Thursday, October 29, 2009 16 comments By: Suzanne

The Friday 56: Mystic



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

This week the book is Mystic River by Dennis Lehane, and the 56 is juicy!

On a second look, she noticed it wasn't more than a tenth of an inch deep. But it was long. And it was bloody. Though not enough to account for all the blood on his shirt and neck.
Monday, October 26, 2009 2 comments By: Suzanne

A new book, FINALLY!

So I finally finished my re-reading of American Gods. I'm not going to write a review of it because I did a whole "Neil Gaiman" thing when I first started this blog and I used the book as one of My Favorites on a Thursday when I still had time to participate in all those memes. If you'd like to go back and read those you can here and here. I will say that the second reading lived up to my memory. It is still a wonderful book! I was afraid I might remember it as so wonderful because it was the first book by Neil Gaiman I had read and I read it at a very stressful time in my life, but it was still a wonderful, amazing book.

Now I have moved on to Mystic River. I started this book this summer but didn't get past the first chapter because I started reading something else that I thought would be more interesting. I don't even remember what that was now, so I guess it wasn't! I saw the movie several years ago when it came out but all I remember is the missing girl and the ending, so I don't think it'll be too spoiled for me! Just now, as I was eating dinner and reading I came across a passage that struck me as hilarious and I wanted to share:

Once a month, Celeste and three of her coworkers at Ozma's Hair Design got together at Dave and Celeste Boyle's apartment to read one another's tarot cards, drink a lot of wine, and cook something they'd never tried before. They capped off the evening by watching some chick movie that was usually about some driven but lonely career woman who found true love and big dick with some baggy-balled old cowhand, or else it was about two chicks who discovered the meaning of womanhood and the true depths of their friendship just before one of them caught some long-ass illness in the third act, died all beautiful and perfectly coifed on a bed the size of Peru.

Isn't that just how men see chick-flicks?
Friday, October 23, 2009 10 comments By: Suzanne

The Friday 56: None for me



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Getting ready to go out of town so don't really have time other than to say, Have fun playing without me today!
Thursday, October 15, 2009 22 comments By: Suzanne

The Friday 56: Maya Angelou



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Ok, I had to cheat today because the closest book is one I've already done! So I walked to my bookshelves and picked up the first one my eyes laid on and it was Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou. This little book only has 22 pages and the last page is only three lines long but they're powerful so I kept it for today's 56. I'm starting at the beginning of the sentence which is technically on the previous page. Can't help it, this is just too wonderful not share, and I almost never cheat on these so I should be forgiven!

However I am perceived and deceived,
however my ignorance and conceits,
lay aside your fears that I will be undone,

for I shall not be moved.
---Our Grandmothers
Friday, October 9, 2009 21 comments By: Suzanne

The Friday 56: American Gods



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

This week's post is from one of my favorite books that I have picked up again after so many years, American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I was sitting on my bed with my laptop writing a review of the latest book, and this one was sitting on the nightstand patiently waiting for me.

"You know him?"
Wednesday shrugged, "I know who he is." He sat down heavily on the room's only chair. "They don't have a clue."

I think someone else did this last week or the week before for the 56 but there can never be too much Neil Gaiman! For anyone else who's read this: The first time I read it, I had this image of Shadow as a very large black man. I kept picturing someone like Michael Duncan. There's been some discussion about a movie being made and the boards discussing who they'd like in roles have all white actors playing Shadow. In re-reading it I realized either Gaiman never says Shadow's race or alludes to it in a way I am not seeing. I know his wife is described as blond/blue eyed but that doesn't mean Shadow has to be white, does it? Am I missing something?
Thursday, October 8, 2009 1 comments By: Suzanne

City of Bones


I discovered Cassandra Clare's City of Bones at Target one day by accident. I had been in the book store the day before feeling just plain frustrated by the lack of anything new in the fantasy section. Oh, there's plenty of new released stuff but it's simply the same old tired ideas recycled with a new cover. So, in frustration I just picked up American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I read it several years ago and loved it but I was in my internship at the time and have forgotten more than I remember. Then the next day I forgot to take it with me to work. On Thursdays I have a 2 hour break right in the middle of the day. So off I went to Target (because the stupid town of Weatherford, where I work, doesn't have a bookstore!) and again found myself standing in front of the books with frustration growing. I turned to look at the Young Adult section and the cover of this book leapt out at me. It actually sounded interesting in way that nothing else did. I haven't read a Young Adult book since the Twilight disaster but I thought I'd give this a chance.

