leahbird try, tries again for 75 books (7)

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leahbird try, tries again for 75 books (7)

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Editado: Oct 16, 2013, 1:28pm

Me and my girls, heading out to see Disney on Ice (our third year in a row). Addy was Rapunzel this year.

“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”― Louisa May Alcott
"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."― Cicero

*Note: Descriptions are not mine, but mined from LT or other sources. Thoughts are all me.

Editado: Oct 16, 2013, 1:05pm

43. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Description: At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy's instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea's forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors from both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

Thoughts: This installment of the Heroes of Olympus series has a lot of the same problems the last one did: too many characters needing attention and action and, therefore, too much stuff all going on pow-pow-pow. There are a few really wonderful moments here, moments where these characters really shine and start to feel substantial and actually heroic rather than lucky, but there is just not enough time or plot development given to those moments and so they come off kind of flat.

Most especially disappointing are the scenes with Nico. I kind of saw this coming in the last book, but I wasn't sure Riordan would commit to it. When he did commit to it, I was impressed. And then instantly disappointed in the handling of the storyline. It was weak and then irritating. I would like to see this storyline get some due attention and see it beautifully handled, but I don't think that will happen.

Right now, I'm stuck between genuine like for the general story idea and the characters and feeling like it's all a little too predictable and safe and underwhelming. It was nice to see some characters face their doubts in themselves, but nothing came together to make a really great moment.

Rating: 3.1
Liked: 3
Plot: 3
Characterization: 3.5
Writing: 3

Editado: Oct 16, 2013, 12:48pm

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

Oct 16, 2013, 2:17pm

I have The House of Hades checked out and in the TBR queue, but I picked it up the other night and then sat it back down, not in the mood.

Oct 16, 2013, 7:52pm

Ah, a new thread, a book review, AND a lovely photo. You sure know how to throw a party. :P

Oct 16, 2013, 9:48pm

Great photo!

Oct 16, 2013, 11:10pm

You want to talk party?!?! I am currently in the barn, listening to The Wake of the Lorelei Lee, and staring at pig vagina waiting for piglets to start arriving. I will most likely be here all night. This will be the first time I have ever done this solo, my dad being in Missouri at a meeting. It's also the first pregnancy for my baby girl, Coco (400 lbs), so I'm a nervous midwife and anxious grandmom.

Also, we didn't know she was pregnant because she's never been bred (some sneaky wild boar is responsible) so I've had very little time to get ready for this.

Oct 16, 2013, 11:34pm

I've been delightedly following the Coco scandal on Facebook since yesterday. $10 says the babies come out half goose. *looks suspiciously at Ricky...*

I feel like Jacky would approve of you spending your evening this way.

Editado: Oct 16, 2013, 11:49pm

Totally. But it wouldn't be worthy of Jacky unless we were in some kind of storm or being attacked by bandits. ;)

We've been laughing about how Coco's scandalous trist is trending on FB and Instagram. She's the newest celebrity mom!

Oct 17, 2013, 6:15am

I hope the pig vagina cooperates!

Oct 17, 2013, 7:40am

So far no cooperation. I think I have to call in the professional reinforcements.

Oct 17, 2013, 11:25am

I'm sorry to hear that. I hope there aren't any major complications with the delivery.

Oct 17, 2013, 5:51pm

Vet had a couple of concerns but nothing he felt needed immediate action. We decided to wait and see for now.

Editado: Oct 17, 2013, 6:42pm

Uncooperative vaginas are the pits!

Oct 17, 2013, 9:06pm

44. The Wake of the Lorelei Lee by LA Meyer (read by Katherine Kellgren)

Description: Jacky Faber, rich from her exploits diving for Spanish gold, has purchased the Lorelei Lee to carry passengers across the Atlantic. Believing she has been absolved of past sins against the Crown, Jacky docks in London to take on her crew, but is instead arrested and sentenced to life in the newly formed penal colony in Australia. To add insult to injury, the Lorelei Lee is confiscated to carry Jacky and more than 200 female convicts to populate New South Wales. Not one to give in to self pity, Jacky rallies her sisters to "better" their position resulting in wild escapades, brushes with danger, and much hilarity. Will Jacky find herself a founding mother of New South Wales, Australia? Not if she has anything to do about it!

Thoughts: I was worried that this installment of Jacky's exploits was going to be a bit boring, seeing as how the premise sounds an awful lot like In the Belly of the Bloodhound, but I was proved wrong. There are some quite fun shenanigans, an interesting plot for Jaimy, exotic locales and characters, and just enough evil-doers to give it weight. It could have been a bit more tight but I don't care.

Would have liked to see some of Australia, but it didn't detract from the story.

Rating: 3.92
Liked: 4
Plot: 3.5
Characterization: 4
Writing: 3.5
Audio: 4.5

Oct 17, 2013, 11:22pm

I'm getting irritable that the Kindle Matchbook program from Amazon just keeps saying "Launching in October" when the month of October is half over and they haven't updated the information with an actual date. October 31st might as well be November, so I'd prefer not to be toyed with! GIVE ME CHEAP EBOOKS OF THINGS I SHOULD JUST READ OFF MY SHELVES ALREADY!

Editado: Oct 21, 2013, 1:04pm

While Fool was not my favorite Christopher Moore book, I'm excited to find out that there is a sequel due out in April, The Serpent of Venice.

Oct 21, 2013, 6:04am

Cool! I haven't read that one yet though.

Oct 21, 2013, 10:26am

Ahhh, Fool IS my favorite Christopher Moore! But probably only because King Lear is my favorite Shakespeare. I'm guessing The Serpent of Venice is going to be an homage to the Merchant of Venice? I haven't read that one....

Oct 22, 2013, 7:11pm

Ok, time for the Coco update: We're pretty sure at this point that it was a false pregnancy. Totally weird and frustrating, but apparently it happens. So, at some point in the last 4 months, the pregnancy failed but her body didn't get the full memo. It explains why she developed an udder and had milk and then magically didn't have milk and stopped acting like she was in labor. And is now 100% back to normal and just irritated that no one is waiting on her round the clock anymore. I am glad she's OK, but I'm so irritated at all the hoops she had me jumping through FOR NOTHING. Pigs are the devil.

Oct 22, 2013, 8:02pm

Oh, so many pig vagina jokes...

I'll just agree with you, it's terrible she had to go through all that for nothing, but I'm glad she's back to herself. :)

Oct 23, 2013, 9:25am

Pigs are the devil.
That just cries out to be immortalized in cross-stitch, Leah!

Editado: Oct 24, 2013, 3:10pm

I happened to be near the library just now so I thought I'd pop in to pick up some comics to, ahem, pad my reading numbers for the year... but, in typical fashion, they only have vol 4 and 8 of the series I was looking for so that was a bust.

As a passing thought, I checked to see if they had The Circle in yet for the One Book, One Librarything read and was shocked to see that they had two copies now and one was listed as available! I glanced at adult fiction to make sure it wasn't there and then dashed over to New Fiction, where it was not to be found either. Thinking someone had just returned it, I headed to Circulation. Not only had they never heard of this very new and much wishlisted book, but they couldn't even tell me if there were people on the damn list for it!

I finally located it, all by myself, on the holds shelves behind checkout. (Yes, I walked around the desk to check since the librarians seemed incapable of doing so.) It made perfect sense that it was there but no one could explain why their catalog system doesn't mark something as held rather than just saying available! I HATE MY LIBRARY! Rather than pay the 50¢ to put the book on hold, I just hrumphed off in irritation.

Oct 24, 2013, 2:44pm

Your library charges you to put a book on hold? I'd hate it, too!

Oct 24, 2013, 2:47pm

That is crazy that your library charges for holds! I'm glad my library doesn't do that because I have holds (frozen) on about 30 books so that when I want them I can just un-freeze :-)

Oct 24, 2013, 3:04pm

Yep, they charge 50 cents for regular holds, $1 for interlibrary holds, and then you have to pay the postage to return interlibrary loans. It's ridiculous. The most asinine part was when I discovered that I could put books on hold via the website. I placed a hold and didn't hear anything for weeks. I went in to ask about it and not a single one of the librarians knew that system was functional so no one was checking it! And I STILL had to pay 50 cents!

Oct 24, 2013, 3:08pm

I have periodically applied for part time work in this library over a span of 10 years but they won't hire me because I don't have a background in library science. The last time I actually got an interview (maybe 3 years ago), I finally cracked and explained that I might not have a background in library science but I seem to be more familiar with how a library works than the old ladies who currently work in the library and can NEVER answer a single simple question I ask them. I will most likely NEVER be getting that job...

Oct 24, 2013, 3:14pm

You should start your own library.

Oct 24, 2013, 3:15pm

Leah> I know that in Morristown, they staff the circulation desk with volunteers from the Friends group a lot. That may be what they are doing where you are. There are usually librarians around, but quite often the ones that you immediately encounter are volunteers.

Oct 24, 2013, 3:24pm

Those old ladies won't be around forever! You just have to wait them out and then you can work there.

Editado: Oct 24, 2013, 3:29pm

Nora @28> That would be lovely.

@30> Yeah, when I'm an old lady!

Lori> I do think that's the case a lot and I hate to be down on volunteers. It just doesn't seem like a good idea to put people who can't answer simple questions in a position to deal with patrons. The only people I KNOW are actual librarians at the BCPL are the Reference Librarians who actually deal almost solely with genealogy. (You probably know some of them!) When I've had questions for those ladies, they are great, but they are quite busy and can't usually be expected to answer questions about circulation.

It'd be nice if they could staff some younger volunteers occasionally who might be a bit more tech savvy or up on current releases.

Oct 24, 2013, 3:42pm

You should ask them why the fees for holds and ILL are not listed on their Policies & Fees page: http://www.blountlibrary.org/policies-and-fees/ (or http://www.blountlibrary.org/inter-library-loan which states they only charge if there is a charge from the other library - in which case you should be able to state the amount you would be willing to pay). I do think I saw something the other day about the director retiring. Maybe the new director will decide to forego hold fees.

Oct 24, 2013, 3:46pm

The depressing thing is how much respect I have for libraries and librarians in general. I think they are awesome. But this library just makes me sad and irritable every time I go in there.

When they ran a Summer Reading contest, I got really excited. I went and entered some books and was shocked to get a call that I had won. And then I won again the next month. Turns out I was pretty much the only person entering. Which makes sense seeing as how I had to ask FOUR people in the library before I found someone who knew what I was talking about and could direct me to the sign up forms. It's just depressing. For a library that serves 124,000 residents it's just not good enough.

Especially since the library is gorgeous. It cost a damn fortune to build. Why let it be so terrible? It seemed better run when it was in the old building that was starting to crumble.

