It feels like I've been away from my blog for more than just four days. Perhaps it's the overwhelming number of comments that have yet to be answered. And they will, as I'm too obsessive to let them go without a response. (Speaking of which, have you all seen Blogger's new feature? They'll send you an email notifying you of responses made to comments! How cool is that?!) Perhaps it's the out-dated "Currently Reading" sidebar picture. Or maybe it's just been a long, long week. Worry and stress certainly wear me out, but it's a new day, the sun's shining, and I've had a good night's sleep. Sometimes, that's all that's needed.
Updates on the Southern California fires -- My relatives are all safe. Thankfully, nobody lost their home. I still can't imagine what the area looks like and how sad it is for those who did lose everything they own. Such a terrible tragedy.
I haven't forgotten about the book drawing for A Great and Terrible Beauty. As a matter of fact, I drew the winning name last weekend, but got preoccupied and haven't had a chance to make an announcement. So, without further ado, the winner is.... Nat (In Spring it Is the Dawn). When you return from your fun vacation, drop me an email with your snail mail addy and I'll get this in the mail.
And speaking of mailing books, Janet in Fort Worth gets my copy of Consuming Passions by Michael Lee West. Janet, I'll need your snail mail addy, too.
I haven't made much progress on any of my books this past week. As much as I love the capabilities of the Internet, bringing live news & information from around the world (San Diego's Channel 10 live coverage of the fires was far too informative to turn off), it can certainly interfere with one's daily responsibilities and reading time. I'm glad I was able to keep up on the fires, but now it's time to resume life in Nebraska.
After several short stories, I gave up on Stephen King's Everything's Eventual. I have one more book to complete Carl's R.I.P. II Challenge, so I grabbed a copy of New Moon (Stephenie Myer) and hope to have it read by Wednesday.
I started The Worst Hard Time, but had to return it to the library unread. The introduction was fascinating and my husband raved about the book, so I imagine I'll get to it eventually.
So what am I currently reading? Well, I have an ARC of Kelly Corrigan's The Middle Place. Corrigan is a newspaper columnist and her talent is quite apparent. Her memoir is very readable and informative. I have a good feeling about it.
I'm also reading C.S. Lewis' A Grief Observed. I initially bought it for my daughter, wanting so desperately to do something to help her through a recent loss. My former mother-in-law passed away on Wednesday after a 17-year-long battle with cancer. While I haven't had an active relationship with N. for nearly 23 years, we have kept in touch here and there throughout the years. Birthdays were remembered. Christmas greetings sent. Condolences expressed. And, quite fortunately, a face-to-face visit last December when we gathered to see my daughter graduate from TCU. N. was one of those rare individuals who was always cheerful. I never once heard her say anything negative about anyone. She was always so optimistic and upbeat and full of life. Amy was her first grandchild and they shared quite a bond, so this loss is hitting hard. For both of us.
I bought the book with hopes that it might bring some comfort to Amy. But after scanning the introduction, I quickly realized the focus is more about the loss of a spouse. It didn't seem like a book she'd be interested in, so I decided to keep it and have already read the first two chapters. Review to come soon.
And lastly, as if the week couldn't have gotten any worse, we learned the upcoming trial in January has been "continued" once again. We are now scheduled for April 15th. Don't ask me why. I've lost all faith in the justice system. It is what it is. There simply isn't anything to say or do about this, other than to hope all is wrapped up and finalized before May 28th.
And now, off to enjoy the beautiful day.