Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ARC-DNFs and a couple of *giveaways*

I'm feeling wholly unmotivated so I'm going to try to do a little catch-up on some recent DNFs, none of which there's anything wrong with.

The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes was one of those books that I looked at and thought, "Must read before the end of the month," which is a terrible reason to start reading a book, although I've been rather scheduled in the past year and it often works fine. At the time I opened it, I was decidedly not in the mood for historical fiction, but the work needed to be done and I gave it a shot. Once past about page 10, the pages actually flew, for a time. But, then I got tired of the manipulative queen and annoyed with my own ignorance about the Plantagenets and Tudors. It was a bit of a relief to set the book aside.

I've read quite a few reviews and the consensus seems to be that it's a good book and worth reading, but not Margaret Campbell Barnes' best. In my case, it was simply a mix of bad timing and my sad, sad case of History Stupidity. I've got a whopper of a fine British History book that Kiddo bought to help him through a project about Alfred the Great, so I believe I'll read my factual history before returning to the Tudors and/or Plantagenets. My thanks to Danielle at Sourcebooks for the ARC!
Since I fell so short on knowledge, I've decided to give this ARC away, if anyone's interested. Update: I just used to draw a number and the winner is #4, Sarah. I'll be in touch, soon.

The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell blew my mind. At first, I thought it was the craziest thing I'd ever seen -- a book composed entirely of questions. Then, I started to really like it because it can be quite humorous and thought-provoking:

Do you wonder, when you wonder things like who first got the gumption to eat an oyster, who first got the idea to weave--was not a moment like that really cutting edge, as opposed to all the foofoo nano-refinements of today, which amount to the playing of checkers with a microchip?

Kiddo and I had fun reading questions aloud to each other, now and then; the reading of The Interrogative Mood can easily be turned into a game, although there are some awkward/rude sexual questions so it's quite adult. We only ran into a couple, though, while son and I were reading to each other. I got more than halfway through the book. But, then the relentless questions and the lack of a storyline began to annoy me. I'll still finish this book; it's obviously unique and certainly entertaining -- but I'll do the reading in little bits and probably over quite a stretch of time. Thanks to Greg Mortimer of HarperCollins for the ARC!

The Pirate Hunter by Tom Morrisey is a rather strange DNF. I picked it up thinking, "Oh, boy! Pirates!" and read exactly one paragraph. That's it! I don't recall whether I was overtired and unable to focus or just in one of those fickle moods (sometimes I go from book to book to book and it takes a good dozen before I finally settle on something) or what . . . but the first paragraph didn't grab me and then I set it aside and completely forgot I needed to read the book. It's still on my stacks as it obviously didn't get a fair shake and I will eventually give The Pirate Hunter a second go.

This particular book was sent to me by Jim at Bethany House -- thank you, Jim! -- and since I didn't finish the last two books he sent me, I haven't requested any more. But, I'm at the point that I'm hardly requesting any books at all, (some, yes -- I confess, I'm weak), although I'm a huge fan of Bethany House.

Mama's Got a Fake I.D. : How to Reveal the Real You Behind all That Mom by Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeniera is, I think, simply not a good match for me. I've decided to set it aside for two reasons:

1. I have not yet forged an identity beyond the homefront, even though next year I'm about to become an empty-nester. So, I found it a little discouraging reading about a mother who quickly found an outside job that made her feel like she was human, while she still had little ones. It's a bit late for the mother/find yourself combo, in my case. Next year, I plan to shake things up a bit, when the kiddo is at college. For now . . . he wants me home and I'm fine marking time for a few more months.
2. I've been reading too much nonfiction. I love nonfiction, but occasionally I go overboard and end up with 4 NF books and 1 fiction going. The end result is that I typically abandon a few or sometimes I realize I need to stop everything and start all over with a fresh batch of books. This appears to be one of those times.

So, the reasons I abandoned this one are absolutely terrible. So terrible, in fact, that I think I'll go ahead and offer it up to someone who can really use it. If you're interested and you're a blogger, let me know. For Caryn's sake, I want this to go to someone who can review it. I'll make this a quickie and send to the first person who asks. Update: This book has been claimed! Thanks to Caryn for the book and sorry it wasn't a good fit!! The author is really, really nice -- I so wanted to love this book.

Next up . . . seems likely I'll read or cave in. Of the 4 of us, the cat is the most energetic. Freaky. I have observed kind of a general apathy in the blog world, this week -- maybe a lingering, mutual post-readathon hangover? Hang in there. I'm sure you'll be all nice and rested, soon, especially if you live in Colorado and have nowhere to go.
One wahoo before I go:

Yeah! Go, God! Nobody does clouds better.

Happy Wahoo Wednesday!

Bookfool, nearing the end of her identity crisis (we hope)


  1. Anonymous7:07 PM

    The Tudor Rose has been on to read list, so I'd love to have the arc; thanks for the op.

    Jim Carmin (

  2. Jim,

    Well, if nobody else says anything you may end up with it by default! :) Thanks for commenting. There shouldn't be too much competition. It seems to be an awfully quiet week in Bloggyland.

