All sorts of bookish adventures!

Tag Archives: Winter

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man’s Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2) by Patrick Rothfuss

• Hardcover: 994 pages

• Publisher: Daw, 2011

• ISBN: 0756404738

• Genre: Fantasy

• Recommended For: Fans of the first book in the Kingkiller Chronicle series, The Name of the Wind; fans of fantasy.

Quick Review: Earns an 90 %, or 4.5 stars out of 5. Check out my rubric for my detailed assessment.The Wise Man’s Fear Rubric

I definitely recommend this, my favorite of the two books in the Kingkiller Chronicle series. Well-paced, full of mystery, and lots of themes to ponder.

How I Got Here: I read The Name of the Wind in 2011 and liked it, and Jessica, from Shhh…Mommy’s Blogging, highly recommended it, so I put it at the top of my TBR list for 2012.

The Book: Goodreads’ Synopsis

Day Two: The Wise Man’s Fear.

“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”

An escalating rivalry with a powerful member of the nobility forces Kvothe to leave the University and seek his fortune abroad. Adrift, penniless, and alone, he travels to Vintas, where he quickly becomes entangled in the politics of courtly society. While attempting to curry favor with a powerful noble, Kvothe discovers an assassination attempt, comes into conflict with a rival arcanist, and leads a group of mercenaries into the wild, in an attempt to solve the mystery of who (or what) is waylaying travelers on the King’s road.

All the while, Kvothe searches for answers, attempting to uncover the truth about the mysterious Amyr, the Chandrian, and the death of his parents. Along the way, Kvothe is put on trial by the legendary Adem mercenaries, forced to reclaim the honor of the Edema Ruh, and travels into the Fae realm. There he meets Felurian, the faerie woman no man can resist, and who no man has ever survived. Under her tutelage, Kvothe learns much about true magic and the ways of women.

In The Wise Man’s Fear Kvothe takes his first steps on the path of the hero and learns how difficult life can be when a man becomes a legend in his own time.

My Analysis and Critique:

There are a lot of lovers of this book. There’s also a lot of haters. I happen to be a lover. In fact, I liked this book a whole lot more than the first book in the series, The Name of the Wind, whereas most reviewers definitely saw this book as much weaker.

When reading the negative reviews on Goodreads, I couldn’t help but notice that many critiqued The Wise Man’s Fear for faults that I actually found in The Name of the Wind (they also hated the book because they were mad at Rothfuss, which is a very poor approach to a review, but I’ll discuss that elsewhere). Since reading The Wise Man’s Fear, I no longer find these faults in Rothfuss’ writing, as I believe there might be a purpose behind the seemingly trivial and dull points of the book. Actually, I am considering that there might be an even bigger purpose that has me leaning towards my conspiracy theorist side. But, that comes later in the review (warning: this will be a long one!). Since a lot of people have similar issues with Kvothe and The Wise Man’s Fear, in this review, I will share my initial reaction to the novel, and then my response to some of the criticism I found on Goodreads after finishing the novel.

My Initial Thoughts

This was an expansive novel, as Kvothe gets a lot done–both at the University and in his travels. He develops a lot as a character, learns a lot of new things (a few new languages, how to fight, how to make love like a fairy, how to call down lightning on bad guys, to name a few), and in search of answers to his many questions, he only finds more questions (close, but not quite as frustrating as a season of Lost). I loved the pacing of the plot, the new cultures and myths that were introduced, and the growing sense of mystery pervading throughout the tale. I had a lot of favorite quotes as well. Here are a few that stood out:

Kvothe on teaching: “It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers,” (556).

Vashet on why women are better fighters: Kvothe argues that men are bigger and stronger, which Vashet counters with: “that would matter if fighting were the same as splitting wood or hauling hay. That is like saying a sword is better the longer and heavier it is. Foolishness. Perhaps for thugs this is true.[…] the key is knowing when to fight. Men are full of anger, so they have trouble with this. Women less so,” (763).

Vashet on sparring before you’re ready: “That is like throwing two virgins into a bed. Enthusiasm, passion, and ignorance are not a good combination. Someone is likely to get hurt,” (767).

