Sunday, July 19, 2009

Vacation by the Numbers

1 Wedding.
1 Minor Fender Bender.

1 Lunch with a Super Librarian. Pie was included. What a treat to meet Wendy and I thank her for taking her lunch hour to make time for me.
2 National Parks. The Grand Canyon and Mesa Verde.

7 States slept in. Indiana, Missouri, Texas, Arizona, California, Arizona (again), Colorado, New Mexico.

7 Quilt Shops visited. My personal attempt to aid the economy.
8 hot air balloons sighted in the cool morning air over Albuquerque as I rode to the airport on Saturday. Practice for the annual balloon fiesta?
11 books read. Several candidates for my monthly Phaves list.
11.5 yards of fabric purchased. Plus one kit and 2 notions. If you look closely at the picture you'll see some fabric with the Route 66 logo. Since we were on or parallel to Rt. 66 from St. Louis to LA it seemed appropriate to buy some Rt. 66 fabric. I also got some Southwest Indian-style fabric and have a great idea to make a quilt with it. Then just some general yardage that struck my fancy.

26 degrees. The difference in yesterday's high temperatures between Albuquerque and Columbus. What's up with that? It's July. It's supposed to be hot here. 70? No thank you! I want my heat back.
1769 miles flown. Someone in the family has to go back to work. The boys continue to explore New Mexico. Hmm. I may go to work tomorrow, but I think it feels like I'm still on vacation!
3946 miles driven. Well, I probably drove a total of 60 miles while DH did the rest. That's how I got all those books read.

Billions of stars viewed. I thought the skies over Flagstaff were clear, but that was nothing compared to the sky over Durango where there was much less ambient light. Amazing and Awesome.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

No TBR review this month

I'm on vacation and reading up a storm. But intermittent access to a computer and the internet mean no TBR posting this month. I'll be back soon!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Phyl's 5 Phaves for June. Sorta'

June 2009 was probably my lightest reading month since I began this blog. I read 11 books. Normally I read at least 20. I just ended up getting busy with stuff, not to mention I had to finish a quilt for the wedding I'm attending tomorrow. (Picture to come.) As I look at the list of what I read, I will say that I enjoyed them all, but really, only 3 deserve the status of "phave." They are:

3. Gotcha! by Christie Craig. I continue to thoroughly enjoy these funny books with their witty dialogue by Ms. Craig. Can I call them light-hearted romantic suspense? That seems an oxymoron. There's definitely tension as the heroine is being stalked by a seriously bad dude. But her attitude, her relationship with the hero, as well as her relationships with her family members are wonderfully depicted. The secondary characters are lively, not dull wallpaper background for the hero/heroine. There's snappy pacing and it was truly hard to put this one down.

2. Don't Tell by Karen Rose. I've been working my way through Ms. Rose's backlist and this is one of her earlier books. By reading it now I can see how much tighter her writing and pacing have become since this was published. This one takes place over a lengthier time period and is a fascinating look at how a previously abused woman has totally re-made her life after running with her son from her abusive husband. I found it totally believable and there was plenty of tension. It was a great warm-up for her next release due in just a few weeks. Ms. Rose cannot write fast enough!

1. A Hint of Wicked by Jennifer Haymore. Usually it's pretty easy for me to finish one book and then move on to the next. But this one was unusual enough that I found it darn hard to pick up another book for a few days after. I see from other reviews that this is a book readers either love or hate. There's been some criticism about the realism of the history portrayed here. Indeed, I questioned that any Duke not named Wellington was that close to the front lines at Waterloo (although I was too lazy to actually research the question). But all that aside, I found this to be a well-written, compelling triangle story that stands a few standard romance conventions on end. For example, normally a book will tell the story of the h/h falling in love. Instead we have a heroine who was truly in love with her (presumed) dead husband and now years later has found love again with her second husband. This is how the book begins. And when the first husband turns up alive, Sophie has to make a choice between two men she still loves. (BTW, was the name "Sophie" a deliberate reference to the most devastating book I ever read, "Sophie's Choice"?) I found all three characters sympathetic. In a typical triangle story, one expects to dislike at least one member, but not in this case. In the end, I thought this was an amazing book and I hope Ms. Haymore continues to surprise us and twist the genre for us once in awhile.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sh! I'm supposed to be packing

We're headed out west in a few hours. Driving cross country to my niece's wedding. With DH doing the driving I should get lots and lots of reading done. No blogging though. I owe a 5 phaves for June. Sigh. Happy 4th everyone!
When I get back, pictures of the quilt I made for a wedding gift. Simple, but striking.