It's been so long since my last post, yet nothing much has happened. At least, not a whole lot I've wanted to write about! But I decided to scrape together a post anyway! Here's hoping for more interesting post material in the future!
Let's see... Remember our new layout in the office, the one with our shiny new desks? It's been working out fantastically so far! With one minor problem...
That itty bitty, super low quality monitor there? That's our 'TV'. We used it to watch netflix and Hulu, and other shows and programs on. And it sucked! The board we had spanning the open space between the desks (An unused shelf that was supposed to go in the computer tower cabinets, but our towers are too tall) was too long, so it sat in front of the hutches. That put the monitor too far forward that you had to sit back in your chair away from the desk to properly see the screen! On top of this, it was just plain small, low quality and cruddy!
We've fixed that now though!
We had dinner with Matt's parents the other day (good food, good family, had a blast!) and while they were here, Wade used our dremel tool and cut the board down to fit properly between the desks. Actually, for some reason they cut it inside the apartment, so when I came home it smelled like there had been a fire in the computer room! Anyway, after dinner we dropped by Best Buy to take a look at their TVs.
The one we settled on was a 24" flat screen that was on sale for $200, usually $260. Pretty good deal we thought, the perfect size, why not? But they didn't have any under the display, and when we inquired, it turns out the TV's had been discontinued for a new model coming out, and the display model was the only one they had at all! So, seeing as it had no remote and was technically a 'used' TV, we got the price down to 170! Great deal for a TV that fits perfectly, and a massive upgrade from what we had before!
So yeah, stuff has been rolling along fairly smoothly for the last few weeks. Most of my time has been spent reading with a wee bit of WoW mixed in. Yes, yes, I know I 'quit' WoW, but we're still stuck paying for it for a full year, so we've been dabbling on it some. Nothing like last time, not anything overwhelming. It's been enjoyable playing with my friends again. I've also been learning to type, so I'm writing this really, really slowly.
Now then, I said I've been reading a bunch, and I mean a bunch. So far this year I've read several books, most of which have been great! I've started a few that were so so, and read one that, while it was decent, it didn't live up to the hype at all...
I finished the first two books in the original Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson: Mistborn, and The Well of Ascension. Both were fantastic, and exemplify why Brandon Sanderson is my favorite author. Everyone of his series has a new magic and unique system, interesting and believable characters, and flows beautifully. This series stands out as well in that the main lead character is female, something that seems to be rare in a lot of well written fantasies. And I don't mean the boring 'princess' or 'queen' main characters who don't really do anything but sit around... No, no! In Mistborn, she kicks as much, if not more butt then the other characters. a nice change of pace from the usual 'woman as political intrigue.
The Name of the Wind and it's sequel The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss were stunning. I loved every minute of them, and would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a good read. These fall under my 'realistic fantasy' genre. Yes it's fantasy, and yes there's magic, but if there really were magic in the world, this would be how it's done. My only complaint with this series is that there isn't a release date for next book yet! If you're reading this Mr. Rothfuss, please write faster!
Now, I've heard no end to the praises for Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games series. So I borrowed it from a friend. I don't tend to like the books that are hyped all to pieces, especially if they're teen- but I don't really want to pass judgment on them if I've not read them. To my credit, I read all four books of the twilight series. And in case you were wondering, no, I do not have a very high opinion of them. They're fine as a fluff story, and I appreciate them for how they did get some kids who wouldn't normally pick up a book to read. All in all however, I feel they are poorly written written, and it's a shame so many people choose them over far better young adult fiction.
Anyway! I did read the first Hunger Games book. It was alright. It did read insanely fast, but I don't know if I can say that's a good thing or not. It got it's story across, and it was enjoyable. But I have no interest in continuing on with the series, even though I know I could have both of them finished in a day or two. I guess I just don't want to spend the time? I want a story with more depth to it, not something that just tosses it all out there in a serviceable way. On top of that, the world in which it takes place just isn't very believable; I honestly can't see how this type of dystopian future could evolve from what they place as the future United States. Maybe the ancient Roman's... but not any future world coming from our own modern times. So for me, the book was a 'meh'.
I also tried Anne Rice's The Wolf Gift, and Paula Brackston's The Witch's Daughter, both of which I gave up on shortly after starting. The Witch's Daughter was written in a 'journal' format which I did not like at all, and when it did get into the main story and jumped back to the time of Salem Witch Trial's, all the characters had completely unbelievable speech patterns. Now, it may have been completely true to the way they would have spoken at the time, but to me it came off as fake and distracting. As for The Wolf Gift, it failed to catch my interest in the slightest and I gave up after slogging through only a few pages.
The Sword of Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks is what I'm reading right now. I'm only a couple pages in, and I'm not sure if I like it. I know it's an older book, and a fantasy classic at that, but so far it's been slapping me in the face with half a dozen fantasy cliche's... The legendary sword to save the world, a great war between the races of men, elves, and dwarves, a mysterious traveler come to find a man who was adopted and turns out to be from an ancient bloodline, etc. This book could very well be the one that came up with some of these cliches, but seriously? I'm hoping it picks up with some action and well written story to make up for it soon. Otherwise, it's on it's way back to the library!