Thursday, November 27, 2014

So Much Thankfulness

Today is a day for giving thanks and I have so much to be thankful for.
My loving Hubbin who is a friend, partner, therapist, and adventuring companion.
A family both blood and adopted who love me so much!
Friends who make me feel almost normal :-)
A station family who is the best a girl could ask for.
A profession I love.
A roof over my head and food in my belly.
More toys then any girl has a right to own.
So many books, the ability to get more, the right to read any one I choose and the ability to read them. Also bookshelves for all of them :-)
I do hope everybody else in the states is having a good Thanksgiving and that everybody else has plenty to be grateful for.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Turkey Table

Thanksgiving is tomorrow for us USA folks and I thought it might be fun to set the tables with a bit of a literary theme this year.  Here are some idea's I found.
Page Turkey Place Setting
I love this idea of pages for feathers
Cute Book Turkey
Aww  it's soooo cute!
So Thankful Books
The perfect centerpiece
What a perfect touch of literary excelence
Thanksgiving Wreath
The perfect greeting for your Thanksgiving guests
Now that I have some ideas I'm off to start getting ready for the big day of food, family and fun!
Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Walk Like An Egyptian

After my unending praise of Middle Grade books yesterday, I thought I would do a rambling on the book that set off my current adoration of the genre.  The book is The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder who besides having one of the coolest names ever, wrote a book that could have come straight from my childhood.  First as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
April has just moved from Hollywood, living with her glamorous...if featherheaded mother to living with her more run of the mill grandmother.  She now lives in an apartment building and soon meets another girl by the name of Melanie.  At first Melanie thinks April, with her false eyelashes and odd updo is a bit strange, but soon the girls, along with Melanie's little brother Marshall find a shared love of Egypt.  Chance is in their favor and they discover a bit of fenced off yard that they turn into a type of temple/shrine/play place for their game.  The three come up with elaborate story lines, rituals, ceremonies, costumes, getting so into the game that on occasion it seems real.  Soon a new girl Elizabeth moves into the neighborhood and joins the game, adding her own pieces of imagination.  Unfortunately the fun is almost ruined when the body of a local child is found.  To make matters worse, this is the second murdered child in the area in two years.   Along with being stuck inside where the adults can keep an eye on them, April is also upset over the fact that her mother, in one of her infrequent communications has told her daughter that she has gotten married, but their is still no place for her.  Halloween finally sees the adults letting up a bit and allowing the children to go trick or treating in supervised groups.  April convinces the kids to sneak off and play the game for a few minutes.  While there, two boys from April and Melanie's class, Ken and Toby crash the game and exchange for letting them play, agree to keep quiet.  The four original players are nervous about the new additions, but it turns out the boys, especially Toby have some great idea's to add to the game.  One night, while she is baby-sitting Marshall, April realizes she left a school book in the yard and takes Marshall to go get it.  On the out of the yard, April is grabbed by a man, and is saved when the Professor, the man who owns the yard the children were playing in, breaks a window and calls for help.  Marshall is able to identify the attacker and the murders are solved.  The Professor allows the children to continue to play in the yard and they all play until they get too old for playing to be cool.
So this is going to be a bit of a different ramble.  I will tell you right now that I loved loved loved this book.  The reason I loved it so much can be directly attributed to my own childhood.  Growing up my parents were pretty strict on the amount of time we spent in front of screens, not just TV, but any consoles, computers or handheld devices.  We were encouraged to play together, and with our friends.  To this end my three siblings and I, along with various friends, came up with the most elaborate games.  Most of the time these games took much longer to set up then they did to actually play.  Looking back the most amazing part was the ability of up to 14 kids (our parent's had a regular get together with a couple other families) ages 3-14 could actually communicate, coordinate and agree on a plan of action.  We had a diverse group, with TONS of idea's, lots of skill sets and and varied interests.  We used to set up whole towns, hold elections, build road signs.  We would write, cast, design, and produce our own plays.  We created whole worlds with their own magics, rules and ecosystems.  Sometimes our games would go on for days.  One of the things that struck me in the
book is that four of the six players were in sixth grade.  I cannot think of ANY sixth graders now who would be caught dead playing imagination games that did not involve a MMORPG game.  It makes me sad that even our younger kids, who are still willing to play, probably spend more time in front of a screen then in their playroom, and by the time they hit Middle School, they have turned into gadget toting pre-teens.  I hate that we now have an environment where we encourage our kids to grow up way to fast in certain area's, while teaching them to rely on social media and other people's opinions, rather then their own sense of self to judge their worth.  I am sure every generation feels like this, but when I read books like this, and realize how many social skills I learned by playing these types of games, and how most kids I know, even if they are in a room with other kids, don't do a whole lot of interaction.  I myself am a technology lover, and I don't want to "go back" to the way things were...I just hope we can find a way to spark that same elaborate sense of play and cooperation that I grew up with.  Ok so this was less of a ramble and more of a personal speculation, but one of the best things about a good book is it makes you think, and this book made me think...and remember.  I give this book an 8 out of 10 Crocodile gods and would suggest it to anybody who remembers a playroom without a screen.  Happy Reading Everybody!
What kind of games did you play growing up?  Do you think kids play differently today?  Do I have a valid point, or am I just old?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Middle Grade Not Just For The Kids

