Archive for ‘Books’

March 9, 2013

death comes to pemberley

It’s no secret that Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books of all time. And the movie adaptation with Kiera Knightly easily my favorite movie. Of. All. Time. So when I saw a sort of “sequel” written by PD James, I knew it had to go on my Read list.

And since one of my other goals for the year is to spend no extra money, I checked it out a few weeks ago from the library. It didn’t disappoint. Maybe because I already love the characters. But yes, it only took me about a week to really finish it. I always let a book sit it until I can dive in completely undistracted. I want to me completely immersed in it, and I always feel a little sad when I am coming to the end.

Grade: B (because some things were a little predictable)


October 24, 2012

fifty shades done.

These books were…interesting. Slightly inappropriate (if you read one sex scene in them, you’ve read them all). I wasn’t blown away like some women have said they were. The storyline was good, even exciting at times, but it wasn’t an overly scholarly book. I don’t guess that scholarly is what the author was going for though. *smirk*

I am glad I read them. Otherwise, it would nag me that I missed out on a set of books that was so hyped up. Now that I am done, I am looking forward to moving on to a book that better suits my taste. I probably should lay off the reading altogether and get these wedding plans swinging into full gear (slight panic mode).

Fifty Shades. Would I recommend? Yes, for the sole fact that you can see firsthand that it’s not some kind of bookporn that it is portrayed to be.

August 21, 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

I adored this book. Absolutely adored. I have been known to love books (and hate some too *ahem* Tucker Max *ahem*), but this book was one that takes you into its world completely. It makes you feel close to the characters and cheer them on. It makes you hope they find what they are looking for.

I was slow starting out, but once I got about 150 pages in, I was hooked and finished the rest of the 366 pages in just three days. I couldn’t stop reading it. I didn’t want to. In fact, I wish it had been longer because the characters were just that likable.

Another book that will be pulled down time and again, I’m sure.

May 23, 2012

this i know.

You know those books that suck you in and make you wish you had thought of the stream of words that are floating on that page. This I Know is absolutely one of those books for me. I have teared up more than once reading through Susannah’s journey through her grief of the death of her partner, and while I never have experienced something like that (God forbid I ever do), I have had many of the same emotions about my own injury. It’s dumbfounding to me how grief can be a universal emotional about so many things and how many different ways there are to pull yourself from under it.

I anticipated this book for some time, following its progress on Susannah’s blog and then waiting for the final publication. I made myself wait to buy it, but there are some things that should not be put off.

I am glad I didn’t wait any longer.

February 10, 2012


I went to the library the other night, just for some quiet time really, but ended up leaving with the 5 books pictured above. It always seems like once I pick one book up, I can’t stop finding stuff I want to read. There were a few I had to put back because I can always go back.

I do love my Kindle app, but there is something about holding a heavy book in my hands and being able to feel what I am reading. Just a quirk I have I suppose.

I have started Fall of Giants by Ken Follett, and so far, it has been okay. Not quite as good as The Pillars of the Earth was, but it has been worth reading. I want to finish it as the one for myFebruary goals, but it’s huge (almost 1000 pages) so it might be asking a bit much.

And can you believe I have never read any Harry Potter book (or seen any of the movies either)? I just never got into that fad, but I am starting the first book as soon as I am done with Fall of Giants. I need to see what the hype is about. Or I might read the other 3 books I checked out, just in case I love the first HP so much that I have to go straight to the second.

November 30, 2011

just a minute, now.

I found some time. Down time for myself before bed and decided to start a quick book I had downloaded on my Kindle.

Mistake. I was awake until almost 2 in the morning reading. It wasn’t a particularly good book, nothing I couldn’t have waited for, but I laid there and read until I heard the clock only ring twice on the hour. I could easily have kept going, but I knew it would be a long day running on only 4 hours of sleep. Barely enough to function.

I realized I do this a lot when I am stressed out about something, anything really. I read. And read some more. I suppose it gets me away from my own thoughts and complaints for a while and lets me get a few hours of relief. I love that feeling of not worrying about anything else.

So yes, it was a tired day. By lunch I was starving (I don’t eat much when I’m stressed either) and exhausted, but I managed to get a lot of work done too. I have weird energy on days of little sleep sometimes. I was physically tired but mentally I don’t know how that works.

Now I’ve started Shanghai Girls by Lisa See, one of the books on my list and am looking forward to it. I always imagine the most beautiful people in her books. Love that. And did you know Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is being adapted to the big screen?! Yes!

November 17, 2011


I haven’t had much time to read lately. Even with the Kindle app, finding time is hard. When I find some, these are the first on the list.

