My Holiday To-Do List

I always make rather outrageous plans for my month-long winter break. After a semester of horrors, Christmas is exactly what I need to wind down, relax, and enjoy myself. Oh, and make to-do lists. Because I am possibly the most list-oriented person I know. I have a planner with my schedule, post it notes on which I write my daily to-do lists by order of importance, and I also have like 3 Google Calendars and a wall calendar and I LIKE BEING ORGANIZED OKAY. Maybe that’s why I like blogging so much; I get to schedule like there’s no tomorrow. *dreamy sigh*

Anyway, with this fine, festive, festooned holiday which represents any number of things from baby Jesus to snow to Santa Claus to Norse mythology, I tend to make grand schemes.

Festivity #1

Buy every sweater on creation.

No seriously. Do you even comprehend the infinite glory that is sweaterland?

Sweaters are one of my absolute favorite parts of winter and they always make me feel cozy and hip and (of course) warm.

Festivity #2

Wear Christmas socks.

I have shitloads of holiday-themed footwear and now is the time to rock them. And rock them I will. *puts on war paint*

Festivity #3

Do the snow dance once in the morning and once at night. No matter what.

Snow dance definition: Put on every piece of winter clothing you own, go stand outside (preferably in your front yard where there are witnesses), and dance furiously while singing either Jingle Bells or Let It Snow.

Festivity #4

Go buy those organic chocolate truffles at Earth Fare because like really, get in my mouth now. *grabby hands* If I could marry these truffles, my girlfriend would be shit outta luck.

Festivity #5

Bloggity bloggity bloggity blog. I’ve got reviews done up through January, so now I’m going to work on the other fun stuff for this month! And since there’s no school, I’ll have lots of time to explore other blogs and meet peeps and lurk on Goodreads and Twitter. (Aside: I don’t mean to whine on Twitter. Twitter makes me do it. I mean, really. It’s obviously Twitter’s fault. All that blue? Should be viewed with suspicion. *views suspiciously*)

Festivity #6

Watch ALL the Christmas movies. Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Santa Claus, Annie, and a few Disney movies. Also Harry Potter because it is never not the right time to watch Harry freakin’ Potter, let’s be real.

Festivity #7

Wear the most sickeningly festive nail polish known to man. Right now it’s candy cane red with sparkly green Christmas trees. Up next: ice blue snowflakes awyiss.

Festivity #8

Cuddles with my Boo Bear (who is my dog, and I love him, and he is mine).

Festivity #9

Listen to Christmas music until I’m thinking in carols.

Festivity #10

Read, read, read, and oh did I mention READ? I’m going to read all da books. None shall escape me. I’m going to meet my reading goal, and I’m going to eat, sleep, and breathe books until January. I’m also going to finish the Gallagher Girl series because holy hell, spy school has never been better. And then I’m going to put a dent in my Winter TBR list, and prepare myself for the unholy delights of the 2014 Reading Retellings Challenge (which I am hosting/fangirling over). Join me in my quest to read some spectacular retellings in 2014!

Happy holidays, my lovelies! I hope your week is merry and bright so far, and I hope your reading is as well! Have a sparkling day!

Love, Sam

The Sunday Post #4

The Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Last Week on TNN

MondayReview of Weather Witch by Shannon Delany (5/5 hearts)

TuesdayTop Ten Books On My Winter TBR List

WednesdayWWW Wednesdays #3 (find out what I’m reading!)

ThursdayFlash Review of The Espressologist by Kristina Springer (3/5 hearts)

FridayReview of Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin (4/5 hearts)

SaturdayStacking the Shelves #7 (find out what books I’ve added to my shelves this week!)

This Week on TNN

Monday: ARC Review of A Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish (4/5 hearts)

Tuesday: My Holiday To-Do List

Wednesday: Review of The Fault in Our Stars (4/5 hearts)

Waiting on Wednesday (Stormbringer)

Thursday: Thoughtful Thursday — Heroines I Love

Friday: Book Blitz of Ondine by Emma Raveling

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves #8

Bookish News

2014 Reading Retellings Challenge: I love retellings. Love. Them. So. Much. So I decided to start my own little reading challenge here at TNN for this coming year to read more retellings. There’s so many great ones out there that I haven’t read, such as Cinder by Marissa Meyer or Splintered by A. G. Howard, so 2014 is the year I’m going to dive into these wonderful reads and find out what I’ve been missing! If you’d like to join me, check out this post for more information.

