{ESC} BOOK THREE: WARM BODIES

Dear Reader,

If there are two things I want you to get from this review it’s this: 1. Warm Bodies is definitely worth the read. And 2. The book is sooooo much better than the movie (shocker).

That actually made me sad, though. I bought the book the same day my sister bought the movie and I read it in a night (it’s a quick read, which I loved). So we watched the movie and, though I adore Nicholas Hoult, I was just mad the whole time. Sarah, on the other hand, had never read the book, so she loved the movie.

But obviously the book is going to go into things that the movie just doesn’t have time for, but that’s what made the book so amazing! I had heard of it before–I knew it was about a zombie who fell in love with a human, but the book explained life before the apocalypse so much better, and it went into the backstories of the characters. I mean, I loved Perry in the book, and his story was heartbreaking, but in the movie he was just a jerk. And we didn’t get to understand why.

Anyway, Warm Bodies is now one of my favorite books. I’d recommend it to anyone who loves a good romance story but doesn’t mind a bit of action, blood, guts, and brains, or an insight into our civilization and what might cause its downfall.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. The song for this post is actually from the trailer of Warm Bodies: Lonely Boy – The Black Keys. I hope you enjoy the official music video, which is just a man dancing to the song.

NEW FAVORITE YOUTUBER: THE CLAIRITY PROJECT

Dear Reader,

This is not the kind of post I was going to make today, but after discovering Claire, I had to.

was planning on posting either another book review (I’ve finished both Warm Bodies and How to be Parisian Wherever You Are for the Empty Shelf challenge!) or my favorite albums from 2014. And then I was thinking of even doing a rant about quotes that turn infamous, but then I found Claire.

I don’t know who knows (I feel like I mention it all the time), but I’m writing a novel. And in that novel I have a character with cystic fibrosis, so, obviously I need to research it. I think it is so important to get everything right because it’s real. It’s not just a way to manipulate a story or tug on a reader’s heartstrings. My character is a girl whose personality develops much further than this diagnosis.

So, in the midst of my research, I came across this video: Perks of Going to the Hospital

Claire immediately starts off her video with a burst of energy and then babbles excitingly about all the cool things they have at the hospital–like every kind of junk food you can imagine, nurses who are obligated to your vent sessions, and so much free time to read.

So, I decided to explore her channel for a bit. It’s fairly new, 3 months old, but I’m obsessed. I’ve been watching her reviews of “Red Band Society,” a TV show on FOX that I love. It’s so interesting to hear her opinions on it, though–especially those about Dash, the cystic fibrosis patient on the show.

But the thing is, yes I find all of her videos fascinating because I’m learning so much more about the life of someone with CF, but that’s not why she’s my favorite. She’s an inspiration, but not because she’s happy despite it all. She’s an inspiration because she’s happy. And funny. And smart. And she makes amazing YouTube videos that I’ve been binge-watching.

She’s setting out to break down the barriers that people tend to have with people who are sick. Many people with CF are isolated (especially from others with the same disease) because their immune systems are weaker and there are so many infections that can spread, but she wants those connections. And I truly relate to that desire.

Well anyway, I just wanted to share her and her channel like I share any other book, song, music group, YouTube video, etc. that I adore.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. Song of the moment is Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black. For some reason, this song has been on repeat for days for me, but it’s so good. 

PPS. All of the aforementioned posts will be coming soon! (If anyone wanted to know)

EMPTY SHELF CHALLENGE

Dear Reader,

Each year, one of my resolutions is always the same: read more. And, each year, I start off strong, struggle for a few months, and then end just as I began. But I don’t come close to making any of the reading goals I set for myself.

And maybe it’s because I have more time to read in the winter compared to the rest of the year, but this year I’m going to be self-motivated for the full twelve months.

*Cue The Empty Shelf Challenge*

This challenge was created at the end of 2013 by Jon Acuff and the rules are simple: clear off a shelf in your bedroom/office/library/etc. and fill it by the time the New Year rolls around with the books you read. I’m starting mine today because 1) I just went on a shopping spree where I bought four new books that I can’t wait to dive into and 2) in the words of Jon, himself, waiting until January 1st to do something awesome is stupid and fake.

So that’s what I’m up to. I encourage everyone to partake–I challenge everyone to, actually. And you can even do this if you’re an e-book reader or audiobook listener! Just get out there and read–and share your progress on their Pinterest board too!

Here’s to the many stories to discover in 2015.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. Current obsession: Ghost by Ella Henderson

{TAG} I LOVE WINTER

Dear Reader,

Enjoy this throwback picture to last winter–one of the best winters we’ve ever had.

IMG_6638

Sooo I wasn’t tagged to do this, but it popped up on my feed one day thanks to the wonderful blogs by Taisie and Fleur. And, for those of you who don’t know, I love winter. I’m obsessed with it. So, this tag was just begging me to complete it–I mean, it was screaming my name. And I’d never done one before, so I thought I might as well start now. Enjoy! And do it for yourself, if you want!

