The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman

The Ice Queen: A NovelDebbie picked this up at the bookstore Saturday night, and I was intrigued. A woman who has completely isolated herself emotionally wishes to be struck by lightning. It happens. She was the Ice Queen, now she’s forced to open up to people because of the effects of being struck. It’s an incredibly interesting premise, and it was handled well. I liked the ending a lot.

I read the whole thing in 2 sittings this afternoon and evening, but partly that was because it has large print. Well, OK it was interesting, too. I may have to go dig out my copy of The River King by Hoffman and see how I feel about that one.

50 (plus one) Books You Should Have Read (and Probably Didn’t)

Great Books You Should Read (And Probably Didn\'t): 50 Plus OneI would put up a picture of this one, but I can’t find an Amazon link. Oh well.

As the title indicates, this is a list of books everyone should have read. I’ve read 7 and half of them. Dismal results, I know, but a lot of the books were admittedly only read by experts in the fields they were in. Like the Greek mathematician or Einstein’s stuff.

I love reading books about books. Even books about books I never intend to read. Plus, each entry had a bit of a biography of the author. Quite interesting.

My major complaint: the typos! Oh, the typos. They were so distracting that I started counting them. I believe I counted 22 typos. In a book with 204 pages, that’s not great. One page had 3 printing errors. Drove me crazy.

The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susannah Clarke

The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories I finally got to this one! It wasn’t really what I expected. I guess I thought it was more storied like Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. The title story has Jonathan Strange in it, but the rest of the stories are unrelated. The stories are all about fairies and magic. It sort of seems like a set of folk tales, including a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid SunsI had to dole this book out to myself in pieces. It was so difficult to read, that I could only get in a chapter or two a day. I normally don’t like books that are that difficult, but I loved The Kite Runner so much, I felt like I had to give this one a fair shake.

The story is about 2 women in Afghanistan starting in the 70′s and going through to 2004 or 5, I think. These girls really had it rough. Living in a country that is constantly at war, either with other countries or itself, made life hard for many women.

Anyway, the last 150 pages made it all worth it. I raced through it.

I, Love. The 80s.

Stolen from Sweet Memes.

1. Did you ever end a sentence with the word “PSYCH!” Yes, I did.
2. Did you ever own a pound puppy? Nope, they made me sad.
3. Which “heavy metal” group did you like? Oh well, duh. Motley Crue. And all the other ones, too.
4. What was your favorite Blondie song? Call Me.
5. Strawberry Shortcake or Holly Hobby? Neither, really.
6. Admit it, you owned the Strawberry Shortcake little scented dolls? I had one. It was stupid. It didn’t do anything but smell.
7. What are “Hammer Pants”, and what is “Hammer Time?” Hammer pants looked like harem pants, with the crotch way down at the knees. I know the song, but I can only assume that “Hammer Time” is MC Hammer’s time to get funky.
8. Fraggle Rock or the Muppets Show? Muppets. I didn’t have HBO
9. Saturday Mornings – Smurfs or Kids Inc.? Have to be smurfs.
10. Did you rock the side ponytail? I had it going on in my second grade picture.
11. Did you play the game MASH (Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House)? I certainly did.
12. How many pairs of L.A. Gear did you own? Maybe one.
13. Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing or Are you There God? It’s Me Margaret? Margaret. Over and over.
14. Did you ever “wax on” and “wax off”? Assuredly
15. Do you even know what I’m talking about? Yep.
16. Did you wear flourescent clothing (Be Truthful!)? I had a long bright pink sweater with giant black hand prints all over it.
17. Michael Jackson or Prince? Michael.
18. Name three actors from the movie Goonies. Totally, no idea.
19. Cabbage Patch Kids or Garbage Pail Kids? I had 3 cabbage patch kids.
20. What lunch box did you carry to school? Daisy Duke.
21. Slap bracelets? I just got one the other day!
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Spamalot!

We got to go to the theater Friday night.

This was Mike’s father’s day present. We had a great time. The musical of Spamalot is basically all the best scenes from Monty Python’s…Holy Grail with added music. I couldn’t understand all the words in the songs, but I understood enough of it for it to be funny.

Good fun. See it if you like Monty Python and it comes your way.

Mike’s dad accused me of not being a true Python fan because I can’t really rave on and on about this play. OK. I could, but it doesn’t make sense if you haven’t seen it. I know my review seems lukewarm, but I don’t really know where to start.

Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen

Whistling In the Dark I finished this one on Friday or Saturday, but I didn’t want to post about it until after book club last night, on the off chance that someone from book club comes by here.

This was a great book club book. Firstly, it was a good book. It was well-written and interesting and had a mystery. I figured out the mystery about half way through, but no one else in the group did, so I guess I got lucky. The story is told from the perspective of a 10 year old girl who has been left alone with her 9 year old sister while their mother goes into the hospital to have surgery and their step-father spends most of his time drunk and their older sister spends all her time with her boyfriend. The year is 1959 and it’s Milwaukee. Somebody is raping and murdering young girls every summer, and Sally appears to be his next intended victim.

Secondly, there just seemed to be lots to discuss. Like, how the neighborhood took care of the kids without them knowing. And how the author wrote from a child’s perspective but put in jokes only adults would understand.

One of our members said it felt a lot like Secret Life of Bees. If you liked that one, you might pick this one up.

A Little Busy

Sorry I’ve been so post poor this week, but I have a good excuse. Vacation Bible Study.

I was one of the leaders of the large group sessions that begin and end each day of VBS. I had to smile and dance around and pretend that I just LOVE country music. This year’s theme was a ranch. So the music was heavy on the country. That’ll take a lot out of you.

So remember a few weeks ago when I posted about finding myself singing Deep in the Heart of Texas to 180 people? It happened again. One of the other leaders said to the large group, “The preschoolers are going to teach you the song they learned today, and Miss Adrienne is going to lead that.”

There I was teaching “The Lord is My Strength” (To the tune of Farmer in the Dell) to 400 people. How do I get myself into this stuff?

The Hellfire Conspiracy by Will Thomas

The Hellfire Conspiracy: A NovelThis book has been critically acclaimed by a zillion important reviewers. Including Kirkus. It comes out on Tuesday. Go get it.

I got it early cause I work with the author. It’s an emotionally difficult book because it’s about the kidnap and murder of 12 year old girls in Victorian England. But it’s not so hard to read that I had to put it down. I almost didn’t put it down at all.

Being the 4th book in the series, there are some continuing storylines. For instance, the narrator, Thomas Llewellyn, is constantly on the search for pretty girls. He would probably be a bit of a skirt chaser if he weren’t in the employ of Cyrus Barker, who keeps him pretty busy.

Most of the incidental characters were real people. Will showed me pictures of them. Amy Levy is a bit of a shrew. I’m just saying.

I hope you enjoy it.

Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich

Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum Novels)I stole this from Marie because her request came in before mine at the library.

It wasn’t as laugh-out-loud hysterical as some of the others, but the plot was great. Stephanie’s ex-husband turns up missing the day after she tries to choke him out in his office. Guess who’s a suspect. The good news is, Ranger’s on the case so he makes quite a showing in this book. That works for me.

As Marie says, “Two words: Squirrel Bomb.”