Saturday, April 29, 2017

Readathon Mini-Challenge


I'll always be a bookworm first, but I've also really enjoyed getting into games and gaming over the past few years. Not just video games, but also small phone games, board games and just a touch of D&D. It got me thinking about my books from a gaming perspective.

Gamer Luna - By: John Joseco by *Bernd01 on deviantART

I came up with a basic outline for a Pride, Prejudice & Zombies RPG (not the Freeverse game) where you have to balance your social standing with your ability to kill zombies. For example, if you choose to train in China instead of Japan, you'd start out with greater killing skill, but a lower social standing. At the same time, if you choose to spend time gossiping or dancing, instead of reading or practicing, your social standing increases, but your killing skills decrease. Sounds rough,I know, but it's just a basic outline.

This makes me wonder, which book or series do you think would make a good game? It doesn't even have to be a video game or RPG. It can be a board game inspired by or straight out of a book. Even a card game. Just tell me the book/series, the name of the game, the type of game, and some of its rules. You don't have to flesh out the whole thing.

I do have one restriction in all of this: you cannot pick a book or series that already has a game. This means no Harry Potter, no Lord of the Rings, no Dragonriders of Pern, etc. Yes, this disqualifies my own idea, but so be it, I'm hosting. For what it's worth, I'm not going to research if the book/series you selected actually is a game.

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My favorite idea will win a $15 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Nobles (your choice). To enter, all you need to do is tell me your idea in the comments below. You will need to leave some way (twitter handle, email address) to get a hold of you, should you win. I will leave this challenge open for the rest of the Read-A-Thon. Good luck and GAME ON!

Dewey 24 Hour Read-A-Thon: Mid-Event Survey

I gotta admit, I'm not socializing as much during this event as I would like. In my defense, The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu was pretty friggin' engaging. Especially with right music playing in my headphones. I mean, I even knew who was going to live and who wouldn't and I STILL let myself get totally emotionally engaged! So, forgive me for posting this an hour late. And for not socializing as much..I'll do better after I chug this energy drink.

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Anyways, Mid-Event Survey!

1) What are you reading right now? 
      I just finished a very emotional read. Gonna go to The Non-Adventures of Wonderella for a while.

2) How many books have you read so far?
     2. Both of which I, technically, started reading before the Read-A-Thon. But they still count, right?

3) What book are you most looking forward to for the 2nd half the Read-A-Thon?
     I have no clue what books I'm going to read after I calm down from that last one so I honestly can't say!

4) Have you had many interruptions? If so, how did you deal with them?
     Actually, I've really only had to take breaks for the sake of stretching, eating or bathroom breaks. Overall I've been pretty well able to focus on the reading.

5) What surprises you most about the Read-A-Thon so far?
     How little cheering I've been doing. Usually I'm better about that. I gotta fix that for the second half.

Dewey Read-A-Thon Update: 4 Hours Down!

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Okay, okay. I know I told myself I was going to post at noon, but I've had a lot of coffee so I was really focused on my book. I'm currently going back and forth between "The Deaths of Tao" by Wesley Chu and "How to Read Nature" by Tristan Gooley. I've made significant progress in both of them and am very happy about that.

I have reached a point with the coffee, however, where I'm going to need to drink water only for a few hours. Coffee helps my focus almost too much and I haven't given as much time to cheering as I'd like. Better get to it!

Dewey Read-A-Thon: Hour Zero Opening Survey

EEEEE!!! It's time! It's time! It's time for the Read-A-Thon!!!! I'm so excited!!! So many new people are joining us and I just know it's gonna be fun!!

My loving hubby, Fluxxdog, has already started making the bisausegg for breakfast and he made me coffee! Isn't that sweet?

Anyways, to get the party started, we have the opening survey!

1) Where are you reading from?

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2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

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3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

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4) Tell us a little something about yourself.

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5) What's something your doing different for this readathon than you have in the past?

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dewey Read-A-Thon Plan

It's that time again! Time for my favorite bi-annual holiday! Heck, my favorite of all the holidays! The Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon!!!!!!! There will be so much reading, so many books, so much talking about books and so many fellow readers! I'm so looking forward to another 24 hours of hyperactive reading and Twitter conversations about reading! Fluxxdog can tell you, I get more excited about this than I do Christmas!

So, I'm going to have a general plan with no specifics because, let's face it, nothing EVER goes according to plan, especially my mornings. Every Read-A-Thon I wake up at 7 AM (it starts at 8 AM for me) and plan to do a, b and c to get ready. Every Read-A-Thon at 7 AM I end up doing a, d, f and 8 instead. So, yes, general plans, nothing specific. 

