Showing posts from 2012

Bests of 2012

I had a lot of amazing experiences this year. Since this blog is supposed to be a book blog, those will go first.

   New to Me:
Ready Player One by Ernest ClineReamde by Neal Stephenson Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean Neverwhere by Neil GaimanMore Baths Less Talking by Nick HornbyThe Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan JacobsThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern   Graphic Novels:
The Unwritten Vol. 6: Tommy Taylor and the War of WordsAstonishing X-men Torn and Unstoppable American Vampire Volume 3   Re-Read:
The Shining by Stephen KingThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanGood Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

I know I'm genre heavy, I'm a nerd :)
The Avengers!Moonrise KingdomThe Dark Knight Rises Cloud AtlasThe Woman in BlackThe Cabin in the WoodsSilver Linings Playbook
Life, not least important though it i…

Final Tally!

I don't believe I will finish anything in the next 30ish hours so here's my final tally for 2012.

Total books read in 2012: 66
Library books: 53
Non-fiction: 13
Audio: 20
Graphic Novels: 16

For Challenges:

Non-fiction Non-memoir challenge: 6
Science Book Challenge: 2
Chunkster: 2 (i've read plenty of longer books but they've been on audio)
RIP: 4
Total pages for the End of the World Challenge:  13652 (doesn't count rereads or graphic novels)

so...these are my lowest totals since I started recording.  I mean, if you pull out the graphic novels, which usually i can read in an hour or less, I read less than a book a week.  Factor in that 20 were audio books, which i listen to while going to and from work, and i'm basically at a book every two weeks.  now, I did have a pretty busy year, so that's an excuse.  I do miss reading and blogging like I used to though, so my goal/resolution is to get back into the habit.  I did reread several books this year which i found to be qu…

The Last Policeman and Tokyo Year Zero

I got through two murder mysteries this week.  

I read The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters last weekend.  Actually, I read it Saturday evening between 5-9 pm.  Superfast reads seem to be something i can only do with mysteries. There's just something about them that i feel almost compelled as I read them.  They don't have to be actiony thrillers even; I can do the same thing with Agatha Christie or Dorothy Sayers (who i need to read more of).  anyway, in The Last Policeman, a humanity destroying asteroid is headed to Earth, scheduled to hit about 6 months after the story begins.  We get the backstory of the asteroid's discovery as the mystery continues.  Hank Palace is a newly promoted police detective, a position he's wanted his whole life.  Unfortunately, he mainly spends his time clearing suicide scenes as many people have chosen to kill themselves rather than waiting for the asteroid.  He begins to investigate an apparent suicide because it just doesn't feel rig…

Quiet Or Why Introverts Rock!

I finished Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. It is really very good.  It's a book that is partially written for extroverted people who want to learn about introverted ones;  there's some good bits about raising children who are introverted and about being the boss of introverts.  It is also partially a book for introverts who want to know about ourselves and why we act the way we do.  I think both parts are what make the book work.  Some of the parenting bits really just come down to "let your kid be themselves and don't overschedule" which seems like good advice for every parent and other parts are about introducing new experiences and such.  The science regarding the brain and nervous systems was fascinating and well worth reading.  a 6!

on a personal note, i'm an introvert who is more toward the middle of the extro/intro scale.  There are things that trigger my introversion more, like showing up too earl…

BTT for 12/13/12

Here's the question:

So … you’ve just finished reading a book. For the sake of the discussion, we’ll say it was everything a book should be—engaging, entertaining, interesting, thought-provoking. The kind you want to gush over. The question is—do you immediately move on to your next book? Or do you take time to contemplate this writerly masterpiece and all its associated thoughts/emotions/ideas for a while first?

So, it depends on when i finish and in what sort of mood i am in.  Occasionally, i'll hop right up and get on here and start blogging about why the book is so good. If i finish it because i stayed up too late, then i'll probably just head off to sleep.   if i'm in a reading mood then i might just take a moment or two then grab the next (or usually just the other concurrent) book.  I might grab my husband and start jabbering about how awesome it was and what it was about and whether he might like it too.  so really, there are several different ways i might handle…

Tommy Taylor and Cinderella

a couple of quick reviews.

