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Friday, March 24, 2017

Women's History Month Listenables | Audible Ambassadors, March [ad]

It's a brand new month -- a brand new season, even (my favorite!) -- and it's time for a brand new post from my Audible series! This month, in honor of Women's History Month, I thought we'd take a look at some of the many great audiobooks on theme this month, many of which are either on my own to-read list, or are personal favorites.
Check out some of my picks below, and leave me your suggestions in the comments!


If you're really wanting to dive into the whole "Women's History Month" thing, you might want to check out some of the hallmarks: explorations of feminism and gender, like the classic The Feminine Mystique, or this collection of essays from Gloria Steinem (or anything else by her, obviously), or more modern examinations, like Roxanne Gay's popular Bad Feminism, or Caitlin Moran's How to be a Woman. Or maybe you're interested in general non-fiction that's not necessarily of a feminist slant, but is just plain intriguing, like America's Women, a look at 400 years worth of lives and changes in what it means to be an American woman.

But of course, there are as many ways to approach Women's History Month reading as there are days in Women's History Month (and I'm sure, many more).

Maybe you're interested in amazing works of literature by women -- there's a whole host of classics written by women, but I'm going to recommend my personal favorites: those written by Edith Wharton, Kate Chopin, L.M. Montgomery, and of course, my beloved Jane Austen.
How could you go wrong with any of them?
Or maybe more recent classics interest you, like the popular (Claire Danes' narrated!) The Handmaid's Tale (a personal favorite, although it's always felt a little too potentially real for comfort...), or basically anything by Margaret Atwood (she's a fave!) or Toni Morrison (ditto!) I don't hesitate to call the works of either author classics, no matter how recent.

If you're more interested in something a little out of the box, maybe something like The Supergirls -- a look at fashion, feminism and more, through the lens of comic book heroines! -- might appeal to you? Or the audio of Hidden Figures, the box office-smashing story of the black, female mathematicians who helped launch us into space.

As for myself, you can probably guess some of the books on my own to-read (or listen to) list: Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking has been drawing my eyes to its spot on my shelves for a couple of years now, and the idea of reading it while listening to Amanda narrate it is pretty damn appealing. And of course, I've mentioned numerous times that Amy Poehler's Yes Please is on my to-listen list, and her buddy Tina Fey's Boysspants is right there with it. I'm also pretty curious about Anna Kendrick's Scrappy Little Nobody, so I guess I'm in a 'funny female celeb memoirs' type of mood. . .  (So maybe Talking as Fast as I Can or The Princess Diarist would also fit the bill!)

So. What's on YOUR Women's History Month list? Did you read or listen to anything special this month, or are you planning to? I know we're close to the end of the month now, but honestly... it's never too late for one of these potentially excellent reads/listens!

Leave your recommendations, faves, and own to-be-read list in the comments! I'd love to hear it.

And remember, if you're interested in any of the books I mentioned, you can try one of them out, absolutely free, as part of a FREE 30-day trial from Audible! Sweet!




This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.
Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Bullet Journal Walkthrough: 2017 Q1

For those of you here for bookish things, there *are* some bookish pages shown in this walkthrough! (And I'll be back with a purely bookish video soon.)
For the rest of you, I thought we'd take another tour into BuJo land with a look at the first quarter of 2017, and what I liked and didn't like about my bullet journal so far.

I'm thinking about making an ongoing series about bullet journaling and all that goes along with (including lettering turorials, for those that have been asking!), so if you have requests for the series, let me know in the comments!

If you missed the last one, you can find out more about how I approach bullet journaling here!

Monday, March 13, 2017

FEBRUARY BOOK HAUL!

So I'm just gonna go ahead and say it: if you wanna keep up with me, what I'm up to, and the books I'm currently reading or have taken in, you probably wanna follow me on youtube, and probably twitter or instagram. Because for whatever reason, I keep forgetting that, OH HEY, I'm a  blogger. I've seriously uploaded 3 videos on youtube in the last month or so that never made it over here, and I don't know why.

I have no excuse. I fully mean to share them with you, and then for some reason, I just don't. (I just had a birthday, and I had a friend who told me after she attained a similar age, her mind just went away, so maybe it's that...)

