Monday, July 29, 2013

The Wolverine

The Hubby and I saw The Wolverine over the weekend and it was great. There were a few surprises. The action was fantastic.  There were even a few scenes that made me squirm (don't drill there... Aahh!). I was a little hesitant, but I found that I really liked how they adapted Wolverine's time in Japan to follow the X-Men movie continuum. I really liked that the movie wasn't all CG and effects.  I liked the chase through Japan, fighting off Yakuza thugs and the interactions with ordinary people.

I loved Yukio.  She was so badass.  She kicks ass the way I love to see females in superhero movies kick ass.  She has skill and confidence.  I'm really (REALLY) hoping she's in Days of Future Past.  I couldn't get enough of her.

A quick note on the 3D; it's not really worth the extra money.  The movie was really good, but there wasn't anything really "3D" about it.  Nothing jumped out at the screen at me.  The 3D wasn't used as I've seen in other movies (like Star Trek).  So, while I recommend seeing The Wolverine, I also recommend saving a few dollars and just watching the regular version.

I think that more people haven't seen The Wolverine yet, because the first Wolverine movie was not good.  Forget that one.  The Wolverine really is nothing like Origins.  It's so much better.  It's more exciting and way less frustrating.  Also, stay for the extra scene "mid-credits", it's so worth it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Clockwork Angel

Cassandra Clare apparently likes to write the main male character as a huge jerk (I had considered swearing, but I'm trying to keep it clean.)  Will definitely surpasses Jace in his jerkiness though. Maybe it's a Herondale thing? I get that something bad happened to Will as a child, but does he have to be so unbelievably mean to everyone? He was so awful to Tessa at the end, even if he does fix whatever his problem is, I don't know how she could forgive him.

I really enjoyed Clockwork Angel, the first book in Clare's Infernal Devices trilogy. The Infernal Devices are the prequel to her popular The Mortal Instruments series (the first book, City of Bones is now a movie being released on August 21.) I really enjoyed the first three Mortal Instruments books, so when I saw Clockwork Angel on sale on day, I thought I'd like it too.  Later I purchased (also on sale) Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess. I have all the books and after reading Clockwork Angel, I can't wait to read them

Tessa has had the worst time if it in Clockwork Angel.  Her kidnapping, her brother, her ability. She doesn't know anything about herself until all this badness starts happening.  Not that it's been easy going for everyone. Charlotte has to struggle to hold on to power. I quite enjoyed Tessa's preconceptions of men's and women's roles changing as the story progressed. Women Shadowhunters were just as valuable in battle as the men, they could be in charge, there are just as intelligent.

I also have to mention that I love Jem.  He's on the cover of Clockwork Prince, so I'm hoping there's more of him in the second book.  He's sweet and intelligent and has an interesting back story.  Having read Clare's previous series and having read a lot books where the lead has two possible matches, though I think Tessa will eventually end up with Will, at this point I'd pick Jem.  

I've read across a lot of blogs that many people preferred The Infernal Devices over The Mortal Instruments. After reading the first book, I don't really see why that opinion is so prevalent.  I enjoyed Clockwork Angel, a lot. Would I say that it was better than City of Bones? No. Honestly, I think they're about the same. Maybe my opinion will change once I've read the whole series, we will see. 

I'm excited to read the rest of the series, all of which I'm glad I own. It's going to be delayed a little though. I finally got my copy of this novel that's been out for a few months, by this new author named Robert Galbraith. Anyone heard of him?

Friday, July 26, 2013

The God Box

Honestly, I never thought I'd read anything called The God Box.  I won Mary Lou Quinlan's ode to her mother almost a year ago through the Friday Reads Twitter hashtag. When I first started tweeting, I noticed #fridayreads on Fridays (of course). It seemed like a fun way to share what you're reading. Well, one particular week, there was a promotion for people who tweeted their #fridayreads. I tweeted without knowing there was a promotion and won two books. I was very surprised and also not sure if/when I'd read them. I finally decided to read The God Box. I thought about not reading it, since it is not at all the kind I book I would have ever purchased, but the author wrote a note that was sent with the book and... I don't know what convinced me exactly, I finally decided that I should read it.

