Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Where Is Your Bookmark? (04/29/2014)

Illness hit again last week.  This time it was my turn.  Fortunately, it was not drawn out, and I am feeling better now.  We had a fairly quiet weekend with our usual visit to the park and library after Mouse's soccer class.  I did a little unofficial cheerleading for Dewey's Readathon.  Reading the tweets and blog posts for the readathon always make me wish I could participate.  Someday perhaps I will be able to.  Sunday we went to see the movie Rio 2 in the theater.  Mouse had really liked the first Rio movie.  This time around, she wasn't quite as attentive as she had been for Frozen.  Although, Mouse did say Rio 2 was her "most favorite movie ever" as the movie was ending.  Don't believe her.  She said that about Bambi too when we loaned our copy to her best friend.  Mouse hasn't even seen Bambi yet.  I have a feeling it will be awhile before we attempt another movie in the theater.

The first anniversary of my dog Riley's death is coming up later this week.  As a result, I have been feeling more emotional lately.  He was such a big part of my life, and I loved him dearly.  They say time makes it easier, and in some ways that is true.  In others, not so much.  It probably has not helped that a friend has been trying to convince me to adopt another dog, be it the stray she encounters on her walk or a dog she finds on the shelter website.  I really miss having a dog.  The timing isn't right for another one yet.  It's really Riley I want.  And there are practical reasons too.  Bringing a new dog into the family is not a decision to be made lightly.

As an effort to help keep me distracted and to perk me up, my husband, Mouse and I will be using the second half of our two day pass to Disneyland this week (we used the first for Mouse's birthday).  It should be fun.  We may use the pass for Disney's California Adventure as Mouse has never been there.  Mouse has no idea yet.  I am sure she'll be excited once she finds out.

Moving onto the topic of books . . .

After finishing Mona Simpson's Casebook for my upcoming tour date, I wasn't quite ready to pick Blind Assassin back up again, and so I polished off Avenge Me by Maisey Yates, the first romance novel in the Fifth Avenue trilogy.  Something must be in the air because I have been craving romance recently.  It isn't my usual reading fare, but it is a nice diversion once in a while.

I had every intention of getting back to Blind Assassin, when I received a copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman in the mail on Friday.  I could not resist opening the book to the first page . . . the next thing I knew, I was well and good into the novel.  I just had to finish it after that.

Margaret Atwood and I are getting acquainted again in Blind Assassin at last.  It is about time, wouldn't you say?  Carrie, I really do mean to finish the book.  

Looking ahead in May, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed already.  I do not like to plan my reading too much as I am easily distracted and like to leave wiggle room to read randomly, but this next month seems to be one I managed to plan rather strictly without meaning to.  We shall see if my best laid plans work out.  If not, that's okay.  There's always June.

In the immediate TBR pile (or at least what I hope to read in May):
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
The Good House by Ann Leary
The Book of You by Claire Kendal
Terminal City by Linda Fairstein
The Last Policeman by Ben Winters

What are you reading at the moment?  Is it something you would recommend?



Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea hosts 
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where  
participants share the first paragraph (or a few) of a 
book they are reading or thinking about reading soon.


Since I am diving back into Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood again, a book I've already featured here, I thought I would share the opening of a book I finished over the weekend.  Here's a taste from Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane:
It was only a duck pond, out at the back of the farm.  It wasn't very big.
Lettie Hempstock said it was an ocean, but I knew that she was silly.  She said they'd come here across the ocean from the old country.
Her mother said that Lettie didn't remember properly, and it was a long time ago, and anyway, the old country had sunk. 
Old Mrs. Hempstock, Lettie's grandmother, said they were both wrong, and that the place that had sunk wasn't really the old country.  She said she could remember the really old country. 
She said the really old country had blown up.

 Would you continue reading?


© 2014, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

48 comments:

  1. I'm glad you're feeling better, Wendy. My daughters were hit by stomach flu last two weeks and they weren't nice.

    Speaking of movies, my daughters wanted to watch Rio 2 too, but just didn't find the right time. Hopefully some day...

    I'm not reading anything right now; I'm still waiting for my copy of 'Wolf' to arrive. I'm hoping it'd not be a long wait.

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    1. Melody - I am so sorry for your daughters! I hope they are feeling much better now. I hope they enjoy Rio 2 when they see it. It's a cute movie, although I think I liked the first one better.

      I hope your copy of Wolf arrives soon!

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  2. My kids really weren't solid for a theater movie until they were at least 5. Before then, you just never knew whether they would make it or not. It really is a pretty good litmus test though. The really good movies kept their attention, the lesser ones not!

    I truly believe that God will send you a dog. We have been without a dog for A LONG TIME (and since then keep getting more cats!). I know that when the right dog comes, we will know, no matter whether we think it is the right time or not. But oh, do I long for one! It will take a lot to convince my husband, but the right one will!

