Currently Listening To | La-La Land

Dear fellow Babblers,

This is going to be the first post part of the ‘Currently Listening To‘ category of my blog. My reading habits are about eighty percent dependent on my mood. I am what is to be called a “mood reader.” While I usually stick within the genre of Young Adult circulating around a theme of mental illness, I am basically what you could call a ‘mood reader.’ Sometimes I read because I’m nostalgic for earlier, perhaps more happier times in my life while other times I read just because I want an excuse to lay in bed all day with a Coca Cola. I always have a book nearby with numerous titles taking up space in my kindle. It goes without saying that books take up a large part of my life so it’s only natural that how I feel on a day to day basis is a partial result and becomes a partial cause of what fictional universe I’m currently dreaming myself to be traversing.

Anyway, this same logic applies to the tunes booming from my headphones. Always, there is a book peaking out of my purse. Similarly, I am always with headphones in my ears. Whether I’m at home, waiting in line at Trader Joes or walking down the street to school there is something always playing in my ears. Music, just like books plays a huge part of my life as it’s always there when I want to groove, dream of a life not mine, block out the world around me, feel as though I’m not alone in my sadness, discover some feelings I never knew to be burrowed inside of me.

La-La Land. Ever heard of this phrase ? I’m sure you have. All bibliophiles are notorious for choosing to live in “La-La Land” over the reality so clear and distinct before their very eyes. All through my childhood, adolescence and now straight into my early adulthood I never managed to shake that habit of losing myself in my thoughts. I tend to get some sort of random idea in my head and for an unpredictable amount of time become so obsessed with it that I almost, well, just about entirely lose focus of what I’m even doing. My mind begins to spin as I imagine alternate universes, becoming infatuated with all of these “what-ifs.” Sometimes these alternate universes bring me to my past, other times they whisk me away off towards the future and in rare cases they take me into the body, mind and world of someone, or something not me at all. While where where I am taken by these these initial thoughts always seem to take me by surprise as they develop like a spider weaving it’s web, the thoughts themselves are always the result of a feeling and these feelings, if not sprouting from books can be traced to music.

How I feel comes in waves, sometimes high sometimes low, with a soft hum edging it towards far into La-La Land, what I’ve been calling an ‘alternate universe.’ I’m sure we all come in and out of La-La Land, sometimes willingly, others by the force of reality pulling us back to our lives’ obligations. The slightest sensation can affect this. For me, music influences my flights in and out of La-La Land, and I’m sure it does for all of you as well. Below I have put together my La-La playlist, or the songs that take me back and forth between the pink sidewalks and purple clouds of my imagination and the blue sky and green grass of my reality. Upon listening to some of these tracks maybe you’ll be taken to a place like Narnia or maybe you will just get bored and skip to the next song, it all depends on your own alternate universe idea. Either way, I hope at least some of these songs bring you to a whirlwind of possibilities and make you dream, just as it does for me.
                         Continue reading “Currently Listening To | La-La Land”

Top 10 Tuesday: Sensory Reading Memories

Dear fellow Babblers,

Hello there and happity-dappity Tuesday! Today has been a wonderfully humid day here in New York but that is not to say that it has not been a day filled with wonders, blessings and hope. I moved here less than twenty four hours ago, having arrived at JFK Sunday evening, heading straight to Upper Manhattan. Between then and now I have visited the greater half of Brooklyn, Harlem, Queens and much of Manhattan in search of an apartment. Being a first timer in New York the areas and neighborhoods as listed online meant nothing to me. It wasn’t until I found myself sitting in the subway watching the turns, entries, and exits through different parts of the city that the anxiety and suddenly realization would kick in that I had absolutely no idea where I was going and where I would end up. Just when I was at my wits end, pulling my hair out, screaming in my pillow, very near tears last night I found my new home. I moved into my cozy little room early this morning and since then have gotten to know my neighborhood and even found a job not even a two minute walk from my bedroom window.

