Tuesday, February 24, 2009


When is a carrot not a carrot?

While this is not the driving question of Neal Stephenson's new book, Anathem, the answer to the question provides a decent summary of the story. In short, a carrot is not a carrot when it is grown on the planet Arbre, which is similar to Earth in many ways, but distinctly different in others.

In this book, you will learn more about Arbre, including the historical timeline of events and rich cultural traditions of their academic (or "mathic") world.
You will get to know Fraa Erasmus, a young man who has lived for the last 9 years in the Concent of Saunt Edhar, studying and pursuing a life of research and contemplation.
Just when you start to enjoy the idea of life without technology and material goods, Erasmus will be evoked -- sent out from the Concent into the Extramuros world. Erasmus and his friends will go on an adventure beyond their wildest dreams ...an adventure to save their world.

Why I loved listening to the audiobook:
The audiobook features great narrators, several different voices, all working to create this story in my mind as I listened. Because Neal Stephenson makes up words like he's J.R.R. Tolkein trying to cheat at Scrabble, having a narrator pronouncing everything for me was a real blessing.

Dan and I listened to the 28 disc, 34 hour sound recording of Neal Stephenson's book Anathem, mostly together, or at least in the same 6 week period.

Boyfriend League

The new teen romance from Rachel Hawthorne (author of Thrill Ride) was a nice spring-training kind of baseball novel, although it was actually about the summer leagues of a small collegiate team in Texas. 315 pages

I'm giving up on Plum Spooky, the newest Janey Evanovich between the numbers book about Stephanie Plum. The THIRD guy she is romantically involved in is just too much for me, especially since he has oddly unexplained supernatural powers. I've checked out a 14 day copy twice now and I just can't make myself pick it up.
I hate to admit it, but I'll probably still make an attempt at Fabulous Fifteen or whatever the next Stephanie Plum book is in the series. Stupid fiction addition. I probably read about 70 pages.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

teen books

Fake Boyfriend by Kate Brian was almost too predictable. I put it down towards the beginning, but picked it up to confirm that I knew what was going to happen. then I got drawn in and finished it....262 pages

Clubbing by Watson and Howard - a Minx graphic novel. The cover makes it about partying, but it's actually about getting sent to live with the grandparents on their golf course. and then it takes a turn toward the mystery/supernatural, which is where it lost me. I finished it though, hoping for romance....which I didn't get....darn it. 151 pages.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What I Did for Love

What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Georgie York was America’s sweetheart. With her unruly curls and wide mouth, she charmed the country for eight years as the star of the family sitcom Scooter and Skip in which she played an orphan runaway hiding out in the large Scofield family mansion. Her costar, first crush, and now lifelong enemy Bramwell Shepard brought the show to an end almost a decade ago, when his addictions got the better of him, a sex tape surfaced, and their show was cancelled. From her childhood days in a revival of Annie, Georgie has always lived in the public eye, but in the year since her action movie star husband left her for a sultry dramatic actress, Georgie has been hounded by the press. When the sonogram photos of her ex-husband’s new baby surface, Georgie’s shock and dismay is photographed by the paparazzi for all the world to see.
Trying to escape, she ends up in Las Vegas, and through circumstances beyond her control, she ends up at a wild party with her worst enemy, Bram. Even worse, twenty four hours later, she wakes up married to him. To get an annulment wouldn’t strike the marriage from the public record, and the fallout from the tabloids would ruin any chance of her salvaging her career. Somehow they have to make the public believe their antagonistic relationship has developed overnight into a loving marriage.
Everything Bram says to Georgie is a lie and she would do well to remember that. When he starts selectively telling the truth, she is even more confused. From his rude young housekeeper to his constant talk of drinking and smoking, Bram enjoys keeping Georgie on her toes and in her place. Georgie is unhappy to be stuck in a relationship with him, even if it is completely fake. Bram and Georgie are both excellent actors, but how long can they deceive themselves and each other from the truth of their feelings?
This novel features a few minor characters from Glitter Baby and Natural Born Charmer and is sure to please fans of SEP!

Susan Elizabeth Phillips is my favorite romance author. To be honest, this book makes me cry, but not for the reason you would think. The dedication is to Anna Fields/Kate Fleming, my alltime favorite audiobook narrator, who always read SEP's books. When I first moved to Kansas, I would listen to SEP novels when I was driving back home to visit, and the voice of Anna Fields became like my best friend on those otherwise lonely car trips across boring old Missouri. Kate Fleming died in a flash flood a few years ago and even though it's silly, and I didn't know her, and I actually only ever heard her reading other people's writing, and I don't even know what she looks like, I really mourn her passing, even now.
401 pages

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To kill a mockingbirg

Why are you reading this post when you could be reading Harper Lee's wonderful novel?
Seriously. Go pick it up right now. You won't be able to put it down.
(I read it. And it's the big read this month, so I'll probably read it a few more times)

Friday, February 06, 2009

cute books from the library

I don't think these count toward my "reading" goals, but I need to return these board books to the library and don't want to forget the titles because we really enjoyed them.

Does a Cow Say Boo? by Judy Hindley
I Kissed the Baby! by Mary Murphy
Bless Me by Grace Maccarone
What's on my Head? by Margaret Miller

The first three are great for reading aloud, the fourth has pictures of babies with silly things on their heads.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

sweet love

Sweet Love by Sarah Strohmeyer features a giant cupcate on the front of the book, complete with three pink icing roses. Obviously, this is a love story about desserts. It's also the story of Julie Mueller, a divorced television news reporter raising a teenager daughter and watching out for her own aging parents. Her mother, Bettie, is known for being meddling, so when she gives Julie a gift certificate for cooking classes with a local chef, Julie is suspicious. At the classes, over the sumptuous desserts that everyone is creating, Julie encounters a man from her past, a man of whom her mother strongly disapproved.

Michael Slayton was raised almost as an extra sibling in the Mueller household, after his own mother proved neglectful. Ever since Julie made a pass at him when she was a teenager, Michael has kept his distance. Of course, when Julie broke a news story about a sleezy sex scandal in the campaign Michael worked on, that didn't help their relationship. As Julie and Michael are forced to spend time together each week over desserts, old issues including attraction and jealousy bubble to the surface. Julie is juggling home, work, health, family and romance when all she really wants is another bite of dessert!

I've known I shared Sarah Strohmeyer's sense of humor from her very early days as a writer. own a copy of her first book - Barbie Unbound - a photo book of Barbie dolls in unexpected and silly situations. To add to the pleasure, Sweet Love also incorporates quotes from Shakespearean poetry throughout. This latest novel does not disappoint, with a story that is humorous, honest and affirming. If you are looking for light-hearted women's romantic fiction, this story will tickle your taste-buds and leave you wanting more.

297 pages.