AMAZING!  I finished The Unwritten Vol. 6: Tommy Taylor and the War of Words by Peter Carey and Mark Gross.  Everything really comes together and makes all the previous books really worth the read.  While the story is pretty much in no way like Gaiman's Sandman series, it has a similar sort of fun in finding and recognizing the allusions and characters plucked from history and literature.  7

Good!  I also read Cinderella: Fables are Forever by Chris Roberson and Bill Willingham.  If you've read any Fables, you may know that in that world, Cinderella is a spy/secret agent for Fabletown.  Her cover is that she owns a shoe store and is a shopaholic and therefore travels around the world for her work/hobby.  This book is the 2nd collection of her solo adventures and I liked it.  I really liked the villain in the piece as well.  a 5.  

Nonbeliever Nation

I finished Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans by David Niose.   Niose is the president of the American Humanist Association.  I read a bit of atheist non-fiction and follow several blogs so a lot of the info was not necessarily new to me.  If you don't follow atheist news and are curious about those end of the year polls that came out, talking about how the categories of "nones" or "spiritual but not religious" are rising, I can definitely recommend this book.  If you read a lot of atheist news, much of the info is not new but it was an interesting read nonetheless.  Niose collates a lot of data and shows how changing demographics are creating a more secular America.  He also details some of the court cases recently and describes the new tack of pursuing cases based on non-discrimination laws rather than freedom of religion.  a 5 from me only because i've read a lot of this before.

The Shining ReRead

The Shining by Stephen King was a book i first read far too young. I was probably 12 or so when I first read it and definitely gave myself a few frights.  Also probably learned more about sex than i should have known at that point as well.  I decided to listen to it this time rather than read the paper version.

The book was scary to me in a whole new way on this reread.  While I've read it several times, I know i probably have not read it in the last 10 years, so I haven't read it while involved in a serious adult relationship, or while living with someone.  On this reread, Jack's descent just terrified me.  I found myself more drawn to Wendy's character and that, coupled with the idea that you could be living with someone who's going completely crazy and you don't know it, kept making me stop listening to the book for several days at a time. It is just so scary to think I could think everything was fine while B is sitting there thinking about taking a roque ma…

A book I was weepy through

I, rather quickly, read Mortality by Christopher Hitchens.  It is a short collection of his last columns for Vanity Fair, the ones he wrote as he was dying of cancer.  The circumstance of the columns would be enough to get me teary even if he had been writing music reviews but the subject certainly kept me teary.  He writes of dying, how from the cancer he begins loosing his humanity, his voice.  He has an amazing tone in all his writing that I don't know that i've read anywhere else.

I have to read more Hitchens, which I think I said the last time I read something he wrote.  a 6.

Marvel 1602

The graphic novel kick continues!  Somehow I'd missed Marvel:1602 by Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert.  Another library score!  This book is all over the place character-wise, we've got all sorts of people, both good or bad guys, big characters and small.  Of course, some of the characters I might have considered small a few months ago have a bigger profile now, like Black Widow.  It is an interesting take on the world; how would our heroes operate when communication can take days and travel can take weeks?  Mutants are called witchbreed and, of course, are supposed to be demons.  Nick Fury is the Queen's spymaster, Daredevil and Black Widow are agents.  There are some bad guys, Magneto for instance, but there's a bigger evil lurking around as well.  The art is great and i really like the etching covers.  a 5.

The Ultimates 2

So I jumped right in and was able to getThe Ultimates 2 by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch.  Wow.  I actually think I liked this one more than the first though again the characters were very different from the movieverse.  There's some inter-team fighting, super solidiers from other countries, Hawkeye being the most amazing badass.  There's more Hulk and Thor and explosions! And Tony being a genius!  and Nick Fury being a BAMF!  and the Xmen have a cameo!  so, a 6 from me and the beginning of the series is highly recommended.

The Ultimates

I really loved the recent Avengers movie.  I never read The Avengers as I was an X-men fan as a teen and wanted to get some idea of the characters comic book versions.  I saw a post on (the one which also led me to the Astonishing X-men series i read in the summer) and decided to pick up The Ultimates by Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch.  The only reason it took so long to get to it is because the library didn't have book 1 and i kept expecting them to get it.  I finally decided I had to read it RIGHT NOW so went to Books a Million after the local used store didn't have it.  That was a shopping trip straight out of my teenage fantasies as i ended up getting the big compilation rather than just the part the library didn't have.  I dropped $60 on comics, chocolate and Doctor Who swag, which was pretty much what i thought all shopping trips would be like when i was a kid!

