Beating the Heat with Loki and Swimming

It's Friday and we are going through a heatwave.  It's supposed to spike over 100 degrees in ye elde Fahrenheit here.

In order to combat the heat, we dress appropriately (Krispy in shorts and tanks and flipflops, Alz still in black and long sleeves and jeans but summerweight rather than winterweight), eat frozen yogurt and fudgesicles, and indulge in iced teas and copious boba.  Tangerine juice tea and orange-kumquat tea with rainbow jelly are refreshingly delicious.

Poor Loki spends his days panting in the shade, eating ice cubes, and taking the occasional dip in the pool.  And by "occasional dip," I mean "prolonged torture session."

What it boils down to is this: our resident Overlord of Cute turns into Kentucky Fried Loki when it comes to swimming--he gets scared when his paws don't touch the ground, but at the same time he likes the water and actually seems to enjoy swimming, and would probably swim on his own if he wasn't too chicken to take that first step.  Or second step, rather, as he will willingly hop into the first step of the pool by himself and lie down in the water.  It's just that the second step is a wee bit too far down for his paws to reach and he cannot muster bravery enough to dip himself in a little further.

Krispy and her Sister even got him a life jacket to help him float, but I don't think he realizes that's what the life jacket does.

For your viewing pleasure, here is Krispy, her Sister, and Loki, Pool Version:

Swim, Loki, swim!  Look at him go!  I was his favorite person that day since I didn't drag or dump him into the pool, and he demonstrated his affection by rubbing all over my legs while still in his life jacket and freshly saturated from the pool.

Happy Friday, folks!  What's your favorite cold treat to beat the heat?

PS Love Star Wars?  Are wookiees your favorite walking carpets ever? Then you'll be pleased to know that there's something even better than Chewbacca!  Check out Krispy's Sister's article about how Chubaka is the new in-thing.


What's Up Wednesday (4) / RSW (3)

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, so we can check in with each other. To join, just check out Jaime Morrow or Erin Funk's blogs for the link widget and sign up!

Still working on 17 & Gone, but I have a bunch of books ready after. I have Gillian Flynn's Dark Places, Adrienne Kress' Outcast, Leigh Bardugo's Siege & Storm, and so on and so forth!


Okay, I'm kind of failing at this. I barely wrote at all this past week (see, low goals are my friend), and I'm not really sure why - other than I was reading a bit more and doing some trip planning. Oh and I got hit with a crazy allergy attack over the weekend, and the medication basically made me a sleep monster.

The bright side is I did pick up some research-related books from the library and read some folklore, which is supposed to help me write the folktale-ish backstory thing I was writing. I also think I figured out a few plot points for a totally different project, so yay!

Goal: Still the 500 words, but hopefully I actually finish the folktale thing by next update!

The warm weather! I love summer and sunshine. It puts me in a good mood and generally makes me a more motivated individual!

Coffee gelato! YUM!

Also, the craziness that went down last night in regards to the Texas abortion bill SB5. It was inspiring to see so many people caring about politics and speaking out on women's rights, and Senator Wendy Davis' BAMF filibustering was straight up incredible. Here's a good recap by Joyfulldreams: joyfulldreams' Fillibuster Recap

More movies! In particular, the sister and I watched World War Z, which was solidly entertaining - a fun summer zombie flick that is more thriller than horror.

Interwebby things! As in firstly, you might recall I was a bridesmaid for one of my best friends back in March, and I posted some photos about it. Well, my friend's wedding was recently featured on Style Me Pretty!

Secondly, the Sister submitted a post to Buzzfeed about the interestingly-shaped ships in Man of Steel. I promise it's not spoilery, though it's probably a little PG-13. Seriously though, we can't be the only people who had these thoughts (and found it funny)!

Planning! Planning all the things - like wardrobe & housing for Comic Con, plane tickets for SF Outsidelands, possibly there will be a Vegas trip somewhere in there... Oh, AND...

Thanks to impulsive late night decisions & the sister's general plotting, we're probably going to see this Shakespearean play starring one Tom Hiddleston in early 2014...

Art Direction: Matt Dixon/ Portrait by Spencer Murphy
Source:  Coriolanus - Donmar via Behance

...LIVE - like in THE UK. Um, yeah. IS THIS REAL LIFE? WHAT???

Ahem, so anyway, I'd like to make one of my other summer goals to be to sleep earlier. I'm failing that as I type this, so I'm going to leave now. Hope the rest of you are making better progress than I am with your WIPs!

