Used Book Stores!

Sad news! The used book store by my house is closing today.

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Good news! They had a going out of business sale

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So apparently I cannot be trusted in a going out of business book sale. I probably would have bought the whole store, but I only had $40 and, luckily, they only accepted cash. As it was, I picked out a ton of books and had to put a couple back, because I went “over budget.”

They had pretty good sale prices:

  • $1 Small/Mass Paperback and Kid’s Paperback
  • $2 Large/Trade Size Paperback
  • $3 Hardcover/Leather-bound and Kid’s Hardcover
  • $5 Audio-books

In case you are curious, here is what $40 of books looks like:

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And yes, I bought 4 copies of Pride and Prejudice and, yes, I bought all 3 versions of the Pride and Prejudice Spark Notes.  I collect Pride and Prejudice books with different covers, “So don’t judge me, Lizzie. Don’t you dare judge me.”

I am not the only one that went a little crazy.  My friends, Vince and Emily, bought a bunch of books too:

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When considering where to by a real book (not a kindle book), every type of book store has its good points and bad.  I have 4 main criteria when judging a book store:

  1. Cheap Books – Can I get them for cheaper than cover price?
  2. Huge Selection – Do they have the book I want? And if they don’t can they get it for me?
  3. Physical Books – Can I hold the book while deciding if I want it? (This is for decision making purposes … this is not a kindle vs real book debate, I will save that for another day)
  4. Quickness – Can I get my book today?
Barnes and Noble Amazon and Ebay Used Book Stores
Cheap Books
Large Selection
Physical Books
Quickness

So each type of store has its pros and cons.  If I know exactly what I want and don’t mind waiting then Amazon/Ebay is the way to go.  If I know exactly what I want and want it today then Barnes & Noble it is.  But if I don’t know what book I am looking for, then a used book store is the best.  And since most of the time I don’t know what I want to read, used book stores are my personal favorite.

The best used book ever store is Powell’s Books in Portland Oregon.  They are mind blowing!

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The store takes up an ENTIRE CITY BLOCK and is 3 stories high.  They are huge! According to their website they have an estimated one million books (read that in Dr. Evil’s voice from the second gif and it makes it so much better!) I have gotten lost in Powell’s more than once.  They have so many books that they separated the store into 9 different rooms, which are color coded for your convenience.

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Powell’s sells both new and used books, so they have everything you could ever want.  They are the best of both worlds.  For a lot of titles Powell’s has both new and used copies.  You can get a brand new copy for full price, you can get a super beat up copy for dirt cheap, or you could take the middle ground and get a gently used copy for a decent price.

Seriously, if you are ever in Portland you absolutely have to go see Powell’s.  Its freaking amazeballs.

 

The Fairytale’s Daughter

**** (4 out of 5)

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I won this book in a GoodReads giveaway.  If you have never been to GoodReads its an awesome website where you can keep track of all the books you have read, and the ones you want to read.  Its also great for getting info about books, series and authors.  In other words I am a huge fan.  They also have this section for giveaways where you can enter to win free books (Yay!!).  In return they ask that, if you win, you write a review. (easy peasy).  So checkout the giveaways page, and remember to only enter for books you are actually willing to read!

Anyway, back to my story. I won this book in a giveaway.  Usually when you win a book they send just the book, but Carolyn Swanson went way above and beyond. In addition to signing the book, she also wrote me a nice little note and gave me a $15 gift card to Starbucks. (Yum!) Nothing is better than curling up in a snuggley blanket and drinking hot chocolate while reading a good book.  Or, in this case, the second best thing is reading sprawled out on the back porch, enjoying a slight breeze and drinking some passion fruit tea (cuz 90 degrees is too hot for a blanket and hot chocolate).  It was super nice of Carolyn to include that, and I hope her book does really well because, she seems like the kind of person that deserves it.

I debated giving this a 3 instead of a 4 so really its like a 3.5 and I rounded up (I promise it has nothing to do with the gift card and everything to do with the goods outweighing the bads.) Overall I really liked the story but there were a couple things that bugged me.

Lets start with the good:

I LOVE fairy tales!!

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And this book nailed it! It has all the components needed for a fairly tale; princes, princesses, villains, love, friendship, curses, jewelry, and fights. But Carolyn did not just retell the same old fairy tale, she created a brand new one!  She found a way to incorporate all the classics (with her own twist of course) while creating a completely unique tale.  I could not put the book down, I got hooked! I just had to find out what happened next! (I read waaay past my bedtime)

I love Aylan and Garrick, they felt so real.  Their relationship was super believable even in the midst of a fairy tale (however, like all fairy tales, they fall in love very quickly, though that is not a negative against the book).  All the other characters were great too.  Gala’s internal struggles made her particularly relatable.  The fight between doing the right thing and doing the thing you feel compelled to do is a very real issue that people deal with an a daily basis.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book to everyone (children, young adults, adults, old adults, etc.) who needs an easy read with a feel-good story.

