Saturday, April 29, 2006

Cross my Heart

Cross my Heart by Carly Phillips

This was a quick romance read. The plot was too contrived for my enjoyment though.
I reviewed it.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Vegan Virgin Valentine

I just finished Vegan Virgin Valentine by Caroline Mackler. I listened to the Recorded Books audiobook, narrated by Katherine Kellgren, who was excellent.
The story, of a driven honors student trying to achieve valedictorian, Yale, college coursework, extracurriculars, and a part-time job, was similar enough to my own experiences at 17 that I felt some camaraderie with her. Especially when she starts dating a guy who is a few years older who doesn't share her educational goals. Recently, Mara Valentine has become a vegan so that she will have something to obsess about (besides her ex). And she isn't thrilled that her niece V, an experienced troublemaker, is moving in with her and going to her high school.
This was a fun YA novel, although V had quite the potty mouth. (With audiobooks I'm sometimes self-conscious about the f-word if I am listening in the yard or with open windows. Don't want to shock the neighbors or anything.)

I checked it out. 6 hrs.

A Dangerous Dress

I finished A Dangerous Dress by Julia Holden last night. The idea was nice -- a small town gal finds her grandma's 1920's flapper dress and it sparks a serious of adventures in the high fashion world. As a semi-small town gal myself, the subtle digs that were supposed to help develop plot and character motivations just felt like insults to everyone who wasn't born in Chicago, NYC or Paris. I did enjoy Josh, the screenwriter and love-interest, even if he was an Astros fan...

I reviewed it. 320 pgs.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

World of Warcraft

I'm torn. I like playing the MMORPG World of Warcraft. But I feel like I should be doing something more productive. And if I want to keep playing it, I need a better computer, because I've been borrowing my husband's account to play. So, after computer shopping became overwhelming, I settled into my new glider to read the WoW Instruction Manual. Cover to cover. Because I am a geek.

Also, I watched Just Friends on DVD, which was terrible. Or, more specifically, not my kind of humor.

And we saw American Dreamz at the Saturday matinee. I admit I saw it for Mandy Moore and Hugh Grant, and I didn't read reviews first. I was thrilled to discover a biting satire poking fun at the American TV-loving public and creating sympathetic human characters out of traditionally scary would-be terrorists. I've never enjoyed loathing the 'stars' so much -- wonderful casting!

Eleven Big Ones

I listened to Eleven Big Ones by Janet Evanovich. Stephanie Plum's zany adventures are always good for a laugh, but I wish she would finally grow up a bit. Flirting with two guys without choosing was only cute for the first 7 or 8 books in the series, now it's just tacky and thoughtless of her not to commit. In this installment, the obvious choice would be Morelli, but that's in part because the narrator made Ranger sound like a gangster with a speech impediment.
One great feature of the audiobook was an interview with Janet Evanovich at the end, answering questions about where she gets her ideas for her characters.

I checked it out. 8.5 hrs.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I went to Vassar for this?

I went to Vassar for this? by Naomi Neale

In recent years, I have been more open to the idea of time-travel fiction, particular after discovering Connie Willis, but this novel illustrates all that is wrong with the genre. How does one travel back in time? Not with a scientifically engineered device, but with a big old-fashioned bump on the head, resulting in unexplained transportation to another era.

That said, the too-cool 21st century hipster who is fired from her advertising job after mocking the 1950's housewife soon finds herself trying to fit into retro-fabulous Manhattan. While Cathy must confront all of the demons of the 1950's, including philandering bosses, limited options for women and unapologetic racial discrimintation, she finds plenty of things to learn, including cooking and controlling her modern sensibilities. And of course she finds love, although a relationship with a man who was born in the 1930's can only end satisfactorily with a HUGE stretch of imagination.

I reviewed it. 342 pages.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

finished project: felted bag

I knitted and felted this Lucy Bag for my friend Sheila. I used 3 skeins of Galway wool in Periwinkle from Noble Knits. I finished knitting the handles today (Easter), and was so excited that I felted it right away in my mother in law's washing machine! I have used this pattern before, but never with worsted weight yarn, and I am very pleased with the size after felting - seems perfect to hold a few books! Plus, I found a silver heart brooch to dress it up a bit.


Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman

A witty teen sendup of Pride and Prejudice, with some Romeo and Juliet and Midsummer Night's Dream thrown in for good measure. A perfectly constructed smart and funny highschool romance. Look for love and find your own Mr. Darcy...

I checked it out. 198 pgs

Friday, April 14, 2006

My life in books

Much like the resolution craze each January 1, I look at this next year of my life as a time of opportunity. I have the opportunity to record a year in my life. I have the opportunity to do all the things I've always wanted to do. I don't need to make a big list of all of my plans. I need action (and then documentation.)