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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Checking In

I haven't posted in some time and have had very little time lately for reading, commenting, or even cleaning house.

It seems like one thing after another has interfered with all of the above.

The most recent and most serious is that my youngest daughter, Amelia, has been ill. The spinal tap indicated meningitis, and she was hospitalized for five days. She's had a CT scan and an MRI, in addition to the lumbar puncture. Each day was a new series of blood cultures. Finally, the doctors were certain it was not bacterial meningitis (the deadly, scary one). Her headache, stiff neck, and sensitivity to light have been improving. And she finally quit throwing up.

Chris, her husband, and I have switched off staying with her and caring for Bryce Eleanor. Amelia is still sick and weak, but feeling much better than when she went in. Chris had already taken her to the emergency room once. Then I took her back, worried about dehydration, and the ER doctor wasted no time in ordering all the tests as soon as he heard the symptoms.

September hasn't been a great month this year, but things are looking up now. All of the doctors were great and so were the nurses, for which we are truly grateful.

So... reading. I have had several books in progress, but have mostly been reading and re-reading yoga books when time allows. For some reason, neither August nor September saw any where near my normal amount of reading and not just because of the string of difficulties that have filled the last two months. I've been in one of those kind of dry spells regarding reading lately.

Right now, I'm thinking about mysteries and fantasy and adventure. My comfort reads. :) Autumn is a fine month for reading, and I expect to do some catching up in October!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Shadowmagic

Lenahan, John. Shadowmagic. A fantasy geared to the YA audience, this ARC was a fun little read.

Lenahan is a magician who was "the first person in 85 years to be expelled from the Magic Circle for explaining the Three-card Monte on television." Evidently, that only spurred him on to other adventures, including his own series on the BBC and this fantasy novel for young adults.

Told in the first person by Conor, who believes he is an average teenager (although he realizes that his father, a university professor, is a bit eccentric), the story is full of humor and adventure.

When Conor and his father are kidnapped and transported to the land of Tir Na Nog, specifically to a dungeon where they find themselves chained to the wall, Conor's normal teenage worries take on a decidedly more serious slant and survival becomes a more immediate concern.

In Tir Na Nog, Conor finds out that his father is much more than he seemed and that things that he thought were myth are very real. He encounters various kinds of magic and meets banshees, imps, and a lovely, if unpredictable, princess.

A book full of wry humor and adolescent hubris, Shadowmagic is a fantasy adventure of family, friendship, and courage. I thoroughly enjoyed this short fantasy escape.

You can also listen to the free podiobook, read by Lenahan.

Fiction. Fantasy. 2008. 278 pages.