Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Engaged and Book Journal Begins

So, I know that I have been less that dedicated to my blog, but I do have a good excuse. I've been traveling, have had pneumonia, and have gotten engaged since my first post. I hope those reasons suffice as good excuses. Well, CONGRATULATIONS to me. I have a wonderful, dedicated man in my life. He is a brilliant artist whose older works can be seen at www.werbal.net. His more recent works will be added soon, but we have to steal them back from galleries and buyers to finish the scanning process. I'm going to be baptised at Easter, and I passed the Bar.

Some time ago, I began a book journal. When I first began I decided to keep a book of my own impressions and favorite quotations from whatever I was reading, my intial entries, which really included little more than vague musings, fell short of what I had set out to do. But at least it's a start.
  • I loved the Harry Potter series, especially V. 3-5. Very Good!
  • I thought Five Mile House was poor. I very rarely get sucked in by a book cover, and now I remember why. Too many cover illustrations promise more than they can deliver. And, for those of you with tawdry inclinations, this was not a piece of porn clothed as a "romance novel." I recall that it had something from the pre-raphaelite era on the cover. It was a terrible book that tried to be scary but barely acheived being boring.
  • Excorcising Your Ex was actually quite entertaining. Before I met the man I'm currently engaged to, actually right before, I broke off a relationship with a crazy man. For those of you that know me you might ask, "Which one?" The one that I met at law school. I knew law school drew extremists, but I thought that they were simply narcissistic know it alls not the kind of extremists that imagine they are incompetition with your cats for attention, that drinking liquor is sin (something discovered after I had spent an evening recovering from final exams by drinking homemade margaritas with one of my finest friends), and that was soooo hated by that dearest friend that she attempted to craft an argument in favor of bestiality, while at the dinner table, just to annoy him. He was the kind that call at 2:30 in the morning, after you've broken up, just to see if you're home. Anyway, this book isn't going to win the Pulitzer, but it was very entertaining and gave me many a laugh at a time that I wasn't very much in the mood to smile. It hit home on many levels. It included many amusing anecdotes. Though I have never been quite so distraught about a break up as to committ a post break-up sin, like doing a "drive-by"--that's where you drive by your ex's to see who he's spending time with or if he's as miserable and alone as you--I have felt the desire to other stupid things like leaving a beligerent drunken message on an ex's answering machine. Just for the record, I haven't ever done. The book was good for laughs. By the way, that whole margarita incident has probably contributed, at least in part, to my having found myself a man who can most certainly, and has, drink me under a table with both hands tied behind his back. By way of explanation, he is Irish Catholic. Need I say more?
  • I read some Nancy Reich's books. Given my propensity to watch and read mysteries I thought that it would be entertaining, especially since she has been compared to one of my favorite beach book authors, (I don't mean this in a pegorative sense. I merely mean that I find her books to be a quick and interesting read), Patricia Cornwell, I thought the book was flat in terms of character development and plot. The primary character that acts as the story's narrator is too introspective given the narrow plot and themes. It was strong enough that I'll try another in her series, but the second will have to deliver more than the first for me to spend time finishing the rest of the series.
  • Now, here was a gem: Nicholas Griffin's House of Sight and Shadow was great. It was self aware without being self absorbed. It was insightful, intriguing, well-written, and when I finished I wanted to know what else he had written. It's difficult to describe the book because I liked it so much. I'm tempted to go too much depth and that's even though I read it during the summer of 2003. It's a period piece--think Dickensian meets Freudian. Good for those who like philosophy and especially entertaining for those who have some familiarity with the history of science (thought that's absolutely not a necessary ingredient for enjoying the book).
  • I thought that Fidelius Morgan's The Rival Queens was funny and effectively adapted the comedy of manners, see, e.g., Richard Brinsley Sheridan's play, The Rivals, into a novel form. I found it to be much more interesting than many actual manner comedies. It's characters were amusing. Think "Ms. Malaprop." The mystery plot was credible, and the story, while bawdy, was not boring. That's my estimation. Strangely enough, though, one of my dearest friends did not agree with me, so I'll throw her caution disclaimer in just for fun. Though she has actually read and acted in The Rivals and has most definitely read other comedies of error, she disliked this piece so much that she couldn't get past the first few pages. While I found it to be full of antic spirit and coarse entertainment, she just couldn't get in to it. As an aside, she also absolutely detested a book we read in college by Madame de Lafayette called Le Princess de Cleves (1678) which I adored then and now as a wonderful historical novel which fights to define love and morality. I would not advance the theory that it wins that fight, but it defintely exerts an admirable effort which is more than I can say of most. I don't recall exactly why she hated it, but only that she did.
  • After reading through tedious law texts, papers and articles, I was in the mood for a cheery book. I loved the movie Bridget Jones' Diary and so the book seemed like a good choice. This was one of those rare exceptions where I read the book after seeing the movie. I hate to admit it, but even though Jane Austen is one of my favorite, if not my favorite, authors I still haven't seen Sense and Sensibility because I haven't had a chance to read the book. Anyway, I was looking forward to this read but was disappointed because the book wasn't nearly as lighthearted as the movie. I thought the movie was much more interesting. The movie succesfully ferreted out a decent present day adaptation of Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Granted, the book wasn't terrible. I merely found the movie to have done a better job creating engaging characters. I found the variations in plot between the book and movie to have made all the difference. I'd still recommend it for anyone that liked the movie. It's a short quick read. I did like the style and it did contain witty quips.

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