Wednesday, July 31, 2013

the killing joke

batman: the killing joke
alan moore & brian bolland
graphic novel
dc comics
deluxe edition published 2008

One bad day.

According to the grinning engine of madness and mayhem known as The Joker, that's all that separates the sane from the psychotic.  Freed once again from the confines of Arkham Asylum, he's out to prove his deranged point.  And he's going to use Gotham City's top cop, Commissioner Jim Gordon, and his brilliant and beautiful daughter Barbara to do it.

Now Batman must race to stop his archnemesis before his reign of terror claims two of the Dark Knight's closest friends.  Can he finally put an end to the cycle of bloodlust and lunacy that links these two iconic foes before it leads to its fatal conclusion?  And as the horrifying origin of the Clown Prince of Crime is revealed, will the thin line that separates Batman's nobility and The Joker's insanity snap once and for all?

Arguably the most famous Batman story of all time.  Joker's origins, Barbara's fate and the battle that rages on and on between Batman & Joker.

There is sympathy to be had for the Joker.  His flashbacks revealing what happened in his life before he became a cartoon version of himself.  But of course, the Joker is still the Joker and his atrocities are legend, especially here.

A definite must read for the Batman fan.

deep down

deep down
jack reacher #17.5
lee child
random house llc
published 2012

Summoned by Military Intelligence to Washington, D.C., Reacher is sent undercover. The assignment that awaits him: The army is meeting with its Capitol Hill paymasters for classified talks on a new, state-of-the-art sniper rifle for U.S. forces. But vital details about the weapon are leaking—straight from the Capitol and probably into the hands of unidentified foreign arms dealers. The prospect of any and every terrorist, mercenary, or dictator’s militia getting their hands on the latest superior firepower is unthinkable. That’s where Reacher comes in. His task: infiltrate the top-secret proceedings and smoke out the mole. His target: a quartet of high-powered Army political liaison officers—all of them fast-track women on their way to the top.

According to his bosses, it’s a zero-danger mission. No need to draw a gun . . . just chat over drinks. But Reacher knows that things are rarely what they seem. And he’s learned the hard way never to underestimate an opponent. Or four. Lessons that will come in handy when he starts digging for the truth—and gets his hands a lot dirtier than he expected.

I don't even know what this was.  I mean, I know it was a short story, but I don't know why it had to be done.  It was too quick to give you time to get involved in any part of the story and by the time you caught onto what was happening it was over.  At least with Child's other short, Second Son we got to see Reacher as a kid and see where his badassery came from.  Here it was just nothing.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


alissa nutting
published 2013

In Alissa Nutting’s novel Tampa, Celeste Price, a smoldering 26-year-old middle-school teacher in Florida, unrepentantly recounts her elaborate and sociopathically determined seduction of a 14-year-old student.

Celeste has chosen and lured the charmingly modest Jack Patrick into her web. Jack is enthralled and in awe of his eighth-grade teacher, and, most importantly, willing to accept Celeste’s terms for a secret relationship—car rides after dark, rendezvous at Jack’s house while his single father works the late shift, and body-slamming erotic encounters in Celeste’s empty classroom. In slaking her sexual thirst, Celeste Price is remorseless and deviously free of hesitation, a monstress of pure motivation. She deceives everyone, is close to no one, and cares little for anything but her pleasure.

Tampa is a sexually explicit, virtuosically satirical, American Psycho–esque rendering of a monstrously misplaced but undeterrable desire. Laced with black humor and crackling sexualized prose, Alissa Nutting’s Tampa is a grand, seriocomic examination of the want behind student / teacher affairs and a scorching literary debut.

Whoa.  Just whoa.  I haven't really read a book where I hardly cared for any character, especially not the main character.

First of all, yes the book is centered around sex.  Is it sexually explicit?  Yes.  Is it overly so?  No.  I don't think Alissa Nutting goes too far.  I don't think that this is, what I've read some people call, a thinly disguised porn.  It was absolutely not a turn on.  It was revolting and it's supposed to be revolting.

