Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spoilsports, Spoilers, and Just Plain Crazies

*This post was to be a Misanthropic Monday post but I really went on a rant and decided it was best to let it sit a day before letting it out to breath.

I have been reading Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series since the early 2000s. I have enjoyed every book. I have not always liked the turn of events that occurred in the books but I have been thoroughly entertained by each and everyone of them. I have loved and hated the choices made by the main character. These books have made me laugh, cry, laugh some more and also shake my fists at the turn of events (I liked Alcide from the first moment, to see him turn into a lesser character was not my favorite thing but you know, these things happen).

And like most fans, I have eagerly awaited the arrival of spring each year. Spring is a time when many things blossom and bloom; a time when new growth occurs, this holds true for many paranormal/ urban fantasy series. Spring is a time of year when I save up my hard earned money (and Christmas gift cards!) to splurge on buying the next installments to many of my favorite series, including Ms.Harris's Sookie books. In short, I have been emotionally and financially invested in following this series, just like many of its other fans. This past week, I have learned that the book world is in an uproar because some "fan" managed to not only get a hold of a copy of Dead Ever After  early but they also proceeded to post the ending of the series online before the book's release date. Now, I understand being upset when a series ends in a way that you really did not want it to; see the a fore mentioned emotional and financial investment. What I cannot understand is taking your emotional revenge out on others who are eagerly awaiting the last book of the series too. By posting a spoiler, you do just that, you spoil everything for those who have not yet been able to read the book. I have names for people like this "fan" but I will not post them here and will just call these types of people spoilsports. Spiteful Spoilsports.

However, this spiteful act of one spoilsport does not stop there. No, of course it doesn't. The internet being the internet, other haters and emotionally unstable people who are strengthened by their anonymity have dog piled on the spoiler post to vent their spleens to the world and blame Charlaine Harris for their many woes.  Those truly unstable have even threaten Ms. Harris' well being. This is disturbing to me. Ms. Harris has shared her creativity with her readers for decades. As a writer she has created many characters and story lines over the years. Created as in meaning she is their source of origin, their creator, the well spring from which they well, sprung.

She was the person driving the bus we were but passengers along for the ride. While it is true most passengers have opinions about which route would be best to take, ultimately we were not seated at the controls and the big decisions were the driver's to make, you know, like which radio stations we listen too on the road trip. We passengers buy our tickets knowing that we have no input in the final destination of the trip, in fact that is part of the thrill for many of us, the wonder of where it will all lead in the end. For some, however, it appears that their purchasing of a ticket means they are entitled to dictate the path the driver will take and take control over the radio.Perhaps the driving analogy was not the best choice here because I know someone can make the passenger as navigator argument.

Either way, in my personal opinion I do not think readers get to dictate how a story ends, the writer does. Yes, I agree that readers can be disappointed in how a story ends and yes, I do agree that we can voice why we are disappointed on forums, blogs, emails, etc. Doing so by purposely ruining the ending for everyone else is just childish and mean. Voicing your opinion on a book or the outcome of a long series by name calling and/or sending threats is more than childish and mean, it is a sign of ignorance and mental instability.

To these people I say get a grip, take your meds, and go see a mental health professional post haste...

...and above all else, don't breed!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Another Wonderful Wednesday Evening

It has been a while since I shared my appreciation for Wednesday evenings but I do not love them any less. I don't love them because they mark the mid-point in the work week. When you work Saturdays like I do regularly, Thursday becomes the new mid-week checkpoint. I like my Wednesdays because this is the day of the week when I work only at the library. I generally work 1PM to 8PM, not a bad shift. I do have a forty minute commute each way but still, I can sleep in and still have time to do some housework or homework before going to work-work.

The entire day is slow paced and practically stress free. It gives me time to relax those shoulder muscles that were tensed up since Sunday evening, so that when they ball up again on Thursday morning they won't feel so fatigued. I guess while Wednesday (and really how many times can I refer to one day in a short blog?) is not a mid-week mark of my work week, it is the reset button for my stress.

I will wallow in my Wednesday evening splendor tonight as I read Finding Camlann by Peter Pidgeon.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Book Review: Cinderella Rules by Donna Kauffman

The book opens with Darby Landon (full name Darmilla Beatrice Landon), an escapee from the socialite circles of Washington D.C., elbow deep in foaling season (literally) on her ranch in Montana. She is interrupted by a phone call from her baby sister, who is in dire need of help only her older sister can provide. This favor will require Darby to return to the Washington Social fold to play babysitter to a colleague of her estranged father. Lucky for Darby her sister Pepper has already booked her into Glass Slipper Inc.'s emergency spa treatment.

