Strahbary's Fields

A California Girl's Place for all things Geek Chic

Top Ten Books on my Christmas List December 23, 2013

Filed under: Top Ten Tuesdays — dianatierney3 @ 9:41 pm

I got the inside track from an elf that Santa will be bringing me a new kindle for Christmas so today’s Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten books I will be loading on my Kindle.
1.  The Last Chinese Chef. My Slow Food Book club will be reading this for January. I am really looking forward to this book actually.  A family mystery, a clash of cultures and food…right up my alley.
2.  The Drums of Autumn, simply because I need another dose of Jamie and Claire.
3.  The Warlocks Curse because I really need to get to this book.
4.  American Gods, I have heard that this is THE  Neil Gaiman book to read so I feel the need to add it to my immediate wishlist.
5.  Fangirl, I have been hearing so many wonderful things about this book that I think it really is a must read.
6.  Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows. You know that whole philosophy on why we eat what we eat thing that I am so into. It’s a wonder why I haven’t read it yet.
7.  The Hours, because I am seriously behind in my goal to read all of the Pulitzer Prize winners. (I have only read 12 out of 85)
80  The Distant Hours, another wonderful Kate Morton historical fiction book connecting the past to the future.
In addition to the above mention books, under my Charlie Brown style Christmas Tree I would love Tequila Mockingbird and a new canning recipe book because lets face it, I am always looking for new things to can.
Merry Christmas!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and The Bookish. Want to play along? Check out their blog for more details.


Book Review: Longbourn December 22, 2013

Filed under: Book Reviews — dianatierney3 @ 2:47 pm
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From Goodreads:

If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them.
In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, the orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors, and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak, and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs. When a mysterious new footman arrives, the orderly realm of the servants’ hall threatens to be completely, perhaps irrevocably, upended.

Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen’s classic—into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars—and, in doing so, creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own.


My Take:

I really enjoyed the story of the lives of the servants as it occurred with the story of Pride and Prejudice. The characters were all a bit flawed and relatable. It felt very much like it was a story all of its own. Though I liked the parallel plot lines of the stories, I can’t say that I was too fond of my beloved Bennet characters being ever so slightly tarnished. Sure they are human but after all these years there are certain characters that I hold up to on a pedestal.  By the end of the book it felt like I met my childhood hero and they didn’t live up to my expectations.

However, the story of Sarah and her time as a servant in the Bennet household was very charming. It’s a nice change of pace to read more stories about the common people over the gentry.


Would I recommend this:

Yes, especially if you are a Downton Abbey fan or fans of Victorian era literature.


Top Nine New To Me Authors of 2013 December 17, 2013

Filed under: Top Ten Tuesdays — dianatierney3 @ 9:31 pm
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This year has been a great year for discovering new authors. Here are my Top Ten Favorites of the year that I have discovered that I love (and you should check out if you haven’t read any of their work go check them out with the handy dandy links I have included)
1.  Patricia Briggs. She is the author of the Mercy Thompson series which I have fallen in love with. She writes a great heroine (think Lost Girl), entertaining supporting characters with some serious page turners. I am glad I finally got off my butt and started reading the series.
2.  Shannon Hale. Her Austenland books are my dirty little pleasure. Fun light reads that really speak to my inner Jane Austen fan girl.
3.  Jessica Brockmole. You can see my interview with her here. It’s a great historical romance.
4. Bee Ridgewater. Her debut book The River of No return was such a great book and a great an initial book in a series.
5.  Jess Walter I fell in love with his writing in Beautiful Ruins, he writes really complicated defected charecters that you can’t help but relate to.

6.  Suzanne Palmeri-Hale. I was introduced to her writing through The Witch of Little Italy which became one of my favorite books of the year.
7. Kate Morton. I think between the two books of hers that I read this yeah but my favorite so far has been The Forgotten Garden. I really haven’t been in this in love with historical fiction since I first discovered Phillipa Gregory.
8.  Diana Galbadon, now technically I started reading the Outlander series at the end of last year but frankly in my opion it was close enough and I read the second and third books this year. I recommend checking it out now before the Star Series comes out.
9.  Neil Gaiman. I thuroughly believe there was a mass conspiracy keeping his books from me for all of these years. I am now doing my best to play catch-up. I have yet to come across a book of his that I don’t love.


