Moving...sort of

Because it's too hard to neglect two completely different blogs, I'm moving my book blog over to my regular blog.
The posts have already been integrated and are getting along well.
Come on over to

Decisions, Decisions

I don't know what to do.  I'm half way through The Gargoyle but I picked up Mockingjay the other day.  I can't really concentrate on The Gargoyle because I keep thinking about my new purchase.
It doesn't help that I'm a loser who can't stand it when others have or are doing something I'm not doing.  Everyone is reading Mockingjay right now and I want to do it too!
I feel like I need to stick with what I've been reading and see it through like the adult I strive to be.  However, it's not fair to The Gargoyle if my heart just isn't in it.  Right?

Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

I'm the worst blogger in the world.
But I wanted to pop in real quick and say that I'm on page 2 of Gargoyle and I'm already sucked in and nearly blown away.  If I had balls, I'd say that this author really grabs you by the balls but since I don't, I'll just say he writes well.
I'll let you know if the rest of the book holds up.

Also, I read a lot of stuff since the last time I posted and if I can remember any of it, I'll post it soon.

Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer

Former journalist and novelist Mercer (High Times and Sweet Crimes) is broke and on the run. So he leaves Canada, ending up in Paris, where he takes refuge at Shakespeare & Co., a bookstore renowned for its literary history and promise to house writers free of charge in exchange for their work. The list of "so and so slept here" reads like a who's who of literature.  (from

This book has been on my reading list for a long while.  I was looking to buy it but never could find it in the book stores.
I guess I could have ordered it but there is something about buying a book in an actual book store that is satisfying to me.
Anyway...I decided to request it via Interlibrary Loan.
I'm very glad I did.  Mercer didn't pull many punches in this book.  Living the literary bohemian lifestyle was a dirty business.  People were penniless, unwashed and very eccentric...but mostly it seemed real.

As much as I love a good hot shower and a clean bathroom...and as much as I fear germs and bedbugs, I sort of wanted to experience living in this strange bookstore in Paris.  Who wouldn't?

Regarding Linda Howard

So, over the past week or so, I've read several Linda Howard books.  In a previous post I made fun of the repetitious formulas but for the most part, I was entertained and I'll explain why:
I read, Son of the Morning, Death Angel, Open Season, Kill and Tell, and All the Queen's Men.
The thing I enjoyed most was the fact that they all featured intelligent women on the run.  In most of them, something traumatic happened to the female lead and she had to depend on herself to stay alive.
Son of the Morning was the best example of this.  The main character witnessed her husband and brother's murder and she was framed for it.  So, she took off on foot with only her laptop and papers and got as far away from there as she could.  She was determined to find out why they were killed and sought revenge.
Being on the run wasn't pretty.  She was filthy and hungry, mistaken for a bag lady more than once, got a job washing dishes in shady restaurants, rented a room from a former hooker, etc.  It seemed more real to me....I mean not that I've ever been on the run from the law and psychopathic murderers but I can imagine!
I've often wondered what it would be like to just pick up and run away, start a new life and reinvent yourself.  I'd hate to do it all the while worrying about being killed but still...a girl can fantasize! much bitching as I do about fluff fiction, I can find a lot of things to enjoy about it.

Surprise! More books!

I was planning on running to Jane Austen after I finished this last Linda Howard book but the very day I finished, I received two Interlibrary Loans I had requested; Time Was Soft There by Jeremy Mercer and Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words by Jay Rubin.
I've had TWST on my reading list for a long time so I was excited to start that one and I'm a big fan of Murakami so this book looked interesting.
Jane will just have to wait a while!

Almost Done...

with Linda Howard.
I've read too much of this, which follows similar formulas.
Smart, shy woman.
Unbelievably gorgeous man.
He decides at first glance he wants her.
She is insanely attracted to him but resists for about 10 minutes.
They have the most amazing sex of their lives and in 24 hours, they know they will be married and live happily ever after...BUT FIRST...they must find out who is trying to kill her.
However, a few of her novels follow what I just referred to as "airheaded chick lit".
That, I cannot handle.

