Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Husband & Wife by Leah Stewart

Husband and Wife: A Novel

You know it's good when...
  • you finish it in five days, while on vacation with your family & every day is packed!
  • you have to force yourself to stop reading so you can eat.  Sleep.  Visit.  Be polite.
  • you think about it ALL. THE. TIME.
  • you want everyone to know you finished it so you post it on Twitter.
  • you sigh heavily when you realize you just read the last line.
  • you wish you had written it yourself.

 Can you tell I enjoyed this book?  What a great read!  Some of - well, alot of it - hit a little too close to home and I found myself in that bittersweet melancholy wistfulness of what might have been...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Presumed Innocent

This is the book that started it all...  I saw the movie Presumed Innocent and was so intrigued I went out & bought the book the next day.  I absolutely thought it was the best book I had ever read (at the time) and fell in love with legal thrillers.  And not just legal thrillers, but the law in general. 

That was many, many years ago and I've, unfortunately, left Scott Turow behind - he is not forgotten, tho, and he is definitely fondly remembered.  I definitely plan to begin reading him again someday, and hopefully, soon (whenever will this crazy 161 Project be done???).  Until then, I'm catching up with Turow's Rusty Sabich, the main character in Presumed Innocent, via TNT's Mystery Movie Night with the premiere air play of Innocent


No Harrison Ford, no Raul Julia (RIP), no Bonnie Bedilia, but I'm enjoying it just the same.  I can tell - again - so much is missing, skipped over, pushed into the (less than) 2-hour time span.  Guess this means I'll be adding Innocent to my reading pile sooner rather than later.

***update***  I did NOT like this movie!  Hope the book is better.  :/

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Certain Prey, the movie & the book

Huge, huge, HUGE John Sandford fan here - fell in love with his writing back in 1989 when my roommate, a flight attendant, came home with "Rules of Prey" (she was an avid reader, too, and had picked it up on an airport layover).  I confiscated it, then devoured it and then anxiously awaited the next in the series (talk about torture).  I've been reading this series, in order, ever since which means I've been following Lucas Davenport for 22 years now and my passion has never waned.  He's the best, he's a beast.  Oh, and John Sandford, his creator, is pretty cool, too.  He is definitely my favorite author and Lucas Davenport is still, after all these years, my favorite character.

So how excited do you think I was to hear there was a movie based on "Certain Prey" (book #10 out of 21) airing on USA Network Sunday, November 6th?

Pretty darn excited.  I even wrote it on my calendar so I wouldn't forget.

And I didn't.

Gotta say, I was not disappointed.

So wonderful to see a story come to life, especially when it comes to life RIGHT.  What could I expect from a 2-hour-w/commercial-interruptions-included-made-for-TV-movie?  Not much, right?  WRONG.  Dead wrong because this movie was dead on.  Well, except...  I pictured my black Irish, tough, brooding Lucas Davenport looking like this...
(it was the early '90s, remember?  And I did think Alec Baldwin was dreamy back then...)

Instead, the movie gave me this: 

NOT bad!  NOT complaining, just thinking Mark Harmon is a bit old for the womanizing, sex-fiend Davenport of 1999 when Certain Prey was published (maybe, tho, as the current married, committed father Lucas has grown into he'd be PERFECT).  But, I have to admit, it did end up working for me.  And quite well...

My favorite character in the movie is Carmel Loan.  Except...  well, I pictured her looking like this:

Tough as nails Ellen Barkin in her younger days (am I showing my age????).  What I got was...

Lola Glaudini of Criminal Minds and, as Carmel, she kicked ASS!  By far the best acting of the entire movie.  She absolutely nailed it.  You go, Girl.

I could go on & on & on, but I won't. 

Well, wait...  there was one character I didn't care for (but I think I didn't care for her in the book, either) - Marcy!  Literature Marcy looks like this:

A young, sexy Sean Young.  BUT the movie Marcy looked like this:

And THAT didn't work for me, but it wasn't Athena Karkanis' fault.  She's lovely and she tried really, really hard (maybe too much?).  I really think she didn't work for me because I don't like Marcy in the books, her character kinda sorta irks me...  and in the movie, they made her, really, VERY annoying.  Ugh.

Sorry, Athena.

