• 101 List

    <1. create a list of 101 things to complete in 1001 days[comp. 11.03.07
    2. Make Abby’s thank you cards, by Nov 7th [comp. 11.08.07]
    3. Send Abby’s b-day thank you cards, by Nov 10th
    4. Make x-mas cards by Dec. 7th[finished 12.11]
    5. Send x-mas cards by Dec. 12th [sent 12.14]
    6. Start a “the best thing today” journal[started 11.5.07]
    7. Meditate every day for one month
    8. Find a job I LOVE and that uses my skills and education to its fullest (hopefully teaching, but I will not discount something else that would be in education and made me happy)
    9. Keep up with list on blog
    10. Send out a b-day card to friends and family every year
    [1/?] 11. Complete Abby’s 1st year scrapbook[in progress]
    12. Make a wedding scrapbook
    13. Join teacher organization
    14. Participate in a teacher’s continuing education workshop spring/summer ‘08
    15. Have diploma framed and hang it
    16. Go to a play, musical or symphony at least once a year starting in 2008
    17. Get at least 3 pedicure a year(starting in 2008)[1/9]
    18. Make a list of 20 books to read (ones that I might not typically read), at least 5 being “classics” and at least 5 non-fiction [comp 11.5.07]
    19. Read 35 books (20 being from my must read list, others being book club books and whatever else)[12/35]
    20. Find a good dentist and go regularly
    21. Take up yoga
    22. Replace all bras and panties
    23. Replace all of my makeup and find a great line that works best for me
    24. Learn to use SLR digital camera better[in progress]
    25. Vote in 2008 election
    26. Make a list of 101 things that make me happy
    27. Start meal planning again[started 11.15.07]
    28. Start an ongoing grocery list on fridge [comp 11.5.2007]
    29. Start back up on Abby’s blog and post to it at least once a month[started 11.11.07] [17/32]
    30. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day for one month(try really hard to keep it up)[started 6/27]
    31. Eat at least one piece of fresh fruit a day for 3 weeks[11/30] [started 11.12.07]
    32. Take at least one cooking class a year (starting in 2008)
    33. Donate blood
    34. Make a list of 20 “must see” classic movie that I have not seen
    35. Watch the 20 movies
    36. Buy a bike and start going on bike rides with Abby
    37. Take a child CPR class
    38. Make a budget for Christmas presents and stick to it
    39. Make a quilt of Abby’s clothes (with mom’s help)
    40. Get lasik
    41. Print and hang more photos of Abby
    42. Take multi vitamins every day for one month, and hopefully keep it up[14/30]
    43. No eating out, deliver, or bringing home food for 3 weeks
    44. Plan something awesome for Mom & Dad’s 40th anniversary next year
    45. Organize recipes
    46. Try one 3 new recipe every month
    47. Do something with wedding dress
    48. Go out with Tara once every few months
    49. Call Tara once every 2 weeks
    50. Call or email Michelle once a month
    51. Give up caffine by January,
    52. Make an Indian meal complete with naan[comp. 11.03.07]
    53. Personal #2
    54. Call Mom & Dad once a week
    55. Clean out/organize mine and DH’s closet
    56. Clean out/organize Abby’s closet
    57. Donate all the things from closets
    58. Paint/decorate master bathroom
    59. Buy new range
    60. Completely redo front yard landscape
    61. Tile kitchen
    62. Clean out/organize laundry room
    63. Clean out/organize kitchen pantry
    64. Put handles/knobs on kitchen cabinets
    65. Buy new entertainment tower for electronics in family room
    66. Finish or redo master bedroom decor
    67. Buy at least 2 new nice sets of sheets for all beds in the house
    68. Care for and get grass to grow in backyard
    69. Make a work/cleaning schedule a stick with it for one month
    70. Figure out what to do with the fireplace
    71. Do whatever it is to the fireplace
    72. Paint or replace front door
    73. Enroll Abby in swimming lessons
    74. Potty train Abby
    75. Move Abby to big girl bed
    76. Buy big girl bed for Abby
    77. Redecorate Abby’s room
    78. Teach Abby how to read, or at least start
    79. Buy a playscape for backyard
    80. Take Abby to Sea World once a year
    81. Take Abby to the Ft Worth Zoo
    82. Go to the pool at least 3 times a week during the summer
    83. Find a great preschool
    84. Start family game night once a week with NO TV once Abby is old enough, (next year?)
    85. Enroll Abby in karate (next year)
    86. Enroll Abby in sport of her choice (at 3 or 4 years old)
    87. Take Abby horseback riding
    88. Introduce Abby to one new experience at least once a month[9/32](I have not blogged baout all of these though :(
    89. Take Abby camping
    90. Take Abby to the trail of lights
    91. Go on at least one vacation just the 2 of us
    92. Have a monthly date night[9/32] (I have not blogged about these though)
    93. [personal #1]
    94. Make a significant dent(reduce it by at least half) in debt
    95. Write a will
    96. Spend one night playing DH’s computer games with him
    97. Watch an anime movie with DH
    98. Pay off DH’s car
    99. Have family and friends over for Christmas dinner
    100. Have friends over for dinner at least once a month(8/32)
    101. Do something really cool and that we have never done before for 5 year anniversary in ‘09
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1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

