Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On Solid Ground Again

I made it home finally!  I have a 102 degree temp, an ear infection, and I miss my boys like crazy, but I am home!  I had a great trip filled with laughing, playing, and reading.  Here are some of the highlights of my Chicago trip.

Lil G is reading now!!!!  I am a super super proud aunt.  I got to snuggle with him while he read to me from his level 5 book.  He could also read some of the basic words from the aquarium signs, which showed him an actual application of his reading skills, which made him very excited and me want to cry with proud happiness.
L Bub is also very into books, any time a grown up sits down for any reason he runs to his book shelf, grabs a book and sits on your lap all expectant.  He can point out pictures knows characters.  It's really cool to see a kid so young, so into books.
Curious George
The biggest part was our trip to one of my favorite places in the world, the Shedd Aquarium!  I was trying to temper my expectations of a 2 and 6 year old's reactions.  I figured the older one would have fun for a while, and the younger one would not understand what was going on, but I was pleasantly surprised when both boys were over the moon excited the whole time.  Lil G (6) was able to read and learn about the fish and animals and would gently lead his little brother around by the hand.  L Bub is apparently a fan of fish and would sit on the floor and wouldn't leave until he had poinred out EVERY fish in EVERY tank :-)  We hit the gift shop in the end for some toys and books, which made me the favorite, but the whole experience was just awesome.
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean
My last day with the boys was marked by reading, playing, egg dying and the aquisition of even more books from Nana (my Mamma).  It was a lot of fun to spoil the boys, and being a bit spoiled by Mamma myself was very cool.
Shedd Aquarium
I love visiting with my family, I love traveling, I love watching the little boys grow up and explore their world, I love reading with them to expand their horizons and I can't wait to do it all again.  Happy Reading Everybody! (All the books I put in the blog are ones we got on this trip)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Leaving On A Jet Plane!

