Things Read in 2015

2015

When I was younger I would read all the time. Literally, just one book after another. I carried one with me everywhere (still do) and even when I wasn’t supposed to be reading, like, during class for example, I did anyway.

Now, being older, I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I would like, but I still try to read as often as I can.

That being said, way back in the summer of 2007 (it’s actually quite a while ago if you think about it), I started keeping a record of how many books I’d read and how many pages they were.

It started being divided by the summer and school years, but then I just started doing it by year. So, now that I’ve babbled on and explained (poorly) how this system worked, here is a list of the things I read in 2015!

The Walking Dead Books 1-4 (Issues 1-8), Robert Kirkman

TWD Books

I was a fan of The Walking Dead show before reading the comics, but after hearing repeatedly how different the comics are from the show I decided I had to read them. I’m not going to get too much into what I thought of the books as I reviewed books 1-4 last year.

I will say that so far I’m thoroughly enjoying the storyline both on the show and in the comics. I plan on reading at least books 5-8 this year (hopefully more, depending on if I can get them from the library).

 

Death Note Black Edition I, Tsugumi Ohba

black edition i

The only book I read this year that I haven’t reviewed yet. Not because it wasn’t good, but because I wanted to read Black Edition II first.

I’d already watched the anime of Death Note before reading the manga novels and I absolutely loved it. I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to read and when I discovered the Black Editions I was even more excited.

The Black Editions are basically two of the novels in one. Instead of spending twice as much and buying the books separate, you spend a couple extra dollars and get two of the books.

Death Note is amazing and I’ll definitely be posting a review of it this year as I recently bought Black Editions II and III.

 

F*ck! I’m in My Twenties, Emma Koenig

Fck Im in my TwentiesThis book is brilliant. I had wanted to read it for ages and was so glad when I finally did. Emma Koenig perfectly captures the feelings that come with being in your twenties, whatever stage you may be at.

I read and reviewed this book back in February and it is crazy how much changes in a year! Last year I wasn’t in school, had no job, and wasn’t doing too much. Now I feel like I hardly have time to slow down!

It’s absolutely insane how quickly things can change and I definitely need to read this book again to see just how different things are.

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Reptile Room, Lemony Snicket

Reptile Room

I still haven’t finished this series! I started it like a year and a half ago and I still haven’t finished. I’m not going to say I’ll finish it this year cause I think we all know if I say that then it won’t happen.

However, I will say that I’m excited to read it again and actually finish it this time because all of these books, not just The Reptile Room, but all of them are amazing and enjoyable.

 

Handle With Care, Jodi Picoult

Handle With Care

This book still gets me even when I just think about it. I read this book in a matter of days and to this day I would say it’s probably in my top ten favourite novels.

I loved this book, but to this day the ending gets me sooooo angry. If you’ve read it you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, read this book. Read it because it’s beautiful and wonderful and Jodi Picoult is truly a literally marvel.

And then I want you to come back here and tell me what you thought of the ending and if you were raging for days while simultaneously existing in a state of shock like I was.

 

Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse FiveThis book is one I need to read again simply because I still don’t think I fully got it. But, like I said in my review (which wasn’t really a review), I think not fully understanding the book actually just makes me like it more.

This is definitely one of those books where even if you don’t fully understand it you’ll enjoy it. This is also one of those books where if you’re a book nerd you should read it. It’s not like the great novels of our time now. There’s no magic or great battle against an evil, superpowered villain.

But there is a story and at the end of the day Slaughterhouse Five is exactly what all great novels start out as and what they all end up being.

I love reading. When people ask me what I like doing the first two things I always say are reading and writing. It’s been like this for as long as I can remember and, even though I don’t have as much time as used to, I don’t doubt it will stay like that.

I look forward to reading many more books over the course of this year. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish all the books I started at the end of last year and more. My reading goal every year is to do slightly better than the year before.

Total Books Read: 9 (technically 14)

Total Pages: 2595

But I want to hear from you! What did you read last year? Have any reading goals for this year?

