Wednesday, February 23, 2011

An anti-climatic day.

     I was bad yesterday.  But by accident, so does that even really count?  I got a root canal yesterday morning, and didn't go to work because I was told (by someone who has had a couple) that I would be in agony, and kind of out of it.

     I was neither.  In fact, the only issues I had was that I had to take out my lip ring (I worried a little that it would close up, but it went back in just fine) and that the dentist used latex gloves.  Because I have to tell him a minimum of six times.  Isn't that in my chart?  Oh no, because someone confused the word 'latex' with 'penicillin'.  I'm glad they're not real doctors.  They do decent work and they're nice, but I really don't want them to confuse 'urine test' with 'kidney donor'. 

     Anyway, I spent the day organizing my new records (13 for less than $12 at this amazing little place downtown), playing Wii Sports (I'm amazing at boxing and baseball, not so good at tennis), and reading GraniaGrania is amazing.  Morgan Llywelyn doesn't examine just a small piece of the story and leave you guessing at the rest.  Some books just stop at the resolution of one issue, and I always wonder where things go, how things work out from there.  Llywelyn gives you the whole picture; she goes from beginning to end.  You know the characters, their lives, their connections and families as if they were your own personal friends.  Grace O'Malley's whole life is laid out before the reader, every significant thing she has experienced and seen and felt is before our eyes, if only you're willing to dig into the 400+ pages. 

     A major draw, for me, is that it all takes place in the Elizabethan era.  I am a fool for 16th century Europe, particularly England and the Tudor family.  This has been an obsession for a few years now, when my best friend recommended to me The Other Boleyn Girl (which is a fantastic piece of historical fiction by Philippa Gregory). 
     I spent hours in Ireland last night, but plan to finish my stay this afternoon.  The last page of a great book is always a bittersweet moment.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


     Currently reading Grania by Morgan Llywelyn.  This is another my mom lent me, but Llywelyn is not at all new to me; I've been a fan of hers for some time, ever since I picked up The Horse Goddess to pass a flight to visit my dad several years ago. 

     One thing I love about her:  she knows her facts.  As a historical fiction writer, she's got it all-- she knows the legends, the mannerisms and customs, the dress and architecture.  Each of her novels are set in Ireland, but she refuses to get stuck in one time period.  She knows ancient Ireland, druidic Ireland, transitional Ireland.

      Grania takes place in Elizabethan Ireland, when the Virgin Queen is invading the land.  Our heroin, Grainne Ni Maille (also known as Grania, called Grace O'Malley by the English) has just suffered the loss of her greatest love-- her ship.  Raised to sail, that ship was a dream fulfilled.  Forced to return to her estranged husband's home, Grania should feel defeated.  Instead, she is locked in the safety of her sanctuary, already plotting her next move. 

     Until the head of her branch of the O Flaherty clan dies, leaving her in charge of her husband's kinsmen.  Grania now has a new direction, a new place to expel her energy, but she does not forget her own goals.  And with the growing threat of England looming in the north, she is about to embark on more than just a seafaring expedition.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

An unsatisfying call girl..

     I finished Secret Diary of a Call Girl.  It got more interesting with some relationship drama, but was ultimately a let down.  I guess at the end of the book I expect...something.  I should be able to take something away from it, right?  But the last page felt the same at the first.  There were a lot of predictable potential turnouts:

  1. Belle gives up being a call girl.
  2. Belle falls in love with a client.
  3. Belle gets pregnant.
  4. Belle and her boyfriend get married.
  5. Something humorously traumatizing, like meeting a client only to find out it's her father.
     None of that happened.  There was an argument, and then everything was about the same.  Usually when I finish a book, I feel...something.  I feel happy, or (if it ends badly), I feel sad.  Here, I just felt... disappointment.  It felt like a waste of hours of reading.  Belle went back to her old ways, and I went on to another book.

Friday, February 11, 2011


     Just had to post something quick, as my friend and supporter Stef just shared a link via Facebook for a site called Bookshelf Porn.  This is not actual porn, mind you, it's just photos of shelves upon shelves of books.  So if you're like me and get excited by a big collection (I want my own library one day, so I've got major envy right now) head over there and let yourself slip into a spine-cracking fantasy.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Not your stereotypical strumpet

     The new year hasn't started off so well here at Cracking Spines.  I feel bad for neglecting you all.  In my defense, things have been chaotic.  I've been meaning to make it up to you this week, but was taken down by a nasty bought of bronchitis. 

     Enough with the excuses now.  I'm on the road to recovery but not quite well enough to go to work, so I've got a bit of free time for blogging.  Let's get down to the dirt inside Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

(If you haven't reached adult status yet, I ask that you seriously considering turning back now.  This is your final warning.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Welcome to February!

     It's February, and that means I'll be cracking the spines you chose.  At first the fact that Secret Diary of a Call Girl was the top pick made me think that you're a bunch of pervy people.  Second thought was that I'm the one who put it on the list and therefore have no room to judge. 

     This book has been on my reading list for quite some time; I first discovered it after discovering the Showtime series of the same name.  Inspired by the book, the show follows high-class call girl Belle du Jour through the chaos of living a double life.  It is, in one word, fascinating.  I watched the first season online, finishing rather quickly (the series, I mean).  I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to book-based media, so I had to investigate.  My big question:  is the book as smart, sexy, and witty as the show?

     I started reading the book before the polls were closed-- I'm that curious.  However, I understand that this is some sensitive material and don't want to mentally scar any minors.  So parents, cover the eyes of your offspring.  Offspring, back away from the computer.  Everyone else, proceed with caution.