Thursday, December 30, 2010

Listen to Jacky Faber! RIGHT NOW!

Review of: Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nauticial Adventures of Jacky Faber (Bloody Jack #3) from my goodreads account.

These books should be listened to on audiobook! Up front I want everyone to know that the narrator is amazing, the accent spot on and the book is "look ridiculous laughing while driving" fun.

Favorite book so far in the series. Gone is the mopey Jackie of book 2, away from the Puritans and ladies of the Lawson Peabody School for Girls and back on the high seas at last. And that's where Jacky and this series belong!


Of course Jacky gets into trouble immediately, is mistaken for a boy, ends up on a ship with a crazy captain with bad intentions on our favorite female midshipmen. But when has sketchy men stopped Jacky? She gets through it all with spunk and smiles, winning over the hearts of her shipmates and readers alike.

I like THIS Jacky. Gone is the moping and pining away for Jaimy. Better that she thinks he betrayed her. I like single and flirtatious Jacky. There are many men, both good and bad, who want Jacky. And she flirts and has fun, but none of them can have her. Instead of one boy, we have a slew of them-- Robin and Joseph Jared, a few others, and eventually Jaimy, but only briefly.

At times this series is ridiculous, but it's suppose to be! These books are pure fun--I'd go adventuring with Jacky any day. We'd find trouble, mischief, mayhem, cute boys and hopefully avoid the noose one more time!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Update on what I'm reading

My goal is 50 books this year. Definitely going to make it! I've learned a little bit about my reading habits lately. I'm picky when it comes to paranormals. I didn't like Shiver and I hated Twilight. I've heard "The Iron King" by Julie Kagawa called paranormal and I LOVED it. The first book barely touched on the romance and I found the fey world fascinating. I'm reading quite a few dystopians lately (which is word I can't pronounce without stumbling over it), my favorite recent book being "The Hunger Game" series. I'm not sure how I'm SO behind on the Hunger Games but at least I caught up in time for Mockingjay.

I don't trust my Internet so I'm stopping. If it continues to behave I'll post again soon!

1. Looking for Alaska
2. An Acceptable Time
3. Going Bovine
4. Paper Towns
5. The Dark Mirror
6. The Blade of Fortriu
7. The Well of Shades
8. Front Page Face-off
9. Stardust
10. Lord Sunday
11. Rosemary & Rue
12.Hex Hall
13. A Local Habitation
14. Soulless
15. Blameless
16. On Writing
17. Witch & Wizard (audio)
18. Graceling
19. Shiver
20. Forest of Hands and Teeth
21. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (audio)
22. Labyrinth (audio)
23. Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell (currently reading)
24. The Dead Tossed Waves
25. Uglies
26. Finnikan of the Rock
27. Pretties
28. Specials
30. Grave Peril (audio)
31. The Book Theif
32. Incarceron
33. The Iron King
34. An Abundance of Katherines (audio)
35. Hunger Games
36. Boy in the Striped Pajamas
37. Catching Fire (read in an afternoon/evening)
38. Iron Daughter
39. Absolutely True Dairy of a Part Time Indian
40. The Body Finder
41. Gone by Michael Grant (current)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Yet another contest entry

This entry is going to have to be quick because my Internet hates functioning like it's suppose to. I'm sorry I haven't posted anything really. Its hard when your online for 5 minutes and the Internet goes haywire.

As a part of this contest I was required to pick my literary match. Though I'm tempted by Peeta from the Hunger Games (Seriously he's self sacrificing, cuddles and can make me laugh? He can bake me bread any time, burnt or not). BUT I decided until after the last of the Hunger Games book I should stay loyal and true to George from the Alanna series. Not only is he funny and mischievous, but he's a good reliable friend to Alanna over the series. I like him.

