Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Sunday Salon: First Time for Everything

Well, this has been quite an interesting week here on the East Coast, hasn't it?  First with our first-ever earthquake on Tuesday and now with Hurricane Irene who acted like a pain-in-the-ass houseguest with several equally charming hangers-on (i.e., tornadoes) who also intend to crash with y'all and keep you up all damn night.

We didn't feel the earthquake and we weren't in Irene's way, but I'm hoping those of you reading this who were/are in the path of Hurricane Irene are safe and sound. Most of our family and many, many friends live in the Philadelphia area, New Jersey, and Delaware, and seem to have fared OK, thank God. I'm also very grateful to the Delaware friends (you know who you are) who are going over and checking on our soon-to-be-sold house for us.

So it's been a pretty interesting week, to say the least. Oh, yeah, some other news. I got a new job! It's still in my field but involves learning a new (to me) industry, if that makes sense, and doing more local and regional travel (driving) than I've done before. I'm pretty excited about it. For one thing, it's a change from the type of nonprofits I've worked for in the past several years, which have been in pretty emotionally tough fields (domestic violence and child abuse).  And because of the travel, I see lots of audiobooks in my future!  I might just need to invest in an iPod and sign myself up for or something.

OK, so that's the big personal news for this week. Bookwise ... well ... once again, it was a week with another DNF.  Actually, two of them.  This is going to be a record-setting month for books I couldn't finish.  Maybe I'm getting more cranky in my old age or becoming an obnoxious book snob, but honestly, y'all? I just have zero tolerance anymore for books that aren't holding my attention or that I'm just plain not enjoying.  Life's too short to read books that you're not enjoying, you know?  (I know you know, and I don't know why I'm trying to justify this, but whatever.)

I had a few meetings this week (in regards to the new job), so I borrowed A Theory of Relativity by Jacquelyn Mitchard from the library to listen to in the car. I have This Thing where I've decided that, if I listen to the books that are currently on my TBR shelf on audio, I'll get through said books faster. Sometimes it works, sometimes ... not so much.

Right off the bat, the whole structure seemed disjointed and it seemed like whole scenes and whatnot were missing. Then I realized: this was an ABRIDGED recording!  Arrgghh!  Why are these still legal?  Can't we get them banned or something?  I just don't GET THE POINT of an abridged book.

I abandoned this somewhere near the end of disc 2, which in the printed version (now donated to the library's book sale) was page 155.  I did try and read some of the printed version, but the characters were still really getting on my nerves. Case in point: this is a novel about a family custody battle over a little girl, Keefer, whose parents have been killed in a car accident. I couldn't stand any of these people, including little Keefer. Unless you're reading The Bad Seed, it's generally not a good thing when you dislike a toddler in a fictitious work.  I didn't want any of them to adopt her, quite frankly, and especially so when Gordon decided to act like a total ass during his homestudy visit.  Nobody behaves that way.

All right, so ... moving on to a book I LOVED.  For the second time. Can we talk The Handmaid's Tale? No, actually, we can't - not quite yet, because I read this as part of the read-along that Florinda is hosting.  I very, very rarely re-read books, but I made an exception for this one because it has been around 20 years since I first did so and recent political and cultural events make this even more pertinent (and unsettling) today than it was back when I knew it all.  I'll have more to say on this later this week.

After The Handmaid's Tale, it was onto Irma Voth by Miriam Toews ... which brings me to another first. I'm scheduled to be part of the blog tour for this one, on September 23.  However, Irma Voth is my second DNF of the week (I lasted until page 54 of 255) and it is the second consecutive blog tour book that I didn't enjoy. (Maybe it really IS persnickety old me.)  This one's getting a fair amount of buzz around the Interwebs and some pretty good reviews on Goodreads, but again, I just wasn't as invested in the characters and the story with this one.  I may donate this to the library.  (What else do you do with ARCs that you don't plan on keeping?)

So now, I'm starting this week with The Winters in Bloom by Lisa Tucker, an e-galley that was sent to me from the publisher, via NetGalley.  This one intrigues me because Lisa is a new-to-me Philadelphia author, and The Winters in Bloom is set in my hometown.  It comes out on September 13.

I'm not sure what's on the agenda for us today. Maybe something in the city for all of us.  Maybe a little digital scrapbooking for me. (Creative Memories hosted a Summer Social Virtual Crop during this weekend that, while I didn't participate in it, gave me much inspiration from the layouts that were created by others.)

What does your Sunday hold in store for you?

copyright 2011, Melissa, The Betty and Boo Chronicles If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

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