Happy Friday all!  You made it through the week - that deserves celebration with your cold alcoholic beverage of choice and a big bowl of ice cream.  Right now, mine would be a frozen margarita and a half gallon of cookies and cream.  I'm crossing my fingers that my sister will visit this weekend and that the rain  holds off long enough for me to get a ride in on Sunday.

Besides a continuation of the Armistead Maupin and Spellman series, which I am still enjoying, I've wormed my way through three other books.  Anne Bishop's big fat Black Jewels Trilogy is for the fantasy lovers that don't mind and maybe even enjoy witches, demons, a High Lord of Hell and talking animals.  I will warn you - it is on the mature side and does not shy away from sex or sexual abuse.  I don't believe those themes to be critical to the stories, which regardless are entertaining and present several strong female characters, good and evil.  As with most trilogies, I enjoyed the first book the best.  Why is that, by the way?  The first Harry Potter, first Lord of the Rings, first Game of Thrones - maybe because it's when I first meet the main characters and the magical settings that they live in.

Skippy Dies and This Is Where I Leave You are books you have to be in "that" mood to read.  The fictional novels address very real, complicated and ugly problems that normal people face, albeit compounded into a small period of time.  The tragic heroes, and they are tragic, each have to confront and slay the dragons in their lives.  The solutions seem easy enough to an objective third party reader but, funny enough, that's the way it is in real life as well.  Expect what you would in real life - unrequited love, sex, babies, marriage, infidelity - and you'll be in the appropriate mood to read these books.