Monday, December 31, 2012

All Roads Lead to Austen


This book combines memoir-like storytelling with literary discussion. The author, a university professor, has taken a sabbatical from her post at a California university to spend a year travelling around South America. She learns Spanish, reads Austen books in translation and, with others she meets along the way, has book club meetings.
I have finished the section about Pride and Prejudice - interesting discussion there- and am now in the second leg of her journey. Following serious illness, she is now discussing Sense and Sensibility. The conversation has gone through feminism and on to employment.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blathering on about Books: No one wants to talk in real life.....

My friend has the same feelings that inspired me to give it a try.

Blathering on about Books: No one wants to talk in real life.....: So I have never really understood the blogging phenomenon.  It felt like it was people posting their diaries online for everyone to read and...

Friday, September 21, 2012

busy busy

Oh my gosh, this is what happens when I go back to work, and move, and all that other terribly important stuff that I do. I keep reading, but I stop writing about it!
I'm currently reading this:
File:A Dance With Dragons US.jpg
at home on my nook. Catelyn -- ick.

And I picked up this:

one day at school when I forgot the nook -- I I'm keeping that in my classroom right now and reading it. It's a lot more interesting than I thought it would be -- and will be very timely very soon in my life.

Plus, I read this last weekend:

because I needed to start teaching it to my students. Oh my gosh, is it ever dense. There's a lot going on in it -- and with its questions of identity, jealousy, and self esteem I think the students will really be able to get into the book.

And finally, I love Calvin and Hobbes.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Why is the warfare book making me want fruit?

So yeah, peaches. Yum. I love a fresh orchard peach. I didn't expect to have A Clash of Kings make me think this much about peaches though...
I find it weird that peaches have been stuck in my mind ever since the parley between Stannis and Renly. But I hear that they didn't include the peach in the show. 

On the surface, the peach seemed so innocuous. So forgettable. Except to these folks:

(He said yes.)

But I actually find it really interesting. The peach is a symbol of longevity. Irony, eh? It has also been used as a metaphor for utopia. Does that mean if Renly had become King everyone would have been happy? Plus, peach wood has been said to be able to ward off evil, but have connections to magic. And poor Renly died from evil magic!
*shakes head*

Links to back up my assertions:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Game of Thrones Book 2

Again, not the copy I'm reading. Love the art though.

So I scooted on to book two with nary a pause. It's a very riveting series. Right now Dragons have been reborn, three or four different kings are claiming powers, Bran and Arya and Jon are finding their roles in society...

I super want to start watching the series now. Does anyone know the correlation between seasons and books? 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sean Bean dies a lot.

I love the actor Sean Bean. 

But in almost everything, the character he plays dies. 

Usually quite violently:
Sean Bean Death Reel

Except, of course, when he is a soldier in the Napoleonic Wars!
Then he lives. 

So, when I heard that he plays Eddard Stark in A Game of Thrones, I was just kind of waiting for that character to die.

I got to that point in the book last night. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Random Shakespeare Love

Started reading this. I'm partly through the first book in the saga. I'm reading it on my Nook so I had no idea which cover to post -- I suppose I could have gone back to it to check but that only occurred to me just now. But this one was pretty.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Deadly Storm

Well, I finished this. It was pretty good, though not my typical kind of story. I am confused by Strike's death at the end of this one because she's in the synopisis for almost all of the other Storm novels listed. Odd.
The art is beautiful, the characters fairly believable, and the plot is pretty decent. And I love Castle, so of course I was excited for this one! Super glad I bought it for my mom for her birthday so that I get a chance to read it!

Between the two.

Finished Empire last night. Was left feeling a bit unsatisfied. It went a little more slowly for me after Rube died. The climax seemed a bit understated. The end was abrupt and had some loose ends.

This morning I started Deadly Storm. It is cleverly done so far...

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Picked this up off of the bookshelf the other day. I'd never heard of this book before - and it's not at all what I expected from Orson Scott Card.
However, it is interesting so far. I'm on page 64. The government of the USA has been crippled by a terrorist attack. The President and VP have both been killed and a Special Ops soldier has been set up as the fall guy. He's the main character and so far he's still working from within the system. The situation is less than a day old.

Friday, July 27, 2012

End of Finity's End

An interesting ending. The drama of the stolen stick was wrapped up satisfactorily. There is a hint at the resolution for the larger problems. The outcast has found his place and made his peace. Relationships have been forged. There was also a riot, a shootout, and a near death, just to keep th tension up.
Seems like there are other books in this universe. I don't feel compelled to go find them. But I would read them if I came across them.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Page 411 betrays me!

