Weekly Recap| Jul 13-19, 2014

Weekly Recap
Weekly Recap

News & Updates at Oh, the Books!

Book Blogging Survey

It is the last week to fill out Asti’s survey on blog tours! If you read YA book blogs (like this one!) or if you blog about YA books, then please help Asti finish her dissertation by filling out her survey.  Then spread the word! Asti will love you forever if you do, and who doesn’t want that?

A Couple of Giveaways

#1 – A Hardcover of Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke!

If you missed Kelley’s Dissonance quiz on Friday, go check it out, and enter to win a hardcover of the book!

#2 – A Printed & Bound Book Blogger’s Journal

Have you heard about Parajunkee’s awesome new book blogging organizer journal? (It’s free to download on her site right now!)

Leave a comment to win this cat-approved book blogging journal!

Leave a comment to win this cat-approved book blogging journal by Parajunkee!

Well, Kelley decided to try it out. She downloaded it, spent some time organizing the PDF to include a bunch of  duplicate pages within each month (each month has pages for every week, along with a few copies of the Book Review Cheat Sheet), and more. She printed it out, and even spiral bound it and put divider tabs and everything!

But then she realized that she won’t even get to make use of it because she changes her mind way too often. After having printed and bound it and everything, she doesn’t want it to go to waste! Are you interested in trying this out? Leave a comment on this post telling Kelley that you’d like a chance at it. We’ll choose a random winner next Sunday!

In Case You Missed It

Here’s all the stuff that we posted this week.

Our Lives This Week

[stextbox id=”asti2″ caption=”Asti” collapsing=”true”]It is hot! I mean, not hot compared to what I’m used to back home. It’s no where near as sticky and humid like I’m used to. But this week London has found itself with bright sunny weather in the low 80s and THEY DON’T HAVE AIR CONDITIONING! I swear, I am melting. Someone save me.

In other news, Dave bought me Just Dance 2014 on his Xbox One. Can I just say, I love this game?! (I feel like such a nerd admitting that.) Back in the day, I used to play Dance Dance Revolution like nobody’s business, and now I have a new dance game to entertain myself with. So fun! Every day I wake up and do it for a half hour or hour before I do my normal workout and oh my, I sweat so much. And when they do the video play back where you see yourself dancing? SO TRAUMATIZING! But still, I’m having a lot of fun![/stextbox]

[stextbox id=”kelley2″ caption=”Kelley” collapsing=”true”]This week was similar to last week in that it was a mixture of sucky and inspiring. I spent a fair amount of time learning new things on SkillShare (Illustrator classes and a map design class), and planning out several new creative projects I want to tackle. I also went to an art show on Friday evening that was a showcase of art done on post-it notes! And Saturday I went to a watercolor class, because I wanted to make sure I was doing things right.

Sketching for a new Illustrator project! Don't laugh at my weird-looking cats... I thought she missed me, but apparently she just missed my backpack. Exercise for a map design class, inspired by the art show I'll be seeing tonight! (Clockwise from top left: Toilet Routes, Neighborhood Cat Guide, Duck Pond)

The sucky stuff? Well, this week was my first sleep study for the clinical trial. I spent over 24 hours at the lab, and experienced one issue after another (you don’t even want to see the botched blood draw in my right arm). I was a bit nervous because this is the 3rd or 4th MSLT I’ve done and I’d never “passed” before; this time I passed (which means I actually fell asleep — and likely hit REM — in most/all of the 5 naps throughout the day). It was a very long day, and even though I finished a book while I was there, I left with a migraine.

All in all, a very busy week. I’m really enjoying getting back into art so fully![/stextbox]

Elsewhere in the blogosphere

Tweet of the Week

On Blogging and Book Reviewing

tips and resources
ARCS and reviews
a Blogger’s life

On Writing

Things Bookworms Think About

A Reader’s Life
reading slumps, REREADING, AND DNFS
Book Formats
inside books (characters and info dumps)
outside books (covers and synopses)
hot topics
Lists and Recommendations
Bookish Fun


Random Things
Videos of the Week

Question of the Week

Asti has been in one of those moods lately where she goes onto Goodreads and looks at the books on her wishlist longingly. And then she goes onto Amazon or The Book Depository and adds a couple into her cart and then JUST WALKS AWAY! (That’s right, self control for the win!) Of course, she’s not sure how long that will last…

So, if you were to recommend ONE book for asti to buy off her wishlist, which would it be? code name verity? the diviners? the sea of tranquility? Pivot Point? (or should Asti JUST SAY NO?!)

How was your week?

