babblings…I’m feeling…

*lucky. So much Charley lovin’ going on in this house. After all the pain and loss this summer, I can’t begin to explain how blessed we feel to have Charley join our family. This dog. Oh my, this dog. He has the sweetest, most gentle essence about him. He is the best medicine I can imagine. And every day starts a bit brighter because of Charley. He awakes so happy and high on life that you just can’t help but feel better about life yourself. He is an absolute love. And I can’t even put into words how much of an understatement that is.

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*insightful. Ha! Yeah, that may be overstating it. But I have had a few things dawn on me recently. I’ve been in perhaps my most all-encompassing painful fibro flare to date. There is a weird balancing act that goes on with me and fibro, between refusing to give into it and yet accepting that I have to respect it. One thing that has dawned on me is that this seems to be the place I need for my mental wranglings. It’s just not something I feel comfortable talking to other people about directly. I’ve noticed that when people ask me how I’m feeling, I tend to sidestep. And another thing I’ve noticed is that I am so often apologizing because of fibro. Because of the things I just can’t seem to get done when in the grips of a bad flare up. Apologizing to people I love and care about for letting them down in myriad ways–from not returning emails and letters to not cooking the supper someone was really excited about.. Thing is, I’m blessed with the kindest, most understanding family and friends on earth–and they always find my apologies unnecessary. And I think it’s time I learn to let go of some of the guilt that comes with this chronic invisible illness.

*incredulous. Gray turned 15 yesterday! I am grateful every day that I get to be a part of this amazing kid’s life. Again with the understatement.

*weirded out. By the fact that I just can’t seem to make myself read lately. Since Dewey’s Read-a-thon a week and a half ago, the only reading I’ve done has been for homeschooling. Nothing that was just for fun. What I read for read-a-thon was awesome though! Loved all three books I read: Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley (though I think I’m in the minority of people who actually liked his Lost at Sea better), March Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (can’t wait for final book of this trilogy), and Murder is Bad Manners by Robin Stevens (reminded me of how much I adore awesome middle grade fiction; seriously, I was smitten). Just remembering how much enjoyment I got from those books, makes me think that today is the day I need to pick up a new book–like maybe Hark! A Vagrant, before I have to return it to the library.

*numb. Over The Walking Dead. Not numb as in “I don’t care,” but numb as in “I care too much, and I’m not sure how much more I can take.” This season has been nothing short of brutal thus far.

*panicked. But amazingly calm about the panic. Which of course is completely contradictory. There’s no way I’m going to get all the gifts made for Christmas. It’s just not going to happen. *sigh* And still I don’t stop trying. I worked on Chris’ gift much of the last two days, and can’t believe how little progress two days looks like. On a side note, I binged on the entire first season of How to Get Away with Murder during those two days. I do believe Annalise Keating may be the. most. intriguing. character I’ve ever seen on a television show.

 

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in the reading room this past week…

Seasons of Reading’s Fright Fall Read-a-thon took place this past week. I completed the solo requirement of reading a spooky/mysterious/thriller sort of book. Beyond that, I’m not sure if my week should be considered a success or not. The amount of time I spent reading didn’t suck, it just didn’t involve as much “fun reading” as I had hoped it would. This also means I’m not as far along on Andi’s #15in31 (only 2 of 15 so far!) as I might like. No worries–so not stressing about it. So, what have I been reading this week?

*The one book I did finish was Along Came a Spider by James Patterson. The first of the Alex Cross books. And a book I’ve read before, oh at least 20 years ago. There was a time I thoroughly loved this series, but after the first ten or twelve I just grew bored and eventually quit reading them altogether. At our recent library sale, I picked up the first several in the series again, figuring they would be the perfect sort of reads for flare ups when my brain just refused to work. And it was the fact that I’m experiencing one of those times that led me to read this book now. If I’m being honest, I think that I sort of hoped that I wouldn’t like it this time around. Like I was hoping I’d “matured” or something. Ha! Yeah, I know how stupid that sounds. Whatever. Fact of the matter is that I did enjoy it, whether I wanted to or not. 😉  I didn’t remember a lot about the book, but the two things I did remember were pretty important. But even that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Anyway, as far as thriller-type books go, I still think the early Alex Cross books are great. Of course, I don’t read this type of book all that often anymore, so I can’t compare to what’s out there in the genre today. This counts as book 6 for RIP.