I've got this one book to finish, All the Queen's Men, and then I'm running back to Jane.  I've mentioned that it's annoying to me when the sex is so gratuitous and completely alien to the plot but I just saw a review on Barnes and Noble's website where someone complained:  "but the nookie was late in the book".
I guess it's just me. :)

Pride & Prejudice is next but I've read that one so I may skip down to Mansfield Park.

I'm coming, Jane...wait for me!

On a Break

I'm still on a Jane Austen break.  A friend gave me a book she thought I'd like.  Son of the Morning by Linda Howard.  I'm not sure WHY she thought I'd enjoy it, it's not really something I normally read.  But she gave it such a good recommendation that I took it home.  I finished at 2 am.  I really hate my friend.
It was one of those junk food books.  I like junk food.
So, then I went to the library the next day and checked out three more Linda Howard books and read 2 of them in three days.
I'm not ashamed.  I don't judge others by what they read....much. 

Random Vampire Books

After Sense & Sensibility and Persuasion, I needed to take a break and read something mindless.  I went to my favorite second hand bookstore and picked up some cheap paranormal paperbacks.
Mary Janice Davidson's "Dead and" series is entertaining and fun so I picked up a collection of short stories.  I've never been a prude but there was so much straight up porn in these stories that I felt a little dirty.
If I want that much sex, I'll watch real porn!
I picked up another author I've never read before, Kimberly Raye.  It wasn't the first book in this particular series but I didn't know that until I got home with it.  It was mindless and entertaining....just what I want in my paranormal fiction.  But I guess this is becoming the norm in this genre...the explicit sex.  And please believe me when I say I AM NOT A PRUDE!  Without over-sharing, I've been known to be a little wild but for some reason, having to read in EXCRUCIATING detail about how and where two people put their mouths and fingers, where they are tingling and bodily fluids galore is a bit off-putting - to put it mildly.
This is why I stopped reading Laurell K. Hamilton.  I loved the first several Anita Blake books but suddenly, each book became more about near hard core porn than about paranormal escapades.  They were all sex, no plot.  Seriously.

So, I guess I'll keep looking for the perfect mix of fantasy and subtle sexuality.
Or maybe I'm just getting old.  *sigh*

Persuasion by Jane Austen

I've been so MIA that I've had a hard time finding myself!
Jane Austen has been difficult for some of the participants but there are at least two of us who are loving every second.

Life got overly dramatic for me in the middle of Persuasion but I persevered and really enjoyed it.
So many people told me this is their favorite Austen novel and although I really enjoyed it, I can't say I liked it more than S&S. 

I just love the way Jane Austen fleshes out her characters.  They are so multi-layered and their faults aren't hidden. 
Anne is a goody goody but everyone adores her...I even liked her and I hate goody goodies! (Not really!)
I loved how Captain Wentworth gave her the cold shoulder at first, too.  She sort of deserved it for not standing up to Lady Russell!

Pride and Prejudice is next.  I've read this one before but I'll give it a once-over to refresh my drink.

Sense & Sensibility

I'm not sure why I didn't read any Jane Austen in high school.  I thought it was mandatory but apparently not in Texas.
A few years ago, I endeavored to read Pride & Prejudice and really enjoyed it but I never moved on to any of her others.
A few months ago, a coworker and I were talking about this.  She had never read any Austen books either and we both felt like this is something we needed to do so the idea of a Jane Austen summer was born.
We told a few people about it and they got excited for it too. 
So, we're a book club of sorts except we want food and booze at our meetings!
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said?  It's really really good!  Is that original enough?
I just loved Elinor and all her properness (am I making up words here?) and then there is impulsive Marianne who really irritated me with her broken-hearted whining.  Oh get over it....there is surely another man out there, right?
But poor Elinor is stuck with this secret about Edward and Lucy all the while loving Edward herself.  It's heartbreaking angst at its finest!
My favorite characters were Mrs. Jennings and Mr. Palmer.  Seriously, those two cracked me up in totally different ways.
Mrs. Jennings is just this unrelenting busy body who gossips incessantly and jumps to one conclusion after another.  She is 100% fun.
Mr. Palmer's dry annoyance at his wife is hilarious.  He doesn't care what she thinks and pays very little attention to her.  But we find toward the end that Mr. Palmer has a true heart of gold...just very little patience for his own wife.

