Thursday, January 31, 2013

January 2013 Reading Update

Hey everyone!

I originally noted in my 2013 Reading List post that I would do quarterly reading updates, but as you can guess from the title of this post, I decided to change it to monthly. My decision to do this stemmed primarily from the desire to proclaim a "favorite book of the month." I found that I was reading at a decent pace and came to the conclusion that if I didn't update until the end of March, it would be difficult to give a fair amount of the books any spotlight. Even doing weekly book reviews can't accommodate for all the books I want to talk about. So, without further ado, I want to get into what books I read in January, which book was my favorite, and possibly some books that I wanted to add onto my reading list.

This post would turn into a painfully long read if I tried to do a mini-review on every book so I'll allow myself a maximum of 4 sentences on each.

Also, I won't be posting full book reviews on all these books (simply because there are still so many books I read last year that I want to do reviews for as well), so as you're reading through this post, if you come across a book you would like me to do a complete review on, then request it and it shall be done!

And without further ado, here are the books I have read so far in January 2013, in the order completed:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

NOTD: OPI "Designer...De Better!"

Today's notd is for OPI's "Designer...De Better!" This polish was released in the Muppets Holiday collection in 2011. It's a silver with bronze flecks. Sounds strange, doesn't it?

(OPI "Designer...De Better!")

Sunday, January 27, 2013

NOTD: Essie "Absolutely Shore"

Today's notd is for Essie's "Absolutely Shore," one that I believe was originally released back in summer of 2011. "Absolutely Shore" is a pale sea-foam green that I find to be the green equivalent of Essie's "Borrowed and Blue." Even though this polish was released as part of a summer collection, I really enjoy wearing this color during winter. I find that the polish has nice hints of grey that make a great choice if you enjoy lighter colors during the colder seasons.

(Essie "Absolutely Shore")

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In a Ship of Her Own Making: A Book Review

This review contains NO SPOILERS. Enjoy! (:

Book review #4 of 2013!

Today's book review is for one of my favorite books of 2012. If you haven't seen my list of favorite reads of 2012, then you can find it here.

Catherynne Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is a perfect example of why I love to browse bookstores at random. I found this book entirely on accident and was won over by the title (I know a lot of people get drawn in by covers, and I completely understand that, but I tend to get drawn in by titles more so than covers- though having a unique, aesthetically pleasing cover doesn't hurt.) Oh, and having a positive blurb by Neil Gaiman on the cover never hinders your chances either.

Onward to the review...

But as usual, here's the back-cover description:

"September is a girl who longs for adventure. When she is invited to Fairyland by a Green wind and a Leopard, well, of course she accepts. (Mightn't you?) But Fairyland is in turmoil, and it will take one twelve-year-old girl, a book-loving dragon, and a strange and almost human boy named Saturday to vanquish an evil Marquess and restore order."

Friday, January 25, 2013

NOTD: OPI "Just Spotted the Lizard"

Today's nail post is for OPI's "Just Spotted the Lizard," a release from OPI's Amazing Spiderman Collection. I did a post for this polish alongside "Number One Nemesis" a while back but didn't feel like my photos did a very good job of capturing how amazing this polish. Seeing how often I wear this polish, I figured I would have another opportunity to photograph it. 

(OPI "Just Spotted the Lizard")

Monday, January 21, 2013

NOTD: Zoya "Caitlin"

I think all that holiday glitter has forced me back into my pattern of wearing basic cream polish manicures. Today's notd is for a creamy bluish-grey with a hint of purple polish, Zoya's "Caitlin."

(Zoya "Caitlin")

Sunday, January 20, 2013

To Say Nothing of the Dog: A Book Review

There are NO SPOILERS in this review. Enjoy! (:

Book review #3 of 2013!

I am too excited about this book to even give the lengthy introduction that I normally do. Just one thing I wanted to make a note of is that I encourage you to check out your local independent booksellers! I went on the hunt for To Say Nothing of the Dog at multiple Barnes & Nobles and could not find a single Connie Willis novel (amongst other authors I was in search of as well). I was finally able to find this book at a local bookseller and though it was completely new, I got it for $3.99 as opposed to the original $7.99 price. Even if you don't find a discount, its selection can still surprise you like it did for me!

Onward to the review...

But as usual let's start with the back-cover description:

"Ned Henry is badly in need of a rest. He's been shuttling between the 21st century and the 1940s searching for a Victorian atrocity called the bishop's bird stump. It's part of a project to restore the famed Coventry Cathedral, destroyed in a Nazi air raid over a hundred years earlier. But then Verity Kindle, a fellow time traveler, inadvertently brings back something from the past. Now Ned must jump back to the Victorian era to help Verity put things right- not only to save the project but to prevent altering history itself."

Friday, January 18, 2013

NOTD: OPI "Just A Little Rosti At This"

Today's notd is another old polish. OPI's "Just A Little Rosti At This" has been a reliable deep red for the past couple winters. It deep wine red color with a slight hint of berry in it. It's perfect for those days that I'm in the mood for the color that isn't quite as purple as a berry color, but not quite as dark as a blood red shade (and yes, those moods do exist for me). This polish is my go-to.

(OPI "Just A Little Rosti At This")

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

NOTD: Essie "Bahama Mama"

Today's notd is an for an older polish, Essie's "Bahama Mama." This polish is one that I use fairly often throughout the colder seasons. "Bahama Mama" is a deep berry shade that seems to dance the line between a cream and jelly finish.

