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Happy Thanksgiving

>> Thursday, November 28, 2013




No this is not mine, but now I think I want one. If you're celebrating Thanksgiving I hope you're having a great time. I'll be busy with family and friends for the next few days. See you next week.

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Wordless Wednesday #214

>> Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wintertime blooms

Wintertime blooms
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Y: The Last Man Vol. 6: Girl on Girl by Brian K. Vaughan

>> Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Y: The Last Man Vol. 6: Girl on Girl by Brian K. Vaughan

Y: The Last Man Vol. 6: Girl on Girl by Brian K. Vaughan

Series: #6 in the Y: The Last Man series
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 126
Source: Library

The Short Version:
Two years after a sudden plague killed every male mammal except one young man and his pet capuchin monkey, he and his friends are still trying to find out why and stay alive long enough to do so.

Why I Read It:
I’m enjoying this series and have to continue to find out what happens. Besides, I’m pretty much predisposed to like anything Brian K. Vaughan writes.

The Book:
This volume 6 is a compilation of issues 32-36 of the comic series.

From the publisher:

No Man's Land

More than two years after an unexplained plague killed every other male mammal on the planet, the two exceptions - aspiring escape artist Yorick Brown and his pet monkey Ampersand - have traveled across the remains of the U.S. with biochemist Dr. Allison Mann and government operative Agent 355 to Dr. Mann's lab in San Francisco, where she managed to finally isolate the source of their immunity.

Unfortunately, that source is within Ampersand's body, which was last seen disappearing under the arm of a mysterious Japanese mercenary. Now, accompanied by 355 and Dr. Mann, the last man on Earth has embarked on a new and even more hazardous journey - following Ampersand's trail across the Pacific, where danger threatens from below as well as above the waves.

My Thoughts:
This series has been either great or just OK for me so far. I’d put this volume in the crazy stuff happens randomly category.

Yorick, Dr. Mann and Agent 355 meet up with yet another tricky situation. They’ve boarded a chip to Japan to chase down the ninja who kidnapped Ampersand but things aren’t going well on their voyage. Pirates, spy missions, Agent 355 and Dr. Mann hooking up and a beautiful pirate captain complete with sword complicate things.

I’m not sure any of the antics in this volume really advance the main story but nevertheless it’s a fun adventure movie episode. Yeah it’s all a little silly but fun which is really the overall tone of this series.

The last issue in this collection catches us with Yorick’s pre-plague girlfriend and what she’s been up to in Australia as well as some of the backstory about how she and Yorick got together before the plague changed everything for the entire world.

The artwork in this series continues to be good but not outstanding. I’m ok with it though because it’s been mostly consistent.

I already have the next volume out from the library and I’m curious to see where the story will go next.

3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

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Weekend Update November 24, 2013

>> Sunday, November 24, 2013

Weekend Update

Since my last update:
I actually managed to get some reading time this week. I got my new contacts on Monday and it’s so nice to be able to read comfortably for more than just a few minutes again.

I read a couple of graphic novels this week. The Runaways Vol. 2: Teenage Wasteland is the second in that series and the story is taking off. I’m glad I've got volume 3 out from the library and hope to get to that soon.

I also read the 6 volume in the Y: The Last Man series. I've got 4 left in this series and it’s been an interesting ride so far. In the story it’s been a couple of years since a sudden and mysterious plague killed all the male mammals except for one young man and his pet Capuchin monkey.

Both of these series are written by Brian K. Vaughan and I've enjoyed every one of his graphic novels that I've read so far.

I started reading Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian. This my last book for the What’s in a Name Challenge for this year. It’s good so far. It takes place in the final days of World War II as people are heading west across the remnants of Hitler’s expanded Germany to flee the advancing Russian army.

On audio I’m listening to Children of the Storm by Elizabeth Peters. It picked up a couple of years after the previous book and after World War I. Missing antiquities, family dynamics, adventure, fun and parasols. I love this series.

Other than books and reading:
It’s been sunny and cold here this week resulting in pretty sunrises and sunsets. The birds have been busy at our bird feeders and yesterday while I was on the treadmill I saw a hummingbird buzzing around the tree in the backyard and eating at the feeder we have there. Looks like I need to keep that hummingbird feeder filled all winter.

