The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale: A NovelI just managed to sneak this in under the wire. I read this last year, making it my re-read for the month of October. Unfortunately, I hadn’t read it recently enough to remember how the twist at the end worked. I had planned to re-read and look for all the parts where there were clues or foreshadowing, but I couldn’t remember how it worked out in the end, so it was almost like reading it again for the first time.

By a Lady by Amanda Elyot

By a Lady: Being the Adventures of an Enlightened American in Jane Austen\'s England I was torn on this book. Here’s the plot: A 21st century woman finds herself (through time travel) in Bath in 1801. Coincidentally, Jane Austen lived in bath in 1801. Ms. Jane had a minor part in the book, but she only spoke in lines from her novels.

I was going along enjoying the story, when all of a sudden it devolved into a bodice ripper romance. Tantric sex is okay when I know I’m reading a romance novel, but it seemed highly out of place in a novel about Georgian England. Same goes for the threesome.

For the last half of the book, I kept telling myself I should just put it down. But I couldn’t. Aside from the unlikely characters, I actually wanted to know what was going to happen. And I was up till 1:30 finding out. Even though I saw the twist coming, I wanted to see how it came about.

Satisfaction by Gillian Greenwood

Satisfaction I finished this last night. It’s pretty good modern fiction. It takes place in London, but it bounces back and forth in time. Mostly between 1994 and 2004. In 2004 Amy is recounting the story of a week in her life 10 years before to a psychologist. In 1994, the point of view bounces around between Amy, her husband James, her sisters Grace and Thea, and James best friend Archie, and occasionally her mom Lucy.

There are lots of story threads going on, but not so many that you get confused. I would list some of them for you, but then it sounds confusing. It’s better to just read it for yourself.

I wouldn’t classify this as Chick Lit. It’s too deep for that. But it’s not exactly Umberto Eco either. I finished it in 2 days.

I didn’t understand a bit of the ending. It does skip over 10 years, and I couldn’t figure out how all the people who ended up together, got that way. But perhaps that’s for a sequel? Eh, Ms. Greenwood?

Yikes!

I must be under a lot of stress right now. I know this because I have run out of bookmarks. They are all in books! When I am stressed, I start a LOT of books at once. To wit:

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See – This is the book club book for this month.

Satisfaction by Gillian somebody – I keep picking this one up at the bookstore, but not actually buying it, so when it fell in my lap today at the library, I checked it out and brought it home. I’ve read half of it today.

By A Lady by I don’t know who. – I picked this up a few weeks ago because of its Jane Austen references. I read a couple of chapter, then got distracted by something else.

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier – I started this for the RIP II challenge, but I only read one chapter. It may not make the cut. It still has a bookmark in it, though.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – Also for the RIP II challenge. I’ve got a little farther in this one, but it’s been set aside for the moment for the book club book, and the one I snagged from the library.

See? Is not the reading list of a woman on the edge?

Issues

I can’t get into a book! I have started and abandoned about 4 books in the last 2 days! This is highly unusual for me.

What do I do to get out of my reading slump?

Bad news.

I started reading Danse Macabre by Laurell K Hamilton last night. It was on my list for the RIP challenge. Well, I think I’m going to have to skip it. I actually threw the book across the room. Michael freaked out. Really. He couldn’t stand it. He got up and picked up the book. “What’s wrong with you?” It was really terrible.

I bought it because it had a sexy cover with a red toe shoe on it. I danced in red toe shoes in high school. I’m such a cover slut.

Gonna have to find another book for RIP II.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

The Secret HistoryOkay. I read this because I thought it was on my list for Carl’s RIP II challenge. After I slogged through all 500 pages for a week, I found out it’s not. So, for those keeping track, this one may replace DuMaurier’s My Cousin Rachel on my list.

This did end up being a pretty good book. I caught myself gasping a few times, at which Michael always said, “What?” like I’m going to go through 300 pages of backstory to explain why I just gasped.

Anyway, the book starts with a murder. Then the first half of the book leads up to that murder. The second half of the book tells what happened after the murder. The main characters/murderers are a group of Classics students at a little, posh college in Vermont.

This is not your basic mystery. It’s a bit brainier than that. It is in no danger of being turned into a series.

Donna Tartt was 28 years old when she wrote it. She didn’t publish again for 10 years. I haven’t read her second book, though, so I can’t compare the two. Anyone read it?

Random thoughts.

Have you seen that commercial where the two girls are sitting in the waiting room flipping their hair around until one of them sprains her neck? I thought of that this afternoon while I was blow drying my hair. I had a big tangle I was trying to brush through and I pulled my neck trying to brush my hair.

I’m just trying to warn you of all the dangers inherent in beauty. Lethal lip gloss, whiplash hair brushing.

Be careful out there.

A meme!

I’m currently having some reading issues, which I’ll go into another time. For now, a meme! Which I found at A Work in Progress.

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why? I like to read hardcovers because they feel so decadent. And I love the smell of a new hardback book. However, when I’m reading in bed and I fall asleep and the book lands on my face, I prefer that book to be a paperback. It’s easier on the nose.

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it… Adrienne’s Bookshop and Tattoo parlor. In Oklahoma we don’t have any locally owned shops that are just one thing. It’s always “Bait Shop and Video Rental” or “Florist and Taxidermy.” I would hate to break with tradition.

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is… Pride and Prejudice – “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

4. The author (alive or diseased) I would love to have lunch with would be …. Jane Austen or Anne Rice.

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be… Pride and Prejudice.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that…. automatically placed my bookmark in the book when I fell asleep, so I wouldn’t lose my place.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of…. yuck. I don’t really like the smell of old books.

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be….Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.

9. The most overestimated book of all times is….The Lovely Bones

10. I hate it when a book…. Tries too hard to make me cry.

After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Wowie wow wow wow. This book was something else. So visual, it was almost like reading the scripting for a movie. Amazing. Are any more of his books like this? Loved it. It was so spare. Almost all dialog. Loved it.

I M back!

I just got back from my weekend in Las Vegas. We saw Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere. We saw Celine Dion. And the highlight of my trip… I went to Vince Neil Ink. This is Vince Neil’s tattoo parlor right across from Caesar’s palace. So exciting!