Now for the bad

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The beginning was slow and confusing.  I had to re-read a couple sections to figure out what was going on.  If you are going to read this book PLEASE stick with it past the beginning!  Its worth it, I promise.

And the ending left too many questions. Specifically: WHAT HAPPENED TO GALA?!?!?! Cliffhangers are fine, but this is not really a cliffhanger.  (I am trying really hard to not include any spoilers so I can’t express exactly what I am feeling. ) But the last time you see her its unclear what happened and then she is kind of forgotten for the rest of the book.  I would have also like some more details on the ship.  For starters, who was on the ship? Was her brother there? How did they react? You know Gunner is there, but it sort of glosses over everything, and I would have liked to know what went down, and WHAT HAPPENED TO GALA?!?!?!

If you are thinking about reading this book, don’t let these negatives deter you!!! The story is worth it! I really really enjoyed this book!  I can’t wait for the sequel.

P.S. I can’t figure out how to pronounce “Aylan” which really isn’t a big deal but I am still trying to recover from the whole “Hermione” debacle.

Grandpa Mike

Yesterday 7/24/2017 around 6 PM mountain time, my Grandpa on my Dad’s side passed away.  He was 80 years old.

About 2.5 years ago he was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia (LBD).  In layman’s terms, LBD is pretty much both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s smashed together.  Both your body and your mind deteriorate.  All three are very hard diseases.  It was tough for my family to watch as he slipped farther and farther away.  Right at the end was particularly hard, especially for my Grandma.  He opted out of anything that could prolong his life.  That meant no antibiotics, no IVs, not even cold medicine.  I understand why he did it.  He didn’t want to prolong that state of existence when it wasn’t really him anymore.  I respect his decision and recognize how brave he was to make that choice and accept his disease.  A few days before he passed, he had a stroke. Because he opted out of everything that could save his life, he became unresponsive.  He wasn’t even eating or drinking.  After his stroke we just had to wait.  He was able to receive morphine and other things to make him comfortable, but I can’t even begin to imagine how hard these last few days have been on my Grandma.  I know they have been very hard on my dad and it has been very hard on me too, but it must have been infinitely worse for my Grandma.  We will be able to go out next week to be with her.

But as hard as these last few days have been, even these last few years, I don’t want to remember him by his disease.  My Grandpa was very smart.  He was always working on computers.  I know he learned Linux, which I had tried to figure out and was completely lost.  And he didn’t learn Linux until later in life.  Most older people have trouble with computers.  They don’t just go out and learn Linux!  He also knew tons of random facts. We would be on the road and he could tell you the history all sorts of things.  He could tell you who built it, what year it was built, he could probably even tell you how many people were injured in the process.  He watched the news and the weather channel all the time, so he always knew what was going on in the world and what the weather was like there.

My Grandpa loved movies.  He had a TON of them.  Almost any movie you could ever want to watch, that was older than me, he probably had it.  He also loved to read.  We had different tastes in books, so I can’t say we ever read the same things, but it was cool to share the passion.  I remember when he got a Kindle and didn’t quite know how to use it.  I showed him what to do, and he picked up on it really fast.  I don’t know what happened to that kindle tho, cuz he definitely went back to reading physical books.  I never asked him why he stopped using his kindle.  I remember one morning, when my grandparents were visiting, that I woke up earlier than normal, and My Grandpa was the only other person awake (he always got up early) and we just hung out at the kitchen table reading our own books.  It was very peaceful.  We didn’t feel the need to talk, we just hung out and enjoyed our books.

My Grandpa was a huge Oregon Ducks fan.  I don’t know if he was the first in our family to like the Ducks or if it started before him, but he passed that love to my dad and uncles, who passed it down to me.  Oregon is really the only college football team that I truly cared about for a long time. (Until my boyfriend came along and now I kinda like his team too, tho not as much)  I remember multiple occasions sitting in my grandparents living room watching the game.  It was a family event.  We all watched it together and cheered for the Ducks.  And my Grandpa was there drinking his O’Doul’s.

