Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Would Switch Places With... for a time

Funny! I thought this would be an easy list prompt from The Broke and the Bookish today! But I'm struggling! What characters would I want to trade places with, even for just 24 hours? Some characters I love, but STILL wouldn't really want to trade places with them at all.... Katniss for instance. I don't think I could be her even for a short time.

Anyway, here's what I've come up with.

Top Ten Characters I Would Trade Places With for 24 Hours

1. Arwen from Lord of the Rings: so I could be a beautiful elf and love on Aragorn :)
2. Hermione from Harry Potter: so I could be smart and have adventures!
3. Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries: so I could have a make over and meet Michael
4. Anna from Anna and the French Kiss: so I could go to Paris and meet an English dude
5. Lizzy from Pride and Prejudice: so I could meet Mr. Darcy "in real life"!
6. Mary from The Secret Garden: so I could live in a gloomy English mansion yet have the means to perk it up
7. Jo from Little Women: so I could make a different decision!
8. Denna from The Name of the Wind: so I could meet Kvothe "in real life"! BUT only for 24 hours because her life is way too hard for me.
9. Marian from any Robin Hood story: so I could be loved by Robin of course... and shoot arrows.
10. The Queen of Atolia from The Queen of Atolia: to meet Gen of course, however, to live with what I did to him? Not sure I could handle that even for 24 hours....

Hmmm... I'm sure if I were to do this another day, it would all come out differently, but today, that's what I've got!

Who would you put on your list?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Movie Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Movie: The Dark Knight Rises
Genre: Fantasy
Starring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Rating: PG-13
My Rating: Two thumbs up!

I would have gone to this movie last weekend had my life not been so crazy. As it was, I decided it would be a good reward to myself for surviving a couple of camping weeks. So it was with great relief and happiness that I actually found myself sitting in the IMAX theater Saturday night, with all the camping stress behind me, and all the Batman intensity in front of me!

I went into this movie not really knowing much, having tried to avoid the spoilers (which was easy to do since I was off grid for so many days!) But it was a bit dampening to know of the events in Colorado and it did tend to make me view all the violent shooting scenes, of which there were many, in a bit of a different light. Seriously, I can't begin to imagine the trauma of those people who, like me, where so excited to see the movie. Sad.

Anyway, this movie begins with our hero living a reclusive life after he decided to take the rap for Two Face's crimes at the end of movie two. But when a new villain appears on the scene, he is forced to bring the suit out of the closet to save his city of Gotham.

But this new villain, wow... he's a bit much for Batman to handle! And then Batman finds himself in a bit of a predicament that keeps us all on the edge of our seats, even if it IS a bit predictable what will happen.

How's that for a simple, spoiler free sum up? Ha.

You know, the thing I love most about this movie is the music. However, there were issues in that the music sometimes, often I should say, overpowered the dialogue, and I truly had trouble understanding what was going on because of that. In fact, at the end, I missed a really key moment when someone said something that I so needed to hear! Gah!!! Frustrating!!! I guess I'll just have to go see it again!

I loved Anne Hathaway's portrayal of Catwoman. Very funny... some great comedic relief moments from her!

I also thought Gary Oldman revved up his Commissioner Gordon character several notches. He was fantastic!

And I was so excited to see The Scarecrow (aka. beautiful Cillian Murphy) make a little appearance! What a sweet bad dude he is! :)

And of course, I thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt did an awesome job too. Will we see him in future movies? I guess we'll see!!

In the end, even though it's a long long movie (nearly three hours)  and even though I think I missed much of the details of the plot, I loved every minute. I'm going to miss these guys!

Have you seen it yet? What do you think?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Sunday Salon: Camping... DONE!

Can you see the deer?

The second week of camping is now over! I've survived. This second camping trip was "for real"... completely unplugged with no connection to the world for four days. Also... no showers. I've never felt so gross in my life, or had such a wonderful shower in my life as I did yesterday when we finally got home!

This is what my "kitchen" looked like.

