(Un)Covered Round-Up: March-May 2016

I may have mentioned that I write a column for idobi about song covers. Here are the ones that have been posted since March!

AND, even though I wrote a review of V.E. Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows here, I also wrote a review for idobi, which you can check out here!

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books & Music

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Books and Music. These are two of my favourite things, but I rarely put them together (except for the thing I wrote here). So I’ve decided to make a list of songs that are based on literature/authors and/or make literary references.

I know there are a lot more out there – especially David Bowie and Radiohead and The Cure and whatnot – but I limited the list to songs I’m really familiar with.

1) “Resistance” – Muse; based on George Orwell’s 1984

2) “Time to Dance” – Panic! at the Disco; based on Chuck Palahuick’s Invisible Monsters

3) “Legendary” – The Summer Set; references J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan

4) “Painting Flowers” – All Time Low; references Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

5) “Weight of Living (Pt. 1)” – Bastille; based on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

6) “To the End” – My Chemical Romance; based on William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily

7) “Win Some, Lose Some” – You Me At Six; references Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games

8) “Back to Life” – Paradise Fears; references S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders

9) “Bukowski” – Moose Blood; refers to the author, Charles Bukowski

10) “Sowing Season” – Brand New; the second verse is inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”, and the title of the song comes from Stephen King’s Secret Window, Secret Garden

I’m positive I’m missing really obvious ones from my music collection, but those were the ones I came up with (of course, there would have been more if I repeated artists, such as All Time Low’s “Somewhere in Neverland”, Bastille’s “Icarus”, and Paradise Fears’ “Stories in the Dark”, etc).

Let me know in the comments if you think of other songs that could make this list!

Liebster Award Part 3!

Thanks so much to Katie (katiejaysbookblog) for the nomination! I appreciate it and you should check out her blog!

Liebster2

1) What are your hobbies?

Reading, writing, drinking tea, and eating (I’m joking about that last one)(not really, though).

2) Whats your favorite book?

Outside of the Harry Potter series, my favourites include Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted and Robin Benway’s Audrey, Wait!.

3) What fandoms (if any) are you in?

Harry Potter, of course, and Sherlock, to a certain extent (I have a fondness for Sherlock gifs!).

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4) What’s your favorite music?

I’ll listen to anything, but I gravitate towards pop-punk and alternative. My top five bands are: You Me At Six, Panic! at the Disco, All Time Low, The Maine, and either Fall Out Boy or Paradise Fears, depending on my mood!

5) Pancakes or Waffles and why?

Well, #wafflesaturday is my favourite day of the week (that’s when my sister makes waffles for breakfast), so I’m going to say WAFFLES!

6) Left or Right handed?

Right handed.

7) What was the last movie you saw?

In theatres: The Peanuts Movie, which I loved. At home: Legally Blonde Two: Red, White & Blonde which I couldn’t remember at all.

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8) Where are 3 places you’d like to visit?

Ireland, Greece, and San Francisco!

9) Would you rather have your favorite character come into your life or be inserted into your favorite novel?

Ooo, this is a tough one! I’d say be inserted into my favourite novel; I’ve always wanted to visit Hogwarts, and the world in Ella Enchanted is just as magical, full of goblins and fairies and attractive princes. Audrey, Wait! takes place in LA, which I wouldn’t mind visiting either!

10) Favorite beverage?

Tea! I have a large, almost ridiculous, collection (mostly from England, because the Brits really do know their tea).

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I <3 Helena Bonham Carter.

11) What are your goals for 2016 (if any)?

My goal is to read at least 120 books, finish a manuscript (any of them that are currently in progress), and possibly start querying agents (once I finish writing something!).

Thanks again, Katie!

I’ve done the Liebster award twice before, so I won’t nominate blogs (mostly because I don’t have the brain power to come up with questions), but here are the last eleven blogs I followed – you should check them out!

Shelly’s Rambles
Mud and Stars
Cafe Book Bean
That’s So Jacob
Untamed Shrews
The Geek Couple
The Worn Bookmark
RedHeaded Book Lover
Wanderlust: Becoming a Traveler
AroActionCat
Ana Spoke

I’m down, down, but definitely not out [re-direct to idobi]

One of my last minute additions to my London trip this past month was the You Me At Six benefit show for their friends in The Ghost Inside, who were involved in a horrible accident in November. You can click here to read my full review of the small, sweaty, intimate, and totally awesome show, but – spoiler alert – I’m a massive YMAS fan, so of course I loved every second of it!