Q4U: So how are the rest of you doing with Ready.Set.Write? Is anyone doing Camp NaNoWriMo in July? Anyone else going to Comic Con / have tips / have suggestions on what the heck I should wear?


Catch-Up Friday: Ready.Set.Write! (2)

I missed What's Up Wednesday this week because my internet was down Tuesday night. So Alz covered for me instead: she did two mini book reviews.

So here's my Friday catch-up post for What's Up Wednesday / Ready.Set.Write!

I finished Froi of the Exiles, which was excellent though I liked Finnikin of the Rock more. Still, I can't wait to pick up Quintana of Charyn from the library. What an amazing fantasy this is!

Currently, I'm reading this:

Nova Ren Suma's writing is delightful, moody, and surreal.

I think I mostly made my 500 word goal, despite the starts and stops. I am also working on "Luck," though not the actual WIP itself. I started writing a sort of side story thing that will help me flesh out some backstory details. I think I'm starting to have a breakthrough on a plot-point through doing so - which is cause for celebration!

Goal: I think steady and slow is the way to go for me, so it'll be another 500 words for me this week. I'll add that I hope to actually write stuff in the actual WIP, but I'll be content with just getting more words down on this backstory.

The fact that I'm having any breakthroughs on this long-stalled project is pretty freaking inspiring! That aside, I've also been inspired by the gorgeous honeymoon pictures my friend has been posting - or that's possibly just jealousy. The water in Tahiti is seriously UNREAL. I think I need a vacation...

It's summer, which means it is top movie-going season for me and the Sister. Since the last What's Up Wednesday/ RSW post and today, we've seen 3 movies (and we're probably going to see World War Z this weekend)! We saw This is the End, Man of Steel, and Monsters University. Brief impressions:

This is the End - freaking hilarious. I'm still laughing about it, and I still can't get over one special moment/cameo. I can't say more or I'll spoil it, but it's SO GOOD. The whole premise of the actors playing themselves is pretty interesting and also great for laughs.

Man of Steel - I can see why the reviews are generally mixed-positive. I liked it though - a lot more than I thought I would considering everything I'd heard. It is a truly visually stunning piece (there are really picture-perfect shots / artistic and symbolic), and Henry Cavill wears the cape well and plays a younger, less experienced, and more vulnerable Superman. Also, not gonna lie, he's damn easy on the eyes. Hans Zimmer's score is fantastic too. The mixed part of all this is that I still felt like there was something missing - possibly because the 3rd act was kind of weak, consisting mostly of overly long action sequences filled with ridiculous (srsly ridic) amounts of destruction.

Monsters University - Confession time, Monsters Inc. is not one of my top Pixar movies, but I love Pixar movies in general so I was excited for this prequel. That and less with the creepy children (sorry guys, Boo was more creepy than cute to me). And it was as cute and fun as I thought it'd be! Monsters U doesn't deliver the emotional punch (or complexity, really) of UP or Wall-E, but it's enjoyable, funny, and it has heart - friendship, nostalgia, underdog tale, and so on.

Bonus for me is that Pixar used my old university stomping grounds as inspiration for the MU campus - so it was super fun recognizing the architecture of Cal in the movie. (I spotted some of those knuckle trees, parts of Doe library, the Mary Poppins-look of South Hall, the pylons at the main entrance...)

The entrance gate of MU looks a lot like Sather Gate. (Yes, that's me...graduating.)

Also, I received this on Thursday. Hope I get to read it over the weekend!

Lastly, the Sister and I are trying to figure out what to wear to Comic Con! Definitely more stressful than you'd think it'd be...

Q4U: Do you plan on seeing any movies soon or reading any of the above mentioned books?


Two Mini Book Reviews: 100 Cupboards & Mortal Engines

Finally got my reading kick back on with some fresh and random library reads, priming me for getting back on track with all the books Krispy's been nagging me to read along with sundry others!  In the meantime, since I've been reading so much and haven't totally hated everything (I know!  What a rarity!) I thought I'd post a couple mini reviews here.


100 Cupboards  (100 Cupboards, #1)100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson

Pros: Interesting worldbuilding; once plot gains momentum it moves quickly; adoptive family is generally kind, fairly rounded-out, and interesting.
Cons: Slow and meandering in the first third; clunky writing in the beginning; protagonist's parental dynamics are largely glossed over despite looming tragedy.

