Tag Archives: books

The Biblio Files: Harry Potter Year 1 & 2

I’ve been wanting to re-read the Harry Potter series for quite awhile now. I purchased a box set of the complete series three years ago with the intent of starting it then, but I kept getting distracted whenever I picked up The Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone. I’ve mentioned it on here before, but I find myself having a hard time focusing whenever I try to dive into a book. It’s really annoying! Finding audiobooks to listen to while reading along has helped a lot, and I’m so happy I finally found the hard drive I had all my Harry Potter audiobooks on!

What finally made me get back into the series, aside from finding my audiobook files, is most likely the hype surrounding all the Harry Potter related things happening this year — the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is FINALLY opening up on the west side very soon, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth story in the series, is coming out in July along with the stage play in London, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them comes out in November. Plus Pottermore’s come out with brand new information on witchcraft and wizardry in North America and articles about other wizarding schools around the world. It’s just a really amazing time to be a Potterhead right now!

I knocked out the first and second books in a little over a week and I’m nearly done with The Prisoner of Azkaban (my favorite of the series). It’s been really interesting revisiting these books as I have only read the series once through back when I was a sophomore in high school. It was around the same time the first Harry Potter movie came out, so the first four books were out already, and then I had to wait patiently for books 5-7 to come out! Knowing what’s going to happen with each story, I can see the subtle clues J.K. leaves and it’s just mind blowing. Oh, and I’ve been listening to the readings done by Stephen Fry and I’m seeing that my copies have been (understandably) super Americanized, so I’ve taken the liberty to make corrections because I want to read it the way J.K. intended! Plus when it referred to football as soccer, I was like, “This is based in the UK. They don’t call it soccer there. America is like the only country that says that. STOP INSULTING MY INTELLIGENCE!” Raaaawwwrrr!

How many times have you read the series? Do you plan on reading them again soon? Have you read them at all?! Let’s talk about it in the comments section!

cheers le fancy geek fashion blogger

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The Biblio Files: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I remember picking up Me Before You by Jojo Moyes at Barnes & Noble sometime last year and thought the plot sounded interesting enough to make note of it and add to my goodreads “to-read” list. It took the trailer of the book’s film adaptation for my interest to pique again, but more on that later!

Me Before You is about a young woman named Louisa Clark who has a zest for zany apparel and doesn’t feel she quite fits in. She’s a waitress at her small hometown’s cafe, but suddenly finds herself in a rut as her boss decides to close shop out of the blue leaving her jobless. The pressure is on to find a new job ASAP as she’s the breadwinner in her family. After a string of unsuccessful gigs the Job Center has found for her, she lands a job as a daytime companion and caretaker for Will Traynor, a 35-year old quadriplegic man who had an extravagant lifestyle before the terrible accident that took his ability to walk away, and he’s pretty much fed up with life. Lou’s main job is to help keep things lively and socialize with Will, except it’s quite a challenge for Lou as his demeanor is ice cold, sarcastic, and condescending. Basically, Will’s a grade A arse. But as tales as old as time, they come to understand one another and bloppity bloop bloop. <— I’m not trying to give the whole story away. You can watch the trailer for that. 😛

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and gobbled it up in two days! After watching the trailer I thought, “Damn, I think that story is going to break my heart. I MUST READ THE BOOK IMMEDIATELY” because I fucking love sad stories. I live for them. Sometimes I just want to have a good cry. I don’t know why, I just do. About a week after I saw the trailer, I went to the local used book store and scored a copy for $2.25!

Me Before You felt like a combination of Beauty & the Beast and The Fault in Our Stars because Lou’s got that small town oddball thing going on and Will comes from a rich family and his attitude is so nasty in the beginning. There’s even one part where Lou finally tells him that he doesn’t need to always be such an arse, and it totally reminded me of the part in Beauty & the Beast where Belle is attending to the Beast’s wound after he rescues her from the wolves and they have that back and forth banter, and Belle eventually puts him in his place by saying “Well if you hadn’t frightened me I wouldn’t have runaway!” I downloaded the audiobook for Me Before You since I had a couple of free credits from Audible (which I thought I cancelled, but alas), and it’s a good thing I downloaded it too because my vision got blurry towards the end — couldn’t make out a damn word through my tears.

