Holiday Swag – The Wordiest Kind


I thought you’d all want to check out my Holiday Haul!

My family knows me oh-so well and decided that instead of guessing at what I’d like to read they’d just give me Indigo gift cards. Well done family!

Boxing Day Sale = so many lovely books.

Here’s what I got:

Baltasar and Blimunda  by Jose Saramago
The Night Circus  by Erin Morgentern
The Passion of New Eve  by Angela Carter
Night at the Circus by Angela Carter
Maddam by Margaret Atwood
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardvgo
Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Now, I know it’s quite the mixed bag, but so is the inside of my head.

This brings my total of unread books I own up to 38. It’s an addition, okay. I should really join a support group for book buyers… I mean really.

Anyways, some of these titles with be reviewed, hopefully soon.

(We’re getting a new system at work which I need to be an expert on by February 1st, so a lot of studying/reading will be devoted to that, but I’m determined not to let work take over my life this year.)

I raise my books to you and all book lovers, let’s hit that 50 books read goal this year and finish a novel! Okay, I might be getting ahead of myself here. To as many as humanly possible without burning out!

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Lost: 2015. Have you seen it?


Well, I lost a whole year!

What in all the versions of the afterlife happened?!?

Last you heard from me it was 2014 and I promised I’d updated you on my travels… what a fail.

So, I spent my days looking for work, finding work, working my ass off, being under appreciated, and finding new work. Doesn’t my life sound fun? Yeah, no wonder I didn’t write anything for a year, nothing happened!

Okay, not nothing. I fell head first into a life I never expected. I became a house wife, so to speak. I live with my fella, it’s been nearly a year now. We’ve dawned typical domestic gender rolls, except I still work. Yes, the feminist’s soul in me died after the third load of laundry. But we have the cutest kitty in the known universe, so I guess it’s okay. And no, I’m not biased.

But there’s been an itch in my brain I just couldn’t scratch. For some reason, I spent the last year feeling somewhat vacant. Something from this glamorous life was missing. I’ve been working harder than I’ve ever worked for less money than I’ve ever made, I’ve been keeping an almost clean house, and feeding the creatures I live with, but I haven’t felt fulfilled? How could these things not keep me ecstatic, you ask? I asked the same thing.

At first, I realized, “You shmuck, you haven’t read much in a while!” Well, no wonder I felt a shade of blue, I wasn’t reading! So, I went to the vast collection in my office and looked through the list of books that I have and haven’t yet read and started to catch up.

But something still nagged at me. It took me almost a year to realize I’d been missing the most vital thing that kept me from jumping off a cliff when I had three jobs and full time classes, I wasn’t writing ANYTHING. I hadn’t sat down to put a word on a page in so long, I almost forgot how to spell “I.”

So, dear readers who’ve probably forgotten the tone of my voice in your heads, I’m back!

We’re gonna return to old times. Yes, reviews and rants are back my friends.

I’m about to start Tom Robbin’s Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates. It feels like a game changer. I’m excited.

I’m also going to give up the unpaid overtime (I know, crazy talk) and focus on the novel I’ve been trying to write for ten years but still haven’t managed a first draft of.

In one year’s time, if I don’t have a first draft completed you all have permission to pelt me with olives, or the salty snack of your choice.

Let’s do this!

The Assassin’s Blade


Just before my own journeys begin, I’ve finished The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas. This collection of novellas is a prequel to Maas’ debut novel Throne of Glass, which I reviewed not too long ago.

I really enjoyed learning the origins of Celaena Sardothien, Maas’ main character. While a lot of her first novel’s plot seemed almost borrowed from many other stories these novellas felt far more original. I feel as if these novellas were written after the original manuscript.

It was a quick and relatively lax read. I did like it though, despite my minimal judgements.

One thing about Celaena that bothers me is her inability to accept the obvious truths in front of her. Now, normally that would be an acceptable character flaw for most, but considering her past it doesn’t work for this character… the one who betrays her in the end was so obvious from the get go, through EVERYTHING and yet this world-remound assassin can’t see it? Denial can only blind any person so much. That’s one thing in Maas’ character logic that just doesn’t make sense to me.

I do recommend reading The Assassin’s Blade before Throne of Glass if only to give yourself some background on Celaena. I do have a different outlook on the character than I did when I first read Throne of Glass.

My first travel post will be coming in a matter of days, however it will be relatively mundane as it will mostly be me trying to figure out what the heck I’m getting myself into by traveling to distant countries with little to no planning. It’ll be interesting to see how I hold up alone, far away, with my only wits and sense to depend on. If anything, it should produce an interesting narrative.

Cheers and keep reading.

The Angel’s Game – Just, Wow.


This morning, as I sipped my tea and curled up under a soft blanket on what has to be one of the comfiest couches known to man, I finished another masterpiece by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

The first book that I’d ever read of his was The Shadow of the Wind. I fell madly in love with Zafon’s prose even as a teenager and I urged  anyone who would listen to read it. Zafon has such a poetic way with language that I can only dream about possessing.

This time, I read The Shadow of the Wind‘s predecessor, The Angel’s Game. Another book about an author writing a book, gee I wonder why I relate so much…

Anyways, The Angel’s Game took so many twists and turns that I honestly had no idea where I was headed, which in my opinion is the best kind of writing because it mimics how life unfolds.

