The Girl Is Better! And More Reading

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, Health, Reading | Posted on 07-07-2008

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That’s a relief. I was get­ting quite wor­ried. She spent most of the week­end sleep­ing or look­ing like a zom­bie, eat­ing only what Sam could coax into her, and using heat­ing pads. I’m start­ing to think that we should accept the offer to refer her to a pain man­age­ment doc­tor, if only to have some­thing she can take dur­ing a flare.

Blood NoirSo I read the lat­est Ani­ta Blake nov­el, Blood Noir. I’m not sure why I con­tin­ue to read these. Hon­est­ly, Hamil­ton is a decent writer. I enjoy her prose. She just needs to go back to plot school! Or maybe work with a co-writer who is strong on plot, but not rela­tion­ships or descrip­tions?

There was no plot at all for the first few hun­dred pages of the book. When some­thing involv­ing a pre­vi­ous “big bad” did hap­pen, it was noth­ing but an incon­ve­nience, and over with­in an hour of Ani­ta find­ing out about it. Whoopee. There was a cri­sis and dan­ger, of course, but I found them anti­cli­mac­tic after the vil­lains Ani­ta has van­quished in the past.

There was, of course, lots of sex. This one could have been called, “Ani­ta gets a fuck bud­dy.”

SunshineOh well. On to Sun­shine by Robin McKin­ley. Some­one rec­om­mend­ed it to me years ago, and I hap­pened to see McKin­ley’s name some­where and remem­bered it. I don’t think that I’ve read any of her nov­els before. Short sto­ries, maybe.

Review: Hotter Than Hell

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Reading | Posted on 04-07-2008

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Hot­ter Than Hell, the lat­est “Hell” anthol­o­gy is edit­ed and has an intro­duc­tion by Kim Har­ri­son. I don’t know if the sex­i­er trend is her choice, a response to mar­ket demands, or some­thing else again.

The anthol­o­gy is thick­er than most, with longer pieces–short novellas?–by each of the 13 authors. I read a copy from the library, but it’s one of the few antholo­gies that I’d con­sid­er worth the $7.99 cov­er price.

Review: From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Reading | Posted on 25-05-2008

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From Dead to WorseAfter read­ing From Dead to Worse, I feel as if Char­laine Har­ris is fin­ished with the South­ern Vam­pire Mys­ter­ies. If so, she’s doing so well, as vol­ume sev­en is the most sat­is­fy­ing book of the series.

This is not a “hap­pi­ly ever after” book, but it isn’t an “oh my God what’s going to hap­pen next,” either. I’m sure that more could be writ­ten about Sook­ie Stack­house and her very inter­est­ing life, but Har­ris has a his­to­ry of leav­ing series on a high note. The Auro­ra Tea­gar­den and Shake­speare sequences felt a bit more “done” at the end, so maybe I’m wrong. I cer­tain­ly don’t hold Ms. Har­ris’ con­fi­dences.

In any case, I hope that we’ll see more books by Har­ris before long. She’s a good author, and I enjoy her ideas.

Reading Matters

Posted by Cyn | Posted in | Posted on 02-02-2008

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You must read, Alice, before it’s too late. You must fill your mind with the invent­ed images of the past; the more the bet­ter. These images, apart from any­thing else, will help you put the two and twos of life togeth­er, and the more images your mind retains, the more won­der­ful will be the star-stud­ded canopy of expe­ri­ence beneath which you, poor prim­i­tive crea­ture that you are, will shel­ter; the near­er you will creep to the great blaz­ing bea­con of the Idea which ani­mates us all.
— Fay Wel­don, Let­ters to Alice: On First Read­ing Jane Austen

I read. I read a lot. I read while stand­ing in line any­where, while eat­ing (unless I have some­one to talk to, of course), any time my eyes aren’t required to do some­thing else. I almost always have sev­er­al books in progress and love the fact that I can car­ry an entire library in my hand now, thanks to ebooks! I don’t read as many peri­od­i­cals as I once did, but with blogs and such, I read more than ever!

I learned to read fair­ly ear­ly, thanks to my won­der­ful moth­er who read to me and my sib­lings (and my daugh­ter!). After find­ing me puz­zling over her old high school lit­er­a­ture book at age 6, try­ing to make sense of Beowulf, 1 she began patient­ly cart­ing me back and forth to the library at least once a week. She encour­aged a love of the writ­ten word that drove me to improve my read­ing skills, and I cred­it any aca­d­e­m­ic (or oth­er) suc­cess to that skill more than any oth­er. Katie and I spent a lot of time read­ing togeth­er when she was younger, until she became a con­fi­dent read­er on her own. She’s an avid read­er now, and takes a book with her every­where just as I do.

Since the writ­ten word is so impor­tant to me, it’s only rea­son­able that I have parts of my site ded­i­cat­ed to it. I’ve list­ed most of the books (and music and movies) I own in a Read­er­ware data­base. I just can’t rec­om­mend that soft­ware high­ly enough! It can export a nice list of the books, which I keep intend­ing to upload here. If I were smarter, I’d fig­ure out how to make it work with GoodReads. Some­day! I’ve let go of many of my books (and CDs) over the last few years and moves, since I’ve switched almost entire­ly to dig­i­tal media any­way.

Because I read almost all ebooks now, Cal­i­bre is vital to man­ag­ing my book col­lec­tion. It runs on Mac, PC, and Lin­ux box­en.

I used to write a lot of poet­ry and short sto­ries, but most of that has been lost to time. If any­one out there has any fic­tion or poet­ry that I shared with you at some time, I’d real­ly appre­ci­ate a copy.

There are a few authors who I love so much that I’ve made pages with sam­ples of their poet­ry. I post pieces by oth­er poets from time to time in my blog here. There are also a fair num­ber of poet­ry posts in my Live­Jour­nal that haven’t been post­ed here (yet).

Final­ly, these are some pieces I find inspi­ra­tional.


1 What can I say? I was real­ly bored dur­ing sum­mer break between first and sec­ond grades. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, my par­ents’ home con­tains very few books oth­er than the Bible, chil­dren’s books, and (when I was lit­tle, at least) a cou­ple of Mom’s old text­books and an set of World Book ency­clo­pe­dias from around 1960. The ency­clo­pe­dias are long gone. They don’t even own book­shelves!