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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Time for some Napping!

I finished my second full length book, and hit 541 pages! 2nd level achieved!

I discovered Nancy Springer in junior high when I read The Silver Sun by her, so I always know I'm in for a good story, whatever she tackles.  I love Arthurian tales, and this was no exception, poignant and sad however, told from Mordred's point of view, and no matter how hard he tries to do the right thing, his fate seems sealed.  It's making me want to go watch Excalibur again,  even though I really recall not liking Mordred in the movie.  There was some rearrangement of the tale here, but there are always differences in every retelling.

And the cover goes really nicely with my blog color scheme, I just noticed!

I'm headed to bed for now with my next read, Ashes and Alchemy by Cindy Spencer Pape.  It's part of a steampunk series I've been enjoying.  I may try to get up before the end of the read-a-thon to be there for the finish.  If I don't make it up, I'll wrap up later, and another round of thanks to all the cheerleaders and organizers!  You all make this the wonderful event it has become!

A Big Hand for the Doctor - Eoin Colfer - 46 pages
Something From the Nightside - Simon R. Green - 230 pages
The Nameless City - Michael Scott - 81 pages
I Am Mordred - Nancy Springer - 184 pages

Total Pages: 541

ETA: Fergus was nice enough to wake me up half an hour before the Read-a-thon was over, so I got a few more pages in before the end, after I fed the furballs of course! 

Ashes and Alchemy - Cindy Spencer Pape - 30 pages

Updated Total Pages: 571

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Wee (large) Break at the 2/3rd's Mark

We're at the 2/3rd hour, 10 PM for me, and I've taken a really long break! Errands, dinner, some gaming, a few pages over that time, but not much.  I'm still working at it though, not ready to throw in the towel just yet!  I will definitely finish this one, and I'm hoping maybe another short one before calling it a night, we'll see.

I'm currently still working on I Am Mordred by Nancy Springer and enjoying it. If you can be said to enjoy the story of Mordred. This is told from his point of view, that really was not evil and was a tool of fate. Similar to how Marion Zimmer Bradley tells the Arthur story from Morgan Le Fay's point of view, where the typically evil character is the main character and lines between good and evil aren't so boldly scored.

In Process:
I Am Mordred - Nancy Springer - 105 pages so far 

A Big Hand for the Doctor - Eoin Colfer - 46 pages
Something From the Nightside - Simon R. Green - 230 pages
The Nameless City - Michael Scott - 81 Pages

Total Pages: 462 (I'm almost to 500!)

A Little Smackeral and Goal #1 Achieved!

I've made my first goal of 350 total pages with the little Doctor Who #2 book in the picture, "The Nameless City."  That one was cute, never underestimate the fearsomeness of bagpipes!  Also it was time for a snack, coffee #2 Coconut Mocha, and a big ol' sugar cookie!

A Big Hand for the Doctor - Eoin Colfer - 46 pages
Something From the Nightside - Simon R. Green - 230 pages
The Nameless City - Michael Scott - 81 Pages

Total Pages: 357

Next Stop, 500!

Eighth Hour

We're about 1/3 of the way through the day and I've finished Something from the Nightside! Go me! It was a fun and pretty quick read, I think Jim Butcher's blurb on the cover describes it perfectly: "A fast, fun little roller coaster of a story..."  It kept me interested and I'll keep going on the series.

I'm actually pretty proud of keeping focus and pretty much staying off the social media except to do updates and cheer on some fellow read-a-thoners. I have a feeling that will get harder as the day goes on.

A Big Hand for the Doctor - Eoin Colfer - 46 pages
Something From the Nightside - Simon R. Green - 230 pages

Total Pages: 276

I'm not quite at my first level goal, which is 350 pages.  Next up is"The Nameless City" another quick Doctor Who adventure by Michael Scott, and I Am Mordred by Nancy Springer.  These two should get me to my second level goal of 500 no problem!

This is usually a hard time of day for me in the sleepy department, 3 pm is nap time!  Hopefully I can hold out!

Awake and Ready to 'Thon!

I've had a tasty breakfast burrito, and some coffee and I'm ready to get to it!

I knocked out a quick short story, "A Big Hand for the Doctor" by Eoin Colfer that is part of a 12 story collection, one for each doctor. This was for #1. I got the box set because each story has a cover showing that Doctor's signature outfit and I just thought they were cute, so there's #1's outfit to the left!  Here is the link on Amazon if you are so inclined.

I'm ready to dive into something a little longer, so I'm giving Something From the Nightside by Simon R. Green a try.

A Big Hand for the Doctor - Eoin Colfer - 46 pages

Opening Meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?  Kansas, USA
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?  All of them really, I tried to pick books to fit my mood, rather than just for length this time.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?  I have some Ben and Jerry's ice cream all ready for later!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!  I'm an introverted Inventory Analyst who very nearly because an Archeologist instead!  Okay, not that nearly, but I've always love Archeaology, and studied it in college before my better sense too over and I chose something that probably suited me better.  I do still love reading about it though!
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?  I've lost count of how many of these Read-a-thon's I've done, but so far my nemesis seems to be getting too comfortable, so I've got a secret weapon this time.  If I start to get sleepy, I may try sitting on my stability ball, it forces your body to be actively keeping balance, and you have to be awake to do that!

