Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I'd Love to Read With My Book Club

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Ten Books I'd Love to Read With My Book Club. I actually run Boundless Books, a book club on Goodreads that I created last year. I also have very fond memories of book club in high school. Those were the days. Anyway, here's what I chose:

1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I have no excuse as to why I haven't read this yet so I'm very excited that my book club is actually reading this THIS month! Of course, I'm starting it at the last minute ha ha but I'm so excited to open it up this week!

2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
I still have yet to read Patrick Ness. Maybe a book club pick would push me along? I don't know why I'm stalling with picking up his books. Something tells me once I read I will yell at myself for not having read sooner.

3. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
I would definitely have to be aware of who is in the book club if this were one I chose given the subject matter and the intensity of emotions this may cause but I think I'll just single out a few friends that I think would like this book instead and just go back and forth with them.

4. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
This or any Neil Gaiman book really would work as a book club read in my eyes. I just picked this one because I haven't read it yet and it seems the most interesting of those of which I have not read that are on my radar.

5. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
I enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love and think any of Gilbert's books would be great book club reads, great discussion openers and provide for very thought provoking discussion.

6. The Stand by Stephen King
I've never read a Stephen King book and I really wanted to read this book last year but didn't get to it so I am making it my mission to read it this year. It would be fun to read this with a few other first time Stephen King readers as well!

7. The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
I read and loved, loved, loved The Namesake in college and would love to have a similar experience, reading talking about another Lahiri book with a group of like minded people.

8. A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
This seems like it would be a fun book club read, especially if it were really interactive and each book club member brought with them a piece of history information that most may not have known before. Make a treasure hunt out of it while also reading about much of what we may not know about as well.

9. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
I haven't read John Steinbeck since high school and I know that this book is super long but it's long overdue for another Steinbeck read and I'd love to read it with at least one other person so that I have someone to talk to about it and get more out of it than I can at first read.

10. Truthwitch by Susan Dennard (Release Date TBD)
This is an upcoming YA fantasy series that I very highly anticipating. I'm picky when it comes to fantasy but this is right up my alley and I am just so excited for this! I would love to read this with a bunch of other people at the same time and have people to talk about it with right away.

What books would you want to read in book club?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Blizzard Reads!

So here in New Jersey and most North East states there are state of emergencies for the blizzard that you may or may not have heard about. That gives me plenty of time to catch up on some reading since I have an awfully big goal this year, bigger than last year and I need to pick up the pace!

Below are the books that are at the top of my list at the moment that I'd love to get to this week. I wonder how many I'll get to! You can stay up to date on what I'm reading live by following me on Goodreads!

Options for Physical Books I'd Like To Read This Week:
The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan (Add it to Goodreads)
Reborn by Jennifer Rush (Add it to Goodreads)
Just One Day by Gayle Forman (Add it to Goodreads)
Devotion and Defiance by Humaira Awais Shahid (Add it to Goodreads)
Winning Balance by Shawn Johnson (Add it to Goodreads)
My Boring-Ass Life by Kevin Smith (Add it to Goodreads)
Rebellion by Stephanie Diaz - Releases February 10, 2015, Stay tuned for my review during the official book blog tour! (Add it to Goodreads)
Fables Volumes 4-5 (Add it to Goodreads)

Options for E-Books I'd Like To Finish/Start Reading This Week:
Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (Add it to Goodreads)
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Add it to Goodreads)
Ready Player One by (Add it to Goodreads)
The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Add it to Goodreads)
All the Rage by Courtney Summers - Releases April 14, 2015 (Add it to Goodreads)
Inked by Eric Smith (Add it to Goodreads)

What books would you like to read this week? Have you read any of the above? If so, what did you think?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

TV Talk: Week in Review '14 - '15 #18

Reviews for Fall TV Shows Which Aired
January 18 - 24, 2014

* New series in CAPS
* Reviews May Contain Spoilers

GALAVANT (ABC) - Episodes 1.05 and 1.06
"Completely Mad... Alena; Dungeons and Dragon Lady"

There isn't a whole lot to say here other than I loved the monks song as well as the "If I Could Share My Life With You" number and of course Ricky Gervais who plays Xanax, the magician. Ha! Solidly entertaining hour full of great songs. Can't wait for next week.