(Essie "Bahama Mama")

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Delirium: A Book Review

There are NO SPOILERS in this book review. Enjoy! (:

Book review #2 of 2013!

Those of you who continue to read my book reviews know that I always begin with lengthy intros that often deal with how I discovered/decided to read said book more than about the actual content. Though I understand that that may be boring for some of you, I actually find it rather fascinating how people come across the material they read- whether it's through word of mouth, or because you saw the movie trailer and you want to read the book before seeing the film, or if it's through browsing a bookstore completely at random. Those little tidbits fascinate a book lover like me, so I will continue to share them. If they bore you, I won't even notice if you skip it and go straight to the review.

With that said, Delirium is a book I discovered through simply reading many books of the same genre. When you've read Matched (Ally Condie), the Uglies Series (Scott Westerfeld) and similar YA dystopian novels, you get accustomed to seeing them surrounded by familiar books. So though I never really got a personal recommendation for this book, I suppose I heard it through book association. If you read my 2013 Reading List then you probably saw it listed there. I came into reading this book with relatively no expectations whatsoever. I had no glowing (or any actually) recommendations from anyone, but also no one discouraging it either. So, without further ado, let's start on some actual content!

Title: Delirium
Series: Book #1 in Delirium series
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: YA/teen dystopian fiction
Pages: 480
Release date: February 1, 2011
Links: Amazon  | B&N | Goodreads

As usual, let's start with the back-cover description:

"They say that the cure for love will make me happy and safe forever. And I've always believed them. Until now.

Now everything has changed. Now I'd rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie."

Saturday, January 12, 2013

NOTD: 'The Fault In Our Stars' 1st Anniversary Nail Art

Today's post is one that I actually should have put up two days ago, but since I'm horrible with dates I mixed it up somehow. But you gotta love that cliche that late is better than never.

Happy ONE YEAR (+2 day) anniversary to The Fault In Our Stars. I really can't believe it came out one year ago and that it has only been that time in which I have read it. To commemorate this event I did some nail art inspired by the Collector's Edition book cover. It's very similar to the nail art I did for the original cover, which you can find here. They're both very simple manicures, but fun to sport as a reminder of how much this book means to me.

As I mentioned earlier, I based this manicure off the Collector's Edition book cover. I couldn't resist purchasing it despite the copies I already own. The platinum was a beautiful change and I think the engraving of John's signature on the hard cover was a nice touch.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

NOTD: Revlon "Pale Cashmere"

Today's notd is for Revlon's "Pale Cashmere" from their Colorstay line. I have found that I enjoy this line much more than their original line. The finish is not only much glossier, but it doesn't chip quite as fast. "Pale Cashmere" is a pale pink that gives your hands an incredibly natural nail look.

(Revlon "Pale Cashmere")

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Uglies: A Book Review

There are NO SPOILERS in this review. Enjoy! (:

Book review #1 of 2013!

Scott Westerfeld's Uglies is a book I have seen for a long time. My sister must have read it 6+ years ago and I have seen it on her shelf often. I read the back cover when I first saw it and immediately thought it sounded super cheesy. My sister made a discouraging face and told me it wasn't that good so I put it down without a second thought. Fast forward 6 years and I became curious again. This time, I had friends who once again discouraged me from reading it hinting of its shallowness and similarities to America's Next Top Model. That was enough to sizzle out the desire for a bit longer. When the curiosity came back, I decided just to forgo all the negative feedback and just read it to end the curiosity once and for all. And let me tell you, I am very happy I did.

Here's the back cover description for those unfamiliar with the Uglies Series:

"Tally is about to turn sixteen and she can't wait. Not for her license- for turning pretty. In Tally's world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellant ugly to a stunningly attractive and pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to have a really good time. In just a few weeks, Tally will be there.

But Tally's new friend Shay isn't sure she wants to be pretty. She'd rather risk life on the outside. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world- and it is very pretty. The authorities offer Tally the worse offer she can imagine, find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever."

Thursday, January 3, 2013

NOTD: Butter London "Wallis"

Today's notd is one of my favorites for fall and winter, Butter London "Wallis."

(Butter London "Wallis")

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013 Reading List

I read 50 books in 2012, a goal set in early March of that year. Knowing that many New Year Resolutions don't make it past January/February, that makes me feel very accomplished. In my New Year Resolutions, I set the new goal of reading 60 books in 2013.

Sometimes I feel as if reading goals such as this are necessary for someone like me who feels like their reading list is never ending. It's overwhelming to think you may possibly never get to all the books you want to. Hopefully, by the end of 2013, 60 will get me through a lot of them.

Though I have listed only 22 books, many of these books were either series (The Maze Runner Series, Lauren Oliver's series) or general suggestions to read more works by a particular author (Austen, Murakami) so the reading list actually totals ~33. Though this is only about half of my reading goal for 2013 of 60, I am a very spontaneous reader (meaning I want to immediately read whatever I'm in the mood for regardless of how long books have been on any list- hence my love for browsing bookstores AND why it seems like I can never get to certain books) and loading up this list with books I really don't care for just for the sake of reaching 60 is senseless. There's a very good chance that ~25% of these books won't even get read by the end of 2013, but are instead replaced with books that I find completely at random.

That leads me to my next topic. I'm considering doing an updated reading list every quarter of the year to update on my progress through this list as well as new additions. So expect an updated reading list/progress by the end of March!

So, without further ado, here is my introductory reading list!