  3. Can't say that any of these appeal to me. But I do love those clouds!! Our sky has been absolutely gorgeous these past few days. LoveLoveLove fall! :)

  4. It has been a crazy feeling week. My coworker and I were commenting on it today. Everything that we normally do seemed to be way more complicated than it needed to be. I am so ready for this week to be over. I have lots of books and reviews that need to happen before the end of October. :)

  5. I'm kind of interested in The Interrogative Mood by Padgett Powell, but what if I get tired of questions midway? Would that be okay? Would you say I'm already in the interrogative mode? (Why is "mood" in the title, rather than mode?) Did you read any reviews before getting the book, as I did? And did you discover that Jim Dwyer's review for Library Journal (see below) was also written with all questions?

    "Why will people of a philosophical bent enjoy this book? How bent do they have to be? Does it help to have the twisted sense of humor of a Monty Python fan? Will 'people of a certain"'age particularly respond to this book? How old is "' certain age' anyway? Are you uncertain?"

    Does asking for the book in all questions qualify me in some way? Am I already a bit crazy, or at least extremely warped?

  6. Les,

    Nope, I don't think either of those are your thing. Our sky was gorgeous, today. Yesterday, it was gray and watery. I'm much happier with a nice, blue sky in the fall.


    Yep, same here. Too much to write about. It feels a little like homework. I think tomorrow will be mini-review day, if I can talk myself into it. I might go for a long walk, instead, if the weather holds. Hope the rest of the week is better. :)


    Because he was in a mood to ask questions?

    Nope, I didn't read that review. Honestly, the book is fun. But, after a time it becomes a little tiresome so I think it's best in small doses.

    Thanks for drawing my attention to the error. I've fixed it and deleted your other note.

  7. I'll take Mama's Got a Fake I.D. if it's still available. Thanks!

    jennsicurella at verizon dot net

    Jennifer @ Reading with Tequila

  8. Jennifer,

    You've got it. I'll email you shortly!

  9. Andrea12:38 AM

    I love everything and anything historical fiction so I'd like to enter for the Tudor Rose ARC

  10. Nice reviews...or should I say "non-reviews". I find it refreshing to see what other bloggers do when faced with the "oh-no-not-this-book" syndrome. I've been lucky thus far....most were pretty good if not bearable. I have had to turn a few away BEFORE receiving them due to what I felt was a "non-fit". Hopefully your next choice will get you back on track. =0)

  11. Andrea,

    Okie doke. That makes two of you. Not bad odds, so far. ;)


    I've had a lot more DNF books, this year, but that's in part because I made a commitment not to force myself through anything, at the first of the year. It's never been unusual for me to have some books that I'll pick up 2-3 times before they finally click, though, so I hope I've made it clear that a good portion of DNF-ing is just timing. The vast majority of the books I've requested have been great.

  12. My favorite Barnes is Brief Gaudy Hour--about Ann Boleyn. Don't think The Interrogative Mood would hold my attention very long, although a few pages would be amusing.

  13. Now there are three for the Tudor Rose. My e-mail addy is:
    This is on my To-Be-Bought List, so thank you. :)

  14. I am extremely entertained by Bonnie's bid for the Interrogative Mood and am rooting for her.

    Tudor Roses sounds interesting, I'm back into my Tudor reading but don't add me to the list! I'm finally reading all the books I've bought over the last few years.

    Margaret Campbell Barnes does write interesting novels but there are a few choices she makes for her characters that are a bit eye raising, esp. considering she published them in the 40's and 50's. (I'm thinking of Anne of Cleves, particularly.)

    I haven't been around much but that was due to the flu last week and the lack of gremlins doing my work while I was gone. Sad how lazy gremlins have gotten.

  15. Jenclair,

    I'll have to look that one up, the next time I'm in a mood for historical reading (after my next Heyer, that is), thanks! The Interrogative Mood is best in small doses.


    Three it is. :)


    I've missed you. Are you feeling better?

    Bonnie might as well write her own version. :)

    If you mean the steamy sex in Anne of Cleaves . . . well, that was the reason I avoided it when that one came out -- either earlier this year or late last year. I remember reading about it and thinking it was not my thing.

    Good for you. I'm reading off my stacks, lately, I think out of rebellion. Suddenly, none of the ARCs are interesting me. I don't mind giving them a break.

  16. I've given you an award.

    jennsicurella at verizon dot net

    Jennifer @ Reading with Tequila

  17. Aw, thanks Jennifer!

  18. Please enter my name in the giveaway of The Tudor Rose. I would love to read that book!

    saemmerson at yahoo dot com

    Sarah Emmerson

  19. Thanks for rooting for me, Carrie K., but do you think Bookfool is right? Should I write my own version of the Interrogative Mood? Should I write it in verse? Or is my prose worse? Should I "Seuss" it? Or lose it? Or just not abuse it?

  20. Hahaha, "Suess it". Love it.


Thank you for visiting my blog! I use comment moderation because apparently my blog is a spam magnet. Don't worry. If you're not a robot, your comment will eventually show up and I will respond, with a few exceptions. If a comment smacks of advertising, contains a dubious link or is offensive, it will be deleted. I love to hear from real people! I'm a really chatty gal and I love your comments!