Books: Currently Reading and TBR

I would have including some of these books in my last Wonderful Wednesday, but I felt that I should do a separate post on here about those, since books are a HUGE part of my life. This post will be separated in two parts, the Currently Reading and the TBR (To Be Read). I wanted to do the current books first, since I’m at various stages in each book. In addition to that, I have a lot on my Currently Reading shelf, which is a non-existent shelf, and is really the floor beside my bed. I really need to get another bookshelf…The TBR portion will just be books I’ve bought recently (or not so recently) that I’m hoping to read soon. And by soon, I mean within the next few weeks. That’s a bit of a stretch for me because sometimes, no matter how good a book is, I get restless with it and have to start something else in a completely different genre, which is why I have so many books that I’m reading currently. In fact, the Current books will not even be all of them! It’s insane really! If you looked at my bookshelf and asked about several books, more often than not, I haven’t finished them. It’s just ridiculous and embarrassing and I need to fix it, which is what I hope this post accomplishes: giving me the motivation to finish what I’ve started. If we’re being honest, however, I might not even finish this post. If you’re reading it, then I quite obviously did, and in that case, please give me an applause for doing so!

So, with long-winded introductions aside, let us get started!

Currently Reading:

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  1. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

    I had found that the latest adaption of Jamaica Inn was added to Netflix recently. I watched it in one sitting, which was a long sitting. Needless to say, I was enthralled. I decided to buy the book so I could read it, and found a beautiful hardcover version of it  (see the picture of the book above). Jamaica Inn is a story about Mary Yellan. Her mother has just died, and her dying wish was for Mary to live with her Aunt Patience. Mary goes to live with Aunt Patience and her husband, Joss Merlyn, at their Inn on the moors. She comes across some dark secrets while there, and the book isn’t a light read. In fact, it’s pretty dark, and yet I love it so far. I’m almost done with it, and will be reading more of Daphne du Maurier in the future. I think Jamaica Inn may become a favorite of mine, same with Mary Yellan, who is a very strong character. I definitely recommend it, even though I’m not even done with it yet.

    Amazon Goodreads

  2. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

    Lair of Dreams is book number two in Bray’s Diviners series. The plot of this one has to do with a strange sleeping sickness that has taken hold of New York. While the book is well written (as far as I’ve gotten), it appears to have a slower start than the first book. I like it, but am not as impressed with it as I was with the first book. I’m hoping that it picks up and gets better. We get to meet new characters, and we also get to see sides of characters we didn’t see in the first one. However, I’m a bit sad that there hasn’t been more Evie as far as I am, but maybe that’s a good thing. I don’t know.

    Amazon Goodreads

  3. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

    Mansfield Park is about Fanny Price, who is born into a poor family, but is sent to live with wealthy relatives. I’ve seen two adaptions of this novel, and loved them both dearly, as much as I’ve grown to love Fanny. There isn’t much of a reason as to why I’m not far into this book. I think it’s because it’s lower on my To Finish list, and that I’ve only brought it to work to read during lunch when I’m between books. I’ve read that it’s one of Austen’s most controversial book, mostly because of it’s take on slavery (which is Fanny Price being against it). In fact, both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility never mention slavery at all (that I can remember). I have yet to get to this part, but know that it happens later. So far it’s been an interesting read, however, it’s not as funny as the other two Austen books I’ve read. I don’t think it will be my favorite of hers, but it will have been a good read.

    Amazon Goodreads

  4. How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

    I first came across this book when I found the movie adaption on Netflix. This movie took my breath away. It was beautiful. This was a few years ago. I finally purchased the kindle version of this book the other night, and proceeded to read almost half of it in one sitting. I stopped myself because, as I will explain why later, it was about to get extra depressing. The story is about yet another girl who goes to live with her relatives, except this one seems to have an entirely different plot. Daisy is an American who is sent to live in England with relatives. While there, WWIII starts, and Daisy gets stuck there. It’s any interesting read since it’s about children without supervision during a time like war time. You can see how it gets a bit depressing. I know how it ends in the movie, and I have a slight idea about the book, however the movie was different than the book, obviously. The movie has less characters, probably because I think they just combined characters in the movie. Or something like that. I don’t know. Either way, it’s a good movie and a good read (so far).

    Amazon Goodreads

  5. True Ghost Stories by Jim Harold

    I’ve talked about Jim Harold before. His podcast, Jim Harold’s Campfire is all viewer ghost stories. Like his podcast, True Ghost Stories is a compilation of peoples stories, some about ghosts, others about aliens. All in all, it’s been a good read for this month since Halloween is coming up soon. I’m saving some of it for Halloween, obviously. I recommend it to anyone who loves ghost stories, or just creepy stories.

