Sunday, December 29, 2013

Let me be Julie Andrews for a second...

Hello my darlings! WOOSH! 2013 is almost over! Where in the H did the year go? So I have something to admit. I haven't really read any new books for like the last week and a half. I keep looking at all of my beautiful, never-before-read library books knowing that they will bring me adventures BUT then I look at my bookshelves and crack open a book I've already read and loved. That is when you know you've loved a book! When it becomes something you want to experience over and over again! So a lot of re-reading for me but with the new year coming I'll pick those library books back up...eventually! So today I wanted to do something fun and different! I wanted to share with you all of my wisdom and discoveries that I had in 2013! Fun right?! :D Stick with me kid! So first off in 2013 I discovered...

  • The Avett Brothers! You guys! This is my ultimate music love of 2013! I listen to them endlessly! Seriously! I can't really think of another band that constantly takes my breath away with their words and their performances! Plus I find the whole rugged band boy thing kind of attractive. No judgement-all God's children. My absolute favorite performances that I've watched one too many times...

  • Next I was scrolling through Facebook and decided that this is my absolute favorite embarrassing moment of 2013-

Today I had this quirky lady customer that grabbed my left hand, seeing no wedding ring and then raised it in the air and yelled to her son in the back of the store, "Honey!!! Great news!! She's single!" O dear floor open up and swallow me whole...

Yep that happened! It wasn't the first time...probably won't be the last! hahaha

  • Next I discovered the TV shows Reign and Scandal and have fallen in love with them both! So good! (Yes I do occasionally put down my books and watch some good ol' TV)

  • Relationship wise I learned a whole bunch! First I learned how bittersweet it is when your best friend decides to get married! It's a different and lovely situation that takes time getting used to!  I learned that family is the best thing to rely on because they are kind of stuck with you. I'm so grateful for mine. Another lesson: nobody is a better best friend and angel-like person than my mother! I learned that when people keep telling you that you found a good guy it's not always a good thing. What's that old saying? O yes! "Nice is different than good." I really love my life and I'm enjoying my single life! I know that eventually I'll fall in love but until then I'm having a really good time and don't worry about it! Worrying doesn't help so I choose not to! :D I also learned that school is hard and wonderful!  I learned that no matter what religion you are it's really important to hold onto belief and hope that somebody out there in the universe loves you exactly the way you are. I also learned that it is so important to be a KIND person! :D 

  • And finally my last favorite thing about 2013 would be this blog and that amazing support that so many of you have shown me while trying to build and grow it! I love my nerdiness and can't hide it! And if you can't hide it then you must embrace it! :D 

BRING ON 2014!!!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Guest Vlogger: Mama Leisha's Top 7 Books of 2013

I had so much fun enlisting the help of my sister to make this super fun video! She knows what she's talking about so listen up! Plus I love the photo I made as the thumbnail of the video! Doesn't she exhibit the ultimate joy books bring!! hahaha enjoy!!!

Merry Christmas!!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Books for MEN

You asked me for it and now I think you'll be really satisfied! This is books for men! Less snogging more blowing things up! Enjoy!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Top 13 Books of 2013

This was not easy but without further ado... MY TOP 13 for 2013!!!!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Boys in Books are Better

I am in fact dying of laughter over this song! It's brilliant! Love it!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My December to be read pile

This is what I am reading this December! What are you reading? :D

Names of the authors that I couldn't say...

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo and I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

Monday, December 2, 2013

Christmas from Heaven review PLUS ornaments!!

This is my review of Christmas from Heaven the story of Gail Halvorsen and some beautiful Christmas ornaments!

Here are some lovely pictures for you...

About the Book
Christmas from Heaven is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn land, the story of Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which US forces flew much-needed supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin.

As he performed his duties, Lt. Halvorsen began to notice the German children gathered by the fences of Tempelhof Air Base. Knowing that they had very little, he one day offered them some chewing gum. From that small act, an idea sprang: He would "bomb" Berlin with candy. Fashioning small parachutes, he and his crew sent them floating down as they approached the Berlin airport, wiggling the wings of their C-54 as a signal to the children that their anticipated cargo would soon arrive.

