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Happy Saturday Wordnerds!

The other night, as I was flipping electronic pages in yet another hot bath, I had a thought. I should really give credit where credit is due. If I didn’t take two hours to soak in the tub a few times a week with a great read, there may not be a Read ‘Em and Eat at all.

In fact, I do SO much of my reading in the bathtub that I want to do a wee bit of a shout out to the company that sets the scene for so many of my reading sessions.

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Disclaimer: This post is in NO way sponsored or endorsed by LUSH Cosmetics – but how freaking cool would that be?!

I’ve just started using the LUSH bath line in the last year (my lovely sister got me hooked on them. She sends them to me all the time since we don’t have a retailer here) and I don’t know that I will ever be able to go back to regular, Bath & Bodyworks bath bombs.

29138069_10156635245200016_182436894_nThe whole idea behind LUSH is that it is made with fresh ingredients, are 100% cruelty free, and completely vegan. Some of the face masks even have a shelf life and have to be stored in the refrigerator – so you know they’re fresh.

On top of that, if you buy any LUSH cosmetics products that come in a container, you can return the container to the store to be reused – and after you return five of them, they’ll give you a free face mask!

If you’re like me, and the most relaxing thing you can think of on a Saturday night (or a Friday… or a Tuesday… or…) is a beautifully scented bath, a glass of wine, and your most recent read – you owe it to yourself to check out the wide range of products offered by this amazing company. Just be warned that when you travel down the rabbit-hole, it’s almost impossible to go back. The Bath Bombs and Bubble Bars are my new favourite addiction.

A few of my favourite products thus far are:

The Rocket Science Bath Bomb (pictured above)

Cheer Up Buttercup Bath Bomb

Brightside Bubble Bar (Great if you don’t want to have to choose between bubbles and bath bomb! Bubble bars are BOTH!)

Thanks so much for reading! If you need me, I’ll be in the tub!

LibraryThing Acquisition – My Thoughts

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Hey Wordnerds! Long time, no see!

Things here have been pretty busy, so I’m just stopping in to share my thoughts on something that has me… well let’s just say a little worried.

Earlier this week, my fellow Littens and I were slightly shocked to find that Litsy (our online, bookish family) had been purchased by library cataloging app LibraryThing. Although acquisitions like this happen every day, this is the first that has impacted me personally.

As someone who visits Litsy every morning with her very first cup of coffee, I love seeing the posts from all of my fellow Littens – regardless of their content. I don’t care if they posted a photo of a book or their dog. Our reading lives are so diverse and different that getting a small peek into the lives of other readers is both inspiring and therapeutic. Litsy is perfect in its humble way and it’s easy to fall in love with the simplicity of the app.

Through all of the chaos, LibraryThing seemed to realize that Littens are a very passionate group. To their credit, they have set up an Onward, Litsy! facebook page so that the Littens can put in their two cents about what they would like to see changed and what they desperately want to stay the same. The group can be found here: Onward, Litsy!

Among the most common requests are: No algorithms, a wishlist feature, owned/unowned books that have been read, a special thread for giveaways/bookclubs/swaps, and more stickers for photos. (I am SO on board with all of these… especially the stickers. My inner 90s kid loves me some stickers.)

I have one, simple request. I just want the Litsy family that I know and love to persevere through the changes. I’m not afraid of the fine-tuning that the staff at LibraryThing are going to do – I’m afraid of the impact on our community. Please don’t get discouraged Littens, I know that things may end up being a little different and I know that change can be hard. Although I sometimes struggle with change myself, in my mind, waking up and finding out that – through all of the madness that may come with updates and trial and error – I lost my Litsy family, that would be the hardest of all. I love knowing what MrBook and BookBabe are having for dinner that night (it’s actually inspired me to get off my butt and cook), and what Tiffy_Reads, JoeStalksBeck, and JenLovesJT47 have up their sleeves for swaps or readathons.

These people, near and far, have become my solace in times of dreaded bookslumps and when a book just hasn’t turned out the way that I had hoped. LibraryThing or no, we’re still Littens – hear us roar!

 

 

Making the Switch… Eventually.