Officially now living here in New York, thinking back to a little over a year ago when I graduated from UCLA and everything that I have seen, done and felt since then feels like many moons backwards. Between getting through emotional hardships, making difficult career decisions and living out of a suitcase, as of lately I have been reminiscing upon my life: childhood, adolescence and early adult and while all that I have mentioned peeks into my mind, I can’t help but also connect many of my memories to some titles that I have read whose story continues to live on within me. And that is why today I am here, after this very long introduction to take part in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl which discusses all things bookish, bringing together book bloggers from all over the world. I usually don’t do these memes as I like to keep each of my posts original and just, you know, stick with my own vibes as my writing always reflects what is going on in my mind and life regardless of it is a book review or life update. However, feeling the way I am at the moment, nostalgic and dozing off to another time, this week’s topic seems just what I need.

The purpose of today’s Top Ten Tuesday is to bring back to conscious those special titles that gave you all the feels, evoking your sensory emotions, becoming a part of who you are, keeping a special place in your heart. Whether it be books read repeatedly during adolescence, those you read once during a road trip but made you feel a way you never had before, or even those you read during an airplane ride thinking you were just trying to escape the blabber mouth lady sitting next to you. Whatever the time, place and reason, these books are, in and of themselves proof of the life a book can take in each and every one of us.
Continue reading “Top 10 Tuesday: Sensory Reading Memories”

Review: Men Without Women

Title: Men Without Women

Author: Haruki Murakami

Publisher: Bond Street Books

Publication Date: May 9, 2017

Genre: Short Story, Adult Contemporary

Rating: 5 Stars

Dear fellow Babblers,

Another masterpiece from the artful clever Haruki Murakami. Before reading Men Without Women I read Norwegian Wood (my review can be found here). I had just come back from a long non-blogging hiatus and I was frightfully anxious to begin writing reviews again. However, having not written in a while, I felt that I lost much of my imagination and inspiration for writing. I mean, book reviews doesn’t take the strenuous amount of creativity and strength that novel or short story writing requires but there’s still a lot of thought that goes into the process. With this in mind, I really wanted to ease my way back in with an author I already knew and have never felt let down by. Murakami is that author for me. Norwegian Wood carried me away and made me feel as though all the thoughts, troubles, feelings that I had in the past few months were basic nothingness. Like all feelings of euphoria, I wanted to feel this way again. I initially told myself that after writing my review for Norwegian Wood I would get serious and start on my list of author requests and ARCs but here I am writing this long beat-around-the-bush explanation just to say I did no such thing. I picked up more Murakami. This time I’m here with an eccentric collection of contemporary short stories, Men Without WomenContinue reading “Review: Men Without Women”

Review: Norwegian Wood

Title: Norwegian Wood

Author: Haruki Murakami (Translated by Jay Rubin)

Publisher: Vintage Books

Publication Date: September 12, 2000

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 4 Stars

Dear fellow Babblers,

This is going to be my first book review in quite a few months, my last being an ARC review of The Museum of Us close to four months ago, back in March. The reason being, I’ve been traveling and going through some serous personal and academic changes and self discovery, resulting in the majority of my energy being directed to myself and away from the book blogging community. I have been back in Los Angeles for a little over a week now and will remain here for the next couple of weeks before I fly across the country to New York in preparation of a masters program that I will be starting in September. I’ve been settling back into a calm, translucent life in my parents’ home, back in my childhood room of tower-high books and stuffed care bears all around me. It’s a luxury to be able to walk up and down my shelves and choose whatever I am in the mood of reading, unlike during my travels that I read whatever I could manage to get my hands on, or whatever was the cheapest and least had the least ridiculous cover.

