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Archive for June, 2013

A life update post

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

Just putting a life update out there, giving whatever people who read my blog a break from the book postings, on which I’m now 3 books behind again. Anyways, I am working on a new project I created for myself, creating a webpage that I can link to here with my pictures from my most semi-recent academic achievements. These pictures do include my little princess Leah, and some family and friends. I have always had a fascination with pictures even when I could see, and I never let it go. Not sure if any sighted people read or know of my site, but I just feel the need to put it out there I guess. So, yeah, I graduated in May with my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. I start working on my master’s degree in the fall; I am going for a Master’s of Science, Leadership and Management. Sounds like fun huh?

I was able to make it through my final semester of undergrad without needing surgery. (This has been something that has been the odd occurrence since like 2010.) Alas, the surgery bug didn’t stay away for good though. I am having surgery this Friday, June 28, to remove or clamp off my back right shunt system. This is because the system only works when it wants, and currently it has wanted to work semi-decently and I have been suffering from low spinal fluid levels, and been absolutely miserable. The valve for the system is adjustable, but the valve is broken because the doctor was unable to adjust it normally. So, at least this surgery is happening between semesters, and I can recover at a leisurely pace and not feel rushed to get back to school work. It will suck because it is just starting to get hot here in Texas, and I hate being hot… especially after surgery since it is likely to make me real sick. So, I will be doing my best to stay cool. I am a little nervous about this surgery because it isn’t something I have done before, and there is a slightly higher risk of hemridging than when putting in or replacing parts in a shunt system. This doesn’t mean to say that this procedure is highly dangerous or anything, but the risk is there with this procedure, where with the others it really isn’t. I have the surgeon I wanted to do the surgery, my mom will be at the hospital with me, and I have finally learned to put my foot down and demand what I believe is what I want and best for me. So, yeah, feeling a bit empowered after graduating I guess! 

I wanted to do a whole post dedicated to graduation, but due to my recent health issues, I do not feel that I could do it justice, so I’m just going to touch on it here. I graduated in the top 20% of my class with a 3.4 GPA. I was accepted to grad school before attaining my degree, based solely on my under grad grades, and that made me feel like my hard work was starting to pay off. Also, because of my excellent grades, I was able to get into grad school without the standardized testing that is usually required! So, yeah, kind of stoked about the fall to see how bad grad school really will be. I’m also sort of job hunting to give myself a chance to get some experience and to earn some extra cash since I won’t be getting any financial aid for grad school.

I think that’s all I got for now, time for food, coffee, and to lay down a bit before I fall over. Damn fluid levels.
Hope you have enjoyed the break from book postings, and if you ever have any questions or want to know about anything I post, please feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll get back with you ASAP!

TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

P.S.
When I feel better I’ll post another life type post, and a link to the picture page.

Book 19 in the 2013 Booklist: Small Favor: The Dresden Files, Book 10 by Jim Butcher

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Small Favor: The Dresden Files, Book 10 by Jim Butcher
Finished: June 4
See, now we really are almost caught up, too bad I have 1 more posting left, and no ability to get it out! 🙁
This is yet another Dresden book, and I will be totally sad when this series is over! This book has to do with a “small favor” that Dresden owes to Mab, the Queen of the Winter Fae. It starts with Dresden teaching his apprentice how to make shields in her backyard while her sibilings throw snowballs at her. They are quickly interuppted by none other than the Billy Goat Gruffs! There is more than three of them in Dresden, but I still had to laugh a bit. In Dresden, the gruffs are enforcers of the Summer Fae court and they are after Dresden. The Gruffs are Servants of Summer and the origin of the Three Billy Goats Gruff story, with the heads, fur, and legs of goats but the torso and arms of a man (albeit a large man). They increase in size, much as the storybook version, as they become older, until apparently the Eldest Gruff. This is apparently also reflective of their temperament, growing larger and angrier until the Eldest Gruff, who appears to be extremely level headed, and even reluctant to finish his task. The Eldest Gruff is of the size of a wizened human, but with incredible magical power . Queen Mab offers the winter knightship to Dresden once again, and again he refuses. Dresden is charged by Mab to protect our good friend, and local crime lord, Johnny Marcone. The Fallen Angel things are back from the book Death Masks. The Archive, or “Ivy” is back too with Kincaid as well. A really good book and like other Dresden books before it, I can’t wait to get to the next one! Almost there too, and it’s going to be great!
TaTa,
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!
TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 17 in the 2013 Booklist: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
Finished: May 19
This is a book I have been wanting to read since I was a junior or senior in highschool and just finally got around to it. I really enjoy all things Wizard of OZ, and this means I’ll probably see that new OZ movie that just came out. Anyways, this book gives you an in depth look at the Wicked Witch of the West. This helps you understand her a bit better, and it was nice to give her a back story. You also learn about her sister the Wicked Witch of the East, and learn some interesting things about her. Glenda makes an appearance here to, and in fact she becomes almost a focal character. Dorothy shows up later, but you’ll have to read the book to find out what role she plays in this. I did not like how this book made the Wizard of OZ to be , and I mean the man, not the actual story. I can kind of understand why he was portrayed the way he was, but *shrugs* I guess I am a sucker for the movie. I also liked that the “ruby slippers” have a back story as well. This book goes all the way to the end of the Wicked Witch of the West, this means to the point where Dorothy throws the water on her! “I’m melting, I’m melting!” hahahaha I say if you like the Wizard of OZ, you might want to check this book out. I will warn, that this book was incredibly long, or at least it seemed that way because there was a lot of filler, and that a lot of the filler could have been done with out, but all in all, it is an alright book. I’m glad I finally had the chance to check it out!
So, if you were ever curious about the Wicked Witch of the West, then go read this book, it is good, and has a pretty decent narrator as well!
TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 16 in the 2013 Booklist: 12th of Never by James Patterson

Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

12th of Never by James Patterson
finished: May 12
Author Note:
****
Please bear with me, I’m still playing catch up on the few moments I have that I still feel human! So, that’s why this book is posted as finished in early May, and it’s the end of June and I’m just now posting! Also, my reading has really dropped off, and this makes me sad!
****
This book is book 12 in a series I started by James Patterson when I first went to blind “rehab” and have kept up with it ever since. The books are short, it really is a cliche, but I can’t help but grab the newest book when it comes out. This series is about a group of women who work in different fields of law enforcement, and 1 reporter. I really enjoy it, and if you like cop books with lots of oozzy sweetness, sweet goodness, steamy scenes sometimes, some eye rollers, and a few gruesome scenes then I suggest you check it out. The first book is 1st to Die: The Women’s Murder Club The series is refered to as The Womens Murder Club. My mom bought me the first 6 or 7 books on CD, and I just kep adding to it from Audible ever since. Taylor occcasionally listens with me, but these books are mainly for my own pleasure, and I enjoy them despite the eye rolling tendencies the series has.
Guess that’s it for this one, I like the series, go check it out!
TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 15 in the 2013 Booklist: White Night: The Dresden Files, Book 9 by Jim Butcher

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

White Night: The Dresden Files, Book 9 by Jim Butcher
Finished: April 30

I should have prefaced the last post with this, but forgot. I am really behind on book postings, and will likely be flooding the blog with the posts I’m behind on. If I don’t get them all done today, I’ll certainly be working on getting caught up soon, because I’m out of school for the summer! I’ll write a seperate post about that when I’ve got the energy to do the posting some justice. Anyways, back to the book posts now!
This isn’t something I do often, read back to back Dresden books, but I really wanted to get to the next one after the prior one, Proven Guilty . I was not disappointed with this book either! Jim Butcher has to be like a master genius or something with how good these books are. This book involves a lot of different people and characters. I am really liking that Thomas has become sort of a main character now, helping Harry out where needed. In this book though, Harry’s first love, and sort of partner in crime from his messed up childhood, Elaine, is back. I have to say that I really have started to like her. In this book she plays the role of private investigator, the same thing that Dresden does. She is in charge of helping an order of witches protect themselves from the recent rash of magic practitioners that have been murdered. This brings the vampires back in to center focus, because the vampires are behind the murders. Except, instead of the Red Court, this time it is some of the White Court vampires. Marcone is back with a health club/ brothel that he gives Dresden an exclusive membership to. One of the ladies from the order goes missing just for Dresden to find out that she is working for Marcone at this new health club of his. With her help of supplying information, Dresden figures out who the bad guy is, and how they have inside information. Dresden and a new warden, Ramirez take out the bad guy without Elaine’s help. The battle is very long, and much is revealed and some of it to do with Thomas’ sister, Lara. Since Marcone helped Dresden in the battle, he agrees to help Marcone become a signatory of “The Unseelie Accords”. Dresden is most interested in what Thomas’ new job has been that he refuses to divulge any information about. Dresden then follows him to a trendy boutique-coffee shop. Thomas explains he put himself through cosmetology school and opened this hair salon; nothing illegal or immoral is involved. Dresden is relieved that Thomas’ job is nothing horrible, and the two reconcile their differences over coffee.
TaTa,
Amanda Ellen

Book 14 in the 2013 Booklist: Proven Guilty: The Dresden Files, Book 8 by Jim Butcher

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

Proven Guilty: The Dresden Files, Book 8 by Jim Butcher
Finished: April 21

This was the 8th book in the Dresden series, and a very different one in my opinion.
This one had little to do with vampires, which have been center staged pretty much for the last few books. This one introduced some new points that changed the series from here on out. Someone Harry knows is revealed to be a wizard themselves, and more is revealed about a sort of side character. There is more and more involvement of the faerie courts, Lilly and Vix from the book Summer Knight are back. This book takes us in to Winter’s realm of Faerie, and I found it kind of interesting.This book deals with some horror movie villans, and I found it entertaining to try and match the book’s movie villans with the movie villans of reality. A character that was not very important up to this book, now becomes a staple character in the books that follow. I really enjoyed this book, although it probably wasn’t exactly my favorite book this far. I still highly suggest to anyone that they read the Dresden series, it is a lot of fun to read, and I get sucked in to every new book I start!
That’s all for now,
TaTa,
Amanda Ellen