Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Certainly not for those preferring a lighthearted read. The Road is a commentary on culture and human nature after all that we know and much of what we believe in has been destroyed. In other words- post apocalyptic earth. A bio of McCarthy is is HERE. It is easliy one of the most profound and moving books I have read in several years. Do not let the fact that it was on Oprah's reading list deter you.

A father and his young son are heading south towards what the father hopes is a warmer climate that may possibly enable them to survive. The Road is their story. It doesn't detail what caused the total destruction of the pair's known world, TR merely allows us to watch them love each other in their new, awful, heart rending, mind numbing world.

The father's pain seemed more present to me, more..I was able to relate to him most. Not only because of his age & parental status but because he was forced to cope with so much loss. The loss of everything he knew: nature, culture, the human institutions that make society what it is, his family. The son, OTOH, is so young that the current reality is all he remembers. All he knows. He hasn't lost anything. That is one of the most awful parts of this book. Realizing that the post apocalyptic earth is the only reality this child knows. Will ever know.

Theirs is an eternal relationship, the father and the child. For me the child represented all of the positive traits one hopes that humanity is born with. Love, faith, compassion, curiosity, conscience, resiliency. The father: loss, tenacity, perseverance, caution, mistrust, love. The father was, like all adults, more of a mixture of good and bad. An amalgam of all that he has experienced.

The ending made me cry and gave me hope. Read this book.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Yeah, I promised to try and stop by more often, but as you can see- I'm a slacker. I just finished reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Excellent book. Very thought provoking. Also very dark. I'll post my thoughts as soon as I can.

Husband~ Began classes at our local community college taking a full time load (4 classes) last week. Paid for by his employer. He is currently topped out in his field and since he's only in his early 40's he'd like to continue to move up the career ladder- thus this in the first step. He already has a degree, but the academic powers that be deem those courses 'too old' for his current course of study and thus he's forced to retake some things. He's smiling though. It'll only help his GPA. Plus- he gets to listen to the babies (as he calls them) spout off about everything they think they're expert about. Meantime it's all he can do keep qiuet and not laugh.

Graduate~ Seems to be settling in at the grandparents' just fine. We moved him in last weekend. New stuff from Ikea, new clothes. All his books. The other g'rents are loaning him a car (plus the insurance!!) and will help feed him as needed. Today is the first day of classes. He's currently job hunting. I plan to call him before I go to work to see how things went. The house is quieter, the fridge is fuller. I miss him, his jokes. The way his eyes light up. Don't miss Kudzu though.

Daughter~ Wishes to be called Anime Queen instead of such a plain, non descriptive, boring parental label like daughter. After an event filled summer, the last week or ten days has been quiet for her. Kinda a nice wrap up I suppose. She's busy playing with photoshop and writing fanfics and trying to slow summer down. This school year she's taking both IB Algebra and IB Chemistry, so she doubts she'll have much of a life this year. Poor Anime Queen, she struggles with math & chemistry is loaded with it. The Graduate was her favorite math tutor, but he's too far away. Maybe he can help her via IMming?? It's a thought.

Son #2~ Also wishes a new moniker. Can't really think of one right now though. He too has had a busy summer- visited both g'rents, went to camp, went to Baltimore. His current favorite activity is MS Flight Simulator & X Box. He's also practicing piano somewhat diligently. We went on a hike a couple of days ago when the temps were down. Went down to the stream & found a couple of tadpoles and some teeny tiny waterstriders- who can jump over each other on top of the water (like crickets). Several cool looking mushrooms, we forgot the camera as per usual, so no photos.

Me~ Have been feeling run ragged. Between the job and trying to get Graduate settled and a family reunion and whatnot, the last several weeks have been a strain. At least one of my days off has been spent traveling up and down I95 hither thither and yon. And beyond yon once or twice. Hopefully now that school is about to begin I'll be able to catch my breath a bit. I hope. We'll see.

I am definitely reforming my procrastinating ways. I've had to. There is no'later' or some mythical 'tomorrow' when I'll have less to do. It's now or never. I'm rediscovering the joys of the hyper caffeinated life. I am reading so that's been a plus. What else? I live and die by the calculator in my purse more than ever before.

Work itself has been fine. The interior of the building is being renovated, which we're working through. That has proved interesting. We were given conflicting information regarding 'mandatory overtime' being paid or if we were to be given comp time or even if the time is truly mandatory or not. So far I am enjoying the job and it facilitates my personal and our family goals. It's funny though, I've been asked if I think the job is 'fun' or if I'm now magically 'fullfilled' by working there. To the first- as far as I'm concerned work is work and therefore not intended to be fun so the question is irrelevant. As to the second- I was pretty much fullfilled (as much as the next person I think) before I began. So no. Onward and upward.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Kushiel's Justice; Jacqueline Carey

This is the second in Jacqueline Carey's new Terre d'Ange series. I read the first first book, Kushiel's Scion, here. Carey's gifts are showcased in epic fantasy and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent reading this. Now I have to wait until next year for the next one. *SOB*

Imriel and his distant cousin Sidonie, who also happens to be the kingdom's heir apparent, have fallen headlong, passionately in love. Trouble is, Imriel's family history and his cousin's political heritage clash violently. Sidonie is under age when this whole thing begins, and besides- her mother is not likely to ever approve. Officially or unofficially.

