Lifestyle

Life Changes & Rebranding| 2018

Knights and Ladies,

I think there is something in the air, something wonderful.

I want to start this post by saying thank you, thank you for every single person that is subscribed whether by  e-mail, or wordpress. Thank you to every single person who has ever read any of my posts. I have been so blessed to have this space as a creative outlet.

However, you may have noticed there have been a few slight changes being made to the site. You will still be getting book content if you subscribed to me for that, that is not going away. However, I want to add more lifestyle and fitness journey entries here as well. I have contemplated starting a completely different site for all my fitness updates however that just sounded silly to me as I am not a one-dimensional person and have a lot of different things that I am curious about and interested in. I want this to be a safe space.

When I started this website, it was with the intention to inspire people to read more and read more diversely and although that is one of my purposes in running this site. I am finding that I am human and I use my time not only reading but taking a bunch of classes, working out, cooking, traveling, etc.

Which brings me to the following- I haven’t been reading as much as I used too. I have been traveling and going to events. Especially, this current summer I feel like I have an event almost every weekend. So, I would like to create more vlogs- event and travel vlogs and add some reading vlogs in the mix of things. I don’t want to have to limit the things that I can talk about on this platform just because this started as a book blog.

If you are here for book content only there is a tab at the top of the page for book content, this also goes along for fitness and lifestyle. I think that we all have a lot more in common than we think and by merging all my interest together, I feel like I will have a better space to share my adventures.

Thank you for all your support and love,

With warms cups of tea and just a few more  chapters  adventures,

Rina

 

Book Review

Matilda by Roald Dahl | Book Review

MatildaPages: 240

Published: June 1, 1998

Publisher: Puffin Books

Synopsis: Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she’s knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkably, her classmates love her even though she’s a super-nerd and the teacher’s pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda’s world. For starters she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there’s the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Miss (“The”) Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge.

She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defense of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The reader cares about Matilda because in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings. (Goodreads)

My Bookish Thoughts: 

This is one of my rereads for this year. I have always loved this book, and it is so near and dear to my heart. I have read it several times in my life. This book tells a story of a young girl named Matilda who is a lot wiser than her age.

I feel like this particular book is very much character driven. I initially connected with Matilda through her love of books. I visually can picture the first few chapters of the book so vividly in my mind and how Matilda goes to the library while her mom is out playing bingo. This book has stuck with me from the first time that I have read it back in elementary school until now.

I love how whimsical characters are. Matilda plays a lot of pranks on the evil Trunchbull. Matilda likes justice and throughout the book whenever the Trunchbull does something that seems to be unfair Matilda is the one to try to get revenge on the Trunchbull.

I really enjoyed the magical element in this book it really ties everything nicely together and gives the book a satisfying conclusion. I really enjoyed having Kate Winslet narrate the audiobook. She is such a fabulous narrator for this particular book. She brought all the characters and situations to life and it was very enjoyable.  If you have not read this, what are you doing? You are literally missing out on a childhood favorite. Go check it out. Right now!!!

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina

 

Book Review

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald | Book Review

great gatsby

Pages: 180

 

Date Published:  Originally published April 1925- republished September 2004

Publisher: Scribner

Synopsis: On its first publication in 1925, The Great Gatsby was largely dismissed as a light satire on Jazz Age follies. Today, it is acknowledged as a masterpiece: a love story, an exploration of the American dream and arguably the greatest American novel of the 20th century. Narrator Nick Carraway tells the story of his neighbor Jay Gatsby, whose parties at his Long Island mansion are as lavish as his past is mysterious. Yet Gatsby cares only for one of his guests: his lost love Daisy Buchanan, now married and living across the bay. In Fitzgerald’s hands, this deceptively simple story becomes a near-perfect work of art, told in hauntingly beautiful prose.

Michael Dirda, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post, has written a new introduction for this edition. He writes, ‘While a great novel should possess many qualities, the most essential is certainly the ability to enchant, to cast a spell over the reader’ – an ability possessed in full by ‘this ever-fresh, this ceaselessly magical novel’. Our edition also features a two-page note by the director and screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola recalling his work on the 1974 film adaptation, in particular, his ingenious solution to the lack of dialogue between Daisy and Gatsby in the original novel. Sam Wolfe Connelly, a young artist based in New York, has created a series of color illustrations and the striking binding design. The metallic endpapers and slipcase are printed with a 1920s-inspired design by the artist. (Goodreads)

Review:

Hey Bibliomanics,

Welcome Back to another review. Today’s review is my thoughts on rereading “The Great Gatsby”. I remember when I first read this book back in highschool, I remember thinking that it was so thin for it to be a classic. And as one may assume, I didn’t enjoy it when I read it the first time. It still holds true that anything that has ever been assigned for school reading, I just don’t enjoy very much.