While stuck in bed the other day I came across this website.  Some people might be familiar with the book, I was not though.  Since one of my goals is to challenge myself to read more, especially books that I typically would not pick up on my own, I thought this was relevant to my list.

The reasoning behind my goal to read 35 books was to try to make myself always have a book that I am currently reading.  I find that if I go a while without reading it makes it harder to get back into making it a habit to read daily.  So far since starting this list I have only had a few days here and there that I did not read from a book.  I was a late bloomer in the reading camp.  I hated reading earlier in life.  It was not until my mid-twenties that I realized what I had been missing.

Anyway, back to the website.  Someone has taken the book 1001 Books You Must Read Before you Die and made an excel spreadsheet out of it.  I filled out the list, and I have only read 17 of the 1001 book. 😦 Wow, I have a lot of reading to do! 🙂

Check out the list here.

So how many have you read?

Books, Books and More Books #19

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I just finished this book, and I just wrote a review for it on goodreads, so I figured it was a good time to post here with my review. BTW- if you are not on goodreads, you should join I have found it a great way of getting new titles for my TBR pile (which is huge now).

I picked up this book because I kept reading such rave reviews of it by everyone. (seriously I have yet read a bad review) Given that this is a “young adult” book, and the subject matter, vampires, I really wanted to not like this book. Don’t get me wrong I read Anne Rice back in my early adulthood and I enjoyed them. But I like to think I am now “beyond” that and into more serious fiction.LOL! Well, I do read more serious fiction now, but come on who doesn’t enjoy some good mind candy every now and then.
I REALLY liked, bordering on loved, this book. I was immediately drawn in from the first sentence. I could not put this book down and anxiously waited until the next time I could pick it up every time I did put it down. Meyer has a very different take on the world of vampires than I have every read before. You can;t help but like her “nice” brood of vampires. You also can’t help but fall in love with the heroine, sweet innocent Bella who has a knack for finding herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. I do recommend this book. I rushed out tonight to pick up the 2nd and 3rd books in the series. I bought them NEW and I do not buy new books, so that should tell you something.

I have actually read several books simc my last book update. Unfortunately I did not write a review on goodreads or here about them. I am so bad about remembering what I have to say about books, except whether I liked it or not, after it has been a while since reading them. So, I will post the books and whehter or not I liked them. Sorry, that will have to be enough. I am going to have to be better about sitting down to blog about a books as soon as finish with them.

Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer

This book was chosen by my book club for our next meeting. I really enjoyed this book. I honestly did not know much about the Mormons (other than they like to wake me up early by knocking on my door 🙂 ), let alone the FLDS. This book really was an eye-opener. I am really looking forward to our book club discussion.

