Academic Book Haul

Okay, so this semester I am taking Religion and Literature plus Victorian Period Studies. I just had a quick trip to Half Priced Books to grab some novels I’ll need for these courses, here’s what I came back with: IMG_6325My book haul consists of Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Villette by Charlote Brontë, Far From the Maddening Crowd by Thomas Hardy, The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and lastly Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.

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This edition of Wuthering Heights is absolutely adorable because it is actually so tiny! You can’t tell in the picture, but it’s only a tad larger than the palm of my hand.

IMG_6331These three novels are the ones I am more excited to read during the upcoming semester. I’ve never read Dickens, Brontë, or Lahiri before, but they’re three authors I’ve always wanted to test out!

If you’re in school, whether it be high school or college, what novels are you excited to read?! 🙂

If We Were Having Coffee…

o-COFFEE-TEA-TASTE-facebookI found this lovely little project, “If We Were Having Coffee” through Part Time Monster. It’s all about writing a piece of what I would tell you if you were sitting in front of me and we were sharing some coffee. I instantly fangirled this idea because one of my favorite pastimes outside of reading is having conversations over coffee. I hope this brings a personal aspect to my blog that isn’t seen through my bookish postings.

So if we were having coffee I would start by telling you how incredibly nervous I am for orientation at my new college this Friday. I finally transferred and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I will be able to take the courses I want and major in the fields my heart gets all jittery about – English and Anthropology. That may sound silly, but I’m a passionate person. Once I discover something that intrigues me, my curiosity and heart seem to collide and I get this insatiable urge to just learn.

Then again, who am I kidding? That happens with more than just academic work. That insatiable urge to discover, probe, and understand leaks into every outlet of my life – friends, family, romantic relationships. Basically I can be this very intense human being; yet somehow I ended up with great friends who accept all that intensity and quirky-ness. But I’d tell you how nervous I am about the new people at this school seeing that side of me. Although I’m very extroverted and I’ve never had problems when thrown into a group of strangers, I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that is similar to butterflies but also along the lines of queasiness.

Ignoring that for a second though, I’d tell you how this is a fresh start. The funny thing about fresh starts is that everyone sees it as a re-do. It’s like a refresh button on life. Sounds great, right? GPA starts at 0.00, new people to meet, new classes to take, a place where no one knows you yet. I can be anything or anyone. Except, fresh starts are a lot of pressure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy dancing in my head that I get a refresh button on my college career. Freshman year didn’t shine the best light on me. At the same time though the pressure of doing better, being better, and trying not to make those silly mistake I did my first time around can weigh on a person. It’s like showing up and having the mentality like, “Hey world, here I am! The newer, more improved, 2.0 version of me!” It’s not a bad thing to want that. Technically it’s the same mentality people ring in the new year with when they make their new year’s resolutions. The only problem with that mentality is the disappoint you can possibly face.

So I’d tell you, I don’t want to end up disappointed in myself. I want to improve myself, but I don’t want to expect too much. Balance is what I’m seeking. I want to be able to work, make the grades I want, and maintain a social life. I want to allow myself to have a romantic relationship since I run much too often. I want to allow myself to take a breather every now and again; perhaps even get a proper amount of sleep some nights. I want to make as many people as I can smile. I want to read more than fifty books this year. I want to attempt to make daily blog posts. I want to be healthier. Though, if only a few of these things occur, I want to not only know it’s okay, but I want to still smile because it’s all about the small victories.

2014 taught me how to love myself, I’d tell you.

Then I’d say, I hope 2015 builds on that.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Debut Novels for 2015

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish, I got to do more research on what 2015 has to offer. Well, let me just say, narrowing this list to only ten was extremely painful. THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY GOOD NOVELS COMING OUT. *Cries*. However hard it was, here are the ten I came down to (PS all synopsis are either from other websites unless stated otherwise):

1) Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman; Release Date: February 3, 2015

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Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction—stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013—as well “Black Dog,” a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection. Trigger Warning explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them to reveal our vulnerabilities and our truest selves. – Amazon

I mean, it’s Neil Gaiman. Enough said.

2) Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids, edited by Meghan Daum; Release Date: March 31, 2015.

