Archive for March, 2011

A Hat Full of Sky

  (Book 2 of OUaT, The Journey)

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett

(Discworld: Wee Free Men / Hat Full of Sky) I Will do two separate posts.

Paperback: 576 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins(August 24, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0062012177

A Hat Full of Sky: the second book in Wee Free Men, The Beginning:
From Booklist:

Incipient witch Tiffany Aching, who confronted danger in The Wee Free Men (2003), faces even greater peril in this equally quirky sequel. She is taken on as an apprentice witch by Miss Level, who is one person with two bodies–an oddity to say the least. Also, Tiffany is stalked and taken over by a hiver, an invisible, brainless entity that commands and distorts the mind of its host, which eventually dies. Luckily Tiffany is strong enough to hide a section of her mind within herself, but she is otherwise completely under the control of the hiver. It’s the cantankerous Wee Free Men (or the Nac Mac Feegle) to the rescue, with the help of Miss Level and the wisest, most respected witch of all. The chase is part slapstick, part terror, and in the end, Tiffany herself sets things straight. Pratchett maintains the momentum of the first book, and fans will relish the further adventures of the “big wee hag,” as Tiffany is known to the Feegles.

This is a case of the story improving as it goes along. Or maybe it just wasn’t confusing like the dream in dreams of book one. 

In A Hatful of Sky Tiffany goes off to learn more about being a Witch.  She isn’t gone long when the Nac Mac Feegle’s have come to help her once again since they, first sense, and then know, she needs their help.

I enjoy the Feegle’s and their Irish (Scottish? ) accents, along with their stubbornness to protect Tiffany.  I also enjoy the fact that they are “fairies” of a sort.  Not the typical  pretty little things with wings but fairies all the same. (another lesson?  Not everyone has to look the same? or BE the same?  wow, imagine that!)

At the beginning of the book is a Feegle glossary.  This is the part where we learn new words ..

Hag: A witch of any age.

Bigjobs: human beings.

Scunner: A generally unpleasant person

Scuggan: A really unpleasant person

.. there really aren’t a lot of words and you pick up on them quickly. (If I can figure them out with my one, old, wrinkled brain cell ..anyone can!)

In this book Tiffany learns how to tolerate, and help, those that most would feel do not deserve her help. 

To sum it up.. this book has adventure, learning, and a number of smiles along the way to keep anyone content.

An enjoyable read.  Now on to book three: Wintersmith.

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Outside and In

A few pictures.. (like when do I post without pictures?)

First is a nice yellow Dwarf Dahlia I got for my (so called) patio.

..this is my Desert Flower with it’s first bloom of the year.

…and my Geranium which is blooming fiercely.


Inside the apartment..

Ruth, my white dragon is guarding some of my indoor plants so BooBoo won’t eat them.

Since I am inside.. here’s my “reading chair” and a few of my tbr books ..

That small pile with my glasses on them are the first books I am reading for Once Upon a Time.

..a close up.  It is but a few of my 130 tbr books .(big sigh)

It’s Monday and one good thing has happened and two more WILL happen!

Booboo was at the vets today..  he’s been sneezing all weekend.  Sneezing and cats are a no no.  But it seems he is ok !!! that’s the good thing that already happened..

And tonight has two of my favorite shows.  Dancing with the Stars (and as heavy as Kirstie Alley has gotten she was one of the BEST dancers!!!!!!) and Castle!!!

I hope ya’ll have as good an evening as I will have once 8 pm gets here!

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March 24th, 2011

This was the moon I saw yesterday morning..

Sometimes I do believe the moon “moves us to do things”… like for instance..going to the used book store when we KNOW we have absolutely no need to!

Three of the 4 came of the above books came from the used book store for a total of: 1.67 cents. (I really can be good, but cheap or not “space” is at a premium and I really have to stop!)

The 4th book.. “Jo Walton’s Tooth and Claw” is a pressie from my “sis” across the pond, Cath.  Thanks again sis! This may well be the 5th book for OUaT, after the 4 Pratchett books.

