Saturday, May 31, 2014

Armchair BEA: Wrapping it Up

So I know I said my last post was the final BEA post, but now it's time to wrap things up! Before saying anything else, I want to give a big THANK YOU to everyone that help put this together! It couldn't have been easy, and I can only imagine myself pulling out my hair if I had tried it myself.

I've been blogging here at Natalie Patalie for a little over a year, I think. Since then, I'd been looking all over the place to find other bloggers that really get me. I joined a few networks and groups, and I kind of did. I met some really great women that were nice, helpful, and didn't find my blog too annoying (always a bonus). But still, they didn't really get me. Most of them were older than me, or mothers (nothing wrong with that, but I can't relate), or just didn't have any of the same interests as me. Armchair BEA has been the first time I've done something with my blog that made me REALLY excited, and the first place where I felt like my blog actually belonged there! People were reading my posts, and they actually had something to say about it other than "That's so nice!" Not that there's anything wrong with those comments (I appreciate every single comment I get!), but it's cool to see people reading my stuff and have their own opinion on it. Not everyone agreed with what I had to say (particularly with my YA post), but that's even better! What's there to talk about if we all have the same opinion? So it should go without saying that I met some really great bloggers this week.

Ok, got a little too emotional there. Sorry, guys.

Anyway, another cool thing about BEA is that it got me to blog SIX times since Monday! I've never blogged that much! I mentioned recently that I wanted to start making myself write more often, and that definitely happened this week. Will I continue writing this often? Probably not. But now I know that I CAN.

This was my first year participating, and at first  I just thought it'd be a fun little thing to do. I couldn't go to the real one, and realistically, I won't be going for a really long time. I kind of think I had more fun doing this, though? I don't know, obviously I can't say for sure as I've never been there. I can be really shy sometimes, so I'm not the best at approaching people and making new friends in real life. I feel like I met more great people while sitting here with my laptop, talking to you guys, than I would have at the expo in New York! Does that make me lame? Hahah.

Anyway, enough feelings!

I thought I'd collect all my BEA posts and things I did here for easy access, for those of you that want to check them out. The first link in each day will be the blog post I wrote, the second will be the photo I took for the daily Instagram challenge. Each had their own theme for the day, and I participated in most of both, hahah. There were so many things going on this week, I definitely plan on going back and reading more of everyone else's posts!

Day 1Introductions / #MyArmchair My introduction post was one of the Daily Topic winners!

Day 2
 - More than Just Words / #Shelfie My picture won the Instagram challenge that day! I was feeling like a lucky girl this week, hahah!

Day 3Short Stories / #CurrentBookmark

Day 4 - I didn't post on this day, but the daily topic was to host a giveaway, and I entered a whole bunch!

Day 5Middle Grade/Young Adult

Day 6 - Wrapping it Up (you're already here!) / #WhereIArmchairFrom

So I guess that's it, huh? I'm pretty sad to see it all end, but it was a really good week. I can't wait to do it all again next year! Now I'm off to go read before bed. This week has inspired me to read more than ever!

...and since it feels weird to post something without any pictures, here's a gif of a cat getting cozy on some books.
Cat
Thanks, Tumblr.

                           

Social Media Saturday! #2

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Welcome to Social Media Saturday. Let's make some new friends!We love to meet new people. Share the links to your social media accounts here for a fast, easy way to get new followers!

All you have to do is this:
1. Follow each host in any category you add your social media links to.
(Leave us a note that you're a new follower so that we can follow you back!)

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Brittany at Brittany Bullen
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Giada at Crafty Tasty Geeky

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Katy at Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy's Survival Guide
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Keitha at The Bajan Texan
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Stacey at Polished Ways
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Natalie at Natalie Patalie
2. Tweet about the party and spread the word so that we can all connect with new friends! The more people who join us, the better experience we all have!

Click the button below or write your own tweet with the hashtag #ilovesocialsaturday so your new friends know where you came from and so that we can chat all day!
Tweet: Want to #GetMoreFollowers? Come party with us here: http://ctt.ec/ce42T+ #ilovesocialsaturday
3. Follow the person before you in each category that you join and at least 2 more so that we make sure everybody gets some love!

4. If you'd like to put our badge on your site, grab the HTML here. Let us know if you did because we sure do love on people who love us!

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Let's get started!!! Happy Saturday!!
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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Armchair BEA: My Favorite Middle Grade/Young Adult Books

For our final BEA topic, we're talking about books for the younger crowd! For the most part, these aren't genres I read much anymore, so I'll be writing about some old favorites. Young adult to middle grade books are kinda having a moment right now, aren't they?

Unpopular opinion: I hate (most) young adult books.

