2016: 100 Book Challenge

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Hello!

The end of the year usually means a lot of looking-back/reflection/summary posts. This one is no exception. Also, if you ever needed more proof that I am a gigantic nerd, this is it.

At the beginning of the year, I raised myself a challenge – to read 100 books and to keep track of them. I mainly did that because 1. I wanted to read more – I used to read a lot during childhood but couldn’t find time for books in later years, due to watching a lot of films and 2. since I read/watch/hear so many stories, I wanted to have a list of them so that I would not start reading a book which I have read before.

I’m glad to announce that I did achieve my goal and did finish 100 books in 12 months. I covered a variety of genres, authors, and languages.

Some statistics before I give you the list: out of the 100 books:

  • 23 were in my native Lithuanian language and 77 were in English.
  • 20 of them were for study purposes, 80 – for leisure.
  • 60 authors were covered: I read only one book by 44 authors and a few books by 16 authors. W. Shakespeare came in first with 8 repeats, T. Morrison followed second with 6 and J.K.Rowling with 5. D. Brown had 4, while A. Moore, R. Riggs, M. Strandberg and S.B. Elfrgen and Sir A. Conan Doyle all had 3. Lastly, I read 2 books by each of the following authors: A. Miller, H. Ibsen, A. Spiegelman, S. Plath, J. Conrad, J. Moyes, G. Flynn, and H. Lee.
  • 30 writers were American, 15British, 5French, 2 (each) were Lithuanian, Irish, Japanese, and Scandinavian and 1 (each) – Russian, Polish, Nigerian, and Pakistani.
  • 72 were stand-alone books, while 28 belonged to 11 series.
  • 53 were modern books, while 47 were classics.
  • 56 were prose and 2poetry books. 15 were plays, 18graphic novels, and 9memoirs.
  • 8 was my monthly average.

Before I give you the long list by genre, here is my TOP 10 in no particular order:

  • A. Spiegelman – ‘Maus’
  • A.Moore and D.Gibbons – ‘Watchmen’
  • J.K.Rowling – ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’
  • S. Plath – ‘The Bell Jar’
  • H. Lee – ‘Go Set a Watchman’
  • A. Weir – ‘The Martian’
  • G. Flynn – ‘Sharp Objects’
  • E. Cline – ‘Ready Player One’
  • L. Wacquant – ‘Body and Soul: The Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer’
  • C. McDougall – ‘Born to Run’

Now the actual list by genre:

Prose:

  1. E. A. Poe – collection of short stories titled ‘The Gold-Bug’
  2. A. de Saint-Exupéry – two storiesSouthern Mail’ and ‘Night Flight’ in one novel.
  3. M. Shelley – ‘Frankenstein’
  4. J.M.Barie – ‘Peter Pan’
  5. W. Golding – ‘Lord of the Flies’
  6. V. Nabokov – ‘Lolita’
  7. K. Ishiguro – ‘Never Let Me Go’
  8. S. Plath – ‘The Bell Jar’
  9. J. Conrad – ‘Hearth of Darkness’
  10. J. Conrad – a trio of short stories ‘An Outpost of Progress’, ‘Karan’, ‘Youth’.
  11. J. Baldwin –  ‘Giovanni’s Room’
  12. C. Achebe – ‘Things Fall Apart’
  13. T. Morrison – ‘Beloved’
  14. T. Morrison – ‘Sula’
  15. T. Morrison – ‘Song of Solomon’
  16. T. Morrison – ‘A Mercy’
  17. T. Morrison – ‘The Bluest Eye’
  18. T. Morrison – ‘Home’
  19. M. Mauss – ‘The Gift’
  20. H. Melville – ‘Moby Dick’
  21. J. Austen – ‘Sense and Sensibility’
  22. J. Moyes – ‘Me Before You’
  23. J. Moyes – ‘After You’
  24. H. Lee – ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
  25. H. Lee – ‘Go Set a Watchman’
  26. A. Weir – ‘The Martian’
  27. G. Flynn – ‘Sharp Objects’
  28. G. Flynn – ‘Dark Places’
  29. M. Strandberg and S.B.Elfgren – ‘The Circle’
  30. M. Strandberg and S.B.Elfgren – ‘Fire’
  31. M. Strandberg and S.B.Elfgren – ‘The Key’
  32. K. Vonnegut – ‘The Breakfast of Champions’
  33. I. Fleming – ‘Casino Royale’
  34. D. Brown – ‘Angels and Demons’
  35. D. Brown – ‘The Da Vinci Code’
  36. D. Brown – ‘The Lost Symbol’
  37. D. Brown – ‘Inferno’
  38. G. DeWeese – ‘Into the Nebula (Star Trek: The Next Generation #36)’
  39. R. Riggs – ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for the Peculiar Children’
  40. R. Riggs – ‘Hollow City’
  41. R. Riggs – ‘The Library of Souls’
  42. E. Blyton – ‘The Famous Five: Five Go Down to the Sea’
  43. E. Blyton – ‘The Famous Five: Five Go to Mystery Moor’
  44. E. Blyton – ‘The Famous Five: Five Have Plenty of Fun’
  45. E. Blyton – ‘The Famous Five: Five on a Secret Trail’
  46. K. Keplinger – ‘The Duff’
  47. P. Hawkins – ‘The Girl on the Train’
  48. J.K.Rowling – ‘The Casual Vacancy’
  49. J.K.Rowling – ‘Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them’
  50. J.K.Rowling – ‘Quidditch Through The Ages’
  51. J.K.Rowling – ‘Tale of Beedle The Bard’
  52. Sir A. Conan Doyle – ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’
  53. Sir A. Conan Doyle – ‘The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes’
  54. Sir A. Conan Doyle – ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’
  55. E. Cline – ‘Ready Player One’
  56. G.R.R.Martin – ‘The World of Ice and Fire’
  57. D.Grayson – ‘Doctor Strange: The Fate of Dreams’

