Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Year's Resolutions: Followup

Wow!  I have no idea what I've been doing with myself since I wrote this, but obviously it hasn't been blogging, since I wrote this way back on February 2.  Better late than never, eh?

I'm sure you all have been waiting with baited breath to find out how I've been doing on my resolutions this year.  I've had a 40% overall success rate so far.  No surprisingly, the goal, or resolution I've been best at keeping is to read every day.  Somewhat surprisingly to me, the runner up was flossing.  I really don't like flossing.  My mother figures that most people don't like flossing, and probably even dislike it, but I actually have two friends who like to floss.  I must know strange people.  But I guess the good news is that my floss rate is well over the 40% mark.

The categories that brought the percentage down were pay off the car, find a writing job, and write a novel.  I'd like to pay off the car this year, but I'm not about to make a daily payment to do so.  That would just be annoying.  So I only accomplished paying my car one out of the 31 days in January.  I tried to find a writing job three times.  I've read different things about how to go about becoming gainfully employed as a writer, but they all seem to involve having some free time, which I don't really right now.  Y'know, because I currently work six days a week.  Ugh.

Said lack of free time is also why I haven't started my novel.  I have tons of ideas in my head, but there's no way to tie them all together (no, really trust me on this one, they're all very different story lines), and all of them are pretty absurd.  One involves a girl named Agatha, who is going to have special powers, and her nickname is going to have something to do with silver because Ag is the atomic symbol for sliver.  At least I think it is. 

And for those of you who are interested in the highly sophisticated mathematical formula used to derive the 40% success rate, here's what I did.  I have 10 resolutions, and there are 31 days in January.  Simple math tells you that 10X31=310, which would be 100% success rate, indicating that everyday I had taken steps towards each of my goals.  As it turns out, I only took action 125 times.  125/310=40%.  Pretty fancy, huh?

Stay tuned for what I did in February!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5)The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was by far, the best of the series. It was so much fun to read! It is, of course, a YA book, so if you're not into that, then you probably won't like this. Before reading this book, I had decided that this was going to be my last Riordan YA book, but after reading it, I think I might check out his other series. Of course, this is not helping me shrink my reading list!

I think what made this book so much fun is that Percy matured the most in this book. He makes some hard decisions, he is torn between two girls that he likes, and he saves the world! The awkwardness he feels when he realizes his feelings for a friend are more than just friendly are totally relatable, at least to me. I'm sure teenagers would roll their eyes at me, but I think our society oversexes our youth by confusing physical maturity with emotional maturity. Anyway, I won't go off on that tangent here, but I found the relationships to be refreshingly appropriate.

Of course, the humor in the book is also delightful. For example, Tyson, Percy's Cyclops half-brother uses "Peanut Butter" as a battle cry. Whatever works, right? I also like how the books are loosely educational. They involve bits of geography, and some history of the deities of Ancient Rome. I'm not purporting that these should be substitutes for geography or history texts, but as starting ground to get young minds thinking, these ideas are presented in a fun way.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable read!

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Great GatsbyThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What did I think of The Great Gatsby? When I finished reading it, I was left with a swirl of emotions in my gut. I don't feel like I know quite enough about Gatsby to consider him "great," but what was revealed to the reader definitely made him interesting.

One line in particular struck me as the defining theme of the story: But there was Jordan beside me, who, unlike Daisy, was too wise ever to carry well-forgotten dreams from age to age."

Daisy, in my opinion, isn't worth the effort Gatsby puts into actions to impress her, but then again, I don't think a man ever fell in love with me because of my voice, which is apparently the only mesmerizing thing about her. Fitzgerald tells us that Daisy is incredible, but he doesn't show us how. Nick seems like a reasonable guy, but even he is a bit prejudiced towards Daisy.

I was saddened at the end of the story, and feeling a sort of injustice, but at the same time, I was left wondering, what happened next, and what did Gatsby really do? Who was he, really? And I was frustrated, too, because Tom seemed like a regular jerk, and he got away with it, but jerks so often do, don't they?

On a more upbeat note, Fitzgerald's use of language never ceases to amaze me, and I wonder if I ever tried to write like that, would it sound sincere, or would it sound like I had strung bits and pieces of language of truly great writers together in a meager attempt to come up with something new. If nothing else, Fitzgerald makes me think.

View all my reviews

Friday, February 11, 2011

Eat Right For Your TypeEat Right For Your Type by Peter J. D'Adamo

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Okay, first, some clarification: I did not read this entire book. I read through my blood type, O, and I perused my husband's blood type, A.

This book started out a little scientific-y, basically arguing the premise that if your blood fuels your body, then what you eat should fuel your blood. And, as we know there are different blood types, so it stands to reason that they could be fueled differently.

I picked up this book for a variety of reasons, including that I'm trying to lose a little weight, and that by living with a vegetarian I discovered that she could eat foods and feel full and energetic, and I'd eat the same thing and be STARVING ten minutes later. So, I thought, it stands to reason that certain diets are more favorable to certain people.

But then the book got ridiculous and complicated. First, it's not easy to keep track of what you can and can't eat. For example, I'm allowed tomatoes and salt but not ketsup. Then it has all of these particular things you can do, and I feel like, yes, but I have a real job, I don't have time to go to the store and track down the whole list of things I can eat. I've never heave heard of hake, white perch, essene bread, kohlrabi, and a whole list of other things. And any diet I go on has to be compatable with my husband.

So the big picture is that I get to eat lots of meat, fruits, and veggies, and very little to no dairy products and grains. My husband gets to eat meat, except red meat, fruits, and veggies, and a little more dairy and grains than I do. Um, is this a surprising diet at all? I didn't think so. And it just doesn't sound like very much fun.

View all my reviews

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lion in the Valley Lion in the Valley by Elizabeth Peters

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book a lot more than the last one in the series. Partially because Ramses no longer had that stupid lisp, partially because it was less than 300 pages, and definitely because I really liked the character Donald.

This book is much less about excavation and much more about solving the mystery of the "Master Criminal," who **spoiler alert** manages to escape justice yet again, and swears he is leaving Egypt forever, but I really hope he turns up again in future books to keep things interesting.

View all my reviews