Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Best and Worst - 2008

Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson - Southern fiction. I've read two of this author's books so far and loved them both.

The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci - Young Adult. I don't think YA fiction was this good when I was growing up. Makes me wonder what else I'm missing out on.

The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer - Young Adult. Yes, it's fluff. Wonderful fluffy fluffiness. Me + Edward = 4 Ever!!!!!

Burned by Ellen Hopkins - Young Adult. Looks like I've read a lot of YA this year, huh? I love the writing style.

Divining Women by Kaye Gibbons - General Fiction. I will read any book I can get my hands on by this author. She's great.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck - Classic. Can't wait to read more Steinbeck.

The Girls by Lori Lansens - General Fiction. I loved it so much, I read it twice. Heartwarming and wonderful.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - Dystopian Fiction. Another author I want to gobble up. Fantastic book. I will reread this and recommend it to lots of people.

Paper Towns by John Green - Young Adult. Fan-freaking-tastic.

Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult - General Fiction. A great fiction book that is thought provoking.

We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver - General Fiction. A book that I continue to think about after all of these months of reading other books.


Barrel Fever by David Sedaris - Humor. When this author doesn't suck, he rocks. In this case he sucked!

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid - General Fiction. This didn't hold my interest at all, I kept zoning out and when I suffered all the way through it and it didn't get any better, I wondered why I had wasted my time.

Slow Waltz in Cedar Bend by Robert James Waller - Romance. Gag. I thought that since I liked this author's The Bridges of Madison County, I might be able to stomach this one. Nope.

Stuart Little by E.B. White - Children's Fiction. Creepy little disrespectful mouse that needs a spanking. This is no Charlotte's Web!

Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller - Christianity. Oh how I hate to put this author in this category. This book stunk. He needed a good editor and apparently he didn't have one. His other books are wonderful, though.

The Year my Life Went Down the Loo by Katie Maxwell - Young Adult. Maybe if I hadn't already read the Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison, I would have liked this book more.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Not Putting up a Christmas Tree WAS a Good Idea

Because, see, now I have nothing to pack back up and put away! I'm either a genius or lazy.

Hooray for Christmas being over! Is that scrooge-ish? I don't care. I went to church with my family on Sunday and there was Christmas carol singing going on in church. After Christmas. I cringed, but I sang along.

Being back home was fun though. Lots of activity. My great-nephew said my name (not my real name, but the name that my nieces and nephews all call me) for the first time while I was there. We all screamed so loud when he did it the first time that I think he probably messed himself. He looked scared, but it was definitely one of the highlights of my year (he said it several times before I left - 17 months old. Boy genius. Yes, I'm proud of him.)

My parents still have three of the puppies at their house, so I spent a great deal of time being chewed on and pounced on. It was fun, but it sure was sad to leave them. The other three puppies were given to the lady who cleans house for my mom and dad. This is the same lady who my mother is so wary of that she hides all of her prescription drugs before the lady comes to clean. And they gave her three puppies. Silliest thing I've ever heard. The next day she brought one of the puppies back and exchanged it for a different puppy because the original puppy "cried all night". Well, duh. Puppies cry at night. Get used to it. Then the next day she called to say that all three of the puppies had been stolen from her yard. Right. Crackhead. Anyway, I really hope they are able to find good homes for the rest of the puppies. They're really sweet. I want my dad to keep one of them, but he's only considering that as a last resort.

(Videos of the puppies and of baby great-nephew on my Facebook, btw. More videos to come once I get settled back in.)

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things at work, but I'm having a hard time being motivated. I'm the only one working at the office today (another of the girls is working from home) and it's quiet and I want to take a nap.

Hayden and I are going to start running together again very soon. I hate the thought of it, but my clothes hate the thought of me NOT running because I'm stretching them to the limit!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's best and worst books of 2008 recap.

Thursday, December 11, 2008 Coupon Code

I found this coupon code (at for 10% off any purchase at I just tried it and it worked perfectly. They also have free shipping on some items, so it beats the heck out of actually going to the store.


The couponchief link up there also has other Target coupons (and their home page has coupon codes for all kinds of stores).

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sunshine and Happiness

...Or puppies. Same thing.

Here are a couple of pictures that my parents' neighbor took of the puppies. You can tell they're really up and about now! These must have been taken before my dad secured the 4th side of their box, so I'm not sure exactly how old the pictures are. Maybe a week and 1/2 old.

I thought the little black puppy was solid black, but it's not! It looks a lot like my dog, Mercy, except its nose is shorter.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Playing Catch Up

I just noticed that I have four unreviewed books, so I'll take care of that before it gets too out of hand.

Learning to Bow by Bruce Feiler is the true story of an American teacher who traveled to Japan to teach English for a year. It talks about the differences between Japanese and American culture and educational systems. I learned a lot of things about Japan by reading this book which was nice, but I also thought it was a little dry. If you're interested in Japanese culture or education you would probably like this book, but don't expect it to be a page turner.

He's Just Not that Into You by Greg Behrendt offers a lot of practical dating advice in a lighthearted manner. It's cute, but it's mostly common sense stuff that we single chicks need to be reminded of from time to time. Stuff like, "If he isn't calling you back when he says he will and makes tons of excuses, he's not that into you. If he was, he would go out of his way to follow through with what he says he's going to do." <-- My summary, not an actual quote from the book. It's a quick, easy read.

Second Glance by Jodi Picoult delves into the paranormal, ghost hunters, the Vermont Eugenics movement, suicide, the after life, and a few love stories intertwined together. I like this author and will probably read just about anything she churns out, but I didn't love this book. This is not subject matter that I would normally gravitate toward, so it could be that it just didn't hold my attention because it just wasn't my thing. For the record, the rest of the Bookcrossing journalers for this particular book loved it.

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris is a collection of funny and off-the-wall Christmas-themed short stories. Sedaris is a very funny guy...sometimes. And sometimes his humor falls flat. This book had its moments, but it's nowhere near as good as Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. Those are Sedaris at his Best.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I, I Will Survive...

I am pleased to inform you that Thanksgiving went splendidly. Nobody shivved, shanked, or otherwise injured anyone else. I did threaten to "cut" my nephew once, but I was just kidding.

I didn't take my quilting project with me on the road because after trying to hand quilt a couple of little rows, I realized that sewing machines were invented for a reason. Long live the Industrial Revolution! So I'm machine quilting it now. I'm probably 1/4 of the way through the quilting process, and it's very random but that's OK because so is the rest of the quilt. I decided to nix the idea of it becoming a quillow because I have my hands full as it is.

I hope to finish the quilting portion by the end of the week...or at least this weekend.

My daddy is fabulous and he cut some little plexiglass squares for me in two different sizes that I can use as templates to cut perfect squares. I haven't tried them out yet, but he even affixed some fine grit sandpaper to them so hopefully that will keep them from sliding all over the fabric like my current ruler does. That means I get to return the similar plexiglass square that I bought at Hancock's (for $9.99!). Yay!

I'll post more pictures when the quilting is finished.