Friday, October 10, 2008

One Week Wrapped Up On Friday

Mailbox Monday

I got a big surprise in the mail not too long ago when a big box of books arrived on my doorstep. You can bet it did not take me long to rip open that box and see what was inside. I have also been fortunate to find a package here and there dropped off for me as well. A booklover can never have too many books! If you have read any of the listed books, let me know what you thought!

Testimony by Anita Shreve (thanks to Amy of The Sleepy Reader)
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
Anarchy and Old Dogs by Colin Cotterill
The Glass Devil by Helen Tursten
A Deadly Paradise by Grace Brophy
The Ruffian on the Stair by Gary Newman
Sun and the Shadow by Åke Edwardson
The Devil's Footprints by Amanda Stevens
Zoo Station by David Downing
Red Sea by E.A. Benedek (TLC Book Tour)
The Believers by Zoe Heller (Barnes and Noble First Look Program)
Hell Bent by William G. Tapply (LT Early Review Program)
Anathem by Neal Stephenson (gift for my husband--which, of course, I want to read too)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent

Wednesday Whine

Anything but secks, poloticks, and religin. How about spelling?

I was parked by the sign telling you how far to Mesadale, but buckshot had chewed it up so bad you couldn't read it. Every time the sign went up the Prophet sent out an apostle to shoot it up. [excerpt from The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff]

What was the last book you bought?

Imaginary Friends edited by John Marco and Martin H. Greenberg

Name a book you have read MORE than once:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

No. Books have enhanced my life and taught me many things over the years. However, I cannot say one book has made a fundamental change in my life.

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews

My decision to read a book always comes down to what the book is about. If the subject matter does not interest me, it isn't likely I will bother with it despite any praise or pretty cover the book may have. I often learn about books through reviews and recommendations and sometimes a review or two will sway me from my position on the fence when I'm not sure about a particular book. An attractive cover will certainly catch my eye, but it's what is inside that will determine whether I linger or pass it by.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

I read and enjoy both, but my leaning has always been more towards fiction.

What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?

I think they are both important. It also depends on the type of book it is. Some books are purposefully more plot oriented while others are more about the language. I enjoy both types of books--and those that combine those characteristics even better!

Most loved/memorable character (character/book):

Jane Eyre from Charlotte Bronte's novel with the same title.

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?

Actually none at the moment. I do not keep books on my nightstand unless it's the book I set there after I do a little bedtime reading. Once morning comes, the book accompanies me to work, on any errands I may make or around the house. Tonight the book on my nightstand will be The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff.

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?

First Daughter by Eric Lustbader. I read it over the weekend.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

I imagine that I have at some point. I am not the kind of person who stops reading at a set page number, and so it is not something I pay close attention to. I probably give up on books a lot sooner than half way though more often than not though, if I do decide the book is not worth my time.

1. One of the best concerts I ever saw that I really didn't think I'd like was Queensrÿche. (My husband's a big fan and so I treated him to a concert for Christmas one year.)

2. Orange peel chicken with jasmine rice is a meal I recently ordered that was delicious!

3. It's time for Anya to be spayed and have that little umbilical hernia fixed. (I dropped her off at the veterinarian's this morning.)

4. A day off from work is quite refreshing.

5. If I never hear the word perky again, it'll be too soon. (Someone asked me if I was having a bad day yesterday because I wasn't my usual "perky" self. I am not perky. Ever. I can't believe she thinks that. Ugh.)

6. To one side of the curving road was an empty bottle of booze, and on the other was a half circle of freshly picked flowers and prayer candles. (Don't drink and drive.)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to my brother-in-law coming into town for a visit, tomorrow my plans include picking up Anya from the vet and sorting the closests and Sunday, I want to catch up on this past week's TV shows and fit in some reading time!


  1. Hurray! You won I Was Told There'd Be Cake in my giveaway! Please send your mailing address to lorla6 [at] yahoo[dot] com.

  2. You did have a good week, book wise! The only book on that list that I've read is Testimony and it's a good one. The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society is in my TBR pile, though.