From the back cover:
When Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder. Much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with odd markings. This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons - and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It's also her first meeting with the gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. Within 24 hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. but why would demons be interested in an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhumters would like to know.

I have to admit I was probably attracted to this for a reason that should have been obvious to me but I didn't even notice until Andrea pointed it out - it sounds a little like Buffy. I guess from the demon-hunting aspect it does a little, but as I read this book it occurred to me it was a lot more like Harry Potter in some parts of the plot line and then even more like Star Wars (Clary in the role of Luke). In fact, I would have to say the parts that originally made me think Harry Potter are the same parts that are major themes in Star Wars. Some of the book was fairly predictable. All the big "AH-HA!" moments were more like "ummm, yeah I saw that coming" moments. I kept thinking, "why don't these kids who are supposed to be so intelligent see what's happening?" but I had to remind myself that they are teenagers who for the most part still believe the major adults in their lives and even though these ideas are fairly common in literature and movies, for someone to automatically leap to the conclusion that someone they've spent years with might betray them or someone they thought long dead will not actually be would be ridiculous leaps of imagination for us to make in real life. And truly, if it wasn't for Star Wars in the first place would I have predicted these things? Well, maybe...After all, George Lucas based the themes in Star Wars on the writings of Joseph Campbell, another of my favorite people.

So, ok, even with the predictability and allusions to Luke Skywalker, I really liked this book. Clary is a strong female character, which is refreshing. I was so irritated by the Twilight series (yes, I'm going to keep bring that up every chance I can) and I was beginning to fear that teenage girls around the world would see this spineless, half-person that is Bella as a role model. Clary is strong and she has a mind of her own. She also has interests outside of that of any man in her life, and she doesn't drop them simply because she's with someone else. In fact, while this book has some elements of "oohh, what's going to happen in Clary's love life?" it's not an important issue in the story. She just doesn't spend all that much time thinking about it. She has her moments, of course, she is a 15 year old girl, but her whole being doesn't revolve around trying to be with a boy, like it did for Bella.

Another plus is that Cassandra Clare is simply a good writer. Even though this is a Young Adult book, I didn't feel she was talking down to her audience. She doesn't repeat herself as if she believes her audience is too stupid to remember when she said that earlier in the book. Is it possible to write a book like this without being so predictable? I don't know, I've never done it, but maybe. Is it possible to take known themes and present them in a fresh and interesting way? Now I know it is.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009 2 comments By: Suzanne

Home Story: Fleas

I haven't written much on here in the last few weeks, in fact I haven't done much of anything the last few weeks that didn't involve cleaning house. I thought I would share exactly why on here, because, let's face it, everyone else is tired of me talking about it and my readers can simply choose to stop reading and I'll never know!

Let this be a lesson to all of you organic-minded people out there: It is possible to get rid of fleas with natural and organic treatments. However, you will also have to live with flea bites on yourself and your animals for at least a month, maybe more. No matter how much I hate using chemicals in my house, this was simply unacceptable to me after desperately trying for 2 weeks to do everything I could and then discovering that Aurora (the collie) had contracted tapeworm. This is something that can only happen if she had ingested a flea (according to my vet).

