Thursday, January 29, 2009

Buncha books - issue 6

First of all, COME ON PEOPLE, a five-way tie? Fine, I'll just randomly select... Third Degree by Greg Iles to read next.

Normally, in a "Buncha books" issue, I try to cover at least 6 books. I don't know if I'll get to that many today, but I'll do as many as I can. I'm going to start with The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall. It's been a long time since I read this novel, so I hope I remember everything correctly. I'm having a difficult time trying to formulate into words how to describe this novel. Bizarre, yet strangely compelling, it is about a man, Eric Sanderson, who wakes up one day and can't remember anything, but he gets notes of direction from himself, as this is apparently not the first time he has woken up with no memory. Turns out his memory loss is due to a conceptual shark that feeds on thoughts and memories. Something has made Eric a target of this shark and he goes on the run to avoid it while simultaneously trying to find the person responsible for its creation and determine how to destroy it. He takes with him his cat, Ian, and along the way he meets Scout, who, as part of the Un-Space Exploration Committee, is trying to find the shark that is after Eric. I did mention bizarre, didn't I? This novel is ultimately about the power of language (I think, anyway) and I enjoyed the little extras that were thrown in. There was lots of word play, beginning right at the title (Raw Shark Texts = Rorschach Test). The evil mastermind behind the conceptual fish is Mycroft Ward (Microsoft Word). There is even a flip book contained within the pages of the novel. The novel ends in a "Moby Dick"-type standoff, but I'll leave it to you to read for the outcome. I think this is a novel that you'll either find intriguing or you'll hate with an undying passion and you may hate me for telling you that I found it intriguing and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys things that screw with your mind. This book certainly will. Four picklebottoms.

Next I'll cover The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain. This novel is about a young girl, CeeCee Wilkes, who is coerced into getting involved in a kidnapping plot as the guard of the victim, who is the governor's wife. She didn't realize that the victim was pregnant, and during the night, the woman goes into labor and has a baby. She then hemorrhages and dies. CeeCee goes on the run with the baby. The novel is about her life, the life of the baby and what happens when the truth is exposed. I really enjoyed this book. When my mom was in town, I gave it to her to read and she read it in two days. Four picklebottoms.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is a novel about the life of a man, Amir, who grew up in Afghanistan and his father's servant's son, Hassan, who grew up with him. As boys they were the best of friends whose favorite activity was running kites. During a kite running competition, something occurs that changes everything. Amir cannot forget his cowardice in the face of the unspeakable event and his feelings of guilt haunt him, even after he and his father flee Afghanistan to America. Eventually he goes back to Afghanistan, where he just might find redemption. This book is amazing. The author uses very simple language, nothing flowery at all, and manages to convey incredible depth of feeling. I highly recommend this novel. 4 1/2 picklebottoms.

Now, though I have a blue million books in the pile to be reviewed, it's only fair that I cover the ones you selected for me to read recently, so I will now review the two you've selected for me so far.

The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst is a somewhat odd novel. Linguistics professor Paul Iverson receives a phone call while at work from the police. His wife, Lexy, has died due to a fall from the apple tree in their backyard. The only witness to the accident was their dog, Lorelei. Paul becomes obsessed with teaching the dog to speak so she can tell him what happened. I won't tell you whether or not he was successful, or if he figures out what led to his wife's fall. I will tell you that it is a pretty interesting, though strange, novel. There were a few unbelievable coincidences, like Lorelei's origins, but given that this is fiction, I guess I can suspend my disbelief in that case. I've read some mixed reviews on this book, and to be honest, I think my opinion is a bit mixed as well. Overall, though, it was a pretty decent read. I'll give it 3 1/2 picklebottoms.

And finally, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. I love novels written from the point of view of someone with a mental disorder, and this was no exception. This novel was about a man, Charlie Gordon, who was born mentally retarded. A method to increase intelligence is developed, and after testing it on several mice, a mouse named Algernon being the most successful, the treatment is going to be tried on a human, Charlie Gordon. The novel covers, from Charlie's point of view, the changes that take place in his life following the treatment. Does the treatment work? If so, how well and does it "stick"? The novel is heartbreaking, yet hopeful, as is what he learns about himself and others. Four picklebottoms.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Odds and Ends

First of all, they did have to intubate my grandmother Friday afternoon, but I haven't heard anything since then. I think the plan is to clean out her lungs and then try to remove the breathing tube. So we'll see.

