We’re having a giveaway to celebrate The Fault in Our Stars movie release over on Wear Pink Wednesdays! I had been putting off reading John Green’s novel of the same name for quite some time but I finally decided to be brave and read this book I was terrified of starting for so long last week. I had previously purchased TFIOS and I would see it sitting on my shelf and shudder and think about how one day I might be able to pick it up. The reason I had been putting off my inevitable reading session is because for the past few years my mother had been battling cancer and I didn’t think I would be emotionally strong enough to handle reading about other people who are in pain while my mom was going through something similar. Her latest test results have come back clear and she’s been cancer free for a few months, so her having won her battle made me feel like it was time that I could read this book. I ended up loving it so much that I finished in only two days. I don’t regret my decision to wait because within the first few pages Hazel Grace talks about a member of her support group who has the same kind of rare cancer my mother had (Hazel’s direct quote is “She was a regular- in a long remission from appendiceal cancer, which I had not previously known existed”).
After getting over the initial anxiety I had felt, I fell for Augustus Waters’ charm, the same way Hazel Grace did. I really enjoyed the course of their romance and while I understood Hazel’s reservations about getting involved with someone while being fully aware that she’s terminally ill, I was still rooting for those little lovebirds. Another fascinating element of the story is Hazel Grace”s obsession with a novel by Peter Van Houten. The fictional novel-within-a-novel, about a girl who suffers from cancer, serves as an interesting parallel between the fictitious characters and their own tales. The novel, An Imperial Affliction, is one that Hazel had become obsessed with several years earlier, so she shares it with Augustus and thereafter, the pair forge a tenacious bond. John Green takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions throughout the entirety of the novel and by the last page I became so attached to the aforementioned characters that I understood why the journey was worth the pain and sadness I knew I would feel when I started reading the first page.
And now for the fun part, the giveaway part! As I previously mentioned, we’re hosting a giveaway on Wear Pink Wednesdays, and you should totally enter to win! The prize includes a $25 Visa Gift Card to see the film in theaters, a copy of John Green’s book with the movie-tie in cover, a TFIOS tote bag, and a headphone splitter with a phone stand. The contest is open to all US residents and a winner will be chosen on Friday June 6th. Good luck!
Ever since the sun began making all of our days more pleasant this season I’ve been daydreaming about scorching hot days, oversized sunglasses, ice cream cones, denim shorts, and that incredible energy level that comes along with my favorite season. My last wish list theme was very magical girl, and as I’ve started building my next wish list I’ve noticed that it’s inspired by some of my favorite dessert foods. Macarons, cupcakes and pies, oh my! I decided to start a new list after happening upon the beautiful cherry pie crossbody purse I found by Betsey Johnson last night. It reminds me of one of my favorite television shows, Pushing Daisies, and I feel like I must have it. What does the warm weather having you wish for this summer season?
Macaron t-shirt by BDG $18 (Urban Outfitters)
Bubble Tea Ring by Fatally Feminine $15 (Etsy)
My Sweet Art Cupcake Print Dress $89.99 (ModCloth)
Betsey Johnson Cherry Pie Crossbody Purse $68 (Macy’s)
Watermelon iPhone Case $19.50 (Etsy)
Pops! Icy Treats For Everyone By Krystina Castella $15.95 (QuirkBooks)
Scented Heart Cookie Earrings by Fatally Feminine $32 (Etsy)
Heart Cut Out Ice Cream Print Dress $89.00 (Etsy)
Macarons by Mowie Kay $13 (Amazon)
Lime Crime Nail Polish in Pastelchio $8 (Lime Crime)
Spring is in the air and the cherry blossoms are in bloom all over NYC. I’ve been enjoying every moment I can spend outside lately but on the rare occasions that I’m stuck inside or commuting on trains, I’ve been on a major anime and manga kick. I think it has something to do with the warm weather. Some of the titles I’ve been devouring lately include Nana by Ai Yazawa, Sword Art Online, Attack on Titan, Ouran High School Host Club, Madoka Magika, and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Anyway, as I’ve been browsing the internet and searching for furniture, room decor, and everything I’ll need for my new apartment (!), I realized that my spring wish list has a definite magical girl feel to it. These are some of the cute things I’ve found that I think I need in my life.
