Saturday, January 31, 2009

When Gods Die; CS Harris

When Gods Die by CS Harris is the second title in Ms. Harris’ ongoing Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series. The first title is What Angels Fear, the series is currently on its fourth title. This is the only one I’ve read, so I can’t say if you can read these out of order. I suspect you could if you’re only reading them to decipher the mysteries, but if you want to put together the puzzle pieces of St. Cyr’s background it’s probably important to read them in order. I’ve already messed that one up, but I have the rest of the books from the library so I can fix that. Ms. Harris used to write romances under the name Candice Proctor. I’ve several of those in my TBR. I’m currently not planning to read them.

Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, age 31, is a Napoleonic War veteran, heir to the Earldom of Hendon, investigates murder-mysteries on the side. He is his father’s only surviving son, his mother is deceased, he is estranged from his sister and he is head over heels in love with an actress. Kat Bolyen, age 26, is that actress. She is of Irish descent and she hides a big secret from Devlin. They claim to love each other, but she’s using a pseudonym. Kat is Sebastian’s anchor. The person he turns to for comfort. The one he uses as a sounding board when he’s thinking over tidbits of information. He’s careful not to press her about the details of her past and she’s careful to always say no whenever he proposes. My question is: can love survive ideology? Which is worse: the act itself or omission of what you’ve been doing? My other question is: does Devlin realize he’s surrounded by people who withhold important things from him? Family related things, personal things- as opposed to things relevant to solving the mystery.

The mystery itself appears to be straightforward. Young Guinevere Ellsworth, Marchioness of Anglessey, is found stabbed and dead in the arms of the Regent, Prince George. George, rumored to be mentally unstable, is wildly unpopular due to his profligate ways and total unconcern for the populace. The powers behind the throne are Lord Jarvis, the Regent’s cousin, and Lord Portland. Jarvis summons Devlin and convinces Devlin to investigate by showing Devlin a necklace the Marchioness had been wearing at the time of her death. A necklace last seen clasped around Devlin’s mother’s neck when she died.

Lady Anglessey was in her early twenties married to a man in his late sixties or early seventies. According to those who knew the couple, they were fond of each other and loyal. Unfortunately, the Marquis of Anglessey was childless with both of his wives- much to his chagrin. His heir is an inveterate gambler who is continually short of money due to his fondness for wine, women and song. Also- the heir had a short temper and had been heard to threaten Lady Anglessey. On top of all that, he claims Lady Anglessey’s early pregnancy wasn’t the Marquis’ baby.
Devlin struggles to put the pieces together while coming to an horrifying conclusion about his family. Kat receives news she has been dreading for months. One of Devlin’s servants is falsely imprisoned and an inn is gutted by arson to hide a murder. How in heaven’s name are all of these things connected? The reader knows that he’ll put them all together before the last page, but there are other questions left to be answered.

Ms. Proctor’s previous writing history as a romance author shows subtly here. The richness and depth of the setting and the characterization really caught my attention. I figured out the mystery but only a few pages before the final events began to wind up the action. I have to say, I’m hooked on Devlin and his mysteries now. I’ve been told that Ms. Proctor’s romances are superb and I have to say that the mysteries are off to a fantastic start. Brava!

Another challenge

I saw this one earlier this month & decided to join- so here's the link. Nath is hosting a keeper shelf reread & review challenge for this year. All info is at the post linked to both in title above in the body of this post. I'm a month behind, but I think this'll be fun reading everyone's choices for keepers. :) Happy reading.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Messiah Interviews; Jerry Pollock

Messiah Interviews written by Jerry J Pollock was published by Shechinah Third Temple this month. I received an ARC of this book for the purposes of this review. I will say upfront I don’t believe I am versed enough in Judaism, Jewish Messianism and Third Temple lore to comment on the religious basis of Mr. Pollock’s beliefs as stated in this book. The back cover states that Messiah Interviews should be shelved in the religion & spirituality reference area, but I had been under the impression this was fiction. Due to my professed ignorance I will direct my thoughts to other aspects of this book.

I believe that Mr. Pollock’s book can be attributed to the maxim “An unexamined life isn’t worth living.” The first section of the book is essentially Mr. Pollack’s autobiography. Mr. Pollock discusses his in detail going through Primal Therapy, a la Arthur Janov. He relates and expounds on the profound damage early traumatic experiences may have on infants and children and how these ripples can be felt many years later as crippling mental illness. I was confused and distanced by Mr. Pollock’s references to himself in the plural even after it became clear via the text that in fact there was no twin, only himself. This was summarily dealt with in a single paragraph in the second section- which I found abrupt. I wanted more of an explanation of what the author’s purpose in creating this “twin” was.

The remainder of the book further expounds on Mr. Pollock being interviewed by various and sundry figures out of the Old Testament. The aim of the questions, both mundane and profound, is to determine Mr. Pollock’s potential in becoming the Messiah of the Third Age. As I stated above, I’ve no deep learning in Judaism, the Third Temple or Old Testament readings regarding the same. It isn’t my place to judge the accuracy or truthfulness of Mr. Pollock’s narrative. Messiah Interviews proved to be informative and interesting reading. I would recommend at least rudimentary familiarity with Judaism, beliefs concerning the Third Temple and Old Testament reading concerning the same. Some familiarity with Primal Therapy might help as well.

Edited, Jan. 31, 2009: To correct spelling of Mr. Pollock's name and offer my apologies for the error. To add image credit to Mobipocket.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day Blindness

We've a little snow and some ice, thus the children have today off from school. Yesterday was a day off due to teacher inservice, so they nearly had a four/five day weekend- after having one last week due to MLK (Martin Luther King Day) & the inauguration being side by side. It'll be a miracle if they recognize their teachers by the time they return to school.

