Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 30, 2010

THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett

This is the book that wrote the rules for the hard-boiled detective and the women that surround him. I have read quite a few "noir" type mysteries, but I will admit that I enjoyed this one more than most. Hammett's descriptions are juicy and rich and his character's are alive on the page. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to try out the genre as it is a classic. I will say that the mystery itself was not that interesting "in my opinion" but I wanted to know where the characters were going in the story and that kept me reading.

I managed to get started in my new space and now I can focus on reading a bit more than I was able to last week. Next I am going to read an advance reading copy that I got through Book Browse. My review will be on my other blog if you are interested. I will be back in a couple days with my next "1001" book.

20 Books Read
981 to go!!

Until then, Good Night and Good Reading!

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 24, 2010

The last couple of days have been a bit of a blur (without much reading, sign), but I am very excited... My hubby Jeff and I went to Carlsbad on Saturday to check out a used book store (Fahrenheit 451--check it out if you are in the area, great selection of used books) and while we were in "The Village" we stopped by our favorite Antique Mall (Carlsbad Village Art & Antique Mall) and saw a sign that they had dealer spaces available and we signed up!

I haven't really posted about it, but I sell books online and at SF Conventions (Pulps, SF, Horror, Mystery, and TV/Movie Tie-Ins mostly) and I have been wanting to go "brick & mortar" for some time now, but didn't want to invest the amount of time necessary for a store of my own with my MLIS in progress. This is going to be great because all I have to do is set up shop and they (the mall) does all the rest of the work. It's a little drive from where I live, but I love Carlsbad Village and this will give me an excuse to go there a couple of times a month. I also used to sell movie posters and other memorabilia, but my stuff has been languishing in storage and now it will see the light of day again. Anyway, the last couple of days I have been furiously working on my stock to get it ready for the "store" and haven't been reading much. Once this weekend is over everything should be in order and I will be back to reading.

Until next time, Good Night and Good reading!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

May 22, 2010


Foer tells the story of a fictional Jonathan who, with only a beaten up old photograph of his grandmother, tries to find the history of his family, most of whom perished in the Holocaust. Jonathan travels to the Ukraine and with the aid of Alexander, a young Ukraine who's English leaves much to be desired, begins the journey that will open up both his and Alexander's hearts and eyes.

Interspersed between the journey tale, is the story of Jonathan's ancestry. The magical realism here is very thick at times, but beautifully (and sometimes dirty and graphically) told.

I found this novel to be one that I often wanted to put down, but couldn't. I know that sounds bad, but in the end, my journey, like Jonathan's and Alexander's, was worth it.

As an aside, it was a lovely late Spring day yesterday, so I decided to head to La Jolla in the afternoon to read. As I lay on the grass with the Torry Pines as shade, I suddenly heard a rustling next to me. I turned and about a foot away was a seagull just staring at me. I dubbed him Harry and he stayed next to me for almost the full time I was at the cove. This added my own brand of "magical realism" to my reading experience.

So far, 19 Books Read
982 To Go

Until next time, Good Morning and Good Reading!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 20, 2010

No new books for this blog tonight. I am planning on going back and forth with books on "the list" to ones that are on my "to be read" list.

So I will be blogging away on my other site tonight. Take a look if you are interested. Should have another 1001 book to post about tomorrow.

Good Night and Good Reading!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19, 2010

Migraine's gone and I finally finished another book on the list!

THE RED QUEEN by Margaret Drabble

There are two stories in this novel. The first half tells the tale of 18th Century Korean Princess Hyegyong who is betrothed to Prince Sado who turns out to be not only manic depressive, but a little insane. It is a little confusing as the Princess is telling her tale after her death (the author never really explains how).

The second half follows the story of Dr. Barbara Halliwell who is headed to modern South Korea for a conference. Before her trip she receives a package from containing Princess Hyegyong's memoir, which she did not order. She reads the story on the plane to Korea and then meets up with two men who accompany her on a journey to visit the palace where the Princess lived.

There are some connections between the two tales via the Princess' spirit/ghost which has "chosen" Dr. Halliwell to make her story known.

All in all, I enjoyed the second half much more than the first and wish that the first half had been much shorter. The author writes in a foreword that she is not a historian, so she shouldn't be judged as such, which I think is a cop-out.

Although I really cannot recommend this novel, I will admit that it made me want to read more about Korea and Confucianism as there were aspects of the story which made me want to know more about the country and its beliefs.

18 books (This one and Fingersmith added) read
983 to go

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010

Hi all,

Well, my first day of "summer" and I wake up with a migraine. I should have known as they tend to hit right after a lot of stress. So, I am still working on my next book, but promise that I will have it done and will post about it tomorrow.

I keep forgetting to mention this, but I had a very cool experience the other day.

I was heading to a restaurant when I saw a woman in a wheelchair in the street on the other side of the road with a German Shepherd excitedly pulling at a leash attached to the chair. I thought the dog was not a very good "helper", but as soon as the dog got her onto the sidewalk he immediately calmed down and walked straight ahead as if nothing was wrong.

I think we sometimes, underestimate the intelligence of our four-legged friends. I thought the dog was not doing his job, but that was exactly what he was doing. I wish I had some two-legged friends I could count on as much. I you have a "furry one" around your house, go and give him or her a hug!

