This week, I'm doing a fairly random Thursday Thirteen. Photos only, with no explanations. Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments, eh?
Ciao for now...
For those of you in the US who are registered on Goodreads, I'm happy to share with you this news: I'm doing a Goodreads giveaway of Ask Me if I'm Happy!
From now until October 31st, you can enter to try to win one of two copies up for grabs. Click on the graphic below for more details.
Okay - several forces conspired against me doing a particularly well-thought-out Thursday Thirteen this week. With that caveat, please allow me to present:
13 Books I Brought Home From the U.S. This Summer
1) Juggling the Stars - Tim Parks.
Although I've already read this one as a library selection, I bought a copy to go on my shelf. I've enjoyed just about everything I've ever read by Tim Parks. Unpredictable, dark and funny.
2) Family Planning - Tim Parks.
I'm presently reading this one, which is proving to be another funny, dark and sometimes disturbing story by Mr. Parks. I love the way he blends dark elements and dark humor at once, creating characters you feel for and root for almost in spite of yourself.
3) Fly Away Home - Jennifer Weiner.
I bought this in the airport, read some there, read some on the plane and then finished it at home. An engaging read and just unpredictable enough to keep me pleased and turning pages at a swift rate.
4) The Opposite of Me - Sarah Pekkanen.
I really, really wanted to be more enthusiastic about this one. I was drawn in, and there were enough twists and turns to keep it from being just another "Chick-Lit" title, but she hit so many cliches along the way, I was left a tad disappointed. And the tacked-on feel of the ending (which felt broadcast from the start of the book, for me) didn't help.
5) Shadow of Ashland - Terence M. Green.
I first read this one nearly thirteen years (or so) ago, when I stumbled across it in a library in New Jersey. It takes place in my hometown of Ashland, Kentucky, and I was amazed that anyone would write about that small steel town on the Ohio river. It's an interesting story - not just because of that link to my own life - involving time travel and reaching into one's family's past. Surprisingly touching and romantic, too.
6) Brava, Valentine - Adriana Trigiani.
I've been a fan of Trigiani's work since I first read Big Stone Gap (again, a book based on a place where I've lived - or in this case, a place I lived near). For the most part, I enjoyed this story (a sequel to Very Valentine), but there were a few stumbles along the way. One thing which particularly leapt out at me was a mistake in Italian (yes, I'm that nitpicky). It pulled me right out of the narrative for a few moments, and I kept thinking "She should know better than that - anyone who's first learning Italian should know better than that." Otherwise, it's another great read with surprising heart and emotion within.
And now, a few books I haven't read, yet...
7) The Gunslinger Born - Stephen King/Marvel Comics.
I'm looking forward to savoring every panel of this one. The famous comic book adaptation of the "Wizard and Glass" tale in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King retells the story of the coming-of-age of Roland Deschain.
8) Snuff - Chuck Palahniuk.
I bought this for a bargain price and it's next on my reading list. I really enjoyed Fight Club and Choke, and I'm looking forward to more of Palahniuk's twisted universe.
9) Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill.
Another much-anticipated title for me. My hubby read it and liked it, and I've heard good things about this one - but I'm not letting Hill's parentage affect my opinion of his work. No. I won't.
10) Great House - Nicole Krauss.
It's not often I buy a book without bothering to even read the blurb, just because I've liked the author's other work, but in this case, I took the leap. I adored The History of Love, and thought Man Walks Into a Room was a well-written and interesting story. We'll see how I feel about this one...
11) Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist.
This one has me bouncing in excitement already. The movie was fantastic (the original - I haven't seen the US remake), sort of an "Anti-Twilight", with vampires who, you know, actually kill people. I've been told there's so much more in the novel to enjoy, making it even better than the film. I'm putting off reading it because I want to read it when it's cold outside, and I can really sink into the story in the dark.
And I don't like scary stories.
Believe it or not, those are all the books I bought while in the States. The other books I purchased were for my mother (a voracious reader in her own right), and I kept myself on a pretty tight budget for most of my visit.
However, there were two other books I brought back to Italy in multiple copies:
12) Ask Me if I'm Happy - Kimberly Menozzi.
The US edition of my book. Isn't it pretty-pretty?
13) Alternate Rialto - Kimberly Menozzi.
I had to bring a few of these for my coworkers, students and other interested parties here in Italy.
And there you have them:
the 13 Books I Brought Home From the U.S. This Summer.
I've enjoyed a few already, and I'll enjoy the rest soon.
Now if I could just get some more bookshelves built to put all these wonderful books on!
I mean, I love a little DIY, when I'm up to it.
But sometimes, I need a little help.
And then, once I've got that work done...
Ciao for now!
Inspired both by a fairly recent post at the Bicycling.com site and the emergence of a new blog based on one of my favorite topics, I've decided to share a few of my favorite cycling hotties. Some of them (possibly most of 'em) are repeats, but I doubt you'll mind much. Heh.
And so, I present to you:
Thirteen Cycling Hotties
Author. Happily Married. Survivor of life with two deranged kitties.
Please note: Thanks to an increase in spam comments, I'll be approving the comments before they post. Sorry!