TSS – Habits, Addictions, and I’m Back!!

The Sunday Salon.com

Alright, alright… So I’ve been away for a couple weeks months, and the few posts in between seem to get the same comments, “I was wondering where you’ve been! I thought you died!” lol… Not quite, but I found a virtual world called Second Life and found it rather addictive. Think: Everything the real world has to offer, and then add flying, teleporting… being a werewolf or vampire… or a middle-age princess or knight in King Arthur’s court… and you can see why it’s so addictive.

I’m very much a creature of habit, BUT… my habits are so-SO-SO easily disrupted. My grandma’s death and funeral brought my mom up from Texas for a week long visit, which knocked me out of my reading habit. I decided to try Second Life because my best friend and her fiance (now husband…Yay!) were ALWAYS talking about it. So, on a whim, I created an avatar, signed on and was instantly caught up… so much so that I’ve been planning to buy a second computer and giving this one to the kids because I wouldn’t get off even for them to take their hour computer time (3 hours… I couldn’t even take 3 hours away!).

And in the process of living in Second Life (a common expression on it is “My first life is getting in the way of my Second Life!), I met a guy. Now, if you knew me, you’d know what a LAUGH this is. I’ve always been adamant AGAINST online relationships… and here I am, in a relationship began online. Yeah… be careful what you say because you may end up eating your words… lol. BUT, it’s mostly good. Both of us have had some really bad luck in past relationships, so there’s a lot of fear and insecurities to get past, and I vacillate several times a day between ending it NOW to avoid the heartache that MAY happen and going headlong into it, hoping for the best. HOPE.. *gack!*… never been a good friend of mine.

So, boyfriend lives about 2 1/2 hours from me and came to visit for the first time last weekend. Two and a half days of goo-goo eyes and my kids (who love him already, and likewise… a good chunk of my fears and insecurities eliminated right there) chanting “KISS! KISS! KISS!” then going, “EwwWWWwwwwWWww!” when we did, and my habit of Second Life was broke. I’ve been on for maybe, MAYBE, 8 hours in the last week.

And what filled the Second Life spot? Back to the books :-D and reviewing (-: and blogging the memes \o/ (yay!). I had the commitment of a November 25th blog stop for Two Brothers: One North, One South by David H. Jones, and I had only read a chapter or so before his visit, so I had to cook through it to make the deadline. And while it was an excellently written and researched book, it wasn’t exactly my cuppa. However, it really reminded me of my serious LOVE of reading, and how I’ve always said that as long as you have a book there’s no hell you can’t escape. Hey, if I lost the internet or if Second Life was shut down for some reason, where would I escape to? But books are always there, always accessible, and provide a second life in the world within.

And one of the fun things with my boyfriend is that he’s an avid reader. I’ve introduced him to The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, my number one Best New Author book and definitely on my top 5 reads for this year, as well as getting him into the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer.

He had read the first two books, Twilight and New Moon, and had just started reading the third, Eclipse, when he came down Friday. One reason for coming Friday was so we could go together to see the movie Twilight (I should review the movie, but I’ll have to watch it again… lol.. I was a bit, erm.. distracted the first time ;-) ). So when I finished Two Brothers, I picked up Breaking Dawn so I could keep ahead of him. Problem is, he’s reading them by audio book, which is faster than I can read. I HAVE to beat him, lol, so I picked up the audio book to read along. Hehehehe…. So I’m in chapter 16 and he’s in chapter 7, and if I read while he sleeps I should be able to beat him ;-) .

And now I’m so excited to be back into the books… of course, now I’m getting the “Where are you? Are you dead?” messages from my SL friends, but Boyfriend can let them know ;-)

So what’s next on my TBR right away pile? Well, after Breaking Dawn’s 700+ pages, I think I’ll read Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr. It’s a nice thin book, and I saw the movie when it came out… hadn’t realized it was a book until a few days later. Then maybe Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling… the movie will be out soon, so I want to get it read before then. Then… maybe Yiddish Policemen’s Unionby Michael Chabon (never read anything by him) and Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman, or vice versa. Also, I’ve been slowly working through Emma by Jane Austen, so I’ll get back to my Jane-a-thon, too.  AND… I’m ashamed to say, but somewhere in the last couple months I missed a blog tour stop.  I was suppose to be on Elizabeth McCracken’s An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination.  I couldn’t find the date I was suppose to post… if I would have looked at the letter in the book I would’ve seen it was for September 30th.  I think I didn’t start looking for the date until after my House and Home review was posted, so I owe that review quickly.  As well as owing a review of Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland for LibraryThing’s ER group.  AND all the other ARC books I compulively requested… which is a LOT :-\ .

