Saturday, October 31, 2015

Two Movie Reviews: Pan and The Walk

I'm getting behind in movie thoughts, so here's two at a time!

Movie: Pan
Genre: Fantasy
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Garret Hedlund
Rating: PG 
My Rating: One thumb mostly up

The previews made this movie look really quite wonderful. And cute and fun. But then when it came out the reviews weren't that great, so I decided I'd probably skip it. But then we found ourselves with a free night and this movie fit our schedule, so we went.

Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard

And, it was... okay. A little too strange in parts. And very cheesy in lots of parts. I enjoyed the kid who played Pan. I enjoyed Hugh Jackman of course, who played Blackbeard. (He was not even recognizable, though my daughter Toto picked him out right off.) And Tiger Lily was okay, but the guy who played Hook? (Who in this adaptation is not a bad guy.. just a normal guy who is imprisoned by Blackbeard, just like Pan and a bunch of other kids/people.) He was jut not right. He rubbed me the wrong way. I guess I wanted him to be like Killian from Once Upon a Time. And he was SO FAR from that, and it made me crazy. Oh, well. It was enjoyable. The special effects were cool. So I deem it worth the $5 Tuesday! And kids will like it I bet.

The not-so-great Hook

Here's the trailer:

Movie: The Walk
Genre: Historical
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon
Rating: PG13
My Rating: Two thumbs up

When I saw the preview for this movie, while at the Imax, I was like, NO WAY am I seeing this one! Well, just the opposite from Pan, the reviews were great and so I changed my mind and decided to go. But I HAD to see it in 3D. It was MADE for that! And we managed to get to it just before it left the theaters. Sweet.

I was nervous. I'm scared of heights. In movies, whenever someone is in peril from up high, my body totally reacts as if I'm really there. It's crazy. So I knew this movie would be hard in parts. But I was ready to give it a try.
Can you kind of feel the 3D with this one?

The story is a fun one. This guy from France decides to be a tightrope walker, and one day when he sees an article about about the Trade Towers being built in New York, he decides it's his life's mission to walk between them. He gets several people to help him and they pull of the "coop." It's all nail biting, not just the walk itself. But the walk? Oh my WORD I thought he'd never come down. And yes, I was squirming and closing my eyes and wringing my hands. Awesome. In real life the guy actually walked back and forth eight times...and he knelt and saluted the crowd below and he LAID DOWN on the wire and everything. This was all depicted and all I could think was GET DOWN NOW!!
Perfect for this role!

JGL was awesome and so cute and so lovely and so perfect for this movie. Pretty much, he  makes the movie. That and the re-creation of the two towers. In fact, the move ends up being not only a nod to the craziness of this guy, but the beauty of these buildings. Sad and bittersweet. He ends up with a lifetime pass to go to the top of the towers whenever he wants (yes, he didn't really get in trouble after all) that has no expiration date. Let that sink in. That's when I got teary in the movie.

So, I say, see this one, even if you aren't a fan of heights. And it will be good even without the awesome 3D effects we got to experience! Really. Go see it. Rent it. Just do it.

Here's the trailer:

Friday, October 30, 2015

Book Review Discussion: The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

Book: The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde
Genre: Children's classic
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
For: the readathon and family book club
From: the library

Short Synopsis: A family moves into a nice old house and is very emphatically warned by the previous owner that the house is haunted. They just shrug and say, whatever. We'll deal. Turns out, the house really is haunted and the family does just shrug it off. They confront the ghost, they yell at him, they set traps for him, they undo all his mischief and they generally make his ghostly life miserable. The tables are completely turned. He ends up one very depressed ghost. Then the daughter of the family talks to him, learns his story and helps him to find peace and release.

My Response: Cute story! Lots of funny moments. Though you do feel sorry for the ghost, even though he really did mean things when he was alive. The end is bittersweet and I'm sure has all sorts of symbolism and stuff, but I didn't try too hard to figure those out. The writing is fun and light-hearted. I was surprised and expected it to be a little heavier coming from Mr. Wilde, but I did learn that he has written a ton of kids stories. So that was interesting.

