Book hopping

Yesterday when I posted my plan to read The Dresden Files as completely as possible, I mentioned something about clearing up my reading list. I thought I’d share what that is right now. Or more accurately, what I’m reading right now.

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

Audiobook cover of The Signature of All Things
Image from Goodreads

This is what I’ve been listening to in the car for a little over a week now. I’m about 61% done and am really enjoying it. It’s a wonderful piece of historical fiction that looks at science and biology before the Civil War in the US. It will probably go through the Civil War, but I’m not up to that point.

I’m looking forward to having the time to sit down and read this later. I love audiobooks, but it is a different experience than sitting and reading the book. Which brings me to my next book.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Cover of Ready Player One
Image from Goodreads.

This past weekend at Marcon, I saw this on a dealer’s table and knew that I should just finally buy the thing. I love listening to Wil Wheaton read this book, but I’ve really been wanting to read, and own, this book. It’s become my “at home” book. I’ve got it with me all the time, but I’m feeling like the place to actually read it is at home. I started to pick up a different book, but found myself really wanting to read this instead. It’s been a while since I’ve had that desire. I missed it.

By reading it, it gives me the time to write down lines that really hit me. It also gives me the time to write down all the cultural references that aren’t explicitly pointed out. I want to see how many I can find myself. I’m hoping to be able to find them all, eventually.

Feed by Mira Grant

Cover for Feed.
Image from Goodreads.

Feed was that other book that I was starting to read when Ready Player One insisted I pick it up.

I’m honestly not sure how often I’ve read this book. Especially since I bought it for my Kindle. Granted, this time I’m a bit inspired by debuting my Becks costume at Marcon this weekend. But this book and the two that follow it are simply so good and well-written that they need no justification to reread multiple times.

I think part of why I enjoy this book so much is that while it’s about zombies, it doesn’t focus on them. It’s about how George and Shaun and Buffy are living in this world where threat of zombie attack is a real thing. Brilliant book.

The Abide Guide by Oliver Benjamin and Dwayne Eutsey

Cover of The Abide Guide.
Image from Goodreads.

After finishing The Dude and the Zen Master, the logical book to read next was The Abide Guide. All that talk about zen and the Dude inspired me to brush up on my Dudeist teachings.

This is a great book. If you enjoy The Big Lebowski and are open-minded when it comes to religion and philosophy and just different ways of living one’s life, then you should read this book. Personally, Dudeism is more of a way of living than a religion for me. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I consider myself a Catholic Dudeist. The two go together really well.

Really, Dudeism goes well with any religion or belief system. Which makes a lot of sense when you think about it. But don’t think too much. If you find yourself tensing up, have a White Russian, relax and just abide.

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

Cover of Skin Game.
Image from Goodreads.

Yes, Skin Game isn’t out yet. (May 27th!!!) But as usual, Jim is posting the first five chapters on his website. So I’m reading those as they get posted. Next week is when chapter five gets posted, but the week after that is when it arrives on my Kindle! Yes, I have pre-ordered the Kindle version of the book. I learned with Cold Days that if I want to read the book anytime soon after it comes out, just getting the Kindle version is the best way. Of course, I’ll also get the paperback when it comes out.

And I will definitely be reading it asap. I can’t continue on with my Dresden Files project until the newest one is read!

So that’s everything I’m reading right now. It might seem like chaos, but I’m loving it!

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The Dresden Files

All covers of The Dresden Files series up to Cold Days.
Image from Ichimonchi.

Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files may be my favorite book series of all time. I love it. Which is why I complied this list:

“Restoration of Faith”
Storm Front
Fool Moon

*”B is for Bigfoot”
Grave Peril
Summer Knight
Death Masks
Blood Rites

*”I Was a Teenage Bigfoot”
Dead Beat
“Vignette”
Proven Guilty
White Night

“It’s My Birthday Too”
“Heorot”
Small Favor
“Day Off”
“Backup”
“The Warrior”
“Last Call”
*”Curses”
Turn Coat
“Love Hurts”
*”Even Hand”
*”Bigfoot on Campus”
Changes
“Aftermath”
Ghost Story
*”Bombshells”
Cold Days

That is a list of all the books and short stories in the order that they take place. The short stories with a * in front are ones that are not in Side Jobs.

Why am I posting this? Two reasons. First, I thought fellow Dresden fans would like the list. Second, as soon as I can clear up my reading list, I’m going to go through and read as much of the list as possible. Unless my hubby has gone and bought the books with the other short stories, I’m going to have to stick to the ones in Side Jobs. But that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Impact!

