So two whole months have passed without a post. I wish I could say it was because I was so busy but, while I was immensely busy (juggling two jobs, travel to Erie to visit Alan's family, frozen and leaky pipes, lots of reading deadlines, city citations and levies,) I was also struggling with some writer's block. It didn't seem right to be spending time on the blog and not doing other writing I was supposed to be doing. I think I've broken through the block -- it was primarily stress induced -- so I can post again.
I've reached the end of my week (at least for the humane society) and have a warm dog cuddled up on the couch next to me. We've been doing a lot of Netflicks watching and I've been reading up a storm. I haven't been able to get to the library so I was browsing through all our books to see what I missed including some free books we brought back from various places. Boy, have I been reading some bad stuff lately! Some things really stood out, though, so I thought I'd take some time to make a few recommendations:
I just finished Kirstin Allio's Garner: A Novel which I loved and highly recommend. (Garner was the LitBlog Co-op's Read This selection for last winter.) It's set in a small town in New Hampshire at the turn of the previous century. The language is lyrical and the characters quirky and unique. I'm going to take another look at at least parts of it because I'm not completely certain I understand what happened in a couple of places but the unreliable narrators are part of the novel's beauty. Allio is definitely someone to watch.
A couple nights ago, we finally watched The Descent and both of us loved it. I've always been addicted to scary movies so most of the time, I'm the one who pushes Alan to watch them with me. Alan was very excited when he heard that Neil Marshall of Dog Soldiers was coming out with another movie. We somehow never made it out to the theater to see it, so we had to wait for the DVD release and then remember to bump the movie up our Netflicks list. If you somehow missed the trailers, the story has a group of women embarking on a caving expedition. It had strong, believable women characters, a very scary setting and terrifying plot twists -- what's not to like? I've been claustrophobic as far back as I can remember and I think that having asthma makes it worse. I'd probably be okay descending into a large caverns despite some acrophobia. The tight spots are a different story, though, and one scene made me hyperventilate and physically sick. (I watched the movie a second time (with one of the commentaries) and I had the same reaction. Even thinking of it makes me panic. Terrifying! It was great! But there's much, much more. Highly recommended if you like chills like I do.
More recommendations to come.