So, quick news before I get down to business…
Friday night was my friend’s first fight (we’ll call her Belle…she kind of looks like Belle from Beauty and the Beast…this is Turtle’s fiancée)…and she kicked butt. Literally. I drove an hour to watch a killer minute and a half round and I’m super proud of her! Yay!
Saturday was the Wine Walk on Delaware. While it didn’t to much for my current diet, I made some good connections and had as much fun as I do any time I get to talk about wine for several hours straight. I had to ice down my voicebox the next day because they had me attempting to talk over a guy playing music in a very echo-y space, so that was rough, but I still had a lot of fun. Next time I’m going to bug my contact to put the musician upstairs or something where I don’t have to strain my voice. (Of course, I’m going to kick my contact’s butt if he puts another scented candle in my tasting area….)
Sunday was the birthday of one of the boyfriend’s cousins and also her last game before State Championships in softball. They won the game the boyfriend and I made it down to, so yay! They ended up losing the championship, but it was to a team that plays competitively for the whole season (her team plays recreational, then “all-stars” are chosen to play in tournaments to get to go to the state level). And! They only lost 2-0 to these girls that looked about 5 years older than the league (seriously, I wonder what’s in the water in that town!).
So, enough rambling, time for the weekly bit of awesome sauce from the folks at The Broke and the Bookish…
Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Book
10. Kibou-diani from Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold: More specifically, I LOVE the catacombs beneath the world. The darkness and panic is just simply perfect for the opening of this wonderful book in the Vorkosigan Saga.
9. Barsoom from A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs: I know it’s not scientifically correct, but I LOVE Barsoom (and I can’t wait to visit its real-world location for the John Carter film next month).
8. Goodsmanwood from The Darkest Part of the Woods by Ramsey Campbell: The woods are very dark and deep, so to say…and the book uses its setting to beautiful degree as its main character. [More on my review over at SciFi4Me.com]
7. Westeros from the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin: Duh! Can’t you just fill the winter’s chill creeping up on you from the very beginning of A Game of Thrones? The wolves feel real, as does the snow, and the heights of the Eyrie dizzied me from the first passage.
6. Panem from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Taking a note from the wonderful Julia from The Broke and Bookish, I have to agree with her choice of Panem. It’s dreary and dreadful in District 12, but it feels so dreary it can’t help but be real. I almost feel like I’ve stepped back to the old coal mines of the 18th century in this wonderful bit of YA fiction.
5. Fortriu from The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier: While it is technically based off of a historical place, Juliet Marillier fills in the details of the 6th century Pictish homeland as if she had grown up there herself. Everything from the flora and fauna down to the reasons for various deity worship ring perfect in this first novel of a trilogy.
4. Sevenwaters from Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier: She does it again! Sevenwaters feels so real, I feel like I need to go there on vacation. It’s the perfect escape!
3. Midkemia and Kelewar from the Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist: Oh my god, can these exist, please? While Midkemia provides the perfect typical fantasy setting, Kelewar provides a beautiful (and colorful) tropical alternative not often seen in the genre.
2. The world of Harry Potter from the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling: Again, a duh. How many of us have waited on our letters from Hogwarts? After all, Quidditch is a sport nowadays.
1. Middle Earth from The Lord of the Rings books by J.R.R. Tolkien: And, lastly, a duh. I would live in Mirkwood in a heartbeat (of course, then again…spiders).
So, I know I’m a slacker. It was a long weekend. More fun on the week later, but for now…
“Top Ten Books For People Who Liked X Author”
(In no particular order)…
If you like F Scott Fitzgerald, you should read Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez. The cultural differences are obvious, but the beauty of magic and the complex puzzles of life mirror between The Great Gatsbyand Chronicle.
Of course, if you like Gabriel García Márquez, you should read The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. Magic, symbolism, and family, oh my!
