Paranormal Mystery Series

An Ice Cold Grave

by Charlaine Harris

It would be just lovely if everything in life could wrap-up as a Harris mystery novel. The villain gets caught, the endearment one feels for another is reciprocated, and the mystery is no longer a mystery but just a piece of the puzzle that fits perfectly into the conundrum of life. Yay for fiction!

An Ice Cold Grave is the third installment to the Harper series. Harper, a woman in her early twenties has the ability to indiscriminately detect corpses after being struck by lightning. In addition, she can ascertain the cause of death. She travels all across the United States contracted to resolve missing person cases and deaths that seem awry.


Hired by the local sheriff after a succession of teenage boys go missing in the quaint town of Doraville, North Carolina, Harper encounters her first case of a grisly serial killing. She is unable to walk away from this case, for the gruesome end that befell on the teenage boys, and the serial killer wants to stop her before she can stop him. The unconventional relationship Harper and her stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, develop throughout the series is finally settled.


Christmas gift = Bookish gift

I received two books as a Christmas gift this year. Well as you all know, (my small audience) I love books. My clever gift giver smiles and states, "It's a book about books". The first thing I did was open it, Nancy Pearl Book Lust: Recommended Reading For Every Mood, Moment, And Reason and flip to the science fiction, fantasy and horror section. I was gravely disappointed by Pearl's statement about horror. She comments, "Of all the genres, I have to say that horror is my least favorite...". Why? Horror is an extensive genre that encompasses almost anything that jolts the heart. It can be more than literature about supernatural beings that haunts your dreams. HWA has a great article titled: What is Horror Fiction? It is certainly worth reading for all believers that horror is a lackluster genre and also for the horror aficionados.

What is Horror Fiction?

Most of the horror fiction books that Pearl recommended I have already read, but there are two that I have not, which are William Hjortsberg's Falling Angel and Barabara Hambly's Those Who Hunt the Night. I have ordered them on Amazon, but Those Who Hunt the Night was not in stock, so I had to buy it used. If those are good, I will read more of Nancy Pearl's recommendations. As for my new Book Lust Journal, I have been jotting down books I have read for years.


Do you have a sweet tooth?

Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History

by Sidney Wilfred Mintz

The commodity sugar today is not seen as an exotic commodity, which it once was, but as a commodity that is essential to everyday life. Sugar is seen as a mundane commodity, for everyone can have it, and much of our food today is comprised of sugar. How did sugar become a common commodity, and what did the transformation of sugar mean for modern society? In Sweetness and Power written by anthropologist, Sidney W. Mintz examines sugar, in particular sucrose, a product produced from sugar cane throughout history in order to answer these questions, and he concentrates on the Britain’s transformation of voracious sugar consumers. He argues that the transformation of sugar, a luxury commodity to a common commodity is due to not one particular attribute, but due to economical, political, and social interconnections, which becomes apparent when history is analyzed.

Mintz supports his argument through dividing the world’s history of sugar into production, consumption, and power. The bulk of Sweetness and Power is dedicated to two chapters, which are Production and Consumption. Majority of the book is written as a historical account of sugar’s history. Even though Mintz is an anthropologist, the book does not contain his fieldwork. However, he does provide some ethnographic material to introduce the significance of food pertaining to human consumption. Nevertheless, the majority of the evidence is secondary sources provided by historians. The primary sources that are present are from correspondent letters, and uniquely enough cookbooks.

Mintz’s book Sweetness and Power consists of an abundant amount of information about the history of sugar that is fascinating. He establishes that British ardent consumption of sugar is related to numerous factors, and he does not boringly list these factors but lets it develop through the context of the book. On the other hand, the books structure was difficult to digest, brusquely it was disorganized. Many parts of his book were redundant; he states the same historical facts in different chapters and within the same chapter. Despite that the book well informs the reader of the journey of sugar throughout history, and if you enjoy reading about the formation of capitalism, Sweetness and Power contains a sweet surprise. It explores capitalism, primitive accumulation, agro-industry, globalization and Marx influence is apparent throughout the book.


Another Christmas and a new start.