*In the “school reading” category, I conquered a few more chapters of our astronomy textbook. Reading this is work for me. Not in the sense that I hate it, but in the sense that it is a struggle. I have to read some sections three or four times. And even then, all I come away with are the basic concepts. I’ve sort of given up on the math involved. That’s okay, we’re doing an integrated sciences course of which astronomy is only a small part, and yet we’re reading nearly an entire college level astronomy textbook…so I’m going to be forgiving of us both if we don’t walk away remembering, or even understanding, every little detail.

*Also in the “school reading” category, I’ve read several chapters of Reigns of Terror by Patricia Marchak. In the intro, she suggested reading Part II before Part I. Part II contains chapters for each of the 20th genocides/politicides/crimes against humanity that she focuses on, explaining the historical context, what happened during the genocide, and the external influences at play; Part I is where she gives her arguments about the preconditions and similarities that are present among nations where these violent crimes against humanity occur. So I understand why she suggests reading Part II first, but I don’t understand why she didn’t just place it first in the book. I’m a few pages short of finishing Part II, and as such have not yet gotten to the meat of her arguments and can’t yet judge how I feel about the book as a whole As important as I think it is that we’re doing this course on genocide, crimes against humanity, and human rights, I have to admit it is mentally and emotionally overwhelming.

*Back on the “purely for pleasure” front, I started reading Umineko: When They Cry, Episode 3: Banquet of the Golden Witch, Volume 1 by Ryukishi07. Annie convinced me to read these so she had someone to talk to in person about them. 🙂  Annie actually hasn’t even read the mangas yet, but she’s read the visual novel a few times. Anyway, it’s a massive (page-wise) series. There are 8 episodes, each broken down into volumes for the manga. Episodes 1, 2, and 3 each consist of 2 volumes, though I believe the later Episodes will each have more volumes. And each volume thus far has clocked in at about 500-700 pages. It is such an intriguing ride! Influenced by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. But very much it’s own story. It is mind-twisting for sure. It plays with logic throughout. Being slightly more than halfway through the first volume of Episode 3, I can say unflinchingly that I have no frickin’ clue what is going on. 😛 But I am enjoying it immensely. The characters are flawed, but there is a depth to their individual stories that helps up understand where many of them are coming from. Battler Ushiromiya is our protagonist, and at this point I find him both likable and a twit simultaneously. He’s 18-years-old, a bit sexist, and obsessed with big breasts. However, I was talking with Annie the other day, and she assured me that he actually grows a lot throughout the series. For all it’s fun with logic and mystery-solving, it is a violent, gruesome series. Duh–we’re talking multiple murders here. But really, it goes far beyond the cozy sort of mystery that I would classify Christie’s stories as.

*And finally, I started a new audiobook. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. I needed a new audiobook while I waited for Symbiont to become available, and this was the first one that popped up during my browsing that caught my eye. I had no clue what it was about, but have enjoyed Holly Black before (and really need to read Doll Bones !!!), so I figured “why not?” LOL–I said a few weeks ago how vampire books just weren’t my thing, and here we are with a third book in two months that have vampires! I’m guessing I’m about a third of the way through it, and am definitely enjoying it. I wouldn’t call it overwhelming love though. I have this feeling that I’m really just now getting to the meat of the story, and that I may just fall in love yet. Or it might totally fall apart on me. Eager to find out which, if either, will be the case.

in the reading room: more RIP, Dewey’s Read-a-thon, FrightFall, and #15in31

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SalemslothardcoverLast weekend, I asserted that I didn’t care much for vampire stories. So why did I choose to read ‘Salem’s Lot? It was a combination of little reasons, I suppose. After finishing up The Sharing Knife series, I wanted a new audiobook to listen to during the many hours it took me to paint Max’s room. And I was sort of in the mood for a Stephen King book. And I do have that reading challenge going with myself to read/reread all of his fictional works. And Scribd had this one available. (I listened to slightly more than half of it before quitting Scribd. The library didn’t have it in audio, so I finished it reading my print copy.)