This last week of reading has been a tough one for me.  I have had weird days where I have no reading time, then insomniac nights where all I have is time.  Usually on my nights of insomnia I at least can read to my hearts content.  For some reason this week all of my books suck...even books I have read before and loved.  I'm really really not sure what the deal was, but I would get through a couple pages and then realized that I had not really comprehended what was on the page and would have to reread it again.  Eventually I gave up on my current books and randomly chose a Middle Grade book on my ereader that I have had on their for a while.  Lo and behold this was the answer to all of my problems.  I ripped through it, loved it mmore on that in a later post) and felt so much better.  I then promptley picked up my other books and amazingly I was able to concentrate and enjoy them again.  As I have the unfortunate tendancy to analyze everything, including my own reading habits, I looked back over my reading history and have found that every time I get stuck I tend to go to a Middle Grade book to get recentered.  Upon further probing...I'm still not 100% sure of the
reason it works so well, but I have a few theories.  I think one of the best things about Middle Grade books is that they tend to be more to the point and simple (in a good way) then some of the overly complicated adult books, or the angsty teen books.  Usually the problems the kids in these books face are a more realistic and direct issue that makes sense.  These books are usually able to provide pure magic, or love, or play, or fun or whatever it is a good Middle Grade author is trying to get across because they don't have to worry about all the extra stupid stuff the older crowd does.  This is not to say the stories are dumb, or that the plots or the kids in the books don't deal with's just that if written well, their outlook is so's more...argh...I don't know, it's just different.  I think another reason I enjoy Middle Grade books is that I had a great childhood.  I have some fabulous memories of growing up, and as much as I truley love my life now, sometimes it is nice to go back to those days and relive it through my books.  Ok meandering post that probably applies only to me over :-)  Hopefully I can get my reading groove back, but if not I have plenty more Middle Grade books to fill the gaps.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ummm...Hmmm....I've Got Nothing

Not sure if it's 'cause I've got a bit of a cold, or that I'm tired, or I'm just blah, but I can't think of a post today.
Hopefully I'll get my groove back next week and be able to dazzle you all with my brilliance :-)  Until then HAPPY READING EVERYBODY!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

So Many Holmes

Baby Sis being the wonderful human being she is made sure that I had a new book for my birthday.  We not only share a love of reading, chocolate and The Gilmore Girls, but we also both love our boy Sherlock Holmes (and his buddy Watson).  In that spirit the book she so generously bewstowed upon me (I'm using my big girl words today) is the short story collection Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets edited by David Thomas Moore.  It was very different then I thought it was going to be, but once I got used to it I found several stories that I really enjoyed.
A Woman's Place by Emma Newman - Mrs. Hudson plays the pivotal role in this story.  We learn a fascinating secret about our ever present housekeeper that involves both Holmes and Moriarty.  This slight Sci-Fi twist on a typical Holmsian tale is the perfect vehical to show just how important Mrs. Hudson is.

A Study in Scarborough by Guy Adams - This story was my baby sis's favorite in the collection and I have to admit when I first started reading it, I wasn't impressed...but buy the end WOW!  I can't tell you any more, because as much as I love spoilers, you have to read this one for yourself.