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Liebster Award Part 2!

You guys! My ego is going to explode from all this blogger love: I’ve been (re)nominated for the Liebster Award by two people, SJ (Delirious Antidotes) and Cassie (Book Reviews & Haikus)! Thanks so much SJ and Cassie! Please go check out their blogs :)

I love answering random questions, so here we go!

Sidenote: when I was 17-18, I spent half my time on Facebook filling out those random questionnaires that you could post as notes, so this is pretty much my jam.

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Last time, I used the standard turquoise-y one, this time I wanted the pretty pink badge!

Questions from SJ:

1) Let’s kick this off with a little bit of self promotion, as it never did any harm: tell me about a project, website, post etc. that you want to draw attraction to. (URL’s are allowed)

My friend Jane and I are working on a pop culture website which we’re both very excited about! It officially launches on June 1st, but you can check out our snazzy home page here!

2) How did you/do you cope with exam season?

I made a lot of notes. Mostly on graph paper because, for some reason, it helped me focus (I was an English/French major, so I actually had to go out and buy graph paper, come exam time).

3) Who is your favourite band/musician?

How much time do you have?? I can narrow it down to my top five (in no particular order): You Me At Six, Panic! at the Disco, All Time Low, The Maine, and Fall Out Boy.

4) What is your favourite book?

One of my most favourite books of all time is Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

5) When did you start blogging?

I started my blog in August 2013. I started talking about books in October 2013, and I’ve been reviewing ARCs/giving books actual ratings since April 2015 (before, I just talked about whether or not I liked the book).

6) What is the best advice you have ever been given?

“Everything happens for a reason”. It’s not really advice so much as a proverb (is it even a proverb?) and I know it’s somewhat cliched, but it’s something I hold on to.

7) Explain the title of your blog.

My oldest sister nicknamed me “Bella” when I was little; she still calls me that and so now my three nieces call me “Bella” as well. When she was about three (she just turned nine), my oldest niece figured out that “Bella” and “books” both start with “b”, and thus she christened me “Bellsiebooks”.

8) Tea or coffee?

Tea! I have a borderline absurd collection of tea, but I love it.

9) What is your least “politically correct” opinion?

That’s a tough one…I don’t know how to answer that!

10) What did you think about before you fell asleep last night?

I’ve been telling myself stories to fall asleep ever since I was a child. For years, it’s been how I’ve worked out plot points for the books I’m trying to write.

Questions from Cassie:

1) What are three things you want to do/accomplish in life?

a) Publish a book (multiple books, ideally)
b) Become a kids’ book editor (or work in marketing for kids’ books…I’d take anything at this point)
c) Travel the world

2) Do you have a favorite musical genre and/or musician/band?

Pop-punk and similar genres (pop rock, metal, “emo”, etc). Please see above for my top five bands!

3) What was your first concert?

I saw Bon Jovi on the “One Wild Night” tour in 2001 with my sisters (I was 11).

4) Who is your favorite author? [If you don’t have one, what’s your favorite book genre?]

I love many authors, including Neil Gaiman, Libba Bray, Melissa Marr, and J.K. Rowling. I read a lot of YA (which is a category, not a genre), and I tend to enjoy contemporary or paranormal/supernatural/urban fantasy.

5) What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

I cannot possibly pick just one!! Ella Enchanted has been one of my favourite books for 17 years (I read it when I was 8), but I’m always swooning over some book or another.

6) When do you read most?

When I was working, I’d read on the morning commute and then continued for a bit when I got to work. Since my internship ended a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been reading a lot more at night.

7) What’s your preference: “real” physical books, e-books, audiobooks, or a mix of all of them?

Real books!!! I have a Kindle (which I stole from my dad) for my NetGalley ARCs and I sometimes use my phone if I don’t want to carry the e-reader around, but I much prefer the feel of physical books.

8) If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

Telepathy!

9) What fictional character would you like to be friends with most? Why?

Oh, so many! Anyone from the Harry Potter universe, of course, but sometimes I wish I had a tiger friend like Hobbes (he’s furry and good for conversation!). And if we’re going outside of books, then I’d want to be BFF’s with Marceline from Adventure Time because she is my hero.

10) Do you have hobbies besides reading?

I write and I’m a huge music fan, so I’m constantly a) updating my collection or b) attending a concert.

