Beach Reading

beach.jpgIt’s that time of year again. The time to decide just which books get to come with me to the beach this year. This year will be a little different. Since I’m pregnant and as big as a house, I will probably be doing a lot more sitting and reading than usual. No running in the surf this year for me!  Plus we will be driving probably 5 hours (or more).  I’m looking at lots of reading time.  Yay!  So I’m thinking of taking 4 books. But which ones to take?!?! It is such an agonizing decision! (My husband thinks I’m nuts.) Here are the top 10 books I’m considering. Any input? 

  1. The Terror by Dan Simmons
  2. The Naming by Alison Croggon
  3. The Dark Mirror by Juliet Marillier
  4. Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl (Continuing my renewed love affair with foodie books)
  5. The Oxford Book of Gothic Tales by Chris Baldick (recent mooch. Looks SO good!)
  6. Stuffed: Adventures of a Restuarant Family by Patricia Volk (another foodie book)
  7. Thirsty by M.T. Anderson
  8. The Last Samurai by Helen Dewitt (have had it for-EVAH!)
  9. The Burning Time by Robin Morgan
  10. Blue Latitudes by Tony Horowitz (travel lit, sounds good for a beach trip!)

And I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if none of these made the trip with me! LOL

And don’t forget, the all new Estella’s Revenge hits the net tomorrow! It’s a great issue! Be sure to come by, read, and maybe throw out a comment or two!

PS: Hubby at interview as I type this.  All parts crossed people!!!


lees-mcrae.jpgWell, I forgot to take a picture of this huge belly this morning.  It’s hard to believe I have 15 weeks left, because it looks like Wesley is already running out of room!  Oh, the curse of having a short torso!!!

This is goodbye for the weekend.  I’m taking my way too lazy hubby and the kiddo and heading for cooler pastures up in the mountains.  I think I’m going to take along Sherlock Holmes (I am DYING to finish Volume 1!!!), a galley book I’m reading for Estella, and possible a YA title.  Not sure which one yet.  Have a lovely, and safe, holiday weekend!

Random Bits

Just a bunch of randomness going on right now.

* Hubby is official unemployed. No interviews lined up as of now. He has one on the line that he hopes will call this week. Fingers crossed!!!

* I can’t wait to go to the beach in a couple of weeks. Already plotting which books to take. Having trouble deciding, of course.  I’m sure I’ll make a million lists and change them a million times before we leave. 

* They are having a job fair here at work (not hubby’s line at all, I already checked ;). They have these huge blue and white balloons in the lobby because apparently it’s quite the celebration. They smell horrible though and I have to hold my breath everytime I walk through to go to the bathroom or else I feel sick.

* We took Ellie to see Shrek the Third over the weekend. The movie was…okay. The animation was awesome. It’s amazing how far they have come in such a short period of time. But I just had to mention; there was a woman on our row who read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen up until the movie started. How cool is that!?

* Speaking of the kiddo; how is this for a reader in the making? Most kids want to take their blankie, a favorite stuffed animal or some such to bed. My daughter? Insisted on sleeping with a horse book last night. She “read” it for awhile, then, clutching it to her tiny chest, fell asleep.  She looked so sweet!  But then I woke up with her book under my arm at 1 am this morning. Thank goodness it was a soft book!

* You must go watch this. Not safe for work though, so wait until you get home.  It is hilarious!

* I can’t wait to go see the new Pirates movie this weekend! So excited!!!  Need Captain Jack fix!

* Still working on the first volume of Sherlock Holmes stories. This volume consists of A Study in Scarlett, The Sign of Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of the Baskervilles. I started on yhe Memoirs this weekend. I’ve been surprised by how many of the stories I remembered. I must have read more Holmes in school than I thought. I’m also struck by how many misconceptions I had of Holmes. He has a sense of humor. While he does not seem to do anything with women, he does notice them and how pretty, smart, etc, they are. And Watson isn’t quite the bumbling side-kick I thought he was either.  He’s quite the crack shot with his revolver!

* Exciting Estella stuff – I snagged a couple exciting interviews for our July issue! It’s going to be fantastic!

8 things meme

Boy this one has been everywhere hasn’t it?  I was tagged by Bookfool, Bookgirl and Historia, so I guess I better get on it!