Lt. Halvorsen became known by hundreds, if not thousands, of children in Berlin as "Uncle Wiggly Wings" or "The Candy Bomber." Word soon spread, and donations of candy and other supplies poured in from sympathetic Americans. Lt. Halvorsen's small idea became a great symbol of hope not only to German children in a bombed-out city but to all those who yearned for freedom.

Famed broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw brings this remarkable true story to life in a stunning live performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, captured on the accompanying DVD. Also included in the book is a template and directions for creating your own “Candy Bomber” parachutes.

And the ornaments...

I lied to you in the video-they are $19.95....apologies! 

Create a Christ-focused holiday tradition as you review the sacred names of the Savior. Display these antique pewter-finish ornaments on the tree, as gift tags, or adorning a wreath on the front door. A scripture reference accompanies each ornament, perfect for a "Twelve Days of Christmas" countdown. 12-piece set.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Girls Who Read

I found this video clip and I LOVED it! It's all about why you want to date and marry a girl who reads! Brilliant! I must write this one down! New fav poem!  ;D (disclaimer: He does say the A-word for those of you who wouldn't like that-don't click)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My Name Used to Be Muhammad

Let's tease you first-

"I was blindfolded, disoriented, and afraid. I was still in leg irons and handcuffs as two men holding each of my arms pulled me through a labyrinth of hallways. Eventually we stopped and I collapsed to my knees. I could tell that there were other prisoners nearby. I could hear them crying and screaming. It sounded as if they were being tortured. I was so scared. Oh Lord, I thought, Help me. Please."
-Tito Momen


Tito Momen was raised Muhammad Momen. Born in Nigeria, he was taught to observe the strict teachings of Islam. But Tito's path took an unexpected turn when he was introduced to Christianity. His decision to believe in Jesus Christ cost him his family and his freedom. Sentenced to prison, Tito expected to spend his remaining days enduring a life sentence in an uncivilized Egyptian prison. For fifteen years, he suffered and waited and prayed. "I never gave up hope," Tito says. "I never stopped believing."
What Erika (yes that's me darlings!!) has to say about this book:
Whew! This was one fabulous biography! Sometimes when I read biographies I have to let them stew in my brain for a little while because usually I feel a little blown away about the great things that humankind has done. This book is no exception! It does have parts that are a tad slower but weren't a problem for me at all! Tito Momen was raised in an extreme Islamic family. The story of his childhood is one of very strict religious rules. I found that part of the book FASCINATING! Especially when he described the roles of women because for this specific group of Islamic people it was very oppressive. His mother throughout the story is such a sad character that finally has her one specific shining moment. It was quite tragic. Tito grew up and went to university and began questioning Islam and it's teachings. He was deeply educated in the Islamic faith but then very courageously converted to Christianity (specifically the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). He wrote his thesis on Christianity and was turned in to his school for having a Bible and Book of Mormon in his apartment. This decision caused him to lose his fiance, his schooling, his family disowned him and his mother committed suicide. Then he was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for his beliefs. It's very humbling when you can read a story where you can see the hand of God in someone's life. There were a lot of trials that Tito experienced that had he not had them his life would have turned out very different. When I read biographies that's what I take away the most. That our life is full of small defining moments that shape who we become. Very very good book! I recommend it!

"My spirits were lifted. I had hope again. Hope has a way of being self-perpetuating. Hope breeds faith. And faith produces miracles." -Tito Momen 
Go get your biography reading on!!! Big fat kisses! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Harry Potter Art lovin!

I found these pictures by Mary GrandPre' and I just HAD to blog them because I'm kind of in love with their awesomenss! Harry Potter FOREVER!!!!!

1. "Diagon Alley"

2. "Quidditch" 

3. "The Mirror of Erised"

4. "Christmas in the Great Hall"

5. "Flying Keys"

6. "The Enchanted Car"

7. "Pixie Mayhem"

8. "Counting the Days"

9. "Three Broomsticks"

10. "The Cloak of Invisibility"

11. "Expelliarmus!"

