Monday, March 31, 2008

Finally Finished

I finished The Historian! It was pretty good. It was a bit anti-climactic. You read through like seven thousand pages of convoluted and overlapping plots for about 3 seconds worth of action and loose end tying and then POOF, it's over. Left me feeling unsatisfied. I am currently reading a blatantly bad Gothic novel called On the Edge of the Woods. It was the only book that came up when I typed in the word "Gothic" at my closest library. It reads like an R.L. Stine novel for young adults, but not as good. Ah well, it's the only thing I have to read at the moment so I will continue being amused when I'm not supposed to be until I can get something else from the library.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It just keeps going and going and going...

I'm STILL reading The Historian. It's finally starting to move at a somewhat faster pace but I've just already put so much time into it that I've kind of lost interest. I think the style of this book creates problems. 1) How do you tell people the plot of your book when there's 3 different timelines going on? I've tried to describe this book unsuccessfully several times. 2) It's like Heroes: when you're trying to advance three different stories in flashes, it takes a LONG time to make any of them go anywhere. 3) I've been reading it so long with so little progress in the stories that I'm just done. I don't know if I'll ever finish it! I will. It might just take a while.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What Southern Women Know About Flirting by Ronda Rich

This is one of my favorite books dealing with charm. I've read it 3 times now and could probably read it again and learn something new. Ronda Rich is a Southern woman who exudes graciousness, charm and kindness. I am definitely NOT a natural flirt and some of her suggestions would be terribly hard for me to even try, but she makes them seem fun and easy. Hopefully, I can learn something from her advice and become a great social flirt. Her advice might be hard for modern women to swallow, but I believe she knows her stuff. She gives tons of examples of how flirting (with men AND women) led her to get better flights, hotel rooms and restaurant service. It would be worth your time, married or single, to read this book.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Day at the Ballpark

I spent the afternoon at Phoenix Municipal Stadium with my dad watching the Dodgers (see all the blue?) vs. White Sox. It was heavenly! I will aggressively root against the Dodgers when the season starts, but it was fun to see them in action today. Brad Penny pitched and Russell Martin, Andre Ethier, Rafael Furcal and Andruw Jones all started the game and played nine innings. I just love the baseball atmosphere and had a great time today.

The Power of Charm

I read this short book by Brian Tracy and Ron Arden last night. According to the authors charm is a learned skill and they give tips on how to effectively communicate with anyone. The tips are sensible and definitely doable and don't advocate anything that would make you feel stupid or uncomfortable. I enjoyed this little gem and might even read it again.

Monday, March 17, 2008


Anbo, I read your blog about your love for Gothic novels and decided to give it a try. I read Thirteen Tales, and I really enjoyed it. It was a thoroughly engrossing read and it was vivid enough that imagining the people and settings came naturally without being so descriptive you forgot what was being described in the first place. The library didn't have Fingersmith, so I checked out Sarah Waters' Night Watch, which is most decidedly NOT Gothic, so I just stopped reading it. I have the Historian and plan to start reading it tonight. I'll let you know what I think.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's Almost Here!

Baseball season, that is. I am so excited I can hardly wait. Most of my reading lately has been fantasy baseball sites, doing research for Yahoo fantasy baseball. My draft will be next week, I believe. I must get good pitching this year or I am doomed. I know this is off-topic, but if there is a reason I'm not posting, this is it. Go D-backs!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This one's for you Anbo :)

I'm actually posting! Read a book titled Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughn that I really liked. It's about a country at war and it's princess who studies medicine and treats the injured enemy prisoners. When her country is forced to surrender, she is claimed by the barbarian warlord that defeated them as the warprize. My description makes it sound like some cheesy romance and, of course, she and the warlord do fall in love but it was actually a really enjoyable read. I guess this is the first book in a series so I'll have to check the others out.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

That Teenage Feeling

This week I've been pondering my reading history and realized with a shock and a bit of pride that I was a great reader as a teen. My teen years were when I embarked on the most ambitious and challenging reading of my life. I read more classics of fiction, history and philosophy than at any other time. Not even in college did I read so well. I truly educated myself and laid a great foundation for all the reading to come. Why can't I do that now? I think my avid curiosity still lives, but laziness has nearly completely taken over. In order to return to those great reading years, I've decided to watch less TV and spend less time on the Internet. I'm embarrassed by my lack of knowledge on many subjects and now is as good a time as any to remedy that situation.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Genre Study

At my library we're starting a genre study to help us learn more about different authors and genres we may not be familiar with. I'd like to extend the challenge to you! For April we'll be reading and studying mysteries. This is your chance to read something you've never explored before. I'll post more later on the sub-genres of mysteries and authors you may want to consider reading if you take the challenge.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Hanging Valley by Peter Robinson

The Hanging Valley is the fourth novel in the Chief Inspector Alan Banks series. Peter Robinson is one of my favorite mystery authors, but I find these early novels a bit plodding. And I can't help but miss the druggies, thieves and con-men of Rebus' Edinburgh. However, the country setting is a nice change. This particular mystery takes place in Swainsdale where a decomposing body has been found. The police suspect he is a hiker as he is found in the hanging valley where walkers frequently visit . Interrogating the townspeople leads them no where and it is only when a forensic odontologist is called in that they discover the victim is a college professor who lives in Toronto. The unique feature of The Hanging Valley is that Banks is permitted to go to Toronto to investigate for a short part of the novel. I don't know much about the city, but this novel makes it sound charming. Anyway, Banks learns that several people in Swainsdale have secrets and the professor knew them all. A bit of an unsatisfying ending, but in the end a good read.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Green Again

The brown was too blah. I think the original green is fresh and pretty.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


The library I work for is considering merging all of our genres into one large fiction section. We currently have them split into fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction and westerns. I personally like them separated, but I'm curious to see what others prefer. Please take my survey to the right and give me your opinion!

A Gothic Kind of Girl

I really dig gothic literature. I'm currently reading Fingersmith by Sarah Waters which is deliciously gothic. Wondering what gothic is? According to Wikipedia gothic novels contain elements of "terror (both psychological and physical), mystery, the supernatural, ghosts, haunted houses and Gothic architecture, castles, darkness, death, decay, doubles, madness, secrets and hereditary curses". Sounds good, doesn't it? Recent gothic novels I've also enjoyed are The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and The Historian (which I haven't quite finished yet) by Elizabeth Kostova.