Ms. Carey offers a unique and insightful look at dynastic marriages, one I came to appreciate after some intial scepticism. If one is raised from earliest childhood to understand that marriage has everything to do with politics, land, money or alliances then personal feelings, attraction, and mushy bullshit like love, lust and passion are totally irrelevant. And dangerous. Two total strangers are united into one of the most intimate relationships humans can create. This breeds insight and a certain level of perceptiveness that would unnerve most of us.

Toss into the mix a religion that teaches one and all, "Love as thou wilt." What are the consequences of disobeying this precept? Even if there are, seemingly, good and defensible arguments for said disobediance? Can your gods follow you across oceans? Hear the anguish in your heart when you most need to be heard? What about a faith practice resulting in believers who think they can see the future? A religion that engenders in its followers a belief that only they can see and preserve the future of an entire island? Hubris much anyone? And we all know pride goeth before a fall.

Kushiel's Justice has it all: lust, intrigue, enchantment, ritual, hot sex, political intrigue, religion, cross continent adventures, vengeance. The soul deep satisfaction of knowing you've found your soul mate. And what about Imriel's long vanished, much vilified mother Melisande? Who manages to rescue Imriel's sorry ass way the hell up in what on our maps would be Russia. Where does she come into this? Read KJ and find out!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling

Potter #7. The end of an era. The best of the series. What else can I say?? I didn't really like the middle books in the series, between #3 and #6. I absolutely feel editing and pacing was drastically necessary for those books. #7, though, was a total package as far as I'm concerned. It goes without saying that it doesn't stand alone. Read a series synopsis first, but this one is well worth the effort. Go forth and read it.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Big News

Sorry I dropped off my blog for two weeks- there have been big big changes at Bookwormom Central starting in early July and I've been totally snowed under trying to adjust. Change is afoot and we're not all coping as well as we might hope.

As regular visitors know the Graduate is prepping to move out at the end of the month to start college. Oh the DRAMA! You just don't know. It's been hard in some ways. Trying to cope with GF's clinginess. I've started calling her Kudzu. You know, kudzu is the awful invasive plant that has taken over the Southern US and is nearly impossible to get rid of once it's in your garden. Seriously. Easier in others: getting his driver's license at long last. He's leaving next week. I don't think the reality will set in until he's actually out of the house.

The other news is that I've reentered the working world. The working outside the house world that is. Being a stay at home involves plenty of work, I know. I'd been home full time for four years and it was past time I pulled myself together and got a job. I hunted for a long time before I finally landed a job just this side of the Potomac up near DC. It's also nearly full time- one more full day a week than I'd intially been hired for. On top of that, my schedule has been changed twice in the four weeks since I've been there. There are alot of changes afoot in my new workplace and it has some of the 'old-timers' so to speak a little riled up, as they say.

It has all been hard to juggle is an understatement. Son #2 is only 11 and pretty much as far as he remembers I've been home with him and his siblings. I'd worked part time for 5 years (when he was between 2 & 7), but the schedule was nothing like what I'm doing now. Of course it's summertime too so they're all home during the day and that makes my absence all that more obvious. Fortunately Hubby's schedule is three days a week so he's been home with them more- which has been another thing to get used to. A good and wonderful thing I think. ;)

Anyhow, I've been reading. I finished Harry Potter and I'm in the middle of the new Jacqueline Carey. Both huge books, 700+ pages each. Which is doing zilch for my monthly book count. :( I've been surfing on everyone's blogs (I finally loaded everyone into my cell phone) during my all too brief lunch breaks. I've not had time to blog or post on others' blogs though. There just hasn't been enough time in the day, unfortunately. As time goes by I'm sure I'll get more proficient and I'll post more often.

Meantime, I've missed you all and I hope to make the rounds and post too! LOL

July Synopsis

Below I listed the books I finished in July, there were also 3 DNFs but I forgot to write them down before I took the trade bag to the UBS & thus I have no idea what they were except- YUCKY. LOL ;)

I am still running behind on my yearly goal, unless I really get a move on I won't make it. The original goal was to read 9 books a month which would put me over the total I read last year, but only just. As of early July I had to up the total to 10 per month for the remainder of the year to meet the same goal. I am not making it, obviously.

1.Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

2. Ironside, Holly Black

3. Much Ado in the Moonlight, Lynn Kurland

4. A Lady of Expectations, Stephanie Laurens

5. Yours Until Dawn, Teresa Medieros

6. Jacob, Jacqueline Frank

7. Snow in Summer; Tess Farraday