Sunday, November 9, 2008


Considering the hectic nature of the holiday season, I have officially suspended my reading for now. Sad, I know, but I have several projects that involve all my free time and they take priority over my leisure activities. Although, I have to say, trying to read American Pastoral was anything but leisurely.

Bronwen dutifully dropped it in the book return on Election day. The date wasn't significant; we were just at the library for story time.

So, dear sister, I apologize for taking a break, but I promise come January 2nd I will be refreshed and recharged, ready to work on our 100 books project yet again!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


So as some as you know, I have been working on a massive project in my pottery class. I have created an umbrella stand using the coil method. It took me almost 3 months to complete (4 calendar months) and now it is done. So here are some pics...A size comparison shot. This piece has its own echo it is so big and it weighs in at about 25 pounds.
Panel 1

Panel 2

Panel 3

Daisy took the time to view the new art in the house but Trixie was too busy to appreciate the arts.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where the heck have you been?

So some of you may have been wondering why I have deserted cyberspace...
Well you see, I saw this story on CBS Sunday Morning (if you don't watch this, seriously you should) about being a hobo and I decided to give it a try.

This guy looks a little uncomfortable and dirty so I decided to attempt hobo life in a more refined way. So I took a shower, grabbed a book, bought a ticket and sat in the coach car of a lovely Amtrak train. The result of my hobo life style was 12 trips up and down the eastern corridor.
See map for routes:

Now you are probably thinking that anyone who has spent that much time on a train has surely completed American Pastoral. But alas, the copy I have is a large library edition and I didn't want to be weighted down in case I had to jump for it, so I have read 8 other titles in its place. I will post my reviews soon.
Truth be told, I am struggling to get into the story as well. I am afraid I may have rotted valuable brain resources reading pink young adult novels. I vow to pick this book up this weekend and give it another go. I am smart, well read, and not a quitter. I just hope my Sweet Valley University books don't call my name...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Letter to my Sister

Dear Jana,

I hate this book. I am on Chapter 2--as in I finished the 40 pages of Chapter 1, and I am now staring blankly at the beginning of Chapter 2 willing myself to start and yet unable to actually read a word.

Why is this book sucking the life out of me?

Please tell me it gets better.

Your Sister Jen

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Swede

I finally began the next novel on the list--American Pastoral. I aim to finish a chapter a night, but as I am just embarking on this literary journey, it is taking a me time to get involved in the story. So far there are several things I cannot relate to: the time period, Jewish life, baseball, and being a boy. And I am only about 5 pages into it. Hopefully I shall garner some insight into all of these things as I become more interested in the plot and characters.

In the meantime, since I have no pastoral scenes nearby to capture with my camera, I will leave you with some pictures I took from my garden. It's as pastoral as I can get, sadly. At least it is verdant.This little guy was about 2 inches long, head to tail.

Friday, September 26, 2008

New Holiday

Seeing as we are always striving for creativity here in the Herko house...
Daisy has invented a new holiday

Take your kitty to work day! I guess she feel like I don't need to carry my computer in this bag any more ^..^

Monday, September 22, 2008

American Pastoral...

I went to the library and checked my copy of American Pastoralby Philip Roth. So enough with hurricanes, vampires, and such, let's get back to the project. For inspiration I am heading to a field to read.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I apologize for my absence, sister, but after you gave Gustav such a thorough tongue lashing, he sent his brother Ike over to avenge him. Luckily, in typical male fashion, Ike got lost along the way and refused to stop for directions while visiting Cuba. Jan, I hope Texas will forgive you.

Meanwhile, on the reading front, I've been remiss in going anywhere to find the next book on The List, American Pastoral. I am hoping to make it to the library next week to proceed with the New Classics challenge. Until then, I'll leave you with some pictures of some new friends we made while hanging outside after Gustav.I had to buy another hummingbird feeder--I've counted eight out there at one time.Our red tailed hawk, keeping an eye on the neighborhood.