I'm still planning on spending time cheering on others on Twitter. Maybe some blogs, we'll see how it goes. If you'd like me to visit your blog, Twitter or YouTube channel during the Read-A-Thon, leave me a comment with a URL and I'll be sure to cheer you on! I'm also keeping the schedule tentative because the volunteer sign ups mentioned hosting Twitter Parties!!!! I'm one of the most socially withdrawn and awkward people, but I LOVE hosting Twitter chats and parties! I don't get it either. I'm really hoping I get picked for that. I'm also hoping that my idea for a mini-challenge gets accepted. It's always fun to read people's ideas. So, yeah, tentative schedule until I know more about what all I'm going to be doing.

I'm really hoping for a repeat of last Read-A-Thon where I ended up laughing so much at what I was reading that I was able to keep up my energy. Even the Hour 20 wall didn't hit as hard. With that in mind, I'm going to try to have a bunch of fun/funny books, comics and web comics on hand to help me through any reading slumps. I'm also going to have an audiobook on backup in case of emergency grocery shopping trip or something. You can never be too prepared!

Tentative Schedule:

7 AM - Wake up and prep.
8 AM - Post opening meme and begin reading.
10 AM - Stretches and cheering.
12 PM - Update post.
2 PM - Stretches and cheering.
4 PM - Update post.
6 PM - Stretches and cheering.
8 PM - Update post.
10 PM - Stretches and cheering.
12 AM - Update post.
3 AM - Break out the comics and web comics.
4 AM -Update post.
6 AM - Remind myself that age 31 is NOT too old for this sort of thing.
8 AM - Go to bed!

Tentative Reading Material:

The Dinosaur Four by Geoff Jones
The Sea is Ours by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng
The Deaths of Tao by Wes Chu
The Non-Adventures of Wonderella by Justin Pierce
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja by Christopher Hastings
Grrl Power by Dave Barrack
Mogworld (audio book) by Yahtzee Croshaw
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Chimichanga by Eric Powell

And, no, naturally I'm not expecting to read ALL of these. I just like to make sure I keep my options open. ^_^

So, that's my tentative Dewey Read-A-Thon plan! Are you partaking? Let me know!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

4th Rock From the Sun | Nicky Jenner

*Book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.


This book takes a look at Mars mostly from a cultural perspective. "The story of Mars" shows just how much influence this one, tiny, red dot in the sky has had on humanity from some of the earliest writings to contemporary media. Jenner also gives us the scientific perspective of what Mars actually is and how it and its moons seem to be anomalies in space, based on what we know of astrophysics. 


I'll be honest, I did a lot of skimming in this book. Don't get me wrong, it was interesting learn that so many cultures, completely separate from each other, had similar interpretations of Mars and that life on Mars was, and still is, believed to be a thing. It was also interesting to learn that Mars and its moons should, according to all we know, be bigger than they are. Honestly, I love the fact that a planet we've known about for thousands of years still provides us with mysteries to solve. There were a couple of times I felt that he flow of the book was rather disjointed, that Jenner seemed to pole vault from one topic to another, but I still found the book informative and entertaining. 3 hoots!



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Open Season | Daren Worcester

*Image and book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.


A collection of true short stories from Maine Warden Service from around the 1960's and 1970's.


My hometown was the kind of place where schools were closed for the first day of deer hunting season. I practically grew up on stories about hunters and fishers. So when I found a book that told those stories from the perspective of law enforcement I had to pick it up. A lot of these stories had me laughing as much as a Patrcik F. McManus collection. The sheer stupidity of some poachers. Other times it was the dumb luck of the wardens that had me chuckling. Fair warning, though, not all the stories have happy endings, there are a handful of sad stories. Fortunately Worcester does a wonderful job of balancing the sad with the happy and the silly, making this a very good book to pick up for anyone you know who considers themselves hunters, fishers or woodsmen. 


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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Mogworld | Yahtzee Croshaw


The first time Jim died, he was a magic student at a low quality school that got invaded by the barbarian school next door. He went to a place where he felt happy and content. Then he and a horde of others get brought back to life as zombies by a Lord Dreadgrave who employs them to protect his tower from adventurers. While Jim finds the work easy enough, he still keeps attempting to find ways to die again, even converting to almost every religion he can find out about and then killing himself. This routine gets thrown out, however, when Deleters come in and completely delete Dreadgrave, his tower, and all but three zombies from his horde. Jim, Meryl and the priest zombie must now figure out why the world is so messed up: Adventurers are getting hit with the Syndrome, normal people are unable to die, and Barry is following the word of Si-Mon and destroying everything.


I picked this book up because I enjoy Yahtzee's YouTube channel with my husband. I will say that it was very easy to read the entire book in Yahtzee's voice and greatly added to my enjoyment. I'm sorely tempted to buy the audio book, especially after hearing the sample, and I don't like audio books! It also really helped me to prepare for Yathzee's sense of humor. There were so many things in this book that made laugh. I've highlighted more passages from this book than any other in the past year.