The Final Conjuration by Adrian Tchaikovsky - This one seemed to really embody the spirit of this anthology.  In this story, Holmes is conjured to help out a magician in another world.  Despite the magical nature of this other world, Holmes logic still prevails.

The Innocent Icarus by James Lovegrove - I love stories like this one that keep our characters and settings familiar, but add just a bit of a twist.  In this case it is the evolution of various abilities in humans such as invincibility, flight, and speed.  The best part is that Holmes actually has no added abilities and accepts this by honing his wits.

All the Single Ladies by Gini Koch - Wooohoooo an awesome story where Holmes is a suave, competent, clever woman.  This story is told in modern times and gives us the meeting of Holmes and Watson in a throughly Homsian case.  Love this one!
The best and worst part of this collection is the mindset in which I had to be in to read it.  I am so used to Sherlock Holmes stories being a different version of his various cases.  I have read these set in various times and places, but always in the setting of a case.  This collection focused more on the personality of Holmes and Watson, many of these stories either did not involve a case, or the case took a back seat to the setting and story of the actual characters.  Overall, once I mentally switched gears I really enjoyed the majority of the collection and would recommend it to fans of Sherlock Holmes, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and genre mixing.  I give this collection 7 out of 10 blue beauties.
What is your favorite version of Holmes and Watson?  Why do you think the Holmesian genre is so adaptable?  Why does everybody want to make Holmes so depressed?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Book Got Back

One of the most important parts of book shopping is the back of the book.  It should give you enough information to intrigue you to at least open it up, or to decide it is probably not for you, or at least let you know if you have read it or not before.  To be honest that is a lot to ask a few sparse paragraphs.  I have spent many hours in various bookstores with a pile of books just reading the backs trying to decide if I should proceed to the second phase of reading the first chapter before I decide to buy or not.  To this end (keeping in mind that a the essential briefness of the back blurb) it peeves me to no end when the description of the book has NOTHING to do with the actual book.  For example the back of Dragonsinger says "A well-thought-out sequal to Dragonsong about the planet Pern and the apprentice harper Menolly, Mcaffrey's fantasy celebrates the power of music.  At Harper Hall, the music conservatory on Pern, Menolly is initially unaware of the extent of her own powers, since, due to her sex her musical skill had been suppressed in her homeland.  Moreover, she encounters hostility because all of Pern's other harpers-who are more powerful then kings in a world where music literally controls minds - are men.  Gradually, she gains confidence with the help of new friends, teachers, and nine of the planet's rare fire lizards who themselves are excellent singers with mysterious powers....The transformation of Menolly from a terrified outcast to a woman secure within herself is skillfully handled, making her a sympathetic character with whom many readers will identify." - School Library Jouranal
This blurb that the publishers chose for the back of the book makes it sound like music is a magic power that "literally" controls minds.  This book has no magic in it what so ever, in fact the whole point of the Pern series is to have a "fantasy" world that is more sci-fi then anything and magic is not a part of that (I wish people would learn the definition of the term literally).  I understand that it is hard to sum up an entire book, especially a series without giving everything away in such a short space, but would it be to much to ask for it to at least be accurate?  All of that aside, I still rely heavily on the back of books to help me make a determination on what to buy, and have had much success, so I guess I shouldn't complain to much.  Thanks for letting me rant.  Happy Reading Everybody!  Let me know your most inconsistant experiance with the back of a book.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hot Tamales

It's that time of year again!  The time where my Hubbin comes home and say's "soooooo there is work thing next week and they want tamales".  Now this does not surprise me at all 'cause homemade tamales are AWESOME.  I also like making tamales because they are a part of my Hubbin's culture and family tradition.  A couple of years ago he convinced his Mom to teach us how to make them and we have been pulling them out a couple of times a year ever since.  We like to make ours with my amazing carnitas and the DHP salsa his parents make fresh on their farm.
Growing Up with Tamales
It is fun to be part of a tradition like the kinds I read about in my books.  A lot of world building, culture, family tradition and setting is told through the types of food that is common, or passed down through out the families in some of my favorite stories.  These types of traditions, when used in stories help us know when and where we are.  I am so glad that I get to be part of this tamale tradition...mostly 'cause I get to eat them when I'm done :-)  Now I've got to go get another batch in the steamer so I can have a couple or ten while I start my next book!  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Beating Paper Heart

