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Book 8 in the 2014 Booklist: Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld
Finished: March 16

This is book 3 in the trilogy I told you about in
this post.
You can find book 2 here

“Mr. Sharp!” This is the phrase I was saying for weeks after finishing this book. I want one of those furry little creatures, they sound very cute! I liked this series, while it is a young adult series, it was still very captivating to an older person.

On our new scale, I give this book a 4 and the overall series a 5. I love the alternative historical aspect of this story, perhaps that was what drew me in.

Thanks to RO she’s full of good book suggestions.

Amanda Ellen

Book 6 in the 2014 booklist: Storm Front, (Dresden Files Book 1), by Jim Butcher

Monday, October 17th, 2016

Storm Front, (Dresden Files Book 1), by Jim Butcher
Finished: February 18

Everyone has a comfort book or book series that they go back to whenever they need some familiarity. I have 2 such series, Harry Dresden and Harry Potter. I love Jim Butcher and the cast of characters he’s created in The Dresden Files series. The narrator helps too, James Marster is an amazing narrator for this series. I was in a little bit of a rut and needed some familiarity and pulled out the beginning of The Dresden Files again for a relisten. I remember hearing this book for the first time and how unsure I was of my ability to deal with the narrator’s obvious inexperience, but boy am I glad I stuck with it! This is perhaps my most favorite series of all time!

This book introduces you to Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, the only wizard in the yellow pages in Chicago and perhaps the world. Harry Dresden is an all around good guy, chivalrous to the end and a sucker for a damsel in distress.

In need of work to pay the rent, Harry leaps at the chance to help a distraught wife and the Lieutenant of Chicago PD with someone who violates the first law of magic; “Thouh shall not kill.”

The murders are gruesome and magically super charged. The question is not if Harry can solve the crime, but can he prevent himself from becoming the next victim??

If you can deal with Mr. Marsters inexperience and unfamiliarity with reading, this is a great book and the start of an awesome series.

I think starting here, I’ll start giving starred ratings. 1-5.
1 veing terrible, 3 being ambivalent and 5 being an all star must read book.

This book, I give 4 stars. The plot is good (although a bit cheesey), but the narration makes it hard to get in to the book.

I say give it a shot, and join the Dresden fan club.

Amanda Ellen

Book 4 from the 2014 Booklist: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

Finished: February 4

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Sorry to say, that if you want this book, you’ll have to do a search on Audible as it seems the version I purchased is no longer available.
-Amanda Ellen

This book is a guilty pleasure of mine. If you recall, back a few years ago Twilight was a big deal… and well, I really, really, really liked the Twilight series.

So much so, that I made note of the book Bella made many references to, in her plight between Edward and Jacob.

That was, you guessed it, Wuthering Heights.

I had it on my mental list of books to read, but never got around to it… always finding something else I knew would be funner to read.

Well, I’m glad I read this… because I really enjoyed it. It’s a hard book to read, because one, it’s really old, and 2, you really have to pay attention to what’s going on to follow the story.

I will now proceed to bombard this post with my favorite quotes:
“I wish you had sincerity enough to tell me whether Catherine would suffer greatly from his loss: the fear that she would restrains me. And there you see the distinction between our feelings: had he been in my place and I in his, though I hated him with a hatred that turned my life to gall, I never would have raised a hand against him. You may look incredulous, if you please! I never would have banished him from her society as long as she desired his. The moment her regard ceased, I could have torn his heart out, and drunk his blood! But, till then – if you don’t believe me, you don’t know me – till then, I would have died by inches before I touched a single hair of his head!” -Heathcliff

“You loved me-then what right had you to leave me? What right-answer me-for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart- you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.” ~Heathcliff”

“And I pray one prayer–I repeat it till my tongue stiffens–Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you–haunt me, then! The murdered DO haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts HAVE wandered on earth. Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad! only DO not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I CANNOT live without my life! I CANNOT live without my soul!” -Heathcliff

