A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And the doctor said...

It's my thyroid! Yep. So I'm back on synthroid. And coincidentally I asked him to check my left ear because it's been bugging me. I figured it was water on the ear from swimming.

Uh...yeah...well I never claimed to have a medical degree. I have an ear infection. I'm on antibiotics as well. Of course once diagnosed my ear started to hurt like there was no tomorrow. I'm such a dork.

Feeling better already just to know my fatigue wasn't all in my head. Now if I could just hear out of my left ear...

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre

Today is the day kiddies. It's out and it's good. WANDERLUST by Ann Aguirre is the second installment about Sirantha Jax. You may remember Jax as the space jumping heroine from GRIMSPACE.

The process of reading Ms. Aguirre's books is one I've thoroughly enjoyed. I just loved Jax voice rattling around in my head as I was absorbing these books.

Ms. Aguirre has created, in my opinion, a unique and quirky character in Sirantha Jax. What surprised me most is how much I relate to this character's wry observations and envy her unabashed honesty about herself and who she is.

Ms. Aguirre's writing is very engaging and multi-layered. I dare you to open her either of her books, GRIMSPACE or WANDERLUST, and be able to put them down. Don't be afraid of the first person thing. You don't notice it as you get sucked into the story. I was one of the last people to give GRIMSPACE a try after reading several good reviews and was so glad I picked it up.

Hopefully I'll have my shizzle together before the week is out and put up a more complete review. For the interested, here's my review of GRIMSPACE. In the meantime, go give WANDERLUST a try.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Drive By...

I can't blame the Olympics this time. This time I've been reading and relaxing. I hit some sort of wall on Saturday afternoon. I got my hair done, came home, showered and fell asleep at 7:30 PM. I woke up at 6 AM this morning. Can't believe that one.

GG kindly brought me coffee in bed. I promptly drank half and fell back asleep until like 10 AM. I have to say I feel lots better but am a little whacked about what's going on with me.

I wound up my day by buying new tubs to organize my TBR books. The final and official count? 223 books. Holy crap!

No more browsing, no more impulse buying and no more monthly book list. I'm on a diet of auto buys only. Which let me just say is still a considerable haul what with all the series and authors I'm already hooked on.

I swear I'm on a moratorium and mission to reduce that TBR. Either I read 'em or lose 'em. They are taking up way too much space. For the first time EVER GG is eyeing my books with speculation. I don't want to even ask him what he's thinking. Too scary to think about.

Forgive me for being behind again on the blog hopping. Just been too tired. I see the doctor on Wednesday and maybe we can get things figured out.

More later...


Thursday, August 21, 2008

All Work...No Play...Incomplete TBR AGAIN!

I seem to be going through a particularly busy time again. The days are full and flying by. My stack of books is getting higher and Emily wonders why I don't lay on the floor and play with her any more. Heck, GG wonders why I don't play with HIM any more.

It's taking me too long to figure out my new balance in life, but I will. Never say die. Never surrender to THE MAN. At least that's what Shmoo tells me.

There are more books stacked on my bedside stand than there have ever been. It's ridiculous. I'll take care of the "piles" over the weekend. Hopefully I'll finish my tbr read so I can do a book report for next month. Hopefully.

Thank God the Olympics will be over next week and the TV will go off again. At least that's my plan. TV has been a big distraction and I'm annoyed at myself for getting sucked in. Although GG is pretty sneaky about turning on the TV while I'm doing my evening chores. One minute I'm folding clothes, getting stuff ready for work the next day and the next I'm on the edge of my seat watching some athletic event in Beijing. God bless 'em but the Olympics are killing me.

Maybe we need to go into training to watch the Olympics. Months in advance we can start adjusting our sleep schedule to that of the Olympic venue, eating less because we will be grabbing snacks so we can stay glued to the TV to watch specific events we MUST SEE.

Maybe then one wouldn't wake up one morning a week and a half into this grand world wide sporting event and wonder where our life went.



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Random Thoughts - Part ???