Fast forward to this year, I decided to reread it…

With the book only containing 180 pages, one may assume this book doesn’t get deep. But, thats were you are wrong. This is one of the most rawest books I have yet read. There is so much going on. I noticed that there was a common theme in the book of wealth and love.  Rereading, this novel made me realize that this is one tragic love story. But, although it is tragic, it is so beautiful.

The story takes place in the 1920’s. This is a time in American History were flappers were around, prohibition of alchol was happening, and the parties were wild. This book is set after WWI when the soldiers are coming home and everyone is basing the amount of wealth that they have on how much materal objects they own. In the novel, money is being thrown left in right. An example of this would be Gatsby, throwing huge parties in his manision. This is first evident in chapter 3, when Fitzgerald talks how most people that attended Gatsby’s gathering came without invitiation and that there were very few actually invited guests ( Fitzgerald, 45). Which, can send the message that Gatsby had enough money to accomodate anyone who stopped by his party.

My Thoughts:

This novel is enjoyable. I think that there is a lot of things that a person can connect with in this book. I really enjoyed seeing that all the characters in the book although they functioned together as a unit, they were all so flawed. Each of them was battling a personal demon. I think that a lot of the time they used money as an escapism. Essentially that was evident with Gatsby, he would throw extravagant parties in hopes of attracting Daisy in to coming to one of them on accident.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was a really long time since I read it. I think that the experience was even better because I marked up all my favorite qoutes and scenes that stood out to me.

This story is full of tragedy. And it really makes you value the things that you do have. I felt for Gatsby, as he explained how he tried to improve his life status in hopes of one day being reunited with Daisy and being able to impress her. I also think this novel is important to show that poeple are imperfect. The whole book has flawed characters as they are trying to survive but never truly living.

The characters in books are usually my favorite part, but these characters are so shallow. I loved Nick Carraway, whom I think is the only decent character in this book. Everyone else is obsessed with status and money that they put their most important relationships in jeopardy. Gatsby, does everything that he can in order to up his status in order to finally get a chance to be with Daisy. Yet, Daisy, is one of the most superficial characters I have ever read about. But, Gatsby’s love for her is so pure. Everything that Gatsby ever does is in hopes to win Daisy back.

This book is coated in symbolism. I came to really appreciate this. I loved how everything in this story tied up really nicely. There was no lose ends.  Which for a 180 page book, I really do appreciate.

If you have not read this book, I feel like you have to a least try it. If you read it in highschool, I encouarage you to read it again with a new persepctive. This story is tragic, honest and yet beautiful.

Contains Spoilers

I think that reading this as an adult, it makes a lot more sense to me and I can really make connections with the book that I wasn’t able to make as a sophmore. Some things that stood out to me, was the relationship between Tom and Daisy. I thought that it was one of those relationships that people are in because they don’t want to be alone. Tom is cheating on Daisy the entire time and he still gets angry at Daisy when she is being flirtaous in front of him with Gatsby. However, I honestly could not figure her out because she was claiming to love Gatsby and Tom at the same but yet she didn’t care if Tom saw her being affectionate toward Gatsby.

Another thing that stood out to me was the topic of wealth, how everyone in the book either wanted to be wealthy and tried to fit in with the wealthy crowd or they were wealthy and had no problem throwing their money around. Daisy and Tom, make it very apparent that they are wealthy and have money to throw around.

I found Daisy to be kind of a coward. She expresses how much she loves Gatsby and the book goes into an extensive story of how they first met. Yet, when she is asked to chose between Gatsby and Tom she doesn’t want to lose either of them and explains that she loves them both. This was one of the parts of the story that really made me upset because  the reader and Daisy both knows that Tom has been cheating on Daisy throughout the entire novel.

As one can tell I had an issue with Daisy!!!

If you read “The Great Gatsby” and you want to chat about it, leave a comment.

As per usual, with warm cups of tea and just a few more chapters, happy reading!!

Rina

Beyond the books

Beyond The Books: Blogging Goals and Most Popular Posts|Thursdays (1.11.18)

Beyond the Books Meme is hosted by Karen Blue over at KissinKarenBlue.


Hello Bibliomanics and welcome to the new post series that I will be starting on here called beyond the books. I found this on whim and thought it would be a lot of fun to do. I will be combining last weeks and this weeks topics into this post.

Lets start with my blogging goals.

I would like to post more book reviews on this blog. The current goal is to have at least one book review go up each week.

Secondly, I would love to incorporate Youtube, into my blogging experience. I would love to film book reviews and more discussion type videos.

And thirdly, I would love to be more active on Netgalley, and concentrate on more critical and thought out reviews.

Let’s move on to my most popular post:

My most popular post of 2017 was Blogmas: Barnes & Noble Membership (Is it Worth it?)