For those four days, I was in charge of feeding 21 girls and five adults. It was a hard thing, but everything turned out great and all went well. I'm just glad that it's over and that I can go on with the rest of the summer without worrying about it anymore!

Part of the whole crowd... 21 of which are "mine."
Anyway, so this makes the second week of no reading... at all. I'm so hoping to get back into the swing of things this next week. I don't know... maybe I've lost the groove all together. Wow, that would be pretty sad! But I do feel a little out of practice or something!


I rewarded myself for surviving the two weeks of camping with Batman yesterday! Full thoughts tomorrow, but I totally enjoyed it.

Anyway, here's to a new week! A new month! And a new chance to get some books read!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Music Stuck in My Head: Soundtracks!

Wow! It's been awhile since I've done a solely music post! And since I'm off camping this week and have been scheduling posts all week... I thought it was a perfect time to do another one.

So what have I been listening to lately? Besides Gotye?

The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack, even though I have yet to see the movie:

The Amazing Spider-man soundtrack:

I'm sad to be missing the opening ceremonies of the Olympics today. Will you be sure and tell me what cool songs I missed? Please? I'm totally serious about this. Let me know what they sang and who was there and what cool stuff went down.

Speaking of which, do you know who sang in the 2002 opening ceremonies here in SLC? Or wait, maybe it was the closing? According to this YouTube video, it was. Sadly, this doesn't show much of his 20 year old self, but still. Wow.

Okay, I guess that's all I've been listening to lately. Not much actually. I need something new and exciting! I need a to be going to a rock concert, really. Sigh.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Character Connection: Elizabeth Bennet

I figured it was about time to highlight a lady character for a Character Connection post and what better one to start with then Elizabeth! Especially as she is fresh in my mind what with my current re-read of Pride and Prejudice and all.
Elizabeth Bennet
from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Ah Elizabeth. Where to start? Here's what I love about her:

  • She is so very witty! She makes me LOL constantly with her subtle and not-so-subtle wise cracks. I think she gets this from her dad. 
  • She seems down to earth and practical. Her other sisters, Jane included, seem (or should we say ARE) a bit flighty and silly and simple. She has a good head on her shoulders and seems to just "get it."
  • She is passionate. She doesn't do things half-heartedly. When she falls, she falls fast and hard!
  • She is swayed by prejudice, of course, which moves this story. But she doesn't have the pride to let that stop her from changing her mind. That's cool.
  • She is a perfect match for Mr. Darcy!
  • She has a gazillion nicknames!
I don't know what else, she is just basically an all round fun character. What do YOU love about Elizabeth?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Photoaday July Days 17 to 23

DAY 17: Addiction
We've been watching these all over again this summer.
Waiting for THE KISS! :)

DAY 18: Plate
Camping of course.

DAY 19: Animal
This is when I'm bugged that my phone can't zoom in better.

DAY 20: Eyes
Tired, camping, too much swimming and sun eyes!

DAY 21: 9:00 
Home from camping, I had to instantly do laundry.
Day 22: Upside Down
Okay, so I just rotated, but still... nice day, eh?

Day 23: Mirror
We got this from an old church, my husband made the frame.

Photoaday July brought to you by Fat Mum Slim.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Vivid Worlds

I've taken a little break from posting a Top Ten list, feeling somehow uninspired or unable to come up with decent lists suddenly! What's up with that? But this week's prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is about favorite vivid worlds, where vivid, to me, means unforgettable! Colorful! Detailed! And just plain cool.

At first I thought this would mean most of the worlds I would think of would be in fantasy books, but then I realized that I also felt it pertained to worlds from history. So I've divided my list into two sections as you will see.

Ten Favorite Vivid Worlds

From Fantasy

1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien: fantasy worlds on which all others are based
2. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson: fascinating fantasy world
3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: a now very familiar dystopian world
4. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling: a now very familiar fantasy world!
5. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell: a science fiction world that is insanely gripping

From History

6. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Regency time period
7. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: The Dust Bowl and Great Depression
8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Germany in WWII
9. Katherine by Anya Seton: Tudor times
10. The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye: vibrant India

Ah... once again... it turns out that the list contains some of my all time favorite books. Funny how that happens, yes?

