Sunday, April 29, 2007

Neverwhere; Neil Gaiman

I don't know what has taken me so long to read Neil Gaiman, but I wish I hadn't waited. I very much enjoyed this book & am busily hunting up his backlist via the library and the UBS. Neverwhere is set in contemporary London, mainly under the Underground. In the front of the paperback version is a copy of the Tube map, which would've been helpful if I could've read it. Luckily we have a fold out copy of the map (from Son #1's band festival 4 years ago) which I kept tucked into the front of the book as I read along. It made things more interesting to see where he referred to. As an aside- as an American I'm sure I've missed cultural references scattered through Mr. Gaiman's work, but I found it very readable and I didn't feel like the only person at the party who didn't 'get the joke' if you know what I mean.

Onward. Richard Mayhew is an ordinary Scottish guy living the typical rat race lifestyle in London. He's engaged to the overly controlling Jessica (don't you dare call her Jess!) and seems unable to assert himself. He's there, but he allows himself to be steamrollered by the GF. Kinda like Hyacinth Bucket in the tv show Keeping Up Appearances. Until one fateful day, when Richard's running behind & Jessica's at her worst, they come across what looks like an injured homeless waif. Richard stops to help her, earning Jessica's fierce disapproval. This proves to be the event that catapults Richard into a bewildering world where nothing is what it seems and everything he's ever believed in is called into question.

Young Door is being chased by her family's worst enemy- if only she could figure out who that is. Her father asked her to avenge their murders, but Door has no idea who ordered it or why. Her world is called London Below, as opposed to London Above- where Richard is from and where you & I might visit, nothing and no one is what they appear to be. Once Richard has helped her, the consequences are unimaginable. Richard is no longer visible in London Above. His existence is wiped away. He can either wither away and become a statistic in London Below or he can soldier on and help Door on her quest. Richard chooses to help Door.

Mr. Gaiman does an admirable job keeping the reader off balance. Reading this I felt like I was following directions to a place I've never been: you think you're pretty sure you know roughly how to get there & approximately where you're going, but you're not completely sure and you know you'd better pay close attention or you're sure to be lost. That's what Neverwhere was like for me.

I laughed and I gasped and I wished Door and Richard had a chance. I wasn't sure if the Marquis was a good guy or a bad guy & I was totally surprised Hunter did what she did. One thing's for sure, I'll never look at a homeless person the same way again. Oh yes, if you read this be sure to watch out for the elderly bag lady with the white umbrella.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


A few weeks back I borrowed a book of short stories from the library. In it was a fantasy written by an Aussie writer named Bill Congreve. I can't find anything by him in our local library, any of the local bookshops or via our interlibrary loan. Now a mild interest has blossomed into mild obsession. What else has he written and where can I find it?! I might be able to find him via Amazon, but the shipping from Aussie to eastern US is likely scary, scary.

Yesterday I found myself sandwiched between a giant tow truck pulling an 18 wheeler and a tour bus careening down I 495 at breakneck speed. I felt like I was driving in the Grand Canyon- dark, looming and squished. I managed to get away from them just in time to look up and see what seemed to be a quarter of a mile of wild wisteria (the lavendar colored variety) heavily in bloom growing up and over the sound barriers. They drooped in heavy swags along the edge of the road like ostrich plumes on an old picture hat. Absolutely gorgeous.

Hubby and I had dessert with a friend and her adult nephew, who is in town for the weekend. He's never been on an airplane, been out of his home state. There are still people out there who don't travel! Can you believe it?? Not even in-state or driving. I digress. We had a fantastic time, played Sorry and the Washington DC Monopoly. Supposedly the short version, but we ended at 11 pm & still weren't done. Our hostess beat us all soundly, but we had a fabulous time. We even came away with a delicious bottle of white wine, which we shall share for my birthday next month.

It's nice to hear insights from a newcomer, particularly one who doesn't travel. He was amazed at how polite people are here. Seriously. I don't associate rudeness with city folk, brusque perhaps, but not rude. Nevertheless, I was surprised to hear him say that. Then I thought that maybe he was expecting awful, horrid behavior from us city rats and was then surprised when it wasn't true after all?? He'll be in church tomorrow, so I can't wait to hear all about his adventures around town.

Just finished reading Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. Thoughts posted tomorrow.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Cell Surfing & Template Issues

As I've mentioned earlier, I'm not surfing on the computer much these days. Instead I loaded a whole bunch of URLs into my cell phone so I can surf whenever I've a moment waiting with the kids, etc. I can't post comments from the phone, but I do manage to keep up with nearly everyone.