Friday, September 12, 2008

*bring bring*

It is the blog calling. Update me please!!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Guest Starring...

I am pleased (as you can see by the dorky smile, boy web cams make you look weird) to welcome our friend BatMan back to the blog.
J:Welcome BatMan
BM: Welcome?!? Ha as if you can call it a welcome, you are holding me hostage. People don't let the smile fool you. She is a maniac.
J: Well...umm. I have no idea what the little bat is talking about.
BM: I have proof that I am being tortured. As they say in TV...Let's go to the video (Side Note: Agents if you are interested in representing me contact me at

J: BatMan, I can't believe it. Daisy just was trying to have fun! Enough with these false accusations. I thought we agreed that while you were guest blogging you would do some book reviews. I bet Nancy would like that. To be honest with you, I think she might be losing interest in you. You are not the only one with evidence. Evidence please...

Yes I do believe that is Nancy with none other than Brett Favre. And look!!! She is trying to keep it a secret. Now BatMan I believe you were saying...

BM: Err yes...While I have been trapped in this evil den of torture, my princess Nancy Pearl, has been encouraging me to do some reading. Man, her glasses are so hot! But I digress. I just want to say in this prison they seem to only stock girlie books, so please don't think the Bat is not a Man. I am BatMan after all.

I began my reading with Dear JuliaI thought perhaps I could learn a few things about writing letters to the goddess Nancy Pearl. As it turns out this a book about a dorky girl writing letters to Julia Child and friendship among misfits. So I thought I might at least be able to learn about French cooking to impress the empress of libraries. In the end this book left me confused as Julia Child shows up at a cooking contest and according to my bat skills (and wikipeida) she died in 2004 and the book is set in the present day. On my Bat rating scale I give it 1 1/2 POWS!

I decided that the next book I was going to read needed to be a bit more masculine so I found Blisson the shelf. This was much better. Bliss is the story of a daughter of hippies moving in with her wealthy grandmother to attended a fancy private school. A story of high school stalking and suicide is set against the backdrop of the Manson murders/trial. The only complaint I had about this book was that it took me awhile to figure out the book was actually set in 1969. Not a bad read although the ending was a bit weak. On my Bat rating scale - 3 ZOWS!

The final book in my guest review blog follows the saying, "Save the best for last!" In my quest to locate my twin brother, I picked up Identicalby Ellen Hopkins. My ray of sunshine, told me that her books in verse were amazing. Boy was she right. This book was fantastic. It had a Bat twist I never saw coming. While the fascist, dictator that is holding me hostage, prefers her books Crankand GlassI enjoyed this one quite a bit. On my Bat rating scale - 4 1/2 SAZAMS!
BM: Are you happy now oh evil captor?
J: Yes BatMan. Thank you for your insight. Why don't you use your BatSkills to return electricity to Jenny so she can get back on-line?!?!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

If Gustav Calls...

Since Jen is in the dark (see photo) I am all alone in cyberspace. I find it a bit lonely. I decided to turn to an older form of communication...the phone. A transcript:
J: "Hello?"
G: Sound of the wind blowing
J: "Who is this?"
G: Sound of the rain falling
J: "Is this Gustav?"
G: Sound of sign shaking in the wind
J: "Listen jerk-off stop blowing around and leave my sister alone! This is premiere week on the CW and I have no one to talk too."
G: Sound of wind, rain, and signs
J: "I mean it. I am going to call the Chinese and ask for some of those cloud dispersing missiles if you don't get your butt into Arkansas!"
G: more howling
J: slams the phone down! Looking up number for Entergy....

Hurry back sister! I am getting bored and corny.
Programing Note: Since this is a 2 person blog with one person with electricity. The part of Jenny will be played by a special guest tomorrow. In the mean time COMMENT, I am lonely. I think you can tell :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

And now back to...

our regularly scheduled project. So the Twilight break is over for some of us. I will be posting with my opinions of Breaking Dawn and hopefully all of you will comment about how wrong I am later in the week. I know a few of you may not have finished yet...

