Sunday, December 23, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

November Reads

Sorry this is late! All fiction this month:

- Summer of the War - Whelen; 3.75
- The Trophy Wives Club - Billerbeck; 4.0
- The Patron Saint of Liars - Patchett; 4.0
- The Good Wife - O'Nan; 4.0
- The Dogs of Babel - Parkhurst; 3.75
- Me and Emma** - Flock; 4.0

(Totally unexpected ending in that last book! Even though I was prepared to expect the unexpected, it still surprised me!)

**Favorite book of the month

(Ratings on a scale of 1-5)

Friday, November 2, 2007

October Reads

All I can manage to post lately is my monthly reads. Sorry about that, and sorry I haven't been commenting much in your book blogs either. I am in a very busy season of my life - homeschooling the senior year of my son and deciding on college for next year and preparing myself for him leaving me (sob!); chasing around a very smart, active 4 year old daughter and a busy, "gets into EVERYTHING" 2 year old daughter; taking care of house and home and trying to fit in some time for myself - reading, knitting, crocheting, computer, friends, etc. I thought about ditching my family and book blogs altogether, but I will hang on to them, post when I can, and hope that some day I can devote more time to them again. With that said, here's my list of October reads:


Calm, Cool, and Adjusted by Kristin Billerbeck - 4.0
Winter Birds by Jamie Langston Turner - 4.5**


For the Love of Knitting, A Celebration of the Knitter's Art - Kari Cornell, editor - 4.0
Stitch N B---- Nation by Debbie Stoller - 3.75
Not Tonight, Darling, I'm Knitting by Hosegood - 3.5
Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair (The True Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After he Split) by Laurie Perry - 3.25 (I love a good glass of wine but she drinks a ton! Also I can't believe people share with the whole world about their s*x lives outside of marriage.)

It was a weird reading month. I read like normal the first half then not much the second. We went to visit friends in NC for just over a week and I didn't read at all while we were gone. I feel like I haven't read anything outstanding lately. Been reading a ton about knitting the last few months as you can see but am running out of those types of books. I'm so in the mood for a good, uplifting, doesn't have to be Christian fiction necessarily, redeeming read. Usually Jamie Langston Turner's books fit that bill perfectly for me, and while Winter Birds was very good, it wasn't the same as the last 4 I read by her.

**Favorite book of the month

(Ratings on a scale of 1-5)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

September Reads


Death Comes As Epiphany by Sharan Newman - 4.25
The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood - 4.0


Confessions of a Slacker Wife by Muffy Mead-Ferro - 3.5
The Joy of Knitting by Lisa Myers - 3.75
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - 4.0
Nordies at Noon by 4 women - 4.0
Mason-Dixon Knitting by Gardner/Shayne - 4.5
Dear Exile by Liftin/Montgomery - 2.0 YUCK
Stitch "N B---- by Debbie Stoller - 4.0
At Knit's End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee - 5.0**

**Favorite book of the month

(Ratings on a scale of 1-5)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dear Exile

My last book for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge was Dear Exile by Hilary Liftin and Kate Montgomery. I really liked the first book I read by Liftin - Candy and Me - so I saved this one for last in the challenge thinking I would like it too. Well all I can say is YUCK! I didn't care for this book at all. The book is "The True Story of Two Friends Separated (for a Year) By an Ocean." Hilary lives in New York and Kate, in the Peace Corps, is in Kenya for a year with her husband. The letters from Kate were somewhat interesting - she talks a lot about the terrible living conditions and the harshness of the schoolmasters, but I didn't really like her writing style. The letters from Hilary are filled with her casual sexual exploitations and other things that didn't interest me in the least. I am just shocked that in today's day of STDs and AIDS that people sleep around like this, and then actually make it all public in a book! I don't want to read about it, thank you very much.

Back to my knitting books!!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Harry Potter, one more time

I finished the first book last month and although I liked it okay, it didn't really thrill me all that much. (Controversial stuff aside, it wasn't that, I just really didn't care for the book that much.) I decided to at least read one more and decide where to go from there. Well I'm about 1/3 of the way through the second book and I still don't care for it. It just doesn't interest me. more you think there is still a chance I will like it eventually, should I keep plugging along for awhile yet? OR, if I don't like it by now, do you think I probably never will?

I know you can't know for sure if I will eventually get into it or not, but, take a guess! :-)

EDIT: Thanks to all who commented for your input on my questions. I think I will indeed bring this book back to the library unfinished. Maybe someday if I'm stranded on a deserted island with nothing but the Harry Potter series, I will read it then. Thanks again!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

August Reads


-Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier, 3
-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling, 3
-The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling by Neta Jackson, 4
-The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart, 3


-Confessions of a Slacker Mom by Muffy Mead-Ferro, 4.0
-To Love, Honor, and Vacuum by Sheila Wray Gregoire, 3.5
-Knitting Rules by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, 5 **

**Favorite book of the month

(Ratings on a scale of 1-5)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hilarious Book!

If you are a knitter, you have to read this book! It's called Knitting Rules! The Yarn Harlot Unravels the Mysteries of Swatching, Stashing, Ribbing & Rolling to Free Your.....(the library put their sticker over the rest of this text!). It's by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, a/k/a The Yarn Harlot.

I've laughed out loud so many times. She has some other books too. One is called At Knit's End, Meditations for Women who Knit Too Much. I read parts of it at Barnes & Noble, very funny too.

I am slowly learning to knit. Still struggling with each stitch at times, other times things feel like it's going smoother. I still have a long way to go. You can visit my knitting blog if you want to see what I've made so far.

Monday, August 27, 2007

To Love, Honor, and Vaccuum

I decided to make To Love, Honor, and Vacuum (when you feel more like a maid than a wife and mother) by Sheila Wray Gregoire my August selection for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge. I don't read very many Christian living/parenting/homeschooling books anymore. It seems like once you've read a bunch there is "nothing new under the sun" anymore to read about these subjects (there are exceptions of course!) I wouldn't say this book is a huge exception to that, but there were a few different perspectives on the subject of housecleaning/marriage/parenting that I gleaned from the book. I guess they didn't make too big of an impression on me though because I can't really recall much about the book! ROFL (I finished it over a week ago.) But I will just share this quote:

Speaking of "the good old days" such as the 1950's:
"Obviously we cannot return to that time. But it is useful to look at what was good about it, and how things have changed both positively and negatively. As we launch into our investigation of the problems of women's work today, let's remember some of these lessons. one of the reasons you're feeling stressed is because things are more difficult than they were when our mothers were young! It's not that your mother and grandmother did a better job than you do, but that they did a different job. Women in earlier generations weren't perfect. They just had different things to cope with, and had more community resources to help them along the way. When we realize this, we can move on to practical solutions that will help us in our lives today."

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Shameless Plug!

I started another blog, because I'm learning to knit! It's called N-E-W-Knitter. I also updated my sewing blog. Go have a look!


Eileen's Sewing Journal

Monday, August 13, 2007

Harry far

I posted this to the Sonlight forums and thought I'd do the same here.....

I'm almost through the first half of the first Harry Potter book. So far I'm not all that impressed! I was hoping to love this book and feel better about my misgivings about "should a Christian read these books?" If there wasn't such a hubbub (sp?) about these books, if I had never heard of the book and all the hoopla before I started reading it, I probably would have shelved the book by now.

