Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dewey Read-A-Thon Plan


It's that time again! Time for my favorite bi-annual holiday! Heck, my favorite of all the holidays! The Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!!!!!!! There will be so much reading, so many books, so much talking about books and so many fellow readers! I'm so looking forward to another 24 hours of hyperactive reading and Twitter conversations about reading! Fluxxdog can tell you, I get more excited about this than I do Christmas!

So, I'm going to have a general plan with no specifics because, let's face it, nothing EVER goes according to plan, especially my mornings. Every Read-A-Thon I wake up at 7 AM (it starts at 8 AM for me) and plan to do a, b and c to get ready. Every Read-A-Thon at 7 AM I end up doing a, d, f and 8 instead. So, yes, general plans, nothing specific. 

I'm still planning on spending time cheering on others on Twitter. Maybe some blogs, we'll see how it goes. If you'd like me to visit your blog, Twitter or YouTube channel during the Read-A-Thon, leave me a comment with a URL and I'll be sure to cheer you on! I'm also keeping the schedule tentative because the volunteer sign ups mentioned hosting Twitter Parties!!!! I'm one of the most socially withdrawn and awkward people, but I LOVE hosting Twitter chats and parties! I don't get it either. I'm really hoping I get picked for that. I'm also hoping that my idea for a mini-challenge gets accepted. It's always fun to read people's ideas. So, yeah, tentative schedule until I know more about what all I'm going to be doing.

I'm really hoping for a repeat of last Read-A-Thon where I ended up laughing so much at what I was reading that I was able to keep up my energy. Even the Hour 20 wall didn't hit as hard. With that in mind, I'm going to try to have a bunch of fun/funny books, comics and web comics on hand to help me through any reading slumps. I'm also going to have an audiobook on backup in case of emergency grocery shopping trip or something. You can never be too prepared!

Tentative Schedule:

7 AM - Wake up and prep.
8 AM - Post opening meme and begin reading.
10 AM - Stretches and cheering.
12 PM - Update post.
2 PM - Stretches and cheering.
4 PM - Update post.
6 PM - Stretches and cheering.
8 PM - Update post.
10 PM - Stretches and cheering.
12 AM - Update post.
3 AM - Break out the comics and web comics.
4 AM -Update post.
6 AM - Remind myself that age 31 is NOT too old for this sort of thing.
8 AM - Go to bed!

Tentative Reading Material:

The Dinosaur Four by Geoff Jones
The Sea is Ours by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng
The Deaths of Tao by Wes Chu
The Non-Adventures of Wonderella by Justin Pierce
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja by Christopher Hastings
Grrl Power by Dave Barrack
Mogworld (audio book) by Yahtzee Croshaw
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Chimichanga by Eric Powell

And, no, naturally I'm not expecting to read ALL of these. I just like to make sure I keep my options open. ^_^


So, that's my tentative Dewey Read-A-Thon plan! Are you partaking? Let me know!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

4th Rock From the Sun | Nicky Jenner

*Book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

This book takes a look at Mars mostly from a cultural perspective. "The story of Mars" shows just how much influence this one, tiny, red dot in the sky has had on humanity from some of the earliest writings to contemporary media. Jenner also gives us the scientific perspective of what Mars actually is and how it and its moons seem to be anomalies in space, based on what we know of astrophysics. 

Review:

I'll be honest, I did a lot of skimming in this book. Don't get me wrong, it was interesting learn that so many cultures, completely separate from each other, had similar interpretations of Mars and that life on Mars was, and still is, believed to be a thing. It was also interesting to learn that Mars and its moons should, according to all we know, be bigger than they are. Honestly, I love the fact that a planet we've known about for thousands of years still provides us with mysteries to solve. There were a couple of times I felt that he flow of the book was rather disjointed, that Jenner seemed to pole vault from one topic to another, but I still found the book informative and entertaining. 3 hoots!

               Hoot!Hoot!

                   Hoot!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Open Season | Daren Worcester

*Image and book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

A collection of true short stories from Maine Warden Service from around the 1960's and 1970's.

Review:

My hometown was the kind of place where schools were closed for the first day of deer hunting season. I practically grew up on stories about hunters and fishers. So when I found a book that told those stories from the perspective of law enforcement I had to pick it up. A lot of these stories had me laughing as much as a Patrcik F. McManus collection. The sheer stupidity of some poachers. Other times it was the dumb luck of the wardens that had me chuckling. Fair warning, though, not all the stories have happy endings, there are a handful of sad stories. Fortunately Worcester does a wonderful job of balancing the sad with the happy and the silly, making this a very good book to pick up for anyone you know who considers themselves hunters, fishers or woodsmen. 

