The Life of Shinke

It’s Saturday and time for another favorites blog post.

Today I want to introduce you to my favorite booktubers on YouTube. A booktuber is essentially a YouTuber that talks mainly about books. They do reviews, book related tags, read-alongs, readathons, book hauls etc.

Booktube is great because the videos posted are as informative as a blog post but you get to see the person and get a better sense of what they think of the books they’re talking about. Another perk is YouTube’s interactive nature and the fact that telling someone about your favorite book is more natural verbally.

So without further ado, here in no particular order are five of my favorite booktubers.

1. Katytastic

Kat is a fun and energetic booktuber. Her energy and love for books are a prominent part of her videos and she does great book reviews and hauls.

 

2. Little Book Owl

Catriona is Australian and the nicest booktuber you’ll ever see. She is so fun and enthusiastic about books and reading. It makes watching her videos quite entertaining and as a result as soon as I see a new video up I watch it immediately.

 

3. Novella Zoo

Novella is a quirky and funny Canadian who recently burst onto the Booktube stage. She hasn’t uploaded a ton of videos but I have enjoyed the ones she has uploaded very much.

 

4. Peruse Project

Regan is a proud Texan book lover. She loves historical fiction and is a sucker for anything bookish. She is fun and silly and she makes you smile with every video.

 

5. The Readables

Priscilla is into books and animation. She’s also very entertaining in her videos and her pop up animation for her videos are amazing. I really enjoy watching her reviews as I find them very thought provoking and interesting.

 

Honorable Mentions:

1. Jesse the Reader

Jesse is one of the few boys I see on Booktube and I think he does a great job representing the males. He isn’t shy about reading romance books and I think that is awesome. His videos are also very fun to watch.

2. Padfoot and Prongs 07

Raeleen is clearly a Harry Potter lover from her username but other than that she makes great videos and is quite entertaining to watch.

3. Ariel Bissett

Ariel Bissett is a bundle of joy. She is such a fun and endearing person. She is so passionate about books and booktube and she’s just refreshing to watch. I also really love her reviews, very insightful.

Are you a fan of the booktube community?

Who’s your favorite booktuber?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy viewing! 🙂

 

Hey guys, it’s Friday!!!

Today I will be kicking off yet another new series for the blog, the “Best of the Week” series. Every Friday I will be sharing what I’ve been loving during the week. It’ll mostly consist of media; clips, songs, shows, etc however it won’t be limited to this at all.

So without further ado lets jump into the first list!

Videos

As per usual, YouTube takes up a lot of my time. I just get so lost in my subscription box and the recommended videos, it’s ridiculous. However my favorite video this week has been Superwoman‘s parent’s reaction to Nicki Minaj‘s music video for Anaconda. It is hilarious and a must see!

 

TV Shows/Movies

I haven’t been watching a lot of movies or TV shows this week however I am obsessed with the new series Outlander on Starz. It is so amazing and Jamie is so swoon worthy and his accent, his accent would bring girls to their knees. Below I have provided a fan video with a mash up of a lot of Claire and Jamie’s moments together.

 

Music

I’ve found myself reverting to my teen self and so this week I was obsessed with N’sync’s last album, Celebrity. I’ve been listening to it over and over and just enjoying the fun upbeat songs, the break up songs and of course the beautiful ballads on the album. It makes me sad that they broke up.

 

Also I’ve been loving Michael Jackson’s songs Speechless and Heaven Can Wait. Those songs hit me right in the heart! Beautiful songs by a legendary singer.

 

 

Finally I’ve also been jamming out to songs from movies such as I Will Follow Him from Sister Act and Prince Ali from Aladdin.

 

 

Books

For some reason all I’ve wanted to read this week is manga, lots and lots of manga. And not just any manga but romance based, school life, drama ridden manga, which as far as I’m concerned are the best ones.

