Sunday, August 31, 2014

Summer Post: What I Read This Summer

Summer in the sense of the school year, is sadly coming to a close. For us Canadians, there are a mere few days before classes go into full swing. More specifically for myself, a few more days till I'm finished my second job and starting university (!!!!). As I'm sure you know summer is prime reading time for student bookworms with no school books or projects to distract us. I wanted to take this opportunity (a brief respite before the wave of school hits me) to recap what I read this summer and what I thought about each of them. For the sake of this post, I'm going to count summer as June, July August. Yes, I know that's not technically summer...buuuuutt my blog, my rules.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I'm a Bad Bookworm, and My Thoughts on Book Shaming

As I was wandering around the internet, more specifically the blog-o-sphere and twitter, I learned something about myself. Something I think I've always known deep inside.

I'm a "bad" bibliophile.

Let's start with my view on book-to-movie adaptations. I don't mind them, in fact I often really like them. I would even go as far to say that sometimes the movie is better than the book *cough* Lord of the Rings *cough*.

You know those mass produced, simplistic YA romances? Yeah well, I read them, and I like them. Speaking of which, I read Twilight and I didn't hate it from the depths of my soul.

And while we're on the topic of book genres, I must mention classic literature. I really don't like them, and sometimes I don't even appreciate them. Frankly, I find some classics pointless and incredibly boring.

Oh and another hot topic amongst book lovers everywhere: E-readers. I actually really like them, and if I had abundant funds, I would probably buy one.

And to top it all off, I'm a slow reader. Not only am I slow in general (in a words read/minute way), I take weeks to finish a book sometimes, because I watch T.V. instead of reading a few chapters of my book some evenings.

You know what I realized at the end of this train of thought? I'm allowing myself to be book shamed, and I'm not the only one.

We book lovers need to stop book shaming people! It's one thing to kid around with a friend who's reading some book with a shirtless guy on the cover, but it's another to condemn them as some sort of subpar reader. I'm as guilty as the next girl, I've book shamed people, and blogged about some pretty conservative book-lover ideals. However, I've learned that as book-lovers we need to band together and recognize that reading is reading no matter what the content.

We need to accept that opinions on books are subjective and that's what makes each bibliophile unique! So maybe I thought it was the dumbest book I ever read, but you might not and that's okay. We need to celebrate anyone who joins the reading ranks, instead of having some elitist opinion of what makes a "true" bibliophile. We need to encourage readers of all types instead of shaming them because they don't live up to our standards.

You read Harlequins? You're a reader.
You read Pride and Prejudice once a year? You're a reader.
You read all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys spin-offs (and not just the classic versions)? You're a reader.
You have a hold on Diary of a Wimpy Kid and you're not a ten-year-old boy? That's okay, you're still a reader.
You have the entire Gossip Girl series on your bookshelf? You're a reader.
You've read everything ever (ghost) written by James Patterson? You're a reader.
You take out twenty books in one go at the library? You're a reader.
You prefer the movie to the book? You're a reader.
You don't pledge to always read the printed word? You're still a reader.

I just felt like that needed to be said, so how do you feel about book shaming? Do you have some book related ideals that you think all book-lovers should believe in? Do you need to change? Let me know all your lovely thoughts and comments.

Reading: Stolen Innocence by Elisa Wall
Watching: The Shaytards
Listening: The Civil Wars

Saturday, August 23, 2014

If Book Quotes Were About Food...Part 2

Back in May, I did a post where I blasphemed literature and rewrote book quotes, so they'd be about food. Silly? Yes. Totally fun? Yes. I had a good time doing it, and I think you guys liked it too, so I thought it was high time for another go of it. Enjoy!

The Original:
"It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

The Foodie Version:
"It does not do to dwell on donuts and forget to live."

-Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

The Original:
"Fear doesn't shut you down, it wakes you up." 

The Foodie Version:
"Sugar doesn't shut you down, it wakes you up (then later it shuts you down again)."

“I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren't all that different.”

The Foodie Version:
"I have a theory that burritos and fajitas aren't all that different."


The Original:
“I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.” 

The Foodie Version:
" I know what I wanted for supper when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed my mind several times since then."

-Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

The Original:
"To be or not to be, that is the question."

The Foodie Version:
"To add gravy or not to add gravy, that is the question."


The Original:
"Anne laughed.
'I don't want sunbursts or marble halls, I just want you.'”

The Foodie Version: 
"Anne laughed.
'I don't want sponge cake or marble ice cream, I just want you."

-Anne of the Island 

Feel free to leave you own foodie quotes in the comments and let me know what you think of mine!

Reading: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Listening: Lana del Ray
Watching: Graceland

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books People Have Been Telling Me to Read!

Hello everyone! Today I'm linking up with The Broke and Bookish's weekly Top Ten Tuesday meme. I've participated before, and I've been seeing lots of these posts popping up in my reading list, so I figured this week I'd get in on the action. I'm only going to be posting five of the top ten this week, because frankly, I can't think of ten annnnnd I've been busy with life outside of the internet! Anyways, I always find these posts so interesting and fun to read, so I hope you enjoy mine as much as I've been enjoying all of yours.

Top Ten Five Books People Have Been Telling Me I Have to Read!

The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Kate Rodrick and Bernie Su
If you don't already know, there is a Youtube series called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries where Pride and Prejudice is retold through webisodes and it is amazing. I wrote about it here, if you're interested. The writers of the show recently produced this book that fleshes out the modernized plot and gives us a chance to reconnect with the characters (yay!). My sister brought this book home from the library all excited, burned through it and then quickly recommended it to me. One of my co-workers is also reading it, and she seemed really impressed with how the plot is modernized, even though she hasn't seen the videos. With two recent recommendations, this book is the top of the list!