From Publishers Weekly
Using as a focal point the chilling story of offshoot Mormon fundamentalist brothers Dan and Ron Lafferty, who in 1984 brutally butchered their sister-in-law and 15-month-old niece in the name of a divine revelation, Krakauer explores what he sees as the nature of radical Mormon sects with Svengali-like leaders. Using mostly secondary historical texts and some contemporary primary sources, Krakauer compellingly details the history of the Mormon church from its early 19th-century creation by Joseph Smith (whom Krakauer describes as a convicted con man) to its violent journey from upstate New York to the Midwest and finally Utah, where, after the 1890 renunciation of the church’s holy doctrine sanctioning multiple marriages, it transformed itself into one of the world’s fastest-growing religions. Through interviews with family members and an unremorseful Dan Lafferty (who is currently serving a life sentence), Krakauer chronologically tracks what led to the double murder, from the brothers’ theological misgivings about the Mormon church to starting their own fundamentalist sect that relies on their direct communications with God to guide their actions. According to Dan’s chilling step-by-step account, when their new religion led to Ron’s divorce and both men’s excommunication from the Mormon church, the brothers followed divine revelations and sought to kill, starting with their sister-in-law, those who stood in the way of their new beliefs. Relying on his strong journalistic and storytelling skills, Krakauer peppers the book with an array of disturbing firsthand accounts and news stories (such as the recent kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart) of physical and sexual brutality, which he sees as an outgrowth of some fundamentalists’ belief in polygamy and the notion that every male speaks to God and can do God’s bidding. While Krakauer demonstrates that most nonfundamentalist Mormons are community oriented, industrious and law-abiding, he poses some striking questions about the closed-minded, closed-door policies of the religion-and many religions in general.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides

I enjoyed this book. I knew the story was about a hermaphrodite, but really did not know what to expect. It was recommended to me by some friends on the Nest so I decided to take a chance. It reads a lot like a memoir, but it is not. I kept having to remind myself that it was fiction. It is definitely an interesting book and kept me entertained.

From Publishers Weekly
As the Age of the Genome begins to dawn, we will, perhaps, expect our fictional protagonists to know as much about the chemical details of their ancestry as Victorian heroes knew about their estates. If so, Eugenides (The Virgin Suicides) is ahead of the game. His beautifully written novel begins: “Specialized readers may have come across me in Dr. Peter Luce’s study, ‘Gender Identity in 5-Alpha-Reductase Pseudohermaphrodites.’ ” The “me” of that sentence, “Cal” Stephanides, narrates his story of sexual shifts with exemplary tact, beginning with his immigrant grandparents, Desdemona and Lefty. On board the ship taking them from war-torn Turkey to America, they married-but they were brother and sister. Eugenides spends the book’s first half recreating, with a fine-grained density, the Detroit of the 1920s and ’30s where the immigrants settled: Ford car factories and the tiny, incipient sect of Black Muslims. Then comes Cal’s story, which is necessarily interwoven with his parents’ upward social trajectory. Milton, his father, takes an insurance windfall and parlays it into a fast-food hotdog empire. Meanwhile, Tessie, his wife, gives birth to a son and then a daughter-or at least, what seems to be a female baby. Genetics meets medical incompetence meets history, and Callie is left to think of her “crocus” as simply unusually long-until she reaches the age of 14. Eugenides, like Rick Moody, has an extraordinary sensitivity to the mores of our leafier suburbs, and Cal’s gender confusion is blended with the story of her first love, Milton’s growing political resentments and the general shedding of ethnic habits. Perhaps the most wonderful thing about this book is Eugenides’s ability to feel his way into the girl, Callie, and the man, Cal. It’s difficult to imagine any serious male writer of earlier eras so effortlessly transcending the stereotypes of gender. This is one determinedly literary novel that should also appeal to a large, general audience.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to the Paperback edition.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

This was my book club’s last selection. I had originally thought/heard that even though it was non-fiction it read like fiction. Well, this is so not true, or at least not IMO. I did enjoy this book, but it was my no means a page turner. It was a very slow read. I did find the history of the first world’s fair held in the US fascinating at times, like the origin of things like the Ferris Wheel, and Cracker Jacks. But, I was disappointed in the “mystery” in the book. I would still recommend it, especially if you enjoy historical books, but do not pick it up thinking it will be a fast paced thriller or you will more than likely be disappointed.

3 more books down! #19

No, I did not read all three since I posted my last book. Two of these books I read before<em> Love in the Time of Cholera, </em>but never blogged about them. The third I finished last night. I have realized I need to post baout the books as soon as I finish them or I loose track.

Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

After Love in the Time of Cholera I needed something light and funny. So if you know the premise of this book you might be thinking a murder mystery is not light and funny reading. Given the subject matter, murder, rape, dysfunctional family, it does not seem like it would be a funny and light read, but it was at least for me. I did really enjoy this book. It will not rank up with one of my all time favorites, but it was definitely entertaining. I was taken in by the story from the first line and did not want to put it down.

<strong>From Publishers Weekly
</strong>Arlene Fleet, the refreshingly imperfect heroine of Jackson’s frank, appealing debut, launches her story with a list of the title’s deities: “high school quarterbacks, trucks, big tits, and also Jesus.” The first god, also a date rapist by the name of Jim Beverly, she left dead in her hometown of Possett, Ala., but the last she embraces wholeheartedly when high school graduation allows her to flee the South, the murder and her slutty reputation for a new life in Chicago. Upon leaving home, Arlene makes a bargain with God, promising to forgo sex, lies and a return home if he keeps Jim’s body hidden. After nine years in Chicago as a truth-telling celibate, an unexpected visitor from home (in search of Jim Beverly) leads her to believe that God is slipping on his end of the deal. As Arlene heads for the Deep South with her African-American boyfriend, Burr, in tow, her secrets unfold in unsurprising but satisfying flashbacks. Jackson brings levity to familiar themes with a spirited take on the clichés of redneck Southern living: the Wal-Mart culture, the subtle and overt racism and the indignant religion. The novel concludes with a final, dramatic disclosure, though the payoff isn’t the plot twist but rather Jackson’s genuine affection for the people and places of Dixie.

I really enjoyed this book. It is about a now sucessful woman, despite her upbringing, that grew up in a very dysfunctional family. It starts off with a story of her being badly burned while she was cooking herself lunch, (because her mom thought kids should be independent) and spending weeks in ICU when she was only 4. It tells of her, what most would call neglectful, parents exploits while dragging their 4 kids along with them all over the country. The author easily could have told a poor me sob story, and deservingly so, but does not. Her stories of growing up, as crazy and shocking as they are, are told in a very matter of fact way. I found myself often yelling at the parents in this book. You would think it would be depressing and hard to take but the story of the kids, especially Jeanette is actually inspiring. It is amazing what people are able to overcome, maybe those kind of hardships make us stronger. What does kill you makes you stronger, right?

</strong>Jeannette Walls’s father always called her “Mountain Goat” and there’s perhaps no more apt nickname for a girl who navigated a sheer and towering cliff of childhood both daily and stoically. In <i>The Glass Castle</i>, Walls chronicles her upbringing at the hands of eccentric, nomadic parents–Rose Mary, her frustrated-artist mother, and Rex, her brilliant, alcoholic father. To call the elder Walls’s childrearing style laissez faire would be putting it mildly. As Rose Mary and Rex, motivated by whims and paranoia, uprooted their kids time and again, the youngsters (Walls, her brother and two sisters) were left largely to their own devices. But while Rex and Rose Mary firmly believed children learned best from their own mistakes, they themselves never seemed to do so, repeating the same disastrous patterns that eventually landed them on the streets. Walls describes in fascinating detail what it was to be a child in this family, from the embarrassing (wearing shoes held together with safety pins; using markers to color her skin in an effort to camouflage holes in her pants) to the horrific (being told, after a creepy uncle pleasured himself in close proximity, that sexual assault is a crime of perception; and being pimped by her father at a bar). Though Walls has well earned the right to complain, at no point does she play the victim. In fact, Walls’ removed, nonjudgmental stance is initially startling, since many of the circumstances she describes could be categorized as abusive (and unquestioningly neglectful). But on the contrary, Walls respects her parents’ knack for making hardships feel like adventures, and her love for them–despite their overwhelming self-absorption–resonates from cover to cover.

I did not care for this book. I read this one right after <em>I Know this Much is True. </em>I felt I need to read something light, funny and to be honest after the 900+ pages SHORT! I thought this would be a funny short book about how you do not have to be super mom in order to be a good mom. It was short, thank goodness or I never would have finished it. I did not find it funny at all though. It did speak to the point of not having to be super mom and have all the latest toys etc to be a great mom, but I felt in a very judgmental way. I felt like the author was saying you are a bad mom if your kid does have a lot of toys or if you do baby proof your house, or god forbid you are a stay at home mom. I thought the author had some really good points but did not like the judgmental tone I felt while reading this book.

