Reading Weekend

Ok. I finished a couple of books this weekend, but I wasn’t particularly impressed with any of them, so I don’t want to devote a whole post to each of them. Here goes:

Jane Austen’s Emma by Julia Barrett – This is Sanditon, which is what JA was working on when she died, but JB decided to finish it up for her and publish it. For one, the editing was horrendous. Someone doesn’t know how to use quotation marks. Also, the style was definitely not as subtle as Jane’s. The characters were boring and flat.

Misery Loves Maggody by Joan Hess – Apparently this series has fans. I don’t get it. The main character wasn’t funny or particularly smart. The supporting characters were annoying and crabby. And it takes place in Arkansas. It’s written in Arkansas vernacular. It was a little too close to home.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Aren’t you glad I didn’t use up 2 posts for that?

Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich

Three To Get Deadly : A Stephanie Plum Novel (A Stephanie Plum Novel)Groan…. I did it again. I read the whole thing in one sitting. I stayed up really late, but I had help from my 3-year-old who had her elbow out of socket and wasn’t sleeping very well. I took advantage of my time awake to read the whole thing.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right? I have promised myself not to request the next book from the library til at least Tuesday, which would be the earliest they could get it to my branch anyway.

The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Life

The Little Guide to Your Well-Read Lifeby Steve Leveen (who, incidentally, is the founder of one of my favorite companies, Levenger. I have often drooled over their stuff).

I really enjoyed this cute little instruction book. My favorite part was where he said you have to read books that you connect with. Not books some “expert” somewhere has told you you should read. To each his own and all that.

He advocates books on tape. I’ve tried to get books on tape for my car, but I have to be very careful about the language in the books because the kiddos like to learn new words from said tapes.

He also advocates making notes in your books for future generations of readers to enjoy your thoughts. I can’t do it. What if I want to sell the book? What if I don’t want anyone to read my thoughts about a book? I use post-its for book club books, etc.

Mr. Leveen has a passion for reading that comes through in his book that makes it a joy to read, even if I don’t agree with all his views.

Book Hangover

Two for the DoughI read Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich yesterday. I started it while I was making dinner. Then I put it down for a while. I picked it up for my bedtime read. Bad idea. I put it down only to go to the bathroom. I finished it at 2:30 this morning. Today I am tired and have this horrendous headache. Why, oh why, did I read so much last night?


I’ve heard this twice, now. From 2 different sources, so it must be true.

Vince Neil is coming out with a new wine. Called Vince. I can hardly wait. I’ll be staking out the liquor store. Sleeping on the sidewalk. Just like getting Motley Crue tickets!

Toujours Provence by Peter Mayle

Toujours Provence (Vintage Departures)The sequel to A Year In Provence.

I actually liked this one better. Mayle didn’t seem to be so bitter about the crazy people he lives near, the unpredictable weather, and the laid-back culture. He seemed to be able to take it all in stride and adapt as opposed to complaining about it. Still, I don’t think I want to move to the French countryside.

Letters to Alice by Fay Weldon

Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane AustenSubtitle: On First Reading Jane Austen.

Weldon calls this a novel in letters, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was really a mini-biography and litereary criticism. She is writing to her neice and is trying to convince her to read Jane Austen’s work by giving some background on Jane and discussing each book.
I wish every biography could be this humorous and enjoyable.

Does anybody else feel this way?

I am one of those people who can only stand to be around other people for just so long. Then, I absolutely have to hibernate. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends. I love my family. I just have to get a break every once in a while to recharge. This is not so easy as a stay-at-home Mom of 2 little ones. Especially now that school’s out for summer.

Anybody else? Do you recharge by being around other people, or do you need alone time?

One For the Money by Janet Evanovich

One for the Money (A Stephanie Plum Novel)I had been avoiding this series for year because I felt it was too over-hyped. Well, I finally decided to try one, and it was just what I needed. Sometimes I just need a good mystery with a kicky female heroine.

This is the first in the series, and it details how Stephanie Plum gets in the bounty hunter business due to financial desperation. The one she’s after, which will garner her $10,000, is a guy she had a dalliance with in high school who never called her afterwards. She has to learn the ropes the hard way, before she gets killed. Oh, also, there’s a crazy, rapist, professional boxer after her.

