Attention: A Poem

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How I see the fullness of your love

in your eyes as you drink me in

I cannot escape that irresistible gaze

that is the only one that truly sees

Oh, the way your thick brows soften

when your attention is upon me

I am a flower you handle with care

and there is depth behind each touch

Your words are a melodic prose

that calm and revive my spirit

That sweet concentration is only mine

and is my only continuous desire

Attention is a continuation of a “Obsidian Eyes: A Poem”

12/10/20

Book Haul!!

Hello my bookish friends! ~.~*

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m Sorry about that…

Trying to balance multiple jobs, education, relationships, and sleep is as difficult as one could imagine and more. However, among all the busyness that I have been experiencing, I made it to my favorite little oasis over the weekend– also known as the bookstore!

I felt that I was due to treat myself (as Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle would suggest in the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”) since I have been working hard lately and haven’t gotten anything new from the bookstore in a while. And, why shouldn’t take advantage of day late Black Friday deals? That would just be crazy!

Treat Yo Self! | East Lansing Public Library

Since I purchased more than 2 books (my usual limit per visit), I felt that it was a sort of a haul for myself and I wanted to share what I collected. I keep track of all my books that I have read, am reading, and want to read on Goodreads. I am not sure if any of you have heard of Goodreads.com— but it’s an amazing site and also downloadable to your smart phone as an app. I thought it would be cool to give some information about it here- since I use it so frequently on my visits to the bookstore.

Basically, it is sort of like IMDB, but it’s just for books! On Goodreads, you’re able to look up information, reviews, and ratings on almost any book you can think of. If you make an account with them with your email, you are able to to add books to shelves and categorize them as you like. The simplest shelves being- Read, Want to Read, and Currently Reading. With an account, you are also able to rate books, write reviews, join book clubs, participate in reading challenges, and more!

I have been using this website/app since 2012 when I entered high school so that I could keep track of all the books that I was reading and could find more similar books to read. Now that I work in a library, when I come across an interesting title I scan it into Goodreads to add it to my “Want To Read” shelf. Below are the descriptions of the books that I purchased last weekend. For each book, you can also find a link to view the information for it on Goodreads and puchase the same edition that I got online if you wish. I hope you enjoy!

Home Body – Rupi Kaur

Home Body

Rupi Kaur constantly embraces growth, and in home body, she walks readers through a reflective and intimate journey visiting the past, the present, and the potential of the self. home body is a collection of raw, honest conversations with oneself – reminding readers to fill up on love, acceptance, community, family, and embrace change. Illustrated by the author, themes of nature and nurture, light and dark, rest here.

i dive into the well of my body
and end up in another world
everything i need
already exists in me
there’s no need
to look anywhere else
– home

Goodreads

I am a HUGE fan of this woman! If you haven’t read her other two works, “Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and Her Flowers” (which I have reviewed, link here,) I highly recommend them. I have been anticipating this book for months now, and I am very excited to read it.

I got a signed copy…not to brag or anything.

Her. – Pierre Alex Jeanty

Her

“Her” is a collection of poetry and prose about women, their strengths and beauty. Every woman should know the feelings of being loved and radiating those feelings back to her mate. This is a beautiful expression of heartfelt emotion using short, gratifying sentiments. If there is a lover in you, you will not get enough of “Her.”

Goodreads

I have seeing bits and pieces of Jeanty’s poetry on Facebook and Instagram for a while now, and I have adored every stanza. I kept saying I was going to buy it when I get to the bookstore, but I have’t been able to do so. Luckily, when I grabbed Homebody this book on a shelf nearby! Now, I have couple of wonderful prose to look forward to reading from two amazing authors. I cannot wait to share the highlights with you.

Dune – Frank Herbert

Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for….

When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction. 

Goodreads

I purchased this because I refuse to watch a book adapted movie without reading it beforehand. That is, if I can help it. However, I have had this book on my list long before rumors of it’s movie adaption. I am a science-fiction fan, and this one is a classic. I can’t wait to dive into this one and then watch it on the big screen!

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Goodreads

Beautiful cover, right? Initially, that is the reason I was attracted to it when it came across me at work. Thankfully, the plot seems equally as intruiguing. I have beem trying to make a point to diversify my reading (I am partial to science-fiction), so I have been working on reading more fantasy recently. I choose this one along with “The Choosen Ones” by Veronica Roth as my fantasy picks. Hopefully they don’t disappoint! Crossing my fingers**

An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. 