I came across the trailer for the movie a few weeks ago and I geeked the hell out over nearly every actor that was cast in the film version.

This was me while watching the trailer:

Aww, it’s Khaleesi looking like a straight up dork.
Oooh, sexy British dude from The Hunger Games.
OMG! Claraaaaa! [from Doctor Who]
TYWIN LANNISTER IS IN THIS MOVIE TOO?
AND MISTER BATES?! [Downton Abbey]

The fact that it was British made me even more excited, because accents! So, if you’re into books that break your heart and inspire you to live boldly, then Me Before You is for… well, you!

cheers le fancy geek fashion blogger

PS: Sam Claflin’s eyebrows though. ♥♥♥

me before you movie gif sam claflin emilia clarke

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The Biblio Files: Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song

We all have celebrities that we wish could be our bffs. Don’t even lie! You know you do. Sara Bareilles is one of mine because she’s really goofy and is very fluent in speaking sailor like me (meaning we like to swear all the fucking time), so I think we’d get along fine. Plus she listed Miss Saigon as a musical she liked listening to in her memoir Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song, and that soundtrack was my jaaaam in 5th grade! I actually did a Dubsmash of one of the songs not too long ago either (watch me make a fool of myself here). Looking back on it, it really shouldn’t have been because it’s about a young prostitute who falls in love with a G.I. during the Vietnam War and Jonathan Price plays a pimp called The Engineer, and in the opening number it’s basically about how all the men are thirsty as fuck and how there’s a bevy sexy Vietnamese hookers they can get with. But I digress.

I was so excited to hear that Sara Bareilles was coming out with a memoir because I love her music SO MUCH. It took awhile for it to come out, but it just came out last month! Sara is one of those artists who gives me crazy “Killing Me Softly” vibes because it basically feels like she’s telling my whole life with her words (haaa… see what I did there?). Her first album Little Voice came out a few months after me and my first boyfriend broke up, and it consoled me while I wallowed away in self pity. During that time, my appreciation for music grew ten-fold as I finally felt like I connected to certain songs on a whole new level. Sara’s music really spoke to me at that time, and it still does. She was there for me again with her second album Kaleidoscope Heart when I was frustrated with being an undergrad with no sense of direction, and how I was trying to get over some stupid guy I knew wasn’t right for me. “Let the Rain,” “Uncharted,” and “Gonna Get Over You” were on constant repeat. “Let the Rain” and “Uncharted” are still applicable to this chapter in my life.

If I were to create a soundtrack to my life, 50% of the songs would probably be hers… or 95% if I didn’t feel the need to include other artists for the sake of diversity.

Reading her book felt very much like having a long heart felt conversation with a good friend, like the kind where you sit and listen while the other party confides in you. She writes about how she was teased for being “chubby” in elementary school and how it took a toll on her self confidence. While reading it, it made me recall old emotional wounds that were bestowed from the bullying I endured during my formative years. Sara also talks about her issues with anxiety and times when she constantly worried and was filled with self doubt. Even in essay form, I felt overwhelmed with emotion by her words. As silly as it sounds, I felt more of connection to her because while her songs tell a story and emote a certain feeling, essays feel so much more vulnerable to me, and she put herself out there in the 8 essays that this book is made of. In the introduction, she explains how it took her over 2 years to complete this book because “It feels infinitely more vulnerable to speak about life without the metaphor and mask of music or my singing voice. I had to take a look at who I am without those things.” Each essay is titled after some of her songs, and they either tell a story about how the song came to be, or something that happened in her life that is related to it.

If you’re a fan of Sara’s music, I highly recommend that you read this book if you haven’t already. 🙂

cheers

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The Biblio Files: Operation S.I.N.: Agent Carter

While I was in Hawaii, I thought I was going to have all this downtime to read. But I was wrong. SO WRONG. It wasn’t until my flight back home that I was able to read volume 3 of Ms. Marvel and Operation S.I.N.: Agent Carter. If you’re down with the badass ladies of Marvel, then you should definitely pick both of these graphic novels up! Operation S.I.N. won’t exactly fill that hole in your heart if you’re missing the Agent Carter tv show with queen Hayley Atwell playing the titular role like somethin’ fierce, but it helps a wee bit.

