I have never worn gogo boots

I’m reading this book called What to Wear for the Rest of Your Life. It’s thick and yellow, and the pages are heavy, and I feel like it should be printed on glossy magazine paper, but It is not.

There are some lovely sketches in it, and cool fashion trivia. I saw a sketch of go-go boots and a note explaining that they came in as a response to the miniskirt.

I have never worn go-go boots, but suddenly I want a pair. I have pair of lovely cowboy boots with orange stitching and faux ostrich skin, and I love them, but they’re not the same. They’re not shiny plastic (vinyl) or anything like that.

Don’t you just love the power of words? I love that even a non-fiction style-guide can take me into a world where I have the perfect closet. I made mental checklists of my own wardrobe, and identified deficiencies as well as areas where I have too many items. I am not a fashionista – I work from home, and tend to chose comfortable black clothing most of the time (In my defense, I really DO need seventeen black t-shirts. I also need a new bathing suit, to take with me to Mexico, where I will read in the sun and splash in the sea for ten days.) but I love reading about fashion, and experiencing it vicariously through characters in novels.

And come home infused with new stories.

And perhaps, even, a new book.

Or two.

Booking through Thursday: Restrictions


On Thursday, April 29th, Booking through Thursday asked:

God* comes to you and tells you that, from this day forward, you may only read ONE type of book–one genre–period, but you get to choose what it is. Classics, Science-Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Cookbooks, History, Business … you can choose, but you only get ONE.

What genre do you pick, and why?

*Whether you believe in God or not, pretend for the purposes of this discussion that God is real.

I would like to be the person who chooses the classics, because they’re timeless, really, and generally incredibly well written. However, there are a finite number of the classics, and frankly, women in them weren’t treated all that well. So, I’ll choose Mystery, please, because within Mystery there’s all those nifty little subsets – paranormal mystery, horror, thrillers – and ranges – cozies, hard boileds, procedurals, etc. And some Mysteries even have a dash of romance, so, simply because I believe it offers the most options, and is a genre that remains popular, that’s my pick.

I mean, where else can an insurance quote or the recipe for the perfect flan be equally valid plot points? What other genre visits historical settings as well as modern ones, has existed since Poe, includes Agatha Christie and Rex Stout, appeals to children (Nancy Drew? The Hardy Boy?) and adults (Come on, tell me YOU don’t want to see Penelope and Jack figure out how a bookseller and a ghost can have a relationship while fighting crime), and incorporates humor as well as drama?

Mystery, please, with a serving of tea and scones.

Teaser Tuesday: The God of the Hive

On Teaser Tuesdays readers are asked to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between 7 and 12 lines.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.

Laurie R. King’s Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell novels are some of my favorite mysteries ever, and not just because I like taking a break from a world where we discuss hair growth shampoo and spending time in a world where high tea is a normal event. I’ve been a Holmes fan since as long as I can remember, but I love the relationship that King has created with his protege’ cum wife Mary. It just works.

Like many of her readers, the “to be continued” ending of the last novel really disappointed me, which is why I’ve been counting the days until The God of the Hive was ready. My copy arrived today. I can’t wait to read it!

Evening, and I might have curled up to sleep fully clothed except it had occurred to me that children required putting to bed. Estelle and Goodman were in front of the fire, he on the floor with Damian’s sketch-book on his knee, she stretched with her belly across the tree-round he used as a foot-stool, narrating the drawings for him. I had found the book in my rucksack, astonished that it had survived this far, and leafed through its pages before I gave it to her, making sure it contained none of his detailed nudes or violent battle scenes. Some of the drawings I had found mildly troubling, but doubted a small child would notice.

— from The God of the Hive, by Laurie R. King (page 80)

Teaser Tuesday: Twelve Rooms with a View

On Teaser Tuesdays readers are asked to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between 7 and 12 lines.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.

To be honest, when I first began reading Twelve Rooms with a View, the new novel by Theresa Rebeck, I thought the lead character, Tina, was a bit dense. This is a woman who doesn’t know the difference between a prevera review and Prometheus Unbound, I thought. But it turned out that Tina had her own form of intelligence, and I ended up really liking the book. A lot.

Eyeing Mrs. White’s gorgeous pink outfit, I felt a sincere moment of sympathy for those teenage girls learning a broader system of values. I mean, their mother was running all over New York City in designer suits, and they had to throw on the same ugly pleated skirts every morning before heading uptown to hang out with a bunch of nuns. It seemed like a pretty nasty fate, especially considering that they lived in Manhattan, where I would have thought that nobody, and I mean nobody, went to Catholic school to learn values.

— from Twelve Rooms with a View, by Theresa Rebeck (page 94)

Teaser Tuesday: The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder

On Teaser Tuesdays readers are asked to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between 7 and 12 lines.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.

I confess, I’d read pretty much anything that comes from the mind of Rebecca Wells, even if she was writing about adult acne treatment, so I’m really excited to have her latest novel – non-Ya-Ya, though still set in Louisiana – in process right now.

“And that’s where I get my secret, secret ingredients. Calla, here in New Orleans, spells are still a commonplace occurrence. Think of my secret potions like protective spells. Did you know that in the colder climates, ninety percent of the body’s heat is lost from the head? Well, the reverse is true with spells. Ninety percent of the spell goes in through your hair and your head.”

I was getting the chills, listening to Ricky talk.