Front entrance

Back entrance, with bridge to Green Belt

Oct 24, 2013, 3:48pm

Wow, that is gorgeous!

Oct 24, 2013, 3:50pm

>32 thornton37814: I found the information about charging for holds here: http://www.blountlibrary.org/how-do-I-place-a-hold/

Editado: Oct 24, 2013, 4:08pm

>32 thornton37814:, Honestly, I stopped using ILL because of the hoops so things may have changed since then. But I did see that there was a new sign up on the Circulation desk about placing holds online and reminding patrons that the hold fee was 50 cents, so I do know that is still in effect.

ETA: I would be more than happy to pay the 50 cents for holds if I felt they were using the money to keep the library well stocked and/or staffed, but they obviously aren't since it is neither. In my bitter opinion, at least.

ETA2: I just remembered that there is no charge to place holds for ebooks and audiobooks on the READS site, so the holds fee would seem to cover the work it takes to maintain the list and have someone walk the book from one desk to the other. If that work is done by volunteers... WHAT is that money going to?

Oct 24, 2013, 4:12pm

It might be worth the non-resident fee to get a Knox County Public Library card. The branch closest to me hardly ever has the books I'm looking for, but it's really easy to place a hold online and have books delivered from another branch. I've never been charged a fee for this. The Bearden and Cedar Bluff branches might work for you if you make the occasional trip to West Knoxville. The Howard Pinkston branch isn't far from the Blount County line, but it's in a rural area and isn't open as much as the suburban branches.

I just checked the KCPL catalog and it shows 5 copies of The Circle available within the system with a 6th copy in processing.

Editado: Oct 24, 2013, 4:16pm

I have thought about it a million times. The thing holding me back is that I rarely make it to Knoxville anymore. If I could manage it where a pile of books was ready for me, say, once a month, that would be worth the non-resident fee, but otherwise I don't think I'd use it if I had to be back and forth collecting things all the time. I don't know. I may just do it and see how it works out.

Oct 24, 2013, 4:24pm

Just a thought about the holds fee. The charge for holds may not have anything to do with cost recovery for providing the service. The desired effect may be to keep the queue down for popular books since some patrons might choose to buy the book rather than pay a fee to get on a waiting list. Or it could have originated with a large percentage of holds never being picked up, thus "wasting"staff time in pulling and reshelving books.

Oct 24, 2013, 5:47pm

Just signed up for World Book Night 2014! I doubt I will get picked if the last few years are any indication but I'm crossing my fingers anyway!

Editado: Oct 24, 2013, 8:11pm

Does anyone know how old John Higgins is supposed to be in the Jacky Faber books, The Mark of the Golden Dragon specifically? I can't seem to get a handle on him exactly. He can't be all that old because he's always hanging around Universities wherever they go, but for some reason I had pegged him as in his 40s originally. It was a reference to Lord Byron and Percy Shelly that got me wondering, Byron seeming to be a schoolmate of Lord Richard Allen and the suggestion that Higgins was a contemporary of theirs. I've gotten myself so confused.

Editado: Oct 24, 2013, 7:25pm

I would say he's in his early 40s, since he mentions that other family that he worked for awhile ago. And don't forget that at that time, Universities were frequented by intellectuals of all ages, not just young people. That's where almost all scientists and philosophers worked.

Editado: Oct 24, 2013, 8:35pm

That was my assumption until now, but things are less clear all the sudden. In the bit I was just listening to:

- Higgins mentions that he was 12 when Master Hollingsworth died.
- He was sent as valet to the master's son when said son went off to college. It seems that son was close in age to Richard Allen and Lord Byron as they were at school at the same time and Higgins was included in their set (although this would suggest that Richard and Higgins should have known each other back on the Mississippi, which they didn't).
- Jacky, at 16, estimates that Richard is 10 years older than herself, making him about 26. So it seems unlikely that a ~35 year old Higgins would have been gallivanting around with ~21 year old students enough to be an intimate of Lord Byron.

This seems like such a small thing to be caught up on, but I just can't seem to get around it!

Oct 24, 2013, 8:32pm

I'll do some investigating on the forums.

Oct 24, 2013, 8:35pm

I can correct at least one thing. Higgins only says he'd read most of his master's library by the age of 12. The next sentence then mentions Hollingsworth's death, but not an age or time frame. I had to go borrow the ebook so I could read back over it. ;)

Oct 24, 2013, 8:49pm

Thanks for the link to the forums but I just couldn't do it. After 4 pages of children trying to decide if Higgins is gay, I had to throw in the towel. Sheesh! Their enthusiasm is lovely but these are the moments when I realize how lucky I am to have not had access to forums as a middle-schooler!

Oct 24, 2013, 8:51pm

Yeah there are a lot of pages about Higgins. Just wait until page 10 when they all find out for sure that he is gay (after Mississippi Jack comes out) and half of them get disgusted and say they're never reading Jacky again. Kids! *shakes fist*

Oct 24, 2013, 8:57pm

I found something! According to user "Jacky Faber" (commonly known to be L.A. Meyer himself):

While the Old Guy generally has the physical appearance of a personality/actor/ celeb/ in mind when developing a character (Brad Pitt as Arthur McBride, Sean Bean as Captain Lord Richard Allen, Nicole Kidman as Clarissa), he doesn't usually let it be known. Heh, heh, have I just ratted him out a bit?
Anyway, he will fess up to the fact that he absolutely had Stephen Frye as Jeeves in mind in portraying my dear Higgins.

Cheers, Mates,

Jacky "

Stephen Fry was 33-37 when Jeeves and Wooster was on.

Oct 24, 2013, 11:10pm

Ah, thanks Nora! His 33 to Richard's 26 makes plenty of sense.

But I have to say, Sean Bean as Richard Allen?!?! Never! Michael Fassbender perhaps! ;)

Oct 25, 2013, 9:36am

Lord Richard Allen gives me the creeps. I always picture him as Gaston from Disney's Beauty & the Beast.

Oct 25, 2013, 11:27am

Hahahaha! On a certain level, all of Jacky's man friend's give me the creeps, even down to Jaimy himself, but I've mostly attributed it to general male attitude's during that time period. Without contrast, I'm sure Richard would creep me out much more, but when up against the likes of Flashby... well, I see him more as a playful rogue with more attitude than actual bad intentions. He's slightly less pushy than Joseph Jared and he's much more accepting and appreciative of Jacky's behavior and eccentricities than any other suitor.

But, creeptastic or not, I picture him as devilishly handsome in a much more refined way than Sean Bean could ever hope for.

Oct 25, 2013, 11:33am

Joseph Jared is my favorite ♥

Editado: Oct 25, 2013, 12:11pm

I too like Joseph Jared, but his tendency to slide his hands into garments uninvited makes me a little weirded out.

Oct 25, 2013, 12:09pm

I have too many audiobooks to listen to! I'm almost done with The Mark of the Golden Dragon and I thought I was lucky that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone came available much sooner than I though it would. But then Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets came up the very next day. They are due back Nov 8 & 9th, with no renewal option because of holds. THEN I discovered The Halloween Tree and decided I had to listen to it for Halloween... I guess I'm going to be listening around the clock for the next two weeks!

Oct 25, 2013, 12:51pm

I don't tend to think of book characters in terms of real-world actors (which may be why I am rarely pleased with casting decisions of favorite books). But I could see a young Sean Bean as Lord Richard Allen.

You're right, though . . . all of Jacky's men "friends" are more or less creepy. Except the really young ones, and then it's Jacky whom I find a little creepy, actually. :-)

Oct 25, 2013, 1:19pm

>55 foggidawn: then it's Jacky whom I find a little creepy
Totally! Especially in Viva Jacquelina! she's totally creeping on that poor Spanish boy.

Oct 25, 2013, 3:52pm

I think I could see Sean Bean as Joseph Jared but he's got a rougher look than I can picture Richard Allen as. He's attractive but wilder looking.

Editado: Dic 26, 2013, 11:24pm

45. The Mark of the Golden Dragon by LA Meyer (read by Katherine Kellgren)

Description: The irrepressible Jacky Faber, condemned for life to the English penal colony in Australia for crimes against the Crown, has once again wriggled out of the grasp of British authorities. Back on her flagship, the Lorelei Lee, she eagerly heads back to England in the company of friends and her beloved Jaimy Fletcher. But when the voyage is waylaid by pirates, storms, and her own impetuous nature, Jacky is cast into a world of danger that extends from the South China Sea to the equally treacherous waters of London politics. With the help of her loyal friends, Jacky meets her enemies head on in this tale of love, courage, and redemption.

Thoughts: I found this foray into Jacky's adventures quite misnamed and fairly boring. I was sure that the focus of the story would be a much more satisfying adventure throughout Asia, rather than a weak lucky break in one small Asian city that is wrapped up quickly and uninspiring. What occurs once back in England felt much too self-serving and not very interesting.

And the end. Oh lord, the end. Melodramatic barely covers it.

Really, really hoping that Viva Jacquelina! isn't My Bonny Light Horseman 2.0!

Rating: 3.08
Liked: 3
Plot: 2.5
Characterization: 3
Writing: 3
Audio: 4

Oct 25, 2013, 8:19pm

Wait a minutie wait a minute! Someone can be creepy and handsome at the same time? This is very encouraging! :P

Beyond that, I have no idea what anyone is talking about. These books sure have been popular on LT lately. Have they been out for awhile and just caught on, or have I just been out of the loop for awhile?

Oct 25, 2013, 8:27pm

Yeah, they've been coming out for years. I started reading them after Nora's rave reviews of the first couple. And since I've been in a massive reading slump, these audiobooks have been about all I'm managing these days.

Oct 25, 2013, 8:31pm

Yeah, I knew they had been coming out I just wasn't sure if they recently became very popular or not. Anyway, I'm glad you (and so many other 75ers) are enjoying them! Or, well, most of them. :)

Editado: Oct 25, 2013, 9:04pm

>61 Ape: The first book came out in 2002 and there's been a new one every year since. So they're kind of new but not that new. I think it's just a coincidence that a few people whose threads you follow are reading them lately.

Oct 26, 2013, 9:34pm

It could also be that the series is wrapping up soon. I know a lot of people like to wait to start a series until most of the books are available so they don't have to wait long periods between books.

Oct 28, 2013, 7:44pm

I'm keeping my friend's 5 and 3 year old boys at my house tonight while she and her husband paint a couple rooms in their new house. I babysat these boys a ton 2-3 years ago, but only occasionally now that they go to preschool. The older is just a typical boy with a bit too much energy and into everything but the younger is a challenge. At 3, he doesn't talk, doesn't really engage with others, becomes obsessive about random objects, and does not listen or perhaps comprehend instructions. He is not bad exactly, he's just very difficult. When he can't communicate what he wants he gets frustrated and screams. He will dash off after some thing that's caught his interest and will not stop unless you physically catch him. It can be extremely trying and exhausting. But he's very sweet when he's calm.

