Friday, June 29, 2012


Not feeling so good these last couple days...oh well nothing a good book can't make better ;-)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Would Rather Be Reading

What I wish I was doing right now!
Alas between work today and duty at the fire station tonight, this lovely dream will have to wait another day...sigh.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Little Sarcasm To Brighten Your Day

I've been seeing these all over the place and they always crack me up, here are a few of my favorites.

I hope you enjoyed these little gems.  If you see any more good book related one's send them to me!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Alice In Central Park

Here is another place on my literary bucket list the statue of Alice holding court from her mushroom in Central Park, New York.
Alice in Central Park
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has always been one of my favorites, and I'm pretty sure New York City is on most peoples list of cities to visit so I guess I could kill two birds with one stone (anybody else think that is a really violent and disturbing saying?)

What is on your literary bucket list?  Have you seen this statue yet?  What book would you like to see made into a huge piece of art?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kitty Cat Q's

In full on nostalgia mode today, remembering school free summer days and my mom taking us to the library to fill up on books.  I always loved the whoosh of the air conditioner as we came in from out of the sun and into the high ceiling  window filled main room.  One of my favorite series during that era (and is still being reread to this day) is the Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary.  I was always a Beverly Cleary fan when I was younger, but these books are still my favorites.
My Favorite Ramona Illustration
 I'm not sure what endears me to this spunky little spitfire, it may be because I always imagine that is what my Mamma may have been like when she was growing up, or maybe I relate to some of the way she see's things in a weird quirky light.  I love watching this character grow from a bratty little preschooler in Beezus and Ramona all the way to a more mature and thoughtful 4th grader in Ramona's World.  This series of books is unique in that Ramona lives with her whole family, who are portrayed in one of the most realistic ways I have ever seen.  Nothing major ever happens, no magical wardrobes, no exploding volcano's, no mutant zombie plagues, but it reminds you that when you are young and trying to grow up that the littlest thing at the time seems like the end of the world.  Some of my favorite scenes from each of the books.

 Beezus and Ramona-This is one of my favorites in the series because I can relate to being an older sister.  I love the apple scene where Ramona takes one bite out of every apple in a crate because "the first bite is always the best".  Ramona invites her friends over for an impromptu party...without telling anyone else.  Ramona "writes" her name in her favorite library book so she can keep it (I relate to that one)

Ramona the Pest- This is the first book to focus solely on Ramona.  She starts kindergarten and learns to write her name including her last name which she makes the Q into a kitty cat.  She meets a girl Susan with curls that she just can't resist boinging (now every time I see a person with curls I want to boing them). She gets her prized new boots stuck in the mud after being rescued by Henry.

Ramona the Brave-Here we find Ramona moving on the first grade.  Ramona comes to Beezus' defense in the form of a lecture to her sisters friends, which embarrasses Beezus greatly.  Ramona's mother gets a part-time job.  The Quimby's start an expansion project on the house which has some great unintended consequences for Ramona.  In a fit of rage Ramona destroys both her and her nemesis Susan's paper bag owls.

Ramona and Her Father-Ramona is now into the second grade.  Ramona's mother starts working full time bringing home the realities of a two-income household just to make ends meet.  Her mother tells the girls they need to try and not do anything to upset there there father so Ramona crosses almost everything off her Christmas list.  The pajama sheep costume debacle made me laugh my head off.

Ramona and Her Mother-Another of my favorites in this series.  Ramona is stuck in that stage of being to old to be a little kid, but not old enough to be included in with the older crowd.  Ramona gives young Willa Jean a box of tissues to play with so she doesn't have to share her toys.  An argument between her parent over dinner scares her.  Ramona gets a new haircut that makes her feel grown up (and I wanted a pixie cut for years...even though I didn't know what that was).  She squeezes an entire tube of toothpaste into the sink in a rebellious snit.

Ramona Quimby Age 8- Ramona's dad goes back to college. She gets to take a bus to a new school where she is one of the older kids which makes her feel important.  She loves Sustained Silent Reading time, but is still stuck at the Kemps everyday after school helping to entertain Willa-Jean.

Ramona Forever-In this book Ramona experiences a lot of change.  Ramona is allowed to stay home with Beezus instead of being babysat at the Kemps.  Her aunt gets married to Howie's uncle Hobart.  A new baby is born leading to all kinds of fun.

Ramona's World-This book was written later then the previous books.  Ramona starts fourth grade and makes a new friend Daisy.  She finds she is enjoying being a big sister.  Beezus learns French and Ramona has her zero teenth (10th) birthday.