11) What’s your favorite food or drink to have while reading?

I don’t really eat/drink when I’m reading, but I guess tea. And I’ll eat chocolate at any time of the day, so I wouldn’t say no if someone were to hand me a piece of Dairy Milk while I was reading :)

Thanks for reading! And thanks again for the nomination(s)!

You may recall that I was nominated for this award in April, so I’m not going to officially nominate blogs. However, here is a list of the last 10 blogs I followed – you should check them out too!

a bookworm’s escape
aBOOkishOwl
iamkira
thoughts and afterthoughts
Becca and Books
Owls and Things
Just my humble life
Barda Book Talk
Gilmored
Hardcovers and Heroines

Tattoo Thursday

I’ve decided that today is “Tattoo Thursday”. Why? Because yesterday I got my fourth tattoo! But also because it’s my birthday and I’ll do what I want!

I’m actually 25, but this is close enough.

August 2012

tattoo

My first tattoo – Jack Skellington from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I often talk about how much I love Jack, so it made perfect sense to get his face permanently inked on me.

April 2014

Last year on my birthday, I finally convinced my sister Ro to get matching tattoos with me (I’m Reckless, she’s Brave). There are two layers to these tattoos:

1) The “VI” symbolizes one of our favourite bands, You Me At Six, and “Reckless” is my favourite YMAS song.

2) “The Reckless and the Brave” is a song by another fave band, All Time Low, and it was the perfect way to combine our love for two bands.

August 2014

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I wrote an entire post about the album behind this tattoo when I got it last summer, but it’s a Panic! at the Disco reference (“Nine in the Afternoon”), plus I’ve always liked pocket watches.

April 2015

quarter sleeveI’m referring to this as my “quarter sleeve” (not quite a half sleeve, but still more than just a single tattoo). I got this yesterday and it’s gorgeous (though it was gruesomely bloody before I took the bandage off). It’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlandthemed (“we’re all mad here” is one of my favourite quotes) plus it went really well with my pocket watch and I also love drinking tea, so it has multiple meanings!

And there you have it! Those are my four tattoos, but trust me when I say I have a thousand other ideas (which include, but are not limited to: the Deathly Hallows symbol, Calvin & Hobbes, Adventure Time, the VFD/eye symbol from A Series of Unfortunate Events, song lyrics, and a Neil Gaiman quote).

How about you, readers? Do you have any tattoos? Do you want any? Let me know in the comments!

Versatile Blogger Award!

I realize this is like my 1354068th post of the day, but you guys! The very kind Laura (Tea Time Reads) nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! This was most unexpected, but I feel absurdly honoured. Thanks, Laura! Please go check out her blog! :)

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How it works:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
  2. Share 10 random facts about yourself
  3. Nominate 10 other bloggers who are relatively new to blogging (& you like!)

So here are 10 Random Facts About Me:

  1. “bellsiebooks” was coined by my oldest niece. My eldest sister (I have two sisters and a brother) nicknamed me Bella when I was little; when my niece was about 3, she realized that “Bella” and “book” both start with a “b”, so she combined it and pronounced it to be my new name.
  2. I’m currently interning at a children’s book publisher, and I can honestly say it’s my dream job. I live for YA and children’s books.
  3. I also dream of being an author; I’ve written one YA novel so far (though it’s in it’s fourth major revision), and I have about 10 other ideas floating around in various states (some have about 50 rough pages, while others are no more than a named document).
  4. I love love LOVE music and going to concerts. If I come home sweaty and/or without a voice, then I know it’s been a good show.
  5. My favourite movie of all time is The Nightmare Before Christmas. I love Tim Burton and I’m trying to watch all of his movies (I own most of them).
  6. I often work Adventure Time quotes or Scrubs references into every day conversation. And I somehow manage to turn almost any music-based conversation into a discussion about You Me At Six.
  7. I currently have three tattoos, have a consultation booked for a fourth, and have plans for at least five more. In my spare time, I fantasize about having enough money to spend on a full-coloured sleeve.
  8. I have a ridiculous collection of tea, most of it from England. Twinings Earl Grey was the first flavour I liked and it’s still one of my favourites.
  9. I also have a ridiculous collection of Converse sneakers, and one day I hope to have one pair of shoes for every colour of the rainbow.
  10. Sometimes I write for idobi radio (an alternative/pop-punk online radio station), and recently I’ve been collaborating with my friend Jane on music reviews (so far we’ve done a review of a Bleachers concert, and a track-by-track discussion of Fall Out Boy’s American Beauty/American Psycho).