So for those of us who have finished, let's move on to American Pastoral. I personally have not read any Philip Roth so I have no opinions. I know that comes as a shock to some of you :)

So let's get to reading. I hope all of you in LA were able to get waterproof editions and that you have plenty of candles.

Monday, August 25, 2008


Greetings to all of the readers from No Time for Flashcards! While the books we discuss are mostly adult or young adult books, my job involves Early Literacy and Pre-K curriculum development. The books featured on No Time are fabulous, I know them and I give three cheers for the books selections and the activities. Keep up the great work with you little ones and when they are older, I have some great book recommendations :)

Thank you for stopping by and please, please feel free to comment :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I google, therefore, I am...

A tiny experiment. I have just googled "most searched words on google." I will now attempt to write a series of blog entries using the 500 most searched words. After reviewing the list I will not be including duplicates such as and So I will probably be using 483 terms :) Yes I am procrastinating from the real writing I should be doing...

Yahoo! I just checked my hotmail account and I have been asked to write the lyrics for the next Diet Coke commerical. I love It is far superior to I see that I have also received a few jokes from my dad. As, well as an update on my my recent ebay bid. Yes, I really do need a hello kitty toaster. I wonder how much it will cost to ship it from Japan, I better check my maps.

Now that I have my correspondence out of the way for the day. I shall spend a few moments playing my games of Text Twirl on Facebook. Afterwards I may search for some new warez, boy I really miss all of the songs I used to get from Napster.
Disclaimer: FBI people or whoever you are that monitor the inter net. I do not participate in illegal file sharing or pirating. I am just writing an amusing blog entry (I hope) using search terms. In fact I had to google warez. Please don't come after me.

I guess I will need a dictionary for my next task since i have no idea what snes roms are. Thank goodness for search engines.

I wish I could be doing all of this hard work from my veranda office since the weather is so lovely, but alas I took one of our autos to the train station and came into the office. I was pretty distraught this morning as I had to walk to work without music because my ipod battery died. But I made it and started to work by searching for some clip art for some of my jobs. While i was looking I found a really great new hello kitty wallpaper for my desktop. Luckily I stayed away from thumbzilla. (I had to google that one too. 25 words and terms before the first porn reference)

I took a quick break to chat with some co-workers to discuss whether or not I have a future writing greeting card poems. Ironically I just saw an episode of Kate and Allie about a chick named Haven who wrote greeting cards.

My day is just winziping by... I guess I better take a break and review some recipes so I can figure out what to make for dinner tonight. I don't feel like having hot dogs or traveling to the store. I need to make sure that we eat something that is good for our health. Perhaps I should call Britney Spears to ask for a suggestion. She always gives me such great tips for the movies. I guess I would probably be better of asking jeeves.

I just got interrupted so that I could look at some pictures and think of some baby names. I suggested not naming the baby after flowers. I managed to get out of that conversation just in time. Now it is back to work with some Survivor songs to keep me motivated.

That makes me wonder if they are still together as a band. I wonder if they would play a party. Let me see if they are listed in the yellow pages so I can get some quotes on what it would cost. I am thinking it would be sublime directory if they played a party where we could all wear prom dresses. I better check my horoscope to see it it is a good time for me to have a party. I also need to check on southwest airline tickets and used cars to see if Jen can make it to the party. Just so you know there will be NO marijuana at the party, although there may be some anime.

If I am going to be looking for a car for Jen I better get my copy of kelly blue book. I want to make sure that she can get a car in the proper zip code so she can use a map to bring Bronwen to come visit me. There better be no spanking of backgrounds cracks.

