Mini Reviews #2: The Autobiography of Malcolm X and Aristotle and Dante

Welcome back to the second installment of Mini Reviews! Here I’ll be covering my thoughts on The Autobiography of Malcolm Xby Malcolm X and Alex Haley, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universeby Benjamin Alire Saenz.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley — ★★★★★

This book documents the life of Malcolm X. I decided to read this after realizing that I didn’t actually know much—anything, really—about him. I’m not typically drawn to nonfiction, but this book drew me in from the start! While reading, you could almost hear and envision Malcolm X speaking. Putting this book down was always difficult, and I was devastated to be done with it. I began tabbing and marking pages that contained insights I found really fascinating. My favorite chapters are Saved, Mecca, and the Epilogue by Alex Haley, which was especially interesting to read. This book has definitely made it to my favorites, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about Malcolm X’s life and beliefs.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universeby Benjamin Alire Saenz (#1) — ★★★★☆

This is a coming of age story about family, culture, and love. Wow. I really enjoyed this book. So much that I read the majority of it in one night. It was extremely easy to read and had an overall melancholy feeling to it. At times it felt empty (though maybe that’s what the author was going for during certain parts of Ari’s journey), but other times it became pretty emotional. Although there wasn’t really a concrete plot, it still felt like a roller coaster ride, in a good way. I really enjoyed that family was such a big aspect of this story and that it was explored, and I appreciated and related to Dante’s struggle with his culture. I think everything was wrapped up in a really satisfying way, so I’m curious to know what the sequel will be about!

What did you think about these books? Let me know!

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Mini Reviews #1: The Time Machine and Oblivion

Welcome to the first installment of Mini Reviews! Today I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on the first books I read this year, The Time Machine by H. G. Wells and Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells – ★★★☆☆

A Time Traveler details the events of his travels to his skeptical friends. I was fully prepared to enjoy this book, especially since the first few pages fondly reminded me of discussions that I’ve had with friends from a philosophy class I took. However, the majority of the book was description-heavy, the only dialogue being the Time Traveler’s explanation of his adventure, which was tiring to read. The rare breaks in dialogue were almost a relief, and I didn’t find much of the main character’s adventure exciting, with the exception of a few events in the last half of the story. Although I was pleasantly surprised by the ending, I’m not sure if it made it worth the read. While I love stories about time travel, this one isn’t a favorite.

Oblivion by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Lux #1.5) – ★★★★★

A retelling of Obsidian, the first book in the Lux series, in the point of view of another character. My 14-year-old self adored this series, and while the writing was slightly cheesier than I remembered, Oblivion is just as exciting to read as the rest of the series, immediately capturing my attention. It’s a super easy book to read, and often I’d find myself reading large chunks of it in one sitting without even realizing it! I think I still prefer Katy’s POV, but it was cool to see what went on when Katy wasn’t around. Overall, this was a really fun book to read, and it definitely has me looking to read more from Armentrout!

What books did you read to kick off the new year? Let me know what you thought of these books!

Monthly Mixtape #1

Monthly Mixtape is the first feature I’ve done in a long time, but I could not be more excited to participate in this one! Monthly Mixtape is hosted by Eve @ Twist in the Taile and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages. Every month they provide a prompt to make a playlist for. You can find the original prompt here. This month’s prompt is luminescence. Here’s my playlist!

luminescence listen here 

pink matter – frank ocean, andre 3000
monday loop – tomppabeats
next lifetime – erykah badu
white mustang – lana del rey
kiwi – wun two
crush – zhane
please, please, please let me get what i want – the smiths

2018 Reading Challenge!

Never has entering a new year made me so excited to read! After a long reading hiatus, I realized I didn’t know where to start in finding books I wanted to read. This prompted me to find a 2018 reading challenge to guide me in the right direction. I found this particular reading challenge over at Modern Mrs Darcy, so check out their post for more details, and if you’re in need of some reading inspiration as well! There are 12 categories, and I’m challenging myself to read 12 books this year. Let me know what you’re planning on reading this year!

