What book are you?

Have you ever wondered what book you are?  Well over at, http://bluepyramid.org/ia/bquiz.htm , there is a very short quiz you can take to find out.  I took the quiz three times, changing the few answers I felt inclined to and came up with three very different books.  I tend to like the first one, but the other two are a little… dark?  Scary, yes, but pretty interesting too.  Take the quiz and tell me what book you are.

You’re Adventures of Huckleberry Finn!
by Mark Twain
With an affinity for floating down the river, you see things in black and white. The world is strange and new to you and the more you learn about it, the less it makes sense. You probably speak with an accent and others have a hard time understanding you and an even harder time taking you seriously. Nevertheless, your adventurous spirit is admirable. You really like straw hats.

my comment-I like hats, but not straw ones.

You’re The Things They Carried!
by Tim O’Brien
Harsh and bitter, you tell it like it is. This usually comes in short, dramatic spurts of spilling your guts in various ways. You carry a heavy load, and this has weighed you down with all the horrors that humanity has to offer. Having seen and done a great deal that you aren’t proud of, you have no choice but to walk forward, trudging slowly through ongoing mud. In the next life, you will come back as a water buffalo.

my comment- Maybe it is my bitterness that’s weighing me down around the middle.  Maybe if I listen to the birds sing and to the children play I can lose 10 pounds.

You’re Siddhartha!
by Hermann Hesse
You simply don’t know what to believe, but you’re willing to try anything once. Western values, Eastern values, hedonism and minimalism, you’ve spent some time in every camp. But you still don’t have any idea what camp you belong in. This makes you an individualist of the highest order, but also really lonely. It’s time to chill out under a tree. And realize that at least you believe in ferries.

my comment-I’m pretty set in my values although I like to know what other people’s values are so we can coexist.  And I don’t think they mean ferries.  Who doesn’t believe in boats?

A box full of old friends

Footfalls echo in the memory              

 Down the passage which we did not take                                                                                              

Towards the door we never opened.”            TS Eliot

I’ve always been a reader.  I’ve always loved books and growing up as an only child I viewed my favorites as friends.  When I was in junior high and early high school I would read them over and over.  When I went away to college my grandmother moved into my bedroom and my dad packed up my stuff and boxes full of friends got shoved in the basement.  

This past weekend I had room in my car to bring a few boxes back to Cleveland.  Dad randomly chose two and I didn’t know what they were til I got home.  One was full of college memories–graduation tassels, an address book full of long forgotten names, a shoebox full of letters from an old boyfriend, evaluation sheets from all the students in my student teaching classes (I read them all and realized that I didn’t do half bad), a few letters from old friends, literature books, old tapes…  Anyway, after I was sufficiently in the past I opened the other box to find my old friends!

I have always loved romances, so there were lots of teen romances.  I got so excited that I chose three and read them yesterday.  Kiss Me Creepby Marian Woodruff held up surprisingly well for what it was.  None But the Braveby Krantz and I Can’t Forget Youby Fisher were okay.  The surprising thing to me was all these years later I could look at the cover and remember the names and the storyline of each one.  I found a Choose Your Own Adventure book that I made Jason read with me last night.  We never did find the answer.  There were a few Sweet Valley High and a whole stack of Christopher Pike.  I found Today’s Top Stars and TV Today.  Wanna know the the top stars of 1979?  Andy Gibb, Kristy McNichol, Robin Williams, Donny and Marie, Leif Garrett, Kiss, Olivia Newton-John, Peter Frampton, Scott Baio, and the Bee Gees.   I must confess that I still have a thing for the Bee Gees.  I also found Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Beezus and Ramona, Amelia Bedelia, and The Wednesday Witch.

Since graduating from college 13 years ago I’ve moved 7 times.  I am sure those boxes would have been lost or downsized by now.  If my dad hadn’t kept all those boxes stuffed in the basement I never would have had the joy of opening my box of old friends yesterday.  I’m looking forward to seeing what memories the other boxes down in my parent’s basement hold.

Do you have any old friends that you’ve kept through the years?