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Hey Wordnerds!

So, I have a bit of a funny story.

On Tuesday, I walked into work and purchased myself a gift card. I did this while proclaiming that I was going to make a complete transition into reading on my ereader, and my ereader alone. It was a bold statement for someone who collects bookmarks like it’s her job and finds great joy in doing a decent portion of her reading in the bathtub. However, I came to this decision for a few different reasons:

  1. My apartment is small and the large amount of to-be-read piles is starting to make me a little anxious. Seriously. There are four piles on my table (a place where I am supposed to sit to eat – but can’t), a pile on my night stand, and an entire bookshelf which is home to more books that I haven’t read than ones I have.
  2. Although I currently work in a bookstore, there are titles that I want to read that we don’t readily have in stock – and I am most definitely not a patient person. Ordering them and then having to wait for them to show up might actually hurt me.
  3. My kobo is much lighter and thus is easier to carry around. Not to mention, it can hold pretty much my entire library in a device that weighs less than five pounds. That’s pretty insane.
  4. I was going to insert a reason about saving the trees here, but I’m pretty sure that the plastic processing that goes into make electronic devices is equally – if not more – of a strain on the environment than actual printed books. So I’ll claim willful ignorance on this one.

So my decision had been made. I bought a gift card from work to both keep me on a budget, and still support my store.

Then this showed up in warehouse:

the wicked deep

Oh my goodness – THAT COVER!

It’s foil on matte. The picture doesn’t even do it justice. I had to have it – it would look stunning on my shelves and it looks phenomenal on it’s own too! Just like that, I slipped already. I had to buy it – bonus points for it being a witchy story. I love witchy stories!

But it got better.

The wicked deep naked

IT LOOKS GOOD NAKED TOO?! Sold. I have never swiped a gift card so quickly and readily.

So… I’m working on the switch to electronic reading. I do really love my kobo and I do use it more often than not – but I still have a lot of print books left to read that are currently just hanging around my apartment. I’m positive that they’re reproducing. There is no way that I have carted all of these home at some point or another.

Though, really, that sounds like the absolute BEST problem to have.

My Favourite Tropes Highlight – Creepy Kids!

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Hey Wordnerds!

So over the last few days I’ve been thinking about some of my favourite tropes across literature. Some of them in horror/thriller, some in fantasy or romance. So I’ve decided to highlight a few of my favourites over the next couple of weeks.

Today’s topic of discussion: Creepy Kids

Now part of the inspiration for this post is the fact that I am currently reading The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne which features one very off-putting little girl. Oddly enough, I find that a lot of the time, the terrifying tot in question is a doll-like little girl. (She says as she uses a photo of Damien from the Omen as her header image.) The twins from the Shining, Samara from the movie the Ring, Regan MacNeil from the Exorcist, the list goes on and on – in both literature and film.

So what makes this trope so bloody terrifying? Imagine that you’re a mother or father of one of these kids. For the first years of your life, you’ve never experienced anything but love for them – you still love them dearly obviously, but now they’re showing characteristics that make you pause and wonder if they’re actually possessed or capable of hurting someone or themselves. It’s got to be a tough situation to fall into. I mean, a seriously doubt that a lot of parents are going to shrug their shoulders and say “Well this one got too intensely creepy, lets get rid of it and just make a new one.” No way. There is ALWAYS that underlying moral compass that says “yea, so she’s standing at my bedside staring at me menacingly while I sleep… but I did teach her to tie her shoelaces and use a spoon.” The love of a parent is unwavering and true… even if their child is showing some not ok signs of possibly being a psychopath.

Watching these kids on television, and reading about them in books makes me truly wonder if I will ever have the guts to be a parent. I mean, it goes without saying that I would love my hypothetical offspring until the end of time, but what if…

Is this one of your favourite tropes or do you feel like it’s over done and needs to be given a rest for a while? As always, I love hearing from you Wordnerds, so sound off in the comments below!

 

***Review*** In a Cottage In a Wood by Cass Green

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A strange encounter
Neve comes across a troubled woman called Isabelle on Waterloo Bridge late one night. Isabelle forces a parcel into Neve’s hands and jumps to her death in the icy Thames below.

