My Bookmarks

After such a rather serious post yesterday, I had a spontaneous thought when glancing at my bookmarks today.  I’m very slowly gathering a nice little collection and hope to add to it.

Since adulthood I have never turned down or marked inside a book (text books exempt) just because I personally like to keep books in good condition but there is something to be said for a book that looks like it has been read many times, adds character don’t you think?

My reading has changed a lot recently.  I’ve ventured into different genre so I thought I’d designate the bookmarks.

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The first on the left was sent from my penpal (yes I have a no kidding pen to paper, snail mail penpal) in London.  She sent me a little care package with all things London.  This I will use for books set in Europe and probably any mystery/crime novels since it instantly reminds me of Sherlock Holmes.

Next is a beautiful bookmark that came in a subscription book box.  This will mark books based in nature.  Woods, mountains, ocean, seaside, etc. and I think for Contemporary novels that don’t fall in the other categories.

The middle marker is from many years ago.  This will be used for historic books, non-fiction and biographies though I don’t read much of them.

The white with flowers marker is from Japan.  It is cloth and petite.  This marker will be used for Romance and books based in Asia or of Asian influence.

The bookmark on the right is from Prague and my most recently acquired.  This will be used for SFF – SciFi / Fantasy books because if you have ever been to Prague it looks to be straight out of a Fantasy novel with ornate ironwork, bridges, castle and ancient architecture.

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If you would like to share how you mark your place in books, please leave a comment.  Do you think it says something about a person on how they hold places?  Do you fold over corners?

Separately, what do you think of the new blog design?  Good, Bad, Ugly?

 

The Codex Alera Book Review

It’s been ages since I did a book review, you probably think I haven’t been reading eh?  Not so, in fact I do have my GoodReads account pinned to the side panel if you are interested in what I’m reading at any given time (when I remember to update it hehe).

2015 had me reaching back to my love of Science Fiction and Fantasy Fictions.  We were visiting the U.S. and couldn’t resist the Barnes and Noble – one thing I do miss being in Japan.  I love a good browse in a bookstore.  This time I found Furies of Calderon, the first in a six part series called The Codex Alera by Jim Butcher.  Figured I would grab the first book and if it was good I’d keep going through the series and man am I glad I made that spontaneous grab. (I mentioned the series in a post a while back Plans In The Making)

Obviously, the first book grabbed me enough to want to continue with the next and just yesterday I finished book six.  For me, a good story is one that I can lose myself in and actually visualize.  It’s just how my brain works which is a bit odd because for crafting and such I can’t visualize finished products which is the main reason I don’t paint, sew, knit, make pottery or anything else very creative.  I just can’t look at tools of a trade and see how it will become a finished thing.  Though if I have instructions I can usually produce whatever is shown, I just can’t freehand things.  With good books, the creative and often stagnant part of my brain wakes up from it’s coma and ignites and this particular series had my brain fired up.

The descriptions of characters, surroundings, emotions, reactions and thought processes were a perfect recipe for me to fall in completely.  I loved the alien aspects mixed with very human and somewhat familiar and the author obviously has a lot of familiarity with battle strategies, armor and weaponry…or maybe he and I just have similar ideas of what that might entail.  Also, when an author creates a world and actually supplies a map of it in the front of the book, I am in love.

This series was a bit of genius to me and I think Mr. Butcher’s imagination is a beautiful thing.

2016 has me on two book challenges/clubs, which I mentioned here, one which dictates which book to read and the other which I think will challenge me to read different types of books so it is possible the sci fi/fantasy books will be on hold for a bit but when I do return to the genre you can be sure I will pick up another Jim Butcher book, perhaps The Dresden Files series although there are so many books in it, I am hesitant.

Karen Miller’s “The Awakened Mage”

For some reason I got the different books in the three different series mixed up and read this before Innocent Mage which is the first book.

The story is interesting, certainly a different take on an isolated society and I enjoyed the magical and medieval-ness of it all.  However, there are some inconsistencies in Karen Miller’s writing.  For instance, I’m not positive because I wasn’t there but I’m fairly sure they didn’t say “aint” in this period, once I got passed a few of these types of inconsistencies I did enjoy the book and went on to read the first in the series.  The main “mage” character is interesting and has a crass attitude which I find infinitely witty and fun.  The final battle did not leave me disappointed, it was a bloody magical mess.

