2019 Wrap – Up

As this year is coming to a close, I thought I’d look back on 2019. I did this last year and really enjoyed it, especially because I love reading these posts from other people.

Music:

This year, I decided to start this section off with what I listened to most (according to Apple Music). I listened to 575 hours of music, as of December 30th, which is around 23 days straight of listening to music. (Of course that doesn’t count everything, but still). That’s a lot.

Top 10 Songs of 2019:

  1. Freaks Like Us – Hands Off Gretel
  2. Be Yourself – Audioslave
  3. Misery Chain – Chris Cornell
  4. I Want the World – Hands Off Gretel
  5. Can’t Change Me – Chris Cornell
  6. Nightmare – Halsey
  7. Preaching the End of the World – Chris Cornell
  8. The Last Remaining Light – Audioslave
  9. Superpower – Adam Lambert
  10. S.A.S.S – Hands Off Gretel

This is not surprising…at all.

Top 10 Artists of 2019:

  1. Soundgarden – 67 hours
  2. Chris Cornell – 51 hours
  3. The Lumineers – 36 hours
  4. L7 – 34 hours
  5. Audioslave – 33 hours
  6. U2 – 22 hours
  7. Foo Fighters – 20 hours
  8. Hands Off Gretel – 19 hours
  9. Temple of the Dog – 18 hours
  10. Elton John – 17 hours

…That is a total of 169 hours (or 7 days) spent only listening to Chris Cornell’s voice. Sounds like a good time honestly

Top 10 Albums of 2019:

  1. Echoes of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path – Soundgarden
  2. The Lumineers (Deluxe Edition) – The Lumineers
  3. Euphoria Mourning – Chris Cornell
  4. III – The Lumineers
  5. Higher Truth – Chris Cornell
  6. I Want the World – Hands Off Gretel
  7. Six: The Musical (Studio Cast Recording)
  8. Cleopatra (Deluxe Edition) – The Lumineers
  9. Lungs (Deluxe Edition) – Florence + the Machine
  10. Temple of the Dog – Temple of the Dog

Additionally…

  • I saw L7 play at the Varsity
  • I saw Queen play at the Xcel
  • Hands Off Gretel released I Want the World and it is amazing
  • Adam Lambert released Velvet: Side A and it is amazing
  • I listened to more new music than I usually do…though I clearly still have some favorites…

I posted about what I listened to all of 2019, so check that out if you want!

Books:

Hopefully I’ll read even more good books in 2020!

Life:

  • I posted my own writing on this blog for the first time. (I hope to do more of this, but it’s really scaryyyy)
  • I started my English Major Overanalyzes Song Lyrics posts, which I hope to continue soon!
  • I finished my first year of college and started my second year
  • I saw Daniel Sloss live at the Cedar Cultural Center!
  • I made some new friends!
  • I took my last math class ever!
  • I took some classes I really loved
  • I watched: Queer Eye, Versailles, Mindhunter and finished The Tudors which are all great (and verrrrry different)
  • I saw Six at the Ordway

I hope you all had a great 2019 and good start to 2020! I really like these posts because it’s good to reflect and be proud of all you did in the year, so what are some things you are proud of/were fun in 2019?

Thanks for reading ❤

Book Review: The Ship of the Dead

Found on Google Images

Title: The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #3)

Author: Rick Riordan

My Rating: ★★★★

Summary (Goodreads): “Magnus Chase, son of Frey, the god of summer and health, isn’t naturally inclined toward being a brave warrior. Still, with the help of his motley group of friends, he has achieved deeds he never would have thought possible. Now he faces his most dangerous trail yet. Loki is free from his chains. He’s readying Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead, complete with a host of giants and zombies, to sail against the Asgardian gods and begin the final battle of Ragnarok. It’s up to Magnus and his friends to stop him, but to do so they will have to sail across the oceans of Midgard, Jotunheim and Niflheim in a desperate race to reach Naglfar before it’s ready to sail. Along the way, they will face angry sea gods, hostile giants, and an evil fire-breathing dragon. But Magnus’ biggest challenge will be facing his own inner demons. Does he have what it takes to outwit the wily trickster god?”