Go win books and stuff. I haven't had any luck yet so I know I won't. :(

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Super huge contest on facebook

Theresa Walsh has a contest where she is giving away 108 books (2 books per lots of winners) on facebook to celebrate the release o The Last Will of Moira Leahy (Which has such a beautiful cover that the graphic designer in me squeals with jealousy). This book is already on my "to read" list (well not technically but mentally. I haven't added it on goodreads yet) so winning it would be awesome.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The library hates me

I tried to get on and update this blog from the library. When I got there the reference library (in a not very nice tone) and asked to get on the wireless I got the answer "The wireless is down." Without the verbal attitude the rudeness is somewhat lost, but even with just those words its bad customer service and not much information. So I pressed a little further to ask how long the wireless had been down (months? A few seconds? An hour? Something to tell me if it's coming back). I think this question further annoyed the librarian and she said "3 or 4 days," still clearly just wanting me to go away.

So I checked out a computer (my Internet is made of fail at home, hence why I was at the library). I go to blogger and get the "You are not connected to the Internet page," though clearly from the facebook pictures I uploaded (almost 200) I was connected. So the reference librarians clearly hates me, the library hates blogger and here I am sneaking a post.

Someday when the world cooperates more I'll post pics of my Montana/Yellowstone trip. And now it's not letting me copy/paste to blogger.

Update of what I've read
I'm up to about 31 books. They will remain a mystery as long as blogger hates me.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Update on Books I've read

Not sure why this is all spaced out. Too lazy to fight with html. Its actually hard to keep up with this list. I need to update it more often. Audio books/library have improved my speed.
1. Looking for Alaska
2. An Acceptable Time
3. Going Bovine
4. Paper Towns
5. The Dark Mirror
6. The Blade of Fortriu
7. The Well of Shades
8. Front Page Face-off
9. Stardust
10. Lord Sunday
11. Rosemary & Rue
12.Hex Hall
13. A Local Habitation
14. Soulless
15. Blameless
16. On Writing
17. Witch & Wizard (audio)
18. Graceling
19. Shiver
20. Forest of Hands and Teeth
21. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (audio)
22. Labyrinth (audio)
23. Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell (currently reading)
24. Grave Peril (currently reading, audio)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Crafting Fun!

I'm in a crafty mood lately. I'm making the Japanese Knot Purse at the moment. It looked easy and like something I could make more than once easily to keep my sewing in more practice.

Here is the fabric & the beginning of my progress

You can just print the pattern off the Internet (which I love because printer paper>pattern paper)

Aren't these fabrics so beautiful together?

And here are my most recent crafting purchases. They make me so happy. I also bought two patterns, 99¢ a piece on sale at Hobby Lobby. I wish I had bought more but I was making a quick stop on the way somewhere else. Two $18 patterns for $1. That is happiness!

I will try to post an update on my reading habits soon. I'm going through too very long books (one real paper book, 1 audio CD) at the same time. The first is Johnathon Strange and Mr. Norrell which I originally tried to read during college. Trying to read a 1000+ page novel during college did not work at all. Now I'm attempting it again and it still seems ridiculously long and wordy (but amusing). I'm also "reading" Labyrinth by Kate Mosse via CD. Time/place jumping novels get confusing on CD.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

On Timing & Novels (A Shiver review)

I just read Shiver, a pretty popular paranormal YA novel. I didn't like it. Part of me realizes that this probably is not my ideal genre. I enjoy romance in fantasy novels, but it always needs to be secondary to the rest of the story. Take Tamora Pierce's Tortall novels, the characters almost always fall in love. I relish the romance, but the rest of the story leads to the romance not the other way around.

Another reason I think that I didn't like Shiver is timing. Anyone who knows me or follows me realizes the last month has been…well rather horrible. My Papaw who I was very very close to passed away suddenly and I'm still grieving every single day. There may be some strain & frustration in other relationships that I'm not going to go into details are.

Maybe now is not the time to read a slow, sad, kinda sappy romance/paranormal. Recently I've read books like Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins and even more recently Soulless & Changless by Gail Carriger. Soulless is probably the epitome of what works for me right now. It's so much fun - really fun characters, intriguing world, interesting plot, and it makes me blush with complete embarrassment sometimes.