I am off to look for some hair styles in chat rooms so I can look like Jennifer Lopez for the party...

ps. search terms appear in purple :)

1 Year Later

Friday, August 15, 2008


I realized today that I haven't posted in awhile. Things have been pretty hectic. I have also been waiting for others to finish up the Twilight Saga so I can rant. But, alas, I remain alone and I really don't want to spoil things for others, so I am keeping my rants to myself. I wonder if anyone can tell that something is bothering me about Breaking Dawn....

In other news...
I haven't really been reading much so I can't write about that. This sometimes happens to me when I have been waiting for a book to come out.
I haven't been doing much besides working and I don't want to bore you with that.
I haven't developed any new insights on life at this point so nothing to report there.

I know...I did see something hilarious last night, while knitting and complaining about baseball viewing in my house. Keep in mind that I was watching an Ohio FSN channel. Boy, there are strange things in Ohio. So without further adieu I give you...

I thought it was a joke. Yes a dating site for you guessed it...FARMERS! Because city folk just don't understand.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Twilight Series

I have to admit that I am really enjoying the Twilight series (I am on the third book, Eclipse), but I find a couple of things are really getting on my nerves. First, I hate how I love Edward Cullen one minute, and then find him possessive and clingy the next. I also don't like how Bella seems to always doubt her own intuition. I can't count how many times I've read that she (I'm loosely paraphrasing here) "thought she saw something in Edward's eyes, but it must be her overactive imagination once again."

Um, Bella, HELLO?! It has NEVER once been your imagination!

Other than that, I am thoroughly enjoying the series. I find the plot moves along at a great pace, and I am emotionally invested in the characters. Jana, you were right. Right now I am on Team Jacob.

Maybe I should hedge my bets and cheer on Mike Newton.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Breaking Dawn

I have finished my marathon re-reading/reading of the books. I will keep my fingers silent until more of you have finished. In the meantime, I suggest checking out Stephanie Meyer's website for the playlists that go with each book. She has excellent taste in music. I am making a few additions to my ipod as we speak.
I can't wait until we can talk about the books. Until then, I am off to read some you know I have a back log :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

They're Here!

The baby will have to be entertained by the cats today, as Twilight has at last arrived! I know, I am totally behind in the coolness for not having read this series yet, but I am catching up.

Until then, I am planting my nose in the book, and using my peripheral vision to ensure my sweet Bronwen stays out of trouble.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Please, please just let me read!

Well I have finished Twilight and I loved it just as much as the first time. In my mind I had combined the three books, so I still felt like it was a page turner. Now if only my life would allow me the pleasure of just reading the next two... I am uncertain if I will be able to pick up Breaking Dawn on Saturday as I am far from home. Keep your fingers crossed that the stars will align and I will be able to read on Saturday. Has anyone else started or read Twilight? Let me know what you think. I need the distraction :) Press the comments button people!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Waiting for Twilight

I ordered from Amazon a week ago, and still no books. Curse the Super-Saver Free shipping! I know they are taking their sweet time as punishment for my pecuniary tendencies.

Until then, I am rereading Beach Music.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nancy Pearl is my Hero!

Today I have invited special guest Nancy Pearl to help me explain my love of reading. Welcome Nancy!
NP: I have noticed that do you a lot of reading.
JH: Not as much as I would like to, but I manage.
NP: I also noticed that you read a lot of Young Adult Lit (YA), why is that?
JH: This is a complicated answer, do you have time for it?
NP: Sure, I can't get far with these plastic legs.
JH: There are many reasons that I read YA. First and foremost, it is my dream to be a YA librarian. So I have to know the material to be able to match the perfect book with the person. Secondly, a lot of YA is better than your average fiction for adults. I challenge you to find a better book than one of John Green's, M.T. Anderson's or Meg Cabot's. The writing is sophisticated, complicated, and just damn good. Granted there are a lot of sugar-coated, trite, "pink" books out there for the YA crowd. But even those are fun. Who hasn't read a Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts book? And finally (for time purposes), I get a lot of free YA books because of my job. :)
NP: I enjoy a good YA book as well, as you know I wrote Book Crush.
JH: Yes I know, you are my idol after all :)
NP: Well it is getting late and I have a date with my little BatHunk so I better make myself beautiful.
JH: Thank you for guest blogging. I think I am going to get a jump start on my Twilight reading.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What Are You Reading?

