Monday, January 28, 2013

lost in the shadow

My coworker told me a while ago that I don't hold grudges. I just get annoyed for a few minutes, then it's forgotten.

(Sometimes it's longer than a few minutes--more like months! But I at least make the effort.)

Generally that's right. I discovered after holding a grudge against a boy from 6th-8th grade that he wasn't even aware of my disdain, and my bitter feelings were only hurting me. So since then I've been a lot less grudgy.

But Hymn #223 has proved to me that I am not fully grudge-free! Every time we sing it, and especially when I play it, I am reminded of an occasion in freshman year that I still have not gotten over.

We were in Relief Society. Someone was at the piano. One of the girls asked if we could sing "Have I Done Any Good?"

The pianist responded, "No way. I'm not playing that. I very much doubt anyone here could play that hymn." (When retelling the story, I tend to make her voice a little snottier than it actually was [what am I saying, I never retell this story], but it was still pretty dismissive.)

Now, of course, I could play that hymn. I loved that hymn. But her tone of voice combined with my lack of confidence in myself stilled my tongue. I mean, what was I supposed to say? "No, I totally can. Sorry you're not good enough to manage advanced hymns! Get off that bench, it's time for a real pianist to step in."

Yeah, no. I just thought it.

Unfortunately this was at the beginning of the year, which meant that I spent the entire year begrudging that girl her undeserved seat at the piano. And ever since then, every time that hymn gets played, I think to that girl, "Looks like someone can play it."

This story came to mind because we sang #223 for sacrament meeting yesterday. Also, I played the hymn for devotional this morning (and I played it very well).

And I decided to tell it in case anyone thought I didn't have enough flaws. I've been struggling with this for years and years, you guys.

Moral of the story: Be careful whose talents you're dismissing. (Right? That's totally the takeaway message here!)

(Title Text: St. Stephen's Cross)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

in mazes lost

So it turns out that I really like a lot of books. Surprise! And I really want one place I can direct people with similar tastes to books that I am willing to reread (many, many times, some of them). Because when people ask for recommendations I am having a really hard time limiting myself. This way they can look through and see which ones interest them.

(Obviously I like more books than I'm listing here. I'm writing this list as if I were recommending books to myself, to read again. Because I do that. If you want different recommendations, look at my booklists and ask me about the titles if you're interested.)

Also, your local library is your friend. We own hardly any of these books.


Instead of listing all the books by an author I like, I thought it might be more useful to list the authors that have multiple books, and list the standouts from there. We'll see how that goes.

Diana Wynne Jones
Dalemark Quartet: I might be the only one that really likes this series, but I really like it.
Chronicles of Chrestomanci: They are fun.
Also most other things she wrote.

Elizabeth C. Bunce
Haven't reread any of her work yet, but I keep meaning to put "A Curse Dark as Gold" on my reread list.

Hilari Bell
Shield, Sword, and Crown series: For younger readers (or young at heart? ugh). I think they're YA.
Knight and Rogue series: Definitely YA. I can't remember too much about these except I enjoyed them.
Fall of a Kingdom series: If you're into a little more of the epic, these books are long.

Jacqueline Winspear
Maisie Dobbs is the first in the series. They're mysteries. Do you like mysteries?

Janette Rallison
My Unfair Godmother
Just One Wish
My Double Life
(the other books are okay too. I just mostly like these.)

Jessica Day George
I like the princess books best, but everything she writes is good.

Juliet Marillier
Sevenwaters I think she has like 4 trilogies out now? As the generations go the stories branch out. They are grownup books but I don't recall anything bad.
Wildwood Dancing: YA that I enjoyed. It's yet another 12 Dancing Princesses remake but that doesn't make it bad.

J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter series: just in case.

Megan Whalen Turner
The Thief: the first one. You have to read it first. Lots of people don't like it as much as the rest of the series, but you really ought to start with it anyway.

Mercedes Lackey
Collegium Chronicles: while I still haven't read the first one in this series, I have enjoyed the rest a lot.
Five Hundred Kingdoms: My favorite is probably "Sleeping Beauty". Some of them are kind of grown up, in the way that you skip a few pages.

