6 Fun Interactive Books for Adults


I’ve slowly picked these different books up over the past year and I’ve had so much fun with them that I wanted to write about them! Have you tried any of these out? What are some of your favorite interactive books?

  • Music Listography. This is easily the one I’ve written in most, and my favorite of the Listography books (I’ll be featuring three in this post.) I found it barely used at a thrift shop and it tickled my music-addicted soul pink. There are so many lists to fill out; I’ve loved documenting my favorite songs by decade (90s list is the longest!) I’m taking my time with it, enjoying the questions and pondering which 20 albums WOULD I take to space with me? 😛

  • Me, You, Us. This was designed to do with either a significant other OR with different friends and pals, with a place at the top for the names and date of who you’re talking about. I bought this as something fun to do with my boyfriend as a silly conversation starter and something to bond over or make us think about “us” and it’s terribly fun! I need to have a pack of crayons with me for the next round, because one could easily add on pictures and drawings on each page. I love it!

  • Spirit Listography. I bought this with an amazon gift card; I haven’t looked at it closely, but it’s a mix of intrapersonal reflecting and proactive “make the world a better place” type mix of prompts to list.I’d much prefer more intrapersonal questions to reflect on, but it seems a decent mix. Plus the cover is gorgeously beautiful. I’m happy with it! And in usual Listography fashion, it has the most quaint little illustrations with each list that I enjoy rediscovering as I flip the page.

  • Wreck This Journal. My sister in another state Rebecca bought me this during my first visit to Georgia when we went bookstore prowling together. It was the first time I’d seen it in person and I couldn’t leave it behind. This is as interactive as you can get with a book. It wants you to throw it, tear it, do everything it says on each page and its stupid therapeutic amazing fun! This would be the best thing to take with you on a camping trip even where you can throw it as hard as you like without it sailing into the neighbor’s yard. XD

  • My Future Listography. I’m pretty sure I found this with the music book. Basically, you fill in the different lists about what you hope to do, visit, see, or read, ect. I filled in bits and pieces of it, and have already looked back through and been to checkmark some as done! I like seeing how my wishes or wants change as time goes by too; a perfect little time capsule to remind you what the past you wanted to do, or to see how far you’ve come!

  • The Amazing Story Generator. I love this book; it creates some of the most creative and silly and challenging story prompts ever! I bought it off Amazon with birthday money it’s really fun to keep around for a laugh or challenge! If you’re a by-the-seat-of-your-pants fiction writer, I’d highly recommend for kicking writer’s block in the butt or for a fun random challenge! See picture below for an example of how this book works!

Do you have any favorite interactive books?

~Jamie

My Favorites from 2015


As a follow-up post to my personal rundown of my 2015, I’m going to document a few things that represents my favorite things from 2015. Like music, to what I did on social media, to movies. Well, speaking of movies, let’s start with that!

Favorite Movie

No doubt about, no competition in the ring, Fury Road was the best and most fun movie I saw in 2015 and it is one my favorite movies of all time. Bizarre and grimy, it followed women on the run to find hope in a hopeless world, in a post-apocalyptic, breakneck-speed feature-length car chase. For me, Fury Road succeeded where most action movies fail, in that while it was all mostly action, it didn’t lack a bit of heart from beginning to end.

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I went and watched Fury Road at the theater alone. It only took a few minutes to completely pull me into the savage terror that was Immortan Joe’s world, where deformities and thirst plagued the people while he sat atop a great water reserve. I was quickly invested in the flight of his five wives and their driver, Furiousa, as the six took off find the Green Place where they would not be slaves. The film didn’t have to spell any of this out for me to understand, which I absolutely loved, and my attention was stolen in an instant.

While I loved the epic chase and suspense and brilliant action, Fury Road, though touched with a wacky bizarreness, had as much humanity and heart as it did its action. I was blown away; I walked out of that theater chilled by the ending. I didn’t get another movie experience like that out of 2015, not by a long shot!

Runners up of movies that I loved both from this year, and just seeing for the first time in 2015, include Creed, Redline, Inside Out, Mission Impossible, and The Sixth Sense.

Favorite Soundtracks

8c5480d74c81f7997b17fdc09d1b808b_Fotor_Collage1Left to right, top to bottom: 
Gangsta, Assassination Classroom, Parasyte, Noragami, Death Parade, and Blood Blockade Battlefront.

