Tag Archives: books

5 Things You Really Don’t Need for Baby

20160903_130449.jpgRecently, I published a blog post about the five most essential things for baby. Today, I’d like to give you the top 5 things that you really don’t need for a newborn baby. I didn’t realize this before I had my child, but the baby industry sells a lot of things for baby in an attempt to make money (and it works).  But for parents on a budget, you can make do with the main essentials. Here are the five things that I found that I really did not need for my baby girl.

  1. Burp Cloth

You don’t really need a burp cloth. Sure, they are intended to be placed on your shoulder or knee to catch any of that precious spit-up. But, you can just use a wash cloth, towel, or receiving blanket.

2. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (you can purchase it here on Amazon).

Yes, as an exclusively breastfeeding mom, this book was really interesting to read. But, truth be told, it didn’t tell me the things that I hadn’t already found through Google.

3. Pacifiers

Turns out that not all babies take pacifiers. Mine doesn’t.

4. Shoes

You don’t really need to buy shoes for babies because they don’t know how to walk yet. If it’s cold, just slip on a pair of warm socks and the baby is good to go.

5. Play Gym (I have this one from Fisher-Price)

Yes, a play gym is a cute place for baby to play. But really, you can just lay baby on a soft blanket with a bunch of toys around baby.

So, these are the five things that I feel that I really did not need for baby. Tell me what you think. What items were unnecessary when you had your little one?

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Review of Harry Potter & The Cursed Child

 

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YES! There’s going to be another Harry Potter book!

That was my reaction last year when I heard that there was going to be an eighth Harry Potter book. As a child of the 90s, I grew up reading… no, devouring, the Harry Potter series. I fell in love with the characters. I loved Harry Potter, Hagrid, Hermione, Luna Lovegood, Snape, even Voldemort. Even though I am not a wizard, I felt like I could totally relate to the characters in the series. I remember reading one book and then waiting anxiously, excitedly for the next book to come out.

But when it came time for the seventh book to come out, I was eighteen and graduating from high school. The end of the Harry Potter series was, at least for me, the end of my childhood. It was such a powerful moment.

And now, nine years later, we see the eighth Harry Potter book. This time, we see Harry Potter as an adult, married, and with three kids. Similarly, I graduated, have a child, and in a relationship with a man that I love. But besides that, I was so excited to see what became of Harry Potter.

We saw Harry Potter as an adult in the epilogue of the seventh book but I wanted more details. What did he do for a living? What kind of father, and husband, was he? What did Ron do? Hermione? I always imagined nothing but the best for Hermione, although I was a bit surprised to find out that she became Minister of Magic… I always imagined that she would be advocating for house elves, goblins, and muggles.

I was also surprised to find out that Ron Weasley took over his brothers’ joke shop. But then, I suppose it is only natural. After the death of Fred Weasley at the Battle of Hogwarts, I suppose that George needed some help with the joke shop. Speaking of… there was no mention of any of the Weasley’s, except for Ron and Ginny of course. I wanted to know what happened to Bill, Charlie, Percy, and their parents. But then again, this eighth story is the story about Harry Potter and his son, Albus Severus. Again, we don’t see that much of Harry’s other kids, James Sirius and Lily Luna.

We do see them on King’s Cross though, every year as they depart for Hogwarts. I like how the play starts off where the seventh book ended, with the epilogue. It was nostalgic to read the very first act and very first scene and find that it was pretty similar to the epilogue. I could not help but see the film replay itself before my very eyes (yes, I’ve seen the HP films that much). Also, starting the eighth story with the epilogue reminds us of how the seventh book left off. It uses some of the plot points that Rowling carefully plotted in the epilogue, such as Albus Severus’s fear of being sorted into Slytherin and then discovering that he has, in fact, been placed into Slytherin house.

While I would have loved to see an explanation for why that was (I can only guess that he chose that house because that’s the house that Scorpius was placed into), the eighth Harry Potter story is a play. A play has dialogue and very little description, unlike the rest of the Harry Potter novels. While it was interesting to read Harry Potter in a vastly different format from the other books, I still found myself missing Rowling’s long flowing descriptions.

The dialogue itself read really well. The dialogue read similar to the dialogue from the seven Harry Potter books. I also felt that the dialogue was true to the characters. I only wish that there were more descriptions. But since there wasn’t, I had to imagine the play in my head and try to fill all the empty gaps.

There was a couple of gaps in time when the play fast forwarded through the kids’ years at Hogwarts, until we were in Albus Severus’ fourth year. That is when everything started to happen. I admit that I was disappointed that we did not get to see exactly what went down during the first three years of Albus Severus’ time at Hogwarts. But again, it’s a play and there’s only so much description that you can put in.

But the play really takes off with Albus Severus’ fourth year of Hogwarts with a time turner. It was nice to learn more about this elusive device. We only briefly touched upon them in the third book when Hermione used it to go to more than one class at a time. And then, all of the time turners were destroyed at the Department of Mysteries.

But the way that the time turner was used to go back in time to Harry Potter history (specifically, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) to save Cedric. But of course, as we all know, if you meddle with time, you can change the future. And change they did (Albus Severus and Scorpius).

