Friday, February 20, 2009

A real update...

Yeah... haven't blogged in a while. I'm sure it hasn't been missed too much, if at all, but I figured since I've only posted book reviews I would give a more normal post, just in case anyone is paying attention.

So, here goes. Life has been, well... as life often is: crazy. Sickness, uncertainty, business... all of it sort of piled up in this last month. Not a whole lot has changed, but here's the break down.

Reading: I have been reading, as evidenced by my book reviews. The books were pretty decent and kept me entertained, so that's a definite plus. I'm currently re-reading East of Eden. I love Steinbeck. And in a fit of trying to read all the books I've collected over the years, I started reading Flatland by Edwin Abbot. I've only just started that one, so nothing to report yet. It was simply the first book on my shelf that is alphabetized by author... so we'll see how it goes. Seems like it could be interesting.

Writing: I hit a real funk for a few weeks with the writing. I hadn't done any writing (including this blog) since mid-January. This past week it has perked up a bit. I finally brought in some new stuff to my critique group and overall everyone loved it. I got a great suggestion for a first line and some reorganizing and was told that I'm like a "warm and nice" Vonnegut. Hmm... interesting. :) I haven't read Slaughter House Five (I know... I'm not sure how I avoided that either) so that's going on my reading list next. I'm currently about two-thirds of the way done with the novel. Here's hoping that it's finished and ready to go out to agents soon!

Knitting: I've been in a knitting funk too. I'm currently making a blanket for my cousin's baby, due in April. It's EZ's garter stitch blankie. I love the pattern and was totally smitten for the first 3 1/2 pieces, but this last section is just taking forever. And....I still have the angora scarf, Andrew's socks, and the lace and bead shawl to finish. I've felt totally uninspired with all of them. I think I need to make something for myself, but I'm not quite sure what. I've been totally smitten with a glove pattern from Brooklyntweed and a mitten pattern that I dredged from the depths of the pattern stash. I'm tempted to make those, but the 60 degree weather we've been having here hasn't really motivated me too much. We'll see. Maybe I can get the blanket done tonight. If nothing else, I just found out another cousin is preggo, and a set of friends and one of my besties' baby is turning one in a few months. Maybe I'll just make baby things for them instead.

Panic: Ahh... finally something I haven't been putting off. :) The job thing has been, well, interesting to say the least. I'm sort of on hold with the Assistant Editor position. We'll see how that pans out. I just recently got a letter from the district and I have until March 4th to tell them if I am returning or not. I was feeling more amiable to it until I subbed today... little monsters. We shall see. The Superintendent of HR is apparently very excited for me to come back and really wants to talk to me about it. Maybe I can swing a really cool part time creative writing for Seniors or something of the sort. We'll have to see. I've really been trying to be all zen-like, but it's been difficult. Whatever, at this point, I'm a writer until someone else starts paying me to do something else. What will be will be I suppose.

In other news, the hubs and I are talking about remodeling the kitchen, which should provide some fantastic blog fodder should we actually go through with it. :) I'll keep you all posted.

Kiss- Ted Dekker & Erin Healy

Kiss Kiss by Ted Dekker

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I had never read anything by either of thsee authors before and so I really had no idea what to expect. Overall it was a decent book. Sort of like sushi: good and hard to put down, but you don't really remember eating it when you're done and are still hungry for something more.

Kiss is about a young woman, Shauna, who is the daughter of a man running for President of the United States. At the very beginning of the book Shauna is talking to her brother and phsychiatrist about confronting her father. We don't know what she is confronting him with, but it sounds serious. Next the reader knows, Shauna is in a coma, her brother is a parapalygic and all hell has broken loose. Shauna doesn't remember the car accident, or the six months previous. Gradually she begins to uncover part of her story and realizes that she had blown the cover off of an accounting scandal that financed her father's campaign. Her father knew nothing of it, but his business partners were behind her accident and drugged her afterward to try to erase her memory. The drugs however, had an odd side effect: Shauna can now steal other people's memories. Shauna uses this new power to recreate her accident and confronts her father, who for the first time in her life, stands by her side.

I surprisingly liked this book. It was a really quick read, very hard to put down. Within the first fifty pages I thought I had everything figuered out. It seemed like it was going to be really predictable, but it wasn't at all, which was a nice surprise. The characters were a little flat, and at times the paranormal got difficult to swallow, but overall it was a decent read. I'm not usually one to pick up a paranormal thriller, but I would definitely try another one after reading this. It was interesting and easy enough that I really didn't have to think too much about it. Overall, it was worth reading and I would recommend it to others.

View all my reviews.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency- Alexander McCall Smith

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Book 1) The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
The very short summary of this novel is that Mma Precious Ramotswe has used her inheritance to purchase a house and start a detective agency. The novel chronicles some of her cases, ranging from a lost dog to retrieveing a stolen child from a witch doctor. It also relates her past, how she grew up, her relationship with her father, her marraige, birth and death of her child as well as her current love.

I was sort of surprised by this book. I really had higher hopes for it. I have to admit, that I did like Smith's writing and style. It had a definite ease to it and I love how he incorporated so much of African culture without it feeling like a textbook. I think I was most disappointed by the pace of the novel. It was quite slow at the beginning. I wish that Smith would have sprinkled Mma Ramotswe's backstory through the entire novel, rather than focused it at the beginning. I also with that Mma Ramotswe had just a little more depth. I think she could have benefited from more time spent on her personality; she seemed quite flat in spots.

I did enjoy the book overall, but it wasn't as good as I expected. I loved the setting and the overall premise, but it needed just a little bit more. It was worth reading, but I don't know if I'll read any of the other book by Smith.

View all my reviews.


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