Jun 25, 2016

Updates


So I still do read for fun, that's why I titled it "Forever Reading" because I know I will always be a reader and I will always want an outlet other than Goodreads to put my thoughts about books.

I am currently reading The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky. It was a book I was eyeing for a while, but it still hadn't been released. One day while talking to Mom she was telling me of a great new book she was reading, and it was this one. I was stunned! Normally I am the one giving Mom book recommendations and her she found a book on her own that wasn't questionable (as she calls the current ones she is reading). I'm excited to see how it turns out.

What else?

Book Review: A Gathering of Shadows


A Gathering of Shadows
Shades of Magic #2
V.E. Schwab
February 23, 2016: Tor Books


It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift – back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries – a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

Nov 27, 2015

UPDATES: End of the Semester


It's that time of year again! The semester is almost over and I am planning my next trip, what to read, what classes to take, and how much more money I need to save up.

Let's start with: Where has the year gone?!

I remember that it was this time last year I was trying to convince my mom that I can go to Tokyo by myself. Business class across the pacific, how could someone turn that down?!

Well now I know some Japanese, probably just enough to insult a yakuza (arigatou sensei!) and buy ninja stuff at a store. 


A trip to Japan may be in the works for January. I'm just a little bit excited :D My friend going with me wants to go to Hawaii. I can't blame her. It's going to be winter in Japan and it's already winter here, so why visit more winter. Plus the whales are going to be near Hawaii when we would be there. I kinda REALLY want to see that!

So what am I going to read on break and on my trip?

First, I have to finish Armada! I have been dying to read it ever since school started, but I knew that it would be too distracting from my studies.

Second, I accepted a read request from R.T. Lowe for his book titled the Felix Chronicles and it sounds really, really good and I can't wait to sink my teeth into it!

Third, I want to read a good vampire book. I am open to suggestions!

Fourth, I can't wait to read A Gathering of Shadows. But I have to wait until the end of February.


For a while now I have been dreaming of teaching English abroad and so over break I will be taking an online TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) class. I'm excited that I finally found one that is internationally recognized an accredited class that is within my budget! I'll post a review, for those of you, if any, are curious.

And finally for some exciting news! I will be spending a month doing an internship abroad in Berlin learning how to write a travel guide. Basically I get to wander around Berlin, eat delicious food, drink beer and write about my experience. And at the end of the month, they'll publish our work into a travel guide to Berlin for young college age people.


Guys, I'm gonna be published!

I think that just about sums up my end of semester update.

If you want to keep up with me on a more regular basis, I usually post once a week at my travel blog, CHASING DEPARTURES. Be sure to check it out :D


These photos were from my trip to Oahu in August ^^ 


What fun and exciting stuff have you guys been up to?

Jul 13, 2015

REVIEW: Leaning to Bow by Bruce Feiler

LEARNING TO BOW 

Inside the Heart of Japan
Bruce Feiler
Publication:  May 11, 2004 by William Morrow Paperbacks (originally published in 1991)





Learning to Bow has been heralded as one of the funniest, liveliest, and most insightful books ever written about the clash of cultures between America and Japan. With warmth and candor, Bruce Feiler recounts the year he spent as a teacher in a small rural town. Beginning with a ritual outdoor bath and culminating in an all-night trek to the top of Mt. Fuji, Feiler teaches his students about American culture, while they teach him everything from how to properly address an envelope to how to date a Japanese girl.

FIND THE BOOk

AMAZON   / /   BARNES & NOBLE   / /   GOODREADS

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I've read on many of the JET (Japan Exchange Teaching) blogs out there that this is an important book to read if you want an insight into the world of teaching English in Japan. I've also read that this book is horribly dated (published in 1991) and you shouldn't waste your time with it.

I am really glad that I didn't listen to all the naysayers. While it's true this book is dated, it has humorous stories from the little things that happened to Burusu-san, stories of cultural clashes, but most importantly it does give the reader an insight into Japan.

Printed on the page just inside the cover is the reviews from various newspapers and other book reviewers. "This book should be required reading - Japan Times" definitely stands out. I agree with the sentiment. Anyone looking into the JET Program or who has recently been accepted to the Program should be required to read this book.

Now how did I come across this book? I fall in the former categorey, just a young university girl getting too close to graduation without a plan. Going to Japan to teach English definitely seems like a viable option and this book was all part of my research.

I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would though. If you are looking into JET, I would highly recommend this book!


Jul 4, 2015

Updates and Such

Hi guys!

Sorry, I just can't seem to get the hang of this book blogging thing anymore. Like I've said in previous posts, I serial read when I am depressed. When I am not depressed, I am the pickiest reader you will probably ever meet. So I will still be posting from time to time when I find something I want to read.

I have also been working on my travel blog and trying to get the hang of Wordpress. If you want to keep up with what I am doing, check out Chasing Departures.




I hope you all have a fantastic Fourth of July and enjoy the fireworks!


May 17, 2015

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
February 24, 2015 by Tor Books

Synopsis:

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.