Intellectual Rating: 6 out of 10 stars
Emotional Grade: B

Book Blurb: (from Goodreads) Twelve-year-old Henry York is going to sleep one night when he hears a bump on the attic wall above his head. It's an unfamiliar house—Henry is staying with his aunt, uncle, and three cousins—so he tries to ignore it. But the next night he wakes up with bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall, and one of them is slowly turning...

Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers doors—ninety-nine cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room—with a man strolling back and forth! Henry and his cousin Henietta soon understand that these are not just cupboards. They are, in fact, portals to other worlds.

100 Cupboards is the first book of a new fantasy adventure, written in the best world-hopping tradition and reinvented in N.D Wilson's own inimitable style.

Alz's Mini-Take: Picked this one up on a whim based on the title and blurb at the library.  The writing was pretty clunky and simple right from the start, but quickly smoothed out; unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the narrative.  The story drifted aimlessly a long for a good chunk, focusing more on Henry's adapting to life being adopted by his aunt and uncle and dealing with his three girl cousins and worrying about having never played baseball than anything promised by the blurb.

As for that one con mentioned above, about the glossed-over parental dynamics, it's because (not really a spoiler because it doesn't matter and is mentioned in the very beginning) Henry's parents were on a business trip in Columbia and were kidnapped/disappeared.  Because of this, Henry was sent to live with his aunt and uncle--and yet curiously only ever feels some token sadness/vague emotion/thoughts about his missing parents who might or might not be dead or being held for ransom.  The book hints at the fact that Henry was never close to his parents because presumably they were off traveling all the time, but there's never any real focus on it; I received the impression that the only reason they were kidnapped was so that Henry could move into the mysterious 100-cupboarded house.

Nevertheless, once the book picked up (which was sometime after the cupboards made their appearance), it moved along quickly.  Henry begins to have second thoughts about exploring and poking around these magical cupboards, especially since one of them in the lower corner gives him the creeps--and later, creepy things start happening involving said cupboard.  This is compounded by the fact that he's sleeping in the attic literally within arm's reach of the cupboards, in a small closet-sized "room" of which the cupboards make up one wall.

Not to mention one of his cousins finds out about the cupboards and begins demonstrating childish careless stupidity about them--surely Henry's just imagining creepy things or else is just a chicken and doesn't want to explore.  She takes matters into her own hands with predictably terrible consequences, and things devolve from there.

Despite the shaky beginning, I enjoyed this MG book with its combination of slice-of-life and fantasy-adventure, and would read the sequel.  The plot-hints at the end of the book are basic but tantalizing, and I'd like to know more about Henry and the cupboards and the history of the house.


Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1)Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve

Pros: Imaginative worldbuilding; non-exoticized minorities in important roles; a few astonishingly epic scenes.
Cons: Not very deep on character; some plot points were a bit meh; book was generally a bit light/shallow.

Intellectual Rating: 5.5 out of 10 stars 
Emotional Grade: B+

Book Blurb: (from Goodreads) "It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea."

The great traction city London has been skulking in the hills to avoid the bigger, faster, hungrier cities loose in the Great Hunting Ground. But now, the sinister plans of Lord Mayor Mangus Crome can finally unfold.

Thaddeus Valentine, London's Head Historian and adored famous archaeologist, and his lovely daughter, Katherine, are down in The Gut when the young assassin with the black scarf strikes toward his heart, saved by the quick intervention of Tom, a lowly third-class apprentice. Racing after the fleeing girl, Tom suddenly glimpses her hideous face: scarred from forehead to jaw, nose a smashed stump, a single eye glaring back at him. "Look at what your Valentine did to me!" she screams. "Ask him! Ask him what he did to Hester Shaw!" And with that she jumps down the waste chute to her death. Minutes later Tom finds himself tumbling down the same chute and stranded in the Out-Country, a sea of mud scored by the huge caterpillar tracks of cities like the one now steaming off over the horizon.

In a stunning literary debut, Philip Reeve has created a painful dangerous unforgettable adventure story of surprises, set in a dark and utterly original world fueled by Municipal Darwinism -- and betrayal.

Alz's Mini-Take: I've seen this book touted as YA but having read a lot of YA and a lot of adult fantasy, I'd have to say this falls more definitively into the adult fantasy category.  The characters are in their teens, but I thought they were around 13-14 from the way they acted and due to the simple narrative style; it wasn't until over halfway into the book that I read bits indicating they were at least 15 and likely a couple years older.