Goodreads

This one has been on my list for YEARS. I have had this title on my goodreads shelf awaiting it’s turn for about half a decade or more, during my high school years. When I grazed past it during my hour long browsing at Barnes & Noble, I decided it is finally time to get to it. It has great ratings, so I’m excited to finally get to read it after all this time.

Chosen Ones – Veronica Roth

Chosen Ones (The Chosen Ones, #1)

The first novel written for an adult audience by the mega-selling author of the Divergent franchise: five twenty-something heroes famous for saving the world when they were teenagers must face even greater demons—and reconsider what it means to be a hero . . . by destiny or by choice.

A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.

Goodreads

The talented author who brought us the hugely popular series “Divergent,” now introduces us her first adult novel! Like “Strange the Dreamer,” I found this novel when I was working at the library. I find the story unique because of the was the hero storyline seems it’s being told. Usually, I find that stories with heroes with the central characters focus on how the hero became a hero in the first place. Books or movies with these plots include how the hero discovered their special ability or gift, the first adventures after they have that discovery, and then conflicts they have with a foe of some sort. On the contrary, this novel sort of speeds past all of those beginning phases of the birth of the heroes in this novel, which I find quite makes this novel quite distintive. I have begun reading this novel already, and it seems that Roth wants readers to piece the bits of the character’s past throughout the novel. I enjoy that part very much. Additionally, I appreciate the level of realism she has brought into this fantasy story– since I often struggle with enjoying some fantasy novels because of the lack thereof. As you can tell, so far I am not disappointed by Veronica Roth’s latest book.

I can go on more on about these exciting books, but I’ll leave that for future reviews. Thank you so much for reading my Book Haul rundown. If you enjoyed any of these books or enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like and comment. NO SPOILERS!!!

Happy Holidays 🙂

How Do You Read?

Strange. She has all those books surrounding her yet she's on an ereader and her phone is lit up?

Reading is an intellectually active activity. Although while most are sedentary while doing so, reading allows your mind stretch and your imagination to explore new heights. What reading looks in the twenty-first century is very different than what it did hundreds of years ago when the first book was bound. Reading is almost unlimited now. You can read printed copies. They can downloaded in various digital formats. You can listen to them when you’re driving or jogging even. I have taken advantage of and enjoyed all of these different avenues. Nonetheless, a printed book will always be my favorite.

This year I made it a goal to begin to learn how to crochet, in which I have to use my hands quite a bit. So I have started listening to books on audible during the time that I crochet, which I enjoy much more than I thought I would. I have even started listening to books while driving and during breaks at work. I had a thought recently about reading habits while I was observing my family reading at home. I notice that my mother often reads with her headphones in, listening to something loud enough so that her attention can’t be caught unless she’s tapped. Today, I laughed when I saw younger cousin reading while sitting upside down in a chair. My sister usually lounges on her bed while she reads mystery novels, which are her recent obsession. I would say that my habits are a bit different, and perhaps it has to do with the way I experience stories in my imagination.

Reading novel, if it’s good enough, is like watching a movie. Depending on how the author writes the story, I can see the scenes so clearly in my mind by just reading the words from the pages, as if I am sitting in a seat in the cinema. Therefore, I treat reading similarly to watching a film. Preferably, I like to be alone while reading and undisputed. Having a light finger snacks and a nice drink around isn’t necessary, but enhances the experience. I don’t usually like bright lights to be on around me, since I find that it distracts me.

I do adapt myself when I am reading in other places. During work or another setting, I can’t necessarily control all the variables in my environment. Although, I find I am able to tune my surrounding out quite well if I want to– making reading not the best idea many times when I am on the job. I have tried reading outside as well, but I find temperatures, neighbors, insects to be a constant distraction for me. However, I am in most comfortable position when it’s raining, storming, or at least cloudy outside. The subtle sounds (or even noisiness) of rainfall and the soft natural white light relaxes me and allows me to achieve the perfect amount of concentration. If it is not raining, I can settle for some light piano or violin music. Then if I can have my feet up, snuggle up with a blanket or long cardigan, light up a fragrant candle, and have a warm cup of tea… I’m all set for the adventures the book before me has yet to set me upon!

