Saturday, November 12, 2016

quick impressions

Once again gearing up for a book-review program and trying to find a few things to fit.  These programs are a fair bit of work but get great attendance and everyone loves them.  I'm happy to share my templates with staff from other systems!

The descriptors I'm trying to match:
1. savory; language, mouth-feel; complex; sweet.  The book you stop and read sentences aloud just to hear them.
2. bright; a little nutty; clear-- shine; full body
3. composed; balanced; big, layered; welcoming
4. dark, darker; full body; bittersweet
5. smooth; brilliant; stands out; gently spiced; crisp
6. Not yet defined.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders.  Heavy on the narration, which seems to be a common element among books that, after the program, circulate and continue to circulate well, but this requires a big leap on the part of the reader, to just jump straight into magical realism without an introduction to the world.

Relativity by Antonia Hayes.  Strong first page, but the second chapter has quite a bit of dialogue from the child character, which doesn't seem very realistic.  Even suspending disbelief because the synopsis makes clear he's an incredible child, it doesn't sound right, doesn't strike true.  Skipping ahead, much of the narration seems jerky.

The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle.  Grabbing, engrossing; after skimming 10 pages, I'm in.  I'll read more over the weekend.

Dear Fang, with Love by Rufi Thorpe.  Definitely enthralling for some, but not likely to appeal to 45 out of 50 people.  It has a little bite, a little purposefully-chosen crassness to swing away from what otherwise is engrossing language.  Why be jarring on purpose?

Thursday, November 03, 2016

The triumph of seeds and others

The triumph of seeds: How grains, nuts, kernels, pulses, and pips conquered the plant kingdom and shaped human history by Thor Hanson.  I must've started this 18 months ago, shortly after I got back from PNBA.  I wanted to like it: the author was personable and a good speaker. I did like it, or at least, I have the impression that it is a good book and I should like it. But I am unable to finish it.  I can't really specify what is missing.  I passed it on to a coworker who enjoys plant-centric nonfiction. It is a great match for a smaller group of readers. 


The good liar by Nicholas Searle.  I was ready for this to be a bit more, genre-mixing-wise, than it turned out to be.  I was probably seeing what I wanted to see in a few early sentence choices, so I was a little disappointed when they didn't turn out to be any time travel or paranormal business. 

This was overall a mostly enjoyable story. The storytelling format kept me interested and did a good job of releasing just enough information at a time.  I was a little disappointed with the end, the last chapter or two, but definitely a book I can recommend to most readers.

The gene: An intimate history by Siddhartha Mukherjee.  I unfortunately didn't get very far in this, but I can say the first two chapters are great. I am interested in picking it up again when I have time for a 400-page tome that requires a bit more mental involvement than most of my choices. 

The invoice by Jonas Karlsson.  I vaguely remember a review or two, and I had a semi-formed, and, as it turns out, incorrect impression about what this book was about. Although different from what I was expecting, this is a wonderful book.  It is different than what I usually read in the way it focuses on the character; it is somehow different from the other character-driven novels I claim are my preference. I'd like to try more of this type.

The last policeman by Ben H. Winters.  Crikey.  Another 5-star book.  I was sort of aware of this book, and would have recognized the title and author if prompted. I think I may have written it down a few times, although I don't think I ever checked it out. I was in the stacks the other day and a patron suggested it to me after asking if I knew (off the top of my head, of course) what the most recent book in the series is titled. She went on for a bit about how much she enjoyed it, enough to tip me over the edge and check it out.

I started this Sunday afternoon and the only reason I didn't finish it late, late Sunday night or early Monday morning  was my need to be able to think and form sentences at work today. It's done and I have the second in hand. I need to sleep but I'll get a few chapters in, more likely. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Guh, I've been working on this post forever!

The blessing way by Tony Hillerman.  I couldn't get into this, largely because of the language.  I read for a while, wavering between "it's artistic\experimental" and "this author never talks to real people."  In the end, it doesn't matter, does it?  Not-natural language is not-natural language.


