Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fine.

So I'm reading the Harry Potter books again, this time on my Kindle Fire.  And I'm forced to admit, 'cause I'm nothin' if not honest to a fault, that I'm LOVING reading them!

Apparently it doesn't matter if Harry is in print, on an e-book, on CD, in the movies...

I LOVE HARRY, even on an e-reader!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Doggie Television

DogTV. I kid you not. An entire cable channel devoted to images that are stimulating or soothing or interesting to your pooch. While the Sams used to look at the telly if they heard a dog bark, the Golden hasn't seemed interested at all. Can you imagine having to fight with the dogs over the remote now? Actually, Pupgirl chewed up one remote control. Maybe she was trying to tell me she didn't like my choice in programming.

The cats want to know when it's going to be their turn. So they can sneer at the humans who think they understand them and got it 100% wrong.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Little Sis' April Reads -- err, Read

This month I cast aside Dean Koontz' 77 Shadow Street (as did a colleague of mine!), due to its overzealous descriptions.  Halfway through the book and the same 5 minutes are still taking place (slight exaggeration). I've always loved Koontz, being a dedicated horror/suspense fan.  But alas, even I can get lost in the fast-approaching, all-enveloping ooze....
Following the Koontz debacle, I picked up Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.  I just finished it.  As Big Sis mentioned, it is categorized as "mommy porn," although the female lead is just finishing college--far from mommy-aged.  It is indeed full of sex, sex, and more sex, and very detailed sex at that.  It may find a place as a how-to guide for newlyweds, there were some minor parts men may find useful (and I don't mean the rough parts). Ana is totally swept up by the lead male, and yes, women can also be hormone-driven into a "relationship" of some kind.  I had heard it was steaming up bedrooms across the country, and I confess, I was a bit disappointed.  I didn't find it very erotic at all.  Perhaps, like the Koontz, too much detail is overkill?  I will probably read the second two books, but now I know what to expect. Will he let go of his demons?  I can understand sex for sex' sake, but not inflicting pain just for pain.  That's a no-no.  Yet, why did Ana hate the pain at the end an not the pain earlier in the book?  Is it like the doctor's office, where pain is measured by a variety of :-) faces and :-( faces?  Is it like drinking?  What's the difference between being a 2-martini drinker and a 6-martini drinker?  Is a glass of wine as much as bad as an all-night binge-fest?  The male lead sees a shrink, too, guess that doesn't say much for counseling.  Oh, and I'd like to know how Ms. James came to write this....!

Globemallow

Sphaeralcea ambigua, a.k.a desert globemallow. A brave lone wildflower in my backyard. (Which Blogger finds so beautiful it will not allow me to turn the italics off. Insert sigh here.)



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Big Sis' March Reads 2012

This was a short month, and I'm blaming my Kindle. 

I read 5 books this month, 4 of them on my Kindle Fire.  And I didn't like it, and I'm thinking that's why I didn't read more...  Middle Sis and I disagree a bit on the value of a Kindle reader - I ABSOLUTELY want people to read and if they're going to read on an electronic reader, so be it.  I'm okay with that.  I rank it up there with Goosebumps books:  there are no real socially redeeming characteristics about the Kindle (or Goosebumps books), EXCEPT perhaps non-readers might read using their reader, and that is, of course, most definitely more redeeming than not.  I will be a Kindle reader while traveling, especially because if I finish a book, I can easily just buy another, without having to carry a spare or two in my carry-on, but I predict you're going to see a huge reduction in "Kindle" titles in my monthly reading lists over the next month or so...

Here are my books.

Playing for Keeps Novella Plus, by Cherry Adair (Kindle edition) - A short story about Danica and Jon, separated at the beginning of the story, but drawn back together when Danica's plane crashes and Jon finds that nothing is more important than his wife and he travels thousands of miles and risks life and limb to save her and bring her home.

