Tuesday Top Ten-Nerd and Bookish New Year’s Resolutions!

Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! I think for some of you, cheapest its the New Year already, visit this site but here in California, its a bit past noon and there’s still about eleven hours til the clock strikes midnight, and I turn into a pumpkin or something.

Last week, I did a Tuesday Top Ten of my very favorite books of 2013. It was incredibly hard to narrow down to ten, and in fact, I actually narrowed it down to eleven, and not ten. I cheated. I tend to do that and I hope you forgive me for my utter lack of respect for the rules when it comes to math.

Moving on though, this week I’m going to do a short post about the sort of bookish, bloggish, nerdish resolutions and goals I’d like to keep for myself for this year.

2013 was an incredible year for myself, and for this blog. I can’t imagine it getting any better than it already has been this year. But I know it can and will and I look forward to it.

Look for a post soon about the awesome that was 2013 for What a Nerd Girl Says.

For now, let’s dive into my New Year’s Resolutions, What A Nerd Girl Says style.

10. Get to BEA!

This is a ginormous goal for me. I had never even HEARD of BEA until all the bloggers that I was starting to meet this year were gearing up to go. I stayed in tune with it the entire weekend, and came out of it feeling incredibly jealous. Book Expo America. Its the perfect convention, not only just because I’m a book blogger, but because I’m a book lover. All KINDS of authors go, and sign books and talk about books and there are agents and publishers there talking about the publishing world, and you go home with a suitcase just full of books (and most of them are ARCs). It just sounds like the most wonderful time ever. Its in May, in New York City, but I’m determined to get there. Its going to happen.

9. Read More Adult Novels

Before I started blogging, I think I read a lot more adult novels than I do now. I definitely enjoy YA more than most adult novels, but I do like certain authors and I’ve just let my general fiction reading fall to the side, and I’m a little saddened by that. I started my blog in the hopes of defending YA lit as a viable source of literary material and then I just lost myself in the world of YA. I have plans to finish the Song of Ice and Fire series, and Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy, and a few other adult novels, so I’m hoping to bring more of that to the table on my blog.

8. Expand My Blog: More Nerd!

When I started my blog, I took FOREVER coming up with the name, because I’m picky and I wanted it to be cute and catchy and I wanted it to be something that people remembered. When I settled on What A Nerd Girl Says, I took that as, I’m going to cover all things nerd. I started off really well, but lately, I’ve let that slide a ton. I love writing about books and YA because that’s my main passion but I want to get back to write more about movies and TV shows and video games and stuff like that. I want to stay true to my name and do “nerd”, not just “book”.

7. Hit 150K Views by The End of 2014

I want to expand my viewership. I’m currently at….about 70K so hitting 160 by the end of the year is totally doable. But I also don’t want to be obsessed with the numbers either. I want to reach more people, write more, do more nerd and less book (although book will NEVER go away), have more contests, and be more out there in the social media world. I want to Tumblr more, and Instagram more, and maybe even build myself up to a Pinterest (although maybe I’m getting old, because Pinterest baffles me). I just want to continue to make this blog bigger and better than ever, because its something that I’m really passionate about it, and its something that makes me incredibly happy so I’m always looking for ways to work on it and make it better.

6. Only Ask for ARCs that I Know I Will Read

I have stacks of books that I haven’t read yet, and I have even more on my Nook. I want to make sure that I’m only buying books or requesting ARCs for books that I know, 100%, that I’m going to read. I feel bad when I get these ARCs and my reading piles up and I don’t get to them. I feel awful about it. So I’m trying to restrict myself to books that I’ll ACTUALLY read. I think I can do that…maybe. I definitely want to do that with ARCs. I can’t guarantee that I’ll buy less books. I work at a bookstore. That’s asking for trouble and I gladly ask.

5. Cosplay More!

I want to be in costumes more often! I am a completely uncreative person when it comes to costumes (I can write, that’s really about all I have when it comes to creativity), and I want to wear more costumes. I want to have a full jedi outfit, and I want to cosplay Arya from GoT, and I want to be Sailor Jupiter. There is SO much I want to do but I think about all the work it takes and I’m like “meh”, or I get overwhelmed and turn to mush. So I don’t do it. But my brother has been cosplaying lately, and my best blogger friend/parabatai, Sylvia, is a ROCK star at the creative stuff, so we’re going to make it happen. I will cosplay.