Asti Kelley

Read 78 comments

  1. Man, Asti has all the best books on jer wishlist. I’d say The Diviners or Pivot Point. You can’t say no for long. But if you do, I RESPECT YOU and we’ll all hoist you on our shoulders! Also, I love Just Dance. :D

    Kelley, the post-it art looks great! I love the inovative art forms that are coming up lately.
    You’re so brave to do the trial and I just want to give you my support for it. It’s amazing how you do it and keep with it even when it gets tough. :)

    I just want to read ALL the links! Have a peaceful Sunday! ^_^

    • Haha, I actually work really hard at limiting my wish list to books I only REALLY want – so books that I’m always been interested in or have been highly recommended to me. And every so often I’ll go back through it and if I’m not quite sure why a book is there or I’m no longer as excited about it, I remove it. :P

      And ooh good choices! I think both of the two you recommended were the ones that were suggested the most (well, there was no clear consensus. Each book only got like two or three votes at the most. >.< ). When I finally give in, I'm sure one of those two will make it in my cart ;) I RESPECT YOU TOO! <3 You are definitely one of my Bookish Friends. You just haven't been stalkified... yet. >.>

    • Aww, thanks so much, Lillian! The post-it art was a lot of fun to make and look at! And thanks for the encouragement about the trial. It’s really been a bit more of a struggle than I expected, but at least I know I can quit anytime I want, if it becomes too much for me! I hope you have a great week! :)

  2. Aww, I’m tempted to enter the Book Blogging Planner competition just because it has the cat is killing me with her adorableness! But I change my mind way too often too, and I prefer doing things on my computer, so I’ll leave it to other worthier people to fight over. ;)

    Asti: Are there mosquitoes where you live? Because over here it’s hot AND buzzing with mosquitoes. I can’t even sit peacefully at my desk anymore because I’d become mosquito bait in no time. So if it’s only hot and no mosquitoes, you’re lucky! Lol, I love dancing games too, even though I’d much rather do them by myself at home. I just get so self-conscious when I dance in front of people. But glad you’re having fun with it so far! :D

    Kelley: I wish I had as much time as you do to pursue all these awesome-sounding stuff. But nope, school is getting the way. Oh, and it would be cool if you could show us some of your map designs! I love maps SO much. No fantasy book is complete without a map, in my opinion. And oh my gosh, you have brilliant typography. I can’t read what those post-it notes are saying, but they look nice together. :P Hope next week is much lighter for you, Kelley. I’ve been traveling in and out of the city this last week, so it’s been really tiring for me, too.

    *facepalm* That tweet is so lame but hilarious at the same time!

    As always, thanks for including my link here. :D I’ll check some of the posts out when I have some free time. I just procrastinate with my comments so much it’s not even funny. Have a lovely week, you two! <3

    • There aren’t too many mosquitoes. I mean, they’re here, but I rarely see them in the house. We get a lot of other random bugs, like crane flies, but nothing too pesky. So yes, I guess I’m lucky. (Though did you hear my freak out on Twitter yesterday about the bird that tried to break into my room? Had my windows open but curtains closed and a bird flew in and started smacking into my curtain. Freaked me out!!)

      And oh yes, I definitely do the dancing games at home alone. I will do it with Dave, but not in a serious way. When I’m doing it myself I get real serious and sweaty and gross, and the second it does the video playback I just cringe and cringe and cringe lol. But still, I’m having fun and it’s burning some calories so I keep on doing it!

      Lol. I didn’t see that tweet until you pointed it out! Kelley was a little bit late adding her stuff to the post this week so I didn’t get to see it until it was posted. So cheesy :P

      Don’t feel bad about your comments! I was doing really well there for a bit but have fallen into the dark deep hole of fail again! Have two posts from the past week I need to catch up on, and haven’t been able to comment on anyone else’s posts. Fail >.<

    • LOL at having time to pursue awesome stuff. Seriously, I have no time, so I just get to grab little bites of awesome things and then pine for more. >_< It is nice to live in a place with so many opportunities around, though. Right now I don't really have any cool map designs to show off, but you can bet that once I've finished that map design class I'll be showing off what I've created! :D I know, that tweet is so punny I couldn't resist. xD Anyway, I hope you have a great week! <3

  3. I wouldn’t mind trying to win that journal but shipping internationally would be horrible! And aaaah Kelley you have Skillshare! I want to freeload on your account or something. >.< I really want one, but it would be so expensive in my currency. I have a free month, though, but my mom won't let me use her credit card and that month would be so wasted right now. But yeah, I want to learn more lettering stuff and lots of other stuff too. And you're also doing watercolor! :D