My Thoughts:

Here are links to my reviews on the other books in the series:

  1. The Sword of Summer
  2. The Hammer of Thor

I’m sad to have finished this trilogy, because it was so much fun to read. No matter how old I get, I still find Riordan’s books so enjoyable. He creates such great characters in such beautiful worlds. But onto why this book specifically was so great! I say some of the same things every time, but he did such a good job with each book in the series.

A part of the book I really loved was the very beginning. Percy and Annabeth are there. I don’t want to spoil too much, but Magnus and Alex forming friendships with two beloved characters from Riordan’s other series made me so happy. (Even though Annabeth has been in this trilogy since the beginning, Percy hasn’t). Jack trying to talk to Riptide was also very entertaining.

As per usual with Riordan’s novels, The Ship of the Dead was funny. The dialogue is so true of each character and so natural, the chapter titles are funny and the way characters interact is funny and interesting. Especially in the Magnus Chase series, because in Valhalla, people come from all different periods of time. One line I liked that introduced the next chapter perfectly was:

“I like my rivers the way I like my enemies — slow, wide and lazy. I rarely get what I want.”

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And I love this bit of dialogue:

“‘You want to come with me to a creepy mansion and look through a dead guy’s stuff?’

Alex beamed. ‘I thought you’d never ask.'”

p.20

One aspect I really loved was Mangus’ friends from floor nineteen in Hotel Valhalla being in this book more. They weren’t super involved in the plot of The Hammer of Thor, so it was fun to read about them more. Also, readers got to learn more about their backgrounds in this book. Magnus knew some information about how they all died, but not the specifics. I loved learning more about T.J, Mallory and Halfborn. They all have such different backgrounds from different time periods, which makes it so interesting to read about.

Overall, I loved this trilogy (even though I read the first one too many years ago to remember too many specifics), and I would highly recommend it!


Playlist:

I decided to make this playlist based on Mallory Keen, a character I love in The Ship of the Dead, and the trilogy as a whole.

  1. Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2
  2. Cherry Bomb – The Runaways
  3. Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill
  4. Ty Cobb – Soundgarden
  5. Set It Off – Audioslave
  6. Don’t Play – Halsey
  7. Heroes – David Bowie
  8. Come Together – The Beatles
  9. Nightmare – Halsey

You can listen to the playlist here ☘️


Thank you for reading! ❤️

Book Review: The Hammer of Thor

Found on Google Images

Title: The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard #2)

Author: Rick Riordan

My Rating: ★★★★

Summary: “‘Magnus Chase, you nearly started Ragnarok. What are you going to do next?’

It’s been six weeks since Magnus and his friends returned from defeating Fenris Wolf and the fire giants. Magnus has adjusted to life at the Hotel Valhalla — as much as a once-homeless and previously alive kid can. As a son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility and health, Magnus doesn’t exactly fit in with the rest of Odin’s chosen warriors, but he has a few good peeps among his hallmates on floor nineteen, and he’s been dutifully training for Ragnarok along with everyone else. His days have settled into a new kind of normal.

But Magnus should have known there’s no such thing as normal in the Nine Worlds. His friends Hearthstone and Blitzen have disappeared. A new hallmate is creating chaos. According to a very nervous goat, a certain object belonging to Thor is still missing and the thunder god’s enemies will stop at nothing to gain control of it.

Time to summon Jack, the Sword of Summer and take action. Too bad the only action Jack seems to be interested in is dates with other magical weapons…”

My Thoughts:

If you want to see my review on the first book (The Sword of Summer), you can read it here.

Until reading The Hammer of Thor this year, I hadn’t read anything by Riordan in a few years, and it was fun to read something by him again. It was also a little hard because I had a little trouble remembering what happened in the first Magnus Chase book. But that’s what the internet is for! So quick shoutout to Wikipedia for having indepth plot summaries!