Fletcher is finding his place and the plot is heating up, but what's this? A jarring error? Curses!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sitting poolside

Finity's End is getting really good. I read this morning while my younger daughter was having a riding lesson, and now again by poolside while they both frolic. I'm currently on page 202 out of 564.
It was a bit slow at firat to get into this story, but now I'm really getting hooked. The main character, Fletcher, is on the merchant ship with his family now. He doesn't want to be there and they don't want him there either. He's working on making peace with his situation while a war story plays put in the background.
The characters are complex and believable; I can engage with them and care about what's happening with almost all of them. That's more than I can say for some books.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gatsby Map.

Saw this on Facebook. Love it. 

Finity's End

It's a beautiful morning and I'm sitting outside at a farm. The breezes are blowing, the birds and bugs are chittering, and there is a shady tree above me. And I'm reading about piracy and treaties and space. It's not quite working for me this morning.
I love sci-fi. If I were still reading the part where people were frolicking and playing on pollen in the halcyon days of young springtime it would be perfect.
Ah well. Page 29.

Monday, July 23, 2012

This is what I've picked up to read next, after a few days of simply perusing magazines etc. On page 3 right now.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

...and I think it's what I want to be.

Finished the trilogy just now. What a satisfying ending! It manages to tie in the larger metaphor without becoming heavy handed. SPOILER: By the way, we're all frogs.

Interestingly, I came to a line at the end of the second to last page that I thought would be the perfect ending. Therefore, I was a bit worried when it kept going. But that ending would not have been as amazing as the real ending (which is opposite of my typical experience.) The expected ending is in the picture - I won't spoil the real ending...

Now that I have finished it I plan to let my daughter read it tomorrow. She recently read Wee Free Men -also Pratchett - and enjoyed it immensely. Maybe when she's done I'll let her blog her comments too.

Now, what to read next?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


A bromeliad is a rainforest flower. The rain gets caught in them. Frogs live through their entire life cycle in these flowers. Strange, huh?

These books are weirdly deep. I'm on the second of the trilogy now. There is a lot about acceptance, community, xenophobia, stereotypes, discrimination, perspective... And it's funny.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


This is what I started reading last night. The first book is called Truckers. It's really good so far - I haven't yet tried a Pratchett book I didn't like.

The nomes are on a voyage to find the land of more food - or at least more food options than rats and trash. They have just arrived at a magical place called The Store.

I still don't know what a Bromeliad is.

I just finished reading the passage below and felt the need to share it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Late night reading...

Finished the book last night. Autocorrect won't let me type the title properly, although it's letting me misspell things every other word.

I did remember the twist at the end. Won't spoil it for you. What I like a lot about the book is that it is just a small segment of a larger story. And the larger story never gets told. You know that the bigger story is out there, you can fill in the pieces, you even can put together the end of the bigger story - more or less.
As far as I'm aware there are no other books connected to this one. No sequels, no grand saga... Just this one. And it's satisfying.

A well done book which I thoroughly enjoyed.

We're in the car again today so not much reading, but I started something new this morning...

Saturday, July 7, 2012


I am often struck by the author's blend of magniloquent prose and pragmatic diction...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cowboy Feng's

This is what I started reading after coming in from the pool where I finished Death at Pemberly. I love Stephen Brust. He's amazing. To Reign in Hell -- awesome.

I've actually read this one before, but it's been years and I randomly picked it up at the library because I couldn't remember it. It's familiar, and sadly I think I might remember the twist at the end... But still an enjoyable read. Also, it's one of those surprising books in which first person narration works for me.

Tomorrow is a travelling day, so I might not get to make much progress on it.
Posting on the phone, so forgive any issues!
Just finished the book while sitting by the pool. Wow, it's hot out here. I should have finished this yesterday, but the intricacies of the  early 1800's legal system in England couldn't stand up to kids and a holiday.
The book rounded out with all of the meat of the mystery at the end and another allusion. This guest appearance was made by Emma. It was woven in skillfully and didn't strike me as being so heavy-handed as the previous. Maybe because it came in the resolution rather than during the action.
Alas, now that it is over I will have to sweat it out in boredom.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Death Comes to Pemberly

So, yesterday I started reading this. It's pretty standard fan fiction (of Pride and Prejudice!) picking up after the weddings. P.D. James actually does a decent job with this sequel, but I'm just super critical of people mucking around with some of my favorite characters.

1. Full and detailed plot summary of P&P at the beginning of the book. Really, if you're going to read this then you are probably somewhat familiar with the origin story. And you know what, if you're not familiar, then the book should stand on its own anyway. 
2. The occasional borrowed line (from P&P) seems at times to be forced and jarring. Maybe I just know P&P way too well. 

Amazing moment so far: 
Last night I was on page 173 and there is an allusion to Persuasion. Yay! I enjoyed it a lot, while at the same time finding it a bit heavy handed. Again with the plot summary. But overall it was nicely done and made me very happy. 

Now, off to find out who did it!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A start...

“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”
― Voltaire