12. "Rescue of Sirius"

13. "Battle with the Dragon"

14. "The Golden Web"

15. "Dueling Wizards"

16. "Hogwarts Castle"

Truly awesome!!! XOXO!

This or That book tag

Let's talk about this and let's talk about that!

Thanks for watching! Big fat kisses!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Rent Collector Book Tour

I'm so excited to be apart of this blog tour because this was a favorite read of mine so I jumped willingly on the review band wagon! I'm mean I've already sold a bunch of them by gushing about it to customers so it's only natural that I blog about it right?! Let me tell you about the Rent Collector by Camron Wright. I'm going to post my own words but at the bottom if you want to get the official synopsis-it's there with the authors info! :D 

"I am here today to tell you of a fable. After I finish, some of you may whisper that it is not true. You may say that my words are made up, that my story is nothing but a myth-and you may be right. But as a wise and great teacher once explained so patiently, all good stories-stories that touch your soul, stories that change your nature, stories that cause you to become a better person from their telling-these stories always contain truth." -pg.265 of the Rent Collector 

5 stars and 2 thumbs up! Wowza! This book was fabulous! It's poetry! It is based on the true story of Ki Lim and Sang Ly who live with their sickly son, Nisay, in a municipal waste dump in Cambodia. Life is a daily struggle as they collect trash to trade for money so they can eat barely enough food and pay rent to their cranky rent collector. The dump is a dangerous place with the danger of gangs, combustible piles of trash, and the big dump trucks who don't care if you get in their way. Sang Ly longs for a better life for her family. Redemption comes in many forms in this book where people are not who they seem and it's not where you are but who you are that really matters. And my favorite character in the story is the infamous rent collector, Sopeap Sin. You have to read this book for her! I can't go in depth without being super spoilery! Nothing worse than spoilers! The main thing that I LOVED about this book was the love of reading and literature! Knowledge is power! This books main theme is hope and anyone can rise from the ashes even in the dumps of Cambodia! I say again-read this book! You won't be sorry! :D 

We are literature-our lives, our hopes, our desires, our despairs, our passions, our strengths, our weaknesses. Stories express our longing not only to make a difference today but to see what is possible for tomorrow. Literature has been called a handbook for the art of being human." -pg.93 The Rent Collector

Okay now the official synopsis-(this is not like who wore it better) 

Survival for Ki Lim and Sang Ly is a daily battle at Stung Meanchey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia. They make their living scavenging recyclables from the trash. Life would be hard enough without the worry for their chronically ill child, Nisay, and the added expense of medicines that are not working. Just when things seem worst, Sang Ly learns a secret about the ill-tempered rent collector who comes demanding money--a secret that sets in motion a tide that will change the life of everyone it sweeps past. The Rent Collector is a story of hope, of one woman’s journey to save her son and another woman’s chance at redemption. It demonstrates that even in a dump in Cambodia--perhaps especially in a dump in Cambodia--everyone deserves a second chance.


Camron Wright has a master’s degree in Writing and Public Relations. He has owned several successful retail stores, in addition to working with his wife in the fashion industry, designing for the McCall Pattern Company in New York. He currently works in public relations, marketing and design. Camron began writing to get out of attending MBA School at the time and it proved the better decision. Letters for Emily was a “Readers Choice” award winner, as well as a selection of the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild. In addition to North America, Letters for Emily was published in several foreign countries. He lives with his wife, Alicyn, in Utah, at the base of the Wasatch mountains and is the proud father of four children.

If you would like to buy the book OR read more reviews you can click on the link below!

That's it for me! Go find yourself a good book to read today! Big fat kisses to you all! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Just for now...

I spent about 5 hours reading today so I do have a few book reviews coming but just for now I want to take it all in and just let you know...I LOVE BOOKS!!! :D Just in case you hadn't figured it out yet! Sometimes you just got to take in your passions ya know?!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Listen to Arthur...

Sorry I have been blog slacken! I promise you I have a bunch of good things coming your way! More movies! More book reviews! I'm still searching for a giveaway! I's going down!!! But this week has been cray-cray with school and Halloween and work SO instead of a book review I want to talk about supporting your local institutions! Without further ado-

My roommate finally got a library card!!!!!

