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Currently reading

The Last Precinct (Kay Scarpetta, #11)
Patricia Cornwell
Progress: 295/422 pages
Kristine Smith
Progress: 130/400 pages
Bad Love - Jonathan Kellerman Incredibly boring. I was pretty much only interested in the Frenchie. Not enough Milo, too much Alex just hanging around with Robin. It's sad when you only continue with a series because of a supporting character and (generally) interesting crimes.
I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats - Francesco Marciuliano This comes complete with adorable pictures of kitties. As if I could possibly resist.

Also, these poems are incredibly realistic to the life of being owned by a cat. I want to quote every single poem, because they are written with exactly the type of high-minded buffoonery I personify cats with. After much struggle, I chose my favorite:
"There's another cat in the house
A cat I've never seen
A much younger cat
You seem to know her name
You accidentally called me by her name
Right in front of the lamp
And my friend the throw pillow
I've never been so humiliated
I may never love again"
Devil's Waltz - Jonathan Kellerman I wanted to like this more than I did. I was wondering when the concept of Munchausen/Munchausen-by-proxy would come in this series. The analysis of the disorder is always interesting to read (even in fictional characters) but it got twisted with a whole other sub-plot that was incredibly dull.

Despite that, I really enjoyed the script format of Milo's interview with the eventual "bad guy" and the lawyer.

There's something off about the way Alex relates to women. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it irritates me any time a new female character is introduced.
Time Bomb - Jonathan Kellerman Extra half star for Milo being the best character in this series.
The Deadly Dinner Party: and Other Medical Detective Stories - Jonathan A. Edlow Highly accessible to the layperson about the history of popular poisons and conditions.
Blood Test - Jonathan Kellerman But what happened to the Moody kids?
When the Bough Breaks - Jonathan Kellerman Rich people being assholes and doing horrible things to children.
Postmortem - Patricia Cornwell Meh. I was expecting better, since I know how popular this series is.
Shadow Man - Cody McFadyen I got very emotionally invested in this book very quickly. Smoky's grief was intense and painful to be a part of, but her story sucked me right in.

Now that I have a little distance from it (a whole twelve hours!) I can see the things that didn't work - the sudden! sex! with a character who was just introduced as a ~protector~ was the worst, I think. It just seems like a skewed view of the grieving process. Suicide was barely off the table for Smoky at that point.

I had a hard time sleeping after finishing this book, because I just kept thinking of Leo's poor dog.
“Someone cut off all his legs. I have to put him down.” I stand, gaping. Poleaxed. Then his voice breaks. The clean, poignant break of a china plate hitting brick. “Who would do something like that, Smoky?

I got home and he was there in the living room, trying to . . . trying to . . .” His grief makes him sound like he is gagging, as he finds the words. “Trying to crawl to me. There was blood everywhere, and he was making these awful sounds, like . . . like a baby. Looking at me with those eyes, it was like . . . he looked like he thought he’d done something wrong. Like he was asking me, ‘What, what did I do wrong? I’ll fix it, just tell me. See? I’m a good dog.’ ”

The "See? I'm a good dog." line just had me bawling in the dark on my couch at 1AM. I felt pure, unadulterated rage at this fictional killer; my poor emotions.
William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope - Ian Doescher Pulled these books to be released tomorrow at work. I'm very interested.
Fractured - Karin Slaughter Review to come. :)
COLD BLOODED KILLERS Boxed Set (3 Books in 1) - RJ Parker I was hoping for a little more analysis on the people described in this book. Honestly, many of these articles sounded as if they were lifted straight from Wikipedia - without any interesting personal tidbits.
Rashi's Daughters: Joheved - Maggie Anton This is as much a book about medieval Jewish scholarship as it is about Rashi's family; his family members seem to circle the Talmud, supporting characters to its central theme(s).

This is not to say that it wasn't incredibly fascinating to read regardless! I learned so much about Ashkenazi Jewry as well as general life in France during the High Middle Ages. Some of the rituals and tradtions presented I actually remembered from reading a more contemporary story (The Ritual Bath) - it's amazing that these things remain virtually the same over hundreds of years.

My favorite tale included in the narrative is a Hanukkah one, taking place during a time when the Greeks controlled life in Israel around 165 BCE:
... a virgin about to married was required to first submit to the king. So when the high priest's daughter was betrothed, the Greek monarch demanded that she lie with him. She went to the king, fed him cheese until he was thirsty, and then gave him enough wine to make him drunk. Once he'd fallen asleep, she severed his head and brought it back to her father in Jerusalem. When the enemy general saw that his king was dead, he and his army fled.

What a badass. She wasn't named in this novel, but Google tells me she was Judith, daughter of Yochanan Cohen Gadol. In honor of the deeds of their foremother, women refrain from work while the menorah lamp is lit.

Also, they used moss as toilet paper.
The Encounter - Katherine Applegate Tobias's story is probably the most tragic of the Animorphs, though they all have their own important and varied reasons to fight. His parents (whom he never thinks/speaks of) have died, he is shunted between relatives who don't give one whit for him, his bullying issues at school - why would he join this war? Humanity has not shown him much kindness, why should he risk his life time after time to free them of this hidden scourge?

At his core, Tobias is a good person. He buys into the philosophy of freedom with such strength, it's amazing to see the dedication he gives to his adopted cause.

He loses himself in the hawk after finally coming to terms with his future as a nothlit. What draws him out? A human running for his life. Tobias has the most noble morals of the group, even more so than Cassie (the acknowledged compassionate peacemaker).

All this being said, I wish we could have seen the conversation between Tobias and the human he saves - being a thought-speaking bird and all.
The Visitor - Katherine Applegate Rachel is pretty much everything I wanted to be as a teenager. Confident, smart and not willing to take any bullshit. And this is just the beginning! She only gets better (and certainly more ruthless) from here. She is the ultimate warrior of the group.
Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity - Matt Wagner, Brad Meltzer I thought this captured each character's voice fairly accurately, though I could have done without the Batman-as-Peeping-Tom during a Diana bathing scene. No need for her to be naked at all - that scene and what Paradise means to Bruce could have been approached in different and less offensive way.

You have Superman in a nutshell:


Batman being Batman:


And Diana, having just left Themyscira, learning the ways of man while still being true to her own values: