August 30, 2011

Turn of Mind

Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
2011 Atlantic Monthly Press
Finished 7/11/11
Rating: 4.75/5 (Terrific!)

"A uniquely entertaining murder mystery. LaPlante's portrayal of the prime suspect's escalating dementia is gripping, unnerving, and utterly brilliant."—Lisa Genova

Publisher’s Blurb:

A large sign is taped to the kitchen wall.

My name is Dr. Jennifer White
I am 64 years old. I have dementia.
My son, Mark, is 29. My daughter, Fiona, 24.
A caregiver, Magdalena, lives with me.

Already sold in eleven countries, Turn of Mind is a stunning first novel, both literary and thriller about a retired orthopedic surgeon with dementia. As the book opens, Dr. Jennifer White’s best friend, Amanda, who lived down the block, has been killed, and four fingers have been surgically removed. Dr. White is the prime suspect. And she herself doesn’t know whether she did it.

Told in her own voice, fractured and eloquent, a picture emerges of a complex family and the surprisingly intimate alliance between life-long friends—two proud, forceful women who were at times each other’s most formidable adversaries.

I loved this book! Almost as much as I loved Still Alice (Lisa Genova). I started reading it a few days before we flew out to Oregon for our family reunion, but set it aside because I was devouring it too quickly. I wanted to have something compelling to read on our long flights! And, oh, it turned out to be the perfect in-flight read. The short, succinct paragraphs (fragmented, really, to reflect the main character's state of mind) allowed for interruptions without losing the tempo of this fast-paced page-turner. I love a good mystery and enjoyed the suspense of this particular story, but as with Still Alice, it was the enlightening and thought-provoking glimpses into the life of a woman suffering from dementia that spoke to me.

I can still read, I’m not that far gone, not yet. No books anymore, but newspaper articles. Magazine pieces, if they’re short enough. I have a system. I take a sheet of lined paper. I write down notes, just like in medical school.

When I get confused, I read my notes. I refer back to them. I can take two hours getting through a single Tribune article, half a day to get through The New York Times. Now, as I sit at the table, I pick up a paper someone discarded, a pencil. I write in the margins as I read. These are Band-Aid solutions. The violent flare-ups continue. They have reaped what they sowed and should repent.

Afterward, I look at these notes but am left with nothing but a sense of unease, of uncontrol.


From my notebook:

A good day. Excellent day, my brain mostly clear. I performed a Mini-Cog test on myself. Uncertain of the year, month, and day, but confident of the season. Not sure of my age, but I recognized the woman I saw in the mirror. Still a touch of auburn in the hair, deep brown eyes unfaded, the lines around the eyes and forehead, if not exactly laugh lines, at least indicating a sense of humor.

I know my name: Jennifer White. I know my address: 2153 Sheffield. And spring has arrived.

Why am I so drawn to these stories? Am I preparing for the possibility of losing my memory? Am I simply being practical or is this more voyeuristic -- and perhaps more ominous -- in nature?

Just how would it feel to not know your own children? For you or for them?

We have a visitor, Jen. Aren’t you glad we had a bath? Look how nice your hair looks!

It is a face I have seen before. That’s what I am reduced to now. No more names. Just characteristics, if they are idiosyncratic enough, and knowing whether a face is familiar or unfamiliar.

And those are not absolute categories. I can be looking at a face that I have decided is unfamiliar only to have its features shift and reveal a visage that is not only known but beloved.

I didn’t recognize my own mother this morning, disguised as she was. But then she revealed herself. She cried as she held my hand. I comforted her as best I could. I explained that, yes, it had been a difficult birth, but I would be home soon, the baby was doing well. But where is James? [Jennifer’s deceased husband] I asked. Mom, Dad can’t be here right now. Why are you calling me Mom and him Dad? More tears.

And then my mother was gone.

Now this one. A different sort altogether.

And for the spouses and partners:

My life partner had Alzheimer’s. Early onset. She was a lot younger than you—only forty-five…

People think it’s just forgetting your keys, she says. Or the words for things. But there are the personality changes. The mood swings. The hostility and even violence. Even from the gentlest person in the world. You lose the person you love. And you are left with the shell…

And you are expected to go on loving them even when they are no longer there. You are supposed to be loyal. It’s not that other people expect it. It’s that you expect it of yourself. And you long for it to be over soon.