As I have mentioned before, beginning July 28th I am taking a break from the EW list to prepare for the release of Breaking Dawn. I am so excited I can't stand it! Only 8 more days until the release. Now I have to decide if I am going to a release party or if I will wait until Saturday morning...

Since I finished The Liars' Club on Wednesday I didn't want to start the next book (American Pastoral) until after my Twilight break so I have been reading through some of the books that have been stacking up on me. This is one of the areas that I keep "my to read" books. These are only Young Adult. I have one other basket of fiction and nonfiction. Never fear one of the perks of my job is free books so I don't have a spending problem. For a partial listing of my library see the side bar...
So what have I been reading (I should point out that I read a LOT of Young Adult Fiction, there are reasons I will explain in another post, just be warned)...

How to Be Bad - I love road trip books in general and this one is a fun read. I love E. Lockhart and Lauren Myracle has written several books with a character named Jana so I like her :)

Ambition - This is book 7 of Kate Brian's Private series. This is probably my favorite Alloy series right now. Private school, rich girls, and death. Fantastic. They keep getting better. The next one comes out in September...can't wait.

And today I started Rumors - The sequel to The Luxe. The Luxe has been called Gossip Girl set in the late 19th century. I enjoyed the first one and am looking forward to this one. I will let you know what I think.

So that should take me up to Monday. I have to work this weekend and tend to my gardens so I am not sure how much reading I will fit in. I hope you all have your copies of the Twlight books and are ready to go. Just a warning... These books are long so if you need more time start now. In the three volumes there are a total 1824 pages (please don't be scared you won't even realize you have read that much). My pace will be roughly 365 pages a day so adjust your schedules where necessary. I have recommended these books frequently and I have never had a complaint! Edward, Bella and Jacob await you :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I *Heart* NJ

So as many of you know I love New Jersey. I know I am strange but it is true. Here are a few reasons I love the garden state...

I had to pick some of the larger tomatoes early due to a stealthy rabbit who has been helping himself a little too often.
I picked all of these last night. The large one across the top was as long as my forearm. I was going to take a photo but my battery died in my camera. I would take a picture of it now but it is currently in the form of 2 loaves of zucchini bread :) Who knows how many I will have after last night's 2 inches of rain. Anybody want some squash?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I did it!

I finally finished. I can't remember the last time that it took me so long to read 336 pages. Why did it take so long you might ask?
Was it work? Well I have been extraordinarily busy at work but this is not the first time and I usually still fit reading in.
Was it because you lost the book? No I carried it around with me.
Was it because you sustained an unfortunate eye injury? Nope I managed to keep sharp objects away from my face.
Then what was it?

I will explain. Let's flashback to high school English class. In a normal story (fiction or nonfiction) you have a story arc... introduction - conflict/plot - resolution. This is what makes up a story. Now there are many great works of literature that have tried to escape this convention, where a writer writes for the sake of writing. But you can even boil away On the Road or The Sound and the Fury and find the elements of a story arc. Ok end of class.

Here is why I think I disliked this book so is all introduction. Sure there are a few conflicts here and there...did her mom try to stab them, did her mom shoot Hector, etc. But she shies away from digging into the situations. I realize that she was young, 6-8, in these years but my advice is write about something you remember, not vaguely remember.

But what is even more irritating about the book is that there is no resolution/redemption in the end. Things that were intriguing: her adolescence, college years, step siblings, were glossed over. I feel like she got tired of writing her life story and I know I was definitely tired of reading it. In the end I had the same feelings towards everyone in the book as I did in the beginning...they are a selfish, drunk, unsympathetic family that I didn't need to know.

