Since the end is near for 2008, I thought I would post at least one more review before the ball drops! I actually ended up reading a few more books than I did last year which is totally amazing since I'm working twice as much!! But the last review of the year is Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain (336 pgs., St. Martin's Minotaur, 2008), the follow-up to HeartSick.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Well....I can't stop reading the series now, can I? Not a series that has my son begging for more books?? I went out and bought New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (608 pgs, Little, Brown Young Readers, 2006) as soon as Chad was disappointed he was on a waiting list at school to get the book. I figured it was an investment in his education!! Again, I can see the appeal this series has for the younger set.
I felt like I was trapped in one of those terrifying nightmares, the one where you have to run, run till your lungs burst, but you can't make your body move fast enough. My legs seemed to move slower and slower as I fought my way through the callous crowd, but the hands on the clock tower didn't slow. With relentless, uncaring force, they turned inexorably toward the end -- the end of everything.
Things for Bella seem to be going smoothly. She and Edward are a couple. No one knows the Cullens' secret about being vampires. Life is good. There is still one tiny problem -- she wants Edward to turn her so they can spend eternity together, and he wants nothing to do with it. But dating a vampire has a few drawbacks!
Then the Cullens throw a surprise party for Bella's birthday, and in typical Bella clumsy fashion, she gets hurt. The realization that she IS human and they are not seeps in. The Cullens leave town, and Edward breaks up with Bella. In harsh fashion, he tells her that he just can't take their relationship. He doesn't love her enough to do it.
Bella goes into a tailspin of depression. So bad that her friends no longer want to be around her. Charlie is ready to have her committed. She is sleep walking through life. Until she finds if she is in trouble, she can "hear" Edward's voice inside her head. So Bella starts do really reckless things just to feel closer to him. She evens buys 2 motorcycles, although they need a lot of work. And who does she get to help her with it, but her old friend Jacob Black.
Bella starts spending a lot of time with Jacob. He comes her best friend, and the person she relies on the most since Edward left. It's pretty obvious that Jacob's feelings are a lot stronger than Bella's. But she really does care for him. But Jacob has secrets of his own, and now Victoria is back....and pissed off. She is trying to exact her revenge by killing Bella. Since Edward killed James, she is planning to kill Edward's mate. Mate for Mate. And Bella is scared.
Really, I do see how this series became so popular. Meyer's writing is smooth and certainly addictive. Once you start, you can't put it down. But I don't think I liked this one as much as I did Twilight. Edward and family took a backseat to the new monsters in town, and frankly, I am rather partial to vampires!!
Again, Bella stilled annoyed me WAY too much. I get that she's a teenager. Losing your love is traumatic at any age. But we've all been through it. She fell into such a depression, feeling so sorry for herself, that it made me want to scream!! Her recklessness was really starting to bother me too. Personally, I didn't blame her for turning to Jacob. I've read a lot of reviews that said she was being really fickle...but I just didn't see it that way. I think she valued Jacob as a friend. She was very honest with him that she didn't feel the same way about him...and he accepted that. But she did come to love who he was....and if that was gone, she was going to be sad.
And Edward....oh let's get started on him. If he can't have Bella, he's just going to kill himself?? Please. Give me a break. You'd think that a 100-year-old vampire would be smart enough to get over a whiny little thing like Bella. Maybe I'm being jaded by dismissing the whole "Soul Mate" idea. I get the concept....but I just have a hard time buying into it. And marketing books to teens that promote this kind of worshipful love seems kind of dangerous to me. Sheesh. Maybe I AM too old to be reading this series!!
Anyway, I enjoyed the book. Not as much as Twilight. But since I bought Chad both Eclipse and Breaking Dawn for Christmas, I'll definitely be finishing out the series!! 3.75/5
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Booking Through Thursday
Generosity December 18, 2008
Do you give books as gifts?
To everyone? Or only to select people?
How do you feel about receiving books as gifts?
I tend to give EVERYONE books as gifts!! Even my husband, the non-reader, gets books. The last one I bought for him was Nikki Sixx's biography, The Heroin Diaries. But see....that's the beauty of books. There is literally something for everyone!!
My son gets fantasy books. Bella gets anything with Faeries. And Ana is kind of like me. She'll read the back of a cereal box. Right now, she is interested in any of the Early Reader Books.
My brother is another person that will get books for Christmas. His taste is really weird....just like mine! I always buy him something *I* want to read, with the hopes that it will come back to me soon.