It broke my heart…

Turn of Mind is an exceptionally poignant and complex debut novel, and it still haunts me, as does Still Alice.

My friend and fellow blogger, Joy, had this to say:

Hooray! Another book gets added onto my Best Reads of 2011 list! Having a murder mystery intertwined with a dementia patient made for a very intriguing read. The progression of Jennifer's illness was depicted very well, and I could sympathize with her struggles. It was incredibly interesting to hear her thoughts as she went in and out of the here and now. I didn't become as attached to Jennifer, like I did with Alice in Still Alice (Genova), but I was certainly turning the pages just as fast. (Thoughts of Joy)

Go here to read her full review.

Go here to listen to an interview with Alice LaPlante on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR.

This is the New Zealand cover art. I think I prefer it over the U.S. version, don't you?

August 29, 2011

Music Monday

I thought you might enjoy another video of my talented nephew, Steve Jackson. He was invited to play for Matthew Darren Nuss and Samantha Valdiva, as they recorded Adele's "Turning Tables."

I asked Steve a little bit about how he met Matthew (who was on American Idol last season) and how he came to be asked to be a part of this recording. Here's a bit of that conversation:

Me: So, how cool is this?! How did you get involved in this gig?

Steve: I'm interning at Tree Hill Media* in Escondido, California, working for Jeff McCullough. Matthew Nuss is one of his clients and they have been really good friends for a while. Jeff is an extremely talented producer, engineer, mixer, and song arranger. So, through working for him I met Matthew and he wanted me to play for his track.

Me: Was this the first time you played in a recording studio?

Steve: No, I have actually recorded with Jeff twice before. Several months ago we recorded a Demo EP Album which was just 5 instrumental songs. That was a lot of fun and through that opportunity I was able to see a lot of how Jeff runs his business. We stayed connected and he said if I showed up at the studio he would mentor and teach me about producing and the music business. I couldn't pass up this opportunity so I've been interning since the beginning of the summer!

Me: How long have you been playing the piano?

Steve: I've been playing piano since I was 4. I was classically trained until I was 17 when I stopped taking lessons and started writing my own stuff.

Me: Do you enjoy writing your own compositions or do you prefer playing covers?

Steve: It depends on my mood. I have to be in a certain mood to do some writing. Something has to provoke emotion to get me to write. It's kinda hard to write without any inspiration. Haha. So, yeah it depends on the mood. But I love doing covers of stuff.

Me: Any chance you'll do more work with Matthew?

Steve: Maybe sometime in the future I'll be able to play on some more of Matt's work. I'll keep you posted on that though.

Me: I won't ask the cliche, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" However, I have a paperweight on my desk with a thought-provoking question that I'd like to ask instead. It says, "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"

Steve: That's a great question. It's cool because I haven't asked myself as far as "what if I fail with music?" I've had the great support of family and friends, so I don't even have to question or second guess myself when it comes to music. But I do have a vision for exactly what I want to do. I want to produce music (including my own) and I would also love to perform for people. I've always enjoyed entertaining people and what better way to entertain people than with music. So, yeah that is my goal!

Me: I know we're family, but I have to tell you that I am constantly amazed by your talent and I'm very proud of you. Listening to you play when we've visited (both at your house and in a hospital waiting area), as well as at the reunion in Depoe Bay, just makes my heart sing. I wish you all the best and hope to see you on stage someday!

Steve: Thanks so much for everything and your support (: Love you!!

You can purchase the track on iTunes here.

*Website is Music Producer For Hire.

Go here to listen to Steve perform a very special cover for my birthday last year.

August 28, 2011

Sunday Salon - August 28, 2011

Good evening! I hope all of you on the East Coast survived Hurricane Irene and if you’re without power, I hope it’s up and running quickly. I’ve been thinking about my friends and family in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New York and hope everyone is doing alright.

Our weather was a bit cooler this past week, so instead of reading after work, I got out on the bike trail and went for a few long walks and one very long (33 miles!) bike ride. I visited Lincoln’s Sunken Garden and will share some photos of that outing later this week.

It felt so good to get out of the house while the plumber was here working on our broken pipe issue! We are finished with Phase I of this mess and now have a beautiful new pipe running from the upstairs bathrooms down to the basement sewer line. Phase II involves having the huge opening in the drywall repaired and re-painted. The house is a mess and will remain so until the drywall is in, but at least our basement is dry!

