Archive | Reading RSS feed for this section

So Much Knitting!

27 Jan

I have been commissioned to knit up 7 pairs of Bronco colored wrist warmers. I am currently halfway through the last pair!!! When all is said and done, I will have spent close to 55 hours on these gloves in just over 2 weeks, over 2 skeins of yarn, and I’ll be happy not to knit wrist warmers for a while. =OP
My fingers ache, my head is in a whirl, but I have had a chance to finish a few amazing audiobooks! Got through the last 2 Maze Runner books and found them quite thrilling, though at times I got angry at Thomas. Won’t spoil much for you guys in case you haven’t read it, but it’s called trust for a reason. Other than that, it’s the only issue I really had with the story line. One of my co-workers said he didn’t care for the series about halfway through the second book. I loved it. Though the last book could have done without most of the last few chapters (the Rat Man really started pissing me off), I did not find myself losing interest. In my opinion, it was better than the Divergent series (I couldn’t even finish the last book), which makes it immediately good.
Started on The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstein, read by the charming, handsome and brilliant Jim Dale. I’ve read reviews saying the book is slow moving and kind of boring; the characters aren’t easy to fall into. I have found it quite the opposite. The story isn’t slow. Descriptive? Maybe a little, but I challenge anyone to call anything descriptive after they’ve read The Gormenghast series…The Night Circus is perfectly descriptive meaning it tickles your senses enough to make you feel like you’re there. The story takes place in the latter part of the 1800’s, and mostly centers around the circus which is glorious, mysterious and wonderful. I am especially enthralled with the clock that keeps time using almost everything. Magic is the next level to the story. A duel is the next. I haven’t read enough of the story to grasp the full concept of what both characters are going to do, but I’ve read enough to say I can easily like both sides. It rushes through their adolescence, harboring now on the characters being in their late teens and their involvement in the circus. There are plenty of interesting characters that also fill up most of the pages. All of it is a story I keep going back to excitedly perched to hear the rest. Maybe it’s because I love Jim Dale’s narration; finding his voice comforting and the characters he plays realistic, or Jim Dale in entirety making this story one of the best I’ve read in a while. Whatever it is, highly recommended and I do agree with a bunch of other reviews liking it to a dream.

My thoughts and prayers are with those on the north east part of our country these next couple of days, but wherever you are, I hope this update finds you well, safe and happy!


The Hunger Games = 8/10

31 Jan

Only because I don’t have time to physically sit down and read, I have been listening to audiobooks while I do my crafting.  And as such, to keep you guys in the loop (pun intended? what do you think?) of what I’m reading or to maybe give you book suggestions on which wonder to read next, I will be giving reports every now and again, but only after I finish a book.  One of my new years resolutions have been to read more, and so far this month I have finished three books! This is a report on just one of those books, however.  The other reports will be soon to come as soon as I can find time to sit down and write! (LOL)

The Hunger Games
by: Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is based in a futuristic ‘America,’ now taken over by a government that seems hell based to keep their territory and employees spoiled in the latest fashion, the most up-to-date performance and image changing surgeries, while giving not much help or care to the surrounding districts.  There are twelve districts surrounding this highly evolved city called Panem.  Each district is responsible for producing a part of agriculture that everyone shares, important for survival.  As we learn in the story, district twelve – where most of the story involves around – is a coal mining district, and also the same district where our heroine, Katness Everdeen, is from.  Her father died in a coal mining accident along with another father of Gale Hawthorne, a friend of Katness.
Katness is only sixteen, but carries the wisdom of someone older than her age.  Her father, before his death, used to take Katness hunting and would teach her the way of the woods, which growth in the forest was safe to eat, especially teaching her to master a bow and arrow.  It was shortly after her father died that Katness had the weight of her family and their survival on her shoulders.  Her sister, Primrose (aka: Prim), was too young to fend for herself, and their mother became lost to the world after her husband’s death, leaving Katness to grow up enough at age eleven and support the family.
It was during this time when she met Gale while out hunting, admiring a snare trap he had set that had caught a rabbit.  After the promise of teaching her how to make a snare in exchange for knowledge of what Katness knew, they became friends and would risk their lives daily to sneak under the boundaries of District Twelve, into the forbidden forest to hunt and gather food for their families so they wouldn’t starve.

