Harry Potter

8 Last-Minute Bookish Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Gift IdeasKristina PinoComment

If you're into giving your book-lovin' honey a little something on Valentine's Day that isn't just a box of candy or a vase with flowers, here are a few ideas:

Harry Potter cookie cutters double as a practical gift as well as an edible one if you use 'em to make some cookies ahead of time, too.

Show 'em they're The One to rule your heart with the One Ring. Okay, that was cheesy.

Class it up with a Jules Verne necktie.

Application and design-wise, Alice in Wonderland Mad Tea Party-themed salt and pepper shakers are pretty perfect, if ya think about it.

This, and other bookish flavors, such as Butterbeer (Harry Potter) and Cotton & Musk (The Great Gatsby) available from Pen & Candle.

Oh yes, this tote bag is a winner.

Much more comfortable than the real thing, I'm sure.

Friday Things: 11/22 - Wizarding Tourism, DIY Sorcerer Mickey Ears, and Some Science

LinksKristina PinoComment

[Another Saturday Edition~ well, it's better than Monday. Tomorrow, Sunday, there's a potato festival at my village, so I'll probably be updating Instagram and/or Twitter with pictures and stuff.]

On Disney (and theirs):

New Cinderella Trailer!

Neat little tutorial on making your own sorcerer Mickey ears.

I am Groot in 15 different languages is glorious.

Finally, here's a look at some more Inside Out teasers. Yes - plural.

On Science:

If you're interested in some tidbits about brains and stuff, read about languages that are "lost" in infancy.

Women's and men's bodies are affected by space flight in different ways - here's a look at that.

On Movies:

Do you like secrets and/or Princess Bride? This list is for you.

New Peanuts Trailer!

Stuff I Wrote:

At Book Riot: Wizarding Tourism: Harry Potter Experiences Around the World.

At PANELS: Comics Fetish: Volume 8 (weekly dose of awesome comics merch)

I vlogged! Here's what I'm reading this week.


Wonderful: An Open Letter to Men Who Still Don't Understand Street Harassment.

A pal of mine wrote this article about late night food spots in Miami - I've only been to one of those spots, myself, so I'm looking forward to trying the rest.

[have a great weekend! Monday is a public holiday, so lunch posts will resume Tuesday!]

Friday Things: 10/25 - The Terror That Flaps in the Night Returns

LinksKristina PinoComment

[It's getting cooooolder!]

On Blogging:

Are you a blogger? There's always room to learn more things. Here are 11 tips from The Nerdy Girlie.

Also on the subject of blogging: how to protect your privacy.

On Comics:

People interviewed the awesome Amanda Conner. I feel like they were trying to bait her to go in a certain direction the way some questions were framed, but she gracefully brushed it all off. All positivity, all confidence. Love her~

Ridiculously excited we're getting more Darkwing Duck comics, and even more excited that James Silvani and Aaron Sparrow are going to continue working on it.

New Edward Scissorhands comic!

Stuff I wrote this past week:

I take turns with a co-contributor on Panels for our weekly column Comics Fetish, in which we feature comics-related merch you can totally buy. This week was my turn.

Also on Panels, I wrote about Batman, and made a call for book recommendations.

On Book Riot, I wrote about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.

And finally, on Quirk Books, I rounded up some of my favorite Hello Kitty-related recipes/tutorials from YouTube.


Excited for Disney's upcoming Moana in 2016!

[Have a great week!]

Link Bits: 04/28 - The first canonincal Star Wars book for adults is out in September

LinksKristina PinoComment

(viaNeatorama) Apparently there's some kind of "national day" for some sort of food or drink for every day of the year. Check yours here! Mine's a Dry Martini.

If I ever make caramel treats, I'm going to make them look like Sorting Hats.

If you can stomach any more talk about the Game of Thrones episode "Breaker of Chains," this is a good read over at BookRiot written by Jeanette.

Del Rey posted up some information and cover reveals regarding upcoming Star Wars books on Facebook. Four titles will be published (adult fiction) more in line with what's going on with the films. We've got:

  • Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi (set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back) by Kevin Hearne
  • Star Wars: Lords of the Sith (features the Emperor and Darth Vader) by Paul S. Kemp - release March, 2015
  • Star Wars: Tarkin by James Luceno - release in November 2014
  • Star Wars: A New Dawn (canonical novel set between episodes III and IV, main characters are Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla) by John Jackson Miller - release in September 2014

More about this in Disney Publishing's press release.

Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at!

Friday Things: 03/17 - Gaston needs to cut on those calories

LinksKristina PinoComment

[Another Monday edition, and on St. Patty's, no less! I didn't really celebrate in Japan, unless drinking a beer and having a slice of pizza on the side with dinner counts, but I hope you all have a fine day/night!]

