Monthly Archives:: July 2011

Capricious Reader Weekly

July 31, 2011 Books 5

 

  

 

 

When I have down time at work, I have a bad tendency to look at recipes. I found these (Petite Lasagnas!) Thursday and whoa, do I ever want to make them right now!

I was already curious about BLOOD RED ROAD, now Kailana has me wanting to get the book tout suite with her great review.

And again! I wish I could sew! This is sooooo adorable.

I think this may be the coolest light fixture I have EVER seen. Shame about the price tag….

While we’re on Etsy, I totally adore this owl apron. Hmm…I do have an anniversary coming up…and he hasn’t gotten me anything yet….

Also, pardon the change in template, but the last one had a few bugs that were driving me crazy. Hopefully this isn’t too big a change and hopefully this one will work right!

caprici2

Divider

Capricious Reader Wants This

July 29, 2011 Books 5

 

If you’ve been around here any length of time, you know I adore the graphic novel series FABLES, by Bill Willingham. If you haven’t read them yet, what the heck are you waiting for?

Ahem.

Two years ago, I read Willingham’s first “novel” novel, Peter & Max and I really loved it. I even got my hubby to read it and he loved it too! And that NEVER happens. So, when I saw someone was reading DOWN THE MYSTERLY RIVER the other day on Twitter, I just about fell out of my chair! And then promptly looked it up.

Max “the Wolf” is a top-notch Boy Scout, an expert at orienteering, and a master of being prepared. So it is a little odd that he suddenly finds himself, with no recollection of his immediate past, lost in an unfamiliar wood. Even odder still, he encounters a badger named Banderbrock, a black bear named Walden, and McTavish the Monster (who might also be an old barn cat) — all of whom talk—and who are as clueless as Max.

Before long, Max and his friends are on the run from a relentless group of hunters and their deadly hounds. Armed with powerful blue swords and known as the Blue Cutters, these hunters capture and change the very essence of their prey. For what purpose, Max can’t guess. But unless he can solve the mystery of the strange forested world he’s landed in, Max may find himself and his friends changed beyond recognition, lost in a lost world. . . .

Down the Mysterly River is the children’s book debut of Bill Willingham, the creator of the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel series Fables. Complete with illustrations by Fables artist Mark Buckingham, it is a spirited, highly original tale of adventure, suspense, and everlasting friendship.

“Willingham’s Fables comics tapped into the deep fairy-tale structures in my psyche and never let go. Now Down the Mysterly River finally delivers the same opportunity for younger readers. Lucky them!” —Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother

Yep. I gotta have it. As soon as it is published, it will be mine. I think I’ll go ahead and preorder it. Like, right now.

caprici2

Divider

Looking for Alaska by John Green

July 28, 2011 Book Reviews, Books 8

Imma gonna try a new tactic with the review writing. I believe it’s called “being concise?” Foreign concept ’round here, but, but, but… I’ll give it my best.

How’s this? DUDE. I LOVED THIS BOOK.

I totally nailed it, right!?!?!

Yeah, I know. Concise, but not good enough, not by far, right?  So lemme tell ya ’bout this book. (Apparently concise, to my brain, means droppin’ letters.) (Go figure.)

So. Looking for Alaska by John Green. I totally read John Green’s books backwards. This is his first, I read it last. I freaking adored PAPER TOWNS and that Katherine’s book? While not comPLETEly tripping my trigger, it was still pretty darn good. Looking for Alaska? Totally blew them all out of the water. If I was a teenager, I would be completely worshipping John Green right now, just like all those other Nerdfighters do. Okay, yeah, I do. He blows my skirt up a bit, I will not lie.

Plus, he’s pretty darn cute.

….

Ah, yes! The book! You want to know what the book is ABOUT, yes? Egads! Forsooth!

First and foremost, Looking for Alaska is a coming-of-age tale, something I have always loved. Miles Halter, social misfit and purveyor of “Famous Last Words” has talked his parents into sending him to boarding school. I know, total reversal of tropes, yes? Miles wants to leave the safety of home and high school to go and seek “The Great Perhaps.” (Famous last words of François Rabelais.) So off to Culver Creek Preparatory School where he meets the Colonel, another… oh gosh… the Colonel is what I would normally call a “character” if I knew him in real life. That’s just what he is. A “character.” He is so lovely conflicted, hilarious, brilliant, witty, sarcastic… can you tell I loved him? And Miles meets the eponymous Alaska, who is also what I would call a “character” and whom Miles quickly comes to adore. And she has an additional characteristic. Mystery. She’s so mysterious, a trait she affects with gusto, and I couldn’t help but be sucked it just as much as Miles was. AND she’s a book lover.

