Category Archives: Pop Culture

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!

Books:

Yup, that’s pretty much it. ;)  Since starting to work for Spence City as a publicist, that’s basically been my life (besides the day job, of course): books.

We’re getting closer to BEA (a little over a month away!!!!) and I can’t wait.  It’s also kicking off vacation season, which I am very much excited for.  I’m going to BEA AND ALA, which means that for about two months, I’ll only be at work for a few weeks.

I’m excited for ALA, because it’s my first time going and because it’ll be bookended with time with my best friend, who I haven’t seen in years.  There will be books and crab angels and movies (definitely 22 Jump Street and The Fault in Our Stars, but probably more) and probably TV marathons and I’m so excited. :)

I feel so lucky, you guys.  I love talking about books and now I have a bigger forum to do it.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Things I’m Obsessed With (The Birthday Edition)

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!  I’m calling this the “birthday edition” because these would all make great gifts.

Books:

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Lizzie Skurnick has this great imprint of books where she re-releases YA books with vintage covers.  I’ve gotten the first four and I love the idea of this.  (I especially love the vintage covers.)  Fun fact: most of the releases are in her book Shelf Discovery, which is about the YA she loved growing  up.

Secret Lives

Movies:

There are so many Scream Factory releases I want (Psycho II, Psycho III, Slumber Party Massacre, The Howling, The Horror Show, Darkman, a belated birthday present of Sleepaway Camp).  Like the Lizzie Skurnick re-releases, they take old-school horror movies and release them with new covers and a ton of special features.

TV:

So, this one guy decided to watch every episode of Breaking Bad and then make posters.  You can see them here.  I love them all.  I got this one as an early birthday present from my aunt and uncle, and I love it the most.  (Thanks again!)

domicile

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Rewatching 30 Rock

So you know how I’m always kind of panicking because there are so many great TV shows that I need to watch and how I don’t have time to watch them all?

Yeah, so instead of watching any of them, I’m rewatching 30 Rock.

And I’m not even sorry, because this is the best idea, and I should’ve done this ages ago.

I don’t know if you watch (although I hope you do), but this is possibly the best sitcom I’ve ever seen.  I’m currently on season three and every episode makes me laugh out loud multiple times.  I actually tend to watch an episode or two before bed, and I feel for my neighbor because chances are they hear me laughing.  A lot.  At midnight.  (Sorry, Next Door Tenant.)

But I’d forgotten just how much I loved that show and I’m having the best time remembering.

Book Blogger Confessions, Part 2

The best thing about being a book blogger is the fact that I always have something to read.  That’s also the worst thing.

Unless I win the lottery (and probably not even then), I won’t be able to read all the books that I have now.  And that’s just what I have NOW, not the books that I plan to acquire (either for review or in exchange for cash).

But I was just looking through my Kindle and there are so many amazing books that I own that I haven’t read yet.  Here are some of the worst:

1)  The second and third books in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me trilogy.

2)  The two most recent books in Richelle Mead’s Bloodlines series.

3)  Everything by Marissa Meyer

4)  Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

5)  The Other Normals and It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

6)  Flame (final book in Sky Chasers trilogy) by Amy Kathleen Ryan

7)  The most recent Melissa Walker book (Ashes to Ashes)

8)  The two most recent Pretty Little Liars books (and last two Lying Game books) by Sara Shepard

9)  Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

10)  The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

11)  Champion (third and final Legend book) by Marie Lu

12)  The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

13)  Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

14)  Blythewood by Carol Goodman (I love her adult novels and can’t wait to read her foray into YA…except apparently I CAN, because I have)

15)  Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

16)  And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

17)  Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

18)  The Outsiders by SE Hinton

19)  The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

20)  The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain

21)  The Lynburn Legacy books by Sarah Rees Brennan

22)  Infinityglass (third Hourglass book) by Myra McEntire

23)  All the books from Lizzie Skurnick’s awesome imprint that’s reissuing old school YA novels with retro covers

24)  Crystal Lake Memories (awesome Friday the 13th book) by Peter M. Bracke

25)  Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

26)  The final Soul Screamers book by Rachel Vincent (as well as every non-Soul Screamers book she’s written)

27)  The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

28)  The Big Reap by Chris F. Holm

29)  The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

30)  The entire collected writings of Deb Caletti.  Seriously.  EVERYTHING SHE HAS EVER WRITTEN.

This doesn’t even scratch the surface.

So what books are you most ashamed of not having read?