  3. Wow, #6 sends the message, Wendy! Mine actually happened to my parents, they where driving in the Alps when they found themselves at a turn between a ravine and a wall of sheer rock. My mother saw a wheel roll alone in front of their car....they looked behind to see if somone had one parents lost the wheel!!! My dad crashed into the rock wall, otherwise it was the ravine. My mom sat in a chair every day for 2 days clutching the arm rests, she was in shock.

  4. I plan to fit in some reading time this weekend too. Come see my answers.
    Enter the book giveaways too!

  5. I had a day off Monday to play with my new camera lens and you're right, it was quite refreshing! Thanks for playing, have fun this weekend :-)

  6. Laura - Oh my! What a wonderful surprise! Thank you so much, Laura. I sent you an e-mail. :-)

    Kathy - My husband says I'm spoiled rotten. :-) I am glad to here you enjoyed Testimony. I've only read one book by Shreve, but I really did enjoy it and loved her writing style.

    Sylvie - How awful for your parents! Those curves can be so dangerous and then to have your car lose a wheel at the most inopportune time! I am glad the accident wasn't worse.

    SmilingSal - I hope you are able to get some reading in this weekend!

    Janet - It sounds like you made good use of your day off on Monday. :-) Have a great weekend!

  7. Have a copy of the Heretic's Daughter want to read before the end of the month...want to read this one...wonder if I can get a copy from the library:
    Testimony by Anita Shreve (thanks to Amy of The Sleepy Reader)

  8. Wow that is a big box of books! Great meme too. Poor Anya! My kitty hates the vet, well I think she hates the car ride more...

  9. Hi Wendy, you've got Anathem! Nice! It's in my wish list when I first read about it in Amazon's blog, and hope to get it one day...

    Please send my regards to Anya. :D

  10. Testimony came through my door this week, too. I really hope you enjoy The Guernsey Literary . . . book. I thought it was a great read.

  11. Get well soon, Anya. Enjoy your weekend!

  12. As you know, I'm all in favor of a weekly meme summary - loved the Wednesday Whine! And I think my Sunday plans may end up resembling yours.

    I know I read Jane Eyre, but it didn't leave the impression on me that it has on many other readers I've known. That didn't stop me from enjoying Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair, though :-).

    Enjoy your weekend, and your big box o' books, Wendy! Hope Anya comes through her vet visit just fine.

  13. Wendy, what a plethora of bookish information!

    I've only read The Heretic's Daughter.

    I'm so envious of you having won I Was Told There'd Be Cake. I've had my eye on that one forever. Can't wait for your review!

  14. Oooh, lots of books in the mail! Isn't that a great feeling?

    I really like what you said about writing vs plot. It really depends on the book.

  15. re Monday:
    I've only read one of the books. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which I liked a lot and highly recommend (reviewed on my blog).

    Re Thursday:
    Last book I bought was Coventry by Helen Humphreys.
    Book I've read more than once: Bleak House by Charles Dickens.
    Has a book ever fundamentally changed my life?
    No. Like you they enhance my life, but no fundamental changes.
    How do I choose a book? Lots of different ways. Recommendations of others, serendipity, having them sent to me, mood, title, cover art. It could be almost anything.
    Fiction or nonfiction? Both please, but I definitely read more fiction.
    What is more important, beautiful writing or gripping plot? I don't think you can have a truly gripping plot without pretty good writing. But a lot of my favourite books are more about the writing than the plot.
    Most loved/memorable character?
    I don't think I can pick a "most", although I really loved a lot of them.
    On my nightstand right now: (I'll go with the small pile right by the bed on the stand itself, otherwise this list will be very long)
    The Outlander by Gil Adamson
    The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
    Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
    How the Dead Dream by Lydia Millet
    Clown Girl by Monica Drake

    The last book I ready was Wesley the Owl when I was home sick yesterday.
    Have I ever given up on a book half way in? I'm not sure about half way in, but part way in for sure. I've decided there are too many books to read and life is too short to not enjoy them.

    Won't answer all the Friday fill-ins, but my plans for the weekend include working Saturday and cleaning out the spare room so that when my parents arrive next week they have a place to sleep.

  16. Yasmin - I'm looking forward to both Testimony and The Heretic's Daughter. I've heard such great things about both books.

    Jen - Anya wasn't too happy about having to go. The vet called this afternoon to say she's doing well after her surgery. I will be able to pick her up tomorrow morning. You can bet I'll be there right when they open!