These kids go through so much together. They “grow up” a lot in the few months the novel covers. And they are so smart! The dialogue in this book? It’s completely brilliant. Witty. Sarcastic. It’s exactly what I love in a YA novel, a John Green novel, a book I want. to. read. (I’m pretty sure I’ll be rereading it soon.) (I read it to fast last time). Miles, the Colonel, Alaska and their friends navigate the waters of boarding school and all its tests, pranks, hookups and breakups, and revelations about life. These guys reminded me so much of my friends when I was in high school. The banter, the love, hate, competition, the friendship. The pranks! I was totally taken aback as the direction Green was going became abundantly clear. I was shattered. Sobbingly so. Which just goes to show just how much Green made me care for, hay LOVE, these characters.

WIth this last John Green novel under my belt, I can confidently say he is a favorite writer, which is big. I usually only have favorite books. I can only say with certainty that I have 3 favorite writers now. Neil Gaiman. Wilkie Collins. And John Green. Oh, and JK Rowling. Why does I always forget her? Oh yes, stay on point Heather. Yes, John Green is a favorite writer, for his amazingly real characters, his way with words, with dialogue, with pulling at these heartstrings. I can totally see why it won the Printz award, despite being a first novel.  He kills me with every book and I know the next one will be even more killer. My heart is bidding it’s time until January. Thank goodness I already preordered The Fault in Our Stars. And it will. be. signed. Fangirl swoon.

I have so many favorite quotes I want to share, but I’ll try to keep it to two. Or maybe three. Quite possibly four. Let’s just see how this goes….

“When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”

“It’s not because I want to make out with her.”

Hold on.” He grabbed a pencil and scrawled excitedly at the paper as if he’d just made a mathematical breakthrough and then looked back up at me. “I just did some calculations, and I’ve been able to determine that you’re full of shit”

“Have you really read all those books in your room?”

Alaska laughing- “Oh God no. I’ve maybe read a third of ‘em. But I’m going to read them all. I call it my Life’s Library. Every summer since I was little, I’ve gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read.”

The Colonel led all the cheers.
“Cornbread!” he screamed.
“CHICKEN!” the crowd responded.
“Rice!”
“PEAS!”
And then, all together: “WE GOT HIGHER SATs.”
“Hip Hip Hip Hooray!” the Colonel cried.
“YOU’LL BE WORKIN’ FOR US SOMEDAY!”

I particularly love that last one. :)

So, I don’t think I was particularly concise, okay yeah, I wasn’t AT ALL, but I didn’t really think I could be. And at least I got it written. I hope I’ve encouraged you to give Looking for Alaska a try. It’s an amazing book, by an amazing author and one not to be missed.

iconicon

caprici2

Divider

Divider

It's Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

July 25, 2011 Books 7

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week? is a weekly event to list the books  finished last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finish this week. It was created by J.Kaye’s Book Blog, but is now being hosted by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through a World of  Books.!

 Oh my goodness you guys, where has this week gone? I seem to have taken an unintentional blogging break! What the heck? Where did last week go?  Oh yes, it went into work, insurance mess, insurance mess and work! Thankfully, we finally have our check for the totaled van and camper and it should be in the bank tomorrow! Can I get a woot!? THEN there is the intermittent phone and internet outages. Things are getting nuts around here!

Now that things are settling down, which means I have a couple of minutes of internet time before the next outage, we’re going to try to go on vacation again this weekend. Yippee! What was supposed to be an anniversary trip for me and me hubby, it’s turned into a family thing, which is a-okay with me. We’re going to Carowinds and I cannot WAIT to get my daughter on a roller-coaster. It’s going to be the BEST THING EVER. As long as she doesn’t throw up.

As for reading, yes, I’m getting on subject, reading! I finished two books last week! Firstly was American Gods, the first book I ever read by Neil Gaiman back in 2001. I read the 10th anniversary edition and DUDE. I LOVED it even more the second time! I followed that up with Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue and was oh so pleasantly surprised by it. Delighted by it, I was! So delighted in fact that I seem to have plunged into what has to be my 10th reading slump of the year.

I think I’ve become a manic-depressive reader. I have great highs followed by massive lows. I am subsiding on a diet of Entertainment Weekly and gardening magazines. Qu’elle horreur!

I have tried reading; Mindblind by Jennifer Roy, The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss (*sobs*), Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg (SEE? SEE how bad it is?) (I actually think I want to listen to the audio) (since he READS it! *shivers*), The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma and Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett, which only confirmed to me that this is a series case of the reading slumps. Sir Pratchett has pulled me out of a couple of slumps now.

I AM still listening to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie  by Alan Bradley which is an absolute DELIGHT. I completely and totally adore Flavia de Luce. And Jayne Entwhistle. I see my downloading the next in the series very, very soon.