On Disney:

If you're on Facebook and you like the Muppets, check out Amy Mebberson's totally free sticker pack, which you can download in a chat window to spice up your PMs.

Funny little thing that Oh My Disney published about how many calories Gaston must eat in a day.

In case you're as much of a Disney nerd as I am and are looking forward to the Dwarfs mine train ride coming to Fantasyland, here's a video released by Disney Parks comparing onboard footage and the early CG sim.

I love Taylor Davis' work so much.

On Books:

(via FashionablyGeek) Starting April 4th, you'll be able to get your mitts on some Game of Thrones -themed rings and necklaces, made by Pyrrha in collaboration with HBO. They'll be for sale at HBO's online shop if you want to fork out the dough.

(via BoingBoing) Book spine masking tape. Seriously.

VIZ Media have announced a fall release for their Perfect Square imprint that I'm already drooling over, titled Hello Kitty, Hello 40: A Celebration in 40 Stories. It's a hardcover book that celebrates her 40 years through art, comics, toys, and more. If it's anything like their other Hello Kitty book releases the past several months, I know this is going to be absolutely fantastic. Speaking of Kitty, April 1st marks the release of the third volume in her graphic novel series, so look out for a review here shortly after.

The state of children's books by and/or about people of color published in the US is worse than we thought.

Now that I've gotten into reading audiobooks, little studies about info retention and the like have been on my radar . I have, indeed, found that the more hours I clock in listening to audiobooks, the easier time I have focusing on their content.


More exciting details about the Wizarding World expansion planned for Universal Studios Orlando.



LinksKristina PinoComment


DC Comic Dinnerware Sets

So how about, I kind of want these from ThinkGeek, but for me. Not for a baby. Just me. (click the image to be taken to the listing!)

"Shadow Hero is inspired by a comic from the forties called ‘The Green Turtle,’ which (possibly) featured the first ever Asian-American superhero." And First Second continues to publish graphic novels that I really want to read.

Very cool tech that feeds you reading material one word at a time, which enables you to read things faster, and can allow you to read all of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in 77 minutes.

A mom and her little girl make dresses out of paper and tissue and things lying around the house, and the results are fantastic. Check out this interview on HuffPo, and you can see the fruits of their labor over on Instagram or their website.

"We're Doing a Sequel" from the cast of the Muppets for Muppets Most Wanted. Yes. Oh man. I laughed my buns off.

Listen to a bestseller for $7.49 at!

Friday Things: 02/02 - Van Gogh, science, and Harry with Hermione

LinksKristina PinoComment

[Making progress - it didn't take me until Monday to get to this! I've also made it much longer than usual, so my commentary is a little shorter so I could fit more without making this so massive.]

On books and comics:

This year from July 4th through October 13th there's going to be a Madeline art exhibit at NYC. Yep, I want to go.

If you're a fan of Brian Wood's work, here's a little Q&A with him re: his current run of X-Men.

Very cool: illustrated children's book about the women who helped "forge the nation" titled Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies.

Cool graphic novel coming out by FirstSecond, who published Primates (reviewed), titled In Real Life, which concerns gaming and gold farming. The book will be released in October. 

The latest little nugget to shake the interbutts? J.K. Rowling has apparently admitted Hermione should have gone with Harry instead of Ron.

"'Librarians have suffered enough', according to Lemony Snicket, who is setting up a new annual US prize 'honouring a librarian who has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact'." (full story)



On Movies and TV:

(via) trailer for unauthorized Disney biopic titled As Dreamers Do. Looks interesting!

The Fault in Our Stars official trailer! And bonus, watch this reaction video by a 13-year old girl who watched her mom battle breast cancer.

Sometimes it's funny the way things work out - Ridley Scott didn't finish reading Androids? and Phillip K. Dick never got to see the finished film Blade Runner.

Great look at the workmanship that has gone into the costumes for Game of Thrones

There's a feature-length animated film titled Loving Vincent being worked on. The catch? It's all painted. Painted. The film is about Van Gogh. And it's made from paintings created in his style.




This video was just released by GoPro with absolutely incredible footage from Felix Baumgartner's jump from the edge of space down to Earth. Seriously. Must watch.

The gross truth about some of what goes on because of the TSA scanners.

It's always good to remember that it's never too late to do what you want to do.

Have a sneak peek at some of the new floats for the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade. Drool.

Here's a neat dose of science: Stephen Hawking says that black holes don't exist as we know them.

Interesting photo project involves making out with people and then taking a portrait of them.

[Lookin' good for this week. See ya next time! I almost made this a two-part thing, but in the end I think it came out alright this way.]



