I recently devoured Sarah J. Maas’s Court of Thorns and Roses series (minus the recently released novella, which I will remedy forthwith). Faeries, complex characters, and unexpected sexiness, this is the kind of story I wanted when New Adult became a thing (and completely failed to meet my expectation).
I also mention the series in the video below.
The heat is on and I’ve been feeling nostalgic. I decided to switch my usual RMS blush for an oldie but a goodie: Benefit Dandelion. I wore Dandelion for years (through college and beyond), but stopped using it after greening my makeup. It’s not clean; it’s not cruelty free; it is all things bad and evil, but I love the color and I can live with my poor choices.
Episode 10: Gotham by Gaslight (hosted by yours truly) is now available. This episode focuses on Gotham by Gaslight (the film and graphic novel) and general thoughts on BatCat.
You can find the episode on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play.
Health, writing, books, and tieks!
A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
Yep, I had to come back for more. This series is my new addiction and I can’t wait to pick up the next book from my library. (I’m currently #4 in line)
Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
I ordered this one for my own library collection (ICYMI, I’m a librarian). I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was intrigued by the idea of YA not-yet-superheroes and Marie Lu does not disappoint. Her Bruce reads like a real person with real doubts and these are all good things.
I tried the Tarte BB Tinted Treatment 12-hour Primer in Light and I think I finally found a color match. Not 100% green, but I don’t have a problem with the ingredients listed. It scores a 1 on the EWG Skin Deep database and feels really nice on the skin (it’s a cream to powder finish with physical SPF). I’m saving it for travel and ordering a full size.
Episode 8: Star Wars: A New Hope and Spaceballs is live! Give us a listen and follow the pod @bluesoxcircle on Twitter and Insta.
You can find the episode on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, or Google Play.
The Sheriff of Babylon by Tom King and Mitch Gerads
The boy says I’m having a weird literary affair with Tom King. He may be right. I enjoy his writing and this is an incredibly compelling story set during the so-called War on Terror. A hard read, but a good (and important) one.
A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman
I needed something light after a series of emotionally heavy reads (see above) and this sweet romance about second chances fit the bill. Rather than the classic Duke meets lady (or other bold female) trope, the novel reminds me of Persuasion–or Persuasion if Wentworth married Anne before misunderstandings ensued. There is a heavy dose of mystery and plenty of flashbacks, which set this apart from the typical Duke romance.
(This review is based on a ARC from NetGalley)
A Curious Beginning (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery) by Deanna Raybourn
Long on my TBR list, I was inspired to check out the first in the series after listening to an excellent interview with Deanna Raybourn on the Smart Bitches Trashy Books podcast. I read it in a day. That should tell you something of my enjoyment. Mystery, banter, and serious, slow-burn tension.
- After my 3+ year old elf flawless face brush came apart mid-sweep, I decided it was time for an upgrade and picked up the IT Cosmetics airbrush buffing foundation brush. While not strictly a cream foundation brush, I like the flat top and it’s soft and fluffy. All good things.
- Spring has reignited my love Red Apple Lipstick’s Hollypeno. Sadly, they just recently discontinued this shade.
- In “project use it up” news, I hit pan on my glossier stretch concealer (I use the medium shade).
We just recorded Episode 8, but you can still catch up with Episode 7.5, where we wrap up our thoughts on Howl, share more recommendations, and hatch our evil plot to make Bee watch Star Wars for the First Time(!) via a carefully orchestrated comparison to Spaceballs.
You can find the episode on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, or Google Play.
And we’re back! It took me an embarrassingly long time to get though Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, but I’m finally caught up and ready to move on to Order of the Phoenix. It’s been 10+ years since I last read the series from cover to cover.
Watch the video to learn how I’m feeling about books 3 and 4.
One of my 2017 goals was to re-read Harry Potter. I’d been meaning to re-read the series for a while, and was completely unaware that it was the 20th anniversary of its debut, but that was the plan. I FINALLY started reading it in July (again, happenstance), and am finding it just as charming as ever. However, it got me thinking about my original interest in the story and how I came to read it in the first place. Check out the video and find out what sparked the magic for me 🙂
Mini Review time… for more detail, watch the video 🙂
Campbell’s Redemption by Sharon Cullen (via NetGalley)
Highland romance featuring a widow and a misunderstood laird. I liked that it was original in its take on life and romance after loss. Post-Culloden setting (totally missed that in the video, what was I thinking?!). Perfect for Outlander fans looking for a bit of fluff between seasons (and tomes).
The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify by Francine Jay (via LibraryThing Early Reviewers)
Easy to read manual on everyday minimalism. Not as intense as KonMari and very approachable if you’re just looking for an intro to minimalism as a lifestyle.
The gods lie. by Kaori Ozaki
Japanese light novel… not light at all. Reminds me of Ian McEwan’s The Cement Garden. Very dark and melancholy with a touch of hope.
A Girl on the Shore by Inio Asano
Another light novel… reminds me of Bertolucci’s The Dreamers. Teens in very adult situations. Rated 18+ and well-earned.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
The Dregs at their finest. I loved the intricate plots and the “just when you think all is lost” feeling of it.
After You by Jojo Moyes
Not my usual cup of tea, but I’ve really fallen for Jojo Moyes’ writing, and this one did not disappoint.
Against all Grain is my grain-free bible. Of all the paleo/grain-free/gluten-free/Whole30-esque cookbooks I’ve read, Danielle’s has been the best resource for home-style, every day recipes that I a) want to eat and b) can actually make (skill and ingredient-wise). When I learned that she was publishing a book of holiday menus and recipes, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
Celebrations is a beautiful, inspiring collection of recipes for a delicious, grain-free holiday. The book is divided into holidays and features a full menu (including drinks, desserts, entrees, appetizers, and sides) for each event. Some of these include specialty flours, but these are regularly available at Whole Foods and similar markets. I’ve already marked my holiday menu and can’t wait to try the Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes. 🙂
I received my copy of Celebrations from Blogging for Books.
The last week and a half have involved a lot of reading and resting to get my head back in a good place. I give you the fruits of my (non)labor (with epic hair flip!).
What have you been reading? Any recommendations? 🙂
I was a little lax on posting this weekend, but I did record two videos 🙂
This time, I’ve been reading and loving Sarah Beth Durst’s The Queen of Blood, first in the new Queens of Renthia series, an adult epic fantasy that takes place in a world where nature is deadly and only those who are chosen to be queen can keep it in check.
This review is based on an ARC that I picked up at ALA. The book is available for pre-order and will be published on September 20, 2016.
Don’t miss Friday’s video, the first in my minimalism (my way) series.
I read books and they were good. Flash review of Cursed Child, Imprudence, and The Scottish Prisoner. I also just finished Rosamund Hodge’s Cruel Beauty (mentioned in the video) and am experiencing serious book hangover. Check out the video for more.
This will probably be the last video in the bedroom, because the lighting is just insane.