Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordy Wednesday

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Overall Impression: I had no idea...
I love historical fiction and this was everything I wanted in a book and more. Set in England just after WWII this book is told through a series of letters. The characters are so real without being sterotyped and the situations they lived through completely shocked me. It's a perfect combination of realism and the humor we use to get through the hard times.
Would I Read it Again: Yes, I may even buy this one.

Girls In Trucks by Katie Crouch
Overall Impression: Sterotypical helpless Southern female
So I totally know where Katie Crouch wanted to take this. But it just seemed to fall a little short. It follows the teen and young adult years of a Southern woman. I appreciate that she has flaws but her total helplessness wore me down. I had a hard time feeling sorry for her after her one millionth self defeating decision. I would totally read another book by her but I did not love this one.
Would I Read it Again: No

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wordy Wednesday

Look, I'm keeping it up!

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Overall Impression: Oh my god (but in a good way)
So this is my book club book this month and, wow. I was hesitant to read it but once I started this monster I could NOT put it down. It's about a family going through the illness of a child and how it effects everyone. Jodi Picoult wrote from everyone's perspective from a 40 something mother to a 16 year old boy. The book really made me grateful for my families health but also questions just how strong I would be in a crisis. I highly recommend it.
Would I read it again: Yes, no question. I just have to be in the right mood to read a very emotional book.

A Boy Named Shel by Lisa Rogak
Overall Impression: I am so ignorant sometimes
So some of my favorite books growing up were A Light in the Attic and Where the Sidewalk Ends. I had NO idea how much other Shel Silverstein created. He got his start drawing cartoons for the army which turned into drawing cartoons for Playboy. He lived in the original Chicago mansion and was friends with Hef his whole life. He wrote country, pop and folk songs, plays, short stories, more cartoons along with his other children's books including The Giving Tree. He was hard working and a genius. I loved learning more about him.
Would I read it again: Maybe. I didn't love the author's style but I would read more bios of him.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

*Fair Warning: Title is my extra cliche'd way of tying together 3 completely unrelated thoughts*

The Good:
The inauguration was amazing. I watched all morning and then listened to public radio the rest of the day (nerd alert!). I am completely caught up in all the hopefulness and joy this new president inspires in people. I shed some tears and clapped when the oath was official. I got chills during the speech. I am ready to work hard and make this country great again.

Also, I am still surprised at the ignorance of a small but vocal section of the country. I've done my share of trash talking but I have always directed it to specific actions (ie the poor handling of international politics) NOT a person's physical characteristics. This part isn't good but I had to mention it because it makes me crazy!

The Bad:
I made applesauce last night in an attempt to use up the nasty red apples that came in various fruit baskets we got over the holidays. It was surprisingly easy and delicious. The bad was after I put it in the blender to get rid of the last chunks. Instead of lifting the whole pitcher out and pouring it easily into the gladware, I somehow unscrewed only the glass part and the applesauce flowed lava-like onto the blender and counter. Luckily I had just cleaned the counters so I just scraped it all into the container and hoped for the best.

The Ugly:
After 4 months of excuses I finally bit the bullet and joined a gym again. I really enjoyed it in Cincy but due to lack of money and extra laziness I never got back in to it. So last night I sweated my way through an embarrasingly short workout. Ugh, thank godness I am not trying to pick any guys up. I don't think the bright red face, sweating and panting look is hot right now.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Is It Just Me?

Why is it that traveling over the weekend always wears me out? We had a super fun weekend with some friends of ours from college but it was more a "drink some wine, play cards and talk" fun rather than "get crazy drunk-stay up late" fun. We were more casual partly because they live in the sticks (their house is beautiful but seriously 20 miles from ANYWHERE), partly because they have a 6 month old baby (squee!!) and partly because we are officially old.

On the drive home yesterday in the driving rain I was getting super sleepy. The Captain and I spent the entire evening catching up on TV shows instead of getting ready for the week. Don't get me wrong, it was one of the most fun weekends I've had in ages, but man, it wore me out.

