Strahbary's Fields

A California Girl's Place for all things Geek Chic

It’s Hiatus Time August 27, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — dianatierney3 @ 10:48 pm

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Well a decision has been made on the books coming with me. In addition to Beautiful Ruins, it looks like I will be bringing Body and Bread and Letters for Skye along as well. Though I am bringing my nook along with me, I felt the need to have at least one book in traditional book form just in case of an emergency. Remember kids, always pack an emergency book.

So, I had planned on just picking up the Beautiful Ruins, especially since I had a number of things on my to do list that I needed to do, you know, like pack clothes. But then I thought “hey I can spend a few minutes looking around” at least 10 minutes later…possibly longer, I discovered, “The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic,” “The Wishing Thread,” and a new Star Wars book for the husband. It’s only fair, he gets one book for every 4 books or so.

It has been lovely having the husband home, we have been enjoying our time together, getting into trouble and just geeking out together. Whether it is just watching Heroes of Cosplay or going on a shopping spree at the comic store it’s been great.

We also checked out the new Australian exhibit at the San Diego Zoo. It is by far my favorite zoo, between their fantastic reptile exhibit and what they do for animals in general, I love just paling around there. Anyway, the exhibit is pretty interesting. So I know koalas are very popular and all but I am more of a kangaroo girl. They are way more interesting. I would like to see them add more kangaroos to the area and perhaps a Tazmanian Devil. Those little critters are so ugly they are cute! When Ryan and I were in Australia I dragged him to every zoo possible. At the Adelaide Zoo we spent a significant amount of time watching one pace back and forth across it habitat and chatting with the volunteer who was keeping track of how many times it paced.

Without much prompting I have joined Bloglovin. Just one look and it’s clear to see how cool it is. So now that I am on there feel free to come follow me.   Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Well with that, I believe it is time for me to go on Hiatus until September 13th. I’ll catch you on the flip side.

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Book Review: Life After Life August 24, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — dianatierney3 @ 2:03 pm
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Life After Life

TITLE: Life after Life

AUTHOR: Kate Atkinson

PAGES:  457

Ursula is born into a middle class family in England. The third eldest, her life is like everyone else’s except that she is forced to relive her life over and over.  She is born during a winter storm, but then dies, is reborn and lives to childhood before dying again only to be reborn.

I had a hard time with this book. I got sucked in while reading the sample, it’s an intriguing concept and I really do like Kate Atkinson’s writing style. But overall I felt the story was just boring. I felt our main character, Ursula lacked depth. My friend Antonia often loves the secondary characters more than the main characters and throughout this book I felt the secondary characters were far more interesting. I wanted to know more about her siblings and their lives. The caring father, the loving mother who eventually became cold and stuffy, any one of her siblings.

What is worse is that at the end, I felt like I was missing this grand revelation that if I was just a little smarter or more in tune I would grasp. I tossed and turned all night after reading it trying to think of what the grand revelation was so that hopefully it would just click….it didn’t and I went to work the next day tired and cranky. Likewise, there were some incidents within the book that just were never cleared up or answered. And it’s not like little things where the reader can fuss about it because they are being too picky. We’re talking big plot game changers that made the mid book wordiness that I was trying to overcome actually interesting.

 

Fan Girl Friday August 22, 2013

Filed under: Fan Girl Awesomeness — dianatierney3 @ 11:05 pm
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Fan Girl Friday

So exciting, I saw my first commercial for Agents of shield, I am so excited to have Agent Coulson back. And can I just say what everyone else is thinking, it’s about time Joss Wheden did a show on a network other than Fox, because it actually has a chance to make it to the second season.  Clark Gregg alone makes it a wonderful show but to add in Ming-Na Wen to the mix makes it all the more better. I have adored her in Eureka and Stargate Universe and can’t wait for what she will bring to Agents of Shield.

Long time fellow Whovian Peter Jackson has said that he would direct an episode of Doctor Who if they show gave him a Dalek. When Moffat was asked about this he said that he would like to make that happen. I am calling it now: Peter Jackson directs, Neil Gaiman writes. My little geek heart would explode with joy if that could happen. One can dream, especially with a new season and Doctor on the horizon.

