Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Tigers and Mini Reviews

"Waiting On" Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases that everyone's excited about (created by Jill at Breaking The Spine.)

Perhaps I'm cheating by including reviews in this post along with my WoW, but I can't help myself. I think you'll understand why.

Tiger's Destiny (The Tiger Saga #4) by Collen Houck
Scheduled to be released:
September 4, 2012

My initial comments: One. Ms. Houck if you would like to publish sooner than September, you won't hear any complaints from me. I'm sure many of your fans agree. Two. If you want to publish 2 books in one year, I'm sure you'll find many eager and agreeable fans out there as well. Three. Hopefully Goodreads has it wrong when they list book four as having only 250 pages. That just won't do. Four. Cover art please?!?

Why I'm waiting:
Here is where the mini reviews come into play.

Tiger's Curse (book 1):

My friend recommended this book to me by saying, "You must read this! It will blow Twilight out of the water. It is so good." Okay. . . well here's the thing Twilight is not that hard to blow out of the water, especially when you don't find it well written to begin with. However, I'm a good friend (I think) and decided to read this book based on her ravings. 

Yikes! I hate to be mean, but it is painfully obvious this is the author's first book. Lots of plot holes and character development is extremely lacking, not to mention what there is of it is too quick to be considered normal. Kelsey is so naive and trusting that I just have to wonder, do people read this and think this would be someone's true reaction? I can't imagine any foster parents (Kelsey's real parents are deceased) not caring as much as these people don't seem to care that she just met this old guy, suddenly is an "expert" when it comes to Tigers, and is leaving for India. I'm not being kind, I realize. I didn't like reading it and feeling as though I was hitting myself in the head constantly thinking "Duh!" or "That would never happen!" The book is fantasy, yes, but even the most far-fetching fantasy story out there has a level of believability to it. 

Tiger's  Quest (book 2):

Intentionally reminiscent of New Moon or just a coincidence?

Kelsey and Ren (sigh) find themselves separated at the end of the last book. (spoiler sorry) COMMUNICATION folks it works wonders! However, the reason I like this is because reactions seem truer to nature (unlike another teenage girl whose life seems about to end when sparkle boy leaves her). This also gave Kelsey and Ren the chance to develop a relationship on more than physical attraction. 

I'm a big fan of poetry and quotes and enjoyed how the author sprinkled these throughout; especially when she uses them as a bantering competition between Kelsey and Ren. I do not like Kishan and he needs to leave. Love triangles have these maddening affects on me; I tend to want to bash a character on the head over and over until they wake up. Typically it is the girl, because she throws around this nonsense "I love you both." Although that comes into play more in the third book than in this book.

Perhaps it is the place I'm at in my life, relationship wise, that brings many of the themes to the forefront and connect me so strongly, but I couldn't get enough of this book. I will admit (DON'T JUDGE ME) that I did cry at the end of this book. I saw it coming and my heart kept teetering on the edge begging that it wouldn't be so, but it was. I will not tell you what happened; you will have to read it yourself!

Tiger's Voyage (book 3):

While this book kept me reading, it was solely because I had to know what was going to happen. Otherwise this book drug on a bit and didn't keep me occupied as well as book 2. My library didn't have book 3 yet, so I was "forced" (a little too willingly) to purchase the book in order to read it. 

I think it is extremely evident that the author has done her homework. There is so much culture and history and research thrown in, that I can imagine she worked hard to write these books. I mean they learn how to deep sea dive and she describes it in great detail. I've never been, but I can assume she knows what she is talking about. If not, she is good at pretending.
Kishan leave already! When he first comes into the books, he seems macho and just the least bit narcissistic. Suddenly in this book he is a love sick, pushover, and a wimp. Love does not become him very well. I feel only the least bit sorry for him, because dumb Kelsey can't seem to make up her mind. I will sympathize with her some, in that even in real life you come to the point where you are so confused and lost, you just want for someone to tell you straight and clear, "This is what you are so supposed to do!" None of this cryptic nonsense that constantly gets thrown at us and we have to do the "adult" thing and decide ourselves. Humph not fair . . .

Favorite parts are the moments of jealousy. I don't know about you, but a hot guy + obvious signs of jealousy = HOTTIE. . . for me anyway.

You might at this point, be asking yourself than A. Why is another book in the serious your WoW? and B. Why did you finish and read the other books?

Surprise! I've got an answer!

Hot Indian guys aside (sigh), Ms. Houck has a knack for entertaining her readers, regardless of the other downfalls I found in the books. I appreciated how clean the books are compared to the majority of YA fantasy out there, but there was just enough to keep the "ole" romantics at heart satisfied. I kept turning the pages because I had to figure how these poorly written characters were going to finagle their way out in a manner that seemed half plausible. These books suck you in! At least if you are a sucker for love triangles (which seem to be in every other novel written these days) and for shape-shifting hot guys! 

I find it encouraging (wanting to be a published author myself someday) that Ms. Houck was able to get her books published, mostly, due to a huge fan following that supported her by crying out for MORE. It is amazing she was able to publish 3 books in 1 year! I hope she continues to write and that by writing more, she may hone her skills and encourage other up and coming authors that, it is possible.

A side note, according to her website her books have been optioned for the big screen by Paramount. Now Paramount, do you think you can do a better job than Summit has done with Twilight

This was a long post, sorry. I hope you enjoyed it and that it made sense. Perhaps these books have affected me more than I realized. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tattoo Tuesdays: HOPE

Finally! I'm able to post another Tattoo Tuesdays blog. I thought I would never get around to posting. Although, in my defense, Tuesdays are usually shop day (I own and work at a bookstore). At the shop we are very 19th century and have electricity, but we aren't hip and happening quite enough to have. . . internet or a computer, yet. I can write the post, but as for it going live on the web well that can't happen.

Today's tattoo I first came across, or tumbled upon, on Tumblr. Ever since it has been "drool over" at first site. :)

Inside All of Us is...HOPE

In my old age (ha I'm only 23) I'm starting to become a typography nut. (No I'm not a hipster...yet) That being said I like the lettering choice for HOPE and then the contrasting font inside the 'O'. I'm envious of whoever thought this up first. Thumbs up to you!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas (My Christmas Letter)

The Front of my Christmas Card

Dear Friends,

I can't believe that it is Christmas and soon to be New Years! It seems like I was just making my New Year's resolution list and putting lots of pleases, hopes, and prayers into what this year could bring. I'd like to say I got them all accomplished and then some, but well I won't tell if you won't.

