Reading in 2010: A Voice in the Wind

As Christian fiction, I wasn’t expecting much. No offense to Christian fiction, but it’s just usually too cheesy to be my cup of tea. But this one surprised me! It is the first in a 3-book series (The Mark of the Lion series). The story takes place in about 40 AD, in Rome, after the Romans destroy Jerusalem. The main character Hadassah is taken from her home in Jerusalem in the seige and forced into slavery for a powerful Roman family. There’s also another story going on of another slave-this one is Atretes and he is a captive from Germania, forced to fight and kill as a gladiator in the arena. I’m onto the second book already!

My Kindle is here!

And I love it!

It reads really great, much more like a regular book than I was expecting.

It even shows you cool screen savers when you put it to sleep:

Now I just need to finish the (actual) book I’m reading, so I can get reading on my new toy!

There’s a crispness in the air

and I just can’t deny that fall is around the corner! I love this cooler weather. We’ve busted out our sweatshirts and long-sleeves, jeans and sweaters.

Sophie and I took a trip over to Kohl’s earlier in the week to pick up some long-sleeved shirts for her. Most of what we had from this past winter/early spring is a little too small. We found a few cute shirts at a great price!

We spent Labor Day weekend mostly in Brighton, although we were home for a little bit of it. We met with Amy & Bret and Erin & Aaron on Friday night, spent the night in Brighton, and went to Tom’s meet at Oakland on Saturday morning. We headed home after that so I could make my long-run date with Courtney, went grocery shopping, and finally made it over to Prime Cuts. After church on Sunday, we drove back out and spent Sunday afternoon and all day Monday with our families. Sophie had a blast exploring the outdoors with my Mom, Steph and I worked a jigsaw puzzle and played games. Very relaxing!

Amy & Erin hoisted a new series upon me-The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. I’m usually not a fan of Christian fiction but I promised them I’d give it a try after hearing their rave reviews. I started it and I do have to admit it’s pretty good. We shall see. I don’t know how motivated I’ll be to read from an actual book once my Kindle arrives! It shipped yesterday, so I’m crossing my fingers it will be here tomorrow!

Reading in 2010: Her Fearful Symmetry

Without realizing it, I was craving a ghost story. Not a cheesy one, and certainly not a scary one. This one was spot on! The exactly perfect balance of creepiness and sadness, but also love and life. All sorts of interesting themes presented themselves: sibling love and rivalry, life and the afterlife, OCD, romance, independence, and hauntings. The setting was interesting too- a set of flats next to the Highgate Cemetery in London.

Simultaneous Reading Adventures

I have a problem. Or maybe it’s a gift. I don’t know. But I do this every once and awhile. I’m reading four books at once!

1. Last week, I started reading The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp. I took advantage of an opportunity to head to B&N alone (glorious!) and bought this book. It’s one I’ve been meaning to read, and definitely want to get through before Sophie hits the independent stage (around 18 mo. from what I hear). Anyway, I’m learning a lot about toddlers, their thought processes, language development, and emotional development and attachment. It’s a great resource, and I know this one will be a reference for me for years to come.

2. Lori lent me The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv. I’ve been wanting to read it, especially after seeing how worn and beat up her copy is. Actually, she had to buy a second copy to lend out because hers is so near and dear to her. It’s all about how this generation of kids growing up right now are the first generation to grow up without the significant influence of nature. Kids today are completely plugged in, and Richard Louv describes what he calls “nature deficit disorder”. Totally interesting. I’m not too far into this one, and I suspect this one will take me the longest to get through, but that’s ok. It’s one of those books that you absorb.

3. As if I needed something else to read, I was struck by the library bug this week. I got a truckload of books for Sophie, but for me I picked up Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. A gal from my book club recommended it, and I’m really getting into it. It’s a novel, ghost story, and I don’t know what else yet, but I really like it so far.

4. Also from the library, I got Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. I started it and it’s really interesting, but I don’t think I’ll make it all the way through. I plan to skim this one a lot, and probably skip whole chapters. What I’ve read so far is interesting though, just a lot of information. I love McDonalds though, so I don’t want to be turned off for life!