“A true hairdresser pushes the bad energy out and knows how to replace it with good energy. And also when to walk away from certain energy, because a good hairdresser must know how to protect him or herself as well. The inspiration that a beautician – a true beautician – can bring to a person, that person in turn can bring into the world.”

from The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells

Book Trailer: The Baseball Codes

Listening to NPR while I was doing my morning bathroom routine earlier today, my attention was caught by a conversation with the author of a new book called The Baseball Codes that’s all about the official and unofficial rules, regulations, and codes of etiquette involved in baseball. While I’m not generally a sports fan, I do have a soft spot for baseball, and have fond memories of watching ball games on television with my grandfather when I’d be at their house during the summer.

I miss those summers.

In any case, when it comes to marketing books, one of my favorite promotional products isn’t really a tangible product at all, but the book trailer. So, here’s the book trailer for The Baseball Codes, by Jason Turbow:

Reading With the Fishes?

I have a thing for sharks. If I could have security cameras hidden in the ocean at the places with the most shark activity, and a constant feed, I’d watch it. Not 24/7 or anything, but I’d watch it. Naturally, if there’s a shark book, I want tor read it, as well.

My favorite shark book, so far, is Devil’s Teeth about the Farallon Islands, and the shark observation that went on there for many years. But recently, I saw this trailer for The Shark Man of Cortez, and it seems like it would be something right up my alley, so of course, it’s been added to my wish list.

I came across this video on YouTube, related to the book, and had to share it. Enjoy.

Booking Through Thursday: Which End?


On Thursday, April 15th, Booking through Thursday asked:

In general, do you prefer the beginnings of stories? Or the ends?

It would be easy to cheat on this and say that one end of a book isn’t much good without the other, but the truth is, I do have a preference. In acne solutions, I prefer the end, but when it comes to stories, books, anything written, it’s the beginning that does it for me. The opening chapters of a good book hook you – seduce you – they’re not mere teasers, but introductions to characters and situations. Once you get to the end, there is definition, but until then, anything can happen.

Well, anything that fits within the established rules of the world that book inhabits.

I’ve said before that nothing disappoints me more than when a really enjoyable book ends, but the reverse is also true: nothing excites me more than the beginning of a really good story.

What I’m Reading

I haven’t finished a book in a while, but I have one or two in progress, and one I’m anxiously awaiting, so thought I’d share.

The Summer Kitchen, by Karen Weinreb – This novel is proof that choosing books is somewhat akin to employment screening, and I’m not always good at it. I mean, the premise of this novel is good, and the book itself isn’t badly written, or anything, but I’ve owned it for over a year, and haven’t managed to finish it. Maybe it’s because I have no deadline for reading it, but I seem to be unusually willing to set it aside for any other book that floats into my awareness.

Twelve Rooms with a View by Theresa Rebeck – I just received this yesterday, and it doesn’t go on sale til the first week of May. This is one I’ll be reviewing at All Things Girl, but I’m really intrigued by it, anyway, and can’t wait to crack it open later tonight.

Coming Soon

While the top two books are in my possession, those which follow are novels I’m eagerly anticipating:

  • The God of the Hives, by Laurie R. King – this is the latest installment in the Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell series, and I’m eagerly waiting for it, since the last one ended with “to be continued.”
  • Roast Mortem, by Cleo Coyle – more coffeehouse mysteries – yum! And it’s due out just a few weeks before my birthday, in August.
  • Dead in the Family, by Charlaine Harris – yes, more Sookie Stackhouse is a good thing…due out next month.
  • Changes, by Jim Butcher – because I haven’t caught up with Harry Dresden in a while. It’s out already; I just don’t have it yet.

Review: Skin and Bones, by D.C. Corso

Skin and Bones
Skin and Bones
by D. C. Corso
Bennet & Hastings, 162 pages
Get it at Amazon >>

When I was offered the chance to read D. C. Corso’s debut novel Skin and Bones I jumped at it, because I love mysteries, true crime, and police procedurals, and the story – that of an FBI agent joining forces with a small town’s prodigal daughter to track down a serial killer who preys on children, and set just after September 11, 2001, – seemed like something I’d really enjoy. Imagine my surprise when the book showed up and wasn’t even 200 pages long. Well, don’t let the cover – or the size – fool you, because with this novel, less really is more.

Set on an island off the coast of Seattle, the book opens with what seems like a flashback. I won’t tell you what that scene really is, because the main plot begins immediately after: a young girl is biking to the local minimart to meet her friends for the last slushies of the season, when a truck driver asks her for directions. She approaches, cautiously, and learns that the address the trucker is supposedly seeking is her own. From that point we jump into FBI agent Ash Severin’s world – he’s been sent to Carver Isle to manage the case, but unlike most feds, he works with the local law enforcement, not against them.

At the same time, local girl Parker Kelly has returned home, ostensibly because she’s concerned for her aged mother, but once she arrives on the scene, weird things begin to happen. She hears the signature whistle of her psychotic cousin, supposedly safely locked up in prison, and feels his presence all around her. With her mother dying, and more children being taken, this is the last thing Parker needs.

Ash and Parker initially don’t get along, but eventually her past and his present begin to intertwine – and so do they.

Skin and Bones may be relatively short, but author D.C. Corso writes with a compelling style that is neither too florid nor too plain. Her descriptions are vivid when necessary, and vague when called for, and the characters and settings she describes seem like real people you may encounter in ANY small town. I would heartily recommend it to anyone who loves this genre of literature – it’s a great read…though I’d recommend against reading it in the bathtub while alone in the house.

Trust me on that part.