Posted by: tarrydiddle | June 16, 2009

Short story challenge

Lately reading hasn’t  kept my full attention. I find myself hurrying through whatever book I’m reading or skimming pages. Usually when I get this restless i turn to magazines to get a quick burst of mindless reading done. It clears out the cobwebs so I can go back to reading real books.  But money is tight and anyway I need to quit buying so damn many magazines!

A couple of weeks ago, when I was reorganizing my bookshelves, I realized there were many volumes of short stories I hadn’t touched. So instead of reading magazines, I’ve decided to read a short story here and there, to cleanse the reading pallet.

I’m not joining an official short story reading challenge, just challenging myself to read 50 short stories/ novellas before the end of the year.

My list of completed short stories can be found here.

Posted by: tarrydiddle | May 20, 2009

The Secret Library

In my dream house i want a little library hidden away in a quiet place just like this.

Posted by: tarrydiddle | March 24, 2009

I’ve been on a poetry kick lately

Here is a good one from the witty, wise cracking Dorothy Parker:


Song Of One Of The Girls

Here in my heart I am Helen;
I’m Aspasia and Hero, at least.
I’m Judith, and Jael, and Madame de Stael;
I’m Salome, moon of the East.

Here in my soul I am Sappho;
Lady Hamilton am I, as well.
In me Recamier vies with Kitty O’Shea,
With Dido, and Eve, and poor Nell.

I’m of the glamorous ladies
At whose beckoning history shook.
But you are a man, and see only my pan,
So I stay at home with a book.

Posted by: tarrydiddle | March 1, 2009

March is coming in like a lion

SNOW!Snow has been coming down all day and it’s finally accumulating a bit.  Snow is a very rare occurrence for middle Georgia, especially since the temperature yesterday was about 72F.   This is some wacky, crazy weather we’re having.

The kids down the block are yelling and playing in the snow. I’m a lot older then they are but I’d like to go out and play in the snow too.  Maybe lob a few snowballs at my nosy neighbors……..

Posted by: tarrydiddle | March 1, 2009

A little behind on posting this…..


Here are the books I got for a steal at the recent Friends of the Library book sale in Macon last weekend.  17 books for $17!

Please support your local library!

Posted by: tarrydiddle | January 8, 2009

See, poetry isn’t so bad

Just recently, I was re-reading a few poetry books when I came across this small collection of W.H. Auden poems. Auden’s most famous poem is Funeral Blues, which is best remembered from the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral.  Most of Auden’s poems are about love, longing, relationships, and bad boyfriends.  Things we can all relate to, right?

My favorite Auden work is a lovely Gothic -romance poem called “Lady Weeping at the Crossroads“, which I thought I’d share . The last two lines kill me every single time.

Lady, Weeping at the Crossroads

Lady, weeping at the crossroads
Would you meet your love
In the twilight with his greyhounds,
And the hawk on his glove?

Bribe the birds then on the branches
Bribe them to be dumb,
Stare the hot sun out of heaven
That the night may come.

Starless are the nights of travel,
Bleak the winter wind;
Run with terror all before you
And regret behind.

Run until you hear the ocean’s
Everlasting cry;
Deep though it may be and bitter
You must drink it dry.

Wear out patience in the lowest
Dungeons of the sea,
Searching through the stranded shipwrecks
For the golden key.

Push on to the world’s end, pay the
Dread guard with a kiss;
Cross the rotten bridge that totters
Over the abyss.

There stands the deserted castle
Ready to explore;
Enter, climb the marble staircase
Open the locked door.

Cross the silent empty ballroom,
Doubt and danger past;
Blow the cobwebs from the mirror
See yourself at last.

Put your hand behind the wainscot,
You have done your part;
Find the penknife there and plunge it
Into your false heart.

Posted by: tarrydiddle | January 6, 2009

Contest by Matthew Reilly

Contest is Reilly’s first book, a sci-fi action thriller that delivers on action and violence, the way a good thriller should.  The plot involves a doctor who is mysteriously snatched from his home along with his small daughter, only to find himself locked inside the New York Public Library and a contestant in a deadly intergalactic game where only one contestant escapes alive. He must  win the game in order to keep his daughter from danger.

