Showing posts with label Musing Mondays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Musing Mondays. Show all posts

Monday, July 10, 2017

Musing Monday (70): Favorite Podcasts

Rules: 
  • Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker that asks you to muse about something book related each week. 
My musings for the week...

Once again, it has been some time since I last participated in this weekly meme. Since I didn't have any music I felt like sharing this Monday, I decided to do Musing Mondays instead. First off, I'm going to answer the random weekly questions I missed, before moving on to my other musings for the week. All questions are marked with the date that they were originally posted. 

June 12th: Which would you rather live without? Books or chocolate.

This question is so simple but also kind of evil. How can I be expected to choose between books or chocolate? I love books but I also love chocolate too much to just immediately say that yeah, I'll be willing to live without it.

June 19th: What is your favorite Mark Twain novel?

I don't have a favorite Mark Twain novel because I haven't read anything by him yet. Eventually, I'll probably pick up one of his books. However, at the moment, I don't have any foreseeable plans to do so.

June 26th: What is your favorite spot to read during the summer?

California is hot in the summer. I mean, you can just look at the recent weather patterns and you'll see what I mean. So, I'll read in places that are cool with lots of sunlight. Usually, I'll just read at my desk.

July 3rd: Do you follow book release dates and eagerly await a new arrival? Or do you just kind of check things out in a more casual manner?

While I do eagerly wait for books to come out, I also have a more casual approach to release dates. That's mainly because I don't feel like I have to be the first person to read a thing, and I don't mind waiting months, sometimes a full year, before getting the book in question. I'm just not in a rush.

Other musings for the week...

Today, I wanted to talk about something a little different and it will be in the form of a list, which I haven’t done in a long time. I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned this on the blog before, and recently I got to thinking about podcasts. I thought it would be interesting to talk about some of the podcasts I’m currently listening to, which isn’t that many at all. However, I hope to change that very soon.
  • First up is Midnight in Karachi, a Tor.com podcast. There hasn’t been an episode in a while. Still, I’ve been steadily working my way through them, and so far it’s been pretty great getting to listen to what authors had to say. I’m not listening to them in any particular order, but my favorite ones so far have been Aliette de Bodard and N.K. Jemisin. I’m sure that list will expand once I get around to listening to more of the podcast.
  • Next up is Black Girl Nerds. I love this podcast a lot! Once again, I’m late to the party. So, there are a lot of episodes that I’ve yet to listen to that I’ll have plenty of them to keep me busy for a while. The episodes are always interesting, and it’s just a joy getting to listen to so many different topics and guests. 
  • Welcome to Night Vale. I’m terribly behind on this podcast series, but I hope to listen to more episodes soon. All I have to say about this one is: I finally get the hype. 
  • And last, but certainly not least: Fangirl Happy Hour. This one is pretty much the reason why I’ve started listening to more and more podcast, especially recently. I’ve been listening to this podcast for a while off and on, but I recently went on a binge of all the episodes I missed. 
So, that’s my very short list of podcasts I regularly listen to. It’s not a lot, but it’s certainly a start. Do you have any favorite podcasts? If so, tell me about them in the comments down below.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Musing Monday (69) So Many Questions...

Rules: 
  • Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker that asks you to muse about something book related each week. 
My musings for the week...

I haven't done Musing Monday in a really long time, and I wanted to participate because there were so many good questions that I missed. I just couldn't pass up the chance to answer them.

Question from April 10 th: What’s the coolest name you have ever seen in a book? Would you name your offspring after said fictional character?

Uh, I don't think I would necessarily name a child after a fictional character. While some of those names are cool and catchy, there are some that are kind of out there. I mean, it works for the character, but unless this name is absolutely magical and lovely (and I have an inexplicable and burning need to stake some claim on it) then I'm going to have to say no on that one. As for the coolest name, I really can't think of one right now.

Question from April 3rd: Are there any songs that make you think of certain books or scenes from books? If so, which songs/books?

This is an interesting question. Sometimes I listen to music while I read, but I never really likened any songs specifically to any of the books I've read. I just have that go-to playlist that I automatically listen to. This is something to think about though, and I could probably put together a list later, if I feel like it. Who knows...
Question from March 27th: What was your favorite picture book as a kid?

The entire Amelia Bedelia series. I just remember that when I was a kid I found the stories to be incredibly funny. 

Question from April 17th: Do you have a favorite time of day to read?

I don't have a favorite time of day to read. I just read whenever and I say that because if I'm reading a particularly good book, then I usually stay put for hours on end, or read off and on all day. There just isn't a specific time. 