Most of the themes that characterize YA are not present here, i.e. coming of age (not really), first love (it's there but it's not really developed or a focus), search for identity (not to any depth), struggle for acceptance (again, not really), etc.  Mortal Engines is all about worldbuilding and plot--characters are more vehicles for the plot and less than oceans of depth and deep character development, but since the book isn't aiming to be a character-driven piece, Tom and Hester are fleshed out enough to serve their purpose.

The worldbuilding was fantastic though, with a beautiful balance struck between details for realism and letting your imagination do the work--which is quite a tricky balance when you're writing super-futuristic post-apocalyptic steampunk.  In other books, I'd be hung up on details that were supposed to give a sense of realism but did not realistically make sense; here, I was able to swallow the notion of steam-powered tank-treaded cities traveling around and eating other traveling cities for their resources.  Municipal Darwinism?  I'm there, baby.

The plot was good enough, with a few twists thrown in and generally enough setup that things didn't come out of nowhere.  There were a few pretty spectacular action scenes and with Tom and Hester's part of the story, the book trotted right along.  On Katherine's side though the book dragged because most of her early chapters are about her marching off to do sleuthing and actually not ever succeeding much.  Once the shizzle began going dizzle, things became more interesting.

I was also glad to see that there was an Asian woman who is essentially a sky pirate and yet was not exoticized or molded from stereotypes like Dragon Lady or Delicate Blossom (ignore the fact that her nickname in her home city is Wind Flower).  Anna Fang is a powerful and deliberate woman in her own right, classy and courteous, and willing to fight for what she believes in.  Alz approves.

As for more non-stereotypical female characters, there is Hester, whose face is hideously disfigured.  It was a terrible wound that didn't heal right and it shows, and when Tom first sees her it horrifies him and makes him physically ill; Hester herself is well aware that she is no beauty and takes refuge in anger and solitude.  Their blossoming friendship and possible romance is one of the few character things the book actually works to develop, as Hester isn't likely to express gratitude for anything and remains abrasive, but eventually is able to apologize, and Tom has to struggle with whether or not he should like and support her considering that he thinks she's a terrorist at worst and an attempted murderer at best.

Mortal Engines was a character-light but generally entertaining action-adventure book, and I'd read the sequel if I noticed it in the library.


In general, I've been liking my latest random library haul or at least not hating anything.  I also realized that I haven't read much MG or big people books lately.  There are a good many more reviews on my Goodreads page as I tend to post my gut-reaction just-finished-this-book probably-has-some-typos impressions there, which are then occasionally condensed and/or expanded and regurgitated here in either mini- or full-length reviews.

Got any fantasy/steampunk/scifi MG or big people book recs?  I realized that I rarely ever poke my nose into the MG section since it's all the way on the other side of the library, but I perused the area last time and picked up some good stuff, but other than tried-and-true read-and-loved childhood favorites, I've no idea what's recent and good!


Randomosity on Fridays: It was late and I was tired

So, as per Krispy's insistence, I was supposed to post today about a Real Life murder mystery involving button quail, but I was busy and didn't have time to doodle it up.

Then I was going to post about a bargain book I bought this week contained source-cited research about unicorns and yet still managed to be ungodly boring.  Except I ended up making a fine silver chain instead and was determined to finish it, and by the time I finished it was quite very awfully late.

So instead of a post of any substance, I have two pictures.

First is Tiger Labbit, the best Labbit ever, sporting authentic Alz-made bling as well as the new glasses that I picked up today.

I was blind but now I can see!
And here is that damn chain that I banged out today.  Each link individually fused, shaped, hammered, and looped together in an exercise of patience and painful fingertips.  The S-hook ought to be in sterling since sterling silver is harder than fine silver and won't deform as easily, but I didn't have any on hand.  Since this is a necklace it ought to be okay though.

Took hour after tedious hour, but at least it's done.
 And with that, dear friends, HAPPY FRIDAY!

Q4U: Have you ever read The Far Side by Gary Larson?

PS: Nag Remind Krispy to write since she's participating in Ready. Set. Write!


What's up Wednesday (3) / Ready.Set.Write!

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme geared toward readers and writers, so we can check in with each other. To join, just check out Jaime Morrow or Erin Funk's blogs for the link widget and sign up!

I am still reading FROI OF THE EXILES - which isn't to say the book isn't good (it is!), but it is rather longer than FINNIKIN and I've actually had less time to read of late. I am SO CLOSE to the end though!

