Monday, November 24, 2008


I finally hit 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, so I'll be reading again shortly. In fact, I have been sucked into the whirlwind that is Twilight. Freakin'-A! I blame my coworker. She really wants to know what I think, but I've been a little distracted.

There was no way I was going to pick that book back up before hitting 50K -- I knew I wouldn't be able to put it down. I'm about 150 pages from the end. It has taken a lot of willpower to leave it in the living room every night -- it's that or my brain will consume its contents without a break.

So, you will soon be hearing what I think of Twilight. And I have plenty to say about it already, so . . . ;-)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I learned today that Michael Crichton has passed away from a battle with cancer. I think few of his fans even knew he was ill. And while I don't necessarily count myself among die-hard Crichton fans, I have to admit that I truly enjoyed a number of his books. The two most prominent books were Jurassic Park and the Lost World. I read them after seeing the movie, and I must say I did enjoy the movie. It scared the crap out of me when I was a teenager. But the books were incredible, and I read them when I was staying in Belgium and was a little on the homesick side. The homesickness didn't last -- at all. But the adoration of Jurassic Park and the Lost World did. I have since read Eaters of the Dead and Timeline, the latter being by far my favorite Crichton story. I've also read Disclosure, which was good, but a little too mature for me when I read it.

Timeline will forever be my favorite Crichton book, and I have refused to watch the movie adaptation because I read the synopsis of it, and it totally screwed up the storyline. This is saying something because I am a die-hard Gerard Butler fan (I would marry him tonight if he asked me). Ask any of my girlfriends, and they'll tell you its a big deal if I refuse to watch a movie with him in it.

Anyway, with his passing, I think the majority of readers my age will be sending their thanks for thoughtful, gripping stories with him wherever he decides to rest.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Not only is it one of my favorite movies, but it's also one of my favorite short stories. Every year that I taught, I read the Legend of Sleepy Hollow to my classes on Halloween, or whichever day we celebrated it. It was always a big hit. I would turn the lights off and sit in the middle of the room with just a flashlight. It was just spooky enough not to scare anyone.

Still, if you are reading that story in the dark, it is creepy enough to make you sit on the edge of your seat. If you've never actually read the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, you really should give it a read tonight. It's fantastic!

Monday, October 27, 2008


I have finally finished another book. Whew! It was short, but I've been so busy that it's taken what seems like FOREVER!

I completed The Persian Legacy and the Edgar Cayce Material by Kevin J. Todeschi. I was not really familiar with Cayce, but he was a psychic and medium of sorts of the early 20th Century. His specialty was past life reading, and the book I read was a historical narrative of sorts created from specific past life readings regarding Persia.

I'm not sure how I feel about this book. As a History buff, that's what I was most interested in, even if it is just a supposition. Still, it was interesting to read about the beginnings of Zoroastrianism as well as a history of the Greek conquests. Cayce claimed that evidence of this City of the Plains and Hills, around which the stories centered, could still be found around the city of Shushtar. Todeschi points out in his afterword that the city of Troy was believed at one point to be a legend and nothing more. It is a good point.

I don't know that I'd necessarily recommend this book. It was very different. Cayce's "writing" style was quite odd and antiquated, which made those passages difficult to read. Granted, I was really interested in them in the first place. Overall, it was a quick read. And slightly thought-provoking, and I'm just glad I only paid a quarter for it!

And rest easy, Stephen O'Shea -- Sea of Faith has made it out of the bathroom!

Friday, October 24, 2008


Admit it. You do it. We all do it. We're taught to do it. Society teaches us to do it. Hell, Pottery Barn sells magazine racks designed specifically for the bathroom. The other night, at my birthday party, my friend's wife went to the bathroom and was gone for a little while. When I asked him if she fell in, his reply was, "I don't know. Are there books in there?"

I live alone, so go ahead and make your own assumptions about my mental state after a week of work and not seeing anyone outside of it but my reflection. What else am I supposed to do but read in the bathroom? I even have specific books for the bathroom. Yes, books. I don't even bother with magazines anymore. I just take a book into the bathroom to read when it's necessary. For all you know, I'm reading in the tub, which a dear friend of mine does every morning.

