Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reading . . . fell down on the job in September

At least I didn't have to memorize what I read, like Cary. And, the dog, apparently. I managed to read 9 books, this month, but compared to last month aAdd Imagend the month before and the list of books I planned to read . . . pitiful. So, I'm trying to be happy with what I read and just stare at Cary because how could you not enjoy looking at that face for any great length of time? Yeah.

Bookfool's September Reads (links to full reviews provided, if applicable):

1. Vanishing by Candida Lawrence (NF/Memoir) - One of 4 memoirs by an author who writes nothing but essays. I found myself instantly bristling; I simply did not like the author. Some of her stories were interesting, but I had trouble getting over my personal discomfort with the writer. It's a quick read; the writing is rather lyrical if you can stand her. It's probably just me.

2. The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick (Historical fiction) - The story of William Marshal, a knight who became a favorite of Eleanor of Aquitaine and served under several kings during the time when England and Normandy were closely aligned. It took a while for me to get into this one and then I absolutely loved it. The detail is amazing.

3. Abide With Me by John H. Parker (NF/Photography/History) - A slim, coffee-table type book of photographs and historical sketches describing the people who wrote well-known hymns and the lands from which they hailed. This is a beautiful book and I loved the bios but the photos don't align well with the text, so a lot of flipping is involved. The enclosed CD of hymns is simply wonderful.

4. Bundle of Trouble by Diana Orgain (Cozy Mystery) - A new mother becomes involved in a mystery when a body turns up and the police suspect the dead man is her brother-in-law. When other ties to her family emerge and more people die, she decides maybe she can turn snooping into a home-based business (because she really doesn't want to return to her office job). A good start to a series; characters could have used a bit more depth, but it's a fun book.

5. House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo (YA/Fiction/Paranormal) - This is a nice, creepy story that isn't nightmare-inducing (there's some violence but it's not too gory) about a family that moves into a house with strange, dark secrets -- portals through time, a 40-year-old disappearance and . . . well, Bigfoot or some kind of creature that kidnaps people. Loads of fun, the first in a series, and surprisingly believable for the subject matter. This was my second read for the RIP IV.

6. Sometimes We're Always Real Same-Same by Mattox Roesch (Fiction/General/Alaska) - Cesar's brother is in jail for life because of a gang-related murder and Cesar has done some terrible things, already. To prevent losing both of her sons to the same fate, his mother moves both of them to her hometown: Unalakleet, Alaska. There, he is taken under the wing of his cousin, Go-boy. But, Go-boy has problems of his own. Tackles quite a few issues and I had a little trouble figuring out what the author was after, for a while, but eventually I really got into the story and love the theme that we're all human and alike in many ways.

7. 31 Hours by Masha Hamilton (Fiction/Suspense/Terrorism) - Jonas has not called or spoken to his mother or girlfriend in several weeks. His mother has a bad feeling and Vic is worried, although she also has her sister to watch out for. As the two women search for Jonas, he is staying in a safe-house, preparing for an act of unspeakable violence. Gripping and well-written, but the real impact of the book lies in the depth of its everyday characters, like a homeless man, who will undoubtedly die if the terrorists succeed.

8. The Treasures of Venice by Loucinda McGary (Romance/Adventure) - Ditched by her fiance, Samantha decides to go ahead and take her honeymoon trip to Venice alone and gets swept into kidnapping and intrigue when an Irish rogue pretends to know her and she plays along. They must find the Jewels of the Madonna to save his sister's life. There's a parallel romance that takes place in 1485 and involves the same jewels. A little cliche, but a nice escapist read.

9. Pale Phoenix by Kathryn Reiss (YA/Paranormal) - Miranda can't stand Abby Chandler, so she's not thrilled when Abby comes to stay with her family. There's something very strange about that girl. When Miranda hears Abby crying but she's not there . . . and follows her, only to find that her footprints suddenly stop in the snow, Miranda's suspicious. And, when she sees Abby's collection of photos -- all of Abby but from different time periods -- she knows something is amiss. What does the ancient carving of a phoenix have to do with Abby's disappearances? Can Miranda help save Abby from a fate worse than death? Fun, quick reading and a nice paranormal tale with a great ending. This is my third read for the RIP IV.

9 books finished
2706 pages
146 books read in 2009

I'm behind on a few reviews that were slated for September. I beg patience of anyone who is bouncing upon tippytoes, awaiting Bookfool's Cherished Ponderings. Or, you know . . . whatever. A few I read well in advance of their due dates and then when the time came to review, I was in the mood to sleep or standing around snapping photos of teenagers, or the words didn't come to me and I chose to let them hang, etc. Today, I've also spent time squeezing ointment into a kitty cat's bloody eye. Poor kitty cat.

I hope to do some serious reading and catch-up, this month. Prayer would be welcomed. Knocking wood, tossing salt and other lucky things are fine, as well.

I'm off to bed. I do believe I'll read a bit before I nod off. How about yourself?

Bookfool, whose cat is in serious need of affection and therefore it looks like I'm going to be squeezing my feet into that small space next to her


  1. I have not done well with reading this month, either, but I'd be thrilled with nine in a super good month! You've already almost tripled my annual goal. On the other hand, I don't read enough light fiction any more. That might have helped with the ADD that knocked out my reading this month.

    Anyway... It was the two YA/Fiction/Paranormal books that caught my attention and I wanted to ask: What is RIP IV? AHA! I just found the answer, myself.

    I enjoyed the reviews.