+ Alison Wonderland — I heard good things about it.

+ Crime and Punishment — I watched The Lake House, and this book was mentioned so of course, I have to check it out.

+ The Help — I want to see if it is worth the hype.

+ Shanghai Girls — Because a Lisa See novels always makes me appreciate myself a little bit more than I did before.

What are you reading lately?

October 19, 2011

The Hunger Games.

I can barely wait for March. And I am so hoping it lives up to the books.

May 7, 2011

weekend plans.

+ Mother’s Day stuff. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
+ working on my own version of this painting. I’ll show you soon.
+ sunshine and tank top and sunscreen. I can’t hardly wait.
+ start a new book. The Hunger Games.
+ rent movies.
+ clean my messy bedroom.

February 22, 2011

books or no books.

Remember the days when I read? When I had TIME to read? Yea, those days are long gone.

I bought a Kindle because I thought it would be easier for me take along and read wherever I am. Wrong. I don’t go anywhere! I’m usually too tired after work to mess with anything extra so I catch up on whatever needs to be done before the next day and that’s it.

I am working on making more time to read, and as summer gets closer, I think I’ll be more motivated. I love to read in the warm sun. And I definitely need the quiet time.

The Book Thief is currently the one I want to finish, and hopefully I’ll be through it by the end of February. 9 days. I better get to it!

January 16, 2011


A little light streaming in and a nice warm bed….I really didn’t want to wake up this morning. But I did.

It has been a quiet weekend, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I need some of that quiet, lay-low time in my life these days when everything else is go, go, go. I managed to get some writing in. Some reading too, in fact. I’m reading The Book Thief right now, and it is fantastic. It reads almost like poetry, and it is one of those books that gets ideas swirling in my head. I love that!

It should be a fast week. I am not working on Thursday (as long as the boss approves, that is) so maybe that will help save my sanity too. 5-day work weeks feel so long!


December 13, 2010

K to the indle.

My Kindle 3 is here. And wonderful.

Let me say, I love books, real hold-in-my-hand books. I hope that they are still made as abundantly in 100 years as they are today, but with gadgets like this, it’s doubtful that they will be.

I have started The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, and I can’t seem to put my Kindle down! I have read the other 2 books in the series, but I was waiting for TGWKtHN to come out in paperback before I bought it (hardback books are a pain for me to handle easily). Now I’ll be done with the story before that happens. I have a whole library downloaded already so I can just start on whatever book I choose when I finish another.

It was a wonderful gift to give myself.

December 6, 2010

mini book/journal done.

Here it is. My first mini since Elise‘s mini class. It’s been done for a while actually, but I just haven’t had the time or the energy to take pictures, organize them, and get them on here. And I haven’t written a single word in it yet either. Soon, though, soon.

I used a lot of paper that I had laying around along with some Hambly overlays. Nothing fancy or expensive.

December 2, 2010

I meant to get pictures of my new office, but dang it, it has been so busy at work! Month-end reports, audits, corrective actions, plus a million other things. I’ll get some next week hopefully.

My new Kindle is on its way. I’m so excited! Now, let me assure you, I love paperback books. I love that I can dog-ear pages that I want to come back to. I love feeling accomplished when I can see my bookmark getting closer and closer to the back. Paperback books are so cumbersome though. I don’t have the energy to lug one around all the places that I want to go. And I am prone to papercuts ALL the time. It’s a gift to get a papercut in the oddest (and most sensitive) places on my hands. I hate that. I told my mom to NOT get me a Kindle because I was buying one myself. She laughed and said she was surprised it took me this long. :)

No other news. This week has been seriously exhausting.

Chiefs game on Sunday!! (Oooh yes, get ready Denver!)

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November 22, 2010

on the shelf.

I’ve had time recently to catch on on reading, and I have never felt so good about it. I have been working on the same book since August, and it’s time to finish it and move on. Now that I have begun to better balance work life with out-of-work life, I can get back on my list of 15 books for my 25 during 25 list.

  • The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson.  It seems like with both of these books in the Millenium series, I am bored halfway through, then the story picks up, and I can’t read it fast enough.  I’m on the last 50 pages and loving it. Can’t wait to get book #3.
  • House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. I don’t know much yet about this book, but when I opened it at the bookstore and saw that the dedication said “This is not for you.” in simple Courier New font on a crisp white page, I had to buy it.  One sentence was enough to hook me.
  • Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood.  I have to read the book before I see the movie. It’s my rule. And I really *really* want to see the movie.

It’s getting cold (even had a few snow flurries yesterday) so snuggling with tea and a book sounds like a great way to spend my time off.

Happy reading.