The problem for me is that very little gets accomplished when the precious darlings are home from school. Reading, yes. Keeping up with my feed reader, maybe. Domestic stuff, yes. Writing & posting, not much. I guess I'm not figuring out how to organize myself and them well enough to get blog work done.

Image found on Eyeglasses 123 & no, I didn't buy Prada glasses.

Minor emergency today. I'm as blind as a bat. Seriously. If I take my glasses off, in order to read I have to hold a paperback so close that it nearly touches my nose. We have crappy vision insurance. Now I must admit: glasses are one of the things that I make an effort to be choosy about. I'm a short, round couchpotato who spends her fashion money on books. Pretty much all of the time I live in jeans and sweatshirts. I like to spend a little extra on my glasses, though. Not a huge amount by any means, we don't have the money for super expensive chic glasses. But still: upgrade the lenses so I'm not wearing coke bottles.

Anyhow, my glasses have been on life support for months. After getting out of the shower, the screw came out of the left arm. Now, like I said above- the arm had been loose for months and I'd been babying them as long as possible to put off the expense. The screw is teeeny tiny. No glasses = completely blind. I couldn't find the screw. Two eyeglass repair kits later didn't yield a screw small enough to fit to make another temporary repair.

Hubby drove me over to the optical shop in our local Wally World. One glance at my poor old glasses & the clerk said, "Maybe I can put the lenses in new frames, but both of the arms would have to be replaced. The remaining arm is cracked. We don't carry these kinds of parts here." Great. Wonderful news. My presciption is old & it'd be a huge hassle & a bigger delay to see the doctor & get an up to date prescription. After a few phone calls to the insurance company, we decided the most cost effective way to try and fix the situation would be to try and put the lenses into new frames.

Then the clerk, a heavy set, deep voiced, kind young man says, "Are you worried about how you look or do you just want to be able to see?" On the horns of a dilemma. Hoist on my own petard. Yes, I want to look nice, but this is an emergency & I don't have the resources to be picky right now. I gulped a little and said, "I need to see most of all." He hands me a pair and says "I might be able to fit the lenses in here." As soon as I put them on both he & hubby tell me they look nice. To me they look like 60's throwbacks. Vaguely cateye, black rimmed. Hubby says the dark color matches my own coloring better, and the heavier frames are more popular than the wire rims I had before.

I guess I'm ok with them. *Snort* all that matters is that I can see to read and to cook and to drive and I won't be a prisoner in my own home. I've made an appointment with the optometrist for next week so I can at least have up to date lenses put in these. Maybe I'll see how pricey contact lenses would be. The newest problem? Now that I've glasses that fit properly? I've had a fierce headache.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Visit; Jason Shinder

My only mother, who lost sixty pounds, tried to stand up in the bathroom

and fell backwards on the white linoleum floor in the first hour of the morning
and was carried to the bed in the nurse's arms and then abruptly

opened her eyes, later, the room dark, and twisted the needles in her arms

and talked to her dead friend, Rosie, and heard the doorbell ring
as though in the kitchen in the old place deciding if she should answer,

rubbing the circle on her finger where the wedding ring once was

while slipping downward on the sheets like a body without limbs and I slid
my good arms beneath her arm-pits and pulled her bony body up

against the two thin pillows. And then, when she was asleep again,

I walked down the hallway's arc of yellow light, ghosts hovering
on either side of the doors of rooms where the strange sickness

of being alive was the last thing between dreaming and eternity

which closes like the ocean closes over the blue-starry body
and does not stop, and I understood again that we never come back,

and upright, with everything that takes its life seriously, I returned to my mother.

Found on, link in title above. We visited with a friend today. Her husband is declining slowly but steadily, suffering with a variety of debilitating chronic illnesses. I remember him when he was hale and strong and gruff and funny and protective and solicitous of her. That man is waning before her very eyes. She has the resources to have the best care for him but there has been no one there to watch over her. Who cares for the caretaker? I'm sure this isn't how she'd hoped to spend their twilight years.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lord of the Fading Lands; C.L. Wilson

Lord of the Fading Lands is the first book in author C.L. Wilson's ongoing Tairen Soul series. The second novel is Lady of Light and Shadows, the fourth book comes out in June of this year. This novel was published in October 2007 by Leisure, which is an imprint of Dorchester Publishing. The reader needs to know upfront that this series has more in common with science fiction and fantasy series in that the hero & heroine's storyline isn't resolved in this novel. Meaning, the love relationship between the h/h is not resolved in this book. In the romance genre the norm is to have the relationship between the h/h wrapped up by the end of the first novel even when the overarching plot continues in the next novel. All of that being said, I really enjoyed this novel, the world and the characters and the cultures.

The magic race of Fey, who live in the Fading Lands, are long lived yet close to extinction. Hopscotch over the human filled country of Celieria to Eld, land of mages and the Fey's archenemy. The mages are plotting, manipulating the humans, stirring the pot as it were. Ms. Wilson has set her world up so that you have: race wars, intolerance fueled and abetted by religion, a new type of 'soulmate', scheming queens and lots of other fascinating stuff. Fortunately the series appears to be long enough to weave all of these threads together.