There is nothing redeemable in Celeste.  She's shallow, deceitful, predatory and selfish.  She's a pedophile plain and simple.  But at the same time, I didn't feel sorry for her husband.  And maybe that's because the story is told in Celeste's words so we're colored in that grossness, but I'm not sure there was anything that great about him either.

Jack.  I felt awful for Jack.  I read one reviewer write that they didn't feel sorry for any of Celeste's victims because they all knew what they were getting into, but Jack.  I don't think he signed up for this.  It was just so warped and dark and all I could see was the wasted life in front of him.

Nutting writes very well.  The pages flew by for me, I was sucked right into the this horrid world.  The only thing I wish she had gone into more was why Celeste was the way she was.  I can't imagine losing her virginity is what caused her to lust after middle school kids.

 I never expected things to go the way they went.  I wanted her caught, I wanted justice for the people she had hurt, but I'm not sure if that's what happened.  But it was a good read.  Not something I would have normally read, but sometimes it's good to step out of your comfort zone and if you're looking to do that Tampa is waaaaay out of anyone's comfort zone.

odd interlude

odd interlude
odd thomas #6
dean koontz
bantam publishers
published 2013

Nestled on a lonely stretch along the Pacific coast, quaint roadside outpost Harmony Corner offers everything a weary traveler needs—a cozy diner, a handy service station, a cluster of cottages . . . and the Harmony family homestead presiding over it all. But when Odd Thomas and company stop to spend the night, they discover that there’s more to this secluded haven than meets the eye—and that between life and death, there is something more frightening than either.

This was released as three short stories that when combined made up a full novel.  As far as I can tell it was published in its entirety after Odd Apocalypse, but takes place before the events at Roseland.  But that hardly matters.

Odd Interlude was creepy, funny and sweet.  How do all those descriptives go together?  I don't know, but when reading Dean Koontz you often find yourself laughing, checking over your shoulder and possibly moved to sappy tears.

This time I didn't get any tears, but I did fiercely like Jolie.  She was a little mini-female-Odd.

My only complaint was that there wasn't much detail about Hiskott, the villain.  We knew what happened to him and what he was doing and kind of why, but once we finally see him it's sort of just blah.  He wasn't scary, just gross.

Still, not a bad Odd Thomas read.  I liked it better than I had Odd Apocalypse.  Besides Stormy, Jolie is a character that I actually wanted to continue with, but I guess it's not meant to be.  Maybe we'll see her again.

eternally yours

eternally yours
immortal beloved #3
cate tiernan
published 2012

After 450 years of living, Nastasya Crowe should have more of a handle on this whole immortal thing....

After a deadly confrontation at the end of Darkness Falls, the second Immortal Beloved novel, Nastasya Crowe is, as she would put it, so over the drama. She fights back against the dark immortals with her own brand of kick-butt magick...but can she fight against true love? In the satisfying finale to the Immortal Beloved trilogy, ex-party-girl immortal Nastasya ends a 450-year-old feud and learns what "eternally yours" really means.

A lackluster ending to what was a promising trilogy.


I won't say that I hated it because I did like it.  Nastasya is funny, but her continued self-confidence issues start to get old and the repetitive parts of the book are unnecessary.  We know how her parents & family died, we know how she escaped and we know how she learned about her immortal status.  We don't need a recap in the last book of a trilogy.

The book is slow.  Something wicked this way comes, but it's not coming any time soon.  Most of the book is spent slowly treading along.  We're treading along in an area that is great.  Nastasya is finally finding her passion, her place and her heart.  But this read like a book in the middle of a series, not the finale.  So due to that we end up getting rushed through the climax and get a halfhearted attempt to tie everything up.

