Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another new blog!

The new blog replaces the other new blog I just started. LOL So if you want to go to my "OLD NEW" blog to find out why I started a "NEW NEW" blog, you can read my post at:

CoffeeBean's Corner

and then put my (final? it better be!) new blog in your Bloglines or whatever you use:

Eileen's Blog (I decided not to spend the time thinking of a catchy title, what can I say).

Hope to see you there! Please leave me a comment if you visit!

Monday, August 25, 2008

My new home!

I started my new blog. Come visit me at CoffeeBean's Corner!

It's going to take me awhile to get things just the way I want them but I hope you will come and say hi. Please comment here or there and let me know if you stopped by!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Changes brewing...

I have 4 blogs right now - this one, one for general family news, one for knitting, and one for sewing. I can't keep up with any of them. LOL I'm sorry I haven't been posting here or commenting in other blogs much lately. Life has just been busy and as usual I am so behind on everything. I am still reading your blogs though!


In September I will start homeschooling Lindsey (Kindergarten), and I've been thinking about doing a blog with more of a homeschool focus - what we're learning, accomplishments, struggles, and misc. ramblings. But I still want to write about reading, knitting, and occasionally sewing so I've decided to combine everything into one blog. I've decided to start this blog at Homeschool Blogger. I haven't decided on a name yet so I don't have a specific URL to share with you. I would LOVE suggestions on what to call this new blog! I am so uncreative. I don't want the word homeschool in the title since the blog will be about more than that. The same goes for any one subject such as reading, knitting, etc.

I'm thinking I may lose some readers when I go to this new blog but I may gain some too. I would love to have you follow me there, but I understand if you're not interested.

I hope to have my new blog started in the next few weeks and when I get a URL I will let you know! Thanks to the faithful readers/commenters of my many blogs.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Books In, Books Out

On Sunday I finished New Moon by Stephenie Meyer. I liked it a lot until about 3/4 of the way through and I liked the ending but I don't like the intense vampire battle stuff. :-) Not my thing. I like the relationships aspect of these books more than the vampire stuff. I already put the next book on hold at the library though. 4/5

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks - I wanted to like this - it looked fascinating and interesting. I just couldn't concentrate or something though so I put it down. Maybe at a later date....

Busters Diaries: a true story of a dog and his man as told to Roy Hattersley - Didn't finish

Laughing in the Dark: A Comedian's Journey Through Depression by Chonda Pierce - Started out okay but I got bored and skimmed to the end

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig - reading this one next....

KnitLit: Sweaters and Their Stories.... by Linda Roghaar and Molly Wolf - then this one after that....

Went to the library again yesterday and got:

Things I Learned from Knitting - Whether I Wanted to or Not by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee - This is her newest book and my library didn't have it yet so I requested they purchase it, and they did! This isn't the first time they've bought a book I asked for - did I ever mention how much I LOVE the library? :-)

Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn - I've really liked all these books except one. I don't remember why or which one but there was one I just didn't like as much as the others.

Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett - Yikes! This one is almost 1000 pages! I've heard so many great reviews of this book and can't wait to read it. I hope it isn't another one of my "couldn't get into it, didn't finish" books. We'll see.

I also got 4 knitting magazines to browse through. :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More Books

I go to the library so often and get more books before I finish the pile I have - it's making my "great idea" (ha!) of listing the books I get on each trip and then reporting on them when I'm done somewhat difficult. So I think rather than list the books I get on each visit, I'll just take a few at a time when I get a chance and give my thoughts or whatnot. I'm a horrible reviewer - I wish I had the talent that many of you have. So you'll have to settle for "I loved it" or "I hated it" or maybe a bit more occasionally.

The last 2 books I had mentioned that I hadn't read were Embrace Me by Lisa Samson and The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry. I loved the first book I ever read by Lisa Samson which was The Church Ladies. After that I started to like each book by her less and less (while still enjoying each one to some degree), with the exception of Quaker Summer which I liked a lot. Embrace Me was just okay for me. 3/5

I read a few chapters of The Lace Reader and couldn't get into it, so that one goes into my ever growing "didn't finish" pile.

I just started New Moon by Stephenie Meyer this morning. I'm sure I'll like it.

Other books in my pile right now:

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Busters Diaries: a true story of a dog and his man as told to Roy Hattersley

Laughing in the Dark: A Comedian's Journey Through Depression by Chonda Pierce

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

KnitLit: Sweaters and Their Stories.... by Linda Roghaar and Molly Wolf

Monday, July 7, 2008

Two More

I am now down to 2 books in my library pile (Embrace Me and The Lace Reader) but I'll be going to the library later today which means my pile will most definitely grow again. :-)

I am 1 for 2 with these last 2 books:

A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans - I'm not really sure how this ended up on my TBR pile. I usually try to write next to the title where I got the book idea from (usually a blog! or from my friends on the Sonlight Bibliovores group). The blog I had next to this one wasn't the right one. Anyway, this book was too strange for me and I only read one chapter. Didn't finish

The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty - LOVED this one! After the first chapter I was thinking maybe I wouldn't like this book and about 2 paragraphs after thinking that I started getting hooked and I couldn't put it down. 5/5

Happy reading!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Four More Books

I'm finished with the next 4 books from my last library visit:

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris - I liked the first chapter and thought it was going to be good then I lost interest quickly. Didn't finish.

