Wednesday, September 23, 2015

October TBR

Unfortunately, I have limited space in my apartment at my new school, which means that I could only take a couple of books with me when I moved. These books are ones that have been in my TBR mountain pile for a long time that I really wanted to read, but just haven't gotten around to it yet.

I realize I'm a little premature with this TBR, since it's still September, but with how busy I am with school I probably won't be getting to read much until October.

1. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
I have heard really good things about this author, though I haven't read any of his other books yet. I think it's in the same sort of universe as the Percy Jackson series. I've read a couple of chapters so far and I'm really enjoying it!

2. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
I really love some of Sarah Dessen's books, while some are just okay. This book is pretty short, so it will be a nice, quick read. 

3. Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella
I absolutely adore Sophie Kinsella's books. Her characters are so likeable and relatable as well, and her novels are always entertaining. I tend to read her books pretty quickly no matter the size because once I pick one up I have a hard time putting it down again. 

That's it for my TBR list this month! I realize it's pretty short, but with school I don't have a ton of time to read. I'm also an English major so my English classes require quite a bit of reading, which takes priority over reading for fun. Am I the only one who misses the designated pleasure reading time in school when we were younger?

I'd love to hear what books are on your TBR list!
Have you read any of these books?
What did you think?


Monday, September 21, 2015

Book Review: Beneath the Surface

Hey guys!

Today I'll be writing a book review of a book I read in August. (This is also my first book review and I'm pretty excited to finally be writing this!)

The book I want to tell you all about is Beneath the Surface by John Hargrove.

The author, John Hargrove, is a former SeaWorld orca trainer.

A few months ago, I watched the documentary Blackfish, which talks about the treatment and lives of the whales at SeaWorld, and all of the dangerous incidents that happened with the whales leading up to the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau. John Hargrove is one of the trainers who spoke in the film about what really happens at SeaWorld.

What I particularly enjoyed about this book is that the author never verbally attacked SeaWorld, he simply told the facts of what he experienced while working there. While he talks about why whales should not be in captivity and how SeaWorld isn't taking as good of care of these whales as they'd like us to believe, he also talks about the amazing relationships and experiences he had with the whales that are truly astonishing.

I learned so much from this book that I didn't know about, even after watching Blackfish. This is a topic that really interests me, and this book was written in a way that it was entertaining as well as informative. To be completely honest, I read this entire book in one sitting. I started it around midnight the day that I bought it, told myself I was going to read one chapter before I went to sleep, and before I knew it I had finished the book and the sun was up.

I give this book 5/5 stars. Even if you have no interest in what's going on at SeaWorld, it still is an extremely interesting and entertaining book filled with some incredible stories.

Have any of you read this book?
What did you think of it?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Chicago Adventure

Hey there!

So some pretty exciting things have happened. I recently moved two hours away from home to a new university. How scary is that! I really love it here so far (apart from the classes haha), and I'm really looking forward to some new experiences.

Also, in August, I went to Chicago for two days with my mom and my sister. My sister wanted to go to the Art Institute of Chicago, and I wanted to go to the Shedd Aquarium, so that's exactly what we did!

I saw so many amazing paintings at the Art Institute. I saw some by Monet and Van Gogh (some of my favorites!), which I really wasn't expecting. I live in kind of in the middle of nowhere and I had expected such famous paintings to be in New York or Paris. It was such a great surprise seeing them so close to where I live!

We also did a bit of sightseeing-- you can't go to Chicago without seeing the "bean"!

On our second day, we went to Shedd Aquarium. I absolutely LOVE aquariums. I love to look at all the unique (and often cute) animals.

After the aquarium, we had lunch with my cousin who lives in Chicago before heading home. Overall, it was such a great trip!

Have you been to the art institute or the aquarium in Chicago?