Friday, December 31, 2010

A Teeny Tiny Itty Bitty Book Review For Losing Faith...

My last little review for 2010...

Losing Faith could probably be best described as Realistic YA Fiction.  It is the sad story of a young girl who gets caught up in a supposedly harmless youth group at her church.  This involvement gets extreme and deadly.  The heart of the story is this young girl's sister...Brie.  She is determined to find out what really happened to her sister.  She is facing this and the sadness and despair of her parents while trying to deal with her feelings about the loss of her sister.  Brie is steadfast and determined to understand what happened to her sister and is relentless in her quest for the truth. 
Brie is not the best and kindest person before she loses her sister.  As she works through the tumultuous aftermath of this tragedy everything in her life is forever changed.  She loses old friends and gains a new friend in someone she would never have bothered with before.  The book is not at all preachy but is just an awesome accounting of one of life's tragedies and how one young girl deals with it. 
It has lots and lots of teen angst, some dark gothic characters, young love...and a bit of a surprise ending...all in all a yummy little book.  I sped through it sort of nonstop!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Just A Bit Obsessive With Kindle Preorders...

I do buy a lot of books for my Kindle...but even I was surprised at my Kindle homepage a day or two ago...apparently every single book that I had preordered months and months ago was published on Dec. 28th!!!
With shock and awe I had purchased 10 books in one day!!!  Actually...I think they all downloaded in about 10 seconds...and...incredibly...I bought 2 the night before!!!
Is this a Kindle record?
Should I be proud?
Lucky me!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Today Is My Baby Brother's Birthday... he isn't actually a baby brother...but today is his birthday...Happy Birthday To My Brother Jim!!!

I think about his birthday today because when we were all at home...we had Christmas...and then three days later we had another party and more presents...for him...and cake!!!  I think I loved his December birthday more than he did. When he was really little I remember my mom laying him down on her bed and asking me to watch him so he wouldn't roll off...of course I got distracted and he rolled right off of my mom's bed and I thought I had killed him...he was fine.  He was such a pain to me as a baby brother...he would not take his afternoon nap unless I read him a story and sat with him...his favorite book was a huge green book of many different stories and poems...and I had to read to him...he would not fall asleep in his room...he took his nap on our front screened in porch on the glider and I had to help my mom out by sitting on the glider with him and reading to him until he fell asleep.  I remember this as pure torture...his favorite story was called "Quack, Said Jerusha"...this was the story of a mother duck and her rhymed and I know I read it to him every single day.  Once he finally fell asleep I could read my own stash of books...but I couldn't leave him until he woke best friends in all of the world lived two houses down...and after an hour of Jimmy napping...they would begin to gather on our front steps to await his we could resume playing.  One time we put him in an old baby carriage in their garage.  He slept soundly there for 2 hours while we jumped rope in the driveway.  I thought this a rather wonderful solution until my mom found out and I wasn't allowed to put him in there again...ever...hmmm.
Once he got to be a little bit older...I still sort of had to watch him...but he just sort of followed us around and played our games with us and was cute and funny and fun to be around.  My best friends only had girls in their family so having Jimmy hang with us was different and fun for them and fun for Jimmy, too. 

My baby brother Jimmy is all grown up now...he is an engineer...he travels the world...he has a wife and two daughters in college...sadly...he barely remembers Jerusha and napping on the glider and the girls he played with in our neighborhood.  But...he will always be my baby brother and I really don't even mind that I can still recite every single verse of Quack Said Jerusha...even in my sleep.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Thoughts Of Christmas...