It was better than I thought it would be. Mary Lou Quinlan mentions her Catholic faith and how very religious her departed mother was.  She talks about it a lot.  Obviously, this was not unexpected as the book is call "The God Box", but I'm usually quite secular in what I choose to read; anything that is too preachy can end up annoying me.  What Mary Lou's mother, also named Mary, does is write little prayers/letters to God and puts it in a box, which she calls her "God Box".  Everyone knows about it.  People apparently loved telling the late Mary all about their lives and troubles; she was a good listener.  She would often tell them that she'll put them in her "God Box."  It was a way for Mary to not be overwhelmed with worry and it gave her faith a boost (or something) by thinking of it as her line to God; through the Box, she felt like he was hearing her prayers.

Quinlin reiterates the process of the God Box a lot.  My mother writes a prayer to God and puts in the box. The first half of the little book is filled with her saying it over and over again.  I almost didn't get past it and had to put the book down.  I didn't put it down though.  I could have read the book in one short sitting, but it took two.  The book is filled with pictures of the little notes and the boxes.  It's also in a sort of magazine style (as the author worked in advertising, this is not surprising.) It definitely gave the book a cute and unique feel.

What interested me and was more prominent in the second half of the book, was the psychological benefit of the God Box.  I'm sure I've read somewhere that if you write your worries down and put them away, like in a box, it relieves the stress on your mind.  As a worrier, this is appealing to me.  There are a lot of recommendations for a "Worry Box" if you search it on the internet.

What I didn't expect was the feminist angle of the book, also found in the second half.  Quinlan writes about how her mother worked and that she always work.  Her mother encouraged Quinlan in her career.  Mary Lou Quinlan became the CEO of an advertising firm.  She founded her own business.  She talks about how her and her mother were strong, independent women.  More than anything else in the little book, I connected to that.  I found by the end I appreciated the blend of faith and feminism that Quinlan had created in the second half of the memoir, so that even if you weren't a Catholic like her and her family (as I am not), you could still related to the story and sentiment of the book.

Just when I thought I was done, Quinlan mentions at the end of the book that there is a God Box app on iTunes.  I downloaded it, just to see what it looks like.  It's done in the colour scheme of the book.  It lets you choose from nine different note papers.  You can mark it as urgent or resolved.  You can look up previous notes.  It's pretty nice, if you want your Box to be an app.  I also noticed a "Worry Box" app for Android (which has nothing to do with Quinlan's book.)  I don't have an Android phone, so I can't really say anything about it, except that it exists.  There are a lot of apps that deal with writing worries down to help relieve you of stress.  I don't think an app is the way to go for me.  I like the idea of using a real box and writing it down on paper.

Writing the letters/prayers on paper is part of the final aspect about The God Box that appealed to me, that it was like a diary.  When Mary Lou Quinlan, her father and brother went through the God Boxes, it was like taking a journey through Mary Finlayson's life.  While the idea of someone reading my diary/journal after I die is a little weird, Mary Lou's family found it brought them peace and they felt closer to the person they had just lost.  I don't think this is something you could achieve by placing your worries in an app.

In the end, I thought the book was cute.  I liked the ideas it provoked, though I found the story itself very sentimental.  I've seen the book marketed as a "keepsake memoir", but I don't plan on keeping it.  I just have to find the right person to give it to, someone who will enjoy it more than me.  I have a couple people in mind, so the next time I see one of them, I'll be bringing The God Box along.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Undead and Unwelcome

Undead and Unwelcome is the 8th book in MaryJanice Davidson's Undead series.  If there are SPOILERS for the first 7 books, it can't be helped.

I'm glad that I've continued with the very light Undead books. Undead and Unwelcome was such an easy and entertaining read. It's just what I've been needing lately. I have to admit, I was worried in the beginning. The first fifty pages in and I was a little miffed at Betsy.  Normally, I enjoy her sarcastic, snarky, I-don't-care attitude, but not right then. Her friend was dead.  They were discussing the funeral.  I understand that she was noticing some weird paranormal phenomena at the same time, but multi-task.  At least pretend to pay attention.  She's in the home of the werewolf king, I'd like to think that she'd know to show a bit more respect.  Maybe her bad behaviour is getting worse with age.  I was hoping that it didn't get worse, because I could only handle so much of this attitude.  It did not get worse, Becky became better and I think learned a thing or two from Michael Wyndham about being a leader.

