Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2009

Booking through Thursday on Saturday

Booking through Thursday this week asked about Collectibles:

Hardcover? Or paperback?Illustrations? Or just text?First editions? Or you don’t care?Signed by the author? Or not?I would have to say I collect books and have been since I was a teenager. I rarely get rid of any, because love having them around - to read and reread, to share with family. I like looking at them in the shelves and thinking about the stories, the people, the places. I buy both Hardcover and paperback. Generally I buy more paperback than anything else. However, if the hardcover comes out and I don't want to wait several months for the paperback to come out, then I'll buy the hardcover.

I prefer text over illustrations. Graphic novels are too busy for me and I can't concentrate on the story. I do like it when maps are included in the beginning of the story so you get an idea of where the story is taking place. I did like the few illustrations in The Book Thief. They provided an extra element…

Weekly Report # 20 2/23 to 2/27

What have we been doing this week. Father has been busy working on the computer, drawing up a circuit board for his microphone project and has done a good job of teaching himself the in's and out's of the program. Sorry, I don't remember the name of it. He has a tendency to work late at night after James has gone to bed and he can work without interruption. I am generally able to tell when the frustration level gets high with the loud banging of fingers on the keyboard, cussing at the computer and pulling of hair. Don't we all want to cuss out the computer every now and again? I find myself giving him the same reminders I do with James when he gets frustrated with his wii game. "Time to take a break - NOW!"

He's off this weekend for a recording workshop at a music studio in Berkeley. One of his dreams has always been to learn from a professional recording engineer, not only how to do a recording, but everything involved from the placement…

Posts to Ponder

Today is my work day and tomorrow is one of my Internet Free Days. So I'll leave you with these posts to ponder:

Today's Booking through Thursday asks about collectibles:
Hardcover? Or paperback?Illustrations? Or just text?First editions? Or you don’t care?Signed by the author? Or not?Check out what everyone has to say and I'll have an answer for you sometime on Saturday!

In the meantime check out these links.

25 Reasons to Read by Janet at Across the Page.

Today I found Me, My Shelf and Iby Cipriano at Book Puddle in which she quotes Winston Churchill "If you cannot read all your books, at any rate handle, or as it were, fondle them – peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye"... Check out the link to find out the rest of the quote and what she has to say.

Toni McGee Causey writes eloquently as always about trusting your instincts and asks: How about you? Tell me what’s the last thing you did wher…

Book Review # 27 – The House of Dies Drear

The House of Dies Drear
Virginia Hamilton

Back Cover: "A hundred years ago, Dies Drear and two slaves he was hiding in his house, an Underground Railroad station in Ohio, has been murdered. The house, huge and isolated, was fascinating, Thomas thought, but he wasn't sure he was glad Papa had bought it—funny things kept happening, frightening things… The secret of the house is revealed in an exciting final sequence that maintains beautifully the mysterious and dramatic story of a black family caught in an atmosphere of fear and danger."
Thomas and his family, Mr. and Mrs. Small and the twins move into an old huge home all alone on a hill in Ohio. It is a spooky home, with hidden tunnels and secret passageways and a weird old caretaker. Thomas doesn't like the caretaker, he doesn't trust him. He is hiding something and Thomas and his father set out to find out what. Along the way Thomas learns the history of the abolitionists and the underground railroad. …

Ash Wednesday - Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the 40 days of Lent. During the period of Lent I am going to have two internet free days on Tuesday and Friday and reduce my time for the rest of the days to two hours in the morning. James will be having a WII and computer free day on Tuesday as well. Father has yet to decide what he is going to do, since he uses the internet mainly for business.

My lenten reading will include

Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton

Keep a True Lent by Charles Fillmore

And as part of the Operation Actually Read Bible challenge, continue my bible reading utilizing the Genre's Literature style. I have fallen a bit behind but currently catching up.

Personally, I will be giving up my beloved Pepsi's again because I'm up to three a day and really, really need to take a break from drinking them. I also will be giving up eating out on work days because all that sodium isn't doing me any good.

As I mentioned in another post, I am going to take the pe…

Work In Progress Wednesday # 1

Welcome to my first Work In Progress Wednesday. Kate came up with this wonderful idea and I decided to join in.

I'm currently working on the first draft of "Winter Illusion" which I began writing for the 2008 nano. I unfortunately didn't finish it and have worked on it sporadically since then. I just finished reviewing the draft and found that I have 72,792 words and 50 chapters. I didn't number the chapters and just put chapter next for each one. According to the word count, the chapters average 1455 words each. I haven't found any specific guidelines for length of chapters and generally they can be as long or short as you want them. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong) I'll go back during the edit process and try to whittle down the number of chapters, combine some, etc.

