Tag: patrick rothfuss

Books to Keep Warm With this Winter

Well, the weather here in Bloomington isn’t exactly super wintry, but it definitely is a bit rainy here – and one of my favorite things to do when it’s rainy and wet out, aside from crafting, is reading – as I’m sure you’ve all figured out by now. 🙂 And since most of us are probably enjoying some much needed time off, how about picking up one of these books to keep warm with while enjoying the holidays?  I’ve read all of these, and they definitely rank as some of my favorites.

The Finishing School Series, by Gail Carriger

D1Q5RERz1OS._SL250_If you’re interested in steampunk, you might want to read the Finishing School series by one of my most favorite authors, Gail Carriger.  The entire series is out now, with the last book only having been released in November.  Follow the adventures of Sophronia Temminick as she enters into a finishing school that’s not quite what she’s initially expecting… There are plenty of exciting adventures in the series to keep you reading for hours!  I’m currently re-reading my way through the series.

The Finishing School Series on Amazon

 

The Explosionist, by Jenny Davidson

explosionistIf you’re an alternate history fan, or interested in a good murder mystery, give The Explosionist a read.  Set just before World War II, in Scotland, the story follows a sixteen year old girl named Sophie who ends up pulled into an investigation of the sudden death of a spiritual medium that had a strange message for her…  The book was a little odd at points, but it was definitely a page turner, and I’d recommend it for a good afternoon read.

The Explosionist on Amazon

 

 

 

The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss

notwHow on earth have I not recommended this book on my blog yet?  This book pulled me out of a depressive funk years ago, where I hadn’t read a single in an entire year (!!) – I tore through this in a week.  This is part one of a three-book series, following the story of Kvothe, a magician and musician with quite a storied past.  I’m not sure how much I can say about this without giving away too much of the plot, so all I will say about this book is that you won’t be able to put it down – everyone I’ve talked to who’s read it has said the same thing.

The Name of the Wind on Amazon

 

 

Written in Red, by Anne Bishop

writteninredAnne Bishop is an author whose books I’ve been enjoying for years – her first books were very good, and as she’s written more and more, her stories and writing style just keep getting better.  I’ve mentioned The Others series on my blog before, and Written in Red is the first book in the series. It focuses on Meg, a young woman who can tell the future when her skin is cut, and her escape from her handlers that ends with her seeking safety in the Lakeside Courtyard.  However, that’s only the beginning of the story – trouble ends up following her to the Courtyard…  For those of you who like fantasy novels and supernatural creatures, such as shapeshifters, this book (and the series it’s part of) will definitely catch your attention.

Written in Red on Amazon

 

Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach

fortuneFortune’s Pawn was the first of many books read in Gail Carriger’s book group – it’s a sci-fi story set mainly in outer space, focusing on the story of Devi, a mercenary, as she takes up a new position on an allegedly cursed trade ship, the Glorious Fool.  Along with Devi, you’ll meet an interesting cast of characters, including the strong and attractive Rupert, the daydreamy Nova, and Ren, who proves to be quite a mystery.  If you like Firefly, Star Wars, or other space dramas, you’ll enjoy Fortune’s Pawn.

Fortune’s Pawn on Amazon

Game Review: Pairs (or: What to do while waiting for GenCon housing access)

Well, I found myself with some unexpected time on my hands today, and I’ve been intending to review this game for a bit, so….

 

Pairs: The Review

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I’ve had this game on a shelf since September, waiting for the chance to get to play it.  I discovered the Kickstarter for Pairs through Patrick Rothfuss’ blog, sometime last spring, and eagerly backed the project and snagged three decks as a result.  (I mean, come on, Pat could put his name on anything and I’d be likely to back it.)  There were many decks available to choose from, and I picked three with artwork from Pat Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicles series, as I do love those books and was curious to see Shane Tyree and Nate Taylor’s artistic interpretation of the characters I’ve enjoyed reading about.  Once the decks finally got delivered, I opened them all up, looked at the beautiful artwork, and then set them in my “let’s play this later” pile on my bookshelf.

There are even more games, but they don't quite fit on the bookshelf...
There are even more games, but they don’t quite fit on the bookshelf…

Fast forward to today – the day housing access opens up on Gen Con’s website!  I eagerly awaited the coming of 12:00 pm, to see how long of a wait I’d have to get to the housing portal…

WHAT
WHAT

So, Ross and I figured this would be a good time to pick up Pairs and play.    Based on what I’d heard about it from the Kickstarter page, and what I’d read in the rules when I’d first opened the games, it seemed pretty simple – points were earned by getting a pair of cards, and the person with the highest score lost.  So, going off of that, we figured we’d shuffle the cards (which turned into an ordeal, due to the fact that neither of us can properly shuffle a deck of cards without turning it into a game of 52 Pick-Up) and start a game!  I read off the rules while Ross and I took turns slowly shuffling the deck – and the rules ended up being a little less straightforward than we initially thought…

It took Ross and I a little while to put the rules in terms we could wrap our brains around...
It took Ross and I a little while to put the rules in terms we could wrap our brains around…

Gameplay, for Ross and I, went as follows: Whoever dealt took five cards from the deck and put them face-down to start the discard deck, as the rules suggested, and then the dealer passed out a card to each of us – whoever had the lowest card went first.  Then, we’d take turns drawing cards, hoping neither of us would end up with a pair – especially a high scoring pair.  (The deck is a pyramid deck – there’s one 1, two 2s, three 3s, and so on, making your chances of getting a high numbered card pretty large.)  When one of us ended up with a pair, that ended the round – we’d set aside a card from that pair to keep score, and the rest went into the discard pile.  We repeated that until one of us hit 31 points, the suggested “losing” score number that the rules gave us.

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A round in progress…

 

It was actually pretty fun – and once we figured out what we were doing, we enjoyed it.  I think we ended up playing three games – I lost twice, Ross lost once.  It didn’t help too much that Ross kept commenting on the artwork on the cards – it hinted at what cards he had, haha.  The artwork for the Commonwealth Deck (the one we played with), done by Shane Tyree, is absolutely gorgeous. While I wish the art focused on specific characters in the Kingkiller Chronicles, the game is mentioned to be played in the universe of the stories – and characters from the story seeing themselves on a card, well, that’d be rather odd.

Steve enjoyed the game, too.  He thought it was tasty.
Steve enjoyed the game, too. He thought it was tasty.

Overall, it was a pretty fun game, and a good way to kill time.  I think it might have been even more fun with more people playing, but for Ross and I, it was pretty good too.  I might even bring this along with me if I’m going out to eat with a group of people, as a fun way of keeping everyone entertained while waiting for food.  If you want to learn more, visit the Pairs page on Cheapass Games’ website!

Well, killed some more time...
Well, killed some more time…

And it meant a half-hour’s worth of time not spent looking at the computer, anxiously waiting our turn for housing.  (At the time of this writing, I’ve got fourteen and a half minutes left – I hope hope hope there’s still room in the JW Marriott or even the Hampton Inn…)

GenCon 2013 Photos: Day 1 and 2

This is the post you’ve all been waiting for (or one of them, anyway) – part one of my massive photo dump of shots from GenCon 2013!  There are plenty of pictures that I took, with a little assistance from Mr. Crafty Nerd – hope everyone enjoys them! Due to the fact that there are so many pictures, shots from Day 3 and 4 are in a separate post so that way things don’t slow to a crawl here!  Enjoy! 😀

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