Secondly, my husband fried the motherboard of my computer Saturday evening. Luckily, I married a compter geek, so there are three other machines on the switchbox and one connected via wireless for me to choose from to check email, blogs, Facebook and whatnot. He bid on a new motherboard on Ebay, so he should get me up and running by the end of the week. BUT, until then my intention of posting the "November notes" and "December digest" posts will have to be put off, since my pictures are on the hard drive that's connected to the dead motherboard. So maybe I'll get to a "Buncha books" post since it's been a while for one of those and the un-reviewed books are piling up.

Thirdly, I finished reading Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, so I need a new book. I want to give a little more time for voting (I wanted to post the poll this weekend, but didn't have time to write this post), so while I'm waiting for the 48 hours I'm going to give this time to end, I will be reading Step on a Crack by James Patterson because his books are always quick reads, so I'll be done by the time the poll ends. So the randomly grabbed candidates this time are:

The Alibi Man by Tami Hoag,

Mr. Murder by Dean Koontz,

Third Degree by Greg Iles,

Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson and

Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen.

Go forth (over to your right) and vote!

Last, how do you handle this situation: I received a friend request from someone who went to my high school at the same time I did and whose name sounds VAGUELY familiar, but I can't remember her for the life of me. I feel bad for not having a clue who she is. I don't want to ignore her request, thus REJECTING her if I knew her, but I don't want to accept her request if I don't know her (or DIDN'T know her, I should say, since I obviously DON'T know her now). Anyway, have any of you been faced with this situation? I'm not really posting anything personal on Facebook, so really it's not a HUGE deal, unless she knows the folks who were the reason for my shutting down my other blog, in which case her friend request could be nothing more than a spying type thing. IF she knows them and IF she would do something like that for them. Not likely, but not impossible. Also, I am thinking of staring a new support group called "Over-thinkers Anonymous". Anyone want to join?

Friday, January 23, 2009

No news is good news

My mother called this morning. My grandmother is in intensive care. She may not come out. Because she got a cough and due to lung problems in the past couldn't cough hard enough to keep her lungs functioning well-enough. My mom is looking through my grandmother's paperwork for a living will (though my mom has power of attorney, so I think any decisions are hers) and wondering how to handle a funeral/memorial service for a woman who was not religious at all and who only knew a handful of people. My mom abhors the idea of some minister who never met my grandmother a day in her life saying things about her life. We're thinking a small gathering at my grandmother's house with no service at all. My grandmother signed up years ago with some kind of cremation society, so that part is already taken care of. And there's always the possibility that she'll be okay, she's been okay before, but my mom is worried because I guess the doctors aren't sugar-coating anything.

I had just gone down with my kids in November because she was having mini-strokes that were causing memory loss, and I wanted her to see the kids at least once more while she could still remember who they were. There was also the possibility that it would be the last time we saw her, but I didn't think that could actually be the case. I just thought it would probably be the last time we saw her with her mental faculties mostly intact. Now I am doubly glad we went when we did.

My mom didn't hear from the hospital overnight, which was good news. She's going to spend the day at the hospital and she'll call me if anything happens. I'm hoping not to hear from her today, since at this point and until the bug that caused her cough is eradicated, opening up the possibility for improvement, no news is good news.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The times, they are a-changing

I don't think that anyone can deny, regardless of political party or beliefs, that yesterday was a HUGE historical event. The swearing-in of the first black American president. So because I missed watching the actual event as it happened due to kid-type things such as bus-catching and nap putting-downing, last night I was flipping through channels to see what was being said about it. My 14-year-old, Meg, said, "I don't see why this is such a big deal." I was taken aback. She didn't say it in a negative way, no disrespect for the man or the office, she said it in a completely sincere manner.

So I tried to explain why it was such a big deal. That her grandmother, my mother, can remember when she wasn't allowed to drink out of the same water fountains as black people (she used to sneak over and do it when no one was looking, because she wondered if the water tasted different). That there were riots when schools were integrated. She said that yeah, she read her history books. I tried to explain that the inauguration that day was a confirmation of how far the country has come in regards to racial equality and relations. My husband and I kept trying to impress on her just how monumental of an occasion it was. We were unsuccessful. And then I realized...

