Wednesday, June 26, 2013

what a beautiful day

.....for Civil rights.....
and Women's rights!!

Yes, it's a beautiful day!

confessions of a clutterer: kitchen day two

Even the best laid plans....

I was going to focus on the table and island today, but then I thought maybe I should save that for last.  Let it collect the stuff off of everything else that needs to be sorted and removed or taken to where it belongs.  I thought maybe I should work on the metal shelving we have.  I started that and then I got sidetracked by the cabinets.  Yeah, it doesn't make sense.

So here's where we were in the beginning:

I didn't get too far with the shelving.  With all the snacks we had on this first section I realized we have snacks and food all over the kitchen without too much order to it.  So I started going through all the cabinets.  It was incredibly ridiculous.  I couldn't believe how much expired food we had in our cupboards.  But then there was so much of it.....

The 'bread' cupboard has bread and everything else in it.

The cabinet underneath the bread nook has a ton of canned foods & snacks.

An add on pantry-like cupboard.  Everything from oatmeals, chips, cookies, drinks & snacks were in here.

These are the pull out drawers in the island.  Teas and crystal light packets on the left and pastas and other dried goods, dressings in the right.  What I didn't take picture of are the drawers in between these cabinets.  Full of pastas, lentils, dried soup packets, candy, etc.  Above the cabinets is a junk drawer and my drawer of zip lock bags & parchment paper, wax paper, that kind of stuff.

Now, I didn't get through everything.  The junk drawer is a project in itself.  What I tried to do was go through all the food and get rid of the expired items.  I had stuff that expired in 2009!  One of the problems I found is that our cabinets are deep and we are lazy.  Rarely do I go through what we have already before I go grocery shopping.  So may boxes of Wheat Thins!  One of my hopes is that with all this cleaning I will keep a better working knowledge of what's in my kitchen so I can use it up instead of letting it go to waste.

I ended up with this:

For the first time ever I oiled the butcher block!  It looks so different now!  I thinned out the snacks and got rid of most of the baking stuff.  A lot of things I will never use (I'm not much of a baker so the basics is probably all I need).  What I do use, for not I put them in a cabinet that has other baking stuff in it.  Ray wants to move the bottom shelves up so the Roomba can get under there.  Once that's done I'll figure out how to use that shelf.

This looks so much better!  I put our bags of chips that were in the bread nook on the bottom shelf with some of the snacks that I eat.  Emma's snacks I kept on the metal shelving since that's easier for her to see and get to.  The canned foods and dressings, marinades are on the top shelf, but in a way that I can spin it and see everything clearly.

The bread nook has just bread in it!  Woo hoo!  Well, bread & tortillas.

Here's the right side pull out drawer.  I took my dried goods (oatmeal, red lentils, quinoa, barley, coconut flakes, chia seeds & wild rice) and put them in some of the canning jars I have.

Ahhhhhh pantry.  Did you know that chips only last a couple of months unopened?  I didn't.  Now I do.

My plan of getting areas done in chunks didn't go exactly as planned, but I did go through most of the food cabinets.  I can get behind that.  I've got to figure out what to do about our garbage though.  Monday was garbage day and by Monday evening our freshly emptied garbage can was filled up again.

Little by little we're getting there!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

confessions of a clutterer: kitchen day one

Today is day two of my get out house de-cluttered project.  I've decided to start with the kitchen for a couple of reasons:
  1. It's where I spend most of my time cleaning.  Every surface in the kitchen is covered.  We have the kitchen table, an island, a butcher block, shelves & my desk.  There's always stuff on them.  I'll clean them off and the 2 days later they're covered again.  I don't know how it happens.
  2. It's the biggest project in the house.  Part of me worries that this will overwhelm me and I'll give up, but I feel like I'm determined in a whole new way and I'll finish what I started.
  3. I could break it up into smaller sections so it wouldn't be so overwhelming - I hope.
  4. The kitchen is the center of the house.  Everything happens in the kitchen and if we could get that under control everything would flow better.
  5. Once I finish the kitchen I'll be able to do anything!!
I tackled the desk first.  It's been a mess pretty much since we moved it from my 'office' (which is now Olivia's room) to the kitchen.  Here's my before:

I did a really bad job of capturing the awfulness of this area!  It doesn't look that bad in this picture (but it does look pretty messy).  I have a cart next to the desk which I got to organize my paper and junk since the desk only has that one drawer.  The cart is full of everything that I didn't want on the table.  Also, underneath the desk is a shelf of sorts that you can kind of see at the bottom of the picture.  There's no reason to that madness.

