Monday, December 31, 2007

Last Post of the Year...

...And I decided to use a tribute to two of my favorite things this LOL cat (courtesy of and Scrubs!

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
498 pages
Finished 12/30/07

To say that this is a fast read would be an understatement. I began reading this book yesterday afternoon, around the beginning of the 4th quarter of the Packer game (Go Pack!). I finished it by 9 last night, and I was definitely not reading the entire time (took some time off to make dinner, drink some wine, and put the book down every 3 minutes or so to meow at David. Which he didn't find annoying. At all.).

I was throughly absorbed and addicted to this novel. It is a young-adult novel about a high school junior named Bella that moves to a new school and falls in love with a vampire. It was easy to see why/how a teenage girl can get swept up in it - what heterosexual teenage girl didn't day dream about the perfect guy falling for her and whispering sweet nothings to her? I thought it was a very romantic novel when looking at it from eyes of the teenage girl I used to be.

Of course, other things drove me nuts - things that were unexplained (Edward, the vampire, can read everyone's thoughts...but Bella's), Bella's ridiculous outfits there were supposed to be cute (floor length khaki skirt? Really?), and even the sexual tension got a little annoying. It was all too pure. The two barely ever kissed!

Either way, I still really liked it, and I am already reading the second novel, New Moon. I'll let you know how I feel about that one.

Four stars.

The Unholy by Michael Falconer Anderson

The Unholy by Michael Falconer Anderson
223 pages
Finished 12/30/07

I found this book in a box of my old books that I got from my mom - the box had some of my Baby-Sitter Club books, a bunch of teen angst books, a few romance book...and then there was this one. The book is in horrible shape - bent, sun faded, and it looks like part of it had gotten wet, but I was desperate for something to read a week or so ago (before I went to the bookstore and ordered from Amazon).

The back of the book makes the story sound really freaky and disturbing, but the story was actually a bit of a disappointment for me - I didn't get the chills I was expecting when reading it. It seemed a little rushed in places, and a little drawn out in others, and sometimes details were mentioned that just didn't fit with the storyline, and had me going "Huh?". Ug, plus, the other thing that annoyed me was that the f-bombs were edited. Really? Why have your character speak them if you are just going to type it "F..."?

Two stars.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

The Tommyknockers by Stephen King
752 pages
Finished 12/28/07

Considering I've read most of Stephen King's books, I'm not sure how I missed this one, but I did. I had a hard time getting through the first 200 pages or so - it was pretty slow going there for awhile, with all of the back story on Bobbi and Gard. Once it picked up, though, I really enjoyed the book. I liked King's writing style in this novel, and I loved how the storylines were all intertwined. It was cool to see the story from on angle in one chapter, and then see it from another view the next.

Overall, I'd say the book could have been better if it was about 200 pages less, but I still liked it.

Three stars.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

December DNFs

December was a seriously depressing month for books. I wasn't all that into reading in the first place, and it didn't help that the books I had were not that great.

The good news is I can only think of three books that I actually quit:

Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Mother of Pearl by Melinda Hayes

The first two books I read (maybe) 30 pages of each before quitting. I just couldn't get into them.

The third book is actually one that's been on my shelf for years. I've tried reading it a couple of times, but could never get into it. Turns out I still can't, so it goes back to the shelf as a Did Not Finish.

Anxiously awaiting UPS...

Whew, so my moodiness from the last week seems to have gone away for the most part. Must have been PMS.

Right now I am terribly excited because the UPS driver is on his way to my house. Yes! He is coming with a box full of books from I ordered the books on Christmas Eve - as soon as I got some money for Christmas, I told David to get ready to deposit it into checking, because it was going straight to Amazon. So, I have the following books on the way to my house:

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
Forever Odd by Dean Koontz
Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane (author of Mystic River)
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Plus, since I knew I couldn't wait until the books came today, I had also picked up a couple of books at HPB on Monday...Tommyknockers by Stephen King (I have no idea how I've never read this book before) and A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving. I'm currently reading both of these books (although I'll probably just go to Tommyknockers tonight so I can concentrate more and get them both done!).