I'm blaming the tiredness on the fact that I am wearing a stained shirt at work. I'm so horrified I will probably go out and lunch and buy a new shirt. I have no idea how I missed the big drops of coffee (?) all down the arm but it looks very fancy with my short sleeve sweater. Everytime I type (almost all day) I see those gross brown stains staring at me. How embarassing.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wordy Wednesday-Inagural Edition

*Just pretend this was posted yesterday to make the title work*

In an effort to get out of this blogging slump/writers block that I seem to have, I'm trying to have an unofficial theme of the day. I know, what a nerd. Let me push up my coke bottle glasses with the tape and shock everyone with the news that I love to read. I read every night before bed and a lot of times at lunch and weekend mornings and while I'm waiting in line get the point. So my plan in to review whatever books I'm reading. I warn you I read a lot of trash (chick-lit, paperback mysteries) but I try to stretch myself sometimes. If this if fun and I don't forget I'll try to make it a weekly thing. Of course I love to hear book suggestions too so comment away!

The Thin Place by Kathryn Davis
Overall Impression: What?
This was a short book and I had read some reviews so it seemed like a good holiday read. I finished this book feeling like I had missed about 4 crucial chapters. I love that each chapter is told from a different character's point of view (even dogs) but the story felt really disjointed and I never really got the point. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt that I just missed some deeper meaning.
Would I read it again: No

The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chavalier
Overall Impression: Wow.
Again, a short paperback. I got this at my bookclub's holiday book swap and it got lots of positive reviews. I really enjoyed all parts of this book. It was an amazing glimpse into a short part of one girl's life. The historical descriptions of the city, house and clothes made this even better. Also, the social stigma of going from daughter of respected artisan to daughter of poor artisan to servant to the next stage of her life (I won't spoil it) makes me glad to live where and when I do.
Would I read it again: Yes

Village Affairs by Cassandra Chan
Overall Impression: fun and cute, if you like English mystery novels a la Dorothy Sayers, you will like this
I warned you that I read fluff and this is fluff at it's finest. As a anglophile I loved the descriptions of the country side, village church and local pubs along with the admittedly sterotypical characters. The mystery was intriguing without being impossible to solve and kept my interest.
Would I read it again: Yes, once enough time has passed for me to forget "who dunnit"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Start, New Year

So um yeah, I've been away for a long time now. I was kind of holiday crazy, out of the groove of blogging, out of town every weekend. But also, now that's it's been a year, I've been trying to figure out what I want from this little blog. When I started last January it was because I'd been reading so many great blogs and wanted to be part of the mysterious "blog-o-sphere". Also, the Captain was many states away and I wanted to keep him up to date on my daily boring minutia. Now that I can tell him my long boring stories over dinner I'm less inclined to do the type-y thing every day.

I also didn't really put my blog out there for everyone so I don't have a lot of readers (I think). Now I won't lie, I sometimes wish I got more comments. But on the other hand I'm super bad about lurking and get performance anxiety when commenting that it will be lame, a repeat of what everyone else said, etc. Also, I'm horrible about remembering to email people back.

So I've been debating about telling people about this blog in real life. Not that I'm not proud of it, but it would change the "diaryness" of the blog and make it more about entertaining people. I love getting compliments but I feel like I would lose the "inner" of the inner monologue. Being able to work through my depression earlier this year was amazing. If I knew my mom (and horror of horrors, my in-laws) read this I know I would censor myself.

So to make a long and boring story (don't you feel sorry for the Captain now) shorter, I've just been thinking. I've sent the link to my sisters who I know won't judge. And some friends who also have blogs. But I think that will be all for right now. I'm also going to try to be a much better commenter on the blogs I read.

For right now, this blog will keep being my "Secret Public Journal" (title totally stolen from Mike Birbiglia).

I will not stress about posting every day but I will enjoy the only truly creative outlet in my life. I will not stress about the mediocre writing, spelling and grammer mistakes but keep believing that practice make perfect, or better at least.
I will add some damn pictures already!
I will comment more on other blogs, thanking the people for making me laugh or think about the world

And since I am constantly changing my mind this may all change next week. And I'm ok with that.