Home       About Me       Review Archive

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Life in November: OBB Meetup, Reading Slump, and the Announcement of a Hiatus

November was a relatively quiet month for me. Unfortunately, I experienced something of a reading slump this month (I blame Allegiant). It also didn't help that it felt like there was a perpetual cloud hanging over my head due to the death of my grandfather. He was my last remaining grandparent and the one I was the closest to, so I took it quite hard. He was 94 years old, but his death was still very unexpected as he was in excellent shape. It was not too long ago that he beat me at Wii Bowling! Christmas won't be the same without him... but life goes on.

November started off with the annual Ontario Book Bloggers Meetup! Unfortunately, I got lost on my way there and was quite late, so I didn't get to meet nearly as many people as I would have liked. But I still managed to have a good time thankfully!
So apparently I only took one picture the entire time I was there because I suck. Instead, picture a restaurant with four long tables full of book bloggers from across Ontario! It was crazy how many people were there! My only regret is that I only got to meet a fraction of the people there. There's always next year though!

(Pssst... Are you an Ontario Book Blogger? Then you are welcome to join the closed Facebook group for Ontario Book Bloggers!)

Gift bag with books!
I also picked up a copy of Inaccurate Realities (Volume 1: Fear), a compilation of YA speculative fiction short stories edited by Christa of More Than Just Magic, Andrea of Cozy Up With A Good Read, and Sara of Geek Girl's Book Blog!
Ermagherd! I just think it is SO COOL that these ladies came together to create a literary magazine. Not only does it have short stories, but also author interviews and book reviews. I plan on reading it just as soon as I deal with my reading slump problem. Check it out here!

Like everyone else, I made my way to the movie theatre on opening night to see Catching Fire. And like everyone else, I thought it was FANTASTIC! I liked it even more than The Hunger Games. It was a remarkably loyal adaptation of the book and was made all the better for it. As with The Hunger Games, I loved the inclusion of President Snow and the Head Gamekeeper's scenes in Catching Fire - it added a whole new element to the story! And I was so impressed with the acting. All the new actors were great additions to the cast... but I think Jena Malone as Johanna stole the show for me!


Finally, as mentioned in the title of this post, I have decided to go on hiatus for most of the month of December. I think I need some time to recharge and get over my reading slump, and I think a break from blogging is the best way to accomplish that. I will be back near the end of December to talk about my favourite books of the year. And of course you can always find me on the social networking sites linked in the sidebar! Happy Holidays, everyone!

Blog Posts in November:

My Life in October: Ferrets, Rainbow Rowell, and Stress-Induced Illness
Muggle Monday: Harry Potter Minimalist Cover Redesigns
Top Ten Sequels I Can't Wait To Get My Hands On
Waiting On Wednesday: Macmillan Winter 2014 Catalog
Waiting On Wednesday: Penguin Winter 2014 Catalog
Review: Across A Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund - 4.5 Stars
Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth - 3 Stars
Review: Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger - 4 Stars
Review: This Wicked Game by Michelle Zink - 2 Stars
Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner - 4.5 Stars

Best Book Read in November:
Looooved this one!! It's not often that I get to read sci fi that I truly enjoy, so I was beyond thrilled to dive into These Broken Stars. The plot twists made this book exciting and the solid characterization made it memorable. This one is a MUST read, even for reluctant sci fi readers! Especially for reluctant sci fi readers, I say.


36 comments :

  1. Aylee, I am so sorry to hear about your Grandfather. I know sorry doesn't say much, but my thoughts are with you and your family. Even though this Christmas will be different, I hope you will remember the good times and memories you had with him and that it will put a smile on your face.

    I think it's a good things to take a break from blogging. It seems like these past few months have been a little rough for you and you just need to take time and recharge. I am sure we'll all understand. I know I do. Hopefully when you return it will be with gusto and enthusiasm.

    Ps- I just finished Allegiant- can't say I liked it. I am off to finally read your review.

    Have a good December!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sara <3 I will always miss him, but as time passes, I appreciate more and more the time I had with him and it makes me less sad.

      Delete
  2. I'm really sorry about your Grandpa, Aylee. It sounds like you've had a really difficult month. Like Sara said, I hope you cherish your fond memories of your Grandfather and in that way he'll always be with you.

    As for blogging, I totally get where you're coming from. I've been on a semi-hiatus for the past 3 months, and I finally feel like I'm ready to get back into things. Sometimes when you think you just can't do it anymore, I break is what you really need.

    I'm sad I couldn't make the OBB meet-up at the last minute, it sounds like you guys had a good time!

    I also loved Catching Fire, and I just bought Allegiant but I haven't read it yet… I'll have to see what I think :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Chloe. And yes, breaks are a great way to recharge! Hopefully there will be other blogger/bookish events in which we can meet!

