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"I try to avoid looking backward and keep looking upward."― Charlotte Bronte

January 18, 2020

Seven Things : Books, birthdays and other silly things

Some long rants about books, birthdays, preaching, shopping and you know... things.

01 | These days, as I am only buying paper books that I either already read and loved or know that I will love which means, I won't be buying paper books much. I now go to book stores to look at all the books I'm not going to buy. But maybe I need to stop going to book stores because I feel bad about browsing and ogling and not buying books but not really.

02 | I often thought about opening up a used book store but I haven't the guts to do so. If someone comes up to me and ask me to partner with them in opening a book store, I might say yes because doing it myself is not something I can muster. I'm not a people person and I have a hard time talking to people about business and also, because I know zip about keeping up a book store and I have zero experience in dealing with customers. Plus it's costly to run a book store what's with rent and utility bills and it's hard to get people to buy books when they can simply read them and then leave the store. But it's just a thought but it's a nice thought to think about now and then and even dream about it. I mean, what book lover wouldn't want to open a book store?

03 | The other day there were these two ladies came to preach about something which I half listened because I didn't want to be rude but at the same time, I really don't care about their preaching. But I just let them rattled on (one lady speaks, while the other stands looking) until there was a break and then bye bye. But really, how do you get rid of people like that and still be polite about it?

I remember there was another time before this where another two ladies came to the front door preaching about something while wild wind blew trash cans behind them because a storm was coming and I suppose they want to preach about the end and what I should do to save my soul but I just didn't care. I barely listened and then bye bye!

Now I think the next time anyone comes preaching, I'll just shut the door on them because I really think preaching should take place in a church where people want to listen. I don't want to be rude but can't these people just leave a pamphlet and let people get on with their lives? You know, stuff the pamphlets into the mailboxes and if we are interested, we can read them at our leisure or throw them away with the rest of the trash but we can't do that these day because we have to recycle paper. Ha.

04 | Books I read in December 2019:

West by Edith Pattou > link
West is a sequel to East (aka North Child) which I have never thought it needed a sequel and if a sequel is to be written, it should have been the white bear's story or that he should be the main perspective but again, it's more of Rose's story. The very gruesome thing Rose did near the end to get to her son is pretty damm hard to read but I think anyone can understand it but still, it's not something anyone can easily decides to do - you have to be really desperate or really really love that child of yours. But at least, there was no magical fix on it because her sacrifice would have been meaningless if there was a magical fix. Though this doesn't seem like a sequel until they remind the reader that Rose had done this and that. Overall, this is a really a good sequel as sequels go.

Hunting of the Last Dragon by Sherryl Jordan > link
This was a short but enjoyable read. This is told by Jude telling his story to a monk and the monk is writing it down but the monk does not speak. There are some interruptions which is a bit annoying because it stops the story but then I realized it tells another story of what is happening in the present day. I went into this book without reading too much about it so I was pleasantly surprised. Jing-wei and Jude are characters that grows, well, mostly Jude is the one that grows as Jing-wei is a fully realized heroine so I sort of think Jude is a bit dumb sometimes but he learns so that's the important thing. Overall, a great read.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer > link
So I didn't actually finished reading this book because I was bored and it keep detouring to other boring storylines instead of going to the center of what the story is suppose to be about which is a Beauty and the Beast retelling. But I think what this book is really about is a woman who is also an enchantress, got dumped by her lover who happened to be a prince, so she took revenge on him by cursing him to be a monster (probably once or twice a year, I don't know since they took so long to even reveal the monster and I never got that far) and in order to stop the curse, he have to find true love. So I'm assuming the prince is a jerk at breakups or else this woman would not have sought revenge. But I do question her mental stability because she basically tortures the prince so that he dies but he's alive later so it's quite a meaningless meander on her part because what villain thought spending a hundred years torturing someone with basically no consequences? I'm sure there is some end that she means to reach with the curse but after 200 pages with everyone meandering, I just didn't care. And I also question the mental stability of the prince and the bodyguard because all they do is choose beautiful women - a hundred years and they've not thought to choose plain women. I just didn't care enough for the prince, nor the girl with the cerebral palsy (which I think it's a ploy because in all the reviews I read, this is basically the only reason people want to read this), nor the bodyguard. Well, I kind of like the bodyguard. I remember his name is Grey and he is the only one without any kind of agenda expect to protect a prince that really didn't need protecting except from the enchantress which he could do nothing about anyway. Also, the stupid-almost-love-triangle with the prince, the girl and Grey makes me cringe. Seriously, even if I knew that would not happen, the idea is placed so that it might happen which is kind of crazy because the men are basically adults and the girl is a teenager so for two men to fall for a teenager is just crazy but probably not in a YA book so... The only reason I didn't finish this is because I was bored and I just couldn't care what happens to these people. I know it will worked out, well, I read the ending so I know, but it's still a rather prolonged story, but if you have the patience, I suppose you'll enjoy it more than me.

