Monday, February 8, 2016

Marriage Monday: Little Ways Every Day



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"Many people think that the secret to reconnecting with their partner is a candlelit dinner or a by-the-sea vacation. The real secret is to turn toward each other in the little ways every day. 
-Dr. John Gottman



Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

What I read in November and December 2015

What I read in November and December 2015

A Christmas Carol 
by Charles Dickens
Classic

The classic story of Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come. 

I listened to this one on Audible read by Tim Curry. A great story made better by a fun reader. 



I am Malala
by Malala Yousafzai
Historical, Memoir

The Taliban overran her city but she spoke out, declaring everyone had a right to an education. Years later  she was shot in the head at point blank range. She survived and is now sharing her story. At 16 she received the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Very eye opening of the ways and customs of another culture. The story of a young, strong girl and how far she's willing to go to protect what she feels is important. Pick this one up!



Choose Your Own Autobigoraphy
by Neil Patrick Harris
Memoir, Humor

A twist on the common memoir this autobiography is a choose your own adventure. Each chapter describes the real life of NPH and at the end each one lets you choose a path: what really happened to NPH or what will probably lead to his ultimate destruction. 

I always love listening to memoirs as the folks who wrote it usually read it themselves. This one also has guest appearances from several of his friends. Funny and fabulous.  Only knowing him from his television appearances it was interesting to hear how much he really loves the stage and what he did through out his career.  I think the actual book has pictures but in the audio book he bursts out in song. 



Silver Bay 
By JoJo Moyes
Fiction, Adult

A large hotel development has its eyes on the small seaside town so when Dormer goes to research and help set it up he's surprised to find he's really growing an interest in the crazy family that runs the hotel. 

I love JoJo Moyes but so far this is my least favorite book. It took me a while to get into it and the story line didn't hold my interest very well. 



The Glass Castle
By Jeanette Walls
Memoir

Jeannette grew up with a father who'd spend his paycheck on alcohol and a mother who would rather follow her dreams than raise a family. The children learned to survive in run down houses and with little food at home. Later as adults they all moved to New York with successful careers while their parents chose to stay homeless. 

Read this one for book club and didn't enjoy it. I had a hard time separating myself from the story because it wasn't just a story but it actually happened and I couldn't get over that these kids really had to live like this. Even the last quarter of the book didn't redeem it for me. Some at the book club discussion had read the companion book and presented more light on the family and the mother. I still didn't like it. 



600 Hours of Edward
by Craig Lancaster
Autism, Fiction

Edward is 39. He lives alone. He has Asperger's and OCD. He feels he does best when he's right on (his minute by minute) schedule. Across the street a young boy and his mother move in and Edward begins to, difficultly, choose friendship over schedule. Little by little he's learning more about interacting with the world. 

I completely loved this one. I laughed out loud but also parts hurt my heart. A fascinating look at someone trying to live and thrive with a disability and how the world interacts and reacts.



Unbroken
by Laura Hillenbrand
Historical Fiction, War, Non Fiction, Memoir

From his defiant childhood to his all star running, Zamperini later signed on to be an airman in World War II. A downed plane, days at sea and even a prisoner of war Hillenbrand tells Louis's provoking story.

One extraordinary thing after another. I waited so long to read this because of the hype and it took me a while to get through but it was a fascinating story nonetheless.



After You
by JoJo Moyes

*Read Me Before You first then pick this one up.*

Louisa has a lot to deal with now. She finds her own place and sets in. Maybe even too much. Then her life is flipped upside down.

I didn't know Moyes had written a sequel so when I found out it was already out I was thrilled.  Lou is just as fabulous and the crew in this book was completely enjoyable. 



Go Set A Watchman
by Harper Lee

Scout, now 26, is back home from New York visiting her aging father, Atticus. She is faced with remembering the past in her young girls mind and facing the realities of the world as an adult.

Interesting to see how Scout has grown into her own person still with the influence of her father and town but is now forced to face how she grew up versus what is really happening in town (reality). 



Monday, February 1, 2016

What I read in October 2015


What I read in October 2015


All Joy and No Fun 
by Jennifer Senior
Non fiction

Written by a journalist, this book includes stories that try to answer: what are the effects of children on their parents? Senior theorizes that the great amount of change in the last 50 years has drastically put into question just what is the role of today's mothers and fatheres. 

This was a fun look at an interesting theory. Though many of the examples given weren't specifically relatable to my current environment, parenting styles, values or beliefs I enjoyed getting a view into the examples of parents and family's that she studied.  



David and Goliath 
by Malcolm Gladwell
Non fiction, Psycology 

When the odds are stacked against them, what actually works that makes the underdog victorious? Gladwell shares a compelling collection of stories to see if there are similarities in attitude, resources, will power and more.

Fascinating and fun. Read this one for book club and thoroughly enjoyed the discussion.  I loved it so much I am itching to pick up another one of his. I think I'll try Outliers.



Fangirl
by Rainbow Rowell
Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance

A diehard fan of a popular book, Cath has been writing fanfiction for years and now has her own, very large, following of her own. Now off at college, out of the house, a roommate, heavier classes to keep up with, Cath still can't let go of the fictional world she's been so immersed in for so long.

