May 22nd, 2011

Hi, Summer

Step from your door. Grab the folding chair, waltz out into the middle of the grass and let the sun kiss your winter-chilled body all over. This, yes this, is my time of year!
I know this might make me sound like I'm 80, but I now have classical music playing from the speakers that are across the room from me as I sit on the couch typing this. It feels like the glass of cool water that helps me unwind after that glorious summerish sunshine is done with me. I kind of picked up the habit of listening to this last Wednesay, and I am rarely now without the ambience. And yes I know there's a game on; I'll be switching back to that in a minute. But the sound of roaring crowd and frantic commentary does not help me to write out a long overdue entry in this journal.
Speaking of overdue-ness, I most need to catch up on the books I've read since A Thousand Splendid Suns. I'm not even sure this would be possible if it weren't for Twitter and its #FridayReads hash tag. Every Friday, we are asked to name a title of something we're reading, whether it's a novel, nonfiction book, heck even a magazine or the newspaper. The woman who runs this show, Bethanne Patrick, is a lot of fun. I told her that I'd had a dream the other night of having won some contest that she'd put on. Three others had won also, and one of the individuals' Twitter usernames was bookee. The bio read: "Cuz you can bet I've read it!" She found this amusing, suggesting that I "lay off the burbon at bedtime". Haha.
Anyway, here for my tracking purposes are the next books I've read. I tried a couple that I can't now remember, but they just didn't grab me, for whatever reason. My next full read was American Assassin, by Vince Flyn. This was just ok to me. I couldn't really follow the plot all too well, but I did enjoy the wide variety of sites in which it was set. They went from the DC suburbs to Zurich to Hamburg to Moscow and to Beirut, Lebanon. I think Flyn did a reasonable job of describing the areas in which the characters found themselves, also. Not too surprisingly, given what I've heard about this guy and his series of novels, there was a lot of violence and undercover paramilitary operations.
The next one I read was The Stones Cry Out, by Sibella Giorello. Also set in the DC area, this one was about a black guy who had been accused of a crime and chased onto the roof of a factory by a white cop. Both appear to get into a scuffle, and they end up tumbling from the roof to their deaths. The FBI launches an investigation into possible Civil Rights violations, and the higher-ups keep pressuring the field agent, Raleigh Harmon, to go ahead and just close the case. The story was intriguing, with a few surprises coming down the stretch. I wasn't all too in favor of the NLS reader on this one though, as she seemed to breathe at odd times during sentences.
Finally, I read a book that came highly recommended from someone I trust to point me to good books. This one was The Lock Artist, by Steve Hamilton. The story is told in an odd way, with the character to whom it had happened skipping back and forth between the two major eras of his life after some horrid event, the nature of which we don't find out till near the end. This event has caused him to no longer speak, and so he has issues fitting into most crowds and interacting at school. Some of this is solved when his talent for drawing is discovered, which also contributes to a fun courtship and leads him into contact with some shady characters who get him stuck on a path that he finds hard to escape. It was an exquisite read, and the person doing the audio, this time from a commercial outfit, did a great job of voicing the different persons within the story.
And now I am reading a book by Bebe Moore Campbell called What You Owe Me. I'm not done with it yet, but I like it thus far. It's 21 hours of audio, which always makes me happy when I'm actually enjoying the story. I think I'll review it some once I've actually completed it, given that I've already gone on quite a bit as it is.
And another week begins. I thought I was done with that lit review, but scratch that! Turns out I'd not looked at the comments my advisor had embedded in the text, well really I'd not known how! to look at those comments. He wasn't too happy about my sending a paper back to him that hadn't been revised. I've kind of figured out how to access them now, and even to make sure I knew which elements of text a comment was referring to. I've been on a real crash course with perfecting my Microsoft Word skills lately. So now I'm not really sure when I'll have even this part done, but he has assured me that I have some time to work on it. Just keep me in your thoughts. I made a quick get-away trip to Charlotte to visit my cousin last weekend, because I needed to escape the stress for a bit. I almost melted down completely on returning and finally getting a look at those comments, but I think now that I've come to my senses.
Alright, I'm out of here. I want to catch the end of this game between the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls. The last I heard, Miami was up 3 at the half. I hope Chicago can pull it out. Funny, when they had Jordan I couldn't stand them! But now they're kind of the cute underdogs again. If they're still good in three years, we'll see how I feel then. Peace!