““It’s a rough journey, and a sad heart to travel it; and we must pass by Gimmerton Kirk, to go that journey! We’ve braved its ghosts often together, and dared each other to stand among the graves and ask them to come. But Heathcliff, if I dare you now, will you venture? If you do, I’ll keep you. I’ll not lie there by myself; they may bury me twelve feet deep, and throw the church down over me, but I won’t rest till you are with me. I never will!”
She paused, and resumed with a strange smile, “He’s considering-he’d rather I’d come to him! Find a way, then! not through that Kirkyard. You are slow! Be content, you always followed me!” Catherine

“I was only going to say that heaven did not seem to be my home; and I broke my heart with weeping to come back to earth; and the angels were so angry that they flung my out into the middle of the heath on the top of Wuthering Heights; where I woke sobbing for joy. That will do to explain my secret, as well as the other. I’ve no more business to marry Edgar Linton than I have to be in heaven; and if the wicked man in there had not brought Heathcliff so low, I shouldn’t have thought of it. It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he’s handsome, but because he’s more myself than I am. What ever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.’
Ere this speech ended, I became sensible of Heathcliff’s presence. Having noticed a slight movement, I turned my head, and saw him rise from the bench, and steal out noiselessly. He had listened till he heard Catherine say it would degrade her to marry him, and then he stayed to hear no further.” -Nelly

This is a love story, but these characters are so bad, horrible people… but you still have to awe the love they had for each other, and the lengths in which they went to try to make it work.

If you have the time and can follow closely, I suggest this book, it’s a great classic.

TaTa for Now,
Amanda Ellen

Book 18 in the 2013 Booklist: City of Bones: Harry Bosch Series, Book 8 By Michael Connelly

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

City of Bones: Harry Bosch Series, Book 8 By Michael Connelly
Finished: May 22
Almost caught up! YAY!
This is another book in the Bosch series, and I have to say, this could almost be my favorite. I have always had a love of cold cases, and that is exactly what this book is all about! Here is RO’s posting that includes her take on the book along with some other Bosch related books I have posted about previously. I know that Taylor gets bored with all the cop books I read, but I have to say that Michael Connelly is a freaking genius with Bosch and the other character books that tie in with him. I really enjoy the twists and turns that each Bosch book makes. I honestly rate this series pretty high in my top series I’ve ever read. I have to agree with RO, that through this whole book I found myself questioning everything I thought I knew about Bosch! Is he getting too old for this, will he ever be truly happy, will he stay in the Hollywood division with Edgar… millions of questions, and a sort of cliff hanging ending to make me want to read the next! Good book Mr. Connelly, good job!
Amanda Ellen

A rare talk about good books!

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Normally I don’t write about books I’ve read, because I’m just not considerate enough to tell you folks what I find to be good or bad. But it seems I have had a run of good books lately, and I feel the need to share. If any of my readers read my friend RO’s Blog, she is always posting about the books she reads. Well, she started doing that this year. I was the one who actually talked her into reading the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

So, we’ll start there, because the Fifty Shades Trilogy is the beginning of my string of good books. In my opinion, Fifty Shades was nothing like I expected. Yes, it’s definitely smutty and has lots of sex. On the other hand though, it has a wonderful base story line and it made me laugh, cry, feel fear, disgust… you name the emotion and the author made it seem real for me. I loved the Fifty Shades trilogy, so much so that it made my short list of books I will probably read again. I know that RO was anxiously wanting to edit the book, but to me, the imperfections made it seem so much more real, rather than just a story. I fell in love with the characters, felt like I knew them, not many books can do that. Even once the third book ended, it left me wanting more, and I think that is the makings of a good book.

On to my next book in the good book string. After finishing the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, I went in the complete opposite direction and picked up a Stephen King book. This book was “Under the Dome”. I was iffy about it first and had somewhat of a hard time disciplining myself to listen to it, but honestly, I’m glad I did. This book was freaking awesome! I loved it, another book that I related with the characters and felt like I was there! It helps too that it had a pretty good narrator. I only read “Under the Dome” because Taylor suggested it, then RO suggested it, and another friend suggested it as well. So, I thought it was at least worth a try. I am happy I did, and if you aren’t a Stephen King fan because you think his stuff is scary or weird, I still highly suggest you read “Under the Dome” because it isn’t all that weird and it is a good read!