    Alice - My husband really wanted to read Anathem and I think it sounds good--perfect excuse to buy it. :-) I was able to get it for really cheap, which was nice.

    Anya evidently has a cone around her head to keep her from picking at her sutures. I'll have to take a picture if she's still wearing it when I pick her up tomorrow. Poor kitty!

    Joy - I am glad you liked The Guernsey Literary book. :-) It sounds like a really good one. I hope you enjoy Testimony!

    Christina - Thank you! I'll pass on your get well wishes to Anya. :-)

    Florinda - I figured I would follow in your footsteps this week. :-) I couldn't find a Wednesday meme so I made one up. I'm glad you liked it. :-)

    Shana - I probably should have been reading instead of filling out meme's last night. :-)

    I'm really looking forward to reading I Was Told There'd Be Cake.

    Nymeth - Books in the mail is always a good feeling. :-)

    Shonna - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society seems to be a really popular book right now. I am glad you enjoyed it!

    I would like to read Bleak House one of these days.

    I just finished cleaning out our spare bedroom so that my brother-in-law can find the bed in there. :-) Have a great weekend!

  17. I wasn't sure where to put this. I hate to hijack a thread...

    Just letting you know that I nominated you for "I Love Your Blog" award.


  18. If anyone said "perky" in my presence, I would know they weren't talking about me! LOL

    I've got to do some serious housework NOW because a good part of November will be spent in putting up all my Christmas decorations.

    Have a great weekend, Wendy!

  19. Look at the books you got, Wendy! Those will definitely last me for some time, LOL. I can't wait to read your reviews on them.

    Hope you've a great weekend!

  20. I hope little Anya is ok and picks up quickly after her little operation.

  21. Christina - You can hijack all you want! :-) Thank you for the award!

    Cathy - I really am not ever perky--my husband can tell you that. Now I have to be extra grouchy just so no one mistakes me for being so. Grr.

    I hope you have a good weekend too!

    Melody - They will keep me busy, that's for sure! I hope you have a great weekend too.

    Sally - I hope so too. I'm going to be at the vet's first thing tomorrow to pick her up. She'll get plenty of spoiling as soon as she's home. All she'll probably want to do is sleep!

    Yvonne - Have a great weekend!

  22. Thank you for stopping by the 'Mailbox' this week. One can never be late. I love getting boxes of books, lucky you.

    I read 'The Heretic's Daughter' this summer and really enjoyed it.

  23. *Testimony* is in my TBR pile, as is *The Heretic's Daughter*. I really want to read *The Guernsey Literary ...*

    I recognized your "teaser" right away; I'm finishing up *The 19th Wife* now.

  24. Marcia - I keep meaning to participate and am so glad I was able to this week--even if a little late. :-)

    I am glad to hear you enjoyed Heretic's Daughter! It sure sounds good.

    Dawn - You and me both then! :-) I've heard such great things about all three books.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts on The 19th Wife.

  25. Thanks for the visit-I just love your blog. I hope Anya is all better:)

  26. Julie - Anya's doing great--except for having to wear the collar that keeps her from gnawing on her sutures. :-) Thank you for stopping by!

  27. Yum, lots of great new books! Those'll keep you busy for a while!

    Hope Anya is healing well. :)

  28. What a bonanza of books. I read and enjoyed The Welsh Girl, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society even more. I review the latter one here if it interests you:

    I've just strted doing Mailbox Mondays and I love it. Mine is here:

    Happy reading with all those books.

  29. Nat - Anya is doing well. She gets around really well with the collar. She's sleeping right here on my desk, next to the computer. :-)

    Sandra - I am so glad to hear you liked the Welsh Girl! I haven't heard too much about it, but it does sound good.

  30. What fun, a box o' books!

    I'm anxiously awaiting my library hold on the Potato Peel book. I think I may have to give up and buy it.

    I had a guy in the library asking for Anathem the other night and I hadn't heard of it. I was trying to get the spelling when it turned out my husband was holding it - it had been on our new books display shelf and he'd picked it up, about to take it out. He kindly gave it to the patron, though. :)

  31. Tiny Little Librarian - Sometimes it is hard to wait for a book you really are itching to read, isn't it?

    That was nice of your husband to let the patron borrow the book first. :-)


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