Monday, June 22, 2009

How Times Change . . .

So I have a lot of times on my hands these days. The whole job hunting thing takes less and less time all the time, and everything is pretty much unpacked and organized, and since Luke and I are both over the age of six there's not really ever a lot of cleaning to do. So I've been spending a lot of time at the library lately. And it really is awesome to have so much time to just read . . . I didn't get nearly enough in Florida.

Anyway, I've been on a huge Philippa Gregory kick for . . . well, since we started going to the library regularly, actually. My roommate loaned me The Other Boleyn Girl last year, and I really enjoyed it. (watched the movie version on the plane to Kiwidom last year . . . definitely not nearly as good. But I digress . . . ) And since I love historical fiction, I'd been wanting to read her other stuff. Awesomely, the Logan library seems to have a pretty comprehensive collection . . . something I was a little surprised to discover, not gonna lie. So I've been slowly making my way through it, and thoroughly enjoying all her stuff, except maybe Wideacre. Sadly, I'm now reaching the end of the collection, and someone else seems to be devouring her stuff too. In April and March there would be four or five Pilippa Gregory's for me to check out, but the last couple of times there's been only one, and the titles I'm specifically hoping to find have been gone . . . grrrrrrr.

So anyway, last week when we went I decided to add to my stack of one with some good old LDS fiction, and I ended up with four Rachel Ann Nunes books I haven't read. Good times, right? Yeah . . . maybe not . . .

Let me explain something - I've never really liked a lot of LDS fiction. Most of it's incredibly corny, and rather heavy-handed, like the author can't go more than a page without mentioning something Utah-ish . . . especially the romances. Good. Freaking. Grief. Sometimes I'd almost rather read the bodice-rippers my mom reads. What I wouldn't give to see a novel where the characters are LDS but the plot doesn't revolve around that fact. Where religion influences their decisions, but isn't the raison d'etre for the book. Even so, I've got a good collection of LDS romances of my own, and always before I enjoyed reading them, if for no other reason than to laugh at the obviousness of the plot. Read as comedies, they get much better. :-)

Back to my point, yesterday Luke and I spent the entire afternoon reading . . . it was the epitome of the perfect afternoon for both of us! And after I finished The Queen's Fool, I started In Your Place. And I couldn't even get past five chapters before I had to put it down out of sheer boredom. I'm not sure what's changed. It's still corny. I still new how it would end after the first chapter. And I still find that amusing. But, in complete opposite to the cliche, I just couldn't NOT put it down. In all honesty, it might just be the book. The writing isn't very good, and I know for a fact that RAN is a better author. And she says herself in the author's note that it's one of her first manuscripts that she didn't publish when she wrote it because at the time publishers were saturated with "Saturday's Warrior stories." And I've never liked Saturday's Warrior. Granted, the songs are good . . . if a bit trite . . . and the guys were good looking in the movie version we had on VHS back in the day, but I never exactly found myself inspired or touched by the plot. (on a semi-unrelated note, I've always thought the title was Saturday's Warrior, but in her note she has it as Saturday Warriors . . . what the crap?) So she let it sit for ten years, and then she went back to it and edited and rewrote and all that fun/torturous stuff you do after youve finished the first draft, and since in those last ten years she'd reached the point where pretty much anyone at Deseret Book will buy pretty much anything with her name on it, a la Jack Weyland or Anita Stansfield, she published it. But it still sucks. And while I will finish it, because I canNOT leave a book unfinished no matter how much I'm not enjoying it (yay perserverance! /irony) I think I just might have to return the other three books unread . . . sad!

So now I'm on a hunt for new authors. I'll probably try some Anita Stansfield stuff to see if I really am burnt out on LDS romances . . . I tend to like her stuff better anyway. (hate, Hate, HATE Jack Weyland!!!) And then I'll try to find some LDS non-romance authors. I'd love to read some more historical fiction . . . but I think I've read it all. Work and the Glory, Children of the Promise, Hearts of the Children, and Faith of Our Fathers? Check, check, check, and check. And I didn't care for the last volume of FoOF at all. The series started out so Gone with the Wind-like and ended so . . . not. Holy disappointing! Maybe I'll re-read Fire of the Covenant . . . I've only read it once, and that was years ago . . .