I’m going to add a photo, but it will be later after Jason tells me what’s wrong with this silly camera!

Fluke, Or I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings, by Christopher Moore

Cover ImageFinished audio 7-28-08, rating 3/5, fiction/sci-fi, pub. 2003

“The science you do not know looks like magic.”

Nate Quinn is a marine biologist who studies whale songs and his partner Clay is the underwater photographer.  They have been set up in Hawaii for years and Clay hires a wanna be native, Kona, although his real name is Prestin Applebaum and he’s from New Jersey.  They also have a research assistant, Amy, who they all agree looks fantastic from behind.  The ‘Old Broad’ funding their research can hear the whales and lets them know when one lets her know he wants a pastrami on rye.

One day Nate sees a whale with Bite Me written boldly across his fluke.  He takes a picture, but it never comes back from the photo lab.  Their lab and boat are trashed and Clay almost drowns.  When Amy sees Nate swallowed by a whale mahem ensues.  The whole second part of this book after Nate is swallowed is a sci-fi story under the sea.

I liked it, but didn’t love it.  It made me laugh out loud more than once and the characters were quirky and fun.  The first part of the book I felt like I waited a long time for something to happen and when something did happen I wan’t sure how much I liked it.  Read it if you like Moore’s other books or if you want to know why the whales sing.  I would tell you here, but if I had to read the book to find out, so do you.

I’m back

I just got back from a long weekend with the women of my family and am feeling refreshed and thankful for the wonderful family I am lucky enough to be a part of.  

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family; Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”           -Jane Howard

I posted the answers to last week’s quiz.  I’ll try and make the next one a little easier.  I see I’ve had a few comments left and I’ll get to those shortly.

My shattered goal

My goal for starting this blog in January was to keep a running tally of the books I read for the year with a review.  Every year it is my intention to read a book a week, but I never quite make it and I thought the blog would keep me honest.  I decided to count my books so far for the year and I’ve already read 59!  I can’t believe it.  This blog has been a great motivator.

As I looked through my list I picked my five favorites so far this year.  On Writing by Stephen King is my favorite this year, hands down.  I also really liked Four Seasons in Rome by Anthony Doerr, Fear & Trembling by Amelie Nothomb, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore, and The Bone Collector by Jeffrey Deaver.

Anyone else have a favorite for the year so far?

Suffering Fools, by Ed Gaffney

Cover ImageFinished 7-22-08, rating 3/5, suspense, pub. 2006

“You know sometimes big problems get smaller when you talk about them.”  Chapter 25

This is the second book with attorneys Zack and Terry, but I didn’t realize that or I would have started with the first one.  But, no worries, this was completely a stand alone novel.  Zack and Terry, friends since college, take the case of ‘Babe’ for free and find themselves trying to defend a man who can barely put a complex sentence together.  At the same time, there is a kidnapped woman who cannot remember who she is and an Assistant District Attorney more concerned with the truth than a conviction, much to the consternation of his boss.

I liked it, but there were a lot of story lines going on at the same time that took place at different times.  In one chapter you could be reading an long ago written email, a future trial transcript, present time and two months ago.  It seemed unnecessarily confusing.  The mystery and the writing were good enough that I really didn’t really need to wait until the middle of the book to get a handle on who was who.  Even with that complaint the book kept me turning the pages as fast as I could.  I’ll have to read the the first book about these attorneys.

Hey, I won!

I visit www.writerspace.com regularly.  It’s a place where you can access the biggest names in romance.  The participating authors have monthly contests and the site itself has a web ‘party’ a few times a year where you can chat with your favorites.  On Sunday they had a Beach Party and by signing up once I was entered to win from hundreds of prizes.  I won a book by Maryrose Wood.  http://writerspace.com/beach/winners.html 

If you are a fan of romance or romantic suspense I hope you’ll check out the site.    This is the third book I’ve won here in the last 3 or 4 years.  Happy Reading!

Famous Last Words Quiz

Great job, Miss Bermudaonion!