They have been testing him for autism but so far don't think he's quite autistic. They think it's just a speech delay with severe OCD. I don't know if I buy that yet.

My niece is here all the time, but it took me hours today to rechildproof the house to accommodate the little one. I'm still worried about sleeping tonight, worried that he will get out of the guest/play room in the middle of the night. Hopefully I'll be able to sleep! Maybe I will get tons of reading done while sitting up fretting.

Oct 28, 2013, 9:11pm

Hope it goes well, Leah. I don't enjoy the "Screamers." I'm thankful that most of my nieces and nephews were not that way. I did have one niece that was a screamer, but she ended up turning out okay. She also pretty much only screamed if her parents were also around because it didn't really work with the rest of us.

Oct 28, 2013, 10:23pm

Thanks, it's gone surprisingly well so far. Both were asleep by 9 and I only had to put the little one back in bed once.

I can't handle screamers much either. Luckily we only had one wail when I first put them down. Usually I can nip that crap in the bud pretty fast (thank you years of nannying) but developmental delays make things so much more difficult.

Oct 29, 2013, 7:24am

I sometimes think the Spartans had great philosphy on babies whenever I have to deal with a "screamer" in public.

Oct 29, 2013, 2:18pm

It went pretty smoothly even though I ended up with a bedfellow at 4 am. I was all worried for nothing. So typical.

Oct 29, 2013, 4:05pm

Watching The Stolen Earth and Journey's End on The Doctor's Revisited. It's hard to imagine the 50th Whoniversary having so much excitement, but I can't wait to see what they have planned. There were just sooooo many great returning characters in these episodes!

Oct 29, 2013, 4:16pm

No, no. It was the worry that made it uneventful! That's what worry is for, or so I keep telling myself. :-)

Oct 29, 2013, 6:34pm

>69 leahbird: Are you going to see the 50th in theaters??

Oct 29, 2013, 9:06pm

Theaters?!?!?! What?! I didn't know they were showing it in theaters. Gotta go investigate.

Oct 29, 2013, 9:17pm

The closest night-of screening is in Atlanta, 3 hrs away. A theater in Knoxville is having a showing on the 25th but I won't be waiting 2 more days than needed to catch it. Maybe I'll go on Monday just for the little specials...

Editado: Oct 31, 2013, 10:56pm

Happy Halloween from Robin Hood and Maid Marian!

I have the most handsome godson and beautiful niece ever and they make life so much fun! Mark and his mommy Lisa both trick-or-treated for the first time with us tonight! (They don't celebrate in Spain.)

My favorite little man and I. Don't you love my elaborate costume? ;)

Nov 1, 2013, 5:56am

Haha, I think I'm experiencing cuteness overload! :P

Nov 2, 2013, 8:07am

Happy birthday Leah!

Nov 2, 2013, 9:26am

Thanks Nora!

Nov 2, 2013, 6:08pm

October Round-Up

Books read: 5
Fiction: 5
Non-Fiction: 0
Classics: 0
Young adult: 5
Fantasy: 1
Sci-Fi: 0
Cookbooks: 0

Average rating: 3.3

From my shelves: 0
New: 1
Library: 4
Kindle: 0
Audio: 4

Nov 2, 2013, 7:46pm

Birthday? Oh! Happy birthday!! :)

Nov 3, 2013, 1:03am

Thanks for the well wishes. Turning 31 was pretty painless. Especially with these two helping me celebrate.

Nov 6, 2013, 12:09am

My mind has been completely blown by FoodBeast's expose on how we've all been eating apples incorrectly forever. APPLE CORES DON'T ACTUALLY EXIST! I just tried it out and it totally worked!

So Apparently We've All Been Eating Apples All Wrong

My apple proof! Seeds, stem, thing from the bottom, and sticker.

Nov 6, 2013, 6:18am

I'm speechless...

Nov 6, 2013, 11:51am

It seems like such a small thing, but it's HUGE! All those years, all that wasted deliciousness...

Nov 6, 2013, 12:07pm

It's like the first time you realize you can open a banana from the bottom.

Nov 6, 2013, 12:16pm

Yep. How have we survived all this time doing things so wrong?

Nov 6, 2013, 6:16pm

You can open a banana from the bottom!?!?!?!?!?

Nov 6, 2013, 7:52pm

Yep, and it gets rid of the strings!

Nov 6, 2013, 10:32pm

>86 Ape: You should've known that already, it's how apes open bananas. If you open it from the end *without* the stem, all you have to do is lightly pinch the end and it opens perfectly.

Nov 7, 2013, 6:33am

. . . . OH MY GOD!!!

Nov 7, 2013, 11:54am

SPOILER FUNCTION is working now!! YAY YAY YAY!!!

Nov 7, 2013, 7:25pm

COOL spoiler function!!

*catching up* (Hey Leah!)

Your library sounds a lot like mine. The volunteers are so horribly uneducated that I refuse to go in there and haven't in over 10 years. :/

Nov 13, 2013, 6:28pm

Is S. by JJ Abrams on anyone's radar? Amazon just recommended it to me and I'd never heard of it. It has AMAZING reviews over there and seems to have a very interesting premise, especially for those who love books like LTers.

My hesitation is that JJ Abrams TV shows are really hit or miss for me. I love Fringe and his Star Trek movies, but I HATED Lost and Revolution is heading quickly off the rails. I just don't know if I trust him as an author (even if it's not of the entire book). I've also never read anything by Doug Dorst so I can't make a call based on that either.

Hmmm. I do think this sounds like a good contender for one of our fancy new "One LT, One Book" project.

Nov 13, 2013, 6:45pm

Yes! I actually just added it to my wishlist today after ignoring the recommendation for a few weeks. Like you, I'm hit-or-miss with his shows but the book looks interesting.

Nov 13, 2013, 8:40pm

Last year, I mentioned a book, Meant to Be, that was written by a high school friend of mine. It wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but I thought it was great for it's target audience of teenage, bookish girls.

Well, now she has her sophomore effort, Being Sloane Jacobs. It'll be out January 7th and is aimed at the same demographic. I know that doesn't cover a lot of us, but I am very happy for Lauren's success (Kirkus gave it a pretty good review) and want to continue to promote her to anyone who might be interested!

Nov 14, 2013, 11:39am

It's definitely on my radar... I'll probably not get to it for a bit, but I will eventually. :)

Nov 15, 2013, 1:48pm

These are my temporary business cards that I just threw together (ok, slaved over for like 2 hours because I couldn't get the font size the way I wanted it). These are mostly for an open house I am attending this weekend and to have until my fancy logo gets done. That probably won't be until the new year because my professional artist friend is VERY graciously designing it for me and is currently lost somewhere under a pile of clay.

What do you think? They will be on cream linen card stock.

Nov 15, 2013, 6:28pm

I just visited your page on Facebook, but I didn't "like" it. It should work. You might want to offer some more information on your Facebook page about services that you offer. My Greek training makes me want to use the Greek letters and the tenses from it so I just skipped that. I suspect there may be some who don't really know what you might do for them.

Nov 15, 2013, 6:48pm

Thanks, Lori! I do need to add some more information. I slapped FB together quickly because I thought I was going to go the full route with a website, but then I stalled on the website and forgot that FB needed fleshing out. Will do that now.

Can you elaborate on the Greek letters and tenses? I know that doula comes from Greek (I had always seen in translated as "woman who serves" but apparently the first researcher to use it in it's modern form translated it as "female slave" which I'm not so thrilled about) but that is the extent of my knowledge of it linguistically.

Nov 15, 2013, 7:13pm

Ok, I added this to the About section. What do you think?

My name is Leah McCord and I am a DONA International trained Birth Doula. I am currently working towards official certification, requiring the attendance of several births. At this time, rates are reduced as a thank you to all families who help me reach this certification goal.

Doula {doo-luh} (n.): A trained non-medical woman who assists a woman before, during, and after childbirth. Continuous support during labor has proven to result in healthier outcomes for mother and child.

Studies have shown that doula attended births have:
- 25% shorter labor
- 60% reduction in epidural requests
- 50% reduction in the C-SECTION RATE
- 40% reduction in oxytocin use
- 40% reduction in forceps delivery
- 30% reduction in analgesia use
- Mothers report greater satisfaction with the birth experience and greater confidence in their bodies which has shown to lead to increased ease of breastfeeding, lower postpartum depression rates, and more content babies.

What is a doula?

As a doula, I support women in labor to help ensure a safe and satisfying birth experience. I have completed training approved by DONA International. I provide emotional support, physical comfort and, as needed, communication with the staff to make sure that you have the information you need to make informed decisions as they arise in labor. I can provide reassurance and perspective to you and your partner, make suggestions for labor progress, and help with relaxation, massage, positioning and other techniques for comfort. As your doula, I am working for you, not your caregiver or hospital.

Services Provided

-Two home visits to discuss the parents’ desires and preparation for the birth
-Phone and email support as needed during pregnancy and postpartum
-Assistance in creating an individualized birth plan
-Labor support by phone during early labor and upon arrive at your home or in the hospital during active labor
-Emotional, physical and informational support during labor and birth
-Initial breastfeeding support
-One postpartum visit in your home within 2 weeks following the birth

As a doula, I DO NOT:

-Perform clinical tasks, such as blood pressure, fetal heart checks, vaginal exams, and others. I am there only to provide physical comfort, emotional support and advocacy.
-Make decisions for you. I will help you get the information necessary to make an informed decision.
-Speak to staff instead of you regarding matters where decisions are being made. I will discuss your concerns with you and suggest options, but you or your partner will speak on your behalf to the clinical staff.

Nov 15, 2013, 9:07pm

Tenses is probably the wrong term. It's more of a declension since it is a noun. Expand the First and Second declension section of this (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%B4%CE%BF%E1%BF%A6%CE%BB%CE%BF%CF%82 so you can see all the forms of the word for singular and plural--nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and vocative.

Nov 16, 2013, 5:33pm

I had a lesson in patience and not whining today. To be fair to myself, I'm not typically all that impatient, but the past two days have found me stuck somewhere trying to get an important errand done before I have to be somewhere at a very specific time. I guess this is what most busy moms feel like on a regular basis, but I've rarely had this problem.

Yesterday I found some adorable flannel on Joann.com on sale for $2.99/yd. Needing it to make several birth ball covers (for a babyshower gift and to have a couple extras for myself) I drove an hour up there only to find that the sale ended yesterday and they were all now back to $6.99/yd. I was pretty ticked off since I could have paid that much closer to home but I was there and needed it so I just went with it. And then I realized that there were LITERALLY 30 people ahead of me at the cutting counter. I was seriously frustrated at this point since I had to pick my niece up from her dad in 2 hours and I still had that hour drive back. Naturally, I Facebooked my irritation, you know, because it was very important irritation.

