March 2011


I’ve started reading A Discovery of Witches.  I saw a blurb about it in “Parade”, then my mother asked if I had heard about it, because she was going to get it for someone (whom I won’t mention, since that person might read this).  I said yes, and asked if I could copy it before she gave it away.  My mom’s so nice that she got me my own copy for Valentine’s Day.

I’m about six chapters in.  I’m teetering on the edge of thinking it’s a good, solid book, and thinking it’s blah.  Maybe I need to read it when I’m not on the exercise bike — maybe that would help make up my mind.


Is it a bad sign that I still haven’t made my mind up about A Discovery of Witches?  It’s being a very aloof book, as far as telling me things I want to know in order to decide whether I like it or not.  Stop being coy!


I’m about a fifth of the way in on A Discovery of Witches.  Things have gotten a bit better, but I still feel like there’s a lot being kept from me, and I have no idea why a lot of it is being kept from us.

There is one thing that bothered me in what I read today.  Another witch was talking to Diana and basically told her that fellow witches had killed her parents … and she didn’t have much of a reaction to that news other than to dismiss it.  After what’s been going on, plus the fact that witches can tell if other witches are lying, it’s ridiculous to expect the reader to think that Diana would not believe what she had just been told.


Diana’s not a strong, independent woman!  Gah!  I seriously dislike this book.  The main character is inconsistent in her behavior — enough so to be disruptive — and I can’t help but feel that this is a romance novel disguised as a piece of supernatural fiction.  J.K. Rowling may have written her books for children, but at least the characters behave as she set forth in the beginning.


I’ve been thinking, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I was too kind to A Discovery of Witches.  That’s probably because I’ve been reading The Golden Compass, and, man — that’s what fantasy is supposed to be.  Good, compelling, humorous at times, multi-layered, and, above all, about someone who is worthy of interest.  Lyra is an awesome heroine.  She does amazing things, and Diana wishes she could be worthy of experiencing her company.  I’m definitely planning on finishing the His Dark Materials series; can’t say the same for wanting to revisit the world of Diana Bishop.

Also, a couple of unrelated reading-news items.  The first is that Andy used his frequent flyer points to get magazine subscriptions.  So, we will soon have in the house:

  • Fortune
  • Scientific American
  • Wired
  • Sports Illustrated

And — we are members of Amazon Prime.  Apparently people who are members might get a Kindle, so that would mean both Andy and I would have one.  Nifty!


I spent all of yesterday thinking the date was today’s date.  It’s already half of March, and I’m thinking my reading is lagging a bit.  I’m trying to pick it up, and Philip Pullman isn’t a bad incentive.  The Subtle Knife is interesting; I wasn’t actually expecting to see much of Lyra (or other characters from The Golden Compass), so that’s super-exciting.  I can’t wait for the weekend, because I bet I’ll be able to finish it then … maybe.  It’s a busy weekend, what with picking up the future in-laws’ dog, picking up the future in-laws at the airport, then heading up to see my cousin for her birthday.  Then it’s dinner with the future in-laws on Sunday.  We’re going to be busy little bees this weekend.  Hopefully there’s time for reading in there!


Over half-done with The Subtle Knife, which is even more mysterious than The Golden Compass.  Tonight, though, I’ll be reading the self-report for my department, so I don’t screw up too badly when I’m asked by the independent reviewers how many undergrads we have, or what our plans for a PhD program are.  Eep!


I’ve just started Working for Yourself, which is better laid out than the previous Nolo book I reviewed.  Still, I fear that it’s going to take me forever to get through it — 326 pages, but I only got through 50 pages in over an hour and a half of reading.  Makes me want to cry; it’s going to throw my whole reading quota off!  I’m only on track for around 60 books this year, which doesn’t make me happy.  I’ve got a list of over 1,100 books to read.  I need to be whipping through them a little faster, folks!


Working on Working for Yourself.  Lots of tax information, which takes a while to get through and understand (at least for me), but the book has a good layout, I think.  Probably will be a favorable review.


So, still reading the tax and law guide for self-employment.  It’s not bad, and I’m on a chapter that I’m more interested in than tax deductions — record keeping!  I’m a dork!

In unrelated news, I’ve been pulling daily stats for this blog.  I’m a little torn about doing any sort of analysis of how and why I get visits.  The main goals for writing these reviews are to provide me with a creative outlet that allows me to discuss books that, more often than not, I’m the only one in my peer group to have read, and to allow me to share ideas and thoughts with friends and family members who are interested.  Still, I’ve had some exciting times with the blog, including having an author respond to my review of his book and having another, actually published, author agree with a critical review I gave a book.  It’s exciting to have stuff like that happen, and I don’t think you can plan for the exciting stuff.

Still, I’m interested to see whether people visit more often on, say, Tuesdays, than other days of the week.  I’m also interested to see whether I write more reviews on a particular day, and WordPress’s free statistics don’t give you that information.  So, I’m going to be doing some number-pulling and -crunching on my own.  If there’s anything interesting, I’ll be sure to report it here.

One more thing:  how annoying is it when the only copy of a book left at the library is a large-type edition?  I’m looking to read The Skull Mantra by Eliot Pattison, since I have a later book in that series sitting on my shelf.  The regular version has either been lost by the person who has it checked out or is so overdue that the library should just give up and buy a new copy.  I put a request in on the regular one at first, hoping that would spur whoever has it out to get it turned in (didn’t work).  So now I’ve requested the large-type one, and will enjoy greatly reading three words per page.  I read Girl in Hyacinth Blue that way, and it drove me nuts.  I hope I don’t get irritated with the book and dislike it because of its format.  That would be really bad, especially if it’s a decent book.  I’m going to have to discipline myself to be more open to the book, even though it’s in a form that I don’t care for.


The Skull Mantra is waiting for me at the library!  Exciting!

Also, I’m now reading Anansi Boys, which is the sequel to American Gods.  It has a very different feel to it than American Gods did; I almost wish I had someone reading it along with me so that we could discuss the differences in the moods of both books.  Anansi Boys is much more light.