Friday Things, Monday Edition: 11/18 - Temple Run as a movie, Pixar's rise to greatness, and going tipless

LinksKristina PinoComment

[Brrr... it's cold! But I'm good now, because I actually went shopping this weekend and bought myself a fleece jacket, fleece blanket, some gloves, and other sensible items. This weather will not get the best of me!]

On Movies:

Have you seen the movie poster for Disney's upcoming Maleficent yet? And beyond that, have you seen the trailer?

Apparently there's going to be a film based on the Temple Run games. What?



On Books:

Here's a great read by one of my co-writers at Quirk Books blog about how amazing Lemony Snicket is when it comes to teaching you new words. I mean, he's amazing in general, but in this respect, he's a standout.

In case you haven't heard yet, USPS is releasing Harry Potter stamps on Nov. 19th.

I reviewed a newly-translated/released manga titled Sweet Rein, written by Sakura Tsukuba and published by VIZ Media. It's a nice holiday read if you're into the fluffy romantic stuff.

If you're into Pixar and their work, you might be interested in a book they're releasing about how the company got started and their rise to greatness. 



On Identity:

It used to frustrate me when people asked me where I'm from, because what I identify myself as, culturally, is way more complicated than just saying the name of the place I was born. Now, I just tell people where I come from ethnically, because in the end, it's easier than the long explanation. Here's a good article related to this.

Hot Topic pulled a shirt from their stores when a bunch of people called to attention that its message was awful and wrong - and rightly so. Cosplay is all about having fun, not stressing out about getting every detail perfectly right. 




This restaurant owner decided to just have a flat service charge and stop taking tips, and the result is wonderful. I wish more stores did this.

My photo post this week was about my visit to Alcatraz.

If you're a toy/collectibles fan, one of my associate editors on Tomopop started up a link column of his own which will be posted every Thursday. Check out his first linkup, which features cake!

I also uploaded a video this week. This time, I eat a doughnut that looks like Snoopy's head.

[I think that does it for this week. Sometime soon, I'm going to go ahead and publish a holiday gift guide type thing for book nerds. Do you have any suggestions? Let me know so I can link it up! Any sort of shops with literary nick nacks or jewelry or apparel are perfect for this.]



Friday Things: 09/14 - more Potter, science, and outrage

LinksKristina PinoComment

[Yeah, yeah... I know it's Saturday... so as usual, I'll make it up to ya with extra links! Bonus time-wasting clickety-clicks!]

On Disney: 

Where's My Water? 2 [Free] is out! I didn't know it was coming until it appeared in the App Store. I haven't played it yet, but I'll write something up here once I've had some time with it.

I haven't played DuckTales: Remastered yet, but though it has generally garnered praise everywhere I look, Ben Kuchera at PAR Report had less than stellar, but important things to say about it.

Jack Skellington and Sally have debut at Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! Though Sally looks quite lovely, that Jack costume leaves much to be desired. I've seen way better fan-made costumes.

Disney villains - sugar skull style!

On Books and Comics:

One of the most exciting bits of news I've read in a while - J.K. Rowling is screenwriting a new spinoff series taking place in the world of Harry Potter starting with stuff from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It isn't quite what I wrote about over at Quirk re: spinoffs, but I'll take it. Heck, it might even be better than what I had envisioned. 

In news that should surprise no one: Study shows that kiddos who read for pleasure perform "significantly" better at school.

"30 Books Every Woman Should Read by 30". I have read precisely two books out of this list, though a few others here have been on my radar.

In case you've missed it, some folks spoke up about the Harley Quinn try-out page, what the intention/context was, and some non-apologies from DC Comics

"Four Unique Ways to Show Off Your Love of Books" by Jamie Can at QuirkBooks.




"Voyager Has Left the Solar System!"

Tired of boring oval- or round-shaped watermelons? Not impressed by cube-shaped ones? Well, now someone has figured out how to make them heart-shaped




I have mixed feelings about Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call. It appears awesome, the new modes seem like they'll be rad, and I like the addition of songs from a wider variety of FF games, but I don't know if a whole new game is a better idea than just adding DLC to the regular version. That and, if it isn't exported, I won't be able to play it at all since I lack a Japanese 3DS. We'll know more about it next week after folks at TGS have had a chance to get hands-on with this.

Great article on Book Riot re: Hayao Miyazaki and his courageous decision to retire.

Breaking Bad spinoff taking place before the events of Walter White's story, Better Call Saul, is a thing that's happening. I haven't gotten to the point in the series to really be acquainted with this character, but spinoffs can be cool.

Chuck Wendig re: Internet and outrage.

[Have a great rest of the weekend! I've got Monday off, so there won't be a school lunch post that day. Yay, three-day weekend!]