If there is one thing I've learned this year it is boy howdy am I am stubborn person. It has been a rough year, emotionally, spiritually, "relationally", you name it. I read a verse the other day that made me scratch my head and think "Gee God, I think I'm as gold as I'm going to get." In 1 Peter it says "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." As my dad reminded me, and now that I think of it more I'm truly grateful for this, He is never finished refining me. Of course maybe it would be nice if He didn't polish so hard. :)

This year my mum watched in horror (ha ha!) as I purchased my first of several (I'm addicted, shhh don't tell) pairs of skinny jeans. Added to my growing taste for music, I can't stop listening to screamo or there are other names for it, but most commonly in my house that scary stuff Maddie listens to (shout out to the guys who introduced me to it :)!) In March I traveled to Long Beach for my fifth year!

I watched as my baby sister, Elyza, turned 21. Hello drinking buddy! Don't tell my mum I said that. A. David turned 20 and baby Reece 18. Man I'm feeling old. . . I turned 23, blah, but hey another year wiser. Don't worry if you question that, I do too. I still live at home (if you thought that had changed) and these 3 are some of my favorite people. Between making me laugh with their quick wit and sarcasm and playing SingStar, we are the karaoke champs; it is never a dull moment.

I took horseback riding lessons during the summer and hope to continue next year. Knitting became a thorn in my side. I always seem to take on the hardest projects. Hopefully with snow coming (I'm praying for it, are you?), I can have a chance to indulge in some winter activities as well.

2012 may be considered the year the world ends, but I'm hoping it is a big year for me. Win the lottery. Marry prince charming. Vacation in the Bahamas. Yes big year, indeed. On a serious note, I'm looking forward to what the Lord has in store, crossing my fingers for some growth, adventure, and joy.

Happy Birthday Jesus! Merry Christmas!

2011 Favorites:
Movie: Drive
Book: Blackveil by Kristen Britain
Scripture: 1 Corinthians 13:6-8
Song: Blame it on the Rain by He is We
Screamo: Safe to Say by Vanna
Documentary: The Art of Flight

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mundane Mondays: Christmas Secrets, Dragons and Wrapping with style

Did you think you'd lost me? That somehow I had drifted off into space, never to be seen or heard from again? Don't worry! I'm here. Life has been . . . well busy.

Christmas is 6 days away! I'm ready, just about. I got the last of my gifts, courtesy of Etsy today. Okay people! I'm going to steal these last gifts. Shhh . . . no one has to know and you don't have to tell. I am very pleased with myself. Could you tell? I will have to post pictures after Christmas.

This year I'm trying a different wrapping technique, well labeling is the only difference. Otherwise they are still wrapped the same. I can't tell you though, some people read this blog who will be getting gifts from me. You thought I would share the secret before Christmas. . . wrong!

You may be reading this and finding it a bit rushed. That's because it is. I have things to do, people to see, guys to kiss. . . wait what? Oh yeah that's just in my imagination. Hmm I'm tempted to stay there for a bit. :)

I will be doing something this week, or perhaps I will have to wait for things to calm down a bit, that I have never done before. I'm going to see a movie . . . all by my lonesome. Do you want to come with me? I make for a good date. No one I know has read the books or watched the Swedish versions, nor has any interest whatsoever in seeing this movie. I on the other hand have read the books and watched the Swedish versions and Daniel Craig aside (he is handsome, just not my type) I want to see this movie. By some chance though, if you stranger, live in my town, know where I live, and want to see this movie, well be my guest. Give me a call, you'll need my number first and therefore you need to know me. I know I'm making it rough, aren't I? I am, of course, talking about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (that needs to be in lights, flashing, cue LIGHTS people). You can read my review for the book here. This will be a new and weird experience for me. I mean don't people stare at people who come to theaters by themselves, "Oh, look at the creepier, came to see a movie alone." Ok, no? I guess only I do that kind of thing. I'll let you know how loner movie going is, unless. . . hey you over there, yeah you're cute you wanna go with me? :)

My Christmas tree finally went up Saturday night!

I'm 16 books away from 1,400 in my own personal library. I only have to read 24 more books by the end of the year, to complete my goal. Which, just a sneaky suspicion, that seems unlikely to happen. I'm a fast reader, not that fast. Check out my GoodReads to see what I have read this year.

I had all these great quotes to give you and what did I do? I left them at home. . .

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book Review (of sorts): Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

Thank you to LibraryThing Early Reviewers for the opportunity to review this book!

Born Wicked by Jessica SpotswoodCate Cahill is a witch. Her sisters are witches, as was her mother (now deceased). But in 1890 New England that is the farthest thing from “proper” for a woman to be.

I often judge books by their covers and had no inkling I had picked a book about witches, not my usual. It was an entertaining read and kept my attention. I was absorbed and forced to turn page after page to see what would become of this twisted situation.

The story is well written, but at times predictable. Although, I’m now frustrated, I have to wait over a year to find out what happens next.

If witches and alternative history novels are to your taste, this is a book you will enjoy. I truly felt for Cate and the burden she endeavored to take on.

I’m not one to appreciate religious mockery and this story is rife with it; as well as continuous examples of belittling the “Christian” faith’s distaste for bluestockings and the like. I am never quite sure where or why people get off thinking this is how things are. That is the only portion I take issue with in this story.

This review is proof that I'm not very good at writing negative reviews.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: You have Power! Touch of Power

"Waiting On" Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases that everyone's excited about (created by Jill at Breaking The Spine.)
(I picked this cover because I like it much more than the American version. Not fair Australia always gets the better covers!)
Touch of Power (Healer #1) by Maria V. Snyder
Scheduled to be released:
December 20, 2011 (Just in time for Christmas!)

Why I'm waiting:
All day I've been trying to remember where I first picked up a book by Maria V. Snyder. I think it was at the library. I know it was her book, Poison Study. The cover was stunning and of course the word 'poison' is enough to intrigue anyone. Since reading the Study Series I've read most of her other books and can't miss anything new coming out!

Book 1 Summary:

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...

(Plot summary taken from Goodreads

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mundane Mondays: Christmas, Reading and Adventures

The day certainly got away from me. . . hence an evening post. A post all the same, though. :)

I spent my evening working. The Christmas Open House, for our town, is Saturday and if you don't know me by now, well I'm a procrastinator. Someday they will invent (or I will) a tonic concoction to help remedy this annoying trait, but for now I do my best. I've known for at least a month (longer ashamedly than that really) that I'm supposed to decorate a tree for the Christmas auction. So what do I do? I wait 6 days until the event to start working on my tree. Ha! I can do it. It is a challenge.

My idea is an advent tree. I have always loved that about Christmas, the advents. Advent Adventure Tree! The advent (my mum's original creation, that she has used for us for a few years) is 25 mittens. Each mitten contains candy or some such. I plan to google for an advent idea, because I want more than just candy. Although, who doesn't love candy?!? The mittens take have lots of hand sewing, which I much prefer over using the machine. Hello. . . blanket stitch! They are made out of our various colors of felt we had stashed on the fabric shelf. I really wanted some brown felt, but no such luck. Due to the lateness of the project (my fault entirely) I'm not allowed to buy extra materials, according to my mum, I must make due with what I have!