Some of our participants are having a tough time with the book.  Austen's writing style is not exactly Stephenie Myers but I keep telling them to persevere because it's SO worth it!

Persuasion is next!'s me!

Ugh.  I hate it when people don't update their blog for a long time.  I just think it's rude and unforgivable.

It's been a very stressful few weeks.  I got busy, a close friend got some devastating news, I have lots of projects coming up that are taking a lot of my time and I guess that's all the excuses I can come up with.
Because of all this mess, I haven't had much time to read.
I haven't finished Mary, Called Magdalene because I couldn't devote any time to it, but I snuck in the latest Stuart Woods book, Lucid Intervals because it's a super fast read.

This summer, some friends and I are endeavoring to read 6 Jane Austen books...our own little Jane Austen book club, I suppose!
We were to start Sense & Sensibility today but I cheated and started it Saturday.
So far, so good!

Teaser Tuesday

Mary longed to say something in return, but it was not customary.  Instead, she just looked directly into his eyes to show him how deeply she trusted herself to him.
--Mary, Called Magdalene by Margaret George

Teaser Tuesdays is a fun weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

So, sometimes books are like junk food.  It's not nutritious but you love it anyway and in a lot of cases you eat the entire bag, box, bowl of whatever in one sitting.
From Barnes and Noble:
In this Jane Austen–inspired comedy, love story, and exploration of identity and destiny, a modern LA girl wakes up as an Englishwoman in Austen’s time.
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict was like that for me.  Ok, it took two sittings but I devoured the whole thing.  It was fun and snarky and I am not afraid to admit I liked it.
I was disappointed in the end because I couldn't understand WHY a modern, 21st century woman ended up in the body of an early 19th century woman but when I was searching for the picture to add to this post, I found that there is a sequel.  This one is from the point of view of the woman who went from the 19th century to the 21st and that may be more fun and maybe I'll understand the point of the body switching.
But maybe like junk food, there is no's just good.

Deep in the Woods by Chris Marie Green

This is the 6th book in the Vampire Babylon series and possibly the last.
The storyline was wrapped up but the author left us with a little bit of an opening for more.  I hope there is more because I became quite attached to Dawn, Costin and even Jonah. 
Jonah and Costin share a body and at first, Jonah was a bit of a psycho but by book 6, I sort of liked him and was rooting for him.
It's pretty cool to see the evolution of an author in a series of books.  Sometimes the evolution is for the better, like in Chris Marie Green's case or for the absolute worse, as in Laurell K. Hamilton's case. (Do NOT get me started about the unbelievable decline of the Anita Blake series!!)
In the Vampire Babylon books, we've had the opportunity to watch the characters grow and in turn we've watched the author grow, too.  Her writing has gotten better and better and her characters have developed real depth.
I won't give much of the book and storyline away but this whole series has used the usual sexy vampire schtick but with a very unique twist.  The first trilogy was based in Hollywood and used that vain industry as a front for the vampire underground.
The second trilogy took us to London and an all girls school.  One of my favorite things about it was that Green didn't rehash the same tired storyline over and over again.
I think I'd read this entire series again and that is saying a LOT!