Last night I finished getting caught up on the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire, which I will be posting about soon, and decided to go reread No Impact Man.

I’m only about 25 pages in and I’m already looking at how much I can improve my life. That’s part of why I read that book. It helps to remind me of all the little things that I can do to lessen my impact on the environment. Once I finish it, there’s going to be a great big post. But there’s probably going to be more green posts in the meantime. I’m really looking forward to it!

Cold Days

Cold Days by Jim ButcherAfter the roller coaster that was Changes and Ghost Story, I really thought the ride was over and we were pulling into the station.

I was wrong. It was just getting started.

The new Winter Knight has to go through physical therapy to recover from his months long coma, learn to use and control the mantle that has been bestowed upon him, survive the Unselee Court, and prevent the end of the world. Oh, and he has to deal with friends and family who thought he was dead.

This really starts to give us an idea of where Jim is heading for his final epic trilogy. Well, maybe not an idea as much as a heads up. So much changed after Harry’s almost-death and his return just made things even more chaotic. But doesn’t he usually do that? I am really looking forward to the next book. So much was just barely brought up in this book, I can’t wait to see some of it addressed more!

Finished! Ghost Story

If you haven’t read Changes, stop now. Everything here is spoilery for you!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

When last seen, wizard detective Harry Dresden was in a most unenviable position: he was dead. This predicament, not to mention the loss of his magic, doesn’t however deter our hero from overcoming his enemies in the Windy City. Fantasy noir suspense of the highest order. Bound to be a bestseller.

Review:
I love how Jim decided to put us on a launch coaster and didn’t let up. Not only does Harry have to deal with the fact that he’s a ghost being sent back to solve his own murder; he has stumbled into the middle of a mess.
I want to say more, but I don’t want to go and be all spoilery all over the place. Let me just say that that ending was totally unexpected, but, as usual, there are little, tiny clues throughout the book that leap out once you get there. I love it! I can’t wait for the next one!

“There are two kinds of people in the universe, Molly,” I said. “Star Trek fans and Star Wars fans. This is shocking.”
She sniffed. “This is the post-nerd-closet world, Harry. It’s okay to like both.”
“Blasphemy and lies,” I said.
~p. 431

Best quote in the whole book! Love it!

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Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
Rating: 5 stars
WBC: Reread one of your favorite books.

Winter Book Challenge 2012

After taking the FBC off, I found myself missing checking in and challenging myself to read more books. Granted, that graphic novel and manga splurge was amazing! But it’s back to the challenges. I’m not trying to finish it, but I’m hoping to get quite a few done before it’s over.

I’m taking a much more relaxed approach to this challenge. Mainly just plugging in books I’ve been wanting to read.

5 points
*Scott Pilgrim vs. The World by Brian Lee O’Malley for a romance for Valentines Day
Nothing for a book with a winter word in the title (ice, snow, winter, cold, etc)
*The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman for a Newbery winner
Nation by Terry Pratchett for a Printz winner or honor book
Nothing for a play
*Ghost Story by Jim Butcher to reread one of your favorite books
*Dragonquest by Anne McCaffery for a book by an author who has died
*Geek Wisdom by Stephen H. Segal for a book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter
*Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life by Brian Lee O’Malley for a book that fits any of the 10 or 15 pt categories
The White Dragon by Anne McCaffery for a book with an animal in the title (finished, but after the 301st)

10 points
*The Sandman: Endless Nights by Neil Gaiman for a collection of short stories
*The Sandman: The Dream Hunters by Neil Gaiman for a book with 4+ stars on GR
*Chobits Vol. 1 by CLAMP for a book published the year you graduated HS
*Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett for listen to an audiobook
A World Without Islam by Graham Fuller for a book by an author whose last name begins with J, F, or M
The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac for a book not originally published in English
Dragonflight by Anne McCaffery for go to literature-map.com, enter your favorite author, read a book by an author who pops up
Nothing for a book with an African American main character or author
*Grave Sight Vol. 1 by Charlaine Harris to give an author a second chance (you didn’t like a book by that author earlier)
*Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg for a book you saw on a blog

