Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book Tag #4: Literary Dinner Party

I'm one of those people who're hungry ALL THE TIME. It's not a joke. I ate a gigantic plate of food half an hour ago and I'm already considering going back for ice cream. I have no idea of how I still fit through the door. Anyway, since I enjoy food and specially dinner, I picked this interesting book tag called Literary Dinner Party. 


Imagine you are organizing a big dinner like the one Professor Slughorn hosted in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. You'll pick one book character for each question. Who will receive an invitation?

1) Someone who cooks

There's no better cook in town than Minny Jackson, ladies and gentleman. At least, that's what they say. She has been in charge of banquets in the past so I feel she would be a good choice for my dinner. Just be careful with her pies, okay? She's a very funny lady and I bet she has some great anecdotes to share.



2) Someone to sponsors the dinner

And here I was thinking that I was a millionaire that could afford her own parties. Oh, well. In that case, I guess I need someone experienced in the party scene. What better choice than Tony Stark? He is a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, after all.



3) Someone that can cause a scene

This is a no-brainer. If we want a bizarre character that loves drama, Magnus Bane is the one for the job. Not only will he catch everyone attention with his fancy clothes and makeup, but he will also put on  a great magic show. Plus, duty may call and next thing you know, there's a wounded werewolf staining the tablecloth. Sounds like a night to remember to me. Alec Lightwood could be his +1 (please.)



4) Someone who will make everyone laugh

All the 3 previous guests are already quite funny, so I guess I'll just pick another one. Wow, this dinner is going to be a blast. I identify myself with and appreciate Rose Hathaway's sarcastic humor. It's very similar to mine, which is part of the reason I love this character. 



5) Someone popular

Well, there are many kinds of "popular". What we need is someone with good contacts (but isn't a douche about it.) I think Gansey is perfect for the role. Although he doesn't like to brag about it, he comes from a successful and important family. I just love him and needed him in this dinner, okay?



6) A villain

Well, we wouldn't want maleficent's story to repeat itself, do we? We better have our enemies close. It's also a great way to add some spice to the table. This is a tough one, but in the end, I think Captain Hook is quite a lovable villain. His plans always get frustrated in some way and that makes me feel so sorry for him. I think he deserves a nice dinner.



7) A couple

I would love to have Rhys and Feyre among my guests. It adds a bit of diversity, you know? I love every aspect of their relationship: their mutual respect, balance, trust and love. Although they're a bit too pda lovers, they know when to get serious. I trust that they will actually use their mouths to talk.



8) A hero or heroin

Well, Tony Stark is already invited but, if Steve Rogers was in the room too, it could turn out to be quite a fun night. Or the whole place could get destroyed. I'll take the risks. Cap is such an honorable and respectful guy, who I bet has great manners.



9) An underestimated character

If we look "underestimated" up on a dictionary, I believe we'll find a picture of John Watson. We can't help but love Sherlock, but we sometimes forget how important John is too. I want him to feel loved and that's why he's receiving an invitation.




10) A character of your choice

A dinner is no such thing without a good debate. I wouldn't want to be the person who argues with Hermione Granger but it's a fight worth watching. I'll try not to drop too much popcorn on the ground.




There you have it! I think some great conversations could come up during the night.

I saw this tag on Butterfly Kisses.

 Should I make some souvenirs? What could be a good theme for the dinner? What are your picks? Tell me in the comments :)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday

Hi! I'm back with another Top 5 Wednesday! This week's topic is: Future Classics. So I have to pick books that I think will be classics in the future generations. This is a tough one because I'm not good with predictions. I guess we'll have to wait another 50 years or so to find out.



I don't really have an explanation for my choices. I picked books with good content that are greatly talked about; books with deep meanings and topics we all need to learn and discuss; books that could be added to compulsory reads in schools. You get what I'm trying to say, right?

1) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step. . . . 

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women--mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends--view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

2) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime." 

