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April 24, 2013


Yay, a Julia post! Perfect for "husband working late" reading!

Watch Game of thrones. Just do it. The first episode is shocking and raw. We weren't sure about it, but we watched the next, and then seasons 1 and 2 and then I read all five books. Book 1 and much of 2 is a bit repetitive after watching the show, but then it just all explodes and is unlike other works of this genre because, to quote Arya Stark, "anyone can die."

But not everyone. At least not yet. Winter is coming, after all.

Thanks for the commentary on Vikings, I have been wondering.

Oh, a bad reader/actor on an audiobook is awful. There are several series which I'd love to listen to -- books which I own in paper form and would willingly spend precious money to own in audio form -- but the voice is just SO BAD.

Omg yes Game of Thrones is good! Our new son's middle name is Stark because my husband is obsessed with it. Seriously.

Are you going to Sunriver? We go in the winter for skiing - Love to hear what you think about summer.

When are you going to write a book?

You have a gift.

A Julia post! Made my day thank you very much.

Now, look. You can't talk smack about the Disney fairy book authors in general because they aren't all bad. I haven't read any of the books BUT I know one of my favorite authors has been writing them for a few years now (which bums me out since I want her to write stuff I want to read, and not that). I refer to Gail Carson Levine, the author who received a Newberry Honor for her book "Ella Enchanted." It's a great book (though the movie based on it is terrible). Definitely a real author.

Carry on.

Skipping the rest of the blog (will return momentarily) to say, Game of Thrones - it is good. It is SO good. Give in, watch, become addicted, the end. Also, read the books. They're stellar.

Ohhhhh, yes. Game of Thrones. YES. After binge-watching season 1, I devoured the first three books, then watched season 2, and completely immersed myself in the last two books. I am DEVASTATED that their are no more new books for...much too long. MUCH too long. (Please note the use of CAPS). Watch the show. Read the books. In that order. (I found it much easier to keep characters and plots straight having watched season 1 first.)

How I feel your pain on the never ending winter! We live in Ohio, so not on the same level of unending dispair as you poor folks, but we keep getting cruelly teased by spring. Case in point, last week we had a day that hit 83. Storms came through that night and we woke up to it spitting snow. Yesterday was sunny and a perfectly reasonable 68. Today it topped out at 37. My poor four year old came downstairs this morning, declared that she was tired of winter and she was going to ignore it. She promptly turned on all the lights in the house "so I can pretend it is sun shiny" donned the sun hat and dress I had made her the day before, and proceeded to spend the day swimming in our ball pit and using beads as sand in her new bucket. Old mad winter should go running for the hills as my child is a force to be reckoned with :-)

I would give my eyeteeth to own a print of Patrick's comment. For whatever reason it made me laugh out loud and then keep giggling while I read all the other comments (which, yeah, it's early in the game so I didn't giggle *that* long...).

Your commenters have motivated me to go watch Game of Thrones.

Reading about your kids is a true delight. Please never stop blogging!

I believe the rare Mary Worth comic is from the Simpsons. Comic book guy has it in the episode where Bart sells his soul to Milhouse. Yes I'm a dork.

Also, yes to Game of Thrones. I was skeptical also because it's not my genre at all (I shy away from dragons) but both my husband and I are addicted. I read the books first but watching the show helps me keep the characters straight.

Yes a thousand times to GoT. The books as well.

I'm glad you went with the Avengers series movies, and having gotten through Iron Man 2 and Thor, you've gotten past the weakest ones, in my opinion.

I feel the same way about Ender's Game. And I'm sure you've been told in past threads, but Orson Scott Card is an unrepentant and extremely outspoken homophobe. Not in the past. Right this minute. I've thought about reading his other works, but I don't think I could bring myself to buy a new copy of any of his stuff and give him my money.

... so has Caroline ever actually put jam on the cat? Because my wife and I sit around every so often staring at the cats and going, we could put raspberry jam on them as the song suggests we could, but then we don't because both of us are smart enough not to say no to the other about it. At some point, when she says GO AHEAD PUT JAM ON THE CAT I am just going to do it.

If Ender worries you, don't watch Game of Thrones. Just when you think it might work out...it doesn't. Over and over and over.

My 22 year old daughter gets tired of the intensity, no lightness. Ever.

I love it.

Yay! You're back! This state is killing me with the endless winter, but I hear summer is scheduled to arrive on Saturday, probably with a tornado or two, just for fun.