The Interloper by Antoine Wilson - This was a strange book, a little creepy. It was okay. 3/5

The Speed Queen by Stewart O'Nan - I liked his book The Good Wife which is the only book by this author I've read. This one is about a woman on death row - after the last book I was in the mood for something more uplifting so I didn't get past the first few pages of this. I skimmed through it though and I'm glad I didn't read it. I still want to try some more of his books.

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson - I started this last night and laughed out loud already in the first chapter. But I quickly got bogged down and didn't feel like reading it. I think this would be a great book to listen so I'm going to see if the library has an audio version. But for now I'm not going to finish this one either!

I also paged through the socks knitting book. I have enough sock patterns to last me a lifetime so I don't think I'll ever buy this one but you never know. There was one really complicated pattern with a really crazy chart to follow. It just boggled my mind!

So nothing too exciting to report today. I hope I can really get into one of the four books I have left from my last big list.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Two Done and Two More in the Pile :-)

I finished 2 books from my last library visit:

The Kid Turned Out Fine - This was a little more of what I was looking for in the book about toddlers I recently read. A few more war stories in this one. :-) 4/5
We have had to resort to duct taping our daughter's diaper on at naptime and nighttime otherwise she is taking it off every time and peeing on the floor or in her bed.

Doesn't She Look Natural? - Finally another book by Angela Hunt that I loved. Almost exactly 2 years ago I read her book The Awakening and I loved it. I then read 2 more that I liked fairly well, and since then have tried 4 or 5 other books by her that I just couldn't get into. This one ended that streak thankfully. I really enjoyed this and am looking forward to the sequel. 4.5/5

I also paged through 2 of the 3 knitting books I got on my last visit. There really wasn't anything in the book Two Balls or Less that I would want to make, but I really like Soft and Simple Knits for Little Ones. I might consider buying that book in the future.

Two of my "hold" books were in again so I picked those up a few days ago:

Embrace Me by Lisa Samson

The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Got Nuthin

I didn't like any of the last 4 books I checked out!

Love Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos - didn't like the writing style (hope you like both of your copies though, Jane! LOL)

Fireweed by Mildred Walker - LOVED her book Winter Wheat - couldn't get into this one

A Woman in Jerusalem by A.B. Yehoshua - Didn't grab me

Matrimony by Joshua Henkin - Too strange for me or something

As you can see now that I'm doing these library visit reviews, I probably start and DON'T finish more books than I DO finish. Is anyone else like that or is it just me? I know some people can't bring themselves to put a book down once they start it - I obviously have no problem with it. :-) I figure I am probably missing out on some really great books by abandoning them so quickly, but on the other hand there are SO many books out there that I do love right from the start, (I'll never run out of great books!) it's a chance I'm willing to take. (One of my favorite books of all time, Some Wildflower in My Heart by Jamie Langston Turner, was a book I *almost* put down after about 50 pages. Good thing I stuck with it!)

So I took those 4 books back and got these:

The Kid Turned Out Fine: Moms fess up about cartoons, candy, and what it really takes to be a good mom by Paula Ford-Martin

Doesn't She Look Natural? by Angela Hunt

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

The Interloper by Antoine Wilson

The Speed Queen by Stewart O'Nan

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

A Good and Happy Child by Justin Evans

The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty

And these 3 knitting books:

Two Balls or Less by Jenny Hill

Soft and Simple Knits for Little Ones by Heidi Boyd

Socks, Socks, Socks by Elaine Rowie

I think I will just review 2 or 3 at a time as I finish them so it's not forever before I post about them.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

June 21 Library Visit

I only checked out 4 books this time.

Love Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos
Fireweed by Mildred Walker
A Woman in Jerusalem by A.B. Yehoshua
Matrimony by Joshua Henkin

As always, I'll let you know what I thought of these when I finish them!

June 4 Library Visit Review

I finished both of these.

Toddler: Real-life stories of those fickle, irrational, urgent, tiny people we love
I didn't like this one as much as I had hoped I would. I was really hoping for lots and lots of stories of people struggling with their toddlers as much as I am**. :-) 3/5

Still Alice by Lisa Genova - LOVED this book! Thanks Lynne! The book is about a 50 year old professional woman who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers Disease. Each chapter is another month in her life so you really see the progression of the disease. So sad. The book really fleshed out for me what this would be like, moreso than if I just read an article or something about the subject. I highly recommend this book - 5/5

**As I was writing this post, my 2 year old woke up from her nap. I opened the door to her bedroom to find her stark naked. She had taken off her clothes and diaper and peed on the floor (NOT for the first time, sigh). She had also taken all the clothes and pajamas out of 2 of the dresser drawers. Sometimes I wonder if this 43 year old mother will survive the toddler years. :-p

Saturday, June 21, 2008

That Was Easy (June 12 Library Visit Review)

On June 12 I checked out two books that had come in off hold. Both were short loans (2 weeks instead of 4). It wasn't hard to finish them by the time they were due (6/26) because I didn't get into either of them.

The first one is The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. It wasn't bad but it just wasn't grabbing me. It was moving too slow or something. I gave it a good 100 pages but then decided I just wasn't that interested. Again here's a book I expected to like, I wanted to like, but I didn't.

The next one was The Appeal by John Grisham. I used to love his books. Maybe I've read too many, maybe he wrote too many. :-) It just didn't feel that original and didn't grab me.

So I moved on to Still Alice by Lisa Genova (recommended by Lynne) which is a fictional account of a 50 year old woman with Alzheimers. I'm really enjoying this one. It's really giving me a good insight into what it would be like to be diagnosed with this disease, especially at such a relatively young age.