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir's choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.

3) The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by American author Alice Walker which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name.

Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the southern United States in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture. The novel has been the frequent target of censors and appears on the American Library Association list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2000-2009 at number seventeen because of the sometimes explicit content, particularly in terms of violence.


4) Harry Potter Saga by J.K. Rowling


We all know what these are about. This saga will be the one parents give to their children and so on. They are the new Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings.

5) White Teeth by Zadie Smith

On New Year's morning, 1975, Archie Jones sits in his car on a London road and waits for the exhaust fumes to fill his Cavalier Musketeer station wagon. Archie—working-class, ordinary, a failed marriage under his belt—is calling it quits, the deciding factor being the flip of a 20-pence coin. When the owner of a nearby halal butcher shop (annoyed that Archie's car is blocking his delivery area) comes out and bangs on the window, he gives Archie another chance at life and sets in motion this richly imagined, uproariously funny novel. 

Epic and intimate, hilarious and poignant, White Teeth is the story of two North London families—one headed by Archie, the other by Archie's best friend, a Muslim Bengali named Samad Iqbal. Pals since they served together in World War II, Archie and Samad are a decidedly unlikely pair. Plodding Archie is typical in every way until he marries Clara, a beautiful, toothless Jamaican woman half his age, and the couple have a daughter named Irie (the Jamaican word for "no problem"). Samad —devoutly Muslim, hopelessly "foreign"— weds the feisty and always suspicious Alsana in a prearranged union. They have twin sons named Millat and Magid, one a pot-smoking punk-cum-militant Muslim and the other an insufferable science nerd. The riotous and tortured histories of the Joneses and the Iqbals are fundamentally intertwined, capturing an empire's worth of cultural identity, history, and hope.

Zadie Smith's dazzling first novel plays out its bounding, vibrant course in a Jamaican hair salon in North London, an Indian restaurant in Leicester Square, an Irish poolroom turned immigrant cafΓ©, a liberal public school, a sleek science institute. A winning debut in every respect, White Teeth marks the arrival of a wondrously talented writer who takes on the big themes —faith, race, gender, history, and culture— and triumphs.

I want to thank Sam and Lainey for all their work in Top 5 Wednesday!

Do you agree with my choices? Will I be completely wrong in 100 years? Probably. Tell me your choices in the comments below.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Confessions

Got a secret? Can you keep it? Swear this one you'll save. Is Pretty Little Liars still a thing? I stopped watching after season 3. I may give it another go someday. Anyway, today I'm going to spill some book-related secrets. And I encourage you to do the same in the comments so I don't feel bad about mine.


Okay, let's see...

1) Deforestation is my fault!? (Oh, wait , why am I using a clickbait? This isn't Youtube)

While I like to think that I'm a pretty decent human being in terms of environmental-issues, I'm not that good at resisting the urge to get books in physical form. Sorry trees! It's just that e-books will never replace the smell and feel of a new book. Plus, you cannot brag about an online shelf, can you? 

2) I was a rebel in school

My definition of rebel is probably not the same as yours. My only acts of rebellion in school were not reading the assigned books.


Yes, I admit it. I hate it when I have to read something I didn't choose. So most of the time, I didn't. I just searched for good summaries online. I still do, on occasions (please don't tell my professors.) Luckily, after so many years of compulsory reads, one of my professors is letting us choose the books to do our research on. If you wanted know (probably not) I chose The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and 1984 by George Orwell.

3) I don't analyze books

You know how there are people who stick flags and sticky-notes on every single page? Well I don't do it. I don't usually underline stuff either on books unless I need to quote something. It doesn't really work for me, because I never go back to check what I wrote or marked as important. So why would I waste my time on it? Everyone has a different system, I don't think I've found mine yet. 

4) Potterheads probably hate me

Okay, here it goes: I haven't finished the Harry Potter saga. 