Hmmmm....how do I feel about RECEIVING books? Are you kidding? Books are the best gift of all. Well.....a new Mustang Shelby would probably be the BEST ever, but books are right up there!!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Ever hear the old saying "A Day Late and a Dollar Short"...? Well, that seems to be a way of life for me. I was so sure I was scheduled for the 15th, that I didn't even bother to look until tonight at work.....only to see that I was really scheduled for the 14th!!
That seems to be a theme for me this year. The kids and I literally put our Christmas tree up last night. And with the crazy hours both Mike and I are working right now, it's been really hard to get into the Christmas spirit. But we are trying!!
This year, I took the girls to the Festival of Lights in East Peoria. It's really beautiful. They have all sorts of floats and light shows set up in a park and you drive through it to look at the lights. Then we went and visited Santa. The girls told him what they wanted for Christmas (so at least now I know what to get!!) Then the 3 of us went out for dinner. It was a great Girl's Night Out!
OK....traditions. In the Toland household, we actually kind of fly by the seat of our pants. There aren't a lot of "traditions" we really have. We go back and forth between families for dinner, but we always spend Christmas Eve with Mike's parents. It's nice because I usually spend the latter half of the evening doing the whole "Santa" routine with wrapping presents and putting them out under the tree for the kids. I'm really going to miss all that when the Santa experience is over. Right now, it is still magical....at least for the girls.
But Christmas Eve is nice. We always have dinner and cookies and warm hot chocolate with the in-laws. And the once-a-year viewing of Christmas Vacation. Sometimes, I think the Toland's and the Griswald's have a lot in common!! It's a quiet evening before the Big Day....and it's one that I will always treasure.
I'll leave you with a clip from Christmas Vacation!!
Merry Christmas to you and yours!!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
just haven't felt like posting. Not sure what the problem is either. I think it's partly due to all the hours I've been working. Trying to get things ready for Christmas.
And I think it's partly due to this blah I've been feeling. Is it the holiday blahs??? I don't know. I'm hoping it will pass soon. I'm seriously behind in reviews. I do hope to get that rectified soon.
Monday, December 1, 2008
I was stunned and incredibly saddened this morning to learn that one of the most energetic, sweetest, and original bloggers in the blog-o-sphere has passed away. I learned this morning that Dewey of The Hidden Side of a Leaf died Tuesday evening. She was such a creative person, hosting not only the 24 Hour Read-a-Thons, but also the Weekly Geeks. Dewey also had such a positive spin on things, a love for reading that held no bounds, and a such a friendly demeanor that everyone loved her. I can not imagine how the Book Blogging Community is going to recover from this loss.
I have no words to express myself…
Saturday, November 29, 2008
In my quest to finish off (or at least catch up) with some of the numerous serieses I have started, I picked up Claimed by Shadow by Karen Chance (374 pgs, ROC, 2007) which is Book 2 in the Cassandra Palmer series.
Any day that starts off in a demon-filled bar that is designed to look like Hell isn't likely to turn out well. But all I thought at the time was that a brothel should be more fun -- especially one that was for ladies only staffed by handsome incubi.
Cassie Palmer isn't having a good day. Now that she has become the heir apparent to the title of Pythia, the world's chief clairvoyant, you would think things would be easier. But Cassie doesn't really want the job. Unlike other Pythia, Cassie was never trained to use the power. And besides, the job comes with strings attached. The Silver Circle of mages want to control her and so does the Vampire Senate. To top it all off, there are lots of people out there that just want to kill her. And the only thing Cassie really wants is to find Antonio, the master vampire that raised her, and now has a bounty on her head. When she learned that Tony killed her parents and trapped her father's spirit, she is looking for a little revenge. But Tony escaped from the Senate, and is hiding in Faerie, a seriously bad place to be if you aren't Fey.
The list of players in this book is long and rather intimidating. Besides Cassie and Tony, there is Mircea, the Master vampire that Cassie has known all her life. Because Mircea knew Cassie had the ability to become Pythia, he placed a geis on her at an early age. This lovely little spell was meant to ward off would-be suitors because to gain the Pythia power, you must be a virgin. But one of the unfortunate effects of the geis is an unbelievable attraction to the person that placed the spell....an attraction that goes both ways.
Then there is John Pritkin, the War Mage and the Silver Circle's Chief Assassin. Friend of foe, Cassie doesn't know. She's pretty sure that Pritkin would rather kill her than look at her, but he also needs her help for something. She just doesn't know what that something is.
