Comforting your sick, lazy self + Twitter

What a fancy seeing me here! I’ve kept quiet for almost the entirety of July, I am well aware. Blogging sat in the back of mind for a couple of weeks, and then it invaded my conscience and found a voice. It said things like, “Post!” and “Review!” and I said, “No.” After leaving one of the more stressful school years behind this spring, I felt I deserved a break. I was done. Kaput. Out of energy. I wanted a vacation from cramped schedules and due dates and ARC reading. Well, I cannot do anything about the books I’ve received for review, but I did–clearly–go away for a short while. It wasn’t all fun: I first came down with a two-week bug followed by a bout of laziness, or you might say my two-week bug was laziness followed by more laziness.

medical conditional called laziness

During this great period of Doing Nothing, I read a bit of this book and that book, watched a show here and there… Which made me think: I love comfort books. But not only that. I also love TV shows and movies for comfort, especially ones I can watch on repeat a hundred times. In every sense of the word, I am a book nerd, though I’d be lying if I said I don’t love sitting in front of the screen for hours just a bit more than reading.

comfort reading

If I feel flu-ish or like a couch potato, I become drawn to certain books that meet certain criteria. When sick, there is no chance I’ll seek a book weighted in politics, intricate plots, and complex storylines. All of these qualities, when brought to life by good writing, can make an excellent piece of literature, but who wants that with a fogged brain? I demand light and simple yet interesting. I don’t want a book whose plot flies ten feet above my ability to grasp it, but I don’t want a book that puts me to sleep either. To name some personal favorites, I compiled a few lists…

1. I love a book that can wow me. A book that’s unique, emotionally compelling, and intelligent. My reading, however, should never be restricted to “smart” or “impressive” novels–reading should be fun, and that entails rehashed plots or predictability equally as much as it entails originality. So long as the reader enjoys the book, who cares?  Straight-forward books that offer non-complex world-building often become some of my favorite comfort material, and here are only a select number of preferred light reading:

anna

*Anna & The French Kiss and I didn’t get off on good footing the first time around, but now–well, yes. I understand the book’s appeal. I understood it the first time I read it, but that understanding is now on par with zealous fans. I’m not a zealous fan–just to be clear–but I like this novel for how simple and light it proves to be. It’s predictable with the perfect about of fluff and drama, and once you accept Anna & the French Kiss for it is, you just might like it, too

2. One word: manga!

Ladies & Gentlemen: Mikasa Ackerman of Shingeki no Kyojin & why she's top BAMF. You are welcome.

Ladies & Gentlemen: Mikasa Ackerman of Shingeki no Kyojin & why she’s top BAMF. You are welcome.

I stand before you at the cusp of entering a manga obsession. I’ve never been a manga person, as I can count on one hand the number of manga I’ve read before this week (two). Having finished EVERYTHING that is currently available of Shingeki no Kyojin (SNK/Attack on Titan), I died. Then, upon realizing that SNK is not the only manga out there, I undied and began my search. I’m brand new at this–a beginner. I can’t provide a decent recommendation list, but I will say that–just like any novel–manga storylines are either complex or simple.  Not all are mind-blowing or likable, but the added bonus of a good manga artist and writer (not to forget: a good translator) make even the sophisticated plots fairly comprehensible. I appreciate this.

e7: blue mondaySo on that note:

*The Eureka 7 manga is an adaption of the original anime show of the same name. Between the two, I highly recommend the anime.

3. Those books I will re-read and re-read and… re-read…

When it comes to reading, my biggest problem is allowing myself to get swept up in one book only to be distracted by three more. I don’t accomplish too many re-reads for this reason, but the aforementioned titles are books I will re-read in an instant. They remain as some of my personal favorites, and I give high praise to each. Whenever I’m down with a cold, this is a handful of what I reach for on my shelf.

Fact: Something Strange & Deadly is my favorite comfort book to re-read. At four read-throughs, it’s my second-most read book (only topped by A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness).

film preview

Maybe it’s because I’m a nostalgic person–or perhaps it’s because I loved my mother’s pampering when I was little–but when I’m sick or avoiding chores, I seek things which define my childhood: Spice Girls, Harry Potter, Disney, and well…

1. “Family-fun movies”

2. Shows that know a good time…

Unless you’re my grandmother who solely lives for Lifetime movies, there is a high chance you will enjoy these shows. I will watch every single episode back-to-back–recycle and repeat; no rinse.

*Now, bumping into people who refuse to watch ATLA is almost as frustrating as discovering people who deny watching it. If you think you’re too old for ATLA and LOK, if you think you’re too old for anything animated, then get out of my face or prepare to be agni kai’d off this planet. I will burn you into ashes of shame and humiliation from which you will never rise. Insulting these shows is outrageous. It’s blasphemous. You don’t stomp over a sacred creation without consequence. Thank and bless Michael Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko, amen.

atla water tribe

Speaking of, Korra’s second season is coming this September! Who else feels excited?

