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May. 21st, 2010

tri-twi+creping tomstu

2010 reads


Totals for the year:

79 books

78 authors

25,819 pages

 

Fiction

 

Beatrice and Virgil

By Yann Martell

197 pages

Genre: fiction, literary

 

I was tempted to make up a genre like, “general weirdness” for this novel. I’m still not sure what happened there and I don’t plan to read it again to figure out. A great disappointment after Life of Pi (which is on my reread list).

 

Spin Cycle

By Sue Margolis

276 pages

Genre: fiction, humor, romance

 

Gucci Gucci Coo

By Sue Margolis

353 pages

Genre: fiction, humor, romance

 

Forget Me Not

By Sue Margolis

383 pages

Genre: fiction, humor, romance

 

Breakfast at Stephanie’s

By Sue Margolis

320 pages

Genre: fiction, humor, romance

 

The Kite Runner

By Khaled Hosseini

371 pages

Genre: fiction, literary

 

Heresy

By S. J. Parris

435 pages

Genre: fiction, mystery

 

Anil’s Ghost

By Michael Ondaatje

307 pages

Genre: fiction, literary

 

Divisadero

By Michael Ondaatje

273 pages

Genre: fiction, literary

 

Kitchen Chinese

By Ann Mah

339 pages

Genre: fiction

 

The Swan Thieves

By Elizabeth Kostova

561 pages

Genre: fiction

 

Scoop

By Evelyn Waugh

321 pages

Genre: satire, fiction

 

Witty send-up of journalism. Inspiring twists of phrasing. Fabulous vocabulary. Why don’t people still write with this kind of precision?

 

Flirt: An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novel

By Laurel K. Hamilton

171 pages

Genre: fiction, horror

 

Face-Time

By Erik Tarloff

238 pages

Genre: literary fiction

 

With Intent to Harm

By Stan Washburn

372 pages

Genre: fiction, mystery

 

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

By Seth Grahame-Smith

336 pages

Genre: fiction, horror

 

The Icarus Agenda

By Robert Ludlum

677 pages

Genre: fiction, thriller

 

Second only to the Bourne novels as a superior thriller.

 

Series

 

Lisbeth Salander: The Girl Who Series

By Stieg Larsson

Genre: fiction, mystery

 

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

644 pages

 

A meticulous mystery with characters that come alive.

 

The Girl Who Played With Fire

630 pages

Damn people who cliffhangers like this!

 

The Jason Bourne novels

Genre: fiction, thriller

 

The first three in the series are written by Robert Ludlum. The rest of the series have been written by Eric Van Lustbader after Ludlum’s style. He’s made a couple of continuity mistakes: most significantly, David Webb is a historian with a specialty in Southeast Asia Studies. Lustbader makes him a professor of linguistics. Lustbader curiously makes the loss of Webb’s first family quite integral in the first of his novels, but then all but forgets about them in the rest of his writing. At one point, Bourne/Webb is listing the people he’s lost. While he lists various colleagues, he fails to list his first wife and their children – the very loss that sent him reeling into the world of espionage and violence. He also seems to have forgotten entirely about his brother Gordon.

 

In addition, Ludlum makes it clear that Bourne is a chameleon whose talents lie in his own physical skill. He doesn’t use wigs and beards and makeup. Instead, he changes his posture, clothes, voice. He’s not above dying his hair or wearing colored contacts, but he doesn’t go for costumes. Lustbader takes Bourne into a more theatric realm. He uses spirit gum with wigs and beards, makeup, and even prosthetics to change his teeth and the shape of his face.

 

Other than those kind of lapses, Lustbader exceeds expectations. In fact, his actual writing style is stronger and more gripping than Ludlum’s. Ludlum masters the confusion of an amnesiac thrust into situations where he is fighting for his life. Lustbader’s Bourne reveals less internal conflict but revels more in a good fight. Even with the inconsistencies, Bourne is recognizable as the same man. These are possibly the best spy thrillers ever.

 

By Robert Ludlum

The Bourne Identity

535 pages

 

The Bourne Supremacy

597 pages

 

The Bourne Ultimatum

611 pages

 

By Eric Van Lustbader

The Bourne Legacy

529 pages

 

The Bourne Betrayal

717 pages

 

The Bourne Sanction

484 pages

 

The Meredith Gentry novels

By Laurell K. Hamilton

Genre: fiction, fantasy

 

When I bought the newest in the series, I decided to re-read all of the books for the whole picture.