I haven’t made much progress in my current book (Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God), but I did manage to get one review posted on Thursday. If you haven’t had a chance to read Before I Go to Sleep, I urge you add it to your list. It’s a terrific debut and I’m eager to see what S.J. Watson has in store next. I also learned that the film rights have been acquired by Ridley Scott’s production company, Scott Free, with Rowan Joffe to direct. (Go here for more information.) I have a feeling this is going to be a sensational film! Hmmm... I wonder if Daniel Craig is interested in a leading role… ;)

The weekend was full of the usual chores and errands, flying by far too fast, but my husband and I managed to have an “unplugged” afternoon. We went for a leisurely ride (first time out this year for Rod!) on one of the pretty bike trails in our community and ended the evening with a visit to our favorite ice cream shop, Ivanna Cone.

Photo from website

I love summer.

Links to the books mentioned in this post can be found by clicking on the cover art in my sidebar.

August 26, 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - Amanda Soule

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Click on photo for larger view

August 25, 2011

Before I Go To Sleep

Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel by S. J. Watson
2011 Harper
Finished on 7/3/11
Rating: 4.5/5 Terrific!

Publisher’s Blurb:

"As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me. . . ."

Memories define us.

So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?

Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love—all forgotten overnight.

And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story.

Welcome to Christine's life.

Oh, my gosh. This was such a good book! Some reviewers have mentioned that it was a bit repetitious, but I wasn’t bothered by that in the least. I couldn’t stop thinking about Christine and her predicament, wondering who (or what) in the world was responsible for her amnesia. My heart raced as I read, far too late into the night, the tension building and feeling a sense of dread as the final chapters drew near. I wanted to shout, “Don’t go!” but of course, she couldn’t hear me. And even if she did, she wouldn’t remember my words of caution when she awoke the next morning. Can you imagine?! Our memories make up such a large part of who we are and to lose everything you know every single night—and to know that you would do so—would be unbearable to me. What purpose would one have to continue living? And how exhausting for those around you, having to relive and explain all the important information that would help you to understand who you are. To awaken every morning and not know where you are, who is sleeping in your bed, or even how old you are. Mind-boggling!

I raced through this book in less than a week. These days, that’s pretty fast for me! Watson kept me guessing, but I felt the conclusion was a bit rushed. Nonetheless, I thought it was a fabulous read and will be on the look out for more by this talented author.

Thanks to Kay and Bellezza, I discovered this thrilling novel:

We were meant to feel the bewilderment and fright that the protagonist felt as she reeled from one day to the next learning the same things over and over. And, as I said above, the sense of menace increases as she peels back the layers to finally arrive at that specific memory that lurks in her subconscious. In fact, I finally found myself sitting on the edge of my chair as I read, actually quite physically uncomfortable, as I raced through the pages to that shocking ending. I found this a most compelling and disturbing book, especially the parts about the memory. (Kay, from My Random Acts of Reading)

Go here to read Kay’s full review.

Imagine the distress in waking and not knowing if you were grown up or still a child. Married. Or, even a mother. She must totally rely on the things her husband, and her doctor, are telling her. And someone is lying. Because the stories and her feelings don't match up; as her memories come back to her bit by bit, she comes closer and closer to discovering the truth.

A nail biting truth with a harrowing edge. One that makes me grateful for my choices, and my memory, upon turning the final page. (Bellezza, from Dolce Bellezza)

Go here to read Bellezza’s entire review.

Memento on crystal meth.” Dennis Lehane

Oh, yeah.

August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

This Old House...



Had to empty out the pie safe/liquor cabinet...

My beautiful dining room...

One cracked 73-year-old cast iron drain pipe = flooded basement!

August 21, 2011

Sunday Salon - August 21, 2011

I didn’t get a chance to write last week as I was too busy enjoying our visitors. Our granddaughter came out from the east coast for a full week and our daughter flew up for a long weekend from Texas. We had THE BEST time!! We visited a local museum (UNL's Morrill Hall), celebrated a couple of birthdays, went fishing (Shay & Grandpa), saw The Help (me & Amy), did a little shopping, cooked some delicious meals, visited the Lincoln Children’s Zoo (one of us rode a horse), went swimming at a friend’s house, did a lot of porch sitting with Annie-Dog, and had ice cream almost every single night. Our favorite location? Ivanna Cone, located in the Haymarket. We went two nights in a row. :)

The week flew and after two very long days of travel, I’m only just now beginning to feel rested. More about that later.

