Friday, September 28, 2012

Football Friday – Deciding if this SEC thing is for realz

I strongly dislike the SEC.  Yes, they have had some great teams but as an overall conference I don’t think they are that much better than some of the other AQ conferences and they cheat (see oversigning).  Yet they always seem to get all the media love, and as a big ten fan, I hate that! So, this weekend I will be attending my first SEC conference football game, and I hope to be impressed.

Michigan has a bye this week, which allows me to take a closer look at thing happening elsewhere.  Since I live in Lexington, I’ve decide to take in the UK vs South Carolina game this weekend.  I know UK isn’t exactly a powerhouse of the SEC when it come to football, but they are playing a top 10 team and it is the SEC so it’s suppose to be better than anything else, right?  I will report back with how the atmosphere is different at SEC vs Big Ten and if the football played really is that much better than anywhere else in the country (which I know it won’t be).  Also I will get to see if people really dress better to go to these games, and I may have to step up my game and actually look cute for a football game!
There really aren’t very many good games this week, but Big Ten conference play starts and there are two decent matchups there.  Wisconsin vs Nebraska was suppose to be a battle of two of the best big ten teams last year but Wisconsin ran away with it pretty early, I wouldn’t be surprised if the opposite were to happen this year.  MSU vs OSU is the other big one, I really just want both teams to look bad and have it turn into a giant slop-fest, and then declare them both losers for cheating.  But really this game is a total toss-up, I think it will be close and I can’t even venture a guess as to who might come out on top.
That’s it for this week, I will report back soon with my thoughts on an SEC game vs a Big Ten (and possibly vs a Pac-12) game.  Spoiler alert; I think the Big Ten will come out on top!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Book Review - The Mercury Fountain by Eliza Factor

How did I come into possession of this book?
This book came from the LibraryThing Early reviews program (Which by the way, I love.  I find that I receive way more book from here than its equivalent on Goodreads, which I have yet to receive a book from.)

First Lines:
“The scream must have come from Casa Grande.  There were no other houses, no trees or huts, no jackals, only the bone-white road, the dusty scrub.”  (Factor 9)

What is it about?
The book takes place near the Mexico, Texas boarder in the early 1900s.  The story centers on the Scraperton family who have made the town of Pristina very prosperous because of the mercury there.  However, as with any Utopian society, things don’t stay perfect and the book follows all of trials and conflicts the family has to endure.

What did I think?
This was not the book I expected when I read the blurb on the early reviewers page.  I am a huge dystopian/utopian society fan, but I think most of those sorts of books I read are in the young adult genre and therefore I wasn’t prepared for such a heavy book.  This is not an easy quick read; in fact, I will be reading it again to get the full idea of all that happened.  By the time I got to the end I finally had in my mind who everyone was and how the town fit together and I just felt like I had missed so much while reading the rest of the book and trying to place where all the characters were.  I did really enjoy this book, it is wonderfully written and the characters are quite interesting and unique.

Who would I recommend it to?
As long as you don’t go into this thinking it’s going to be a light, easy read you will enjoy this book.  I can see it being a great book to discuss in a book club or similar situation.  And it really is just a great piece of literature, I highly recommend it!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Book Review - In Dreams by Robert Logan

How did I come into possession of this book?
Another book from Jagged Edge reviews.  Sounded like a book I would enjoy, so I requested it!

First Lines:
“A tourist might have called Magnolia Creek, “quaint,” he supposed.  But Jack Corbitt knew the little town just a few miles west of Boulder, Colorado, was a good place with good people.”  (Logan 1)

What is it about?
Jack has been battling cancer all his life, and when it makes reappearance after being gone for many years he is willing to do anything to get rid of it.  There is a new medical procedure that sends him into crazy dreams that he is sure are affecting current events.  When he tries to alter the outcomes he realizes he is having quite the impact on current events as well.

What did I think?
I read this book very quickly and it was a great book for that.  It kept me interested throughout but when I was done with it I felt a bit unfulfilled.  I don’t think there was a single twist in the plot and you knew exactly how the story would play out from very early on.  I’m always waiting for that great twist and I was even making up ones in my head before the book ended, but nothing like that ever happened.  I’m not sure if it was too much foreshadowing or just too much of a straight forward story, but it disappointed me.

Who would I recommend it to?
Again, it was a good quick read, with some interesting ideas and things that happen.  The main plot idea of going to the past in dreams is something I haven’t seen before in a book so it’s new in that aspect to me and probably to others reading it.  If you like thrillers this one is a good pick, especially for its uniqueness.  But if you’re like me and need some big plot twists this might not be the book for you!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Football Friday: Maybe this week the Big Ten won’t embarrass themselves…

So I think I cursed the Big Ten.  I’m sorry, I won’t do it again.  I won’t expect anything out of this conference again all season.  So yeah, the Big Ten has already made a mess of everything and it is only week 2!

This week is a bit lackluster, some conferences are starting their conference games but some, like the Big Ten, aren’t.  One of the early games I’m interested in is Cal vs OSU.  I would love to see Cal come into Columbus and beat OSU, but I doubt that will happen.  From what I’ve seen of Cal football, they are usually disappointing.  At one point Arkansas vs Alabama was suppose to be a good game then Arkansas lost to ULM, I think you can thank John L Smith for that!  Florida vs Tennessee is where gameday is heading, this is a terrible choice of location.  Two average teams that are over ranked just because they are in the SEC, no thanks. 
The do have good colors
Then there is the Michigan game vs the Minutemen of UMass.  This should be easier than Air Force was last week, but if it isn’t, I will be extremely worried about the rest of the season.  I’m interested to see how long they keep Denard in the game and who comes in as his back-up when he is pulled.
There are two night games that I am interested in.  USC vs Stanford should be a good PAC-12 game. I really hope Stanford can put up a good fight (or just win!) and show everyone that USC isn’t that good (and I kinda like Standford, just don't tell all my Cal friends that!).  The other night game is Notre Dame vs MSU.  I have no clue who to root for in this game, but I would like to watch it to see how both teams look against a similar opponent.  I will be surprised if one side takes off with the game, I think it will be a close one and I think ND might just come out on top (and who cares if I jinx them, as long as one team losses, I’m fine with that!).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Book Review - Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

How did I come into possession of this book?
This was a book that I requested an early review copy from the publisher and, luckily I received it!  It sounded like a book I would enjoy (although it wasn’t quite what I expected, more on that below), and the tag line on the front leaves you wanting to read it.

First Lines:
“They’re showing it this afternoon.  A ceremony to mark the first spadeful of earth, and when it’s built, a ceremony to open the thing, I bet.  I bring a bag of Doritos and a box of wine with me to the couch.” (Ashworth 3)

What is it about?
The book centers around Laura (or Lola), and looks back on a tragic event that occurred when she was in high school.  It goes between present and the time leading up to the accident and all the events and characters surrounding it.

What did I think?
This book was not what I had expected, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.  From the cover and description I pictured a somewhat quick, almost YA book about a murder that had happened in a small town.  But I was given a much heavier story with very interesting characters all with a very British feel to it.  Since I thought this would be a much quicker read, things started off slowly, but as soon as I got into the bulk of the story, I was hooked.  I could see myself in Lola and at times in the other girls, too.  The plot took some unexpected turns which I was happy to see since some of it was predictable.

Who would I recommend it to?
Anyone who wants a good literary read with a little bit of British feel.  There wasn’t so much of a mystery so don’t come in expecting that, but you will get a good story with characters that are very interesting and surprisingly easily relatable.

Check out these other reviews from fellow bloggers:
The Life & Times of a Book Addict

Did you read this book and review it on your blog? Let me know in the comments and I'll add your link!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Football Friday – Let’s move onto week two! (with a quick look at the fun of week one)

The first weekend could’ve gone a bit better for Michigan.  Not only did we get blown out, but one of our top cornerbacks is out for the season with an ACL tear (What have we done to re-anger the Michigan Secondary Hating God?).  But before the disappointment of the game I had a great time!  We went to college gameday (it was my first time, and it was a blast!), pics below:

Early morning at Gameday!
So excited for football and good friends!
Yes, please!
Of course we had to stay till the end!
We then tailgated and ate for the next 7 hours and finally made our way into the stadium.  Our seats were in the second row form the top and in the corner of the end zone, pretty much the worst seats ever.  Luckily, the stadium was designed very well and we still had a great view of the field and could hear our band!

The field isn't that far away...
yeah band!
And that’s where the fun stopped, so let’s move onto next week!

Let’s start with a couple conference games I’m interested in.  Both of the new teams to the SEC play their first SEC games and I think both have a chance to cause an upset or at least make it a good game.  Texas A&M plays Florida and I think A&M stands a good chance at winning that game.  Missouri takes on Georgia, who I think is over ranked, and I think Missouri will give them a good game, not sure if they can get enough for the win but I would like to see that!

The rest of the games I’m interested in are in the Big Ten.  I would like this to be a week where the big ten goes 12-0.  First, Michigan has to win.  Air Force is always a scary opponent coming in with the triple option offense and a very disciplined team, but I think Michigan can win this and hopefully it will show that Alabama was really that good (and not that we were that bad).  The other teams that might struggle the most to meet this goal are Purdue and Illinois playing Notre Dame and ASU respectively.  Both of those games are winnable but I wouldn’t be surprised if one doesn’t happen.  Penn State plays Virginia which I think is a toss-up and Northwestern plays Vandy (also a toss-up).  So I guess there is a less chance of this happening then I originally thought, but I hope for the best, so Go Blue and Go Big Ten!
Kinda how I feel right now...