4. Condense My Book Reviews/Posts

I talk too much. I have always known that and I’ve begun to tell my friends and such to tell me when I’m talking too much or interrupting because I feel bad and I don’t realize that I’m doing it. And this year, I discovered I do it while I’m writing too. Whoopee! So my goal is to be really more concise and to the point when I write reviews and posts. I mean, I’m still going to me! The whole difference of my blog is that I don’t take myself seriously and I get a little wacky and off topic. But I’m going to try to do that in a shortened version…because I really do talk too much.

3. Concentrate More On Reading for Fun and Less on Reading for Goal

This is a HUGE one. I set the goal of 200 books for the year, not really knowing how much I actually read in a year. Because I pushed myself, and pushed myself, I did reach 200. As of this post, I’ve read 203, unless I finish Grasshopper Jungle today, then I’m at 204. So I definitely can do it. Do I want to? I don’t think so. I want to concentrate on reading more for my enjoyment and less on the actual number of books read. I can’t remember a lot of details of the books that I’ve read because I read them back to back to back and they all sort of end of a huge blur. I’m not a fan of that, so this year, I’m slowing down.

2. Read 150 Books

That being said, I am setting a goal for 2014 on GoodReads, but I’m cutting 50 books off. I know to some people that 150 is still a TON of books but by cutting those 50 off, I really give myself the chance to relax and enjoy what I’m reading. If I go past it, great, but its more about the quality of books and the time that I take to enjoy it and less about racing to the finish line.

1. Finish my Novel

I RACED through words during NaNoWriMo and then after November ended, I’ve written about…maybe 5K words this month. That makes me incredibly sad. I’d like to say it was because it finals or Christmas or I started a new job, and while those are true, it was mostly just a lack of motivation and determination to finish it. And that’s sad, and shouldn’t happen again. I’m determined to get back to writing in the New Year, in order to finish this novel, get it edited and perfected and then track down an agent to sell this book for me. Its going to happen. I believe it. I love Another Chance for Summer and A Little Less than Famous immensely but I have this soft spot for The Reawakened and I think it could be “the one”. So its going to happen. I’ll finish it.

*      *      *      *      *     *

So those are my goals for the year. Not bad right? I think they are very doable and its much better than saying “Oh I’m going to run a marathon this year” or “lose 25 pounds” or I don’t know. Not that those are great goals! They just aren’t for me :)

What sort of goals did you set for yourself this year? They don’t necessarily have to be book/blog related! Share them in the comments!

And Happy New Year!

Happy New Year-The Best of 2012!

One of my fellow contributors sent me a picture a couple weeks ago, buy when I asked my contributors to write a Best Of list for me before the end of the year…this is what he sent me:

31164206

And to that I say…what TERRIBLE spelling (who doesn’t know how to spell coming?) and also, HA!

I mean, I’m known for some lists of greatness, how could I not do a best of 2012 list?

Here’s the difference between most other lists though. This list is my own personal opinion. This is MY best of the year. There are going to be a lot of awesome things from this year that aren’t on this list…because, again, its my personal list. You can all argue with it as much as you like. Look at the top of this page, what does it say up there?

It says WhataNerdGirlSays..and that’s me, which equals MY opinion.

There have some seriously awesome things that came out of 2012: movies, books, shows, and on and on. I feel like I should call 2012 the Year of the Geek…if only because thats what it was for me.

Before this year I was geeky and nerdy for sure, but since 2012 was basically the year I discovered the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army, I’ve gotten even better since then. I discovered TV shows like Doctor Who, The Vampire Diaries, Firefly. I’ve started reading comic books and other authors I hadn’t read before. And on and on and on. This year was definitely a nerd year for me.

So to count off some of my FAVORITE things about this year:

Best YA Book of 2012-The Diviners

7728889

Now, most people probably are not goign to agree with this. They’re going to say that The Fault in our Stars as the best young adult book of the year. Well, hold your horses because it’s below. I personally believe that The Diviners by Libba Bray was one of the best young adult novels released this year. A lot of the books that were released this year in the realm of YA were second books, third books, fourth books, etc in series already out there. Cassandra Clare put out a book, and so on. And while I like Cassandra Clare, City of Lost Souls didn’t impress me as much as the first installment of Libba Bray’s new series. Her character is fresh and fun, the story captivating and it reminds us that there still are truly fantastic authors out there. Its been awhile since I could pick up a paranormal YA novel, and I actually enjoy it and feel that it is original and Libba Bray did just that with The Diviners.