Browsing my phone photos from this week:
(as always - click on photos to see larger version)

Monday’s prompt for my daily photo challenge was mirror. I was pretty happy with how this turned out.

maple in mirror
I put a mirror on our privet bushes and pointed it toward our red maple tree.

Sunrise at Waterfront Park Wednesday morning
Sunrise - Tom McCall Waterfront Park

There are a few trees still hanging on to their leaves and they just light up when the sun hits them.
Sunlit fall leaves


And for this week’s Abby Antics:

She wasn't going to let a little thing like not enough room on the back of the chair get in her way. She can nap with her front half and back half on two different pieces of furniture.
Abby napping
Don't tell me there's not room on the chair for me to nap


Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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The Runaways Vol. 2: Teenage Wasteland by Brian K. Vaughan

>> Friday, November 22, 2013

The Runaways Vol. 2: Teenage Wasteland by Brian K. Vaughan
The Runaways Vol. 2: Teenage Wasteland by Brian K. Vaughan

Genre: Science Fiction, Superheroes (Graphic Novel)
Series: #2 in the Runaways series
Publisher: Marvel
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 144
Source: Library


The Short Version:
After finding out that their parents are super villains a group of teens is on the run and in danger.

Why I Read It:
After reading the first volume of this series I just had to find out what happened next

The Book:
This volume 2 is a compilation of issues 1-12 of the comic series.

From the back of the book:

Still on the run from their super-villain parents, this motley crew of super-powered kids finds a kindred spirit in a daring young stranger and welcomes him into their fold. But will this dashing young man help the teenagers defeat their villainous parents, or tear them apart? One troubled member finds out, as she leaves the group's hideout with their new recruit, who reveals his startling secret, putting the entire team in jeopardy! Plus: Who do you send to catch a group of missing, runaway teenage super heroes? Marvel's original teen runaway crimefighters, Cloak and Dagger, make their first major appearance in years!

My Thoughts:
The first volume of this series definitely got me interested and the second volume was just as fun. The kids in this series are great characters and I’m enjoying getting to know them as they face both dangers from without and fears from within.

The introduction of Cloak and Dagger sent me to Google to find out who they were and their background. I haven’t read the comics that told their backstory but it was easy to look up and honestly not truly necessary to the story in this book.
The kids are trying to figure out their own powers and talents and struggling to figure out what is the right thing to do. I liked that the story included them having difficulty processing what they’ve learned about their parents while at the same time just wanting to go back to the way things were before they knew.

The new dangers they face in this one bring them closer together while at the same time create occasional dissension and conflicts within the group.

Clearly this series is drawn and written to appeal to a young adult audience but I like it a lot and now that it’s past the introducing characters and situations stage the story is becoming more complex.

The artwork is still a blend of standard Marvel superhero comic and Japanese style art. It’s colorful and interesting and adds to the story.

This is just a fun series so far and I’m looking forward to continuing it.


3.5 stars Rating 3.5/5

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Wordless Wednesday #213

>> Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Baby elephant balance beam practice
Oregon Zoo

Lily at the Oregon Zoo
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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

>> Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Genre: Mystery / Short Stories
Series: #3 in the traditional canon of Sherlock Holmes
Publisher: The Floating Press
Publication Date: 1891-1892 (this edition 2009)
Pages: 243
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
A collection of 12 short stories featuring Sherlock Holmes as told by his friend Dr. Watson.

Why I Read It:
I started reading the Sherlock Holmes stories and books a couple of years ago and really enjoyed them. I bought this one then and wanted to read it but for a gazillion reasons kept reading something else first. Thanks to the Sherlock Holmes Reading Challenge I had an excuse to put it at the top of the To Be Read list.

The Book:
from the Google ebook edition:

Presenting 12 tales starring the legendary British detective Sherlock Holmes, this 1892 book is Arthur Conan Doyle's first short-story collection. The mystery compilation includes some of Holmes's finest cases with his dutiful sidekick, Doctor Watson, most notably "A Scandal in Bohemia," in which Holmes matches wits with the crafty former lover of a European king. Also featured is "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League," a study in misdirection that unfolds to become a much larger scheme. The stories, initially published in the Strand Magazine, are essential reading for Holmes fans.

My Thoughts:
I knew this would happen. Once I ventured back into the world of Sherlock Holmes I could kick myself for not reading this sooner. This collection of short stories is simply fun.

