Monthly Archives:: May 2005

Finally

May 31, 2005 Books 2

A book has spoken to me. It is called Ireland: A Novel written by Frank Delaney is absolutely beautiful. Check out this opening page:

Wonderfully, it was the boy who saw him first. He glanced out of his bedroom window, then looked again and harder-and dared to hope. No, it was not a trick of the light; a tall figure in a ragged black coat and a ruined old hat was walking down the darkening hillside; and he was heading toward the house.

The stranger’s face was chalk-white with exhaustion, and he stumbled on the rough ground, his hands held out before him like a sleepwalker’s. He looked like a scarecrow deserting his post. High grasses soaked his cracked boots and drenched his coat hems. A mist like a silver veil floated able the ground, broke at his knees, and reassembled itself in his wake. In this twilight fog, mysterious shapes appeared and dematerialized, so that the pale walker was never sure he had seen merely the branches of trees or the arms of mythic dancers come to greet him. Closer in, the dark shadows of the tree trunks twisted into harsh and threatening faces.

Across the fields he saw the yellow glow of lamplight in the window of a house, and he raised his eyes to the sky in some kind of thanks. With no fog on high, the early stars glinted like grains of salt. He became aware of cattle nearby, not yet taken indoors in this mild winter. Many lay curled on the grass where they chewed the cud. As he passed, one of two lurched to their feet in alarm and lumbered off.

And in the house ahead, a boy, nine years old and blond as hay, raced downstairs, calling wildly to his father.

The man in question here is a storyteller, one of the last storyteller’s of Ireland. He travels the land telling stories of Ireland and her history. The boy, Ronan O’Mara, lives in the home where the storyteller has stopped. I’m past the storyteller’s first night in this house and I am definitely enchanted. I love Ireland and her history so this is making out to be a magical read for me. I plan on reading Zorro next, at least I hope so. Hopefully this 3 week, going on 4 week, book slump cu

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Babyville: A Novel by Jane Green

May 20, 2005 Books 0

I LOVED Green’s novel Jemima J. I couldn’t wait to read more of Green’s novels. But Babyville probably wasn’t the best place to start. Most of this novel came off as silly, fluffy, precious drivel compared to her much stronger work; Jemima J. There was little to like about her characters, they were completely unbelievable to me, with the exception of one, Sam, who was the most real character of the three main ones. All these characters were selfish, insecure, atypical women. They all come off as being 30-something teenager-wannabees and too self-absorbed in themselves and too wrapped up in their party-every-night-lifestyles. Come on now, there is more to life than that!

Green just BARELY managed to redeem each of her characters by the end of the story, but it was almost too little too late. However, I will give Green the benefit of the doubt and try more of her novels. She is a good writer, I just feel she faultered a little bit here.

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Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner

May 18, 2005 Books 0

Jennifer Weiner is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I’ve read her two previous novels, Good In Bed and In Her Shoes and loved them both. With Little Earthquakes she really pushes her writing to even greater heights. She pulls at the heart strings without getting to precious. Her characters are strong women, not without flaws, but still likeable and believable. Weiner’s makes her characters feel like they are someone you met at work, or walked past on the street, or even knew your whole life. They feel like your bestest of friends and you mourn for them when you read the last page. This is quite a feat, considering one of the main characters is the wife of a basketball superstar a la Michael Jordan.

This story follows 4 friends as they survive the first months of motherhood and a 5th friend getting over the death of her own child (from SIDS). As a relatively new mother myself, I really identified with all the things each mother went through and came out of this book with a new appreciation for myself as well as other mothers.

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What to take to the beach?

May 18, 2005 Books 1

To read that is. I have a few ideas…but I’m still not sure. This is the biggest decision I’ll make regarding the beach, except for maybe sunscreen since it is guaranteed that my hubby will turn into a lobster.

So far, I think I will take:

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Broken As Things Are by Martha Witt
The Queen Jade by Yxta Maya Murray (quite a mouthful, that)
Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independant Woman by Alice Steinbach

and maybe a Harry Potter book…probably the last one.

Does that sound good enough? Do I have enough fluff vs brainy books to suit my mood swings? What will I do if I can’t get into any of these? It’s not like I can go to the library in Myrtle Beach!! And being on a fixed budget, book stores are out of the question too!

Should I carry a couple Contemporary Women’s Fiction (aka ChickLit for the uninformed) books? I hve been thinking of rereading some Marian Keyes…perhaps I’ll take Watermelon. Oh I have no idea and I’m starting to get a little stressed out about it!

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What kind of reader are you?

May 16, 2005 Books 8

There was an interesting post over at the Lit Blog Co-op the other day.

I’m the kind of reader who reads at lunch and before bed. When I have to stop reading even though I don’t want to, I keep telling myself the story in the interim, until I can pick up the book again and find out what really happened. I sometimes feel guilty when I’m reading because I’m not writing, even though I know most writers read way more than they write. I have been known to judge a book by the first sentence (bad days) or paragraph (more generous but still bad days). And I’m always a hard judge of the last sentence. I hate the kind of book you can forget having read. I no longer read books I don’t want to. I don’t feel guilty about not reading them either. I don’t even feel guilty anymore for not finishing a book that just isn’t cutting it. But I always finish a book I’m into before I start the next one, as a matter of professional courtesy. Every book seems like an unbelievably complex and rich possibility before I crack the spine. Every book has the potential to be The One (which, in bookland, really doesn’t exist).

Click here for all of it!