And now, allow me to share the books I’ve chosen to fulfill each category:

1. A classic you’ve been meaning to read: The Time Machine by H.G. Wells; a recommendation from Ariel Bissett (one of my favorite YouTubers) convinced me this is a must-read!

2. A book recommended by someone with great taste: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz; my friends have been bugging me to read this book for ages, and their raving reviews have piqued my interest.

3. A book in translation: The Box Man by Kobo Abe; about a man who decides to go through life with a box over his head. This book is originally in Japanese, and I’m extremely curious about the Box Man’s experiences.

4. A book nominated for an award in 2018: TBD!

5. A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection: The Language of Flowers selected by Jane Holloway; I received this anthology of poems for Christmas, and the concept is absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait to read more poetry this year!

6. A book you can read in a day: An Attempt at Exhausting a Place in Paris by Georges Perec; another recommendation from Ariel Bissett, so I’m looking forward to thoroughly enjoying this one! It’s around 60 pages, so I’m confident that I’ll be able to read it in a day.

7. A book that’s more than 500 pages: The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro; at a whopping 535 pages, this book has succeeded in intimidating me!

8. A book by a favorite author: Oblivion by Jennifer l. Armentrout; I adored the Lux series by Armentrout, and Oblivion is a retelling of the first book from another character’s point of view. I’ve had Oblivion sitting on my shelf since it came out, and I’m finally ready to crack it open.

9. A book recommended by a librarian or indie bookseller: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory; I found this book on an article about books librarians have been loving lately. It’s like a Hallmark movie, but in book form. It sounds like an adorable story, and I think it’s one I’m most excited for!

10. A banned book: The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley; history is one of my favorite subjects, and I’m eager to learn more about Malcolm X.

11. A memoir, biography, or book of creative nonfiction: Out of Egypt by Andre Aciman; this memoir is about the author’s family and their life in Egypt, and the summary alone just makes you want to read it!

12. A book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own: Savage Theories by Pola Oloixarac and The Mind-Body Problem by Rebecca Goldstein; Savage Theories is an exciting book about the lives of different students on a college campus in Argentina! The Mind-Body Problem also has a main character in college! This book is also titled after the classic philosophical problem, so I’m interested in how that ties in with the story.

Happy New Year!

So, it’s been a while… but first, Happy New Year!

It’s been a little over two years since I took an unplanned break from blogging, and although I’ve often thought about returning to blogging, I never knew how. I always told myself it wasn’t the right time, even though I missed interacting with my favorite bloggers, keeping up with the latest and greatest in the reading world, and writing. I was overwhelmed with school for a couple years, which was mainly what held me back from blogging. I actually stopped reading during that period, which, along with my prolonged absence from this blog, made me sad!

With the start of the new year, however, I decided blogging was something I wanted to do again. What better time to get started than at the beginning of a new year? I’m so excited to jump back into blogging (and reading!), and although I don’t know how regular posts will be, due to my new busy schedule (more on that in a second!), I wanted to write something before I convinced myself not to.

Now, about that busy schedule… something big actually happened during my blogging break: I started college! I finished my first semester in December, survived my first college finals (and aced all of them!), and made new friends! So far it’s been an amazing and tiring experience, and I can’t wait to start my winter class!

I hope you all had happy holidays and a happy new year! I look forward to seeing more of you in 2018! 🙂

August Favorites + Autumn Playlist

Summer vacation is coming to a close for me, and I start school again in less than a week!  I’m excited and motivated, and I hope I can keep hold of this motivation for the duration of the school year.

This month I really enjoyed the anime Black Butler and binged through its two seasons in about a week.  It was such a funny show, and I don’t usually turn to anime when I want to watch something, but I had a strong urge to find an anime to watch, and I’m glad I did!

I also celebrated my birthday this month, and my present was a new iPod touch to replace my old fourth generation iPod.  I can’t believe I used that on the daily for almost four years and was so excited about the improvements made to the new iPod touch.  I also got a really pretty case to go with it ❤

Another favorite was my birthday brunch at Red Lobster, which was amazing.  Here’s a picture of what I got!

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For me, back to school equals autumn, even though it’s still summery and warm.  It has cooled down a bit, and I’m so excited for cooler weather.  I made a playlist of music I’ve been liking this month for the upcoming season, which you can check out here on Spotify!

My last favorites are the camera on my iPod and my mom’s garden, where flowers are finally blossoming after an impatient two-month wait.

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That’s everything I have for today! 🙂 I’ll talk to you again in my next post!

-littleonion

Belated Blogoversary

August 2nd was my third blogoversary here on WordPress!  Why is this post late?  I made a scheduling error that I hadn’t noticed until recently >.<  Nevertheless, happy late blogoversary to my blog! 😀  It was a thrill to receive the anniversary notification. I’ve had my blog since August 2, 2012, and I’ve changed a lot since then (hopefully in good ways!). Despite my absence for half of 2015, thank you for sticking with me ❤ I’ve also just noticed that I’m only a few followers away from 400, which is insane!

So, thanks again, guys!  You’re all incredible! 😀

New Favorites 2

Hey everyone!  In the beginning of July I made part 1 of this post talking about my favorite music and TV shows, just to update you on what I’ve been liking.  Eventually I’ll probably start doing a monthly favorites posts, but for now, this post is about my favorite movies and YouTubers.

Movies

I don’t watch movies often, so I’ll only have a few for this category.  I really loved Silver Linings Playbook, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.  It’s probably on my list of favorite movies.  It came out a few years ago, but I saw it a couple months ago.  For some reason I find this movie really relaxing, and I’ve rewatched it a few times, too!

Another movie I saw recently that I loved was Stuck In Love.  It had a few actors I was familiar with, like Lily Collins and Logan Lerman.  It’s an indie movie, so I wasn’t expecting to like it, but whoa.  That was a good movie.  It used to be on Netflix, but it was recently removed 😦

YouTube

I watch YouTube on a daily basis, and I’ve come to discover a lot of YouTubers that I enjoy watching.  What draws me to a YouTuber is more their personality and less their content, though I’m interested in what they talk about.  So here are some of my favorites:

  • ADoseofBuckley: He uploads angry rants about music, pop culture, and other news. I think I discovered him by his Worst Songs of 20?? videos.  He’s humorous but informative, and I love the tidy way he puts together his videos.
  • BreeAnn Barbie: She makes videos about beauty, piercings, and she also uploads vlogs from time to time.  I found her because I was in desperate need of assistance when I got my first piercing almost a year ago!  I love her personality, which always shines through in every video.
  • Marques Brownlee: Otherwise known as MKBHD, he makes videos about tech.  Phones, cameras, and computers are his expertise.  I really love watching his videos, though I know pretty much nothing about tech (though I have picked up some of the lingo), other than how to use some of it xD

Those are just a couple that I watch regularly.

Anyway, let me know your favorite movies, or if you watch the same YouTubers as me! 😀

-littleonion

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Thoughts On The 100 VidCon Panel (2015)

Possible spoilers down below for season 2 of The 100 and of the VidCon panel.  If you haven’t watched the panel yet and would like to, click here!

Last night I watched the season 2 finale of the CW’s series, The 100.  I really enjoy watching this show, I love the characters, and of course, I love shipping them. 

Immediately after I finished the episode, I hurried to Tumblr to read other people’s thoughts and feels about the show before going to YouTube to watch some interviews with the cast and the 2015 VidCon panel for the show.  I have to say, I was kind of disappointed.  I usually don’t pay attention to the opinions of the actors in my favorite shows, because I don’t want their opinions to have an effect on my opinions, but I was excited to have finished the second season, so I watched it anyway.

