Monday, December 23, 2013

Winter Holiday Book Swap 2013

Like I mentioned in my last post, I just got my box from my Librarian in our latest book swap.  The winter book swap started just a couple of weeks after the fall one, and I had to sign up for it.  The requirements: send at least three books (one must be winter/Christmas themed), at least 2 treats (one winter/Christmas themed), and at least 1 extra goodie. The deadline to ship everything out was the end of December but I was able to get my bookworm's box out last week (I of course had to go to the PO on one of the busiest shipping days of the year).

My books - I also got a digital copy of Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith
My treats - never had a GooGoo cluster before.
My goodies all wrapped up neatly
And unwrapped!
This box couldn't have come at a better time. The past few days have been extremely busy for us at work and extremely stressful. It's also like a nice pre-Christmas gift.  The Eyre Affair sounds really interesting but I'll probably read Soulless first to get some background of that universe before I read the next book in the author's Finishing School series (which I didn't realize took place in the same universe as the Parasol Protectorate series until I finished Etiquette & Espionage).

I love all my extra goodies, especially the ornaments. I already have a nice collection of Christmas decorations and these will be a great addition to it.  The headband is super cute and will be great for covering my ears when I head off to work in the morning (I don't have a hood on my coat).

And so my last swap of the year is over. Can't wait for new ones next year!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Breaking Out Of Reader's Block

Since I just got my box for the most recent book swap, I thought it was the perfect time to post this up.  For several months now, I've been fighting a rather bad case of reader's block. I usually have a few books checked out from the library at all times on top of all the unread books that I personally own.  But, when I get a new stack of books, I suddenly find myself completely disinterested in reading them.  It's been really frustrating. And it's not like I haven't been reading but it's been mostly other blogs or fanfiction.  I've been determined to break out of this for the past month or so and I thought I would share my approach of trying to break out of a reader's block.

First off, I've gone back to reading during my breaks at work. For the past few months, I would just use my breaks as a time to doze off a bit (sometimes almost falling asleep for real).  I read Dracula solely at work - it's surprising how much reading you can get done in a short amount of time.  Since becoming a senior at work, I really only get to read during my lunch but better than nothing.

I've mostly chosen books which I think would be quick reads. A lot of those have been young adult or juvenile fiction: the reading is usually less complicated and the plot moves along faster (especially those geared toward kids) so they usually get finished pretty quick.

I like to read 2-3 books at the same time.  One that I bring with me to work and one that I read before going to bed.  It's a way to go through my stack of unreads faster, as well as possibly find a book that I can't put down.  And sometimes you just want to take a break from what you're currently reading for something new.

I've been using Goodreads to keep track of what I've read - it's a good way to keep count for my goal in my Project Day Zero list. I sometimes forget to add books to my 'currently reading' shelf and just add them when I've finished them.  Based off the dates of when I've added books to my account, I've read 6 books since November 15, and currently reading 3 books. It feels good to have actually finished something rather than losing interest halfway through and not finishing it.

Some other observations and musings:

-I've been trying to find new authors to read and have been having a difficult time (on my own). I usually find new others mostly through book swaps. I will judge a book by it's cover and whenever I go look at the scifi/fantasy section at bookstores, all I see are covers that could belong to romance driven books. Not interested.

- I've started to read a new series: The Last Apprentice (also known as the Wardstone Chronicles) by Joseph Delaney.  The movie Seventh Son is loosely based off it and I wanted to see what the books were like. I've read the first two books in the series, and comparing what I currently know to the trailer, 'loosely' is definitely the word for this adaption (still looking forward to seeing it). I feel rather 'meh' about the protagonist, but his mother is really interesting and hope we learn more on who and what she is.  I can't pinpoint how I feel about the character Alice but it will be interesting to see what her fate will be. I've already got the next three books from the library, and placed the next 3 after that on hold.

-I mostly read fantasy and scifi, but fantasy has been the dominant genre in my reading for a while and I'm craving for some good scifi stories. I really need to start reading some of the classics: Dune and Neuromancer are the ones I'm thinking of tackling first.

I'm always on the look out for new stuff to read, so tell me some of your favorites books or authors to check out.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fall 2013 Mix CD Swap

Over on the BPAL forum, we recently had the next round of the Mix CD swap. I missed Round 4, so I was excited when the sign ups opened for this round. I always find a couple of new artists that I like which helps me expand my own music collection. I feel that my collection is rather limited though it seems I'm always listening to something; this is probably because I prefer to buy CDs rather than MP3s but rarely buy anything new. It also probably doesn't help that I mostly keep up with more Asian artists rather than American artists.

For this swap, we usually are split into groups of 3 or 4. I was in a group of 3 and got 3 CDs in total.

Monday, December 2, 2013

O Tannenbaum

We decorated our christmas tree last night. My one sister didn't get to join in because she had to go back to Portland Friday night and I unfortuna tely had a closing shift. My parents decided to go with the smaller tree this year (we use fake trees); I much prefer the bigger one. But it still looks nice and that's what matters.