Teaser Tuesdays

For days she gazed in vain and then a day came when she had an intuition that he was uneasy; she could not have told what gave her the impression, but she was certain; she waited, holding her breath; he looked up suddenly, as though he had heard an unexpected sound, and, catching her eye, turned quickly away.  From then on she ceased to throw him even a glance, but a day or two later, though her head was bent as though she were praying, she was conscious that he was staring at her.
--Catalina by W. Somerset Maugham

Teaser Tuesdays is a fun weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

I couldn't wait to start Catching Fire after finishing The Hunger Games.
For a second book in a trilogy, it's jam packed with heart break, injustice and action.
Sometimes, I would get very frustrated with Katniss when she wouldn't/couldn't catch signals from other people.  For the face of the rebellion, she can be a little obtuse but then I have to remember that this girl is only 17.
When I was 17, all I cared about was my giant 80s hair, makeup and boys.
If I lived in Katniss' post-apocalypse world, I'd be the first one dead.
Parts of the storyline seemed unnecessary and a little predictable but overall it was extremely entertaining and heart-pounding.
Also, the cliffhanger at the end made me gasp out loud.
Do we really have to wait until August for the final book, The Mockingjay?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I'm one of those people who hate feeling left out.  For about a year now, I've had to hear/read about how much everyone is loving The Hunger Games. 
I'd skip to another blog and there it is again....staring me in the face. 
"But I have so many books on my TBR list, I can't add a whole TRILOGY to the pile, can I?"
But I couldn't stand it so I gave in to peer pressure!

I could. not. put. this. book. down.  For real. 
It has everything you want from a book:  adventure, social injustice and a political message, a hero/heroine and unrequited love.
From Amazon:

The United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch.
The heroine, Katniss, is a tough 16 yr old who has had to fight for every scrap of food for her family since her father died when she was 11. 
When Prim, her little sister, is picked in the lottery to participate in the games, Katniss volunteers to take her place.  She knows sweet little Prim would never survive among these savages so with her knowledge of survival, she enters the arena to fight for her and her family's lives.

I know it sounds horrible and barbaric and it is...but Suzanne Collins somehow makes it ok to read.  You're not terribly grossed out or scared to death.
She makes Katniss super strong yet vulnerable and scared at times.  Like a normal 16 yr old in an unfair society.
The characters seem very well written and fleshed out. 
However, I became so frustrated with this political message.  Is this where we're all headed if we continue to live the way we are living?
I'm not sure I dig these post-apocalyptic novels trying to scare everyone into being better citizens of the world.  Some of us are doing the best we can.

But this was a great read.  I truly couldn't but it down and read most of it in one night.
I've got the next book in the Trilogy, Catching Fire, on my desk right now.
The TBR pile is getting higher!

Three Books, One Review

I have a confession to make.  I love Stuart Woods.  I'm enough of a book snob to be a little ashamed of this but I'm enough of a book fan to not really care.  I like a good, fast-paced, fun read every once in a while and because I was sick, Woods' newest book came across my desk at the perfect time.

It's like a running joke in the Stone Barrington books;  he's going to sleep with multiple women throughout the story and EVERY woman he meets is quite the nymphomaniac.
Woman meets Stone.  Woman drops trou.  The End.
However, the stories are fast-paced, a little predictable but humorous and a great escape.  It's just what the doctor ordered.

I've seen a lot of book bloggers talking about this YA series.  I thought it might be something our Children's Librarian would be interested in ordering so I did an InterLibrary Loan for the first book.  The Children's Librarian read it first and she liked it A LOT so I read it next.  I was so sick last week that this was a great book to get lost in.  It takes place in the Manhattan social scene of 1899; high society and all the secrets you can ask for.  Author, Anna Godberson does a wonderful job describing the beautiful dresses and costumes of the day.  I could just close my eyes and picture the luxurious fabrics and colors.
This is exactly the book I would have loved as a teen....although I'm far from being a teenager, I still enjoyed it.
I enjoyed it so much that I ran to my local library and checked out the next two books in the series. 
I finished Rumors in a day and it totally kept me interested all the way up until the SUPER surprise ending.
I wanted to read the third book, Envy, today but I left it at home! I guess I'll have to work for a living today.  

Yes....I'm Alive

Although for a while I wasn't sure I was going to live.