Wonder of wonders, Shmoo went to visit his brother. He finally admitted he misses Beanie. They have some serious video game time planned and a trip to the Magic Kingdom. This bit of news does my mother's heart good. Shmoo decided while Bean was home over the weekend that his brother is actually "pretty cool". I couldn't help but wonder if there had been some alien body snatching going on, but I'm not one to question a boon.

What does one eat for dinner when sons are not home and husband has already eaten? A Starbucks mocha light frappaccino, popcorn, cantelope and a cookie. What can I say. It is very liberating.

After gymnastics I don't think there's anything I'm excited to see at the Olympics. Track and Field just doesn't do much for me, although those sprinters are something to behold. Sure I've watched some beach volleyball, some basketball, horse jumping, and diving. Nothing has piqued my interest like the gymnastics did. Did you see the mens' rings competition? The muscles, strength, endurance? Unreal. Very impressive.

Tomorrow is TBR Challenge Day. Will I be ready? Uh, don't hold your breath. I love this challenge I really do. I've read books I might not have read without it. How'd I let this creep up on me again?

How is it that it seems like every other blog I read in Romancelandia has a review of HOSTAGE TO PLEASURE by Nalini Singh already? Huh? You guys suck. Although I guess I can't grumble because I have the ARC of WANDERLUST by Ann Aguirre that I'm dying to read and have only gotten through the first 8 pages.

Which begs the question, why am I writing a post when I could be READING????

BTW, bunches of contests out there. I'm pimping one at LET'S GAB. Lori has the three Elizabeth Hoyt books to give away if you go over and tell her your favorite Olympic event, winter or summer. Go on, you know you want to.

Me? I'm going to read. I think. Right after I do some stuff for work and eat some more popcorn. Doofus thy name is Rosie.

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Sunday, August 17, 2008


Phelpsian? New word? How would you use it in a sentence?

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bad Day at Black Rock

This is the laziest Saturday I've had in sometime. This is also the worst my RA has been in awhile. In fact I'm always reminded how good I feel most of the time when I have a bad day. A bad day as in, I'm in one hell of a piss-y mood.

I'm thinking it's probably not the best time to be writing a post, but whatever. I'm here. I'm typing. What could happen?

There's one ray of sunshine. Beanie's home for the weekend. Yeah, gone two weeks and home already. I wish I could say (well not really because that would be sad and pathetic) he's home because he missed us. However, he came rolling in yesterday afternoon with a car full of laundry. Call me crazy, but I'm thinking free laundry and no clean skivvies had more to do with the visit than anything else.

Someone at work asked me if I was going to be "doing it" for him. I refrained from cupping my hand around my ear and saying, "What, huh? I can't HEAR you." I miss the kid. I do. But two weeks of stinky boy laundry? Not so much.

Flash to this morning. GG, the ALWAYS INDUSTRIOUS, gets up goes running and tosses a load of Bean's laundry in. Me? I'm reading and trying not to bitch incessantly about my ribs crushing my lung on the right side. Yeah, that's me no restraint when it comes to the complaining.

Anyway, after I finish my book, GG comes in and says the clothes are "done". Meaning, you know, time to fold and hang and stuff. So I start industriously folding Bean's stuff because the kid worked last night (10 PM to 7 AM) and is sleeping. Yes, that means I caved.

Although it was a whole new experience to fold his boxers and then a couple of his GF's thong underwear. (I tried to type just 'thong' but it needed the word underwear after it. Am I wrong?)

Holy crap. That was unexpected. Of course, Bean's GF is a real sweetie (and HUGE Nora fan) and would be mortified if she new some of her stuff got mixed in with his. So, I guess it's sorta WRONG of me to be talking about it on my very public blog. But I'm just trying to convey the surprise of teeny tiny girl stuff mixed in with my big boy's stuff. Bean is 6'4" for cripes sakes! Weird moment that.

So all in all it's been an oddly quiet Saturday. I didn't even swim this morning. Damn rib and good book combined for lazy morning. Shmoo's new sweetie is coming over this evening. We might all go out for a movie and pizza. That would be nice. And fun. We'll see how I feel. Maybe pizza and movies at home. Maybe.

