Armchair BEA: Top Five Book Adaptations I’m Looking Forward To

Armchair BEA
Image: Amber Ostheimer
Today at Armchair BEA, we’re talking about book adaptations.  Here are the Top Five book adaptations I’m looking forward to:
  • The Magicians – I haven’t read the books so I can’t judge if the trailer depicts a show that is anything like them.  However, I’ve had The Magicians by Lev Grossman on my TBR for over a year, and I will be reading it before the show airs.
  • Outlander – Yes, I know, this one is already out, and the 1st season has just wrapped up.  However, I’ve only seen the 1st episode that was aired for free on the internet.  Once the entire season is out on DVD for a reasonable price (so probably around Christmas), I’ll finally get to watch it.
  • Game of Thrones – Also already out, and several seasons have already aired.  The prices of the DVDs are ridiculous.  I’ve seen the 1st three seasons, and I’ve been avoiding spoilers ever since.  1) I know the TV show deviates from the books a bit and 2) I’ve only read the 1st book of the series.
  • Mr. Holmes – This isn’t a “true” adaptation but more of a re-telling.  However, it still looks amazing, and Ian McKellen is awesome in everything he does.
  • A.K.A. Jessica Jones – This is a comic book adaptation that 1) has a lead woman for once and 2) will have David Tennant.  Also, it will be on Netflix, and the Boyfriend and I loved Daredevil, so I’m excited to see more Marvel/Netflix creations.

Armchair BEA: Visual Expressions – The Multimedia Novel

Armchair BEA
Image: Amber Ostheimer


“On this day, we will be talking about those books and formats that move beyond just words and use other ways to experience a story.”

My all-time favorite non-traditional form of storytelling is the multimedia novel.  Why?  Because reading a multimedia novel, like S. by Doug Dorst & J.J. Abrams, is like finding you have something in common with a stranger as you read their marginalia in a book found at the used bookstore.  It’s like coming across some lost and forgotten trunk of an ancestor in the attic or basement and discovering that the story of their life, or maybe just a defining part of it, is contained within.  It’s like snooping and getting a peek into someone else’s life without taking the dishonest and unethical route of digging through another person’s things.

There’s also the hair-raising factor of stories like The Silent History by Eli HorowitzNight Film by Marisha Pessl, and The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.  If you’re looking for something creepy, horrific, or thrilling, any one of these multimedia novels will the do the trick in ways that traditional books can’t.  They somehow feel more real, as if the stories actually happened, and you get the spine-tingling feeling that maybe you shouldn’t be reading it; it’s a secret you’ve stumbled upon and continuing could mean finding yourself involved in something that has dire consequences.  However, you can’t stop.  You must know what happened.  Afterward, you’ll always wonder if maybe the story wasn’t just a story after all.  Maybe it really happened.

Armchair BEA: Social Media

Armchair BEA
Image: Amber Ostheimer


Today at Armchair BEA, we’re talking about social media.  I use what is probably the typical platforms of social media as most book bloggers do, but I’m not on it nearly as much as perhaps I should be and I know there are bloggers out there that would say I’m doing it all wrong.  That’s because I don’t use it primarily for networking and making connections with other bloggers.  Instead, most of my social media is used to spread the word about my blog and to keep up with book and publishing related news.  While I greatly enjoy being a part of the book blogging community, I don’t blog just for fun, and it’s not a hobby.  It’s a small part of what I’m doing to build my career while I finish my degree.  I plan to continue blogging after I graduate since it is fun, but I’ll be focusing more on other parts like taking on paid work and finishing my non-fiction book.

With all of that being said, I still do some socializing on the various social media platforms I use, and if anyone comments/messages/replies I will respond with at least a “Like” or “Favorite” and I always answer questions.  I enjoy participating in Twitter chats (I’m sad I won’t be able to join in on this evening’s Armchair BEA chat) as well as posting the occasional cat related picture or random tidbit about my day, I’m thrilled to be a part of three amazing book blogging related groups on Facebook because there’s always something interesting being discussed or shared, and I love to see what others are reading on Goodreads.  In addition to Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads, I’m also on Google+TsuLibraryThing, and The Reading Room, though not nearly as much as the others.

Armchair BEA: Library Love – Book Haul

Armchair BEA
Image: Amber Ostheimer


Last year I participated in a Summer Library challenge and wrote “Library Storytime”, which is the story of how libraries have been important to me throughout my life.  I had also started a book haul feature titled “You Only Spent How Much?!”, but once I began participating in the #ShelfLove No Book Buying Challenge, I had to discontinue it.  Since today’s other topic for Armchair BEA is “Library Love”, and I’ve been making use of my library in order to read the books I can’t buy, I decided to show you my most recent library book haul:

2015-05-27 10.49.16

As you can see, most of the books, are about my favorite genre, Fantasy.  Manifesta is a book I decided to check out after reading The Essential Feminist Reader, and On the Shoulders of Hobbits is one of the many books about Hobbits that I will probably want to buy my own copy of after I’m finished reading it, but will have to add it to my ever-growing wishlist instead.  What you don’t see is the ridiculous number of ebooks I regularly check out to avoid injury from lugging around so many books.  My library is great in that it often has both a physical and digital copy so I can spend some time in the library with the physical book to see if I want to continue reading it, and then download the digital edition later.

Armchair BEA: Introductions

Armchair BEA
Image: Amber Ostheimer
How did you get into blogging?
As many of you already know, I’ve been blogging for a little more than a year.  My Blogiversary was back in April, and in my Sunday’s Sundries post about it, I told the story of how I got into blogging in order to participate in read-a-thons, but it became so much more than that within a couple months.
What is your favorite genre and why?
My favorite genre has always been Fantasy, which is why most of my reviews are for books that fit in that genre.  I love Fantasy for several reasons:
  1. It provides an escape from reality into other worlds.
  2. At the same time, it deals with the realities of human existence in a way that other genres can’t because…
  3. Anything can happen and everything is possible.
  4. But, the adventure stays in the book so that I and other Hobbit-types don’t have to give up our favorite armchairs and tea at four.