Thank goodness I have tomorrow at the bookstore to work on this and yes my own personal sweat shop. . . grandma. :) She volunteered (I promise) to embroider the numbers. The numbers on my mum's set are made out of felt, but time shortage calls for alternatives. As I said to mum, "If grandma hadn't been willing to embroider the numbers, I would have thrown the mittens across the room by now." Embroidery is not my strong suit.

Mondays are not always about crafts. I wanted to update you on what I have been reading. LibraryThing sent me an early reviewer, Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood (speaking of which I'm way behind on updating my GoodReads, so don't be looking on there to see how I'm doing. . . mental note to update that tomorrow). I'm on chapter 9 and thus far it is entertaining. It is nothing earth shattering and I wonder why I picked this book out of the last batch of early reviewers. Typically I'm not the "oh let's read about witches" type. I'm also not huge on throwing religious fanatics in books (especially young adult novels) that way the general public associate (in this case) Christians with those found in the story. It must have been the cover that drew me in, not sure. 

I also have a tomb sitting on my shelf to read from LibraryThing a Catherine the Great non-fiction book by Robert Massie (I have a thing, perhaps obsession with Russian history). I'm eying that book right now, with half dread half intrigue. I'll pick it up soon. . . maybe after Christmas.

Oh and ugh, I'm still reading The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi (great name!). I purchased this book in Long Beach last year and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt it was because of the cover. Yes and the prospect of it being a steampunk novel (which as far as I can tell, it is not). Maybe this is the type of book that you need to devour immediately, rather than shoving it in a corner, hoping the next time you pick it up you're somehow closer to the end than when you put it there. Wishful thinking? Much of the book is over my head and that makes me feel stupid. Then there is the fact that I want to read more about specific characters, but no I keep getting chapters about the people I could care less about. I also have this pet peeve, authors if you are going to have foreign languages in your books, please translate for us "normal" folk. As mush as I would love to say "hey I speak Thai", I don't right now and can't see it happening anytime soon. Sorry. Here's to hoping this book changes within the last half and oh yes. . . that I finish it.

Final thoughts. . . 
Should I do a book giveaway? I have a few books I wouldn't mind passing on to someone (Born Wicked perhaps) who could enjoy them. Leave a comment if you think I should or not.

Check out the music from the group Set it Off. I really like their music, especially their song Horrible Kids. Maybe later this week I will post a music playlist of must listens!

Now to bed!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Timeless

"Waiting On" Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases that everyone's excited about (created byJill at Breaking The Spine.) 

I realize it is almost 11:00 PM, but better late than never. I've been working and baking. . . Thanksgiving is tomorrow after all. I didn't want to slack, though, and took a break to write a WoW post.

Timeless (Parasol Protectorate #5) by Gail Carriger

Scheduled to be released:
March 1, 2012

Why I'm waiting:
Gail Carriger's books are an adventure. Each time I sit down to begin, the pages fly by and I look up to find that I've finished and had wild fun along with all the hilarious characters. The setting of the books are great. Plus they are steampunk, they have vampires, werewolves, ghosts. . . a bit of something for everyone. I can't wait for another read with Alexia Tarabotti!

Book 5 Summary:
Alexia Tarabotti, Lady Maccon, has settled into domestic bliss. Of course, being Alexia, such bliss involves integrating werewolves into London High society, living in a vampire's second best closet, and coping with a precocious toddler who is prone to turning supernatural willy-nilly. Even Ivy Tunstell's acting troupe's latest play, disastrous to say the least, cannot put a damper on Alexia's enjoyment of her new London lifestyle.

Until, that is, she receives a summons from Alexandria that cannot be ignored. With husband, child, and Tunstells in tow, Alexia boards a steamer to cross the Mediterranean. But Egypt may hold more mysteries than even the indomitable Lady Maccon can handle. What does the vampire Queen of the Alexandria Hive really want from her? Why is the God-Breaker Plague suddenly expanding? And how has Ivy Tunstell suddenly become the most popular actress in all the British Empire?

(Plot summary taken from Goodreads

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tattoo Tuesdays: Meet Melissa

Uh-oh?!? Are you thinking I've finally reached my limit and inked my skin with some art? Well hopefully you didn't get the idea from the picture above, because that is a very crude doodling done by yours truly. My sister and I have this in common, when ink pens are around we can't help, but to take them to our flesh and begin doodling. I even write poetry on my palms (while driving, bad habit). I don't know about her, but I even have a particular pen I like to use. Which explains why the Tattoo Tuesdays picture is not very good. I left my pen in the car*.

Maybe it is a secret or maybe not, but tattoos hold a certain fascination for me. I'm always tempted to ask people for a closer look or to ask where did you get it done. You know with every tattoo there is a story, a motivation, and I wouldn't mind knowing that too. Of course I want one, but there are some moral issues to sort through first, until then I'll keep ogling other people's tattoos.

This first part, of another new series, will be long because it is an intro, but I hope for these to be short in the future. My only intent is for a blurb and picture of favorite tattoos I come across. However, to start, I want to tell you about a tattoo artist I really admire, Melissa Metz (screen name on Flickr: ImeanHoneyBee).

I was internet “introduced” to her by my friend Nicole a few years ago. Back then Nicole was bragging on her photography and I can still see why. She is who inspired me to start my first 365 Photo project and to delve into photography more. I'm still an extreme amateur with my pictures, but I hope I can someday capture the world with a lens the way Melissa does. So I've never truly met her or talked to her, I "stalk" her on Flickr. She doesn't know, I assume. It was there that I discovered her tattoos and her other awesome ability . . . she is a tattoo artist!

The older I get the more I feel I want to surround myself with these artistically awesome people. Perhaps become guilty by association? I feel the same about my sister, when I look at her room, I feel dull in comparison. So when I grow up I want to be a mix of Melissa and my sister with my only little twist. :)

From what I can tell from Melissa's pictures on Flickr she designs her own tattoos. She has one full sleeve, I think. (If I get the tattoos wrong, it is because I'm a poor researcher or not a good stalker :) As well as a gorgeous tree spanning her entire back. I have the picture of this, which she posted on Flickr, on my iPod**. FYI Flickr folk, I do this with my favorite pictures. It is my modern version of being a "grandmother" and taking my wallet out and showing people your amazing talents. I'm advertising your skills! I'm always saying "If you like this, check out their other stuff on Flickr. Go! Now!"

Melissa recently shaved part of her head and got a tattoo in its place of buttons. Sweet! When I shared the link on my Facebook everyone assumed I wanted the same. :) I like my hair too much.

She lives in New Zealand now and still tattoos. Previously she was inking in California.