Alrighty folks,  I'm off on another trip, this time through the puffy clouds.  I am super stoked and have a bag full of books to get me through my journey.
That being said, posting will be spotty at best until I get back next week, but when I do, so much good stuff!!!!!  Happy Reading Everybody!!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I was in the mood for a quick read and as such picked up the second book in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood.  What did I think?  I'll tell you, but first as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Ms. Penelope Lumley has just received a letter from her beloved former headmistress Miss Mortimer inviting her to London.  Ms. Lumley approaches the flighty and shallow Lady Constance Ashton for permission, when the Lady decides the whole household should spend a season in London.  When Ms. Lumley tells Miss Mortimer she is able to come, Miss Mortimer sends her a very unusual guidebook with odd illustrations and not so helpful hints.  The three children (who only occasionally howl at the moon) and their governess arrive in London and get promptly lost.  They soon meed up with a delightful young man by the name of Simon who helps them find their way and a mysterious Gypsy who tells them that the Hunt is On.  Ms. Lumley settles her charges into their nursery while the chattering Lady Ashton anticipates all the social events she will be invited too.  Alas the next day the only mail is for Ms. Lumley, which does not make the Lady happy at all.  Ms. Lumley goes to see Ms. Mortimer and she is warned that somebody may be out to do harm to the three children and that she needs to keep her own hair dyed...presumably to keep her mysterious resemblance to the children at a minimum.  She is also advised by her former headmistress to not delve into the mysteries of her own parents too closely.  Ms. Lumley heads home to find the children missing and has a bit of a
panic after her unsettling talk with Miss Mortimer.  Ms. Lumley finds her charges safe and sound with Simon and Judge Quinzy, one of the nasty men at the disastrous holiday party from the last book.  The children had been to the zoo, and to the delight of Ms. Lumley had mostly behaved themselves. Lord and Lady Ashton are to go to the opening of a new play about pirates (with the Lady Ashton getting together the most unusual dress), but Lord Ashton has to bow out at the last moment due to an illness that seems to make him scratch and howl.  The children and their governess go to the play which ends with the children on stage chasing a parrot.  They in turn are then chased by the pirate actors for some unknown reason.  They end up in the hidden gallary that Ms. Lumley had read about in her guidebook and find a most unusual picture of Agatha Swanburne, the founder of the school Ms. Lumley was left at by her parents.  They all make it back home eventually and Lady Ashton thoroughly embarrassed about the scathing reviews her dress received decides they should all head home.  Ms. Lumley finally puts two and two together and discovers that the full moon and Lord Ashtons mysterious illness coincide and that must account for the howling she heard in the last book.  Miss Mortimer sends her a letter letting her know that the guidebook she sent Miss Lumley was not a guidbook at all, but a secret post card collection of sorts from her parents.  All of this sums up to this, there is an unknown curse on the three "wolf-children" going back before they were born, Lord Ashton has a mysterious illness connected to the full moon and howling, Ms. Lumley does have parents and hair that matches the three children which she must keep hidden, and there is a bunch of stuff that is somehow connected that we will hopefully learn soon.
Ok so that was longer then expected, especially for such a short book, but there you have it.  My thoughts on this book are varied.  I again LOVED the children and their mix of wildness and extreme intelligence.  I enjoy the love they have for their governess and how willing they are to do whatever it is she asks.  Ms. Lumley remains a resourceful, optimistic young woman who is able to keep her head and adapt to most situations.  I appreciated the authors use of words, and her way of defining them in a most entertaining matter before applying them to the case at hand.  I imagine if I were a younger reader I would be glad of those definitions.  I am not enjoying the long dragged out mystery of the children and Ms. Lumely.  I think I would not mind it as much if their was a decent plot for each book, but it seems the "plot" is just more of the mystery.  I am hoping that at the end of the series I can look at it as a whole and find a good story.  In the meantime I will continue to enjoy the characters, which to me is the strength of the whole series, and hope to get some answers soon.  I give this book 6 out of 10 eye patches and will eventually get to the next book.
What do you think of drawn out mysteries?  How amusing do you find precocious children? What is your family curse?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Time To Head Outside!

Ahhhh Spring is in the air and it is finally warm enough to head outside to read.  I love reading outside, the sun on my face, the fresh breezes through my hair, the smell of growing things everywhere, adds the perfect atmospheric touch to my spring reading.  Here are some other people/places who obviously agree with me :-)

Outdoor Library
This is the coolest idea ever...I guess I know the next thing on my literary bucket list!
Book Tree
I love the idea of being able to walk up to a tree and "pick" a book
Hollow Log Shelves
I love this mix of urban and nature and of course books!
I love love love this, it's like a bookshelf is growing out of the ground
I see nothing wrong with that :-)

Now that I have added these outdoor libraries to by literary bucket list, I must be off to see if I can't find some books hidden in the trees.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, March 23, 2015

What Am I Reading?

Myth or legend?  Novel or novella?  Comic or graphic novel?  Sometimes it can get difficult to classify the type of book/story I am reading, so I did some research.  Since I like to babble ad nauseum about things I discover, here is what I found out.
Myth - A myth tends to be a world view story, usually a story that explains something unexplained.  We see this most often in creation myths, seasonal myths, and attributing courses of nature to gods, demi-gods and the ilk. These tend to be of a more religious nature.

Legend - A legend is usually told as historical fact.  As in "my great-great-grandfather once..."  These tend to have a basis in fact, but may have been exaggerated, or embellished as time goes on.

Folk Tale/Fairy Tale - These stories tend to be regional, set in and around local areas with local flavor.  These stories also tend to have an element of magic, or magical beings in them. These tend to be more magical then religious in nature.

Fiction - This is a story that is made up, at least in part.  There may be some partial truths, or actual fact in them, but the story itself is actually untrue.

Non-Fiction - This would be the opposite of fiction.  These books are supposed to be completely true, thing biographies, how-to books, histories and so forth.  These books may have opinions in them, but on the whole are based in fact.