Cinder by Melissa Meyer
This book has made a splash in the blogging world, so I have seen lots of general recommendations for this book. I also had a few friends recommend it to me when it first came out. Although I like the idea of the fairy tale retelling, I've been putting this book off because I'm afraid that it might be a tad juvenile (and not in a good way). Maybe I'm wrong? If you've read it let me know. Anyways, it makes the list because it's definitely been recommended often.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I am going to read this book before this year is up. I've been hearing so many good things about it from other bloggers and some of my bookish friends. Guys, it's about assassins, of course I want to read it! I'm secretly hoping that it will be something like Graceling. Oh and apparently, the novellas that go with it are pretty good too, which is a bonus!

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
I first heard about this book in a favourites video that Youtuber Karen Kavett made a few months ago. To be honest, I was intrigued by the cover and her recommendation made me want to read it. It sounds like it has the potential to be a beautiful story....or a pretentious one. But we'll see, when I get around to reading it.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I was reminded of this book today when I was driving by the movie theater in town and saw a promotional poster for this. I can't even remember who recommended this to me, but I never bothered because the story sounded quite similar to Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (annnnnnd, it sounded a bit angsty). However, since this book is going to be a movie and it will probably be a big deal for a few months, I figured that I needed to read it. Who knows? Maybe it will be touching and heartwarming. I'm going to have to hurry and put a hold on it though, because I'm sure it will be gaining popularity very soon (if it hasn't already).

Have you read any of these books? Are they worth my time? Do you have any recommendations for me? I'm always looking for some! Speaking of recommendations, if you friend me on Goodreads, you can recommend through that platform as well. As always, let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Reading: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
Listening: The hum of my fan
Watching: Suits

Saturday, August 16, 2014

An Interview: Is an E-Reader Worth It?

Sunny: Hi Jane, welcome to the blog...again. You've been here before writing reviews (plug plug).
Jane: Thanks for having me.
Sunny: Jane, you have to be witty! 
Jane: I'm really tired to be witty. You can just make me witty, can't you? In editing?
Sunny: *sigh*
Sunny: Anyways, I wanted to bring you on the blog, so you can discuss e-readers, since you are a proud owner of one.
Jane: Er...former owner of one.
Sunny: Do tell.
Jane: My screen on my Kobo Glo...uhh I don't even know how to describe it. 
Sunny: Went kaput?
Jane: Exactly. Cue picture:

Sunny: Ouch. 
Jane: Yeeeeaah. 
Sunny: So here is the big question. Now that you've had your e-reader for awhile, is it worth replacing your kobo?
Jane: Yes, I think it is.
Sunny: Really? I'm not really sure where I stand on the e-reader vs. real book discussion.
Jane: There's definitely pros and cons.
Sunny: Well that sounds like an excellent blog post. Let's talk about that. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

On Taking a Night Off

Last night, I was supposed to write a blog post on e-readers vs. paper books. Instead, I sat on the back porch with my sister and chatted. It started off as just a simple idea to eat supper outside. As we munched on our chicken and rice, conversation picked up. The plates were long empty and the sun was sinking lower, the light growing dimmer, and we were still talking. We were just talking, nothing real deep, just about this and that. It felt so good to catch up after days of only seeing each other for a few minutes here and there.

Eventually I got up from the lawn chair; my butt had made a comfortable little valley in the cushion. I meant to take my plate and head inside. I had laundry sitting in the dryer ready for folding, and the aforementioned blog post to write. The pressure of writing the blog post was pushing itself to the front of my mind. So I stood there a few steps away from the door; my sister was still lounging in her chair and chatting, while I was contemplating what was really important to me.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Silence is Golden (And So is a Clean Work Space)

I was sitting at my desk tonight trying to come up with a blog post idea.
Surrounded by my mess of a desk, I could hear the semi-muffled T.V. from the other room, my computer humming and my background music bopping away. I was scrolling through my Evernote notebook of blog ideas, but nothing seemed inspired. There was too many sub-par ideas, too much stuff around me and too much noise. Just...too much!

It was overwhelming. 

When I'm overwhelmed, I shut down. I don't want to blog, I don't want to write, and I don't want to create. I just want to sneak off into my cozy bed to read and binge watch some T.V. show, which isn't necessarily a bad thing (ok, maybe the T.V. part...psh), but it doesn't help me accomplish what I really, deep down, want to accomplish (like posting on this blog). There's a name for this, a name you know well, I'm sure.

Writer's Block (duh, duh, DUH) 

or if we're talking more general-like


I was reading a blog post by Young Yankee Lady on finding focus (aka I was not writing), and she made a comment about how cleaning up her clutter helps her focus. And I was inspired to de-clutter my work space.  Sure enough *SPOILER ALERT* cleaning up my crap clutter helped me regain my focus and get down to business.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Blog Buttons and an Alternative Method of Creating Them

Copy this code into an HTML widget to share my button on your blog!
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A Splash of Ink has a button! It's about time I created one of these blogging staples. I've been seeing them around a lot lately and I figured I should make one up. It was a lot more work than I thought it would be. I followed all the instructions on all the blogs, but I could never get the html code to show up in the text box below the button. After spending endless hours trying to solve this issue, I came up with this alternate (non-programmer) way. I am sure there are better ways to do this, but I thought I'd share how I made it work, in case someone else was having all the same problems I was having.

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