The two I powered through this week are:

1. Asa Made Motto by Shin Yumachi

Synopsis: Mitsuru is gentle and kind, and he’s deeply in love with Aoi. Ryo, Mitsuru’s twin brother, is stoic and brutish and loves to tease and torment Aoi. The choice should be clear, so why does Aoi find herself so much more attracted to Ryo…?! (Taken from Manga Reader)

 

2. Gakuen Ouji by Jun Yuzuki

Synopsis: The stage is set in the prestigious Private Jyoushioka High School — or more commonly known as Joshi High. It became co-educational a few years ago, but females still heavily outnumber the males. The number of males could be easily counted. While one would think males would be pampered in such a harem school, the reality is far from being heavenly. It was the world of female domination. (Taken from Manga Reader)

What are you obsessing about this week?

Let me know in the comments below!

Happy Friday! 🙂

A couple posts ago I introduced you to the book clubs that I am a part of and I thought in the hopes of being more accountable and in the spirit of sharing, I would start a new series on the blog.

This series would consists of a kick off post where I will share the books that were picked for the month and the ones I will be reading and a wrap up post where I would talk about the ones I’ve read.

So without further ado here are the books that were chosen this month.

Little Book Club

1. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsidian is the first book in the Lux series and is a romance story about aliens.

I’ve been meaning to read this series for a while so I’ll definitely be getting to this one as soon as possible. Aliens, bad boys, life threatening situations and romance, what’s there not to love?

Due Date: September 30, 2014

 

Catching up on Classics (and lots more!)

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina is the story of a sophisticated Russian lady that pretty much abandons her husband to be with her lover and the fall out and chaos that follows that infidelity.

This is the quarterly read for the group and as such I should have started it from in July but as usual I am behind and I haven’t even cracked the cover. However, I think it’ll be an interesting read and I will indeed get to it this month.

Due Date: September 30, 2014

 

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights is a romance story about the passionate love between Heathcliff and Catherine. It’s about revenge, betrayal and heartache with a little déjà vu thrown in for good measure.

I read this book while reading the Twilight series because Bella and Edward were always reading and quoting it and I wanted to understand the relevance of the quotes. That was some time ago and I don’t think I really appreciated the story but I doubt I’ll be rereading it any time soon because my TBR list is ridiculous.

Due Date: September 30, 2014

 

3. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Phantom of the Opera is a story about a ghost that lives in an opera house that teaches an orphan girl to sing and eventually falls in love with her.

I’ve had this on my TBR for quite some time now, in fact it’s on my Fill in the Gaps list. I’ve wanted to read it since watching the Disney movie adaptation Phantom of the Megaplex. It seems very interesting and I hope to get to it pretty soon.

Due Date: September 30, 2014

 

4. The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde is a well known story about a scientist who awakens the evil within himself to become Mr.Hyde.

This was also on my Fill in the Gaps list as I’ve wanted to read it for a while now. However I read it last month so I can join in the discussion without revisiting the book.

Due Date: September 30, 2014

 

The Sword and Laser

1. Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

Stories of Your Life and Others contains eight astonishing science-fiction stories that explore the boundaries between science and religion, between determinism and our ability to choose, between words and the entities they describe.

I had never heard of this book before its selection but it seems interesting enough and should be a fun read.

Due Date: October 1, 2014

 

Vaginal Fantasy Book Club

1. Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

Magic Bites is an urban fantasy about a world where magic and technology are mutually exclusive. The main character’s job is basically to clear up the mess that a magic occurrence causes however things get interesting when her guardian is murdered.

This is the main pick for Vaginal Fantasy this month and is the first book in the Kate Daniels series. Again, I had never heard of this book before but it seems interesting and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Due Date: September 30, 2014

 

2. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A Discovery of Witches is a story about a witch that finds a long sought after manuscript and the chaos that follows that discovery.

This is the alt pick for Vaginal Fantasy this month and is the first book in the All Souls trilogy. I had no idea what this book was about when it was selected as again I had never heard of it but as soon as I saw “centuries-old vampire and a spellbound witch” I immediately wanted to read it. I’m not sure if I’ll get to it this month as it’s not a mandatory read but I will get to it very, very soon.

Due Date: September 30, 2014

 

Booksplosion Read-Along

1. Rumble by Ellen Hopkins

Rumble is about an atheist who doesn’t have any faith in God because so many terrible things have happened to him and his family. However, at some point in the novel he hears a rumble which causes him to question his beliefs.

I had never heard of this book before it’s selection and I don’t normally read books about religion but it’s seems interesting and I’m willing to give it a try.

