The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card

Alright Sci-fi fanatics, here’s one for the wishlist! Honestly, I had some trouble getting into The Worthing Saga at first. The structure of it is a little bit different and for some reason I’ve been picking OSC books with a bizzare structure lately. But it’s good once you adjust to it. It’s actually sort of three books combined into one – three prior works that he perfected into one work.

It’s a complex tale, but a very well told tale. It opens with the “day of pain” on a planet that has never known pain or sorrow. A civilization that has never grieved suddenly grieves the death of loved ones, suddenly feels physical pain and they don’t know why. It’s soon made clear why to a young boy named Lared when two strangers arrive on his planet named Jason Worthing and Justice. They appear to be walking on water and have eyes that are of an intense blue color. And they speak directly into his mind. We soon learn that Jason has come to Lared’s planet so that Lared can record Jason’s story, The Worthing Saga.

Jason comes from a planet named Capitol and has lived for centuries due to a drug called SOMEC. Capitol was once a beautiful land like any other but now has no green space and is covered in steel. SOMEC allows a person to live seemingly forever by causing a drug induced hibernation for years where one doesn’t age and then you’ll be awake for a few days or a few years depending on your level in society.

Card adds to the mix a character named Abner Doon who is a powerful man who sends Jason on a mission to colonize a new planet during his youthful years and as he tells Lared his story we see the uprising of a new civilization from it’s roots. Card works his typical magic in these sections creating some amazing character interactions and some intensely emotional scenes that are heart pounding and heart wrenching.

The second and third parts of the book are short stories that take place in different parts of the novel….things that are alluded to in the novel but are further explained in the short stories. Like I said, very different structure, but it worked out really well and it was a really neat reading experience.

I really enjoyed this one and it’s yet another excellent Card book to add to the library. Highly recommended!

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Weekend Plans

I’m so excited about the Readathon tomorrow! I didn’t register for it this year because I have a friend in town from Florida so I can’t commit to anything, but I’m going to try to read as much as I can like I did last year. I ended up reading three books during the read a thon last year even though I hadn’t signed up. What I’m most looking forward to is following everyone’s progress. I had so much fun following Debi and Eva’s progress last year and I’ve discovered so many great new blogs since then, so this should really be fun. I’m having a great time reading everyone’s gear up posts!

Meanwhile my arms are recovering from my latest acquisition, a brand new Nintendo Wii!! This thing is so much fun but it proves how very out of shape I am :p I bought it last weekend as my present to myself after the first paycheck came in…now it’s time to start saving :p I’ve always been a HUGE video game fanatic and Nintendo has really taken it to a whole new level with this thing. I can’t wait to start testing out some of the new games for the system.

We’re supposed to go to a water party on Sunday and I’m not really sure what’s all involved with that, but it sounds like fun. All I know is that summer is definitely here and it’s been extremely hot so anything that involves submerging ones self in water and a few beers sounds good to me! I shall see on Sunday what exactly this is and report back then 😉

Oh, and Weekly Geeks #9! I’m actually ahead of the game on this one! See that little tab up there that says “Challenges”? If you click on that it will bring you to a list of all of my current challenges, all of the books that I have to read, a strikethrough of the ones that I’ve read and a link to the ones I’ve reviewed. Lesson learned from this year. Don’t get yourself over involved in challenges! I’m in way to many right now and it really just doesn’t allow for reading for fun. Nymeth mentioned something similar in her weekly geeks post.

Total random post, I know, but so is life…

Summer…ugh…

I’ve been in the summer funk lately. Summer just seems to suck all of the life out of me. Combine that with all of the recent events lately and you get the reason for my lack of blogging. I tend to hide in a hole and just shrink away from it all. But I assure you I’m still alive and functioning. Good things have been happening though. Dad’s doing remarkably well. I have a friend in from Florida right now which is another reason that I haven’t been blogging much recently and the job’s been going really well.

In the midst of all this I’ve managed to finish one book…one book….It’s This is What I Did by Ann Dee Ellis and I’ll write up the review later on, but it was quite good and very different from anything I’ve read before! It’ll count towards Darla’s Irresistible review challenge as Becky reviewed it awhile ago and that’s the reason that it was on my wishlist. It’s written almost like a playscript and it’s a YA book that examines the life of a 13 year old boy who moves to a new town after a traumatic event in his old town hoping to find a better life. But he doesn’t at first. It’s filled with little pictures that divide sections that give clues about what’s going on and lots of palindromes like “Ten Animals I Slam In A Net”…They read the same backwards and forward. Good book and it would be perfect for the readathon this weekend at just 157 pages…I read it in 1 sitting and couldn’t put it down.