I got exactly what I wanted from the funeral scene. Betsy did what I was imagining and hoping she would do. Antonia deserved to be mourned by people who actually cared about her and wanted to see her happy. Betsy showed them the truth, even at risk to her own safety.  She showed them again at the Council.  It was great to get these real, raw emotions out of her.

"Why can't we all just get along."  Seriously Davidson, I love these books. But not only is that line eye-roll inducing, if a twenty-year-old read that, I'm not sure they would understand the reference. 

Marc's journal was a fantastic addition. The Undead series is told in first person, from Betsy's point of view, but Davidson changed things up. Marc wrote a diary. From this diary do we get to see what Laura was up to while her sister was away. That young lady is super crazy and in some serious denial. I'm wondering where Davidson is going to take this. Is Laura going to swing for her sister or her mother? And what will happen to the baby?

As much as I have questions, Undead and Unwecome does pretty well as a story on it's own. It is the middle book in what Davidson calls her "trilogy within a series," but for someone who read Undead and Unworthy a while a go, I didn't feel I was missing anything. There was a bit of catch up at the beginning of the book, which was nice, but what mattered immediately was the story taking place in this novel. It's something I appreciate from books in series. 

I really enjoyed the 8th Undead book and I'm glad I have the 9th close at hand.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hmm... I Don't Think So: Top Ten Words/Topics That Make Me Not Pick Up A Book

Opposite of the April 30th topic, the Broke and the Bookish want to know what are the Top Ten Words/Topics That Will Make You NOT pick up a book.  I want to be entertained or enlightened and engaged when I'm reading. I often read "serious" books, ones that deal with difficult topics, that can make me cringe during certain scenes. However, if some of these topics are repeated too many times in the synopsis, they can make me put the book down (though not always).  I think I've become more sensitive to certain things since becoming a parent.  It's something my hubby has notice too.  There are really only three phrases in this vein.

1. Child abuse
2. Serial killer
3. In the mind of the killer.

I just can't handle it if it's graphic.  I read a novel once, and it was so graphically violent and constantly violent, it bothered me for ages.  I also don't like it when violence is used to replace character growth.

Below are words/topics that turn me away for other reasons.  Mostly because I get bored/annoyed.  I read a pretty wide variety of genres, but if these words are too prominent, I'm bound to put the book down and move on to the next one.  I like fluff sometimes, but not too much.

4. Girl needs saving
5. Love triangle
6. Boy/man teaches girl/woman about love

Well, apparently I couldn't make it to ten.  This is just my opinion and is completely subjective.  I have read books that all 6 of those topics were a part of (though not the same book, though that might be interesting.)  I read a fair amount of Young Adult books (I think), but if I see the equivalent of any of those  three phrases splashed all over the synopsis, quotes, etc, I often find a different YA book to read.  In the end, I think it's about quality, not quantity.  You know what I mean?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Don't Read The Introduction First. Also, I'm On Storify

So there it is.  A "story" I created on Storify.  I saw someone post a link on Twitter, so I followed it and that's how I discovered Storify.  I was attracted by the ideas of creating stories using various social media sources.  I think the site definitely needs to make some tweeks to improve how you use it.  Also, they don't connect directly to Pinterest.  We'll see if I stick with it.  It's not like I need another distraction, but it's kind of fun.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dead Over Heels

I decided to continue reading MaryJanice Davidson's Undead series; I've been wanting lighter fair recently. Dead Over Heels is another collection of novellas.  If I had read things in the right order (oops!), I wouldn't have been reading two collections back to back.  Oh well, I enjoyed it. Again, I'll be commenting as I read each story.

Undead and Wed

Undead and Wed is the story of Queen Betsy's honeymoon. It's also a great play on the title of Davidson's first Undead book, Undead and Unwed.  You know what you probably DON'T want on your honeymoon?  You're friend tagging along.  Not just your friend, but your friend and her boyfriend who hates you (and all vampire kind).  It's not really what I expected from the story of Betsy's honeymoon.

Unlike the first story in her last collection, though their was some sex, it wasn't all sexed up.  There was a real story.  There was a plot and a mystery to solve. I really enjoyed the story, the characters.  It's what I was looking for in the last collection. Undead and Wed reminded me why I started following Betsy in the first place.


