Saturday, May 28, 2011

May Reading, Memorial Day, and Mulch.

Memorial Day Weekend this year will be nothing but MULCH.  We have lived in the same house for 5 years, with its huge beds all around the house and yard and have not mulched yet.  So in an effort to finally control the weeds that normally completely choke the beds, I had 6 cubic yards of mulch delivered and the weekend (and probably the next several weekends) will be spend weeding, spraying, sprinkling, shoveling, and raking.  Between sessions, I will be trying to scrub the dirt out of my fingernails, reading (what better way to rest my back!), and maybe grilling out something.  I'm not sure what the kids will be doing.  I can bet whatever it is it won't be helping.

My daughter is playing her flute in the school band at the Memorial Day tribute at the town square park.  We will all be there for that. 

Here is what I have been reading:

Dead Reckoning, Sookie Stackhouse #11, Charlaine Harris.  I have my autographed book!  I really hate to say this, but I am a little disappointed with the book.  It was good, but left me wishing for something more.  I didn't feel much of a connection with Sookie this time.  It did leave the reader wondering, will there be more romance between Sookie and Bill?  I think she will use her Fae wish to wish one of her vampire boyfriends human.  Will it be Eric, Bill?  I guess I will just have to wait and see.

Dark Gold, Christing Feehan.  This is book 2 in the Dark Series.  Good Supernatural Romance.  Great escape reading.

Every Witch Way But Dead, Hollows book #3 and A Fistful of Charms, Hollows book #4,  Kim Harrison.  This series just keeps getting better and better.  I love impulsive but sincere, Rachel Morgan and her living vampire roommate and partner, Ivy.  The book has great adventure, romance, longing and friendship.  Loved it.

Bone Crossed and Silver Borne, Mercy Thompson books 4 and 5, Patricia Briggs.  I just love Mercy, Samuel, Adam, and Stefan. 

I am going to try to stay away from my typical genres and read something else.  I am getting stuck in a rut.  With June comes my reading of War and Peace.  I'm suddenly not feeling it, but we will see. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Modern Rural Life

Last weekend I went to my family's farm.  It's in the middle of corn and soybean country--completely rural and open.  I love it out there, nothing but big sky and open fields dotted with trees and houses.  I can't help but be a little sad though.  The land used to be a person's identity--a way to make a living and a life.  Families were supported and lived there.  The near by small towns were alive with people.  They probably never were teeming with people, but had thriving businesses and people living in them.  Church's full on Sundays.  Now, it's just dead.  If people live there they probably drive somewhere else to work.  The farms are non-functional.  No one raises a variety of crops and animals--it's all just corn and soybeans.  All the old barns, silos, and other various building are just rotting.  There is no money in farming, so those that do work there can't afford to keep the homes and property in nice condition.  It takes fewer farmers to farm the land now, so more and more houses are abandoned or people still live there, but drive else where to work.  The small towns are ghost towns.  What is happening to our rural way of life?

This made me think of one of my all time favorite books.  Stories from the Round Barn by Jacqueline Dougan Jackson.  The author wrote about her grandfather and his farm in Wisconsin near the Illinois border.  It's full of wonderful stories and insights in to a way of life that is gone now.  I recommend it.  She followed up with More Stories from the Round Barn.  I've had the book for several years now and haven't read it.  I am saving it--I'm not sure why.

 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Block Parties and Books

I was all set to watch the season finale of Supernatural, eat pizza, and finish Book 3 of the Hollows series, Every Which Way but Dead--a perfect Friday evening.  However, fate had other ideas for me.  As I was coming home from taking my son to the doctor, the garage door wouldn't go up.  Then I found out that Supernatural wasn't on and to add insult to injury, we had a block party to go to.  After discovering my new schedule for the evening and then listening to my husband grumble at the garage door for an hour, I was in a pretty bad mood.  But, life has a way of working out if you just let it.  I still got to eat great pizza (our family tradition on Fridays) the block party was fun (yes, I like to socialize from time to time, usually when my husband gives me a little push) and I finished the book this morning.  Now, I have to figure out when my show will be on and what to do about the garage door.  How come you can't open garage doors manually anymore?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May reading

Here is what else I have been reading in May so far.  I have completely given up watching T.V--there is nothing on right now that can compete with my reading (Supernatural and Being Human are done for the season.)  That will, of course, change when True Blood Season 3 is finally released on DVD.  My Husband is happy to watch all the bicycle racing, food shows, and outdoor adventure programs he can stomach, making everyone happy.  (Except for Midwestern son, who tries to sneak watching Adult Swim on Cartoon Network when no one else is watching.)

Night Pleasures, Dark Hunter #2 by Sherrilyn Kenyon.  Really good Paranormal Romance.