If that's what gets you reading, then by all means please continue. I personally can't stand it. Obviously there are exceptions here and there, but as a whole...it's not for me. Even when I was a "young adult" I wasn't into it, really. Too much angst. Anyway, it's not like I went straight from reading Bob Books to adult fiction, so here's what kept me busy in between.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket - I love Lemony Snicket, I did back then and I still do now. Last year I re-read this series, and I might have enjoyed it even more than I did the first time. Some people complain that the adventures of the Baudelaire orphans are too dreary. I don't see it that way, as it has just the right amount of dry humor (my favorite kind) to balance things out. Look, Tim Curry is also a huge fan!




Tuck Everlasting by Natalie BabbitWhen I was a kid, this was my favorite book for a very long time. If you haven't read it yet, I recommend it, no matter how old you are! It's not long, and if you're a fast reader you might even finish it within the day. Surprisingly, I think the movie adaption Disney made in 2002 turned out pretty good, too. The book and movie have their differences, and Alexis Bledel was way too old to play Winnie (who is supposed to be 10), but I let that part slide.

Tuck Everlasting


The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily by Dino Buzzati - This is still one of my favorite books. I've lost count on how many times I've read it! It's an Italian children's book, but I appreciate it more as I get older. There's a hefty amount of killing involved, too - so I'm not sure if I'd actually give it to really young children. It's mostly written in regular novel format, but there is also lots of poetry and illustrations sprinkled throughout. The poetry describing the scenes are my favorite part. The illustrations are very simple, but I find them charming in a way. This is the only children's book written by Dino Buzzati. I've been meaning to read his other works, but they are a little hard to come by, and some aren't even translated into English! Ah, well. Someday :)

The Bears' Famous Invasion of Sicily


Pretty much anything by John Green - John Green is a pretty big name in YA fiction right now. The first of his books I read was An Abundance of Katherines. I later read Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns. After that I started to lose interest. Since all of his books are about teenagers, it was probably all the angst that got to me (like I said, I have reading about teen angst). I still think John Green himself is a really cool guy. He has lots of side projects (hey Nerdfghters!), loves donating to charities/fundraisers, and is really interactive with his fans. I still read his newer books at some point (like The Fault in our Stars), for nostalgia I guess, and his writing can be funny, but I seem to enjoy them less as each one comes out. I don't blame it on him though, and I'm still find of the ones I did enjoy.

Looking for Alaska



Thanks for reading! This is the last of the Armchair BEA blog topics, but I think I'll do a little afterthoughts/recap post when everything's wrapped up. I had so much fun participating in this for the first time. I learned about it last summer, right after it had ended, so I've been looking forward to it since then to see what it's really all about. I know I haven't discussed it much yet, but it's more than us all just writing about the same topic every day. There is really a sense of community, and we're encouraged to interact with each other all the time. There were Twitter parties every day (which I didn't attend because I can still barely figure out Twitter, but that's not the point), a daily Instagram challenge (I won one of them!), BEA "cheerleaders" to keep us all motivated, LOTS of giveaways, author interviews, learning opportunities, and so much more. Am I still bummed that I couldn't go to the actual BEA in New York? Maybe a little, but this had its own benefits that I wouldn't trade for any of that. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Armchair BEA: Short Stories

Hey everyone! Today is the third day of Armchair BEA, and today's topic is about short stories! Since I'm typing this right before work, it won't be as long or detailed as I'd like. I still wanted to join in while I have the chance, though ;)

My favorite short story writer is Harlan Ellison, although his work isn't something I'd recommend for everyone. Most of his stories fall into the speculative fiction genre. Some of his stories have been very controversial, some have been very successful, and some have been both!

My favorite of his short story collections is called The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World. I have an autographed copy that I got for Christmas! However, my favorite story is not in that collection. My favorite of his stories is called I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream. If the title doesn't give it away...it's kind of freaky, hahah.

The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World

P.S. If you're interested in some extra reading, I found this article with a writer talking about his top 10 favorite Harlan Ellison stories. I don't agree with his list 100%, but it's interesting either way :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Armchair BEA: More than Just Words

Today's topic for Armchair BEA is called "More than Just Words," and we're focusing on other forms of storytelling. I decided to use this as an opportunity to share some of my favorite graphic novels, manga, and comics! I've always loved them. When I was really young, I started off reading comic strips in the paper. When the first live action X-Men movie came out in 2000, I got really into superheros and started reading Marvel and DC comics (don't ask me to pick a side, because I won't). In my teens I was really obsessed interested in manga and anime - I even went to a few conventions and festivals dedicated to them! Nowdays, I have a fond appreciation for all of these types of storytelling. Listed below are just a few of my favorites.


