Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tumblr and I don't get along. And I read a lot.

As you, my faithful reader knows, I recently attempted to switch my blog over to Tumblr.  It didn't go so hot.

I know just enough HTML to pretend like I know what I'm doing but not enough to actually make anything the way I want it to look.  In comparison, Blogger is ridiculously easy.

All I really wanted to do was change the name of the blog.  I called it "The Whole Mommy Thing" when I thought I was going to do one of those cutesie milestone blogs with too many exclamation points.  Mo-mo went to the park today!  Mo-mo stood up by herself today!  Mo-mo composed her first haiku today!

As I changed my writing style to a more humorous bent, "The Whole Mommy Thing" title didn't really fit anymore.  I felt mild pangs of guilt when I didn't actually write about my daughter for several weeks, as if I were depriving her of her time in the spotlight and would permanently scar her psyche in such a manner that she would insist on entering us in mother/daughter beauty pageants when she grew older to compensate.

So it's now "The Blarg" because that's shorter than "Crap I write about my life and family and books and try to make occasionally funny but without using too many swear words because all my relatives read it".  And it has all of my old entries from "The Whole Mommy Thing" and my brief experiment on Tumblr.

And now here's an awkward segue-way to....BOOKS I READ IN MARCH!

1. Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon


Time traveling historical fiction romance series.  I'm currently reading the third of the series.  A WWII nurse gets transported back to the Scottish Highlands in the 1700's.  At 600+ pages, there are definitely some slow parts, but all-in-all, it seems to paint a very vivid picture with historical accuracy (including the ugly violent parts).  

3. Waking The Witch by Kelley Armstrong (11th in the Women of the Otherworld Series)

I just started reading this series a couple of months ago--I had tried before, but hadn't much liked the main characters featured in the first three novels.  This definitely wouldn't be the novel to begin with if you're interested in the series.  The series is "urban fantasy", about werewolves, necromancers, witches and sorcerers living their lives in secret from normal humans.  This particular one features Savannah, a 20-something witch trying to prove herself.  I suggest starting with "Bitten", or "Dime Store Magic" (which is all about Savannah's adopted parents).

4. Pale Demon by Kim Harrison (The Hollows, Book 9)

Hmmm.  On one hand, I love me some Kim Harrison.  Her books titles are mostly puns from old western movies, with the word "demon" inserted somewhere in there.  On the other hand, I feel as if every single character acted stupid and selfish at least once in this particular novel.  Don't get me wrong--it's not terrible, it had some amazing moments (especially with Al and Newt), it just wasn't one of her best.

5. The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller
I chose this book for its cover, just picked it off the shelf at Border's and decided to give it a try.  It had potential.  The characters were vivid, well-written, and interesting...but the plot was just cobbled together in a hurry with the basic reoccurring elements of a average fantasy novel.  Lowly peasant is actually special but no one can't tell him, end of the world coming, prince who lost his magic and trying to reconnect with the people...none of it was particularly thrilling or even new.

6. Something Real by J.J. Murray
I picked this one up for $.25 from the library, and thought I'd give it a shot.  It's an interracial romance book told from the perspective of a black woman (and, strangely enough, written by a white man).  It was funny, and the characters were interesting and a lot of the small town mindset was well reflected by the auxiliary characters.  It sometimes lacked depth and at times the main character seemed to have meltdowns for no reason, but I was willing to forgive it.  I would read more by this author.

7. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

My stepmother summarized this book for me when she loaned it to me:  "It's like a supernatural fiction written by someone who has never actually read a supernatural fiction."  Nothing actually happens and the characters are lame stereotypes (a sexy vampire?  Who would have ever thought of that?)  I stuck with the book until the bitter end because I kept thinking that the action had to come soon...but it never did.

8. The Search by Nora Roberts

I will say this for Nora Robert books: they are comfortable.  There will never be any true plot twists, in that you always know that the guy will get the girl in the end (sometime after they resolve some personal emotional conflict which prevents them from telling each other I love you).  This particular one was kind of neat because it was about a woman who trained search and rescue dogs, and I thought some of the details about that were interesting.   

9. Hiroshima by John Hersey
Yes, this is definitely not my typical book, but I thought it was fascinating.  It's a nonfiction book that follows the events of the Hiroshima from the perspective of six individuals who survived the bomb.  It was absolutely heart-wrenching to read and painted a clear picture of the atrocities of nuclear war.  It includes an update of the six individuals 40 years later. 

10. Blackout by Rob Thurman (Cal Leandros, Book 6)

I've always liked this series but I thought that this one was particular good.  This series is about two brothers who fight monsters, with one of them being part "monster" himself.  The main character, Cal, awakes with no recollection of who he is.  While this premise sounds hackneyed, it did a great job of exploring the way Cal and his brother Nick use each other to define who they truly are.  Most supernatural writers fall into the trap of writing the same sort of story over and over again but with a slightly different bad guys.  I think that Rob Thurman did an excellent job in actually giving the readers something new but utterly believable.

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