I actually had to go to the hospital for the first time in my life.  I was only there for 24 hours but it seemed like weeks!
I felt sick for about a week after my hospital stay but yesterday I started feeling better and today I'm almost normal....whatever that is!

In my absence, I've finished two books: 
Kisser by Stuart Woods (my guilty pleasure)
The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

I'll write more about them later.  I'm just glad to be on the mend.

2010 Reading Resolutions Challenge: Progress Check

Believe it or not, I think I'm doing pretty well.
I've read 4 books from my TBR list, which is great for me.  I get too distracted by new books that I tend to stray from reading lists I make.
I know I said I would TRY not to buy so many books, but that didn't go as well as planned. 
I've purchased 12 books since I began the challenge.  That does seem like a lot but somehow I feel I've cut down.  I've never counted them like this though.  Wow.  12 books in 6 weeks?  Just wow!
Ok, so this progress check was a good eye opener. 
I have been reading more book blogs and trying to comment more.  I'm actually kind of shy and for some reason my shyness comes through on the internet too.  That's a little weird. 
I have found more time to read, also.  I've given up certain shows on TV and have used that time to read more. 
Being sick really cut into my reading time, though.  I just can't seem to concentrate on anything when I'm sick so I filled that time with movies and sleep.

I've also decided to add 30 minutes of exercise a day so I have to decide if that's going to cut into my reading time or my TV time.
I should just quit my job, then I'd have time for everything. 
I'm sure I'd get a lot of reading done in my cardboard box!

....and before I forget

Carbon Diaries by Saci Lloyd

This was an ARC I got at TLA last year.  It's been on my TBR list forever so I added to my 2010 TBR Challenge
I really wanted to read this one because it was told in a diary/journaling format and I'm interested in all things journaling.  I teach teens and preteens journaling so bonus points to this one for being geared towards YA.

This takes place in 2015 and global climate change has created an emergency which prompts the UK government to start carbon rationing.
The global climate has declined so precipitously that the country has made the unilateral decision to cut its carbon emissions by 60 percent. Everyone is issued a card that tracks their allowable use of carbon for the year. This limits utility usage, travel, and purchase of anything that has been transported over a distance, including food. Laura has to cope with limits to hygiene, cell phone use, and practice time with her band and listen to lectures on reducing energy consumption. Her father's job as Head of Travel and Tourism at a local college is eliminated. Freezing weather is followed by hot drought and flooding to finish off the year. Her family initially reacts badly to the strains—her parents fight, her dad starts drinking but then tries his hand at home agriculture, her mom joins the Women Moving Forward club, and her sister, Kim, disappears for days at a time and almost dies when a cholera epidemic hits the city.
I try very hard not to get into politics so I won't argue the political merits of this book but it definitely has a message.
It's a scary message aimed at the very group that will have to deal with all this pollution and carbon addiction we and our parents created.
So, all eco-political messages aside, I enjoyed this book.
Seeing all of this from the point of view of a 16 yr old, bass playing girl in a punk rock band whose family started coming undone soon after the rationing laws go into effect is very real.
As much as she tried to stay strong as the world she knew slowly collapsed around her, sometimes she would say, "But I'm just a kid!!".
I remember feeling that way as a teenager.  It use to shock me how much people expected from a young teen.  Hell, I feel that way now!  Sometimes at work I want to say, "But I'm just a kid!!".

Good book, quick read.  Not sure if I want to read the sequel that comes out this month.  It's all very depressing and makes me anxious about the future and Lord knows, I don't need anymore anxiety! 
Pass, the Xanax please!!


Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino

Besides being busy and sick, this book was a CHORE to get through.