The rest - Clara, Sloan, Mason, etc. - they were fine.  And I loved the movie, I truly did.  It followed the book closely, which was nice, believe it or not.  (Some folks don't like that.  Have to say, I'm not necessarily one of them).  You know, I read this book so long ago BUT it was one of the Davenports that has stuck with me through the years.  I remember it almost vividly and as we were watching (my son & I), I would say, "well, in the book, this is what was about to happen" (NO, I am NOT "one of those" who spoils the ending!  He, being only 13, had alot of questions - and he likes to guess what's going to happen next & he would ask me so I'd tell him.  Honest.).  And, sure enough, that is what would happen next. 

I got a little nervous there at the end because I thought they weren't going to have that one little phone call - if you saw the movie or read the book you know what I'm talking about! - but they did have it & I am sooooo excited, cuz, I'm thinking that means another movie should be coming!!!  Yay-o-yay-o-YAY! 

Hope Mark Harmon is up for it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Secret in their Eyes


I knew nothing of this movie, was just looking for background noise while working...  well, thanks to subtitles and an intriguing story, I could not look away (and, therefore, could not get any work done...).

Totally worth it.

A surrounding sadness, alot of "what might have been" and "if only", heightening intrigue, legal corruption, surpising twists (yeah, that's plural cuz there's more than one), and, most importantly, captivating love... 

No, wait.  Make that "passion." 

Gotta see it.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Last Thing I Remember

(Note:  I have NOT read this book, but my son did & he is so excited he can't wait to read the rest of this series!  He begged-begged-begged me to take him to the book store to buy the 2nd book - you know I did it, too...  I am a HAPPY mom!  He wrote a 4 pg report, and here it is verbetim ... er, is that right? Is it verbetim if written???  ~sigh~ a contemplation for another day!)


The last thing Charlie West can remember is being a normal kid.  When life was going great for Charlie, it all changed.  He wakes up strapped to a chair, hurting all over, with blood on his shirt.  He over hears men ordering his death, wondering why anyone would want him to die and how he got here, he knew he had to escape.  He plots his escape and executes it perfectly.  Escaping from who seem to Charlie as terrorists, his adventure of getting back to the life he once had, begins.

He finds himself stealing a car, to escape the compound, and driving away.  Then, still being chased and shot at, he runs into the woods.  Charlie then finds himself in dark underground caves and tunnels, and sliding through some of the tightest spaces in pitch black, not knowing what lies ahead.  Once escaped from the darkness, Charlie is found by a young girl and her mother.  He assures her, he means no harm, and she offers to help him, but things aren't always what they seem.

Mrs. Simmons (the woman helping Charlie) takes Charlie home.  He attempts to call home, no answers, the number had been disconnected.  Confursed, Charlie told Mrs. Simmons, she then offered him food (which he gladey accepted) and was to call her husband, the assistant district attorney.  After the call, Charlie had finished his food and Mrs. Simmons (acting strange) ordered Charlie to shower and offered clean clothes.  Before showering , he saw a newspaper, read the title, and above it, it read the current date.  It was a year later than the last day he remembered.

Once finished with his shower, and dressed, he walked into the kitchen.  No one was to be seen, he called for Mrs. Simmons and no one answered.  Next thing he knew he was being handcuffed at gunpoint.  He kept saying they were wrong, that the men who captured him were the bad guys.  But no, he was being arrested for killing his best friend Alex Hauser.

Of course, Charlie didn't know what they were talking about.  He didn't remember any of this, and knows he would never do such a thing.  But, he did remember the last time he talked with Alex, they fough, well argued.  Witnesses and everything say that he was arguing with him, which was correct, but then the murder weapon had Charlie's fingerprints, and he had the motive.  He knew they were wrong, but no one would believe him.

Then, while he was in jail he heard that the homeland secretary was to meat the president.  He then remembered the men outside of the room with the chair and voices.  They said "we'll never get another shot at Yarrow (Yarrow is the homeland secretary).  Two more days, we can send Orton, he knows the bridge as well as West."  Then he knew the homelanders (the men who had him in the chair, at the compound) were going to kill the homeland secretary, Yarrow.  He tried to warn the police, but they wouldn't listen.

Then while being put in the police cruiser to the jail.  Soemone unloced his handcuffs and whispered "You're a better man than you know, find Waterman."  He knew he had to escape, and so he did.  He then found a woman named Jane who "knew" him.  She knew everything Charlie did and believed him.  She helped him get to the bridge to stop the the homelanders (terrorists) from killing Yarrow.

