Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ummm...

I'm sorry for being so MIA as of late.
Life's just been getting the better of me.
I am still reading and I'll try and get some reviews posted but as an advance warning, I'm considering taking a little hiatus once school starts.
I need to get my life organized.
So yes, there will be a few posts to come.
Stay tuned.
And thanks for bearing with me.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Bits 'n Pieces - Jill Alexander


Coffee or tea?
Sweet tea – the thick kind with pure cane sugar.

Favorite movie?
Miss Firecracker (late eighties with Holly Hunter) and Edward Scissorhands. I love the quirky and off beat.

Have you ever sang karaoke?
Are fish wet? Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, Beyonce – just to name a few I’ve covered. Currently on Rock Band, my alter ego Judy Nails has the high score singing Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On Prayer. My thirteen-year-old son pays me to stop singing in the car before we arrive at his school. I’m also not permitted to do the Mariah Carey spastic hand waving while demonstrating my vocal range.

Would you rather spend the day surfing the internet or the ocean?
I’m more of a channel surfer. CMT, The Bachelor, Ace of Cakes.

If you could have lunch with any three people (alive, imaginary, or dead), who would you choose and why?
I don’t really have a desire to break bread with dead people. Have you seen Beetlejuice? So I’d LOVE to do lunch with Kellie Pickler, Dolly Parton, and Harper Lee. Four generations of Southern women with stories to tell. It’d be like our own Ya Ya Sisterhood.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Whining. Really. Call the Wambulance because I just can’t tolerate it.

Where would you bury your treasure?
In a mason jar in a barn. True story: My grandfather buried mucho casho in mason jars in the dirt floor of his barn. When he began to develop Alzheimer’s, he took my mother to the barn, gave her shovel, and told her to dig.
But in further truthiness, I’d probably not *bury* treasure. I’d blow it, share it, and have a great time.

What are some of the little things you love in life?
To me, the little things are those precious, stolen moments like when I sneak in some quiet time to memorize the poetry of e.e. cummings, or the way my husband reaches for my hand under the table at snooty dinners. And those times when I speed, no, fly down a lonely stretch of highway – Elton John’s Rocket Man on blast. Yeah. Take me there.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be hot and sophisticated. As in sexy hot and in another location. I was a string bean country girl living in a rural town of four hundred people. Could. Not. Wait. To. Leave. Now, as a writer, it is the emotion of that girl in that time and place I find the most attractive.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Booking Through Thursday #38 - Recent Funny


What’s the funniest book you’ve read recently?

Maybe a Jessica Darling book? Those can be humorous. But I really don't know. I don't read funny books.

Wait! I have one!
And there's a story. So I was wandering around the teensy weensy town where my mom grew up and came upon this big semi-butt (what are the cargo parts of semi trucks called?) that was filled with rejects from their small-town library. It looked very inviting so I looked around for a bit and found a wonderful children's book called Olivia Kidney. I love books that are based on MCs that share my name. Olivia The Pig, anyone? And so I picked it up for 25 cents and have read the first page. I laughed out loud more than once. And she lives in New York City. How much better can it get?

"Olivia Kidney's new home was an apartment building made of maroon and yellow bricks on New York City's Upper West Side. It was twenty-two stories high, and it contained some of the most awful people you'd ever want to meet. They crabbed up the elevators with their cold, unfriendly faces. The people who lived above her stomped on the floor if she was talking too loudly, and the people below her hit their ceiling with a stick if she was walking too loudly. 'I'm a human being!' Olivia had dropped to her knees, cupped her hands around her mouth, and called down through the floor. 'I'm entitled to move! I'm not made of stone, you know!'"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday #16 - The Six Rules of Maybe by Deb Caletti

A funny, poignant, uplifting, and truly authentic novel by National Book Award finalist author Deb Caletti.

As of now, that's the only summary out there. I'm sure something else will turn up in the near future but for now, this book will go on my "waiting for" just for the cover and title. Also, I haven't read a Deb Caletti book yet (what's wrong with me?) and this one looks like it might be funny, poignant, uplifting, and truly authentic. What else could a reader want? I do have her book, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart sitting on my shelf at home so hopefully I'll get to that one before The Six Rules of Maybe is released on April 20, 2010. Hopefully.

preorder

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty

Is the real world ready for Jessica Darling?
At first it seems she’s living the New York City dream. She’s subletting an apartment with her best friend, working for a magazine that actually cares about her psychology degree, and still deeply in love with the charismatic Marcus Flutie.
But reality is more complicated than dreamy clich├ęs.
When Marcus proposes – giving her only one week to answer – Jessica must decide if she’s ready to give up a world of late-night literary soirees, art openings, and downtown drunken karaoke to move back to New Jersey and be with the one man who’s gripped her heart for years. Jessica ponders this and other life choices with her signature snark* and hyper-intense insight, making it the most tumultuous and memorable week of her twenty-something life.
(Summary from back of book)

I don’t think this measly review is going to succeed in summing up my immense love for this series. I adore Jessica Darling. These books have been some of the most memorable I’ve read in quite a while and possibly the only ones in recent reading history that don’t allow me to put them down. Literally. I was babysitting this past Thursday and Friday and could hardly stand to part from Marcus and Jessica’s story long enough to make mac ‘n cheese and take the push-bike to the park.

I’m surprised that I was so involved in this book out of all of them because it’s drastically different than the first three. The previous books are Jessica’s private journals – commentaries on the day-to-day events in her life. Fourth Comings was changed because this journal isn’t private, and less significantly but still importantly, Jess isn’t in school.

This one is a journal kept by Jess during the week after Marcus proposes to her in his dorm room at Princeton, until giving him her response seven days later. She’s all grown up and on her own in NYC. She’s got a much more realistic and depressing view of the world because she’s finally faced with providing for herself and living independently.

In Fourth Comings actually get to meet Hope, which I loved. In the previous three books she was alluded to and addressed indirectly through Jess’s letters and ramblings. Now there are conversations and conflicts and direct emotions. I liked it better this way. That’s the way stories about best friends should be.

I also enjoyed reading about Jess’s thoughts on personalities, relationships, and life in general. Even though I’m only around how old Jess was in Sloppy Firsts I feel like I’ve related to her more and more as the books went on. Maybe because she’s gotten better at putting words to her thoughts – something that I think I’m very bad at. And maybe because I only wish that I could experience what she’s going through. It’s a phantom world to me. I’ll get there soon enough though. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from reading these books, it’s to relish these years where I’m provided for and looked after.

Once again, McCafferty has succeeded in authoring a masterpiece of a novel. I don’t know how she’s hit these homeruns almost every time. The Jessica Darling series is on its way to becoming one of my all-time favorites. It’ll take a lot to remove them from that spot of honor. Because they really are phenomenal novels. I can only hope that Perfect Fifths, the conclusion to the series, doesn’t disappoint.

Another A+, of course.


*According to Microsoft Word, snark is not a word. I wish I could come up with a snarky comment about that.


Reviews of books 1, 2, and 3.

January 1, 2007 // Three Rivers Press // 336 pages
Goodreads // Amazon // IndieBound