SCORPION (CBS) Episodes 1.14 "Forget Me Nots" and 1.15 "Charades"
This week, Scorpion aired a special episode after the football game and that episode was so incredibly entertaining as Walter was challenged with a mission in which he had to let a woman in his personal space. Not only that, Paige is beginning to have feelings for Walter or is beginning to realize that she's had feelings for him for awhile. Perspective. I think episode 1.14 was way more captivating than 1.15 because of the developments. Looking back, I don't even really remember 1.15 but that aside, I'm excited to see what else comes as there are only 22 episodes total for season one so there are only about a handful of episodes left. I'm very interested in seeing what else this show covers in the next seven episodes!

Photo Credit: Jessica Miglio/FOX

GOTHAM (Fox) Episode 1.12 "What the Little Bird Told Him"
This week was all about Fish Mooney and I absolutely loved how each moment led to the player being played. This was a solid episode. Thrilling. (The electrical deaths! Yikes!) This was riveting from the very first scene and held my attention for the entire hour which is usually the case but enough times not the case also so it's worth mentioning. Solid episode. More than that. This was a very strong episode and I absolutely cannot wait until next week to see what becomes of Fish Mooney!

Castle (ABC) - Episode 7.12 "Private Eye Caramba!"
I don't know what was more fun, watching Castle work a purse case relating to Kate's case or watching Javier's fanboy come out when he and Kate went on the set of a telenovela to investigate. I found this episode very entertaining and am enjoying the married life of Castle and Kate as Castle has dove deep into his new P.I. business, I just hope the writers can keep it up so the dynamic here doesn't grow stale. Only time will tell!

Switched at Birth (ABC Family)
Episode 4.03 "I Lock the Door Upon Myself"

This week was solid but I was personally underwhelmed as the most interesting storyline to me this week was Emmett in LA and the focus was moreso on Daphne in school and Bay truly understanding the scope of the sacrifice she made. So...good episode but I'm really interested in seeing what happens with Emmett while he waits for Bay to come out to LA.

Face Off (Syfy) - Episode 8.02 "Monkey Business"
Check out my review here.

Photo Credit: TBS

Cougar Town (TBS) - Episode 6.03 "To Find a Friend"
We all knew what it would be like for Laurie and Travis during their first week taking care of their baby alone so what really made this episode for me was following Jules and Ellie as they took control over Grayson's bar. Ha! It got pretty Coyote Ugly there at the end! Ha ha! Overall, a solid episode!

Arrow (The CW) - Episode 3.10 "Left Behind"
It was interesting to see the dynamic of the team without Oliver, especially since Felicity was pretty content on there not being a team without him. I loved the dynamic between them and Malcolm in this episode as well. I must say though, since we know that Oliver will be fine, is that I was most intrigued by Laurel taking on the role of Black Canary. I can't wait to see what she does in the second half of the season. Highly anticipating this! I love the pacing of her storyline as well. It's perfect. Love it!

The 100 (The CW) - Episode 2.09 "Remember Me"
It was hard watching Clarke deal with the aftermath of killing Finn but I love this show because it embraces the difficult moments head on and that's what we see here. She's haunted by her decision but also strengthened by it and doesn't take the sacrifice lightly or for granted. Meanwhile, t was really exciting to see the group at Mt. Weather plan to communicate with the outside and get help. I don't know how many of them will be alive by the time Clarke and the gang gets to them but I love that genuine sense of the unknown here. You never know what's going to happen on this show and that just makes it all the more entertaining and gripping and real. Can't wait for the next episode.

The Vampire Diaries (The CW) - Episode 6.11 "Woke Up with a Monster"
Great episode! I loved, loved, loved that Jeremy and Alaric saved the day! Cut to Caroline and Damon's road trip as Caroline went in search for a second opinion for her mother suffering from cancer. You know, I love the friendship between Caroline and Damon and I'm not gonna lie... sometimes I ship them. Do you? And what do you think about the fate of Caroline's mother?!