Question from May 1st: Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

For this one, its not really a question of either or because I prefer both of them. I enjoy fiction because there are too many great stories I would miss if I only read nonfiction. However, this also works vice versa too because I could say the exact same thing about nonfiction. There are a wide range of subjects I like to read about, and also enjoy when I happen to come across some obscure historical or an interesting fact concerning anything science/astronomy related.

Other Musings...

Since I don’t want to just answer questions today, I thought I’d use one of the discussion topics that I didn’t have too much to say about. And that’s DNFing books. DNF is basically the abbreviated way of saying did not finish, and yeah, I know I’ve talked about why I DNF books at least once, but that was a while ago. And if you haven’t noticed, as of late, there have not been many negative reviews on this blog.

So, do I still DNF Books?

Yes, yes I do. Trust me when I say that, because I still DNF books and it happens more often than you might think. However, I just haven’t written many reviews about them. Not because I’m ashamed that I didn’t finish the book, but because I felt like doing so would be a waste of my time. Most of the books that fall into the DNF category happened to be ones I either bought or checked out from the library, so, I really have no obligation to talk about them. Because, sometimes, I just don’t have the words. So, just because I haven’t written much about any of the books I’ve recently disliked, doesn’t mean that I think everything I pick up is the most perfect object in the universe. It just means that I don’t want to write about them.

Of course, that won’t always the case, but I just wanted to mention why nothing really negative has been posted to Our Thoughts Precisely recently.

What about you? Do you write reviews for every book you read regardless of if you liked it or not?

Monday, March 27, 2017

Musing Mondays (68) Random Weekly Questions

Rules: 
  • Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker that asks you to muse about something book related each week. 
My musings for the week...

(Random weekly question from March 13th) Do you post book reviews right after you finish the book? Or do you wait a while so you can fully digest it before posting a review?

I don’t post reviews right after I finish a book. Lately, I’m finding more often than not, that I need a little extra time to think about what I want to say about the book. Even then, that’s not the sole reason why I don’t immediately post reviews. My main reason is that I typically put them on the blog on Wednesdays, and even with that in mind the review isn’t going to appear until about a week—give or take a few days—after I’ve mentioned the book for The Friday 56. That’s due to how I have things scheduled. The same thing kind of applies to ARC’s. Except, I will post the reviews closer to release date which has little to nothing to do with how I regularly schedule posts.

(Random weekly question from February 27th) Have you ever accidentally destroyed a book? Such as accidentally dropped it in the tub, or run it over with a bike? How about accidentally on purpose or simply purposefully?

I don’t recall ever intentionally destroying a book, but some of my most read, well-loved favorites have tattered covers and dog-eared pages. But that’s a small price I’m willing to pay for getting to reread all of my favorite scenes over and over again. After all, what’s the point of having so many books if I’m not willing to just enjoy them?

(Random weekly question from March 20th) What do think of fairy tales in general? The book versions and their movie counter parts?

Well, in general, I do like fairy tales and have specific favorites that I always go back to. There are some that I don’t like as much, but that’s just a personal preference of mine. I’m not really that picky when it comes to the movie and/or book version, because more often than not, there’s going to be aspects about both that I really enjoyed or don't like as much. Although, I will say that it’s always fun to see those characters come to life on the screen. This question reminds me about how much I actually enjoy movies based on fairy tales. I’m mostly in it for the magic, scenery, story, and the atmosphere that those things create.
Other Musings...


After I've gotten through some other stuff I need to do, I'm going to finally read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Hopefully, that'll be sometime this week. Anyway, this is one of my most anticipated 2017 new releases, and I’m really looking forward to reading it.

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Synopsis from Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life...

 What are you reading this week?

Monday, February 20, 2017

Musing Mondays (67) Favorite Types of Book Covers + Random Weekly Questions

Rules: 
  • Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker that asks you to muse about something book related each week. 
My musings for the week...

I'm going to start out by answering some of the random weekly questions that I missed, before moving on to the rest of my musings for today.

Do you try out genres you have not liked in the past once in a while just to see if your taste changed?

Actually, I'm doing this more often now than I did when I first started blogging. There were some genres that I just avoided, but going back to them now has been a different experience. It's a clear indication that my reading tastes have slightly changed over the years. I'm reading more contemporary than I used to, and so far, its going pretty well. I've found a lot of books that I ended up enjoying more than I thought I would. I would have never found those books if I hadn't been willing to go back and try contemporary again.

