Everything I read and was able to post about in 2005. Entries dated on the date each book was finished.

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Location: Dexter, Michigan, United States

I've been taking photos since I eagerly asked for and received my first camera on my 12th birthday. Naturally, I was made for scrapbooking. I also enjoy knitting, quilting, and swimming. I used to be CreativeExile; my email still reflects that!

Monday, January 24, 2005

Lost & Found

I started reading this BEFORE I started In Her Shoes (see below), but had to put it away. Don't get me wrong, I love all things British, but reading Brit slang and cultural references without a break gives me a headache.

I'm sure under all the (Bridget Jones-inspired) half-speak and wink wink there was a decent character in here somewhere, but there were no surprises in anyone and you knew exactly who was going to end up with whom right from Chapter One. I hate that.

Or maybe I missed the point of the author's characterizations because I didn't understand the references. But hey, I understand Pilcher just fine. You don't need up-to-the-minute pop culture to make a great read. In fact, I think you're better off without them.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

In Her Shoes

My sister-in-law and I share a terrible secret...she is my supplier of Chick Lit. Out in the open, she reads super-thrillers like James Patterson and Harlan Coban; I am regularly seen reading a perfectly respectable biography or historical fiction (NOT historical romance).

Alas, we both need to unwind in the privacy of our own homes with filler such as this. Not that I should be quick to dismiss Weiner's work as Bridget Jones fluff (see my next entry up for that type of stuff). Weiner covers serious topics like self-image, manic-depression, and care of the elderly, all while creating likeable characters, getting the romance going, and delivering a satisfying ending.

Her books are immensely readable, something I find difficult with some British authors (again, see above). I finished this one in just under 3 days.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Girl in Hyacinth Blue

This was a fascinating trip back through time, via the history of a painting believed by its current owner to be a Vermeer. Yes, you can't help but compare it to Girl With A Pearl Earring, but it is different. More detailed and broader in its scope. I couldn't help but notice that some of the chapters had been previously published as short stories, which I thought to be an interesting way to develop a novel.

It makes sense; as you study different periods of history, you have a different focus, find details for each story that can help set each chapter apart on its own, yet allow it to become part of a whole. History is like that.

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Shell Seekers

Oh, to be able to write this well. Richly developed characters, well-rooted in history (although I must admit, I believe I lived in the 1940s, because I so immediately identify with any book set during WWII), people that you not only love but ones you pity, parts of yourself recognized. I'm glad Pilcher's books are so long; I hate for them to end.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Irish Gold

The less said about this book, the better. It's only redeeming quality was the trip down memory lane it inspired, and reveries about my trip to Ireland in 1988. I was shocked to hear Fr. Greely concocted an entire mystery series with these characters. The plot was preachy(haha, no pun intended), the characters boring and "too perfect," Greely's writing, on the whole, repetitive (I found actual phrases repeated verbatim within 2 pages of each other!).

I barely slogged through this, and learned very little in the way of Irish history. Except that perhaps I'd like to see the Liam Neeson movie Michael Collins, to figure out what the fuss is about.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

My Book Blog

I'll talk about the books I read over here. Otherwise, my daily life in Creative Exile is over here.