I returned to the United States in low and glum spirits and I was a bit hopeless as to figuring out a way to cope as I’ve never been a girl good at coping and have always been rather hopeless at hoping. Books have always been my way of momentarily caging my sadness or sorrow which is exactly what I fell back on this time around. With the joy that I could finally for the first time in over a year pick a book off of my own shelf I chose a novel from my favorite contemporary author, Norwegian Wood by the legendary Haruki Murakami, and here is what I thought…  Continue reading “Review: Norwegian Wood”

Update | I Have Seen. I Have Done. I Have Thought

Dear fellow Babblers,

To be back in the blogosphere. This is almost too much. I have forgotten how to come back to my keyboard so the fact that I’m here now writing even this much out is already too much. The thought of writing a post! But what fear that creates in me! Who will read? Did anyone even notice I was gone ? What’s changed amongst book reviewers lately ? What’s everyone been reading ? Are we still hung up on Adam Silvera or is there already someone new ? And writing to y’all ? What can, should, do I even do I give a life update that no one really even cares about? I mean, come on, I’m not Selena Gomez here. Well hey, I’m supposedly a book reviewer, right ? So why not write a book review ? Yeah, no. And why ? I really just cannot. There are too many thoughts, feelings, meaningless intentions pulsating in that dark and shallow corner in the back of my mind. I just cannot focus on critiquing any sort of thematics, language, or structure of the world spinning in another writer’s mind. So if this post is not a banal life update or a sophisticated book review, what is all this nonsense doing floating on your screen trying to get across ? Not even I, the thoughtless scribbler behind all of this can give a clear, to-the-professor’s-point response. All I know is I’ve missed writing. I’ve missed interacting with other bloggers. I’ve missed pouring my heart into my keyboard. Being away has brought me back. Fear has kept me away, but nostalgia has lead me back. What I have seen, done, thought in the past three months not writing, whether it be on this platform or another, is what has lead me to discover that writing is one of those hobbies, obsessions, outlets – call it what you will – that give me my spirit, soul – life…

…And so here, for this post is what I have seen, done, thought in the past three months of not writing:  Continue reading “Update | I Have Seen. I Have Done. I Have Thought”

Wanderings: Morocco |

Dear fellow Babblers,

I’ve been gone from internet connection for quite a while now. I recently took a fifteen day solo trip back to Morocco. My first time visiting the country was back in December/January and I fell in love. You can read more on my initial Moroccan vibes here. From the delicately infused tea with just the right amount of sugar, to the maze of endless medinas to the kind and helpful, sometimes aggressive and flirty natives, Morocco is a place unlike anywhere else in the world.  Continue reading “Wanderings: Morocco |”

ARC Review: The Museum of Us

Title: The Museum of Us

Author: Tara Wilson Redd

Publisher: Random House/Wendy Lamb Books

Expected Publication Date: June 26, 2018

Genre: YA, Mental Illness

Rating: 4.5 Stars

I received an ARC copy of The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd in exchange for an honest review. Thanks goes to NetGalley, as well as Random House/Wendy Lamb Books for this advanced copy which is expected to be released on June 26, 2018.

Dear fellow Babblers,

Sometimes, well, often I find myself sitting at my kitchen table, walking down the street, laying in bed, riding in an airplane without really being “there.” I slip away from reality for moments on end, dreaming about far off places, worlds, and possibilities. I get a sort of idea in my head and just like that become obsessed with dreaming it to life. A lot of my time is spent in these fantasies that it is very easy for me to lose my grasp of reality. That being said, The Museum of Us by Tara Wilson Redd is a book that instantly speaks to dreamers like me. It is a spell binding story of the dangers of becoming so absorbed in the world of fiction that life outside of it appears almost meaningless by comparison.  Continue reading “ARC Review: The Museum of Us”

The Fictional Family Book Tag

Dear fellow Babblers,

Today is the day I bounce up and down off the walls like the Mexican jumping bean my mother has raised me to be. And this is all thanks to our dearest Laura Beth at Hot Shot Headlines. This lovely gal has tagged me in the infamous (…just go with it) Fictional Family Book Tag. The last time I was tagged or nominated for anything was all the way back in Novemeber so y’all should understand my giddy excitement to get down to it. Laura Beth’s blog is always my go to because it not only includes thorough book reviews, but also super interesting commentary on events and news of the day. The Queen mama AKA creator of this tag is Marill at Books and Ravens. So enough of my jibber jabber, and gets see what unlucky characters ’bout to be a part of my gang.  Continue reading “The Fictional Family Book Tag”