There are a few interesting notes. Some custom templates will show up without background interference. CindyS and Jenster come to mind immediately. As do Marg and Karen. Some templates show up with :P all over the background (eyes closed, tongue out smileys). These are blogs with a slight background detail. The smileys render the text unreadable. KristieJ's blog does this. :( Other custom templates, like Tara's, only show her photos and no posts.

So the long and the short of it is- I am keeping up with you via cell if your blog's template cooperates with my phone. However, if you've a custom template it's iffy and I may only get to visit you once a week or whatever and only from an actual computer.

Speaking of RSS feeds- many US print media websites are behind the times. Slackers. Only one or two or three feeds. Max. The Brits are much better at this kind of stuff. For example- the NYT RSS feed only has one or two pages of links (5-10 articles). C.S. Monitor? No feeds. Might be my cheapie cell phone, but even so, I'm surprised the major U.S. print news outlets are so far behind. The digital (tv, cable, online only, etc) media are up with the times. BBC, IHT, etc. have signifigantly more content online. The mainline print outlets are going to go the way of the dinosaur if they don't keep up with the times more & better. London Review of Books has a monthly feed, even.

I guess I'm just a news junkie. But the good old boy new guys? They'd better hop on the bandwagon & quick, before the parade passes them by. The sad thing about all of this is, I'm not a digital native- by a long shot. The digital natives at my house only read an actual newspaper for one thing. The comics. Any news they get online or from the tv or from their phones.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Skinny Bitch; Freedman & Barnouin

Despite being shelved in the 'diet' section, this book ought to be shelved in nutrition. It's aimed at unhealthy and/or overweight women- skinny doesn't automatically equal healthy, you know. There are no gimmicks or facile suggestions. The authors are reccommending veganism as a healthier lifestyle, one that is likely to result in weight loss.

For those who may be unfamiliar with the term, veganism is a dietary choice, lifestyle, call it what you will, where absolutely no animal products are consumed. No eggs, dairy products (to include milk, butter, yoghurt, cheese, etc), honey, beef, pork, poultry, fish, gelatin, etc. Often this includes any other item that may contain these ingredients, thus also curtailing some baked goods and processed foods. Freedman and Barnouin also suggest giving up what are popularly referred to as "the white devils": white flour, bleached sugar & white bread. Also- coffee including decaf, tobacco products, soda regular and diet and over the counter medications.

I've given up meats for short periods of time several times in the past, once as long as two years. Never tried full veganism & am unsure I could do it. I've never liked eggs or quiche or other similar foods. I've not eaten gelatin since I was a kid. I don't put honey in my tea. I guess I'm partially there. I'm currently reading The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, which has generated a lot of uneasiness in my mind about just how healthy and safe the U.S. food supply really is. Then there is the whole lack of humane treatment of food animals, the prevalence of antibiotic usage on factory farms and a whole host of other related issues.

The tone and style reminds me very strongly of Smartbitches. Highly educated, well read, tell you like it is ("Yes, you look like a fat cow in those pants!") pals whose no holds barred style can be intimidating or off putting, especially for unwary souls. The language is salty and conversational and laden with facts, endnotes and references to other works discussing the U.S. food supply, diet, weight, and various aspects of vegetarianism.

They recommend particular brands of food & substitutions, although they're from the left coast (ie: California) so some of these may not be easily found here. I think if you live near a Trader Joe's or MOM (My Organic Market) here in metro DC or Whole Foods Market you're likely to find a good selection of healthier foods, especially vegan items. Freedman and Barnouin also list websites, further reading sources, food additives and the like at the end of their novel. The endnotes are fully documented as is a list of the sources they used in the writing of this book.

The book attempts to get the reader to nurture herself with good healthy food and a lifestyle that promotes conscious, aware eating. One of the authors has a Master's Degree in holistic nutrition- their aim is not to get the reader feeling guilty. They freely admit their former bad habits, including such vices as double cheeseburgers and coffee. Two of my personal favorites. Skinny Bitch absolutely is a food for thought kind of book, even if you disagree with them, it's sure to make you think twice about what you put in your mouth.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Dream Hunter; S. Kenyon

This one is a DNF I'm afraid. I don't relate to either the Heroine or the Hero. The plot is too contrived. Maybe it's simply that Ms. Kenyon hasn't quite managed to suck me into her world deeply enough that I can let go of the problems that are holding me back.