 

A Kiss of Shadows

435 pages

 

A Caress of Twilight

326 pages

 

Seduced by Moonlight

367 pages

 

A Stroke of Midnight

366 pages

 

Mistral’s Kiss

212 pages

 

A Lick of Frost

274 pages

 

Swallowing Darkness

360 pages

 

Divine Misdemeanors

333 pages

 

Fat White Vampire series

By Andrew Fox

Genre: fiction, horror, humor

 

If you crossed Confederacy of Dunces with Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampires series, you might get something like this.

 

Fat White Vampire Blues

334 pages

 

Bride of the Fat White Vampire

429 pages

 

The Kate Shugak novels

By Dana Stabenow

Genre: fiction, mystery

 

A friend of mine has been recommending this since I met her. I finally decided to read them, and I’m glad I did. I’m not even reading them in order – taking them however they come from inter-library loan -- and they’re great. Kate Shugak is a strong, smart, capable, fully dimensional character.

 

The only negative, and it’s not enough to make me dislike the books, is the charicaturish treatment of Christians and Southerners. Not all Christians are fire-and-brimstone, Bible-thumping, book-burning, holier-than-thou zealots. In fact, most of the Christians I know don’t fit that stereotype. It just seems like all of the practicing Christians in her books are really awful, judgmental hypocrites. Likewise, not all Southerners are red-neck, racist, inbred, brain-dead, bigoted, dirt-eating, banjo-playing idiots. In fact, real live Southerners don’t seem all that different from the Alaskan characters in her books – they just have Southern accents and live where it’s a lot warmer. The only Southerner I’ve run across in Stabenow’s books so far with a positive spin is Bobby, and he’s basically renounced the South.

 

Whisper to the Blood

318 pages

 

A Deeper Sleep

257 pages

 

A Taint in the Blood

305 pages

 

The Singing of the Dead

254 pages

 

Hunter’s Moon

260 pages

 

Killing Grounds

273 pages

 

Breakup

242 pages

 

Blood Will Tell

244 pages

 

Play with Fire

282 pages

 

A Cold-Blooded Business

231 pages

 

Dead in the Water

217 pages

 

A Fatal Thaw

198 pages

 

Anthologies

 

Great French Short Stories

By M. Edmund Speare, Alexandre Arnoux, René Bizet, Frederic Boutet, Maurice Courtois-Suffit, Lucie Delaraue-Mardrus, Robert Dieudenné, Olivier Duchemin, Henri Duvernois, André Maurois, Pierre Mille, Paul Morand, Adré Obey, Henri de Regnier, Honoré de Balzac, Guy de Maupassant, Alphonse Daudet, Alexandre Dumas, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Edmond Jaloux and Lydie Lacaze.

243 pages

Genre: short story

 

Contes Française

By Voltaire, Honoré de Balzac, Gustave Flaubert, Charles Baudelaire, Guy de Maupassant, Paul Claudel, André Guide, François Mauriac, Marcel Aymé, Albert Camus

301 pages

Genre: short story

 

Unusual Suspects

By Charlaine Harris, Carole Nelson Douglas, Micahel A. Stockpole, Sharon Shin, Mike Doogan, Donna Andrews, Michael Armstrong, John Straley, Laura Anne Gilman, Laurie R. King, Simon R. Green and Dana Stabenow

301 pages

Genre : short story, paranormal, mystery

 

The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios

By Yann Martel

208 pages

Genre : short story, literary

 

Young Adult

 

Except the Queen

By Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder

371 pages

Genre: young adult, fanstasy

 

YA Series

 

The Luxe Novels

By Anna Godberson

Genre: young adult, romance

 

I re-read the whole series when the last one came out. I really liked the ending – these are romance stories about strong women. Not all of them end up paired up at the end and none of them are too upset about that.

 

The Luxe

433 pages

 

Rumors

423 pages

 

Envy

405 pages

 

Splendor

391 pages

 

The Vampire Diaries

By L. J. Smith

Genre: young adult, romance

 

The Awakening

279 pages

 

The Struggle

302 pages

 

This series doesn’t have a name…

By Carrie Jones

Genre: YA, fantasy

 

Need

306 pages

 

Captivate

273 pages

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Various authors

 

BTVS: The Book of Fours

By Nancy Holder

402 pages

 

BTVS: The Angel Chronicles, Volume 2

Richie Tankersley

226 pages

 

The Seven Kingdoms series

By Kristin Cashore

 

Graceling

471 pages

 

Fire

461 pages

 

Non-fiction

 

Foreign Correspondence: A Pen Pal’s Journey from Down Under to All Over

By Geraldine Brooks

210 pages

Genre: memoir

 

A journalist tracks down her childhood pen pals.

