Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Book Reviews: Just in case you are interested

Just as an FYI: I am only posting book reviews to my Goodreads page these days. I don't review all the books I am reading, but I do review any I get from NetGalley or ones that seem really powerful to me. I just posted a review for Reconstructing Amelia -- BUT TAKE NOTE: THERE ARE SPOILERS

So, if you are interested, go to my Goodreads page:  Susan's Goodreads

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What I have been reading since January....

WELL, I doubt that I will make my Goodreads challenge goal this year, even though I lowered it to 50 books. Pathetic for me, I know. But I have had so much going on this year that my reading habits have suffered. I plan to get back on track with that and with writing over the coming months.

Still, I did manage to read some books, and I managed to listen to others on audiobook...something I am surprised to find that  I love.

As for audiobooks, I have listened to:

A  Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night (am currently listening to The Book of Life, the last book in the trilogy) by Deborah Harkness. There are things about this series that I like...and things I really hate. I love the secondary characters, and I really like the vampire Mathew. I really don't love the heroine Diana, though. She irritates me to death. And sometimes I feel like she can be "too stupid to live." I was ready to give up after the second book, but I had invested so much time into listening to this series that I wanted to finish.

My Life in Middlemarch -- I found this to be a fun review of George Eliot's life. The author can be a bit condescending at times, and that irritated me.

Actually...I am finding that when I listen to books I discover their flaws. Repeated phrases...Mary Sues...etc...all much easier to notice when listening.

As for books I read:

A Speckled Bird by Augusta Evans Wilson. Actually, I found I liked this one a lot more than I expected.

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison Ingram. LOVED THIS. If you liked Little House on the Prairie, you should check it out.

Below the Root by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. This might be my favorite read of the year. It is an old children's book, and it is the first book in a series that launched the famous early video game of the same title. I used to play it as a little kid (never got far), but I loved it. When I discovered the series, I decided to download it and find out the background. I remembered so much from the game, but this book is so beautifully written. I love it. There is something so soothing about it, and it is so complex.

Then Came You by Jill Shalvis. A romance, and the first I have read by Shalvis. I really loved this one.

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton. First in the Anita Blake series. I liked it, but it took me a while to get into the narration.

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. I know I am probably in the minority, but I absolutely hated this classic.

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I didn't hate it, but I found it tedious. But, then, I rarely like classics by American authors.

Henry and June by Anais Nin. I liked this one, even though I had to stop and start at times.

The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington. A good American classic. Enjoyed this one a lot.

Felix Holt, the Radical by George Eliot. Liked this one a lot.

I know I have read other things, but I can't think of them right now.

What am I reading now?

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory and A Taste of Blood Wine by Freda Warrington.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Nothing ever changes...

From "The North Platte Semi-Weekly" paper (North Platte, Nebraska), April 19, 1898.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

What am I reading?

Well, at the moment, a lot of things. I am listening to the audiobook version of Shadow of Night (by Deborah Harkness). I am reading a biography of Virginia Woolf (the one by Hermione Lee), and slowly making my way through The Untethered Soul (by Michael Singer). The Harkness book is good, but there is a lot that could be easily left out and it is trying my patience a bit. And if there is mention of another "nudging glance," I will scream. I just started the Woolf bio, and I imagine that will take a long time. The final book on this list results from the fact that I have had some turmoil in my life recently, and I find this soothing to read. So, here's hoping it rubs off on me. :)

My Great-Great-Great-Grandmother was a "Mean Girl"

Always fun to find out your third great-grandmother was causing trouble for Ulysses S. Grant and his future wife. Sounds like my great-great-great grandmother was a "mean girl." (Her name is Fanny Morrison, and her sister is Georgia Morrison.) AND I really want to know what is going on with the apple seed incident...:

From a letter from Ulysses S. Grant to Julia Dent (his future wife)...

“The happiness of seeing you again can hardly be realized, and then like you I have so much that I would like to say and don’t want to write. –Julia do tell me the secrets that Georgia M disclosed to you—I think I can guess them from what follows in your letter—Georgia M is a very nice modest and inexperienced girl and can very easily be made to believe anything her oldest sister tells her—I know very well that Fanny has told her that I was in love with her and she founds her reasons for thinking so upon what followed took place at your house—You remember the occurrence of the apple seeds? Fanny has tried to find out from Mr. Hazlitt which I loved best Georgia or Julia—Mr. Hazlitt would not tell her which he thought because to please her he would have to tell what he believed to be a story, and to have said you (as he believed though of course he knew nothing about certain) he thought would give unnecessary offense. Hazlitt told me of the conversation he had and it displeased me so much with Miss F. that I said things of her which I would not commit to paper—Believe me my dear Julia what ever Miss Georgia may have told you she no doubt believed herself, but in believing she has allowed herself to be the dupe of one older than she is, but whose experience in love affairs, ought to be worth a great deal more than it is.”  

Friday, March 07, 2014

What to do with this blog?????

So, yesterday (March 6) marked the nine-year-anniversary of this blog. I began writing on here in 2005, near the end of my MLIS degree, as an attempt to keep up with friends and family as I moved on to PhD work in Florida. When life changed my plans (location-wise, anyway), I ended up continuing the blog. I wrote fairly regularly until the end of my PhD.

Admittedly, I haven't written much since.   :(

What to do? I just don't know. Should I keep this "space"...whatever I use this "space" for? Should I let it die in cyberspace? Should I print a copy for myself and delete it? I just don't know. And, yet, part of me doesn't want to give it up.

I don't need the outlet anymore, and I  have no interest in doing more book reviews. I don't mind keeping it as a space where I can vent about what I am reading, but it won't be a "review" space exactly. Ugh. What to do???

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


"Understand, she was not a genius of a child, but merely one of considerable intelligence and talent, who after years of frustration and boredom had seized her opportunity at last."
--Merrick by Anne Rice

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Beast in the Jungle

He continued to look at her. "What then is the matter with you?"

"Well," she said after another wait, "the matter with me is simply that I'm more sure than ever my curiosity, as you call it, will be but too well repaid."

--From "The Beast in the Jungle" by Henry James