Intellectually she understands. She just doesn't have the, "Wow, this is a truly historical event" awe-inspiring reaction that adults are having. She doesn't GET it. And that's a GOOD thing. It is just as huge a confirmation of how far the country has come in regards to racial equality and relations as the inauguration itself. To her, the color of someone's skin is just another physical attribute like hair color, eye color, height. It holds no more importance than that. Which is exactly how it should be.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Facebook thing

So. Today I decided to sign up on Facebook. So I did and then I sent a friend invitation to my brother. See, I need to test it out before I go all in. Also, I'm a little disappointed that I can't really see anything about the people that I may or may not know unless they are my friend, so I would have to send people friend invitations JUST TO FIND OUT IF I KNOW THEM AND WANT THEM TO BE MY FRIENDS. So unless there is a picture where I can see that, "Yes, that is who I think it is," I'm not entirely comfortable just blasting friend invitations out right and left. Also, as it turns out, I'm not entirely comfortable sending friend invitations to people I KNOW would accept, because then what if I just abandon the whole Facebook thing after the novelty wears off? I'd feel bad about making contact and then disappearing again, because really I don't have time to make an actual effort beyond the Facebook thing to stay in touch with anyone.

So what if I just sit here and see if someone sends ME an invitation. But then what if no one does? Will I feel disappointed or possibly rejected? Will I even CARE? I mean, I'm not in touch with these people NOW, so does it really matter? It's like high school all over again, which is interesting since most of the folks I'm thinking all this about are from my high school days.

So my brother is my only friend and so far my wall says the following (read bottom-up for chronological order): is not liking this third person shit any better than she does when her teenage daughter does it. is figuring out why her teenage daughter talks about herself in the third person. is wondering why she joined a social network when she is decidedly NOT (social, that is), as evidenced by the fact that she is now reluctant to send invites.

No one has called me in 15 years except my mom. It's kind of weird; I've been J/e/n for so long now. Maybe I should just go UN-sign up. It'd be SO MUCH EASIER.

October overview and winners

In my effort to cover those four months or so that I disappeared, I will now give you my October overview. Really only two things happened, Amy turned 2 on the 20th

and of course Halloween.

Beth couldn't decide between the detective costume and the vampire, so she was a detective at school (easier costume to put on and take off) and a vampire for trick-or-treating. Jo went as a black cat and Amy was a bunny.

Other than that, there was some leaf pile playing,

some swing set playing

and some general goofing around.

On to other business... Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes was selected as my next read and I am in the middle of it now. I decided that although my poll was only open for 24 hours, I would allow the commenters who commented after it closed to be in on the giveaway, since really 24 hours is not that long. So after removing my own comment from the running, the random number generator gave me 6 for my first winner and 5 for my second. So... [checking]... Becky wins Step on a Crack by James Patterson and Flibberty wins Simple Genius by David Baldacci. Winners please email me your shipping info so I can get your books to you.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What should I read next AND a giveaway

First of all, thank you to my FIVE voters even though there were MORE THAN FIVE commenters (Come on, are you AFRAID I will be mad if I don't like the book you pick? Are you too CHICKEN to have an opinion and vote?)** last time. You unanimously selected The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst as my next read. So I am reading it. As a result of feeling too crappy to do anything other than read, blog and watch TV, I am about 15 minutes away from being done with The Dogs of Babel. So it's time to pick my next book. My random grab from my book piles resulted in the following choices:

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes,

The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross,

Step on a Crack by James Patterson [Wait a minute, this was a choice last time. I have ANOTHER copy of this book? It seems I have once again double-purchased a book. I have a paperback AND a hardcover. Hmmm... What should I do with the extra copy? Let me ponder that a moment...]

Paint It Black by Janet Fitch AND

Simple Genius by David Baldacci [Um, I seem to be holding a paperback copy of this book while looking at the spine of a hardcover copy in my book pile... Another troublesome problem.]