Bottom Line: Fun story. Kids will love it. I know there are several picture versions of the story and it can be read in long sitting, or over a couple of nights.

Let's Talk About: I'm wondering if you are all familiar with this story? I wasn't until we decided to read it for our first family book club pick. I mean, the name sounded familiar but I didn't know at all what it was. How about you all? I know there are lots of movie versions too. Anyone seen one?

Other Reviews:

It’s funny, imaginative, and so easy to read it’s suitable for younger readers as well as adults. From She Reads Novels

What I am continually impressed by is how modern and fresh Oscar Wilde’s prose still sounds given it was penned in the late 1800s. From Book Lover Book Reviews

What I liked most about the Canterville Ghost was his fish-out-of-water experiences. Not being able to scare the residing family like he should. From

Here's a fun trailer for one the movies:

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Book Banter Topic Four: High School Love

Often, while reading our favorite YA books, Jenny and I will cross paths when it comes to the subject of falling in love as a teenager.. or in high school. This scenario happens over and over again in our favorite books and Jenny will often say.. this could never happen! And I'll say.. but it does! It happened to me! And then it goes from there!

The problem with this topic is...I agree with much of what Jenny has to say and I told her I wasn't sure if we could truly argue this one decently. But we've decided to go ahead just to put it out there! We want to know what you think! But I'm going to present my post differently, without the rebuttals and all. I'll just paste our thoughts... first Jenny's and then mine.

JENNY'S THREE REASONS: No, you can't fall in love in high school.

1 No reality
High school kids live in a different reality than adults. They still live with their parents. They sometimes done't even have a job or a car. They don't have bills or kids of their own (hopefully). Basically High school kids don't have any responsibilities besides doing homework and getting good grades. I'm not lashing out at high school kids, I'm just saying. There's a complete difference that comes in a relationship when reality sets in. Having all the responsibilities that I mentioned above and sharing them with another person is what really tests that light infatuation and turns it into love.

2 Selfishness
No kid that chases the love of their life into the underworld or the lair of a vampire or werewolf (you get my point) to save them is a good selfless kid. This kid isn't talking to their parents, they often ignore any good decent advice they do get and run headstrong into a situation that could get them killed with no thought on how that might effect their parents, their friends or even the other kid they are "rescuing"! That kind of attitude does not reflect love but selfish, immature infatuation.

3 Levels of Love
I guess what I'm saying is this: No kids in high school are not capable of love. Infatuation? Crushes? In like? Yes, maybe, but not love. Love often starts with all these things but love doesn't come until you've faced the mundane ins and outs of life in all it's boring glory. Love comes in levels and you can't get to the top level in high school for all the reasons I mentioned above. You just can't.

SUEY'S THREE REASONS: Yes, you can fall in love in high school.

Graduating from high school
with my future husband. :)
1. I lived it.
Yes, I’m one of those people. I started dating my husband in January of our senior high school in year. Probably three months later (I can’t really remember the exact moment!) I was pretty sure he would be in my life forever. We had ups and downs of course. And we still waited a long time before we got married (three years) but it all began in high school and it was real and true and all that! I always like to say that I enjoyed being 17 because when I was 18 suddenly things were serious and real. Not to say that was a bad thing, but it definitely felt like something changed that year. So having lived it, I can say for certain that it CAN happen in high school.

2. I’ve seen it.
The example that always stands out to me is my grandma’s sister, my great aunt, someone who I knew (know actually, as she is still alive) fairly well. She got married at age 15. And not during a time when this was normal. (I think I remember my grandma saying that she, her older sister, was pretty freaked out by this!) I’m not sure the year they got married but I’d guess it to be late 50’s. So 15 even at that time, was pretty shocking. (And no they were not pregnant… at least I don’t think they were!) And anyway, they had a long and happy (I assume) marriage which only ended when my uncle died a year or so ago. I’ve always been impressed with her story and I’m sure there are many more examples like hers out there.

