Well here we are, the last day of 2010.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that I got used to saying “twenty ten” – and now here we come “twenty eleven”!  Amazing.

I finished “Helen of Pasadena” in the wee hours… it was a fun, quick, smart romance.  It made me reschedule my appointment at the Genius Bar on Wednesday, because I had a hard time putting it down and getting out the door on time.  I turned out the light last night after finally admitting I was too tired to finish (12:40 AM) but a few minutes later turned the light on again and finished.  A fun book.  It is the book club pick for my Preston bookclub in January.  It will be fun to discuss.

Thanks to Goodreads, I think I have a pretty good list of all the books I read in 2010. In reverse chronological order they include:

  1. Helen of Pasadena
  2. Before You Know Kindness
  3. Shanghai Girls
  4. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Millennium, #3)
  5. When in Rome…: A Novel of Piazzas and Passion
  6. The Last Time I Saw You: A Novel
  7. How to Be Single
  8. Blessings
  9. Going in Circles
  10. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  11. The Love Season
  12. The Cinderella Deal
  13. Beatrice and Virgil
  14. Away
  15. The Next Thing on My List
  16. Water for Elephants
  17. The Sleeping Beauty Proposal
  18. Everything She Thought She Wanted: A Novel
  19. Other People’s Weddings
  20. The Stormchasers
  21. Best Friends Forever
  22. The Girl Who Played with Fire
  23. The Other Woman
  24. Belong to Me
  25. Love Walked In
  26. The Beach House
  27. Firefly Lane
  28. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1)
  29. The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and Friendship
  30. The Glass Castle: A Memoir
  31. Size 12 is Not Fat: A Heather Wells Mystery
  32. Chasing Harry Winston
  33. Peony in Love
  34. The Friday Night Knitting Club
  35. No Horizon Is So Far: Two Women and Their Historic Journey Across Antarctica
  36. The Cat Who Said Cheese (Cat Who…, #18)
  37. The Moment Between
  38. Slam
  39. The Help
  40. A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table

Items of note in my “book world” in 2010:

  • I met three authors – Ann Bancroft, Lian Dolan and Jenna Blum.  I got to spend a lot of time with Ann and Jenna and they are both remarkable women and inspiring!
  • I read the three Millenium books and unexpectedly loved them all.
  • I read the book that inspired the start of the Cosmo Girls.
  • I listened to a few more audiobooks this year than I have in a while – although it used to be all I listened to in my car and with the death of my iPod I anticipate I’ll listen to more in 2011!
  • I plowed through a lot of books during my Ferragosto vacation.
  • 40 books = almost a book a week, which is very cool!

In 2011 I look forward to many more book club discussions, meaningful books, fun books, book blogging, and hopefully more meet-ups with authors!

Happy Wishes for a beautiful 2011!

Off to read!

Whew, December!

Not a single post in November.  Lazy?  Busy?  Hard to say… So I’m jumping back on the wagon…

December 1 I went to a book signing at J.Jill in Edina for “Helen of Pasadena” by Lian Dolan.  I’ve been a follower of the Satellite Sisters since the late 90s so it was exciting to meet one in person.  Lian is funny and quick, and I can’t wait to read her book.  I have heard only good things about it and will recommend it for our book club in January.

Currently I’m reading (plodding through) “Before You Know Kindness” by Chris Bohjalian. Plodding through mostly because I’m distracted by other things, like TV and movies and computer.  It is pretty good, although a bit ploddy sometimes.  I listened to “The Shanghai Girls” audiobook and loved that.  I like Lisa See’s books so far – my second of hers.  I have “Snow Flower and Secret Fan” on my iPod, too.  Sarah’s mom talked about how good it was, although it has graphic descriptions of foot binding in it.  Not sure how I’ll stomach that.  I also listened to a couple of fluffy audiobooks, which makes my commute more pleasant but gets me behind in my podcast listening!  🙂

Next I plan to read “Helen of Pasadena” and then “Sarah’s Key.”  I haven’t finished “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” yet, either.  I think it would be fun to re-read “The Tale of Two Cities” with Oprah’s book club, but we’ll see!