ANYWAY, here's the most recent of said videos, and yes, of course it's a book haul.
I don't know who I was kidding.

I'll [try to remember to] post those remaining videos soon, but if you can't wait to see them, or you're just super bored... --------->  >click<



THE BOOKS:
Yellowcake
Night Broken
Where'd You Go Bernadette?
Perfume
The Bonesetter's Daughter
The Art of Chalk Lettering
Washed Ashore


Let me know your thoughts on the books, if you want to see more from any of them, and all that jazz in the comments!


Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored video. One of these books was sent to me by the publisher, the rest I bought myself. Affiliate links are used.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Second Chances & Surprises | Audible Ambassador #ad


Hey there! I have some exciting news to share with you, and that is that I've become an Audible Ambassador! That means that once a month, I'll be delving into the world of audiobooks and taking a look at some of the things that make them such a worthwhile addition to your reading routine!
This month, in honor of awards season, we're taking a look at the way audiobook performances can add so much to a story, and which specific audiobooks have had an impact on me.

I'm sure some of you know, my road to audio was a long and bumpy one. I was always enamored with the idea of audiobooks, and wanted to like them, but for the longest time, I just couldn't get into them. I struggled with not being able to see the words before me -- just listening to someone talk meant that, if my mind started to wander (as it does apparently more than I realized...), I couldn't just glance back down and find my spot again. I also struggled with the narration. I already know that I'm very particular about the voices I'm willing to listen to for any extended period (introvert here -- sometimes I just need the voices to shut up), but even beyond that, I was worried that listening to a book cut down on room for my own interpretation; it was someone else's inflection, someone else's stresses and significance. And after a run of bad narration that I struggled to follow or enjoy, I was pretty convinced that audiobooks were not for me.

I'm not sure what convinced me to give them one last try, but whatever it was, I'm glad of it. I don't even remember the name of the next audiobook I listened to, and I honestly couldn't say if the story was all that great, because I don't remember. But the narration! The narration was hilarious and warm and soothing and inviting, all at the same time, and not only did it pull me along and keep me "reading" something I may not have otherwise, it had me actually actively looking for chores to do so that I could keep listening. That is impressive.


Since then, I've stumbled across a number of other audiobooks that have gone beyond just being good versions, to actually adding another layer to the story. Alyssa Goodnight's Austentatious, narrated by Janine Hegarty, took Alyssa's hilarious magical realist take on modern day Jane Austen, and dialed it up a few sassy, funny notches. And something that I thought was going to get to me (one person trying to do different "voices" for each character) actually proved to be one of the book's strongest points!
Similarly, Erin Mallon's narration of Heather Demetrios' Exquisite Captive added layers that I don't think I would have gotten had I just read the book traditionally. Beyond getting to hear how words in this middle eastern-inspired fantasy world are pronounced, the audio just felt so much more . . . immersive. I listened to it while commuting, and again, just didn't want my stop to come up. I was wishing for a longer commute, just like I was looking for chores to do. I didn't want my time with the narration to end.
(And just recently, during the YABT Awards, when I had to read The Wrath & the Dawn / The Rose & the Dagger, everyone kept telling me that they were so much better on audio! So it can clearly make a big difference!)

And I've just barely begun to scratch the surface of the audiobook world!

I know there's plenty more killer narration to be had on Audible (they have an entire section devoted to star-powered listens, after all), and I'm looking forward to digging into it! I know everyone seems to love and recommend the Jim Dale narration of the Harry Potter series, so trust me, it's on my list. (And if you're into the whole "awards season" thing, they even have audiobooks of some of this year's top noms, like Hidden Figures or Lion.)

So, what are some of YOUR favorite audiobooks and/or narrators? And did you ever have an audiobook "aha" moment, where it just clicked as a medium, or made you want to find chores to do, or extend your workout routine, or any other drudgery? ;)

And if you haven't had that aha moment. . . maybe it's time to give audiobooks a second chance? You can start your FREE 30-day trial to audible today, and check out one of the books I've mentioned, or something you've been dying to read!