Ordinary grace by William Kent Krueger.  This was suggested to me by a coworker, and I can see both why he liked it and why he suggested it to me.  Unfortunately, I was confused about a few identity details in the first couple pages and couldn't get it all sorted out in my mind in time to become invested.  Worth another try somewhere down the line, but I put it down this time.

Hell's gate by Bill Schutt and J.R. Finch.  I remember that I saw stars and great reviews associated with this.  I read fully half of it, and the book has no idea what it is trying to be.  I cannot, off the top of my head, think of a book that tries to mix 3 or more genre elements and is successful in doing so.  This is part historical fictioin, part alternative history, part mystery, part paranormal, part conspiracy story.  There are good elements-- the feel is very WWII-era fiction, the main character is a man's man appropriate for the era-- but it's not a smooth read.

The chronicles of Narnia: The voyage of the Dawn Treader with Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes.  I am pretty sure I saw this before, but in a my-husband-watched-it-and-I-napped-in-the-same-room sort of way, because it was familiar, but I know I haven't read the book (started it but only got a few chapters in and set it down).

The actor who plays Eustace does a fantastic job!  That role, done poorly, could really have broken the movie.  I cannot comment obviously on the adaptation, but as a movie it's a good one-- I enjoyed the effects without feeling they were overdone, the characters were believable, the action was good.

Nurse Jackie, seasons 1 and 2, with Edie Falco.  Netflix suggested this for me, and there are definitely similarities to some other things I've watched, but I'm not going to continue past season 2.  It is a good suggestion for people who like Orange is the new black-- graphic, dark, unapologetic-- and also House-- a self-destructive medical professional who is great at the job but a crappy human.

I'm not going to continue because the main character is so purposefully self-destructive.  I've watched a couple other things in which the main character is a destructive, unlikable, unredemable person, but the secondary characters are so interesting and well-drawn they make it worth continuing.  That is not the case here.

The librarians, season 2, with Rebecca Romijn.  Hmm, it ha been a while since I binged this one weekend.  I continue to be a little in love with Christian Kane's character-- I know I said it before, but such a good fit for him!  The advent of season 3 this fall makes me almost wish I had TV.

Something new: Tales from a makeshift bride by Lucy Knisley.  I wish this had existed-- and I had read it-- before our wedding.  We didn't know anyone who had gotten married, hadn't attended any weddings since the one I was a flower-girl in when I was 5.  Despite our best intentions, our celebration ended up being a little more commercialized, a little more cookie-cutter than I wanted, but I didn't really know how to avoid it.  It was years and years before I knew anyone who incorporated anything hand-made into their reception.

Track of the cat and A superior death by Nevada Barr.  This continues to be a popular series I'm regularly replacing, so I thought I would give it a try.  After two installments, I'm nearly disgusted with... I'm not sure.  Myself because it is so full of errors and problems but I still want to read the next one?  The publisher for continuing such a long series when each volume needs a great deal more editing?  Readers in general with low standards?

The main character is great, and she carries these books.  She, along with the well-incorporated natrual setting, is the only reason to continue reading.  In the first book, problem include:
-character makes major oversight in trying to solve the murder.  You call yourself law enforcement?
-secondary characters lack depth and are little more than sterotypes.
-messy resolution and no follow-up.
Problems from the second book:
-bipolar secondary characters: you tied him up and left him to work his way out when he threatened to kill you; you run into each other the next day and he helps you fix your boat?
-other secondary characters were indistinct from each other and too numerous.
-the what-happened-after-she-cornered-the-bad-guy was better,  but this time wrapped up perhaps a little too neatly, like the author checked off boxes for each character to close up the last chapter.

Adulthood is a myth: A "Sarah's scribbles" collection by Sarah Andersen.  This is not a volume necessary to the library collection-- it is most likely to catch the eye of people familiar with the artist from seeing her online, but people who have seen a few of her things online are likely to have already seen everything contained in this volume.  I didn't see anything new.

The dragon round by Stephen S. Power.  I didn't get very far in this-- I had read a really good review, but I wasn't super confident after reading the first couple pages, then time ran out and I had to return it for someone else's hold.  

