Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris (DNF)

Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris
Copyright 2010/2011
Multnomah Books - Christian Living
271 pages, incl. Recommended Reading
Did Not Finish

I'll let the author tell you a little about what Dug Down Deep is, in his own words:

This book is the story of how I first glimpsed the beauty of Christian theology. These pages hold the journal entries of my own spiritual journey -- a journey that led to the realization that sound doctrine is at the center of loving Jesus with passion and authenticity. I want to share how I learned that orthodoxy isn't just for old men but is for anyone who longs to behold a God who is bigger and more real and glorious than the human mind can imagine.

--p. 16 of Dug Down Deep

I've wanted to read Dug Down Deep since it came out in 2010, but I'm not even certain why. I think I must have read something that said it's about digging down deep to build a firmer foundation so that you will be a stronger Christian (which is always my goal), and the title makes it clear that's the theme. But, it's not quite what I expected.

Author Joshua Harris starts off the book by discussing his early years as a Christian, which he entitled, "My Rumspringa". I wasn't familiar with the term "rumspringa" but it is an Amish term for a time of teen life that sounds like a complete horror to me. When Amish youngsters reach a particular age (I didn't mark it, so I can't remember if it's 18 or 21), they're allowed to run wild, drink, have sex, do drugs, wear non-Amish clothing, go to movies, etc. Basically, they're given a time to experience the outside world, apparently to help them decide whether or not they want to continue to live in the Amish world. I won't go into detail about that; the author talks about it quite a bit.

As a parallel, Harris tells about the years during which, for him, "the Christian faith was more about a set of moral standards than belief and trust in Jesus Christ." He talks about the way youth groups and church services have been redesigned to be fun and draw people in, but he felt like there was little teaching about Jesus, at least when he was a youngster.

Then he goes into his own study of theology and the growing process involved. I thought it was quite interesting how Harris transitioned from a young fellow who quickly became successful as a public speaker -- he confesses to knowing now that there wasn't a lot of depth to his understanding of God and Christianity -- to a man who was mentored and studied deeply in order to develop the depth necessary to be a leader.

Here's where Harris lost me . . . and it's unfortunate that it was quite early in the book . . . his definition of doctrine is not at all what I've been taught and I simply could not figure out how to reconcile his definition to the one I was (possibly wrongly) taught. I was taught that doctrine is the philosophies that are different from one church to another, such as the decision not to use musical instruments in one church while another church may actually even have its own band, in addition to the usual piano and/or organ accompaniment. Or, say, the difference between types of baptism or wine versus grape juice for communion.

Harris describes a definition by J. Gresham Machen: "Doctrine is the setting forth of what Jesus has done along with the meaning of the event for us." That, I was okay with because what Machen says indicates to me that the "meaning" can be translated in different ways. But, then Harris describes it in his own words: "Doctrine is the meaning of the story God is writing in the world. It's the explanation of what he's done and why he's done it and why it matters to you and me."

Ack. That is so completely different, much more personal. I continued to read to about page 53 and then, in the end, I decided to set the book aside for a while and ponder it. I need to figure out how to change my mental process before I can really move on with his mode of thought.

The bottom line:

Theology is rough. I think Joshua Harris is a very straightforward, humble and pretty entertaining writer. But I had so much difficulty with his definition of "doctrine" that I opted to set it aside, for now. This new edition includes an "in-depth study guide" and I'm hoping that will help me figure it out. But, I need to give what I've read, so far, a little space and time to sink in.

Here is a free chapter of Dug Down Deep. Apologies to the publisher for the late link. I was in transit and the chapter wasn't available before I left for vacation. It may be a couple days before I'm back to regular posting. I'll fill you in when I've recovered. It's been a long day.

In case you've been missing Fiona Friday, here's a photo I get a kick out of:

I snapped this shot of Fi on our glass breakfast table just after I started my blogging break. It makes me smile.

Hope everyone's had a fantastic June!

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Going unplugged - back on the 30th (with kitty pics)

But, of course, I'd never leave you without at least a kitty pic or two to admire.

I will pre-post the book tour due on the 30th and plan to be back no later than some time during the first week of July. I intend to totally step away from blogging, so my sidebar may stagnate, but don't worry. I'll update you on what I've read when I return. See you then!