Best Ending to a Book Series 2012- The Crimson Crown

8069828

Cinda Williams Chima is a breath of fresh air in the world of young adult fantasy literature. I know that I picked up the first three installments of her Seven Realms series the week that the Crimson Crown, the final book, hit book stores but it definitely wins as the best ending to a book series, hands down. Chima writes real, pure, GOOD fantasy. There’s no love triangle or fluff to fill these novels. It’s all just plain good, the politics and the fantasy and the emotions and all of that. Queen Raisa is dealing with so many things: a corrupted military, several border countries biting at her ankles, poverty, and so on and she works her ass off to fix all of it, with a band of amazing and well developed characters. Han Alister is still trying to escape his thief king past, and come to terms with being a wizard, and try to prove his worthiness of marrying the queen. I’ll be pushing Chima for years; its been so long since I read a fantasy that swept me up and made me fall in love as hard as this book series did.

Best Movie of 2012-The Hobbit

220px-The_Hobbit-_An_Unexpected_Journey

Despite lackluster reviews of one of the most anticipated movies of the year, it has become my favorite movie of the year. This movie was not made for the critics, that much is for sure, if anyone of you has read even one review of the movie. It’s too long, and it doesn’t make sense and all that sort of criticism. But this movie was definitely made for the fans, because it tells more of the story than just the story of Bilbo Baggins and for fans that know these stories, it was awesome. Peter Jackson pulled off an amazing display of cinematography and there was such an all star cast with some fantastic performances (I’m looking at you, Martin Freeman). The movie built up enough suspense to make me super excited to see The Desolation of Smaug next December. Definitely, definitely was made for the fans and it was very enjoyable for the fans.

Best Movie of 2012 Part Two-The Avengers

MV5BMTk2NTI1MTU4N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODg0OTY0Nw@@._V1._SY317_CR0,0,214,317_

I remember when I heard that Disney had bought out Marvel…I didn’t think this was going to go off so well. This was around the time that the seriously horrible Spiderman 3 had come out and I was already feeling kind of bummed out when it came to Marvel. Obviously it didn’t hurt too much. The Ironman movies have been great, and the Captain America and Thor movies have been fairly enjoyable. Then Marvel/Disney hit us with the whopper this year: The Avengers. First off, could they get a more attractive group of people to put in a movie? I mean, seriously between Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Cobie Smulders, Scarlett Johanssen. There are so many hot people in that movie. But it was more than that (I swear, it is!). With Joss Whedon at the helm, it had a nice blend of action and drama and humor, with that sarcastic wit that Joss is so damn good at. Even if you weren’t really a superhero fan before this movie, I guarantee that you are now.

Best Animated Movie of 2012: The Secret World of Arrietty

MV5BMTAxNjk3OTYyODReQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDgyODY2OTY@._V1._SY317_

I love Hayao Miyazaki. The guy rocks, and I don’t think he’s put out a movie that I don’t enjoy. Paired with the fact that the Borrowers was one of my favorite books when I was a child and I absolutely adored this movie. I mean, sure there was also the fact that Brave was okay, but not fantastic Pixar caliber and none of the other animated movies of the year really jumped out at me. The Secret World of Arrietty had all the charms of a Miyazaki movie and still held on to the beauty of the book. I only own three Miyazaki movies at home: Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle…and Arrietty. That shows my attachment to this movie; I LOVED it. The movie has that kind of wholesomeness to it, paired with humor that so many of kids movies lack. And the art of a Miyazaki always brings a smile to my face…because I can spot it from a mile away.

Best Adult Book of 2012-The Casual Vacancy

200px-The_Casual_Vacancy

How is it even remotely possible that after writing seven amazing, unforgettable novels and creating a world beyond any of us, J.K. Rowling could write another amazing novel. Set in a small town in Britain, and spinning a political web, the Casual Vacancy is not what some people would expect from our dear queen. But her writing, no matter what it is that she’s writing, is always fantastic. J.K. Rowling tells a story with such ease and grace. This book doesn’t grab you as fast as the Harry Potter books do and there’s about a thousand characters to keep track of, but when you’ve finally figured out who belongs to who and you start to get the gist of what is going on, you just can’t put it down. Its near impossible. In Harry Potter, you’re dying to know what happens next but in the Casual Vacancy, you’re just dying to figure out what the hell is going on.