3. Anything is possible! 
I can’t really think of another reason, except for the the fact that anything can happen really. And teenagers can most certainly find their soul mates at a young age. I do agree that they shouldn’t make major life decisions (like my aunt did!) when they are so freaking young, but by 18 or 19 (even though that is still so freaking young!) they can pretty much know what their gut and hearts are telling them. (I’ve had sisters and sisters in law get married this young and all is well… so far!) I think that high school love stories in the YA books we read are so much fun because it does touch that romantic place in all of us and gives us the satisfaction of a great storybook happily ever after.

My Bottom Line: While it isn't highly ideal for kids to fall in love in high school, it happens. It happens all the time. And some of them make commitments that last a lifetime and some of them make commitments that fall apart... just like any other relationship that gets its start at later ages.

Let us know what you think! Do you think kids can fall in love.. "true" love... in high school?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

Book: Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis
Genre: YA Scifi
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For: readathon and supporting local authors and Beehive Award long list reading
From: The library

Short Synopsis: Our heroine Essie is living a rough life in an outer planet of the solar system. When a ship crash lands near her home, bringing with it a guy who is at once fascinating and terrifying, her life changes. They end up going off on an adventure (not really of her choosing) which forces her to face her past and become the person and heroine she was meant to be.

My Response: All I knew about this one was that Jenni and Jenny (was there someone else too?) both loved it and said I'd love it too, and that it's a Snow White retelling. Well, they were right. I love these space versions of familiar stories. So awesome! So cleverly done! Dane (the guy) ended up being one of those characters where you didn't know if you could trust him or not. I loved that. And Essie was one of those strong female types that everyone totally adores. What a fighter! And the ending was a bite your fingernails off kind of ending. Yeah, it was all wonderful.

Bottom Line: Love unique takes on fairy tales? Then, what are you waiting for? Read it!!

Let's Talk About: So, when it comes to things space stories.. as a reader, do you care about the logistics of space travel? Are you fine with the jump in a ship, push some buttons, and bam, you are on a different planet? Easy as pie? Are you good with that, or does it bother you at all? Asking for a friend....

Other Reviews:

The characters were fantastic. Essie was a heroine I could really get behind. She was stubborn, strong, and vulnerable. I related to her in a lot of ways. From Jenni Elyse

The wold is unique and the retelling is done so subtly it feels fresh! A gigantic accomplishment, if you ask me. From Alternate Readality

I highly recommend it for lovers of YA fiction with a bent towards Science Fiction, Paranormal Abilities and Fairytale Retellings. There is a romance in it as well for those of us that need a love story to make us happy! From Buried in Books

In all, Stitching Snow was a fun YA sci-fi novel with political games, near escapes, assassination attempts, kidnappings and cage fights. Oh, and a nod to fairy tales. From The Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Creepy Books

In thinking about this post I realized that I don't think I've read a book that has really SCARED me. Creepy books, yes. Suspenseful, yes. Cringe worthy, yes. But totally scary? I don't think so! (And no, I haven't read any of the true horror Stephen King books. Mist, but that didn't scare me much.) Anyway, today for the Broke and Bookish prompt I will list some that did make me hold my breath a bit, or keep me turning pages or creep my out just a touch. And then I want your recommendations for books that are for real scary.

Top Ten Creepy Books

1. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
2. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
3. The Hollow City by Dan Wells
4. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
5. Blindness by Jose Saramago
6. The Passage by Justin Cronin
7. The 13th Tale by Diane Sutterfield
8. Edgar Allen Poe stories
9. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
10. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I hear Dan Simmons books are pretty good. If I read a scary Stephen King story I'd probably start with The Shining. A real true good ghost story book would be fun. Suggestions?

Anyway, scary or not, the books I listed are all really amazing! Except Blindness, which was so disturbing I would never put anyone through it! That was one hard book to read.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Walking Dead S6E3: Thank You (SPOILERS!)

First of all, let me just post here what I posted on Twitter last night during all the craziness of The Walking Dead Episode:

Seriously people... If you don't want spoilers keep off twitter until you've watched it. You know? :)

I was blown away about the amount of people complaining about spoilers last night. If you don't want spoilers, then WHY WOULD YOU BE LOOKING AT TWITTER!!!

