Sunday, June 30, 2013

New on Swick's Thought Stream

Today I'm going to be starting a new series which I am simply calling 'This, not That!' - inspired by those handy dandy little books... 'Eat This, not That!' ... only instead of telling you what your body should absorb, I'm going to suggest books that your mind should absorb. Because, you know, I read a ton of book, haha! They are going to vary in all sorts of literature and genres, so it should be a fun series to read and work on.

I am debating what sort of lists I should tackle next. I'll probably go by genre and recommend my top three books in each one and why.

I'm also going to dedicate a few posts to things that I am currently reading, so there will be some newer publications instead of just older 'classic' publications.

I've also added a new link to the right which is going to contain 'Swick's Picks' ... basically any book that I talk about and recommend is going to be over there to help you skip all the awful reading and just read the good stuff. I know so far I've only done fiction, but hopefully with these two new series. It should make it a lot easier to find some good books to read.

In a personal update, my dad is getting married this weekend, so if you don't hear from me in a few days. Yeah, that's it.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Best Books of the 20th Century - Synopsis

For those of you who hate reading, or just haven't been keeping up with my 'Best Books of the Decade' series that I just finished with.

Here is the reading list with Goodreads's picks on the left and my personal picks on the right.
For shits and giggles, tell me which reading list (if you were forced to read one) would you rather have

Goodreads's Pick                                     Swick's Pick    


Goodreads's Pick                                     Swick's Pick    

Read both...

Goodreads AND Swick's Pick    

Goodreads's Pick                              Swick's Pick

Goodreads's Pick                              Swick's Pick

Goodreads AND Swick's Pick

Goodreads AND Swick's Pick

Goodreads's Pick                              Swick's Pick

Goodreads AND Swick's Pick

Goodreads's Pick                              Swick's Pick


Friday, June 28, 2013

Reaction - Best Book of the Decade: 2000 - 2009

Today, I am reviewing the list : Best Books of the Decade 2000. That means all of the books on this list were published between 2000 through 2009.

This is going to be the last book in this series; at least, the last one for another six years or so, haha. I'll come up with something awesome to read next. I promise.

My Reaction - A great end to a great series; although I don't entirely understand how J.K. Rowling came to end it that way in this book, I liked it and it was a little heartbreaking for a series that I and everyone in my generation had literally grown-up with finally end. I personally could have done without the epilogue. I thought it was completely unneccessary and my favorite character is dead by the time this book happens so... it probably didn't do as much for me as it did other people. It's definitely not as moving or life-changing as.... 

I pick ... Life of Pi

Why This One? - One of my favorite Life of Pi critics says this about this book....

"Sift a pinch of psychology with a scant tablespoon of theology, add one part Island of the Blue Dolphin with two parts philosophy, mix with a pastry blender or the back of a fork until crumbly but not dry and there you have Pi and his lame-o, cheesed out, boat ride to enlightenment." - Malbadeen

... and it's completely true. The entire book is a survival novel (Pi is trapped on a boat with a grown tiger in the middle of the ocean) and a spiritual novel (Pi is constantly changing and switching and adding to his religious beliefs, because he loves the idea of love and belief in general) ... there are a lot of philosophical ramblings and a lot of catching fish and a ton of magical realism. And the beautiful part about this book is that everyone who reads it has a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT opinion. Not to mention Yann Martel's writing is incredibly moving. This one is on reading lists, and will likely make it into the classics section of a futuristic Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


We've been doing a lot of weeding in the young adult section of the library, and I'm finally at the end of it all when I discover this ....

..... as much as I want to cry out "please tell me this is a joke!," the sad sad news is that it is real. I shit you not; the quotes in italics are REALLY from this book.

It includes a...

"How Well Do You Know Robert?" quiz

Fill In The Blank "Your Perfect Evening w/ Rob"
with questions like....

How and where will you meet him?
What will he be wearing?
What will you be wearing?
Will he kiss you, and if so, what will it be like?
.... and the beautiful last line, 'even if that date with Mr. Pattinson never takes place at least you know now exactly what your ideal date with your next boyfriend will be like!'

Fill In The Blank "Reasons to pick Edward"
( ' Well, he is the PERFECT man ')
Fill In The Blank "Reasons to pick Robert"
( ' He's an incredibly talented actor ' )

and this gem....

"Someone asked, 'Is it true you haven't washed [your hair] for six weeks?'
and I said 'I haven't washed it in four years!' "
-Robert Pattinson
UGH! That quote alone, I don't understand why anyone would think that was attractive. Mind you, this was under a section called 'breaking the stereotypes' and while I guess that that is true, it breaks a stereotype in a super creepy very unhygenic way that's just- gross!

It's no wonder teenage girls in this day and age are so stupid.
It's because we publish bullshit like this and encourage them to buy it!

Swick's Perfect Book for Stalkers Award 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Reaction - Best Book of the Decade: 1990 - 1999

Today, I am reviewing the list : Best Books of the Decade 1990. That means all of the books on this list were published between 1990 through 1999.

Man, guys, we are getting into the present day pretty soon. I'm going to have to picks some more genres or times periods to talk about, haha!

My Reaction - Considering this is the decade that I did a lot of my childhood reading in (I have a special fondness for the dragon books of this era: see series Dragonriders of Pern, Pit Dragons, Tales of the Enchanted Forest, etc.) - this is another one of those tough catagories, but I'm not going to pick for the sake of nostalgia. No, I really think the Goodreads community did a good job by picking this one because it really was a worldwide phenomenon.

Why This Book? - While Harry Potter honestly is not the most original book ever published, I have to give it props for the worldwide sensation it did cause whenever it first came out. Suddenly, kids that I knew from school who hated reading were enthralled by the series, and I'm sure that Harry helped a lot of kids and adults learn to love to read again (my girlfriend included; she was one of those 'non-reader' until she picked up Harry Potter, and now she's almost as bad as I am for having her nose stuck in a book, haha) - and I'd like to thank J.K. Rowling for making Harry well-written instead of most of the trash that is popular that comes out nowadays. My favorite examples of these are the infamous Twilight series, and it's super-Christian little sister the Halo series. Thank you, J.K. Rowling for not being completely retarded and unrealistic in your books especially since they involve magic. Weird compliment, I know, but just take it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Getting Old or Getting More Mature?

I did something almost unthinkable the other day, and you know what? - I'm really not that sad about it at all.

I traded in my Xbox 360 and my Wii, and all the games and accessories, and now the only console I have is my PS3 and my only handheld is my 3DS.... and of course, I still play Civilization V and Spore on my PC.

Yes, I had all of those things. At one point in my life, I considered myself a hardcore gamer, but I don't game as much now that I've gotten a little older. I still like to play games, sure, but I don't feel like I NEED to play every game that comes out on every different console just to be sure I'm not missing out on anything. I play the few games that I want, enjoy them, and then I'm done. I spend a lot more time with family or friends or even with my animals (anyone who knows me well knows I practically own a farm as far as sheer number and variety goes).

I kind of had mixed emotions about the XBOX 360 because most of my friends play on it rather than the other consoles, but the fact of the matter is that they just don't play it often enough or with me to justify me having it at all, so.... good-bye!

It's strange for me because video-gaming has been something I really enjoyed for a good portion of my life (ever since Dad introduced me to Super Mario World SNES, and then I played my first RPG Tales of Destiny on PS1) and now something that was once so big is now not so.

Is it a sign that I am just getting old and boring, or is it a sign that I know games are just games and there are more important things in life to worry about?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Poem #7

Meh, I'm not fond of this one at all, but I wrote and it became what it is.

I know that it's just ink
as I play my game of
writing stories -
these wicked smudges on my hands:
black, blue, and faded purple,
the dangers of using another hand
- but
I can't stop breathing hard
when I see them and know
that the stories I make up
can compare nothing to what
I know
the true horrors are.

2013 (c) Summer Fenwick

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Reaction - Best Book of the Decade: 1980 - 1989

Today, I am reviewing the list : Best Books of the Decade 1980. That means all of the books on this list were published between 1980 through 1989.

They picked .... The Handmaid's Tale

My Reaction --- I feel really bad about saying this, but I have not read this book. I don't know whether or not it really deserves to be on top of this list. Even sadder still, it has been on my to-read list for the past three years, and I have read at least 300 books since then, and never once has it crossed my mind to read it :(

I may change this post once I do end up reading it though, but for me to give an award, I have to stick with something I HAVE read.

I pick .... Blood Meridian,
or The Evening Redness in the West 

Why This One? --- Forget everything you knew about the 'American West' that you see in those old western movies starring John Wayne, and forget everything you thought was scary... like Stephen King or Dean Koontz or Anne Rice or even H.P. Lovecraft.... because compared to this book, those 'horror' novels look like child's play, and I don't mean Chucky. Blood Meridian is the scariest book I have ever read in my entire life, and the worst part about it is that Cormac McCarthy did a lot of homework to write this one and it is basically everything you DIDN'T want to know about the 'American West' ... that it was brutal, violent, merciless, and there were absolutely no heroes and all for the sake of greed, greed, greed. The worst part is that the book's story is told mostly from the perspective of a young boy who accompanies a 'judge' to kill outlaws... and some stander-bys. I won't spoil what happens, but this is a truly chilling piece of work. Forget The Road. McCarthy SHOULD be remembered for this.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

First Impressions on Animal Crossing: New Leaf

"Why does nothing ever turn out like it should?"
--- Jack Skellington, The Nightmare Before Christmas

You know when you do or say something stupid without meaning it badly but later you realize just how much harm you've done by saying it and you can't take it back, make up for it, or apologize for it? Yeah, I tend to do things with good intentions, but then the way I explain how I went about it gets me in big trouble, and this is especially bad in the workplace, especially when I have so many coworkers who are so sensitive about the chain of command here. I intend to save time and steps and worry for everyone but sometimes I toe that chain of command line, and I'm never quite sure when or if I've gone too far. I'm currently experiencing one of my high anxiety moments. Thankfully, my boss is pretty cool and not as uptight about the chain of command as some of the folks around here, but I really don't want to get on her bad side. So, I'm beating myself up for it, and hopefully it won't happen again.

Other than that, it's just more of the same old, same old. Really been getting into Animal Crossing: New Leaf for 3DS lately, and it's difficult for me not to want to change the clock JUST so I can get to the next day and all the cool stuff that comes with it. But that isn't the point of Animal Crossing. The point is to play the game a little bit every day and discover new things, but I get to be so impatient sometimes. The game itself is really cute... you move into a town full of anthropomorphic people who accidentally mistake you for their new mayor. You accept the position anyway, and you basically run the town, interact with the people there, and try to make it the most appealing place to live. You can customize the look of your character, your house, and even the catchphrases that people use around town. There's an empty museum just waiting for you to donate all sorts of local flora and fauna and fossils to fill its' exhibits, and new events go on basically every day of the week at different times. It's really close to living in another world, and can be very addictive and very time-consuming. The thing I like about Animal Crossing though is that it isn't violent or high graphic, but a fun friendly family-type game that is easy for anybody to pick up, and you don't have to devote a lot of hours to it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Building a Tournament Team

It's been a while since I've posted anything. Sorry 'bout that. Things have been really crazy at the library since the beginning of the annual summer reading program. Normally, we hold it for kids and teens- they read so many hours during the summer vacation and they can win cool prizes including their very own books!- but this year, we've extended it where adults can participate too. We've got nice looking book-bags and coin pouches, flashlight pens, and vouchers for the booksale for adults.

Yesterday was the first official program- a kids' program at our east branch featuring the book Go, Dog, Go. I went over and helped out. We made party hats (like in the book), stoplights, and played some fun rounds of "Red Light, Green Light." I think everyone had a really good time. I know I sure did.

Today there's going to be a teen event about using beeswax to make your own candles and lip balm and all sorts of cool makeup-y things. I bet not a lot of guys will come, but I hope quite a few girls do!

I've really been looking forward to the Pokemon Tournament we are going to hold at AMA-Con 2013! I got so excited the other day when I saw that it was on the official website!

( Yeah, it's on there twice because I originally got carried away hitting the 'Submit' button ._. ... )

Even though I am judging, I want to have a Pokemon team ready for battle JUST IN CASE all but one person signs up (and then maybe afterwards we can battle just for fun? :3 ) I was playing through my copy of Pokemon Black, and I think I found a team that works for me. Maybe needs a little bit of adjusting.... I know there are some moves I want to reteach to different pokemon....

These three are my dream team. They can handle anything that comes their way.
Watch out!
These two are solid back-up members sporting some dual-typing :)

I am definitely taking these five into battle with me; I'm just debating on whether or not to take Clefable or Haxorus as my sixth team-member....


My Clefable is an HP WALL! Capable of taking hit after hit and dealing out some nasty status effects like burn and poison. Complete with metronome, because the set just isn't complete without it ;)

My Haxorus is built to deal attack after attack after attack with devastating damage! There are not a lot of Pokemon strong against Dragon types, so having one might be nice and even out my weakness/resistance.

I'm sure a lot of people are leaning towards me picking Haxorus, but... I got a good feeling about my Clefable. I think I'm going to need her. I'm going to battle some with the team as a whole and get a good feel for both of them before I make my final decision.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Reaction - Best Book of the Decade: 1970 - 1979

Today, I am reviewing the list : Best Books of the Decade 1970. That means all of the books on this list were published between 1970 through 1979.

My Reaction --- YES.

Why This One? --- 

The entire book is like this. 

Oh my goodness, I had the funnest time reading the entire Hitchhiker's Guide series, and if you take my advice, you should read it in small increments because the entire novel is just side-splitting hilarious IF you manage to get the jokes.

Goodreads obviously has a good sense of humor to make this one number one, and I wholeheartedly recommend that everybody read it. Young, old, boy, girl, gay, straight - it doesn't matter - Douglas Adams has something for everyone.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Blast from the Past

Oh boy, I wish I had something new to post on here, but honestly, I've been geeking out over Civilization V all day, haha. My sister and I first got hooked onto Civilization II WAY back in the day, and I've been playing ever since. While you kind of create your own histories on it, in a way, it is pretty educational. I'm really excited about the new expansion Brave New World that is going to be coming out soon. Sadly there's no correlation between the expansion and Huxley's Brave New World. Man, that would be something freaky, huh?

I got an offer to co-write a story the other day with Jessy, and so I've been nostalgic going through my 'Writing' folder. I didn't realize I kept so much stuff! Unfortunately, a lot of them are started projects from high school that I never got around to finishing. There is one however that I did for NaNoWriMo that is about 30,000 words long and relatively complete. Looking back on it, it's FAR from a masterpiece, but I'm going to keep it anyway. See the link to the right ' Redeemed Will Reborn '  ---

I'm not even going to post a segment from it. I'll admit. It's just bad.

And now, Nat King Cole. Because why the hell not?