Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Malarkey - reading, cats and . . . paper dolls?

I have very little to report as our weekend was a quiet one. We broke a 24-hour rain record. Yuck. I finished one book:

On the Beach is a classic, post-apocalyptic tale set in Melbourne, Australia in the 1960s. It's quite thought-provoking, the central question being, "What would you do if most of civilization were already wiped out by radiation and you only had a matter of months to live?"

The cats were a loads of fun, as always. We had to throw away some luggage, last year, because two of our suitcases had been beaten to death. The replacements arrived via UPS on Friday and I set the boxes side-by-side for a couple days to let the kitties play in them. They had a grand old time.

I started reading one of the books Algonquin sent me, The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac by Kris D'Agostino and -- wouldn't you know -- one of the characters has cancer, my sole unreadable character situation. But, it's so different and funny that it didn't bother me till I got to about page 90. Now . . . not sure if I can go on, but I'm going to try. The hero is so immature and unlikable that he's oddly, darkly magnetic. I love the dialogue and definitely want to know what's going to happen to the whole messed-up Moretti family.

Ghost Light by Joseph O'Connor is the other book I'm reading and it's one that puts me to sleep if I'm not in the right mood (but I love it, at other times) so I guess I need to decide which title I should throw into the mix, next.

I have one more January read to review before the month can be wrapped up: 501 Minutes to Christ by Poe Ballantine. While I was deeply impressed with Mr. Ballantine's writing, I waited way too long to review so I'll likely limit my post about it to a very brief synopsis and several quotations.

We watched the Christmas Special-slash-finale of Downton Abbey, Season 2 and loved it. Have you seen these printable Downton Abbey paper dolls? They're a hoot.



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18 comments:

  1. It looks like they're loving those boxes!

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    1. They had a blast. I felt kind of bad throwing them away, but we can't leave boxes in the living room, forever!

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  2. I adored the Christmas episode! So, so happy at the ending!

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    1. It was absolutely perfect, wasn't it?

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  3. Oh dear! That first picture is so fitting to my mood. Not even a couple of boxes could cheer me up. ;)

    This Sleepy Hollow book looks interesting. I'm off to check it out.

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    1. Yeah, that's my mood, too. I was hoping for sunshine, this weekend, and I think the blahs just carried over. LOL

      Sleepy Hollow comes out on March 20. I'm really enjoying it. It's very unusual for me to find a book with a cancer patient in it so entertaining that I can pretty much overlook it. The whole family is a mess. It's possible it makes me feel normal! :)

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  4. I have Ghost Light out on my bed right now. I was considering reading it instead of Open City, but if it puts one to sleep, maybe not.

    The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac looks like my kinda book. Thanks for the heads up!

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    1. Andi,

      I think you'll appreciate the writing in Ghost Light. You just have to be in the right mood because it's a little baffling, at first, and then it's slow in a reflective way. Pretty awesome writing, though, I think.

      I do believe you'd enjoy The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac. I'm reading it a bit early. The release date is March 20, so it's not out just yet but it kept hollering at me and I decided to give in. :)

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  5. Casey has a little box. She rips it apart and plays in it. I chuck it in another room when we have visitors. She is going to eat cardboard anyway so might as well be what I choose for her. It's her favourite thing ever.

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    1. That's good thinking, Kelly!

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  6. I have a pup now, but when I had my cat, he was 17 years old and even he loved boxes! He could get in them, but then had trouble getting out.

    I have read two O'Connor books and like you said, you have to be in the mood to read them but they were pretty good.

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    1. Ti,

      Aw, poor old kitty. I turned the boxes on their side because they were too tall to get into. We were calling them a "cardboard duplex". It was particularly cute when we had a cat in each box. :)

      I love Irish writers, in general, and while I do sometimes find I'm just not in the mood to pick up Ghost Light, I think his writing is pretty sharp. Hopefully, I'll get back to being in the mood, soon. I'm glad to know you enjoyed the two you've read by O'Connor!

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  7. Our kitties love boxes as well, and whenever I leave even a small one around, they cram themselves into it and try to get cozy. I am trying to save the last 2 or 3 episodes of Downton Abbey for myself, as I don't have access to season 2 yet. I had no idea that there were paper dolls out there, and am off to check them out right now! Very, very cool!

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    1. Boxes seem to be a universal draw for cats. They're always climbing into them, regardless of size. Since ours were so big and turned on their side, I threw toys inside for the cats to bang around (Izzy's a ball-chaser) or "catch" (Fiona). Such fun. It's a joy having active young kitties.

      The paper dolls are hilarious. Matthew looks handsome in his uniform, but there's a second face -- the post-bombing, injured face that you can put on him. And, the Dowager Countess has about 7 different expressions, most of which look exactly the same. Fun!

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  8. I haven't seen any of Downton season two yet but I'm dying to!!! I'm waiting for it to come on Netflix so I can just have a big marathon and watch it all at once :p I did see the paper dolls though and I'm in love with them. They're hilarious!

    The kitties are so cute in their boxes :p They're just like little kids aren't they? lol.

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    1. That's actually what I did. I watched a smattering of episodes as the season ran, though, just because we don't have cable or satellite and the PBS TV signal is iffy. Then, the DVD arrived and it was marathon time! Fun! The paper dolls are great, aren't they? I'm hoping I'll be able to find some Downton Abbey merchandise next time we go to England.

      Yep, the kitties are like little kids. You have to run them to wear them out a bit or they'll drive you nuts, they nap, they're insistent when they get hungry, etc. I think I read somewhere that a full-grown cat has the intelligence of about a 4-year-old and if you know 4-year-olds, you know they can talk like grown-ups (so they understand a lot) but still are little kids at heart, which I think explains the fact that cats understand so much but never lose their burning curiosity. I just love ours like crazy.

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  9. I felt so adult reading On the Beach (pretty sure it was in high school when I made the mature decision to read it). but I no longer remember the story.

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    1. There was a very short war. Countries stupidly bombed each other. Cobalt radiation has wiped out most of the Earth and the radiation cloud is heading toward the Southern Hemisphere. Only months remain till humanity will be completely extinguished. The book is about how people in Melbourne, Australia spend their final months, about a submarine that goes on several jaunts to verify that the radiation isn't subsiding and they are, in fact, all going to die, and how they all choose to go in the end. It is a sad, sad, extremely thought-provoking book. It would be a great discussion book, really. But, I probably won't write a separate post about it. I think I'm about to take a week off, instead. :)

      Good for you, reading it in high school. Such a mature young lady.

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