Another Christmas is over, and I am relieved. This year Christmas felt different; gifts were to a minimum and there was less merriment in the air, which is not particularly due to the scant amount of gift giving, but rather it was due to the time restraints. I've finished college, and I've definitely worked diligently this semester. School has consumed much of my time, and I haven't recuperate from my many all-nighter paper writing sessions. So, my lack of energy has effected my holiday spirit this year. I hope to be in a better Christmas mood next year.

With the accomplishment of finally finishing college, I am pondering my next move. I undoubtedly want to go to graduate school, but which school, and what shall be my major? Should I look for a job? I certainly can use the extra money. Oh well, I need to breath, take a break, and rework my list of goals. I've just completed a major goal!

Oh, and I need to start (asap) reading some great entertaining novels.


Save the world: Protect the environment.

Hi Everyone,

I'll make this quick. I'm sure we have all heard of global warming. It is a problem that gets disregarded by the individual. One person can make a difference to stop the detrimental path to the destruction of Earth.

Take action online, and changing minuscule daily activities. To find out how you can help go to http://www.nrdc.org/default.asp . Another layman resource to understand global warming and how to take action, watch “The Inconvenient Truth”.

If you don’t know the effect of global warming or think it’s making a mountain out of a molehill, here are some facts.

Global Warming is the cause of the endangerment to Polar Bear due to Arctic ice melting. Arctic shelf melting is causing and will cause extreme flooding, erosion of land. Environmental disasters such as extreme hurricanes (Katrina), tsunamis, and dust storms that cause wildfire due to extreme heat and the arid soil, are just a few perilous effects.

Okay guys, go to http://www.nrdc.org/default.asp and tell your local senate how you feel through sending emails petitioning to help the environment or cessation the use harmful pollutant to the environment. For example, the subsidies for the liquid coal industry.

BTW, sending an email to your senate or congress is simple; it’s already written all you need to do is write your email and click sent.

Go here to take action http://www.nrdc.org/action/default.asp

Please repost to permeate the message.


It's been along time.

It's finally summer and I survived yet another semester of college hell. I've even accomplish straight A's in all five of my classes (I don't know how I did it). Tomorrow I'll be starting summer classes in two different colleges. For, four weeks I'll have long days until one of my classes end. Then I'll only need to go to one college (Less traveling :)). I really need to graduate; I don't know how much longer I can take this drudgery. In particular, the second language requirement is a pain in the ass and seriously causing stress with a tinge (or a little more) of depression.

I haven't been able to read a lot of novels for the past five months. However, I read two novels by Charlaine Harris. I have three reasons why I read her books. One, I was really depressed because of school and needed something to cheer me up (reading a good novel always cheers me up). Two, I went to her book signing, and was dying to read book seven of her Sookie series that is called "Definitely Dead". The other book "Sweet and Deadly" is a non-series mystery, which is one of her first published books.

Mrs. Harris discussion and book signing was a great exprience. She's friendly, funny and you can definitely feel the southern hospitality that is also a wonderful element in her books.


Happy April Fools Day!

Tomorrow I will be off to Paris. Thank goodness for spring break.


Mark Z. Danielewski's Only Revolution labyrinthian novel

In Bookmark magazine Danielewski's Only Revolution received accolades. Of course when Danielewski second novel was released, I snatched it up like a greedy child at a candy store. When I got home, I loved the concept of the book, similar to the his first novel. The book is printed on two sides. Each side tell the story from a different perspective, one from Hailey the other from Sam, who are teenage lovers that live through interminable time.

I'm sure this book is great, but I lack the patience to read through pages of ingenious artist display of literature. Someday with the gift of patience, I will sit down and read it, but for now I can only drool at the reviews.


Catalog your book collection.

I've been using Delicious Library to catalog my book collection for a long time. Since it lacks a built in html export, I have started using Bookpedia. However, there are free exports available for Delicious Library, but the exports are not efficient for a large collection. Meaning that if you have over a hundred items in your library (like me), it will take longer to load on a browser, because all the book cover images are loaded in the same window. Bookpedia’s interface is not as pretty as Delicious Library, but it has more features such as wish list etc., and its search on book information is superior. In addition, it has a built in export and a .mac export, which makes it super simple to have your book collection ready to share. Now, I find myself using both softwares, because I don’t have the heart to give up on Delicious Library. Cross my fingers, 2.0 will be available soon with a built in export and better information book search.

My book collection is now on the side bar links.