Sunday, September 04, 2016

killing time this morning

We are on the Little Peninsula* to attend an event this afternoon but I am sitting at me in-laws' house waiting for everyone to get back-- my husband woke me up at 8:32 and said "Can you be ready for church at 9?"  No, I can't be presentable in 25 minutes when 4 or more people are competing for one bathroom.  On the plus side, I've gotten to enjoy several cups of coffee in quietness.  First, though, I picked up my book.  I was excited to crack the next one in Jodi Taylor's series.  I had looked at it a bit dubiously when I checked it out yesterday: having read the title list a few times, I thought the title I had in hand came farther down the list.  But, 1) I ordered the titles in order on successive ordering carts, so trusted that they would arrive in order, and 2) the back of the book shows the cover images of the first three books, which encouraged my belief that this was #4 in hand.  After reading a few pages, I was surprised that some obviously big life events had apparently happened between books.  After a few other catching-the-reader-up-to-speed info-bombs, I determined this was not, in fact, book 4.  In actuality, it is book 7.
*not its real name.

Brave with Kelly Macdonald.  I've watched this once (maaaaybe twice) before, but I don't think I wrote it down.  This is a fun movie and I like the music.  It keeps the silliness to a minimum, but unlike Inside Out, it is definitely a kids' movie (although, in the way of most Disney/Pixar, still fun for grown-ups).  Not one I feel driven to own, but I'll probably watch it again sometime.


Orange is the new black, season 4, with Taylor Schilling.  I apprecciate how little we actually had to see Piper in most of these episodes (although the whineyness is starting to dissipate).  I like the depth we get with Joe.  This series certainly isn't for everyone, but fans will not be disapointed in this season.  (I'm probably late to the party-- I'm sure most big fans binge-watched it in a week, so this is old news.)

Up with Ed Asner.  This was a super deep, complicated, awesome story... until the bird part.  Then it got crazy and stupid-silly.  There were still a few touching moments, but my husband and I both independently described it as parts of two different movies, written by different people and scotch-taped together.  The kid parts are kid parts, and the grown-up parts are grown-up; they are not woven together smoothly.

Men in black 3 with Will Smith.  This is the best of the three-- less silliness-for-the-sake-of-silliness, fewer outrageous special effects inserted only to say "look at our budget!"  The story was simpler and there was more reason to care about the characters.  I was extremely impressed with the actor for Young K.  He is amazing.  How long did he have to practice to get the voice down?  He did a wonderful job.

Life Story with David Attenborough.  Another David Attenborough documentary?  Yes, please.  Some fun new facts and cool shots, and I didn't notice any shots borrowed from previous Attenborough series, as I have in a few previous documentaries.  I also really liked the short "behind the scenes" mini-documentaries appended.  It was really cool to see the conditions and work that went in to the episodes, and having them separated kept the animal episodes clean.

Martin Clunes: Man to manta with (predictably) Martin Clunes.  Netflix suggested this documentary.  Based on the variety of characters he plays (really well), I expected the actor to be a pretty cool person.  This gives the very strong impression of someone who is a bit too self-centered and not super deep.

He spends a significant amount of time talking about himself, his history, his feelings; is he that much of a celebrity in Great Britain that those are topics of interest?  I will be skipping all his other documentaries Netflix suggested.

First bite: How we learn to eat by Bee Wilson.  Super recommend!  This is a very good read, although it has a significantly different feel and style than her first book.  Readers invested in essentially a repeat preformance (the same writing on a similar topic) won't find it, but it is still a wonderful book with oodles of great information.  A good suggestion for Mary Roach fans.

Thor: The Goddess of Thunder by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and Jorge Molina.  I read a glowing review which left me with the impression that I could jump in here even without having a deep background inside the universe.  Nope.  I read somewhere between a quarter and half, and I have no good idea of what's going on.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

August afternoons

Giant days, vol. I, by John Allison, Lissa Treiman, Whitney Cogar, and assorted others who are not listed on the front cover, only the title page.  What... is this?  Why is this "critically acclaimed?"  The art is nice enough, and the characters are distinct and likeable, but it doesn't really do anything.  It is mostly a random assortment of non-connected events in the lives of a small group of college friends.  The book refers so heavily to events that took place before the start of this GN that I kept eyeing the "volume one" notation dubiously.  The events the girls experience are run-of-the-mill sorts of things, and the ones that have the potential to be life-changing or character-building aren't examined in enough detail or given quite that much weight.  Why bother with the story?  It adds nothing to my life as a reader.