What is one book everyone should read?  

I’ve discussed a couple of times how I don’t think that there is any one book that everyone should read, but if I absolutely had to pick one book, it would be one of the books on my Through the Magic Door list, and probably The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien or The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

What book are you reading right now?

I’m reading a couple of books, actually; A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall and The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon.

What is the top book in your TBR pile?

I don’t have a TBR pile; I have TBR shelves, but some of the books on those shelves have already been read, or they’re reference/companion books.  With that being said, if I were to look at the left side of the top shelf, the first book that I haven’t read yet is Steampunk: Extraordinary Tales of Victorian Futurism.

What book are you most looking forward to reading this Summer?

How am I supposed to pick just one?!  I have a whole list that I’m hoping I’ll get to this Summer, but with an even longer list of books that I have scheduled for review, along with taking 2 of my remaining college courses, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find the time.  Just looking at my TBR shelves makes me want to read them all:


#FitReaders Check-In #21

Geeky Bloggers Book Blog
  • This check-in is for May 18th – 24th.  I know I said last week that I was making fitness a priority.  As I said yesterday in my Monday’s Minutes post, I had a large case of “I don’t want to do anything”, and that included making time for exercise. While the Boyfriend was off walking, I was gaming.  I did make it to a Hot Yoga class though.
  • Now that I spent some time being thoroughly lazy, I’m feeling considerably more productive, and I’m recommitting myself to reaching my goal of an average of 8K steps a day.
  • If you’d like to add me as a friend on FitBit, you can find me HERE.
  • Steps: 21,471
  • Distance: 8.83 miles
  • Flights of stairs: 9
  • Total Money Donated: $3.06

Tuesday’s Tunes #3: The Third Wave

Ever since I got to the Third Wave writings in The Essential Feminist Reader, back during Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, I’ve been listening to a lot of 90’s music by women. I decided to share my favorites with all of you.  Some of these songs are NSFW.

Third Wave Playlist

Monday’s Minutes #21

Currently Reading: A Crown for Cold Silver by Alex Marshall, a review book, and The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon.

Crown Fiery


  • Once Upon a Time IX Progress: 5 out of 5. All I have left is to read “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by Shakespeare.
  • Show Your Shelves Some Love Progress: 18 out of 51.
  • Outdo Yourself Progress: 30 out of 66.
  • Netgalley/Edelweiss Progress: 9 out of 50.
  • SF/F BingoUnless I figure out a new way of rearranging the books I’ve already read, Journey to the Underhill Gates and The Thrones of Fire and Stone by P.J. Owen, as wells as The Coffee Legacy, don’t fit on any of the remaining squares.

S&S Bingo2update10

Total pages read for the week: 468

Total # of books for the year: 31.  This week, though I did get some reading done, I had a giant case of the “I don’t want to do anything” and spent about half of my time gaming.  I think I was more burnt out from the Spring semester than I realized, and I’ve been trying to do too many things since it ended; many of which needed to get done before my Summer classes start next week.

Top Commenters: This week, my Top Commenters were Jen @ That’s What I’m Talking About, Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun, and Lark @ The Bookwyrm’s Hoard.

What are you reading this week?

Armchair BEA 2015

Armchair BEA
Image: Amber Ostheimer

I’m participating in Armchair BEA this year for the very first time!  Each day, from May 27th to June 1st, I’ll be posting about the daily topics, participating in Twitter chats, and making my way around the book blogosphere to comment on other participants’ blogs.

Are you participating?  Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Review: The Sparrow


  • Author: Mary Doria Russell
  • ISBN: 9780449912553
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • Genre: Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction

I purchased this book.

I’ve managed to pull myself out of the emotional wreckage this book caused in order to write this review.  I considered not writing one, but this book is truly great.  I don’t know if it will continue to stand the test of time, but even with a small part of the story occurring in 2015, the technology still seems marginally possible.  This is a work of Science Fiction, though, so I had to be forgiving of the “science”.

Putting the science and technology aside (which is easy to do since the story is about the characters and their experiences interacting with the aliens they come in contact with), this book is difficult.  It took me several months to finish, and not just because I was reading five other books at the time.  It ran me through a wringer emotionally, so I had to repeatedly put the book down for a bit so I could process what I was feeling and thinking.  You quickly discover that Emilio Sandoz, a Jesuit priest, is the only survivor of the mission to make contact with an alien species, and something horrible was done to him, but you don’t really know what.  Clearly, he’s suffering from PTSD, survival guilt, and a whole laundry list of physical health issues, but it’s through the back and forth between the present and the past that you very slowly find out exactly what happened and why.  You don’t know the full extent of the horrors until near the end.  Much of Emilio’s thoughts and emotions hit far too close to home, and I bookmarked several passages so that I could go back later to re-read them.  In a way, his story was therapeutic, but as anyone who’s ever been through any mental or physical therapy knows, it’s rough going.  It’s never easy, and many of the characters who are trying to help Emilio recover from his experiences don’t seem to understand that, in much the same way as most people don’t understand just how difficult it is to deal with mental health issues.

I highly recommend The Sparrow, but not necessarily to just those who enjoy Science Fiction.  Rather, this book is more for anyone who loves Speculative Fiction or Literary Fiction.  Please understand that the story may take a long time to get through, though, and I recommend having something light and easy to read for when you need a break, or for when you’ve finished this book, in order to balance things back out.  I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which did the trick and kept me from getting deeply depressed.