The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shadow of the WindMichael got me this for Mother’s Day. I have been slowly savoring it ever since, but last night I polished off the last 200 pages in a marathon reading session that left me with a slight case of book hangover today. I won’t even mention what it did to my dreams.

The reason I couldn’t read it any faster was that it is so atmospheric that it is almost stifling. The whole thing seems like heavy fog. Well, by last night, the heaviness didn’t matter, I just wanted to find out what happened.

The plot is extremely convoluted and doubles back on itself. It seems like the same events are happening a generation apart. A boy finds a special book, and decides to find out more about the author. Little does he realize his own life is mirroring that of the author’s. Also, there’s a really, really bad guy. Really bad. Fumero (which, if I’m remembering my Spanish right, refers to smoke?) seems to know everything and turns up at the most inopportune moments with mean things to say and do to people. He’s really bad. Did I mention that? Yeah, he freaked me out a little. OK, a lot.

The ending is extremely satisfying, and I must say that one little surprise totally surprised me and I gasped out loud, but I knew who the creepy, leather-faced guy was immediately. Yay, me!

My weekend

In case you’re interested…

On Saturday, I worked at a wedding reception at my church. I think everyone in the church was invited except us. It was huge! I thought my wedding was big, but this one was amazing.

Yesterday, Michael got me the new Ozzy Osbourne CD. Color me excited! I thought he’d retired. It’s very good if that’s your sort of thing. He says this is the first album he’s recorded sober. He didn’t lose his touch. Zak Wylde doesn’t hurt either.

Today, Mike’s parents took the kids so we went to see Pirates 3. I had fun, but I’m definitely going to have to see it again just to make sense of the thing. I couldn’t keep track of who was double-crossing whom and who was on which side. It was very confusing. When it got to be too difficult to keep up, I just watched all the pretty people go back and forth on the screen. Now, I don’t want to be a traitor to my boy Johnny, and he did look quite good again, but Orlando Bloom was scorching hot in this one. That’s all I’ll say. I’d hate to ruin it for anyone. Also, be sure you stay till all the (8 bazillion) credits have run. If you don’t know that about these movies by now, you haven’t been paying attention.

Meme!

I got tagged by Tanabata at In Spring it is the Dawn. This is easy. I like this kind of meme.

-Grab the book that is nearest to you (no cheating), turn to page 161,
post the text of the fifth full sentence on the page, post the rules and tag three people.

Sad to say, I don’t have a book near me at all, so I’ll go get one I’m actually reading.

Fangland by John Marks

“I told him I love the feel of snow on my tongue.”

There it is. Now… I’ll tag –

Leila at Bookgirl’s Nightstand
Jmfausti at Faustisbookquest
Danielle at A Work in Progress

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Wives and Daughters (Penguin Classics)It took me months to finish this book. I read 650 pages, and then found out the author died before she finished it. Gaah!!!! Well, at least she got close enough to finishing it that we can figure out pretty much how it ended.

I would summarize it for you, but how do you summarize a 650 page book? It would take too long. I will say that Mrs. Gibson reminded a lot of Mrs. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.

Finally posting

I’m sorry for neglecting you. It has been an unbelievably bad last 10 days. My mama always said, “If you don’t have anything good to say, just say nothing at all.” So, I didn’t post. I read some books, but I didn’t have anything good to say about them either. Not that they weren’t good books, but I just didn’t have anything to say.

But now, I hope things are looking up. I finished a 4 hour marathon cd recording with the youth choir from my church. Have I mentioned I play the piano for this choir? Badly, I’m afraid. I have performance anxiety. I can play at home great. I’m freakin’ Rachmaninov at home. As soon as anyone who knows anything about music comes into the picture, it’s over. My fingers get all sweaty, and I can’t see the music. It’s really horrible. I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns. But if I quit, there would be no one at all to play. Not even badly. Sigh.

Anyway, so that marks the end of the choir season. The dancers I direct finished last month. One of my kids is out of school. The other one gets out the end of May. Things are starting to wind down. I hope. Somehow someone always manages to fill up my time and before I know it, I’m super-busy again. How does this happen?

Well, so now you know I’m still alive, if just barely. I’m reading 3 books, that I’ll try to tell you about when I finish them.

Another phone post.

Yay! I got my new phone today! It’s totally sweet!

And speaking of cell phones…

This guy came in the library today with his mother. Youngish black guy. While he’s checking out, he’s talking on the phone. He’s giving the person on the other end a play-by-play of what’s going on. “I’m checkin out this book… The Taking by Dean Koontz…. Uh, huh.” When he gets all checked out, his mom comes in from the lobby and he says to her, “Did you get my phone?” She says, “You’re on your phone, baby.” He said, “Oh, I’m trippin’.”

I just started giggling. Sounds like something I’d do.

I Must Have Gone Crazy

I’ve decided I must have gone mad at some point in my recent past. No sane person would have done what I did today, and immediately seen the humor in it.

I ran over my cell phone, this morning. Yes, with my car. I left it on the trunk while I buckled my daughter into her carseat. Then, I backed down my driveway. When I hit the bottom, the phone slid off onto the street where I backed over it. It’s dead. I killed it. It was only 2 months old.

When I called the provider company, the girl answered the phone, “It’s a great day at T-Mobile! How can I help you?”
“I ran over my cell phone.”
….
“Oh, that is so not cool.”

Then I had to call Michael.

Me: “Don’t call the cell phone.”
Him: “Why, you don’t have it with you?”
Me: “Um. I ran over it.”
Him:………………..”Oh, well, that’s nice.” Do you smell that? That’s sarcasm.

Bad Friend.

It has been brought to my attention that no matter how much a plug my colleague and friend’s books on all of your blogs, I have been seriously lax in promoting them on my own blog. So, without further ado…

You should all go out and buy Will Thomas’ Victorian mystery series, starting with Some Danger Involved. It is much like Sherlock and Holmes, but funnier. Thomas Llewellyn is recently released from prison and can’t find a job. He is about to throw himself from a bridge but ends up being hired by the enigmatic Cyrus Barker as an assistant, and there is some danger involved.

The second is To Kingdom Come in which Barker and Llewellyn infiltrate a band of Irish bombers.

In the third, The Limehouse Text, our heros spend a lot of time in the Chinatown district. Plus, the dog has a bigger role. I like the dog.

You’ll have to read fast, because The Hellfire Conspiracy (I think is what it’s called. I’ve only seen the jacket art once) will be out in June.

Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride by Helen Halstead

Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride: A Sequel to Jane Austen\'s Pride and PrejudiceYay for good sequels! I recently read a very bad “re-telling” of Pride and Prejudice. It was meant to be the story from Darcy’s perspective, but basically, it was just P&P with all the parts Darcy isn’t in cut out.

This one was excellent. In this one, Elizabeth is a rising star in London society, despite (or probably because of) the fact that she doesn’t really care about it. The main plotline is that Darcy is still struggling with his pride. Add to that a little jealousy of Elizabeth’s admirers, and it makes for an interesting tale.

My favorite thing might be what happens to Mr. Wickham in the end. That made me laugh.

So Proud!

Last night, the boy was going through the room that has all of our bookshelves. He stopped in front of Daddy’s shelves and said, “Can I read ‘Modern Classics of Fantasy’?” This book is HUGE. We said no, because we have no idea what sort of stories are in there. They could be very adult.

He asked about some other sci-fi and fantasy books, so I picked a couple of appropriate books for him to look at. He spent the rest of the evening perched on the edge of his bed reading ‘A Wrinkle In Time’. He’ll be 7 next week.