I also have 7 unfinished chapters in which I just wrote a synopsis and moved on because needed to do more research, (for example: what happens during an autopsy and th…

What's On Your Nightstand - February

It is time for What's On Your Nightstand for February hosted as always by 5 Minutes for Books.

This month just flew by and it feels like I've hardly made a dent in my TBR pile. However, I have been good and only purchased about 5 books during the month. I can't tell you how hard it was staying out of the used book store by our business. Easy temptation, but I was too busy to even think about it...most of the time.

I completed the remaining books on my Winter Reading Challenge list, which freed me up to read what ever I feel like in my TBR pile.

Since Lent starts on Wednesday, my plan is to read The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton and complete Bridges to contemplative living # 1: Entering the School of your Experience.

I have been going through my old boxes of science fiction / fantasy books and decided to revisited some old friends and reread a few. Next up I think will be "On a Pale Horse" by Piers Anthony. I acquired most of these books during the 1980&…

Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about the library…

How often do you visit the library? Do you have a scheduled library day/time, or do you go whenever? Do you go alone, or take people with you?

I used to go to the library all the time years ago. Until I got a job that is and could afford to buy books and keep them. You see I like books and like the way they look in my bookcases and like to reread them whenever I feel like it.

Sing it with me: me me me me!

We have several libraries in our county and they are all open different hours, different days and then some days just because they have to close due to budget issues. They aren't open when I'm available to actually go. It is more convenient to go to a bookstore.

Last year, I took the time to take James to the Library and get library cards for both of us. It was time to teach the child about libraries and how they work. We walked around the library and watched the homeless guys on the internet, the kid with the cold…

The Happening - A movie you want to miss

Instead of watching the Oscars, Father and I watched The Happening by M. Night Shyamalan.

I thought anything by Shyamalan can't be bad. I loved Sixth Sense, The Village, Signs, and Lady In The Water. His movies are strange, make you think and most times the ending is a surprise. My employees had told me you will like this one. I didn't. It was morbid and gross.

The description from netflix said "In this thriller, a deadly airborne virus threatens to wipe out the northeastern United States. Fleeing from contaminated cities into the remote countryside, science teacher Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg) and his wife Alma, (Zooey-Deschanel) fight to survive and discover the truth: is it terrorism, the accidental release of some military bio weapon; or something even more terrifying?"

I thought this should be good - probably aliens are something like that. I neglected to read the description on Amazon or read any reviews. In the beginning of the movie, two woman are…

The Sunday Salon # 7 - Reading and Writing

The rain is back and the kittens don't care...they want out. Then, every few minutes, one is running up to the patio door, scratching on it with their nails (imagine the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard) wanting to come in. We have a towel sitting by the door so I can wipe the mud off their feet and dry them. Amazingly enough, each one will voluntarily walk onto the towel and wait for me. "Play time, Mommy!!!" Then the process begins all over again a few minutes later. This was rather annoying, especially since I was working on my Midterm exam for Art History. I finished it with 5 minutes to spare and got an 88 out of 100. The ones I missed - dumb mistakes.

My brain is mush, drained. Much the same way I felt when I finished reading "The Book Thief" (you like the segue - nudge, nudge, wink, wink) And now a word about Books. Interesting read, "The Book Thief" seeing how it was narrated by Death. There is a sci fi/fantasy book I r…

Weekly Report # 19 2/16 to 2/20

We had a lovely week and seem to be getting back into stride.

Bible Study: In Explorer Bible study we did Lesson 3 "The Details of Man's Creation" - Genesis 1:26 to Genesis 2. The word meanings are great and help James to understand what is being talked about. I appreciate the insight as well, because sometimes I just can't find the words to explain what something means -- probably comes from being asked a million questions every day.

Voyages In English: Started Unit 5 about Adjectives and completed 5.1 Identifying Adjectives; 5.2 Adjectives before Nouns; 5.3 Subject Complements and 5.4 Compound Subject Complements. He completed worksheets with Father and did an excellent job.

Spelling: Lesson 18 was a review of lessons 13 - 17

Writing with Ease: Completed Week 4 Identifying central ideas and actions in two excerpts from Doctor Doolittle. James narration: "Dr. Doolittle became an animal doctor and many people began bringing their animals, sick cats, poo…

Faith N' Fiction Saturday - Biblical Fiction

Amy at My Friend Amy Asks:

"One area of Christian fiction that is thriving is Biblical Fiction. Biblical fiction, in case you don't know, is when an author takes a story from the Bible and imagines more of the details. Tosca Lee's Havah would be a recent example of Biblical fiction.