I stood there and stood there and stood there, getting more irritable as the minutes ticked by. FINALLY, a new girl came to relieve someone and called my number. I plopped all my fabric on the counter and the girl asked me what I was making with all this flannel, so I explained that I am a doula and making birth ball covers. I had to explain what a doula is (because almost no one around here has heard of one). The girl then tells me that she's pregnant and terrified of childbirth.

I mean, could the universe have made it ANY clearer that sometimes you are supposed to wait patiently for a moment for a reason. Maybe this girl will never call me (I gave her my card) but at least now she knows that there are people and resources out there to help her. And I am now well chastised for being impatient and almost costing myself an opportunity to education and help. Silly me.

I'm riding this thankfulness pretty hard right now while I try to ignore the fact that I didn't use my brain and ended up not buying enough fabric...

Nov 17, 2013, 7:53am

Aww, that's great, Leah! Goodness knows I would have stormed out of there much earlier, possibly setting the building on fire on the way out. Way to go! ;)

Nov 17, 2013, 12:57pm

Well, I felt even more horrible for whining when I got the call last night that my cousin's wife (who I love very much) had just had emergency surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. On her 32nd birthday. The day they were waiting to tell us all they were pregnant after years of saying they weren't going to have kids. They seem to be holding up well but I'll know more when I take them some comfort food tonight.

Editado: Nov 18, 2013, 8:52pm

OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD! I just saw the preview for "The Day of the Doctor"! Just seeing 10 and 11 together was enough to make me sqeeeeee! Just days to go now.

Nov 19, 2013, 5:24am

I'm sorry to hear about your cousin's wife, Leah! How is she doing?

Yeah, I'm trying really hard to stay out of this Doctor business. It's not that I don't think I'll like it, but I'm already following a couple shows and if I start watching any more I'm not going to have any time to read. :P

Nov 19, 2013, 1:30pm

Thanks Stephen. She's doing quite well. Has a very good attitude about it all and is excited to try for another baby in the future. I think they hadn't really had enough time to really adjust to the idea that it was really happening (although they were trying), so that's made it a bit easier.

I think you'd like Doctor Who but I can totally understand being over-saturated with things. When new shows start each year my DVR is full to bursting but only a select few make the cut after about 2 weeks. If they don't totally win me over, I just don't have time for them. Now that I think about it, I don't think any of this year's shows have made the cut. Once Upon a Time in Wonderland has held out the longest, but I played solitaire on my phone through the whole last episode so I think I'm gonna cut it loose.

Nov 19, 2013, 3:16pm

>106 leahbird: I just cut a couple shows out of my rotation too. (I watch a *lot* of tv shows, unfortunately . . . . ) I really wanted to like both Reign and The Tomorrow People, but they were both just SO TERRIBLE I couldn't stand it.
I'm still enjoying Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, though it's not nearly as good as the original. I have a couple other new shows I'm liking this season, like Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Dracula.

Nov 19, 2013, 3:46pm

Oh, I forgot I'm still watching Shield but I don't know if it will make the cut longterm. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Fitz and Simons, but nothing else on there is really completely clicking for me yet.

OUAT is still one of my favorite shows into season 3. My mom and I watch together. It's not perfect but the style is just fantastic. I think OUAT in Wonderland is failing because it doesn't have the real world balance that the original does. I like the ideas but the execution is falling very flat.

I watch too many shows too...

Nov 19, 2013, 3:57pm

OH I forgot I like Sleepy Hollow too. And I just started watching Almost Human on Sunday and it is okay. And Witches of East End which is BAD, but in a good way. And Brooklyn Nine-nine because it is hilarious. I think that's all.

Nov 19, 2013, 4:22pm

I missed the first few episodes of Sleepy Hollow and keep forgetting to find them somewhere, so there are many unwatched episodes on my TiVo I hope to get to eventually.

Nov 19, 2013, 4:59pm

>110 leahbird: http://www.hulu.com/watch/533352
Currently all 8 episodes are on Hulu, but the pilot is expiring on Nov 26th.

Nov 19, 2013, 5:26pm

Yeah, I just keep forgetting to do it. Cause my brain is mush.

Nov 19, 2013, 5:29pm

It's worth it. You're going to fall in love with Crane. He's so adorably cranky. Just wait til the episode where he goes to a baseball game.

Nov 19, 2013, 7:10pm

I watch way too much too! Like you Leah my DVR gets stuffed during premiere week and then I end up with maybe one or two new favorites and the rest I don't bother with beyond the first couple of episodes.

Sleepy Hollow-- I do love Crane's character and actor but the show itself is slowing down for me. Still watching though. :)

I tried OUAT and OUATiW but they're too soapy and cheesy for me. This fall I'm liking the period dramas and mini series: The Paradise, Dancing on the Edge, etc. Also American Horror Story is much better this season (last year was a crazy WTF moment in the worst way).

Dads is funny, if silly. Seth Green is a favorite of mine and Giovanni Ribisi is surprisingly funny.

All my normal shows I try to keep up with but sometimes that means going weeks between watching-binges. :)

Nov 19, 2013, 8:04pm

I missed The Paradise (hadn't even heard of it until the other day) but I think my mom has it TiVoed so I might get into it yet.

I was really excited about American Horror Story: Coven and there were lots of really, really amazing moments, but one of the storylines totally creeped me out and, by episode 3, I was so disgusted that I couldn't go on.

Nov 19, 2013, 8:15pm

I need to catch up on The Paradise too! Maybe when my other shows slow down for Christmas.

Editado: Nov 20, 2013, 12:50pm

Since I like lists and this topic proves I'm not the only one watching too much TV...

What I'm watching now:

The Amazing Race
The Big Bang Theory
Call the Midwife
Doctor Who
Downton Abbey
Modern Family
New Girl
The Newsroom
Once Upon a Time
Orphan Black
Warehouse 13

God that seems like way too much. Good thing a lot of them have short seasons or are on at random times of the year.

Edited to alphabetize

Nov 20, 2013, 5:22am

Haha, okay, you are worse off than I am. :P

Nov 20, 2013, 8:57am

Oh dear. I don't think you know what you've started:

Almost Human
Baby Daddy
Being Human
Brooklyn Nine-nine
Doctor Who
Emma Approved
Hart of Dixie
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Melissa and Joey
Modern Family
New Girl
Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time in Wonderland
Parks and Recreation
Pretty Little Liars
Ravenswood (this one is probably going to get abandoned)
Saturday Night Live
Sleepy Hollow
Super Fun Night
The Carrie Diaries
The Colbert Report
The Crazy Ones
The Daily Show
The Fosters
The Simpsons
The Wrong Mans
Trophy Wife
Warehouse 13
Whose Line is it Anyway?
Witches of East End

And yes, I do have to use a website to keep track of them all.

Editado: Nov 20, 2013, 12:54pm

We share 11 shows. I think we would make good roommates. ;)

And I had to consult the DVR because I couldn't remember what I actually watch.

ETA: I also watch an inordinate amount of HGTV, especially Property Brothers. I'm a sucker for Reno shows and Jonathan is a total hottie. The only reason I don't count this in my official number is because I don't record them or try to catch them when they are new. I strictly catch them randomly when they are on during the day and I have nothing to do.

Nov 20, 2013, 1:28pm

I use SideReel to keep track of all my shows, which is very helpful because since I don't have cable or a DVR I watch almost all of them on the internet. (Plus several aren't even on TV in the US). It lists all of the episodes I need to watch and I just click the checkbox when I've seen that episode :-) I can even use it to track old shows that I'm marathoning. And there's a phone app. And I can tell it to send me an email every morning with a list of shows on that evening. It's awesome.

I forgot Downton Abbey! And I watched most of Season 1 of Orphan Black but I got behind and now I can't find the episodes anywhere.

Nov 20, 2013, 1:42pm

BBCAmerica ran a marathon of Orphan Black not too long ago and I suspect they will do it again before the next season comes out in the summer, so hopefully they will be back where you can get at them between now and then. It's one of those shows that I wanted to like but was sure was going to end up being terrible and then it was actually really quite good!

Nov 20, 2013, 1:44pm

>122 leahbird: I'm completely in love with Tatiana Maslany. She's on Parks and Rec right now and she's so great.

Nov 20, 2013, 6:34pm

OMG! So much tv! But I have to laugh because my list is just as long. It's just a little embarrassing to see it all laid out like that. :D

I liked Orphan Black but didn't end up finishing the season. I'll have to catch it on replay eventually.

SideReel sounds cool, will have to check that out.

Nov 20, 2013, 7:18pm

Ummmm, so yeah, all I'm really watching right now is The Walking Dead, Talking Dead, and Chopped. However, I still have tons of "tv time" in the form of video games, so unfortunately we wouldn't make good room mates unless we had seperate tvs. :P

Nov 20, 2013, 7:30pm

Yeah, I really loathe watching people play video games. I play maybe 15 hours of video games a YEAR and have no problem with others playing whatever they want, but watching while not playing.... terrible.

Nov 20, 2013, 8:02pm

I agree with you there, watching other people play video gaming is ridiculously dull. I can spend hours walking around desolate wasteland collecting mundane coins that do absolutely nothing, but I can't bear to watch other people playing through the most action-packed of sequences. Nope, not interested.

Nov 21, 2013, 9:49pm

So I REALLY love The Big Bang Theory. It's smart and funny and I would totally hang out with those nerds (and Penny).

I am, however, increasingly disturbed by all the fat jokes. Howard's mother might be seriously overweight but I don't see how that validates making LITERALLY every single statement about her about her size and devaluing her as a human being. You'd think a show about people who have been bullied most of their lives would see that these statements are inappropriate.

Nov 21, 2013, 10:28pm

#128 -- I hate that sort of thing. It's what I call the last acceptable prejudice.

Nov 22, 2013, 5:41am

Yeah, I mean, I think part of the show is both poke fun of the nerdiness and showcase it in a positive way. All the characters get made fun of for their eccentricities at some point, but they are all charming in wonderful in their own way too. That's not really the case with Howard's mother, is it? =/

Nov 22, 2013, 8:53am

I can't stand that show at all, and shaming people of all kinds is definitely one of the reasons.

Editado: Nov 22, 2013, 12:24pm

I'm with you Stephen. I see the guys pick at each other but to me it comes across as friendly banter because they all obviously care for one another and value one another. But Howard's mom is NOTHING but a fat joke. Well, that and an overprotective Jewish mom joke. But you can joke about her clingy Jewish motherness without making her less than human. The fat jokes just make her an object, a tool to get a laugh. It's too far.