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Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed makes a thoughtful and passionate case for why parenthood is not the only path in life, taking our parent-centric, kid-fixated, baby-bump-patrolling culture to task in the process. What emerges is a more nuanced, diverse view of what it means to live a full, satisfying life. – Amazon

I’m genuinely excited to read these stories because I am definitely a person who isn’t 100% sold on the prospect of having children when I am older. I’ve never had any debates about a life without children – typically I view it as a taboo subject. Or if you come out and say, “I don’t want children when I’m older” there are usually one of two reactions: 1) He or she will say, “You’ll change your mind once you’ve reached *insert ideal age*.” 2) A crazed eye, jaw dropped facial expression will appear on his or her face along with the question, “Do you not like kids?!” Except, I find offense to the first reaction since I believe I know myself better than other people and the second reaction is just stereotypical. I adore children. I love coming from a huge family where I’m close with my sibling and cousins. Yet I still don’t see myself desiring to be a mother. I have other ambitions. That should be okay. ANYWAYS, back to the novel – I feel like I’ll finally have something to – hopefully – relate to on this topic.

3) The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato; Release Date: May 5, 20151612194346.01.MZZZZZZZ

Disabato, who has written for The Millions, debuts with a high-concept mystery that looks to be a lot of fun. Pop stars aren’t known for avoiding the limelight, which is why the disappearance of a Lady Gaga-like singer inspires two women to track her down. Racing around Chicago in search of clues, they find themselves decoding arcane documents and ancient maps rather than liner notes as the disappearance turns out to involve a secret society. – The Millions

I’m a sucker for plots involving secret societies. Plus I’m from Chicago so I’m already biased on the setting.

4) Aquarium by David Vann; Release Date: March 3, 2015

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Twelve year old Caitlin lives alone with her mother—a docker at the local container port—in subsidized housing next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while she waits to be picked up after school, Caitlin visits the local aquarium to study the fish. Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, Caitlin accesses a shimmering universe beyond her own. When she befriends an old man at the tanks one day, who seems as enamored of the fish as she, Caitlin cracks open a dark family secret and propels her once-blissful relationship with her mother toward a precipice of terrifying consequence. – Amazon

I’m typically not one for the familial themed plots, but there’s something about this one that strikes me. It might be the prospect of reading about the friendship and bond that formulates between Caitlin and the old man since that’s not a typically introduced element.

5) Amnesia by Peter Carey; Release Date: January 13, 20150385352778.01.MZZZZZZZ

Carey’s new novel uses a cyberattack as the lens through which to consider the often-fraught history of the relationship between the United States and Australia. A radical hacker releases a worm into a computer system that governs both Australian and American prisoners. The doors of five thousand prisons in the United States are opened, while in Australia, hundreds of asylum-seekers escape. An Australian journalist, determined to figure out the motivation behind the attack and trying to save his career, struggles to get the hacker to cooperate on a biography. – The Millions

Carey bases this novel’s plot on the current fear our generation is experiencing – cyber-attacks. It’s a topic that I find thrilling since it is constantly happening. From celebrity’s cloud accounts to the leakage of military information, hacking and cyber-attacks are not something especially new; yet, I feel like there is little progress on being able to stop them. I can’t wait to see how Carey explores this topic and weaves it into a suspenseful novel.

6) Get in Trouble by Kelly Link; Release Date: February 3, 2015. 0804179689.01.MZZZZZZZ

Link has won an ardent following for her ability, with each new short story, to take readers deeply into an unforgettable, brilliantly constructed fictional universe. The nine exquisite examples in this collection show her in full command of her formidable powers. In “The Summer People,” a young girl in rural North Carolina serves as uneasy caretaker to the mysterious, never-quite-glimpsed visitors who inhabit the cottage behind her house. In “I Can See Right Through You,” a middle-aged movie star makes a disturbing trip to the Florida swamp where his former on- and off-screen love interest is shooting a ghost-hunting reality show. – Amazon

I’m not HUGE on short stories, but Link sounds wonderfully inventive and unusual. Each description of the stories that consist of this collection hold oddities that give the reader an inkling that Link’s imagination is capable of great things.

7) The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter; Release Date: March 31, 2015. 0553418521.01.MZZZZZZZ

In Hunter’s eerily compelling new novel, an archivist at a small London museum embarks on a final project before the museum’s impending closure: she is searching for information related to a woman who disappeared over a century ago from a Victorian asylum. The project holds some personal interest: when the archivist was fifteen years old, a little girl whom she was babysitting vanished in the woods near the asylum, and the archivist has begun to suspect that the two events were connected. – The Millions

Archivist + Asylum = I’m hooked already.