Reilly is a great thriller/action/suspense writer. Sure there are lots of crazy action sequences that are over the top ridiculous but you will be hooked after a few pages.  This is pure brain candy entertainment, best read while on the beach with a margarita in hand.

Posted by: tarrydiddle | December 28, 2008

Sorry, no prizes will be awarded

My 2008 reading is done and it’s time to choose my own picks for best and worst reads of the year. ……or whatever categories I decide upon.

In 2007, I had no problem choosing a favorite from a list packed with amazing reads. But this year’s list has been pretty blah. I read a lot of mediocre books and a few really great ones. Even read a couple books I wanted to toss across the room. Only a handful made me really want to recommend them to other readers, and those are the ones I chose as the best.

Best book read in 2008:  Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

This category was a toss up between Case Histories and Into the Woods by Tana French. Both books follow multiple mysteries and the detectives assigned to solve them. Each author is great at creating their main character and turning them into someone you’d like to become friends with or at least invite out for a few drinks at the nearest pub. In the end, Into the Woods lost out because French didn’t let us in on what happened to the kids that went missing. If you’re going to build up a mystery and make the reader anticipate an ending, then at least give them one!

Worst book read in 2008: Girl From the South by Joanna Trollope

I read this earlier in the year so I can’t remember many of the details, other than I was really annoyed with her character names, southern cliches, and pretty much everything else about the book. I wish more writers would at least visit the South and spend some time here before writing cliche ridden crap about the region.

Author that made me fall in love with him again: Stephen King

He lost me there for a while with a string of very sub-par material and I thought he would never get his mojo back. But he came back with Duma Key and Lisey’s Story , both of which made me remember why I love his writing so much. Although I kinda want to punch him for releasing those half-baked stories of Just After Sunset.

Newly discovered author of 2008:   Matthew Reilly

Reading a book by this guy is the equivalent of reading a Micheal Bay movie. Nonstop action, explosions, a high body count, strong, silent heroes, and always a crisis averted in the nick of time.  Reilly’s books are the ones I enjoyed reading the most this year. Sure, most of the action is highly improbable and there is very little character development, but so what? He’s entertaining! I couldn’t put his books down and usually finished one off in a couple of days.  His books are perfect for a trip to the beach or a long plane ride.

Biggest disappointment(s) of 2008Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

I had heard so many good things about this book, I was quite disappointed when it was finished.  What turned me off wasn’t the organ harvesting controversy, but I simply didn’t like any of the characters.  None of them were appealing and I didn’t care if any of them lived or died. I just wanted to finish the book.

That’s it for 2008! Happy reading to all bookworms in 2009!

Posted by: tarrydiddle | December 28, 2008

Goal: Accomplished!

I finally finished my very first reading challenge.  I joined the GoodReads group to read 50 books in 2008, not really believing I could read at a pace of one book a week. But I did it and I am actually proud of myself for finishing something I started for once. Sure it’s a small goal, but it’s all about the baby steps, people!  “Baby steps to the elevator…….baby steps into the elevator……I’m IN the elevator!”

Reading the 50 books was a fun reading challenge but probably won’t do it again for 2009.  My reading enjoyment really suffered during the challenge since I was more concerned about reading quickly or  finding quick, easy reads in order to build my numbers.  There were at least twenty books I started but quit after a couple chapters or fifty pages because they didn’t grab my attention.  For 2009, it’s going to be all about quality and not quantity.  If I happen to read 50 books again, then that’s a bonus.

Now that I’ve joined a few reading challenges for the coming year, I hope my new found reading ambition continues and I don’t resort to reading Vogue magazine as my mind turns into sludge once July rolls around.  Or maybe someone can create a magazine reading challenge? I can easily read 100 of those a year.

Posted by: tarrydiddle | December 23, 2008

2nds Reading Challenge 2009


2nds Reading Challenge 2009

In the past couple years I’ve read a ton of new authors so this challenge will give me a chance to check out more of their work.

1. The Likeness : Tana French

2. The Night Country: Stewart O’ Nan

3. Goldengrove:  Francine Prose

4. Notes from a Small Island: Bill Bryson

5. The Forgotten Garden: Kate Morton

6. When Will There Be Good News: Kate Atkinson

7. Sepulchre: Kate Mosse

8. The Sign: Raymond Khoury


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