Yes, I know. I'm on book 3 and I will finish it some day. But that day is not in the near future. I loved the first two, it's just that I have a hard time reading middle-grade because I can't really connect with the characters. I have the same problem with the Percy Jackson books. 



5) Unhauling is not a word I know

I'm a book hoarder. Yeah, most readers are. But my biggest problem is I can't even get rid of the books I don't like. I keep them there, hidden behind other books. My brain knows that if I get rid of them, I'll have more room for new books. But my heart refuses to give up on them. Plus, I feel bad for the money I wasted on them. Do you have any tips to get over this? Are there any good websites to swap books? (Internationally)

Wow, that feels good. And definitely cheaper than a therapist. Question: are you tired of my gifs yet? No? Great.

See you later!

What are YOU hiding? Do you have any solutions for my problems? Please, tell me!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Music Monday #1

Hello! How's everyone doing? The week's about to begin again but I don't mind. I'm in a great mood. I owe it all to the great music I've been listening to. I thought I could share my current obsessions every once in a while. What do you think? It's a little all over the place, sorry for that.

Let's do it!


On Saturday I remembered that I hadn't seen Moana yet, and so I did. IT'S FANTASTIC! Seriously, guys, if you haven't seen it, do it. The music is so good! Half of the songs got stuck in my mind. In fact, I'm listening to You're Welcome as we speak. I don't think there's a single song Lin-Manuel Miranda has written that I don't love. So, obsession number 1 is the Moana Soundtrack. My faves are You're Welcome, We Know the Way, and Shiny.

My next obsession is Leave Me Lonely by Ariana Grande. I don't particularly like her as a person, but man that girl can sing. Her voice is just perfect. 


If you're ever feeling down, then I can assure you the beat of this song will lift you up in no time. I first heard it when I was watching a dance video, and I haven't been able to stop listening to it  ever since. I'm talking about HandClap by Fitz and the Tantrums


We're now going to talk about my babies, Twenty One Pilots πŸ’˜. I've been super obsessed with Screen. It's just so good. Their music doesn't need explanation.


The planets aligned, the universe decided to give us a gift, I don't know what happened but Coldplay and The Chainsmokers made a collab. And, oh dear it's perfect. The lyrics are beautiful. Just listen to Something Just Like This.



And last but not least, a song that everybody will remember from their childhood (well, my childhood at least). I've been listening to You'll Always Find Your Way Back Home by Miley Cyrus Hannah Montana.


I miss the old days, when we were so naive to think that people couldn't recognize a girl with a wig. Plus, adulting is SO hard. Ugh, there goes my good mood. Anyway, I hope I gave you some good suggestions. 

See you on the next one :)

Do you still listen to songs from your childhood? Do you sing in the shower? Let me know in the comments!


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: Stitched #1 by Mariah McCourt and Aaron Alexovich


Stitched #1 by Mariah McCourt and Aaron Alexovich

Release date: May 2nd 2017
Publisher: Charmz
Pages: 96
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary:                                              

Crimson Volania Mulch has a problem; she just woke up in a crypt and, besides her name, has no idea of who, where, or what she is. Welcome to the Cemetery of Assumptions, a vast landscape of stones, mausoleums, and secrets. Home to monsters and mayhem, it may also hold the answers to her unknown parentage. 

Crimson is a resourceful patchwork girl and determined to find them. Along the way, she meets the mysterious Wisteria, who has a tendency to change and a witch named Parameter whose spells tend to go awry. And two boys, Simon and Quinton, who make her feel something besides lost and confused. She must battle ghosts, zombies, and monsters in order to learn where she came from and who her real "mother" is. But will she do it alone, or will she have help from her new friends and unexpected crushes?


Let's meet the characters!

Crimson Volania Mulch

Brand-new and brimming with curiosity, Crimson is a mystery even to herself. Made up of different girls, she doesn't know who she was, so how can she decide who she should be? Waking up in Assumption Cemetery is only the beginning, but she knows at least four things already: she has great hair, she loves animals, vampire boys are seriously pretty, and she definitely needs to fin her selves. Whoever they were.