I didn’t get much reading accomplished during Shay & Amy’s visits, but I did find time on all eight flights (yes, you read that correctly; two roundtrips to VA = 8 legs) to relax with a couple of books. I was in the middle of Sea Escape (Lynne Griffin) before the trip and managed to finish it on my first flight. I decided to stick with the “sea” theme and dove into Sea Glass (Anita Shreve), but couldn’t get interested. It might have had something to do with the lackluster plot or the fact that each chapter centered around one of six characters. I read about 50 pages and decided to set it aside. A part of me is tempted to give it another try since the setting involves the same location as other books by Shreve. Maybe when I’m not so distracted.

Keeping with the “sea/beach/summer” theme, I picked up another book by Shreve that has been lurking on my shelves for quite some time. Body Surfing proved to be a very enjoyable story. I was immediately drawn in and actually forced myself to set it aside for a day or two so I could fall back into it on my flight out of Omaha to Dallas. My granddaughter slept a good portion of that leg, so I was able to get thoroughly engrossed and almost finished the book on the following flight. It’s funny how one book by the same author left me bored and restless and another completely spellbound. Go figure.

I’ve just started another “beach read” and while I haven’t had much time to relax and read, I have a feeling Beachcombing for a Shipwrecked God (Joe Coomer) is going to be a winner. I’ve had this book for ages and the cover art isn’t the same as what I’m finding on the Internet. I’ll try to remember to take a picture of it for my final review.

I'm glad we had such a good visit with the girls because our weekend has been anything but stress-free. It all started on a dark and stormy night (Thursday). My flights out to VA were uneventful other than the five hour layover at DFW. However, my final flight home the following day was cancelled (mechanical issues) and I was rebooked on a later flight, which resulted in a six hour layover. It’s really not as bad as it sounds. DFW is a lovely airport and the D Concourse has some of the nicest restaurants. I’ve eaten at the Reata Grill, Cantina Laredo and Cool River CafĂ©, the latter of which is now my all-time favorite. I know where all the quiet areas are (with comfy chairs!) and I relaxed with my book and iPad, catching up on my favorite blogs with a new iPad app called Reeder (thanks for the tip, Heather!). The bad part of this trip was when I learned that the Omaha airport had been closed due to a severe storm that included softball-sized hail and torrential rain, accompanied by strong winds. So my flight was delayed even later. I actually would’ve preferred a cancellation, so I could spend the night and not have to pay the fee for changing my flight, but that didn’t happen. Omaha reopened and we were on our way. We landed close to midnight and I had a long drive ahead of me. I crawled into bed at 1:30 a.m. completely exhausted!

It wasn’t until the following morning that I discovered the hail damage to my less-than-one-year-old Subaru. At first I thought it was simply body damage with several large hail dimples, but then I discovered the cracks in my sunroof. Ka-ching! I knew this wasn’t going to be cheap. I made an appointment with a body shop and have an appointment with my insurance adjuster on Monday morning. Oh, well. It’s only a car, right?

But things went from bad to terrible. Saturday morning I went into the basement to do some laundry and noticed that the floor was soaking wet. A couple of the ceiling tiles were soaked and there was water on my treadmill! We don’t know if it’s a roof issue (we did get hit with some torrential rain on Thursday night) or if it’s a plumbing issue. Either way, I need to make some phone calls and try to get this resolved. After today's morning shower, we ruled out the roof. Sigh.

Suffice it to say, what had begun as a fantastic week with my loved ones ended on a very stressful note.

So, how about some pictures to end this post on a happier note? I took hundreds of shots, but these are a few of my favorite. I’m sure I’ll share more in the coming weeks.

Emily, Maddie and Shaylyn
at UNL's Morrill Hall

Annie and Shay cooling off
in the shade at the neighborhood park

Shay and her Aunt Amy

Fishing at Holmes Lake with Grandpa
(Shay caught 2 fish!)

