Friday, December 31, 2010

HappyLight & Happy New Year!


I've wanted one of these Full Spectrum Lights for several years and finally put it on my Christmas list this year.  And my son got it for me.  This lamp uses Natural Spectrum light to help with the symptoms of "Winter Blues" and SAD (seasonal effected disorder).  For years I've had a hard time dealing with the dark, gloomy winters we have here in the Seattle area.  I have no energy and my mood is borderline depression.  I blogged about getting one of these types of lights years ago but never got around to buying one.  I thought they were a bit pricey and I wasn't too sure they would work.  But this one was only about $50 at Costco so I thought it was worth a try.  Also this one is small (only 12" high) and fits almost anywhere. 

The package says that it emulates sunshine and will improve your mood and energy and help with your productivity and concentration.  You're supposed to sit in front of the light (between 6" - 24" away from your face) for 30 - 60 minutes in the morning with your eyes open.  They suggest reading or knitting or something or put it next to your computer while you work.   I put mine on the small table next to my comfy chair where I read.

I've have used is now for the past two days and I think I can feel a difference already.  I actually felt like doing stuff today. I put away all the Christmas decorations.  Amazing!  That usually doesn't get done until the last couple weeks of January.  A promising start.  We'll see how it goes in the next few weeks since they say you may not feel the effects for a month or so.

Recent reads:
 
Love in the Afternoon by Lisa Kleypas


This is the 5th book in the Hathaway series which tells Beatrix's story and is my favorite book in the bunch. I loved Beatrix from the very first book with her quirky animal menagerie which includes a hedgehog and a ferret and other creatures who need her special care. She has a way with wounded animals and a tender heart.  Beatrix is the "baby" of the family and is now 23 y.o. All of her siblings are married and settled and she's feeling like she will never find anyone since she realizes how odd she is in comparison to most young ladies. Beatrix starts a correspondence with Captain Christopher Phelan who is fighting in the Crimean War.  However, Captain Phelan thinks he is corresponding with his love interest, Prudence, Beatrix's friend.  The letters are funny, charming, and touching at times.  When Christopher returns home from the war, he is suffering very badly from guilt and what we would call PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).  When he finds out that he has been exchanging letters with Beatrix rather Prudence, he feels betrayed and angry.  I loved Kleypas' writing in LITA and thought it was one of her best efforts since Devil in Winter.  Beatrix and Christopher were wonderfully drawn and made a perfect match.  LITA is not a DIK but it comes close.   
My Grade:  B+

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Best of 2010

I have a few 2010 books that I still want to read so this is just a preliminary list.  Only two were A reads, the rest were B+.  I have only reviewed one of these books.

There are four more 2010 books in my TBR and a whole bunch more on my wishlist. I'd better get cracking and get some more read before the annual poll at AAR.  I love to submit my yearly favorites for this poll.

I think my favorite of the year is Libertine's Kiss by Judith James.  An unusual book with a great hero and heroine set in an unusual time period (Restoration Period) - also very HOT.   James also wrote Broken Wing which is one of KristieJ's favorites. 


Author Title Grade
Balogh, Mary A Matter of Class B+
Bourne, Joanna The Forbidden Rose A
Carr, Robyn Forbidden Falls B+
Dahl, Victoria Lead Me On B+
Dreyer, Eileen Barely a Lady B+
Higgins, Kristan The Next Best Thing B+
James, Judith Libertine's Kiss A
Robb, J. D. Fantasy in Death B+
Ross, JoAnn The Homecoming B+
Singh, Nalini Bonds of Justice B+
Total
10

Saturday, December 18, 2010

AAR's Top 100 Romances Results

I'm meant to post this a couple weeks ago.

I was amazed to discover that I have read 92 out of AAR's Top 100.  Of the 8 I have not read, 4 were written by Julie Garwood.   Here's the complete list:

The Last Hellion by Loretta Chase
Honor's Splendor by Julie Garwood
The Secret by Julie Garwood
Ransom by Julie Garwood
Saving Grace by Julie Garwood
And Then He Kissed Her by Laura Lee Guhrke
The Rake by Mary Jo Putney
When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

I have been meaning to try Garwood because CindyS is a huge fan and I know most of these are probably on her list.  So maybe I'll dig up one or two of these and give them a shot.

In comparing AAR's Top 100 with my Top 100, I found that only 30 of my favorites appeared on AAR's list.  I guess my tastes are a bit different.  Many of the book's on AAR's list were pretty good reads for me but were not what I would consider keeper.  For example I remember liking Lord of Scoundrels, but it didn't exactly "wow" me.  Maybe I need to re-read that one.  I'm a bit surprised and disappointed that there were no books Anne Stuart or Carla Kelly. 

Num Title Author AAR Ranking
2 Pride and Prejudice  Jane Austen #4
3 Flowers from the Storm Laura Kinsale #6
8 After the Night  Linda Howard #55
9 To Have and To Hold  Patricia Gaffney #60
10 All Through the Night  Connie Brockway #90
11 Naked in Death  J. D. Robb #24
19 Morning Glory  LaVyrle Spencer #59
20 Sea Swept  Nora Roberts #74
22 The Spymaster's Lady Bourne, Joanna #20
23 Dream Man Linda Howard #47
27 Not Quite a Husband Sherry Thomas #18
28 Dreaming of You  Lisa Kleypas #2
29 Thunder and Roses  Mary Jo Putney #88
30 It Had to Be You  Susan Elizabeth Phillips #15
40 Sugar Daddy Lisa Kleypas #52
43 The Duke of Shadows Duran, Meredith #94
45 Cry No More  Linda Howard #80
51 Match Me If You Can  Susan Elizabeth Phillips #42
52 Passion  Lisa Valdez #65
54 The Madness of Ian Mackenzie Jennifer Ashley #10
55 Paradise  Judith McNaught #13
56 The Serpent Prince Elizabeth Hoyt #44
65 Devil in Winter Lisa Kleypas #3
66 Heaven, Texas  Susan Elizabeth Phillips #22
70 Perfect  Judith McNaught #45
73 My Dearest Enemy  Connie Brockway #86
74 Welcome To Temptation  Jennifer Crusie #36
87 Slave to Sensation  Nalini Singh #51
94 See Jane Score Jane Gibson #50
95 Slightly Dangerous Mary Balogh #7
Total 30
30

This was a fun activity for a book-aholic like me.  Next time this poll comes up I'll do some re-reading and spend more time creating my list because I just kinda slapped this together at the last minute.  I know my top 10 or 20 favorites is correct but the rest .... not so much.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010