I grabbed this as a Kindle Deal of the Day thinking “what have I got to loose.” Well…roughly about a week. 

First let me start with an anthropology wank.  Charles Darwin did not coin the phrase “survival of the fittest”, that would have been Herbert Spencer.  So really they should have called them the Spencer / Spencerian Games and not the Darwin Games.  /wank

In the future the country is divided into six cities and people who cause trouble are dealt with by being forced to compete in the Darwin Games. Not only do they have to survive other contestants they also have to survive zombie hoarders. A little bit Running Man (the movie), a smidge The Hunger Games, a pinch of The Walking Dead, and there you go Z2134.

Overall this was okay, not great but not horrible either. The characters were a bit flat and I really didn’t feel much connection to any of them. Sadly the name Anastasia will forever carry the taint of having been in 50 Shades of Grey. Thanks EL James, I used to really like that name.

I got through this book in about a week, which is pretty good considering I only read on the train or in the car while the hubs drives home.  I don’t feel like I wasted the time, but I propably won’t be making an effort to get the rest of the episodes.  I just don’t care how it ends.  I might however, sample some of the authors other works.


Have You Ever Found Yourself

nearing the end of a book and realizing you just don’t care how it ends?  This is how I feel about Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Mists of Avalon.  This book has been floating around my To Be Read Someday list for almost 20 years and one day at the library I stumbled across their copy and figured what the hell I was here looking for something to read.  I am on page 746 of 876 and I just can’t keep reading.  I just don’t care.  I think this reviewer from amazon.com sums it up best:  it was a thinly veiled radical feminist, neo-pagan, anti-Christian screed.   Now don’t get my wrong I am a non-christian, feminist woman and this book bugged the crap out of me.  Vivianne and Morgaine (Morgan le Faye) came across as morally superior, Gwenhwyfar (Guinevere) is a weak spirited, hysterical, fanatical Christian whose fanaticism has rendered her infertile.  Sweet baby cheeses it got old real fast.  I wanted the women to be strong and self-assured, instead they were  scheming and self-righteous.  The treatment of the men was not any better as they all came across as weak willed and easily lead.  This book is going back to the library tomorrow, I am not wasting one more precious minute on this tripe.

Plus I just checked out New York by Edward Rutherford on my Kindle.  I hope I love it as much as I loved London and Sarum.

So tell my have you ever just stopped reading a book because you just couldn’t find the energy keep going?  I would love to hear from you if you are reading this, even if you disagree on my opinion of this book.  Maybe especially if you disagree with my opinion of this book.


Sunday Is For Baking

WOOT! My second post in 2012.  This means I have posted twice as must as I did last year and it is only January.  Don’t stop me now I am on a roll.

I finished Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.  I really enjoyed it, but then again I expected to since so many people told they liked it as well.  It made me wonder a little about all those people I make a point of not making eye contact with on the train.   I have since moved on to Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb.  I’m still pretty new at the Fantasy genre and after plowing through George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, I’m thinking I should have taken some time off to read something completely different to cleanse my literary palette.   Don’t get me wrong, at the half way point Assassin’s Apprentice is still a good book but I don’t think I have been able to appreciated it as much as had I waited a couple of months.

When we moved into our new offices this past November we lost a handful of old friends: internet radio, our heaters for the cooler parts of the office, our fans for the hotter parts of the office and our trusty old toaster oven.  Well, it turns out the new building doesn’t allow any of these things.  Of all those things I miss the toaster oven the most.  I probably start 200 of my 260 work days (not including holidays, vacation and sick days) with a delicious high carb item like  bagel or english muffin.  Since they failed to retain the services of Toasty I have had to find another way to start my day.  Oatmeal was a bust since it took too much effort, cereal and milk involves carrying too much stuff and yogurt just doesn’t hit the carb spot.  So I settled on muffins.  I tried the recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and they turned out dry as stones.  Warming them didn’t help.  Butter didn’t help.  By Friday it was hard to choke them down even with a large cup of coffee.

So I went looking for a new recipe and thought “I wonder if there are any muffin recipes with yogurt”.  Lo and behold there are.  Lots of them.  I didn’t make it past the first one.  These are without a doubt the best damned muffins I have ever eaten…and I’ve eaten a few.  The list of add ins are only limited by your imagination.  Our favorite is chocolate chip.  Apple comes in a very close second.  I even tried to make a Dutch Apple muffin but the brown sugar crumble stuff ended up sinking to te middle so they turned out more Dutch Apple Surprise.