 

Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness

By William Styron

84 pages

Genre: memoir

 

Styron shares his experience with depression. Good reading for anyone, but especially for those confronting depression or for families and friends of people who are depressed.

 

The Harlot by the Side of the Road: Forbidden Tales of the Bible

By Jonathan Kirsh

336 pages

Genre: religion, history, linguistics

 

Fabulous literary exploration of some Bible stories that don’t often make their way into Sunday school or sermons.

 

Between Pets and People: The Importance of Animal Companionship

By Alan Beck and Aaron Katcher

280 pages

Genre: pets, psychology

 

This book is all over the place and filled with interesting stats. Pets and health. Pets and work. Pets and – just don’t go there. I was glad to finish it because it was starting to freak me out a little bit.

 

Three Cups of Tea

By Greg Mortenson

331 pages

Genre: education, philanthropy, social action

 

Stones into Schools

By Greg Mortenson

406 pages

Genre: education, philanthropy, social action

 

The sequel to Three Cups of Tea. Quite compelling and inspiring.

 

Bliss: Finding Happiness in the Face of Hardship

By Howard Raphael Cushnir

201 pages

Genre: self-help, garbage

 

I think the author took a little too much Prozac. Or needs some Prozac.

 

Take Time for Your Life

By Cheryl Richardson

258 pages

Genre: self-help

 

Encouragement for setting goals and prioritizing. Great if you have the money to make the decisions she proposes. Minimally useful if you don’t.

 

And God Said What?

By Margaret Nutting Ralph

249 pages

Genre: religion, literary criticism

 

Explores the meaning and intent in the various forms of writing found in the Bible.

 

Two Puppies

By Jane and Michael Stern

188 pages

Genre: pets, humor

 

Comparative narratives of two puppies, one a guide-dog in training, the other, a problem pup. The reader follows Parnell, the Lab of many skills and perfect demeanor, through his training to learn about the guide-dog program s well as getting to know this pup. The reader also follows (or maybe chases) Clementine, a Bullmastiff puppy-from-Hell.

 

Dog Love

By Marjorie Garber

286 pages

Genre: pets

 

97 Ways to Make a Dog Smile

By Jenny Langbehn

108 pages

Genre: pets, humor

 

50 Simple Ways to Pamper Your Dog

By Arden Moore

134 pages

Genre: pets


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May. 15th, 2010

tri-twi+creping tomstu

BB, I'm back!

I've been offline for so long and feel so disconnected. But I'm back, a little at a time. Thought I had a virus on my HP, but no, it was the mother*******board. I was not ready to buy a new computer.  I was pricing low-end Dells and called a friend of the family who worked there to ask for recs. He told me to pick out a Dell Studio from their certified refurbished site, he'd send it to me. Apparently, he can just give away so many refurbished computers a year. So I have a computer that is WILDLY beyond my price range.

But to catch you up.

Work: A fresh Hell every day.  Same old same old.

Spike: Still the Heidi Klume of dogs.
Spike in the grass

He's sleeping right now. And freshly cleaned. Do you have any idea how difficult to keep a white dog clean?

Me: Asthma. See  "Work". Apparently some co-worked think asthma is humorous entertainment. They are enjoying discovering things that will trigger my asthma. Apparently, I work with psychopaths. The upside to that is there's a really cute doctor at the ER.

That's it for now. I'm trying to catch up with everything I've missed online for the last month.

And hey -- my _twat friends, I would love links to epic posts that I've missed.  Flounces? Ridiculous Twilight shit and movie antics? Anything of überimportance.

Mar. 12th, 2010

tri-twi+creping tomstu

(no subject)

My sister had her first chemo treatment yesterday. The doctor says that her prognosis is pretty good. She's doing fine. She's a realtor, and she showed a house last night. She's determined to work while she's doing chemo.

I'm thinking about shaving my head when her hair falls out. Sort of a solidarity thing. Honestly, my sister is incredibly vain and the hair thing is bothering her an awful lot.

