It’s Top 10 Tuesday hosted by brokeandbookish.com and this week’s topic is “Top New Series I Want To Start (New..let’s say within the last year or two)”. I decided to just go with 10 book series that I want to start no matter how old they are. Some of these are books sitting on my bookshelf already just waiting for me to get to them.
• Across the Universe series by Beth Revis
• Razorland trilogy by Ann Agguire
• Paradox trilogy by Rachel Bach
• Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness
• The Partials Sequence series by Dan Wells
• Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld
• Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
• Taken series by Erin Bowman
• Starbound series by Amie Kaufman
• Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman
In case you didn’t know from all the flailing lately, I’m off to Australia in 12 days!!! That’s less than two weeks. Seriously.
We leave on the 1st and will be gone for two whole weeks (totally not long enough). So I’m looking to see if anyone is interested in guest posting while I’m gone. I’ll give you a second to calm down from your insane excitement at the possibility. My blog is pretty all over the place, so whatever you want to post about, I’m sure I’ll be thrilled by the idea.
If you’re interested, just shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you’d like to post about.
By Adam Sternbergh
Published January 2014 by Crown
Spademan used to be a garbage man. That was before the dirty bomb hit Times Square, before his wife was killed, and before the city became a bombed-out shell of its former self. Now he’s a hitman.
In a New York City split between those who are wealthy enough to “tap into” a sophisticated virtual reality for months at a time and those left to fend for themselves in the ravaged streets, Spademan chose the streets. His clients like that he doesn’t ask questions, that he works quickly, and that he’s handy with a box cutter. He finds that killing people for money is not that different from collecting trash, and the pay is better. His latest client hires him to kill the daughter of a powerful evangelist. Finding her is easy, but the job quickly gets complicated: his mark has a shocking secret and his client has an agenda far beyond a simple kill. Now Spademan must navigate the dual levels of his world-the gritty reality and the slick fantasy-to finish the job, to keep his conscience clean, and to stay alive.
This is a depressing book. Times square was hit by a dirty bomb, and years later the whole city is in squalor. Those that remain are either filthy rich, or dirt poor. The rich spend their lives hooked into a virtual world, slowly wasting away in the real world. I’m all for dystopian but there are no heroes in this book. Spademan is a hitman, he kills people for money, no questions asked. But for some reason he decides to help his latest target and it turns into a weird story about a religious tycoon and his virtual reality world that doesn’t quite make sense.
The sciencey part in the science-fiction of this story just didn’t really work. I wasn’t quite sure how the virtual reality world functioned. Where it could have been a really intriguing plot device, it just fell flat and wasn’t really used other than for people to talk and beat each other up.
One of the biggest issues for me was the lack of interesting characters. I just didn’t really care for any of them. Sure you wanted Spademan to triumph and save the girl, but I wouldn’t have really cared one way or the other. Then there was the gore. There’s quite a lot of throat cutting and the descriptions had me a bit queasy and glossing over it.
The writing style is very unique. It’s short and to the point. When there’s dialogue, it’s literally just the dialogue, no he said, she said. There’s not even any quotations which at times got a little confusing. Spademan is constantly going back to the past and explaining what happened, and at one point I thought he was doing that again, but then I realized he was actually talking to someone. It got a little confusing at times, and would have to stop and re-read it. But I actually appreciated the shortness in narration as the book would have dragged too much without it.
“Shovel Ready” is a really quick read, and for the right reader, this may be an enjoyable book, but the sci-fi fell short, it lacked any interesting characters, and had a lackluster story line. If this doesn’t sound like your thing, then it’s really not.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for my honest review
The other day Zack asked me if I had a chalkboard that we could use to hang up in the basement as a scoreboard for the dart board (yea, throw more “boards” in that sentence). My over-enthusiastic response: “No, but I’ll make you one!” *claps with glee*
So over the weekend I wondered off to the local Salvation Army store in search of a cheap frame. I found one for $3 that I quite liked (and after cleaing it I liked it even more I almost didn’t want to spray paint it). Then I went to Lowes and bought a can of coloured spray paint and some spray chalkboard paint.
I took the glass out and spray painted the frame. The back of the frame didn’t come out, it was a fold out one, so the back got painted too. I just followed the directions on the can for coats and dry time.
(Such a pretty colour! *pets it* It’s Valspar “Nautical” in case you’re wondering)
And did the same to the glass with the chalkboard spray paint.
I basically went back and forth doing coats between them. I did two coats on the frame as directed. The chalkboard I did 4 coats, just because I wasn’t sure how well it would go on the glass.
To prep the surface of the chalkboard, it’s suggested that you first rub the chalkboard with chalk. I don’t know why, it’s just what I see everyone do, so I did it too. I guess so whatever you write first isn’t forever etched on it.
I used some twine to tie a piece of chalk to the back of the frame.
Put the chalkboard glass in the frame.
And then hung it in the basement.
I think it looks great!
Zack has been teasing me that the colour is too girly for his “man cave” but he can suck it up, I wanted to buy a colour that I would use again. And I do adore the colour.
But the chalkboard seems to work well. I haven’t tried scratching it off or anything, but it didn’t come off when I used it, that’s always a plus.
So the whole project took me about an hour for all the spray painting, then it was just letting it dry over night. It cost me about $13. Yes, it would be cheaper to go to the store and buy a cheap, little chalkboard, but that’s including the cans of spray paint which can now be used for anything and everything. I’ve been looking around rooms in the house pondering what would look good in “Nautical” (hint: everything! … here kitty, kitty! I joke… maybe).
But it’s a fun, easy afternoon project. And it looks so much prettier than a plain chalkboard. What do you think?