Dexter is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay

Dexter is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay

Synopsis:  Dexter Morgan’s neatly organized life as a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Police, devoted husband and father, and killer of only those who deserve it is turned upside down by the arrival of his new daughter, Lily Anne.  Feeling surprisingly sunny and loving, he’s trying to suppress the influence of his Dark Passenger—the voice inside who guides his homicidal urges.  But Dexter is summoned to investigate the disappearance of a seventeen-year-old girl who has been running with a bizarre group of goths who fancy themselves to be vampires. As Dexter gets closer to the truth of what happened to the missing girl, he realizes they are not really vampires, but cannibals.  And most disturbing,  these people have their eyes on Dexter . . . and their mouths are watering.

From Amazon.com

Brookie’s Review:  I’ll be honest…I love Dexter.  He’s a bad guy (essentially), but he’s a bad guy to the right people.  Does that make sense?  There’s no secrets between the reader and Dexter.  By the end of the first page of the first book, Darkly Dreaming Dexter, the reader knows that Dexter is a serial killer.  He doesn’t try to hide that.  But, he justifies it to you, if you can call it that.  Dexter is a predator, and he preys on those that prey on others.  His adoptive father, Harry, an ex-cop, schools him on the ins and outs of forensics, and the things that he needs to do correctly, in order to not get caught.  Harry was also the one that told Dexter that he needs to only murder those that “deserve” it, rapists, other murders that got away, child predators and the like.

Even though the subject matter is touchy for some, I enjoy reading about Dexter’s adventures.  Did I mention that he’s also a forensics guy himself (blood spatter expert) and works for the cops?  And he also tries to maintain a “normal guy” facade, which includes a wife and 3 children?

I love everything about Dexter.  I also love that I have a picture of exactly what Dexter looks like, and he looks like this guy…

Trust me when I tell you, he is the perfect Dexter.  And he’s not to hard on the eyes either, am I right?

If you’re the type to like murder mysteries (and can handle some gore and bad language) then Dexter is your anti-hero.  Of course, start with the first in the series, Darkly Dreaming Dexter.

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What I’m Reading – March 14, 2012

This week/weekend is sure to be pretty grueling.  My grandpa isn’t doing so well, so the little family and I will be making our trek to Oklahoma this weekend.  I’m making sure to pack just about every book that I’ve had sitting unread on my bedside table.  I see many sleepless nights, long days in the hospital, and maybe some reading aloud in my future.  I plan on doing everything that I can to make this easier to my Mama and for my Grandpa Mack.

So this week, I’m reading The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien.  This is the book that halted my progress of this series before.  When I was younger, I found this book to be so boring, but so far its way better than I remember.  It will probably take me a long time to read this one (remember how long it took me to guide Frodo from the Shire?!), as I only read it at nighttime before bed.

I’m also reading Dexter is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay.  I have a crush on Dexter, I won’t lie.  That’s weird right?  Having a literary crush (those are a real thing, promise) on a character that’s a murdering mastermind?  Maybe I don’t see Dexter as a psycho because of his “morals.”  For those of you that aren’t familiar with Dexter, he only murders/kills/preys on people who “deserve” it.  Other murderers, drug lords, people who prey on children.  I really do enjoy reading Jeff Lindsay’s books.  This one is number 5 in the Dexter series.  And if you’ve watched the show, please don’t ruin it for me.  I’ve only seen about 4 episodes of the first season, and as I understand it the books mirror the series pretty well.

I picked up Wuthering Heights at Barnes & Noble.  Blame it on my public school education, but I’ve never read this book.  I’ve talked to different people (from different states and districts of course), and I’ve learned that this is required reading almost everywhere else but Texas.  I read another book about the Twilight series (various authors dissecting the series and giving their impressions), and there were so many parallels made to Wuthering Heights, that I decided to pick it up and give it a try. Technically I’m not reading it yet, I’ve only read the first sentence.  It was late when I tried to start it, and I was already tired.  Those factors don’t bode well for starting a new book.

 

The (Sometimes) Daily Brookie

Love at first sight.  Do you believe in that?  I do.  Kinda.

