Throwback Thursday (February 21) – Timeline

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.

Here’s how it works:
  • Pick any bookish or literary-related media (or non-media item) released more than 5 years ago.
  • Write up a short summary (include the title, author, and cover art, if applicable) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
  • Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
  • Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list – or some other classic!

Feel free to grab the Throwback Thursday button code from the sidebar to use in your posts.

Thanks for participating, and we look forward to seeing which books you choose to remember!

My Throwback this week is…

Timeline by Michael Crichton

I know I feature Michael Crichton books a lot for Throwback Thursday, and that is for two reasons:

1. They comprise 50% of my reading material in high school and I can’t go back in time and make my past self read a wider variety of authors (the other 50% was John Grisham).

2. Michael Crichton books are awesome, as long as he sticks to hard sci-fi. When he branches out, things get…iffy.

So Timeline is — and I realize I say this a lot — one of my favorite Crichton novels (yes, I have about five different “favorite” Crichton novels. Deal with it). It’s got time travel and castles and medieval swordplay and Frenchmen. The basic premise is a team of modern scientists/archaeologists travel back in time — for science, because actually traveling to 14th-century France is more educational than excavating relics from 14th-century France — and wind up getting stuck there. Oops. And then of course they have to get back, but that is not a simple task, and in the meantime there is INTRIGUE and HORSEBACK RIDING and DID I MENTION THE SWORDPLAY?

It’s action-packed page-turning anachronistic fun, and I love it with my whole heart, or at least the part that loves sci-fi (which is, I’d say, a good 87% of it).

This is a blog hop! Link up your Throwback Thursday post below!



Also, we have a winner for our Throwback Thursday Prize Pack giveaway! If it’s you, check your email. You have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen. Thanks for playing along!

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Throwback Thursday (November 1) – Sphere

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Feel free to grab the Throwback Thursday button code from the sidebar to use in your posts.

Thanks for participating, and we look forward to seeing which books you choose to remember!

My Throwback this week is…

Sphere by Michael Crichton

Remember how there was a period in my life when I read all the Michael Crichton? Well, during that period, and for a bit after, I stalwartly maintained that Sphere was my favorite book, not just of Crichton’s, but in general. I wouldn’t say that anymore, and I honestly don’t even think it’s my favorite Crichton anymore, but I still really like it. So much so that when I did my great book purge before I got married ten years ago (because we were about to move into a 450 square foot apartment and I thought I couldn’t fit all my books — a decision I’m still regretting), it was one of the few that survived.

Sphere is the story of a group of scientists — of course — called in by the government to study a strange (and possibly alien) sphere found on the ocean floor. They go live in a pressurized deep sea habitat and poke around for a while, and crazy psychological and alien shenanigans ensue. All very scientifically, of course, as this is Crichton and that’s what he does best.

But don’t rent the movie. It’s rubbish. If you want to see a good movie about a group of scientists encountering aliens in a deep sea habitat, watch The Abyss. It’s a much better use of your time.

This is a blog hop! Link up your Throwback Thursday post below!


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Throwback Thursday (September 20) – The Andromeda Strain


Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books!

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Here’s how it works:
1. Pick any book released more than 5 years ago. Adult, YA, Children’s; doesn’t matter. Any great book will do.
2. Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it. Make sure to link back to The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books in your post.
3. Link up your post at The Housework Can Wait or Never Too Fond of Books.
4. Visit as many blogs as you can, reminisce about books you loved, and discover some “new” books for your TBR list!

Feel free to grab the Throwback Thursday button code from the sidebar to use in your posts.

Thanks for participating, and we look forward to seeing which books you choose to remember!

My Throwback this week is…

The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

I’ve tried to be varied in my Throwback Thursday picks, but the truth is, I am limited to what I read in years past, and in high school and college I read a lot of Michael Crichton. As in, all of his books. So he’s just going to have to be a recurring theme in my Throwbacks.

The Andromeda Strain is very heavily focused on the “science” part of science fiction, as the vast majority takes place in a top-secret lab where a bunch of scientists are conducting experiments on a tiny piece of alien rock that managed to wipe out an entire town. And if you don’t like lots and lots of techno-babble and science-speak in your sci-fi, then this book (and Michael Crichton, in general), are probably not for you.

I, however, am a big nerd and think that sort of stuff is awesome.

Even though this book has a claustrophobic setting and a tiny assortment of characters, and even though most of it is devoted to science experiments involving monkeys and microscopes, I love this book. Michael Crichton really was the master of weaving enough half-truth and near-plausibility into his sci-fi to make it seem like something that could actually happen.

Also, this book has been made into both a film and a mini-series, and neither one did it justice (although if you must watch one, the 1971 film is marginally better). Hollywood, please do it again, and do it right this time.

This is a blog hop! Link up your Throwback Thursday post below!

Throwback Thursday (May 17): Jurassic Park

Hey guys! I’m excited to announce that I’m going to start hosting a Throwback Thursday weekly meme with Mandi from Never Too Fond of Books! It’ll be a great way for us to reminisce about our favorite reads from years past, and introduce others to hidden gems they may never have found otherwise!