Same goes for checking out people's blog posts on the topic. Yes, there are spoilers ahead!!! You've been warned.

And this would NOT be a good week to watch the episode later. I mean really. Sometimes you just need to watch live no matter what else is happening in your live,  know what I mean?

All that being said...

WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED last night on The Walking Dead? Is he dead or isn't he? 

Oh my gosh it was terrible!!!

But everyone is saying HE IS NOT DEAD! But... how can he not be? I mean, he is COVERED with walkers and even if they aren't eating him this very moment, they will be any second and he CAN'T MOVE!

Should we back up?

So, we have joined our people who have gone on a mission to lead the pit of walkers far far away. But the horn made them veer off toward their homes. So they have to fix this problem. Rick runs off alone to get the RV to... do something... help Sasha and Daryl I guess. And Glenn and Michonne and some others are going to head off another direction trying to get back to Alexandria. But they are cut off by the horde of walkers.  We get some sad talk about wives left at home (with sad looks from Glenn) and some lectures about "we know what we are doing and you don't and YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE OUT THERE!" And we get some strange exchanges between Glenn and his nemesis Nicholas and I just don't get why Glenn is so nice to him. But whatever.

One of Glenn's last (maybe) moments, helping Annie? who
messed up her foot in a fall.

Bottom line is.... they all and I mean ALL get surrounded by the walkers and there's no where to go. Glenn and Nicholas are trying to burn up a building for distraction, but that doesn't work. Michonne is trying to lead all the injured away, but that doesn't work. Rick is taking the RV but that doesn't work. Also, the horn stops but they are suddenly hearing gunshots from the direction of home. They think that it's people defending against the walkers, but we know better after what went down last week!

It's terrible.

So, a bunch of Alexandrian's that I don't know get eaten. And it's sad and traumatic, but still, you know, we don't really care. But then, when Glenn and Nicholas get surrounded... I totally thought Nicholas was going to sacrifice himself to save Glenn.. and he sort of meant to I think, but after he shoots himself and falls, GLENN FALLS WITH HIM!! Why why why???  And the last we see is Glenn being sucked down and swallowed under a hoard of walkers. I can't watch it again... and I won't post it here, but you can find it you want. Ha.

Anyway. I cried. And did a lot of freaking out and screaming and exclaiming, oh crap, a lot. How about you all? What were you saying and doing? I was also thinking... why are we all watching this show again? I mean, it's pretty painful. It really is. But there's something we love about this pain, am I right? And we are all weird!!
Glenn and Nicholas are up on a dumpster... surrounded by walkers.

Meanwhile, Michonne gets away with Heath and one other dude (Scott?) and I guess they'll be okay. And Rick is stuck in the RV that won't start now, and after he killed off a bunch of Wolves (the ones Morgan let go?) the walkers are now surrounding him. Pull to aerial shot and...

....The End of this episode!

And now, everyone is saying, no, this is not the end of Glenn. Nicholas is on top of him and the walkers are eating HIM. But Glenn is okay. But even so, how will he get away? 

On the after show Talking Dead, they said we have not seen the last of him. They didn't say what FORM we haven't seen the last of him in, but they refused to do the memoriam thing for him, which seems to be saying something to a lot of people.

Well, I could go on and on, but mostly, I just want to know what you think? Dead? Or not? And if not... how????

Oh, and P.S. I guess we won't know the answer to the big question for a couple of weeks? We'll be getting Morgan's backstory instead? Sigh.

I've loved Glenn from the start, as I think we all have. He totally captures the humanity of the show.
If he's dead, how will everyone go on?

Fifty Favorite Books

Being as that this is a book blog, mostly, I thought one of my celebratory fifty things lists needed to be Favorite Books. Agreed? Most of these are listed on my favorites tab up top, but I'm guessing most readers haven't ever even clicked there, am I right? So now I'm forcing you to take a look at my list!

Only problem is... it needed to be longer. I left off a lot. I think I should have listed 50 books PER category. THAT would be fun!

I'll save that for another day.

