Blog Award! Happy 101

A few weeks ago, Whitney from She's Too Fond of Books awarded me the Happy 101 Blog Award. I really like this award because it lets everyone who is awarded share 10 things that make them happy. What a nice idea!

Here are 10 things that make me happy:

  1. Route 44 Sonic Unsweetened Ice Tea with extra ice (LOVE Sonic Ice)
  2. Curling up with a good book that sucks me into a different world
  3. Snuggling with my dogs Turbo and Max (and walking them too!)
  4. Laughing about ridiculous things
  5. Reading new messages posted on my favorite Shelfari groups (Anne McCaffrey and All Her Worlds and Fantasy/Science Fiction Book of the Month)
  6. Tabi socks
  7. Listening to music
  8. Reading other people's blogs
  9. Watching a good movie/TV show (currently obsessed with The Pacific, Castle, and Firefly)
  10. Traveling to other countries

I also get to pass this award onto a few blogs! These are blogs I read fairly consistently and really enjoy.
  1. Kristi at Kristi Mingo's Thoughts
  2. Trish at 100 Mile Fitness Challenge (for the months of January - March 2010)
  3. Carin at Caroline Bookbinder
  4. Lori at Escape Between the Pages
  5. Orchid at The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
I love reading all these blogs on a regular basis! Thanks again to Whitney at She's Too Fond of Books (whose blog I also enjoy reading regularly)!

OT: HBO's The Pacific - Weeks 1-3

For 8 years, I waited for Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg to make a film about the Pacific War in WWII. Band of Brothers was so amazing that I still watch it a few times a year. Three weeks ago, The Pacific debuted on HBO and it really didn't disappoint. The subject matter focused on Band of Brothers and The Pacific were so different that the films have an entirely different feel. In Band of Brothers, you watch the first episodes where the men in the 101st Airborne start out training together and follow them through the entire European war. In The Pacific, the filmmakers throw you into the mix right away--it's difficult to know who everyone is and the chaos is intense from the very beginning. I am enjoying the short clips on historical background for each new episode of The Pacific--men that fought in this theater are interviewed at the beginning of every episode and stock footage is shown. It makes each episode more personal knowing that these men were not just characters on television for some big budget series but were real men who fought hard to keep not only our nation safe, but those of our allies too.

I decided to post a few of the videos from and will continue each week as they release them. I feel that this series and Band of Brothers were so special that everyone should see them. I have had friends who say they just can't stomach watching a war film, but these really are historical films that show the triumphs and horrors of war. It is important that every person knows the toll of war on our servicemen and servicewomen because, in my opinion, it makes us more thoughtful about entering conflicts. I thank all of our servicemen and servicewomen for their sacrifices in our current wars and all previous wars. All of you have given a tremendous amount of yourselves to our country.

If you are interested in reading about WWII in the Pacific, here are a few books that the HBO series is based on:

Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie
With the Old Breed by Eugene B. Sledge
Red Blood, Black Sand by Chuck Tatum
China Marine by Eugene B. Sledge

HBO also has a companion book written by Hugh Ambrose called The Pacific

HBO also has tons of information on the war and is worth taking a look at. Click HERE to go to The Pacific website at

Episode One
Here is Part 1 of the historical background on Guadalcanal that posted on their website. It also aired right before the beginning of the first episode of The Pacific:

*SPOILER ALERT* Here is the recap for Episode 1 of The Pacific:

Episode Two:
Here is Part 2 of the Historical Background on Guadalcanal. It set up the second episode of the series wonderfully and gave a good sense of the intensity of the fight.

*SPOILER ALERT* Here is a recap of Episode 2 of The Pacific:

Episode Three:
Here is Part 3 of the Historical Background on the Marines who ported in Australia after the battle at Guadalcanal.

*PREVIEW* Here is a preview of Episode 3 of The Pacific:

Friday Book Blogger Hop

Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books has started Book Blogger Hop to help people discover old and new book blogs that they didn't know were out there. I know that my TBR List continues to get longer and longer as I find new book blogs, but I really enjoy discovering what people have to say about the books they read so I like participating in this event.

Her only rules are:

  • Your blog has to have book related content on it, but is not limited to book related content.
  • You need to click on a few other blogger links through the MckLinky posted on her page. It's a weekly event so if you don't have time to click on links to other blogs that day, you can always participate the following week.
Also, if you start following someone on the Hop, make sure you leave them a comment on their blog and let them know you found them through Book Blogger Hop!

