Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Mini Book Reviews

I've had a hard time getting my reviews up whether for movies or books. I seem to do better with Cat Thursdays cuz cat pictures are just so cute and easy to put up....

Here we go...

1. Yes Please by Amy Poehler

She's hilarious and humble and real. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing. I need to get it on audio as well and listen.

2. American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning by Kate Sweeney

This was a fascinating look at how Americans have mourned and how we are changing our mourning customs to date. I got lots of ideas on how I may want to be buried. It helped me look at death a bit more. I still need to get my affairs in order...

3. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes.

I love the movie and so this was so fabulous to read. I learned so many little tidbits about how the movie was made and how the actors got along or little stories that were hilarious. Cary Elwes had someone help him write this so it isn't the greatest writing in the world but its about the content. This is a must have and read for any fan.

4. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

It was a bit slow but overall I loved the story of Alma. She's a woman during the early and mid 1800s who becomes an expert in mosses. She experiences life and discovers a theory on evolution around the same time as Charles Darwin. Gilbert expertly weaves what women scientists experiences during this and continue to in certain degrees to this day.

5. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

I'm enjoying reading through this series again. I actually didn't finish The Return of the King the first time so I'm looking forward to finishing it this time around. Tolkien is amazing at high fantasy. Beautiful scenery, history, and characters. I enjoyed reading the differences between the movie and the book. Some things were great but some didn't sit as well with me. But overall the movie does a great job with the material.

*All book cover images were taken from Goodreads.com

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Living and Reading in Japan (5)


This weekly meme has been inspired by Michelle at The True Book Addict and Lisa at Lit and Life--Life: It Goes On...but I wanted to tweak it a bit for myself since I am living in Japan for the next year (2014-2015).

We had a great holiday and have been trying to stay healthy and get back into life in January.

Books I'm Reading:
  1. The Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan.
  2. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente.
  3. The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino.
  4. Stiff by Mary Roach
  5. The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can: Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer by Gretchen Reynolds
Books Finished:
  1. Hollow City by Ransom Riggs
  2. American Afterlife: Encounters in the Customs of Mourning by Kate Sweeney
  3. As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes
  4. The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
  5. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
Looking Forward To:

Our trip to Tokyo. We're heading up there in a few weeks for Gabe's birthday. We are going to see Disneyland and Legoland and whatever else we can get in in just a few days!


I'll be making chocolate chip cookies this week. Last week I made a beef stew that turned out pretty good. I don't cook much, especially in Japan but every now and then I get something good made!


Gilmore Girls I'm in its 6th season. It's good but this season is tough. The Fall is from the BBC with Gillian Anderson as the lead detective. The series focuses on all the grays that a serial killer is. It's just a fascinating series. Transparent is also on my list. So good.

Movies: Amelie. Such a cute and quirky and fun movie. Loved it! I'm sad I didn't watch it earlier.

Things I Did This Week in Japan:

We enjoyed New Year's in Japan. They do it a bit differently here. It's called Oshougatsu and it lasts 3 or 4 days. Everyone goes to their local shrine to donate money, say a prayer or wish and get a fortune. It's a ritual to help bring luck into your new year. We went on January 2 in the afternoon and stood in line while it snowed. We were surrounded by vendors on every side selling chocolate covered bananas and squids on sticks. I'm glad we got to experience this at least once. Then two weeks later they have a big bonfire where everyone tosses their Oshougatsu decor and arrows into the flames. That happened during the week so we weren't able to attend.

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Last weekend we hiked up to another famous shrine and the Peace Pagoda. The weather has been nice with temps in the 50s during the day. But now this weekend little Gabe has gotten sick and hubby started on nights for a few weeks so weekends are harder to get out when he's on the nights schedule.

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Grateful For:

Supportive family and friends.

I'm also grateful for e-readers and e-books. I've been able to get a lot of books that way which has been a lot cheaper than ordering physical books and having them sent to me here!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Cat Thursday (40)

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! Hosted by Michelle of The True Book Addict.

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Happy Cat Thursday, everyone! I thought I'd start off for my first post in January with exercise cats! Yay!

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I also visited my cats in Utah over the holidays! Two of my cats still loved me but my white cat Wolfy has found a new best friend in my brother. They are best friends now. While I was sad he didn't love me as much, I'm glad he's being well taken care of!

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Up top is Frodo, middle is Shadow, and Wolfy is the white kitty at the bottom. Plus my brother and I being silly :)

Friday, January 2, 2015

Book Vs. Movie, Which One's Better?: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (1)

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I really enjoyed the book. It's poignant and smart. I liked it because he switches it up a bit. Green likes to talk about death using teenagers as his mouthpiece. He waxes philosophical and sometimes it can get cheesy and a bit overly dramatic. But in the novel it works. This one is sweet. Usually the books involve straight-laced boy who falls in love with wild girl. He changes it up in this one. It really is a great book.


It's seeing the book in 2 hours. It's gut wrenching and beautiful and the acting is great. It does go over to cheesy territory with some of those lines. But they both are fabulous and deserve to be seen.

Overall, I enjoyed both but feel the book was better.


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