Rainier vel'En Daris, Feyreisen, is traveling to Celieria City. The Fey send one diplomatic mission annually, under most circumstances the Feyreisen doesn't go. The dire circumstances and a prophetic vision impel him. Rain is desperate to save this people, so he goes. Ellysetta Baristani is a Celierian young woman living with her family in the capitol city. She is not their biological child, but an orphan they found and raised as their own. Due to her age and the Celierian culture, her parents try to force her into a marriage she doesn't want. Until Rain shows up and puts paid to that idea.

Ellysetta is Rain's truemate- a concept introduced by Christine Feehan in the Carpathian series, but called soulmates. Ms. Wilson's concept of truemates is slightly different: the woman, despite her 'destined' status as the other half of the hero's soul, must be courted. Wooed. Her family and their wishes must be taken into account. If she doesn't or can't accept the truemate bond, she can't be forced or coerced. In fact Fey males compete with each other in reference to courting rituals and wooing. I loved that aspect- that the men compete over wooing, to show their respect for and love of, a woman. Women as honored and respected partners- not woman as conquest, object of love, one who must be impelled to accept the male.

This book does the world building. Outlines the characters, their background and motivation and outlook. Foreshadowing of events to come in the next books. Possible internal conflicts in main characters.

Best quote: "mind what you wish for, the Gods may grant it."

Image found on Fantastic Fiction.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thoughts on the Inauguration

On Monday night, the 19th, I watched Charlie Rose. He was hosting a roundtable discussion with Katy Kay from the BBC and James Clyburn, D-SC among others. They discussed alot of pertinent topics, but two comments in particular stuck in my mind. James Clyburn was a civil rights activist at the same time as Martin Luther King Jr. His standout comment, one of several (but the only one I jotted down), "I did it so my children wouldn't have to." I think this was originally in reference to whether or not old line activists try to hold back younger up and coming politicians. No matter the original intent of his words, doesn't everyone want to smoothe the way for their children? Some Americans have a harder path to follow than others' though.

The other outstanding comment came from Katy Kay. The discussion had moved to Obama's potential foreign diplomacy efforts. Ms. Kay said (paraphrasing) that in her opinion Europe will have a more difficult time refusing Obama's requests because of his popularity & simply because he isn't George W. Bush. I hope we get better cooperation with our neighbors. We can't do it all on our own- no one exists in a vacuum. In the arena of foreign affairs the US has huge problems, entrenched problems. We're going to need all of the goodwill and assitance we can get. I just hope Obama doesn't squander it like Bush did after 9/11.

Onward to Tuesday~

I jotted a few notes while I watched the live coverage. I spent most of the time wiping my eyes & blowing my nose though. I camped out on the couch with plenty of coffee and tissues and surrounded myself with my little family. Hubby was most interested in the speech as opposed to the swearing in. Pianist, our youngest at 13, in what I consider to be the most hopeful comment yet, said "I just don't get what all the fuss is about." He's not insensitive, but I hope his question is a sign for the future. A sign that the youngest ones view racial intergation as the norm, not as an historic turning point. If wishes were horses, I really want a woman up there soon.

I think the screw up of the swearing in will be bandied about by extremists of all stripes, unfortunately. :( It was the one thing that brought me down, really- other than the fact that the actual work is only beginning. Awful people will surely use the screw up against the Administration & Obama in particular. An aside to the internet rumors that Obama wouldn't take the oath on a bible, I saw a close up photo of the President's hand on Lincoln's bible held by Mrs. Obama. I've hunted for the photo on the FT website and can't find it, but I bought the print edition and it was in there.

I liked all of the historic flags hanging off the Capitol building. I was amazed to see all of the people out on the Mall despite the aching cold. The local tv stations had inundated us with huge amounts of info on temps and road closures and security gates and restrictions and on and on and on. So we stayed home. Anyhow- I loved Mrs. Obama's matching dress and coat and the girls' outfits were cute and classic and feminine. We all got a kick out of the fact that Bush had to sit there and listen to Obama repudiate much of what the Bush administration stood for.

The poem was similar to the speech, I think. Uplifting and matching the tone of the day, yet also mentioning the degree of work to be done in the future. Ms. Alexander mentions that we are walking into that which we cannot see. And best of all she said, "we encounter each other in words.." A phrase that warms this booklover's heart.

I don't remember who kept saying it, or which channel he was on, but some older guy continually repeated how he thought the speech was average, not going to be a standout in history, nothing new, etc, etc. I found him to be very annoying to tell you the truth. I though the speech was fabulous. A call to action, a call to begin the hard work ahead. The times require us all to sacrifice, to work hard. The time to put off unpleasant decisions has passed. Best of everything, the mess we are in is due to the

..the collective failure to make hard decisions..

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TBR Challenge 2009

Title, Author, Publisher: The Ruby Ghost, June Calvin; Signet, January 2006

Genre: Traditional Regency

Series: Not Applicable


Miss Penelope Jones desperately needs a paying job because: a) she sent nearly all of her money to her brother at university and b) she is the oldest of eleven siblings and her parents can’t afford to have her come home. Unfortunately, Miss Jones has a problem: she was let off of her former position without a reference because the husband was mad she denied him sex. She has one last interview this morning. If she isn’t offered the job she has just enough money to buy a ticket at the coaching inn to Wales & her family. Miss Jones has been subject to nightmares ever since she was a child, so she’s tired and cranky when the interview goes badly. It doesn’t help that she makes judgements about her employer without actually knowing him, cannot hold her tongue and speak a civil word to her hoped for employer and then faints in his home upon seeing a painting of a castle identical to the one in her dreams.