Nominations:

I don’t know that many blogs, so I’ve picked five random ones that I follow :)
Steam Punk, On the Edge of Food-vention
Starlight Daydreamer
A Baked Creation
Books For MKS
Vital Endeavor
BONUS (because she was also nominated by Laura!)
Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Books

2014: People, Places, and Things

Another year has come and gone and I’ve decided to throw together a year-in-review post. Some of it might be a bit of a humble brag, but I also took the opportunity to reflect on the many changes/big decisions I made over the past twelve months.

PEOPLE

2014 was the year I met…

Zach Braff (August) in New York, after seeing him in a delightful production of Bullets Over Broadway.

Jamie Oliver (September) while he was promoting his latest book, Comfort Food.

…my 20+ publishing peeps! Especially the lovely Jane, who I am slowly turning into another concert buddy (please check out her super pretty website here).

…a few bands including You Me At Six, The Maine, Paradise Fears, Nick Santino, Cameron Leahy (lead singer of The Downtown Fiction), and Eric Halvorsen (former bassist of the now defunct A Rocket to the Moon).

2014 will also be remembered as the year I become obsessed with Neil Gaiman. I haven’t met him (yet! *crosses fingers*), but this was the year I finally started reading his books and realized that I had been missing out on something magical.

PLACES

2014 was the year I went…

…to New York City for the Writer’s Digest Conference in August. It was a whirlwind weekend full of stories and advice, seminars and agents. I came out of it certain in the knowledge that a) I am, indeed, a writer and b) agents are people too (even if they are intimidating).

…to England and France in the winter on a family vacation. We saw Christmas markets in Lille and Amiens (France), took a short trip to Brussels (Belgium), and then spent some glorious days in one of my favourite cities, London (England, obvs).

…to 30 concerts (I’m just really proud of achieving this goal, guys).

…to my first ever circus!

THINGS

2014 was the year I…

…convinced Ro that we needed matching tattoos (tattoos that represent both You Me At Six and All Time Low).

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I’m Reckless, she’s Brave.

…finally got the Panic! at the Disco tattoo I’ve wanted for years.

…quit my well-paying but boring customer service job in April so that I could go back to school.

…started working towards my publishing certificate because it’s the best career out there for me.

…interned at HarperCollins in the sales department (which is how I ended up spending a day with Jamie Oliver) and put my newly gained knowledge of the publishing industry into actual practice.

…started an internship at Tundra which made me realize that publishing children’s books in particular is what I’m meant to do with the rest of my life.

…started writing for idobi radio, which allows me to combine two of my greatest passions (writing and mostly-pop-punk music) at least once a week.

…re-wrote my novel (again).

2014 in a nutshell

It was a crazy busy year! I didn’t achieve all the resolutions I made in January, but I started making progress towards most of them. I hope all you readers out there had just as good a year (if not better!). Bring it on, 2015!

Best concerts of 2014

This year, Ro and I hit 30 concerts. 30!!!! This was a personal best for us, and it was our goal for 2014 (we were unbelievably excited when we bought tickets for that last show). There were a couple of duplicates – some favourite bands that came to town on more than one tour – but we also saw a few bands we’ve never seen live before.

This list is pretty much in order, but the lines sort of blur once you get past the top ten. Yay live music!

1) Bring Me the Horizon – December 5 (Wembley Arena)

2) Panic! at the Disco – February 1 (Sound Academy)

3) You Me At Six – October 13 (Phoenix)

4) Fall Out Boy – June 25 (Molson Amphitheatre)

5) The Maine – March 1 (Hard Luck Bar)

6) Paradise Fears – August 12 (Mod Club)

7) Twin Atlantic – December 10 (Rivoli)

8) Taking Back Sunday – April 8 (Kool Haus)

9) Andrew McMahon – November 5 (Opera House)

10) The Ready Set – October 30 (El Mocambo)

11) The 1975 – May 6 (Kool Haus)

12) Nick Santino – November 10 (Hard Luck Bar)

13) Bastille – October 15 (ACC)

14) Deaf Havana – February 15 (Rivoli)

BONUS:

Riot Fest – September 6-7 (Downsview Park)

I’m so ready for the 2015 concert season. I can’t wait to see what our total will be this year!