Non-Bookish News

My New Electric Tea Kettle: For my birthday yesterday, my awesome madre bought me an electric tea kettle for my tea-drinking pleasure. I’m over the moon. (It makes ramen too, I mean what.)

Aroma Hot H20 X-Press 7-Cup Stainless Steel Electric Kettle

No More School: School is over! Winter break is here! Let the outrageous partying begin! (Nah, more like reading of books and drinking of tea alone in my bed. I’m hardcore like that.)

I’m No Longer Dying: So I was sick for over a week with the flu’s lesser-known twin, and after shots, steroids, and profuse bloodletting (jk you guys jk), I am finally in recovery. Of course, I still missed the entire last week of school, which was a bug to deal with, but I’ve just got to make up an exam and a presentation tomorrow, and I’m all finished.

Shop ‘Til I Drop: This week will be shopping, shopping, and more shopping. I have a shopping day with the wifey on Tuesday, accompanied by a night showing of “The Desolation of Smaug” (hell yes), and then most likely multiple outings to the bookstore because it’s there and I am not strong enough to withstand the seductive allure of books.

I hope you all have a fantastic, festive, felicitous week full of good books, good food, and good cheer. Happy Holidays!

Love, Sam

Thoughtful Thursday: Retellings + Reading Challenge

Thoughtful Thursday

I have been obsessing over a few retellings I’ve found in the past few weeks, especially Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin. I’ve always loved these kinds of books, but recently a lot of great ones have come out that I’m really excited about. In fact, I’m so excited that I’ve decided to start a challenge devoted to reading retellings.

But first, I want to explain why I love them.

There’s a lot of classics and obscure books and myths that don’t get the attention they deserve, often because stylistically, they’re very different from what today’s readers are accustomed to. So I think it’s an amazing idea to “modernize” these stories to appeal to an entirely different audience. How many people have seen that “Romeo + Juliet” movie with Leonardo DiCaprio? How many people have seen the one from the sixties (which is my favorite btw)? A lot of people wouldn’t know about stories like Cinderella or Beauty and the Beast without Disney. We wouldn’t know about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table if it weren’t for all the films and TV shows and books written about it. The fact that we are managing to keep so much of the past alive, albeit in an often heavily altered way, is a huge achievement, and it’s introducing older, “dated” material to a new generation of readers so that they can see beyond the current literary world to what has come before it and, in many ways, created our current reading culture. I love the idea that after reading a book like Bridget Jones’s Diary or Ophelia, a teenager will be able to see the relevance of Pride and Prejudice or Macbeth in today’s world and appreciate the story more than they would have otherwise.

It really just makes me happy to know that older stories aren’t fading away for the most part. If anything, they’re becoming even more prevalent. It’s a little bit awesome.

But anyway, gushy feelings toward retellings aside, because of the huge array of retellings out there, I’m hosting a teensy little challenge here at The Nighttime Novelist to read more of them in 2014, and you are welcome to join me!

2014 Reading Retellings Challenge

Rules/Information

  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. I will post a wrap-up post at the end of each month with a link to my retelling review(s) for that month. Each retelling read MUST be reviewed in some way.
  • Novel-length (150+ pages) fiction only
  • No more than 2 re-reads
  • All formats allowed
  • Anyone can join at any time in the year, although books read prior to joining do not count.
  • You don’t have to have a blog to join; reviewing on Goodreads or Amazon is fine as long as everybody can see it.
  • Books don’t have to be stated in advance; it’s up to you!
  • ARC’s are fine, but try to read some that aren’t new releases.
  • Retellings can be anything from a contemporary version of a Shakespeare play to an interpretation of Sleeping Beauty. As long as there is evidence it is a retelling of some kind, it will most likely count. But you can’t just start reading a random book and go, “Oh! This sort of reminds me of blankety-blank.” There must be some sort of statement that this is based on a prior work.
  • The retelling can have an oral origin. Not all legends/myths were traditionally written down, but if it’s a legitimate story, it works. For example, most Native American folklore was not written, but a retelling of some Iroquois tale is perfectly valid.

Levels

  • Easy: 1-5 books
  • Not So Easy: 6-12 books
  • I Like A Challenge: 13-19 books
  • I Eat Easy for Breakfast: 20+

I can’t wait to get started on this! I’m aiming for the I Like A Challenge level, preferably at 15 books, but we’ll see how it goes. If you’d like to join me, feel free to leave a comment. What challenges are you joining for 2014?