I found this post in my drafts

…I don’t know why I never posted it. It is from 2010. Ahem.

It’s September.

For me, and for lots of other people, September means back-to-school. It’s easy to approach the Labor Day weekend with regret, thinking about things you planned to do and didn’t…so I’ve decided instead to take a look back at my summer and celebrate what I did accomplish.

(For my purposes, “accomplishments” shall be defined very loosely.)


I’ve done quite a bit of reading this summer…much of it just for fun, but some for professional development as well. You can check my Read in 2010 shelf at goodreads if you want to see specifics. Some of my favorite reads have included the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley and Feed by Mira Grant. Feed is definitely deserving of a post all to itself, and I will get to it soon!


Rand and I took a week in July and drove to central Tennessee, where it was really, really hot. We visited lots and lots of used bookstores. I bought stuff for my classroom as well as many things just for my reading pleasure. (side note–oh, Half Price Books, why do you not exist in New York???)


(some of the stuff I bought)

We didn’t enjoy the outdoors much (did I mention it was really, really hot?), but we did enjoy sleeping in, reading, watching DVDs, and cooking out.

(the view from the back of our cottage)

We celebrated our anniversary (two years!) at the Brass Lantern restaurant in Crossville, TN.


And we visited with my dear friend Stephanie and her family. We had great food, great conversation, and an overall lovely time. No pics, sorry!

I think I had meant to write more. Who knows what I intended to say…

So this is the new year…

I have a number of random things to throw out there, so this post will be in numbered list form.

1. An awesome time was had by all at the Lowest of the Low New Year’s Eve show at Town Ballroom. See Jen’s post. Many thanks to Jen and Chuck for dragging us out! If you haven’t already seen it on Facebook, lookit this cute pic:



During the show, I tweeted that “Salesmen Cheats and Liars” just wasn’t the same without Lawrence, and he responded by calling me a “doll.” Teehee.

Most awesome exchange between Jen and me during this concert, while the band is playing the song “Winter Sleepers” from Sordid Fiction:

Jen: I don’t like this song.

Me: (shrug) It reminds me of…

Jen: X (code for my ex-bf)! I KNOW! I read something on the Internet today that reminded me of him…Oh, I know…it was a Yahoo article about how not to break up with someone.

Me: *laughs for 10 minutes*

2. I am back to school. I have a ginormous pile of grading to do that I did not do over break that I am procrastinating doing by writing this blog post.

3. I went to the GYM today.

4. In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t spend a lot of time here these days. Here’s a list of other places, complete with links, I can be found online:

Please feel free to follow/friend/whatever me in those places… 🙂

5. I tend to not make resolutions as such, but I’ve been making an effort to be a healthier/happier/less stressed me, and plan to step that up in the coming year. There may be more on this later, unless I get too busy, which is highly likely.

6. I read 47 books in 2011, which is just short of my usual 50 or so…I started reading a 48th, but am not yet finished with it. I was feeling some mild guilt about this, but then I said, “Wait a minute…this is silly.” So I’ve decided that my only reading “goal” for 2012 is to enjoy as many books as I can and not allow myself to feel one second of stress over something I do for fun.  See #5.

7. I think I posted here something like…8 times in 2011? While there’s a part of me that would like to post more, well, see #5 and #6.

8. On that note, I should find something productive to do…happy 2012!

2010 books read

I started to update my book post, but then I realized that there were a good 20 books I hadn’t put on the list. Instead, here is the link to my Goodreads “read in 2010” shelf.

(If you’re not yet my friend on Goodreads, go ahead and add me!)


Every once in a while, I realize it’s been like two weeks since I posted anything, and decide to info-dump a bunch of random stuff. This is one of those times.

Stuff about Books:

I’ve actually gotten a lot of fluffy, just because I want to, reading done in the past couple of weeks, and it’s been very enjoyable. You can find me on Goodreads (feel free to friend me, but if I’m unlikely to recognize your name, just drop me a line or two telling me who you are!)

If you’re my facebook friend (and if you aren’t, why not?), you’ve already seen my plug for PaperBack Swap…but for those of you who haven’t, here’s where you can find me. I’ve found PaperBack Swap an incredibly useful source for trading used books. I have a bunch of books posted right now, and I’d love to find them homes!

Stuff about TV

Rand and I just finished watching the entire run of Sports Night on dvd (again), and I’m reminded of how ridiculous it was that it got canceled after two seasons. Sigh.

I’m trying desperately to catch up on episodes of So You Think You Can Dance, which I got behind on when we went on vacation. Since writing that sentence, I am caught up UP TO this week, which means I have not watched the performance or results shows that aired this week.

We just got the first disc of Castle in the mail from Netflix, so that’s on our to-watch list. Finally. 😉

I swear that when I started this post, I had more than two categories of things to write about…but *whoosh* whatever it was is gone now. I guess I’ll post again later if I remember!

