stacked: monthly book picks

True to my ever dorky self, I keep a list of books to watch out for every month. I have slight tendency to go haywire in a bookshop because of the need to purchase everything I get my hands on.

Does that happen to anyone else or is that just me?

If it happens to you too, then this list might help. These are books you can check out first so you don’t get lost in the sea of perfection that is books. If not, then these may be books you wanna start with. They’re all fun reads with a certain degree of social significance. Although all of them are already available, I’m aware that some books stores may not carry them yet, so you might want to check online to get them (e.g Amazan, Goodreads, etc). Anyway, onto the list.

1. The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis

If you’ve read any of Tregillis’ work, then you must be expecting a lot (like me, obviously). The first thing I read of his was the Milkweed Triptych where the retelling of the second World War was so vivid and believable; I could almost imagine British warlocks and Nazi super soldiers being introduced into history textbooks. After that, I just got every single book he wrote, and he has never failed to deliver the same amount creativity and intrigue since. I would go so far as saying that he’s one of my favorites from this genre.

At the core of The Mechanical, which is a new imagery for steam punk, is the age-old question of determinism versus one’s free will and how it relates to artificial intelligence. Despite the complexity of that, it’s told in a very engaging context where ‘clakkers’, mechanical men, are powered by alchemy to protect and defend the Brasswork Throne – now, the only superpower. Trust me, even if this isn’t usually a genre you go for, this book is a worthy read. It delves into a lot of different topics which I think you’ll enjoy.

2. Find Me by Laura van den Berg

It’s for the scifi-loving book lovers who gravitate towards strong female leads and a steady dose of mystery. The book chronicles Joy’s life after she discover she’s immune from an Alzheimer’s-like pandemic that wipes out most of the population and how she makes sense of the world by studying survivors of that disease.

3. The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi

If you follow me on twitter, you would know that I’ve been raving about this book for awhile. The humorous and quirky writing style that Amanda took was so strategic and appropriate in delivering a stance on a very prominent social issue (that you all know I feel strongly about), the concept of beauty.

The book is about two friends, one ‘objectively’ beautiful and the other not (for lack of a better word), who attempt to make the people around them see who they truly are. Here’s the catch: they do it while masking their appearances. It’s a light and funny read with an undertone that persuades you to question your personal identity and how other people see it and shape it.

4. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Much to my dismay, I have not read this book yet, but my recommendation is based on the massive postive reviews it got and the summary I was sent to read. I’m definitely getting a copy soon though. Also, I’ve supported ALL the books this author wrote which includes Never Let Me Go.

Personally, I loved the intimacy of the relationship between Axl and Beatrice as they remember their past and see how much effect it has on their future. I’ll definitely tell you on a different post if the book holds true to the summary I got.

5. Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

Faudet’s writing style and content is definitely not for everyone. There has been polarized views on the ‘dirty’ aspect of it. Personally, I thought it was sensual, but delivered with a certain degree of sophistication and humor that reads Faudet all the way.

I could keep describing this book to you and how it must have looked when I read this while walking around, shopping with a few friends, but I’d much rather leave you with quote that I think underlines how he was able to deliver a book that a lot of readers can keep referencing back to.

“She was a curious girl who loved the smell of old books, chasing butterflies and touching herself under the covers.”

So those are the books that are breaking my bank – okay, maybe just some of them. I tried to give you as much diversity as I could to cover everyone’s preferences. If you want more entries like this, you can email me or comment below. You know I love talking about my favorite books so if you enjoy reading about them too, I’d love to make more.

Also, there will be a massive announcement on the post after this so stay tuned – especially my fellow book geeks. You’ll love it.

monthly movie bucketlist

The couch potato in me celebrates the metaphorical Netflix, I say metaphorical because it’s a first world perk, where I could be seated on the sofa or laying on my comfy bed  with jammies on and a pepperoni pizza while watching 8 movies of Harry Potter in succession (maybe even Woman in Black to soothe my feels).

Yes, I’m a binge watcher.