      Delete
  3. I'm so miserable with directions Aylee, I know I would have gotten lost as well! I pretty much get lost going anywhere new. Fail. I'm glad you had a great time once you finally got there though! I hope you enjoy your break from blogging, it seems like a lot of people are taking some time off right now, it's nice to step away now and then:) Hope to see you back in January, you'll be missed! Happy Holidays:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does seem like a lot of people have slowed down blogging... Hopefully everyone will be back in action for January! Thanks, Jenny!

      Delete
  4. We'll miss you but totally understand.
    I'm so sorry to hear about your grandpa.
    He sounds like he was an awesome dude.
    I hope he's showing your other grandparents how to play Wii in heaven.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather :( I love the tote bag! Catching fire was so so good, one of the best books-turned-into-movie if you ask me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mel. And yes, CF was incredible!

      Delete
  6. Oh Aylee, I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather :( He sounds like he was really special! So yeah a reading slump and blogging break is totally understandable. We'll miss you! I'm already looking forward to your best of 2013 posts ♥ Keep in touch :)

    I SO wish we had Maritimer Book Blogger Meetups haha, as it is there might just be me and Giselle LOL Anyways, I'm glad you got to attend the Ontario meet up - even though you ended up getting there late. Ugh, getting lost sucks! You got some really great swag too and YAY for Catching Fire :D I still haven't made it out (I know, I know, I think we're going tomorrow though! WOOT!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Micheline <3 He really was. Hey, I would totally attend a Maritimer Book Blogger Meetup JUST to get the chance to see the Maritimes finally!

      Delete
  7. I'm really sorry about your grandpa, Aylee. :( My grandma just died this spring and I'm kind of dreading the holidays because I know it won't be the same without her there.
    I agree that Catching Fire was awesome. So much better than the first it was crazy. Johanna was my favorite as well.
    I hope your blogging hiatus is relaxing and helps reinvigorate you for your return.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Amanda. I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother, as well!

      Delete
  8. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather, Eilidh. I lost mine almost 2 years ago and he was also the last remaining grandparent so I know how you must be feeling.

    I will miss you blogging but I know that blogging can be hard especially when one is going through a reading slump. Feel better soon!

    I saw that you liked These Broken Stars and I really think that you'll enjoy Vicious by V. E. Schwab a lot. It's fantasy sci-fi and one of my very favorite reads of 2013.

    Have a good December!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sana. Really appreciated! Ooh yes, I really want to read Vicious!!

      Delete
  9. Aylee, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather. It sounds like he was a lot of fun to be around.

    Enjoy your blogging break and have a safe and happy holiday! Are you going back to Alberta for Christmas?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Zahida. I am going back to see my family and friends! That will be a good time to recharge.

      Delete
  10. Sorry to hear about your grandpa :( And wow 94 years old! It sucks when things like that happen this time of year though!

    Sounds like you had a great time at the blogger meet - so much so you didn't even take pictures for us to spy on the food and books! ;) I wish there were blogger meetups here - but then again there would probably be like 2 of us so baha. Middle of nowhere life! And ermagherd I loved Catching Fire, too! The casting is so freaking amazing how every single player/character is picked perfectly. I can't WAIT for the 3rd! Anyways, enjoy your blog break I think it'll be good for you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Giselle. I said the same to Micheline... I would totally come to a Maritimes Meetup if you had one JUST to see the Maritimes for once!

      Delete
  11. I'm sorry about your grandpa. No matter the age, it's always difficult to love someone you love. I think taking a break from blogging will be good. Sometimes you just need to relax and remember that reading can be fun - and hopefully your slump will end soon! I'm pretty busy right now with work and grad school, so I can't post a whole ton myself. Ah well, it happens.

    I think my sister would really like These Broken Stars. She's into sci-fi but I don't think she's read much of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lauren <3 That's exactly what I need!

      Delete
  12. So sorry to hear about your grandfather, Aylee! *hugs*

    I loved Catching Fire, too ... I think they're doing an amazing job of adapting the books.

    Yay for the book blogger meetup!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather, it sounds like you two had a great relationship. It's been a couple years since mine passed away, but I still feel his loss, especially around the holidays, so I know what you're going through.

    I'll miss you on your hiatus, but totally understand why you need one, I just took a mini break myself and am thinking of doing another one for the weeks surrounding Christmas. Hope you get past your reading slump. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I agree wholeheartedly with you about These Broken Stars. What a surprise it was! (for me anyway lol)

    Enjoy your time off. I took a break for a few months last year and it did help me so hopefully it works for you as well.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I know we talked briefly about it a bit ago, but I'm sorry for your loss, Eilidh. It's tough losing people you love, especially when you're so close to him, but at least you'll always have your memories, like him beating you at wii bowling...seriously, how awesome is that?! It's tough to get out of the bout of sadness that always follows losing someone you love, but I always think that they wouldn't want you to be sad, and plus, you can always cry about it when you're feeling particularly sad about losing a loved one...even if it did happen a time ago. Next time I see you, you'll definitely be getting a big hug from me...these virtual ones just don't have quite the same effect.

