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An Homage to Vacation, While I’m on Vacation…

I originally posted this a while ago – like five years, a while… It’s a piece I wrote about my Happy Place (i.e., “my” hammock on “my” private island at “my” hotel in Aruba).  This is my attempt to describe it.  At the end, you will see a picture of it – let me know if you think I did it justice… I’m on vacation with The Husband this week (no kids, teehee, we barely know what to do with ourselves… oh wait, yes we do, sleep and eat hot food and go to the bathroom alone, hooray!) Anyway, I thought it was a good thing to think about while I’m gone – lord knows we can ALL use a little happy place in our lives every now and again… So enjoy reading about mine!

The Happiest Place on Earth hides in Aruba.  Its only residents are free-range flamingoes, a gaggle of hermit crabs, and the occasional wandering lizard or flyaway flip-flop blown to sea.  And the hammock, of course.

On a private island, at the end of a rocky promontory jutting off of the edge of a quiet beach, there is a hammock.  It is weathered and worn – the ropes practically smooth, fibers softened by years of salt spray and the sunscreen from sun-warmed bodies.  The wood frame is bleached the bone gray white that only blazing Caribbean sun and furious Caribbean storms produce.  The netting sags just right, dipping gently in the middle from the combined weight of child-pirates in ships tossing on the winds, solitary souls losing themselves in a thousand written words, and dreamers drowning in the promises of the crazy-blue sea.
Continue reading An Homage to Vacation, While I’m on Vacation…

Jill Elizabeth

So I’m Off on a Bit of Travel and REALLY Hope it Doesn’t Look like The Travelers by Chris Pavone… :)

Have you read this one? Do you know him? He’s author of The Expats and The Accident – GREAT books, full of interestingly flawed characters who are all too human in both foibles and redemptive qualities. There are believably unbelievable elements of drama and intrigue and great, complex plots full of twists and turns… But they don’t exactly endear one to the concept of travel, teehee, especially this latest one.

Amazon will give you a summary of the plot, you know I don’t do those. What I do is tell you why it’s good. This one boils down to the characters, completely. It had a great beginning, then got a little draggy for a bit, but I persevered because I loved Ex-Pats so much – and am I ever glad I did… By the end I was literally ignoring husband and children, pretending I didn’t hear alarms and tromping toddler feet, just so I could finish the last bits and see how it was all going to end (perfectly, by the way). There are a ton of fun things to read about that would NOT be fun to live – as with most really enjoyable books, in my opinion – and there’s just enough paranoia to keep you watching over your shoulder both while reading and after (and yes, I am speaking from experience, since I’ve been thinking about it ever since finishing yesterday). It feels like good old fashioned Nelson DeMille or John le Carre or Graham Greene – intrigue around every corner, no clue who you can trust, no idea what is going on until the author leads you to connect all the dots. Excellent story development that tracks character development – an instant recipe for success in my book…
Continue reading So I’m Off on a Bit of Travel and REALLY Hope it Doesn’t Look like The Travelers by Chris Pavone… 🙂

Jill Elizabeth

I GIVE UP! (Literally)

Ok, this may seem like an exceedingly random post, but I’m going to do it anyway. I’m VERY curious to hear what other people think, so definitely hope someone, somewhere comments on this one…

If you read a lot, like me, you know that you will inevitably run into books that just don’t cut it for you. For some strange reason, this seems to happen to me in stretches – I will all of a sudden realize I’ve picked up and then put down a slew of books in a row, without realizing it until some critical mass (five or more books) is reached in a relatively short time. I get really depressed then (well, depressed for me, which doesn’t last very long and is never so bad that a toddler hug won’t yank me out of it, thankfully), and worry that my reading mojo is broken or there are no good books left in the world… (Yes, a tendency toward the dramatic is rather a Jill-Elizabeth thing.) Then, just as suddenly as the bad books hit, I will find myself on a good books streak, where it seems like everything I pick up is A-MA-ZING. It’s rather inexplicable, but keeps things interesting (especially for The Husband who has to listen to me bitch about the bad ones and gush about the good).
Continue reading I GIVE UP! (Literally)

Jill Elizabeth

I LOVE Books about Books…

This one will be quick – I just finished reading a most delightful book, Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley, and felt compelled to say something about it… What – you’ve never heard of Christopher Morley, you say? I hadn’t either – stumbled upon him in one of those “you might like…” tags on Amazon. Shameless bit of promotion here: I LOVE AMAZON. I know that’s not fashionable, in many circles, but I don’t care. They make reading easier for me, they make shopping easier for me, and thanks to Alexa they make organizing my life easier for me – what’s not to love?? Anyway, that was a totally detour – back to books and Christopher Morley. You may not have heard of him because he wrote in the early 1900s. And he didn’t write thrillers or blockbusters – he wrote beautifully crafted stories about lovely people and the things they cared about. And in this particular book – Parnassus on Wheels – that thing is books. (I’m usually emphatically not a wikipedia fan, unless I want a very quick-and-dirty explanation of pop culture, but I actually liked their description of the book – particularly since Amazon was unusually short on description in the link I pulled originally… Thank goodness for the free sample option, or I would have missed this one altogether!)

You know I love books. I also love books about books – I like the self-reinforcing nature of reading what other people like reading. There are a surprising number of people who must feel the same way, since there are a surprising number of books about books and reading. The topic deserves a top ten at a minimum, but I will have to save that for another day – I’m about due for some reading myself tonight… 🙂
Continue reading I LOVE Books about Books…

Jill Elizabeth

Book Review: The Big Sheep by Robert Kroese

One of my favorite bits about running a blog and doing book reviews is finding clever new stories/authors that I would not necessarily have stumbled upon on my own, since despite my dedicated omnivore reading tastes, I am still constrained by the laws of time and space (mostly time), which necessarily limit my ability […]

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