Shiver has around 100 pages where there are two teenagers just being "oh so in love" and melodramatic. I just want to smack them through most of these ooey-gooey encounter. Especially when random people like clerks at shops comment on how cute they are together (when I first started dating my boyfriend we were very ooey-gooey & I'm fairly certain no one thought we were cute, but rather found us obnoxious. I apologize to any clerks I encountered during this period). I do think some of this was probably unnecessary, but even if it fit perfectly I was never going to like reading that. Not now. (Maybe not ever, but thats taste).

There were some redeeming qualities in Shiver. I really enjoyed the ending when the plot really started pushing everything forward. The pace quickened and things aside from canoodling started happening. For that reason alone I'll consider a library copy of "Linger." But sometimes the teenage characters spoke and behaved in ways that just weren't….teenager at all. At a pivotal moment in the story they made a quiche. I'm not sure how this fit into the plot at all. Maybe I'm missing something, but at that point I could have done without the quiche.

For people who really like Shiver, who knows maybe I'll come back to this book (with its beautiful cover art - the real reason I read the book) someday with a happy perspective and enjoy the love story. The book isn't horrible. I'm listening to Witch & Wizard by James Patterson on CD and that book is horrid. No redemption for it. I'm finishing it because I spent 20 bucks & don't have another book on CD right now but under serious duress. I was disappointed by Shiver, but at least its not complete disdain and hatred. I think there were some beautiful passages (language wise) and when there was action I liked that. Just the mush was too mush for me.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Reviews: Soulless & Changeless

Posting 2 reviews at once (read books right after the other. Now much wait for 3rd book in September). Posting the reviews from my goodreads here. There are spoilers for Changeless (though I'm not sure you'll understand them unless you've read the book. But its better safe than sorry).

Soulless by Gail Carriger
I'd probably give it 4.5 stars if I had the option. Not even sure where it loses points.

It took me awhile to get used to the voice (which is very distinctive & I spoke to my dog in the style for a few days) but once I did I flew through this book. It's a mish-mash of a lot of genres so I can see people who think "I don't read fantasy" or "I don't read chic-lit" somehow both agreeing to like this book. It's my first steampunk novel (at least that I am aware is steampunk).

The novel had oodles of wit. The main character was wonderfully well-written and developed, and even more importantly believable. There are parts of this book that made me blush and rather mortified me reading. I'm a little bit of a prude by most people's standards. Nonetheless I enjoyed this book and even found THOSE scenes amusing. (They also rang very very true. Almost a year ago met first real boyfriend and with through first kiss, butterflies in your stomach and all that romantic excitement. The book made me remember the start of my current relationship and really, it's just spot on as far as describing some of those feelings. I have to give the writer credit here even though I'm delving too deep into my personal life for a review).

Would recommend, but maybe not to a friend who blushes easy. Though these things embarrass me and I loved the book enough to buy the sequel already.

Changeless by Gail Carriger
I truly honestly loved Soulless. I made me feel both embarrassed and guilty, but I couldn't put it down. Changeless has the same incomparable Alexia, sadly a little less Lord Maccon, and all the supernaturals a girl can handle. I loved the fact that there was more Ivy (and more of secondary characters in general).

Overall I enjoyed the book, but maybe not as much as Soulless. Soulless was shocking and scandalous in a way that Changeless couldn't be (because I've read Soulless & they are properly married down). Changeless had a good mystery story, as I already said more of the secondary characters, oodles of Alexia and with all that it can't be a bad book.

At the moment I just can't get over the ending. Lord Maccons reaction seems COMPLETELY unmerited especially considering a preternatural and a supernatural have never been married before (as far as anyone knows). I know he is a passionate man but I have trouble believing his reaction (well initial reaction, but he's an intelligent man surely he thinks better of it quickly). What kind of marriage cannot have trust? if I were Alexia I wouldn't take him back after his awful reaction.

Nonetheless I want Blameless (now) even though I'm not sure how it will solve the problems presented by the last few pages of Changeless. Maybe I'm a tad sensitive & prideful, but I'm not sure how Alexia can take him back but I'm not sure how to be satisfied without that romantic element of the story.
I feel that I should mention that my boyfriend just left town for Indiana right before I finished this book so that might contribute to my frustration with the ending. No worries, his kayaks are my hostages so he will return.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Local Habitation (and reading update)

So I just reviewed "A Local Habitation" by Seanan McGuire on Goodreads. I think I may be in rather a weird mood for writing reviews (I don't try very hard on Goodread reviews. I use it to keep track of what I want to read more than anything).