    • I’ll put you in for the journal drawing anyways. It couldn’t be TOO much to ship an envelope, right? D: I dunno! Skillshare has been awesome, but it IS annoying that they make you enter a credit card just to start the free trial! I sort of understand, but it’s also frustrating. :( The watercolor class was super fun, but I definitely need more training. >_<

  4. If I was Asti (in an alternative universe) I would buy The Graveyard Book and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I love them both. On a side note it took me a year or so after reading the book to work out that the title of The Graveyard Book was a play on the The Jungle Book, I felt so stupid for not noticing sooner!
    I have Just Dance but my mum is better at it than me which is just a tad embarrassing >.<. I've been melting in Shropshire. I've lived in hot countries where they install fans on the ceiling and aircon but in UK you just have to melt. I don't know why? We assume the weather will mostly rain and then act surprised when it gets hot EVERY YEAR. Then the news starts talking about how people are going to die because of the heat. Maybe not preparing for heat is perhaps something done on purpose so we always have an excuse to discuss it. Who knows…
    I love the picture of the post-it maps, Kelley! And all the skills you are gaining and developing at the moment are impressive. At least your week kind of balances out between sucky stuff and inspiring stuff but I really have my fingers crossed that you can have a week soon where the inspiring stuff devours the sucky stuff leaving only maps and art and cats and happiness x

    • You can be me in this universe! Go ahead, I give you permission ;) And I like your choices. No one else choose them, but that’s probably because they didn’t actually go to my goodreads wish list to look at what was on there, lol. And hey, I didn’t know The Graveyard Book was a play on The Jungle Book! If you didn’t tell me I wonder if I ever would have figured it out! :P

      Haha, I’m really the only one who does Just Dance here so don’t really have to be embarrassed by someone being better than me. Though I think the thing that would make me the most embarrassed is how sweaty I get doing it. It really is a workout for me!

      Yesss! Ceiling fans, aircon, SOMETHING! What is wrong with this place?! lol. And it’s true, no matter what the weather is like here people complain. Silly people.

  5. Asti: The Raven Boys. x) I lovelovelove that book and might be freakishly excited for the 3rd. xD Code Name Verity is also absolutely awesome, although the beginning is kind of slow. (It was epic on audio.)

    Kelley: So much art and awesome! But sucks about the sleep study. I hope this week is better. :)

  6. Asti, I’d say either Anna Dressed in Blood or Pivot Point, both some of my most enjoyable reads and I’d love to get your thoughts on them! Kelley, I’ve been loving all your artistic word on Instagram and really, you should do more more often, it’s really lovely! Thank you for continuing to link me girls, it’s wonderful and thank you for always having an interesting Weekly Recap!

  7. The Diviners or Mara Dyer (I know Kelley wasn’t a big fan of it, but I really liked it!).

    It’s been seriously hot here too Asti, but you know, we have an AC.. It’s wonderful. I made Chris get it last summer when I was pregnant ;) Yay for Just Dance! I also loved DDR, even if I was terrible :)

    Kelley, you’re s artsy! I’m jealous of all the awesome art you post..lol Sorry you had a patially sucky week :(

  8. We had a DDR game for the Playstation back in the day. It came with this big pad that was kind of obnoxious because it would move around on you, so where you thought your foot was going wasn’t necessarily where it would go and you’d get points knocked off for that… but I would never have the guts to play on a proper machine in an arcade, so this was my only chance.

    The only books on your wishlist I’ve read are The Golden Compass, which I didn’t particularly like, and Code Name Verity, which I thought was very good but I didn’t LOVE it the way everyone else LOVES it. But… that’s just me.

    • Ah yes, I played mine on the original Xbox I think. Sometimes played it out in public, but not often. I didn’t mind people watching me, I just didn’t like spending the money on it when I could play it at home for free! (Well, I mean, not including the game and pad I had to buy >.>)

      I really only feel like I need to read The Golden Compass because I feel like it’s another one of those books that I felt like should have been part of my childhood but wasn’t. (Is that weird?)

      • Well, I was 12 when it was published and 17 by the time the trilogy was complete, so it fell pretty squarely in my “school has killed my love of reading” phase. Maybe if I had read it when I was younger, I would have been able to appreciate it.

        I’ve sort of given up on reading books I feel like I should have read when I was younger. I seem to always end up thinking, “That’s it?” I guess I just missed my window… but if I wait until I have my own kids, then I can (hopefully) read them through their eyes.