OK, so go vote in the poll to the right to determine what I will read next and leave a comment telling me why you chose the book you did. I will then randomly choose two commenters. The first one chosen will win my brand-spanking-new paperback copy of Step on a Crack, and the second one chosen will win my brand-spanking-new copy of Simple Genius. So come on, people... VOTE. You have incentive this time - WIN A FREE BOOK.***

** This is trash talk. I'm not very good at it. It is SUPPOSED to provoke you into doing what I want you to do. We'll see if it works...

*** This compromises the validity of the trash-talk experiment.

Multiple choice questions

1. Which of the following possibly does not qualify for an insurance-covered flu shot, depending on the insurance company?

a) Pregnant women
b) Individuals under the age of 18
c) Individuals over the age of 50
d) Mothers in their thirties with several children who need to be fed and told to bathe and/or bathed and be provided with clean laundry and rushed through busy mornings so they don't miss the bus

2. Which of the following in my house has/have had a flu shot?

a) All individuals under the age of 18
b) The 50-year-old individual
c) The cat
d) The mother in her thirties with several children who need to be fed and told to bathe and/or bathed and be provided with clean laundry and rushed through busy mornings so they don't miss the bus

3. Who in my house has been sick since the end of December?

a) The cat
b) The 14-year-old
c) The fish
d) Everyone else

4. What is the average number of times each sick person has gotten sick WITHOUT more than a single day of feeling better in between?

a) 2
b) 1.5
c) 1.6
d) 3

5. Who, while still on antibiotics for the first illness, has now come down with what is quite possibly the flu?

a) The father
b) One of the kids
c) The cat
d) The mother in her thirties with several children who need to be fed and told to bathe and/or bathed and be provided with clean laundry and rushed through busy mornings so they don't miss the bus

6. Who has determined that priority one is NOT getting the mother better (that is priority TWO), but is rather to NOT get HIM sick?

I'm not even going to give you choices for this one; just take a wild guess.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Awesome gifts

Before the holidays last year, I saw and read a lot of posts on what would be good gifts for husband, wife, kids, etc. None of them (disclaimer: THAT I REMEMBER), however, had much in the way of "have this and it is AWESOME". They were mostly of the "this would be a great gift" variety. So although the holidays are over, there are birthdays, anniversaries and other gift-giving events coming up throughout the year, so I thought I'd tell you that WE HAVE THESE AND THEY ARE AWESOME.

First of all, books. There are lots of good series out there, and I'm not going to go into those here. I want instead to highlight a couple books my middle two kids received for Christmas this year that are really good. First is How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Life Museum by Keri Smith. I highly recommend that you click over and do a "look inside this book" thing. It might just be the coolest book I've ever seen. Jo and Beth each received her own copy. I think this would be a good gift for kids from about age 8 - 12. Maybe a little younger depending on the child; Beth is 6 and she loves it.

The second book may make many of you cringe. I did a little at first, but in the grand scheme of things, this is a good option. Many little girls love the whole princess thing. My 6-year-old certainly does. So when she saw How to Be a Princess by Bee Willey in a store, she immediately was drawn to it and coveted it mightily. It was the only copy and was a little beat-up, but I looked through it and saw that I might have misjudged. Indeed, you cannot judge a book by its cover. So I ordered it for her for Christmas. It is one of her favorite gifts. Here's what I like about it: It stresses politeness, courtesy, kindness and good behavior. It covers choosing a prince in such a way as to emphasize that a princess looks beyond appearances when choosing her prince, and instead focuses on his actions and how he treats others. On every page is a little "extra" such as a little story booklet or fold-out or a paper doll and clothing. So if you have to do something princessy, this is a good option. Age range is whatever the princess obsession covers.

Moving on to games... My oldest actually received this game the Christmas before last, but I have to mention it just because it is such a cool game. Dicecapades.

Never heard of it? Neither had I until I was walking through a local Barnes and Noble and saw it on a table. There was only one and although the box looked a little worn, the game looked neat enough to take the plunge and buy it. There are a bazillion dice (exaggeration) and the game involves trivia, motor dexterity, math, wordplay, etc. It is a really cool game for ages 12 and up. I really enjoy it myself.

Another good game for older kids and adults is Buzzword. It's a lot of fun and basically involves coming up with phrases containing a particular word based on clues. There is a lot of tip-of-the-tongue frustration and "oooohhhhh, I KNEW that"s when the answers are revealed.