Robin McKinley
Spindle's End
Rose Daughter
The Blue Sword
(and the others are good too. I'm just trying to remember the "standouts" I said I was doing)

Shannon Hale
Everything is good, but I especially recommend Princess Academy (+ sequel).

Sharon Shinn
The Safe-Keeper's Secret series: Bonus, it's YA, so you don't have to worry about adult material. I remember really liking them.
The Archangel series: These are first and foremost romances against the backdrop of a fantasy planet. At least, that's how I feel about them. Since they're adult you may have to skip a few pages (if you're like me).
Troubled Waters: A stand-alone novel that I loved.

Terry Pratchett
I think the Discworld is really fun. Tiffany Aching is good. I also enjoyed Dodger when I read it recently.

Wendelin van Draanen
Sammy Keyes series: If you have daughters you ought to read this and see if you want your daughters to read it. It's a mystery series and she's in 7th grade and I've really enjoyed them.
read other books by her too, it's cool


And sometimes I just have one book to put on a list (so far. I don't know, I could probably organize some of these in the other category).

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (cyborg Cinderella!)
Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey (safely YA and I think good? Once upon a time I can only remember I liked it)
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis (Fun times with fractured fairy tales!)
Entwined by Heather Dixon (I think it's also 12 Dancing Princesses it's been a while but it was good)
Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby (fabulous)
Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt (sometimes I read not fantasy, sometimes I read middle-school boy)
The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had by Kristin Levine (sometimes I read historical fiction)
The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal (I think the juxtaposition of these two is funny. They might even tell the same story I don't remember.)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato-Peel Pie Society (just in case!)
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (This is a story about normal girls living a normal life! That's all it is! It's good!)
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell (This book was so refreshing when I read it. Well-written, etc. Fairy tale retelling but I'm not quite sure which one?)
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (Loved it!)
The Seer and the Sword by Victoria Hanley (this is a series! why is it here? anyway it's good I guess)
Wisdom's Kiss by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (What is: a book I don't remember at all except that it was pretty good probably?)



So, for those of you looking for book recommendations, enjoy my enormously unhelpful list. This is more than a year's worth. Probably even for me. BUT YOU'RE WELCOME

Title Text: "My Medea" ~ Vienna Teng

Monday, January 7, 2013

I can trace all my books [2012]

Here is the full list of books I read in 2012, in case anyone was curious.

1. Snow in Summer by Jane Yolen
2. The Freedom Maze by Delia Sherman
3. Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance by Richard C. Francis
4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
5. The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill
6. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
7. A True Princess by Diane Zahler
8. PIE by Sarah Weeks
9. The Glorious Adventures of the Sunshine Queen by Geraldine McCaughrean
10. The Blackhope Enigma by Teresa Flavin
11. Johnny Swanson by Eleanor Updale
12. Angelica by Sharon Shinn
13. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
14. Switched by Amanda Hocking

15. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
16. Star Crossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
17. Liar's Moon by Elizabeth C. Bunce
18. Extraordinary by Adam Selzer
19. Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
20. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
21. Witch Song by Amber Argyle
22. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

23. Cold Cereal by Adam Rex
24. Brightly Burning by Mercedes Lackey
25. As The Pig Turns by M.C. Beaton
26. Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood
27. Torn by Amanda Hocking
28. Spy School by Stuart Gibbs
29. The Genius Files #1: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman
30. Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
31. The Genius Files #2: Never Say Genius by Dan Gutman

32. A Year Without Autumn by Liz Kessler
33. Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery
34. Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery
35. Everneath by Brodie Ashton
36. Dorchester Terrace by Anne Perry
37. Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
38. Scored by Lauren McLaughlin
39. Divergent by Veronica Roth
40. The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen
41. Wonder by  R.J. Palacio

42. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
43. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab
44. Trapped by Ronda Gibb Hinrichson
45. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
46. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
47. Kate's Song by Jennifer Beckstrand
48. Destined by Aprilynne Pike
49. Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
50. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

