Monday, August 16, 2010

2 DNFs; 2 Arrivals

It seems like I've abandoned more books than usual, recently, but at the moment I can only find two. One I will return to and one I will not. Here's why I didn't finish them, and whether or not I'll give them a second go:

Jane's Fame by Claire Harman

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Jane's Fame. Don't let the fact that I've set it aside twice fool you. The first time, I simply had too many books going at once. The second time was one of those phases when non-fiction was just not grabbing me, although even then I enjoyed what I read. In fact, I totally dumped everything I was reading and started over on a new batch, at some point. So, Jane's Fame was simply a victim of an attention-deficit summer. I will definitely continue to read Jane's Fame, when I get over my summer slump . . . which seems to be lingering.

The Outer Banks House by Diann Ducharme

I got an ARC of The Outer Banks House from Shelf Awareness, based on the description and that gorgeous cover. I'll admit, the cover really grabbed me. Read this excellent review at Fiction Addiction for a full description of the story. To be honest, there's little that I remember apart from how I felt as I read. My general feeling, as I was reading the book, was that the story was too contrived. It didn't work for me; it didn't flow and the book never succeeded in capturing my interest. After two attempts, the book went into a roving book box being passed around by friends and I will not give this book another try.

Just walked in:

Beneath the Thirteen Moons by Kathryne Kennedy - An ARC from Sourcebooks to be released in December, 2010. I really like the cover at left, but that's a cover from a previous edition. The new Sourcebooks cover has a slightly mystical look at the bottom and a man with his shirt open on top. Have I ever told you what I think of bare-chested-man covers? About the same thing I think of scantily-dressed female covers. I think they're self-limiting, meaning some people will look at them and assume "romance" then refuse to touch them. Romance is actually the top-selling genre, so it's probably a good move for Sourcebooks to go with the bare-chested look, but it's one I tend to dislike. Fantasy is not as big a seller, but I do love a beautiful fantasy-related cover and that's why I thought I'd share the old cover.

Part of the cover description: She's an outcast, but at least she has her independence . . . Mahri Zin would stop at nothing to save her village, and when they needed a healer she didn't think twice about kidnapping one. But when she realizes that the healer she so impulsively stole is none other than the crown prince of the Sea Forest, Mahri knows that she has a chance to change the fate of her people.

Whisper on the Wind by Maureen Lang

Whisper on the Wind follows the story of Isabelle Lassone, a Belgian-American socialite whose parents whisked her away to safety at the start of the war. Yet at great personal risk, Isa sneaks back into the country to rescue those dearest to her, Edward and his mother. But Edward refuses to go, and soon Isa is drawn into his secret life working on the newspaper -- and into his heart.

Again, that's just a portion of the publisher's blurb. I requested Whisper on the Wind for a blog tour because I read Lang's My Sister Dilly in 2008 and thought Maureen Lang's writing was excellent. I've kept her name in the back of my head but hadn't managed to acquire any more of her books, so I jumped at the chance to review another. My Sister Dilly was contemporary, so it will be fun to see how the author handles historical fiction.

In other news:

Gosh, there's not much of that to be had. It is still way too quiet, around here. I'm trying to motivate myself to clean like crazy but it might take me some time to get into a new routine that doesn't revolve around Kiddo. The best news is that I hear from him regularly. Although he plans to come home on weekends, he's already reconsidering because he doesn't yet have a roommate and that means his dorm is a quiet place where he can study and get plenty of sleep -- better sleep than he's ever managed with an insomniac mother padding around at all hours. He's happy, so far, and that's nice to know.

In case you missed my last post, I'm giving myself 2-4 weeks to catch up, get used to the empty house and ponder what to do with myself. I have a lot of reviews to catch up on and I've found that I write best in spurts, so don't be surprised if one day I write three reviews and then you hear nothing for a week or two. Be patient with me. I've been a stay-at-home wife and mom for over 25 years. This empty nest business is a bit of a shock!

Love to all,

Bookfool, a little wacky but eventually she'll figure it out

©2010 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post at Bookfoolery and Babble, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. Given a little time, you will grow to love the empty nest!

  2. Wishing you the best with the empty nest. I'm at a standstill in my reading (almost). Was considering clearing off my bookstack and starting over, but I'll finish Coop and then find something a bit lighter.

  3. Kathy,

    I'm sure I will. I've been waiting an awful long time for a little freedom. I'm so glad Kiddo is keeping in touch. He just called a bit ago to add to the list of things he need and he asked how I was doing. I told him I'm terribly unmotivated and not too happy with the quiet house and he said, "I can hear it in your voice." What a sweetheart.

  4. Andiloo,

    Thank you. So, you're about where I've been. I'm on the verge of finishing Emma and the Vampires and then I've just got two other books going, so I can add a few new ones. The Tree and Vanishing should be quick reads (should -- not sure they will) once I finish Emma. Maybe starting a new batch, again, will help. As to the housework . . . I don't know when I'll become motivated but I hope it happens soon!!!