Are you ripping through books or finding other distractions during the holiday season?

Well, off to read!


All right, book readers!  Are we falling apart? 🙂  We’ll have to get a time on our schedule to get together and get a few books lined up to read.  I had planned to read all the Harry Potter books again, but since I don’t have #1 (I thought I did, but it’s #2!) I doubt that will happen within the next six weeks.  We’ll see.  Right now I’m enjoying “Going in Circles” about a woman who joins a roller derby league, and then I’m going to read “Blessings” by Anna Quindlan for my book club at work.  I have one copy left from the Book Club in a Bag, so we could read that and discuss that as well!  Just let me know…

Sarah was talking about getting a Nook or Kindle… did that happen?

Well, off to read!

A Strong Voice

Although it’s foremost in my mind because I’m re-reading it, this book does have a strong voice that has stayed with me since I read it the first time years ago…

Oskar is a quirky little boy who wears heavy boots because of the big awful. He is brilliant and funny and sweet and sad.

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Summer’s End…

I feel like my reading has slacked off in the last month!  Since Ferragosto I have spent a little more time watching movies and reading magazines and worshiping the sun, so the list has gotten smaller.

I finished “Beatrice and Virgil” on 8/19 and found myself sobbing at the end.  It was an odd little book and I ended up feeling manipulated and mad at the author for making me “go there.”  It was really horrifying at the end and I can’t recommend it to anyone because I don’t want to be responsible for anyone else feeling that way.  Ugh.  It definitely wasn’t as long-lasting in my mind as the Life of Pi (same author) but he is an incredible author.

I’ve also read a fluffy Jennifer Crusie book, which was fun.  Very fun.  Light and quick and smart.  I brought a lot of books home from the library and ended up bringing four out of five of  them back unread!  Goodness.

Now I’m reading an Elin Hildebrand book – I generally like her books – The Love Season.   Very summery, east coasty.  Fun.  And I’m also reading “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller.  It’s for an online bookclub with Nicole Baart and it’s about thinking about the story you want your life to tell about you.  It’s going three chapters at a time – and they’re short chapters that fly by so only reading three a week is kind of painful!  Last week I even re-read the entire nine chapters that had been read thus far.  But Nicole posts on Mondays and I haven’t read the “assigned” chapters for tonight.  It’ll be a quick thing to do before bed.

Sarah and I made a WalkieTalkie book plan – wonder if I can remember it!  I think we wanted to discuss the “Girl Who” books we’d read with Nina, and then read “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safron Foer for October.  I also plan to read the Harry Potter series, as well.  I’d like to get it done by the time the last movie comes out in late November.  Is that right, Sarah?

Well, off to read!


I created an Italian holiday for myself last week and the weather wasn’t too cooperative!  Very very sultry and a little stormy, so I spent a lot of time inside the cabin with books and movies!  Not a bad way to spend time!  So I read a few books early in the week.  I finished “Water for Elephants,” which I really enjoyed; I read “The Next Thing on My List,” and “Away.” The movies I watched were “Days and Clouds,” “Il Postino,” “The Night of the Shooting Stars,” and “Under the Tuscan Sun.”  The first three were Italian and the first two I’d seen before!  I love “Il Postino.”  And “Under the Tuscan Sun.”  I can watch that over and over again.

I really liked “The Next Thing on my List.”  It was a book I’d picked up several times but couldn’t bring myself to read, because the premise is that a girl named Marissa dies in a car accident.  Too creepy.  Anyway, she has a list of 20 things to do before her 25th birthday – so the girl who was driving the car decides that she needs to complete the items on the list.  It wasn’t a great book, but I like lists so enjoyed it.  I also had the book “Flip-Flopped” by the same author and realized after 50 pages that I’d read it before.  “Away” was a book about an immigrant who learns that her daughter may still be alive so she attempts to get back to Russia via Alaska.  I also have a book of short stories by that author and have read a few throughout the week.