Swimming at Dave & Heidi's

Riding at the Lincoln Children's Zoo

Beautiful day at the Lincoln Children's Zoo!

Sippin' sweet tea on Nanny & Grandpa's porch

Cracking up with Grandpa
(my personal favorite)

Nanny and the birthday girl

Manicure with Aunt Amy

I literally have hundreds of photos from our recent trips that I need to work on, as well as my stack of books to review. I think there's at least eight! However, it's a beautiful day and I swore I'd get on my bike this weekend. The photos and books are going anywhere, but our fickle weather can change in flash. This is Nebraska, after all.

Links to the books mentioned in this post can be found by clicking on the cover art in my sidebar.

August 19, 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - Amanda Soule

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Click on photo for larger view

August 11, 2011

Think of a Number

Think of a Number by John Verdon
Series: Dave Gurney, No. 1
2010 Crown Publishers
Finished on 6/29/11
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher’s Blurb:

Arriving in the mail one day is a taunting letter that ends with a simple declaration: “See how well I know your secrets—just think of a number.” Eerily, those who comply find that the letter writer has predicted their random choice exactly. For Dave Gurney, just retired as the NYPD’s top homicide investigator and forging a new life with his wife, Madeleine, in upstate New York, the letters are oddities that begin as a diverting puzzle but quickly ignite a massive serial-murder investigation. Brought in as an investigative “consultant,” Gurney soon accomplishes deductive breakthroughs that have local police in awe. Yet, with each taunting move by his seemingly clairvoyant opponent, Gurney feels his tragedy-marred past rising up to haunt him, his marriage approaching a dangerous precipice, and, finally, a dark, cold fear building that he’s met an adversary who can’t be stopped.

Summer is the best time for me to dive into a juicy thriller or mystery. I’ve always got so much going on between work, the yard, house guests, travel and entertaining, that I need something that pulls me in from the get-go, but is also something I can set down for several days and not feel like it’s lost its momentum. John Verdon’s debut novel is exactly that sort of book. I’ve had the ARC in my stacks for many months and had almost forgotten it was there until Joy mentioned the release of Verdon’s follow-up thriller, Shut Your Eyes Tight. Joy and I tend to like the same type of thrillers, so I trusted this would be a winner based on her glowing review. I wasn’t disappointed. The pacing is even and taut and I never did manage to figure out the identity of the villain until the closing chapters. I was actually so surprised with one turn of event that I gasped out loud in disbelief. In addition to creating an intensely suspenseful mystery, Verdon’s prose is at times lyrical and thoughtful, a bit reminiscent of that of Dennis Lehane:

They had moments like this from time to time, moments of easy affection and quiet closeness, that reminded him of the early years of their marriage, the years before the accident. “The Accident”—that dense, generic label with which he wrapped the event in his memory to keep its razor-wire details from slicing his heart. The accident—the death—that eclipsed the sun, turning their marriage into a shifting mixture of habit, duty, edgy companionship, and rare moments of hope—rare moments when something bright and clear as a diamond would shoot back and forth between them, reminding him of what once was and might again be possible.

It’s always nice to get in on a new series and this is definitely an author I’m anxious to read more of. I do hope the relationship between Dave and Madeleine is expanded a bit more in subsequent books, though. I felt there were a few loose ends pertaining to their marriage and would like to see how they resolve some of their issues. Nonetheless, this is definitely an author to follow.

Thanks for sending me your ARC, Joy!

Go here to read Joy's review. Think of a Number made her Best Reads of 2010 list!

My good friend Kay also enjoyed Verdon's book. You can read her wonderful review here.

August 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Click on photo for larger view

August 9, 2011

On the Road...Again

Actually, it's more like, "I'm leavin' on a jet plane..." I'm heading east for a very special, albeit quick turn-around trip. I'm flying out to pick up our granddaughter and bring her back to Nebraska for a week-long visit!

We've been looking forward to this visit for a long time. I'm so glad she's used to the heat and humidity, because I have a feeling Mother Nature isn't going to do us any favors. We have a lot of ideas for a fun-filled week, starting with a return trip to Eppley Field to pick up Aunt Amy, who is flying up from Texas to spend a long weekend with us. This will be our third visit with Amy in less than one year!

I have a few posts ready to go, but it may be a week or so before I get a chance to do much blog-hopping. But I'll return as soon as I can, hopefully with more photos!