From Amazon:
Two women in their late 30s have been killed in similar fashion within a year of each other: Yuriko, a prostitute, and Kazue, a successful professional who was turning tricks on the side. They are linked by a nameless woman, older sister of the former and classmate of the latter, who lays out their histories and her own in a chillingly dispassionate, curiously defensive narrative.
This book is written in the point of view of four different people.  First the bitter older sister, then the beautiful younger sister, then the whacked out friend....just when you think you can't take anymore, you're hit with an entry from the sociopath murderer himself.
All four of these people are so severely damaged that I feel depressed after reading this book.  After the nameless woman reads the journals of both the murdered girls and the confession of the murderer, when most authors would make this into a positive turning point in the bitter hag's life, Kirino doesn't.

I have very little patience for irrational people.  So many times I wanted to say "So what you don't seem to fit into society?  Is that a reason to go selling yourself to homeless men in parking lots?".
Not one of these characters had an ounce of self realization and I suppose that was their downfall.
The main, nameless character was a dark, hateful creature.  She felt like her beautiful sister was the grotesque one because her beauty was so supernatural but SHE was the true monster and even worse because she justified her actions by blaming it on the weakness of others.

Natsuo Kirino seems to be a balls out writer.  If you think something is too graphic or unpleasant to mention in a novel, think again because she's going to mention it....often.

Although I was deeply annoyed by these pathetic characters, the author had this amazing ability to transform me into their dark, ugly world and I felt a little dirty when it was over.  That's high praise, indeed!

Sick Time Out

I've been sick with the same thing the whole world seems to be sick with.
Today I'm not running fever but still feel pretty lousy.

When I'm feeling bad like this, the last thing I want to do is read.  If I even try, I end up falling asleep or reading the same paragraph over and over.
Needless to say, Grotesque, has been neglected for a while now.

Maybe when I can breathe through BOTH nostrils, I'll feel like reading again.

We've Got Books

I knew they were there; lurking over there in the corner, mocking me.
For nearly a year now, I've ignored them because I have my own battles going but yesterday, I had to deal with them.
Of what do I speak, you ask?  Advance Reader Copies.  A huge stack of them.
Mostly, they are YA and Juvenile fiction but at one time I had all intentions of reading them.
One of them is The Underneath which ended up winning a Newbery and was a National Book Award finalist.
I need to fit that into my reading schedule for sure.
For some reason I have two copies of The Walls of Cartagena by Julie Durango.  These copies don't even have working cover art yet.  I will put the top list (pic above) on my reading list and give the rest away to my journal club kids.  They will really enjoy them!

Testing this out

I was recently lamenting the lack of iPhone apps for Blogger. Then I discovered this one.
So far so good!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Toooo Busy to Read

That's one of my biggest pet peeves; being too busy to read.
By the time I get home in the evenings, it's late and I'm just too tired to devote much time to the pages in a book.
Sometimes, I can sneak in a few pages here and there when it gets quiet at work but this week, I've been swamped.

I pressure myself to read as much as I can and feel almost guilty when I don't. I guess that's why I'm not a very good library borrower. I get books that have a time limit and suddenly the pressure is on. I hate feeling like I have to finish this book by a certain's too much like school and I have never been scholastically inclined.

*sigh* I long for a life where I have a few hours a day to devote to a book.
I can't believe I'm bitching about my busy life....I don't have kids but I do have responsibilities and they have a tendency to take over.
Maybe I can be one of those people who read standing in line at the grocery store. Or maybe I should unplug my TV and not be lured into The Office reruns or the Late Night Wars (Team Coco!!).

I could become a real Luddite...except there is NO way I'm giving up my iPhone!

The Path of Razors by Chris Marie Green

I began the Vampire Babylon series just as the first one came out. I bought it on a whim, knowing nothing about it and when the next book came out, I bought it and then the next and the next and I'm hooked.
These books are a fun, fast-paced read and an unusual twist to the vampire genre.  I've become involved with the characters and I care what happens to them so I'll see this one through.
Unlike a lot of series, this one tells the story in a series of trilogies so thankfully, the mystery is solved at the end of each trilogy so I don't have to wait years and years to know what has happened.

This fifth book was entertaining and I was able to finish it in just a few days, so I give it:

So long, resolution

So much for cutting down on my book buying. I have credit at the
second-hand bookstore so I couldn't help myself.

