Saturday, December 11, 2010 0 comments By: Suzanne

New Paths - Important Goals

I made a decision yesterday that will change my career path. In the past when I've thought about leaving music therapy I have been very sad, which led me to believe it was not the right decision. At least, it was not the right decision at the time. Maybe it was simply because I was not ready to give up on my dream (this is what I've wanted to do for a very long time) or maybe it was because I had not discovered the right place for me; where it was I supposed to go after music therapy. I believe I have found it.

As a music therapist my favorite population to work with has been the PPCD classes. For those of you not familiar with the Texas educational terms that means Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities. The children in this group are aged 3-5 with a wide range of needs, from severe autism to needing just a little extra instruction before going on to the general population. I've worked as a music therapist with children in these classes that will, in all likelihood, be in special education classrooms the rest of their school careers and I've worked with children that went into regular kindergarten classes afterward. I even worked with a young boy who only said "hello" when I met him at age 4 and was speaking in full sentences and ready for general ed by the end of that same year. I am good with this age group and am most comfortable doing "my thing" as a therapist and some time teacher.

If you've read my posts in the past you know that right now I am not working this age group. Right now I am doing music therapy with elderly with Alzheimer's. While I find that I get some satisfaction from working with this group, I also find I am simply drained by the end of the day in a way I never was when working in the schools. I am drained in a way that tells me I was right to believe I am not truly equipped to be working in this population. It is not right for me. I've been working on getting a program off the ground in the town I live in that will be private therapy for children and young adults with disabilities. I've been working on this program for more than 6 months now and have exactly 0 clients. It going nowhere and I am getting frustrated. Frustrated to the point that I have been having visions of taking any fulltime job I could find just to be able to have a fulltime job. 

My first thought was just to go find a job at one of the universities here. That would mean secretarial type work but I can do that. I haven't been happy doing what I love for awhile now so I'm sure I would fine doing something I don't love if I knew I could save money to do the things I do love. Then I had lunch with a friend yesterday and my world changed.

She said she had considered leaving music therapy too. She had gone to the extreme of getting her certification in Special Education and even applying to the different school districts around here. In the end, her job situation changed and she decided to stick with music therapy. It got my brain rolling. One of the things I had considered doing in the past was getting my certification as an elementary music teacher. I even went to the orientation meeting for the alternative certification program to see what I needed to do. I decided it wasn't for me as I KNOW I simply wouldn't make a good music teacher. But I also know I would make an excellent SPED teacher. I don't know exactly why I know this but I am sure of it and suddenly that's what I wanted to do. It's all I could think of as I left my lunch with my friend. I went to see a piano student (the one I got instead of an actual music therapy student in the place where I'm building my new program) and as he was 10 minutes late I stood there and thought about this program. How it's going nowhere. I know that programs can sometimes take years to get off the ground but I have put my all into this for more than 6 months and have seen no return. That's extremely discouraging. My first thought was to take on more private clients outside the area. I've done that before and the driving is horrible but the pay is good. "Ok," I thought, "get those clients so you are working and seeing a little income and let this program build as slowly as it's going to need to." But I still wasn't satisfied. "So this contract thing is going to be life?" No, I am not happy with that.

I sat through my student's lesson and was really irritated that he had not only not practiced but had been playing "Chopsticks" all week and wanted to show me. I said to him, "It's wonderful that you are having fun with the piano, but just because everyone else in your family knows how to play Chopsticks that doesn't mean that's what you should be practicing. Hopefully, if you practice what I give you, you'll be able to play much better than all of them someday." Hopefully, my extreme irritation did not come through. Trying to live compassionately after all! :)

Then I was driving home and it came to me. I WILL take on those extra clients, but not just to make money while I wait for this program to kick in to high gear. I will do it so I will have the money for alternative certification. I am going to become a SPED teacher. And I was relieved. I was happy about it.

I think that means I've made the right decision. I know it will take a couple years for this to come to fruition, but I have a goal.

This morning it came to me why this made me so happy. Goals are important. I haven't really had a set goal for awhile now. Oh yeah, build the program to make it a fulltime position but that wasn't really something I could see as goal for some reason. THIS is  goal. And goals make us strive to be important.
Friday, December 3, 2010 0 comments By: Suzanne

It's The Most Terrible Time Of The Year...

Does anyone else just want to shut themselves up inside their homes during the holiday season and not see people until it's all over? Seriously the craziness of shopping for gifts this time of year is just more than I can handle sometimes. I DON'T do Black Friday unless there is something I need so bad that I would be buying it anyway no matter what time of year it is and just happens to have the most amazing deal EVER on Black Friday. I am not going to buy a 4000" flat screen tv just because it is 10% off. Guess what? I'll save money by not purchasing something I don't need. Thank you. Done. Money saved. I DON'T go to the mall during the holiday season unless there is NO WHERE else I can find what I need. And then I am in and out as soon as possible. I do not wander around in those crowds. Of course, I avoid Wal-Mart like the plague as much as I can at anytime of year because it's always like the day before Christmas in there.

Does this mean I am anti-people? No, it simply means the materialistic-money-hungry society in which I live makes me want to puke sometimes and I can't stand to see my fellow humans reduced to lions in a feeding frenzy in a slaughter house of gazelle.

On the other hand there is also a wonderful sense of community this time of year if you know where to look. I've been in Texas for about 9 years now and for most of that time I've lived in this wonderful town of Denton. In all that time I have never been to the annual holiday lighting on the square. We have one of those old timey downtown squares. Literally and square plot of land with a courthouse in the center with four connecting streets. Businesses surround the courthouse on those streets. Unlike a lot of towns, our square is not only vibrant but new businesses scramble to get in if one leaves, instead of many closing down.

Here's a couple pics I found on google:


There are so many things I love about this town and this is just one of them. The two colleges provide new blood in every year. There is a bohemian quality to most of the town. And people enjoy being out in the town, instead of driving off to Dallas or Ft Worth which are both fairly close (though of course we all do that on occasion!). 