I’m a huge original soundtrack fan and in 2015 I listened to almost exclusively anime soundtracks. Both as a writer who needs music to write to and as a music enthusiast, I was so happy that by discovering anime, I discovered the rich wealth of their OSTs as well.

I included some that didn’t actually release last year, like Gatchaman Crowds and Redline’s (and Berserk’s has been out for over twenty years) but they were still huge musical highlights of my year!

8c5480d74c81f7997b17fdc09d1b808b_Fotor_Collage2Left to right, top to bottom: 
Redline, Gatchaman Crowds, Wolf Children, Beserk, Food Wars, and Magic Kaito 1412

Favorite Books Read

DarkerShadeofMagic_Fotor_CollageI wanted to read more than I did last year, but the two fictional books I did read entirely were absolutely amazing. In fact, I had to buy The Night Circus for my book shelf. A Darker Shade of Magic and its coming sequel really do deserve future shelf space too.

The Night Circus was phenomenal. It was full of rich descriptions that could have rubbed me the wrong way but instead just soaked me into the world of black and white magic. I couldn’t get enough. And A Darker Shade of Magic was just fantastic and such a joy to read–if magic being smuggled between alternate universes of London doesn’t sound awesome, then I don’t know what does. XD

Favorite Pop Music

homepage_large_Fotor_CollageI built a brand new appreciate for the treasures hidden in today’s pop music this year. Actually, my appreciate for music in general grew mountains this year alone. SPOILER ALERT: I LISTENED TO A LOT OF KPOP. But there was other pop music too. XD

Justin Beiber actually put out decent music last year and I was startled to actually like some of it (please please please listen to I’ll Show You; it humanizes him in a really nice way.) Pentatonix blew me out of the water with their latest album of a capella songs. Selena Gomez’s newest electropop has fueled my writing BIG TIME. And I was so excited to get more music from Melanie Martinez. Her dark quirky music just really appeals to the disturbed part of me. *inserts innocent-looking heart-eyes emoji* 😉

But I mostly listened to Kpop. And it’ll just be easier if I just leave this little playlist right here instead of rambling about it. XD But this was the soundtrack of 2015 for me, right here. ❀ (especially that first song: listened to that one on repeat for about three days straight while painting a room. XD)

I’m not a band fan, never really have been, but I can rally behind Super Junior and EXO and B.A.P any day. They’re actually really rad and HAVE YOU SEEN THAT CHOREOGRAPHY!?!?!? ❀

Favorites From My Social Media,

This is more for me than for any of you, but enjoy nonetheless! ❀ 😉

Twitter:

Its silly, but I’m thankful for Twitter. Its preserved some interesting things that have run through my head over the last year. XD That’s really nice.

Instagram

I’m actually also really thankful for Instagram, too, I almost forgot how much work I put into repainting my mom’s workroom, or standing beneath a lightning storm to film the flashes, or that I had to replace my nine-year old MP3 player. Just, little memories are safely preserved. ❀ 🙂

LOVING my new TV set up!! Any Disney film suggestions for a live tweet tonight??

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No more painting after today!!!

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This is my mortal enemy. #hateyou

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These sweethearts are the first to accompany me somewhere as a 21 year old. I love these dogs and our walks!

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Christmas as a grown-up. XD đŸ˜ŠđŸ‘đŸ»đŸ˜‚

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Pinterest

I used Pinterest on and off over the year, but I enjoyed the month and a half that I posted everyday to a challenge board to chronicle my feelings for Studio Ghibli movies. My Words board was also a huge place for encouragement and inspiration for me at different points.

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words

WeHeartIt

These were the collections I was most addicted to filling during 2015, from the cutie patooties with morbid twists, to breathtaking anime-styled artwork, and lots of jellyfish. I’ve always loved WeHeartIt, but this past year it was an especially nice escape for visual beauty. ❀

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Final Thoughts

2015 was a crazy year personally, and I did a lot exploring and embracing of things that I’d considered weird *cough-Kpop-cough* or too scary (like being afraid of being myself on my own social media sites.) I hope I can keep exploring and embracing new things into my life in 2016 too!

So, what were your favorite things of the year? ❀

~Jamie

Top Ten Tuesdays || 10 Wishes to Ask The Book Genie


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I couldn’t pass up The Broke and The Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday link up today! I’m attempting to read more as 1) it helps me write, and 2) I miss reading and doing these types of things make me want to read more. XD

Ok, on to my ten reading wishes to the book genie! Which will you agree with? XD

1st Wish: The ability to read books while watching things.