  9. Eeek, that journal looks awesome :D I’d love a chance at winning it. I much prefer writing out my scheduled posts and notes than using a calendar online. There’s just something about writing it in that’s just so satisfying!

    Asti: THIS COUNTRY HAS BEEN INSANE THIS WEEK. And no, nowhere has air-con because we’re so not used to this weather :( I have Just Dance 2014 – all the games except Just Dance 3 actually – and it’s so much fun! I haven’t used it in a little while though, but they’re really good for you and get you doing a lot of exercise without even realising. I love the Sweat mode and the online mode is pretty fun too :)

    Kelley: sorry to hear about all those issues :( I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying getting back into art though, at least that’s something to concentrate on and feel positive about :D

    Thanks for linking up ladies, and I’m SO glad our secret project has been revealed, haha! <3 No chance of accidently blurting it out now…

    • Yes, this country HAS been insane this week. Though I DID love the big storms! Wouldn’t mind having more than that.

      I only have Just Dance 2014, only bought it a week ago, and already have almost all of it unlocked >.> I’m tempted to buy the other ones just because I WANT TO PLAY THEM ALL! haha. And yes, I get SO sweaty, even when not doing the sweat mode! It’s ridiculous. I haven’t tried the online mode yet. I keep being paranoid people will be able to see me and I don’t want that. But they don’t, do they? Maybe I should give it a go…

      And yes! The secret project has finally been revealed, yay! I’m excited about it all! :D

  10. Even though I rated Code Name Verity higher than Pivot Point, I’m going to say Asti should buy Pivot Point. Maybe because I’m reading Split Second right now? Either choice would be good. Also, seriously Asti, hot and sticky in Indiana (I think that’s where you’re from… I know it’s a landlocked state that begins with an I, so it’s either that or Illinois… anyway…). I imagine Kelley is laughing at you right now from Houston.

    • Thanks for the rec Amy! I think Pivot Point got the most votes (well, at three, which isn’t a lot but I guess when you give so many books as options it spreads votes out :P). I’m still trying to have self control, but I’m sure I’ll break it soon :P

      And hey, there are different kinds of heat in different places! Plus, at least in Texas they are PREPARED for the heat and actually probably do stuff about it. And we are in Indiana, even though we only really deal with it for a month or two. But here in London? They just want to let us die instead. I’m going to dieeeeee. (Okay, maybe I’m being a bit overdramatic :P)

  11. I printed out that organizer and used it for three weeks – but now I’m back to using my spreadsheet instead. I’ve changed my mind so much and I only write in pen so there’s scribbles everywhere each time I move a post around! It IS pretty in color though – and that was a brilliant idea to duplicate those pages. I was wondering what I should do when there’s only one copy and multiple months…

  12. That planner looks gorgeous and I would love a chance to win it! I’ve been thinking of getting a planner for a long time but I’m never certain enough to get one so I might just throw my name in here and see what happens!

    And it’s so opposite here in Canada! We usually get temperatures in the 80’s as well which isn’t bad considering some of the places in Asia. I went there a few summers ago and I was sweating a puddle after only being out for a few minutes! But yeah, usually we have summers in the 80 range and it gets humid but not too humid but this year, we’re getting temperatures in the high 70 to low 80’s range which is so rare (and I did have to convert that because I use the metric system!). It’s actually quite cool so I have to throw on a light layer when I go out. I’m hoping it does get a bit warmer though because going to the beach is just a lot more fun when it’s sunny and the water isn’t freezing.

    And Kelley, that art show sounds so awesome! Post-it note art is just such a cool idea! I have an obsession with post-it notes. I love office stationary in general but post-it notes are my favourite thing! They’re so useful, I just random things down on them and stick them everywhere. They’re also great at bookmarks when I don’t have one haha! And sorry to hear about your migraine, I hope you’re better now!

    As for your wishlist Asti, I definitely recommend getting The Diviners! It’s been one of my favourite books this year to date. The Winner’s Curse is also a good choice, as well as Wonderstruck, Mara Dyer and Anna Dressed In Blood. I also really liked The Universe Against Alex Woods so… I don’t know how much help I am haha. They’re all good though so I don’t think you can go wrong! :)

    • Haha, sorry, I SHOULD learn how to use the metric system since everyone here in the UK uses it. But no, I refuse. I just use my phone to check everything in Fahrenheit. And aww, sorry your summer isn’t as hot as you’d like! High 70s and Low 80s is still hotter than I prefer, but I’m just hard to please :P

      So glad to hear you love The Diviners so much! I have a friend who I think is going to send me a copy, so I’m pretty excited. And I will be ordering The Winner’s Curse! It was actually just picked as a book club read for a group I’m in so yay! So yeah, you’re a slight help for making me more excited for the ones I am likely to get. Though it’s a good thing I have other things helping me choose because you weren’t very good at limiting the selection, haha ;)

  13. The Winner’s Curse, Legend, or Stolen! I think there’s sufficient hype for the first two, but I remember reading Stolen a long time ago (before I even knew what Stockholm Syndrome was!). I think it’s definitely worth a read for how different it is.