The rules –

Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.
Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I’m a journal addict. I love to buy blank books, especially really pretty ones. I don’t necessarily fill them up with anything, but I buy them with the best of intentions to do so. My favorites are ones that I have bought are a beautiful teal color book with Asian decorations on it, one Amanda got me for my birthday that looks like an old pulp novel, and a leather bound one with beautiful end papers. I will fill them up someday, I swear!!

2. I have long hair. Not really, really, really hippie long hair, but it almost reaches the bra line. And I have the worst habit of wearing it up. Usually in a bun or a ponytail. What is the point in my having long hair if I never let it down? But I can never seem to bring myself to cut it.

3. I a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl. I feel awkward and obvious in anything else. And I hate to feel obvious! And awkward!  Ick!

4. I love to cook but I hate the cleaning up part. It’s so bad that it is having a very obvious effect on how often I cook. I cook about 3 days a week. The rest we either go out or have a sandwich. If hubby doesn’t find a job soon we’ll be having a lot of those!!

5. I am obsessive about my fingernails. I cannot stand it when they are in the least bit dirty. I pick at them constantly.

6. I am also obsessive about my books. Almost all my books, if only read once or twice, are in near perfect condition. At one time I was not this bad, I left books lying open so that their spines would crease, I dropped them in bathtubs, I turned pages (gasp! The horror!) down instead of using bookmarks. Now the mere thought of doing any of those things makes my skin crawl.

7. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I was a band GEEK. I played the clarinet in middle grades, then moved on to alto, tenor and at times baritone saxophone in high school. I also learned a smidgen of flute and tuba (I had a boyfriend who played it). I played in all the musicals. I went to a prestigous summer band camp, which, thankfully, changed my mind about majoring in music. I haven’t played in almost 10 years. And I do miss it. Thank God I have a piano.

8.  I didn’t learn to swim until I was 10 years old.  It was because I hate water.  Still do.  I used to be so terrified of water! That was the same year I learned to ride a bicycle.  I was terrified of falling over.  Funnily enough, that was the same year I was bit by a baby copperhead snake.  Still hate water.  Don’t ride bikes much any more.  Snakes don’t bother me at all.  How weird.

Okay, since I think just about everybody I KNOW has done this one, feel free to grab if you haven’t.   Just let me know if you do so I can come see your answers!

And now for something….

a little bit different.

The hubby didn’t get the job. 🙁 A employee who was already trained and with the company (has been for 28 years apparently) put in for a transfer, so of course, that guy got the job. We’re bummed, but still optimistic. Just means there is something else even better out there!

But, since I was feeling a smidge bummed, I thought it called for a little retail therapy. And, as most bibliophiles know, retail therapy really means book shopping! I hit Barnes & Noble today, list in hand, and came out with nothing on it! LOL I’ve been feeling the desire to read something a little different lately. All this Sherlock Holmes, Wilkie Collins, and Don Quixote were leading me (more like PUSHED) over to the Young Adult aisle.  So I willingly went!  Our B&N’s YA section is abismally tiny, but there was still a bit to choose from. 

(As an aside, I am SO upset that the new editions of New Moon by Stephenie Meyer have an excerpt from Eclipse in them.  I am so NOT going to buy a new edition to read it, but I really want to read it.  If I hadn’t been on my lunch hour I would have plopped my big ole preggers butt down in a chair and read it.  Alas, I didn’t have time!  Damn! End aside.)

So, I picked up:

Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever. I’ve been meaning to read one of her books for ages upon ages! So I finally bought one. This one looks gooooood.  And I thnk it’s one I’ll identify with; it’s about a girl who, among other things, is grieving for her father.

The Summer King by OR Melling book 2 in The Chronicles of Faerie.  Which is odd, because it’s the second in a series and I don’t have the first one.  But they didn’t have it, it’s a series I really want to read, so I’m going to order number 1.  They had number 3 too, but it was hardback.  Going to wait for that one.

The Naming by Alison Croggon. I’d never heard of this, but reading the back, it sounded really good.  And it’s the first in a series.  Thought I’d give it a try.

And I also got Colleen Gleason’s The Rest Falls Away.  It sounds so good with all it’s talk of vampires and such.  With the next one in the series coming out soon, I figured it was time to catch up!

PS: Can you tell wordpress added color capabilities?  Woot!!

