Showing posts from December, 2010

Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian

Still making progress on my TBR pile, including Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian (2007), from the Midnight Breed series.

This entry features my favorite of the Order warriors, Tegan, who has lived 500 long years since the death of his Breedmate. Enter Elise Chase, widow of a Breed law-enforcement officer and seeking revenge for the recent loss of her teenage son.

Although they have their reasons for not wanting to be together, Tegan and Elise's personal histories and complementary strengths make them a good match. Adrian does a nice job of slowly, by paranormal romance standards, bringing them together, creating an interesting read.

This third entry in the Midnight Breed series, when considered with the more recent additions to the series, provides more support for my theory about the first three books in a series being the best. I'm definitely not a fan of the current trend in, especially, paranormal romance to run to lengthy series, like J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brot…

This and That

Maya says I'm always posting photos of her and the dogs to the blog, but no photos of me. Um, could that be becaause I hate having my picture taken?? Maya snapped this photo of us yesterday on my phone camera, so this photo's being posted for her.

I added a couple more challenges to my 2011 list--Jewish Literature Challenge and Wish I'd Read That Challenge. You can head straight to the blogs hosting those challenges, as well as the one for the East and Southeast Asia Challenge, by clicking on the corresponding buttons on my sidebar.

I'm excited to hit January 1 and the chance to get started on all three reading challenges!

WARNING: Delving into religion. . . .

Did you see the essay from Ricky Gervais, Why I Do Not Believe in God, in the Wall Street Journal? Brief section that I quite like:

As an atheist, I see nothing "wrong" in believing in a God. I don't think there is a God, but belief in him does no harm. If it helps you in any way, then that's f…

Dreaming of the Middle East

The Star of Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity. Marking the spot determined by Helena, mother of Constantine, as the birthplace of Jesus.

How to Ruin My Teenage Life by Simone Elkeles

How to Ruin My Teenage Life (2007) is the second book in a trilogy about teenager Amy Nelson Barak from Simone Elkeles.

From the publisher:

In this sequel to How to Ruin a Summer Vacation, EVERYTHING in sixteen-year-old Amy Nelson Barak’s life is going wrong! Her mom got married and moved to the suburbs, and now they are going to have a baby. Amy moves in with her dad in Chicago and signs him up for an online dating service. His first four dates are that night . . .

What else? Her dog Mutt impregnated her grumpy neighbor’s prized poodle, so Amy will actually have to get a part-time job to pay for half the veterinary bill. And there’s this totally annoying boy, Nathan Rubin, who just moved into her apartment building. Luckily, Amy has a cute boyfriend named Avi. Only he’s more like a non-boyfriend considering Avi is in the Israeli army for the next three years.

What’s a girl to do when everyone is conspiring to ruin her life?

While not quite as interesting as watching Amy's culture …

Happy 2011!!

Hope the final days of 2010 are treating you well, and all the best to you and yours in 2011!

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow;
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

~~Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~~Benjamin Franklin

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
~~Hal Borland

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. ~~Ellen Goodman

New Year's Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. ~~Mark Twain

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are goi…

Walk on the Wild Side by Christine Warren

Although you're probably wondering if I temporarily quit reading, I didn't. I've been wading my way through re-reading books on my shelves in order to decide which ones to donate or give to a friend. Finished with that, I'm now working my way through the TBR pile, which means back to more book blogging.

I just finished Walk on the Wild Side by Christine Warren (2008), number six in her Others Series. This is a purchase I'm not sure why I made because I kept bypassing reading the book, and I can still only generate a so-so now.

Southern belle Kitty survives a horrific car crash, only to shift into a lion as a result of the traumatic experience. The problem? Raised by her human mother's family, she had no idea her biological father is actually a werelion/Leo. Not just any Leo, of course, but the Felix, or head, of a clan.

Kitty travels to Vegas, her father's home, to learn more about her Leo side and how to control shifts, fearing that she could accident…

Maya's Party--12/18/2010

Maya with the house she decorated.

All four girls' houses.

Two of the girls working away.

All four girls with their houses.

I think the girls had a great time at the party, and I already agreed to host another one next year!

Happy Half-Birthday, Muffin!

Muffin before her first groom.

Reposting one of my favorite photos of Maya and a post-groom Muffin.

One of the fun parts of adopting Muffin from our local Humane Society is that Maya could pick her birthday! They told us she was four when we brought her home in August, and Maya decided to give her the day after Maya's own birthday as the official birthday.

So, one day after celebrating Maya's 6 1/2 birthday, we're celebrating Muffin's 4 1/2 birthday!!

How are we celebrating? Well, instead of getting a small piece of the Allie-sized (Allie's our Rottweiler) dog treat this morning, Muffin received her own, whole treat. You should have seen her prance around with this huge biscuit hanging out of both sides of her mouth! She knew it was a special moment.

I'm not sure Maya can improve on the usual lavishment of pets, hugs, and overall love she gives to Muffin, but she's trying!

Thanks for all of the well-wishes for Maya's half-birthday.

To celebrate, we went …

Happy Half-Birthday to Maya!

Maya turned 6 1/2 today. I remember how important half-birthdays were when I was a kid, and, true to form, Maya has been counting down to hers for about the past month.

We plan dinner out somewhere tonight to celebrate. I can't say where because Maya has been too excited to pick a restaurant so far!

Maya's so excited, in fact, that she decided her gingerbread house decorating party on Saturday is actually a half-birthday party. Works for me! I did warn her that she won't be receiving any birthday gifts, though. . . .

Sigh. I love birthdays, and I'm glad Maya does, too.

No Matter What by Erin Nicholas

No Matter What by Erin Nicholas (2010) is a nice read for any contemporary romance fans.