Eager as I am to jump right into QUINTANA OF CHARYN when I'm done, I think I'll finish up the fascinating CHARM & STRANGE by Steph Kuehn (out yesterday!) and start Gillian Flynn's DARK PLACES.

Nothing yet! BUT I did sign up for the Ready.Set.Write! writing intensive hosted by a bunch of lovely blog ladies: Alison Miller, Elodie Nowodazkij, Erin Funk, Jaime Morrow, and Katy Upperman.

Find out more by clicking Ready.Set.Write! or the button above. It'll take you to the sign-up post.

The accountability part of the intensive will be found in this meme every week, and today is the first goal setting post. So I'm starting really broad and really small because I am way out of practice and way indecisive.

Goal: For this week, I'd like to just be able to write 500 new words on something. I'm having a hard time deciding. I have a number of WIPs gathering dust, one of which actually has a decent outline (for someone who is a pantser by nature and doesn't really do the outline thing). That WIP is the one I affectionately call Luck, and it's about two siblings trying to break a family curse. You can read more about it here: Next Big Thing Meme

Other than the mastery that is Melina Marchetta's fantasy world-building, the online blogging/writing community! Seriously, I've been having so much fun tweeting and blogging with so many of you. Who else is going to freak out with me over books and super random things? Who else is going to write Gollum-themed #twtpoem poetry? *smooshes you all*

Quite a lot! That's why I haven't had time to read (or write) much! Since we got our Comic Con badges at re-sale, the sister and I have been frantically searching for housing for that weekend. As you can imagine, it's been stressful and crazy (and makes my wallet cry), but I think we're finally settled! Now we can move on to stressing over what we want to see/do and what the heck we're going to wear. I think it might be too hot for my galaxy tights, but I'm considering buying a galaxy skirt...YES/NO???

(SOURCE: as worn by Jessica R on Lookbook.nu)

I also went to a Capital Cities concert last week at the always classy El Rey Theatre. Thanks to the Sister for getting me in & letting me hang out in the VIP balcony! It was a fun show!

Capital Cities playing "Safe & Sound" at Night 1 of their 2 sold out shows.  Source: the Sister
Next up on our To-Do list is figure out our housing for when we go to Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco (one of my favorite cities) in August. I LOVE THE SUMMER!

Q4U: Will you join Ready.Set.Write! or do the July round of Camp NaNoWriMo? AND what's up with you?


Loki and the Mystery of the Missing Poo

Today I have a story for you.  It is as yet an unfinished story, but perhaps you will be able to help Krispy and me finish it.  Today I bring you a tale most wondrous, most intriguing, most disturbing, most everything--today I bring you the story of--

Loki and the Mystery of the Missing Poo

As you may know, Krispy and her Sister have a dog named Loki.  Many is the day that I frolic over to their house for a dose of the Overlord of Cute.

Krispy, Krispy's Sister, and Alz,
loyal slaves and willing servants to the Overlord of Cute.
 Loki is a big boy now, if not in size or maturity, then at least in, uh, age, I guess.  He's over a year old!  Long has it been since the day he entered our lives, a little brown pudgy puppy.

"You were made to be ruled."
Loki has his own pen where he sleeps during the night and from wither he is unleashed in the mornings to wreak havoc upon the world and especially upon ivy and bugs, in particular flying bugs, a favorite delicacy of his.

Recently, a most confounding puzzle has come to the forefront of our attention.  Every night, Krispy and her Sister go on a tour of poo duty around the yard, armed with a flashlight, plastic bag, and latex glove, while I play with Loki.

They clean up his poo twice: once in the morning and again at night.  Sometimes though Krispy and her Sister have noticed that there are mysteriously no poos for them to clean up at night.  All right, that's not too odd.  Maybe he just didn't take a dump or someone else cleaned it up or he's just going to relieve himself sometime during the night after he's been put into his pen, or maybe he even did something unspeakable to it that he's done in the past and that we always encourage/scold him not to do whenever we've noticed him doing it though thank god he hasn't done it lately, Loki, you get food and treats all the time everyday, don't go around eating things that exit your body for a reason and are not meant for consumption.

One night, we discovered something.  Sometimes if Loki poos in his pen during the day, Krispy and her Sister close the gate so that he can't go in and step in it or play with it or do unspeakable things with it.  He has no problem with this since he gets to romp around the yard or lie in the shade and do very important things like chew on his toys or sleep.