Even when we weren’t watching a game, my Grandpa was always drinking O’Doul’s.  It was just part of who he was, and I will always think of him when I see a can of O’Doul’s.  He used to drink regular beer, but because of his really bad gout the doctor told him he couldn’t drink alcohol anymore.  The way the story is told, he switched to O’Doul’s cold turkey, and never looked back.  That’s dedication if you ask me.  Most people I know wouldn’t be able to make the switch as completely as he did, even if its for medical reasons.  But that happened either before my time or when I was too little to remember/care.  But now I will forever associate O’Doul’s with my Grandpa.

After my Grandpa was diagnosed, but before he got really bad, we took a family trip to California.  We went and saw a Padres game.  It was really cool.  I remember realizing I didn’t have very many pictures with my Grandpa so I decided to take a picture with him.  I said something along the lines of “Lets Take a Picture” and held up my phone with the camera facing us.  I started to explain where to look, and he interrupted me and said “Its a selfie”  I had no idea he knew what a selfie was and remember thinking how awesome it was that he did.

I am going to miss him.  It still feels weird knowing I won’t ever see him.  I have cried a lot and I am sure I will cry more.  I’m trying, and failing, not to cry right now, while I am writing this.  I am able to take some comfort in the fact that he is no longer in pain, and that he had a good life.  But it is still really hard.   I love my family so much, and they are all so amazing people, and we will help each other get through this.  I just wanted to say:

I Love You Grandpa.  I miss you, and I hope that wherever you are you are happy. Go Ducks! And thanks for the selfie. I Love you. Goodbye Grandpa.

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Just a Geek

***** (5 out of 5)

Just a Geek

To start out I just want to say how I know of Wil Wheaton.  I know he was in Star Trek but I have never seen any of his episodes.  I know he was in Stand By Me, and I am pretty sure I watched that movie as a child, but I don’t remember enough about it to recognize any of the characters.  I have seen him in Big Bang Theory and in The Guild.  In both, I think he is awesome.  Especially in The Guild (tho the furry thing was weird).  I decided to read his book because I had just finished Felicia Day’s book. And it seemed like a good book to read next.

The books tagline about sums it all up: “Unflinchingly honest tales of the search for life, love, and fulfillment beyond the Starship Enterprise.”  And Wheaton is most definitely unflinching honest.  He isn’t afraid of bearing his soul.  He talks about his depression and how much he struggled since quitting the enterprise.  It is refreshing to hear how celebrities deal with the same issues as everyone else, just on a bigger scale.

The only issue I had with the book was that I could not figure out the timeline.  It seemed to jump around a lot.  I know he has dates on his blog posts so this is mostly my own fault, but it would have been nice to have a little more continuity.  Also I didn’t know who a lot of the people he mentioned were, though, again, that is my own fault.  He does give brief introductions of all the new people and I just don’t know who they are.  (I would probably recognize at least some of them if I saw their pictures.)

Finally, Wheaton’s book is very easy to read.  It is full of funny antidotes and cool stories.  There was one quote in particular that I really liked and it struck me at how cool it was.  I thought about writing it down but though “nah, I’ll remember it” … Famous last words.  It is going to bug me until I can find it again.

Wheaton’s book reminded me of a quote from Pride and Prejudice; “Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.” Wheaton takes you on a journey of self realization and growing up.  Through his stories you see exactly how he came to that conclusion.  It was amazing that he decided to let the world see into his soul and take them on the roller coaster that is his life.

Pride and Prejudice

***** (5 out of 5)

Being my favorite book I have to make my first post about it!

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Pride and Prejudice is perfect.  If you don’t believe me watch The Big Bang Theory season 7 episode 4.

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I first read Pride and Prejudice when I was a junior in high school.  I fell in love with it instantly.  I felt a certain connection with Elizabeth.  She was strong willed and free. She wasn’t afraid to admit when she was wrong. She stood up for what she believed in.  She fought for her family.  I could go on and on.  She was everything I wished to be.  Even now 10 years later, she is still one of my biggest role models.

Part of the magic of the book is that you fall in love with Mr. Darcy as Elizabeth falls in love with him.  At first you hate him. Then slowly without realizing it, you start to fall in love.  Elizabeth even says herself “It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began.” It is a true masterpiece that takes the reader on a journey without them even realizing till the end.

All the characters, good and bad, are so real.  Even 204 years after it was written you can still understand and relate to the characters.  Pride and Prejudice has withstood the test of time.  Both in my life (it is my go to book whenever I need comfort) and throughout history.  It was written in 1813, and people are still reading it and loving it.  It is often required reading in high school, which means a lot of people should hate it (don’t lie, did you really like most of the books they made you read?) but people don’t.  People love it. (It has a 4.24 out of 5 right now on goodreads.)

I don’t know what else to say.  Its my favorite book. I think everyone should read it!