What kind of books do I read in the bathroom? Usually nonfiction, oddly enough. Don't ask me why. It makes no sense. I just read history books in the potty room. What can I say? Right now, I'm reading Sea of Faith by Stephen O'Shea. I bought it a couple of years ago and read the introduction before moving onto something else -- which I do, as you know. I doubt O'Shea would ever make it onto my blog, but if he did, I would hope he doesn't take offense to the fact that his book is my bathroom read. It's just where I decided to pick it back up again. And now that's where it will remain until I finish the other book I'm reading. Then it'll graduate to bus read!

So now I want to know -- which book/genre do you read in the bathroom? And you can't claim you don't read in the bathroom. Like I said, it's ingrained.

By the way -- this is my 20th post on this site! Woo-hoo!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Hi, all! So I'm still working on reading a new book to tell you all about. It's a little funky, but it's been quite interesting. I should finish it within a day or two.

But why I'm posting is to tell you all about NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo encourages anyone willing to try to write at least 50,000 words of a novel between midnight of Nov. 1 and midnight of Dec. 1. For years, I've heard of NaNoWriMo, but have never taken part. This year, I'm determined to do so.

We all love books, right? So why not try to write one? I think we all have great stories to tell. So tell one. And if you want to learn about what I'm going to write, visit my writing blog: I'm putting up ideas and having readers vote on them. Then I'll post my installments as I write -- I'm shooting for 5,000 words a day. That'll get me well over the 50,000 mark. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Again. What can I say?

Anywho, the reason for this post is to announce that I have claimed all three of my blog addresses at Technorati. Whatever the hell that means. ;-) It means no one can mess with my titles.

This blog is the oldest of my three. And probably the least read, which is unfortunate. So read it, people! ;-)


Monday, October 20, 2008


Since I'm still in the middle of a new book, and I'm having book post withdrawals, I found another fun book survey. It's longer than the one I stole from Kendra last week. But fun. Here goes:

1. What is your favorite passage/line from a book?

“First with the head, then with the heart.” – The Power of One

2. What do you consider the best film adaptation from a book? What do you think is the worst film adaptation?

Best: To Kill a Mockingbird; Worst: DaVinci Code

3. What is the first book you remember reading?

Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes (nicknamed the Snuggle Buggle Book)

4. Did you have a favorite kids’ book as a child?

See above.

5. What book did you hate reading for a school assignment?

The Grapes of Wrath

6. What is the most recent book you read (or are currently reading)?

The Persian Legacy and the Edgar Cayce Material by Kevin J. Todeschi (it’s weird, but interesting)

7. What book would you most like to see turned into a movie?

The entire Thursday Next series

8. What book did you cheat and read the “Cliff Notes” version?

Again with the Grapes of Wrath (hated that book!)

9. What book would you never read again, no matter how much someone was going to pay you?

On the Beach or the Grapes of Wrath; it’s a toss-up

10. Are you more of a library or book store person?

I’m both; when I have money, it’s Barnes and Noble; when I don’t, it’s the library.

11. Have you tried audio books? Do you like them?

I like them well enough. As a former teacher, I find them to be a crutch. I prefer e-books for the classroom if an alternative to paper is going to be used. Honestly, audio books totally depend on the narrator. If the narrator sucks, the book sucks, no matter what.

12. Has any movie ever inspired you to then read the book on which it was based?

Master and Commander: Far Side of the World; it’s a favorite movie, and I LOVE the books, all 21 of them!

13. Describe a passage from a book that made you cry.

The resolution of Severus Snape in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; balled like a baby

14. What is your favorite book series?

Harry Potter and Aubrey/Maturin

15. Describe your favorite place to read.

My bed

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Who found this fun survey on another blog full of surveys! ;-)

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why?
Paperback because then I can write in them without feeling guilty.