So, how was your week? I hope it wasn’t as crazy as mine! I’m off to read more Entertainment Weekly. *cringe*

 

Egnéus

caprici2

Divider

It's Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

July 18, 2011 Books 6

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week? is a weekly event to list the books  finished last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finish this week. It was created by J.Kaye’s Book Blog, but is now being hosted by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through a World of  Books!

Whew, y’all, what a week I had last week. It’s no wonder the only book I finished was an audio one, between work, Vacation Bible School and just trying to survive! It was great fun, but I’m glad VBS is behind us for another year.

Yes, I finally finished Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. It is one of my all-time-favorite audiobooks. Now I’m reading (or listening) to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, read by Jayne Entwhistle. This is a third-times-the-charm book, as I’ve tried to both listen and read it before. As is sometimes the case, it just clicked this time. I’m enjoying the heck out of it. Also, isn’t the name Jayne Entwhistle utterly charming?

I’m over halfway through American Gods: The Tenth Anniversary Edition by Neil Gaiman. This is a reread for me, it’s been ten years since I read it, and I’m surprised both by how much I remember, and how much I don’t. I convinced my hubby to listen to the audio (since I got it to review) and he’s enjoying it too. This is the first time we have ever read a book together and I’m really enjoying it. It has been so much fun discussing it with him every night. We were reading about the same amount every day, but I pulled ahead this weekend. I’m sure he’ll catch up!

Next up is either The Girl Who Circumnavigated the Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (whew!) or Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg. Yes, I got it already, but it’s for the library! Now I just have to find time to fit it in! I also need to start Kissing the Witch by Emma Donoghue, since I’m reading it with Debi, Chris, Ana and Kelly. It’s a collection of short stories, so it shouldn’t be hard to fit it in.

How was your reading week? Anything good? Add to my TBRs my dears!

 

 

 

Egnéus

caprici2

Divider

Capricious Reader Weekly

July 17, 2011 Books 4


As if I wasn’t dying to read The Girl Who Circumnavigated the World in a Ship of her Own Making (whew!) enough already, Kelly and Ana had to go and read and review it together. Now I want to drop everything I’m doing (almost) and read it right now! It will be next.

Erin Blakemore, author of The Heroine’s Bookshelf, is organizing a massive Gone with the Wind readalong, starting in August. I’m joining in, won’t you?

Dude. I love guacamole. I love grilled corn. So WHY did I never think of Grilled Corn Guacamole? Saints preserve us.

Um…totally making this Restaurant Style Salsa to can this summer. Yum.

I wasn’t too sure about Martin Scorsese directing the movie version of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, yet now that I’ve seen the trailer, I’m having second thoughts. It looks very promising!

caprici2

Divider

Divider

Capricious Reader Wants This!

July 15, 2011 Books 3

 

The unique life story of one of the most talented and inventive comedians, star ofShaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Star Trek.

Zombies in North London, death cults in the West Country, the engineering deck of the Enterprise: actor, comedian, writer and self-proclaimed supergeek Simon Pegg has been ploughing some bizarre furrows in recent times. Having landed on the U.S. movie scene in the surprise cult hit Shaun of the Dead, his enduring appeal and rise to movie star with a dedicated following has been mercurial, meteoric, megatronic, but mostly just plain great.

From his childhood (and subsequently adult) obsession with science fiction, his enduring friendship with Nick Frost, and his forays into stand-up comedy which began with his regular Monday morning slot in front of his twelve-year-old classmates, Simon has always had a severe and dangerous case of the funnies.

Whether recounting his experience working as a lifeguard at the city pool, going to Comic-Con for the first time and confessing to Carrie Fisher that he used to kiss her picture every night before he went to sleep, or meeting and working with heroes that include Peter Jackson, Kevin Smith, and Quentin Tarantino, Pegg offers a hilarious look at the journey to becoming an international superstar, dotted with a cast of memorable characters, and you’re rooting for him all the way.

It’s Montgomery “freaking” Scott. (Scotty from the new Star Trek.) It’s the voice of Reepicheep (in the Dawn Treader anyway). It’s Shaun. Nicolas Angel. Dennis. The Editor. Ben Finn.

I have long had a thing for Simon Pegg. He pops up in all my favorite things from movies, the TV, to video games. Now he’s in a book. And that book shall be mine. And he wrote it himself…. *swoon*

caprici2

Divider

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

July 14, 2011 Book Reviews, Books 12

“My name is Kvothe…you may have heard of me”.

I just can’t seem to sit down and review this book, even though I desperately want to. So I’m going to sit here and not get up until I DO IT. (Yeah right. You don’t really believe I did that, do you? It was more like about 5 times sitting here making myself write this.) (Or maybe 10.) (20?) (Yeah, okay, I have no idea.)

