So What Are YOU Reading?

Because I am living alone at the moment (and for the next five months or so of moments) I have a lot of time for uninterrupted reading.  It’s one of the best feelings there is, to have the quiet time to sit down with a good book, and to just let whatever else needs doing wait.  Kind of a delicious spaced-out interlude in which the rest of the world ceases to matter.

Just finished Escape by Barbara Delinsky.  It’s one of those feel good stories with a happy ending.  Of course there’s a lot of stress and trauma and mucking about to get there, but you just know things will work out eventually for ALMOST everybody.  And the ones it doesn’t all work out for, well that was their own damned fault.  In the crazy world of workaholic lawyers in New York,  Emily suddenly decides to walk away from it all and figure out her priorities in life because she’s mega stressed and no longer happy.  How many people do you know who are working their butts off doing something they hate to do for all the wrong reasons?  Take a good look in the mirror – one of them might be you.

Odd Jobs by Ben Lieberman is turning out to be a real page turner and everybody’s fate is up in the air.  Of course I’m referring to the characters who are still alive at this point in the story.  I’m about half way through it.  If I review it now I’m less likely to give away the ending. Here’s the little blurb from Amazon:

College student Kevin Davenport is working any and every odd job to make it through school. He discovers who killed his father while working at the corrupt, mob-controlled, Kosher World Meat factory. Now he will stop at nothing to prevent the killers from ruining other families and to get his revenge, as well. Conventional techniques, such as going to the police, have not only been ineffective for others, these methods have proven to be virtual suicide.

So all bets are off and Davenport uses the grittiest and strangest methods as tools to bring down the killers. The characters, misadventures and odd jobs will have the readers laughing. But the hazard is real and Davenport is in over his head.

It’s very well written and hard to put down.  Unless you get interrupted by something like this next book.

Shift or Get off the Pot by Linda Edgecombe.  My boss gave it to me as a gift.  Do you think she’s trying to tell me something??  I started reading it last night at work and finished it when I got home, and decided I already have a life, thank you very much.  There are some very insightful things in it of course, not that I needed to hear any of them.  Okay, all sarcasm aside, it’s actually an excellent motivational book, which is why I was able to quickly read the whole thing.  And also just in case there’s a test later I like to brown nose and appear to be smart.  Funnily enough, it’s a lot like the Escape book, advising us to get rid of the negative things in our lives, discover what it is that makes us truly happy and fulfilled, and then get out there and have fun and enjoy life.  Instead of being on “The Deferred Life Plan”, working ourselves to death so we can be happy some time in the future, we need to start living right now.  Accept who you are, do your best, and learn to laugh again.

Apparently I need to accept the fact that I’m a Relator.  (Not to be confused with realtor – I would suck at that job.)  The other choices are Socializer, Thinker, and Director.  Get the book and find out who you are!  Or if, like me, you already know everything, never mind.  And now, back to the grizzly murder mystery.  I definitely have my priorities straight.

Egg On and Early TV

(Perry and Della – the unbeatable team)

These topic suggestions have egged me on.  Such a strange expression – makes me think of someone pelting me with raw eggs to set me in motion.

What’s the best way to find out about new books you might like?  Go to the Word Press Home Page and click on the Books topic.  Lots of people out there are reading like crazy and sharing their experiences.  All of the e-books on my Kindle come from Amazon of course, and the reviews and suggestions there are great.  The “customers who bought this item also bought”  thing can be very helpful too if you’re looking for books that are similar to, or just as interesting as, the ones you’ve already enjoyed.  It never hurts to have friends who read a lot and like to make suggestions.  And I love bargain book tables.  Although those aren’t piled high with new books, they’re usually new to me and there’s always the possibility of discovering some obscure gem.

How do you spend the majority of your non-work time? Non-working.  Eating, sleeping, reading, blogging, playing games, keeping up a house, washing my hair.

If you were going to redecorate your home, what would you change? A better question might be, where would you start?  But frankly I’ve spent a lot of years changing things up and around, and now I’m at the point where I don’t really care that much about it anymore.  Our house is too big for just the two of us.  If we ever move to something smaller I’ll think harder about the whole decorating thing.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?  Nope I’m not really either one.  I don’t get up excessively early, and I don’t go to bed ridiculously late.  So I’m one of those boring intermediate chronotypes with no sleep disorders, unless you count liking sleep a lot as a disorder.

What creeps you out?  Unexplainable mystery noises in the dark. The kind of strange sounds you’re not quite sure you actually heard, because they might have been part of a dream, so you listen so hard you stop breathing but you don’t hear anything else.  And so you drift back to sleep.  And promptly hear something slightly different that could have come from the same unidentifiable source so you have to start the whole listening without breathing process all over again.  Or you get up to investigate and make your own mystery noises in the dark because you only knock over extremely cacophonous objects when you’re trying really hard to be quiet.