My only gripe with this book was the extended scenes of Kvothe in the land of Fae. He has a lot of fairy sex, and it felt eerily similar to Odysseus’ stay with Calypso in The Odyssey. However, I wish Rothfuss would have taken a lesson from Homer and skimmed over it–Odysseus was with Calypso for seven years, and yet Homer barely shows it. Unfortunately, Kvothe, and the reader, experience the fairy Felurian for months, which covers 80+ pages. Yet, this is a small gripe, because during these pages, we get a new plot twist with Kvothe’s encounter with the malicious oracle Cthaeh, and Kvothe got some new stories and a cool cloak out of it as well. Not too big a deal.

What They’re Saying at Goodreads

-“It’s offensive to women”: I completely disagree with this viewpoint. This was one of the most feminist books I’ve read since Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale last August. I mean really? Rothfuss has created what is supposed to be a superior society in the Adem, similar in their civilized ways to Swift’s Houyhnhnms in Gulliver’s Travels. The Adem society accepts that women make better fighters than men because they are more cool-headed (I might disagree with that occasionally, being a woman, and not always cool-headed) and considers men to be mainly useful for their Anger (penis).

Then, there’s the scene where Kvothe breaks the arm of a boy who calls two girls “whores” after they’ve been rescued from rapist bandits.

“I want you to look at these girls. And I want you to think about the hell they’ve been through in these past days, tied hand and foot in the back of the wagon. And I want you to ask yourself what’s worse. A broken arm, or getting kidnapped by a stranger and raped four times a night?”

The point which is considered to be offensive by some is when Kvothe compares sex with women to playing music. I just don’t see the offense. Apparently, Kvothe can, as he remarks

Some might take offense at this way of seeing things, not understanding how a trouper views his music. They might think I degrade women. They might consider me callous, or boorish, or crude.

But those people do not understand love, or music, or me.

I guess that means I do understand love, music, and Kvothe, because I could completely relate to his analogy.

– There’s a lot of slow, unnecessary parts: I really felt this way more often with The Name of the Wind, but not so much anymore. Each segment in the plot is clearly building Kvothe’s character as well as providing a framework for the overall story. I felt there was a purpose in all scenes (although, again, I could’ve done with less Felurian).

– “Look how awesome Kvothe is!” and Unbelievably, after each plot point, Kvothe is off on another adventure: Many reviewers gripe about a lack of plausibility in Kvothe’s character and numbers of adventures. Kvothe seems to be a genius at everything he attempts. He also seems to be involved in every crazy, over-the-top adventure possible, and these adventures are back-to-back-to-back (kind of goes against the above critique of slow, unnecessary parts, doesn’t it?).

I definitely see where these critics are coming from, but this is when I urge readers to remember that The Kingkiller Chronicle is a story about some dude telling a story–a dude named Kote, an innkeeper, who claims to be the legendary Kvothe. The majority of the two novels in the series are covering the story of Kvothe, and we only get little tidbits on the man telling the story. Who is this Kote, and is he reliable? Is he truly Kvothe? He’s certainly mysterious, and there are definitely little things about him that might cause the reader to question him.

Even if Kote truly is Kvothe, he’s still a master storyteller, and we’re hearing his story. He will make his hero out to be amazing, a genius, as it suits him. And, he’s telling the stories of Kvothe’s adventures, not the daily minutia of Kvothe’s day-to-day life. Thus, it will be action-packed because it is a story. A story within a story. We already know Kvothe likes to embellish his stories, so who’s to say he’s not embellishing his own “true” life story.

A final thought on this, coming from my conspiracy theorist side. Maybe, I’m too much of an X-Files fan, maybe I follow too closely the “Trust No One” creed, but sometimes I felt like Rothfuss was pulling a long con on me. I’m really not a hundred percent sure that I can believe everything the innkeeper Kote is telling the Chronicler. There is so much mystery–Bast, the innkeeper’s fae sidekick; random occurrences around the Inn; Kote/Kvothe’s lack of genius and ability in the present time. I feel like there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. I think I want to re-read all of the present-day scenes at the inn and see if I can pinpoint just what is making me second-guess.

Overall, I recommend this series highly. I will re-read it, I’ve bought copies for friends, and I think you should check it out too!

Links:

Man, this review is LITTERED with links! Click on a few, as they’re in context.

