New look, new post.

I was getting bored with my old format so I decided to mix things up a bit and I am much happier with the new layout! I also changed the name to something more fitting to both the move from England and my love for mythical creatures. While this post is to document the new and improved site, I also wanted to take some time to give my ‘Summer Reads’ book list, as I have always been an avid reader and I have read some excellent books as of late. Hopefully this is a trend I can continue because I love sharing what I am devouring reading  and love hearing what others are reading as well.

So here goes.. ‘Justine’s Top 3’

1. The Final Testament of the Holy Bible by James Frey

This book is unlike any I’ve read previously and in a word… amazing. I have read the authors two other works because of my momma and fell in love with his easy to read format and ability to tell an amazing story: ‘A Million Little Pieces’ and ‘My Friend Leonard’ both of which were also WONDERFUL and I would recommend wholeheartedly. His writing is not for the narrow-minded or judgemental as they all deal with pretty heavy topics including drug use, sex, religion, suicide, politics etc etc. BUT, if you are adventurous and open-minded I think you will truly appreciate his stories. This third book is as unique on the outside as it is inside.. it comes in the form of the Holy Bible and is broken up in the same format. It tells the story of a man who some believe to be the Messiah or God or whatever religious figure you so choose to believe in. As I am not a religious person in any sense of the word, I was a bit skeptical to read it. However, it turned out to be a beautiful story ultimately about something every person has or I guess should have the privilege to experience… love. That’s all I am going to say. Order it, borrow it or run to your nearest bookstore because honestly it is SO worth it.

2. Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

This was a gift from my future mother in law for Christmas and I read this book in two days. I had not read any other books by this author so I was new to her work, but I now have her others as I loved this one so much. Being a history major I usually appreciate anything in the realm of historical fiction and this book in particular takes place during WW2 in Germany. The story is about a woman (Anna) who falls in love with a Jewish man while her father is Nazi Officer during the war. It is a good balance between both the Jewish and German perspective during the war which can be fine line, however I think the author does this quite well. The story goes back and forth between present day where her daughter recalls what life with her mother (Anna) has been like and to Anna’s life during the war. It is intense and  heartbreaking but in my opinion beautifully written.

3. The Leopard by Jo Nesbo

While I will read any genre and any author my guilty pleasure is ultimately crime/mystery. I absolutely love Patricia Cornwell… I have all of her books (currently reading Port Mortuary and it’s quite good) and don’t usually stray away from North American mystery authors. However, with the HUGELY popular release of ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” series by Stieg Larsson (READ THEM) I ventured out into a new pool of authors of which I have been very happy with. Scandinavian mystery authors are becoming more and more recognized and a certainly a new favourite of mine. The Leopard is by a Scandinavian author and I read it from cover to cover in a couple of days. It is similar to the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo books in its writing, it has a very detailed storyline but it is so entertaining and unpredictable which I think is the key to any good mystery novel. After I read this one I ran out and bought as many of Nesbo’s others as I could afford and have since read each of his novels. I love the stories and the protagonist, Detective Harry Hole, is also quite entertaining. If you enjoy a good crime/mystery give this one a try. Trust me, it’s worth it!

I will continue to share my picks and please do not hesitate to share some of your favourites!

Happy Thursday!

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Motivating myself to get motivated.

As I last promised in my last post I would be writing more frequently… well so far I have not kept my word as my last rant was on June 27th. Well, all I have to say is that I have been extremely unmotivated to write something read-worthy as of late, but alas, here we are. This is going to be about nothing and I guess everything in particular. This summer has been one of unchartered territory for me thus far in my life.. I have been facing the epidemic of the dreaded “unemployment crisis” and while I have no income or really no immediate future plans for an income, this summer has been one of the best of my life.

I know everyone says they have the greatest friends and that friends are the most important pieces that make up your puzzle and all that sweet sappy friendy lingo.. but they really are the most fing important thing in my life right now. If any of you have ever been in a long distance relationship (Hi, my name is Justine and I’m a long-distance-realtionshipaholic) whether it be a few days, weeks, or as in my case months, you will know that Skype and the phone become your savior and basic key to survival. While I still cherish every minute we talk on the phone and even those few but wonderful Skype dates, my friends have become my saving grace this summer, helping me not forget but at least distract me from the fact that my other half is not physically around. The laughs, the drinking, the dancing and all the other inappropriate shenanigans that have stemmed from all of these memorable visits have been magical, and MUCH needed. Usually I have a job or travelling to take on the distraction, both of which do not exist in my world right now. And therefore, to all of my fing awesome friends, I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU.

So, while I still have many more events to look forward to as the summer comes to an end the dreaded “unemployment crisis” still begs one question: What the hell am I doing come September? I have no job prospects, as do most of my friends in this non-existent world of teaching… I know it’s not a myth… I know you’re out there somewhere supply list, please, please come knocking at my door. I am trying to be optimistic but its tough these days.. oh well, fingers crossed right? For now I will resume my lazy days of summer and continue the search for some motivation and that shiny new job. Until then, I have 14 days until my heart is reunited with its other half… life is fantastic.