Enough of the sitting up for me. I'm going to dose up and try to relax and see if I can kick the rib ache. GG offered some remedial carnal course work that he seems certain will 'make things feel better'. *eye roll* Yeah, like THAT will happen. It's the GG version of chicken soup. The end all...be all...cure all.

You gotta love an optimist, don't you?

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Friday, August 15, 2008

What am I doing awake?

I'm crazy that's what. I have to be up in 5 hours for work and stayed up to watch the women's all around competition in gymnastics at the Olympics. Tears were involved. I'm such a sap! But her Dad was a gold medalist 20 years ago and he's her coach. Her Mom can't stand to watch (that would be me!)... Yeah I'm sentimental...so what?!

Watching the balance beam and realizing that they are tumbling on a 4-inch wide beam reminded me that they tumble down a piece of wood roughly the same width as my blog post column. Ho-lee!

That's a bit surreal.

Congratulations to Nastia Liukin on her gold medal and to Shawn Johnson for winning the silver. Way to go. I'm in awe of your discipline, skill, grace and aplomb in an intense international arena. Bravo!

P.S. GG the heretofore Olympics watching addict/machine was asleep. How wrong was that?????


Thursday, August 14, 2008

The TBB List

Acrylics on Canvas 16x20, 2007 Private Collection

Just about every reader I know has some version of a list for books they'd like to have. This list can be books they are searching for or books they want to buy as soon as it is released. Or, if the reader is like me, both.

I used to be a subscriber of ROMANTIC TIMES magazine. Each month I would read the synopsis and reviews of books and make my list. You can still sort of do this from their web site, however as much as I love the e-world, it's just not the same. I loved flipping back and forth through the pages in RT and looking at those reviews and ratings.

RT also had a great feature in the back of the magazine. There was a future releases section that listed books by publisher and then by author. The feature usually listed books for the future release two months ahead of the magazine date. Very nifty for the obsessive list maker.

When I quit RT (Lady Barrow got on my nerves) I didn't realize what a vacuum it would leave in my book buying and list making. The past year or so I've been dissatisfied with my by hook or crook method of blog news or browsing sites trying to keep some sort of list.

All you non-list makers can go ahead and mock now. But I can think of nothing worse than missing a book in a series or a favorite author's release...and it's happened. There was the time I completely missed Linda Howard's DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. ::GASP!:: I know. Tragedy in the making. I can barely bring myself to talk about it even now. (You know I'm kidding...right? Although it WAS tragic, I did eventually get the book. Eventually being the key word there.)

Anyway, I was lamenting about having no good place to look for upcoming books in a convo with the roomies in SF. Kristie mentioned a site on-line that was supposed to be fabulous for finding future releases. Of course I got home and couldn't remember it and had to email her. Yay for Kristie because sent me the info right away.

So I told you all of THAT just so I could share this awesome link to FictionDB with you. There are so many ways to look up books. You can look up releases by author, genre or month. This, my friends is why EVERYBODY loves Kristie. She knows the coolest stuff.

Thanks KJ! You've made me very happy. Now I gotta go and beef up the TBB list.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Real Life

It's taken every bit of the past week to get back to real life after the RWA conference. Work is as busy as ever and I'm beginning to think with my on-going training it's just going to be that way now. This is my new normal.

On the home front even though Beanie was always gone a great deal and had a busy life I'm still adjusting to him living away from home. It just feels different and don't tell anyone, but I'm feeling a bit hollow. I miss him.

Reading was pretty good over the weekend. I not only finished TURBULENT SEA by Christine Feehan, but I read two of the stories in the FIRST BLOOD anthology, Meljean Brook's and Erin McCarthy's. Both pretty good. In Meljean's "THICKER THAN BLOOD" I just wanted more, more, more! McCarthy's was a bit too pat and ended a little quickly for me, but a pretty decent tale. As anthologies go, it's good news here folks.

