Thursday, January 22, 2009

I have actually read and finished a few books in the last few weeks. I had made a New Year's resolution to finish reading 30 books. I only have 35 more to go before I reach my goal. At one time this would have been extremely easy, not so easy anymore. But I have read four books in the last few weeks.

Of course the reason I was able to read so much is because I was down with a flu or cold. Whatever it was laid me out for two weeks. I'm still coughing, but I feel better. Now if I can get around to walking on a regular basis I'll probably start feeling even better. The chronic pain that I have been suffering has increased, and I have noticed a new foot pain. I'm sure that the back, knees and the foot hurt more because of the extra weight I'm carrying, so I'll have to work hard at losing it. It seems that when I decided on the goal of losing weight by walking though, then I catch a pretty bad cold that stops me. So I just have to push myself to start. It's hard when I'm in so much pain though, sometime I just want to take my medicine and climb under the covers, because it's so bad. (sinking into a morass of discouragement here, no more pain talk this post). I need some encouragement now. If anyone knows of a good exercise plan that is extremely easy on the arms, hands and shoulders (besides walking) that a tired overweight, short of breath woman can do, I'd appreciate hearing about it. I'm tired of living and feeling like this.

So here are the books I finished:

The Summoning - young adult by Kelley Armstrong. Pretty good book, glad I read it. A fifteen year old girl (Chloe Saunders) is a student at an art school. She studies film-making and deals with stressful situations by putting them into film perspectives. The problem is she is a late bloomer, feels like a freak because she stutters when stressed, hears voices and sees people that no one else sees. She keeps seeing ghosts, gets pretty scared, ends up in a group home for disturbed teens with a diagnosis of schizophrenia after an incident at school. She has to deal with quite a few teen-age personality types. There is Derek, very moody and freakishly strong and his "brother" Simon, who is the only one that doesn't attend counselor meetings, Rae who is obsessed with fire, Tori the Mean Girl, and Liz. Things get thrown and people get hurt when Liz is mad, though she never actually throws anything. It's written in the first person, with only a few words and phrases used that I wouldn't expect from a teenager. Examples; "...a swarm of kids engulfed him..."; "I awoke several times...";"...directed me to...". There's a few suspenseful episodes (my heart was actually pounding while I read - not many books do that to me anymore, not since reading The Shining when I was 18 - so long ago!) and a cliffhanger ending. Definitely not a happily-ever-after ending. This girl has a lot to overcome. There is some mystery surrounding her early childhood and the death of her mother. She has a pendant from her mother that she has worn since she was small and has nightmares involving a basement, ghosts and her child self. Kelley Armstrong has a sequel to this (The Awakening) coming out in May 2009. I'm buying it.

Mona Lisa Blossoming and Mona Lisa Craving by Sunny. umm.... I don't know why I read these; they're okay if you like reading a lot of metaphors and flowery descriptions of sex, with lots of gushy love stuff thrown in. I probably read them because among all this flowery emoting, suddenly a horrific violent episode will occur. There seems to be to or three authors all rolled into one. One thing I do respect though, is that even though Sunny's writing is close to LKH's style (ahem- her most recent style), at least she has the cojones to actually kill characters off, even though they may be special to the main character. Mona Lisa is a one-quarter human, three-quarters Monere woman. She has just recently discovered her own power and heritage, becoming a Monere Queen. In the first three novels (these two included) She gains powers through sex, gains a Demon Prince's love, gains and loses Monere men, and struggles to come to terms with her Monere background- difficult to do with her human sensitivities and morals. Mona Lisa does continue to have a lot of sex, some kinky, and to gain new powers. Apparently the gaining of new powers comes with the Sexxing-up of her men. The Monere men (these people are Monere, used to live on the moon, or another planet - forget which exactly) can also gain powers from their queens. However most of the queens don't allow their men (who are treated like slaves, except for Mona Lisa's men) to gain much power, and are in fact pretty sadistic and cruel toward their men. I'll probably read more of Sunny's books, but I think I'd feel better buying them used. She has written another series starring the Demon Prince's sister, Lucinda. I wonder if that will be written in the same style - could it be better?

Remember Me? by Sophia Kinsella. Sophia Kinsella also writes the Shopaholic series (Confessions of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic Ties the Knot, etc). This particular book's main character is nothing like the Shopaholic's main character. The book opens with a Lexi Smart having a stressful night out after a stressful day at work. She falls getting into a taxi and wakes up in the hospital with amnesia. Except it's three years later and she seems to have a husband she doesn't remember and a boyfriend who insists they are having an affair, which she doesn't believe. She has to re-integrate into her life, finds out she's been pretty successful financially but it seems she has lost her friends. She's not happy. This was a very good book. I was interested from the first page (even though it wasn't an urban fantasy). There is no sudden memory gain, Lexi has to learn about her past three years watching videos and talking to people who don't really want to talk to her. She doesn't recognise her current self, doesn't feel like she fits in with her current life and has to figure out what went wrong. There is a hint of a happy ending. A very satisfying read. Makes me want to read some of her (Sophia Kinsella) other work, like The Undomestic Goddess.

I am currently reading Lonely Werewolf Girl by Martin Millar and Desire Kills by Keri Arthur, skipping back and forth because I have BADD (book attention deficit disorder - a very real - to me- disorder) .

I'm very open to reading recommendations and ideas to exercise my tired old body. Please comment with recommendation, if anyone has any.

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