I'm going to the library later this morning, can't wait! :-)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

May 19 & 27 Library Visit Review

I just finished Twilight, and have one more book from these trips to read yet, but I think I will post about that one separately after I finish (or don't finish) it so I can finally post about these. I feel like I finished some of these SO long ago! Carrie you asked what I thought of Twilight - I literally finished the book, checked my email and saw your comment. My brief thoughts about it are below.

So here are my ratings of the books I checked out on May 19 and May 27, in the order I read (or didn't read) them:

The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer - 4/5

Astrid & Veronika by Linda Olsson - As I wrote before, I didn't care for this book very much! Once again I didn't agree with all the great reviews I'd read. 2.5/5

The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky - This is the first book by Delinsky that I've read. Any suggestions for another good one by her?4/5

An Absolute Gentleman by R.M. Kinder - I couldn't get into this one. I think at a different time maybe I could have, but I tried to read this in the middle of a difficult time (my dad died on 5/30*) and it just wasn't the right book.

The Ghost Writer by John Harwood - I didn't understand all of this! I certainly did not really understand the ending. I liked the book though and would have rated it a "4" if I understood it better. 3.5/5

Skin by Ted Dekker - I read 2 chapters then quit. First of all I was a little spooked from reading The Ghost Writer, my husband was out of town, and it was pouring rain and storming like crazy the day I started it. I decided it wasn't the right time to read this. :-) Also, I think after The Ghost Writer I wanted something a little lighter to read.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - I didn't even give this one a chance. I think I quit reading after 5 pages. :-) I think I may have checked this out once before and didn't read it. First of all, sci-fi isn't really "my thing". I really prefer a story about something that really did or really could happen. But once in awhile I will read a book that doesn't fit this bill and really enjoy it. But again, after reading The Ghost Writer and then starting Skin, I realized I wanted to read something lighter, something that didn't require me to think so hard about who was who, and how everything might fit into the storyline, and find a book that I could just "read" and enjoy, if that makes sense!

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan - THIS fit the bill! I loved this from page 1! I had to put it down after reading the first 3 chapters and go to bed (it was already late and my husband was out of town all week and I knew I needed all the sleep I could get to take care of my very active little girls by myself for a week!). I probably could have read it cover to cover in one sitting if I had the time. This book replaces Year of Wonders as my favorite read of 2008 so far. 5/5

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - I really enjoyed this book. I read so many great reviews on it, but as Carrie from Mommy Brain said about her reaction after reading the reviews, "I just shrugged. Not my thing." I've never read a book or seen a movie about vampires. But after reading Carrie's review along with so many others, I decided to give it a try. I thought it was very good, I can't wait to read the sequels! 4.5/5

Parenting is Heart Work by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller - This is the one I didn't read yet.

So there you have it, I *finally* wrote about these!


*I hate to just mention my dad's death in passing like this, but as this is my book blog I didn't know how to bring it up here. I blogged more about it on my family blog. His passing is certainly not just a "blip in my life" as it seems to come across by the way I mentioned it above. He was the most wonderful dad, I loved him so much and I miss him dearly. I am so blessed to be his daughter. My parents gave me and my sisters an idyllic childhood and have been very supportive as we've become adults and have our own families. My mom died last July so this has been a hard year for my family. Thankfully I have 3 sisters, we all live near each other, and we have each other to lean on. My dad wasn't much of a reader though! Nor was my mom. Not sure where I got it from. :-) I love you mom and dad!!!

June 12 Library Visit

My husband was out of town all last week and my sister said she would come over for awhile on Thursday night and watch my girls so I could get a little break. So where does a book lover go? To the library of course! :-) Actually, I hadn't planned to go. Instead I was going to run to a few stores and then to Starbucks for a frap (and a book !) But then I realized Lindsey's videos were due and once again I had books on hold that had to be picked up by the next day, so I decided to go to the library. I only got 2 books for myself, the ones that were on hold:

The Appeal by John Grisham
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

I am almost done with the May 19 and 27 books, 50 pages left in Twilight and the whole book Parenting is Heart Work. I just keep piling up more books without finishing any one trip's worth! I'm going to try to finish one stack before starting another. But that's hard when books that I've put on hold come in and need to be checked out by a certain date. I'm sorry if I'm boring you with all this!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Big Dog, Little Dog

I never talk about children's books here, although I read a TON because every night I read to Lindsey for 15-30 minutes and we read about 4 or 5 books a night. We've progressed way beyond simple board books, but we come back to this one every once in awhile because they are SO CUTE and FUNNY. I'm talking about the Big Dog, Little Dog series by Dave Pilkey. There are 5 different books in the series:

Big Dog and Little Dog
Big Dog and Little Dog Making a Mistake
Big Dog and Little Dog Going for a Walk
Big Dog and Little Dog Getting in Trouble
Big Dog and Little Dog Wearing Sweaters

There is also The Complete Adventures of Big Dog and Little Dog (all 5 books in one) which is what we have out from the library right now. One of my favorite parts is in the "Getting in Trouble" book, they want to play but have nothing to play with. Then, "Big Dog and Little Dog are playing. They are playing with the couch." They rip it all apart, get in trouble, but then..."Big Dog and Little Dog are sorry. They will be good from now on." The looks on their faces are so cute.

Let me know if you've read these!

