I Used to Be a Bigger Bookworm

Day 9: 10 favorite book series

Okay, I’m pretty sure I don’t have TEN favorite book series. In fact, I’m pretty sure I only have one, so I’m just gonna name off my favorite SINGLE books alongside. Jesus.

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I mean, obviously. I don’t even need to explain this.

2. 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher. I’ve reread this book a few times because it’s so good. I really think it needs to be made into a movie. It’s about this girl who kills herself and there are 13 reasons why – all of them are people. It’s SO GOOD.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. This is probably my favorite John Green book for several reasons: A.) It’s his first book from the viewpoint of a female! B.) It’s really wittily written. C.) It’s so fucking good I not only laughed out loud, but I cried profusely. D.) I want my own Augustus Waters goddamnit.

4. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier. Back when Borders was still in business, I was passing by some random section and picked this book up because I liked the cover art. I started reading a some random page and noticed a Romanian word and then I found out it took place in Romania. So I bought it. Probably one of my best purchases of all time. There’s a sequel that takes place in Istanbul and its equally as spectacular. This was one of those books that I was absolutely glued to and couldn’t put it down it so good. I was so inspired by this book, in fact, that I even did some fan art.

5. Burned by Ellen Hopkins. This was the second book I ever read by Ellen Hopkins (after Crank) and it is easily my absolute favorite. It’s about a girl who moves to Arizona to live with her aunt cause her dad’s an alcoholic or something (I haven’t read it in a while) and she falls in love with this guy there and it’s amazing and sad and beautiful and I bawled my eyes out for a hefty chunk of time after I finished it. I need to re-read it.

6. The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. I read this book in middle school and it became an instant favorite. It takes place in merchant Holland during the Renaissance is about Vermeer’s famous Girl with a Pearl Earring painting. It’s a also an excellent movie starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth.

7. Mary, Blood Mary by Carolyn Meyer. I’ve owned this book for many years and have reread many times. It was one of my absolute favorites growing up. I’m deeply interested in the Renaissance era in England, particularly the Henry VIII through Elizabeth the First era. This book is the first in a little series that is followed by Beware, Princess Elizabeth (also a fav) and Doomed Queen Anne. It’s about Elizabeth’s older half-sister Mary, known as Bloody Mary throughout history for her slaughter of Protestants, and her trials and tribulations in her early years under the reign of her father Henry VIII. It’s really good.

8. Candide by Voltaire. The summer before my freshman year of high school, I bruised my ankle bone and couldn’t walk for like a week. So I decided out of boredom to peruse my mom’s leather-bound books and read all of Voltaire’s Candide. I found to be not only extremely easy to read, but absolutely hilarious and wonderful and I told her that she needed to read it ASAP because she hadn’t read it yet. I had to read it for AP English my senior year and analyze the life out of it, but I still find it an excellent read.

9. Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky. I’m a sucker for cool covers and romantic young adult novels. This book has both of those things. It chronicles the coming-of-sexual-age story of Dominique and her newly found boyfriend Wes. It’s a really cute story that has a bit of a surprising twist. Apparently the sex scenes in it caused some controversy, but whatever.

10. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr. I nearly forgot about this book, but again it falls under the “cool cover, romantic young adult novel” category. This book is actually a little bit more than just another romance story. In fact, there’s barely any romance in it. It’s kind of a tragic little tale that left me yearning and crying at the end. BUT IT WAS SO DAMN GOOD.

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That We Are Underlings

I finished it. 

Every single page of it.

I laughed. I cried. I snorted. I fell in love and had my heart broken by fictional characters in Amsterdam, and I literally LOLed every time I read “the Literal Heart of Jesus” and I wished with all my heart that someday I’d have my own Augustus Waters. Someone so amazingly confident in themselves, so heartwarmingly comforting, so absolutely and enduringly intelligent to the last page.

Goddamnit, why can’t there be an Augustus Waters equivalent in my life!?

Literally when I finished the book I was like WHAT IS LIFE. HOW DO I GO ON. I didn’t cry at the very end, surprisingly. But it’s been a while since I’ve read a book so quickly. I’m proud of my determination to finish it. It. Was. So. Fucking. Good. Literally shot up to my top favorite books and I will be recommending it from this moment on until the day I die. Therefore, if you have yet to read it, GO BUY THE FAULT IN OUR STARS BY JOHN GREEN ASAP AND READ IT. NOW. I’M NOT JOKING. DO IT. CLICK THIS TEXT, IT’LL GET YOU TO YOUR DESTINATION FASTER. 

