Saturday, May 25, 2013

At the Moment: May 25


The Great Pearl Heist by Molly Caldwell Crosby

Okay, I haven't technically started reading this yet, but it's the topmost book on my very high to-read pile from the library, so it's what I'll pick up next.

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin 

I'm finally to page 500! So...halfway done. This is the one series where I can actually read just one chapter and be done reading for the day. They're good books but it's terrible trying to finish one.


Job hunting. I have two weeks left of being employed (2 days at my preschool and a week doing VBS at my own church) and then hopefully I will be a nanny for a while before either teaching or being an au pair for the next year. But that means more interviews and more deciding what to apply for...which I hate very, very much.


Howl's Moving Castle! (I got my sister to watch it with me last night. She hadn't ever seen it and I hadn't in a long time PLUS I finally read the book just a little while ago.)

Soon, the second seasons of Castle and The Borgias! The upside to not working is that you can watch hours and hours worth of episodes every day.

And eventually I will get to the theaters to see all the movies coming out this summer. But I'm going to have to wait on some of them because there are fifty bajillion sequels in the next few months and I do not have the money to pay $10 to see each of them. So hooray for the dollar theater!


Hanging out with all my family! Between Mother's Day, a 1st birthday party, my little sister's confirmation, and now Memorial Day weekend, I've decided this month is just family month. Not that I'm complaining.

I also got a bunch of Cold War and mob family related books and I'm hoping that reading those will make me actually want to work on writing my current favorite work-in-progress. We'll see.

So happy Memorial Day weekend to all of y'all! I'm having a very lovely 6 day weekend at the moment :)

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Book Highlight[s]: Modern Magic

I don't talk nearly enough about the books I read - and they are really fantastic and should be talked about often. I had a long streak where I was reading a lot of similar genre books that have been on my to-read list for ages which makes for a very tidy blog post.

THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater [4.5/5]

I have always been drawn to magic, in stories and wherever I can find it in real life. That's why I read so many fantasy books. Some authors, though, create books that feel magical, whether or not there is something recognizable as magic in the story. Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER trilogy certainly felt this way - okay, yes, there is a strong paranormal element propelling the books, but I consider that very different from actual magic.

On the other hand, THE RAVEN BOYS, which I read a couple of weeks ago, has psychics and scrying and rituals and tarot cards. It's written in the same spell-binding way, but with the additional element of the otherworldly in it. So naturally, I loved the book. [The last chapter, not so much. I am not a fan of cliffhanger endings in trilogies and this one was a super rushed cliffhanger ending that didn't make the most sense. That's the reason I can't quite give the book 5 stars.]

All the characters are so compelling, although the villain turns out to be a little lame [see previous rant about the ending]. They have the most complicated of complicated relationships and everybody's hiding things from everybody else and did I mention that there are psychics? Because they are the best and I love them.

BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl [4/5]

[Yes, this is the same story as the recently-in-theaters movie with Jeremy Irons in it which I decided I want to watch and thus is the only reason I finally read the book].

I think my only complaint for this book is the pacing is a little weird. There are long periods where nothing happens so you're skipping ahead a lot and I lost track of where in the year they were. But it wasn't too bad. What I really found impressive was that a lot of the "twists" at the end, despite being painstakingly obvious, were still compelling.

And while the magic is a little boring [the narrator is not fazed in the least by being thrown into a crazy, spell casting family], BEAUTIFUL CREATURES had a much better cliffhanger-ish ending. Even though it is long. And despite the almost love-at-first-sight romance. I was also surprised at how much I didn't mind that part of it.

Also there's the deep South and antebellum houses. I love those.

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor [5/5]

Prague. Magic doors. Wishes. Languages. Art. Teeth. Angels and demons.

Even weeks after I finished the book, I still get hit sometimes with how beautiful and tragic it is. It's a story about family and identity and hope. It's full of irony and near-misses and if-only-this-had-happened-differently moments. There's a fabulous dynamic between the two opposing perspectives in war - which side is the crusader and which the invader?

My favorite thing about the book [besides the fact that Laini Taylor is herself a magical book-crafter and all the words are perfect] is that I did not see one of the twists coming. That happens so rarely in books and it is the most exciting thing and in this case also the most heartbreaking. So everyone should read this one. Everyone should read ALL of her books, actually.