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I'm only two chapters in and I'm already highly amused. The opening sentence is fantastic:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."

I'm also rather fond of a comment the mother makes at the end of the second chapter:

"Such joys are scarce since the good Lord saw fit to shut the gates of Hell and doom the dead to walk amongst us."

Too much fun. I have a feeling that if I underlined the bits that gave me myrth, most of the book would be marked up. I wonder if Grahame-Smith left in all the "esteem"s and "amiable"s. I should hope so.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

I think the first thing that struck me about this book is the writing style. It wasn't at all what I was expecting from a book that was written so long ago. Anything I've read that's been written at least a hundred years ago has such dated language that often I feel bogged down and sluggish. With Austen's style it was like she was sitting next to you and telling you a story more often then not. The dialogue was minimal and most everything just seemed to flow. I found it to feel almost modern in it's style. I can see how her work has lived on for so long.

So much of the book is open to the imagination as well. I say this because most of the book is narrative and rather vague, giving only the bare bones of what happened in the scene. Something I think which has helped the movie industry. They have so much lee way with what the author wrote that so many variations can be made about the same story and yet both are true to the author's work. It's almost like she knew people were going to make screen plays from her work.

I think the second thing that really stuck me was how young women were when they were getting married. We make such a big deal about teenage pregnancy, but it wasn't so odd back then. Women seemed to have the sole goal of getting married and having children, and they weren't allowed to do much more then that if they were within a certain class. You were either someone with servants or a servant yourself it seemed.

The way people acted around each other was very unlike modern day as well. People didn't just come out and ask direct questions about "attachments" or "agreements" that might exist between a young woman and young man. Not even if you were related to the girl would you ask. So odd.

Marianne's illness made more sense in the book then it has in any of the movies I've seen. Although the ending in the book surprised me. It was rather anti-climatic. Not what I'm used to at all.

Wheel of Time (Book #12) book signing

Today we packed up the whole family and drove into Dallas for a book signing. Brandon Sanderson was in town signing copies of Gathering Storm the twelfth book of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Jordan used to tell his wife not to let anyone finish his series if he died before completing, that was until he contracted a fatal blood disease and changed his mind. After his death his wife and editor decided that Brandon Sanderson would be perfect for the job.

I have to agree, he did a fabulous job. I finished the book last night and the last third of the book had me so wrapped up that I didn't want to stop reading at all. It's been 4 years since I read Jordan's books so I can't tell you exactly the differences in writing style between the two of them, but I can tell you that it wasn't jarring. I loved the detail that Jordan puts in his books, but I will admit that sometimes it got a little tedious. I think Sanderson did a good job putting in detail without the tediousness. He got the characters down perfectly too. Over all a great book, Harriet did well in picking him.

At the signing it was a lot of fun listening to Sanderson talk about getting the job. Reading Robert Jordan growing up was one of the leading factors to him deciding to be a writer. He didn't even know that his name was brought up to Harriet. He just got up one morning/noon to find a vaguely mysterious message on his answering machine from her asking him to contact her. She didn't answer when he called back and neither did his manager. He finally got someone at Tor to call him back only to be told, "It's probably what you are thinking, I'll have her call you back." "What am I thinking???"

The talk and the Q&A were interesting and entertaining. I'm really glad we were able to make it for them. I'm also really impressed that both Brandon and Harriet stayed well past the allotted time to sign everyone's books.
Brandon Sanderson signing

When: Saturday, November 14, 2009 12:00 PM-5:00 PM (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada).

Note: The GMT offset above does not reflect daylight saving time adjustments.


Date: 11.14.09 Time: 2:00 pm-5:00 pm
Place: Borders
Address: 10720 Preston Road
Dallas, TX 75230
Phone: (214) 363-1977
Type: Signing

Free Jane Austen books!

What could be more awesome then a free book? Honestly I have a hard time answering that. So I'm ecstatic to tell you that you can read any Jane Austen book for free on line!

A friend of mine just gave me this link when I complained about my local library having exactly zero of her books. (I still can't get over that.) So now I can read Pride and Prejudiced (minus the zombies) and Sense and Sensibility whenever my little heart desires.



I so rarely post here, and yet here I am making two posts in one night.

Tolkien’s Heirs Want Production of ‘The Hobbit’ Film Stopped

Basically Tolkien's 80 year old progeny have realized that the new Lord of the Rings movies have generated over $3 billion and they want their cut. Or rather they want the whole cake.