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Names of the Week

Andrea

Female
Nickname: Andy; Andie
Pronunciation: An-dree-uh
Origin: Italian
Meaning: Brave
Well-Known Andreas: Andrea (Yesterday’s Child, Barbara Wood), Andrea (The Walking Dead), Andrea ‘Andie’ McPhee (Dawson‘s Creek), Andrea ‘Andy’ McNally (Rookie Blue), Andrea Joy ‘AJ’ Cook (Actress), Andrea Russett (Youtuber)

Carol

Female
Alternate Spelling: Carole
Pronunciation: Care-uhl
Origin: French
Meaning: Song of Happiness
Well-Known Carols: Carol Danvers (Marvel Comics), Carol Peletier (The Walking Dead), Carol Ross (ER), Carol Baldwin (Coronation Street), Carol Higgins Clark (Novelist), Carol Ann Sheilds (Novelist)

Glenn

Male
Alternate Spelling: Glen
Pronunciation: Glen
Origin: Celtic
Meaning: From the Wooded Valley
Well-Known Glenns: Glenn Rhee (The Walking Dead), Glenn Masters (Star of Babylon, Barbara Wood), Glenn Danzig (“The Misfits”), Glenn Worf (Country Music Bassist), Glenn Lee Beck (American TV Host)

Hershel

Male
Pronunciation: Her-shul
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: Deer
Well-Known Hershels: Hershel Greene (The Walking Dead), Hershel Agasa (“Case Closed”), Hershel McGriff (NASCAR Driver), Hershel Layton (“Professor Layton”

Judith

Female
Nickname: Judy; Jude
Pronunciation: Joo-dith
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: He Will be Praised
Well-Known Judiths: Judith Grimes (The Walking Dead), Judith Miller (American Journalist), Judith Butler (American Philosopher), Judith Shakespeare (Daughter of William Shakespeare)

Lizzie

Female
Alternate Spelling:
Nickname: Liz
Pronunciation: lih-zee
Origin: Isreal
Meaning: Form of Elizabeth
Well-Known Lizzies: Lizzie Samuels (The Walking Dead), Lizzie McGuire (Lizzie McGuire), Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Bennet (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen), Lizzie Lakely (Emmerdale), Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Lillian Marvelly (New Zealand Singer-Songwriter), Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Mickery (British Writer)

Merle

Male
Pronunciation: Merle
Origin: England; France
Meaning: Blackbird
Well-Known Merles: Merle Dixon (The Walking Dead), Merle Haggard (Country Singer), Merle Evans (Circus Band Conductor)

Mika

Unisex
Alternate Spelling: Micah
Pronunciation: mee-kuh; my-kuh
Origin: Isreal
Meaning: Humble
Well-Known Mikas: Mika Samuels (The Walking Dead), Mika Grainger (Waterloo Road), Mika Boorem (American Actress), Mika Abdalla (American Actress), Mika Brzezinski (TV Host and Journalist), Mika (Singer)

Morgan

Unisex
Pronunciation: mor-guhn
Origin: Celtic
Meaning: By the Sea
Well-Known Morgans: Morgan Jones (The Walking Dead), Morgan le Fay ‘Morgana’ (King Arthur Legend), Morgan Flynn (“The Sims 3”), Morgan York (American Actress), Morgan Freeman (American Actor)

Rick

Male
Nickname: Ricky
Pronunciation: rik
Origin: England
Meaning: Brave Ruler; Diminutive of Richard
Well-Known Ricks: Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead), Rick Blaine (Casablanca), Rick (“Portal”), Rick Riordan (American Author), Rick Springfield (Australian Singer)

Sasha

Unisex
Alternate Spelling: Sacha
Pronunciation: Sah-shuh
Origin: Greece
Meaning: Defender of Mankind; Diminutive of Alexander (Russia)
Well-Known Sashas: Sasha (The Walking Dead), Sasha (Absolute Friends, John le Carre), Sasha Braus (Attack on Titan), Sasha Filippov (Enemy at the Gates), Sasha Issenberg (American Author), Sasha Skenderika (Bosnian Poet)

Shane

Unisex
Pronunciation: Shane
Origin: Ireland
Meaning: Gift From God
Well-Known Shanes: Shane Walsh (The Walking Dead), Shane Collins (Morganville Vampire, Rachel Caine), Shane McCutcheon (The L Word), Shane Botwin (Weeds), Shane Edward Smeltz (New Zealand Footballer), Shane Dawson (Youtuber)

