Monday, February 28, 2011

February Recap

Scariest things from February:

I dreamed I was Alice and I was in Wonderland (AWESOME!) but I had to kill a dragon (jabberwocky?). It also knew I was going to try and kill it so it was hunting me.

I ate Cheezits I found in my pocket with the white rabbit so we could shrink and fit through a guinea pig hole (also AWESOME!) but we weren't shrinking small enough and the dragon came for us (scary)

Maybe the big lump in the unmade bed is a dead body. Or a ghost.

The house next door is boarded up and looks abandoned because vampires live there.

And some awesome stuff so you aren't afraid to sleep tonight:

Opened MonsterEgo etsy shop! 

Sold first monster shirt!!!!!!!!!

Started a new job in addition to subbing.

Joined a pretty rockin' book club.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Secret Daughter

Secret Daughter: A NovelThis book came to me by way of recommendation and I am so glad it did. Mostly because it's not something I would have been likely to find or choose on my own. This addictive read tells the story of family spread across the globe. There are two families in India unrelated by blood but nevertheless bound together by a daughter and granddaughter. The other side of the story is told from California following the journey of an American woman and her Indian husband and their attempts for a child.

Although I was almost immediately sucked into the book reading more at a time than I intended (short chapters have a way of doing that to me) I worried early on that it was highly predictable and while entertaining, there just wasn't going to be much substance. I was wrong. Once the initial storyline and characters are developed I quit bothering trying to map out their next move and just enjoyed the read. I also learned a lot about Indian culture and was impressed by the author's imagery. Without getting detailed and wordy she created quite the realistic picture of India in my mind.

A fairly quick read with short chapters that jump around between characters. It was great story to hear from various view points, I sympathized with almost every character in the book, never dreading reading a particular persons chapters as sometimes happens with this style of storytelling. And I kind of want to try on a sari. Not only are the fabrics beautiful but apparently it's comfortable and flattering.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Dragon Tears

Dragon TearsDean Koontz is everywhere and that is the main reason I have avoided reading him up until this point. That being said, I was running low on books on cd authors I know and like at the library. Downtown has a fairly impressive selection of BOCD's but if you go with plans to on listening to a specific author you will quite possibly leave the library disappointed. If you were in the hunt for a specific title by said specific author.... well, let's just say I hope you're flexible. Like Gumby on a hot day flexible.

A year ago I would quietly take my time browsing picking two or three to try out; new authors, new titles.... Since then a certain monster has turned my quiet library time into a sad and frustrating affair. We enter inconspicuously enough. Me, the doting mother lovingly embracing the angelic child as we stroll through the double doors whispering secrets about the stories inside. Him, the aforementioned angelic child, smiling sweetly and waving ever so gracefully to onlookers... And we reach the BOCD section. As I read the first title, he begins simultaneously thrashing his body around and reaching for the books. To avoid the inevitable head butt to the face I am craning my neck as far from my own body as I can trying to at least glimpse the titles (authors names are too small to worry about at this point). With my attention faltering ever so slightly, the monster takes advantage and yanks one off the shelf. Before he can damage the thing (we're at the library in an attempt to not pay for books) I wrench it from his grasp bringing forth the cry of anger. This cry is not cute, not silent, and not appreciated at the library. I then set him down thinking I'll be able to pick quicker and more efficiently without lugging him thrashing (and now screaming) down the aisle and maybe he'll cheer up and get quiet. He does get quiet and is cheered by the new game of shoving all the books back as far as they'll go on the shelf with one hand and choosing the most interesting ones to re-shelve somewhere better with other hand. Following behind correcting "the situation" is my best bet at reading a couple titles and choosing from there. A thirty second window (max) because next comes the best part. Realizing his game is about to end, the monster sprints for the end of the row, turns a sharp left and chooses a new aisle at random. I follow in close pursuit. Seeing me behind him is just too hilarious for words so he squeals his glass shattering, ear piercing "happy scream" and collapses in LOUD laughter as I scoop him off the floor. Did I mentioned the high, vaulted ceilings of this library were acoustically designed to perfectly enhance and echo all sound? Cuz they do
So back to Dean. I am flying solo at the library the other week (aaaawesooome) and notice a gentlemen in my section eying The Thirteenth Tale. You know how I feel about that one so I can't keep quiet and let this man miss out on that experience so I speak up and some friendly book talk ensues. I mention I've been listen to a lot of Stephen King lately but have run out of his titles so I am at a loss of where to go from there. Nice man recommends Dean claiming he is Stephen-esque and pointing out a few of his favorite titles. Thanks nice man, I'll take over from here.

Dragon Tears is an okay book. It's along the lines of Stephen King, but just seemed a little less intelligent. Somewhat similar to James Patterson stylistically, but a little more original.  (sidenote: Patterson detective novel readers would probably really dig this guy)The first few chapters I was annoyed with the abundance of unnecessary analogies, but if I'm completely truthful once I got into the story I didn't notice them. There's a detective and his predictable feelings about a female partner. A few interesting homeless people and cool dog. Parts of the story are told from the dog's point of view in a voice the reader seemed to think was "dog-like". I thought his voice was dog-like and it was a clever/different perspective overall. Then there's the Stephen-esque supernatural twist that brings these characters together. An entertaining read (listen) that was just intriguing enough to bring me back for more. On cd. I doubt I'll be purchasing or actually reading any of his books (I'd quietly apologize to him here, but with countless faithful readers and a slew of books already under his belt, me and my 39 -thanks guys!- followers aren't going to hurt his pride too much) but I will get his other audio books from the library.