Poetry:

  1. S. Heaney – ‘North’
  2. S. Plath – ‘Ariel’

Plays:

  1. J.M.Synge – ‘The Playboy of the Western World’
  2. A. Miller – ‘The Crucible’
  3. A. Miller – ‘Death of a Salesman’
  4. H. Ibsen – ‘A Doll’s House’
  5. H. Ibsen – ‘Hedda Gabler’
  6. J. Lyly – ‘Galatea’
  7. W. Shakespeare – ‘The Taming of the Shrew’
  8. W. Shakespeare – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
  9. W. Shakespeare – ‘Twelfth Night’
  10. W. Shakespeare – ‘The Merchant ofVenice’
  11. W. Shakespeare – ‘The Tempest’
  12. W. Shakespeare – ‘Coriolanus’
  13. W. Shakespeare – ‘Hamlet’
  14. W. Shakespeare – ‘Troilus and Cressida’
  15. J.K.Rowling – ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

Graphic Novels:

  1. A. Spiegelman – ‘Maus’
  2. A. Spiegelman – ‘In The Shadow of No Towers’
  3. M. Satrapi – ‘Persepolis’
  4. J. Maroh – ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’
  5. C. Burns – ‘Black Hole’
  6. M.Millar and S.McNiven – ‘Civil War’
  7. Various authors – ‘Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes: Wolverine’
  8. A.Moore and D.Gibbons – ‘Watchmen’
  9. A.Moore and D.Lloyd – ‘V for Vendetta’
  10. A.Moore and B.Bolland – ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’
  11. M.Anusauskaite and G.Jord – ’10 litu’
  12. Various authors – ‘The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told’
  13. Various authors – ‘Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Iron Man’
  14. J. Sacco – ‘Palestine’
  15. C.Thompson – ‘Blankets’
  16. M.Wolfman and G.Perez – ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’
  17. E. Brubaker – ‘The Death of Captain America’

Memoirs:

  1. D. Howell and P. Lester – ‘The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire’
  2. T. Oakley – ‘Binge’
  3. C. Franta – ‘A Work in Progress’
  4. G. Helbig – ‘Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up’
  5. L. Wacquant – ‘Body and Soul: The Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer’
  6. M.Youafzai and C.Lamb – ‘I am Malala’
  7. I.Staskevicius – ‘Maratono laukas’ (‘Marathon running’)
  8. H. Murakami – ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’
  9. C.McDougall – ‘Born to Run’

I hope you enjoyed flicking through my 2016 reading list. I really want to start writing more book-centric posts next year, so this was like a taster-post. Have a great New Year and tell me in the comments your favorite book from last year!

A snapshot of my collection

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MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Music

A while ago, I did a short review of MTV Movie Awards and decided to do the same for VMAS 2014. I was planning to do review of Teen Choice Awards 2014 but there was just too much drama surrounding TCAs and Team Internet and I thought that my blog post would just turn into an angry rant.

