Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book Review: The Shape of Mercy

Search Amazon.com for shape of mercy by susan meissner

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

It took me a while to get to this book, because I found a box of more interesting books while I was waiting for this one to come in the mail.

Lauren, a college co-ed with a trust fund (or two), decides to support herself through college, starting this semester.  She finds a handwritten job notice about a transcription job, and after following up with the employer, Abigail, becomes intrigued.

Abigail wants a journal transcribed, and is very particular about how the work is done.

Lauren reads, transcribes and imagines, all while getting to know Abigail, one tiny droplet of information at a time.

The journal in The Shape of Mercy belonged to Mercy Hayworth, a young woman accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials.  The journal is written as a first-person account of Mercy's life, in a small town quite near Salem, as the accusations of witchcraft began and gained momentum.  Though this account is fictional, it reads as if Mercy Hayworth actually lived, and left me wanting to delve into some history or read more first-person accounts.

I enjoyed the book, and can recommend it to anyone who enjoys a little bit of history, very tame romance, or journals/diaries from historical figures.  And though the backbone of the book is the journal and its entries, there was sufficient current storyline to keep me interested in the main characters who were living, as well.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Movie: Unknown

I did some mystery shops last fall and still had a balance on my gift card for the local dollar movie (which is no longer a dollar, but is still way cheaper than the regular movie).  Anyway, I decided to get out of the house and go see Unknown, with Liam Neeson.

I like Liam Neeson.  And, as I have no doubt said before, I am easily entertained.  I liked Unknown - the action, the slightly spotty plot, the contrived coincidences - all of it.  Aidan Quinn was not at his best in this movie, but I greatly enjoyed the former Stasi officer, whose (acting) name I do not know.

I was astounded to walk into the theater and find a complete row of empty seats, to which I proceeded, only to find it was inhabited entirely by children.  Young children, too short to be seen from behind the seat.  There were a LOT of children in this movie, more than the number of parents would indicate.   I finally sat in the very back, in a single seat.  There was a family, an entire family, who sat on the floor behind me.  This family included several small children, noisily opening their multiple plastic-covered nachos and hot dogs, and a crawling, unhappy baby.  Yes, the baby was crawling on the theater floor.  Can I just say ewwwwwwww?  That was all very distracting, and I wondered why the family didn't take the snacks outside the theater to open them.  I mean, they left the theater to buy them, so why not open them right outside the door, where the back six rows of people didn't have to turn around at the very loud noise?  For that matter, why did they take their children to this fairly violent movie?

Maybe I'm just hopelessly stuck in the past when children had manners and parents were in charge, but my child did not behave that way in public, or she went home.  Yes, this meant I went home and missed out on whatever it was, too.  Boohoo.

In the very front of the theater, in front of the front row of seats, were gigantic cardboard cartons of something.  That was distracting, too, when the screen was light enough to view the room. 

It was still an enjoyable evening out of the house, costing me nothing but a little gas money.  Though I appreciate the theater experience as a whole, I generally prefer to watch my movies at home via Netflix or Redbox, so that I have control over my environment.  Guess that's my inner control freak.  lol

Health stuff

Last week sometime, I flippantly remarked to my Kid that either I had put on a LOT of weight, or the dryer at her grandparents' house was shrinking my clothes.  The idea being, of course, that it was the dryer.

I have not weighed myself in months, maybe nearly a year, because my most recent doctor specifically told me not to weigh myself except at her office.  She wanted my focus to be on making healthy choices, not on the numbers.

Well, my curiosity overwhelmed me and I stood on the scale at the grandparents' house.  That scale said 318.  I do not like this number, unless it is a black one in my checkbook.  I have never, including during my pregnancy (17 years ago, but still) weighed this much. 

Add the weight to my recent tendency to have swollen feet, legs, knees, etc., and I'm not a happy camper.  When I take my shoes off at night, my feet look deformed, with obvious demarcations where my shoes were and where my socks were. 

My aunt asked me if my blood pressure was up.  Of course, I have no way to know if it is or is not, since I don't see a doctor anymore. 

One more thing to worry about, because I don't think these are good things. 

And, if you're still reading, I've got a stack of books to review (or not) that I hope to get to sometime this weekend.

Moving

Moving is again in the top of my things to think about; it seems probable that it will be later than April, giving me a little more time to cull, donate, sell and otherwise divest myself of my worldly goods.  I'm a little more hopeful today that I can actually achieve this before the moving date without giving things away willy-nilly.

I need all the hope I can get.

And, I made two sales this week on Bonanza, and one on Amazon, so it's been a good week as far as sales go.  I would dearly love to sell something every single day, and/or to schedule a pickup from someone off the recycling list every single day.

Thanks go out into the ether to those people, both known to me and unknown, who have helped me during the last year by giving my things a new home, either through free-cycling or through my online sales sites, or through just plain old cash in hand.

Thrilling Thursday

OK.  It's not really thrilling, but I like the alliteration.

I went to a book club meeting tonight.  Uh, technically, that would be last night.  I met several interesting women, one of whom is a local author, and got a bunch of suggestions for books to read or authors to watch.

It was a lot of fun to get out of the house, and it cost me nothing but a little gas money.  Or a little more, since I already had to go to the Post Office to mail a couple of packages ( stuff I sold!!!).

I plan to go again next month, and I have the next three months books saved on my Blackberry, so that I can find them at the library and read them before the respective meeting.

They even seemed slightly interested in possibly reading some of my mom's stuff, if I can get it into publishable form.  I have been thinking about that, since it was one of my mother's dreams to be a published fiction author.  The only thing standing in the way now is my lack of knowledge.