Category Archives: Books

New Year, Old Me

I’m horrible at updating this thing (there’s a post draft from 2013). And Payal was no help in thinking up a blog idea, so this is at least 45% her fault.


I decided to give myself a reading challenge this year of reading 52 books. I am not clear on why I picked 52 out of all the numbers in the universe, but there it is. According to Goodreads I’ve already done 5 books, although one of those is a comic book. Also, I noticed on the public profile two extra books are shown but not counted (yes the Hitler/Holocaust books). Weird bug.

I suppose I could try reviewing the books I’ve read, but I feel like whenever I review books it usually just turns into me ranting about something.

My actual true new year’s resolution was to start drawing again. That is not going well. Partly because of personal stress/drama, and because of random food poisoning like illness. Clearly whoever is up in the heavens does not want me eating pizza. Or learning to draw chibis.

A Pedigree To Die For

OverDrive is running the Big Library Read and the featured book is Laurien Berenson’s A Pedigree To Die For. It is a quick read, with pretty fleshed out characters and, well, dogs. Lots of dogs, mainly standard poodles. I am not a dog person (cats are our masters) but the amount of intrigue and devotion surrounding the fictional dog show enthusiasts in the novel was enough to keep the digital pages turning even for me.

Melanie Travis is teacher who finds herself out of work during the summer. She has a four-year old son to care for an a mooching younger brother. When her uncle passes away and one of his and his wife’s prized dogs goes missing, Melanie decides to humor her aunt’s theory about a murder taking place. After all, she has nothing else to do in the summer months.

She gets a crash course in dogs and dog shows which is a little awkward for me since she seems to have no issue at using the correct terminology for female canines. I know it’s what professionals call them, but seeing the b word thrown around so much is just odd and probably says something about our current culture and women. Whatever, I (kind of) got over it.

There is such a quirky cast of characters surrounding these dogs, and the family drama both on the surface and bubbling underneath provided additional substance to gnaw on. Melanie’s love life, or lack there of, was also refreshing as opposed to the tired cliché I was half-expecting.

Apparently there is a whole series of Melanie Travis books, and a quick look at their titles and cover art suggest they also revolve around dogs. I’m going to give the next book in the  series a try, so we’ll see if this cat person can handle all this dog business.

My New Obsession: The Library

When I was a wee little lass I enjoyed visiting the library as equally as going to the movies. I have always loved books (even the smell of them) so being surround by so many was a little slice of heaven.

In retrospect I can see that the frequent trips to the old brown building were in connection to my father continuing his education. He needed to go for a variety of reasons and so dragged me along with him. As such, once his studies were done so too were my own trips.

Anyway long story short in the past few months I have rediscovered the local public library and my wallet is so very happy. I can read manga (legally) without straining my budget or over stuffing my bookcases. That’s good because I still need to buy more shelves for the books I all ready have.

Right now I have numerous books and DVDs checked out on the topic of Hitler and the Holocaust, why I cannot fully explain. I can say walking around with a giant book with a big bright swastika on the front and binding does make one a bit self-conscience.

J.K. Rowling’s “The Casual Vacancy”

J.K. Rowling’s first foray into adult literature, The Casual Vacancy, is a palate cleanser. It is as far removed from the magic of Hogwarts as one can imagine. It’s set in the fictional village of Pagford and the sudden death of one of the parish council members sets off some drama. I feel bad even calling it drama considering how slow moving all the various plot points are and how horribly petty the lot of them feel.

Indeed upon reflection of the finished book, the story felt like a giant heap of exposition, a hint of rising action and then…done. What was intended to be the climax felt anti-climatic and short. The characters are all rather flat and two-dimensional and the few that exhibit any short of change by the end of the story do so suddenly enough to make it feel contrived.

This is not a “bad” novel, but it wasn’t that great. Very solidly “meh”. It is perhaps the type of novel Rowling had to write to prepare for a post-Harry future.