Tag Archives: reading

Unflippin’ believeable!

So last night, the wife was asleep. The cat was on the couch. I was sitting at the computer going through my email, reading a few news websites. Since the wife had left the bedroom door open, I closed the door into the computer room to keep the lights from bothering her.

Then about 10:00, 10:30 at night when I noticed a pounding sound. I was a bit puzzled because it sounded like somebody was at our door. I peeked out the window, but didn’t see any of our friends cars. So I headed up to the door and I could hear voices like the people were talking to one of the neighbors. I looked through the peephole, but couldn’t make out what was going on. Then they knocked again. I opened the door and found two cops on my doorstep.

They said one of the downstairs tenants had called in a complaint that we were making too much noise. They said they’d been told the noise sounded like somebody was stomping or bowling down the hallway. I told them I didn’t know what the noise was because we weren’t doing anything. I also mentioned that sound bounces around in the building quite a bit1.

They replied they’d been out there knocking for a while and hadn’t heard anything, but when they get a compaint they are required to check it out.

1 I recounted the story of the time when we thought the people above us were playing their music too loud, but it turned out the music was actually coming from one of the downstairs apartments.

Review: Threads of Malice

Product Image: Threads of Malice

Threads of Malice
My rating: 4 out of 5.

I read Threads of Malice last week1 and wowsers! If you’ve read Ghosts in the Snow then you need to be warned before reading Threads that Ghosts is a much lighter book than Threads. The villian in Threads is far more evil than the one in Ghosts and this gives the book a much darker tone. Still with that being said, Threads is a great read.

This time around Mrs. Jones takes us out of the castle and up into The Reach. Young boys have been disappearing throughout the region for the past couple of years. When Dubric arrives in the area; he’s greeted by dozens of ghosts all at once. It’s quite the unexpected & draining experience for him. Additionally, we get to see Dien’s family and Lars learns what real family life is like.

I don’t really know what else about the story I could tell you without giving away either the mystery or the good non-mystery bits. This is a problem that I’m not the only one has. I say this because at ICON this past weekend, I attended a panel where Mrs. Jones read some passages from Threads; as well as a few pages from her third Dubric book2. One of the passages she read from Threads was included one of my favorite scenes in the book, though it turns out we visualized it somewhat differently. The scene takes place as Lars along with 2 of Dien’s daugthers are walking into town to buy some supplies3.

He hurried after them, their names hovering in his throat, but he halted after a few steps. Aly climbed onto the head of a massive stone rabbit, then slid down its back, laughing all the while. Jess leaned against it, her hand on its nose, regarding him with mirthful eyes.
“Lars, Hargrove, I’d like to introduce you to your geandfather’s rabbit.” She bowed with a flourish and grinned at him.

That’s just a fragment of the scene, but it’s the important part to me. When I first read this scene, my mind drew up a picture of a rabbit sitting up on its hindlegs wearing a waistcoat (like something you’d expect from Alice in Wonderland). The rabbit was made of a “mostly” white marble, with bits of grey scattered about here & there. The weather had caused a small crack to form near the top of the rabbit’s head, just above the left eye. Some moss had begun to grow in that crack, looking something like a scar and giving the rabbit a certain roguish appeal. From speaking to Mrs. Jones at ICON, I found out she had imagined the stone rabbit looking like a rabbit you’d see in nature. Ok, so maybe it’s not all that important but I found the scene very endearing.

I’m feeling a bit out of it; so I’m going to wrap this review up. The book was excellent but didn’t quite grip me like Ghosts had. On the other hand, the intense evil and darkness in this book was somewhat balanced out with Lars getting his first real taste of what family life is like. It’s a highly enjoyable read and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any adult readers4. Mrs Jones, good job and I look forward to the next book!

1 Since then I’ve read through Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters and Witches Abroad. I just didn’t feel like writing up reviews for those books.
2 Currently, the third book is titled “Valley of the Soul”.
3 Taken from pages 144-145 of Threads of Malice.
4 Given the forms that the evil takes in this book; I would not recommend this for younger readers.

Why I Read?

A friend of mine recently asked if other people had similar reactions when reading a good book. Since this site has been heavier on the brainless fluff of late; I decided to answer the question here rather than in her comments.