An unexpected gift
Two weeks later, as Neve’s wreck of a life in London collapses, an unexpected lifeline falls into her lap – a charming cottage in Cornwall left to her by Isabelle, the woman on the bridge. The solution to all her problems.

A Twisted secret
But when Neve arrives, alone in the dark woods late one night, she finds a sinister-looking bungalow with bars across its windows. And her dream home quickly becomes her worst nightmare – a house hiding a twisted secret that will change her life forever…

It’s actually kind of funny, when we got this book in at work, a couple of my co-workers were pretty skeptical of the story line.

“Who would accept a cottage from a complete stranger?” I mean… it’s a valid question right? It seems like a pretty odd thing to do – and something I would assume that is pretty hard to make believable when writing a book. That being said, Cass Green (A.K.A. Caroline Green) did an amazing job of giving me enough of a back ground to sympathize with Neve and the choice she made.

I started this book in bed, in the spare room at my parents’ house and by the third chapter I was hooked. All of a sudden I started squeezing in a “few pages” when I definitely should have been sleeping. This included on my last night when I knew that I had to be up at the crack of dawn to catch my train to the airport. I continued to read it on the train… then in the waiting area at the airport… then on the plane… then – well you get it. I could not put this book down. I purposely went out of my way to put in headphones (that were playing exactly nothing) just so that the people in the seats next to me during my trip home would leave me alone to read in peace.

While I enjoyed this book immensely, I can’t say that I didn’t see a couple of the plot twists coming. I’d like to think that it could be my Sherlockian power of deduction, but it may very well be more that a few of them were slightly predictable. Regardless, this book kept me turning pages, and I’m happy to say that I’ve found, yet another, author to keep an eye on. My authors-to-look-for list continues to grow with every finish – and that’s just the way I like it.

 

Back From Vacation – and Back At It!

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Hey Wordnerds! Long-time-no-see!

A couple of days ago, I returned to my Northern home from my vacation to see my family back home. In the seven days that I was there we made two trips to the book store – one in a pretty miserable snow storm. My family of book loving people will NOT be stopped by something as silly as weather when there are books to be purchased!

Now that I have slept off the excitement and recovered the vast majority of my hearing (Yay! Pressurized cabins!), I’m hoping to jump right back on the blog train! The very first review will be posted tomorrow morning and features a book that I read during my vacation. As it turns out, I’m on a bit of a thriller/true crime bender right now.

Today was also my first day back at work. Even though I spent seven WONDERFUL days doing pretty much nothing but playing World of Warcraft and watching the Super Bowl (and book shopping obviously), there is definitely something to be said for returning to my normal routine. It’s just a bonus that my normal routine heavily features getting paid to talk about books. How freaking lucky am I?

It’s good to be finally throwing my scatter-brained thoughts back into the vast expanse of the internet once again.

***Review*** Renegades by Marissa Meyer

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Hey Wordnerds! Here it is!

Cover Candy, Second Edition | 2017's Works of Art ...Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

First of all, I need to gush. THAT FREAKING COVER! It’s like an old school comic book cover and I LOVE it! I do know people that think it’s ugly, and everyone is entitled to their opinion – but my God, I will swoon over that art until the end of time.

Alright. The book.

I can now write this review – after having spent ample time upon closing the back cover to stare at the wall and question all of my life choices. I knew that this book was brand new and the first part in a duology – but did I consider maybe reading it a little closer to the release of the conclusion? Apparently not. Past me is so mean to current me.

I would like to say that this book had me hooked from the very beginning, but that’s just not true. The first chapter was a set up for the rest of the book and is really important, but at the time, a superhero story just wasn’t what I wanted. However, it became EXACTLY what I wanted. This book had serious Overwatch vibes – for those of you who aren’t obsessed with Blizzard Entertainment and the video games they put out, I’ll leave a link at the bottom of the post for a little background research. The Renegades are the Overwatch and the Anarchists are Talon – to say that the Renegades are the glossy, godly, superheroes, and the Anarchists are the cunning, villains bent on chaos.