I plan on doing the summer goals meme soon to get me back on track. One of those goals is going to be to start blogging more regularly. I’m thinking that if I set a goal for myself, maybe at least 3 times a week, I’ll stick to it. It’s so much easier for me to blog during the fall and spring for some reason. The weather just lends itself to it and I’m in such better moods. Funny how the seasons affect us that way.

Hope everyone else is doing well. It looks like Megan is going to be able to make it into town next week, so I may still be a bit of a stranger for a little while, but I’ll be back soon. Miss you guys 🙂

Once Upon a Time II Challenge Completed!

Sadly the Once Upon a Time II Challenge has come to a close, but it was such a great experience as it was last year. I can’t thank Carl enough for hosting this. I’ve always enjoyed reading fantasy, fairy tales, folklore, and mythology, but he manages to make it just that much more exciting. He’s an amazing host and I personally couldn’t ask for more out of a challenge. Thanks again man!

Here’s what I read:

1. The Blue Girl by Charles deLint
2. Gifts by Ursula LeGuin
3. The Book of Flying by Keith Miller
4. Here, There be Dragons by James Owen
5. The Wood Wife by Terri Windling
6. The Book of Ballads by Charles Vess
7. The Bone Doll’s Twin by Lynn Flewelling
8. Tamsin by Peter Beagle
9. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
10. Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham
11. The Raven by John Lawson
12. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
13. Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic ed. by F. Brett Cox and Andy Duncan

It would be really hard to pick a favorite out of all of these, but I was truly blown away by The Bone Doll’s Twin and The Book of Flying. I wasn’t disappointed by a single one though and I’ll be reading all of these authors again!

Can’t wait for the RIP III challenge now!

When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris

Everyone should read this book. I’ve loved David Sedaris’ books ever since I’ve discovered them. For those who haven’t read any of them before, they consist of essays which are mostly slices of life, mostly slices of his life, and they tend to be written on the comical side. What I love about books like this is that though we haven’t all shared the same experiences as each other and while we don’t live the same lifestyle as everyone else, we can share certain emotions and certain feelings and enjoy a good laugh or a sympathetic sigh at the familiarity of a situation.

When You Are Engulfed in Flames has already topped the New York Times Bestseller list and rightfully so. I enjoyed it from it’s opening pages where Sedaris talks about the presence of germs on nearly every surface including his partner’s mother’s leg all the way through the final section which logs his final days as a smoker and his journey quitting while in Tokyo (I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard). For those who enjoy cultural references, there are many to be had as he discusses the different nuances of the places he’s lived and traveled including Normandy, Paris, New York, and Tokyo among many others.

About halfway through the book, I decided that it was no longer safe to read this one in public. I was outside reading on my back porch and I got to a chapter called “In the Waiting Room”. The chapter talks about his time in France and how one of the first phrases he learned was “d’accord” and how it gets you along because it means “ok”. He was asked to go into a doctors office and strip down to his underwear and he answered “d’accord” but didn’t know where he went after that since there were three doors out of the changing room. He chose one of the doors and had a seat and soon noticed that other people were entering the room but were fully dressed while he was not. He of course describes this much funnier than I am, but needless to say, I’m laughing more than I ever have at a book in my backyard while my neighbors are in their backyard thinking I’m losing it….so I moved it inside and I didn’t read this one in public anymore. I wouldn’t advise that you do either. The next essay, entitled “Solution to Saturday’s Puzzle”, starts with this sentence: “On the flight to Raleigh, I sneezed, and the cough drop I’d been sucking on shot from my mouth, ricocheted off my folded tray table, and landed, as I remember it, on the lap of the woman beside me, who was asleep and had her arms folded across her chest.” I hadn’t even recovered yet from the last chapter…

Through all the humor there’s a raw honesty and vulnerability to this book. It’s a memoir in a way but it’s more than that. It’s almost a memoir on the state of the world. Sure we get pieces of David’s life and pieces of his family’s life, but we get to see the world through his travels and through the interactions of those around them during the events of the world today. It’s a book that I thoroughly enjoyed throughout as I have the previous two books I’ve read by him, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and Me Talk Pretty One Day.

Sedaris can also be heard frequently on NPR’s This American Life and When You are Engulfed in Flames is also available on Audio CD. Whichever version you choose, I hope you check it out!

