Most Influential Books In My Life

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I love a lot of books. However, I've learned that the favorites list and the most influential list are two completely different things. Today, I'll list the books that have been influential in my life in some way. I will try my best to say NOTHING as to why they are important. I challenge you to do the same. 

  • The Harry Potter series 
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 
  • 100 Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda
  • Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
List yours down below or create a separate post! I would love to know your list. You can state your reasons, but I challenge you to not say anything or much at all.

So far, here are other awesome bloggers that did the challenge:
Adam at Roof Beam Reader
Melissa at Avid Reader's Musings
Sarah at The Everyday Reader
Chris at Wild Moo Books
Brona at Brona's Books

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Genre: Contemporary Fiction 
Rating: 4.5
Picture taken by Mhitchner 

Reading this was similar to the feeling you get when you fall in love. It starts off seemingly innocent, as you are first introduced to the story and its characters. I mean, you just picked up this book because everyone keeps talking about it. You don't expect anything to come out of it though, but you just want to read it and try it out. You start getting to know the book a little bit more, see who the characters are and what their lives are all about. Slowly, but surely, you start digging through deeper layers that you didn't know were there this whole time. So one day, you realize, wow, I really love this book. You can't even part with it; you start taking it everywhere you go. I for example, chose to bring it with me during a day trip to the beach, and read it during my lunch breaks at work. 

It was a lovely thing, to hear about these characters and their lives. When they were sad, my heart broke for them, when they wanted something, I wanted for them to be successful in achieving them, and when they had happy moments, I found myself smiling too. 

Like all books (and most relationships) it had to end somehow. As I got closer to the end of the book, I had this irrational fear that after this story, I would never, ever read about these characters again. I would never be in their world again. And when it did end, I basically cried. 

All in all, the book was such a fast-paced page turner, and I could not put this book down. I adored the characters in this book. I believed in them, empathized with them, and rooted for them. I understood their perspectives completely, and I loved the fact that they were all flawed, making them so believable and relatable. I liked that the book also covered a lot of touchy, sensitive topics, but Jojo Moyes truly handled them all very well, and explored them in the most realistic way possible. 

Highly recommend this book if you like contemporary fiction! It is so much more than a love story, and even if you end up not liking it as much as I did, it's such a fast read that you wouldn't even know you passed the time. 

The Struggle Is Real: Bookish Edition

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

First world problems... as a book lover.
Here are just some of mine.

1. No space in my room
I have a regular dorm-sized room (even though I don't live in a dorm), so you can imagine how little space I have. I have a fairly nice 5-shelf book case, but there's just not enough room to house all the books I have and will have! So now I have to keep my books on my carpeted floor now, neatly stacked and all. How I wish I had a room dedicated only for them. Maybe someday!

2. Book Events - Who do I go with?
I live around the city of San Francisco, and living in this bustling city, there are so many opportunities to go to book events: author talks, author signings, writing conferences, etc. Here is the problem! I don't have anybody here who is interested in those kinds of things, so I end up always going by myself or not going at all. I just think it would be so nice to have all the book bloggers stay around each other! 

3. So many books... want to buy them all!
It's quite an addiction, the thing I have, which I am sure you all understand. I don't even buy a lot of books regularly, but I wish I could! It's an itch I try not to scratch too much.

4. So many books... want to read them all!
There are amazing books out there - in bookstores, in libraries, in my TBR pile... if I could have a superpower, I would probably choose to be able to read and experience as many books, all at once.

What are some of the little things you complain about when it comes to being a reader and a book lover in general? Share! 

Series of Books I Don't Plan On Finishing

Monday, March 17, 2014

I always give books a try, especially if it's highly recommended and well-loved by so many readers. If it's a series, then I will at least read the first book. However, there are times when the first book doesn't cut it for me, and I have to give it up. For me, there's just too many other good books to spend time on.

Just a disclaimer though: just because I don't like a book in particular doesn't mean YOU wouldn't. These are obviously my opinions only. 
These are some of the book series that I don't think I will ever try to finish. 

1. Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth
I know! Everybody adores this trilogy, and everyone is so excited for the movie adaptation coming up; I even loved the first book. It entertained me, and I liked the idea of the five factions. I do feel like I got tired of the whole dystopian sub-genre because of this book though, only because it just felt a bit repetitive to me. I am curious as to how the series ends, but I don't think I'll read them all to find out. 

2. Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy) by Maggie Stiefvater
I actually gave this book a 2 star rating when I reviewed it. I still feel the same; I felt as if it was overhyped, and everyone gushed about it, and I was left underwhelmed by the overall plot line. I also tend to dislike books that have characters that instantly fall in love with each other, even though they nothing about each other. I just don't like it when the stereotypical macho male protagonist shows off his amazing looks and the female character is all, "I don't care if you are a stranger, you can go to my house and we can be lovers forever." Maybe it's just me.

3. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
For me to love a fantasy, I need to believe in the story itself, its settings, and its characters. I have to be fully immersed in the universe the author created. Unfortunately for me, I didn't feel like I believed this book at all. To be honest, this was also one of the very rare times I did NOT finish a book. I was bored by it, and couldn't continue on. 

4. Matched trilogy by Ally Condie
This was another alright read. It was fun to read, but again, I don't care much about the characters. 

5. Beautiful Creatures (The Caster Chronicles) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
I enjoyed this one. I really did. But this is the perfect example of a book that entertained me, but dragged on a bit for me. I don't know if I'm that curious to know what happens next in the story. 

What do you think? Do you think I am completely crazy to give up on these crowd favorites? How about you, are there any series that you can't finish for whatever reason? I'd love to hear all about them! 

me... finally getting that tattoo I have been talking about.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Almost three years ago, I wrote a blog post on here about me dreaming and imagining about getting a tattoo. 

Well, it is official. I am almost 25 years old, and I figured that it is about time I finally went for it. I have booked my tattoo artist and everything. It took me a while to look for the perfect artist, but as soon as  I saw his work, I knew I had to get him to do my tattoos. 

I have had this idea for a few years now. I was a senior in high school when I first entertained the idea. I have changed over the years, but one thing has remained constant: my love for literature. For words. For the art of writing them and reading them. 

I've always aspired to become a published writer, ever since I was a child. Mostly, I have always been a reader, and books mean a lot to me. 

On my left wrist, it will be ONE shelf with books lined up. On my right wrist, it will be a quill and ink OR a fountain pen - it depends on the designs we come up with when I have a consultation soon. Also, I am getting a smallish tattoo on my outer forearm (possibly on the left side) of a quote I have always loved and believed in.

I am officially getting it done in May, and I will definitely share photos once they're finished. I am beyond excited. This is truly a big deal to me; it's almost liberating, to do something for ME and myself only. 

Do you have tattoos? Please tell me all about it/them! 

Follow Friday.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Question of the Week: 

Spring is in the air! Show off your favorite outdoors reading spot. If you don’t go outside...well where else do you read that isn’t inside your house? 

My favorite place to read is on my bed, but I do love reading outdoors, especially when the weather is just perfect. I have particularly fallen in love with reading near the beach, where I could listen to the waves crash, with the wind (and sometimes sun) on my face. Here are photos of three different instances when I was reading near the beach.

This was taken during the middle of winter. It was cold, foggy, but still wonderful. I didn't know the photo was being taken.

This was fairly recent, just a couple of months ago. It was in December in Northern California, and the sun came out to say hello. I chose this log as my seat. 

And here is a photo of me, with a book on a fairly cold, but sunny day. 

What are your favorite reading spots?

my blog... it's 4 years old.

The blog's anniversary was on January 10, but it really has just hit me today that this little blog is now four. FOUR!

When I first started this blog in 2010, I didn't think anybody would read my posts. Unexpectedly, people started visiting, following, and commenting, and I have gained so many internet-friends. Even though I am not active here anymore, I still appreciate the fact that I still am friends with those people until today. We follow each other on our personal instagram and facebook accounts, and we still gush about books. It's a wonderful thing really. 

To be honest, I do want to come back and get in the swing of things again. I won't make any promises, but I want to try... for myself. This place (not to be dramatic or anything) was my escape and I really learned a lot from just blogging and interacting with like-minded people. In a way as well, it really helped me truly discover my passions in life.

Four years ago, there was nothing I loved more than getting home after a long day and logging on to get to talk about my favorite things. And when I would wake up in the morning, checking my blog email was the best thing. More importantly, getting to read wonderful works of literature and share about them... it was incredible. 

I miss this little space I call my own. 
Happy Birthday, Random Ramblings.