June 30, 2013

Wherein I get crazy with parentheses (are you jealous?)

One of the reasons that this last book took me a hot minute was because I was reading it on my phone. The other reason was that it was a free Google book which meant the font was extra tiny. That being said, I've finished Twelve Years a Slave! I was expecting a book similar to Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe and that's what I got. However, while that was a fiction based off of real events this was entirely a true account of one man's plight as a kidnapped slave. Nothing was held back and the scenes described were oftentimes graphic (in terms of violence not sexual assault although that was slightly hinted at) and heartbreaking. If you're interested in a true account of Slavery (it deserves the capitalization) and you're comfortable with the language of the time period then you'll enjoy (not sure if this is the right word choice but let's just go with it) this book.

How many of you guys know about NetGalley? Well, if you have then read on because I'm about to get all educational on you. Okay, those of you still reading presumably want to learn more about NetGalley. The purpose of the site is to publicize upcoming books by reading and reviewing them. I found out about it while I was still in library school but this will be my first time actually using the service. Basically, you request titles and if you're approved you download them and get to reading.

With that being said, my next book up for review is The Why of Things: Causality in Science, Medicine, and Life by Peter Rabins. The book is all about the causality of actions, i.e. why things happen. Reading the description of the book kinda makes my brain swell so I'm guessing I'm going to be a genius after reading it. The word of the day from the blurb: freakonomic which is apparently the melding of pop culture with economics. See? You're already smarter too!

Wish me luck, guys.

June 18, 2013

Yep I'm still here.

Life gets in the way once again and delayed me from finishing up my last book in a timely fashion. However, I've finished it now! Yippee!!!!

The Best Tales of Edgar Allen Poe is exactly what it sounds like. A collection of (what the author felt) was Poe's best works separated by categories. At the start of each new category there was a brief explanation as to what the following stories would entail as well as their significance in the timeline of Poe's life. I found that to be most informative as my interest lies not only with his works but with the man himself. Several of the stories were just what I thought they would be based off of the few I had already read in school. They were dark, macabre, chilling, and grotesque.  A few were downright gory (and I loved it!). What I found delightfully surprising was his use of humor to break up the terror of what he was writing about (in most cases death). Also, it turns out he was a great lover of nature and landscape gardening and the last section was devoted to that (my least favorite of the entire collection to be honest). If you want an all-encompassing view of his works then this is definitely the book for you.

Whenever I hear that a film is being adapted from a book I feel a burning desire to snatch up the book and read it. (I'm one of those people that look for inconsistencies in films and chuckle gleefully when I inevitably find them. Deal with it.) So when I found out that one of my favorite actors was going to be in a film called Twelve Years a Slave and that it was based off of a book I made it a priority on my reading list. Twelve Years a Slave is the true account of a black man named Solomon Northup who was born free, kidnapped, and sold into slavery for 12 years. The book came out right after Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin and reinforced the reality that was slave labor on southern plantations at the time. I have no doubt that I'll find it a riveting (and eyeopening) read.

June 1, 2013

WHOA! Liebster Award Nomination

I've been nominated for a Liebster Award! The thanks goes to Sarina who was awesome enough to think of me. :-) So what is this obscure award? Well it's not exactly an award. It's an opportunity for bloggers to get some attention. It is intended for small blogs with under 200 followers. I'm excited to be a part of this and to share some love with some of my blogging buddies. 

Here is how it works: 