Two other games were received by Jo. Flinch and Bananagrams. We haven't played them yet, but they look like fun. I'll let you know what we think after playing.

Lastly, I want to show what Amy, my 2-year-old, is enjoying and playing with the most. She loves puzzles and her two favorite gifts by far were Melissa and Doug's See & Spell Puzzles and Infantino Matching Colors and Textures Puzzles.

Finally, MY favorite gift that Amy received was this hat:

I'm really sorry I can't find it anywhere on the web (during the 5 minute effort I made), because I know you all want this hat for your girls now. I bought it at 50% off (couldn't afford it otherwise, it was $36 flippin' dollars for a BABY HAT, which I couldn't justify, but $18, while still a little high for a BABY HAT was justifiable by the sheer adorableness of the item, but still don't tell my husband I spent $18 on a BABY HAT) back in May from a boutique store that was going out of business. I just couldn't resist. The hat is fringed by little hanging pom-poms and each little pom-pom has a different little design stitched onto it. I do now know why, when choosing my pseudonym here, the name "Picklebottom" popped into my head. I had recently purchased this hat, which is made by Petunia Pickle Bottom. Is that not the cutest hat you've EVER seen?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What should I read next?

Every time I finish a book, I then face the dilemma of choosing my next read from a towering pile (actually THREE towering piles) of books I've acquired but not yet read. It's a really hard decision for me because I want to read them ALL. So I've decided to add a new and EXCITING little number here. YOU, yes YOU, get to decide which book I read next. Each time I finish a book, I will grab 3-5 books from my piles and put a poll over to the right, where you can vote on my next read. Since I review the books I read here, you can essentially have me test read the books for you if you think they are ones in which you might be interested.

So anyway, last night I finished Plum Island by Nelson DeMille. This morning I selected for your decision-making pleasure, the following: The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst, Step on a Crack by James Patterson and either Brimstone by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child OR The Wheel of Darkness by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

I need some info on the Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child book (I'm looking at YOU Shauna, if you still come by here that is, I know it's been a while since I've been around). You might remember that I read a Preston/Child book a while back entitled The Book of the Dead (reviewed here) that turned out to be the seventh (I think) book in a series revolving around FBI Agent Pendergast. Being the anal retentive individual that I am, I prefer to read series books in order, even when they stand alone perfectly well. Since I also happen to buy most, if not all, of my books from bargain tables and library sales, or get them from Bookmooch, I don't happen to have all of the previous six to choose from, but I do now have two of them (assuming both of them come before The Book of the Dead), and I might as well read them in order. So Shauna or anyone else who might know, which of the two Preston/Child books here comes first?

Okay, now go VOTE. Because I'm drinking my coffee, but I have nothing to read while I am doing so. In the future, I will have to put these polls up the day before I'll finish a book, so there's one on deck. I guess today I'll just clean the house or something, maybe put away Christmas decorations, until the poll time is up. This time, I'm only going to give 12 hours of voting time, since I'm needing a decision NOW, but in the future I'll give 24 hours. Now VOTE!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For Nowheymama

This is in response to a question asked by Nowheymama, but since it might interest someone else AND I can get a post out of it, here it is.

Nowheymama asked: Tell me more about Tae Kwan Do, please. Do the girls like it?

Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial art (it may be THE Korean martial art, but I don't know). Apparently, it is also written as one word, not three like I have been doing forever. It means "the way of the hand and the fist." Wait, that's redundant... FOOT and fist.

Anyway, we originally started the girls in Taekwondo (hmmm, I like three words better, but from here on out it's TKD) when Jo was 5, because she lacked self-confidence and we thought it might help her in that area. Beth started because Jo did and she was the youngest (having just turned 3) ever admitted to our TKD school at the time. They allowed her in because she demonstrated the ability to pay attention and follow instructions. The age limit at the time was four, so Beth paved the way for the three-year-olds that are now admitted.

The sport did seem to help Jo with her self-confidence, though she is by nature fairly quiet and timid, so it is sometimes difficult to discern what is her non-assertive nature and what is a lack of self-confidence. Jo's ability to focus is a huge asset for her in the sport. About 2 1/2 years into it, Jo went through a period when she wanted to quit. I spoke with her instructor, and he talked to her and got her excited about it again. I don't know what he said, but it worked.