I’m Really a Mermaid Necklace $34.82 (Etsy)
Kiki’s Delivery Service Round Cushion $55 (J-List)
Rilakkuma and Corilakkuma Contact Case $7.50 (J-List)
Kosaido Natural Lip Treatment – Sakura Scent $8.00 (J-List)
Choo Choo Cat Passport Case (B) $12.00 (Japan LA)
Mer-Peach by Messy Pink $150.00 (Japan LA)
Pink Unicorn Kigurumi $59.99 (Japan LA)
Tokidoki Stellina Unicorno Vinyl $16.00 (Japan LA)
The Studio Ghibli Collection: 17 Ghibli Films $1,195.00 (includes: Nausica of the Valley of the Wind, Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Grave of the Fireflies, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Only Yesterday, Porco Rosso, Pom Poko, Whisper of the Heart, Princess Mononoke, My Neighbors the Yamadas, The Cat Returns, Howl’s Moving Castle, Tales from Earthsea, Ponyo, Arrietty, From Up on Poppy Hill) (J-List)
Sylveon Plush $12 (Amazon)
The Grand Budapest Hotel: The Illustrated Screenplay by Wes Anderson $13.85 (Amazon)
PuppyCat Talking Plush $23.00 (We Love Fine)
Pink Lotus Flower Candle $6.69 (Karma Kiss)
Pink by Kyoko Okazaki $13 (Amazon)
I said I would start posting about what I’m reading more often and I’m starting now! HOORAY! I thought it would also be fun to include which TV series I’ve been binge watching on Netflix lately since my attention span has been magically reinstated. I haven’t split up the TV shows by month, but maybe I’ll start soon. Maybe. We’ll see. No promises!
If you have any recommendations for books or TV shows I should watch next month, please send them my way! I’m always open to suggestions!
1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I loved this book so much. It’s very whimsical and it tells the story of a traveling circus. There’s a beautiful love story between two characters who are destined to compete against one another with the magic they’ve studied throughout their entire childhoods.
2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – Oh Fangirl<3 I have so many warm and fuzzy feelings for this book. The main character Cath is a popular fanfiction writer with a strong online following for a series similar to Harry Potter and it chronicles her experience as she adjusts to college life and grows apart from her twin sister. And there’s a super cute boy named Levi who I just want to hug.
3. The Archived by Victoria Schwab – The Archived series quickly became one of my favorite things I’ve read. One of the central settings is a library full of Histories (dead people), and the main character Mackenzie is Keeper which entails leading Histories to their doors using her Keeper key when they get misplace from their shelves. There’s a librarian that’s basically David Tennant, and her potential love interest (who I wish were MY love interest) is nicknamed Guyliner.
4. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Leviathan – Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is co-written by two authors who I love, but I found it to have too many similarities to Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist which is a story I treasure. It was a fun, quick, snowy winter read but it wasn’t my favorite that I’ve read recently. Maybe I’m being spoiled by the other wonderful books I’ve consumed.
5. The Diviners by Libba Bray – This book is quite the adventure. It takes place in the roaring twenties in Manhattan which is obviously a place I love more than anywhere else in the world. It’s a kind of supernatural mystery and I as I neared the end I was definitely having a few nightmares.
6. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I wanted to read this book before I saw the movie and I’m really glad I did. The movie was very loyal to the book but I felt like I got more out of it having read it beforehand. I love the strong female friendship between Rose and Lissa and I can’t wait to devour the rest of the series!
7. Looking For Alaska by John Green – Alaska Young is a force to be reckoned with. I love her free spirit and I love the main character, Miles’ search for “The Great Perhaps.” I think there are so many lessons to be learned from this book and I wish it would’ve been around for me to read while I was in high school.
8. The Unbound (Archived Book 2) by Victoria Schwab – I talked about my love for the first book in this series above, and the second was one of the best sequels to a book that I’ve ever read. I am so attached to Mackenzie and Wes that it hurts when I feel like they’re making a poor decision. I cannot recommend this series enough. Seriously, go buy it!
