Sunday, September 25, 2011

Catching up

Its been beyond too long since I last posted - work, vacation, illness; yadda yadda yadda. I had a great vacation in Seattle watching my cousin get married, spending alot of quality time with my family, seeing Pikes Place Market and looking UP at the Space Needle. I forgot to bring back a good coffee mug darnit! What really surprises me now that I think back is that I didn't visit a single bookstore while I was out there. I had it in mind to visit the original Starbucks and at least a few other coffee shops, which I sorta accomplished. The wedding was so much fun and the time with family was irreplaceable which is all that matters.

I finished "Next to Love" by Ellen Feldman just after I got to Seattle. Its a great novel about three women during World War 2 and its aftermath. It goes back and forth in time with its vignettes, for lack of a better description - it took me a bit to figure out how to keep it all straight. I'm ashamed to say I'm not all that up and up on my WW2 history. The book was very satisfying and put a real human face to the women of that time, I thought.

I just started Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman. I'm almost halfway through and I stayed up pretty late last night since I didn't want to put it down. I also just got the new book by Tom Perotta called The Leftovers. Its not starting out too hot for me yet. I've loved all his books so far so I hope its not an omen. I'm hoping to start Miracle Beach by Madison's own Erin Cellelo as well.

Lastly I want to throw this out there - I recently read this on the Pioneer Woman blog. I'm not a regular reader of her blog but I am a regular viewer of the Food Network so with her new show, I was reminded of her books and blog. The post is over a year old but gave me alot to think about. I'm posting very regularly on this blog, I'm by no means a regular excerciser, and I'm just beginning to vary some of my blog posts outside of the Wisconsin boundaries. I'm not up to many followers but some of my fave followers are my family members and friends, Kathy (the reason I even wanted to start blogging about books), and definitely ANYone else that has stopped by, including the authors that were so kind to comment on my first few posts. I have to make a better effort to read even more and post more often. And possibly get up earlier than usual and start walking the dog around the neighborhood and use the Zumba DVDs I bought months ago.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Graveminder by Melissa Marr

The New York Times bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely series delivers her first novel for adults, a story about the living, the dead, and a curse that binds them.
Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."
Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place--and the man--she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D--a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk. - Review
I found this book on an list while I was searching for something different. I got exactly that. The book was the perfect amount of creepy, gothic deliciousness that I haven’t read since I used to read Stephen King and even Patricia Cornwell about 10 years ago.  I was sucked into the book right away and had a hard time putting it down anytime I had to put it down (note to self: gotta turn off the TV more often!)
In the history of Claysville, there has always been an Undertaker and a Graveminder.  It’s a special duo of people that keep Claysville and its secrets safe. See if you are born in Claysville, you’ll go back, and you’ll die there. The Undertaker will carry out the funeral arrangements and the Graveminder will make sure you stay where you are laid to rest. Those who are born in Claysville but die elsewhere, may either be in danger or cause it. A young resident is murdered outside of Claysville and does the latter.  The Graveminder, Maylene, is murdered and her partner, the Undertaker must leave and passes the “business” on to his son without any other choice to either of them. Byron must protect the new Graveminder, Maylene’s granddaughter, Rebekkah.  Together they have to find the zombie, for lack of a better word, and get her back to where she should have been laid to rest.
I liked that there wasn’t a great amount of gore in this book. The elements of vampires, zombies and underworld gouhls and ghosts are there but I didn’t imagine buckets of blood and guts. There is an underlying tension between Byron and Bek and I just wanted them to get over it and be true to how they’ve always felt about each other.  I enjoyed the book overall. The cover and title are provocative and I had a great time talking about the book, especially to those who know I read books very much NOT like Graveminder.
Next up is a slew of 9/11 memoirs, Thunder Dog, Memory Remains, and Where You Left Me.  I also won an advance copy of Falling Together by Marisa De Los Santos and Mozart’s Last Aria from Library Love Fest and Harper Perennial, respectively.  Locally, I just purchased Miracle Beach, by Madison’s own Erin Celello.