This set is a story of the Avengers getting together and battling the Chitauri.  But completely differe…

The Graveyard Book

I love The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman!  I read and reviewed it for the blog back in 2008 and this time decided to listen to the audiobook, mainly because I knew that i would get through it if i listened to it (i'm having troubles actually reading physical books at home, school=arg) and also because Gaiman narrated it.  

I absolutely love this book.  It just hits all of my buttons; it is growing up and love and loss, about learning and becoming your own hero, about family and friendship and is very bittersweet.  It is a book that i want to recommend to everyone and can't wait until the nieces are just a little older to send it to them!  a 7.


I am a member of an online sci-fi book club.  Each month we read an old book (pre-1982 right now) and a new book (post-1982, though we seem to choose things from the last 15 years).  While i don't read everything, or even half i would bet, I do follow the discussions and get a lot of enjoyment out of the varied opinions and recommendations.  This month we had Frankenstein and The Windup Girl and though I really wanted to read both I only got to do a reread of Frankenstein.

I listened to this one on audiobook but i have read it a few times previously.  I remembered the general story but had forgotten the little details. I'd forgotten how whiny Victor is!  He just seems like a big teenager, never taking responsibility for his actions and never thinking anything through.  I just wanted to grab him and shake him a few times.  I enjoyed the reread but Frankenstein will never be the favorite of mine that Dracula is. 
The images and lyricism of the writing is lovely and there are so m…

More Baths, Less Talking

When I realized Nick Hornby had a new collection of columns from The Believer, titled More Baths, Less Talking, I immediately put it on hold at the library.  I actually got it very quickly.  I read it far too fast.  I love Hornby's essays and not just because he's also an Arsenal fan! They are funny, intelligent and informative. He made me want to read a 700 page book about a country during a time I am not interested in! Checking back, i read the last collection back in 2009 and have since learned much, much more about British culture.  B introduced me to Doctor Who, Top Gear, and Premier League football, so I actually "get" many more of Hornby's references now.  I kinda want to go back and reread the previous collections; the whole series is highly recommended!

The Night Circus

“Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There's magic in that. It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that... there are many kinds of magic, after all.” The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
So this piece is toward the end of the book and I won't say who say it to whom.  I finishe…

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

On Monday I finished a reread of Alan Bradley's The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie.  I then spent at least 45 minutes trying to find out when I read it before.  I actually had to look up the publishing date (January 2009) and work my way forward month by month through the blog;  thank goodness for CTRL-F!  Turns out I read it in May of 2010 and that bloggers little "search box" sucks ass.  as in, searching for the title or Flavia or Bradley did not pull up the post, I suppose because none of those words were in the title?  strange.  

I loved this book as much this time as i did the first.  And with the reread I am seeing the threads a little better.  I really liked revisiting this one for RIP!


While I did a sorta update for the End of the World Challenge post I never did update with my normal numbers post.  so here we go!

Total books read in 2012:  50
Library books: 39
Non-fiction: 9
Audio: 16
Graphic Novels: 11

For Challenges:

Non-fiction Non-memoir challenge: 4
Science Book Challenge: 1
Chunkster: 2 (i've read plenty of longer books but they've been on audio
RIP: 0 (got a couple in progress)
Total pages for the End of the World Challenge:  11722 (doesn't count rereads or graphic novels)

I am low for me!  Last year I read 98, year before 136.  I have had a lot of stuff going on this year though!


Ok, i've really gotten bad about updating.  I'm reading, a bit, but not much really.  listening to audiobooks some.  We closed on our house on 8/29/12 and have been moving and trying to figure out this new space.  The semester started also and my classes this semester are much more demanding.  More reading, more assignments than my previous semesters.  Throw in being sick in bed for 2 days followed by sick and laying on couch for the 2 following and that puts me way out of my normal routine.  Oh, and work has moved me around and requiring about 3 hours of overtime every week now.  It doesn't sound like that much but it really does make a difference in what i do.