    I am glad that you had a great time at the meet up though, and yay! I love that you started the Facebook group. I remember you mentioning that you wanted to before when we chatted about Downton Abbey...which btw, we totally have to talk about once the Christmas Special is on! And yes, Catching Fire was AMAZING!!! They did so good! I loved the extra bits they added, too, but I loved that with this one, you saw so much growth, especially in Katniss and Peeta's relationship. They did wonderful at putting so much in the film. And yes, Jena Malone was fantastic!!!! :D

    I hope you have a great break from blogging! You definitely deserve a rest, and I hope to talk to you soon!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I"m so sorry for the loss of your granddad. You were very blessed to have him for 94 years. Both my granddads passed when I was a kid. I never had the pleasure of getting to know them. You are a very lucky gal to have him around for so long and in such great health! I'm sure he will be sorely missed.

    I'm so bummed you will be on hiatus for a month. Your blog is one of the only blogs I visit and comment on, on a regular basis. I love have discussions and interactions. I will miss being able to come and check things out.

    I saw Catching Fire with my hubby over the Thanksgiving weekend. I felt it was MUCH better than the first movie. My favorite scene was near the beginning when they visited the first district, the one Rue belonged to. I can't wait for the next one!

    I'm super excited you enjoyed These Broken Stars, I've added it to my Christmas wish list.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh I love meetups, it sounds like so much fun! Awesome that These Broken Stars was your favourite book of November. It's such a brilliant story isn't it? Tarver easily became one of my favourite book boys. Hope you can overcome your reading slump. Enjoy Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, too:) <3

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm glad you enjoyed These Broken Stars! I really liked it too. And I'm super curious about Strange Sweet Song. I can't wait to see what you think of it. Catching Fire! Gah. I am probably the only one left who hasn't seen it yet. It's on my schedule for next week though and I can't wait. Everyone seems to have loved it. :)

    I'm really really sorry to hear about your grandfather Aylee, but I hope you can make the most of your break. Reading slumps are no fun. :( Have a lovely holiday/xmas though, and I look forward to your return!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandpa. I lost my last grandparent about a year ago, so I know how hard that can be--especially if you are not expecting it. The blogger meet-up sounds pretty fun. I wish I had something like that near me. I loved Catching Fire and agree that 1. it was better than the first and 2. Jena Malone was spectacular.

    I hope that you have a nice, restful month. Sometimes it helps to just take a break and then come back fresh. Reading slumps are so frustrating. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Very sorry to hear about your grandfather. I lost my aunt last year just before Christmas and it was tough, but luckily our family could lean on each other. Hopefully it is the same for you.

    I actually DNFed These Broken Stars. I just couldn't get into it. It just felt boring and too romantic. Which is crazy, considering they survive a spaceship crash! Plus I wanted to strangle Lilac.And I really wanted to love it!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather, Aylee. It sounds like he was a great man and you always have your memories to go back to so that's a plus.

    Hahaha! I know, you told me you took nearly three weeks to read Allegiant. Happens. A bloggers meet sounds so much, too bad you got late! Those goodies you got are amazing.

    About Catching Fire- I loved it too! It was amazing and they practically showed the whole book in the movie which is worth a huge round of applause. *applauds*

    You seemed to have had a busy month and a break would be perfect but I'll miss your blog post. I actually already do. Anyway, take care, girl!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sorry about your grandfather Eilidh, it seems as if everyone around me is going through a similar situation so it's just really sad.

    I know I'm a bit late to this too, I've just been completely caught up with everything I've had to do in the last little while so I haven't been able to visit you guys virtually ;)

    Also, I think I know exactly what you're going through... I just really have no motivation to read/blog and it actually sucks. On the one hand I really enjoy blogging and reading, but on the other, school is just more important. Kudos to you for being able to keep it up in university, I can't even do it in high school!

    ReplyDelete
  23. So sorry about your grandfather, hun :( It's so painful to lose a loved one, especially if they're family. At least we have the comfort to know that he lived a long and joyful life :) Playing and winning at Wii Bowling is NOT an easy feat (I lose ALL the time).

    With that said, your goodies look amazing. I want to read 3:59 so bad. Haven't got a copy yet, so... le sigh. And I still need to watch Catching Fire :P

    I wish you a Happy New Year, hoping that you'll have a wonderful 2014:) Yes to more books and love!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Attractive Section Of Content. I Just Stumbled Upon Your Web Site And In Accession Capital To Assert That I Get In Fact Enjoyed Account Your Blog Posts. Anyway I Will Be Subscribing To Your Augment And Even I Achievement You Access Consistently Fast. judi online mantap asia

    ReplyDelete
  25. The Next Time I Read A Blog, I Hope That It Doesnt Disappoint Me As A Lot As This One. I Imply, I Know It Was My Option To Learn, However I Really Thought Youd Have One Thing Attention-grabbing To Say. All I Hear Is A Bunch Of Whining About One Thing That You May Fix If You Happen To Werent Too Busy On The Lookout For Attention. agenify

    ReplyDelete