If you could travel to one place you’ve read about in a book, what place would you visit and what book was it from?

When I first saw this questions I literally had no idea what answer to write, because a lot of the places I read about are ones I wouldn’t actually visit. However, when I went back through some of my favorite books, the answer became kind of obvious. I would visit the world from Finding Serendipity, specifically, the land where stories come from. I mean, just think how cool it would be to actually be able to visit the characters from your own story and physically go on an adventure with them, only to turn that into a story later. What’s not to like about that? Plus, the method of how to get to that place is pretty cool in itself.
Other Musings...

Instead of talking about the book I’m currently reading, I wanted to write up a small post about my favorite types of book covers. I didn’t feel like I had enough to say about this subject to make a full discussion post about it, so, I thought I’d use it for Musing Mondays instead. This is going to be a list.

Now, I don’t judge books based off of their covers, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating them. So, what are my favorite types of book covers? Honestly, I have my favorite types. But then, who doesn’t? It doesn’t matter if there’s a mountain or dog, or a girl in a dress, or a dragon. As long as it looks nice, there's some obvious creativity and thought put into it, and the color combinations are awesome, chances are, I’ll probably like it anyway. So, without further ado, here are my top 7 favorite types of book covers…
  1. The illustrated ones: Clearly, I’m a sucker for animated things. Some of my favorite movies have been animated—along the lines of Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. So, it should come as no surprise that I really like illustrated covers.
  2. It’s all about that scenery: While I like elaborate covers, I will also take something that is more simplistic, and that includes covers that deal with scenery. That can be anything from a landmark to a door, as long as its architecture of some kind or a landscape.
  3. The cover that is a showcase for a face: There have been no shortages of faces on covers, but I have to admit that some of them are just so beautiful that I don’t even care how many times it’s been done before.
  4. The “You’re so sci-fi”: This one is another favorite. Whenever I read sci-fi books I also like the technology. It’s one of the reasons why I actually read that genre. So, it’s also cool when the cover reflects the story and actually has one of the ships or any of the technology front and center. I'm all for it. 
  5. Obviously, fantasy: Fantasy is one of my favorite genre’s to read, and a lot of the covers are as cool as the story. I also like covers that put the genre on obvious display. 
  6. Minimalist: There's just something that I find gorgeous about minimalist designs. I think it's the clean, straight forwardness that gets me every time. Sometimes, I like the simpler ones better than any of the others. 
  7. Silhouettes are a thing: This one might be last on my list for today, but I  really like this style a lot. Silhouettes, whether black or white, look great against other brighter colors. The same could also be said for colors like gray, blue, even yellow, as long as the background color contrasts in a good way.
So, that’s it for today. What are some of your favorite book covers?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Musing Monday (66) Random Weekly Questions & Currently Reading

Rules: 
  • Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker that asks you to muse about something book related each week. 
My musings for the week...

Today, I'm going to talk about the book I literally just started. I'm also going to get caught up on some of the random weekly questions that I missed.

Have you joined any challenges in reading for the new year? Do you have any general goals book or even not book related for 2017?

No, I haven't joined any reading challenges. Generally, I don't participate in those because I read at random (unless I have an ARC or a blog tour that requires a review by a certain date). As for some of my other goals, I pretty much covered that on my 2017 Blogging Resolutions Post. One goal I have, which isn't related to books, is refining my art skills. Improving is always a goal when it comes to art, and that's one of the things I want to work on this year.

What do you think about books being made into movies or TV shows and do you always read the book first?

I think its great as long as the source material is used wisely. If my favorite book or series happens to be adapted, I would definitely give the movie or TV show the benefit of the doubt. I don't always read the book first. Sometimes, I choose not to, and at other times I might have overlooked the fact that it was a book at first (this is especially true if I'm watching a movie/TV show just to see what all the hype is about).

How do you make time for reading when you are very busy? Or how do you find a better balance between wanting to spend time reading and other commitments?

I just kind of read whenever. There's really no trick to it or really much of a specific method of balancing reading with other commitments.

Other Musings...

This week, I’m going to read The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about this book since it came out back in 2015. Since I’m trying to get through all the older releases that I’ve been meaning to read, I decided to go ahead and give this one a try—plus, the copy at my local library was recently returned. 

20345202Synopsis from Goodreads...

Magic lives in our darkest corners...

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known. Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act. Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants…and how to take it. But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire...

What are you reading this week?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Musing Monday (65) Wintry Reads

I'm a little late to this since I haven't participated in this meme in a couple of weeks. Musing Mondays has undergone some changes. Jenn at Books and a Beat no longer hosts the weekly meme. Instead, Musing Mondays has moved to The Purple Booker. Other than that, Musing Mondays is still the same.