Picture Books

1. Where the Wild Things Are
2. Ferdinand the Bull
3. Mr. Pine’s Mixed Up Signs
4. Rachel Fister’s Blister
5. Goodnight Moon
6. Oh, the Places You’ll Go
7. The Giving Tree
8. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
9. Alexander and the Horrible Terrible No Good Very Bad Day
10. Are You My Mother?

Kids Books/Classics

11. The Boxcar Children
12. Little House on the Prairie
13. Socks
14. Follow My Leader
15. Island of the Blue Dolphins
16. Where the Red Fern Grows
17. Charlotte’s Web
18. Anne of Green Gables
19. Little Women
20. Harry Potter and sequels


21. Pride and Prejudice
22. Great Expectations
23. A Tale of Two Cities
24. The Grapes of Wrath
25. Wuthering Heights
26. Jane Eyre
27. North and South
28. Tess of the d'urbervilles
29. The Forsyte Saga
30. To Kill a Mockingbird

Non Fiction

31. Seabiscuit
32. John Adams
33. Unbroken
34. Coop
35. The Long Walk


36. The Book Thief
37. These Broken Stars
38. All The Truth That’s in Me
39. Under the Never Sky and sequels
40. Finnikin of the Rock and sequels
41. The Hunger Games and sequels
42. Daughter of Smoke and Bone and sequels
43. The Queen’s Thief and sequels
44. Twilight and sequels
45. The Winner’s Curse and sequels


46. Life of Pi
47. Katherine
48. The Far Pavilions
49. Ender’s Game
50. The Way of Kings and sequels

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Currently: Feeling Headache-y

Listening: I decided to have an obsession with the Cheerleader song this week. I'm guessing you've all heard it, since it seems to be pretty popular on the radio, but just in case:

Watching: Well, I'm behind on my TV watching this week! Maybe I'll have a chance to catch up toady, but you can see my thoughts about last week's Walking Dead right here. We are enjoying Survivor too. I did start watching Moonlight episodes like I threatened to do awhile back, though none this past week. 

We keep going to movies on $5 Tuesday too, which is awesome. I haven't reviewed them here yet, but I we saw Pan and The Walk. Maybe I'll fit in some thoughts on those sometime this week. But basically Pan was okay though I really hated the guy who played Hook (Once Upon a Time has ruined me for anyone else trying to play that roll) and The Walk was awesome but I pretty much squirmed and closed my eyes for the last half. I thought he would NEVER come off that wire! It was great in 3D and fabulous story

He freaking laid down on that wire. In real life!!!

Reading: Well, I caught up with reading last weekend during the Readathon with five books completed. This week I was back to no reading. Except for last night I declared the evening to be Readathon Take Two and I sat and read the second half of The Tightrope Walkers (no relation to The Walk) until I finished it. Wow, that was quite the book. Hopefully I'll fit in a review soon!

Writing: Oh my. Writing has been my life this week. I worked on my story ALL DAY Thursday and the whole afternoon evening on Friday, then I spent the whole day Saturday at a fun little new low key laid back writing conference,which I loved. I will write details about that over at my new writer website, which I plan to make public this week in celebration of Nano. I have to spiff it up a bit more though, but I will write more about writing there than here, I think. Hopefully those of you interested in the writing bits of my life will follow me there. I will provide links! 

But, my story is still not ready for sharing to beta readers. I have a few more things to do and after the conference yesterday I'm pretty sure the whole thing really truly is crap and I've done nothing AT ALL right. It's the most frustrating endeavor ever. But... pressing on. 

Looking forward to Nano though, even though I'm writing about a subject I know nothing about and I think I'm expected to "build a world" which is sort of overwhelming, you know? My journey, like I said, will be on the other site, with mentions and links here.

Blogging: I'm pretty sick of it, I must say. (Which is bad if I plan to publishing posts on another site! What am I thinking???)  But this week,  I have so much to blog about! I have to get caught up on all the readathon books, and 50 Things Lists and it's Book Banter week, and on and on and on. Even if I'm sick of it, there's always always something to say it seems.

I just don't think anyone is reading it anymore. Where'd you all go? I've really been feeling the whole "cricket" sound the past few weeks. Sigh. But.. pressing on.