I enjoy the asides and observations of Watson as much as I enjoy the mysteries themselves. But I forgot how often Holmes can make me chuckle.

“What are you going to do, then?” I asked.

“To smoke,” he answered.” It is quite a three pipe problem, and I beg that you won’t speak to me for fifty minutes.”

“Then put on your hat and come. I am going through the City first, and we can have some lunch on the way. I observe that there is a good deal of German music on the programme, which in rather more to my taste than Italian or French. It is introspective, and I want to introspect. Come along!”

“This looks like one of those unwelcome social summonses which call upon a man either to be bored or to lie.”

This collection of stories was originally published in The Strand magazine over a year long period in 1891-1892. They jump around a bit in time and don’t take place chronologically although there are occasional references in the stories to other cases in the collection.

Some are a bit predictable and others took me by surprise. They were all fun and interesting reads. I will definitely not be waiting so long to dive into the next collection of stories - The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

4 stars Rating 4/5

The Sherlock Holmes Reading Challenge

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Weekend Update November 10, 2013

>> Sunday, November 17, 2013

Weekend Update

Since my last update:
Another week of not much reading time but I know what at least part of the problem is and it’s my contacts. My vision has changed enough over the past several months that I finally went to the eye doctor a couple of weeks ago. I should be getting my new contacts this week and that will help. I just have had a difficult time sitting and reading for any length of time because of the eye strain. At least that’s what I’m using for the excuse that it took me until the middle of November to finish my first books of the month.

I finished reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I enjoyed this one a lot. It’s really a series of twelve short stories compiled into one volume. It was actually perfect for my short attention span reading lately. I’m glad to have knocked off the one book I committed to for the Sherlock Holmes Reading Challenge and it got me excited about getting back to the series and reading more.

On audio I finished The Golden One by Elizabeth Peters and immediately started the next one in the series called Children of the Storm. It picks up two years after The Golden One. World War I is over and family members absent from the past few books are arriving for a visit. I’m looking forward to finding out what adventures are in store for the family.

I need to figure out want I’ll read next at some point this afternoon. I’ve still got several graphic novels out from the library so I might binge read a few of those before I dive into one of several novels that are tempting me right now.

Other than books and reading:
We went to the zoo last Sunday for a short visit. We live fairly close to the zoo and having a membership this year has made just stopping by for short visits a fun thing.

Lily the youngest elephant (she’ll soon be a year old) was out playing with her older brother Sam (who is 5).

Oregon Zoo Elephants Sam and Lily
Sam and Lily

I did the best I could getting photos of the baby De Brazza’s Monkey but the glass and backlighting made it hard. He’s a cutie though.

Oregon Zoo De Brazza's Monkeys
Brooke and little Augustus
We had some pretty cool sunsets this week
Sunset

Sunset

Sunset

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Audiobook – The Golden One by Elizabeth Peters

>> Friday, November 15, 2013

The Golden One by Elizabeth Peters

The Golden One by Elizabeth Peters

Genre: Historical Mystery/Suspense
Series: #14 in the Amelia Peabody series publication order, #16 in story chronology order
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 2002
Length: 17 hours, 49 minutes
Read by: Barbara Rosenblat
Source: Library

The Short Version:
In 1917 Egypt Amelia Peabody Emerson and her family deal with tomb robbers and a secret mission for the British Government.

Why I Read It:
This is one of my favorite series and I’m binge listening even though I know I’m going to be sad when I finish the last book.

The Book:
From the publisher
A new year, 1917, is dawning, and the Great War that ravages the world shows no sign of abating. Answering the siren call of Egypt once more, Amelia Peabody and her family arrive at their home in Luxor to learn of a new royal tomb ransacked by thieves. Soon, a more disturbing outrage concerns the archaeologists: the freshly and savagely slain corpse of a thief defiling the ancient burial site.

Besieged by the British and defended by formidable Turkish and German forces, the fortified seaport of Gaza guards the gateway to the Holy Land. Answering a call he cannot refuse from British military intelligence, Amelia's son Ramses must journey to this ancient, fabled city to undertake a mission as personal as it is perilous. Death will surely be his lot if he is caught or exposed. Meanwhile, Ramses's wife, Nefret, guards a secret of her own.
My Thoughts:
Note on series order: I read this one out of publication order because I’m reading the series in order of the story. You can find the chronology here.