Coming soon: Fancy new button, fancy new guidelines, and general abundant fanciness.

I won’t be doing full-blown reviews for my Throwback Thursday posts. Instead, I’ll just be briefly highlighting books that may no longer be on the “New Releases” shelf, but still deserve a read.

However, some of my favorite Throwbacks will probably get the full fledged review treatment at some point. Be warned.

To kick off Throwback Thursdays, I decided to feature my gateway drug into the world of science fiction…

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (1942-2008).

I first picked this up (a.k.a. stole it from my dad) when I was 12. I knew the movie was coming out soon (please don’t do the math to figure out how old I am), and I wanted to read the book first to figure out if the movie would be too scary for me.

I was a big wuss at 12. I was terrified of Batman. Please don’t judge me.

This was the first adult sci-fi I ever attempted. I didn’t understand a lot of the “scientific” explanations that Michael Crichton gave, but the book still completely drew me in.

I really believed that it made sense that they were cloning dinosaurs, and that the experiment got totally out of control. I felt like I personally knew the many assorted characters, from black-leather-clad Malcolm to hard-core Muldoon to disgustingly devious Nedry. My pulse accelerated with each dino attack and narrow escape. I felt pain at each brutal death. I went to bed after searching the dark corners of my room for hidden compys.

I ended the book completely in love with sci-fi. Thus began a decade-long semi-obsession with the novels of Michael Crichton, and a lifelong interest in all things sci-fi, from spaceships and aliens, to time travel and wormholes, to robots, cylons and cyborgs.

Thank you, Michael Crichton. You made me the nerd I am today. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is a Blog Hop! Feel free to link up to your own Throwback Thursday post!

Feature & Follow #95 (featuring ME!): One Thing to Tell My Favorite Author

It’s an exciting day!

[Why is it an exciting day, Lauren?]

It’s exciting because I discovered that I was selected to be (i.e. volunteered/begged to be) the Feature for this week’s Feature & Follow Friday, hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read! Huzzah!

I’m sorry. I’m not normally quite this cheesy, holding imaginary conversations with myself and all. I do actually yell “huzzah” pretty regularly, though.

Please don’t be sorry you’re following me.

Anyway, to Parajunkee and Alison, thanks so much for hosting and using your powers for good to drive traffic over here to my little blog.

If this is your first time here, welcome! I hope you like what I have to say. And if you’re one of my established followers (or The Elite, as I refer to you in my head), thanks for bearing with me through my rambling.

Follow via whatever method you’d like: email, RSS, LinkyFollowers, Networked Blogs. They’re all over there in the sidebar like a little follow buffet. Be sure to leave me a comment letting me know how you’re following so I can return the favor. If you’re feeling really promote-y, you can also grab my button from the sidebar and put it up on your blog. That would be rad.

BEHOLD, THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:

What is one thing you wish you could tell your favorite author?

Oh my word. *headdesk* This isn’t fair. It’s too hard. I don’t even know who my favorite author is, much less what I’d tell them. Who came up with this question so I can glare at them menacingly?

[glares at Ali]

*sigh*

Okay, step one is picking my favorite author, which is not so easy. Some of my favorite books are written by authors who have only written a couple books, or only one series. So how do I know if I like everything they write or just that small sampling? Some of my favorite books are written by authors who have written other books I didn’t like, so I guess that means they’re not my favorite authors. And how do I compare authors who write adult sci-fi to authors who write YA fantasy? Both are genres I love, but it’s apples and oranges.

You know what? Screw this. I’m not picking my favorite author. The question doesn’t actually say I have to reveal who my favorite author is, and in the spirit of living by the letter of the law (that’s an oxymoronic statement if there ever was one), I’m not going to. Let’s just say there is a whole slew of authors that I adore and whose brains I would pick to smithereens if I could.

(Can you pick something to smithereens? Let’s just assume that’s a thing).

They include J.K. Rowling, Lauren Oliver, Orson Scott Card, Robin Hobb, Suzanne Collins, Myra McEntire, Michael Crichton, and probably many others that I’m forgetting. I love the stories they tell, the characters they introduce, and the worlds they create; but what’s more, I love the way they use words to accomplish this. Lots of books can be enjoyable and have good characters and an interesting story, but not all are actually written in a way that draws me into the world. I don’t always care about the characters I read about. I don’t always feel immersed in the world they live in. I don’t always put down a book wondering what happened next, even though I know the characters aren’t real.

But these authors have all created worlds and characters that I miss when I finish the book. I wonder about them. I care about them.

So to take the question literally, “what do you wish you could tell your favorite author,” there’s actually not much I’d want to tell them, besides “You’re awesome.” But that’s probably nothing they haven’t heard before.

If I can modify the question slightly to “what do you wish you could ask your favorite author(s),” I would ask them, how do they write characters and worlds in a way that makes me care? How do they get inside their characters’ heads? How do they write a world that completely absorbs my senses? (I know, that looks like 3 questions, but it’s really just one: “How do you make readers care?”)

Maybe it’s just one of those intangible gifts, where there is no technique; it just comes naturally to them. But if there is a method to their glorious madness, I would like to know what it is.

Thanks for stopping by!