Thursday, June 01, 2006

Murder on Nob Hill and Little Quack

What a miserable night! Insomnia has kicked in, and Jess threw out his back, so he isn't sleeping any better. Rather than toss and turn and make him uncomfortable, I thought I'd blog a bit.

Today I just happened across a tape measure, so I decided to see how tall Mia has grown. I couldn't believe it. She's 37" tall! I put her on the scale for good measure, and she's 32 lbs. In the last six months, she's grown over 3 inches and gained 7 lbs! I knew that my baby girl was growing up, but I didn't really realize it until today. The first clue was how easily she's taken to potty training. She's virtually done; she just wears a pull-up at night. Even visits to the store go smoothly. The second big clue I got was on Sunday night. As she sat in my lap, I smelled her hair, and noticed she didn't smell like a baby anymore. She smells like sweat and dirt, but clean, like a little kid should. She smells exactly right, but it made me want to cry anyway. Where did my baby go?

Murder on Nob Hill by Shirley Tallman is the first book in a new mystery series taking place in 1880 San Francisco starring Sarah Woolson. I was a little disappointed in this book. I guess I would call it Mary Russell-lite or Nancy Drew-grown-up-in Victorian-San-Francisco. The bad guy (the real one) is pretty obvious from the beginning, although the secret he's trying to hide takes some doing to come out. Some of Sarah's adventures seem a bit extreme, and the relationship between Sarah and her loving father seems glossed over too often to become real. The connection between Robert Campbell and Sarah is one that will obviously carry over into future books, as will Li Ying. After reading mysteries by Anne Perry and Laurie R. King, this can't help but disappoint if you're looking for the same kind of depth and character development. But sometimes you just need a fun, light read without all the Sturm and drank, that's when you need a book like this. I'll be reading the next in the series myself soon.

And now for something completely different: Little Quack's New Friend by Lauren Thompson and illustrated by Derek Anderson is a completely delightful children's book. The bright cover got me to bring it home from the library and the clever story entranced my 3 year old daughter. Little Quack and his siblings: Widdle, Waddle, Piddle, and Puddle meet a new friend Little Ribbit, and they play together. The illustrations are amazingly charming, the words just repetitive enough for my daughter to enjoy what's coming next without me wanting to tear out my hair, and even my twelve year old daughter sat through a reading. My husband declared it adorable. It has a sweet, easy message of getting along despite our differences which is perfect for this age group. I've ordered other books in the series from the library, and if they are as good as this one, they will probably become Christmas presents.

I'm about halfway through Dying Declaration by Randy Singer, another excellent legal thriller, and then I'll dive headlong into God's Politics. Just when I was getting the pile by the bed cleared out, another 8 books came in today. And I'll have another 8 by the weekend. I can't help it, it's an addiction: I love to read!