A Local Habitation
4 stars (because 1/2 stars are not options)
In some ways these books drive me nuts but I keep reading onward (staying up late to do so at times) so obviously they are doing something right. Tempted to give 3 stars because sometimes the main character tries a little too hard (or the author tries too hard to make her) to be "not cool so cool" and seems to muse on thoughts about faerie when most people would just think "PEOPLE ARE DYING AHHHHH." Still I'll probably read the next one so giving it anything less than a 4 would be lying to myself and others. I really do like these books (but its sometimes a disgruntled type of like).

Update on what I've read & am reading
Hex Hall
I finished this book and loved this book. Can't wait for the next one (except I have to wait a year). If you want an elegant and articulate reason for why I loved this book see above post and realize this is not the time. Just accept that it is loved.
A Local Habitation
Finished, see above
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Just started. Seems amusing with a good wit. It has a particular style (and I realize it needs that voice otherwise it wouldn't be the novel it is) that will take some getting used to.
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Just bought. I know this book has been around for awhile and I've heard good things about it. Sometimes it just takes awhile.
Shiver by Maggie S. However-you-spell it
Have not bought. Yes I know I just avoided looking up how to spell her name. I want to buy this book in paperback and supposedly it comes out June 1. I say "supposedly" because I tried to ask about ordering it at Books-A-Million today and they knew nothing about the upcoming paperback at the local store (and they did look at the computer to find it). However Amazon, Barnes and Noble AND Books-A-Million website all have it being released June 1. Not sure if incompetence or techno-fail is to blame for the confusion. Either way I do want this book.

PS This message goes out to any blogger I read who gets lost in the inter-webs and ends up here. Quit giving me book suggestions. I'm spending lots of money on books. That makes you happy but my dog very sad. I'm too cheap to pay for her to go to a proper groomers so I'm throwing her in the bathtub this weekend. YOU ARE TO BLAME.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Meet my garden

I love my garden. To me gardening is a lot like writing. You make something from nothing. I think that's why I enjoy half my hobbies. This is my 3rd year gardening, 2nd year using my terraced garden. Before I started this project there was a hillside "garden" behind my house (which is the mother-in-laws suite at the back of my parents house). Calling it a garden is generous. It's around the corner of the house, thus out of sight & ignored. The weeds really enjoyed their freedom growing in the hillside "garden" thats only real purpose was to stop erosion.

Then last year mom suggested moving my vegetable garden there where I could have more space. It was a lot more work than expected. I have dug out tons of clay, built terraces & bought countless bags of Hyponex. But now I'm a proud mama-gardener wanting to show off her garden-child.

My garden

Here is my herb garden. For some reason I prefer growing herbs in pots.

Basil is special & gets its own bigger part.

Zucchini that I grew from seed. It came up so quickly & happily I think I'm going to go that route from now on. (Some plants I start from seed, others I buy cheap at dollar store)

Lettuce and Mesclun mix. There is also spinach but it's barely there so I didn't take a picture. This is my "salad bowl" terrace.

Broccoli(out of pic), Sugar snap peas and onions. My sugar snaps don't seem to be in the mood for blooming. If anyone has any hints I would be very open to that. They are suppose to be an early harvest but they've just kept growing and growing.

Tomatoes!! The large ones I bought at dollar store in March & grew them in my window. They already have some blooms. I have Rutgers, Golden Girls & Red Cherry. (I know it's a bad blends with the background). Hopefully this is the year I have success with tomatoes.

Squash, Cucumbers, Bell peppers (in far corner) and the spot where the zucchinis will go. I added the fourth terrace this year. I think it will solve a lot of the erosion problems I've had in the past.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A wise cookie

I hope this is true. I've always thought that nature is a cure-all but I went on a hike Wednesday and my problems were still there. I think I expected too much considering the size of the problem (my Papaw's death). I got this fortune cookie today and thought it was too fitting not to share. Tomorrow I'm volunteering to teach geo-caching at a Boy Scout event (yes I know this is the galavanting Girl Scout but it's in our law to be helpful....even to boys...). It's at Cumberland Falls so that will be more nature.

