Friday, April 27, 2012

Fiona Friday - Just portraits and an update

I have fallen behind on reviews, this week, thanks to migraine weather (changing pressure) and life basically sucking. Hopefully, next week will be more normal. However, I have two blog tours, next week, and one of them is scheduled for Wednesday. You may have noticed that I had a blog tour on Wednesday of this week. Well, shucks. I wasn't doing Wahoo! Wednesday posts when I signed up for blog tours, so I didn't think to look at my calendar for obstacles. At any rate, I'll be back to wahooing in a couple weeks.

Books I've finished, this week:

The Cove by Ron Rash - A tour book scheduled for next Thursday. Does Ron Rash always write tragedy? Just curious. I have two other Rash titles on my shelves but I'm thinking about getting rid of them, which gives you a hint as to how I felt about The Cove.

I Always, Always Get My Way by Krasnesky and Parkins - About a 3-year-old who thinks she can get away with anything because she's "only three" but finds out even the youngest member of the family has to deal with the consequences of her actions.

The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones - Just finished this one, last night. A very strange book set in Edwardian England. Alternately charming and horrifying, as in . . . you never know when someone's going to bring a horse or a ghost into the house and how the residents will react.

Just walked in:

Poachers by Tom Franklin - from Paperback Swap
Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor - I got this for filling out a questionnaire, but I've already forgotten what it was about - from Broadway Paperbacks. I've been curious about this book because I used to write a column by the same title. The book is a memoir; my "Signs of Life" was a humor column about my family/everyday life.
Play These Games by Heather Swain - for review from Penguin but it's not at all what I expected. I think the publicist may have mixed two book descriptions together in her pitch letter. It looks fun, though, so no biggie.

Currently reading:

The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock - Wednesday's tour book. I'm enjoying it, so far. When I flipped through the book, I thought the photographs were paintings of Mary Delany's flower sculptures, but the author says they only look like paintings; they are actually photographs of her works of art. No matter how long I stare at them, I can't see it. They still look like paintings to me. Wild.

The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel - I had a little trouble putting this one down, last night. A young mother goes into hiding with her newborn baby, at the beginning of the book. A chapter or two later, the child's father -- a reporter -- is given a clue to his child's existence. But, he doesn't know why Anna and Chloe are hiding or where to look for them and, anyway, he's allergic to heat so he heads back to New York before Florida can kill him. Actually, just writing about it makes me want to run back to grab the book.

Light on the Concrete by Lucas Hunt - I loved this book of poetry so much on the first reading that I didn't stop to take notes or mark the book with post-its. So, I've been planning to go to the coffee shop since last week, thinking it would be a nice, calm place to sit at a table and take notes (this also has to do with my need to get out of the house, since our oak trees are blocking all the light and home has become a virtual cave). I won't even go into how those plans have crashed and burned, but I've reread bits and pieces and a full reread with a cup of fluffy mocha is still on the agenda.

Voyagers of the Titanic by Richard Davenport-Hines - There's a lot of interesting information that's new to me in this book (and I've been a regular Titanic reader for a long, long time) but the writing is a bit dry and I dislike the fact that the author doesn't always bother to mention who lived or died. So, he may be cooking along, telling you about some young rich guy that everyone loved and you're wondering, "Yeah, okay, he was great -- everyone loved him. Did he survive?" I kept a second book with a list of all the passengers and crew beside the bed and kept referring to the list (survivors in bold print).

I was shooting for finishing by the anniversary, but actually stalled on the reading on that day. There was a whole lot of twitter chatter about the Titanic; meanwhile, people I care about were being threatened by a nasty storm that was generating tornadoes in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. I set the past aside to pray for people in the present. I've yet to return to the book, but I do love reading about the Titanic, so I'm sure I'll get back to it.

And, the London Tales . . .

Since I'm so far behind, I may either go to the mini-review format or just post several in one day. I need to catch up before I forget the important details in the books I've read. I'm hoping I'll be able to sneak in some travel tales, next week, as well. It's a very odd problem having too many things to post about and not enough days in the week!

Happy Weekend to All from Bookfool!

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  1. Ron Rash doesn't see his stories as depressing - he thinks his characters are doing the best they can in less than ideal circumstances and he thinks there's hope in that.

    Your babies are beautiful.

    1. Oh, I'd have to agree with that. But, I wondered if they have tragic endings, in general. I looked up a couple and the details are obviously obscured because to tell the ending would be to destroy a book, but I'm curious because I tend to avoid authors who deliberately write tragedy -- like Nicholas Sparks.

    2. Forgot to say, "Thank you!"

  2. I feel your pain on the migraines- the pressure changes + the allergies get mine going as well. Hopefully the weather figures out what it wants to do, and stay that way a while. The Titanic book had sounded interesting to me. I would hope they included a list at the end of the book, at least of those named in it. What would you suggest for a newer reader on Titanic?

    1. Sarah,

      Thanks. The Titanic book is fascinating, even though it's a bit dry. Voyagers of the Titanic is actually a new release. In spite of the fact that I love reading anything and everything about the Titanic, I haven't been offered any others for review, so I don't have any other new titles to share with you. The book I've been using as a reference because of its complete list of passengers and crew is Voices from the Titanic, a book I bought remaindered in London. It was copyrighted in 2002 and I haven't actually read it, yet -- I've just used it for the list! But, it will be the next Titanic book I read.

  3. I hope that you're feeling better soon! It's so hard to get anything done while under the weather. Your kitties are cute!

