Wednesday, August 31, 2016

How To Make A Better Day In 10 Easy Steps

Soooo's been a long four days and I am finally home for the next 24 hours.  I am tired, sore, hungry gross and in desperate need of a distraction.  Lucky for me I know just how to do that.
1. Take a long hot shower
2. Put on comfy clothes (unless your home alone then you can skip this step...just make sure the curtains are closed).
3. Pour the wine
4.  Pour some more wine 'cause who are we kidding here we know we are gonna drink it all.
5. Grab a book
6. Grab a couple more books just in case 'cause who knows how long it will be before we move again.
7. Go pee...'cause see above step
8. Turn off your phone...well turn off the ringer...well promise your self you will only answer if it is really really important...or Johnny Depp...or Thor..or that cute neighbor...
9. Read, drink, dream
10. Repeat until all better.
Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Women With Issues And The Unstable Men Who Are Involved With Them

Hi Folks, sorry about the spotty posting, so to make it up to you let's get to a rambling shall we?  Today we ramble about one of the books I read while on my epic Texas vacation.  The book is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  I read it for several reasons.  One, the movie is coming out so I had to read it before I go see it.  Two, the synopsis sounded awesome and I was in the mood for a good mystery.  Three, several people I know had read it and liked it.  How do I feel about the book about now that I have read it?  Read on and find out.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
 The book is divided into three voices, Rachel, Megan and Anna.  These three women all have a direct connection to an area around a particular train stop.  Rachel rides the train to London everyday and everyday she passes an are where she can see her old house, complete with her ex-husband, his new wife and their baby daughter.  She also can see the upper porch of another house with a couple that she gives a made up life to.  In her mind, this couple is perfect, they love each other and they have great jobs and deep conversations, essentially everything Rachel wants for her life.  So pretty much Rachel spends her days on this train, passing her old life and fantasizing about others while indulging her alcoholism while pretending to go to work so that the friend she is staying with won't know how messed up her life is.  We learn that Rachel was married to a guy named Tom and that the two of them had been trying to have a baby and when they failed Rachel started to turn to alcohol to alleviate the pain.  Tom meanwhile started an affair with Anna.  After the discovery of the affair, Tom and Rachel divorced and he married Anna and had a baby with her.  Rachel, especially when drinking can't leave it alone and constantly calls and visits her old house and husband.  One day while on the train and watching her fantasy couples house, she is shocked and appalled to see Megan kissing a guy who is not her husband.  This moment shatters her little fantasy world.  We switch perspectives and learn about Megan and Scott, the couple that Rachel likes to watch.  Megan is a bit of a messed up soul, she loves her husband, but can't help but feel trapped on occasion.  Scott is controlling and is constantly checking up on Megan...which while totally creepy and unacceptable turns out to be a thing 'cause she can't help but cheat when she feels trapped and controlled.   Megan goes to a therapist named Kamal whom helps her start to unravel why she is the way she is.  After failing to seduce him, she turns to him as a friend and reveals how after her beloved brother dies she ran away and hooked up with a guy name Mack.  The two of them live a poor, drug and alcohol fueled life until Megan gets pregnant.  She has the baby at their home and does her best.  One night the electricity is turned off and being alone Megan takes the baby and takes a hot bath to try and warm up.  She falls asleep and when she wakes up the baby is dead.  They bury the baby and Mack leaves Megan alone.  Megan eventually tries to get it together and marries Scott.  Back with Rachel, she has a particularly bad day and goes on a drinking binge and ends up waking up covered in blood with a head wound not remembering anything more then snatches of the night before.  She is also horrified to discover that Megan is missing.  Rachel goes a bit crazy and contacts the police about the guy she saw on the roof with Megan earlier.  She also goes to Scott with the information.  Her and Scott start a bit of a weird and twisted sort of kind of but not really a relationship.  Meanwhile we get a glimpse of Anna and how her relationship with Tom started.  We find that after the affair and the subsequent marriage and baby, Anna is now feeling a little stuck.  She is also increasingly worried about the frequency of calls and visits from the usually intoxicated Rachel, especially to her husband.  She begs Tom to convince Rachel to quit, he promises to, but the harassment continues.  Rachel spends more time around Scott and his house, which puts her near her old house, which continues to freak Anna out.  Rachel continues to try and recover her memories of the night she was black out drunk and starts to uncover some disturbing things about her previous relationship with Tom.  After an episode with Scott where he gets violent and locks her in the room after learning she lied about her relationship to Mlegan, Rachel tries to get sober.  After a whole lot of seriously messed up stuff all things are finally revealed.  Rachel realizes that the night of her black out she saw Megan get in a car with her ex-husband Tom.  It comes out that Megan was pregnant before she died and that the baby was not Scott's.  After putting it all together Rachel goes to Anna to share that she thinks Megan and Tom were having an affair and that she thinks Tom killed Megan.  Anna has already pretty much come to the same conclusion after finding some things in her husbands gym bag.  Tom comes home and we find that he had actually been abusing Rachel any time she was drunk when they were still married and then twisted it until Rachel blamed herself.  There is an intense struggle and Tom ends up dead.  The whole sordid story comes out and everybody is left to try their best to pick up the pieces.
World Building - The world in which this story takes place is pretty small.  The vast majority is in the small suburban area around the Witney train stop outside of modern times London.  The smallness of the world contributes to the claustrophobic interweirdness of the story (totally a word a swear it is).  It is very detailed for all it's smallness and I felt like I could probably walk this little neighborhood in my sleep and the train was it's own perfect world.  It's a great example of how you don't need to be sweeping and epic to create a complete world.