I picked up 4:
Living To Tell the Tale by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Blinding Light by Paul Theroux
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
Sins of the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon (it was freebie so thought I'd
try one of her books out)

And the TBR pile grows!

I picked a good day....

To call in sick. It's so ugly outside; raining, cold and cloudy. What
a perfect day to read.
Right now, I'm reading the 4th book in the Vampire Babylon series
called The Path of Razors by Chris Marie Green.
This is one of my guilty pleasures: vampire books. I'm not ashamed to
admit it. I'll balance it out with some Austen or Hemingway later!

Helen of Troy: The final post

I finally conquered Troy!

Yesterday, before I read the last page of the book and the afterwords by the author, I was ready to rant and rave about how selfish and vapid Helen was and how ridiculous everyone seemed with their claims of seeing the future and being visited by gods every other day....then I learned that it's a good possibility that she never existed and is simply a myth. How can I get self-righteous with a myth?

But seriously, I couldn't feel any sympathy for Helen and Paris. They should have known better. Paris was 16 so he was probably letting his hormones do the talking but Helen was a grown woman.
She knew her brother-in-law was looking for a fight with Troy and so she runs away in the middle of the night with the Prince of Troy and was shocked that they would gather a vast army and invade? Please!
She left her daughter behind and she left her parents to deal with the humiliation and we're supposed to swoon over the great love affair? Whatever, Helen!

So, all ranting aside, this was a lovely read. Margaret George does an amazing job of transporting us back to a time that may or may not have existed. It seemed real to me.
She gave each character such distinct personalities that they all came alive.
However, the character of Helen and the authors interpretation of Cleopatra were very similar. I guess being queens of ancient lands, you'd imagine they'd have similar personalities or Margaret George has a formula for her ancient queens.
I've got her story of Mary of Magdelene on my TBR list. Surely, Mary's character will be different.

Bottom line: great read, enchanting writing.

Helen of Troy gets:

Almost There

I was up until 12:30 last night/this morning trying to finish Helen of Troy. But as I got to the last page and realized there was an afterward by the author, I decided to stop and finish it up when I've had some sleep, so I'll get to that today and then post my review and BOY do I have a lot to say about ol' Helen!

I wandered into my new find; a second-hand bookshop...and I bought two books. Oh, wait. I only bought one book but she has a shelf of books that are free with a purchase.
I bought a copy of Maybe the Moon by Armistead Maupin, who I LOVE and found an old copy of Daughters of England by Philippa Car on the free shelf. I think this is actually a Victoria Holt/Philippa Carr/Jean Plaidy book that I've never read. Good score.

Too Many Books

It's been a busy week with not much time for reading.
I'm enjoying Helen of Troy and try to sneak in a few pages here and there.

Today, I received, through InterLibrary Loan, a copy of Moo Pak by Gabriel Josipovici.  I'm not sure why I added another book to my growing list of TBRs.  Well, I know why...I have no self control.  The second I hear about an interesting book on one of the many blogs I read, I go right into my ILL screen and order a book. 
I might glance through Moo Pak and see if it's something I will want to request again when I feel like I'm making a dent in my TBR list.
Until then, I will keep wishing for a life where I have more time to read!

Helen of Troy by Margaret George (Currently Reading)

Ok, so I went out and bought this one!
This isn't a part of my TBR Challenge but, technically, I started this BEFORE January 1.
I'm not quite done but it's GOOD.  I love Margaret George's fictional biographies.  The great attention to detail, history and the images of that time are definitely part of what makes this author so readable.
It's not a dry retelling of Helen of Troy's life but a glimpse into the woman she may have been in her own words.

I read and enjoyed The Memoirs of Cleopatra, so I'm glad in Helen of Troy, George keeps up the good work.
I realized I own a copy Margaret George's Mary, Called Magdelene so I'm adding that to my TBR list today!


Reading Challenges

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