1. The Mortal Instruments Book 2: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare – I felt kind of meh about the first book in The Mortal Instruments series and after I saw the film I was convinced that I was done with it forever but after Melissa’s constant attempts to get me to pick up the second book I finally obliged and I’m happy to report that I liked it more than the first. It’s still not my favorite series but it’s a quick filler series to read between other endeavors.
2. Cress (The Lunar Chronicles Book 3) by Marissa Meyer – I was really impatient about waiting for this book to be released and once snowpocalypse hit and my mail was delayed, I was nearly in tears. Cress picks up right where Scarlet left off and I found Cress to be my favorite character in the series. I loved her immediately because she’s so awkward and such a romantic that it’s almost too adorable to handle. I have no idea how I’m going to survive until the final installment which doesn’t come out until next year.
3. Locke & Key Volume 6: Alpha & Omega by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez – This graphic novel will leave you in tears. It’s the conclusion to Joe and Gabriel’s Locke and Key series and it has a very satisfying ending but seriously, it will reduce you to tears so be prepared.
4. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith – This book was cute. It took me a little while to get into it, but once I continued on I found the story to be very pleasant. It’s definitely a lighter read but sometimes you need one of those.
5. Sailor Moon Volume 8 by Naoko Takeuchi – I don’t think any explanation is necessary for Sailor Moon, especially when all of my magical girl merchandise keeps shipping from Japan and the rebooted anime is expected to debut this July.
6. Sailor Moon Volume 9 by Naoko Takeuchi – see above!
7. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – I picked up this book after love love loving Fangirl and I’m pretty sure my heart melted a little more with each page. The main characters bonded over their shared love of comics and The Smiths so it really hit home for me. I wish Rainbow Rowell had more published books for me to read before her newest novel, Landline, comes out this summer.
January & February TV Shows
1. Pushing Daisies (streaming on Amazon Prime) – If I could do anything I would quit my job and become a pie maker and fill my closet with all of Charlotte’s dresses. I loved everything about this series and supposedly there is a revival in the works!
2. Veronica Mars (streaming on Amazon Prime) – Veronica Mars: The Movie is coming out SO soon and I’m totally caught up on this fandom that I somehow missed when it was on air. Huzzah!
3. Pretty Little Liars (streaming on Netflix) – What a guilty little pleasure! As one of my friends pointed out, there isn’t actually much that happens on any episode of the show but they somehow make you think that lots of things are happening, especially for the first three seasons. But I kept having to watch one after another!
4. Arrested Development (streaming on Netflix) – I’ve already seen all of Arrested Development but my parents hadn’t seen the exclusive 4th Netflix season so I marathoned it again with them since they don’t use my Netflix account unless I’m with them for some reason. The George Michael, Tobias, and Gob episodes are still my favorite.
5. Portlandia (streaming on Netflix) – I hadn’t watched the most recent season of Portlandia so I blew through it while I cleaned my room one day. I love the quirky skits that Fred and Carrie developed and I always end up laughing at their antics.
6. Princess Jellyfish (streaming on Netflix) – I definitely watched this entire anime series in one day. And it had subtitles so I even paid attention to the whole thing which is a pretty big deal. I want a jellyfish dress!
7. The Carrie Diaries (streaming on Netflix) – This is another guilty pleasure show that I finished watching really quickly. There were so many nods to Sex & the City and I just love watching people who share my love of New York City. Plus it takes place in the 80’s so the fashion is so fun.
8. Pokemon: Indigo League (streaming on Netflix) – I’m actually watching more of this as I write this very blog post! I missed Ash, Misty and Brock, but mostly Pikachu, Squirtle, Charmander and the other Pokemon. I’m so happy that Netflix added Indigo League to their lineup but I feel pressured to watch all 52 episodes by Friday because all six season of The Clone Wars are being released then!