At the gym today, I overheard (read:  shamelessly eavesdropped) on two girls on the treadmills in front of me.  They were discussing the possibility of love at first sight.  One girl was vehemently denying that any such thing exists.  “It’s just not possible,” she cried out.  “In order to truly love someone, you have to know them.”  True, I said in my head, very true.  “Not true,” argued the other girl.  “You can love someone immediately.  You can look in their eyes and know that you love them.”  Also true, I thought.

After they left their treadmills to go onto their next fitness endeavour, I was left wondering where I stood on the issue at hand.  But if you know me and my spouse, you don’t have to ask.  I absolutely believe in love at first sight.

The first time I met T, I was 18.  It was the weekend after our senior prom, two weeks before our high school graduation.  My two best friends, Sara & Amanda, and I were exploring our newfound independence from our parental units, and were granted a night out to a local festival without supervision.  It.  Was.  Awesome.  (My mom has always been the over-protective type, and a night out without her was something of a rare treat.)

While walking around the fairgrounds, taking in the sights, we ran across a large group of loud boys.

One of these boys shouted at us and walked over to introduce himself and his friends.  Picture a scene in a movie, when a girl meets a boy and the air around them seems to sparkle, the sounds around them become background noise and the song “Dreamweaver” starts playing somewhere in the shadows.

No, T was not the boy who “hollered” at us.  He’s not really the hollering type.  But when I was introduced to him, I’m sure that my heart stopped beating.  I was in love.  I’m still not sure what it was about him that made me fall immediately head over heels.  Perhaps it was that perfect smile, or those eyes that keep you wondering whether they’re blue or green.  Or maybe it was that not only was he the most handsome guy I’d ever seen in my life, but he was so unlike any boy I’d ever liked before.  Way back then, jeans and boots weren’t really my type, but he blew me away in those Wranglers, worn boots, pearl snap, and straw hat.

After we declined their invitation for a beer, (we were 18, and still deathly afraid of rule-breaking) I turned to Amanda and said, “I’m going to marry him.”

And two years and two months later, I did.

(Please know that T will tell you he did not experience love at first sight.  He thought me pretty, but not someone who he felt like pursuing, as we didn’t even exchange contact information.  That came later, when fate stepped in and had us run into each other again and again until he finally gave up and realized that we were supposed to be together.  Don’t mess with Fate mister, she always knows what’s best.)

Only one other man has ever held my heart from the moment I looked into his eyes.  If I’m being truthful, I loved him with my entire being when the pregnancy test said “Pregnant.”  I was reserved in my love for my baby at first, experiencing a loss will do that to you.  I didn’t want to get too attached until it was “okay” to, until I felt safe in my pregnancy, until my doctor said “Alright, everything’s good now.”

When we saw his tiny body on an ultrasound screen, I was in love.  Hearing the nurse tell us that it was indeed a boy (when I’d been calling it a “him” for weeks) made me fall even deeper.  But nothing prepared me for the overwhelming feeling of devotion and love that would come when I was handed my small son.

Since I had to have a C-section, I was unable to hold Little T immediately after his birth.  I wouldn’t have trusted myself to hold him even if they’d let me.  I felt so worthless and tired, and tried to regain some sense of reality in the recovery room, while T escorted Little T to the nursery.

But three hours later, when T handed that small, helpless little being to me, I was completely unprepared for what was going to happen.  When that little guy opened his tiny eyes and looked into my face, it was as if he was saying “Hi Mama, I’m glad we’re meeting face to face now.”  And I couldn’t help but agree with him.

What about you?  Have you ever experienced love at first sight?  Or do you think it’s a bunch of hokey?  I won’t be offended, promise.  🙂

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Synopsis:  Margaret Mitchell’s epic novel of love and war won the Pulitzer Prize and went on to give rise to two authorized sequels and one of the most popular and celebrated movies of all time.

Many novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath.  None take us into the burning fields and cities of the American South as Gone With The Wind does, creating haunting scenes and thrilling portraits of characters so vivid that we remember their words and feels their fear and hunger for the rest of our lives.