Nora, you aren't the only one who feels that way. I never saw it that way other than with this one character. I will be paying closer attention from now on. I think it was that the teasing between the guys is done to each others' face and guys being (a bit meat headed, yes) guys. But the fat jokes are nearly incessant and always behind her back. Maybe if she was a visible character the discomfort would be more apparent to more people. But since she's offstage they can just picture her as a giant blob to be mocked.

Nov 22, 2013, 1:25pm

>132 leahbird: The Big Bang Theory is, even on its best days, akin to putting nerds/geeks/whatever in a cage so that normal people can study them and be entertained by them. It is better than pretending they are mysterious or scary or that they don't exist, true. But it never acknowledges the fact that EVERYONE IS A NERD in one way or another. We're not some kind of sub-species of human.

Nov 22, 2013, 1:40pm

One of my favorite episodes actually does that pretty nicely. (The one where Penny's seriously meatheaded boyfriend gets all excited about comics with the guys and then insists that Penny accompany them to the comic book store for the Halloween costume contest.) But I agree, they could make a better effort at it overall.

Nov 22, 2013, 2:13pm

I don't think non-nerds really watch it anyway, and that's the point. They poke fun at everything. The best laughs come when they turn a stereotype on its head, but I agree that's something they haven't done for Howard's mom yet.

Nov 22, 2013, 7:25pm

I wish it were true, but unfortunately my mom's husband is a HUGE fan of the show, and he's...well, let's just say he's not a nerd in the slightest bit, to put it nicely. He was a jock in high school, he's racist, sexist, and generally ignorant in just about every way imaginable. Ridiculously charming with the ladies though, multiple marriages that have inevitably ended with him cheating with multiple women. If I used him as a means to understand how women choose their partners I would conclude that they like men dumb and agreeable. Anyway, my point is, The Big Bang Theory is popular because it appeals to everybody, I'm afraid. A show on a major network doesn't survive for that long unless it appeals to a broad audience. *Shrug*

Editado: Nov 22, 2013, 8:30pm

Haha, I think nerds are a broad audience. In my experience with people, those who aren't into any of the things the guys are into, don't watch the show because they don't get it. Like Leah Nora said, we've all got a little "nerd" in us, so most of us can find something to relate to, but your example doesn't fit what I've seen personally, and it's sad that he watches just to have his prejudices confirmed. Maybe he just likes to watch Penny. ;)

I don't have issue with the show's humor, except that it seems to be repeating itself these days. Just about every successful sitcom on TV ever has poked good-natured fun at itself (its characters). People find that funny when they can relate to it, especially when they're part of the group being portrayed.

There are so many shows other people love that I can't stomach, so we all balance each other out. :D Leah Nora mentioned Brooklyn-99 above, and I couldn't make it through the pilot!

Nov 22, 2013, 8:05pm

Those were both Nora's examples. Not that I mind being confused for Nora, but for clarity's sake. ;)

Editado: Nov 22, 2013, 8:30pm

Nope, my mistake. Sorry Nora! :D

(I will edit it and make these last two posts moot. muahaha)

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Nov 22, 2013, 11:49pm

>139 UnrulySun: ;)

CATCHING FIRE WAS PRETTY DAMN AWESOME! Finnick and Joanna were both wonderfully cast. Take the whole tissue box.

Editado: Nov 23, 2013, 5:10pm

OK. Earlier today I watched DW "The Angels Take Manhattan." And cried, yet again. I just got back from "Catching Fire," which had me boohooing like crazy. I turn on the TV and it's a DW special and it's showing 10's "I don't want to go" scene. Which brought tears.

I think I'm broken now.

Nov 23, 2013, 12:13am

>141 leahbird: I like to call days like that a "tear-duct cleanse" :-)

Nov 23, 2013, 1:46am

Damnit! More tears at the end of the DW docudrama "An Adventure in Space and Time." I just can't catch a break today. My tear ducts need a break.

Nov 23, 2013, 1:03pm


Editado: Nov 23, 2013, 5:09pm


Oh god, Amy's glasses! ::sobbing::

Tom Baker scarf.

I knew it! I knew John Hurt was going to be the Time War Doctor. But that means that 9, 10, and 11 are actually (at least) 10, 11, and 12! (Apparently this was pretty common knowledge and I just wasn't aware it was happening.)

The Big Red Button!

Crazy Rose/The Interface is awesome!

The fez!

Hahaha! 10 in the painting with Liz 1!

"It's a machine that goes 'Ding.'" Oh how I've missed him and his weird contraptions.

"You're very skinny. Proper skinny. I've never seen it from the outside. It's like a special effect!" Brilliant.

Sonic screwdriver comparing. This is so seriously hilarious and genius. "They're scientific instruments, not water pistols."

Awww, old Tardis! And then OLD Tardis. "The round things! I love the round things. What are they?"

God, the shoes on the table bit was wonderful.

"Bad Wolf girl, I could kiss you!" "Yeah, that's gonna happen."

All the doctors! All THIRTEEN! Good god!

9 (well 10 now) wore 9/The Warrior's jacket.

"I don't want to go." Goddamn you Moffat. Stop punching me in the feels.

Well that was a beautiful episode. I was hoping that Rose and 10 were going to be together again but it was lovely all the same. No complaints.

Nov 24, 2013, 7:14pm

I agree with everything you said above. :D

Except, John Hurt doesn't have a number or mess with the current numbers, because he doesn't consider himself a Doctor. He's sort of an "in-between-Doctors" incarnation. (This is the convenient answer.)

I have to wonder how the knowledge that Gallifrey is out there will impact the Doctor's broodiness. He's going to go chasing after them (as an overall story arch) and he no longer carries the burden of having destroyed his people. The only good thing there I suppose is that he remembers both timelines so knows what it would feel like.

ALSO! Even if it exists outside of the Doctor's space/time continuum, there are now lots of Time Lords running about and we're bound to see them eventually. If the Doctor can find Gallifrey (as he hints he will try to do) then Gallifrey can find him. He's not the last of his kind any more.

Editado: Nov 24, 2013, 7:59pm

More Spoilery Convo

I know War Doctor doesn't consider himself The Doctor, but he still used up a regeneration. Meaning that Capaldi should be #13, and 13 is supposed to be the final regeneration. I just wonder how that will be dealt with.

And I am very interested, excited to see where the hunt for Gallifrey takes us! Is it, afterall, going to be the thing that kills 11 (err, 12... damnit I'm confusing myself now)? But, we have to remember that they didn't EXACTLY save Gallifrey. They just didn't destroy it for certain. The whole thing might have failed and killed them all anyway. Do remember, this is Moffat we are dealing with and he is a cruel son of a bitch. ;) Who I think is a genius but, man, the dude is cruel.

Christmas Special, here we come.

Nov 24, 2013, 8:04pm

I see what you mean, but I figure Moffat will come up with some sort of work-around on the regeneration thing. Like, River's jump-start gave him all of her regen powers, or that by saving Gallifrey he gets more time, or that the regen limit was a Gallifreyan law rather than a physical limit, or the Doctor will find Gallifrey and a successor to whom he passes on all his memories and knowledge (and who will have 13 more regens to play with)... He will find something. ;)

Nov 25, 2013, 9:53am

I'll be back at 9pm tonight to discuss.

Nov 25, 2013, 12:21pm

Yay! Can't wait.

Nov 25, 2013, 10:35pm

I tried to write stuff here but I just don't have any words . . . .

Nov 25, 2013, 10:37pm

In a good way or a bad way?

Nov 25, 2013, 10:39pm

LMAO Nora. Give us something!!

Nov 25, 2013, 10:44pm

If your spoiler doesn't contain spoilers, does it create a paradox? Could it rip a hole in the space time continuum?

Nov 25, 2013, 10:49pm

In a good way. I started crying tears of joy as soon as it started and never stopped. I didn't realize how much I missed Tennant until he showed up.

Nov 25, 2013, 10:53pm

Really? I knew how much you missed DT. ;)

Nov 25, 2013, 10:55pm

Awww. I loved seeing the two guys together. They had great banter.

Nora, what do you think of Peter Capaldi?

Nov 25, 2013, 10:59pm

The dynamics between all three were fantastic.

Nov 26, 2013, 8:44am

>157 UnrulySun: I totally squealed when I saw those eyes. He's going to be so amazing!

Editado: Nov 26, 2013, 10:03am

**Spoilers for the Doctor Who CHRISTMAS EPISODE below**
The latest rumor is that the Tennant --> Smith regeneration was the 12th regeneration because when Tennant regenerated from his hand in Journey's End, that counted as a regeneration. So Smith is the "last" doctor and he will "die" at Trenzalore in the Christmas special. Except not really, obviously, because making people not really be dead is basically what Moffat does for a living.


ETA: hmm, apparently spoiler tags don't work for hyperlinks. Good to know.

Editado: Nov 26, 2013, 11:21am

David Tennent, so nice he counted twice! ;)

Nov 26, 2013, 11:29am

Nov 26, 2013, 7:32pm

Well, hello darling! (Not to be confused with 11, who is definitely Sweetie. And I shall happily claim them both.)

(And now I'm realizing that the 50th Special was actually HUGELY disappointing because there was no kiss between 10 and 11. I mean, 11 kisses EVERYONE. Every Pond-Williams at least. But he should totally have kissed himself, er, 10. Yes.)

Editado: Nov 27, 2013, 1:52am

Well, there goes any chance I had of being productive ever again. I just realized that I could get Amazon Instant through my Wii. THE WII! I'd been looking for a way for ages because watching on my computer wasn't an option. But now this! World might as well end cause my bed just got much better connected.

And here I was thinking the Wii had become useless...

Nov 27, 2013, 7:09am

I though the Wii was useless as soon as it was released. :P

I'm glad you discovered that you can, in fact, actually have fun with a Wii. Hurray! :)

Nov 27, 2013, 5:06pm

I hate snow. There, I said it. I'm a curmudgeon and I hate snow. It's gross- all melty and slushy and cold. But I think I hate winter rain more because it doesn't even have the decency to be attractive. And what's the point? I mean, it's not growing anything. All it does is make mud.

I hate winter. ESPECIALLY since it's had the audacity to come early and interrupt my full enjoyment of my favorite holiday. Damn you winter.

I will now commence my consumption of ALL THE PIES (and probably a decent number of deviled eggs) and continue grumbling over in the corner until I can retreat to the warmth of my bed and rewatch "The Day of The Doctor" or something else equally removed from the slush pile outside my door.

Nov 27, 2013, 9:32pm

Snow is beautiful when it's falling...but it's ugly later, for sure...but it's not really snow anymore at that point, is it? :P

Nov 28, 2013, 1:37pm


Nov 28, 2013, 1:41pm

Happy Thanksgiving Leah! It's nice to see some sun today, isn't it?!