Eating: Jayne and I went out for lunch during the conference yesterday to a place that's been around awhile but I'd never heard of and I had the best quesadillas I've ever tasted! That was the best food experience of the week by far. Today, I'm craving chocolate chip cookies, so if that happens, maybe it will come in as a close second. Oh, I did make banana muffins with ripe bananas and they turned out really good too!
Art City Trolley Restaurant

Crafting: So Jenni wants to start a craft circle... (is that the right name for such a thing?) where we sit around and craft and talk. I'm still waiting to see if that happens! (Jenni... you say when!!) And if so, I think I will pick up my hexagon wall hanging and get that done once and for all!

  • I can't think of anything extra to add today, so I guess that's it!

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Walking Dead S6E2: JSS (Spoilers!)

Of course, with the way things ended last week, we thought we'd be dealing with all the walkers converging on Alexandria. We thought we'd see everyone fighting them off, we thought we'd see Rick and company figuring out how to lure them back away.

We thought wrong.

Instead, we went back in time just a bit to see what those who were left behind were up to while the others went on the "mission" to lure the walkers down the road. (The mission, as you remember, was supposed to be a dress rehearsal, but turned into the real thing. So the people left behind felt like everyone was in no peril... since it was just a practice run. Little did they know.)

Anyway, life seemed calm and normal back at home. Carol was making... something, put it in the oven and set the timer. She had a little exchange with the other women about cooking and not smoking and such. Carl has a little sad moment when he sees his girl hugging someone else.

Oh.. speaking of his girl.. Enid...the whole episode started out with her back story and we got to see how her parents were taken by walkers, how she survived for weeks alone, and how she stumbled upon Alexandria and was taken in. All along the way she traced the letters "JSS" everywhere. We had no idea what it meant.
Enid, surviving all alone

So everything seemed calm. But then, Carol is watching out her window as that smoking lady lights up. And then, out of the blue, the smoking lady is attacked! And killed! By someone NOT A WALKER!

A "normal" person with a W on his head! The Wolves have arrived! These guys are TEN TIMES WORSE than any walker! It's amazing how this show portrays the evil that comes to people when they are trying to survive. It's scary amazing.

And then, wow. The rest of that episode was INTENSE! Everyone running everywhere. Hiding. Finding weapons. Enid holed up with Carl to help with Judith. Jessie is in the middle of trying to cut her kid's hair when the bad guys come into her house. They hide in the closet. But then she runs out to protect her other kid (the older one who was hugging Enid earlier) and she attacks the Wolf with her scissors. And wow. It's a close your eyes kind of scene.

Jesse uses her scissors!

Then Carol dresses up like a Wolf, W on her head and everything, and she goes out there and just starts slaughtering them all (the Wolves that is.) She is ruthless and awesome.

Carol in disguise

Meanwhile, Morgan appears, the first one from the other group to get there and he helps out ... sort of. Still scared to kill anyone. But he faces them all in his double stick bashing way and it's awesome... though by now, all we want is for him to lay them down! For good!

Morgan and his stick

I can't remember who was driving the truck outside the wall, but someone was and he crashed and he died, falling dead right on the horn.

THE HORN GUYS!!! And now we know where the horn sound is coming from!

Deanna ends up hunkering down in that trunk with her last remaining son, and she is just cowering in fear and despair.

Meanwhile, Carol kills all the Wolves, the ones that Morgan doesn't scare off.

In the end, Enid leaves (where the HECK is she going?) and doesn't say goodbye to Carl, but leaves him a note instead:

Just survive somehow. 

And now we know what JSS stands for. And then the timer went off, and Carl took the stuff, whatever it was, out of the oven for Carol.

The End. Whew.

But... the walkers are still coming....

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang

Book (s): Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Genre: Graphic Historical (these are shelved in the history section at the library. I found that interesting.)
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: the readathon
From: the library

Short Synopsis: This is the story of the Boxer Rebellion in China that took place right around 1900 between the Chinese and the Catholics. In Saints, we get the story from the POV of a girl who has been converted to the church and ends up wanting to fight in the cause. She never really gets a chance and is (SPOILER) killed defending her faith. In Boxers, we get the story from the POV of a kid who's brothers start a group that becomes a force in the rebellion and who hunts down the Catholics that are destroying their culture. Sadly, his story doesn't go to far either.

