December 13th, 2008

sarcastic cat

Stoned! Warning, boring medical content ahead...

Just in case anyone has been wondering why the postings are slim, I have been sidelined since shortly after coming back home from San Antonio and NCTE. Last week (Thursday morning) I told my better half that I was growing a kidney stone. By Friday morning, as I was unable to keep even ginger ale down due to stabbing pain, hubby decided a trip to the doctor was in order. Doctor concurred and gave me some excellent shots (ah, drugs) and prescriptions and an appointment to see the urologist on Monday. Spent weekend blissed out on pain killers and anti-nausea meds. Went to urologist as instructed. Urologist wondered why I had no tests to show him and sent me home with another injection (why can't they bottle that stuff so the pain goes away at home?) and orders to return the following day for cat scan and x-rays. Both conformed presence of stone so large it can be seen via satellite from outer space. (Translation, hubby could see it without reading glasses; even residents of back bedroom located it on the copy of the scan). Scheduled for lithotripsy (shock waves ideally break up stone and let it be eliminated naturalky) and insertion of a stent at 5:30 last night. Woke up in recovery to hear that litho was not an option as stone decided to hide out near bone and would not cooperate. Now have to schedule another surgery for next week (or I could wait until after Christmas says surgeon who has NEVER, EVER had one of these, I assure you). Sent home with pain meds and good wishes.

This is all to say that reading has not been getting much play lately. I did, however, manage to finish off almost four books with all the waiting room and pre-op dead time. So, I will play some catch up here this morning before the pain is fully awake.

From Rod Philbrick comes this slim funny piece of historical fiction, THE MOSTLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF HOMER P. FIGG (Scholastic, January 2009). Homer's older brother Harold is sold into the Union army by his nasty guardian. Thus begins Homer's quest to find his brother and rescue him before he can be hurt or worse in the war. Philbrick's novel is fast paced and comical as events never turn out quite as Homer (or the reader) expects. Despite the rollicking adventure, there is still a great deal to be mined here. History teachers who want to utilize literature to make this period come to life will appreciate the details that flow naturally from the narrative. Homer is a likable and memorable character. His companions on the quest to find his brother run the gamut from a friend of the Underground Railroad to a bumbling minister and a snake oil salesman who is also a Confederate spy. Given the above reference to pain levels, you know this book was absorbing and compelling.

And then there is this lovely companion novel by Jacqueline Woodson.

PEACE, LOCOMOTION (Putnam, January 2009) brings back Lonnie Collins Motion (Locomotion) from Woodson's award winning LOCOMOTION. In a series of letters to his sister, Lili, growing up in another foster home after the death of their parents, Lonnie reflects on his new life and his concerns about Lili and his own foster family. Lonnie's foster mother has a son serving overseas, one who is injured in the war and finally returns home. Lonnie is worried about his foster brother, his sister's fading memories of their shared childhood, and more. However, once again he finds solace in writing. His letters are prose poems, reflecting the wonderful ability of Woodson to create a character for whom writing is part of his salvation. The letters sing and soar from the pages and provide the narrative flow of the novel, another small slice of Lonnie and Lili's lives.

Finally, here is a photo of hubby, me, residents of the back room, and soon-to-be college grad, Cali, on Thanksgiving.

Perhaps I will post about the other 2 books later. For now, there is some medication waiting.
vampire cat

best pain killers in the world: books, of course

Gotta love the cover of the newest offering from Cynthia Leitich Smith, ETERNAL (Candlewick Press, February 2009), keeper of the bestest blog and web site ever. In her spare time, Cyn writes tantalizing books. Her foray into YA lit began with TANTALIZE (Candlewick) and now its companion, ETERNAL offers the story of Miranda and her (fallen) guardian angel, Zachary. When Zachary tries to keep Miranda from the clutches of a vampire, he violates the rules of his job. Miranda becomes the princess of the ruling King of the Dracul, and Zachary is given a final chance to redeem himself. Can he possibly save Miranda and defeat the most powerful of vamps?

Action, bloodlusting, angels, and quite a bit of dark humor will make this one a winner among the evergrowing crowd of fans of the dark tales of the vampires. This second book (there is a third one which will tie all the stories together, BLESSED) is a stand alone, so there is no need for kids to read TANTALIZE first. This one will definitely lead them to the other, though. Leitich Smith weaves lore from Draculian legend and story along with some other familiar cultural and literary references. Astute readers will delight in finding references to James Howe's BUNNICULA and others ranging from Johnny Cash to Joss Whedon and CS Lewis among others.

Thanks for all the well wishes and vibes and thoughts and prayers and joju and all that jazz in your comments on the previous posting. I actually do feel better now that the stabbing pain is just a dull throb. I would nap but that seems to bother Scout for some reason. I guess he is afraid I might miss a snack time. Back to some reading and more cranberry juice.
chutzpah cat

thanks to rebellibrarian

On the twelfth day of Christmas, ProfessorNana sent to me...
Twelve dragonchariots drumming
Eleven robbiewriters piping
Ten girasoles a-leaping
Nine lisayees dancing
Eight readergirlzs a-milking
Seven shalannas a-reading
Six thatgirlygirls a-driving
Five bo-o-o-ooks
Four sitcoms
Three cats
Two motorcycles
...and a csi in a pear tree.
Get your own Twelve Days: