Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wordle Roundup

Hello, happy last day of the year to you all.  I always like to take today to look back over the year and reflect on everything that happened both big and small.  I also like to look back over my blog and see which books I rambled on about.  This year I have chosen my favorite one from each of the last twelve months and put it into wordle form, just for something a bit different.  Let me know what you think :-)

A Wizard of Earthsea
I loved this book because it hit all my happy spots and started me on a new series, which has not happened in a very long time.

Saga Vol 1
A family of fairies and badasses, showing that Mamma's are always gonna win...even when nursing.  We need more stories like this that combine family life and...well...having a life

A Different Girl
I liked this book because it made me look at normal, every day things from a completely different perspective.  It was different, just like it's title.

Midnight-Bluelight Special
The second book in the InCryptid series cemented my love for Verity and her entire family.  I love it when the second book lives up to the first

Isaac Asimov's Faeries
An old school collection of old school style fairy tales.  I loved the variety and the feel of the stories in this lovely collection

In the Serpent's Shadow
A book that successfully combines healing, magic, animals, fairy tales, and women's rights is a rare one and should be treasured...even more so when it's a series!

Ancillary Justice
I love a book that makes you think, and this book made me think about a huge number of things.  The plot was a bit convoluted, but it stayed in my brain for a long time after reading it.

The Bards of Bone Plain
This book was sheer and utter magic.  It was like reading a song, or a piece of art, or a wonderful piece of was lovely.

Clockwork Fairy Tales
Fairy tales, steampunk, creativity, traditionalism, actual world building so much cool stuff, crammed into these amazing short stories, definitely worth the read.

The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two
While not as amazingly awesome as the first two, this third book in the series holds it's own and still kindles that feeling of being in a place full of magic and wonder.

The Paper Magician
I love a story that creates magic out of the ordinary.  This book does it twice, once with paper and once with an actual beating heart.

The Thirteen Days of Christmas
This was a doubly cool read as I had been searching for it so long, it's mere presence was like a present.  When it was as fun as I remembered I knew it had to make the list.

Well there it is folks, my list of monthly favorites.  I hope you have enjoyed this year as much as I have, and look forward to a new year with excitement.  Tomorrow I will drag my slightly hung over self out of bed and try and get up my book resolutions.  Until then, tell me what awesome new (or old) books you have read this year.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A Couple Nights At The Museum

Letting my brain have a little break from the holidays, I picked up a book I have had on my shelf FOREVER.  The book is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg a Middle Grade book that has been on my radar for a really really long time.  I am very glad I finally got the opportunity to read it and I will tell all about it, as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Claudia Kincade is feeling under appreciated and stuck so she decides to run away...well not run away so much as run to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Knowing that it will take a lot of money to live in a museum in NYC,  Claudia recruits her little brother Jamie, who is famous for his ability to save money.  The two take their time planning their trip and when they think they have thought of everything, hop on a train.  As soon as they get there, Jamie starts fretting about money and Claudia appoints him treasurer with the final say so about all their purchases.  The two kids go to the museum (when this book was written it was still free to go in) and plan on how to stay after closing.  Their plan works and the two kids end up spending the night a bed that had been carved in the 16th century.  The children spend a couple days and nights in the museum, skulking around, reading everything and carefully eating to conserve their funds.  One day they come across a statue only called Angel and Claudia is instantly enamored.  They read an article about the popularity of the statue and the mystery that surrounds it.  It seems that the statue was bought at an auction for the unheard of low price of 225 from the eccentric Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.  The mystery concerns the artist of the sculpture, it is rumored to be the great Michelangelo, but there is no hard proof.  Claudia decides that they cannot go home until they have uncovered the mystery.  After much studying, library time and frustration the children finally decide that only Mrs. Frankweiler will have the answers and go to visit her.  She gets the children to tell her their story in return for letting them find the proof of Michelangelo's artistry of the Angel.  Claudia, though forbidden from sharing the secret, finally feels as if she is ready to go home.  The children head home, and all is well.
This was a fun, quick little read that hit most of my sweet spots.  The biggest issue with it...well really the only real issue with it, is that it comes across as a bit dated as the events in the book could never ever happen now...but that aside it was pretty awesome.  Right of the bat I identified with Claudia and her yearning to be more, to experience something different, to be extraordinary...but still being to good of a girl to act out to, or be weird to get it.  I also understand her enjoyment of planning things, almost more then the actual experience she is planning.  Both of these sensations were ones I had a lot when I was her age, and it was nice to connect with her so quickly.  Since I am a bit obsessed with NYC lately, and having just visited many of the places in the book, a few months ago, I was pretty happy to read about them.  I want to meet Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and go through her files and read all about what seem to be her numerous adventures.  I want to live in a museum and have all the time in the world to read up on EVERYTHING in the museum and not worry about moving out of peoples way.  Mostly this book was awesome because it made me want to go do things.  It got me excited about a lot of stuff and that is always a good thing in a book.   Like I said it was a pretty quick, straight forward book.  I would recommend it to anybody who has every wanted to run away, live in a museum, or just looking for a nice quick read.  I give it 8 out of ten old paintings of dogs.  Happy Reading Everybody!
How did I not read this book growing up?  If you could "live" anywhere for a week or two where would it be? Who would you choose to come with you (I would pick my Mamma...which completely void the whole point of running away)?