    Amazon Goodreads

  6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

    It’s really hard to get into the whole plot of War and Peace. More like War and Peace and a lot of pages, ammirite? In Russian fashion, this book is long. If you’re familiar with Tolstoy and any other famous Russian author, you know that the book is going to be long and despressing. War and Peace is about several people. There’s Prince Andrei who joins the army and goes to fight Napoleon’s army (this is during the Napoleonic War). He leaves his pregnant wife with his dad and Sister, who is mentally abused by their father and is basically a shut in. Then there’s Pierre, who’s a bastard that’s just inherited his father’s fortune and house and there’s the Kuragin’s who are trying to get their hands on Pierre’s fortune. There’s also young Natasha, who is coming of age and will eventually meet Andrei and fall in love. Honestly, this isn’t even a spoiler, because there is so much more to this story. I really like it so far, but it’s over 1000 pages, so it’s kind of…hard to read. But, I will finish it, eventually!

    Amazon Goodreads

TBR:

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  1. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

    From what I’ve read, this is about a spy during WWII who gets captured by the Germans. I haven’t started it, and am excited to do so because I’ve heard several people say it was good. I didn’t even intend on buying it. I just walked by it at Barnes and Noble and realized that it was on my To Read list, so I grabbed it like the impulsive book shopper I am. I think we all know I’m really into Spies (RIP Nathan Hale, you beautiful man who was not meant to be a spy), and I’m into WWII, so of course I’m going to try reading this.

    Amazon Goodreads

  2. Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

    Book 2 of Blankman’s Prisoner of Night and Fog series. In this book, Gretchen returns to Germany, which is now under Hitler’s control (whereas in the first book, he hadn’t won the election yet) to save her boyfriend. I was really excited to read this when I first read the first book, but now I’m apprehensive. I tend to not like the second book in any series. I’m afraid that the characters will seem too different or things will happen and then I’ll have to pretend that there is only one book in the series. Hopefully I’m wrong.

    Amazon Goodreads

  3. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton

    I technically started this story a while ago, but was just…bored. It sounds promising though, and the setting sounds intriguing. It’s about a lady who goes to this really awesome old house where these spinsters (who are twins) live with their younger sister. The main character, Edie, only goes to this house because her mother was once billeted there during WWII. The stay was during a time when several things happen, such as the youngest sister being jilted by her fiance.

    Amazon Goodreads

 

Honorable Mention:

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The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Since it’s October, and you know, spooky times, I thought I should mention another book that is near and dear to my heart that I have yet to finish. Do you see a growing pattern here? I was saying this about The Three Musketeers when I hadn’t even finished it. But, The Historian is a different story. I’ve been reading/listening to this book for about two years. And why has it been two years, you ask? Essentially, The Historian is a story within a story within a story. It’s extremely detailed, intricate, and creepy. The main character is never given a name. She learns of her fathers journey to find his missing professor, who was on a similar journey. The best part about this book, and one that I know anyone who loves horror movies, will love this: It talks about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Instead of completely saying that Dracula was completely wrong, The Historian takes the story of Dracula and weaves it into the real story of Vlad the Impaler. Each character is chased by a vampire at one point, and we travel from London, to Budapest, to Romania. Anyone who loves history will love this for the amount of research and the amount it looks at research. Anyone who is bored by that kind of stuff…may not like it. However, it’s a damn fine piece of work and I think everyone should give it a try. I would have put it into my TBR section, but the truth of the matter is, I need a clear mind and a stress free time to dive back into this story. Anyway, read it!

Amazon Goodreads

That’s it for today. Try some of these books, event the ones I’m having trouble with.

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Some paranormal stories/videos on youtube

Hello! Hello! Hello!

I come bearing gifts! Well, not physical gifts because I am broke, but here’s a new list of Youtubers to watch.

As you know (or maybe it hasn’t come across as well as I hoped), I love love love anything to do with the paranormal. Really, anything weird and the unexplained, but I’m especially interested in ghosts and whatnot. I’ve stated before that I had some weird experiences before, but nothing that I could really classify as a genuine ghost (much to my dismay). Once I’m out of school and have a job/money, and my license(probably the only 22yo who doesn’t…), I plan on going on some sort of a ghost road trip, hopefully with my buddy, Cassie (who has long had these plans with me). But, currently, I’m stuck here (only about a month and a half left!).