Mar. 6th, 2010

tri-twi+creping tomstu

Stupid Xenophobic People

I finally lost it when my Xenophobic coworker started talking about immigrants speaking English. It's a recurring theme with her -- anyone with an accent, even if their English grammar is better than hers, needs to learn to speak 'real' English because that's what we speak in America. She honestly believes -- because I asked her specifically about this -- that it doesn't matter if you are opprossed and your life is in danger in your home country: you should be required to speak English before you can immigrate. You'd never know it from her spoken English, but apparently grammar outranks life.

So the last time she started talking about people learning the language of the country they immigrated to, I asked her if she or her anscestors spoke Cherokee. The answer was no, of course. So I went on: Iroquois? No. Pawnee? No. Shawnee? No. Blackfoot? No.

She stopped me at that point to ask me why she or any of her anscestors would need to learn Indian. I swear to God, she didn't get it.

So I pointed out that unless her very Anglo-Saxon surname was an anglicization of a Native name, then her family immigrated to this country, and by her reasoning, should have learned those languages.

She still didn't get it.  "When my family got here, we already spoke English."

I listen to her talk every day. English is her native language. Most of the internationals we see speak better English than she does, they just have accents, some of which make them difficult to understand. But it's still better than her grasp of English grammar.

I hate stupid people.

Jan. 30th, 2010

tri-twi+creping tomstu

Did you miss me?

I've been dogsitting for my sister and brother-in-law. What started as a fairly simple and straightforward assignment to watch two labs and a maltipoo turned into a bit more.

On bath day, last Saturday, I noticed that Nate (one of the labs) had lost a toenail. It had come out from the bed leaving a little hole and a very red, irritated patch of skin. I figured he'd lost the nail while hunting with my brother-in-law. The paw was swollen, so I called the vet, expecting to get some directions of how to care for the paw until Monday when he could get me some antibiotics for the dog. Instead, he wanted me to bring Nate in.

So I did. The vet was a little wishy-washy at first, then explained that while it could be an infection, it might also be toe-cancer. He was worried about the latter, which happens typically with large breeds, more commonly with black dogs and at a firly high rate with labs, particularly black labs. He started Nate on antibiotics and told me to bring him in later in the weeek if the swelling didn't go down.

Well, the swelling went down some and I was relieved. Until Tuesday, when it started bleeding. I had planned to take Nate in on Wednesday, but I just went on in with him. Th eswelling hadn't gone down enough, and the doc wanted to operate.

So I called my sister and gave her the quick summary of what I've written here and then said, "Let me let you talk to the vet."

Anyway, surgery Tuesday, picked him up Wednesday, and I have had trouble getting him to rest. That tumor, which pushed out the toenail, must have really hurt. Nate has stitches now and is more active than he was. He doesn't seem to be having any balance issues.

Nate is well, Ed and Gus are fine, and Spike is enamored with Ed. It's like a teenaged boy and his adorable little brother who idolizes him and mimics his every move. Poor Ed is patient.

Add the snow and Spike getting out in it (white dog in the snow -- sheesh) and I am exhausted. It gives new meaning to the phrase dog-tired.
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Dec. 31st, 2009

tri-twi+creping tomstu

Reading lists and New Year's resolutions...


January 31st and I have read ninety-six books. That makes me four books short, and while I could probably fit a book in for today, I feel reasonably certain that I can't fit four in. (Hey, playing with the puppy eats into reading rime!) It means my New Year's resolution will be to read one-hundred books next year.

I've only had a couple of disappointments in my reading material for 2009. For that, I can thank my friends who are readers – most of whom have recommended some stellar books. While some may not have been my particular cup of tea, I can understand the recommendation. Others have been re-reads, some just for fun, but others as part of a series or just because a new book by the same author made me want to go back and read other books by that author. I’ll say a few words about some of them and promise to eventually comment on all of them.

 This is truly a collection from the ridiculous to the sublime. I’ve tried to group similar books together, so horror, mystery, nonfiction, YA, should all be together. I’ve also tried to put all of the books by one author together. I can’t guarantee I’ve succeeded with those groupings, though.

Totals for the year:
96 books
64 authors
33,722 pages

 

 

fictionCollapse )

 

 

 

vampiresCollapse )

 

 

mystery/thrillerCollapse )

 

 

eroticaCollapse )

 

 

YA and children'sCollapse )

 

 

non-fictionCollapse )

 


Tags: ,

Nov. 30th, 2009

tri-twi+creping tomstu

Pictures, as promised...

