Sunday, July 24, 2016
at 9:16 PM
Saturday, July 23, 2016
I read these on our family camp trip earlier this week (before the 48 Hour Reading Challenge) and wanted to post about them on their own. Let's see what I can remember from that long ago.
Time thief by Katie MacAlister. I had completely forgotten but I have absolutely read this one before, although I do not have a note to that effect anywhere in the blog as best as I can tell. It didn't seem familiar but as soon as I cracked the cover the first night, rolled up in my sleeping bag, there was definite deja vu. I read a few pages, skipped ahead, didn't recognize the new part, skipped back, became more convinced, skipped farther ahead, and finally said out loud, "I'm pretty sure I've read this before." My husband helpfully responded, "yeah, you did; I recognized the cover."
at 5:32 PM
(When we did finally cross the bridge, we could see the top bit of a submarine sticking out of the water as it moved down the Canal, so that was cool.)
Belfair State Park, of the Washington State Park System. I chose this park for one reason exclusively: it was the closest campsite to where I was stashing my child. It was a very short drive to my in-laws, and conveniently three and half miles from a grocery story in case of food emergency. If you are looking for anything else, as we usually are, when choosing a campground (such as views, site spaciousness, site privacy, hiking opportunities inside the campground, other recreation outlets inside the campground, or proximity to hiking/recreation nearby outside the campground), Belfair SP would severely disappoint. The campsites are much smaller than other state parks we've camped in and there is nothing except a few ferns between each site, affording zero privacy. A few sites on the edge have a nice view and easy access to the water and beach, but most are back under the trees (where it is humid). The frequently-placed water spouts in my loop were all out of order. There is a token-operated shower, but the shower room has only one bench (dirty) with no hooks, and it had a bug problem. I cannot recommend this park. Fortunately, it met my limited criteria, which pretty much involved being a place where I could toss up a tent and build a fire.
at 3:54 PM
Friday, July 22, 2016
Sleep donation by Karen Russell. Technically a novella, I think. The short format works surprisingly well. There obviously isn't space to get into the nitty-gritty of the sci-fi-esque problem, so it feels completely natural to totally accept it and get on with the story.
at 7:32 PM
I had some audiobook time this afternoon while spending more time drying things out. We now have one thin ray of sunshine, and I managed to get the fire going a while ago despite the dampness. The afternoon was warm, at least, and I've been able to sit by the fire, although my plan to sit on the beach in the sun has yet to be implemented.
at 5:06 PM
Well, that was a startling turn events. The Pacific Northwest does not experience many thunderstorms, as a rule. It turns out the activity around dinner time last night was only a prelude. Thunderstorms rolled through at 11:30, shortly after 2, and then the granddaddy with accompanying buckets of rain at 4:15. We get a lot of rain out this way, but it usually takes all day to amount to any accumulation. There was a bothersome amount of water in the corners of the tent.
at 12:55 PM
Thursday, July 21, 2016
No new books finished, although I'm making steady progress on a romance novel. My steam kind of petered out for a little while around 9: I came out of the tent after the thundershowers passed and managed to get a fire going. I read by the fire but once it got too dark, I ended up sitting by the fire doing absolutely nothing for a little while. It was very pleasant.
at 10:14 PM
I had just sat down to dinner (one-pot Mac n cheese made over the one-burner propane stove, turned out quite well) when I heard rain drops patter on the canopy. So this
at 6:00 PM
Saga, volume 6, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. This is so much better than the previous volume-- not so much purposeful gore, and the story feels exciting and hopeful again. If you've made it this far in the series, it's worth continuing.
at 1:43 PM
I am half-way through a week's vacation at this moment. My husband had a few days off, so Sunday through Wednesday, the family camped along the Dosewalips River. (The state campground there is wonderful, by the way: very big, private campsites, and plenty of full-hook-up camper sites, if that's your thing.)
at 12:26 PM
Sunday, July 17, 2016
Just one damned thing after another by Jodi Taylor. There were a few flaws with this that made me sad. First, the perception of the passing of time was poorly shared: the character would mention a few things happened, but the writing makes it feel like we're talking a year at the most and, whoops, now she specifies it has been fully five years. It would have been better not to specify-- everything made sense within the 12-18 month perceived time frame and wouldn't have felt funny to the reader at all. Specifying draws attention to the way the years were glossed over. Secondly, there were quite a few times where there were exclamation points that stood out to me. They seemed juvenile, made the writing feel less polished. The sentences they were attached to would have stood fine on their own. Rookie mistake?
