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Wondrous Words Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Happy Wednesday, everybody!  I am looking forward to seeing everyone’s words this week, even though I am a little short of words this week.  I have a couple that I have scrounged from my online reading, and these are kind of fun to share:

1. Logomachy: A dispute over or about words

“The surprising election results have opened the floodgates of logomachy in the political media outlets.”

2. Orotund: Pompous and bombastic

” District superintendent Christopher W. McGinley, in an orotund statement, defends the program while canceling it.”

So, what words are new to you this week?

Teaser Tuesdays

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

It’s Tuesday!  Time for another Teaser!  You know how this works, pick up your current read, open it to a random page and give us 2 teaser sentences.  No spoilers, please.

Well today, I am between books, so I’ve got a really random teaser.  I opened the next book on my list, The Devil’s Star, and picked a few sentences for you.   I will say this — it sounds romantic, but things may not be as they seem:

“He didn’t touch her that first night, he just looked at her, caressed her cheek, told her she was beautiful, more beautiful than she would ever be able to understand, and then he got up.  As he was leaving, he appeared to be on the verge of tears.”

So, what’s teasing YOU this week?

Wondrous Words Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

It’s time for more new words!  Today, my words are from Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin. I’m listening to this on audio, so thank heavens for Amazon and their “search inside” feature. At least I was able to go back and find some of the unfamiliar words I remembered.

1. Sheela-na-gig:  a grotesque female figure with exaggerated genitalia

“…she had the massive, feminine barbarity of a sheela-na-gig that turned the prior’s comfortable, book-lined room into a cave.”

2. Rochets: A ceremonial vestment made of linen or lawn, worn by bishops and other church dignitaries.

“…ahead, where the bakery and brew house stood outline against the dyikng sun, figures in violet rochets were spilling out of the buildings and into the walkways like petals being blown in one direction.”

3. Oriel: a projecting bay window corbeled or cantilevered out from a wall

“There was an oriel, two lattices — both open to allow in the scent of the river — and a rose of stained glass that could only have originated in a Christian church.”

4. Squit: diarrhea

“You ask that loafer about Wulf and the Wild Hunt; he’s full of squit.”  This one is my favorite!  A combination of squirt and…well, you know what I mean.  A truly excellent putdown and the sort of word any nine-year-old boy would love.

5. Frankenpledge: Originally, a system where householders were responsible for each other’s behavior and you had to tattle on your neighbor if he broke any laws.

“How old is the child, Prior?  He may not be accorded frankenpledge until he is twelve.”

6. Eyre: a circuit traveled by an itinerant justice in medieval England, or the circuit court he presided over
Assize: an ancient writ issued by a court of assize to the sheriff for the recovery of property

“For facing her were three of the several justices in eyre who had come to Cambridge for its assize…”

Okay, I could go on and on and on with these.  Lots and lots of great words in this one!  What new words did YOU learn this week?

Tuesday Teaser!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Welcome to another episode of Teaser Tuesdays!   This week, it’s a teaser even for me:  I finished my last book at 11:30 last night, picked up my new one this morning and this teaser is the first thing I read.  Now I can’t wait to get into the rest of the story!

You know the teaser rules:  open the book at random and choose a couple of teaser sentences.  No spoilers, please, and be sure to tell us a bit about the book.

My new book is Little Bird of Heaven by Joyce Carol Oates.  I’ve both loved and loathed Oates over the years and I am anxious to see what category this book falls into.  The teaser I chose is a newspaper headline (and not a spoiler — the same info is in the synopsis):

Death of Local Bluegrass Singer Investigated by Police
Focus on “Men Friends” — “Visitors”

Now, Sparta reminds me of the old tv show, In the Heat of the Night, but in this case it’s a small town in New York.  I am looking forward to the rest of the story!

What’s teasing YOU this week?

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 25th, 2009

The picture is from I have a lifetime membership and it was a great investment.

Yay! I’m a winner!

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

I want to send a big THANK YOU out to Nancy Johnston at Read Street. It’s a great book blog with all kinds of book news – I stop in regularly and I found out today that I won a book! I am really looking forward to reading Christopher Moore’s Fool and I am thrilled to be a winner.


Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Starting today, I will be writing a weekly book review column for a great website called When Falls the Coliseum. I am really thrilled about the opportunity to write with this talented group of people. I will still be posting regularly here, but I hope you’ll all stop in and wish me good luck at my new digs! My first post – an expanded version of my review of The Strain – went up this morning, so stop by and check it out!

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Books on TV!

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Attention fans of Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series: starting tomorrow night, HBO will begin airing a new series, based on the novels! I don’t have HBO anymore, so I hope someone stops by to tell me if the show is any good. (And a big thank you to Dave over at Read Street for the heads-up!)

You know, I have noticed several television series recently coming out of popular novels: Dexter, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, True Blood, The Dresden Files, Blood Ties. At least tv is doing a better job than the movie industry, which seems to just be remaking its own product over and over.

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Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone! The photo is of my Christmas tree (before I got all the presents wrapped), surrounded by some of my collection of old world Santas.

The tree has a bit of a story. When I was growing up, we never had a real tree. My mother had a terrible fear of it catching fire, so we always had artificial trees. The first Christmas that I had my own place, I got a real tree and I loved it. There was something very special about picking out the tree and bringing it home and putting it up. I also discovered that I had a mild allergy to pine; by the time I was done decorating, my hands were covered in itchy red bumps. They cleared up as soon as I washed thoroughly with soap and water, so I wasn’t too concerned.

As the years passed, the allergy got worse. A few years ago, after I put the last ornaments on the tree, I found that I was covered in an itchy rash from my hands clear up to my shoulders. I also noticed, with some concern, that I was short of breath and couldn’t seem to get enough air! A rash is one thing, trouble breathing is something else entirely. That was the last year I had a real tree.

Still, I couldn’t quite go back to the fake trees of my childhood, even though they look a lot better now than when I was a kid. I set out to find the fakest fake tree that was ever sold in Fakeville, and I think I succeeded. I would have loved one of those retro aluminum jobs with the rotating stand and disco lights, but those things run anywhere from a few hundred bucks to over $1,000! Instead, I found this beautiful white tree and fell in love with it. My ornaments are mostly cut glass and the tree topper is a crystal Moravian star that I found at a yard sale; they show up beautifully against the white background. The only real problem was something that I never considered until the tree was standing in the living room: all of my Christmas lights had green cords! I had to get inventive that first year, but I’ve got white lights with white cords and a really beautiful tree. Even if it is fake.

Happy holidays, whether you are celebrating Christmas or Solstice, Saturnalia or Chanukah. I hope you are with the people you love best on this special night.

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