"This was the second time I'd been asked to justify being afraid of gnolls, and I still couldn't fathom why. It was like being asked to explain why old people should wear clothing."

This book is high fantasy. You've got sorcerers, undead, clerics, adventurers, etc. At the same time, it's as much about high fantasy adventure as Sean of the Dead is about zombie movies. It's a delightful combination of strong story and satire. As much as this book made me laugh, it was the characters and the story that kept me from putting the book down. Each of the main protagonists is endearing in their own way. Though I will admit I may have liked Slippery John more if he didn't keep referring to himself in the third person. That got very annoying very quickly, but it was quite consistent with the character.

At the same time, I appreciated Yahtzee's less obvious jokes. At one point a character gets called out on saying the word "little" a lot: "Did you know you use the world 'little' an awful lot?" Then he proceeds to use words like "small", "tiny", "diminuitive", "miscroscopic" etc. When I picked up on what was going on, I laughed even harder! And there are so many jokes like this, ones where you really need to pay attention. They payoff is totally worth the focus required.

Yes, some of the big reveals were kinda predictable, but the story and the characters are so worth reading. And the ending was so satisfying! It wasn't the ending I thought I wanted until I read it. I happily give 5 hoots and have already added more of Yahtzee's books to my TBR!


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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Myth of the Maker | Bruce R. Cordell

*Book provided by NetGalley for an honest review.


After their video game "Ardeyn: Land of the Curse" failed to even be launched, Carter and his team get tapped by a former professor of theirs to test a new computer chip that, theoretically, will have infinite processing power. Unfortunately, they accidentally access an almost infinite network that is fully occupied by creatures that are now looking to eat everything on Earth. In a last ditch effort, Carter creates a new dimension around Earth out of their video game so that the creatures are bound by the rules of Ardeyn. Unfortunately, not all of Carter's friends are okay with being locked in Ardeyn. 


I had a lot of fun reading this book. There were so many strange and interesting things going on that I kept turning the pages wanting to know more. And there were a couple of twists in the story line that had my toes bouncing because I was giddy with excitement. No surprises were completely out of left field and the story, world and characters are strong throughout the book.

The humor in this book was also greatly appreciated. I found myself really able to relate to Carter and Kate because their reactions felt so natural. A lot of times these would make me laugh as well. There are some very good one-liners in here.

Cordell goes back and forth between the first person perspective for Carter and third person perspective for everyone else. This may be a bit off putting for some readers but I found it incredibly helpful, especially during Carter's revelation scene towards the end. It really made his personal revelations flow a lot more naturally and it fits that he gets the first person perspective; he is the Creator.

This is a wonderful fantasy book that has elements of high fantasy as well as science fiction. You have aliens trying to destroy the world, but first they must get past Ardeyn, a world where magic runs everything. You have so many things going on but they're all so cohesive and well blended that it's easy to keep track. I happily give this book 4 hoots and look forward to more from Cordell.


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Saturday, April 1, 2017

United States of Japan | Peter Tieryas


In an alternate history where Japan defeated the United States in WWII, we follow the story of Beniko Ishimura (his mother was certain he'd be born a girl). He's considered the laziest Captain in service to the Emperor who only got a cushy job because of his connections. When he receives a call from a missing General asking him to take care of his daughter's funeral, Ben quickly gets caught up in interrogations by the Tokko (secret police) and their investigations into the source of a subversive video game. 


This is not a book for the feint of heart. There's a lot of death, some simple, most pretty gruesome. The book begins in a Japanese internment camp in 1948 and does not let up on intensity until the very end. This entire book was such an emotional journey I ended up crying. That being said, if it weren't an amazing book, I wouldn't have been so emotionally invested that I cried.

United States of Japan is a real page turner. It almost hurt to put it down whenever I had to eat because I didn't want to miss anything. Tieryas does an excellent job of pacing the book and revealing facts and new information in such a way that you HAVE to read the book through to the end to figure it all out. Don't get me wrong, one or two things I saw coming, but it was such an intense, well paced read that I had to finish it. And that ending was completely worth it, heartbreak and all!

The world this takes place in is so interesting. I really believe Tieryas did a great job recreating the world from this alternate history. There were so many aspects of the international repercussions of the war that I never would have thought of. Admittedly, the more advanced technology may be wishful thinking, but this is alternate history with science fiction mixed in. Tieryas kinda keeps everything in California, but still creates so many layers to the world that it really sells how different this reality is. At no point did I feel like any detail of the world was out of place or odd because it all fit with this alternate history.

I truly love this book. Yes, it's emotional, but it's so engaging and immersive. I couldn't stop reading it (so glad I picked it up during the weekend and not when I had to work). If you can handle how much violence there is in it, it's a wonderful book that will keep your attention through the end. I happily give United States of Japan 5 hoots and am eagerly waiting for the next one!

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