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17 June 2010 @ 05:16 pm
A Boatload of Books...  
So, knowing that I got back from Hawaii not long ago, you're probably wondering, "What did you read while you were there?" And the answer, between Hawaii (and the plane) and since then, is A LOT.

I read two Stephanie Plum novels in Hawaii (#6 and #7), and I'm working on #8 right now. These are my preferred gym books, because they're fast and distracting. #8 features Lula encountering a dreadful little girl who makes the mistake of calling her fat:
Lula: I'm not fat. I am a substantial woman!

Those novels are all about Lula and Grandma Mazur for me, and people like the goons and stoners in #6. The random dialogue for the secondary characters is a riot.

I read Procession Of The Dead for Amazon Vines, and posted the review today. It's the first non-teen novel for Darren Shan, and it was a fascinating read (though its view of women is extremely limited). The book's structure and some of its underlying details are based on the Mayan calendar and mythology, and there are intriguing mysteries that help pull you along through the bloodbath of its gangster-world setting.

The above was my "beach" novel (!), and my airplane novel was Al Capone Does My Shirts. That last book is a teen-market novel, a great mix of humor and pathos in an unusual setting. I loved it (and its sequel, Al Capone Shines My Shoes, which I read this week). I was little perturbed by the fact that the novel is set in The Depression (to line up with Capone's time at Alcatraz), and yet you'd never know it from the books themselves. That seems careless, in stories that are perfect in so many other respects (including the depiction of an autistic character). Regardless, the books are delightful.

Last week I also finished Unwind, another novel by Neal Shusterman. This was recommended by blazeorfade, and it really was fantastic. Shusterman is such a creative writer. I couldn't put that one down, though I hid it from Christopher and returned it yesterday. Some of the ideas in it would upset him greatly right now. In a couple of years, everything will be different.

I'm currently reading How The World Makes Love, by the author of Honeymoon With My Brother. Very funny writer (I want to read that first book now). He journeys to 7-8 different countries to discover how they view love and courtship, and what other cultures find successful or disastrous.

Minor shocker in reading it: I spent years being told that saudade meant "Souvenir." I.e., that the Villa-Lobos classical piece, Saudades Do Brasil, meant "Souvenirs of Brazil." The music's structure (sections that reminisce over certain places in the country) seems to support that. This book suggests that a better meaning is, "Soul-deep longing," meaning that those musical pieces are not souvenirs-- they're the homesick remembrances of the composer. Big difference, at least to me.

My next KidFic novel, as soon as Christopher's done with it, will be another Eva Ibbotson story. Haven't read anything by her aimed at the teen market, so I'm looking forward to it!

Annnnd for those of you following my side-pain issue, it got bad enough during my run yesterday that I had to quit about 1 1/2 miles in. So I called the doctor, and went in this morning... and got the diagnosis I postulated earlier. Constipation (maybe with some random muscle pain). Hey, at least I didn't let the advice nurse scare me into going into the ER last night. Bad enough to pay $20 over something like that, but $100 would have really hurt. :0

devon99 on June 18th, 2010 12:36 am (UTC)
Goodness, is that how much it costs to have a check up at the doctors and the hospital? I'm glad I live here, where I never have to give it a thought.

Hope you feel better soon my dear.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 18th, 2010 01:19 am (UTC)
It depends upon your insurance, and your copay. My office's plan with Kaiser involves a $20 copay for regular office visits (GP, not specialists) and $100 for the Emergency Room.

For a lot of other insurance companies, the copay is MUCH higher. And woe to those who don't have insurance. :(

Meanwhile, I'll continue the fluids and the fiber and ignore the pain until it goes away. Which was my original methodology too! It just didn't go away fast enough. :0
And I Am Telling You: Angel - Fred Readingant3ka on June 18th, 2010 02:21 am (UTC)
I love the Plum books!! Lulu is my favorite. :)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Bookshalfshellvenus on June 18th, 2010 04:45 am (UTC)
Mine too- she cracks me the hell up.

I was trying to explain to my husband about her "Hunh..." comments.

And he said, "Oh, she kind of grunts."

And I said, "No-- it's when she's biting back what she really wants to say, and most of the time she says it anyway." Like the novel that started off with Stephanie and Connie and Lula going over to Dickie's office, and trying to work up some scam business to "consult" him about. In the elevator they agreed on something like, "Lula's Limos" and in the office Stephanie renamed the business "Capital Limo Service."

And Lula says, "Hunh..." and you know she wants to kill Stephanie on the spot. :D
bebeascarpetta on June 20th, 2010 09:10 am (UTC)
Glad to hear it was "only" $20 you had to "donate", but you want to be careful.
Moreover, it is irritating as hell that things like that take the fun out of what you love doing,isn't it?
I never get side-pains/back-pains when revising some ever-so-exciting stuff with one of the boys but trust them to emerge and almost make me drop the oar the day before yesterday.
Being the most senior of the lot anyway I would never have lived down the shame(and the blame).(*le sigh*)
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on June 21st, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
The side-pain problem is still ongoing-- it's a blockage of some kind, and I've treated it to the gills with over-the-counter methods. Even biked in the garage yesterday so I'd be close to the bathroom, if needed (normally, that would have been a running day!). Today, I'll go outside, but I have more incentive just because weekends on the bike path (especially holiday/family weekends) turn the place into a danger zone of clueless people standing on the bike path or wandering across it without looking.
I didn't realize you rowed with a group! Is everyone in the same boat, or is it a group of people who go out in multiple boats for "instruction"?