Once Charlie got to the bridge, there was an agent in the center and two officers on either side.  The agent killed the officers and went to the car next to him, it was Orton.  He opened the trunk, it was a bomb.  Yarrow was close and Charlie had to stop him.  He got to him and stopped him before Yarrow made it to the bridge, Orton still alive saidCharlie was also a homelander, in anger after he had ruined the plans.  The cops across the bridge (the one with Yarrow) had shot Orton in the stomach.  Charlie prayed and ran away into the forest.

This is one of my favorite books ever.  It had plenty of action, and twists.  I enjoyed every minute of the suspense.  I recommend it for anyone who likes twists in stories and action.  This book fit me perfect, and I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

So proud of my boy & so excited he has actually found something he's excited to read!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

3/161: Drowning Ruth

Had lunch with a reader friend the other day & was telling her about this book.  She asked me what made me buy it to begin with...  the back jacket, written by Francine Prose, of all people (she keeps popping up on me!), explains it all:

"[A] gripping psychological thriller... In the winter of 1919, a young mother named Mathilda Neumann drowns beneath the ice of a rural Wisconsin lake.  The shock of her death dramatically changes the lives of her daughter, troubled sister, and husband... Told in the voices of several of the main characters and skipping back and forth in time, the narrative gradually and tantalizingly reveals the dark family secrets and the unsettling discoveries that lead to the truth of what actually happened the night of the drowing..."

And once in my hand, once inside the cover, this book had me with the first sentence:  Ruth remembered drowning and held me captive until the very last: We will begin again.

So many words come to mind when I think of this book:  compelling, riveting, engrossing, haunting, captivating, fascinating, creative...  So intriguing and thought-provoking that I was not able to pick up another book for well over a month after I finished.  I just wanted to hang on to it because it is a story I wish I had thought of, a tale I wish I had told.  I just couldn't quite let go of it...

So, so many, many things I take away from this book - the pages dogeared and creased... and away we go into the quotable quotes of Drowning Ruth:

But if the stranger I had recently become was relieved, some other part of me shuddered with despair, and I found myself weeping, the tears searing my frozen cheeks, at the thought that I'd had to hide myself from a man I'd once loved.

Somebody had to see that things went as they ought.

When I thought of God, now, He was hovering somewhere over France, not paying any attention to me at all.

You have to be careful with your feelings, I think.  It's a mistake to let them go just because they're summoned.

Of course, I would miss my work, but I was secretly a little pleased to see my proper course lay elsewhere.

- it never made sense to buy at the top.  You made money only when you could see what others couldn't.

She smiled on, looking as if she meant to live forever.

Coming home couldn't change me back into the girl I'd once been.

It was the kind of day that makes you fear that God, distracted by finer things, has forgotten you.

It made me shiver to think how loyal she was, ready to do what I asked, trusting it would be all right as long as I said so.

Maybe there was no hiding here.

But everyone was a fool about something.

Imogene appreciated skill, especially if she could make use of it.

"Sometimes you die, sometimes you don't.  That must be how it is with drowning."

His knock was a warning, rather than a request.

You shouldn't visit your dead mother to impress your bored friend.

It was a strange idea, frightening somehow, as if for a moment the door between the world of the living and the world of the dead had blown open.

"You know things, but you don't tell."

"There's a proper time for things."

At least, he'd packed her away somehow.

He missed her with a sense of nostalgia, in much the same way he missed his own youth, and even when he tried, he couldn't find a trace of the unbearable agony and black dispair that had once overwhelmed him.

"Carl, you have to think ahead of the farm.  You can't just be running from one emergency to another.  You'll never get anywhere that way."

You could stare and stare at the water, but you could never see down more than a few feet.  A whole other world could be going on under there and you'd never know it.

Almost against her will, Amanda found herself graspoing for Ruth again and again, but every time her fingers closed they seemed to scratch, and the girl who'd once clung to her as if she were life itself shrank away.

"I know how things can change in ways you never meant."

She'd begun to realize that people always had something to say.

You can't imagine how fierce people can be when they're crazy with fear, when they know they're going to die, when they believe you're an angel pushing them toward the grave.

"He's bursting with good ideas.  It's just that bursting makes a mess, and somehow he's never around when it comes time to clean up."

"Garnish makes the plate, that's what Mrs. Owens says."