This end-of-2013-books-I-read-throughout-the-year-wrap-up post comes to you very belatedly, as it’s almost February of 2014. Looking back at my Books I Read In 2012 post I had read a total of 104 books. My personal goal for 2013 was to read 120 books. After tallying my list I was ecstatic to discover that I surpassed my goal by far! In 2013 I read 189 books total. ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY NINE. I know. But sadly my list is not very diversified. It’s mostly graphic novels, and while I adore graphic novels, my 2014 goal is to read much more prose. I’m lowering my goal to 100 prose novels, and 50 graphic novels. I also want to make an effort not to re-read books I’ve already read. Except for Scott Pilgrim in color since the final volumes are being released in 2014 and I feel like that shouldn’t count. Who can read one volume of Scott Pilgrim without finishing the series despite how many times you’ve already read it? I know I can’t. So we shall see how I fare at the end of this year! I also think I may begin posting these monthly so 1) I’ll be more motivated to read and 2) I just like posting things about books. I’ve italicized my favorite titles of each month in case you’re looking for recommendations and feel overwhelmed by what you see below. And I’d love to hear about some of your favorite books from 2013 in the comments! Without further ado, here is my list :-)
1. Suicide Squad Volume 1 by Adam Glass
2. Wonder Woman Volume 1: Blood by Brian Azzarello
3. Green Lantern Volume 1: Sinestro by Geoff Johns
4. Superman Action Comics Volume 1: Superman and the Men of Steel by Grant Morrison
5. Batman: The Dark Knight volume 1: A Knight Folds by David Finch
6. Batman & Robin Volume 1: Born to Kill by Peter J. Tomasi
7. Infinite Crisis by Geoff Johns
8. Superboy by Jeff Lemire
9. Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
10. Daredevil Ultimate Collection Book 1 by Brian Michael Bendis
11. The Runaways Volume 1: The Pride by Brian K. Vaughn
12. The Runaways Volume 2: Teenage Wasteland by Brian K. Vaughn
13. The Runaways Volume 3: The Good Die Young by Brian K. Vaughn
14. The Runaways Volume 4: The Believers by Brian K. Vaughn
15. Avengers: Children’s Crusade by Allan Heinberg
16. Daredevil Ultimate Collection Book 2 by Brian Michael Bendis
17. The Runaways Volume 5: Escape to New York by Brian K. Vaughn
18. Sailor Moon Volume 3 by Naoko Takeuchi
19. Tale of Sand by Jim Henson
20. Adventure Time Volume 1 by Ryan North
21. The Runaways Volume 6: Parental Guidance by Brian K. Vaughn
22. The Wizard of Oz (graphic novel) by Eric Shanower
23. The Runaways Volume 7: Live Fast by Brian K. Vaughn
24. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
25. Hack/Slash Omnibus #1 by Tim Seeley
1. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
2. Captain Marvel Volume 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick
3. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
4. Thanos Quest by Jim Starlin
5. American Vampire Volume 1 by Scott Snyder
6. American Vampire Volume 2 by Scott Snyder
1. Transmetropolitan Volume 3 by Warren Ellis
2. Transmetropolitan Volume 4 by Warren Ellis
3. Zatanna: Everyday Magic by Paul Dini
4. Nightwing Volume 1 by Chuck Dixon
5. Supergirl: Power by Jeph Loeb
6. Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughn
7. Gotham City Sirens: Union by Paul Dini
8. Avengers: Vision & Scarlet Witch by Steve Ingleheart
9. Birds of Prey: Sensei & Student by Gail Simone
10. Daredevil Volume 3 by Mark Waid
11. Batgirl Year One by Scott Beatty
12. Birds of Prey: Between Dark & Dawn by Gail Simone
13. Superman Earth One Volume One by J. Michael Straczynski
14. Superman: Birthright by Mark Waid
15. Green Arrow/Black Canary: The Wedding Album by Judd Winick
16. Superman/Batman: Supergirl by Jeph Loeb