Nov 28, 2013, 10:44pm

Yay for turkey!

Nov 28, 2013, 11:29pm

>169 cbl_tn: Happy Thanksgiving, Carrie! Yeah, sun was nice even if there is still some stubborn snow holding on here and there.

>170 Ape: I enjoy turkey, but I'm a sides girl all the way. Sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, green beans, PRETZEL SALAD (on the dinner plate and another helping for dessert), deviled eggs (I only had to make 4 dozen today), creamed corn.... I mean, seriously, the turkey is almost there to mop up the other goodies.

Editado: Nov 29, 2013, 7:03am

I'm Black Friday-ing at the fabric store this morning on no sleep. I am a giant idiot. And I'm wearing Crocs in public. I don't even know who I am anymore.

ETA: I did read an entire graphic novel to keep myself awake so that's a bonus. Might be a while before I'm coherent enough to review it though.

Nov 29, 2013, 8:27am

I've never had pretzel salad, but I'm intrigued!

Yeah, I've never been Black Friday-ing. I hope you have fun, though! And do try not to get trampled, please. :)

Nov 29, 2013, 8:58am

I'd never been Black Friday-ing either. I only went because I stand to make a nice profit margin off the fact that they were basically giving away fabric. It wasn't too bad but half the stuff I kinda wanted isn't on sale til tomorrow (which I didn't realize til.In was there) and I am WAY sleepy now. Bedtime finally.

Nov 29, 2013, 9:06am

I don't usually participate in Black Friday, but the liquor store is having a sale today so I might have to partake. I'm almost out of rum and bourbon and I really can't be expected to make it through the winter without them.

Editado: Dic 26, 2013, 11:24pm

46. Fairest in All the Land by Bill Willingham

Description: In the spirit of FABLES: 1001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL and FABLES: WEREWOLVES OF THE HEARTLAND comes the first ever original graphic novel from the pages of #1 New York Times bestselling writer Bill Willingham's FAIREST.

FAIREST has explored the secret histories of the most stunning beauties in Fabletown: Cinderella, Snow White, Briar Rose, Rapunzel, and the list goes on and on. In FAIREST IN ALL THE LAND, the best names in comics take their turns fleshing out the pasts of the loveliest Fables in existence. For all those wanting to dive into FAIREST or FABLES, this original graphic novel is a fantastic entry point, as well as a great new chapter for those that have been following Bill Willingham's fairy tale epic for years.

Thoughts: This volume of Fairest was not at all what I expected it to be. From what I had read previously (via interviews with Willingham), I thought this would be more like the Magic Mirror telling stories about the virtues he values ABOVE beauty by showing examples from the characters' lives. But that isn't what is presented here.

This turned out to be just another murder mystery/detective story, which just happened to involve all the "Fairest in the Land" Fables. It wasn't particularly interesting or revolutionary. It felt a bit too much like the very first Fables issue and didn't make Cinderella look very good at her job.

There were some spoilerish things here too. At least, I didn't remember some of the things that are referenced here from the main Fables storyline. But they weren't SOO spoilery that I was shocked by them.

Now, there were good points. The guest artists did a wonderful job. And the story involving the Magic Mirror was very nice. I love reading about what's going on in the missing Business Office. And there were some great developments on that front.

I just wish the main story had been more interesting.

Rating: 2.9
Liked: 3
Plot: 2.5
Characterization: 3
Writing: 3

Nov 30, 2013, 7:44pm

A few weeks ago, my cousin Michael and his wife had a pregnancy photo shoot here at the farm. They mentioned that they dropped by Coco's yard. There is a really beautiful pathway with overhanging trees right next to her, so I wasn't surprised.

Today was their baby shower and as soon as I walked in Elisha said "We have a gift for you!" I had no clue what this could be and. was very surprised when this is what I was handed.

It's pretty huge. Those are kitchen chairs in the background. Coco's modeling debut just needs the perfect place on the wall now!

Nov 30, 2013, 8:16pm

176: Sorry that one didn't meet your expectations. :( I think there is currently an episodic video game being released based on the Fables universe. The developers made a game based on the Walking Dead comics and it was actually really cool, there was no action or anything at all, it was all cinematic and story-based, so you felt like you were playing through the story, only you had a direct impact on what was happening. Anyway, it sounds pretty cool, but I probably won't play it until I read the books.

The photo is pretty amazing, and I want one for my bathroom. :P

Nov 30, 2013, 9:24pm

That's a photogenic pig! You'll have to make sure that the modeling thing doesn't go to her head. :)

Dic 1, 2013, 10:56pm

I'm glad I'm not the only one who was weepy at Catching Fire, Leah. I was a mess! Just saw it yesterday & I thought they did a fantastic job!

Dic 2, 2013, 1:28am

It was a good job. I see a lot of these type movies with my sister who has nevered managed to read the book before seeing the movie. Usually I start crying before the sad bits happen and it warns her something is coming, but since she doesn't know what she gets all worked up. THIS TIME she had read all 3 after the first movie and so she was crying way too early with me!

Dic 2, 2013, 8:39pm

Good thing you had company! My partner just kept petting my hand like "there, there now" lol. :)

Dic 5, 2013, 6:25pm

It's been a rough week of bad news and personal illness and now the death of Nelson Mandela. He's been a hero of mine since I watched his release from prison when I was 8 years old.

Peaceful rest, Madiba.

Dic 5, 2013, 6:41pm

I'm sorry you are having a bad week. I agree, the death of Nelson Mandela leaves a void in the world.

Dic 5, 2013, 7:22pm

I'm also quite saddened by it. :(

Dic 7, 2013, 4:35pm

Finally getting around to the...

November Round-Up

Books read: 1
Fiction: 1
Non-Fiction: 0
Classics: 0
Young adult: 0
Fantasy: 1
Sci-Fi: 0
Cookbooks: 0

Average rating: 3

From my shelves: 0
New: 1
Library: 0
Kindle: 0
Audio: 0

Well, that was easy even if it was totally depressing.

Dic 7, 2013, 4:43pm

Haha! *Hugs* It's okay, you can still get to 50 books for the year! I changed my goal to that months ago and it has allowed me to be more accepting of my miserable failure.

Editado: Dic 8, 2013, 12:24am

I don't know about everyone else, but I am totally ready for 2013 to be over. It's not been a bad year for me, really, although I have been basically bed/sofa ridden the last week due to inexplicable illness. It's just been a very hard year collectively on the people I love and it's breaking my heart.

My sister is going through this horrible divorce and all the emotional upheaval that comes with it. Two other friends with babies under a year old are having issues with their husbands and have contemplated divorce.

My cousin and his wife are still struggling with the loss of their recent pregnancy, which I found out was their second in a year.

And now, one of my oldest friends has been diagnosed with aggressive (but early stage) breast cancer. At THIRTY years old. She's following Angelina Jolie's lead and having a double mastectomy in the hopes of heading it off and preventing relapse but she's having a hard time with how to manage something like this and be there for her 2 young sons (the 3 year old having just been diagnosed autistic) and 3 stepkids. It's just not something anyone should have to face, but especially someone so young.

Trying to see a little of the silver lining to this cloud, my other cousin and his wife (the ones that got married here on the farm last year) announced at Thanksgiving that they are expecting their first child in May and we're all thrilled. It is bittersweet because their due date is just 3 weeks before our other cousins' baby's due date would have been.

And I've lined up several more possible doula clients. I'm happy to be filling up my birth calendar, but I'm also thankful that I'm not fully up and running so that I can offer some assistance to my friend if she needs it.

Hope all of you dear friends are having a better time of it lately.

Dic 7, 2013, 5:07pm

I'm sorry things have been so stressful for you and your friends/family. I can understand how the flip of a calendar, however simple, can allow a person to take a deep breath and feel like they are starting fresh.

I hope nothing else happens in the remaining month, and that things get better for everyone in 2014!

*More hugs with a smooch on top*

Dic 8, 2013, 10:26pm

In a better headspace today after seeing Frozen with my sister and niece. It wasn't perfect but it was quite good and Idina Menzel shone through the Snow Queen like she does everything. "Let It Go" is our new favorite song.

Despite still having a headache (I think it's day 7 but I admit I was blurry for a few days and might have lost count), I'm less doom and gloom tonight and very excited about a client interview tomorrow. They are a very young couple but sound very genuine in wanting to learn and prepare themselves for their upcoming birth and I can't wait to get started with them!

My number finally came up for some books I had on hold so hopefully I'll get some reading done too.

I've been fighting the urge to reread Harry Potter for about 2 months but I may just give in. I mean, it's a big page number commitment for a reread (my 4th maybe? well, not of the last 2 books. I think I've only read them twice each.) but I'd be lying if I said it would be a big time commitment. Even having read them numerous times and having seen the movies umpteen times, I get pretty sucked in and just fly through.

Dic 8, 2013, 11:09pm

Do it! Reread them!

Dic 9, 2013, 5:56am

Yeah, they go so quick! I've been wanting to re-read them for years, but I'm still missing the first 4 books. If I ever manage to get my hands on them, though I'm totally going to re-read them myself. I haven't read the first 4 since I was in 8th grade. :)

Dic 9, 2013, 7:36pm

Seeing as how I was already 16 when the first book came out, that comment makes me feel very old. ;)

Dic 9, 2013, 8:40pm

Pfft, not even close! And just as lovely as ever, I'm sure. ;)

Dic 9, 2013, 8:50pm

Well yes, naturally. :: bats eyelashes and fluffs hair::

Dic 9, 2013, 9:27pm

>192 Ape: For a moment that made me feel old, because the last time I read the first 4 I was in college. But then I remembered I'm only like a week older than you.

Dic 9, 2013, 11:10pm

Is this where I get out my waterhose and run the kids off my lawn?

Dic 10, 2013, 5:42am

Hey, you don't have to be old to do that. I've loathed to see kids on my lawn since I was a kid myself. :P

Dic 10, 2013, 8:46am

>190 leahbird:: I've been contemplating a Harry Potter re-read for awhile now too, especially seeing as how I've only read book 7 once. Yes, I'm a terrible fan, I know. But it's just so daunting! However, if I read them all in a row, I think it will be easier. If you do decide to re-read them, I wonder how many of the rest of us you can suck in to joining you by peer pressure...? Heh.

Dic 10, 2013, 9:23am

I'd be up for a reread -- I've been thinking about doing one for a while now.

Dic 10, 2013, 10:53am

I recently got British versions of 2, 3, 4, and 5 so I'm definitely down to reread them. I only have #1 in Russian though so I'll have to skip that one :-(

Dic 10, 2013, 2:12pm

Hmmm. Maybe I should snowball this and turn it into a group read.