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Regeneration by Pat Barker

Regeneration by Pat Barker
Copyright 1991
Penguin Books - Historical Fiction/WWI
252 pages

Regeneration is the first in a series of books by Pat Barker that are set during WWI. I don't know how the series continues, whether it follows the same characters or new ones, but Regeneration is set at a mental hospital for shell-shocked soldiers called Craiglockhart in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The year is 1917 and W. H. R. Rivers has a new patient set to arrive. The patient is Siegfried Sassoon. Although Sassoon has had nightmares and a few horrifying hallucinations in the past, he is being sent to the facility mostly to keep people from having to actually address the issue Sassoon has brought up. Having composed a letter saying he thinks England needs to get out of the war, that men are dying needlessly, there are a few people who want him silenced and the best way is to make him appear unstable. His best friend also wants to prevent a court martial and helps to get Sassoon sent to Craiglockhart.

Sassoon is perfectly sane, although he does eventually develop an interesting problem with ghosts. But, he's required to chat with Rivers and through the interaction between doctor and patient, as well as a few other key characters, you get to know the doctor and his humane treatment methods in a time when post-traumatic stress was not yet identified or named and certainly not understood.

There's a lot to Regeneration, in spite of its fairly short page count. Toward the end, Sassoon is due to go in front of the medical board. In those days, a "cured" patient was sent right back overseas to fight, again. Sassoon, in spite of being strongly against the war, desires to return to the front. Rivers, meanwhile, has determined that he (Rivers, himself) is due for a change and there is a short but wrenching section during which he goes to London to check out the hospital where he will be working. There, the contrast between humane and cruel treatment is clearly drawn during a horrifying scene describing the "treatment" of a mute soldier forced to speak after hours of torturous shocks with electrodes.

I didn't realize Rivers, Sassoon and many other characters were actual historical figures until I got to the end of Regeneration and read the author's notes. Then I dashed over to Wikipedia to read a bit more. The Wikipedia entry about the Regeneration series is fascinating. I only read about the first book; from there, I jumped to the entry about Rivers and then read about Sassoon. The third book in the series, The Ghost Road, won the Booker Prize in 1995.

The bottom line:

A fascinating, sometimes horrifying but very vivid and realistic look at treatment of post-traumatic stress and injuries during WWI, with telling descriptions of experiences by the soldiers in treatment. While the author occasionally lost me -- sometimes in dialogue, chiefly when describing things that might be common knowledge in the British Isles or for those who are knowledgeable about WWI, but certainly vague in my eyes -- I thought Regeneration was engrossing and quite a learning experience. I do plan to read on, although I own a copy of Regeneration but not the other two books and it may be some time before I get around to the following two. Recommended, with a warning that Regeneration can be a painful, jarring and even gruesome read at times because it is so realistic. An excellent fictionalized account of real-life characters.

Former blogger Kookie (aka "Michelle") didn't like Regeneration, but I neglected to ask her why. I did think the author's writing was sometimes a little nebulous where it could have easily been made clear, but other than that . . . I really thought it was so very engaging and the characters so well-developed that I can't pick on it too much. I liked the way the characters seemed to make so little sense, at times, in their thought processes. It occurred to me that humans really don't necessarily make sense. We're illogical. We say one thing and do another or change our minds abruptly. That was a part of where the realism came into play.

Cover thoughts:

That's not the cover of my book, but it's my favorite of the images I found on Google Images. Mine is ugly. But, there is something very special about my copy. It has a few pages with little mouse bites. You can actually see the tiny teeth marks! I'm probably the only person on the planet who thinks that's cool.

In other news:

I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad time getting around to blogging. I think it's probably a combination of heat and feeling a little overwhelmed with all that I have to accomplish in the coming months. So, while I keep thinking I want to clear out my sidebar by whipping out several reviews at once, it's not happening. If I continue to feel blah, I'll just take a couple weeks off. I don't have any scheduled reviews until June 30 so if I disappear for a couple weeks, you know when to return. I will have a post of Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris posted on the 30th.

Photo of the day:

The cats aren't too energetic, either. Note the difference in size between my two girls. Isabel is now full-grown, so I guess she's just going to stay tiny and delicate. "Tiny" is, in fact, one of her nicknames. I've been calling her that since she arrived at our house. Last time she was at the vet, Izzy weighed a mere 5 pounds. I'd guess she's up to 6 pounds, by now. Fi, on the other hand, is a 13-pounder.

