Monday, August 3, 2015

It's been great but it's time to go...

Well, this has been a long time coming. I've mentioned it more than once on PPR but for more than a year now I haven't been able to shake off the "blah" feeling I've had about blogging. I've thought about this long and hard and I've decided that it's time to stop blogging.

I say stop, not quit because quitting is permanent. I'm not making any promises about coming back but...I want to leave the door open if I decide to change my mind later on. I still intend on reading other people's blogs, commenting and lurking about hehe. The only difference is that I won't be updating my own blog. I'll still be active on my twitter and my tumblr so if you're around, feel free to follow me on both :)

I also want to say thank you to everyone who's read my blog, commented on my posts, retweeted or linked my blog to theirs, etc. I'm so grateful to each and every one of you who's ever interacted with me through this blog. I cannot express my gratitude enough. I would also like to thank everyone from the publishing world who's reached out to me in the past to participate in blog tours, giveaways and for allowing me the chance to review books before (and right after!) their release date. Every time an invite was issued my way, I would always be amazed and humbled.

Through Pirate Penguin's Reads, I've learned so much about the publishing industry, the (not so secret anymore) world of writers/authors and how reviewers, book sellers and librarians make a huge impact in the future of literacy. I don't think I've mentioned this but this blog has also indirectly lead me to my new career in librarianship. So as I move forward in my career path, I have this blog (and you, my beautiful readers) to thank for giving me all the knowledge I have about the book world.

I've also made some really awesome friends through Pirate Penguin's Reads. Particular shout outs to Alex and my lady YAckers. :)

So that's it, you guys. I didn't mean to write so much but it came pouring out and here it is. Thank you for sticking with me for these six years. I'll see you around ♥

Note: GIF was found via a bing search. GIF is not mine. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Winner of HOW TO BE ALONE IS...


I've emailed you; you have 48 hours to respond. Thanks to everyone who entered! 

Note: Apologies for announcing the winner late. I had a hectic day yesterday. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Mini-review & giveaway for How to Be Alone by Tanya Davis, illustrated by Andrea Dorfman

Publisher: Harper
Release Date: October 20th, 2013
Source: Publisher (thank you!)

Synopsis: A charming and deeply poignant illustrated poem based on the popular viral Internet video that has captured the hearts of millions worldwide

If you are, at first, lonely be patient. If you've not been alone much or if, when you were, you weren't okay with it then just wait...

Since its debut on YouTube, Tanya Davis's beautiful and perceptive poem, How to Be Alone, visually realized by artist and filmmaker Andrea Dorfman, has become an international sensation. Her wise and perceptive words, vivid in their evocation of solitude's beauty and calm, have touched millions. Now her poem's deep eloquence and compelling illustrations have been adapted for the page in this beautiful, meditative volume, a keepsake to treasure and to share.

From a solitary walk in the woods to sitting unaccompanied on a city park bench to eating a meal and even dancing alone, Tanya reveals the possibilities and joys waiting to be discovered when we engage in activities on our own. As she soothes the disquietude that accompanies the fear of aloneness, and celebrates the power of solitude to change how we see ourselves and the world, Tanya reavels how, removed from the noise and distractions of other lives, we can find acceptance and grace within.

For those who have never been by themselves and those who feel lost or lonely on their own, this moving work encourages us to recognize and embrace the possibilities of being alone-and reminds us of a universe of joy, peace, and discovery waiting to unfold.

Review: This book is so light to hold but it carries an important message. HOW TO BE ALONE calmly asserts that the act of being alone is not a sign of weakness, but of quiet strength.

Being an introvert all my life, I was always told that I should be more social, go out more, etc. I internalized these messages for years until I reached my early 20s and realized that a) introversion is a thing b) there was nothing wrong with me for liking to be alone and c) being an introvert doesn't require a cure.

These revelations came at a slow pace. I wish I had had a book like this to tell me that being an introvert is not only common but a rather lovely way of living if you choose to see it that way. I admit that my first time finding Tanya's poem was through her youtube video--her voice is so soothing--but it was such a treat to read her words in book form. Tanya describes the many instances where one can be alone but find fulfillment and wonder in their own company. The language and imagery she utilizes in her poem are so charming and beautiful; the way she describes the baby steps of learning to be alone by doing simple acts: going to the movies by yourself, eating in public places alone or going to the library... One wouldn't think that these types of activities could be a practice in anything. However, through Tanya's words, readers can see these moments can teach us to appreciate being in the moment and understanding that once you're comfortable with yourself, the world becomes a more interesting place to explore.