Happy Fathers Day, Memes, and Bookworms!

I have to say that today was the best father’s day we’ve had in a long time. After all he’s been through it was good to see dad back home today and starting to come around to his old self. He was even up and cooking! His favorite thing to do. He needed to take breaks to catch his breath, but we ended up with a delicious dinner of crab cakes with bearnaise sauce, stuffed potatoes, and creamed spinach. I for one would not be able to do all of that after getting home from the hospital on Wednesday. We surprised him with a new grill for father’s day which he loved and I’m sure he’ll be using that too in no time.

To all of you other fathers out there, I hope that your day was an enjoyable one and well spent with the ones you love!

Now on to a couple of meme’s. Nymeth started this new meme that I absolutely love and Becky tagged me for it by recommending a book for me called The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. I’ve already added it to the wishlist of course and it sounds great! The meme is called the Blogger-Book-Keyword meme and here are the rules:

  • Pick 5 blogging friends (it can be more if you’d like);
  • For each of them, think of a book that reminds you of them, or that you think they’d like;
  • Explain in 3 to 5 keywords or short phrases why you think they’d enjoy the book, or why it reminded you of them;
  • If you know for sure that the person has read the book in question, then pick another, but if you’re not quite sure, go ahead and use it anyway;
  • If you have reviewed the books in question, you can link to your reviews;
  • Tagging others is not necessary, but feel free to do so.

1. Deslily: Sabriel by Garth Nix: Young adult, fantasy and magic, wonderful characters, alternate worlds

2. Eva: The Bone People by Keri Hulme: Maori culture, Booker prize winner, a favorite of mine :p, beautifully written, heartbreaking and heartwarming.

3. Dewey: The Arrival by Shaun Tan: Graphic Novel, immigration, fantasy, amazing art, story without words.

4. Nymeth: And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave: (warning, this one’s hard to find but well worth it if you can!) Southern Gothic, tale of a deaf mute, tragic, beautiful, it’s written by Nick Cave!

5. Debi: Mirabilis by Susan Cokall: Witchcraft, Sainthood, Medieval, beautifully written, tragic tale.

All of these except for The Arrival are books that I’ve never reviewed on this website…I’ve read them all before I started this blog. I decided to share some books here that I hadn’t shared with you before, so I hope that you check them out! They’re all great!

The other meme is the 123 meme that I’m sure you’re all familiar with…I’ve been tagged this time by Bellezza. I’ve actually done this one before, but it’s always fun, so I decided to do it again 😛

Here’s the rules:

1. Pick up the book closest to you, right at this moment (no cheating you literary types!)

2. Open the book to page 123

3. Scroll down 5 lines

4. Share the 6th line with us by writing it in your post, making sure you add the book’s title and its author as well

From David Sedaris’ When You Are Engulfed in Flames: “I was walking to the bus stop one morning when I came upon a well-dressed woman lying on the sidewalk in front of an office-supply store.”

I seriously can’t wait to review this book….it’s hilarious. I’ve had to stop reading it in public for fear of being kicked out of places.

And last but certainly not least, I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that the latest edition of the Bookworms Carnival is up over at Nymeth’s blog, Things Mean Alot and it’s a great one! The subject is Fairy Tales….go enjoy it, she did a great job putting it together.

The Weekly Post

Remember me? I’m starting to become a weekly blogger now which I really don’t like at all, but that’s all that life has given me time for recently. I miss the days of posting at least once a day. Hopefully once I’m settled in this job I can get back to that. Though I have to say that I’m starting to feel pretty darn comfy over there now! And the first paycheck came today which definitely made me like the job even more 🙂

Dad’s back home from the hospital and is doing so much better! Still a ways to go until full recovery but we’re miles ahead of last week. Thanks once again for all of your thoughts. I really think that I’m going to have to do another book giveaway as a thank you for all of your wonderful support during this last month, I just need to think of something special.

I’ve done like no reading at all this week which is just horrible! I don’t think I’ve read anything in the past 3 days. I just don’t feel like picking up a book when I get home at 11 o’clock at night, so I plan on spending the weekend catching up. I’m getting super stressed seeing all of these challenges ending soon. I was tagged by Debi for the Summer Goals meme and that’s definitely going to be one of my goals! Get some of these challenges done or at least organize some sort of method to do that. Anyone else overwhelmed by book piles?

That’s all I’ve really got right now…hope everyone has a good weekend. I’ll be back for another post or two over the weekend. Now to go catch up on this ridiculous number of posts on my google reader!