I always enjoy an adventure with Amelia Peabody Emerson and her family. I'm down to the last few books in the series and I'm binge listening to them back to back and having a wonderful time.

This one is less mystery and more adventure and suspense which works just fine. My only quibble with this particular book in the series is that the two main storylines are really not interconnected at all. The story of the newly found tomb and the tomb robbers is partially wrapped up and abruptly dropped while the Emersons as a family traipse off to Gaza tagging along with the spy mission of Ramses. Only after this interlude is completed does the story return to the search for the new tomb that is the source of the artifacts that started the initial story back in Cairo. It feels like Peters had the two stories in the works and neither was enough for a book so they were blended (rather awkwardly in my opinion) into this one book.
Despite that it was still just a whole lot of fun. Plenty of adventure and danger and good (and bad on the part of Amelia's husband) disguises.

With her trusty parasol at hand Amelia is always ready for whatever surprise comes along.

These are a few quotes that made me giggle:

Occasionally Amelia sounds like me:
"Emerson," I said, choosing my words with care, "it is a sheer drop from the cleft down to the base of the cliff. If you are bent on breaking your arm or your leg or all three, find a place closer to home so we won't have to carry you such a distance."

I need a good stout parasol.
Nefret had gone at once to Emerson and was examining his arm. She let out a choked laugh. "She's used the ribs and shaft of the parasol for a splint!"
Once again proving, if proof were needed, the all-round usefulness of a good stout parasol," said his mother.

Amelia’s perception of men makes me laugh:
Selim managed to mend the tire, despite Emerson's attempts at advice and assistance.

She’s just so practical.
"We need a gag, Peabody. Tear up some extraneous garment or other."
"I do not possess any extraneous garments, Emerson. Hit him over the head

Barbara Rosenblat does such a masterful job of voicing a wide variety of characters in this series. Her talent truly stood out for me in a scene at a party where in quick succession and moving back and forth she deftly handles multiple accents
and characters who are British, Egyptian and Americans (from multiple regions) and I never lost track of who was speaking.

This continues to be one of my favorite series to experience via audio but you really need to start at the beginning with Crocodile on the Sandbank.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the book

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the narration



SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.

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Wordless Wednesday #212

>> Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sleepy Kitty
Oregon Zoo

Lion at the Oregon Zoo
click on image for larger version

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The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

>> Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Series: #9 in the Little House series
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 1971
Pages: 135
Source: library


The Short Version:
Laura and Almanzo Wilder’s first four years of marriage are filled with plenty of tragedy and a bit of joy

Why I Read It:
I started my re-read of this series due to a Read-along but I’m finishing it up on my own because I can’t leave my re-read unfinished.

The Book:
From the publisher:

Laura Ingalls Wilder is beginning life with her new husband, Almanzo, in their own little house. Laura is a young pioneer wife now, and must work hard with Almanzo, farming the land around their home on the South Dakota prairie. Soon their baby daughter, Rose, is born, and the young family must face the hardships and triumphs encountered by so many American pioneers.

And so Laura Ingalls Wilder's adventure as a little pioneer girl ends, and her new life as a pioneer wife and mother begins. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.

My Thoughts:
I am not going to worry about spoilers with this series.

As I’ve done with previous books in the series I’m just going to post a few random thoughts that ran through my head as I read this.

This book was published based on an unfinished manuscript found after both Laura’s death and her daughters.

It clearly has a different feel and tone than previous books in the series. This adds credibility to the popular theory that the earlier books were heavily edited by Laura’s daughter. The writing in this one is both simpler and at the same time more adult feeling. Again I think it gives credence to the idea that Rose played a large role in the editing and/or writing of the earlier books.

The opening chapter is a recap of the end of the previous book but with a bit of a different feel. Laura tells Almanzo that she doesn’t want to be a farmer’s wife and they agree to give it three years and it it’s not a success then he’ll get a job in town. Well obviously that doesn’t exactly happen. Their early years are tough ones. Weather, financial troubles, a birth, a death, the loss of a home are all bad enough one at a time but Laura and Almanzo really get it all piled on them.

There’s a sadness to this book because of all the troubles but there are still the small joys and simple pleasures that make this series endure.

Rereading this series several decades after I enjoyed them multiple times as a kid was interesting. It was a mix of nostalgia and remembering why I loved these books so much and at the same time a bit of realization of how much times have changed. Part of that comes from the difference in ways of life from when Laura grew up to now and also the vast differences in social attitudes and norms. What seemed slightly out of date when these books were published are often now excellent teaching moments for children of today.