Story - Ok here is where my opinion is going to start to diverge from other peoples.  I thought the story was kind of trite.  There was nothing really new or exciting, it was another one of those hey a bunch of messed up people making poor decisions do messed up things to other messed up people which results in all kinds of messed up ness...maybe that should have been the title of this post.  I was kind of disappointed I wanted it to be so much more atmospheric and a lot less tawdry and voyeuristic.  That being said it was a complete story that was woven together to make sense, which is better then a lot of these stories do so that was good.

Characters - Again here is a category where I am torn.  The characters where well written, but I hated almost all of them...not to the level of Gone Girl, but seriously.  These are people who are the root of their own problems, they are selfish and self centered.  They make horrible decisions and refuse to grow up and take responsibility for themselves.  They are fairly realistic characters...which may be why some people enjoy reading about them.  I know a lot of people like this in real life and even more that get shoved down our throats through various forms of media.  I just usually read to try and escape so reading about shitty characters who get into their own messes then bitch and whine about them just don't appeal to me.

Editing - For the most part the editing was pretty good.  The story was readable and everything ended up making sense in the end.  My only real complaint would be the dragging out of certain secrets a bit to try and make the story more of a thriller then it really was.  There were several secrets that got revealed through out the book, but no major twist so to me the term thriller is used loosely hear, but over all it was solid editing.

Relationships - The book for me was mostly about relationships.  Relationships between husbands and wives, men and women, women and women, people and alcohol, characters and memories.  Everything about this book was fueled by relationships, both real and perceived. Unfortunately most of the relationships in this book are at best unhealthy and at worst harmful.  The story was a picture of how people get trapped in bad head states and ensuing bad decisions that come from it.  There was very little in this book that hinted that these characters were even capable of attempting to have good relationships and that was just really really sad.

Mystery - The central mystery for the whole book is what happened to Megan.  I figured out who killed her as soon as I read about her sleeping with the "mysterious family man".  This was disappointing as I felt it was telegraphed pretty early in the book.  I wanted that mystery to be more...mysterious or at least not so blatant and trite...I think I may be spoiled.

Genre - I love a good mystery and thriller, but I am coming to the understanding that I should probably not read whatever genre this book is in.  It's very specific's like chic lit plus mystery, plus really messed up characters.  Almost all the books I have read in this weird category just pretty much make me mad at the authors.  The funny thing most of them are fairly well written...I just hate the depressing out look on humanity that this style of books tend to have.

Overall Impression - So yeah...this wasn't really my style.  It was an ok story, but I just really really hate reading books that make me hate humanity as a whole.  I realize people are messed up in real life, I understand unlikable characters in books to further the story and add depth, but I don't want to finish a book and feel worse then when I started.  I give this book 5 out of 10 cans of gin and tonic and realize that I need to just not read these books so yeah...Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Reading My Own Blog