<strong>From Publishers Weekly
</strong>A welcome relief from the flood of how-to-mother-perfectly tomes, Mead-Ferro’s short and sweet book is a reminder not to take parenthood so seriously. The author, who in addition to being the mother of two young children also has a demanding career as an advertising copywriter, has drawn valuable lessons in “making do” from her grandmother, who “had none of the proper equipment by today’s standards” yet “never described motherhood as a hardship.” Mead-Ferro doesn’t care for creating clever scrapbooks, accessorizing the nursery or trying to impart baby genius status to her three-year-old. Rather, she teaches her children that “making do” with their imagination is as good a route to inspiring creativity as any educational toy. She believes in letting her kids learn that the physical world is a complicated place; it’s better than smothering, isolating and “child-proofing” the world for them, she says. Rejecting the mentality that results in pre-school admission anxiety attacks and overly competitive soccer leagues for six-year-olds, Mead-Ferro both soothes and inspires as she prompts parents, and mothers in particular, to trust their own instincts rather than that of the “experts.” Let the kids get messy, she says, and let them figure some things out for themselves. While Mead-Ferro’s not at all sheepish about labeling this approach similar to that of a “slacker,” readers will come away with the feeling that the author is in fact a wise veteran who has experienced many of the conflicting messages women face today, and who nevertheless comes up smiling.

Books #19

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

While I wouldn’t say I didn’t like it, I also wouldn’t say I liked it nor would I recommend it to anyone. I appreciated Marquez’s writing, but did not care for the story itself. I was interested in the story and characters from the beginning of the book, it was not one of those books that takes forever to get into. My problem was I was no longer interested in the story or the characters after I was about half way into the book. I was actually often quite annoyed by Florentino’s character and only mildly interested in Fermina. This book just did not keep my attention. I found myself struggling to finish the last 100 pages because I no longer cared about the story. 

 From Library Journal
While delivering a message to her father, Florentino Ariza spots the barely pubescent Fermina Daza and immediately falls in love. What follows is the story of a passion that extends over 50 years, as Fermina is courted solely by letter, decisively rejects her suitor when he first speaks, and then joins the urbane Dr. Juvenal Urbino, much above her station, in a marriage initially loveless but ultimately remarkable in its strength. Florentino remains faithful in his fashion; paralleling the tale of the marriage is that of his numerous liaisons, all ultimately without the depth of love he again declares at Urbino’s death. In substance and style not as fantastical, as mythologizing, as the previous works, this is a compelling exploration of the myths we make of love.

#19 Reading

I Know this Much is True by Wally Lamb

I am going to start by saying I suck at book reviews. I knew I was not that great and then I read Polly’s reviews on her site, if you haven’t read them you should she writes fabulous reviews. So I am going to stick with what I thought of the book and post the review from the web. I know that is cheating, but oh well.

I read Lamb’s first novel She’s Come Undone years ago. I remember really enjoying his writing so when I saw this book at Half Price I picked it up. I set it aside for a while thinking reading something so big, it is 900+ pages, was going to be somewhat of a daunting task even if it was good. I am so glad I finally picked it up. I really enjoyed this book. Lamb is a wonderful storyteller and I was captured by this story from page one. Lamb starts the novel with a very disturbing scene, and then goes back to tell of the event that lead up to it happening. The book is about a brother of a twin that is schizophrenic. It looks back at their life as kids living in a dysfunctional house. The story is how one brother deals with the guilt of being the “healthy” one.