I wasn’t amazed by this award show, I don’t say it was bad but I still had a lot of problems with it. First of all, there was nothing new – they are saying that they will shock us but it is the same show every year. Might be that I have seen just too many shows like this and I am not easily surprised.

Second of all, I had a huge problem with the outfits of all stars and overall image that they are creating. Man and women are putting so much on sexiness that it turns into raunchiness. Females in particular present themselves as these over sexualized beings that think that nudity equals sexiness. (Not just in performance outfits but in red carpet dresses as well) Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea are just a few of them. Even Ariana Grande, who used to be this cutesy good girl, now turned into …I don’t even know what to call her. Her red carpet look seemed very tacky and not classy at all. At least the signature pony tail is still there. However, I agree that in this way all of these stars are showing their confidence and encouraging young women to dress however they like and be proud of who they are. Nonetheless, I believe that there are other ways to do that. You don’t need to walk around almost naked to feel confident and love yourself.

Favorite performance – Taylor Swift’s first live performance of her new song –Shake it off. At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of the song but now it grew on me. I will probably be blasting it out loud half of autumn. I also liked Beyoncé’s performance because she is freakin’ Beyoncé, that why. But I wish she would put less attention to sexiness as well. Her whole new album is about that, except Pretty Hurts – that is the song with an amazing message. I loved how Jay Z brought Blue Ivy on stage and presented Beyoncé with an award – it was heartbreaking in a good way to see Beyoncé tear up on stage from joy of that moment.

Also, did you see Nicki Minaj’s wardrobe malfunction? She did not have enough time to change from that jungle outfit into black dress and had to use her hands to cover herself. I wish she would have put that black dress on properly because I wanted to see it whole– it looked kinda nice to me, sexy but not too much.

I also like to mention that I love that they are including Team Internet more and more. Some youtubers are working on the red carpet (Tyler Oakley and Ingrid Nelson) and others are also attending.

Miley Cyrus also did a good job with her acceptance speech. Huge difference since last year’s VMAs.

Best dressed:

Females: I liked the looks of Becky G, Holland Roden and Kesha – stylish but not too revealing.

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals 2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals 2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

Males: I liked the style of Greg Sulkin (can’t wait for Faking It to be back) and my queen Tyler Oakley.

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals 2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

Also – did you see Katy Perry’s nod to the past? It was super fun to see her embracing the denim

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

I am sorry that this post is so long, I guessed I had a lot to say. Have a great last week of summer wherever you are!

Movie review: The Fault In Our Stars

Movie reviews

Hello!!
This Thursday I was fortunate enough to be one of the first people in my country – Lithuania to see one of the most anticipated movies of the summer – The Fault In Our Stars. This is going to be my review.
So, I guess all of you know that TFIOS is a book written by one half of vlogbrothers – John Green. I came across his book because other youtubers (Tyler Oakley, Troye Sivan) were talking about it in their videos. Therefore, I downloaded an epub copy of it and decided to give it a try. Let me just say this: I FREAKIN’ LOVED IT. It was perfect: characters were well-developed and reliable (even though I am not sick with cancer), plot was interesting and unexpected and overall story was just spectacular. I could not wait for the movie to come to the big screen.
June 12th was pre-premiere date of TFIOS in Lithuania. I went alone without any friends because I wanted to concentrate on the movie. I also was kinda embarrassed to cry in front of them and I definitely knew that I was going to cry.
TFIOS stars Shailene Woodley as Hazel Grace and Ansel Elgort as Augustus Waters – two main characters. Although, these actors are playing brother and sister in Divergent movies, it wasn’t awkward to see them as lovers, mainly because they are such great, professional actors that portray believable characters. I don’t want to talk about story-line much because I do not want to spoil anything. Though, book readers may notice that there a couple little changes from a book to a movie: for example, before going to Amsterdam Gus does not get in a fight with his parents in the movie as he does in a book. Personally, I didn’t mind these tiny changes just because the overall story-line wasn’t affected.
The last point I would like to mention is the soundtrack of the movie. It is so good, I have already downloaded it form iTunes. However, I wish they had included Troye Sivan’s song with the same name into soundtrack. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqG55HdmKTE
The movie made me smile and cry at the same time. Actually, I haven’t seen that many crying girls in one place ever. The scene that brought the biggest amount of tears was the one when Hazel is giving her speach about infinities at Gus pre-funeral. That part was emotional, sad and overwhelming.
If you haven’t seen the movie, what are you waiting for? Go see it. Now! And them come back here and tell me what did you think about it. Okay? Okay. Bye

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Top 6 Favorite Youtubers!!