Survivor is a mermaid tale.  It takes place after the second Fred the Mermaid book.  I've never read this series of Davidson's, but now I think I want to.  This story doesn't involve Fred, but more reflects the results of her actions.  Survivor is about Ree and Con, a mermaid and a human man.  I really enjoyed them.  They were in a situation that I have not seen with Davidson's vampire and werewolf characters.  If a vampire was in Con's situation, he probably would have died no matter what Ree did.  What Survivor did more than anything was make me interested in Davidson's Mermaid world.  It is different from the Undead world.  I want to know what led Ree to the point where she made the decision to help Con.

I've also noticed that Davidson is a fan of the antagonistic love/hate relationships.  Her fictional couples bicker a lot.  Some more than others, but there's always some kind of argument happening.  Do couples in real life bicker/argue as much as her characters?  Sometimes, it's friendly couple bantering, oftentimes it's real arguments.  It's making me think, which if a paranormal romance story can make me think, I guess it's a good one.

Speed Dating, Werewolf Style; Or Ow, I Think You Broke The Bone

Werewolves are weird. Mating is a weird werewolf compulsion. Cain has to find a mate before her thirtieth birthday or... what? She'll be shunned? Go crazy? Drive Saul crazy? What? It's not a male/female thing either. They're all crazy about mating/marrying. Bur maybe that's how Davidson likes them. 

I thought for a minute that my assessment after reading Survivor was wrong.  For half the story, the couple were being so nice to each other.  There were kind words and meals shared. It was really sweet.  Then Blam! Antique end tables are being thrown across the room. I have come to the conclusion that Davidson writes antagonistic couples. But that's cool. I still really enjoyed this story. I can't really say much more about it without giving the plot away. 

In Conclusion...

I really enjoyed Dead Over Heels, though there were only dead people in the first story. It was a fun collection. I definitely liked it better than Dead And Loving It, I think because there was more plot in the novellas. There was character development, which made me invested in their outcome. Though I was quite happy with Undead and Wed, I think Survivor was my favourite out of the three. I might end up reading Fred the Mermaid one day. Dead Over Heels is a must for any Davidson fan. I'm glad I decided to read all these entertaining stories.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Let's Get To Know Each Other: Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

This week The Broke and The Bookish want to know who we think are the Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition.  I did this topic way back in March 2011; I won't repeat authors.  I didn't even make it to ten last time. Can I 2+ years later?  I'm going to include along with the author's name, something they've written that I've enjoyed.  In no particular order.

I reached ten!  I know some of these authors have won awards and have multiple books under their belt, but a lot of them I don't see on other blogs.  I don't read about them in newspapers and magazines.  I try to talk about them in real life with people and they don't know who they are!  For some of these authors, if it wasn't for Goodreads or my attraction to pretty/interesting book covers, I might not even know about them.  Some are "classic" authors that have been forgotten when others are constantly discussed.  Each of those ten books I loved, for different reasons, and I would recommend them.

Who do you think deserves more recognition?

Monday, July 15, 2013


Kerri Cull seems like she'd be an interesting person to know in real life.  I'm not thinking this just from the poems in Soak, but also from the "Discussion Questions" and the "Recommended Soundtrack" found at the end of the collection. I might like those things at the beginning of the book or maybe a contents page indicating they are included at the end of the book.  It would give the reader something to look out for or listen to as they read the poems.  One day I can see myself rereading the poems with the questions in mind and some Tragically Hip playing in the background...

I won Soak from The 49th Shelf, a bookish website that is all about Canadian literature.  Though it took a while to get here, I'm glad that I won this little book of poetry.  It was a great and quick read. I think it's another positive step towards me reading poetry again regularly.

Each poem in Soak seems to be an event in the author's time line, her life.  Is it all her?  Are these the poems of a character she has created?  Could be either.. or both. I find the idea interesting and I liked that the poems together told a story.  I'm not sure if I'd have felt the same impact if I wasn't reading the collection as a whole.

I also felt that many of the titles of the poems seem more like the first line, but not all of them. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Maybe I'd like consistency since the collection tells a story.

If you want to sample Kerri Cull's poems, and I recommend you do, click the link below.  You will get to read a poem from each of the three sections (stages of life).

