Booked til Tuesday

Life, Law & Libros

Updates: Happy New Year!

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The year is almost over! I can hardly believe it, but there you have it. There's a lot of exciting stuff coming up in 2015: BEA, potentially law school...yeah, lots of changes. :)

Meanwhile, my sister's in town visiting, I'm being inundated by cookies at work, and I found some old 90's cartoons and BBC shows on Amazon to binge watch. ;)

Read:

I officially completed my Goodreads Challenge and read 75 books this year! It took a little graphic novel cramming there at the end, but we made it.

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Top 10 Goals for 2015

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

I love lists. Give me Post-its and I am happy. Organization! The satisfaction of crossing out completed tasks! :) However, I really dislike New Year's resolutions. Mostly because, like most of us, I fail at them. I think I maybe completed 2/10 from my 2014 list. Which is a little depressing. But since it's this week's topic, I'll make a list. I'll just try to pick small, manageable goals for this year. No specifics, no "every day" or "every week." Just little things to make me smile. :)

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Discussion: Book Trivia

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I watch Jeopardy fairly often. Not every night, but often enough to jump for joy or shrink in despair when the categories are announced. For instance, I know I have a decent shot on questions about movies, TV, the Bible or coming up with the right word. I know I have half a shot on geography and history. And I know it will take a miracle (or a super easy question) to get one right in math, science, sports or music.

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But what about books? I read, I blog and I talk to other book bloggers. This should be a good category, right? Wrong. For some reason, unless the category is specifically "Children's Books" or "YA Books," often I either have half a shot or need a miracle on book trivia. I know a big part of that is my tendency to read mostly YA with a little middle grade and adult on the side, but even if I dove into adult sci-fi/fantasy, romance, mystery, thrillers, etc., I think I'd still be in trouble.

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Art It Up! - Art Supplies

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

I'm afraid I haven't done anything crafty this week. (Aside from the start of a crocheted hat...which is turning out odd because I used the wrong yarn. We'll see how that goes.) So, instead, I'm using this as an early New Year's resolution post. The resolution: do more drawing and crocheting and other arty stuff in 2015!

And to help with that resolution, I have some wonderful gifts from my art major friend who was doing a little winter cleaning. Rest assured, they have found a new home. I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to fill all those pages, but goodness knows I need the practice. We'll figure something out. :)

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The Young Elites by Marie Lu (1 star)

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The first chapter didn't grab me, but everybody said it was good, so I read more. Next thing you know, I've slogged through 40% and I was ready to call time of death. ...But I was in a time crunch on my GR challenge and didn't want to have wasted all that time, so I finished it. Should have dropped it. :P

The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published on October 7, 2014
Published by Putnam Books for Young Readers
Final Rating: 1 star
Synopsis:
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

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Updates: Merry Christmas

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I know everyone's scrambling around with family gatherings and holiday events and preparations, so I'll keep this brief.

Crafted/Baked/Cooked/Fooded:

Some friends and I took a stab at making gingerbread houses (with pre-made kits). You can find photos of the other houses on this week's Art It Up post. :)

Read:

Only two books to go to finish this year's Goodreads Challenge!

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Top 10 Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

I wrote a discussion post before about generally not liking others to buy me books. However, there are exceptions to every rule. >.> Here are a couple of books I'm either reasonably certain I'll enjoy, or excited enough about to ignore my usual qualms. ;)

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Discussion: Where Did the Friendships Go?

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Elizabeth Bennet: For a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

Mrs. Bennet: Yes, he must indeed! And who better than one of our five girls?


I went to my library's book sale the other day. (Yes, again, but it was $1 for a whole bag!) The place was starting to look picked over, but even so, there were TONS of romances, especially paperbacks. Naturally, I couldn't help but think of Mrs. Bennet. Which led to other thoughts...

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Art It Up! - Gingerbread Houses

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

The final stretch of the Christmas rush is upon us. I'm still scrambling to meet my Goodreads challenge, so I haven't done much art. However, I met up with some friends the other night to make gingerbread houses.

We bought kits and figured it would be an easy, relaxing activity. It was actually kind of stressful and difficult. Well, for two of us. The girl who makes at least one every year zoomed through hers while we were struggling to get the pieces to stick together. ^^;

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Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop (INT)

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Thanks to BookhoundsI Am A Reader, Not A Writer for hosting!
The holidays aren't known as the craziest time of the year for nothing. Everyone's scrambling for last-minute gifts, making travel arrangements to see family and maybe, if there's a spare second, baking cookies. I'm starting to feel the strain, too. I had a Christmas party last night, three meet-ups with friends this week, and I'm booked for two different Christmas Eve services.

In the midst of all the crazy, I want to step back, thank God for this amazing bookish community, and wish you all a Merry Christmas. I will not, however, add "and may all your Christmases be white." No snow. :)

And now for the part of the post you came for: the Christmas cheer. ;)

THE PRIZE:
Any book you want from The Book Depository (max $15 USD)

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Death Sworn by Leah Cypess (3 stars)

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I meant to read Death Sworn when it first came out, but the library didn't have it and the TBR list kept growing. Fast forward to October when I got approved for its sequel, Death Marked, and realized, oh, I need to read this book first. The library still didn't have it, so I found a good used copy that will remain on my shelf because, despite a few issues, I liked it.


Death Sworn by Leah Cypess
Series: Death Sworn #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published on March 4, 2014
Published by Greenwillow
Final Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis:
When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.

But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.

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Updates: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Narwhal

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If the busy, busy calendar is anything to go by, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but "narwhal" is an acceptable substitute this week because...

