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.
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