James Betterton, Lord Silverthorne, is intrigued by Miss Jones and her claims of recurrent longstanding nightmares about the castle in his painting. He remembers her from the Season: prim and proper and good at her duties, refusing to dance at parties in order to better keep an eye on her charges, now obviously too thin and dressed in tattered clothes. What is she going on about with these claims of recurring bad dreams? Is she a schemer or is she telling the truth? Eventually, against the better judgement of Bartholomew the secretary and finally getting Miss Jones to cave in against her common sense, Lord Silverthorne gets them all to Thorne Hall. He hopes to solve the following riddles: is Miss Jones a fraud or does she really have the same dreams as Lady Silverthorne and will James ever convince Penny he’s not as bad as his reputation implies? Throw in missing relatives, precocious four year olds, meddlesome ghosts, preternatural events within Thorne Hall and you’ve pretty much got the gist of it.


I picked this one out of my TBR pile to read for Keishon’s 2009 TBR Challenge over at Keishon’s blog, Avid Reader. This month’s challenge is supposed to be to pull out a category, ie: HQN romance, and review it. However, I don’t read HQN categories because they’re just too short and I rarely read contemporaries anyway. I do love traditional regencies, that almost extinct breed, and so I pulled one out for this month’s challenge. I don’t remember buying it, so I can’t say what got my attention. I like ghosts and traditional regencies, so I guess I must’ve hoped the combination would pay off. I do wish Ms. Calvin had been better able to balance the paranormal/ghost aspects with the traditional regency rules and structure. Among the other problems, this book came across as traditional regency lite, paranormal/ghost heavy. Ms. Calvin's website describes this as "a romp" but I surely didn't find it so.

I’ve never read a June Calvin book before; unfortunately, I’m unsure if I’d do so again in a short format. There are too many plot threads in this little book. The format is too short for so many complicated weavings. I found Penelope Jones presented as a woman who will nearly starve herself to death for her family, yet one who also jeopardizes her chance at employment by making snap judgements about people based on rumors. She’s also shortsighted enough not to see that her own shortcoming, ie: making snap judgements, is reflected in the older Thorne family hangers on and retainers. I felt she was cold and lacked chemistry with James. James on the other hand is a pretty good guy: a little wild in the past, helpful, devoted to his family, loves children, loyal to those he believes in. Yet we are to believe James and Penelope managed to fall in love without having private speech with each other except about the ghosts and/or other family members.

Historical paranormals aren’t very common, particularly in the short and structured traditional regency format. If I were to come across more of these in the bookstore or UBS I’m likely to try them.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes we can!

Text found on

A few weeks ago, no one imagined that we'd have accomplished what we
did here tonight. For most of this campaign, we were far behind, and
we always knew our climb would be steep.

But in record numbers, you came out and spoke up for change. And with
your voices and your votes, you made it clear that at this moment - in
this election - there is something happening in America.

There is something happening when men and women in Des Moines and
Davenport; in Lebanon and Concord come out in the snows of January to
wait in lines that stretch block after block because they believe in
what this country can be.

There is something happening when Americans who are young in age and
in spirit - who have never before participated in politics - turn out
in numbers we've never seen because they know in their hearts that
this time must be different.

There is something happening when people vote not just for the party
they belong to but the hopes they hold in common - that whether we are
rich or poor; black or white; Latino or Asian; whether we hail from
Iowa or New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina, we are ready to take
this country in a fundamentally new direction. That is what's
happening in America right now. Change is what's happening in

You can be the new majority who can lead this nation out of a long
political darkness - Democrats, Independents and Republicans who are
tired of the division and distraction that has clouded Washington; who
know that we can disagree without being disagreeable; who understand
that if we mobilize our voices to challenge the money and influence
that's stood in our way and challenge ourselves to reach for something
better, there's no problem we can't solve - no destiny we cannot

Our new American majority can end the outrage of unaffordable,
unavailable health care in our time. We can bring doctors and
patients; workers and businesses, Democrats and Republicans together;
and we can tell the drug and insurance industry that while they'll get
a seat at the table, they don't get to buy every chair. Not this
time. Not now.

Our new majority can end the tax breaks for corporations that ship our
jobs overseas and put a middle-class tax cut into the pockets of the
working Americans who deserve it.

We can stop sending our children to schools with corridors of shame
and start putting them on a pathway to success. We can stop talking
about how great teachers are and start rewarding them for their
greatness. We can do this with our new majority.

We can harness the ingenuity of farmers and scientists; citizens and
entrepreneurs to free this nation from the tyranny of oil and save our
planet from a point of no return.

And when I am President, we will end this war in Iraq and bring our
troops home; we will finish the job against al Qaeda in Afghanistan;
we will care for our veterans; we will restore our moral standing in
the world; and we will never use 9/11 as a way to scare up votes,
because it is not a tactic to win an election, it is a challenge that
should unite America and the world against the common threats of the
twenty-first century: terrorism and nuclear weapons; climate change
and poverty; genocide and disease.

All of the candidates in this race share these goals. All have good
ideas. And all are patriots who serve this country honorably.

But the reason our campaign has always been different is because it's
not just about what I will do as President, it's also about what you,
the people who love this country, can do to change it.

That's why tonight belongs to you. It belongs to the organizers and
the volunteers and the staff who believed in our improbable journey
and rallied so many others to join.

We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no
matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can withstand the
power of millions of voices calling for change.

We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics who will
only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks to come. We've been
asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against
offering the people of this nation false hope.

But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been
anything false about hope. For when we have faced down impossible
odds; when we've been told that we're not ready, or that we shouldn't
try, or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a
simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people.

Yes we can.

It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the
destiny of a nation.

Yes we can.

It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail
toward freedom through the darkest of nights.