from Publisher Weekly

This much is true for sure: Lamb’s second novel (after the bestselling, Oprah-selected She’s Come Undone) is a hefty read. Some may be daunted by its length, its seemingly obsessive inclusion of background details and its many digressions. The topics it unflinchingly exploresAmental illness, dysfunctional families, domestic abuseAare rendered with unsparing candor. But thanks to well-sustained dramatic tension, funky gallows humor and some shocking surprises, this sinuous story of one family’s dark secrets and recurring patterns of behavior largely succeeds in its ambitious reach. The narrative explores the theme of sibling responsibility, depicting the moral and emotional conundrum of an identical twin whose love for his afflicted brother is mixed with resentment, bitterness and guilt. Narrator Dominick Birdsey, once a high-school history teacher and now, at 40, a housepainter in upstate Connecticut, relates the process that led to his twin Thomas’s schizophrenic paranoia and the resulting chaos in both their lives. The book opens with a horrific scene in which Thomas slices off his right hand, declaring it a sacrifice demanded by God. Flashbacks illuminate the boys’ difficult childhoods: illegitimate, they never knew their father; diffident, gentle Thomas was verbally and physically abused by their bullying stepfather, who also terrorized their ineffectual mother. Scenes from the pivotal summer of 1969, when Dominick betrayed Thomas and others in crucial ways, are juxtaposed with his current life: his frustrating relationship with his scatterbrained live-in, Joy; his enduring love for his ex-wife, Dessa; his memories of their baby’s death and of his mother’s sad and terrified existence. All of this unfolds against his urgent need to release Thomas from a mental institution and the psychiatric sessions that finally force Dominick to acknowledge his own self-destructive impulses. Lamb takes major risks in spreading his narrative over more than 900 pages. Long stretches are filled with the raunchy, foul-mouthed humor of teenaged Dominick and his friends. Yet the details of working-class life, particularly the prevalence of self-righteous male machismo and domestic brutality, ring absolutely true. Though the inclusion of a diary written by the twins’ Sicilian immigrant grandfather may seem an unnecessary digression at first, its revelations add depth and texture to the narrative. Lastly, what seems a minor subplot turns out to hold the key to many secrets. In tracing Dominick’s helplessness against the abuse of power on many levels, Lamb creates a nuanced picture of a flawed but decent man. And the questions that suspensefully permeate the novelAthe identity of the twins’ father; the mystery of the inscription on their grandfather’s tomb; the likelihood of Dominick’s reconciliation with his ex-wifeAcontribute to a fully developed and triumphantly resolved exploration of one man’s suffering and redemption.

Lots of Reading

Well,  I haven’t blogged in quite a while, but I have been keeping up with some of my 101 things.

#19- read 35 books.

 I have read two books since I last updated the blog, one from my book list and one guilty pleasure.

 Book #1

What do you do all Day by Amy Scheibe

This was my guilty pleasure book.  After A Thousand Splendid Suns I needed something light and funny.  I was in Half Price books a few weeks ago spending my GC from my B-day and this title jumped out at me.  I wonder why?  🙂  It is about a stay at home mom that gave up a great career to be at home with her children.  After years of being at home she is debating on wether or not all of her choices have been the correct choices and contemplating returning to work.  While not a life changing, make you think hard book I did find it enjoyable.  It was not as funny as I had hoped, and I am not sure I will read anything by this author again.  but, as I said I did enjoy it.  It was definitely easy for me to relate.

 From Amazon.com

In What Do You Do All Day, first time novelist Amy Scheibe chronicles the pains, pleasures, and play-dates of a stay-at-home-mother who’s struggling to be the best parent on the block while retaining some sliver of sanity. The fast-paced, spirited story–a sort of Bridget Jones for the modern mother–answers the title question easily. Jennifer Bradley has a miles-long list of daily duties (compounded by the absence of her loving but always traveling husband), including urging one-year-old Max to crawl in her presence and handling precocious four-year-old Georgia (whose response to being bathed with her brother is, “I’m not down with this, Jen”). But the question Jennifer can’t seem to answer is whether what she does all day really matters. Scheibe crafts a well-rounded, realistic character in Jennifer–a thinking mother who is brutally honest about her ambivalence. Some days she wants to spend hours just staring at her kids, but on others, she yearns for her old job as an antiquities dealer. And what about that biography of Hannibal she’s always wanted to write? Jennifer’s constant worry that her “hard-earned identity of career woman/neofeminist” has been “thrown out with the baby’s bathwater” brings a manic, amusing energy to the story, and propels her pell-mell down the brambly path of motherhood. –Brangien Davis –This text refers to the Hardcover edition

book # 2


The Secret Life of Bees  by Sue Monk Kidd

This was one of the books on my book list.  I have heard so much about it over the past several years, it was one I always meant to read and never did.  While I did not think it was quite as good as all the hype I have heard about it, I did enjoy it.  I am too tired now to go into, but it is a book I would recommend.