  2. I can't believe I read JUST 3 books in Sept.. Half of the month I was demoralized and demotivated.. arrrghh!

    So your 9 sounds way to good to me... Feel Better?!

  3. You read a whole lot more than I did!

  4. Take it easy on yourself - that's over 2 books a week, which isn't too shabby!

  5. Tongfengdemao,

    I have to remind myself that 9 books is usually a huge month. I've just amassed such a backlog of books to be read that I've been pushing myself a little harder, this year. Reading heavier material will definitely slow you down!

    I loved the way you answered your own question. The RIP IV is the only challenge I participate in, at the moment. It's my favorite. :)

    Thank you!


    Some months are like that. I'm surprised I finished as much as I did, because it just seems like I remember a lot of days that ended with the feeling that I was too darn tired to read. Okay, yes, feel better. Hopefully, October will be an improvement for both of us. :)


    Well, you were busy. Really, really busy with the BBAW judging thing. Right? I was just tired at the end of my days snapping photos at the pool. Which reminds me that I need to charge my battery. Today is team photo day and then they're going to play polo! I love photographing water polo games!!


    Yes, ma'am. I shall try to pep talk myself into believing I did fine, fine, just fine. I'll work on it. :)

  6. You and a great month; be proud. You also read some great books that I have on my list.

  7. Well, here I was going to say don't feel bad thinking you had only read a couple of books but look at you, you still read 9 books! I'm slightly jealous :)

    I'm so behind on reviews too but so be it. Anyway, hope you have fun catching up!

  8. Are you kidding? You did a great job! Great picks too.

  9. Diane,

    Thank you. I need to remind myself that unmet expectations don't equate to a "bad month" (I did set my goals pretty high!) and that most of the books were enjoyable . . . that's always a sign of a decent month. :)


    9 sounds awful next to the 23 of the month before, but then August felt a little like cheating, since at least 3 were books for preschoolers. LOL It's all relative, isn't it?

    The review piles are kind of looking hopeless, at this point. I wish they'd quit that.

  10. Amanda,

    Why, thank you. :) No, I wasn't kidding. But, obviously I could stand a reality check! LOL

  11. I just have to jump in here and Second the Cary Grant love - nice! If that man had been any better looking...mmm...I just don't know.

  12. Thanks for the picture of Cary; I've been staring at it for 10 minutes now :o)

    My September got completely out of control. I got some reading done, but wrote no reviews. I know! The whole point is to share! Hopefully October will be more sane.

  13. Yup, Cary is mightly lovely. Boo to your 9 books. I squeaked by with 4, but just barely barely (thank goodness for a short YA at the end of the month). I got 3 of them reviewed which makes me wonder what the heck actually goes on at my book blog if there's no actual book talk. Nope, don't want to think about it. Instead I'll just continue to stare at that picture.

    Bloody eye? Sounds AWFUL!

  14. Daniella,

    I know. He was dreeeeeamy. LOL I was just thinking, earlier, I wonder who would come close to being a modern equivalent of Cary Grant - handsome, funny, charming, British with a rather unique accent. I couldn't come up with anyone. But, I'm kind of behind the times.


    Of course. You can't help it. The man was definitely stare-worthy.

    You didn't write any reviews at all? That's interesting. Well, maybe you just needed the break. Sometimes it's best to just sit back and read. You can get back into the swing of reviewing in October. I'm probably going to take off most of the month of November in order to participate in National Novel Writing Month(but I did screw up and accept a couple of tour books because I'm kind of hopeless).


    He was the bee's knees.

    As to number of books . . . you work!! I don't. I'm a bum. All I do is drive kids around and take pictures at the pool. And, laundry. I do lots of laundry. I'll bet if I had a job I'd be lucky to read two books in a month. I love your blog. You don't post as often as a lot of people, but it's always interesting when you do. Actually, I should probably fall on my knees and thank you. It's the frequent-posters that make readers so unbearable.

    Yes, a bloody eye! It's weird and kind of icky/gross. But, she's not in pain, anymore. The night her eye started to hurt, the poor kitty kept flinching like someone was repeatedly hitting her. It was horrible. She's relaxed and happy, now, and eating fine. Her eye just looks like hell.

  15. Yikes! That's a lot of time to spending on disappointing reads!

    I hope October is better for you...

  16. Diane,

    Maybe I should reword that. Only one of the books was disappointing. It was the fact that I only read 9 that I wasn't happy about. I had a list of about 16 that I wanted to get to.

  17. I have debated this many times myself, and I have yet to come up with a Cary equivalent either.

    Or a Paul Newman for that matter.

    And you know who else is dreamy and I think unmatched in modern times? Gene Kelly [insert big sigh and thousand yard daydream stare here].

  18. Daniella,

    We're in agreement, threefold. I think what's missing is a bit of formality and classiness. I'd love to see a return to some of that old style of 40-50 years ago, wouldn't you?

  19. Your cat lets you share the bed? lol.

    You did better than I did in Sept. I read a grand total of ......nothing. Finished anyway.

    The Greatest Knight sounds excellent.

  20. Carrie,

    If she's in a decent mood or feeling clingy, she'll share. :)

    I'm sure you're on the verge of finishing something wonderful, though, right?

    You'd love The Greatest Knight. The sense of time and place is fab.

  21. I think you had a great month. You're already well past me for year-to-date totals. Keep pluggin' along!

    Diary of an Eccentric

  22. Anna,

    Thanks. I probably have set my expectations too high. I did have a decent month, at least by my standards of a few years ago! :)


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