05 | Being short sucks. Or rather being short ruins my attempt at shopping like a normal person. The other day, I reached a high shelf to take out some shirts from the top shelf in a clothing store. (Normally, I would ask for help but I guess I wasn't in the mood to do that.) I took out the only one there in that size and put it on the rack behind me and then I returned the others back onto the shelf but when I turned around, a store employee had taken the one shirt I wanted and walked off. I called out but she didn't hear me. I was in a bad mood so I didn't have the heart to chase her down and there was no more shirts with the size I wanted so I left the store a little bit pissed off.

Apparently, my infuriating invisibility power may have struck again so maybe this lady did not see me. Or maybe she was just doing her job but it's rather strange to me that she would take that moment to take the one shirt I had a hard time getting off the shelf and walked off instead of putting the shirt back onto the shelf. Or maybe it's the store's fault for having high shelf that forces me to work out getting a shirt off a shelf and putting back the unwanted ones (why I even bother to put the shirts back onto the shelf, it's probably my stupid polite self's doing). I had only turned around a few seconds, just a few seconds and this employee thought to take the shirt away, why, why? And yes, she is an employee because she wears the store tag around her neck.

And it was the second time I visit the same shop but different location because I thought they would have that particular shirt in my size but victory wasn't mine. I'm still miff about it because I was having a horrible day and retail therapy helps me cope but the day ended in this stupid way and I might have brought a lot of chocolate to soothe my angry self.

06 | I don't like the idea of getting a year older so soon in the start of the year but as I was born in January, I have no choice in that. I have, mostly, accepted this fact. I heard some people celebrate their birthday for a whole month and I thought I do the same thing but I'm not going to buy myself 31 gifts because that's just too much and a bit too selfish. Plus I was raised to be very economical and never waste a single penny on unnecessary things or pay too much for things, that I just automatically find it a bit hard to spend money on frivolous things but I will sort of do that, at least during this month. With some restrictions, that is.

I did have this thought of setting up a sort of not giveaway but the opposite, takeaway maybe, and ask people to send me 31 things for 31 days that was my birthday month and see exactly what type of respond I would get. Would people send me things just because I ask for them? It really makes me wonder how generous people can get. Perhaps someone would have a sudden lightening thought that strike their fancy to do something they would not typically do and send a stranger a birthday gift. But I'm not going to do the takeaway because it's weird and I don't know if I want to get presents from strangers and also, I would have to send out thank you notes (my very polite self would make me do it even if I don't want to) and that would take a month to do because I'm lazy and because I really think it should not be work to celebrate one's birthday. I was also going to leave a link to my amazon wish list but then decided it was a bad idea and there aren't that many items there anyway.

I'm afraid I'm one of those people who just don't like telling others my age. Even when I was younger, I feel uncomfortable telling people my age because I look younger than my actual age and most people either don't believe me or are terribly shocked by whatever number I give them. But since I have stopped counting, I'm not even sure what is the accurate number now. And also I suck at math. So don't ask me how old I am but just know I will turn 27 again this year on the 24th and that have been my age for a long while now but who's counting? Not me.

