Catchup and What I’m Reading 6.0

12 May

Howdy folks. It’s been a hectic few months but I figured I was well overdue for an update – I actually went through a phase of getting a lot of writing done, and now I’m going through a phase of getting none done. I’m also going through a phase of not remembering how to spell phase even though I’ve written it four times in two sentences.

My fiancé Chris was found to be too ill to work full-time about five weeks ago, which sucked. He got lowered a couple of pay bands and moved to a part-time position. It did, however, open the door to us having a dog! My life never feels complete without a dog, so we were super-duper excited. We went to the Dogs Trust in Salisbury and over the next two weeks, we became owners of the lovely Puffin.

Not The Best Picture Ever

Puffin is loving, funny, sweet, and beautiful. Unfortunately, due to some insurmountable problems, we had to take him back to the shelter on Thursday after three weeks, so I’m pretty heartbroken right now.

We’re back to the dog hunt, so if anyone sees any medium-large mixed breed dogs available in Hampshire (England) please let me know!

So, that’s where I’ve been.

Anyway, I’ll do my reading in a few separate posts I think.

Finished books as of 26/2/12:

Edge of Victory II: Rebirth
Tortall and Other Lands
Star by Star
Little Brother
Lies
Want to Play?
Star by Star
Heist Society
Dark Journey
Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream
Live Bait
Dead Run
Snow Blind
Play to Kill
Over Sea, Under Stone
Mastiff
The Dark is Rising
Dead Until Dark
Moon Child
Looking for Alaska
Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand
Traitor
Destiny’s Way
Force Heretic I: Remnant
Force Heretic II: Refugee
Plague
The Fellowship of the Ring
Catalyst
Dragon’s Time
Emma
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Force Heretic III: Reunion
War Horse
The Two Towers
The Final Prophecy
Dead as a Doornail
The Secret Life of Bees

Star Wars books to start with, methinks.

Dark Nest I: The Joiner King by Troy Denning – Truth to tell, I didn’t much like this trilogy the first time around, but on the second read I’m quite enjoying the humour of it. All the young Jedi who were on the mission to Myrkr where Anakin Solo died feel a mental summons, calling them to a colony of sentient insects who are having trouble with their neighbours, the Chiss. Back on the Myrkr mission, one of the Jedi, Raynar Thul, had been kidnapped by some Dark Jedi who were being held captive by the Yuuzhan Vong. Now it turns out he has been hideously scarred by the crash of the ship he was on when kidnapped, and healed by the Killiks, the bug people, and he’s kind of their king. It gets quite complicated. There’s also the issue of whether or not the Dark Jedi who were with Raynar at the time of the crash are still alive.

Some of the young Jedi start to become absorbed by the nest, and become mentally entwined with the Killiks, including Jaina Solo and her friend Zekk, and more sinisterly (shut up spell check, I know it’s not a real word), Alema Rar. There’s a lot of weird touching and people not being able to tell where they end and their friends begin. The best bits in the book come from a scene where Jaina and Zekk are flirting with Jaina’s old boyfriend Jag.

This trilogy is confusing.

Ok, the bits I’ve missed are that Alema falls under the influence of the Dark Nest, the Gorogs, who are under the sway of the two Dark Jedi, Lomi Plo and Welk, and falls to the Dark Side. Leia almost dies in a fight with Alema, and decides that it is time to become a proper Jedi, so starts training with the Barabel Jedi master, Saba Sebatyne.

Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen by Troy Denning – More of the above. lots of confusingness and some good humour. The most important thing that happens in this book is that Jacen Solo travels to the Hapes Consortium with his little cousin Ben Skywalker, where he discovers that as a result of a night with his old friend Tenel Ka in the previous book, he now has a baby daughter. This leads to some shaky and dangerous decisions by Jacen, and it really becomes clear that Jacen is redefining morality to suit himself. He leads his friends in an attack on the Chiss in order to provoke them into destroying the Killiks, who he feels will drag the galaxy into a never-ending war. He tells lies in order to get his friends to do this, and when they find out that he lied, his sister Jaina swears never to fly with him again. Jaina and Zekk also catch him wiping the memory of little Ben so he doesn’t remember going to Hapes.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne – This was not an easy read. This isn’t to say that the writing was difficult; it wasn’t. The writing generally is like that of a young reader’s book – it was simple and clear, and I actually thought this was a children’s book. Written from the perspective of an innocent nine-year-old boy called Bruno in Nazi Germany, it charts the move of Bruno’s family from Berlin to an unknown location in the countryside that Bruno calls Out-With that is actually Auschwitz. Bruno is homesick and misses his friends and grandparents, and is endlessly curious about the people who live on the other side of the barbed wire fence and only ever wear striped pajamas. One day he goes for a long walk and meets a little boy on the other side of the fence. Shmuel is serious and thin and always hungry, and he tells stories that Bruno doesn’t quite believe, until one day, Bruno crawls under the fence.