So, with all that, i'm going to tear through some mini-reviews!  I want to catch up to where i am now in reading and then hopefully i can keep up with what i'm reading as i finish it.  I am working on a reread of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and Frankenstein as well as listening to The Night Circus Again!

Even though the high today was like 90 here in Nashville, it is time for that fall favorite of mine to begin. Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings has posted the perils for the 7th! time now.  I'll be reading 4 books and one will be The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman which is the group read for October. I read it a few months after it came out and loved it and would definitely like to reread it.

Here are a few new read potentials:
Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch (TBR)The Mystery of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe (just picked up from library)Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carroll (TBR)Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman (TBR) Feed by Mira Grant (TBR) American Vampire Vol 4 comes out October 2and a few possible rereads:
I'd love to get through some Sherlock HolmesThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie  It's been a long time since i read Interview with the Vampire or The Vampire LestatPlus, we'll be packing and moving all our books so I may discover a few of B's th…

It's that time again!

Time for my pretty much biannual Shakespeare play review!
This year, Shakespeare in the Park put on Much Ado About Nothing.  This one is probably my favorite of the comedies.  I think i always identified a bit with Beatrice and Dogberry is just amazingly fun to a word geek like me.  For this production, they updated the setting to 1945, swapped Hero's parent's gender, and added songs! It is great fun. Beatrice and Benedict are fantastic, Hero can really sing, the bad guy gets a "i'm so evil" song that was great.  Highly recommended!  Go see it if you'll be in Nashville any of the next 3 weekends!

BTT for 8/3/12

Had to jump in for this question!

Do you like to talk about what you read? Do you have somebody to talk WITH?

So I get to brag on B some more!!  Before I met him I didn't really talk to anyone in real life about books except when I went home to Louisiana or was around my family.  I had the blog of course but it just isn't the same.  Now, we talk about what we're reading, what we want to read, what we read a long time ago, all the time!  I went over some old emails recently and books read and unread were a huge topic of our early conversations.  And what he reads changes what i read and vice versa.

Example:  B was shocked I hadn't read Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, so I did.  Since i liked it, later I listened to Anathem and recommended it to B. B listened to it, then read Reamde, which he recommended back to me and i'm listening to it now! It's the Circle of Reading Life!!    

Locke and Key #5

In Locke and Key Volume 5: Clockworks, we get a ton of backstory.  FINALLY!  We learn where the keys came from, what's in the cave, what Dodge really wants, what the kids' dad did as a teen.  This book was what i wanted much earlier!  I get that this couldn't have been the first story but i feel like i would have liked 3 and 4 way more if i'd had some of this information earlier. 

Just read online that there will be one more volume then the series will be complete.  Excellent!  I've found I'm growing to like complete stories more and more, whether they be books, movies or TV shows.  Maybe because real life is so incomplete?  So many things happen where you never find out the end of the story.

So hey, sometime next year there should be a complete series.  YAY!

The Violinist's Thumb

I finished The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Tales of Love, War and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code by Sam Kean.  Kean also wrote The Disappearing Spoon about the elements of the periodic table.   This book is about DNA and genetics.  About how your genes can be your gift and your curse, what we've learned and how we learned about genes and DNA, and how much is unknown.  Did you know that humans appear to have less than 25000 genes?  and tomatoes have over 31000?  isn't that weird?  

Kean talks about fruit flies, Watson and Crick, cloning, Darwin, birth defects, Mendel, the Human Genome Project, Paganini,  Thomas Jefferson's descendents, and much more. a lot of topics to cover in 350 pages plus endnotes (read them, they're funny).  Kean's a good writer and turns these various topics into a compelling story, a great narrative of science

Like science history?  pick this one up, if you have some basic knowledge.  I don't know if it is quite basic enough fo…

Hell House

The entire time i was readingHell House by Richard Matheson i kept thinking "have i read this before?"  Then I realized I hadn't but i had read Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. Both books have the same setup: a couple of psychics and a scientist go investigate a haunted house.  But there is far more sex and gore in the Matheson version.  We also get in the heads of the various characters and see their perspectives on the haunting. 

I didn't really connect with any of the characters, which i think you kind of need to do with horror books.  You have to care about them and want them to live or, conversely, dislike them and hope they are next.  I think part was just the time it was written and set.  The women were just so cliched.  The scientist was also pretty stock.  The ex-psychic was the most interesting, but perhaps that's because he shares his first name with my husband (heehee, i can't get used to saying that!).  Anyway, if you want to see …

Time Untamed?