Monday, December 29, 2014


Sooo...I didn't sleep again last night...or the night before...or...well you get the idea.  I have no idea where this insomnia comes from, other then the fact my Mamma and both my sissy's have the same issue.  The plus side to this is a little extra reading, the down side is that my life is so chaotic right now that I need every second of sleep I can get.  Sigh.  That being said, you may have noticed my posting is a wee bit spotty.  Instead of apologizing every couple weeks (though I am sorry) I thought I would make one explanation/apology post to let you know what was up.  I am now a full time EMT (WOOHOO!) and this makes me very happy...tired...but happy.  Before I had a big girl desk job and was able to pretty much post everyday before 9am without fail, now I have to plan ahead and try and get a bunch of posts up in a scheduled format.  This makes it a bit less spontaneous (sad face), but still allows me to run this blog, which I dearly love doing.
Lali (Super Cool Site, go check it out!)
 Essentially it comes down to this, my schedule is not set and some weeks between work and volunteering I can put it 80-90 hours in a 7 day period.  These shifts vary in times and length, sometimes I work a 10 hour day shift, some days a 24 hour shift and sometimes, like next weekend they go for 45 hours.  I will try and be as consistent as possible as I love love love writing this blog, but if I miss a couple days here and there, this is why.  I am continuing to upgrade the pages, and Hubbin is working on some super cool ideas on how to make this blog super easy, super informative, super book buying, super linky, and just super cool, so I am excited about that.  I also changed the appearance of the blog for winter, you know 'cause I have so much time on my hands :-)  Ok I'm gonna try and snag a couple hours of sleep before I head back to the station...or maybe I'll read a couple of chapters instead :-)  Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Naked Nutcracker