Anyway. I read this oh-so-many years ago. Like in high school. So yeah, 35-ish years back. And back then, I loved it. This go round, well, not so much. Yep, disappointing.

King’s books tend to have things that I find problematic in them. But I usually find so much that I love about his books that I can enjoy them in spite of problems. I generally find his stories quite interesting, often downright gripping. But even more than that, what makes me love his works so much are his characters. He makes characters come to life so damn well. I usually feel like I know these people. Some I love, some I hate…but I always feel something. And that’s where I feel let down this time. I just didn’t connect with anyone, accept possibly Matt Burke. And maybe Jimmy Cody. Oh yeah, there were people that I didn’t like, but they felt a little flat. And it’s not that I disliked the main characters, but I just didn’t feel like I got to know them well enough to really care all that much.

And frankly, an okay story with okay characters just didn’t do enough to make me put those problematic issues in the background. Unkind ways of referring to fat people, certain sexist elements, a mention of rape that felt inappropriate (not really in a dismissive way, but more in a I-don’t-think-you-truly-understand-what-it’s-like way) and others that weren’t quite gratuitous but came close to being so. So yeah, this reread wasn’t an awesome one for me. But at least I get to cross it off my list…so that’s something…I guess..

parasiteI had much better luck with Parasite by Mira Grant (Seanan McGuire). Much better, as in I loved this book! This is my favorite kind of sci-fi. The medical sort. And there was definitely enough creepiness, enough unsettledness, to make me feel this is RIP-appropriate. Heck, the character of Tansy alone is enough to make it RIP-ish! 😛  So yep, we’ve got unsettling medical “breakthroughs,” and some intriguing, slightly off characters, and sweet dogs, and some characters that you’d like smack their smugness right off their faces, and science, and that overall feeling that you just don’t know who the hell to trust. I’m not sure if what’s revealed at the end of this book is meant to come as a surprise, but I tend to think not. Anyway, I am eager as all get out to start the second in the series, Symbiont. 

I listened to this as an audiobook; audiobooks have suddenly become my new best friends. It’s hard to believe that just a few months back I never listened to them…and now I always have at least one going.

death atAnd finally, there was Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn. Another audiobook. Eva had mentioned the series on Instagram just when I was needing a new audiobook. I figured if she was enjoying them, I would too. And a cozy mystery sounded perfect for my addled brain.

And yep, I did enjoy it. Quite a bit actually. I adored Daisy Dalrymple. Independent, extremely kind, ambitious, intelligent. She didn’t completely abandon the “rules” of upper class life, but she didn’t feel the need to judge people on ridiculous notions of what’s proper.

I was a bit annoyed with the events at the end of the book, but then was made less so when it was acknowledged that such a “solution” was a privilege only someone in the upper classes could have gotten away with. So yeah, I do think I’ll be giving the next one in the series a go.

And hooray for me! I actually completed Peril the First! In fact, these are books 3, 4, and 5. And four was the goal.

*****

deweysIt’s almost time for Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon again. October 17th, to be exact. I’ve come to the conclusion after all these years that this will always be bittersweet. It can never be anything but. Sadness and joy. It is what it is. I will never, ever not miss you, Dewey.

*****

frightfall2015button_zpspqsxncayI think I’m going to leisurely participate in another readathon during the month of October as well, the Fright Fall Readathon. It’s one of those more laid-back weeklong sort of readathons, and it runs from the 5th through the 11th. It does have the requirement that you read one scary sort of book as one of your reads, but that’s not a hard rule to follow, considering we’re smack in the middle of RIP.