As is typical of Riordan’s novels, the action starts only shortly after the book begins, and continues at a fast pace through the rest of the book. His pacing is perfect, with never a dull moment, but not moving past scenes too quickly either. The Hammer of Thor also included lots of humor, again as is typical of Riordan. He is great at writing funny scenes and lines that are funny to anyone. Nearly every joke was really funny to me now, even though the novels are aimed at a younger audience. Here are some lines I enjoyed:

…teenage einherjar hung out playing board games or just chillaxing (which is like chilling, except with battle axes).

p. 32

Or just this title with a reference I greatly appreciated:

You Keep Using the Word Help. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

p. 341

I just always have such a fun time reading books by Riordan, which is why I will read anything he writes. I was also really happy while reading this because of the amount of diversity in this trilogy and his books in general. I’m happy knowing he is showing kids that people are all different and that’s normal. The Magnus Chase series has people of different religions, sexualities and gender identities. Though he isn’t anymore, Magnus was homeless and other characters are shown to have rough childhoods. This is so so so important for kids to see.

Overall, you should go read the first book right now 🙂 I can’t wait to read The Ship of the Dead!


Playlist:

I made this playlist based on Alex Fierro, by far one of my favorite characters in The Hammer of Thor. Also, I did not mean to have songs by the same artists, but those songs just fit the character the best, so…oops. Lots of Audioslave for you!

  1. Rebel Rebel – David Bowie
  2. Keep on Livin’ – Le Tigre
  3. Bad Reputation – Joan Jett
  4. Jewel of the Summertime – Audioslave
  5. Freaks Like Us – Hands Off Gretel
  6. What You Are – Audioslave
  7. Don’t Play – Halsey
  8. Live to Rise – Soundgarden
  9. Changes – David Bowie
  10. Be Yourself – Audioslave

You can listen to the playlist here 🙂


Thank you for reading this review! 📖 ❤

2019 TBR

It’s a new year and so I thought I’d share what I want to read this year. I shared my TBR list in September, and there is a lot of overlap with that one, since I was far too ambitious. I think I always am to a extent, but giving a whole year for this many books seems more doable than 4 months for about the same amount. I hope to read 11 books this year, as I read 10 last year. Here’s to a year of reading good books!

  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer (I am reading this right now)
  • It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson
  • Some Philippa Gregory novels about the Tudor Court
    • Three Sisters, Three Queens
    • The Other Boleyn Girl
    • The Boleyn Inheritance
    • The Taming of the Queen
  • Prince: Chapter and Verse – A Life in Photographs by Mobeen Azhar
  • The Riot Grrrl Collection by Lisa Darms
  • The Mangus Chase series by Rick Riordan (I read the first book, but never finished the series)
    • The Hammer of Thor
    • The Ship of the Dead

I just started Heartless a few days ago and am loving it! What books do you hope to read in 2019? If you set a reading goal, how many books do you hope to read this year?


Thank you for reading!📖📚

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite First Sentences

Top 5 Wednesday was created by gingerreadslainey and hosted by Thoughts on Tomes. To join or learn more about T5W, go to the Goodreads group here. This week, we’re talking about our favorite first sentences of books. There are so many good starts to books I couldn’t mention here, but here are some great ones!


1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone by J. K. Rowling

“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.”

2. The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book One) by Rick Riordan 

“Even before he got electrocuted, Jason was having a rotten day.”

3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

“The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath.”

4. Binge by Tyler Oakley 

“Go ahead, binge. I’m not saying go out and snort a bunch of cocaine or do anything that’s going to seriously put you or the people around you in danger, obviously.” (Okay that was two, but it’s really good, and I wanted to put it in. I’m sorry. Kill me. *Is way to sarcastically dramatic for no reason*)

5. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

“So she tells me, the words dribbling out with the cranberry muffin crumbs, commas dunked in her coffee.”