Our main character, Nova, is a bit of an anti-hero who struggles with her need for vengeance against the Renegades after their failure to save her family, versus her growing understanding when she gets accepted into Renegade ranks for an undercover mission proposed by the Anarchists. Once Nova is in, she grows rather fond of the son of the Renegade leader, Adrian (A.K.A. Sketch for his ability to draw things and pull them into reality.) However, her crush on Adrian isn’t the only thing leading her to question her loyalty to the Anarchists – there are a few shady moves made by her home team.

One of the things that I loved so much about this book is the variance of super powers.  A lot of people who write about people with extraordinary abilities tend to stick to the classic elementalist tropes. While there are a couple of water-controllers in roster, there are also a who slew of abilities that I had never seen before. Sketch’s ability to pull his drawings into reality, the Red Assassin’s blood that crystalizes and can be used as a weapon, Nova’s ability to put people to sleep – while not being able to sleep herself. There’s a guy who uses his enemy’s deepest fears, a girl who controls bees and another girl who transforms into a swarm of butterflies in an instant. Some of the powers were just so out there and so creative that I wanted to know everyone’s origin story.

Then there’s the Sentinel. A hero that no one has ever heard of, that harbors MULTIPLE powers – something unheard of among prodigies. The Anarchists believe that he is some top secret Renegade science experiment. The Renegades believe he’s some kind of strange vigilante. We know who he is, but the characters do not. This leaves many edge of your seat moments where I found myself biting my nails and wondering if the Sentinel’s true identity would be revealed to either side.

I think that at the end of the book, the thing that really broke me is that – as with all good cliffhangers – there was SO much left unanswered. I absolutely loved this first installment. I wasn’t surprised by this as pretty much everything that Marissa Meyer writes is my favourite thing. However, I do really regret not waiting to devour it until closer to the release of the second book. This is usually why I don’t read series until the final book is released. There’s too much anticipation!

Someone please read this one, just so I have someone to talk to haha.

So in closing, seven out of five stars! Loved it! Will reread closer to the sequel – and quite possibly a million times after that. Well done Marissa! Keep them coming!

Happy Reading Wordnerds!

(As promised, a link to Overwatch info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overwatch_%28video_game%29)

It’s Beyond Cold Out… Again. **Day 2**

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Hey Wordnerds!

So here I am on Day Two – desperately hoping that I accomplish more than I did yesterday. I wanted so badly to finish Renegades, but ended up procrastinating extra hard for the vast majority of the day. I partially blame my computer for staring at me in that way that it does when I haven’t played any video games in a few days (dang it Francine! Stop being so needy!) and I partially just accept that it was all my own fault. I spent the ENTIRE day in my pajamas, which I actively discouraged in my Readathon Tips post because it keeps you ready for sleep – and nap I did.

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Anyway, I made it to Chapter 29 out of 43 so I’m hoping the blow through these last chapters today so I can pull my first PopSugar challenge book tonight. Boyfriend is at a convention today so I have the whole house to myself and can consume vast quantities of coffee without judgement. (He doesn’t really judge me, but sometimes I think he really does worry about the rate at which my heart should be beating with that level of caffeine running through my system.)

I have actually gotten dressed, I have done a few of my daily chores and I am ready to jump back into the world of Renegades with Nova and Adrian. It’s weird to read a book that has a main character with the same name as one of my cats, but I’m really loving it so far. Don’t let my slow pace make you think otherwise. I’m just savoring the story since the next book in the duology (?) isn’t coming out until fall of this year. (This is why I usually wait for the entire series to be out. The wait is going to be PAINFUL.)

For anyone who is joining me today, best of luck and happy reading! For those of you who were looking forward to keeping up with my endeavors on Instagram and Litsy, I’m terribly sorry – I let you down hard. I posted absolutely NOTHING other than my blog post yesterday. I don’t know why I say that I will post to other sites since once I get going, I really don’t want to stop to post a picture, but I will try to do better in the future. Maybe not today… but one day.

Without further ado… READING!

Happy Saturday Wordnerds!

Last Minute Readathons

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Hey Wordnerds!