Here’s how to play…Identify the last lines of these famous novels by telling me what book it’s from. Leave a comment with the # of the last line and the title of the book and I’ll cross it off the list. No Googling, that’s cheating and no fun! If you know them all, please don’t guess every one, maybe five max? Mid week I’ll offer hints if needed.

1 .”It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” (Dickens) A TALE OF TWO CITIES

2.  “With the Gardiners, they were always on the most intimate terms. Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them.” (Austen)  Bermudaonion, Pride and Prejudice by Austen

3.  “It’s funny. Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.” (Salinger) Bermudaonion, Catcher in the Rye by Salinger

4.  “Rest assured, our father, rest assured. The land is not to be sold.’ But over the old man’s head they looked at each other and smiled.” (Buck) THE GOOD EARTH

5.  “But I don’t think us feel old at all. And us so happy. Matter of fact, I think this the youngest us ever felt.” (Walker)  THE COLOR PURPLE

6.  “Oh, my girls, however long you live, I never can wish you a greater happiness than this.” Bermudaonion, Little Women by Alcott

7.  “Up out of the lampshade, startled by the overhead light, flew a large nocturnal butterfly that began circling the room. The strains of the piano and violin rose up weakly from below.” (Kundera)  THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING

8.  “He turned out the light and went into Jem’s room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.”  Bermudaonion, To Kill A Mockingbird by Lee

9.  “After all, tomorrow is another day.”  Bermudaonion, Gone With the Wind by Mitchell

10.  “She’s never found peace since she left his arms, and never will again till she’s as he is now!” (Hardy) JUDE THE OBSCURE

11.  “The sun is but a morning star.” (Thoreau)  Jason, Walden by Thoreau

12.  “April 27. Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead.” (Joyce)  A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN

Dear John, by Norma Betz

Finished 7-18-08, rating 2/5, fiction, pub. 2008

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this free reviewer copy with the understanding that I would review it here.  I agreed because the story sounded interesting.  Susanna must go and take care of her deceased aunt’s estate and in the process learns a lot about herself through the letters she finds written by her ancestor, Abigail Adams.  She is joined on this journey by her best companion, her dog Quincy.  I love dogs and genealogy and thought this book would be right up my alley.  It was not.

I loved the idea of the story, but the execution wasn’t good.  My first problem came early on when I found the first notation to refer to the chapter notes at the end of the book.  There were many and they stopped the story and were totally unnecessary.  I’ve never seen it in fiction and there is a good reason why.  The clunky language was the main problem of the book.  The language was stilted and although the characters were fine, their language made them pretty boring. 

There were a few bright spots.  I loved Quincy and his relationship with Susanna.  Also, if you are interested in Abigail Adams you will probably like this better than I did.  It is filled with Abigail letters that I found myself skimming, but someone else may find very interesting.

This is her first book and she used an alternative publishing source, Authorhouse.  If you are interested in self-publishing your own book and would like me to send you this copy so that you can see the quality, leave and comment and I’ll get it to you.

Fearless Fourteen, by Janet Evanovich

Cover ImageFinished 7-17-08, rating 3.5/5, fiction, pub. 2008

Stephanie Plum is back with her crazy assortment of cohorts.  Ranger needs Stephanie for a bodyguard gig and Morelli needs her for mother duty.  Ranger’s job introduces her to an aging singer way past her prime and the singer’s stalker who follows Stephanie home.  Morelli is stuck with Zook, who may or may not be his son and needs Stephanie’s help until they can find his mother.  Everyone is town thinks that 9 million dollars is buried at Morelli’s house and the town crazies (including Grandma Mazur) show up with a shovel.  Lula proposes to herself and Tank faints, while Morelli might mention marriage to Stephanie.

I have been disappointed with the series for more than a few books now, but this book made me happy to have Stephanie back.  It was good to see some character growth.  Although I missed Ranger and the chemistry between them I thought Stephanie’s relationship with Morelli was sweet and sexy.  And I loved the storyline of Lula and Tank’s engagement, priceless.  This book was the best one in awhile and I’m looking forward to the next one.