Wednesday, November 12, 2014

How to Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell is a coming of age story about a Viking boy named Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the third from a remote island named Berk. The story follows Hiccup as he struggles to find a way to train a small toothless dragon without being able to yell it into following commands. He tries kindness and everyone, including his father the clan chief, doesn't think the dragons will respond in kind. This first book in the series promises a lot of fun. I listened to the audiobook read by David Tennant. His reading of the story and characters was highly entertaining and entrancing. I didn't want it to end. I can't wait to listen to the next one.

In comparison to the movies. The character Toothless is completely different, and isn't a Nightfury at all. Fishlegs is his friend and Astrid is added to the movie. The plot is different also. The Vikings have dragons from the beginning and it is only the means of training that Hiccup on which has an impact.

I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars because of David Tennant's reading. Without it I would probably give it a 3 out of 5. There is some violence between dragons, bullying, and silly names. The age appropriate for this series is 8 to 12 years old.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Book Club and Sweet Evil

Almost a year ago a friend hosted a Halloween party. She invited a variety of women to just hang out and enjoy each other's company. A lot of us ended up talking about the books that we loved and tossed around the idea of a book club. Well, we started one in January and it has been awesome since. I love getting together and discussing a book and a lot of other things. We don't take it too seriously, just trying to enjoy each other  and have fun. I chose Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams for September's book. I enjoy British wit and humor. Turns out, I'm one of the few in our book club. Lol. Man it was great hearing them talk about not understanding it, and knowing it was supposed to be funny but not getting it. I know my audience a little better now. Hopefully, I'll do better the next time my turn to pick comes. The meeting was fun though. We had themed food and I made "Don't Panic" towels for everyone to take home.

For October we are reading "Sweet Evil" by Wendy Higgins. It is about a girl who can see people's auras and feel their emotions. She kept this to herself; not even sharing the knowledge with her adopted mother. She can even remember being born. Come to find out via a run in with a brooding hot drummer that is part demon, that she is part demon as well. But she has something he doesn't; she is also part angel.
The story follows her discovery of this other world and her demon father who rules over one of the seven deadly sins. She has to come to grips with this dark side of her and what it could mean for her immortal soul as well as find hope and give it to others.
I liked the book and characters. I finished it in about two days. I often found myself comparing myself with the characters and their views on choice and sins and consequences. It was the struggle between good and evil with the characters and their world that makes this book worth reading.
The negatives. I know that this books is about vices and addictions and their affect, but I found some of the in depth descriptions of the characters experiencing them unnecessary. This book has violence, sex, drug use, under age drinking, and mentions of exploitation of minors. The appropriate age for this book is at least 14 and up.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cruising with my friends

The summer after high school I spent hanging out with my friends. I'd be driving around town with Melissa, windows down, music up, stopping of at McDonald's for some nuggets at midnight. Or I'd be hunched in the dark in front of a tv playing video games with Vickie. That summer was ten years ago from this summer.

I still hang out with friends, driving around town with the windows down. No music now, maybe some NPR, but mostly just talking and listening to the sounds outside. I still find myself hunched over in the dark, but not in front of a tv, instead it is my iPad or I'm trying to keep bugs at bay on the patio. The biggest change is that the friend by my side isn't someone my age, but my dad.

It seems so strange that my life has led this way. My friends from high school stopped trying to keep in touch, and the friends from college moved on and have families now. Not that we don't drop random notes on each other's Facebook page every once in a while. I had so many ideas of where I would be by now in my life.

It is a little sad to say that most of those ideas never came to pass, but there is one thing that I'm not sad about. My choice of cruising buddy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Adventures in School

I made it through the fall semester at college. Exciting I know. The school work really took time away from my reading. Darn you homework! I've started the spring semester now. I'm only in class three days a week but I still have four classes. Things will go better for me this semester. The Holiday gave me a chance to get ahead on reading for this year. I didn't get fifty books in last year. I was disappointed but oh well. I did get 40 something.

Made a lot of resolutions this year. So far I'm not doing so well. That will have to change.

I should probably use my time at school better but the two hour break between classes usually finds me in an animation class doodling or something.

YAY!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

interior design while dealing with all my junk

I've struggled with arranging my furniture in my very long and very narrow room. The furniture had migrated around the room about four time since I first inhabited it about a year ago. It doesn't help that I've slowly been adding more furniture to the space so it makes arranging it all the harder. I think I have finally found the magic configuration though and I have finally started decorating. (Now if only I had somewhere to put all my totes). I made a design plan and set up a to do list. My colors are black, white, grey, yellow, and orange with a pop of green here and there. It's become an adventure to find creative ways of making furniture within my budget work.

