Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What I'm Reading

The Sunrise Lands The Sunrise Lands by S.M. Stirling

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I like SF/Disaster-type novels. Rebuilding civilization even. Heck, I liked the tv series Jericho.

I don't care for fantasy. This series is rapidly becoming fantasy. I feel kind of cheated. I thought in this part of the series we were going to find out why the Change happened. While it's interesting to see what went on east of Oregon, it's getting more and more like fantasy. While no one seems to have developed magical powers yet and little fairies and elves have not cropped up, I had to just skim the last part.

Oh wait. There *are* magical visions and powers cropping up! D'oh! It's getting fantastical. Drat.

I expect I'll keep hanging on just to see what the Change is all about, but I'll be doing it skimming style.

View all my reviews.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Things That Make The Day Go Faster

Open the building at 9:00 am
Kick out drunk guy fast asleep with his beer can cuddled close to his heart at 9:50 am

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Big Snark-Off - Smart Comments Edition

Because smart comments really are what snarking is all about.

GOP group compares Obama to Buchanan
from PewForum.org All News Feeds
Yeah. OK. And I'm gonna compare McCain to a random moose.

Analysis: Is Palin new face of Religious Right, or old?
from PewForum.org All News Feeds
I dunno, you can put lipstick on a theocratic ideal and it's still a theocratic ideal

Woodward Charges Bush With 'Odd Detachment'
from NPR Topics: Authors
What a nice way of putting it. I'd charge him with idiocy and self-interest myself. And economic destruction of a number of countries.

McCain ahead in national polls; Obama up in electoral votes
from PewForum.org All News Feeds
What is it with these polls? In the end, it's the electoral votes, stupid!

McCain must embrace Palin's beliefs, evangelical leader says
from PewForum.org All News Feeds
Let's hope that's all of her he embraces.

Palin's Church Promotes Conversion Of Gays
from PewForum.org All News Feeds
Such a lovely and well-educated group. Dorks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Attack of the Sugar Skulls

Dia de los Muertos is almost upon us. That means it's time to make those sugar skulls everyone likes to oooh and aaaah over. Here at the 'ol biblioteca, my department is making 100 for a skull decorating program coming up. Here are some parts drying. Creepy, huh? We've lined them up for that special march-of-the-dead effect:
A couple of my readers don't live near a place where they can easily get sugar molds or other Dia De Los Muertos paraphenalia. In that case, I strongly urge you use the internet to virtually contact my favorite supplier:

Tell them that nice little anglo gal who makes the healing shawls sent you.


Black ice By Stuart, Anne

Kind of a return to old-school suspense romance. The heroine is a bit helpless and fashion plays a bit part. It's set in a romantic locale. An isolated house plays a big role. Kind of reminiscent of the old Mary Stewart/Victoria Holt bit. Except for the sex and violence - which is more 80s bodice-ripper.

And yet Anne Stuart's Ice series has been given the AAR Reader's award for best romantic suspense. This title in 2005 and the sequel in 2006.

The action moves quickly. But the slow reveal of the hero's character's feelings, his lack of feeling at all in spots drag it a bit. The heroine's incredible innocence is a bit cloying.
And what's with the knocking out of the heroine "for her own safety?" And the gratuitous sex? And the sheer depravity of the villains? And good lord, torturing the heroine violently?
Oh dear, not my thing.

I will read the sequel, just to see if I like subsequent books better. If I don't, Anne Stuart, like so many people in this book, gets dumped.


Tribute By Roberts, Nora

A hero with wit and his own style of strength. A heroine with strength and creativity. A villain. Love and decorating. What's not to love? Roberts wins again!


Death Angel By Howard, Linda

Now this is a book I thought I'd have to give up on. Hooray! I was wrong!

Howard takes a dip into the Anglo version of urban lit at the very beginning. At least from the drug-dealing, sex-for-favors, assassin's point of view. Fortunately, like urban lit, there is redemption at the end.

The heroine's gutsy and calculating character at the beginning kept me reading despite my reservations. The hero's inner conflict and incredible cleverness also kept me going.
This gal had things well thought-out. Smarter than I ever would have been with her motives. But the hero is even smarter. They are equally determined to meet their goals both before and after the redeeming tragedy.

At the beginning I was iffy. Now I think this is one of her best.


Kill Me Twice (The Bullet Catchers, Book 1) by Roxanne St. Claire

This is my first St. Claire. I'd heard great things about the Bulletcatchers series so I thought "hey, check it out."

The characters are not as deeply explored as I like in a romance. The action is fast and then a bit slow and then fast. It wasn't too hard to figure out the villain, but it was just hazy enough that it kept my interest.

The treatment of the heroine by the bad guys is rough, but the treatment of her kidnapped twin sister is nasty and gritty in detail. Then again, we are talking about a villain who is depraved and deranged so maybe it's appropriate. Torture with sexual overtones is maybe not my thing.

As I said, the characters could have been more thoroughly explored. However, I have put the next Bulletcatchers book on my tbr list. With its popularity I suspect things get more interesting.


Into the fire : a novel By Brockmann, Suzanne
13th in the Troubleshooters series, this is yet another winner by Brockmann. The series is getting long enough now that I would recommend starting at or near the beginning (The unsung hero ) and working your way through.