P.S. I am LOVING Mudbound!!!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

June 4 Library Visit

I still had a stack of unread books when I had to make a library trip last week to return some videos and get more books for my daughter (again!). There were 2 books in that I had reserved so I had to pick them up:

Toddler: Real-life stories of those fickle, irrational, urgent, tiny people we love

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

I have 2 or 3 books to finish before these, will be reporting on those soon!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

May 19 & 27 Library Visits

I forgot to post the list of books I checked out on May 19:

The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer
Astrid & Veronika by Linda Olsson
Parenting is Heart Work by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller
An Absolute Gentleman by R.M. Kinder
The Ghost Writer by John Harwood
Skin by Ted Dekker
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

I finished The Lost Boy but none of the others yet.

Then yesterday I got 3 more books! LOL First of all Lindsey was out of books and her videos were due back yesterday, so I had to make a library trip. I had these 3 books on hold and they were in so I had to pick them up too:

The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I'm currently reading Astrid & Veronika and, well, um, I don't care for it that much! Once again I read great reviews but it's not living up to what I expected. It started out okay, but by about halfway through I was wanting to stop reading it. But I really want to find out more about their "secrets" so I'll finish it. But I'm not loving it or even liking it all that much.

Happy reading!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

May 12 Library Visit Review

I finished these 4:

The Ghost Writer
by Philip Roth - As I said in an earlier post, the book called The Ghost Writer on my TBR list is actually written by John Harwood. I got the wrong book. :-) But it had great reviews on Amazon so I decided to give it a try. And try I did, but I couldn't get into it.

Consider Lily by Ann Dayton and May Vanderbilt - LOVED it! It had a few flaws, but overall it was great. 4/5

London Holiday by Richard Peck - Couldn't get into this one either.

Knitalong - Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together by Larisa Brown and Martin John Brown - I love everything about knitting....I love reading about it, listening to podcasts about it, talking to others about it, thinking about it, and of course actually knitting. :-) This book was just "ok" for me though. 3/5

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

May 6 Library Visit Review

My review of the books I checked out on May 6:

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee - I was interested in this book since I have 2 daughters from China and I've been there twice. I couldn't get into it though, and didn't finish. I do NOT like Chinese food. :-) One time for supper, during our second trip to China, I had a donut and some french fries. :-) One time this was my meal while most of the rest of our group had the Peking Duck Dinner. The plate was about 8 inches in diameter if I remember right. In other words, this was not a big plate of food. LOL

The Challenging Child by Stanley Greenspan - I just skimmed this book. I have a hard time getting into this type of non-fiction book sometimes. This one is pretty long. It probably has a lot of good info I could use though.

A Child Call "It" by Dave Pelzer - Difficult book to read, left me with many questions. The author says questions will be answered in the next 2 books. I'm not sure if the questions I have are the ones he answers. I'll be checking out the sequels soon and find out.

The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer - I really enjoyed this book. (I know, not much of a detailed review, LOL!)

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman - I really wanted to like this book since it got so many good reviews. I'm not a fan of fantasy though, and I couldn't get into it. It started out okay and I thought maybe I could read this one. And maybe at another time I could, but right now I just didn't feel like continuing with it.

Forever Lily by Beth Nonte Russell - This book made me very MAD. The author goes along with a friend to China to adopt a child. The friend doesn't want the child from the very beginning and her attitude made me so mad, as if this wasn't a child's life, as if you "shop" for the perfect baby and if you don't get exactly what you wanted then you can just put her back. I admire the author greatly for loving this baby and eventually adopting her when they got back to the U.S., but I didn't agree with much of her assessment of China and some of her own attitudes. Also she was into mysticism and other things I totally do not agree with. A big part of the book is dreams that she was Chinese in a past life (if I understand that right - I skipped most of the dream parts).

A few other quotes that bothered me:

"The Chinese government insisted on thousands of dollars for a baby that someone had literally thrown away. What, or whom, was the money for, exactly?"

The author is referring to the $3000 orphanage "donation" every adopting parent is required to make. This money goes to the orphanages. I look at it as payment for all the things they did for my daughters up until we adopted them, and for the children who currently reside there. Sure maybe there are corrupt officials here and there who misuse the money, but for the most part, the money goes to help support the orphanage and the children there.

"I look at the label; it reads MADE IN CHINA. Isn't everything? They are exporting everything, including their unwanted girl babies."

I think that is a crass way to look at it and I don't agree with that attitude.

But at least she understood this much:

"Besides, I think, anyone adopting from China knows that sometimes you do not get the individual baby that has been promised to you; you don't choose. It is part of the deal to accept that there will be unknowns."

I could go on and on about the things I didn't like about this book, but it might be more appropriate on my adoption blog rather than this one. But if you want a good overview of what adoption from China is like, there are much better books than this one. One of these days I will post a list of my favorites.

Rating: 3/5

China Ghosts by Jeff Gammage - MUCH better than Forever Lily! I enjoyed this book. 4/5

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I Haven't Done THIS in Awhile Either!

In fact, I don't think I've ever done this. What is "this" you ask?
I cried when reading a children's picture book to my daughter!

I could barely choke the words out. The book is The Forever Dog by Bill Cochran. It's about a little boy named Mike who gets a dog, Corky, as a puppy. He teaches and trains the dog and loves him as his best friend. "One day Mike and Corky made a plan. Mike told Corky that the two of them would be best friends forever. Anything and everything that Mike did, Corky would do with him. Forever. That was the plan."

After a few years, Corky gets sick and dies. Hence my tears. Maybe it was because my sweet dog was on my lap while I was reading? Maybe it was the adorable illustrations? Mike's sadness just did me in! And he is angry at Corky for breaking his promise about their "Forever Plan". In the end Mike's mother helps him see that Corky will be with him forever in his heart. Mike cries some more, tells Corky he's sorry he was angry with him, and the lets Corky "all the way into his heart. And it felt warm inside." What a sweet book.