Advertisements

Recently, I was looking at my shelves on Goodreads and was surprised by the sheer amount of fantasy novels I have read or want to read. I have never really noticed what a huge fan of the genre I am, and I guess I have been for a really long time. Here are my favorites books and serials in the genre, most of which are pretty much everyone’s favorites.

the hobbit

1. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

3. The Kingkiller Chronicle series (written so far: The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear) by Patrick Rothfuss

A Game of Thrones Song of Ice and Fire George R.R. Martin

4. A Song of Ice and Fire series (five written, two more to go. Hopefully, they’ll be published before the end of this decade!) by George R.R. Martin

The Gunslinger audiobook by stephen king

5. The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

6. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

7. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

8. The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

9. The Talisman and Black House by Stephen King and Peter Straub

10. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

What Is Glaringly Absent from This List:

Here are some books I am most definitely planning on reading, as I believe they are essential for any fan of the fantasy genre.

1. The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

2. His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman

3. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

4. The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett

5. Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind

6. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

7. The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula. K Le Guin


The History of English Literature by Perry Keenlyside; narrated by Derek Jacobi and Cast

• Audiobook: 0 pages

• Publisher: NAXOS Audiobooks, 2001

• ISBN: 9626342218

• Genre: Nonfiction–Literary History and Analysis

• Recommended For: Anyone looking for a quick overview of the entire history of English Literature, from Chaucer to Ishiguro, in an easy listening audiobook format.

Quick Review: Quick and easy listening to a very, very brief synopsis of the history of English literature. Highly recommended for its quick access to authors and tidbits of English history that one might have forgotten or overlooked. Is also brilliantly read by Jacobi and the rest of the cast, who read snippets from the classics expertly.

How I Got Here: I was returning a book to the library, and decided that I wanted an audiobook for the car. There wasn’t much of a selection, but then I spotted this title and decided it would be perfect for my driver’s short attention span.

The Book: Goodreads’ Synopsis

The remarkable story of the world’s richest literary resource, the story telling, poetry, the growth of the novel and the greatest histories and essays, which have informed the language and the imagination wherever English is spoken.

My Analysis and Critique:

This audiobook was perfect for my quick drives to and from work each day! Each track focuses upon one writer from a certain time period, providing a bit of history of the author and the world around them, and then usually providing a reading of a snippet of one of their most notable works. So, usually, I could learn about three to five different authors and works on a one-way trip to my work, and not have to think/listen too hard.

Each disc is also separated into two to three different literary movements/time periods. Being a history, the text obviously moves chronologically. Thus, it is set up as thus:

Canterbury Tales

1. The Age of Chaucer (Middle Ages: Chaucer, Gower’s Sir Gawain, The Bible, and Langland’s Piers Plowman)

2. The End of Chivalry (Mid 15th Century: John Lydgate, Mallory, and Skelton to Sir Thomas More’s Utopia and Le Morte D’Arthur to Wyatt’s love lyrics and Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer)

Queen Elizabeth; The Faerie Queene; Elizabethan Age

3. Triumphs of Oriana (Elizabethan Age: Spenser, Raleigh, and Sydney to the trio of Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Jonson, and the poetry and essays by Donne and Bacon)

William Congreve The Way of the World Restoration

4. Puritan’s Progress (Restoration: religious metaphysical poetry by Herbert and Vaughan; Cavalier poetry by Lovelace and Herrick; the epic works by Milton; Marvell; Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress; the first English novel in Defoe’s Moll Flanders; Dryden’s poetry; and finally, Congreve’s The Way of the World)

Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift

5. The Augustan Age (Age of Enlightenment: Pope’s poetry and essays; Swift’s satirical Gulliver’s Travels; Samuel Johnson’s criticism and Dictionary; the novels of Fielding, Richardson, Sterne, and Smallett; and Gray’s “Elegy on a Country Churchyard”)

The Eve of St. Agnes by John Keats

6. Romantic Revolution (poetry by Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge; Shelley’s Gothic Frankenstein; Austen’s novels; and the poetry of Shelley, Byron, and Keats)

7. Faith and Doubt (The Victorian Age: Dickens; the rise of children’s literature and the detective novel; the Brontes; Arnold’s “Dover Beach”; the novels of George Eliot; poetry by Tennyson, Rosetti, and Browning; the works of Kipling)

