Artful Readers Club - The End Specialist

Hello everyone - I'm here with a review of The End Specialist by Drew Magarymy chosen book for January and the artwork that it inspired.  For a full description of the whys and wherefores of the Artful Readers Club please pop over here.

I'll try and keep my review shorter than my usual rambles... 


The End Specialist by Drew Magary

Imagine the cure for ageing being discovered. You can still get ill. You can still die through murder or natural disease or stupidity but once you've taken the cure you wont age. So potentially you could live forever. Or a few hundred years at least. Would you take the cure? Could you watch your friends and family who don't take it, wither away and die? Or on the flipside could you promise to have and to hold... for all eternity. What about political repercussions, religious, environmental... could our world sustain an ever growing population?

The story is told retrospectively through the journal of the central character and also various blog/news headlines. I found this side of the novel didn't work for me. I just can't believe someone would record the events in as much detail as he did... down to pauses, other peoples conversations etc, etc. I didn't buy into that side of it. However if you switch that part off, just ignore it, it's such a good book. When I initially started reading I didn't think I'd like it - the style of writing didn't feel like it was hooking me in. However I found myself talking about the issues raised with my partner.Every time something else happened  in the book, both positive and negative I would talk to him about it. We all think about immortality - I'm sure of it, but there were so many issues raised in this novel that hadn't even occurred to me. All of a sudden I was at the end of the novel and I had been completely drawn in. I didn't like the end - it wasn't a satisfying conclusion for me and I still had questions... however I do recommend the book. It will have you questioning a lot of things. Even now,  a couple of weeks after finishing I still find myself mulling it over.

Who wants to live forever? After reading The End Specialist... Not me. But another half century or so would be nice...

Just on a side note - my copy was the e-book and that comes with extra's at the end that the 'real' book doesn't. Mine was bought last January in the Kindle sales for a bargain 99p.

I decided to do a journal page after reading this book. Honestly, I could have written pages and pages and pages of thoughts. I think a lot about life and death and immortality and time travel (that's not in the book but I think about it a lot) and what if's...  On a daily basis actually. This book had me looking at things in a different light if I'm honest. Eventually I settled on a couple of quotes that made me smile instead.

The background has been in my journal for ages and ages. Mainly made up of left over paint and mist, stencils wiped off etc. I built it up with Lyra Aquacolour crayons, tissue and  Posca pen. 

My February book will be:


See you then, if not before (am determined to get a Rocking Friday post done this week!) Thanks for stopping by :)

That Was The Year That Was... Rocking My Year Friday

This is a belated look back at 2012 to see what made my year fabulous :) So instead of looking back on last week which was just post-Christmas tidy up, much drooling over book/stash presents and eating to much at New Year... I'll be taking the chance to round up and bid farewell to 2012 instead :) Forgive me if I forget anything - my memory never was the best and now it's pretty much non-existent! (Another good reason for these posts - something to look back on.)



Pretty big Rocking moment was February 14th. Valentines day. Craig and I discovered that, after nearly a year of trying, we were going to have our last baby. Honestly - it felt like it was never going to happen and really, in the big scheme of things and on reflection - it's not that long at all. It just felt like forever at the time.
       
Then of course, because we hadn't told people we were trying, didn't want to jinx things, I think a lot of people thought we'd had a "whoops" moment. The rest just thought we were bonkers! They are probably right - we are bonkers! :D There are also those who still to this day just think we were trying for a boy all along... that really winds my girls up. It's not true, you could have knocked me down with a feather when the doctor told us at the very first scan. Craig says I am hilarious around little boys. He says I talk to my nephews like they are aliens from another planet!

However the further along we got, the more times the doctors told us it was really true there was *ahem* absolutely no doubt. The more I got used to the idea, the more I talked to my little Bear. He was always "Logan" if we're honest and Craig started calling him his Logie Bear very early on. He came so close to having "Bear" as his middle name on his birth certificate... we were still talking about it as we walked to the registry office.


So, most of the year has been taken up with waiting for this little man to arrive. Apart from the obvious pregnancy ailments and the toll it took on my health this time... we couldn't have been happier. We had worried how the girls would take the news but they all dote on their little brother.
The birth itself was the most chilled out of all of them. It was my first time in a birthing centre - a new addition to the hospital since my youngest daughter. It made all the difference to being on a labour ward and I ended up not needing pain relief at all. It was just such a wonderful experience rather than a scary, painful and uncomfortable one.
The big day - a very relaxed-ish Cam
 And now he's here. And we can't imagine him not.

But what about the rest of the year? Well there was the Olympics... I really wasn't looking forward to that. I was one of those scoffing about how much it was costing and bemoaning a summer of sport. Oh the horror. But - like most of the country - our house was drawn in and it was good watching my girls get so excited about it. Ruby keeps asking when it's coming back on :) She was so excited when one of the torch bearers visited her school and she was allowed to hold the torch.

A short couple of days in Hastings over the summer - we couldn't have as long there as we'd hoped this year due to a water leak from our bathroom through to our kitchen which upset a few plans we'd had... but it was lovely to have a few days away at Craig's Mum's house, spending time with her without having to rush home the same day.

Lovely summer days - despite a lot of people moaning about the Summer weather - I thought we got plenty of lovely days for picnics at various places with our girls. Lazy days with them charging around, tiring themselves out in parks or paddling pools or castle grounds, nice food - hot tea on the chilly days and me lolling about with bump, book or sketchbook and a Craig to lean on. Happy days.

Beautiful baby gifts received from family and friends - the handmade blanket with so much meaning from my sister, beautiful books, journals, knitted items and this painting from Sam. So many people were so generous we were truly speechless over it all.

Am going to zoom through some highlights now as this post has taken a week to write and we are nearly at the next Rocking Post ;)

We've had some lovely art come into the house this year - some I've bought - some swapped, some given by fabulous friends. My favourite piece though is on a shelf above my desk and I can see it from the other end of the house when I sit on the sofa. Sometimes I just catch myself sitting looking at it. It's this one and it's by Ruby. Aged 5. I think I'll always find myself gazing at it you know.

What else, what else.... ah yes, seeing my Scottish friend Lesley after two years. Seeing my friend Caroline more often - we live close but to often let work and time just get in the way... same with my sisters - I still don't see them enough but have seen them more often this past year.

Feeling comfortable with myself. I don't know when it happened this year but I started being happy being me. I suspect and am positive that Virginia and her Rocking Friday posts have a big hand in my new attitude along with Craig and my fabulous family.  I'm happy in my own skin, happy with what I want to do and what I need to do... I aim to lose weight this year but purely because I think it would help my back. Otherwise, I'm happy with who I am and whoever isn't... well, they don't have to stick around me do they?

There has been a lot positive about this year...

The only downside really has been my health - the back pain - I don't think I'll ever be pain free, in fact a consultant told us this year that it's likely to develop into osteoporosis or arthritis or both... but at the moment it's manageable and that's more than a lot of people can say... Missing people who aren't here, wishing they could meet Logan and seeing characteristics and mannerisms in him that tell us they are unmistakeably with us, all be it in a small way. Wishing business was better... but isn't everyone at the moment? It could be worse - we have a roof over our heads, and food and warmth, happy, healthy children and time to pursue pastimes we love. We're rich in the ways that matter. And that's all we can ask for :)

Happy 2013 people.

Image source - Facebook

Thanks for stopping by :)

Artful Readers Club

I'm taking part in Darcy's Artful Readers Club. the idea of which is to pick 12 books you haven't read but plan to read throughout the year. Then at the end of each month you link up over at Darcy's with a short (I'll try and keep it short!) review and a piece of art or craft inspired by the book. Read more over here. It's taken me ages to choose my 12 books, hence my posting so late in the day. I've been right up till tonight swapping titles in and out. But these are the final 12 that made the cut...



My bookshelf will remain on my sidebar all year and that one is clickable if you want to investigate the titles further :)

I'll obviously be reading other books throughout the year but these are my definite ones for the challenge and the reviews will be accompanied with 'inspired by' art/craft. They're in no particular order and I have no clue at the moment in which month I'll read each one... apart from the two Scrooge ones. I'll be saving those till the end of the year. The Christmas Carol is because I love all the Scrooge adaptations but have never yet read the original. 

My books come from charity shops, borrows, presents, kindle downloads... I save up Amazon vouchers from online surveys to buy myself new ones... wherever I can lay my hands on them basically ;) Like every one else in the challenge who have probably got piles of books collected and hoarded - now's the time to make inroads into getting them read whilst providing a bit of artistic inspiration at the same time.

My book for January is going to be (would you believe I am actually sat here still trying to decide which one...) The End Specialist by Drew Magary which I believe I bought in the Kindle sales last January!

I'll post my first book club review and art piece on the 25th of January - thanks for stopping by.

Oh... and Happy New Year :)

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