8) Glow by Ned Beauman; Release Date: January 20, 2015. 0385352603.01.MZZZZZZZ

South London, May 2010: foxes are behaving strangely, Burmese immigrants are going missing, and everyone is trying to get hold of a new party drug called Glow. A young man suffering from a rare sleep disorder will uncover the connections between all these anomalies. – Amazon

I’m interested to see how this drug correlates with a string of seemingly unconnected events. I hope that the plot takes interesting turns and doesn’t collide with some concept like, “this is all due to government experimentation” blah blah blah. If Beauman takes a completely different approach, I’ll be more than thrilled. I guess we’ll see soon!

9)  The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman; Release Date: February 10, 20150062227092.01.MZZZZZZZ

Newman’s third novel is set in a world of children. Eighty years ago, a deadly pandemic swept across North America, and now every child is born with the disease; they begin showing symptoms around the age of eighteen or nineteen, and die soon after. When fifteen-year-old Ice Cream Star’s beloved older brother falls ill, she sets out after rumors of a cure. It’s a compelling story, but the most fascinating thing about Newman’s book is the language: the novel is written in the kind of beautifully warped English that one might expect to develop over eighty years without adults, and the prose often approaches a kind of wild poetry: “We flee like a dragonfly over water, we fight like ten guns, and we be bell to see. – The Millions

I’m particularly excited for this novel because of its warped English. Any author who holds the capacity to mess around with linguistics is an author I want to read.

10) The First Bad Man: A Novel by Miranda July; Release Date: January 13, 20151439172560.01.MZZZZZZZ

Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people’s babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women’s self-defense nonprofit where she works. She believes they’ve been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate in this one. – Amazon

This novel strikes me because the protagonist appears to be an unexpected female lead. I wonder how I’ll connect to Cheryl or if I will connect with her at all. The probably theme of the duality of what is real and not real in this novel is also enticing. I’m curious to see the path July’s words will take me down.

Well those are the novels that have me on my toes for 2015! What are you getting excited about?

Penguin Is Doing It Right: What’s your number? #Penguinspo

Penguin has been coming up with some clever ideas to engage readers. I particularly enjoy this concept because it brings the publishers to the readers, which is extremely important. There seems to be too large of a disconnect between publishers and readers. I am glad to see they’re taking the initiative to change that. Plus, I’ve always loved getting recommendations from people because it’s that individual gauging my taste, but also giving me a bit of theirs. Then whenever I look at that novel (if I’ve read it), I’ll think of him or her. It’s a piece of that individual to you.

Penguin Blog

It’s 2015! Allow us to welcome you to this sparkling clean and unspoilt new year. Traditionally, this is the time to make changes – and this year, we’ve resolved to make a resolution that we know we’ll enjoy.

We love books. You love books – either that or you’ve gravely mistaken the subject matter of this blog. So we have a proposal for you. Let’s make 2015 the year of reading a little more and a little better. We have just the thing to help you finish the books you’ve always meant to read, and discover a few that you never knew existed: something that we like to call Penguinspiration (or as social penguins would have it, #Penguinspo).

Whether you want to read one book a month, or more than one a week, we’ll deliver regular hand-picked and personalised recommendations of books that we know you’ll love – not to mention…

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Holiday Bookworm Gift Guide

Yes, yes, I know it’s December 16th. Well hey, I do my Christmas shopping pretty late. That’s mostly due to the fact I’m still in college, preoccupied with finals, and don’t have a mode of transportation to all the lovely stories until I get back to Chicago. Anyways, I thought I would compile a gift guide for bookworms. I always scavenge the internet for gift ideas for my friends and, well, me (who doesn’t like getting themselves gifts every now and again?). However, I can’t help but feel let down by the generic guides I see. Hopefully I can provide new ideas for you all! 🙂 (PS THE LINKS ARE IN GREEN)

1) Okay, this is slightly a cop-out for recommending books, but Penguin has created a hotline for the perfect book recommendation for a friend!

penguin_hotline_bannerhttp://www.penguin.com/penguinhotline/

I thought it was a lovely idea, plus I got a kick out of filling out the application (I may have filled it out for myself as a test run) to see what one of their publishers sent me. I got a very thoughtful email back from a lovely lady named Jackie who recommended me a few series that I’m excited to buy and read! Try this out for one of your friends and see how well you know them by being able to fill out the application for their recommended gift!