Best Children’s Book of 2012-Wonder

wonder

Have you read Wonder by R.J. Palacio yet? If you haven’t, you are severely missing out. Yes, it is meant for children, probably about the middle grade age group but when has that ever stopped us from reading children’s books? I still enjoy reading Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus series and those are shelved in the children’s section. I love reading The Giver and all those sorts of books. Wonder is a book that should be counted amongst the best of the best in children’s novels. As a debut novel, I am amazed at Palacio’s ability to captivate her audience, whether its a child or an adult. The story of Auggie, a kid with severe face deformities, who goes to middle school for the first time after a life of home schooling is sweet, funny, sad and uplifting. If there is a child out there that hasn’t had the chance to pick up this book, then they definitely should…and I feel the same no matter what age you are. Its an amazing book, and its beautifully written and if it doesn’t win the Caldecott this year, then…well then the people who vote for the Caldecott obviously missed what a great book this is.

Best Video Game of 2012-LittleBigPlanet Karting

250px-LBP_Karting_Cover

Obviously I am not a gamer. I enjoy the occasional video game, and I have a great liking to watching my boyfriend play them (especially when he plays the Uncharted games…god they’re like a movie!) but I’m not very good at them. It’ll take me several times to beat a certain level and sometimes I have to play a video game on “easy” mode to even think about coming close to beating it. But that’s exactly why I LOVE the LittleBigPlanet games. They are super fun to play, they have enough difficulty to not be a stupid little kid’s game but they’re easy enough that I’m not struggling. They’re so much FUN and Sackboy is badass, though extremely hard to play in the Playstation All Stars battle game. But LittleBigPlanet karting…it’s not something new, not in the slightest. It is very reminiscent of the most popular racing games, Mario Kart, but it has the fantastic LittleBigPlanet twist to it. The weapons are more fun, and when they’re used, the reactions are more over the top and enjoyable. The tracks are silly…I mean, come on, who doesn’t want to dodge cupcakes while racing? All in all, it was the game I most enjoyed playing this year. 

Best Event of 2012: Harry Potter Skate Night

shapeimage_1

Now, you guys have heard of LADA, the Los Angeles Dumbledore’s Army, the group that literally changed my life in the last year. They have given me so much more than I had before, and I’ve done a million fun things with them that I cannot begin to remember them all. But one of the highlights of my year with them was our first epic giant event, Harry Potter Skate Night. We had over 600 people show up and the place was packed. Everyone there was dressed in various Harry Potter wear, from shirts to school robes to full on costumes…there was even a little girl dressed as Dobby. There was a mix of contemporary music and Harry Potter music playing, there was butterbeer to drink, and different handmade Potter fare to buy. I cannot WAIT until we have our second one in April, to bring back the most epic event in Harry Potter nerd history. The first one was awesome in its own right, and we seriously rocked it and had a fantastic time. Just think how much more fun its going to be when we do it again this year.

Best New TV Show of 2012: Once Upon a Time

OnceUponATime_Season_1

I adore Once Upon a Time. Now technically this show began in 2011, but majority of the first season was in 2012, along with the season finale and the beginning of second season. The point is, I consider it a 2012 show and what an awesome, awesome show it is. It has become one of my favorite shows and I cannot bear to miss an episode. I’ve always liked Disney princesses and fairy tale stories, especially alternative ones. One of my favorite books is Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory McGuire. I love the idea of fairy tales being told differently…like Snow White and Cinderella both getting pregnant with their prince charmings…so risque! Or Snow White being able to wield a weapon pretty well and the Evil Queen has way more to her than you would think. What about Rumplestiltskin’s love for his son or Red Riding Hood’s struggle with being the wolf herself? Its awesome and the creators of Once Upon a Time get me to watch every single week. I am so glad that this show has lasted as long as it has and that it continues to last :)

Best Discovery of 2012: Doctor Who

Doctor-who.jpg

February. 2012. This girl finally sits down, boots up her Netflix and sits down to watch six seasons of Doctor Who. And she was never so glad in her entire life to do so. I watched all six seasons of Doctor Who in about a month, maybe less. This is also with school and Valentine’s Day, and my anniversary and my birthday going on. I’d like to say that’s pretty impressive. Now, ask anyone who knows me now what’s one of my favorite things and they will definitely say Doctor Who. I cannot understand how anyone could watch even one or two episodes of the show and not completely fall in love. All of the Docotrs-9, 10 and 11-are all awesome and have their own individual charm and all the companions-Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy, Rory and now, Clara-are all so kickass. I cannot believe it took me as long as it did to discover this amazing, amazing show. I’ve only been a fan for about a year but already I cannot imagine what my life would be without Doctor Who. And the best part? My boyfriend came along right besides me, and that doesn’t happen…and I loved it.

