Thing of the Month October 2013

Latimer and ridley

We are fan-girls – we get obsessed about anything and everything, very quickly… it’s a curse and gift (sort’a!) that we both share!

When we find something we love, we stand up on virtual rooftops and scream – “watch this! go here! eat this! love this! listen to this! read this!”

We have so many obsessions, big, small, wonderful, weird,… weirder. We accumulate new ones by the month! Like hoarders.

We give an RSA (Ridley Stamp of Approval) or an LSA (Latimer Stamp of Approval) to the things we like best – if one of us gives one, then the other knows it’s something is good!

rsa

lsa

One of us will ask; “Ah, but does it have an R/LSA?” 🙂

We’ve decided to share one of our R/LSA’s each and every month!

Yes, welcome to *drum roll* —- THING OF THE MONTH! (*boom*)

Latimer’s LSA: For me, it’s a book series!

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You know how it goes; you find a series of books you love and you just devour it like it’s chocolate – you ride the book high. And you feel awesome! (that was me, I found a series that had me riding that high!).

That series is The Seven Realms by Cinda Chima Williams (4 books total – I like a good sized series me!). It was recommended by mseregon (who mentioned it on deviantart)!

The Seven Realms series - soooo pretty, neh?
The Seven Realms series – soooo pretty, neh?

I’d never heard of it before! So I owe mseregon so much!

The Seven Realms is a good old-fashioned pure fantasy series. It has been a while for me, a long while, since I stepped back into that world!

It made me want to seek out the Belgariad series (by David Eddings)!

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I read it so long ago, I hardly remember it – but I remember that I loved it (if that makes any sense!). It’s in my attic somewhere – I went looking, but I had to fight a bird and a massive spider up there, so I got freaked out and ran away screaming!

Anyways, The Seven Realms is a great fun, high-fantasy series, with magic, adventure, romance and mystery! Ah, but beware, with great joy comes sadness – when it ends… argh, you hit the book-low!

WHAT NOW!? ARGH
WHAT NOW!? ARGH

Yep, you know the feeling, the ‘what now?!’.

 It’s chasing the dragon and getting burned.

Hopefully, by sharing this series, someone will recommend me a new one! But please, chase this dragon… it’s worth the burn!

Ridley’s RSA: My thing of the month isn’t as impressive as Lat’s, I didn’t have a dragon chasing experience, though I plan on it soon as she passes on that series she’s just finished (I know they’ve been bagged up and they’re just now waiting for my grubby hands to get on them, haha).ID-10071274

It has a serious LSA attached, so I’m really looking forward to delving deep and not coming up for air until I’ve devoured each book and have slumped over in a fit of depression where I fully believe that nothing else will ever top them. You know how it is. 🙂

20131017_104627This month I started a new comic book series, Fables. It was not in any way what I expected. Basically all the well known characters from our fairy tales (Snow White, Prince Charming, Red Riding Hood etc) have all been driven out of their magical lands and they’re currently etching out a life in New York city. As you’re a child when you read these stories, I came to the series (without realising I was doing this though) expecting it to be a little like the fairy tales of old, I thought it would be quite light-hearted, little childish, maybe just a new take on the old stories. I was quite wrong. It’s very much for adults, where in the opening pages there is an apartment trashed and covered in blood, then there’s Prince Charming seducing a waitress into paying for his restaurant bill and bringing her home for the night and the Big Bad wolf is an old school smoking Columbo like detective who has a serious crush on Snow White (can you tell I’m already rooting for them to get together?? 😀 ).Columbo

It’s an absolutely massive series with something like 133 issues, which is both fantastic – knowing I’ve so much I can work through – but daunting at the same time.FABL_Cv133_previews_qopkm6dkvn_

My one gripe with this new reading genre that Latimer and I are trying to break into (she’s doing such a better job of it than I am too!) would be how quickly you go through a comic, I read volume one of Fables in one sitting, so then you’re left sitting there wanting more. With a book you can just sink your teeth into it, and then when you’re left waiting for a sequel you know when you get it, it’s going to be enough to slake your thirst, you’ll get to find out what happens to the characters. Though I suppose the exact same could be said for manga and I still love those too!

We’d love to hear your Thing of the Month, here in the comments, or if you want to post one to your blog – maybe we could make a chain of fan-girls sharing fandoms!

As hoarders we love to collect new obsessions! Hopefully we’ve given you some fun things to check out too! 😀 

Quite Interesting

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Latimer: Lately I’ve been trying to get my ‘reading groove’ back on. Yup, it was gone for a while.

For me, the serious ‘groove’ comes on a little randomly – the urge to read more and more and MORE books!

My problem is, I buy too many books, then don’t get around to reading them. I have a serious backlog of books.

There are more.... there's always more; like Highlander
There are more…. there’s always more; like Highlander

Like you would not believe – and yes, I have since ordered more! I don’t learn, but I have decided that I will stop buying and clear the backlog in the lead up to Christmas.

