Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Malarkey - The startling results of not planning

Holy Toledo.  I said I had no big blogging plans, last Monday, but I certainly didn't plan for the blog to float to the top of the aquarium on its side looking waxy and pale, last week.

So . . . last week was uneventful but here you go, starting with arrivals:




Top to bottom:

  • Landing Gear by Kate Pullinger - from Touchstone for review
  • The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen - from Harper for review
  • The Visitors by Sally Beauman - from Harper for review
  • The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams - from a friend
  • Natchez Burning by Greg Iles - from William Morrow for review


Side note:

I just sneezed so fiercely I scared Fiona right out of the room. She actually made a mrr..mrr..mrrrph sound as she ran away, which means, "You just scared the socks off me, Mom."  Sorry, Fi.  This is not my favorite time of the year for exactly that reason (and because of the poison ivy and the bumblebees drilling holes to nest in my deck).


Last week's posts:



Seriously, that's all!  2 posts!  But, Itch Rocks generated some fun chatter on Twitter and I was very happy to find out there will be a third Itch book from the author. So, it was a fun week for response, if not a productive one for reviewing, in general.

Books finished:

  • Outrageous Fortune by Anthony Russell (memoir) - Although I got a kick reading about the places he went to school, played cricket and lived in London (because I've stayed in and walked that area and know it pretty well), the book was enough of a disappointment that I'm not going to bother reviewing it and passing it on to our friend in London. It is mostly about the author's childhood and how living a life of privilege -- zipping between a huge house with servants in London and his grandmother's castle in Leeds, along with some fabulous family vacations -- caused him difficulty as an adult. There's almost nothing about his adulthood, no word about how he overcame the difficulties that privilege caused, nor even how he met his wife and ended up in the United States. Humbug.
  • Delicious! by Ruth Reichl - Preventive reading. I'll be touring Delicious! on Wednesday, so I decided to dive in early. Delicious! is Reichl's first novel.
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart - A book that is so good I'm going to buy a copy to replace the ARC that I'm obligated to pass on to a friend.
  • Acts of God by Ellen Gilchrist - This one's going to be rough to review but I'll try.


Currently reading:

  • Echo Boy by Matt Haig - I set this aside to read Delicious! and then decided to read We Were Liars (a one-evening read because I started it Friday, although I then decided to reread the beginning on Saturday -- it's that kind of book; you will want to read it at least twice) and then I decided to finish up Acts of God. Tonight I'll dive back into Echo Boy
  • All the Birds Singing by Evie Wyld - Seriously creepy.  There are parallel storylines with a present-day portion in which the heroine, Jake, is increasingly freaked out by the uncommonly brutal deaths of her sheep and a past storyline that appears to be moving backwards in time. My spine is crawling but at the same time I'm finding the book so compelling that it's hard to put down.


TV, but no movies, again:

I probably should have watched a movie, instead. On Friday night, I happened across a back-to-back showing of the first two episodes of the new 24.  I never actually watched the original 24, but I was seduced by the advertisements showing London in the background of the new series. What a disappointment! London only occasionally makes an appearance. The rest of the time, the setting could easily be the bad side of any American city (and, in truth, it usually does look more stateside than British) with a few British props like a car with the steering wheel on the right-hand side and a few signs using British spelling. A bit of Trafalgar Square, a train going overground -- that's about all that looks genuine. If you want to enjoy an English setting, 24 is definitely not the show to watch.

I also watched a portion of Elementary, this past week, but turned it off.  Last week, the nasty body Sherlock and Mycroft dug up gave me a nightmare.  This week, I decided that I adore Rhys Ifans as the magnetically enigmatic Mycroft but -- although I've enjoyed him in other roles -- Jonny Lee Miller simply does not feel right for the role of Sherlock.  Knowing that he comes and goes, Rhys isn't enough to keep me watching. Love him, though.

Also, Penny and Leonard made me cry during Thursday's episode of The Big Bang Theory. I blame it on fatigue.

That's all, for now.  

Hopefully this will be a better posting week.  I am weary of having such a tremendous backlog of books to review.

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6 comments:

  1. Wasn't We Were Liars fantastic? I passed on my ARC and plan on buying a finished copy, too. And I absolutely adored All the Birds, Singing. It's one of the most atmospheric books I've read in a long, long time.

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    1. It is absolutely fabulous. So poetic and thoughtful. Glad to know you liked All the Birds Singing. It's freaking me out a bit but I'll probably go ahead and finish it, tonight or tomorrow.

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  2. I am so eager to read Delicious. I enjoyed the first half of her memoir, Tender at the Bone, but the second half wasn't nearly as humorous. I'm curious to see how she does with fiction.

    I think we're past the worst of the springtime allergies, although when I talked to my kiddo (in Dallas) on Sunday, she sounded miserable. Maybe all the rain we've had this past week has helped wash away some of the pollen. Of course, now it's probably all in my basement. ;)

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    1. Delicious! is surprisingly good, Les. It reads a lot like her nonfiction writing but she did an excellent job of creating characters and situations that were pretty believable, IMHO. I was particularly impressed with her WWII research and how she incorporated that into the story.

      Gosh, wow, we're like NEVER past the allergies. LOL We have, I kid you not, an 11-month pollen season. It's insane. I do think it's better in our new area, if only because there's more concrete and fewer trees, so that's good. But, we really have a lot of challenges living in this climate. I would do just about anything to move north. Also, I confess I'm a little envious of your basement. We don't have basements, here - most don't, anyway. The few houses we've seen with basements have been horror stories. The mold! Eeeeeks!

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  3. SO much good stuff in this post. I want to read All the Birds Singing (partially Shannon's fault...waving at Shannon). And I LOLed at you sneezing Fiona out of the room. I do the same thing to my dog.

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    1. Shannon's right about All the Birds Singing. It's definitely atmospheric. I haven't finished it but I'm about to sit down and whip out the last 25 pages, in a bit.

      Ha! So funny the way pets freak out when you sneeze, isn't it? Izzy and Fi are super-sweet cats but they are also very big chickens. They tend to knock down all sorts of things when the phone rings. In their defense, we do have a 1940s phone with an extremely loud ringer. If I were a cat, I'd probably run out of the room, too. LOL

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