In the end, the book didn't do justice to the promise of the trilogy, but the characters were rich and full and I will miss them.  :(

Friday, July 26, 2013

the sorceress

the sorceress
the secrets of the immortal nicholas flamel #3
michael scott
published 2009

Nicholas Flamel's heart almost broke as he watched his beloved Paris crumble before him. The city was destroyed by Dee and Machiavelli, but Flamel played his own role in the destruction. Sophie and Josh Newman show every sign of being the twins of prophecy, and Flamel had to protect them and the pages from the Dark Elders.

But Nicholas grows weaker with each passing day. Perenelle is still trapped in Alcatraz, and now that Scatty has gone missing, the group is without protection. Except for Clarent—the twin sword to Excalibur. But Clarent’s power is unthinkable, its evil making it nearly impossible to use without its darkness seeping into the soul of whoever wields it.

If he hopes to defeat Dee, Nicholas must find an Elder who can teach Josh and Sophie the third elemental magic—Water Magic. The problem? The only one who can do that is Gilgamesh, and he is quite, quite insane. 

These books are becoming agonizingly slow.  Well, that's not true.  They're not necessarily slow, it's just that NOTHING IS HAPPENING!!!!!!!!!  So far each book has been a replay of the previous book.  Dark Elder's peeps come after them, twins must learn magic, Dark Elder peeps find them, they fight, wonder twin powers activate, they escape, Dark Elder peeps come after them again, repeat, repeat, end of book.

Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the books, I just want it to come to an end before I start disliking everyone in the book.

At first, Josh's suspicion of Flamel really bugged me (beside his whining of course), but now Flamel is bugging me.  Can't go into detail about that without giving too much away, but I find myself worried about his methods.  Not the end game, just the way he's going about getting there.

Dee is the kind of bad guy that you just don't like because he's sort of pathetic.  He feels so superior and awesome, but for hundreds of years he has consistently failed.  Where does this guy get his self confidence?!  Somehow he just seems to get out of trouble.  It's very unsatisfying.

I've just got to power through it and finish the series.  This pussyfooting around stuff is not working for me!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

radiant shadows

radiant shadows
wicked lovely series #4
melissa marr
published 2010

Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers. 

Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries' coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani's death. 

Ani isn't one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin's plans—and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other? 

Big things are happening in Faerie and in the mortal world.  It's so amazing to see this world that Marr has created.  When you think you've learned all of it and now it's just a matter of building on the existing story she adds more.  Layers and layers of rich, alluring faerie goodness.

The story is complicated.  It's not a he loves her, she loves him kind of plot.  It's just so great.  It pulls you in and I love how dark and violent everything gets without being overboard.  The threat is there, blood is drawn, gore is but a mere whisper and it doesn't feel forced or showy.  She's not trying to shock the reader, she's just trying to show that these aren't Tinkerbell faeries.  Each book has ended in a way that gives you a bit of satisfaction with some resolution, but the bigger picture is still hanging there so you want to just jump right into the next book.

There's something to be said for waiting so long to start the series!  At least I don't have to wait for the next book to come out....

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

calcuated in death

calculated in death
in death #36
jd robb
published 2013

On Manhattan's Upper East Side a woman lies dead at the bottom of the stairs, stripped of all her valuables. Most cops might call it a mugging gone wrong, but Lieutenant Eve Dallas knows better.
A well-off accountant and a beloved wife and mother, Marta Dickenson doesn’t seem the type to be on anyone's hit list. But when Eve and her partner, Peabody, find blood inside the building, the lieutenant knows Marta's murder was the work of a killer who's trained, but not professional or smart enough to remove all the evidence.

But when someone steals the files out of Marta's office, Eve must immerse herself in her billionaire husband Roarke's world of big business to figure out who's cruel and callous enough to hire a hit on an innocent woman. And as the killer's violent streak begins to escalate, Eve knows she has to draw him out, even if it means using herself as bait. . . . 

It's finally happened.  I skimmed over giant parts of this book.