Hi All!  I have a confession to make...I love to read my own blog.  I'm sure that makes me all sorts of narcissistic (which is a word I can surprisingly spell on the first try), but there you have it.  I remember when I first started writing this little blog and Hubbin and I went through other blogs trying to decide what I liked and didn't like about each blog and what features I wished each blog had.  After all of that I guess it makes sense that I made my blog into something that I wanted.  I like to read my own blog for various reasons, mostly 'cause it is a sort of ongoing reading journal of my life.  I like seeing my stuttering start and how my blog has evolved and hopefully improved over the years.  I like to see my rambling list grow.  I like to see what I was thinking about at any particular time.  Mostly I like to read my ramblings to catch myself up on various books I have read.  I have
gone back and read most of my ramblings and it always interests me how I decided to try and put into words how I felt about a particular book and weather that is how I still remember it.  I have noticed a couple of things as I have read back through my posts.  I have atrocious spelling, grammar and editing skills...seriously I should probably hire somebody to look at each post before it goes up, it is really bad sometimes.  I can usually tell what mood I am in by reading my posts.  I desperately want to go back and rewrite or delete numerous posts...but I'll leave them 'cause they are still a part of the whole.  I had a friend tell me she reads my blog when she misses me 'cause apparently I write like I talk...which explains a lot.   I realized that when I am in one of my weird moods, when I feel a little lost, I read my blog when I miss myself too.  It's kind of a touch stone when I start to lose myself to bigger things.  Anyways, there you have my self-centered take on my own writing, take from it what you will, but I am kind of proud and glad that I like my own blog and will continue to write it for as long as it brings me happiness.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Castle Book

I love this picture, I love the colors, I love how it makes me want to curl up with a cup of coffee with my fuzzy blanket and a good book.  I just love this picture
Castle Book
I  love an artist that can capture a feel, and this picture captures my idea of a perfect night of reading perfectly.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

“Sometimes Costs Are Made To Be Borne.”

Hi folks, as promised a lovely rambling about a book I got to finished on my vacation.  Let's start hard and heavy with the newest installment in the Harry Potter world...Harry Potter and the Cursed Child story by J.K. Rowling script by John Tiffany and Jack Thorne.  I picked this book up as soon as it came out, so excited to get back into my beloved wizarding world that I couldn't wait until I left and promptly curled up and read the whole book in one sitting!  How did I feel about this latest entry...first, as always SPOILERS AHEAD!
First of all the book is written in play/script form so it is right of the bat a bit different from the novel style soooo...yeah. Also if you have not read the books this will make absolutely no sense whatsoever so I'm gonna assume you have read them or watched the movies.  Our story starts off years after the last book left off.  Harry Potter is now grown and he and his wife Ginny are at platform 9 3/4 to drop of their son's James and Albus for their train trip to Hogwarts.  Albus is concerned that he may be put into Slytherin and Harry tries to put his mind at ease.  Once on the train Albus makes fast friends with Scorpius the only son of Draco Malfoy and his late and beloved wife.  Albus is sorted into Slytherin, but he does not mind as it means being in the same house as his best friend Scorpius.  Albus who has a rocky relationship with his father, who is still known as the Boy Who Lived witnesses an elderly Amos Diggroy try and convince Harry to use a Time Turner to go back in time and save his son Cedric from being killed.  Harry who is the head of Magical Law Enforcement informs Amos that all the Time Turners were destroyed back during the battle at the Ministry of Magic.  Amos does not believe him and rails at what he considers the pointless death of his son.  Albus feels like he understands Amos's point of view, that his father does not listen and act to other people when they come to him.  Amos's niece and caretaker Delphi gets together with Albus to try and convince him to find a Time Turner.  Albus enlists the aid of Scorpius and the trio decide to use their patchwork Time Turner to keep Cedric from dying.  The first attempt is at the first task in the Tri-Wizard tournament.  They keep him from getting his wand, 'causing him to lose the first task.  Meanwhile back in the present, the boys parents start to look for the boys.  Harry talks to the painting of Dumbldore in his office and comes to the conclusion that he needs to seperate Albus from Scorpius.  The boys return to the present and realize that their meddling had some unintended consequences and still did not result in saving Cedric.  Harry's decision to separate Albus from Scorpius pretty much ends their father son relationship and Delphi convinces the two boys to reconcile and try to save Cedric again.  They go back and this time humiliate Cedric to keep him from winning the second task.  When the Time Turner sends them back to the new present Scorpius realizes that Albus is nowhere to be found.  In fact the whole world has changed for the worse.  Voldemort now rules with a person called the Augury as his second in command.  Harry Potter has died because a humiliated Cedric turned to the dark side and killed Neville at the battle of Hogwarts, keeping Nagini alive.  Scorpius finds Snape (yay Snape!) and convinces him of who he is.  Snape takes him to this version of Hermione and Ron who help him go back in time once more.  Scorpius pretty much stops all the changes from ever happening.  Through out all of this we watch Hermione, Ron, Harry, Ginny and Draco all work through their various issues.  Harry especially has to come to terms with everything that happened in his childhood and how it now affects his relationships with his own kids, especially Albus.  Delphi comes to hear Albus and Scorpius tell her about the changes that happened every time they tried to save Cedric and how it was impossible.  Delphi seems oddly interested in the future in which Voldemort and the Augury rule together.  The boys then glimpse a tattoo on Delphi's back of an Augury, a type of wizard bird that tells of tragedy.  Turns out that Delphi claims to be the child of Voldemort and Bellatrix and has been using the boys to try and find a future that she can be with her father.  She forces the boys to use the Time Turner to go back to the day that Voldemort killed Harry's parents.  Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Draco use a hint that Albus left for them to find where and when the boys are.  They go and find the boys.  They figure out that Delphi is going to keep Voldemort from trying to kill Harry, therefore not being cursed and retaining his strength.  They trick Delphi into a trap and they all return to a restored present.  Delphi is taken to Azkahban and life returns to somewhat normal.  Albus and Harry talk and start the path to repairing their relationship.  Albus and Scorpius remain friends and life gets better.
World Building - The book/script is set in the very well established world of J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter and since she wrote the original story the world is still there and still intact.  The fact that the story makes extensive use of the Time Turner and most of the action takes place in Hogwarts and other familiar settings gives a sense of going back.  The world building in this particular story probably works best for people who have read the previous books as it depends on this fore knowledge to help build the world.  It is the same magical, complicated and complete world that J.K. Rowling worked so hard to build for us.