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and The Bookish. Want to play along? Check out their blog for more details.


Top Ten Books on My Winter To Read List December 10, 2013

Filed under: Top Ten Tuesdays — dianatierney3 @ 9:19 pm



A Snuggly puppy, a hot cup of tea and a good book goes a long way in making those cold winter nights much better. And yes, we d get a cold in Southern California.


1.  Outlander Drums of Autumn. I am going through some Clare/Jaime withdrawals.

2. The Warlock’s Curse. I was so excited to find out this book existed. The first two books in the series, Native Star and Hidden Goddess are two of my favorite steampunk books.  I am so excited that the series is continuing and that I will finally (in theory) be getting to them.

3.  Touch of Power (Healer #1) I love Maria V. Snyder’s Study trilogy and am looking forward to this dark YA.

4. Longbourn. Pride and prejudice as seen through the eyes of the servents. It’s like Downton Abbey meets Pride and Prejudice SWOON

5.  Tequilla Mockingbird. So it’s not really a novel but it’s a book with cocktails based on literary classics. If the name tells you anything it looks like it will be a wonderful book.

6. Tomorrow There will Be Apricots. What’s better than reading about families more messed up than my own  than during the holidays?

7.   The Distant Hours. I have fallen in love with Kate Morton’s books over this past year and this book looks to continue my love affair.

8.  Chocolat. Yeah I know I am joining the band wagon late on this one but its time to knock this baby off my list.

9. The Shipping News. I am still slowly working my way through the Pulitzer Prize list, this one looks like it will be a good one to read next.

10. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.  Nothing better than a good thriller on a cold and windy night.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and The Bookish. Want to play along? Check out their blog for more details.

I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who reads this blog. This is my 100th post. I love this blog, sharing my geeky little bookworm world with all of you.




My Breakdown of The Day of the Doctor December 6, 2013

Filed under: The Doctor — dianatierney3 @ 9:51 pm
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**Caution this post contains major Spoilers**

Do not read any further if you have not seen The Day of the Doctor…. You have been warned.

I know I am a bit late but I wanted to make sure people had the opportunity to watch the show before I spoiled it. ( I am not one of THOSE fans) I also wanted to make sure I had enough time to properly digest the awesomeness of this special.

“Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.”

Besides showcasing everything that I love about Steven Moffat’s writing, this episode goes down in the top ten most important episodes of the new series.

Let’s see where to begin.

First off the subject of Gallifrey. My father is a fan of the classics and has recently started watching the new episodes and he keeps asking “But what about Gallifrey?” In the original series, the Doctor travels and interacts with the other Time Lords quite a bit. When we are introduced to the Christopher Eccelstein’s doctor we find that his world was destroyed in a great time war. Throughout the course of the series we learn that he is in fact responsible for this.

Now listen up kids, because this is where it gets tricky:
As I have mentioned before, the Doctors meeting up is nothing new. So way back in the day the rule was brought up that the past doctors forget what happened. Back to this most recent special, the War Doctor or now our 9th Doctor, will think that he did in fact wipe out Galifrey because he remembers going for the button and now the planet is not there. Likewise, it’s time locked, he can’t go back and change it even if he wanted to.

This is a brilliant bit of writing on Moffat’s part.  The Time War was something that came about through fan fiction. He has been able to write around it while at the same time respecting the work that has come before him. Is it a bit duce ex mana? Yeah but in reality there was no other way to get around the war without stomping all over the work of those who have come before him.