Wisteria Smials

A shy werewolf who paints, Wisteria is a loyal friend with a soft, kind heart...but watch out. If you threaten those close to her or waste time bickering, Wisteria's inner wolf will come out. And it is not to be messed with. No one knows where she lives, which is a bit curious, even for Assumption.



Simon

A swamp boy with a bioluminescent personality, Simon likes snacks, swimming, and Crimson. A lot. He lives in Assumption's swampy bayou and has no trouble saying what he thinks. He's determined and a bit overly confident, but he'll always be there for a friend.




Quinton

Assumption's resident vampire boy, he's pretty, he's properly brooding, and he's more than a little stuck up. He's older that even he can remember and doesn't let much touch his undead heart. Until he meets Crimson and has to face a past he's not quite ready to deal with.



Parameter Jones

A "magical technician" with a prickly personality and more power than skills, Parameter is Assumption's only human resident. Well, only living human resident. Parameter is there to learn and practice magic and become the best. Just don't call her a witch.





Crust

half badger, half hedgehog, all cute. Crust is the perfect pet for Crimson and the most adorable undead companion ever made. Was she a gift from Crimson's mom? Does she like cupcakes? All she knows is that she loves Crimson and will follow her anywhere.



Review                                                                                     

This is the most adorable graphic novel I've ever seen! And it was its colorful cover that drew me into reading what it was about. Although middle-grade is not my usual choice, I though this looked like a fresh and cute story. It totally was!

In terms of story, and although I understand this is targeted towards a younger audience, I felt it lacked something. It felt really simple. I don't know why authors underestimate children. They smarter than we think. It's okay to throw in some more mature content, they will understand it. Other than that, I truly enjoyed the story. I liked how this is, in some way, a story of diversity and acceptance. And I'm sure those topics will be further addressed in the next issues. 

The artwork. Oh, dear. It's fantastic. I love the brightness of it all even when we're surrounded by a creepy environment. The characters' colors complement their personalities perfectly. My only complaint is that some pages were a little too packed and may confuse the readers. 

Overall, I found this to be a fantastic, fun and cute story with just enough action. Both adults and children will enjoy this.

Rating                                                                                      


4 out of 5 stars


Do you enjoy middle-grade? Would you like to have a half badger/half hedgehog pet? Let me know!



Friday, March 24, 2017

Book Inspired Menu

You're probably thinking: What on earth is a book inspired menu? Well, let me tell you. I'm currently reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett and it's flipping amazing. Even better than the movie. This book revolves around the daily life and struggles of colored maids in the 60's. Though it's humor-based, this is a very important piece that analyzes racism and slavery. There was a lost of delicious food involved so I thought I could look up some recipes that reminded me of this book.

Shall we get into it?

For the appetizer I chose simple yet delicious Bacon-Olive Party Sandwiches. Gatherings without some tiny sandwiches never end up well.

Ingredients

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
8 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
24 pimiento-stuffed olives, chopped
4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon pepper

How to Make It

Remove and discard crusts from bread; toast bread.
Spread 1 side of 8 bread slices evenly with Bacon-Olive Cream Cheese; top with remaining 8 bread slices, and cut evenly into 3 strips.

For the main dish, I couldn't forget about Crisco, so we're making Mama's Fried Chicken. And then we'll have a side of Lucky Black-Eyed Pea Salad, as inspired by Constantine's pea tradition.

Ingredients (chicken)

1 (3- to 4-pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 cups buttermilk
Self-rising flour
Vegetable oil

How to Make It

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken in a shallow dish or zip-top plastic bag, and add buttermilk. Cover or seal, and chill at least 2 hours.
Remove chicken from buttermilk, discarding buttermilk. Dredge chicken in flour.
Pour oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches in a deep skillet or Dutch oven; heat to 360°. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time; cover and cook 6 minutes. Uncover chicken, and cook 9 minutes. Turn chicken; cover and cook 6 minutes. Uncover and cook 5 to 9 minutes, turning chicken the last 3 minutes for even browning, if necessary. Drain on paper towels.