So I decided to check out the holiday lighting festival this year on the square. Everything I hate about this time of year was still present but it was muted by the wonderful community atmosphere. The square was filled with people. The streets were blocked off so people could roam free through the streets without worrying about cars. And we have Denton's own Brave Combo. To be honest, I've never really cared to much about Brave Combo. They're entertaining and they are certainly wonderful musicians but I'm not the kind of person to put on some Brave Combo music at home. Sure they've won 2 Grammys but Beyonce won 16 and Ella Fitzgerald only won 13 so I'm thinking the musical taste of the Grammy committee is a little off. I'm more likely to throw on some Pixies or The Clash if I want to dance like a maniac anyway! :) They had the crowd from the first note though and everyone had a good time. Crowd surfing even!! Here's a little video of the same festival from a couple years ago.



I ended the night by playing open mic with friend David at a little coffee shop just around the corner from all these activities. We had a great response and I am itching for more. So I guess it's not such a terrible time of year after all. :)

Now if only I can avoid any type of shopping until Jan 2.

Monday, November 29, 2010 0 comments By: Suzanne

Compassion and Disease

I am back at work today. For those of you that don't know, I am a music therapist. Twice each week I run groups at an Alzheimer's Center in Ft Worth. I am reminded constantly at this place of the good a little compassion can do and the ills inattention can cause.

I was listening to my musical love this morning on the way to work, Elvis Costello, and his song Veronica came on. I know that he wrote song about his Grandmother when she was living with Alzheimer's. He gets it perfectly in that song. Everytime I hear it, I'm reminded of one resident or another who fits the lyrics perfectly:

Is it all in that pretty little head of yours?
What goes on in that place in the dark?
Well I used to know a girl and I could have sworn
that her name was Veronica
Well she used to have a carefree mind of her own
and a delicate look in her eye
These days I'm afraid she's not even sure if her
name is Veronica

This first verse is the heart of the pain that families go through. In the media Alzheimer's is often portrayed as an elderly person who can't remember current events, can't make new memories, but remembers the past clearly. This is not true. It MAY be true for SOME who are in the very early stages but for most this terrible disease affects all memories, and they may forget even their own name. It also affects more than memory. It destroys the brain to the point that, in the end, people are unable to take care of any of their physical needs and speech is completely gone. I see family members struggle with this and say to their loved one, "You know, answer the question." But they DON'T know. And they may know an hour from now or they may never remember whatever it is you're trying to get them to remember. Ever.

Do you suppose, that waiting hands on eyes,
Veronica has gone to hide?
and all the time she laughs at those who shout
her name and steal her clothes.
Veronica, Veronica, Veronica

I think the chorus is my favorite part because, in spite of the terrible-ness of it, it makes me smile. I know people like this. I know the nurses and CNAs who shout to be heard by people who are not deaf but simply not "available" at the moment. No amount of shouting is going to accomplish what you want here. In fact, a light touch on the shoulder and a gentle calling of the person's name is more likely to bring them back to the moment.

And I see a lady who is constantly accusing people of stealing her clothes and giving her someone else's stuff to wear. :) This line particularly makes me laugh because how must it seem to them? They're in this place where they feel constantly threatened by people they know they're supposed to know but really don't and "there they go with my clothes! And she put me in this dress that is NOT MINE!"

The next verse talks about memories of a lover. This is common. I hear stories sometimes of lovers who are NOT  the person's spouse. Sometimes it is from before they were married but of course, there are those other times. :) I heard the story from one ex-military man who spent time in Japan. He was half way through the story of his Japanese wife and their 50 children when I realized he was pulling my leg. I said, "15 children?" He said, "No, 50." And grinned big as day. I love those moments. I'm pretty sure he was messing with me but who knows. Made up memories happen during Alzheimer's too. I have to wonder if he had a Japanese lover while he was there who had his love child. It's not like it was an uncommon thing.

Veronica sits in her favorite chair
She sits very quiet and still
And they call her a name that they never get right
and if they don't then nobody else will

But she used to have a carefree mind of her own
with a devilish look in her eye
saying you can call me anything you like
but my name is Veronica

This juxtaposition of  how the person is now to how the family and friends remember them is the main reason why so many family members stop visiting. It is common for the family to visit almost everyday for the first couple weeks and then the visit slowly drop off until eventually they are simply "too busy" to come anymore. The sad thing about this, besides the obvious, is that when the family does come for a rare visit, the resident doesn't remember them at all and is closer to the staff. This makes it even less likely that the family will continue to visit. They justify it by saying, "They won't know I'm there anyway."

And this is where I have to learn compassion for the family members. I can be patient all day with someone in the grips of an illness that affects every part of the brain except emotions and creativity. When they are angry, it is a righteous anger but when they love, it is complete and without limits. They sing with me when they can't even speak and it is because of these small gifts that I have so much compassion and love for them. My patience wears thin though with staff and family members that expect these people to "act normal." This is my challenge, and I am working on it.
Sunday, November 28, 2010 1 comments By: Suzanne

A Flash of Lightning

When I set out to find books on compassion it wasn't because I didn't understand the concept and needed some guidance. This is the principle by which I try to live my life after all. I would hope I understand what it is. :) No, I simply wanted to know how others viewed compassion in their lives and what they do on an everyday basis to make sure they live by it. So I started with books by the Dalai Lama, because who better to discuss compassion?

I settled on A Flash of Lightning in the Dark Of Night, because the back cover starts with this sentence, "Compassion is the guiding principal of the bodhisattvas, those who vow to attain enlightenment in order to liberate all sentient being from the suffering and confusion of imperfect existence." Wow, that's EXACTLY what I'm looking for! Well, not exactly. This book is a detailed explanation of a chapter from The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva. It's not necessary to have read the original text because the parts that are discussed are given in this book, however I feel there should some kind of prerequisite to this book. I couldn't tell you what that might be but this is simply above my head, and I don't say that often.