To top it off, I need to get crackin on this month’s read for book club. Ahhh!

Reading in 2010: The Road

I’m not sure how to describe this one. I love when authors give you short “snapshot” paragraphs that describe action or thought. This book was chock full of that. The narrative was diced into tiny sections too-making this the perfect pickup-putdown book. The dialogue was sparse and poignant. The landscape was bare and burned.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, here’s a brief synopsis: A father and son are wandering across a burned and desolate country in the future. There are very few people left, just bands of thieves and not too many “good guys”. Every aspect of civilization is gone, burned, and looted. The father and son are journeying to the coast, because they believe it is warmer there and there is a “good guy” community there which they can join. This book is their tale of scavenging and wandering, and wondering what it is that makes life worth living.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this book to anyone and everyone. It was slow at times, and at points very graphic and disturbing. Nevertheless, I’m glad I read it. I enjoyed the author’s style and the overall story. The movie is out, but I’m not sure if I’d like to see it. There are a few scenes that would really disturb me to see on film. Overall, it was a good read!

mismash, hodgepodge, conglomeration

Not much to do here. Might as well write. Right?

I can’t decide if I’m actually hungry, or if I’m just bored and want to eat. Know what I mean? I eat when I’m bored. I love food. Almost all food. There are very few things that I don’t like. I don’t like pickles or cantaloupe or sushi. But I’ve only tried sushi once. I’d be willing to give it another try.

This morning I watched a clip on youtube of the last 8ish minutes of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. I can’t get it out of my mind. It’s horrible-horrifying. If you haven’t read that book, or any books on the Holocaust, I suggest that you do so. Yes, the details are disturbing and they haunt you. But I believe that it is so important to know, to remember. Don’t those millions of people deserve to be remembered? Even if it is through a fiction story. Same goes for Sarah’s Key, which I blogged about here.

Onto something happy. This morning Sophie walked, holding onto my fingers, all the way down the hall to her room and back out to the living room. She’s on her way! She doesn’t yet stand unassisted, so I know that walking isn’t imminent, but every little thing she does makes me so excited and proud. I love her 🙂

I have now started The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It’s slow, but interesting and good. I like the writing and the story is growing on me. I found it in my coworker’s office one day and when I asked her if I could borrow it she said that it didn’t belong to her. She said I could just take it. But I’ll return it because I need another book like I need a hole in my head.

LOST is on tonight 🙂 I’ve been digging this LOST blog. I think it gives a good account of what happened (plus some amusing commentary) plus the author’s overall rating of the episode. I’m a huge dork.

Steph and I ran 9 miles on Sunday and we’re planning on doing 11 this weekend. Our race is in less than 2 weeks! Yikes! Sophie and I went for a walk yesterday morning to give my legs a little rest, and then this morning was so cold and miserable that I wasn’t about to take her out. I plan to run a few miles when I get home from work today, and happily the sun is just now peeking through the clouds.

Reading in 2010: Sarah’s Key

This book was really good. Historical fiction, detailing the Vel d’Hiv round up of Jewish families in Paris in July 1942. How appropriate since Sunday was Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The book flips back and forth between Sarah, a 10-year old Jewish girl in 1942, and Julia, an American journalist living in present-day Paris. Eventually, Julia uncovers a link between her in-laws and Sarah’s family, which has been a source of hidden shame and guilt for years.

Definitely recommend this book to the historical fiction lovers out there.

Reading in 2010: The Blind Side

I’ve been flying through books lately. Admittedly, they’ve all been easy reads. And to admit a little more….sometimes I skim pages or even whole chapters!

That’s exactly how I got through this book so fast. There was a whole bunch of stuff in the beginning which I would summarize like this: blah blah blah fooootttbaalllll blah some guy got hurt blah blah left tackle becomes a high paid position blah blah blah.

Thus, I “read” about 150 pages in one day. Haha! I enjoyed the story of Michael Oher and the Touhys, but looking back I ended up skipping a lot of the book because it was boring and too football-y.

So, my advice to you is this: rent the movie! Kev and I rented it this weekend and thought it was pretty good. Not as amazing as everyone gushed about it, but still, pretty good.