So, it is currently -32 degrees Celsius in this Northern town, and that seems like as good of a reason as any to stay at home. Boyfriend is spending the day just relaxing since he has to head to work in the wee hours of the morning, so I was just thinking – what better time to have a random, last minute readathon?

Since I’m off today and tomorrow, I figure that this will span both days – if for no other reason than just so that I can actually get some sleep in between. I’ve been slowly, but surely making my way through Renegades by Marissa Meyer and I’m thinking that today will be the day that I can finally put it to my Goodreads “finished” shelf as the first book that I finished in 2018. It’s not that the book isn’t good, it’s actually AMAZING, but with Marissa Meyer I like to take my time and get fully immersed in the worlds that she has created.

The good think about getting Renegades finished, will be that I can finally pull the first topic out of the box that I made for my PopSugar challenge. I tried to pull it ahead of time, but I just feel like it will be so much more interesting to do it on the spot when I’m trying to choose my next read. Not to mention, finishing it means that I can give you guys my first review of 2018, which is probably one of my favourite things. However, in the past I have posted the reviews ten minutes after finishing the book, but I think this year I’m going to give myself some time to process and actually think about how I felt at the end of the book. It will just give me time in which to figure out if there were some things that struck me as off, so maybe EVERY review from here on out won’t be “OOOH MY GOD IT WAS SO AMAZING”.

So I’m going to begin my little, personal readathon. Anyone who subscribes via email, I am so sorry – I may flood your feed with posts today. Although I have considered just keeping up on instagram, litsy and facebook. So make sure that you check out those venues as well.

If you are considering joining me, even for a little while, I love to read your comments and if you’re following along on instagram or litsy, hit me with the tag #frozenwordnerd!

Wish me luck!

Highlight: Audio Books

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While you guys wait for me to make my way through the behemoth that is my first read of 2018 – Renegades by Marissa Meyer – I decided to highlight a format that is adored by some and scoffed at by others.

I am a woman of many hobbies. Besides reading I do very much enjoy creating things. I knit, crochet and cross stitch. A few years ago, I – along with a very large number of people of all ages – was wrapped up in going back to my childhood and became obsessed with colouring books. The adult colouring craze hit hard and fast, I can easily remember a time when you couldn’t find a pack of coloured pencils in my hometown. Thankfully, I already had some at home. It was when I started colouring during most of my off time that I began to feel like I was choosing this new hobby over my one true love – reading. Enter the obvious solution: Audio books. audio colouring

It was about this point where I started to really value my Audible subscription. I could easily put on an audio book and continue to colour my way to stress-free. I could listen to the prose of my favourite authors instead of reading them with my own eyes. It was brilliant! Why hadn’t I thought of this sooner?! In the early days, I had turned to putting on Netflix when I wanted back ground noise, only to find that I would get easily distracted and abandon my colouring all together. This was not so with audio books.

I was so excited about my discovery, that I started to use audio books when I was doing other things – like my yarn crafts, or house work. (My parents can attest to the fact that the house work was far less common. I swear it’s better now mom!) For everyone else this was just common sense, but for me, it was revolutionary! This changed everything! I didn’t have to choose one hobby over the other!

Since I was driving back and forth between my Southern and Northern homes every few weeks, my audio books became my constant companion. In fact, if it hadn’t been for Heartless by Marissa Meyer (see a pattern here?) on audio during the big move, I would have had to listen to my eighteen year old cat, Trixie, scream at me for a thirteen hour drive. As long as the book was playing through my car speakers, she felt like someone was talking to her, so she remained semi-calm. (My sister was not so lucky with Nova. Sorry about that!)

I don’t think that I could ever completely make the switch to audio – I love books and the actual act of reading – but it sure does come in handy. I walk a lot, so I’ve managed to make my way through a few books that way. In September, when the mammoth Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King was released, I bought both the hard copy and the audio book so that I wouldn’t have to haul such a big book back and forth to work.

If you get the right narrator, audio books can be a pretty stellar substitute when your hands are too busy to flip pages.

What do you think? Have you had many experiences with audio books? Good or bad? There’s nothing I love more than hearing from you guys, so leave a comment down below and let me know!