June 30, 2011

Book #53 of 2011...

From Goodreads.com:

Rhiannon Frater’s As the World Dies trilogy is an internet sensation. The first two books, The First Days and Fighting to Survive, have won the Dead Letter Award for Best Novel from Mail Order Zombie. The First Days was named one of the Best Zombie Books of the Decade by the Harrisburg Book Examiner. AmericanHorrorBlog calls Rhiannon Frater “a writer to watch.”
The morning that the world ends, Katie is getting ready for court and housewife Jenni is taking care of her family. Less than two hours later, they are fleeing for their lives from a zombie horde.

Thrown together by circumstance, Jenni and Katie become a powerful zombie-killing partnership, mowing down zombies as they rescue Jenni’s stepson, Jason, from an infected campground.

They find sanctuary in a tiny, roughly fortified Texas town. There Jenni and Katie find they are both attracted to Travis, leader of the survivors; and the refugees must slaughter people they know, who have returned in zombie form.

Fast-paced and exciting, filled with characters who grab your heart, The First Days: As the World Dies is the beginning of a frightening trilogy.

My take:

5 out of 5 stars. I love this book. I never wanted it to end. I won an advance copy for TOR Books on Goodreads.com and I'm soooo glad that I did otherwise I might have missed this awesome zombie book. Honestly, I found this book to be the most realistic portrayal of what might happened if there ever was a zombie apocalypse. The main characters show their softer side too, each at times is paralysed by what happened to them and that's a side you don't often see in zombie books. Just a fantastic book and I can't wait to get the next two in the series. Best book I've read this year, hands down.

June 29, 2011

Such strange weather...

Rain? In June? Really? But this is California, we don't get rain in June. But we did, we got enough to partially flood the parking lot at Hubbs' work yesterday. It was amazing.

I love the rain. I love to run in the rain. But did I get to run in the rain yesterday? Nope. I ran in the morning before it rained. Do I sound bitter? I totally am. I love running in the rain but I figured the rain was going to miss us so I ran in the morning. I went up to the park in Elk Grove and ran the track around the park. It's 1. 44 miles and shaded. Not to mention the park is beautiful and where Hubbs and I got married 5 years ago.

I'm working on finishing up week 8 of Couch to 5k. Week 8 is run for 28 minuets without stopping. And I did. And it was great. It was slow but it was great. I was averaging about a 10 minuet mile. Like I've said before I'm never going to win a land speed record or beat a Kenyan but it's mine and I own it.

I have one more run for week 8 and then week 9, the last week. Week 9 is run for 30 minuets without stopping. I'm not scared at all. That's only 2 minuets longer then I'm already running. No biggie what so ever. I'm planning to finish week 8 today. Get that last run in. It's supposed to be cooler today, only 78 degrees. But the weather forecast is predicting 106 by Saturday...ugh. Too hot...way too hot. The only way I see getting in runs is getting up at like 5am to run. On a weekend, 5am.

I don't normally run back to back. I like a rest day in between but I have to take advantage of the weather. Tomorrow's high is going to be 92. That's not that hot but chances are I'll have to wait until 7 or 8 to get my run in. With all the rain yesterday, I'm wondering how humid my run tonight will be. My goal has been to finish up week 8 by the end of June...no time like the present to get it done.

June 28, 2011

Book #41 of the 50 Book Challenge...

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

From Goodreads.com:

"War," says the Mayor. "At last." Three armies march on New Prentisstown, each one intent on destroying the others. Todd and Viola are caught in the middle, with no chance of escape. As the battles commence, how can they hope to stop the fighting? How can there ever be peace when they're so hopelessly outnumbered? And if war makes monsters of men, what terrible choices await? But then a third voice breaks into the battle, one bent on revenge - the electrifying finale to the award-winning "Chaos Walking" trilogy, Monsters of Men is a heart-stopping novel about power, survival, and the devastating realities of war.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. This book is supposed to be the conclusion to the Chaos Walking Trilogy. But the ending leaves it wide open for another book. I like this series. Todd struggles to be the man he wants to be all the while fighting the Mayor and his ownself. Viola fights for what she beleives to be right all the while blaming herself for the position that she's in. I just don't understand why in the concluding book the author decided to leave Todd in such limbo. I really want there to be another book to tell me what happened.

June 27, 2011

From Goodreads.com:

Wizard and Glass, the fourth episode in King's white-hot Dark Tower series, is a sci-fi/fantasy novel that contains a post-apocalyptic Western love story twice as long. It begins with the series' star, world-weary Roland, and his world-hopping posse (an ex-junkie, a child, a plucky woman in a wheelchair, and a talking dog-like pet named Oy the Bumbler) trapped aboard a runaway train. The train is a psychotic multiple personality that intends to commit suicide with them at 800 m.p.h.--unless Roland and pals can outwit it in a riddling contest.