Although the actors all gave in depth, thorough answers to all questions they were asked, it surprised me that they were having trouble remembering details about the show.  It was also surprising and disappointing that Marie Avgeropoulos, who plays Octavia, didn’t talk much, but I also noticed that none of the questions were really directed at her either. 

I’m anxious to know if Bellarke will eventually become a couple in future seasons, especially due to the negative reactions I saw when they were asked questions regarding the ship.  I’m kind of second guessing whether or not I ship Bellarke anymore.

I enjoyed Lindsey Morgan and Ricky Whittle the most–they were so funny together! 

Those are some of my thoughts on the panel, but I’d love to know what you think of the show, and if you watched the panel, let me know your thoughts on that too 😀

-littleonion

New Favorites 1

Because I’ve been gone for a few months, I decided it would be a good idea to update you guys on my new favorite music, movies and TV shows, YouTubers, etc.  I’ll have another post regarding movies and YouTubers, since it’s already going to be pretty lengthy.  Any books I’ve read have pretty much been rereads, so I don’t have any new favorites in that category, but I started reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, which a lot of people thought was amazing, so hopefully I like it!

Music

Spotify is still my favorite app for listening to music, and I use it every day, whether I’m trying to go to sleep, on Tumblr, doing the dishes—I always use Spotify.  So the discovery of artists who are new to me was inevitable.  First, I’ve really been enjoying classic rock lately.  Some of my favorites are “Too Late For Love” by Def Leppard, “Still Loving You” by Scorpions, and “Don’t Look Back” by Boston.  Those are pretty popular, so you’ve probably heard them too!

Other artists I’ve been loving recently are The Smiths, Lana Del Rey, Marina and the Diamonds, and Elliott Smith.  My favorite songs by them are “Half A Person” (The Smiths), “Old Money” (Lana Del Rey), “Better Than That” (Marina and the Diamonds), and “Between The Bars” (Elliott Smith).  I actually discovered that song in a movie, which I’ll talk about in part two of this post 😀

TV Shows 

A few months ago, my family decided to get Netflix again, and let’s face it: I’m obsessed with Netflix, you’re obsessed with Netflix.  We’re all obsessed with Netflix.  Here are some shows I’ve been into:

  • Everybody Loves Raymond — I’m in love with this show.  I’m almost done with season 7, and it’s just a really cute show to watch.  My favorite character is probably Robert, because, despite his quirks, he seems like the only normal one in the family XD
  • Melissa & Joey — I used to love this show, and when I saw it was on Netflix, I flipped out.  I had to catch up on season 3, and part of season 4 is up, but I think I want to wait for when they put up all the episodes before I start watching season 4 ❤
  • Sherlock — I actually didn’t watch Sherlock on Netflix, but I have rewatched some of the episodes (and I convinced my mom to watch them with me!).  This show is really fun and suspenseful.
  • The 100 — I started this show around the time the first episode premiered, but I wasn’t feeling it, but I started watching it again and it’s fantastic!  Season 2 needs to go up already! D:
  • Supernatural — I never thought I’d see the day when I would be watching SPN.  I have to admit, it was nothing that I thought it would be.  The plot is fantastic, and asdfghjkl.  I’m on season 6 and have taken a little break from it, but I’m definitely going to get back into it.  I guess I just don’t like season 6 Sam >.>
  • Pretty Little Liars — Let’s just say I’ve been sucked into a lot of the major TV fandoms.  Thank you, Netflix.  But seriously, PLL is great.  I used to watch it, but I kind of lost track.  The characters were annoying, the plot was stressful, but I’ve decided to give it another chance.  Plus, I hadn’t ever seen season 1, so that’s where I’m at.

An honorary mention goes to the show Friends, but I only watch it occasionally, when I’m feeling down or if I’m bored with everything else I watch xD

That’s all for this post!  Feel free to let me know your favorites, and leave me Netflix recommendations! 😀

-littleonion