Anyway… at the used book store I found a 1974 copy of Winnie the Pooh with the art work by Ernest H Shepard.  The paper cover was not in good condition but the inside of the book is very clean and crisp! (great art work!)

The Anthony Trollope book of The Small House at Allington is a 1997 Everymans Library edition in mint condition.

And the Three Musketeers book by Alexandre Dumas is also “mint”, but cannot find a publish date.  It is filled with gorgeous color prints by Roland Wheelwright.

For $1.67 how could I possible leave these books there?! 

I don’t know yet what that brings my tbr pile to but I do know one thing.. everybody better hope I live a long enough time to read and maybe pass on most of these books or someone is going to have a hellava time boxing them up to donate them somewhere!!! LOL

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Wee Free Men

Wee Free Men: The Beginning by Terry Pratchett

(Discworld: Wee Free Men / Hat Full of Sky) I Will do two separate posts.

Paperback: 576 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins(August 24, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0062012177

Product Description

When Tiffany Aching sets out to become a witch, she faces ominous foes and gains unexpected allies. As she confronts the Queen of Fairies and battles an ancient, bodiless evil, she is aided (and most ably abetted) by the six-inch-high, fightin’, stealin’, drinkin’ Wee Free Men!

Laugh-out-loud humor and breathtaking action combine in the books that launched the unforgettable adventures of a determined young witch and her tiny but fierce blue friends.

Since the book “Wee Free Men: The Beginning” holds two books in one, it will seem that I post on the book twice (which I will!). 

I have finished the first “book” in a book: Wee Free Men.

Nine year old Tiffany Aching thinks she is becoming a witch!   After meeting the (very blue, kilt wearing) wee free men she goes on a quest to rescue her little brother who has been stolen by the Queen of the fairies. And what is her choice of “weapons” you may ask.. go ahead… ASK!… ok I’ll tell you… it’s a frying pan!   That made me smile.  Any woman knows a frying pan is a darn good weapon to wallop someone with!

While trying to find her brother, Tiffany finds herself in a dream, and then a dream within a dream, and has to figure out how to get her brother and get out of the dream before the Queen has her in her power.  She also finds out that not all dreams are good dreams..there are also nightmares!

The first book was a quick read. A tiny bit confusing while in the “dreams”..but I attribute that to old age .   As in other books sometimes I forget the age of our protagonist and later wonder if all that is possible with a 9 yr old. (again.. old age. Sometimes it sucks!)  But I am happily reading on to the second book A Hatful of Sky , which of course, is in the same book! (get that?..I was hoping to confuse you)

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OMG! It’s time for Once Upon a Time again!! 


Carl is at it once again!  This is FIVE times, you’d think he’d get it right the first time!  Ok.. so actually.. he has gotten it right…each and every time.

And every time people sign up to do Once Upon a Time.. for the reading..for the fun.. for their tbr piles to grow… an’so, an’so, an’soforth.  Carl has made reading even more fun than it was before, if that’s possible.  He’s created a “family” who looks forward to his challenges, be it Once Upon a Time or RIP or his Sci Fi Experience..he’s like a magnet drawing readers to him…and it works!

So here we go with Once Upon a Time!!!

This year I will do Quest the First..


Which is to read 5 books in any of these categories: Fantasy, Folklore, Fairytales,or  Mythology or a mixture, as long as it’s 5 books.

No promises, but I may also join Quest on Screen..


(To participate in this quest simply let us know about the films and/or television shows that you feel fit into the definitions of fantasy, fairy tales, folklore or mythology that you are enjoying during the challenge.)

I do have a list of books for Quest the First..