Tara

Female
Pronunciation: tar-uh
Origin: Gaelic
Meaning: Tower; Hillside
Well-Known Taras: Tara Chambler (The Walking Dead), Tara Duncan (Tara Duncan, Sophia Audouin-Mamikoian), Tara Brennan (13 Gifts, Wendy Mass), Tara James (Chrissa Stands Strong), Tara Knowles (Sons of Anarchy), Tara Reid (American Actress), Tara Gilesbie (Apparently an Infamous Fanfiction Author)

Tyreese

Male
Alternate Spelling: Tyreece; Tyrese; Tyrees
Nickname: Ty; Reese
Pronunciation: Ty-reese
Origin: America
Meaning: Enthusiastic
Well-Known Tyreeses: Tyreese (The Walking Dead), Prince Tyreese (Dirt), Tyrese Darnell Gibson (American Singer), Tyrees Allen (American Actor)

The Walking Dead returns tomorrow and I decided to celebrate with some Walking Dead names! I’ve also been celebrating quite a bit over on my other blog with a Top 10 Favourite Episodes countdown which you can find here!

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October Announcements

October

Alright, so I am making this post because October is going to be a crazy busy month for me and I am so excited!

First, I will be going to Torcon which is the Supernatural convention in Toronto! I will be blogging about my weekend on jcarsonreviews and I am incredibly excited about this. I love Supernatural, I’ve gone to the convention for the past couple years, but only for one day so this will be my first time going for the whole weekend.

If you or anyone you know is going, let me know because that would be amazing!

More on the topic of Supernatural. Season eleven premiers on the seventh of October and I will be starting to review the show and I am definitely looking forward to it. I’ve been really invested in the show since high school so it’s going to be great getting to share what I think of each episode with so many other people.

Superanatural

Finally, the last Supernatural related thing and something I am really excited about is that I will be reaching the one hundredth chapter in my Supernatural fanfiction! 100 chapters!

This is the longest fic I’ve written thus far and I am so incredibly happy with it. To celebrate, I will be counting down my top eleven (because they’re on season eleven) favourite episodes of the show over on jcarsonreviews!

But that’s not the only countdown I’ll be doing next month! Starting on the first, over on jcarsonreviews (it’s a really busy month over there), I’ll be counting down my top ten favourite episodes of The Walking Dead. This is all leading up to the season six premier (which I will be reviewing) on the eleventh!

The Walking Dead

Now The Walking Dead returning may not seem like announcement worthy stuff, but I have literally been on the edge of my seat waiting for season six so it has to be celebrated!

Also! The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire is coming out next month! What is TABINOF? It’s the book written by the one and only Dan and Phil! Dan and Phil are two Youtubers (you can find them on danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil respectively) I have been watching since I was in high school. I am a major fan of both of them and they’ve actually been a huge inspiration in a lot of the things I do.

TABINOF

I think the only other time I was this excited for a book was when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was being released. I remember exactly where I was and what time it was when Dan and Phil released the trailer announcing their book. I got home a couple hours later and preordered my copy online.

Now, after months of waiting, it’s almost here. I will definitely be talking about this book on this blog, probably multiple times because I’m so excited for it and I’m so proud of Dan and Phil for writing it and everything else they’ve done.

All these things are so very exciting! And while majority of the things on this blog will be remaining the same, all these things did have particular influence over one weekly thing I do: Names of the Week.

This month the names will be those of Youtubers, characters from The Walking Dead, and actors/characters from Supernatural. Normally I only post five names each week, but October knows no bounds and some weeks there’s definitely more than five names.

So much is happening in October! When filling out my calendar and writing my lists of things to do, it looks slightly intimidating and yet also exhilarating. While it looks like a lot of work, it’s writing and it’s writing about things I love so I can’t wait for October to get here so I can celebrate all these amazing things with all of you!

Thank you so much for sticking with me so far and I look forward to celebrating what definitely looks to be a wonderful October with you!

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Fan Expo 2015: Sunday!

Fan Expo Book

Oh boy, I thought Friday was amazing and then I went back to Fan Expo on Sunday. Insane! Best day of my life.