Here's what it looks like now:

Soooooo much better!

I cleared everything off, either threw it away or filed it away.  I have two file boxes.  One for my Girl Scout troop stuff and one for my personal stuff.  In the cart I have paper, photo paper, envelopes, pens, pencils, markers & notebooks.

I love repurposing my stuff.  I use the tea tins for rubber bands and erasers (I use a lot of pencils).  The Glee card game was a gift from a friend, but no one could pay it with me because either they hadn't watched the first season or they just weren't Gleeks like me.  So I took the cards out and I'm using the tin for my furoshikis (Japanese fabric used for wrapping presents or food containers to take to a party, etc.).  And even though the Eclipse gum container is plastic and kind of plain, the top sticker has Edward, Bella & Jacob on it so I had to find something to do with it.  It carries my thumbtacks.  :)

Awhile ago Ray and I saw these sugar skull tequila bottles at Costco except they were MUCH bigger and kind of pricey for tequila I never tasted.  We were at BevMo looking for something and found two of them in small baby versions.  Score!  Ray went to another BevMo and found the third one so we have a complete set!  I also have my yummy smelling Orange Clove candle that was a gift from one of my GS Moms last year.  It takes me forever to burn them.  I'm pretty stingy with my candles.  I don't know why!

That's what I got done on day one.  Stay tuned for day two....cabinets!!

eleanor & park

eleanor & park
rainbow rowell
st. martin's griffin
published 2013

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

When you read a book you enjoy there is a point in the book where you go from not really caring about the book to being enthralled and instantly loving the characters in a way you hadn't just the page before.  In Eleanor & Park that happened for me somewhere around page 53.  And then it just took off from there.
Eleanor stayed away from the N-word, even in her head.  It was bad enough that, thanks to Richie's influence, she went around mentally calling everyone she met a "motherfucker." (Irony.)
He emptied all his handheld video games and Josh's remote control cars, and called his grandma to tell her that all he wanted for his birthday in November was AA batteries.
This book was so rich.  So many emotions were wrung out reading this book.  It felt like being bipolar.  I was enchanted, terrified, elated, sad, relieved and full of wonder.  It brought back those feelings of first love and the angst of high school with this surprising element of family and how you can't choose who brings you into this world.  Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it's not.

Add in comics, superheroes, music of the 80's, sci fi references and loaded with sarcasm laced with tenderness, it became nearly the perfect book.
Maybe Park had paralyzed her with his ninja magic, his Vulcan handhold, and now he was going to eat her.  That would be awesome.
 Oh and it was.

Monday, June 24, 2013

confessions of a clutterer

A month ago I got to reading more about a bunch of different ideas all centered around living better.  Everything from doing more yoga, eating whole, real foods and living a little more frugally.  It all started with all natural insect repellant (that I haven't tried yet).  I found that recipe and from there found another blog and another blog and another blog and so on.  It's been enlightening, to say the least.  Some are a little over the top for me.  A little too focused on religion or too strict or I get that underlying sense of judgement, but lots of bloggers out there are all about doing what you can and they'll help you get to wherever that may be.

The library has also been a great resource.  I've looked into raising chickens, soap making, green cleaning, whole food cooking & canning.  While I do love finding info online I also like having that book in my hand so I can quickly flip through while I'm in the process.  It's not quite the same 'flipping' through my iPad to find what I need.  There's lots of reviews on every book I've looked into and some people love them and some hate them so instead of spending hundreds of dollars on books that end up not being what I want I've been checking them out from the library when I can find them and then today I bought a couple that I really loved.

One of them is Green Clean by Linda Mason Hunter & Mikki Halpin It's a great little guide to cleaning.  Sounds simple enough, and it is, but I think it's fantastic.  The book itself is waterproof & stain resistant which means I can have it nearby while I'm spraying or mopping and not worry about ruining the book.  Inside you'll find a short explanation as to why we should try to use less chemicals and what's really in the brand name cleaning products we use without really thinking about it.

Then, they systematically go room by room with a scheduled check list for daily, weekly & monthly chores.  Here and there they've peppered the book with helpful tidbits on how to clean keep your dishwasher clean, houseplants that will purify your air quality the best, and what you can and can't recycle.

I don't mind cleaning.  In fact, I kind of enjoy it.  It's one of those things that you can immediately see the results.  There's an great feeling of accomplishment when you've gotten your house clean.  The thing that's difficult for me is that no matter how much cleaning I do, it seems like it's neverending.  I know there's always going to be dirty dishes and dirty clothes, but I'm talking about how there's just everything everywhere.  I can't keep up with it.

