Sunday, November 27, 2011

Book #40

Gas station coffee and book #40.
Divergent by Veronica Roth

I can't believe I made it to Book #40. Only 12 books to go and 34 days in the year left to read them.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Book #39

Book #39.

"A long, hot summer with Leonard in his un-air-conditioned apartment, followed by two months in their unit at Pilgrim Lake, had given Madeleine a good idea of what it would be like to be “married to manic depression.” At first, the drama of their reconciliation had over shadowed any difficulties. It was a rush to be needed the way Leonard needed her. As the summer wore on, however, and Leonard didn’t noticeably improve—and especially after they moved to Cape Cod and he seemed, if anything, worse—Madeleine began to feel suffocated. It was as if Leonard had brought his hot, stuffy little studio apartment with him, as though that was where he lived, emotionally, and anyone who wanted to be with him had to squeeze into that hot psychic space too. It was as if, in order to love Leonard fully, Madeleine had to wander into the same dark forest where he was lost. There comes a moment, when you get lost in the woods, when the woods begin to feel like home."

-Jeffrey Eugenides, The Marriage Plot

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

I came, I saw, I wrestled a bird.

We had a small gathering at my parents' house for Thanksgiving and then took extra trays of food to my aunt and uncle.

I spent Wednesday baking pies and making desserts and rolls.

Pumpkin pies are ready for the oven.

I need a new roll recipe before Christmas, though. They were pretty but the texture was off and has been for the last few batches. Such a bummer.

I made turkey, ham, dressing, green beans, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, homemade turkey gravy (a first for me, I've been mastering various gravies all year long and felt confident enough to attempt turkey sans recipe this year), broccoli casserole, baked beans, and deviled eggs.

And by the end of the evening I looked over and Molly had a seat at the table.

I looked over and Molly was at the dinner table.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Book #38

Book #38

I'm off all this week because of Thanksgiving. (Yay for paraeducator schedules! Boo for paraeducators salaries.) I'm hoping to use the extra time off to make a significant push toward 52 books. My local library had a ton of books I'd been hoping to read this year on their new arrival shelf on Saturday so I have lots of material to work with these next few days.

A fellow bookish friend recommended The Night Circus to me a while back. I was so excited to see my library carrying a copy. It did not disappoint. It's a visually stunning novel. (Is that possible? I'm going to assume it is.) I couldn't help but think of what a beautiful film it would make.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book #37

Two books in one day! Elizabeth Street is a novel based on true events surrounding a family of Italian immigrants at the turn of the century. The book was by no means the greatest I've ever read. I think a reviewer on Good Reads hit the nail on the head when she said she felt the book fell into the typical immigrant story cliches. It was a nice tale nevertheless and I did enjoy deciphering the various Italian phrases sprinkled throughout the novel.

Book #36

I've long admired Ashley Judd. I still regret turning down an opportunity to attend a campaign event she was hosting in Louisville a couple of years ago. Her worldview is fascinating to me, her charitable work is inspiring, and we attended the same college. This memoir was a mixture of stories about her childhood, her recovery from codependency, and rich chapters about the work she does with women across the globe in her capacity as an ambassador for YouthAIDS.

Her struggle with recovery and her reflections of a childhood with Appalachian grandparents really resonated with me.

"Best of all was when Mamaw and I would gather up all the soft pillows from the bedrooms and make a nest on her bed. She would cut off the air-conditioning, as I do today. Cuddling on her bed, we would play cards, giggle, sing ditties, or just listen to the katydids chirping in the Kentucky twilight. That downy, soft bed was the high altar of my childhood."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Although I'm sure you've seen this

I can't stop watching.

Who doesn't enjoy a little Biggie Smalls when they're having a bad day?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Book #35

Like Sarah, Plain and Tall this book was another that I've had to read in order to not look like a total idiot in front of a group of 2nd graders. Maybe it's cheating by counting it toward my reading goal. I don't care. I'll read Game of Thrones or something else that's gigantic to make up for all of the puny books lately.

P.S. For what it's worth, How to Eat Fried Worms was not my favorite when I was forced to read it with my class in 3rd grade. I'm still pretty meh about it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Great Disney Deal

A while back I talked about planning a Disney World vacation. I still think about going all the time. Which is so strange because I never really had a desire to go as a kid. Anyway, I thought I'd pass on this great deal Disney has going on right now. If you book before December 17 you can get a free dining plan with your package for stays in January thru March. I have lots of decisions to make about school to make this month since a program I'm interested in begins in January so I don't know if I'll be able to take advantage of this. But, I thought it might interest some of my readers!

I've read free dining plans are something frequent Disney visitors hope for and rave about. It really does save you tons of money during your stay and takes the stress of buying food off your hands. Seriously, free food? It really is the happiest place on earth.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

No YA Shame

I had to share this picture from this lovely blog.

I remember from my middle school years until her death during my senior year of high school my grandma used to read a lot of the same books I did. It didn't click then but I know now it's because Grandma knew what was up.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book #34

Don't let the cover or title fool you. I promise I was recommended this book by actual smart and bookish people and it was a pretty decent read. (Don't you love my two sentence reviews? Good lord...)

This makes #18 out of 34 books this year that have been YA Fiction. I'm sensing a pattern.