Short Story - A short story is meant to be read in one sitting and is usually between 1,000 and 20,000 words with most being between 4,000 and 7,500 words.  These stories tend to focus on a single element of a story instead of the big three (story, world building and characters).

Novella - This is a story in length between a short story and a novel.  In general a novella is no more then 40,000 words.  A novella offers more opportunity for development, but often focuses on a single element, with little to no sub-plot.

Novel - Here we have our full length book, usually over 40,000 words and have a fully developed plot, characters, world and sub-plots.  This is where we see multiple idea's fully fleshed out.  These tend to be the most common of "books" that are read.

Graphic Novel - Even though these are called "novels" they tend to be shorter then your average one.  Graphic Novels are classified by a story told by a "comic" style illustration with the story told more through visuals then words.
These are the basic definitions of the various types of books/stories one might read.  Of course with the zillions of books out there, there is bound to be some overlap, and some books that do not fall in the standard definitions.  All of this to say, when I use these terms in my posts, this is in general what I mean.  Hope this is helpful to some of you.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Darwinist Vs Clankers

If this rambling is even more rambly and incoherent then normal, just blame it on the 36 straight hours I just worked...I'm gonna blame a lot of things on that :-).  I did however find time to finish a couple of books, so lets ramble shall we.  Today I will ramble about Goliath by Scott Westerfeld, the last book in the Leviathan trilogy.  This conclusion to our steampunk/alternate history series packed in a lot of stuff so lets get right to it.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
When we left our exiled Austrian Prince Alek and his friend midshipman Dylan Sharp (who is really a girl disguised as a boy by the name of Deryn) they had just gotten back on the Leviathan after helping with the Ottoman revolution.  They are now flying their big beastie across the world on a secret mission.  They end up in Siberia rescuing a Serb scientist and his guards.  The man turns out to be Nikola Tesla, the man behind the Tesla cannons from the last book.  He is convinced that the mass destruction of the Siberian forest they were rescued from was from his new mega weapon that he has dubbed Goliath.  Tesla convinces Alek that just the mere threat of a weapon that can completely destroy a city should end the war.  Alek (who still feels it's his destiny to end the war) decides to back Tesla and the captain of the Leviathan is instructed to assist him.  Along the way Alek (with the help of his perspicacious loris Borvil) finally discovers that Dylan is actually the girl Deryn.  After a bit of a falling out the two reconcile and agree to never have secrets again.  The Leviathan and crew head to America via Japan to bring Tesla back to his Goliath.  While in Japan, Deryn and Alek get to
experience a culture where both fabricated beasties and steam powered machines co-exist in a peaceful harmony.  The Leviathan ends up in California where they are greeted by William Randolph Hearst, a newspaper man with Clanker leanings.  We learn that America is another country that has both Clanker and Darwinist factions, but unlike Japan, they are frequently at odds with one another.  Hearst sabotages the Leviathan so that they end up crippled in Mexico.  Pancho Villa, the Mexican leader of a rebel group helps repair it...along with filming it.  Along the way Deryn get's hurt and the obnoxious reporter Eddie Malone discovers she is a girl and intends to reveal it in print when they arrive in New York.  Alek and Deryn discuss the future and how they are sad that they will part ways in New York, Alek staying behind to help Tesla and Deryn either continuing with the Leviathan or being punished for her deception.  