Facebook friends will have already heard this story, but I must share a little cat tale from this morning. I went out to pick up my new eyeglasses and when I returned, Isabel greeted me in the living room. I said hello and asked her, "Where's your sister?" Izzy looked at me, looked toward the kitchen and then went bounding off (bounce, bounce -- she really has the cutest way of running) to the breakfast nook, where she stopped directly below the chair in which Fiona was sleeping. She looked back at me and, of course, I exclaimed at her cleverness. And, then she jumped up into the chair next to Fi and ducked her head for a little grooming from sis.

That Isabel is one smart cookie! In fact, I've only had one cat I considered a little dim (Miss Spooky) but after her tremendously intelligent adoptive sister passed away, I discovered that I just wasn't paying attention. Spooky wasn't necessarily as sharp as Sunshine, but cats are pretty amazing creatures and they understand more than we often realize. Anyway, a little fun from the House of Bookfool.

Happy, happy day!

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Proust's Overcoat by Lorenza Foschini

Proust's Overcoat: The True Story of One Man's Passion for All Things Proust
By Lorenza Foschini
Copyright 2009
Ecco - Nonfiction
144 pages

Prominent Parisian Jacques Guerin headed his family's perfume company, but his true passion was collecting literary treasures. One of his favorite authors was Marcel Proust; and, when Guerin became a patient of Proust's brother, Robert, he sought to know Dr. Proust better, eventually finding out that the doctor owned many of his brother Marcel's possessions, including manuscripts, furniture and the coat Proust was known to seldom remove, even in bed.

A bit of an opportunist, Guerin hoped to eventually obtain some of the author's possessions. Proust's Overcoat tells the story of how a wealthy businessman came to collect not only the coat and some manuscripts, but many other items that belonged to Proust and how, after wheedling and finagling to obtain them, he kept his treasures out of other hands.

Proust's Overcoat is an elegant little snack of a book. I read it in a few hours, one evening, and enjoyed it very much. It has a mysterious feel as the author tells about Guerin's sneaky ability to get people to sell things to him. Since Proust was gay and so was the treasure-hunting perfumer, there's a lot of talk about homosexuality. It's been nearly two weeks since I read the book, but I'm pretty sure the objective of mentioning the various characters' sexual orientation was to describe how they were shunned or even removed from certain society and that led, in particular, to enmity between Proust and his sister-in-law, who burned valuable documents before realizing they had any monetary worth.

The bottom line: A marvelous, engrossing true tale about a treasure hunter and how he came to own many items belonging to Proust and other worthies of the literary world, well-written and very entertaining. Recommended.

Cover thoughts: I love the cover showing the eccentric author surrounded by (and wearing) his possessions. I think it's rather charming.

Side effects: Naturally, now I'm dying to read some Proust. I have never read anything at all by the author, although I've pondered his master work and been put off by the sheer size of it. Houses could be built out of copies of In Search for Lost Time. Incidentally, I had no idea the original title, Remembrance of Things Past, had been changed to In Search of Lost Time until I read Proust's Overcoat.

In other news: I just realized I haven't even bothered to work on editing my photos of Charleston, lately, which convinced me I should dash off to see if I could find anything worth playing with and I came up with this photo, which was taken next to one of the waterfront fountains:

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Friday, June 10, 2011

May Reads in Review - 2011 and Fiona Friday (starring Izzy)

Technically speaking, at a mere 10 books, May was my worst reading month of 2011, so far. And, I actually strayed from my purpose a bit, continuing on with several books that weren't doing it for me. But, it also just happens to have been a month during which I discovered two new favorites. So . . . on balance, not a bad month, after all.

May Reads (with links to reviews):

My absolute favorites, this month, were Fire Season and Chime, two books I loved so much that I already know they'll make my annual favorites list. Charleston Mysteries was a great combination of guide book (with a walking tour past spooky places in Charleston, SC) and history. When a Dragon Moves In is creative fun for preschoolers with great illustrations and a cute story that can easily lead into a nice little conversation about imagination and honesty.

The mental_floss Genius Instruction Manual was fun but it certainly didn't turn me into a genius. Darn. I enjoyed it, though. Everything I've read by the mental_floss crew has been entertaining, often very humorous. And, you can't lose if John Green is one of the people on the author team.

