Monday, June 29, 2015

HAUL || LDBeauty Event 2015 || Pictures & Swatches! {image heavy}

If you haven't seen my vlog yet for the event, that went up this past Thursday, so make sure to check that out for a peek into the event! But for now, let's take a look at everything that I was lucky enough to receive!

Click here to watch in HD, or watch below:




(I'm going to insert a jump here so that those who don't want to see all the pictures, don't have to load them, since this is a big post! So just click below to keep reading!)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Book Chat Saturdays || -The Lord of the Rings- by J.R.R. Tolkien

Hi guys! Today—as promised, or at least alluded to—I have for you a book review. As I think I mentioned in my book haul last weekend, I'm planning to start these reviews with the books I mentioned in my 10 Influential Books tag video—which you should go watch if you haven't seen it yet, so you can see what's coming up in this series =P—so the first book that I'll be reviewing is The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

**All cover images from GoodReads**

I'm pretty sure that the Lord of the Rings is so much a part of popular culture now that I don't really need to go into what it's about, but that could always be my own bias talking, so I'll try to admit that there's a possibility that there are people who know nothing about this book, or the movies that were made based on them, and I'll attempt to summarize the concept of this beautiful novel.

What it's about: The Lord of the Rings is a classic high-fantasy novel, which follows a fairly large cast of characters (though no where near as large as some of today's books/shows, such as Game of Thrones) through their adventures and trials in Middle Earth, and is in many ways a book about good and evil, but the complex and beautiful world that Tolkien sets his story in makes it so much more. I guess it's about how the good races come together—elves, hobbits, dwarves, men, etc.—to stop the forces of evil: Sauron, orcs, goblins, ring-wraiths, etc... I don't want to accidentally give anything away, so I'll leave it there.

My Thoughts: Spoilers... I freaking love LotR! It is quite literally my favourite book of all time. The story, the world, the words and the way that Tolkien wrote is just so beautiful; this book is like my comfort food. And by the way, I should have been more clear by now, but I keep saying this is a book, and not a trilogy, because it is, even though it is usually presented in three volumes/books, and the three parts have their own names. But yes, it's all one book.

If you love fantasy novels, then LotR should really be a must-read for you, because in so many ways, Tolkien was practically the father of the genre, and so many of today's fantasy novels borrow from or build on his work both knowingly and unwittingly. Also, if you are a lover of description and imagery, Tolkien is the author for you; his scenes and characters are beautifully and painstakingly described, sometimes to the point that it bores people, but I personally love it! If you're all about the character or plot driven novels, then LotR might be a bit of a tough read for you, but if you're an experienced reader of classic literature, then I doubt Tolkien's style will be a problem for you!

I also wanted to briefly describe why I included this novel as one of the books in my list of top 10 most influential to me. I already mentioned that Tolkien and LotR set the stage for a lot of today's fantasy, and thus that is one way in which it has been very influential, but the tag was supposed to be about what I felt influenced me... That said, my love of the fantasy genre grew out of reading first the Hobbit and then the Lord of the Rings with my mom in elementary school... It wasn't until after LotR that I read Harry Potter, and then further went in search of other fantasy novels, and fantasy largely remains a favourite genre for me, be it novels, shows, or movies. In a similar way, I also feel like it opened me up to the world of historical fiction, since Middle Earth is somewhat Medieval or pre-medieval. But in general, I feel like the novel has had a huge impact on me, especially considering I keep going back to it (and the movie adaptation), and how this story and Tolkien's words feel like home to me...

And now that I feel like I've written Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings a very public love letter, I'll stop gushing and leave you for this week. I'm sure that I've forgotten a thousand things I would have liked to say about this book and author, but I'll stop because I feel like I'm just rambling! I'll finish by saying: if you love classics, fantasy, historical fiction, and/or the LotR movies, please consider reading this book if you haven't already! =P


So let me know if you've read the Lord of the Rings, and what you thought about it, whether you agree or disagree with me. I'll try not to let my feelings be hurt if you hated it! =P

I hope you all have an awesome weekend! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Book Chat Saturdays || Library Sale Book Haul!

So I gave myself an idea when I was filming the 10 Most Influential Books Tag—which went up on Monday, I think. Click here to go watch that very quick video if you haven’t seen it yet—and that idea was to do a book series on my blog. So what I'm planning is to do book reviews and sometimes other random book-related posts most Saturdays. Sometimes they’ll be reviews of books I've preciously read that I want to share my thoughts on, books I’ve read recently, I’ll also do some book tags, and rarely, book hauls. I’m not really a book haul-er though, but that’s what I have for you today!

book haul stack

Today (as I’m writing this), my local library had their annual book sale, so of course I had to check it out! The paperbacks were on for 25 cents, or 5 for $1. But while I was picking out books, the librarians came around and changed all the signs to half-off, so in the end, I got 10 paperbacks for a dollar, and also a magazine for another 10 cents. Most of them are random books I’ve never heard of, some by authors I know, or authors I have heard of and wasted to read, and some just sounded interesting. A couple are actually parts of series, and not always the first books in their series, but that’s okay... I can get the first books out of the library when I get there.

So anyway, here’s a look at everything that I got, as well as the back cover blurbs. For any that didn’t have blurbs on the back covers, I’ll insert a quote of their blurb on GoodReads


1. Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm Animal Farm blurb

My Comments: I know most people read this in school, but somehow I avoided it all through Highschool and University. I want to read it though, and this sale seemed like a great time to pick up my own copy!


1. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart

My Comments: I love Merlin/Arthurian books, and that is what this is. This is the beginning of a series, or something, but at least it's the first book! This seems like a cool, more historical, realistic approach to the legends, but obviously with magicky stuff. Yeah. I honestly know nothing about this book or author, so we'll see.


3. The Cry of the Dove by Fadia Faqir

My Comments: This one looks really interesting. And it's about a culture I don't personally know a lot about. It sounds dramatic and intense, so I hope it's good.


4. Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey

My Comments:I love dragons, and I know that a lot of people like Anne McCaffrey, though I don't know if these are my type of books. We shall see. This is the first of a series as well.


5. The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling

My Comments: I've wanted to read this book for some time. It actually has pretty harsh ratings on GR (GoodReads), but it sounds really good, and I think it basically pioneered steampunk as a thing, so that's really cool. Plus I know I like Gibson as an author. Looking forward to this one!


6. Hello Magazine Diamond Jubille Collector's Edition

My Comments: I'm kind of a nerd when it comes to all kinds of British stuff, including the royal family, and the Queen is freaking awesome, so I was excited to see this collector's edition of Hello celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee for only 10 cents! I'm sure I'll enjoy this!


7. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

"A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can choose -and change - their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter's inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters.
"Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction." (Blurb as on Goodreads)

My Comments:I don't remember why, probably because I wanted to read more Ursula Le Guin, but this book was already on my GR want to read list before I bought it.


8. The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee

My Comments:This one actually sounds really good. Of the ones I've never heard of, it's probably the one I'm most looking forward to. I love WWII period books, and this one fits that, while also being set in an area I've read little to nothing about. Hope it's awesome or at least good.


9. Changing Planes: Armchair Travel For The Mind by Ursula Le Guin

My Comments: I again bought this because Ursula Le Guin, but this one sounds quite odd, and possibly really good.


10. The Romance of Tristan and Iseult: as retold by Joseph Bedier

"A tale of chivalry and doomed, transcendent love, The Romance of Tristan and Iseult is one of the most resonant works of Western literature, as well as the basis for our enduring idea of romance. The story of the Cornish knight and the Irish princess who meet by deception, fall in love by magic, and pursue that love in defiance of heavenly and earthly law has inspired artists from Matthew Arnold to Richard Wagner. But nowhere has it been retold with greater eloquence and dignity than in Joseph B├ędier’s edition, which weaves several medieval sources into a seamless whole, elegantly translated by Hilaire Belloc and Paul Rosenfeld." (Blurb from GoodReads)

My Comments:I was simply intrigued. This is a side-story to the Arthurian stuff, if I remember correctly. Tristan being one of Arthur's knights. Hopefully this retelling is good, it was originally sold at a University Book store, so that seems hopeful.


11. Valley of the Soul by Tamara Siler Jones

My Comments: Finally, this is disappointingly the third book in the series. Blah. Still, it sounds interesting, so I'll just have to get the first two out of the library when I finally get around to this book. Oh well. 10 cents. *shrugs*


Let me know if you’re read any of these, or heard of them, and what your thoughts were! Also let me know what new books you’re picked up recently! Hope some of you are interested in a book series! =P

Thanks for watching!

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