Editado: Dic 26, 2013, 11:25pm

47. The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood

Description: Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, "They must have been raised by wolves."

The Incorrigible children actually were.

Thanks to the efforts of Miss Penelope Lumley, their plucky governess, Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia are much more like children than wolf pups now. They are accustomed to wearing clothes. They hardly ever howl at the moon. And for the most part, they resist the urge to chase squirrels up trees.

Despite Penelope's civilizing influence, the Incorrigibles still managed to ruin Lady Constance's Christmas ball, nearly destroying the grand house. So while Ashton Place is being restored, Penelope, the Ashtons, and the children take up residence in London. Penelope is thrilled, as London offers so many opportunities to further the education of her unique students. But the city presents challenges, too, in the form of the palace guards' bearskin hats, which drive the children wild—not to mention the abundance of pigeons the Incorrigibles love to hunt. As they explore London, however, they discover more about themselves as clues about the children's—and Penelope's—mysterious past crop up in the most unexpected ways. . . .

Thoughts: I'd been meaning to get around to the rest of this series since soon after reading the first one, but something else always caught my fancy. Don't ask me why, in the midst of a SEVERE reading slump, this one finally got my attention, but I was sucked in immediately.

There is nothing absolutely amazing about this series. It is quite and charming but not explosive or revolutionary. But there is something about the quiet way it refuses to relinquish it's secrets, the way it taunts the reader with a near constant stream of references to the big mystery without hardly ever giving ANY actual insight whatsoever, that keeps you rabidly gobbling up pages.

I have 19 million theories about the mystery surrounding the Incorrigibles, Miss Lumley, Lord Ashton, even Judge Quinzy, but I can't say with ANY assurance that any of them is even close to being valid. It's delightfully infuriating. I'm used to children's mysteries being quaint but very easy to suss out and this one is just about the quaintest and the LEAST easy to suss out.

In this particular installment, very little real action takes place. The children and Ms Lumley see the sites of London, Mrs. Ashton acts like an idiot (shocking, I know), Ms Lumley makes a friend, and hints are dropped all over the place about the mystery, but there is really very little going on here. Does it matter? Nope. You still want to devour every page and run right on to the next book because, damnit, at some point someone HAS to give some concrete answers!

I've read eBooks of the first 2 of these but I luckily snagged the audio of #3, narrated by KATHERINE KELLGREN! Yay!

Rating: 3.9
Liked: 4
Plot: 3.5
Characterization: 4
Writing: 4

Dic 11, 2013, 8:43pm

I just listened to the audio version of the first book in the series last week. You are in for a treat! The audio is so good that I think I'll have to continue with the series in that format.

Dic 11, 2013, 9:02pm

>203 leahbird: Katherine Kellgren, the platonic love of my life, does an excellent job narrating those. I'm guessing you're going to want to go back and re-listen to the first two as soon as you're done with that one.

Dic 11, 2013, 9:44pm

Another member of the Katherine Kellgren fan club here! I recently did a reread of the Incorrigibles series on audio.

Dic 12, 2013, 5:59pm

It took a bit to get adjusted to hearing the children speak as they do and I thought briefly that I might not be able to handle it, but I think I'm past that now. My only complaint now is that I read faster than Kellgren narrates, so this one feels like it's going too slow. Not a big problem though. Certainly better than the issue I'm having with Viva Jacquelina, where the audio file is corrupted and echoes. My library doesn't seem to be racing to fix the issue, so Jacky is stranded.

Editado: Dic 26, 2013, 11:25pm

48. The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood (read by Katherine Kellgren)

Description: Of especially naughty children it is sometimes said, "They must have been raised by wolves."

The Incorrigible children actually were.

Since returning from London, the three Incorrigible children and their plucky governess, Miss Penelope Lumley, have been exceedingly busy. Despite their wolfish upbringing, the children have taken up bird-watching, with no unfortunate consequences—yet. And a perplexing gift raises hard questions about how Penelope came to be left at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and why her parents never bothered to return for her.

But hers is not the only family mystery to solve. When Lord Fredrick's long-absent mother arrives with the noted explorer Admiral Faucet, gruesome secrets tumble out of the Ashton family tree. And when the admiral's prized racing ostrich gets loose in the forest, it will take all the Incorrigibles' skills to find her.

The hunt for the runaway ostrich is on. But Penelope is worried. Once back in the wild, will the children forget about books and poetry and go back to their howling, wolfish ways? What if they never want to come back to Ashton Place at all?

Thoughts: This episode in the tale of the Incorrigibles and Ms. Penelope Lumley was delightful, but not perfect. Finally, we get to see the Incorrigibles in the wild and uncover a whole pack (hahaha) of clues about their lives prior to Ashton place. And Penelope finally starts to really break out of just being a Swanborne girl and wonderful governess and starts to become a resourceful, interesting, determined young lady with the gumption to make things happen as she believes they should. What pluck!

And my word, could there be any more intrigue going on? More twisted clues that are near impossible to clearly unravel? I doubt it, but since the next book is called The Interrupted Tale I have a bit of an idea that I will be proved wrong.

My only real complaint is that I would have liked the middle bit in the forest to have been longer and the intrigue at the end to have been a bit shorter. Mostly because the forest was just so DAMN INTERESTING! Can't wait for my library to get the next one. If it doesn't come in soon I may say waiting be damned and just buy it. ;)

Rating: 4.08
Liked: 4
Plot: 4
Characterization: 4
Writing: 4
Audio: 4.5
(Half a point off the audio only because sometimes the children were hard to understand but that probably only bothers me since I read ebooks of the others and had a clear transcript.)

Does anyone know how many books there are going to be in the series?

Dic 18, 2013, 10:05pm

I have a hold on the audiobook of the 4th one! I'm #2 on the list for 2 copies so it should be soon. I can't wait!

Dic 18, 2013, 10:46pm

I know, I saw that on your thread. I'm trying not to hate on you. It's not going so well. ;)

Dic 19, 2013, 9:38am

>210 leahbird: If you're extra good for Christmas maybe Santa will give you my library card number when I'm done ;-)

Dic 19, 2013, 5:36pm

Oh lordy! I'm gonna go find some orphans to save from a burning building right this second!

Dic 22, 2013, 2:19am

2 am on December 22nd and it's currently 71° outside. It's nuts. We had snow before Thanksgiving and now it's so warm we opened all the windows today. The world is ending or something equally weird.

Editado: Dic 22, 2013, 7:05am

It's not ending, it's just changing, as it always has done. I'm sure we are the cause of it, but the world has always changed. Our country alone has been both a tropical jungle and a giant slab of ice in the past. Places that are deserts now were forests in the past, and vice versa. I think we've gotten so accustomed to the current geography of our planet that we've forgotten that it is a permeable, ever-changing environment.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't do everything we can to slow the process, and we have definitely caused MUCH destruction, but change in inevitable.

We had snow before Halloween here this year, and now it's warm enough to go out without a coat! I'm not missing the frigid weather though, I must admit, and this last summer was really mild and cool. Now this is more like it. :P

Dic 22, 2013, 7:33am

I am *sweating* right now, and Rory won't sleep in the bed with me because it's too hot. I'm so pissed. I hate this stupid heat wave.

Dic 22, 2013, 7:39am

Nora is sweating and has an empty spot in her bed. *Ahem* Uhhh, yeah, I'm not really minding this heat wave so much... :P

Editado: Dic 22, 2013, 8:58pm

I don't crave the frigid temps but this is just stupid. 2 winters ago it was insanely cold- like 9° for weeks which is almost unheard of- and last winter it rained almost non-stop and nearly washed us away. You just never know what you're going to get anymore.

Dic 24, 2013, 8:49pm

Wishing you all the very best in the festive season and beyond, Leah.

Dic 24, 2013, 9:37pm

Merry Christmas Leah! Lori and I are counting on you to hold the fort in East TN while we're both gone!

Dic 24, 2013, 10:36pm

Merry Christmas, Leah!

Dic 25, 2013, 12:34am

Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for the well wishes. I'm excitedly awaiting the morning when we give ADDY A PONY! I made a scavenger hunt for all the horse goodies and the final clue leads to the pony. I doubt I'll be able to sleep tonight.

Hope you all have holidays full of joy and love! And books!

Dic 25, 2013, 7:54am

An actual pony? Cool!

Dic 25, 2013, 8:11am

Santa really does bring ponies?! I think there are a lot of children (or former children) who will be waiting for an explanation from him now! Addy is blessed to have such a loving family, including a terrific aunt.

Editado: Dic 25, 2013, 1:54pm

Merry Christmas! Our's has been fantastic. First, this Coco clone I made Addy was a big hit!

Then we had an awesome scavenger hunt to find a bucket full of horse goodies (brushes, a new purple halter, horse treats, and a track room key of her very own).

The last clue sent us to the barn to find a new purple saddle pad and bridle. And there, in the stall on the end, was the most wonderful Christmas present ever! Raisin is Addy's new best friend.

Dic 26, 2013, 12:37am

God, I should stop watching Doctor Who because all I seem to do is cry. Tonight's Christmas episode was sweet and sad and moving (even though I don't think I really get it or that it made sense in the scheme if the last several episodes). I'm genuinely sad to see 11 go. The moment with Amy was very touching and made me sob.

Regeneration dealt with handily but, WTF was up with that last line?!?

Dic 26, 2013, 11:55am

Merry Christmas!!

And I can't agree more about the Doctor Who episode!! I was actually hoping that he would get one last moment with River Song, but having Amy there was a beautiful moment too. That regeneration was just so quick!! All that episode knowing it was coming, and then BOOM! it's done. And now to have to wait until August for the next season?! Gah. Moffat is evil!!

Editado: Dic 26, 2013, 12:49pm


I too was hoping for one last moment with River, especially since her grave was supposed to be on Trenzalore. I thought that maybe Clara would summon her to speak the Doctor's name, but no. Very sad not to see her but their goodbye in "The Name of the Doctor" was beautiful. I'm hoping to see her at least once with Capaldi.

PS: Moffat is so totally evil. Brilliant but evil.

Dic 26, 2013, 8:01pm

Merry belated Christmas! I have yet to watch the Christmas special, but... sigh. What you've said above is what I've been hearing, so I'm going to have to psych myself up to be able to handle it, I'm sure...

Dic 26, 2013, 11:26pm

Just had the unhappy realization that my numbering had gotten off track and I've actually read one less book than I thought I had this year. Which means that my modified goal of hitting 50 books this year is virtually impossible. Damnit.

Dic 27, 2013, 12:29am

And now for the thing that precipitated the above mentioned depression statistic...