    I loved The Moonstone, but it is not a fast read. This is the stuff that literary mysteries were built on though, and I think you will be glad you put in the time. The Good House is wonderful especially on audio. And at some point when the series is done, I'm going to read The Last Policeman!

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    1. Sandy - I think Rio 2 wasn't quite as exciting for her. She does seem to like a lot of action (like me, no less).

      My husband says something similar about a new dog--that when it's time, we'll know. Kind of like how we knew we were ready to have a baby. :-)

      I've heard The Moonstone is really good. I don't know if I'll be able to finish it by the end of May in time for the book discussion, but I will make an effort to. You won't have to wait long for the final book in Winters' trilogy. I believe it's coming out this summer. :-)

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  3. Glad you're feeling better. It seems like you guys really haven't had a break with the illness thing. I'm so sorry for your loss. Losing a dog can be so difficult. I still can get teary eyed about my 2 Shelties that I had since they were kinds and they died when I was in college (which was longer ago than I realize). Disneyland sounds like a fun trip! Hope you have a great time! Good luck with Atwood and Gaiman!

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    1. Katherine - It feels like we haven't had a break on the illness front. I hope it passes soon. We need a period of time in which we are more healthy than not.

      Our animals become such big parts of our lives. They truly are a part of the family and their absence is hard to get over, isn't it? It took me many years before I could look at a picture of my childhood dog without tearing up, so I understand about your 2 Shelties.

      Disneyland will be fun, I think. It's supposed to be really warm out though--we'll need to keep hydrated.

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  4. So sorry to hear you've been poorly, I'm glad you are feeling better. Disneyland sounds like the perfect tonic.

    I really enjoyed the extract from The Ocean at the End of the Lane and am intrigued by what exactly had happened to the Old Country so yes I'd definitely keep reading.

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    1. Tracy - Disneyland will keep my mind occupied, and I imagine we'll have a lot of fun. I enjoy spending time with my family, especially during the week when I so rarely get to see them!

      I would love to know more about where the Hempstocks come from too. The book goes in an entirely different direction, so the intro is a bit misleading in regards to that, I'm afraid. Still, I really enjoyed the book.

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  5. I do like that opener...hope you enjoy it, and also can return to Blind Assassin. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain - The Ocean at the End of the Lane was very good. It almost gave me nightmares! LOL I am counting down the hours to my lunch when I can read a little more of Blind Assassin. :-)

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  6. Sorry about the loss of your dog. You will know when the time is right for another beloved companion. Glad you are feeling better. I enjoyed The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

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    1. Nise' - Thank you. A part of me wants another dog to feel the void Riley left behind, but the other part knows I'm not ready. You and Sandy are right, the right dog find us--or at least we'll know when we find him or her. :-)

      In the meantime, I've got two wonderful cats who are both very affectionate.

      Wasn't The Ocean at the End of the Lane good? I hope I don't wait so long before I read another of Gaiman's books.

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  7. I know lots of people loved this book, but every time I run across it, it just doesn't appeal to me.

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    1. Sarah - I can think of a number of books I feel that way about. Everyone else loves them, but I can't drum up the interest to read them. Little Women and Outlander come instantly to mind. Fortunately, there's plenty that does appeal to us, right? :-)

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  8. I have not picked up a Neil Gaiman for a long time now. I will do so soon..


    Here is my intro/teaser post!

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    1. Gautami - You should! Hopefully I won't wait so long to read my next Gaiman book.

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  9. The Fifth Avenue trilogy has recently come to my attention and I'm curious about it. Enjoy your trip to Disneyland. I haven't been there, but I've been to Disneyworld, a few times and have very fond memories.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Catherine - I liked the first book. I have the third, but not the second in the Fifth Avenue Trilogy and am trying to decide if I should wait for the second book to come out before reading the third or just skip it. Decisions, decisions.

      Thank you! Disneyland is practically down the road (more like freeway) from where I live so it's easy to get to on any random day. If only the prices weren't so outrageous! I have never been to Disneyworld, but I want to go someday.

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  10. Oh no, not more sickness :-(

    I've been wanting to try Neil Gaiman for a long time... this could be the one!

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    1. JoAnn - Stardust is another good one by Gaiman to try. It's more fairytale-esque. Whereas this one reads more like a horror novel.

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  11. I'm sorry for your loss :( I, unfortunately, know what you are going through. You will know when the time is right.

    I never read Neil Gaiman's books, but I've heard good things about them. This one sounds good.

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    1. Yvonne - Thank you. As much as I miss having a dog, I have my hands full with my cats. Gracie is an older kitten, but still a kitten and she never lets us forget it. :-)

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  12. Sorry to hear you have been sick but happy to know you are feeling better and have some good reading planned a fun break at Disneyland. Sorry for you feeling sad about Riley. Pets are like family...we never really get over them.

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    1. Kathleen - I am excited about my upcoming reading. Hopefully I can fit it all in and then some. :-)

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  13. One or these days I'm going to read Neil Gaiman. The opening paragraph sounds really good. This one just might fulfill my wish.