*****

15in31I also signed up for Andi’s #15in31. I tried to resist, really. Largely because I know I’ll fail. But what the hell, huh? Knowing I’ll fail is a horribly lousy reason to forgo trying. So yep, 15 books in 31 days.

October, you’re going to be awesome!

in the reading room: RIP X continues, the library book sale, and a laid back sort of readathon…

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ThePassageCoverFeeling slightly more accomplished this week than last. Finishing a big-ass book will do that for me every time. Rich and I finished up The Passage by Justin Cronin this week. Woohoo! We read the bulk of it audiobook style, but after I quit Scribd in a fit of pique over their new audiobook policy, we read a bit aloud from our print copy until an audiobook copy was available from the library. Anyway, The Passage…Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow. Yep, totally loved this one. “To pieces” kind of love. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, little post-apocalyptic fangirl that I am. There were times I found it heavily reminiscent of The Stand, particularly in the beginning. And then there were times when I couldn’t help but think of The Walking Dead. But really, it was its own story for sure. I was totally clueless before starting the book that it involved its own unique brand of vampires, and I’m very, very thankful for that cluelessness. (Actually, I suspect that maybe there was a time I did know when it first came out and was all the rage, but I had no recollection of that little tidbit.) Anyway, I’m just not much of a vampire girl (except for Bram Stoker’s Dracula–that book I adored), and had I known, I might not have given this a go. So yeah, Debra Anne–maybe you ought to quit ruling books out using excuses like “but I don’t like (fill-in-the-blank) books.”

Okay, back on track please. I’m not sure what it is about post-apocalyptic/dystopian sort of stories that allows me to become so involved, so invested. I was right there, living in this scary new world along with the characters. And yep, the characters made me smile, and frustrated me, and brought tears to my eyes, and made me love them, even when I didn’t agree with them or completely understand them. The story kept me engaged all the way through. And I really enjoyed Cronin’s writing. But what exactly about this book moved it from a book I really enjoyed to a book that completely captivated me, I just don’t know. I honestly cannot point to any one thing that made me love this book the way I did.

forgotten girlsNext up was The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel. I’d personally never heard of Sara Blaedel before, but I get the feeling that she’s rather a well-known crime/suspense author amongst those who tend to read a lot in this genre. And it seems she’s downright famous in her native Denmark. I just stumbled upon this book when I was searching the library website for a new audiobook to listen to during all those cooking hours. I didn’t realize at the time I downloaded this one that it was the 7th book in a series. But honestly, it didn’t matter–it certainly felt like a self-contained story. Though I do realize there’s surely a lot of backstory I’m missing as far as the protagonist Louise Rick and her best friend Camilla Lind go.

In this book, Louise is just starting a new job, having moved from the homicide department to head a new sort of missing persons unit. Along with her new partner, a partner she’s not particularly thrilled about in the beginning, she begins her new job trying to find the identity of a woman found dead in the woods. Foul play isn’t really suspected; it appears the woman took a rather large fall down a bank. Identifying who this woman is, however, is the tip of a very large iceberg.

I found the story interesting, though I wouldn’t by any means call it at-the-edge-of-your-seat suspenseful. But at the same time, it is definitely not in the cozy mystery category. In fact, what we learn by the end of the book is truly quite horrifying, and I had a hard time stomaching some of the awfulness. Definitely trigger warnings for rape and for abuse of people with intellectual disabilities.

I enjoyed it enough, despite the horrifying aspects, to possibly give Sara Blaedel another try. I’d really love to get to know Louise Rick better. As all of Blaedel’s books haven’t been translated to English, I’ve no hope of going in order at this point, but if this book was any indication, I’m guessing I’ll be okay reading out of order.

Peril the First requires four books. These make books two and three, so I really should make it. Famous last words.

*****

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I also read a couple short stories. (Actually I read more than a couple, but I’m saving most of them to talk about when I finish the anthology the other ones are in.) But for now, I’ll mention two stories by Nikolai Gogol, “The Overcoat” and “Memoirs of a Madman.”