So, overall Christmas was a whole lot of awesome. David and I had a great day together on Saturday - we ate some pizza, did some cannon balls (involves chugging Boones Farm), drank some beer, opened some presents, and watched my favorite movie - Love Actually. Sunday was spent with David's parents and grandmother. We turned off the Packer game early (it was wretched), and played some dominoes before David and I made our fish dinner (which I ended up not liking). On Monday we drove up to EC with my brother Bob and his fiancee Nikki and opened presents with my mom and Grandma, and then Tuesday we had to stop by both sides of my family for Christmas.

As usual, the Present Game at my mom's side was a lot of fun, although it seemed to drag on FOREVER. Everyone was fighting over a few specific gifts, mainly because we knew they contained alcohol. :) David and I had a good giggle once the game was over - we didn't end up with any alcohol (it was Boones Farm and Asti!) but we got off pretty easy - two things of candy, a book (Nicholas Sparks - I'll read it eventually), and a hideous bracelet that will go in the game next year. David and I played the game well and were pretty proud of our (lack) of gifts.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I've been really crabby the last few days...heck, even weeks it feels like. I'm seriously hoping Christmas will make it better. I'm in such a rut - nothing that I usually do sounds very fun. I'm sick of reading crappy books (I've been reading Mirror, Mirror for over a week now and am literally 30 pages into), I haven't been into TV (I somehow still have the last two episodes of Heroes on my DVR, among others), and I have even looked at EVERYTHING on the Internet. Almost.

David and I decided that it's probably because I haven't been drinking very much lately. That, and of course our usual reasoning - I'm not blonde. I was always more fun then.

So, anyway, thank goodness for this weekend - on Saturday David and I are doing Christmas together. We decided to have our Christmas dinner together be Pizza Hut (so nerdy), and I'm going to enjoy a Pina Colada (or two) with a tasty Red Vine straw. Sunday we are going to do our Christmas with David's family, where I plan on enjoying multiple glasses of Prosecco. Yumm...

And to demonstrate how cute my hair looked with blonde highlights, I'll take you back to October 2006 with I first met little Raina:

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dinner Drama

There is a reason I don't cook. Ok, there are actually a lot of reasons why I don't cook, but the main reason seems to be my lack of attention to detail.

A few weeks ago David and I were making pancakes for dinner. We bought one of those easy little plastic containers - just add water! I seriously read the instructions 3 times - and then proceeded to fill the container to the top, rather than the fill line. Needless to say, we did not have pancakes that night.

Tonight David and I were making Four Soup Casserole. David was browning the hamburger, while I was mixing the soups. I read the instructions over a few times. "Brown hamburger and drain. Mix soups together. Lightly mix soup & noodles together; add beef." I thought it was a little weird that I didn't have to cook the noodles, but since we had only made this meal once quite awhile ago, I couldn't remember. I added about half of the (uncooked) noodles to the soup when I read the instructions (again). "Brown hamburger. Cook & drain noodles. Mix soups together." Whhaaa? How did I miss the "cook and drain noodles" the first 15 times I read it? Grr. David had to throw on shoes and drive to the grocery store for more soup while I finished browning the hamburger and (oops) cooking the noodles.

By the time David got back, the noodles were cooked, the hamburger was browned, and I was ready to mix the soups. Except...instead of a can of cream of mushroom soup and a can of cream of celery, David came home with 2 cans of cream of celery and no mushroom. There was a bit of dramatics in the house then - David was pissed that he had bought two of the same soup and was convinced dinner was officially ruined, and I was pissed that he was pissed about something so stupid. Good times. We finally got everything in the dish and into the oven, with me saying all the time "I don't remember putting cheese on it last time" (as the recipe calls for).

Forty-five minutes later, it came out of the oven and was actually really good. I am completely convinced that last time we didn't put cheese on it, which is weird, because I'd top everything with cheese if I could. David can't believe we made the casserole twice and haven't done it correctly yet. Oh well. It still ended up being delicious.

I had been feeling ambitious before we started making dinner, and had planned on making chocolate chip cookies after dinner. Not any more.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman

Skylight Confessions by Alice Hoffman
262 pages
Finished 12/15/07

There was a sticker on the cover of this book that claimed "If you like Jodi Picoult, you'll love Alice Hoffman." I like Jodi Picoult OK (although the last two books of hers that I read, Vanishing Acts and The Tenth Circle were not very good), so I thought I'd pick this one up. Plus, I've read at least one of Hoffman's books, and while I don't remember loving it, I certainly don't remember hating it.

