Earthsea Readalong

Thursday, June 7, 2018


Ursula Le Guin is a famous author, especially in the world of fantasy literature, but I'm sorry to say that until now I'd only ever read a collection of her poetry. Care, from Care's Books & Pie, and I decided to host a laid back readalong of the first book in her Earthsea series to remedy that. 

The bad news is that I'm a slacker and didn't post about it here until now... and I've already finished the book. The good news is that there are more books and I enjoyed the first one so much that I want to keep going! I'm mainly posting about it on Litsy (@avidreader25) and I'm using the hashtag #Earthsea2018. 

If you'd like to join in and readalong, awesome! If you've got thoughts about this book or any others in the series (no spoilers please!) feel free to share here or on Litsy with the group! After finishing the first book I checked a few local bookstores for the second book in the series. I couldn't find it, so I ended up buying this copy, which contains the first four books. 

Now on to my thoughts on the first book. 

A Wizard of Earthsea 
★★★★

A young boy named Duny shows indications that he might have special powers. In his small town it's unusual, but as his skills develop he attracts the notice of a more talented wizard. He becomes known as Sparrowhawk and is sent off to a wizarding school to learn his craft. His true name, Ged, is known only to the wizard who gave it to him. 

Ged is selfish and short sighted. He believes too much in his own school and ignores warnings from those with more wisdom than he possesses. They continually remind him that the world they live in must remain balanced and every action he takes will have consequences. His hubris is his downfall. 

I couldn't believe how familiar the world of Earthsea felt. It particularly reminded me of The Name of the Wind, one of my favorites! Obviously this book came first and you can definitely see it's influence in the King Killer Chronicles, the Harry Potter series (there's a wizard school!) and Game of Thrones. 

BOTTOM LINE: I was definitely left wanting more. The book is short and I wished I had more time with the characters (especially Ged's sweet pet and his best friend Vetch). I can't wait to dive into the rest of the series. 

“Need alone is not enough to set power free: there must be knowledge.”

 “Yet a greater, and learned skill he possessed, which was the art of kindness.”

“This was Duny’s first step on the way he was to follow all his life, the way of magery, the way that led him at last to hunt a shadow over land and sea to the lightless coasts of death’s kingdom. But in those first steps along the way, it seemed a broad, bright road.”

Dewey 24 Hour Readathon!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

*********  UPDATED HOUR 24 ********
I can't believe this is my 13th readathon (see links below). Over the years I've started planning around the event each April and October. Today my husband is on toddler duty for part of the day, but we have a kid's birthday party this afternoon, so we'll see how this goes. 

Here's a link for more info about the DeweyRead-a-thonToday you can find me posting on Litsy and Instagram as @avidreader25 as well as here. 


**UPDATE** My day has not been as full of reading as I had hoped, but that's ok. My kiddo and I attended her best friend's birthday party (see below) and had a BLAST! The party theme was reading, so that was pretty perfect. We've also run some errands and played outside quite a bit. I'm hoping to read a little more after she goes to bed.

Reading Stats:
Pages Read: 458

Currently Reading: --- Gave up and called it a night at hour 18. 

Books Finished: 3, Bones: The Dragonslayer, Shadow of a Bull, and The Rose Tattoo 

Snacks Eaten: Lots of coffee, blueberry muffin, soy flat white, dill pickles, string cheese, birthday cake, and popcorn





Mini-Challenges Completed: 9
Introduction Quiz
Vague Recollections 
Book and a Snack 
Introduction Quiz:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Indianapolis

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams because it's set in New Orleans and I'm visiting that city for the first time in a week! If you have NOLA recommendations, let me know in the comments!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Dark chocolate covered pretzels and pickles (but not together). 
 
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm a magazine editor by day. I have a giant pup, a 2-year-old, and an awesome husband. I also review live theatre about once a week at Stage Write and am a total Shakespeare nerd. I also LOVE to travel and have been Reading the States for a few years. 

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? Understand that my toddler is definitely going to make my reading numbers dip, but that's ok.

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? The Rose Tattoo
2. How many books have you read so far? 2
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half ofthe Read-a-thon? Bone 5
4. Have you had many interruptions? YES! A kid's birthday party, a huge gardening project, and other errands. 
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How little reading I've been able to do. LOL

End of Event Meme1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 16, I was trying so hard to read the last 10 pages of my book and I just kept falling asleep. 
2. Tell us ALLLLL the books you read! Shadow of a Bull, Bone: The Dragonslayer, and The Rose Tattoo. 
3. Which books would you recommend to other Read-a-thoners? I love the Bone series for readathons. 
4. What’s a really rad thing we could do during the next Read-a-thonthat would make you smile? I have to say that changing the mini challenges to be open the whole time and easy to find on one page was an AWESOME change! 
5. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? Absolutely!


PAST READATHON POSTS:
April and October 2011 / April and October 2012 / April and October 2013 April 2014 / April and October 2015 /April and October 2016  /  April and October 2017

Photos by me.

Circe

Monday, April 16, 2018

Circe
by Madeline Miller
★★★★★

Circe is a witch on a remote island when Odysseus meets her on his journey home in Homer's Odyssey. In Miller’s reimagining she’s a complicated woman with heartaches and hopes of her own. She’s no longer a footnote in someone else’s story.

We meet Circe as a child in the halls of her Titan father. She never fits into his world of petty jealousy and swift anger. It's not until she's exiled to an island that she begins to figure out who she is. I loved the descriptions of the world where she lives. Whether she's digging in her garden or riding in her father's chariot above the earth, the descriptions bring each scene to life so vividly.

It’s a story of loneliness and longing. The beautiful language draws you in immediately. If you know any Greek mythology the characters will be familiar, but Miller gives them new depth. Just as she did in The Song of Achilles, she brings that ancient world alive and I couldn’t put it down.

BOTTOM LINE: Circe is such a wonderfully complex character. She is full of flaws and selfishness along side guilt and empathy. In this book there are no clear villains and heroes, just characters full of life and contradictions. I can’t wait to return to her world again one day.

“It is not fair,” I said. “It cannot be.”
“Those are two different things,” my grandmother said.

“In a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.”

“Within him was an ocean’s worth of grief, which could only be stoppered a moment, never emptied.”

“It is youth’s gift not to feel its debts.”

“Those who fight against prophecy only draw it more tightly around their throats.”