Okay, so here is where I get a little ridiculous (if I haven't already). I want to fly to New Zealand to get my first tattoo done by her. I would do it too, if I didn't think she might look at me like I'm mad. You never know, though, perhaps she is used to crazy folk . . . like me. I know what I want for my tattoo and I'm very tempted to message her. I would be like, "I think you’re awesome! Because the chances of me making it to New Zealand in this life are slim, I was wondering would you at least be willing to design my tattoo?" Should I brave it?

So check out her pictures and her tattoos! Maybe tell her, Maddie sent you.

Do you want a tattoo? Do you have a favorite you've seen?

*I could go get it, but it has been pouring down rain all day and I'm relatively warm in the shop. Where is snow at people?!?

**That is not the picture I have. I promise the photo (not good quality pic of my iPod below showing it) existed at some point, but I couldn't find it on her Flickr. The link above is another picture of the tattoo that I found while trying to link to the other one for you. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mundane Mondays: Knitting Update

I couldn't have said it better than on Twitter:

motivation comes in the form of 4 hour road trip to Ohio. I do my best thinking in the car, albeit that means less focus on the road. :(

Friday I drove to Ohio to pick up my grandmother for Thanksgiving. While certain people always monopolize my thoughts, I did manage to think about other "pressing" items. For one my lack of writing lately and blogging. You may think it is cheesy, but I love blog post series titles. It is the keeping up with the committed serialization of the blog that I have issues with, but I'm willing to try this again.

Of course I did my normal "bite off more than you can chew" and I came up with a title for everyday. (blush) Also keeping in mind I try to participate in Waiting on Wednesdays already and 2 others I came up for Thursdays and Fridays. It remains to be seen weather I can keep with these in addition to the new. I'm willing to try, even I have to write by candlelight.

With that said, welcome to Anything, but Mundane Mondays! These posts will be about books, crafts, everything, an update of sorts or just a post about new things I've come across. Post one is about knitting.

I feel as though knitting is sucking away my very life. Okay so let's not be dramatic, it is only sucking away my time and then in turn my free reading. What's reading? I can't remember because I haven't read more than 2 chapters in one sitting for the past few weeks. Ugh am I sick or something?

I'm complaining I know and I shouldn't be. I'm not 100% upset about all this knitting. I've sold 2 pairs of gloves (last 2 pictures below) to girls at work. I have at least 4 more projects ordered and who knows what else could come up. I've always wanted a chance to make and sell items. Although, I had no clue it would ever be knitted items. The downside of it all is, these projects are eating up my Christmas gift time. I should be working on the huge list of items my family has asked for (ok so not that big) and I have several gifts I want to make for friends. Knitting isn't bad, I just need to strike a deal with Father Time. Do you think he likes scarves?

I've now attempted 2 different patterns for fingerless gloves, click here for pattern A. and click here for pattern B.. I'm working on trying a third pattern now, not so sure about it yet. The count is in though, I really like pattern B (first and fourth picture below). It is simple and the way it works up makes it look more complicated than it really is. Only issues I have with it are: It is for children. If I can figure out how to size it for adults we are gold! The thumbs are a bit tricky and I'm still trying to make them not look strange (at least to my perfectionist eyes). Pattern A (2nd, 5th, and 6th picture below) isn't all that bad. I like it, but I struggle with the final set of rib stitching.

I also took a knitting class for how to make socks. The class is over, but I'm not finished yet. I will say one thing for socks, you can't be sidetracked while making them.

Before I leave to your own explorations, you can click the picture below and it will take you to my flickr page for my finished projects. 

You may also want to checkout this awesome site: Pinterest. Turns out you need an invite to be a member, otherwise you are wait listed (at least that is what my sister told me). If you need or want an invite send or message me your email. I'd be happy for you to join the Pinterest world.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (WoW): Bitter? No! Bitterblue

"Waiting On" Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases that everyone's excited about (created by Jill at Breaking The Spine.)

I will, I promise, become better at blogging. Hopefully life will decide to slow down some, in the foreseeable future. . . maybe?

Bitterblue (The Seven Kingdoms, # 3) by Kristin Cashore (I just read that the title is actually not set in stone at the moment.)

Date is set to come out:
May 1, 2012 (goodness that is long ways off)

Why I'm waiting:
I read Graceling in a blur, so much so I need to reread it. It was so good that yeah, I can't describe how good it was. Then, despite being told by a bookstore pal that it wasn't as good, I read the second book, Fire. I missed my old friends from Graceling, but I thought Ms. Cashore did a stellar job writing it as well. I can't wait for the third book!

If you haven't read the books yet, go get them right now! In fact I have a ARC of Fire for anyone who wants it. I want to own an actual copy and have been holding on to the ARC until I'm prodded into getting it. This will help. :) First person to respond (and kindly follow my blog, hey I need the encouragement) and I will send you the book, no strings attached.

Book 3, tentatively titled Bitterblue and currently in progress, is a companion book to both Graceling and Fire and takes place in the seven kingdoms eight years after Graceling. Bitterblue will tie all three books together in some way. Bitterblue is the sixteen-year-old protagonist, and Katsa, Po, Giddon, Helda, and other characters from Graceling will be part of the fabric of the book. Plenty of fighting still to come!

(Plot summary taken from Goodreads)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (WoW): Fair Game

"Waiting On" Wednesday spotlights upcoming releases that everyone's excited about (created by Jill at Breaking The Spine.)

 I wanted to give this post more justice, but I'm in a rush and didn't want another week to go by without doing a Waiting on Wednesday post.

Fair Game (Alpha and Omega 3) by Patricia Briggs

Date is set to come out:
February 7, 2012

Why I'm waiting:
I first sunk my teeth into Patricia Briggs, when I read her book Moon Called and then from there on out I couldn't get enough. I hate to say it, but I almost like her Alpha and Omega series better. Okay. . . yes I do. The Mercy Thompson series is getting long. This series feels fresh, new, exciting with a look at some of the same characters, but with new better ones too. Hello Charles! 

Patricia Briggs really has a knack for writing about delicate characters who have been through crap. I really respect that about her skills. I can't wait to read more about Anna and Charles.

You know me I'm not big on plot summaries, but I thought I should include it for you today.
When the FBI request a pack consultant on a serial killer case they're following in Boston, Anna and Charles are sent in. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves – all of them were.

Someone is targeting their kind. And if Charles and Anna can't get to the bottom of this mystery, they may be next...

(Plot summary taken from Goodreads

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lately Thursdays: Measures

I used to be asked frequently (to the point of exhaustion) are you to college? The question would come in various forms and from many walks of life. I'll be honest; it aggravated me and tested me daily. There are only so many responses and only so much patience you can feed from before you burst. I'd like to say I kept calm and answered politely, model citizen that I am, but that would be bending the truth, if only a little (insert sarcasm).