The air had freshened slightly that morning, signaling the end of summer, but to Ruth th ecoolness was more sad than invigorating.

Keeping things whole, she reflected, rubbing the base of her thumb, demanded a great deal of concentration.

That summer, the path he'd been following, the route chosen and painstakingly marked by his parents, had forked.

"Sometimes a blank slate is best," she'd said.  "There's something to be said for a girl who's open to influence."

He was sure that she would take him somewhere he'd never been, somewhere he couldn't even imagine.

"But what you want doesn't always matter, does it?"

He loves Imogene.  Did this grieve her because he would have Imogene or because Imogene would have him?  Both, she supposed.  Both left her alone.  But she was Imogene's friend, that was the important thing.  And she would be Imogene's friend, with or without her.

When people left, in my experience, they stayed gone.

On a farm, the earth has secrets, and the weather has passions, but people don't matter so much.

I will have you, I thought.  I will keep you.  We will begin again.

And the madness continues...

a quick run thru Goodwill, a brief stop by Barnes & Noble... ~sigh~  I'll never catch up!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

Just watched The Adjustment Bureau: not at all what I was expecting!  What is presented as an exciting, confusing, hang-on-to-your-hat (no pun intended for those who know about the hat reference - well, I take that back!  Pun definitely intended!!!) thrill-ride of a a story is actually a thinker of a love story about destiny, fate & the never-ending ponderance of "what might have been."  I think a more appropriate title would have been "Fate" (but, boy, would that glare "chick flick").  I'm not complaining - I enjoyed the movie & I loved the message, but I think my husband might be a little disappointed, haha.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Jane Mount

I have discovered...  Jane Mount, an artist extraordinaire (imho) with excellent in taste in...  books.

Imagine that!

Her art leads me to ponder:  what books would be MY all-time top 10? 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer Reading Challenge

Found this on challenge on Facebook & am itching to participate!  Sharing here instead.  Darn 161 Project commitment!  ~sigh~

(if you're not on Facebook, can you pull that page up, I wonder?  The challenge is to read one or more - or all! - of the following books, write a review, post it & hope you win!  I should do this. I know I should...  here is a list of the books:
 Don't they all sound GREAT?   Ugh.  Repeat: darn 161 Project commitment.  ~sigh, sigh, SIGH!~)

Books DO Furnish a Room

And here is a book to prove it!  A book that is being added to my ever-growing-never-ending wishlist as I type.  It is what it is and I am what I am.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Bridesmaids, the movie

They say this isn't a "chick flick."  I beg to differ.  I enjoyed it thoroughly: laughing at the ridiculousness, chuckling at the inappropriate vulgarity and wallowing in that delightful bittersweet melancholy at the film's end.  I thought it was the perfect girl friend movie because that's what it was about: having a girl friend and being a girl friend. 

Good schufft!

Friday, May 27, 2011


I just submitted a suggestion to AMAZON.com - wonder if they'll take my advice?  I think they should allow account holders to create a library reference on their website so we can track our books already owned.  Not only would this be beneficial to ME so I do not duplicate purchases (hate it when that happens!) but it would give them insight into their consumers as far as what subjects & materials they invest in, regardless of where purchased.  Win-win for all. 

Personally, I think it's a brilliant idea!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kindle Quarterly Update

Kindell, the Kindle, is 5 months old, so it's time for a check-in to see how Kindell, the Kindle, is doing...

Kindell has 13 books and 6 apps installed.  No books have been read.  At all.  One app, Mahjong, is played frequently.  The other apps (Solitaire, Notepad, Dots & Boxes, Every Word & WordSearch) do not get much attention...

The books I've downloaded (not necessarily in order) are:
  • Rooms by James L. Rubart
  • Heat Wave by Richard Castle
  • Hide in Plain Sight by Marta Perry
  • Crush by Alan Jacobson
  • Invisible by Lorena McCourtney
  • Watchlist (multiple contributing authors)
  • The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch & Lee Chadeayne
  • Spoilt by Joanne Ellis
  • Saving Rachel by John Locke
  • Heaven is for Real by Colton, Todd & Sonja Burpo
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • In the Cards by Christine Schwartz

Sunday, May 1, 2011

a blog to share

I am several things - a book lover & a decorator are 2 of them, so imagine my delight to happen upon a blog about the love of bookshelves, decorated bookshelves, decorated with books, of course!, and aptly named  BookshelfPorn...