August 7, 2011

Sunday Salon - August 7, 2011

I’m back! No, really. This time for sure. :)

I feel as if I’ve found my blogging mojo and have been composing posts in my head while walking on my treadmill. It’s been far too hot & humid to walk outside, so I’ve opted for the treadmill. Nothing like a lot of summer traveling (read: overindulgence) to motivate one to get back into exercising! Forget swimsuit season. I need to fit in my work clothes!

In addition to working off several quarts of the world’s best clam chowder, along with margaritas, guacamole, thirst-quenching beer, Papa Bill's delicious ebelskivers, and ice cream...lots of ice cream...I’ve managed to catch up on all my favorite blogs. I love my iPad! I prop it up on the treadmill tray and spend an hour reading all your interesting posts while walking the pounds away.

Every. Day.

After spending a full day at work.

On my feet.

See how much I love you guys? Now if only I could figure out a way to type while walking. That way I wouldn’t have to wait until later in the evening to re-visit those posts and leave my comments.

One decision I made while I was catching up on all the latest in the book world, is to join in on the Sunday Salon chatter. It seems like a good way to share what I’m reading, which books I’m looking forward to, what I’ve ditched and just say hi. Good idea, eh? Especially since I’m so far behind with my reviews (which, by the way, I do intend to write in spite of the fact that the oldest is overdue by more than a month!).

So on to the books…

I decided I wanted to read something that had been on my shelves for a few years, as well as a book with a beach or summer theme, and settled on Brian Groh’s Summer People (love the cover!). Unfortunately, after close to 50 pages I decided to call it quits. I’ll write a short synopsis later, but suffice it to say this is a case of being swayed by an attractive cover.

Wanting to keep with the summer/beach theme, I picked up Sea Escape by Lynne Griffin. I’ve had the ARC for over a year and found notations that both Bellezza and Wendy (Caribousmom) read it last July. So far, I’m completely engrossed and anxious to get back to reading more later this afternoon.

As I mentioned, I have several reviews to write. Perhaps a list would help keep me organized:

Think of a Number by John Verdon (thrilling)
Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson (a nail-biter!)*
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante (excellent!)
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok (nice audio)
One Summer by David Baldacci (ugh)
Awakening by S.J. Bolton (good new series—to me)*
Summer People by Brian Groh (blech)

*What are the odds that I’d read two books in one month by authors who have the same initials, S.J.?!

Of all of those books, my favorite is Turn of Mind. What a great read! It’s definitely going on my 2011 Top Ten list.

When I’m at work (before the store opens), I use my Nano to listen to audio books. It’s a great way to get a big chunk of listening in (almost 2 hours) and the time passes quickly. Right now, I’m listening to The Mapping of Love and Death by Jacqueline Winspear. I accidentally downloaded and started listening to this before I realized it’s #7 in the Maisie Dobbs’ series. I haven’t read #6, but I’m not going to worry about it. I’ve already discovered one spoiler, but I’ve gotten to know these characters so well that it really doesn’t bother me to learn something out of order.

I rarely read more than one book at a time, but I’ve been scheduled to man the Nook Desk at work quite a bit this past month and have started reading Zeitoun by David Eggers. This is one of the One Book, One Lincoln nominations and so far, it’s fantastic! I really should just buy a copy so I can read more than a few pages at a time. If Eggers’ What Is the What is half as good as Zeitoun, I’ll have to get a copy of that, as well.

So, that’s all the book news for now. In other news, last night I dreamt I was walking down my street and the sidewalk was covered with leaves, the tree branches bare. Yes, this past week has been a little bit cooler, relatively speaking, but it certainly hasn’t felt like autumn. A 20 degree temperature drop from 104 does not a fall make. However, we had a nice drenching rain on Friday, followed by a terrific storm last night (winds clocked at 65 mph!), so I happily crossed watering off my weekend to-do list.

Now to catch up on emails, comment on some blogs, work on my vacation photos and run a few errands. I really want to spend some time relaxing on the front porch, reading more from Sea Escape, so I'd better get moving!

I hope everyone’s having a good weekend. For those of you in Lincoln, I hope everyone survived last night’s storm!

Links to the books mentioned in this post can be found by clicking on the cover art in my sidebar.