Sunday, December 07, 2003

Just finished the ARC for Nancy Werlin's DOUBLE HELIX. Very thought proking book. Farmer's THE HOUSE OF THE SCORPION got us thinking about cloning. DOUBLE HELIX will have us thinking about the ethics of genetic experimentation to create the "perfect" child. In theory, if we can alter the genetic makeup of an embryo we can eliminate birth defects. The question is - Does man have the right to make those decisions? How does one determine what a birth "defect" is? Ask the parent of a handicapped child how they feel about this subject. I am still shaking my head over this book and the roller coaster of a emotions this book evoked.

Eli, the main character, knows he's different, but for years is too scared to even consider why. When he does begin the search process all kinds of skeletons come out of the family closet. And what a "family" he discovers! I am going to have to go back and read it again.

Took a walk through the neighborhood earlier. Tried to take our Golden with me but I couldn't find her leash. Did find the bright pink cat leash with little white cat paws on it, but after the first full pulls on the leash that about knocked me off my feet I decided she was too strong for that leash. We barely made it two blocks away from the house before I took her back home. Maybe she was too embarrassed to be seen in public by the other dogs in the neighborhood because of the hot pink cat leash! :-)

I love to look at the Christmas decorations, even in the day time. I went through ealier today and marked all the Christmas shows in the TV guide. I collect Santas and copies of THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. In other words I am a Christmas freak. My inner child comes out big time during the Holidays. Tthere are so many wonderful Christmas books to read and so little time! Seasons' Readings :-)

I hope you all have begun decorating for the Holidays.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

The Internet is only wonderful when your local area provider isn't working on the cable lines! I thought Steve was going to go into withdrawal when he couldn't get online. Two days about killed him. I have to admit I wasn't too happy about it either.

I finished Second Summer of the Sisterhood and I still don't know if Bee had sex with the older guy in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but clearly it affected her deeply as she quit playing soccer and dyed her blonde hair. Maybe I liked the second book better because I just read it. That is rarely the case with me.

For example, I loved Allende's City of the Beasts, set in the Amazon, but I didn't get into Kingdom of the Golden Dragon as much. Maybe it was the setting - I loved the Amazon setting and felt the character development of the two teens was excellent. The Beasts were an integral part of the story in the first book, but the Yetis seemed almost like an add on in the second book. Not that I didn't enjoy it - I did. Allende is a stunning writer, using such beautiful language with a mystical quality.

Right now I am reading the ARC for Nancy Werlin's new one Double Helix. So far it is very intriguing. I'll let you know what I think when I am finished with it.

Would have read more last night but we put up the tree. I was chuckling as Steve pieced the artificial tree together. It has the lights on it and he was trying to figure out the connections between sections, with Sophie, our calico, helping from underneath the tree. Then I spent the rest of the evening trying to get the branches to look natural. Sure different from when I was kid. My dad and older brothers would go out into the 40 acres of bush we owned and cut down a spruce tree. Then Mom and I spent time trying to find the best side to put forward and sometimes there wasn't one! As I got older I began to realize why our tree was always in the corner of the living room, as we turned it, trying to find a uniform, fully branched side to decorate. But, it is amazing what a good job old fashioned tinsel does in covering up the spots where there aren't branches. At first we would start putting it on one strand at a time and then the boys would get bored with it and start throwing it at the tree. Of course, there were several years the cat knocked the tree down, sometimes more than once, so it looked a bit lopsided by the end of the Holiday Season and there was one year the boys made the mistake of cutting down a "swamp spruce" which when it warms up to room temperature smells a lot like cat urine. My poor cat kept getting blamed for it! Let's just say we always had a unique tree!

All for today. Felt weird not to "talk" for the last two days. Please excuse my typo errors. I am terrible about catching my own mistakes and the spell checker isn't always that great.

Saturday, November 29, 2003

It is a beautiful sunny day in Texas - cold by our standards, but sunny and bright. Nice after all the rain we have had.

Started reading Second Summer of the Sisterhood last night. I enjoyed the first book so I used my 40% online discount from B&N and ordered it. I haven't gotten very far in it but I am sure I'll like it since so many of my students have. The discussion has come up as to whether or not Bee had sex with the older guy or not in the first book. I thought she had, but I guess I need to go back and read it again as not all readers thought she had. Maybe I will find out if she did or not in the second book.

Also ordered the audio books of The Hobbit and the Lord of Rings series. Couldn't pass them up at 40 % off. I wish books on CD weren't so expensive. I saw the first movie and loved it, but I haven't read the books since I was a teenager so it is time to revisit them. I remember working in the university library and curling up with them during my breaks, reading in the stacks. That's how I found them to begin with - I was shelving books. So many of the wonderful things I have read through the years I have found serendipitously. I can't walk into a book store and walk out without buying something. I have been addicted to reading since my mom found me in the closet reading my older brother's language arts book. Guess I was four or so.

All for today.

Friday, November 28, 2003

If anyone reading this blog would like to be able to post to it please send me your email address at and I will send you an invitation so you can sign up for the "team." That way more than just me can talk about books or whatever.
After Thanksgiving dinner yesterday I couldn't stomach (ha! ha!) the old Shirley Temple movie my husband Steve was watching so I curled up with the ARC (advanced readers copy) of Alex Flinn's new book NOTHING TO LOSE. It is set in the Miami area as are BREATHING UNDERWATER and BREAKING POINT. Although it is a quite dark book it brought back pleasant memories of my own teen years when we used to wait for the carnival to come to the area in the summer. There was nothing to do in rural Upper Michigan in the summer but go to the lake or wait for the carnival! It was so daring to flirt with the carnies as they were taboo to the local girls. It was also "cool" to have one of the guys from the neighboring towns win something at the games and give it to you.

But, I never thought of escaping to the carnival as Michael does in NOTHING TO LOSE, nor did I have to deal with an abusive stepfather. In telling the story, Alex alternates chapters between now and last year when Michael's stepfather was killed, supposedly by his mother in self defense. So then why is Michael the one running away? The answer becomes clearer as the evidence builds. Alex does a great job of building the suspense and keeping Michael real through it all.

Now an off the subject of books topic. Why do we drive an hour across town in Holiday traffic to a sale that we are sure the items we want will be gone? Steve does this with Frye's all the time. We drove all the way to N. Houston to discover that nothing he needed to build his son a computer for Christmas was in stock any longer. Of course not - they were the "come on" specials that were probably gone at 7 a.m., if they even had more than 2 of them in stock. And I would NOT have been willing to drive up there at that time of the morning. However, at noon it was a pleasant break away from work for me, but I just don't get it. This is the same place that he had to bring parts back three times while rebuilding my computer because they didn't work. Maybe it is something about computer geeks! Go figure.

That's it for today. Hope anyone reading this had a great Thanksgiving and is enjoying the rest of the Holiday weekend.

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving!

Decided it was time I set up this blog so that I can keep talking about the books I am reading. I may talk about books other than YA, but that is mostly what I read, or adult books that have YA appeal.

I recently read Earth Logic by Laurie Marks and have been thinking about if this is appropriate for teens or not. As a middle aged woman I enjoyed it, but I can't help but wonder if teens would, even teens who are fantasy fanatics. The characters are all 35 or older - ancient by teen standards. Too bad since the first one in the series, Fire Logic, introduced the characters when they were young enough for teens to relate to. I love these books because they are set in a world where family means those who you love and love you, not based on biology. Children are parented by all adults in the family. Adults may be in same sex relationships or not - it isn't relevant either way.

Okay - enough for my first post. Just want to make sure this is working. I just set up and excited about using it.