Now where to I get the patience and time?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Turning to books

As my boyfriend has let me down (and I will not blog about that. I know no one is interested in personal whining) I find myself turning more to books in time of need.

Since my last reading update I've finished Lord Sunday and read Rosemary & Rue by Seanan McGuire. I've bought 2 more books, Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins & A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire (2nd in the series). I haven't used the library in YEARS for book reading. It's not that I have any moral objections to libraries. My middle school & high school library formed my reading habits. However I've never had much luck at the public library. Last time I went the fantasy section was very limited & the YA fantasy was limited as well. However reading is an expensive hobby so I think I might try to borrow a little more.

Thoughts on books I've recently read:

Lord Sunday
I love the Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. This was a well-written, faster-paced and fitting conclusion to the series. The end surprised me. I might just be dense because I know other people figured it during the book. I enjoy the depth & contemplation in this series. It's deep yet not pretentious.

Rosemary and Rue
Enjoyable book, easy to read. Not sure why urban-fantasy detectives have to be "I'm so cool because I'm not trying" but it only bothers me a little. The blending of the human-fae world is beautifully written and I absolutely love the world. There are some flaws and oversights and maybe some subplots that should have been explored more. However it's a really good book.

Hex Hall (Currently Reading)
Like any magical boarding school there are some aspects that remind me of Harry Potter. Only it's like the girl-novel equivalent. It doesn't try to avoid Harry Potter comparisons which I find refreshing. You're in the same genre as the most famous YA book in years. Accepting it is good. The main character and her roommate both seem very interesting. Not much has happened but I really enjoy the book so far. I can see a mystery that is building and I want to know where it will go.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Another book contest

Anyone who knows me & follows me on twitter knows that my family has recently lost someone very important to us. I can't make myself post about that. It's way too soon. Visitation is tonight & the funeral is tomorrow & my world is still reeling. The world just doesn't seem right anymore.

Rather than trying to process what I know I cannot yet. I'm entering another book contest hoping that someone sends me a wonderful distraction in the mail. I've been reading a lot lately. I think I'll be reading even more in the coming weeks. Reading helps.

I want to win A Haunting Emma Novel: Deception - Follow the link to read all about the book & the contest. It sounds like an interesting YA fantasy with a female lead. It'll fit in very well with my overcrowded bookshelf. The great thing about writing blogs & book contests is they introduce you to books you may have never known about otherwise. It's easier than trying to find friends who read the same books as you.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Reading Reading Reading

Somehow this year I've found myself reading a lot of books. Nevermind the being very busy, having too many hobbies and a job with a crazy schedule. Sometimes after a long day I still need my escape into a fictional world. Busyness only increases that need. The more my life demands out of me the more my mind searches and begs for an escape.

So here are the books I remember reading this year. (And I know I've forgotten a few).

1. Looking for Alaska
2. An Acceptable Time
3. Going Bovine
4. Paper Towns
5. The Dark Mirror
6. The Blade of Fortriu
7. The Well of Shades
8. Front Page Face-off
9. Stardust
10. Lord Sunday (current)

Not to mention for work I've read 10 (there is a leader book & a girl book) Girl Scout Journey books. Plus I'm fairly certain I re-read one of the Tortall quartets by Tamora Pierce but I re-read those all the time so it's hard to know if that was the end of last year or the beginning of this year.

In other news I'm completely out of bookshelf space....

Friday, February 5, 2010

All about a book contest

So I'm been wanting to bring this blog to life (or a different blog) for awhile but never get around to it. Today may be the day, but probably not.

I'm posting because I want to win Rosemary & Rue by Seanan McGuire & and an ARC of the sequel. Why do I want to win this book? Because it looks good. I really enjoy books with strong feisty female leads. I've read all of Tamora Pierce's Tortall based books and find myself longing for more but impatient to wait. Why wait when there are other exciting female characters to meet? I want to meet the main character October "Toby" Daye as soon as possible.