17. Daredevil Volume 1 by Mark Waid
18. Daredevil Volume 2 by Mark Waid
19. House of M by Brian Michael Bendis
20. Hawkeye Volume 1 by Matt Fraction
21. Green Lantern Corps: Sins of the Star Sapphire by Peter J. Tomasi
22. Adventure Time Volume 2 by Ryan North
23. The End by Jim Starlin
1. Identity Crisis by Brad Meltzer
2. The Killing Joke by Alan Moore
3. Young Avengers Volume 1 by Allan Heinsberg
4. Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin
5. The Death of the Stacy’s by Stan Lee & Gerry Conroy
6. Journey Into Mystery Volume 1 by Kieron Gillan
7. Doctor Strange: The Oath by Brian K. Vaughn
8. Doom 2099 by Warren Ellis
9. X-Statix Omnibus by Mike Allred
10. Hard Time: 50 to Life by Sean Gerber
11. Punk Rock Jesus by Sean Murphy
12. Heart of Hush by Paul Dini
13. Hard Time: Sixteen
14. The Invincible Iron Man Volume 1 by Matt Fraction
15. Moon Knight Volume 1 by Brian Michael Bendis
16. The Invincible Iron Man Volume 2 by Brian Michael Bendis
17. The Invincible Iron Man Volume 3 by Matt Fraction
18. Daredevil Volume 1 by Frank Miller
1. Choker by Ben McCool
2. Invincible Iron Man: Extremis by Warren Ellis
3. Pigs Volume 1 by Nate Cosby & Ben McCool
4. Pigs Volume 2 by Nate Cosby & Ben McCool
5. Preacher Volume 1 by Garth Ennis
6. Preacher Volume 2 by Garth Ennis
7. Moon Knight Volume 2 by Brian Michael Bendis
8. Morning Glories Volume 4 by Nick Spencer
9. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
10. Invincible Iron Man Volume 4 by Matt Fraction
11. The Long Halloween by Jeph Loeb
12. Nightwing Volume 2: Rough Justice by Chuck Dixon
13. Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrisson
14. Catwoman: When in Rome by Jeph Loeb
15. Supergirl: Friends & Fugitives by Sterling Gates
16. Robin: Violent Tendancies by Chuck Dixon
17. Batgirl: The Lesson by Brian Q. Miller
18. Robin: Year One by Chuck Dixon
19. The Uncanny X-Men Volume 1 by Chris Claremont
20. Scott Pilgrim Volume 1 by Bryan Lee O’Malley
21. Scott Pilgrim. Volume 2 by Bryan Lee O’Malley
22. Huntress: Year One by Ivory Madison
23. Power Girl: A New Beginning by Jimmy Palmiotti
24. Nightwing: Love and Bullets by Chuck Dixon
25. Batman: The Black Mirror by Scott Snyder
26. The Amazing Spider-Man: The Big Time by Dan Slott
27. The Amazing Spider-Man: Hooky by Stan Lee
28. The Amazing Spider-Man: Paralell Lives by Gerry Conway
29. The Amazing Spider-Man: Spirits of the Earth by Charles Vess
30. Spider-Man: Fear Itself by Gerry Conway
31. Supergirl: Identity by Joe Kelly
32. Wonder Woman: Who is Wonder Woman by Allan Heinberg
1. Chobits Volume 1 by CLAMP
2. Hush Money by Paul Dini
3. Harry Potter and the Prisioner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
4. Bakuman volume 1 by Tsugumi Ohba & Takeshi Obata
5. Blue Exorcist Volume 1 by Kazue Kato
6. Harley Quinn: Night and Day by Karl Kesel
7. Spider-Man & Black Cat by Kevin Smith
8. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
1. Strawberry Panic by Sakurako Kimino
2. Chobits Volume 2 by CLAMP
3. Paradise Kiss Volume 1 by Ai Yazawa
4. Paradise Kiss Volume 2 by Ai Yazawa
5. Paradise Kiss Volume 3 by Ai Yazawa
6. Black Butler Volume 1 by Yana Toboso
7. Blue Exorcist Volume 2 by Kazue Kato
8. Divergent by Veronica Roth
9. Spider-Man: Clone Genesis by Gerry Conway
10. Big Hero 6 by Chris Claremont
11. Hawkeye Volume 2 by Matt Fraction
12. MIND MGMT by Matt Kindt
13. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bone by Cassandra Clare
1. Ghost in the Shell Volume 1 by Yupp Kinutani
2. Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
3. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
4. The Unwritten Volume 3 by Mike Carey
5. The Unwritten Volume 4 by Mike Carey
6. 5 Centimeters Per Second by Makoto Shinkai
7. Is This a Zombie? Volume 1 by Sacchi