I need time in the day to not only do life’s regular demands, and watch anime, but also read books! I could ask for more time in the day, but how awesome would it be to be able to watch and read things at the same time without losing the enjoyment of either? XD

anime girl reading

2nd Wish: The ability to look at any book and know if its worth my time.

I hate looking at popular books or books I’ve never seen before and wondering: “Will I actually like that? Is it as good as everyone says? Would I personally get anything out of it?” I need mini fireworks to go off around books that I would definitely love so I can skip all the crappy books and just read the ones I’ll like. XD

3rd Wish: A pass to enter book worlds as a character to join the story.

I don’t just want to just enter books, I want to experience them! I want to run with Harry, Hermoine, and Ron, and have them actually acknowledge my presence. I want to trot the London streets as Doctor Watson’s second chum, the two of us puzzling over Holmes’ methods and genius. I want to perform an important act in the black and white tents of The Night Circus; I want help Sam protect Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. I WANT TO BE IN ALL THE STORIES.

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4th Wish: A manga/book cafe in my neighborhood with food and wifi for overnight stays.

Because a dependable place to go read books in peace in my own private corner would be fantastic. Japan has these already as manga cafes, why does America not have them?!?! THIS ISN’T A FAR-FETCHED WISH, AMERICA HURRY UP AND CREATE BOOK CAFES.

5th Wish: Unlimited book funds for anything related in the slightest to books.

This includes more than books, people. It includes book merch, book clothes, book movie adaptions and merch, ANYTHING THAT MIGHT TIE BACK TO BOOKS. I WANT A BOTTOMLESS PURSE TO BUY IT ALL. I like stuff, especially books and book stuff. XD

6th Wish: To own the library from Beauty and the Beast.

Because. Who. Wouldn’t. #faints

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7th Wish: NO MORE SCREWY SHERLOCK HOLMES ADAPTIONS ALLOWED.

Wait, why isn’t this my first wish. This is extremely important to me. People need to stop messing with my favorite book character. He’s not in love with Irene Adler and he’s actually extremely polite to women. He gets adapted so poorly, it’s not fair! *grumble grumble grumble*

8th Wish: That George R.R. Martin would quickly finish his Game of Thrones series.

I don’t want the TV series to branch off from the books but I think they’ll have to at the rate he’s writing them.  I NEED THE BOOKS FINISHED PRONTO SO HIS CHARACTERS’ STORIES ARE TOLD PROPERLY ON SCREEN.

9th Wish: To meet authors of interest, both alive and dead (but the dead ones brought back to life.)

I really, really want to meet Agatha Christie, and JK Rowling, and Arthur Conan Doyle, and Robert Louis Stevenson, and Dr Seuss. I must pick their brains and then just stare at them as they go about their day. They would seem so ordinary…but in a fascinating way!

agatha-christie

10th Wish: That authors would be empowered to write stronger books.

This is pretty straightforward. I want fewer cheap rip-offs of popular books and more genuine originality. I want fewer flat characters and cliches and more characters that are rich, dimensional, and fascinating. To do all this and more, I will spend my final wish on all my fellow writers and authors, wishing them strength and ingenuity to fill the world with better, stronger, more wonderful books.

What wishes would you make to the book genie?! Which of these can I get an amen?! 😉

~Jamie

6 Children Series That Gave Me Who-Dun-It Fever


Mysteries have always been important to me; some of you will already know that I’m a huge mystery/Sherlock Holmes fan! Since my parents didn’t allow fantasy books, like Narnia, into the house at all when I grew up (anything supernatural or ghostly in entertainment was just not acceptable) the majority of my reading as a child was mysteries.

I fell in LOVE with the genre before I was ten years old and before I discovered Sherlock Holmes (who is my favorite fictional character of all time.)

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While I’ve never read the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew, there were several children series that I read from early readers into my early teens that made the genre my favorite, and a staple in my present entertainment. I have a great love for mystery TV shows like Hercule Poirot,  Jessica Fletcher, Miss Marple, Charlie Chan, and Peter Whimsy, to the many stories and theatrical versions of Sherlock Holmes, to my current favorite movies Clue and Murder by Death (GO WATCH THOSE NOW)…

…and I can pin the blame on these influential children’s series!