I'm still wondering about all the witches, spells, robes, potions, magic, etc. in the book. I was led to believe this wasn't as big a part of the book as the naysayers think, that the book is more about character development and all those things. But so far I think the book is quite filled with all the "magic" stuff! I'm just not sure about this yet. I will finish the book and decide after that.

Please understand I'm not accusing or anything regarding the controversial aspect of the book. I'm seriously trying to understand how this is acceptable as a Christian. I'm still not sure!

Also, I am one chapter past where they got to the school and were sorted into houses. Will it pick up more from here? If you're a Harry Potter lover, did the book grab you from the beginning or did it take awhile to get "hooked"?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Confessions of a Slacker Mom

LOVED this book. The author is Muffy Mead-Ferro. I agreed with just about everything she said, and laughed out loud while reading the chapter about scrapbooking. I DONT'HAVE TO SCRAPBOOK!!! Wahoo! My kids aren't going to be scarred for life if I don't document their lives in a scrapbook. I'm lucky if I get the pictures off my computer, print them and throw them all in a box, much less do fancy scrapbook pages. I think scrapbooking is great, hats off to you if you do it, but I'm just glad I don't have to!

As much as I agreed with most of the book, I totally disagreed with her chapter entitled "Now all you need is a village". (She is a career woman, I am a SAHM and make no apologies for feeling that moms should stay home with their kids.) I won't get into a debate about it or discuss the chapter beyond that. I certainly respect others choices and ask that they respect mine (which I believe the author does but we still have opposing viewpoints on what is best).

I also have Confessions of a Slacker Wife checked out, wonder if I'll like that one too. I have my own (non-feminist LOL) opinions on that, so we'll see.

Thursday, August 2, 2007


Last weekend I was reading The Secret of Us by Roxanne Henke, got halfway through and just couldn't finish it. I loved her Brewster series (with the exception of Finding Ruth) but this one just didn't grab me. I tried for an entire half of the book! Oh well. After that I tried EIGHT more books and couldn't get into any of them! I am now 5 chapters into Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier (remember I really enjoyed Girl With a Pearl Earring, much to my surprise) and this one is pretty good so far too. But don't be surprised if I don't finish! I just don't know if it's the books, or if it's me, that I can't get into any books. I think it's the books but not sure. Well anyway.........

.......I went to the library last night, took back those 8 books and got a bunch more. These are the books I checked out:

-A Woman's Place by Lynn Austin (for my book club)

-To Love, Honor, and Vacuum by Sheila Wray Gregoire (funny title!)

-Firebird by Kathy Tyers (sci-fi, not usually my thing but it was recommended)

-Spirit and Flesh: life in a Fundamentalist Baptist church by James M. Ault, Jr.(I may use this as my substitute Non-Fiction Five Challenge book for August

-The Frazzled Mother's Guide to Inner Peace by Pat Baker

-The Tree of Red Stars by Tessa Bridal (recommended by BeckyB)

-Death Comes as Epiphany by Sharan Newman

-Confessions of a Slacker Mom by Muffy Mead-Ferro

-Confessions of a Slacker Wife by Muffy Mead-Ferro

-Kids Knit!: simple steps to nifty projects (I am going to learn to knit! I decided to get a kids book to make it easier LOL)

AND....yes I am finally going to see what the craze is all a Christian I wasn't sure how I felt about these books, and they didn't really interest me that much anyway...but after reading various comments about the latest book including thoughts by Mommy Brain....I decided to give it a try (ready whenever you are BookBelle!)....

-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

I'll post again after I read or don't read all these books and let you know how many I actually read all the way through. One never knows..........LOL


My slowest reading month all year....


-A Girl's Best Friend by Kristin Billerbeck, 4 **
-Renovating Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck, 3.5


-Candyfreak by Steve Almond, 3.5
-How to Help a Grieving Friend by Stephanie Grace Whitson, 4

**Favorite book of the month

(Ratings on a scale of 1-5)

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Wow, look what they're giving away at 5 Minutes for Mom!!!!!!!!!

Oooh I want to win that! I'm sure you do too! If so, just visit the 5 Minutes for Mom blog, leave a comment, and link to the post about the giveaway.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

How to Help a Grieving Friend

My July book for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge was How to Help a Grieving Friend by Stephanie Grace Whitson. I started to read Word Freak for my July book but it was just too long and very interesting in parts and not in others and I just can't finish it. So I'm going to have to pick a new book for my fifth one of the challenge, if that's okay, Joy? I know it's a challenge but with all that's gone on in my life this past month I just can't muster up the energy to slog through a book I don't really care for.

Anyway, funny that I picked the book I did when I made my initial list. I am the grieving friend right now. Probably less than an hour after I wrote my last post last Sunday about my crocheting, I got "the call" that I knew was coming at some point. My sister called to say my mom wasn't doing well. My mom passed away the next day, Monday, July 9. I actually read the book Wednesday or Thursday of this past week (it's a really short book).

I really liked the book and recommend it to anyone. It will help you know what to do and what not to do when someone is grieving. Stephanie lost her best friend and both parents within a short time of each other, but most of the book is how she dealt with the grief of losing her husband of 27 years 5 years later. So my feelings aren't exactly the same as hers, losing my mom is incredibly hard of course but losing a spouse is a whole other ballgame I think.

There is one thing she said not to do that I disagree with. She said "Skip inviting our family to organized family events for awhile. They are just too hard. We don't feel like a family anymore." I would just change that to something like please invite us but please understand if we don't feel up to coming. That way the grieving person can make the decision whether or not to attend something.

I learned quite a bit about what to do and not to do through my own grief this week.

-Send a card! Send a card. Send a card. It's something simple but means so much.
-If you don't know what to say, a hug and I'm so sorry is enough, it means a lot. You don't have to have any elegant words.
-Bring over a plate of cookies, a pint of ice cream, some simple meals like buns and lunch meat, anything little like that is appreciated. "Comfort food" was what we all seemed to crave.
-Offer to watch someone's young kids if they have any. I had some neighbors who came through for me big time with my 2 little ones. I can't thank them enough.
-Any little thing you can think of to bless someone is appreciated. My hairdresser not only came in early one day so I could have a fresh haircut for the funeral, but she didn't charge me for the cut and style. That was a huge blessing.

I know I have probably missed many opportunities to bless a grieving friend or family member. I feel so bad about that. You don't have to even be really close to the deceased or to the survivors, a card still means a lot. You may already know this but I guess I was pretty clueless - I always felt like unless I knew the deceased personally, I didn't need to attend the visitation and/or funeral. But I realize now that if I know one of the survivors, I should still attend for just a little while if possible, and if not, again SEND A CARD.

I hope you don't mind my putting my own thoughts out there relating to the subject of the book.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Crocheting again

I got the crochet bug again! When I started this blog I was in the mood for crocheting (hence the "Hooks" in the name of my blog). I learned to crochet about 10 years ago and crocheted A LOT for about 5-7 years. I crocheted a few afghans for Lindsey (first of 2 beautiful, wonderful, sweet, little girls adopted from China) while we were waiting for her. Once she came home I finished an afghan I had started for myself, but then haven't done a whole lot of crocheting since (hmmm, 2 little girls, age 4 and 1, plus a husband and a teenager, plus my love of reading - wonder why my crochet time has been so minimal????? LOL). I did crochet an afghan for Allison while waiting for her to come home.

