Favorite Book Store

There’s a place here in Indy that I’ve been wanting to tell you guys about for awhile, so when I saw Favorite Book Store on Tee’s list, I basically jumped up and down. This isn’t a review blog, but here’s my chance to share MY PLACE!

I have two big passions in my life:  BOOKS, of course, and food culture. Beer is a HUGE part of that second one. My husband and I are big time microbrew drinkers, and seek out local breweries wherever we go. So when I found out that there was someone opening up a book store slash brewery two minutes from my office. UM WHAT?!?!?!?!?! I am THERE.

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And guys. This place does NOT disappoint. The beer is awesome. The people are awesome. The front shop is stocked with used books of all sorts of genres. Last week, I found a mint condition Harry Potter #6. Hardback. I mean, come on. The back of house, where the really good stuff is is full of wooden tables and chairs where you can talk to anyone and everyone–conversation is highly encouraged.

They have a huge social calendar, which is available on their website. For me–that means bookclub, every Monday night. You’ve heard me talk about it here. We have a different theme every week, and it rotates. Lit, Sci-Fi, YA, and Non-Fiction. Our Upcoming books are: Night Circus (YA), Orange is the New Black (NonFic), Dorian Gray (Lit), Jurassic Park (Sci-Fi). Our group is quickly becoming friends, and the discussion is always lively.

They also have Tabletop Tuesday, Trivia Wednesday, and live music on most other nights. They also do a lot of after hours game nights. Just this weekend, they had people in to play Cards Against Humanity, which I was bummed to miss! It’s one of my favorites!

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The beer board from a few weeks ago. This varies a bit week to week.

The Brewmaster is starting to play around with his beer, and is changing taps every Friday, so make sure you get in and taste what he’s got. Right now he has a 200 IBU concoction that blew my mind. For someone who likes to be kicked in the head, this did not disappoint! I hear rumors of a chocolate milk stout this Friday…yummmmmmmmm…

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Smaug Grog Red IPA

 

Oh! I almost forgot, they do have food! They have terrific grilled cheeses filled with local products. They get their meats from Smoking Goose, and I can tell you, everything I’ve had is just delicious. The sandwiches come with homemade chips out of Broad Ripple.My favorite thing to get is the Frankenstein platter, which is a cheeseboard covered with cheeses and meats and olives and breads and holy crap is it good.

Can you tell that I love this place? If you are in Indy, especially on the north side, make sure to head their direction. This is the perfect place to let your geekiness shine. Everyone in the joint is welcoming and happy.

It IS a little out of the way, but worth the winding road to get there. You can find them behind the Bob Evan’s at 96th and 69. Come have a beer!

Favorite Antagonist

This topic has been staring at me from my yellow legal pad list all week. FAVORITE ANTAGONIST. UGH. I’ve probably gone through 20 different characters trying to figure out who to write about. Not even kidding.

You see, I am a villain sympathizer. I always have been. Maybe it’s the black sheep in me, but growing up, the villain songs were always my favorite in every Disney movie. I mean, come on. They are the most interesting people. You’ve got Ursula, Maleficent (I can’t WAIT for that movie, btw), Gaston, Governor Ratcliffe (weirdly, a personal favorite of mine, not sure why I love his fat ass so much), and, of course, the most villainous of all villains–SCAR.

They all just seem so broken and misunderstood. And I know people hate that. There are huge discussions on Tumblr from the Villain Haters of why we shouldn’t make up backstories for villains and make them loveable. But, for those who are equally broken and scarred, or the outcasts, or just the shy and misunderstood, we relate to those villains. They are–in their plotting and planning–strong where we can’t be. They are going to stand over the blonde and beautiful and be the king of everything. And then, when their plans don’t happen exactly how they expected…we understand that too.

So when it came time to pick a favorite antagonist…I couldn’t. I went through so many people and I just couldn’t make them bad enough. Snape…no…he’s good in the end, right? Draco…ugh…he’s not good enough to be called a villain, just a whiny little bitch (here comes the Slytherin hate). I even had this really deep monologue with myself about Dorian’s picture soul…but no, that’s just way too complicated and reaching.