BEA Quests

BEA is about three months away, and I cannot wait.  I’ve splurged and bought tickets to all three of the breakfasts.  So far, we know that Neil Patrick Harris is at one, Jason Segal is at another and Alan Cumming and Lena Dunham are at the third.  I have hopes for the currently unknown speakers, and hope to learn their identities soon.

So far, I know that Randy Susan Meyers’ novel will be at BEA, and I can’t wait to get that.

Daisy Whitney will also be there (I believe signing as Lauren Blakely, but hopefully some of her YA novels under her own name will be there, as well).

I love when we learn exactly who/what will be there, and when the signings and galley drops will be, but I also love this time. This is when everything is possible, and before I learn things like, “Sue Grafton’s signing will conflict with you getting into line early for Rainbow Rowell’s signing, and if you do both of those, you may not be able to get Night Film.”

It’s very hard once you have to start making hard choices.  The sad truth of BEA is that you can’t get everything you want at BEA.

(But right now?  Right now I don’t have to confront that.)

Blogger Confessions

I’m going to preface this by saying that I am one of the luckiest people in the world, and I get that.  Really, I do.  People send me books in the mail—for free!—and all I have to do is read them and talk about them on my blog and Goodreads.  (And sometimes on Facebook and Twitter, although that’s at my discretion.)

And every time people tell me that they’ve bought and read a book because I loved it, it makes my day.

Like I said, really, really lucky.

I get to hear about books generally way before anyone else and I’m lucky enough to get probably 75% of the books I am most desperate for early.

This will be my fifth year going to BEA and every year, I’m amazed that I get to go.

And yet.

A lot of times I feel guilty because I have such an insane backlog of books that need to be read.  I know this is pressure I’ve put on myself and I’m always happy to work with publishers and authors to get everything up on the blog in a timely (or timely-ish) manner.

And honestly, I get jealous sometimes.  There are plenty of times when it seems like every not-me blogger gets a copy of a book that I am desperate for, and yet it never makes it to my mailbox.

And it’s ridiculous.  I KNOW it’s ridiculous.  I have more books (bought and for review) than I could ever hope to read, unless I win the lottery and can make “full-time reader/blogger” my occupation.  (Lord, can we make that happen?)

I guess that’s my life in a nutshell—incredibly lucky and overwhelmed in equal measure.

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the latest Things I’m Obsessed With!

Pop Culture:

Harold Ramis died Monday.  I typically get sad at celebrities dying, but this is a whole other level.  I said on Facebook that I think the last celebrity death that affected me this way is when John Hughes died a couple of years ago.  I don’t think I could overstate how much I loved these two, and Ramis’ death has gotten me right in the childhood.  I love most of the movies he directed and starred in (Ghostbusters, OF COURSE, and Groundhog Day and Multiplicity, but National Lampoon’s Vacation is the first R-rated movie I ever saw, and it’s one of my comfort food movies).  A couple friends of mine have met him, and apparently he was just as lovely and gracious as we could’ve wanted.  I personally didn’t meet him, but my world is a little bit worse now.

Books:

We are getting ever closer to BEA, and I’m starting to do preliminary plans about what I hope will be there and who I hope to meet.  The closer we get, the more information will be available (obviously).  I just hope that they don’t wait until two weeks before to release final schedules, like they did last year.

Movies:

The Oscars (and Independent Spirit awards) are this weekend!  I can’t wait to see what movies/actors win, and I hope that 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture in both.  Really, though, so long as American Hustle goes home empty-handed, I’ll be happy.  (That movie was a huge disappointment for me.)  I did love many of the Best Picture/acting nominees, though, especially 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club, Philomena, Nebraska and Her.  I enjoyed Gravity and Captain Phillips, too.

TV:

I am so happy that my shows are finally coming back tomorrow!  I don’t understand how the Olympics means that every other show has to air reruns.  We don’t all watch the Olympics, and it’s SWEEPS.  If people miss something because of the Olympics, maybe they need to suck it up and get a DVR.  Don’t penalize everyone.  It’s not nice.

So what are you obsessed with this week?

Comparisons

You know those blurbs on the back of books and movies?  “Perfect for fans of…”?  Those are there for me.

I was just thinking about that recently because of the movie The Spectacular Thing.  I had seriously no desire to see that movie.  At all.  Even a little.

And then Entertainment Weekly compared it to Say Anything and all of a sudden, it was the only thing I wanted to see.

I’ve bought books that are supposedly “The Next Hunger Games!” or “Perfect For Fans of Stephen King/Jodi Picoult/Laura Lippman.”  Sometimes I’m let down, but sometimes I find something awesome.  (Thank you, The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau; I can’t wait to read your third book.)