Comment Below: What is a great first line from a book you know?

Book Review: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book One)

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Title: The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book One)

Author: Rick Riordan

My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Summary: “Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he’s tracked down by a man he’s never met—a man his mother claimed was dangerous. The man tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die . . .”

My thoughts: 

The book starts off with Magnus talking about how he died, which is always an interesting start to a story. By starting the book off like this, I was pulled into the story, because not many books start with death. Additionally, the beginning was funny and sarcastic, which is an element I always welcome in books. After the initial introduction, The Sword of Summer continued to move along at a fast and compelling pace. It doesn’t take long for the action to start, which keeps the book going and kept me interested.

As I mentioned a little bit before, one of the best parts of this book, and Rick Riordan’s books in general is the sarcasm. He writes witty and clever characters so well, and I really love it. The humor often lightens the situation or just makes the situation even funnier than it already was. For example, here is an example of Magnus being sarcastic:

“That way if we fall,’ Sam said, ‘We’ll fall together.’
‘Sold,’ I said, trying to tamp down my anxiety. ‘I love dying with friends.'”

But not only is there a lot of good humor in the text, even the chapter titles are super funny! The first chapter is called “Good Morning! You’re Going to Die,” and the 50th is titled “No Spoilers. Thor Is Way Behind on His Shows.” I just thought they were all so creative and fun to read.

Although the book was very funny, I think there was still a good balance of seriousness, given that some hard things do happen to the characters, and it would be unfair to make everything a joke.

Like all of the Riordan books I’ve read, the characters in The Sword of Summer were interesting and interacted in ways that added to the book. (For example, from the quote above, you can tell the characters are funny together). All of the characters feel different and like real people. Magnus and everyone he interacts with feel like I could meet them on the street (if they were all actually humans, not things that exist in fantasy). And not only were the new characters great, but there were a few old ones too! Annabeth Chase from both Percy Jackson and the Olympians as well as The Heroes of Olympus is in the book. I won’t tell you where, so you’ll have to read to find out! (Or spoil yourself elsewhere on the internet). And Jason Grace from The Heroes of Olympus is mentioned during the book. I liked both of these characters (I loved Annabeth), in the other series, so I liked them popping up in this Riordan book as well.

Something else I really appreciated about The Sword of Summer was the diversity. Magnus is homeless, and showing a poor person doesn’t always happen in novels, unless it’s the point of the story. There is also a deaf person and a Muslim woman in the story, which adds to the diversity. Representation is so important, because it helps everyone feel included in literature and writing. Additionally, it helps young readers (and readers in general) relate to the story easier.

My last point is quite short, but being a Nirvana fan, I felt the need to include it: the Kurt Cobain references in this book make me very happy.

If you liked Riordan’s other books, I think you will also like this one. And even if you haven’t read any of his other books, I think you’ll like this. (But do yourself a favor and go read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and then The Heroes of Olympus series).


Comment Below: Have you read The Sword of Summer? If so, what did you think of it?

Oregon Book Haul

For the header I made for this post, I was just going to find a stack of books, but I think this girl looks like me, so I thought it was cute. Just thought I’d point it out because I really like this header 🙂


I visited my family in Oregon recently, and I went to two different book stores while I was there. Here are the books I got:

Smith Family Bookstore – Eugene, Oregon

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Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan and John Rocco

Powell’s – Portland, Oregon

 

The Merciless by Danielle Vega

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer

Kill The Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky

Moonwalk by Michael Jackson


Comment Below: What books have you bought recently?

Burn, Re-Write, Re-Read Tag

I didn’t get tagged to do this tag, but I saw it on The Girl Who Read Too Much‘s blog, and it looked so fun, I just had to do it! (You can see her post here).


Rules:

  1. Randomly choose 3 books you’ve read. (Use the ‘random’ option on your Goodreads “read” shelf.*)
  2. For each group of three books, decide which book you’d burn, rewrite, or reread.
  3. Repeat until you complete three rounds (or five!).