Anyway the other day I was straightening up the living room and saw the afghan I made for myself on the back of the couch....

...and I decided, I want to get into crocheting again! We recently put up a swingset for the girls and I can crochet in between pushing them on their swings (as well as other times of course). I made this dishcloth* while doing just that...

...and also this....

It's a toilet paper cover, a little old fashioned but I like it!

So the last few days I've been going through my zillion patterns and picking out some more things I want to make. I hope I have more pics of finished items to post in the coming weeks.

Anyone else into books AND hooks? :-)

*I really don't even like using crocheted dishcloths. LOL They fade really quickly and I prefer to use a regular cloth. But they're easy and quick to make.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

June Reads



-Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler, 4
-This Heavy Silence by Nicole Mazzarella, 4
-The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson, 4 **


-The Color of Water by James McBride, 3.75
-Bryson City Secrets by Walt Larimore, 3

**Favorite book of the month

(Ratings on a scale of 1-5)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Velvet Elvis

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell is my June book for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge. I loved it! I agreed with so much of, if not everything, he wrote. I like his philosophy on what a Christian is and does and what the church is. A Christian follows the teachings of Jesus! Duh, sounds obvious, but I don't think that is emphasized enough. I really want to do an in-depth study of the Gospels and apply more of what Jesus taught to my life. I am still studying misc. verses/chapters using the methods in Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods book. I'm only on the third method and using the "assignments" he gives for what to study. I think I'm going to change that to just studying the Gospels using the different methods.

I am not a great book reviewer but I will share some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Somebody recently told me, "As long as you teach the Bible, I have no problem with you." Think about that for a moment. What that person was really saying is, "As long as you teach my version of the Bible, I'll have no problem with you." And the more people insist that they are just taking the Bible for what it says, the more skeptical I get."

"I have heard people say their church is growing because they "just teach the Bible". As if other churches don't."

"We have to embrace the Bible as the wild, uncensored, passionate account of people experiencing the living God."

"Jesus is the arrangement. Jesus is the design. Jesus is the intelligence. For a Christian, Jesus' teachings aren't to be followed because they are a nice way to live a moral life. They are to be followed because they are the best possible insight into how the world really works. They teach us how things are."

"Oftentimes the Christian community has sent the message that we love people and build relationships in order to convert them to the Christian faith. So there is an agenda. And when there is an agenda, it isn't really love, is it? It's something else. We have to rediscover love, period. Love that loves because it is what Jesus teaches us to do. We have to surrender our agendas."

Those are just a few of my favorite quotes, there were many more. Rob Bell also has a series of short videos where he talks about many of the things he wrote about in this book. We are watching them at our small group Bible study. They are excellent. They are called Nooma videos.

Note to the 2 or 3 people who read this blog: My mom was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and we don't have much time left with her. So I probably won't be posting much this summer. Please check in once in awhile anyway! I will check in with your blogs when I can.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I don't usually quit at this point....

I was reading the book All the Numbers by Judy Merrill Larsen. I wasn't loving it but I liked it well enough. But I got about halfway through (HALFWAY!) and I realized I really didn't care what happened to anyone in the book anymore. Sounds horrible since the book is about an 11 year old boy who gets killed by a jet ski that got too close to shore, and the family dealing with their loss. (That's not a spoiler, it says as much on the back cover) So I feel bad in a weird way, that I don't care, but I just lost interest. So it's on to the next book....This Heavy Silence by Nicole Mazzarella. Wonder if I'll finish that one...:-)

(One of these days I will post a list of all the books I've started but not finished this year, there are quite a few. I am not one who will finish a book no matter what.)

Saturday, June 2, 2007

May Reads


-Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, 3.5
-Perfecting Kate by Tamara Leigh, 3.75
-The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart, 4.0
-The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler, 4.25
-Winter Wheat by Mildred Walker, 4.25
-Black Ice by Linda Hall, 4.5 **
-Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard, 4.25


-A World of Love by Maggie Conroy, 3.0
-Winterdance by Gary Paulsen, 3.0

**Favorite book of the month

(Ratings on a scale of 1-5)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Winter Wheat

Last week I read a wonderful book, Winter Wheat, by Mildred Walker. The cover was not appealing, the look of the text inside was not appealing, and after reading a few pages I almost decided not to read it. But as with many other books where I felt this way at the beginning, I'm so glad I kept reading. The book is about 18 year old Ellen Webb in 1940. She lives with her parents in a rural Montana community on a wheat farm. Sounds exciting, huh? :-) It's just a really wholesome book with great characterization and wonderful descriptions of wheat farming and the landscape around them.

I love this quote about Ellen's parents: "They had love that was deep-rooted and stronger than love that grows easily. It gave me faith for my own life."

I highly recommend this book!

Rating: 4.25 / 5

Monday, May 21, 2007


Yesterday I finished Winterdance by Gary Paulsen, my first book for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge. The book was about the author's experience training for and running the Iditarod.

I didn't like it as much as I expected I would. The book never really captured my attention. I never felt like I was inside the author's head. I didn't get a real sense of his relationship with his dogs. I don't have a really good mental picture of what the actual race is like. I don't know how to explain it, the book just didn't interest me all that much. The first half of the book was all about the events leading up to the race - how he got involved with dogs and preparations made for the race. The second half talked about his running the race. I may have liked the book better if more of it was devoted to the race itself.

I did enjoy some parts of the book. But I think I really just wanted to finish it and get back to Winter Wheat! I stopped halfway through that book so I could read Winterdance and write about it before I leave on Thursday. I am really enjoying Winter Wheat! I haven't seen it mentioned on any blogs. I got the recommendation from this site. It's a list of books recommended by author Roxanne Henke (she wrote the Brewster series including the first book, After Anne). I've gotten several great book ideas from her list including The Kindness of Strangers and The Amateur Marriage.

I rate Winterdance 3/5.

Friday, May 18, 2007


I went to the library tonight to return Lindsey's videos which were due and to pick up 2 holds (one for me, one for the girls). Even though I have 5 library books at home already in my TBR pile, I HAD to get more! Once in awhile I just have to return things and don't have time to get any more books and it just kills me to leave the library with nothing. LOL I just love, love, love checking for available books online before I leave home, making a list, then going to the library and browsing the new books besides looking at the ones on my list. My book bag is usually quite heavy when I'm done. I always think to myself how I, once again, got more books that I can possibly read in a month's time (or more). I have a ritual of what I do with the books when I get home, that's for another post. :-)

So besides the books already in my pile, I now also have 6 or 7 more books, including:

The Birth House by Ami McKay

Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

The Berenstain Bears and the week at grandma's (oops, that one's Lindsey's!)

I also picked up from on hold, Winterdance by Gary Paulsen (my first book for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge). I'll read that one as soon as I finish my current read, Winter Wheat by Mildred Walker (good so far!). I read about 100 pages of Sassy Cinderella that I wrote about in my last post but it never really grabbed me so I quit.