8. Batman Year One by Frank Miller
9. Fantastic Four Volume 2 by Jonathan Hickman
10. Fantastic Four Volume 3 by Jonathan Hickman
11. The Silver Surfer: Rebirth of Thanos by Jim Starlin
12. Captain Marvel Volume 2: Down by Kelly Sue DeConnick
13. Wonder Woman Volume 2 by Brian Azzarello
14. Civil War by Mark Millar
15. Infinity Gauntlet by Jim Starlin
16. The Unwritten Volume 5 by Mike Carey
17. The Punisher: Welcome Back Frank by Garth Ennis
1. Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill
2. The Unwritten Volume 6 by Mike Carey
3. Batman Black & White Volume 1 by Various
4. Peter and the Secret of Rundoon by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
5. Justice by Jim Krueger
6. Supergirl Bizzarogirl by Sterling Gates
7. Daredevil Ultimate Collection Book 3 by Brian Michael Bendis
8. Deadman Book One by Neal Adams
9. Planetary Volume 1 by Warren Ellis
10. Flashpoint by Geoff Johns
11. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D by Jonathan Hickman
1. Fray by Joss Whedon
2. Sailor Moon Volume 4 by Naoko Takeuchi
3. Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero by Travis Beacham
4. Lazarus Volume 1 by Greg Rucka
5. Attack on Titan Volume 1 by Hajime Isayama
6. Sailor Moon Volume 5 by Naoko Takeuchi
7. Sailor Moon Volume 6 by Naoko Takeuchi
8. Alys by Kiri Callaghan
9. Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Peterson
10. Captain America: The Winter Solider by Ed Brubaker
11. Doctor Who: A History by Alan Kistler
1. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
2. Amelia Cole and the Unknown World by Adam P. Knave & DJ Kirkbride
3. Scott Pilgrim Volume 3 by Bryan Lee O’Malley
4. Scott Pilgrim Volume 4 by Bryan Lee O’Malley
5. Scott Pilgrim Volume 5 by Bryan Lee O’Malley
6. Scott Pilgrim Volume 6 by Bryan Lee O’Malley
7. Sailor Moon Volume 7 by Naoko Takeuchi
8. The Amazing Spider-Man Volume 1 by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
9. Battling Boy by Paul Pope
10. Sleeper Season One by Ed Brubaker
11. Gotham Central Book 1 by Ed Brubaker
1. The Fifth Beatle by Vivek
2. Daredevil Volume 4 by Mark Waid
3. Gotham Central Book 2 by Ed Brubaker
4. Rocketeer Adventures Volume 1 by Various
5. Daredevil Book 1 by Ed Brubaker
6. Morning Glories Volume 5 by Nick Spencer & Joe Eisma
7. Daredevil Book 2 by Ed Brubaker
8. Morning Glories Volume 6 by Nick Spencer & Joe Eisma
9. Fables Volume 17 by Bill Willingham
10. NANA Volume 1 by Ai Yazawa
11. Let it Snow by Maureen Johnson, John Green & Lauren Myracle
12. The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
13. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
14. Here is New York by E.B. White
This weekend I decided to make a Christmas tree out of my extensive collection of graphic novels. I was inspired by a post I saw on Hypable about how to make a Christmas tree out of books, and I knew that the only way I could make it better was if I used comics. I placed some of my favorite trades in the front of the tree including Scott Pilgrim, Bendis’ Daredevil, Scott Snyder’s The Black Mirror, Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, Brian K. Vaughn’s Runaways, Mark Waid’s Kingdom Come, and many, many more. When it came to decorating, I adorned my tree with R2D2 Christmas lights from ThinkGeek, and I knew immediately that I had to top the tree with a Star. A Star Sapphire that is. If you’re interested in creating your own version, the best way to assemble your graphic novels is to keep the heavier, bulkier books towards the bottom (think omnibuses), and the smaller more compact editions (ie Sailor Moon, Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, etc.) towards the top. The second photo is un-instagrammed so it gives you a clearer look at some of the books that made it into my Christmas tree.