Did you read these growing up?  Which character do you like the best?  Do you have the urge to make toothpaste castles now?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Longest Day Of The Year

Today is the longest day of year, and in celebration my area apparently decided to give the lovely gift of a heat wave in the form of triple digits and humidity (in case you were wondering I am NOT a happy camper, I hate humidity and not a fan of weather over 80 degrees).  But to celebrate that it can only get cooler from here...right...somebody tell me I'm right, I have gathered a few books to read in a nice air conditioned room with a big glass of raspberry lemonade.  Here are some books that give us some history and how people celebrate through out the world and through out time the Summer Solstice (Sorry about the complete lack of coherency and horrific sentence structure, my brain is melting).
The Longest Day
A quick look at the science and cultural traditions behind the longest day of the year
Summer Solstice
This book gives you a glimpse of holidays and traditions that are no longer widely celebrated
The End of the World
A few stories that involving the Summer Solstice

What are you going to do with your longest day of the year?  Do you use it as an excuse to stay up that much later to read? Are you glad to get some heat or do you pray for a cold front?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Got You Covered

How awesome are these dust jacket/book covers that these three friends Erin Bowman, Tracey Nethercott, and Sarah Enni made up for our enjoyment?   Best part is they have made them available for download and print for FREE! What nice girls  :-)
Set #1
Set #2
Set #3
These are great for books, Kindles, Nooks, or just leaving all over the place so people get the idea to LEAVE ME ALONE I'M READING!  The sites all have the files and printing and usage instructions so go print off your favorite and let me know which ones you like the best.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Storm Of WTF!

Just in case you're wondering I will be spilling all kinds of secrets about A Storm of Swords so if you haven't read it yet, or don't want to know big secrets before you watch the TV show then STOP RIGHT NOW!

Ok so I'm assuming everybody who is reading has either read the book, or just can't stand not knowing so here we go off to Spoilerville.
 This so far is my favorite book in the series of A Song of Ice and Fire.  I have heard that from a lot of people so I am apparently in good company.  I'm not going to rehash the book like I normally do because A) Those posts get extremely long and this is a really long book and B) There just so much going on I don't think I could put it together in a coherent post (not that my post are known for coherency anyways).  So pretty much I'm going to ramble about the moments in the book that made me holler things out loud at completely inappropriate times.So the biggest thing about this book is how many people end up dead...which really shouldn't surprise me considering that is kind of what these books are known for, but part of what I love about the writing is how I am still caught of guard by the crazy turns the story takes.  On to the body count.  The biggest deaths to me were Robb and Catelyn Stark, yep they are killing of the poor Stark clan in droves.  Looking back I should have seen it coming, but again the writing does a great job of misdirection. The deaths are actually foreshadowed back in A Clash of Kings when Daenerys goes into the House of the Undead.  Let's see who else, Oh yes a death we can all get behind, the brat king Joffery Lannister was taken down by some poisoned wine at his wedding to Margeary Tyrell (I've got to keep checking the spelling of these names, if I screw them up, please don't kill me!) I think I may have actually cheered.  Tywin Lannister also gets taken out...on the pot no less and crazy lady Lysa meets her end through the moon door. Oh yeah and Yigrette gets killed as well :-( I liked that girl. 
Moving on to less deadly reveals.  The reveal that was the biggest twist to me was finding out that Lysa killed Jon Aryn, yep crazy lady Lysa killed her husband and blamed it on the Lannisters all to get Peter "Littlefinger" Balish to marry her. So pretty much 2/3 of this series is set into motion by a crazy lady who couldn't get over a childhood crush.  Sansa Stark gets married off to Tyrion Lannister who in turn gets accused of murdering his nephew and then goes ahead and kills his father.  Arya and the Hound end up traveling together for a time (some great scenes there) before she heads of to Braavos.  Daenerys takes on the slave cities and does a pretty good job of it all while finding out Jorah Mormont is/was actually the spy keeping Kings Landing informed of her doings.  Stannis continues to follow Melisandre and the Lord of Light, but redeems himself slightly by being the only "king" to go help defend the wall against the wildlings and eventually things much worse.  Sam steps it up and ends up as a protector to the wildling Gilly and her baby.  Jon makes it back to the wall in time to help defend it, get accused of treason, then voted in as commander.  Sansa gets spirited away by Littlefinger.  Theon continues his bumbling ways.  Jaime makes a weird friendship in the form of Brienne the manly woman knight, oh and Jaime loses a hand. Bran and Rickon continue there mysterious whatever they are doing.  Hmmm I think that about sums up this giant tome of craziness.
I loved the book, took me a while to get through it, but it was totally worth it.  The writing remains high quality and interesting, and so far I have been able to keep track of most of the story lines and characters.  As long as the writing stays at this level I am in it for the duration of the series.
What did you think of this book?  Who else could they possibly kill off? (wait don't answer that, most of my favorites are still alive) What did you think of the reveals?  Are you watching the TV show? How long can a rambling post get?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Too Much Work, Not Enough Reading Time

Super busy in my "real life" today (as opposed to my fantasy life spent drifting down a river with a book in one hand and a glass of Marlborough Sauvignin Blanc in the other).
Also I think I need a book gnome to fetch and carry books for you think I could train the puppy to fetch bottles of wine for me?  Hope you all have a great day.