Next week Thursday-Sunday I'm going to North Carolina to visit a friend and attend the state's homeschool conference with her. I can't wait! I'm going alone, never done that before! The book I plan to bring along for the plane is Black Ice by Linda Hall. I love her books! I hope one book is enough. :-)

Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Amateur Marriage

I just finished (like 5 minutes ago!) The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler. I loved it! I really enjoyed the last book I read, The Myth of You and Me (thanks for the rec, BeckyB!) and I really wanted to read another book right away that I could just lose myself in. At first I thought The Amateur Marriage wasn't going to be that book. It was a little slow moving at first, and in a way the whole novel was slow moving. I guess it was even depressing in a way, but for some reason I just loved it. I loved how each chapter started a whole new time in the life of the characters (like years later). I loved the images I got in my mind of life in the 40's and 50's (the book goes all the way into the year 2001). I really feel like I got to know the characters well.

I think I tried another of Anne Tyler's books at one time but couldn't get into it. I wonder if I just didn't give it enough of a chance or if she's not one of those authors where you tend to like every book they write. I can't even remember which book I tried before. I definitely want to go back now and try a few more of her novels. Which Anne Tyler books have you read and did you enjoy them?

The one thing I hate about finishing a book I loved, is I'm always afraid the next book I read just isn't going to measure up. Sometimes I will find another good one right away, sometimes it takes awhile, but I guess I've read enough awesome books that I'm sure there are more out there! My next book on the stack is Sassy Cinderella and The Valiant Vigilante by Sharon Dunn. It's a sequel to Romance Rustlers and Thunderbird Thieves which I read over a year ago with my book club. I remember I liked that book but don't think I loved it. After this I'll be reading Winterdance by Gary Paulsen for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge. I wanted to read Velvet Elvis first, since it's first on my list, but I have a hold on it at the library and 2 people have it on hold ahead of me. I won't even get it in the month of May I don't think.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

April Reads


-Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier -4-
-Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson** -4.5-
-Sisterchicks in Gondolas! by Robin Jones Gunn -3.75-
-An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor -3.5-
-The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger -3.75-
-Head Game by Tim Downs -3.25-


-An Innocent, A Broad by Ann Leary -4-
-Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax -2.5-
-Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in you and your kids! by Turansky/Miller -3-
-One Small Boat by Kathy Harrison -4-

**Favorite book of the month

(Ratings on a scale of 1-5)

Non-Fiction Five Challenge

Here is my final list for the Non-Fiction Five Challenge sponsored by Joy at Thoughts of Joy:

1. Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

2. Winterdance by Gary Paulsen

3. Dear Exile by Hilary Liftin

4. Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis

5. How to Help a Grieving Friend by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Time Traveler's Wife

I just finished The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger this morning. Funny thing, I tried to read this a few years ago and couldn't get into it. But it was this month's pick for my newest book club so I decided to slog through it if need be. This time I loved it! Okay, I ADMIT IT, I read it quite a bit this weekend when I should have been doing other things. LOL But what can I say, I had a hard time putting it down.

That said, I did NOT care for the zillion uses of the "F word", ugh. DO PEOPLE REALLY TALK LIKE THAT??? No one that I know talks like that, uses that word all the time, no one! No one I know ever uses it at all, not in front of me anyway. Maybe I'm sheltered. :-)

The other thing, I hated the s-x scenes, HATED them. It makes me SO uncomfortable, I do not care to read that stuff, the book would be just fine without them. I NEVER EVER want to read another book with that kind of stuff in it, EVER. I am going to have to do a very thorough job of investigating any secular fiction book from now on before I read it because I just don't want to encounter this ever again. Did I make my point strongly enough? LOL

Also recently finished An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor. I enjoyed it, not as much as Carrie did, but it was pretty good. At times I was bored though. I read One Small Boat by Kathy Harrison in one day and enjoyed that one too. It's the second book I read by her, about foster parenting.

Next up.....Reluctant Burglar by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. This was actually read by my Christian fiction book club last fall, and the author came to the meeting I believe. But I think the meeting was when we were leaving for China in a week and I wasn't able to attend. (Edited to add: I couldn't get into this book, and started Head Game by Tim Downs instead - much better. Have you read his "bug man" novels? They are good!)

Have a great reading week!

Friday, April 13, 2007

So far behind.....trying to catch up a little

I've read a bunch of books lately but I haven't had time to comment on them. See this post for a partial explanation as to why (okay and some pics of the 2 most beautiful girls in the world).

LOVED Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson, really spoke to some things Jay and I have been feeling for a long time.

Loved An Innocent, a Broad by Ann Leary. In 1990 at about 5? months pregnant she went to England with her (now famous, I guess, though I've never heard of him) comedian husband, Dennis Leary. Her water broke and she had the baby there and had to stay awhile. It was interesting and funny. I want to go to England!

Enjoyed Sisterchicks in Gondolas (I've read the whole series so far). Somewhat lighthearted book with good messages. Now I want to go to Italy and have gelato!!!!!

Plodded through Homeschooling for Excellence. I had read it before, don't know why I felt the need to reread it or even finish it, but I did. It was written quite awhile ago so much of the information is outdated and I didn't really care for the writing style or something. Some great points about homeschooling made of course. All 4 of their boys were homeschooled and went to Harvard.

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining...etc. was pretty good. Not the practical help book I was looking for but instead probably addressed a deeper issue (honor) and I took some helpful notes.

Tonight I'll start The Witness for my book club meeting on Monday night. I think I've tried this author (Dee Henderson) before and didn't care for her but I'll plod through the book if need be. Who knows, maybe I'll like it. I'm going to pick it up at the library later today.

I also have these books waiting to be read:

*One Small Boat by Kathy Harrison (non-fiction, read another book by her and loved it)
*The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (for other book club, tried this book once but couldn't get into it but I'll force myself through it this time if I have to)
*A World of Love by Maggie Francis Conroy about a family who adopted several special needs children internationally (a subject VERY near and dear to my heart of course, and a book I've read before)

And holds waiting for me to pick up at the library:

*An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor
*Reluctant Burglar by Jill Elizabeth Nelson
*The Waiting Child: How the faith and love of one orphan saved the life of another by Cindy Champnell (another re-read, again about adoption, hmm, can you tell what's been on my mind lately?)

I'm sorry I haven't been to any of my fellow book blogger's websites in over a week. I keep wanting to but.....soon! I want to see what everyone else has been reading.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


I read a few chapters of Keeping Faith and then decided to scrap it. Not my cup of tea again. I should probably give up on Jodi Picoult. :-)

So now I'm reading Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson. MUCH better! Loving it so far!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Girl with a Pearl Earring

I just finished Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier this afternoon. I have seen this book on people's lists for quite awhile, but it never appealed to me. The cover didn't do anything for me, a book set in the 1600's - ho hum, the descriptions of the book I'd read didn't excite me either. I don't know what made me finally decide to read it, but I'm glad I did! I liked it a lot!

Now it's on to Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult. I'm not sure if I'm crazy about the subject matter, but for some reason I want to at least give every one of Jodi's books a try. I really liked My Sister's Keeper and started another of her books but quit that one after just a chapter or two (subject matter). I can't remember the name of it offhand (I posted about it in February I think). I also read Vanishing Acts and liked it well enough to finish but it wasn't all that great.

