302 Following

Portable Magic

Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.

Currently reading

The Bungalow Mystery
P.M. Carlson, Russell H. Tandy, Carolyn Keene
The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro, Simon Prebble
Duel of Eagles: The Mexican and U.S. Fight for the Alamo
Jeff Long
Progress: 11/431 pages
The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Carolyn Keene
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
The Return of the King
J.R.R. Tolkien, Rob Inglis
Progress: 13 %


Following Nya's lead, I'm sharing a little about myself.


What is your favorite childhood book? A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnet was a favorite story. I consciously modeled myself after Sara Crewe in dealing with bullies and pressures to conform.


E-books or printed books? I’ve never warmed up to ebooks. Bound and audio are my favorites.



What is your favorite place to read? When the weather is nice, on my backyard deck with a dog in my lap. When the weather isn’t nice, snuggled on the chaise with two dogs in my lap.



Is there any genre you would never read? I like variety and will try them all, but I almost never read poetry.


What’s your review rating system? My review and rating reflect my personal experience with a book at the time I read it, so it isn’t intended to be an objective measure for others. In general:

5 stars – I loved it enough that it absorbed me fully, engaged my emotions, and would read it again. Might even read it over and over.

4 stars – I enjoyed it thoroughly and could overlook a few flaws.

3 stars – I liked it well enough, but either I wasn’t fully engaged or it had some problems that detracted from the pleasure of reading it.

2 stars – I mostly disliked it, but it had a few redeeming qualities.

1 star – I resent the hell out of it for wasting my precious reading time.


I don’t do half-stars. I am perfectly willing to rate a book that I DNF’d, since the rating reflects my subjective experience and I see no point in spending time finishing a book that gives me no pleasure, but I always try to give a book 50 pages or 20 minutes of audio before I DNF. Some are so bad that I can’t even do that much.


What is your favorite fictional character? Too many to choose.


What was the best film adaption of a book? Silence of the Lambs is one of those rare movies that improves on the book.


How do you choose the next book to read? I just go through my shelves and pick whatever I’m in the mood for. I like to mix it up and not read too many of the same genre or mood in a row. When I’m really stressed, I’ll fall back on a well-worn comfort read that won’t challenge me or demand anything of me.


Top 3 authors? Sticking to living authors only – Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and Kate Morton. Those are all auto-buys whenever a new one is out.


Is there any book release you are particularly looking forward to? Kate Morton’s The Lake House is supposed to be released next month. Always excellent historical fiction with a little spice of mystery.