Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Everyone and Everywhere All At Once

Dear Reader,

Please excuse thisinquiringmind's tardiness. She happens to be forgetful as well as busy these days. She will bring extra snacks for the kids next week.

Ms inquiringmind's Mom.
A few quick updates about my latest reads and the best of my life:

We're approved for the loan on our new house. We are just waiting for the "final-final" approval and a set date for the closing. The attorney we chose has been a huge headache and I would not choose them again if it can at all be helped. I'd tell her to skip the closing if it didn't mean we'd eventually be homeless and out hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just saying.

I am planning on taking some dance classes starting next week. Part of me is psyched that I will be refreshing all I know about dance terminology for use in my dance judging; the other part of me is nervous that my body will collapse on the floor the first week, going, "why? why would she do this to me?!" Seriously, it will be good exercise, and I've been meaning to do it for years now. It's not ballet, but I'm willing to explore new/re-visit old territory. Dance judging conference/training begins this weekend. I get to spend all three weekend days learning how to talk into a tape recorder while simultaneously taking in 650 bits of information within 3 minutes and then frantcially scoring before the next song starts. It's gonna be great! It makes speaking difficult sometimes when you are so caught off guard by all of the things needing work that you cannot possibly communicate fast enough. And that brings us to our next point: my lack of communication about the awesome books I've experienced recently.

One, I gave The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton a shot. Husband has been pushing this book for at least a year and telling me how great it is. I do admit. The story was fascinating; real people, pulling off an extraordinary mega-crime over the period of a year in mid-19th century England. I half & half'ed it on audio and reading. As irritated as I was that the book binding broke, I was equally amused that the audio narrator made the main character sound exactly like Jason Staham, of action-movie fame and husband's man-crush.

Two, Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkhurst is by far, the most depressing book I have ever read. I almost hesitate to write about it here. While beautifully written, it is extremely haunting and I did not care much for the discussion of death on every other page, or the intensity of describing mutilated dogs at various points in the novel. If you can stomach those things, you're good. I'd say it's worth the read, but I sort of wish I could un-read it.

My two recent FAVORITES: Winterdance by Gary Paulsen (about the young-adult author's decision to just get a team of sled dogs together and go run the Iditarod race.) The tale is non-fiction and absolutely incredible. Very funny, informative, and at times, sad. It was an easy read that I couldn't put down. So good.
Second (or fourth of all) was my read of Catching Fire. This is the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Even being crazed for Twilight at one time last summer, have I never been as entralled with such a quick-paced, well written adventure book/series. The writing is impeccable, makes you aware of each character's mannerisms, behaviors, & characteristics without over-explaining, and the story is fascinating. Basically, in The Hunger Games, a post-distaster North America airs a fight to the death between 24 kids, 12-18 years old that takes place in a set-arena until one victor remains standing. A sixteen year old girl fights for her life in the arena when she volunteers to take her younger sister's place. Catching Fire continues the story after Games ends. There are love stories, triangles, identity searching and some gore. These books have everything to make your life exciting for a few hours, at least.
On the flip.