yarn along

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Reading: I have an interesting collection of books on my bedside table. And I’ve finished three of them since taking this picture. To be fair, I was nearly done with The Elite, Bleach took just a bit to read, and Scarlet I was most of the way through. I picked up The One from the library but I only got a couple chapters in before I had to put it down. I just got so frustrated with the main character!! I’m finishing my reread of the Lunar Chronicles with Cress. As soon as I can, I’ll see if I can find Winter.

Knitting: A Man Hat with some rockin’ hot pink Malabrigo! I’m so in love with this color and this pattern. The pattern is super quick and simple. I’m really happy with the combo!

Linking up with Jenny!

Cinder ~review

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living with her guardian and sisters in New Beijing. As a cyborg, she doesn’t have the same rights as ‘normal’ people. She is a hard worker, but gets no respect from the people around her. She tries to not let it bother her, focusing on her work instead. Until a chance meeting with Prince Kai, her sister’s sudden illness, and her subsequent voluntelling to join the cyborg draft, that is. Things get a bit complicated after that… And that’s not even mentioning the Lunar Queen and the lost princess!

I’ve heard of Cinder and Marissa Meyer from a few other bloggers. When I saw Cress at the store, I decided, Okay, I think I need to find these books. And I am glad I did! I love sci-fi and I love fairy tales. Cinder is a great mixture of both. Actually, it’s like Cinderella met Star Wars, fell in love, and had a baby. The futuristic elements were really well done. Nothing too far-fetched or unbelievable, for me at least. But I read copious amounts of Star Wars, so it may be different for other people.

As for the characters, they were well thought out and full of depth. I liked that the POV wasn’t all just Cinder. Kai gets a bit of page time, too. Also, there was no Insta-Love! That, I think, more than most other elements, drives me insane with YA novels. Guy meets girl, then BAM! Insta-Love! It’s like they put it in an aerosol can and just spray when applicable. But with Kai and Cinder, they barely got time together, so there may have been some attraction, but it wasn’t the focus of the story. Kai is a great character. It’s nice to see a male character in a YA novel that isn’t just a pretty face and muscles. Kai has a brain and uses it. Cinder is a more complex character who really grows in confidence as the story progresses. Oh, and the great, important secret that is revealed in the second to last chapter? Yeah, I guessed it a third of the way in. 😉

 Aside from the sci-fi stuff, there was more to the story than just a romance. Kai is having trouble with a hostile queen, so there are politics and character growth. The rights of cyborgs get brought up, as well as medical issues.

I really enjoyed Cinder. I haven’t read Scarlet yet, but I have read Cress which I also enjoyed very much, so look out for that review soon. Hopefully.

Recommend? Yes.
Rating-5/5

Insurgent ~review

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Insurgent by Veronica Roth

{I apologize in advance if this is a bit jumbled and confused. I’m fighting a nasty cold that’s left me a little woozy. Sorry for any madness outside of the norm.}

Set immediately after the events of Divergent, Tris and Four are running for their lives. Again. They really don’t get a break, do they? Run, fight, run some more. (Sounds kind of like a recent movie series…) Tris has been hit hard by the death of her parents and still tries to come to grips with it. She, Four, and the remaining Abnegation take refuge in the Amity compound, hoping that the Erudite, the city’s new leaders, won’t think to look for them there.

Yeah, right.

When the Erudite and traitor Dauntless show up, it’s time to move on again. Our daring heroes spend some time in the Candor complex and with the factionless. But after a threat from Jeanine, Tris decides to turn herself in and of course doesn’t tell anyone. She should’ve known that wouldn’t go over well. 

Chases, escapes, rescues, betrayal, and secrets revealed, Insurgent has it all. The pace and writing of the sequel has sped up. It is also more confusing. There are so many sub-plots and Tris’s guilt-tripping make for a head scratching read. And about Tris. She seems to be wallowing in guilt the whole story. Yes, she has done bad things, but devoting pages and pages to her tortured musings does not a story make. She seems to have become more of a two-demensional character than she was in Divergent. Honestly, what is it with people not sharing potentially life-threatening secrets? Like, you know, running off to turn yourself in to your enemy? Yeah, honey, not a good move.

I don’t know. I was underwhelmed by Insurgent. It was just eh. Even more than I thought Divergent was.

Any thoughts? Leave a comment.

{PS. I changed the theme of my blog, in case you didn’t notice.}

the Hobbit~ book and movie review

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The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

As I’m sure you can tell, this post was supposed to go up around Christmas time. It didn’t happen, but that’s life. I reread The Hobbit a few months ago and watched the movies about the same time, so I hope they are still a little fresh in my mind.

The Hobbit is a classic, beloved and enjoyed for years. It’s the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Lighter and more whimsical than the trilogy, it seems to be more of a fairy tale than a history.  The hero of the story is as unexpected as his journey. Bilbo Baggins is a fusspot, to put it simply. He’s fond of the comforts of home and good food. He is a Hobbit, after all. But when a wizard shows up with a gaggle of dwarves, how can he not go with them?

