Thursday, February 28, 2008

This is kind of random

Okay, this really doesn't have anything to do with books, but on Without a Trace they have a new detective. It's Spike from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV show!
P.S. Anbo, whenever that happens to me I read super easy kid books, like the old John Bellairs series. Sometimes I just need something that is enjoyable and doesn't deal with heavy life issues. Or big words!

Kinda Bored

The past couple of days I've been bored by reading. Nothing is sparking my interest and everything I pick up is unsatisfying. Does anyone have any tricks to get out of this funk? Or do our brains just need a break from reading sometimes?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Try This Blog

If you are looking for a witty and knowledgeable read all about grammar and editing try Editrix. My friend Stacey writes this and though I don't know much about punctuation myself I've enjoyed reading her opinions.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Recent Reads

Wednesday's Child by Peter Robinson -- An engrossing, interesting mystery featuring Alan Banks, one of my favorite police detectives. A little girl is kidnapped and days later a man is found brutally murdered at an old mill. Are the cases connected? And can they stop the killer and find the girl before it is too late?

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond -- I had high hopes for this novel. The premise is intriguing. Emma disappears (I'm sensing a theme) on the beach in San Francisco while her father's girlfriend Abby is watching her. How does Abby cope with the guilt? The plot centers on Abby's search for Emma and her desperate need to remember what happened that day. Though it sounds irresistible, I found this novel to be mediocre. Abby is too whiny and needy and yuppie. The main character of this book is the city of San Francisco itself. The author's obvious love for the place sometimes overshadowed the progression of the plot.

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson -- I really don't have the words to describe this novel. It in unlike anything I have ever read. Set in Fingerbone, a town in Idaho dominated by water, it traces the history of a unusual family of women. The water theme is oppressive and dominating and reading this felt like drowning.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Today I received Fingersmith by Sarah Waters and The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett.

The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks

I normally don't like any science fiction type books, but this was more of an action-adventure novel with science fiction elements. Maya is a Harlequin, one of a group of trained warriors who protect Travelers. Travelers can leave their bodies and visit different realms. The Brethren want to kill the Travelers because they want a controlled society where everyone behaves because they are being watched all the time. It's believed that there are no Travelers left in the world until Michael and Gabriel Corrigan are discovered living in Los Angeles. The plot revolves around Maya's efforts to save them from the Brethren and protect herself from being killed. I thoroughly enjoyed the fast-paced adventure of this novel. The Big Brother elements are tinged with reality and make the plot believable. If you're looking for an absorbing novel that doesn't really have a lot of character development you should try this.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Interesting Blog Post

Today I read a blog post by novelist Susan Hill that addresses Sybil's concerns. It is here. Maybe this will help us understand a bit more about why authors choose to write about unhappiness and depravity.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

What I (don't) Love About Books

I was thinking about this just today as I've had this particular problem with the last two books I've read. What is up with the uneven pages? I know it's supposed to be novel and old fashion-y looking, but it just makes the pages darn hard to turn! I read a P.D. James mystery novel a la Adam Dalgliesh. I love mystery novels and hers was pretty clean besides everyone being incestuous, gay, or a sexual pervert. At least she didn't really describe their activities in detail. I am currently reading a book called The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay. I don't know how I feel about it. Why is it that sexuality is such a pervasive theme? I've been thinking about this as I've been reading a lot and it seems every book mentions something if not many somethings about the sexuality of the characters. Which brings me to this question: Is sexuality a valid aspect of character development? Or is it just sensationalist fluff? As a woman who has recently had an infant ripped from my womb after many long, painful, and unsuccessful hours of labor and who currently has no interest in sex, it seems largely the latter. It just frustrates me that as human beings with pre-frontal cortexes (what is the plural for this word?) in the 21st century, we choose to dwell on and magnify something that does NOT separate us from the animals. And I think it is especially hypocritical in a world that tells us sexuality does not define a person. The argument could be that it is part of everyday life for the character, but so is peeing and pooping, and I do not see that included in many novels. Just some points for pondering. Hope this is not too risque for our little circle of readers, Anbo.