DISCLAIMER
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.

Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

JANUARY BOOK HAUL

I mean... book hauls forever, I guess? I certainly can't seem to stop...
;)




THE BOOKS:
Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea
Umberland
The Wonder of Us
Bitch Planet, vol 1
Of Fire and Stars
and a whole bunch of awesome stuff, from Liz



Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored video, though some of these books were sent to me for review consideration purposes.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Stack of Five: Fairy Tale-esque! | VIEWER'S CHOICE

Stack of Five is back, and we're kicking it off with a stack filled with (mostly) my go-to genre: fantastical, transportive fairy tales!
Find the books linked below, and the synopses in the comments, and then vote for which one you want me to read and review this month!

You can vote 3 ways:
* Comment with which book you want me to read!
* Upvote the synopsis for the book you want me to read! (Youtube-only option.)
* Answer the poll located in the video! (Click the button with the little 'i' in the top right corner to access the poll.)



THE BOOKS:
Spindle's End: http://amzn.to/2kXxrlF
Trickster's Choice: http://amzn.to/2kUq67j
Cybele's Secret: http://amzn.to/2kUpw9M
The Swan Maiden: http://amzn.to/2kXvENE
Paper Valentine: http://amzn.to/2kUvask


Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored video.

Monday, January 30, 2017

CHANGES & RESOLUTIONS

Just after I finished recording this yesterday, I opened up Twitter to see the news that Trump had made the move to ban people based on their religion and country of origin, and bar already vetted, actually legal citizens and visitors from entering the country -- in some cases, THEIR country. So this just further reinforced my main goal of this year.

If you have favorite ways you like to brighten people's days and put good back out into the world, or ways you like to get involved (politically or otherwise! There are lots of ways to make a difference), please let me know in the comments.



There will be more to discuss, I think, on my specific goals and resolutions in the coming days, but this is where I'm at for now. ✌️


Monday, January 23, 2017

Bullet Journal Walkthrough

Sorry this is such a long one, guys. Future bullet journal videos will NOT be, I promise, but I wanted to give some background on how I came to bullet journaling, and what I did before.
If you'd like to see more bullet journal videos, whether walkthroughs and planning videos, or my favorite / go-to designs and techniques for bujo-ing, let me know in the comments! And if YOU bujo, tell me what you do! I'm always looking for new things to incorporate. =D




TIMESTAMPS
Previous journaling: 0:45
Current journal walkthrough begins: 6:14
Supplies: 13:58

Things shown:
The notebook I'm currently using
The one I think I'll get next time (Or this (very pretty!) But both of these options are smaller than I'd like)
My favorite pens for bujo are these and these.

Friday, January 20, 2017

New Year, New Vlog!

Vlog time!
I want to get back into it this year, so even though this is probably not of much interest to a lot of you (soz!), it IS a reflection of what my life is right now, and I'm okay with that.

Chat with me in the comments about various vloggish things, like this whole seasons thing (wtf Michigan?), and things you'd like to see in upcoming vlogs!

And catch me on Monday for that Bullet Journal video I mentioned!



Mentioned:
Best & Worst of 2016 series:
http://www.thebookrat.com/2017/01/best-of-2016.html
http://www.thebookrat.com/2017/01/the-almost-favorites-2016-honorable.html
http://www.thebookrat.com/2017/01/disappointing-2016-reads.html



Music from the Youtube Creators library.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Disappointing 2016 Reads

Sorry for the world's longest video, but I had THINGS TO SAY. But hey, I time stamped everything, so feel free to skip around!

It's not that all of these are ~bad~ books, necessarily -- some of them I even liked! But for one reason or another, these books are the ones I look back on as disappointments from 2016.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and your least fave/disappointments from 2016! And if you missed the other videos in this series, you can check them out here:



THE BOOKS:
0:55 The Darkest Lie
2:34 Truthwitch [review]
4:27 Fray
6:25 In Case You Missed It
8:02 Rat Queens, vol 3 (and a little bit vol 2)
12:10 Sweaterweather
13:25 Heartless
14:37 Wink Poppy Midnight
15:44 The Wrath & the Dawn



Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored video.

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