I guess the step that I missed was the 'getting rid of the clutter' step.

Now, I come from a long line of clutter collectors.  I wouldn't necessarily call us 'hoarders', but it's close.  We're sentimental and we all have collections of stuff.  Ticket stubs, t-shirts, baby toys, figurines, etc.  When Ray and I got married I had a lot of junk.  As the years have gone by I've whittled most of it down.  My parents dropped off crates of baby clothes, school work, yearbooks, toys and blankets a couple of years ago.  At one time they had the intention of buying us each a footlocker and keeping our mementos in there.  Of course, it spread to a few crates in addition to that footlocker.

After making sure my parents didn't care what I did with everything I got rid of most of it and only kept what could fit in the footlocker.  I have my mementos from bar crawling, Vegas trips, ticket stubs and stuff from when Ray and I were dating in a small box about double the size of a shoebox.  I have a book (School Years Memory Keeper) that I got at Costco that I keep a few things from each year of school for Emma and a birthday memory book where her birthday party memories go in.  So not too bad.

Of course, that's not it.  I have a crate of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV, not movie) and I have bookshelves cluttered with not only books, but Twilight junk, figurines and Legos.  So it's not completely under control!

But after reading Green Clean I'm determined to get everything under control.  I'd like to get rid of at least 75% of my clutter.  I feel like if I can do that across the board, linens, kitchen gear, paperwork, toys, clothes, etc. then cleaning will become a much more satisfying chore.

My plan for the next couple of weeks (although I'm hoping it takes only a week *fingers crossed*) is to get our house under control.  If I can get that done then I can focus on getting our meal plans done and get rid of the processed foods and move onto my other projects.....and work on convincing Ray we need to raise a couple of chickens.

All the advice says to start and finish one room - or section - at a time.  Here's my to-do list:
  • Kitchen/Dining Room
    1. My desk
    2. Dining room table & kitchen island
    3. Kitchen cabinets
    4. Refrigerators - inside & top
    5. Kitchen shelves
  • Living Room
    1. Baby's toys
    2. Bookshelves/cabinets
  • Hallway
    1. Linen closet
    2. Bookshelf
    3. Coat closet
  • Master Bedroom
    1. Night stand
    2. 6' Bookshelves
    3. Short bookshelf
    4. Closet
    5. Dresser
  • Master Bathroom
    1. Sink Cabinet
    2. Above the toilet cabinet
    3. Shower
  • Guest Bathroom
    1. Sink Cabinet
    2. Above the toilet cabinet
  • Emma's Room
    1. Closet
    2. Bookshelf
    3. Toy Bins
    4. Dresser
  • Olivia's Room
    1. Bookshelf
    2. Wardrobe
    3. Crib drawer
    4. Changing table
    5. Closet
It sounds like a lot now that I've typed it all up.  Ugh.  Some it's not going to be take too long.  I can probably do both bathrooms & the hallway closets in an hour.  And Emma's room has been de-cluttered so I just have to make sure we haven't gotten out of control there again.  Olivia's closet is going to be somewhat of a nightmare because it's basically full of stuff of mine.  Olivia's room used to be my office and when we cleaned out her room I never got to the closet.  *sigh*

I've taken 'before' pictures and I'll post them as I finish.  It's pretty embarrassing, but I'm going to show you anyway!  I worked on my desk today, but I'll post about that tomorrow since this has turned into a 70 page post already!

Here we go!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

virgin book reader envy

It's been quite some time since I've written a post that wasn't a book review!

I just finished reading three books that I loved (Stolen Prey, Delusion in Death & Mad River), but knew I was going to love and one book that I hated, but thought I would enjoy (I, Michael Bennett).  Even though that's a 75% positive rating I still feel kind of, I don't know...bummed?

John Sandford's two books were so good, especially Stolen Prey, but it's been awhile since I've read something truly astounding.  Something that made me lose my mind, or my heart.  The last one was Luther about three months ago.  That doesn't sound that long ago, but since I read Luther I've read 53 books.  I started going through book recommendations on GoodReads, Shelfari & Amazon and it got me thinking about the books I have loved and how I wish I could erase my memory of them so I could read them again without any expectations.

You know what I'm talking about.  There are those books you read and recommend to friends, half jealous because they get to read them for the first time and all you can do is read them again....and even though I have read some of these multiple times and loved them even the second, third, fourth or even fifth time, I still wish I could get that first time read back.  If I could erase my memory of these books and start again here's my list of books I'd do that for.