Delightful eye candy, indeed!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

adding to the "must read" list!

The Swimming Pool

Not sure if I can wait until after my 161 project... thinking NOT.  Oh, no!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

adding to the ever growing collection...

The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books

An autographed copy now sits proudly on the bookshelf (complete with inscription intended to inspire & motivate me to get off my butt & start writing!!!).  ~sigh~ 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

a worthy investment...


Just read a GREAT article by Lawrence Block on "Writing Can't be Learned, but It Can be Taught," via Jane Friedman's "There Are No Rules" blog.  I'm intrigued and adding The Liar's Bible to my to reading list.  Hmmm... maybe I should start a "writing manuals tab"???  Hmmmm.....

Friday, April 8, 2011

2/161: Hollywood Tough by Stephen J. Cannell

Hollywood Tough

Um... this story didn't work for me.

I got tired of it real quick.  And I became embroiled in a subplot, that was actually the real plot, that I completely forgot about the first plot and the second plot!  WHAT???  Yeah, WHAT???

First plot (not necessarily in order): a sinister comment by a mysterious high profile hollywood hotshot piques one tough guy cop's, Shane Scully, interest enough to launch his own "private" investigation. Hmmmm...

Second plot: one of Shane's grifter contacts (to eventually proven to be a lying, conniving grifter contact) from the street asks for help finding an old friend; after Shane finds the old friend, said friend ends up dead.  Hmmmm...

Third plot: Shane, feeling responsible, starts investigating the death, which leads him back to the grifter, which leads him to a mob boss transplanted from the East Coast out to hustle Hollywood; Shane will have none of that, being the tough guy cop that he is, so he congers up an elaborate, intricate, confusing sting that involves corrupt cops, mob connections and the LAPD producing (seriously????) a ridiculous movie with idiotic swelled heads and an equally idiotic inflated budget.  Hmmm....

Fourth plot:  Shane's wife, Alexa, also a cop, and their son, Chooch, are both absorbed, each in their own way, in a gang war showdown quickly spiraling out of control with increasing tension & bloodshed at almost every turn that involves kidnappings, drive-by shootings, drugs, tanker trucks, a trip to Arizona, ICU and an essay on "Heroes."  Hmmm....


I muddled thru but I certainly don't believe it all came together in the end.  It was confusing and frustrating and out of control and pretty much hard to swallow.  I mean, really?  Ugh.  I usually like serial story lines, my favs being Dennis LeHane's Kenzie & Gennaro and Sandford's Lucas Davenport, but I am not very interested in reading any more Shane Scully.  Too bad because I do like Stephen J. Cannell as a Hollywood writer - but maybe I don't like him as a novel writer?  Hmmm....

As with all books, I usually find something to take away & hang on to...  not much this time but there was one thing.  "Occam's Razor," which ia theory that when things are extremely complicated, the simpliest answer is usually the right one.  Hmmm...  well, this story was extremely complicated and I suppose the simpliest answer is the author tried too hard.  He tried too hard to make it interesting and intriguing and captivating and it just did NOT work for me.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 2011 BookPage

Why is it that sometimes I'm totally unmoved, unmotivated by any literature and then other times, I'm overwhelmed by options???  Will I ever be able to read all I want to read?  Truly?

April 2011's BookPage is PACKED with interesting reads...  I'm amazed...

The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives (Katie Couric)
Never Knowing (Chevy Stevens) - and Still Missing, if it isn't already on a list somewhere
The Night Season (Chelsea Cain)
Save Me (Lisa Scottoline)
Mystery (Jonathan Kellerman)
Cold Wind (CJ Box)
The Troubled Man (Henning Mankell)
Every Day by the Sun (Dean Faulkner Wells)
The Mediator (Meg Cabot)
When you Reach me (Rebecca Stead)
The Inheritance of Beauty (Nicole Seitz)
Making Toast (Roger Rosenblatt)
The Other Wes Moore (Wes Moore)
Low Country (Dorethea Benton Frank)
The Extra 2% (Johan Keri)
Verily, Verily: the KJV - 400 years of Influence & Beauty (Jon M. Sweeney)
My One & Only (Kristen Higgins)
The Uncoupling (Meg Wolitzer)
The Love of My Youth (Mary Gordon)
Night Road (Kristin Hannah)
Started Early, Took My Dog (Kate Atkinson)
The Map of True Places (Brunonia Barry)
The Dry Grass of August (Anna Jean Mayhew)
The Wilder Life (Wendy McClure)
A Covert Affair (Jennet Conant)
One Hundred Names for Love (Diane Ackerman)
Where She Went (Gayle Forman) - sequel to If I Stay

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March BookPage

True to norm, I picked up the March issue of Books-A-Million's BookPage.  What isn't true to norm is I didn't get over here & add to my I-wish-to-read-list (like how I combined the 2???  So clever am I!).