from Amazon

In Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, 14-year-old Lily Owen, neglected by her father and isolated on their Georgia peach farm, spends hours imagining a blissful infancy when she was loved and nurtured by her mother, Deborah, whom she barely remembers. These consoling fantasies are her heart’s answer to the family story that as a child, in unclear circumstances, Lily accidentally shot and killed her mother. All Lily has left of Deborah is a strange image of a Black Madonna, with the words “Tiburon, South Carolina” scrawled on the back. The search for a mother, and the need to mother oneself, are crucial elements in this well-written coming-of-age story set in the early 1960s against a background of racial violence and unrest. When Lily’s beloved nanny, Rosaleen, manages to insult a group of angry white men on her way to register to vote and has to skip town, Lily takes the opportunity to go with her, fleeing to the only place she can think of–Tiburon, South Carolina–determined to find out more about her dead mother. Although the plot threads are too neatly trimmed, The Secret Life of Bees is a carefully crafted novel with an inspired depiction of character. The legend of the Black Madonna and the brave, kind, peculiar women who perpetuate Lily’s story dominate the second half of the book, placing Kidd’s debut novel squarely in the honored tradition of the Southern Gothic. –Regina Marler

Books and Blogging, #19 & #29

#19 Read at least 35 books

Finished one of my 35 books to read. I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns last night.

book jacket

I was really looking forward to it since I enjoyed The Kite Runner so much, but I had heard it was not good. I have to disagree, I loved it. It might be partly because I could relate better from a woman and mom’s point of view. I am not the kind of person that cries at movies or books, etc. but I was balling like a baby at parts of this book. As in the Kite Runner I enjoyed learning about a part of the world I do not know much about, but the character’s storylines are what drag you in and keep you. Read It!

*I know some of the other 101ers have book list, so I will let you in on something I just found this weekend. (I am sure I am the last to know though, and you will all be saying, “I know that.”) I found CHEAP books on overstock.com, and they had almost every single book on my list. They are mostly about 40% off the publishers price, adn shipping is only $3. WooHoo!

#29- Start Abby’s blog back up

I worked on Abby’s blog with all of my free time today. I originally set it up last Septmeber, this was the third post, how sad. I hope having it on my list will keep me on top of keeping it up.

#18 done, #6 started

#18- Make a list of 20 books to read, at least 5 being non-fiction and 5 “classics”

Well, I finished my book list. I plan on reading more books, my goal is actually 30, but I left room for book club and guilty pleasure books. Here is my list. Please do not laugh at my classics selection, most of you are probably saying “I can’t believe she has never read that.” I was not much of a reader up until the past 5 years or so.

Non- Fiction
The Tipping Point
The Devil in the White City
The Glass Castle
Into the Wild
The Nine
Reading Lolita in Tehran

  • Classics
    Moby Dick
    Of Mice and Men
    Don Quito
    Paradise Lost
    A Thousand Splendid Suns(in progress)
    Secret Life of Bees
    The Memory Keeper’s Daughter
    I know This Much is True
    Flowers for Algernon
    The Book Thief
    Love in the Time of Cholera
    1 Stephen King book of DH’s choice

    #3- Start a Journal of “The Best Thing Today”

    I started my journal last night. I will not be keeping it on here, but I thought I would share the experience of my first entry.

    Abby and I had a really rough day. She was very whiny and cranky all day and to be honest was driving me crazy. It did not help that DH worked late and did not get home until just before Abby’s bedtime. I decided since it was such a bad day that it was a good idea to start my journal and try to pick out something good for the day. Well, I honestly though that “Abby went to bed” was going to be my journal entry. I know that sounds horrible, but it is true. Dh got home just as I was putting Abby’s pjs on her. He said “I will put her to bed.” Great, I will go have a glass of wine! As I took Abby out of DH’s arms to say goodnight to her she gave me a big kiss and said “love you.” OMG, my heart melted. She has only said this one other time, without me saying to her first, so it was pretty special. I think she knew mommy needed it! 🙂 So, ofcourse this was my journal entry:

    Abby said “love you”(without me saying it first) as she was saying goodnight after a long and hard day. I think she knew mommy needed it!