Presents have been opened...and are stacked be put away soon...and Christmas Day is done...the upcoming week promises lots of snow and lots of comfy days and nights filled with reading and games and football and relaxation.  I don't really want to change anything that we do...I love the way we prep for the is fun and traditional. I love the way we play in the week following Christmas.  I like when things in my life stay the same without too many major changes.  I miss not being with my brothers and sister at Christmas but it is just overwhelming to try to get together for this holiday.  We are my father's children and we all love being in our own cozy houses at this time.  When my mom and dad were living...not too long ago...we were always there...all of us.  We played in the snow with babies and toddlers...we went to movies...we had New Year's together.  It was hard to leave.  Now it is hard to go back.  The little town that I loved and grew up in just feels sort of empty without my mom and dad.  My mom and dad would wait patiently for us to all finally get there...and when we left they would follow the car out of the driveway and stand there waving.  Now my sister Paula waves good bye to us from her front door and some other family lives in my parents' house.  Other people sleep in my old bedroom and play in the yard and sit on the front stoop. I hold on to the memories because that is what I do.  Once upon a time my mom and dad were young and strong and here.  Then...they got older and older and more and more frail and they aren't here any more.  But I know that they live on in all of their children.  I cherish and hold on to that.   

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I am writing just a brief review of Matched. This was truly a wondrous book filled with beautiful thoughts and words and meaning. It reminded me of the Hunger Games but no one in Matched ever went hungry. Rather…food was prepared and delivered in portals…hot and steaming and ready to fulfill all dietary needs for each citizen. Clothes were chosen for each citizen and everyone wore the same thing…no shopping allowed. Cassia…one of the main characters…lived a regulated life…as did her family, her friends, and almost every other citizen. Their time was regulated, their studies were regulated, and their leisure was regulated. Citizens were classified as anomalies or aberrations or normal. Infractions of rules were not tolerated. Citizens followed government directives. All of this was done to preserve this existing society. All of this was done in order to prevent this society from totally falling apart.

Illnesses were eradicated, family size was regulated, and by the age of 16 you were matched to your perfect match…in a once in a lifetime ceremony…no questions, concerns or anxiety…your match was the perfect one. You lived your life until you were about 80…and then you were eliminated in a humane and peaceful manner.

It was amazing…this book…I was lost in it…and it was fascinating to see bits of this society begin to crumble as Cassia struggles to understand why her match may not really be her match. Ky and Xander are also fascinating characters within this novel…both are crucial to Cassia finding just a bit of strength and struggling to decide who her true match should be.

Again…I loved this book…it was quietly addictive. And of course it ended with questions so I am sure there will be a sequel.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday And Setting the Pace For The Week...

Windows are washed...I have been so busy that I forgot to even blog about it...Saturday was a marathon " Let's get Christmas out of the bins and into the house" kind of day.  It is sort of a slow process because things have to be taken off of shelves and hutches and mantels in order to fit all of the Santa's and Snowmen...we were wiped out by the end of the day but we were done...lights are on, tree is done and this week should just be idle shopping and going out to lunch and seeing movies...and just having fun.  We are going to a holiday show and I want to see the lights in Hershey...we have certain traditions that must be followed...I really don't bake tons of cookies but I do make really yummy buttery sugar cookies that you have to cut out and bake and sprinkle with crystally sugar flakes...we are staying at husband is exhausted...he needs sleeping in and long leisurely mornings with newspapers and tons of freshly brewed coffee.  We are going to Simon Pearce for Christmas Eve is on the Brandywine River and it is beautiful...we will sip martinis and talk about what we will do on Christmas Day...I always buy new pajamas for both of us...a set for Christmas Eve and a set for Christmas Day...yummy flannels and neat long sleeved tees for him and soft stretchy tights and oversized comfy Victoria Secret sleepshirts for me and on Christmas morning we will zip off to Church...a beautiful old one that we love and come home to bagels and lox and creamed cheese and either champagne or Bloody Mary's...and open presents and be thankful that we have each other and life is good. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Last minute shopping...for me!!!

I found the most amazing shop at Etsy!!!  Dinwiddies is the name of the shop. The owner/designer makes the most wonderfully unique things out of vintage pieces.  I just bought the bracelet above and I think it is the cuff of a vintage dress!!!  I love it and I love the way it hugs my wrist and sort of sticks out of the cuff of a sweater...a neat black sweater or dress...perfection for the holidays by adding just a bit of vintage sparkle.  There are so many one of a kind pieces at this shop.  There are bags and necklaces and even a coat or two.  I have just the right amount of quirkiness to love this stuff.  And I am just squishy at the word vintage. 