The Making of a Rogue was the third in an adventurous and romantic series that I love. Although it's a series book, it should stand alone fine. Charleston is Burning! is a fascinating look at 200 years of fire and firefighting history in a town where common sense apparently did not rule, early on, and major conflagrations were needlessly common.

That leaves the three books that didn't thrill my heart. The Lightkeeper's Ball was entertaining but way too far-fetched for my taste. Skinny taught me that I simply don't like reading about eating disorders (particularly binge-eating). There were things I liked about French Milk but it didn't charm me the way I'd hoped.

Those three disappointments gave me a good knock on the head. I've been working hard at trying to continue only with books that really suck me in so that I don't waste valuable reading time. I don't know why I opted to slack up on my goal to read only books I like or love in May, but I'm back to ditching books that don't grab me within the first 30-50 pages and, so far, June has been a fabulous reading month.

I have not been able to find my camera to upload the kitty pics I've taken this week, so you get an older shot (but not that much older -- maybe two weeks old) of Miss Isabel resting on a washcloth.

I was sorting laundry, you see. Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Fire Season by Philip Connors

Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
By Philip Connors
Copyright 2011
HarperCollins - Nature/Memoir/History
256 pages

I started out writing down quotes only, thinking I'd break up a review of Fire Season into 2 parts because it is the most Post-it filled book I've read in a long time. And, then I got overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of quotes that I loved and couldn't figure out how to narrow down so I thought, "Okay, I'll skip on to the review."

Let me just say this: Fire Season is now my #1 read of 2011. I loved it so much that I am ridiculously intimidated by the prospect of reviewing it and I've been putting it off for over a week. I've decided there's little hope unless I shoot for the self-interview, my salvage method of choice. Today, I will be interviewed by Isabel because she's handy. For anyone who happens to be dropping in and who may be unfamiliar with Isabel, she's the youngest of my two cats.

Bookfool: Welcome, Isabel. I hope you've recovered from playing with your bird-on-a-stick.

Isabel: Y-A-W-N. It's very possible that was not "play" but "torment". Okay, human, on to the interview. Tell us a little about Fire Season.

BF: Fire Season is the memoir of a man who has worked as a lookout in the Gila National Forest for 8 summer seasons, watching for fire. But, it's not just about what it's like living alone and keeping watch in the tower, why he has chosen this job and what he does to fill his time.

Isabel: What else is Fire Season about?

BF: It's also about the history of wilderness preservation and fire suppression, the beauty of nature (including how we humans have, a.) screwed it up and b.) made a lot of excuses about people needing what's in nature for our use to justify destruction), people who have fought for nature or worked as lookouts in the past, how the author spends his time off in the wilderness, and the kind of people who hike through his remote lookout area.

Izzy: How is the book laid out?

BF: Each section of the book is divided by month, beginning with April and ending in August. While you're learning about all that other nature/history/bio jazz, you're also spending a season in the Gila with the author.

Izzy: Must take bath.

BF: Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Back?

Izzy: Yes. How about a quote or passage to show what it was that you loved about the book?

BF: Okay. Here's one:

In early afternoon I follow the formation of dust devils through my field glasses. Their manic life and sudden death seem to me a fruitful field of inquiry when the mind bogs down in solipsism. Far off on the desert floor, where once a great inland sea bubbled, the earth rises to the dance. Scorched by sun and scoured by wind, the ancient seabed surrenders itself to points east, eventually to be washed to the Gulf in the current of the Rio Grande.

Amid a forest that burns and a desert that dances -- 20,000 square miles of cruel and magnificent country -- I turn back, at the end of the day, to the earth beneath my feet. As May begins, wild candytuft bloom beneath the pine and fir, the first of the season's wildflowers to show their color. A relic turns up one evening in the dirt, not far from the base of my tower: a Mimbres potsherd, white with black pattern, well more than 800 years old. I am given to understand that the people once gathered in the high places and brought with them their crockery. They sacrificed their pots by smashing them to earth in hopes the sky gods would grant rain. Clearly I am not alone in my communion here with sky. Far from it. The ravens and the vultures have me beat by 200 feet, the Mimbrenos by most of a millennium. And who's to say the motes of dust don't feel joy, if only for a moment, as they climb up into the sky and ride the transport winds.