I thought about Joffery. God do I hate Joffery. But I don’t think he really halts a pure mission. Which is the good and bad thing about Game of ThronesIt is so far from normal story archetypes. Oh George RR Martin…you are a cruel and marvelous master.

No no no, this is just not working. I could not find anyone who truly fit the profile of Antagonist. Surely I’m missing someone here. Someone who fully opposes the hero, and is a true obstacle to the end goal of the story.

And then it hit me. There is only one person who I know to be hated more than Joffery in recent literature. Only one person more cruel, creepier, and chill inducing.

Madam Undersecretary Profressor Dolores Jane Umbridge.

*Shudder* God that woman terrified me. She seemed to be everywhere at once, and blocked every mission Harry and his friends attempted. And the pink. And the CATS. I can’t even write about her without shivering.

JK Rowling used Umbridge as a vehicle to deliver a sociopath into Hogwarts. With a eerie smile planted on her pink facade, she sucked the life out of the school, while bringing on harsher and harsher punishments. And then, to make everything worse, she rose to power in the Ministry of Magic, doing the same thing there…on adults.

Even I, a diehard villain sympathizer, could never love Umbridge. Good lord, this woman terrifies the hell out of me. I may have nightmares tonight just from thinking about her so much today.

What villain truly scares you?

 

 

Treesofreverie’s April Read-A-Thon: Reading Challenges

The other thing that the end of April means is that it is the end of the readathon for Treesofreverie! I think I did quite well. Here are the books I read:

Wuthering Heights

A Wrinkle in Time

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Scorch Trials

Selected Poems of Langston Hughes

In addition to the books we were reading, there were challenges we were given to complete. Here are the ones I finished.

This is the official list of challenges for anyone who is looking to push themselves during the April Read-A-Thon:

  • Finish an entire book in ONE day
  • Read a book by an author you haven’t read before
  • Read a book about books
  • Read outside
  • Read out loud
  • Finish a book in a series you’ve not yet completed
  • Read a graphic novel or manga
  • Read a book with an LGBTQ+ character
  • Read a Classic
  • Read a book in the Fantasy genre
  • Read a book in the Contemporary genre
  • Read a book from a genre you don’t usually read
  • Read a poetry book
  • Read a collection of short stories
  • Read a book by an indie or self published author
  • Recommend a book to a friend or a fellow book blogger based on what they’re currently reading
  • Share some of your favourite quotes from the books you read during the Read-A-Thon
  • Write a book review for one of the books you read during the Read-A-Thon
  • Take pictures of your reading progress
  • Show off your books by taking more pictures
  • Start a TBR Jar
  • Start a reading journal
  • Organise a book swap with friends

This was a great readathon project! And, what’s really great is I just found out about a new challenge being held in May by Tee the Quoter. This is not a readathon, but a Favorites challenge. Every day I’ll be posting a favorite “thing” about what I’m reading. Here’s the list!

Now, some of these might just be pictures and will be posted to my Instagram and Tumblr accounts, so make sure you’re following those. Some may be reviews that I post here. Either way, I’m excited to have some prompts for different books to write about!

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Ever have the feeling that you have read a book before, when you know with absolute certainty you have not?

 

That is what I experienced when I started reading Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. I knew every bit of this story. Yet I KNOW that I have not read it before now, nor have I seen the movie. Somewhere, sometime, in my 27 years, someone has told me the fable of the beautiful young man whose soul was painted onto a canvas and hidden away in a dark room.

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This work is brilliantly written–in fact, I copied the entire Preface into my journal before I even really started reading, as it is full of proverbs about art and knowledge. I also loved the way the dialogues were built. You could feel every breath that the speaker took, every moment he was moved or taken aback. Any awkward pause was purposeful, not because the writer did not how to make a transition. Sometimes dialogue can be clunky or choppy, not so here. The dialogue is often done in long monologues, but I like it that way, it is necessary here.

I will say that while this story is filled with “beauty” and “love,” this is not a happy story. Go forth with caution. This is definitely a fable with a heavy moral. See if you can find it at the end. Aesop could have done no better.