It was also one of my favorite posts to write as it really explored my own feelings towards my membership which I am so blessed to have.

Overall, I am so excited for this upcoming year. I can not wait to see where this New Year takes me.

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina

 

 

Book Review

Hopeless By Colleen Hoover|Book Review


HopelessPages: 410

Published: December 19th 2012 (first published December 17th 2012)
Original Title:Hopeless
ISBN 1301949825 (ISBN13: 9781301949823)

Synopsis:Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.(Goodreads)


Reviewstarsstars/5

I originally read this because I was trying to get out of a reading slump. Colleen Hoover has always been one of those authors that has always pulled me out of reading slumps. Her writing is addicting and her storyline make a reader invested in the story.

However, I didn’t find this to be the case with Hopeless. At times it was enjoyable, because it had a lot of different themes in it. I liked that there was a mystery plot that developed along with a romance contemporary that Colleen Hoover is known for.

I really liked the relationship development that occurred between Sky and Holder. I thought that their romance wasn’t as instalove as romances can tend to be. I enjoyed that they shared a strong friendship. I also like that at a one point in the story, there was a scene were the main characters were about to have sex and the female protagonist said she wasn’t ready, I felt like the male character did not pressure her to continue and supported her throughout her trying to piece together her past.

Holder wasn’t one of those book crushes that I usually get all the feels for from reading Colleen Hoover books. However, I did like how intense he was portrayed and his whole bad boy persona really made the book more interesting as he was a very big part of the novel. Sky, at parts was a really interesting character to watch because you can see her go through so many emotions. As a reader you can see her fall in love, and figuring out her place in Holder’s secret. Looking back on my reading, and thinking about Holder’s character. I feel like he was written to be to simple, as he is a character that was dealing with holding on too a lot of information and it didn’t seem like he was a very grieving character.

I didn’t like that the resolution of this story was so anticlimactic. The entire book build up the storyline and I felt like it resolved just too easily.  The story also had a lot of triggers, such a rape and suicide. I think that one of the main things that really made me give this book  2 stars is that it wasn’t very memorable. After I finished reading it I only really remembered some main points but not anything that made the story super enjoyable to sit through and read. Also, this isn’t a book I plain on rereading anytime soon.

Overall, this story just fell flat for me. I just didn’t find it to be memorable at all.  The entire book was just okay for me. I hope to enjoy “Losing Hope”, a little bit more.

Until Next Time With Warms Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina

 

Book Review

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green |Book Review

35504431Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship. (Goodreads)

Pages: 290

Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

Published:October 10th 2017

Amazon

Barnes and Noble


Review:

This book was brilliant. I related to it on so many levels. Aza, spoke to me because I could see mine own battle with anxiety happen through her eyes.

Turtles all the way down, was very good. It wasn’t my favorite book that John Green has ever written because “The Fault In Our Stars” does holds that special place. I did enjoy it a lot because I was able to connect with it.

Our main character Aza has an anxiety disorder, which I identified with as well. There were so many instances in this novel that I felt that I had reacted to a situation in my life, in a similar way as Aza has. The one problematic area that I couldn’t connect with was when Aza, was prescribed medication for her anxiety right way without the doctor trying to find alternative ways to deal with anxiety.

I loved the relationship and friendship that this story developed. I think that it did show the honest truth and difficulty of what it looks like to date someone with anxiety. I can identify with the feelings that Aza, had when she was conflicted with two sides of herself and wanted to be closer to Davis but, at the same time she pulled away from him, and began to overthink every little bit.

I thought that Daisy, Aza’s best friend was written as a typical high schooler who wanted her best friend to just be able to have fun. I can see how she could be a problematic character in the sense that she was not always supportive of Aza, but I can see where her character struggled to understand what is going on with her best friend and although wanted to continue to be friends, but had to take some time to change her thoughts and  behavior in order to do so.

Overall, I thought that this was a beautifully written novel. I enjoyed that this novel also revolved around a mystery of what happened to the billionaire Russel Picket. The storyline was never flat, as it revolved around the constant suspense element while introducing the struggles of a character dealing with anxiety.

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning about mental illness, and anxiety. There were also so many beautiful quotes in this book that I couldn’t help but flag every single one of them in my copy so I can go back and reread them in the future.

(Also, please know that if you are battling with anxiety or mental illness, you are not alone. If you need additional support please contact SAMHSA treatment referral helpline: 1-877-SAMHSA7. Or reach out to a school counselor or parent.)

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just A Few More Chapters,

Rina

Blogmas

Blogmas:Barnes & Noble Membership (Is it worth it?)| DEC.2017

Hey Bibliomaniacs,

Happy Day 2 of “Blogmas”!!! I am officially done with school and work for the week. It was also my mom’s birthday, so we went for breakfast and spent some time together which is what the holidays are all about.