Yes we can.

It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and
pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

Yes we can.

It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the
ballot; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

Yes we can to justice and equality. Yes we can to opportunity and
prosperity. Yes we can heal this nation. Yes we can repair this
world. Yes we can.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Have a Dream; Martin Luther King

Text found HERE; image found on Wikimedia, who credits it to the National Archives and Records Administration.

It is Martin Luther King Jr day here in the United States. Appropriately enough it is also one day before Barack Obama's swearing in as the next US president. I thought it would be nice to remind people of MLK's famous speech. To watch the speech & listen to Dr. King himself, click here.

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.

But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
Martin Luther King, Jr., delivering his 'I Have a Dream' speech from the steps of Lincoln Memorial. (photo: National Park Service)

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Join up

This is a short challenge, it ends April 30, 2009. I plan to read & post reviews for the following four titles before the end of April.

1.Daughter of Fortune~ Isabelle Allende (born in Peru)

2.Chronicle of a Death Fortold~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez (from Colombia)

3.Like Water for Chocolate~ Laura Esquivel (from Mexico)

4. The Lady, the Chef and the Courtesan~ Marisol (from Venezuela)

I, Too, Sing America

Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

I believe the day has finally arrived when "the darker brother" can eat in the dining room at the head of the table. It's about time. Amen.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Authored by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, was published in hardcover by Dial Press in July 2008. Click link in title above to go to publisher's reader's guide. I picked it up on the dual basis of online word of mouth blurbs and the fact that the book was placed facing the front door of the library branch I regularly frequent. It’s in a similar vein to the book Five Quarters of the Orange which I read and reviewed last summer. Both books deal with the impact of World War II on small Nazi occupied villages in France and Guernsey respectively. TGLAPPS is written in epistolary form.

Set in the England of 1946, Miss Juliet Ashton, aka columnist ‘Izzy Bickerstaff’, is sent out on a book signing tour in support of her latest book. Her publishers, also dear friends of hers, have asked her to think up a new project and write a book. Juliet, however, has the proverbial writer’s block. Her Izzy Bickerstaff columns were light and witty and observant, but England’s ongoing financial struggles and related woes have put Juliet off of anything in a similar vein. Unfortunately, she has no idea what to write.

One day she receives a letter from a man on Guernsey. It seems he has come across a book that had her name and address in London in it. He has written to her in hopes that Juliet will send him the name of a good bookshop that might mail books out to Guernsey. Thus begins a correspondence between Literary Society members and Juliet. The reader experiences, through the letter writers’ eyes, what life on Guernsey was like during the war just ended the previous year. All of the trials and tribulations and strife and small joys and victories. I almost felt like a voyeur, peeping in the windows of a tightly knit and loving community doing everything they could to survive.

The Literary Society was born fully formed out of the mind of one of the members when several islanders were caught out after curfew. After which episode, the villagers had to meet regularly to ‘make the Society real’. Unfortunately they were stuck with whatever books were ready to hand as, obviously, no new books would be shipped out to Guernsey from either France or England. Titles mentioned or briefly discussed are: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, Selected Essays of Elia, Wuthering Heights, Pickwick Papers, Selections from Shakespeare, Catullus, Oxford Book of Modern Verse 1892-1935, Letters of Seneca, Past & Present, Pride & Prejudice and Canterbury Tales.

Like Chris Bohjalian’s newest book Skeletons at the Feast, TGLAPPS recounts how one person becomes the glue that holds a little community together, a person whose resourcefulness and integrity becomes the focus of daily survival. Readers watch as Juliet and the Society members heal. The power of books to temporarily allow their readers to escape reality and to expand horizons and broaden viewpoints is widely discussed via the letters and in person conversations.

Excellent book. Very eye opening for me as a) I’m too young to remember WW II and the attendant privations and b) I’m not British, so this viewpoint was helpful and unique.

Note to myself- read in 2008, do not include in 2009 statistics.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Are we reading more? Or less?

Please click through the link in the title above to read the NY Times story on the rising percentage of readers, as documented by the National Endowment for the Arts. Obviously this is a book blog, so I suppose I ought to be glad of any news that hints that Americans' obsession with technology in its glorious technicolor wonder might be abating, if only a little. I'm not anti technology by any means, but there's something special about books and bookstores and libraries that speaks deeply to my heart. UNESCO feels books and publishing and all related activities to be important, to be worth saving. I find much to be gloomy about, unfortunately.

First of 'the gloomies' is the ongoing closing of bookshops around the world. Big box, indies, specialty stores, used bookstores. Bookstores need to be put on the endangered species list. Former big box powerhouse Borders is on the ropes, and competitor Barnes & Noble too weak or too wary to buy them. Internationally renowned specialty shop Murder One is reputed to be closing at the end of this month, click here for details. Meanwhile, the little used book store in my area has only renewed their lease for five years instead of the usual ten. Why? Not because her business is bad, but because the landlord can't keep an anchor store in the complex and thus traffic as a whole has dropped off. One of the last locally owned independant bookstore chains finally threw in the towel last September.

It's all very depressing really. I love to satisfy my book cravings in a real store with real books on the shelves. I'm not against Amazon or any of the other book e-tailers, but somehow online book shopping doesn't give me the same satified sigh or joyful grin walking into a brick and mortar store does. Call me old fashioned. How are we going to try and get more people to read if there aren't any bookstores for them to walk into?