It seems weird to expound on how much I loved this book.  It's not a warm and fuzzy feel good kind of story.  Chevy Steven's Still Missing is about a woman who is kidnapped and held captive for more than a year, raped and abused repeatedly.  But it was so damn brilliant.  It kept me on the edge of my seat - literally.  I was heartbroken, elated at times, terrified and blown away.  I wasn't expecting what happened.  At all.  It was nothing short of brilliant.

I read What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg too many years ago to count, but the lyrical prose has stayed with me all these years.  Page 30, concerning dreams of fairies became the bar to which I set stories like these.  I wanted magic where there wasn't necessarily going to be magic.  Berg wove beautiful words into this story that haunted me for over a decade.

In the beginning I got Sarah Addison Allen's book The Girl Who Chased the Moon for free from a Barnes & Noble special.  I had it for months before I finally read it and when I did I immediately went out to search for the rest of Allen's books.  They were all just so beautiful, but TGWCM was an unexpected delight.  Like Still Missing I just didn't know what I was getting into so it made everything all the sweeter.  Full of magic, first love, finding love again, family, friends and mystery.  It had everything and more.

Seriously, did you think I wouldn't include this one??  Now I had avoided the Twilight craze.  In fact, I scoffed at it.  So many nutsos going insane over this vampire book immediately turned me off, but one of those nutsos was my friend and she told me I must read it.  She guaranteed I would love it and if I didn't get the books she was going to drop them off on my doorstep.  So I waited a bit longer until all four books came out and went and got them from the library.  With a doubting heart I started Twilight and at page 98 I had to call my husband so I could tell him 'I LOVE THIS BOOK.' and I became one of those nutsos.  I didn't even care.  There was something about this story that tugged at me.  The writing was soooo not perfect, the plot kind of ludicrous and it was far from having a socially acceptable female 'heroine', but I loved it.  Every bit of it.  Maybe it was the first love aspect, or the setting, or the silly differences Meyer made in her vampires.  Whatever it was I loved it and while I enjoyed all four books (6 if you count Midnight Sun and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner) the first one was my favorite.  The first meeting, the first kiss, the first time he saves her life - let's face it, we can roar all we want, but sometimes we just want that knight in sparkly armor.

*image found on Favim

This one's rather obvious, although it's not a single book, but an entire series.  Of course, I'm talking about J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.  Each and every book I loved.  It doesn't matter how many times I read them, they never get old and I still feel them pull the same emotions out of me as they did the first time.  It's one of the only books I've loved the movies almost as much as I loved the books.  I love the world that Rowling created, the language and the people.  I love that she created a series that you can think about, talk about with others and it never gets old.  There were times when I wanted to throttle Harry, but that was okay because even though the books carried his name there were so many characters that brought the stories together and Harry wouldn't have been Harry had it not been for Hermione, Ron, Snape, Dumbledore, Neville, and so many others.

Now that I've told you the books I wish I could go back and read for the first time, what are yours??  I'm always looking for new books to read!

mad river

mad river
virgil flowers series #6
john sandford
putnam adult
published 2012

Bonnie and Clyde, they thought. And what’s-his-name, the sidekick. Three teenagers with dead-end lives, and chips on their shoulders, and guns.

The first person they killed was a highway patrolman. The second was a woman during a robbery. Then, hell, why not keep on going? As their crime spree cuts a swath through rural Minnesota, some of it captured on the killers’ cell phones and sent to a local television station, Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigator Virgil Flowers joins the growing army of cops trying to run them down. But even he doesn’t realize what’s about to happen next.

When I read books like this I wonder why I even read James Patterson books....especially when one is sandwiched between two excellent John Sandford books.

I love Virgil almost as much as I love Davenport and Virgil has only been around for a few years now.  Creating Virgil Flowers was probably one of the most ingenious moves Sandford has done so far.  Lucas is a fantastic lead character for a series.  He's a bit bad boy, good cop, sweet husband, loving father and even a bit of a politician.  But what stands out most about Lucas is how he'll step a bit outside the law oftentimes to make sure a wrong doesn't go unchecked.  And that's what I enjoy.  He'll never let someone get away with something.

Virgil is, on the surface, something of a hippie.  He hardly ever carries around his gun (much to the chagrin of Lucas), he's always on the lookout for another wife (I think we're looking for #5?), he's got not one iota of politics in him and he mostly just wants to go fishing.  I don't know what that last part has to do with being a hippie, but that's what Virgil's mostly thinking about.  There is a big, bold line separating right versus wrong in Virgil's mind and this time we actually see what happens when Virgil sees a wrong being done.