I managed about 90+ pages before I stopped in frustration. It's too bad, really, I'd been looking forward to this one. I haven't returned it yet, though. Maybe I'll keep going in dribs and drabs. Haven't completely decided.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I last sat here Friday at 11 am, running through my thoughts about the past five days' events, specifically the shootings at VA Tech (Sister's alma mater). Having a Son shortly to go off to college, the good Lord willing & the creek don't rise, made the news resonate strongly with me. Finally I decided to post Friday morning, no matter that I didn't have anything new or original or thought provoking to say.

So I'm seated in front of the 'puter Friday morning at 11 am. Then Daughter calls. "Mom, there's a bomb threat at school. We've been evacuated to the stadium. They said we can go home if our parents come & pick us up. Will you come and get Friend and me so we can go home?" Needless to say, I saved my post and headed towards Daughter's school.

I had to park down the street and walk up to the campus, met along the way by several reporters & photographers. "Ma'am, did you know there were two other schools closed this morning due to bomb threats? How do you feel about these incidents, especially in light of the shootings on Monday?"

I was 90% sure (naive, perhaps?) that it was simply a test day prank- hijinks since Friday was the first warm sunny day in quite a while. I wasn't overly anxious, more agitated that some @$$ thought it would be funny, cool, ___________ fill in the blank to call school out on a Friday.

So I waited my turn, picked the girls up and drove them to our house. They DDR'ed, watched an anime movie and ate fries. Which turned out to be a treat for the friend. Her family are all vegetarians and they've never (do you believe it?) eaten at or from McD's. I was impressed on the one hand & embarrassed on the other, I had no idea this girl was a vegetarian & I would've offered her something else had I known. Still- she's teen enough to love fries!

Turns out the would be bomber was an 18 year old idiot who wanted to get his GF out of class. At least that's what happened at Daughter's school. Don't know about the other two schools (one of which is Son's GF's school- she wasn't there that day). Rumor mill says there was a 'hit list' at one school. Anyhow, the guy from Daughter's school called from a payphone in the mall across the street. They have him on the phone on camera so he will be charged with a crime. A felony, maybe? I can't remember.

I've not read much this week, but there are a few things & books on my mind which I hope to post about over the next few days.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Fortune's Fool; Mercedes Lackey

This author seems to walk the line between fantasy and romance without falling into either category. Fortune's Fool is the third 500 Kingdoms novel I've read, only one of which really seemed romantic (the first one), if that makes any sense. Now that I know what to expect from her, I'm ok with the hybrid style. I'd never read Ms.Lackey's work before the first 500 Kingdoms title, I was disappointed in the second and now that I'm done with the third I feel like I'm on an even keel as far as Ms. Lackey's style and take on the Luna books.

Ekaterina is the seventh daughter of the Sea King's 14 children. As some of you may know, seventh children often have a special fate. Katya is precocious and observant and easily transitions from sea to land. Seeing this, her father makes her his spy. While in Nippon (equivalent to feudal Japan) on a mission, Katya receives a magic origami bird from a Japanese spirit as a gift for her help. Later, on another mission for her father, the bird will be a major player in Katya's efforts.

The hero is Sasha ______, can't remember his surname, but he's the seventh son of the King of Led Belarus. Not only that, Sasha is a Songweaver. Among other duties he roams his father's kingdom singing carefully crafted yet easily remembered singable songs praising the kingdom's positive qualities & traits & other songs that chase off any would be magical predators. These songs help shape the paths the Tradition will take in Led Belarus, thus ensuring the continuing Led Belarus' prosperity. Sasha is definitely what the romance community would call a beta hero- quiet & unassuming & intelligent, but more than capable of catching & holding what he wants.

Sasha & Katya meet at the seaside in a remote part of his father's kingdom. Each is alone & feels isolated for different reasons, but they strike up a friendship & eventually become lovers. The Tradition, around which each person in the 500 Kingdoms must work, has a couple of set storylines Sasha & Katya will be pushed to follow unless they can work out a way around it (the Tradition seems to be composed of known fairytale types; certain storylines have one or two or several possible endings depending on the characters involved). Will Sasha & Katya manage to thwart what the Tradition has in store for them? What happens when a new magical being, foreign to this area, moves in & takes over some other being's castle?