Myra was supposed to be the next Pythia. She spent her life being trained by the mages to use the power, only to be passed over for Cassie. Myra is super-pissed off and would like nothing better than to see Cassie dead.
Because of all the characters, the book gets a little complicated. It takes a lot of concentration to follow all the storylines and keep up with everyone. To top it all off, you really don't know who is on the good side, and who isn't. But if you can wade through all of that, the story is a really good one. Karen Chance has created a world in which the Pythia (named for the ancient Greek clairvoyant priestess that presided over the Oracle of Apollo) has the ability to go back in time to change events. However changing an event can cause major upheaval in the future. She also gives us a look at the dark world of Faerie, that certainly isn't like Disney's version.
I really enjoyed this book. Cassie is a strong character....she is tougher than she looks and has a mind of her own. Mircea, Vlad the Impaler's brother in fact, is dark, sexy and undead. My kind of guy! Where the first book in this series sets the stage and introduced us to the characters, this book goes a lot farther. Non-stop action from page one, Claimed by Shadow is an incredible thrill-ride!! Unfortunately, not all the questions are answered, and you are just going to have to keep reading the series to find out where the everything falls in the end. If you are a lover of the paranormal, this is a great series to start. I totally recommend reading it! 4/5
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Today is Thanksgiving here in the U.S.
Now, you may have noticed that the global economy isn’t exactly doing well. There’s war. Starvation. All sorts of bad, scary things going on.
So–just for today–how about sharing 7 things that you’re thankful for?
This can be about books, sure–authors you appreciate, books you love, an ode to your public library–but also, how about other things, too? Because in times like these, with bills piling up and disaster seemingly lurking around every corner, it’s more important than ever to stop and take stock of the things we’re grateful for. Family. Friends. Good health (I hope). Coffee and tea. Turkey. Sunshine. Wagging tails. Curling up with a good book.
So, how about it? Spread a little positive thinking and tell the world what there is to be thankful for.
Well....this is a question that always gets asked at the Thanksgiving day table....and I always seem to say the same things every year. But I can't help it. That picture there??? Those are the 3 things I am most thankful for in the world!! I mean, honestly. I don't really think I ever thought about having kids before I got married. Not that I didn't like kids...just didn't think much about them. Then BOOM. I'm the mother of 3. Talk about life-changing events!! But I don't even remember what life was like without them. Nor do I want to. I'm so thankful they are all healthy and happy. They are a blessing and my reason for getting out of bed every day.
Other things that I am thankful for?? Family in general. My family, my husband, my in-laws. I may not always agree with them. Or even like them, for that matter. But I don't know what I would do without them.
I'm thankful I have a job. In today's horrible economy, it's something just to be employed. I may complain about the hours I'm working, but all things considered....it's better than the alternative.
I'm thankful that I have a house to live in. I work with a lady that is sleeping at a Salvation Army shelter because she lost her house to foreclosure...and doesn't have any family in the state. Breaks my heart. But makes me thankful for what I have (even if it is in a perpetual state of upheaval!)
I'm thankful for my friends. I don't see them very often. Working so much has a few serious disadvantages. But I do love them. And I know if I ever needed them, they would be here for me.
I'm thankful for my books. Sounds kind of trite with everything else I just listed. But damn. I need something to keep me sane. And a little quiet time with a good book is that island for me in the middle of the insanity I call life.
And lastly, I'm thankful for all of you!! I have come to realize what a wonderful community this really is, and I'm just thankful you all let me be a part of it!!!
So....Happy Thursday. But most importantly.....Happy Thanksgiving!!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
It's been a couple of weeks since I participated in The Sunday Salon, so I thought I would post today. I can't believe it's Thanksgiving already. Where has this year gone??? Time is certainly marching on, isn't it? Since I'm working this holiday, we are not able to go home to visit my family. And my in-laws are spending Thanksgiving with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law. To say that Mike and his brother don't get along is an understatement. I know it's hard on his parents, but for us it's much easier if we don't spend the holidays with them. It just makes things flow a little smoother. So it looks like I'm cooking for us this year! Normally, I don't mind. I like to cook. With me working so many hours, it would almost be easier just to order a pizza!! But I promised the girlies we would do this thing right, so it's turkey and all the trimmings for us. And they are pretty excited about it. I guess we'll give it a go.