When I was in second grade, my parents bought their first house, and we had to switch schools. They told us on the weekend, and I went to school on Monday and announced I'd be out of there by Friday. Of course it took months to actually close on the house and move. I heartily agree with your 'tell 'em on the plane' rule!

Beryllium was featured on tonight's Daily Show! You're on trend!

We're also watching Vikings, and I love it! Freakin' bloody Viking soap opera, more-or-less historically correct, gorgeous production values, and the guy with the slanty blue eyes who plays Ragnar Lothbrok ... well, WOOF! LOL!

Re Ender's Game ... I don't recommend letting Patrick progress to the sequels. The first sequel had scenes that sickened me. Just my .02, of course.

Love "The Edward" -- is that like The Donald? Or more like Bob Dole? Get it on video!

What a pleasure to read your writing and about your family.

My husband loves GoT although it is too difficult/painful for me. I can't finish Dostoevsky/Hardy/etc. either.

I laughed out loud with your strategy t to encourage Caroline to read. Awe. some.

Enjoy watching Patrick enjoy Captain America!

Game of Thrones is a must! I read all the books and now watching the latest season on TV. The series on TV has a lot more sex than the books though and after season 1 it does start differing a little but if you read up why they changed it then it is understandable. Definitely adults only though.

I actually do strongly recommend the sequel to Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead. It's a completely different sort of book, but it takes the moral questions of EG and runs with them in really interesting ways. (And this recommendation is despite my reluctance to support Card and his homophobia in general.)

Game of Thrones is amazing, you're going to love it!

A friend advised me to watch at least two episodes of Game of Thrones before deciding whether to continue, and that turned out to be excellent advice -- some of the most disturbing elements of the pilot become less intense in subsequent episodes.

I have no opinion of Game of Thrones but I will say Captain America is highly enjoyable. :)

Wait ... Bean in the ear -- didn't Julie's Charlie stick a bean in his ear? And it sprouted?!

Love Game of Thrones. I haven't watched Vikings, but friends of ours who have watched both Vikings and Game of Thrones refer to Vikings as "Lame of Thrones." Do with that what you will.

For GoT, as noted above, NOT SAFE FOR CHILDREN. Being on HBO, they have inserted what are commonly referred to as "sexposition" scenes, where something explained, but there must be naked women while the talking happens.

Love the show, roll my eyes at the sexposition.

This has probably already been suggested but Philip Pullman? The atheists' answer to the Narnia books. My daughter and her son are reading this right now and both love it. Also, in other atheist suggested, the Magic of Reality by Dawkins is fantastic and appropriate (very) for kids who are into myths and arcane religious percepts and truth. (But don't see the movies based on the Pullman books.)

1) Instead of Disney Fairies, check out Emily Rodda's Fairy Realm series. Even my husband enjoys reading them to kiddo -- not sickly sweet, smart female heroine who helps the fairies in the fairy realm. Love, love, love them.
2) Yay, Bend -- boo you will be 3 hours away & we won't be there probably this summer. I've got lots of ideas of things to do there, depending on whether you are in Sunriver or in Bend.

First - bad readers. Absolutely right - it will KILL an audio book. There's a detective series (slipping my mind right now - female heroine, Chicago settings) in which some of the books are read by Jean Smart, who sounds EXACTLY like the main character should sound, and some of the books are voiced by this horrible squeaky person. Needless to say....I now only listen to the Jean Smart ones.
Also - why can't Janet Evanovich get someone to read her books who sounds like she might have at least DRIVEN THROUGH New Jersey? Blech. I still listen, because they are so wonderfully perfect as car listening - but I see room for improvement.

The end of Enders Game. I did NOT see that coming. Yep, that was why I liked it. I had myriad theories along the way (which I won't share here for spoiler reasons)- none of which proved to be accurate about where the book was headed. I do not wish to read or listen to Speaker for the Dead - mostly because I just liked the book as it was - I did not want to know what happens next. I think what I loved were the Battle Rooms. I was endlessly fascinated by all of that.
If I were to read another one - I think I'd choose the one from Bean's (that's his name? the little guy?) point of view.

I just learned that I may get to join you in the joint listening with a kid arena - our son is first on the waiting list for an interdistrict school that is (sort of, in only the most general sense) on my way to work - and there is talk of me driving him so he doesn't have to take the long bus ride. If it works out - I'll definitely be back running through these comments and your posts to find our first listens!

Ooh! Emily Rodda. yes, definitely- my daughter has read them all! Among the best of that genre, I think.

For the airplace situation, how about making them a paper chain so that they have a piece to remove each day and maybe it will help with just how far away (or close) the trip is?