It has wonderfully titled chapters like "Carefulness," "Attentiveness," "Patience," "Endeavor," and "Wisdom." I made my way through Carefulness and Attentiveness and am now on Patience. I apparently don't have the patience for this book because I must have gone through the other chapters too quick. I don't remember a thing they say. I'm going to back and read them again.

Until then, anyone know a good book dedicated to the principle of compassion?

New Theme and Layout

Well, I think I finally found something that I can be passionate about blogging. I want to document my attempts to live a compassionate life in this insane, materialistic, every-man-for-himself type society that I live in.

I had a very interesting childhood. First, my mother comes from a very conservative Church of Christ home. She was so sheltered that she didn't even know what a bagel was until she was in college. I am not kidding. When I heard that story my first thought was, "So that's why we always had bagels in the house." :) Bagels were a big part of the day growing up. She loves them and now it makes sense.

When my mom went to college she went a little wild, like most sheltered girls do. She raised me very differently. She gave me experiences and let me decide for myself what I believe. She may have gone a little too far to the other side in terms of religion, but I was raised even so to be a "good girl." I like to joke that if I came to her and said, "I believe fairies rule our world and we must placate them in every way," she would have said, "That's a valid idea, but let's talk about it a little more."

In my own way I was very naive. Looking back on high school, I realize now that there were things going on around me with my own circle of friends that I was completely oblivious to. It was through my own experiences in college that I figured out what exactly was going on in those situations. Everyone thought me such a good girl that they didn't dare pop the bubble of naivety that I was living in.

On the other hand, I was allowed to explore religion with a freedom that most people are not given. I went to church with friends and never questioned why my mother never went but sent me along on the church bus or in a my friends' parent's car.  I was interested in Wicca from a very early age (junior high) when most people go through that phase in college. I became interested in Buddhism in college. I eventually found all of these to be too limiting. Now my main philosophy of compassion in everything I do is essentially a Buddhist one but I love the elements of other religions too. I simply don't believe there is one or more beings physically affecting the lives of human and animals. But I will get into what I believe another time...maybe. :)  I don't think it's very important to describe one's beliefs in order to live compassionately. Anyone can do it no matter their religion. In fact, most people like to claim that their own religion's purpose is this very philosophy and if that is true, then compassion should be everyone's main goal in life.
Friday, November 26, 2010 0 comments By: Suzanne

My New Etsy Store!

I will now be selling my hand embroidered items on Etsy. Please come check them out! Here's the first one listed: An Embroidered Change Purse with Singing Birds

There will be more!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010 2 comments By: Suzanne

And the winner is...

Freda at Freda's Voice will now be the host of the Friday 56. Now I know if my blog is idle for weeks at a time, everyone will still be able to play. I am so glad something I started on this little blog was something that people enjoyed and for a long time the F56 was the only thing that kept this blog going. However, as I said before, the book format is simply not a motivator to me anymore and someone who does this kind of blogging better than me (Freda is DEFINITELY that person) should do this. I will still join when I can but Freda should feel free to do with it as she pleases.

See on a Friday in the future!!
Friday, October 29, 2010 12 comments By: Suzanne

The Friday 56: Time to Vote!



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Good morning everyone! I thought this would be a sad day for me but honestly, it's not. :) I think it's time I pass this on, as I simply don't feel connected to this blog format any longer. There are three people who have expressed interest in taking over the hosting of the F56. Today, as you play, also vote for who you would like to host it. I will post a special blog tomorrow to let everyone which blog will now be the host as well as post again next week since quite a few only come over on Fridays and might miss it.

Here's your candidates:
1. Anna at Bite Club
2. Robsad79 at The Bookoholic Zone
3. Freda at Freda's Voice

I don't have a preference but I would like to make sure the F56 continues and I'm not sure it would with me. Please choose someone you think will be as passionate about it as I was when I first started it!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010 0 comments By: Suzanne

The tile is always softer...

On the other side of the screen.

Yes, my dogs have no idea what they truly want. When they're in, they want to be out


And of course when they're out, they want to be in




Truly, they are not so different from us, are they?



Who wants the Friday 56?

I have been thinking about this awhile but I have finally made the decision. I am giving up hosting the Friday 56. I know there are lot of people who really enjoy doing it so I am offering it to whoever wants it. Please post in the comments if you would like to host it. If I get more than one, we'll have a vote on Friday with all the participants on who they would like to host it. Then I'll post the following Friday so everyone knows where to go from now on.

Here's the reason I'm doing this: I am not motivated by the book blog anymore. I love books and I continue to read as much as I ever did but if you notice over the last year or so, I have not posted much about books. In fact, the only thing I've done in the last few weeks is post the F56 because I know there are so many people who enjoy it. If it was just me doing it, that would not even be posted. I'm going to keep the blog, but I think it will be my stories, not other people's (books). That's a little more motivating to me!

So go for it!! Who wants it?
Friday, October 22, 2010 13 comments By: Suzanne

Friday 56: Dark Moon Defender



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week I am reading Dark Moon Defender by Sharon Shinn, one of my favorite fantasy authors. This sentence is fairly dull but it comes at a pivotal moment in the book.


It had taken her less than an hour to get from Janetta's house to her destination; even with a few missteps, it should not take her much longer than that to find her was home.
Friday, October 15, 2010 9 comments By: Suzanne

Friday 56: All About Mushrooms



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week's selection is from a magazine I picked up recently and it's sitting right next to my computer. It's called Mother Earth News and page 56 is an article about Mushrooms.

The thing all fungi have in common - and what distinguishes them from the other biological kingdoms - is they exude powerful enzymes to digest their food externally, absorbing nutrients directly into their cells.

Friday, October 8, 2010 13 comments By: Suzanne

Friday 56: A Flash of Lightning



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week's selection is from A Flash of Lightning In The Dark Of Night by The Dalai Lama. I bought this last week and am still on page 29. I think it might be a little over my head. :) I understand this sentence though! It's very encompassing of Buddhism.