Operation S.I.N. follows Peggy Carter a few years after the war and she suddenly finds herself lured into a crazy mission led by Howard Stark after an alien energy source is discovered in Russia, and it’s up to the two of them to track down its location. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but there’s a dude that can turn into a bear and a Russian gulag run by Hydra. Hydra, aliens, gulags, and bears, OH MY!

The story takes place in the Marvel comic universe, rather than the cinematic one that most of us (-ahem– me) are used to, so I was slightly taken aback when Peggy says she’s American and not British. It’s an easy detail to get over once you immerse yourself in the story and see that Peggy’s razor sharp wit and overall badassery is still intact. 🙂

I’m trying my best to get into the swing of reading regularly like I used to, but I’ve been finding that I get extremely distracted and lost in my own head lately — specifically when I try to read books with no pictures. Bleh. That’s why I find myself reading graphic novels and comic books more frequently now. Anyhow, I’m hoping to regularly post more book reviews so please bear with me if they happen to sputter randomly.

What books have you been reading — graphic novel or not? Let me know in the comments!

cheers

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The Biblio Files: “Never Have I Ever” by Katie Heaney

I finally got to read Katie Heaney’s memoir Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a DateIt’s been on my “to-read” list since I caught wind of it last January. The fact that someone around my age compiled a collection of essays based around their lack of a love life up to the age of 25 was all too intriguing to me. Does 25 seem too young to have a memoir regarding this topic? Maybe. But I think it’s amazing that us late bloomers finally have a voice in book form (that’s not fiction)! Reading Never Have I Ever feels a lot like you’re having a really intimate late-night conversation with one of your girlfriends about every aspect of her [lack of a] love life, and it’s quite fantastic.

Despite the fact that I’ve been in two relationships (but really, my first boyfriend hardly counts), I felt like I’d really relate to Katie because of what the contents of her book were all about — looking for love, never quite finding it, unrequited crushes, having high expectations, misadventures in online dating, etc. Upon finishing Never Have I Ever, that feeling was confirmed. And I totally feel like Katie and I need to be friends because she mentions Harry Potter numerous times, owns the old school Dream Phone game, likes sci-fi (I wonder if she’s a Whovian?) and spells ‘NSYNC the correct way. Seriously, the correct spelling of ‘NSYNC is so, so important to me! ‘N SYNC, N’SYNC, and ‘Nsync are NOT acceptable. Normally I use an Asterik (like she does in the book, and my preferred way of spelling the group’s name), but WordPress italicizes everything when I do so. But I’m digressing.

All the repressed memories regarding any member of the opposite sex that I ever fancied from grade school up to my mid-twenties resurfaced with each and every page! Like, seriously. Who hasn’t been pissed at a friend who decided to go after the guy you just said you had a crush on first (despite the fact that you had zero intention of acting out on your feelings)? And those times you made drunk phone calls to the object of your affection (or in my case text messages)(because ugh, talking)? Or being bummed out when your crush didn’t ask you to skate with them during couples skate time at the roller rink (yeeaaah ’90s kids!)? And how about the time the boy you really liked and thought that maybe something was finally going to happen between you two, and then he fucking updates his Facebook status to “In a Relationship” not that much long after you made out (or something like that)? Katie covers all this in a hilarious self-deprecating fashion throughout her book.

I found Never Have I Ever to be soooo painfully relatable. Yes, I know this is a book about a woman who has gone on a quarter of a century without a boyfriend, or dated anyone for a long period of time. And yes, I’m aware that a few years ago I talked about my stupid boyfriend on this very blog ALL. THE. TIME. But never mind the fact that I’ve had two boyfriends or have genuinely been in love with a boy that I didn’t create a fictional romance with in my mind palace — my experience with the opposite sex is actually quite limited. No one ever had a crush on me in grade school (except I think maybe one guy did) or middle school or high school — boys probably thought I was a whack-a-doodle because I made it very clear that I was going to marry JC Chasez or Gideon Yago. I’ve never gone out on numerous dates (there have been two cases that made me ask “is this a date?”)(one was, the other I’m still questioning), and boys don’t fawn over and flirt with me constantly. And if they do, I wouldn’t fucking know.

