Today's Grateful List/31 December 2015

  • Going to get answers no matter what

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book is supposedly young adult, but it's sure to please anyone who enjoys a fun, creepy tale. I love the world Gaiman created, and I love the characters, both dead and alive, who inhabit it. I want to live in a graveyard...alive, though, just like Bod Owens, the young toddler who escapes a murderer's knife by leaving his crib just in time and toddling off to the graveyard across the street. When the dead there discover the baby, they decide they are going to raise him. With the help of the mysteriously undead Silas, Bod (short for Nobody) is given the Freedom of the Graveyard and learns valuable skills such as Fading and Dreamwalking as today's modern world passes him by.

I loved the atmosphere of this book; Gaiman has such a gift of bringing odd characters to life and creating dark worlds for them to inhabit. This book is engaging and sly, and adventures abound for young Bod. There's excitement, there's tragedy, there's a tad of romance, there's name it, it's there. I can't recommend this one highly enough! Perfect for this time of year, it's going to delight you no matter when you decide to pick it up.

Here's the link to my fuller amazon review: Oh, and by the way, with amazon's new system of ranking reviewers, I am now #247. Go, me! It's sort of a mysterious, shady way of ranking reviewers, but hey, I got another tag out of it so I figure that's my reward. I just enjoy posting my thoughts about the books I read.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ah, The Sweet Smell of Brain Candy!

I'm a firm believer that sometimes, you just need some brain candy. Right now, I *want* to read Sharon Kay Penman's The Devil's Brood, and I will at some point. But my overloaded brain just didn't want to concentrate on keeping all the history straight, and I knew I wouldn't be giving it the attention it deserves. into the land of sex and vampires with The Black Dagger Brotherhood! My friend Beth (moonivy) loaned me the first in the series, Dark Lover, which I read almost a year ago. Of course, being me, I picked up the next 5 soon thereafter, fully intending to read them ASAP. Naturally, it's taken me until now to get back to them.

I loved this book! It's not literature by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a page turner, and the storyline features damaged characters who connect on lots of levels. For a "lighter" read, there was actually some pretty emotional issues faced, including cancer, death, and pain. Despite the rather goofy names --Rhage, Phury, Wrath--these are characters who interact realistically and sweep me away, which is just what a good book is supposed to do.

I'm never going to apologize for reading something which intrigues and interests me, no matter how light or even silly. There's just moments when you *need* to be somewhere else, and concentration shouldn't be a major requirement. It's probably pointless for me to say that I'm going for Book # 3 just as soon as I finish the YA novel posted at the top of this page.

Nothing like the sweet smell of brain candy just when it's needed most, people.

Amazon review? I got one! Here it is:


Monday, October 13, 2008

Amazingly, I Am...

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Bette!


You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"

Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Stand up for yourself... and me.

  • * Be confident, strong, and direct.

  • * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.

  • * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.

  • * Give me space to be alone.

  • * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.

  • * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.

  • * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.

What I Like About Being a Bette

  • * being independent and self-reliant

  • * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on

  • * being courageous, straightforward, and honest

  • * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life

  • * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me

  • * upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a Bette

  • * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to

  • * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence

  • * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it

  • * never forgetting injuries or injustices

  • * putting too much pressure on myself

  • * getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right

Bettes as Children Often

  • * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit

  • * are sometimes loners

  • * seize control so they won't be controlled

  • * figure out others' weaknesses

  • * attack verbally or physically when provoked

  • * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings

Bettes as Parents

  • * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted

  • * are sometimes overprotective

  • * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy

Friday, October 10, 2008


Untamed by P.C. and Kristin Cast is book #4 in the House of Night series about a school for vampyres and their unusually gifted fledgling, Zoey Redbird. This one picks up almost immediately after the last one, Chosen; Zoey's lost three boyfriends (we should all be so lucky) and her group of friends because she's been keeping secrets. Big secrets. Of course it was for their own good, but it takes more than a little explaining for her group to forgive her. Added to that is that the High Priestess Neferet is obviously planning something evil and it seems that only Zoey can stop her. Mix in some undead red fledglings, a most unusual friendship with former rival Aphrodite, the arrival of former love Erik as her instructor, a relationship with a Benedictine nun, and a beloved grandmother in mortal danger, and Zoey's having a bit of a stressful week.
I love this series, though at times it stretches into the teen angst category. But my little nitpicky gripe is really a non-issue because I'm hooked. This one ends on a major cliff hanger and I have to know what's coming next. Unfortunately I have to wait until next March for the next entry. Stupid writers, lol. Why can't they give me the next one now? I'm waiting on pins and needles here.
You can read my review on amazon at While there, check out my friend Stephanie's review which is one of the top three. She's done a great job!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bitter Disappointment