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    1. Margot - I have enjoyed the novels I've read by him so far. He's such a diverse writer.

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  14. Honestly, the book you excerpted sounds like a lot of work. Choppy, odd, but slightly poetic. In the right mood, this might appeal. Never read anything by Neil Gaiman, but I do see his name out there a lot.

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    1. Jane - The intro is more of a prologue, and so I think the author purposefully set it up to have a more poetic air about it.

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  15. I'm glad u r feeling better Wendy. I know how you feel about still feeling the loss of Riley a year later -- it really is like loosing a close family member:(

    I like your intro this week and have read some very positive reviews on this one, so hope you love it.
    Have a good week.

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    1. Diane - Thank you, Diane. I have been giving my cats extra cuddles.

      I did love Gaiman's book! I love his writing and his imagination.

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  16. LOL! This one made me laugh! I've seen the book around but couldn't get interested, but after reading your blog, I may just have to revisit that decision!

    I'm sorry about you Riley! You are so wise to wait until the time is right, when you can welcome your new pet for itself and not as a 'replacement' to fill a whole.

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    1. Kim - The Ocean at the End of the Lane is such a good story. It's one that has stayed with me since I finished it.

      Thank you for your kind thoughts regarding Riley. Yes, I definitely am not looking for a replacement--no dog could replace my Riley. If I adopt another dog, I want that dog to be loved for who he or she is. It wouldn't be fair otherwise.

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  17. Neverwhere is my favorite Gaiman novel by far. I have had Blind Assassin on my TBR pile for years. I will be waiting for your review!

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    1. Rachel - I haven't read Neverwhere yet, but it's on my list to read (all his books I haven't read yet are, actually).

      There are moments when I am not sure I'll ever finish Blind Assassin. LOL

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  18. I loved this book. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by today.

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    1. Kelley - I am glad you loved it too! It was such a good book.

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  19. Sounds like a lot going on. Hope you enjoy the book. I hadn't heard about Margaret Atwood's book. I'll look for it.

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    1. Paulita - I'm not sure about the Atwood book. I really like the writing, but I'm unsure about where it's going. I have a feeling my friend Gautami's two month time table is more realistic for me in getting it read too.

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  20. You will have to let me know when you start The Book of You. I have that one on my shelves as well, and am looking forward to starting it soon :) We go on vacation next week to Disney! I am so excited for my kiddos as they have never been!

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    1. Samantha - I will definitely let you know. I need to get to A Good House first, but that will probably be my next read after it.

      I hope you have a great time on your vacation! It'll be so much fun. :-)

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  21. I fondly remember reading Blind Assassin; hope you fall back into it and love it, too. Have fun a Disneyland!

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    1. Care - I hope I end up loving it too. I needed to get started on my book group book, so am taking another little break. I think I'll just have to juggle multiple books this month.

      We had a great time at Disneyland. :-)

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  22. Glad you're feeling better! We've some bugs going around here at the moment, too. The rain's back, though, so it's not so bad. About getting another dog, your thoughts are definitely best - if you're not ready it's good to wait. Hope you enjoy Disneyland (again!)

    I'd keep reading Ocean, if simply because I plan to get it at some point! At the moment I'm between books.

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    1. Charlie - This weekend Mouse was the one not feeling so good. :-( We can't seem to win.

      We love Disneyland. :-) If we could afford it, we'd get the season passes and be there all the time.

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  23. ((hugs)) to you. I know it's very difficult to lose a dog, it's like losing a beloved friend and a family member. The heartache is of a special kind, that is all I can do to word it. I still cry over Diego, little things will remind me of him and they always will.
    Riley would not want you to be sad though and he was a lucky one to have such a great mom.
    I so agree, that getting another dog can never replace the loss and it's not a decision to be made lightly. Otis has made me happy, and while he reminds me of Diego very much, they are quite opposite personalities.

    Enjoy your trip to Disneyland and enjoy reading Gaiman :) Have you read Coraline?

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    1. Naida - Thank you. Friday was probably the worst for me, it being the anniversary of his death. Yesterday was one of those every-now-and-then days my daughter asks about Riley and says she misses him. I am always surprised at how much our kids remember.

      I think if our circumstances were different, I might be more open to adopting another dog right now. I keep telling myself when all my reservations are gone, then it will be time.

      I haven't read Coraline yet, but I really want to.

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  24. Gage loves the first Rio and I'm tempted to try the theater for the second one, but my fear is that he'll have a tantrum because it's not the one he knows and likes. We'll see :)

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    1. Stacy - Mouse liked the first one,but she's not into re-watching movies, so we've only seen it the once. I thought perhaps reading her the Rio 2 book (which she got for Easter from her Grandparents) might prepare her for the fact that Rio 2 was different than the first movie--because I had the same concern you do in that regard. But it's not a very good book and leaves so much out.

      If you do take Gage to see it in the theater, I hope he enjoys it!

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