My Response: It's a pretty gruesome tale and so frustrating as you can see both sides. And it just makes you want to scream.. why can't people get along and let each other do their thing?? It's madness! It was fun to learn about this event, as I knew nothing at all before hand. Some of the stuff, especially in Boxers, was a bit mystical and complicated and went over my head (especially as I was trying to read fast for the readathon!) but the feeling came across in a huge way.

Bottom Line: Amazing medium to use for teaching us about this historical event. Brilliant even. I totally enjoyed it.

Let's Talk About: Do you know about this event in history? Would you read a graphic novel to learn stuff like this? (I guess most of the graphic novels I've read have actually been non-fiction historical. Interesting that.)

Other Reviews:

But taken together, these books are present an interesting, engaging read that brings up a lot of interesting ethical questions about the nature and cost of war. From Fyrefly's Book Blog

This is what makes Boxers and Saints really work - Yang manages to draw sympathies to each character without having to jeopardize the plot. He shows how there is right and wrong on both sides of the fences, just as it is with most wars, and it is never possible to look at this event and pinpoint who was to blame. From Reading on a Rainy Day

Yang is a master of employing visual and narrative techniques that bring the characters and their struggles to life. From Estella's Revenge

Highly recommended, this graphic novel duo has a place in every library collection. From Walking Brain Cells

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I Have Star Wars Thoughts

The other night, wow, was it ever exciting and crazy and frustrating for Star Wars fans or what? Almost at the same time, tickets for the new movie went on sale and a new trailer was revealed. How much can one fanatic take?

After all the dust settled, I had thoughts.

My first thought is:  how desperately I wanted to respond to the person who commented somewhere during all the craziness, wondering why people cared so much about going to this movie (or any movie they love for that matter) on opening night, or even opening weekend. They said something like, why does it matter if you see it a few days later? I mean, what's the big deal?

And I wanted to say... dude, your comment right there illustrates PERFECTLY why I want to go to this movie (and some others but this one in particular) on opening night (or day.) Which is, I want to be in the audience with other fans, with people who DO care, with people who are excited and will have reactions to things and will love it no matter what. I dread the thought of being in an audience (and I think that even going a few days after opening day this would happen) where everyone just sits there. No gasps, no laughs, no tears, no clapping, no cheering, no nothing. Just sitting.

So yeah, to whoever said that somewhere... THAT's why I want to go as soon as I can, because I don't want to be in the audience with YOU! (Besides, I want to put my money where my mouth is, you know? Which means, if  I'm paying to see this movie, make those dollars count and go opening weekend when it really matters to the crazy weird industry. And P.S., did you see about it breaking records like crazy!?)

Not to mention the fact that the whole freaking world will be talking about this movie instantly, and I don't want to hear about from you all, I want to experience it FIRST and then hear about it. For such a movie that means it must be seen as soon as possible! The spoilers are going to be INSANE that weekend!

All that being said, once I realized tickets were on sale and got to the site where I wanted to buy them (Imax, people, you know it) all the "normal" times for the opening night on Thursday were sold out. I could tell the site was having issues and I could tell that I didn't have much time to think and ponder (like maybe I could look at a further away theater for instance?) so I just went to the next day and managed (now\t without stress and tears) to get tickets at the Imax for Friday night. I'm both excited (I got the tickets!) and sad (but not for the first showing.)

But it will be fun and I think the audience will still be excited that first day.

Then there was the trailer. Sadly, I haven't done my job very well and most the people in my household don't really care, but I enjoyed it on my own and watched it several times, mostly for the tingles that the music causes. And to see the old characters. Though I have a bad feeling about this...I think something very sad is going down. I'm so worried! I tend to not want to analyze every frame and shot like some do, but I do get chills just knowing that another movie is so close.