4 stars Rating 4/5

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Weekend Update November 10, 2013

>> Sunday, November 10, 2013

Weekend Update

Since my last update:
Well it was probably inevitable. A great reading week was followed by a hardly reading week. It was just one of those weeks when every intention of sitting down to read got derailed.

I’m still reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. This really is more like 12 short stories than one novel but I’m enjoying it a lot

On audio I’m on the last CD of The Golden One by Elizabeth Peters. I’ll finish that up this week and move right on to the next in the series. I rarely binge listen or read a series but I’m down to the last few of the series and plan to listen to them back to back.

Other than books and reading:
We had a fun 5k race yesterday at Eola Hills Winery outside of Salem. Since we had the day off from football commitments it seemed like a good idea (until that alarm went off yesterday morning).

Eola Hills Winery
Eola Hills Winery

Actually it was a lot of fun and we lucked out with extremely good weather for November. It didn’t rain and wasn’t too cold (a little foggy and temperatures in the 40’s). The Hubster came in 3rd overall and won his age group. It’s nice when a race medal comes attached to a bottle of wine.
Eola Hills Reserve Pinot Noir
Congratulations to The Hubster!

If the football schedule works out next year we'll do this race again.

I met my goal of finishing under 35 minutes (34:15 was my official time) and got 3rd in my age group. It's rare that we get a race on a course that's this flat so I was pleased with my time.

Best part about a 5k at a winery? The Post Race food.
pizza and wine
"Will Race for Pizza and Wine"

They also has a pretty little garden and koi pond.
Eola Hills Winery

The fish were positive we’d come out there to feed them.

Hungry Koi

And for this week’s Abby Antics:

Some days working from home is a little more challenging than others.

Abby
You can type and hold me at the same time, right?

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days) by Bill Willingham et al.

>> Friday, November 8, 2013

Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days) by Bill Willingham et al.
Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights (and Days) by Bill Willingham et al.

Genre: Fantasy (Graphic Novel)
Series: #7 in the Fables series
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 143
Source: Library


The Short Version:
Sinbad and friends arrive in Fabletown and chaos ensues

Why I Read It:
I have been addicted to this series from the very first book and the only reason I’m not reading them faster is that I want The Hubster to read them while I have them out from the library so that we both stay close to the same point in the series.

The Book:
This volume 7 is a compilation of issue 42-47 of the comic series.

From the back of the book:

Culture clash

With the identity of the Adversary finally revealed to the citizens of Fabletown, it's time to begin making preparations in earnest for the defense of their stronghold in the mundane world - and that means forging new alliances with whoever remains unconquered by the Adversary's legions. But the arrival in Fabletown of a delegation from the Arabian Homelands shows just how tricky this kind of coalition-building can be - especially when one side is concealing Weapons of Magical Destruction.

My Thoughts:
This is such a fun series and it just gets better and better. There is a good mix of continuing ongoing storylines and expanding the Fables world. The secondary shorter stories add background and additional stories that often become important plot elements later on.

This time the primary story is about a delegation of Arabian Fables led by Sinbad visiting the New York Fables to discuss an alliance. There is a traitor in Fabletown however and Prince Charming is proving that handling the duties of Mayor is not his strength. His mishandling causes a tense situation to escalate. But the main issue is whether the traitor can be identified and can they keep Fabletown from being destroyed.

The secondary story (The Ballad of Rodney and June) is about two of the wooden puppets who fall in love and want to be made human. It’s a fun departure from the primary characters and ends up adding a very interesting element to the goings on in New York.

The artwork in this one was fun because the introduction of a group of new characters and different setting allows for some increased variety. I have a feeling that the artists enjoy creating new characters and settings. I particularly enjoyed the way the drawings told so much of the story in The Ballad of Rodney and June as the wooden characters transformed.

As always I highly recommend this series but suggest starting at the beginning. Even if you haven’t tried graphic novels yet, pick up the first one in this series. It’s called Legends in Exile and I’ll be truly surprised if you don’t want to continue with the series after reading it.