October 2, 2010

a page at a time.

I could curl up and sleep in many bookstores. I could browse for hours and never get bored too. I love bookstores, the atmosphere and the quiet. Maybe that’s just the nerd in me, or just the calm side that needs some time to myself once in a while. Either way, I am not shy to say I love bookstores.

Maybe that’s why You’ve Got Mail is one of my favorite movies too. A movie about bookstores and technology and love? Seriously, it couldn’t be more perfect, right?

Lately, though, I haven’t been doing much reading. None, in fact. I have a bookmark stuck in The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second book of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium collection, but I just can’t seem to get into it. That bookmark has barely moved in at least a month because I read a few pages and then start thinking about what else I should be doing. Reading has definitely taken a backseat to working. I bought House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski today, hoping that maybe I can find that spark for reading again. I’ll come back to The Girl Who Played with Fire later, when I have more time and motivation to finish it.

Let’s hope that is soon.

March 16, 2010

have you seen this site?

Fellow book-readers,

Have that feeling that you’ve read everything that will ever interest you? Well, maybe you haven’t seen this site then.

I don’t remember how I stumbled on it, but it has picked out some books for me that have been compiled now into a whole different list than my original 2010 reading list (which I am moving more quickly through than I thought I would). It will probably (okay, certainly) slow down once I find a job, but at least I’ll have a list to fall back on. One less problem to think about. Now to find the time.

March 11, 2010

the time traveler’s wife.

What a gorgeous book. The cover got me first, with its soft colors and emotional portrait of a little girl’s feet. I could just tell it was going to be a good book. I was definitely not disappointed. It took me a little while to get used to the style of writing that Audrey Niffennegger uses to tell the story. I had to adapt my brain to jump around in time, just as Henry does. It was an interesting perspective.

I heard the movie is not even up to par compared to the book, and really, I don’t think it ever could be. I don’t think a movie could make the love between Henry and Clare seem as intense as it did in the book. In my own imagination anyway. I could be wrong, and when I rent the movie, I am going to have to remind myself to not look for mistakes or inconsistencies that usually occur when making the film adaptation of a great story.

And even if the movie blows, the book is still on my must-recommend-to-everyone list.

It’s one of those books that really made me think about things, mostly about love, and ask questions. Do people really love that deeply? That they are willing to spend half of their life waiting for another particular person? That they would do absolutely anything for them? It made me realize that this is the kind of relationship my parents have. Total love and commitment and selflessness. It leaves me with the hope that my other one is waiting for me too.

February 22, 2010

pride and prejudice.

I have spent the better part of the past two weeks reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Why did it take me so long to finish it? Because the way that Jane Austen writes makes me feel stupid, that’s why. I seem to reread entire paragraphs just to make sure that I am getting the storyline correctly. It’s really not a surprise to me that hardly anyone reads older literature. It’s takes patience, which normally I am not good at. But this was a love story, and love stories are worth rereading paragraphs.

Of course, I had to watch the movie when I was done. The new version (not the Colin Firth version, which is next on my list to buy). I bought the Kiera Knightley version last week at Vintage Stock because I knew it would be on my list of things to see and because even though I am dense to older English literature, the novel had me hooked.

Great movie. I am admittedly a romantic movie type of girl, probably because I lack so much romance in my own life. Sad, but seriously true. Mr. Darcy was played my Matthew Macfadyen, who I have to say might not catch my eye in real life, but when he says “You must allow me to tell you how I ardently admire and love you,” he caught me. Swooooon. I have memorized that line. It’s so…unreal. Maybe that’s the love cynic in me rolling my eyes, but the romantic part of me is hopeful that a man says something similar to me one of these days.

Oh my, I think I am love-starved or something.

January 11, 2010

I plan to read each one of these books by the end of December. Hopefully, I’ll get through them all and even have a few extra added to this list.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July
Nothing’s Sacred by Lewis Black
Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult
Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox
Songs Without Words by Ann Packer
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk

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September 27, 2009

official nerd.

I’m on a book high this week. After reading three (okay, well 2 and a half at the moment) this week, I made another trip to the library this morning before I came home to watch my KC Chiefs get stomped by Michael Vick and his Philadelphia Eagles. I was more than excited to see that they had acquired some new Charles Bukowski poetry (Thad, the materials selector, must be able to read my mind!). I also picked up a few fiction books, including The Alchemist, which I have been putting off reading. Sometimes when a book is so hyped, it leaves me expecting more than it delivers, and I’m not much of a fan of disappointment (which should keep me from watching the Chiefs games at all this season, but I still hold out hope for them!).