Now I’m reading “Beatrice & Virgil” by Yann Martel (author of the Life of Pi).  It’s weird.  No chapters.  It’s about Henry who is a writer and Henry who is writing a play.  And a donkey named Beatrice and howler monkey named Virgil.  And taxidermy.  And the Holocaust?  I’ll let you know if I figure it out when I’m done.  I’m halfway through it.  And then who knows what will be next.  I still have quite a pile at home and a few more from the library.  So many books.

Nicole Baart is doing an online book discussion about Donald Miller’s “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years,” and I’d like to join!  Maybe I’ll run to B&N tomorrow and see about it.  I read part of a Donald Miller book and had bought a few but they went down with the flood.  Interesting author.

Well, off to read!


I finished another book this morning.  This summer I have found myself staying in bed for HOURS in the morning to read.  I stay up way too late, watching movies or whatever, and fall asleep reading pretty quickly, so in the morning I’ll read for literally two hours before getting out of bed.  It’s a little ridiculous and indulgent, but I love it.

This morning I finished “Everything She Thought She Wanted.”  I’d read (or listened to) another book by this author and it was ok.  I liked this one better.  I liked the characters in the book and I was interested in what was going to happen.  If anything, I would have liked a little more insight into what was going to happen and the thoughts that went into the final decisions, but overall I would recommend the book.  It was one of those bargain books from B&N.  Gotta love a bargain!

So now I have a pile of books that I’m bringing with me for the week because I can’t decide what’s next.  It’s either “Water for Elephants” (most likely), “The Virgin of Small Plains” (a free book I got a couple of years ago) or “South of Broad” (the free book I got this year).  Or maybe it’ll be “The Sleeping Beauty Proposal,” which mom got free at work.  She said it was laugh out loud funny.  That sounds fun.  I also have to finish August’s O Magazine – maybe before September’s comes!  🙂

My goal for August is to write something everyday.  It might be a letter or a journal or a haiku or a blog.  So I signed up for Plinky, which is word prompts and kinda fun.  I set them up to post to this blog, so if you see random weirdness (whoever you are!) now you’ll know why.

Well, off to read!  Wonder what it’ll be…

Summer Reads

I’ve been bad at this blogging this summer!  But I guess from what I read on the blogs I follow, it isn’t too unusual to take a blog vacation.  I just haven’t been blogging that long to take a vacation from it!  Oops.  Oh well.  Here we go!

I had to check out my goodreads list to see which books I’ve read since I last blogged.  It’s been quite a few:  “Firefly Lane” (Kristin Hannah), “The Beach House” (Jane Green), “Love Walked In” and “Belong to Me” (Marissa de los Santos), “The Other Woman” (Jane Green), “The Girl Who Played with Fire” (Stieg Larsson), “Best Friends Forever” (Jennifer Weiner), and “The Stormchasers” (Jenna Blum).  I just started “Other People’s Weddings” yesterday.

So.  I liked “Firefly Lane” better than “Best Friends Forever,” and for some reason they felt similar to me.  Best friends.  Different family backgrounds.  Estrangement.  Kids to grown-ups.  I also thought that the “mystery” feel in “BFF” was very hokey, especially after reading Millennium #2.

I liked “Love Walked In” better than “Belong To Me,” although I loved them both.  I loved the character and the writing style.  I was glad that there was another book about the main character in “Love Walked In” because I wanted to keep getting to know her.  They were great reads.

I liked “The Beach House” better than “The Other Woman.”  They were very different books by Jane Green – one about an eccentric woman who takes in boarders to help maintain her life on Cape Cod and the other about the contentious relationship a woman has with her mother-in-law.  I thought the daughter-in-law was pretty uptight and ridiculous a lot of the time, although I did have some empathy for her.  I wouldn’t want to deal with a MIL like that, but it was a little crazy.