3. Re-visiting a few more childhood favorites…

I am sorry? You don’t like Pokémon or Sailor Moon? We cannot be friends.

twitterYes, I am now on Twitter. Maybe? I am here! But, uh, not tweeting. I am intelligent enough to create a Twitter account, but I am not intelligent enough to tweet. Standby as I finish Twitter for Dummies. In the meantime, drop me a comment, because feed is superbly boring when there’s no one to spam it.

Tell me: What are your favorite shows and books to revisit?

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Library Loot #4 (& Detective Dee + The Red Harlequin)

For Kayla, who asked how many library books I have scattered around, I answer: 25. As one can predict, the goal to cut down the height of my Library Loot Tower fades from reach. Can’t I say 18 books since I read 7… No?  Yes? It will allow me to feel oodles better about this mess.

  • Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post — feel free to steal the button — and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

I am late on this post! At some point last week I went through with a planned, organized library raid, and I never made time for a Library Loot post between actual busy-ness and extreme laziness. While I am less busy and attempting not to de-evolve back into a bed-blob, like I did on Sunday, here are my latest library snags:

Continue reading

When a book runs out of pages…

Me, coping with the end of a good book.

Oh, you guys, I’ve got literary funk! You know it: the empty void that only gets larger and more depressing as you near the end of a great book — one that you really connect to. I hate that feeling. I know I have already said it, but I will say it again: I finished The Hunger Games trilogy last Thursday. Since then, I have wondered around feeling empty and sad. It’s as if the time spent reading all three books filled a part of my life I didn’t even know needed filling.

As I neared the last one-hundred pages of Mockingjay, I whispered, “No.” It didn’t hear me. I then informed (demanded, really) the book to sprout more pages, that it could never, ever end. Never.

But it did end, and what am I supposed to do now?

I searched online out of mad desperation for THG spoilers. Spoilers? What spoilers? THE SERIES IS OVER. I want Collins to write additional novels, even though they would tarnish the story. I want leaked footage from the next film, but that is less likely to occur than me voluntarily weaning off caffeine tomorrow. It just isn’t happening no matter how badly I want it to. I keeping thinking there must be more, more, more, but I have explored all that The Hunger Games universe offers at this point.

This isn’t my first time experiencing this. I read a lot of books, but I only seem to strongly resonate with a few. I went through a freak-out grieving stage at the end of each Harry Potter book — although I have never officially dealt with the end of the series, as I intentionally stopped reading Deathly Hallows halfway. (Someday, I will get there. It’s on my summer reading list for a reason.)

So I wasted a short while finding a suitable replacement. (I hear good things about Veronica Roth’s Divergent?) As expected, it’s not as though I’m short on my book supply. I attempted to finish Mr. Fox or Half World, but neither are helping me replenish or forget the vast hole of nothingness inside. No, this is something only Katniss Everdeen can provide, but she’s busy existing in her non-existent world and probably hunting deer or exchanging squinty death glares with Haymitch.

The last time I found myself moping over a good book was after I finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower. A book so quotable and difficult to put down, and I remembered there is now a movie trailer floating around!

“It’s strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book.”

Which book did you last read that left you mourning its end? Tell me about it.

The Book Thief: film adaption assigned a director?

I can’t tell you which U.S. politicians are running presidential campaigns.

I can’t offer my slightest insight on Egypt’s own historical vote about to take place. Hell, I didn’t even know there were presidential elections happening in Egypt until today.

Frankly, I can’t even tell you the local weather forecast.

At this point, anyone will have better luck dragging an agoraphobic out of his or her home and discussing the latest trends in cat food or Lindsay Lohan’s newest faux pas as opposed to the alternative: dragging me out of books and discussing things – anything.

“I went to a rave last night. What’d you do, Raya?”

“I spent a pleasurable amount of time reading this book, drank coffee, and stared down some adult responsibilities until they receded into the dark recesses of my mind, lost to an eternity of forgetfulness.”

“What?”

“Nothing.”

I guarantee that speaking to a parrot who has yet to master the art of mimicry will intrigue you more than hearing a word my mouth has to say.

Someplace I call Elsewhere has my mind entirely absorbed, and it’s a place where relevant news of any kind does not exist. As of late, I have been living inside worlds that are not mine: they are created by writers, owned and run by each book’s unique character set. I lose track of time (when did 11:00 pm become 4:00 am?), I cringe to I realize a full batch of schoolwork is in order lest I fail tomorrow’s exam, and I would have no idea what day it is if it weren’t for my phone. I’m fortunate to still know what the words “eat” and “breathe” mean. Suffice it to say, then, that because of this over-indulgence of literature, I have effectively grown into the least interesting person to discuss current events with.

Did my home state grant same-sex marriages? I’m so far removed from general news that I can only provide an uncertain “I think so…” But what I can say is I am near three months late in learning that the film adaption to The Book Thief has been assigned a director: Brian Percival. I’m excited! As it is my current read, I kept wondering, “Is The Book Thief a movie yet? No? No. Why is it not a movie yet?”

Who is Brian Percival, and does he direct well? I haven’t a clue (as usual), but it’s a developing piece of information I’m looking out for (and forward to).