Squeaking it in before month's end:

Almost Home by Pam Jenoff
His Other Wife (Deborah Bedford)
Cleaning Nabokov's House (Leslie Daniels)
Mr. Chartwell (Rebecca Hunt)
Exposed (Kimberly Marcus)
Bringing Adam Home (Les Standiford)
Undecorate (Christiane Lemieux)

Better late than never, right?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Adding to the WishList!...

Thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, Scot of TartanScot, I have learned there are books of blueprints of TV sets...  and I must have them!!! 

Thank you, Scot, for sharing such a wonderful gem!  To read the post that inspired it all, click here:  TartanScot

Friday, March 11, 2011

He Loves Me

scene from "He Loves Me," a Lifetime Movie starring Heather Locklear

I turned this movie on to keep me company while I worked...  it was immediately intriguing so I engaged the TiVo & went back to my task.  I did pretty good staying focused, considering...  see, I wasn't watching  exactly, but I started to keep up with what was going on, and pretty quickly became fascinated with the idea behind the story.

So last night I made the time to snuggle in & truly watch, beginning to end.  I love an unexpected twist - the moment of dawning when the puzzle starts to fit together to create the big picture, even tho a piece or 2 is still yet to be found.  This story gave me that, but sadly, the movie doesn't do the story justice - I feel like there is so much more lying beneath... I hade the feeling that the movie must be based on a bigger story, that this was the condensed version.  It so has the feel of a Mary Higgins Clark or Joy Fielding novel!  Excitedly, I searched for the bigger, deeper, more involved story, but, unfortunately, in vain.  There was nothing to be found.   

Darn!  I think it would be fascinating read.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

adding to my list...

Picked this up the day I found about it...  I subscribe to Jane Friedman's Writer's Digest blog and when she announced it's release, I broke my vow & swung by the book store to grab my copy.  And it's sitting in my "to do pile" collecting dust at the moment.  BUT I am going to go thru this.  It's the kick the pants motivater that I think I need.

Monday, February 28, 2011

1/161: Screwball by David Ferrell

Screwball: A Novel

Accomplishment!!!  My first 161 Project book and it was a DELIGHT.  So glad I forced myself to finally read it.  David Ferrell, you've got a fan in me.

The story centers around a fictional Boston Red Sox team as they chase the ultimate MLB goal: the World Series trophy.  The Curse of the Bambino seems to be wreaking havoc, tho, and in full force as a masterful killer leaves headless corpses in the wake of the team's schedule.  An appropriate title, Screwball - an oh so appropriate title!  It is baseball after all...  so, a "screwball" of a throw across the plate, to the actual "screwball" serial killer, to the unbelievable "screwball" antics of the team's management trying to cover-up the horrific crimes, this is a "screwball" comedy of errors (yuk, yuk, yuk) pitched (sorry, couldn't resist) more than one laugh out loud moment, despite the grisly circumstances.

So, I found it entertaining.  I found it fascinating.  I have a high appreciation of the author...  specifically, what I've griped about (a-lot) in other books, I am in awe of in this one:  Ferrell doesn't tell you everything.

Hmmm...  you know why?  Because he doesn't need to!  Ferrell writes perfectly.  Perfectly!  So well that you learn what you need to know as the story unfolds.  Clues aren't blantantly displayed.  They're mentioned in passing.  And in the end, it's not all wrapped up in a neat little bow.  There are loose ends, but they're loose ends you can live with.  And despite the grisly murder spree, this isn't a story of police in hot pursuit of a serial killer...  It's a story about baseball.  Real baseball.  The baseball you don't see being played on the field, but the behind-the-scenes-this-is-what-it-takes-to-make-this-season-happen baseball. 

And I loved it!   