What I want to know today is how you feel about Biblical fiction. Have you ever read any Biblical fiction? Did you enjoy it? Do you think Biblical fiction helps us to understand people who lived during Biblical times better or do you think that it's unnecessary? Have you ever read any Biblical fiction that offended you?"

There is one particular author duo I absolutely love who writes biblical fiction and I've mentioned many times on this blog - Bodie and Brock Thoene. They wrote a series called the AD Chronicles which retells the new testament in a whole new way. In the stories, they take characters from the bible and tells a story of their life and how they lived and interacted …

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

Kerrie of Mysteries in Paradise has finally done it. She's managed to talk me into joining yet another challenge - which wasn't really too hard. And a great one it is - The Agatha Christie Reading Challenge. Kerrie decided to work her way through Christie's books in order that they were written. Several people decided to join in and when she saw my reviews, she invited me to join. I finally decided to jump off the fence. Go here to read more about the challenge.

There is a great list on Wikipedia and also

The books should be read in the following order:
The Mysterious Affair at StylesThe Secret AdversaryMurder on the LinksThe Man in the Brown SuitThe Secret of ChimneysThe Murder of Roger Akroyd Ackroyd (finished)The Big FourThe Mystery of the Blue TrainBlack Coffee (play novelisation by Charles Osborne)The Seven Dials MysteryThe Murder at the VicarageThe Sittaford MysteryPeril at End HouseLord Edgware DiesMurder on the Orient…

Book Review # 26 - The Book Thief

The Book Thief


Markus Zusak

Back Cover: "It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. By her brother's graveside, Liesel Meminger's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Grave Digger's Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found. But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a jew in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up and closed down."

Have you ever read a book that captures your attention and when you have read the last page, you sit there, so filled by the words, the images, the characters, you don't w…

Book Through Thursday - Storage

Today's Booking Through Thursday was suggested by Kat.

"I recently got new bookshelves for my room, and I’m just loving them. Spent the afternoon putting up my books and sharing it on my blog . One of my friends asked a question and I thought it would be a great BTT question. So from Tina & myself, we’d like to know “How do you arrange your books on your shelves? Is it by author, by genre, or you just put it where it falls?”

At this point, it is a mixture of all three. In my old apartment, which seems like many, many moons ago, I had bookshelves lining one whole wall of the apartment. I had all my books in alphabetical order and when it came time to move, packed them up in alpha order. To tell you the truth, most of the books are still in the boxes in the bottom of my closet. I've been pulling out a few, here and there to reread. I'm having fun rediscovering books I forgotten about. But that wasn't the question, was it.

Now, with a couple large bookcases in…

Book Review # 25 - A Ghost in the Machine

A Ghost in the Machine
(A Chief Inspector Barnaby Mystery)


Caroline Graham

Back Flap: " Scrupulously honest and warm-hearted, solicitor Dennis Brinkley is about the most liked person in the peaceful country village of Forbes Abbot. His only eccentricity--restoring fearsome ancient war machines. So when he's killed by a cannonball from one of his contraptions, even Chief Inspector Barnaby believes it's a freak accident. Until an opportunistic medium claims Dennis about to reveal his murderer to her...and soon turns up deceased herself. Now with two people dead and a possible witness missing, Barnaby must untangle the sinister doings and passionate obessions underneath Forbes Abbot's vale of seeming tranquility. And the eminently rational chief inspector must uncover evidence of things not seen before time runs out--and a calculating killer forever gets beyond his reach. "

This is a first time read of author Caroline Graham and of her Chief Inspector Barnarby M…

Book Review # #24 - Hercule Poirot's Christmas

Hercule Poirot's Christmas


Agatha Christie

Front Cover Flap: "It's Christmas and Simon Lee has demanded that his four sons and their wives return home for the holiday. But Lee, a wealthy and tyrannical patriarch, has anything but a heartwarming family fathering in mind. He bedevils each of his sons with barbed insults, lavishes attention on his attractive, long-lost granddaughter, and finally announces he is cutting off his sons' allowances and changing his will. So when the old man is found lying in a pool of blood on Christmas Eve, there is no lack of suspects. Did Lee's taunts push one of the sons to a desperate act of murder? Or was the killer really after the fortune in uncut diamonds Lee kept locked away in his safe? And how did the murderer escape from the locked room where Lee was found dead? The intrepid Belgian detective Hercule Poirot is called in to investigate and quickly finds that nearly everyone present had a reason to kill the old man. How…
TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to: Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. Share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from. Please avoid spoilers

"At home, she was well into reading "The Grave Digger's Handbook" with papa. They would circle the words she couldn't understand and take them down to the basement the next day. She thought it was enough. It was not enough."