I'm hoping to take them to see Twilight on Tuesday. I've been looking forward to it ever since I read the book. I hope it lives up to the expectations.
Another event I'm looking forward to this year is the Book Bloggers Christmas Swap. I participated last year and had a great time!! Hosted by Nymeth and Dewey, this is a chance to play "Secret Santa" with a fellow book blogger. I mean, really. How much fun is it to get presents? Last year, the wonderful Carl was my Secret Santa. He got me a wonderful book, some chocolate, but most importantly, had some trees planted in my name!! It was a very cool present, and it meant alot. By the way, it's Carl's birthday, so hop on over to his blog to wish him a great one! This year's Swap looks likes it's shaping up to be just as fun!!
Also for the holidays and the blogging community is the Blog Advent Tour. Hosted by Marg and Kailana. This is a chance to get a peek into the holidays of other bloggers. Each day, a blogger or two will post about something that is meaningful to them about the holidays. It's a great chance to find other blogs that are of interest to you....as well as getting a leg up on that ol' Christmas Spirit!! There is still time left to join in the fun!!
On the reading front, I've been pretty lax. I just haven't had the time...and I'm kind of in a slump right now. I just finished up the second book in Karen Chance's Cassandra Palmer series, Claimed by Shadow. And I'm still plodding my way slowly but surely through The Lost Diary of Don Juan (this one isn't really my thing. Interesting, but just not grabbing me). I need to find a book that really sucks me in. Any suggestions??
Anyway...that's it for me. Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I receive a lot of review books, but I have never once told lies about the book just because I got a free copy of it. However, some authors seem to feel that if they send you a copy of their book for free, you should give it a positive review.
Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?
Just because an author chooses to send me a book should not mean I have to be dishonest. I haven't really encountered this problem though. I tend to be pretty selective in choosing books from the numerous requests that I receive. I tend to pick books that I think I would like. Maybe that's a cop out. But if it's a subject matter that interests me, I'm already a step ahead. And I always let any author know that I will give an honest opinion. I always forward a link to the review as well.
For what it's worth, I tend to rely pretty heavily on the word of bloggers. I don't read a lot of professional reviews anymore. I follow word of mouth from the people that I know and respect. That's all of you. If we start trading our values for free books, what does that make us?? I can think of a few choice adjectives, but I don't think I'll put them in print!
Keep up the good work! I know I'm counting on all of you!!
Happy Thursday and Happy Reading!!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I was doing so well posting at the beginning of the month, and then I just seemed to taper off. I guess I really didn't have much to say!! And I've pretty much spent the last 24 hours in bed with a migraine. Sheesh. I haven't had one in awhile. I guess I forgot the sheer magnitude of them. This one was a doozy, and frankly I'm still feeling the "after shock" of it. But at least I feel slightly better. That's something, I guess.
It looks like winter is here....it's butt cold in the Midwest these days. And I'm just not ready for it. I hate the cold. I'm ready for retirement and Florida! Of course, that's a good 25 years away.....but at least it gives me something to look forward to!! For now, I just have to keep the hot chocolate flowing.
On to the meme. Both Melody and Chris tagged me for the 7 Random Bookish Things About Me meme, so here it goes.
The rules are:
Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share seven random and/or weird book facts about yourself.
Tag seven random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
- I love books. OK. I guess this isn't a surprise. But I really do. I love the feel of a book in my hands. I love the smell of a new book. I love just having them around.
- When we moved to this house 12 years ago, I had one book shelf. It was filled with my small collection of books. Since that time, I have added close to 1000 books in my house. My husband had bookshelves built in our "play" room to hold them. As soon as they were finished, I still overflowed!! Now, I have about 4 huge totes filled with books stored away, on top of overflowing shelves.
- Of all the books I own, my most prized possessions are my 7 Harry Potter 1st Edition hardbacks and my almost entire 1st Edition Stephen King collection. These are books that I will NEVER part with.
- Even with all the books I own, I still frequent the library. I love the library. In the town I grew up in, we didn't have a library. So when I moved to town, my first order of business was to get a library card. Now, because of the time I spend there and all the books I request of inter-library loan, all the librarians know me by name.
- I'm seriously anal about reading books in order. There is no way I will read a book out of series order. And after being burned by a few supposedly "stand-alone" books, I won't even read authors out of date published order.