Modernism War Literature

8. The Age of Anxiety (Turn of the century/wartime: Hardy’s novels; Houseman’s poetry; the works of Henry James (?!); Conrad’s Heart of Darkness; Wells’ science fiction; controversial D.H. Lawrence; the war poetry of Wilfred Owen; the Irish writers Yeats, Shaw, Wilde, and Joyce; Woolf’s To The Lighthouse; the satire of Evelyn Waugh; Orwell and Huxley; and the poetry of Eliot and Auden)

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

9. Post-War, Post-Modern(Multitude of voices and styles, as genres mesh: Cecil Day Lewis; Keith Douglas; Dylan Thomas; Ivy Compton Burnett; Jean Rhys; Doris Lessing; Muriel Spark; Iris Murdoch; William Golding; Angus Wilson; Anthony Powell; Kingsley Amis; Philip Larkin; Ted Hughes; J.G. Ballard; Salman Rushdie; Kazuo Ishiguro; Carol Ann Duffy)

While obviously this text is just a brief skim, a tiny overview of the great expanse of British Literature, I appreciated it for its providing me with some authors and works that I need to check out in the future. I also appreciated that it flowed so nicely together that it sounded like a story–the story that is English literature.

I also relished the lessons learned on the evolution of the novel, as well as the information provided in the Post-War, Post-Modern section (I am shockingly poorly read in modern literature! This needs to be remedied!)

Overall, I highly recommend this to anyone interested in gaining some insight on the history of English literature and listening to some classics read expertly by various voices. I’m not sure how easy this audiobook is to come by, as I just happened upon it at my library, but if you can find it, I recommend it!

Links:

Goodreads Reviews


I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.

– from A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Wow! Thanks a lot Ernest Hemingway! I wish you would’ve brought this to my attention BEFORE I emptied my well! Now, I’ve gotta refill it, and I forgot to bring a bucket. All I have is this coffee cup, and the going is sloooow.

So, what’s one to do when there’s no inspiration? What do you do when you want to write but have no ideas? I realize that I’m not writing the next A Farewell to Arms, just this little old blog, but, still, I want to write and I’m a-strugglin’!

If you’ve ever been in this situation, as a blogger, writer, or any type of creator, I have some ideas on gaining inspiration. Here are some various strategies I have used or have considered using to spur on the creative juices.

• Do some reading! This was actually Papa Hemingway’s preferred method for filling the well (next to the making of the love): “When I was writing, it was necessary for me to read after I had written. If you kept thinking about it, you would lose the thing that you were writing before you could go on with it the next day,” (25). Read a book, read a blog, read a newspaper, whatever, just read!

• Look through photo albums. Bonus points: look through other people’s photo albums (buy old photos at swap meets and yard sales).

• Take a long, leisurely walk. Exercise can stimulate brain activity (or so they say).

• Listen to music (see yesterday’s post on how an old playlist gave me inspiration).

• See a performance– be it music, a movie, a play, LARPers practicing, whatever.

• Make an Artist Date with a bookstore, museum, coffee shop, library, any place where you could lose yourself.

• Watch a sunrise or sunset (these actually aren’t overrated).

• Visit an old cemetery.

• Ride the full circuit on the public transit (bus, trolley, train, subway, etc.).

• People watch–airports used to be perfect for this, but a bench in a crowded area would work too. Actually, jury duty is an awesome way to get some good people-watching done. Take notes!

• Take a hike in the woods (if you have woods).

• Go to an author reading or Open-Mic night at a coffeeshop.

• Attend a convention.

• Take a long, hot bath.

• Visit a place that is out of your comfort zone. For example, my husband would go to InCahoots ( a country bar); I might go to HomeTown Buffet. This scene from Vegas Vacation might explain my aversion to buffets:

• Play tourist in your own neighborhood…bring a camera!

• Go to the Swap Meet.

To fill up my well yesterday, I went to a local coffeeshop and wrote like crazy! I sipped on an Arnold Palmer and listened to three guys who were playing an impromptu bluegrass set on the patio. They would take breaks to eat their brunch. I ended up planning out the entire week’s posts! They’re not intricate, painstaking reviews or reflections, but still, I got some work done! Today, I might play tourist in my own neighborhood with a camera. It’s the Weekend of Inspiration, baby!


Post-script Note: I get a little daydreamy when I listen to music, and I wrote this last night in a music trance. Forgive me if it comes off a bit spacey…

The well has been a bit dry the last few weeks. I’m reading a very long book, and haven’t finished anything that I’m particularly enthusiastic to write about. I haven’t had much to say here on the blog, but I’ve been desperately wanting to write. Blaming it on a lack of time, I decided yesterday morning that I would devote this weekend to filling up the well, using some strategies learned during my quest to be a “writer” (will I ever have a good idea for a novel?).

