Monthly Archives: October 2012

How The French Invented Love

Title: How the French Invented Love: Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance
Author: Marilyn Yalom
Source: from publisher for a TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: A fascinating read, with unbelievable anecdotes and captivating stories. Lacking a cohesive theme, but still interesting, elegant, and insightful.

How the French Invented Love is a history of love in French society, particularly French literature, from around 1100AD to today. The author summarizes classic stories to give you a feel for the era, but leaves out just enough that you desperately want to read the complete work. These glimpses into each era’s literature are spiced up by the addition of true anecdotes from the author’s personal experience in France. Some of these stories are not for the faint of heart, as they include adultery and other even more unusual romantic situations, but there are very few explicit sex scenes included. I would rate this one PG-13. Continue reading

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Monday Musings

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: Do you have people online that you often discuss the books you read with? Not just book groups, but individual readers who share the same taste in books? If so, what do you like best about this? If not, do you wish you did?

I don’t have any individuals I discuss books with. I have some bloggers I regularly comment back and forth with, but we don’t usually read the same books. I also have some groups on goodreads that I enjoy doing group reads with, but I think I would enjoy having particular people I discuss books with.

Do you typically discuss books with anyone else, online or in person?

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Photography Friday

Finally got these pictures from our hike pulled together so that I like them :) After living in Iowa, I forgot that hikes sometimes involve hills, so I was somewhat unpleasantly surprised by how much work going 4 miles was. But after the first few steep climbs, we slowed down a bit and I ended up having a really good time. Plus Ithaca is just beautiful in the fall!

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Sleep: It’s Funnier Than You Think

Title: Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep
Author: David Randall
Source: library
Fun Fact: Just 24 hours without sleep will cause the neurons involved in decision making to slow down.
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: This book has achieved the holy grail of non-fiction: funny, approachable,  well researched, and informative.

Sleep. Most of us love it, many of us don’t get enough of it, and none of us knows very much about it given the percentage of our lives we spend doing it. Even scientists don’t know that much about it, especially compared to their understanding of other basic biological functions. However, sleep research is becoming more popular and in Dreamland the author David Randall shares some of the latest findings. Continue reading

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Monday Musings

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: Do you ever get crushes on fictional characters? Name one (or a few), and tell what you liked…

I actually don’t think I do and based on the many YA-focused blogs I read, that seems to make me something of an anomaly. I’ve definitely read about lots of characters I admire, am fond of, would love to be, or am in awe of their awesomeness. It might be that I don’t read many books that are very heavy on romance. I’m more likely to focus on the action part of a book, so even if it’s from a male perspective I’m more likely to daydream about being in his situation than I am to sit around swooning over him :)

Do you ever get crushes on fictional characters? Do you think the genre of the book you’re reading effects your feelings for the characters?

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Bookends About Seraphina

Title: Seraphina
Author: Rachel Hartman
Source: Library
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: A fun, light read but one set in a very unique unusual fantasy world and with a fast-paced, engaging plot.

A tenuous peace exists between humans and dragons, made more fragile by the murder of a member of the royal family – apparently by a dragon. The dragons aren’t quite like us or quite like the dragons you might expect in a fantasy novel. They can take a human shape, but despise all emotional displays as a form of weakness. Seraphina’s insight into the dragons’ behavior leads to her involvement in the murder investigation. This position has a high risk of revealing a secret she’s fought to keep hidden, but may also help lead her to greater self-acceptance. Continue reading

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Photography Friday

This week I wanted to share with you a bunch of pictures I took at Buttermilk Falls but for some reason I’m just not feeling happy with any of them tonight. I played with the bench one forever and I’m still not sure I like it, so I didn’t have the heart to do another. Fortunately, I always love pictures Maggie (really always – you’re lucky I post anything else :-P) so I’ve filled in with a few of those. These are all some of my first attempts at shooting raw as well and let me just say – where have you been all my life? I am definitely loving the greater editing options :)

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