And now it’s on to more books! I’m not sure which to begin next, but it might be The Probability of Miracles…or perhaps What My Mother Doesn’t Know because J1B insists that I read it, like, yesterday. Although I’m leaning toward the former. (I’M SORRY, B, I’LL GET THERE.)

I must also add Game of Thrones to my physical queue, as a chat with HNI has convinced me that I will probably like the books. I’d love to watch the show too actually – you know, when I have more time to watch tv serials and not drown in homework and jewelry sales.

On Anxiety, The Fault in Our Stars, and Feeling Attractive

Well, as I happily updated last night, my eyeballs are okay! I went in for an emergency eye exam after class and found out that in fact, my retinas are not detaching (yet, at least) but are rather in the same state they were last year – just thinning. They’ve been thinning for years now actually. I remember I was told by my old eye doctor in 7th grade that they were thinning, which sent me into a downward spiral or paranoia and anxiety for 2 years, until finally, one day in 9th grade Honors English, my friend Krista, tired of hearing me freak out about my eyes, yelled at me that IT CAN BE FIXED! And somehow, that simple frustrated statement calmed me down completely and I didn’t think about it again until very recently when I noticed floaters and flashes.

But, thankfully I’m okay and I don’t need surgery or cryogenics to freeze any holes in my eyes because there are no holes in my eyes, apparently. I bought milkshakes for everyone last night after the exam to celebrate. And then I took pictures of my wonderfully dilated doe eyes:

I wish my pupils were this huge at all times.

On a note that I will relate back to this topic, I read chapters 2 and 3 of The Fault in Our Stars last night by John Green. THAT SHIT IS SO GOOD YOU GUYS. I was going to stop at chapter 2 because I was tired, but I was like FUCK IT I can’t put this down.

I came to the conclusion that I wish Augustus Waters was a real person. Like, why can’t there be some attractive guy in my life who uses big words in witty comments about total the fear of total oblivion and asks me to watch V for Vendetta at his house and flirts with me incessantly? Why? Why can’t these people be real? Why can’t there be some guy out there who is perfectly sweet and interested and completely okay with my anxious-paranoia state of mind when it comes to medical problems like my eyeballs?

I really hope whoever I end up with (if anyone ever) will be able to adequately handle my mental problems with these things. Not that I have actual mental problems, but I drive myself insane with anxiety/paranoia when it comes to any medical complications. They always trump anything else in my life and I spend every breathing moment thinking of the worst possible scenarios of whatever affliction I have. It’s vicious.

On the bright side, finding out I’m okay made me feel a million times better, and so, I dressed accordingly. And I can tell I lost weight and I feel so damn good.

Gyms and Capes and Weddings? Matt Grevers.

Who knew that talking about Ryan Lochte, Michael Phelps, and Matt Grevers would boost my blog views an INSANE amount? Maybe I should just sprinkle their names throughout my posts in the next two weeks. Hahahaha.

So yesterday I went to Barnes & Noble to get The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder cause I was having the “I’m Feeling Richer Effect” and it had been on my mind since I saw it over a week ago.

It is currently sitting on top of my growing pile of “to read” books. And because I want to get to it faster, I also finally read a few pages of the current book I’m reading so I can finish it already. Ryan Lochte. My plan for this past break was to finish that book and start reading new ones, but clearly, I did not do that. I should have, but I usually read before bed and I was way too tired every night.

Today was my first day of classes this term and it wasn’t too bad. I foresee myself getting frustrated and pissed and wanting to like, hang myself from rafters due to the amount of work that I’ll have to do, especially for fashion design 3. And I’m just really not digging the whole night class thing.

However, on the bright side, my mom signed up for a local gym and added me as an add-on, which I thought was kind of funny. I had been planning on joining Planet Fitness, so when she told me she joined our city gym I was really amused. I’m actually pretty excited about it and was thinking of going tomorrow after work, as my plan this term was to exercise on Tuesdays, Thursday, and Fridays. Michael Phelps. And one of the weekend days, depending on when I work.

Lastly, I had a interesting little conversation today with HNI and abot about my future weddings and capes. Mostly about secretly pinning a cape to my dress at my wedding. In which HNI would help do that. HUH. I AM INTRIGUED about further details.

ETA: I was looking up information on various gyms around me and have decided that I would like to eventually join LA Fitness. They have A POOL. That’s all I care about. Being able to swim in the winter would be fucking glorious and I want to do that. They’re $40 a month though. BUT THEY HAVE A POOL. LIKE THE KIND I CAN DO LEGIT LAPS IN.

