Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Sex Lives of Cannibals

I feel really good about recommending The Sex Lives of Cannibals to anyone and everyone! This one had been languishing unread in Mt. TBR far too long, and with school starting, I felt like I needed something uplifting in my life. This fit the bill perfectly! Maarten Troost tells his story of moving to a remote atoll on Kiribati, an area of the world I knew next to nothing about. While it's truly hilarious, at times it's a bit poignant as we meet people who know life is hard and the odds are against them. Still, Maarten and his girlfriend Sylvia persevere, and when they do decide to leave, it's with misgivings and a sense of loss. This one's going on my keeper shelf...I think it's safe to say it's a book that will appeal to readers of almost all genres.
The link to my amazon review can be found at

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Blood and Chocolate

I wish I had good things to say about Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. It's not a bad book by any means, but I just never connected with any of the characters like I wanted to. Vivian, the main character, is sympathetic but I just kept wanting to like her more than I did. The mother was so self-absorbed and the entire pack of werewolves was dysfunctional. Aidan, Vivian's human boyfriend, was very interesting for a while, but then even he degenerated into someone I couldn't understand or like. This book has such an interesting premise but it just didn't deliver for me. Parts of it were good, I'll give it that much, and I'll probably try another Klause book in the future. However, take away the werewolf fantasy, and you've got just another teen angst novel.
Here's my review at amazon:

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Come Juneteenth

Come Juneteenth is a well-written historical novel for young adults written by one of my favorite authors, Ann Rinaldi. The story of a Texas family on a ranch in the last days of the Civil War, Rinaldi gives us a plausible plot of a mixed race slave girl who is basically raised as a member of the family alongside the youngest daughter of the house. The family makes the decision to keep the Emancipation Proclamation a secret from their slaves until their hand is forced, and it's this secret which devastates the family as Sis Goose, the young slave girl, feels betrayed by those who claim to have loved her most. Rinaldi peoples her story with Yankees, both good and bad, sent in to take over the area, as well as slaves who refuse to leave and those who are anxious to taste freedom for the first time. Added in is a romance between Sis Goose and one of the brothers of the house, and a recipe for disaster is brewed.
While I enjoyed this novel and felt it was quite well-written with interesting characters, there was a lot of coincidence and unreasonable attitudes. I was also annoyed beyond reason by the name Sis Goose; surely to goodness Rinaldi could have found a more likely nickname for an "almost daughter" of the house. Why not just shout "Hey, this girl's really a slave!"? The twist at the end is well done and I could appreciate the author's gift for character development. You can read my amazon review at
Now I've picked up Blood and Chocolate from our school's library based on its werewolf premise. I wasn't sure in the beginning whether or not I was going to enjoy it in the first few pages, but it seems to be picking up nicely and I should finish it within a couple of days.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Ugliest Cover

I came across this cover for the wonderful book Twilight by Stephenie Meyer while on goodbooks a little while ago. It's truly horrific! I swear when I first glanced at it (it was even smaller originally), I sorta thought the lockers were actually an extension of Bella's stomach. Try it. Just glance at the cover out of the corner of your eye. I bet you'll see it, too.

Not sure where/when this cover was issued, but let's hope it never sees the light of day in a bookstore again. It truly disservices the book. Not only does Bella look like one of those little claymation figures from the 60s, it makes the whole saga seem unreal because she looks unreal. I much, much prefer the cover of the copy I have.

This version seems to lend an air of mystery to the book, and the bright red just jumps off the black and white background, much as blood would do. When I look at these two polar opposite covers, I cannot imagine that they are even about the same book. I wonder if others see this the same way I do.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I finished Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer earlier this week. It's the third book in the series that began with Twilight, and it was excellent. OF COURSE Bella is a drama queen; of course Edward is one hot vampire; and of course things don't go smoothly. I have to say that Jacob, Bella's werewolf friend, really irritated me (the exact opposite of what Andi, my online buddy, thought: check out her opinion here: Teens being teens, I thought Meyer captured the angst and drama fairly accurately, and I liked the interplay between natural enemies Jake and Edward, and the tense understanding they had to reach. My biggest gripe? Good Lord, if Meyer used the word "chuckled" one more time, I might've wall-banged the book! Where on earth is her editor? Grab a thesaurus, woman! It got to where I was not only expecting to see "chuckled" on every other page, I was actively looking for it (and sadly, succeeding). It really pulled me out of the story. Why doesn't anyone else ever comment on this? Anyway, you can check out my amazon review at

I'm just not reading much right now; life sucks and I'm ready for it to be over.