Lost on a mountain in Maine by Donn Fendler; read by Amon Purinton.  The cover image specifies "by Donn Fendler, as told to Joseph B. Egan," and I'm not sure what that means.  The Wikipedia article makes it sound like a co-author, like for a celebrity or something.

I downloaded a couple of  audiobooks for a long drive, just the boy and I, were taking today and this was the first one I played on the way out of town.  I had picked it out of what showed up among OverDrive's currently-available Juvenile audiobooks because the boy has been somewhat fixated on survival stories this summer, since he got into Gordon Korman's "Island" survival series-- he picked the first one as his SRP prize, and gobbled up the others.  The "Everest" books were also well-liked.  (I have been trying to get him into survival books in general, as they were a particular favorite of mine when I was young, for the last year or more, and Gordon Korman in particular over the last six months.  This cannot be pointed out, because the idea that Mom, a librarian and avid reader, could be right on this matter is blasphemous.)

I enjoyed this on the drive, and my son *loves* it.  He wanted to leave the beach earlier than anticipated in order to get back into the car to listen to it, and we are all now listening to it, sitting in the living room.  A second read-- it's true love.

The writing is approachable for kids, but has a nice older style-- simple enough sentence structure, frequent use of things like "fellow" and "queer" and "fool," and regional terms, too-- sounding like an old neighbor or uncle's storytelling style.  I was pretty impressed with the young reader; he's a natural.  The overlay of sound effects underneath the narration is a very nice touch, especially, I think, for the intended age group (grades 4-8); it is used not too frequently so it's a nice addition instead of being a constant.

The boy's opinion is that it is "great."  His favorite part was the leeches, or, for a direct quote, "when the bloodsuckers suck him."  The news that there is a graphic novel adaptation created quite a stir.

I would have like to know some more information to round out the story, like how far he went while he was lost, or more specifically when and where everything happened instead of "generic northeastern woods," but, with only general prompting, the boy states nothing was lacking from story.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

an assortment of H labels

Inside out with Amy Poehler.  I had heard this was excellent, but I hear a lot of good things about a lot of movies and books and, on those occassions I read/watch, I usually wonder what the reviewer was on.  But this movie demanded to be watched recently: someone used a scene as an example in conversation and included a recommendation.  Later that same day, I was shelving and this appeared in my hand, so I checked it out and took it home.  Within 48 hours, before I could watch it (because of busy outdoor summer plans), my brother-in-law, who goes through movies the way I go through books, said he watched it for the first time recently and said it was excellent.  And this is a guy who usually likes silent '50s Italian films.  So I finally watched it.


It is excellent.  I laughed.  I cried.  I recommend it.

I do wonder what it signifies that Sadness is in charge of the mom's console, and that all the emotions inside the dad have Anger's body shape.

All the things we never knew by Sheila Hamilton.  I read this in preparation for an author visit which was unfortunately cancelled due to family illness.  I saw this author at the PNBA last year and I'm excited to host her whenever she can make it out to the Peninsula.

The book is approachable and understandable.  Relatable.  The author writes about her family experience, and between each chapter is a short section-- a page or two, three at the very most-- that is more researchy: it has statistics or support group resources or some other information.  The format works very well, because it allows her to tell her story without trying to weave in facts which she wants to include but didn't know at the time.

This book can be highly recommended to just about everyone.

Rosalie Lightning: A graphic memoir by Tom Hart.  This is why lists are dangerous.  "20 best graphic novels you need to read."  OK!  I'll place my hold!  Maybe more like "20 highly reviewed graphic novels which get your right in the feels."  This kind of thing is also where my typical pull-stuff-off-the-shelves based on its cover or the author name or other completely random reason *without knowing a blasted thing about it* turns out to be a bad policy.