Suffering are numerous and their causes abundant. A wise person can achieve happiness by transforming the causes of unhappiness into favorable conditions.
Friday, October 1, 2010 12 comments By: Suzanne

Friday 56: Mockingjay



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Sorry this is late everyone, Blogger was giving me issues this morning. This week's selection comes from Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I just finish the review so it's still sitting on my desk.

Finnick stands among them, looking dazed but gorgeous.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010 1 comments By: Suzanne

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

 
If you haven't read this, it is the last book in The Hunger Games series. In this book. Katniss is recovering in the fabled District 13 from her second go-round in the Hunger Games, Gale is training with their soldiers, and Peeta is being held prisoner by President Snow. Katniss has unwittingly become the face of the rebellion and must decide whether she will willingly take on the role. She does but with several conditions, one being that she kills President Snow. The rest...you have to read for yourself.

This is probably the quickest I've finished a series in a long time. Again, I am surprised by the number of people that don't like this last book. I thought it was amazing. My guess is that people simply don't like the sad turn of events near the end (I won't spoil it for people who haven't read it - though I suspect I'm the last person on earth to read it). Personally, I was bawling like a baby by the last page of the book. It's interesting how it is written because I didn't even feel like crying over those events until Katniss does in the next chapter. It's so heartbreaking when she loses it and the poor cat...well, I was a wreck. ;)

Now that I've read this, I'm looking forward to checking out Collins' Gregor series. It looks interesting, even if it may not be as heart wrenching as this one. 


Sunday, September 26, 2010 0 comments By: Suzanne

Catching Fire: Audio

All I have to say about Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins is WOW!! I know a lot of people think the series is best on book 1, ok on book 2, and ho-hum on book 3 but I was blown away by this book (no pun intended). Maybe it's because the first was really only about the Games, with the political situation taking a back seat. I loved the story in the first book. There was lots of action which makes it very exciting almost the whole book. But the second book is exciting for a completely different reason. Yes, there's still plenty of action but mainly in the second half of the book. It's just not as important as the political intrigue that comes to the foreground in this book. And I love politics!

Katniss is trying to return her life to normal but her behavior in the Hunger Games has led to uprisings in some of the other districts. Before she and Peeta go on their victory tour, she is given a warning directly from the President: Calm the districts or face the consequences. And those consequences are nasty. Without meaning to, Katniss actually makes the situation worse...


The turn this book takes half way through caught me completely off guard. I figured something odd would happen with the Hunger Games, but what does happen...I wasn't expecting that. Well done Collins. I'm not an easy one to mislead. I love when I can't figure things out. I get bored if I guess it too soon.

Can I also say, what is up with the vampire President? Seriously! Maybe it says in the last book (which I will start tonight and leave off The Lady Elizabeth til I finish this series) but his breath smells of blood and he's been President for 50 years with very little change in his appearance? Totally a vampire. hehehe I know that's not the direction this series is taking but why was this made such a big deal of and then not explained? I really hope it's explained later. I hate loose ends like that. Collins seems to be turning out to be a fairly good writer, so I feel confident she will tidy up that bit. A little confident. :)
Friday, September 24, 2010 13 comments By: Suzanne

The Friday 56: The Lady Elizabeth



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

I've had The Lady Elizabeth by Alison Weir sitting on my shelf for about a year now. I bought it because I loved Weir's Innocent Traitor but it's not hard to get me to like a book about Jane Grey, she's one of my favorite historical figures. I got bored with Tudor historical fiction though. It seems EVERYONE writes only about that. There have to be some other interesting stories out there. History is full of fascinating people. When I finished the Hunger Games I went in search of something from my shelves, saw this lying there and thought, might as well. So far, it's proving a wonderful read. Weir is a great storyteller, and being an historian also, she's gets the facts straight (unlike Phillipa Gregory). I hate when authors take such liberties that it simply wouldn't have been possible for what they write to have happened. Takes me out of the story. So here's this week's selection (Elizabeth is 6 at this point):

"There are so many ladies at court!" Elizabeth had marveled at their rich gowns, their bejeweled  hoods, their air of sophistication.
Monday, September 20, 2010 1 comments By: Suzanne

The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman: Audiobook


I have loved almost every book I have ever read by Alice Hoffman. She is a gifted storyteller. The only one I didn't like was Practical Magic and I know that's only because I love the movie so much. What bothered me about that book was that the beautiful relationship between the sisters in the movie is not important in the book. That's my favorite part of the movie. That's what makes the movie.

But this book...I have no words. hahahaha Of course I do, that's why I write this blog. It was wonderful. The relationship between the three main women in the book is so well developed. You can feel the tension between the mothers and daughters. You want to reach through the pages and MAKE them do what's right.

The Sparrow women have always been a little different. Each Sparrow woman, going back to their oldest known ancestor has a gift, or some cases a curse (depending on that "gift"). Elinor can tell liars. Not that she simply can pick up lies easily, she can smell the lie. Her daughter, Jenny, can see other people's dreams. Not what they daydream of doing with their lives, but their actual dreams as they're sleeping. Her daughter, Stella, can see how others are going to die. This "gift" causes trouble for her family when she begs her father to save a woman who is going to be murdered and he is suspected by the police when it comes true.

If you like a little magic in your everyday life, pick up this book. You won't be disappointed.
Sunday, September 19, 2010 6 comments By: Suzanne

Hunger Games

Ok, I get it. I now know what all the fuss is about because this book kicks a$$! I'm always leery of reading a popular young adult book, especially after the Twilight debacle. :) (I never miss a chance to make a snide remark about that horrible series).