Again, Sandford does a stupendous job threading in bits of humor through the story.  I think more here than in others I realized just how much I enjoy the unsung heroes of both series, Jenkins and Shrake.  They just tell it like it is and they're going to look out for their own.

The story itself is not something we haven't read before, but you get a better feel for these two kids who are more dumb than they are cunning.  By the end of the book you almost feel sorry for them, or at least you're looking for some sort of ending where they don't end up dead.  And while all of this is going on there's still the other part that sticks in Virgil's head.  Lucas is a bit more prominent here than he's been in the other Virgil Flowers' books and for awhile there things get a bit crazy.

It's just another dang good book by Sandford.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

i, michael bennett

i, michael bennett
michael bennett series #5
james patterson & michael ledwidge
little brown & co.
published 2012

Detective Michael Bennett arrests an infamous Mexican crime lord in a deadly chase that leaves Bennett's lifelong friend Hughie McDonough dead. From jail, the prisoner vows to rain epic violence down upon New York City-and to get revenge on Michael Bennett.
To escape the chaos, Bennett takes his ten kids and their beautiful nanny, Mary Catherine, on a much-needed vacation to his family's cabin near Newburgh, New York. But instead of the calm and happy town he remembers from growing up, they step into a nightmare worse than they could have ever imagined. Newburgh is an inferno of warring gangs, and there's little the police-or Bennett-can do to keep the children safe.
As violence overwhelms the state, Bennett is torn between protecting his hometown and saving New York City. A partner in his investigations, federal prosecutor Tara McLellan, brings him new weapons for the battle-and an attraction that endangers his relationship with Mary Catherine.

I really did like the last book in the series, Tick Tock.  So sometime during the events in I, Michael Bennett my mind was completely changed.  I am close to hating Michael Bennett.

This time the story and writing were lacking so much that I just wanted to throw the book, or at least return it to the library and never look at it again.  I HATE cliches in abundance.  One or two throughout the book aren't so bad, but when you have entire chapters which contain some stupid pun or 90s commercial tagline in every paragraph it starts to grate on my nerves.  'I'd taken a licking, but I kept right on ticking.'  Followed by 'The luck o' the Irish indeed!'  Then there were some that just didn't make sense like 'I'm talking bed-bath-and-beyond pissed.'  Um, what?  Couldn't you just say I was beyond pissed?  Because I don't really associate Bed, Bath & Beyond with being very extreme.

Then we have the blaming the single mother for the state of the drug war in America.  Really??  Seamus on a conservative, religious rant says 'A mother can't control a fifteen-year-old young man by herself.'  Oh really?  Screw you.  I know plenty of single mothers who handled their sons just fine thankyouverymuch you sanctimonious prick.

He has to tell the reader every time he talks about her that Tara is 'his friend, assistant US attorney'.  Yes, we know she's your friend and yes, we know she's an assistant US attorney because we're reading and we don't have the memory of a goldfish.

Hughie is not a name from a grown up.  It's just not.

Bennett is no longer believable as a cop.  And he's a complete idiot when it comes to Mary Catherine.  I mean, complete idiot.  I find it hard to believe that he's so irresistible to the women in his life.  And they even have Tara saying moronic things like 'I've made a resolution to stop being nuts, okay?  Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.'  Seriously?  Who talks like this?!  I find it irritating that Patterson & Ledwidge want to portray women as insecure and so desperate for this man's attention that they will act completely out of character if he rejects them.  And what's wrong with Bennett simply saying to someone, 'I'm sorry, but I'm not available.'?  It never happens.  And when shit hits the fan he blubbers around like a baby and I can't say that I was rooting for a happy ending for him.

And speaking of ending.  WTF?  I was thinking to myself as I finished up the last quarter of the book, I'm done with this series.  Move over, Alex Cross my ass (that's the tagline on the cover of this book in hardcover).  Bennett doesn't come close to knocking Cross out.  But then that's not one where you think, 'oh wow!  I can't wait for the next book!'.  No, no, no.  More like 'What the fuck?!?!  Where's the rest of the goddamn book?!'

I'll give the Bennett's one more try.  Maybe things will get better?  Maybe this was just a hiccup?  I hope so.

Monday, June 17, 2013

delusion in death

delusion in death
in death series #35
j. d. robb
published 2012

It was just another after-work happy-hour bar downtown, where business professionals unwound with a few drinks . . .until something went terribly wrong. And after twelve minutes of chaos and violence, eighty people lay dead.