Ok, so here’s a sample of what’s in my tbr pile for me to read…

Wee Free Men, the Beginning : Terry Pratchett (two books in one) a pressie from Chris and I’ve already begun it as my first OUaT read)

I Shall Wear Midnight: Terry Pratchett

Wintersmith: Terry Pratchett

Watership Down: Richard Adams

Narnia (the complete set) C.S. Lewis

The Way of the Wizard : multiple authors (I might use this for short stories)

The Name of the Wind: Patrick Rothfuss

A Wise Mans Fear: Patrick Rothfuss

………and that’s just SOME!

A few others that are not pictured are: …………

Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card, 

Bones of the Dragon and Secret of the Dragon by Weiss and Hickman,

Wizard at Large by Terry Brooks,

Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving,

Oracles of the Delphi Keep by Louise,

Hood/ Scarlet & Tuck by Stephen R Lawhead,

Childrens Book by A S Byatt,

Mystic Empire/ Mystic Warrior & Mystic Quest by Tracy and Laura Hickman… and the list goes on! 

So you see I have plenty to choose from without buying anything new!!! 

However, I see this year like all the others where my wish list will grow yet another arms length before OUaT is over!

Come join the “nut house” and read some great Fantasy !!!!

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I just read the 5 places Chris would like to visit over on his Tumblr.  I belong to tumblr because it’s the only way one can comment on it. (that’s a point against tumblr..and why I keep my blog !)  I wish Chris was posting these things on his blog instead so everyone could see them .  Anyway…  I thought I’d try this one for myself..because, old as I am I still wish I could see places before I die.. “5 places you’d like to visit” is like a specialized “bucket list”  :o)

In no particular order:

1.  England.  It’s always been in my mind to see England partly because my mother was English I guess.  Stonehenge always fascinated me and I’d love to see Merlin’s cave and Castle Tintagel , and Cornwall and towns that only have walkways thru them for shopping.  I wouldn’t mind finding more on Dickens and Wilke Collins either!  And (oh forbid) maybe Maggie Smith would be “in town” to be seen!! (heart be still!) And it certainly doesn’t hurt to want to be in England since I have an “adopted little sister” in Devon!  She could take me to see some beautiful stone cottages like was in “the Quiet Man” or in the book “Touchstone” :o)

2. From England I would scoot over to Ireland, since my maiden name was Patty McCormick, it would be only right!  I’d have to go into an Irish Pub just once. (once would be enough since I’m not much of a drinker ) And see the rolling green hills … maybe I’d get lucky and find me a leprechaun! Maybe I’d find what I’ve always looked for.. not that I know what that is.

3. A Place that I should have seen when I lived in California is: The Redwood Forest. (if you know me at all you know how I love trees and stones!) I want to hug a Redwood..and be amazed at how big they are. I want to get lost in the forest.  From there I’d want to travel to other forests all over.  :o) 

4. The Grand Canyon. I got to glimpse it once through overwhelming tears.  I ‘d like to spend more than 20 minutes there and even go low into the canyon!  I’ve had a “love affair” with the Grand Canyon since I was in about 5th grade when I first remember learning about it.   It seems strange, even to me, how I love trees and forests  yet love the grand canyon which is so so void of them.  At the Grand Canyon I could see a time when great things happened to the earth.  It would be this or Go to the Moon!… but I think I have a better shot at seeing the Grand Canyon ..heh.

5. And last but not least, Pandora   No one said the places had to be real!.. but then again Pandora is somewhere I’m just sure of it! (I’d have chosen Kesterwood Forest but I have no pictures to use!) I”d love looking up and seeing 2 moons and see all the wonderful plants and animals..most of all feel so in love with everything around me.

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March 17, 2011

5:32 am.. BooBoo Kitty walks over my chest. (he could easily jump over but noooooo he walks his 9 lbs over my chest).  I keep my eyes shut but finally give in and turn my head enough to see my clock..5:32..I groaned and closed my eyes once more.  BooBoo walks over my chest yet another time and then sticks his wet and purring nose into my ear. 

I get the message and sit up. 