1. Highlight the person who nominated you (Sarina) to help spread the word about their blog as well.

2. Tell 11 facts about yourself.

3. Answer the questions from the blog that nominated you (Sarina). 

4. List 11 blogs with less than 200 followers.

5. Post 11 questions for those blogs to answer.

6. Notify the blogs you nominate via email.

11 Facts about Alicea

  • I hardly ever sit with both feet on the floor. Even when I'm in a skirt. O_O
  • Sometimes it takes me an infernally long time to get through a book even if I'm really enjoying it. Other times, I rip right through them. This has more to do with laziness than any inherent interest I might have in the reading material.
  • I'd prefer to be constantly busy. I'm always and forever overscheduling myself.
  • The problem with the above is that I'm continually forgetting what I've scheduled myself for and then I end up running all over the place.
  • Not only do I have a passion for blogging but I really love vlogging (video blogging for those unfamiliar). I have a YouTube channel and everything! ;-)
  • A little over a year ago I gave up eating beef and pork. I mostly stick to vegetarian dishes but when I feel like I just have to eat something more "substantial" I turn to chicken or fish. I did this mostly to keep myself healthy but also because I wanted to lose weight. It worked on both accounts. :-)
  • I have a cat named Zuzu (not my idea) that is about the size of a small car. It's not because I feed her human food or even overfeed her. She's just lazy. No idea where she learned that kind of behavior.
  • I'm on pretty much every single kind of social media. Except Pinterest. I refuse to get sucked in by it. REFUSE. Edit: I got sucked in. No one was surprised.
  • I enjoy cooking but I hardly ever do it since it's just me at home. However, this hasn't stopped me from buying (and receiving) a ton of cookbooks.
  • Speaking of books (which is kind of the point of this blog isn't it?), I have so many at this point that they've migrated off of my bookshelves and onto pretty much all the available surfaces of my apartment.
  • I've never really done cosplay but after three different visits to Comic Con I want to try it. I'm thinking of doing Clara Oswin Oswald from Doctor Who

Questions from Sarina: 

Pick one place on planet Earth you would like to go. Tell us why.
New Zealand or Sweden. New Zealand because a lot of the greatest movies have been filmed there and the scenic beauty of the landscapes is magical.  Sweden for partly the same reason except I've only seen it in one show, Wallander.

What is something you have done that is completely unexpected and out of character for you? 
I applied for a study abroad right after I began my graduate program in Library Sciences on a whim. Then I was accepted. I went to London for a month and it was the best 31 days of my life.

Name some weird exotic food you would like to try and tell us why. 
I haven't really tried a lot of Mediterranean food so I'd like to give it a whirl. The problem is that they use a lot of cheese in their recipes and I'm lactose intolerant. :-/

What do you want your wedding song to be? If married, what was your wedding song? 
Oh boy. I've never really given this a whole lot of thought. Wait, are we talking about the first dance song or the one I walk down the aisle to? Well, either way I'm not sure of the answer. I used to say At Last by Etta James for the first dance but now...not so sure. I imagine I'd have to talk it through with my future husband. I'm pretty fluid.

Star Wars or Star Trek? 
Star Trek all the way. The crazier question would be: Kirk or Spock?  Now that is a toughie. I'm gonna go with Kirk because William Shatner is da bomb but I do love me some Spock.

Doctor who fans: Who is your favorite doctor? (non who fans can skip this one) 
There are non-Who fans?! <mind boggles> My Doctor is definitely Ten played by the indomitable David Tennant. Even though Christopher Eccleston was technically my first Doctor, David really blew me away with his performance and just pulled me in FOR LIFE.

If you were going to be sorted at Hogwarts, what house would you want to be in? 
Ravenclaw. I'd be super flattered that the Sorting Hat thought I was intelligent enough. :-)

Why are you blogging? 
I'm blogging for 3 reasons: 1) I think that it's important to encourage everyone to become lifelong readers, 2) I love to talk about excellent literature, and 3) enough people asked me for recommendations that I felt there was a need for it.

Do you use your public library? If not you should! If so, what do you use specifically? 
Yes, but not as much as I used to unfortunately. I generally use the library for its primary purpose which is checking out books. Since I started doing the blog, however, I've dipped back into my own personal collection (I still haven't really made a dent in it).

What is your one karaoke jam? That one song that comes on and you're like, "yes this is my ultimate theme song!
If it's The Carpenters, I'm in.

What did you eat for breakfast? (sorry I ran out of ideas) 
I'm currently in Philadephia for a Comic Con so I'm eating the complimentary breakfast at the hotel. This morning, I had a blueberry bagel (sans cream cheese) and a cup of coffee.

and the nominees are: 

Questions for you guys:

  1. What's the last book you read and should I read it?
  2. If you were a Muppet, which would you be and why?
  3. Candy is dandy but fill in the blank.
  4. Which superhero would you be and what kind of awesome superpower would you have?
  5. Do you have a YouTube channel that I need to subscribe to?
  6. I'm currently obsessed with Wil Wheaton (and you should be too!) because he's hysterical. What celebrity would you like to have as a bestie?
  7. What's your favorite guilty pleasure fast food joint?
  8. I'm Southern and therefore have a moral obligation to consume fried foods. What's the strangest fried food you've ever eaten and how much on a scale of 1-10 did you love it?
  9. Are you involved in any causes? If so, what are they? If not, WHY?!
  10. Are you into reality tv? WHY?!
  11. Got any tattoos? Do you regret them or are you still really into them?