Upon her arrival east, Darby meets another Washington runaway, Shane Morgan, the very real Godson of one of Glass Slipper's three Godmothers. Darby was not expecting to meet a handsome rogue on her trip back east but she is more than willing to indulge herself just a little, if only she new how deep she would fall and how fast. However, a unlikely romance is not the only misadventure to meet Darby in Washington; espionage, corporate intrigue, frilly costumes, and a gorgeous, godlike Swede by the name of Stefan Bjornsen are all on her dance card.

With not one but two Prince Charmings to choose from, what is a girl to do? What path will Darby Landon choose to find her HEA, the charming and adventurous rogue, the well manicured but still drop dead sexy businessman, or the fastest route back to her ranch in Montana?

This book is the perfect beach read. It is light, funny, and full of charming characters. If you are looking for great literature, this is not your book, the plot is far fetched and gets a little drawn out with poor little rich girl/boy angst. If you just want a fun read this book will entertain you for a lazy afternoon.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Not Much to Say...

I am in the middle of finishing up a group project for a LibGuide for my LIS 2500 class. This is the last assignment I have to do for the semester. I will get to enjoy a few weeks of just work and no school before the summer semester begins. I did finish one book titled Runes by Ednah Walters. I don't have much to say about the book. It had great character development but the relationship between the protagonists and her love interests reeks of Twilight influences. It really irks me that Twilight has made that much of an impression on me that I compare other books to it, even if I am not using it as a favorable marker. On the positive side Ms. Walters does contribute a twist in the YA paranormal romance, Valkyries!

I love Norse mythology and I don't think it is given nearly enough attention, in any type of literature much less urban fantasy and paranormal romance. So I was excited by the title of the book. However, I was again slightly disappointed in Ms. Walter's distortion of the Valkyrie mythology but intrigued enough to finish reading the book. I might check out the next book in the series when it comes out to see where she takes this ride but it is not on the top of my list at this point. It was by far not the worst book I have read this year but I felt a disconnect with the story due to the issues with the relationship storyline. I don't like to say much if I don't have anything really good to say so I will just stop there for the night. I have started another more amusing book title Cinderella Rules by Donna Kauffman. I am already enjoying it so more on that later.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Of Rainy Fridays and Grumpy Authors

It is raining today. While I am sure I will hear no end to complaints today about the horrible weather and "when will spring get here" comments (it was very warm for two full days), the rain allowed me to grab an extra hour of sleep. I cancelled the Friday morning "Walk Like a Librarian" program. I have bronchitis, I don't want pneumonia, especially not walking pneumonia. Getting, walk like a librarian, walking pneumonia? Never mind (it was funny in my head, might be the cough medicine).

In other news, apparently Grumpy Cat is now to be an author. Posted on Tardar's official Facebook page was this little tidbit.
I want a copy. I really do.

Hope everyone has a good Friday (get it , Good Friday, Ha! I love this cough medicine, it is going to make today fun! My poor coworkers have no idea waht they are in for today :) )

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Book Review: The Water Witch by Juliet Dark

Okay, I suck. It is Tuesday morning, not Monday evening but I am going to post a quick review now and finish it up later tonight after work. I am working on a LibGuide project with a couple of classmates and I got sucked in yesterday. I literally accomplished nothing else on my list but I made serious progress on the guide, which oddly enough is the one assignment not due by the end of this week. Naturally I wasted all my productive time and energy on it.

The Water Witch is the second book in the Fairwick Chronicles. After banishing her incubus in the first book, Callie MacFay, a professor of Gothic literature, is trying to settle into a normal(ish) life in the town of Fairwick.  A college town filled with a mixture of humans, witches, and faery creatures of myth and legend. In the beginning of the book we see that she has been mostly successful in her endeavors, however, she still has a Liam sized hole in her life. Determined to move on with her life, Callie is trying to learn more about her powers and her duties as a doorkeeper. And with the looming visit from the sinister Grove witches, a large and powerful coven who are anti-fey, Callie may not have enough time to learn her lessons and save Faery and the residents of Fairwick.

Enter Duncan Laird, will he be the answer to all of Callie's problems? Or is Liam still the only answer Callie requires? Can Callie heal her heart and save Fairwick and Faery or will she have to chose?