  14. I would be very happy to have this lovely blogging tool that Kelley took the time to create! It is a great organizer, and I have learned something from it. I have calendars I use for scheduling things on my blog, but the breakdown of this organizer has made me realize that I need to minimize. In fact, I will be doing an entire post about it in…lemme check my organizer…August.

  15. I totally sympathize with Asti’s struggle – I can’t pick either! Though I’d have say either Pivot Point (I adore Kasie West!) or The Raven Boys because that’s an awesome series (Kelley, how have you not gotten her into this series yet?). Though only the first two books are available… and those are just the ones I’ve read – not even the ones I haven’t read but find interesting.

    • I think Pivot Point got the most votes in this (though there’s so many books on my wish list that the votes are all sort of spread out) so I do think that one will be going in my cart during my next shopping spree. (Now the question is, how long will my self control hold?)

      And The Raven Boys. It’s hard for anyone to get me into that one. Not because I don’t think their recommendations are trustworthy or that nothing about it appeals to me, but because I had such a bad times with The Wolves of Mercy Falls that I’m hesitant to pick up another Stiefvater book. I definitely WILL at some point. It’s just hard for me to get myself to buy one of her books when I have others I’m less hesitant about >.> But it IS on my wish list. So yes. I will continue to consider it!

      • ah yes. I actually have never read the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. I started with Lament and Ballad and then skipped straight into The Raven Boys. And then I backtracked into The Scorpio Races. Liking her other books kind of makes me want to go back and check out Mercy Falls, but not so badly that I’ve made time to do it yet. So I get it.

  16. Asti, I freaking just think you are more awesome every week! I LOVE Just Dance, even though I only get to play it when I visit my in-laws (my favorite is Take On Me :P)! My husband used to be a HUGE DDR player and he was really good! Sometimes we’ll go to the arcade just so he can play it, lol. I wish I could play it better, but for some reason I’m just not as good at the sort of thing. D:

    ALso, from your wishlist, obviously I suggest that you read THE CHILD THIEF! Or The Raven Boys, Code Name Verity, or The Bone Dragon!

    • Is it possible for me to get any awesomer? ;) I don’t think I have Take On Me on the Just Dance game I have. But I already have the urge to buy more Just Dance games so maybe I’ll have to find that one next! :P I have always been interested in Just Dance but since I don’t have my own game system I thought I’d never play it, so am glad that Dave decided to buy it for me! :P And yessss DDR! Loved that, though I usually went the in-home route and not the arcade route. I guess having to pay for each game puts me off. I rather just buy the mat and play at home :P

      The Child Thief – that is only on there because of you! And The Bone Dragon. That is my one regret about YALC. I wanted to buy it while there and go to the Alexia Casale signing and be like “MY CO-BLOGGER AND YOU TALK!” haha. I’m such a nerd :P

      • Awww man, sucks that you didn’t get to meet Alexia! I really want to make it to a book con in the UK eventually, but YALC did sound crazy. I don’t know if I would have lasted much longer than you did. >_< Chris and I wanted to get a DDR mat (we have the PS2 game lol), but there is just no room in our apartment to do it! Which is also the reason we don't have Kinect with our xbox, because there is absolutely zero room. :(

  17. Asti, go get Prisoner of night and fog, The raven boys or Fire (better, all three of them ;)) Prisoner of night and fog was such a good historical story, I love the cast in The raven boys and Fire features an amazing strong MC.

    Thanks for all the links! I’ve been visiting a lot of new blogs today :)

    • Haha, I think The Raven Boys is tied with The Diviners and Pivot Point for most votes now. I will really have to get over my hesitancy to read Stiefvater’s books after The Wolves of Mercy Falls. She gets too much praise for me to never read again! And yes, I am interested in Fire. Can’t say no to an amazing strong MC! Thanks for the recs Mel :)

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  19. PIVOT POINT PIVOT POINT. You are in for a treat with those two books, I tell ya. SO GOOD I CAN’T EVEN. I don’t see so much of them either which is weird, it’s a great series. Thanks for linking my post! Unprofessional authors are the worst, and sometimes I need to let my frustration out hahaa.

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