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This week I am going to tell you all about my favorite youtubers. I was planning to do Top 5, but I just couldn’t leave out one of them, so therefore, it is Top 6. I believe that this list will appeal to everybody’s taste, because here we have some nerd stuff, some fashion, lifestyle, adventures and some cooking. (I have a serious sweet tooth problem). Enjoy!

1. FASHION and BEAUTY. There are a lot of great Beauty Gurus on youtube like Tanya Burr, MissGlamorazzi, but my favorite one is Zoe Sugg known as Zoella . She is British vlogger and beauty guru currently living in Brighton. She also has a blog www.zoella.co.uk . I love her quirky and girly personality as well as the way she communicates with her fans. She radiates positive energy towards everybody. I love her style too – girly dresses, shirts with collars ( I can die for a great collar shirt), slouchy jumpers and disco pants. Her hairstyles are also very cute – simple but always polished. Messy buns, halo or fish tale braids are my favorite. On her channel https://www.youtube.com/user/zoella280390 you will find cosmetics’ and clothes’ hauls, DIY videos, “How to” and “favorite things” videos and also little insights into her personal life with Q&As and variety of challenges. Not a long time ago she hit 4 million subscribers and this number is growing everyday.

2.ADVENTURE – when I need some adrenaline the channel I turn to is FunForLouis run by Louis Cole from Great Britain. His daily vlogs show world through his eyes. He has already traveled to every content I think, but right now he is in the USA relaxing after PlaylistLive convention and road trip through out the country. His signature style is dreadlocks, colorful penny boards and a vest t-shirts. I love different intros he does every time and the same line he says at the end of the video : “Peace out, enjoy life and live the adventure. Buuum!”. I believe that this is a great motto for life. He has around 640 thousand subscribers but he deserves a lot more so check him out.: https://www.youtube.com/user/FunForLouis

3. LIFESTYLE – my favorite gay on the whole Internet is Tyler Oakley. He is the person you want to be friends with. His sassy personality, strong opinion and immeasurable love for his people makes him the best there is. His channel is full of everything: challenges, Q&As, fangirling videos, collabs (drunk collabs included) as well as videos addressing important issues (e.g. health care). His always changing hair color never disappoints or bores. Fans love to ship him with other youtubers, but the pair they worship is Troyler (Tyler Oakley + Troye Sivan – fellow South African/Australian youtuber). Tyler’s positive view to life is infectious. The amount of fans he has grows everyday, so become one and SLAY ( I mean join) him here: https://www.youtube.com/user/tyleroakley

4. COOKING – my favorite chef on the Internet is Australian home cook – Ann Reardon form “How too cook that”. On this channel she shows us how to make chocolates desserts and decorations, various theme cakes (Divergent cake, One Direction cake) and other desserts (Facebook dessert, Twitter and Instagram dessert). Her work on youtube led to the creation of her own “Surprise Cakes” app which is really fun for kids and adults likewise to use. Her step by step tutorials while using tools found at hand make everything seem easy and accomplish-able. But be careful – do not eat to much sweets. However, that is a very hard thing to do, when every Friday you find a new indulgent recipe that makes your mouth water. Her half a million subscribers are waiting for you to join right here: https://www.youtube.com/user/howtocookthat

5. NERD – One of my favorite nerd type channels is Emergency Awesome run by Charlie . Here you can find videos about Game of Thrones,Walking Dead,Arrow, Doctor Who and other both fantasy TV series and movies. I really like they way his video are styled. One day you get the review of the episode, the next day Q&A about the review. Here you can get deeper insight into fantasy world. Help to get him to 200 000 subsribers : https://www.youtube.com/user/emergencyawesome

6. NERD – the last channel I want to present is comicbookgilr19 https://www.youtube.com/user/comicbookgirl19 . Her reviews, top lists and other videos make watching TV series and movies even more interesting than it already is. Pre-histories of fantasy worlds, character videos or explanations, “changes from book to a movie” type of videos can all be found on her channel. What I like most about her, is that she is not afraid to be herself and to stand for what she beliefs in : recently she attend SeaWorld protest that want to free sea creatures which are held in captivity.

That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed this list of my favorite youtubers. Find me on different social media sites :
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LunaTheia
Instagram : http://instagram.com/luknexx
Tumblr: http://luna-theia.tumblr.com/