Friday, December 21, 2012

FIR wrap up

As usual, there's good news and bad news.

When I started Katrina's Fall Into Reading Challenge, I started with a list of nine books. Well, I got more than nine books read...just not the nine books I started out with. LOL I wrote a review for each as I finished up and they are linked below.

The books I completed from the original list were The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan and The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory. They were the most enjoyable of the gaggle I read this past few months.

In the interest of getting ready for the newest release from Jim Butcher, the 14th book in the Harry Dresden series, which was released on November 27, I re-read the first six in the series: Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril, Summer Knight, Death Masks, and Blood Rites.

I dug up a nugget buried on my tablet called When the Walls Fell by Monique Martin. It was a sequel to a debut novel by the author that I also found on a Kindle freebie site and would definitively recommend it.

Another Kindle nugget was Graceling by Kristin Cashore. This I would most definitively recommend if you are looking for an older teenager fan of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, or Hunger Games.

I started Lucy and Susan Letcher's travel journal  Barefoot Sisters: Southbound but I didn't not finish it. It was a doorstop that I didn't click with.

Finally, I dug out a book off the bookshelf that I've been meaning to read called Juliet by Ann Fortier. It was a mixed bag but a fun read if you're a Shakespeare geek as well as a lover of quick-paced mysteries.

And, in further defense of my original list, three of the books from that list (Crazy Love, 10 Habits of Happy Mothers, and Furies of Calderon) have all finally come up on my wait list at the library and are the next to be read in my queue!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Corgi addiction

Never had heard of or even seen a Corgi before I met DaHubby. He was the previous owner of two when we met. I had a *meh* reaction to them at first then sticker shock when we contacted a breeder after we married in 2001 to purchase a puppy.

We named him Rolle ("rol-lee") and he absolutely captured my heart. He was my constant companion as I settled into a new area, a new home, and married life. He was my furry comfort through years of infertility and pregnancy losses. He was also my buddy during my worried-filled pregnancy with Flicka.

Sadly, he became very sick in 2005 with a liver problem when I was pregnant with Pojke and we had to put him to sleep. It has been 7 years since then. Much talk has been tossed around about getting another dog but I just couldn't consider it.

First, there were the Vikings. When Rolle passed, Flicka was in diapers and I was pregnant with Pojke. Then, Pojke was nursing...then in diapers as well. Then, I didn't want to have to potty train more than one thing at a time. LOL Then, DaHubby went back to school full time while working full time so I'd be stuck with all the dog care. Then, DaHubby got laid off so we couldn't have afforded it anyway. Then, we had the upcoming move to IL. Then, we couldn't sell the house in MI so we had to rent in IL dogs.

But, I've found that, along the way, my heart's healed enough to try again. And, while the Vikings and DaHubby discuss future boxer, chihuahua, Jack Russel terrier, and lab pro and cons, all I want is another Corgi.

I miss my Rolle-boy and love the personality of the Corgi - the intelligence, the goofiness, their comical looks. So, I'm saying it aloud to the universe...I'm ready.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

FIR: "Southbound" and "Graceling"

It's getting down to the wire here. Katrina's Fall Into Reading challenge will be wrapping up next Friday. So, I wanted to throw out two more reviews...

"Southbound" was a travel journal of two sisters who hike the Appalachian Trail top to bottom over several months. Normally, I am a fan of travelogues especially those geared to more non-commercial locations. But, I've decided I'm just getting too old. LOL So old I couldn't finish the 480+ pages. By halfway through, I was tired and bored with their post-collegiate self doubt, woe-is-me, where do I go from here, who/what do I want to be when I grow up angst.

If I was 20 years younger, I'd probably add to its multiple 5-star reviews on Amazon but not as a 40-some mother of two.

"Graceling" came as a freebie through a Kindle discount site and looked like it would tickle my sci-fi, fantasy fancy. And, oh, did it! Loved Kristin Cashore's characters, plot, conflict, and development of her fantasy world. It felt a lot like Ursula LeGuin "Earthsea"books but with a female land-bound lead instead of Ged/Sparrowhawk.

It hits all the central fantasy themes: characters with unique gifts, political battling, a journey, a crisis of conscience, evil bad guys, you know the drill. What a delight for the main character to be a female and, in a sense, the antithesis of all stereotypical female traits: brutal, focused, independent, physical, non-emotional, killer instinct.

I would highly recommend it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

FIR: "Juliet"

I'm a Shakespeare geek.

I know. Big shocker there, eh?

So, when I found a novel that integrated a modern day mystery AND "Romeo and Juilet," I was all over it! LOL "Juliet" was not on my original FIR list but came as a delivery recently.

The story begins when Julie's aunt dies and old family secrets are revealed. Her and her sister's family connections to Siena, Italy take one, then both, on a ride of discovery. Nothing is as it seems. Century old grudges, alliances, and family lore twist nearly everything in unrecognizable puzzles.

I was completely enthralled with "Juliet" for about 2/3 of the book. The locations, the conflict, the unexpected romance angle, the literary references, the history. But, there were too many threads going so many directions that near the end, it seemed a forced race to tie everything up.

I'd recommend it for a slow, summer read but I was so caught up initially, rushing through to see how it ended that I found the ending disappointing despite the bad guys being caught, family being reconciled, and a couple finding - if that makes any sense at all.