Monday, July 08, 2013

Monday Malarkey - Books, reading and a stalker kitten

I figured someone out there is hankering for a kitten photo, so here you go.  Prissy was stalking the laser.  

I've gotten quite a few books, recently.  Some are not very photogenic (one in terrible shape, two others ARCs with ugly covers) so I'll just list them:

From Paperback Swap:

The Confessions of Catherine De Medici by C. W. Gortner
Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie
Virginia Woolf: A Writer's Life by Lyndall Gordon

From AbeBooks:

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson (this is the book that came in terrible shape; I ordered a "like new" copy but got a beat-up, dirty thing) for F2F discussion


Someone Else's Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson
Lighthouse Island by Paulette Jiles
The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly
Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
Paris Was the Place by Susan Conley
Goat Mountain by David Vann
Winning from Within by Erica Ariel Fox
The United States of Paranoia by Jesse Walker

I haven't requested a book for about 2 weeks and last book I requested has not yet arrived, but there should be a gap in arrivals after that shows up. I'm hoping I can stay on an "ARC diet" long enough to finish everything I've received.  That could take a while.  


I seem to be in a bit of a writing slump.  I've begun several reviews and am not satisfied with any of them, possibly because I've had a marvelous run of 6 wonderful books in a row.  I don't think that's happened to me in a very, very long time, so I'll just list my recent favorites and you can ponder them (or run as fast as you can to buy them) while I'm working on my reviews.

Books that have recently blown my mind, they were so awesome:

The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy - Love his writing so much.
The Keeper of Secrets by Julie Thomas - An emotional read; couldn't see for the tears, at one point.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - He's an iffy author for me but I loved this book so much I plan to reread it before I review. I usually only do that with Simon's books.
Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt (my #1 - and that's really saying something, given the quality of this list)

And, two that were excellent:

To Be a Cat by Matt Haig (a middle reader)
Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell

One more cat photo:

Not very good, but here's one of my first pics of Fiona with the kitten.  Izzy has not calmed down one bit.  Still hoping, though. It's nice that at least one of my girls doesn't mind Prissy.

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  1. I just finished the new Gaiman and I can't decide if I liked it or not. There are parts I really loved and parts I wasn't crazy about.

    1. I noticed some people don't quite get the book. Usually, I'm like that --like bits but not all of the book (except for Stardust). This one was different because I saw it as a whole. To me, it was about how we all have fears in childhood and, when we grow up, losing fear is supposed to go right along with being an adult. Unfortunately, life doesn't work that way. It seemed like Gaiman was really speaking from the heart, this time around.

  2. Don't you love it when you have a stellar run of reading? That's been me lately, and it could not come soon enough!!! Love Prissy. She's adorbs.

    1. I do! Such fun to be swept away over and over, again. But, it's never been such a problem. How do I describe each of these books without using the same, tired adjectives? I think I maybe need to bury my head in a dictionary.

      LOL I had a great time wearing that little cutie out with the laser, today. She really, really wants to run wild in the house all the time, but the kitties still have to take turns until/unless the Isabel-wanting-to-eat-her thing changes. On the plus side, I found out that rotating kitties the way we're doing is an accepted method for introducing a new pet. So, hopefully, it will eventually work.

  3. Anonymous6:32 PM

    I just finished IS THIS TOMORROW and loved it!

    1. Yay! I'm glad you loved it, too, Lynne!!!

  4. Of course love the kitty pics. That first one is awesome!

    Ok, I cannot wait for your reviews - I need to hear more about the Catherine Levitt book and the one that had you in tears.

    1. I was surprised that first one turned out so well. I was trying to pan and snap the photograph with one hand while moving the laser with the other -- amazing anything turned out at all.

      Is This Tomorrow is so good you should just run out and grab a copy. Srsly. I'll try to write about it ASAP. I hate these slumps. Will try to get my review of Simon's latest posted, today, but it's like pulling teeth.

  5. Isn't the new Gaiman amazing? I'm so so so in love with it!! I've been like you though. In a bit of a reviewing slump. I've had to MAKE my fingers just type words recently. I've just felt so unmotivated to review books for some reason recently. But guess what??? I just bought The Illusion of Seperateness last night :D I can't wait to read it!! I was at Barnes and Noble last night and they actually had it on display! As soon as I saw it, I thought of you and had to get it :) It sounds SO GOOD! I haven't read anything of Simon's since his two short story collections. About time to remedy that!

    1. It is! I just read your thoughts, last night (on the iPad). It's beat out Stardust as my new favorite (but I'll always love Stardust).

      So awful when you feel like you have to force yourself to type, isn't it? Hopefully, we'll both get over that, soon.

      Wahoo! You will love Simon's new book. Except, you have to read it twice. Once is never enough for me, anyway. ;) You haven't read his first novel? Oh, Chris. You really must. It's not often I got away from a book remembering the characters a year down the road. Henry, Rebecca and George are unforgettable. This time there are maybe a few too many characters to carry them with me the way I did with those fin Everything Beautiful Began After, but the execution is just, wow. I'm so impressed. And, it's not like I wasn't already impressed with Simon, but the way he drew the connections . . . well, you'll see. :)

    2. "GO AWAY" from a book remembering the characters. Seriously, put me in a home. I am losing brain matter and typing skill faster than my kitten can eat a can of cat food (she's like a furry vacuum cleaner, just FYI).

  6. I just won a copy of that Van Booy and I can't wait to start reading it!

    1. Oooh, lucky Jennifer! Please let me know when you've read and reviewed it! I don't have much spare time to visit blogs, right now, but I'd love to read your thoughts. :)

  7. I used to read everything Gaiman wrote, as soon as it came out, but I've gotten way behind on his stuff. I hadn't even realized he had a new book. Bad me.

    I bet Fiona is better adjusted to Prissy because she's had to do it before. Izzy is the "younger sibling" having to get used to no longer being the youngest, poor girl. I hope she calms down and learns to at least tolerate Prissy.

    1. I knew about the new Gaiman book because I follow Gaiman on Twitter and Facebook, so I was extremely excited when the opportunity to review it came along. I think this was my 5th Gaiman book. I'm not a die-hard fan but I now have two Gaiman titles I love enough to return to.

      I'm sure that's part of why Fiona's doing so well with Prissy, but it's also her personality and the fact that she was fostered with other animals. She is one laid-back kitty. Isabel has always been the concern. She has actually thrown herself at windows when other cats walked by, but in the last few months she's calmed down enough that I thought maybe she was finally over her fear of other animals (except Fi, whom she absolutely adores). No such luck, I guess. I'm not giving up, yet, though.

  8. I've yet to read anything by Gaiman, but you and Andi have me quite eager to rectify that. And as far as Is That Tomorrow, I may just have to buy a copy today. Now that I've finished Under the Dome, I feel like I can zip through a lot of books!

    1. I don't know if Gaiman would be your cup of tea, Les. I'd suggest you check Ocean out from the library to give him a go. And, if it's read by the author . . . double the fun. He is an amazing narrator. I'm not an audio lover, as you know, but I do love listening to Neil Gaiman read.

      Is That Tomorrow -- definitely a book I think you'll love. Go for it. It's worth the money.

      Haha! There's nothing like a chunkster to make everything else feel like a breeze! I haven't found my copy of Under the Dome, yet. Le sigh.


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