Sunday, August 22, 2010

Belated Birthday Bobbles

So, Haley has been boasting that her gift (and it was from Holly, too) for my birthday and Christmas would surpass all previous gifts. She's lucky the iPhone didn't actually happen because there'd have been some hard deciding re: which was better. The point is, she FINALLY got my gift to me this past weekend, and it was ok, I suppose. (tee hee!)

So I'm now preserved for posterity in bobble-dom. Bobble Rose will fit in nicely on my desk at work with Bobble Darth and Mr. Bones. Thank you Haley and Holly, this probably even beats the iphone.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Books I Have Read/Listened to – Summer 2010 Edition

Children are going back to school so the summer is officially over, even if the calendar and the thermometer disagree. I’m not in school anymore and even when I was, I don’t recall having a summer reading list, like I’ve heard kids nowadays have.

Besides, odds are I wouldn’t have wanted to read much of what was on any suggested reading list. My taste in books is much like my taste in movies. I like the “popcorn” type of books. I like smutty romances, mysteries, and smutty romantic mysteries. Throw a healthy dose of humor into that mix and you have a great book, in my humble opinion. I consider these books to be “popcorn” because I used to be able to read them at the rate of 3-5 a week.

That having been said, due to a variety of changes in my life, starting about 4-5 years ago, I haven’t been able to read much. The first culprit that I noticed was the cats. If you don’t have cats, you really can’t understand, but I quickly learned that if I put anything in front of my face (book, magazine, newspaper), someone, mostly Sophie, would come and either sit on the newspaper, chew on the book, or just plum plop herself between it and my face. Another culprit is the DVR. If there is no commercials, and there isn’t because I generally skip right through them, there’s no time to read, is there? Also, due to the DVR, I have the ability to watch a lot more stuff, thereby reducing reading time. Another major factor in the dearth of reading time for Rose is Facebook. As I’ve discussed, at length, previously herein, I spend too much time farming, killing vampires, digging for treasure, etc. The final piece in the lack of reading time puzzle is that I am on some prescription meds which make me incredibly sleepy. Nowadays, if I sit down to relax, I nod off. So that equals about two pages read before I can’t keep my eyes open.

So in my old age, my steady diet of popcorn is slowing morphing into more substantial food/books. Don’t worry, it’s still mostly fast food (to continue my food analogy), but I do throw in a veggie here or there. Also, with the addition of the iPod to my toy box a couple summers ago, more often than not, I do my reading by listening to them on audio. Haley turned me onto this file-sharing website that has tons of books on audio. I do most of my reading/listening on the drive to/from work. That works out to be about 45 minutes a day, sometimes more. Or, if Steve (Boss #1) isn’t in the office, I might plug in my dictation headphones to the iPod and listen to it while I work. I know that sounds like I’m screwing around and not getting any work done, but I truly get more actual work done that way because my focus is devoted to what I’m doing and people who come by to chat or otherwise be a chicken to my easily distracted attention span see the headphones and me typing and assume I’m busy doing work (which I am, but not in the way they think) and they go away.

So all of that having been said, here is the list of books I have read/listened to this summer of 2010: (I know!! You can’t wait either, right?!)

Hamlet by William Shakespeare – this would prove that an occasional veggie gets into my reading diet along with the fries and McNuggets. I DVR’d the movie, the version with Dr. Who and Capt. Picard in it, and sat there reading the book along with the movie – shut up! It counts! BTW, did you know that if you go to the library to check out this book, it is not in the fiction section? It’s in the non-fiction, under plays. Who came up with that logic!? I bet it was that guy, Dewey Decible!

Lavendar Morning by Jude Deveraux – the author of my favorite time-travel, romance, A Knight in Shining Armor. Have it in hardback, never read, so downloaded and listened to on audio. It’s the first in a new series, and the next one is out, and I want to read it, but, you guessed it, I haven’t been able to find it on audio yet. Sigh.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – very enjoyable. There’s just something about the dry British wit that I adore. Spent about a month trying to read the actual book and only got about 1/3 through it, so gave up and finished it on audio.

Bite Me! by Christopher Moore - #3 in his vampire love story trilogy. If you have the chance to read these (Bloodthirsty Fiends and You Suck! are the first two books), do it. But don’t worry; these are NOT your Twilight-esque vampire love stories. Book one is the story of Jody, a new vampire, and her minion, Tommy Flood. By book two, Tommy’s a vampire and we get to meet their new minion, Abby Von Normal (not her real name). In book three, Abby and her manga-haired love monkey, Foo Dog (again, not his real name) have to save the city from Chet the extremely large cat who was turned into a vampire at the end of book two. Have both read and listened to these books. If you can listen to them, do it, because the way the narrator voices Abby Von Normal is spewing-milk-out-of-your-nose funny.

Contest and Scarecrow by Matthew Reilly – this guy’s books are good, as long as you agree to suspend reality – sort of like James Bond and Indiana Jones, his heroes get into unimaginable fixes and manage to escape with little more than a hair out of place. Otherwise, each book is like stepping onto a rollercoaster of fun.

Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett - read and enjoyed this when it first came out - it's a great spy novel, World War II, Nazis, it has everything to make a great thriller!

Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King – read and enjoyed this when it first came out in the late 80’s – still had the book, but didn’t remember if it just because it had a dragon on the cover (i.e., was a part of my dragon collection) or if I really enjoyed the book. So I gave the actual book to Hollian because she’s decided to collect King’s books in hardback, and I downloaded the audiobook. Long story short, was a pretty enjoyable book.

Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – a long time fave. Have read it several times and just decided it was time to give it another whirl. Also, I got the movie version, with Chris Sarandon, on DVD this spring, so that whetted my appetite to reread it.

There may have been one or two more audio books in there, I think I listened to a couple of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books, but can’t remember if that was in the summer time frame or not. I finished Tale of Two Cities this morning on the way into work and started Undone by Karin Slaughter. Meanwhile, I’m slowly working my way through Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich and Cat vs. Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett, a feline behavioralist to see if she has any suggestions for keeping the peace in our multi-cat household.