Happy Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Love Paperbacks

For some reason I only want to read paperbacks lately. I just love how you can squish them and fold them and how soft they are. I just can't read hardbacks right now and so have been scouring the book sale at the library every day for new paperbacks to buy. This limits my choices a bit, which is probably a good thing as I can't limit myself when it comes to reading. In honor of Valentine's Day tomorrow, what are you loving about books lately?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

This has nothing to do with reading, but it reminds me of our fun (and cold) weekend and it is a pretty picture.


I received two books in the mail today. They are Bleak House by Charles Dickens and I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Yay! Fobo has joined us. It will be fun to read more of her reviews. I love hearing her talk about books.


I recently read Deadline by Chris Crutcher. I really liked it. It dealt with some pretty heavy issues without being overly serious. I liked the main character as he was always trying to take care of others and spare them the knowledge of his death while having to pack everything he wanted to do into his Senior year of high school. I also liked how you never really felt sorry for him because he was so determined to make the most of the time he had left. It made me reevaluate how I think of people, even racists, bullies, and molesters, if you can believe it. A real tear jerker.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Masterpiece Classic Update

I realized that I've never given my thoughts on Northanger Abbey or Mansfield Park on Masterpiece Classic. Well... I liked them both. Much, MUCH better than Persuasion. I know most people don't like Northanger Abbey, but I enjoy it. It was the first novel that Jane wrote and was published after her death. It is light-hearted and buoyant in a way her other novels aren't.
Mansfield Park, along with Emma, are my two least favorite Austens, but I always like Mansfield Park better on film. The actress who played Fanny was not exactly my idea of the character, but she ended up doing a fabulous job.
Now this Sunday we're on to the 1995 Pride and Prejudice that made every woman in the world fall in love with Colin Firth.

Monday, February 4, 2008

No More Reviews

I've decided I'm not going to call my thoughts about books "reviews" any longer. Because they aren't really reviews. I am in no way a critic. I was an English major, but those days are very much over. I don't really like looking at a book in a purely critical manner. So I'm just going to give you my impressions of books I've read, which is what I've been doing anyway.

Review: Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield

How I loved this book! Rob Sheffield is a music journalist who works for Rolling Stone. In his early twenties he was a grad student in Virginia when he met and fell for Renee, who shares his love of music. Renee sounds like an awesome woman, the kind we all want for our best friend. She loves life, people, music and, I was thrilled to read, baseball. Their relationship quickly progresses and they marry. They are together for five years when Renee suddenly dies and Rob is left a widower (a word he doesn't like). A major theme of their relationship is their love of music and the mix tapes they make for each other. Most of the music mentioned is from the early 90's when I was in my late teens and early twenties. Rob's opinions of various bands and artists from this era are hilarious -- I nearly peed my pants laughing several times while reading this. This is a bittersweet and tragic tale of love and music and life told in a funny, thoughtful, endearing, and yes, truly romantic way. It is a perfect read for Valentine's Day and might inspire you to make a mix tape for your honey (although jewelry and chocolate are nice, too).

Blue Was Bugging

Okay, I changed it again. I kind of like the blah brown.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Better in Blue

It was time for a change and I think this blue looks great. I hope you don't mind -- what do you think of it?

Recently Read

You might have guessed that I don't review every book I've read, mostly because I don't feel like it. So here are a couple of books I've read recently that were very good, but did not inspire a review:

The House at Riverton
by Kate Morton

Free for All: Oddballs, Geeks and Gangstas in the Public Library by Don Borchert

Friday, February 1, 2008

Genres I Despise

I don't have much to write this week, but I can tell you that I hate Christian fiction, romances, most chick lit, best sellers, cozy mysteries and books where women "bond". Although, as in most things, there are always exceptions.