Are you finished with your holiday shopping and are you all wrapped up yet? 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas is truly a lot of work...isn't it?

Now I am not Bah Humbugging anything but truly...really...this is a ton of work, isn't it?  I have to put away regular order to put up all of the Christmas stuff...I have an awful lot of Santas and I like to tuck them all over the house...any Santas or Snowmen with any greenery at all...the artificial kind... have to be placed up high on mantles and unreachable pieces of furniture so that LucyGrace will not attack and kill them.  And often to a nimble Tonkinese cat with a mission...unreachable is not unreachable at all.  My husband and I can testify to that after listening to an entire top of a cabinet crash to the ground when Lucy the Amazing Tonkinese decided to get to a certain snowman who has not been out for the last three Christmases...and I do miss him so...
Again...I am not complaining but...does anyone else out there think that this is a ton of work?  I have not even wrapped one single present or sent out Christmas cards yet...
I have not even eaten one single Christmas cookie other than the one that a very nice man at the Christmas Tree Farm shared with me.  On the other hand...I have lots of surprises for my husband and Lucy...the outside of the house looks lovely...candles sparkle in the windows and I just bought and put together myself a golden reindeer who will sit on the front bench...there is a bow and bough of evergreens on the mailbox and I even got to pet a reindeer yesterday.  And I am listening to Christmas songs 24/ guess the fun stuff outweighs the work stuff.  Oh...the tree is up...a lovely Fraser Fir...and the houses smells amazing...but I still need a cookie!!!  And I still have time to read Matched...which is amazing and reminds me a little bit of Hunger Games...

Note the crazed look on her face and the scared stiff look on his!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I come from a long line of Christmas loving people...

I think I really do...I love Christmas books and Christmas snow and Christmas trees...of course...and Christmas lights and Christmas presents and Christmas cookies and pepperminty candy canes...the big fat ones not the teeny tiny ones.  When I was still at home it would always snow for Christmas.  When my husband and I were living in California and came home for Christmas we would pray for snow and it always did snow...we would take my dad's dog...and walk through my quiet small town at midnight.  Almost every house was decorated and the air smelled like fireplaces and you could catch snowflakes on your tongue.  We would make snowballs for Joe the dog to catch...he loved snow walks as much as we did.  And then come home and raid the refrigerator for ham sandwiches and homemade Kolachi...a traditional pastry treat my mom made at Christmas...
Lucy is seriously checking out this stocking!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Holly Daze...that is what I am in...

The very first holiday step for me is decorating the front door...traditions are so important to me this time of year.  We have to get our wreaths from Terrain...there is another one in between the garage doors.  And my husband will finish today by washing the windows and putting candles in all of  the windows and a spotlight on the front door...the window washing is so totally his idea.  And oddly...something he loves to do...armed with a huge bottle of Windex and rolls of paper towels...he does one window at a time.  He washes the window and then installs the lovely candles. Then we will turn them all on...actually they turn themselves on when it gets dark...and we take Lucy outside and look at the house...shiny clean windows and glowing candlelight.  I have been spraying Pier I's Christmas scent all through the house for weeks now...I love is subtle and makes our entire house smell Christmassy...and piney...a lovely fresh pine filled is my addiction.

Tomorrow is pulling bins out of the crawlspace day...and Sunday is getting the tree day.  We go to the same Christmas Tree Farm that we love...every year...Schmidt's...they have two ones to look at in wonder.  And popcorn and cocoa and wonderful handmade wreath-y things to attach over your mailbox.  So far I am leaning for one giant tree to put in the sunroom...but our discussion is ongoing right now about two smaller in the dining room and one in the living room...we will decide over dinner tomorrow.

Are you in the midst of your holiday prep?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

OMG...I need this book...and there are more!!!