I really liked “The Stormchasers,” and can’t wait to discuss it in book club with others who have read it!  I don’t want to give any spoilers so am not going to talk about it much here.  Read on!

After I read “Other People’s Weddings” I hope I can pick up that Pat Conroy book I got in the mail – “South of Broad.”  Seems like a summer read, so I’ll hopefully dive into that.  Still  have quite a pile TBR by the bed!  I bought “Eats Shoots and Leaves” at a used book sale and can’t wait to pick that up, either.

So what about you???  What have you been reading and what are your thoughts about the books you’ve been reading this summer?

Can’t wait to hear!

And now, off to read before company comes!

July 1

Just barely.  It is almost July 2 already!  Time just keeps flying…

Last night, June 30, we met to discuss “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”  I haven’t started the second book yet, but Jess was more than 2/3 done and feeling like she didn’t want to put it down!  It’s definitely going to get read this weekend.  I can’t wait.  But I think we had a good discussion last night, even though the page numbers in the questions didn’t correlate with the paperback copies of the book, so we had to guess sometimes what they were asking.  The movie comes out on DVD next week so maybe we’ll meet again and watch the movie after we’ve read all the books.  Our goal is to discuss the second book by the end of July.

So since I read that first book I’ve read a few Oprah magazines (I’m so ahead of the game!) and some lighter books – which I thoroughly enjoyed!  I was ripping through them quickly for a while!  But then i did more magazine reading (and baseball watching) and didn’t get as much reading done.  Now today I started a Jane Green book from the library (curse you, library, for your temptations!) and I’m half done.  I would like to re-read the 7th Harry Potter book before the movie comes out in November – I have no memory of the plot of that book.  It was the last book I read before the flood and my brain changed for a while (maybe forever?) and it is just gone.  So I’ll re-do.  Gladly.  I loved those books.

So my pile of books to read next include:  “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” “Best Friends Forever,” “The Stormchasers,” “South of Broad,” “Everything She Thought She Wanted,” and now, “Other People’s Weddings.”  Hard to choose where to start.  So I chose Jane Green.  “The Other Woman,” about a woman’s mother-in-law from hell.

I must say, I like blogging.  It’s probably boring for those who read (if anyone reads – wink wink) but I missed writing these last few weeks.  No excuses… just busy with kiddo stuff.  Gracie and Rees were here one Monday and last Monday I was feeling a little punky.  I think it was allergies, as the meds seem to be helping.

And now I’m so excited about heading to the lake – I’m bringing three books along and if I read them all (unlikely) there is a walmart close and I can find something else!  As I remember about our trip to FL in March, it’s hard to read a lot when your eyes are closed and you are worshiping the sun.  So we’ll see what I get read.

I haven’t finished packing yet, but I’m going to get up early.  So… off to read!

What happened to Monday???

I guess I was hanging out with the Littles!  Forgot about the Monday meanderings or musings.  So.  Here we are.

I finished “Firefly Lane,” with tears, and haven’t started another book yet.  My box of books arrived from B&N but I finished my June Oprah magazine and even started July’s!  It’s all about summer book reading, so I’m sure I’ll get plenty of book ideas from there!

But I am going to start Jane Green’s “The Beach House” tonight.  I’ve read many of J Green’s books and enjoyed them all mightily.  I am sure I won’t be disappointed!  I’m waiting patiently for everyone to finish ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” so that we can meet and discuss it fully.  I can’t wait.

Then what’s next?  “Best Friends Forever”?  “Belong to Me”?  Although I read that it is the second book about the same characters so I probably want to look for the first book before I read “Belong to Me.” “The Stormchasers”?  So many choices… Hopefully it’ll be easy to choose!

Well, off to read!  Happy Tuesday!