As for the illustrations in HOW TO BE ALONE, Andrea Dorfman's drawings are colorful, easy on the eyes and perfectly accompany Tanya's words; their styles coalesce and create this really sweet, inspirational message that anyone--regardless of whether they're social butterflies or wallflowers--can understand. HOW TO BE ALONE is a quick read but it gives you plenty of things to think about.

Final Verdict:  If you haven't had the chance to read this book or listen to Tanya's video, I recommend that you find five minutes to set aside during the day and read (or listen) HOW TO BE ALONE. It only takes a few minutes to absorb Tanya's message (as well as being treated to Andrea's peaceful drawing style) but you'll find yourself tremendously enlightened by Tanya and Andrea's vision.

Here's the video that started it all....

Wasn't that lovely?

Now onto the giveaway:   GIVEAWAY OVER
One person will be winning a copy of HOW TO BE ALONE. If you are interested, please fill out this form. Here are the rules:  
  • U.S. only (sorry international peeps!) 
  • This giveaway will run from today (June 29th) until July 6th, 11:59pm EST. I'll announce the winner the following day (July 7th).
  • The winner has 48 hours to respond; if they do not respond within that time frame, I'm picking someone else.
  • For more information on privacy and giveaway policies, please click here and here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Monthly Wrap-Up: May 2015

May 2015: Where I decide to simplify my life and get rid of books. 

That sounds rather intense but it's true. I deactivated my netgalley account (I'll be permanently deleting it soon) and I went through my personal collection, sorting through books I want to keep (like my beloved copies of FANGIRL*) and the ones I don't want anymore. I'm going to try to sell my finished copies to my local indie bookstore and if I can't get rid of them all, I'll just donate the remaining copies to my library.

Snapshot of May

What's Going on with Me 
  • I started listening to Sara Zarr's podcasts (thanks to Alex's recommendation ;D) and they're really great. She talks to various YA authors and other professionals in the publishing industry about the writing life. Take a listen if you're curious :) 
  • As I mentioned before, I'm ruthlessly going through my books and doing away with any that I haven't read or that I've read but I'm not in love with. It's nice to have the space in my room and hopefully my finished copies will fall into another reader's hands. 
  • Still waiting to hear back about my app for grad school; I had a few issues submitting it but surprisingly I wasn't stressing out over it. Maybe I'm finally learning to be like Elsa and...wait for it....
weren't expecting THAT were you?

Seriously wtf, WHERE IS THIS YEAR GOING? It just got here and now we're already halfway through O_o but as long as I don't see snow for another couple of months....I'll be fine. Anyway how is everyone doing lately? How has the first half of 2015 treated you?

*that's right, MULTIPLE COPIES. I currently own 3. Consider me a rabid--aha--fangirl. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Some thoughts on a Sunday

1) I hung out with a good friend yesterday and it was so nice to catch up after a semester where I barely saw any of my friends. Also...

2) I'm finally done with my first semester of grad school! WOOHOO. I can sleep and eat and read peacefully now.

3) I started taking out some picture books from my job and they're so cute! I know that they're meant for a younger audience but I find them so charming. I also like to see how authors and illustrators come together to create meaningful messages within picture books.

4) I'm not going to BEA this year (my registration was rejected unfortunately) but I am going to attend BookCon with a friend. Debating whether I should bring my blue penguin with me. Is anyone else going?

5) Oh fanfic, I've found you late in the game but better late than never? Dramione. Dramione Dramione Dramione. It's a crack ship but I don't care. I'll be the captain of this ship forever and for always. (Yes, I'm a tad bit obsessed...)

6) I think I've been bit with the spring cleaning bug. Or maybe it's just good timing what with the arrival of spring...but I'm considering a few changes for myself and this blog. I've analyzed my feelings about this over and over again. I'm come to the conclusion that it's because blogging has completely changed how I read books. This isn't a bad thing; through blogging I've grown and I'm more familiar now with what I like to read vs what makes me scrunch up my face in angry scowls. Anyway I've decided to not accept anymore review copies for now. And I plan on eventually taking a brief hiatus so that I can recharge and come back re-energized about blogging.

So those are my thoughts this is everyone else doing?