What would be on your list?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Where in the World Are You Reading: Local Bookstore

A bunch of my favorite bloggers (Trish, Kelly and Lisa) have started a new fun monthly bookish meme called Where in the World Are You Reading? How could I not participate!?? Please click here for the main details.

This month's theme is: your local bookstore. Sadly, the only real local bookstore I have now that Borders is gone, is Barnes and Noble. While they are fine for an emergency, I don't often go there for my bookish needs. They do have some fun author events though, which I will support when I can.

However, a few miles away in Salt Lake, there is a very cool local bookstore called The King's English. I'm often wishing this store was a little bit closer to me because they have non-stop author events that I'd love to go to more often! As it is, I manage to go to maybe two or three a year.

This store is situated in what used to be a house, I think, so the store wanders in and out of many little rooms, each devoted to a different genre. A few years after opening, they bought out the part of the building next to them and expanded their kids and YA sections. It's a very quaint and cozy space.

The owner, Betsy Burton, has written a book about her story, which I've read and found fascinating! As a bonus, each chapter ends with a book list that pertains in part to that chapter. I love it.

What do you love about your local bookstore? Write up a post and participate! Come here to link up.

Next month's prompt: Library.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Sunday Salon: One Down One to Go

You'll all be happy to know that I've survived the first camping trip! I am furiously washing and trying to furiously rest up for the next one this coming week. Today I have plans to relax like crazy, and then tomorrow I will have to jump into prep work before leaving again.

My hot, tired, dirty family!

I am so tired!

I haven't read or watched anything at all this week! I took three books with me on this first camping adventure. The first day I hauled the book around with me all day long as I watched kids swim and boat and such, but I think I only managed two pages of reading.

So I gave up reading for the all the rest of the days. Good thing I took those books!

The adventure this week will be even worse as far as reading time goes, but I may take something just in case.

But instead of reading, I did a few other things.

Hiked through a cave,

ran around in a wind storm,

took pictures of sunsets

and bees,

visited an old church building,

Part of the crowd. Two families had already left us by this day.

learned about the Oregon Trail,

Oregon California Trail Center in Montpelier Idaho

and ate lots of food.

Here's hoping I'll be back here next week saying I survived Camping Trip Two!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Book Review: Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

Book: Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
Genre: YA Contemporary
For: Fun
From: library

It seems like I'd heard of this book awhile back, but when the library staff promoted it as a great summer read during the teen kick off program the other day I knew it was finally time to read it.

Somehow I ended up with it from the library shortly after putting it on hold. Not sure how that happened, and it was quite the mix up too, but all is well, and I'm legally okay to actually have it now! :)

Then, I read it in a day. Which either tells you it was easy fast reading, or I was very much in the mood for it... or that I actually had time that day. Or, it could be a bit of all three!

The story is about a girl whose dad is sick, and she's not dealing with it so very well. So she has to go to the school counselor which will hopefully help her. As part of that endeavor, she is supposed to choose a object to focus on and write about it. Turns out, she has been starring at the back of Sean Griswold's head for years now, since he is ALWAYS sitting in front of her, and suddenly, she decides to focus on that!

Well, as you may, guess, this leads to focusing on the rest of poor unsuspecting Sean, which turns into quite the fun, and sweet story. And along the way, she manages to deal with the troubling sad bits of her life too.

It's a really cute story and a lot of fun, mixed with some great lessons learned too. Because of that, it feels more real than many of the YA books these days, and I think that's the biggest reason for much of its appeal.

Bottom line: I really enjoyed this one a lot.