Whether you’re just like me or prefer the theater environment where the lights are dim and the screen is massive, most of us are movie buffs especially with the booming culture of film adaptation of books, reboots of well-loved movies like Spiderman and sequels or prequels of fandom hits like Star Wars. To be honest, I wasn’t always adept at finding THE best movies. I had to consciously google reviews and binge watch movie trailers. I’ve always wished there were suggestion blogs where I could go and just pick out what I wanna watch. After working for movie review blogs, I thought hey maybe I can do trailer reviews for my own blog if I ever have one.

So here’s 2015 me, following up on a 2013 promise.

Here are a few trailers of movies either out now, have been out for a few months or are yet to be released that I thought might be good to share. As we have different tastes in movies, I’ve tried to keep this as diverse as possible but you have to forgive the geek in me, it always makes an appearance.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

I don’t wanna reveal too much for the non-comic book readers but this much-awaited installment of the Avengers franchise centers on an artificial intelligence technology originally developed by Tony Stark, Ultron, which turned evil and is now hellbent on destroying our protagonists and the world along with it. You’ll see the return of our favorite heroes like Thor, Captain America, Ironman, the Hulk and Black Widow, whose story btw we’ll get glimpses of on this film.

DUFF

This is the movie adaptaion of Kody Keplinger’s coming-of-age teen fiction book with the same name.

Like most high school set stories, it underlines the ‘LABEL’ culture where jocks and mean girls are hot and worshiped while the nerds are scavenging scraps of a social life at the bottom. This movie though will introduce a new label, DUFF or a designated ugly, fat friend who doesn’t necessarily have to be ugly or fat (not that I believe either adjective should exist in anyone’s vocabulary) but according to high school norms is the least attractive. How superficial right? Welcome to high school!

It chronicles our DUFF’s journey to being un-DUFFed all the while discovering herself and hopefully a new romance.

TRUE STORY

It’s like seeing Jonah Hill grow up right before my eyes, from his usual funny role in 21 Jump Street to the Oscar nominated Wolf of Wall Street to another movie heavy weight that would haunt you with so many questions after seeing a 2 minute trailer. It’s about this toxic relationship between a disgraced journalist, Michael Finkel and an FBI Most Wanted List murderer, Christian Longo.

If the plot isn’t enough to convince you to go see it, go because it’s James Franco and it’s always a thrill seeing him on screen (or maybe that’s just me). Kidding aside, this is one of the movies I’m looking forward to the most. It has my 3 favorites: a good plot, good actors and truth- as it’s based on a real life story.

PITCH PERFECT 2

The Barden Bellas are back for more covers and laughs. It’s a been a few years since they first popularized the Cups Song and a lot of people are still covering it so it’s safe to say that expectations are high especially with Hollywood being extremely supportive of movie musicals these days. If the trailer’s any tell though, this movie’s gonna deliver. With the promise of world competitions and more romance for Jesse and Beca, I’m definitely lining up for this.

THE AGE OF ADALINE

Blake Lively plays Adaline Bowman who has miraculously remained 29 years old for nearly eight decades after an accident that should have been deadly but became magical instead. Although immortality is the gift of a lifetime to most, the story shows its pitfalls like never allowing yourself to get close to anyone lest they discover your secret or watching the people you live for die.

I’ve learned to expect a lot of negativity when it comes to immortality movies especially those premised on mystic logic but I find the plot thrilling enough to recommend to you guys. Give it a chance and tell me what you think.

So that’s it for my movie recommendations. If you go watch any of the movies, tell me how it does on your movie standards. I’d love to hear them. 

#teaminternet youtuber TYLER OAKLEY

As the hashtag was coined by the queen himself, I though why not start with the self promotion genius that is Tyler Oakley. I’m gonna assume that as you’re reading this post, you’re one of 3 people: a. You’re a loyal subject who has watched every video, RTed every tweet and donated so much money and time to his causes. YOU LOVE HIM and are happy you at least breathe the same air no matter how much long that air may have traveled. b. You’ve heard of him, not really seen any of his videos or just a few of them. c. Who the hell is Tyler Oakley? (You’re missing out!)