To bide my time, I watch youtube videos of ghost investigations and story times. Are they real? Maybe not. I personally like to have the benefit of the doubt, and tend to believe the stories. Granted, if you come to me and say you think your house is haunted, I will probably brush you off until you give me more than just doors closing on their own. I mean, we have this cabinet door in the kitchen that is broken and will just swing open randomly. My house is poorly made, so I chalk it off to that. So, while it’s random, and it squeaks while doing so, my first thought is not “Oh shit. It’s a ghost.” My first thought is, “Ah, thanks house for reminding me of how poorly built you are!”. I mean, we have orange counter-tops. And I’m not talking about a nice, light peach. No, I’m talking about like a shade darker than orange orange. Like, almost, dare I say, Blood Orange(cringe).GAH-ROSS.

Anyway, my point is that, while I believe in ghosts, I’m kind of skeptical. If that makes sense?

One of my new favorite things, is when youtubers do story times. It’s fascinating. Some of the stories you hear are crazy. They range from stalkers to bad first dates. And my favorites? They tend to be the ones about ghosts (duh).

So, without further ado, here are some youtubers/videos about ghosts I found interesting.

I’m going to start off with the lovely LoeyLane. A few months ago, I came across her videos somehow. I’m not sure how, to be honest, but it probably had to do with some random clicks through other videos. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoy watching her videos because she’s an interesting person. Not only that, but she’s really adorable!

Here’s a couple of her ghost stories:

 

On one of her recent videos, she mentioned another youtuber, brittyy44, who does all paranormal videos, from histories of haunted places and ghost hunts, to even urban legends. So, basically, her channel is a jackpot for me!

Here’s a few of her videos:

 

Lastly (I want to save some for other posts, and plus there’s a enough to hold you over until, like, a year from now, when I finally post again), there’s Jessii Vee. I appreciate her because she states in one video that she doesn’t like jumpscares in youbtube videos. Jumpscares can be fun, but usually when I’m on youtube, I’m not looking for jumpscares. Call me a killjoy if you want. If I wanted jumpscares I’ll watch some shitty horror movie. I also am really easily startled An example is when the toaster pops. That makes me jump (I’m getting better though!). Granted, I’m not easily scared (by normal things, at least), I just tend to jump easily, if ya get my drift. I think it has to do with my anxiety, which has gotten worse, along with my startling easily. Anyway, it’s just a sense of relief to know that someone agrees with me.

Here are a couple of her videos for you check out:

And my personal favorite because this story is CRAZY:

 

I hope you enjoy these youtubers and their videos. I also hope you enjoy these posts. Although, even if you didn’t I would probably continue posting these anyway.

So, until the next time I decide to write at 3 am!

P.S. New season of Turn: Washington’s Spies tonight! Also, Chernobyl’s 30th anniversary is tomorrow! There’s probably something else but I’m forgetting!

 

 

Music, podcasts, and other things

Whoa, hey guys! I wasn’t planning on updating at all today, but I noticed that I had 9 visitors Monday, (which, I mean, for me is A LOT), and I thought I would grace anymore visitors Tuesday with something new. So, buckle up guys! This post has a lot of links and videos/whatnot. (sorry, not sorry).

I’ve made little progress in my War and Peace post, due to not having the time (or patience) to continue it. It will happen. I want to remind you guys that I am technically graduating on June 12. There is a ‘technically’ because I’m a credit short, so we’ll see how that goes. And since I have yet to have a job lined up, when I’m not job hunting, I will have a lot of free time. With which I intend to finish that series, along with other long awaited series, such as the posts on Girl, Most Likely (which still get hits even if they’re shitty?), as well as maybe finishing those drafts I have written.

There are also some really exciting things coming up.

First is the 30th anniversary of Chernobyl. Not quite exciting for everyone. In fact, it’s actually a very sad day because not only did one person loose their life in the actual blast, but several (thousands and probably more still to come) more died due to other reasons. Anyway, if you haven’t noticed, I am a history major who is extremely obsessed with history, and one of my specialties (outside of shipwrecks) is Chernobyl. I’m extremely judgmental if you don’t know it’s history before watching Chernobyl Diaries (which is SO bad that maybe one day I will post about everything wrong and disgusting and inappropriate about it ), or if you don’t even think about looking it up afterwards. I try not to be judgmental because nuclear reactors aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s hard for me. Also, since the anniversary is really soon, a lot of people are writing their yearly articles about the disaster. The most recent that I’ve found is USA Today’s interesting “interactive” article HERE. If you want a more up to date look at links, I’m going to shamelessly promote my twitter HERE. Somewhere I have an old blog post on tumblr about some books on Chernobyl, which I’ll either rewrite, or post a link at some point.