Soooo, I was totally gonna do this post pre-Christmas, but life has interfered so I guess it will now be a post-Christmas post to extend the holiday cheer.  The book is Winterspell by Claire Legrand and is supposed to be a take on my beloved The Nutcracker.  How did this book stack up to expectations?  Well to find out, read on, but first, as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Clara Stole is the older daughter of the mayor of New York City and life is not going so well.  Her vibrant, brave, wonderful mother was murdered a year ago and her father has fallen into depressed grieving state.  This has given the mob/gang Concordia even more leverage over the mayor and his affairs.  Clara is left to try and manage her family affairs, and even though her strange godfather Drosselmeyer has been teaching her to fight, and equipped her with knives, Clara cannot find the courage to use this to fend off the unwanted advances of Dr. Victor, or the threats of other members of Concordia.  At Drosselmeyer's unique toyshop, Clara spends time learning fighting skills, and talking to the strange statue of a metal man in the shop.  On Christmas Eve, Clara and her beloved little sister Felicity attempt to keep their father's stock up, help host the annual party.  The party is interrupted by strange, hybrid, giant rat like creatures.  Drosselmeyer uses his strange silver blood to bring to life his clockwork toys long enough for him to partially free the statue from its curse.  Clara discovers that her mother was killed by these creatures and is thoroughly confused and angry.
 Controlling these creatures is a fairy who then proceeds to kidnap Clara's father.  In the aftermath of the chaos, some of the people of Concordia tell Clara if she does not recover her father, they will hurt Felicity.  Clara jumps with the statue-come-to-life into a magical door and arrives in the magical land of Cane.  After some more fighting and strange occurrences, Clara finds out that the metal man is really the cursed prince of Cane, who goes by the name Nicholas.  He was cursed by a human/fairy named Anise and using her mixed blood can control all the metal.  The world of Cane has become twisted and dark, constantly being built and torn down and rebuilt.  As we wander through more chaos we learn that humans had hunted the fairies because they did not understand their magic and when a human king slept with a fairy and had a half-breed baby, that baby grew up to have untold power.  To help the humans, beings called mages (the ones with the silver blood) would bond with the current rulers to help them with their magic.  Anise, not only slaughtered the royalty, but the mages as well, she then took her revenge on all the humans that hunted fairies and has turned them all into terrified second class citizens.  More stuff happens and Clara discovers that her beloved mother was actually a mage of Cane, who escaped to our world when she was sentenced to death for trying to unite fairies and humans.  This makes Clara the only other mixed blood being and gives her, her own special powers.  Nicholas wants to use her to retake his kingdom, and totally betrays her trust.  Clara hooks up with the half fairy queen Anise and finds that she is actually very lonely and wants Clara to stay with her as a companion and partner.  More stuff and things happen and Clara along with her friends save the day and the kingdom and her father.  She goes home to make things right, and then comes back to Cane to be with Nicholas.  And that is the story of Winterspell.
I am a bit prejudice when it comes to the premise of the book as I ADORE the Nutcracker, and to be honest, no story is going to live up to the original, so there was that.  A couple of things really struck me in this book.  The biggest one being how much time we spent with Clara's skin.  She started the book horribly uncomfortable and embarrassed about her own body...which considering the era, and the creepy Dr. Victor I could understand...but then we spent about a third of the book with Clara in various states of undress, in a whole lot of compromising, and/or sensual situations.  I get that being on the cusp of womanhood means lots of exploring, and confusion, and experiencing, but seriously what it actually added to the story, or Clara's character development was in no way proportional to the amount of pages spent on it.  I feel that there was some opportunities missed considering the source material.  There were some definite references to The Nutcracker, Drosselmeyer being the biggest, but also the Prince trapped as a statue/toy, some of the scenes I think tried to tie in some of the various nutcracker dances, but it was missing some of the magic, and some of the creepy dread that the book and ballet both put across.  I also thought the book which clocked in at over 400 pages could have done with some editing and been a much sleeker, more entertaining read at around 250.
 There was some great stuff in the book as well.  I did enjoy that fact that Clara had to develop her own courage for her own reasons.  Even though she had all the training from Drosselmeyer, she did not know how to utilize it in her daily life and had to work at being courageous.   I also very very very much appreciate Anise and Nicholas as multi-dimensional bad and good guys.  Anise, while very cruel, is also a product of her birth and circumstances.  She is constantly trying to make the world into a place where she can be happy, to this end, her fascination with Clara as a potential equal and partner is very understandable and adds a great dimension of soul to what could easily be a cold, cruel baddie...also she has the coolest costumes.  On the flip side Nicholas is not your typical, heroic goody goody good guy.  He is the first to admit he has an extreme hate of fairies that was taught to him from a young age.  He is also able to be ruthless to the beings he feels he needs to use to regain his crown.  I think (and I love this) that in the very end, why Nicholas is "good" and Anise is "bad" is when they both had to choose, weather to continue the hate and cruelty, or to try and bring the country together, Anise could not get past the hate, while Nicholas asked for help and admitted that he had to at least try and be better.  This idea that it is decisions that make a person good or bad and not their inherent nature is a good one.  Overall there were good parts and not so good parts.  The book was a little slow, and a little long for my particular pace and I wanted more magic and less naked.  I give this book a 6 out of 10 sugar pipes.  Happy Reading Everybody!
What story do you know will never be adapted to your liking?  Do you think I'm prudish for not wanting to read 46 almost naked, almost sexy fun times scenes in a non sexy fun times book?  How do you feel about holiday stories after the 25th?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Original Christmas Story

Luke 2 New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Twas The Night Before Christmas...Finally!