He proceeds to walk back and forth over my legs while I pet him.  I wish I could go back to sleep but I know I won’t.  As always, I hear the train that is about a mile away.  First I barely hear it, and slowly it gets louder and then the horns go off as it readies to cross a street.  It’s really quite a nice sound for some reason or another.  Strange, I never seem to hear it in the daytime or evening as I am falling asleep, but it’s there off in the distance as I wake each morning.

I point to the floor and BooBoo jumps down and looks back to see if I am standing up .  Once I stand he knows he’s done his job and he can now “wait” until I get to the kitchen to give him food.

I kinda dread today.  It’s St Patrick’s Day.  It would have been my brothers 72nd birthday.  I promise that you never met anyone who loved the fact that he was born on St Patrick’s Day more than my brother. 

He’d always wear something green and he absolutely HAD to make his special Corned Beef and Cabbage.  I say special because years and years ago he found a recipe that called for the Corned Beef to be cooked in Beer…. so ..a six-pack later the Corned Beef would be floating in beer getting drunk.  

Actually, make that 2 six-packs and 2 Corned beefs because he would always invite others over to celebrate his birthday and St Patrick’s Day… of course it helped that our last name was McCormick.  He loved the fact that he was Irish and English!

So, I just want to say Happy Birthday to my brother..I miss you.

(Below is a photo of Dave and Jim.  If David wanted to take him out for his Birthday Jim always made sure it wasn’t “on” St Patrick’s Day so that he could still make the Corned Beef and Cabbage!)

I like that I am Irish and English also (on St Patrick’s Day I am Irish and English… all the other times I am English and Irish lol) But since I can’t eat red meat (cholesterol) I can no longer enjoy Corned Beef and Cabbage.

If you are Irish, or not… I hope everyone has a great St Patrick’s Day!

Erin Go Braugh!



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Among Others

Among Others by Jo Walton

Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Tor Books;(January 18, 2011)
ISBN-10: 076532153X

From Booklist

With a deft hand and a blazing imagination, fantasy writer Walton mixes genres to great effect. Elements of fantasy, science fiction, and coming-of-age novels combine into one superlative literary package that will appeal to a variety of readers across age levels. After engaging in a classic good-magic-versus-bad-magic battle with her mother that fatally wounds her twin sister, 15-year-old Morwenna leaves Wales and attempts to reconnect with her estranged father. She was sent to boarding school in England, and her riveting backstory unfolds gradually as she records her thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a series of journal entries. An ominous sense of disquiet permeates the nonlinear plot as Morwenna attempts to avoid a final clash with her mother. In addition to casting an irresistible narrative spell, Walton also pays tribute to a host of science-fiction masters as she peppers Morwenna’s journal with the titles of the novels she devours in her book-fueled quest for self-discovery.

O’m’gosh! I don’t know where to begin, except to say I won this book from Carl over at Stainless Steel Rat, and now I can’t begin to thank him!  And since I don’t know where to begin to tell about the book, here’s the link to Carl’s review, since he, so obviously should be a book critic anyway!

As most of you know, I don’t read sci-fi.  and this book mentions “tons” of sci-fi book titles and refers to them, but even so, I had no trouble what-so-ever enjoying this book!

As Carl had pointed out in his review Mori also mentions the Pern books a number of times and Stephen Donaldson’s books . . all of which I have read.  Both of those sets of books would be correctly referred to as sci-fi (slash) fantasy.. with the emphasis on fantasy.

I did love how the book was formatted to be entries into Mori’s journal. I’ve read a few other books done similar and enjoyed them also.  I did, at times almost forget she was only 15 yrs old because he writing was so well done… but then she was so well read, I guess I should expect that.

Mori’s life, up to this age, was somewhat of a turmoil. Her parents were divorced, and due to her mother, her twin sister was dead and she herself had an on going leg problem.

I easily related to the divorced parents, and due to my reading habits now that I am old, I could relate to the enjoyment she received from reading and from being able to share that enjoyment with others.. had she been born a bit later I am sure she would be in our little community of book bloggers!

I have to say, I wish this book were longer.  And to be honest, Jo Walton “could” continue her story as she continues in school!  If she ever should decide to write more about Mori I will certainly purchase the book!