  5. I read and reviewed Beneath the Thirteen Moons recently, and there is a lot of physical romance in the book, so the new cover is reflective of that I'm sure. I liked the fantasy aspect of the book far more than the romance, and agree with you - the first cover appeals more to me.

  6. Alyce,

    I figured there must be, or they wouldn't bother plunking a bare chest on the cover. LOL I'll be reading it for the fantasy. Romance is something I like best as an element but not the primary storyline.

  7. DNF's! I love those. Not enough snarky reasons to suit me. (Because I'm like that). Oh, an empty nest! Poor baby! I hope it gets better soon.

  8. Carrie,

    Haha. I'm afraid neither book pissed me off so you'll have to do without your dose of snark. :) Thanks. Empty nesting sucks, in my humble opinion. I knew I'd miss Kiddo, but geez -- I'm seeing him tomorrow to drop off some supplies and I just want to drag him back home with me. I won't tell him that. He's having fun -- and not the bad kind, near as I can tell.

  9. Sounds like you have a lot going on, no wonder some of these books didn't work out. I'm sure you'll find something that will capture your attention.

  10. Serena,

    Yep, lots going on and more to come. I started two new books, last night, and Simon Van Booy's "Why We Fight" is particularly captivating. Maybe Simon will bring me out of a slump. It wouldn't be the first time. :)

  11. Hang in there as you adjust to the empty nest! I'm happy to hear your son is doing great at school.

    Don't worry about the DNFs... I gave up on four recently. I feel so much better now. My excuse is just the miserable heat we are having and I feel like I can't think! :)

    Hope you find a good story to sink into soon.

  12. Iliana,

    I got to hang out with Kiddo a bit, today, because I had some things to drop off and he wanted to shop and get a haircut! Yay! I love it that he's close enough I can just drop by or take him shopping for a bit.

    The heat has been monstrous, this year, and it does tend to take a toll on the reading -- at least for some of us. Last year, I deliberately took a daily reading siesta, but I haven't had the time to do so, this year. Reading siestas work well, if you can squeeze in the time. I'm glad you feel better having ditched a few books. Sometimes, it's best just to stop reading a book or two and move on.

    I started a Simon Van Booy book, last night, so the slump may be over. I had trouble putting it down! But, then I also started to have trouble keeping my eyes open, around 2am, so I did stop. LOL

  13. Our nest seems to have a revolving door! We just get used to the peace and quiet, and another one moves back home. It's typical during the college years, so we just go with the flow. And I agree, having them nearby is the best. I hope you adjust quickly, so you can enjoy your time.

  14. Joy,

    That's pretty funny. We haven't yet had a child move back home (eldest is about to turn 26 and living happily in Nashville -- he's a teacher, now!) but Kiddo likes home. I wouldn't be surprised if he tried to move back in with us, after college. Should be interesting! For now, I'm happy with having him home on weekends. I miss him, but some days the quiet is lovely. :)

  15. To be honest I hated an empty nest....that was/is so hard. Of course I like some of the quiet but too much is too much! I missed the activity of my kiddos, the talking, the involvement. It was like my "job description" changed overnight.

    Two years later I am more at peace with it - okay, that and my teaching job can drain me now and no one around the house suffers but me (and my better half.) I sure am loving having my daughter's dog come to stay with us though. That way someone is MORE than happy to see me when I come home!!

    I hope that you can fill your days with pleasure and peace. Oh yeah, and some reading!

  16. Inside a Book,

    I'm at that point, right now. The job description definitely seems to have changed overnight.

    Having said that, there are days that I enjoy the quiet, but I'm still kind of in shock because I've spent my entire adult life taking care of someone else's needs. It's kind of bizarre having so much freedom and the quiet . . . oh, man. The quiet just sucks. I need to figure out what huz has done with the iPod station. He's always unplugging and moving those things and then I don't have them where and when I need them. Music usually helps me tolerate the empty house and get motivated, you know?

    Pets help. Do you have any of your own? Little Fi follows me from room to room and is not shy about letting me know when she needs me to stop whatever I'm doing to play with her.

    Thanks. I'm actually still slumpy but I keep hoping the extra quiet time will eventually stop bugging me and I'll learn to enjoy sitting down to read whenever I feel like it! :)

  17. Bummer that you didn't like Outer Banks House, I've been wanting to read it.

    I just got Whisper on the Wind too, and I'm afraid it's going to be DNF for me. I just can't get into it.

  18. Holly,

    We don't always agree on books, so maybe you'll fall in love with The Outer Banks House. You never know. :)

    Darn, though. I'm hoping to fall in love with Whisper on the Wind. Maybe it's just the wrong book for the moment for you. I've had such a slumpy summer that I haven't got a clue what will work for me, right now.

  19. THE OUTER BANKS HOUSE didn't work for me either. Love all the new photos of Fi!

    Life by Candlelight

  20. Amy,

    I'm in good company, then. Thanks, Fi is always on the go so it's like she's asking to be photographed. She's such a fun kitty. :)


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