This is one of the few romances where the hero & heroine are both virgins. Not only that, the first time they have intercourse is true to actual experience. That is to say: fumbling, short, painful and unfulfilling for the female. Unlike most first time sex scenes in romances where the hero manages to get the heroine to be multi orgasmic from the start. A tiny bit of realism is always welcome, IMO. The visuals in the first few chapters reminded me very strongly of the Disney movie The Little Mermaid, but fortunately that washed away as I read along. Characters from previous 500 Kingdoms novels appreared: Sergei the ugly little horse and Gina and Adamant the pair of dragons. What else? Baba Yaga appears, as does the katschei from the Firebird Suite (among other places). There is a passing nod to Brian Jacques' series of books about forest animals.

Ms. Lackey's 500 Kingdom novels may not appeal to romance readers expecting a clear depiction of the developing relationship. I approached this book from a fantasy POV & found it highly satisfying. It is set up as a quest fantasy/adventure romance. Published this year by Luna.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Today begins Yom HaShoah

Today marks the start of Holocaust Rememberance Week- Yom HaShoah. Image from The Hatikvah Center.

Prayer for the dead, translated from Hebrew, courtesy of

Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world
which He has created according to His will.

May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days,
and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon;
and say, Amen.

May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored,
adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He,
beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that
are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who creates peace in His celestial heights,
may He create peace for us and for all Israel;
and say, Amen.

Lest we forget, there are still plenty of places on our little blue marble that have plenty of genocide going on, right in plain sight. Check out google earth & the US Holocuast Museum's newest project on Darfur, Sudan. We are EACH OBLIGATED to do what we can to stop the evil among us.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Bumper stickers seen recently:

Republicans for Voldemort

Frodo lost, Bush has the ring

Honor the dead, Heal the Wounded, Stop the War

My local library has NO Tanya Huff and only half of the Assassin and Ship series for Robin Hobb. Sucks. The budget is being cut yet again & I'm betting requesting said titles won't accomplish much. And they only have the first season for Bertie & Jeeves on DVD. *pout*

Am sowly winding my way through Mercedes Lackey's new 500 Kingdoms book, Fortune's Fool. So far so good, but I'm not in much of a reading mood this week so it's been slow on my account.

Hope everyone has a good weekend & better weather!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Family Updates

The Husband~ was offered a position at a hospital on the very northern edge of our part of metro DC. No more $$, but it's day shift (thank you, Jesus!) and has superb bennies incl. full coverage of higher ed. Paid parking- those of you in major metro areas know what a boon this is. Totally different part of medicine, he will be trained in all things related to cardiac diseases, arrhythmias, medicines, symptoms, treatments etc. He has been a women's health specialist for the last 5 years, previously he was med-surg/oncology. We're elated, Hubby has wanted to return to university to eventually become an advance practice RN. Now he's finally getting an opportunity!

Son #1~ Did get the job at the ballpark after all. He's worked two days & loves it, although attendance has been very low due to cold nights. We'll see how he handles it when it's 90 F and the drunks are yelling and obnoxious and the kids throw up everywhere. GF has just returned home from the hospital after yet another cardiac cath & various blood tests. Some rejection in the heart, but not much & her kidneys are exhausted & cranky. They plan to attend his prom in May.

Daughter~ was confirmed last Sat. April 7th on the Great Vigil of Easter. It was a beautiful and moving ceremony, my favorite of the entire church calandar except maybe choral tenebrae. We managed to buy her a new dress & new shoes, and have her hair cut, all courtesy of the wonderful & understanding Grand-Mere. Merci grandmere! No BF, or so she says. Daughter does write fanfic based on manga & anime characters with a GF. The trip with her church youth group is still a go at this point despite the iffy funding.

Son #2~ continues to chug along his merry way- perennially cheerful, smiley and helpful. Also becoming a serious wiseacre in his old age. Not that I'm surprised. He and the Hubby have big bathroom plans: replace the insides of the toilet (Son's favorite!) and fiddle with the showerhead & related plumbing. He sang at nearly every service last week, but says he liked tenebrae best too despite a sore throat. This Link is a clip from the Dominican Priory in DC during tenebrae this last week.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

2 Young Adult Reads

Hannah's Garden by Midori Snyder

Cassieopeia Brittman has parented her mother Anne for most of her childhood, which was spent wandering the U.S. barely one step above homelessness. Finally Cassie and Anne have settled into a small university city south of Anne's (and Cassie's) birthplace, a small farm. After promising Cassie she'd spend her student years single and unattached, Anne brings Gunnar the Swedish Viking filmmaker home one morning. Poppie Brittman (Anne's father), a reclusive and eccentric (Aren't they always?) but extrememly talented painter is in ICU in the local communtiy hopsital. Anne and Cassie must drop everything to return to the small rural community Anne fled when Cassie was very small. All is not what it seems, though. Who is Melvin Steiger, really? Why does everyone in town like him when it is immediately obvious he's not helped Poppie around the property as he ought to have? Who is the mysterious fiddler who rescues Cassie more than once and how could he possibly be in a photo of Cassie's grandparents when Poppie was a babe?