Revised rules: 

  • Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker that asks you to muse about something book related each week. 
My musings for the week...

I figured that I might as do one last Musing Mondays post before 2016 is over. To start out, I'm going to get caught up on some of the random weekly questions before moving on to my other musings.

Random weekly question from December 12th: Does reading help you to release stress during stressful times? If it does do you have a favorite book that you return to for calm?

For the most part I read for entertainment, but sometimes I do read to relieve stress. Normally, if on those rare occasions that I do, I would probably pick up one of the nonfiction books I keep on my shelf, or one of the manga series that I have.

Random weekly questions from November 28th: If you were a character, which author would you trust with your life (to write your story)?

Oh man, this is kind of a hard question. I mean, a lot of the books I've read I just wouldn't want to be those characters in those situations. But if I was a character and had to pick an author to trust to write my story, it would probably be myself. I wouldn't be able to trust anyone else to tell my story.

Random weekly question from December 5th: Do you visit your local library regularly? If so, what’s your earliest memory of visiting a library?

I don't visit my local library regularly. It's kind of far from where I currently live, as such, it's only recently that I've started going more often. And, I've been going to the library with my mom since I could remember.

Other Musings...

Today, I wanted to talk about some of my favorite books that have themes, settings, or characters who are wintry in some way or another. I know I’ve probably missed a few great read, but these books are ones that immediately came to mind for this post. Hence, this list is going to be kind of short. Anyway, let’s get started…
  • My first pick is Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett—This book has a lot of wintry things and even begins with a scene where the setting was submerged in snow. The title, themes, and select characters are the main reason why Wintersmith is on this list.
  • Next is The Snow Queen by Hans Christain Andersen—This is an obvious one. The Snow Queen has a lot of wintery aspects about it, even the titular character, the Snow Queen.
  • The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis—It has been so long since I read this book that I actually want to go back and reread it again. I always remember really liking this story and the movie adaptation is just one of my favorites. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is on this list for obvious reasons—Narnia, which is trapped in winter, and the White Witch.
  • And last but certainly not least, The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell—This is a book I recently enjoyed. I loved all the details, the descriptive prose, and the characters. Another cool part of the book was the setting, which was cold and snowy.
Have you read any books that have wintry themes, settings, or characters? If so, tell me in the comments below.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Musing Mondays (64) Random weekly Question(s) & Currently Reading

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My musings for the week...

I haven't done a Musing Mondays post in a while, and I figured that today I'm going to get caught up on some of the random weekly questions that I missed.

Random Weekly Question from October 10th:  Can you recall a time when you weren’t an avid reader?

Nope. I was probably too  young to remember.

Random Weekly Question from October 17th: Who are the key players in your current book? (or current themes, if nonfiction)

Yesterday, I just started reading The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell. The key players are Lin Rosenquist and her pet, Rufus.

Random Weekly Question from November 7th: Do you prefer fast-paced novels, or slow, descriptive novels?

Honestly, this question could go either way and I think it depends entirely on the book. Some are slow and saturated with descriptive prose, but if they're good--and I mean really good--then I don't mind the slower pace as long as I'm digging the story. Then, there are some that set a brisk pace, and I feel like the same sort of concept applies. I just don't think it matters as long as the story is good and the pace and descriptions ultimately serve a purpose. If it works it just works.

Random Weekly Question from November 14th: How has your reading changed in the last 10 years?


My reading hasn't changed that much in the last ten years. Except, I do read more and from a larger variety of genres, but that's about it.

Other musings...

To start out this week, I'm currently reading The Twistrose Key by Tone Almhjell.

20821109Synopsis from Goodreads...

Something is wrong in the house Lin's family rented. The clocks tick too slowly. Frost covers the flowerbed, even in a rain storm. And when a secret key marked "Twistrose" arrives for her, Lin finds in a crack in the cellar and unlocks a gate to the world of Sylver. This frozen realm is the home of every dead animal who ever loved a child. Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with Rufus, the pet she buried under the rosebush. But together they must find the missing Winter Prince in order to save Sylver from destruction…and they’re not the only ones hunting for the Prince...

What are you currently reading?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Musing Mondays (63) Where Do You Buy Books?

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My musings for the week...

Random Weekly Question: What is your worst habit as a reader?