The other thing is that the parameters of the study asked people if they'd read one book in the previous year!One measly little book in an entire year. And one of the people quoted in the story are happy the perentage has risen from a low of forty six percent to the current fifty percent. I guess I shouldn't bitch, really. The first year the statistics were done (1982) the reading percentage was only fifty six percent. It boggles my mind, really. The thought that fifty percent of the public can't be arsed to read one book in an entire year. Video game guides would count. Manga counts. It's pathetic- one books a year. No wonder American educational statistics are so low compared to other countries. Reading is one of the basic building blocks.

I've not read the study, as it hasn't been released yet, but the overall numbers are depressing. A one year uptick does not make a trend. Cutting library funding is a popular pastime, sure to become more common in the coming years as budgets get tighter and tighter. If people can't find a bookstore and if there isn't a bookshop in their neighborhood, how in heaven's name are they going to read anything in the first place? Somehow between last year's report, which sounds like the equivalent of "the sky is falling, the sky is falling" and this year's comment that (paraphrasing here) maybe we aren't going to end up dumb as a box of rocks after all, is the happy medium one might suppose to be closer to the truth.

I think that the reporter's own bias shows in the comment which mentions that the NEA study doesn't differentiate between people who read classics and people who read genre authors and people who read *gasp* fanfic on the 'net. May I ask you: what difference does it make what or who or where people are reading? Reading Kresley Cole or Dumas or slash fanfic? People are reading. That's all that counts. Encourage folks any way we can. If someone who doesn't read is handed say, Madame Bovary or Great Expectations or Edith Wharton the new reader may not be inspired to keep reading. They might find it hard going. If you hand them something more contemporary, something written in more modern language, something lighter, they might keep going. Read another one. That's the ultimate goal isn't it? To lure more non readers into the joy of reading?

Stop all the hand wringing over the lack or people who read 'literary works.' Convince them to read anything. Then slowly feed them good books one at a time. Show them how wonderful the classics can be. Changing a nonreader into a lover of serious lit fic is going to be difficult. Whetting the palate with lighter fare first is more likey to work. Appetizers always come before dinner, yes?

Slightly off topic: UNESCO has a World Book Capital City and named Beirut Lebanon the 2009 World Book Capital. UNESCO has also written out a proposed national book policy. I wish we had one here. Maybe then we'd have higher reading rates. :(

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fortune & Fate; Sharon Shinn

This is the most recent in Ms. Shinn’s Twelve Houses series, released in November of 2008 by Ace Books. I do not recommend reading this without reading the previous books in the series. This is the first book in the series that deals with a person outside the initial group of friends featured in the previous titles. The Twelve Houses series is a fantasy with an overarching plot that continues through all of the books, one that involves the political and ruling classes of Gillengaria. Riven by religious strife and political sectarianism, Gillengaria is tentatively making peace within it's own borders. Young Queen Amalie sits uneasily atop her throne overseeing the mending of her country.

Former King’s Rider Wen has fled the capitol after King Baryn’s death and the subsequent war for the throne. Suffering from survivor’s guilt, she has determined to roam Gillengaria saving those in dire need. In a tiny inn in an even smaller village, Wen comes across Karryn Fortunalt, teenage heiress in the ruling family of the province of Fortunalt. Wen rescues Serramara Karryn from a kidnapping and returns her to her court appointed guardian, one Jasper Paladar. Paladar, seeing Wen’s training and military prowess, hires her on a month to month basis for the purpose of hiring, equipping and training new guards in the Serramara’s force.
Wen is wary of forming any kind of attachment to people or places since the King’s death. She reminded me of a half feral animal- wary and easily spooked by people yet longing to be befriended. Jasper Paladar manages to convince Wen to stay in part by nightly playing an ongoing warlike strategy game, similar to chess. They have daily meetings and frequent skirmishes over the game as Wen manages to find and train Karryn’s new guards. Wen’s inner wounds are slowly, finally beginning to knit together- just a little. Meantime, odd things happen to Karryn. Jasper and Wen must work in concert to protect her.

Fortune and Fate is as much the story of Karryn’s coming of age as it is the story of how Jasper becomes Wen’s healing agent. It has less to do with the political situation in Gillengaria than previous Twelve Houses titles. Predominantly Fortune and Fate deals with the Fortunalt household: Karryn and Jasper and Wen- whose full name is actually Willawendiss. Like Sarah Monette’s short story A Gift of Wings in The Queen in WInter, F&F is a love story that explores the quality and healing power of a relationship when one of the parties suffers with post traumatic stress and survivor’s guilt. Between the academic Jasper Paladar and the prickly, increasingly bewildered Wen a tentative and fragile relationship grows.

It was interesting to read the interactions between Jasper and Wen. I almost felt as though the male and female character traits were reversed. Meaning simply that Jasper is very very different from the men Wen has known well in the past & this difference works to their advantiage. Jasper is attuned to his feelings, and Wen’s. He has the deeper education and the longer vision necessary to a man whose life requires him to stay a step or two ahead of the rest. Wen is literate but as a professional soldier is a physical thinker, whose view of life is colored by her training and military experiences.

There were several scenes which really resonated with the romantic part of me: the scene where Jasper coaxes Wen to dance with him in the hall, telling her that waltzing is far easier to learn than fighting; when they have sex for the first time they savor each other tenderly and slowly, respectfully and knowingly; and in one of the most wrenching scenes involving Wen’s past catching up with her present Jasper doesn’t burden her with his own emotional needs and fears, instead he asks about her well being and healing and what she’s thinking. A mature man who realizes that to hold the woman he loves he must help her to feel free.

Overall, a very satisfying addition to the Twelve Houses series. As I mentioned above, I don’t recommend reading it first or alone, it won’t translate well and the depth of the character relationships won’t seem as deep.