This novel reminds me strongly of Solstice Wood by Patricia McKillip (my thoughts on Ms. McKillip's book in the title link). Less intense & less layered perhaps, but they both resonate. Excellent book. Plan to hunt up Ms. Snyder's other works at the library. Published by Viking in 2002.

Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins

A detailed, finely nuanced coming of age tale set in India and California. The Gardner family, most often of Berkeley CA has arranged to spend the summer in India doing various charity projects in the orphanage that raised Sarah Gardner to age 4. Sarah's daughter Jasmine is unhappy about the change of summer scenery, primarily because she's fallen in love with her best friend and business partner Steve Morales- who is being preyed upon by practically every girl that matters at their local school. Jazz would prefer to spend the summer at home & keep Steve safe. Of course, being 15, actually getting up the courage to tell him how she feels is impossible. India is wonderful and scary and interesting and overwhelming all at once. Each member of Jazz's family is compelled to change and grow before the end of summer and the long long flight to CA.

MS really kindled a desire to learn how to make yummy authentic Indian curries, made me reflect on the beautiful Indian women in our area- their saris and gold jewellry & how very feminine they look. Jazz suffers from many of the typical female pychological issues: low self esteem, poor body image, emotional honesty, etc, but what really touched me is Ms. Perkins' portrayal of a girl trying to wall herself into a protective cocoon and the country that helps her gain inner strength and courage.

Definitely planning to look up other works by Ms. Perkins. This title like others she's written are aimed at young adult readers.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Dreaming of You; L. Kleypas

I know there are quite a few romance readers out there who feel Derek Craven is the bestest, hottest, most tortured romance hero ever- except maybe Jamie Frazer. I like Derek. I agree he's right up there as far as the deprived, tortured soul aspect. Not so sure on the bestest, hottest part though. Derek Craven is a prostitute's get, raised in the deepest slums of London by sympathetic prostitutes after his mother leaves him in the gutter. After a harrowing childhood on the streets, he's the owner of London's most posh, upscale gambling den. Like many deprived souls before him, Derek finds comfort in amassing material items and money as a hedge against past privations. Derek has also hidden many of his finer qualities behind a protective facade designed to keep the unobservant at bay.

I had the most problems with Derek's love interest, Sara Fielding. Raised by older indulgent parents, Sara manages to be an intrepid adventuress & author- yet Ms. Kleypas asks us to believe that such a woman would seriously consider marrying Percy the henpecked, overindulged, cosseted only child whose every thought is governed by his mother. Why would Sara do this? *eye roll* *insert sarcasm here* Because Percy is safe and solid and no one else could possibly love Sara anyway. *snort* Yet this woman runs around the London slums consorting with thieves and prostitutes and slumlords without qualms or protection (she patently doesn't know how to properly shoot the pistol she carries). Lies to her parents' friends who are trying to keep her safe. Deceives her parents (& Percy, as if that should matter) and seems blithely unconcerned that such deceptions might negatively mark her character and ruin her reputation.

My biggest 'drop you right out of the story' moment occurs when a drunken Sara is in the middle of a riot in the London dockyards with one of Derek's rivals, a man she barely knows & who has an unsavory reputation even in the stews. Jenner, the man she ran out of Derek's club with, has dumped her in the middle of the street when some thugs try to make off with his horses. Derek rescues her & tells the toughs threatening to rape her, "Back off! She's mine!" or some such blather. In the middle of all this hullabaloo, while a quantity of men are trying a) rape you and b) kill you Ms. Kleypas asks the readers to believe that this is Sara's first night drinking alcohol and the first time Sara realizes she loves Derek- that she, Sara, really is his. I had to stop there & I put the book down over the long Easter weekend to try & set aside this bit of inanity. I mean really- you're drunk, you run off with a stranger who abandons you in the middle of the street in a bad part of town and a bunch of toughs try to abduct and rape you. THIS is when you realize who you love.

I did manage to put this series of actions aside & finish DOY. I like Derek (and Sara) quite a lot on either side of this night's actions. Although she continues to like Jenner even after this incident. The ending. The maniacal Joyce & her sociopath husband, who allowed Joyce to nearly murder Derek because Derek deserved it for cuckolding other husbands. The devoted friends. Etc. Almost didn't make it though.