Speaking of, something else that's been on my mind. Those other movies... the second trilogy...the ones everyone tends to make fun of and hate and I don't know...dismiss. This discussion has always been a hard one for me because I know, yes, I KNOW that they have issues, but guys... it's still Star Wars, you know? It's still the story, the back story actually, the world, the beginning, the end, the everything. I maintain that if you are a real fan, you can look past the flaws of that second trilogy and still enjoy them. I've never been able to articulate this well, and always get a little squirmy and flustered when the subject comes up but I read an article the other day that did an amazing job that made me want to stand and cheer. This is how I feel about it. Exactly!

And I'm a little worried that people will do the same thing to these movies. Expect too much. Or feel cheated somehow. Or something won't be just exactly right. I really hope that's not the case and I really hope people just enjoy it and be happy we have more!

Yay for Star Wars!!

And that concludes my Star Wars thoughts of the day. Back to your regularly scheduled stuff... what ever that is.

But first, I'd love to know what you think. Do I made sense to anyone? Anyone at all?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: If Wishes Were Fishes

If the Book Genie could give us any bookish wishes... what would they be? Thanks for an awesome prompt Broke and Bookish peeps! Here's what I came up with:

Top Ten Book Wishes

1. I wish that Markus Zusak would finish his book and it would instantly come out and skip all the publishing process.

2. I wish that every Saturday could be a readathon.

3. I wish that I could read into the night more and not have to worry about sleep.

4. I wish that Jane Austen could come back and write five more books.

5. I wish that book slumps did not exist.

6. I wish that when a book is turned into a movie, it will always look exactly like what I pictured in my head.

7. I wish Perry from Through the Ever Night, would come alive so I can see what his hair looks like once and for all.

8. I wish the story in my head and the story I write down would actually match.

9. I wish that stories could pack a punch without the use of cuss words, you know?

10. I wish I didn't have to have restraint while looking at NetGalley. Painful!

I don't know. I think I could have come up with some better/funnier/truer wishes, but I guess these'll do!

What are your wishes?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Fifty Things I've Done

A lot of times when we reach milestone birthdays we start panicking about all the things we have yet to do! And we make lists about all those things (and yes that'll probably be one of the lists I end up sharing!) BUT, I thought it would be fun to think back in my life and make a list of all (well some) of the cool things I've actually DONE. Its a great exercise to make one realize how great life has been and how lucky we really are!

So, please enjoy my latest list in the countdown to fifty:
(with some links to past blog posts or fun YouTube videos to prove the thing being mentioned!)

Fifty Things I’ve Done

  1. had four kids
  2. graduated from college
  3. wrote a blog
  4. stood on the Eiffel Tower (I'm embedding this one because we created it just now so you could see the proof!)
  5. waded in the Mediterranean
  6. loved a pet
  7. made lots of quilts
  8. wrote a book
  9. visited the town in Switzerland where my great grandpa was born
  10. decorated a cake
  11. bought a house
  12. planned two weddings, three if you count my own
  13. went to Hawaii
  14. walked on Tower Bridge in London
  15. walked where ancient Roman emperors walked

  16. seen the Grand Canyon from both rims
  17. made curtains for all the windows in my house
  18. compiled the life stories for all four grandparents
  19. work(ed) at a library
  20. waded in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
  21. been to Canada (barely) and Mexico
  22. seen Paul McCartney, live, in concert
  23. talked at a funeral
  24. grown my own tomatoes
  25. sewn Halloween costumes
  26. taken, processed, developed and printed my own pictures
  27. been to an Olympic event
  28. seen the Olympic torch run by
  29. waterskiied
  30. snowskiied
  31. saw Star Wars in 1977
  32. seen Donny Osmond, live,  in Joseph
  33. seen Carol Channing, live, in Hello Dolly
  34. been to a Mozart dinner concert in Salzburg Austria
  35. survived Y2K
  36. felt an earthquake
  37. floated on the Great Salt Lake
  38. taken pictures, blown them up and framed them in my house
  39. bought my own domain name (even though it’s still not public!)
  40. seen Cats on Broadway in New York
  41. seen The Mousetrap in London


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