So. After years of watching of watching convention things on tv and seeing amazing cosplay online, you've decided to take the plunge and attend one yourself. Uno problema: you have no idea what costume to wear. Since we love you and want you to be happy while not bringing our names up during your trial, here a few ideas that should send in the right direction for your perfect costume. Let's get to it.

1. Sebastian (The Little Mermaid)

Pictured: Nothing Terrifying at All. 

This is especially perfect if you intend to take public transportation. Not only will the additional legs guarantee you maximum space without having to pay for the extra seat (hey, you're ok with sharing, it's everyone else that won't sit with you), if properly constructed, you have two new appendages with which to hold extra beers/vodka disguised as juice.

Bonus: Mr Crabs from Spongebob. 

2. Demon Hipster Chicks (Scott Pilgrim vs The World)


Not only will absolutely no one know who you're supposed to be without the additional chicks, you will also look sonewhere between 'vaguely disturbing' and 'an actual hell creature'.
Who wants to talk to a hell creature? You'll get to say you attended NAICCON, take tons of pics for Insta AND not have to speak to anyone. The dream: you lives it.

3. Magnitude (Community)

Socially awkward, anxious or shy? Still crave human interaction? We gotchu.
If you want to talk to people but generally have nothing to say, Magnitude's trademark catch phrase helps you tick all the boxes AND be the most intersting person in the room. Pop pop, gents, pop pop.

4. The Cabbage Merchant (Avatar: The Last Airbender)

Meanwhile, at Fashion Week 2017

Think of the props! Admittedly, running around in what amounts to wizarding robes, yelling "My cabbages" might...get you committed to a mental institution, BUT, but. It might also spawn a religion around your legend of sheer awesome. You'll never know until you try.

5. Cheryl Tunt (Archer)

Because we care.

Aside from finally realizing your dream of being a redhead, Cheryl also gives you the best out: everyone will EXPECT you to show up very high on paper glue and/or start a small fire.
Failure to do so will be breaking character so you're kind of obligated here, we don't make the rules.
Is your local firebrigade made up entirely of underwear models? Find out, with this simple choice that we are not legally liable for.
This costume is, of course, unisex.

6. A Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)

I am beautiful, no matter what you say...

If your priority is a simple, easy cosplay, this right here is the ultimate.
We've previously discussed the fashion merits of SNK but here, we go down to bare bones.

All you'll need here is:
-Flesh coloured underwear
End of list.

Should you be inspired to go as the Female, Colossal or Armoured Titan, a simple stick of chalk will suffice to draw on the muscles & ligaments necessary. Alternatively, start dating your local butcher now & gain their trust so that when you're ready, you'll be able to go full level 9,000:

This could be us, but...
Now, wasn't that easy?

Here's to attending the inevitable meet cute at NAICCON 2015 where you accidentally bump into me, I smile sweetly, extend my hand and whisper, "MY CABBAGES".
Stay conventionally attractive, folks.

Captain Holt Burning

The thing about being a reader, and being known as one, is that people always try to get you to read their personal faves. Maybe they want to find common ground to talk about with your introverted self, maybe they want you to join their particular cult- these things cannot be known.

What is known, however, is that I generally tend to look up and act upon majority of the recommendations that come way...aside from the self improvement, self help type tomes. Today though, this changes. THE WORLD CHANGES.

After hearing enough "this book will shift the way you understand the universe/it did so much for me/I got a tattoo of the author's hairline after reading", I have decided to bite the bullet, and you're coming with me.
To madness, sirs!

1. "A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy" 
Miyamoto Musashi (translator - Victor Harris)

book of five rings miyamoto musashi
Feedbooks where you can actually legally download the book

The exact quote that came with this recommendation was "Hey, you're into all that ninja cartoon stuff, right?", referring to my anime fandomotaku stylings and general fangirling. Which, I mean...

This book is allegedly by an ancient Samurai (suspicious) and remains relevant to date. Let's see.

2. "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" 

Charles Duhigg

Power of Habit Charles Duhigg

This was recommended by a fellow scholar of human psychology, which is to say another person that enjoys endless navel-gazing and deciding we're special snowflakes as much as I do. So, the best. 
I've actually gone through more than half the book thus far and picked up some pointers that SHOULD be obvious but that I'm betting you hadn't thought of either, with the added benefit of cutesy diagrams.

cue habit reward

Fear not, it isn't another "You is strong, you is kind" get over your addiction book: I was pleasantly surprised to find myself noting some patterns in the day to day as simplified in the book, and now I'm a much better person for it, and am receiving a "Best Person Ever" award from Obama in 2 weeks.

Con: Either my attention span is garbage (yes) or at some point the book lost the plot and diverted into less practical, applicable concepts. I am yet to finish it and probably won't, but the first 3/4 of it was a revelation. Go read. 

3.  "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't" 
Jim Collins

Good to Great Jim Collins

This is a business-based book that allegedly has insights that are applicable on a personal level, recommended to me by a person I'm 30% sure roleplays Marty Khan every Tuesday and Thursday, and that's ok.

So far, I am two chapters deep and while the first one was a tad too...businessy for me (shut up) Chapter 2 is shaping up fairly well so far. I shall soldier on, as should you.