15 points
Nothing for a book with one of the 7 deadly sins in the title
Dracula by Brahm Stoker for a book written before 1900
*Deadline by Mira Grant for a book about a disaster (natural or man-made)
Nothing for a western
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink for a book from Oprah’s book club
*Chobits Vol. 3 by CLAMP for a book that fits an unfinished category from a previous challenge
The Tar-Aiym Krang by Alan Dean Foster for a science fiction book
Nothing for read and discuss the Jan, Feb, or March NBC book
Star Trek Movie Memories by William Shatner for a book by a celebrity or politician
Nothing for a biography of a woman for Women’s History Month

25 points
Nothing for a “non-fiction” book about a paranormal subject
Nothing for any book from any of the Best American series
Nothing for a book with a dessert in the title or about a baker/bakery and then bake something yummy and share with the board via picture
Nothing for a book about a medical mystery (fiction or non-fiction)
Nothing for two books in different genres by the same author. Post about which book/genre you liked better, why, and whether you would consider reading additional books by the same author in the other genre

Finished! Side Jobs

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The first short story collection in the #1 New York Times bestselling series-including a brand-new Harry Dresden novella!

Here, together for the first time, are the shorter works of #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher-a compendium of cases that Harry and his cadre of allies managed to close in record time. The tales range from the deadly serious to the absurdly hilarious. Also included is a new, never-before-published novella that takes place after the cliff-hanger ending of the new April 2010 hardcover, Changes. This is a must-have collection for every devoted Harry Dresden fan as well as a perfect introduction for readers ready to meet Chicago’s only professional wizard.

Review:
This is a must read for all Dresden fans. The short stories and novellas in this book are wonderful. Before each one Jim writes a little about why it was written and where in the series it goes. So many have little things that get referenced in the book after it that aren’t important to the plot, but they add little bits of humour to the story.
One thing I must mention before you go off to read it. The novella at the end takes place after Changes. If you haven’t read it, don’t read that story. But if you have and you haven’t gotten to Ghost Story yet, read it first. It really does help put a few things into better persepective. If you’ve read both books, then read it anyway. You’ll think back to Ghost Story and a lot will make more sense.

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Side Jobs by Jim Butcher
Rating: 5 stars

A look back at October

This was an awesome month of catching up with my comic titles. Graphic novels are one of the best things ever invented! I’ve managed to catch up with years of comic books in one month!

New Avengers Vol. 12: Powerloss by Brian Michael Bendis
Spider-Man: Died in Your Arms Tonight by Dan Slott
Spider-Man: Red-Headed Stranger by Fred Van Lente
Siege by Brian Michael Bendis
New Avengers Vol. 13: Siege by Brian Michael Bendis
Siege: X-Men by Daniel Way
Avengers: The Initiative Vol. 6: Siege by Christos Gage
Dark Reign: Hawkeye by Andy Diggle
Siege: Dark Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis
Siege: Mighty Avengers by Dan Slott
Siege: Thor by Kieron Gillen
Angel: After the Fall, Vol. 1 by Joss Whedon
Angel: After the Fall, Vol. 2 by Joss Whedon
Angel: After the Fall, Vol. 3 by Joss Whedon
Angel: After the Fall, Vol. 4 by Joss Whedon
Buffy the Vampire Slayer S8 Vol. 8: Last Gleaming by Joss Whedon
Thor: Siege Aftermath by Kieron Gillen
Spider-Man: Return of the Black Cat by Marc Guggenheim
Spider-Man: The Gauntlet Book 1 – Electro & Sandman by Mark Waid
Spider-Man: The Gauntlet Book 2 – Rhino & Mysterio by Joe Kelly
Spider-Man: The Guantlet Book 3 – Vulture & Morbius by Greg Weisman
Spider-Man: The Gauntlet Book 4 – Juggernaut by Fred Van Lente
Spider-Man: The Gauntlet Book 5 – Kraven & The Lizard by Zeb Wells
Spider-Man: Grim Hunt by Joe Kelly
Ghost Story by Jim Butcher
The Abide Guide: Living Like Lebowski by Benjamin, Eutsey
Spider-Man: One Moment in Time by Joe Quesada
Spider-Man: Origin of the Species by Mark Waid
Spider-Man: Big Time by Dan Slott
Spider-Man: Matters of Life and Death by Dan Slott
Avengers Vol. 1 by Brian Michael Bendis
Wolverine: Origins Vol. 1: Born in Blood by Daniel Way
Wolverine: Origins Vol. 2: Savior by Daniel Way
Avengers Vol. 2 by Brian Michael Bendis
Wolverine: Origins Vol. 4: Our War by Daniel Way
Wolverine: Origins Vol. 5: Deadpool by Daniel Way
X-Men: Original Sin by Daniel Way
Wolverine: Origins Vol. 7: Romulus by Daniel Way
Wolverine: Origins Vol. 8: Seven the Hard Way by Daniel Way
Wolverine: The Reckoning by Daniel Way
Angel: Aftermath by Joss Whedon
Angel: Last Angel in Hell by Joss Whedon