For our team of heroes things got very sad and rough a few books ago and now it's time to pull the team together for a review/exploration of the nightmare. Yes, the team leader pulls in a counselor. We take a trip into the psyche of many of the long-time characters. Those who have had their happy ending, and those who have not yet.

With its usual fast-passed thriller-ride, the sensitive and serious nature of the heroes and heroines continues to develop. Throughout the book, layers are peeled back, heroes are healed, love is found and love is lost. And some a-double-nasty white supremacists are punished. Thoroughly. Utterly. BWAHAHAHAHA!

Be warned: Brockmann always promises us a happy ending. She doesn't promise it will stay that way.


The Contemporary Romantic Suspense bacchanalia has been a great success and continues!

Crazy wild By Janzen, Tara
The Steele Street series continues. This is an unbelievably macho world of fast cars, healthy and deadly men, fantasy urban lofts, determined heroines, and good sex scenes. The series features a ripping fun fast pace and intriguing if sterotypical heroes and heroines.

The demons of these heroes and heroines are unique, especially the heroines. They are headstrong in their determination to ignore the hero's protection and proceed headlong into danger to achieve their goals. The heroine's predicament and methods of getting herself into trouble are unique.

The best romantic suspense has to offer? no. Great escapism? Absolutely! That's why Crazy kisses, the next intallment of the series has been checked out from the library and awaits my reading pleasure.

Bonus points for library related action

Never look back By Miller, Linda Lael
Didn't do it for me. Maybe I'm sick of Phoenix's gritty streets, maybe it was the previous history between the principals. Maybe the hero and the heroine are just dorks. I read the required by Nancy Pearl 50 pages, thanked it for its time, and sent it back to the library for the good use of others.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Green Must Go!

Seriously, people I am TIRED of it. By all means save the earth. It's my planet and I must say I'm rather attached to it, too.

Just shut the hell up about it, ok?

I'll do my reducing, reusing, and recycling on my own without your constant harping and nagging and advertising, advertising advertising.

Green is "IN" I get it. Now lets all quietly do our parts and move on, shall we?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Big Snark-Off: Idjit Edition

There just isn't enough room in a snark-off for all the idjits popping up lately. So, I give you The Big Snark-Off: Idjit Edition

And, yeah, just about now it's mostly about politics

Let's begin with Sarah Palin, shall we?

Palin reignites culture wars
from PewForum.org All News Feeds
Hooray! We're back to good 'ol Gays, Guns, and God as a valid political platform! Hooray! No more thinking for ourselves! Hooray!

Palin has not pushed creation science as governor
from PewForum.org All News Feeds
Well of course not. She got elected by saying she wanted creationism taught in schools. That's all a good 'ol white girl needs, ain't it?

Palin's record with libraries called into question
from LibrarianInBlack by Sarah Houghton-Jan
Now I take this one personally. "Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books" Honestly, is she too stupid to look up a book in the catalog and figure it out for herself?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day Rodeo - Dayton Iowa

The Labor Day Rodeo was where I spent a ton of Labor Days growing up in Iowa. This is a small but mighty rodeo. This year was the 71st year. My mother and her sisters rode in the rodeo when they were teens and young women.

Around 1955, my Mom had been dating my Dad for a spell. They were in Ames, Iowa at the time. They were separated during the summer what with Dad moving back to Humboldt, IA for the time period. They wrote each other every day. Dad loved Mom's letters. Mom didn't receive Dad's letters. Long story inolving a landlady, another woman with the same name, mail being held, etc.

Mom was a bit upset about not hearing from Dad but soldiered on. Dad was a bit frantic because he just hadn't heard from her. But there was one thing Dad knew: His gal would be at the Labor Day Rodeo! So he grabbed his brother and drove to Dayton.

My mother and her sisters were riding in the parade when suddenly Dad darted out into the parade. It was quite a reunion I can tell you. And a few months later resulted in their marriage and it lasted 51 years until Dad's death in 2007. Actually I guess it still continues.

When I was little that rodeo was one of the highlights of our summer. You see, the parade started around 10:00 and we'd ride in from my grandparent's farm and get good seats on the side of the road. The parade always included marching bands from 2 or 3 schools. And a parade of new tractors and new cars from the local dealerships.

And floats! One year my grandmother was on the Ladies Aid Society float. They wrapped bandages for missions. I think that was the name of the society. Anyway, that was cool. A lot of the floats had people throwing candy from them so that was great, too.

And of course there were horses. Trailriding groups. And show groups. And all those Queens! Queen of the Rodeo, of course and all her princesses, but you'd see a lot of Dairy Queens and Beef Queens and all sorts of commodity queens there too. I always thought they were total glamour.

Afternoons, of course, were for the rodeo and fair. We'd usually picnic first to save money. Later, Grandma moved into town so we'd lunch at her place. There were rides at the fair and those were great, but the rodeo was coolest.

You'd sit down on wood bleachers and every year the same joke started off the festivities. "Did everybody get the free gum? If you didn't get yours yet, just check under the seat where some was left for you." I recall one among us who had to be convinced that the gum should not actually be chewed.

The rodeo had a parade into it with more glamorous queens. And roping horses and calves and bull-riding. And those clowns just about scared me to death. Uffdah!

I went to that rodeo off and on from the time I was very little into my young adulthood. I haven't been back since my 20s but, man, those memories are precious to me.

If you happen to be near Dayton, IA around Labor Day I strongly urge you to check out this small slice of America.