And the gentleman DID check out The Thirteenth Tale. Not quite an even trade suggestion for Dragon Tears but I guess I've got a new author and he just got one book. Wish I knew what he thought of it.......

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Five Children and It

Five Children and ItI just finished Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit and thoroughly enjoyed this classic children's tale of fantasy. One could imagine this might be just the book Alice's sister was reading under the big shade tree in Lewis Carroll's 'Wonderland'. Although there are technically five children in the novel it is really the story of four siblings (two girls and two boys) who are left with their baby baby brother at a home in the English countryside in the care of a housekeeper of sorts. Their mother is away caring for and elderly relative and the children must entertain themselves. After discovering an ancient creature in a nearby sandpit that will grant the children one wish per day, entertainment becomes easy to come by but sometimes difficult to escape. A great one to read aloud to kids, this easy and entertaining classic is best finished on a picnic blanket in the sunshine with a cool glass of wine. What would you wish for?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Stand

The Stand: Expanded Edition: For the First Time Complete and Uncut (Signet)This book turned into an entire experience. An entirely awesome experience.

Since reading Cujo in 8th or 9th grade I hadn't touched Stephen King. I was afraid. You see Cujo wasn't so scary because there isn't so much paranormal s#!+, but just from the covers Stephen's novels looked scary (I know you aren't supposed to judge, but let's face it, mostly you can: book, person, house.... and not be too far off base on what's inside). And the titles sounded scary. After a small amount of convincing from a former English teacher (not my own) Chris and I embarked on this one together. Being that it's well over 1,000 pages and we (I) mostly only read it on long car rides, it took about 6 months for me to read aloud the entire story. Well worth it. And when it was over there was the added bonus of 355 minutes of The Stand on DVD laced with the talents of Molly Ringwald, Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe, and an appearance by Stephen King himself.If you do read this one and can pass my test to prove it, I'll watch the movie with you. I'll even provide the drinks.

The accidental release of a superflu in the US wipes out the majority of the population. The Stand is the story of those left behind. I love a good apocalypse story, especially with a supernatural good verses evil twist. Read it.

Just maybe don't read it alone in the dark.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Hello there. It's difficult to type hello with an underachieving "L". Sometimes I have to stretch my mouth. The sides feel strange and I have to go 'Ahhhh' but without the sound. Open open as wide as my mouth will go and it stretches it out. And it feels nice. Sometimes though is sometimes an hour. So often I am walking through the grocery and streeeeeeetch. Strangers probably think I am growling. Or baring my teeth like a gorilla lookin' for a fight. Also, I tried this experiment several months back  with the intention of writing about it. I tried to not talk about myself at all for a whole day. NOT possible. The whole idea came about because I was feeling like I talk about myself (and my dude but he's so awesome you want to hear about him anyway) a lot. One kind individual that was clued into the experiment early on was kind enough to point out that if I thought I talked to much I was aware of the amount I talked and therefor it was not in excess.

First of all it took I several attempts to get through a day. Well, let's face it, I never got past half a day. BUT this brings us to the findings of my mini study and that is: if you don't ever talk about yourself or add your own anecdotes to a conversation YOU ARE BORING. Seriously. What I found out in the end is that it is these little bits of you that make up a conversation and carry it forward.

Also. Streeeeeeeeeeetch. That's how people get to know you. I was recently told by a new friend, "You (as in me) are really easy to get to know." It's because I share too much. Same friend (you know who you are and you give the best compliments) told me I was a "Pandora's box". I have loves of random knowledge and experience. And yes, I will be carrying that little tidbit around and throwing it in the face of people that don't believe me when I say I am awesome. I am awesome.

I am also a wee bit drunk.

Fall of Giants

Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy) So I am going to do my best to convince you to read this masterpiece by Ken with a mischievous letter 'L' on the keyboard and randomly disappearing type. Yes, my laptop has issues. I have raved about my buddy Ken's (I have read and reread his previous novels so he better be considering me his buddy as well, but this may be a one-sided friendship) historical fiction in the past and this one did not let me down. AWESOME book. That is probably the best thing I can say without digressing into cliche phrases like "Page turner!" "Coudn't put it down" "Inspired and well-researched"...... I could go on. So I will.... okay I won't, only because I don't think in cliche phrases so I ran out of them. I looked forward to the debut of this novel for many months before it was released and a few more months until I acquired sufficient funds to purchase it (and my dad ended up doing the actual purchasing so I could save my gift card for a rainy day, or another giant hardback- Thanks Daddy!). Fall of Giants is the story of 5 families from five major countries in the early 1900's (France, England, Wales, Germany, America and Russia) and follows them through the build up to WWI, women's suffrage, the war AND the revolution in Russia. I have always liked history to a certain extent, but nothing has made me more interested in any of those topics than this book. The research and attention to detail is impressive. Ken even includes a list at the front of the book of fictional characters and characters that were actual historical figures. Most things done or said by those characters that actually lived during this time was done or said by them at some point and noted in history. When they show up at a fictional party or whatnot, Ken verified it was possible for them to be in that location at that time. I want to reread it with an encyclopedia handy so I can look up the battles and people mentioned as I go along. I could not put this thing down, but every time I turned a page I wanted to read slower so the book would last longer. My only consolation and one of the best things about Giants is that it's the first in a trilogy. A TRILOGY!  Awesome.

You cannot imagine the editing that went into this after I restarted and the type was back. Whoa.