4. "The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom"
Miguel Ruiz

four agreements ruiz

Recommended by a spiritual enlightenment new-agey 2015 hippie, this book is HIGHLY suspect. 
I managed to crack open the first couple of pages and found some vague introduction about an ancient group of wisemen spiritualist types? 

bye felicia gif

One day, when there's a power blackout and I have enough wine, I will read this book in its entirety. One day.

5. "The 33 Strategies of War" 
Robert Greene

I should be worried that people keep recommending all these psychopath-adjacent books, right? Like, there has to be something being hinted at? Y'all ain't sh*t, btw.

33 strategies of war robert greene

From the author of "The 48 Laws of Power" comes this book that I'll eventually read and figure out how to survive World War 3/The Nuclear Apocalypse and punish you ALL when I'm the Global Anarchy Empress.

Khal Drogo gif
Like this, but with more pink. GOT Wikia

For sketchy recommendations that promise to make you better, this has been Evey G back from hiatus. Peeeeeeace!

So, we said we'd be back today and surprisingly, we are! Three cheers to ethics in game writing of blog things. Let's get to it, shall we? Previous shawarmy goodness can be found up in hurr.

1. Reading

An uncharacteristic number of real life/psychology/self improvement books. I dunno guise, is this what growing up looks like? More likely, I am slowly being drafted into a cult. Let's find out which 3 years from now. It's a date now and you can't bail.

Present read. Goodreads

Expect a roundup of the recommendations I done got either Monday or Wednesday next week. Procrastinator promise.

2. Watching

"The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt". This isn't even a conversation (largely because there's a post on this sitting in the infamous Drafts folder). Stop everything you're doing and go watch. Everything. Even breathing. Especially breathing.

3. The Favour

This is equal parts you doing me a favour, me doing you a favour and you doing yourself a favour.

Sidebar - the American spelling is WRONG blogger! There is a 'u'!! - End Sidebar

Open your browser, go to Very Smart Brothas and add that ish as a bookmark because that site will give you LIFE. Current affairs, personal stories and black America issues are great (and beautifully written) but you KNOW I'm about to recommend the Love and Hip Hop recaps. Shamira Ibrahim is an intergalactic treasure and the comments section is always pure. gold. Get you some.

Three cheers to the internet and a wonderful weekend to you all. *flies away on broomstick*

That is all.

Stuff and things are happening! February was a most excellent month for new releases, and if you missed them, I gotchu. If you read the January version (and if you didn't, why not? Why would you hurt me like this?) then you already know what's going on. Let's get right into it.

1. "Suckers" by Z. Rider

I'm generally not one for horror, but this book, yo. You should most definitely read an excerpt of chapter one HERE, but first, find a Frankensteined synopsis from the actual below:

WHEN WORN-OUT MUSICIAN DAN FERRY decides to take a shortcut back to the band's hotel, he picks the wrong dark alley to go down...
Now, terrified of what will happen if he doesn't get his fix--and terrified of what he'll do to get it--he turns to his best friend and bandmate, Ray Ford, for help. But what the two don't know as they try to keep Dan's situation quiet is that the parasite driving Dan's addiction to human blood has the potential to wipe out humankind. 

Why yes, I would sell my soul for a copy, why do you ask? #Epic

2.  "Trigger Warning" by Neil Gaiman (Short Stories)

Ok, yes, selected mainly on the strength of Gaiman's rock star name, WHATEVER only my personal deity, Chantal Biya, can judge me. Full synopsis available here, but the most relevant part:

Trigger Warning explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them to reveal our vulnerabilities and our truest selves. Here is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explore the realm of experience and emotion.

3. "The Mauraders: A Novel" by Tom Cooper

No synopsis summary I sketch together can possibly do this any justice. Find a snippet from the official summary (available here) below:

When the BP oil spill devastates the Gulf coast, those who made a living by shrimping find themselves in dire straits. For the oddballs and lowlifes who inhabit the sleepy, working class bayou town of Jeannette,  these desperate circumstances serve as the catalyst that pushes them to enact whatever risky schemes they can dream up to reverse their fortunes. At the center of it all is Gus Lindquist, a pill-addicted, one armed treasure hunter obsessed with finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte.

4. "Second Life" by S.J. Watson

I kid you not, the actual description:

She loves her husband. She's obsessed by a stranger.

She's a devoted mother. She's prepared to lose everything.

She knows what she's doing. She's out of control.

She's innocent. She's guilty as sin.

She's living two lives. She might lose both . . .

 I mean, right? When a book is playing hard to get from the start, you kinda have to. Your friendly neighbourhood Procrastinator has had a peek at the synopsis and it has a nice dark undercurrent about addiction, murder, mystery and salt and pepper to taste. Y'all. We're reading this.

Speaking of books that have been read, Feb was a strange, strange month of random reads. 

The Forever Watch - David Ramirez
We Are All Completely Fine - Daryl Gregory
Meditations - Marcus Aurelius
The Girl on The Train - Paula Hawkins

If you're on Insta, Goodreads, or just really good at keeping up with Le Shawarma (yay you!), you've seen these books mentioned. Since I've been pretty good about doing reviews this month (I accept "Congratulations" wine on Tuesdays), you can expect to see most of these up in the course of March. You now have a reason to keep living.

Dass it for Feb in Books, I have been your host, Evey G. Stay awesome, folks!