Monday, November 01, 2010

Monday Malarkey, including October Reads in Review

Photo of Don Malarkey borrowed from this site.

There's a whole lot of malarkey going on, around here, but let's start with my October reads in review because part of the chaos in my life today involves my photo program getting hosed. I can't seem to load a picture from my files, at the moment. So, you get a shot of a guy named Don Malarkey. Interesting photo, don't you think? I'm intrigued by the fellow in the background.

In October I read the following (links to reviews provided, if applicable):
15 books
4709 pages total
October's reads bring my total finished reads in 2010 up to 134.

I either really liked or loved absolutely everything I read; which, I believe, can be attributed to my refusal to continue reading anything that didn't absolutely grab me. One ending was disappointing. Two books contained errors in their setting research. None of those small disappointments really mattered all that much.

I finished The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes over the weekend. You may recall I recently mentioned The Ship of Brides as one of the books that have been calling out to me. Thanks to my friend Paula, who offered to buddy read it with me, I raced through that lovely chunkster and sobbed during the incredibly romantic ending. Jojo Moyes just secured a spot on my favorite authors list. I'll have to see if she has a website to add to my sidebar. The Ship of Brides is a story based on an actual event. After WWII ended, 600 Australian WWII brides took a 6-week journey on an aircraft carrier to Great Britain to meet their husbands and begin their new lives. Excellent writing. I hope to review it, soon.

Obviously, I'm still way the heck behind on reviews. I don't anticipate a big improvement, any time soon. National Novel Writing Month began, today. I didn't get far at all, which I'll attribute to restlessness. 2 weeks ago, I was excited. Now . . . I just want to go for a walk or clean house. It's just not great timing. So, I'm not going to update on my progress at the blog. If I continue, so be it -- and continuing will probably interfere somewhat with my posting, but you never know. Sometimes, when I'm writing a lot, I tend to post more often because blogging serves as a nice break from immersion in fiction.

Tomorrow, I have an important task that will keep me from doing things I'd rather accomplish, including NaNoWriMo. Pfft! Life. It's always getting in the way of the fun.

Currently reading:

Désirée by Anne Marie Selinko . . . or Annemarie. I've always written "Anne-Marie". Oh, sorry, babbling again. Well, let me write down the opening sentence of this book, which I've mentioned in the past as an all-time favorite:

A woman can usually get what she wants from a man if she has a well-developed figure. So I've decided to stuff four handkerchiefs into the front of my dress tomorrow; then I shall look really grown up. Actually I am grown up already, but nobody else knows that, and I don't altogether look it.

That's Désirée, aka Bernardine Eugénie Désirée Clary , speaking. She is the narrator of the book and I love her. Désirée, who is called Eugénie by her family, is a spunky 14-year-old living in France of 1794, as the book opens. She is a wonderful narrator because she's charming but speaks her mind in the manner of a young lady who hasn't yet learned what not to say.

Désirée was Napoleon Bonaparte's first love and the book is historical fiction based on her life and relationship with Napoleon. My mother had a copy of the original, published in 1953, and I fell in love with it sometime in either junior high or high school. Over the years I've bought and given away many copies of Désirée and it's one of the books I've reread the most times. It's a testament to the book's appeal that my mother kept her copy. She was a child of the Great Depression and I grew up in a spotless house with very few cherished possessions because my mother felt that if anything at all lost its usefulness, it had to go. The fact that she kept the book is proof positive that it was also one of her favorites.

Désirée was just re-released by Sourcebooks--bless their lovely little hearts--in October. Rush out and buy a copy. You don't need to wait for my review, really you don't. I promise it's wonderful.

Also reading:

Sunset Park by Paul Auster

Christmas 1945 by Matthew Litt

Why We Need Love, edited by Simon Van Booy

Detectives Don't Wear Seatbelts by Cici McNair

I may set the latter two aside and try again, later. I hate to do that, but sometimes if they sit for too long I just keep ignoring them. It's a mental thing.

Speaking of mental things . . . I skipped right past Halloween and Thanksgiving and dived into Christmas mentally, over a week ago. So, I have two Christmas books all finished and ready to review and I'm reading another, of course. Expect a lot of Christmas book reviews, this month. It's my favorite holiday and I intend to get a nice jump on it and enjoy the season for as long as possible, this year. Those that I intend to review right away:

Ten on the Sled by Kim Norman, illustrated by Liza Woodruff and

The Christmas Gift by William Bennett

Well. Enough for one Monday. What kind of malarkey is going on in your life? Read anything fabulous, lately?

Bookfool in a Christmas mood

©2010 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I am so glad you enjoyed Ship of Brides. I loved it when I read it.

  2. Marg,

    The Ship of Brides was so wonderful I'm almost disappointed. It's a BIG book and I'm trying to make space, but I can't part with it because it's too special! LOL

  3. 134 books this year so far? Are you kidding me?! I was all prideful about my 86 or so... ;)

  4. I picked up the audiobook for The Ship of Brides after seeing your post. I've just made it past the intro, and then got busy with other things. I'm glad I saw this post about how much you liked it. I'll have to listen to some more of it on Thursday (I have a long drive that night, so it's perfect timing).

  5. Bellezza,

    So, I shouldn't admit I'm a little disappointed that I've only made it to 134, then, eh? I'm kidding. 86 is great. This is actually the first year I haven't competed with myself to beat the previous year's record for quite some time and I do think I'm enjoying my reading a bit more. It's not the quantity that counts. :)


    Oh, that is a BIG wahoo! The Ship of Brides is such a great book. I hope you love it every bit as much as I did!

  6. In a Christmas mood, huh? I took a sick day on Monday and ran by the grocery store and couldn't believe all the Christmas decorations going up in a hurry. Goodbye Halloween! Hello Christmas! What happened to Thanksgiving??

    Désirée sounds really lovely--I haven't heard of it before but what a neat connection to your mom.

    What's new with me? I announced yesterday that I'LL be a mom! ;)

  7. Trish,

    Wait, what??!!! You're IN A FAMILY WAY??? (<----Just read a book set in the 40's, you see). I'm so excited for you!!! I'll have to go read your post. I am still not blog-hopping like I used to. I have no idea why.

    As to Halloween and Thanksgiving . . . I never have liked either very much. Christmas was always fun, even though my parents were totally awful at choosing gifts (they were the biggest cheapskates I ever met). LOL

  8. I'm envious! Still haven't quite gotten my reading mojo back since starting my new job. Working on it! Just impatient not to be reading as much as I'd like.

  9. Andiloo,

    You'll get there. But, if it helps any, I haven't yet managed to finish a single book in November. Eeks.

  10. You had a great month! I only wish I could read that much in one month.

  11. Kris,

    Thanks! I was kind of stunned when I added up the page count. I think I ended up reading three chunksters in October! That probably means I goofed off too much. :)


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