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Hotter Than Hell

It is seriously hotter than hell here in Tennessee right now. I know we're not alone in this heat wave, but it's just awful. Stifling. Overwhelming. Drenching. You name it, and if it's bad, it'll apply to the heat. With actual air temps hovering at 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, and the humidity unbelievable, it truly feels like a sauna whenever you step outside. When I walk out to the mailbox, a short 25 feet, I feel like running just to make it back to my AC quicker. Unfortunately, I can't run because I'd need a machete to slice through the deadly air around me, so I trudge slowly, losing my will to live as I move.

One of my good friends is very pregnant right now; she's due September 7. She's miserable. Beyond miserable. Today at inservice we had to choose a picture postcard that showed how we feel right now. V. stood up and told how hers applied. It was a picture of a man with his hands held over his head in supplication, a pained expression on his face. V. said the poor man was saying it was hotter than hell. She understood his pain.

I'd much, much rather it be cold than this hot. I can always add another blanket or a sweater. In this heat, if I lose more clothing, people are going to run screaming down the streets. I get in my car and it takes ten minutes for the AC to feel as though it's actually doing something. Our upstairs AC is plugging along as best it can, but the rising heat makes its job impossible. It's doing all it can just to keep up.

It's 80 degrees at 7 a.m. That's ridiculous.

The only good thing about this heat is the fact that it gives you a topic of conversation. We're all in this together. We all understand. It's a shared bond of torture.

Bring on autumn and winter! I swear if I complain about the cold then, somebody can find me and shoot me under all my blankets and sweaters. Until then, I'll just sit here in my AC and dream of cooler days to come.


Monday, August 06, 2007

Mediator: The Ninth Key

I finished the second book in Meg Cabot's Mediator series last night. The Ninth Key is a fairly good sequel, and actually I probably liked it better than the first book. This series is definitely not meant to be heavy; teenaged Suze is a mediator who helps ghosts find their way to the other side. This one takes the ghostly story a little further into outside factors and Suze finds herself mixed up in an intrigue quite by accident. I like reading these books for a quick, light fix. You can find my more in depth review of this book at .
I'm sooooooo beyond excited that I found a copy of Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer at Target tonight! It's not officially supposed to be on sale until tomorrow, and while I'd preordered it at Borders, I was beyond thrilled because I'd been looking for a short book to fill in this evening's reading time until I got my hot little hands on Eclipse. I'm so ready to find out what happens to Bella and Edward!

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Stardust is a little gem of a novel, an imaginative story of a boy searching for a fallen star in order to impress the girl he "loves". Set mostly in the land of Faerie, it's peopled with lots of strange creatures, some helpful and some malevolent; Tristran (our hero) must learn to navigate his way among them, discovering that perhaps his own heritage is going to lead him in a way he'd never expected.
It took me a while to get into this story for some reason. I wanted to love it from the get-go, but it just didn't capture me at first like I'd hoped. However, perhaps 100 pages in, I found the story picking up and the adventures becoming more interesting. I still think the story itself could have been fleshed out more, and I do think some of the things involved were thrown in to pad the story along. But overall, it's pretty delightful, and Gaiman's twists are superb. I reviewed it more fully at amazon at

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Wicked Lovely Review

Wicked Lovely is just that; it's a wicked little tale of faeries and fey folk, and a lovely young girl named Aislinn who can see them. Taught by her grandmother from her youngest years how to avoid them, Aislinn finds life increasingly difficult as she realizes that she's being singled out by the faeries for some reason, and she can't ask why. Add to this her friend Seth, who wants to be much more than a friend, and Aislinn begins to fight against the unseen forces at work around her. Quite well written and extremely imaginative, I found it hard to put this one down once I got into the story. My amazon review can be found here:
Now I'm going to pick up Stardust by Neil Gaiman, and try to contain myself until Eclipse comes out on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Cats, Cats Everywhere!

Here are the latest photos of the McCann Family Cats:

Fiona and Athena scout the neighborhood.

Angus doing what he does best.

Can you tell we love our cats? lol