Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My Downton Abbey Obsession

My husband and I discovered this gem of a show while he was laid up after shoulder surgery and we weren't leaving the house much. What we were doing is scouring Netflix for anything and everything worth watching. Enter Downton Abbey. Before I delve into my point for this post, allow me to entertain you with some of my Downton favorites from the internets :)

I do not own or claim any rights to the above images.

You may have noticed that Lady Grantham is by far my favorite character...

Season 3 is now in full swing, and I have just viewed the most recent episode, #4 which aired 1/27/13. From this point on, THERE WILL BE... 

There's only one thing I want to vent about and that would be the death of Lady Sybil. She died shortly after giving birth to a baby girl of preeclampsia  I have been holding my breath all season because it was rumored that there would be a death in the House, and every episode up until this one I have been praying it wasn't true.
Alas, it has come to pass. Anytime you kill off a major character, I would imagine that there is much deliberation involved. And I've got to tell you, I never expected it to be Lady Sybil. 
And my, oh my, the whirlwind of emotions that came with this episode.
First of all, I loath that pompous doctor. LOATH.
I feel so bad for Lord Grantham. He clearly feels responsible, but I really feel that it was the doctor's fault. He had too much pride and it cost Sybil her life.
I cried for pretty much the last half of the episode( 30 minutes is a really long time to cry! My throat hurts now and everything...), but when Lady Violet had to stop and gather herself after talking to Carson, my heart shattered.
And poor Branson. That last shot of him holding his daughter was devastating.
It all changed so quickly...

My heart hurts.

It's hard to tell where the Crawleys will go from here, but it is certain that their family will never be the same.
This could take a while...

I'll leave you all with this

A tribute to Lady Sybil...


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

This is my fifth Emily Giffin book, the only one I haven't read is her newest Where We Belong. I'm sure it's only a matter of time on that one.

Claudia and Ben are soul mates, and they have a wonderful marriage. When it comes to the important things in life, they agree on it all. Or do they? They have both agreed that they will not have children. They like their unattached lifestyles, and besides, they have all they need in each other. But what happens when one of them has second thoughts?

Possible SPOILERS from this point on. You have been warned.

We've all heard it. She wants kids, he doesn't. But what about the one we haven't heard; he does, she doesn't? When Ben decides that maybe he wants to be a father after all, Claudia's world is completely rocked. It's something neither of them could have expected, and once it is realized that they cannot reach an agreement, they make the(rash,IMHO) decision to separate and divorce. This is the point in Giffin's novels where I want to smack all of the characters. Maybe twice. And yet, without all the struggle we wouldn't have the novel.
Babies are the last thing that Claudia wants to hear about, but they are popping up everywhere. With her family, her friends. So it doesn't take her long to figure out what she has given up. And it might not be what you think. Is it too late?

I had a problem identifying with Claudia because I do want to be a mother, very much. And signs are leaning toward me empathizing more with her sister Daphne. So I really had to step out of my boundaries on this one to understand where she is coming from, however Giffin does a remarkable job describing it.
Overall I enjoyed the novel, as I always do with Giffins work. I gave it 4 stars and I look forward to reading her next book.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I spent this afternoon at my Nanny's listening to the Atlanta Falcons play the San Francisco 49ers(sad loss for me) while I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman.( I realized that I can concentrate very will while listening to football. Even though the TV is on, it's the one thing that won't distract me!)
I read about 60 pages last night before forcing myself to sleep, and I knew then that I needed to bring two books with me today because I would finish this one quickly. So, I was laying there with half time and two more quarters to go wanting to move on to The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, and I couldn't seem to pick it up until I put my thoughts down, so here they are.

Mia has it all. She's got a loving family who support and understand her, a great best friend, a loving boyfriend, and an outstanding talent with the cello. But her life unravels quickly after a tragic accident, and she is faced with a decision she never thought she would have the choice to make.

I really liked Mia's voice. She had so much, and unlike most teenage heroines, she seems to actually realize what she has, and appreciates it. It was refreshing.
I didn't quite have the reaction to this book that I thought I would. I was surprisingly calm throughout reading it, while the general consensus is that it is a tear jerker. I can definitely see why. However, I felt like I was more in tune with Mia's point of view than with the story as whole, and throughout it she is serene, trying her best to focus on the decision she is facing.

One thing I will say about this book is that it has so many beautiful examples of love in it, which is a huge reason that I liked it so much.

