Book Nook: My Summer Reading List

I absolutely love to read books. I can remember spending my summers as a kid going to the library and taking out every book imaginable. Since I started University my spare time for reading books has been eaten up by reading textbooks and academic papers. Now that classes are done and I’ve had some time to put away my school things for the summer, it’s time to break out my reading books! I’ve listed below my current summer reading list. Some of these are new books, and some are just books I really love or want to re-read. This list will probably grow as the summer progresses since I’m sure I’ll be making a trip to the bookstore sometime this summer.

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1) Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter – I’ve read the first two books in the Heist Society series, and I’m looking forward to reading this next book (#3).

2) The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – This is the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicles. I’ve actually read this book a few times before, but it’s one of my favourites so I’d like to read it again this summer. I’m still impatiently waiting for the third book from this series to come out.

3) Anna Karenina by Leo Toldstoy – I like reading some of the more classic novels once in a while. This is a book that I’ve started before, but life got busy and I never quite finished it.

4) The Luxe by Anna Godbersen – This is a completely new book for me. I picked it up because I was told it was like the Gossip Girl series (the books not the TV show). I’m looking forward to giving this book a try.

5) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – My grade 11 English class studied this book with a few other novels, but unfortunately I was placed in a different novel group and never got to read this one. I’m really looking forward to checking out what this book has to offer.

6) A Game Of Thrones by George R. R. Martin – I have tried to read this book a few times, but I found if you don’t give the novel your full attention you get confused and mixed up with all the different story lines and people. Now that I have the time to give this novel, hopefully I’ll be able to enjoy the story more.

Do any of you have suggestions for books to add to my summer reading list?

Travel Log: Theme Park Packing Tips & Tricks

Hi everyone! By the time you are reading this I will already be in sunny California for my sister’s graduation trip. Since we are going to be spending a lot of our time in Disneyland, I thought this would be a great opportunity to share my packing tips and tricks when you’re going to be spending your holiday at a theme park. So here are my top 5 theme park packing tips and tricks:

1) Sun Protection- A bad sunburn is something you do not want to deal with when you are going to be outside for a few days. Though most people remember sunscreen, bring a hat to prevent burns on you head, sunglasses for your eyes, and a lip balm with SPF (sunburns on lips are horrible).

IMG_07262) Comfortable Shoes- If you’re going to go to a theme park you’re going to be on your feet most of the day. From standing in lines to trekking across the park, you don’t want to worry about pinching shoes or blisters. Now is not the time to break in a new pair of shoes or wear those shoes you love that rip your feet apart. Make sure the shoes are broken in and can be walked in for hours.

3) Mini First-Aid Kit- From falls, to scrapes, to cuts on glass you should really have one of these handy. It’s no fun to get hurt while at the theme park, but you’ll be happy to have bandages and antiseptic wipes on hand if you do. It can be really hard to get bandaids and other tiny first-aid necessities in the park. Besides, someone always seems to get hurt when I forget the little first-aid kit. Mine is a makeshift kit made from an old soft sunglasses case. You don’t need a ton of stuff, just some alcohol wipes and bandages (regular and blister) will keep any wounds nice and clean until you leave the park.

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4) Pack Extras- I know most people encourage packing as light as possible when going on a trip, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. Pack a few extra outfits just in case there are spills or some other accident happens. I’d rather carry 2 extra outfits around than be stuck with wrecked/dirty clothes.

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5) The Luxuries- Though these aren’t necessary to enjoy your trip, they may be a good idea depending on the weather, or type of rides you are going on. A water bottle is always useful to bring. Fill it up and pack it in your bag before you go to the park. It will keep you hydrated and save you from having to buy the $5.00 bottles of water they sell at the park. I also bring a little plastic zip lanyard to carry my park pass, bus ticket, and anything else I’ll need. It keeps all my things in one place and keeps them from getting wet if it rains or if I decide to go on Splash Mountain.

I hope these theme park packing tips and tricks help make your vacation more enjoyable!

 

Book Nook: The Fault In Our Stars

Though many people have probably heard of The Fault In Our Stars by now, I thought it would be a good idea to give my own personal take on the book. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green has been recognized by the New York Times, and its film adaption will be coming to theatres in June.

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This book is about Hazel who is a teenager dealing with cancer. This book follows her as she experiences life, love and loss. It also focuses on hazel’s struggle to live what she calls a “normal” teenage life while battling her cancer.

Since this had already become quite a popular book before I read it, I had some idea of what the story was about. Though I wasn’t sure how much I would like this young adult book, I really enjoyed it. This novel was very well written and John Green delves deep into a topic that most writers would choose to avoid. I was told that this book was a tear-jerker and to keep a box of kleenex near-by, but honestly I didn’t cry while reading this book. For the record, I am not heartless. The book was sad and I understand why many tears have been shed over this book, I just had a different connection to the storyline. I thought this book was really moving and I felt like I connected personally with Hazel. Though I haven’t battled cancer personally, I have had family members battle with cancer and I have experienced the death of a friend. I would highly suggest checking this book out. Not only is it a great book, but it deals with topics and situations that most YA books choose to avoid.

Gaming: Mario Kart 7 for 3DS

Since Mario Kart 8 is releasing this summer, I thought I’d do a review on Mario Kart 7 for 3DS. I originally started playing Mario Kart on the Wii many years ago. When my husband and I were dating and living on opposite ends of the country, we would arrange times to play Mario Kart against each other online. It was just a lot of fun and the game brings back all these good memories. When I found out they made Mario Kart for 3DS I decided to get it because it had been quite some time since I had played that game, and we never got a Wii when we moved in together.

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I could have reviewed this game months ago, but I wanted to really get into it and try out all the features before giving a final verdict on the game. This game has 8 different cups you can race for in easy (50cc), medium (100cc), and hard (150cc) difficulties. You can also play multiplayer with another person in the room, or online. There are also time trials where you can work to beat your own score, and two different “mini games” where you either try to pop balloons on other cars or collect the most coins during the given time period.

The one thing I really liked about this Mario Kart was how half the cups were actually tracks from previous versions of Mario Kart. Though the new tracks are always interesting to drive, it was lots of fun getting to play tracks that were on the Wii, SNES, etc. versions. I also found this Mario Kart had great multiplayer and worked well when I was playing online or with a friend in the room. There was no noticeable lag or freezing during the game which really made the multiplayer enjoyable. However, I found the controls a bit annoying at first. I was very used to using the steering wheel for the Wii game so controlling the car with the circle pad took some practice. I also don’t really like how you have to hold down the ‘A’ button the entire time for acceleration. Though it makes sense to use the ‘A’ button for acceleration, I find my hand gets sore/tired really quickly from having my thumb jammed down on the button the entire time. Other than the controls, which take some getting used to, this is a pretty good Mario Kart for on-the-go (However, I still slightly prefer the Wii version just because of the ease of the controls).