I might be sympathetic if Tolkien was still alive, but he died in 73. He had the choice to go bankrupt and instead sold the rights to The Hobbit and the Lord of The Rings in 69. Yah, it's crummy that he signed a bum deal, however he is DEAD and doesn't care anymore. It's not like his children worked and slaved to create those books and get them published. If they had helped write or edit or helped to create the books then I'd feel sorry for them. So for all intents and purposes, and for my own greedy desire to see the movie, I hope the courts dismiss the claim altogether.

Now would I be pleased if Tolkien's family was awarded at least part of the copyright back, say a percentage of money earned off Tolkien's work? Or if the movie company just tossed a bunch of money at Tolkien's family to make them shut up and suck up their bad luck? Yes, that would be nice. However, as I see it they lost that right when their father signed over the work to someone else. So rant and rave all they like, but it's just wrong to expect someone to come and right past wrongs to someone that died 36 years ago. The world doesn't work that way.

Public Libraries

I have had this idea that keeps mulling itself in my brain that it would be fabulous to buy hardcover copies of books that I love, books that I used to see on the school reading lists in Fort Worth, and books that are good classic science fiction novels for my local library. It's a relatively new library, I think they said on their website that they first opened their doors in 1989. So they have a lot of current stuff, but some of the classics are missing. I can tell they don't have a sci-fi/fantasy reader on staff and it's sad.

This entry is going to be dedicated to titles that I would love to add to their shelves so that I can keep my eyes open. May be if I work the courage up, I'll write the list down, check it against the library's list (or I should say double check that they didn't get it within the last year or two), and ask a librarian if they would accept them for their shelves. I don't want to go through the effort and the money if they are just going to turn around and sell it for a fraction of the price later. With that kind of action I could just give them the money straight out and save myself the effort.

I'm thinking that when I do go to talk to the librarians I'll bring up some of the advanced reader's editions of books that I will never read. I won't care about their fate if they don't take them for their shelves. May be the library would be a good place to get rid of them since they can't legally be sold.

1) Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

I can't believe how much they want for a new copy, no wonder I haven't had any luck at Half Price.

2) Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein

OMG talk about expensive, this may be a list that is considered a nice thought and no more

3) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by Philip K Dick

It seems to be very expensive too, as in the hardcovers are collector items. I'm thinking this copy of Counterfeit Unrealities would be excellent. It contains Ubik, A Scanner Darkly, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? [aka Blade Runner], The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch [UNABRIDGED]

4) A Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

For that matter the Island, has just caught my attention too. I read some reviews for it and it sounds very interesting.

5) Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card

...finally something that isn't $90.


Dragon*Con 2009

Dragon*Con Authors Signing: authors we own books by in italics

Kevin J. Anderson
Lois McMaster Bujold
Bill Fawcett
Alan Dean Foster
Christopher Golden
Charlaine Harris
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Katherine Kurtz
Rosemary Laurey
Todd McCaffrey
Rebecca Moesta
Jody Lynn Nye
Mike Resnick
John D. Ringo
Seth Shostak
Susan Sizemore
Michael Stackpole
S.M. Stirling
Gene Wolfe
Janny Wurts
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Timothy Zahn

There are a few more that are familar, but I'm not sure if that's because I've seen them on our bookshelf or because I worked in a bookstore for 3 years. Over all I'm a little disappointed. There isn't anyone that I'm really excited about. Well Alan Dean Foster and Charlaine Harris, but knowing my luck their signings will be at the same time.

Shadowmarch, by Tad Williams

Shadowmarch (Shadowmarch, #1) Shadowmarch by Tad Williams

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
What a monster of a book, and slow as molasses. I used to love this author back in the early 90's but I suppose my tastes have changed. I found the first three quarters of the book very slow and hard to get into. I kept picking it up to read a bit, only to put it back down and read three other books instead. I'm not sure when I actually started this book, but it had to be around the beginning of the year.

I think the only character I actually liked reading and wanted to read more of was Quinnitan (or whatever her name was), too bad she isn't in the book much. I doubt I'll be seeking out the next book, but if I saw it at the library I might check it out.

View all my reviews.

Moved On

David Eddings passed away at age 77.

"I'm never going to be in danger of getting a Nobel Prize for literature." He was most pleased when told that his books had turned nonreaders into booklovers. "I look upon this as perhaps my purpose in life," he explained in a 1997 interview. "I am here to teach a generation or two how to read. After they've finished with me and I don't challenge them any more, they can move on to somebody important like Homer or Milton."

I first got turned on to Eddings when I found a hard back book containing three Belgariad novels at a local Friend's of the Library sale. After I read that I read a number of his books before my sights got set on other books. I don't remember much about those books, but I remember how much I enjoyed reading his novels. It makes me sad every time I hear of a good author passing away. 77 seems too young to die.