2011 Books

I saw this cute idea on another blog and totally copied it. Only, mine isn’t quite as neat and even as the other girl’s, but I’m all about cutting corners where possible. You still get the idea.

A few thoughts…

1. Don’t judge me! I read to escape, not to become a lit. professor.

2. I know all Mary Higgins Clark books are the same, but I still like them, and there are always plenty available on audio. I went through a phase where I was rereading some of her books, and I had even forgotten the killer in a couple!

3. These were my first Maureen Johnson books–I enjoyed them and will definitely read more of her stuff.

4. Sophie Kinsella is a good writer, but I’m not consistently impressed with her books.

5. Grace for the Good Girl was very good. I recommend it. I think I need to reread it.

6. Eight of these books were read on my Kindle.

7. Many of these books were audio… I loooove listening to audiobooks while I drive! And yes, they still count!

8. I just barely finished the Mindy Kaling book today. I wouldn’t say it was LOL-funny, but it was entertaining and very interesting. She seems like a pretty cool chica.

9. The Barry and Fey books were audio and read by the author, which I highly recommend for that sort of book.

10. I can’t remember, now, why I read Rescue Your Love Life. I used to read marriage books when I was a teenager, though, so I guess I was revisiting that hobby.

So did you read anything interesting this year?



I’ve skipped Project 52 two weeks in a row now! It was kind of an accident, but instead of trying to catch up or hunt down photos for each week, I’m just picking up where I left off next week. It’s okay to not get all 52 pictures done in 52 weeks, right? 🙂

Oh yeah, and I got a Kindle. 🙂 🙂 Thanks, Dad and Mom!

So far I love it. Do you have one? Or want one? I guess I love gadgets, and the idea of having several items to read (and games to play!) all in one little portable device appeals to me. I’m excited to take it everywhere so I can read at all the unexpected waiting times, but I’m waiting for my new cover to come before I just drop it in my purse. I don’t want to wreck it! Though I do like the clean, white look…but soon I’ll have an orange case for it. Mom, you’ll love it!

[I know some of you (Brenda) will recognize what book I have on it in that photo. :)]

July books, links, etc.

It’s a little late, but happy August!

In July, I listened to these two audiobooks:

Don’t Judge a Girl By Her Cover – Ally Carter (6 disks)
Third book in the Gallagher Girls series, a YA story about teens going to spy school. The audio of these books has its annoyances, and they really shined in this book (sorry, author!). Dania and I listened to it when we went to Seattle and we often made fun of the silliness. The main character is such a drama queen about some things, or maybe it’s just the reader. I don’t know, but I was tired of it by the end. The story idea is cute, though, and eventually I’ll read the fourth book.

Juliet – Anne Fortier (16 disks)
Julie’s aunt (who raised her) dies, and leaves her a key to her late mother’s safe deposit box in Sienna, Italy. Julie goes to Italy to embark on a sort of treasure hunt combined with discovering the history behind the story of Romeo and Juliet. This book was pretty long, and there were moments when I was slightly bored or annoyed (the main character is a little annoying). But overall it’s very good and interesting.

Books for 2011: 18

I also finished a puzzle!

But it was used, so it was missing one piece. :/

I tried two different photo management programs and ended up preferring Picasa. It’s better with the face recognition.

And I found some links that might be of interest:

Cutest Foods – I came across this through Pinterest (see below). They post a cute/clever food picture each day. Check it out, it’s pretty fun!

Brown Eyed Baker – A cooking blog that has some yummy recipes without overloading me with pictures of EVERY step.

Princess Hairstyles – A blog with lots of unique and (some crazy) hairstyles meant for young girls. If any of you moms have extra time on your hands 😉 you might want to check it out. No, seriously, some of them aren’t too complicated.

Also, I joined Pinterest. I haven’t used it all that much, mostly because I can tell it’s addictive and I haven’t wanted to let myself get too involved.

It’s a free service that’s basically like a virtual bulletin board for ideas and inspiration. You can “pin” anything you find online onto your various “boards” and it’ll link back to the site so you know where to go later. The funnest part is just going through friends’ and strangers’ boards to see what they have pinned, and then you can repin anything to your board or comment on them.

People have found some really awesome, clever and funny things online. Like this hedgehog! People pin everything from yummy recipes, to beautiful photos and locations around the world, to ideas for kids crafts or home decor. I have some invites left, so if you want to try it, let me know and I’ll send you one.

Have a great August!

August books

I thought I’d share my book list for August (I post it elsewhere, so it’s easy to copy here too). No judging me on my light reading!

He’s Just Not That Into You – Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo (165 pages)
Years ago, a well-meaning friend suggested this book to me right after a very difficult breakup. It wasn’t the right time for such a recommendation, and I don’t advise you to tell any of your hurting friends to read this when they’re freshly into a breakup from a serious relationship! That’s your tip of the day. However, these days I have been in a much better emotional place to consider this topic. This book discusses many signs that a man isn’t interested when a woman is tempted to make excuses for him and put up with an unhappy situation. It was funnier and better than I imagined, and also enlightening in ways I didn’t expect. The message was much more positive than I had originally thought it would be. Of course this book is secular and discusses many topics that don’t directly pertain to me, but it still has insight to offer most any single woman.