Alek disembarks and after surviving an attack by the Clankers, convinces Eddie Malone to write about him being the heir to the throne instead of Deryn.  Alek and his company go with Tesla to perform a test/demonstration of the Goliath to the world to try and prove the vast strength of the weapon and hopefully get the world to end the war.  Aboard the Leviahan Deryn discovers that the Clankers are going to send a weapon machine to destroy Goliath.  Deryn convinces the captain to go back and defend Alek and company.  All sorts of chaos and action occurs and Tesla decides that he needs to actually destroy Berlin to prove his point.  Alek decides that he cannot justify the destruction of a city, along with the loss of countless lives, even if it does stop the war.  He and Tesla tussle and Tesla ends up electrocuted.  The Goliath essentially self destructs and a major disaster is averted. America finally enters the war, based on the Clanker attack on home soil.   Deryn finally gets through to Alek that he and his parents are not responsible for the war.  Alek decides to not become "king" of Austria, instead working with Deryn to help as many people as he can.  We end with our intrepid duo planning their next adventure and the fate of the world still undecided.
This book was very very full of everything.  We went all over the world, were introduced to a ton of people, saw beasties and machines everywhere, whew!  Overall I felt this book lacked a bit of focus that the first two had, but I could understand the author was trying to finish everything up as plausibly as possible, which I appreciate.  The author was also trying to impart a bit of flavor from everywhere, showing us how complicated the real WWI era was.  I appreciated the thought, but personally found it a bit excessive.  I could have done without the Poncho Villa part, and he could have probably skipped the California part as well, both parts were well written and added some flavor, but over all
felt a bit excessive.  I also wanted the perspicacious loris's to play a bit of a bigger part as they had been built up so much in the previous books.  I thoroughly enjoyed the crews stop in Japan, it was cool to see a place where technology, science, and life melded so well together, the author once again made a a place I am dying to visit.  Deryn continues to make me happy, she is really a great character, and the author does a great job avoiding some of the triteness of the whole girl dressed as a guy scenerio.  I liked how the "romance" between Deryn and Alek played out.  Deryn has had time to come to grips with her feelings and instead of making hopeless advances, accepts how life is and is content to be Alek's friend.  After the discover of Deryn's girlness, Alek goes through a couple of very realistic reactions, culminating in the two of them valuing their friendship as too important to ruin.  The eventual morphing of the friendship into romance is natural, realistic, an did not make me want to throw things which is awesome.  I liked the open ended conclusion as well, with America entering the war, but no actual resolution to it, just the hope that it will end sooner rather then later. The illustrations as always add just the right feel and very much compliment the series.  Over all this was my least favorite book in the trilogy, but it was still awesome.  The trilogy as a whole feels complete and the world the author created is wonderful and whole.  This is one of those series that has me running to my books and internets to research the real version of this alternate history making the idea of the book last even longer hurrah!  I give the book 6 out of 10 recording frogs and the series as a whole 7 out of 10 fighting bears and recommend it to anybody who likes steampunk, science, alternate history, history, good writing and excellent world building.  Happy Reading Everybody!
Are you a Darwinist or a Clanker?  What era would you like to see an alternate history set in?  Is my writing more or less coherent on no sleep?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tech Problems 'Cause Why Not