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon Kick Off - April 2015

Goooooood Mooooooorning Read-a-thoners!  We've made it!  The wait is over and the time to start reading is NOW!  I got a little bit of a late start, but I'm here now and ready to go!

I'm going to get some raspberry truffle coffee and some breakfast and dig into my first Doctor Who story "A Big Hand for the Doctor" by Eoin Colfer.

I'll see you all in a little while!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon Eve April 2015 Edition

Oh yeah! It's time for another Dewey's Read-a-thon, Spring 2015 Edition! I am super excited this round! I even did my nails for the occasion!

Here are my current choices to pull from, but I'm definitely a mood reader, so we'll see what happens!

I have a few Kindle books lined up as well. I will get nowhere close to finishing all of these, I just hope to finish a couple, but I've decided I'm going for page count this year instead of number of books read, so if I want to skip around, no biggie! It's very hard for me to stay focused on one book from beginning to end, I usually have several going at any one time.


Realistic = 350 pages   This is 7 times and more what I usually get read in one day, but should be pretty easy to do in a day devoted to reading.

Hopefully = 500 pages   I'll feel pretty good about this one.

Formidable = 750 pages   I'm not holding my breath.

Seriously?! = 1000 pages   Yeah, probably not, but weird things happen!

Good luck to everyone taking part!  An up front THANK YOU!! to all the cheerleaders and organizers that make this such an amazing event.  I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hamlet, Prince of Denmark by A. J. Hartley and David Hewson, Narrated by Richard Armitage

Hamlet, Prince of DenmarkHamlet, Prince of Denmark by A.J. Hartley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read it to me, Thorin Oakenshield! This was an excellent rendition of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, novelized by A. J. Hartly and David Hewson and narrated by the resonant Richard Armitage. I’m still hearing it in my head a day after finishing, maybe I need to start it over!

I count myself among the fans of the Bard, but I’ll be honest, I have a hard time understanding what is happening just by reading the plays, and often have to watch them acted out before I get on board with the action, so I was very interested to listen to this version. This was much easier for me to follow, and while I know there were differences to the original (and some discussion at the end about whose the original even was) they were intended and added to the flow of the story. I was especially intrigued by the treatment of Yorick, who is one of the most famous bit parts ever! Poor guy doesn’t even get to appear in the flesh or have a line, but everyone knows who he is. It just isn’t Hamlet without him.

It is dark and full of madness, some of it feigned, some of it perhaps not, and with Armitage’s wonderful voice to bring it to life it was a production I highly recommend!

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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Cloud of Sparrows by Takashi Matsuoka

Cloud of SparrowsCloud of Sparrows by Takashi Matsuoka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cloud of Sparrows is a study of the contradictory nature of the Samurai in a time when their world was inexorably moving forward. They are ruthless killers, incited to decapitate a foe over insulting words, but are also moved to tears by the nuance of a gesture, or a perceived boon found in what was not said, or not done to spare feelings and perception of a reputation. This brutal beauty is reflected on an individual as well as a cultural level, and it is into this passionate, yet rigidly structured society that Lord Genji ushers in foreign Christian missionaries, who become a catalyst for the events of the story.

Genji himself is a huge juxtaposition of ideas, welcoming the outsiders but at the same time not taking their religion seriously, even as he plans to assist them in setting up a mission location, he seems more fascinated and amused by a new toy, more interested in how it is unsettling his rivals than in their purpose for being there. He is the more forward thinking of the Great Lords, but also has difficulty letting go of some traditions and ingrained ideas, even as he recognizes they are outdated, and sometimes downright ridiculous. Coupled with the difficulties of navigating political waters, he also carries the burden of prescient visions, which often make no sense, but sometimes are all too clear.

Genji and Heiko, Matthew and Emily, Shigeru and even Genji’s loyal warriors and servants are all excellent characters who are tested to their limits throughout the course of the story. We learn the history of how the Americans came to be in Japan and see the Samurai way of life beginning to crumble under the press of time and traditions that cannot be sustained as the world moves in. It is by turns beautiful and violent, poignant and humorous, sensitive and senseless, and it was exactly what I wanted on my visit to this culture and time period.

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Monday, April 06, 2015

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

The Dark Unwinding (The Dark Unwinding, #1)The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was deeply drawn into this amazing and secret world that Katherine found herself in. Almost immediately I became attached to Uncle Tully and his toys, and completely sympathetic to Katherine and her plight. The dark richness of the grand but decaying house and complex grounds, and the family secrets which came to light all gave vivid depth to the world. An interestingly set teen mystery with a gothic feel and a satisfying resolution, though with an open end that leads to a second book which I'm definitely looking forward to! I definitely recommend to the historical, steampunk, mystery fan.

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