Due Date: October 4, 2014

 

So in total that is a whopping nine books that I need to read this month however it’s not necessary to read the alt pick and I’ve already read two of these books so we’re down to six. Granted a few of them are tomes and I’m planning to read four books from my Fill in the Gaps list this month, it is a hefty list. Nonetheless I am optimistic that I can get through most if not all of the books on my list this month.

Have you read any of these books?

What did you think of them?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

PS. I’m sorry this post is late, I’ve gotten into the habit of scheduling my posts however as Vaginal Fantasy released their picks on the 2nd and my computer was acting up yesterday I wasn’t able to write this post before today. I apologize!

 

Title: Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline

Published: 2011

Description: It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.

Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.

And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them.

For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved — that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.

And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.

Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready? (Taken from Goodreads)

Ready Player One has been on my TBR since it’s release but it took it being Little Book Club‘s pick of the month for me to pick it up. While this is terrible, I am really happy that I picked it up.

It was such a fun and interesting adventure story. The game components, the real life drama, the online dating, it was amazing!

While Ready Player One is known and loved for all its 80s pop culture references I guarantee you that you’ll still be able to enjoy the book without understanding any of it.

Knowing and understanding the references makes the book that much more amazing but you won’t lose anything by being in the dark. Ernest Cline does a great job of explaining what it is that you need to know so that this just is a minor hurdle.

On the other hand if you have the time, I highly recommend checking out the references mentioned in the book.

For myself I was born in the late 80s so I’m not really an 80s kids and only got a small portion of the references but every time I got something it made me smile and pat myself on the back.

The characters were interesting and real which is great especially in an adventure story. I loved the relationship between Aech and Parzival and loved it even more when they met.

I think there is a great message that this book is trying to convey, which is, the Internet is great but there is a whole world out there to be enjoyed and lived.

All in all it was a great read, I loved the action, the character development, the friendships and the overall message.

Have you read Ready Player One?

What did you think about it?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading! 🙂

Three years ago J.K. Rowling put down her Harry Potter pen and vowed not to continue the series but I knew she couldn’t stay away from Harry for long and I was right.

A few weeks ago on her site Pottermore, articles about the Quidditch World Cup started popping up by Ginny Potter (nee Weasley) and in the grand finale an article by Rita Skeeter herself.

The article spoke about the appearance of Dumbledore’s Army at the World Cup and what they have been up to all these years.

While it doesn’t offer much new information that the epilogue didn’t provide, Rita’s spin on the events are quite interesting. She suggests conspiracy theories, cover up stories and tension in the beloved group while self promoting her new book “Dumbledore’s Army: The Dark Side of the Demob”.

This of course gave rise to the hope that Ms. Rowling will indeed pen another Harry Potter novel with an older gang.

While I would love to read another Harry Potter book I am a bit nervous that should she pen one it wouldn’t stand up to the originals. This is not because I doubt her as a writer, I think she’s amazing, I’ve just never had much luck with “sequels”.

Case in point, Lion King. The original Lion King is an amazing movie and the sequel is nothing to write home about.

That being said, she’s an amazing writer and I’m sure if she chooses to write another Harry Potter story, it will be phenomenal!

On the other hand, can we just talk about the awesomeness that is the Quidditch World Cup? I freaked out when I saw that J.K. sent Jamaica as well as other small countries to the World Cup! To me that is awesome that she didn’t just stick with big world powers and of course there is the added benefit that we are now immortalized in Harry Potter history!

Are you a Harry Potter fan?

Are you excited at the potential of a new book?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Approximately 3 1/2 years ago I came across the Fill in the Gaps challenge on the blog A Novel Challenge.

The aim of the challenge is to read a 100 books that you have been meaning to read in the space of 5 years. The challenge would be considered complete if you read 75 or more of these books in the allotted time frame.

Feeling quite ambitious instead of placing individual books as recommended I threw in a number of series which ended up doubling my goal to roughly 200 books.

Today, with less than a year and a half to go I will share my progress and come up with a plan of action to tackle the remainder of the list.

Over the past three and a half years I have completed (drum roll please) a whopping 22 books. Sad, I know, but to be fair there are a couple series in there.

