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I am headed here:

pyramid line - giza

for a week, and I didn't schedule any posts. If I have internet I might give you updates. We are meeting my parents and taking a Nile cruise and then a few days at the Pyramids of Giza. It is going to be hot, ugh.


White Horse by Alex Adams - Book Review

I'm very stingy with five-star ratings. That privilege is reserved for those books that really strike a chord with me, the ones where I'm flying through them but at every other sentence or so I have to stop and reread to savor the words. Last year I read one book that was five-star, Never Let Me Go by Kazuro Ishiguro. This year I have had an exceptional year and have read four so far that I rated that high.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Getaway Car by Ann Patchett

White Horse by Alex Adams book cover

And White Horse by Alex Adams. I love a mixture of genres, especially literature and magic. Well this one was science fiction and literature...and wow. The writing I just wanted to drink up, lap it up like a kitten with milk. I spent a lot longer reading this book than I normally would have because (well, it scared me because it's creepy) but also because I kept rereading certain hauntingly beautiful sentences.

A man-made virus changes the world, along with men changing the weather, and everything goes to crap. All  while we watch a woman search desperately in this messed up world for her lost love. It was so devastating and thriller-ish and well-developed and simply good. I think this one will stick in my mind for a long time.


Gulliver's Travels and Showing Versus Telling

Classic literature is an indulgence of mine. I have it in my head that I want to be refined and classy and well-read, so between every few contemporary novels and non-fiction I read classics. This time it was Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift.

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift book cover

(I remember as a child watching an old movie about this and for some reason the scene where Gulliver pees on the Lilliput palace is stuck in my mind. Hee hee. And no, I will not see the Jack Black version; I refuse.)

I know most classics are stuffy and terribly packed full of big vocabulary that is outdated and rather pretentious, but I like the challenge. As I was reading this one though, I realized how terrible the telling was. It felt like a historical account written by Ferris Bueller's teacher. I wanted to see what happened and deduce for myself what it meant, but Jonathan Swift kept throwing philosophical ideas at my face. Seriously, I felt as though it was a silly account of Utopia by Thomas More.

But where Utopia has its place, Gulliver's Travels is supposed to be a fun, quirky read. It just wasn't.

I'm wondering if the ideal book has changed or if they were saying 'show me don't tell me' back in the 1700s.


Hym and Hur by Phillip Frey - Short Story Review

This short story, Hym and Hur by Phillip Frey, is so fun. Hym and Hur are two, well, I suppose you could call them sprites. They don't age and they like to wreak havoc. In this short story they make a deal with Death and watch as things unfold.

Hym and Hur by Phillip Frey short story book cover

The characters are so bubbly and wonderful. Even Death, with his depressing outlook on life and his cynicism, I liked. There were a few moments that could have been silly or out of place, but Phillip's writing turned those moments around so they made sense and fit in perfectly. Hym and Hur could have used with a few more flaws for me to absolutely love them, but they seemed more like catalysts than protagonists - very much like Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Phillip manages to build up a world, introduce a great turn of events, and wrap things up all in a short story very well. I didn't want to put it down and I certainly wanted to keep reading after the story was over.

I received this book from the author for review.


Original Fairy Tales Challenge - Cinderella

It's time for another...original fairy tale!

I'm reading Cinderella this month and writing a short story to post next month on July 10th. You are welcome to join in. Just read the original of your favorite fairy tale and then blog about it or write your own short story rendition.

Cinderella is rather fun because I've already read Confessions of and Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire for my book club last month. Now I've plowed through two original versions by Charles Perrault and Henry Hewett. And just to add to the fun I'm going to read Cinder by Marissa Meyer which is a futuristic version of Cinderella with a cyborg. I've also read Cinders by Michelle Davidson Argyle which is no longer in print because it's becoming part of a fairy tale trilogy! That's a lot of re-imaginings of Cinderella. Have you read any?


Fabric by Jessica Bell - New Poetry Collection Review

FabricJessica Bell's new poetry collection, Fabric, is full of life. It reads like little stories in the lilt and cadence of her tone and voice with raw emotions ranging from anguish to giddyness to satire.

I am not a poetry reader, I really wish I were and that I had the ability to put words like that onto paper. I would love to let my inner self flow like that. But even though it's not my thing, I couldn't put Jessica's book down. I thought I would spend a few days, savoring a poem here or there. But I never stopped. And even after, I went back to taste again on a few of my favorites. I particularly love one called 'Once.' It goes forward and then takes the same lines backward - what artistry to make that happen, and then I found even more meaning behind it in the appendix. Stunning!

Jessica really wants everyone to understand that poetry can be for the every day reader. So please support the life of poetry today by spreading the news about Fabric. Hey, perhaps you might even like to purchase a copy for yourself? The e-book is only $1.99 and the paperback $5.50.

Here are the links:

About Jessica Bell:

If Jessica Bell could choose only one creative mentor, she’d give the role to Euterpe, the Greek muse of music and lyrics. And not because she currently lives in Greece, either. The Australian-native author, poet and singer/songwriter/guitarist has her roots firmly planted in music, and admits inspiration often stems from lyrics she’s written.

She is the Co-Publishing Editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and co-hosts the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop on the Greek Isle of Ithaca, with Chuck Sambuchino of Writer’s Digest.

For more information about Jessica Bell, please visit:



Drabble Dienstag - Home

Another one from StoryADay May. I was feeling whimsical and wanted something happier since most of what I've been writing has been depressing.

The breeze lifted wisps of red, curly hair and tickled her neck. The coffee tasted like a campfire in a good way, reminding her of all those summer nights in high school and bonfires. The sun setting at the end of the street, glinting off the building windows and shining in her eyes, was like a beacon leading her home. She was headed west. Sweat dripped down her back. She enjoyed sitting in that wicker chair surrounding by movement and life. The waiter took her change, and she got back in the car to continue on her road trip home.