First, it had to do with finance.  When anyone starts talking about finance my eyes glaze over and my mind wanders.  Of course, there wasn't tons of detail to bore me to tears, but it wasn't a motive that interested me.  And it dragged on for sooooo long.  Dallas kept going over the details of the case to everyone and there was very little deviation.  Even her psych consults were useless.  Mira was there just to confirm what Dallas had already come up with.

For once, the happenings apart from the investigation were more interesting, but we didn't get to dig too deep into those. 

I'm sad that I didn't get into this book.  I hope this isn't a sign of times to come.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

photo a day: july 7th-14th

July 7th
Where You Are.....

At the NKOTB concert with my sister!

July 8th

To a giant mess.

July 9th
3 Things....
3 random t-shirts from Tee Turtle!!

July 10th

 My clean kitchen table!

July 11th
I Wore This!

My favorite t-shirt.  It's comfy & I love the design.

July 12th
A Bad Habit....

I stopped smoking years ago, quit biting my nails a month ago so I guess it would be sweets, but at least these are organic, all natural & GMO free!  I couldn't very well take a picture of 'being a bitch', could I?

July 13th 
4 o'clock
Sleeping baby at the mall.  Riding around in a stroller is tough work, people!
July 14th

Spicy sauce from our favorite ramen place, Kahoo's.

And now I'm all caught up with my posting!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

photo a day: july

July 4th
  Red, white & blue.....
Olivia has decided that my rubbermaid containers should go in the recycling bin.

July 5th
My love, my best friend, my favorite person

July 6th
Favorite Smell.....
The heat has done a number on my lavender plant, but it still smells lovely

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

photo a day: july

 July Photo A Day Challenge List
My friend Kristan posted a picture of the photo challenge that Fat Mum Slim has started for the month of July.  Actually, I think that this photo project has been going on for a lot longer than that, but this post is for the month of July so it's the perfect time to start!  I've tried doing the 365 project, but it started to feel like work and I was running out of inspiration.  These kinds of projects are great for me because there's a focus and sometimes I need that!

I meant to post on the 1st and go from there, but I slacked off for sure!  Here's my pictures for the first three days of July.

Happiness Is....
my babies laying on the couch with me

My favorites, tho they've almost killed me

7 Eleven's Coke cans.  Ice turns blue when it's cold enough to drink.

the magician

the magician
the secrets of the immortal nicholas flamel #2
michael scott
published 2008

After fleeing Ojai, Nicholas, Sophie, Josh, and Scatty emerge in Paris, the City of Lights. Home for Nicholas Flamel. Only this homecoming is anything but sweet. Perenell is still locked up back in Alcatraz and Paris is teeming with enemies. Nicollo Machiavelli, immortal author and celebrated art collector, is working for Dee. He’s after them, and time is running out for Nicholas and Perenell. For every day spent without the Book of Abraham the Mage, they age one year—their magic becoming weaker and their bodies more frail. For Flamel, the Prophesy is becoming more and more clear.

It’s time for Sophie to learn the second elemental magic: Fire Magic. And there’s only one man who can teach it to her: Flamel’s old student, the Comte de Saint-Germain—alchemist, magician, and rock star. Josh and Sophie Newman are the world’s only hope—if they don’t turn on each other first.

I'm starting to agree with other readers.  Josh IS super annoying.  He's so whiny that even his twin comments on it at one point.  While I still think that it's a part of being thrust in this crazy situation it's getting harder and harder to be understanding.  Sophie's not happy about the situation either, but she's not much.

I loved the new characters.  I even found myself intrigued and almost liking Machiavelli.  He's still hanging onto his humanity, whereas Dee has nothing left.  Still, I am most interested in Perenell and what's happening on Alcatraz.

