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TV & Reading Catchup

07 Jun

Hello all! Well, while I’ve been busily applying for jobs (107 yesterday & that’s not an exaggeration), it gets mind numbing. Plus I’ve been traveling which means that I have had books to read on a train & plane (sorry no automobiles) and TV to watch while I fill in job application forms yet again. Anyway, thought I’d throw out a few thoughts on what I’ve read/watched.

Mairelon the Magician/Mairelon’s Ward by Patricia Wrede: It seems Ms Wrede wrote a great deal more books than I had realized because while she’s one of my favorite authors, I hadn’t heard of these. I really enjoyed them. If you’ve missed some of my other posts about her books, she writes fantasy that relies on the ingenuity of female heroines to save the day, rather than a prince or a magic spell. Though princes and magic spells are always useful. A lot of her stories are set in Regency England with the twist that wizards and magic exist. But the magic is full of rules and studying and sort of like graduate school for Hogwarts students with top OWLS. Except of course Wrede wrote her books a good decade earlier. Anyway, if you’re a fan of Wrede or of smart fantasy, definitely give these a try.

Buy A Matter of Magic  (both books in one)

Summer of Promise by Amanda Cabot. I liked this book quite a bit but I will give fair warning to readers that it is a Christian book. It was free on Amazon, always a perk, so I thought I’d try it. The book fits the style of Janette Oke (a popular Christian writer who set her books in the Canadian countryside) but moves the heroine to Wyoming. I grew up reading this style of book and find it difficult to go back to most. But I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The faith aspect was woven in naturally. I should probably explain that. For me, my faith is a part of me. Sometimes I don’t exhibit it well but it’s just always there and when the time comes, I talk about it. So I like stories where the same happens, that it’s not a preaching chapter but woven into the character’s personality and this story did that well. In addition, the heroine’s modesty and propriety is clearly driven by societal expectations, not (or not as much) by personal conviction, which seems a bit more realistic to me. Anyway, the religious aspects might be enough to drive away some of you but if it doesn’t, I found Summer of Promise to be a fun summer read.

Buy Summer of Promise (Westward Winds, Book 1)

Hood by Stephen Lawhead: My cousin recommended this alternative Robin Hood trilogy to me and while I’m only on the first book, I’m more than hooked. This particular tale of Robin Hood is set in Wales and steeped in Welsh & Celtic mythology and I find it utterly fascinating.

Buy Hood (The Raven King, Book 1)

Game of Thrones: Yes, I finally watched this show. I feel a bit conflicted though. See, I like the show. And I’ve started on the books and I like the books. But I don’t feel this overwhelming love/obsession that seems to be so prevalent among my friends. I marathoned both seasons in about a week but so far I haven’t been dreading the long wait until S3. Still, better to go into what I did enjoy rather than spend too much time about my lack of fangirling. I think Arya, Tyrion, Gendry, and Robb Stark are the best people ever. I totally ship Arya/Gendry (down the road, even for GoT she’s a little young right now). I want everyone to leave Tyrion alone so he can go live in the hill country with his friends and a woman who loves him because it is not fair that he’s so damn sad and screwed over all the time. Honestly, the Stark family breaks my heart. They used to be so happy and healthy and together and now they’re scattered everywhere. And even if they were brought back together, it wouldn’t be the same. Ned is gone, and I don’t know that any of those kids know how to be children anymore. It’s so heartbreaking. Daenerys is also amazing but she’s kind of in a whole different class of badass. All things said, I really like the show and I’m very glad I finally caught up on it.

Buy S1 Game of Thrones Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season

Preorder S2 Game of Thrones Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season

Jane by Design: This adorable ABC Family show is utterly predictable, cheesy most of the time, but has the most crush worthy boys so I forgive it everything else. I actually like the lead character of Jane but the boys in her life make it so much better. Billy (played by Nick Roux of Lemonade Mouth) is so cute in that may-be-too-young-to-be-appropriate-but-who-cares way while Ben (David Clayton Rogers of Cougar Town & Revenge of the Bridesmaids) is older and perfectly swoon worthy. The new season just started and I’m very glad I caught up in time to enjoy this fun summer show.

Buy Jane by Design: Volume One

Rizzoli & Isles: I really know nothing about this show but my cousin watches it so I watched the new season premiere with her. I caught on to what was going pretty fast (there’s not that much depth) but I really enjoyed the banter. Is “girlmance” the equivalent of “bromance”? We need a word for that because I like this one. I’m adding the show to my list of those I need to catch up on.

In other news, Necessary Roughness is back and it’s bringing Smash with it! So nice to see one of my favorite Panthers is still finding success. Daniel Gillies MD starts tonight as well. Can’t wait to see thoughts on that one.

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