So, what kind of reader am I? I’m the kind of reader who reads whenever she can snatch even just a minute to read. I listen to audio books. I read the newspaper, blogs, news stories on yahoo, reviews…pretty much anything I can get my eyeballs (or ears as the case may be) on. I feel guilty when I don’t like a book, but I feel guilty when I put it down. I have been known to judge a book by it’s cover, it’s first sentence, the first paragraph…shoot, the first word. If my brain fuzzes over after the first few words I will put it down. I feel guilty when I have chores to do but I’m reading instead. I love the feel of a new book, the smell of it’s pages, the sound the crisp paper makes. I love the unknown territory of a new book. The new people I will meet, the new experiences I will share. I love to tell others about books I loved and hope that they will love them too. I am a polygamist when it comes to books, I read anything and everything, it doesn’t matter how many books I have going. (I am a monogamist everywhere else ;) I have an on-going love affair with words that I hope never ends.

So, what kind of reader are you?

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The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

May 16, 2005 Books 0

I finished The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares yesterday. It is the sequel to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (yes, the movie based on this novel will be out June 1). It is considered Young Adult fiction and maybe I’m really intune with my inner teenager but I really identified with a lot of the themes in this novel. (Actually I think I would call it ChickLit for teens.) Like the first in this series, the four friends, Bridget, Carmen, Lena, and Tibby (short for Tabitha) are going to be separated for the summer. Bridget rediscovers her grandmother from Alabama and sets off to get to know her. Carmen is staying home with her single mother. Lena is also staying home, to work at the local Greek clothing store. And Tibby is going away to a college class in film making. Each friend has a rich summer, full of changes, and growing. There is heartbreak and redemption for each friend.

Brashares is a really great writer. She turns simple prose in to poetry in places, pulling unexpectantly at heartstrings and bringing tears of remembrance to your eyes. The spark of new adolenscent love (and first heartbreak)…the pain of learning that your mother is a person too…the unexpected love of a grandparent…the pain of loosing a friend to death…Brashares writes it all with such amazing understanding of the crazy emotions teenagers go through. I can’t recommend this series highly enough and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.

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The Second Summer of the Sisterhood

May 12, 2005 Books 3

I finished The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares yesterday. It is the sequel to The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (yes, the movie based on this novel will be out June 1). It is considered Young Adult fiction and maybe I’m really intune with my inner teenager but I really identified with a lot of the themes in this novel. (Actually I think I would call it ChickLit for teens.) Like the first in this series, the four friends, Bridget, Carmen, Lena, and Tibby (short for Tabitha) are going to be separated for the summer. Bridget rediscovers her grandmother from Alabama and sets off to get to know her. Carmen is staying home with her single mother. Lena is also staying home, to work at the local Greek clothing store. And Tibby is going away to a college class in film making. Each friend has a rich summer, full of changes, and growing. There is heartbreak and redemption for each friend.

Brashares is a really great writer. She turns simple prose in to poetry in places, pulling unexpectantly at heartstrings and bringing tears of remembrance to your eyes. The spark of new adolenscent love (and first heartbreak)…the pain of learning that your mother is a person too…the unexpected love of a grandparent…the pain of loosing a friend to death…Brashares writes it all with such amazing understanding of the crazy emotions teenagers go through. I can’t recommend this series highly enough and I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.

I gave it a B+ – I couldn’t put this book down. I carved out extra reading time just so I could finish it. This book got carted into the bathroom with me, read over meals, read at work, or kept me up late at night. If this author has more work, I will certainly read it.

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Summer is almost here

May 12, 2005 Books 1

I love summer in the South. True, I have never experienced summer anywhere else, but I can’t imagine it being any better than being here.

Well…unless it’s like here, but without the humidity.

The leaves are out, the azaleas in bloom, the pollen is stifling. There was even humidity yesterday…and probably today too, I just haven’t been outside in a couple of hours. The only think missing, the thing that tells you without a doubt Summer is here! is the smell of night blooming jasmine in the evenings.

Sigh…

I can’t wait.

In other news, I have a sick baby. She has an ear infection and an upper respiratory infection brought on by a mild case of the croupe (sp??). Sigh…well, she only have like 1 cold this winter so I guess we’ve gotten off pretty well. She’s so pitiful, I hate hearing her cough, it so obviously hurts her. It makes me cry for her. The doctor gave her some meds so hopefully she will be back to full strength soon.

She’s so cute too, she’s in her NO stage (everything is NO!) but when I ask her if she is okay after a coughing fit she croaks out yessss. She’s such a sweetie pie.

And when I sneeze she rasps out blesss you!

Can you tell I love this kid????

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Joshlyn Jackson

May 10, 2005 Books 6

is hilarious. She’s a mommy too and some of her posts on her kids are just awesome. Check out this recent exchange between her daughter Maisy and her mom:

Mom: And then we’ll get to the hotel, and check in, and have dinner…
Maisy: *very sleepy, not paying much attention* Mmm-kays.
Mom: And then we’ll see Mommy! She will be signing her book at the Barnes and Nobles.
Maisy: *perking up and pulling her T-Shirt up over head* I have Nobles!

How cute is that??

And this, this, I love this, Joshlyn prayin’ to tha Lord about why she’s gained 4 pounds on her book tour:

Me: GAHHHHHHHHHH WHY LORD WHY?
Lord: Um, the chocolate you keep eating? Maybe the wine? It’s not like this is a mystery, child, remember the seven deadlies? Gluttony?
Me: …Can I please have a better metabolism?
Lord: How about having less dessert.
Me: DONE PRAYING FOR TODAY, THANKS.

Check out more at Faster Than Kudzo (link to the side —->)

In other news, my grandma is doing okay. She definitely broke her arm and it will take 4-6 weeks to heal. Then she may have to have physical therapy. All rugs in the kitchen are now gone!

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