And like all stories I love, I find the nuggets of wisdom nestled in and I savor them on the pages and again here...  tidbits from the author that I take away with me...   

"It was the hardest lesson of all, to learn what you are not."

"...for of all the sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been.'" (uncredited)

"Sometimes the answer does not lie in explaning away fear; sometimes it lies in courage."
         ~Robert Oppenheimer~

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February 2011 BookPage

First glance thru this month's BookPage left me little to be excited about - but then, I was feeling rushed & stressed & in desperate need of a relaxing diversion.  Unfortunately, due to the rushed & stressed, I couldn't seem to get my mind diverted.

Fast forward to today: the first day in weeks I feel like I can truly relax, altho there is quite a bit still on my to-do-list.  The difference is I don't have looming & demanding deadlines tonight.  However, tomorrow is, indeed, another day.

So while I patiently waited for a video from last night's annual dinner (one of my distracting deadlines) to upload (it never did), I grabbed my BookPage from the in-box...  and promptly fell in love!

Many, many titles in this issue that have peaked my interest!  By the way, I'm fully aware these may be duplicates from other BookPages & To Read Lists.  ~sigh~

Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
Under the Mercy Trees by Heather Newton
Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
How I Planned Your Wedding by Susan Wiggs & Elizabeth Wiggs Maas
Gone by Mo Hayder
These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf
Angel Sister by Ann H. Gabhart
Delirious by Daniel Palmer
The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
Bloodroot by Amy Greene
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
Prayers & Lies by Sherri Wood Emmons
The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard
Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt
The Diviner's Tale by Bradford Morrow
J.D. Salinger: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski
Trapped by Michael Northrop

~sigh~  So many books, so little time...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

omgosh, I did it...

I did it.  I did it.  It wasn't easy, but I did it.  I made myself a book-guts-fodder-vessel.

It started with the perfect vessel I found, at a perfect price... which I went ahead & bought, even tho I decided I was NOT going to do this, this "book fodder in a vessel decor thing."  But, my practical self said, if you buy it now - this perfect vessel - you'll have it when you do come across some tattered & torn & ready for the recycling bin books.  So I bought it.  And it looked quite nice on the library table, although a tad bit plain...

But it wasn't enough.  It only lasted a week.  And it was beckoning me.  And taunting me relentlessly everytime I wandered past.  And so, I began the painful & heartwrenching process...

I selected the perfectly fine books I was to maliciously destroy and ripped their covers off.  And gathered my materials.

Then I pulled them apart (this was NOT easy & required much strength!  WTH?).

I created quite a mess.

But... but, what a beauty, don't you think?   


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

adding to my "to read" list

A must read!

Learning to deal with the emotional vampires that suck the life right out of you with their drama, self-obsession, victimitis, etc., etc. 

This one might have to move up the priority list several (160 to be exact) notches.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

I just... can't... do... it...

I've seen this more than once recently...  book guts used as fodder in decor.

 As "wow!" as I was initially, as "hmmm, I could do this" when I first spied it, as inspired as I was to rush home & duplicate it...  in the end I found out that I just... cannot... do... it.

I cannot bring myself to DESTROY a perfectly good book for the sake of design!  Aaarrggghhh!  What a dilemma.

Am currently in search of an already destroyed book to make use of.  'Til then, pictures from others with no conscious will have to do.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January 2011 BookPage

Despite a nasty & relentless STUPID headcold, I've managed to get thru the January BookPage.  Not a long list this time, not sure what this means...  am I getting more selective with my selections???  Probably not.  Might be the mess-with-my-head meds!!!

The Organized & Inspired Scrapbooker (Smedley & Garvey)
Pictures of You (Caroline Leavitt)
The Lake of Dreams (Kim Edwards)
The Lying Game (Sara Shepard)
Your Creative Brain (Shelley Carson, Ph.D.)
Fall for Everything (Heather Seggel)

Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris

Just the other day I was irked after catching a few chick-flick movies with sappy, happy endings - you know the kind where the love is magical & overwhelming & forever...  Yeah, right.  That isn't real and if it is real, it's not long-lived.  How interesting, I was thinking, if a story didn't show the happy ending.  If the movie just showed the ending of that story.  Of life just stopping there.  Without promises of "happily ever after," or eternal love.  Or even of hope.  Hmm, how interesting, I thought... 