Other Reviews:

Alternate Readality
Annette's Book Spot
My Friend Amy
Everyday Reading

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book Review: Caribbean Crossroads by Connie Sokol

Book: Caribbean Crossroads by Connie Sokol
Genre: Romance
For: Fun
From: Kindle promo

Here's yet another Utah author to promote! She is popular local speaker who does some pretty awesome presentations on self esteem and inspiring women to be all they can be. I've been to several and have loved them and laugh my head off nearly through the whole thing. Very fun.

As part of that, she's written a bunch of non-fiction self help type books, but suddenly I find out she's written this fun romance. Granted, it's self published and only in e-book format... I think. But it came across my path and being a little familiar with her, I jumped at the chance to see what this was about.

As it turns out, it was pretty much just what I was in the mood for. A sweet, simple fun romance.... one that takes place on a cruise ship which I always thought would be a fun setting. The two meet because they are both performers on the ship. The girl is just coming out of a relationship where she's been pretty badly hurt. The guy is struggling a bit trying to figure out what he wants in life, what direction he needs to take, etc.

The first half is them getting together on the ship which was all fun and romantic and exciting. The second half is them trying to figure out what to do about it. That second half did drag a bit for me and the internal dialogue got a bit repetitive for me, which is about the only complaint I have with the book.

I would consider this a so-called fluffy beach read, which as I mentioned, seemed to be what I was in the mood for last week. Even if there was no beach (or cruise) for me!

Bottom line: I liked it. It was fun!

Other Reviews:

LDS Women's Book Reviews
Getting Your Read On
The Book Bug
Fire and Ice

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Photoaday July Days 12-16

Wow, doing these pictures every day sure makes me realize how fast times flies. Dang, I don't need that! Anyway, here's what I've come up with for the past few days:

Day 12: Texture

Day 13: Open

Day 14: Building

Day 15: Finger

Day 16: Sign

Book Review: Lady Susan by Jane Austen

Book: Lady Susan by Jane Austen
Genre: Classic
For: book club
From: Free e-book

When the book club informally decided to "catch up" on Jane Austen books this month, I decided since I've read the big six (some several times) I would read a couple of the small more obscure titles... such as this one, Lady Susan.

It's a very small book written in letter form. So many letter writers, in fact, that I had a hard time following who was who and what they had to do with each other, but I finally caught on!

The plot is a simple one. Lady Susan is a bit of a trampy lady who wants to marry this young dude, even though she is first, newly widowed, and second, seeing another guy (who happens to be already married.) The letters are between the sister of this young guy and her mom, wherein she laments this Lady Susan intruding on their lives and fears for the well being of her brother.

Also, we see the true mind set of Lady Susan as she writes to her equally trampy friend to let her know how all the scheming is going.

In the middle of it all is a sweet young girl, Lady Susan's daughter, who actually loves the young fellow herself. So she is competition with her mom... and a mom that hates her at that!

So how will it all end up? Read it to find out!

As I said, I had a hard time following, but about half way through it clicked in and I found myself a bit intrigued. However, then the story is just dropped and she wraps everyone up quickly and bam, it's over. There could have been so much more!! I felt let down and disappointed!

However, she was just learning this writing craft after all. She was just 19 years old when it was written. And I doubt she ever had plans for it to see the light of day.

Bottom line: It was okay, and interesting in a way.

Other Reviews:

Life Time Reading Plan
Becky's Book Reviews
Reviews by Lola
Lit and Life
Iris on Books

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pitch Dark Days Tour and Eoin Colfer

I have a couple more author events to report on!

Last Wednesday I went with Jenny and my daughter Toto, to Salt Lake to see four authors who were part of the Pitch Dark Days Tour. They were Aprilynne Pike promoting her final book of the Wings trilogy, Destined, S.J. Kincaid, a new author promoting her first book, Insignia,  Dan Wells who was promoting Partials, and finally Veronica Roth promoting Insurgent.