6. Cam Jansen by David A. Adler

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I started off with Cam very early, thanks to the The Young Cam Jansen series for beginning readers, so Cam was one of my first detectives. I especially liked the longer stories when I was older, like eight or nine, because the mysteries were more detailed. With her photographic memory and her best friend Eric always by her side, I got to watch Cam catch shoplifters and diamond thieves from my living room couch. I vividly remember one particular story when she and Eric went in search of a museum’s stolen dinosaur bone; there was a thrilling chase scene and everything!

5. Three Cousins Detective Club by Elspeth Campbell Murphy.

three cousins detective club

Ah, yes. I had a fondness for these because I was close to my own cousins, so it was fun to read about other cousins solving mysteries. My parents bought the complete set because they were Christian-based, though thankfully not unbearably drenched in it (a true rarity!). What I remember best about these is that each story had a zany sense of humor, and how each book switched between the three cousins’ perspective. The set was very large, so it was hard to get bored with them; I often read these aloud to my younger sister. ❀

4. Nate The Great by Majorie Weinman Sharmat.

Nate the Great

Nate was possibly my very first detective; I know I was reading them when I was about five or six. Narrated by pancake-“addicted” Nate himself (who’s look is inspired off Sherlock Holmes), who had an enjoyably sarcastic voice, the stories were told with quirky drawings accompanied by even quirkier characters: I shall never forget strange Rosamond and her cats, Oliver who followed people, and the sweet neighbor girl Annie with her huge scary dog, Fang. The mysteries were very simple but told in a straightforward and memorable way. I recently bought most of the series to share with my younger brother and I intend to read these to my future children as they learn to read. Oh how I love my memories of Nate the Great!

3. American Girl’s History Mystery Series.

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I read these between the ages of twelve and fifteen and they were wonderful. Growing up in a overprotected homeschool family, I had a very small social circle. So I was fascinated by each new girl and how they saw life in their time period: Some were rebellious, others were timid, others curious, and others calmly brave. These stories also inspired my imagination as I started writing books, which makes them extra special to me. Plus, they were just really well written mysteries with excellent plots and suspense. (I listened to my audio book of The Night Flyers forever until we lost the last cassette. XD )

2. The Boxcar Children created by Gertrude Chandler Warner.

Boxcar Children

Five years ago I could have easily claimed that I’d read every single Boxcar Children book–at the time being approximately 110 books–many times! I loved the Alden children because they were polite, nice kids always solving a new mystery with their plucky make-do spirit. When I was between the ages of eight and fourteen, they were almost like an extra set of siblings and I got to travel with them into radio stations, medieval reenactments, mansions, and trains. And… even though I knew I wasn’t supposed to, I smuggled the few ghostly ones home from the library anyway, because I knew they always turned out to be not so ghostly after all. Yes, I was that type of kid. XD I would love to own the full set one day…

1. The Encyclopedia Brown Series by Donald J. Sobol.

Encyclopedia

The Encyclopedia Brown series is very easily number one here because of the impact it had on my life. Not only did I love the fun variety of quirky mysteries (seriously, these were fun!) but the colorful characters inspired an onslaught of fanfiction novels that set me down the path of novel-writing at the age of 12. I am only as good of a writer now because of these characters and my own six very long books featuring Sobol’s characters (with my many original ones.) Encyclopedia Brown not only fueled my love for mysteries but also fueled my passion for writing which truly changed my life. I would be such an incredibly different person without these stories. ❀

How I love a good mystery story! I think I’m gonna rewatch Clue tonight…again. XD

How about you? Did you read any of these growing up? Do you enjoy a good mystery?

~Jamie

Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession


It has been very nice having this blog on hiatus to blog only when I want to…which hasn’t happened until today. XD

This morning, while checking blog posts updates as I scrambled out of bed, I saw this week’s Top Ten Tuesday’s topic was on the latest books you’ve just acquired. I couldn’t help but get excited!

