Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Art It Up! - Crochet Sphere

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Art It Up! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

I confess, with the Disney series over, coming up with artwork for this feature is going to be harder. I have lots of ideas (that will take forever to look anywhere close to the pictures in my head), but the schedule was nice.

Anyway, this week I'm sharing a couple of crochet practice pieces I worked on. The LSAT is this Saturday, and I can't wait for it to be over already; but in the meantime, study, study. :P

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Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake (2 stars)

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The Goddess War trilogy sets Greek gods in a modern world that no longer believes in them. More importantly, they're all dying. Desperate for a cure, or at least a way to survive her unhappy family's death throes, Athena and her brother Hermes have teamed up with some special humans. Not a horrible premise, right? In fact, I really enjoyed the first book, Antigoddess, and I was super excited for its sequel. Key word: was.

Warning: there may be spoilers for Book 1.

Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake
Series: Goddess War #2
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published on October 14, 2014
Published by Tor Teen
Final Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis:
Ares, God of War, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She's ready to wage a war of her own, and she's never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she'll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace.

Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can't have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite.

The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra's hate will get them ALL killed.

The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can't, fates far worse than death await.

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Updates: Crochet Ball of Doom

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I'm way behind in my studying schedule for the LSAT (which is in 1.5 weeks! O.O), but I picked up some yarn and a hook and crocheted a...thing! We're just going to call this the Crochet Ball of Doom for now. On the bright side, I think I'm good on the "magic ring." On the dark side, I can't read patterns to save my life and I keep forgetting what the different stitches are/are called.


It's strange. Normally, I love having instructions and don't mind following the steps exactly; but in this case, I couldn't read the pattern or remember which stitch was which, so I said forget it and decided to wing it. The results are less than spherical. (I still only have half an idea how I made the bottom flat-ish.) But, yeah, learning to read patterns and remembering which stitches are which is top of the to-do list. You know, after the LSAT. ;)

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Top 10 Books on My Winter TBR List

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

I kind of hate these "top books on TBR" posts. I could use them to "ooh" and "ah" over the upcoming new releases; but, inevitably, I wind up guilting myself into using it as a harsh reminder of all the stuff on my shelves I STILL haven't read. Which in turn makes me feel guilty about all the books I've bought or borrowed from the library. And we all know the list won't help anything. I'm going to sit down with each of these books when I'm in the mood for it (or never) and no list will hurry me along.

But guilting from actual people might. Cue guilt-inducing comments from the masses! ;)

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Discussion: Black Friday Books

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It's that time of year again! The time when we spend time with family, stop to remember and be thankful for all we have, stuff ourselves with turkey and cranberry sauce, and try to kill one another over half-price electronics and clothes. :)

Black Friday is almost upon us and, while I admit to taking advantage of a Thursday or Friday sale on occasion, I'm not a big fan of how the consumer rush has swallowed up Thanksgiving and started the stressful shopping season early. Mostly because it's so easy for me to get caught up in it. This year, my goal is to spend less and give more- not just in gifts, but in time, service, conversation, etc., focusing on other people more than my wish list.

But Black Friday is very sneaky. It knows I can't resist a good book sale. So, while I'm still debating whether to make this my last book shopping foray of the year or hold off entirely, here are a few Black Friday book specials I've run across, in case any of you are interested. :)

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Art It Up! - Elsa

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Art It Up! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

This week is #24 in the Disney Series and the last of my scheduled Disney art posts. So next week's art will be a total surprise (for you and me). But for now, Disney! (Pretend you haven't read the post title for a second.)

Here are your hints:
She has a little sister.
She likes chocolate.
She's not a people person.

That's right! From Disney's 2013 merchandise-rich, money making giant, "Frozen," she's....

Elsa

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Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews (3 stars)

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Ever since reading (and loving) Anne Bishop's Written in Red, I've been looking for similar urban fantasy series with interesting worlds, fun characters and a limited amount of romance. After seeing a few readers gushing about Kate Daniels, I decided to give Magic Bites a try. And it was pretty good. :)

Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Series: Kate Daniels #1
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Published on April 1, 2007
Published by Ace
Final Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis:
When the magic is up, rogue mages cast their spells and monsters appear, while guns refuse to fire and cars fail to start. But then technology returns, and the magic recedes as unpredictably as it arose, leaving all kinds of paranormal problems in its wake.