My advice is go RIGHT NOW and print that recipe.  You can thank me later.

Cleaning House and a Little Remodeling

Not my actual house mind you, but my blog house.  Turns out I suck at keeping up with this blog.  So this year I’m going to try something a little different.  Instead of just taking about books I’m going to expand into food, knitting, maybe some gardening, my general cheapness…you know everyday stuff.  I will try to limit how much I talk about my dog and his boy because who really wants to listen to me go on and on about those two.  Believe me I could go on…for hours.

One of the greatest things to happen to books since the Kindle is library lending for the Kindle!  Love it!  Too bad every book, and I mean every book, available from my local library system has a waiting list.  Even the 5 million Star Wars books have a waiting list!  Who reads those?

Speaking of reading.  My number of books read is going to drop off dramatically in 2012.  See my job changed late in the year and now I don’t have the time to listen to audiobooks anymore.  Now all my reading will be limited to my time on the train.  I’m hoping to read 15 to 20 books, which is about one book every three weeks.  Good thing I finished all five books in the Songs of Ice and Fire series.  Now I have at least another 5 years to get all my other TBR books read before the sixth book comes out.  If you have read these books and thought about what the food would taste like check out Inn at the Crossroads it is fascinating.  A friend turned me onto this blog after I had read the first 4 books, but let me tell you what, while reading A Dance With Dragons I paid a lot more attention to the food and thoughts of how it would taste.

Happy 2012 and I plan to be updating regularly from here on out.



My Kindle, Just A New Way To Hoard Books

I am amazed that that tiny thing holds 3500 books.  I could download all 1001 Books You Should Read and still have room for 2499 MORE books.  Too bad they are not all available in Kindle format.   The Kindle is probably the best thing to ever happen to someone with a book hoarding problem.

In the past I have had a problem with hoarding books.  Each and every book I bought was my Precious.  I didn’t give them away and I certainly didn’t lend them out if I could help it because I couldn’t bear the thought that some reprobate friend of mine might dogear a page instead of using a bookmark.  As a result when we moved into our home my books required about 20 boxes to get them here.  I’m not sure when or how it happened but one day I realized I didn’t need to keep them all.  There really was no point in holding onto 99% of those books since I was never going to read them again. 

I started with recycling books that were out of date.  No one really wants or needs a copy of Frommer’s Ireland 1994 so out it went right along with Europe on $70 A Day.  I couldn’t believe I had committed the single most blasphemous thing I could think of: I threw away a book!  Surely there is a special place in hell waiting for me right now. 

Next to get culled were the mass market paperbacks.  Those went back into boxed and out to the garage until I had a garage sale.  At the end of the garage sale a nice man offered me $10 for everything remaining on the table and they went home with him.  It was such an amazing sense of liberation to let those books go.  Now I try to keep books moving.  Once I’m done if I can find someone who is interested I will pass it on, if not I put it in the community book pile at work.  Eventually every book goes home with someone.

I am now more selective about the non-Kindle books I buy.   Any new, or at least new to me, books that come into my  home are books that are destined to become part of my permanent library.

Now I just need to figure out what to do with all those old college text books…

Make That 53!

Hound of the Baskervilles squeeked in just under the wire for 2010.


While not exactly the answer to life, the universe and everything it is the number of books I read this year.  Can I get a WOOT WOOT!!

In 2009 I only read 17 books so I set a goal to read 25 books in 2010.  Little did I know that audiobooks would be like Lay’s Potato Chips: you can’t have just one.  In fact 32 of the 52 books I read this year were audiobooks.  It all comes down to logistics.  I have roughly 60 to 90 minutes a day to read a book I have to hold and I have about 20 hours a week that I can listen while I work. 

I discovered the Playaway this year.  It has the same surface are as a credit card but is much thicker.  Now instead of having to stop listening when I have to get up to do something I can keep listening because this little beauty can be worn around my neck.  The downside is they run in the neighborhood of about $60 each so I get them from my local library.

There is a new addition to the family this year.  My new Kindle.  I love it.  I have had it for 3 weeks and I already have almost 30 books downloaded.For the first time in a long time my Christmas bonus was not earmarked for something stupid like rent or groceries so I actually got to spend my bonus on me.  Of course I did buy it while I still had a library book that I needed to finish.  Having all those books that I want to read is like when I was a kid and my mother would make cookie dough that had to rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours.  Just like it was torture knowing there were potential cookies I couldn’t eat it is torture having books I can’t read until I’m done with the one I have.

My goal for 2011 is to read 55 books so wish me luck.