Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bout of Books Monday Update

Bout of BooksGood grief I am a mess. I just realized that I didn't do an actual Monday update. This is going to be a bit of a mess but here you go ...

Pages read: 293 pages
Books finished: Owl's Well That Ends Well by Donna Andrews (plus a few kids books with my daughter - Button Soup and The Princess Who Never Laughed)

Challenges: Monday Bout of Books Challenge: If You Like X, Try Y

Owl's Well That Ends Well
by Donna Andrews

Publisher: Minotaur Books
Format: Hardcover 
Copyright:  First Edition edition (March 10, 2005)Pages: 304
Genre: Mystery
Source: personal copy

So Monday morning  I grabbed the wrong book but it turned out good. My daughter likes to re-arrange the books on the shelves, which makes finding a specific book an adventure sometimes - it also makes grabbing the top book off the stack without paying attention pretty much a guarantee of getting the wrong book. 

Owl's Well That Ends Well is a fun book that I read ages ago when it first came out but have not re-read since, which is actually kinda odd. Donna Andrews' Meg Langslow books have been an auto-buy since I read the first one Murder with Peacocks ages ago. I tend to revisit the books when I am feeling down, so I have read a few of them many times. This one got stuck in a corner somehow - so good on my daughter for pulling it out. 

The series as a whole is lots of fun - the mysteries are not usually terribly deep, but somewhat satisfying anyhow.  I enjoy the voice of the protagonist - Meg is competent but not perfect, or a special snowflake, and seems to be someone I would like to have as a friend. Unlike other female leads, Meg grows and changes through time - the series sees her finding a boyfriend, adapting to share her life with him, getting married and eventually giving birth to twins. This is a nice chance of pace from the timeless leads who are stuck in the same rut for every book and there is no Joe verses Ranger nonsense. I also love reading about her eccentric extended family. 

Owl's Well That Ends Well is the sixth book in the series, set at a monster yard sale being held at Meg and Micheal's new house, formerly the abode of a classic hoarder - so there are decades worth of hangers, magazines, tchotchkes, holiday decorations and stuffed moose heads. This is still early in the series, so Meg is in a fine, sarcastic mode - not having quite become domesticated yet - but you can also see signs now that she is starting to adjust her attitude. Yea for personal growth. 

It was fun and rather awkward reading the book while a class took their final Monday morning - usually I would grade papers for another class, but I had a headache so I read instead and sat there snickering, trying not to laugh out loud and making the students slightly nervous. Their occasional questioning looks made it even harder not to laugh.  I did get myself under control though and switched to grading for a while so I looked more professorial (it was an advanced class, juniors and seniors, so they should know by now that professors are human anyhow.)

Here is the start of the book (you have to read it if you want to know why Meg is doing this :-) ... 

When the doorbell rang, I stumbled to the still-dark window and poured a bucket of water where the front porch roof would have been if it hadn't blow away in a thunderstorm two weeks ago. 

"Aarrgggg!" screamed our visitor. A male voice for a change. 

Ignoring the curses from below, I poured another gallon jug of water into the bucket, added a scoop of ice cubes from the cooler, and stationed it by the window before crawling back into the sleeping bag. 

Or how about ...

Friends had warned me that it could be hard work, getting your significant other's male friends to accept you, but I hadn't expected the process to be quite so much like coaxing a small nocturnal animal out of its hole. 

Anyhow - fun stuff and it turned out to be the right thing to read, given how much my head hurt (I could focus close to read - but look at a computer screen or into the distance hurt like the dickens - weird, stupid headache.)   

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