I'm very glad I won Kerri Cull's collection of poems.  I think they're great if your not sure about reading poetry or if you're not sure where to start.  The poems form a narrative that's easy to enjoy.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Dead And Loving It

Dead And Loving It is a collection of four novellas, all around 50-80 pages, about the Wyndam Werewolves and their friends, by MaryJanice Davidson.  From the title, I thought it was part of the Undead series.  One of the novellas comes after Undead and Unreturnable and involves the main Undead cast, but it's really about the werewolf.  These stories are all about werewolves finding love.

Santa Claws

Wow, is Santa Claws all sexed up!  At first we meet the two characters, Alec and Giselle.  Alec is a gorgeous werewolf and Giselle is a curvy brunette.  She's a little self-depricating, which I am not a big fan of.  She keeps talking about how big her ass is.  I get it, okay, you have a big butt.  Alec isn't blind. He comes on strong, even though he's trying to hold back.  The creep/stalker warnings do go off for Giselle, so that's good, and he tries to woo in a non-scary and creepy way.  There's not too much plot to the story, but what saves it is the end.  The little twist with Giselle certainly surprises Alec.  Without it, I don't know if I would have liked the story as much.

Monster Love

Simply, I didn't like it.  There was lots of sex, but too much violence.  I couldn't connect with the characters. They had poor decision making abilities.  That's all I really want to say about it.

There's No Such Thing As A Werewolf

The cutest story so far. Definitely more romance/relationship development than the other stories.  I really enjoyed Drake and Crescent. They had such interesting, contrasting personalities.  I'm also seeing a theme with werewolf males and mating. They can be... aggressive. I also liked the introduction of a new supernatural element to the story. I think I like that Crescent just can not be surprised.  I actually wouldn't mind reading more about this couple.

A Fiend In Need

This was the story I was looking most forward to. A Fiend In Need tells the story about how Antonia the werewolf ended up living with Queen Betsy and her friends. Queen Betsy is the main character of the Undead series, which I've been reading for a few years. It is a series I've really enjoyed.  Then one day I picked up the next novel in the series and there's Antonia from the Wyndam Werewolves.  They mention that she's now a part of the group and Garrett's girlfriend, but not much beyond that.  I guess way back in 2007 I hadn't noticed that this collection of novellas included Antonia and Garrett's meeting. 

I really enjoyed Antonia and Garrett's story. They are both unique characters and uniquely suited for each other. I enjoyed watching both of them, especially Antonia. I love that she found more than a man by the end of the story. 

Though I really enjoyed A Fiend In Need, unlike the other novellas, I don't really think it stood on its own the way the others did.  Perhaps it was because of how many characters were involved. Betsy's entire entourage was a part of Antonia and Garrett's story.  There wasn't much background given to any of the characters except Antonia and Garrett.  There were a few facts given, like everyone's role, Queen, King, assistant, doctor, etc, but I think to someone who hadn't read the previous Undead books, they would all feel a little flat.  Though I suppose, it is a story about a werewolf finding love, so maybe I was just expecting more from characters I already know. I did love visiting these characters again; it's been a long time. I think I might continued reading about them. 

If you're a fan of MaryJanice Davidson, her Undead or Wyndam Werewolves stories, I think you'll enjoy this collection. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I can't believe that is how Villette ends. Charlotte Brontë is playing with our minds. Seriously, what just happened?  The end was fantastic and crazy. Reading the entire novel was worth it for the build up to those final scenes, to the final lines of the novel.  For anyone who has read it, what do you think happened?  It's obvious, right?  What do you imagine? What are you sure of? What? What?!  Seriously, I can't believe what happened.

The reader is being told a story through Lucy Snowe.  It is not just first-person narrative.  She tells the reader things, but also hides things from us.  There are almost "meta-fiction" moments.  Lucy talks to the reader, like she might be verbally telling us a story or writing us one really long letter.  Lucy is cold, judgmental, but also repressed; she's complex and intriguing.

Villette had a great beginning.  I loved life at Bretton.  Lucy Snowe seemed a quiet, self-contained adolescent.  Graham was kind, but also a "school-boy".  Little Polly was fascinating.  I really became invested in the children, then I wondered where they went and when we would be seeing them again.  I also found myself wondering where Lucy's parents were and how she ended up in this situation.

The first obvious moment, when you wonder what Lucy has been keeping from us is the revelation about Dr. John.  After that, I found myself waiting for a similar moment and I think the ending provided some of that.  What I didn't realize before reading was the way the setting, the descriptions of everything reflects Lucy's mental state.  Lucy doesn't tell us everything, but she does show us in a way.