Lone Wolf, by Jodi Picoult - This wasn't my favorite Picoult book, and I'm a huge fan.  I found it a bit hard going at the beginning, but admittedly, I got pulled into the story as it progressed.  Luke Warren is in an accident with his daughter and is seriously injured, to the point where the family has to decide whether to keep him alive or not.  We go back in time to learn about his life, to see what kind of father and husband he was, and we find that his wolf studies seemed to consume him, to the point, perhaps, that they meant more to him than his family.  His daughter lived with him for many years, and never felt unloved or neglected, but rather, she was drawn to the wolves, too, helping Luke around the compound.  Cara's brother Edward comes home and finds himself on the opposite side of the "pull the plug" fence from Cara.   This drama, the eventual confrontation between brother and sister is the primary storyline, but we also read about stepfamilies, estrangement, obsession, and love, to say nothing of right vs. wrong.

Out of Control, by Shannon McKenna (Kindle edition) - The third in the series about 4 brothers, Davy McCloud meets Margo Vetter and it's all over.  Margo isn't really Margot but Davy doesn't find that out for a long time, and unfortunately I really didn't like Margot's character.  That made the book not very enjoyable, so while I read it all just because it was #4 and I'd read numbers 1 through 3, I really didn't enjoy it.  I don't know which came first in the series so perhaps this was just an earlier book, because I did like one or two of the other four...

Fifty Shades of Gray, by E.L. James (Kindle edition) - Two words:  mommy porn.  The Good Morning America story indicated it was spreading like wildfire and women everywhere were reading this book and it was a trilogy and they were just being SUCKED into the series...  So I thought I'd give it a shot.  It is most definitely erotica, mommy or not, and while I have no objections to strong, explicit sex scenes, it's REALLY hard for me to read this series because it starts as a dominant/submissive scenario and ends (I predict) with hubby learning he doesn't need these extreme sex games and that a real emotional relationship is better.  Yea, everyone grows emotionally, but really?  She's 22 and decides to be submissive, finds she can't be, and struggles with her "relationship" with this 27-year-old who admits to being "fifty shades of f'd up"???  I don't like Ana, the main female character even though I'm supposed to, even though she falls in "love" with this tortured man and decides to stay with him, even though he eventually realizes he can have a loving relationship, that he doesn't "need" the dominance...  Yucky is all I have to say - I'd rather read some Penthouse letters.  [I am almost done with the 3rd one and for future reviews, I plan on referring to "see March 2012.]

Edge of Midnight, by Shannon McKenna (Kindle edition) - Sean McCloud winds up rescuing Liv Endicott and this was probably my favorite 'cause she owned a bookstore.  Some creepy characters abound and this was an okay story.  Another in the series, boy knew girl, boy and girl are separated by circumstances for years, they run into each other again, and realize that they're meant to be despite what separated them...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Middle Sis' March Reads

I only read two books in March, but they were excellent! The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, by Alan Bradley. These were, respectively, books 1 and 2 in the Flavia de Luce mystery series. Someone told me Flavia was a hoot, and they were right. I don't know how Mr. Bradley did it, but he's written a book with a child protagonist that is not a childish book. The stories were interesting, the writing was superb, the relationships between Flavia and her two older sisters perfectly representative of the angst between all young sisters, and the adults sympathetic and realistic. The descriptions are so finely drawn, I felt I was in the library, or crossing the stream barefoot, or riding Gladys down the lane.I think I only read two books in March because I was reading these slowly so as to enjoy every word and scene.

These were probably the two best books I've read the past year. I kid you not. Even if you don't like mysteries, I think you'd enjoy these.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Little Sis' March Read

Hello! I read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. There was a lot of hooplah about this book, and I got the trade from my favorite rep---and being tired of the new Koontz (yes, I said tired of the new Koontz) I started it. It did suck me into the world of contemporary witches, vampires & demons, and when it started to get too detailed and went on about alchemy or literature, it would turn around & pull me back in. I will read the new one (this was #1 of a trilogy), it comes out this summer.

Just one other criticism--totally couldn't relate. The characters don't work, are uber-educated, are super athletes, get places to live at Oxford & all they have to do is give a speech every 6 months or so. Money seems to be no object, no source of income is mentioned. The vampire of course has old money, is ubereducated & holds many degrees & vocations, so he is independently wealthy & probably gets paid just for getting up in the morning. Diana would get up in the morning, go rowing, go running, eat, then go do research at the library all day. Rough life!!!!

I envisioned Kate Hudson or Jennifer Lawrence playing Diana the lead, but I'm stumped on the tale, pale handsome vampire lead....?