It has taken me about 35 minutes to get this little post up, so this is what we get, boo :-(  Super crazy week on top of it all, so posting will be a bit sketchy for the rest of the week.
 Will hopefully soon be back to normal (wow syntax not my thing today).
Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Books In My Dragons

I love dragons, I love books, I love books about dragons...how about some dragons made from books?!?
Dragon and Knight
Dragon On A Book
Dragon Book Sculpture
Paper Art Dragon
Dragon Map
I don't think I can ever get enough of my literary dragons!  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, March 16, 2015


So my baby sis is all grown up and heading out on a world tour for a year.  To this end her and husband are packing up the house and finding homes for pretty much all of their possessions.  Some things they are selling, some things they are giving away, but some things are to important to get rid of an must be found good and loving homes until the intrepid explorer's return.  My Mamma and Daddy get the puppies and I get the books!   Yep until my baby sis returns all worldly wise, I get to keep (and read) her books safe and sound.  Now for some unknown reason she seems to thing the ones I like may find their way permanently onto my shelf (maybe that beautiful hardcover edition of Oliver Twist?) so she marked all her books with her own personal symbol...and then proceeded to mark all her husbands just for good measure.  I will admit it is a bit bitter sweet packing up and bringing home my baby sis's books.  In one way more books is awesome, and it will give us
something to talk about when she gets back.  It also means she is one step closer to this incredible journey she and her love get to have and remember together forever.  On the other hand, one of my favorite people in the entire world, who for the last couple of years has been with in driving distance is going away from me for at least a year.  It is the end of an era, which is always hard, but the beginning of a new chapter which is awesome!  I cannot wait to see and here what my fellow book club member gets to experience and whenever I miss her too much, I will pull out one of her favorite books and read it.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Ordering The Chaos...Kind Of

I've been spending some time trying to tidy up my blog, refresh links, update pages, do better tagging, things like that.  It is an ongoing project that will probably never get finished, but a girl has to try right?  One of the things I have been trying to do is see what books I have, what books I've read, what books I've rambled about and what I need to do to update all of the above.  I have found (and this is a common problem among us bibliophiles) is that I own way more books then I remember I have.  Between random book trips, online shopping, and e-books, I easily forget I have certain books
already in my possession, or that I even want to read them in the first place.  To this end, I have been updating my Future Reading List with notations on whether I own the book on my bookshelf, on my Nook, or on my Kindle.  I have also been trying to plan ahead and actually continue or finish up some of the zillions of series I have started and actually like.  Now all of this sounds very good, but it comes with it's own problems.  As I go through my list of TBR books, I have a really bad tendency to stop whatever it is I am doing and start reading any one of the ton's of books I have.  If I can force myself to get past that aspect, I usually end up on TBR books I don't own and then a shopping spree ensues.  My rambling page isn't much better as their are a ton of books I love and am dying to reread, or (and this is one of my quirks) if a new book in a series comes out and I haven't read (or rambled) on the previous books...well I obviously have to reread those as well.   All of this, the changing weather, my random book cravings, and my inability to stay off my favorite review sites leads to more chaos then order when it comes to my books, but in the end, that may be one of the things I love about reading so much, there is no wrong way to do it, just not enough time.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Red Cloaks And Underground Princes

I've been going through my Rambling and Future Reading pages trying to clean it all up (more on that tomorrow) when I realized I never did a rambling on Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George, the last book in the Princesses of Westfalain series and that just won't due.  So without further ado, as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
In this book we see Petunia, the youngest of the the 12 sister princess almost all grown up.  She is in her way to go visit a relative when she is held up by bandits in wolf masks.  Petunia (with her red velvet cloak) soon discovers that the head of these wolf bandits is actually a young earl by the name of  Oliver.  Turns out that during the brutal war that we learn about in the first book the earl and his family lost their home through what turns out to be treachery.  Petunia is sympathetic but eventually continues her journey.  While at the Grand Duchesses house, Petunia and her sisters are soon caught up in a hellish nightmare come true, when it is finally revealed that the Grand Duchess is actually one of the Nine Daughters of Russaka which are rumored to have given birth to the King Under the Stones sons (this makes a lot more sense if you have read the other books).  The Duchess is now trying to get the 12 Princesses back to the underground world of the dark princes, to fulfill the intent of them all getting married.  The girls, their husbands, boyfriends, and friends all fight back with various magics, of course overcoming the bad guys in the end.  Oliver is restored to his earldom and he and Petunia have a thing and everybody appears to live mostly happily ever after.
Ok Ok, I know that is a super chintzy recap, but really that is all that happened.  Over all the book was supposed to allude to the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, but mostly felt like a rehash of the first book.  This time around the girls were better prepared, and much more knowledgeable about the underground horror's...but I don't know, it seemed a bit redundant.  As with the earlier books, I do appreciate the self sufficiency of all the girls, their ability to knit, sew, read, write, cook and persue their own interests is a refreshing change of pace for a typical princess.  I also enjoy the sheer number of princesses/sisters in that no single one is a super special, treasured, pampered only child, again a different take on your classic princess tale.  This book would be pretty difficult to understand if you had not read the other two, so keep that in mind.  Eh I know this short for a rambling, but there you have it.  This was not a bad book, just a bit flat compared to the other two.  Overall I give it a 6 out of 10 red velvet cloak and appreciate it for wrapping up the story in a neat little package.
How do you feel about the varying degrees of success of a book through out a series?  If a book pays homage to a well known story, how recognizable does it have to be?  How much of a cop out was this rambling?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Rain Rain Come And Stay