The more I read Villette, the more I thought of it as a feminist (at least protofeminist) novel.  Women don't have as much freedom as men.  Lucy is oppressed.  There's definitely a longing for freedom. 

There is some obvious bigotry too.  Lucy is deemed "not good enough" to be M. Paul Emanuel's friend just because she's a Protestant.  I didn't know a lot about the dislike between Catholics and Protestants in England and France, besides that it existed. Some of the things they say to and about each other were surprising to me.  This all adds to the historical context of the novel, making it even more fascinating.

I've noticed that a lot of people compare Villette to Jane Eyre.  I loved Jane Eyre.  It was an amazing story and one of the first "classics" (if not the first) I ever read.  However, I think that it's been long enough that I'm not comparing Lucy and Jane.  They are very different women, though both governesses at certain points in their lives. Both deserve re-readings.  There's so much that could be said about Villette, but I didn't plan on writing an essay.  I enjoyed the novel and I will one day read it again.

Villette was my Classics Club Spin book, which I clearly didn't finish on time.  Oh well.  The spin did get me to read Brontë's amazing novel long before I think I would have.

Classics Club 6/60

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Book Was Better - The Top Ten Best and Worst Movie Adaptations

Picking the Top Ten Best and Worst Movie Adaptations sounded easy, but has become a bit of a difficult one for me.  I don't think I've ever watched a movie and thought, wow, that was better than the book.  Not once.  If I happen to see the movie first, I often don't read the book; there are no surprises when I know what's going to happen.  There have been some good adaptations though.  I've split my list up, five best and five worst (or something).  In no particular order (sort of):


1. The Lord of the Rings series - Deserves the number one spot.
2. The Harry Potter series - So great.  I need to watch all the movies again... and again.
3. The Hunger Games - I really enjoyed the first movie and I have high hopes for the rest of the series.
4. Dracula - The movie is insanely over-sexualized, but still grabs at the essence of the characters in the book.  It definitely brought darkness back to vampires after all the campy stuff that came before.  Will the new Dracula demolish the teen vampires I see everywhere lately?
5. Interview with the Vampire - I still enjoy watching this movie.  It was one of my first vampire movies/shows.  It was bloody and interesting and I loved Claudia.


1. The Time Machine - Deserves the number one spot.  Have you seen it?  It was brutally awful.
2. Confessions of a Shopaholic - The movie was okay, but absolutely nothing like the book, which I love.
3. The Da Vinci Code - The book was long with lots of explanations... and they kept pretty true to that in the movie, to its snoozy benefit.  Sometimes cutting stuff out is a good idea.
4. Superman III - I think it might have been the worst of all the Christopher Reeves as Superman movies.  Superman has such rich source material, but they just weren't using it well.  (It counts.  Comicbooks.)

How do I only have 4 for this section?  Basically, because if I hear that the adaptation is bad, I don't watch the movie.

Not Sure:

1. Memoirs of a Geisha - They only really adapted the middle of the book, but I still really enjoyed it.  I'm not sure if it's a best or worst though... Opinions?
2. War of the Worlds - I thought the modern interpretation was really interesting.  I enjoyed Dakota Fanning in it.  I'm not a huge Tom Cruise fan (though this is the second movie of his I'm mentioning), but I think he did the desperate-single-dad thing well.  Opinions?

We'll See:

1. The Hobbit series - I couldn't help but mention this one.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I enjoyed the first movie, but felt it was a bit long.  I also still can't believe they are making three movies out of one book.
2. World War Z - I haven't seen it yet.  I want to and I don't want to.  Basically because I can tell from the trailers that it's not like the book at all.  I've heard there's no Battle of Yonkers.  Also, Zombies don't run!

More than 10, I know, especially if you count the series.  What do you think about these adaptations?

Usually I link to books on Goodreads.  Today, however, I've linked to Rotten Tomatoes

Thanks to The Broke and The Bookish for hosting.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Bone Dust Rub

Photo (c) Loni C.
(I thought of all kinds of comments I could make about rubbing meat, etc, but decided I didn't want my blog flagged for being naughty so I restrained myself....)

