Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Soup - April 26

Sunday Soup is... lots of reading, a little bit of summer dreaming, and for some reason, a bunch of song lyrics.

Soup Dish:  [on my mind this week]
How is it possible that April is almost over?  I'm as bad as my kids, looking forward to summer and how much easier their summer schedule is on ME, what with the no homework and the "not schlepping my 9th grader to the bus stop at o'dark-thirty" before work.

Summer planning in general is underway. Camps, vacations, day trips. It's really amazing how short summers actually are when you start trying to accommodate multiple schedules. Hmmph.

I've also started stalking the #RT15 hashtag a little bit. I'm not going to go this year; I'm basically on the every-other-year plan due to the high cost, but they've just officially announced Vegas for next year. While I'm not necessarily a Vegas kind of girl, I think it's a great place for a big party, so I am tentatively in for #RT16. I will also be looking for a roommate, I think, this time around.

Other than that, things are pretty quiet, so I've been doing quite a bit of reading, maybe we should just get right to that bit.

What I'm reading

The Shadows, by JR Ward. I sort of feel like I should do a full review of this; there's plenty to think about.  My bottom line -- I didn't hate it, but I understand why other people did.  I feel like it's a pretty solid "second generation" BDB book.  By that I mean, not as good as the first 5, but back in a decent groove from the dark days of Phury's book.

Tricked, by Kevin Hearne.  I started reading this series about a year ago, and went on a three-book binge.  I really loved the world and I don't know why I waited this long to get back to it.  Great, great stories, well plotted with great characters and fun humor.  For anyone who loves mythology mixed in with their urban fantasy.

It Started With A Scandal, by Julie Anne Long.  The latest in the Pennyroyal Green series, this one was simply delightful.  I really enjoy how different Long's characters are from one another. What struck me most about this one is how really, really sweet it was.  The characters come to care for each other before being struck witless by lust.  I am hoping to do a review of this one (maybe a dual one, eh, Betsy?)

Driving in Neutral, by Sandra Antonelli. I really wanted to love this one -- it has all the ingredients that I want, and I'm particularly looking for older heroines these days.  And it was OK.  However, it was just OK.  It didn't really click into place for me, and I don't know why.
He says all the right things
At exactly the right time
But he means nothing to you
And you don't know why
 (lyrics from Vertical Horizon, Everything You Want)

I went on a bit of a Beth Kery binge, speaking of RT, and read 3 titles that I picked up at #RT14 (Because We Belong; Since I Saw You; and Release).  I had read one from her before and didn't like it much; it was a dub-con captive kind of thing where I didn't buy the justification.  These were good though; all three were the billionaire-BDSM trope but these have richly realized characters, high-stakes plotting, and the erotic scenes were super-hot, so all in all, I move her into the winning-author category for me.

I've been trying to make a dent in the backlog of books that I already own, since my budget has been squeaking a little bit lately, so I dug into a title on my Kindle, Recipe for Seduction, from the Madewood brothers series by Gina Gordon.  (Surely I am not the only one snickering like a thirteen year old boy at the notion of a hero named MADEWOOD.  Madewood.)  Aside from that, this was a sweet* contemp with a friends-to-lovers trope, with bonus "brothers' best friend" and "heroine who raised her siblings" sub-tropes (is that a thing? I guess it's a thing now.)  I think the central conflict was waved away MUCH too easily, and possibly to a wall-bang degree if I'd been reading in a more critical mode, but the majority of the book worked for me so I'm forgiving the [really, pretty terrible] ending.

*sweet in that it's emotionally very tender, not that it lacks erotic heat.  It's pretty medium-high for that.

Outlander Watch... Och. They're back, they're back!

I really enjoyed the witch-trial episode.  I thought the places where they deviated from the book were actual improvements and made more sense (particularly the thing about the smallpox vaccination mark).  I forgot to watch Return to Lallybroch! I can't believe it.  I'll have to make time this evening and hope I can remember how to work On Demand.

Random Other Thing:

Big Head Todd and the Monsters is my all-time favorite band.  I don't go crazy for bands the way I do for books and authors, and --I know this is a mystifying stance to many of my friends-- I don't really love live music all that much, mostly because I'm just cheap.  For the money, I'd rather be someplace comfy and not so crowded and be able to repeat my favorite songs and skip my not-so-favorite ones.

Even so, I've seen BHTM more than once live, most recently at a summer mini-festival near my home.  They played for less than an hour, sharing the stage with Bare Naked Ladies and Blues Traveler, and it was just a really nice, laid back show.  I came across an article about them in my social media feed today, and started thinking about how long I've loved this music and what brought me to them and keeps me a fan.  The article talks about
Squires’ driving bass and Nevin’s frenetically precise drumming provided a seamless backdrop for Mohr’s rootsy, earnest baritone and, most important, his artistry on the axe
... but it's always been about the lyrics for me.  Although Bittersweet is their biggest hit, the song that clobbered me was It's Alright:
You can turn back the tide
Of the cold tears from your eyes
The pangs of wounded pride you hold me

Did someone do you wrong, yeah
Good lovin's as good as gone, yeah
Maybe you ain't as strong as you wanna be

It's alright if you don't wanna go home
It's alright if you don't wanna be alone
It's alright if you don't wanna go home
I understand, I understand, I understand
But then the reprise of the chorus changed it up:
It's alright if you just wanna go home
It's alright if you just wanna be alone
It's alright if you just wanna go home
I understand, I understand, I understand 
Because the contrast of those two, and the notion of someone who understands you either way... well, it just it me where I lived.  If I had to pick a favorite though, I also love Broken Hearted Savior so, so much.  I think the lyrics aren't quite as brilliant, but the combination of them plus the deep, twangy moody guitar still totally gets me:
And every heavy night
Takes out the little life that's left within her
Every man she gives her love, he takes it
And leaves her with a dinner
Our love was once a flame, now I'm just a forgotten name
Am I the only one to blame for ever loving her?

And I'll love her yet, though she has done me wrong
And I'll bring her back, though she has been long gone
And I'll always be her
Broken hearted savior 
It does remind me of the modern angsty romance hero though -- how many of them are broken-hearted saviors?  And does it get any better than that?

No comments:


  © Blogger template Coozie by 2008

Back to TOP