It’s not Great Literature, but it’s perfect for what it is.

The Mauritius Command by Patrick O’Brian

Finally finished this one last night. It took me about 10 days to read this 350 page book. I decided it’s because it’s May and May is always a busy month.

This one starts off with Captain Aubrey at home in England with his wife, twin girls, and mother in law. He’s slowly going crazy in this situation and longs to be at sea. Dr. Maturin shows up with orders for Aubrey to go to an area East of Madagascar to take a couple of French Islands. The rest of the book follows that action.

I still love this series. Dr. Maturin is a riot. O’Brian’s writing is so subtle, that you almost don’t catch it when something funny happens. I like that. It makes me feel smart.

More Book Lust by Nancy Pearl

I loved Book Lust. I just sort of liked More Book Lust. I liked reading it, but I didn’t really like the subjects she chose to recommend books about. None of them really grabbed my interest. I do have the sneaking suspicion, however, that I will one day be interested in several of those categories, and will therefore be quite glad I have the book.

I can’t believe I forgot!

For Mother’s Day, the hubby gave me Trivial Pursuit: Booklover’s Edition. Then, he even played with me. I smoked him, but I loved the game. Of course, if I had been smarter, I would have pulled my punches a little more. Now, he won’t play with me at all. :(


More Book Lust is out!!! I love Nancy Pearl.

I know, I know. It came out last month, apparently, but I had it on good authority it would be out May 10th. Oops.

New Meme c/0 Shelly’s Bookshelf

1. How? How do you find books to read? Reviews? Recommendations? Favorite Authors? Other?

I read Bookmarks and Pages magazines. Friends suggest stuff or give me books. There are a few authors I like to read everything they write. Plus book club books. Gotta read those.

2. Where? Where do you get your books? Independent bookstores? Chain stores? Online? Library?

I’m broke so I’m supposed to get my books from the library, but I do get gift certificates for every gift-giving holiday (like Mother’s Day, Ahem), so I get some books from chain stores. Also, I trade books at the local used book store.

3. When? Or more accurately, how often? How many books on average do you get or buy each month?

Well, I’m at the library at least 3 times a week, but since I have small children that’s not always for me. I find myself with a new book to read at least once a week. Not always a bookstore book, but library books count as new-to-me. And at least once a month a friend will hand me a book and say, “Hey I thought of you when I read this. Check it out.”

How about you?

Back to Bel Canto

I don’t know how to bump posts to make them current, so I’m going to make a new post.

So Barbara commented before about the video about the Peruvian incident that was the inspiration for Bel Canto the book. I finally got it from my InterLibrary Loan. I watched it tonight. It’s called Come Home Alive: There for the Taking.

Not bad. Ann Patchett made some stuff up, but, based on this show, they could have happened.

I noticed that the people who were interviewed referred to the captors as “terrorists”. But the narrator of the show vary carefully referred to them as “revolutionaries”, “rebels”, or “takers of the building”. Hmmm.

Yay! We’re finally back up!

After major database issues, we’re finally up and running! Sorry, ’bout that.

I’ve finished at least 2 books since we went under, so here are brief reviews.

1. Plainsong by Kent Haruf – I had heard good things about this book, and it was on my long list of books to read, so when it came up as library book club choice, I was hopeful. I hoped I would not hate it. As it turns out, I loved it. I thought it was beautiful and not too gut-wrenchingly manipulative. I hate that. It was wonderful. Now I have to get my paws on the next in the series.

2. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco – I think I read this in highschool. I’m also thinking I understand it better now. Go figure. Not that I’m suddenly fluent in Latin, but I at least got the gist of what’s happening. It’s pretty good, but it was hard going there for a while.

I also want to mention that I started Pamela Anderson’s book Star. I had very high hopes for it, but I was sadly disappointed. I only read 25 pages before I put it down. I thought it was ghost-written. If so, then she paid someone else to write badly, then put her name on it.

I think I’m going to have to stick to watching her show. sigh