Likewise this opens a whole new door of storytelling.  As much as I love the show’s writing, the story of Clara and the Doctor is at serious risk of repeating another Rose and Doctor romance.  Sidenote: It’s part of the reason why I like the casting of Peter Capaldi as our next Doctor.  Anyway, this sends the show in a whole new storyline trajectory. No longer is our Doctor meaninglessly traveling around space. He has a new purpose, to find his people. This also ties in with David Tenants final episode, btw.

We also have the possibility of seeing some old favorites come back around *cough cough* Romana *cough cough* as the 4th Doctor said “in the years to come you may find yourself revisiting a few but maybe just the old favorites, eh.” That is such a big hint that as my grandma used to say: if it was any bigger it would reach up and bite you in the face.

The other thing that I love is the show’s major nod to it’s past. All 13 doctors showing up at the end and the wonderful talk between the 4th and the 12th Doctor. I actually think that is my most favorite part of the show. “Perhaps I was you of course, or perhaps you are me…congratulations.”I think that was the one thing that had me cheering more than Bad Wolf and a bit in teary eyed. It was a beautiful way to tie in one of they most popular Doctors in the shows history.

The episode worked within the confines of the current cannon of the show and managed to expand the Doctor Who universe infinitely.
“I have a new destination. My journey is the same as yours, the same as anyones. it’s taken me so many years, so many lifetimes but at last I know where I’m going, where I’ve always been going. Home…the long way around.”

It’s going to be an exciting few years.


In Regards to Spoilers December 2, 2013

Filed under: Fan Girl Awesomeness — dianatierney3 @ 8:41 pm

An interesting thing has occurred in our society, we have become obsessed with spoilers. Walk into a room with two or more people and just mention Game of Thrones, Walking Dead or Breaking Bad and there is guaranteed to be one person who is not up to date with the show (they are at least a season behind) and because of that they will yell and turn slightly red in the face because you very well just might give up part of the story to them.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are those that feel the need to live post about the show as it is happening. So I haven’t been able to get to my television yet because I am at work, stuck in traffic or am in a different time zone.

I used to be a fan of Hell’s Kitchen, cooking show competition how could I not love it? I also had a friend that loved to post who got kicked off or tell the world who won…as it happened. The problem? He was in Texas, I am in California so he got to see the show a full hour before I did. Needless to say the show was so ruined for me that I stopped watching the show all together and have not watched it since (I even brought this up to him that he was ruining it but it did nothing).

Ok, you can say that to go off social media. That is easier said than done in today’s social media engrossed society. But saying stay off social media is the equivalent to saying don’t go outside if you don’t like cigarettes. Sure, you can post whatever you want in your little corner of the internet as well but remember if others don’t like it they don’t have to come around…

How about the fact that we have taken to hiding behind the internet as an excuse for our bad behavior? Rudeness is rudeness whether it is typed or spoken.  Just as we have guidelines for how to act properly in society these are my proposed guidelines for dealing with spoilers.

  1.  If something important happens in a show such as someone dying, getting knocked up or performs a miracle do not go blurting it out for the world to see as soon as it happens. If it’s news to you it’s news to everyone else as well.
  2. Be aware of the time zones of your friends assuming you want them to stay your friends. TV shows are not like sporting events, they are not broadcasted live in every time zone at the same time. I am sure you have wonderfully witty things to say, it’s why we are friends but give me a chance to watch the show too.
  3. If you really have to throw out those spoilers please give people some warning (like saying excuse me when you burp) just a simple SPOILER ALERT in the post and the spoilers in the comments so that if I look it’s my bad. Not yours.
  4. Just like there is a statute of limitations in law, there are statutes of limitations on show spoilers. If you are a full season behind in a show and everyone else has seen the show you cannot complain about the spoilers.
  5. If you really really want to discuss the show with someone, do what we used to do back in the day: Pick up the phone and send a text, a message or a phone call to said fan.

Like Death and Taxes, spoilers are a part of life. They are going to happen no matter what we do. I personally don’t like to discuss tv shows in social media for 48 hours. Most fan pages wait a good 72 hours before they start posting. I also wait about a week for movies.

At the end of the day it’s just a matter of consideration of others which is arguably missing in today’s society.