When I first read the blurb I thought, "it's a modern telling of Crete and the Minotaur." So when I read that was her inspiration, I was not surprised but as I read more of the book I started to think it was closer to Battle Royale. If you've never seen that movie, holy sh**. If you can handle copious amounts of gratuitous violence and obvious fake blood shooting everywhere (think Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill) then go find that movie. I normally can't but this movie is so over the top that it just isn't bad. In Battle Royale juvenile delinquents are sent to an island and told to battle to the death. There can only be one winner: the last one left alive. It is also televised for the country to watch as if it's a sport. In the Hunger Games this is essentially the storyline, except these are normal teens simply trying to survive. They come from the outlying districts to provide a sport for the Capitol. The reasoning behind this is to hinder rebellion in the districts (like Crete). Katniss, our protagonist, is not originally chosen but volunteers to save her 12 year old sister who is chosen.

I was so engrossed in this book that I couldn't stop reading. In fact I stayed up till 1:30 the other night and finally had to make myself stop. I would have stayed up all night. I am amazed too at the quality of the writing. Most authors in the young adult market simply can't write. They have a great idea and the storyline is pretty good, but the writing is horrible (e.g. Meyer and Clare). I have been impressed with Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters  and now Suzanne Collins. I will definitely be finishing both these series.
Saturday, September 18, 2010 0 comments By: Suzanne

Short Story Challenge: August Recap

 


If you missed signing up for the Short Story Challenge, it's not too late.  Each month I will post a recap to discuss what everyone has read for the challenge. Everyone who still wants to sign up, go back to original post (to which I will leave a link in every current post). Then leave comments in the current post.

 Now that September is halfway through...:) Sorry I took so long in posting this. Life. Excuses. :)

I only read one collection this month. Well, 1 1/2. I finished Stories Edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio, which I loved. I actually loved every story in that collection. A rare feat. Please, go read those stories. I guarantee you will love them too. Not all are sci-fi or fantasy, as you might expect with Neil Gaiman being an editor, but they all have an element of the weird to them. 

  
 
The other was Short Stories: The Vintage Collection with stories by classical authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Saki, and Thomas Hardy. While a few of the stories were really good, some were just crap. There is no nice way to put it, they were. I demand so few things from a short story but when those few things are let down, I lose all respect for the story. Some great authors simply should not write short stories. They should stick to full length novels where they have time to develop a story in their own way. A short story needs to tell a complete story. Even if down the line, you take that short story and make it into a full length book, I need to know that what I'm reading it is not simply an opening chapter. I need to feel some sense of completion when I finish. It needs to have closure. It can be weird closure, it can leave me wanting more, but there must be a true ending. Too few of the stories in this collection have that. The main character also needs to be developed. I know this is hard in shorts, but give me a sense of who this character is, why he acts the way he does. Make me love him enough to want to care about his story, because otherwise I will tune it out and get bored. Too few of the stories in this had that also. 

If you like the classical authors and are simply curious, pick it up. If you like short stories and want some good reading, skip it.

Noise by Darin Bradley



Ok, so maybe I'm slightly biased because I kinda know this guy (he lives in Denton and is friends with people I know). At least I've met him a couple times. The first time I met him, my friend Laura said, "This is Darin. He's a writer and his book is awesome." It hadn't even come out yet, so we are a very supportive group here in Denton!! He then started to tell me about his book and I too started to think, "Awesome!"

This thriller is most likely shelved in the sci-fi section of your local bookstore though I wouldn't really call it sci-fi, more post-apocalyptic. Or peri-post-apocalyptic. It takes place right here in the merry old town of Denton, which was weird because I'm a very visual reader. What I mean by that is I have vivid pictures in my head of what I am reading on the page when I read. Every time he described something in the book, I tried to picture it not as he was describing it, but as I know it to be. I tried to figure out where in town he might be talking about. He didn't make it explicitly Denton, in fact the town's name in the book is Slade, but if you're familiar with it, it's clear what's talking about. Except sometimes it's not. Apparently he took liberties, which kept messing me up and taking me out of the story a little. Not his fault, mine. Because the book itself is wonderful. I love these kind of watch-out-the-world-is-going-to-hell kind of stories.

What's great (i.e. scary) about this is one is it seems so plausible. The downfall of society is an economic collapse, not environmental or nuclear. Right now every time I turn on the radio, I hear about how much worse our economy is getting and this book makes it all the more real.

It also made me paranoid, which is really not all that hard honestly. If we do every have a break down in society. I think I'll go hide in the mountains all by myself for a few years.
Friday, September 17, 2010 1 comments By: Suzanne

Felicity Sophia - the happy and wise one

I'm going to spend a little time blogging today. I don't know how much I'll get done but I have loads of books to talk about. However, this one is going to be devoted to my newest baby. As my mother says, I am quickly on my way to being the old lady in the shoe, only my children are animals.

I wasn't planning on another animal and this wasn't an impulse buy but here she is anyway...my newest love:


I'm not a very good photographer and I was standing under her, so while these show what she looks like, they don't show her personality. This little girl is a handful. I remember Aurora being a handful when she was a puppy (she still is sometimes) but not like this! WOW! It's like I brought a human baby in the house. Except you can't lock a human baby in the cage when you leave or get mad because it's bedtime and she's snippy (the main reason I don't have children! hahahaha). Of course, she'll never take away the crown from the Queen of bedtime snippiness: Lucina. The only difference is her beak is much bigger! She didn't draw blood last night, I don't think she would have unless I pushed the issue, but she sure did bite me. "What did you do to this beautiful creature?" I hear you wondering. I tried to cuddle. I swear. She loves to cuddle, most times. But it was 9:15 and obviously that is past bedtime. I was late getting to cleaning last night and she was on top of the cage playing with toys (or destroying with amazing ferocity, I should say) while I cleaned and got them ready for night-night. I picked her up to cuddle a little before covering them for the night. She reached toward me like she was gonna give me kisses (she gives the sweetest kisses) and bit the fire out of lip, then turned and did the same to my hand. Little bitch. In you go. hahahaha. Certainly not happy at night time and obviously all wisdom on my part has gone out the window. I'm lucky she's not a Cockatoo or a Macaw. I might have lost my bottom lip.

