Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sunrise was at 5:12, sunset will be at 9:06.

I got home last night just after sunset and it was dark and rainy. Warm, though. I was happy to be in my little container, windows slightly cracked for the cooler air, listening to Jonathan Goldstein try to best his friend Howard on the radio, thinking how I'm going to miss the first fifteen minutes of Glee. Looking forward to being in my little house with Dennis, rain enclosing, encozying, us.

I'm listening to the radio, again, and thinking about the story about the idea of Gross National Happiness. What a nice idea- the world can use more happy people. I know someone out there is rolling their eyes. Stop it! Being happy isn't a bad thing, it isn't even a silly thing. It is hard to do and people who are happy often go through their lives unnoticed and taken advantage of; no one writes books about the happy. It's time to find the silver lining and figure out how to get over the rainbow- maybe if we could find the good in what we have and do, we wouldn't want everybody else's stuff.

What I read this week:

I finished the Helene Tursten book, Detective Inspector Huss, and will be picking up the final one in the series soon. It was good. There is a great Scandinavian mystery table set up in the store, you should come and take a look. If you liked The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, you will surely find something else on this table to enjoy.

I also read the newest Jennifer Crusie romance, Maybe This Time. I just LOVE her books! She's funny and her characters are good. I love how offbeat they are and, in this book, they are really offbeat.

I think I have read everything she's written solo and I can't believe it's been 6 years since Bet Me. Oh, you lucky people, to have this book to look forward to.

Oh, right, it's about a man and a woman, once married for a year, who you know still have feelings for each other, maybe not always loving feelings but still feelings. When Andie meets up with her ex to settle things between them because she is newly engaged, she accepts a job from him: she is going off to be a nanny to his niece and nephew who live in a huge mansion way off in the hinterlands. Their parents died and the aunt who was caring for them also died and every nanny has been driven away, often with questions about their sanity. Andie is a teacher and very practical, stubborn, and stable. Nothing in this house is going to get to her. Hah! Of course, there is sexual tension, there is a hard time bonding with the kids, there is much confrontation, horrible people, good people, ghosts.

It was really good and I remember telling Dennis, on our way to Willie's BBQ for lunch, that it always surprises me when you open a book and within a few paragraphs, nay, a few sentences, you know it's one of those books you will read at meals, in stolen moments in the bathroom (whose gonna know you aren't "going", just reading?), walking to work. Deciding to ride the bus to work because it will give you an hour and a half uninterrupted reading.

I was reading something else when I picked this up just to see and now I can't even remember what the other book was.

It's too early for a jacket cover here. The galley I have is red, with a red chair, a cup of tea floating in the air with a steam heart encircling the smoky looking letters of the title. It's very pretty and romantic. (St. Martins Press, it is due out in September, 2010. It is for adults. $24.99.)

Smile, by Raina Telgemmeier, is a really good graphic novel about a girl who falls and knocks out her two front teeth, just as she is heading to middle school. She is brave and wears the head gear and deals with her teeth being shorter than the surrounding ones, the awful teasing by her friends. Based on the author's real life, Smile will help your awkward teen through some hard times. It's good to see us reflected in books, it helps us to see we aren't alone and gives us ways to deal with our problems. Ages 9 and up. (Scholastic, available now. $10.99 in paperback.)

The Replacement
, by Brenna Yovanoff, is creepy and eerie, a story of a town that is luckier than the surrounding ones because they observe the old ways: they leave milk out on the step, hang iron over the door, don't mention the fact that their babies are being replaced by something else.

It is the story of one of these replacements, Mackie, who is a teenager in the hamlet, Gentry. Mackie is allergic to blood, iron, and consecrated ground, hardest to deal with because his father is the local priest. He is trying to be as normal as possible but when a little girl dies and is buried, her sister knows the body in the casket isn't Natalie's and comes to him for help. The town has always turned away from the question of who these people are, they are safe as long as the blood sacrifices continue.

It's a great story, atmospheric, rainy, scary, and combines the old lores of changelings and the fair folk. It feels a little bit like The Lottery, a reads a little bit like old Stephen King books, very much a book for those who like fairy tales that bite.

I'm reading The Tension of Opposites, by Kristina McBride, a book about a high school photographer, Tessa, whose best friend, Noelle disappeared 2 years ago. One day, the phone rings. It's Noelle. So far, so good- I'll let you know how it goes.

I am going to the coast for my nieces' graduation (twins) and am taking way too many books. But, what if the one you picked isn't something you're in the mood for right then? I like science fiction but what if I really want a mystery for reading myself to sleep? Some people take extra shirts, sweaters, in case the weather turns. I can just go inside if that happens and I will be HAPPY because I will have replaced my clothing with something good to read.

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