Physical therapist Jaden Moore is going through a bit of a rough time, personally and professionally. Adam Steele offers her $1 million for the hospital where she used to work if she can help his daughter, Emily, learn to walk again after losing part of her leg to bone cancer.

What happens when the chemistry between Adam and Jaden explodes?

I thought Nicholas did a nice job with what could have been a very depressing subject matter. The focus is really on the relationships and doing your best to help others. The relationships between Adam and Emily and Jaden and Emily are just as important as the one between Jaden and Adam, which I liked.

My overall personal rating of No Matter What is a B+.

This and That

Two postings in a row that mention work. Kind of a record on my part.

I came to work this morning to an unusually stressful day, even for a Monday. There was a water main burst on late Friday that caused a, to quote someone in Maintenance, "waterfall" in the Library. I didn't learn about the situation until this morning.

The damage and loss could have been so much worse, but I still feel the need to say a big "UGH."

My mom, Maya, and I also braved the first holiday open house at "my" hospital ever on Saturday morning. Free breakfast buffet, kids' crafts, carolers, Santa photos, stories with Mrs. Claus, live reindeer for petting, etc. brought a huge crowd. Wall-to-wall people actually.

Saturday afternoon meant the magic reindeer dust workshop at Porridge Papers, our lovely local letterpress, for Maya and me. I had a chance to do a little holiday shopping while Maya created her magic dust.

With the parties and the cold and blowing snow on Satur…

Press Release

Members of the University of Nebraska’s football team bonded with some of the hospital’s tiniest patients during their annual service visit to Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, Lincoln, NE.

Thirty members of the University of Nebraska’s football team, the Cornhuskers, visited patients and associates at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, Lincoln, NE. The team’s annual community service visit to the hospital takes place the day before Thanksgiving. The football players, wearing their red team jerseys, visit with patients, patients’ family members and associates to spread some holiday cheer. This year, one of the patients visited was an 11-year-old boy who was burned over 70 percent of his body when he and some friends threw gasoline on a campfire. The Huskers talked with the boy and presented him with an autographed football.

[Information released to the press/public. This is the hospital where I work.

I'll also add, which was publicly released yet didn't make this pr…

Holiday Cards

Go to The Wild Pig Tail Project: Finding Our Sense of Social for more information.

This and That

Anyone joining any reading challenges for 2011 yet? Violet Crush has an East and SouthEast Asia challenge I joined. She always reads such interesting books, and I think this challenge will expand my reading horizons and knowledge base considerably.

Has anyone been using Google eBooks yet? You can purchase directly from Google eBookstore or from a number of independent bookstores, including Powell's Books. IndieBound has a (U.S.) listing by state of independent bookstores participating on their home page right now.

Interesting article, Mick without Moss, in The New York Times T Magazine about Mick Jagger. Quote from Mick in indirect reference, which is all that's found in this public forum, to Keith Richards' comments about him in Life:

“Personally,” he says, closing his eyes and pressing his hand to his chest, “I think it’s really quite tedious raking over the past. Mostly, people only do it for the money.”

For someone who knows the words to exactly (and only) two of thei…

Devoured by Darkness by Alexandra Ivy

Alexandra Ivy's Devoured by Darkness (2010), the seventh book in her Guardians of Eternity series, is the last book I'll be reading from the series. I found this book even more disappointing than the sixth book, Beyond the Darkness.

The story of Tane, a Charon (vampire assassin in charge of finding and destroying rogue vampires), and Laylah, a half-breed Jinn, which is outlawed, should have been interesting. I've wanted to read Tane's story since he first appeared in the series as a minor character.

There's a lot of running, and a lot of interacting with a multitude of different characters. Too many different characters.

Unfortunately, the book is bogged down with too many competing storylines. Frankly, both storylines that obviously relate to future entries in the series are more interesting than Tane and Laylah's own story. Not what you want to happen in a book, and the entire reason I'm done with this series.

(Slight hedge--if there's ever a book ab…

This and That

(Dog) Eye candy of the day: Princess Muffin Crystal.

Anyone hoping to get an e-reader soon? The articleIn iPad vs. Kindle e-reading race, iPad Wins in Technolog on MSNBC may be of interest. Between the two, they cover 75% of the market, leaving every other device in the dust.

I have to admit those iPads look pretty sweet in the advertising. Anyone have one?

The New York Times is running The 10 Best Books of 2010 in their Holiday Gift Guide here.

I have to admit that I haven't read any of their selections, and only one is actually on my TBR list (Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff).

Chag Urim Sameach or Happy Hanukkah to those currently celebrating the Festival of Lights!

Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

First there is a Before, and then there is an After. . . .

The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.

Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.

So reads the synopsis for David Levithan's Love is the Higher Law (2009). Levithan says in a note at the end of the book that he wrote this because there's suprisingly little written about what happened on September 11th.

The story is t…

This and That

I'm kind of excited. For the first time since, I think, 2000, I'm going to be spending a part of the holidays with both of my sisters at the same time. My sister and nephew in New Mexico fly back on December 28th. Then Maya, my mom, and I drive with them to my other sister's home in Iowa the next day. Then they fly home on January 1st.

The last time all three of us were together was in March 2009, when my mom had her heart surgery. We actually had an amazingly good chat, no kids or spouses or other distractions, during the hours we waited at the hospital. Then my oldest sister had to go back to Iowa for work reasons, so we actually had less than a day all together.

Muffin, the world's cutest Shih tzu, had an interesting day yesterday. Maya and I came home from school and work to find the newsletter from the Capital Humane Society, the place we found Muffin, shredded--paper all over the kitchen floor. Now, Allie, the world's prettiest Rottweiler, (a) eats ever…