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 Amazon.com 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 http://www.emeraldrose.net/index.html 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!