I don't watch too many shows but YES to Game of Thrones! I started reading the books a few days before starting to watch the series, and I'm transfixed. The show follows the books pretty closely. And since read a lot, do read the books too.
Love your style of writing. And yes, I've read Trinity by Leon Uris.

Ah, Ender's Game. One of the very, very few *true* surprise endings I have ever experienced. It met both criteria: I totally didn't see it coming, and once it was revealed, it was so utterly clear and logical that I couldn't believe I didn't see it coming. Most of the other so-called surprise endings violate either a or b.

Game of Thrones. I have read all the existing books, and yet I resist the pressure to watch the show. I found the books well-written and absorbing, but brutal. Still not sure I can take it translated to screen.

I'd have to second if Ender made you tense, Game of Thrones has a serious tendency to randomly kill off people and if that stresses you out, you might have a hard time.

Edward cracks me up.

OOO - Bend. Love Bend. Summer or winter, LOVE Bend.

If you do stay in sunriver, you will adore the bike paths. oh bend. I want to go.

I really love all the GoT parts with Peter Dinklage in them. Otherwise there's sometimes too much politics for my taste. But I would say it's worth it overall.

Game of Thrones is a yes. I remember reading a meme or something that went vaguely like "J.K. Rowling hates to kill characters off, George RR Martin just laughs".

But I love the way they've set up the TV show. It is, to a certain extent, an 'adult comic strip' of the books, but it is very very very well done.

Even if people keep dying. And dying. And...

You really, really should read the rest of the Ender saga. Just keeps getting better, and really morally interesting (annoying from a homophobic mormon, but there you have it).

My husband and I just spent a weekend in Bend. The town itself couldn't be any more charming if it tried. My only complaint is that I'm not a huge fan of the high desert climate. I live on the much greener/wetter western side of the Oregon Cascades. The trade off is that while we got 130 inches of rain last year (seriously), they had 300 days of sunshine. However, Bend is full of nice people and good beer (more breweries per capita than anywhere in the US). It's a very walkable city with gorgeous mountain views, delicious food and amazing art galleries. You'll love it :)

I am so far behind on my blog reading, but I just have to comment to share my Magic Treehouse hate. Why? WHY? WHY???? Why would Morgan LeFaye and Merlin have a bleepin' treehouse? It makes me skin crawl. Also, my son wants to win, which means he started with the biggest number he could find, so we are reading them all backwards. Not that it matters at all plotwise, but it irritates me.

Dude, your mention of a weakness for Disney books perplexed me, but trusting your book knowledge implicitly, and because my six year old has been chomping at the bit to graduate to chapter books, I ordered a whole stack of them, sight unseen.

And, boy, these aren't Disney at all! I mean, the prince is peripheral at best, the princess isn't resting on her laurels waiting to be rescued. No one takes the reins of the drama at all but HER and she's not merely having the adventure of landing herself a man and/or a house and/or a loving family. These princesses are solving mysteries! And the language! Multi-syllabic gloriously varied language. And wordy punny humor. Whoever wrote these loves words and actually thinks girls are pretty smart. Bit of a disconnect to see the Disney name (and no individual author?) on them. The only thing Disney about them are the characters, and that, in name only. Ariel, NOT as a femme fatale. Belle as a planner and do-er and a solver of conundrums. The brightly colored illustrations are Disney-ish as well, and that's the hook to get my kid to be curious about the books (eventhough she's never been drunk on princesses heretofore). But, re the illustrations, you know what my LO said? She said in the pages where there isn't a picture she can make the picture in her head and sometimes that picture can be different than the one the book shows on the next page. And sometimes she likes the picture in her head better. EEEEE! Right? My LO is SO proud to have finished her first chapter book (Ariel, Shimmering Star Necklace), read totally on her own. And now, well, she wants to read at least one chapter a night and fights tooth and nail to read more. But I'm doing that reverse psychology thing too of only allowing her to read one a night, at least until she learns that the earlier you get to bed, the more you can read, at least with me by her side. No flashlight under the covers for her yet, but I'm thinking that will be in our near future. So: Thank you!!!

BTW, when I came back to your post to leave this comment, I discovered you had mentioned the Fairy stories not the Princess ones. Going back to order the Fairies now too, of course.

Also, I've merely flipped thru the Magic Treehouse series and didn't think they were colorful enough to hold my girl's attention and your terse review sealed their fate as well. But, where to after Disney fairies, I wonder? Series-wise, I mean.

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