This caused them to meddle with time again to try to reverse their actions. Turns out that if Cedric had not died, then he would have became a death eater, Harry Potter would be dead, and Voldemort would still be alive and ruling the wizarding world.

To be honest, I think this was a bit too fan-fiction for my taste. But that wasn’t a big deal because I’m just glad that there is another Harry Potter book and I got to see Harry Potter and Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger all grown up with kids. I only wish that I could have seen the play live in London. Though I hear that it might be coming to Broadway and possibly being made into a film and then.. just maybe.. there might be a DVD available.

Well, one can hope.

Tell me your thoughts below! Have you read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Did you like it? Dislike it? Did it live up to the original?

 

Divergent Book Series

Earlier this month, I posted my 2016 to-read list. This includes (e-)books that I bought but never read, as well as (e-)books that I’ve tried to read but never finished. If you recall, I created two posts, this one and this one. One of these posts lists all of my physical books that I plan on reading and the other one my e-books.

The first of these books that I read is the Divergent Series. I’ve actually read the first Divergent and watched the first and second film adaptations that came out. But, I never finished reading the second book, Insurgent, or started reading the third one, Allegiant.

However, I am happy to say that I can now finally say that I have completely finished reading the entire series… and it feels good!

Here are my thoughts in the aftermath of my reading bliss.

Divergent:

I love how the book starts off, even focuses heavily on the Choosing Ceremony. It is a topic that is relatable to most of us, but on a much more terrifying level. How do you choose which faction to be in, knowing that there is no going back? How do you leave your family, knowing that you may never see them again? How do you ultimately make these life changing decisions?

And as we know, Tris’s  decision is compounded by the fact that she is Divergent and has aptitude for more than one faction. Instead of telling her where she belongs, she now has to choose for herself where she wants to be. It’s even more devastating knowing that something that’s supposed to be reliable failed on you and now you have to choose and grow up in one night.

Ultimately, I love the fact that book is told from Tris’s point of view. She’s vulnerable but at the same time she has a certain amount of inner strength which comes out when she joins her new faction. She’s able to experiment, test her strength and limitations. She changes through the course of the book, definitely, and the conclusion of the book tests her.

Insurgent:

This is the second book in the series. It picks up right where Divergent left off. I found that this book was particularly instrumental in giving background information about the characters, the factions, and, perhaps more importantly, the factionless. We see and learn more about the other factions and how they function. We learn how they continue to function in the face of war. We learn who the true allies are. We also learn more about the fence that surrounds the city… why is it locked from the outside and not the inside?

Allegiant:

This book was told from both Tris and Tobias’ points of views. I thought that was a useful tactic in giving a more holistic picture. Had the book just be written from Tris’ point of view, like the first two, we would not have gained a more comprehensive view of Tobias and his parents.

What I liked most about this book was when the characters finally leave the city and find out about the experiment. It helps to answer the constant question of the need for the gate. It lets us know that there is another world beyond the city, however damaged it has become. We also learn why people are Divergent and the reason for it. This book helps to answer the questions that were asked since the first one.

However said it was, I thought it was refreshing that Tris ultimately sacrificed herself. I’ve seen too many books that end with a happy ending with the happy couple walking away into the sunset. The fact that this book shows Tris almost as a martyr makes the situation even more devastating. It also paves the way for the theme of hope to resonate toward the end of the book. Bad things happen. That sucks. But it’s up to us to move forward and get on with life. Hope is the strongest arsenal in anyone’s possession.

For anyone who’s interested, the books are available on Amazon.

Have you read these books? Would love to hear your thoughts!

 

 

 

2016 Reading List II

kindle from stocksnap.io

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to read more. Last year, on the very last day of 2015, I listed the physical copies of the books that I own but have not yet read. Today, five days into the new year, I will be listing the books on my Nook that I have not yet read.

All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr — I bought this book after a friend recommended it to me. It’s a WWII historical fiction novel, ’nuff said.

Allegiant, by Veronica Roth — Book 3 in the Divergent Trilogy. I read the first book Divergent and loved it. But for some reason, I could not get into book 3 and even book 2. I feel as if Divergent could have done well as just a single book and not as a part of a sequel or trilogy.

Dark Places, by Gillian Flynn — I read Gone Girl and loved it! So naturally, I wanted to read another one of Flynn’s books…

The Silent Sister, by Diane Chamberlain — I’ve read a few of Chamberlain’s books and again wanted to read more of her work.

Witch & Wizard (Witch & Wizard Series Book 1), by James Patterson

The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai

Nothing Happens Until It Happens To You: A Novel Without Pay, Perks, or Privileges, by T.M. Shine

Chill Factor: A Novel, by Sandra Brown

Souls of the Stones Omnibus (The Complete Trilogy), by Kelly Walker

The House Girl, by Tara Conklin

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of his Trip to Heaven and Back, by Todd Burpo

Insurgent, by Veronica Roth — As mentioned above, I could not finish the second book of the Divergent trilogy. But willing to try again for the sake of finishing a trilogy and besides I did watch the movie.