You can pick one chocolate from the box.  What kind of filling do you hope is inside?  Deliver me from sweet cream fillings that burn my throat and hard chewy centres that stick to my teeth for three hours.  Just give me chocolate covered nuts – in fact, how about a whole box of them so I don’t have to read the quide and try to figure out the pictures and decide what exactly might be inside a Himilayan Pink Salt Peanut Butter Red Velvet Dark Chocolate Truffle From Hell.

What’s your most treasured possession?  My brain.  Such as it is.

Who are your all time favourite authors?  Absolutely impossible to say because I have no idea even where I might begin.  Every single person who writes has something to say, ideas to get across, stories to tell, insights to share.  If I read a book I particularly like, I’ll always see what else that author has written but it’s not good to get bogged down in any one particular genre.  There is brilliance everywhere.  And complete garbage too, but how would you recognize the great stuff without the crap?

What were your favourite tv shows when you were a kid?  We didn’t get a tv until I was nine years old and then we had only one channel so we watched whatever stupid thing happened to be on.  We especially liked staying up later than our normal bedtime to watch a show, which meant that The Ed Sullivan Show and Bonanza (on Sunday nights all the way to ten o’clock) became our favourites by default.  Later on I liked to watch Dr. Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare, and argue with my sister about which one was more sexy and swoon-worthy.  I liked Perry Mason a lot too, because he never lost a case, and I was convinced that Della Street was the main reason why.

        

Now seriously, who would not prefer those sexy hairy arms and Ben’s brooding good looks to Dr. Hairless Wonder there on the right who looks like he’s fresh out of grade eight?  (My sister isn’t here to defend her heart throb from the ’60’s so I feel like being a bit ruthless).  We argued about hockey players too, pretty much just for the sake of arguing because it rarely had anything to do with the game or their hockey skills.  And then we moved on to male singers (Mick Jagger vs. Eric Burdon, for example).  It’s an endless list for a fun game of ‘have an opinion and defend it, no matter what’.   All in the spirit of egging eachother on.

The Beauty of E-Books

Amazon Kindle 2 Wireless eBook Reader

I’ve had my kindle since last Christmas, and the current count for my downloaded books is a whopping 82. Never in a million years would I have devoured that many titles in a year without it.

I love the convenience of carrying it with me anywhere and having immediate access to such an incredible selection of reading material. All the features of shopping at Amazon are right there, including reviews and recommendations. Obviously I’ve made good use of them.

Reading this way hasn’t replaced my love of picking up an actual book at all, just enhanced it. I still love the feel of a real book in my hands and glossy book jackets and page flipping and the awful habit of scribbling notes in the margins and handing over a copy to a friend.

But the kindle is my own little personal portable library zipped up in a padded cover. It never loses my page or misplaces a favourite title. The page flip is now a button click – different, but no less effective.

It’s hard for me to imagine that e-books will ever completely replace the real thing, but they’re certainly going to save a lot of trees. And they’ve already made my hard copies seem somehow more rare and even more precious to own.

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42% Captivated

“Ruprecht Van Doren is an overweight genius. Daniel “Skippy” Juster is his roommate. In the grand old Dublin institution that is Seabrook College for Boys, nobody pays either of them much attention. But when Skippy falls for Lori, the Frisbee-playing Siren from the girls’ school next door, suddenly all kinds of people take an interest. A fatal doughnut-eating race and the ensuing tragedy will explode Seabrook’s century-old complacency and bring all kinds of secrets into the light, until teachers and pupils alike discover that the fragile lines dividing past from present, love from betrayal—and even life from death—have become almost impossible to read … “(Amazon description)

I am always drawn into a book by its title. So if you want someone like me to read a book you’ve written, give it the weirdest name you can think of. This one must have come up on an Amazon book list because I’ve downloaded it to my Kindle and I’m 42% into it, as per the helpful little things that kindle tells me at the bottom of the screen.

Skippy dies in the first chapter, pretty much on the first few pages; then we skip back to the ‘beginning’ to see what leads up to that. This has saved me (or prevented me) from reading the last chapter first, which I sometimes do in a mystery because I can’t stand the suspense of not knowing what happens in the end. And I like to see how the author develops the plot to come to whatever conclusion. So no, this strange habit doesn’t ruin a book for me, it makes it better. Although there still could be some kind of twisted ending to this one; you never know.

So the captivating voice? Has an Irish accent?? I don’t know. Every book has something captivating about it for someone, even if it’s just the name on the cover, otherwise there would be no point in publishing it. I’m liking this book; if I try too hard to analyze the reasons why, I’m afraid I won’t like it so much anymore.

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