The Green Brothers

If you’ve never read Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, or Paper Towns by John Green, I recommend you get your butt to a bookstore (or Amazon) and order dat shit rite nao.

I say this because
1. They’re all really good books, even though they all follow this nerdy guy with side kick falls in love with unattainable girl plot line. Looking for Alaska should be priority number 1 though. I’m pretty sure it’s a Pulitzer Prize winner.
2. I follow John Green and his brother Hank Green on Youtube because they’re HILARIOUS.
3. You should also follow them on Youtube.
4. Furthermore, you should follow Hank’s Gaming Youtube where he plays games like Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 for Wii and cry-laugh at his wonderful commentary.

I mean, look at this.

And this.

What’s not to love, honestly?

“Always.”

I have read the Harry Potter series 5 times. I’m nearly done with Deathly Hallows, and decided while I was reading The Prince’s Tale that firstly, I had to dedicate today’s post to it, and secondly, that it is perhaps the most poignant and beautiful chapter in all the books. It really stood out to me, reading it for the 5th time, as an amazing piece of writing in itself, but even more than that, as a…cunning and illusory ending to the 7-book long journey that J.K. Rowling took us through with the whole Harry-Snape dynamic.

All this time, we were (or at least I was) under the impression that they really did hate each other. I hated Snape right along with Harry. But this chapter is so powerful that it blows it all away. Snape wasn’t nasty to Harry because he simply didn’t like Harry, but rather because he was half James Potter, and Snape’s and James’ history made him resent Harry. But at the same time, he was still in such deep and unconditional love with Lily that he put himself in mortal danger to save Harry. I mean, what a story! Such romance! Just heart-breaking, tear-making utter romance!

And then of course, that entire little segment of memory in Dumbledore’s office with perhaps the greatest line in all the books:

“But this is touching, Severus,” said Dumbledore seriously. “Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?”
“For him?” shouted Snape. “Expecto Patronum!”
From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe: She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears.
“After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.

I mean honestly. What could ever have been a more perfect line? A more perfect chapter? I could feel the familiar sting of tears in my eyes reading that section again, although I didn’t cry like the first 3 times I read it. It’s just so beautiful. It’s ever-lasting. These books are ever-lasting. If I ever have kids and grandkids and great-grandkids, they will most definitely be growing up with Harry Potter and all the wonderful magic these books have brought into my life will be imparted to theirs.

And they will know the meaning of unconditional love through that single word: Always.

“WHAT’S MORE SCIENTIFIC THAN A PROSTRATE EXAMINATION!?”

I’m pretty excited right now cause in 15 minutes, An Idiot Abroad: The Bucket List is premiering and if you haven’t seen the original An Idiot Abroad, I highly urge you to watch this show. You will laugh out loud. It’s a Ricky Gervais project. He sends his friend Carl around the world and has him taped as he complains about everything. Which sounds whiny, but it’s fucking hilarious because the guy goes to places like Cairo and The Great Wall of China and the magnificence of it all that would make a normal person be like “HOLY HORSE TESTICLES, THIS IS AWESOME!” completely blows over Carl’s head. Plus, the commercials promoting tonight’s episode are UPROARIOUS. And by that I mean Ricky screaming about prostrate examinations makes me LOL.

Speaking of television, I started watching the movie Lambada on Netflix, got 10 minutes in, and decided it was too lame to watch. So I started watching Felicity – which I’d always been under the impression was a show about a working class lady. I was surprised to learn it’s about a college student who followed her high school crush to New York on a complete whim. The first two episodes were good enough for me to continue to watch it when I have time. Plus, THE PINK RANGER FROM THE MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS MOVIE PLAYS IN THE SHOW.

The cherry on top was my day was neither of the above, but rather the chance find I happened upon at Meijer today. I’ve been wanting to read John Green‘s new book, The Fault In Our Stars since I heard it had come out, so I thought I’d go check out Meijer’s books to see if I could find any copies. Lo and behold, I found ONE SINGLE COPY left – BUT IT GETS BETTER. It had a yellow sticker on the front that said “SIGNED COPY” so I checked the first few pages, and IT IS INDEED HAND-SIGNED BY JOHN GREEN. I checked to see if it’s real, and it is because the green Sharpie he used bled to the other side.

I tweeted this at John too!

When I got home, I sketched out my designs for fashion design class and began rendering them in Photoshop – which has become a colossal pain my ass. Just sayin’. But I think I might continue with it.

Now it’s time for An Idiot Abroad, cheers!