In the two main characters, the white-shouldered, irresistible Scarlett and the flashy, contemptuous Rhett, Margaret Mitchell not only conveyed a timeless story of survival under the harshest of circumstances, she also created two of the most famous lovers in the English-speaking world since Romeo and Juliet.

Synopsis from back cover.

Brookie’s Review:  Love doesn’t even cover it.  It doesn’t even begin to cover it.  Behind Lonesome Dove, I think this is my favorite book.  There are so many books and series that I really love, but I’m always drawn to timeless stories, such as Gone With The Wind and Lonesome Dove.  These are books that my grandchildren will read and still enjoy.  This book was originally published in 1936.  76 years old, and people still love this story.  I do.

This is the second time that I’ve read this particular story.  I lost my first copy (I cried), so I bought a new one and immediately had to read it again.  It’s one of those stories in which you discover something new each time you read it.  This time I learned that I really don’t like Scarlett.  I knew that I disliked her the first time, but I really disliked her this time.  Of course I admire her tenacity, her drive, her will to see that she (and those around her) never go hungry again.  She’s a fighter and a survivor, there’s no denying that.  But she’s so hard to love.  She’s selfish, mean, and definitely not a very good mother.

And I get that she’s a product of her society.  Trust me, I know.  She wasn’t particularly raised to be concerned with “lesser” people, or worry about anything, or wonder where her next meal would come from.  But she has no compassion for other people, unless you count Ashley Wilkes, and I don’t think that compassion is something that is taught.  Either you have it, or you don’t.  Most people do.

As with all stories with main characters that aren’t very loveable, she learns the error of her ways, but too late, of course.  Don’t worry, I won’t ruin it for you.  Have I ever?

My favorite character you ask?  Also the hard to love Captain Rhett Butler.  There’s something about him that I love.  Perhaps it’s his no bullsh*t style.  Or maybe the way he refuses to let Scarlett railroad him as she does other men.  Then again, it could be the way that he carries himself about town, not caring that people dislike him.  He seems like such a hard man, but we learn (even early on in the novel if you’re paying attention) that he does have a very soft heart, it’s only protected by a hardened exterior.  When he proposes to Scarlett (I’m not ruining anything, trust me), I wanted to kick him.  “Don’t you know you’re making a huge mistake!?” I wanted to scream at him.  But, had he not loved her, it wouldn’t have been much of a story, would it?

Also I loved Melly.  Mrs. Melanie Wilkes.  The frail, loving, caught in a horrible situation, Melly.  The focus of Scarlett’s ever-present hate, hate she earned for marrying the man that she loved, Ashley Wilkes.  I love Melly’s unfailing loyalty toward Scarlett, because in all fairness, Melly did owe that wench her life.  But Scarlett never saved Melanie for Melanie’s sake, it was only for Ashley.  If it had been up to Scarlett alone, she’d have let the Yankees have Melanie and the baby too.  Everyone knows that.  But her sole mission in life had been to make Ashley happy, and perhaps get him to love her, so she had to protect Melanie, even though it goaded her to do so.

I really do love this book, and could go one for hours and hours about it.  I won’t, of course, because my writing window is drawing to a close.  There are little boys that will soon wake up from their naps, and towels that are going unfolded.

If you love timeless stories, and have a particular interest in the Civil War, please read this book.  You won’t be (too) disappointed.  I’m always disappointed in the ending, but not for the reasons that you’d think.  If you’re itching to know why I hate it, send me an email, and I’ll tell you.  I refuse to ruin the ending for the masses.

Shakespeare’s Trollop by Charlaine Harris

Shakespeare’s Trollop by Charlaine Harris

Synopsis:  Shakespeare, Arkansas, is home to endless back roads, historic buildings, colorful residents – and the occasional murder.  It is also home to Lily Bard, the local karate expert/cleaning woman with a particular knack for finding skeletons in closets.