    1. Alyce,

      Thanks. Yes, it's difficult to accomplish much of anything. I pretty much just want to sleep, right now. We've gone from overcast to sunny AGAIN, today. Blecch.

      Thanks! They're such sweet kitties and I thought those two pictures show their lovely personalities nicely.

  4. Sounds like you've been in a funk Nancy :( Sorry to hear that my dear. Wish I could give you some hugs!!! Hope those migraines go away soon. I'm not the best to make you feel better right now :p I'd probably just make you more miserable, lol. I tried to read the Cove, but sadly couldn't get into it :( Oh!! But guess what?? I AM reading The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac right now because of you and I'm thoroughly enjoying it :D I downloaded it onto my nook. I needed an easy, light read while my dad was in the hospital and even though it's a sort of dark book, it fits the bill! Loving it. I sort of like the very grim humor…my kind of book. Loving the pics of the kitties :) So very cute!! Love you nance!

    1. Yes, a deep blue funk. But, I shoved furniture around and filled bags full of stuff I don't need (creating a bit more air space) and that helped. You would never make me miserable. I'm so glad you're reading The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac!! It is such twisted fun. Yes, "grim humor" is a good way to put it. They're a mess but they love each other; that's what I adored about the book.

      Thank you! Love you, too, Chris!!!

  5. Lovely pictures. I want a better camera! :(

    I'm so impressed with the amount of books you've finished and are reading. I've been stuck on two books for a week and a half! Pathetic.

    1. Thank you! I went from a professional-grade Sony to an amateur-level Nikon but I could have gone even cheaper, according to my camera-shop-owning friend, Mike. The newer digitals are pretty amazing and sometimes the camera companies have big rebate deals that they don't publicize, so it's worth it to ask if there are any special deals you can get in on.

      Oh, thank you. I've been on a bit of a reading roll, lately, it's true. I hope it continues. This is a good time of year to be doing *other* things besides reading, so don't feel bad. Just have fun reading when you feel like it!

  6. Such beautiful beautiful kitties!! Hope you feel better and this upcoming week doesn't suck (suck was your word, not mine). And I'll look forward to your Wahooing soon. ;)

    1. My kitties thank you, Trish (and I agree). This will be a better week. Some weeks are just like that. I've been shoving furniture around and throwing stuff out, primarily to try to get more light into the house. It seems to be working, bit by bit. "Suck" is one of my favorite words. I use all forms of it -- even though they don't probably exist in other folks' vocabularies. "This is really suckful," for example. It's like wahoo. I use it every which-way. :) Maybe there should be some early wahoos on Tuesday? We'll see.

  7. First off, those are fabulous portraits of the kitties! So nice of them to pose for you. ;)

    I'm sorry you've had such trouble with your migraines. I was starting to get a terrible headache last week and knew the weather was changing. And it's changing back to warm temps today. Hope I can keep the headache at bay. And the itchy nose. My allergies have kicked in this past week, making me a bit grumpy!

    I'm also sorry life's treating you poorly. I hope things improve...

    I have The Cove (ARC) in my stacks, but may take it back to work for someone else to try. We'll see.

    I'm anxious to read your review for The Paper Garden. I know nothing about it, but I love that cover!

    Hugs to ya, girlfriend!

    1. Thank you, Les! Isabel is really very good about posing for me. Fiona, not so much. But, you can see she was in a very relaxed and patient mood in that photo, above. She tries very hard to tolerate me. :)

      Allergies are driving me crazy, too. But, that's par for the course. D. cleaned out the gutters and I made the mistake of walking outside. I'm fiercely allergic to mold and knew the moment I walked out the door that I needed to run back inside. We're supposed to hit 90, this week. Not thrilled about that.

      You might like The Cove. I didn't like the way it ended but I did like the characters, the setting, the realistic dilemmas, the Appalachian dialect. It was an interesting read. I just can't stand that kind of ending.

      The Paper Garden throws me. It's part bio/part memoir and the author is a poet who sees flowers as very sexual things. I see them for their beauty, and occasionally her vulgar descriptions will drop my jaw. But, the history is so fascinating and well-researched that I will finish it. It'll have a language/sexuality warning, though. That was totally unexpected!

      Hugs back and thank you!

  8. I actually have a Ron Rash book out from the library on audio. It is Serena. I really want to read The Cove, but my library system doesn't have it! I will have to grab it when I can. Love the kitty pics. They look so dignified and serious.

    I also want to read The Lola Quartet. It sounds amazing, and I have loved the other books by St. John Mandel.

    Have a good reading week, and try to keep yourself headache free if you can!

    1. It'll be interesting to see what you think of Serena, Zibilee. I made a comment about how much I disliked the ending of The Cove on Facebook and a friend left me a link to her review of Serena. It did not sound like my thing -- too violent. The Cove is good; I just didn't like the ending.

      LOL Fiona is still part kitten, at heart, but she is the one who moves with the velvety, flowing grace of a full-grown cat, when she's not exposing her belly to chew on stuffed fish. Isabel is a nut. They keep us laughing.

      I stopped after the first section of The Lola Quartet. Need to get back to it, but it was kind of depressing me and I felt like St. John Mandel was dropping her clues too far apart -- meaning, I was beginning to feel dangled. I want to know *something* about what's going on, you know?

      Thanks. Busy, busy week ahead. No headache, so far. But, my air filtering machine seems to have died on me. Yikes.

  9. It must be migraine weather everywhere, so many of us are suffering with them.

    Cute cute portraits!

    1. Hey, Carrie dear!

      Tax season must be over! Glad to hear from you!!! Yes, lots of pressure changes everywhere, I think.

      Thank you!


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