They had closed the gate during the day and then in the evening, while I played with Loki and they went to collect his poo, they discovered that his poo was gone!
It was no fluke.  It happened again, and again, always in the evening.  Not every evening, but often enough that we knew that there was a Poo Thief that struck in the night, stealing away Loki's posterior excretions for reasons unknown.  Sometimes the poo outside his pen would be missing too, but it was the ones inside the locked pent that we knew for sure were the diabolical work of the Poo Monster.  Sometimes entire turds would vanish, other times only partial poops.

What the hell, we now wonder, could be stealing his poo?  His pen is small and enclosed, so if it's a creature, it has to be something that can climb a brick wall or fly.  If it's an insect, it must be either huge or part of an army of insects.  And whatever it is clearly possesses a nocturnal nature.

There's a rat that lives on the roof/in the yard, but rats aren't likely to steal dog poop.
There are possums in the area, but again, it doesn't seem like something a possum would do.
Birds?  Some kind of nocturnal poop-eating owl that swoops out of the sky to carry off its foul prey?
Cockroaches or beetles or other insects don't seem likely since it happens in the span of a few hours.
So far the only idea we've come up with to catch a glimpse of the mysterious Poo Thief is to set up a night-vision camera to record its comings and goings.  Unfortunately we do not have a night-vision camera, so the mystery remains as yet unsolved.

Have a happy weekend and while you're at it, throw some guesses this way and tell us--what the heck is stealing Loki's poo?


What We're Reading Wednesday

It's been a while since we've had a post like--actually, wait, no, we've had multiple posts about what we're reading lately, mentioned in part or in passing.  My brain ain't functioning too well since I have a small one to begin with and it is befuddled by the lateness of the night and the fact that I've got a rat crawling around on me demanding attention that she doesn't actually want.  But!  We shall now have a post about what Krispy and I have been and are currently reading!


Recently I read Madapple by Christina Meldrum, having picked it up from the library on a whim because it was sitting on the shelf and the jacket blurb was way more interesting than the one on Goodreads.  It was...an interesting book, beautifully written, definitely well-researched, and was quite a journey through philosophy, religion/spiritualism/theology, herbalism, incest, family dynamics, crime drama, psychology, and a host of other heavyweight topics.  Was it enjoyable?  Sort of.  It's not a light book and I wouldn't classify it as entertaining in the same way that writing research papers isn't entertaining--it's work, and ultimately rewarding, but not exactly pleasant and definitely not for everyone.

Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1)Currently on my plate is Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve.  I picked this one up because the title and blurb sounded familiar and interesting, and so far I like what I've read.  The best thing is the worldbuilding, being unique, complex, and interesting what with giant mechanized semi-steampunk super-future cities crawling around on tank treads, chasing down and eating smaller cities to sustain themselves according to the rules of Municipal Darwinism.

I was a little surprised by how MG the book reads though since I was under the impression that it was more YA, though Krispy had been under the impression that it was only retroactively categorized as YA.  The tone and characters read younger to me for some reason, though some of the casual mentions/instances of brutality and violence seem kind of weird.

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)

Then there's The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey, which Krispy has mentioned before.  She utterly loved this apocalyptic alien-invasion novel, its themes and story and the characters' struggles.

I was somewhat less impressed, but this is just one of those cases where the book pushed all the right buttons for Krispy but didn't quite hit the mark for me.  Overall I liked it--but I didn't love it, and (as usual) there were a bunch of niggling little issues, questions, and unresolved/unaddressed matters that prevented me from being fully immersed in the book.

Krispy is still reading Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta.  From what she tells me, it's good but is something of a midquel and therefore not quite as good as the first book.  Sounds like the story is slightly less focused and slightly more confusing (albeit purposefully so?) and she has said it'd probably be better if she read it in bigger chunks.

Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2)Charm & Strange

On her backburner is Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn.  I haven't got much to say here because, as I recall, Krispy didn't get very far before she had to tackle her current load of library books and that was a while ago, but she liked what she was reading so far.

We've both got a boatload of library books lying around, which hasn't prevented us from putting more titles on hold and picking up random books when returning others past their last renewal.  We both also still have more than a few books that we own that we haven't gotten around to reading because, you know, we think we ought to read the library books first.  We have a book problem, do Krispy and I.

So tell us--what are you currently reading?  What's the most number of books you've ever checked out from the library at one time?  (I've probably checked out like 10 max, pretty sure Krispy has checked out more than that.  Maybe 12-15?)