The only real problem I have with this book is that there is just no way a nine-year-old child in Nazi Germany would be THAT innocent – Bruno knows nothing about the war, or Jews, or why Jews are Bad. His father is the Commandant of Auschwitz, but Bruno knows nothing of Nazi philosophy. There was extensive propaganda in place aimed at children to make sure that this wouldn’t happen, so I did find this quite a stretch.

I cried myself to sleep after reading this book, but there are some things you should read even though they hurt, and this is one of them.

‘What exactly was the difference? he wondered to himself. And who decided which people wore the striped pajamas and which people wore the uniforms?’

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris sees Sookie accompanying Sophie-Anne, the queen of Louisiana, to Rhodes in order to attend a summit of vampires. Sookie’s still seeing her boyfriend Quinn, whose company is doing a lot of the organising for the summit, so he’s there too. Also present are ex-boyfriends Bill and Eric. Always fun to have all your guys in one basket. This is possibly one of my favourite of the Southern Vampire Mysteries, as it has so much action, humour, and character development. Also? Lots and lots of bombs. Big badaboom! It’s hard to separate out the bad guys and the good guys, and what makes you which. something interesting that this book does is make the fictional universe run truly parallel to ours – although vampires have been out of the coffin for a couple of years, Hurricane Katrina has just happened, vampires are missing, and Louisiana finds itself in a much weaker stance than it would have been had the summit happened before Katrina.

k, I’m going to stop there, because my back hurts. I’ll do a 6.1 soon!

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7 Responses to “Catchup and What I’m Reading 6.0”

  1. willsomers May 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    The film of The Boy in The Striped Pajamas was horribly upsetting, too. Luckily I went into it knowing what was coming, having read the book a few years before, but it still wrecked me.

    Have you checked out Dogsblog.co.uk? I go on there sometimes just to drool at the pretties, lol. It’s a central database for dogs for adoption in the UK and you can search by age, size, breed, breeds within a cross etc. You used to be able to search by area/rescue too but Idk if it still does that… I haven’t been on in a while and I know they were debating removing the option.

    • Tapdancing Lexicon May 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

      Hey, thanks for the comment! No, I haven’t checked out that website, I will right now, thanks 😀

      I don’t know if I could handle the film – I’ll need to wait until the pain of the book subsides in a few years time. I’d actually been a couple of months almost since I read the book, and it still saddens me to think about. What did you think about the idea that Bruno had no concept of what was going on around him?

      • willsomers May 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

        Whyy. WHY has that come up under that name? WordPress is weird, I don’t remember ever having used that name ANYWHERE FOR ANY REASON.

        I AM TOPHER.

        Anyway – as to Bruno, I think they author was trying to show how overprotected he was but it was done very simplistically and yeah, I do agree that he wouldn’t have been THAT oblivious. It really did read very like a children’s book.

      • Tapdancing Lexicon May 12, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

        I had no idea who you were! Why is the name familiar to me? Aloha, Topher.

        Yeah, I got the whole overprotected thing too, but what they would have wanted to protect him from was the idea that Jews were equal! They would have wanted him to fit in the ideas of the time, rather than engaging in the kind of dangerous stuff he does in the book. The whole time I was all ‘…?’

  2. willsomers May 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    Apparently I can’t reply to your reply. WHAT IS THIS WEBSITE DOING OMG.

    Yeah – they surely would have explained it enough to make HIM believe the Jewish people were less than human, rather than leaving him to be curious about them. Oh sigh.

    Easy way to tell you who I am: my dog’s name is Holly 😛

    • Tapdancing Lexicon May 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

      I know who you are when you say you are Topher, you’re my only friend called Topher!

      Now I will remember that you are apparently willsomers.

      It wouldn’t let me reply to your reply before, so I went through my dashboard.

      • willsomers May 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

        I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW THAT I WAS WILLSOMERS. Lolol.

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