Lindsey was out of library books so we made a trip last night to get more. The Forever Dog was one of them. Of course I couldn't go to the library and not get a few books for myself! I'm not done with my latest library pile, so I just got 4:

The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth (Oops! This is the wrong book. The book on my TBR list was written by John Harwood. I'll try this one anyway!)
Consider Lily by Ann Dayton and May Vanderbilt
London Holiday by Richard Peck
Knitalong - Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together by Larisa Brown and Martin John Brown

Friday, May 9, 2008

May 6 Library Visit

I thought I posted this! I guess not. Here's the latest group of books I checked out:

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles by Jennifer 8. Lee
The Challenging Child by Stanley Greenspan
A Child Call "It" by Dave Pelzer
The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Forever Lily by Beth Nonte Russell
China Ghosts by Jeff Gammage

Report to follow when I'm done with all....

Thursday, May 8, 2008

April 18 Library Visit Review

Here are the library books I checked out a few weeks ago with my report on them:

Emil and Karl by Yankev Glatshteyn - Couldn't get into, didn't finish

Sacred Cows by Karen E. Olson - Couldn't get into, didn't finish

The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook - I loved the storyline of this book, but sometimes got bogged down in the reading of it. One of the characters, now an old man, is looking back at the time when he was in high school and a crime was committed. Through these flashbacks you kept getting bits and pieces of what happened back then. This is obviously done on purpose to add to the suspense and mystery of it all. But by page 100 or so, I just felt like GIVE ME THE DETAILS ALREADY!!! I would sometimes get so impatient to get to the bottom of it all that I would skim parts of the book. There was one last twist at the very end that surprised/shocked me. 4/5

March by Geraldine Brooks - Really loved parts of it, bored with others, not nearly as good at Year of Wonders. 3.5/5

A Vineyard in Tuscany by Ferenc Mate - Couldn't get into, didn't finish

The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt - Loved this book! I'm looking forward to reading the other 2 books by these authors (although one of them got some bad reviews on 4.5/5

Gluten-free Girl by Shauna James Ahern - This book was pretty good. I'm not allergic to gluten or anything, the book just appealed to me. However I HATE to cook! This book would probably inspire most people to want to cook, but not me. :-) She certainly has a way of describing food. 3.5/5

After I checked these out, I also got Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Noble and Have You Found Her? by Janice Erlbaum. They were both holds that came in. Eat, Pray, Love was for a book club I am in with my 3 sisters, my cousin Lynn, and one other lady. If the book wasn't for the club, I would NOT have continued reading this book past the first few chapters. I didn't like the author at all and disagreed with just about all her beliefs and philosophies. I read the first 1/3, the part about when she in Italy. I skimmed the rest of the book.

Have You Found Her? is the sequel to Girlbomb that I read in early April. Despite the frequent use of the "F word" (I'm sorry but I just hate that word! It's so vulgar) and the disfunctional lifestyle of the author, I enjoyed Girlbomb. I liked Have You Found Her?just a bit better. The back cover promised a "bombshell" near the end and there definitely was one. I didn't expect it. 4/5

Monday, May 5, 2008

I haven't done THAT in awhile!

What is THAT, you ask? Read a whole book, cover to cover, IN ONE DAY. I often read a book in 2 or 3 days, but rarely in one. I could be wrong, maybe forgetting a book or two, but the last book I remember reading in one day was a non-fiction book called Blackbird by Jennifer Lauck - 406 pages. That was in June 2003, before I had the girls ('nuff said).

Even with the girls, I did manage to read Whispers of the Bayou by Mindy Starns Clark, yesterday. I read it on and off in the morning amidst the girls running around. Jay took them outside for awhile late morning and I read then. I read during naptime. Then I read from about 8:15 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. and I was DONE! Obviously I really enjoyed the book.

The first book I read by Mindy was The Trouble with Tulip, the first book in a 3 book "Smart Chick Mystery Series." I really enjoyed that one and the sequel, Blind Dates Can Be Murder. But then for some reason I could not get into the last book, Elementary My Dear Watkins. (My youngest sister, who has the same taste in books as I do, really enjoyed it so I'm not sure why I didn't.) She has one more series "The Million Dollar Mystery Series" that didn't grab me either. But I LOVED Whispers of the Bayou. I hope to read more books like this one from Mindy.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

We interrupt your reading.... bring you a cute baby picture. I am still working through my pile of library books and will post about them when I'm done with the whole list. For now I thought, "why should the readers of my family blog get to see all the cute pictures, why not my book blog friends?" LOL so here's a picture of my youngest daughter, taken on the evening of the day she was first placed in our arms (10/30/06 at age 12 months, 2 weeks, 5 days) - known in adoption circles as "Gotcha Day". It's a controversial term, some people don't like it, but I think it is just fine. I posted this picture on my family blog and I thought I would share it here too.

Have a great day!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thanks! And Library Visit Review

Thank you all for your kind comments encouraging me to continue blogging! I think I will do that, and just post when I can. I decided to just make some time right now to post (even though I should be doing other things! like getting the girls teeth brushed and their hair combed - well at least they've had breakfast and got dressed! Fyi it's 9:27 a.m. as I type this.)