So, when I got home from work yesterday, I sat down on the couch, pen in hand, waiting for ideas to spring forth from my head like my least-favorite goddess sprung forth from Zeus’ noggin. Didn’t happen. After an hour or so of brainstorming and internet-reading, I decided to step away. Try a different approach.

Now, before I stepped away from the internet, I was pondering music and playlists, thanks to an ongoing conversation with SJ from Snobbery on good music. SJ has some playlists to share with me, per my request, and I decided to hit up one of my old playlists for inspiration. This is how I used to always spur on writing in college. When I had to come up with a short story by noon the next day for my Creative Writing class, I would simply turn to music as my muse. Lately, I’ve been in a dry spell with music, so I haven’t really listened to much of anything but books on tape.

I know they’ve been praised many times before~ Hornby’s High Fidelity was all about them~ but mixed tapes (predecessors to the playlist) have power. Mixed tapes tell a story. The playlist I picked yesterday was from the few on my rarely listened-to iPod. It was simply titled May. May when? Last year? Two years ago? I do this a lot with my playlists–name them after the month in which they were created.

May playlist:

1. “Bring It on Home to Me” — The Animals

2. “Hand in Glove” — The Smiths

3. “Candy’s Room” — Bruce Springsteen

4. “Milk” — The Kings of Leon

5. “Steppin Out” — Joe Jackson

6. “On Call” — The Kings of Leon

7. “New Amsterdam” — Elvis Costello

8. “Wrapped around Your Finger” — The Police

9. “Square Heart” — The Blackheart Procession

10. “Reap the Wild Wind” — Ultravox

11. “Misfit” — Elefant

12. “The Happening” — The Pixies

13. “You Did It All Before” — Milla

14. “Tender” — Blur

15. “Everything I Cannot See” — Charlotte Gainsbourg

16. “Remedy” — The Black Crowes

17. “War” — The Cardigans

18. “Reptile” — The Church

Before I started blogging, you could say that making mixed tapes and playlists was my chosen form of writing. Writing via song choice and order, based upon my mood for the time period.

I’ve got loads of burned cds from the past ten years. Many playlists saved on my iTunes library. And nearly all of the mixed tapes from the ’90s, of which there are a lot!

Much like Shakespeare’s play within a play, mixed tapes have stories within stories. The list itself tells a story about where I was, what I was thinking about at the time I created it. Each song has its own history embedded within it. Then, of course, there are the stories that the songs tell themselves.

Looking at May, I think I was in a rather lovey-dovey mood. I think I was also very nostalgic. Every song placed on this playlist has some back story associated with it, and I can remember a certain key moment with each.

For example, “Reap the Wild Wind” reminds me of being 18, driving home from the city with my best friend Julia, back to the ‘burbs, after our first night on the town as legal adults. I had snagged one of my Dad’s compilation cds, and this song was on it. The sun was rising, and we raced down the empty freeway in her Ford Escort. The song encapsulated our youthful energy and excitement at exploring the world as women–free from curfew, free from the stifling microcosm that is high school. I still feel that excitement when I hear this song.

Meanwhile, another road song is “Milk”. I had just bought the new album by The Kings of Leon, had never listened to it, and brought it along for an all-night haul to Sacramento from San Diego. I was bringing Jesse, my new boyfriend, home to meet my parents for the first time. The moon was full and shining over the hills bordering the 5 freeway, somewhere around Fresno. “Milk” came on, and the moment was perfect.

Listening to my old playlists is like flipping through a photo album. Moments locked away for all time in song.

Listening to May didn’t exactly give me a bunch of blogging ideas, but it did make me think about stories. My stories. Which, while this is a blog mainly about books, it’s also about me, and my stories–the stories created while reading others’ stories and the stories created while living my life. So, in that sense, it was a pure spring.

I did, however, get an idea for a character sketch of Denna (a character from Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear) as well as inspiration for posts on the literary qualities of certain songs.

So, I’m not sure if my well is completely filled, but I’m glad I rediscovered these songs, these moments, these stories.


If you get a book cover tattooed on your body, you must really love the book. Or, at least, have some sort of connection to the book. Perhaps the art is just that awesome.

