December 21st, 2010

pine snow


Thanks to kellyrfineman who reminded me last night about the eclipse, I got to enjoy it. Yes, it was late (and man, I'm a little groggy today because of that). But wasn't only the moon.

Here, the skies were that kind of crispy clear they get when it's cold (though I don't think it was lower than 30 degrees out). The stars shone, and the hillside behind our neighborhood had that smooth, clear shape that only comes in moonlight.

And overhead, the moon shone, and slowly, so slowly, the shadow of the earth moved across its surface. For us, it started on the bottom left part and moved across diagonally toward the top right. By the end, the moon was glowing an orangish-red -- very cool.

The cold air felt like silk on my face, and it was so quiet...all combined, it was an amazingly beautiful time.

Sending peace and beauty your way today!

(Um, not last night...but still 'our' sky.)
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Books Eleven and Ten...

How did I choose these books? Each of the Top Fifteen are five star reads (which means I read every word and LOVED it). To narrow it down further, I thought about my delight in the story and how completely enraptured I was as I read it. For all of these fifteen, I lost myself in the world of the book.

The covers link to The Tattered Cover (to promote indie bookstores a bit) in case you'd like more info. Here's numbers eleven and ten, since I'm so behind today:

First, eleven.

oracle of datingThe Oracle of Dating, by Allison van Diepen
Why I loved this? At first, I thought it would be more of a light romance, but once I got started, I realized that this book had so much more to offer. I really enjoyed the wisdom shared by the 'oracle', and I especially appreciated how Kayla struggled to make her own relationships work, despite her unusual perception with others.
The story: Kayla uses her relationship intuition to be an 'oracle' for her classmates and friends, but when she begins to fall for someone herself, she starts to doubt her own understanding.
I'd recommend this to any teen girl who wants a slightly deeper romance story.

And now, to begin the top ten:

zen & xander undoneZen & Xander Undone, by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Why I loved this? The characters and their relationships, not only with each other, but with everyone around them. The two sisters, Zen and Xander, are so complex and realistic -- and completely likable, despite their quirks. Out of all the 'death' stories I read this year (and there were quite a few -- clearly it's a popular theme), this was my favorite. I love how both girls handled their grief, and how their friends and other family members both helped and hindered. I thought the sweet romances were perfectly done (and subtle, in many ways). It's simply a lovely story.
The story: Zen and Xander's mom dies, and they struggle to find their way again. Zen turns to rebellion, pushing away anyone who wants to get close (including the boy next door, who's been in love with her for years); Xander, otoh, seeks human contact. Both work through their grief, and in the end, Xander helps her older sister come to terms with what happened and how to face the future (with a little help of her own from family and a new friend).
I'd recommend it to anyone who loves hopeful stories about relationships.