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up these magical problems. But when Kate's guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta's magic circles.

The Masters of the Dead, necromancers who can control vampires, and the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, blame each other for a series of bizarre killings—and the death of Kate's guardian may be part of the same mystery. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she's way out of her league—but she wouldn't have it any other way.

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Updates: Studying, Yarn & YA

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I survived the 4 sections of my first full LSAT practice test! But I kind of slept in that morning and took breaks between sections for food and watching Federer v. Stan. The website recommends you get used to sitting through the whole thing and practice staying focused. I usually test well, so I'm not too worried, but still, lazy rule-breaking bum. :)


Other than that, my week's been pretty quiet. I dropped off my collection of finished crochet bracelets to the folks going on the India mission trip (and realized as I was doing the last one that I'd forgotten to do a solid knot behind the buttons on two-thirds of them, so I'm now praying they don't all fall apart).

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Top 10 Sequels I Can't Wait to Get

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

Often when I start and enjoy a new series, I dive right into the next book(s) available. Or else I obsessively check the library until I find the next book once it's published. (I may or may not have grabbed Cress off the "New YA" display without a single thought for all the teenagers anxiously awaiting its release. >.>) However, this week we're looking at sequels I've been meaning to read, but haven't yet for one reason or another.

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Discussion: Books for Christmas

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I love books. (I better for all the time I devote to reading and blogging about them.) But I have mixed feelings about getting books for Christmas. More specifically, I have mixed feelings about other people buying books for the express purpose of giving them to me.
Image source

I don't know if I'm the only one who feels this way, but when someone has specifically picked a book for me and spent money on it (especially list price), I feel absolutely AWFUL if I don't like it. It's like that person just wasted $5-$20. Now, let's be honest, a good number of the books I buy turn out to be "okay" or bombs. But it's different when I wasted money on a bad book as opposed to someone else wasting money on a bad book because he/she thought I would like it. Does that make sense?

My other issue with people buying me books at Christmas is that I always fear they overpaid. I know this is a little ridiculous. If they're not worried about it, why should I be? But I am. And then I feel doubly worse if I wind up hating a book they spent $20 on when I could have wasted $2 instead. :(

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Art It Up! - Rapunzel

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Art It Up! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

This week is #23 in the Disney Series. (Pretend you haven't read the post title for a second.)

Here are your hints:
She's homeschooled.
She loves to paint.
She's obsessed with floating lights.

That's right! From Disney's 2010 "Tangled," she's....

Rapunzel

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Gratitude Giveaway Hop

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Thanks to I Am A Reader, Not A Writer for hosting!
I started this blog nearly 11 months ago, and in that time, I've met some of the most amazing, kindest, craziest readers and fellow bloggers. Talking books and life with you guys has been a blast. You are all awesome and have made book blogging the wonderful experience it has been. An early Happy Thanksgiving, and I look forward to many more insane conversations!

THE PRIZE:
Any book you want from The Book Depository (max $10 USD)

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The World Above by Cameron Dokey (2 stars)

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Dokey's The World Above combines Jack and the Beanstalk with Robin Hood. I love the idea of fairy tale/legend/classic literature mash-ups, and some (like The Lunar Chronicles) have been done really well. Unfortunately, while the idea of combining these two particular tales was new to me, the story and characters fell flat.


The World Above by Cameron Dokey
Series: Once Upon a Time
Genres: MG/YA, Fantasy, Fairy Tale Retelling
Published on June 8, 2010
Published by Simon Pulse
Final Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis:
Gen and her twin brother, Jack, were raised with their mother's tales of life in the World Above. Gen is skeptical, but adventureous Jack believes the stories--and trades the family cow for magical beans. Their mother rejoices, knowing they can finally return to their royal home.

When Jack plants the beans and climbs the enchanted stalk, he is captured by the tyrant who now rules the land. Gen sets off to rescue her borther, but danger awaits her in the World Above. For finding Jack may mean losing her heart....

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Updates: LSAT & LaFevers

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The LSAT studying continues. I have good days and bad, but, unfortunately, best results are usually obtained with consistent, daily practice. :P But, I made an exception and took an extra special break for...