I finished up a book of short stories called Time Untamed.  It was published in 1967 by Belmont Books.  Collection of big names: Asimov, Bradbury, Clifford Simak, Fritz Leiber, Wyndham, Theodore Sturgeon, Robert Bloch, L. Sprague de Camp.  It has a weird mix of stories though.  The Bloch, Sturgeon and Leiber stories are pretty straightforward horror stories.  L. Sprague De Camp's is fantasy.  While the rest are sci-fi, it was just a strange compilation.  Not even very sure why the collection has the title Time Untamed, only one story, Bradbury's "Tomorrow and Tomorrow", has anything to do with time travel.  The Asimov story is "Sally" and after reading it I wondered if the people at Pixar are fans of Asimov.  Sally is the name of a car in the short story and in the movie Cars and the description in the story is similar to how she looks in the movie.  The cars in the story don't speak but they do have positronic brains.  I really enjoyed the c…

Fables 17

I'm loosing some interest in Fables.  Volume 17, Inherit the Wind, sorts out which of Bigby and Snow White's children will take over for the North Wind.  We get a little more of Mrs. Spratt and a bit of Rose Red and her scouting party returning to The Farm.  There's also a bit of Bufkin in Oz but i feel like i didn't quite catch what was going on there.

I honestly feel like the series is waiting for something to happen.  Like they had decided Mr. Dark was going to be the next big storyline but then decided to get rid of him after 2 books instead, though i do realize in the real comics it played out over many months.  But the story felt both rushed and drawn out because Mr. Dark was such a "comic book" villian, where Gepetto was (and is) way more complex and interesting.  Where's he anyway?

Overall, i'll keep reading but I hope the series takes a more exciting turn soon.

1000 posts!

This entry makes the 1000th I've written on this blog. My life has certainly changed since December of 2005 when I started this blog or from February 2007 when my random posts morphed into a book blog.  I don't do a ton of reflecting or looking back so let's do a bit now. 

I've met an amazing man and we got married.  I've changed jobs and gone back to school for my master's degree.  We just had our offer accepted on a house!  I've read an amazing number of really great books and some stinky ones. I've seen amazing movies and terrible ones.  I went from having one niece to having three nieces and two nephews and gained another whole family who are just great.  I've gained the chillest dog ever.  I've gone to New York and Asheville and Vermont.  I've gone skiing and to football games and to plays.  I've met a great group of people on Meetup.  I've made a bunch of blogging friend.  I've cried a bunch and felt the worst I ever had.  …

The Dead Witness

So, over the last 6 weeks the only book reading I've done (as opposed to audiobook listening) has been from a collection of Victorian mysteries called The Dead Witness, edited by Michael Sims.  It's about 550 pages and includes short stories, excerpts from longer works, and even a bit from the news of the time regarding Jack the Ripper.
The collection starts with "The Secret Cell" by William Burton, which has apparently not been published since its original publication in 1837.  It isn't the strongest story but is a good start.  Sims proceeds chronologically and brings in some rare stories from outside the US and Britain and several by women authors.  Rue Morgue is the second story but Holmes doesn't show until page 267, showing how many people were writing between the two authors. The quality does go back and forth but it's hard to compare detective stories written by Mark Twain or Arthur Conan Doyle to someone unknown to you
I'll be looking up C.L.…

Wedding post!

I've been silent the last few weeks because I was just too busy leading up to the wedding!  Not really reading, though i was slowly working my way through a book of Victorian mystery short stories, because i could only concentrate for 20 minutes or so.  I was so scatterbrained and will certainly not miss the ADHD feeling i had.  Now, onto the wedding.
B and I.
We got married at a friend's house here in Nashville.  We rented tent, chairs, tables and other various things.  We planned for around 40 guests and I think that's around what we had.  They have a huge backyard and we had plenty of room, even to set up a bar tent.

part of the ceremony area.  stole the sign idea off Pinterest.  We didn't need the umbrellas!
The weather pretty much cooperated; it was hot directly in the sun but under the tent or in the shade was fine. The wedding was supposed to start at 5 but i think we ran about 15 minutes late.  We had music and dancing, plenty to drink and eat, and books on the ta…

