Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sunday, Sept. 13: Gray, Cool and Rainy

It's beginning to feel more inside-y and more like we might eventually hit sweater weather––the fact that my hot flashes have paused for a while probably helps, too. We got heavy rain on Thursday night/Fri. morning, and now have a drizzly Sunday which slows everything down.

I'm working on a list for the fall, as I/we adjust to one son being an adult with a home/camp about 4 miles away and the second one established at his college 2 hours away as a sophomore. My course load is a little less crushing this semester, so I feel a little more reflective and a little less swamped, though I *do* start a School Law class on Sept. 21, so this state may be short-lived. However, I am working to fit some balance into my life. Therefore, some goals:

*stay off Facebook (mostly) during the week. Too much of a time-suck.
*Work a little each day on a project: Nate's long-promised socks (one done, one 3" in, as pictured below)

     or on the runner I want to make and have actually cut a few strips out for. It's so easy to feel that I can't get anything done during the week that my projects all come to a standstill, when, really, I do have pockets of time, and I am lucky enough to have a place to leave them out! 
*Keep in touch with my family. I call Mom once a week, and soon we'll be headed regularly to Bates to see Nate in plays and concerts, so we'll see Dad and Mom pretty often, but I do want to stay in written or phone touch with the rest of the crew more regularly. 
*Fit in some fun stuff during the weekends: I hope to go out to lunch someplace new in Bar Harbor next Saturday, for example. We'll see if that works. 

So that's my list so far. I also have a nice set of new audiobooks that I got at the Audible $4.95 sale, so I can keep "reading" even when I'm sewing or knitting something that demands my full attention––or even doing laundry, cooking/baking, or cleaning up! So much good stuff ahead. 

In the meantime, I think I'll make a cup of tea (my first in a long time!), call my mama, and write my sister. Happy September. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Saturday, September 12: Hey! Life Goes On!

Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being YouMe Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You by Todd Hasak-Lowy
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well. Maybe, in honor of the book's format, I'll do a bulleted list of pros/cons/and observations.
1. I read the book in a few days, interested in finding out what the heck it was going to do/where it would go.
2. The format is an interesting one, but sometimes fiddly/unnecessarily confusing.
3. The book was sexually explicit in a weird way: almost as if an actual 15 year old boy had written it. I was not 100% comfortable with that. I wonder who would be. I don't think actual 15 year old boys would be comfortable with that, in fact.
4. The characterization in the book was extremely uneven: I couldn't really get a sense of many/any of the characters except Nate, the stoner brother. Darren was hard to read, and the pivotal character, Zoey, was even more confusing or underdeveloped--in a classic case of the author "telling, not showing," I could understand the events and conflicts, but I couldn't really feel them deeply.
5. Overall, I think this book needed less style and more developed content. It treats some serious issues shallowly and, therefore, cheats the readers a bit.

The Shepherd's Crown (Discworld, #41; Tiffany Aching, #5)The Shepherd's Crown by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Stephen Briggs as a reader: Terry Pratchett as author: Tiffany Aching as main character: what's not to love?

This is not Pratchett's strongest outing. It IS his last, and it's a huge bonus in light of his diagnosis with Alzheimer's. There's an afterword that sums up nearly everything that I thought as I was listening to it, but the gist is as follows:
--this is Terry Pratchett's last book. It offers some poignant, funny, honest insights on life, humans, humanity, change, and death.
--there is a lot in the book: elves, trains, Ank-Morpork (sp), Vetinari, witches, goblins, and the Nac Macfeegles all intersect, but the novel is not the 500 pages it deserves (and wants) to be--Pratchett just ran out of time. Preston gets very short shrift, as does Vetinari! Unfortunately, the Wee Free Men are short-changed, too.
--I think each reader needs to decide if s/he feels it's worth it to visit one last time, even if the master is diminished, or if s/he would rather stick with the more complete and polished works.

Ultimately, "it is what it is." I'm glad I had a chance to read Pratchett's last--though definitely not his best--work.

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