We barely got there in time as there was a massive traffic jam that caused us grief, but we made it and had seats thanks to Jessica from The Bluestocking Society. Whew. The authors participated on a panel where they took questions from the audience and had us all rolling with laughter for the most part. (How do they get to be so funny?) I was much surprised with how young Veronica Roth is. Also, she is very pretty.  (As Enna pointed out, she looked a lot like Mary from Downton Abbey) Later I found out she is a mere 23 years old. What is up with that? Wow. Dan Wells was on his funny game as usually and especially had us laughing when it was mentioned that some authors have a little "audience" voice in their head saying "is it time for kissing now, or is it time for killing so and so off?" and he says he has that problem in real life! "Is it time for kissing now? Or killing?" Loved that.

Anyway, we then waited for our turn to get some books signed. I had Aprilynne sign my Destined copy, and then I bought a (very expensive) copy of The Hollow City for Dan to sign. I was happy that they both recognized me which makes me feel validated... or something. Dan has come to know that I may have crossed over to the stalking side, but for most authors, I think that's a good thing. While chatting with him, he also took a chocolate kiss there from the table and signed it for my daughter. She may just have to save it for awhile. She is anxiously awaiting the day that I deem her old enough to read his books! (She can read Partials, but I'd like her to be a bit older for the rest of them still!)

Afterwards, a bunch of us blogger buddies went out to eat, and it was all fun and good times!

Then yesterday evening I went (again with Jenny!) to see Eoin Colfer... author of the Aritmus Fowl series. (Eoin pronounced OWEN... now you know!!)  This is a book, well books since I read a couple,  that I read YEARS ago... way before blogging came into my life. I just remember it was violent for a middle grade book! But after hearing a reenactment of the whole series during this presentation, I  just may want to revisit these books.

Anyway, this author was pretty much one of the funniest ones yet! And that's saying  a lot because, as I mentioned above, they seem to ALL be funny. But he was truly doing a regular stand up comedy act. It was awesome! We had a great time and were so very glad to have taken the time out of a crazy evening to go.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pride and Prejudice Read Along Part Two: Chapters 13-26

This week we read chapters 13 to 25 in our Pride and Prejudice Read Along. Much of these chapters had to do with Mr. Collins and his proposal, and with Mr. Wickham's appearance and his story about Darcy. Also, we had some more classic encounters between Darcy and Elizabeth.

Here are a few things I highlighted as I read:
  • "And though prepared, as he told Elizabeth, to meet with folly and conceit in every other room of the house, he was used to be free from them there." This is Mr. Bennet thinking about his library. Have you noticed that his library is his sanctuary? I so totally relate with him! He can run from Mrs. Bennet here, and have solitude. It so bugs him when Mr. Collins invades that privacy.. poor guy. Anyway, I love this quote.
  • "Upon my word!" Another phrase from the time that I feel the need to bring back! We do use "my word" sometimes or "Oh my word!!" It's fun to see that modern day variation of this older usage. Still... I like upon my word, better!
  • "The moment of her release from him was ecstasy." Wow... it really MUST have been a trial to dance with Mr. Collins! I wonder how many of us have felt this very way about any sort of akward social connection?
  • I love it when Elizabeth tries to get Mr. Darcy to talk while they dance saying that she has mentioned the dance, and now it was his turn to mention the room or the couples. Again, one of my favorite scenes. 
  • And later he tries by saying, "What think you of books?" Now... you can't help but like him, yes?? And Elizabeth cuts him off and says that they could never talk about books since there's no way they'll agree and he says, " I am sorry you think so, but if that be the case, there can at least be no want of subject. We may compare our different opinions." And there is the whole purpose of book clubs and book blogs and book discussion in general, don't you think? Way to go, Mr. Darcy!
  • Don't you ever feel just a little bad for Mr. Collins? Granted, he didn't love Elizabeth at all, but still he was hoping so bad that she didn't know what she was saying when she says no! Funny.
  • "We are all in an uproar!" Mrs. Bennet and her reaction to the whole Mr. Collins proposal makes me laugh. And then when Mr. Bennet says to Elizabeth, "From this day yo must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do NOT marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you DO!" Don't you just feeling like cheering at that point? 
  • Charlotte's philosophy of marriage is sad, but mostly likely the norm. "Miss Lucas accepted him solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment...." 