So this is my desk, which I worked on today. It is the perfect size for my space. The desk I got from Salvation's Army Store and it cost me 60 dollars. The chair is a hand me down. It comes from a set of four that my parents bought when they were first married 30 odd years ago. It used to be green. I spray painted it black and reupholstered it with a bright coordinating fabric. The chair cost me only 10 dollars in total. For organization, I rounded up some glass gars and a shoe box.

 I'm rather proud of my first project.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mountains of books in a seven inch device.

I own a Nook Color. It's a tablet reader by Barnes and Noble, and I love it. It goes everywhere with me and because of it my average number of books that I buy has drastically gone up. My physical library hasn't expanded much though, which makes the bibliophile in me a little sad. I still love reading a physical book. The smell of new books is still one of my favorite scents, but the convenience of the Nook is awesome. I live in a house with three laptops, three iPods and two iPads, so I'm no stranger to technology. There are some things that I like about the iPad better than the nook, the main things being the camera. I wouldn't trade though. The Nook is half the size of the iPad and fits in all of my purses. It has wifi so I can use it at home and at wifi hot spots. It now has Netflix! (I use my XBox 360 more for this though). Anyway. I love my Nook and on many occasions, when I've finished a book late at night I've opened up the shop and bought another one. It's too easy. So about all those books, for the past two years I have set a goal of a certain number of books that I want to read within that year. I have met and passed those goals both times so this year I added ten more books and so far am right on track. I feel like I have been doing nothing but reading lately and I've noticed that as I've gotten older my choice in books has changed. Lately I find myself devouring non-fiction. I was one of those girls in my teens that if it wasn't fantasy, I didn't want to read it. Just two days ago I finished "Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void" by Mary Roach. Yesterday I finished "Barefoot in Baghdad" by Manal Omar. I don't know if I got sick of repeating plots or the unbelievalbe amount of sex in modern adult fiction, but I can tell you that my next two books are non-fiction as well. Don't get me wrong. I love a good novel, and sometimes even a bad one and read both more than Non-fiction, but our world is filled with unbelievable stories and I've only just scratched the surface. If your not a non-fiction fan, give it a try. It is generally worth it. For an update on what I've read so far this year here is the list.
 Snow: A Retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves-Lynn, Tracy;YA Fiction 
The Merchant's Daughter-Dickerson, Melanie: YA Fiction 
Salt: A World History-Kurlansky, Mark; Non-Fiction 
Beauty Queens-Bray, Libba; YA Fiction 
Touch of Power (Healer, #1)-Snyder, Maria V.; YA Fiction 
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt-Morris, Edmund; Non-Fiction 
The Twentieth Wife-Sundaresan, Indu; Fiction 
Becoming Charlemagne:Europe,Baghdad, and the Empires of A.D. 800-Sypeck Jeff; Non-Fiction Shadows in Flight-Card, Orson Scott; Science-Fiction 
Midnight in Austenland-Shannon Hale; Fiction 
Lola and the Boy Next Door-Perkins, Stephanie; YA Fiction 
Darcy's Voyage-Louise, Kara; Fiction 
How to Dance with a Duke-Collins,Manda; Fiction 
The Earl's Bargian-Bolen, Cheryl; Fiction 
Year of Wonders:A Novel of the Plague-Brooks, Geraldine; Fiction 
In the Devil's Garden: A Sinful History of Forbidden Food-Allen, Stewart Lee; Non-Fiction 
The Know-it-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World-Jacobs,A.J.; Non-Fiction 
Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World-Ostler, Nicholas; Non-Fiction 
The Marriage Bargain-Probst, Jennifer; Fiction 
Maid to Be Mine: A Regency Cinderella Story-O'Keefe, K.L.; Fiction 
The Ugly Duckling Debutante-Van Dyken, Rachel; Fiction 
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void-Roach, Mary; Non-Fiction 
Barefoot in Baghdad-Omar, Manal M.; Non-Fiction 

 If you want to keep track of my books or see what I've read in the past, check out my goodreads.com account.

reorganizing

For the second time this year I moved my room around. It's a full days work especially when I move things from one side of the room to the other. My room is 8ft wide and about 24 ft long. It is an interesting feat to have all my stuff in my room and not have it looking like piles of mess. Slowly though I've been buying myself furniture and improvising so that I can have a place for everything. I'm also in the process of finishing decorating. This will include some DIY projects that I will make sure to add when I do them. They will include a wall decoration, a headboard, and a desk. I'm excited to get started with them.