If you’ve ever felt heart broken over a boy that you were never actually in a relationship with OR even officially dating, have high standards of what you want in a future mate thanks to Disney, overly obsess on crushes, have felt pressured and odd by society to get your first kiss or virginity out of the way because you’re over the age of 18, or get carried away with your over active imagination that creates fictional scenarios regarding your love life, then you need to read Never Have I Ever. Katie knows that feel, girl. And you just might find yourself saying, “OH MY GAWD. YAASS!” with each chapter. cheers

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I Heart Instagram Tag

Kristin over at My Life As A Teacup was tagged to do this I Heart Instagram tag, and I wanted to join in on the fun because I. LOVE. INSTAGRAM. I really do. Also, she didn’t tag anyone in particular and invited anyone who wanted to participate to do so. Instagram is by far my favorite social media site! I definitely utilize it more than Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Pinterest combined. You could say I’m addicted to it… because that would be entirely accurate.

What’s your Instagram handle? lefancygeek, formerly chezfancypants.

How often do you check Instagram? Ha! When am I not checking Instagram? – picks up phone. opens Instagram app. scroll, scroll, scroll – I told you I’m addicted!

What are your favorite hashtags? There’s too many! I mainly like to look up the ones that have to do with fashion, pets, books, and Disney. I’ll just randomly type whatever into the search engine depending on my mood. But I always make a point to look at #havamalt because it’s the breed of my fur baby Rory, who’s pretty much the star of my Instagram account — I even made up a hashtag for him! #lefancypooch and #lefancypup 🙂

What is your favorite genre of pictures? Books, fashion, food, toys, pets (especially puppies), travel, and Disneyland! Or anything Disney, really. And I love pictures of knickknacks as you can tell from some of my pictures.

How often do you post? At least once or twice a day. Sometimes more.

What’s your favorite filter? Earlybird or Valencia, but sometimes I cheat and go on Afterlight or A Beautiful Mess to edit photos.

iPhone only, purist or rebel? I mix both, but mostly iPhone. Sometimes I use pictures that I’ve taken on my SLR, especially if it’s a photo that was used on my blog.

Three favorite IG accounts currently?

♥ Diana at @ourcitylights — for all things lovely and pink! Diana has impeccable taste in everything — fashion, books, makeup, home decor (she lives in a pink house with a pink kitchen filled with Hello Kitty appliances!).
♥ Nami at @namimscott — for gorgeous LA/NY adventures and an adorable pup named Merlin. He can be found under #mistermerlin. She’s also my Dark Side Sister. – raises light saber in the air –
♥ Amanda at @amandajeannn — for amazing geektastic adventures via Disneyland, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, conventions galore, etc! She’s just an overall lovely geek.

fun fact: They’re all from California. 🙂

If you want to do this for your blog too, then by all means go for it because I’m tagging you. Yes, you! And let me know if you do it because I want to see your wonderful pictures and read your answers 🙂

Cheers,
Nina

PS: Kristin’s Instagram is a great as well, you can find her at @mylifeasateacup.

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BookCon: Comic-Con for Bibliophiles!

I got to go to BookCon last Sunday while I was in New York and it was BANANAS — B-A-N-A-N-A-S. I had to spell it out Gwen Stefani style because that’s just how bananas it was.

I didn’t know that it was the very first one, or that Book Expo America (BEA), a trade show for industry folks, would be going on at the same time. One side of the exhibit hall was cut off just for BookCon while the rest was devoted to BEA and it was constantly crowded as BEA attendees were also permitted access to the show floor at BookCon and the panels. It felt like all I did was wait in lines for a majority of the time — lines to get into panels, lines to get into the bathroom (which sounds normal, but 30 minutes?), lines to get freebies, etc. It was mass chaos — especially when it came time for the The Fault in Our Stars panel. My sister and I didn’t even bother trying to get into the queue, so no John Green for me. 🙁

But with all that aside, I’m really happy that I was able to go! I just need to remind myself that it was their first go, so it wasn’t going to run perfectly smooth (no convention really does, in my experience). Hopefully they’ll take into account some of the snafus from this year to make the next one more successful. Plus I GOT SO MANY FREE BOOKS (pictured below)!!!