I have read a lot of memoirs and can off the top of my head come up with several that were better than this one. I think I might need to research if the publisher is a parent of EW and that might be the answer :)

My picks would be This Boys Life by Tobais Wolff or Keeper of the Moon by Tim McLaurin. Check it out if you are in the market for a childhood memoir but don't waste your time on The Liars' Club. I promise I am telling the truth.

Can you give negative stars when you rate?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend Reading

Thank you, Jan, for sending such a nifty care package. As a result, this weekend I spent reading the following:

6 issues of People
The Queen of Babble Gets Hitched
1 issue of EW (I am a week behind)

And don't worry, the baby was not neglected during all the magazine reading. She was busily playing with matches in the corner by a pile of flammable liquid.

Guess what I didn't read? Yep, you guessed it. The Liars' Club has been collecting dust since Bronwen picked it up and perused its contents last week.

Luckily the book is due back to the library on the 24th, so that will be my motivation to finish it up over the next two days. If I don't finish, I'll skip to the last page to see what happens. Since it's a memoir, I know the main character lives.

I also ordered all 2 Twilight books from Amazon as well as They Might Be Giants' "Here Come the ABCs."

Exciting stuff!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Membership +1

Q: What did you read this morning on the train?
A: The Liars' Club of course!

Photographic Evidence:

Hey who put that manga in my bag????
It must have been our viewer from Japan, konnichiwa!

Coincidence? Nah, Kevin Bacon

I have not given up on this book and have finally trudged my way into the second part. As I was flipping from the "1961" to the "1963" section guess what I saw? You won't have to guess if you're reading along, but I'm gathering my (our) less-than enthusiastic response has dissuaded a few of you... Anyhow, it was a quote by: Cormack McCarthy! ("Duh" parenthetical: The author of the first book we tackled on our list.) It follows:

A man's at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with. He can know his heart, but he dont want to.
Rightly so. Best not to look in there. from Blood Meridian

Jan--remember how we used to play our own version of 6 Degrees of Separation, otherwise known as the Kevin Bacon game? I think it would be a fun side challenge to see how we can relate the books to each other.
So there you go. Just an idea. Input?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Things I would rather do besides read The Liars' Club:

Play a board game (if you know me, you'll realize that this is a big deal)
Clean the floors: On my hands and knees
Scrub toilets
Scoop litter
Watch paint dry
Mow the lawn--with tweezers

Yes, folks, I would just about rather do anything than read this book. To be fair it isn't all that bad. It is interesting, and there are definitely moments of intrigue. Still I can't stand the author, even as a little kid. I want to throttle her. I fear having a child like her.

But I will prevail. I will not give up! Semper Fi! (for this one, anyhow)

Anyone reading The Road right now? I miss it. Yes, it is that bad.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sad and Tragic News

You better sit down for this...
I didn't pick up a book once this weekend. Wipe the shocked look off of your faces.

For those of you who don't know me well:
1. This is a very rare occurrence, in fact I am pretty sure there are more blue moons in a year than days that I don't read. Just to reinforce the point, I keep a yearly list of what I have read and I average between 225- 275 books a year. Yes, I know I am a nerd. Did I mention that I didn't read for 2 days in a row?!?!?!
2. I hope you get to know me better, so comment so I can know you then we can be cyberfriends. Yeah!

And to top it off, I haven't even read today since I got a ride into work rather than taking a train. So you might ask...Is it because you don't like The Liars' Club?

Well, I don't love the book and I can obviously put it down. I have read many, many better southern childhood memoirs. But I am not using the 80 page rule and hopefully I can finish this week. It is not the book that is keeping me from reading, it is an evil thing called work, which I better get back to right now.

Oh and just in case you were wondering...

I finished the second relief last week and will be carving the third and final one this week. This is probably a good thing since I have my next 3 or 4 projects already planned. Barbara, when are you going to class with me? :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Liar Jam

Q: How do I read the Liars' Club without a playlist????
A: You don't...