Iron Kissed, Mercy Thompson #3 by Patricia Briggs.  Urban fantasy.  I was so caught up in this one, I actually cried.  Something I can say I almost never do!  I love this series so much that I am trying to wait between books.

The Good, The Bad, and the Undead, The Hollows #2.  Another Urban Fantasy.  I wish the Vampires weren't so evil in this series, but they are enjoyable reads.

Family Affair by Debbie Macomber.  This book was recently republished in Hardcover, but it is actually more of a short story.  It was cute, wholesome, heartwarming, romance as only the master can write!  I've never read anything by Ms. Macomber that I didn't like.

Firelight by Sophie Jordan.  A young adult book about a race of people who are descended from dragons.  Great, unique story.  A bit dark at times, but they story is so good, I didn't mind.

Halo by Alexandre Adornetto.  Another young adult book.  I managed to finish this one, but I didn't like it much.  I found the main character annoying and her relationship with her boyfriend pathetic and annoying.  Really, Angels shouldn't be so wishey-washy!

Sex and the Single Vampire by Katie MacAlister.  Cute.  Not great, but entertaining and funny. 

Spring Fever

It's spring and my reading has been completely crazy.  On warmer days, I'm anxious to expand my mind preparing to read War and Peace and some of the many non-fiction books I want to read about how to help my kids grow-up to be normal adults (I could read forever on that topic!).  On overcast, rainy and cold days, I'm back to my Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance escaping into more interesting worlds.  With the weather 50 and rainy one day and 85 and sunny the next it's been a little crazy.  There is hope on the horizon!  Only a few more weeks until school is out and summer begins. 

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

This book started off slow; it took me a while to get into it.  When I finally did, I couldn't put it down.  I really, really liked it.  First, it is about three sisters.  This is great for two reasons, because I have two sisters and because there are so few books about women being friends with women (or in this case their sisters).  Second, it's a book about a family who loves to read.  I love reading about people who read (is that too obsessive?).  The story of how the three women mess up their lives and come together again is believable, interesting, and hopeful.  It's a great book. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Update

I don't have time for any full book reviews right now, but here is what I've been up to:

Saw Charlene Harris and got an autographed copy of her new book, Dead Reckoning!  I finished it a few days ago.  I find myself wishing for more Romance for Sookie and am a little worried that her relationship with Eric won't workout.  I'll guess I'll have to wait and see.

I have been reading about ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder to try to understand how to help my son.

I have been reading the Mayo Clinic Diet, French Women Don't Get Fat, and 1001 ways to get in Shape to try to carve out a diet and lifestyle that works for me and will help me eat healthy without having to follow a strict diet (those don't work).

I am gearing up to read War and Peace over the summer.  I will have to read 14 pages a day all summer.  I am looking forward to it.  I am reading the intro. and the cliff notes so I'll be ready to start June 1st.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Book two in the Mercy Thompson series.

Mercy's Vampire customer and possible friend (she not sure vampires can be trusted enough to be true friends) asks her for a favor and she ends up in trouble.  A dangerous being is killing people and Mercy must come to the rescue.  The vampires either can't or won't help and the being affects the werewolves in a bad way.  So it's Mercy (a werecoyote)  on a dangerous mission to rescue a vampire and three werewolves. 

Mercy just keeps getting more and more interesting.  Is it possible that her vampire friend is really a nice vampire?  Is is possible he likes her?  What about Adam and Sam?  What does being a Walker mean?  I look forward to the next book.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

A romance full of Greek Mythology, kind of like a grown-up Percy Jackson with romance instead of adventure.  I have seen a lot of Sherrilyn Kenyon in the paperback book sections and I wanted to read something of her's.  It was good.  There were a few really tender, heart wrenching moments and a happy ending--just want I want in a romance. 

Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison

The first book in the Hallows series.

I liked this book.  I didn't devour the book, but I did enjoy it a lot.  There were even a few funny parts.  I'm not as fond of books that include vampires where the vampire bite is awful and wrong and vampires are evil, but there is enough else to like that made up for it.  The Heroine is spunky and headstrong.  I will be reading more of this series.

Ape House by Sarah Gruen

A woman, who's life is researching bonobos and language, has her world turned upside down when the lab is bombed.  A reporter with job and wife problems sets out to redeem his career by tracking the story.

I really liked the story.  It is filled with true, interesting details about bonobos and ape cruelty.  I realized it is a transparent animal rights statement, but since I mostly agree with it, I didn't mind.  What I did mind, however, was that the story was going along fine, when the author suddenly ended the book.  It should have been much longer.  She set up this interesting story and then wrapped it up in just a few pages, leaving me feeling like the story shouldn't be finished yet.