Robin LaFevers! She had a signing event nearby (sort of), and I was lucky and made it in time despite traffic. B&N's wi-fi wouldn't send all my tweets, but you can find a few choice author quotes about the series and future books on my Twitter feed. :)

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Top 10 YA Books I Want Written

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

Confession: I tried to make a list of 10 for this week's topic, "Top 10 Characters Who Need Their OWN Books," and failed miserably. I found out I either liked a book and was satisfied with the stories of all characters involved and didn't need more, or I disliked a book and didn't want more of anyone. Doubtless, this will all change when I see everyone else's lists and remember all sorts of characters who need their own stories; but for now, nobody really jumps to mind. Except Eponine. More on that later.

So, instead, I give you:

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Discussion: Reading for Fun v. Work

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I love reading. That's a true statement. However, it's not entirely accurate. How about "I love reading fiction"? Generally true, but it leaves out non-fiction which, though I don't reach for it as often, I still enjoy from time to time. Not to mention all the hour-long stretches down the Wikipedia rabbit hole. (One does not simply click just one link.)

Let's try specifying this statement one more time: I love reading for fun.

Some of you are looking at me and saying, "Duh, of course you love reading for fun. We all do. What are you getting at?" I'm glad you asked. ;) I'm studying for the LSAT and using one of the library's prep books to practice and get ready. Now, I do some reading for work, but this has been probably the first time since college that I've had to really sit down and study.

So, here we are: long stretches of staring at small print, racking my brain to work and make the connections. (Everyone still in school, I sympathize.) And it's not fun. It's tedious and annoying and certain sections require absolute focus, so I don't even feel comfortable diving into a longer/more complicated fiction book on the side- only, pardon the term, brainless reading I can push through to keep my Goodreads challenge on life support. And I found out doing too many analytical reasoning problems before bed leads to horribly complex dreams in which I'm still doing them...and they almost made as much sense in dreamworld. Not sure how. :)

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Art It Up! - Charlotte La Bouff

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Art It Up! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

This week is #22 in the Disney Series. (Pretend you haven't read the post title for a second.)

Here are your hints:
She loves pink.
She wants to be a princess.
She believes in wishing upon stars.

That's right! From Disney's 2009 "The Princess and the Frog," she's....

Charlotte La Bouff


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Storm Siren by Mary Weber (3 stars)

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I was so excited when I found out I won a copy of Storm Siren from Tabitha's giveaway at Not Yet Read. I'd read tons of glowing reviews and it sounded like a story and main character I'd like. Good news: it was. :)

Storm Siren by Mary Weber
Series: Storm Siren #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published on August 19, 2014
Published by Thomas Nelson
Final Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis:
“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

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Updates: Yarn, Studying & Library Sales

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The bracelet race continues! I tend to make them in spurts and stops, but we're slowly building up a pile. Or we were until I ran out of buttons. Time to confiscate more. :) On the less productive side, it's November, which means I have one month until the LSAT and need to, you know, actually study. So if you see me lollygagging about on Twitter or Instagram or your blogs, feel free to yell at me for not studying. :)

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Top 10 Books I Want to Reread

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

As a kid, I had much stricter policies on book buying. My income was nada, so the books I bought had to really be worth it. Forget impulse buys; most of the books I bought were ones I'd already gotten from the library and read three or four times, ones I knew I'd read again and again. Now...well, we've discussed my book buying addiction. But I say this because a number of the books on this week's list and I go way back.

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Discussion: NaNoWriMo

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NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) started yesterday. For anyone unfamiliar, it's an annual writing challenge. From now until November 30th, writers all around the world will be working toward the goal of 50,000 words.

I participated last year and, while the resulting draft will never see the light of day, I made the 50k quota. More importantly, I gained an even greater appreciation for anyone who can finish writing a whole book. And those who make it through the whole publishing process? Even more so.

I know bloggers who torture themselves enjoy the challenge every year, and I know others who are strictly readers or who just don't have the time to write 1,667 words each day in November. (Seriously, whose bright idea was it to put this thing smack in the middle of the holiday season?)

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Fan Art Up! - Russell

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Fan Art Up! is a weekly feature hosted by Tabitha @ Not Yet Read.

This week is #21 in the Disney Series. No hints this week. Just a special Halloween version of everyone's favorite Wilderness Explorer from Disney/Pixar's 2009 South American adventure "Up." :)

Russell

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