Ahh the library! My holy land! Books galore and an occasional DVD if I feel like it! Did I mention it's all free! It's like the best "credit card" on the planet! Swipe away! It's not going to do anything to your bank account! And you'll get a TON out of it! It's like my getaway place and I love it! I'm like a proud momma for my roomie here!

We did end up getting some good October books! Perfect for the season! And I'm excited to see if I like Ready Player One because it's getting pretty good reviews on Goodreads! :D

Just remember in the words of Arthur-

Go get yourself a library card and see what magic can happen! I would never steer you wrong on this!!! BIG FAT KISSES!!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

They're just so pretty!!!

Hi guys! Should you judge a book by it's cover? The answer is yes...yes you should. At least I love pretty covers! My roommate Mary knows that I am a sucker for pretty covers and often texts me pictures of her finds! I saw these on Pinterest and looked into them because they are gorgeous and I think Barnes and Noble is BRILLIANT in making these books the way they are! It's called the leatherbound classics collection and they average about $18! So if you all want to get me a Christmas present...BAM! There you go! ;D Okay without further were some of my favorite leatherbound classics!

Sherlock Holmes

Aesops Fables

Arabian Nights

Peter Pan

Complete Tales of Edgar Allan Poe

The Story of King Arthur and His Knights

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

The Count of Monte Cristo

Seven Novels of Jane Austen

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Swiss Family Robinson

The Bronte Sisters collection

A Christmas Caorl

Hans Christen Anderson Fairy Tales

Grimm's Fairy Tales

Pride and Prejudice

The Complete works of William Shakespeare

Jane Eyre

The Iliad and the Odssey

And their beautiful spines! 

Seriously! So gorgeous!!! Big fat kisses!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Book Burger Tag

Hi ya'll! Instead of writing a blog I made myself a book hamburger video for you all! It made me a bit hungry...for knowledge! Take a looksy! Much love!

Friday, October 11, 2013

My Story-Elizabeth Smart

"It's funny, some of the things that I remember, many of the details forever burned in my mind. It's as if I can still smell the air, hear the mountain leaves rustle above me, feel the fabric of the veil that Brian David Mitchell stretched across my face. I can picture every detail of my surroundings: the tent, the washbasin, the oppressive dugout full of spiders and mice. I can feel the cut of the steel cable wrapped so tightly around my ankle, the scorch of the summer heat lifting off the side of the hill, the swaying of the Greyhound bus as we fled to California. I remember so many overwhelming feelings and emotions. Terror that is utterly indescribable, even to this day. Embarrassment and shame so deep, I felt as if my very worth had been tossed upon the ground. Despair. Starving hunger. Fatigue and thirst and a nakedness that bares on to the bones. Intruding hands. Pain and burning. The leering look of his dark eyes. A deep longing for my family. A heartbreaking yearning to go home. Looking back, I realized that at one point, early on the morning of the first day, something had changed inside me. After I had been raped and brutalized, there was something new inside my soul. There was a burning now inside me, a fierce determination that no matter what I had to do, I was going to live! I also discovered something that is harder to imagine, and much more difficult to explain. Sometime during the first couple of days, I realized that I wasn't alone. There were others there beside me, unseen but not unfelt. Sometimes I could picture them beside me, reaching for my hand. And that is on of the reasons I am still alive."

 I'm going to be perfectly honest with you-this book is going to be HARD for me to review! I will tell you right now if you aren't comfortable with the issue of rape skip this one. Elizabeth Smart is about a year older than I am. I remember when she was taken because it scared me! She was a girl about my age and only lived an hour away from me! It was very real and very close to home. Her kidnapping was everywhere on billboards and in the media. I remember it was summer and one night I went around shutting all of the windows because I was freaked out about someone coming through the screens and taking me. So to read this book period made me a little apprehensive! I will admit that reading it did scare me! Elizabeth didn't sugar coat her experience at all. She tells about being taken from her home at knife point and dragged up into the mountains. There she became the "second wife" to a psychopath and his psychopath wife. Essentially she talks about becoming a slave to Wanda Barzee and a sex toy for Brian David Mitchell for her nine months of captivity. She talks about the horror of being cabled to a tree and being able to her rescuers and not being able to call out for help. She rehashes each horror and terrifying situation with complete honesty. Had the story been only these facts I think I might have abandoned it for simply not being able to handle the sadness of it all. BUT Elizabeth Smart also weaves another tale throughout the story. It's a story about faith and tender mercies. It's a tale about gratitude and forgiveness and some seriously big miracles. I felt her spirit radiating through the pages almost as if it was reaching out and saying that even in the darkest times there is light. As a person she is truly inspiring! 