So, today’s topic is my opinion on the “Barnes & Noble” membership. This is not a sponsored post, all opinions belong to me. I got the membership a few years ago after “Borders” had closed. I had a “Borders” membership and I loved all the benefits that it provided. My favorite being that it provided free shipping. When “Borders” closed I decided to get a “Barnes & Noble” membership and I think that it is worth every single penny.

A membership would be an excellent gift for any book lover that buys new releases or even books in genral. The great thing about this membership is that if you use it online you are able to save on shipping and the prices online are already discounted. This would be a good way to purchase new releases in a more affordable way.  It offers the member 40% off on hardcover bestsellers, and 10% off on everything else in the store. The really cool thing about this membership is that it also works with coupons.

I think that the membership is worth the money. And who can pass on double member days, and new releases for half- off. Also, I feel that by being a member, it helps the store because it entices you to purchase books during the times that the store has coupons out and in turn the sales helps the store to stay open. If you have a Barnes & Noble membership do you feel like it is worth it? If you don’t have a membership have you considered getting one?

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina

Book Review

Speak By Laurie Halse Anderson|Book Review

SPEAK“Speak up for yourself–we want to know what you have to say.” From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication.

In Laurie Halse Anderson’s powerful novel, an utterly believable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself. (Goodreads)



Review:

starsstarsstarsstarsstars/5’s ( TRIGGER WARNING CONTAINS RAPE, BULLY, DEPRESSION CONTENT)

Yet, another really  great audiobook that I was able to listen too. This follows our main protagonist Melinda, who after calling the cops on a party finds herself to be friendless and learning to navigate high school as being known as the girl who called the cops on a party.

As one may assume, she isn’t the most popular person nor is she well liked. In order to survive Melinda decides that she is going to stop talking in order to deal with the events of the party.

This book is dark. It is filled with raw emotion yet it is so powerful. It teaches that your voice is powerful. This reads like a journal, almost as if Melinda is standing in your living room and sharing her story with you.

I think that this pertains mainly to the female audience whether or not on was raped, I think as females we can identify with unwanted male attention. The antagonist in this novel acted as if he was overly desired by the female population. However, as the book goes on one can see that the antagonist is viewed by many to not be as desirable.

I enjoyed this book because it was raw, and heartfelt. There is just so much heart in this book. Its a story of a survivor. I thought it was also a very difficult tale to have written  and for the content I think it is a good start to the conversation regarding rape.I have not read many young adult literature that rises awareness and conversation about rape.

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina


 

Book Review

I Was Here By Gayle Forman|Book Review

I was here
Image belonging to Goodreads, Gayle Forman and Viking Juvenile

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss. (Goodreads)



Review: 

starsstarsstarsstars/5 :(TRIGGER WARNING: DOES CONTAIN CONTENT ON SUICIDE)

I am a huge fan of Gayle Forman. I loved her book “If I Stay”, so I did have rather high expectations for this book. To be honest going into this book I really had no idea what it was about. I have been reading so much Stephen King for my writing class that I felt I need an easier read to follow and just lose myself in the story.

This book did it. I really enjoyed all of it. It is a dark book, if suicide is a trigger for you I recommend you read it with caution. With that said let discuss the book. The story follows our protagonist Cody, who is dealing with the grief of her best friends Meg’s death. When Meg’s parents gift Cody, Meg’s old computer Cody stumbles on files that may hint that Meg wasn’t the only person involved in her death. Add in a attractive rockstar and Cody hits the road to figure out what really happened to her best friend.

Like I said this book was very enjoyable. There was literally almost every element you can think to want in a book. It started of with being a mystery, grief stricken book, mixed with romance and a lot of family dynamic. It is so easy to fall in love with the characters. Cody is so relatable as the angry, grief stricken friend who just wants answers. Meg’s parents are just the perfect touch of creating a warm family dynamic in this book and also showing the contrast of Cody’s own dysfunctional family. What I really liked about the book is how open the characters and the conversations were between them. They faced challenges and at first our main characters Cody and Ben, a boy who is tied to both  Cody and Meg have difficulty of putting down their defense but as the story goes on you witness a strong friendship unfold as the characters are forced to really be there for one another as they are solving the mystery of Meg’s death.

I really enjoy Gayle Forman’s writing. She has a way of really taking the reader into the story. I felt like was on the trip along with Ben and Cody.  When I was done, with the book it felt like my friends had gone home after a day of hanging out. It was almost as if something was missing. I really enjoy books that make you think of them after you are done reading them. I love Gayle Forman and this book was no disappointment. If you want a quick read that will captivate your attention and make you wish the story never ended try this book out.

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina