The Things I Want for My Birthday


  1. Time enough to catch up on my reading.

    But without his UHEA.

    But without his UHEA.

  2. For the 2 year old (3 in two weeks!) to let me have one hour where she isn’t crying about SOMETHING.

    Always.  Crying.

    Always. Crying.

  3. This Pixies box set that I have been hinting at for FOUR YEARS but no one ever pays attention to me when I ask for things.

    Four.  Years.

    Four. Years. (And I really want the Limited Edition, but I will SETTLE for this deluxe edition.)


  4.  Matt Smith to stick around for one more season (without Steven Moffat).

    Megiggles sent me this before I went to bed last night.  Can not stop giggling.

    Megiggles sent me this before I went to bed last night. Can not stop giggling.


  5. You all to enter the Zombicorn Short Fiction contest, cos there’s only one week left to get those stories in.zombiecorncontestbanner

  6. A chance to hang out with most of you.

    Cos friendship IS magic.

    Cos friendship IS magic.

It Had to be Done Some Time

Everyone has (at some point) been asked the “You’re stuck on a deserted island, you only have [insert number here] books/albums/whatever the hell else FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, what do you pick?” question posted to them.

I’ve probably spent more time thinking about this than the average person, because that’s the way my brain works.  I can’t answer the book question, because my FAVOURITE books aren’t necessarily the books I’d choose.  If I were talking about books, I’d have to take into consideration compendiums and whatnot, and that’s just more work than I’m willing to put in at the moment.

So, today, I’m going to talk about the five ALBUMS I’d take with me – were I lucky enough to be stranded with an iPod (that only holds five albums, WTS?) and a way to keep it charged until I died of scurvy or some shit.  These are albums that I can (and have) listen/ed to over and over and will never ever grow tired of.

sj’s Deserted Island Top Five

(in chronological order)

1.  The Beatles – Rubber Soul
rubber soul
Yeah, maybe it’s a total cliché to choose The Beatles, but IDGaF.  This album has been one of my favourites for almost as long as I can remember.  I’m ignoring the fact that my “class song” when I graduated from high school was In My Life (because, ZOMG there was some terrible singing at graduation, no joke) and just thinking about how a few of my happy childhood memories stem from listening to this album with my Nan (who was a huge fan of both The Beatles and CCR) and the two of us singing Drive My Car whenever we were out together.

2.  Pixies – Surfer Rosa

surfer rosa

One could argue that this is my favourite album by my favourite band, so it should be my favourite album of all-time, right?  Eh, possibly.  It’s up there, as should be evident by its place on this list.  My main concern about having this on here is that my FAVOURITE FAVOURITE versions of a lot of these songs are off of bootlegs from the 80s (oops), so I don’t know how long I’d go without wishing that I had some of those available to me.  I know I’d be saying “Oh, but I really just want to listen to that version of Break My Body from Boston in ’87!” before too much time had passed, but here’s the thing – my very favourite song of all time is on this album, so it has to be on the list.  I had considered not telling you what my favourite song is, but I know no one would guess.  This is my all-time favourite song, ever.  So, there you go.

3.  Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique

paul's boutique

OH, THE ARGUMENTS!  No, srsly, I’ve had so many FIGHTS about whether Paul’s Boutique is superior to Check Your Head (hint: it totally is) and friendships have been close to ENDING because CERTAIN PEOPLE refuse to recognize the genius of what is obviously the greatest hip hop record ever recorded.  No.  Shut up.  I’m totally for realsies here.  FFS, Sounds of Science is better than almost any song ever released, I don’t understand how people can still want to argue this point or fail to recognize the genius of this album.  Bonus, go listen to Shadrach (or, if you can find it – get a copy of An Exciting Evening at Home with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego…you’re lucky, I’m not taking EPs with me on my island adventure or I’d be taking that one too, just for Your Sister’s Def [DRE!]) and try to argue with me.  You still don’t believe me?  I hate you.

4.  Magnetic Fields – 69 Love Songs

69 love songs

Okay, I admit it.  I feel like kind of a snapebalrog including this one because TECHNICALLY it’s THREE albums and not just one.  BUT, you really have to have all three albums together, or the title doesn’t make any snaping sense.  No, seriously – if you only have ONE, it would be 23 love songs and that’s just stupid. This album breaks my heart into tiny pieces with Reno Dakota, then puts it back together with The Sun Goes Down and the World Goes Dancing.  I giggle to The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side, and sob my face off to All My Little Words.  This is an album that just gets better and more fraught with personal meaning every time I listen to it.

5.  Explosions in the Sky – Take Care, Take Care, Take Care

take care

This album is still fairly new, but I’ve already listened to it (repeatedly) more than a lot of the other stuff in my personal library, and it’s actually the album that inspired this post tonight.  I was listening to Postcard from 1952 on repeat, and said to myself “I will never ever get tired of this song.”  It’s true.  According to iTunes, I’ve listened to this song over 100 times since the album came out less than 2 years ago, and I’m still not anywhere close to being sick of it.  Don’t let my adoration for this one song cause you to think the entire album is less than stellar, though.  It’s all amazing.  Even more amazing?  This video, and seeing them perform the album live (even though I’ve never been to Belgium).  It’s gorgeous.  No, really.  Put this on and close your eyes, and spend an hour and twenty minutes being swept away by the music.  [happy sigh]

There are runners up, but these are my definitive list, as of the fifth of February, 2013.  What’s on yours?

Sidenote:  Thank you to everyone who commented on Sunday’s post.  Your kind words mean the world to me.  I was going to reply to each comment, but it was too difficult.  Thank you for understanding.  <3

Book Review – Seven Wonders

[sigh]  Another amazing cover from the folks over at Angry Robot Books.

I’m not going to waste time talking about how awesome I think the cover is, though (even if I do), I want to talk about the book itself.  Or…try to, anyway.

“What?  Try?  What is she talking about?  SJ NEVER HAS A PROBLEM TALKING ABOUT BOOKS!”

This time I do.

There are (sadly) few books that make me feel like this one did.  That feeling you I get where you I want to grab random people on the street by their lapels while shouting “Holy crap, HAVE YOU READ THIS?!” and waving a copy in their faces.  (Note:  I do not actually accost strangers, promise)

So, yeah – Seven Wonders will be for me this year what Ready Player One was last year.  That’s not to say it can be compared to RP1, though – they’re not really anything alike.  I did brandish it at people for months, so they’re similar in that respect.

I’m sure you’re all thinking “Yeah, yeah, but are you going to tell us what it’s about?”  Um…bare-bones, it’s a book about a superhero named Tony.

Don’t worry if you’re not into superhero fiction, I’m not usually either.   Within the first few pages, I was sucked into the fictional California town of San Ventura, desperate to know what was going to happen next with Tony, The Cowl, Blackbird, Aurora’s Light, Dragon Star and Linear.  Yeah, I know that sounds like a lot of names to keep straight, but everyone has a distinct personality and you won’t have any problem keeping up.  If I weren’t also doing the Tolkien re-read right now, I probably would have finished it in a day then cried because I didn’t have it to look forward to anymore.

I feel like kind of a jerk for being so vague about the story, but I’m really frightened of spoiling anything for anyone, especially since the book won’t even be out until August (September if you’re in the UK – sorry, British readers).

I had so many passages highlighted that made me laugh OR creeped me the hell out OR were JUST SO awesome I wanted to share – but I’m not going to.  I really hope you’ll all take the time to discover them on your own.  The only one I’m willing to share sums up the story fairly perfectly:

That was a special case. A game, super cat and mighty mouse. It had gone on too long, too far.

Five enthusiastic stars, and bonus points cos two of my favourite people that live in my computer have their names dropped in the book (one’s name is given to a pizza place, the other is a superhero).  I like knowing that an author I enjoy has friends in common with me -as well as a shared favourite band.

You can find pre-order links and information on the author’s website, go order yourself a copy now and try not to stare forlornly at your mailbox while you wait for it to arrive.

Thanks to Angry Robot for the eARC and to Adam for writing such a fantastic book.  I’ll be re-reading soon (and pre-ordering for my actual bookshelves).

More Mythical Creatures We Wish Were Real

We decided to take some of your suggestions for mythical creatures you wish were real this time!

  •  Enid Blyton’s pixies  (Absentminded Scientist) – Yes, these pixies are adorable (and it’s the name of my favourite band!)


  • Piebald Hippogriff  (Howlin’ Mad Heather) –   It may not be exactly what she had in mind, but it’ll do.  Plus, it’s always nice when fake animals choose me over Meg.  Just sayin’.



  • Pegasus (ZenQuaker) – So we had a unicorn on the  list last week, and we were informed that a pegasus was “much cooler than a unicorn.”  You know what?  Yes, a pegasus can fly and stuff, but it doesn’t have an awesome horn.  That’s why it didn’t make the list last time.  It’s squeaking in now, but only because we look so cool next to Hercules.


  • Time Lords – No, this wasn’t a suggestion from someone else.  This is our own personal wish.  Don’t even start with me.  Time Lords are cool.  <3