Thank you, homeschooling, for making me step into “the land of intimidating literature.” For me, the land of intimidating literature is vast and wide. Classics tend to live there. But then so do the works of a great many author’s writing today (A.S. Byatt, Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood, to name just a few). Literature from certain countries, like Russia and Japan. I guess one thing that guarantees I will categorize something as intimating is if I fear I’m not smart enough to understand it. The thing is, about 95% of the time that I force myself the visit the land of intimidating literature, I prove myself wrong. One would think one would learn from this and stop banishing books there to start with…but one doesn’t seem to learn from her mistakes.

And yes, the reason for all this rambling is that 1.) I was deathly afraid to anything by Gogol, and 2.) there was no reason to be. Both “The Overcoat” and “Memoirs of a Madman” were immensely readable. I was quite surprised by the humor in both these stories, though I wouldn’t call either story funny. “The Overcoat,” especially, was about the dehumanization of bureaucracy and strict hierarchies. I believe both are RIP-appropriate, “The Overcoat” more obviously so with the ghost/corpse (depending on the translation). I found “Memoirs of a Madman” overall to be sad, but in somewhat of a disquieting way. And bottom line, I enjoyed the hell out of both of them. Go figure.

*****

This week was our library branch’s book sale. Oh how we look forward to this sale every year. Rich, Annie, and I went on Tuesday (the day that is only open to Friends of the Library members). These are the beauties I picked up that day:

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On the left, the exciting new-to-me books I’m ridiculously eager to read. On the right, all books I’ve read in the past but picked up for fibro flare times when I need books that require little thinking or focus. (Not pictured: the two books I bought that I already owned. Doh.)

On Thursday, Rich picked up Eva and Thistle on his way home from work. We ate a fortifying supper before dropping Annie off at work and then heading to the book sale. Poor Thistle had to stay home to babysit the boys. 😉  Again, I may have gone a little overboard:

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(Not pictured: It’s become somewhat of a tradition over the last few years, that we give Mom, Dad, and Butch each a box full of used books as one of their Christmas gifts, and we really stocked up for that.)

Eva did okay herself. I think she said she ended up buying 30-something books. 🙂

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Ummmm…yes, Rich and I went back again on Friday. With really good intentions–we were just going to buy more books for Mom’s box Christmas box and grab some for Annie. But well, yeah…self-control is just a little too hard to come by at a library book sale. Especially on half-price day. I think Rich may have bought more for himself today than he did either on Tuesday or Thursday. 😛  And I picked another small(ish) pile too. Of course.

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The James Patterson’s are just more for “my brain doesn’t work and I’m cranky and I’m sick to fucking death of pain” periods. I’ve read them all before. The book that really excites me most from this stack is the Laurie R. King one–Eva told me about this series (Kate Martinelli) a while ago, and I’ve really been wanting to give them a go. So YAY!

I will not go back to the book sale today for bag day…I will not go back to the book sale today for bag day…I will not go back to the book sale today for bag day…

*****

Another YAY–this weekend is the Dog Days of Summer Readathon. Actually started yesterday, but I didn’t get much reading done. I’m hoping for a much better showing today. I have a ton of reading to do for school, but I’m going to try to break it up with some fun reading too.

in the reading room: a very slow start…

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Every year I get all freakin’ excited about RIP, thinking about how I’m going to read all the books and all the stories, how I’m just going to roll around and revel in everything spooky and creepy and mysterious. And then every year, reality bites me in the ass, and I have to face the fact that this time of year leaves me little time for reveling in much of anything beyond homeschooling. And well, reveling is not really the word I’d use for that.

So this week, all I managed to read, aside from a handful of chapters in an astronomy textbook and several essays on genocide, was Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoet. Yes, oh yes, this book is RIP-worthy! I rather like the description on the back as an “unsettling and gorgeous anti-fairy tale.” Most definitely unsettling, and yet most definitely gorgeous. The sweet, almost cutesy, style of art combined with the creepiness of the story gives the book a very disquieting feel.