If you need a more formal invitation, well, then, I tag you to do it! Ha!

1. Do you like the cold?

YES. I don’t necessarily like being cold, but I love bundling up so much that only my nose and eyes can be seen and in order to carry on a conversation, I must turn my whole head.

2.Favorite Part About Winter?

Snow. I love snow. Not just the blanket of snow or watching it fall through the window. No, I love standing outside in the snowfall, holding my hands in front of me, watching the little snowflakes make plops all around. I even love twirling around, looking at the sky, pretending like I don’t know where all of this magic is coming from.

3.Favorite Winter Drink? 
Hot chocolate. I don’t ever add peppermint or white chocolate or anything like that in it, I just drink it plain–sometimes with marshmallows. It’s just the perfect winter drink, in my opinion. Simple. Classic. Traditional.

4. Do You Do Any Outdoor Activity’s In The Winter?
I actually go on a ton more walks in the winter, but no one ever wants to go with me. I just love being outside in the winter–which seems to be the exact opposite feeling of that of my friends and family. But it’s also kind of nice to wander around alone, and not really worry about running into too many people you know. And if you do run into them, they’re most likely in a hurry to get someplace warm, so you can be on your way with as much as a “hey, how are you?” And if they’re not in a rush, then you’ve found yourself another winter enthusiast. It’s a win-win.

5.Favorite Winter Scent?
Pine trees. Warm vanilla. Gingerbread. Homemade cooking. Ahhh the many marvelous scents of winter.

6.Does It Snow Where You Live?
Yes and thank goodness it does. For a few months, the whole world where I live changes color. It’s amazing.

7.Favorite Clothing Item In Winter?
Everything. I layer it all. I wear sweaters and vests and chunky scarves and hats and winter boots with leggings and knit socks. Perfection.

8.Your Favorite Winter Memory?
Winter includes so many favorite memories from my childhood. Skiing with my Canadian family, snow-tubing with my cousins from Ohio, going to the lights at the zoo and getting free chocolate as a treat. But this winter, I’m going to make some of the best memories yet. This winter’s definitely going to be one for the books.

Sincerely,

Sammy

PS. I find this song fitting for this post. Have you guys seen the McDonald’s White Chocolate Mocha commercial? Well, as it turns out, their little jingle is actually a full song. And I love it. It’s called Keep Me Warm by Erin Bowman and I definitely recommend checking it out.

{TOP 5} ARTISTS TO LISTEN TO THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Dear Reader,

Happy December! I’ve been listening to Christmas music for about a month now, but I’m so excited that it’s finally acceptable to be festive! So to show how excited I am, I was going to list my top 10 Christmas songs. But as I was creating this list, I realized that it was all songs from about five different artists. So, here are the artists that I’m listening to on repeat this holiday season.

The Barenaked Ladies

My family is in love with The Barenaked Ladies. Kind of a weird sentence for those who’ve never heard of the musical group before, but their album, Barenaked for the Holidays is always the first album playing throughout our household come December. My personal favorites would have to be Jingle Bells, God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman/We Three Kings (with Sarah McLachlan)Snowmen, and Do They Know it’s Christmas. The whole album is great, though.

Michael Buble

Another favorite at my house is Michael Buble. He was actually the first person I saw in concert–fun fact–and he was amazing, as always. His whole album, Christmas, is awesome, but my favorites would have to be Jingle Bells (feat. The Puppini Sisters) and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. My absolute, all-time favorite Christmas song, though, is actually with The Barenaked Ladies and  Michael Buble: Elf’s Lament. If nothing else, do yourself a favor and listen to this song; it’s hilarious and wonderful.

Straight No Chaser

This group would also go under the hilarious and wonderful category. They actually have a few Christmas albums: Holiday Spirits, Christmas Cheers, and Under the Influence: Holiday Edition. My favorite songs for the pure entertainment of the lyrics would probably be The Christmas Can-Can, The 12 Days of Christmas, Who Spiked the Eggnog, and, of course, Nutcracker. Their new song with Kristen Bell, Text Me Merry Christmas, is great, too, but my absolute favorite is definitely You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch. I’m a sucker for those low notes.

Pentatonix

Pentatonix is like Straight No Chaser because they’re both acapella groups, but they’re definitely unique. They came out with “PTXmas” first and they’re now out with “That’s Christmas To Me.” It was so hard to come up with a favorite for them, but I’d have to say Carol of the Bells, Mary, Did You Know?, and their original, That’s Christmas To Me. While you’re checking them out, though, definitely look at their other stuff. They’re fantastic.

The Piano Guys

Last but not least I had to include The Piano Guys. Sometimes I opt for the instrumental Christmas tunes over the overplayed All I Want For Christmas is You-type tunes for the holidays. Their version of Carol of the Bells is amazing, of course, but their cover of Angels We Have Heard on High is spectacular.

Well there’s my list! Let me know if there are any other artists or albums I should look out for this holiday season.

It feels like Christmas already. 🙂

Sincerely,

Sammy