The Bone Dust Rub is a seasoning (rub) I've used on chicken and steak. I've used it on it's own and I've also used it with Bull's Eye barbecue sauce with yummy results.  Why am I talking about this now?  Well, I just made a fresh batch. It's filled with so much flavourful goodness, I had to share.

The recipe comes from Sticky Fingers and Tenderloins by Ted Reader.  He's something of a "king" (apparently) when it comes to barbecue recipes.  A former co-worker brought her copy of Sticky Fingers in to work one day and gave me a few recipes that she thought I'd like.  You can have the recipe for yourself by clicking here, which will take you to the recipe on  I also found loads of other sources just by Googling "Bone Dust Rub" and none of them were naughty.

I basically make it just as the recipe reads.  There's only a couple tweeks I make.  I almost never have hot mustard powder, so I use regular mustard powder and it works out just fine.  I often end up adding a touch more chili powder, cayenne and paprika.  Also, and this is the more important recipe comment, as someone who has cooked and eaten different curries, be aware of what kind of curry powder you are using.  I use the kind my mother gets from a West Indian grocery shop near her house.  It definitely tastes different and stronger than the curry powder I had previously purchased from my local grocery store (which actually does have a decent "international" section).  The grocery store curry I bought had a bit of a bitter after taste.  I suppose that this can be true of many spices, where it's grown and how it's made can affect its taste.  Oh, I just remembered: I also use a mild sea salt instead of Kosher salt.

If you're looking for a way to spice up your barbecuing this summer or adding some summer to your winter, I recommend the Bone Dust Rub.  

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

You Scare Me! Top Ten Most Intimidating Books

It's the end of the day and I'm finally getting a chance to make my Top Ten from The Broke and The Bookish.  I had a long Canada Day weekend.  It was fun, filled with family and fireworks.  I'm back home and I just couldn't resist this week's topic: Top Ten Most Intimidating Books.  Here they are in no particular order.

1. Ulysses, by James Joyce - It's HUGE!
2. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy - It's HUGER!
3. Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky - It seems a little mental, and deep, and possibly violent (and LONG). Also, it's so CANON.
4. Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood - I LOVE Margaret Atwood and I've read so many of her wonderful books, but something about this one... I don't know if it's the LENGTH, that SO MANY PEOPLE LOVE IT or what, but I'm scared of it.
5. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hoseinni - I LOVED A Thousand Splendid Suns and And The Mountains Echoed. The Kite Runner was his first book that for some reason I didn't read.  It was made into a movie (which I haven't seen) and also a graphic novel (which I also haven't read).  I feel like I've internally HYPED this one up so much, I'm scared to be disappointed.
6. The Stand, by Stephen King - I watched the mini-series oh so long ago and I remember loving it.  The Stand is also supposed to be King at his BEST.  I've read loads of his work, so I don't know what this one intimidates me more than the other stories I haven't read yet.
7. The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum- What if I HATE it?
8. The Walking Dead (Compendium #1), by Robert Kirkman - What if I HATE it? (I LOVE the show.)
9. Wizard's First Rule, by Terry Goodkind - I've heard such good things about this book and series.  But ALL the books are so HUGE.
10. A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson - Again, I've heard great things about Bryson and his writing.  People LOVE his books.  What if I don't?

Honourable mentions:
Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll - Same feelings as The Wizard of Oz
Tale of the Body Thief, by Anne Rice - I started this series, but never read past Queen of the Damned.  They were great books and I've always intended to finish.  They're just so long and there are so many other books vying for my time.

So, apparently I'm intimidated by big books, in general.  I also fear being disappointed by books other people love.  Sounds pretty normal to me :)

Sorry my CAPS LOCK button kept getting stuck.

What books are you intimidated by?

Monday, July 01, 2013

Classic Spin #2

It might be the second Classic Spin from The Classics Club, but it was the first one I participated in. The spin selected #6, which for me was Villette, by Charlotte Brontë. I was excited to read it and I'm enjoying it. I did not finish it for today. I wanted to, but Brontë describes everything.  Lucy Snowe is also not the most forthcoming character, so I'm always trying to figure out what she's hiding and what might be hidden from her.  She speaks to the reader like we're having a conversation or that she's writing us a letter (a very long letter).  

But this isn't a review. I'll write one of those when I actually finish the book.

I'm glad I participated in the spin. It got me reading a book that I've been putting off for ages.  I'll probably participate in it again, and maybe I'll even finish the selection.