Image found on Fantastic Fiction

Sunday, January 11, 2009

January; Betty Adcock

Dusk and snow this hour
in argument have settled
nothing. Light persists,
and darkness. If a star
shines now, that shine is
swallowed and given back
doubled, grounded bright.
The timid angels flailed
by passing children lift
in a whitening wind
toward night. What plays
beyond the window plays
as water might, all parts
making cold digress.
Beneath iced bush and eave,
the small banked fires of birds
at rest lend absences
to seeming absence. Truth
is, nothing at all is missing.
Wind hisses and one shadow
sways where a window's lampglow
has added something. The rest
is dark and light together tolled
against the boundary-riven
houses. Against our lives,
the stunning wholeness of the world.

Found on

Friday, January 09, 2009

Bookshelf meme

I found this on A Reader's Respite but the meme originated on A Striped Armchair. The questions relate to books as treasured objects, physical beings whose very prescence on our shelves bring us joy and contentment and remind their owners of past history. My answers to this meme will be colored by the fact that I was a military brat and then a military wife, so for many many years the only books I carried from pillar to post were the childhood treasures gifted to me by various family members and some genre titles that particularly captured my heart.

Images found on: Amazon, B & N, Bully's Comics, and Fantastic Fiction

The books that’ve been on your shelves the longest:

Both were gifts to me from my mother and her family when I was an infant.

A book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time, etc.):

I have a collection of Penguin hardcover & paperback copies of UK published PG Wodehouse titles, gifted to me by my grandfather. The oldest one is dated 1953. I can't find images of the covers I have, but this image if one of the newer covers.

A gift to me upon my 5th birthday from my father.

A book you acquired in some interesting way (gift, serendipity in a used bookstore, prize, etc.):

The hardcover edition was gifted to me by my grandfather on my 11th birthday, less than three years before he died.

A book that’s been with you to the most places:

All of the above books have moved across the United States multiple times, but I guess if you want to be technical the De Angeli & Tudor books have the most mileage because they've moved with me since I was a baby & thus have years' more of mileage.

The most recent addition to your shelves:

Title is Mistress of the Art of Death.

Tagged: CindyS, Annie Kelleher and KristieJ.

The Rules
1. Tag 3-5 people, so the fun keeps going!
2. Leave a comment at the original post at A Striped Armchair, so that Eva can collect everyone’s answers.
3. If you leave a comment and link back to Eva as the meme’s creator, she will enter you in a book giveaway contest! She has a whole shelf devoted to giveaway books that you’ll be able to choose from, or a bookmooch point if you prefer.
4. Remember that this is all about enjoying books as physical objects, so feel free to describe the exact book you’re talking about, down to that warping from being dropped in the bath water…
5. Make the meme more fun with visuals! Covers of the specific edition you’re talking about, photos of your bookshelves, etc.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Best Reads of 2008

All reviews are linked unless otherwise noted.

Best Book of 2008, King of the Mountain~

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox; Maggie O'Farrell Literary fiction set in contemporary Scotland explores family relationships, betrayal and the difference between justice, vengeance and revenge.

Best of the Rest, runners up~

A Rose for the Crown; Anne Easter Smith Historical fiction about Richard III and his mistress; 2008 release.

Tangled Webs; Anne Bishop Fantasy set in the same world as the Black Jewels trilogy. 2008 release

The Invisible Ring; Anne Bishop Fantasy released in 2000 set in the same world as the Black Jewels trilogy.

Komarr; Lois McMaster Bujold Science Fiction set in the Vorkosigan Universe, readers watch as Miles falls in love and runs afoul of yet another nefarious plot.

Five Quarters of the Orange; Joanne Harris Literary fiction set in contemporary and WW II era France; explores a struggling family living in occupied France and how children within the same family remember and experience events very differently from each other.

Skeletons at the Feast; Chris Bohjalian Literary fiction set in WW II Germany. Readers journey along with a German family fleeing the advancing Russian army.


Lord of Scoundrels; Loretta Chase Dominick Ballister meets his match in the personage of one Miss Jessica Trent

A Gift of Wings in The Queen in Winter by Sarah Monette Short Story. Fantasy romance with a cabin mystery thrown in for good measure, explores the effects of post traumatic stress syndrome on the loved ones of the sufferer.

The Wallflower series by Lisa Kleypas. Not linked. Three of which I read over the holiday period, but none of which I've managed to review yet. Books in this series are: Devil in Winter, Scandal in Spring, Secrets of a Summer Night and It Happened One Autumn.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Annual Statistics

As the table below shows, it's obvious I read primarily romance and nearly always historical romance at that. Generally I read very little contemporary set fiction. Mostly that's because I tend to 'drop out of' a narrative if something bothers me and subsequently I pick them apart. Since I'm not an historian, anything set prior to my lifetime is less likely to trip me up- although I often take notes in the margins or look up facts if something intrigues me or piques my interest.

Unlike other book bloggers I don't keep very detailed stats: no total page count, no tally by publisher, no Exel spreadsheet, etc. I try to break the books down by subgenre as much as I can, but this year I just can't be bothered. The paranormals will be vampires, fairies (fae), mythological creatures, etc. I don't read wereanimals of any kind. In truth, I'm very likely to dump the majority of my paranormal TBR in the next few weeks because I'm done with the romance paranormal glut. More classic SFF urban fantasy, ala Charles deLint and the like, I'll continue to read.