Hello all, I've finally gotten a bit of sleep and feel a bit more coherent, so I thought I would ramble about a book I finished while on duty the other night.  The book is called The Paper Magician by Charlie Holberg and is the first book in a series.  I had picked it up after reading about it in some random place and decided to read it 'cause I was in the mood for a little magic. Was the book magic?  First as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Ceony is a little pissed off because she wanted to be a Smelter.  What is a Smelter you ask, good question.  A Smelter is a person who works with metal in a magical way.  You see in this world (which is set in Victorianish England) people who posses the gift of magic can bond to a man made object (glass, metal, paper, plastic ect.) and either manipulate or enchant it.  A person can bond to any man made medium, but once bonded a person cannot change mediums.  Ceony, who has finished her year of arduous magic training had her heart set on becoming a Smelter, but do to a balance being needed was assigned to learn the art of Folding, which is the enchanting of paper.  Ceony feels that paper does not give a person much substance to work with and is feeling quit petulant about being stuck as the apprentice of one of the few Folders left.  She is nominally impressed when Magician
Thane (who turns out to be much younger then expected) demonstrates some of the more interesting things that can be done with paper, such as bringing origami birds and frogs to life, making it snow paper snow that is actually cold and producing a whole garden of flowers.  Ceony (who also cooks) starts to realize there might be more to Folding then she first realized.  Mg. Thane starts her training right away and Ceony takes to it quit readily.  Mg. Thane secures her affections when he makes her a little paper dog that looks like the one she had to leave behind.  One day after coming home from a mysterious trip, Mg. Thane is attacked by his ex-wife Lira who is an Excisor, which a person who uses human flesh to do magic (the thinking that a human is technically made by another human being and therefore a "man made" material).  This type of magic is seen as dangerous and criminal as it usually involves the maiming and/or killing of another human being.  Lira takes the magicians heart and Ceony saves him temporarily by replacing it with a Folded Heart. Ceony follows Lira and gets stuck inside Mg. Thane's heart.  As she tries to find her way out she goes through the four chambers and literally gets to see everything inside Mg. Thane's heart.  At the end of her journey, a figment of Mg. Thane teaches her some extra magic and she uses it to defeat Lira.  Upon returning home with Mg. Thanes heart, she saves him and asks to stay on as his apprentice.  She realizes that after her journey through his heart she not only knows him better then any other person, but realizes she loves him.  He agrees to keep her on and realizes it may go further then that, but they take it one day at a time.
This was a solid little book that gave a good story, an interesting premise and a bit of magic.  The plus's to this book are mostly in it's characters.  Ceony is a very believable girl, who has had her share of ups and downs, but understands she needs to work to overcome them.  She is not perfect, but she is not dramatically flawed either, just a normal young woman, who happens to have magic.  Mg. Thane is a quiet, concise man who has just enough of a sense of humor to make him a likable human being.  There are other characters who also hit the non-extreme spot quit perfectly, making this an almost homey read when you are not battling flesh using magicians.  I liked all the examples of the magic one could use paper for, everything from the delicate origami birds to the precise cutting and folding of a chain of protection.  I think that my favorite part of paper magic was the ability to read a book with enough emotion to make the words form pictures above the book!  How cool would that be if it
was real!!!!!  I do wish that the rules of this magic world were a bit more explained.  For instance I understood that magic could only be done with man made objects and materials, but at what point is something man made?  Flowers for example are natural...but what about a bouquet of flowers?  Is that man made?  If pulping wood into paper counts, or humans being man made counts...then pretty much everything should be on the table right?  A few of the other magics were touched on briefly, but not in any real detail.  I enjoyed Ceony's journey through Mg. Thanes heart, the various chambers that housed his loves, his wants, his doubts, it all made a wonderful sort of sense.  Over all the story was good, the characters were great, but I wanted much more world building.  The book was less about the magic and more about the immediate story, which was well done, but I wanted more world building. I love stories about using ordinary things as magic and really wanted more of that in this book.   I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series and hopefully the world will start to flesh out.  I give this book 7 out of 10 origami frogs and recommend it to anybody looking for a quick feel good story with a little magic.
What medium would you work with?  Do you find origami as magical as I do?  Do you find it ironic that humans are considered 'manmade"?