This is dramatic and moving and sad.  There were a few problems with the flow of the story-- it alternates between a before-time and the after-time, but it isn't always clearly labelled, which can be confusing.  It is hard to recommend, since that means suggesting one thinks the prospective reader might enjoy spending an hour choked up and clutching a tissue, but it is a very good book.

Hot dog taste test by Lisa Hanawalt.  What is this?  What am I looking at?  What fully-functional adult is so obsessed with toilet activities?

I have no idea what this is.  People with bird heads and half-dressed people as food.  If the author is trying to make some statement, I am not receiving.  The drawings aren't pleasant or funny or insightful.  Pass.

Stiff upper lip, Jeeves, with Michael Hordern and Richard Briers, from BBC Radio 4.  These radio dramatizations are generally fun to listen to, but this one in particular substituted quite a bit of the narration with sound effect and such, so I felt like I missed out a bit.  There were also a few problems where characters talked over each other, or over other sound effects, and it was not possible to hear what everyone was saying.  Still, quick and good for when I have to drive across the Peninsula alone.

When a child is born by Jodi Taylor.  This is labelled "a seasonal short story;" short is right.  I should probably say it's my fault for not checking the item's metadata before purchasing; I'm used to between-the-numbers installments being in the novella, 50-75 page range.  This is 19, four of which are cover page, also-by, etc., leaving 15 pages of story.  15.  Without exaggeration, it took me longer to input my new bank card into my Nook than it took me to read this.  I have heap big buyer's remorse.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

final thoughts

I had a couple pictures from my reading challenge that I didn't stick in anywhere yet.  Here ya go!

I had been reading by firelight the first night, but it got too dark to keep on.  
Lunch, day 2: the benches and chairs were still too wet, so I reprised the eating-breakfast-in-the-car plan for lunch.  It was a good plan.
Free bonus camping tip: peeps.  For the first time ever this year, I managed to keep a box of Easter peeps completely safe from predation and took it camping. They have a nice little extra specialness over regular marshmallows: the outer sugar got nice and crunchy.  They're even nice if they get accidentally set on fire.  We brought chickies; I would prefer one of the flat shapes (bunnies, trees, or stars).  Chicks are available online year-round-- I just bought some more for later summer camping-- but I can't seem to get other shapes from www.marshmallowpeeps.com

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Camp-tastic

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."


As I remember, the main female character is annoyingly chipper, the main male character is annoyingly secretive and dark, and the story wasn't great-- it didn't feel like these two were fated or destined, or even a particularly good fit.  

Having refreshed my memory about this, I'm happy to delete the sequel from my TBR list.

Flight of the sparrow by Amy Belding Brown.  I came across this while making a read-alike list for a patron and it caught my eye.  I actually would have most likely put it down within the first few pages-- there were a few things that annoyed me just enough-- but I was waiting for a doctor's appointment and had nothing else with me.  By the time I was out, I was kind of hooked on the character.

Annoyances:  present tense (gah).  The inclusion of details/ history was not seamless and had some repetitiveness.  The story could have gone deeper, and I'm not sure how completely historically accurate the main character's ideas and reactions are (or if she was made more modern so the reader would be able to identify with her more).  Most of the supporting characters were pretty thin, including the main character's husband.  Depth from his character would have added quite a bit to the story.

The family camping trip, by the way, was at the Dosewalips State Park outside Brinnon.  I highly recommend this park.

Re(ad)treat: Final

The backup waiting for the bridge closure allowed me to finish my audiobook and seemed a good time to officially tie up the project.  Official time: 10:54 am Thursday to 1:16 pm Saturday, or about 50 hours and 20 minutes.  Total count: 8 books.

(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.)

Jeeves and the tie that binds by P.G. Wodehouse, read by Frederick Davidson.  These are pleasant for drives and such: nice, and I had something to listen to while trying to wrestle the tent back into its case.  This narrator was alright; not my favorite, but ok.  I was unfamiliar with the story for this one, so hurrah there as well.