Anyway......I've been to the library a bunch of times since I posted my list on March 1, but I'll start with the ones I listed then. I'm not going to be able to go back and catch up on books I've checked out since then, but I'm hoping to get my act together and keep current on this from now on (no promises of course LOL). Here are the books I had just checked out at that time:

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
Blessed are the Cheesemakers by Sarah-Kate Lynch
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak
Peony in Love by Lisa See
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Snitch by Rene Gutteridge
Paula Deen: It Ain't All About the Cookin' by Paula Deen with Sherry Suib Cohen
Knitspeak: an A to Z Guide to the Language of Knitting Patterns by Andrea Berman Price

I loved Year of Wonders and The Virgin Blue! YOW is probably the best book I've read so far this year. The Paula Deen book wasn't bad, I enjoyed that one fairly well. All the rest I scrapped after anywhere from 10-50 pages or so. I loved so many of Rene Gutteridge's books, especially the Boo series, and I liked Scoop (the book before Snitch). So I don't know why I didn't care for Snitch.


I made it through the, I hate to say this, somewhat boring books of the OT in The Message Bible, and am now in Psalms. MUCH better!


These are the library books I have in my TBR pile right now:

Emil and Karl by Yankev Glatshteyn
Sacred Cows by Karen E. Olson
The Chatham School Affair by Thomas H. Cook
March by Geraldine Brooks
A Vineyard in Tuscany by Ferenc Mate
The Book of Jane by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt (currently reading)
Gluten-free Girl by Shauna James Ahern (currently reading)

I WILL make time to report back on these books when I'm finished with all of them! :-)

Happy reading!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Still here!

Hi loyal readers! Are there any? If not I don't blame you for giving up on me! If you are there, can you let me know?

I am SO sorry I hardly post anymore. I do keep up with all your book blogs even if I rarely comment. I have been seriously thinking of ending all my blogs. But I can't quite bring myself to do it either. I type SO many posts in my head but they never end up on my blogs! I just rarely have the time/energy/ambition to actually post them. So I've been thinking of just scrapping everything. But I don't think I want to. I don't know! I guess for now you'll just have to settle for an occasional post and maybe some day I can get things going again. I have been keeping my sidebar current though with what I am reading and what I have read so far. I have read some great books this year.

I really do want to post about my library visits - what I check out and what I thought of those books. I was so excited to do that. But that fell by the wayside before I barely even got started. Again maybe someday! But for now, hang in there with me please! I will try to at least comment more often in other book blogs.

Happy reading!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Library Visits

Once in awhile I list the books I got from the library on my blog. I thought maybe I'd make that a regular thing - I'll post what I get each visit (well whenever I can, I may not always have time to do this). And then I'll post again and let you know what I thought of each book. It probably won't be more than a rating or a brief comment, but I'll do what I can.

The last time I listed my library books I had checked out:

Broken for You - Kallas
The Giver - Lowry
The Stone Diaries - Shields
Design on a Crime - Aiken
Desperate Pastors Wives - Kolbaba & Scannell
Julia's Chocolates - Lamb
Love Me if You Must - Young
The Horizontal World - Marquart
Hattie Big Sky - Larson
10-20-30 Minutes to Sew for Your Home - Nancy Zieman

It wasn't a very successful library trip! As I posted last time, I wasn't all that crazy about Broken for You. I liked The Giver well enough and rated it a 3.5/5. I didn't like The Stone Diaries, Design on a Crime, Desperate Pastors Wives, Julia's Chocolates, Love Me if You Must, The Horizontal World, OR Hattie Big Sky ! I only read anywhere from a few pages to up to 5o pages in each of these and then scrapped them. This one, 10-20-30 Minutes to Sew for Your Home, was just something to look through which I did and then returned it.

After that visit I picked up a few other books: Catch a Rising Star by Tracey Bateman. It was...."eh". I loved her Claire series but I wasn't really crazy about this one. I read it all in one day, toward the end just to get it over with. Also when I was getting a parenting book off the shelf, I saw the pretty pink cover of a book so I took it off the shelf to look, never heard of it before. It was called You'll Never Nanny in This Town Again by Suzanne Hansen. She was a "nanny to the stars" in Hollywood. I loved the book! I thought it was so interesting and well written.

I had reserved a few books for my son's research paper from another library, and when I went to pick them up when they came in, of course I had to get some books for me. LOL They are:

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
Blessed are the Cheesemakers by Sarah-Kate Lynch
Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak
Peony in Love by Lisa See
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

So far I haven't started any of them except Year of Wonders. I am about halfway done with it and I LOVE it! I will be rating it a 5/5 at the end of the month.

Yesterday I was at the library again. Since I still have that stack of books waiting to be read, I only picked up a few that I had placed holds on:

Snitch by Rene Gutteridge
Paula Deen: It Ain't All About the Cookin' by Paula Deen with Sherry Suib Cohen
Knitspeak: an A to Z Guide to the Language of Knitting Patterns
by Andrea Berman Price

I'll do an update on all these books after I'm done with them. Whew!

Edited 3/2: Yesterday we had family over for my husband's 45th! birthday. My fellow bookaholic sister told me that I called the book by Rene Gutteridge "Stitch" and it is actually "Snitch" (I have knitting on my mind all the time, what can I say?) As she said that I was taking a bite of pizza and I laughed and a whole section of cheese and sauce (HOT!) flipped off and landed on my chin. Owwww! Don't know why I shared that but it is sort of related to books. LOL)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Broken for You

Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos was loved by Small World and Mommy Brain and Musings of a Bookish Kitty. I liked it in some ways, but overall I didn't care for it that much! I thought it was sort of strange, I didn't quite "get" most of the characters, I couldn't relate to them. When I had just over 100 pages left, I just wanted to finish. I give it a 3.5/5 stars. I like so many of the books the above bloggers recommend, I don't know why I have such a different opinion this time. I guess we can't always agree.