I love a rainy day.  There is something about the smell, the sound, the curl upableness of a rainy day that just makes me happy.   
Oddly enough I can read just about any book on a rainy day, my normal seasonal rules don't apply.  So if you need my I will be in my reading chair with my fuzzy blanky, a cup of coffee and the windows wide open for the smell of rain to make me all happy.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wandering Through The Woods

The weather has finally taken a turn for the better and to celebrate Hubbin took me on an epic hike today.  As we were walking along, many book related thoughts popped into my busy little brain (yes I think about books almost all the time).  Here are some of them...you know just for fun.
1)  As we were walking in 60 degree weather, the day after a huge ice/snow storm through the middle of the woods I was struck about how much it reminded me of the scene in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where the White Witches curse is finally broken, winter is fading and spring has finally arrived.  Now to be fair, we only had about 4 weeks of extreme winter, not 100 years...but some days it sure felt like it.  As we were trying our darnedest not to slip on the mushy, icy, muddy ridges it struck me the incredible strangeness of having at least 3 inches of snow and ice on the ground, and wearing a t-shirt with no coat, I like to imagine as I stood in the sun that this is how the characters in the book felt, just a moment of comfort, warmth and contentment in the middle of a really hard situation.  Yeah I'm a dork.
2)  We say this couple with a really great idea that I want to steal.  It was a sheet/hammock type deal that they had tied between two trees to make a resting place to have a little snack.  I found this to be absolutely brilliant.  So many times we have been out in the middle of no where and all I want to do is pull out a book and read in this amazing environment...but I really don't feel like getting my hinney all soaked and dirty.  This is the most perfect solution, a light weight something or another that you can hang from a tree, or spread on the ground, or wherever it would work to cuddle up and read for a while.
3)  The longer we hiked, and the wetter I got, the longer list of books that I wanted to read was building up in my head.  I'm funny like that, I desperately want to be outside and doing things as much as humanly possible...but every time I do, it just reminds me of a book I want to read :-)  All things considered this is not a bad thing, it just makes me wish for more hours in the day to do both.
So that was my day.  I was wet, muddy and incredibly happy all day and once I'm done with this I can go read my books and be even happier.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Clint Eastwood Grandma's With .45's

