Monday, August 29, 2011

The Heretic Queen

I finished yet another book and am finally ready to get back on the review wagon. For my first review after such a long sojourn in me-land, I chose to write about The Heretic Queen, by Michelle Moran. Although I have read many an historical fiction novel, this one led me down a different path. I usually stick with Elizabethan era fiction, mostly covering the lives of the royals themselves, or little known characters that may have had a huge impact on history, if you have a vivid imagination. Reading about Ancient Egyptian royalty, although something I studied at a young age with a precocious mind and an unexplainable interest in ancient religions, was new to me.

This novel covers the story of Nefertari, Nefertiti's niece, after Nefertiti and her heretic husband have died. Basically, due to her ahku, or ancestry and family, the niece is considered to be a heretic princess. When her best friend is crowned ruler of upper-Egypt, she finds herself in an awkward position. As a pawn in the hands of a priestess, who wants nothing more than to get Nefertari named Chief Wife of the pharaoh, she is forced to play Senet with another girl, who is being used by another high priestess, the sister of Nefertari's priestess. Power games ensue.

I have to say, I was disappointed. Although the book went into great detail about many things in the everyday life of a royal - the temples, the royal family tree, even what they wore and the make-up they used- it left me feeling as though I were merely glimpsing the surface of the characters, which were stagnant and shallow, two things you try to avoid in any situation. Since I couldn't really get a great connection with the characters, I didn't feel the joys and sorrows I would have felt had this novel been written with a much deeper story line. Thus I finished the novel without any feeling one way or another, whereas when a book is good you feel sad that the experience is over, and when a book is bad, slamming the cover down on all of those words is mighty satisfying.

Oh well, on to the next!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Lately (and by lately I mean over the past month or so) my sleeping habits have changed. Completely. Before, I would stay up until the wee hours of the morning, then manage to somehow drag myself out of bed by late morning to early afternoon. It was SO HARD to even think about getting up, let alone making myself do so.
Over this past month, I've been waking up (without an alarm clock) at around 7:30 AM. I think maybe the amount of light has something to do with it? I mean, 7:30 AM looks a lot like 11 AM to my brain, I think. So, I get up at 7:30 because I am honestly invigorated. I want to do things and go places. This morning I woke up early, showered, dressed, and prepared my talk. . .four hours before church starts!
I am in no way upset about this new change, except that I pay the price when the evening rolls around. 9 o'clock PM and I'm getting quite sleepy. 10 PM and I need to go to bed or I'm going to get cranky. I've never, ever been accused of being a morning person; I've always been a night owl. But this new change in my life has brought some wonderful things with it. :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Let Them Eat Figs!

I've been on quite an historical/historical fiction kick lately, and I have been reading several books that breathe fire into ancient lives. So when I saw that figs were being sold in the fruit section of our grocery store, I managed to convince my husband to buy us one little, fresh fig.
The outside was dark purple, plump and firm, but still delicate. A stem stuck out of the top, giving it a tear drop shape. We rinsed it off and sliced the stem off, revealing soft white sweet-smelling flesh. I took a cautious first bite. It was like eating a mildly sweet, earthy tasting peach. The flesh was soft, but firm, and the middle was full of small, crunchy edible seeds surrounding a hollow center. After Hubs took a bite, I asked for some honey, since that is the usual way of eating them in books and whatnot. It added a distinct, sweet taste without canceling out the earthy taste of the fig beneath.
As I like trying new and interesting things, and I am glad I can say I have tasted a real, fresh fig and I could describe it as well! Would I buy one again? Probably not; but it was a good experience to have had.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Maybe I'm just on a nostalgic kick (I *did* buy little boxes of Hershey's chocolate milk, the kind that I used to drink in first grade alongside my peanut butter and jelly sandwich) but does anyone else remember those really cool science books they put out for kids? Or even just the ones for anyone who is interested: I used to go into the adult nonfiction just searching for one that struck my fancy. I checked one out on snakes, another on insects, and these were for adults! The kids stuff was way cooler. They read something like Discover: Ancient Egypt, and inside was a full color, fascinating format of a book stocked with awesome brainy information. Seriously, what were they called? I miss those, and I may buy some if I can find them. . .

P.S. Incidentally, I found what I was talking about while looking for a cool visual for this post. Cheers!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Big Purses v. Little Purses

Like a majority of females on this planet, I have owned and utilized both gigantic purses, and small purses. In fact, I just downgraded in size (not style) recently, and at first I was very skeptical about my new, smaller purse. First of all, the top of my Nook stuck out a little. I wasn't sure I was ok with that, but on the other hand, I keep my purse so close to my person, I doubt anyone will snatch it from my clutches, let alone reach for items already noticeable. Same with my day-planner (but, really, who's going to steal a day-planner?). And today, I realized just how much I appreciate my compact holdall.

With larger purses, sure I could carry everything I needed, but I couldn't necessarily get to everything I need. This resulted in me being surprised and delighted, when switching from the larger handbag, to the small hobo, to find all sorts of things I'd forgotten I owned: you know, lip gloss, perfume, gum, my social security card. . .

A smaller bag equals better access to these important little items, and the limited space makes you really think about what you need to carry versus what strikes your fancy at the moment (flip-flops?!). The main bullet point of this post, basically, is smaller is better. Believe me, I'm only 5'2". But remember, it has to be something you love: nothing better than wearing a cute outfit, adorbs shoes, and a perfect handbag to tie it all together.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Spoiled Rotten

Things have been pretty hectic lately, but I can now say that I am a graduate with my bachelor's in psychology! Currently, I am making myself enjoy the actual time I have on my hands for things that I haven't been able to do, like read for pleasure instead of for keeping up in class. Doing crossword puzzles in the morning because I don't have to rush anywhere. Writing a new post for my blog. Lol.

In other news, I have decided I must be spoiled rotten. My husband got me a hedgehog for our anniversary (and if you know me well, you know that this is a perfect gift! Also, that this was a big step for him, considering he's not much of an animal person). Of course, he loves Siggy now (that's Siegfried von Snufflekins, to commoners!). How can you not?! He's adorbs!

My husband snuggles with me during movies when I ask him to. He'll listen to me rant about a bad day. Once, he just kept saying "uh huh," and finally I asked, "Is that all you're going to say?" and he replied, "Well, you're venting, I'm letting you vent." He knows me so well. I just realize that people should never be taken for granted, and it is my goal to see him as a gift everyday and appreciate him, and tell him I appreciate him. I've come to realize how important that truly is for yourself and for those around you.