Sunday, October 21, 2012

Now What?

I am coming to the end of a long, long road, the path to a Ph.D.  Amid all the excitement of accomplishing this goal, probably the most time-consuming of my life to this point, I’m starting to spend some time wondering how I will spend my time once I don’t have to be reading book after book about rhetoric and composition and revising, revising, revising. Before Vincent was born, the great joy of my life was playing the French horn, and I was pretty good at it. I was a member of the best small-city municipal band in the world, and played in a college/community orchestra. I got called for gigs at churches and community theater fairly often. I loved it. After we moved to Florida, though, I lost all of that. The only municipal band that I have found here, well, the hearing aids prevent precise tuning, I’m afraid. There is a pretty good community wind ensemble, the Hollingsworth Winds, but they already have 12 horns and I feel like a complete outsider. I imagine that those same 12 horns are on call for the Imperial Symphony, which I probably wouldn’t be good enough for anyway. I suppose I could play with the Southeastern wind ensemble, but I don’t feel like I fit in there, either. Here’s what I really need. A fairly decent pianist, and a fairly decent violinist who are willing to meet with me once a week and practice the Brahms horn trio --just for fun. Apply below!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Book Review: Glow

Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Title: Glow
Description: Two spaceships left a deteriorating Earth to colonize New Earth. Both were equipped with all they would need for a decades-long journey, but one was secular and one was religious. Kieran and Waverly were born aboard the secular ship, the two oldest of the next generation of space colonists. After years of no communication from the other ship, their ship, the Empyrean, was attacked and the girls were taken captive. The story is told from Waverly’s point of view, as she struggles to rescue her mother and to return to the Empyrean, and from Kieran’s as he struggles for control of the ship after the adults leave to rescue the girls.
Review source: ALA
Plot: The plot was pretty interesting. The idea of separating colonists by religious belief was a new one to me, and it certainly comes into play. Because the book is the first in a series, though, basically nothing is resolved at the end.
Characters: I’ve heard this book referred to as “the next Hunger Games,” and it certainly seems like that author had it in mind as she chose her characters. We have the main character, a girl, who is quite tough, and two boys who like her. Neither of the boys are especially sympathetic, as they fight one another for control of the ship.
Writing style: One of the main reasons I’m not a science fiction fan is that the authors can never seem to tell a story in a reasonable amount of time. Other genres, they can manage it! But sci-fi, even a three-book series is short. I don’t like books that don’t resolve.
Audience: It’s a YA, sci-fi, Hunger Games clone.
Wrap-up: As I mentioned, I’m not a big sci-fi fan, so I’m not going to go out looking for the next book in the series. 2.5/5*

Friday, October 5, 2012

Part of a Meme

Just to switch things up:

What was the last book you…
• borrowed from the library? Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Thaler & Sunstein. Then I realized I had it on my bookshelf!
• bought? The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings, for our book group
• cried over? Goodbye for Now. A five-star read
• disliked and couldn’t finish? Don’t remember the title. It was a Harlequin cowboy romance that I picked up at ALA
• read & loved? Cry, the BelovedCountry—another one for the book group

• got for review? The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle, from netgalley

• gave to someone else? The LincolnConspiracy by Timothy O’Brien
• stayed up too late reading? I never stay up late