Now, I’m not sure how this happened, but Peter Jackson managed to squeeze three 3 hour movies out of a book that’s about three hundred pages long, if that. I enjoy the movies, don’t get me wrong. Yes, there are many, many things that drive me over the edge sometimes, but they are still good movies.

What I liked:
The story was fleshed out more. The book seems to be the bare bones of what happened. Where did Gandalf go? What does a Hobbit hole look like? You know, little things like that.
I love the lushness of the landscape and the story. It’s so sweeping and dramatic.
I liked seeing the Dwarves and their wild, mad behavior.
Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. ‘Nuff said.
And Bilbo. Ah! I love him. His funny twitches, his loyalty, his bravery, and just him. He rocks, he really does.

What I didn’t like:
The whole Azog storyline. No, just no.
The Battle of the Five Armies. Again, just no. My eyes were raw after. Never again.

Zita the Spacegirl Trilogy~ review

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Zita the Spacegirl, Legends of Zita the Spacegirl, and Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

 I love graphic novels. There’s something really different about reading what is practically a picture book for older people. And I really love Zita the Spacegirl. I’m not sure how I was introduced to this series, but I think it might have been through Regina Doman, who is a good friend of Ben Hatke’s. She used him as her fight expert in a few of her novels. 🙂 Anyway, the story is this: Zita, the heroine, finds a strange device that, when activated, sends her and a friend to a different universe. She and her friend, Joseph, are separated when Joseph is kidnapped by alien robots. Zita teams up with a man named Piper and a giant Mouse to rescue him. I won’t tell you how it ends, but the stories keep getting better. Sadly, there are only three Zita books. More! Give me more!

Ben Hatke’s art is amazing. There’s so much detail in just a few pencil strokes. As for the characters, I love Zita, Piper, Mouse, Madrigal, Strong Strong, and One. They are all unique and laugh-out-loud characters. When I read, I rarely laugh out loud. I’m more of a silent laugher. So if they make me howl with laughter, that’s saying something. I highly recommend these books to all ages. Oh, and Ben quotes G. K. Chesterton in the front! LOVE!

RKLW {reading, knitting, listening, watching}

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{A once-a-week post about what I’m reading, knitting, listening to, and watching.}
{Feel free to join along and link to your post in the comments.}

Reading: I’m reading, or have read, a lot of things this week. On the list, in no particular order:
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Lay Siege to Heaven and Citadel of God both by Louis de Wohl
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Ranger’s Apprentice: The Battle For Skandia by John Flanagan
A Sister’s Secret by Wanda E. Brunstetter
SummerHill Secrets by Beverly Lewis
The Complete Father Brown Stories by G. K. Chesterton

Knitting: A Honey Cowl, a pair of house socks (which were finished after this picture was taken!), and the mate to another sock. I had to *gulp* frog my Smaug socks because they were WAY too small. For those who don’t know, frogging is pulling out the knitting. It’s a dreadful thing to have to do, but it needed to be done so that I will be happy with the end result later on. It’s only bearable with deep breaths and chocolate.

Listening: The Return of the King soundtrack.

Watching: Holiday Inn, An Unexpected Journey, and The Desolation of Smaug. Rewatching the Hobbit movies in preparation for going to see The Battle of the Five Armies…. *sniff* I just know there will be many, many tears shed!! I’ll be sure to tell you all about it…

I’ll be taking a break from blogging for the next week, it being Christmas and all. 🙂 I hope you all have a wonderful, happy, and blessed Christmas.

What have you been reading, knitting, listening to, and watching? Leave a comment!

rainbow spines

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When you look at books, the first thing you see is the spine of the book. Sometimes the spines are very pretty. Sometimes they’re really ugly. I searched through my favorite books to find ones with pretty, rainbow spines. Here they are in order. I hope this cheers up your dreary day!

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Red

Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll~ I just had to include this book. My blog is named Alice In Bookland, after all! And the book itself is stunningly pretty. I love the vintage spine. And the White Rabbit on the front? Darling!

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Orange

Theodore Boone: The Accused by John Grisham~ The third of the Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer books by John Grisham. The spine looks more red than orange, but whatever. This is a really good book, great for boys. And girls!

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Yellow

Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne~ I think this book was printed in the 1930s or so. It is gorgeous!

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Green

Tiger’s Destiny by Colleen Houck~ Number four in the Tiger’s Curse series.

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Blue

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall~ Can I say how much I love the Penderwicks? The sisterly love between them is wonderful. The story is sweet. Skye trying to be the OAP (oldest available Penderwick) is hilarious. This is the third in the Penderwick series.

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Indigo

Anne of the Island by L. M. Montgomery~ My favorite of all the Anne books. I like it because Anne is older (but not too old), and it has romance. And Gilbert! Oh, I have such a literary crush on Gilbert…

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Violet

The Quiet Light- A Novel about Saint Thomas Aquinas by Louis de Wohl~ Louis de Wohl is one of my favorite authors ever in the history of authorship. His books are so well written, so detailed, and the subjects are wonderful. This one, about Saint Thomas Aquinas, is one of my favorites. And it’s one of the only books I have that has a purple spine!

Care to share your favorite rainbow spine books? Comment below!