Pg 75

"Silence was requested by a man on the podium. His uniform was shiny brown. The iron was practically still on it. The silence began."

Pg 110

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Head on over to MizB's at Should Be Reading to see other teasers.

I am just starting to read The Book Thief so these teasers are even teasing me. What are you reading today?


Writing Goals

Serendipity - kismet - fate - coincidence - whatever you want to call it.

A few days ago I was sitting at the table, thinking about my story Winter Illusion which had began writing for the 2008 National Novel Write Month. In December I had decided to set a writing goal for 2009 of 1000 words a day. The major part of the goal would be finishing the first draft of Winter Illusion (2008 Nano), editing and hopefully completing Floating on the Surface (2007 Nano), researching and writing 2009 Nano story. The rest of the goal would come from blogging and college essays

In December I managed to write 8700 words, January fizzled to a total of 881 and so far for February, I've written 700 words towards completing Winter Illusion. I was feeling really bad about not writing when I figured out I have managed to write 600 words a day on average for my blog. So, I have been writing...just not where it really counts.

During Nano I had been getting up everyday between 6:00…

Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYSpost is about book reviews… Do you read any non-blogging book reviews? If so, where (newspaper, library etc)? Do you have any favorite sources you'd like to share?

Before I discovered all the wonderful book blogs out in the blogosphere, my main source of reviews came from Amazon. I still utilize Amazon quite a bit and thoroughly enjoy reading through all the reviews for a book I am interested in to see what everyone thinks. Of course, if it is one of my favorite authors, I don't give much thought to the negative reviews. (Imagine sticking fingers in ears and saying La la la)

I have since found several other resources for book reviews. I recently subscribed to "Bookmarks" and have to say I am enjoying the heck out of this magazine. It is one of those magazines that you come back to again and again, finding something new each time. The jan/feb issue highlighted Tom Wolfe, Roberto Bolano, and Anita Shreve, plus books published by the presiden…

The Sunday Salon # 6 - words

It is a blustery Winnie the Pooh day outside and we are cozy and warm inside. I just finished reading Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie. I found myself amused by Poirot's summation of all the characters and who could have committed the murder - you, you or you. Then the person responsible speaks up out of remorse for his fine show of powers. I'll be posting a review within the next few days.

Do you ever step out of your comfort zone when it comes to reading choices? I've started branching out and reading different genres and more non fiction. The other day I signed up for the Barnes and Nobles First Look Book Program and requested the ARC of "Sag Harbor" by Colson Whitehead. Many thanks to Lenore of Presenting Lenore who wrote up a wonderful new book blogger Faq post which included how you can get Advanced Reader Copies of authors books.

To be honest I had never heard of Whitehead and thought "Sag Harbor" looked interesting. …

Happy Valentine's Day

Book Review #23 - A Is For Alibi


The first Kinsey Millhone Mystery

By Sue Grafton

A is for Alibi is the first in a series of Alphabet Mysteries about female private eye - Kinsey Millhone. The first book in the series was originally published in 1983 and the latest book in the series has gotten up to T is for Trespass. However, the main character, according to what I've read has only aged 5 years and still lives in the internet free and cell phone free 80's. Check out Sue Grafton's website for details on the series.

Back cover: "Laurence Fife was a slick divorce lawyer and slippery ladies' man. Until someone killed him. The jury believed it was his pretty young wife, Nikki, so they sent her to prison for eight years. Now Nikki's out on parole and Kinsey Millhone's in for trouble. Nikki hires Kinsey to discover who really killed her husband. But the trail is eight years cold, and as the end is a chilling twist even Kinsey doesn't suspect--a second eight y…

Book Review # 22 - For Her Eyes Only

For Her Eyes Only


Cait London

For Her Eyes Only is the 3rd and final book in the psychic triplet trilogy by Cait London.

Back Cover: "The oldest and most powerful of the Aisling triplets, Leona has always been the one most devoted to denying her gift...until now. When she begins to see murky vision of the crazed killer who has targeted her sister, she can't ignore her powers any longer. This evil man not only threatns her family, but is also coming after her. Yet until she can see him clearly, she realizes that the man dead-set on destroying her could be anyone, even Owen Shaw. But when the handsome, rugged newcomer begs her to use her powers to help her troubled sister, how can she say no? She should stay away from him, but the strong attraction,the undeniable hunger she feels for his body, won't let her escape. Leona will have to summon every ounce of her power--and her passion--if she wants to live to see another day."

Leona, Tempest and Claire are triplets,…