Lieutenant Eve Dallas is trying to sort out the inexplicable events. Surviving witnesses talk about seeing things—monsters and swarms of bees. They describe sudden, overwhelming feelings of fear and rage and paranoia. When forensics gives its report, the mass delusions make more sense: It appears the
bar patrons were exposed to a cocktail of chemicals and illegal drugs that could drive anyone to temporary insanity—if not kill them outright.

But that doesn’t explain who would unleash such horror—or why. And if Eve can’t figure it out fast, it could happen again, anytime, anywhere. Because it’s airborne. . . .

You would truly think that after 35 books and numerous short stories I would tire of Eve Dallas, but strangely I never do.  Even if the stories begin to feel a little predictable or repetitive (which, actually, they don't) I still get engrossed in the book, happy to be in Dallas's world.

So when does she get baby fever??

Saturday, June 15, 2013

stolen prey

stolen prey
prey #22
john sandford
published 2012

Lucas Davenport has seen many terrible murder scenes. This is one of the worst. In the small Minnesota town of Wayzata, an entire family has been killed—husband, wife, two daughters, dogs.

There’s something about the scene that pokes at Lucas’s cop instincts—it looks an awful lot like the kind of scorched-earth retribution he’s seen in drug killings sometimes. But this is a seriously upscale town, and the husband was an executive vice president at a big bank. It just doesn’t seem to fit.

Until it does. And where it leads Lucas will take him into the darkest nightmare of his life.


Letty is the most AMAZING fictional female character in literature at this time.  Screw Katniss, Letty is the biggest asskicker in the fictional world.  And she's not the main character in the book!

So let's back up here.  Twenty-two books in, I've been reading this series for about 19 years, maybe a little longer and I'm invested.  In the beginning it was just Lucas and he was great.  Then we met Weather in Winter Prey (book 5) and they went off and on for awhile.  Letty came along in Naked Prey (book 14).  She was twelve at the time and you could already see the potential there and obviously so did Lucas.

Not only have we seen the relationship with Weather develop, but we've also seen he and Letty grow closer and she has become as important to me as Lucas.

John Sandford writes the way that James Patterson wishes he could write.  There are seriously heart pounding moments, humor that will make you laugh out loud and plots so thick it's hard to see through until Sandford wants you to see the way.  

Stolen Prey is no different.  One of the quotes from a review printed on the back of the book states 'The climax will have you holding your breath - and the book's very last line will leave you hoping for me.'  Hit the nail right on the head.  I actually had to put the down at one point, my heart beating so fast, just so I could process.  And yes, the last line of the book?  Devious.

It is in this book that we come to see how much her family means to Letty and even more importantly, how much she means to Lucas.  That girl.  I love her.  She is the key that makes the Prey novels as brilliant as they are.

Now I have in my lap the next and most current book in the series, Silken Prey.  I'm anxious to get started, but at the same time I know that once I read this I won't have another Prey novel until next year.  Booo hoooo!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


marcus sedgwick
roaring brook press
published 2013

In 2073 on the remote & secretive island of Blessed, where rumor has it that no one ages and no children are born, a visitor arrives.  He is greeted warmly, but something is wrong.  Something is hidden on the far side of the island.  Something that, as if in a dream, he cannot reach.

And so it is that under the light of the waxing and waning moon, seven stories unfold: the story of an archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact; of an airman who finds himself far from home; of a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking.  And the story of a love so primal and passionate it slips the bonds of time. 

This is the story of Midwinterblood.

I found this book through my library's recommendation email that I get every couple of weeks.  It sounded so interesting and different so I went and picked it up.  It's a very short read.  I ended up reading it in just under and hour and a half, yet it took me forever to read it because I kept getting distracted by other stuff!

The book is set up in a series of short stories that start in the year 2073 and move backwards in time.  They are always on Blessed Island.  The stories are intriguing and captivating, but for many I just wanted more, which I suppose is what the author wanted!  It's one of those stories that when it's all over you find yourself piecing together moments you didn't put together while you were reading.  Everything is happening in a strange backwards foreshadowing kind of way.  Something is revealed, but there is no explanation for it and when the next story starts it takes place 50-100 years prior to the events you just read.

At times it feels confusing, incomplete, but what is happening is so interesting you have to keep reading.  Even at this point I wish there was more to it instead of just these glimpses into slices of time, but it was a good read nonetheless.

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