The government, as punishment for a rebellion pushed on them by the districts many years prior, had forced one boy and one girl from each district to be offered up as a ‘tribute’ in a lottery system every year.  This lottery is for what is called ‘The Hunger Games.’  Twenty-four children (two from each district; a boy and girl.), from the ages of twelve to eighteen are placed in an arena that is wide and abundant with trees and greenery and wildlife, fight to the death until only one remains.  Their names would be placed in a container pertaining to sex, and two would be removed; one from each jar on live television—a highly regarded ‘live television show’ that each district is forced to watch.  Katness, offering her name as a kind of trade for food, had her name placed into the jar more than twenty times.  Gale had his name in the jar twice that.  As fate would have it, Katness’s sister Prim, who only had her name in their once got chosen – with her name only being in the jar once.  In a move of love, Katness offered to trade herself for her sister, and was whisked away with a mere ‘goodbye’ to her family and Gale (who fortunately didn’t get picked).
We follow Katness, and District Twelve’s boy tribute, Peeta Mellark, a baker’s son, through their time training with their mentor, Haymitch Abernathy who had won The Hunger Games nearly thirty years prior – and the only one from District Twelve to ever make it out alive since then – now a drunk and what one would call the ‘comic relief’ of the story due to never fully recovering from the shock of the Game.

The bulk of this story comes mostly from what happens inside of the arena.  With camera’s hidden, but running for those at home watching the events unfold, we, as the reader, sit side by side with Katness, Peeta and the rest of the district’s tributes.  We watch as the district’s form allies with each other, make enemies among one another, and even fall in love with each other.  We are kept on our toes watching our favorite characters being pushed to their limits, and sometimes manipulated by the government (who has the power to change the atmosphere in the arena; starting fires, controlling the weather – even changing the water supply) just to get hesitating groups together to fight.
Though this story is absurd in its reality; seriously now, which government today – or in the future – would allow CHILDREN to fight with one another, and actually force them to kill each other?  Though governments may be starving their ‘district’s’ today, and it may be fathomable to think of them forming an alliance and dividing the world into pieces (does the New World Order ring a bell here?), this story has received bad reviews from just that alone.  I think these people just don’t have an open mind, enough to take away the rules of our own world and replace it with the rules of The Hunger Game.  However, it seems that America has still triumphed over those ill-fictioners and have welcomed this book with a warm embrace.
I read this story through an audio book, provided by (free iPhone app for those of you interested) as I am really too busy to physically pick up a book and read it and finish it within a reasonable time frame.  What I first thought was going to be a riveting story, something so great – as from the reviews I have heard and the excitement that has stirred up around it – I was ready for something I couldn’t stop listening to.  However, I was let down majorly when the narrator that read the story, Carolyn McCormick, brought to it a kind of childish overtone.  I ended up having to lower my standards just to get through the story.  When she would read the narration part of the story, I could easily enjoy myself.  It was only when she brought on the different voices for the characters that I would cringe and asked myself if I really wanted to continue.  Though she did alright with Katness; sometimes her voice would get whiny and unbearably babyish in times where she should have been using her acting abilities to make her angry, or scared, or happy, her other characters, such as Peeta and Rue (a twelve year old contestant from District Eleven) was simply…horrible.
The story itself, never minding the narrator, was amusing and kept me returning for the three nights it took me to finish the book.  I found the characters to be believable and not straying from their personalities – though sometimes I wanted to smack Katness for being so daft about something so obvious.  If I had to choose a favorite part, I would have to tell you about when Katness gets caught up a tree – a group who had rallied together surrounding her from below.  Not wanting to give away too much of the story, I’ll just say that the execution of Katness’s plan to free herself and that of our dear twelve year old Rue is cunning and brave – as is the concluding of the strategy.
My favorite character has to be Rue as she is easy to sympathize with, not to mention, with her being a precious twelve years old, you can’t help but root for her to win.  My least favorite character has to be Peeta.  There’s just something about him that reminds me of my most recent ex-boyfriend, and though I still love him to death, the similarity between him and Peeta is uncanny.

I would highly recommend this story – but only to buy the book and read it.  If you can stand Carolyn, then by all means have at the audio.  These simple ‘pet-peeves’ aren’t stopping me from loving the story and giving it a good 8/10.  I am super excited to see the movie when it finally releases on March 23rd.  Have any of you read The Hunger Games?  If so, what did you like about it?  Are you going to read the second and third books? – I know I am.  I’m taking a break from my dear Carolyn so I can refresh my views on the story.  What was your favorite part?  Least favorite?  Anything you would have changed?

Happy reading!