Yeah, I've gotten on this soap box before and I'm beginning to think my complex dual personality, maybe triple personalilty, or quadruple, etc., has me standing on several soap boxes because I seem to continually contradict myself...  Do I want a finished story or not?  Do I want a promising ending or not?  Do I want to know what happens next or do I want to have it linger in my heart as I ponder the outcome for myself???  Do I, do I, do I???

Once again I'm in a state of flux over a story.  This time it's Mary McGarry Morris' "Songs in Ordinary Time."  This book took me a LONG time to read.  Not because it was boring.  Not because it was thick (740 pages in paperback).  Not because I wasn't fascinated.  Not because I couldn't get my mind back around where I had left off once I picked it back up for my nightly read...  but because it was intricate and involved and moving and savoring.

Morris is a lyrical writer - her choice of prose and voice are captivating and suck you in.  She writes from every perspective: the innocent juvenile, the simple-minded servant, the haggard single mother, the defiant son, the emerging woman-child graduate, the optimistic drunk, the dillusional con man, the sincere laughing stock, the heroic bully...  All this, and more, woven into one story, jumping from character to character, yet never losing it's way, and more importantly, never losing the reader along the way.

Fascinating.  A writer's writer, one to learn from & study by & emulate, if possible...

But the story itself is disheartening and I'm pondering why Morris wrote it.  So many stories, so many theories, so many misunderstandings, misconceptions, missed opportunities... so many characters - some of them coming full term, some just fading away.  So much like life, wouldn't that be right?  People come in & out of our lives, some we're accutely aware of, know initimately.  Others are only on the fringe of our lives and we might remember them in fleeting moments to wonder where did they go, where are they now and whenever did they leave???  The characters, their stories, the events that wove thru this sleepy little town this fateful summer start and stop, just like that.  They start here, they stop there.  Very little reassurance and few happy endings:  loose ends are left loose, broken hearts remain unhealed, injustice prevails...  All the closure we expect in a story, crave in a story.  It's not here.  Instead, there's an illimitable, aching sadness.

But.  But, one thing I do walk away with from this story, these stories:  Life goes on, and with it, hope.  Even without hope, there hope remains, for to run out of hope is to run out of life.  Because life goes on and with every day that life goes on, there is another possibility for hope.

Hope.  I really don't think I've ever appreciated that word so much as I do now.


He was not sick, but fixed, immured in the vastness time becomes when you are twelve, when a month's events can flash by in a day, when certain days, certain hours, even moments can seem to last, to go on and on and on for weeks, indeed forever.

"Whatever he is has nothing to do with what kind of person you are."

Next to the chimney, dangling from Benjy's bedroom window with the tenuity of a tree's last leaf, was a black shutter, the only one left on the house, it's last touch of ornament.

"...because a lesson lived is a lesson learned, I always say."

Taste, beauty, symmetry were frivolous and without meaning for a woman who never read books, just newspapers, and those only to see if someone she knew had died, who looked at a sunset just to determine the next day's weather, who bought a cheap but pleasant print once at Woolworth's, then hung it in the dark corner to hide a stain on the wallpaper...  She had never been able to get beyond the thorns to the bloom.

"And once the spirit dies, the body's as good as dead."

But she was beyond that now, beyond believing in broken things.

"That's what this is.  The whole summer, it's ordinary time.  There aren't any special feasts then."

It was ordinary time, and there was nothing to look forward to and no one to love.

I will be a man among men; and no longer a dreamer among shadows.  Henceforth be mine a life of action and reality!  I will work in my own sphere, nor wish it other than it is.  This alone is health and happiness.     ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ~

"To be priestly, Father, is first to learn obedience.  And, I might remind you, humility!"

Hour after hour, the Bishop had said, year after year.

At some point she had to give herself up...

"Well, some things you want so bad you just forget everything else that's going on and even good common sense..."

But how could she explain this violent commingling of guilt and longing that left her feeling bruised and sore, without it sounding like confession, an admission of the worst sin, desire but not love.

"He said I couldn't stand the certainty and the deliberateness of success.  He said I didn't think I was good enough, and so instead of facing what I didn't think I deserved, I found a way to foul myself, to ruin everything."

"I've never been evil.  Just stupid and weak."

Better not to care, not to want, not to love, not to feel anything at all.

There were certain things children had to be given early and if deprived they would never catch up.


Songs in Ordinary Time by Mary McGarry Morris

Sunday, January 2, 2011