It seems like it’s been forever since I fell so completely, so totally, so helplessly in love with a book. Or, rather, with a character. It has happened though. With this book. The Name of the Wind is my latest book crush and I hope I can do it some measure of justice as I attempt to tell you why you need to go out, buy this huge, mammoth, monster of a book and give it a chance. Now, yes. It’s huge. It is gargantuan. It is, like, the biggest book in the whole known universe. At least it looks that way, right? Believe me though, it’s worth every minute it takes… every hour… every week! The narrative is so strong, so quick, so amazing… oh heck, I need to stop or I’ll just gush on and on. Let’s get down to what it’s about.

The Name of the Wind is about a guy named Kvothe. That is pronounced rather like “quothe.” According to Wikipedia:

Kvothe: Kvothe, pronounced nearly the same as “quothe” with the “kv” sounding as in the Yiddish word “kvetch.”

In my own mind, I said something like Kothe, so I was obviously wrong, but that’s what I did. ANYWOO. The Name of the Wind is Day 1 of his 3 day story about himself. (So yes, this is a trilogy).  Kvothe has had many names, but when the book begins, he is going by Kote, so I’m going to stick with that one for easiness sake. Kote is something of a myth, a legend in his own time, if you will. Some people don’t believe he really ever existed, even though he still lives, hidden away in a small inn, on a small road, in the middle of nowhere, hidden from enemies we, the reader, know nothing about.  So when a traveling storyteller stops through and recognizes Kote, the storyteller, the Chronicler, is beside himself with excitement, for he wants Kote’s story. At first Kote refuses, but then reluctantly agrees. He will tell his story and it will take three days.

And what a story it is! Kote starts with his childhood in a troupe of gypsy-like traveling performers, to the years he spent as an orphan struggling to survive the streets of a city where it was hard to find a scrap of bread and a warm, dry place to sleep. He recounts his years in a difficult and very dangerous school of magic, where he swindles his way in to learn all the secrets of magic he will need to avenge his beloved parents. Kote becomes an accomplished performer and musician, a smooth pickpocket and escape artist, and an infamous magician. And a notorious assassin. Yet this story is so much more than that as Rothfuss begins to introduce what promises to be one of the best love stories I’ve ever read.

I can’t imagine how hard it was coming up with all the mythology around this story. I’ve read it took Patrick Rothfuss seven years to write this book and I can believe it. The intricacy of this book is breathtaking. There are stories within stories within stories and I stand amazed that not only did Rothfuss accomplish such a feat; he did it without making it the least bit confusing. And the characters! All the characters are great, but Kvothe is something special. I just instantly LIKED him. Then I almost as instantly LOVED him. His character makes the book into something more than just another door-stopper of a book. He makes the pages fly. He is the heart of this book. And he makes this book something not to be missed.

A note on the genre: Yes, it’s science-fiction. No, I don’t read a lot of it. That’s why I want to say, if you shy away from sci-fi, but have ever been…curious…this might be a good one to try. To me at least, the sci-fi isn’t extreme. Rothfuss did make up a lot of mythology to surround his story, but, I don’t know, to me it just made the book more interesting. And at it’s core, as with all stories, it’s a very human tale of a very human life. Also, I gave it to my 64-year-old mother-in-law and she loved it. She loved it so much she went on and plowed through the second one and is sad the third isn’t out yet. She doesn’t read sci-fi either and now that she has finally given me my book back, I’ll be reading it very soon.

EDIT: As Carl so kindly points out in my comments; this is actually FANTASY. I was confused. Just another reason why I find myself detesting genre classifications anyway. I am beginning to think it really hinders me, and others, as a reader because of the basic prejudice of “I don’t read science fiction” or “I don’t read fantasy” and that is such a shame.

Other favorite passages:

“It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man’s will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself”.

“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”

“When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.”

“My parents danced together, her head on his chest. Both had their eyes closed. They seemed so perfectly content. If you can find someone like that, someone who you can hold and close your eyes to the world with, then you’re lucky. Even if it only lasts for a minute or a day. The image of them gently swaying to the music is how I picture love in my mind even after all these years.”

“I have known her longer, my smile said. True, you have been inside the circle of her arms, tasted her mouth, felt the warmth of her, and that is something I have never had. But there is a part of her that is only for me. You cannot touch it, no matter how hard you might try. And after she has left you I will still be here, making her laugh. My light shining in her. I will still be here long after she has forgotten your name.”


icon

The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicles #1
By Patrick Rothfuss

Pub. Date: March 2007
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Format: Hardcover , 661pp
ISBN-13: 9780756404079

They liked it too:

Stainless Steel Droppings | Dear Author | Literary Omnivore | It’s All About the Books |

caprici2

Divider