December 30, 2007

Year End

This is one of my overstuffed bookshelves - you might also guess that I got a digital camera for Christmas! So prepare yourself for many more pictures!

I've been going through my TBR pile, and I'm trying to decide what challenges to accept for the year. (Suggestions are welcome!) I'm hoping to do some that allow me to use books I already have, but I do feel a need to expand my horizons a bit. One thing I want to do is read more personal finance books. This is an area of my life I've been neglecting for far too long. I just successfully paid off all of my credit card debt, but now I'm facing student loan debt and the fact that I have very little saved for retirement.

I did get a surprise ARC in the mail - "The Winter Rose" by Jennifer Donnelly. I think that'll be first on my list to read.

I am considering doing the super NaNoWriMo: Blog 365. It seems like a big commitment, but possible.

December 23, 2007

Happy Holidays!

I'm getting over a cold, so that has slowed down my Christmas preparations somewhat. However, I am done shopping and wrapping and decorating; all that remains is the baking, which I should finish today. I hope you all are enjoying family and friends however you like to celebrate!

The Memory of Running - Ron McLarty

My hairdresser gave me this book because she enjoyed it, and I'm very glad she did. This is an unusual story about a man who loses his parents in a car accident, then goes on a journey by bicycle across the country to find his sister, who disappeared years ago. Naturally, this is a story of his self-discovery along the way, and about shedding the past to step into the future. It's told mostly through flashbacks, as we learn about his family and what led up to this point. This was fairly easy read, and the prose seemed very natural. Ron McLarty is an actor, but he is also a gifted writer.

December 9, 2007

World Without End - Ken Follett

This is the sequel to "Pillars of the Earth" that we didn't know we were waiting for. At 1000+ pages, it seemed quite long, and did drag a bit in places, but overall it was enjoyable. His characters were interesting, but as usual the good guys were very good, and the bad guys were very bad - no shades of grey, no doubt about motives, no chance at redemption. One reason I did pick it up was that it covers the time of the Black Death in England, although we don't get to that until very far into the book, and I don't think he conveyed the scope of it very well. Still, it was an entertaining read. He clearly did a lot of research to prepare for it; I learned how they dyed wool at the time, for example. There are some things that seemed to strain my credulity a bit - contrived situations just because he wanted to use the research he had done, for example - and more complicated characters would have been more realistic. Still, it was a pretty fast and entertaining read.