I have never actually thought about this before. I mean, what defines  a bad reading habit anyway? I guess, for example, my post on common/uncommon fictional hobbies. So, going along those lines, habits considered to be bad or good is totally subjective and dependent on the person being asked.

I guess, my worst habit would be that I dog ear the pages of my books. However, that's not actually a bad thing. I've noticed that the more dog eared pages = how much I've liked and enjoyed a certain book. Basically, I bookmark all my favorite scenes.

Other musings...

I took an impromptu beak last week. Well, I’m back, and oh man, it’s officially October. Only 28 days left until Halloween, hooray. Sorry, I do love summer, but I also love Halloween stuff too. Plus, the weather is finally starting to cool down a bit, which is great. So, goodbye summer, see you next year!

Anyway, to start out this week, I want to talk about where I get the books that I review on Our Thoughts Precisely. This probably won’t be the longest post ever, but I did want to talk about this eventually.

I enter giveaways, so I've won some of the books. I’m not that big on ARCs, and I usually only request the ones I really want. And even then, that’s pretty few and far in between. So, a lot of the books that get reviewed are ones that I already own—purchased before I started blogging, or I just bought them and let them collect dust on my shelf. For that reason, I have been reading a lot of backlist books this year. And it’s been great to finally make a dent in the books I own, but haven’t read. I primarily buy books from Barnes & Noble or the Book Depository. For Barnes & Noble, I like to go to the store, especially when I have a coupon.

Another place I buy books is actually the dollar store. Yes, the dollar store. It’s only recently that I’ve started looking there for some of the older books I want. I’ve found a few that have been on my list for a long time, and the second book of a trilogy I wanted to finish.

This next one is pretty self-explanatory: the library. Alright then, moving on.

I also get books from Blogging For Books. I actually like how they’ve set up the request system. And they’re my go-to place for finding random books that I may have overlooked, never heard of, or are nonfiction.

So, that’s pretty much it. Those are all of the places that I get books from. I do need to get back into going to my local library again. So, that’s what I’m hoping to do this month. So, what are your favorite places to buy books? Or, what are you looking forward to this October?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Musing Mondays (62) What's On My TBR + Obscure Books & Movies

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My musings for the week...

Random Weekly Question: What is currently on your TBR pile?

I don't really have much on my current TBR except for The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson (the edition illustrated by Sanna Annukka). Other than that, the books I want to read haven't been released yet.

Other musings...

Random weekly question from September 12th: What obscure book do you think should be turned into a movie?


This is actually a pretty interesting question. Many of the books I’ve read, I wouldn’t consider them as obscure since they’re fairly well-known. And since I think this question needs a little more space than a short one paragraph answer, I’m going to use it as the theme for my musings this week.

Usually, when I think of book to movie adaptations, I immediately think of the dozens of YA books that have already gotten the movie treatment. For my list today, I want to talk about ones that haven’t been adapted. I also want to include books that I think would make a great TV series/special. So, without further ado, here’s my list…

Founding Myths by Ray Raphael—I picked this one even though its nonfiction. I think it would be great as a history TV series of some kind or a two part special. I do love history and I do like things that delve into the more obscure facts—or even clarify misconceptions about historical facts. Needless to say, if Founding Myths ever got turned into a movie/TV show or special, I would watch it.

The Night Has Teeth by Kat Kruger—I liked a lot of things about The Night Has Teeth. What I really enjoyed about it was Kruger’s take on werewolves plus her choice of setting. The combination had an interesting result that made the book one of my favorites. I also think it would make a great movie.

Scorched by Mari Mancusi—there’s never enough dragons on screen. So, Scorched is definitely one of my picks for this list. It has dragons, enough said.

Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky—Like Founding Myths above, I would definitely like to see this one on the screen. However, I think it would be better as a series rather than just one film, so that more time could be dedicated to each scientist and their respective accomplishments.

Kat, Incorrigible series by Stephanie Burgis—Historical setting+magic=yes! This is one of my favorite middle grade series for a reason, and I would love to see it adapted into movies.

Double Vision series by F.T. Bradley—I would love to see this series on screen. This series had humor, action, and junior agents working for a shadowy organization.

What books do you wish were a TV series/special, or movie?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Musing Mondays (61) Seasonal Books...

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My musings for the week...

Random weekly question from August 29th: Which book do you wish you’d written yourself?


This is a pretty common question, and I'm sure I've asked an author this exact thing at one time or another. However, my answer to this question is none. There isn't a book I wish I'd written myself. They're my favorites for a reason—meaning, I didn't write them. I don't think I would like my favorite books as much if I'd written them myself. So, I enjoyed them for what they were, because they didn't sound like they were coming from my perspective.

