Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Kingkiller Chronicles: The Wise Man's Fear" review

The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In truth... 4.5-4.75 stars, not that I'm being nitpicky about the rating system or anything :) Okay, here goes:

I devoured a just-under-1,000-page novel in 6 days, which I think says something in and of itself. Though, maybe I just mention that hoping it impresses you. Did it work? :) I know some people have complained about the length, but I was never bored (except for Felurian, more on that later). This is true homage to Tolkein, there's no elves or dwarves, or magic rings - this is Rothfuss' world and he has created a truly diverse and rich milieu, full of culture and history. There are many storytelling scenes and lyrics and poems (like LOTR), but, surprisingly, I enjoyed them and didn't feel the need for them to end. I love both the University and when he's out on his adventures! Any scene with Elodin makes me laugh, Denna is contradictory, but I understand her, Kvothe is courageous, clever, yet stupid in so many ways, and has some rather annoying personality issues, but, then again, I like that - characters should have flaws. I absolutely love the Adem - I found them fascinating! I was worried when the jacket blurb mentioned being involved in politics, but it turns out to be courtly intrigue.


Okay, the only part I really had a problem with - Felurian. Did we have to spend that many pages on the quintessential nerd/geek fantasy? Really? A petite, yet properly volumptious fae (fairy, really) who has dark, long hair down to her waist and runs around stark naked and drives men insane because they can't have her after she's grown tired of them, or even better! Actually kills them in the process of coitus due to the "strain." I'm pretty sure if I had to read about her breasts ONE more time, I think I would have thrown the book across the room. Of course, if there is a guy reading this I'm sure I've just convinced you to read it, even if this kind of book isn't usually your cup of tea, so to speak.


Other than that, I found my high expectations more than met and impatiently wait the next installment. You see, THIS! is why I usually wait for the whole series to come out before I read any of them. :)

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"The Glass Castle" review

The Glass CastleThe Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don't believe I've ever read a memoir before, but I can't imagine all of them are this fascinating. It's like a horrible train wreck you can't tear your eyes from. But, it's also inspiring how much this woman overcame! The drama and neglect these kids were put throught is mind boggling to a parent that anyone could treat their kids this way and be okay with it. Don't get me wrong, there are things that are far worse than what Jeannette's parents did, and there is some evidence in the book there might have been some mental issues; but, there is still some staggering stories. What is most amazing is that the whole memoir neither sugar-coats, nor justifies, nor vilifies her parents.


Some things that left me breathless or wanting to punch her mom or dad:

Uncle Stanly trying to grope her and her mother's reaction being: "Poor Uncle Stanley! He must be so lonely."

Her dad breaking their piggy bank savings for New York.

Her dad taking her to a bar and using her as a distraction and bargaining chip when he knew what the other guy wanted.

Letting a 3-year-old cook hot dogs for herself.

The tiger incident at the zoo!

There are many many others, but the zinger of them all:
Letting your kids suffer starvation, deprivation, extreme weather, when all you'd have to do is cash out your land holdings worth a million dollars!!!!

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There, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar from the Word Nerd

There, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar from the Word NerdThere, Their, They're: A No-Tears Guide to Grammar from the Word Nerd by Annette Lyon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The title of this book is my number one grammar pet peeve :) But, there were definitely some things I didn't know (I have NEVER gotten a grasp on the the whole lay/lie thing). I understood it while I was reading through the blurb on it in the book, but the understanding has apparently taken flight again and escapes me. Oh well, at least now I have a reference to look at.
If you have questions about grammar, but don't want to fall asleep or purposefully bash your head into a wall while trying to figure the answer out, then I HIGHLY recommend this! It's short and there are a few misspellings that weren't caught before printing (doubly embarrassing, I guess, given that the author is a professional editor), but you can't catch everything. Even then, though, it doesn't take away from how informative the book is. It's written in a style that's very "user friendly."
I couln't find it at the library, but if you'd like to borrow my copy, you're more than welcome to, or you can find it on

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Inventing George Washington" review

Inventing George Washington: America's Founder, in Myth and MemoryInventing George Washington: America's Founder, in Myth and Memory by Edward G. Lengel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If I was to compare this to only history books, it would earn a 5-star rating. It was interesting and very easy to read and follow, but smartly written. Basically it sets out to show the commonly-believed myths about George Washington and how they came to be.

Written by one of the main editors of the George Washington Papers project (therefore having access to ALL of Washington's papers that are still around), you gotta figure he'd know.

He doesn't set out to reveal the "true" Washington, just to reveal how these myths came to be and what they might mean.

I will give him credit that he tries to hide his disdain for the religious myths and those who originated them and those who continue to use them today; though, he's not always successful.

It's only a few hundred pages from what I remember and VERY interesting the whole time. I would highly recommend reading this!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

"Cassandra's Dream" Review

"Two London brothers are hard-up for cash, and both have girls to look out for, too. When rich Uncle Howard comes to town and agrees to help them out, he admits his finances are under investigation, and he asks them to do him a favor and "take care of" an old business relation to keep his trouble under wraps - he says that they're family, and since he always takes care of them, the least they could do is help him out this once, as they're the only ones he can trust." (quoted from summary on IMDB)
What follows is the ethical dilemma they face and how each one handles it.

This movie is superbly written, directed, acted... everything. Why don't they make movies like this more often? It's edge of your seat suspense, but the suspense comes from wondering what the characters will do and how they will cope with it. It's smart suspense. The actor's performances are gripping, but real and never overdone, the music is so good I didn't even notice it (that's a superb score, when it adds to the mood of the moment without calling attention to itself). I've only ever seen one other Woody Allen film ("Matchpoint") which in my mind was mindlessly dull and pointless and somehow managed to get an uncharismatic performance out of Hugh Jackman (Seriously?! How do you even acheive that?). Obviously I'm no expert, but I do feel confident in saying this doesn't feel like a "Wood Allen film" at all, and that's a compliment.

This would be a good date movie because the guy would enjoy it as well. My husband did. Here's the trailer -

Seriously, rent this! It didn't get a lot of attention when it came out, but much more's the shame for that!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Question about searching for something specific in "blogland"

Okay, is there a way to search for something specific in either the blogs I "follow" or just blogs in general? I don't want to Google, because that would bring up many many other things before it would look at blogs, but I don't want to search each blog individually. A little help, please? Thanks!

"Tuck Everlasting" review

Tuck EverlastingTuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I can definitely see why this is a classic. It was a fast, easy read, but you really feel immersed in Winnie's world. Babbitt's writing is poetic, but not in a "look how poetic I, the author, am!" kind of way.

I was fascinated by the events and wanted to know what happened. I love the characters and I think the Tuck's feelings about their immortality is directly related to their maturity level.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Cards

Here are some Mother's Day cards I made using pictures from "The Graphic's Fairy". I think they turned out pretty cute :) Which one's your favorite?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Why I LOVE Wade Robson

His choreography is insane!

"Rolling in the Deep" dance

I studied dance for a bit and still listen to songs thinking what kind of dance I would choreograph to it. I love "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele, but couldn't think of what kind of choreography would go to it, but I knew something would be fantastic - it's got such a great beat. Well, I found this video (you only have to watch the first minute, the rest is replays), but it's beyond awesome. The fluidity of movement is inspiring!