And hating it is exactly how I felt about this book. It was bad from page one. Her writing style drove me nuts, and the characters all were so weak and unbalanced. I barely finished it - I basically just started skimming and reading every few pages, and then, with about a quarter of the book to go, I skipped to the last 20 pages or so and read them. Turns out I didn't miss much.

One star.

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
291 pages
Finished 12/11/07

When I saw this at HPB, I snatched it up right away, even though it was a brand-new hardcover. I didn't know this author had another novel out. I had read her two previous books - her memoir, Lucky, and her first novel The Lovely Bones, and I adored them. I figured this would be the same.

Except, yeah, not so much. The main character (Helen) was disgusting. The book starts out (the first sentence) with Helen proclaiming that she killed her mother. The book follows the next 24 hours as she tries to decide what to do next. I'm not sure if Sebold's intention was to make us feel empathy for her, but whatever the plan was, Helen came off as a serious lunatic. And she didn't really have any redeeming qualities, and yet it seemed like everyone in her life (especially the men) would do anything for her. Unfortunately, whatever they saw in her doesn't come across to the reader.

An utterly disappointing Two stars.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Good news...(relative)

I haven't said anything about this on here because there was no new information for so long, but now I have some news...

David and I were making dinner tonight around 5 or 6 when the doorbell rang. It was Benjy, our neighbor, with the best news we've heard from him in a long time. His and Erin's daycare provider was just arrested tonight in the death of their son Lincoln. She was charged with 1st degree reckless homicide. Benjy wanted to give us a heads up since everything will be on the news tomorrow - just in case news vans start showing up in our driveway.

I'm glad that this is finally happening for them. Lincoln was only 4 months old when he died on September 11, so it's news Benjy and Erin (and everyone who knows them) had been waiting awhile to hear.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell

Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell
435 pages
Finished 12/11/07

So, a funny thing happened this morning as I was watching my DVR'd from last night Biggest Loser (which, side note, can I just say how annoyed I am about an all-Black Team finale? Grr, Bill or Hollie better win, because I will be so annoyed if either of the blondes win it). Anyway, as I was fast-wording through the commercials (and half the show, really), I saw Brooke Shields on my screen, so I rewound a bit because I like her. Turns out it was a promo spot for the new TV show she is in...called Lipstick Jungle! I had no idea this book was being made into a TV show. Apparently it starts in February. Yeah, I'll probably watch it (I'll probably be starved for new TV, what with the writers strike and all).

Ok, on to the book. My first feeling when reading this was extreme annoyance. One thing that it always seems about chick-lit books - the main characters always have ridiculous names. The three main characters are Victory, Nico, and Wendy. Ok, Wendy's not bad, but the other two? Come on! (Although, there was a two week or so period in 6th grade where my 3 bestest friends were Danette, Minta, and Windy, so...)

There were a few things that made me crazy - mainly, the lack of details. The timeline drove me a little nuts - it seemed like it went from around the Oscars (February) to Cannes (May) within a few pages, when it had taken 200+ pages just to get to the Oscars. The author tried to run all of these parallel storylines, but it just seemed like she had so much going on (and the book was getting so long) that she decided to say fuck it and started chopping out parts. The ending was crazy - it was all wrapped up neatly with a bow within 10 or so pages, and it didn't make sense. Without going into detail, one of the main character's storyline went from pretty good to over in a matter of sentences. Grr.

Three stars - but that's on a curve, taking into a count that it's a chick lit book, and not literary genius. Off topic a bit - this author is the same author that penned Sex and the City. I've never watched the TV show, and I didn't know it was based off of a book. Curious.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Come Back by Claire and Mia Fontaine

Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back by Claire Fontaine and Mia Fontaine

306 pages
Finished 12/9/07

This book is a memoir written by a mother and daughter. The book tells of their struggle with Mia's (the daughter) addiction and the steps her mother and step father took to get her to rehab.

Overall, I thought it was a great book. Both Claire and Mia's stories are inter-mixed throughout the chapters, so you get to see/hear both sides of the story while it's happening. They are very frank and honest about a lot of things - their shortcomings and the huge circumstance in their life that was the catalyst in Mia's addiction.

