Friday Reads: Timebound by Rysa Walker

TimeBound (Chronos Files #1)
by Rysa Walker
narrated by Kate Rudd
(contemporary fantasy, time travel, historical fiction)

I have a lot to say about this novel. First thing: it is LONG. Frankly, too long. I enjoyed the premise. I liked the characters. But about half-way through the audiobook, I stopped caring about them because it was long and the pacing slowed down and I got bored. Eventually, I started listening again. And I got a bit further. And then I got bored again. And then I got the paper version out of the library and skimmed the ending so that at least I’d know what happened without having to slog through the rest of the audiobook. (While I love listening to books because then I can multi-task, I do sometimes get annoyed that I have to go at the reader’s speed. And yes, I know that I can listen at 1.5 or 2 times the speed and still understand the text. But then you miss the nuance of the reader’s performance, and so why bother?)

Anyway. That was only one comment I had, and the one that I feel is the most important to start with. Second thing: the premise is awesome. Just the same way that the “Back To The Future” movie premise is awesome, where you have to prevent actions taken by someone who time traveled to the past in order to keep yourself alive. Awesome idea, and this version of the idea was well crafted. Rysa did a great job on her plotting and worldbuilding. I do think that the novel itself needed some trimming – both for the length and to make the secondary plot more secondary – but that shouldn’t diminish the great initial idea.

Third thing: the characters. Some were awesome, some were good, some were merely okay. This is pretty standard, sure. For instance: there’s one point where Kate has a cat fight with another girl about her age. Said other girl seems pretty stereotypical “teenage girl baddie”. Nothing extraordinary. On the other hand, Kate’s main love interest for this book is rather well developed and doesn’t seem to be nearly as standard. (I’m not saying who, because it looks like there will be a love triangle in this series, and I’d rather you read it for yourself if you choose to, than have me tell you which guy is the boyfriend of choice in this book.) Kate herself is well developed, if sometimes a bit of a stereotype, and her grandmother is a really fun character. I really enjoy her.

I did like the narration for the book, but as I mentioned – when the book got slow, I just couldn’t keep going at the narrator’s pace and had to have the ability to skim it. I’ll certainly be open to trying more of Kate Rudd’s reads in the future, however.

Final rating for this one: probably a B minus. Good, but not great, and I’m not sold on continuing with the series. I think I heard rumors of a movie, though, and that could be worth it, depending on the screenplay.

Ten On Tuesday ~ CHEESE, Gromit!

The Ten on Tuesday topic for 3/24/2015 is 10 Favorite Kinds of Cheese. Mmmm. Cheese.

Well. These days I can rarely think of cheese without thinking about Wallace and Gromit. I don’t necessarily like Wallace’s favorite types of cheese, but still. “Cheese, Gromit!” is a favorite phrase in our house. Accompanied by the weird hand gesture of excitement. You know. (And if you don’t, you need to watch a Wallace and Gromit short. Now. We’ll wait.)

Anyway, here are my favorite cheeses, in the order in which I think of them. 


1. Pepper Jack.

2. Regular Monterey Jack.

3. Port Wine Cheese.

4. Whatever type of cheese it is that comes in those Hickory Farms crocks. So good.

5. Cottage Cheese. But I am very picky about it, can’t be too watery or too dry. 

6. Cream Cheese. Both as a spread and in dips and things.

7. Colby Jack. I like cheddars, but they’re usually a little too sharp for my preferences. Mixing it with Jack cheese helps that a bit.

8. Feta cheese. I’ve lately discovered that I really like it in salads.

9. Speaking of salad… blue cheese. Probably my current favorite salad dressing, plus it’s good as crumbles on salads and other stuff.

10. Mozzarella. Can’t have a good pizza without good cheese. And I love good pizza.

I Finally Have Time To Breathe

Sorry for the radio silence lately! Things have been CRAZY here at the Lair of the Bookwyrm, due to crunch time at the theatre. But, we opened our show last weekend, so hopefully I will be able to get some blogs posted soon (other than this one paragraph notice). On the other hand, over the next week, we have shows nearly every day, so I might not be able to get much posted unless I schedule the blogs today or tomorrow…. I guess we’ll have to see! I hope you’re all having a great spring so far, and I promise to write more soon!

WIP Weds — In Which A Sweater May Be Finished Soon

Here’s a short but action-packed WIP Weds for today!

First up, the current progress of the Sweetheart Sweater. I finally stopped being frustrated with it enough to take it out of hibernation. And you know what? It’s ready to seam!

And then… I have to add the crocheted beaded edging. Which I had completely forgotten about. I don’t even have the beads for it. (I will admit, I may seam it and THEN decide if I want to add the edging. The answer may well be a resounding NO. I am so ready for this project to be finished! But… beaded edging. It would probably be the perfect finishing touch for this sweater. And it’s been on the needles for so long, that what’s a little longer? We’ll see.)