Beth turned out to be quite the athlete in all the sports she's tried, and TKD is no exception. She loves it and has never really had a time when she didn't. Both girls are currently enjoying it and are about 3 months away from earning their black belts.

If you are thinking of starting your kids in TKD, make sure you talk to parents whose kids go to various TKD schools to find out which school is right for your kids. There are national chains and mom-and-pop shops. The school we attend is one of the latter, and I think that, particularly for Jo, was the best choice for us. Our school also emphasizes getting out there and giving it all you've got rather than perfection of execution, though the kids are expected to learn all the moves (and some of the forms are long and complicated). No matter what kind of school you decide to go with, it is quite a commitment. We've been going for three years now, which is how long it takes to get to a black belt. It is also not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. On the plus side, at least at the school we go to, the instructors talk to the kids quite a bit about making good decisions, doing their best in all aspects of their lives (school, home, etc.), and so on, so it's not just the sport that they're learning. Overall, it's been a good experience for my kids, and while I'm not sure if Jo will decide to continue on to higher degree black belts after receiving her first degree black belt, I'm fairly certain that Beth will continue.

Monday, January 12, 2009

September synopsis

I promised a September synopsis this week, so a September synopsis ye shall have. Let's see, September began with Labor Day weekend, during which I believe we did NOTHING. Then in one magical day, Meg started high school

(Notice it is dark outside. That is because she catches the bus at zero-dark-thirty.), Jo started second grade

and Beth started kindergarten.

Since Amy naps in the afternoon, I now have approximately TWO WONDERFUL HOURS of peace and quiet every school day. Two hours where I can get things done without constant interruption. It took me about a week for this time to be productive, as I couldn't at first figure out what to do with myself.

Let's see what else... oh, yes. You may remember this little item that I mentioned in this post (which I had to transfer from my old blog in order to link to it, so some of you may have 2 new posts show up in your readers; don't get excited, one of them is an old one):

If not, and you don't feel like clicking to the other post to read about it, it is a little styrofoam cup, decorated by Beth, with pumpkin seeds planted in it that she gave to me for Mother's Day last year. Well, by September one of the little seeds had turned into this:

It always looked a little (OK, a LOT) wilted in the afternoons, but perked up each morning. The yard is all dug up because we had just gotten public water and sewer hook-ups.

Also in September, Jo and Beth tested for and received their senior red belts in Tae Kwon Do.

The belts they are wearing are not their senior red belts, they are just regular red belts, but the shot I have of them wearing their senior red belts is vertical, and unless I go into Ph0t0shop or something and rotate the image, it shows up sideways here. Since I don't feel like doing the Ph0t0shop thing, you get the old belts. Imagine them with a black stripe through the middle.

That's about it, I guess. September in a nut shell. Coming soon - "October overview."

Friday, January 9, 2009

Where to begin?

My mother left this morning, and so now that all the holidays and birthdays are done for a while, I am going to try to have a more consistent presence here and in your comment sections (yes, I mean YOURS). And by a more consistent presence I mean that I will do better than my recent 4 month absence, but don't expect miracles. There aren't as many or as long naps happening around here and I'm trying (only SLIGHTLY successfully) to keep on top of the clutter, which is tough around here with four kids who have apparently NEVER heard of putting anything away, so I will probably still be an erratic poster and commenter, but give me credit for trying.

Who else has yet to finish putting away holiday decorations? Anyone? Bueller? Just me then? OK, how 'bout individual piles of Christmas or Hanukkah (2 Ks, 1 N, NOT 2 Ns, 1 K like I always try first) loot scattered about the living room? Also just me? OK then moving on...

I'm trying to figure out how to cover the months I missed, and I'm not sure how to begin. I read A LOT, so I have quite a few reviews to write for at least the books I can remember reading. The others will just fall through the cracks. Maybe I'll do a brief overview for each month, then additional posts for any events or happenings that need more detail, then I'll tackle the book reviews a few at a time while I get back into what will likely be an erratic yet more often posting schedule. So if I can get back here later today, I will give you "September Synopsis." Otherwise, look for it next week sometime. I'd say Monday, but then I'd have a deadline, and OH THE PRESSURE...