My reading goal was 75 books by December 31st, and I’m at 54 books… which means I’ve got less than five weeks to read 21 books. Hmm… don’t know if I can do that now, that’ll be more than 5 books a week, but I’ll do my best to get as close as possible.

So check back often, because the reviews are going to be flying up here quickly.

Oh…

and I’M BACK!!! :-D

Breaking Ramen Noodle Dawn

Friday Fill-Ins

1. My stomach has it’s own gravitational pull.
2. Ramen noodles is what I ate the most of on Thursday. (We’re having Thanksgiving dinner today ;-) )
3. The yard is a dangerous place in prison.
4. In the arms of my boyfriend is where I’d rather be at any given time.
5. The smell of toast reminds me of my mom making me breakfast when I was a kid.
6. A new computer is what I need right now!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to our city’s parade, tomorrow my plans include reading Breaking Dawn and Sunday, I want to finish Breaking Dawn! (okay, seriously, I got my bf into reading the Twilight series, and he’s been doing it with audio books, and now he’s on chapter 2 of BD, and I’m on chapter 7… only I’m actually READING… so if I’m going to stay ahead of him, I’m going to have to cook it!)

Two Brothers: One North, One South by David H. Jones

 

 

Title:  Two Brothers:  One North, One South

Author:  David H. Jones

Hardback:  320 pages

Publisher:  Staghorn Press

Publish Date:  2008

ISBN:  9780979689857

 

 

Clifton frowned in resentment at the tone of the question.  “William and I were always very close, enjoying the very best of brotherly love and harmonious relationship.  However, as discord between the states increased, what had been simple differences in political perspective grew into something substantially more ominous.  I couldn’t change that!”

Two Brothers:  One North, One South by David H. Jones, page 41

 

In Two Brothers, David H. Jones does an exceptional job at recreating the peri-bellum era.  The dress, mannerisms, and patterns of speech make history come alive in the imagination as the reader is drawn into the unfolding tale of two brothers, Major Clifton Prentiss, a Union Officer, and William Prentiss of the Maryland 2nd Battalion, a Confederate soldier.

The history of the family and how it came to be that, out of four brothers, William took the Secessionist stand is told to Walt Whitman by the three surviving brothers.  Clifton Prentiss, hospitalized from an injury sustained in battle, is joined by his brothers Dr. John Prentiss, Jr.  and Meliville Prentiss.  Whitman, being the last person with their youngest brother, having comforted him in his last days, shares with them what he learned from the rebel soldier as he lay dying.

Two Brothersis a fascinating look into the life and emotions that surrounded the events that led up to, and were felt in, The War Between the States.  Even though I had a well-informed knowledge of the Civil War, in reading this book I experienced more of the emotions, acrimony and tension that was felt during such an uncertain time.  The Prentiss family being in Baltimorians during this time, they were in an epicenter of the Northern push for union and emancipation versus the Southern desire for the state’s rights to self-govern as guaranteed by the U. S. Constitution and the economic reliance on slavery. 

Walt Whitman, one of America’s greatest poets, was a firm supporter of the Union, and took a job in an Army Paymaster’s office to support the Union cause.  Visiting his injured brother in a field hospital, he was confronted with the suffering and pain sustained by the wounded and began giving comfort to the worst of the injured with regular visits to the Armory Square Hospital.

While Two Brothers is a thoroughly researched and exceptionally written book through which Jones brings to life this true story of a compassionate poet and a family torn by the War Between Brothers, it’s not my usual read.  I did enjoy it and learned from it, but it’s not something I would pick up on my own.  However, if you are into historical novels Two Brothersis a must read.  Also, I would recommend this book be included in a curriculum course that covers the Civil War Era.  It’s easy enough to read for high school students to learn from as well as college students.

My own preferences aside, I would give Two Brothers:  One North, One South by David H. Jones 5 out of 5 stars.

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