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it…
Bookworm's (appropriate, don't ya think?)

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is…
"First with the head, then with the heart." From the Power of One.

4. The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be ….
Jasper Fforde, so I could ask how the hell he came up with his wonderful stories!

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except the SAS survival guide, it would be . . .
Right now: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (but I should answer this one again another time -- it always changes)

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that….
Reads the story aloud to me in my own voice

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of…
My grammy

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be….
Elizabeth Bennett (cliche, I know, but she did get Mr. Darcy!)

9. The most overestimated book of all time is….
The Power of One. It's my favorite, and not enough people have read it!

10. I hate it when a book…
Ends without some sort of resolution (read any John Grisham law novel for an example)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


About three months ago, I loaned my seventh Harry Potter book, the Deathly Hallows, to our summer intern. He's all of 17 years old, but I've always been able to count on kids to return books, no matter what. However, this kid decided he was going to quit and take my book with him. It was small consolation that I have two of his movies: The Simpsons and Donnie Darko. I want my stinking book back!

So I emailed him and asked him to bring it back. I doubt I'll get it back, so I thought I would publish one of my favorite book quotes:

For him that stealeth a Book from this Library,
let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him.
Let him be struck with Palsy, and all his Members blasted.
Let him languish in Pain crying aloud for Mercy
and let there be no sur-cease to his Agony till he sink in Dissolution.
Let Bookworms gnaw his Entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not,
and when at last he goeth to his final Punishment,
let the flames of Hell consume him for ever and aye.
~Curse against book stealers, Monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I recently took a break from Brooks to read some Holmes. Sherlock Holmes. I have never actually read any Conan Doyle, although I am a huge fan of the old radio plays with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce (iTunes, people -- it's a wonderful thing). I'd always wanted to hear or read the Hound of the Baskervilles, but never got around to it. Till now.

I listened to a different radio play version of the Hound about a month ago and enjoyed the story. This week, I read the book finally. I didn't realize until about Sunday night that I had one of those skinny Dover Thrift Editions, and so when I saw it, I had to take it up.

And then I couldn't put it down -- except for work time. I was almost afraid to read it at night -- I live by myself, after all, and have a vivid imagination. Yet I did. As I read, I realized how much was left out of the radio play. There was still enough in the play that I didn't miss the gist of the story -- the wife/sister, the crazy scientist, the convict. But I didn't recall Mrs. Laura Lyons from the play at all. Which means I need to go back to my old adage of not viewing or listening to any adaptations before I read the literature. It was always something that was important to me when I was younger, and I've sort of forgotten that. However, if I hadn't neglected that adage even a little bit, I might never have read the Aubrey/Maturin novels, and they are some of my favorites.

Still, I loved the Hound! It was a fun read, especially since it, as all Holmes stories, is from Dr. Watson's point of view. I definitely sympathized with the doctor, especially when it was evident that Holmes had lied to him. Poor devil, as they both would say.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Years ago, while teaching in Alaska, I was encouraged by a student to begin reading the Shannara books by Terry Brooks. I really didn't want to, but Tony was insistent that I at least try the prequel, First King of Shannara. Damn Tony, but I was addicted. I have read nearly all of them, except for the Word and Void trilogy and the newest trilogy, the Genesis of Shannara.

I began the
Word and the Void trilogy last week by reading Running with the Demon. I wasn't sure what to make of it, although I always liked the idea that the Shannara stories were actually post-apocalyptic. That was one of the few original things that Brooks infused his stories with -- it was obvious for this English major and teacher to see the origins of Brooks' stories. Sword of Shannara = One Ring. Hello!

Anyway, I must say that while it was rather predictable, as Brooks' work can be, it was still an enjoyable story. For me, Brooks is all about his characters. You get involved in their lives. You may find their stories familiar and therefore, predictable, but you want to see them through to the end because his characters are so interesting. Nest Freemark and John Ross are not exceptions. They are intriguing people. Hell, even the demon was intriguing, though I guessed his purpose and his identity pretty early. He was just a little too charismatic to dismiss.