This novel is dark, unfathomably dark both in visualization and emotion. Zafon tears at your heart strings while strumming a low frightful tune on them simultaneously. The characters whom my heart went out to were destroyed, those I disdained blackened me, those that I was unclear on never stopped surprising me… I had trouble putting it down.

There was a moment where I was ready to slap Zafon, however. It appeared that he was going to go with the “it’s all in your own head/schizophrenic” route and I was ready to scream… such an amazing novel, so beautifully articulated and put together and he was going to pull a Chuck Palahniuk?! But, then Zafon came through and made it all this own and I sighed one of the biggest sighs of relief. 

This novel is amazing, as is all the work I’ve read by Zafon. If you haven’t already picked his work up, do it.

There was one quote that literally brought me to tears. The main character, David is describing books to his assistant, Isabella as a farewell.

Every book has a soul, the soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and dream about it.”

That hit home for me, because it’s something that I’ve always believed but never been able to articulate. I suppose I am just like Senor Sempere in the novel, I live for the souls of books.

Do read Carlos Ruiz Zafon. There will be no regrets. So, keep reading dearest reader.

Throne of Glass, More Epic Than It Sounds


I’d like to preface this review by saying I devoured this 406 page novel in 48 hours, less if you don’t count the hours I spent sleeping.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas was definitely a whirl wind of excitement, intrigue, turmoil, lust, emotions, and just old fashioned will power. It was definitely a fun and good read. Maas has a way with balancing description, action, and dialogue that I strive for in my own work. Her novel reminded me of Maria V. Snyder’s style, yet with a touch more brutality, I loved it.

That all being said, the praise being dolled out in spades, I’ve got to put in my two or five or ten cents regarding criticism. Now, I realize that coming up with an original plot is difficult, and while Maas’s plot was in fact relatively original I found many concepts or scenes were, let’s call it “borrowed.” I found that Throne of Glass, if completely broken down was an amalgamation of The Hunger Games (twenty-four “champions” fighting for their right to survive), Poison Study (a young girl trapped between death and working for a king she loathes, as well as a world overtaken by a ruler who has banned and destroyed magic), The Chamber of Secrets (fighting a giant scary monster in a secret room under a castle summoned by a dark magic wielder), Cinderella (a girl forbidden to attend a ball does so and dances the night away with a Prince), Game of Thrones (every person in any political standing is out to destroy anyone for power, including the king), True Blood (the whole Fae/Faerie ancient magic deal), and Daughter of Smoke and Bone (the power to jump through to other worlds with deadly monsters and creatures of light).

I love all these books/movies/shows, so I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. I know it can be hard to reduce the influence reading can have on your work. I know my own work can be compared to many other works and have many similarities.

Bottom line, it’s a great book. Of course, it was recommended, and by “recommended” I mean she gave it to me as a Christmas present and said I must read it, by my very best gal, writer of Lea At Sea. She always gives me the best recommendations and I then pass on these glowing reviews to you.

Read Throne of Glassit’s a good read and the first fantasy I’ve read in a while that’s actually written well! Maas knows her prose and the english language. She’s a good writer, I’m excited to read more of her work.

Looking for Alaska, Spoiler, I didn’t Find Her


I promptly decided, after reading The Fault in Our Stars, that I better get through Looking for Alaska before moving on to anything that may cheer me up and sway me from going back to the depressing honesty of life that is John Green’s prose.image

For such a positive, well spoken, and brilliant mind, Green is serious obsessed with the grief, guilt, morbidity, and anguish of teenage death. I realize that many “youth oriented” books do not address this issue truthfully or have any inclination as to how they may approach it, so in that sense Green is actually providing a service to the masses.

Considering all Green’s talent, skill, and insight I do wish he would write something that wouldn’t depress me! Yes, life is depressing, people die, we live on, etc, etc, and it’s not all the end of the world, we forgive and we move on and we even forget. I get it. I was looking for more philosophical insight into my soul… sorry, but I was.

Looking for Alaska is a good read. It portrays the teenage mind accurately, as did The Fault in Our Stars. It’s not as dismal as the later and it even threw in a chuckle now and again. But, Green’s obsession with teenage death really doesn’t sit the best with me. I’ve lived through grief, it’s not fun, and while I can see why Green wants to bring these issues to the present mind I don’t really enjoy delving into it all that often. I guess reading these books as I recover from minor surgery with a few complications isn’t really the best time to read books about death.

Anywho, it’s very well written and worth a read if you want to get a sad, sinking, mortal feeling in your gut. Best left for a sad rainy day where you’re not particularly sad, but don’t want something happy-go-lucky to read.

I think I’m going to delving into some fantasy reading for a bit, or at least some Tom Robbins to tickle my funny bone.

Cheers and be well!

Bellman & Black, Truly Beautiful


I just finished reading Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield, whilst sitting on a park bench adjacent to a cozy little lake. The story, while seemingly uneventful to some, was written in the most skillful and beautiful of prose. 

The first time I read anything by Setterfield was her debut novel The Thirteenth Tale. I fell in love with that book the minute I got through the first chapter. Bellman & Black  was no different. Setterfield has such an enchanting command of the english language, it’s absolutely mesmerizing.

The only thing that bothered me was the way in which Black spoke to Bellman in their last encounter. I felt that Black could have been speechless and merely been looking at Bellman for the same event to unfold and with a more ominous touch than with Black commanding Bellman to remember. But, that may just be a personal preference.

I urge you, go and read Bellman & Black. It’s the kind of book that makes you love reading and the kind of writing that makes you love a good writer.

Cheers to all, keep reading.