I also read/skimmed an ARC of MR. CAVENDISH, I PRESUME by Julia Quinn. I was a bit disappointed with this book, not because it wasn't good or well written, but many parts of the story are the same as THE LOST DUKE OF WYNDHAM but from a different character's perspective. Unfortunately, there's really no new story, or at least I didn't think so. The backdrop for this love story is the same one as THE LOST DUKE OF WYNDHAM so it was like reading the same book over again to a certain degree. Thus the skimming.

I also got some packages ready and mailed on Monday (yesterday). Praise be. It took me a week to get organized enough to do it. So all of you who are expecting a package from me...'it's in the mail'.

It was fantastic to have a reading day. We got other chores done around the house too, but being able to have big chunks of time to read was grand. I actually feel better and less agitated. Weird, huh?

So now I'm dying to read the ARC Ann Aguirre so graciously (I only begged a little bit) gave me at the conference. WANDERLUST is the follow up to GRIMSPACE. I can't wait to read it, but I need to get a book in for the TBR challenge. And, no Nath, I'm not a book ahead...again...wait maybe I have something in draft... Gah! Who knows, I should read something out of the TBR anyway that's the point of the challenge to begin with.

So real life, it goes on and I'm rolling with it. It feels pretty good.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday = Reading

Just GG and I at home again. This is so weird. Quiet. It's bittersweet. I miss Beanie like crazy even though he's been gone less than a week. I've seen him once and talk to him everyday. I figure it's an adjustment period.

Just finished reading Turbulent Sea by Christine Feehan. Don't ask me why this book when I have other awesome books to read. That I'm dying to read. I guess because it's pink and was on the top of the pile. That and I've barely gotten all the booty from RWA unpacked.

I'm happy to report I'm caught up with posts on google reader. I need to get Twitter off my sidebar. I think. Maybe I'll leave it up for awhile. I don't know what I want to put up there. With more people using Bloglines, Google Reader and other feed readers I've become lazy about keeping my page up to date. Of course, I'm still thinking about changing it, but then quite a few people I met at RWA remembered my page because of my banner. My meditating chickie is memorable and I love her. Who knows what I'll do. I'm still ruminating.

Now I'm running off to read the rest of the day. GG is glued to the Olympics. I like them, but only particular events. He watches it all. Sculling? Seriously? Dude!

I sorta get it. The discipline. The focus. The resulting body with rippling abs... but to watch? A real yawner.

Yeah, give me a book every time.

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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom, I think about you almost every day. I remember all the things you told me and taught. Well, almost all. We had our moments of disagreement, didn't we? Anyway, most of what we shared as mother and daughter has become more meaningful and resonates throughout my daily life. You always said that one day I'd figure out how smart you were.

It feels good to know we said everything we needed before you died. It's just that, well, even though you told us not to, I really miss you. Especially today, your birthday.

I remember the stories Mom. I promise to never forget and pass them on. I love you forever.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

What every reader should know before going to RWA

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

I've been thinking about what I would've liked to know before attending RWA. Fortunately I knew people who had attended and was able to ask lots of questions.

If you are wondering whether or not attending RWA is right for you, go take a look at what I had to say in my monthly column at Access Romance.

You haven't had enough yet. You know you haven't. Go on. Go check it out.

So much for taking a few days off.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008


My blog is turning 3 tomorrow. Yes, it was August 6, 2005 I began my bloggy adventures.

Sure, I COULD have put up a birthday cake, but I LIKE chocolate. Although I really like just the chocolate cake part and not the icing. So why did I pick a chocolate cake with so much icing? Because it's chocolate of course.

This is such a cheesy way to get a post up and garner attention. Sad really. But whatever.

So happy third chocolate blogaversary to me.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Monday, Monday

That which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Uh yeah... Even though I got a good night's sleep I had to get up bright and early today and go to work.

Today is the first time since I took this job over a year ago that I was watching the clock. I'm still so tired.

The real challenge today was getting through my staff meeting. The staff meeting that was my turn to conduct. Wasn't that excellent planning? I went with a Hawaiian theme and a short agenda.