We went to the kickoff panel the night before where Tina Fey (AHH!!!), Jason Bateman, Shawn Levy, and Jonathan Tropper talked about and showed some special clips from the film adaptation of Tropper’s novel This is Where I Leave You. I read the book a couple weeks prior to the trip and I loved it. I’m all for stories about dysfunctional families (who isn’t?) and Tropper is a great storyteller, and based on the clips they showed it looks like it’s going to be a hilarious and gut wrenching adaptation. Oh, and I BREATHED THE SAME AIR AS TINA FEY (and Jason Bateman, but I’m mostly excited about TINA FEY). Just being in the same room as her was a f*cking honor! And Jonathan Tropper read a few passages from This is Where I Leave You to set up certain scenes they showed, which I thought was quite spectacular. He also wrote the screenplay, so it was definitely interesting to learn how he and the director decided to translate the book and figure out what parts to keep, what parts to tweak, and what parts to omit all together.

I also got to go to a panel that featured debut novelists Courtney Collins (The Untold), Yelena Akhtiorskaya (Panic in a Suitcase), and Celeste Ng (Everything I Never Told You) where they talked about their own individual journeys on how they got their first novels published — pretty informing stuff for aspiring writers. I also got a copy of their novels after the panel as well. I feel slightly bad though because the volunteer that was putting them on the table for us to collect them said, “One each.” I thought he meant one of each. But he didn’t. He meant literally only take ONE book. Oops. Courtney Collins’ book is in stores right now — I actually saw it at work yesterday. It’s such a trip to know I saw her and heard her talk about her book and a slew of other things!

SO MANY PEOPLE IN THE HALLWAY FOR THE PANELS. O__O

I got a free signed copy of Eric Smith’s The Geek’s Guide to Dating and I was pretty stoked to meet him since I started following him on Twitter after seeing an article about how he proposed to his fiance with a copy of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars last year. If anyone is qualified to write a guide book on dating for geeks, it’s him, no question. I mean proposing by way of The Fault in Our Stars? SHUT UP, OKAY? OKAY. I high fived him for that too (I’m very enthusiastic about high fives). And he also sent me a copy of Ransom Riggs’ Hollow City to review last month, so I was happy to be able to thank him in person. Which reminds me, I really need to get crackin’ on that! By the way, I highjacked the picture above from his Twitter page since my sister and I are in it. I look unamused, but I promise I was happy. 😀

Like I mentioned earlier, I got quite a few free books! This isn’t everything, but they’re the main biggies that I managed to grab. I still can’t believe I got the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter audiobook for free. CRAYCRAY! I also got a couple tote bags and a tumbler that says “I Read YA” which I will proudly sip Arnold Palmers out of as I read YA novels this summer.

Since the line to wait to get into the The Fault in Our Stars panel was too crazy for me (like holy sh!t, so many teenyboppers — but I’m glad they’re all fangirling over something respectable like TFIOS instead of boybands like I did back in the late ’90s-‘oos), so we headed to Jason Segel’s panel where he talked about his upcoming children’s novel Nightmares which he co-wrote with Kirsten Miller. Luckily we got there before the line got too crowded! Listening to him talk, it’s clear that he’s a child at heart which just made me appreciate him more than ever. He talked about some of the crazy nightmares he had as a child — a witch that would eat his toes, and being chased by Dracula in his castle, and how one night he dreamt that he found a secret room in the castle that Dracula didn’t even know about and he just chilled there. And he said that he believes in magic and called Kermit the Frog the Tom Hanks of Muppets.

Oh, bless him. ♡

I didn’t get to take a picture with the infamous Grumpy Cat (that line was too hectic as well), so I had to suffice with this crazy ass taxidermy Fantastic Mr. Fox looking fellow.

Did any of you get to go to BookCon, or watch The Fault in Our Stars or are excited for Jason Segel’s book and the movie adaptation of This is Where I Leave You?

Cheers,
Nina

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