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17, 2010

SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER!!!! I just finished my final paper about two hours ago and headed and was feeling a little stressed. So we headed out to Home Town Buffet and to my favorite de-stressing spot...Barnes & Noble!!! Only bought one book as I know I have much patiently waiting here at home to be read.

I am hoping to finish the one books on "the list" that I have slowly been completing while trying to finish up my school work. I think I will go to Balboa Park tomorrow (it's free museum Tuesday) and then lay out in the sun and read.

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11, 2010

I am finally back, but still finalizing both my final exam for one course and a research paper for another. If I don't blog for a few days, please keep coming back as I will be reading up a storm come next week.

Yesterday was fun for a little while as I suprised my monther with a birthday party in the senior center where she spends most weekdays. She turned 85 and was very proud of it. Everyone at the center said she was really down for most of the morning as she thought noone had remembered. Once the cake arrived, she was her bubbily self and very happy.

I actually did finish a book (I had to as there was a hold and I couldn't renew it).

FINGERSMITH by Sarah Waters is the tale of two young girls in Victorian England. The novel twist and turns, taking not only the character's, but also the reader on a roller-coaster of shifting truths so that nothing is as it seems. I love Victorian literature and the prose of Ms. Waters rings like something out of Dickens or Austin. Don't be afraid, there are also some very 21st Century themes which are very suprising in this tale of lies and deceipts. I highly reccomend this novel.

Well, I am back to finishing off my research and writing.

Until next time, Good Afternoon and Good Reading!

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

Sorry to say I don't have that much to report reading-wise as I just finished the assignment I have been slogging through for the past couple of weeks. Now all I have is a presentation tomorrow, a final exam, and a paper and I'll be able to devote quite a bit of time to books.

I actually made some time late last night to go see The Runaways which is the story of the first all-girl rock band in the 80's by the same name which Joan Jett got together. It was pretty good, I liked the music, but I really find it hard seeing these child actors grow up on screen (Dakota Fanning played the bands lead singer, Cherrie Curry). I hope she goes on to have a long career as she has always been a fine actress. Kristen Stewart was her normal, morbid, depressed self (sorry Twilight fans), but still put out a good performance as Joan Jett. I figure this will be on video soon and it's worth checking out.

So, tomorrow I plan on taking a 1/2 day off of study to read and should be reporting a new finished title.

Until then...Good Night and Good Reading!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 4, 2010

Sorry I haven't been around for a couple of days, but this assignment for my Information Retrieval class is driving me crazy. It's not that it is that difficult (although parts are), it's just so much in one package. Luckily I have my group of classmates to meet with and commisurate with on our progress.

I am reading, just not very quickly, and I should have a book to review in the next day or so.

Until next time, Good Night and Good Reading!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May 1, 2010

Happy May Day one and all! I am glad to report that I have finally recovered from my reading migraine and am ready to tell you about the books that gave me all the pain!

I started out with THE LIGHT OF DAY by Graham Swift which details a day in the life of a retired police detective turned private eye. I hate to say that it took a lot of resolve on my part to keep reading this novel as it was difficult to keep track of whether the action was current day or in the memories of the protagonist. I really did not like any of the characters and was glad when it was over. Oh well, I guess you can't like them all!

I then read FURY by Salman Rushdie. I have to admit that I have never read a Rushdie book, fiction or non-fiction, but after this novel I will definitely check them out. This tells the story of Malik Solanka who sees the base of all emotions in life as linked to fury. He believes that everything we do is because we have this hidden rage inside seeking its release. The story revolves around Malik's relationships with two women and how they alter his road in life. Replete with popular homages, many to Star Wars, this is a black-comedic novel with a heart.

The next book I read was THE SHROUD by John Banville. This tale revolves around Axel Vander, a life-long liar, who meet a young girl who threatens to reveal a lie that could change the rest his life. Axel is an old man, blind in one eye and has a leg that is almost useless. He takes the girl who he calls "Miss Nemesis" into his life and becomes emotionally involved. The girl changes how he see life and grow herself in the process. The novel is at times a bit slow, but overall I can see why it made the list as it shows how we are never too old to learn.

My next novel was IN THE FOREST by Edna O'Brien, a murder mystery set in the Irish countryside. A murdered, released from prison, returns to his home town to kill again for his own misguided reasons. The mystery is not the lead player in this novel, but the town folk and the town itself, who are lovingly depicted by Ms. O'Brien. I don't know if this story really belong on this type of list, but it was very well written.

I finished my "day" with THE MASTER by Colm Toibin. This novel is in the vein of THE HOURS in that it depicts the life of Henry James in a fictional setting. I would recommend that if you have not read any Henry James, do so first and then read this story as some of its intricacies will make more sense. I have read James and loved this fictional look at the man behind the stories.

If you want to read my final review of THE HUNGER GAMES go to my other blog at:

Well, what with the read-a-thon and my migraine I am painfully behind in one of my final assignments so I guess the next few days will be spent catching up. I do hope to read and will post as I can.

So far,
16 books read
985 to go

Until next time, Good Night and Good Reading!