Wednesday, April 25, 2007

No Disrespect


Today, a patron returned the book NO DISRESPECT by Sister Souljah (Times Books, c1994, ISBN 0-8129-2483-5) and although it's not a book that I've read, I do like its first sentence:

In the projects, somebody can call your mother a one-legged whore who does nasty tricks for men for five dollars and she will still be the most important and influential person in your childhood.


I have her book, THE COLDEST WINTER EVER on my TBR shelf at home...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bang Your Head


Well, in between reading books, I also try to keep current with my many magazines as well, and this is a new magazine to which I've recently subsribed and just luuuuvvve!

For a trivia junkie, this is THE magazine to get. There is enough diverse information in each issue to keep me reading for days.
My husband was watching TV tonight and there was a commercial for the upcoming
SNL
and apparently Scarlett Johansson is hosting with musical guest, Bjork. He rolled over and looked at me and said, "What's a Beeyork?"

Of course, I deadpanned at him and said, "She's a singer, honey," and his response was, "How do you know that?"

Well, it's because I read my books. And magazines. And newspapers. And cereal boxes.
Honestly, I read whatever is within reach of my grubby li'l' hands and I've been that way my entire life. That's probably why it takes me so long to read books and post the first sentences on here. Because I'm reading EVERYTHING ELSE!

On a different note, I was very excited to see that they are coming to our local My Waterloo Days Festival. As a child of the '80's, I find this totally rad!

And on yet another note, how cool is this?

This is my husband Jeff and I in August, the day of our wedding. I think I'm going to print some of these out and give them to him for our anniversary. Isn't the first year's anniversary, paper?

And, if you think it's too cool for school, you can make your own personalized currency.

And this is here, just because I think this website should be in everyone's favorites somewhere. This is another way I stay current with today's youth. If I hear 'em say it, I look it up. In my line of business, it's great to throw the kids that come in for a loop using THEIR slanguage.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ceremony


At the urging of a husband and wife duo that come into my library, I tried one of Robert B. Parker's Spenser books, having never done so before now. I read CEREMONY (Dell, c1982, ISBN 0-440-10993-0), the tenth book in the Spenser series.


From his website:
Pretty teenager April Kyle is in grown-up-trouble, involved with people who'd beat her up for a dollar and kill her for five. Now she's disappeared, last seen in the Combat Zone, that side of Boston where nothing's proper, especially the sex for sale.

With Hawk, his sidekick, Spenser takes on the whole X-rated industry. From a specialty whorehouse in Providence to stylish Back Bay bordellos, he pits muscle and wit against bullets and brawn until he finds what he's looking for: April Kyle, little girl lost.



First sentence:

"She's a goddamned whore," Harry Kyle said.


Here's what I liked about his book:

1)Set in the Boston area alhtough there was no mention of my favorite joint in Boston where I spent many a night back in my 20's. Best Grape Crushes in town! T's Pub Rocks! - HEY TONY!

2)The sarcasm Spenser spews is tres enjoyable.



Here's what I didn't like:

1)First person (Not really my thing, although I'll tolerate it to finish a book.)

2)Choppy sentences and too much "telling", not enough "showing" for my taste



So, that's 2& 2 as Chuck Woolery would say so I'll be reading another, probably one of his later books and I'll try one from a different series as well.



I have to also admit there were two things that surprised me as well:

1)I had heard about Hawk for some time and had no idea he is a large black man who works as muscle for Spenser

2)Why people vehemently dislike Susan so much, almost to the point of hating her as I've read on some list-servs to which I belong. If anyone would like to illuminate why, I'd love to hear it.

What the dead know


Laura Lippman's latest, WHAT THE DEAD KNOW (William Morrow, c2007, ISBN 978-0-06-112885-1) is a wonderful read. I'm not familiar with her series, but I would recommend each and every one of her stand-alones, this one included.

Now into its third week on the New York Times Best Sellers List, set mainly in Baltimore, MD, (Ah, I love Maryland!) it starts with a car accident and a woman involved claiming to be Heather Bethany, one of the Bethany sisters who disappeared thirty years previously from a local shopping mall.

