Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween, Have a Merry One

When I was younger, I wasn't too into the Halloween thing. The dressing up was meh, trick or treating was fun and candy was great, but it wasn't the best thing ever. But now that I'm older, I find that Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love the weather, perfect - getting cooler, smelling fresh - I love thinking up cute costumes I could try (so much more to choose from as an adult [get your mind out of the gutter, people, I think I just mean I'm more creative]) and just the festivity. The pumpkins and the smells, and the decorations.

It helps that there isn't this huge responsibility to get everyone the perfect gift because if you don't you're a horrible family member. Also, I like the eerie and strange, so this holiday works.

So, have a fun and safe Halloween!

P.S. How sweet is that book plate?!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Library Loot

After finishing both Rosie Dunne and The Pirate Bride (both so enjoyable; I loved Rosie Dunne. Her life was so real, and even though I have never been anywhere near in her shoes, I felt she was really relatable as a character) in the same day, I knew it was time to head to the library. At first, I tried to find the stuff on my list, but I came up continually disappointed. Only one from my list came home with me. However, before I go looking for what's on my list, I look through the new arrivals, and because of a book or two I caught a glimpse of, I was suddenly in the mood for something a bit darker than my usual. So, without further ado, my library loot!

First off, Maggie Barbieri makes another return to my bedside table with Quick Study. This time, Alison and her detective boyfriend discover that Alison's friend's nephew has gone missing, and been found washed up in the Hudson River. Ruled an accident by the guys in charge, Alison and her detective aren't so sure. And so begins another great, fun romp into crime with the awesome heroine who can't seem to stay out of trouble.
The next book I picked up was Blood Song, by Cat Adams, despite my misgivings. I mean, they used the phrase "badly wrong" in the summary on the back. *cringe* But it seems just up my alley, considering my mood for urban and dark fantasy. Celia Graves is a bodyguard that ends up waking up on a slab in a university to discover she is now an Abomination, no longer human and not quite vampire. Her master is hunting her to either finish her off or complete her change, and the cops think she's a murderer. Now, she has to trust a powerful mage, his brother, a werewolf, and a single cop that isn't trying to decide whether to stake her or throw her in the slammer.
Lastly comes Midwinter, by Matthew Sturges. Suffice to say, it's about a man who must save the Seelie Court from the Unseelie Court and its evil Queen Mab. It looked suitable for my reading mood, plus who can go wrong with Fae fantasy?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Two Books Down, Two to Go

I started with The Forest of Hands and Feet, by Carrie Ryan, because I didn't know what it was about, and it was a bit of a short read. I save my longer reads for last so I can savor them. I really enjoyed the book, finishing it in about a day and a half (work, school; I picked a crappy week to choose more books than two as I have homeworks, a quiz, a lab and a paper outline - which is turning into an actual paper - due within this next coming week. But I will get through!). While the book was disturbing and dark on many levels, the main charcter somehow always managed to stay positive and full of hope, which is what really pulled her - and me - through. Sometimes, I felt the book slowing down, and I would get impatient, but there never ceased to be something coming around the corner. When I try to sum up this book, I think Zombie Apocalypse meets M. Night Shymalan's The Village. I'm considering checking the next book out, just to see where it can take me, but there were parts that I was hoping could have been better fleshed out (ha, no pun intended).

Next came Extracurricular Activities, by Maggie Barbieri. I had high hopes for this book, and a good feeling I would get through it pretty quickly. Alison has to deal with crime in her little suburb, and she seems to be in the middle of it all, again. Her ex-husband is murdered, and she finds the body, sitting in her kitchen with all the signs of a mob murder. Then her neighbors leave quite unexpectantly, leaving her with their dog, and her suspicions about Peter Miceli, the mob boss, are being more and more validated with every kidnapping, break-in, and unexpected stop-by that he performs. The ending has a great twist or two, and she gets a lot closer with her detective friend. All in all, very satisfying.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Library Love

I brought back a few more books from the library this time around than I normally do. For one, despite my schedule, I find myself reading a lot (I am unashamed. I read before classes, between classes, during downtime at work), and I finished the last two books in a little under a week. So, even though I *did* make myself put one back, I got four. And I'm almost done with the first, which I got yesterday.

1. The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan
I saw this on my sister's to-read list on good reads, and absentmindedly went looking for it at the library. When I found it, I knew I had to get it, even though I had no idea what it was about. I'm not disappointed.

2. The Pirate Bride - Shannon Drake
I've read Shannon Drake before, and I am *way* into pirates, especially bad-a pirate women that ruled the seas. This book brings about the idea that the dread pirate Red Robert is, in fact, a woman who has never let a foe live to tell (Dead Men Tell No Tales!), who falls in love with a man she has captured, and who must have an awesome pirate fight with her archenemy. What's not to love about this?!

