Tuesday, January 17, 2012

100 Cupboards Trilogy

I finished the last book of this series, The Chestnut King, a couple weeks ago. I absolutely adore this trilogy. I was obsessed with them, and I did not quite know what to do with myself when they were finished. (I have problem with obsessing instead of merely enjoying; I am currently obsessed with Pysch-I got over the first episode yuck)

They are entirely juvenile fiction, so do not expect the sophistication that comes with adult literature or the angst that comes with teen novels. They are also not epic novels, so do not expect the grandeur of the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter or the melodrama of the Hunger Games and the Twilight Saga. I know I sound really negative, but I adore these so much I could not stand for someone to dislike them because they were expecting something else (actually don't desecrate the books by reading them if there is the slightest possibility that you would not like them), and that is why I want to make perfectly clear what these novels are; so that no one would read them and be disappointed. So if you are expecting any of the above descriptions do not read the books. Okay, I am done with that little warning/explanation/ defense/rant :D

I enjoyed N. D. Wilson's Dragon's Tooth (the first novel in his newest series, Ashtown Burials) and the stand alone Leepike Ridge, but this particular trilogy stands in its own very special place. I truly believe it is considerably better imagined and written than either of the other novels (although I am certainly happy that the second book of the Ashtown Burials is out now, and I plan to read it).

I do not want to write too much because I don't want to giveaway anything at all. If you start the books you MUST read all three; do not give up after the first one because I will admit that unless you are careful you might think that there are no more hidden special secrets.

I just love the writing style. There is a little suspense and the answers to the suspense perfectly fit in; these books do not feel like they are being stretched out or rung for one more drop of drama. I could almost not believe how seamless the plot in this trilogy was. I am not good at describing all the arts and forms of writing, but I believe these books are supremely well written pieces of juvenile literature. Suffice it to say that if you are a juvenile fiction fantasy nut you MUST read these.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Chicago

Part of my family made a brief trip to Chicago following the Christmas holidays. As I mentioned before this was my first time to Chicago, and the largest city I have ever visited. I would never, ever go to a popular place on a major break unless that was the only way. I somewhat enjoy urban atmospheres but cannot stand crowds (an oxymoron, yes?), and trust me, it was crowded thanks to the Christmas break.



We wanted to go ice skating first...but it was too crowded, and there was a line. So we walked around and took photos.








We visited the American Girl Store, Hershey's, and Ghirardelli's. By that time it was dark, and we headed for the Hancock tower. I couldn't figure out how to take night photos on my camera which was aggravating to no end (I think I am going to buy a photography book-this learning is not coming easy for me).

The next day we decided that we would try the aquarium...HA! The line went part of the way around the building, so we retraced our steps and visited the art museum instead (I do want to visit the aquarium the next time I go-I have not been to one in years). I bought these earrings in the gift shop there.



Aren't they lovely? Sometimes I really step out of my style zone and quite surprise myself how well I like something that doesn't usually fall under my style.

After the art museum we attempted to get deep dish pizza...again HA! The wait was too long. So Subway it was (for the second time that trip). Then we headed home.




That is me, the bag lady. I wore my wallet purse and my camera bag and sometimes my camera around my neck. And yes, I walked around the city in those flats-no ugly athletic shoes for me even though the flats caused my feet to hurt, and my sister stepped on one while we were crossing the street, so I lost my shoe for a moment in the middle of a bunch of people in the middle of the street. The skirt I am wearing is the one I made for Christmas; I should have some better photos of it for my Christmas post. The hat and scarf are my sister's. I wore one of her hats one day and another of her hats the other day and completely fell in love with the look although again I wouldn't normally think that they were my style. I own absolutely no fashionable hats although I have longed for I beret.

On a random note:we thought that the people in Chicago were taller on average than the people where we are from, and I also thought that every gender and age group dressed much more stylishly.

Hopefully I should have my Christmas recap done sometime this week. I started school Monday, and this looks to be my hardest semester :p, BUT I still intend to do better at blogging, AND I really want to join this event. Have a great week!