"What is she?" I hear you asking. She is a Black-Headed Caique (KI-eek). They derive their name from their white breast and belly which has a ruffled looked. A ruffled, white dress shirt is called a caique. They are little birds with large personalities. They are like a large parrot stuck in a small body. However, their small-ness is misleading too. Here's a good comparison. Cockatiels, like my Lucina, tend to be 10-14 inches long. This includes the amazing tail. Lucina was weighed this week and is 110 grams (about average for cockatiels). I haven't measured her because unless I have help, it's impossible but I'm sure she fits in this category. Caiques, like Felicity, tend to be 9-11 inches, but they don't have that extra long tail. So, she kinda looks as if she's the same size as Lucina but get this: Caiques weigh 150-160 grams! That's a huge difference when you're that little. And I can certainly feel it when I pick them up. Her head is also much larger than Lucina's (and therefore a much larger beak). I'm not sure exactly what Felicity weighs, but as a good birdy mom should, I'll be getting a scale soon. I'm trying to figure out how I can rig a perch on a kitchen scale because birdy scales are seriously overpriced. 

"So how did you come by your newest bundle of joy?" Well, like I said, I wasn't planning on getting another bird just yet. I had thought for awhile that I would love to have another, but I had been thinking of a Green Cheeked Conure. I loved my conure and have wanted another one for a long time, but parrots are expensive. I didn't really want another cockatiel. As much as I love Lucina, and she apparently only has eyes for me (seriously dislikes everyone else - except an unnamed person she hasn't seen in awhile, apparently we both have bad taste in men) I wanted a bird I could interact with more. Lucina is not much for playing. She just wants to cuddle and explore. So my bestest friend, whom I call sister, Andrea decided this past spring that she was going to get a bird, only she's not really a bird person. She did tons of research to determine the type of bird that might be best for her and came up with a Black Headed Caique. Then she found a wonderful breeder who sent weekly updates with pictures after the birds hatched. She also sent pics to me to show how the birds were growing. I don't have them all because at the time I thought this was going to be Andrea's baby, and while I loved living vicariously through her and seeing the babies grow up, I didn't save all the pics. I have found a few though that are apparently still in my inbox. Here's the first baby picture:


Ok, if you're not a bird person (and so few of us are) then I know what you're thinking, "OMG what an ugly creature!" They don't have feathers yet and so little of the down, and apparently her sibling there is so young he can't even hold his head up! Felicity is the older one. I love this picture. One, because I think they are adorable and two, because they look like little baby dinosaurs. It really gives credence to the theory that birds descended from dinosaurs. 

I must have deleted the next few because the next I have is a month later:

You see how slowly they develop? This is similar to how the larger parrots develop. Most other birds their size would be close to weening by this time. Lucina was only about 1 1/2 - 2 months old when I brought her home. 

And here they are again a week later:


Personally, I'm starting to think there's something wrong with that other baby. Why is he never standing up straight? I'm glad Andrea got the one she did. Although, maybe the pictures are misleading. Maybe Felicity pushed him down so she could be the star!

I'll stop boring everyone with parrot baby pictures and get on with the story. 

So once Felicity is weened, Andrea and her husband head down to Houston to pick her up. That's about a 5-6 hour drive one way. They go down and back without stopping except to pick her up. 2 days later the bird is mine. :) Andrea has discovered she is truly not a bird person. Poor thing, I feel bad for her. She knows this is a wonderful bird but for some reason can't make herself look past the mess and scaliness and all out birdiness of a bird. She tells me if I don't want this bird it's going back to the breeder. Wait, I can HAVE the bird? Because I certainly don't have the money to buy one and she's adorable and wants so bad to play and cuddle in my hair. And I get this amazing cage with a divider that both birds can live in? Sold! My first thought is, maybe she'll teach Lucina to eat real food. hahahahaha. Lucina was not raised by a good breeder. I got her from a local pet store. While I don't normally like pet store animals, especially birds, they do hand feed their birds at this store which is so important for good pet birds. In the 6 1/2 years since I've gotten Lucina, I have revised my position on this store but at the time I thought they were fairly wonderful. They do hand feed the babies, but once they're weened, they get no human interaction except the customers and they are weened onto seed and millet!! That is the WORST diet for a bird. It was all I could do to get Lucina to switch to pellets, and I still have a hard time getting her to eat fresh fruit and veggies. Felicity was weened onto a variety of foods and loves veggies and fruit. Within 2 days, Lucina was trying the food I made for Felicity! She still doesn't eat much but at least she's nibbling at it. Of course, I'm crumbling Nutriberries (a mix of flavored pellet, grain, and seed) on top of her bowl. Whatever, I have to do to get her to try it! Then at "family breakfast" on the 3rd day I shot this:

 Felicity is happily munching away at everything in sight, while Lucina is as far she can be without falling off the table, happily ignoring even the food I put directly in front of her. Then, viola! She turns and tries the apple and orange. She appears to like the orange better and a few minutes later I shot this:


Success!!!

The Friday 56: The Grand Design



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!



To show what a complete nerd I am, today's selection is The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking. This is my nighttime reading right now so it's next to my bed. I usually have two books going at once, my fiction that I carry everywhere with me and the non-fiction by my bed. I am really bad about finishing non-fiction. There are so many that look interesting but I get bored about halfway through and never finish. All non-fiction. Usually biographies are worse. I couldn't even finish the biography of Aleister Crowley, and you know his life isn't boring, so I know it's me. However, I love this book. I searched this book out at the bookstore as soon as it came out because I was so excited. Maybe I should have stuck with the science major in college...no, nevermind. But I do love this book.

There's just pictures on page 56. This book has WONDERFUL illustrations, except this page. Of course, it's a good representation of what he's talking about, but they're boring pictures. :) I'll put the label here since it's the only words on the page.