My next book after “Under the Dome” was “The Green Mile”. This is another Stephen King book, and probably one of my favorites. This is another book that even if you don’t like Stephen King, you should read this one. It made me cry, feel sympathy for types of people that normally disgust me, made me laugh, and gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. I was hooked from the start and highly suggest this book to everyone. Once you finish the book, go watch the movie, the movie is almost identical to the book, but it’s nice to put actual faces and voices with characters. Tom Hanks plays the man telling the story and I don’t like Tom Hanks, and he did an excellent job in the movie! The man who plays John Coffey was also good; Michael Clark Duncan is his name. That actor just recently passed away too, but he was a perfect John Coffey!

Now that I finished “The Green Mile” I have started book 1 in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. This is also a suggestion from Taylor and so far I have to say it’s not too bad. I’m almost done with book 1, and I have been told that the series only gets better from here. There are a total of 8 books in this series, so this ought to occupy me for a while.
I’ll have plenty of time to read over the next week as I am having eye surgery tomorrow. I believe they call it “optic nerve decompression”. This is just an attempt to help me keep whatever vision I have left. So, maybe once I finish the Dark Tower series, I’ll post about it too.

Until my next post, go read The Fifty Shades trilogy, Under the Dome, and The Green Mile. I promise they won’t disappoint!

TaTa for Now,
Amanda Ellen

Welcome to Amanda1226.com!!

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Hey guys!

Welcome to my self hosted WordPress blog! I bit the bullet and moved everything over to my own domain and stuff.

Everything is still in the works since today is my favorite geek’s birthday he’s taking the day off, and I am out here floundering around trying to make myself learn all this stuff for real.

So, I hope you guys make the transition with me to the new site. There’s going to be the same old stuff posted, just a new fancy domain name and a new more permanent home! 🙂

I hope you all enjoy reading and interacting with me.

If you have any suggestions or anything you can get them to me in the following ways:

Twitter: @amanda1226

Email: Amanda@amanda1226.com

Or just leave it in the comments on this post. 🙂


This post is to also help me see if I’ve got feedburner set up correctly, because for the 1st time I did it on my own instead of running to Steve crying for help 🙂


Well that’s it for now unless feedburner is going to be a bitch!


TaTa for now,

Amanda Ellen

Calling for 8th Round of Assistance Dog Carnival Posts!

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

Hey guys, My friends Brooke and Cessna are hosting the 8th round of the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival! This round’s theme is “Marchin’ To Your Own Drum”. Submissions are due by 7:47PM on July 29th. (Because Cessna likes that time :)) The finished product will be posted on July 31, people who might need extra time need to contact Brooke so that she can add your submissions as they come in. Here’s some example topics for those that are a bit worried about the topic: Does your assistance dog fit the traditional mould? (does he or she have any special quirks or behaviours?) Does your dog do things differently from past partners (or the partners of friends)? Why did you choose to go with a program dog after your owner-trained one retired? (or vice versa) Why did you choose a non-traditional breed for your partner? Did you have to overcome any sort of resistance from family, friends or employers when deciding to partner with an assistance dog? Have you witnessed any unique or special assistance dogs in action? (what made them stand out?) Did you have preconceived notions of what an assistance dog should look like, only to have them changed by witnessing one in action or reading about one?

I know I was a bit worried, because if I can get the post together, this will be my first Assistance Dog Blog Carnival submission. 🙂

But I encourage everyone to submit a post and get ready to read all the posts on July 31. The rest of the info needed can be found here

Looking forward to seeing what everyone has to contribute and Brooke and Cessna will be happy to see you as well 🙂

Amanda Ellen and Leah “The Princess”

6 years, my how time flys!

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Well, would you lookie there. It’s May 23 all over again.

This makes 6 years, 6 years since my life changed forever.

Today makes 6 years since they wheeled me into an operating room drilled a hole in my skull, played with my brains a bit, and shipped me back to my parents blind.

At the time we all thought it was temporary, but here I am 6 years later and not much has changed.

Well, at least not with my eye sight, but my life has changed in so many different and interesting ways.



If someone would have told me in December of 2005 that 6 months later I would have horrible headaches, blurred vision, then little to no vision, and this was all part of a disease that would plague me for the rest of my life, I might have just told you that I’m going to jump off a bridge and that my life will be completely over.