Slowly the posts are going up. I’m thinking of putting up two a day just to get everything up. Things are slowing down for a little bit right now. I’m working on getting though The Sandman series and you don’t just zoom right through one of those. They’re so awesome! Then I’ll be on to getting caught up on some manga. So the posts should slow down once I get through all of those. But this is so much fun!

Jim Butcher is so awesome!

Back on July 29th, Jim Butcher came to the Books & Co. in Beavercreek, Ohio as part of his Ghost Story book tour. I got there at least half an hour before they were going to start giving out the numbers for the signing line and they had already filled up the seats. I was hoping that I would get one this time, but it seems that since it was on a Friday, a lot more people were able to get there. Because, not only were all the seats taken, but there was a sizable line and they had run out of the book. Yes, they were out of the book that people were there to buy and get signed! Luckily they said we could still get a number without the book. I was quite disappointed though. I really wanted to get Ghost Story and start reading.

So I got in line and was really glad I had my staff to lean on. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, I went in full cosplay as Harry. 🙂 There was at least one other person who wore a long leather coat and a black glove on his left hand. But I was the only one who even came close to looking like Harry. 🙂 It was a lot of fun. The only problem was I don’t have contacts yet, but I wanted to stay in character. So I had my glasses in my pocket. The line finally started moving and when I got to the front the staff member was very impressed with my cosplay. 🙂 She reassured me that I could still get my book, White Night signed despite the lack of Ghost Story. I headed upstairs and stood up at the top of the stairs, but out of the way of the flow of traffic. It was a good spot. As long as the people in front of me stood still.

Jim Butcher at the Ghost Story book signingJim came out, grabbed the mic from the podium, and plunked down on the table. He wanted things to be comfy and informal. He asked us if we just wanted to get right to the Q&A part and no one objected. There were some really great questions asked about all sorts of things; the Dresden Files, the Codex Alera, future writing, geek stuff that had nothing to do with any of that. I finally came up with a question to ask. When he called on me he said, “You with the staff!” 🙂 I asked him what his favorite part about going to conventions. He said it was meeting “all of you”. That was so awesome and I knew he meant it. While he is a fellow geek, his favorite part is talking with us about all sorts of things. That is just awesome!

Soon after the signing started. They limited people to three items at a time. If you had more than three, you had to go to the end of the line to get three more signed. Also there would be no posed pictures. They wanted to keep the line moving. I was a little disappointed at that because I was hoping to get a good picture with him. Since I had my number and it was a way down the line, I decided to go and get a copy of Side Jobs since I was there and it doesn’t seem to be coming out in paperback anytime soon. Slowly the chairs emptied as people got their books signed and I went up and grabbed one.

After a while my number’s group was called and I rushed to get in line. When I got up there, Jim said “Very nice!” which made me quite happy. I handed him the books and we talked a little. I gave the same staff member as before my camera to get a picture while he was signing. Luckily she had me go stand next to him so we could get a good picture. They were both very impressed that I had made the coat myself. Jim even called it “quite a coat”. I don’t think many people put that much effort into their Harry’s. It was the best experience I’ve had in cosplay yet. Getting a thumbs up from the character’s creator is awesome. And I got my favorite in the series, White Night, and Side Jobs signed by the author!

"Harry Dresden" and Jim Butcher
The rest of the pictures are on my Tumblr. Just click the photo!

Finished! Something from the Nightside

Something from the Nightside coverSynopsis from Goodreads:

John Taylor is not a private detective per se, but he has a knack for finding lost things. That’s why he’s been hired to descend into the Nightside, an otherworldly realm in the center of London where fantasy and reality share renting space and the sun never shines.

For John Taylor, there’s no place like home…

Review:
That was an interesting book. It took me a bit, but I realized he was simply introducing us to and explaining John Taylor by throwing us in the deep end. The end of the book was good. Definitely got better. But I still struggled to stay focused on the book and keep reading. My hubby says the books get better, so I’m not writing him off. Yet.
___________________________________________

Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green
Rating: 3 stars
SuBC: Read a mystery.