And with any luck all this rain is finally done and I can paint . . . yay! That'll certainly take up some time. :-) I really need to at least go buy the paint. Except I'm not exactly sure what to get. I"ve been doing research online . . . okay, I searched for . . . something . . . don't remember what . . . and I discovered and their decorating page. And the recipes - I am sooooooo going to try some of them sometime soon!!! And thanks to pages like this I think I know more or less what I'll be doing. Except it's also left me a little perplexed. Should I do one coat or two? Should I get just semi-gloss paint for everything, or should I use high-gloss for the trim? It doesn't help that I don't really know what either would look like when I was done . . . I could probably decided easier if I could see a picture of what the results would be. And should I paint the whole wall behind the fridge, or just enough that it looks like the whole wall is painted . . . because seriously, who looks behind the fridge/stove? But no matter how it turns out, I am SO PSYCHED to not have white walls anymore!!! I've had boring white walls since I graduated high school . . . blargh! So ready for some color! :-)

Maybe I'll go to the library tomorrow and get some painting books . . .

P. ost S. cript
Two for one today. :-) I love kitties. I want a roomba. And videos like these just make me want both more - CUTE!!


  1. Do we need to come visit?

    Have you read Shannon Hale? Her new one has LDS characters, but isn't LDS (shudder...) fiction - I have it. Let me know if you want to read it.

    I went through a similar transformation myself. Used to read it all and now I can't STAND LDS fiction - if I never went into a Deseret Book again, I'd be good. Makes me want to blech.

    You get to paint? How lucky for a rental!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Okay, trying again . . . Hey, even I don't like that book, and I wrote it! Give my later novels a chance. My last three novels with Shadow Mountain don't contain an LDS element, but won't make you skip pages for explicit sex scenes. Read Flying Home, Fields of Home, and Eyes of a Stranger before you make a final judgment. Every author grows throughout their career. Saving Madeline, another national novel, will be out this August and after that I have a paranormal suspense series coming in 2010. None of these are cheesy--I promise!

  4. DUDE! She left a comment? What did it say? I'm so curious...(and laughing!)

  5. I agree with Tawnya- try Shannon Hale. Try N.C. Allen, H. B. Moore, David G. Woolley, Josi Kilpack, Stephanie Black, Sariah Wilson...
    A good place to see what's new,

    And not all of these books have Mormon characters, they are just written by people that are Mormon- and all of them better than Jack Weyland, who by the way used to be the only choice

  6. I read it, then I don't read it, back and forth back and forth....Hmmmm. She left a comment for you. Nice. I agree with her though on one book. I was reading her novel 'Eyes of a Stranger' just last week. I kept waiting for the inevitable LDS-ness to creep in...and it was never even mentioned! I liked it ok.

    Good luck on the painting. Like Tawnya said, lucky for a rental!

  7. Wow . . . I feel famous!! Do you think if I mention Obama or President Monson in my next post I'll get a comment from them? :-)

    Thanks sooooo much for the author recommendations!!!! And if I don't find them at the library I just might be visiting some of you soon.

    And believe me, I know JUST how lucky we are to paint!! Aunt Tawnya, you probably remember how run down this place was getting . . . ownership has changed . . . sort of . . . and as part of trying to fix the place up they're letting everybody paint if they want - they pay for the paint and supplies, plus they pay us $8 an hour for the actual labor, taken off rent. SCORE!!!!

  8. Lucky for you to get paid to paint your place.

    Everything I was going to say about author commenting just sounds pompous, so I am just going to say- cool.

  9. On the kitty/roomba. Scott was called to an alarm going off in Sears about a year or so ago, the culprit? An employee forgot to turn off the Roomba and it set off the silent alarm.