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Tie: The Classic Gift For Fathers Day

Fathers Day is on Sunday and I would like to take a moment to give a HUGE shout out to all the Dad's and Dad figures in our lives.  I myself have been blessed with quit possibly the best Daddy in the whole universe and have had the privilage of knowing several amazing Dads (My FIL and BIL both come to mind).  For those of you who step up whether you are the bio Dad or not, THANK YOU!  These special book ties are just for you :-)
Bookshelf Tie
Book Spine Tie
Book of Kells Tie
Pages Bow Tie
The Book of Ties
Hopefully this provided some inspiration for your literary minded fathers...or I guess you could get him a gift card to his favorite book store :-)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Classic Humor

I need a laugh today and these hit the spot.
Dickens Humor
Grimm Humor
Hawthorne Humor
Shakespeare Humor
Austen Humor

Hopefully some of these made you giggle.  Hope everyone has a great day

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Literary Elemental Protection

Been having quit a few summer thunder storms in our area lately and I could not be happier.  Nothing like curling up in your fuzzy blanket with a hot cup of coffee (preferably with a shot of Bailey's in it) and the thunder and lightning as the perfect background.  If however you are forced out into this wet weather use one of these umbrellas to keep you nice and dry.
Book Stack Umbrella
The Hunger Games Umbrella
Shakespeare Umbrella
Alice In Wonderland Umbrella
The Little Prince Umbrella
Do you love the rain as much as I do, or do you prefer it to go away and come again another day?  What book would you like to see on an umbrella?  How many booked themed objects can one girl own?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Aliens: The Good, The Bad, And The Impossibly Cute

My Hubbin has been waiting and waiting and waiting for the TV show Falling Skies to start back up again.  So to tide the poor boy over I thought I would examine some of the different aliens in literature.

 As far as a good classic alien story goes I think I will recommend The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells.  Considering that this book was first published in 1897 it's aliens are fairly hi-tech.  This book is a fairly brutal look at invaders from Mars (which during this era of sci-fi is where all the aliens came from).  The tri-pod vessels, the red weed and the blood sucking aliens are all an introduction to the idea that aliens are scary beings out to conquer our planet with little regard for humanity. This book has been one of the basis for a lot of what we might consider classic us vs them alien stories.

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card takes a look at humans gut reaction  to aliens.  This story features a bug/hive like race that ended up in a war with humans when there need to colonize led to confrontation.  This book shows a child's perspective of having grown up in this environment and eventually having to deal with the revelation that the humans, not the aliens are the ones continuing the conflict.  I like the mix of classic alien elements mixed with a more psychological side that asks us to rethink how we handle a race so different from our own.

 Most Sci-Fi, especially the older stuff seems to be geared toward the male side of the population, which is why I particularly enjoy Anne McAfferey's science fiction.  Her Tower and Hive series features females in very strong lead roles, and gives them a way to stay feminine and have there own personality all while battling various alien threats.  She gives several examples of very different types of aliens. There are the insect/hive aliens (similar to Enders Game) who are bent on colonizing every habital world they can find (these are not as sympathetic as the ones in Enders Game), there is the lone alien who is intelligent beyond belief, but has malicious intents, and then there are the Mrdini, a small furry alien that always comes in pairs who end up being allies.  Great books for guys and for girls.

For the slightly younger set I always liked the Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate.  This series for young adults features a group of kids who encounter a race that is described as having the lower body of a deer the torso and head of a man, fleshy antennas and a long tail ending in a scythe...all covered in blue fur (if that's not an alien I don't know what is). The kids are given the ability to morph into other living things to help fight of an invasion of a different alien known as the Yeerks who are slug like beings who slip into your brain and live like parasites controlling whatever population they are inhabiting.

There are many many many more aliens in books that I have not mentioned mostly because I ran out of coffee, but also because there are so many.  I like how authors use aliens to show us our present fears, to try and help us work out issues with each other by giving us a common enemy or an unknown entity to stand in for more realistic threats. They can represent facets about ourselves we don't particularly like, or embody a standard that we have yet to achieve.

What are your favorite aliens?  Do you like the evil aliens that we can unite to fight against, or the benevolent ally aliens better?  Do you think there are other races out there?  Do you think they write books about "aliens" that resemble humans?