I have read others by Rowell so I wanted to try to this one. It was a well crafted story with deep characters and a few good plot twists. I just didn't love it, just not my style. If you like Rowell though, certainly give it a go. 



Maybe Not 
by Colleen Hoover
Adult, Romance, Novella

A companion novella (very short story) of Maybe Someday, this story follows Warren and roommate Bridgette. Warren is excited to have a hot girl roommate but they fight like crazy. 

I loved Maybe Someday so much I picked this one up without thinking about it. Only after I started it did I realize it wasn't what I was hoping. Warren and Bridgette were my least favorite characters in the last story and this one was obviously all theirs. And it's basically just them hooking up.



Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
by Robin Sloan
Fantasy, Mystery, Fiction

After losing a few jobs Clay finds himself working at Mr. Penumbra's Bookstore. He quickly discoveries it's an odd little place and the longer he's there the more mysterious it is. The customers, the books, even the bookkeeping. The more he uncovers the more questions he has.

Kind of unlike anything else I've read. It certainly wasn't what I expected even getting into it a few chapters. If you're looking for something different pick this up.



Ten Ways to Make My Sister Disappear
by Norma Fox Mazer
Childrens

When you have an older sister it's easy to feel like everything you want, she gets. And then on top of that sometimes you're friends with your sister and sometimes you're not. 

My (middle child) daughter and I got this at our school's Scholastic Book Fair. We read it together. There were a few parts she laughed out and loud and a few parts I was seriously questioning why the author chose to include something in a childrens book. Just ok. 



The Rithmatist 
by Brandon Sanderson
Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA, Steampunk, Mystery

Joel knows all there is about being a Rithmatist. He reads and study's and even sneaks into classes so he can learn more.  So when students start disappearing from campus Joel helps a professor try to crack the case.

I really needed to finally read a Brandon Sanderson novel (I have a lot of friends whose opinions I trust that enjoy his books) so I picked this up and fell in love. I've been so nervous to try his others (like MistBorn or Elantris since I don't totally love heavy fantasy) so I was thrilled when I could follow along and enjoy this one!



Monday, January 25, 2016

Marriage Monday: Valentine Gifts Inspired by 5 Love Languages



Words of Affirmation 

“Love Story” was wrong, love DOES mean you say sorry, and other nice things. Affirming your true love is all about being thoughtful and genuine. It’s not only important that your partner hears “I love you,” but also why. 

Gift Ideas: 

❥ Send love notes with unexpected phrasing (You are a tiger in a world of house cats!) 

❥ Give your partner sincere compliments about specific things.

❥ Fill an antique jar or box with all the reasons you love your partner written on slips of paper.



Quality Time 


According to Dr. Chapman, “This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.” Time is a strong communicator of love, especially in a world full of distractions.

Gift Ideas: 

❥ Put away all your devices and talk to your partner about their dreams for the evening – dream job, dream vacation, etc.

❥ Take a class together to learn something new. It can be anything from rock climbing to wine tasting.

❥ Plan a romantic getaway to a unique or memorable spot. You don’t have to break the bank, try being a tourist in your own town.



Click here to read the rest of the article.






*Used with permission by author.


Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.



Monday, January 18, 2016

Marriage Monday: Great Glories of Married Life


One of the great glories of married life is the opportunity to support one 
another and build your dreams together. 
-Michelle Peterson


Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.



Saturday, January 16, 2016

What I read in August and September 2015


What I read in August and September 2015


Cold Sassy Tree
by Olive Ann Burns
Historical Fiction

1906 in small town Georiga where the whole town knows (or thinks they know) everyone's business. Surely there's a scandal that's got folks talking. 

Picked it up for book club and enjoyed it quite a bit. I read it shortly after I did a reread of To Kill A Mockingbird so I couldn't help but compare what I could from the two. It's an interesting read about life, small town, assumptions, family drama, and family ties. Try it out if you haven't yet. 



Edenbrooke
by Julianne Donaldson
Romance, Adult, Regency, Clean

Hoping to cease her current boredom Marianne Daventry departs Bath to join her sister at a friends large estate. That night her carriage is stopped by a highwayman and Marianne's adventures begin. 

A reread but one that I enjoy to do once a year. Donaldson's debut novel (in 2012) was a huge success. If you find yourself in a bit of a rut, you need a fabulous book. Pick this one up!



The Nightingale
by Kristin Hannah
Historical Fiction


A WWII book on the soil of France. When Nazi's invade the people who haven't fled are forced to take them in. Certainly some quotable quotes. “I always thought it was what I wanted: to be loved and admired. Now I think perhaps I'd like to be known.” “But love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us.” “In love we find out who we want to be, in war we find out who we are.”   

I read this for book club. It's worth a read. Certainly to call into mind what it means to be compassionate, strong, and courageous. All at a time when you thought there was nothing more they could take from you, and they still find a way. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Marriage Monday: Fondness and Admiration




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"Fondness and admiration are two of the most crucial elements in a rewarding and long-lasting romance. Although happily married couples may feel driven to distraction at times by their partner's personality flaws, they still feel that the person they married is worth of honor and respect."
-Dr. John Gottman



Find my other Marriage Monday posts here.