Interference Like people, when waves meet they can tend to either enhance or diminish each other.
Friday, September 10, 2010 12 comments By: Suzanne

Friday 56: Hunger Games



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

I can't believe it's Friday again already! I feel like we just did this! Ok, so this week's is from Hunger Games. I know everyone on the planet besides me has already read this but I stopped reading reviews when I decided I wanted to read it. This may have been discussed already (and I'm only on page 9) so forgive me if I'm wrong or behind the times, but does anyone else think this is a modern day Crete calls for the youth to be fed to the Minotaur story?



Haymitch hasn't paid much attention to his platter, but he's knocking back a glass of clear liquid from a bottle.
Friday, September 3, 2010 3 comments By: Suzanne

Yes, I am an inconsiderate blogger....

To all my blogging contacts: I am so sorry. I have not been good at reading anyone else's blog lately (I haven't really been good at posting on my own blog) but I plan on reading blogs this weekend. Even if I don't comment, know that I have probably been to your blog so make it good....

:)

Friday 56: Noise



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!


For anyone who missed my post promoting this book, please take a look: Noise: A Novel by Darin Bradley. He's a local author and I love supporting local authors, musicians, and artists. This town has a wonderful abundance of all for it's size. I've never been anywhere outside of a large city where I have my choice on ANY given night of the week which band I'd like to go see. It's a wonderful dilemma.

I thought I would have this read by now, by life intervened and I haven't read past page 18, so makes as much sense to me as it does to you.

"Target is in custody."
"Spook? Are those ours?"
"What fucking target?"
"Channel cue."
Wednesday, September 1, 2010 0 comments By: Suzanne

Noise: A Novel by Darin Bradley

I feel the need to push this book, simply because I kind of know the guy. Well, I met him once and have seen him around in the bars a few times. hehehe. But how often does it happen that you actually know a published  author you're willing to read? Plus, from what I can tell, the town in the book is based on Denton, TX (where I live). That's just too cool. The book just came out today and I was actually fairly excited when I read what it was about. I'm a sucker for apocalyptic type stories.

From Amazon:
In the aftermath of the switch from analog to digital TV, an anarchic movement known as Salvage hijacks the unused airwaves. Mixed in with the static’s random noise are dire warnings of the imminent economic, political, and social collapse of civilization—and cold-blooded lessons on how to survive the fall and prosper in the harsh new order that will inevitably arise from the ashes of the old.

Hiram and Levi are two young men, former Scouts and veterans of countless Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. Now, on the blood-drenched battlefields of university campuses, shopping malls, and gated communities, they will find themselves taking on new identities and new moralities as they lead a ragtag band of hackers and misfits to an all-but-mythical place called Amaranth, where a fragile future waits to be born.


I've read the first two chapters and so far I love the different tone of this book from other science fiction. It reads like the narrator of an indie film. I know, that's a fairly broad statement, but I'm not the literary person here. I'm not really sure how to describe it other than that! To me it makes perfect sense.
It's a short book, 240 pages, and the writing is quick paced. I'll probably have finished by tonight or tomorrow. So different from my last few months of mire that is the WOT.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010 1 comments By: Suzanne

Knife Of Dreams - WOT Re-read

Well here it is. It took me 8 months but my self imposed torture is over!! I have re-read all 11 books leading up to the book that came out last year. Phew!! I can't believe it took this long. Oh wait, yes I can. All the books are 1 gazillion pages long.

What was so weird in reading Knife of Dreams again was that I truly didn't remember most of it so it was like reading a new book. I think part of the reason was that it had been so very long in between the last few books that I forgot some of the recent storylines even when I read it the first time. When what you're reading doesn't make complete sense, it doesn't really stick with you.

It's been a great ride for me reading all these again, but I have to say I will probably never do it again. The good part of it is I can't say there's a book I don't like anymore. Everything makes sense when you read it back to back (for the most part) like this. 

I think the one major issue still is relevant though: there are way too many storylines trying to compete for major time. I enjoy most of them but it muddies the series. I know everyone else has already read The Gathering Storm, but having put it off, I really hope Sanderson finds a way to bring all these competing storylines together in a comprehensible manner. Apparently the paperback will be coming out at the end of September and Towers of Midnight will be released Nov 2. I figure I will wait for the paperback. Give my brain a break by reading some books that are COMPLETELY different. I've listened to a lot of short stories on audio and a couple audio books but I haven't read much outside of this series since January. I NEED something different. And I have it! But you'll have to wait for the next post to find out what it is!

By the time I finish the paperback (all 1120 pages, seriously?) I should be ready for the new one! I'm so excited that this series is finally coming to end. I will do a little jig when I read the last page of the last book. Truly, I'll even get it on video so everyone can see!

I want to share one more thing. This beautiful cover for the ebook version of Knife of Dreams. I still think the one for Shadow Rising is the best, but this is very well done.

Monday, August 30, 2010 0 comments By: Suzanne

**** Me, Ray Bradbury

For lovers of Sci-Fi, I have no words for this. You simply have to watch and see for yourself!


Friday, August 27, 2010 11 comments By: Suzanne

Friday 56: We The Living



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

We The Living by Ayn Rand is the closest to me today because I was trying to get my mother interested in it last week when she was here and I never put anything away.

He looked down at her; she sat on the steps at his feet looking up at his face. He saw no fear and no appeal in her eyes, only an insolent calm.
Friday, August 20, 2010 24 comments By: Suzanne

Friday 56: Picking the guitar



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

I bought this book to improve my guitar playing last week. I've made it through the first exercise. I'm not a very motivated practicer.

Most of the G chords you'll be playing will be fretted in the F position, moved up tot he third fret.

Yeah, sorry it's so boring this week!
Thursday, August 19, 2010 3 comments By: Suzanne

School Blessings And Important Separations

I know many of the people who will read this are very strong in their Christian beliefs. That's perfectly fine and I hope no one will take offense to what I am about say here, but I am PISSED OFF.