Crafted:

NARWHAL!!! I finally completed my first real crocheting project, and I have to say, this little guy is pretty cute. :) For anyone who's interested, I used this pattern from Ramen Needles (with a few tweaks). Thank you, Kelley!

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Top 10 Books I Read In 2014

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish


Do you ever notice how at the end of the year we always do list of the best books we read, but never a list of the worst? Maybe because the lovely ladies who choose the Top 10 topics are super nice people. :) But it makes me wonder... what would my Top 10 Worst Books of 2014 be? >.>  Hmm...perhaps we'll find room in the schedule for that post before year's end. For now, on to the best!

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Discussion: Reading Snacks

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Some readers dislike library books. They worry about the potential germs and slime and food residue. I'm not one of them (cheapskate beats germaphobe any day), but it got me thinking: do you snack while reading?
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I tend not to snack on food much because I want both hands for holding the book open and turning pages. But I do generally have a drink on hand. Usually water in the spring and summer and any one of several hot beverages in the fall and winter. (Hot tea, hot cider and hot chocolate are some of the regulars. Or Mountain Dew if it's been that day.)

Do any of you, or your kids, read at the dinner table? Do you munch on chips or popcorn like you might while watching TV or a movie.

Or, perhaps, do you find yourself eating or drinking more when using an e-book or an audiobook as opposed to a hard copy? I would love to see the stats on that one.

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Art It Up! - BEA Planning

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

I think I mentioned before I'm going to BEA 2015. It's my first and possibly last chance, at least for a while. Which is great! And also mildly stressful. Let me put it this way...

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Transparent by Natalie Whipple (2 stars)

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Transparent hit my radar a year or two ago when I found the Friday the Thirteeners blog, a group of YA writers debuting in 2013. Natalie Whipple was among them and Transparent is her first published novel. I liked the general idea. (I'm almost always up to try X-Men powers meets mafia YA stories.) I didn't fully connect with any of the characters, but the story itself was decently entertaining- a good beach read. :)


Transparent by Natalie Whipple
Series: Transparent #1
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Contemporary
Published on May 21, 2013
Published by HarperTeen
Final Rating: 2 stars
Synopsis:
Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

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Updates: Crafty Craftiness

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Per the title, after (mostly) surviving the LSAT, I engaged in a week of crafty craftiness! (The non-world domination kind.)

Saturday Night:
Crocheting! No picture because the narwhal pattern foiled me twice- a.k.a, I pulled the yarn too tight and made my circle a wavy thing. It will be conquered!

Sunday Afternoon:
Homemade bookmarks! You can't really tell at this angle, but there is a glittery pig on one of those. Because I have a friend who's a farmer. :)

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Top 10 New-to-Me Authors in 2014

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

According to my Goodreads Challenge, I've read 67 books so far this year. (I think one of them is technically a DNF that snuck in, but we'll ignore that since I'm behind schedule. Again.) It's not as many as I'd like, but it's already more than last year, so progress!

Anyway, I did a quick count/guesstimate, and approximately 53 of this year's books are by authors I read for the first time in 2014. Taking into account multiple books by one author and such, that's still at least 40 writers whose work I had never read before. That's kind of cool. :)

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Art It Up! - Bookmarks

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

It's turning into a really crafty week for me. The LSAT is officially done. I took the test yesterday and I get my scores in January. Then, to wind down, I met up with some friends for snacks and crocheting. I started a narwhal pattern and had to pull it out twice, but I plan to restart it soon.

Today, another friend was super nice and, with a few stickers and clip art, helped me make some homemade bookmarks to give away as Christmas gifts. :)

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Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White (3 stars)

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What can I say about Illusions of Fate? I liked it. It didn't have me uncontrollably jumping for joy; but it was a solid story, I never felt the urge to start a bonfire and I enjoyed it. Which is bad for review writing and usually results in a few tiny paragraphs because it's so much easier to write novel-length rants about things that bothered me. How long does it take to say I liked the world, characters, magic and commiserated with the study abroad experience? Okay, I could write a 20-page paper on that, but (*cue completely acceptable excuse*) it's LSAT week, so no. :)


Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White
Series: n/a
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published on September 9, 2014
Published by HarperTeen
Final Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis:
“I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

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Updates: It's the Final Countdown

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Three days until doomsdaythe LSAT. After a few mini-Netflix/Hulu binges over the weekend, I'm studying each night (except Friday, when I'm meeting with friends to crochet) and am ready for it to be done. So I can start focusing on other stuff like all those Christmas presents I haven't bought/made and scheduling a pizza/Christmas movie night. :)

It's been and continues to be a busy week, so this round of updates will be brief. Speaking of brief...

BRIEFCASE MADNESS:


My friend Kim was super sweet and brought me law-themed cookies to help me study. (There were more, but this briefcase was the only survivor by the time I remembered to take a picture.) And then my dad found this old briefcase lying around his workplace (likely abandoned a decade or two ago), and basically said, "Here, future lawyer!" But no pressure, of course. ;)

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Top 10 Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2015

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A weekly meme by The Broke and the Bookish

It's so strange to think it's almost 2015. Only one month to go...weird.

I haven't given a ton of thought to 2015 titles because I have so many 2014 books I still haven't read. But here are a few on my radar for the new year. :)

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Discussion: 1-Star Reviews

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I don't give out 1-star's very often. In nearly a year of blogging, there have only been 4. Which is kind of surprising. This past month alone I read at least one or two books I would have been fine not reading. Why then is my 1-star count so low, I puzzled.

I thought about it long and hard...*two minutes later*...and I realized the key lay in my Rating System. In short:
1 star = Didn't like.

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