The book then starts to flip back and forth in time, which is okay, to tell the story of the Bethany girls, how their disappearance came to affect the family unit and to let the reader in on little subtle clues leading up to the kapow! finale.

Also involved in the story are the Bethany girls' parents, Dave and Miriam as well as investigating police officers Kevin Infante and Nancy Porter and Chett Willoughby, the officer who was responsible for the case back when it first happened.


The story begins:

Her stomach clutched at the sight of the water tower hovering above the still, bare trees, a spaceship come to earth.


There is a reason her book has made it to the NYT bestseller's list and that reason is because it is just darn good!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Oh my gawd...


So, while I was catching up on my bloglines tonight, I was directed to a site and I found this and laughed my a** off!

Every now and then, you just gotta laugh and this website may just be my future cure for what ails me.

Madness Reaction Time

For those who are not into graphic, gratuitous violence, this site is not for you.


WARNING: VERY ADDICTIVE


For those who don't mind it, check this one out too. This site has been online for as long as I can remember...

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The secret hour


I think I have found a new favorite young adult author.

Over the weekend I finished THE SECRET HOUR by Scott Westerfeld (Eos, c2004, ISBN 0-06-051953-3) and suddenly wished I didn't have a towering stack of books to read so that I could have continued on with the series.


It begins:
The halls of Bixby High School were always hideously bright on the first day of school.



Set in Bixby, Oklahoma, this first book in the Midnighters series is about a group of teenagers (Jessica Day, Rex, Dess, Melissa and Jonathan) that have special abilities. At midnight, a hidden hour appears and everything stands still, except for them and ancient creatures that live in the hidden hour. When it becomes clear that the darklings (creatures living during the midnight hour) are out to destroy Jessica, the newcomer, the group band together to figure it all out.


I loved this book! And most surprisingly, it was labeled as Science Fiction which I avoid like the plague. My daddy would be so proud.



I had purchased one of Westerfeld's other series for my library which started flying off the shelves so I looked for additional reading and came across these older books. I am looking forward to reading the second book in this series as well as getting started on his UGLIES, PRETTIES and SPECIALS books. But then looking at his website, I notice that there are a whole lot more.

Let me clear off some shelf room for this great author!

Blind Spot


BLIND SPOT by Terri Persons (Doubleday, c2007, ISBN 0-385-51869-7) screamed, "THIS IS YOUR KIND OF BOOK!" at me when it came across my desk at the library.


And it was...kinda.



Set in St. Paul, Minnesota, Bernadette Saint Clare has been transferred to the St. Paul office with the FBI from Louisiana. As an agent, she uses her 'gift' of being able to see violent crime through the eyes of the criminal to help with the solve rate. Before she is even settled in to her condo and office, Bernadette is handed a case where the dead are bound and extremities removed. I thought the story was very fast-moving and I thoroughly enjoyed the premise of the tale.



The first sentence:

Humidity rolling off the Mississippi River simmered with the smell of fried garlic and onions and shrimp and sausage, the air thick enough to stab with a knife.



So, what was it that made it only a so-so read for me?


What I didn't like was the dialogue. It kept yanking me out of the story. It was kinda like the author couldn't decide if she was writing a book or a play. I have never seen dialogue written this way in a book before and it was very distracting.

Let me give you an example (from the book):

"Whatever you want," said the blond. He patted his partner on the shoulder, and the two of them turned around and thumped back down the hall.


Garcia: "You think Sherlock's sister is involved."


"Up to her significant eyeballs."




Now, the : used in dialogue is very heavy in the beginning and middle and less pronounced toward the end but, as I said, it would just bring me to a stand still in my reading. Every other speaker was using a : instead of a said, or exclaimed or asked with the normal , followed by the "".

It was a very obvious difference to most books that I read (and as a librarian, I read a lot of books!) and it just wasn't for me. Has anyone else seen or used this type of writing in dialogue? What did you think?


But that's just me...you might not be bothered by it. And besides, murderers and psychics make for a great combination.