If you like J.R.R. Tolkien, you should read The Riftwar Saga by Raymond Feist. Fantasy, magic, and a healthy dose of interesting and well-rounded characters make the books hardcore page-turners.
If you like Joseph Campbell (though not strictly an author so much as a philosopher), you should read The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. The book was unfinished when the Great Professor left this world, but his son Christopher finished compiling the beautiful back story and mythos of Middle Earth.
If you like Laurell K Hamilton, you should read Jeanine Frost’s Halfway to the Grave. It’s the first in a series of stories about a half-blooded vampire huntress and it does well for the vampire genre.
Speaking of vampire genre, if you like Stephanie Meyer, you should man up and read some amazing vampire fiction. My favorites are Dracula(the original novel by Bram Stoker) and Pandora (one of the two “New Tales of the Vampires” books by Anne Rice).
If you like Homer (think back to high school English class…no? The Illiad and the Odyssey ring a bell?), you should readBeowulf. It’s a bit tough as it’s an epic translated from the Old English, but it’s really moving.
If you like H.G. Wells, you should be reading both H.P. Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury…so quit slackin’!
If you like Ray Bradbury, you should read A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs- the source material for the Disney movie John Carter.
And, lastly, if you like to think at all, you NEED to read Confessions of a Pagan Nun by Kate Horsley.
You know…this list really makes me feel like I need to branch out more, but I’m attached to my magic, magic realism, classics, and history. Heh. Oh well, at least there’s still plenty to read!
I can’t wait for Saturday. Or next week. Or the end of August. Or the entire month of October for that matter!
Anticipation is something amazing…the range of emotions you can experience from one simple descriptor is infinite and infinitely awesome (in the original sense of the word). It often strikes me how crazy it can be that the amount of anticipation can actually affect one’s reaction to the event.
Take for instance Dark Shadows. A lot of people were extremely worked up over the movie, expecting Barnabas Collins to be the next big Johnny Depp character. Our buddy, we’ll call him Turtle, went to go see the movie with such anticipation and had a negative reaction to the movie. He passed this reaction along to my boyfriend who then did not hold as much anticipation for the movie and was able to enjoy it when we watched it at the drive-in. It seems to happen all the time.
Of course, right now I’m looking at several awesome things (in the less original sense of the word) and I’m hoping to not lose the favor in my anticipation. Saturday, I should be getting some belated birthday/holiday presents from the boyfriend. I know he spent time on ThinkGeek for these, so I’m thrilled and I can’t wait. I’m pretty positive the time being so short will help so that I don’t get overinflated. Regardless, it’s ThinkGeek. It should be amazing.
Next week? Well, I went a little crazy. In spite of my lack of time to sleep, I’ve decided to apply for a part time “fun” job at a local wine boutique. My callback might come next week. Fingers crossed. I know if I don’t get the job, I won’t be looking for another one, but I still would love to have a little bit more to do back in the industry.
End of August? VACATION! The boyfriend and I are going to be spending a week in Moab, Utah with some friends. I’m so excited to see Barsoom (yup, they filmed much ofJohn Carterout there) and I can’t wait to go hiking. I just wish the weather around here would let up a bit so that I can get my body in a little bit of better shape. Maybe it’s a good thing we’re still 2 months out on that one….
October? Well, a lot of that’s up in the air. But we’re looking at moving, perhaps miss Molly and I will go to a concert, another friend is getting married, and another is having her baby shower (the same one that brought Amoretta into my life).
In anticipation of everything, I really do need to start getting prepared. I’m already trying to save up some money for either the vacation or moving (I’m hoping to win a contest at work for the vacation to free up that savings). I’m also supposed to have my bridesmaids dress already (shhhh…don’t tell). I’m holding up on that because I really want to be in better shape before the vacation (and, as such, the wedding) so I’m being such a slacker (as per usual). I also need to get some boots for both me and the boyfriend and find something that would be good for luggage for a 19 seater plane.
I know, I’ve got a lot of work to do.