Is it fall?

In other news we are now in that wonderful part of the year where each day, every Texan wakes up wondering what season to dress for.
According to the almanac it is officially fall, a term I have just started to accept although I still prefer autumn, and as all Texans (and longterm Texas dwellers) know, this means it could be summer, spring, or winter weather – and it may take a turn at being all three as the day progresses.
I’m not kidding!
Yesterday morning as I took the kids to school it was in the low 50’s – the kids were shivering as they wrapped their fleecy hoodies more tightly around their little bodies. My son had picked out jeans to keep his skinny little legs from turning blue and my oldest daughter was happily wearing a new cozy sweater for the first time. When I picked my gang up at the end of the school day, the sensor in my car listed the outside temperature at 84 degrees and the kids were sweaty and tired, dragging their extra layers behind them.
Today is slated to be the same, but tonight we get a ‘cold front’ which could mean anything from a couple degrees dip in the temps to a full blown freeze your butt off why won’t my thermometer go above 40! wintery spell.
It’s all about layers – and how fast you can put em on and then take em right back off!

Distractions

The Husband is home this week recovering from surgery and while its lovely to have him around (company, help with this and that, not late for dinner because of work) it is also a huge distraction.
I mean, it’s nice that he wants to talk to me but erm… I’m trying to read over here!
Seriously, I should have made sure he was a reader before I married him because he just doesn’t seem to understand that me reading means I am not available to chat, or watch TV, or look at stuff he finds online.

I recently finished the first draft of a novel I have been working on and this week has been all about rereading, editing, and revising. And in the background all I can hear each morning is The Husband practicing random Spanish words as he tries to learn on his computer.
And my brain is incapable of tuning it out!

Seriously if my mc blurts out ‘el perro tiene una bola roja’ it is not my fault!

What the kids are reading now

My kids’ school had a book fair last week. Oldest daughter got first chance to go check it out so she begged some cash from me – I always give in when the money will be used for books – so off she went with my dollars.
She didn’t find anything she liked but hadn’t already read, so she passed the money to her brother – he got to go the next day.
After school on the second day The Boy was very excited to show me his purchases. The first item out of his backpack was a cool eraser that looks like a calculator – and my heart sank. I had failed to confirm with him that the money must ONLY be used for books.

But then!
He totally floored me, because he produced not one but TWO books!
He told me that he took some of his pocket money and combined it with the $ from me so he could get more than one book.

Can this be true? My reluctant reader, happily, willingly, spending his own money on books?!

Oh happy day!!!

He bought and subsequently read a Star Wars Jedi training book, and an Adventure Time book – both graphic novels aimed at his age group. Yay!!!

Oldest daughter came shopping with me one evening and found for herself ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ by Ransom Riggs – so far the verdict is ‘freaky’ and she loves it.

And last, but never least, my Little One is devouring another fairy book – ‘Fiona the Flute Fairy’ – that she spotted in her school library.

A review: The Racketeer by John Grisham

In the interest of full disclosure I must admit up front that I am a huge John Grisham fan. Huge.
I started reading Grisham books as a teen and found them to be the perfect thing to fill the void after watching all the episodes of Matlock, Quincy, Murder She Wrote, and Columbo my TV had to offer.
In other words, I do enjoy a good detective/murder/mystery story. Grisham is usually a little heavy on the courtroom-lawyer side of things – that’s okay (see I liked Matlock already) but there’s still some good suspense building throughout his stories which is yummy and delicious. His characters are so very real – and there’s always someone that’s fun to root for or against.

The Racketeer is the first Grisham I’ve picked up in ages and it did not disappoint.
Malcolm Bannister is a convicted criminal, serving 10 years in a low security facility for a crime he swears he did not commit. He doesn’t waste his time filing appeals and arguing his case to the warden, he was a lawyer and he knows how these things work. He knows he would only be wasting his own time – and he has five years left.

Malcolm adopts the attitude that he just has to get through one day at a time. He just needs to survive, and the best way to get through each day is to find some way of passing the time.
He works a the prison librarian, he reads a lot and after successfully helping another inmate secure an early release, Malcolm becomes the resident prison lawyer. He devotes time each week to his fellow prisoners, looking through their legal papers, promising to help where he can. He hears a lot of claims of innocence, a lot of pleading for freedom. He hears one story that might help him walk out of prison a free man, with a new identity, a clean slate and enough money to start a new life. He just needs to make some deals and tell some stories of his own.

For the most The Racketeer is a fairly straight forward story, there are twists but nothing too crazy and you can see most of them coming. What makes the story so good though is the building tension, the game of cat and mouse, the sitting on the edge of your seat as you read wondering if Malcolm is about to get caught, if his whole concocted scheme is about to fall apart on the very next page.