51. Slayers by C.J. Hill
52. Leaving Gee's Bend by Irene Latham
53. A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
54. Daughters of the Sea: Lucy by Kathryn Lasky
55. The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
56. The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina
57. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
58. Death comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
59. The Selection by Kiera Cass

60. A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse
61. The Day of the Storm by Rosamunde Pilcher
62. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
63. Fateful by Claudia Gray
64. Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
65. Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm
66. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
67. Thunder over Kandahar by Sharon E. McKay
68. The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma
69. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

70. Dragonswood by Janet Lee Carey
71. Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart
72. Second Glance by Jodi Picoult
73. Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leef
74. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
75. Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame
76. The Far West by Patricia C. Wrede
77. Rebecca's Rose by Jennifer Beckstrand
78. The Confession by Charles Todd
79. Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack by Wendelin van Draanen
80. Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale

81. Struck by Rhonda Stapleton
82. Tiger Lily by Jodilynn Anderson
83. A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry
84. The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
85. Twin Targets by Marta Perry
86. Storm Warning by Linda Hall
87. Flight of the Doves by Walter Macken
88. The Fighting Ground by Avi
89. Eventide by Tracy & Laura Hickman
90. A Year In Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath
91. The Kindling by Braden Bell

92. Cast in Ruin by Michelle Sagara
93. The Road to Yesterday by L.M. Montgomery
94. Shadowfell by Juliet Marillier
95. Allegiance by Cayla Kluver
96. The Seven Tales of Trinket by Shelley Moore Thomas
97. Wake by Amanda Hocking
98. Ruby Redfort: Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child
99. Deep Blue Eyes and Other Teenage Hazards by Janette Rallison
100. Fame, Glory, and Other Things on My To-Do List by Janette Rallison
101. Revenge of the Cheerleaders by Janette Rallison
102. Redoubt by Mercedes Lackey
103. Dodger by Terry Pratchett
104. Pride & Pyramids: Mr. Darcy in Egypt by Amanda Grange and Jacqueline Webb
105. The Girl in the Clockwork Collar by Kady Cross
106. The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long
107. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
108. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
109. Cardington Crescent by Anne Perry
110. Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale
111. Rutland Place by Anne Perry
112. Daisy by Josi S. Kilpack
113. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

114. The Whitechapel Conspiracy by Anne Perry
115. The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
116. Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
117. Traitor's Gate by Anne Perry
118. Banana Split by Josi S. Kilpack
119. Ungifted by Gordon Korman
120. Still Life with Shapeshifter by Sharon Shinn
121. The Five Books of Jesus by James Goldberg
122. Bah, Humbug! by Heather Horrocks
123. The Danbury Scandals by Mary Nichols
124. A Time to Love by Barbara Cameron
125. Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
126. The FitzOsbornes at War by Michelle Cooper
127. Pride and Precipitation by Heather Horrocks

128. Sacrifice by Cayla Kluver
129. Pirate King by Laurie R. King
130. My True Love Gave to Me by Christine Lynxwiler
131. Masquerade by Janette Rallison
132. The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
133. Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
134. Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem by Melissa Lemon
135. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
136. The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
137. Georgiana Darcy's Diary by Anna Elliott
138. Iron-Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill

Books read: 138
First-time: 130
Reread: 8
Fiction: 58
Nonfiction: 1
Average: 11.5

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I can trace all my books [December 2012]

128. Sacrifice by Cayla Kluver
129. Pirate King by Laurie R. King
130. My True Love Gave to Me by Christine Lynxwiler
131. Masquerade by Janette Rallison
132. The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale
133. Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George
134. Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem by Melissa Lemon
135. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
136. The Rook by Daniel O'Malley
137. Georgiana Darcy's Diary by Anna Elliott
138. Iron-Hearted Violet by Kelly Barnhill

Not a nice round number, but tragedy was still averted (137 is quite possibly my least favorite number). I should've read two more books, I guess.