- I am married to a non-reader. They always say opposites attract, and I think that is true to a certain extent. As much as I love my husband, I really wish we had the book thing in common. I think that's one reason I turned to the internet for "book friends". And I'm totally trying to turn my kids into book people.
- I started my online journey with a membership into Oprah's book club. Think of her what you will, but she has done wonders for the reading community. Through Oprah, I have "met" a lot of wonderful people...and I still am in contact with many of them today. In fact, some of you reading this blog will fall into that category.
OK. That's it. Kind of boring, but what can I say? Still have a headache to contend with!! For tags, I'll go with:
- Marg, from Reading Adventures
- Kailana from The Written World
- Samantha from Sam's Book Blog
- Darla from Books and Other Thoughts
- S. Krishna from S. Krishna's Books
- Kim from Bold. Blue. Adventure.
- Bobbi from Bobbi's Book Nook
That's all for now!! Later!!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
My nephews were over the other day. They are 17 and 15....and my 12-year-old son idolizes them. He always wants them around, and he always wants to hang out with them, playing mind-numbing video games.
And then there was this exchange:
Nephew: "You know. I really wanted to smack Chad just now".
Me: "Hmmm....what's the problem?? What did he do now?"
Nephew: "I was trying to get him to play Call of Duty 4 with me. And he told me no. He said he would rather go to his room and finish his book. It was getting good! WHY would he rather READ?"
Me: "That's my Boy!!"
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Now that it's all over, I'm sad. I love Halloween. And we had a beautiful one!! We had a spell of cold last week where it was in the 30's. But Halloween night it was in the upper 60's. The girlie's had a ball....and hauled home enough candy to last until the next millennium!!
But what is really sad to me is the end of the RIP III Reading Challenge. I love reading about things that go bump in the night. The eerie, the spooky, the gloomy and the Gothic....those are the types of books that have been my favorites since Jr. high. This year alone I have read lots of paranormal. Way more than I usually do. The only downside is that most of the paranormal books I have read are parts of a series, and now I have committed myself to actually finishing the series!!
For the challenge, I read 9 Books, thus completing my choice of Peril the First (and then some!)
- Vampyres of Hollywood by Adrienne Barbeau and Micheal Scott
- The Bleeding Dusk: Book 3 of the Gardella Vampire Series by Colleen Gleason
- Untamed: A House of Night Novel by PC Cast and Kristin Cast
- When Twilight Burns: Book 4 of the Gardella Vampire Series by Colleen Gleason
- Glass Houses: The Morganville Vampire Series by Rachel Caine
- Dead Girls' Dance: The Morganville Vampire Series by Rachel Caine
- Touch the Dark by Karen Chance
- Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
- And finally, The Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall (with a review pending).
I honestly loved each of the books I read. All were really good. Chalk up another fantastic Challenge for Carl!! Many Thanks to you for hosting my favorite challenge again this year!! I'm already compiling a list for RIP IV!
Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!!
Saturday, November 1, 2008
I haven't read Bradbury since High School. And for some reason, my memory of his writing is pretty sketchy. Maybe it has something to do with all the brain cells I probably killed off in college. Or maybe I just didn't appreciate it back then. It's probably the brain cell thing, though. But whatever the reason, I don't think I will soon forget reading Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (293 pgs, Avon, 1962).
One strange wild dark year, Halloween came early. One year, Halloween came on October 24, three hours after midnight.
For two young boys, the appearance of a mysterious carnival in town in October, was amazing. Green Town, Illinois, was normally such a boring place to live. But on a windswept October evening, Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show steals into town under the cover of darkness and changes their lives forever.
Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade were almost 14. They were next door neighbors and the best of friends. Born 2 minutes apart, one of them at 1 minute till midnight on October 30th, and the other 1 minute after, on Halloween night. They were the perfect companions: opposite sides of the coin, so to speak. Will was the light side, and Jim definitely the dark side. And yet, they complimented each other perfectly.
On that fateful October night, a Lightning Rod salesman stops by the boys' homes looking to sell his wares. Foretelling a great storm on the horizon, the salesman says that one of their homes is going to be hit by it. He can feel it in his bones. So he leaves a lightning rod for Jim, telling him that he needs it on his roof for protection.
Little did the boys know that the storm that was coming was by way of the Cooger & Dark show......