1. Liar - The Sex Pistols
2. Liar - Korn
3. Liar - Nine Inch Nails
4. Liar - Fireflight
5. Liar - Queen
6. Liar - Three Dog Night
7. Liar - Rollins Band
8. Liar - Dar Williams
9. Liar - 8mm
10. Liar - Stars

Bonus Track: Blame It On the Rain - Milli Vanilli (you can't buy this one so let me know if you need to borrow my tape)

The Liars' Club

I am plodding my way through this book. I just can't seem to get interested yet. I actually look ahead to see how many more pages I have until the end of a chapter--not a good sign. I really don't want to utilize the 80 page rule on the second book I read for the project. In order to get excited and inspired, I decided to ponder the title: The Liars' Club. Any other Liars' Clubs I could find?

Politicians:The Rosenburgs:
Tabloids:Milli Vanilli:
An interesting and varied list, I find. Maybe the book will get better. We shall see!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I have loved Harry for a long time and have been reading since before book 3 and the mania started. With the release of every new volume, I would reread at least the preceding book if not all of the books and before the release of Deathly Hallows I reread all of the books. So you might ask, "Jan, which is your favorite?"
My Answer:
Without a doubt, it is Goblet of Fire. I love this one and it is the one I have probably read the most. I remember when it came out I reread it as soon as I finished it.

So my questions to you are...
Which is your favorite? Why?

p.s. As I alluded to in a previous post, Jen and I have discussed rereading the whole series since we have both only read book 7 once. We have decided to put that project on hold until we make a dent in these 100 books. Perhaps they will be books 101-107 :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Worth 1,000 Words

T.J and I ate at La Provence for our anniversary. This was on the wall right beside us. I couldn't help but think of the book. Notice the faces in the window--one of an adult and child. I found it an odd coincidence. Maybe I wouldn't have noticed this picture at all if not within the framework of my reading. Makes you wonder what you don't notice each day.

Speed Racers

I also want to add that unlike a normal book club, we do not tarry with deadlines and due dates. If you wish to read and post about The Road, please do! It is not too late! If you decide to read the ones we've skipped and want to review, this would also be great. I know Jana and I both would love to foster discussion on the "new classics" as much as possible.

I am off to order the Twilight series as well as The Barenaked Ladies' new CD for kids.

The Beloved Harry Potter Liars' Club

As you may or may not know, Jen and I were big readers before we undertook this project. That might explain why reading a list of 100 books seemed like a good idea to us :) What this means for the list though, is that we have read several of the books that are already listed. After discussing how to approach these titles we have come up with a plan...

The Plan
Part I
Books that we have both read we will skip rereading for the time being. We (one or both) of us will make a brief post about the title, giving a mini-review to allow for Part II of the plan.
Part II
We invite you to read the book and post a review in the comments section. Let us know what you think. Make us want to reread the book :)
Part III
We each still get to skip 5 titles on the list. I hope you hear me Charles Frazier because I am skipping you!

So with that stated, Jen and I have started The Liars' Club. Harry don't fear I have a feeling we might be revisiting you soon.

Also as a tiny break from the project, I invite you all to join me starting July 28th in my Twilight Saga reading to prepare for the August 2nd release of the final book Breaking Dawn. If you have not read these books I encourage you to click to the left and order them NOW!!!!!! You will not be sorry. It is time for you all to know Edward Cullen.

Hey, I don't see you ordering! Do it!

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's a Long, Long Road

I think we cheated a bit, sister, by discussing the book before we penned our thoughts, but it's our blog, so I suppose we can do whatever we want. I, too, found the story bleak and depressing, but since the setting is a nuclear winter after most of the population and all of the sunlight has been wiped out, I think that was a purposeful tone.

I've been thinking about this all day, and keeping in mind that very tone, I think it is an uplifting story.