I was a dramatic teenager, but who isn’t?

I had a bright future, made the drill team at a local private college, scholarships to help my parents with the costs; I wouldn’t have to live in a dorm because the college was driving distance from home… I had friends and lots of them.

We partied, I thought I was in love, Ah, the graduating class of 2006 was a force to be reckoned with and we were prepared to make the world see that.

We had a lot of smart people in my class, and I would like to consider myself to be a part of that group.

I learned early how to manage my party and study time so that my grades didn’t suffer.

I was president of the school’s chapter of DECA (business and marketing club) and I was district secretary.

I had composed a monster paper about my favorite charity and made a kick ass PowerPoint to go along with it.

I was smart, bright, and ready to take on the world.

I feel grateful that I got to have the experiences I did while I was in school.

Being able to do the business and marketing competitions, be on the drill team for all 4 years of high school, run wild and crazy with my friends, and be able to be a normal teenager.


But now let’s fast forward, its 2012. I’m now 24 years old and its 6 years to the day that I lost the majority of the eye sight that I have lost up to this point. I’m really mostly happy with my life and the turns and changes it’s had. I didn’t get to go to that private college, or be on that college’s drill team, but I really think that I’m ok with that.

I think that this way has been better now than it’s ever been. I got myself out of a dangerous and horrible relationship. (This relationship was the same one from high school where I thought I was in love.) I’m in a new relationship, this one just helped me and Taylor celebrate our 5 year anniversary in April. I know I’m in love this time around. I’m older, wiser, and more aware of the hard knocks that life can throw at you and feel that I’m mostly more prepared for that now.

My parents live in Oklahoma City, I live outside the DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) area, and my sister still lives in the town we all grew up in.

I’m content for now. I’m close to finishing my bachelor’s degree in business administration; I’ve got the green light to get my masters after I take a semester off.

This whole going blind thing really hasn’t been too bad. This way I’ve saved myself and my parents a ton of money because the state of Texas pays the costs of my classes, I get financial aid for my books, and I don’t have to buy my own technology unless I want to. (I usually do buy my own tech)

I’ve got a wonderful guide dog that I love with my whole heart and wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world.

This is all brought to me by going blind.

If I hadn’t lost my sight, I might have not met Taylor; I might be like my sister and still live in the same hole in the wall town, and may just be stuck.

I also wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet lots of cool, interesting, nice, and awesome people.

I wouldn’t have heard about Guide Dogs for the Blind, or received Leah. I also don’t think that I would have come to love sports as much as I do without going blind. If it weren’t for going blind I might not have met RO, and then may not have been such a huge Rangers fan! Baseball and football make my life so much better, it’s nice to enjoy a game and only care about the game for a few hours!



I really can’t make myself sit down and try to figure out where my life would be if I had not lost my sight.

Comparing my way of thinking to my 18 year old self’s way of thinking, I think that going blind could’ve been one of the best things that ever happened to me, and I can’t say that I would change anything if I could.

My 18 year old self is screaming at me from the inside calling me all kinds of ugly names, but just give her time… she’ll grow up and realize that things are pretty good from where I’m sitting.

I’ll admit there have been drawbacks to the blind thing, and yes they can be frustrating. This doesn’t mean that I spend my days longing to have my sight back.

This just means that yeah, every once in a while I find myself saying that if I had my sight this task wouldn’t be as hard or impossible without help.

I love my life, surgeries, crazy friends, up and down emotions, grumpy boyfriend, crazy loveable pup, twitter friends, network of friends and family from my hometown on Facebook. I enjoy visiting my parents whatever part of the country they might be in at that time.

I love Taylor’s family even though they drive me up the wall sometimes; I love my family even though we would like to wring each other’s necks sometimes.

But mostly I love life.

I can’t wait to finish school and see what life has in store for me outside the institution of school’s walls.  I’m thankful for the people that have entered and left and stayed in my life.

I think that by having such great friends it has made it possible for me to love my life this much.

I thank Taylor for loving me and being there for me in his own special way.

I thank Taylor’s family for doing what they do for us, because it’s honestly more than I can name.

I thank my parent’s for not giving up on me when things didn’t look so great.

I thank Twitter, without Twitter I wouldn’t know the awesome Canadians I know. I love my Canadians, and you guys are awesome!