And then Jenni Elyse found these questions for discussion here.

What are Elizabeth’s first impressions of Mr. Collins? What does she base her judgement of him on? Do you agree with her initial assessment of him? In chapter 14 we learn about Mr. Bennet’s opinion of Mr. Collins. What does Mr. Bennet think of his visitor? After learning more about Mr. Collins in subsequent chapters, what is your opinion of him?

Mr. Collins for me has always been a fun character to hate.. or rather, to make fun of. He's a pretty awful sort, though I don't think he means to be, really. Sometimes I actually feel sorry for him. The dude that portrays him the movie has him SO spot on, it's hard to not read these chapters without totally getting him in your head. I always wonder if they would have picked a nice looking guy for this part, and still had him act this obnoxiously, would he still bug us all as bad? I wonder. Anyway, I think Elizabeth just brushes him off as a nuisance and doesn't take him too seriously, however, her dad knows that it's actually pretty serious to welcome him because he will be inheriting the estate. 

Who is Lady Catherine de Bourgh? What does Mr. Collins think of her? Does Elizabeth agree with Mr. Collins views on Lady Catherine? Why or why not? What are your impressions of her? Mr. Collins talks a great deal about Rosings Park, Lady Catherine’s home. What are his thoughts about Rosings? How does Rosings contrast with Longbourn?

Lady Catherine is a most irritating character. We haven't actually met her yet (have we? I didn't QUITE finish the assigned reading!) but from Mr. Collins goings on, we can tell she is pretty shallow too. Rosings is obviously superior to Longbourn in so many ways! According to Mr. Collins anyway. These comparisons never fail to make me a little nauseated every time I read them! Ugh.

In this novel which frequently draws attention to appearances and how appearances can be deceptive, how would you describe Mr. Wickham’s appearance? The Bennet sisters, including Elizabeth, are initially attracted to him. What is it about Mr. Wickham that attracts them?

Mr. Wickham is.... can I say what I think of him without giving it all away? I think not. At first, I can see how he would be sweeping everyone of their feet. He looks nice, he acts nice... bottom line, that's all it is with him. Well, there's some more stuff too, but we'll get to that later.

When Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy happen to meet in Meryton, how do the two men respond to each other? In chapter 16 Mr. Wickham explains his troubled relationship with Darcy. What is the relationship between the two men, according to Wickham? What does Wickham claim that Darcy has done to him? How does Elizabeth respond to Wickham’s account of his past experiences with Darcy? Jane’s response to Wickham’s account differs from Elizabeth’s. How does Jane respond?

Ah, Wickham has Elizabeth hook line and sinker at first! What a sob story he gives her! He's nice, Darcy isn't, so Wickham must be right! Jane feels there's two sides to the story, and let me just say, she is right.

Elizabeth is eager to meet Wickham at the ball given by Mr. Bingley at Netherfield, but her high hopes are not actualized. Why not? Why does Elizabeth not dance with Wickham at the Netherfield ball? Who does she dance with? What happens between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth at the ball? How does Elizabeth feel about Darcy at the ball? How does Darcy feel about her? What happens between Jane and Mr. Bingley at the ball?

It's kind of funny that everyone wants to dance with Wickham and then he doesn't show up! I love that. I love that it forces her (Lizzy) to dance with Darcy and she accepts him before she realizes what she's doing.. oh and to get away from Collins of course! Elizabeth is tolerating the experience, and I think Darcy is trying his best. You know... he is a bit of SHY sort, don't you think!?? As far as Jane and Mr. Bingley goes, it appears that all is well and things are set! Well, we shall see...


All this fun stuff! Hopefully I can keep up with the reading and pondering even as my month falls apart these next few weeks. We are now planning a watch along sometime in August. Hopefully a few of us can meet IRL to watch, and we'll let you know in case a few of you would like to join with us virtually on Twitter too. I can't wait!


Related Posts with Thumbnails