*putting on Devil's Advocate hat, which looks kind of like a trucker cap*

The plot involves a father and son, trudging down a road, trying to survive. They have to guard against rain, cold, snow, starvation, and evil marauders. The father is self-sacrificing and full of pure love for the son, evidenced in the fact that he still goes on day after day; his son has become his purpose.

The son is hope for humanity. Forget the simple symbolism of "children are the future" and see that the son is not just hope for humankind; he has a tender heart despite never knowing the world before its barrenness, and yet he still feels sympathy, empathy, and compassion for others. He is hope for humanity--that goodness that exists within each of us. Like Jan, I will not give away plot points, but he implores his father to have pity even when others would not have pity on them. He has no reason to be so pure of heart, yet he is. I found that pretty uplifting. He is hope amid despair. He carries "the fire."

The author chooses to write in the third person--a great way to keep the reader just slightly detached, which helped ease some of the horror. And as Jana pointed out, helped to make me want to continue on in the book. I really did care for the characters, but I was able to remain somewhat aloof as necessary.

What bothered me more was the lack of apostrophes. Yes, I know, nit-picky, unless it was just a visual way of showing conventions don't matter? That most of the world is dead and therefore grammar is as well? I don't know. The language was beautiful, even if the vocabulary could be a bit obscure at times. I do know that after I finished the book I wanted to read it again. I didn't, though. Time for something a little less intense.

Originally I wanted to give it 3 stars, but upon reflection, I think it deserves 4 out of 5 stars as well.

The End of the Road

As I have previously stated, I was reluctant to read anything that Cormac McCarthy penned after my torturous experience with All of the Pretty Horses. However, I found The Road compelling. I was shocked that at times I couldn't put it down. The story is probably one of the most depressing I have ever read and I don't think that I am spoiling anything by saying that. So please keep reading this blog :)

However, the writing is extraordinary. I truly cared about the characters and although, at times, it seems like nothing is happening I kept turning the pages. With that said, I do feel that there are times in the story that McCarthy relies too heavily on plot devices, events seem a bit too convenient. I think the last 2 pages are a fine example of that. I don't want to give too much away about the ending so I won't go into anymore detail but when you read it you will see what I mean.

I would like to challenge all of the reviews that I have read about the book in the end being uplifting or redeeming, so listen up all of you Amazon reviewers. I don't feel it, I am not and was not uplifted. In fact, I think I will have to read 3 or 4 pink Young Adult novels just to counteract the effect of The Road.

Overall though, I give it 4 out of 5 stars. It just goes to prove if you can write, it can make up for the plot :)

Jen, your thoughts?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Book #1--Complete!

I have finished The Road.

How do you want to discuss? Should I just write my opinion? Give spoiler alerts?

BatTime in Paris

I recently discovered the most radiant creature at a book club meeting. Hey! I hear you snickering (I do have BatHearing) but Bats read to! Her smile, her eyes, the way she was always telling me to be quiet. It was love at first BatSight! I worked up enough courage to go over and talk to her...

I was a little intimidated since she kept shushing me, but I knew she would come around to my BatCharms. So after an hour of begging and threatening to crush her with my BatAction arm, the beautiful and smart Nancy decided to accompany me on a trip. Did I mention that she is a librarian? And a hot librarian to boot!

While en route to our destination, I hoped to use her enormous brain to devise a plan to free my BatBrother. She explained that he was probably being brainwashed by that cute little baby. What she said made a lot of sense to me because every time I see that cute little baby I want to fly over to see her. Perhaps she was trying to brainwash me as well. Must see cute little baby! Musst go now! Nancy fearing for my safety handed me an in flight magazine...

Who is that handsome fellow on the cover and why does that evil guy look so familiar? Wait, I remember, he has my BatBrother! I can't believe I have strayed from my mission. I must rescue my BatBrother!!!!

Well maybe it can wait another day....

She is just so hot!