Book Reviews / Editing

Cold Frolics

I updated the “Books” page with 2009 entries. Six books (all audiobooks) in two weeks. If I kept up this rate, I could read 132 books this year. Not to fear though; the numbers will eventually slack off, for various reasons (longer books, lack of audiobooks, no time). 

Still, I’ve been very pleased with the books of 2009 so far. I started the year with Neil Gaiman… so really, it’s hard to top that. First was M IS FOR MAGIC, a collection of his short stories. I didn’t love all the stories, but I came away with the usual “How does he write like that?!” astonishment. My favorite story was “Troll Bridge,” which just proves Gaiman’s theory that horror sticks with you longer than anything else. Every time the troll whispered, “I’m going to eat your life,” I couldn’t help but shiver. After MAGIC I listened to CORALINE, which was also delightfully creepy. I didn’t even realize until last week that the movie version comes out in February. I’m not sold on the animation yet, but the story itself would make it a worthwhile venture. I’ll have to check out more Gaiman audiobooks just so I can hear his voice. Seriously, Neil, you can come read poetry to me anytime.

Ahem. Moving on. I followed up the spooky paranormal with a romantic comedy, ANYONE BUT YOU by Jennifer Crusie. I’ve loved all the Crusie books I’ve read, but this one is a close second to BET ME.  It seemed like I was grinning or laughing the entire time. Syd, this book is for you—go get it now!

After that came the Gary Paulsen books, THE RIVER and BRIAN’S RETURN. These are both “sequels” to THE HATCHET, which I read as a kid (and reread in December). As much as I liked HATCHET as a kid, I never got around to reading the sequels. I almost didn’t try them now, because I was worried they would be the same old formula. Really, how many different ways can Brian survive in the wilderness? But I am so glad I tried these books; each one is unique. Brian’s character grows so much throughout the books. RETURN is my favorite, the ultimate ending to his saga. It’s almost ironic how Nature—which almost kills Brian in HATCHET—turns into something he can’t live without. Even more amazing is how it’s partly based on Paulsen’s own experiences; he could no longer  live in civilization after his time in the wilderness. And maybe these books would only appeal to nature-lovers… or maybe it would make people think twice about the beauty and magic of the wild. Or you can think of it as survival training in case your plane goes down in the bush. 

Enough book talk for now. My non-reading accomplishments of the week: finishing edits for Husband and Pat. I also tried to catch up on emails and other correspondence. Last night I sat down to start organizing my new novel info… and was slightly appalled by how much work I need to do in the next two weeks if I still want to start the rough draft on Feb. 1st. So I’ll try my hardest, but that starting date might be postponed if circumstances don’t go my way.

In personal news, Son started preschool on Tuesday. He enjoyed it and was apparently well-behaved. He reserved his moody side for me; he was mad at me for coming to get him! I tried to explain to him that the teachers and other kids were going home too. So Tuesday was his first day, and then Wednesday and Thursday were snow days! How weird is that!? They don’t have preschool on Fridays, and Monday is MLK’s birthday… so Son will be out of school for a week! I have serious cabin fever. It’s not the snow causing the most trouble, it’s the frigid cold temperatures. Today it was -20 degrees F without windchill. Tonight it’s supposed to be -50 F with windchill. We can’t even play in the snow or we’ll get frostbite. I need groceries, library books, and sanity. But I can have none of those things until Tuesday when temps will soar to a sweltering 30 degrees F. By that point I’ll gladly run outside in my shorts.

I’ll stop rambling now and give you guys a chance. Any news to share?? How’s the weather in your neck of the woods? Any good books to report? Have a great MLK weekend, everyone!

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4 thoughts on “Cold Frolics

  1. Hey,

    I won’t get into numbers or anything, but I will talk about the fact that I’ve finally cracked open Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I’ve resisted reading this book for so long, probably because I wanted to hold onto my ‘guy’ status. I’m glad I stopped resisting. The book is phenomenal! The characterizations and satire blow my mind away. It’s hard for me to put down. If anyone has not read it yet, READ IT.

    On a bragging note, all of the books I’ve read this year, I’ve actually READ! I might get around to listening to a book at some point, but the reading part is the part I love.

    I’ve also noticed that since you and your family have moved up here, the winters have been unbearably cold! I’m blaming you.

  2. Jeff saw your comment, and since you’re reading Austen, now he thinks I’m corrupting you. Have I ever told you to read P & P? I don’t remember, but I’m glad you are. 🙂 I really enjoyed it too.

    Why won’t you go into numbers? Is P & P number 2? 😉 I would much rather READ a book than listen to the audiobook, but READING has become harder and harder for me to do. I’ll explain it to you sometime.

    That’s ironic—I was just saying to Jeff TODAY how the worst winter ever was reserved for us. He loves winter, but I’m the biggest wuss when it comes to cold. So God is either punishing me or blessing Jeff, I’m not sure which. 🙂

    P.S. Did you get my emails? I know we have trouble with email sometimes, so I just wanted to double-check.

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