Booked by Three Meme

Since I am having a lot of trouble thinking of anything original to say today, I am stealing a meme from Andi

Booked By 3 Meme:

Name up to three characters…

1. ….You wish were real so you could meet them:

Laurie from Little Women. He was my first book crush.

Edward Cullen from Twilight and New Moon. Because he was my latest book crush. Rawr!

Estella from Great Expectations. Sometimes I’d just like to give her a good swift kick. Ya know?

2. ….You would like to be:

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Yeah, so I’m stealing it too. But she’s just so cool! And she’s gets Mr. Darcy. Yummm.

Jo from Little Women. She was so smart and so fun. And she always seemed to go for what she wanted without letting anything stand in her way. I wish I was more like that. And she wanted to be a writer too.

Claire from Outlander. Because she gets Jamie. Swoon!

3. ….Who scares you:

Dementors from Harry Potter! Oh my goodness there are few descriptions more goose-pimple inducing that of those things. They are horrible!

Bertha Rochester in the attic in Jane Eyre. She really messed Mr. Rochester up!

Count Fosco from The Woman in White. He was SO malevolent!

5 Questions

Andi did this ages ago and sent me questions ages ago and I finally got around to doing the answers.   It’s been a lazy few days!

1. I know from reading your blog and book grouping with you for so many years now (six years! yikes!), that you’re a wonderful and dedicated mom. What was your biggest anxiety (besides potential health issues) with Ellie and has it changed now that you’re having a second child?

Has it been six years? Ye Gods I feel old! And thank you, I try very hard to be a good parent. It’s something that is very important to me, probably because I was left by my own mother at the age of 3. I remember back on 9/11 (I was already thinking of kids then, even though I was a newlywed) that there was no way I could bring a child into a world where such things could happen. And I stuck to that for quite some time. Eventually I came to realize that it was my job (and other responsible citizens) to bring children into this world to change it, to make it better, to live with courage and compassion in a time of fear and indifference. So my biggest fear is failing in someway to teach her (and Wesley as well) to treat all living things in a humane way, to show love for her (and his) fellow man, and to be the best person she (and he) can possibly be. I would say that desire has only grown stronger with Wesley on the way.

2. What book has been most influential in your life?

Hmm…now this is a tough question. It’s hard to say, I don’t know that any one book has had a huge impact on my life. There is no one book I live by (except maybe the Bible, in that I try to follow the ‘Do unto others…’ rule).  I know when I read To Kill a Mockingbird during high school that it was the first time I really got into the studying of a novel.  I don’t know that it was the one that lead me to study English is college (I think several books had something to do with that) but it was the first time I found myself interested in hows and whys that went into the book. 

3. If you could live inside any fairytale or fairytale retelling, what would it be and why?

Oh, I love it! Hmm…That’s a tough question.  Fairy tales can be violent and scary!   One of my favorites has always been Snow White, perhaps because I identify with the character in that her mother (because don’t you know in the original tale it wasn’t her step-mother, it was her mother who was the Wicked Queen) abandoned her to the cruel world without a good reason.  Luckily for me (and Snow White) there was someone to take her in and love her.  And in the end, she (supposedly) lived happily ever after.   

4. We’re both children’s/YA lit nuts. Why does the genre appeal to you so?

I think it’s partly because my childhood was something that was sort of taken away from me. My mother took off when I was 3 and not long after my father became very sick. From the ages of 4 to 8, I was forced to watch him get continually worsen and eventually die. I would never take back those years but it did force me to grow up very fast.  Some of the YA lit I have read featured that kind of storyline, growing up and growing up fast, and it’s something I still identify with, even at the age of 29. And reading it now is almost like a way for me to go back and be a child for awhile. 

Another reason I love it is the way the stories are told. They are just that, stories, something with deeper meanings, sometimes not. The main reason I love reading is that I love stories. I don’t always need the deeper meanings, I don’t always want to explore a text for hidden messages and themes. Sometimes I just want a great story and YA lit almost always delivers.

5. If there was one meal you could eat every day for the rest of your life without ever tiring of it, what would it be?

Lo Mein.  Without a doubt.  Probably plain ole Vegetable Lo Mein.  I looooooooove Lo Mein.  I love pasta anyway and I love the flavors of Chinese food.  SO GOOD.

Directions: Want some questions of your own? Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me”I will respond by e-mailing you five questions (if your email is not on your profile, email me your desire to be interviewed so I know your address). I get to pick them, and you have to answer them all. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.