Hitchhiker's 3 and 4

I've been listening to these on audio and really enjoying them.  Martin Freeman (Arthur Dent in the Hitchhiker's movie) does a great job reading.  I did like Life, the Universe, and Everything way more than So Long, and Thanks for All the FishLife had a bigger, grander story while So Long is a smaller tale and never gives us an explanation for the new Earth. I did like the Rain God, which i remembered but thought i had read in a Neil Gaiman book.  I give part 3 a 6 an part 4 a 4.

mid year summary

page count for End of the World Challenge: 7642.  that doesn't count my rereads, graphic novels, or a couple that i started in 2011.
so yeah, i bombed on the blogging challenge this month.  I went 2 days before i realized i had forgotten.  In my defense, this week we: met with a realtor and a bank dude to start looking at houses, put our invitations together (which involved much cutting, pasting, inserting, writing, stamping (with stamps and with wax) and collating) and my mom came in town so i had to clean a little. 

stuff is starting to come together for the wedding.  Thinking about having a friend of a friend cater with Cajun food then adding in my own red beans and rice, vegetarian version. throw in salad and bread and fruit and that's a meal right?



I've read various short stories by Bradbury over the years and he wrote two of my favorites: Something Wicked This Way Comes and Fahrenheit 451.  I picked up The Martian Chronicles and read it over the last couple days as it was the only one I had in the house.  I also read "The Sound of Thunder", one of Bradbury's short stories.  

 I liked The Martian Chronicles but it seemed a bit disjointed.  Some of the chapters were previous short stories and those chapters were actually the very best.  "And The Moon Be Still As Bright" and "The Night Meeting"  were both very good; "Usher II" was a wonderful creepy story, both for the censorship it details and the house on Mars.  On a whole the book has that very dreamy feeling that all old sci-fi seems to have.  a 5 from me.

Think I will try to pick up Dandelion Wine or The Halloween Tree.

Torn and Unstoppable

I read Volumes 3 and 4 of the Astonishing X-Men, Tornand Unstoppable, and I am really glad I did.  There is action, fighting, torture, revenge, aliens, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles..heh, but true. 

 Anyway, in Torn much psychic craziness occurs and we find out what's up with the Hellfire Club.  In Unstoppable, crew gets transported to an alien world which has a prophecy that an X-Man will destroy it.  There are deaths and resurrections, people using their powers in interesting ways, someone without their power through the majority of the books, sex, and paper chains.  These books are not where I would start as a reader.  They reference a lot of previous events, some of which i read and a few i didn't but i was able to keep up.  If you read X-men through the 80's and 90's but haven't recently, you may enjoy these.  I did!


I can't believe i JUST found Dorothy Sayers and Lord Peter Wimsey. I loved Agatha Christie in middle and high school and it is so surprising I never heard of this character and series.  Of course, there was no internet then and i wasn't the sort of kid to go ask a librarian for a recommendation.  

Anyway, i finished The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club today.  Wimsey is brought in on a completely unsuspicious death to determine the exact time of death.  If the old General died before his equally old sister, the money goes to the sister's companion, if after, to the General's two sons.  Of course, events get curious and Wimsey has to use a good bit of his cleverness to figure it all out.  I certainly didn't guess who the killer was.

I guess I like Wimsey because he's all competence and properness covered by quips and a bit of playing the buffoon.  He's clever and but haunted.  The setting is just so British it's a bit weird; it is like a fantasy novel as…

BTT for 6/7

Here's the question:
Favorite secondary characters? (Note the plural)
and here's my answer!

The Weasley TwinsArmand from the Vampire ChroniclesNaomi from The Eyes of the DragonFord PrefectThe Marquis de Carabas from NeverwhereDogger from the Flavia de Luce books I'm having issues!  I keep thinking of main characters!


wasn't feeling too well today.  basically slept until noon, then coffee and more sinus meds and a few emails, then rewatched Aliens with B, and an episode of Mad Men (i've not seen any of it and B wanted me to watch the first episode) then some dinner and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.  It was a fun movie;  I'm a big Simon Pegg fan.  I'll be off to bed soon!  Hope everyone is well!