Free Fall – Kristen Heitzmann (14 tapes)
A woman named Gentry wakes up, injured and with amnesia, in the mountains of Kauai. She makes her way down to a house where a woman named Nica takes her in and nurses her back to health. Gentry turns out to be famous, but the locals just didn’t recognize her at first. Now she has to try and remember what happened to her with the help of Nica’s investigator brother. There’s a lot more to this book, but I don’t want to give it all away. I enjoyed it. I mean, it had its lame moments, but overall I liked the story.

Traveling Mercies – Anne Lamott (275 pages)
Brenda mentioned this book to me. It’s the memoir of a woman on her path from being a drug-using alcoholic to finding Christ, and learning what that means through various life experiences. It’s interesting because she’s definitely rough around the edges and not afraid to show it. The book is candid about all sorts of topics and has plenty of swearing and poor choices (both before and after her conversion, of course). It’s very well-written, funny and thoughtful, and has some good nuggets of wisdom about life and God.

The Birth Order Connection – Kevin Leman (Abridged* – 2 tapes)
A reread, and kind of cheaty since it’s abridged. I didn’t remember that this book talks a lot about romantic relationships–I was thinking it was focused entirely on birth order (I guess that’s another book). Most of it is just advice on choosing a mate that hardly relates to birth order! But it had some good reminders. And guess what? Middle children have the lowest infidelity rate. 🙂 Go me. Snatch up those middle children–they’re gems!

Bamboo and Lace – Lori Wick (Abridged* – 2 tapes)
Another cheaty book, and another reread (because I had nothing else to listen to at the time). Lily goes to visit her brother in Hawaii and learn about American culture (she’s from a small Asian island). She falls in love and has to convince her ultra-strict dad to let her marry the guy. Something about this story is so simplistic and childish, yet I liked listening to it like I enjoy a Disney film. I rolled my eyes a lot, though, and felt the reader made the characters sound like very bad actors. It’s probably not only the reader’s fault, though.

The Chosen One – Carol Lynch Williams (5 CDs)
A YA (Young Adult, if you didn’t know) novel about a 13-year-old girl living in a polygamist compound and being forced to marry her 60-year-old uncle. The story follows her efforts to escape the upcoming marriage.  This story is sad, disturbing and angering, but it also gave me a renewed appreciation for the freedom I have that some people don’t. I know that this girl’s situation is not common in the US, but around the world there are lots of similar “captive” situations where women and children are being forced into bad lives and brainwashed into believing certain things about God and the world. I was slightly disappointed with the end, because it didn’t really give a lot of information about the future, but I suppose that was probably a good way to close without delving into another story. The end of the last CD also had a brief interview with the author, which I found very interesting.

So Yesterday – Scott Westerfeld (6 CDs)
Another Brenda recommendation! A “Cool Hunter” (one who looks for “cool” to report back to a major shoe company) gets caught up in a mystery when his coworker goes missing and he finds her cell phone stuck in an old building near a bunch of amazing shoes that have never been shown to the public. This is a fun, light-hearted action/mystery. It was a nice change of pace from what I had been listening to before, even if the whole premise was goofy and hard to relate to.

Book total for August: 7 (sort of)
Book total for 2010: 26

* I really hate reading abridged versions of books but, like I said, it’s what I found on my shelf when I was between library visits. Why I had the abridged versions, I know not–I can be really crazy sometimes.

Some books

Hi, whoever. That photo was just sitting lonely on my camera, so I thought I’d put it to use. It’s kind of random and it doesn’t go with this entry at all. I took it yesterday morning because the sun was orange.

Remember how I mentioned that I ditched my 2010 reading goal of 50 books? I made that goal because last year I had the same goal and managed to read (or listen to–audio books count!!) 51 books. I decided to peruse my full list of them, and now I will mention a few that were the most enjoyable, as long as you don’t judge me for my selections.

In the order I read them:

Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman
A Young Adult (YA) book about two friends who really like Pride and Prejudice (and all things Austen). One of them is super, dramatically into it and drags her friend to crash a dance in search of a Mr. Darcy. Amazingly, I didn’t really have any complaints about this book. It’s an enjoyable, quick read with a simple storyline, yet I feel it was well written for a YA book of this size/topic.

The Million Dollar Mysteries series by Mindy Starns Clark
Christian fiction about a 33-year-old widow who is an investigator and ends up helping to solve murder mysteries in each book. I listened to the first one and read the rest because the reader for the audio version was a terrible choice, no offense. Okay, yes offense. Her voice is too old for the character. My other complaint is really a blanket complaint about almost all Christian fiction, and that’s the corny witnessing moments. Still, I liked these so much I plan to read them again sometime.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer
In this story, aliens have come to earth and inhabited human bodies. In the main character’s case, the human is fighting to stay alive and so there’s an internal dialogue and struggle between the two of them. Through memories and persuasion, the human is able to make the alien care enough to search for her boyfriend and brother. I’m not really a sci-fi person, but this is much more about relationships, mixed with some adventure. There were some parts that I was squeamish about, but overall I was really into it from start to finish. It gave me lots of happy feelings.

The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp
I don’t think I have to explain this one, but it’s the true story that the movie The Sound of Music is based on. TSoM is one of my favorites, and I’ve even been to the Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont, so I wanted to know more about the family. This book was inspiring and convicting to me as a Christian, and I love Maria’s personality and way of writing.

There were a lot more good ones, but this entry is getting long. Maybe I’ll talk about other books later, gators.