Saturday, January 30, 2016

Books, Books, Books

Well! Seems like I was trying to go TWO years without posting, huh? Looks like blogging is making a comeback, though, and I'm nothing if not on trend (lies. am never on trend.)

Anyway, I've thought of a couple topics to blog about lately, but the one that actually got me to the keyboard was my favorite: books!

I've never been much of a fantasy nerd.  I mean, I love The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, but I really haven't even read much fantasy beyond those two. Unless you count Harry Potter, but everyone who matters loves HP. However, I have recently discovered three awesome fantasy novels. One is a two (hopefully someday three) part series, the other is a stand alone novel (although there is great clamor for a sequel!)

I think I discovered them both from a list of the "Best Fantasy Series"....hang on, I'll go find it....hmmm....maybe it was more than one list....

Ah yes, it was the number one entry from this list: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and the number one entry from this list: The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. And there is a reason that they are number one on their lists.

The Name of the Wind, and the sequel, The Wise Man's Fear, are both excellent. There's a bit of a Harry Potter feel, in that the main character becomes orphaned and travels to a school to learn magic. The frame story is that Kvothe is now middle aged, seemingly powerless, and living a quiet life as a tavern owner. He's discovered by a scribe, however, who wants to document his life. He spends three days telling the scribe his life story.

The Name of the Wind was also featured on this article: "13 Fantasy Novels that are Good Despite Their Covers", as I knew it would be. That article shows a super cheesy cover with the main character, Kvothe, who has red hair, carrying a lute on his back. The description of what the cover looks like is, "What you expect: Carrot Top finally does a porno. A lute is involved. What you get: The (hands down) best high-fantasy series written in the last 20 years. If you haven’t read it yet and you like fantasy, immediately start reading it now."
You do also have to ignore the cheesy series name, which is "The Kingkiller Chronicles". But then again, we've been overlooking "A Song of Ice and Fire" for how long now? I think we can forgive "The Kingkiller Chronicles" as well.

The second is The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. Buzzfeed sums it up the best I've seen anywhere: "Hawkins’ fantastic debut novel The Library at Mount Char is the story of a deeply strange, highly unsettling family—the likes of which you’ve never seen before. Years ago, Carolyn and the other children were adopted by a cruel, powerful man they called Father, and spent years learning some of his secrets and how to develop their own brand of magic. But now Father has disappeared, and the siblings are pitted against each other—and the rest of the world, which has no idea what it’s up against—in their fight for dominance. A wild ride of a novel, fierce and totally bonkers yet moving and humane, The Library at Mount Char will stun you on every page."
The only thing I would add to that description is that it is laugh-out-loud funny at times, which I truly didn't expect.

So tell me....what is the best novel you've read lately?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


So, I'm officially on Twitter! @shellyslaw - Do stop by and say hello! And if you see me making any stupid rookie mistakes, let me know!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Please forgive my delay in posting this - not much computer time these days!  haha!

Bear Notthedaddy
Born 10/11/13 at 10:13am
7 lbs 10oz
21 inches long

We are all at home (only spent two days in the hospital - quite long enough, thank you!) and doing great! 
Hope you are all well!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Update (or More Details)

Whoa you guys, where did the last few months fly off to?  I swear it was July a few days ago.

Well, anyway, I've started writing this post in my head about a million times and never have been able to get it right.  But I've got about half an hour right now and my goal is put something else up here to let y'all know what's been going on.

The biggest thing is that everything is going well!  I've been a nervous wreck this whole pregnancy (did I mention that before?!), but it has seemed like the more I worried, the smoother everything went.  There have definitely been some times that I panicked and went to the doctor and they looked at me like I was nuts for coming in because I was completely fine.  (Swollen ankles for the win!)  But no complications, no pre-eclampsia, no bedrest, no nothing.  I've been more tired and have had a lot more aches and pains and this one has been sitting on the nerves in my back for about a month now which is really getting old, but overall, my health and the health of the baby has been great!

The biggest news with a baby is always whether it's a boy or a girl, right?  And yes, I do know.  And yes, I will tell you.  Having one of each already, one of the doctors joked with us that we should let this one be a surprise.  Yeah, no, dude.  Having a baby is surprise enough, thank you!  I need as many other things nailed down as possible.  And, having one of each, we were FERVENTLY hoping for a boy!  Not that Supergirl is not a wonderful kid and that we don't love her as much as possible (she's 11 and going through puberty right now, so possible has its limits these days!).  But Wildman is definitely the easier and sweeter of our kids, so we were hoping for another snuggly little boy.  And we got our wish!  This one is a little boy.  We do have a name picked out, which I can't share here, of course, but his nickname will be Bear, which starts with the same first letter. 

And this pregnancy is almost over, too!  I'm at 37 weeks and we have a c-section scheduled for October 11th, so little Bear will be here in just a few short weeks.  We are all getting very excited.  The big kids were a little hesitant at first, back when we first told them about the baby.  We didn't wait very long to tell them, even with the risk of miscarriage, just because we generally include them in most major family things.  Wildman even regressed a little - he wouldn't sleep in his own room anymore.  (He had just moved into his own room from our room about four months earlier, so that was still a fairly recent change.)  So for several months, he slept on the living room couch like the world's smallest couch surfer.  But now, he's back in his own room and his own bed and seems to be just fine.  Supergirl is absolutely crazy about the little bitty clothes, especially the little hats and mittens and booties.  One of my friends gave us an adorable bootie and mitten set and I think Supergirl is going to put them on Bear the second he is born! 

