Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Jonathan Maberry #AtoZChallenge

Here we are, half way through the AtoZChallenge! Pretty proud of myself :)

 I saw this on Corinne O'Flynn's blog and had to share it

I mentioned Jonathan Maberry in my D is for Dystopian post the other day and now that I am on book three of his Joe Ledger series I have determined that he deserves his own post. 

Apparently my taste is books is morphing, because I find myself leaning more towards these types of books lately. There's very little romance, a lot of crazy and powerful bad guys, quite a lot of fighting and gore, zombies (although only in the first book, so far) and a secret government agency. 

The characters Maberry writes are excellent. Joe has a wry sense of humor, even at the worst of times. Church, the leader of the agency, is as bad-ass and mysterious as they come, but is rarely without vanilla wafers to nibble on. Then there are Grace, Rudy, Bunny, Topp and Dr. Hu - each with their own quirks and rich personalities. All in all, great books. 

So far there are six books in the Joe Ledger series and Maberry has another series I plan to check out when I'm done with the one called Rot & Ruin, a four book series set in a "zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America". 

If you like action/adventure stories, this series is for you. Also, the narrator of the audio books, Ray Porter is excellent. I would listen to just about any book this guy has read.

In fact, before I started on the Joe Ledger series, I had listened to 14 by Peter Clines. 14 was a really good, and very unusual book; along the lines of John Dies at the End.

Monday, April 14, 2014

L is for Lindsey Stirling #AtoZChallenge

Had enough book reviews? Let's talk music!

I stumbled over Lindsey Stirling about a year ago, thanks to Pandora, and she quickly became one of my favorite artists. This girl is not your average musician in any way, shape or form. She's a violinist, dancer, composer and she even edits her own music videos - and she does each of these things phenomenally!! Also, she's incredibly sweet and funny.

Elements was the first song of hers I heard, and I quickly purchased her full album. She has videos out on all of her songs, I believe. Her second album, Shatter Me, is due out at the end of this month - I have already pre-ordered it :)

Lindsey also does covers, like the one for Radioactive. I love the original song, but her cover, with Pentatonix, is fantastic. Check it out...

You can find Lindsey on Facebook and YouTube - check her out :)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K is for... uh... a k word... #AtoZChallenge

Yeah... I couldn't think of any good K words to blog about. I have L all figured out though - there will be videos, dancing and music!! Be sure to come back on Monday!

But K... I guess there was Karma, but that's a little too deep of a topic for me tonight.

Last year I did Just Kaizen - and although I enjoy me some continuous improvement, and am a "Lean Leader" at work, I'm too tired to Kaizen tonight.

I covered Stephen King's books pretty thoroughly in last year's B is for Books, and periodically in other posts. King writes a lot of great books.

In 2012 I did K is for Twitter is Awesome - and it is, but sadly I haven't spent much time there lately. Plus, Twitter still doesn't start with a K...

In 2011 I did K is for Kleenex Karma - a classic. Three years later and I still feel strongly that "green" should never apply to tissues. Thankfully our Office Services Dept. relented and brought back Kleenex - perhaps as a result of that post? Hmmm?

This is the part where we find out if Chris and Lisa read my blog.

Oh crap... I just thought of a K word... Kid. Duh... oh well, here's a picture of my kid :)

The menu for Angie's trendy new restaurant - Spigedy Splits

K word... nailed it :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Jumping Around (through Time) #AtoZChallenge

I have read/listened to several time travel novels over the past few years. This is a genre that I have long enjoyed. As much as I love my technology, there's something compelling about going back (or perhaps forward) in time. And further how little actions can cause huge ripples through time.

Years and years ago, one of my favorite authors was Constance O'Day Flannery who writes time travel romance. I still own all of her books from the 80s and 90s, and have read them all several times. It looks like many of her books have been re-released. If you're a time travel romance lover, you'll enjoy these. Timeless Passion was my favorite.

Side note... most of the books I "read" these days are audiobooks and let me tell you... listening to romance novels is not for the weak of heart. In fact, I generally avoid them now, because it's just... uncomfortable to listen to sex scenes while driving in my car. But hey, if you like that stuff, you go for it! :)

Time and Again by Jack Finney was an interesting and quirky novel all around. There was time travel (of course), a mystery, a murder, how the past links to the future and a little romance to keep things interesting. Great book.

No grouping of time travel books would be complete without Stephen King's 11-22-63. I've been interested in the JFK Assassination story since high school. My all-time favorite teacher, Mr. Also, spent a whole week on the topic my Sophomore year and I was hooked.

This book wasn't just about the assassination though, it was so much more. And no, there are no freaky clowns in sewers in this book, it's virtually monster free... but as you may know, no King book is ever 100% monster free. It's just that most of his monsters dwell in the minds of mankind.

Replay by Ken Grimwood is a completely different kind of time travel. Our main character, Jeff, dies at age 43 and wakes up in his 18-year old body. His memory is intact, but he is again living his life from age 18. He has the opportunity to change his life completely, because he knows how his choices turned out the first time around. Interesting concept, no? It's a book that will make you think about your own life and the choices that brought you to where you are today.

To Say Nothing of the Dog: or, How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last by Connie Willis is "a comedic romp through an unpredictable world of mystery, love and time travel". I really enjoyed this book, it was so sweet and quirky and funny. The characters were well done and hilarious. The story was interesting from beginning to end. Loved it!

And finally... Outlander by Diana Gabladon. Have you read this series? There are only two books that I have read through, then immediately started over again and this is the first of them. Wow... you can smell the dirt and hear the horses in these books. Be sure to clear some time for these books, they're long and will suck you in so deeply that you'll lost sight of just about everything else. Superb! I've read and reread these books, and then I bought the audio versions and listened to them too!

Exciting news! Starz is making these books into a series that starts this summer. I am hoping to figure out some way to watch - since we don't have cable.

Have you read any time travel books? Have any recommendations? Let's hear them! :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for The Iron Druid Chronicles #AtoZChallenge

The Iron Druid Chronicles is (yet another!) favorite series of mine, written by Kevin Hearne. I honestly think these books are probably better on audiobook... why? Because the voice actor, Luke Daniels, does a fantastic job with these books. That and Oberon...

The series is about a 2,000 year old Druid named Atticus O'Sullivan. Sorry, no vampires in this series, but there are plenty of Gods from Mythology, Magic and a whole lot of humor to make up for it. Oberon is Atticus' Wolfhound; and while Oberon doesn't really talk, Atticus can converse with him (because he's a Druid). Their conversations, and Oberon's observations, provide great comic relief for the story, even when drama is high. These books are action packed and highly recommended for all audiences.

I think I stumbled over the first book (Hounded) because it was on sale - Audible is always having sales (and sucking me into series books!) - and I bought all of the other books in the series just as soon as my monthly credits rolled in.

As an added bonus, the book covers are also easy on the eye...


You can follow Kevin on Twitter and Facebook, and Oberon on Twitter. Happy reading!