               Hoot!Hoot!

               Hoot! Hoot!


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mogworld | Yahtzee Croshaw



Summary:

The first time Jim died, he was a magic student at a low quality school that got invaded by the barbarian school next door. He went to a place where he felt happy and content. Then he and a horde of others get brought back to life as zombies by a Lord Dreadgrave who employs them to protect his tower from adventurers. While Jim finds the work easy enough, he still keeps attempting to find ways to die again, even converting to almost every religion he can find out about and then killing himself. This routine gets thrown out, however, when Deleters come in and completely delete Dreadgrave, his tower, and all but three zombies from his horde. Jim, Meryl and the priest zombie must now figure out why the world is so messed up: Adventurers are getting hit with the Syndrome, normal people are unable to die, and Barry is following the word of Si-Mon and destroying everything.


Review:

I picked this book up because I enjoy Yahtzee's YouTube channel with my husband. I will say that it was very easy to read the entire book in Yahtzee's voice and greatly added to my enjoyment. I'm sorely tempted to buy the audio book, especially after hearing the sample, and I don't like audio books! It also really helped me to prepare for Yathzee's sense of humor. There were so many things in this book that made laugh. I've highlighted more passages from this book than any other in the past year.

"This was the second time I'd been asked to justify being afraid of gnolls, and I still couldn't fathom why. It was like being asked to explain why old people should wear clothing."

This book is high fantasy. You've got sorcerers, undead, clerics, adventurers, etc. At the same time, it's as much about high fantasy adventure as Sean of the Dead is about zombie movies. It's a delightful combination of strong story and satire. As much as this book made me laugh, it was the characters and the story that kept me from putting the book down. Each of the main protagonists is endearing in their own way. Though I will admit I may have liked Slippery John more if he didn't keep referring to himself in the third person. That got very annoying very quickly, but it was quite consistent with the character.

At the same time, I appreciated Yahtzee's less obvious jokes. At one point a character gets called out on saying the word "little" a lot: "Did you know you use the world 'little' an awful lot?" Then he proceeds to use words like "small", "tiny", "diminuitive", "miscroscopic" etc. When I picked up on what was going on, I laughed even harder! And there are so many jokes like this, ones where you really need to pay attention. They payoff is totally worth the focus required.

Yes, some of the big reveals were kinda predictable, but the story and the characters are so worth reading. And the ending was so satisfying! It wasn't the ending I thought I wanted until I read it. I happily give 5 hoots and have already added more of Yahtzee's books to my TBR!


               Hoot!Hoot!

               Hoot! Hoot!
                     Hoot!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Myth of the Maker | Bruce R. Cordell

*Book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary:

After their video game "Ardeyn: Land of the Curse" failed to even be launched, Carter and his team get tapped by a former professor of theirs to test a new computer chip that, theoretically, will have infinite processing power. Unfortunately, they accidentally access an almost infinite network that is fully occupied by creatures that are now looking to eat everything on Earth. In a last ditch effort, Carter creates a new dimension around Earth out of their video game so that the creatures are bound by the rules of Ardeyn. Unfortunately, not all of Carter's friends are okay with being locked in Ardeyn. 

Review:

I had a lot of fun reading this book. There were so many strange and interesting things going on that I kept turning the pages wanting to know more. And there were a couple of twists in the story line that had my toes bouncing because I was giddy with excitement. No surprises were completely out of left field and the story, world and characters are strong throughout the book.

The humor in this book was also greatly appreciated. I found myself really able to relate to Carter and Kate because their reactions felt so natural. A lot of times these would make me laugh as well. There are some very good one-liners in here.

Cordell goes back and forth between the first person perspective for Carter and third person perspective for everyone else. This may be a bit off putting for some readers but I found it incredibly helpful, especially during Carter's revelation scene towards the end. It really made his personal revelations flow a lot more naturally and it fits that he gets the first person perspective; he is the Creator.

This is a wonderful fantasy book that has elements of high fantasy as well as science fiction. You have aliens trying to destroy the world, but first they must get past Ardeyn, a world where magic runs everything. You have so many things going on but they're all so cohesive and well blended that it's easy to keep track. I happily give this book 4 hoots and look forward to more from Cordell.

               Hoot!Hoot!

               Hoot! Hoot!




