Tag Archives: Books

Mic’s books to travel with



For me, traveling is the ideal time to read so I before I set out on any trip I look thru my TBR (To Be Read) pile and load up the Kindle.

Here’s what’s on my list for this trip:

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Some holiday reads …



Normally I’m a pretty voracious reader and can scream through a couple books a week; however, due to all the academic reading I’ve been doing for school my normal desire to pleasure read has transitioned to just a short stint before bed if I can keep my eyes open. And as Jack will attest to, I can’t keep the eyelids up for long these days.

Here are a couple of mine and Jack’s recent recommendations along with a little peak at what’s on top of my TBR (To Be Read) pile.

Word of warning: just like my taste in music, my taste in reading is wide and varied. 🙂

What are you guys reading these days?

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Mic and Jack’s summer vacation reading list



I started hiking the TMB with my trusty Kindle loaded with new books to read. By day two I realized that paperback books are better suited for backpacking; it can better withstand the hard knocks of trekking. I was terrified I would crush my Kindle, which I’ve grown to love and adore. With a tear and a pout I shipped it home from a post office in France.


And then we headed to the nearest bookstore to find me a paperback book. Read the rest of this entry

Great reads: Julia Spencer-Fleming


PhotobucketWeeks ago I talked about finally getting my hands on the Julia Spencer-Fleming mystery series that so many of my friends have been talking about. When too many gush about a series or an author I tend to start backing away from it. I have a contrarian personality, what can I say?

It took me over a week to finish the first book, In The Bleak Midwinter. Normally I can finish a standard paperback book in one or two sittings. The delay with this book did not bode well and I was a disheartened. The first half of the book was good—well written and interesting—I liked the main characters, but it didn’t captivate and suck me in as I thought it would. So I would put the book down, read something else for a couple days and then come back to it. The funny thing is I always came back to it eventually … the storyline and main characters started to live in my head and I could hear them whispering in the back of my mind. I didn’t know what they were saying but I knew something was going on and dang it all if my curiosity didn’t keep me going back to see what these fools were up to. Sure enough, after a series of starts and stops, I got completely sucked in … not by the mystery, which was solid enough, but by Russ and Clare, the protagonist-sleuthing duo. She is an Episcopal priest and he is the chief of police. They are morality personified. They are also unexpected soul mates kept fundamentally apart by a wall of mutual respect, circumstance and  just plain old bad timing. Plus, Russ is married and ever faithful to his wife. And there’s a teensy decade-plus age difference. And oh, yes, ethics. Pesky, pesky ethics keep getting in the way.

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Too busy reading.


lover avengedI picked up Lover Avenged by JR Ward (aka Jessica Bird) on Thursday night after work. It is the seventh book in a series and Ward’s first hard cover ($24.95). Congrats for her. Boo for me who is watching her budget. I can squelch all kinds of things out of my budget … except books. When it comes to books I have the strength of jello, especially for an author that I really, REALLY like. JR Ward is one that I’ll still shell some bucks on.

Prior to reading this series by Ward, my interest in vampire books was zilch, zero, nuttin’. My attidue: Meh. Warewolves? Uber-meh and major eye-rolling. (Thank God there aren’t warewolves in this series.)

Years ago I had started out with sci-fi’s Laurell K. Hamilton, which I enjoyed, but was not fanatical about. I wasn’t at all impressed by Sherrilyn Kenyon who has a pretty rabid following. It held absolutely no interest for me. I found the Twilight series to be moderately entertaining for the first book only—books two through four slid rapidly downhill from there, in my opinion. So, when folks started raving about Ward’s new series, I was like … whatever.

Finally my friend Ing from Texas got me to the read the first book, Dark Lover. Whoa, doggy. This wasn’t what I expected. It took me awhile to get over the stupid names: Rhage, Wrath, Vishous, Zsadist, Tohrment … but once I did, I was sucked into this complex nether world that Ward very skillfully created.

With each book Ward has stirred up some controversy, whether it’s the endings and “proper” treatment of a couple’s HEA (happily ever after), or a character’s out-of-the-box sexual preferences, or just plain unconventional character developments. Readers have either grown to love her or have been totally turned off.

After the last book, Lover Enshrined, I was sitting on the fence. It is still sitting on my bedside table. Despite many attempts, I just haven’t been able to get through it. The first half is just plain boring. Therefore, I was desperately hoping that this newest book would take me back to a place of love and affection for one of the few story lines that had me completely hooked.

Thankfully, it has. I’m so relieved!

Lover Avenged is book seven in the series and I’m going to guess the longest of the bunch, weighing in at a hefty 527 pages. If heaved at someone’s head (you know who you are) it could kill ’em. I wondered, what in the hell could be in this thing that it’s so long?

It turns out that there are three to four story lines happening concurrently and each is fairly well done. I’m really liking this book—so much that I slammed through the first 275 pages the first night and can’t wait to dive back in and finish the rest this weekend.

So, sorry my friends. No updates from me right now … lots of interesting things going on such as my ride-along on Friday night with one of Fairfield’s finest police officers, my first interview with a BBQ champion and a continuation of the Cupcake Chronicles (who knew that folks were so passionate about cupcakes?) … but all the juicy stuff will have to wait.

I’m a little busy reading about vampires, lessers and the resurrection of the Brotherhood.

P.S.: For something completely different, I just finished reading The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing by Ian Bremmer. I blogged about the book and his recent talk here >>> I’m telling you, the book was just as riveting as Bremmer himself. If you’re at all interested in the geopolitical and economic landscape, run, don’t walk to the bookstore. It’s FASCINATING!

Entertainment: What are you reading?


julia spencer-fleming

At the moment I’m reading an awful lot of cookbooks as I’m attempting to fill in (poorly, I might add) for our managing editor Jeannie while she’s on maternity leave. She typically handles our food sections. For the past two weeks I’ve been researching BBQ for our upcoming Summer Guide in June. I also have an interview coming up with Bryant Terry on his new cookbook: Vegan Soul Kitchen. I’m really looking forward to that interview. Doesn’t vegan soul food sound somehow oxymoronic? How can soul food be vegan? No fat back? No pork? No catfish? Huh? It does not compute. So far, I’m enjoying the cookbook and have marked quite a few recipes to test.

So, when I’m not reading cookbooks, or the news, or other editors’ fascinating stories about alternative medicine or the slowly rebounding state of real estate in the area, I’m looking for a little escapism. A little? Ha! More like a lot.

For the past six months I’ve been hearing rave reviews about Julia Spencer-Fleming‘s Clare Fergusson series. She’s been snapping up mystery awards like Pac-man chompin’ dots. Finally I’ve got some in my hot little hands. Normally I’m not too picky about starting a series from the very beginning, but in this case I’ve been holding out until I could get a hold of book one.

It finally came in! Thank you, Lord! Thank you!

So … what are you reading?

Entertainment: Romance novel stereotypes—yay or nay?


WARNING: An opinion editorial to follow

It’s an ironic coincidence that one of my posts for today is a book recommendation of a romance novel (thought it would be good rainy weekend reading material) because when I was checking my email this morning I quickly realized that there’s a little storm brewing in the romance community over a wee condescending article written by Meghan Daum for Delaware Online.

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