American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang
American Born Chinese
Three hilarious, separate stories that merge their way into one, all dealing with a boys experience as an Asian American.


Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis
It's a true story, and check out the movie, too!


Fullmetal Alchemist series, by Hiromu Arakawa
Fullmetal Alchemist
This one's a little more "out there," but is my favorite in this entire list! I'm kind of obsessed. I've read all the books, watched all the anime, seen the movies and played the (really terrible) video games. LOVE.


Yotsuba&! series, by Kiyohiko Azuma
Yotsuba&!
Another manga! This one is the most fun, hilarious and lighthearted on the list. There's no main storyline, so hopping from book to book isn't really an issue.


Runaways series, created by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona
Runaways
This is my favorite Marvel series. It's a look at heroes/villains from a different perspective!


Honestly, I could go on like this forever. I think I have a nice little starting list here, so I'll stop now.  Do you read this kind of stuff, or are you more of a strictly words type? Clearly I love both. It's fun to have so many reading materials to choose from, switching it up according to how I'm feeling that day :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

100 Happy Days - Week 8

Eight weeks! Eight is my lucky number!

I'm also pleased that I met the goal I made for myself last Tuesday, which was to blog at least twice a week. I wrote about Saints Row (there's still time to download it for free, hop to it!), I co-hosted my first link-up (which is still open if you want to join in!) and wrote my introduction post for Armchair BEA! I can't promise I'll get that much done every week, but I'm pleased.

If you're new around here and have no idea what I'm doing, check out my 100 Happy Days page! Particularly this post. Anyway, here's my week in "happy days" :)


Day 50 
Diablo III Whimsyshire

I hope you're not sick of me talking about Diablo III yet. On Tuesday, Andrew showed Jesse and I a "secret level" that's filled with killer unicorns and teddy bears, called Whimsyshire. It broke my heart to kill them, but they dropped really good loot and gave us lots of XP. Plus they were trying to kill us first. Sometimes the most unassuming things are what you have to look out for, you know?


Day 51

This is my amaryllis! Planting the bulb was my "happy" picture on Earth Day, way back in week 4! It was literally just the bulb when I planted it, and look how big its gotten! This picture was taken on Wednesday, and its gotten even bigger since then! I've never really had a green thumb, so I'm happy with how this is turning out.


Day 52

Now you get to learn how easily amused I can be. Pictured here is my new computer desktop wallpaper! It was just a black and white sketch of a bookcase and desk I found on Google Images. I rearranged all my desktop icons, using the bookcase to "shelve" most of the icons, put the "my computer" shortcut on the computer desk (get it?) and the "garbage" icon next to the desk. I've always liked arranging shelves, but I never thought it would transfer over into something like this, hahah!


Day 53

Hershey's Cookies N' Creme is my absolute FAVORITE candy, but half of the "happy moment" was how I got them, which I found funny. Now that I think about it, it doesn't sound very funny when I try to explain it, but whatever. Anyway, Andrew found out I was on what he likes to call my "monthly lady time." So when at the store to get more eggs, he came home with these and said "Uh, on TV girls say they're supposed to eat chocolate during monthly lady time, so you need these." Andrew and I have been living together for over two years now, and I never get "monthly cravings." I don't know why he would think I do now, but whatever. Men are weird sometimes. Either way it's still my favorite chocolate, so it doesn't really matter how I got it ;)


Day 54

On Saturday I spent some time with my good friend, Alyssa. She doesn't live here in town anymore, but she's within an hour away so I never have to miss her for too long :) She always has really cool sunglasses!


Day 55

The next day my family + Andrew and I were invited over to a friends house for BBQ and games! What's your favorite party game? Apples to Apples is always a crowd-pleaser! My mom and I made brownies with Oreos and peanut butter inside. It was a new recipe for us, but it was surprisingly easy!


Day 56


X-Men: Days of Future Past!
I love Marvel movies, but for me, the X-Men series has been hit or miss. There have been some winners (like X-Men and X-Men: First Class) and some that weren't so great (everything else - particularly Origins if we're counting that). I LOVED this movie! Before today, First Class was my favorite in the series, but this one has taken its place.

So there you go, another week. Wasn't bad at all. Now I have another Armchair BEA post to write! What have you been up to this week?


Armchair BEA - Introduction

Hey friends! So starting today and going through Saturday, I'll be taking part in the online book conference, Armchair BEA. What's that? It's for people that can't attend their conference in New York, BookExpo America, but still want to other people with likened interests. It runs simultaneously with the actual conference, so we can kind of pretend we're there (or just commiserate all at the same time).