The other day a person asked me do I still get asked about my plans college and what was my response. I wanted to encourage them that there does come a day when the questions cease, but sadly that is not the case. This past year I was asked and somewhat caught unaware by the question. I hadn't answered it in a while. Times like these I'm tempted to go on a bragging session, listing my accomplishments that college did not give me nor put me in the way of. Some people view that as the opposite of humble, though, and I choose to keep my brag book sealed away for another day.

My answer is still the same. I don't feel led to go to college. Led in the sense that my Lord isn't telling me through daily encounters (encounters being prayer) that "Hey, Maddie you should go to college." Until that day comes I'm where I'm at now and I fully trust that if he says go He will also provide the means. This still doesn't convince people and I guess that is okay. If I can't, no one will. In light of that, people don't understand the idea of standing back and waiting for things to happen. I'd like to fool you into believing I understand it and enjoy it, but I'm really not a liar. It will never be easy to wait or trust and that's why it is life; life is all about learning. If it wasn't hard all the time, or most of it, I'm not sure what we'd glean from it. If we were to set up a graph comparing the number of times I'm more prone to worry and scheming than to waiting and trusting, the results would be scary.

I'm rambling and you are probably wondering when will she get to the point. Here it is: By what standards are you willing to measure your success or the success of those around you? Should your success ever be compared to anyone else’s or should it stand on its own two feet? I'm selfish. My success is mine, well it is what the Lord grants me and He should be praised for it, but I'm not about to share it with anyone else.

I don't necessarily want to make it to the top, but I do want to live to see dreams become tangible. I don't want someone else's doubts to put a cage around what I hope or want to attain. I once asked someone, half serious, half joking, if I would see them at the winter Olympics someday. In a nutshell, age and comparison came into play and doubt had a nice welcoming through the front door. First and foremost I believe you should seek the Lord out when it comes to your dreams and desires. The desires aren't put in place to just bask in the sun, they want to see action. The Lord is not wasteful and thus I believe desires will, if allowed, bloom into tangible accomplishments. Your/our willingness to wait and ignore the negativity of those around us is key. It will never be easy, but the end result will be awesome.

I find it imperative to surround yourself, not necessarily with like minded people, but people who will encourage you; people who believe in your abilities and full well foresee the fruition coming about. That being said, be one of those people. If you believe someone is the next Clint Eastwood (actor/director) or Olympic athlete or Picasso or whoever, tell them. Don't hesitate to say you can do it!

No amount of education is a waste. I love that phrase because it is very true. Perhaps you went or are going to college, just because I'm not going doesn't mean I think other people going is wrong or a waste. Everyone has their path they are designated to go down and we all learn along the way. I learn everyday. Whether it be dealing with a new crisis at work and how to handle it or by reading a little fact I'd never come across before. I'm always learning, by the Lord's grace. This year has been a challenge to learn more and not stick to the basic routine of life. I would tell you to do that, never stick to the comfort of everyday sameness. Do something you haven't done before. Read a book from a different genre you are not familiar with, hello non-fiction for me. Learn a new skill or even hone old ones. There is no end to the number of things you can learn from books; even books that will help you along the way to achieving your dreams. I, for one, want to be a writer. I've read it a few times; to write, you must read and read often. I envision this as reading until words are bleeding from my finger tips.
I'm not sure I intended this to come out as a motivational post, but it is what it is. What measures are you willing to take or live through in order to attain the means?
Reading: The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeir

Listening: Blue Beard by Band of Horses

What's on the docket for your pocket?: The Art of Flight - DVD! Snowboarding. . . must see!

Snap! I took a picture:

Friday, September 16, 2011

Uncovering the Judge: Steampunk Style

This day just flew by and I was hoping to have posted earlier, but no such luck. It may also seem like a rushed post, well you're right. I won't have time to make this post sound good, but you'll get the gist.

Whitechapel Gods by S.M. Peters

First Impression:
Top hat! He has a top hat on!

Second Impression:
I'm becoming more familiar with Steampunk as it gains popularity in the book world. I've watched more films considered Steampunk than I've read books, but I like what I see. The cover of this book really has me starring, open mouthed (ewe is that drool on my hand?) Aside from Steampunk, I've long had a thing for fire; borderline pryo perhaps?

Where did you get this?

June 2009

Why haven't you read this book yet?
I really have no good excuse, but it is in my room to read. Which means is on a separate floor from my personal library, aka a 'must read sooner rather than later' book.

For you Synopsis Lovers (copied from Amazon):

In Victorian London, the Whitechapel section is a mechanized, steam-driven hell, cut off and ruled by two mysterious, mechanical gods-Mama Engine and Grandfather Clock. Some years have passed since the Great Uprising, when humans rose up to fight against the machines, but a few brave veterans of the Uprising have formed their own Resistance-and are gathering for another attack. For now they have a secret weapon that may finally free them-or kill them all...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lately Thursdays

The day is crisp and sunny and I'm thrilled. Autumn is my favorite season, with winter and snow a close second. I will admit I'm looking forward to snow too, call me evil.
This week has found me exhausted and frustrated. Who is to blame? Knitting! I'm the type of person who likes to take on a challenge and when I say that I mean I pick the hardest project in the basket. Why? I'm beginning to ask myself that very question.

I don't have many avenues for getting guidance and that's rough for me because I'm a visual learner. I use youtube or as much as I can, but sometimes I just need a HUMAN being. Then with human beings I run into the issue of not having someone who is a perfectionist like me. Yes I know it is an annoying trait, but I want the knitting to look good and don't appreciate people lying to me (essential it is that) telling me my work looks fine. I need honesty. That is how I was taught sewing by my grandmother. "Madelyne you messed up, tear out all those stitches." Me: horrified expression, but I learned.

I've been trying this week to make a hat. I found the pattern on Ravelry and the difficulty level was marked as easy peasy. I'm giving the person the death look right now. Perhaps I need to pick patterns that were originally in English; no instead I pick Swedish or some other nonsense. Not that Swedish is nonsense to me. I quite like how it sounds when OTHER people speak it, though I haven't the slightest idea what they are saying.

Someone finally told me just do the pattern as it reads and don't worry about the mathematical part behind it. I love watching people's faces when I go into mathematical explanations for why things can't work. Against my better judgment I'm continuing on with the pattern as is, we will see how this works out. Otherwise I may be tempted to stab myself in the jugular with these freakishly long (14 inches!) metal needles, that for your information I HATE. I quickly went to the web and purchased a pair of wooden needles (inward sigh of relief). Now I just have to wait for them to arrive, wrong I have to keep knitting until the new cooler needles arrive.

This post sounds like I'm complaining. Yes I am, but I hope it shows my dedication. One night this week I was up until 3 AM trying to fix the yarn I had purchased for this project.