Friday, November 14, 2014

72 Down 12 To Go

Been running my hinney off since Monday and now just want to pass out.
See you all on Monday.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Hoarder

I DID IT!!!!!!  I didn't think I could get it done, but I did.  I reorganized my entire book collection. It is now uniforminzed (still a real word).

It took some rum, some patience, and some extra bookshelves, but it is done.  I will post "after" pictures in a little bit, but I'm a wee bit exhausted.  Now off to read all my newly discovered books!
Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

College, Classics, and Quotes

In my perusing used book stores lately, I have been lucky to come across some older books that are much harder to find in the traditional book store.  One of these books was Tam Lin by Pamela Dean one of the Fairy Tale series edited by Terri Windling (whom I ADORE).  The story is based on the Scottish poem The Ballad of Tam Lin, which being one of my favorites mad this a very intriguing book.  What did I think of this ambitious work?  Well first, as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Janet Carter is starting college at Blackstock College, a fictional school in Minnesota.  She has wanted to go there since she was young as her father is a professor there.  She meets her roommates, Molly, a fellow book lover and Biology major, and Tina, a more pedestrian type who is also a Biology major.  Janet herself is an English Major.  The book follows Janet through out all four years of her college career and focuses on her classes and her and her roommates relationship's with a group of beautiful, yet odd students.  The girls all end up in relationships with various members of the group and all endure various problems while in them.  A lot of the book is just about Janet's classes, her love of books, and her various strange interactions with various people on campus.  There is also an allusion to a ghost of a girl who discovered she was pregnant and killed herself, an act which was duplicated years later by a second student upon learning she herself was pregnant. We also see various professor's and advisers who have a weird sort of control over various staff members and students.  Eventually Janet breaks up with her distant, yet smart and funny boyfriend Nick and ends up with his much more human seeming friend Thomas and after a single night with him, despite precautions, ends up pregnant.  After much convelutedness we finally get the story of what is going on with this mysterious group.  The Faerie Queen and her cohorts have gotten bored with living in their realm and have come out, along with some of the humans who live with them, yet never age.  They have decided for some reason that this little Midwestern college is a good place to hang out.  We learn that almost every student the three girls have encountered is one of the ageless humans and that they have been around so long that some of them even knew Shakespeare!  The exception to all of this is Thomas.  Thomas is a normal human, who stole one of the Faerie Queens horses and became her tithe to Hell, something the faeries have to pay every seven years.  According to Thomas this has played out many times over the years, and the only way to be saved is to have a pregnant lover hold on to him as he changes forms.  Janet is at first incredulous, and then accepting as it actually explains several odd occurrences.  She agrees to keep the baby and saves Thomas in the traditional manner.  The story ends with the Faerie Queen stating that since their was no tithe, the next time they will take two.
This is one of those types of books that grows on you the more you think on it...or at least it did for me.  Originally I did not like it very much at all.  It is very convoluted, slow and the author comes across very pretentious with all of her babble about the classic literature.  She has a tendency for her characters to speak whole paragraphs to each other in obscure quotes from books that only a professor of classic literature, or somebody who is obsessed with them would ever be able to recognize.  This makes the story very difficult to follow on occasion.  The author for some reason felt the need to describe every building and layout of the campus multiple times, even ones that had nothing to do with the plot.  A lot of what the characters did and said was vague at best, and confusing at worst.  All of this leads to a long, slow read, that leaves the reader frustrated.  The other problem was I am very familiar with the story of Tam Lin, and I still could not figure out where the story was going, I can't imagine somebody not familiar with the ballad trying to follow the plot.  On the other hand, the story of Janet and her roommates and their college experience was fairly accurate, especially for the era (the early 1970's).  The uncertainty, the finding oneself, the exhausting course load, the trying to get along with all the various personality types, all very familiar to the college crowd.  In that sense it was a very simple, girl goes to college and survives the experience type of story.  When you put the two together, you get a story about a girl and her roommates and mysterious friends, (most of whom speak in forms and ways that would never happen in the real world) trying to survive college, with the occasional fae experience.  The action only really picks up near the end of the book, culminating in essentially the whole ballad being played out literally for us at the very end. I felt like this book would have been much better if it had been shorter and a bit more to the point. After all of that you may ask why I feel the book grows on the reader.  Well now that I have finished the book, and it has been several days, I still feel it is pretentious and slow and a bit confusing...but it also has a way of staying in your brain.  All the mentions of various books and the character obvious passion for them have me ready to quit work and just stay home and read Chaucer, Dante, Austen and of course Shakespeare.  The idea of the fae running around, living everyday life is always and intriguing idea and has me day dreaming about meeting up with my own personal otherworlder in various situations.  I'm not doing a very good job explaining what I mean, overall this book was frustrating, but I am glad I read it.  I would recommend it to anybody who has a degree in classic literature, has a bit of patience, and understands that a person can like a book much more after they have put it down for a while.  I give it 6 out of 10 thundering steeds.
Have you ever liked a book better a couple days after you have finished it?  Is it possible to not really enjoy the reading of the book, but still enjoy it living in your head?  Is it possible for me to ever really get what I mean from my head to the page?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Book Therapy