I'm giving this book 3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book a lot and as for the ending....well. Let's just say that I'll be getting my hands on the second book, Where She Went, as soon as I can( I had to stop myself from reading the snippet in the back of my book! I always regret doing that).

Well, onto some Amy Tan!
Until next time!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah

I finished this book this afternoon after reading the last half for most of the day. Winter Garden by Kristen Hannah is the powerful tale of Anya Whitson and her two daughters, Meredith and Nina, who are polar opposites. Meredith is grounded in her responsibilities of being a wife and mother as well as running her family's orchard with her father, and Nina is a world traveler, who finds solace in capturing breathtaking images wherever life takes her.
Each of these women have two things in common; their absolute love and adoration for their father, and their confused, painful past with their cold, distant mother.

When their father falls gravely ill, these two women are left to deal with their despondent mother, as well as the ghosts and shadows from their past. What neither can expect is the revelations that they will make about their own mother's past.

Alternating between the present and a war-ravaged Leningrad, three women will unexpectedly find themselves and each other on a heartbreaking and redemptive journey.

The first half of this book took off very slowly for me. Honestly, I found myself growing a tad annoyed with Meredith and Nina at times at how childish they were being. But, I just knew that this book would get better, and I was right. I am so glad that I finished this book. I would recommend it for lovers of historical fiction, particularly WWII-based. This is also a great mother-daughter book, and would make a great Mother's Day present for a bookworm mama!

4 stars

On another note, here is picture of my sweet doggie Rose, who loves to sniff my books for reasons only known to her. She cuddled with me while I read today.

Yep. Those are my frog pajamas. Haters gonna hate. :P

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Neat Things

I love finding beautiful images of books


book porn?


okay maybe.

and one of tea, because I like it!


A Little About Me

Hello fellow book lovers!
My name is Hannah, and I am a Southern Belle who feels most at home with a book in my hand and a cup of tea within my reach. I've had this blog on my mind for a while now, and I have decided to begin!
For the most part, this will be a blog solely for sharing what books I'm reading and what I think of them, but I am not liable if other forms of my nerdiness spill over here. You have been warned. :)

I typically read fiction, and I enjoy all different kinds. I think what I read the most of is Dystopian and YA and, oddly enough, about the same amount of classics since I am currently working on my Bachelor's in English. I also really enjoy Historical Fiction, Chic Lit and a fair dose of Fantasy.

Here's a few lists of my favorites!

All-Time Favorites

1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling- this series means so much to me! It's my childhood and my adolescence, and it's also shaped me to become the adult I am. To me they are the perfect books; clever, witty, an adventure that is touching and riveting. Okay, I'll stop blathering now.

“Turn to page three hundred and ninety-four.” - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- I come back to this story time after time and I always love the characters and the story just a little more.

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! -- When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” 

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- This is one of the first books that I ever had the notion to reread.

“There are just some kind of men…who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one.” 

4. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine- This is another from my childhood that I have read over and over again. It is a retelling of the Cinderella story, and it is my favorite version I have ever encountered. Also, it is nothing AT ALL like the movie.

“It is helpful to know the proper way to behave, so one can decide whether or not to be proper.”

5. The Abandon Series by Meg Cabot- There are three books in this series: Abandon, Underworld, and the third which comes out in May 2013, Awaken. These books are a retelling of the myth of Persephone and are brilliant with one sexy bad boy!

“Anything can happen in the blink of an eye. Anything at all.
Blink.” - Abandon

6. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley- This was my first dystopian story, and I was absolutely mesmerized with the world that Huxley created and was a little freaked out, and impressed, to realize that he wrote this book around the 1930's and there are so many aspects from it that have come true today!

“I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly.”

7. The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon- These books are always jam-packed with adventure, love, lust, and all of it steeped in history.

“Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you're mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own.” - Outlander

8. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins- I read all three of these books in a matter of days, and was blown away by chillingly clever plot.

“I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.”

9. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie- Don't let the hilarious illustrations in this book fool you. This is no children's picture book, although I believe that every adolescent and adult alike should read this book. Probably more than once.

“If you're good at it, and you love it, and it helps you navigate the river of the world, then it can't be wrong.” 

10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky- Ever read a book and feel like it was meant for you? That was my experience with this beautiful, touching book about coming of age and learning how to love ourselves.

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” 

Well, it's rainy out, and I'd like nothing more than to make some tea and finish my book!
Happy Reading!