Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Banned Books Week

It's Banned Books Week! Everybody read a banned book!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Book Slump

Although my sidebar says that I'm currently reading The Empress of Weehawken, I'm kind of...not. I haven't been into a book since I finished Defending the Damned a couple of weeks ago. Maybe it's that I liked that book so much, maybe I just needed to let it settle, but I can't seem to get motivated to pick up another book. I've just been reading my Bookmarks and Glamour magazines (of which I have plenty to catch up on, but...) I do tend to need some time between books to mull things over, but this is a little ridiculous. I mean, I finished the last book on Sept. 7 or 8, and it's now the 26th. Sigh.

This is quite an unusual phenomenon for me. I'm almost ALWAYS into some book or another. Well, once I finish the current issue of Glamour, I won't have any choice but to dive back in. Anyone have any ideas to jump-start me?

Oh yeah, I forgot! I made Paula Deen's Low Country Boil last week, to rave reviews from the Fiance'. Amazing, since he doesn't really like seafood. I pared it down to just two servings, from the original six, since we weren't going to consume that much of it (and to save money, too!). It was great. Both of us enjoyed it. I have yet to make something out of her cookbook that isn't excellent. Up next? Bourbon Beef Tenderloin!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mailbox Monday

I received several books this past week, most of them from BookMooch. Last Tuesday, I received an Advance Reading Copy of Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland, through St. Martin's Press and LibraryThing. On Tuesday, I also received a Mooched copy of
The Eight by Katherine Neville, the prequel to The Fire, which I received last week from the publisher (totally unsolicited, ROCK!). I wanted to read the first book first, because I am OCD like that.

On Wednesday, I received a Mooched copy of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, which I plan to re-read soon.

And on Thursday, I received ANOTHER Mooched book, Beloved by Toni Morrison, which I have, shockingly, never read. This is yet another book in my attempt to read more "classics" and "modern classics."

These new books go onto my already stuffed and bulging To Be Read shelves. Sigh. So many books, so little time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

24-Hour Read-a-thon

I'm so excited!!! I just signed up for Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon!!! I was so jealous watching everyone participate in April, so I decided I had to get involved in the next one. I'm SO psyched to participate this time around. I'm going to try to stay up the whole time, but I am old and may have to break for sleep...I hope to get through several of the books on my list. I haven't been making much progress lately (this thing called LIFE keeps getting in the way), so this weekend event will be the perfect way for me to get caught up. Or at least try to. I will have to take a Dawgs break, if the Georgia game is on TV, but otherwise? I intend to READ, BABY, READ!

Autumn in the Sunny South

I live in Florida. Where it's 80-some degrees nearly year-round. But this year I'm finding that I still get that feeling in the pit of my stomach, that tingling in my spine that tells me fall has arrived. I don't really know how to explain it: it's the feeling I would get around this time every year, when my mom took me shopping for new school supplies. It's the feeling I get that reminds me of watching football games and eating chili with my dad. It's red and orange leaves falling from maple trees up north. It's Better Than Ezra's song "This Time of Year." It's Halloween and Thanksgiving creeping up on us again.

I adore autumn. This is the season that I am most homesick for the northern states. In Florida, nothing changes. Kids do go back to school and people put out pumpkins, but it's not the same. Without corn mazes and a nip in the air, without hot chili on Sunday night, without the beautiful falling leaves, all it is is a feeling.

But I'll take what I can get.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Review: Defending the Damned by Kevin Davis

I borrowed this book from a co-worker. In fact, it's been slowly making its way around our office, since I am a Public Defender myself. I really, REALLY enjoyed this book. It is a non-fiction look at the attorneys in the Cook County, Illinois Public Defender's Office. It focuses specifically on the Murder Task Force, those attorneys who handle murder cases, where their clients are often faced with the ultimate penalty -- death. Even more specifically, it focuses on one Public Defender in particular: Marijane Placek. While telling the stories of several of the office's clients, the story of one client accused of murder, Aloysius Oliver, is woven throughout the other vignettes.

Perhaps it is because this is what I do for a living that I enjoyed the book so much. It certainly reminded me why I do what I do...because there are so many people in this country who have no voice, simply because they cannot afford one. Because it is easy to point the finger at someone, especially when the person at the other end of that finger is a police officer, and the person being pointed at is indigent. I definitely cried during portions of the book that hit particularly close to home. The book also put a fire under my ass, that's for sure, and I went into work after reading it, raring to go. My job is often difficult: no one likes you when you're a Public Defender, not even your clients. ESPECIALLY not your clients. And it gets hard, sometimes, to keep slogging away at what seems like an unwinnable fight, when the person you're fighting for doesn't respect or like you, or want to listen to what you have to say. This book helped me rekindle the optimism one really needs when doing what I do for a living. I want to buy a copy and keep it on my shelf for those days when the job just seems impossible. It would be wonderful to be able to dip into it and be reminded of the greater good I do, on the days when it seems there's no reason to even come to work in the morning.

The book would be great for anyone who enjoys true crime, or who has an interest in learning about the inner workings of the Public Defender's Office. I think it should be mandatory reading for anyone in this field. It illuminated some universal truths that all Public Defenders will relate to. I recognized some of the people in the book to be parallels with some folks I work with. While the editing could have used some work (LOTS of typos), I found Davis' writing style engaging and the facts of the cases kept me reading.

Recommended for non-fiction lovers.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mailbox Monday

So, I've decided to participate in Mailbox Monday, hosted by Marcia at
The Printed Page. I think it's a great way to round up the week's new arrivals.

This week, I received a copy of The Great Gatsby, which I ordered from BookMooch. I also received a really nice surprise...the lovely folks at Random House sent me an Advance Readers' Copy of The Fire by Katherine Neville, through LibraryThing, apparently. I realized that it was the second of a duo (or series?), so I also Mooched the first book, The Eight. That should be arriving soon.

In addition to those books, my new Glamour is here, and I'm currently engrossed in the latest issue of Bookmarks. I have a lot of reading ahead of me, so I'm off to dive in.

Oh, P.S. Happy first day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week!!! Head on over to My Friend Amy to see what's happening during this exciting week.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


After delays in Atlanta, the Fiance' and I arrived back in our area LATE last night. I called off of work today, since I was only going to get a few hours of sleep, so now I'm using the rest of the day to get organized and ready to go back to work full-steam tomorrow. I have a review to post, of a book I finished over my vacation, in between all the wedding prep and visiting friends and family. I'll be back to post that soon. The wedding was really nice, and it was good to see everyone. There were people there that I haven't seen in years! I enjoyed my time at home, but, as always, I wish that it lasted longer.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Tomorrow, the fiance' and I leave beautiful sunny South Florida (HA! Hurricane Central, is more like it!) for the not-so-tropical North. My sister is getting married this Saturday and I'm in the wedding...so I'll be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow, hoping I didn't forget anything, hurrying Ricky along, trying to make it to the airport on time. I'm glad Hanna has taken a turn away from us, so our plane can make it out. Now if only Ike will hold off till we're safely back Monday night!