In June, I graduate (as mentioned above). Three days after Catfish and the Bottlemen will be in Milwaukee again, and since I missed the last concert, I’m going to try my best to get to this one and tell Van to please stop wearing sweaters on stage because I’m afraid he’s going to overheat. They have a new cd coming out on May 27, so I hope to get that before the concert (which is probably unlikely due to the lack of a job, but maybe likely due to a graduation?). Based on the latest song released by them, Soundcheck, this CD is going to be hella rad. I really love that song. Check it out:

Later, on June 26, there will be an race at Road America, which is very fortunate for me, since there will be no Milwaukee Indyfest (which is sad because I love the Milwaukee Mile). Then comes Summerfest, which is always a trip. On July 27 is the Emotional Roadshow in Milwaukee, which is Twenty One Pilots’ arena tour (so proud of them!), which I’m luckily going to as well. Hopefully I’ll actually write about that concert because I never got around to writing about the last one! (Probably due to me getting sick AGAIN and then not being well for the rest of the year/ even now).

In addition to all of these exciting things I have, I also have been doing some other things lately. I’ve been watching old Ghost Adventures episodes, and you know, I think it would be interesting to do a few posts about that. They can be so dramatic, but also got some of the most interesting evidence I’ve seen. A new ghost hunting show, Ghost Brothers, just started on Destination Ghosts, I mean Destination America. I thought it was really good. I think I’m qualified to say that since I’ve been watching these kind of shows since 2005, and had an avid interest in ghosts long before that. Anyway, these guys are really funny and did some interesting things on their investigation that I would not have thought of. Don’t get me started on Nick Groff’s new show, Paranormal Lockdown. That show was so damn good.

So there’s those. Another thought is maybe going back and re-watching Murder, She Wrote and reviewing episodes. I just listened to a cool podcast about it. I’m a total nerd about that show. I mean, I’m a pretty nerdy nerd, but even the letters J and B make me freak out and start talking about my fave detective JB Fletcher. The podcast I’m talking about is from the Retroist, which I hadn’t heard of until now. You can listen to the podcast HERE or here:

How this came about is kind of a classic Sara internet story. I was watching Dan Bell’s Cutting Room/Floor Video #5, and he mentioned this guy who puts up old K-Mart music on Archive.org. I had never heard of Archive.org, and being a weird history lover, I checked it out. It’s kind of a jackpot for me. Anyway, I found this podcast listed and it sounded cool and only got better when I saw that they had an episode on Murder, She Wrote, so HELL YEAH.

Also, new music love! I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but my music taste is weird. I literally will go from listening to like, Beastie Boys to One Direction. I’m really open to a lot of music, except for maybe most of the stuff on the radio. Which, kind of makes the sentence before that look a bit weird because I can name about 3 stations in Appleton I’ve heard 1D on, as well as at least 2 I’ve heard Beastie Boys on. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of the newer Of Monsters and Men CD. It’s got some great songs, and I just am really digging it. I got Lany’s other EP not long ago too, which is also really good.

Unfortunately, I have developed a new obsession. The thing about me, is that I have an addictive personality. I need something to obsess over, otherwise I’m really restless and unhappy (more so than usual). This time, it’s 5 Seconds of Summer. See, there was a period about 3 years ago where I thought they were really good and I was listening to them occasionally. And then…it kind of stopped. I was kinda like “Eh.” For a while too! And then I was just suddenly in need of their newest CD, Sounds Good Feels Good. And DAMN. It was worth it. It’s so good. I get these Blink-183 and All Time Low vibes.
Even Third Eye Blind vibes and I love Third Eye

5-seconds-of-summer
Left to right: Ashton, Calum, Luke, Michael. Aren’t they adorable little Australians? (Okay, little is probably a stupid thing to say b/c I’m like only 5 ft tall) but look at their skinny legs!

Blind (something I also listen to a lot lately).  I also want to point out how cute these guys are. The only problem I have is that they’re so young. I mean, granted I’m only 22, but anyone born after 1995 to me is young? It’s just weird. and the oldest of the group, Ashton is 21 and is barely a year younger than me, but on the other hand, the youngest, Luke, is 19? I don’t know. I’m just weird. I guess I’m so used to celebrities being older than me, and now that I’m getting older, the thought of younger celebrities is just weird.