The action marches on in this second book as well although, there are moments of downtime where we get more and more bits of history revealing Nicholas & Perenell's parts in it.  It's hard to see how they can stop the events in motion, but I'm along for the ride.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

fragile eternity

fragile eternity
wicked lovely #3
melissa marr
published 2009

Seth never expected he would want to settle down with anyone—but that was before Aislinn. She is everything he'd ever dreamed of, and he wants to be with her forever. Forever takes on new meaning, though, when your girlfriend is an immortal faery queen. 

Aislinn never expected to rule the very creatures who'd always terrified her—but that was before Keenan. He stole her mortality to make her a monarch, and now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she'd ever imagined. 

In Melissa Marr's third mesmerizing tale of Faerie, Seth and Aislinn struggle to stay true to themselves and each other in a milieu of shadowy rules and shifting allegiances, where old friends become new enemies and one wrong move could plunge the Earth into chaos.

I read a review that was complaining about why Aislinn is still with Seth and how she should just be with Keenan.  I wanted to gag.  Are there really people out there who actually like Keenan?  I'm certainly not one of them.  I liked him all right in the first book, but I liked him with Donia.  After Ink Exchange I really didn't care for him much either way, but now I don't want him with Aislinn or Donia.  He's a whiny bitch.  There's really no other way to describe him.  And compared to Seth, he's pathetic.

I enjoyed Wicked Lovely and it took me a bit of time, but I loved Ink Exchange as well.  Fragile Eternity brought the focus back onto the four-way love .... square?  We had the added bonus of keeping Niall.  But the shining star in this installment is Sorcha.  She was not important at first, but she became so full and bright you couldn't ignore her - and you didn't want to.

Seth is still my favorite character.  I've lost a little affection for Aislinn and I do wish we could stay with Donia more.  These books just keep getting better.  I'm at the sweet spot in the series where I still have two books to go.  As long as Marr keeps writing the way she has in the last three books I'm in!

confessions of a clutterer: kitchen days 3-7

The kitchen certainly took much longer than I expected.  I did take time off here and there for my nephew's birthday and other fun stuff, but I think I got most of it under control!

I was working on the cabinets....still.  I have cabinets on each side of the microwave that I keep baking stuff and cooking stuff.  Baking soda, spices, brown sugar, garlic powder, vinegar.  You know, that kind of stuff.  They looked pretty bad, but they weren't as awful as I expected.  There were some expired things and a couple of things I have duplicates of, but not as many as there were in the pantry :/

 Baking Stuff

 Cooking Stuff

 Condiments & Junk

My befores are on the left and the afters are on the right.  It doesn't look like I did anything, but I swear I did!  In the baking area I tried to keep the stuff I use more often on the bottom shelf.  With the cooking stuff I did the same thing and though it does look crowded it actually is less so.  I greatly thinned out the oils & vinegars and hot sauces on the lazy susan.  To me, it looks a lot better.

The main thing I did was make a list of everything that I have in there so I can keep track of what we have and what we need.  I find that's my biggest problem.  I can't see stuff because I'm so short so I think we don't have it and then I buy another one.  No more, my friends!

And I got these done:





I still have to work on the cookbooks and food magazines on the bottom shelf.  We went and bought the overlay that goes down so I can put the books up instead of stacking them.  We also got a hook for the fruit basket and I love it.  It was just hanging from the top shelf and taking up room and now it's off to the side.  I thinned out our reusable bags (again) and put them inside my spam musubi bag.  I put all of our outside toys in the bin.  Bubbles, sand toys, chalk and the such.  Generally, these would stay outside until the got infested with spiders or the chalk melted away in the rain.  Hopefully this will keep our stuff a bit longer.

So the kitchen is almost done!  I still have the desk drawer, the junk drawer, the cookbooks and the cabinet above the pantry.  I think I can knock those out in one day and then get started on the living room.  Since Ray is off this week we're taking the girls to the beach tomorrow with my parents and maybe doing a couple of other fun things, but I think I can squeeze in a couple of hours of cleaning somewhere!

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