Thursday, August 27, 2009

andalucy link

Here's the link again to my new blog. I just put up my first Spain post!

Friday, August 21, 2009

rating books

I love Shannon Hale's blog post today on rating books. I agree that summing up an entire book with one rating is lame. I love Goodreads for many reasons, but the 5-star rating system drives me crazy. For a while I was constantly and compulsively changing the ratings of my books. Then I realized that it was impossible for me to rate a book that way. I don't usually either like it or don't like it or really like it, or whatever. There is much, much more to it than that. And actually, whether I overall liked it or not is usually one of the least interesting things to say about a book anyway. I do sometimes read books that I have a strong negative reaction to, and like Shannon, I think that is interesting, too. That's not the end of the discussion, it's the beginning. Why am I having this reaction? What does that say about me? Especially if lots of other folks don't seem to have that reaction. Once I read the first book in a series and I thought it was a fun read. Then I read two more in the series and I suddenly didn't like the first. That can't be communicated with stars.

What do you think?

Saturday, August 15, 2009

fort knox

Thursday we went with Ave, JW, and family to Fort Knox State Park in Bucksport. They've built a new bridge with an observatory tower.

We've had perfect weather here in Maine since we arrived August 2nd. I think they were all joshing about it being a miserable, cold, wet summer. Yeah, right.

We had lots of sun in Minneapolis before we left. I was kinda looking forward to a little rain, and so far we've only had one magnificent downpour that lasted about two hours. I want more! Is that wrong?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

mystery among the gravestones

I love cemetaries. I have enjoyed visiting them since I was little. The other day Mum took us up to a cemetary in Sangerville that holds some of our departed. It's a secluded spot on a hill with lots of old stones. The earliest stone is from 1838, though there are probably older graves whose wooden markers have long since rotted.

We visted our family stones and then meandered about a bit. I took photos of stones with cool names. And then I discovered Fernando Fernandez. He was born in 1830 in Asturias, Spain! It looks like he married a Gilman, of which there are many in that area of Maine. But how in heavens did he get there? When I exclaimed over this, my kids were like, What's the big deal? There are people from all over the world here, right? Um, no. Not in Sangerville, Maine. In central Maine there are people of British, French, and Native American descent. There are a few Finnish folks up in Monson. Anything else is relatively unheard of. I want to know what Fernando Fernandez was doing in Sangerville.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

young adult vs. young protagonist

I intensely dislike the labels "young adult," "teen," and "juvenile" for books that happen to have older teen protagonists. I know that publishers must market books to their target audience, but can't libraries be above all that? Many of my favorite books are in the teen section of the library. I think many adults avoid that section and consequently, those books, because of the big old "teen" sign hanging over it. On the Goodreads site, I had labeled these books "YA," young adult. But why? What is a "young adult," anyway? In my mind, that's a pretty narrow category of folks. Like maybe just people in their early to mid- 20s. I wouldn't call a teenager a young adult. So, are these books meant only for people in their early to mid-20s? Of course not. A book labeled "young adult" could appeal to anyone from age 11 to 99. That label bugged me every time I visited Goodreads. So, I just changed it to "young protagonist." I am so much happier with this label. It makes no idiotic judgement about the age of the person who might read it. Rather, it merely makes a truthful statement about the age of the main character/s in the book. You might split hairs with me about who qualifies as "young." Probably that means under 20 in this context.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


The other day Ave and I went to get a pedicure. The Asian guy who did my pedicure asked me, "You sistahs?" Yup, I said. "You oldah sistah. She youngah." Um, yeah. "She tallah. You shortah." Thanks, buddy. And you might as well point out that she got the naturally curly hair, too.Even wearing heels and stretching my spine, I still shortah. And sadly, my chest is not that perky (Remember--I oldah). It's... the angle?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

made it

We finally made it. We ended up leaving MN two and a half days later than we'd planned because it took that much longer than anticipated to leave the house ready for the renter. We left Friday at noon and he started moving in 4 hours later.

We got here Sunday afternoon just in time for LmX's birthday celebration. Check out the gorgeous pinyata handmade by LmX's dad!

It's rained the entire summer in Maine, but the weather has been perfect since we arrived. Yesterday we spent all afternoon at camp. The kids exhausted themselves and requested early bedtime. How great is that?