It's a great race, for the mind and pulse. Movies should be this good. Then comes a 567-page flashback about Roland at age 14. It's a well-marbled but meaty tale. Roland and two teen homies must rescue his first love from the dirty old drooling mayor of a post-apocalyptic cowboy town, thwart a civil war by blowing up oil tanks, and seize an all-seeing crystal ball from Rhea, a vampire witch. The love scenes are startlingly prominent and earthier than most romance novels (they kiss until blood trickles from her lip).

After an epic battle ending in a box canyon to end all box canyons, we're back with grizzled, grown-up Roland and the train-wreck survivors in a parallel world: Kansas in 1986, after a plague. The finale is a weird fantasy takeoff on The Wizard of Oz Some readers will feel that the latest novel in King's most ambitious series has too many pages--almost 800--but few will deny it's a page-turner.

My take:

3 out of 5 stars. Now I love Stephen King. I own a copy of almost every single book he has written. I the love the man and his writting but his book is the worst of the Dark Tower series. For some reason the whole tale of Roland and Suzane Delgado never sits well with me. He's trying to paint Roland as someone who's loved and lost but it never quite works for me. I just don't love this book. It's a let down based on the books that came before.

June 26, 2011

Book #40 of the 50 Book Challenge... Hater by David Moody

From Goodreads.com:

REMAIN CALM DO NOT PANIC TAKE SHELTER WAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS THE SITUATION IS UNDER CONTROL Society is rocked by a sudden increase in the number of violent assaults on individuals. Christened 'Haters' by the media, the attackers strike without warning, killing all who cross their path. The assaults are brutal, remorseless and extreme: within seconds, normally rational, self-controlled people become frenzied, vicious killers. There are no apparent links as a hundred random attacks become a thousand, then hundreds of thousands. Everyone, irrespective of gender, age, race or any other difference, has the potential to become a victim - or a Hater. People are afraid to go to work, afraid to leave their homes and, increasingly, afraid that at any moment their friends, even their closest family, could turn on them with ultra violent intent. Waking up each morning, no matter how well defended, everyone must now consider the fact that by the end of the day, they might be dead. Or perhaps worse, become a killer themselves. As the status quo shifts, ATTACK FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER becomes the order of the day... only, the answers might be much different than what you expect.... In the tradition of H. G. Wells and Richard Matheson, Hater is one man’s story of his place in a world gone mad— a world infected with fear, violence, and HATE.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. I liked this but the more I read books by British authors, the less I like the writing style. For some reason I have trouble following the story or really getting into and losing myself in the story line. Not sure why that is. But this was good. Cliff hanger ending.

June 25, 2011

Book #39 of the 50 Book Challenge...

Greybeard by Brian Aldiss

From Goodreads.com
The sombre story of a group of people in their fifties who face the fact that there is no younger generation coming to replace them; instead nature is rushing back to obliterate the disaster they have brought on themselves.

My take:

2 out of 5 stars. The story never seemed to go anywhere. I just didn't really enjoy the book. Considered classic science fiction but it lost a lot of that feeling of complete hopelessness that most books from the 1960's seemed to have.

June 24, 2011

I'm still working on completing my Couch to 5k program. Between the craziness with Rex getting sick and the general craziness at my work and the hot, hot, hot weather (100+) for a few days in a row, I just complete week 7 yesterday.

But I decided, with the encouragement of the Zombie Apocalypse Training group that I belong to on Ravelry, to sign up for a 5k last weekend. I ran the 5k Foot Pursuit to benefit the Sacramento PD Chaplin service. The weather was fantastic and I came in 291 in the field, 43 in my age group and finished in 33:42.4. Not too shabby.

There were professional photographers on the course taking pictures. I'm going to order a couple but here are a couple of the proofs.

I love this picture because of the Tower Bridge in the background.

It's a Sacramento landmark.

Powering up the first long hill, right about the 1mile marker.

The Sacramento area as a general rule is pretty flat. My town especially is flat. I guess that's to be expected when you live in the middle of some the biggest farming areas in the world. Of course that makes training for hills a bit difficult. So naturally, for my first 5k I choose a hilly one. I wasn't expecting it. The course map made it look flat. Trust me, it wasn't. Almost the entire 1st mile was up hill. Then there was a steep down hill section. Then steep uphill followed by a down hill, into a tunnel under I-5 and an uphill to the turn around. Then back into the tunnel, up the hill, down into an alley, up out of the alley, then steep down hill, very steep uphill followed by a long, hot, sunny, no shade flat stretch for about 3/4 of mile. Then down, then up to the finish.