Reading: The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeir
I'm not exactly liking the book. In fact I'm very close to returning it to the library. Oh no I just realized it was due yesterday (Me: rushes to library's website to renew).

Listening: Skinny Love by Birdy
This song has been on repeat since someone dropped it into my waiting ears 2 weeks ago. Thank you!

What's on the docket for your pocket?: Bills! (Ugh)

Snap! I took a picture:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (WoW): I want to suck your blood (insert accent)

It has been a while since I've done a Waiting on Wednesday. In fact I'm ashamed to say my book lists have been suffering as well. I haven't taken the chance to add lots to my wishlist, which usually acts as my personal secretary to let me know, "Hello! There is an awesome book coming out today." I was forced (in a good way) to search through my Goodreads tbr because the wishlist was out of date just a bit. 

Jessica Rules the Dark Side
by Beth Fantaskey

Date that it will finally come out:
January 10, 2012

Why I'm waiting:
I originally read Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
on a whim. Mostly because I was in the mood for a light read and vampires was just the icing on the cake. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the book. It really drew me in on an emotional level and I was left near speechless. I know, right? It was just a vampire YA novel, but still I really liked it. At the time I finished the book, it didn't look as though Ms. Fantaskey was going to write anymore about our beloved Jessica and Lucius. I'm glad she decided to and I can't wait to read more about Lucius. . . okay Jessica too.

-Waiting on Wednesday's was not my own creation. I got it from another blog I read, The Magic of Ink. Thanks!

-9/14/11 3:30 PM update: I just found out (thanks to IceyBooks) that the person responsible for creating Waiting on Wednesday is
Jill at Breaking The Spine, but no harm in telling your where I originally got the idea from too, right? Enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Uncovering the Judge: New Series!

You know, when I looked up the quote, "Don't judge a book by its cover," the internet told me it is an American Proverb. What, other countries don't do the same thing? I find that hard to believe, why do we have to take the rap for it? That aside, my hope was to find a more official (aka important sounding) reference for this quote. Either I'm lazy and didn't look further or this just made for a good opening. You decide.

In effort to spur myself on to writing more for my blog, I thought I'd come up with a weekly post. As my mother told me this morning, "You can't stop writing your book, just because you think no one is ever going to read it." Well the same goes here. Every Friday, it is my intention (fingers crossed) to post this new series, Uncovering the Judge. Wow, she capitalized Judge, which would in fact mean that I think I'm important. Well I am, aren't I?

I must be the worst or the best, depending on how you look at it, when it comes to purchasing, reading, or borrowing a book based on the cover. That is a tall order to live up to. I'm not saying I'm always right, but a good majority of the time I am. A few things to keep in mind when considering my book tastes:

A. I don't read inside covers.
Hello Publishers! Did someone tell you to give us the entire book in 1 to 2 paragraphs, making it pointless for us to crack the spine and read the book? Well, yes in fact they did. I still don't read them; I like the surprise, the mystery. That's why I drag my sister along with me on most book buying excursions. I need someone who is willing to read the inside cover and tell me, yes you'll love or no don't waste your time. Someone somewhere told her she knew my tastes well.

B. Be brief, Be interesting, Be Magical!
Titles on a rare occasion can be these ginormous things that do in fact appeal, but most often I like short titles that make me ponder how it coincides with the plot.

C. Ditch the face.
Who told publishers that putting faces on books, so large we can see every photoshopped pore, was a good idea? I'd like to slap them. Nearly every book on the market, it seems, has some gorgeous stranger on the cover that makes me scratch my head thinking, huh? These books, also, immediately fall into the realm, I term, Fou-fou books. It is sad to say, but you my friend will not be read by the likes of me. These books, harsh as it may seem, look as though they were written for a brainless bimbo. Was that too harsh, perhaps?

If you check my LibraryThing (please do I encourage you), you may see books with these covers. In fact I'll be the first to point out one, The Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson. I really want to use the word moron, but I won't. Someone (insert moron if you choose) decided 20 years after the fact, that hey let's make these fresh, for a new generation. Why? (Face palm) Why does a fresh look equal a face on the cover? Please, please, I beg you do refrain. I better stop now; I could be on this soap box for awhile.
I may have more reasons to share in later posts, but this is what comes to mind right now.

First book up...The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff

This book cover makes me blush a bit. Rosemary Sutcliff ranks among one of the authors I run to the shelf when I see her name on the spine. She is sought after and well-known for her historical-fiction. I will admit I've never read one of her books. I collect them and plan to read them someday, but I truly am ashamed to admit that I haven't read any her books and I own many. I was thrilled to see a few years ago that Front Street Press was taking the initiative to republish her books.

First impression: Okay yes I bought the book because the guy on the front. Hello! Awesome tattoo.

Second impression: On second thought, the cover could be mistaken for a romance novel, which I know is not the case. But the tattoo! (Me whining)

Since, the nearly 5 years that The Mark of the Horse Lord was republished I've seen this photo used, at least, on 2 other covers. At that point the value of the cover goes down, in my opinion. It is not as unique, nor does it stick out among favorites. There is no denying, though, that it is eye candy.

Where did I get this?
I ordered it from a local bookstore. A conservative bookstore that come to think of it, based on the cover I'm surprised they said yes to ordering it for me. At times they do tell me they can't order a particular book because of its controversial nature.

According to my LibraryThing, I added this book to my library in March of 2007.

Why haven't you read this book yet?
Actually I've been (without the book in front of me) several chapters into it for a few years. I think I had difficulty feeling that it was (ugh hate to say this, I'm cringing) boring. Of course I've not always been wild about this genre. It has taken me time to branch out from reading just fantasy.

For you Synopsis Lovers (copied from Amazon):

Phaedrus, an enslaved gladiator in northern Britain in the first century, earns his freedom by killing his best friend, a fellow gladiator, in a final fight to the death. Within days of leaving the arena he is recruited by leaders of a tribe from the far north to impersonate Prince Midir, who has been robbed of his right to kingship in a brutal attack by followers of the current ruler, Queen Liadhan. As Midir, Phaedrus is charged with reestablishing his kingship and the tribe's rule in the land. In this world of superstition and ancient ritual, of fierce loyalties and intertribal rivalry, Phaedrus finds companionship and love, and something more - a purpose and a meaning for his life as he comes to fully understand the significance of the Mark of the Horse Lord.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Better Late, Than Never . . . About Me

Hi! I'm Maddie (see below for a detailed portrait, continue at your own risk . . . just kidding). I have other names, but this is the name you need to know. :)

I suppose you never realize how tricky it is to write about yourself until suddenly you realize how many sites have an ‘about me’ section. Heck! On my Facebook page, I finally said, "If you want to know anything else . . . just ask." I was tired of the never ending question and having to reinvent the wheel every time, not because I want to lie about who I am. Simply because I tend to link every site I've ever become a member on to all the others. They may get lonely and therefore need those comforting links. Then those really savvy people, some may call you stockers, but I'll be kinder, suddenly click on every site you've ever left your electronic foot print on. They realize, oh the horror, that you've written the same darn thing over and over again. I think they assume you're boring, when in fact you're lazy. Now, I'm not sure which is worse.

