Liebster Love!!!

liebsterawardMany many thanks to Stephanie at Fox on an Island, Liza at Paperback Wanderings, and Katie at KatLiterary for nominating me for a Liebster award!! I’m extremely excited that there are in fact people who enjoy reading my reviews. I definitely feel like a REAL blogger now.

Sidenote: I have been planning for a long time to start writing more personal posts that are related to something reader-ish instead of only posting reviews. So in honor of my Liebster award, I have decided to set a goal of writing these posts twice a month and actually do it. Stay tuned…

The Liebster is basically a way to spread love to new bloggers. When you receive the award, the rules are: list 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you, and return the favor by nominating other new bloggers with less than 200 followers. So here goes…

Some things you might not know about me:

  1. I have a degree in Biomedical Engineering that I don’t use.
  2. I was a gymnast for 15 years.
  3. I hate (am actually kinda scared of) frogs.
  4. I’m a festival junkie – music, arts, food, beer… doesn’t matter.
  5. Crunching leaves is my favorite stress reliever.
  6. I have a Disney sleeve tattoo.
  7. My husband and I dream of owning an all grass-fed meat farm.
  8. I would call myself an amateur potter.
  9. I do sprint triathlons for fun.
  10. I’m an unapologetic Jackson Browne fangirl.
  11. I’m obsessed with wildflowers.

Q & A: I chose 11 questions out of all of the questions from the bloggers who nominated me.

  1. How did you choose the name for your blog? I first started blogging over on Weebly with a friend who also loves reading and has similar taste in books, so we came up with Great Minds Read Alike. Since then, she has gotten busy with a new job and a new baby, so it’s just me. But I still love the name.
  2. How long have you been blogging? 7 months. I originally started on Weebly in October 2013.
  3. Of the places you have traveled, what city/country is your favourite? My husband and I went to Vancouver, BC last Christmas. I absolutely loved it. The city life is fantastic. And the road trips right out of the city are beautiful. And I still have dreams about Wildebeest, an exotic meats restaurant we went to a few times. I kind of fell in love with Canada, and I wouldn’t mind being a Canadian one day. We are definitely going to go back during the summer at some point to explore all the whitewater kayaking around BC.
  4. What are you passionate about? I believe wholeheartedly in living simply and gently, with the people in your life and the environment… in showing love everyday and finding happiness in small things… in making a difference where you are. Spread the love, people.
  5. What musicians are you currently listening to? On a regular basis, I listen to 90s and Bluegrass mostly. And right now, I’m all over Nickel Creek because I’m super excited about their reunion tour!!
  6. Where do you live, and do you like it there? I currently live in Hawaii, and it is by far the most overrated place on the face of the earth. I do not like it. But that could be because I’m partial to cold weather, road trips, and festivals. We’re moving the Virginia next month, and I’m extremely excited for all of the above: land for owning chickens and goats, whitewater kayaking, lakes, road trips, fall colors, and most of all I will get to go to a Nickel Creek concert. I missed the Dispatch reunion tour because of Hawaii, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it. But it’s making it up to me with Nickel Creek, so I’m halfway there.
  7. What upcoming 2014 book are you most excited about reading? Armada by Ernest Cline, the writer of Ready Player One which I absolutely loved. Check out my review if you want. I’m a little scared that it won’t measure up, but I’m really hoping that it does. I truly love nerd books.
  8. E-books or paper books? I started reading more eBooks in the past few months. It’s just really easy to carry a kindle around and take it out whenever I need a minute, and it’s an easy way to borrow library books. But sometimes eBooks drag out, and I feel like they take me longer to read. So I’m still partial to paper books. Plus, I have a lot that I have bought recently from thrift stores on my shelf. So I won’t be quitting paper books for a long time. And I feel that every good book nerd needs a good library of their own.
  9. Cat person or dog person? Not only am I a 100% dog person. But I’m an extreme anti-cat person. I love large dogs. I have a Golden Retriever named River and a Chocolate Lab named Banjo. They’re pretty awesome.
  10. What is a book you haven’t read but everyone keeps saying you should? The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I keep seeing all these great reviews. It’s definitely my next fantasy series on the list.
  11. What’s the best book you have ever read? Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. It’s the epitome of character development. I actually read it in my Lit class in college and surprisingly loved it.