The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust, by Edith H. Beer

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed

The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair — I’ve been meaning to read this book after I took a US history class at SNHU…

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

Calling Invisible Women: A Novel, by Jeanne Ray

The Time Keeper, by Mitch Albom — I read The First Phone Call From Heaven and The Five People You Met in Heaven and loved them.

How Lucky You Are, by Kristyn Kusek Lewis

Deja Dead, by Kathy Reichs

The Longest Ride, by Nicholas Sparks — One of my favorite writers.

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

So, I guess I better get off the blog and start reading! 🙂 But have you read any of these books? Are any of these books on your 2016 Reading List? If so, let me know!

2016 Reading List I

reading at stocksnap.io

Like any true bibliophile, I collect books. You would most likely find me at Barnes & Noble or the book section at the Publix or Target scoping out the the bestsellers, bargain books, and just whatever looks good. As a result, I have shelves of books, many of which I have not yet read. And if that’s not enough, I also have books on my Nook that I’ve purchased either through Barnes & Noble or Amazon (I have the Kindle app) and never read.

But as we approach the end of 2015, I am committing myself to reading all the books that I’ve purchased but never read. And besides, one of my goals for 2016 is to read more. Sadly, I don’t read as much as I used to when I was in high school. I never knew it then but I had so much free time in high school to just read and do nothing but read (as long as my homework was done, of course!).

For most of this year, I just did not have time to read because of work and college. But now that I’ve graduated, I should be able to find some time to read. If I can write 50,000 words in a month for Nanowrimo, then I should be able to spend at least an hour a day reading.

I’m going to post the names of these books here (as well as a link to Amazon, if you’d like to read them yourself. Read along with me! We could have a virtual book club!).

Horns, by Joe Hill — I bought this book at my local Walmart and I bought it for two reasons. It was on special for $3.97 . And perhaps most importantly of all, I had just recently seen the movie Horns on Netflix and absolutely loved it. So, naturally, I wanted to read the book.

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin, by Erik Larson — My friend at work actually gave me a copy of this book last year. He knows that I am particularly interested in Nazi Germany, the plight of the Jews, Anne Frank, the Holocaust.

The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov — Another friend from work gave me this book as a gift early last year. She thought that I would enjoy it as it is a book that examines life and the human condition, among other things, in this fine work of classical Russian literature.

The Casual Vacancy, by J.K. Rowling — This book has been sitting on my shelf for a long time, since it was first published in 2012. It was the first non-Harry Potter book written by Rowling and so I obviously had to get it. Enough said.

The Cuckoo’s Calling, by Robert Galbraith — As I’m sure most of you know, this book is actually written by Rowling. And again, it’s a book that I have to read because it is written by her. Brand recognition is strong, isn’t it? Become a best selling novelist and you are set for life. 🙂

An Interrupted Life and Letters From Westerbork, by Etty Hillesum — This book was given to me by another friend. Again, because of my interest in the Holocaust.

Elizabeth I, A Novel, by Margaret George — Another interest of mine is the Tudor Period. I am particularly interested in the wives of Henry VIII. I bought this book because I wanted to learn more about Elizabeth I and her impact on British history.

This is all the physical copy of books that I own and haven’t read. I guess the list isn’t as long as I expected. I think I will tackle this list first before turning to the unread books on my Nook. Have you read any of these books? If so, give me a shout out and let’s discuss! If not, let’s read the books together. Collaboration and teamwork are vital in achieving success when working towards goals.

 

Two Books

THE MASTER AND MARGARITA and DARK PLACES

THE MASTER AND MARGARITA and DARK PLACES

For my birthday last month, a co-worker bought me this book. It is a Russian novel about life in the USSR in the 1930s. Chapter one starts off with two men sitting on a bench, when a foreigner arrives….

I recently read Flynn’s Gone Girl, which was phenomenal. I felt like the novel sent me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I enjoyed the ending, but it was unpredictable and disturbing. Because I enjoyed the book so much, I went ahead and purchased another book by Flynn. I’m hoping that I will enjoy Dark Places just as much as I enjoyed Gone Girl.

It Begins

If you google ‘confession,’ then what do you find? What does confession mean?

One definition of ‘confession’ is the telling of private, confidential information. The title of this blog is “Crispy Confessions.” A blog is essentially a journal published on the most public of all platforms: the Internet.

You are probably  thinking: This is just another one of those ranting blogs by a twenty-something college student.

Well. Yes. And no. Another definition of ‘confession’ has to do with religion. People often go to confession to confess their sins, for lack of a better word.

Now, you’re probably thinking: Oh great. She’s not only going to be ranting. She’s going to be telling the world everything that she’s done wrong. Great.

Well, no. Not exactly. This blog is called “Crispy Confessions.” It has nothing to do with religion. And I will not be ranting. Much.

Instead, I will be primarily discussing three topics over the course of this blog. But you should know, that I might occasionally let a few other things slip.

These are the topics:

  • Writing
  • Books
  • College life

So, why? Well. I’m in college. I love to read books. And occasionally I dabble in a bit of writing of my own.

So, that’s my blog. I’m not promising that I will post every day. But I will post once a week.

Oh, and by the way, I do love comments. Be sure to let me know what you think! I welcome feedback of any kind.