To say the least it was challenging. But totally awesome. I felt so amazing to finish. And really my time wasn't shabby at all. I'm super proud of. Hubbs was there to cheer me on. I was so nervous before the race that my breakfast didn't want to go down, I didn't sleep well and therefore was cranky before the race start. But now that I have the first one under my belt I will definitely be doing more of them.

I only have week 8 and 9 to finish up before I finish up the Couch to 5k program. I'm already setting my sights on 10k now. I'm looking forward to the challenge of going longer distances.

June 11, 2011

Book #38 of the 50 Book Challenge....

From Goodreads.com:
An epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival, The Passage is the story of Amy–abandoned by her mother at the age of six, pursued and then imprisoned by the shadowy figures behind a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions. But Special Agent Wolgast, the lawman sent to track her down, is disarmed by the curiously quiet girl—and risks everything to save her. As the experiment goes nightmarishly wrong, Wolgast secures her escape—but he can’t stop society’s collapse. And as Amy walks alone, across miles and decades, into a future dark with violence and despair, she is filled with the mysterious and terrifying knowledge that only she has the power to save the ruined world.

My take:
5 out of 5 stars. The next book doesn't come out until next year and I'm dying already. Great book. I can't belevie that I read this book in just 10 days. It's a huge book, over 700 pages. But I guess when you take a sick day from work and just stay home reading all day you can get pretty far in a good book. I'm putting the sequal on my list for when it comes out next year.

June 8, 2011

Wow, I guess I read a few books while I wasn’t posting. I still need to update my reading list on my sidebar but I think that is going to have to wait until this weekend. It’s just too many books to get done in the small amounts of time that I have in the evenings after work. And honestly the last thing I want to do is use the computer after work. My work has been really crazy busy. And I’m still sick. This has been going on for almost two weeks now. I still have a sore throat and a cough that won’t quit. It keeps me up all night coughing so I’m exhausted all day at work.

Rex is doing much better. He got all his staples removed on Wednesday last week. He has an infection that he’s currently battling but his cone is off and he’s back to his old bag of tricks. We noticed on Saturday that the vet missed a staple when he rolled over to have his belly petted. So back to the vet we went. Thankfully, they didn’t charge us to remove the staples in the first place and didn’t charge us to have the last one removed. My poor baby, he’s so traumatized. When we went to get that last staple removed is was shaking and kept trying to make a break for the door. When they brought him back to us after the staple was removed, he half ran and half dragged the poor vet tech across the waiting room and jumped into my arms. He was so happy to see us again. And I’m so happy to see my old happy go lucky Rex coming back again.

Dixie also got sick last week. On Monday morning of Memorial day weekend, I got up to her peeing blood. Poor kid. Turns out she has an e-coli infection in her urinary tack. Now both dogs are on antibiotics. Yikes. These poor dogs.

I also got notice that I’m going to lose my job over Memorial day weekend. I should land somewhere but it won’t be with the unit I’m currently with. I’ll be honest, I got really upset when I got this notice but Hubbs pointed out that my job makes me miserable. It’s been the source of extreme amounts of stress and has made me clinically depressed in the past. So maybe this is a blessing in disguise.

So enough of the bad stuff. I finally got over to visit my Grandmother on Sunday. I gave her belated Mothers Day socks and half a pair of additional socks. I didn’t finish the second sock in time. But she loved her Tea Time socks. She said, “How did you know that I wanted new socks?” lol, um because at Christmas you picked out the pattern and said Knit these. She’s so funny. So now I’ve got to get that second sock finished ASAP for her and send her the sock and some DPN’s that she wants. Man, she’s crackin’ the whip on me!

June 7, 2011

I finished the socks I started for my Grandmother back in April. So without further adue, Tea Time for Gran...

It's Tea Time by Stephanie van der Linden
Yarn: Little Traveler by The Sanguine Gryphon (purchased at Stitches West)Needles: US 2
Started: 04/21/2011
Finished: 05/16/2011
Mods: None
Notes: None really. This was a pretty simple, straight forward knit.

June 6, 2011

Book #37 of the 50 Book Challenge...

From Goodreads.com:

One day the rain just didn't stop. As the flood waters slowly rose and coastal cities and towns disappeared, some people believed it was the end of the world. Maybe they were right. But the water wasn't the worst part. Even more terrifying was what the soaking rains drove up from beneath the earth -- unimaginable creatures, writhing, burrowing...and devouring all in their path. What hope does an already-devastated mankind have against...the Conqueror Worms?

My Take:
5 out of 5 stars. This is the first book in a long time that has actually scared me. It gave me horrible nightmares after I finished the book. I couldn't put this down. I read it in two days and stayed up really late at night to finish it over memorial day weekend. It was a good thing thing that I didn't have to work the next day. I didn't turn out the light until around 2am. I never stay awake that late but I was dying to find out what happened. However after finishing the book, I still wonder what happened to Kevin and the girl after they drove away and left the old man. It's not a flaw in the book, it's just that the story is told from the old mans perspective and he doesn't know what happened to them. But still I wonder what happened to them.