One of the dates that my husband and I like to take are dinner and comic book store. Usually it’s me plunking myself in front of the graphic novels section or digging through the Star Wars/Doctor Who/Wonder Woman sections while he wonders through the collectables or finds the oddest comic books possible (ie: Howard the Duck comics). Anyway, I just love the Dark Horse Comics. They have been bringing back some of the greatest storylines and have produced some really great new ones. The latest series that I am obsessed with right now is Star Wars Legacy. In Star Wars Legacy we meet Ania Solo, Han and Leia’s great-great granddaughter. She is kind of like a female Han Solo, and there are evil sith and the galaxy has gone bad…my kind of story line. I am actually obsessed with this comic right now. I just love the premise and the characters. I haven’t been this excited over a comic of any sort since I discovered there was a Last Unicorn graphic novel (which is now in my collection).

If you haven’t heard yet, Ben Afflack has been named the new Batman, I am honestly not sure how I feel about this. I mean he can pull of the privileged boy with too much money on his hands but really Bruce Wayne? I don’t see him having the whole superhero air about him. And they are pairing him with Henry Cavill’s Superman. REALLY??? Maybe this is his attempt to redeem himself from the disaster that was Daredevil. He really is a great actor, but a superhero? I can’t buy it. At least not yet. I mean they could always make Matt Damon Robin Hood, get Miramax involved and it could be the superhero version of Good Will Hunting…

The only thought I for sure have on this is that can we finally stop with the Batman movies for a bit, just a bit, and do a female superhero movie? I have given up hope that a Wonder Woman will actually happen but it would be nice to get a Black Widow  or some other cool relatable Super Heroine.

 

Important Packing Advice Needed

Filed under: Uncategorized — dianatierney3 @ 12:53 pm
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So I have started packing for my vacation but am at a cross roads as to what books I want to pack with me. I am going to have about 2.5 days where I am left to my own devices (more than likely reading by the pool) plus two 8 hour plane rides. So the plan is to bring three books with me. So far I have one book picked out:

 

Beautiful Ruins

From Goodreads: The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks on over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot-searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion-along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow.

Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

However, I can’t decide on my other two books that I will be bringing with me. And this is where you come in, gentle reader, I need you to vote (in the comments) on which books listed below I should bring with me. The top TWO will be loaded onto my nook for my on coming vacation (likewise I will review them when I get back).

So here are your choices:

 

The Rathbones:

 

The Rathbones

 

 

From Goodreads:

Moses, the revered patriarch of the Rathbone family, possessed an otherworldly instinct for spotting the whale. But years of bad decisions by the heirs to his fortune have whittled his formerly robust family down to just one surviving member: a young girl, left to live in the broken-down ancestral mansion that at one time had glowed golden with the spoils of the hunt.

Mercy, fifteen years old, is the diminutive scion of the Rathbone clan. Her father, the last in the dynasty of New England whalers, has been lost at sea for seven years-ever since the last sperm whale was seen off the coast of Naiwayonk, Connecticut. Mercy’s memories of her father and of the time before he left grow dimmer each day, and she spends most of her time in the attic hideaway of her reclusive Uncle Mordecai, who teaches her the secrets of Greek history and navigation through his collection of moldering books. But when a strange, violent visitor turns up one night on the widow’s walk, Mercy and Mordecai are forced to flee the house and set sail on a journey that will bring them deep into the haunted history of the Rathbone family.

Inspired by The Odyssey and infused with beautifully detailed descriptions of the realities of coastal and ship life reminiscent of Moby Dick, Janice Clark’s magnificent debut is a spellbinding literary adventure.

 

Letters from Skye

 

From Goodreads:

A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.

March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.

June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.

 

Body and Bread

From Goodreads:

“In Body and Bread, Nan Cuba goes straight to the heart of love and death and families and religion and the land.”—Grace Dane Mazur, author of Silk: Stories and Trespass: a novel

Years after her brother Sam’s suicide, Sarah Pelton remains unable to fully occupy her world without him in it. Now, while her surviving brothers prepare to sell the family’s tenant farm and a young woman’s life hangs in the balance, Sarah is forced to confront the life Sam lived and the secrets he left behind. As she assembles the artifacts of her family’s history in east Texas in the hope of discovering her own future, images from her work as an anthropologist—images of sacrifice, ritual, and death—haunt her waking dreams.

In this moving debut novel, Nan Cuba unearths the power of family legacies and the indelible imprint of loss on all our lives.

 

The Madman's Daughter (The Madman's Daughter, #1)

From Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father’s gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father’s handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father’s madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island’s inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father’s dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it’s too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father’s genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Inspired by H. G. Wells’s classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman’s Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we’ll do anything to know and the truths we’ll go to any lengths to protect.

 

Ok so there are your choices: The Rathbones, Letters from Sky, Body and Bread and the Madman’s daughter. Let me know which one(s) you vote for in the comments below.