(she says, but this turned up on her doorstep today!)

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His name is Clod Iremonger, and he is an Iremonger… HOW CAN I NOT READ THIS? I’m so intrigued…. I have a problem!

Ridley, I know, has a similar reading backlog, which I aim to make worse for her, because I have a bag of seven books for her (that she must read)! Ha 🙂

Now though, I am accountable, because I’ve put this in writing – ‘I will clear my reading backlog!’ – I will succeed! If you have a backlog, join me in my crusade of reading-before-buying-more! How is this going to end for me? Not well I don’t think.

But seriously, I have started to make an… effort.

Like I finally finished Qi: The Book of the Dead by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson (and it was brilliant)

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and I’m going to finish Bill Bryson’s At Home, which I have been reading on and off again for too long! (Bill Bryson’s books are fantastic really, but take forever to read!)

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I vow to finish this one before the end of October (oh, what have I done!).

When I finished The Book of the Dead a dam broke inside me and I felt inspired to get out and read all my poor abandoned books, because they’re all full of interesting things 🙂

The Book of the Dead is a book filled with brief stories about lots of different people, people you know like Thomas Edison and Casanova, to people you don’t like, Moll Cutpurse, a bear-baiting cross-dressing pickpocket and James Barry, a famous doctor in the early 1800s, who gave Florence Nightingale the worst dressing-down of her life, and … oh yea and he was actually a woman (though no one found out until she died!).

It has to be one of the most interesting books I’ve read in a while.

I got emotionally caught up in peoples stories; like Nikola Tesla.

“If-you-wish-to-understand-the-Universe-think-of-energy-frequency-and-vibration.”-Nikola-Tesla

He invented the radio (although Marconi was awarded the honour and won a Nobel Prize for it).

Tesla was known as the ‘Father of the 20th Century’ and the master of electricity (more so than Edison). He was inventing things that were light-years ahead of his time; he even foresaw/wanted to make the internet – the man was a genius.

And he died in debt with no money, living with crippling OCD, though he should have been a millionaire.

But I came to realise that for some people, it isn’t about what their knowledge can give them, what monetary rewards, some people are just driven to answer questions and solve problems, because that’s where they get their joy.

Tesla’s business partner George Westinghouse was in financial ruin after a stock market crash, so Tesla dissolved the contract between them that was costing Westinghouse so much. He said;

‘You have been my friend, you believed in me when others had no faith; you were brave enough to go ahead… when others lacked courage; you supported me when even your own engineers lacked vision… you have stood by me as a friend… Here is your contract, and here is my contract. I will tear both of them to pieces, and you will no longer have any troubles from my royalties. Is that sufficient?’

It’s pretty special, and wonderful, that a person, who stood to gain 12 million dollars from those royalties, which would have made him one of the richest men in the world at that time, would do something so noble as to brush it all aside to help a friend.

Imagine that. It makes me feel pretty good about the world; we can be so good to one another sometimes.  

The book also taught me that real genius is a rare and beautiful thing; and if you haven’t shown a spark by the age of 10, kiss the notion goodbye! Ha. Reading the stories, I’d have to pause and stare into the distance thinking; ‘yup, that ship’s sailed!’

Dr John Dee, one of Queen Elizabeth I’s most trusted advisors, would spend 18 hours studying everyday; 4 hours sleeping and 2 hours were set aside for meals. I can’t do that!

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He was the original 007 too. He used to sign his letters to the queen ‘007’; it was a symbol that meant he was the Queen’s eyes, or that the letter was for her eyes only.

That's Dee, Mr Dee... Mystery? Ha.
That’s Dee, Mr Dee… Mystery? Ha.

Dee was known for his mysticism but actually he was a man of science too (though the word ‘science’ didn’t exist at the time and was essentially known as witchcraft). He used geometry to successfully map the globe and was the greatest book-collector of his day (with books on mathematics, earthquakes, dreams, women, Islam, games, botany, pharmacology and veterinary science, to name a few).

By the end of his life, plague had stolen almost all of his family away from him and he lived in desperate poverty (he fell out of favour with the Queen), with his daughter Katherine, having to sell his books one at a time so he could eat (he was 82 years old).

Now that really breaks my heart.

But the beautiful thing is, a girl who lived in the area described him as…

‘He was a great peacemaker; if any of the neighbours fell out, he would never let them alone till he had made them friends. A mighty good man he was.’

Again the survival of a few kind words about a good person, from a good person, it makes you feel pretty good again.

There’s something really up-lifting about this book. It does make you feel like you haven’t had much of an adventure yet, or you’re not very smart and never will be, but it also makes you feel like isn’t it great how many weird and wonderful people there have been in the world?

We’re silly and vain, stupid and clever, wacky and weird, and we always have been, and that’s pretty great 🙂