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Top Ten Tuesday 24 July 2012

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).

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Top Ten Tuesday 2 July 2012

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!