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The past couple weeks have been a bit hectic what with my corneal infection, Penny’s surgery, house-hunting, Mother’s Day, and, most recently, the stomach flu.

Occasionally during this time I have come to my sad, neglected little blog and think “Oh, no.  My readership is down! Sad! I should really write more. But not today…” Or I’d simply fail to form some coherent sentences after staring at the computer screen for several long minutes.  But then I’d get over it and go back to reading my cheesy mystery novels.

In just over three weeks I’ve read all of the following novels:

The mysteries: I love historical mysteries! They combine two of my favorite genres–historical fiction and mysteries.  by C S Harris

What Remains of Heaven: A Sebastian St Cyr Mystery by C S Harris

What Angels Fear: A Sebastian St Cyr Mystery by C S Harris

When Gods Die: A Sebastian St Cyr Mystery by C S Harris

Where Serpents Sleep: A Sebastian St Cyr Mystery by C S Harris

Why Mermaids Sing: A Sebastian St Cyr Mystery by C S Harris

And Only to Deceive (A Lady Emily Mystery) by Tasha Alexander

A Fatal Waltz (A Lady Emily Mystery) by Tasha Alexander

A Poisoned Season (A Lady Emily Mystery) by Tasha Alexander

Tears of Pearl (A Lady Emily Mystery) by Tasha Alexander

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

A Royal Pain by Rhys Bowen

Royal Flush by Rhys Bowen

The supernatural fiction: I’m hopelessly addicted to “fantasy” fiction, though I would like to add an addendum by saying that I don’t delve into the depths of fantasy with the whole Star Trek worlds or fighting dragons and what not.  I stick with mostly witches and vampires, because the make me oh so much cooler.

Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Burned by P C and Kristin Cast

Prior to the last two weeks, more like in the two weeks before that (with some time off for my eye infection), I read the entirety of The Hollows series by Kim Harrison.  They’re violent, sexy, over the top, and completely addictive.

I guess I should do some more serious reading.  I currently have two Lincoln assassination histories, a Mark Twain biography, a Pulitzer prize winner, and a book about cyber-librarians lined up on my nightstand.

And yet…I’m just itching for another book in one of the series I’ve been reading to come out…or maybe a whole new series to latch on to.  That would be lovely.

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I went to the LA Times Book Fair a million years ago.  No? It was only a couple of weeks ago?  Geez, it’s been a very trying couple of weeks.  Well, I’ll try to remember what I thought about it since it was only a couple of weeks ago and not a million years ago, as you claim (though I doubt you).

First I remember it was crowded.  Very very crowded.  And I remember that it was a mistake to bring my giant mountain of a stroller.  Next time I’ll bring the lithe umbrella stroller.

That’s right, I said next time, because I also remember that the book fair was wonderful.  I only wish I’d been a little more organized.  There were tons of speakers (like Trisha Yearwood talking about food and music), workshops, and kids readers and performances (like Henry Winkler reading his new children’s book).  I was a little overwhelmed by all of this, figuring I would just make a plan when I got there.  You know, go with the flow?

Well there was no flow.  There were too many people there to have any kind of flow.  So next year, I’ll make a plan.  I’ll bring my print-out lineup with me and circle in red pen what I want to see.

I will also refrain from purchasing any books for at least three months before the Book Fair.  Ok, maybe only two months.  All right, just a month, but I’m holding firm to that limit.

Each pathway of the fair was lined with vendor stalls.  Most of the vendors were books sellers, although various writing groups and special interests were thrown in here and there (like the LA area mystery writers or the California-based Muslim group handing out copies of the Koran-for free! I almost took one but I figured I don’t actually read the Bible that much, I don’t know how much time I’d actually devote to reading the Koran).  Many of the book sellers had writers available throughout the day to sign a copy of their book, some even gave impromptu interviews.

I must admit, I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the materials available.  There were literally books everywhere!  I didn’t know where to start!  My mom kept urging me to look at the books every time I oohed or aaahed over a particular stall, but I hesitated, knowing I could lose myself in just one shop for hours.

I was also very conscious of my son’s presence.  I had intended to take C to the children’s music performances, but we were always slightly off schedule and the stage was thronged by masses of young families.

Fortunately, C didn’t seem to mind.  He was very happy just to lay back in his gargantuan stroller and people watch.  No crying or fussing at all, for the entire time we were there!  It was a small miracle!  And one that makes me think I can tote him with me to any outdoor festival, just as long as there are lots of people and frozen treats (we shared a snow cone, it was a big hit with the little guy).

All in all it was a good day, one I can’t wait to repeat next year.

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I love books, perhaps too much.  I can’t seem to part with them.

I can’t seem to stop buying them either.  When book clerks seem me their eyes glisten with joy.  I would hope that at this point Amazon has me flagged as a gold star customer.  I love Amazon’s recommendation list; it’s like dangling a string in front of a cat-I just can’t help it, I have to look!

It’s not that I need any more books either.  I have plenty.  Here’s a picture of just my books I haven’t read yet.

unread books

These are just the ones I haven't read!

I have them specifically organized, but I won’t bore you with the details of my personal cataloging system.  This is a picture of the bookcase in my bedroom, keeping the books I haven’t read close at hand should I desire a new one.  I’m not sure I’m going to ever post a picture of the book case in my office.  It’s is completely stuffed to the point that I have started piling books around the bottom.

However, I don’t go through books as fast as I used to.  Or at least, I’m not going through the new book list as fast as I used to.

I find I have so little time to devote to reading, that I find I am often hesitant to take a risk on a new book.  What if it’s boring? overly analytical? tedious?  I don’t have the time to waste on drivel! Instead I read and re-read old favorites.

Baby C seems to have a similar attitude to his books.  He is also hesitant to pick up new books with the same vigor he returns to his own favorites.  C gives a new books a page or two to grab his attention or delight him and if it fails, he pushes it away with disdain.  I try to entice him back, pretending to read and enjoy the book myself.  I oooh and aaaah, smiling as I turn the pages, trying to demonstrate that new books are just as fun.  Usually, this fails, perhaps it’s my acting skills, or perhaps C  feels as I often do: why waste time on something new when I know I love the things I have?

In recognizing this attitude my son may be adopting, I’m pushing myself to read something new, to break out of my lazy reading habits (and perhaps awaken my lazy mind) and set a better example.  There are dozens and dozens of books I know C will one day love and I want him to be open to reading them.

So if that means I have to read some new books (and perhaps purchase even more) I guess I’ll suffer through it, for the good of the boy, of course.

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