Parenthood (NBC) - Episode 6.12 "We Made It Through the Night"
Sarah asking Hank to move up the wedding so Zeek can attend before he passes away broke my heart. Oh, man. Amber giving birth to Baby Zeek was the most precious moment of this show. My goodness. I'm speechless. Truly. Next week is the series finale and I am going to be a mess. We knew this day was coming and still, I am not ready. I fell in love with this show before it premiered and held on tight to every single episode. This is truly one of my favorite dramas ever and I am so not ready. I thought I would be okay but nope. I'm a mess. It's going to be so very hard to say goodbye.

Photo: Patrick Wymore/The CW

Hart of Dixie (The CW) - Episode 4.03 "The Very Good Bagel"
This is the episode I longed for and needed in a sense and am so happy that it finally came. What am I talking about exactly? Seeing Lemon, Annabeth, and Crickett reminiscence about their favorite moments of the past and bond over genuinely positive moments. That was long overdue and so beautiful to see. Especially since the episode ended with quite a moment that tugged at all of our hearts after Annabeth told Lavon that she still loves him not knowing what was happening between Lemon and George which led to Lavon's love for Lemon being made known to her. My oh my. I can't wait to see how this plays out. No matter how it plays out, the buildup to that final moment in this episode was perfection.

I love how the writers are wrapping things up should this be the final season of the show. Not only will Zoe and Wade be okay but they've officially closed the door between Lemon and George so we know that they are now friends and only friends...which only leaves the Lavon love triangle. There are only ten episodes this season (I believe this decision was made to accommodate Rachel Bilson's real life pregnancy) so even though the season is just beginning, it could indeed be the beginning of the end if The CW chooses to cancel which I hope they don't but if they are, the conclusion so far is wonderful.

Glee (Fox) - Episode 6.04 "The Hurt Locker: Part 1"
Sue's "Hurt Locker" was hilarious! Loved the Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games references! I'm still cracking up at the butt chin line by the way. But really, it's so much fun seeing not just everyone but Sue in particular rooting for Blaine and Kurt to get back together. They're totally soul mates, don't you think?

On the other hand, it was really cruel of Sue to make Sam kiss Rachel under hypnotism, making Rachel think there was something going on. But while we're talking about Rachel and Sam... I admit, I wasn't taken easily by their rendition of Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles" but after giving it a few more seconds, I soon fell in love with this because the arrangement was absolutely beautiful. Dynamite! Whoever arranged that number should be very, very proud! What was your favorite song of the night?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Trailer: Syfy's The Expanse

Syfy's latest ten episode event is near!

Based on the New York Times bestselling book series, The Expanse brings a hardened detective and rouge ship’s captain together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history. The Expanse is written by Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck (under the pen name James S. A. Corey. Abraham and Franck will be show producers.

In the series, "Leviathan Wakes," was nominated for a Hugo Award as well as a Locus Award, while “Caliban’s War” was nominated for a Locus Award.

The Expanse stars Thomas Jane (Hung, The Punisher), Shohreh Aghdashloo (24), Steven Strait (10,000 B.C.), Dominique Tipper (Vampire Academy), Cas Anvar (Olympus), Wes Chatham (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) and Florence Faivre (Alpha House, The Following). Jonathan Banks (Community, Breaking Bad), Paulo Costanzo (Royal Pains) and Jay Hernandez (Nashville, Gang Related) will guest star.

There's no premiere date set so I'm guessing there's plenty of time to read the five book series before the big premiere. I sure hope so because I definitely want to read the series beforehand and get to see what this world, set two hundred years in the future is all about. Be sure to add the series to your Goodreads TBR list and make a note to read it before the premiere!

The Expanse will premiere on Syfy later this year.

Deaf West Theatre Presents Spring Awakening

Last Fall, Deaf West Theatre performed a sold-out engagement of one of my favorite musicals, Spring Awakening. Due to its success, the production is coming back this Spring at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.

It began with a successful Kickstarter campaign last summer which I'm thrilled to have contributed to, especially since I knew I wasn't going to be able to travel to see the show and I wanted to be involved in some way. But now I have another opportunity to see the show so here's to hoping. Anyway, check it out!

The production, directed by Michael Arden, is set for a limited run May 21 - June 7, 2015. Tickets range from $19 to $99 which you can purchase today. Deaf patrons may assure appropriate seating by contacting The Wallis Ticket Services by e-mail at tickets@thewallis.org or by phone at 310.746.4000.