I’ll be tremendously disappointed if I find out they did say “aint” in and around the castle…somehow this image invokes Monty Python which is true hilarity and I love them but I don’t for a second think they depict England’s historic past.  Ni NI NI NI

Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – Slight Spoiler Alert!

I try not to “spoil” too much, hopefully the following just covers enough not to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

First I want to say I have heard that this story was rather stolen from an earlier book, I plan to read said earlier novel to see if there truly is a similarity but and this is a big but, a lot of stories tend to have rather similar lines.  There have been many novels and movies done with the idea of humans being hunted, survival of the fitist and such so, I don’t give much drama to the idea that this story may feel like others.  For me, as long as it grips me in a new way is what matters.

And This One Did!

To read the first novel and it alone would be a travesty.  All three books are in their own rights great reads however the trilogy together truly tells the entire story.  That being said, I can’t help but hope the author is working on more. =)  I am greedy.

The first book tells such an interesting story of fear and growing up with uncertain fates.  The strength of each character is well thought out and I truly believed those who won each battle would have and could have done just so.

The second book shows the crazy world the “winner” takes part in and the heretic minds that run the system and government.

The third book I can’t even imagine the idea of going back in, and constantly throughout these novels I am reminded that we are talking about teenagers here, not adults.  That they gather and fight back is riveting and depicted in great detail.

Though these people live difficult lives the realization that what they consider to be their terrifying upbringing and circumstances are actually not as bad as others have it is mind-numbing.  The way the author subtly shows the main character coming of age through the most difficult circumstances was scary and wonderful.

Now I can watch the movie. =)

Small disclosure, it’s been a few weeks since I finished this trilogy so I’m hoping I got the three books right lol they all ran together a bit.  It was difficult separating the three in my head.

Fifty Shades Trilogy- E.L. James – Review- Spoiler alert!

I suppose I should review each book, then perhaps wrap it up with a summary.  There is no way I can come up with to review this trilogy without giving some spoilers so please don’t read this if you are picky about knowing anything.

Fifty Shades of Grey:  I should clarify first that I read this after going through over 80 romance novels from the 1980’s so it is perhaps true that my mind was a bit mush on the onset.  Taking the bdsm part out, I actually rather enjoyed the story line.  There is substance to the characters and the author gives them both a very deep and interesting past and present.  The bdsm bits, for me, is a bit steamy but honestly a bit disappointing after all the hype.  That being said, I think the sex parts will effect every person differently depending on their personal experiences and open-mindedness.

Fifty Shades Darker:  Here we delve a bit deeper into the past and the why’s of his “disorder” which to some extent I picked up but I am not sure I buy that a 3 year old child would grow up in a great household and still have so many issues.  Part of me thinks this is a bit far fetched.  How many of us remember what happened when we were 3?  Granted it was freakishly horrifying and disturbing but really, would someone grow up in a healthy, loving home holding on to these issues of such a young age?  I’d be curious what a psychologist would say about the likelihood of this.

Fifty Shades Freed:  Mr. Grey grows up, love and care is a wonderful thing but I admit to missing some of the progression of the bdsm.  The author seems to skip a bit in this book, I admit to wishing there was more games in the playroom.  It’s a lovely ending I suppose but I wonder if Mr. Grey gets itchy after a while being husband and daddy.

For the summary:  The hardest part to digest was the virgin gone sex pot in one step.  It’s a bit tough to swallow, pun completely intended.  I loved the way the former subs kept popping up.  This was quite funny for me, and she handled it quite well.  This vulnerable, virginal girl who is also independent, can shoot a gun and handle herself with opposition.  I would even venture to say if there is a fourth book, she would become the dom and he the sub in the relationship.  It seemed to be heading that way.  This trilogy has jump started my sex drive a bit, I will admit.  We should all cherish those we love so passionately.

Please if you are looking to read this, go into it with a light heart and remember it’s not smut (to me) so if you are looking for that, go get a porn magazine.  At least that’s how I see it.