Time for another rambling YAY!  Today I'm gonna share my super deep thoughts on the second book in the Stephanie Plum series, Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich.  Read this one because of a combination of needing a bit of light heartedness, need to get the books back to their rightful owner (there coming Kelsey I promise!), and I just really enjoyed the first one.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
We find our favorite bond girl Stephanie Plum still single, still broke, still in need of skills, but a little less desperate this time around.  She is put on the case of Kenny Mancuso, a guy who shot his friend in the knee, as the Vinny the owner of the bond company (and Steph's cousin) felt it would be an easy nab.  This all goes very quickly down hill when people start showing up dead.  Meanwhile,
Stephanie's special friend Joe Morelli (the guy she chased down the last time around) has been reinstated to the police force and is working on a special case that may or may not involve the people Stephanie is following. He also likes to show up on our girls doorstep with plenty of innuendo's, but mostly he ends up helping.  One of the people involved in the case is Spiro Constantine, a super skeevy guy who hires Stephanie to help protect him and his funeral home and to find some missing caskets.  To add to all the chaos, Steph's spunky grandmother get's a gun and starts "helping" her granddaughter. The longer the hunt goes on, the more we realize Kenny is as crazy as they come and he more then enjoy's inflicting pain on people.  We discover that Kenny and co have been smuggling discarded Army weapons and selling them on the black market.  This all culminates with Stephanie and her grandmother held by the bad guys in the basement of the funeral home, only to escape when granny goes Clint Eastwood on the baddies ending in their arrest.  All is well that ends well and Stephanie and her peeps live to star in the next book.
Obviously a ton more detail happens in the book, but I think you can get the gist of things from the above synopsis.  I enjoyed this book as much as the first one for many of the same reasons.  Again the combination of realism, down homeyness, light heartedness, and on occasion sheer over the topness just really work for me.  I LOVED the added extra grandma in this book, she is spunky, crazy, yet still age appropriate if that makes any sense.  She and Steph had a definite bond that the rest of the family just don't understand, and the fact that Stephanie doesn't automatically write her off because she is older makes me do a happy dance.  Stephanie and Joe's relationship makes me smile, it is going much slower then I would have originally thought, but it is not drawn out for the sake of the book or series, it's just how it is.  I like their frustration with each other on a professional level, with him wanting to protect her...and at the same time probably toss her from the top of a
skyscraper...again fairly realistic.  Cars once again play a significant role in the book, with Stephanies being stolen early on, forcing her to use her uncle's boat of a Buick with some hilarious results.  The issue of violence, especially against women was shown again, not as much as with the last book, but again shown as a bad thing that should NEVER be ignored, allowed, or excused.  I liked this book as much as the last one and felt it was a very natural progression.  I felt things moved forward at a reasonable pace with Stephanie learning, but still not super girl, with relationships moving forward, but not magically perfect and with plenty of stories left to tell.  I give this book an 8 out of 10 severed members...read the book, it will make sense.
What is your happy series go to?  What other books combine realism and humor in a good way?  Why did I write this post like a lingo hipster chick?

Friday, March 6, 2015


Beer is good, books are better, book inspired beer the best!
Hobbit Beer
Edgar Allan Poe Beer
Shakespeare Brews
Read A Beer
White Whale Ale
If you have time, click the links and check out some of the really cool stories behind these cool and refreshing drinks.  Until then drink up and HAPPY READING EVERYBODY!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Alphabet By The Books

I am SOOOO EXCITED!!!  Get to go see my nephews due to an impromptu road trip on my part.  Yep my impulsivenessstrikes again resulting in plane tickets for a weekend in Chicago.  Maybe while I am there we can learn the alphabet.

Book Alphabet
In case you hadn't noticed I am a wee bit excited :-)  I will be sure to have a post chock full of the nephew goodness when I get back.  But in the meantime HAPPY READING EVERYBODY!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

All The Dragons

Dragons, dragons, I love dragons!  I think sometimes that dragons are my favorite thing to read about.  I love the variety and imaginative scope that they provide.  They are part of every culture, every time period, they can be wise, wild, animal, ancient, pets, new, old, funny, scary, the possibilities for dragons are endless.  Which is why I picked up Wings of Fire edited by Jonathan Strahan and Marianne S. Jablon.  The book promised varied stories of any number of types of dragons, and it delivered.  Here are just a few of my favorites.
The Rule of Names by Ursula K. Le Guin - This story fits the authors style perfectly, and is one of the reasons I started reading her full length books.  We have a dragon, a wizard, a quiet island, a treasure and an outsider.  All is not as it appears and this lyrical and readable story instantly became one of my favorites.

The Harrowing of the Dragon of Hoarsbreath by Patricia A. McKillip- Another story that beautifully showcases the authors writing style.  Here our dragon is ancient and giant and the source of an entire culture.  I like this one for the imagery and for the sheer vastness of the dragon.  I like how the author was effective at isolating the dragon and the people affected by it and the outsider who used to be one of them to upset the balance they didn't even know they had.