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut

After reading Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, my husband loved the book and the book cover so much that he got it tattooed on his arm. It looks like this:

While I have absolutely zero plans to get a tattoo, if I were, I wouldn’t doubt that it would be bookish. Here are some book covers that I would consider tattooing on my body. Each has some sort of reasoning behind it.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

1. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

This would be such a “tuff” tattoo. I would feel super punk rock with a Clockwork Orange tatt.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Marukami

2. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Marukami

I haven’t read this book, but I love the cover. It would make a lovely “girly” tattoo.

Maybe on my lower back instead of a fairy or dolphin.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I love this cover, but hate the book. Have read it twice. This tattoo could be a reminder to not

ever try it again!

4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

I have a good friend with an Alice tattoo. I love it. I have always loved this book,

 and if I weren’t such a chicken, this would probably be my first choice for a tattoo.

the wonderful wizard of oz by l. frank baum

5. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

I have always been attracted to the art of this classic. I think it would make a wonderful tattoo!

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

6. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This would be such an awesome tattoo. It represents so much to me,

 as a fan of the book, a fan of the genre, and a fan of the themes. I could see this on my arm!

Matilda

7. Matilda by Roald Dahl

Perfecto! I love the illustrations by Quentin Blake in this book, and Matilda is so wonderfully

 bookish that I feel that this would be a very good, meaningful tattoo.

8. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

I loved the book, and as a tattoo, Huckleberry Finn could also represent

 my young life spent traveling across the states. He was a traveler, I was a traveler. Another great tattoo idea!

The Portable Dorothy Parker

9. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker

I would be proud to represent Dorothy Parker on my arm. She is (was) a

 most awesome woman, and my tattoo could remind me of everything I wish to be as a woman.

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

10. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson 

Such a wonderfully creepy book cover for one of my favorite horror classics.

This is a sister story, so this tattoo could also remind me of my close connection to my own sister.


Paging Miss Personality! There she is, smiling, waving, talking, and entertaining anyone in her orbit. Your baby is also ready to explore a bit more, so beware her impulse to touch (and taste) everything and anything within her reach (including dog biscuits and poop!). She’s probably able to bear weight on her legs when you hold her upright and may even be ready to hit the road, albeit at a crawl.

WhatToExpect.com

Well, somehow this milestone passed me by last Saturday, but Adventures in Borkdom turned six months old last week!

I don’t know about “Miss Personality”, but I do feel that I have grown more in my blogging and am ready to explore a bit. When I started blogging in August, I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just knew that I wanted to be writing regularly and that I loved books and wanted to meet other people who loved books as much as I do. That goal was certainly met, and now I have found that blogging is as important to me as teaching. I feel a real need to write and publish posts regularly.

Since I started, I have taken part in a few reading events (R.I.P.,Charles Dickens Month, and Dewey’s Readathon), signed up for A LOT of reading challenges (just check out the side bar to the right! and I just signed up for another!), and have pulled away from all the memes that constituted my blog at the beginning (except for Top Ten Tuesday, my favorite!). I’ve also made some amazing friends here–I really wasn’t expecting the level of camaraderie I feel for my fellow bloggers and I am thrilled that I am still meeting new people every week.

In short, I am so glad that I started blogging in August, and I am so glad that I have joined this amazing community of book lovers. I am honored to be a part of this group of passionate and intelligent readers and writers and I hope that I am contributing as much as I am taking in. Thank you Tris Hussey for writing your book on blogging, as that inspired it all, and now, here I am! And, of course, thanks to all of YOU for reading my blog and making this hobby so very, very rewarding.

Speaking of Rewarding…

Achievement Unlocked

My newest blogging/reading buddy SJ of Snobbery has given Adventures in Borkdom its first blogging award! Yes! Achievement unlocked!

So, I have been given the Liebster Award, a Circle of Excellence award for blogs with less than 200 followers. SJ was ultra-flattering in considering that I might have over 200 followers (I wish!) and yet gave it to me anyways. She also said some very nice things about my book reviews and their influence upon her reading interests.

Thanks so much SJ! I am flattered and honored if I have any influence on anyone’s reading interests.

So, now, I shall pass on this Liebster Award to a couple of other amazing blogs that may or may not have fewer than 200 followers (I have the same problem, SJ–I’m not sure who has less than 200!).