I started a more fluffy book this morning, well fluffier than Broken for You anyway - Catch a Rising Star by Tracey Bateman. I loved her Claire series, so far so good with this one (but I'm only on page 26).

Perfect day for reading today, they are predicting blizzard-like conditions today with up to a foot of snow. Just want I want after a very long winter already. Yeah right. Gotta just hang in there a little while longer! Spring will come eventually.

Have a great day!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Here's what my street looked like after the snow we got yesterday, the snow that was falling when I went to the library. Isn't it pretty? (But I'm ready for it to all go away! Spring can't come fast enough this year!)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

1 Kings and Library Visit

So I finally finished 1 Kings. Of course then ahead of me is 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Chronicles. Can't say I'm super excited about this! I know all of the Bible has value and there are parts of these books that are very interesting. But there are other parts, well not so much! But I plod on.

I am really enjoying Split Ends.

I went to the library today and checked out 10 books - 8 fiction and 2 non-fiction. They are:

Broken for You - Kallas
The Giver - Lowry
The Stone Diaries - Shields
Design on a Crime - Aiken
Desperate Pastors Wives - Kolbaba & Scannell
Julia's Chocolates - Lamb
Love Me if You Must - Young (eeek, sounds like a trashy romance novel but it's not, LOL. It's a mystery written by a Christian author)
The Horizontal World - Marquart
Hattie Big Sky - Larson
10-20-30 Minutes to Sew for Your Home - Nancy Zieman

Most of these were recommended on various book blogs and a few of them I saw in CBD's Christian fiction catalog.

If you've read any of these books, tell me what you thought!

I actually made 2 trips into the library, first time I've ever done that. First I loaded up my book bag with books to read to my girls, and a few CDs for Lindsey. I checked those out, took them back to my car, then went back in and loaded my book bag up with books for myself. The same guy checked me out both times. He noticed it was me again the second time, LOL.

I had to laugh, as I was driving there I was thinking of my southern friends, and how the tiniest bit of snow shuts everything down. Here, it was snowing pretty good, and there was just as much traffic as always. It certainly wasn't going to stop me from making a trip to the library by myself! (HEAVEN!!!) When I got to the library I couldn't even find a place to park! It was packed! No, things do not shut down here in Wisconsin unless it's a blizzard. LOL

Happy reading!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Reading Update

It's been a rather humdrum sort of reading month for me. I read 2 books I really loved - The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Decked Out, and The Kite Runner. I started and quit 3-4 books I couldn't get into. Then I read some okay books - Every Sunday, How Strong Women Pray, and Broken on the Back Row.

Oh, one of the books I started and quit, that I mentioned before, was Queen of the Oddballs. It started out good, and then I found out the author is a lesbian. I don't automatically say no to book with a homosexual author, character, whatever. (I do believe the Bible says homosexuality is a sin and I make no apologies for that, nor will I debate that here on my blog.) But when she started getting into the details of her first "relationship" - well no thanks.

I did finish I am the Messenger. I thought it was just "okay". The swearing (tons!) combined with the sexual references, I didn't like that at all. Because of that I can't believe it is for young adults. I wouldn't let my young adult read it!

Then there's the 2 non-fiction books I just finished - How Strong Women Pray and Broken on the Back Row (Sandi Patty's story of adultery and lies, and healing and restoration). The first one was okay. So much of it was just surface-y about prayer, and I didn't agree with some of the things the author talked about in the chapters about her own life story (I don't feel like getting into details!). But it did get me thinking about prayer in a few new ways. Sandi Patty's book was okay reading, it wasn't a riveting story or anything. But the themes of repentance and grace and forgiveness are excellent.

Next up is Split Ends by Kristin Billerbeck. I'm not expecting deep reading but I've enjoyed her other books so I'll probably like this one too. I hope anyway! I am in desperate need of a really, really, moving, awesome, riveting, can't put it down book - ANY SUGGESTIONS?????? My TBR list for 2008 is already a mile long so hopefully I can find some good ones off of there when I go to the library on Friday.

I'm really embarrassed if any of you have noticed in "What I'm Reading" in my sidebar that I have been stuck on 1 Kings in The Message Bible for months. For the record, it's not the only Bible reading I do (though certainly I don't read it as much as I should or aspire to). I was only reading from that Bible if I read in bed right before I go to sleep. I don't do that very often anymore so it was sort of forgotten. But I don't want to take 30 years to finish it (and I have this self-imposed rule that I'm going to read it from beginning to end). So I am going to start reading it whenever I read my other books.

What I have been doing is listening to a Bible in a year podcast. There is a reading from the OT, NT, Psalms and Proverbs every day. I'm enjoying that. I really need to get into more deeper Bible studies using the methods in the book that I really love, Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods. I was doing so good with that for awhile then it dropped off. Story of my life unfortunately.

Supper's almost ready so I have to run! Happy reading!

Monday, January 21, 2008


Back to your regularly scheduled reading....

I'm so disappointed that the Packers lost last night. Sadness in Packerland this morning. Hats off to the Giants though who deserved to win, and I hope they crush the Patriots in the Super Bowl. What a horrible game. They couldn't move the ball and they couldn't stop the Giants. Except for the 90 yard TD by Driver the whole game was miserable. But, life goes on. We didn't expect this season to go the way it did, we had a blast, it was a great ride. Too bad it didn't end better but what can you do.