The Dragon's Boy by Jane Yolen - Here we have a dragon who is no dragon at all, yet the "dragon" in question is smart enough to use the lore of dragons to achieve his ends.  We also see a potential origin story for the boy who pulls the sword from the stone.  This story has just the right amount of humor and puzzle in it, a great little read.

Orm the Beautiful by Elizabeth Bear - One of my favorites because it combines music, dragons, Washington DC and the continuation of a species through love and sacrifice.  This story gives us the flavor of traditional dragons with a wholly original take.  I have read this story multiple times and gets me every time I turn its pages.  The last ancient dragon goes to extreme means to protect the living bones of his family, that they may stay together in eternity.

Dragon's Gate by Pat Murphy - This story is one I would have LOVED as a teenager, I still love it know, but enjoy imagining my younger self discovering it.  There is a girl disguised as a boy, a dragon with a very peculiar curse and an adventure to make any girl (or boy) running off to fetch their traveling cloak.  This is a pretty straight forward adventure tale of awesomeness with just enough of a twist to make it original as well as a really great story.

In Autumn, A White Dragon Looks Over the Wide River by Naomi Novik - Various cultures come into play in this tale set in an alternate Earth history.  Here we see dragons from various countries and their different assumptions, interests and expectations.  We also see humans and their assumptions about our reptilian friends and how all of this combined leads to a very compelling and thoughtful story.  This is one of those stories that makes you think about how you view the world, it's various peoples and beliefs and how ones ones assumptions colors all of it.

The Silver Dragon by Elizabeth A. Lynn - This is definitely my kind of story.  To me it comes across as almost an epic tale, told across the years.  We have our Silver Dragon, a dragon who is usually seen in the form of a man and follow his and his neighboring kingdoms struggles against a not so nice guy, his subsequent marriage and all that follows.  The best part of this story is that while this particular tale is complete, I am dying to read more about this world and the family of Dragons!

The George Business by Roger Zelazny- One of the more humorous stories in this collection we see a simple young man and a dragon enter into a bargain to help the young man obtain the affections of a lady.  While the plan is sound, alas the lady has already been married.   As the plan itself was actually a good one, the young man and the dragon take their act on the road to make their fortune.  Quick, fun, a great read.

Weyr Search by Anne McCaffrey - Like the editors of this collection, I hesitated on whether to add this story or not.  On the one hand, this story that became the basis for the authors wildly popular (and one of my absolute favorite) Pern series has been read so many times, and been put into so many collections that it seemed redundant.  On the other hand, what is a dragon collection without the DragonLady herself.  I and the editors apparently both feel the same way and such I put it in my list of favorite stories.
Whew I had better stop before I put the whole book in this post!  There are a ton more amazing stories to discover in this big book of dragons so quit reading this post and go get the book!  Seriously though if you like dragons in any way shape or form, this collection needs to be on your shelf.  I give it 8 out of 10 dragon wings and will probably read most of these stories again.

What is your favorite dragon story?  What is your favorite type of dragon?  Do you get sick of my love of dragons?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Ready For Spring

In general I prefer it cold to hot, but I will admit, this year I am ready for winter to be over.  It has been to cold to go out and play (think frost bite conditions) but I'm still out there on calls, hauling sick people up and down freezing, icy stairs and driveways. I'm not complaining, I love my job...but still, it is not fun.
I am ready to get out my Jane Austen books and read on the porch.  I am ready for a color other then white and gray and I am ready to not have to read while wearing gloves. I'm not advocating for 90 degrees with 99 percent humidity...just a bit of sunshine.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Rainbow Bookshelf

In celebration of spring hopefully arriving soon, here is a rainbow of bookshelves for your every growing library (note to self:  How cool would it be to change out your bookshelves every season!).
All of this has made me want to install all new bookshelves and paint them all kinds of awesome colors.  Maybe they have inspired you to add a pop of color as well.  Happy Reading Everybody!