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Showing posts from January, 2012

Wicked: My Ode to Elphaba

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My blog is not called "My Western Sky" by accident. The title pays homage to Elphaba and her desire to "Defy Gravity." When I write in this space, it is my attempt to break away from the bonds of my busy life and let my mind, heart, and spirit soar just like Elphaba does in her own western sky. I am going to Austin this weekend to see Wicked for the third time, and I am excited beyond measure. I wrote the following piece in the Summer of 2010 after seeing Wicked twice in the span of eleven days. Obsession? Maybe. Life-changing? Definitely. Perhaps this will explain my intense passion for the green-skinned girl and the musical that changed me "For Good": The light turns red as that familiar lump rises out of my chest and settles like a stone in my throat. My nerve endings tingle, prompting the hairs on my arms to stand at attention. Emotions bubble from the well deep inside me: confusion, anger, insecurity evaporate into assurance, euphoria, and ultimately,…

11/22/63: Three Signs of an Exceptional Book

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Even though I started reading this in the last days of 2011, I am going to go out on a limb and say it will be one of my favorite books of 2012. This is one of those rare books that will stick with me for a long time. Here are three reasons why:

1. 11/22/63 is not in my usual "comfort genre" and I still loved it. I rate most of the books that I read very highly because I know what I like, and I choose my books carefully. I am too busy and too slow of a reader to waste my time on mediocrity, and even though I preach it to others, I really hate abandoning books. Call me a picky, closed-minded hypocrite, but I think that's a right that ALL readers deserve--not just adult ones--the right to CHOOSE books that we want to read. On Writing, which was fabulous, is the only book I have ever read by Stephen King because I am not a fan of horror, science fiction, or fantasy; it's just not my thing, and Stephen King is considered the master of all three (and rightfully so). 11/22…

A Year of Reading

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It was a year ago that I started this blog with some lofty goals: blog at least once a week, read 25 novels in the spring, achieve world peace, blah, blah, blah. Judging from the date of my last post (September!), you would think that I would feel what most people do when they make those silly resolutions that they never keep: inadequacy, regret, failure. Nope, nope, and nope. Deep down in my heart, I knew that I wasn't going to stick to those ridiculously high expectations, but I like to set the mark high even if I don't always quite reach it. 2011 was not a year of failure in my reading and writing life: Contrary to the evidence on this blog, I count it as a year of success.

Here's what I did right in 2011: I completed my reading goal of 111 books, thanks to the help of the 2011 Goodreads Reading Challenge. That's 11, 374 pages that I read this year while juggling all of my mom/wife/librarian responsibilities. I'm proud of that because it proves that you are never…