My desire for the future, is to have a room dedicated completely to books and reading. The shelves would overflowing with cherished stories I read once before and others yet to sail upon the waves of my imagination. I can only dream of it now, and hope it becomes a reality someday as by small collection of books grows more and more.

I am curious, how do you read? What is your idea of a perfect reading nook? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to talk with you about it.

8/12/20

Firefly: A Poem

His contemplations had become bleak
lost determination to continue to seek
any sort of gaiety that would not find him
It no longer caused him bewilderment
the world was only cruel and bent
and had nothing for him
Until a particularly cold and dark night
when he met a minute but rising light
that seemed to come from nowhere
She was small in her form only
but her glow filled him deeply
luminescence permeated his emptiness
Her sweet smile gave him hope
for her, he would now cope
and he called her firefly

7/10/20

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass: A Review

Amazon.com: The Betrothed eBook: Cass, Kiera: Kindle Store
Purchase “The Betrothed” on Amazon

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Dresses, kings, parties, and castles…Kiera Cass definitely has a specialty.

I am a fan of hers, as she wrote one of my favorite YA series “The Selection.” It is similar to this book in the way that it deals with a common girl’s experience with royalty. However, it is a bit different still in many ways.

In “The Betrothed” we are introduced Hollis Brite, who is a young lady from a nobel family. She has caught the attention of King Jameson, and early on in the book declares his affections for her and his intentions to make her his bride. This story is more of a fairy-tale courtly romance, full of the common royal dramas such as jealousy, parties and guests, and forbidden love. This novel appealed to my inner teenage self who loved stories like the Selection series and the Princess Diaries series, and was very excited for another castle romance. In the Kingdom of Coroa, the regal women were strong influences in their society– something Hollis longs to become as well. Therefore, her budding relationship with the most powerful man in the Kingdom could not be a perfect. It’s also her chance to prove herself to her parents and for them all to live lavishly. However, when a family of Isolten (neighboring kingdom) refugees come to the castle, their oldest son become a good friend and confidant of hers. Her court responsibilities increase and the king only become more enamored by her. Soon, what she thought she wanted her whole life is not all that it seems.

I will say that I liked this novel, but I can’t say that I liked it more than her others.

Hollis Brite, in my opinion, was a good character. She wasn’t something extraordinary, which made her relatable, but it also didn’t make her very interesting. She was a lady of the court, so while she was still a teen girl who liked to have her fun, she was able to uphold a presence of regality with her ability to entertain, conversationalism, and dress. While she seemed like she was quite aloof at first, she was able to sway the ideas of the king to allow the refugees to stay in Coroa. That was probably the part in the book when she appealed the most to me. She was a likable heroine character, although I thought she was a bit foolish at some points.

King Jameson is what I imagine a king would be. I don’t think he has bad intent, and he truly loves Hollis and would give her anything she desired. He is a bit too controlling though, an attribute derived from his late father no doubt. Silas, the eldest son of the Isolten refugee family, did not appeal to me as I hoped he would. He was kind, humorous, and understanding of Hollis difficulties as a soon to be queen. I could not quite understand the relationship between the two of them and how it became what it did. It happened a bit too fast for my liking. What I liked about him most was his skill of crafting fine armory, which became an advantage. There were other characters as well, who I found more interesting than the primary characters. I found that I really liked Silas’ younger sister, Silas’ mother, and the Queen of Isolte to be among my favorite characters. The character that I liked the least is probably Delia Grace. I just didn’t like her attitude.

I thought that the flairs of kingdoms themselves were very fascinating. There were a number of kingdoms, but I don’t remember what they all were. Coroa and Isolte were the most mentioned. They each had selected colors: Coroa was red and Isolte was blue. I appreciated that each kingdom had a strength, and wore different sorts of attire. For example, Isolte focused more on sciences. Some of rulers the kingdoms were more mild in their dealings, and others were more aggressive. I feel that Cass, as well in her other books, shines in her establishment of the realms that her novels are set in.

Overall, I would say that I liked this novel. I would not classify among my favorites, but I did enjoy it. At the end of the novel, I was left quite surprised by the shocking events that I did not anticipate whatsoever. So, I am excited for the next book. I hear it is to be a duology, so it will only have two books. I do recommend this book to Tudor fans, and fairy-tale romance story lovers.

Thanks for reading this review! If you would like to recommend any books to me, let me know in the comments! Also, follow me on goodreads here to see what I’m currently reading! Stay safe!