I have Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson on my TBR pile - can't wait to get to that one! I've loved all her books except Straight Up

Happy reading!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Books Read - March

I'm doing this a few days early since I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to type it up, and I won't finish any other books this month. Here's what I read in March:


-Showdown by Ted Dekker -3.5-
-Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout -3-
-Saint by Ted Dekker -2.5-
-The Remedy for Regret by Susan Meissner -4.5-
-The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time -3-
-The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle ** -4.5-
-Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm -4-
-The Book Thief by Markus Zusak -4-


-Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krause Rosenthal -4- Very funny!
-Arctic Homestead by Norma Cobb -3.5-
-The Nazi Officer's Wife by Edith Hahn Beer -4-

**Favorite book of the month

(Ratings on a scale of 1-5)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What I've Been Up To

I haven't been a very good blogger lately. :-( I started this blog to record what books I'm reading and comment on some of them. I have a few book reviews rolling around in my head but I'm having a hard time writing them down - I'm finding I'm not good at book reviews. I just don't have the way with words like so many of my fellow book bloggers have. I don't know how often I'll do much on this blog except update the lists on my sidebar, but I'll check in when I can.

Someday I really would like to review Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods because it has really helped me and I highly recommend it. Even though I've been a Christian for over 20 years, and I try to read the Bible every day (and don't always do that, sigh), I've really only done sporadic Bible study over the years. In my head I know of different ways to study, but this book has really helped me to get motivated, organized, and more consistent. He gives 12 different ways to study the Bible, from the least complicated method to the most in-depth. I'm going through the methods one by one. I'm still on the first one, LOL. But since the emphasis is on application I'm meditating on what I've learned from one passage for awhile before moving onto the next. I'm doing the passages/chapters/books that he gives as "assignments" at the end of every chapter. I wasn't going to do that, I was just going to study what I wanted, but I decided to use the ones he laid out because I think that will keep me more consistent. I won't spend time waffling back and forth, trying to decide what I want to study, I'll just do the next thing he lists. Some of the things I've been meditating on since starting this are the tongue and how we speak of other people, praising God, and taking refuge in Him. There, I just did a mini-review. :-)

I've been sick all week (still not feeling good today) so I haven't done much this week but read. I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time in one day (Monday/Tuesday). Then I read a 390 page book, The Kindness of Strangers, in one day (Tuesday/Wednesday). Then I needed a break! The last book, by Katrina Kittle, was excellent, but a very heavy book. It deals with some difficult, disturbing subject matter and I think it will stay with me a long time. I couldn't put the book down (and didn't much of the time!) I did take care of my kids, didn't neglect them so don't worry! It also had quite a bit of swearing in it and other things I don't agree with, so that is also why I needed a break after reading it. I caught up on some magazines and my Sonlight catalog (I got it last Saturday - woo hoo! - and read it cover to cover this week). Thursday evening I had a little energy so I headed to the library because I was out of books! I started The Nazi Officer's Wife that night and finished it last night. So that's 3 different books I read in 24 hours each. I have been on a reading frenzy this year but that takes the cake! Today I'm starting a lighter book, a YA book called Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm. I also started Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad you and your kids! by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, and Reading with Babies, Toddlers and Twos by Susan Straub. I'm still not feeling too good so I won't be surprised if I finish all three of these books by the end of the weekend! I hope I can get back in the swing of things next week and get some work done around here. I just haven't had the energy all week to do anything but basic housework and childcare. My poor Allison has a cold too and a fever on and off, and chucked up her bottle this morning. :-( Lindsey has a cold also but it's not too bad (so far) and Ben is feeling miserable with a cold too. Jay is feeling so-so. Obviously you don't want to visit my house right now! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Books read in January-February

I plan to do this at the end of every month but I'm behind. I don't have time to comment on every book I read but I can at least list them all,. (They're also all on my sidebar but I want to put them in a post each month, with ratings.) I'm mostly a fiction reader but two of the best books I read this year are non-fiction. One I read in February, Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods and one in March which I am actually re-reading now and highlighting, and taking action on the things she talks about. It's called A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierot. I will post about these 2 books at a later time.

So here are my lists:


-Bel Canto by Ann Patchett 4
-The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield 4.5
-Crow Lake by Mary Lawson ** 4.5
-The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis 3.5
-Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 4
-Dear Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh 3.75
-Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult 2.5

-Night by Elie Wiesel 3
-Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller 2
-The Innocent Man by John Grisham 4


-The Secret Life of Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck 4
-With Love, Libby by Roxanne Henke ** 4
-The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg 3
-The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards 4
-The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne 4
-Clay's Quilt by Silas House 3.5
-Scoop by Rene Gutteridge 4
-I Love Claire by Tracey Bateman 4

-Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods by Rick Warren 4.5

**Best book read that month

Towel Toppers

So I started this blog at the beginning of the year and this is the only thing I've crocheted since that time:

Two towel toppers

They take about 15 minutes total to make. Definitely doing more reading than crocheting!!! :-)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

She sews too

I recently decided to start sewing again. I used to sew about 8 years ago. I still consider myself a beginner. I started a sewing blog to post about what I'm sewing. I decided not to make up a fancy name, just your basic Eileen's Sewing Journal.

I'm hoping to do some crocheting today - what else can you do on a day like this (well yeah, you can read of course):

Sorry about the lack of crocheting posts. I probably should have named this blog "MostlyBooksAndALittleBitOfHooks". :-)

Friday, February 23, 2007

So Many Books!

I don't like to read more than one book at a time. Often I will have a fiction and a non-fiction book going at the same time, but I don't really like to do that. I tend to read the fiction book 98% of the time and only pick up the non-fiction occasionally. The exception would be books like my current read, The Innocent Man by John Grisham, or a really good biography or memoir, but if it's a Christian living or parenting or other such book, it takes me forever to read it if I have a fiction book going at the same time.

So what happened? You'll notice I have 7 books in progress right now (one is a magazine). I also have 2 fiction books waiting to be started, At the Scent of Water by Linda Nichols, and I Love Claire by Tracey Bateman. I can't let myself start either one of them until I finish up at least 2 or 3 of the other ones I have started. Yikes, I just remembered I have another book coming any day now from, A Mother's Rule of Life* by Holly Pierlot, and 2 holds at the library which could come in anytime - Stop Dressing Your Six-year-old Like a Skank : and other words of delicate Southern wisdom by Celia Rivenbark and When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin.

So many books, so little time.

*I saw this book recommended here at The Common Room blog and it sounded like something that might help me to get my house in order, both physically and spiritually. I'm not Catholic but she says you don't have to be to appreciate this book. Oh that word "sloth" sure is convicting for me. I hardly ever buy books but they don't have this one at my library and on a whim I just went ahead and ordered it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


I finished Scoop by Rene Gutteridge yesterday afternoon just in time for my book club last night. This is the second book that I chose for our club, that both my sister and I loved and the other members.....well not so much. :-) What's up with that? (FYI, the other book was Home to Harmony by Philip Gulley which was a reread for me. The Harmony series books are some of my favorite books of all time! I think both the Harmony books and Scoop are funny books with a message and I like that.)

The message that I took from the book is about sharing my faith. There is one character in the book, Hayden Hazard, who is more bold about sharing. She will come right out and tell you she is praying for you, she did not hide the fact that she was praying at times, things like that. Another character, Ray Duffey, is also a Christian and people know he is, but beyond that he doesn't really say anything about his faith. While I may never be as bold as Hayden, I don't want people to just know I'm a Christian because they heard me talking about going to church or something, but otherwise I look no different than the next guy. What about my life tells others about the love of God and salvation in Jesus Christ? Something I've often pondered.