Other Musings...

It’s basically the beginning of the holiday season…already. August wasn’t even over before Halloween/fall decorations and seasonal goods with specialty flavors (like candy, tea, and coffee) started appearing in stores/restaurants and so forth. And now that it’s already September. I feel like this year just flew past, but oh well, at least my favorite teas are coming back (I can't rightly complain). So—in conjunction with the stores—to start out this week, I want to talk about seasonal books.

I like the holiday season a lot, not just because of the food either. I always look forward to Halloween because of all the little items. I've already brought two—a pumpkin pillar and an adorable owl in a witch hat from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores (hello new desk ornaments). But, I also like books that feel like they fit with the season. For example, something spooky for Halloween/October, or wintry for Christmas/December. Hence, seasonal books.

Seasonal books are kind of like the pumpkin spice coffee from Starbucks: specifically themed. However, books stay on store shelves and are more readily accessible, with availability not determined by the time of year. Usually, I’ll consider a book to be seasonal based off of a few things like setting—fall or winter, sometimes both—the subject, and even the characters if they happen to be particularly festively themed.

When I think of seasonal reads that I've already read, Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree and Neil Gaiman’s Coraline come to mind for October—and My True Love Gave to Me is one that I would pair with December (I still need to get that anthology, I've heard marvelous things about it). There are others, but I just don’t know of them yet. So, even though this won’t be a definite goal, I do want to try to get to more of the holiday/season themed books before this year is over.

What are some of your favorite seasonal reads/TV shows/foods/drinks?

Monday, August 29, 2016

Musing Mondays (60) How My Blogging Has Changed Since Way Back In 2013

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My musings for the week...

15790873Random weekly question from August 22nd: Name a favorite book you’d take to the beach...

When I think of a book I would take to the beach, my first thought would be to pick something short, light, and fun—or even delve into a longer fantasy novel. However, there is one book in particular—because I haven’t read it in a long time—and that’s This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith.

Other Musings...

Usually, for Musing Mondays I talk about something book related, and today's post will still be associated with that and the blog. Specifically, I want to talk about how I’ve changed my method of blogging.  Hang tight, folks, this is going to be long...

When I first started blogging with my co-blogger in 2013, the majority of the posts on Our Thoughts Precisely were reviews or promotional posts. We didn’t participate in any weekly memes or book tags, and we certainly didn’t do interviews. We were new at it and the blog was a work in progress.

For a time, that method worked out pretty well. It was fun. But then, that sort of changed as the first year of blogging turned into a second and then a third. I wanted to do more, and that was a problem. There was only so much I could read in a year, and at the time I was disappointed with what I was reading. I found myself in reading slumps that lasted for weeks. And for long stretches, I couldn’t find the motivation to continue.

Since then, I’ve found a better way to maintain the blog. I’ve read more genres and found some true nonfiction gems. I participate in memes—Musing Mondays and The Friday 56. I took the pressure off myself, and no longer wanted to try and post something—no matter how short—every day of the week. And I no longer try to finish every book. I used to do that, even with ones that I just wasn’t enjoying. I just sort of let that go, and let me tell, it’s so much better that way.

One major thing that changed was the amount of reviews. No longer are they the majority. I limit it to a minimum of three to four in a month, basically once a week—sometimes more—which makes it easier to post regularly. Plus, I made a very loose plan for the week. Usually, posts go up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Some weeks I’ll even throw something up on Saturday or Sunday. However, I usually like to keep my weekends reserved for other things—Splatoon I’m looking at you—and unless there’s a rare blog tour, release day blitz, or weekend tidbits that needs to go up, I rarely post on those days.

I still don’t keep a set reading goal for the year. Back in January, I did mention books I was looking forward to, but that was just a few and they were mainly sequels. I left room for other books to just catch my interest. I’ve had a monumental amount of fun with backlist titles, and I have read some fantastic debuts like The Reader by Traci Chee. Just don’t expect the review too soon, since I’m going to post it closer to the release date. However, just know that The Reader was a fantastic and complex story, and I want the sequel now.

So yeah, that’s how my blogging has changed. Looking back, 2013 seems like such a long time ago. I appreciate the readers that stop by the blog and the thoughtful comments. And, I have finally left the design of the blog alone. Who knew it would only take changing the header and color scheme a handful of times?

Do you blog? If so, how has it changed for you?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Musing Mondays (59) Hobbies are Subjective & Random Weekly Question


Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My musings for the week...

