30 Before 30 (30 x 30)

Keep Calm 30On December 21, 2014, I turn 30 years old. As funny as it is, I’m not really nervous or scared of the big three-oh, honestly, I’m just ready for it. I did, however, enjoy the image to the right so included it. I’m sure my parents (and aunts, uncles and grandparents) are more nervous than I am, but hey that’s what they’re for! (I’ll link to the list here so you don’t have to read the ENTIRE post if you don’t want to.)

A few months ago I started seeing 30 before 30 lists everywhere. I didn’t put much thought into them until friends started turning 30 recently and then I wondered what would be on mine. So I decided with the last nine months of my 20s there were a few things that I want to do and this list developed. A couple of friends made suggestions and a lot on the list will require friends to complete. I’ve divided my 30 to-dos into five categories: physical, relaxing, reading and writing, cultural and miscellaneous.

Click here to continue reading.

About these ads

Book 16: It’s All Geek to Me – J. L. Merrow

Merrow, J. L. - It's All Geek To MeWhat a quick fun read! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if Merrow were to expand this story into a longer novel, or even a series of short stories, I would definitely check it out. I received a copy of It’s All Geek to Me from the publisher, Riptide Publishing and received nothing in return for my honest opinion.

From the adorkable premise of the comic book store to the “aww” worthy ending, I couldn’t help but smile through this quick novella. I of course loved the two main characters, the gorgeously described Welshman Rhys and the adorably emotionally fragile protagonist Jez. Merrow did a great job building the tension between the Rhys and Jez and adding in a (not completely) unexpected turn. I wasn’t quite sure what the hidden secret was but I was so worried it was going to be something completely different and the actual reason was so adorable and their reactions were so adorable that I couldn’t help but smile.

Click here to continue reading.

Book 73: All My Friends Are Superheroes – Andrew Kaufman

Kaufman, Andrew - All My Friends Are Super HeroesWhat a great book! I’m not sure where or why I decided I needed to read it but I’m glad I did. I think it was on one of the blogs I follow or one of the podcasts I listen to (I think it might’ve been Pop Culture Happy Hour, but I’m not positive), but either way I’m glad I read it.

One reason I thoroughly enjoyed this book is that it reminded me a lot of Perry Moore’s Hero. The heroes in both of these novels are not your standard superheroes, they have unique talents and abilities. What this novel did differently than Hero was to explain why the most mundane tasks are actually superhero worthy. Kaufman talks about choosing a superhero name and speaks to the mundane portion of superheroes regardless of their talents and reminds us that they are (mostly) all human.

“The final stage of finding your superhero name is accepting how little difference it really makes. Okay, there’s this one thing you can do, a thing you can do like no other person on the planet. That makes you special, but being special really doesn’t mean anything. You still have to get dressed in the morning. Your shoelaces still break. Your lover will still leave you if you don’t treat her right.” (77-78)

Click here to continue reading.

Book 13: The Suitors – Cécile David-Weill

David-Weill, Cecile - The SuitorsAfter my amazing luck with John Boyne’s The Absolutist last year, I decided to always keep an eye on Other Press releases and I’m glad I did. I requested a copy of this book directly from the publisher and I quite enjoyed it. This is my honest response and I received nothing in return.

To start, I’d like to say that the only other review on Goodreads is worthless (to me, at least). Why bother reviewing a book if that’s all you’re going to say? The person has, in essence, re-written the synopsis of the novel (on the back cover), without any additional insight or synthesis and it came across as snide to me. If you didn’t want to read “frothy froth about rich French people and their angst,” then why’d you read it? It never pretended to be anything else and that’s why I appreciated this novel. It’s times like this when I wish I could give half stars on Goodreads because it’s not quite what I would consider 5 stars, but not quite as low as 4 stars. Now on to my response.

This novel is everything that it claims to be, an amusing inside look at the codes, manners, and morals of high society, and it’s nothing more.So if you don’t want to read a comedy of manners, then don’t. It’s sort of what I imagine Austen’s works were like when they were first published and reactions were similar to the Goodreads reviewer’s.

Click here to continue reading.

Book 34: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters – Jane Austen and Ben Winters

This Quirk Classic was MUCH better than Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I’m not sure whether it’s because this is their second ‘Mash Up’ (as Quirk calls it) and they were able to get some feedback after the first one, or if Ben Winters is that much better of an author than Seth Grahame-Smith.

There was a stronger maturity about this novel compared to Zombies. Although there were a few nods to impropriety in Sea Monsters as Austen herself vaguely alluded to in the original Sense and Sensibility, they were nowhere near as onerous or obtrusive as they were in Zombies.  But what solidifies Sea Monsters as a better novel, is Winters removing it far enough from Austen, to create a cohesive (and believable) fantasy. There were no obviously disparate elements in this novel which stood out as much as the seemingly random zombies/Orient mash-up in the previous Quirk Classic .

Winter created a story which could stand on its own. There’s no need to have read Sense and Sensibility as most of the sea monster/nautical elements can stand on their own.  I’m excited for the second ‘Mash Up’ Winter created, Android Karenina. Some one recently recommended Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter but I’m a bit wary as Seth Grahame-Smith, author of zombies wrote it.

Recommendation: Definitely read it!