Books read in 2010

It’s been a while since I posted a book update. I’ve been pretty good about keeping up on Goodreads, but not so much with the post. I’m too lazy to go into detail right now, so if you have any specific questions, please ask!

1. The Enchantment Emporium–Tanya Huff
2. Stitches–David Small
3. When You Reach Me–Rebecca Stead
4. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 1)–Rick Riordan
5. To Kill a Mockingbird–Harper Lee**
6. Macbeth–William Shakespeare**
7. Memoir of an Occasional Superheroine–Valerie D’Orazio
8. A Local Habitation–Seanan McGuire
9. A Few Good Men–Aaron Sorkin
10. Planetary–Warren Ellis (vol. 1-3)
11. Romeo & Juliet–William Shakespeare
12. Pygmalion–George Bernard Shaw
13. Rats Saw God–Rob Thomas
14. The Losers–Andy Diggle
15. I Read It, But I Dont’ Get It–Cris Tovani
16. Understanding and Engaging Adolescents–Jeffrey A. Miller
17. Feed–Mira Grant
18. Airhead–Meg Cabot
19. Being Nikki–Meg Cabot
20. Odd Thomas–Dean Koontz
21. The Walking Dead
22. Ex Machina (v. 9)–Brian K. Vaughan
23. The Hunger Games–Suzanne Collins
24. Club Dead–Charlaine Harris
25. Scott Pilgrim (1)
26. Scott Pilgrm (2)
27. Scott Pilgrim (3)–Bryan Lee O’Malley
28. Juliet, Naked–Nick Hornby
29. Only the Good Spy Young–Ally Carter
30. Thirteen Reasons Why–Jay Asher

Miscellaneous thoughts

I’m not going to start by blogging about my lack of blogging, because hello…boring.

I logged in and I noticed that I had several beginnings of posts saved as drafts that I will probably never finish and post, because I no longer care. That happens more and more lately…

I just uploaded a few photos to flickr–things that were on my phone. I still have some stuff on my camera that I will get around to uploading soon. (I love sending photos from my phone–it’s so easy!) Among those photos is one of my little red Chevy Prizm, which I recently said goodbye to. I’d been driving it for nearly ten years, which is about as long as I’ve lived in WNY. That probably needs its own post one of these days…anyway, we bought a Honda Insight, and the Civic is now my driving-to-work car.

I am liking my phone quite a bit, but am finding myself tempted with the idea of an iPod touch so I can have access to apps not available for Droid. It occurs to me that I have never bought a new iPod–I’m on my second hand-me-down from Rand–so it wouldn’t be totally insane. 😉

I’m finding that I’m not reading as much as I would like, and my to-read pile grows by the day. I’m going to have to start making a dent in that. Here’s my current to-read shelf at goodreads, which I’m certain is not complete…not all of those books are in my possession, and I know there are books in my possession that are not on the list.

The last non-school book I finished was my friend Seanan’s book A Local Habitation, which I owe her a review of. I am a BAD FRIEND. (I liked it, by the way. Maybe not as much as Rosemary and Rue, but there was plenty to like. I promise to write a proper review in the next week!!!)

And finally, today was the last day of school before SPRING BREAK, BABY. I am not going anywhere fun/interesting, but I will be enjoying my week off. Whoo!

Books read in 2009

I’m not sure this list is 100% accurate. I always seem to forget a few things. I also didn’t count a couple of things I started but didn’t get around to finishing (mostly school-related).

I just started The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff, so that will likely be the first on my list for 2010.

The actual last book I finished last year was Liar by Justine Larbalestier, which I thought was fantastic, and I am dying to talk about it. If you’ve read it (or plan to) please let me know!!

1. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy–Ally Carter
2. Dead Until Dark–Charlaine Harris
3. Sweethearts–Sara Zarr
4. Rise and Shine–Anna Quindlen
5. The War at Ellsmere–Faith Erin Hicks
6. Life as We Knew It–Susan Beth Pfeffer
7. The Walking Dead–Robert Kirkman
8. Don’t Judge a Girl by her Cover–Ally Carter (ARC)
9. Paper Towns–John Green
10. Ironside: A Modern Faery’s Tale–Holly Black
11. Jinx–Meg Cabot
12. Persepolis–Marjane Satrapi
13. Persepolis II–Marjane Satrapi
14. Pants on Fire–Meg Cabot
15. Hitman–Garth Ennis
16. The Little Prince
17. Heart-Shaped Box–Joe Hill
18. Romeo & Juliet*
19. Julius Caesar*
20. Alis–Naomi Rich
21. Flashforward–Robert J. Sawyer
22. Living Dead in Dallas–Charlaine Harris
23. To Kill a Mockingbird–Harper Lee*
24. The Fantastic Four–Mark Waid (ongoing–I think I’ve read 3 collections))
25. DMZ–Brian Wood (ongoing)
26. Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist–Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
27. Lord of the Flies–William Golding*
28. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side–Beth Fantaskey
29. Summon the Keeper–Tanya Huff
30. The Second Summoning–Tanya Huff
31. Long Hot Summoning–Tanya Huff
32. WWW: Wake–Robert J. Sawyer
33. The Other Side of the Island–Allegra Goodman
34. The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading–Charity Tahmaseb and Darcy Vance
35. Transmetropolitan–Warren Ellis
36. Just After Sunset–Stephen King
37. Wintergirls–Laurie Halse Anderson
38. Rosemary and Rue–Seanan McGuire
39. Geektastic–Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci (editors)
40. The Mediator Book 2: The Ninth Key–Meg Cabot
41. Liar–Justine Larbalestier
42. A Christmas Carol–Charles Dickens**
43. The Year of the Flood–Margaret Atwood
44. The Odyssey (abridged version)–Homer (translated by Robert Fitzgerald)**
45. An Abundance of Katherines–John Green