Facebook is no problem. I think out of all the friends I have on there only 3 or 4 are people I barely know or have never met (Hello, nice to meet you.) Then there are the other sites where the sole purpose of joining them is to meet and socialize with strangers. Wait! I'm confused didn't mum always say, "Don't talk to strangers"? Of course on a blog it is customary to have an about me and I’ve had one for awhile. Although having done some research and I’ll admit blogging salivating over other blogger’s blogs, I’m convinced my about me needed a tune up. (Gee, Maddie how many times can you use blog or the like in a sentence?)

Here goes. (Do I go short or long on this thing? How much is too much? They didn’t cover this in How to Write a Successful About Me Section.)

Born and raised in northern Indiana, yes there is more than corn in Indiana (no need to ask). I’m the third oldest of six children (hurrah to big families), 4 girls and 2 boys (yes we outrank you, hah!). I went to a great elementary, a hellish place of a middle school and then one year at a BIG high school. At that point my parents, for many reasons, took us out of the public school system in favor of home schooling. Where, to the chagrin of you anti-home schoolers, we flourished. Reading became my hero even more. History became interesting. My writing bloomed and is now an outlet for much of my creativity.

Graduation was nearing and I battled for a long time of what should I do. It was easy, listen to the Lord.* He was telling me to wait, get a job and wait for Him to bring me a husband. For that’s all I really want in life is to be a wife and a mommy to 14 kids. (There, there, don’t choke. You heard me right.) Where is my mister then and at least a few of those kids, you might be asking. I’d like to know the same thing, but for now I’m praying that much harder and also I’m praying for the mister. He is really going to get it when he comes, “What took you so long?!?”

According to my Threadless account, I’m 23.22 years old today. I currently work for a natural and alternative health company as an event coordinator, which means I get to travel. I also co-own a used bookstore with my younger sister, for almost 2 years now. I live at home still. It is sensible and not because I’m a mooch.

You will always find me with a book nearby. I own nearly 1,400 books and help contribute to my mum’s growing collection. It has to be nearing 8,000. Every room, no joke, in our house has a bookshelf in it. I’m more likely to drop a hundred dollars on books than I am new clothes. I enjoy the fantasy genre best, but I also read lots of Historical Fiction, Biographies and Classics. My least favorite book question is: who is your favorite author, but most likely I will answer with Louisa May Alcott or Dodie Smith. I’m still pondering the question: If you were trapped on a desert island and could only take 10 books with you, what would you take?

I absolutely can’t get enough of my camera. I love taking pictures and want to take great pictures. I wouldn’t mind even if people would tell me what I could do better. I want direction so badly and a new camera too.

Hate shoes, with the exception of flip-flops.

Movies and Music they are like a second drug to me, books being the first. At our house quoting movies and singing are a must. I’m open to just about any type of music . . . except country (yuck). From pop to screamo, from indie to punk, you’ll find it all on my iPod. Pandora is a steady source in my diet. If you want me to be here all day I can list my favorite movies (No? I didn’t think so.).

I’ve been writing since I was 10 years old. I enjoy expressing myself through poetry. I want to be a published author someday. I’m working on a book and enjoy writing mostly non-fiction, although my book idea is a work of fiction. My blog features about 75% book related material and the rest a mix of movies, music and my opinion, which can be hard to take sometimes.

Quilting, Knitting, Accents, Crunching Ice, Korean Dramas, Sushi, Chai and more

Coconut, Indecisiveness, Scary Movies, Celery, MARK TWAIN, Lying and other stuff

My Lord and Savior, family, snow, smiles, skinny jeans, water, dancing and more

This turned out to be much longer than I had planned. I hope I didn’t say too much. I’m sure I didn’t tell you everything, but what else would the blog be for other than to get to know me.

Quote of the Day:

Forever is composed of nows.  
~Emily Dickinson

*I say easy, but well it isn’t always.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

eReaders vs. The Real Thing

This is an article I wrote for the bookstore's newsletter. It was originally published in the October/November issue in 2010. That being said, some of the information is a bit dated (ie. the fact that I mentioned eReaders as being dreary because they are in black and white). Otherwise enjoy and tell me what you think!

eReaders vs. The Real Thing

When I thought of writing this article I had thought to pass the buck (as the saying goes)to my mom. I figured she'd have a more rational and friendly aspect to bring to the table. I tend to go from calm conversation to arguing my view in the blink of an eye. Although my arguing is only my way of trying to stay on top of a debate without losing ground and feeling like I'm bulldozed over by others who may be more informed or better with words. I’m obviously not the greatest conversationalist when it comes to convincing argument. However, upon further reflection I realized this is an opportunity for me to present both sides of the debate in a better thought out manner.

For those who know me well I'm an old soul. Many of my beliefs and ways of thinking are old fashioned, but I'm perfectly fine with that. I've long had a love for history and so to think myself similar to those who lived years ago is a comfort. When I first heard about the Kindle (Amazon's eReader) I admit I was not thrilled. I cringed and thought to myself “Oh no! This is the beginning of the end.” Okay, maybe I was being a bit dramatic. I like to think I wasn't being dramatic, but right. I mean who doesn't like to be right?

There may be a chance that some of you out there do not know what an eReader is. An eReader is a device in which digital copies of books can be downloaded on and read. Much like an iPod or mP3 player only not for music, but books. There are different devices made by several well-known bookstores and online stores.'s eReader is the Kindle, Barnes & Noble's is the Nook, and Apple Computer's is the iPad (this however was not initially created as an eReader, but rather a multi functioning computer). I believe Borders Bookstore is also coming out with an eReader soon, if they haven't already. Many of the eReaders are not only for reading books, but for getting on the internet or even listening to music.

Whether a new book smell or a musty old book smell, to me the smell of a book is an unexplainable comfort. However, eReader's can't take on the good or bad smells. Books left in a smoking environment or damp areas are ruined. There is often no hope for the books recovering.