"Life is a journey for us all. We all face trials. We all have ups and downs. All of us are human. But we are also the masters of our fate. We are the ones who decide how we are going to react to life. Yes, I could have decided to allow myself to be handicapped by what happened to me. But I decided very early that I only had one life and that I wasn't going to waste it. As of this writing, I am twenty-five years old. I have been alive for 307 months. Nine of those months have been very good. I have been happy. I have been very blessed. Who knows how many more months I have to live? But even if I died tomorrow, nine out of 307 seems like pretty good odds."

"I also believe in faith. Faith in a loving and kind Heavenly Father who will always care about me. Faith that my worth will never be diminished. Faith that God knows how I feel and that I can depend on him to help me through it all. I believe that God not only suffered for me, but that He will make everything up to me in His own time and His own way. That gives me the peace I need to feel like justice will win out in the end."

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Bookish Pet Peeves

I don't usually like to complain or advocate complaining but this was really really fun! You will discover just how much of a book nerd I am! :D I hope you enjoy my second ever VLOG!!!!! 

What are some of your pet peeves? :) 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Let's hear it for the unique...

I don't know why but lately I've LOVED characters that are absolutely original and unique. Girls that march to their own drum and are completely true to themselves. The girls that should be celebrated more often but get pushed aside for being a bit quirky! So I picked two books where I think the quirky girl rains supreme and I LOVE it! 

First-Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

"Once upon a time, there was a girl who talked to the moon. And she was mysterious and she was perfect, in that way that girls who talk to moons are. In the house next door, there lived a boy. And the boy watched the girl grow more and more perfect, more and more beautiful with each passing year. He watched her watch the moon. And he began to wonder if the moon would help him unravel the mystery of the beautiful girl. So the boy looked into the sky. But he couldn't concentrate on the moon. He was too distracted by the stars. One day, the boy had to move away. He couldn't bring the girl with him, so he brought the stars. When he'd look out his window at night, he would start with one. One star. And the boy would make a wish on it, and the wish would be her name. At the sound of her name, a second star would appear. And then he'd wish her name again, and the stars would double into four. And four became eight, and eight became sixteen, and so on, in the greatest mathematical equation the universe had ever seen. And by the time an hour had passed, the sky would be filled with so many stars that it would wake the neighbors. People wondered who'd turned on the floodlights. The boy did. By thinking about the girl."

I loved this book! I loved the main character! She's got spunk! She talks to the moon and wears wigs and Chucks and sequins! She has two dads and her cats name is Heavens to Betsy! I also loved Cricket. He was the cutest guy on the planet! I'd date him! One thought I had is Stephanie Perkins is an expert at building the right kind and amount of tension in her books. I felt like I do when watching the Kiera Knightley Pride and Prejudice and they fight in the rain and they almost kiss! And you scream at the TV because you just want him to grab her but he doesn't! That is this book to a tee!

"The moon is fat, but half of her is missing. A ruler-straight line divides her dark side from her light. Autumn is coming. For as long as I can remember, I've talked to the moon. Asked her for guidance. There's something deeply spiritual about her pale glow, her cratered surface, her waxing and waning. She wears a new dress every evening, yet she's always herself. And she's always there."

Second- Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, hallways hum “Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. Until they are not. Leo urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her - normal. Can I please be Stargirl?! 

"She was elusive. She was today. She was tomorrow. She was the faintest scent of a cactus flower, the flitting shadow of an elf owl. We did not know what to make of her. In our minds we tried to pin her to corkboard like a butterfly, but the pin merely went through and away she flew."

Two girls that are themselves. Go read! So what do you