In addition to shopping for other people, one of my favorite things to do before Christmas is make my wish list. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned previously, I’m somewhat of a list addict. So much so that my brother even bought me a book about lists for Christmas one year. So anyway, after careful consideration, I narrowed my Christmas Wish List down to these 8 items using Amazon’s convenient service ^.^ What are you asking for this year (assuming you’re on Santa’s nice list)? Leave a link to YOUR wish list in the comments!
The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story Limited Edition – I read this graphic novel recently and I was fascinated by Brian Epstein’s story. This limited edition version of the book includes unique memorabilia and behind the scenes sketches. I loved it so much that I wrote a review of the book last week as soon as I finished reading it!
The Annotated Peter Pan (The Centennial Edition) By J.M. Barrie – Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories of all time. Ever since I was young I’ve loved reading about the adventures of Peter, the Lost Boys, Wendy and Tinker Bell and all of their run ins, with Hook, and Mr. Grin in Neverland.
Gandalf the Grey 1/6 Scale Statue by WETA Collectibles – I always refer to Gandalf the Grey as my future husband. He’s by far my favorite Tolkien character, and I adore his hat and staff. I would love to place this statue on my desk so I could admire Gandalf while I work.
Dexter: The Complete Series on Blu-ray – Dexter has remained one of my favorite television shows of all time (mostly because of seasons 1-4). I’ve seen every episode countless times, and I’ve spent hours psychoanalyzing Dexter and basically forcing all of my friends and family into watching the series as well. The new Blu-ray collection comes in a collectible box fashioned after the box Dexter keeps his victim’s blood slides in. It also includes a new documentary about the evolution of Dexter Morgan.
Fables Encyclopedia By Bill Willingham, Mark Buckingham & Jess Nevins – The Fables Encyclopedia is a recent release, and it’s a must have for any Fables fan. The encyclopedia explores the fairy tales used in Willingham’s Fables series as well as modern folk lore.
Harry Potter Special Edition Paperback Box Set By JK Rowling With Cover Art By Kazu Kibuishi – I’ve blogged extensively about how Harry Potter has shaped my life and then I blogged some more on Wear Pink Wednesdays about these very covers! Kazu Kibuishi’s new cover art puts a fantastical spin on the series. I love the scenes he chose to illustrate and it would be a fun change to re-read the series again with the new cover art as eye candy.
Harley Quinn Pullip Doll – I’ve been collecting the DC line of Pullip dolls and so far I have Batgirl and Supergirl. I would love to add this beautiful Harley to my collection as well! She comes fully articulated and her jester hat is removable, allowing you to admire Harley’s blonde pigtails. The faces on Pullip dolls are beautifully crafted and I can’t resist their anime like style.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Box Set by Hayao Miyazaki – I’m a huge Hayao Miyazki fan, having seen the majority of his animated feature films, but I have yet to read Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, which is one of Ghibli’s own original creations. The story is described as an epic fantasy tale, which is very pertinent to my interests. This box set includes two hardcover volumes and a bonus poster!
When I was kid, one of my favorite books was Pippi Longstocking and I was also obsessed with the accompanying live action film, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking. I was always drawn to Pippi because I admired her free spirit and her big heart. I would make my family watch the movie constantly and no matter how many times we saw it, I never found any less amusing than the first time. I often wore my hair in pigtail braids as a child too, as an homage to Pippi. When I recently found out that Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata had wanted to make an animated version of the film back in 1971, but the books author, Astrid Lindgren said no, I was heartbroken. Fortunately some of the concept art was released by Studio Ghibli for our viewing pleasure. Upon seeing all of Miyazaki’s magical designs I became even sadder about never seeing the film that could have been. It would have been aptly titled, Pippi Longstocking, The Strongest Girl in the World.
Last night I had the pleasure of seeing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with my partner in crime, Melissa, and within minutes of the beginning of the film, we knew we had made the right decision in braving the pre-opening night crowds. Being the overenthusiastic geeks that we are, Mel and I both channeled The Hunger Games‘ heroine, and newest victor from District 12, Katniss Everdeen. We met at The Strand and took photos with the second novel in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, Catching Fire (the hardcover edition obviously, because we’re both book snobs when it comes to movie-tie in editions of novels). We’re fully equipped with our Mockingjay pins and Katniss style braids. This photo also serves as proof that both of us own at least one pair of pants that are not leggings. But, back to the film!
