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Showing posts from February, 2012

Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh

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Luckily for me, a friend recommended Soft Apocalypse by Will McIntosh (2011).

Beginning in 2023, the book covers about a decade of rising worldwide unemployment, scarce resources, viruses run rampant, and confusion, as seen through the eyes of first-person narrator Jasper. The reader only really knows what he knows, which only adds to the confusion and uncertainty.

Despite everything wrong with his world, Jasper still manages to form a group of true friends, make plenty of mistakes while mostly just looking to survive, and even hopes to find love. Yes, in the darkest situation imaginable, Jasper still has some hope.

This book pulled me right in, and, despite the rapid jumps in time, often skipping years between chapters, and the abrupt ending, I'm glad I spent part of an evening lost with Jasper.

My overall personal rating of Soft Apocalypse is a B+.

This and That

I love birthdays, so one of the reasons that this is my favorite month is because my birthday lands on February 23. Lucky me--no February blahs. No really big plans to celebrate birthday number 42 tomorrow, though Maya says she and her grandma have a surprise in mind. I'm looking forward to a nice dinner with Herb on Friday night after he spends the day traveling to Grand Island and Kearney with me for my job, too.

Sigh. I owe you a retraction (grumble, grumble) on my recent comment related to guns and the Nebraska episode of The Walking Dead after talking with other people. Their comments ranged from "well, there are a lot of hunters here" and "I'm sure there are more guns than people in this state, by far" to "but you like Penny's line from The Big Bang Theory about 'don't make me go all Nebraska on your ass'" and "I wasn't aware you were so attached to this land, and this seems like a random reason to be upset, es…

The Month of Letters Challenge--Update

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If you joined The Month of Letters Challenge, how's everything going so far? What has the impact of the challenge been on you?

The main impact for me of participating in the challenge--I don't actually send as much mail as I thought I did. Interesting to learn. I knew my writing and mailing habits changed after having Maya, but not quite to this extent. Keeping track of what I'm sending on a daily basis brings reality into better focus, just like with daily eating diaries and spending habit trackers.

See the Postcrossing blog for a post on Mary Robinette Kowal's challenge. In the comments, you might come across someone to become a new pen friend, as well. And there's always the option of joining Postcrossing if you aren't already a member and enjoy sending and receiving postcards, too.

Happy mailing--beyond February 2012, too!

Out of Her Dreams by Fran Lee

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Out of Her Dreams by Fran Lee (2010) is now on my list of favorite romance novels, and I plan to work my way through more of Lee's books soon.

Novelist Sam Hastings bases Chance Davis, the male lead in her series of romance novels, on a man she sees only in her dreams. Imagine her surprise when pro wrestler David Chance, alerted by a fan who sent a copy of one of Sam's books for him to sign, comes to an author event to discover why her character looks--and even thinks--just the way he does.

Throw in instant combustion between Sam and David, a lot of miscommunication and mistrust, a bevy of wrestling and book fans who love a good romance, and a little blackmail to create one hot, funny, sweet romance.

My overall personal rating of Out of Her Dreams is an A-.

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Women marry men hoping they will change. Men marry women hoping they will not. So each is inevitably disappointed." ~~Albert Einstein

"The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he's a baby." ~~Natalie Wood

"Men are from Earth. Women are from Earth. Deal with it." ~~George Carlin

"Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing." ~~Anais Nin

"I don't wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone." ~~Javan

"Whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same." ~~Emily Bronte

"The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." ~~Joseph Addison

"In real love, you want the other person's good. In romantic…

This and That

While Herb, Maya, and I went to a late lunch yesterday in celebration of Valentine's Day, Allie, aka the world's most food-oriented dog, discovered the bag of valentines Maya had ready to take to school today for the class party tomorrow. Since the bag contained Hershey's Kisses, Allie managed to destroy all of the valentines while inhaling every bit of candy. Sigh. I think I was more upset about Maya having to redo her valentines last night than she was, fortunately.

The Walking Dead returned for the second half of this season last night with an episode titled Nebraska. I thought that was pretty cool up to the line about people going to Nebraska during the zombie apocalypse because of the "low population and a lot of guns." Ugh. Stereotypes, anyone? Okay, the low population part is true. . . . Also, I wouldn't recommend coming to the Midwest or anywhere else with snow and ice for part of the year during a true end times situation because how are you g…

Photos--February 4 & 5, 2012

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At least Maya enjoys the winter wonderland we're currently experiencing. I'm still grumbling a little that there was no mail pick-up and delivery at our house on Saturday. I'm not a fan of snow and ice!

"Maya dumped snow on me. What are you planning to do about this?"

Who knew that Rottweilers make the best pillows?

Muffin in the "bed" Maya made for her.

Love, InshAllah edited by Nura Maznavi & Ayesha Mattu

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Edited by Nura Maznavi and Ayesha Mattu, Love InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women (2012) is about so much more than love and faith.

Really, more than anything, this collection of personal narratives drives home the diversity and individuality found in the American Muslim community. This is exactly my kind of book because I enjoy learning about other people, especially on an individual level, and other cultures.

My favorite entries include Asiila Imani's Three, about polygyny, and Safiyyah Levine's From Shalom to Saalam, about being born to a Jewish father and Catholic mother before exploring other options and eventually choosing Islam.

You can learn more about the contributors, including some fantastic "teasers" at the book's site here.

My overall personal rating of Love, InshAllah is an A.

This and That

I added a page to this blog to record my outgoing mail efforts for The Month of Letters challenge. Items are listed on the dates on which they get mailed.

I'm glad to see that so many of you are participating in the challenge, too! Happy mailing, everyone.

Total geekiness excitement--I get a free iPad as part of a grant related to using iPads in medical libraries. Yes, I may even have done a little happy dance when I heard the news.

What's new with you?