a lot of strife and conflict happening. Otherwise, why would there be a story?

“Don’t let the muggles get you down!”

I went out of town last weekend, and, as I was waiting for my flight, I decided to (re)read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling.

After finishing it, all I can say is that Rowling is a mothereffing genius. Like, for real.

***Spoilers for the entire series included in this post***

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Sorting Hat: Scandal

Yes, this is a book blog. But my other love is TV, and sometimes the two will overlap, especially when I start thinking to myself, “Hmm, I wonder which Hogwarts House these characters will be sorted into?” (Harry Potter reference, for those not in the know.) And then my mind keeps mulling it over, which turns into a blog post.

ScandalSo for my first official Sorting Hat post on the blog, I turn my attention to Scandal, the latest soap offering from Shonda Rhimes.

The above links are pretty thorough in breaking down the houses, but, in summation, this is how I view them.

Gryffindor – mostly concerned with doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, have a deep sense of justice

Ravenclaw – super duper smartypants who love solving puzzles and just being smart

Hufflepuff – hard workers who want to be recognized for being hard workers, loyal

Slytherin – have a deep sense of self-preservation, think the ends justify the means and the means justify the ends

Of course, these are simplistic baselines. Overlap can happen. I’m basing the sorting on what I think the characters’ most obvious traits are. YMMV, of course.

Pope & Associates

1. Olivia – Ravenclaw — She’s a fixer and being a fixer means putting all of the pieces together and frequently being the smartest person in the room. Most of her cases are huge puzzles that need solving, and she’s not concerned with justice for justice’s sake. She wants the truth of the moment to speak and figures out how to get her clients the results they need.

2. Harrison – Ravenclaw — No lie, Harrison totally reminds me of Gilderoy Lockhart. He’s super smart, and the show has set him up as Liv’s second in command. Like Liv, he looks at how the pieces of the puzzle fit together and uses his wits and ability to problem solve more than anything.

3. Abby – Hufflepuff — She’s loyal and hardworking. I haven’t seen anything that indicates Abby wants more than to be appreciated for the work she does. She doesn’t always agree with Liv or have that same sense of fixing the problem (she’s fine with people taking the fall if they are terrible individuals), but she does what’s asked of her for the sake of the practice and because she believes in her friend.

4. Quinn – Hufflepuff/Slytherin — Quinn was hard to place because she came in the practice a Hufflepuff, but she/we didn’t really know her past or anything. We still don’t really know what Lindsay Dwyer was about, but S2/S3 Quinn has revealed that she’s not just a worker bee; she has some sort of agenda, even if it’s make sure she’s never made a fool of again. So I could see her in either. I get a stronger sense of self-preservation than loyalty from her (I mean, if she leaves Pope & Associates, where will she go?), so I’m inclined to say Slytherin.

5. Huck – Hufflepuff — Even in Huck’s backstory we find out that he’s a good soldier who does what’s asked of him and is glad to be recognized for his hard work. He is extremely loyal (to country, to family, to friends), which is really his downfall. I’d even call it his fatal flaw. Also, you know he just wants to have a home and a family, and that’s it. Poor Huck.

6. David Rosen – Gryffindor — David is SUCH a Gryffindor. This was such a gimme. He is basically Harry Potter in lawyer form. (Also, I consider him an honorary member of the team, even if he is not technically a member of the firm.)

The White House

1. Fitz – Hufflepuff — Fitz thinks hard work (and lots of privilege, of course!) is enough. That’s why Defiance was such a shock/so painful to him. That’s also why he needs Cyrus, Mellie, and Olivia. They do strategy; he follows directions. He also has a deep desire for home and family, and thinks that would be enough. (I am ignoring that he is slime. That doesn’t matter. He is a huge ‘puff.)

2. Mellie – Slytherin — Obviously. I wouldn’t be surprised if that mic oops from this past week’s episode isn’t all part of some scheme for her to get more press and position herself for some sort of political storm. I WOULDN’T PUT IT PAST HER.  She always has an end game in mind, and she will always figure out how/what Mellie can get out of any situation.

3. Cyrus – Slytherin — More obviously. Cyrus can also turn on the charm and fool you into thinking that he is on your side. Also, his only loyalty is to himself and/or power.

4. James – Gryffindor — From what we’ve seen of Cyrus’s husband, I have him firmly in the Gryffindor camp. He has a deep sense of justice and chases the truth. Plus, you’d have to be brave to be married to Cyrus. I mean, seriously.

5. Sally Langston – Hufflepuff — All of the power plays she’s made have been mostly because she wants recognition. If she were a true Slytherin or Ravenclaw, she would’ve seen through Fitz’s emotional manipulation b.s. or actually had a plan in place that considered what would happen to her if he double-crossed her. But, no, she works hard and wants that to be enough.

B-613

1. Rowan/Eli – Slytherin — I mean. There is no right or wrong with this dude, only power. He is cunning and manipulative and will obviously do whatever it takes to deliver his end game. He’d argue it’s for the greater good, but, again, ends/means justify each other, period.

2. Jake – Gryffindor — This dude is all about his rogue missions and saving people even if it puts himself in jeopardy. He may be a little reckless is what I’m saying. He seems more concerned with doing what’s right even though he’ll probably get himself killed.

So what do you think? Did I get it right? Totally miss the mark? What houses would you sort the characters from Scandal into?