It's official, Kell is my new book boyfriend!

I wasn't entirely sure what I was expecting when I picked this book up off the shelf at Barnes and Noble. The cover is what really drew me in to start with. It's just so pretty to look at!

The writing was fantastic! I'm normally not one for the third person point of view, but WOW, it could not have been better!

The only thing the book left me wanting is the second one!

SPOILERS BELOW!! - highlight the space below in order to read the text

Lila, the dull human from Grey London, isn't quite as human as everyone believes. Later in the story we learn that she has a glass eye and doesn't remember what happened since she was very young when it happened. 

I think that Lila is another Antari. 

I can't wait for the next book!!





Apr 10, 2015

What Am I Reading?


Aside from the standard college text's (which suck by the way) I have sorta recently gotten a new book on my Kindle. I plan on reading it next weekend when I go on my paleontology trip. There's going to be a lot of time in the 15 passenger vans (which also suck by the way) and that means plenty of time to A) do homework (who's really going to do that? Not me! At least I'm honest :D) or B) read a book (*shakes head up and down while grinning ear to ear*).

So what am I going to read? This book! It sounds wonderfully fantastic and I need something wonderfully fantastic in my life right now.



A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
February 24, 2015 by Tor Books

Synopsis:

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.


I found this book in the science fiction section at Barnes & Noble while shelf crusting. Does anyone else shelf cruise? I love going to B&N just to look at all the books and see what sounds good. It is so much easier than virtual shelf cruising. Then I go home and get something on my Kindle. I'm bad, I know. 

At first it was the cover that drew me to pick it up. Honestly though, isn't it always the cover that draws us to pick up books? This cover was just so pretty and different than all the YA & NA ones out there. 

The thing about reading adult level books that always seems to turn me off is that the characters are always way above me in age. I find those characters hard to relate to because odds are I haven't experienced what someone who is 40 may have experienced. This synopsis didn't give ages of characters and it mentioned a lot of magic, parallel universes, and royalty. That's right up the alley of what I want to read now. It also sounded more like a YA synopsis than an adult synopsis. And the MC's name is Kell. That's just a cool name. 

What are my expectations for this book? 

I am anticipating that I will fall in love with the book. I'm also anticipating that I will have trouble putting the book down, which may pose to be a problem. 

All in all, this sounds like a fresh read and I can't wait to dive into it!

Look for the review to be posted in the coming weeks. 

Mar 27, 2015

Textbook Review: Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology




*I appologise for the goofy look of this post. Blogger has been giving me issues with formatting lately.


Since I haven't done a real book review in a while, I figured I should review my textbook for this semester. I hope you enjoy it!

Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology

Donald R. Prothero


Synopsis

The leading textbook in its field, this work applies paleobiological principles to the fossil record while detailing the evolutionary history of major plant and animal phyla. It incorporates current research from biology, ecology, and population genetics. Written for biology and geology undergrads, the text bridges the gap between purely theoretical paleobiology and solely descriptive invertebrate paleobiology books, emphasizing the cataloguing of live organisms over dead objects. This third edition revises art and research throughout, expands the coverage of invertebrates, includes a discussion of new methodologies, and adds a chapter on the origin and early evolution of life.


I started this semester draggin my feet and not wanting to read the text. Eventually I had to read it and let me tell you I was surprised!

My last geology text was for structure and that was pure science writing. There was no added flair and certainly nothing to catch my attention (which is weird because I find structural stuff absolutely fascinating when out in the field). 

Prothero does an excellent job at making the text catchy and something that I can read without being bored out of my mind. 

I'm going to give it a four star rating because this is the first textbook that hasn't put me to sleep!



Mar 23, 2015

March is Reading Month




So I'm a bit late in posting this and truthfully I didn't read much this month. Well, that's not entirely true, I read homework and textbooks, that counts, right? (I think I went a little comma happy, sorry guys!) I did read a bunch of manga though. What can I say? I'm a little nerdy.

Did you ever have D.E.A.R. drills in elementary and middle school? In my school the principal would come over the intercom and say Drop Everything And Read! and we would read for 15 minutes. Oh how I loved it!

In elementary school, Pizza Hut would have a bookmark challenge that if we read for a total of six hours during March they would provide us with two tickets to a West Michigan White Caps game.


They were a minor league baseball team, but I remember the first time I earned the tickets in fifth grade. I was so proud of myself for reading six hours that month. I think I actually read a little more than six hours and I thought that was an insane amount to make a child read, haha! Fast forward to high school and I would be reading six hours a day! 

Do you guys have any favorite memories from March is Reading Month? 

Feb 25, 2015

Savior of Song - My Latest Music Obsession



ナノ (nano) feat. My First Story - Savior of Song




I first heard this song while I was watching Arpeggio of Blue Steel.

The thing I love about it is that the vocals from both nano and My First Story are so strong! I love it! I also kinda bought one of her albums :D It's  really good too! 

Anyway, enjoy the song!
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