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Currently reading

Practical Demonkeeping
Christopher Moore
Sunset Song (Canongate Classic)
Lewis Grassic Gibbon
The Histories: The Landmark Herodotus
Herodotus, Andrea L. Purvis, Robert B. Strassler
40-Day Journey with Julian of Norwich
Lisa E. Dahill
The Replacements: All Over But the Shouting: An Oral History - Jim Walsh It took a long time to finish this because I only read it while my kid was in her karate class.

There are a lot of fun little stories in here among the hero worship and memories of people who I don't even know if I'm supposed to know. I think the first half is the best part, but that could just be because by the second half, I wasn't as interested. Oral history might not be for me. At least it's not when the primary players aren't playing along.
If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit - Brenda Ueland I read this beautiful book every few years. It is inclusive, encouraging, and joyful.

"This creative power and imagination is in everyone, and so is the need to express it, i.e., to share it with others. But what happens to it?

It is very tender and sensitive, and it is usually drummed out of people early in life by criticism (so-called “helpful criticism” is often the worst kind), by teasing, jeering, rules, prissy teachers, critics, and all those unloving people who forget that the letter killeth and the spirit giveth life. Sometimes I think of life as a process where everybody is discouraging and taking everybody else down a peg or two."
Socialism, Utopian and Scientific - Friedrich Engels First read in 1998 for a Philosophy course.

Basic & short. Get it free at Project Gutenberg.

My star rating is simply about how much I enjoyed reading it and not based on content. The content is fine and exactly what you'd expect from the title.

Watching the English: the Hidden Rules of English Behaviour

Watching the English: the Hidden Rules of English Behaviour - Kate Fox Regarding American "histrionics" about weather - the English transplants I knew in Texas were always freaking out about the major weather events like hurricanes, tornados, flash floods, droughts, hailstorms, violent winds... Like they were completely stunned. No stiff upper lip at all.

I suppose it's an ego blow to remind the English that their weather is kind of dull (yes, dull), but it's hardly histrionics. It's like taking somebody who lives on a mountain to climb your hill and expecting them to be impressed by the view.
Blood Bath & Beyond - Michelle Rowen DNF. Why do I ever pick up books about vampires?
Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder - Richard Louv DNF.

Agreeing with an idea doesn't mean that I'll enjoy reading 300+ rambling pages about it.
The Head Trip - Jeff Warren DNF. Hope to return to this one. Maybe it's just my mood but can't wade through all his words right now.

Watermelon (Walsh Family, #1)

Watermelon (Walsh Family, #1) - Marian Keyes First read 2007.
Who Do, Voodoo? - Rochelle Staab I had no idea just how prejudice I am against L.A., Hollywood in particular, until reading this. The whole time I was grinding my teeth over the setting. Totally not the fault of the book. I just don't enjoy stories set in Hollywood. Still this was good, and I'll probably continue reading the series.
Circle of Friends - Maeve Binchy Can't believe I pushed this down my "too read" list for well over a decade. It's just lovely. I stayed up until 3 am with it last night and only stopped reading then because my vision went too blurry.
Pall in the Family - Dawn Eastman Picked this one out at the library without fully reading the description. Just saw that it was first in a series and set in Michigan. Didn't notice the dogs or that it's a paranormal cozy. Not crazy about mysteries that have animal themes and kind of burnt out on paranormal, but this one worked for me anyway.

In Search of the La's: A Secret Liverpool

In Search of the La's: A Secret Liverpool - M. W. Macefield Macefield's enthusiasm is infectious. I was cheering him on and so excited when he finally got to meet up with Mavers.


Britpop - M.J. Gunn If this fellow had hired an editor and a copy editor, I would have given it 3 stars.

I enjoyed reading a story about uni life in the UK during the period that I was in college in the US and listening to the same music. Would love more books like this that focus on being a young adult in the 90s.

I wish the story had stayed just with Matthew and Alex or Matthew and Linda. It suffers from a too large cast of characters that are never fleshed out enough for the reader to keep track of.

If you want to read it for nostalgia purposes, I wouldn't discourage you. The ebook isn't very expensive. Just be aware that there are lots and lots of spelling errors and many sentences are missing periods. The funniest one is massacre being used every single time in place of mascara. I'm thinking that being a male, he didn't know how to spell it at all and just went with spell check's suggestion for his initial misspelling.


Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell If I were a teenager, I think Rainbow Rowell might become a favorite author. Her writing is really smooth and engaging. There's not a lot of fat, and the reader gets sucked in easily. My only real complaint with her style is that all the characters sound the same. Levi the farmboy sounds like Nick the writer who sounds like Wren the wild twin sister who sounds like Reagan the crabby roommate who sounds like the absentminded dad who sounds like Cath the protag. Everyone is clever and sarcastic. Also, a single father who doesn't know how to cook kind of makes me roll my eyes a thousand times over. As did Levi's smile.

Rowell has a habit of fixating on the way boys look and in two books now the love interest has "rescued" the protag with a truck ride. I hope she'll do something different next time. Also, the chivalrous too good to be true boys? A bit too much wish fulfillment for my taste, even as a teen. Boys are cruddy flawed creatures just like girls. Also, Levi kissing another girl? That wasn't cheating on anyone. He had no reason to apologize. LAME.

A Crafty Killing (A Victoria Square Mystery #1)

A Crafty Killing (A Victoria Square Mystery #1) - Lorraine Bartlett First cozy I've enjoyed in years. Took me a long time to finish it because I did lose interest about 1/3 of the way through. Then it picked up and I got back into it.
Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell Of this book, my teenage self would primarily think, "Boys like Park don't exist."

This is the kind of story that feels more realistic as an internet romance in 20?? than a bus romance in 1986. I had an strange bus romance of sorts in 1992, so I know it can happen, but I'm pretty sure that guy mostly had one thing on his mind. Hint – It wasn't discussing the intricacies of Joy Division songs.

Me of today kind of just spent most of the book feeling like I was going to throw up in anticipation of what her step dad was going to do. Like reading a horror novel. It wasn't actually a romantic story to me. It made me sad and fearful. It also did a good job of stirring up all those adolescent feelings of wanting to be wanted and needed, but the romance was so fluffy that it didn't mesh well for me with the heavy dose of abusive family nightmare.

There's a lot going on in this story, and I'm just not sure what to make of it all.