I think I might take the next couple of days off from the internet. I want to read, relax and get back into my routine. We'll see.

See ya around campus!


Sunday, August 03, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I had excellent company and conversation all week, but was ever so glad to see my house, husband and Shmoo when I got home. Although home wasn't quite as sweet as I left it.

Beanie moved out on Thursday. It was disconcerting to be home with the "boys room" rearranged and changed. I thought I was ready, but I'm feeling a little stunned. He's 21, going to college, it's more than time. Still, I'm surprised how much I miss him being here.

As for RWA, if you think of anything in particular you want to ask about RWA and my experience there, post it in the comments. Don't worry, no one will point and laugh at your questions. I know I was very curious about our fellow bloggers experience last year.

It was wonderful to meet and make conversation with other book lovers. In fact for me, it was as exciting and fun as meeting the authors.

Right now though, it's back to reality and my slightly empty nest.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

RWA Fieldtrip

Since Blogger has been mean to me this post is already outdated and behind all the others who were posting as they went along. My feelings on the misfortunate series of events is not printable. Suffice it to say it didn't make me very happy. Circumstances notwithstanding I want to give you some of my highlights.

Tuesday Highlights

Le Trip: Who knew 7 hours could go by so fast? SL Wendy & I didn't just talk about books. We also solved all the world's problems. We got to the SF Marriot and the sensory intake began. The lobby and check-in are all in the same room with the bar. Pandemonium...but in a good way.

I have to say that while there were plenty of handshakes, hugs and even air kisses no one was sqeeing, screaming, or acting like yokels. There is an energy to all the estrogen, that I found very liberating. Shortly after check-in we began meeting fellow bloggers. I think I listed them all here.

It's a bit surreal. Not only was I excited to see the bloggy friends, but while sitting, standing and drinking in the bar you see authors walk by right and left. Fuh-reeky.
Fun. Weird. Not much sleep.

Wednesday Highlights
Registered for the conference. Twittering with everyone. Breakfast with Angie from Samhain, a sweetheart by the way. I was with the group that went to the Borders store for the taping of the TODAY show segment. It's too bad you didn't get to see what everyone said. Isn't Beverly Jenkins voice the sexiest thing you ever heard. It's like velvet.

The Literacy signing was wonderful. The lines were not bad at all. Well not the lines with the authors anyway. The room was set up well and only the "names" like Nora Roberts, Suzanne Brockmann, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Christine Feehan, etc. ever had more than 3 or 4 in their lines. Jane and Katiebabs both were volunteers for the event and the rest of the bloggers split off on their own because we all had authors we wanted to see.

I had a wonderful conversation with Pamela Morisi. She's a long time favorite. I met Ann Aguirre who was so nice and appreciative of all the online support she has received as was Sherry Thomas and Jodi Thomas. There were a few authors who really don't know much about the romance blogging community but certainly seemed interested. A few mentioned interest in doing interviews and promotions and being guests on blogs which I think is good news for all of us.

Christine Feehan and SEP were so sweet and attentive with all their fans. Kathryn Smith was a hoot. I happened to be wandering by when the telephone conversation with Anne from Let's Gab took place. That was so nice of Ms. Smith to do.

As Lori mentioned in her post (link above) RWA raised over $50K for the San Francisco literacy program. That was a new record high. Rock on sistahs!

Thursday Highlights
Meeting Thea Devine after a salacious and fun conversation with Wendy and Lisabea about her books. This was just excellent.

Victoria Alexander's keynote speech at lunch was very funny. I've never read her books and it made me want to buy them. Her delivery was wicked good.

The Nora Roberts Q & A. I'm so impressed by her love and passion for her work.

The Susan Elizabeth Phillips class. Six words "Keep the reader in the story". Very good.

Struck stupid to find out that I'm locked out of my very own blog. Why? Can you tell me that? Pretty freaking ticked about it too.

Dinner w/my bro who lives here. Back to the Marriott for more merriment and conversation.