And the blogs that I nominate are:

Thanks for your inspiration and your interest in my blog. To accept, list 11 facts about yourself, answer these questions, and nominate some other bloggers. GO!!

  1. Why did you decide to start a blog?
  2. What blog post are you most proud of?
  3. What is your favorite thing about your blog?
  4. Outside of blogging, what inspires you?
  5. Do you prefer series or stand alone books?
  6. What upcoming release books are you most excited to read?
  7. Other than reading, what is your favorite thing to do?
  8. Do you have a favorite quote?
  9. What would your dream library look like?
  10. What is your favorite childhood book?
  11. What is your favorite way to celebrate your birthday?

Mistborn: The Beginning of a Great Obsession

Well after what feels like a forever long hiatus, I’m back! My life went all sorts of crazy all at once and sadly put a damper on my reading. My husband and I made the mistake (except not) of watching Supernatural one time a couple weeks ago on Netflix and then never stopped… that I’m not mad about. I would even recommend it as long as you don’t have anything else in your life that you need to be concerned about. Also, I’m bad and sometimes sneak in a couple (or five or ten) chapters at work on my kindle, but we had a huge, tedious, and mostly frustrating deadline that ended on Friday. I therefore would never recommend working for the government for any reason. And we also found out we’re moving… so lots of exciting life research is happening.. I mean, you have to know exactly where all the farmers markets and kayaking spots, etc. are before you get there.

But I did manage to read one book during the time I normally would have read 4. So on to the review…

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5 of 5 stars! Bumped up to 10!!!

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson is the beginning of The Final Empire series. And this series has by far the most interesting and inventive fantasy premise that I have ever read. (And I’m a Tolkien fangirl, so I do not say this lightly.) The story centers around Allomancers, people who gain powers by ingesting and burning metals – pretty stinking cool, right? When burning tin, senses are enhanced so you can see farther, in the dark, hear better, etc. With iron/steel you can push/pull metals objects (like telepathy). Brass and zinc give the power to control emotions… and the list goes on. There are 10 metals that can be burned, all with different effects. The Allomancers are people who only have the power to burn one metal. A Mistborn has the power to burn all 10 metals and is extremely rare.

Society in this story is highly factioned with a ruler who may or may not also be God and who has oppressed the skaa as slaves for the nobility and uses Allomancy to keep them depressed. But then there’s Kelsier, who is the most successful thief in Luthadel, the capital city and seat of the Lord Ruler, and has also become a profound symbol of hope. He was imprisoned where people are sent to die and also happens to be the only one to have ever escaped. So obviously he has a crazy side and almost gets himself killed quiet frequently. But he now knows the Lord Ruler’s secret, and he’s on a mission to overthrow the Lord Ruler. Kelsier also is a Mistborn… he’s basically the hero of all heroes. Then enters Vin, a young girl who does not know she has Allomantic powers, who Kelsier saves and trains in the midst of trying to pull off this scheme of rebellion. Vin is shy and untrusting but brave and loyal. She is clever and a force to be reckoned with. Vin is awesome!!

And that’s just the beginning.. there’s so much going on in this book. Members of the thieving ring pose as imposters in different areas of the city using their different Allomantic powers, each having a personality all their own. The depth of all of the characters is phenomenal. Every single character is awesome! There is so much EMOTION. The plot is steadily moving and had me engrossed from the beginning until the very end. Even within 60 pages of the end, it seemed like there was no way the story would wrap up. But it did!! And it actually didn’t leave too many plot lines hanging like some fantasy books do. It left just enough open to set up for a great series.

I love this book with my whole heart, and Brandon Sanderson is automatically on my list of favorites. I dare say this is the definition of a perfect book.

It’s long, but oh so good, and worth every minute it takes to read. So if you’re a fantasy lover, please go read this so we can be fangirls together!!