While eBooks (the official name for the eReader's books) cost an average of $7.00 to $15.00, books hardback or paperback can cost anywhere from $5.00 to $25.00. Even more in some cases. An eBook may be cheaper, but what does a real book afford you. You can resell a book to gain back the money you spent. Perhaps you don't care that much about turning a profit on your old books, you'd like to donate them. Sorry no such luck with either option for eBooks. You can't resell it, delete yes, but they do not allow you to recoup the cost. Perhaps you thought you might pass it on to a friend. Well as long as the friend can read it in 2 weeks and doesn't mind it disappearing off of their eReader (it will reappear on your eReader). Oh yes and the friend has to have an eReader in order for this to happen. I am out the cash for a book, but that can go a long way to insuring that not only I enjoy reading it, but others might too.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

This is a point I would be hard pressed to be moved from. In fact I would say don't waste your breath. Books are beautiful. Whether their mesmerizing covers, magical illustrations, or the creamy texture of the pages they are little treasures in your hands. They come in nearly every color imaginable, hardcover, paperback, leather bound, library bound...eReader's don't lend themselves to the colorful side of life. The first word that comes to mind is dreary. The screen (of a Kindle or Nook) is black and white, flat, and altogether not enticing. A bit like reading a newspaper. Of course this is coming from someone who judges books by their covers.

Book collectors will agree the idea of what I like to call “shelf candy” is something we don't want to pass up. We enjoy having our books on display for the world. A sort of personal museum.

Timing is everything
It was just in August that I had to deal with a bookstore's lack of planning when sending out a pre-ordered book on time. I received my copy a week after the book hit stores. I was behind the eight ball and it seemed to me everyone had already finished it by the time I even received my copy. Imagine with an eReader, though, you don't even have to remember to pre-order. You'll have access to the book in a matter of minutes. You won't have to leave your home; hook your device up to the worldwide web, a click, a download, and a few minutes later you can be enjoying your book in the quiet of your own home without breaking a sweat. Book buying was never so quick and easy. Never mind that you become a hermit in the process.

Size Matters
Just as the iPod makes it convenient for you to carry thousands of CDs in your pocket an eReader provides access to all your books (purchased eBooks) wherever you are with it. What book lover doesn't love the prospect of carrying their collection with them? This also makes it easier to read multiple books at the same time. The most I've read at one time, I think, is five; with an eReader I wouldn't have to worry about lugging around the extra weight.

Tree Huggers Unite
Maybe you view the eReader as an answer to saving trees. This is very true. Think of this; Millions of books are printed every year. According to a site online* 30 million trees are cut down to make books in the United States alone. My sister, Elyza, for one (she's a tree hugger) isn't exactly jumping up and down about this statistic. The eReader would save trees, would save on printing costs: Ink, Time, Money, Employees. Here's the downside though, the real kicker, if we're saving trees we're sacrificing more in the long run. The eReader eliminates the necessity of printing. If we don't need to print anymore, we don't need printing facilities. Then we have people losing jobs (bad for the economy, so I'm told). Where does that put publishing companies? If an eBook is as simple as the author writing it, an editor proofing it, and then someone creating the digital version whose to say we need entire publishing groups for that? Pause to consider, books can be recycled as long as people are willing to put forth the effort. I would be surprised to hear that an eReader can be recycled, more likely to end up in a land fill.

P.S. Trees cut down to make paper are fast maturing trees (i.e. Pine trees) that are and can be replanted quickly.

Somebody's Watching Me
Amazon has remote access to your Kindle eReader. They can delete books as they see fit. See the article The New York Times featured in July of 2009, Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle. I'm of a mind set that eReaders are taking us down the path of Ray Bradbury's book Fahrenheit 451. The idea that a company or group has access to all my books, knows everything I read, and can delete as they see fit is frightening. It seems to me that we're playing a little too close to the fire. I for one don't want or need someone dictating my taste in reading.

One Size Fits All
Often with books you are forced to purchase a special copy in order to accommodate the necessity for Large Print. Some books are not even available in Large Print. An eReader's text can be adjusted to be as small or large as each reader prefers without having to purchase a specific edition. The idea of magnifying a book even more than a normal Large Printed book is useful.

Other Cons to Consider
- Loaning Capabilities You can loan a book only one time and only for 2 weeks.
- No Accumulative Value Your eBooks will not increase in value. You cannot pass a collection down to a family member.
- Not to be Found Some books cannot be purchased on an eReader and may never be available.
- Reading Time Lost On planes an eReader must be turned off as with other electronic devices. Making for a total of about 40 minutes, between taking off and landing, of lost reading time.
- Stolen Opportunities A thief is more likely to be enticed by the prospect of an eReader left on the seat of your unlocked car, or wherever you mistakenly leave it, than a book.
- Replacement Cost You're looking at $199.00 and up to replace the eReader.
- Take a Picture The font on tables and figures appear too small to read on the screen of an eReader. The device does not allow you to enlarge these. Possibly publishers will remedy this in the future.
- Bookmarking When you bookmark (or flag) a particular page in a book you are able to easily locate that page. Perhaps you are trying to get to page 185, easy right? In an eBook paging through a book is slow because you have to click, click, click. . .
- Scribbles Your eBook cannot be signed by the author. If it could be, what value would there be in it? My sister and I have always enjoyed the inscriptions found in older books. One such inscription, we had here at the shop once, was enough to bring us to tears it was so endearing. Come Christmas, Birthdays, or other book giving holidays you won't be able to inscribe an eBook to your loved ones.
- The Hunt. . . is over You can forget about searching through a basement full of books for that one treasure.

Other Pros to Consider
- Saved! Should you need to replace your eReader, the eBooks you've purchased are saved in a back-up system.
- Dictionary: An eReader can look up words automatically that you put your cursor next to. I even found on my cousin Nelia's Kindle that putting the cursor next to a classic author's name gave me information about the author (birth, etc.).
- Fuzzy Eyes? eReader's have audio capabilities.
- No Late Fees Libraries, such as in Ohio, are implementing systems for eReaders. You check the book out and 2 weeks later it automatically disappears.
- More! The few people I've talked to about eReaders seem to all agree, they read more now. Although one person was quick to point out that they did before too.
- Back to School Schools are even considering purchasing eReaders for their students. I can see the good and the bad in this. One good thing is I can see that it would be more cost efficient and the books themselves would have longer “shelf lives”.

Conclusion. . .
Just last week one of our regulars here at the shop commented, “Nobody really reads a book unless they hold it in their hands and turn the pages.” She has a point. Why are we so quick to abandon the real thing for an electronic device. Hundreds of years ago printing an actual book was a feat our ancestors had to fight for. Even the right to understand what you were looking at and holding in your hands was not a privilege for everyone. Each generation has its new fangled, hyped up, got to have it, that people did and will assure you “Oh it just won't take”. Take radios, talkies (yes movies used to be silent), movies in color, television, and more. We know today that yes indeed all those did take and new waves of phenomena continue to enrapture people's attention. We spend the majority of our days in front of one screen or another, some form of mechanical technology (plugged in). We enjoy the prospect of being spared human interaction. I hope and trust that I've given your minds something to chew on. Write in, tell me your opinions. Do you agree? Do you disagree? I'm anxious for feedback. A devout real book reader. . .

* is an organization that strives to replant more trees by encouraging the public to plant one tree for every book they read.
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