Just starting day 3 in Las Vegas and I am feeling refreshed and much less stressed out.  On Monday after I got in we just napped (The Mister was coming off an 18 hour shift that morning), got up and had Thai for dinner at a cute little place nearby, then went back to bed.  On Tuesday we went hiking on the most moderate temperature day we’ve seen.  It was only in the high 80’s, down from 108 the week before.  We went up into Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area, spent some time at their visitor’s center and went for a short 3.3 mile hike.  My camera batteries kaputted about 3/4 of the way up the trail, so I missed many photo opportunities.

Today the temp is back up in the high 90’s, probably into the hundreds by the end of the day.  Oh well.  I am not fond of heat, even this dry heat is making my life difficult.  I walked about half a mile to get to Starbucks to use the wifi (I was going to walk to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, but it is further and I gave up).

I have been reading a lot lately.  Looking back I see that I forgot to follow up on a couple of books.  Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie: My Rotten Life was great fun.  It is definitely a Juvenile book, probably around 3rd grade reading level and content.  As I mentioned, Nathan had a strange substance spilled on him that was supposed to get rid of bad feelings, but instead made him the walking dead.  He and his friends race against the clock to save his life as he knew it.  If he doesn’t have the cure before the deadness finished taking over, he will be un-dead forever.  The ending sets up a series very neatly and boys and girls will enjoy the school settings, popularity contests and unlikely adventures of the three friends.

I finished up Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a while ago, and if you don’t look to far into it, it is an amazing thriller from a masterful storyteller.  However, this book glorifies sadistic rape and murder of women.  The first couple of chapters were a real chore to get through, but the remainder of the book keeps you locked in.  There is a side story about the girl, Lisbeth, of the title that has nothing to do with the rest of the story, but probably will in a later book.  In fact, there are still a lot of questions surrounding Lisbeth at the end of the book.  All to keep us reading, I am sure.

Illyria by Elizabeth Hand is beautiful and haunting.  I love this author and have read almost everything she has written and this story contains all the things that draw me to her writing.  The characters are intriguing and bright, the setting is mysterious and alluring, the story is wandering, yet direct.  If you have read Winterlong, you should read this.  If you haven’t, then you should read both…

I finished The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall on Monday–I started it on the plane and finished while The Mister was napping.  This is a sweet story of a family of four sisters and a father who spend a summer holiday at a cottage that butts up against magnificent gardens owned by a rather stuffy woman.  The woman has a son, who embodies the characteristics we all wish our sons had, as do the girls, for all their eccentricities and mischievousness.  The girls tend to get in trouble, the boy is ruled by his pushy mother and the three weeks at the cottage become both heaven and hell for all the children.  Of course it all comes out all right in the end.  A great book for young readers, 2-5 grade, both boys and girls.

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