Random weekly question from August 15th: What sequel do you have yet to read?

There aren't many books that I can think of that have sequels that I haven't read. Partly because the majority of the sequels I do want to read haven't been released yet. The wait does suck sometimes, but at least I have something to look forward to.

One sequel that I haven't read yet is the conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor. I've put it off for a long time, and I don't know when I'll have the time to go back and finish the series.

Other Musings:

For my musings this week, I want to talk about hobbies. I rarely mention them even though I’ve previously discussed the relationships between main characters and the secondary characters—whether it was strictly platonic or romantic. I’ve even made a list of my favorite fictional friendships. Yet, I haven’t mentioned hobbies. I feel like it’s easier to get an understanding about any given character by his/her actions, combined with the dialogue and internal thoughts.

Hobbies are anything that a character enjoys doing on his/her off time, as long as it’s some kind of activity, to me, it counts. Yet, I rarely pay much attention to them. I see and remember them, but just move on when the story goes on.

I’ve seen a lot of hobbies, most noticeably art, photography, cooking, reading, writing, a sport of some kind, drama, etc.. There’s nothing wrong with seeing those in books, in fact, the majority of the time the author/authors put a good spin on them, making the hobbies unique to the character. And trust me, I have a lot of favorite characters, and some of them have similar hobbies.

I also like to see less common activities as hobbies too—and yes, I’m just waiting for Pok√©mon Go to make an appearance (just kidding :-p).

So, what are less common hobbies anyway?

I don’t think there’s a way to really pinpoint any one thing that’s less common than the other. I think it’s purely subjective. What might be common/less common to one person might be in reverse for another. One example of something less commonly found in books is dog grooming. I first came across that hobby in Love Fortunes and Other Disasters. That was the first that I’ve seen of it mentioned in a book, even though I know there are other works of fiction out there that have it too, but I just haven’t found it yet. See what I mean? Subjective.

What are your thoughts on hobbies and how they can build/add to the personality of a character?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Musing Mondays (58) Favorite Fictional Friendships

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My musings for the week...

Random weekly question: Name a book that you hope to re-read some day...

Well, I've kind of already somewhat accomplished that. This year, I've reread many of my favorite books from back before I started blogging. So, there was just never a review for them. However, there is one book I hope to have time to reread in the near future: The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. The Iron King is the start of one of my all-time favorite series that centers on faeries.

Other Musings:

I’m always looking for those relationships beyond the love interests. It’s always great to see the main character interact or have some kind of established connection to the secondary characters. So, to start out this week I want to discuss some of my favorite fictional friendships. This can include anything from magical unicorns to dogs—just as long as it’s a close friendship of some kind. Although, secondary characters are preferred for this list, I’m willing to make exceptions.
Tuesday, Baxterr, and Blake Luckhurst from Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks: Baxterr is Tuesday’s faithful dog who was kind of magical to a certain degree, so it’s pretty easy to understand why they’re so close. But then there’s the friendship between Blake and Tuesday. They went from total strangers to close friends. Their friendship is one my favorite parts of the Tuesday McGillyCuddy series.

Fallon, Anais, and Nico from Love Fortunes and Other Disasters by Kimberly Karalius: They behaved like normal friends—concerned for each other when one of them happened to be down because of…well, circumstances, and supportive when necessary. It was the kind of easy friendship that seemed to fit naturally in the story.


Iko and Cinder from the Cinder by Marissa Meyer: There’s so much I could say about this fictional friendship, and most of it would be a spoiler for those who haven’t started the series yet. So, I’m just going to leave it at that for today.

Zara and Isabelle (Issie) from Need by Carrie Jones: In Need, one of my favorite parts of the story was the friendship between Zara and Issie. They met pretty early on in the novel when Zara moved to the area after a personal loss, and got along great throughout the rest of the story.

Gwen Frost and Daphne Cruz from the Mythos Academy series by Jennifer Estep: These two were so different that they were the least likely characters to end up as friends. But, yeah, they ended up being friends and their friendship was one of the best I’ve seen, and remains as one of my favorites. They go through some tough times, changing circumstances, emerging magic, and even a ridiculous number of life or death situations in a war against an evil god and his equally evil minions. But through it all, their friendship persisted.

Karou and Zuzana from the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor: Despite Karou’s circumstances—and frequent absences—she remained as a close friend to Zuzana, and vice versa. This friendship was just great. End of discussion.
So, that was just a few of my favorite fictional friendships, there are others, but then it would be pretty impossible to fit them onto one post and keep it a decent length. So, what are some of your favorite fictional friendships?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Musing Mondays (57) Favorite Genre Characteristics Part #2

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My musings for the week...