 

Top Ten Tuesday: The Things that Make my Blogging Life Easier August 20, 2013

Filed under: Top Ten Tuesdays — dianatierney3 @ 12:37 pm
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I have been blogging for about 6 months now. I love to write and I find blogging to be a creative tool for me to express myself. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Things that Make my blogging life easier

1. Goodreads. The site helps me search for books and keep my books organized. I have been in love with that website since 2010.

2. My Notebook. The notebook I use is the same kind that River Song has. It’s great for jotting down ideas, notes, and planning out future Top Ten Tuesdays.

3. The Hosted Topics. I just love these, they help me get my readership up, they keep me writing and it helps jog my creativity.

4. Other People’s blogs. Whether it be about food, books, popculture or news it’s good to be able to get a fresh perspective and to see what other people are doing.

5. Being a part of a book club. The book clubs will often make me read books I wouldn’t normally read.

6. Being a part of non-profit organizations. As many of you know, I am very active in slow food and with food swaps. These help to inspire me when it comes non book related topics.

7. I simply adore BookShelf Fantasies Meme directory. This goes along with points 3 and 4. I have been able to get involved with some other book related hosted topics. Likewise I have some fun things coming up in October so get ready!

8. A good cuppa tea. As the Doctor says about a nice cup of tea “Super-heated infusion of free-radicals and tannin, just the thing for healing the synapses…” I find that I write so much better when I have a nice cup of tea by my side. It doesn’t necessarily need to be caffeinated. I quite often lean towards a lovely chamomile or green tea in the evening.

9. My friends. There has been many a time where I have messaged my friends for opinions, ideas or other randomness. (Antonia, Michele giving you two a special shout out here)

10. WordPress. I used to be on BlogSpot and I have found WordPress to be much more professional and has greatly helped me get my writing out there. Likewise, it has helped me find some great bloggers.

And there you have it. Those are the things that make my blogging life easier. What things make your blogging life easier?

 

Book Review: Gorgeous August 18, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — dianatierney3 @ 7:09 pm

Gorgeous

TITLE: Gorgeous

AUTHOR: Paul Rudnick

GENRE: Fiction

Three dress, one red, one white and one black are all that was needed to change Becky Randle’s existence. When her morbidly obese mother passes away Becky is given the choice to accept the three dresses to become Rebecca Randle, the most beautiful woman in the whole world or to go back to her measly existence as Becky Randle from East Trawley Missouri. There is only one catch, she has to fall in love and get married within one year. But when she finds someone can she get him to lover her for her, or for the person that he thinks she is?

This was a great summer read. It was also a great spa read. I brought with me to a recent trip to Burke Williams where I curled up in the quiet room and got lost in the story for a good hour. Of course, only a bookworm would look forward to quiet uninterrupted reading time at a spa. I literally was just as excited about the cozy nooks in the quiet rooms as was about the sauna…

This book is really cleverly written. It reminded me of a cross between a modern Cinderella and a beauty and the beast. It does have a have a bit of a young adult feel to it but not so much so that you are rolling your eyes, there is a definite maturity factor involved. Granted, it is a little cheesy at times but that goes with the whole fairytale theme. At times the book had me laughing out loud and have been equally touched by some of the scenes.
If you are looking for a book to give you a little break from reality this is the book to pick up.

 

The Sunday Post

Filed under: Sunday Post — dianatierney3 @ 3:53 pm
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This last week has just flown by, I managed to get some reading in, and a little bit of knitting.

In books, I have recently finished Gorgeous and will be posting a review shortly. I am almost finished with Life after Life and will hopefully get a review of it up this week, assuming I have time.

When it comes to my Doctor Who Jumper it feels like it’s taking forever to finish the back side of the sweater! I have another sweater and a scarf to go before Gallifrey One and I am already starting to get nervous about finishing it in time even though I have a good 6 months before the convention.

I got to go to another food swap yesterday. Huntington Beach just got their first one started, it was a pleasant little one that has a lot of potential to grow. I can’t decide what I am happier about, the dragon fruit I plan on trying to grow or the gorgeous fig jam I got my hands on. I was happy I was able to clear out some more jars from my cabinet and to meet some new people.

This week I have some pretty cool things going on. The husband is coming home for a visit from Afghanistan. The week will be filled with fun, friends and some quality time together….and packing. I’ve got that little ol’ tropical vacation coming up.

So that’s what I’ve got coming up in my week. The Sunday post is hosted by the Caffeinated Book Reviewer