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....