My only complaint is that it seems like some important information is either left out or suddenly sprung on you. It made it feel a bit like a novel when I was reading those books - the story is compelling enough without throwing these "surprises" in.

Still, it was a great book, and I was happy to see that this book had a happy ending. And no, I'm not ruining the book by saying that. I mean, come on - it's written on the back of the book, nevermind that Mia's telling the story herself. Like a junkie could/would do that.

Four stars.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Amazing Race

Just a quick note to say how excited I am that TK and Rachel are still in the race! I just got done watching last night's episode. They are still my #1 pick to win this (and I still haven't read spoilers, either, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed)! My other new favorites are Nick and Donald, the grandson and grandfather. They seem to work well together (it is adorable that Nick is always carrying his backpack). I still like the Goths, although Kent is much less tolerable than Vixen.

On the other hand, I can't believe Ron and Christina are still in this thing. They drive me nuts. I am so sick of hearing her call him Daddy - you are a grown woman! And while I don't want Jennifer and Nate to win, I still want them on my TV, for pure entertainment value. Their fights are highly amusing.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas Kittens

Well, we've had the tree up for about a week now, and the kids are finally getting into it a bit.

Last night I was doing dishes in the kitchen when I heard Gabby playing in the living room. (How sad is it that I hear a cat playing and can automatically tell which one it is)? I did assume that she was playing with her pink mouse, but that was not the case.
Turns out she was having a field day with the blue bulb that had been on the tree. She was having a blast with that thing - once she got it off the tree (and posed for this adorable picture), she batted it around the living room for a good 10 minutes (an extreme work out for those of you that know Gab).

Meanwhile, Toby gave us a bit of a scare today. David and I were making dinner tonight (ok, David was making dinner, while I sat on the counter drinking a Captain and Coke). David gave Gabby a little brown mouse, since her pink one is MIA. Usually when Gabby gets a toy, Toby is there within seconds to snatch it from her. This time, Gabby was able to enjoy the toy without interruption. This actually gave us cause for concern - Toby is such a bully that it was unusual that he didn't appear. I went upstairs to look for him and couldn't find him. Then, Gabby and I (she's so nosy) went down to the basement to look for him. I was mildly paranoid when I couldn't find him (my first thought was - did he go hide somewhere to die? So morbid). While we were down there, David yelled "I found him!" and I immediately knew where he was - hiding under the tree. Sure enough, there he was.

How cute is the little black blob? He must have been loving the warmth, because that's where he's been all night. So adorable.

A bit off topic, but I just got done reading an awesome nonfiction book. I'll post a review tomorrow. I loved it!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tat Update

David went in for Round 2 last Friday. His session was about 3 hours long. The black shading has been completed! Still no actual color yet - red is just the irritation still.

He now needs to heal completely (about 4-6 weeks) before finishing it up. He has about 3 hours left to go. I haven't seen the drawing of what it will look like once it's done, but David's pretty excited.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lolcat #2

My new favorite one. It is cute and funny all at once. Love it.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Rosie Dunne by Cecelia Ahern

Rosie Dunne by Cecelia Ahern
431 pages
Finished 12/1/07

This book has an interesting gimmick - it is written as a series of letters, emails, and instant messages. To be quite honest, if I knew that was the case, I might not have picked up the book (although, since I found the hardcover for a dollar at Half Price Books, who knows?).

I was a little annoyed by the format, mainly because nothing is dated. The book spans 40+ years of Rosie's life, and the letters can jump a year (or more) on the same page. I was also a little confused by some of the time line, because certain things just didn't always seem to add up, especially when it came to Katie, Rosie's daughter (are one year olds still considered colicky? Shouldn't a three year old have said "Grandma" a long time ago?).

Overall, though, it was a really sweet book, and you couldn't help but root for the two main letter writers to get together. This is definitely a chick lit book, but I enjoyed it for what it was.

Three stars.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Free Cat

Anyone want a free cat? He's 13 years old, litter trained, all black, very cute, very cuddly, and EXTREMELY needy.

I'll even throw in the pink mouse in the back ground for free. It's a steal.

Ok, obviously I'm not really giving him away. But he is driving me nuts today. He is being a shadow - I can't go anywhere without him following. Run downstairs for a bottle of water? Follows. Go to the bedroom to get some socks? Follows. Oh yes, he's even there when I try to go to the bathroom.