While looking over past years' annual stats, accessible by clicking the 'annual statisics' link in the signature line below this post, I realized that much of my annual count came from reading what were known as traditional Regencies in the romance community. These are no longer being published (other than ebooks), and so my annual count numbers have dropped dramatically- other factors being equal, which they've not been at all. LOL :) For example, in 2006 I read 104 books total, 28of which were TRs. Now there have been intervening factors, but that was 25% of 2006's total book count.

I've struggled with reading burn for the majority of the last two years. I stare at my TBR stuff and the books I borrow from the library and I often just can't be bothered. Library books get returned after sitting here for weeks only partially read. I've learned not to force myself to finish. It only ends badly. My books are my treasure and it pains me to leave them there unloved, but what can I do? So in many ways I'm lucky to have reached 88 books read this year, truth be told.

In another day or two I'll write up which books were my favorites this year, which ones didn't fare so well after further mellowing, and which books I'm dearly looking forward to in 2009.

2005~ 102 2006~ 104 2007~ 64

Total Books Read 2008~ 88

General Fiction

Chick Lit- 0
Christian Inspirational- 2
Diet & Health-2
Historical Fiction- 1
Historical Mysteries- 1
History, American-1
Literature- 6
Science Fiction-3
Thrillers- 1
Travelogue/ex-pat adventure- 1
Erotica- 1


Contemporary Suspense-2
Mythology- 1
Fairytale- 0
Fantasy Anthology- 1
Time Travel- 2
Traditional Regencies- 1
Historical (Incl. long format Regencies)- 21
Paranormal- 14

YA Paranormal/fantasy-0
YA romance- 0
YA Chicklet-1

DNF~ 7

Friday, January 02, 2009

6 month synopsis

Listed below are the titles I read between July and December of 2008. This is not a linked list. In addition are six titles that were either DNFs (did not finish) or wallbangers. Most of the titles have been reviewed and can be found in the archive listing in the column on the left. Roughly 14 of the titles I finished and a few of the DNFs were not reviewed. If I can find my notes I plan to eventually review the ones I finished in 2009.

1.Jewels of the Sun; Nora Roberts

2.Tears of the Moon; Nora Roberts

3.Heart of the Sea; Nora Roberts

4.Lord of Scoundrels; Loretta Chase

5.Five Quarters of the Orange; Joanne Harris

6.Ladies of Liberty; Cokie Roberts

7.Komarr; Lois McMaster Bujold

8.A Civil campaign; Lois McMaster Bujold

9.Diplomatic Immunity; Lois McMaster Bujold

10. People of the Book; Geraldine Brooks

11. Miss Perfect; Loretta Chase Not Reviewed

12. The Sinner; Madeline Hunter

13. Heart of the Hunter; Tina St. John

14. Heart of the Flame; Tina St. John

15. Atlantis Rising; Alyssa Day

16. Where’s My Hero; Quinn, Kleypas, MacGregor

17. The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever; Julia Quinn

18. Sins of the Night, Sherrilynn Kenyon Not Reviewed

19. Passion; Lisa Valdez

20. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox; Maggie O’Farrell

21. Dark Curse; Christine Feehan Not Reviewed

22. Mindless Eating; Brian Wansink Not Reviewed

23. Words in a French Life; Kristin Espinasse

24. Angus, Thongs & Full Frontal Snogging; Louise Rennison

25. Secrets of a Summer Night; Lisa Kleypas Not Reviewed

26. It Happened One Autumn; Lisa Kleypas Not Reviewed

27. Devil in Winter; Lisa Kleypas Not Reviewed

28. Lookin’ Back, Texas; Leanna Ellis

29. The Eye of Jade; Diane Wei Liang Not Reviewed

30. Miss Wonderful; Loretta Chase

31. Swallowing Darkness; Laurell K Hamilton Not Reviewed

32. The Queen of Sleepy Eye; Patti Hill

33. Immortal Warrior; Lisa Hendrix

34. Skeletons at the Feast; Chris Bohjalian

35. Dirt; Mark LaFlamme

36. Silent Night; Mary Higgins Clark

37. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society; Shaffer and Barrows Not Reviewed

38. How Not to Die; Dr. Jan Garavaglia Not Reviewed

39. I'm Not Scared (unabridged audiobook); Niccolo Ammaniti Not Reviewed

40. Letter to my Daughter; Maya Angelou Not Reviewed

41. The Wild Hunt; Elizabeth Chadwick Not Reviewed

DNFs and/or Wallbangers

1.Seducing the Prince; Patricia Grasso

2. Cherished; Elizabeth Thornton

3. To Hell With Love; Sherri Erwin

4. This Charming Man; Marian Keyes

5. Simply Magic; Mary Balogh

6. The Love Knot; Elizabeth Chadwick

Total Books Read~ 41

Numerical breakdown by genre and/or subgenre:

Chick Lit- 0
Christian Inspirational- 2
Diet & Health- 2
Fantasies- 0
Historical Fiction- 0
Historical Mysteries- 0
History, American- 1
Horror- 0
Humor- 0
Literature- 6
Mystery- 2
Science Fiction- 3
Thrillers- 1
Travelogue/ex-pat adventure- 1
Erotica- 1


Contemporary Suspense- 0
Medieval- 1
Fairytale- 0
Fantasy Anthology- 0
Time Travel- 0
Traditional Regencies- 0
Historical (Incl. long format Regencies)- 10
Paranormal- 9

YA Paranormal/fantasy-
YA romance-
YA chicklit- 1

DNF~ 6

The numbers are off by one, but I'm too tired to figure out what went wrong, so it'll just have to stay wrong. :P

Thursday, January 01, 2009