2)Powell’s Literature Water Bottle – It’s perfect for any bookworm who wants to stay hydrated. Also, I’m just obsessed with the nutrition label. images

3) Book Themed Scented Candles from Etsy! – I’m huge on candles and my room smelling like all sorts of flavors. These candles are adorable and can get any bookworm’s senses excited. Plus…they have the Shire scent, I repeat there is a candle deemed as the Shire. *Quickly dies of excitement.*il_570xN.506090293_h4os

4) Literary Mugs – I mean, c’mon, who doesn’t like a good ol’ cup of jo or tea while reading a book? Here are some pictures with their links:

enhanced-6118-1396027731-5Walt Whitman Quote Mug!

enhanced-8740-1396025965-17Looking For Alaska!

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The Great Gatsby Mug!

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Harry Potter Mugs!

5) The Ultimate Book Journal (Moleskin)! – I own this and I absolutely adore the set-up of the journal, especially because I am picky with my notebooks. (ALSO CURRENTLY 60% OFF)!!

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6) The Book Hook Bookmark – It’s a bit more on the pricier side, but it’s a chic bookish gift that someone can place right at their bedside!slide_350139_3757713_free7) For a more creative touch, make a book jar! Buy that special someone a couple of books and slip in your recommendations plus the titles you bought him or her! Or put your own twist on it! It’s cheap, fun, and aesthetically pleasing! 😉

the_book_jar_by_insanejellybean95-d70uf8d8) A Bookish Phone Case! – “You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy books and that’s kind of the same thing.”il_570xN.525125733_2juh9) ANYTHING FROM OUT OF PRINT CLOTHING – They just have so many fun gifts that I can’t possibly just choose one from the side. Here is a few: Z-COAST-2002_Coasters_Punk_Rock-4_2048x2048Punk Author Coaster Set

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West Egg and East Egg Necklaces

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Where The Wild Things Are Tote

10) The Harry Potter Christmas Set – This one is more for you! It’s to make your ‘Thank-You’s and ‘Happy Holidays’ a bit more wizardry themed.  il_570xN.663039454_qezb

Hope this helps you guys! 🙂 Have fun shopping!

Breaking News: Since I’m New Here

Since I’m new here, I’m sure my visitors have seen that the blog is a little bare.

disappointmentI apologize!

Alas! Not to worry! My first book review, my list for the 50 Book Challenge, as well as my ReRead Challenge for 2015 list will be up by this weekend! However there is more! I would really like to make a Holiday Gift Guide for Bookworms! It has been on my mind and I feel I am well equipped (or at least I hope so) to make it. 🙂 GET EXCITED!

HOORAY

So hopefully this is you lovely ladies and lads’ response to my bare blog after this post:

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Have a wonderful day,

          Book Intoxicated

Let’s Remember A Book’s Beauty: The ReRead Challenge 2015

re-read-challengeIf you’re like me, you buy, buy, buy, and buy books whenever you get the chance. There is a warm, fuzzy feeling I get when I walk out of a bookshop with a new book. It’s a new friend, a new adventure, a new form of security. This becomes problematic when your TBR stack reaches the ceiling though, right? Ehhh…I’m still in denial so, no. What is a problem though is after you’ve read that novel, whenever you may get to it, it might just sit on your shelf and collect dust. Even though the characters dazzled you and you ripped right through every page until the end, you haven’t exactly picked it up for a few years. You recall it with a sparkle in your eye as you recommend it to your fellow bookish friends, but you don’t reread it. This year let’s change that.

Let’s make a vow to reread those novels that made an impact on us. I’m completely at fault here too. I typically don’t reread the novels I loved. I always rationalize it with my TBR stack or how excited I am that the next book in the series I currently love JUST came out. So naturally, I have to read that one right now…right? Not necessarily. That book along with many others will still be there.

There’s something amazing about remembering a book’s beauty. Sure the new ones that I haven’t opened have a shiny, new toy feel, but the ones I’ve read are like old friends that hugged me tight when I needed them the most. So let’s pay a little respect to those books this year and reread a few.

A special thanks to Hannah @ So Obsessed With and Kelly @ Belle of the Literati for hosting this challenge! So hop on, join in, and remember the beauty in some of your favorites! Also, here are some fun topics you can blog about after rereading that special book:

WHEN I First Read
WHAT I Remember
WHY I Wanted to Re-Read
HOW I Felt After Re-Reading
WOULD I Re-Read Again

See! It won’t be so bad! It might even be a special adventure after all.

Comment below! I’d love to know what books you plan on rereading this upcoming year! 🙂