May 20, 2015

More North & South Awesomeness!

10 Years Later, 'North & South' Remains the Greatest Period Drama Miniseries of All Time | Yes! I completely agree! :D

Y'all know by now how very much I love North and South. So I won't bore you with talk. I only share the lovely pic above (*happy sigh* ;) and this awesome article! It's from last Fall, but I only discovered it the other day. I mean, you know it's going to be a fabulous post when the title of it is: '10 Years Later, ‘North & South’ Remains the Greatest Period-Drama Miniseries of All Time', right?! :D

Read and enjoy!



May 18, 2015

Dune Read-Along Discussion :: Part 3

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Woohoo! We're finished! I ended up reading parts two and three all in a row. And wow! What an epic adventure it was. Mr. Herbert clearly was a very talented writer! The fabulous Kami hosted this discussion, head over here to read her answers. :)

And once again, my answers:

1. What are your overall thoughts? Did you like it?

The world-building is phenomenal! I was blown away by that. The story itself? Was interesting. But I could never connect with any one character. Oh, I liked a few of them. But I couldn't relate or connect to them. They all felt very distant. And characters are what keep me invested in a story usually. Although the suspense of what was going to happen next keep me hooked in. So ultimately I did enjoy it okay, but I didn't love it.

2. Do you think you could ride a giant worm?

NO! Absolutely not. I'm a wimp!

3. Paul's relationship with his mom, Jessica, dramatically changed and evolved over the course of the book. How did their relationship change and why do you think it did?

At the beginning, Paul is clueless about his true destiny and what will happen. He's relied on his mother all of his life, which is natural. But as the book progresses, he grows up. And with growing up (as well as what his destiny entails), children naturally come into their own. They start making their own choices and living their own life. Which is what Paul did.

4. What do you think about Paul's lack of emotion?

He irked me mostly. I need some emotion to be able to understand a character. I could never fully understand him or really even like him unfortunately.

5. Now that I've finished, I feel like I'd pick up on a lot more of the details and things if I read it again. Do you think you'll reread Dune? If this is a reread, did you catch different things this time around?

Maybe someday? But if so, not for a looonnngggg time. I do think I'd probably pick up on a lot more details the second time around. But I'm satisfied enough for now. The details I didn't get will just have to stay hidden.

6. How do you feel about the political arrangement at the end? Do you feel bad for Princess Irulan or Chani?

I wasn't sure whether Paul's desire for power was really a good thing, regardless of being this "messiah" or not. It kind of bothered me actually. But it does make sense. And I don't feel bad for either lady. They both know what they're getting into. Or at least they have a pretty good idea. Ok, I guess I felt slightly bad for Chani, but then she's already been with emotionless Paul for at least two years. So she knows what he's like. Or she should!

7. Will you read the rest of the series?

Very doubtful. But I could surprise myself someday! :)

8. Favorite character and why?

Gurney Halleck because he's awesome. He's just awesome! And I like Alia too. Her moment of awesome is pretty great! Never underestimate the littles! ;)

9. What did you think about the quotes at the beginning of each chapter? Did you read them? Were they interesting? Were they helpful?

I pretty much ignored them the whole time. I did notice who wrote them, but didn't know who this princess was until the very end.

10. Did you have fun during the Read Along? Was there anything we could have done better? Would you have read this book if you hadn't joined?

I did! Even if I did read a little slower than everyone else. I'm pretty positive that I would not have ever read this book if not for you ladies. And I'm glad I did! It's such a popular and well known book that it's nice to know what everyone is talking about. As much as I wish I could have liked it better, it really is an amazing story! As I said before, the world-building is fantabulous. And it was very clear to me that Frank Herbert had the story well planned out from the beginning. Not one detail was missed. (I tended to miss them, but that's neither here nor there.) So thank you ladies! Y'all did a wonderful job. Just as I expected. :)



Dune Read-Along Discussion :: Part 2

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Yay for more action in book two! (Also the legend finally begins.) The lovely Suey hosted this second discussion, head over here to check out everyone else's answers.

And now for mine!


1. What do you think about all the rituals the Freman have surrounding water? Especially the funeral.

Wow. That's really all I can say. Water is everything to them! It makes sense given the vast lack of it, but I hadn't thought about how they'd even use the water of one who has died. Very interesting!

2. Any other thoughts you have about the Freman now that we've been introduced a little better?

They are fascinating people. And very strong and smart! To have survived out in the desert for as long as they have, without much water and with the sandworms, that takes incredible intelligence and strength.

3. How do you feel about the way Paul is progressing to his destiny?

I kept forgetting that he was only 15! He's also very emotionless. I couldn't get a good read on him, therefore I was constantly changing my mind on whether I liked him or not. Even though I knew I was supposed to root for him, I couldn't seem to feel like he was trustworthy. Even though I knew he was ultimately! And everything came so easy for him. He dreams it, then it happens. He may say or think that he's doubtful of how things are going to go, but everything always works out for him. (I might be slightly annoyed with him? Sorry.)

4. We had more deaths in this section, two that stand out. Compare and contrast them.

There were SO many deaths in this section! Just about the time I finally decided I kind of liked a character, he would die! Hmph.