Best Boy of 2012: Mike Trout

File of Los Angeles Angels' Trout smiling against the Texas Rangers during their MLB game in Anaheim, California

All right, I admit it, Mike Trout literally has nothing to do with being a nerd whatsoever. Like…he’s a baseball player and doesn’t fit in with my blog at all…except for one thing: I’m a fangirl and a fangirl means obsession. I’m obsessed with Harry Potter and Doctor Who and Star Wars and Lord of the RIngs and all that fun stuff….and I’m obsessed with my Los Angeles Angels. And along with that comes my obsession with Mike Trout. Now, if you have even the smallest bit of interest in baseball, I’m sure you’ve heard of Mike Trout. The guy was amazing this year. As a rookie, and being only 20/21 years old, the guy broke a ton of records, made the All Star Game, became the AL Rookie of the Year and caused some serious debate for the AL MVP. And come on, he’s hot. He’s super hot. Like…girls who didn’t even like baseball before are starting to watch baseball because he is so hot. But straight up, he rocked this year in baseball and reminded me again why I love the sport so much. I’m counting down the days until baseball returns.  

Best Girl of 2012: Karen Gillan

karen_gillan_02_1024

Karen Gillan is my girl…she was my biggest girl crush of the year. She’s had the longest run on Doctor Who as a companion as Amy Pond and she’s one of my absolute favorites, besides Rose and Donna. (God I don’t like Martha…ugh). I loved Rose because she was the Doctor’s love and I liked Donna because she was the 10th Doctor’s best mate. But I love Amy because she’s the Doctor’s best friend but she has her own love story in the form of Rory Williams. She was sarcastic and fun and she was able to keep the Doctor in line and safe, but she never fell in love with the Doctor the way that Martha did. She had her own adventures, and while no one can compare with the Doctor, she kept up with him. I have a thing for redheads too. She’s so pretty and her Scottish accent is adorable and I love her in Doctor Who, and she parted ways with the show with grace and much, much fan girl tears. I will so definitely miss her as the companion, her and Rory.

Best of 2012 Period: The Fault in Our Stars

9780525478812_p0_v1_s260x420

I have read a lot of books this year. No I cannot tell you how many that I have read because I have never kept track…until now. I started a list on November 1st to see how many books I really do read in a year. (So far, I’m up to about 30…not bad for two months). But one of the books that I’ve read a few times this year, that I cannot forget no matter how many books I’ve read since then,  John Green’s latest masterpiece, The Fault in Our Stars. John Green has a way of penning the voice of an adolescent and making it feel so real, no matter what the situation is. I have always believed in the authencity of his characters, even when he’s writing as a teenage girl, Hazel, with cancer when he’s a healthy thirty-something year old man. He is able to tell a story in ways that you don’t see a lot of authors doing. He grabs the audience by being contemporary and funny, and using language that adolescents use already but he creates such a universal story that can be hilarious or uplifting or heartbreaking and sometimes you forget that you’re here and not in his book. This book is one of the best books, not just of this year, but of all time. Its not often that you pick up a book like that.

So the year is basically over, and for some of you (I’m looking at you Eastern Hemisphere), the new year has already come. The best part of it is this: 2012 was great, full of great books and movies and TV shows, great times with my friends and my boyfriend and my family. But now we have 2013 and there are so many more things to come. I’m going to San Francisco next week, I have Anime Expo, Gallifrey One, WonderCon and Comikaze to look forward to. Clockwork Princess is coming out, and the City of Bones and Sea of Monsters movies are coming. So much more to look forward to and so much in the past that was awesome. Its a good time to be a nerd.

Happy New Year everyone, be safe, be happy, be nerdy :)

*     *     *     *     *     *