Teaser Tuesdays - March 23

Taken from Miz B.'s, Should Be Reading blog:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B. of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along. Just click the link for Teaser Tuesdays and you can find out how to participate!

Here is my teaser for the week:
"She thought it would be safer if she were simply to pay a short visit to the vaults on a minor inspection and tell Warren to come to her at their meeting spot by the river. The information was far too dangerous even to convey in the safety of the empty vaults."  ~p.365 of Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind

I am still reading Blood of the Fold this week. All of the Sword of Truth books are pretty long. This one is 623 pages. I am hoping to be done by the end of the week so that I can read the book for my Thrill Me Book Club by next Wednesday. I'm afraid that I've hit a bit of a reading slump lately. What do you do when you hit a reading slump?

What is your teaser for this week? You can post a link to your blog in the comments, or if you don't have a blog you can post your teaser in the comments. Happy Tuesday!

The Rowan - Anne McCaffrey

It's time for my Anne McCaffrey book of the month which I participate in through Anne McCaffrey and All Her Worlds on Shelfari. I actually finished the book over a week ago, but I was feeling pretty uninspired to write a review at the moment, so I thought I'd let the book digest a little before I wrote a blog post about it.

The Rowan is a story about a young woman named Rowan who is born with psionic talents. As a toddler her village is destroyed and her family killed by a mudslide. She is found after her cries of distress disturb the other talents. Because her cries were so loud, the talents knew she was profoundly gifted and she was placed with a Prime Talent to help her hone her skills of telepathy and telekinesis. Over time, her skills allow her to be placed as a Prime Talent on another planet and she receives a distant call for help from a man named Jeff Raven, whose planet is being attacked by aliens. His calls for aid begin a relationship between the two of them that only two psionic talents could have.

After reading the book, I was a little disappointed at how disjointed it felt at some points. However, the thread for the book on the Anne McCaffrey and All Her Worlds group helped me gain a little more understanding as to why I felt this way. The book was originally a short story that Anne McCaffrey decided to expand on. The book was compelling, and I will read the second book of the series, but I was just left wanting for a little more detail. Rowan and Jeff's relationship was very sudden and intense which boring people like me don't quite understand. Someone in the group pointed out that the circumstances in which they fall in love was partially because Jeff accepted Rowan for who she was and wasn't intimidated by her powerful gift. After seeing that, I liked the book more. I will give the series one more try before I am likely to give up on it. Everyone in the group says that Damia is written much better and is a much more fulfilling story so I am excited about reading it. I did enjoy certain aspects of the book (using gifted people to be stevedores was a great concept I think) and I did like the characters in the book. I am looking forward to better plot development in the next book in the series.

I do really enjoy participating in Book of the Month groups because people's insights oftentimes help me pick up on things I've missed or hadn't thought about in the book. Do any of you participate in book clubs or book of the month groups? Let me know what you think of them and why you have or haven't joined one!

Teaser Tuesdays - March 16

Taken from Miz B.'s, Should Be Reading blog:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B. of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along. Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my teaser for the week:
"'Valdora laughed. 'Oh the poison won't kill you. Just a little something to incapacitate you until I could bind you up all helpless in a web. You'll not die so easily.'"  ~p. 435 of Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind

I cheated a little and put more than two sentences because I thought the quote was so awesome!

Blood of the Fold is Book 3 of the Sword of Truth series. We are currently reading it on the Fantasy/Science Fiction Book of the Month group on Shelfari. If you are interested in the series, you can buy the books in boxed sets of three on Amazon or Barnes & Noble which I highly recommend. It's much cheaper than buying them individually, but you also have to buy them online to get them cheap. They are much more expensive in-store at Barnes & Noble. 

What is your teaser for this week? You can post a link to your blog in the comments, or if you don't have a blog you can post your teaser in the comments. Hope you all are having a great week!

Soundtrack Saturdays (7) - The Rowan

Soundtrack Saturday is a new meme hosted at Rating Reads. This is my second week to participate in it! Anyone can participate. Here are the instructions:

  • Take your current read or recently finished book. 
  • Find at least one song that fits the story, characters, whatever.
  • Post the book title and song(s) on your blog with a brief explanation of your picks. Don't forget to mention who started it.
  • Linking/embedding a song or video in your post is not necessary to participate.
  • Head over to Rating Reads and add your post to the Mr. Linky.