But when Deedra Dean – the local woman of ill repute – is found murdered, her promiscuous lifestyle leaves more than a few suspects.  And being familiar with Deedra’s dirty laundry could make Lily the next Shakespearean to die…

Brookie’s Review:  This is the 4th book in the Lily Bard series.  I’ll have to admit that I am a complete sucker for just about anything Charlaine Harris writes.  It all started with Sookie.  That darned Sookie sucked me in, but sadly has fallen off the last couple of books, but that’s a different story for a different time.

Poor Lily.  She’s so damaged.  She’s had a turbulent past, and it seems to follow her where ever she goes.  People think she’s strange, because she prefers to be alone.  But after what happened to her (don’t worry, above all things, I refuse to spoil stories), I don’t blame her for wanting to rely only on herself.

Lily sure does get into a lot of trouble.  Charlaine Harris has a signature move, she finds a plot formula, and she sticks with it.  Almost every Lily Bard book follows the same plot line:  Lily goes to the gym, she finds a dead body or uncovers some weird mystery, she tries to figure it out on her own, she becomes a suspect, she gets bailed out.  The end.

But, I do love reading these books.  Even if the plot line is predictable (the end result and the moment when whodunnit is revealed still shocks me sometimes, I don’t always get it right, I didn’t in this one), I enjoy a good fluffy book.  Fluffy = fast, easy read, it has nothing to do with being simple or dumb.  I especially love that Charlaine Harris sets her books in the south, a place I’m pretty familiar with, and accustomed to their ways of life.  I feel that some people, perhaps from different parts of the country ::cough cough Yankees cough cough:: wouldn’t quite understand everything.  Or perhaps they’ll think us backwards and old-fashioned, but I’m okay with that.  And I’m definitely okay with the fact that Ms. Harris incorporates our customs and mannerisms into her books.  And she should, because she herself is a Southern lady.

Well done Ms. Harris.  I enjoyed this book as much as the last.  Lily Bard is quickly becoming my second favorite heroine in your books.  Now, we need to talk about Sookie….

The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Synopsis:  The dark, fearsome Ringwraiths are searching for a hobbit.  Frodo Baggins knows they are seeking him and the Ring he bears – the Ring of Power that will enable evil Sauron to destroy all that is good in Middle-earth.  Now it is up to Frodo and his faithful servant, Sam, with a small band of companions, to carry the Ring to the one place it can be destroyed – Mount Doom, in the very center of Sauron’s dark kingdom.

Brookie’s Review:  I’ll preface this piece by saying that it took me pretty close to forever to finish this book.  Usually, I can sit for hours (in a perfect world) and read the same book.  I strive to finish books in a week or so, not because I’m a speed reader, but because I’m always dying to know how it ends.  Perhaps it was because I already knew how this one ended that gave me the go-ahead to slow down, and not read this book exclusively.  Yes, I’ll admit, this is the one book series in which I’ve seen every movie before reading the books.  And I watched them out of order at that.  I remember when Papa T drug me to the theater to see The Return of the King, before I’d seen any of the movies.  He was so annoyed at my constant, “who’s that?” and “why are they doing that”.  Serves him right.  I told him we should have had a DVD marathon beforehand.  I once tried to read this series while in high school, but it didn’t hold my attention.  While in school, my reading-for-pleasure list consisted of every novel Nicholas Sparks ever wrote.  Blame it on my inner hopeless romantic.  But seriously, I read A Walk To Remember in a matter of hours.

Now that I’m older, have a better attention span, and not to mention a much better grasp on what true literature is (nothing against Nicholas Sparks, I still read his books, and love them, a few of which are on my list of favorites).  This book is a classic tale of adventure.  Frodo is fleeing The Shire in order to take the one Ring to Mordor, and destroy it.  He’s being chased by the Ringwraiths, and he’s constantly only a few steps ahead of them.  I won’t lie, there were parts of this book that put me to sleep.  Every book has its boring parts, in this one it was the back story that Tolkien had to share with us.  As Middle-earth is a completely fictional place, we don’t know anything about it (unless you read the Hobbit, which I did, and even then you only know a few things about the history of Middle-earth), but Tolkien definitely takes an opportunity in this work to explain to us the history and things we should know about his fictional world.  And it’s things I should know, so I didn’t skip it, but some parts were literally putting me to sleep.