This book, written oh so many years ago, is a classic for many reasons. Named from the infamous Shakespearean line from Macbeth: By the Pricking of my Thumbs, Something Wicked This way Comes, this book is basically your good vs. evil story personified. And yet, there is so much more to it than just that. On the "good" side, we find Jim, Will, and Will's father, Charles Halloway. Charles and Will were never close. Charles feels he is too old to be a father. In fact, he was over 40 when Will was born. But when Will and Jim find themselves in deep trouble, Charles steps up and fast becomes the hero he was always meant to be. Ordinary people....taking on extraordinary beings.
On the "evil" side, is Mr, Dark, and his band of freaks from the carnival. G. M. Dark is the "Illustrated" man, carrying a tattoo of each person whose soul he has taken for the Carnival. But, as always, the side of evil offers up something that everyone wants: A chance to change their age. The temptation of being older is an incredible pull for young boys. As is the chance to be young again for anyone middle aged. And temptation is the name of the game in this book.
One scene that left me literally with chills up my spine, was one in which the Carnival people were looking for the boys. As Mr. Dark encounters Charles Halloway for the first time, he questions him about knowing 2 boys in town. On the palm of each hand is a picture of the boys, tattooed there....souls he is trying to steal. For some reason, that image, of the tattooed pictures on his hands, just left me cold. That's the way this book is. Nothing bloody or gory. And yet, so incredibly frightening. The power of suggestion is a amazing tool, and Bradbury uses it liberally throughout this book.
And Bradbury's writing is something to behold. It is lyrical and almost hypnotic. One paragraph that caught my attention was about Charles. He is constantly worried about his age and time, especially with regards to Will:
His wife smiled in her sleep. Why? She's immortal. She has a son. Your son, too! But what father ever really believes it? He carries no burden, he feels no pain. What man, like woman, lies down in darkness and gets up with child? The gentle, smiling ones own the good secret. Oh, what strange wonderful clocks women are. They nest in Time. They make the flesh that holds fast and binds eternity. They live inside the gift, know power, accept, and need not mention it. Why speak of of Time when you are Time, and shape the universal, as the pass into warmth and action?
This is a book everyone should read. Wonderful and frightening. If carnivals and freak shows didn't already give me the creeps, this book has definitely altered my image of them. I will never look at a carousel the same way again!! 4.5/5
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
First off, I want to apologize for being gone so much this month. With the new part-time job, my time has been severly limited. They have scheduled me uber-hours, which is great money-wise, but time-wise it kind of stinks. Oh well....I plan on keeping up the hours at least until after Christmas. My last car payment is in November (Yeah!) and hopefully, we'll be back in the black soon. After that, all the extra money is just cake. And we really need that right now.
This week controversy brewed in my husband's fantasy football league. Lord, who knew a bunch of grown men could act like such babies! My husband was in first place in both points and win/loss too. Having a great season....and a little squabble started between the commissioner and another team. Commish decides to take his ball and go home....otherwise, disbanded a league that has been around for over 8 years. And this isn't just a little money either. Last year 1st place garnered almost $2000. Mike got $1500 for second. And I'm not really sure what 3rd took. So he is more than a little ticked off. I swear, I'm ready to shoot them all!!
Not much on the reading front. I still have a couple of reviews to post, and I'm almost done with Touch the Dark by Karen Chance. I have sunk into this rut of paranormal, but I haven't found a bad book yet, so I guess I will keep reading!!
Basically, I just wanted to say "Hi! I'm still alive." And know that I will posting much more frequently. I miss it when I don't!!
Happy Reading and Happy Sunday!!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
The leaves are changing colors, and the temperature is starting to drop. The RIP season finally feels like it has arrived!! And since I have spent the entire Challenge reading Vampire books, I didn't see any reason to stop! Since I was left hanging by a thread at the end of Glass Houses, I immediately picked up The Dead Girls' Dance: Morganville Vampires Book Two by Rachel Caine (256 pgs, NAL JAM, 2007).
WARNING: THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS TO THE BOOK GLASS HOUSES!!
It didn't happen, Claire told herself. It's a bad dream, just another bad dream. You'll wake up and it will be gone like the fog......She had her eyes squeezed tight shut. Her mouth felt dry, shriveled up and she was pressed up against Shane's hot, solid side, curled up on the couch in the Glass House. Terrified. It's just a bad dream. But when she opened her eyes, her friend Michael was still dead on the floor in front of her.
Did I happen to mention how much of a cliffhanger ended Glass Houses? I did. See what I mean??