(Confession: I had to go look up which two Suey is referring to. Kynes and Jamis.) I liked Kynes. I was quite sad to see him die. And surprised! Because he'd survived all these other things in his life, to be taken down like that? I wasn't expecting that at all. I figured he'd be important all the way through to the end. As for Jamis, I really couldn't care either way about him. But it was interesting to get info on how the Fremen care for their dead.

5. What political maneuverings are happening during this section? I'd love a nice uncomplicated explanation!

Shall I admit to skimming quickly through the political stuff? Not really my thing. But I did get enough of an idea to understand that everybody in the political world (the Baron, the Emperor, etc) basically just want everything for themselves. And none of them seem to mind betraying one another.

6. What religious events are happening?

Lady Jessica becoming the Reverend Mother was interesting. And Paul drinking the spice and going all weird. Plus him realizing for sure who he's destined to be. (Sidenote: for someone who is supposed to be this messiah and know all things, he sure doesn't seem to fully believe it himself! Even when all the clues are staring him right in the face.) Lots of strange stuff. (Quite possibly a lot of this went over my head. I'm positive that I didn't understand nearly everything that was really happening.)

7. What do you think of the Baron?

He's terrible, awful, horrible, evil, and disgusting. I'd really like him dead.

8. Any foreshadowing moments that stand out to you? What's going to happen?

Lady Jessica's baby! I remember being interested in what would happen to her. And Paul and Chani? Talk about a non-romance! I was wishing for a bit more sweetness. But then, I forgot this is Paul. Who has no emotion. So yeah....

9. How do you like (or dislike) this section compared to the first? Any new favorite characters?

It had a bit more action, which I appreciated! And Paul and Lady Jessica's journey through the desert was fascinating. I'd've died the first day. They were pretty smart! ;) I like Stilgar. I was kind of afraid he'd die, since I liked him! Not sure what'll become of him, but I do like him.

10. Do you plan to finish and stick with us through part three?

I do! And I did! :)



Dune Read-Along Discussion :: Part 1

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Did y'all know I participated in another read-along? Probably not, since I haven't mentioned it here. Life's been kind of crazy recently! But I did read Dune by Frank Herbert, hosted by the always awesome Jenni, Suey, and Kami! :) I was supposed to post these discussion posts as we were reading, but....yeah. It didn't happen. Sorry ladies! But better late than never, right? (I hope?)

It was a very intriguing story. I'd never read anything remotely like it before, but decided that it's good to read outside of my comfort zone. Get a fresh perspective of something different and maybe learn more about what I like and don't like in stories. And I had the chance to maybe find an amazing new book to add to my favorites pile, which is always a fabulous thing! I'll save all my thoughts and feelings for the discussion posts and my review though.

So! Jenni hosted this first discussion, head over here to read what everyone else thought. Now on to my answers!


1. Have you ever read a high sci-fi book before?

No, I haven't.

2. Is this your first time reading Dune?

It is! It's good to read something different than my usual. :)

3. If this is your first time reading Dune, is the book anything like you expected it to be? If this isn’t your first time reading it, have you noticed anything different this time around?

I wasn't sure what to expect, to be quite honest. I had seen bits and pieces of the miniseries from 2000, but not enough to be entirely certain precisely what the book would be about. But I did know it had giant sandworms in it! And something about blue eyes, so those parts were similar to what I was expecting. Everything else was new.

4.Were you surprised that you knew who the traitor was before everything went down at the end of this book? Did it help prepare you? Or, were you bugged by it?

I was surprised actually, because most authors don't show that in the very beginning. And I expected it to help prepare me, but by the time the actual betrayal took place, I had been so caught up in everything else that was happening I'd kind of forgotten to be on my toes for that! So it surprised me again, slightly. :)

5. What do you think of the idea of recycling the water from your body to survive in such an arid climate?

I can understand the necessity of it and do think it a pretty ingenious idea. But still....*shudder* I'm very glad I don't have to do that!

6. What was your favorite part of this section? Why?

When Duke Leto and Paul see the sandworm for the first time! After hearing so much about them, and with my teeny tiny little bit of prior knowledge of them, it was fun to finally get to "see" it.

7. Which character(s) do you find the most interesting? Why?

I like Gurney Halleck! Just because he's awesome. And Paul is interesting. Not sure I like him, but he is interesting.

8. Are there any revelations in this section that surprised you?

Not really? There was so much foreshadowing of things that, looking back, nothing really truly shocked me. (Or maybe I was reading too quick for things to sink in properly.)

9. What do you think of Dune so far? Are you having a hard time following what’s going on? It is engaging? Boring?

If I had just picked the book up randomly and started reading, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have gotten past the first chapter. The varying narrators that constantly change mid-paragraph almost, and just the confusion of trying to figure out exactly what was going on, was all a big jumbled mess for me. It took me a while to get used to the writing. But I am glad I kept going! The more I read, the more hooked I got. Kudos to Mr. Herbert for keeping my attention! Although I will also say that all the political maneuverings and talking heads kind of bored me. I wanted more action!

10. Do you have any predictions about what’s going to happen in the next section?

Since I've already finished the book, I can't really answer this question properly. But I remember thinking (after I finished book one) that things would surely get more interesting in book two! (I was hoping anyway. :)



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