Thursday, March 24, 2016

Reading...Iron Hearted Violet

Iron Hearted Violet Iron Hearted Violet, by Kelly Barnhill was an impulse read. I was at the library for toddler storytime, and it's gorgeous cover stood out on a display of middle grade fantasy. Middle grade fantasy can be a fun refreshing change from long and/or heavy adult fantasy, plus I'm on the lookout these days for good fantasy to recommend to my niece. I'm happy to say that I really enjoyed Iron Hearted Violet. Here's the Goodreads synopsis (which for once says pretty much exactly what I wanted to): 
Princess Violet is plain, reckless, and quite possibly too clever for her own good. Particularly when it comes to telling stories. One day she and her best friend, Demetrius, stumble upon a hidden room and find a peculiar book. A forbidden book. It tells a story of an evil being—called the Nybbas—imprisoned in their world. The story cannot be true—not really. But then the whispers start. Violet and Demetrius, along with an ancient, scarred dragon, may hold the key to the Nybbas’s triumph . . . or its demise. It all depends on how they tell the story. After all, stories make their own rules.
Iron Hearted Violet is a story of a princess unlike any other. It is a story of the last dragon in existence, deathly afraid of its own reflection. Above all, it is a story about the power of stories, our belief in them, and how one enchanted tale changed the course of an entire kingdom.
The book was just as charming as it sounds. The book is narrated by the castle storyteller, which gives it a nice intimate, yet detached point of view. It sounds like a fairy tale. There's clearly a message to the story -- a fantastic message, one of confidence, loyalty, truth, and forging your own path. But the message isn't heavy handed or obnoxious.

Bottom line, if you're looking for a classic-feeling fairy tale with a bit of a twist (or you know a kid who is), this is a solid choice.

Monday, March 7, 2016

A Monday List

1. I've been almost sitting down to write blog posts for days now. I've even got a few thoughts that might end up as entire posts by themselves, but today is a list kind of day.

2. I had the best run today I've had in a really long time. Sixties, cloudy, slightly breezy but not overly windy, and I just felt in the groove. My pace was better than it's been since....well, since a while. Oh, and speaking of running, an old college roommate of mine just won the Little Rock Marathon! How cool is that? Way to go, Tia!

3. Right now I'm reading a bit of historical fiction -- Storm Clouds Rolling In, by Ginny Dye. I'm busy and distracted with a few projects right now, so I haven't gotten very far, but it was a gift from a trusted friend and fellow reader, so I"m looking forward to it. I'm also listening to Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson. Fun fantasy with a detective story kind of feel.

4. Speaking of Brandon Sanderson, we went to a book signing of his a couple of weeks ago. Matrim's first book sigining! (Christina's was Patrick Rothfuss...we're trying to raise the children right).

5. PSA: when the grocery store runs the fancy expensive yogurt on sale DO NOT BUY IT. Because then you will want to buy it all the time because it is delicious. Can you tell I'm currently obsessed with Noosa yoghurt? The only thing saving me is that my grocery store carries the plain and vanilla in the larger tubs, and it's currently stocked at my Costco at a significant discount over the grocery store. This stuff is delicious.

6. It's spring in Houston (the pine pollen is coating everything, so it's official). Aside from the disgusting yellow pollen coating everything which I'm basically trying to pretend doesn't exist, I do love Houston in the springtime. The air feels and smells fresh and green and slightly tropical. The longer days are great, the nights are cool, and as of right this moment the mosquitos aren't trying to eat my alive yet (it's raining the rest of the week so...we'll see about next week).