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Latest Read

The past month I’ve been getting back into books, or at least trying too (it’s a slow process.) I’ve been specifically immersing myself in the online book community as a spectator. I’ve discovered Booktube (the YouTube book vlogger world) and have been familiarizing myself with contemporary, modern books that are dearly loved by the community. Partly because I think reading more will help my writing, but partly because I kind of miss reading. 🙂

I’ve been specifically going through these posts here to discover unique reads. I’m not very interested in run-of-the-mill YA or single genre novels. I really want memorable stories, or books with magic, or books in unique settings or with unique elements–I credit this crave to my current anime diet. XD

Lately I’ve bought thrift store copies of different books the past couple weeks (most of them just by gut feeling, not by acquired knowledge of them) and my book shelves have overflowed to my under bed! My Instragam followers have probably gotten tired of my different book haul pics. XD

Top Ten Tuesday’s a blog link up hosted by the writers at The Broke and Bookish, and their Top Ten Tuesdays are incredibly popular in the blogging world of books. I’ve never done one before, so this will be exciting to join in, especially since books have become more relevant in my life the past month or so! I’ve bought more books the past month than I have the past five years! (Book titles link to their Goodreads pages.)

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The Graveyard Book: Firstly, the cover is gorgeous, even more so in person! (hugs physical copy of book.) The premise of this book really captured my attention and I desperately want to read it–I actually ordered this a thrift copy for myself in a “Half.com-Early-Birthday-Online-Shopping” excursion a few weeks ago, and it just arrived yesterday!

Swamplandia!: This has been on my to-read list for a while, so I’m happy to finally own it! I saw it on several “most unique reads” list, which has my hopes up in the clouds. I love how old-fashioned the cover art looks. The copy I ordered is a little beat up, but that merely means it was well-loved! XD

The Teleportation Accident: Time Travel. 1920s-ish… maybe? This was also on a lot of “unique reads” lists. I got a ex-library copy cheap in superb–I mean superb!–condition, so I’m happy!

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making: The title alone is enough to guarantee a read from me–it sounds so different! I’m glad its small, though, so I can find a place for it on my bookshelf.

Life After Life: I’ve sampled Kate Atkinson’s writing before and really enjoyed it. I stumbled over this book at a thrift store in beautiful condition. For once, I was so happy the author’s name was the larger print on the spine than the book title (generally that is a peeve of mine) because it caught my eye.

Counting by 7s: I randomly found this at a thrift store (I had a Goodwill gift card about to expire, so I was grabbing any book that piqued my interest by the spine to use it up.) This spine had a fish on it, and when I pulled it off to see the cover, I fell in love immediately. I brought it home when I discovered it was about eccentrics. XD

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Nightmares!: I saw this online many times, loved the purple cover and the mansion, but thought “I’ll probably only ever read the library’s.” But then I spotted the hardback spine at Goodwill and nearly fainted over my shopping cart. The cover is gorgeous in person, the page’s edges are uneven and wrinkly like an old-fashioned book, and the illustrations are awesome. I don’t care that this is a children’s book, I’m happy to own it!

The Casual Vacancy: This was another book I first saw online–I’d never realized J.K. Rowling wrote other books besides Harry Potter. XD I found this hardback right next to Life After Life and brought them home together. It’s written specifically for adults, so I’m very curious to see what it’s about. I love the yellow cover!

The Shogun’s Daughter: I didn’t know anything about this book when I bought it. That it was a historical novel set in Japan was enough to interest me; I also thought the cover was beautiful, and I just felt good vibes: I couldn’t leave it behind. It was only after I got home that I realized it was a mystery (HUZZAH!) and it was highly praised on Goodreads. I always follow my gut now while shopping books because of that….

The Blind Assassin: I bought this the same way I did The Shogun’s Daughter. The spine caught my eye at the store, the cover looked appealing when I pulled it off, I felt good vibes, I brought it home, and Goodreads said it was good. It’s quite a large hardback, though, so it’s one of those “can you squeeze me in?” books. 😀

TheNightCircus
this book is literal magic

This is only half of the books that only recently came into my possession: The Night Circus just arrived a few minutes ago in the mail. I just wanted a copy so badly. Because it was awesome.

I picked up a hardback copy of The Goblet of Fire and wedged it in with my big books like Sherlock Holmes, a HG Wells collection, and Dracula. JK and her dinosaur-sized books!

I picked up fourteen different random hardback/paperback books on the 4th because of gift card and more good vibes (which all proved right,) and I’m had to put several of those under my bed. XD And I have more books  coming in the mail!

I’M SO HAPPY TO LOVE BOOKS AGAIN BUT WHEN WILL I EVER READ THEM ALL.

Well, I wonder what I will feel motivated to blog about next. Are you reading anything unique this summer?

~Jamie