Random weekly question: What’s your most favorite “chunky” book? (over 500 pages)

The Diviners by Libba Bray. It was a fantastic book, but I just haven't read the sequel yet.

Other musings...

Today, I’m going to pick up where last week’s Musing Mondays post left off. Last week, I started discussing some of the things I liked about the different genres/subgenres. Honestly, I thought I was going to write a couple of sentences, list what I liked, but it got too long so I split the post in two. So, here is part two of favorite genre characteristics.
The Burning Sky (The Elemental Trilogy, #1)High Fantasy (Fantasy)

For a number of reasons, I really enjoy fantasy. When I pick up a novel from this genre I’m mostly looking for a good story—as I do with most genres—although, I also look for things like world building, characters (doesn’t matter if they’re heroes or anti-heroes, male or female), and magic/mythology oriented with the made-up society. I always enjoy seeing different takes on magic from different authors. It’s always one of my favorite parts of any story that has it—with a few minor exceptions. The creatures are definitely another aspect of fantasy that I love. Some of them can be terrifying, but as long as they have a place in the story I’m totally down with them being there. More often than not, this also ties into the mythological aspect as well as the magic itself, the history of the world. Think along the lines of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas.

I always look for the “aha!” moment when everything just clicks together and makes sense—when all of the details finally come together to form the bigger picture.

This Is What Happy Looks Like (This is What Happy Looks Like, #1)Contemporary (Literarily Fiction)

I’ve been reading more contemporary lately, and I have found some gems. One thing I particularly enjoy is the relationships formed by the main character and the secondary characters. This kind of applies to any kind of relationship, whether it is a familial bond between parents and children, or just regular old friendships. I also look for the simplistic moments, ordinary, or even accidental occurrences. One example is This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith.
Whew, and I’m done with this topic for now. I might come back to it later, add to it a little by expanding into other genres. But for now, I’m totally done with this. Despite how wordy it got, this was fun to do. What are you reading this week?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Musing Mondays (56) Favorite Genre Characteristics Part #1

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn at Books and a Beat, that asks you to muse about something book related each week.

My Musings for the Week...

Random Weekly Question from July 4th:What is your favorite book title?


Actually, this is a good question. I have a lot of favorite book titles, mainly because some of them were just catchy while others come from books I genuinely enjoyed. Plus some titles are a combination of both while also entirely fitting for the story they're attached to. So, I'll drop a short list of a handful of my favorites below...
  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone
  • Days of Blood and Starlight
  • Illuminae
  • Love Fortunes and Other Disasters 
  • Love Charms and Other Catastrophes
  • The Diviners
  • A Wind in the Door
  • Wintersmith
  • Ironside
  • The Iron King
Other Musings...

After writing out the majority of this post, I realized how long-winded it turned out to be. I thought this was going to be a shorter post an easier one to write, but the actual length burst my original estimate by a mile. In light of that, I’ve decided to divide it between two Musing Mondays post. So, expect part 2 next week.

Anyway, today, I’m here to talk about some of my favorite genre characteristics. When done right—or just given a fresh twist—I think any common characteristic can be used effectively to enhance a novel, rather than detract from it.
Paranormal & Urban Fantasy

The Night Has Teeth (The Magdeburg Trilogy, #1)
Oh, this is a good one. I read paranormal novels just for the heck of it. I have enjoyed a lot of books from this subgenre. It has a lot to offer. What I like most about it is finding new authors who use common characteristics of paranormal creatures and conflicts and put a good spin to them. It’s all in the use. So, it doesn’t matter the similarities a given book might have with another as long as there’s something about the book to set it apart. A good example of this one is The Night Has Teeth by Kat Kruger.

Hover (The Taking, #2)Science Fiction (Sci-fi) (Space Opera)

Science fiction is another favorite genre of mine. This one is a little easier to describe since I mainly look for a couple of things—technology, and the what if such and such situations about some topic. I like the ships, the battles in space, and the adventurous aspect combined with futuristic elements. I’ve also enjoyed books with more of a focus on the scientific aspect like The Martian. In retrospect, it doesn’t only have to focus on the science aspects. If topics like social issues come up, I wouldn’t mind seeing a story like that set against the backdrop of space or some alien civilization.
I’m going to end this part of the post here. Next week, I’m going to go into what I like about fantasy and contemporary, which will bring this set of posts to a close. What are some of your favorite genre characteristics?
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