As you may have already guessed, I’m a proud A. I adore Tyler, what he stands for and how he delivers it.

I’m aware that there’s haters out there, as there is for everyone. Thus making the 4th kind of person. If you’re one of them, you can either find another entry that’s more suited for you to read because there’s no way I’m slamming my queen (loyalty counts for something) or you can read on and find out more of the greatness that is this cotton-candy-colored-hair human being. You never know, you just might like him after this. *wink*

IF YOU FEEL LIKE A LOSER

THE ‘BOYFRIEND’ TAG

Tyler Oakley Interviews Michelle Obama

After all those videos, I think Tyler’s happy disposition and no nonsense stance on issues he feels strongly about is more than enough to give you a glimpse into his character and his usual vlogs. If it’s not, then here’s a run down. He’s a twenty something youtuber with videos that range from self image pep talk, coming out tips, thoughts on books and movies to opening fan mail and answering silly questions from devoted (slightly stalkerish- *coughs*ME) fans. Although he’s well known for his humor, fashion and pastel hair, he supports very serious campaigns like the Trevor Project, a group that focuses on suicide prevention among LGBT since 1998. Last year Tyler wanted to raise a hundred thousand dollars for them and ended up with half a million. Now that’s an achievement, proving that good people come in all forms and packages- sometimes REALLY colorful packages.

I’ll end this entry with Tyler’s 2014 round up and with my fingers crossed that you loved his videos as much I do. If you do, subscribe to his channel linked below and find time to support his campaign to raise half a million dollars for his birthday this month, again for Trevor Project.

LINKS

Tyler’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/tyleroakley

To chip in with your donation to Trevor: http://prizeo.com/tyler

 

 

 

mood playlist: 6 am to 1 am

I’ve been listening to a lot of playlists lately mostly those put together by avid fans for books or movies without OSTs on http://8tracks.com/. If you’re not familiar with the site but you’re open and willing to try new songs that are more obscure or thematic, then I suggest you try and explore it and see if you might like how they present music. I know I do.

That actually got me to thinking about writing a playlist entry instead of just one song. Playlists are often more dynamic and revealing. If you look into what I listen to in day, you’ll probably see that I’m not all indie music. Actually, I’ve been listening to a lot of mainstream singers these days and they’re not all corporate sell outs like most other indie music bloggers paint them to be. I should know, I used to be one of them. I get the drift though, some of them compromise on the art to be more relatable. I guess that’s a choice but I don’t think we should generalize all mainstream music to be bad or all indie music to be rough or unpolished. Give all sorts of music a chance. Give this playlist a chance.

am i wrong by nico & vinz: a lively pick-me-up song that also doubles as my alarm

budapest by george ezra: still lively enough but it soothes the upcoming that I almost always have from waking up too early and sleeping too late (Bad lifestyle choices, I know. I’m working on it.) the lyrics are adorable by the way.

sugar by maroon 5: is the song i perform for my fans in the shower (Don’t act like you never do it.)

take me to church by hozier: i can’t listen to anything too upbeat because i start bobbing my head up and down, bad idea for the commute. although i still opt for the louder songs with really good lyrics so i can focus on it instead of the honking and the endless congestion.

or

wasted love by matt mcandrew

one by ed sheeran:perfect for dinner with your hubby or just you celebrating a good meal with wine and  good music

pins and needles by matt mcandrew

and

bumper cars by alex and sierra

i wanna get better by bleachers: and then finally, what i listen to right before bed. they’re a mixture of soothing acoustic and songs with lyrics i really like.

riptide by vance joy

at home by crystal fighters

and

another love by tom odell

So that’s my day to night playlist. I obviously listen to a lot of other songs (which is probably not very good for my eardrums), these are just the more mainstream ones that I’ve been going back to for the last few months for some reason. Tell me what you guys think and if you have any song suggestions, I’d love to hear them.