I talk on the phone with Beanie who has moved out. In a few weeks he'll be a junior in college. It's going to be weird going home knowing he's moved out.

Friday Highlights
Books,books and more books at the publisher signings.

Ann Aguirre commenting on my blog and hooking me up with an arc of Wanderlust.

Seeing authors in line for books from their favorite authors.

Lisabea and I met a very nice man waiting to get into the Berkley publishing thingy. Hopefully he will get a chance to come by the bloggys and check things out. Our community is growing by leaps and bounds.

Meeting Meljean Brook.

Having Maya Banks, who I missed at the Literacy signing, mentioning she saw her name on the list on my blog. Another surreal moment.

A couple more authors mention they are interested in all things blog. Validation. Yeah, I like it. Don't you?

Hors d'oevres and dessert with my pal Gabrielle. Just awesome. She is so much fun to be around and I admire her vitality and grit.

Dancing at the Harlequin party with blogger buddies Kristie, Wendy, Lori, Alice. Alice had never heard 'Sweet Home Alabama' before. Wow! I guess I'm getting old.

Drinks in the bar with Wendy, Lori and Lisabea. Sublime way to end the evening.

Saturday Highlights
Lucky me. I had no feet issues until this morning. It seems the cute patent heels I'd worn and were so comfy the night before had taken a layer of skin off certain strategic points when removed. Oy!

Internet connection? Check. Blog back? Check. That was pretty stellar news.

Samhain breakfast was wonderful and Angie was a charming and generous hostess. If you like coffee, and let's face it, who doesn't, Samhain had these totally kick ass bright pink insulated coffee mugs. I love mine. Seriously can you have too many insulated mugs?

More books. (I need more cow bell!)

Great panel discussion on writing crossover fiction which I went to because Ann Aguirre was on the panel. Well done.

I wanted to make it to the panel about the "Theft of Creative Property" that Dr. John Barrie, Jane, and Nora Roberts were on and that was moderated by SB Sarah, but the time didn't work out for me. Bummer that. Our posts on our blogs are our creative property. I hear it was excellent.

The smile on Lisa Kleypas' face when we spoke about Kristie. I'd be jealous, but EVERYBODY does love Kristie including me.

The time has flown by and so much has happened that I can't even process it all. Who expects to cross a room to sit at a table with friends and end up sitting down next to Anne Stuart? Total randomness of life. Sometimes she is way cool.

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Blogger Is Mean

Hey kiddies. Guess what apparently my tweets made Blogger believe that I'm an evil spammer. So I've been locked out of my blog. Do I have to say what I think about that????


Friday, August 01, 2008

July Reads

You should be shocked to be reading this. I'll be at RWA when this posts and the last few months I've been late with my list.

I'm shocked there are only 9 books. However, I'm resigning myself to the idea I'm not going to be reading 15-20 books a month any more. Well, at least not any time soon.

Dangerous Secrets by Lisa Marie Rice B+
Loved it.

In Bed with the Devil by Lorraine Heath B
Blogged about this early in the month. Good read if predictable plot.

A Soldier's Homecoming by Rachel Lee C-
Silhouette Romantic Suspense. Re-visiting Conard County was disappointing. Too predictable and the characters lacked emotional depth and motivation for their actions.

Death Angel by Linda Howard B+
Great characters although dark and unusual for a H/H. Subtle. Different. Unusual. Thought provoking.

Twilight Fall by Lynn Viehl B+
Still an amazing series. I loved Valentin & Liling for each understanding exactly who they are.

Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson B
Just the light hearted contemp I needed to get me out of a reading stall.

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich B-/C+
Pretend you don't see this one and DON'T point and laugh at me. I'm weak. I need help. Although this book was better than I expected and Stephanie admits she "loves two men".

Into the Fire by Suzanne Brockmann B+
I did a review of this one here.

Rescue Me anthology C
by Cherry Adair, Lora Leigh and Cindy Gerard
This is total escapism and steam. This would be a perfect beach read or something quick for a commuter ride.