Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell

Bernard Cornwell, your Uhtred of Bebbanburg has utterly charmed me once again! With the latest book in The Saxon Tales, I am once again enthralled with the courage and pure chutzpah of my favorite warrior, and once again left waiting anxiously to find out what he's going to get up to next.

Death of Kings begins with Uhtred at home, but that doesn't remain the case for long. Never one to sit back and let events slide by, Uhtred soon finds himself chasing elusive Danes and Saxons who change loyalties more often than the wind changes direction, and he is never reticent to use his formidable battle prowess. The death of Alfred the Great, ruler of much of England around 900 A.D., sets the stage for many to try to take a throne; while Uhtred never particularly liked Alfred, he admired him and as a sworn man, vows to uphold his son Edward's claim to the throne. What follows is one of the greatest battles on English soil as men of varying degrees of integrity attempt to roust Edward, and Cornwell sews Uhtred seamlessly into the mix of actual events--so much so that I often forgot that Uhtred is a fictional character and could actually imagine him having led the armies just as written here.

Cornwell's research is awe-inspiring, and his use of language is authentic as well, if sometimes confusing. From a dark, often unchronicled period of history, Cornwell weaves a tale that is often gruesome, brutal, and yet ultimately thrilling. I will admit that a few times the story seemed to drag a bit as Uhtred--and the reader--waited for the "big" battle between Danes and Saxons. But Uhtred's genius and arrogance saves the day once again, and this reader always finds time spent with him satisfying. This novel rates a strong 4.5-4.75 stars and a deep loyalty among those of us who just cannot get enough of Uhtred and his pre-Conqueror swagger. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Top 5 Things That Have Kept Me From Reading More in 2011

In the spirit of the old year, taking stock, planning ahead, etc., I figured it was time to analyze why my reading has fallen off so drastically this year in order to hopefully make changes in the coming days.  Though there's probably 50 sub-reasons under each of these top five, they really do represent what I feel my biggest issues have been this past year.

1. Television.  I admit it, I'm an addict. Not so much as some people (hello, other people living in my house!) but definitely worse than others. I love reality tv (I'm easily entertained) and shows such as Survivor, Amazing Race, and Pawn Stars have eaten into my reading time. Not sure what to do about it--I love both tv and reading, but a better balance should be struck in 2012.

2.  Game playing. I love online games--nothing too complicated, for sure, but Cityville, Castleville, Words With Friends...yep, I love 'em. Gotta curb some of that in 2012 or risk losing even more brain cells that peri-menopause has already stolen. That said, I will recommend the following link because it's mindless and yet fun. Play Mysteriez!2: Daydreaming - Play and Compete Online!

3.  School/Work/Job, etc.  Plan in 2012:  Become a kept woman. Not sure how to accomplish THAT, as I don't plan on getting rid of the husband (he's a keeper). Hey, I said it was a PLAN, not set in stone. But the job does eat into the reading time, whether through actual time or thinking about it when I'm not there. Responsibilities...sometimes it sucks to be an adult.

4.  READ FEWER REVIEW BOOKS.  I mean it. I'm a mood reader and my reading this year has been dictated way too much by my own greed at accepting review (free) books. I love reviewing, and I love books, but sometimes the mandate to get a review done within a certain time frame has resulted in less than stellar reads. I've made this resolution before but this time I'm very serious. I can't even walk by the side of my bed for all my OWN books there, and yet I kept accepting review books. It's a sickness, I tell ya.

5.  Too much running around--and not in a good way. Now I seriously don't begrudge Katherine all her activities, and I want her to participate in band, orchestra, Girl Scouts, whatever--but as of now, she's not able to drive so it's up to us to get her there. Plus the whole having to get her to school by 6:55 FREAKING a.m. every day makes for one tired, and therefore short attention spanned, mama. I wish I could fix this, but that's just how it is. She does turn 16 in April so maybe she'll be able to drive herself more, but then there's the whole worry thing that accompanies a child driving, so who knows? But this I can deal with because that's what you do when you have kids.

Sooooooooo....there you go. I hope and plan to change these things in 2012, but who knows about that, either? I just miss reading. I want to get back to it in a more engaged, productive way. And so I will continue to try to improve on those items I can and let go of what I can't.


Friday, December 23, 2011

I Promise...

...I will be a better blogger and reader in 2012! I've gotten myself sidetracked with too many non-book related things this past year and my reading really, really suffered. So I am pledging now to post at least 3 times a week and to devote more of my time to reading MY books I *want* to read.