I wheeled myself toward the checkout counter with 10 mostly-thick books on my lap. I am sure I looked quite ridiculous. Or like an official book nerd.

And I am okay with that.

I’m off to read, darlings.

June 10, 2009

no rhyming required.

There are only a handful of people that I can say have influenced me as a writer, many of them accomplished writers themselves, most of them I’ve never met or known beside the words in their books. But one person I can credit with boosting my creative writing confidence would be Amy Fleury. As my first college creative writing professor, and shortly after, my poetry professor, I gained so much knowledge and direction from her. I pulled her book, Beautiful Trouble, from my shelf today and knew right away that her words would again give me something to be inspired with.

I love that feeling. Sometimes I wonder how people go through life without it. Or if maybe they have it by doing something else. Maybe everyone has their thing, their outlet.

Mine just goes on paper.

February 20, 2009

Behind the desk.

Disappointed is not even the word to use for this. Maybe I’m naive, but I really thought that the Board of Trustees would uphold our own freedom to choose what we can find on our own library shelves.

The law suits will start flying soon, and in an already bad economic position with over $1 million in budgets cuts, it’s sad that the library and tax payers’ money will be spent on this.

April 14, 2008

Beautiful boy.

I bought this book by David Sheff a few months ago and just now have gotten around to reading it. I have only read about 15 pages so far, and for half of them I’ve cried. The premise of the book deals with the author’s son’s addiction to meth and the way it rips his (along with his family’s) lives apart.

I don’t think I have to say that I cried because when I was reading how this man felt about it, it reminded me of so many things I have thought and felt about my own brother’s addiction.

I feel like there is no end, only short breaks in between the weeks of use. I have learned to recognize when he’s high, how long he has been on that high, and when he’s coming down. I know that when his skin isn’t gray and sunken in around his cheeks, he hasn’t done any drugs for at least a week. When he gains weight and sleeps on a normal schedule, he is doing okay. When he’s not mean, he is straight. And when he is being the funny, loving brother I know he can be, everyone enjoys being aroung him. He is a great person–when he hasn’t slipped back into the drugs.

I don’t understand it, and I suppose that’s why it’s so frustrating for me, as well as my brothers and sister. He can go months without it. For a while, he was hanging out with me and my group of friends every weekend. We would go out, dance, laugh. Some of my girl friends even liked him, which I’ll admit was a little awkward at first. I know he’s a likeable guy, but he’s my brother. Weird.

(Here we are on a good night with my friends.)

Me and Donnie

He always goes back though. It’s not even a question of if he’ll use again, it’s only when and for how long. I think that we have given up the hope that he’ll ever get off of them, well except for my mom. I think she feels like she isn’t doing enough to help him, but I don’t think there is anything more anyone could do. It’s up to him. He knows he could do it if he really wanted to. Rehab didn’t work, however many times he has been there, because I believe he didn’t want it to. He’s not done yet.

I know he uses it as an escape, or at least he did at first. He doesn’t realize that hunting accident and Misty dying aren’t what ruined his life. The way he dealt with that entire situation and the drugs he used to rid himself of those guilty feelings are what has ruined his life. I really think that before he can get off the drugs, he needs to confront the situation. This is starting to sound like an episode of Intervention, but really, he needs to deal with it. It’s never going to go away or change, and drugs won’t change that. I even have trouble remembering what he was like before the accident. It’s been that long.

Is it bad to wish that he would just do something to be sent back to prison? I think he is safer there than he is in the real world. I don’t even feel guilty for saying that because quite frankly, it’s the truth.

I’m anxious to read the rest of the book to compare Sheff’s view to my own. And I want to try to understand my own parents’ feelings. I think they feel helpless in the situation, but somehow we all just go on and most of the time ignorantly avoid the fact that the situation is even as drastic as it is. It’s scary that it could, and probably will, kill my brother. I am usually called the bitch about it. But it really scares me. Being a bitch is how I deal with it, I guess. This is something I can’t control and can’t fix.

Either way, he’s my brother, and I love him regardless.

April 11, 2008

He said it just right.

I’m reading Chuck Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters and just found something that he wrote very interesting.

“Who I was before the accident is just a story now. Everything before now, before now, is just a story I carry around. I guess that would apply to anybody in the world. What I need is a new story about who I am.”

I have felt this way before, and never could come up with the words to describe it. But this sums it up. In exactly 2 weeks from tonight, I’ll be paralyzed for 5 years, and I am still trying to figure out what and who I have become. I am a lot closer to it than I was even last year, and who knows where I’ll be next year. I thnk learning to live life in the present, while not dwelling on the things I miss, is becoming easier than I thought.