I thank all of you guys, all of you have contributed in some way to help make my life as great as it is.


Thanks everyone for being a part of this melting pot I call life!

Here’s to another 6 years and many more to come!

Lots of Love,

Amanda Ellen

Day 17 of workouts, a life lesson learned, and the surprise revealed

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Just a tip for anyone who cares, *do not get completely shit faced the night before a workout, it will not end well in the next days workout*

lol Yeah, learned my lesson the hardway… but I managed to muster through it. And now on to the workout for today:

Set 1:

1 ab circuit 6 reps

20 girl push ups

1 set of lunges 10 reps

6 regular push ups

25 crunches

Set 2:

1 ab circuit 6 reps

20 girl push ups

1 set of lunges 10 reps

6 regular push ups

25 crunches


4 minutes at 2 MPH

14 minutes at 3 MPH

Betcha thought that I forgot that today was reveal the surprise day didn’t ya? Nope, I didn’t, I’m just stringing you along 🙂

But yeah, today’s workout was extremely difficult for me, and I can only come up with 2 reasons, 1 was because I got shit faced last night, or 2 is because I did a little more cardio yesterday to compensate for the ice cream I had for supper last night 🙂

Before you go assuming that I did extra cardio on the treadmill, I’m going to say that you are wrong! hahaha I did my extra cardio on my surprise that I got yesterday! Best part is the surprise was free 🙂 Well, guess I’ve strung you along long enough.. and the surprise is… a new to me excersise bike!! Taylor’s grandparents bought it a few years ago at a garage sale and they weren’t using it, so it’s “on loan” to me…:) I think they were happy to find someone who would use it and give it a good home.. and I’m happy to do both of those! So, of course with every new toy, you’ve got to try it out.. so I did it! I managed to do 10 minutes at a brisk pace yesterday. Riding the bike really works a whole new set of muscles I haven’t used before! But to settle my off day antsyness, I’m going to ride my bike on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s… I’m hoping to be able to move past 10 minutes once my muscles learn the routine with the bike! I’m so excited, this is something I really wanted! I even made myself a bicycle playlist to randomly shuffle through so I have good music while I ride! Well, I guess that is it for today!

See you on Monday,

Amanda Ellen

Day 16 of workouts, a hint at a surprise, and the letter of the day : )

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

So kids, todays letter is S.

Using “S” in a sentence, I’m sweating my ass off today! :p

Its been a rather mild day outside today, but its sweat time in my house. Think today’s theme is sweating, sweating, and more sweating! But no complaints, I think of the drops of sweat as little drops of calories dripping off my body 🙂

So, here’s today’s new and improved workout:

Set 1:

1 ab circuit 6 reps

1 set of lunges 10 reps

3 sets of 8 reps for the weight work out

25 crunches

Set 2:

1 ab circuit 6 reps

1 set of lunges 10 reps

3 sets of 8 reps for the weight work out

25 crunches


4 minutes at 2 MPH

14 minutes at 3 MPH

Keep in mind that weights are a wednesday thing and have not yet become a permanent part of the routine for all work out days 🙂 I’m really sweating today!

I only did a back to backer today because I hate to get my self off schedule, so this was my attempt on keeping myself on the Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule! I have a surprise for my readers on Friday! This surprise is a new toy, one that I’m excited to add to my household 🙂 I supposed it could be said to be on loan, but if I play my cards right, it’ll be mine for all intensive purposes! Sweating, sweating, and more sweating… Oh, and my legs still look great today 🙂 I upped the treadmill time today, I’m now at 14 minutes at 3 MPH on the treadmill! I’m also getting better with my eating habits, and I’m starting to learn that I need at least 3 meals a day, not just 2. Today really kicked my ass with the weight workouts, my arms are resembling something close to jelly, but it’s ok because it feels great! Oh, and this is day 2 of the antihistimine/decongestant experiment, and I have to say that I started to get a headache around 12, but I took the meds at 1 and no headache! This makes me hopeful that this is all sinus/allergy related after all! So, after all this sweating, its time for me to hit the showers, finish up getting supper cooked, and relax with some TV time!

Until Friday,

Amanda Ellen