I will definitely post an update when little one arrives and post pictures as soon as I can!  Cross your fingers for us to make it to the 11th with no drama!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hi There!

Well, so! I really didn’t mean to be absent from this blog for nearly a year! (But then, does anyone ever intend to not write anything for a year?!)

And…well, I kind of have a big announcement….

We’re having a baby!

I’m about five and a half months along, and my official due date is October 21st.

We are SUPER EXCITED, but I’ve been really slow to tell people this time around. Since I had a miscarriage the last time, I’ve been…well…paranoid would probably be a good description. Superstitious would fit, too. Scared. (Yeah, okay, you can stop now.) But yesterday, I bought my first item of baby clothes (little hats – one of which is an EAR HAT!) and today, I posted that I’m pregnant on Facebook, so I must be starting to believe in this thing!

Also, NOTHING will make you feel your age like being pregnant.  Omg, is it naptime yet?

Anyway, hi again! I’m having a baby! OMG!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Help Me Be a Nicer Person

So help me out here, you guys.  I have a close friend at work who is driving me a little nuts.  She's a really sweet girl and I do like her a lot, but she has some annoying habits.

Is there a polite way to say:

"If you can't stop yawning every two seconds, can you at least cover your mouth?"
"This music blows goats.  If you don't turn it off, I may go postal."

Also, what is the proper response to "I just can't seem to keep any weight on!" (She's a skinny blonde, of course)?  Because here is how that conversation goes in my head:

Barbie: I'm letting myself eat anything I want, because I just can't seem to keep any weight on!
Me: *eyes narrow* *growls low in throat* *pounces on Barbie, ripping her limb from limb*

Since that's prohibited by law, and I do genuinely like the girl and would miss her if I ripped her limb from limb, I usually just stare at her and blink a few times.  Then I try to remind myself that we all have body issues, whether we're dealing with too much weight, too little weight, or weight not in the right places and her body issues are just as legitimate as mine, as annoying as they may sound to me.

Help me stay out of jail here, people. 

Friday, April 6, 2012


Hey, remember when we used to talk about books on here? Let’s do that again! Here are some books that I have read recently that stand out in my memory in a good way:

Moneyball by Michael Lewis – Yes, the movie is excellent, too. But seriously, this is a book about baseball, which I hate, and even worse, it’s a book about baseball MATH, which I hate even more than baseball. (You can also reverse that sentence – “it’s a book about math – even worse, it’s a book about BASEBALL math!” and it would still adequately convey my hatred.) AND YET! It is interesting, compelling even. I think it helps that it is a) a true story and b) an underdog story. “Everyone loves an underdog.” “I don’t.” (If you’ve seen the Hunger Games movie, you got that quote, yes?) *ahem* Back to Moneyball. The whole “Oakland A’s vs. the way baseball has been managed forever and ever, amen” is an awesome storyline. Also compelling are the notes at the end of the book, telling how much traditional baseball managers and scouts hated the book. And how they kept claiming that Billy Beane wrote the book! It’s hard to take those guys seriously when they don’t even realize that it’s an actual book, written by an actual author, and not some Billy Beane self-promotion stunt. Anyway, even though I did not expect to, I totally LOVED it. And the movie is terrific, perfectly cast. Seriously, I watched two movies in the same weekend with Phillip Seymour Hoffman in them, and they could not have been more different (Moneyball, obvs, and Ides of March), yet he was stellar in both movies and completely believable in two very different roles. What an awesome actor.

Prayer for Rain by Dennis Lehane – This is the fifth book in the Kenzie/ Gennaro series, and the strength of their storyline made me order the first, second, third, fourth and sixth books in the series from Barnes and Noble immediately. I don’t usually read series books out of order (because I am an anal retentive nerd), and I don’t know that I recommend doing that with this series, however, this is a really good book. There are lots of great plot twists and the interaction between Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro - formerly a couple, still a lot of feelings between them – make this book hard to put down.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell – When I pitched it to my book club, my comment was, “Aliens and religion, people, what more can you ask for?” No description of this book will ever do it justice, and while I understand the title, it is the least descriptive, least helpful title ever. This book is a heartbreaker. If you’re like me, and can’t resist the books that tell you up front that they are going to break your heart (think Bel Canto, The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and What Came Before He Shot Her), then there are not words for how much I recommend this book to you. It jumps back and forth in time from a group of friends (including a Jesuit priest) who wind up traveling to another planet to meet a race of singing aliens to the Jesuit church’s efforts to get the whole story of what happened on that mission from the Jesuit priest who is the lone survivor of the mission. So yes, you know right up front that almost all of the main characters are going to be killed off. And yes, you will cry. But! The totality of the book is wonderful. There’s also a sequel, Children of God, that is every bit as good as The Sparrow, and how often can you say that about a sequel?

So tell me, what have you been reading lately?