Armchair BEA
Designed by Nina of "Nina Reads"

They've also given us daily topics to blog about, to get conversations going. I might not write each daily topic, but I'll still be participating in one way or another! Warning - if we're Twitter or Instagram friends I might get pretty annoying this week, hahah! Anyway, todays topic is for introductions! So let's get to it...

1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Where in the world are you blogging from?

My name is Natalie, and I'm in California :) I've been blogging on and off for a looooong time, but I've been writing here at Natalie Patalie since February, 2013. I think in my teen years I started and stopped three blogs. I was weird. My first blog was dedicated to book reviews! I've always liked writing and journaling, but I didn't start to think seriously about blogging until I started finding other blogs I enjoyed reading. It was really cool to see these people sharing their interests, and the little communities they had grown that liked reading and talking about those interests just as much.

Me at the Sonoma County Book Festival a few years ago :)


2. What genre do you read the most? I love to read because ___________________ . 

I read a lot of historical fiction. In high school history wasn't really my thing, so I'm not sure how that happened. I guess I just don't like reading about lives too similar to mine. I love to read because it's a relaxing escape. You know those bookmarks and things you'd get from the library as a kid, with the children flying around in some fantasy land, and it says something like, "get swept away in a good book!" ...? That's me, but instead of a flying carpet or whatever, I'd be on a magical couch.

3. What was your favorite book read last year? What’s your favorite book so far this year? 

My favorite book I read last year was Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. If you had asked me about it when I first started reading the book, my answer would have been different. It started off as a hard book to read, and I had trouble getting into it. It took me awhile, but I kept going and I'm so glad I did. It's also one of my favorite movies! As for this year I haven't read anything I'd call a favorite yet, unfortunately. I just started reading The Night Circus, though, and it's supposed to be really good!

Cloud Atlas
via Google Images


4. What does your favorite/ideal reading space look like? 

My ideal reading space is big and spacious, with lots of blankets, pillows and/or plushies for me to flop around in. Having all my my books surrounding me in a plus. Something like this would be great.

via Tumblr


I also really like this giant Totoro...thing? Would you call this a bed, or a futon? Or maybe it's like a giant bean bag chair.

Totoro
via Tumblr

5. Spread the love by naming your favorite blogs/bloggers (doesn’t necessarily have to be book blogs/bloggers). 

If I listed all of my favorite blogs we'd be here awhile, but I CAN tell you my favorite book blog - Book Snob!






    Friday, May 23, 2014

    Time for our very first Social Media Saturday!

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    Welcome to Social Media Saturday. Let's make some new friends!
    We love to meet new people. Share the links to your social media accounts here for a fast, easy way to get new followers!

    All you have to do is this:

    1. Follow each host in any category you add your social media links to.
    (Leave us a note that you’re a new follower so that we can follow you back!)

    brittany-bullen.png
    Brittany at Brittany Bullen
    giada at craftytastygeeky.com
    Giada at Crafty Tasty Geeky
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    Katy at Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy’s Survival Guide
    The Bajan Texan Profile pic circle.png
    Keitha at The Bajan Texan
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    Stacey at Polished Ways

    2. Tweet about the party and spread the word so that we can all connect with new friends! The more people who join us, the better experience we all have!
    Write your own tweet with the hashtag #ilovesocialsaturday so your new friends know where you came from and so that we can chat all day!

    3. Follow the person before you in each category that you join and at least 2 more so that we make sure everybody gets some love!

    4. If you’d like to put our badge on your site, grab the HTML here. Let us know if you did because we sure do love on people who love us!

    BrittanyBullen.com
     
    Let’s get started!!! Happy Saturday!!  

    Thursday, May 22, 2014

    I'm co-hosting my first link up, join us for Social Media Saturday!

    Hey friends!

    Ready to meet some new people and discover new blogs? Starting this Saturday me and five of my new bloggy friends will be hosting Social Media Saturday, a link up showcasing all of our favorite social media time sinks accounts! I'm so excited and so happy to be a part of this! I'm also kind of nervous - figuring out how it all works was pretty weird for me. How am I even allowed to have a blog?! Sigh. Anyway, before Saturday gets here, I wanted to get the word out and introduce you to all of these wonderful ladies. We're pretty cool (if we do say so ourselves). One of my favorite things about this group is that we're all different from each other, and write about our own unique things.

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    Brittany at Brittany Bullen


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    Giada at Crafty Tasty Geeky
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    Katy at Chaos & Kiddos: Mommy’s Survival Guide


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    Keitha at The Bajan Texan


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    Stacey at Polished Ways

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    Natalie at Natalie Patalie
    natalie-patalie.blogspot.com
     Twitter | Google+ | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Etsy

     We hope to see you this Saturday!