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.