I'm really sad right now. It follows on the heels of disbelief and anger, so I guess I'm going through the stages of grief or something. It sure is a bitter pill to swallow, though, when someone you love and respect turns out to be not the person you thought they were.

I'm speaking of my brother.

I love my brother. He's younger than me by three years and we are as different as night and day. I'm short, he's tall; I went on to higher education and he cut his losses and went to auto diesel college; I had to move away from my mom and he built a house on her property. But he's a great guy who would do anything for you and works himself to death. We share a common sense of humor (thanks, Dad!). While we fought like cats and dogs as children, we are good friends now.

Except that this afternoon my mother very casually announced during our daily phone call that she thought my brother had gone to the same side politically as my uncle. Friends, this is NOT a good thing. She said my brother had told her he wasn't going to vote this year because he didn't like either candidate but he certainly couldn't vote for Obama because he's a Muslim.

Friends, he has heard out of my mouth the words "Obama is not a Muslim." And yet he's clinging to misinformation and ignorance.

I am so disappointed and I told my mom so. She said she just didn't say anything when he made the announcement, which honestly was probably the best response. I'm 95% sure Mom is an Obama supporter so I'm sure it was difficult for her to think her son is reacting this way.

If he had a true beef with Obama, that would be one thing. If he genuinely liked McCain and felt he'd be the better candidate, I could live with it. But if he's using an untruth as his basis for his opinion, and then throwing away his opportunity to vote because of it, then he's not the man I thought he was.

I'm an impulsive person so of course I wanted to immediately call and confront him but I restrained myself admirably and simply went on a rant to my husband. Jeff's the voice of reason and he told me he is sure my brother is getting his information from the uninformed. Of course he is. But how can he live like that? We weren't raised that way. My father in particular gave people a fair shake and gathered his own facts.

So now I'm just sad. There's a lump in my throat thinking that my brother has succumbed to "red-neckitis" and ignorance. He says he's a Christian and attends church every Sunday. If that's so, then how can he judge others so carelessly? I want better for him and I expect better of him. I still love him, but I'm sad for him.


Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Time of Singing

Reading a new Elizabeth Chadwick novel is always a treat, and The Time of Singing is no exception. This is the story of Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk during the time of Henry II, and his wife Ida, who was a former reluctant mistress to said Henry. Chadwick follows Bigod as he grows from a young man who defies his father through the years when he struggled to regain his earldom and finally into the early time of King John's reign. As a stand-up man who had a bit of a thing for elaborate headgear (insert large grin here), Bigod springs to life under Chadwick's excellent writing skills. I can never recommend her novels enough, and this one is no exception. Unfortunately at this time, The Time of Singing isn't available in the U.S., but it's well worth the cost to obtain a copy through Historical fiction isn't being written today by anyone better than Elizabeth Chadwick. She very much deserves to be as popular as Philippa Gregory, and in my humble opinion, even more so.
I'm the first to review TTOS on! Follow this link to learn a bit more about this outstanding piece of historical fiction:
What to read next? Whatever it is, it'll pale in comparison.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Stuff I Don't Want To Do

Forthwith I will list several things I am compelled to do on a regular basis that I cannot stand to do:

  • Get up before ten a.m.
  • Massage egos at work (of people who are old enough to know better)
  • Tell kids to stop talking during class
  • Hall duty
  • Fend off f'in bladder infections
  • Pick up shoes left all over the house
  • Grade papers, power points, and various other stuff
  • Listen to whining
  • Vacuum
  • Eat fast food
  • Rein in the sarcasm
  • Sweat
  • Listen to crappy top 40 girl singers
  • Miss favorite tv shows
  • Explain the same thing over and over and over and over and over
  • Fix other people's messes
  • Laundry
  • Pay bills

I am sure I will think of 30 more things once I end this post. I am in a foul mood. Can you tell?