Just Ugh

I really had about decided to book the place at Vandy even though it's twice the budget.  I just want to get something settled!  but now i'm looking at it again and that price doesn't even include dishes or tablecloths or napkins or anything! 

So here's what we've got sorted:
My dressMy Best Woman's dressthe flower girl dresses!  Invitation designed, just need to get the details finished so we can mail themboutonnieres orderedWhat B's wearing--decided, not purchased Cupcakes pricing.Photographer Yes, i know that I'm doing the easy stuff.   the cheap stuff.  But dammit, this shit is hard!  Every place i've found that i've liked isn't reasonable, is booked, or doesn't allow alcohol.  So: future guests, i'm thinking you're going to have to prepare to be warm!

Astonishing Vol 2

I so love the library!  Picked up Volume 2 and tore through it late last night.  Ever wonder what would happen if the Danger Room's computer had a body?  and was pissed?  If so, pick up this volume. Action packed with a quick appearance by the Fantastic Four and the Avengers get name dropped.  Still lots of Cyclops/Emma but there is certainly some foreshadowing....

Am I going to start reading X-Men again?

So i read the first collection of Astonishing X-men by Josh Whedon and John Cassaday. In this particular series, Jean Grey is dead and Xavier is not around.  Cyclops and Emma Frost are running the school and have brought in Beast, Wolverine and Shadowcat.  A rather strange grouping of x-Men if you ask me.  A colleague of Beast's announces to the world she has a cure for the "genetic disease" of mutation.  However, rather than developing it herself, she seems to have an alien backer who gave her this cure in an attempt to stop some sort of future doomsday on an his world.  He's a bad guy though.

So, these aren't my favorites but i thought the story was solid.  When i read the comics, Kitty Pride wasn't in the US, she was over in Excalibur.  Emma Frost was a bad guy until right before i stopped following X-Men and i never really liked Cyclops.  Wolverine is exactly the same as i remember, as is Beast.  I'll be continuing this series.  a 5.

I haven't re…
I am going to try to do NaBloPoMo this month.  Yes, it is a bit crazy for me to say I want to blog every day when i've barely been writing in here at all.  I do miss it though and miss the reading that went along with it.  So i am going to take a stab at making 30 (well, 28 after this one) posts in a row this month.  The theme is "Jump"; not sure how many posts i'll make along the topic.  

So, to the wedding bitching!  :)

Date is July 21.  set. period.  My dad gave me 3 weekends he was available this summer and that was the only one that didn't conflict with niece/nephew in NYC's school schedule or the best man's math conference.  My future sis-in-law has gotten a house to stay in, as has my parents and brother's family.  People have plane tickets!

I still don't know where it is going to be!  

We are having a small wedding. My guest list right now is 32 people, plus another dozen that may/may not come.  You would think it wouldn't be hard to find …

I finished Bleak House!

Ugh.  I finally finished Bleak House by Charles Dickens.  I am going to lay off Dickens for a while.  I listened to this one on audio book and it just took forever.  It isn't necessarily that bad, just desperately in need of a good editor.  I had a tendency to forget who was who as there were so many characters, some of which would be gone for several chapters (or a couple cd's in my case) at a time.  And, other than the narrator Esther, i didn't really care much about them.  In truth, i knew i was really over this book when the adorable urchin died and my one thought was "yay, fewer characters/subplots!".  ah well.  
I am going to cleanse my mental palate with some comics now.

Clouds of Witness

Soo, I am just throwing up a quickie for this book.  I enjoyed Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers. it is the second book in the Wimsey series.  In this one, Wimsey's sister's fiance is found dead by Wimsey's brother.  Brother is then charged with the murder and the book consists of Wimsey attempting to determine what happened.  It's a neat, clever book and worth it if you enjoy old English mysteries. 
What have I been up to?  Wish I could still say school, but that finished up on May 1.  Got at least 1 A, not sure about 2nd class yet. Wish I could say the wedding is planned but it isn't.  Ive been watching a good bit of TV, messing around on the web and working a bit of overtime.  There's also a book i read but can't remember so that one should be in one of my gaps.  I've started a couple that i didn't finish.  Oh, and B's sister came in town and he and she ran the half marathon, so that was a weekend gone there.  I haven't been product…

American Vampire Vol 3

Best one so far.  Better than part 2 at any rate.  we've moved up to WW2.  we learn about some pretty disturbing vampires in Japan and what the Reich's been up to on the vampire front.  Pearl kicks some ass and so does Cash (the lawman from Vegas from the last book).  Great writing, great art.  Read it!