07 | I want to end this post with on a good note so here's a giveaway: If your birthday is in January, I wish you a lovely birthday day and if you leave a comment with the day of your birthday, I'll enter you twice in a giveaway for a book or a gift (under 30 U.S. dollars) from amazon or a book from the Book Depository if you're international. For those not born in January, you can also leave a comment to enter for the giveaway but your chance is once. Of course, it's a bit bias and probably those born in January will probably have the same chances of winning as those who are not but it all depends on fate or the random picking process I will use or it could be fate or the devil, who knows. Leave a comment and see.

What's on your mind these days?

January 17, 2020

April Gale 30

~ ~  Read previous April Gale here ~ ~

Summary (lots of spoiler if you have not read the earlier parts): April Gale comes to Windy Shadows with her Aunt, Josephine 'Josey' Tyler after April's father dies leaving her an orphan of sorts. There, April met her grandfather Harrison 'Harry' Tyler, a few ghosts, a few odd servants, got dropped onto the roof by a dragon named Tim, got healed by Grandfather and recovered. Next came new visitors to Windy Shadows - Winifred, a distance cousin to April, and Vincent, a friend of Winifred. Then April discovered a wolf in the garden who turned out to be Vincent. Then there was another incident with the wolf and Winifred became a spirit while her body is in a coma. Now Aunt Josephine has returned to Windy Shadows.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

April Gale 30

April sits up and yawns and stretches her arms. The piglet at the foot of the bed stirs slightly. The brightness of the light in the room makes April wonder. She pulls the cover down and slowly gets out of bed as not to wake the piglet.

She pulls the curtains open. The East Garden is covered with snow and the white flakes are still falling. Oh no! Has April done this? She has been wishing for a snowy birthday but how could she have done it? She has never changed the weather. Or did she? What will the neighbors think? What will Aunt Josephine think?

A thud makes her turn around. A box wrapped in pink with pink ribbons is on the floor near the desk. Then again box wrapped in white with blue ribbons appears out of the air and falls beside the other box. Then another and another until boxes fill the empty spaces of her room. Some of them are round and oddly shaped. One is particularly small - an oval box that landed on her writing desk. She picks up the oval box. The little tag attached to the ribbon has her name on it: April Lougenia Gale. Who sent them? Who knows her middle name that she never uses? It was her father's mother's name but she have never liked it. Who would know and send these? Aunt Josephine? Grandfather Tyler? Mrs. Summers? Toby? Vincent? Winifred! No! She wouldn't. How short the list of people April knows. When she thinks about it, she has not seen anyone new and it has been months.

The piglet, probably waken by all the noise, jumps down from the bed.

There is knock on her door. "Come in." April lifts the piglet up before it can run into the piles of boxes. It barely weights much but its skin is quite soft.

Mrs. Summers enters with a tray with a plate of eggs and bacon and a glass of orange juice along with a piece of toast. She sets the tray down on the side table. "I have brought you your breakfast, Miss April."

"Thank you, Mrs. Summers." April strolls over toward her.

Mrs. Summers' eyes widens at the piglet but she remains calm even as her eyes land on the piles of boxes. "I see Master has been busy."

January 14, 2020

Favorite Booktubers

This week's Top Ten Tuesday Prompt is 'Bookish Discoveries I Made In 2019.' I've been browsing youtube a lot lately and I found some great booktubers. These book enthusiasts makes me laugh so that's why they are on the list. For each one, I list one of my favorite videos from them. These are in no particular order.

01 | Gabby Reads > link

02 | Caleb Joseph > link

03 | Books with Emily Fox > link

 04 | Ellias > link

05 | Hardback Hoarder > link

06 | The Naughty Librarian > link

07 | Bookish Princess > link

08 | Jesse the Reader > link

09 | Read with Cindy > link

10 | Holly Hearts Books > link

If you have any favorite booktuber or any youtuber, list them in the comments.