One of the funny lines - when things are going crazy, Ray is falling apart and Hayden is her usual calm "trusting God" self. Ray says to her,

"Look, Hayden, you're an extraordinary person, okay? I recognize that, and so do half the people here at the station. You live your faith. You believe God, you take him at his Word. I'm not like you, though, okay. I have doubts. Lots of them. Almost all of the time. Yes, I pray and go to church and read my Bible. But sometimes I shake my fist at God. It's not the picture of peace, I realize, and I certainly make no claims of wearing the armor of God. I'm lucky if I can get the underwear of decency on, all right?"
I can really relate to Ray. :-)

I rate this book 4/5. I also loved her Boo series: Boo, Boo Hoo, and Boo Hiss.


Other books read recently:

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne 4/5

Clay's Quilt by Silas House 3.5/5 (I thought I saw this book in the CBD catalog, but once I started reading it, ummm, no didn't hear about it there. Lots of swearing, lots of drinking and honky-tonkin', but not really objectionable, they were a real part of the story. There were Christians in the book who were loved and respected and portrayed in a very good light. I thought it was a very good book and I'd like to read more by this author.)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Memory Keeper's Daughter

I stayed up late last night to finish The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. I really liked the book a lot. The ending was just okay, although I don't know what the author could have done to make it better.

I found a typo at the beginning of the book, page 11. "More nervous than his in first anatomy class...." Shouldn't that read "More nervous than IN HIS first anatomy class..."? Hmmmmm. I forgot to mention I found a typo in The Secret Life of Becky Miller also. It was a word (don't remember what) that had a number in the middle of it. Weird.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, February 12, 2007

How many men read books?

My husband, Jay, and I were talking yesterday about how many men read books - including general non-fiction, biographies, novels, etc. I said maybe 2 out of 10 and he thought less. He named 8 guys he knows including himself and only one of them (not him, sigh) reads books. Jay likes to read the newspaper online, articles online, and magazines such as Business Week. But he rarely reads a book.
What do you think?

Thursday, February 8, 2007

With Love, Libby

With Love, Libby is the fifth and last book in the Coming Home to Brewster series by Roxanne Henke. The five books in order are After Anne, Finding Ruth, Becoming Olivia, Always Jan, and With Love, Libby. Funny I liked them all except Finding Ruth. I'm not sure why but I couldn't get into that one.

I'm not good at writing reviews so I will just share some of the truths about our walk with God and our relationships with each other that were reinforced to me through this book.
  • Be humble and admit when you're wrong.
  • Show mercy and compassion toward others when they are caught in a sin.
  • Respond with love and not anger when someone you love disappoints you.
  • The importance of communication with our loved ones, don't let things unspoken come between you
  • Allow your children to make their own mistakes, to live out their own dreams and not what you think their dreams should be
  • Don't force them into your mold.
  • You will just push your children away if you do the above, and no one "wins", you will both be hurt.
These are all things we all already know, but I love when things like this are fleshed out in a book and really speak to my heart and encourage me to be a better person.

I don't think the plot is totally original but I like the way the book is written and I really cared about the characters. In the book, Olivia (Libby) is writing a letter to Anne (who has passed away) and when I read the final words from Libby to Anne, "With Love, Libby" I got a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I could just feel the love and deep friendship that Libby still has in her heart for Anne.

Roxanne has a website and a new book out called The Secret of Us. I haven't read it yet.

I highly recommend this book and the whole series. Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Blue Like Jazz

I finished Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller a few days ago. I don't have much to say about it. It started out okay but after awhile I was just reading it to finish it. Honestly I'm not quite sure what the point of the book is. I'm not quite sure what he was trying to say half the time. There were a few good quotes, one that convicted me was:

"If we are not willing to wake up in the morning and die to ourselves, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we are really following Jesus."

That's about all I have to say about the book. I give it a 2/5.

Next post: a review of With Love, Libby by Roxanne Henke

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Non-Fiction Five

Yea! My first reading challenge! I just started my blog last month and I've been dying to get in on a challenge (I'm easily amused, LOL). I am happy to be a part of the Non-Fiction Five Challenge hosted by Joy at "Thoughts of Joy".

The challenge is to read 5 non-fiction books, one each month from May to September. We are supposed to vary the type of non-fiction books we are reading and stretch ourselves a little. I'll do my best on both counts. The thing is if I try to stretch myself too far then I'll be miserable trying to finish a book that I don't care for.

Here are my tentative 5 choices:

Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
Winterdance by Gary Paulson
Dear Exile by Hilary Liftin
Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis
How to Help a Grieving Friend by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Other possible choices are:

The Darwin Awards by Wendy Northcutt
An Innocent, a Broad by Ann Leary
Candy Freak by Steve Almond

I Shouldn't Even Be Doing This by Bob Newhart
Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Ilibagiza
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak

Reading Day

Before I had the girls, when Ben was old enough to be able to read and keep himself occupied, we used to have "Reading Day". It started out to be me, my husband, Ben, and my sister Ginny. After one or two reading days it ended up to be mostly me and Ginny. Every few months we would designate a Saturday for reading. We made special treats, put on comfy clothes, got out our blankets and settled in with our books. We usually started mid-morning and ended in the evening with a trip to Barnes & Noble, with a little more reading at home afterward before ending the wonderful day. So much fun! Well it's impossible now to do something exactly like that now that I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old!

I finally decided it was time to do it again, modified a little. Instead of having it here at my house, I went to Ginny's house. (She's single with no kids, human ones anyway. She has 2 kitties though!) Instead of having it last all day, it was from about 10:30 - 5:00. We didn't go to Barnes and Noble at the end (too cold anyway!). But all in all it was WONDERFUL!!! I really needed that break, and I even took a little nap too. :-)

I read The Message Bible, Blue Like Jazz, and With Love, Libby. We took a little break for lunch and another to talk about the Super Bowl* and what teams we like and don't like. Of course we're die-hard Packer fans! We agreed that the 3 teams we absolutely cannot stand are the Vikings, the Patriots, and the Broncos. Okay so I'm still holding a grudge against the Broncos because they beat the Packers in the Super Bowl 9 years ago. What can I say.

Anyway back to Reading Day. In 2006 we both had a book lovers tear off calendar . We saved all the pages and then yesterday we went through them all and decided which ones we want to read and which ones we don't. We have no timeline in mind for reading these, it will probably take us years to get through them all.

So that was Reading Day! I hope to do these every few months and eventually my daughters can join in.

*Go Colts! Down with Da Bears! LOL

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Secret Life of Becky Miller

Yesterday I finished The Secret Life of Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck. I really enjoyed it! Becky Miller is a young mom of 3 who wants to be "super mom" and do big things for God but feels like she's failing. Things are falling apart around her: her husband loses his job, things don't work out like she had hoped in the women's ministry at church she started, the washing machine breaks down, the baby is sick. The author does a good job of realistically showing the struggles and joys of a stay-at-home-mom.

Several excerpts from the books:

Once when her husband tells her at the last minute that he won't be able to make it home for dinner, she says "Never mind. I'll handle things. I always do." I couldn't believe those sarcastic words shot past my lips." Ummm.....I've mumbled those words under my breath a few times. LOL

"I cherished every moment with my email. Kevin called it an addiction." No comment from me necessary!