I wouldn’t totally say that I had been disappointed in the first film because the beginning half, with the anticipation of the games was done very well and many of the actors shone in their roles, but the second half of the film, the actual games, didn’t even come close to meeting my expectations of what I had been hoping for. Thankfully, the second film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, more than made up for the lack of chemistry between Katniss and Peeta (we experience them building a meaningful and believable relationship with each other), and the gravity of the themes present within the first film. Catching Fire establishes Katniss as the symbol of the revolution against the corrupted government ruling over the 12 Districts in Panem. Her importance in the revolution is solidified and the other Districts idolize her because they see Katniss as a symbol of hope. Her mere presenece inspires many citizens to take a stand against the peace agents (who kept reminding me of storm troopers). After being personally threatened by President Snow, Katniss does her best to play his game and put on a happy face during the victors tour with her co-victor Peeta Mellark, but the President considers their attempts to be a failure. Deeming Katniss a threat, he does the only thing he can think of; he pulls the next set of tributes for the Quarter Quell from the existing pool of victors from each District (hint: Katniss is the only female victor from District 12). Before re-entering the arena, Haymitch advises Katniss to remember who the real enemy is. Catching Fire is weighted with moments of intense emotion because of the tense atmosphere in a society where an uprising is long overdue. Each actor plays a key role in the film, whether they’re pro or anti rebellion. Two of the newest characters introduced, Plutarch Heavensby (the Head Gamemaker) and Johanna Mason (the outspoken female tribute from District 7) were amongst my favorites for their complexities and motivations throughout the Quarter Quell. Overall, Catching Fire, had a much better sense of direction than the first film, and it succeeded in all of the places where The Hunger Games failed.
I personally love The Hunger Games. It’s a concept that deeply disturbs me, and for the second year in a row I couldn’t help leaving the movie theater and questioning the morals of some of the people in our society. In both of my theater going experiences there have been people cheering when children die during the games, and laughter during scenes where such behavior is completely inappropriate. Here are a two unspoilery examples from Catching Fire, and one societal marketing ploy that made me sick in general:
1) While attending a party in the Capitol, a party attendee offers Peeta a tiny lavender drink for when he becomes full so that he can get sick and then begin eating again. While the people in almost all of the other districts are on the brink of starvation, the citizens in the Capitol are so abundant in resources that they over-consume to the point of making themselves physically ill just so they can continue to consume even more. The drink symbolizes the decadence of the Capitol, the wastefulness of its citizens, and their general ambivalence and lack of concern for the well being of the other districts. For some reason this made people laugh.
2) Haymitch is a drunkard and he is often given lines that allow him to provide the audience with comic relief. While I understand why this is necessary, I don’t find myself giggling over his antics along with other folks. Each time I see Haymitch drink, I think about what drove him to this point in his life. In Catching Fire, we see Katniss experiencing night terrors (another scene in which people laughed and my mind was boggled) and visions within the woods of her District because the Hunger Games are a traumatic experience for a teenager to partake in. Haymitch, an adult now, is obviously still so traumatized by his victory that he uses alcoholism as a form of escapism from his flashbacks.
3) If you haven’t yet seen the Subway commercial for their new sandwich, you can do so here and then attempt to suppress feelings of rage for the remainder of the day. This sandwich is probably the most outrageous movie tie-in marketing gimmick that I’ve ever had the misfortune of viewing. Guess what Subway, standing up for what you believe in and having the courage to stand up to an oppressing government is simply incomparable to a sandwich. While viewing Catching Fire and seeing the scene in the context of the film that Subway chose to include in its advertisement, I became even more upset by their ad that I had been upon my first viewing (which I hadn’t thought would be possible).
If you’ve seen the first film and you’re unsure about whether you’d like to continue the story, I urge you to give Catching Fire a shot. There was a drastic difference between each installment and Catching Fire appeared to nail everything that Suzanne Collins had originally intended the story to convey when she penned the trilogy it’s based on. Have you seen The Hunger Games: Catching Fire yet? What’re your thoughts?