*Books read/reading for school

Rosemary and Rue–a review

Rosemary and Rue, by Seanan McGuire
DAW Books
September 1, 2009

Full disclosure: Seanan is a friend, but I consider that more the reason that I knew about this book than the reason that I liked it. 😉

Short version: I love, love, loved this book.

Longer version: Seanan McGuire’s first novel, Rosemary and Rue, is for anyone who has ever believed in faeries, for anyone who has ever wished to step into a wardrobe and out into a world that is magical and every bit as real as our own.

October (Toby) Daye is a changeling–half human and half faerie, caught between two worlds and never quite fitting in to either. Toby is a private investigator–I picture her as sort of a grown-up version of Veronica Mars, but with magic. This book calls itself “faerie noir,” and that’s an apt description. It’s dark, it’s gritty, and it’s not always easy to read, but it is always compelling reading.

In the book’s prologue, we learn that Toby had fallen in love (and had a child) with a human man. She was off working a case one night when she walked into a trap and disappeared. For seventeen years.

When she returns, her family has moved on, having believed her to be dead. She isolates herself from everyone she knew, not wanting to be a part of either of the worlds she inhabits. That is, until the murder of a friend (if you can call her that) pulls her back in and forces her to interact with the people (and fae) she tried so hard to walk away from. Toby will solve the case, or die trying.

McGuire’s voice is influenced by modern-day writers like Warren Ellis, Stephen King, and Joss Whedon, yet it is completely her own. The world she creates is at once fantastic and utterly real. The book is set in present-day San Francisco, and the city lives and breaths and inhabits the book as much as the characters do.

Toby is a fantastic example of a flawed heroine–she hurts, she bleeds, she screws up, and you will alternately want to hug her and slap her silly. In short, Toby is real, as real as the world she inhabits. She’ll make you feel her pain, and you’ll cry the tears that Toby won’t let herself cry.

Rosemary and Rue is the first book in a series, and it does exactly what a good series novel should do–it makes you want more, but stands on its own as a complete story at the same time. I’ll be anxiously awaiting the release of book 2, A Local Habitation, in March 2010.

If you like paranormal fiction, grown-up fairie tales, urban fantasy, tight prose, well-drawn worlds and characters, sarcasm, murder mysteries, or any combination thereof, pick up Rosemary and Rue. You won’t be disappointed.

New toys


Rand and I, facing a rather nice tax refund, decided to treat ourselves to a new toy…we each got Kindles from Amazon (those of you who have been following me, that was what the UPS rage was all about. Gah).

I haven’t had much time to play with it yet…we just got them last night…but I’m enjoying it so far. I looked around to find mobile web versions of stuff to bookmark, which did amuse me. I bought the new Stephen King novella (exclusive!), got the free trial of Newsweek (and immediately read Anna Quindlen’s column. I heart her)–if I like it, I’ll subscribe, and downloaded the first chapter of Heart Shaped Box, the novel by Stephen King’s son.

Any suggestions of books I should look for? 🙂

Books 2009 (post 1)

1. Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy–Ally Carter
2. Dead Until Dark–Charlaine Harris
3. Sweethearts–Sara Zarr
4. Rise and Shine–Anna Quindlen
5. The War at Ellsmere–Faith Erin Hicks
6. Life as We Knew It–Susan Beth Pfeffer
7. The Walking Dead–Robert Kirkman
8. Don’t Judge a Girl by her Cover–Ally Carter (ARC)
9. Paper Towns–John Green
10. Ironside: A Modern Faery’s Tale–Holly Black
11. Jinx–Meg Cabot
12. Persepolis–Marjane Satrapi
13. Persepolis II–Marjane Satrapi
14. Pants on Fire–Meg Cabot
15. Hitman–Garth Ennis