4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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Wordless Wednesday #211

>> Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Raindrop

raindrop on fence
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These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

>> Tuesday, November 5, 2013

These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Series: #8 in the Little House series
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: originally 1943, this edition 1971
Pages: 288
Source: library


The Short Version:
Laura’s first experience away from home teaching school brings both concerns and a chance for romance to bloom with Almanzo Wilder

Why I Read It:
I started my re-read of this series due to a Read-along but I’m finishing it up on my own because I can’t leave my re-read unfinished.

The Book:
This one picks up immediately after the end of Little Town on the Prairie. Pa takes Laura to her new teaching job. She’s nervous and scared but determined to do her best. The family she’s boarding with has some issues but Laura manages to make it through her school term. Almanzo Wilder showing up every Friday afternoon to give her a ride home for the weekend is the beginning of their courtship.

Laura’s teaching jobs and her courtship with Almanzo are the primary stories in this last volume of the series to be completed before Laura’s death.

My Thoughts:
I am not going to worry about spoilers with this series.

As I’ve done with previous books in the series I’m just going to post a few random thoughts that ran through my head as I read this.

Laura seems awfully naïve about Almanzo’s intentions when he starts showing up every Friday to give her a ride home for the weekend.

Mrs. Brewster is pretty messed up. If I woke up to someone brandishing a butcher knife I wouldn’t go back when the weekend was over. Again Laura’s sense of obligation to earn money for Mary seems pretty strong.

This book felt like a winding down of the series. Ma and Pa are more financially secure, Mary is doing well at college, Laura and her friends are all pairing off.

The excuse for the rushed wedding (Almanzo’s sister is on her way to take over the wedding plans) seems a bit lame but it works for the story.

Despite Laura’s rough first teaching job, this is really the most overall positive book in the series and pretty much wraps of a happily ever after.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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Weekend Update November 3, 2013

>> Sunday, November 3, 2013

Weekend Update

Since my last update:
I had a good reading week this week. I finished The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly. I loved it. After that I decided to finish out my re-read of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. I read both These Happy Golden Years and The First Four Years. It’s been an interesting mix of nostalgia and viewing the books from an entirely different perspective but I’m glad I completed the re-read.

I started The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes the other day. I’d joined the Sherlock Holmes Reading Challenge a while ago and only committed to reading this one book before the end of the year and decided that it would be pretty embarrassing to fail at a challenge in which I only said I’d read one book. Actually it wasn't a matter of not wanting to read it but more a matter of being distracted by other books. I've already read and enjoyed the first two Sherlock Holmes books and wanted to read this so I’m glad the challenge gave me a reason to stop setting it aside and finally read it. I do plan on continuing and reading all the Holmes books. I’m hoping that getting back into his world with The Adventures will get me back on track with that. Also having the Little House re-read complete gives me room for another ‘series project’ in my reading plans.

I also managed to finish out October with more of my Graphic Novel Reading Binge. I read the seventh book in the Fables series, Arabian Nights (and Days). I've already picked up the next book in this series from the library. It’s just so good. My Graphic Novel Reading Binge wasn't as successful as I’d hoped because my reading in general got somewhat derailed in the middle of the month. I did read 5 graphic novels in October but I've still got a decent pile of them out from the library so they’ll continue to be a good portion of my reading menu for a while.

On audio I’m still listening to The Golden One by Elizabeth Peters. As usual for this series it’s a nice mix of adventure, fun and moments that make me giggle. Barbara Rosenblat's narration of this series is just excellent.


Other than books and reading:
We had a weekend off from football commitments (Oregon plays Thursday night) so I’m having a get things done at home and cooking weekend. Yesterday I made a batch of applesauce and a batch of cookie dough (Specudoodles). Today I’ll bake the cookies and for dinner I’m making the Pioneer Woman’s Sunday Night Stew. I made this stew (The Hubster is in charge of the mashed potatoes) last winter and we loved it. It’s good comfort food weather here lately so I’m looking forward to having this for dinner (and the leftovers for later this week).

Browsing my phone photos from this week:

I had fun playing with the Tiny Planets App and turned this photo I took last Sunday afternoon into a tiny planet. It serves absolutely no purpose other than I think it looks cool.


Before
Rural Washington County Oregon

After
Rural Washington County Oregon as a planet


Sunset last Sunday was rather spectacular
Sunset


And I can’t leave without some Abby Antics:

Abby
She put herself in charge of making sure my file folder didn't jump off the desk the other day when I was working. She’s so helpful.


Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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