Once again, Brooks entertained me, which is really all I ask when reading fantasy. Or anything else for that matter. On to
A Knight of the Word!

Friday, August 22, 2008


But not, because it is about me, your Queen. Here is a list of 101 things you should know about me. Thanks, Ken, for the idea! ;-)
  1. My name is Hattie.
  2. I was named after my great-grandmother.
  3. I was born and raised in Meridian, Idaho.
  4. I came back after two years away.
  5. I live by myself with the neighbors from hell.
  6. I love to read.
  7. I love to write.
  8. My favorite book is the Power of One.
  9. My favorite series are Harry Potter and Aubrey/Maturin.
  10. I used to be a teacher.
  11. I scared the administration.
  12. I was a temp for two years.
  13. It sucked.
  14. I recently was offered a permanent job at the City of Boise.
  15. I'm took it.
  16. I wasn't supposed to live past the age of 12, which should explain the title of the following blog.
  17. I have another blog: My 32nd Year at
  18. I haven't updated it in a LONG time.
  19. I read a book a week, or there about.
  20. My favorite movie is Princess Bride.
  21. My favorite TV show is Psych.
  22. I LOVE Samuel L. Jackson.
  23. I have no favorite band, but enjoy many.
  24. I'll listen to anything once.
  25. I like Tim Burton/Johnny Depp projects, especially Sleepy Hollow.
  26. I want to try Nordic Walking -- I just need the poles.
  27. I used to think I was a closet nerd, but my mom pointed out that there's no closet involved.
  28. My friend Jami likes to hear me swear.
  29. I do that often.
  30. I have road rage.
  31. I drive fast -- but not stupid. There is a difference.
  32. I am bad about cleaning -- I'm doing this rather than doing that.
  33. I love to cook, but only if I have someone to cook for.
  34. I've never had a real boyfriend.
  35. I miss my students, but that's all I miss about teaching.
  36. I still keep in touch with former students, including kids from my student teaching! They're getting married and having babies.
  37. I feel old, even though I know I'm not (see above for a reason why).
  38. I used to own a horse. His name was Donnie. It worked out -- I was in my NKOTB phase.
  39. I still don't have the tattoo I wanted. Damn it!
  40. My favorite grandmother passed away three years ago, and I'm still not over it.
  41. I haven't taken heart meds since high school.
  42. I get REALLY vicious Migraines.
  43. There's only one person in this world on whom I would wish my Migraines. If you want to know who, you'll have to ask.
  44. I have watched No Greater Love three years in a row, though I refuse to go to church.
  45. I have a canine nephew named Chubby and a canine niece named Jackson.
  46. I have a "nephew" named Thomas ( or Boo) and a "niece" named Madeline.
  47. I've never met Madeline -- she lives in Belgium.
  48. I also have a "nephew" named George and a "niece" named Mary-Kate. They're new.
  49. My oldest friend (not counting my sisters) is Valerie Sohie from Belgium.
  50. I am a published poet.
  51. The first poem I published was about a boy. He is now married to a former teaching colleague.
  52. I am mostly Norwegian, German, and Dutch.
  53. I look it.
  54. I'm 5-foot-10.
  55. I have naturally blonde hair.
  56. I have green-blue eyes.
  57. My eyes change color.
  58. I am quite pale, and people like to point it out to me.
  59. I do not wear blush, though I've been asked which shade I wear. It's all me.
  60. My favorite perfume is L'Instant de Guerlain. Valerie gave it to me.
  61. I'm almost out of it.
  62. My hair is growing out right now.
  63. I get bored easily.
  64. I ride the bus to work daily.
  65. I love it.
  66. I have dual crushes on a guy at work and a guy on the bus.
  67. Unfortunately, one's oblivious and the other's taken. Damn.
  68. I've come to terms with the first, but not the second. I'm taking action!
  69. After a lifetime of not drinking coffee, I am now addicted to Starbucks.
  70. I blame my job -- it's right across the street.
  71. And Starbucks -- there's crack in that stuff, I swear.
  72. The baristas and I know each other's names, and they can all spell mine, which is an accomplishment.
  73. Almost every time I answer the phone at work, "PDS Records, this is Hattie," I am answered, "Hi, Pattie." It's really annoying, but I'm too nice to correct people.
  74. I was referred to as Hattie Fattie throughout elementary school.
  75. I've never been "thin."
  76. And I never will be.
  77. My mom wants me to lose some weight for my parents' 40th wedding anniversary, which happens to be this year.
  78. I'm trying -- though not too well right now.
  79. I love flannel sheets and use them year-round.
  80. I love Celtic art and history.
  81. I plan on earning my Master's in Library and Information Science.
  82. I really am a nerd!
  83. I have two younger sisters, Ginna and Mary.
  84. Both my sisters are married.
  85. I took exception to that, but not anymore.
  86. Sometimes I think I need therapy.
  87. Most of the time, I think we all need therapy -- at least a little.
  88. My therapy is hanging out with Elena, Boo, and MaryKate.
  89. Or Jami and George.
  90. Or Mindy and Emily (my friends and their kids).
  91. I am a Mac snob.
  92. My MacBook's name is Bianca. She's white, like me.
  93. One of my newest and dearest friends is Malu, a coworker.
  94. I might have committed homicide if Malu hadn't come to work in the Records Center last September.
  95. I tend to nickname people, probably because I get nicknamed a lot myself.
  96. My favorite nickname is Hattation. Only DawnDawn calls me that. Wonder why.
  97. My parents, Vaughn and Gail, have known each other since they were 12.
  98. My user name means "warrior queen" in Norwegian.
  99. I have degrees in English and History.
  100. I completed a summer program at Oxford University while in college.
  101. I want to raise a family near my parents up in Cambridge, Idaho.
Now you have to tell me 101 things about you! Just kidding. But a few would be cool! ;-)

Friday, August 15, 2008


I am writing my first, true literary command: You must read The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. It is the most amazing book.

I read this book when I was a senior in high school and going through a lot with friendships and classmates. I always had trouble as a young person keeping friends. This has now changed, but in high school, losing friends was highly traumatic. This book came along at the height of my drama and taught me something very important: I don't have to do things on my own, but I can if I need to. I do have the power to create anything I want.

This is the lesson Peekay, the main character, is taught in the novel. He goes from a bullied little boy to an accomplished young man, fighting against apartheid inside and outside of the boxing ring. In the end, he learns that while he doesn't have to do things on his own, he, like me, can do it if he needs to.

I have attempted to reread this book many times, but each time, I get to a certain point and cannot do it again. This book was such a strong emotional journey for me that it is impossible at this point in my life to reread the book that made me cry on one page and laugh on the next, as it were. This book has made the rounds of my family, including my father, who never takes time to read. He spent an entire day finishing the last half of the book. He didn't work at all that day -- that is saying something.

Please take the time to read this book. It is wonderful.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I attempted Terry Pratchett years ago with Witches Abroad. I failed, or rather Pratchett failed, miserably. The book was quite boring and silly-in-a-bad-way. I was unimpressed. However, last month, I was loaned Going Postal and encouraged by a fellow book-lover to attempt Pratchett once again. My first thought was, "Where was this book when I tried Pratchett before?"

The hero of
GP is Moist Von Lipwig. And he insists you say it correctly: Von Lipvig! He has a point -- I have a first name few can pronounce, and I find it rather annoying when people screw it up. Chalk one up for sympathizing with a supposedly unsympathetic character. In the end, Moist is sympathetic, although he would wish you to think otherwise.

He is a thief, after all, and always will be one. But he's no dummy, and he uses his thievery wiles to his advantage and to that of the local post office's as well.

I won't say much -- to say even a little will give all the juiciness away, and we don't want that. But this book was quite amusing, even laugh-out-loud funny at points. It was also heartwarming and dark as well. In all, it's a great introduction to Discworld, and I wish it had been mine.