When I’ve got a really good book in my paws, — mind you this is only for a REALLY GOOD book! — I’ll start reading and won’t notice the passage of time until either:
A. My bloodsugar has dropped from not eating in 8 hours.
B. It’s suddenly four in the morning and my eyes are tired so the words on the page start looking insanely small.

With a book that catches me like that, my head is totally in the book. People in real life can try talking to me, but they’ll get grunts for answers (at best). When my favorite character1 is happy, I’m happy. When they’re running through forests; I can hear leaves rustling and feel the branches drag across my face as I dash through the trees.

The last time I really felt this way about a book was when I first read the book that I’m currently reading, Ghosts in the Snow by Tamara Siler Jones. A friend of ours had gotten her hands on an early (review?) copy of the book and recommended it to my wife & I. Ariesna sat down and read the entire book while we were at the friend’s house that night. I think I managed to wait until we bought a copy of our own to read it, but once I did I started to get really angry.

I need to pause a moment here to explain about how I generally enjoy my entertainments. If the book/movie/whatever has even a reasonably decent story; then I’ll suspend my disbelief and just enjoy it without analyzing it. This is particularly true on my first experience with the book/movie/whatever.

And what exactly does that have to do with getting angry while reading Ghosts in the Snow? Ghosts is a mystery story with a fantasical setting and I was getting attached to one of the characters. This character happened to be a suspect in multiple murders and some of the clues in the book seemed to be pointing to him being the killer. The thought of this being true was making me too angry to continue reading. Eventually, I had to ask my wife if he was the killer because I was so upset about it that I wouldn’t be able to finish the book if he was. She told me he wasn’t but not who the killer was (at my request) and I was able to finish the book.

It’s for moments like those that I read.

1 This will usually be a supporting character. Why? Because the main characters tend to get all the glory while somebody else is doing more to accomplish the goal (e.g. Sam vs. Frodo).

Top Ten Signs…

One of my co-workers was having a rough morning and came up with this most amusing list.

Top Ten Signs That The Office You Work In Is Transforming You Into A Comic Book Super-Villain

10. You believe that Corporate America was instinctively constructed by the weak and stupid in order to preserve their gene pools and in accordance with Natural Law it must eventually be destroyed.
9. You’re certain you can take over the entire world if you can only “eliminate” the twelve levels of management between you and the CEO.
8. In those rare moments when things actually work out for you, you’ve caught yourself grinning menacingly and saying, “Everything is going according to my plan.”
7. It seems as though everyone on the planet is an idiot except you even though you’re the one working sixty hours per week on a meager salary in a 6×6 cubicle and your only plan of escape is, “Destroy my enemies and assume control of the world’s nuclear arsenal.”
6. Nobody understands you except Lex Luthor as played by Michael Rosenbaum on the WB’s hit series “Smallville”.
5. You’ve become numb to the suffering you hear reported on the news but reading “Dilbert” makes you weep like a baby and renew your vows of global domination.
4. You’re finding it more and more difficult in casual conversation not to refer to your coworkers as “henchmen”.
3. You keep trying to think of ways to bend the business professional dress code so as to allow you to wear your “Supreme Chancellor of Earth” outfit to work.
2. You’re convinced that key members of your work group are spies and you have already plotted their gruesome deaths.
1. In your personal daily planner the career objectives “deliver world-class customer service” and “exceed productivity goals” have been replaced by “vengeance” and “complete and utter vengeance”.

Bandwidth Woes

FYI, it looks like there’s a possibility of this site going down for later tonight. I received an email last night saying I had used 80% of my allocated bandwidth for the month1! Today, I was discussing this absurd spike with my webhost. He started looking into it and while reading over his shoulder noticed I was up to 90% used. From the look of things, there is some sort of spider2 which is acting wonky and just repeatedly downloading the same data over & over. If this continues too much longer, I’ll be out of bandwidth for the month. Fortunately today is the last day of the month so I might get lucky.

1 I get 3GB of bandwidth each month and in a normal month I use ~300MB.
2 “A program that searches for information on the Web.” See Answers.com for more info.

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