Isn't he adorable? Those ears will be up soon.

He will not sit still unless it's in my lap. Even on the bed.

It's hard to take a picture of a dog on your own lap.

He's done really well pottywise. His only accident was last night on the comforter. I was sacked out on my Ambien, so I have no idea whether or not he tried to let me know. He's never been on a leash before, so we're working on tht. He's still not sure what that's all about, but he's no longer hunkering down to the ground and shaking his head. I don't know about him, but I'm worn out today.
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Nov. 29th, 2009

tri-twi+creping tomstu

(no subject)

I have a new puppy! William the Bloody, mor commonly known as Spike, is a 16-week-old Westie. He is adorable and already cries when I leave the room. He's going to be sleeping with me tonight. Hope he doesn't wet the bed. Pics as soon as they are available. I promise.
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Nov. 15th, 2009

tri-twi+creping tomstu

This was an easy one and it makes me post, soooooo...

Meme stolen without remorse from Lomesir:

1) Post a list of up to 20 books/movies/TV shows/etc. that you've had an obsessive fannish love or interest in at some time in your life.
2) Have your f-list guess your favourite character/member from each item.
3) When someone guesses correctly, strikethrough the item and put the name of your favorite character next to it.

Some of these are going to be WAY too esy for some of you.


1. Criminal Minds
2. Magnum, P. I.
3. Speed Racer
4. The Sun Also Rises
5. The Hunger
6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
7. The West Wing
8. Sookie Sackhouse Southern Vampire series
9. Simon & Simon
10. ER
11. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
12. JAG
13. NCIS
14. The X-Files
15. The Hunger Games/Catching Fire
16. Stargate: SG-1
17. Forever Knight
18. Romeo and Juliet
19. Smallville
20. Numb3rs
tri-twi+creping tomstu

I'm a hot mess...

I know it's been a while since I did much real posting, either in my LJ or on any communities. Several of you have PMed asking what's going on and where have I been. I have some 'spainin' to do, Ricky.

Part of it is that my Internet access has been messed up and I've had to use my computer sitting on my dining room floor.

Part of it is that I am really, really busy.

Part of it has been... well, more on that later.

I think my wireless is fixed. I hope. First I had some problem with Internet access in general. For a few days I wasn't able to connect at all and intermittently I've had access issues. In addition, my wireless router died, so I had to get new one. But it wasn't just the wireless, sicne about fifty per cent of the time I haven't been able to get online without some work nd resetting, rebooting, resomething. But right now, for the first time since early September, I am writing from my couch connected to the Internet by my wireless. Hallelujah! Can I get an Amen?

I've had three opera weekends, which leave me exhausted. Both of my opera buddies are disabled and I end up doing a lot of helping and supporting them, which is no easy task, since they are both over four-hundred pounds. Oddly, the ninety-something is easier to get around with than the one who is my age. I have another opera next weekend, so send me energetic thoughts/prayers/whatever.

In addition to the operas, I've been to several concerts. Loved KOL. Loved Jessica Lea Mayfield. Too exhausted to remember the other concert.

Discovered the chiropractor. My goodness, I wish I'd discovered him years ago. It's like a massage on steroids. It's helping me a little with my sleep.

I've also been struggling with my depression. Part of it is the seasonal change and the lack of sunlight. But part of it is just the depression.

Thank you, those of you who PMed. Sometimes I need a kick in the ass to at least keep me functional.

Right now I'm dog-sitting for my sister's dog and my brother-in-law's dogs. (She has one, and he has two.)

Also, next week at the opera we will be joined by an additional patron. He's actually an opera singer, but he doesn't have a role in this particular opera, so he's just going to watch it with us. One of my opera friends is a buddy of his and she thinks we might match up well. I've met him before, but only briefly. Seems we have similar tastes and intellectual bents. He's a fabulous performer. He's almost thirty, so not totally in the cradle like the last one. And he's kind of a hottie. I'm looking forward to it, since it's sort of like a blind-date without the pressure, since there will be other people there.

And I'll be getting my new dog soon. His name will be Spike, in keeping with my vampire theme. Yup, a fluffy little Westie named Spike. Like this:


Only I won't be worrying about weighing him. That was just a good Westie pic that was handy.

I've missed some dramas and traumas without commenting, but I still love you all.

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