How about you?  Do you pay attention to comparisons?  Does it intrigue you or irritate you?

One Night That Changed My Life

I’m part of Bloomsbury‘s blog tour for One Night That Changed My Life.  Thank you, Bloomsbury!

Bright Before Sunrise sounds amazing.

Bright Before Sunrise

“When Jonah is forced to move from Hamilton to Cross Pointe for the second half of his senior year, “miserable” doesn’t even begin to cover it. He feels like the doggy-bag from his mother’s first marriage and everything else about her new life—with a new husband, new home and a new baby—is an upgrade. The people at Cross Pointe High School are pretentious and privileged—and worst of all is Brighton Waterford, the embodiment of all things superficial and popular. Jonah’s girlfriend, Carly, is his last tie to what feels real… until she breaks up with him.

For Brighton, every day is a gauntlet of demands and expectations. Since her father died, she’s relied on one coping method: smile big and pretend to be fine. It may have kept her family together, but she has no clue how to handle how she’s really feeling. Today is the anniversary of his death and cracks are beginning to show. The last thing she needs is the new kid telling her how much he dislikes her for no reason she can understand. She’s determined to change his mind, and when they’re stuck together for the night, she finally gets her chance.

Jonah hates her at 3p.m., but how will he feel at 3 a.m.?

One night can change how you see the world. One night can change how you see yourself.”

But now, here’s a night that changed my life.

I’m pretty sure The Rocky Horror Picture Show saved my life.
I grew up in a small town, a red spot in a blue state.  You may not recognize the name (Salisbury, Md.) but you know a billion places just like it.
When I was in seventh grade, on my usual Saturday morning jaunt to the video store, I grabbed a copy of RHPS on an impulse.  Like many outcasts, I ended up loving it.
Fast forward a few months (and probably at least 50 viewings).
It’s now summer break and I was visiting my best friend in Phoenix.  As a special treat, her parents were letting us go to see a midnight showing of my new favorite movie in a nearby college town.  (They were coming with us; they were lenient parents but they weren’t stupid and we were, after all, barely teenagers.)
I was a weird kid.  I always had friends and I wasn’t creepy or anything, but I was one of those people who never really had a niche—until that night.  Because it turns out Rocky Horror people are my people.
We are the outcasts, the misfits, the “other.”  Some of us are gay (I am, although I hadn’t even admitted that to myself that night) but pretty much all of us are awesome and amazing.

I can’t tell you how fortunate I was to discover this movie and its fans when I did.  I’m not saying everyone needs to see a certain “sweet transvestite” at 12 or 13 and I’m not saying that I would’ve killed myself without it (as some gay teens tend to do, especially those in small towns).  But there are worse things than adopting “Don’t dream it, be it” as your personal motto.

Things I’m Obsessed With

Welcome to the first Things I’m Obsessed With in what seems like forever!  :)

Books:

I have so many books to read for review, and right now, I’m focusing on two books I need to read for my book clubs.  I’m currently re-reading The Book Thief for my local book club and then I need to read Endless Love for my online one.  I’ve also been beta reading for my author friend Darby.  She has her first adult novel, The Stag Lord, coming out in October.  This book is AMAZING.  I just finished reading it, and believe me, you desperately want to read this book.  I also recently read the second book in her Finn Finnegan series (Gideon’s Spear; out now and review to appear on the blog soon).  Darby is a fantastic author and, while Stag Lord is definitely for grownups only, Finn Finnegan (and her Griffin series!) are appropriate for pretty much everyone.  Highly, highly recommended.

Movies:

We’re in award season! We’ve already seen the Golden Globes and Screen Actors’ Guild awards and still have BAFTAs, Independent Spirit and Oscars to go.  I have seen all the nominees except for Wolf of Wall Street (which I hope to remedy tomorrow) and so far, I want 12 Years a Slave to win everything.  I’ve heard excellent things about Wolf of Wall Street, though, and I’m very excited to see it.  Once I do, I’ll also have seen nine of the 10 AFI 10 best of 2013 (the tenth is Fruitvale Station, which I also hope to see soon).  Do you have any thoughts about the Oscars?

TV:

I’ve started watching Sons of Anarchy and I’m so in love with it! I’m about halfway through the third season, and I hope to be caught up in time to watch the seventh (and final) season live.  It’s so weird that I love this show; it’s definitely not my usual style.  (It’s about a gun-running motorcycle club that bends the law in other ways, as well.)  The first season, especially, is Shakespearean in scope.  (It’s basically described as “Hamlet on motorcycles.”)

What are you obsessed with this week?