"This probably wasn't the best time to bring up my yearning for another new baby in the house. Crazy to contemplate, when our house bulged at the seams and my fatigue stretched to the limit. Yet each child amazed me, and I often wondered what a fourth would be like. "Financially we can't afford to adopt again (pregnancy would take a miracle), hubby would never agree to it, and I don't know that I want any more children anyway. I am pretty content and thankful for my 3. But, I think there will always be that wondering and that longing for one more child. Anyway, Becky Miller is only 30....I'm 42. :-)

Toward the end of the book when things come to a head for Becky, her friends try to help her, sort of like Job. She describes the different types of comforters:

Pity Pats: One elderly woman rested a hand on my head and sad, "You poor dear." Her soft tone was overlaid with condescension and the subtext, "I'm so glad it's you and not me."

Comparing Cathys: "Becky, I was thinking of you all week. I know exactly how you must feel. I had a broken toe once, and it was excruciating."

Lecturing Linda: "You should really drive down to the Mayo Clinic. They have the best doctors" etc.

I think sometimes what we need in times of crisis is someone to listen and cry with us and not try to have all the answers.

So those are my thoughts on the book. I would recommend it, and give it a 4 out of 5. There's a sequel called Renovating Becky Miller. I'm looking forward to it!

Next post: Reading Day tomorrow! More on that soon!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Vanishing Acts

I read My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult in 2005 after hearing so many good things about her books. I really liked it and looked forward to reading more books by her. I didn't read another one until a few weeks ago when I tried reading The Tenth Circle and I didn't even read very far, didn't care for the subject matter. I just finished Vanishing Acts yesterday. I only give it an "okay". It started out pretty good, but when I was halfway done I really didn't care if I finished it or not. It's about a woman named Delia Hopkins who is planning her wedding to her 5 year old daughter's father when she finds out she was kidnapped by her father when she was 4 years old. The story is told by various characters including Delia, her fiance Eric, her father, and her best friend Fitz. I think I liked it best when it was Delia or Eric talking. What I didn't like about the book: the descriptive scenes from inside the jail (yuck, I don't need to hear about all that), the swearing, the Native American mysticism , some of the wording of their thoughts was sappy (sorry I don't know how to describe what I mean), just so many things I don't agree with. I would not recommend this book at all.

So, Jodi Picoult fans, since I really liked My Sister's Keeper, and didn't like The Tenth Circle or Vanishing Acts, which other books by her do you think I might like?

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Another No-Go

I just read through a bunch of reviews of The Shell Seekers on Amazon and they were almost all 5 star, glowing reviews. Hmmmm.....I really didn't give it much of a chance, I'll admit (2 chapters plus the prologue). But, it just wasn't doing a thing for me. Maybe I'm just not in the right mood? If anyone tells me I just HAVE to read more before giving up on it, I'll try it again at a later date. But for now, it's going back to the library and permanently off my TBR list. I'm reading Anne of Green Gables then I'll go on to my new pile of library books. (I read Anne in late junior high, the first 2 books, then the whole series in my early 20's - so this is a re-read for me.)

Now I'm off to watch the football games. GO PACKERS! (oh that's right, they're not playing, sigh) Go Saints! Go Colts!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Crow Lake and My Week of Reading

THANKS Becky! I loved Crow Lake! It's my favorite book read this year (though I've only read 4 so far!)

This quote really has nothing to do with the plot of the book but it stood out to me. "Considering that he's only thirty-four, he's very unfit. He has the kind of lean build that never runs to fat, but thin isn't necessarily healthy."

My sister and I have heard this silly comment many times when we have mentioned needing to exercise more: "YOU don't need to exercise!" They say this because neither one of us is overweight. As if the only reason to exercise is to lose weight. Everyone needs to exercise!

Anyway that is what I thought of when I read that quote. :-)


I am currently reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I read this in grade school and I loved it. I read it again to Ben when he was in grade school (homeschool). I've never read the rest of the series so I plan to read them this year. I started the book yesterday and will finish it sometime today.


I also read Night by Elie Wiesel the other day. I bought it years ago at a used book sale or something and had never read it. I read it in one day. It was, good? It's hard to say a book like that is good, it's sad. It's similar to other books I've read on the Holocaust. Maybe it's good to read one once in awhile to remember.


So yesterday morning I took my girls to storytime at the library. I didn't get myself any books because I had several library books at home yet waiting to be read, and also have Anne of Green Gables which I own on my TBR pile. I try not to check out more books until my TBR pile is down to one or two books, otherwise I want to read the new ones I just checked out before the ones I already have. But then I quit reading The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult (read a few chapters, turned off by the subject matter) and couldn't get into one other random book I picked off the library shelves and I was halfway through The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe already and that left just The Shell Seekers and Anne. I decided I had to go back to the library. My husband says "You were just there this morning." I told him if my TBR pile gets too low I get the shakes. LOL So I went back and checked out 7 books:

Vanishing Acts - Jodi Picoult
The Secret Life of Becky Miller - Sharon Hinck
A Vow to Cherish - Deborah Raney
Dear Enemy - Jack Cavanaugh
The Art of Mending - Elizabeth Berg
Dancing at the Rascal Fair - Ivan Doig
Something Beyond the Sky - Siri Mitchell

After I finish my current book, I can't decide if I want to read The Shell Seekers or not. It's been on my TBR list forever but now that I finally have it I'm not sure if I want to read it or not. I'm not sure if I'll like it. Guess I should read it and find out! Then do I read Anne of Green Gables, or move on to my pile of library books? Decisions, decisions!

Have a great day!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Books Not Read

I think my list of books *not* read is way longer than my list of books finished. I will not continue reading a book I cannot get into. Sometimes I can tell in the first few pages that it is not a book I'm going to like, sometimes it takes a bit longer.

My first unread book of 2007 is A Bride Most Begrudging by Deanne Gist. Just not my cup of tea. I had to skim to the end though because it is this month's book for my book club (meeting this Thursday night).

The next book to bite the dust is The Justice by Angela Hunt. I got all the way to page 110 and then I lost interest! The first book I read by her was Unspoken in 2005, for the book club. I really liked it. In July 2006 I read The Awakening and I loved it! So I made a list of all her books and decided to try them all. The next one I read was The Debt and I liked that one well enough. But then there was The Pearl and The Note and The Novelist and I couldn't get into any of those! So now after this latest non-read I'm going to leave her books alone for awhile. :-)

I am now reading Crow Lake by Mary Lawson, recommended by Becky at
In the Pages.... I hope this one is good Becky! :-)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Blog Links

I just added some links to blogs I've visited, I have more to add. If you want me to add yours, please let me know!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

books and HOOKS

So for the "Hooks" part of my blog, I thought I'd post a few pics of things I have made - afghans for the girls and a few doilies. Right now I am just working on a few towel toppers and plan to do a few other smaller projects like dishcloths or coasters for awhile. I don't have any big projects in mind right now.

Ooops how did that picture sneak in there? LOL

Another one! Who's messing with my blog? :-)

Friday, January 5, 2007

First book finished in 2007

I finished my first book of 2007 - Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. I really liked the book even though it is so not like what I normally read. It was an interesting book, though I could have done without a few scenes near the end and I totally did NOT like the ending at all. I thought it was very abrupt and I'm confused by the epilogue. I read some of the reviews on and it seems that many others felt the way I did about the ending. All in all I enjoyed it and rate it Very Good.

I'm now reading The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield that I've seen mentioned everywhere in the blogs. I actually never heard of it until recently. I'm only on page 22 but liking it so far.