--from p. 68 of Fire Season (Uncorrected Proof - some changes may have been made to the final print version)

See how he seamlessly places you in the wilderness, blending his experience with a little nature, a little history? There is such a vivid sense of place. Wait! One more paragraph . . . the next one, actually:

Like all lookouts, I pursue diversionary measures, little games or physical routines or time-devouring hobbies that give form to the days and let me escape the holding cell of my own thoughts, particularly when those thoughts begin to circle on the metaphysics of whirling dirt. Gary Snyder practiced calligraphy and meditation. Edward Abbey pitched horseshoes with his pa on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Jack Kerouac studied the Diamond Sutra, wrote an epic letter to his mother. If I were a more dutiful son I'd do the same. Instead I shoot Frisbee golf.

--pp. 68-69

Don't you love the author, already? He somehow not only manages to give meaning to every flower, tree, fish, mammal and puff of smoke; he also has a sense of humor. Also, I need to go back and write down a few vocabulary words, which is always a positive. I think most of us love it when an author challenges us with a higher-minded vocabulary, don't we? Care recently mentioned and defined the word "sinecure", which she found in a book she read, The Doctor's Plague; and, I was surprised to see it on page 99 of Fire Season:

How could I refuse such a sweet summer sinecure? Sinecure means (in case you're too lazy to hit the link), "A position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit."

Izzy: Tell me the worst-best thing about the book.

BF: For you: the dog. The author's dog, Alice, accompanies him to his lookout job. It's great fun to read about Alice's adventures, how she becomes an entirely different creature from the dog that she is at home when she leaves her house for life in the Gila. She does a lot of exploring, sometimes getting a little too close to creatures like bears, but no harm comes to her. She's a great character. Unless, of course, you're a cat.

Izzy: Ewww. Dogs. Uck.

BF: You'll like this quote:

Experience with the dogs of family and friends indicated that they were odoriferous, overbearing beasts, dedicated to immediate gratification of whatever urge bubbled up in their tiny little brains, their owners perversely in need of unconditional love and mindless diversion. But Martha [the author's wife] kept telling me her existence felt unnatural without a dog -- she'd had one all through her childhood and most of college -- and what kind of husband would I be to force an unnatural existence upon my wife, or at least more unnatural than the one I've already foisted on her? My hundred-day sojourn on a mountain each summer makes our marriage unusual enough. I suppose in some way Alice represented a compromise, whereby I'd continue to be that rare creature, a married lookout, and Martha would be compensated with a canine companion in the family unit. Now that Alice has been in our lives for three years, I see her for what she truly is: an odoriferous, overbearing beast dedicated to immediate gratification of whatever urge bubbles up in her tiny little brain, and a reliable and even comforting source of unconditional love and mindless diversion.

Also, she's pretty cute.

--pp. 109-110

Izzy: It was great until he said she's cute. So, what's the bottom line? Your brief opinion of the book?

BF: Deep breath. Sigh. Wonderful, beautifully written, informative, entertaining, often humorous . . . a book I love so much that I want to buy the hardback and put it on the good shelves.

Izzy: Confessions?

BF: While I am not good with the great outdoors because of allergies and a distaste for bugs (they like to eat me!) and therefore am a Camping Failure and could not possibly fathom doing Philip Connors' job -- apart from the solitary aspect, which I'm pretty good at handling -- I loved being there with him, experiencing the beauty through his eyes. And, I appreciate the fact that I didn't have to smell awful to do so.

Also, I am a nature freak; let's face it. I love his philosophies about nature and life. I have no trouble putting aside my cell phone (this is, according to husband and Kiddo, "a problem") and I don't even like television. I'd much rather be in a cabin in the mountains -- taking photos and dipping into nature, taking long walks . . . and then sleeping in a bed at night -- than hopping in a car to go everywhere. So, Fire Season is a book I can embrace not only because of the wonderful blend of history, memoir and nature, but also because I agree with just about every word the author has to say about conservation.

I am, at heart, a tree-hugger. I'm all for preserving what little is left to save and people who have no interest in saving nature frankly baffle me.

Izzy: Wow, opinionated, aren't we? Also, thank you for letting me use your toes as a boost to climb into the window when you bored me, during this interview.

BF: You're welcome. Thank you for letting me use your fuzzy belly to photograph my copy of Fire Season for the sake of showing why my readers would be here all night long if I copied every quote I love.

