Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mechanics of Falling Blog Tour


The Mechanics of Falling and Other Stories, by Catherine Brady, is one of those books that falls prey to my finicky reading habits. Unfortunately, it's the first book I've been unable to finish that's also touring through my site. That's not to say that it isn't a good choice, but it's a collection that just didn't tickle my fancy particularly. If I were to try to pinpoint the problem, I would say that each story is slow to start and didn't reel me in the way a Lauren Groff or Tricia Dower story might. However, I can't help but wonder--if I had more time on my hands or more ummphf to read if I would've liked it better!
Therefore, I urge you to visit any one of the other tour stops for The Mechanics of Falling and decide for yourself if you'd like to give it a try. I'm keeping my copy around for a time when I'm less stressed and craving short stories in hopes that I can make more headway.
Wednesday, April 1st: Diary of an Eccentric
Thursday, April 2nd: Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Friday, April 3rd: S. Krishna’s Books
Monday, April 6th: Caribou’s Mom
Tuesday, April 7th: Maw Books Blog
Wednesday, April 8th: A Simple Walk
Friday, April 10th: Eleanor’s Trousers
Monday, April 13th: …and hijinks ensued.
Thursday, April 16th: Tomorrow is Another Day
Friday, April 17th: A Blog of Her Own
Tuesday, April 21st: Book Club Classics!
Wednesday, April 22nd: Books on the Brain
Thursday, April 23rd: The State I Am In
Friday, April 24th: Savvy Verse and Wit
Tuesday, April 28th: Clever Girl Goes Blog
Thursday, April 30th: Estella’s Revenge

Monday, April 20, 2009

Currently Reading

Before I start writing about my most recent reading I should announce my newest efforts at Bibliobuffet.com. I've been on hiatus for several weeks now, but my return installment of The Finicky Reader, which will run for the next two weeks, is titled "Reading Advocacy."

I'm finally on to a bit of pleasure reading! Between hanging out with the family, grading scarily huge stacks of essays, and playing with Miss Daisy (some things never change), I'm finally reading for fun again! Yippee!

I read Claudia Gray's teen vampire novel, Evernight, a while back after receiving it in a Halloween package. I have to admit that my expectations were low given the overwhelming popularity of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga. I love Twilight, mind you, and I was sincerely afraid that everything released so soon afterward might be a knockoff. I was thrilled with Evernight (click on the title on my sidebar to see the review) and found it original, fresh, and Gray's writing is quite a bit better than Meyer's in some regards.

Stargazer, the second novel in the Evernight series, so far, is not as great as the first one. That's not to say that I'm uninterested or turned off--it's pretty fun--but it hasn't grabbed me as thoroughly as the first book. Main character, Bianca, is a student at the boarding school for vampires (Evernight Academy), and she's weathering the torrid teen emotions associated with her loyalty to vampire hunter boyfriend, Lucas. The two are separated in this book, and it's kind of a bummer. I really enjoyed his character in the previous novel, and only having short snippets of him takes its toll on the story thus far. Given, I'm only about 100 pages in, so there's plenty to go, and I'm looking forward to whatever else Bianca might get into. I'll report back on this one later.

While Stargazer is my bedtime and early morning book, my between-times book (when I'm fully awake) is Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild. I'm sure everyone on the planet has heard of it by now given the film release and the true story having gotten a lot of press, but here's the super-short blurb: Child of well-to-do family, Chris McCandless, gives away all his possessions and heads off into the wilds of Alaska. He's later found dead. This is the story of his journey.

So far I'm really pleased with Krakauer's research efforts, and his storytelling is superb. I'm especially fond of the quotes that begin each chapter--snippets of books and bits of writing found in McCandless's journal, etc. It's hard to imagine what the guy could've been thinking, and I haven't yet decided if he's a visionary or extremely selfish for heading off into the wilderness with hardly a word to anyone. I wasn't sure how Krakauer would stitch such a vague story together, but so far he gets two thumbs up.

What are you reading, bloggy friends? I still haven't managed to carve out the time for all the blog hopping I used to do, but that's high on my list of stuff to get back to in the near future!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easterfied...

Happy day-after-Easter, folks! I know I've been remiss in posting lately, but there's lots of stuff stirring in Andiland (not to be confused with Candyland). I can't say that any of it is terribly exciting. Well, Chuck and Rocketboy are always exciting (see picture below), but on the whole I've been busy painting the townhouse with Chuck, enjoying Easter festivities, teaching, grading a buttload of papers, and nursing a wicked case of tendinitis in my achilles tendon (OUCHHHHH!!!!).

My reading is sort of on hold at the moment. Anything I do read lately seems to be children's, young adult, or a graphic novel. Not that I'm complaining because I love them, but I would love to sink into a hefty novel or non-fiction book and only peek out a few times. I need to be immersed! The last book I read was a Babymouse graphic novel....Monster Mash. Cute, but hardly fodder for immersion.

Easter was great here. We hid eggs for Rocketboy, made up a nice gift basket for him, and there were surprises for Chuck and Memaw (Chuck's mom). I made out like a bandit! I got a Half-Price Books giftcard from Rocketboy and Chuck got me a beautiful jewelry box with a gorgeous pair of silver and pearl earrings inside. Not to mention a set of pearl studs and a delectable book--The History of Farting. It can't all be sunshine and pearls, ladies. The farts need their moment in the sun, too. :)

We spent the afternoon having lunch with my mom, and we went to a big family Easter egg hunt that my clan hosts every year. In fact, below you can see one of the highlights. Chuck took it upon himself to ask my mom--very sweetly--if she'd take a picture of us. And when she did, he cracked a confetti egg over my head. Haruumphf.



It was a great day--like most days are around here. Now if I could only settle on a book! I've also been dipping in and out of:

Feed, by M.T. Anderson (teaching)
Parvana's Journey, by Deborah Ellis (teaching)
The Collected T.S. Eliot (for fun)

I'll be back, before another two weeks rolls along, with an update!