I'm also reading The Message Bible from start to finish. I started it at the end of November and am just about 10 chapters into Exodus. I've read the Bible through maybe 3 times in my life. I've never read this version before. I have no goals as to when I'll finish it. It's not a Bible for serious Bible study but I'm reading it as an overall flavor of what the Bible has to say. I know some people are against this Bible - I look at is as no different than hearing a preacher or a commentary expound on different Bible passages. People put the Bible into their own words all the time.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Books Read in 2006

I read 62 books this year - 35 fiction and 27 non-fiction. I think my favorite book of the year was The Swan House. My least favorite was definitely Chloe by Lyn Cote. It was for my book club, I skimmed a lot of it, I really didn't like it at all. The leader of the book club, Linda Wichman, is an author herself so she personally knows some authors and was able to invite a few to our meetings. We were blessed to have Kathryn Springer and Maureen Lang come the months we read their books. Thankfully I loved both of the books! I think it would have been awkward to talk to them if I didn't. :-) Last year one of the books we read was Death Watch by Jack Cavanaugh and Jerry Kuiper, and Jerry came to that meeting. Counting Linda then, I've met 4 authors of books I read. Cool!

Here's my list for 2006, hope to top it in 2007!


The Swan House by Elizabeth Musser
Leave It to Claire by Tracey Bateman
Front Porch Princess by Kathryn Springer (met the author!)
Home to Harmony by Phillip Gulley (a re-read, love this series)
Eventide by Cindy Martinusen
River Rising by Athol Dickson
She's All That by Kristin Billerbeck
The Awakening by Angela Hunt
Dark Water by Linda Hall
Pieces of Silver by Maureen Lang (met the author!)
Almost Friends by Philip Gulley

Very Good
Chop Shop by Tim Downs
The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough by Neta Jackson
Catering to Nobody by Diane Mott Davidson
Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh
Where the River Runs by Patti Callahan Henry
Blind Dates Can Be Murder by Mindy Starns Clark
The Dwelling Place by Elizabeth Musser
With This Ring I'm Confused by Kristin Billerbeck
House by Frank Peretti/Ted Dekker
The Debt by Angela Hunt
We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg
Claire Knows Best by Tracey Bateman
Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Caught by Neta Jackson

The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg
Dying for Chocolate by Diana Mott Davidson
Plague Maker by Tim Downs
The Final Crumpet by Ron and Janet Benrey
A Window to the World by Susan Meissner
Sisterchicks Say Oooh La La by Robin Jones Gunn

The Assignment by Mark Andrew Olson
Cape Refuge by Terri Blackstock
Savannah from Savannah by Denise Hildreth
Straight Up by Lisa Samson (can't believe I'm rating her book "okay" - usually love her stuff)

Did not like
Chloe by Lyn Cote


This Day in the Life – Diaries from Women Across America (24 Hours of True Life Stories)

Very Good
I Am a Pencil by Sam Swope
The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura
Material World – A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel (really cool book!)
Marley and Me by John Grogan
Attending Children – A Doctor's Education
Bryson City Seasons by Walt Larimore
On Call, A Doctor's Days and Nights in Residency by Emily Transue
Growing Girls – The Mother of All Adventures by Jeanne Marie Laskas

South of the Clouds, Exploring the Hidden Realms of China by Seth Faison
The Girl from Purple Mountain by May-lee Chai and Winberg Chai
Candy and Me (A Love Story) by Hilary Liftin (someone who loves candy more than me!)
Looking Back by Lois Lowry
Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother by Wolf
Against Tall Odds – Being A David in a Goliath World by Matt Roloff (love the TV show!)
Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker

Loved by Choice, True Stories That Celebrate Adoption
Joel by Joel Sonnenberg
Yao – A Life in Two Worlds by Yao Ming w/Ric Bucher
A Not Entirely Benign Procedure, Four Years as a Med Student
Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret

No Rating – Either skimmed or read for info only
Talking with Young Children About Adoption by Mary Watkins and Susan Fisher
The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers by Elizabeth Pantley
Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son by Kay Johnson
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Weissbluth
Homeschoolers College Admissions Handbook by Cafi Cohen
When Your Kids Push Your Buttons by Harris

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year! and Hello!

I am so excited to begin this blog! I am trying to spend less time online these days, so I'll probably keep this simple. Don't look for anything fancy. I still have some work to do on the look of the blog and will do that when I have time.

If you don't know me yet, I'll give you a brief intro. I've been married for over 19 years and have 3 wonderful children. Ben is 16, Lindsey is 3 1/2, and Allison is 14 months. My 2 girls were adopted from China. We just adopted Allison 2 months ago. I love my life! I love to read and crochet (duh) and also I love love love football, especially NFL, especially my Green Bay Packers (who beat Da Bears last night, woo hoo!), but I can watch any football game, anytime. I also love coffee, chocolate, and my dog, a 6 year old Westie named Chester. He's the best dog in the whole world! I live in Wisconsin and love it here. I homeschool Ben which I love (most of the time!) and plan to homeschool the girls too. I am learning Latin along with Ben and I love that too. My husband thinks I'm nuts, but I actually love doing the homework along with Ben.

Okay so now on to the purpose of this blog, which is books and crochet! The focus will be books but I'll start with crochet for now. I learned how about 10 years ago, maybe a little more. I've made tons of afghans, tons of dishcloths and coasters, quite a few doilies, and many other miscellaneous things. I enjoy crocheting both with yarn and thread. The first thing I made besides maybe a dishcloth, was a green/gold ripple afghan (which ended up wider on one end than the other, LOL, but not bad for a first big project), and the last thing I finished was a purple and white baby afghan for Allison. Soon I'll take some pictures of some of the things I've made and post them here.

Books! I love to read! I love to play on the computer too which causes a conflict - sometimes I spend so much time online reading about what other people are reading when I could be reading myself! My favorite thing to read is Christian fiction (What is "Christian fiction" anyway? I guess I would describe it as fiction written by a Christian with a Christian theme - how would you describe it?) I will read "secular" fiction too as long as it doesn't have too many objectionable elements in it. I also like non-fiction but prefer fiction.

I've kept a notebook with all my books read since 2002. Just this year I put them on the computer too. I rate them Excellent, Very Good, Good, and Okay. If it's worse than "Okay" I don't keep reading it. I'm not one to finish a book I don't like or can't get into. Sometimes I will keep reading and just skim if I really want to know what happens in the end, or if it's for the book club I'm in (through my church, we only read "Christian Fiction"), and many non-fiction books.

Some of my favorite authors are Jamie Langston Turner, Lisa Samson, Cindy Martinusen, Brandilynn Collins (mainly her Bradleyville series), Linda Hall, Philip Gulley, and many others. My favorite book of all time is The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss. I've probably read it about 50 times and I own 3 copies. Some of my recent favorites (past 5 years or so) are Some Wildflower in My Heart by Jamie Langston Turner, The Church Ladies by Lisa Samson, the Harmony series by Philip Gulley. Those are just a few.

I hardly ever buy books (gasp!). It seems most book lovers on the blogs I have read buy most if not all of their books. I can't afford to do that. Besides I love love love going to the library and picking out a bunch of books! Also because I start so many books that I can't get into and put down, I can't afford to buy them and not read them. I save purchases more for non-fiction books I will reread, or occasionally a book from a favorite author that I know I will like and want to reread in the future.

My next post will be all the books I read in 2006 with ratings. Happy reading!