After a VERY long week, me and two of my fellow EMT girls got together to try and insert a breather into our hectic life.  We spent some time eating, drinking and rehashing all of our recent calls like we normally do, but this time it just wasn't helping like it normally does.  One of the girls suggested we hit 2nd and Charles as we were right next to it all ready, and upon learning one of us had never been there hightailed it across the street as fast as we could.  Upon arrival at this utopia, I instantly headed for the classics, I have just finished a book (more on that next post) that set me
craving the classics and so I decided to update my shelf.  The other two drifted over and what ensued was a two hour discussion on when and where we had read certain books, what they meant to us, why we loved, hated or eh'ed them.  We proceeded to buy each books that we thought they should read and also added to our own shelves.  It was awesome, and in all honesty one of the best therapy sessions I have had in a long time.  It is so great to have friends who love to read, love to discuss, and love to share.  The most shocking part of this whole trip was we did not discuss work, or the fire station or anything even remotly medical related the whole time we were in the store, or on the way home and if you ask any of our significant others...or just anybody who has spent more then 10 minutes with any of us, they will tell you that NEVER happens, that we are ALWAYS talking about our calls and patients (in a totally HIPAA compliant way of course).  It was exactly what I needed and just goes to show that books are seriously the worlds most perfect things.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, November 7, 2014

November's To Do List

Howdy Folks, how was your Halloween?  Was your October as joyous as mine?  Are you ready to head into the holiday season?  I have a lot to look foward too in the next couple months, but first their are a couple of things I would like to get done (in between work, volunteering and watching ALL the Gilmore Girls of course) before I drag out the Christmas decorations.
1) I desperatly need to organize my bookshelves.  When I first moved to my current residence I carefully put my books into pretty arrangements, some by author, some by appearance.  As time went on I aquirred more and more books and even with my sweet Hubbin building me shelves in every available space, I have resorted to stuffing books in every space I can find.  To that end I plan on pulling out every book I own, piling them on the floor and figuring out a new organization's gonna be a job, but I think it will be worth it.

2)  Last time I was at the bookstore, I had a moment of confusion because I could not remember if I had gotten certain books or not.  With my buying books at various stores and online I have no idea what I actually have.  To this end I need to go through my books and e-readers and figure out what I have and what I need to buy.

3) Along with figuring out what books I own, I also want to uniformize (that's a word I swear) my hard copy books,  For series I want them to all have the same version/type of cover.  For singles there are a couple where I know there is a cover I like better and would look great on my shelf.  This will require some research, but in the end I think it will be great for my permanent collection.

4)  As difficult as this is to say...I need to get rid of some of my books.  Well get rid of is harsh, I need to find loving homes for a couple of my books that may be happier else where :-)  There are several books I own that I have multiple copies of for various reasons, and once I uniformize my books I will need a place to give the ones I am replacing.  I might cry.

5)  Posting about all of these things will make me have some accountablility and also give me a chance to post pics of all my books.  Plus if I tell him it's for my blog, Hubbin might be less scritchy about me spending even more money on books!
These are my plans...not sure how much I will actually get done, but having goals is always a good idea.  I'm hoping the organization will allow me to get more reading done, and to read more of what I already own.  If you have any organizing tips, extra books, or know somebody who will give a good home to my poor little misfit books let me know.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What's In A Name?