Izzy: Oh, dear. That looks kind of rude. I forgive you. And . . . I have to go chase rattle balls, now. Goodbye!

BF: Bye, tiny kitty. Closing words: If you like solidly written nonfiction about nature or history, memoirs (the good kind, lacking arrogance), or can think of any other excuse . . . buy this book!!!

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

'Twas my bloggiversary - only missed it by 1 day, this time

Yesterday marked 5 years of blogging for moi!

The sixes are for the beginning date of my blogging history, 6-6-06. I didn't even notice all those devilish sixes until last year. I opted not to try to get a fat cupcake with candles to photograph, this year, since last year's attempt was so humorously disastrous (upside-down cupcake, frosting all over the lid . . . could have baked my own but nooooo, I had to go for the difficult option).

I wrote a long-winded history of Bookfoolery, yesterday. I edited it and edited it till, at about 10:00 PM, I thought, "Who wants to read all this crap, anyway?" So, let's just say it's been a good run, so far. I've particularly enjoyed meeting like-minded souls. I miss the camaraderie of the early years, when the number of book bloggers was so small that we were divided into casual and literary bloggers, but I've loved meeting new people -- especially when I get to meet bloggers in person.

I think of Bookfoolery as my place to talk freely about a few things I love -- books, family, cats, nature, travel. I've tried different approaches to reading, over the years -- joining challenges, avoiding challenges, reading a few ARCs, accepting too many ARCs, avoiding ARCs -- but my purpose has never changed. My blog is still basically a dumping ground.

Doesn't that make you feel great about hanging around, here? Well, you wouldn't drop by if you didn't like the random insertion of things like adorable Charlestonian kittens in daisy frames, right?

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Sunday Whine and Tea

This is where I was hanging out, around this time last year:

Want to go back to Colorado!!!! But, no. I get this, instead . . .

6:21 PM Sunday, June 5, 2011:

92.9 °F
Feels Like 109 °F
Sunrise / Set
5:56 AM
8:07 PM
Waxing Crescent

We are breaking heat records in Mississippi. It got to 99 in our town, today, which was just a tie with the previous record set in 1985 (could be worse, in other words). Still, it's awfully hard to accomplish much of anything when it's so freaking hot. I feel deeply for my lifeguard son, sweating in this heat.

During my mid-day siestas, I've been rethinking my review of Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors, a book that has completely thrown me off my blogging game. You know the kind of book that you love so much you're afraid you can't possibly do it justice? That's Fire Season, aka "The reason I haven't written a book review, lately." I might attempt a self-interview to get myself over the reviewing hump in my blogging highway. Since I finished reading Fire Season, I've read Proust's Overcoat, The Art of Racing in the Rain and Regeneration (see my sidebar for authors). I'm on the verge of possibly finishing You Know When the Men Are Gone. And, still, Fire Season is rolling around in my head. Maybe I'll review out of sequence.

Meanwhile, I am dreaming of these days . . . which won't arrive for another 4 or 5 months. Ah, the days of open windows.

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Fiona Friday: Wrong-Way Treading

Fiona: "Hey, someone put the treadmill in reverse!"
Bookfool: Fiona's kidding, of course. The only time she's been on the treadmill while it was moving, she got a flying lesson.

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

While I'm busy writing the next review . . .

I figured you'd like to see some pretties. Here's what I'm reading:

Top to bottom:

Proust's Overcoat - Lorenza Foschini
Regeneration - Pat Barker
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
Dug Down Deep - Joshua Harris

And some recent arrivals:

Top to bottom (all but the last two were sent to me by a friend):

You Know When the Men Are Gone - Siobhan Fallon
The House of Tomorrow - Peter Bognanni
The Glory Cloak - Patricia O'Brian
The Princess of Nowhere - Prince Lorenzo Borghese
The Soldier's Wife - Margaret Leroy
Left Neglected - Lisa Genova
The Gendarme - Mark T. Mustian
Girl in Translation - Jean Kwok
Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger - Lee Smith (surprise from Algonquin Books)
Madame Tussaud - Michelle Moran

Not pictured: Something for Nothing by David Anthony (also from Algonquin)

The friend who sent me that pile of ARCs also sent Proust's Overcoat. Thanks, Paula! Oooh, do I have some fun reading ahead of me!!

©2011 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email for written permission to reproduce text or photos.