Book: The Rowan - Anne McCaffrey
Song: Theme song from Season 2 of The Wire - Tom Waits
Why: The Rowan is about a group of psionics that are steveadores. As I was reading about them docking the cans I immediately thought about Season 2 of HBO's The Wire. I didn't know what a steveadore was before this show, but now I do and it made The Rowan more visual for me because of it! I have to admit that I'm a bigger fan of the Season 1 theme (same song, different artist), but I'm staying true to the story and posting this one.

100 Mile Fitness Challenge

Trish at 100 Mile Fitness Challenge has been running (no pun intended) her quarterly fitness challenge between January and March this year. Recently, she posted a giveaway for the participants of the challenge to help motivate us through our last few weeks of the challenge. I thought that was really great of her and Dana (who is providing the prizes for the giveaway from her Etsy Shop called Words to Sweat By) to have this giveaway because honestly, I really don't enjoy exercising very much even though I ALWAYS feel better when I exercise.

For the giveaway we are supposed to tell people what motivates our exercising and how we can help motivate others. So here it goes:

I am really motivated to exercise when I am held accountable by friends or from the 100 Mile Fitness challenge weekly progress report. I don't want to let them down or quite frankly, I would  be embarrassed to admit that all I did is sit on the couch and read or watch TV all week long while others are working their butts off to be active. I'm also more motivated to exercise when my clothes stop fitting like I want them to, and when my clothes become too baggy and I need to buy new ones! I would like to motivate people to join a fitness challenge because it has been quite a bit of fun to participate in this one. We are all at different fitness levels and everyone is really honest about their successes and failures so I don't feel alone if I only report two or four miles for the week. Lately my tendonitis has come back in my shoulder and I haven't been able to lift any weights for my exercise videos, but I don't feel bad about saying that I have had to take it easy because there are others that are struggling with the same things. It's just nice to know you're not alone! I also feel so much better and energetic when I exercise on a regular basis, and I secretly think in my head that I'm as awesomely fit as the ladies in the video! It's not true at all, but maybe someday I'll get there! Hehehe!

Please check out Dana's Etsy Shop called Words to Sweat By. She makes super cute towels that you can take to the gym with you or just keep by your side when you are doing your exercises at home.  If you are interested in the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge, please visit Trish's blog as well and sign up for the next round. It's really great fun and motivating! I haven't been trying to lose a whole lot of weight, but I've managed to lose five pounds by just exercising (not changing my diet at all). My goal for the next round is to be more consistent about exercising and start to eat a healthier diet so that I'll continue to lose weight.

Do you have any weight loss or fitness goals? What motivates you to become more fit? I'd love to hear your answers because if you know me, you know that I love to sit on the couch all day and eat bad food and watch movies! I am always open to some extra inspiration from you all!

Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding

When C.B. James posted his Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge, I immediately thought of reading and re-watching Bridget Jones's Diary. I saw the movie years ago and thought it was absolutely hysterical. I've been wanting to read the book for years, and the challenge gave me just the excuse to read it.

Bridget Jones is an early 30-something single woman working at a publishing company in London. Like most women, she is unhappy with her appearance and decides to go on a diet at the beginning of the year. Her diary chronicles her diet, but more than that, it chronicles her hilarious antics as she fumbles her way through life. She is infinitely likeable--she has the same insecurities that most of us have when we pursue relationships, hang out with friends, and deal with the eccentricities of our parents. Bridget's relationship with Daniel is really hilarious. She fumbles her way through whether or not to call him after their dates, checks her caller ID (and logs how many times she checks it in her diary), and engages in some comfort eating when things aren't going quite the way she envisioned them. Fielding wrote Bridget as a character all us ladies can relate to and did it in such a laughably, loveable way that I couldn't help but enjoy all the pages I was reading.

I also really enjoyed her mother's story. It was so much more scandalous than the film! Her mom went way over the top with the affair with her Portuguese lover, Julio. I couldn't believe how flippant her mom was as she hurt all her friends and family and didn't seem to really blink an eye. She was in total denial which was a little hard to read but was also like rubbernecking while on the freeway when there's a bad accident. You don't want to admit that you're intrigued, but you secretly are!

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I enjoyed Bridget's growing relationship with Mark Darcy, her relationship with her friends, and I loved how she flubbed through life with some, but not much grace. I rooted for her through the whole book because she's a person that I think most people could relate to. None of us have perfect lives, but to live life with a sense of humor makes it all worth it.

Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge

Film: Bridget Jones's Diary

I bought Bridget Jones's Diary on a whim about two years ago when it was on a super sale at Fry's after Christmas. I loved the movie when I saw it and had always wanted to own it. I've only watched it once since I bought it so I sat down and rewatched the film after I read the book.