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. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Re(ad)treat: Hour, um, 39

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.


The main character's voice is authentic, relatable, empathetic.  The writing has areas that are nearly poetic and are beautiful and add to the narration.

After finishing Sleep donation and letting the fire go out, I circumambulated the campground for a bit of movement.  My spot is back under the trees, on the far side of a loop, but if one is lucky-- or plans far enough ahead-- many spots are right on the water.

A symphony of echoes by Jodi Taylor.  There is a small problem with this book, as there was in the first installment: namely, if the timeline will protect itself by killing the good guys if they so much as step on a snail by accident, why does it let the bad guys do whatever they want? Ignoring that flaw, this is a better bit of storytelling than book one: less (poorly-handled) messy personal stuff, sticking tighter to the book-specific adventures and the series-long narrative arc conspiracy story.

The head lamp still is working beautifully. I heartily recommend one, even for regular home in-bed reading.

Forgive any sentences that make no sense: it's 3 minutes to 2 and my 5 cups of coffee have worn off.  See you in the morning!

Re(ad)treat: Hour 30.

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.

Paper girls: 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang.  This is kind of weird.  It's not at all clear what is actually going on-- there are several possibilities based on the little information given-- although the young teen girl characters are very likable.  It would perhaps be best to wait until several volumes are available and read them together.

Re(ad)treat: Hour 26.

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.


After last night's noisy interludes, I slept in until shortly after nine.  I then continued to hide in my sleeping bag reading until a caffeine headache started to threaten.  It took a while to set the campsite to rights, and I had my breakfast sitting in the car, it being the driest place.  

I just checked the forecast again, hoping for enough sun to dry things out a little.  I don't know why I bothered: I checked at 11:30-ish pm-- while it was actively raining!-- and no rain was predicted for the whole night.  Talk about an epic fail.

I did finish a book while eating cereal in my back seat:

Someone to love by Mary Balogh.  Netgalley grab.  I had to look this up several times last night because I could have sworn I read this before.  Everything I've seen though does make it look like a new 2016 title and not a rerelease.  Maybe it's a recycled storyline or something like that.  There are only so many possible romance novel scenarios, after all.

This was fair.  My main complaint is that there are far too many unnecessary characters; fewer could have done the job more clearly and with more personality.  The book also starts by introducing a number of these side characters in turn, so it isn't clear for a while who the main characters will turn out to be.

It's clear that this is the first in a new series, with future books focusing on these various family members, but that doesn't really excuse it.

The ending is also a bit of a let-down: the hero is suddenly super-self-enlightened, whereas before he wasn't really in touch with how his feelings were developing.  It is a bit jarring and feels rushed, sloppy.

Romance readers looking for erotic content will also be disappointed.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Re(ad)treat: the 11th hour

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. 


One of the nice things about these state parks is that you can have a hot shower: three minutes for $.50. It's nice to get the bug spray off before going to bed.

Back in the tent once again and ready to read into the night.  The head-mounted flashlight my husband bought for last summer's light spelunking trip is finding new uses.

Re(ad)treat: Hour 7

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

quickly became this
It's raining a bit more earnestly now, drumming on the tent. A breeze would be very nice at this point.

Archetype by M.D. Waters.  I started this yesterday but was only 50 pages in.  Done now!  

This takes place in a futuristic/alternate-present dystopian world that is unfortunately not fully explored.  For the first two thirds of the book, it's very unclear what is going on and how the characters are connected. This is probably supposed to be because the main character herself is unclear on these points, so the reader can make the journey with her.  However, giving the reader more information would have allowed more focus on the character's development. The story would've been less a mystery and more about her self-discovery.  The ending was a bit rushed, but ok.  Three and a half stars.

Fry's English delight, series 4, with Stephen Fry.  This was my audiobook for today's drive and camp set up. I have definitely listen to at least part of this before, although I don't think I finished.  Short and interesting, always good for a solo drive.

Re(ad)treat: Hour 3

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.


It was a bit muggy in here under the trees, but now that it is officially afternoon, there's a nice breeze off the water.