Saturday, April 1, 2017

United States of Japan | Peter Tieryas


Summary:

In an alternate history where Japan defeated the United States in WWII, we follow the story of Beniko Ishimura (his mother was certain he'd be born a girl). He's considered the laziest Captain in service to the Emperor who only got a cushy job because of his connections. When he receives a call from a missing General asking him to take care of his daughter's funeral, Ben quickly gets caught up in interrogations by the Tokko (secret police) and their investigations into the source of a subversive video game. 

Review:

This is not a book for the feint of heart. There's a lot of death, some simple, most pretty gruesome. The book begins in a Japanese internment camp in 1948 and does not let up on intensity until the very end. This entire book was such an emotional journey I ended up crying. That being said, if it weren't an amazing book, I wouldn't have been so emotionally invested that I cried.

United States of Japan is a real page turner. It almost hurt to put it down whenever I had to eat because I didn't want to miss anything. Tieryas does an excellent job of pacing the book and revealing facts and new information in such a way that you HAVE to read the book through to the end to figure it all out. Don't get me wrong, one or two things I saw coming, but it was such an intense, well paced read that I had to finish it. And that ending was completely worth it, heartbreak and all!

The world this takes place in is so interesting. I really believe Tieryas did a great job recreating the world from this alternate history. There were so many aspects of the international repercussions of the war that I never would have thought of. Admittedly, the more advanced technology may be wishful thinking, but this is alternate history with science fiction mixed in. Tieryas kinda keeps everything in California, but still creates so many layers to the world that it really sells how different this reality is. At no point did I feel like any detail of the world was out of place or odd because it all fit with this alternate history.

I truly love this book. Yes, it's emotional, but it's so engaging and immersive. I couldn't stop reading it (so glad I picked it up during the weekend and not when I had to work). If you can handle how much violence there is in it, it's a wonderful book that will keep your attention through the end. I happily give United States of Japan 5 hoots and am eagerly waiting for the next one!

               Hoot! Hoot!

               Hoot! Hoot!
                     Hoot!



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Anything But Books Tag


This was a fun little tag I got from TheBookHoarder on YouTube. Thought I'd give it a try.


1) Name a cartoon that you love.

Animaniacs. Now and forever this will be my favorite cartoon show. Invader Zim is a lot of fun, but Animaniacs is good for me regardless of my mood.


2) What is your favorite song right now?

Xiger Xiger by Hanggai. I'm very new to this group, so I'm listening to their music until my ears bleed.



3) What could you do for hours that isn't reading?

Video games. They don't even have to be immersive games for me to play them for hours on end. The last one that I played and completed all of the achievements for was Letter Quest: Grimm's Journey. A simple game about using words to defeat enemies. It's actually very cute and very fun. I've linked to it's Steam page in the picture below.




4) What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

I don't hide the fact that I'm a complete tomboy. Never really understood the appeal of a lot of traditionally girly things. But I LOVE going second-hand store shopping with my Mom. I love getting to spend time with her doing something that, when I was younger, I would complain about every step of the way. Now, though, I can make it up to her and have a good time doing something she really enjoys doing.




5) What is your favorite, unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

Names, their meanings and origins. I come from a family that believes "you get what you name your kids." Meaning that, what you name your child, has an effect on their personality. So whenever I encounter a name that interests me or I wonder about naming conventions from different cultures, I immediately dive in and learn a lot of, seemingly, trivial information.



6) What is something unusual that you know how to do?

I can write with either hand. My left-handed writing isn't as nice as my right-handed, but it's more legible than my husband's regular handwriting.



7) Name something you made in the last year and show, if you can.

I made some Halloween Cupcakes for my husband's office party. Decorating is my weakest skill in baking so I was happy for the chance to really get creative and try something.



8) What is your most recent personal project?

The most recent thing I made was Irish Carbomb Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day. Chocolate cupcakes made with Guinness. Filled with a whiskey frosting. Topped with Bailey's chocolate frosting. All made from scratch!




9) Tell us something you think about often, maybe while staring out windows.

Honestly, I think about having super powers. Which ones would I want? What would be the long term side-effects? The societal side-effects? Things like that. I'll admit, my favorite "powers" so far are the smaller ones, like being able to affect things on the sub-atomic level.



10) Give us something that's your favorite, but make it oddly specific.

I have poor circulation so my hands are almost always freezing. My husband doesn't react well when I even just try to hold his hand because I'm so painfully cold. However, when I put my cold hands on his, almost always, warm forehead, he immediately relaxes. I love being able to do this. It warms up my hands and calms him down. And makes him look cuter. ^_^



11) What's the first thing that pops into your head?