My opinion:
Honestly, I really enjoyed reading this book. I liked the first one but it had a few flaws that made me twitch more than once. However, Juliet Dark has built a world of pure fantasy, a world were reality and fairy tale (and nightmares) exist in a co-dependent relationship where academia thrives. A world I would want to live in. Thankfully Ms. Dark's writing allows me to do just that for a few hours. 

So despite the twitching I experienced with the first book, I eagerly awaited the sequel and I was not disappointed. The second book was a stronger tale from start to finish. There were no pacing issues in narration and while still a few quirks on the timeline of the plot, I enjoy the story enough to allow "it's magic" to wash the "but what about..."s away. One has to admire an author that can throw out a Beverly Cleary, The Mouse and the Motorcycle reference and still produce steamy love scenes that will make you blush but somehow don't eat up the plot. This is a sign of true skill. Very few paranormal romance authors can accomplish this feat and even less bother to try. While not the perfect novel, The Water Witch will take you away to a place that is both familiar and exotic, a little erotic, a place that is full of adventure, wonder, and a little heartache. A place worth losing a few hours of daylight to experience its pleasures (and a little moonlight, definitely worth the price of moonlight).


Friday, April 05, 2013

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Springtime...

Today is an absolutely beautiful early spring day here in Lancaster County, PA. There are blue skies, fluffy white clouds and it is a cool sixty degrees with a nice gentle wind blowing. It is a perfect day in April. A day very much like the one in the picture below of Gia (she is an Irish Wolfhound mix), which was taken last year around this time.

My beautiful baby girl Gia out sniffing the neighbor's...well, yard.
I already enjoyed a crisp morning walk before I started my shift at the circulation desk. A new program I started at the library is called "Walk Like a Librarian;" me being the librarian and the walking like part being slow and steady around the neighboring retirement community. For those now wondering, yes, I have been lapped by an octogenarian but she had the home court advantage and I think she took a shortcut.

To add to the perfection of the day, as of 1 PM I am off of work until Tuesday (yes, both jobs! I know!). How much more awesome could it get? All right, perhaps a cleaning lady could come and pay my little shack of horrors a visit, that would be awesome! It is also a complete fantasy because even if I had the funds to make it a possibility, I would be too embarrassed to have someone come into my home and clean up after me. I would seriously be one of those people who cleaned before the cleaning lady arrived. But right now I don't need the motivation of guilt and shame, I have the beautiful day to inspire me. Funny how nice weather makes me feel like throwing the windows open and cleaning the daylight out of my winter crusted abode instead of just running outside and spending a day away from same said house of nasty. It is also funny how I am informing you I feel this way but it is now after 4 pm and I have yet to get past throwing the windows open. Maybe tomorrow will be gorgeous too. I can make the whole weekend about spring cleaning!

Who am I kidding, even if there was beautiful weather all weekend, I would find an excuse (usually in book shape) to procrastinate. I might as well suck it up and go scrub a bathroom, turn on the dishwasher, and do some laundry now so I'm not up till 2 AM guilt cleaning.

P.S. I promise to post a book review of Water Witch by Juliet Dark by Monday.
P.S.S. Monday night, I have a LibGuide project to complete this weekend.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

An Odd Thought...

...has just occurred to me. I have a forty plus minute commute to one of my jobs. My other job takes me ten minutes of travel to get to it. I usually arrive at the one with a shorter commute time in a huff. I find the amount of stupidity on the roads really aggravating so this is not that surprising. What is a complete surprise is that I have yet to arrive at the one with a much longer commute in a pissy mood. At first I thought perhaps all the stupidty is concentrated in the southern end of the county. But I have proof this is not true, not true at all. In Lancaster County, the stupidity is well dispersed amongst the population, as I am sure it is everywhere. So what's the difference?

I have always looked for a job close to my home for reasons of saving gas, convenience, and because I thought my head would explode if I had to drive more than twenty minutes to go to a job I may or may not like. Perhaps the fact that I love my job with the longer commute makes a difference? Hmm-mm, maybe but I think it might be something else.

Since I work in a children's library, I have been trying to become more familiar with some of the literature so that I can be more effective with reader advisory questions. Since I have limited time to read between working two jobs and going to school part time, I found it was easiest to accomplish this by listening to books on audio while I drive. I find this to be very enjoyable and relaxing. So much so that I (mostly) ignore the blatant stupidity right in front of me on the road and just enjoy my own personal story time. I think someone should do a study on the effects of audio books and stress levels while driving.

Hope everyone has a good Wednesday, I am off for a nice long drive with the CD 5 and 6 of Lost Hero by Rick Riordan as read by Joshua Swanson.