Story - The story was pretty cool.  I loved that idea of exploring the future of a boy who had done so much in his childhood/young adulthood and now has to cope with being a fairly mundane adult.  The story of his son integrated very well as a brand new story that was still in the same vein as the previous ones.   I felt the story got a bit bogged down in with the multiple Time Turner trips, Harry's story, Albus and Scorpius's story, Delphi's story and everything else shoved into a short space and wanted it to be a bit more streamlined, but the over all idea was pretty good.

Characters - This story had a weird mix of familiar characters in a new place in their lives and all new characters.  I think I liked the new characters better then the older ones.  I loved Albus and Scorpius and their awesome friendship.  I liked how they were different from any of the previous characters in the older books and had their own identities.  For the most part I liked how the adult Harry was developed with his anxiety over his children, his coming to terms with his childhood, how different his life must be now.  I was a bit disappointed in Ron and Hermione.  Hermione came across as an exasperated, harried overly busy person and Ron was relegated to a goofy background character who was completely diminished from the brave and loyal every man I remember from the books, so that was a bit sad.  Overall I preferred the new characters to the old in this story.

Editing - Since this was a theatre script it read very different from the original novels and that has to be kept in mind when talking about the flow of this story.  It is broken up a lot more then in a regular book making the story a bit hard to follow on occasion as it has to skip around to get all the characters to the places they need to be.  That being said, as mentioned in the story section I felt that there was too many stories that were trying to be told in the same space which made feel a bit frenetic and bogged down all at the same time.  There is also very little immediate background given, with the authors assuming that the audience/reader has prior knowledge of the other books.

Fatherhood - I found the most prominent theme in this story was the relationship between father and child.  Mothers played a role, but it was the fathers that really took center stage in this book.  I liked how all the different varieties of relationship were explored.  The main one of course being Harry and Albus and the difficulty they had in understanding each other.  Harry still struggling to justify his own life had no idea how to deal with a son who was both very different and eerily similar to himself.  Draco and Scorpius had one of the sweetest relationships, especially considering the dominating relationship that Draco had with his father, the love and affection he (eventually) show's his beloved son is even more poignant.  Even with Delphi, I got the feeling that her actions were not done to bring about a dark world, but to try and have some sort of relationship with her own father in any way possible.

Time Turners - As much as I felt that the Time Turner bit was used a bit to heavily, I did like that it showed just how well Ms. Rowling knows her own world.  I thought that it was awesome to see that a world was so complete that the author could change one seemingly small aspect of it and then be able to follow the change through so thoroughly.  When time travel is used as device it can become confusing and a bit deus ex machina, but the subtle simple changes leading to logical and yet far reaching implications was pretty masterful and I very much appreciate the thought that went into it.

Return to Childhood - For many of us who read the Harry Potter as it came out, waiting in line for the newest installment then ignoring any and all responsibilities to finish each book before the inevitable spoilers came out, this book was throw back to that insane feeling of awesome.  Reading the book as an adult, seeing the characters we grew up with as adults, reading adventures of their kids to our kids and nephews kind of brings home the full circle of how beloved this series is.  It is a weird mix of nostalgia, anticipation and melancholy, a realization that everybody, even the Boy Who Lived has to grow up and be some sort of adult.  I'm not really sure how to describe the feeling, but I know it is shared by my fellow "adult" Harry Potter fans.