 

I think a lot of people write them off because One Direction had a hand in discovering them and then let them tour with them. I mean, the other day I was talking to my friend and she actually said: “They’re just not as good as One Direction.” And I was kind of thinking about that statement. They’re not really even that similar to One Direction. I mean, 1D is all older than them. Yeah, on Sounds Good Feels Good, there are some songs where I think of One Direction when I hear them (i.e. Vapors, kind of and Story of Another Us reminds me a bit of them), but then there are songs like Airplanes where all I can hear is All Time Low and Yellowcard. Or, even Waste the Night. It’s kind of a poppy tune, but at the same time…It’s not really comparable to a One Direction sound. In fact, Sounds Good Feels Good reminds me mmore of Radio:Active era McFly than 1D. It just has the same vibes to it that I get from Radio:Active. I don’t know. Here, listen to my favorite song by them: Waste the Night

If you want a bigger look at what I’ve been listening to, listen to the playlist I made the other day on 8tracks below:

So anyway, that’s kind of where I’m at. I had some intense vertigo earlier in the month, and while it seems to have gotten better, it’s still there. Hopefully I’m not dying or anything like that. So, I guess until the next time I feel like updating/finish a draft!

Some Youtube channels/videos I’ve discovered!

So, last week before heading down to Chicago (which I will write about eventually), I was going through another paranormal kick. See, before I was obsessed with Chernobyl and even urban exploring, I had a love for anything paranormal. When I was in 5th grade, I asked to stay up past my bedtime just to watch Ghost Hunters. When I was probably around 6, I loved the show So Weird on Disney Do you guys remember that show? I wish they still made shows like that, but I guess because it from the late 90’s early 2000’s, it was more about the introduction to the internet into kid’s lives, and how this girl, Fee, was using it to investigate the paranormal.

And even earlier, you can trace my weird love from me just being a creepy child. Things like me having an imaginary friend at the age of about 3 that lived in the wall between my parents bedroom and the bathroom. What was weird, however, was that this “friend” wore old timey clothes, something that a 3 year old shouldn’t understand. Of course, I’ve always been a history nerd, so I suppose I could have just been ahead of the curve in that department, or not. Other things, like having a recurring nightmare of a bird that watched me while I slept (I think now, that this wasn’t malevolent, but rather my spirit guide, which, idk kinda weird. Would have thought it was a cat), or the time the “lady in white” scared away the “scary man”. Or the week I was certain there were dogs at the end of my bed drinking out of a water bowl even though we owned none, and finally the man who sat in front of my bedroom door and watched me (which I think now was a shadow person). I don’t know, you may not even believe me. That’s fine. I don’t care. I know that I was a weird child and an even weirder adult.

When you can still find the paranormal section in your local library, then you know you’ve got some issues. So, every once and a while, I go through kicks of intense obsessions with the paranormal. This was one of those weeks. I somehow stumbled onto a video, with which I have no recollection of, then onto another from there.

This video appeared to be a very amateur group of high schoolers who got to investigate their high school in Nebraska. At first I had my doubts. I thought it would just be Ghost Adventures all over again. It wasn’t. These guys knew their stuff, and while they were somewhat unnerved by what they found, they were more professional than a lot of ghost hunting teams are on tv. Check it out here or watch it below.

Unfortunately, episode two has not been uploaded and this is about a year old already. Colin, the main investigator seems to have gone to college. I did some digging (in a not so creepy way), and found that he seems to be focused on a singing career currently. He even auditioned/was on American Idol? I don’t know. All I know about American Idol is that sometimes I just watch bad auditions on youtube. I’ve never been fond of the show (in fact I kind of hate it but whatever).

The next is a miniseries I also accidentally stumbled upon. It’s been going on since about 2011, and is on it’s 14th season. I’m just now on the 11th. Let me tell you, season 10? It HURTS. Anyway, it starts off with a girl, Sunshine, who’s just moved into a new house with her mom and thinks it’s haunted. Her mom doesn’t believe her so she decides to film to see if she’ll catch anything…What starts out as just searching to proof leads to even bigger questions and scarier hauntings. Basically, Sunshine fights some pretty evil things. Along for the ride are her mom, Kat (with whom Sunshine is very close to), a family friend they refer to as Uncle Tommy, who is pretty adorable, and Nolan (my fave), this really weird guy that found them randomly to give them a message and ends up being Sunshine’s best friend (creating a new otp for me…).

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Sunshine, her mom, and Nolan

What started as a youtube show starring Paige Mckensie as Sunshine, has led to two movies, a book series 5104y5p5j7l(just started the first and it’s really good), and a tv show. I’m excited for all of it because this story is something I wish I had when I was younger, but am glad to have now. Here’s the channel. Start on season 1 if you don’t want to be hella confused. Or if you’re lazy, check out the first episode below. I do recommend watching the seasons in playlists tho so that you dont have to keep clicking on the next episode. Happy watching! Or should I say witching…because…You know what, nevermind.