Originally published by Avon in 1994. Haven't decided if it's a keeper since it came so close to being a DNF, but it's on the 'wait and see' shelf. Ms. Kleypas is an author I often either really like or really don't like. This is the first on the fence title (by her) for me.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Summer Country; J.A. Hetley

This was published by Ace in 2004. James A. Hetley has a webpage, but it appears to be down right now. The link in the title is to an interview. The Summer Country a dark alternate reality/urban fantasy set in contemporary Maine and in a rural alternate world, the Summer Country of the title, where magic and magical beings of all descriptions are the modus operandi.

Maureen and Jo Pierce are sisters living in a tiny town. One night Maureen gets accosted by one stranger and rescued by another. Her rescuer, one Brian Arthur Pendragon Albion, has some fantastical tales to tell. Unfortunately for Brian Maureen isn't the type to give a guy any slack and she tries to send him on his way. Unfortunately, weird things begin to happen to her from that night forward. Maureen gets 'magiced' across the boundary into TSC. Turns out, the majority of the dominant beings in TSC are sterile. Only a select few are fertile- thus they are dying out & are indesperate need of fresh blood. Maureen and Jo happen to be magical beings despite being raised as ordinary humans and are completely illiterate in the ways and means of TSC. Thus, Maureen (but not Jo) is needed to infuse fresh genes into TSC. What happens to her there is the thrust of this story.

Maureen reminds me of Christine Feehan heroines- deeply damaged by childhood trauma, chip on her shoulder, prickly, yet vulnerable too. Maureen is only 28, but has a long history of severe alcoholism & serious mental disorders behind her. Her past history made parts of this novel hard to read, but I thought her issues were senstively handled as is her relationship with her sister. I had some problems with how her emotional and mental state was described toward the end of this novel, but the saga continues in the next installment, which is titled The Winter Oak (already available). I'm hopeful Mr. Hetley will continue with the complexity and depth of Maureen and Jo's characters and I hope he will resist temptation to wrap up these novels into neat little packages with every last little string tied and tucked in.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Test Post

I'm trying for the first time the 'posting via email' feature blogger offers. Sorry I can't remember the exact name blogger gives it. Kinda irritating trying it from my cell phone, but- here we are kids! 8-) Tomorrow I'll post my thoughts on the most recent book I finished: The Summer Country by James A. Hetley.

Monday, April 02, 2007

2 April Books

The Dark Mirror, Juliet Marillier~

Would you send your four year old son far away to be raised by adults whose sole purpose is to mold him into a future monarch? Would you do it of you knew he would be raised ignorant of who his parents are until he became a young adult? Raised without the benefit of laughter or playtime and with only one other child- and a girl six years younger at that? Such a one would be Bridei, whose sole purpose is to be molded into a future monarch whose intention is to ensure the future of the old religion & beliefs and way of life in his kingdom. His childhood companion is Tuala, a child of faery, given directly to Bridei by the Goddess herself on the longest & holiest night of the year. Bridei must fight tooth and nail for the one thing he can claim as his own- Tuala. Tuala must overcome inbred, superstitious fears of her 'otherness' as well as Bridei's foster father's open distrust and dislike of her. Will Tuala and Bridei survive their childhood and achieve their dreams? Can they fulfill their destiny despite the meddling of humans and faeries (much like the meddling in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream)?

Published in 2004 by Tom Doherty Publishing. Link to Ms. Marillier's website in book title above.

Waifs and Strays, Charles de Lint~

Published in 2002 by Viking Books. Link to Mr. de Lint's website in book title above. A collection of short stories by Mr. de Lint themed around young adults. Some set in his fictional city of Newford. All are excellent. Guaranteed to make you want to hunt down Mr. de Lint's backlist- and it's a deep one.

March Synopsis

Below is a list of what I read over the month of March, listed in the order I read them. They are also on the sidebar alphabetically by author.

1.The Semptster's Tale, Margaret Frazer

2.Hunter's Moon, O.R. Melling

3.The Summer King, O.R. Melling

4.Wildwood Dancing, Juliet Marillier

5.They Call Me Naughty Lola, ed. by David Rose

6.The Traitor's Tale, Margaret Frazer

7.Blood Red Horse, K.M. Grant

8.P.S. I Love You, Cecilia Ahern

9.The Faery Reel, ed. Datlow and Windling

10.Oceans of Fire, Christine Feehan

11.Green Jasper, K.M. Grant

Plus there were 2 DNFs this month.