Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

This year I've joined the book challenge hosted over at Goodreads and I've pledged to read 50 books in 2015. I didn't read even close to that many new books last year, and I've decided that I devote too much time re-reading old favorites. This year I want to branch out and find new books and authors to love.

I'm starting out the year with The Secret History by Donna Tartt.  I'm trying to read it slowly because I'm enjoying it so much. Here's a brief description from the Nook website:

Donna Tartt, winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for her most recent novel, The Goldfinch, established herself as a major talent with The Secret History, which has become a contemporary classic.
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality their lives are changed profoundly and forever, and they discover how hard it can be to truly live and how easy it is to kill.
An impressive debut novel from a new voice in fiction, The Secret History tells of a small circle of friends at an esteemed college in New England, whose studies in Classical Greek lead them to odd rituals, shocking behavior--and murder.

This book has been a perfect winter read. Dark. Chilling. And the writing is exceptional. I'll definitely be reading Donna Tartt's other novels this year. The Secret History has been just the kind of book you want to read on a cold, dark January afternoon while sitting in front of a fire.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Remind me again where I live.....?

It's cold, y'all. Seriously cold. The kind of cold people this far south are ill-prepared for.

Tonight the temperature is expected to drop to 16°F, with wind chills of around 0°. The wind outside is gusting up to 30mph. Tomorrow the high temperature won't even get up to the freezing point, and tomorrow night is expected to be a repeat of tonight.

Temporary warming shelters have opened all over the place to accommodate the homeless and those with homes without adequate heat. The schools are opening on a two hour delay, both to conserve energy during the coldest part of the morning and to help students without heavy enough winter clothing. The local animal shelters have been pleading on Facebook for donations for fuel to run space heaters in the unheated kennels (thankfully they were inundated with cash immediately) and the power company is requesting that everyone try to conserve energy as much as possible to ease the burden on the over stressed power grid. Power outages would be terrible at a time like this.

It may seem silly, all this worry over cold temperatures, but it really is a bit of an emergency in poor areas that rarely get so cold. I hope everyone in need of a warm bed found one tonight.

And to think that just last week it reached 70°F a couple of times!