For the roommates of the Glass House, things had gotten pretty bad. When the vampires of Morganville had attacked the house, Shane had called in the troops. But the "troops" might have proved scarier than the vampires, if that was at all possible. Shane had been raised in Morganville, so he knew you had to follow the rules of the vampires. But when he angered Monica Morrell, the mayor's daughter and one evil bully (who just happened to be under the protection of a powerful vampire), his house had been burnt down. And his younger sister had died in the process. He and his parents were allowed to leave town. Normally when this happens, a person will not remember anything about vampires. It's just one of the weird side-affects from being in the town. But Shane's mother couldn't forget what happened. And Shane had come back to town with his mind set on revenge. The troops were a biker gang, led by Shane's father, and they stormed in to save the day.
But before they arrived, Claire had already stopped the vampires from killing everyone. She had found the book they had so desperately wanted, and secured a tenuous Founder's Protection from Amelie for the house. But when Shane's dad arrived, there was no going back. And Michael, not being 100% alive anyway, was killed in the process. OK. He was actually ALREADY dead before the bikers killed him. He was a ghostly presence that could only appear at night, and was somehow linked to the Glass House. It's not easy to kill a ghost, and when night fell again, Michael reappeared, as if nothing had ever happened. But now, a plan had been set in motion. A plan that would definitely be bad for the kids at The Glass House, who would most certainly lose the Protection that had been bestowed on them.
When a vampire ends up dead, it all links back to Shane and his father. And even though Shane didn't have anything to do with the murder, he was going to have to pay the price: with his own life. Shane has been sentenced to death by fire, and it was up to Claire, Eve and the ghostly Michael to stop it. Not only do the kids have to worry about the vampires, now they have to worry about stopping Shane's dad and friends before it is too late. Just another day in Morganville!!
In the book Glass Houses, I found the plot line a little on the absurd side. But I got past all that and in the end I liked the book. I didn't have that problem with Dead Girls' Dance. And since it started out literally minutes after Book one had finished, I was completely grabbed by the book right away. So far, this series is much darker than I had originally thought it would be. But dark is good in my eyes, and trust me when I say Dead Girls Dance is no exception. What I really like about this book is Claire. For a sixteen-year-old genius, she has great head on her shoulders. And although she comes off as mousy and young, Claire is way tougher than anyone expected she would be. Not only is she incredibly smart, but she is extremely loyal to her new-found friends. And she is also incredibly brave. Not every sixteen-year-old would take on a town of vampires AND a motorcycle gang of nut-jobs. Even to save the life of her friend, and maybe boyfriend.
If I thought this book would end up better than the last (ie, without a cliffhanger), then I was only fooling myself. Once again, we are left completely hanging....and this time I don't have the next book to start!! *Sigh* I guess I'm just going to have to go out and spend a few Benjamin's to finish up the series (or at least the next two books). If you've read Glass Houses, this is a must read. And if you haven't, maybe you should pick it up. So far this series, is definitely worth reading, even in an ever-growing genre like YA paranormal. Rachel Caine certainly knows how to write a suspenseful novel!! 4/5
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Okay–here was an interesting article by Christopher Schoppa in the Washington Post.
Avid readers know all too well how easy it is to acquire books — it’s the letting go that’s the difficult part. … During the past 20 years, in which books have played a significant role in both my personal and professional lives, I’ve certainly had my fair share of them (and some might say several others’ shares) in my library. Many were read and saved for posterity, others eventually, but still reluctantly, sent back out into the world.
But there is also a category of titles that I’ve clung to for years, as they survived numerous purges, frequent library donations and countless changes of residence. I’ve yet to read them, but am absolutely certain I will. And should. When, I’m not sure, as I’m constantly distracted by the recent, just published and soon to be published works.
So, the question is his: “What tomes are waiting patiently on your shelves?“
The better question would probably be what's NOT on my book shelves?? I have shelves of books just waiting to be read. In all honesty, I probably have over 500 books in my home that are just waiting to be picked up. Mind you, I have never actually COUNTED them. That would be just too scary. And it's probably the reason I will never move!!
I went through an eBay phase where I bought boxes of books about 2 years ago. Then there are the library sales. And finally, the stragglers that I pick up one or two (or 5!) at a time from Barnes & Noble or Borders. I've been really good lately about not buying any though.
But for the sake of the question, here are a few of the "tomes" that are awaiting the opportunity to tell me a story:
- The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
- Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
- Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
- A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
- Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke
How about you? What's on YOUR shelves?