This year a little somethig different, a few books inspired by various lines in A Visit From St. Nicholas by Clement Clark Moore.  Let's see if this works shall we?
Of Mice and Men
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
Visions of Sugar Plums
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
Shutter Island
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
Brother Eagle, Sister Sky
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
Vixen: A Reindeer Tale
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
Hurricane Dancers
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
Halil the Pedlar: A Tale of Old Stambul
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
Briar Rose
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
Garfield: Potbelly of Gold
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
Jolly the Elf
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
Unicorns are Jerks
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
Twas the Night Before Christmas
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
So that is a lot of crazy unrelated books, but who knows your favorite might be among them :-)  For everybody who celebrates it MERRY CHRISTMAS, and for those of you who don't HAPPY WINTER SEASON!  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Random Christmas Bookyness

Finally got our Christmas shopping done in an EPIC marathon this weekend.  Here is the results of our quest for the perfect gifts of awesomeness while still staying on a budget.

Turkish Delight
We found this great candy store called Lolli and Pops (I am a huge fan of candy stores!).  Hubbin handed this to me saying, "Isn't this a thing in one of your favorite books?, you should get it for your book shelf."  One of the many reasons I love Hubbin, also my Chronicles of Narnia now have their own decorations.  
Bacon Soda
Of course if my bookshelf gets a decoration, Hubbin needed something for his "Man Shelf".  This soda is from the same shop as the Turkish Delight and we spent the day shaking our head in joy and disbelief over this wondrous find...and no we haven't tried it yet.
Book Gifts
The whole point of this trip was to get gifts for others, more specifically our five nephews.  This pile of packages are all books for the boys.  We do get them toys, but we pride ourselves in also being the "Book Aunt and Uncle" that send at least one book with every package.  This year the ages range from 2-7 so we got to get a variety this year.
Yep so that is how me and Hubbin shop, we are like two little kids who need constant supervision.  We got sugared up, caffeined up, bought ourselves stuff we like and then proceeded to hit the bookstore TWICE to load up on literary awesomness for our families.  Hope everybody else is getting some reading/shopping time in.  I am off to finish my book so I can ramble about it tomorrow.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, December 19, 2014

All Hail To The Science Rules Of Science

Who's ready for a bit of a break from all of the holiday cheer?   Me too, lets talk about a book instead shall we?  Let's talk about Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire, the third book in the InCryptid series.  Even though I'm still not 100% sure what a Ragnarok is, this was still a pretty cool book.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
In this third book in the InCryptid series, we move away from my favored Verity's storyline and take a peek at her brother Alex.  Alex is a Herpetologist, who when not working at the local zoo, is busy tracking and tagging local cryptid species.  He is busy trying to figure out how to introduce the fricken, a feathered frog that is displacing the native frog population, into the mainstream science world.  As he is doing this, he is also working on a basilisk breeding program, sneaking in a young local lamia to see her cobra fiancee, and trying to keep his kind of sort of Big Cat keeper girlfriend Shelby from finding out about any of this.  All of this is not enough for our friend Alex, he must also solve a spate of murders that are carried out by turning a person to stone.  Alex is concerned that somebody in the local Gorgon community may be to blame.  Eventually we, and Alex learn that Shelby is not a stranger to cryptids, and adds her own Aussie perspective to the game.  She reveals herself after she discovers that Alex's cousin is what is known as a cuckoo, a potentially dangerous and destructive creature that Alex is helping to watch while she recovers from a psychic injury gotten when she helped save Alex's sister Verity.  Many cool things and stuff happen, including lives in danger, history revealed, and a lot of various creatures being introduced.  In the end a twisted gorgon with mixed parentage is to blame for the deaths, he is caught and neutralized.  The gorgon community is shaken, but endures.  Alex and Shelby hang out for hopefully another adventure.