Round 1:

Burn: Vicious, for sure. Although I read all 16 books (16!!!), I never thought they were well written. I had fun with them, but I could live without one of the books existing. Plus, there is the first arc of the series, so if I ever wanted to re-read some of the books after burning this, I could just read those.

Re-Write: This is the hard part! I don’t want to re-write either of these books! I guess, ultimately, I would re-write The Princess Bride. I can’t actually think of anything I would change, but I don’t want to re-write any of Like Water for Chocolate.

Re-Read: I read Like Water for Chocolate at what many would probably consider too young of an age. But you can blame that on my mother! She’s the one that told me to read it. I would chose to re-read this book, because when I read it, I think parts of the book went way over my head, and I think I would understand the book better now.

Round 2:

Burn: I know last round was hard, but this round is much harder. I like all of these books for very different reasons, and I don’t want to get rid of any of them! If I had to chose (which is the whole point of this tag!), I would burn Charlotte’s Web. This is because I don’t really remember many differences in the book and movie, so I would be okay with getting rid of the book. I hate that answer! But I would never probably re-read it, so I guess I would be okay with it being gone?! Not really, but this is hard!

Re-write: I really liked Go Ask Alice for the most part, but the epilogue was pretty lame, so I would re-write that. It felt like it was written for a commercial about why not to do drugs. The epilogue had little with the character, and was just a bunch of drug statistics. I would make the ending more satisfactory.

Re-read: I would re-read Stargirl, because I remember loving this book so much when I was in 5th or 6th grade, and I don’t remember really anything about it anymore. I think it would be fun to revisit and remember why I liked it so much.

Round 3:

Burn: I would have to burn a Percy Jackson book?! Nooooooo! This one landed under the burn category for no particular reason. I would never re-write it, because I love it the way it is, but I also don’t see myself wanting to re-read it. (Or at least not as much as The Bad Beginning). So I have to burn it! At least I still have all of the other Percy Jackson books to read! 🙂

Re-Write: I would re-write The Golden Compass, because I liked the story and for a lot of the book, I was very invested in the characters and plot. However, there were a lot of parts that moved too slow for me, so I would re-write parts to make them more exciting.

Re-Read: I would re-read The Bad Beginning, because I have such fond memories of reading this as a kid with my mom. This book is such a fun read, so I can see myself picking it up when I need a easy and adventurous book.

Round 4:

Burn: I would burn Mockingjay. The writing wasn’t as good as in the first two, and I felt like Katniss changed too much. There were parts I liked, but over all, it wasn’t as good as The Hunger Games or Catching Fire. I would rather just burn Mockingjay and re-read the first two.

Re-write: I would re-write The Perks of Being A Wallflower. There is nothing I can think of changing, I just feel that if I dared to change anything in Pippi Longstocking, younger me would be enraged and saddened that I don’t think it’s absolutely perfect.

Re-read: I would re-read Pippi Longstocking, because it’s always so fun to re-read books you read as a kid. I enjoyed reading this so much when I was younger, and I would love to dive into Pippi’s world again.

Round 5:

Burn: I guess I would burn Anything But Typical? I remember liking this book a lot, but this is the option I got stuck with. 😦

Re-write: I would re-write Of Mice and Men, because saying you would hypothetically burn a classic is as bad as actually doing it in some people’s minds, and I would be scared of how mad some people would be at me. Plus, I didn’t hate it, certainly not enough to burn it. But I also don’t really want to re-read it, because I don’t like it enough to do that. Additionally, I did not like the ending. At all. I liked this book for the most part, so I think I would really just change the ending.

Re-read: I would re-read Coraline, because it’s perfect when I want a creepy book. I think the concept is so weird and interesting, so I would love to re-read it, especially around Halloween.


I Tag: 

And anyone else who wants to do it! This tag is so fun, so I highly suggest doing it 🙂