I did have to use a different yarn for Color A – a different brand entirely – to finish the top of one sleeve. When I scrutinize the piece, I can see where it is. But when I just look at it, this part is so much more obvious: the part on the bottom of the sleeves where I doubled Color B (instead of 1 strand each of A and B) because I thought I could get away with doing that and having enough of Color A left over. I’m doubly annoyed now, because it doesn’t look as good as I had hoped, and it’s much more noticeable than I was anticipating. But… I am NOT frogging that much laceweight mohair. And that’s final. At least the sleeves match.

And in addition to the Sweetheart Sweater, this week’s WIP Weds features the Flutterby Socks!

I’ve just started the heel (Eye of Partridge, which I love) and am knitting along happily on that. However, when I tried the sock on to see if it was time to start the heel, I discovered something: these socks are going to be small. As in, I managed to get it ON my foot, and then wasn’t sure I could get it BACK OFF.

So I think they will be my niece’s first pair of handknit socks. I hope she wants some!

Ten On Tuesday ~ Guess who’s coming for dinner?

Picture this: you are hosting a dinner party and you can invite 10 fictional characters (from books, please, not movies or other genres). Who would you invite?
Have fun!

Well, I had planned to post this, you know, ON TUESDAY. But I got distracted and didn’t schedule it ahead of time, and so it hasn’t gone up yet. But I like it, soe re it is anyway…

  1. Gandalf (Hobbit/Lord of the Rings) – he’s always good for some fireworks!
  2. Master Robinton (Pern) – gotta invite a good storyteller.
  3. NOT Sherlock Holmes. He would, I fear, irritate everyone. But maybe John Watson.
  4. F’nor and Brekke (Pern) - because DRAGONS AND FIRE LIZARDS. And they are less intimidating than F’lat and Lessa.
  5. See #4
  6. Winnie the Pooh - because everyone needs a talking bear of little brain.
  7. Dr. Maya Witherspoon (The Serpent’s Shadow) - partly because she’s a fun character, and partly in the hopes she can heal whatever’s up with our various issues.
  8. Fred & George (Harry Potter series) - because I think they’d just be a lot of fun.
  9. See #8
  10. Danilo Than (Elfshadow, Elfsong, and various other Forgotten Realms books) – he’s a bard AND a wizard. And throws one heck of a party.

Have a great evening everyone!

Belated ROW Update #8

IMG_0183.JPGOops – Monday again, and I haven’t posted my ROW update! Ah well, better late than never.

1. Some kind of writing task at least two times a week. Yes, though one of the two days had me mostly thinking that I’m working on the wrong project, and trying to come up with something else to work on instead. (4/8)

2. Exercise at least three times a week. Yes. Easily, this week. (5/8)

3. Knit 2 squares for the 2015 Geek-A-Long blanket. The first square is done, and the second is started. Yay! (1/2 squares)

4. Finish a crocheted scarf I’m working on for a friend. DONE. (1/1 completed scarf)

5. Post ROW blogs at least once a week, and visit (& comment on!) the blogs on my blog roll plus at least 5 random ROW-er blogs. Yup. Or at least I was caught up at some point during the last week, so I’m considering that a win. (6/8)

Have a wonderful week!

Friday Reads: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
by Ian Fleming
narrated by David Tennant
(fantasy, children’s fiction)

First off, I guess I need to say that I love the movie version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Always have. It’s just good clean family fun, and I suppose it can be considered a movie musical. (I never really thought of it that way, but I suppose it is.) And I love the music for it, so that’s helpful. And second, I have to say that I have read the book before, too. So I knew what was going to happen in this audiobook before it did.

But it was still worth the listen. (For those who are already fans of the book, I suppose I should have started that sentence instead like this: “But. But… and again but!” And my apologies that the punctuation may not match what is in print. It’s hard to tell punctuation from an audiobook.)

As to the audiobook version specifically, David Tennant is a joy to listen to. And somehow, while I love him as Doctor Who, I can listen to him read a non-Who audiobook without thinking that the Doctor is reading me a story. I’ve listened to several of his audiobooks now, and the only ones that have felt like Doctor Who to me have been the Doctor Who books. (However, if you WANT the Doctor to read you a story, David Tennant uses an accent very similar to his Doctor for audiobook narration so you can have that your way, too.)

And the book itself? Well, I love how much more of a character Chitty is in the book than the movie. In the movie, yes: she’s a magical car. But she’s a magical car that is mostly put together by Mr. Potts. In the book… well. She has plenty of magic without any help at all. I do love that in both versions Chitty needs rescuing from the scrap heap.

There are times during the book that I was reminded that it was an older book, but that was mostly due to the way things were described or the way people acted. For the most part, the book stands the test of time without any need for a reminder of the time period. The British terms are also not hard to pick up, and I think even children (who the book was written for, after all) would find both the time period difference and (since I’m American, I’m talking about American children here) the cultural differences easy enough to follow. Mr. Flemming does a great job of explaining the things that might be odd, and the rest can be inferred easily from context.

This is a great story. You can see the same imagination here that created all those spy stories, even though it has a very different tone from Bond. The action parts are well-paced, and his use of sounds is wonderful. I highly recommend it for all ages.