This book is pretty cool, I loved the first two InCryptid books, I loved Verity and was very hopeful I would love the series as it moved on to Alex, and I did.  In spite of the bare bones synopsis there is a ton of really great stuff in this book.  To start with Alex is very much not Verity.  You can tell he was raised in the same family, but his personality is all his own.  His chosen profession is pretty cool all on its own, but when you add the cryptid element, it just is awesome.  Shelby is ok, she is not my favorite character to grace this series, but she is tolerable.  I ADORE Alex's grandparents, and the way they deal with life.  I also very much enjoyed seeing what happened to their cuckoo cousin Sarah and watching her strange road to recovery.  It was cool to see a bit of a community relationship between a sapient cryptid group and the Price family, the tenuousness, the interpersonal and inter species issues, all asked some great questions of society as a whole.  I did not completely understand the mistrust that the gorgon community had for Alex as he and his family have done nothing but help them survive and thrive, so that was a bit frustrating.  The series continues to explore what is considered mainstream and what is considered "not normal" and the implications when one crosses over to the other. The need for certain species to live in hiding, while others can live in the open, the necessity to hide certain attributes, the difference between animal and sentient is all explored and questioned in these books and I love it.  The Aeslin mice keep me entertained as always and I hope they continue to make appearances in every book.  I am liking this moving on to the various Price family members and cannot wait until I get to read Antimony's story, 'cause even though we have never officially met, she is my favorite.  In case you can't tell I really enjoyed this book and will continue happily reading this series.  I give it 8 out of 10 church griffins.
What kind of cryptid do you wish was real?  Who gets to choose what is "normal"?  Am I getting really lazy with my synopsis's?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Classics

Every year I try and get at least one new Christmas book to get me in the spirit with various levels of success.  Lucky for me there are some classics that hit the spot every time.  Here are my go to Christmas Classics when I need to get in the mood.
The Bible
The original Chrismtas story is always my favorite, and always reminds me to put everything in perspective and celebrate what is really important.
A Christmas Carol
To me this is the one story that says Christmas every single time I read it.  It has everything I love about Christmas...including ghosts!
Twas the Night Before Christmas
The sheer number of variations on this poem make it a classic any time, anywhere
The Gift of the Magi
True love and the true spirit of Christmas combine in this book of how important it is to think of others
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
My favorite Chrismas story, always and forever :-)
If you are feeling a bit Grinchy or you seem to be getting called Scrooge a lot, pick up one of these books and you will be sure to get into the Holiday mood.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Spoiled Already

I am one lucky girl, look what I have already gotten for Christmas!
Book Pendant
From my Mamma this awesome book pendant to wear or decorate my bookshelves with (not the exact one, but my camera is being dumb today)
Jane Austen Classic Book Collection
This awesome collected Jane Austen from my lil redhat (forever) at my Fire Station
A gift to myself, from myself...along with some bookstore and coffee time.
So far this is shaping up to be a fantastic Christmas for me, now to go hit the stores and finish my shopping for others.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Literary Themes of Christmas Trees

In my eternal search for all things bookish...and my love of Christmas, I have stumbled across these inspirational trees.
ARC Tree
This tree is decorated with items made from ARC's...which is about the only way I could justify tearing up a book.  Check out the rest of the post for close-ups, it is really well done.
Mad Hatter Tree
I am loveing this Mad Hatter tree inspired by Alice in Wonderland
Not a traditional tree, but this is an awesome representation of the the White Tree of Minas Tirith from The Return of the King,  and would be cool for the non-traditional types. 
Narnia Tree
Once again click the link to get all the details.  I love the lampost topper as for me that is one of the most memorable book images I have ever read.
Harry Potter Tree
Yay Harry Potter!  In the books the importance of Christmas makes me smile, and this tree captures the book and the spirit perfectly.
Oddly enough I could not find any Jane Austen guess I know what I'm doing next year :-)  send me pics and tell me about your literary inspired tree!  Happy Reading Everybody!