Aside from those two caveats, what a fantastic book! I read it cover-to-cover in one day-- not non-stop, there were a few breaks, but still. It will definitely appeal most to a certain subset of readers who would. given the chance, jump in to that world with both feet themselves. The personal-issues section about three-quarters through felt a bit rushed, and the blatant set-up for a(n unnecessary) follow-up installment was poorly handled, but again, early author mistakes. It looks like I missed the boat a bit on this one-- a long series of books and related stories is already out. I'll have to see how they are.
Finding Dory, with Ellen DeGeneres. My husband was actually the one really excited to see this. I had heard a ton of good things about this movie, but it was pretty meh. We saw it in regular old 2-D (because trying to coordinate 3-D glasses and regular glasses gives me a headache) and it was nice, but just nice. I wouldn't go see it again, and I don't need to have it on DVD, but it was fun.
I thought this would be a space-opera-type-sci-fi, where we're really in it for the setting and created world, but it turned out to be super about the characters. They all had enough depth to make them realistic and relatable, and the awesome universe was a bonus. I really loved how all the different alien races have very different family and social structures, but none of them (and not the author) get all preachy about the "right" way for society to behave.
at 11:48 AM
Thursday, June 30, 2016
The final pull is The Bollywood affair, Inherit the dead, Touch, Piece of mind, The daughters, and The long road to the deep north (which, for some reason, I didn't write anything down for. I think I picked it, becoming desperate for an historical novel by a male author. The international setting is also a plus.).
at 10:49 PM
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
I was recently preparing for a program that includes book talking six books to adults. I keep a list throughout the year as I order and then try to narrow down a short list of books that 1) will largely appeal to a wide range of readers, 2) represent several genres, 3) include a nice balance of male and female authors, 4) include a nice balance of male and female main characters, 5) are well-reviewed, and 6) have not yet circulated too many times. It is certainly a challenge, but if the books aren't perfect it doesn't matter too-too much, because the program involves wine. After the first or second book, I'm not sure how much people even notice. Below is the batch of contenders and my impressions from speed-reading a limited number of paragraphs.
The books are organized alphabetically, because surely some organization is needed, but that isn't necessarily the order they were reviewed in, so I apologize for any continuity breaks.
I have to break this post into parts because blogger is complaining about the number of applied tags.
at 10:38 PM
Monday, June 27, 2016
Wicked intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt. I read a really good review for this (on Smart Bitches) but the depth of the review makes it almost unnecessary to read the book. It was fairly enjoyable, although I found the speed with which everyone's problems were mended to be a bit too simple-- the equivalent of having a good cry and being cured of PTSD or something.
at 9:44 PM
Monday, June 13, 2016
Paying for it: A comic-strip memoir about being a john by Chester Brown. I was expecting something a bit... more from this, although upon reflection, why do people write memoirs? Because they have an experience few people have had, right? This certainly qualifies. Given the subject, though, I was anticipating there would be something more in the way of... something with an opinion, at least. The narrator expresses a few thoughts about the industry, and he includes a few thoughts by friends included in the story, but there isn't really anything here in the way of "this is right/wrong because" or "we need to [do action] because [reason]." Of course, if the author had included such thoughts (assuming he has such a position), he would certainly have alienated potential readers, but considering the size of the potential audience, and how the lack of position also leaves a (perhaps equal?) number of readers dissatisfied, it seems silly to leave it out.
Every anxious wave by Mo Daviau. I've checked this out several times. While the description sounds awesome, I had real trouble getting into it: a portal through time appears in your closet and you set up a business around it, no questions asked? Your geeky friend creates a computer program to control it, and we gloss over that in literally one sentence? That's a whole book right there! I couldn't get beyond that.
at 10:27 AM