Friday, April 11, 2008

Scrambling into Hell Week

Well, the drama performance is a week away, and even though I didn't take leadership this year, I'm still staying for practices because two kids are in it, and making props, tickets, costumes, programs, flyers, coloring contest's endless. So reading has definitely been an up and down thing.
52. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. This was okay, although I hated him killing off three main characters, and the flashback/present changes were a bit straining at first. I don't think I care enough about the character to follow him into the sequel.
53. When Demons Walk by Patricia Briggs. A bodice-ripper disguised as a mediocre swords and sorcery tale. Meh.
54. The Khi to Freedom by Ardath Mayhar. I had read this years ago, maybe as a junior higher, and liked it. Re-reading it as an adult, not so much. Too much existentialism, too much perfect high ideals and not enough story.
55. The Whispering Spheres by Russell Robert Winterbotham.
Cat and Mouse by Ralph Williams
The Quantum Jump by Robert Wicks
56. The Devil's Asteroid by Manly Wade Williams
The Ideal by Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
A Martian Odyssey by Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
57. The Worlds of If by Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
Valley of Dreams by Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
Pygmalion's Spectacles by Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
These old short chapter stories from old 1940's magazines really are amusing to see what they thought the future would be like. Very much strong, manly characters, and fragile females.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Quick and Dirty

All right, I don't feel like giving you all a synopsis of all the books I've been reading, since I've just taken 2 Benadryl for this incipient cold, and my mental faculties are draining away.... So, to the list:
40. The Silent Tower by Barbara Hambly
41. The Silicon Mage by Barbara Hambly
42. The Bride of the Rat God by Barbara Hambly
43. The Ladies of Mandrigyn by Barbara Hambly
44. Island in the Sea of Time by S. M. Stirling
45. The Sky People by S. M. Stirling
46. The Lost Fleet: Dauntless by Jack Campbell
47. Somebody Else's Kids by Torey Hayden
48. Beautiful Child by Torey Hayden
49. One Child by Torey Hayden
50. Five Past Midnight by James Thayer
51. The Servant Problem by Robert J. Young
Unspecialist bby Murray F. Yaco
The Infra-Medians by Sewell Peaslee Wright
The last one consists of novella or short chapter stories from old Amazing magazines and the like read from

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Okay, I'm having a little Briggs time....

I read three books by Patricia Briggs over the last weekend. I can always read when I'm sick and too tired to do anything else.
37 is Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs. This is the second in the Mercedes (Mercy) Thompson series. She is a walker, a person that can turn into a coyote due to her Blackfoot father, and has been raised in a pack of werewolves. I think she is a stronger, more likeable Anita Blake. And though it may be heresy to my German soul to say so, the downplayed angst is refreshing. More story, less fingernail-biting/soul-searching. In this one, Mercy and company hunt down a demon-ridden vamp.
38 is Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs. Mercy takes on the fae in this book and we learn more about Zee and Uncle Mike. I'm partial to Zee, of course, as he's German, but many old favorites are here : the Green Man, selkies, Morrigan. And Mercy makes a choice between men -- her only choice, in my opinion, that wouldn't have ruined the series.
39 is The Hob's Bargain by Patricia Briggs. A very nicely written "Beauty and the Beast" remake, with the only eyeblink being that the story switches from Aren's 1st person narration to the hob's 3rd person narration rather abruptly back and forth. The hob's tail is a character all its own.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I hate my sinuses

So I have this sinus/cold/flu thing that's a real pain, and I've spent the weekend lying around grouching and whining. And reading. There's something about fever and congestion that puts me into this zone, where I can devour books without even slowing down. But first, a meme.
What I Was Doing 10 Years Ago: Working as the educational director for our local children's museum. Thought it would be an ideal job. Not so much because of the hip-deep politics.
5 Things On My To-Do List Today: Blow my nose, groan, cough, sneeze....and do some laundry. Not a lot of laundry. Just some.
Snacks I Enjoy: Chocolate, ice cream, tapioca, cheese sticks, Cadbury eggs
Things I Would Do If I Were A Billionaire:Build a super-duper school for my Christian school, buy a farm out somewhere where I could have any darn animal I wanted (llama), make sure my kids have all the money to go to any college they want, travel the world
3 of My Bad Habits: procrastination, soft heart for any stray animals, rebelliousness
5 Places I Have Lived: I've only lived in four homes, in two cities, both in central Illinois.
5 Jobs I've Had: teacher, professional storyteller, babysitter, jewelry maker, busker

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Techno withdrawal

So...our computers at work have been on the fritz for nearly A MONTH!!!! and I'm going into serious comp time withdrawal. I mean, how can you get through the day without an occasional icanhascheezburger fix?? I've been soaking up a wonderful series, and now I'm ready to tackle a renaissance fair with my baby brother.
33. Dies The Fire by S.M. Stirling. A phenomenon like an EMP destroys all electrical/electronic technology in the world, and also changes the laws of physics so that guns/gunpowder won't go off. Everyone reverts to Middle Earth -- swords and bows and arrows. Wonderful characters, especially Junie McKenzie and Mike Havel.
34. The Protector's War by S. M. Stirling -- the continuing story....
35. A Meeting At Corvallis by S.M Stirling --the battle for Oregon comes to a head between the evil Arminger and the forces of good.
36. A Harvest of Bones by Jasmine Galenorn -- a great paranormal ghost story, righting wrongs and reuniting true love.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Shiva Time

Well, I've been neglecting my blog and my bird, but I'm getting around to both right now. Shiva is a peach-faced lovebird that is smaller than a common sparrow, but has the strength of ten because her heart is evil. Right now, between giving me kisses, she's stalking the Rottweiler. Talk about delusions of grandeur.
32. The Grenadillo Box by Janet Gleeson. This was a Group Book Read over on goodreads, and I ordered it from a dealer on Amazon on Jan. 16. Plenty of time to read it the first of February, I thought. But it took until Feb. 13 to get here, so I am behind. This is a mystery set in the 1700's, wrapped around the historical person of Thomas Chippendale, the famous furniture maker from London. It is written in fairly uneven first person, Hopson veering from brilliant deductions to cowardly churlishness.
33. The Honor of the Queen by David Weber. Honor's continuing adventures, covering herself with glory and fame, and losing herself an eye and half a face.
34. The Short Victorious Style by David Weber. Honor continues, finding revenge against her old enemy and true love, but the story is swamped under multi-tons of details: laser impellers grasers...everything but dilithium crystals. Meh.
35. Dog Days by John Levitt. This first novel has some interesting characters, but I've seen them before. The protagonist, a Harry Dresden look-alike, is a talented "practitioner" of magic, but a lone wolf, messy and slovenly, but comes in when it counts, albeit gathering his fair share of blood and damage. It ends in a predictable "oh my what will I do with my life now" set up for the sequel.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I've got to catch up

My mom has been in the hospital this week, and I spent one night with her as she is 95, blind, and mostly deaf. The staff was afraid she would get up and become disoriented, and end up breaking her hip. So I taught Wednesday, spent the night at DMH, then left to teach all day Thursday. I was a zombie, really. But she's home now, and doing well. Then DH and I went away for a romantic overnight at a local bed and breakfast, and a wonderful shopping trip. So...lots of reading, but no blogging. Here we go!
31. Windhaven by George R. R. Martin and Lisa Tuttle. This was a huge disappointment, as I am a huge fan of Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series. I've never heard of Lisa Tuttle, so maybe the blame can be laid at her door. This is the story of Maris' struggle to overcome tradition and allow skill to determine who can become flyers. Sounds wonderful, but the whole book is depressing. Every victory is tainted with death and loss, and at the end of the book you just feel like the whole thing wasn't worth the effort. Meh.
32. Sten by Chris Bunch and Allan Cole. Wonderful start to an old SF adventure series, full of memorable characters and true love that survives all odds. Definitely worth the read.
33. On Basilisk Station by David Weber. Strong female character with cute cat character who is a charismatic hero, a captain of her own ship who never gives up, who never surrenders. Great book, although heavy on the theoretical physics (I just skim over that), and peculiarly repetitive on the fact that Honor is not pretty. I suppose because a beautiful woman wouldn't be taken as seriously?