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IMG_7284And the story is certainly creepy. Sort of a Lord of the Flies vibe, though the story is quite unique and has a fantastical, fairy tale flair. There are so many disturbing little details that add to the brutality of the unfolding tale.

I said that the art helped create the unsettling feeling of the book as a whole, but at the same time, I think the art somehow helped me from finding it unbearably depressing. A contradiction, I know. There was a quirkiness to it that also helped. And overall, I pretty much loved it to pieces.

(Book one down for Peril the First.)

in the reading room: books read, RIP X, a readathon, and our fall family bingo cards

Seeing how this covers the last two and a half-ish weeks, one might think there ought to be more to report as far as books read. Well, one would be wrong. One tends to think she accomplishes more than she actually does, apparently. 😛

children of green*Finished up The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston. A short children’s book written in the 1950s. For the most part, it was charming and enjoyable. Cool old castle, a pretty awesome great-grandmother, and friendly, spirited ghosts–what’s not to love, right? But actually there was one thing that wasn’t at all lovable–a dose of horrid antiziganism. Eva warned of this when I mentioned that I was about to start reading it, and she sure wasn’t kidding. While in general, I try to avoid spoilers, problematic issues like that are one thing I appreciate knowing ahead of time. I think when I’m blindsided by some sort of ugliness like that, I then find I can’t focus on any good a book has to offer, but when I’m forewarned, I’m better able to appreciate the good despite the problems. I’m not sure if that makes any sense outside my own head.

bitter brew*Next up was A Bitter Brew: Faith, Power, and Poison in a Small New England Town by Christine Ellen Young. We made up a family summer reading bingo game to play this summer, complete with rewards. I had one last item–“read a book that involves a crime”–to complete my entire card. I’ve sort of been in the mood for a true crime read lately, so that worked out nicely. But I started and abandoned two other true crime books before settling into this one. I remembered vaguely the incident this book chronicles, the arsenic in the coffee at a church in Maine, but didn’t know a lot about it. After reading the book, I now feel that in some ways I know too much about it, and in some ways I don’t really know much at all. It was just horrendously sad in about a thousand different ways. But oh my goodness, am I glad I was not a part of that church community–they seemed to just thrive on drama. Exactly the kind of thing I try to avoid at all costs. If it hadn’t been over a third of the way through the book before the author started delving into the relationships and power struggles and such, I’m not sure I would have continued. To be honest, I’m sort of wondering if maybe true crime just isn’t for me anymore. Or maybe it was just my mood–being in a flare up, I may just have needed more peaceful or comforting or fun sort of reads. Actually, that’s probably it.

*While Rich and I were off on our glorious four-day getaway to a “cabin” in the woods, I read the first volume of four different comic series. Two I pretty much fell head-over-heels in love with and two that I was left feeling ambivalent about. I’ve really struggled in the past about whether to continue with a series when I’m not completely in love with it. It would be one thing if I hated it, or even disliked it. But it’s those ones that I sort of like, but don’t really love that cause me decision-stress. Well, I’ve made an executive decision–if I don’t love it, I won’t continue. There are just too many awesome books left to read in this world and too few years of life to even make a dent. I do realize that a the second or third volume might turn a “meh” experience into a “wow” experience with a series, but really there’s that potential with any book. I’m happy to have set myself this policy, as frankly, decision-making is not my strong suit.

So…the four series I started, two of which I will happily be continuing with:

Rat Queens, Volume One: Sass & Sorcery by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Roc Upchurch was one of the most fun comics I’ve read recently. I seriously loved it with a passion! How could one not fall in love with the Rat Queens themselves, Betty and Violet and Dee and Hannah?!! They’re funny and irreverent and badass. And maybe what I love best about them is the way they care about one another. The art–awesome. I wish so badly that I had volume two already.