The first panel I went to on Sunday was The Walking Dead panel with Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, and Lennie James. I was in the same room as Norman Reedus, Chandler Riggs, and Lennie James. What.

I showed up early that morning and was glad I did because I got to the room the panel was going to be in just shortly after 10am (the panel was at 11) and it was already packed! One nice volunteer helped me find a seat (right smack in the middle of a huge group of people, that was fantastic). However, once they came out it didn’t matter where I was sitting. There they were. Three cast members of The Walking Dead.

Walking Dead 2

It was like the heavens had opened up and angels were singing. To some people that might sound stupid, but keep in mind I only bought my ticket a week before this all happened. So literally a week before the idea of seeing the cast of Walking Dead live was just a far off “off day” dream for when I could hopefully afford it.

The panel was amazing. From the sounds of it there’s lots of exciting things to look forward to in season six as pretty much every answer Chandler gave was that we’d have to wait for season six.

Walking Dead 12

Lennie James couldn’t say too much about his character as obviously we’ve only seen him a handful of times so far, but he did say we’d probably get to see how his character went from the crazy guy we saw in season three to the zen master he is now.

Walking Dead 24

Norman Reedus described season six as being like “season one on Viagra”. From anyone else I think that might have sounded weird, but from him it was just hilarious.

Walking Dead 20

All three guys were so polite and funny throughout the panel, answering each question as best they could without spoiling anything. It was so great and I’m so glad I decided to go.

I’m also glad I decided to buy a photo op with Chandler Riggs which I went to right after the panel. Since I’d already bought a couple things on Friday I hadn’t planned on really buying anything on Sunday. Maybe I’d get the Murphy McManus Pop Vinyl so I’d have both twins, but then I made a spur of the moment decision that morning before leaving for the train.

I bought a photo with Chandler and it was both terrifying and amazing and I couldn’t stop shaking. He was so polite and he thanked everyone for coming and it was one of the most amazing moments of my life.

Photo Op with Chandler

I watched a few episodes of The Walking Dead a few days after Fan Expo and I just sort of laugh because I watch it now and all I can think is, “I’ve met him.”

From that photo op I went to a panel called “How Fanfiction is Taking Over the World” which was hosted by Wattpad. This was so awesome because I’m a huge fanfiction writer as many of you know so it was cool to see a panel of people who have written or currently write fanfiction.

It was also really cool to meet other fanfiction writers and hear about what they write and how they got into it. I loved it because I don’t know a ton of people in real life who write fanfiction. I know a couple who have written a couple things, but no one who writes a lot like I do so meeting fellow fanfic writers was fantastic!

Once the panel was over I actually got to hang out with one of the girls I had met at the panel and we wandered around in the vendors area in the South Building which, until she brought me there, I didn’t know it existed. Yes, I’ll definitely remember that for next year instead of attempting to figure out my map.

We eventually went our separate ways as I had another photo op to get to and this is where I have a story.

I bought a photo with Sean Patrick Flanery. I’m a huge fan of his, I love Boondock Saints, he was great in Criminal Minds and I have a ton of other movies he’s done. Needless to say, I was incredibly nervous to actually meet him.

I’m standing in line and the closer I get to the curtained off area the more I start shaking. I am mere minutes, seconds, from meeting Sean Patrick Flanery. This was terrifying for me! It had been several hours and I still hadn’t recovered from meeting Chandler so the fact that I was about to meet SPF just sort of hit me all at once like a train.

Closer and closer, there’s now only a couple people in front of me. I finally make it to the curtained area with only one person in front of me and the fact that he’s mere feet from where I’m standing is now making me shake harder.

Then I look just slightly to the right and who is standing there? Norman Freakin’ Reedus.

Really?! I’m going to assume if you’re reading this then you’re laughing cause that’s what everyone I know did when I told them.

I was already beyond nervous to meet Sean Patrick Flanery\ and then Norman Reedus is just chilling about three feet away. Yeah, I forgot how to function. To make it even worse (better) SPF was hugging everyone he took a picture with.

Photo Op with Sean

I was prepared for the arm around thing, I can do that. Me and hugging in general is a struggle so this just increased inability to function.