Since I’ve seen the movies, I knew how this book ended.  But that didn’t make me fall in love with certain characters any less than I normally would have, hello Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn, you’re my favorite.  It was nice to already have a picture of what a hobbit looked like (because that would have been hard to come up with on my own, I won’t lie), and I would have thought elves were small, like a hobbit, but in Tolkien’s world, they are only slightly smaller than Men.  It was helpful to go into this book knowing what my surroundings were supposed to look like, and what the characters looked like.

Overall, I liked it.  It was long, sometimes boring, and took a long time to finish, but it was good.  It you’re into fantasy books, and haven’t yet read this (believe me, among us fantasy lovers, it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t read this book), then you should definitely pick it up.  You’ll enjoy it.

 

The (Sometimes) Daily Brookie – The completely random version.

Y’all know me; I typically try to organize my thoughts for these particular posts.  I like to focus on one subject, and write about it until I’m tired of thinking about it, and you’re exhausted from reading about it.  And you’re probably cursing me thanking me for bringing that subject to light.

But, so much has been going on here, that it’s harder than usual to organize everything in my mind.  With that being said, here goes nothing.

We moved.  We’ve had enough of trying to sell the same house for so many years.  Our house had been on the market from the summer of 2008 to 2010.  We had renters for 2010-2011 (who were supposed to purchase the home, but that’s a different story for a different time, and one that frankly makes me steaming mad).  After our renters vacated, we put the home back on the market in early November 2011.  We finally pulled the trigger and decided to move back in and take it off the market.  And by we, I mean me.  I just couldn’t see the point of leaving a perfectly good (not to mention beautiful) home empty.  Especially with only a few showings in a two month span.  So, here we are.  Back in our first home in Houston.  Back in my ginormous bathroom (my girls know what I’m sayin’, the thing is huge), and back in a place where I was happy.

I started running.  Again.  Granted, I’ve only been one day (yesterday), but I completely plan on making this something that happens at least three times a week.  I’ve been feeling so unhealthy, gross, negative, please place any adjective you’d like in this sentence, as long as it’s a synonym of the previous.  Yesterday was my line, and I wasn’t going to cross it willingly.  I suited up in my winter running tights (seriously, the best $20 at Target I’ve ever spent, and for those who know about my love affair with Target, that’s saying something), and strapped Little T in his stroller.  I turned in 3.46 miles, with the help of my Ease into 5K app on the iPhone, and some awesome ducks that kept Little T entertained for the whole trip.  Of course, I stopped off at the small playground on our route back home in order for little brother to run some energy off.  Ducks can only keep a small man entertained for so long (about 3 miles actually).  I’m not going to lie to y’all, it felt good to run again.  I haven’t run in about a year, and it definitely shows, as today I can hardly walk.  But tomorrow I’ll hit the pavement again.  I need to feel good, and running helps me with that.

I’m slowly becoming crafty.  Which sounds pretty strange considering the craftiness gene practically runs rampant in my DNA strand.  My mama is an amazing craftswoman.  Tell that woman she can’t paint, fix, cut, or make something pretty, and then stand back in amazement and watch her do exactly that.  I’ve been crocheting for a few years now, nothing exciting or particularly difficult.  Mostly they’re blankets that end up in my ottoman, and I can pull them out in the winter months (however fleeting they are here in Texas), and share them with my friends.  But recently, I stripped and repainted our bathroom cabinets (way more labor intensive than it was difficult), and I also actually made something I saw on Pinterest.  If you’re not on Pinterest, do it.  Immediately.  Amazing website, and the creator needs a holiday named after them.  It’s that good.  I made a planner for the wall.That’s not mine, as I used awesome scrapbook paper for mine, and also used stickers for the days of the days of the week.  But, I actually made something I found online.  Something I haven’t done before.  I’m also working on a crochet rag rug.  See also:  way harder than you would think it is.  If you’d have told me a few years ago that I’d be following in my mama’s footsteps (no matter for slow or small), I’d have laughed at you.

I warned you, it was completely random.

Oh and also?  I’m still being present.  Of course, some days it’s way harder than others.  But it’s a work in progress.