Overall Impression - I am very very very glad to have read this book, I loved that it was in a completely different format, and I am now dying to see it performed.  It was a lot of fun to go back to a beloved world, it's been a blast discussing it with my fellow HP fans.  The book is not a home run, but it is a solid and acceptable entry into the Harry Potter Universe.  I give it a 7 out of 10 love potions and recommend it to anybody who loved the HP series and can't wait to read the next installment.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Perfect Curl Up Chair

Now that I am back home, I get to continue to work on my never ending quest for the perfect book nook.  Today I need to find the perfect chair to place in the center of all that great bookiness.  Let's explore some ideas shall we?

Blue Book Chair
One of my fire house book club chica's found this for me...unfortunately I can't find an origin place for it so if anybody can tell me where to find it...

Amelie French Country Grey Literary Script Tufted Accent Chair
Besides having to learn French, I love this chair because of it's unique yet classic shape.  I also like that it is a bit more neutral so I can repaint my nook as many colors as I want...and with my love of change that is probably gonna happen a lot.

Hollow Chair
A comfy chair with the added bonus of not having to get up to start my next book!

Isaac Chaise French Chaise
Sadly this discontinued chaise lounge would have been the perfect combination of comfort and style for my nook...of course if I bat my eyelashes hard enough maybe I can convince them to bring it back!

Cuddle Circle Lounge Chair
How incredibly comfy does this chair look?!?  I can totally see myself curled up in this with my fuzzy blanket and a cup of coffee reading the hours away...and it's red so bonus!

These are just a few of the zillions of awesome chairs that are out there.  Of course with money a consideration I will probably have to reign it in, but a girl can dream.  Let me know if you have any suggestions.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Everything Is Bigger In Texas

I'm back and mostly all in one piece! WOOHOO!  The trip was awesome, I got to go to several places I've never been before.  I got to meet the rest of my Hubbin's family and see where he came from (I never realized just how Mexican the family a good way...if that makes any sense).  I got to hear family stories going back to the 1700's involving kidnappings, elopement's and Pancho Villa.  Later we traveled to San Antonio and got even more history and fun.  Over all it was pretty awesome mostly 'cause I got to spend so much time with people I like and love so much.
On a literary note I finished four, yep that's right count 'em FOUR full length books, which is essentially a vacation dream come true for me.  In fact I read so much that we had to find this great little bookstore and buy me some more books.  Including a book full of Texas ghost stories.  I also got to snuggle and read with a whole bunch of my nephews so pretty much the whole trip was awesome!  Stay tuned for some epic rambling.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Leaving On A Jet Plane

Hi Everybody!  (Hi Dr. Nick...sorry I may have been watching waaaaay to much Simpsons while unpacking...)  Anyways just a quick post to let you all know I am head out to the great state of Texas for my Hubbins family reunion.  I have never really been to Texas but I hear it's hot and everything is bigger out there.  On that note me and my books will be out for the week so no posting for the next 7 days or so.
I did however just get back from three different book stores to stock up on books for the trip so I promise some good ramblings when I get back, including my whole experience with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which I have exerted great amounts of self control to save until vacation time.  Hope you all have a book filled week.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Video Game Madness

Hola Readers.  Time for another ramble.  Today let's change our pace a bit and ramble on a short story collection shall we?  The book is Press Start to Play edited by Daniel H. Wilson and John Joseph Adams.  I picked it up because I was in the mood for something technological and nerdy AND I am pretty much trying to collect all of the collections that John Joseph Adams has a hand in 'cause he tends to have collections I love.  In this anthology every story is based on the concept of a video game.  How did this work out?  Some worked better then others, here are some of my favorites.  As always SPOILERS AHEAD!
Respawn by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, translated by Nathan Allan Collins - An average guy is working in a beef bowl joint when he is killed in a botched robbery.  How surprised is he when he wakes up in his killers body.  He, in the killers body is sent to jail for his own murder and while there is killed again...and respawns into another body.  This continues as he realizes that he is pretty much immortal and respawns into another body every time he dies.  His thought process on this new power is really what makes this story, I found my self enjoying it very very much.

