Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Island of the Mad by Laurie R. King

Fair warning: this is my first formal book review. 

Disclaimer: I received an advance copy of this title thru NetGalley.

Island of the Mad has begun to restore my faith in the Mary Russell books.  I have adored this series for years... up to book 10, God of the Hive.  I re-read (listen to, actually) the books often - they are my comfort listens.

But the last four just haven't been my cup of tea.  I didn't get the humorous bent of Pirate King (so unlike the rest of the series), felt that Ali and Mahmoud were completely wasted in Garment of Shadows which also had too many dense blocks of historical background, can tolerate Dreaming Spies, but do my best to pretend that Murder of Mary Russell doesn't exist.  I have given the first three of these multiple attempts but there are few circumstances which could entice me to re-do MoMR even once. I had resigned myself to the existence of only 10 Russell books and some short stories.

So it was with trepidation mingled with my anticipation that I requested a NetGalley advance copy of Island of the Mad. And the more I read, the more I relaxed, feeling like I was reading a traditional Russell novel like the ones I love so much.  I kept making myself put it aside every few chapters so I wouldn't reach the end too quickly. 

I enjoyed the book quite a bit, but was uneasy with the ending.  I won't include a spoiler here (although I can't speak for the comments) - for a typical mystery story, the ending was just right.  But for a story with Sherlock Holmes in it...

I am currently listening to the audio release of this Russell adventure and so far, enjoying it just as much.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Aegean Blue

It's a lovely color, wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Confusion re: Reaction(s)

I had to take some Benadryl today and, reader that I am, I read the package:

When using this product:
  • marked drowsiness may occur
  • {another warning}
  • {and another warning}
  • {yet another warning}
  • excitability may occur, especially in children
What?!  Should I expect to be drowsy or excitable?  Or drowsily excited?  Or does this mean that the adults, who could probably use a little extra boost, can expect to be more sluggish than usual while the children, who probably don't need it, can be expected to demonstrate an extra output of energy?

Either way, I was instantly wary of this stuff, so it better do its main job really well so I can overlook its contradictory side effects.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Middle Age

I think I've officially reached middle age: I got my first pair of bifocals today.  (Actually, I think they're trifocals, but whatev.)  Several people had shared horror stories and warned me that I'd hate them and should go with reading glasses instead, but my problem wasn't just when I was sitting down to read a book.  It's a little odd where there are blurry patches that used to be clear, but that's completely offset by the joy of being able to read a piece of paper in my hand without having to lift up my glasses and hold the paper up to my nose - that was getting r  e  a  l  l  y tiresome.  I'm able to go down stairs without problem (a warning from the doctor) and even drove from the doctor's office to work.  So far I have no complaints.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Martian

I LOVED this book, which is really more science than science fiction.  I listened to the audio version and thoroughly enjoyed both Andy Weir's story and R. C. Bray's narration.  I also think the movie did a good job of condensing the book into movie format.

I don't agree with everything in this review - which does have SPOILERS for both the book and movie - but it does a good job of describing what makes this story so compelling, as well as superior to some of the other recent space exploration movies.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Some quotes from news stories I've read...

"The real dividing line is not between Christianity and Islam, Sunni and Shia, East and West. It is between people who believe in coexistence and those who don't."

This one reminds me of The West Wing episode "Isaac and Ishmael" in which Aaron Sorkin wrote:  "You want to get these people {extremists}? I mean, you really want to reach in and kill them where they live? Keep accepting more than one idea. It makes them absolutely crazy."

"The internet is an information landfill. Somewhere in it—buried under piles of opinion, speculation, and misinformation—is virtually all of human knowledge. But sorting through the trash is difficult work. Even when you have something you think is valuable, it often turns out to be a cheap knock-off."

Although this story is about an online encyclopedia, this quote also illustrates why it is imperative to have librarians, especially in academic settings, to help educate people about finding the true treasures buried in the trash.

TMT Protest
"The one thing that makes you Hawaiian is one of your ancestors came here in a canoe led by an astronomer."

Sunday, June 14, 2015