So what does the person who is anti-chemicals in the house do in this situation? Get all the animals out of the house, close all dry food inside the fridge (luckily I haven't shopped much lately and there was room), bathe the dogs with flea shampoo (AGAIN) and spray them with the natural flea killing spray that seems to work (briefly, not a week like it claims), and flea bomb the sh** out of the house. At my mom's house I discovered a live flea on Loki (the cocker spaniel). So, off they go outside and off we go to PetSMart where we buy a different kind of flea shampoo and it's related spray (recommended by the trainers at the store). I'm going to place a free advertisement right here because it appears to be the ONLY thing that has worked. It says "Natural Chemistry" which seems to me to be an oxymoron but whatever, it worked and for that I am thankful. That awful "Hartz" stuff didn't work worth sh** and it smelled terrible too. They were at my mom's house for 2 days and were completely flea free.

THEN, I left leave the animals at mom's house while I went home and cleaned EVERYTHING. And I do mean everything. I put every dish I own in the dishwasher (or, that is, washed the few things that can't go in there by hand but you know...) and placed every thing that could be washed in the washing machine in the washing machine (obviously not all at once, what a mess that would be). I vacuumed floors and furniture and wiped counters and cleaned bathrooms and sprayed the yard (yep, more chemicals) and cleaned Lucina's cage and Loki's kennel all in between putting away clean clothes and dishes. I was very tired.

The next day I went to work and then over to my mom's to pick my now flea-free dogs and bird (thank goodness they aren't bothered by fleas!), take them all home where I am happily playing on my computer when I feel a terrible itching on my arm, look down and see a DA** flea on me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I promptly check both dogs. Of course, Loki has one happily crawling on him and I freak out. What can I possibly do at this point that I haven't done? Did I mention that they've already had two doses of Frontline in three weeks instead of four as recommended? I can't possibly give them anymore.

Then I notice something sort of interesting. These fleas are not jumping quite as rapidly or as high. I CAN CATCH IT! That's not right. So, a little theory is forming in my head but I can't be sure until I call my vet the next day (the nice receptionist who talked to me for close to 10 minutes on a busy afternoon deserves an award). Apparently once you've given your animal Frontline, you actually want the flea to jump on him and bite him. This will cause neurological damage to the flea and prevent him from laying eggs. This is why if you only give your animal the Frontline and don't do anything else it takes so long. You will break the cycle but have to wait them out as the already laid eggs hatch. In my phone call I discover (or actually am told) about another wonderful drug that you can give your animals that will kill all the fleas that jump on them for a period of 24 hours. Yes, they got that too. I am simply at my wits end with the flea thing and nothing short of skinning the dogs is too much at this point. As of today (I believe) I am truly flea-free. Just in time for my beautiful nephew to visit me this weekend.
Friday, October 2, 2009 7 comments By: Suzanne

The Friday 56: City of Bones



Rules:
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
*Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

So, maybe I read The Stand one too many times, because I got bored with it or maybe I am simply still in that mood where nothing short of absolute amazing will satisfy me. It's so irritating to go into a bookstore, stare down my favorite section (Sci-fi/Fantasy) and see nothing new. Oh, there's plenty of "new" as in just released but it's the same old stuff in new packaging. I think that's one reason I was so excited about The Golden City, I knew that would be a welcome change from the old tired plotlines. I eventually picked up American Gods because, even though I read it already, that was several years ago and I was in the middle of my internship so I have forgotten more than I remember. Then yesterday I forgot to take it with me to work. I have a 2 hour break in the middle of the day. I really hate those but there's nothing I can do about it right now so I read. M-O-O-N spells boredom (as Tom Cullen would say). Off to Target I went because the crazy town of Weatherford doesn't have a Barnes and Noble or Half Price Books, or even a convenient little used bookstore (that I've seen). Again, the same old tired sh**, so I turned around to the Young Adult, which since the explosion of Twilight should be called Teen Girl Vampire Lust, and am considering one of these. Just because Stephanie Meyer can't write worth a da** doesn't mean these other authors can't. Then I see City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. OMFG (I don't usually use those but felt it was appropriate here), it's a completely different concept. Even if it sucks I will be happy that it's different. So, here ya go. My Friday 56 comes from that.

"She hasn't got runes to keep her strong like we do."
"Mundies always die awfully easily, don't they?"

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