Nerd Do Well

Fabulous book.  Simon Pegg is as funny on the page as he is on the screen.  very recommended if you have any geekiness in you .

The Unwritten 5: On to Genesis

Finished The Unwritten Volume 5: On to Genesis by Mike Carey, Peter Gross and Vince Locke.  I really liked this one; i've loved the whole series actually. 

And i've forgotten a book.  i've got to get back to properly updating this blog.

Hard Times is OVER!

The audio book anyway.  Not sure about the general hard times people are having.  I listened to Hard Times by Charles Dickens and I have to say it was not much fun.  It is hard to judge older books at times; things that seem like cliches now may have been fresh then, plot twists may not have been telegraphed to a reader then the same way it seems now.  Essentially the book is about a few people in Coketown.  Mr. Gradgrind is a man obsessed with facts and raises his children, Louisa and Samuel, to eschew fantasy and feelings and imagination.  Bounderby is a business owner in the town and, very creepy, lusts after Louisa, who at the start of the story is about 14. eewww.  There are a couple of laborers, Samuel Blackpool and Rachel, who both have difficult lives.  
The Gradgrind children grow up and Louisa does marry Bounderby.  eeewww again.  Tom works for Bounderby at his bank and uses his sister to make his life easier.  Bad things happen, Louisa almost has an affair, then more bad t…

Bringing Up Bebe

I don't have kids at this point.  So, I'm not sure howBringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman came up on my reading radar.  For whatever reason, i read a review and wanted to read the book!  Reading this book made me actually feel like I might could handle the motherhood thing.  Granted, it would be easier in France with paid leave and daycare and such, but I still feel like I could do it.  It also made me decide that, if i ever do have a kid, not to go online to a single pregnancy site.  I know myself and i will freak myself out. 
So there's also a theme that's mentioned in the book that i've also read around the web.  That's of men "helping" their wives with the kids and house.  Even my mom said something like "B's going to help you out right?"  For the longest i couldn't figure out why that irked me and then i read a post over on Offbeat Mama.  This post describes exactly how i feel.  "Helping" is what you do as a favor …

Hitchhiker's Guide Part 2

I finishedThe Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams.  Martin Freeman (Arthur Dent in the Hitchhiker's movie, Watson in the BBC Sherlock, and some hobbit in some movie out later this year) read the version I listened to.  He is really great! His Marvin is wonderful and he pulls a New York accent out for Zaphod! 

It is strange listening to these books.  I read them, the first few volumes probably several times, when i was in middle and high school.  I remember parts of them, most of the basic plot points, but not much else.  Another thing is that i'm a bit more steeped in British culture now.  I've read more modern and older British novels.  I've read Nick Hornby's non-fiction.  I've watched the modern Doctor Who.  I've seen shows like Sherlock, Spaced, and Red Dwarf.  I love Sean of the Dead and Snatch and Children of Men and V for Vendetta.  Why do i mention all this?  Because i've read the books before i'm not trying to figure out …


I finishedSpace Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier by Neal deGrasse Tyson.  I can only half recommend it.  If you've listened to a few of his talks these last few years, you've heard much of the book. It is all very interesting but not new.  B and i had a bit of fun going over the charts and graphs at the end.

Rendezvous with Rama

I listened to Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.  While on vacation over Christmas, B had played it in the car as he was driving.  He mostly drove overnight while I slept so i caught bits and pieces of the story.  I heard the introduction by Robert J. Sawyer (Fast Forward, the WWW series) and probably the first third of the story.  Then I was asleep for a while, caught maybe an hour in the middle of the second half then heard the last 15 minutes.

I was interested enough by what i heard to give the whole thing a listen.  about 150 years from now, about 200 years from when Clarke wrote it, there is a network of satellites and telescopes searching for asteroids that may strike Earth or one of its many colonies.  There are colonies on the Moon, Mars, several moons, and even Mercury!  One of these satellites sees an anomaly which scientists name Rama as they are working through the Hindu pantheon of gods.  When scientists arrange a flyby by a probe, they discover that Rama is actuall…