Ingredients (salad)

1 (16-oz.) package frozen black-eyed peas
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup red pepper jelly
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 jalapeΓ±o pepper, seeded and minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1/3 cup diced red onion
2 large fresh peaches, peeled and diced
2 cups torn watercress

How to Make It

Prepare peas according to package directions, simmering only until al dente; drain and let cool 1 hour.
Whisk together cilantro and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add cooked black-eyed peas, bell pepper, and onion, tossing to coat; cover and chill 8 hours. Stir peaches and watercress into pea mixture just before serving.

Now, my favorite part is definitely dessert. I'm such a sweet tooth. Since nobody could stop talking about Minny's pie in the book (wink wink), I chose the Chocolate Icebox Pie for this menu. 

Ingredients

2/3 cup milk
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 (6-ounce) ready-made chocolate crumb piecrust
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 (1.55-ounce) milk chocolate candy bar, chopped

How to Make It

Heat milk until it just begins to bubble around the edges in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat (do not boil). Remove from heat, and whisk in chocolate morsels until melted. Cool slightly.
Stir together cold water and cornstarch until dissolved.
Whisk cornstarch mixture, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and vanilla into chocolate mixture. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute or until mixture thickens and is smooth. (Do not overcook.)
Remove from heat, and whisk in butter. Spoon mixture into piecrust. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream evenly over pie filling, and sprinkle with pecans and candy bar pieces.

To shelter yourself from the unforgiving southern heat, you'll need big quantities of Southern Sweet Tea.

Ingredients

3 cups water
2 family-size tea bags
1/2 to 1 cup sugar
7 cups cold water

How to Make It

Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; add tea bags. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes.
Remove and discard tea bags. Add desired amount of sugar, stirring until dissolved. Pour into a 1-gal. container, and add 7 cups cold water. Serve over ice. You can add peach nectar or lemon juice if desired.

It sounds SO good, guys! I need to go and ransack my fridge now, but I'm guessing it's empty, as usual. If I ever decide to prepare this delicious menu, I'll definitely let you know.

The recipes featured here are from myrecipes.com

Do you love food? What kind of question is that? Everyone loves food. Tell me your thoughts in the comments!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Book Tag #3: Elemental Covers

Hello there! I had totally forgotten that I had to post... I don't know what has gotten into my head. Luckily, it's Thursday and that means it's a Book Tag day. Technically, I already posted a tag this week, but since it's my blog, I can do whatever I want with it. Plus, they're really fun. It's almost 12 a.m. right now and I have to get up at 6:30 so I'm doing a short one. Please don't hate me.

Elemental Covers is a book tag in which you need to pick covers that fit according to the elements. Let's do this!

πŸ’¦


Find a book that has water 


The Mara Dyer Trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

πŸ’™


Find a book with a blue cover


 The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

πŸ”₯


Find a book with fire on the cover


Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking #3) by Patrick Ness

πŸ’—


Find a book with a red cover


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

πŸƒ


Find a book with soil on the cover


Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

πŸ’š


Find a book with a green cover


Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3) by Sarah J. Maas

πŸ’¨


Find a book with wind on the cover


Before I Die by Jenny Downham

πŸ‘»


Find a book with a white cover


Burned (Burned #1) by Ellen Hopkins

πŸ˜ˆπŸ‘½πŸ‘»πŸ˜°


Find a book with red, green, white and blue on the cover


Room by Emma Donoghue


Wasn't it fun? I hope it was. It's 1 in the morning so I'm heading to sleep. See you tomorrow!

I saw this tag on Butterfly Kisses.


Is there such a thing as too many book tags? Which of these is your favorite cover? Let me know below.