Saturday, October 24, 2015

Saturday, Oct. (counts on fingers) 24: Yellow Leaves!

It's 35 degrees at 8:30 am, and even though it's pretty much overcast at the moment, the leaves are such a bright yellow that it seems the sun is out. October is here--late October is here--and we're living in that wonderful balance when outside is lovely and the inside welcoming. It's baking, hiking, nesting, knitting, walking, gawking time. Glad to have a moment to take a breath and soak it all in!

There have not been many breaths, however: I believe that my desire to move forward has led to a few too many "yes" statements for the kind of down time I love: I am up for recertification this year, acting as a mentor, helping to lead the new student council, leading MDIHS Readers & Writers, taking a School Law class that is driving me crazy, still a learning area leader for the largest department in the school, and that's just in my professional life. Outside, I'm still married and a mom and a daughter, involved in our church and committed to staying active and involved.  Yikes.

So. A quickish update here before I bake two pumpkin pies for the church supper, make pulled pork and bread for dinner, and, I devoutly hope, complete the first draft of my "best practices in regular ed." paper for School Law. Though I had a great time running in the Run for Shelter 5k in Bangor last Saturday (pic below), I am taking this weekend off from running since my knees have been a bit weird and going for a long walk instead. And I want to update my Goodreads, since I have read some good ones!

So, books: 

The Bones of ParisThe Bones of Paris by Laurie R. King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a fantastic "listen"! My only regret is that Audible didn't make it clear that it was the second in the series, so now I have a pretty good idea of what the first one is about, without the pleasure of actually reading it. I'll have to decide if I want to read/listen to it.

Creepy, creepy, creepy, but also fascinating and detailed. Really interesting to read King writing not in the voice of Mary Russell--she seems to be having a wonderful time doing it! Her writing skills are top-notch, and her plot walks the fine line between different points and conversations that hint at the answer and keeping the tension going. The reader was fantastic, which truly topped off the experience.

Highly recommended, but not for the faint of heart.

The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #11)The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, this Three Pines visit did NOT annoy me so much that I had to quit 1/3 through, as the last Penny I attempted did, so either it's a better book or my self-imposed Penny vacation did the trick and I came to this one with fresh eyes. It is a large, ponderous book, with a little bit of the nudge-nudge background plot line that can make a reader feel like a child in a gathering of adults, but though the midsection of the plot verged on the tedious (much like this sentence; sorry), the solution was tight and clear.

The narrative focus seems to be expanding to include Gamache's son-in-law and his next-in-command, which means Penny doesn't have to make Gamache quite so haunted or his neighbors so overstated, which is a relief. I'm afraid that the serial killer guy is going to become a theme in the next few books, however, so perhaps I'll go back into Penny avoidance mode. Still: I found this one good. I did read the actual book instead of listening to it.

Death and JudgmentDeath and Judgment by Donna Leon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love Donna Leon as a general rule, but I didn't read much of her for a while and I remember wondering why I'd fallen out of the habit. I had a vague recollection of finding her books really dark and depressing, though I have found her more recent Brunetti novels truly enjoyable.

I reread (I am pretty sure I've read it before) Death and Judgment when I found it at a book sale, and now I remember why I thought her books were dark. It's got all the good Brunetti stuff I love: those lunches! That great family dynamic! All that local color! But by the end of the story, it's clear that the world is broken, the bad guys are essentially unpunished, and justice is not served. Somehow--and this is truly a recollection of my overall impression, so I may be incorrect--Leon's more recent books seem to present a less bleak view of the world. Maybe it's because Brunetti and his key team members have been able to organize themselves in the later books--I'm not sure. However, after reading Death and Judgment, I thought, "Man! This is pretty darn depressing--but I do love her stuff!"

View all my reviews

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