Also, I’m so glad these are the first two pictures of myself that I’ve ever shared on this blog. Nothing normal or professional looking, but two times in one day where I was nerding out so hard and forgot how to function properly.

So yes, I thought I was close to The Walking Dead cast that morning and then that happened. It was wonderful and scary and wonderful and amazing and scary.

Honestly though I had a fantastic time at Fan Expo Sunday. Best. Day. Ever.

There will be other conventions I go to and other photos I’ll buy despite not really being able to afford things, but nothing like this. Nothing will ever be like this.

Thank you to all the people who run Fan Expo and to all the celebrities who attend! We all appreciate it very much and it definitely made it the best day of my life!

It’s definitely made me want to go again next year!

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The Walking Dead Books 1-4, Robert Kirkman

TWD Books

****Warning: This post will contain spoilers for The Walking Dead comics, issues 1-8 (books 1-4)! If you haven’t read them yet and are planning to, don’t read this!****

I had been wanting to read The Walking Dead comics for ages. I’m a huge fan of the show so when I found out my local library had all the books I’ve pretty much been reading them nonstop. And are they ever different from the show!

I already knew about a lot of stuff that happens in the comics through the magic of the internet so I knew that there would be a lot of differences. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for some of them.

For instance, Lori’s death. Totally different from the book to the show! In the show, she dies giving birth to Judith (who lives) and Carl has to shoot her in the head to make sure she doesn’t come back. In the comics, she dies during The Governor’s attack and when she falls she crushes Judith to death. I knew this was coming because I read about it online, but it was still a bit of a shock when it happened.

A lot of people have talked about why they didn’t do this on the show and instead kept Judith the “Walker Car Alarm”. Even though the show can get pretty graphic and horrific, I’m not sure they could actually show a baby (even a fake one) being crushed to death under it’s dead mother. Now she’s a toddler though so I’m not even sure Judith is safe.

Something I really wasn’t prepared for in the comics was Carol. I love Carol in the show, she is absolutely one of my favorite characters and she is so badass. In the comics however, she is… something else. First she gets together with Tyreese, then when they break up she starts hitting on Lori… and Rick… and Lori and Rick together. No really. She suggested the three of them get together and raise Carl and Sophia and the baby as a trio. This is just one of the many things she does in these books that I found kind of strange. But really, all the characters in the novels are a little strange.

I’m currently reading book five which has issues nine and ten. I know I have a lot more to go and I’m definitely going to read them because they are enjoyable. But, and this is probably the unpopular opinion, I do enjoy the show more.

Don’t get me wrong, I like both, but I feel like I can get more invested in the show. When I watch the show, I watch it for hours and I feel like I get to know the characters. Then, when a character dies, I feel something about it. If it’s a character I liked then I’m sad, if it’s a character I didn’t like then I’m glad they’re gone. But I can finish one of the books in a couple hours and when a character dies, then that’s it, I turn the page and they’re gone. I turn the page and they’re just not being drawn anymore.

I just feel like, with The Walking Dead comics, I don’t really have time to become invested in these characters like I do in the show or like I would with other comics I’ve read where the characters are in hundreds of issues.

However, that is not to say these aren’t amazing. They are. They’re different from anything I’ve read before and, while I prefer the show, I am thoroughly enjoying them and am excited to keep reading.

Have you read The Walking Dead comics? What did you think?

Buy The Walking Dead Book One on Amazon

Buy The Walking Dead Book Two on Amazon

Buy The Walking Dead Book Three on Amazon

Buy The Walking Dead Book Four on Amazon

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Second Blog!

So a couple months ago I started a second side blog creatively named “jcarsonrants”. I post an array of stuff there, so far I’ve got a couple opinion rants, a couple posts about things happening in the world, and I’ve recently started reviewing episodes of shows I watch.

I’ll admit that I kind of jumped into the second blog without much planning which was probably a bad idea on my part. However, I’m starting to get the hang of it and talking about shows I like has definitely helped.

If you’re interested in checking it out you find my other blog here.

I will be changing the name of it when I can think of something that better captures what the blog is about. Originally it was going to be me ranting about things I cared about and wanted to talk about. It’s still going to include those things, but will also really just be me talking about anything I like.

If you have any suggestions for a new name let me know! Thanks!