There is a reason we have separation of church and state in this country. No one should feel force to worship in a way that is wrong to them. If officials were allowed to enforce one belief over another, it could easily lead to people being fired from jobs because they go to temple instead of church or even because they might go to a Baptist church instead of a Pentecostal one. It's not like it's unheard of for even two people who both believe that Jesus is the son of God to also believe the other person is going to Hell for not praying the same way. My family is Church of Christ, I've heard this preached IN THE CHURCH. That kind of hate speech (don't even attempt to argue that one, saying someone is going to hell is hateful and judgemental - no matter what you believe) just turns my stomach. It should not be allowed in places that have influence over people in other ways.

I know many people today have this belief that the founding fathers wanted America to be a Christian country, but if that were true then we wouldn't have the separation of church and state written into the constitution. These men came from a country that was killing people for wanting to worship without the idolatry of the Catholic church (the Protestant belief not mine - so please don't read into that statement). They wanted to make sure that kind of thing wouldn't happen here. It was also the Age of Enlightenment and most of them were Deists anyway. They would be turning in their graves if they could see the kind of fundamentalism that has taken root in our political system right now.

I find it ironic that the English now consider it poor taste to bring their religion into political discussions. How did they get it right and we get it wrong? I also find it disturbing that in a race between a Christian politician and a non-Christian, it is a given that the Christian will win, no matter what he has done in his past or what his plans are for his constituents. I personally want someone who has the best interest of the people in mind and don't give one whit about whether or not s/he goes to church. I will vote for a Christian and I will vote for a non-Christian because I don't even pay attention to their BELIEFS. I want to know FACTS.

So with all this in mind I want to know how in world it is possible for a superintendent of schools to hold Christian blessing ceremonies for all the schools in her district and "strongly suggest" that all teachers and principals show up. I wouldn't have as much issue with this if she was planning on doing this with other faiths, but she's not. She's purposely brought Christianity into public schools although IT IS NOT LEGAL. But I might still have a problem with this if she did include Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Baha'i, Hindu, Jainism and whatever else I could think of. Why? Because it is still a public school system. Religion should not be a part of it.Of course this isn't mandatory but to be told it is strongly suggested implies adverse consequences if someone does not show up.  There is a place for religion, a place of learning is not it.

Now this is happening in Ft Worth Texas and I know that there are far more Christians here than non-Christians, but that doesn't make it right.
Friday, August 13, 2010 22 comments By: Suzanne

Friday 56: Knife of Dreams



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Knife of Dreams by Rpbert Jordan has been patiently waiting it's turn in the WOT re-read for awhile now. (hahaha as if a book could do any different) It's turn came and I chose another book. Poor little book got sidelined again. I'm about to finish The Darkness that Comes Before so I guess I'll get to this soon enough. Anyway, it's been sitting on my nightstand just waiting and since I've used everything else sitting there recently, I chose this for the F56 (I have 4 books closest to me at the moment. They're literally stacked on top of each other).

ok, I just opened this and it sounds familiar so I guess I've done this recently too! I really need to put books away! hahaha

Two of the sisters she passed ignored her simply because they did not see her.

Lots of early birds today. Make sure to go check out last week's post to read theirs!
Friday, August 6, 2010 20 comments By: Suzanne

Friday 56: Hero


Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

I have a feeling I might have used this book before but I don't remember for sure and don't feel like looking it up! hahaha! It is the closest right now though. So, from The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell:

But these only served to advance the inevitable; for while still relatively young, the youth exhausted for himself the fields of fleshly joy and became ripe for the other experience.


Monday, August 2, 2010 3 comments By: Suzanne

Short Story Challenge - July Recap

 


If you missed signing up for the Short Story Challenge, it's not too late.  Each month I will post a recap to discuss what everyone has read for the challenge. Everyone who still wants to sign up, go back to original post (to which I will leave a link in every current post). Then leave comments in the current post.

Well, I've done a little more reading this month! That's what happens when you put aside the WOT saga for a little while. :) I've moved on to another series that looks like it's going to be extremely time consuming but I don't plan on reading them all back to back. I have learned my lesson with this WOT re-read!! 

Anyway, with short stories this month it was all audio. I'm just loving having an ipod!! I know, I was living in the Dark Ages before. Getting audiobooks on cd. Jeez, who does that anymore? hehehe. But the problem I've noticed with the ipod is that I can't swap these for other books. With the books on cds, I could list them on Paperback Swap and get another one for only the price of postage. Now I buy a new book and it just sits there taking up space on my computer. Not sure what to do about that. I'd like to share some of them with my friends or mom but how do you do that? I'm not going to delete them until I figure that out (anything short of burning 500 cds for one book). 

I listened to Pump Six and Other Stories  by Paolo Bacigalupi. I've never read anything by this author before so I know nothing about his writing style but I just couldn't finish this. You can read my review here. 

I also listened to Stories edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio. Actually I should say I am listening. I'm not quite finished with all the stories yet (really long book! More than 18 hours). I'll post a review as soon as I'm finished. This is a most entertaining book. The stories are a wide range of genres and styles. Take a moment to look at all the names listed around the edge of the cover (that's why I made the pic so big). Wonderful!! The book was broken into 3 parts for the audio and the first part had simply disturbing stories. Wonderful, horrible, I-hope-this-never-happens-to-me-but-I-can't-wait-to-hear-more stories. The second part has some truly funny stories. Like the frat boy who drops acid right before he's called to be a contestant on the Price Is Right. Oh Yeah, I was laughing so hard I probably shouldn't have been driving. I just finished this second part and am now signing off to go listen to the third part. Let you know...
Friday, July 30, 2010 20 comments By: Suzanne

Friday 56: Carnival


Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

I read a review of Carnival by Elizabeth Bear recently and it sounded so good that I immediately went out to Paperback Swap and ordered it. It came in and is still sitting on my desk while I read other things! hehe. I'm such an impulse buyer.

"A planet like this," Michelangelo said, "and they're wearing nonrenewables and doing who-knows-what to the ecosystem. Haven't seen forests like that--"
--outside of old 2-D movies and documentaries about pre-Change, pre-Diaspora Old Earth. 

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