Don't you just want to sit down and read this book? Or find a very small person that you can share it with...
There are more books in this series, too.  They look just as appealing as this one does.

And just look at this just know the illustrations inside will be wonderfully funny.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

This is the time of year to make stuff...

Ok...I am not 8...but I want to make these and tuck them all over the house.  Thanks to the lovely and talented people at Martha Stewart...I can...and I think I will...only because I have not one empty jar anywhere in my entire house...I will have to go out and buy some...but it still looks like fun, doesn't it?  Here is the link if you want to let your crafty side glisten and glow for the holidays.

Not lingering with this book...

Linger is such a good book...I love Maggie Stiefvater's writing.  I am in the woods walking, I am smelling the woods, I am hearing the sounds of the wolves in the forest...I love this book.  It is just so beautifully written.  I am nearly half way through and I can't imagine waiting until next year for her next book.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Finally...this challenge has my name on it...

Since everything...well almost everything I read is on my Kindle...this challenge was made for me.  I don't have to post the books first and I can change my mind about it...I love should grab your ereaders and join in on the fun!!!
You can go to The Ladybug Reads Reads for more information and the spot to link to...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dead Beautiful...a quick review...

This is one of those delicious YA Paranormal books that begins in an ordinary way and then ends with a huge BANG!!! Renee Winters is a typical high school student just beginning to explore her independence and her first boyfriend. She lives in a really neat California coastal area and loves her friends and her school and her life. Then…tragedy upsets her family and she is left in the care of her grandfather. She has not seen her grandfather since she was a small child. Before she knows what is happening she is whisked away by her rather wealthy and eccentric grandfather to Maine…first to his home and then to Gottfried Academy… which will be her new boarding school. Just before school begins she stays with her grandfather in the huge palatial home where her mother was raised. She discovers that her mother’s room has remained untouched and is filled with her mother’s clothing, books, and all of her other possessions. This is extremely interesting to Renee as she discovers that there are huge gaps in her knowledge of her mother’s early life. Oh…she also learns that both her mother and father attended Gottfried Academy. There are even more secrets surrounding this discovery.

So…just as Renee is making these discoveries about her parents she is sent to school where her new life literally becomes one huge mystery. Everything at that school is subject to many questions and Renee has them and is thought to be quite outspoken by her peers and teachers. The school is old and odd…lots of funny rules and restrictions and lots and lots of unusual students. She meets a magnificent looking fellow student named Dante who at first tries to avoid Renee but later can not stay away from her…literally…she is his “soul mate”. Enough said about that… There were enough mean teachers and weird students and mysterious deaths in this novel to keep me interested and sort of on the edge of my reading seat.

I loved reading this book. It was wonderfully unique and different. I had ideas about where the plot was headed but I was enjoying reading this book so much that I loved the slowness the author took to get me there. The writing was lovely. The story was a new one. The ending literally took my breath away. I do recommend it to you, highly.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Haul-idays!!!

Chronicle Books is having this amazing contest...I have listed books that I really want...a value of $500!!!  All you have to do to win my list is comment on this post!!!  If I win!!! 

Happy Haul-idays!!!

Visit these blogs for your chance to win a haul of Chronicle Books! Each of these blogs has posted a list of books valued up to $500! One blogger and one commenter on the winning post will each WIN the list!

Winners will be announced on December 13th!

See the full list of blogs here...



Tartine Bread

The Exquisite Book
1, 2, 3 Sew
Daniel Eatock <u>Imprint</u>
Cake Pops by Bakerella
Large Moleskine Red Address Book
Large Squared Moleskine Red Notebook
Fast, Fresh & Green

Art of the Slow Cooker
From Seed to Skillet
Anna Getty\'s Easy Green Organic
Noodles Every Day
Soup\'s On!
The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers\' Market Cookbook
Swimming With Strangers
Lethal Vintage
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
The Punch
Murder Alfresco
Any Bitter Thing
Night Game
Death by the Glass
Olive, the Other Reindeer
Mini Goals Notepad