List of Completed Books/Series

3. A Separate Peace – John Knowles

4. Princess Diaries – Meg Cabot

6. Sense & SensibilityJane Austen

8. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

9. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

16. The Great GatsbyF. Scott Fitzgerald

20. Of Mice And Men – John Steinbeck

21. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

22. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Washington Irving

25. Romeo & Juliet – William Shakespeare

30. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

31. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

37. Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

39. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding

46. The Percy Jackson Series – Rick Riordan

66. Hamlet – William Shakespeare

74. The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins

80. Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie

87. Thursday Next Series – Jasper Fforde

88. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

90. The Vampire Diaries Series – L.J. Smith

94. Artemis Fowl Series – Eoin Colfer

 

There are also a number of books that I have read that fit in a series on the list but as I haven’t completed the series I can’t check them off as complete.

List of Partially Completed Series

17. The Lord of the Ring Series – J.R.R. Tolkien

a. The Hobbit

19. Sherlock Holmes Series – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

a. A Study in Scarlet

49. Coldfire Trilogy – C.S. Friedman

a. Black Sun Rising

73. The Tudors Series – Philippa Gregory

a. The Constant Princess

b. The Other Boleyn Girl

 

With that being said there are still approximately 150 individual books out of the 200 that are left to be read.

To ensure that I at least hit the 75 mark by the end of 2015 I will be reading one book from the list each week for the rest of the year. To ensure that I can stay on track I will tackle the shorter books first and the tomes in 2015.

Wish me luck!

Are you participating in any challenges this year?

How are they going?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading! 🙂

I have always liked the concept of a book club. A place for like minded individuals to get together and discuss their passion for books. Each month the club picks a book to read together and then discuss in earnest at a prearranged time. It is an amazing concept.

The beauty of a book club is that it introduces you to books and genres you wouldn’t normally consider and allows you to dig deeper into the book with discussions. It also just allows you to revel in a book because you have a set of people who want to talk about the awesome plot twist or the great ending.

Unfortunately I have never been a part of a book club. I’ve discussed books with my friends and family that were also into reading but it was never at a structured time and we never read the books we discussed concurrently.

So imagine my delight when I discovered online book clubs. The beauty of a book club without the actual need to be in the same location or be invited. This concept was made even better with discussion boards on sites such as Goodreads which allowed anyone to join the club and discuss the book pick of the month with a very welcoming book community.

Choosing a book club to join is a very daunting task because there are so many of them and a lot are niche based however once you find one that you like it is an amazing experience. I highly recommend using Goodreads’ group page as a jumping off point for finding the book club that is best for you.

I read a lot of different genres and so I decided to join five different book clubs that focused on my favorite genres as well as a genre I wanted to read more of.

Below I have listed them in case you want to check them out.

1. Sword & Laser

I came across this book club while searching for a new bookish podcast to pass the time. After stumbling across Sword & Laser, which I discovered is hosted by two of my favorite tech personalities Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt, I found that it was also a book club on Goodreads and joined immediately. They read Sci-Fi and fantasy novels each month which are two of my favorite genres.

 

2. Vaginal Fantasy Book Club

After listening to Sword & Laser for a while I realized Veronica also co-hosted another book club, Vaginal Fantasy that specialized in reading romance novels filled with smut which is again right up my alley. The other hosts are Felicia Day (yes, that Felicia Day), Bonnie Burton and Kiala Kazebee.

 

3. Catching Up on Classics (and lots more!)

This book club I found poking around on Goodreads in search of a club that would inspire me to read more classics. They have quite a few picks each month and even a long pick which runs for two months as a number of classics are indeed tomes.

 

4. Little Book Club

This group was recently formed by Katrina (Little Book Owl) on YouTube due to an overwhelming request for it. Each month a theme is voted upon and once chosen, a book fitting that theme is voted upon and that is our book pick for the month. As this book club was created due to fan request, most of the power is placed in the fan’s hands which is great.

 

5. Booksplosion Read-Along

This group was formed by a few booktubers (YouTube personalities that discuss books on their channel) and normally features books from the young adult genre.

Do you like book clubs?

Are you a part of a book club?

Is it a classic face to face one or is it online?

Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading! 🙂

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