Sex Criminals, Volume One: One Weird Trick by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. I expected to love this, I really did. I mean I love Fraction’s Hawkeye; I love the unique concept of the story; I love sex. But I don’t know…it just didn’t wow me. Too high expectations? Maybe. I don’t know, but something about it fell a little flat for me. Which really makes me sad.

Shutter, Volume One: Wanderlost by Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Duca. This was another huge win for me. A robot cat who bakes cookies, a reluctant hitman salamander who drives an apple car reminiscent of Richard Scarry, a slightly scary nanny who goes by the name “General,” previously unknown siblings…come on, what’s not to love?!! Plus an awesome friendship (which we’d better get back to!), a transgender character, dinosaurs, mystery. Yeah, I’m smitten.

Low, Volume One: The Delirium of Hope by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini. As with Sex Criminals, it’s not that I disliked it. And again I like the premise of the story. But it just failed to really grab me. And while I adore the cover of this one, there was something about the coloring of the comic itself that just didn’t appeal to me. I actually think it’s appropriate, but nonetheless it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I really do see potential in this series, but I’m sticking with my decision.

*****

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(fabulously gorgeous art by Abigail Larson)

RIP X is underway! Absolutely one of my favorite reading events of the year! But I must confess, when I first saw the announcement, I sort of felt like I’d been punched in the gut. It just completely threw me to find that Carl wasn’t hosting it this year. Don’t get me wrong–I have no doubt whatsoever that Heather and Andi will do a wonderful job! They are both completely beyond awesome, and I adore them to pieces! What threw me didn’t have to do with the fact that they were hosting it, it was that Carl wasn’t. To me so much of what I associate with RIP (and Once Upon a Time, and the Sci-Fi Experience) is Carl. So maybe it’s just that I’m not good with change or maybe it’s just a nostalgia thing, but it just caught me off guard.

Like I said, I know that Andi and Heather will make RIP X fabulous, and frankly, Carl pours so much work and heart into his events that he more than deserves a break! So now that it’s sunk in, and even more so after an email from Carl, I’m ready to revel in all things creepy and gruesome and mysterious once again.

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I will be aiming to complete Peril the First (which requires four spooky/mysterious/creepy/horrific/you-get-the-idea books). Though I can’t really say what those four (or more) books will be. These are my pools (a comics pile and a pile of novels), but who knows if I’ll even stick with them.

Not shown: I’ve been rereading Salem’s Lot (Stephen King), Rich and I are currently listening to the audiobook of The Passage (Justin Cronin), and my current non-fiction book, Spillover (David Quammen), fits RIP qualifications too (at least I think so).

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I also hope to participate in the Peril of the Short Story. Though if history repeats itself, I will likely read appropriate stories, but then fail to write about them because I just find it so frickin’ hard to do. I pulled a pile of appropriate collections off the shelves to dip into.

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Not shown: A collection of Sherlock Holmes stories that my dear friend Pat sent me, and that I’d set aside just waiting for RIP. And then RIP comes, and I completely forget to put it in the stack. One is also scatter-brained.

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And finally, there is the Peril on the Screen. I’ve no idea what I may watch though. And again, as with short stories, I really have no idea how to talk about movies/TV. But hey, that doesn’t stop me from talking about books, does it? 😛

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DDoS ReadathonHeather and Andi are adding yet more fun to my life by hosting the brand-new, Dog Days of Summer Readathon. Just a laid back weekend of reading, which sounds perfect. Even if I have to spend the bulk of my time reading for school.

 

 

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Next up, we’ve begun our Fall Family Bingo game. We did this over the summer (with all different categories), largely as a way to keep the boys reading over the summer. Shocking all of us, Max was the first to complete a row during our summer game, though Rich and I were the only ones to fill our entire card. It was a hit, so we’ve decided to do another round, running from September 2nd (the boys’ first day of school) thru December 24th.

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And lastly in this week’s reading room, I only brought one new (to me) book into the house, Sula by Toni Morrison.