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday, had a minor emergency, but it's all good now.  To make it up to you I have a rambling of one of my favorite plays.  I love reading play, it's the theatre major in me, it takes me back to my stage days and just makes me really happy.  It is also a different way to get a story, everything broken down into scenery, stage directions, and script gives you most of the info you need, but allows you to imagine it any way you want.  Today's play is The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and has long been one of my absolute favorite plays.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
We start with our two main men, Algernon and John discussing a cigarette case that John had left at Algies house.  We learn that up until this point Algie had only known John as Earnest and John confesses that in the country he is John Worthing J.P., staid, respectable and normal owner of a country estate.  When things get to boring in the country, he tells his household, including his young and pretty ward Cecily Cardew that he must go to town and deal with his fictitious brother Earnest, whom while completely made up, manages to get into all kinds of trouble.  To this end when he gets to town, John is known as Earnest and lives a much more extravagant life style.  After hearing all of this Algie, who is a bit of a lackadaisical sort, decides he wants to meet miss Cardew.  John is
vehemently opposed to this, as he does not thing that Algie is a suitable mate for his ward.  While in town, in the guise of Earnest, John has been courting the glamorous Gwendolyn Fairfax and asks her hand in marriage. She readily agrees, but her overbearing mother the formidable Lady Bracknell who puts her foot down when she learns that Earnest/John has no real history other then he was found in a handbag in a train station and was adopted by Mr. Worthing.  John decides to go home and tell his household that his wayward brother has died and he will no longer need to go to the city.  Algy meanwhile decides to utilize his own fictitious friend Bunbury, who he claims is an invalid in the county to go pay a visit to the young Ms. Cardew.  We find our little Cecily in the garden, writing in her diary and filling her head with all sorts of romantic thoughts.  Algie, pretending to be Earnest arrives and woo's Ms. Cardew and secures a promise of engagement from her.  Ms. Fairfax arrives to talk to John...whom she still believes to be Earnest and runs into Ms. Cardew.  One of the funniest exchanges I have ever read occurs, with much confusion over to who is engaged to who, and which Earnest is which.  In the end the truth is revealed and both John and Algie officially change their names to Earnest to please their lovers and they all go off to live absurdly and happily ever after.
I cannot do justice to the absolute absurdity and humor of this play justice.  It takes the most ridiculous aspects of society and turns them into fodder for the audience to laugh at.  It is a fairly simple play, as in it has a minimum of characters and settings and is very easy to follow.  I have seen this play performed many times, been in it a couple of times, and even like the movie version with Colin Firth (of course Colin Firth is probably the reason I like anything I watch).  I love stories about
mistaken identity, when the premise is plausible, and while silly, all the events in this play could technically happen.  I also love love love the dialogue.  It is the height of...well I know I keep using this word, but it's the best one, absurdity.  The back and forth between Ms. Cardew and Ms. Fairfax is hilarious and just insane.  This play is not one about morals, or good and bad, or a great love overcoming all odds.  It is about a bunch of people who think they are smarter then they actually are, who get themselves into minor trouble, and then quickly get themselves out again.  All the misunderstandings are almost entirely the fault of the men in tricking the ladies...but also a bit on the ladies for swallowing every single story the men tell them.  There is no real bad guy, no real good guy, just a fun, silly story that highlights certain aspects of a particular society.  I love it.  I give it 9 out of 10 German Grammer Books.
Do you consider plays as books?  What is your favorite play?  Do I get utterly incomprehensible when I get gushy?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Making Bathtubs Reading Friendly

After an insane week/weekend and another crazy crazy week ahead all I want to do is slip into a nice hot bath and read.  Unfortunatly I have a bit of a clumsy side and tend to drop my wine and books into the water on occasion.  Here are a couple nifty inventions to help with my problem.
Bamboo Bathtub Caddy
This one is so awesome it even has a none spill spot for my wine!
Wire Bathtub Caddy
This one has lots of little nooks and crannies
Ebonized Tub Caddy
I really like the simple elegance of this one
I am sure my books would appreciate any one of these to keep them out of the water.  So if anybody needs a gift idea for their favorite bookworm...:-)  Until then I will go balance my book on one knee and wine glass on the other and hope for the best.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, November 3, 2014


Can't keep my eyes open...48 hours...soooo tired...
Gonna go see if I can get a page read before I pass out.  Happy Reading Everybody!