Coffee and a Book Chick: Seriously, I don’t know how many followers Natalie has (it could be a gazillion), but I know that I love reading her blog. She is really sinking her teeth into Stephen King this year (even going as far as hosting a challenge, which I am participating in) and I am enjoying reading her reviews on King’s masterpieces. She has also recently discovered a love for audiobooks, so I actively take note of her favorites, as I am trying to fit more audiobooks into my life. Finally, I enjoy her feature “A Walk About Town”, which features pictures and descriptions of where she lives. Hopefully, I will soon be posting my own “Walk About” featuring San Diego. You’re awesome, Natalie!

A Reader’s Pensieve: Kyle is a lovely young teacher from Michigan who reads and writes a lot! If you’re trying to find the next best young adult book, Kyle is your lady, as it seems that she has read and reviewed them all! Also, she has started a new feature on her blog titled “Former Favorites” which features a book or series that she loved when she was younger. I love these trips down memory lane as I am way into nostalgia! Finally, Kyle is just awesome, someone whom I love to engage with on Twitter and even send the occasional, extremely long, ranting email to. She’s one of my first blogging friends and I am so very grateful to know her.

Shhh… Mommy’s Blogging: I love when I get a new post from Jessica in my Google Reader because I’m never quite sure what I’m going to get, but I know I’m going to love it. Jessica has such an engaging voice in her writing that her posts feel as if I am sitting at a coffee shop with her, discussing whatever is on her mind. That could be a lot of things, from a wide array of current reads (young adult to contemporary to science to fantasy to science fiction…she’s all over the place in her reading!), to her 30 before 30 goals, to her disgust at common grammar mistakes (one of my all-time favorite posts!). Jessica is also pretty special to me because she is always rooting me on in my reading–when I was reading (and, at times, struggling with) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, she kept up with me and encouraged me to keep going, through the entire experience. I’m so glad she did, as now I am reading The Wise Man’s Fear (book 2 in the series) and am loving it! And she is, of course, there with me now, rooting me on in my reading!

Tabula Rasa: I am very biased towards Priya because she has almost identical tastes in reading. She loves Harry Potter. She loves Stephen King. She loves Neil Gaiman. She loves Buffy the Vampire Slayer (not a book, but it says so much). Yet, recently, she’s been reading a lot of books that I’ve never even heard or thought of… a lot of German literature for German Literature Month. Going by her similar tastes, I’m guessing that I’ll have to check out some of these German titles simply if she recommends them. I’m pretty sure that I’ll enjoy them as well. It should also be mentioned that Priya was the first bookish friend I ever made here in the blogging world, and it’s been a while since I sung her praises. Priya, I still think you are just as wonderful as I did way back in September. Please keep up with your writing… I love it!

Cummings and Goings: Here is the obligatory non-book blog that is deserving of the Liebster. This isn’t the first time that Pat has been inducted into a Circle of Excellence, but it is the first time his writing has gotten some recognition. Book bloggers, meet Pat, a friend of mine who recently traveled around the world and wrote all about it on his blog. To say Pat is quirky is an understatement–as he traipsed across Morocco, France, Italy, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Australia, he got into some major hijinks and was brutally and seriously (I mean it’s all here, folks) honest in his writing. It should be noted that Pat is a huge fan of science fiction, Hall & Oates, and Jim Jams. If you’re looking for a high-flying adventure and exceptional writing that documents it, I recommend this blog. Come on guys–we’re readers, and Pat has a really good story to tell. But, you have to start at the beginning, as it is a story! I highly recommend this blog, and award it the Liebster for its story-telling excellence!

A Quick “What’s Going on with Me” Closure:

Lately, I’ve been a very good reader, devoting at least an hour a day to my reading of The Wise Man’s Fear. This book is highly addictive, and I definitely recommend the series. I’m thinking that I might write a character feature post on Kvothe (the main character) at some point this week.

Today, I will be watching a few episodes of Mad Men with my sister (we’re gearing up for the March 25 premiere of season 5) and then, later this evening, I will be tuning in for tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead. Shane’s gotta die soon, that’s all I’m going to say about that!

Have a wonderful week! Hopefully, I won’t be too sporadic in my posts here, and ideally I’ll have some sort of review to write later this week. Meanwhile, I will be announcing a giveaway today, so be on the lookout for that!