I wish I had the “words” like Mori did and like Carl does when he talks about an extremely enjoyable book.. but alas.. I can only say, “this one is a keeper!”  And hope that you decided for yourself to find this book and give it a go for yourself.

Here are some tidbits from the book itself… just to entice you!

I did not buy Lord Foul’s Bane by Stephen Donaldson which has the temerity to compare itself, on the front cover, to “Tolkien at his best”.  The back cover attributes the quote to the Washington Post, a newspaper whose quotations will always damn a book for me from now on.  How dare they? And how dare they publishers? It isn’t a comparison anyone could make, except to say, “Compared to Tolkien at his best, this is dross…”

“What is it with me and Anne McCaffrey and getting the second book first? Dragonsinger is the sequel to something I’ve never seen called Dragonsong!  I read it anyway.  It’s set in Pern, rather than being about Pern, if that makes sense.  I would like a fire-lizard.  Or a dragon, for that matter.  I’d come swooping in on my blue dragon and she’d breathe fire and burn down the school!”

“Bibliotropic”, Hugh said, “Like sunflowers are heliotropic, they naturally turn towards the sun.  We naturally turn towards the bookshop.”

“The acupuncture went well.  It turned the pain off entirely while I was on the table.  That’s marvelous, it’s just so nice not to have any pain at all, not grinding away in the background even, just no pain.  I lived like that for years, but it’s hard to remember.  Pain oozes.  Like my dream with the ballerina with the walking stick.”

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… sometimes I wonder if I will make it thru the day.

… sometimes I’m amazed when an unexpected happy thought comes to mind.

… old isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.

… I want to choke the person who coined the phrase “golden years”.

… I would love to see the grand canyon…for about a week, heh.

… I wish I could find out my ancestry, but I don’t have the money and I know just by watching “who am I anyway”, that I don’t even understand looking at a census!   Does this mean I’ll never know?  I would bet I have 1/2 brothers or sisters out there.

… there’s a star trek con in Orlando in March.. wish I could afford to go. there’s also the fact my car is not reliable.  *sigh*

… why do old people become invisible?

… oh how I wish we’d go back to the moon before I die. I wonder how the astronauts that went to the moon feel about not going back? Do they feel they risked their lives for nothing? 

… I want to run away to Kesterwood Forest. (I realize that doesn’t mean anything to most of you ..sorry)

… lord I just added to my tbr list…AGAIN! will it ever be under 100 ?

… I keep thinking I will get something so I can walk and listen to audio books (free from the library) but I don’t even know what format most of them are.  cds?

… Why do I get so scared when I don’t feel well?

… I am loving reading Among Others.

… I hope Chris and Matt are deliriously happy.

… I pray I don’t get Alzheimers.. memories are so cherished.

.. I think I rambled too long…

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Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk.

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Anchor (October 5, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0307456196

From Publishers Weekly

Canadian writer Trofimuk’s uneven novel begins with an inspired premise: a man claiming to be Christopher Columbus shows up at an insane asylum in contemporary Spain. Under the care of a nurse named Consuela, he begins to tell stories of Columbus’s adventures, remembering some and reliving others. Meanwhile, Interpol declares the mystery man officially suspicious and dispatches an agent specializing in cold trails to track him down.

How can I say that the book did not “grab me and become something I couldn’t put down”..and yet… I found that I wanted to continue to read it.

The book is about a man who is in an asylum claiming to be Christopher Columbus. I thought the premise was quite interesting and so sent for the book from Amazon.

The story itself was actually quite good.  I found myself with many questions.  Why Columbus?  Why were his stories in the past and little things in the “now”?  What would happen when he finished his stories?

I have to say I think the book had a little more potential than it had, and sadly, I was disappointed in the ending. 

No, endings don’t have to happen “happily ever after”.. I guess I wanted to know more about what happens to Columbus.  Overall, it’s quite an interesting story.

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