Special thanks to Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm for the super header.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I'm home and a reading update

Made it home yesterday. I really hate airlines. They make life so difficult. I tried to check-in using the kiosk and it said "your documents must be verified by an agent" so I get in line, wait wait wait, then the attendant goes "oh you have to be in that line". So I go in the other line which is the problem child line. People with every possession they own, tickets for the wrong day, pissed off at the service, expired passports, that kind of thing. I FINALLY get up there and said "Why am I here?" She had no clue. She printed out my boarding pass and I was done. Grrrrr.

Security? What security? I saw no one going through a scanner, saw one older woman patted down. As I was putting my shoes back on and gathering up my stuff I hear the guy who looks at the x-ray luggage going "Water bottle! Water bottle!" Where are the women who check your bag? Standing far away from the conveyor belt yakking about their weekend. Finally the guy walked over and tapped them on the shoulder to get their attention. Good think it wasn't anything urgent. Lame. But at least my flight was on time and I got home with only frozen feet (no heat on the floor of the plane). Due to a late furnace man I ended up staying home today.

I did get a bit of reading done. Well, I've been trying to keep up with my Christmas story commitments for the other blog, but I read these longer ones.

Stirring Up Trouble by ZA Maxfield (147 pages)
MLR Press

Toby is a bit of the wild child of the culinary scene in NY. Brilliant but always getting fired or quitting for some reason. His sister demands he pick up her kid and bring him to work, and it just so happens to be the night that a big food critic is there, when things go belly up, Toby is fired. He is blackballed by the chef but through a contact of his sister goes to a small diner that is on the verge of bankruptcy and more or less bullies chef/owner Evan into taking him on. Before Evan knows what hit him, Toby is making changes that are making them more popular and he's moved from sleeping in the basement to living with Toby, however Toby's impulsive charge-ahead nature doesn't go over very well with more pragmatic Evan. On their opening night, the critic who is out to ruin Toby shows up to make his life hell. I really liked Toby despite the fact that his behaviour manages to fuck things up, however his sister was oblivious. She got him fired once because she put her job above his, she had to work so couldn't pick up her kid and then she does it again on opening night. If she was such an important high powered lawyer she had to fly to Boston, did she not have a freaking nanny? I was starting to think it wasn't Toby who was sabotaging his career but his sister. You saw Toby go from youthful obliviousness of how his behaviour affected others, to realizing that he cared about Evan and wanted to make him happy not just charge ahead with his own agenda. A fun book and I see that Evan's twin's story is coming in 2011. I'll definitely be checking it out.

GI Joe Holiday by Amberly Smith (66 pages)
Dreamspinner Press

Deck is in training to be a Navy Seal. His family has served in the military for centuries and he wants to prove himself worthy. He believes if he can prove himself in the military then he can tell them he's gay and they'll accept him. He's called in and told he will be the model for a sculptor doing a commission, who happens to live near his parents so it's agreed he'll go during breaks. He's immediately attracted to Mason but he has a secret. Although things are rough with a long distance relationship, they grow closer until a mining accident near where Mason lives forces Deck to reveal his secret. I'll just say it's a paranormal secret which naturally freaks Mason out some. I really liked this one. I liked Deck who was very committed to being successful in the military, but he wasn't afraid to go after Mason once he decided it was what he wanted. I also enjoyed that his family was all about family, meaning when he revealed his sexuality, they were surprised but ultimately okay with him. I do think the whole paranormal angle could have been skipped and except for the big reveal it would have still been a lovely story about two very diverse guys getting together, but it didn't detract from the story either.


Chris said...

I agree about the paranormal thing in GI Joe Holiday. It was very wtf?! for me.

Tam said...

I didn't dislike the paranormal element but it was definitely not needed as it was going along fine without it.

Average Reader said...

Re: Gi Joe Holiday, I wondered if it had a paranormal aspect when you said his family had served in the military for centuries, ha, ha! Great reviews, Tam. I'll probably check both of these out.

Jenre said...

I have Stirring Up Trouble in my TBR pile. Along with all the other books I may never find the time to read :(.

I really liked the GI Joe Holiday story too, for all the reasons you have given here. It's one of my favourites so far from the Advent stories.

Tam said...

Yeah, not that they were immortal Val, but there was a history of being warriors/soldiers in their race. It was kind of expected of the men, hence his desire to prove himself to his family.

I know the feeling Jen. So many books. This one really struck a chord for me too. I guess it was the interaction between the guys that just hit all the right notes for me.

Janna said...

Glad to see you home safely, Tam. Loved your pictures of Chicago. :)
I think I have the first one in my TBR pile and the second one needs to be added. They sound good.

wren boudreau said...

Hi Tam! Glad you made it back safe and sound.

I can't believe nobody caught on to the paranormal thing in GI Joe Holiday. It was mentioned a couple of times earlier in the story, but I suppose you could've taken it as simply a description of his temperament instead of his reality. Maybe I'm just always on the lookout for weird O_o

Tam said...

Thanks Janna. They were both good reads.

That's what I thought it was Wren, just kind of a nickname. You're a wildman, I don't take that to mean it literally. LOL I did clue in eventually that the references weren't just passing phrases but I think because it wasn't a part of the story until near the end I just didn't think about it much. Still enjoyed it. :-)

Lily said...

Welcome back!

I've had ZAM's story on my wish list for ages. Sounds good, maybe by the time the twin's story is out I'll have gotten this one.

G.I. Joe sounds interesting too. Another one for the astronomically huge wish list. :D

Tam said...

LOL That's a plan Lily. It was a fun story even though I literally had to flip away and take a deep breath when his sister pulled her BS about picking up the kid a second time.

There have been lots of good ones in the DSP doses so far this year.