It's pretty true to the book. There are some differences, but the tone and feel is all still the same. Like I said in the book review, Bridget's mother is way more scandalous with her lover in the book than the film. In the film, she runs off with this overly tanned, home shopping network guy who is totally high maintenance. I actually preferred the story in the book better, but I thought her story worked out well nicely on the screen the way it was written. I was really satisfied with the resolution with her family at the end of the film since it was a lighthearted, funny movie.

I also have to admit that I think the movie might have the best romantic quote of all time (although John Thornton's proposal to Margaret Hale in North and South has to be right up there in the running for best romantic quote of all time). It's the scene where Bridget goes to dinner at Magda and Jeremy's. They are having a smug married couples dinner and Bridget is the only single person there. When she's leaving, Mark follows her tells her, "I like you very much, just as you are." I'm not an overly romantic person, but this line made me smile and swoon just a little....ok, A LOT! It made me think, "Too bad real life isn't like that!" Of course, that's what's great about movies. It's not real, but it's a nice little little escape for a few hours.

For you non-romantic types, there's also a fight between Colin Firth and Hugh Grant which is one of the funniest scenes I've ever seen in a movie. I laugh every time because I know that if I were ever to get into a fight, it would look something like that!

I love the entire cast of the movie and think they all embodied the roles from the book perfectly. Watching the movie this time around I also realized that Shirley Henderson who plays Moaning Myrtle from the Harry Potter movies is in it! Her character is named Jude who has a boyfriend with quite possibly the best name ever....Vile Richard. I also loved James Callis as Tom in the movie. I know this came out before Battlestar Galactica, but I have infinite love for the actors on that show and love watching James Callis in Bridget Jones's Diary.

I happily give this movie 5 stars. I loved it. So ladies, if you haven't watched the movie in awhile it's time to get together with your girlfriends, grab your favorite adult beverage, mix up some blue soup and marmalade, and pop the movie in to the DVD player for some good girl fun and laughs.

Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides

A few months ago, my book club chose to read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. It sounded really interesting and promised to be well-written since it won a Pulitzer Prize. The story is about Calliope/Cal Stephanides--a third generation Greek American living in Detroit. The Stephanides family originally came from a small village in Turkey, but fled when war came to their area. Calliope's grandmother and grandfather trek to America by boat and are married on their journey. They live as any immigrant does--working hard to earn a living and hoping to attain the "American Dream". There are a few things that get in the way, namely Prohibition and a secret the two keep from the future generations of their family.

Enter Calliope. The secret her grandparents kept have had a serious effect on her life. Born as an intersex individual, Calliope is unaware of her condition until adolescence. Her story is that of a young girl who was raised a girl and identifies herself as a girl until she finds out that puberty has just not hit her in the same way that it has manifested itself in other young girls. This understandably is coupled with an identity crisis for her and she eventually becomes Cal.

While this is a major plot point, there is quite a bit of other narrative about her family and their American journey. I almost felt that it overshadowed the plot of her being intersex, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that while it is an intricate part of the plot, the book itself is more about the generational immigrant family that moves from being very Greek to very American. It is extremely well-written; Eugenides has a gift for words. However, when our book club got together to talk about it, we were all much more interested in Calliope's story than any of her family's. Because of this, I was a little disappointed in the book. It was almost as if Cal's being intersex was incidental to the story. I had hoped that Eugenides would bring in the fact that she was intersex before he actually did in the book, but because his writing was so good, I felt it still fit.

After reading the book, I said I thought it was just ok, but I still gave it 4 out of 5 stars because of the writing. I still feel like the characters in the novel were fairly disaffected, and there were some parts that were just outlandish. I would still recommend it to people that were wanting to read a book about immigrant families from Greece or Turkey. I also think it brings up some good conversation about gender issues and intersex people and makes for a good book club choice. I will say that I read the book over about a three day period, and I feel I would have liked it better had I read it in smaller doses. Most of the people in our book club liked the book, and I think none of us were very disappointed.

Teaser Tuesdays - March 9

Taken from Miz B.'s, Should Be Reading blog:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B. of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along. Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my teaser for the week:
"'He was brought in unconscious, bleeding to death, so there was no time to use less stringent methods of anesthesia. It'll take awhile to revive from the chemicals.'"  ~p. 211 of The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey

The Rowan is the Book of the Month in the Anne McCaffrey and All Her Worlds group on Shelfari. I have to admit that I wasn't jazzed about reading it when I saw the cover, but I am really enjoying it. I can't wait to start on the next book in the series, and I'm not even finished with this book!