1. Wool series by Hugh Howey
This gets top billing this year for a few important reasons. Firstly, because Howey was able to suck me in totally, then punch me in the face and still make me want to come back for more all in the space of 56 pages. Remarkable. Secondly, because he got me to purchase 3 ebook omnibuses (I rarely purchase ebooks) AND a hardcover of a book I'd already read for much cheaper AND eagerly anticipate spending more money in the future on hardcovers of books I've already read and purchased as ebooks. Astounding. And thirdly, maybe most importantly, because exploring outside my typical genres and embracing this work of science fiction actually precipitated my reading 3 of the other books that are on this best of list (* for easy recognition). Which leaves me humbled and excited to explore more. Thank you Hugh Howey and to whatever in the world made me purchase the first installment in the first place.

2. Palimpsest by Catherynne Valente
I knew I needed to read Valente's adult books after falling in love with her Fairyland books but I was in no way prepared for this book. I knew the language would be beautiful but I didn't know it would be THIS beautiful. I knew she was brave and daring, but I had no idea how candidly she could write about something intimate and, at the same time, wholly about oneself. She laid these characters bare and sometimes ugly but she always also showed you their personal torment and their beauty.

3. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell*
This was a total surprise for me. I don't like science fiction, remember. And I didn't enjoy the only other Russell book I had read, Doc. I was sure this wasn't going to be for me. WRONG. It's far from perfect, the timing and pacing need some serious revision in my opinion, but holy hell was it powerful. For a Cultural Anthropologist who double majored in Religious Studies, this was a beautiful horror story built almost exactly for me. Still not ready for the sequel, but I look forward to the day that I am.

4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
This was not only the year of surprising books, but the year of author redemption. Stiefvater was another author whom I had read previously and dismissed as not my taste. This book proved that she had some serious storytelling magic in her. It was so perfectly balanced, mystical yet realistic, about young passion but not at all the way most people write it these days. I desperately want more but I don't think it will happen. Here's hoping.

5. World War Z by Max Brooks*
Thank you to Stephen and Nora for talking about this book and making me want to pick it up. Another one I wouldn't have ever picked up without having opened my horizons this year. It was just the most wonderful zombie book ever because it wasn't about zombies at all! It was about people and governments and disasters and tenacity. I loved it. The movie sucked zombie balls.

6. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series by Maryrose Wood (partially read by Katherine Kellgren)
The second of many hat tips to Nora for putting these on my radar. How wonderful and quaint and just good clean fun. And how INFURIATINGLY generous with hints and clues and stingy with clarifications! Edge of my seat all the time. Can't wait to see what happens next!

7. Jacky Faber series by LA Meyer (read by Katherine Kellgren)
Another Nora recommendation! This series is bloody fun! ;) For pure enjoyment and excitement, this probably would have been higher up the list but some clunkers among the 9 books I've read so far brought the rating down. These were also my introduction to the superb reader, Katherine Kellgren! Hope to soon be listening to the rest of the series.

8. Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne Valente
Another Valente on this list because she really is that good. I can't remember who recommended this one but a big thank you! It's so imaginative and such an amazing retelling of a familiar story. Very highly recommended for a short read.

9. Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
I adore Flavia de Luce. I wish we were best friends. Penelope Lumley and Jacky Faber would round out our social circle nicely. This book makes the list on the power of my love for Flavia and because of that TANTALIZING plot twist dropped at the end of the book. I'M DYING TO KNOW!!!!

10. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness*
I had a lot to say about this book and was not a particular fan of the rest of the series, especially the last book. In a better reading year, or if I wasn't lumping series together, this book would not have stood out enough to make the list. But it did stand out. It was a promising beginning to a series that I think fell apart completely, but it gave me the feeling that Ness has something powerful and wonderful to say. The biggest takeaway from this one is that I rated this science fiction book that I didn't think was perfect higher than I rated a lot of books in my regular genres, proving that the less than perfect books in genres I typically don't enjoy that much can still be pretty rad. That's growth!

Dic 27, 2013, 1:53pm

Happy Holidays Leah!
I LOVE that you got Addy a pony! What fun!

I'm not sure I totally followed the Doctor Who episode either, but it was good nevertheless. I'm a little miffed at the ending. But I can't wait for the new season anyway!

Dic 28, 2013, 8:39am


Dic 28, 2013, 10:42am

The only graphic novels I read, I've read. And more aren't due till the new year.

Dic 28, 2013, 10:43am

I could reread every graphic novel I own and get to 75 but I don't have time for that.

Dic 28, 2013, 12:23pm

How far away is the closest library? :)

Dic 28, 2013, 12:32pm

Close but crap, especially for graphic novels.

Dic 28, 2013, 7:41pm

Oh yeah? Do they have a website? With a catalogue? :)

I'm sympathetic, of course, I nearly didn't complete my revised challenge myself and am only a couple books above it right now. However, there is still hope!

Dic 30, 2013, 8:51pm

Back from weekend wedding adventures with my sister and Addy. It was a nice interlude. I think I could seriously get used to the swanky hotel living. I mean, breakfast in bed that I didn't have to make myself and I never have to clean up after? YES PLEASE. This suite had a walk-in closet as big as my bathroom that had a WASHER AND DRYER in it. I mean, for real. Nuts.

Very little reading accomplished, but I got in a few hours of my current audiobook, The Oracle of Stamboul, on the car ride home. Might spend all tomorrow afternoon trying to finish 2 somethings so I can at least make 50!

Dic 31, 2013, 11:08pm

December Round-Up

Books read: 2
Fiction: 2
Non-Fiction: 0
Classics: 0
Young adult: 2
Fantasy: 2
Sci-Fi: 0
Cookbooks: 0

Average rating: 4

From my shelves: 0
New: 2
Library: 2
Kindle: 1
Audio: 1

Dic 31, 2013, 11:39pm

Year End Review for 2013

Books read: 48 (up 3 from last year)
Books paused: 3 (down 3)

Paper books: 8 (down 27)
Kindle: 21 (up 11)
Audio: 19 (up 19)
New reads: 41 (down 3)
Rereads: 7 (up 6)

From my shelves: 4 (down 6)
New: 18 (down 7)
Library: 26 (up 16)

Fiction: 48 (up 7)
Non-Fiction: 0 (down 4)
Series: 41 (up 14)
Fantasy: 18 (down 15)
Sci-Fi: 15 (up 15)
Young adult: 25 (up 6)
Fairy Tales/Myths & Retellings: 8 (down 1)
Comics & Graphic Novels: 3 (
Classics: 0 (down 3)
Cookbooks: 0 (down 3)

My rating of 4 or higher: 25 (down 1)
Average rating: 3.625
LT rating of 4 or higher: 35

Pages read: 8,015 (down 6,501)
Hours listened: 9 days, 13 hrs, 54 mins (up all of it!)

Average page length: 276 (down 46)
Average hours: 10 hrs, 56 mins
Longest book read: 609 (up 1!)
Shortest book read: 25 (down 6)

And, to flagrantly copy the more interesting kids this year:

Books by female authors: 16
Books by male authors: 32

Female authors - average rating: 3.87
Male authors - average rating: 3.5

Books from the female perspective: 43*
Books from the male perspective: 23*

Female perspective - average rating: 3.56
Male Perspective - average rating: 3.89

*If books had multiple main protagonists, I counted them in both groups.

I was all bummed about not even making it to 50 this year until I realized that a lot of typical reading time was spent instead with people I love, getting through the most joyous and most painful parts of life, and pursuing something that I feel is my real calling. I could have spent all this evening reading and actually have pulled it out, but I spent it playing board games with my mom, sister, and niece and just enjoying each other. And I can't be upset or disappointed by that. Not even a little.

Maybe next year my numbers will be better. But if they aren't, I hope with all my heart that it's for the same reasons as this year (and maybe because I'm meeting some of you!). Love to you all, my dear LT friends and hopes for a beautiful 365 turns.

Dic 31, 2013, 11:54pm

That's the spirit, Leah! Spending time with your family and pursuing your calling are infinitely more precious than any number of books. Happy New Year!

Ene 1, 2014, 12:48am

Amen!! It's not about the numbers! It's all about the time we have and the love we share. The books are our passion and are gravy... Read what you can, when you can, and as much as you can. As long as you are happy, that is all that matters!

Ene 1, 2014, 6:53am

Lovely, lovely stats! And there certainly isn't anything wrong with spending time with people you love. :)

Ene 1, 2014, 10:05am

Happy New Year, Leah! Excellent stats, too! If my books had more than one protagonist, I didn't count them at all. But I was really curious to see what all those Jacky Fabers would do to the "female perspective" books vs. the "written by a female" books. Books by men about women tend to be some of my favorites (if they're well written).

Ene 1, 2014, 10:31am

Happy New Year, Leah!

Ene 1, 2014, 11:42am

Thanks Stephen and Lori!

Nora, I almost made another category of exactly that, books about one gender written by the other. I don't think I would count multiple protagonist books for those, but it should be an interesting stat. I think I might do it today!

Ene 1, 2014, 11:54am

>246 leahbird: Sounds like fun! I'll join you.

Ene 1, 2014, 12:17pm

Well, that exercise turned out to be fruitless when discounting multiprotagonist books since it was basically Jacky Faber vs. one book written by a woman with a male protagonist (which also happens to be one of my top 10 books). Maybe next year it'll be more interesting.

Average rating of books about male protagonists written by a female: 4 (1 book)
Average rating of books about female protagonists written by a male: 3.63 (12 books)

Ene 1, 2014, 12:33pm

I had 4 books where a female was writing about a male: Deadline by Mira Grant, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, and two books in the Temeraire series by Naomi Novik. All were excellent (4-5 stars).

I should make more of an effort next year, I think. Maybe I have some things on my bookshelf. What was your one book?

Ene 1, 2014, 10:33pm

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, which was fantastic.

Ene 1, 2014, 11:08pm

End of Year Book Meme!

How the meme works: Simple! Just fill in the answers with books you read this year!

Describe yourself: Six-Gun Snow White

Describe how you feel: Fairest in All the Land

Describe where you currently live: The Belly of the Bloodhound

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: The Scorpio Races

Your favorite form of transportation: The Sparrow

Your best friend is: The Unseen Guest

You and your friends are: Cubs in Toyland

What’s the weather like: The Curse of the Pharaohs

You fear: Etiquette and Espionage

What is the best advice you have to give: Dust

Thought for the day: Legacy

How I would like to die: Rapture of the Deep

My soul’s present condition: Speaking From Among the Bones

And with that, the year is officially over and I've moved on to my NEW THREAD!!! Come visit!

Ene 1, 2014, 11:57pm

I do think that you need to have a chat with Todd Howell about that weather. After all, it's East Tennessee. If you don't like the current forecast, give it another hour or so for them to change it.

Ene 2, 2014, 12:12am

Hahaha! It's true. In the past week it's been 71° and 20°.