Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Signs You’re a Book Lover

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and the meme moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. This week's Top Ten Tuesday asks bloggers to list their top ten signs that we are book lovers. The following signs are in no particular order. 

1. Always checking Goodreads for information about frontlist, backlist and just released books. This is the social media platform for book lovers! 

2. Using the library for books I cannot afford to buy. Seriously, everyone needs to get a library now if they don't already have one. The library is a great resource not only for books. They also have access to computers, other types of media, discounted museum tickets, workshops, author events and much more!

3. Having accounts for Edelweiss and Netgalley to read the latest e-ARCs. The catalogs are ridiculously huge! There are so many titles to choose from and I love how you can read upcoming titles before the general public. 

4. Talking about books with friends in person or online, especially frontlist titles where you definitely don't want to spoil things on social media. 

5. Participating in buddy reads. It's always fun to chat with someone about the book while you are reading. 

6. Attending book events at local bookstores. I love supporting local bookstores. They're the best!

7. Speaking of bookstores, I love to visit bookstores when I travel. I also like checking out libraries when I travel as well. 

8. Comparing the film adaptation to the book. Some of them are great, some are so-so and some are just horrible.

9. Purchasing items such as candles, enamel pins, etc that are book fandom based.

10. Collecting special editions of books I love. Who else collects special editions of books?

Do we share similar signs that we are book lovers? If so, which ones?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Unprecedented Times

I know everyone in the whole world is facing a lot of unknowns and things that are increasing our anxiety. I wanted to let everyone know that I am still here even though my blog posts have been sporadic.  Here are some things you can do to help keep your mind off uncertainties and the craziness of the world.

Talking a walk (if your state/country allows it) - getting some sunlight not only boosts your spirits but you get a nice fresh breath of air and you can get some Vitamin D. Pokemon Go or Wizards Unite anyone? Just remember the 6 feet distance away from people rule. 

Reading a book - By reading you can escape to the depths of another world. Immerse yourself into a fantasy, horror, contemporary, thriller, sci-fi or even a non-fiction novel. There is a book for everyone. Try an audiobook if it's hard to focus reading. Libraries are providing many free digitally recourses like free e-books and audiobooks to borrow from. All you need is a library card. Check out Libby and  Hoopla. 

Playing video games - Discover new worlds through a video game. I am partial to playing Pokemon, Fantasy Life and Kirby but I am waiting for my copy of the latest Animal Crossing to arrive.

Playing board games - Tabletop gaming with your household is a fun way to interact with others and to bond. Play a favorite or try a new one. There are so many to choose from. 

Video conferencing - Meeting with friends and family virtually will help you stay connected with people face to face even if you cannot visit them physically. Many companies have lifted some pro capabilities. Check out Google Hangouts, Skype, Facebook video chat and Zoom. 

Online messaging - You can also stay connected with people online via various messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, DMing/PMing on Twitter or Instagram, or using Discord, Line, WeChat, WhatsApp, etc.

Crafting - Why not pick up a new crafting project or even a new hobby? I am hoping to start needle felting and learning how to do lettering sometime soon.

Cooking and baking - Stuck at home and you need to eat? Why not try a new recipe? Hone your cooking and baking skills while trying something new. Open up your palette to new dishes.

Watching TV - Whether it be movies or shows on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, regular TV, etc., enjoy a new movie or binge watch some episodes of a new series. Netflix has a Netflix Party mode where you can watch a movie or episode with other people remotely.

Cleaning - It's that time for spring cleaning, at least here where I am located. This is a good time to declutter your home space. With many people working remotely, help create a more ideal work and living space.

Deep breathing and mediation - Find those anxious parts of you and attend to your mental health needs. Take deep breaths, meditate, do yoga, listen to calming music. Apps like Headspace and Calm might be helpful

Listen to music - Music transports your mind and feelings to another place that is different from a visual mode. Jam out to your favorites, reminisce nostalgia or discover some new tunes.

Learn a new language - Always wanted to learn a new language? This is the best time to do it. There are lots of videos online and apps like Duolingo.

Just remember what Dumbledore mentioned in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." We all can find a silver lining. We can find that sliver of sunlight amongst the darkest cloud. We will get through these dark times. We just need to be patient and we need to work together. Just like in the Battle of Hogwarts, we must work as a team in order for good to prevail for everyone.

Image from Pinterest

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Title: Harley in the Sky
Author: Akemi Dawn Bowman
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: March 10, 2020
Pages: 416
Source/format: e-ARC//Publisher
Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Synopsis (from goodreads.com):

 Harley Milano has dreamed of being a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her soul that she could be up there herself one day.

After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion and collaboration. But at the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams.

M Y  T H O U G H T S

"I love the circus. I love the mystery, and the wonder, and the way every act transports my soul into another dimension. I love the way it makes me feel as if the world is in reverse and upside down all at once--like there's starlight beneath my feet and the ocean above my head, and every impossible dream can come true with a single whisper." - e-ARC, Harley in the Sky

Eighteen-year-old Harley works at her parents' circus but they into a disagreement about Harley's career goals and future. Harley wants to be an aerialist but her parents want her to go to college. Harley, feeling betrayed, ends up ditching her parents' circus for another circus. Harley does not run away to any circus but she runs off to a rival circus, Maison du Mystère. Harley wants to harness herself to become the best she can be and she feels like her parents are stopping her from reaching her full potential. However, quickly learns that working at a circus is hard work. It's not all about magic and love. Harley learns that there are people that can make her dream as an aerialist difficult at Maison du Mystère. She wants to learn but not everyone supports her. Some people actually see her as a threat. One particular aerialist feels threatened by Harley and is not super welcoming or helpful at all.

Akemi Dawn Bowman shows Harley's internal struggle with mental health issues as well as Harley's struggle to do what is best for her despite what her parents think. She is bi-racial and never quite feels like she knows where she belongs. Vivien, Dexi and Vas definitely have good relationships with Harley and I would love to read more about them. Bowman writes poignant novels with a strong plot and character development. Readers will feel emotionally invested when they read Bowman's novels.

Harley in the Sky is about self-exploration; it's about exploring who you are but staying true to yourself at the same time. It's about self-acceptance and following your dreams and figuring how to navigate internal struggles. I highly recommend this book if you love reading about circuses and self-discovery.