3. Rosie Dunne - Cecelia Ahern
Penned by an Irish author (I'm also way into Ireland), Rosie Dunne is a story of love, a love that everyone sees except the two who are meant for each other. Told in notes and letters, etc., I think it's also known by the title Love, Rosie. I discovered this book through my Chick Lit book club. Go clubs!

4. Extracurricular Activities - Maggie Barbieri
I went to the library with this one specifically in mind, another in the Alison Bergeron mystery series. After discerning that this is probably the second on the list, I snatched it up. I hope it's as good a read as the first!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Once, I Did, Like, Two Things at One Time

Ever had one of those days when you feel like you're doing a million things at once, and then you say it out loud (or type all your multitasking out) and then you realize, you were not really doing so much? Yeah, it's one of those times.

So, I went to classes, and after my first class I:

  • did my stat homework
  • did research for my soon-due outline (sort of, more like in a week or two but whatever) for a research paper, and got an update on Sheila (now dubbed Cricket, as apparently that is what she ate to stay alive and OMG you do not want to know how that was discovered), and put together a mass e-mail in the hopes of finding someone that might want a new kitten, all of this at the same time, and . . .
Well, that's it. And you read it, and you realize . . . Calm Down. There is not a reason to rush, or stress, or feel overwhelmed. That was 3 (count 'em, 3) things done together that were not imperative to the salvation of your soul. Breathe. Finish your day, make some hot chocolate, and read a book. And enjoy the fact that life is not currently being flipped upside down at this moment, because in a day or two, it probably will be.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Book = Not Satisfying

I finished reading The Nanny Diaries, by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, and I have to say that it was a good read.

At first, I found it somewhat amusing, the way the mother dealt with life in general and having a child in particular, but the deeper the book drew you into the lives of the Xes, the more sad it really got. Grayer X at first seems like a brat, but not for long. At age 4, he is carted around for French lessons, piano lessons, and any other lessons that will win him that "edge" he'll need to get into the best preschool, as well as constant play dates. As far as his diet is concerned,

"All servings must be pre-measured - NO additional food is permissible. All juice is to be watered down and drunk out of a sip glass over the sink or in the bathtub (preferably until the child is eighteen). All food is to be served on a plastic place mat with paper towel underneath, bib on at all times. . . NO food or drink two hours before bedtime. No additives." Yadda yadda, etc. etc.

They might as well add, "Child is not allowed to act like a child in any way, shape, or form."

The mother is rarely there, and the father even less so. The boy is like an accessory to them both. As you warm up to the little tyke, and get pulled further into the vortex of a cheating husband and his not-so-discreet woman on the side, at first you feel sorry for the wife. But, at what point do you stop putting a douche that could care less about his son and cares even less about you, before your only child? I know this book is about the Nanny, and she is most definitely mistreated (she gets paid 3 dollars an hour, when she calculates one of her paychecks), but you soon start to really abhor the parents and the way they deal with their child. And Grayer clearly only wants their love.

The ending was the most disappointing to me, not because the book was bad, but because I REALLY wanted Nanny to stick it to the parents (as in, shock the heck out of them, make them see reason, and then adopt the poor kid after they realize what they're losing). But, all in all, a good read. A lot more in-depth than your usual chick-lit.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Murder 101

I really enjoyed reading Murder 101, by Barbieri. it made me laugh, and really kept me turning the pages with it's witty dialogue and a plot that trucked along at a pace that kept me quite happy.

When Alison Bergeron, an English professor at a Catholic college, is pointed to as a suspect for the murder of one of her students, two detectives are put on the case. It becomes apparent she isn't the one, however, pretty soon. (Maybe it's her penchant for puking and fainting when blood is evident). It *is* clear that she is on the murderer's list of loose-ends to tie up. Kidnapping, a bipolar Mob father, and a sexy detective that feels the pull of attraction as much as she, keeps this story a very fun, cute, quick read. I actually am looking forward to the next in this series, which was sitting right next to the first at my local library (yay!).

My favorite line, found on page 134: "I went to bed with a mixture of sexual desire and self-loathing, just like a good Catholic should. . ."

P.S. Don't worry, this book didn't get very steamy, although the sexual tension was plenty, in my opinion. ;)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Library Grabs

I finished Twenties Girl, and knew I needed more books ASAP, so I headed to the library today with high hopes and a list. I came back with two. Not because it was all I could find, but because the other books were quite large and I didn't want to get too overwhelmed.

The first book is Murder 101, by Maggie Barbieri. About an English professor, who is visited by the police with some good news and some bad news. First, they found her previously stolen car. Second, she is now a suspect for murder as one of her students was found dead in the trunk. With the help of her friend, Max, Alison must snoop to clear her name.

The second book is The Nanny Diaries, one I have been wanting to read for years. Let's hope it lives up to all the hype!