Life gets in the way sometimes...

I'm sure you'd all love to see more content on reinland.ca.  We would, too. Unfortunately, gathering information, taking pictures, writing stories, and finding people to contribute stories/pictures all take time... not to mention the time it takes to format and upload things.

Right now, our esteemed webmaster and primary content provider is working insane hours (I believe last week's average day was 11.5 hours), which doesn't leave much time for any of that. Or, for that matter, anything at all, except eating, sleeping, and trying to stay acquainted with one's spouse. This is a bit of a problem, and we're seeking solutions.

One such solution would be sleeping less, but when I put that particular solution out there, it was shot down immediately. Another would be finding people who would like to contribute the occasional article or picture. Still another... well, can't really think of another at the moment, although I'm sure someone brighter than I can come up with something.

If you have suggestions or solutions, put them in the comments.

If you have contributions, email them to linda at reinland dot ca.

Thanks.

What I'm Reading Now: Even Briefer Edition: 11 April 15

Well, colour me embarrassed. I didn't note down anything I read this week. I know there was a true crime book of some description, A Woman of Independant Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey (straight-up fiction of a slightly earlier time (copyright 1978)), The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (YA fantasy), and I'm reading two books concurrently: I, Sniper by Stephen Hunter, and The Sins of Brother Curtis by Lisa Davis, which I suppose is a variant on true crime. (It's the story of a man who sexually abused young boys in the Mormon church).

I have also been doing some reading online. There's a deconstruction of the Left Behind series which I've found fascinating. (It may be found here: http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/left_behind/ ) It's written by Fred Clark, who wants to address some of the glaring errors in the Left Behind series, specifically characterization, world-building, structure, and theology. Or, in other words, everything. Well worth reading, especially if you know someone who is otherwise reasonable but thinks the series is non-fiction...

Another site I'm enjoying at the moment: www.notalwaysright.com  If you enjoy little vignettes of stupidity in consumer life, you might enjoy this.

Sorry I've been a slacker this week. I'll try to do better next week, although I foresee some difficulty posting exactly on Friday...

What I'm reading now: Brief edition: 08 April 11

The Union Club Mysteries--Isaac Asimov
Casebook of the Black Widowers--Isaac Asimov
Victim of circumstance--W.E. Davis
Murder sets seed-- Janis Harrison
Unknown means-- Elizabeth Becka
Stolen-- Lesley Pearce (Fiction)
When the killing’s done-- T.C. Boyle (Literary Fiction)
Secrets to the grave-- Tami Hoag
A couple of short takes here:

Victim of Circumstance:  It's an older mystery, from the middle of a series, and it's Christian fiction. I dislike starting in the middle of things, but this was... readable. Decent. Might even read another one of his if I ever find one.

Murder sets seed: Also an older book, also from the middle of a series, this time of gardening/florist mysteries. It was quite decent.

Stolen: Is it mystery? is it plain old ordinary fiction? Mystery-- I suppose. My overall reaction? "Meh."

When the killing's done:  Definitely literary fiction-- I found myself wondering about the significance of various things. It wasn't a pleasant read, but it was a good read. If you want a nuanced take on managing the environment, this is a good choice.

Secrets to the grave: I read Tami Hoag's stuff avidly for a while. I lost interest. This one brought me back again.

 

What I'm reading now: Not an April Fool's Joke Edition: 11 April 01

Trace Evidence-- Elizabeth Becka (also writes as Lisa Black)
Redeemed (SEVENS: week 7)-- Scott Wallens (YA)
Sunshine--Robin McKinley (Fantasy)
The Truth Behind the New Atheism: Responding to the Emerging Challenges to God and Christianity-- David Marshall (Theology)
The Righteous Men-- Sam Bourne (still reading)

It’s been a slow reading week. On the plus side, I did get to watch the BBC miniseries Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy and Jenniefer Ehle as Elizabeth Bennet, 1995), which is almost like reading the book. Seriously-- a wonderful production-- all five hours of it. (On the minus side, I rediscovered a certain sensitivity to Coverplast bandages... but that's another story).

Trace Evidence-- Elizabeth Becka.
A few weeks back, I commented on Lisa Black. I was rather impressed with what I’d just read, and when I found out that Lisa Black's real name was Elizabeth Becka and that she’d written two books under that  name, I immediately put holds on them. (The friend who tipped me off to this fact beat me to them, so I had to wait until now.) I read the first one this last week.
It’s not bad. In fact, it’s pretty good, but it suffers by comparison to Takedown. Trace Evidence actually reads something like a warmup for Takedown: female forensic scientist/investigator who is a single mom, teenage daughter, overly political but otherwise lazy boss, eccentric genius squirrelled away in a corner of the lab-- a lot of the characters seem a little familiar. The writing is good, but improves in Takedown, and the plot is workmanlike.
My advice? Either read Elizabeth Becka first and leave a reasonable length of time before you read Lisa Black, or if you must read Lisa Black first, wait a considerable time before you go back to Becka.

Sunshine--Robin McKinley
Robin McKinley is a favorite author, as I believe I've mentioned before. For some reason, though, I've put off reading Sunshine for quite a while. Maybe it's just because I own the  book, and I tend to put off reading my own books in favor of library books. Then again, it could be because of the subject matter: vampires.
Let me hastily say: nobody sparkles. Sunshine predates those other monstrosities by two years, and Sunshine treats vampires in a much more believable way: vampires are terrifying and very inhuman, and any intersection between the human world and the world of the suckers (as they're sometimes referred to) is bound to end badly, especially for the humans. (McKinley's writing is worlds better, too.)
The fantasy world McKinley creates is somewhat post-apocalyptic and gritty, but not without humor and warmth. She does some original things with the legends of vampires and were-beasts (were-chickens, anyone?), and her touches of humor balance the darkness and seriousness beautifully.
This one is a definite read.*
*except possibly for the squeamish... and there is one brief R-rated scene in the middle. The same scene might come in for a language warning, too. It's only two pages, though, and after that it's quite clean.

Note in passing: I read the last of the Sevens series this week, too, and it tied things up quite well. I was quite impressed, actually-- it's hard to keep seven different storylines going, and Scott Wallens did quite well.

Note in passing II: I'm going to move my scheduled posting date to Fridays. I never could get the hang of Thursdays.