1UP by Holly Black - A group of gamer friends who have never met in person gather at the funeral of one of their own.  Sorry's last request after a long illness was that they attend his funeral.  As the group examines Sorry's room after the funeral they discover a game.  Following the game reveals a story of horrific origins and reveals how and why Sorry died.  In true video game fashion, when the friends follow the game to the end it leads to Sorry's actual grave, where upon digging him up he "comes back to life" as he only faked his death in a last ditch desperate bid at freedom.  This was a great read on games, friendship and their connection.

Survival Horror by Seanan McGuire - One of my favorite authors writing a story featuring one of my favorite characters...of course it is gonna end up on my favorites list.  Antimony, the youngest Price girl from the InCryptid series is chilling with her super nerdy cousin Artie when they are both sucked into an evil video game that if they lose, results in the freedom of a potentially world ending monster.  We watch them play through, all while bantering with their signature snark of awesome.  This was a perfect blend of my favorite type of puzzle video games and one of my favorite series.  Pretty much all a girl could ask for.

Save Me Plz by David Barr Kirtley - Meg hasn't heard from Devon in four months.  They had dated for a while but his obsession with the computer game Realmso  Eldritch eventually ended their relationship.  So Meg grabs her sword and set's off to buy the game to try and reconnect with him.  As soon as she logs on Devon sends her a message "Save Me Plz"  Of she sets to find a gnome to help her on her quest which he does by giving her the Wand of Reification.  She goes through the quest and ends up at a castle where Devon is working on his computer.  He tells her he found a loophole that allows him to collect extra Wand's and he is using them to slowly morph the "real world" into a world resembling the game.  He tells Meg that she has voluntarily done the mission multiple times and she finally agrees to continue.  Really cool story.

The Relive Box by T.C. Boyle - A new game console has come out called the Relive Box.  The purpose of this is to allow the user to relive their own memories in real time.  In our story Katie and her father fight over the use of the box.  Katie who is a young 15 wants to go back and relive before her mother left.  Her father just want's to relive his younger day's, trying to find what went wrong with his life.  This reliving essentially takes over his life to the point of losing his daughter.  I think what really hits me about this story is all the thinking it made me do.  If people are constantly reliving the past, how do you make new memories?  What happens when younger users with limited memories spend their whole life fixated on a single memory?  So much to think about!  I love it!

Gamer's End by Yoon Ha Lee - In the distant future where things are done on a galactic level, realistic immersive games are used to train soldiers.  A soldier who is up for a promotion is sent up to a space station to be put through a simulation.  At this time the bulk of the government is at war with a group called the Taurag Republic who while willing to wage war, do everything in their power to not hurt civilians and non-combatants.  After a few minutes into the simulation he is pulled out when the station he is on is invaded by the Taurag Republic.  He is directed by voice to fight his way to the core and use the stabilizer as a weapon against them.  He is forced to kill a couple of the enemy on his way, which disturbs him more then he thought it would.  Once he gets their and get's directions he realizes that while using the station as a weapon would stall the enemy and buy them some time, it would also kill millions of people on the planet surface.  He refuses to do it.  He wakes up and is told that the whole thing was a real scenario designed to test his empathy and willingness to kill civilians.  He has "passed" and the promotion is his.  Great thinking story, loved it.

Killswitch by Catherynne M. Valente - I love this author, mostly because of the imagery she can evoke while still telling a fairly cohesive story and this story is no exception.  The game is called Killswitch and it can only be played once then the game deletes itself, it cannot be copied, it cannot be saved, it cannot be shared. This drives people crazy because there are two different playable characters to choose from the impossible, invisible Ghast that nobody has ever been able to play past the first level and Porto, a human female who the game is about.  The maker of the game has hinted at all kinds of secrets...but nobody can find them all because of it's unreplayability.  The story ends with the last of the limited game being bought by a player who has vowed to play it on a live stream, but the only footage is a minute of him starting the game and crying...
This collection as with all anthologies was a bit hit or miss.  Some of the stories felt a bit generic or flat, but over all I enjoyed the majority of the stories and will definitely be reading many of them again.  There were a lot of familiar authors that did not disappoint, and I got to read some great stories from writers I have never heard of, which to me is an awesome perk of short story collections. I give this book 7 out of 10 game controllers and recommend it to anybody who has enjoyed any sort of video or computer game.  Happy Reading Everybody!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Reading Room Green

Hi folks.  Super quick post...I'm sure you are all sick of my house stuff by now, but I had to show you this really quick.
This is the color of my book nook and it is seriously for real called "Reading Room Green".  Seriously though how absolutely awesomely perfect is it!  Happy Reading Everybody!