Monthly Archives: December 2012

Happy New Year!



May 2013 be full of the hopes and dreams you’ve always desired. It’s time to put the past behind you and move on to bigger and better things. 2012 was a wonderful year for me, but I know my life will be even more glorious with the coming new year.

I wish you nothing but the best, Cracking Spines fans! ūüôā


Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich

Somehow the fact that I ever even read Wicked Appetite totally slipped my mind until last night. I mean, maybe it was because I started and finished it on the long sojourn from England back to Florida. I was so exhausted by the time I landed, I wiped out as soon as I got home. Wicked Appetite

Anyway, that doesn’t really matter.

In her traditionally light-hearted voice, Evanovich introduces yet another goofy, bumbling female protagonist a la Stephanie Plum. Lizzy Tucker. Lizzy is a baker living in Boston who has a penchant for making the best damn cupcakes you’ll ever taste. She (of course) has a wacky cast of characters surrounding her including:

  • Clarinda Dazzle-owner of Dazzle’s bakery, Lizzy’s boss.
  • Gloria “Glo” Binkly-funny would-be witch that also works at the bakery. Responsible for many zany mishaps.
  • Shirley More- the bakery’s best customer, buying two dozen (or more) cupcakes a day.
  • Carl-a monkey.
  • Diesel-a mysteriously sexy yet slightly dangerous stranger that walks into the bakery one day and changes Lizzy’s life.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

I feel like Janet Evanovich kind of just has a formula for a story and just plugs new characters into the slots. I read many of the Stephanie Plum novels as a teenager, and I really enjoyed them because it was my first go round with this author. But now… eh. Just eh. I mean, I read it in one sitting on a plane and it kept me entertained. It did it’s job. But my life wasn’t changed by it or anything.

And “Clarinda Dazzle”?? Come on. Are we writing a children’s book here?

I liked the beginning of the seven deadly sins premise, this book being focused on gluttony. But it wasn’t compelling enough to make me want to go back for seconds.

If you need a light beach read or need something to cure your¬†War and Peace¬†hangover–here you go.

But, in general I’d say skip it. Obviously I’d forgotten I’d even read it…

2 insect keychains of 5

Blind Descent by James M. Tabor

Never before have I had such a physical reaction to a book. James M. Tabor’s research chronicles the “race to the center of the world.” He tells the two opposing stories of Bill Stone’s exploration of Cheve in Mexico and Alexander Klimchouk’s exploration of Krubera in former Soviet Union Georgia. The two men were unwittingly battling each other for one of Earth’s last major discoveries–the deepest cave on earth.

And it’s nonfiction!¬†blind_descent

I was seriously nervous and short of breath while reading¬†Blind Descent. I’d be in the bath tub reminding myself to breathe evenly. I didn’t even know I was¬†claustrophobic¬†until now… I mean, I can fly in planes and ride elevators without trouble…but the idea of worming my way through an 18 inch tunnel a mile under the earth’s surface?

Forget that.

No seriously, I am never doing that. Ever ever ever.

What Stone and Klimchouk had to endure in order to break new ground is mind-boggling. We’re talking about weeks, sometimes even months, spent totally underground in the complete pitch dark. One wrong move or bad judgement call could mean death, and for several of Stone’s team member’s that’s exactly what happened. Not only were they risking their lives climbing and¬†rappelling, there was diving involved! Swimming around in dark silty water having to squeeze my way through unknown twists and turns is not my idea of a good time. More than once underwater panic almost cost Stone and company their lives.

Like I said, forget that.

I was really enthralled by this book and I learned a lot about a¬†completely¬†foreign topic. Tabor does a great job explaining what sleeping next to a roaring waterfall is like, as well as what it is to experience “the Rapture”–a type of panic attack/hallucination brought on by so much uninterrupted time in the dark. I found Stone’s story much more engrossing because he had a lot more drama surrounding his life, but I would much rather work for Klimchouk if I had to choose. Nobody died with him.

4 crinkling sleeping bags of 5


Quote of the Day: Emily Maguire


“There had never been a time when she had had any real relation to life.”

-From Taming the Beast by Emily Maguire

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas, Cracking Spines fans! ‚̧

The Complete Hans Christian Anderson Fairy Tales

Ok, so I know that I’m gonna catch a lot of flack for this–but I’m nothing if not honest….¬†51CARXQDTVL._SL500_AA300_

I seriously did not like the collection of HCA’s Fairy Tales.

Sorry, sorry–hear me out.

Ok, we all know the classics. The Little Mermaid. The Steadfast Tin Soldier. The Nightingale  The Ugly Duckling. The Little Match Girl. I enjoyed those. For his time, HCA was totally groundbreaking. I mean, he and the Brothers Grimm kinda went back and forth ripping each other off a few times, but it is what it is. Never before had such fantastical tales been told! And I can appreciate that, I can, but from a modern viewpoint they are extremely dry.

Not to mention, really weird…

HCA had a tendency to forget facts he had already included and then change information later on down the road. And it seemed like if he wasn’t sure how to close a story or get rid of a character–BOOM YOU ARE DEAD, SIR! But not even in a way that really made sense. He just kinda trailed off with a lame, “And then he died…” or something like that.

He seemed to have some pretty extreme Christian leanings too, and a horribly¬†misogynistic¬†point of view. If you were a little girl and you did one bad thing–BOOM WE ARE CUTTING OFF YOUR FEET AND SENDING YOU TO HELL. Woah… If I had body parts amputated every time I misbehaved…let’s just say I’d be a pile of hair in the corner by now. At one point a little girl who did the unthinkable–stepped on a piece of bread in order to spare her new shoes–sunk down through the ground to Hell, where she was frozen like stone, covered in snakes and toads, and every time her mother cried for her the tears dripped down on her head and burned like acid.

That’s kinda messed up, dude.

So, don’t get me wrong–I totally understand that he was one of the forefathers of modern literature/fantasy. But his stories could be vastly improved on and (don’t hate me) I enjoyed some of Disney’s retellings better.

Let’s just say there is a reason why you’ve never heard of The Jewish Maid, Little Claus and Big Claus, or The Darning Needle.

It’s because they sucked.

2 world-traveling dung beetles of 5

Quote of the Day: Alice Meynell


“Happiness is not a matter of events; it depends of the tides of mind.”¬†

-Alice Meynell