June 5, 2011

Book#36 of the 50 Book Challenge...

From Goodreads.com:

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child "unwound," whereby all of the child's organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn't technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

My Take:
4 out of 5 stars. A very thought provoking look at what could happen if the our fight over the right to life were taking to next level, war and the result there after. Scary stuff.

June 4, 2011

Book #35 of the 50 Book Challenge...

From Goodreads.com:

In Deuce’s world, people earn the right to a name only if they survive their first fifteen years. By that point, each unnamed ‘brat’ has trained into one of three groups–Breeders, Builders, or Hunters, identifiable by the number of scars they bear on their arms. Deuce has wanted to be a Huntress for as long as she can remember.

As a Huntress, her purpose is clear—to brave the dangerous tunnels outside the enclave and bring back meat to feed the group while evading ferocious monsters known as Freaks. She’s worked toward this goal her whole life, and nothing’s going to stop her, not even a beautiful, brooding Hunter named Fade. When the mysterious boy becomes her partner, Deuce’s troubles are just beginning.

Down below, deviation from the rules is punished swiftly and harshly, and Fade doesn’t like following orders. At first she thinks he’s crazy, but as death stalks their sanctuary, and it becomes clear the elders don’t always know best, Deuce wonders if Fade might be telling the truth. Her partner confuses her; she’s never known a boy like him before, as prone to touching her gently as using his knives with feral grace.

As Deuce’s perception shifts, so does the balance in the constant battle for survival. The mindless Freaks, once considered a threat only due to their sheer numbers, show signs of cunning and strategy… but the elders refuse to heed any warnings. Despite imminent disaster, the enclave puts their faith in strictures and sacrifice instead. No matter how she tries, Deuce cannot stem the dark tide that carries her far from the only world she’s ever known.

My Take:
5 out of 5 stars. Great book. The Character of Deuce is very intriguing and makes you want to be her despite the fact that she lives in world that is dying. I know that it's yet another young adult book but I love these books. Quick reads, down and dirty descriptions and none of the crap that seems to clutter up a lot of adult science fiction books. No dirty sex scenes that make me blush when I'm reading them at work. Not a lot of swear words. Both things I don't really like in books. I know how sex works, I know about cussing so most of the time I find that those things don't really enhance a book but detract from the story line.

I'm looking forward to reading the next in this series, Outland by the same author. I've got it on my "to read" list.

June 3, 2011

Book #34 of the 50 Book Challenge...

From Goodreads.com:
Fleeing before a relentless army, Todd has carried a desperately wounded Viola right into the hands of their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss. Immediately separated from Viola and imprisoned, Todd is forced to learn the ways of the Mayor's new order.

But what secrets are hiding just outside of town? And where is Viola? Is she even still alive? And who are the mysterious Answer?

And then, one day, the bombs begin to explode...

The Ask and the Answer is a tense, shocking and deeply moving novel of resistance under the most extreme pressure. (Plot summary taken from: http://www.patrickness.com/books.html)(less)

My take:
4 out of 5 stars. I'm liking this series. But honestly, I finished this book a while ago and other then liking the book I don't remember that much about the book. It has the same two main characters as as the first book, The Knife of Never Letting go. But I missed the dog, Manchee, that was in the first book. Otherwise it was a good book.

June 2, 2011

Book #33 of the 50 Book Challenge...

Specials by Scott Westerfeld

From Goodreads.com:
"Special Circumstances":
The words have sent chills down Tally's spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor -- frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally's never been ordinary.

And now she's been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.
Still, it's easy to tune that out -- until Tally's offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she's programmed to complete. Either way, Tally's world will never be the same.

My Take:

Three out of 5 stars. I liked it but I didn't love it. They took away a lot of what made Tally Youngblood, Tally Youngblood. Still decent story, Just not great.

June 1, 2011

Book #32 book of the 50 Book Challenge...

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

From Goodreads.com:

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy. Humans become hosts for these invaders, their minds taken over while their bodies remain intact and continue their lives apparently unchanged. Most of humanity has succumbed.
When Melanie, one of the few remaining "wild" humans, is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, was warned about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the glut of senses, the too-vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn't expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

Wanderer probes Melanie's thoughts, hoping to discover the whereabouts of the remaining human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's mind with visions of the man Melanie loves - Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she has been tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous and uncertain search for the man they both love.

My take:

4 out of 5 stars. I have to be honest, I had very low expectations for this book since I didn't like any of Stephanie Meyers Twilight books but I loved this book. Very good. Totally left me wanting more. I will be looking to read the next installment of this book when it comes out.