What is your teaser for this week? You can post a link to your blog in the comments, or if you don't have a blog you can post your teaser in the comments. Happy Tuesday!

The Bourne Identity - Robert Ludlum

I have really enjoyed all the Jason Bourne movies that star Matt Damon. I'm not one to read spy/thriller novels, but since I liked the movies so much, I really wanted to give the books a try. I also wanted to try reading a "man" book with my husband and thought The Bourne Identity would be a good one for us to read since neither of us had ever read it.

Jason Bourne is a man who has been rescued at sea and has no recollection of who he is. He has been shot and wounded and is near death. The fishermen that pick him him take him to the town of Port Noir to be taken care of by an alcoholic doctor. As he is nursed back to health he realizes that he has certain advantageous skills and a curious implant in his hip. The implant is a bank account number for a bank in Zurich. Bourne realizes that he needs to go there to begin establishing who he is. When he has recovered enough, he heads to Zurich where the story becomes frantic and interesting. His appearance at the bank sets off a manhunt for him, and he begins his run from people who want to kill him. Along the way, he takes a female hostage from Canada and the two of them run from those who would see them dead all the while trying to figure out who Jason Bourne really is.

I have to admit that the book was a little slow for me even though the story itself was interesting. There was a little too much dialogue, and there were points in the book that I didn't realize it had "cut" to another parallel story because there weren't breaks between pages (it might have just been the movie tie-in copy that I was reading). I also really didn't like the whole Stockholm Syndrome thing with Jason and his hostage, Marie. The two have a love affair which doesn't quite make sense to me. I also found Marie somewhat irritating because she was a little clingy (although she was very smart and helped Bourne out a few times). The action in the book was good though, and it definitely kept me reading. Overall, I'd be willing to give another of the Bourne books a try, but if The Bourne Supremacy doesn't give me a little more satisfaction I'll likely be done reading the series and possibly toss out any chance of reading more Robert Ludlum altogether. I do wonder if the Eric van Lustbader Bourne books are better than the Robert Ludlum ones. If you've read them, please let me know! I'd be interested to see what other people think about this series.

Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge

Movie: The Bourne Identity

It had been more than a few years since I had seen the film of The Bourne Identity. I have to say that I really enjoyed it even more watching it this time around after I had read the book. I actually liked the movie better than the book. Fight scenes are easier to watch than read about (I had some trouble figuring out what was happening in the fight scenes in the book). I also liked the character of Marie much better in the movie than in the book. She was from Germany in the film and played by German actress, Franka Potente who I think is great! I liked that she was a little more leery of Bourne and stayed with him because she really had no choice. The authorities were looking for her and she knew she would likely end up dead if she didn't stay with Bourne. *SPOILER ALERT* In the book, Marie chose to stay with Bourne because he saved her from a man that was raping her and intended to kill her. I just didn't really find that all that believable since he had captured and held her at gunpoint.

The movie was fun and action-packed. I gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars. The book I would give 3 out of 5 stars. If you liked the movies, but aren't a big fan of spy/thriller books, I'd just stick with the movie. It had a somewhat different storyline and wasn't really that faithful to the book, but it was still really well done and more enjoyable overall than the book.

Teaser Tuesdays - March 2

Taken from Miz B.'s, Should Be Reading blog:

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B. of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along. Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Here is my teaser for the week:
"'Party got off to a bad start when could not see anyone that I knew to introduce to each other. Found myself a drink then spotted Perpetua talking to James from the Telegraph.'"  ~p.85 of Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

I am reading Bridget Jones's Diary for the Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge hosted at C.B. James' blog. I'm enjoying the book so far, and now I'm really aching to see the movie again.

What is your teaser for this week? You can post a link to your blog in the comments, or if you don't have a blog you can post your teaser in the comments. Happy Tuesday!

OT: HBO's The Pacific

I know that this is a book blog, but I do watch a lot of TV too and sometimes there are just shows that are special enough for me to mention on this blog (see my Olympics post).

I am SO excited about HBO's The Pacific which is premiering on March 14. Some years ago, HBO released Band of Brothers which followed the 101st Airborne from the days of their initial training all the way through to the end of WWII in Europe. It was one of the most powerful shows I've ever seen and is my favorite war film of all time. I can't say enough good things about the was mind blowing. I'm sure that The Pacific is going to be great. I've included a link to The Pacific website and the extended trailer found on the site. Honestly, I think it's worth paying for HBO just so that I can see this. If I didn't have it already, I would order it for the duration of the show! That's how good Band of Brothers was!