I'm actually reading 4 different books at the same time right now. I used to do that quite a bit, at least have one fiction and one non-fiction book going. For the last several years though I've only liked to read one book at a time. But here's why I'm reading more than one. First of all I'm reading Every Sunday by Peter Pezzelli which I won from Lynne (thanks again Lynne!). I like it well enough, but I'm not enthralled with it. So I started reading other books along with it. Two of them I didn't keep reading, but then I read The Kite Runner. I loved that one so I wanted to read another great fiction book right away. So I started I Am the Messenger by Zusak (which is pretty good, I can't stand all the swearing though). I had another book in my TBR pile called Queen of the Oddballs that I just felt like starting. I like that one since she's talking about growing up in the 70's as I did (60's and 70's) but there are some things about it I don't like. I'll finish it though. Then a book I had put on hold at the library came in, and it is a short loan so I thought I would start it so I can finish it on time. That one is How Strong Women Pray by Bonnie St. John.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Sorry to bore you with all those details! I have to do something to work off the frustration of that game last night. :-) Or I could just yell......


Okay, I'm better now (not really). Happy reading!

Monday, January 14, 2008


We interrupt this book blog to bring you breaking news......

!!!!!GO PACK GO!!!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Books Read in 2007

2007 Reading Year in Review

At the beginning of the year I was on pace to read over 100 books. Sigh, I missed it by 8 books! I guess that is my reading goal for 2008 then, to read 100 books.

I participated in one challenge in 2007 - the Non-Fiction Five Challenge sponsored by Thoughts of Joy. At first I was really gung ho about participating in challenges, but as the year went on, I realized I just don't have the time to devote to them. This year will probably prove to be no different, but as my kids get older, maybe in future years I can be in a few more.

I had my own challenge to myself, to read book titles from A-Z. One look at my sidebar and you can see I didn't accomplish that, but I came close. I probably could have made an effort to find titles with the missing letters but I never got around to doing that. (Note: story of my life right now is I never get around to doing 9/10 of the things I want to do. (Case in point: my very infrequent posting to this blog.) I had an only child for almost 14 years, and now I have 2 little girls, and life is just so different. Wonderful, but crazy! End of note.)

So here is my list of books read in 2007, organized by the following rating system (borrowed from Carrie at Mommy Brain, I hope you don't mind Carrie!):

1 star - Terrible

2 stars - Just Okay

3 stars - Good

4 stars - Very Good

5 stars - Brilliant, Wonderful, Excellent, Fabulous

(There are actually no books listed under 1 star because if a book is a 1 star in my eyes, I don't keep reading it.)

5 Star Books

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
With Love, Libby by Roxanne Henke
The Remedy for Regret by Susan Meissner
The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle
Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson
Winter Birds by Jamie Langston Turner

Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods by Rick Warren
A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot
Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
At Knit's End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

4 Star Books

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Dear Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh
The Secret Life of Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Scoop by Rene Gutteridge
I Love Claire by Tracey Bateman
Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Sisterchicks in Gondolas! by Robin Jones Gunn
Perfecting Kate by Tamara Leigh
The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart
The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler
Winter Wheat by Mildred Walker
Black Ice by Linda Hall
Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
This Heavy Silence by Nicole Mazzarella
The Other Side of the Bridge by Mary Lawson
A Girl's Best Friend by Kristin Billerbeck
Renovating Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck
The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling by Neta Jackson
Death Comes as Epiphany by Sharan Newman
The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood
Calm, Cool, and Adjusted by Kristin Billerbeck
Winter Birds by Jamie Langston Turner
Summer of the War by Whelan
The Trophy Wives Club by Kristin Billerbeck
The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
The Good Wife by Stewart O'Nan
The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst
Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock
The Cure by Athol Dickson

The Innocent Man by John Grisham
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krause Rosentahl
Arctic Homestead by Norma Cobb
The Nazi Officer's Wife by Edith Hahn Beer
An Innocent, A Broad by Ann Leary
One Small Boat by Kathy Harrison
The Color of Water by James McBride
How to Help a Grieving Friend by Stephanie Grace Whitson
Confessions of a Slacker Mom by Muffy MeadbyFerro
Confessions of a Slacker Wife by Muffy MeadbyFerro
The Joy of Knitting by Lisa Myers
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Nordies at Noon by Balwanz/Carlos/Johnson/Peters
Mason-Dixon Knitting by Gardiner/Shayne
Stitch N B---- by Debbie Stoller
For the Love of Knitting by Kari Cornell, editor
Stitch N B----Nation by Debbie Stoller
Not Tonight Darling, I'm Knitting by Hosegood
We Remember by Jeanne Marie Laskas
Don't Bet Against Me by Deanna Favre

3 Star Books

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg
Clay's Quilt by Silas House
Showdown by Ted Dekker
Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Head Game by Tim Downs
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier
Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Vreeland

Night by Elie Wiesel
Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in you and your kids! by Scott Turansky/Joanne Miller
A World of Love by Conroy
Winterdance by Gary Paulsen
Bryson City Secrets by Walt Larimore
Candyfreak by Steve Almond
To Love, Honor, and Vacuum by Sheila Wray Gregoire
Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair by Laurie Perry

2 Star Books

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
Saint by Ted Dekker

Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax
Dear Exile by Liftin/Montgomery


I finished the first book of 2008 already, The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Decked Out by Neta Jackson. I loved it as I did all the Yada Yada books. This is the last one in this series. I rate it a 5.