Click picture to see HBO's The Pacific Website

I am so glad that Stephen Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman decided to do this series. They did such a wonderful job telling the story of our WWII soldiers in Europe that I think they will honor our soldiers that fought in the Pacific Theater just as well. 

The Pacific series is based on a few different books:

Helmet for My Pillow by Robert Leckie
With the Old Breed by Eugene B. Sledge
Red Blood, Black Sand by Chuck Tatum
China Marine by Eugene B. Sledge

Band of Brothers was based on the book written by Stephen Ambrose. Both series also included a lot of research through interviews with the soldiers it was based on. Band of Brothers included an incredible documentary featuring the men that fought in the 101st Airborne. I actually got tears in my eyes while watching it after seeing the sacrifice they made for our country. I did read Band of Brothers after watching the series numerous times and I can say that it was very true to the book. It is a fast read and is very well done. I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in the time period. The TV series was so good that I hope Spielberg and Hanks will continue bringing our soldiers stories to life on the screen. It's eye opening watching. It doesn't glorify war, but shows the human and inhuman side to it. I loved every moment and thank our servicemen and servicewomen for the sacrifices they make for us. 

Stone of Tears - Terry Goodkind

For those of you that read my blog, it's been a few weeks since I actually posted a book review. This is because Stone of Tears is a whopping 979 pages long (and I have had a terrible addiction to the Olympics)! It took me about two weeks to read it, but it was well worth it. Beware that spoilers from the first book of the Sword of Truth series, Wizard's First Rule, will be included in this post!

The book picks up where Wizard's First Rule left off. Richard and Kahlan are returning to the Mud People and Zedd is still at the People's Palace where Richard has just taken over from Darken Rahl. Richard was able to defeat Darken Rahl using the Wizard's First Rule. Little does Richard know that the way he used the rule actually violated the Wizard's Second Rule causing a new threat to emerge.

As the story progresses, Richard learns that he is a wizard and must learn to control his powers. He and Kahlan's story diverges at this point as they each take a different direction to accomplish a common goal. Kahlan's journey takes her to Aydindril where she seeks to appeal to a council to help her fight the new threat. Richard's journey takes him to the Palace of the Prophets where he is taught how to control his wizard powers. Nothing is as it seems in the Palace of course and Richard is left to uncover another plot that could possibly destroy the land.

I have to admit that I think I enjoyed Kahlan's storyline more than Richard's. Terry Goodkind is a master of describing the horrors of war and battle. It is graphic, but I understand why he does it. In a lot of ways it makes it more real and shows the desolation that war has brought to the people. Kahlan has some Eowyn (from Return of the King--the movie brings a few thoughts to mind) moments where she just kicks a lot of butt. I love strong female characters and Kahlan is no exception! Richard's story is very important to the plot, but at times I found that it dragged on. I don't know if it's because I was feeling a little burned out on reading (I had two other books I had to read for book clubs this month that were not short and this was a 979 page book), or if I was just watching too much TV (those Olympics!!!). It became more interesting as time went on, but I felt like it took awhile to get there.

Still, I really enjoyed this book. Goodkind throws in some nice plot twists that I definitely wasn't expecting. I thought it really added to the book and at times made it really heart wrenching and difficult. I really did feel a little empty while I read this book because the characters go through such loss and betrayal. I like it when an author can really suck you into what the characters are going through and make you feel their emotions. I am thoroughly enjoying this series and am looking forward to the third installment, Blood of the Fold.

Read the Book, See the Movie Challenge

TV Show: Legend of the Seeker

I am still making my way through Legend of the Seeker. I am working hard not to watch the series too quickly because frankly, I have come to really enjoy it! Sure, it has very little to do with the Sword of Truth series even though it is "based on" it, but I find the show pretty entertaining and fun. I would probably compare it to Robin Hood (from British television) or less schlocky (but still with some schlock) Hercules. I know in my last review of Wizard's First Rule/Legend of the Seeker I was disappointed in the show, but it has really become quite fun to watch. I am taking my time to get through the show because I have noticed that they introduce characters from the books that I haven't read about yet. In other words, the story on the show isn't going in the same order as the books. However, if you decide to read the books and watch the show, it doesn't really matter because the characters are fairly different from the book. I just don't want to ruin any major plot points by watching the show too fast. I'll definitely keep posting my thoughts on the series as I read the books and watch the show, but I am changing my mind from my last review and giving the show my thumbs up.
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