Oh, Tobias Cat.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Babyville by Jane Green

Babyville by Jane Green
438 pages
Finished 11/28/07

I am having pretty mixed feelings on this book. I am not typically a fan of chick-lit, and this definitely fits into that category. The novel is about 3 women, in different stages of their lives - Julia, who desperately wants to be pregnant, Maeve, who is single and loving it and unexpectedly becomes pregnant, and Samantha, married with a new baby.

So many things about this book drove me nuts. First, the fact that it is a British novel, so there a bunch of phrases and words that I'm not familiar with. There weren't so many that I couldn't understand the story (actually, I could pretty easily figure out what they meant), but they still drive me nuts. And yeah, I knew that would happen going into the book, because I've read the author before, but still... Second, I couldn't stand (or understand) the three female characters and their relationships with the men in their lives. I seriously cannot imagine anyone being that blind, dense, and crazy - and that goes for all three of the ladies.

Reading my review and thinking about all of the things that bothered me about the book make me feel like I should be giving it less stars than I am. No idea why I feel inclined to give it the stars I am - probably because the bottom line is that this is a chick-lit book, and it was exactly what they all typically are...mindless "brain candy" that you don't read for intellectual reasons, but more to escape.

Three stars.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
294 pages
Finished 11/26/07

This is a young-adult novel - the first in a series. It was also made into a movie awhile back (a year or two? I'm not sure). I haven't seen the movie, but I've heard good things about the book/series, and decided to pick it up.

It was really cute, and actually pretty surprising in a couple of aspects. Sure, the characters were somewhat cliche - the rebel, the jock, the shy one, the "mother" of the group, but what wasn't so cliche is that they were all friends - best friends. It's a cute story about four friends who find a pair of "magic pants" - pants that fit all of them, even though they have different body styles. The girls spend the summer apart (their first summer in years), but have the pants and their letters to keep them connected.

Like I said, I thought it was really cute. I will probably read the rest of the series eventually, and want to watch the movie now (although chances are pretty good I won't get David to watch it with me...)

I give it three stars.

Monday, November 26, 2007

On This Day by Melody Carlson

On This Day by Melody Carlson
329 pages
Finished 11/25/07

This book was a pretty quick read, even at 329 pages. I actually started it late yesterday evening and finished it in bed before 11. I'm not going to lie, I did some skimming, because it wasn't the most interesting or well written book.

The biggest issue was how it was the writing style. The book follows 5 different women during the course of the day - they are all guests at a wedding with some relation to the bride and groom. The author wrote each chapter so that it was in the "voice" of one of the women - a first person account of what they are thinking, feeling, etc. The problem is that the author really didn't have the ability to distinguish these voices - the 20-something maid of honor sounds exactly like the 80-something grandmother of the bride, who sounds exactly like the 40-something over-Botoxed drunk family friend, etc. It takes a pretty good author to pull this type of book off, and I just didn't think this one cut it.

I gave it two stars.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker
288 pages
Finished 11/25/07

Yet another challenged book from my bracelet that I decided to pick up. I can't believe I haven't read this book before - it seems like a pretty obvious book to read. I also realized that I never saw all of the movie. We started watching my freshman year of high school in our English class, but when we went back the next day to finish it, we were informed some parents complained and we wouldn't be watching the rest of it. Challenged indeed...

This book actually had a lot of surprises for me in it, especially because I really didn't know what it was about (I can't remember the movie to save my life, except for the fact that I knew Oprah was in it). First - the book is written in letter format. Letters to God and between the sisters. That was a little surprising, simply because I had no idea. Second - there was a lot of slave language in it that I had a hard time understanding at first. I guess this was surprising because, again, I really didn't know what the book was about. As I started getting into it, it was much easier to understand/comprehend. Third - it was evident from (literally) the first page why this book has been challenged. I really wasn't expecting the language that was on the first page, and coupled with the sexuality that continues through the book, I can see why objections were made (not that I agree with it).

Overall, it was a surprisingly good book, but I wasn't bowled over by it.

I give it three stars.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden

Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden
234 pages
Finished 11/21/07

I'm not going to lie, I only picked this book up because it was on my banned books bracelet, which is my new favorite piece of jewelery - here's the link:

Anyway, I actually really didn't know much about this book until I started reading it. It's essentially a love story about two high school students - both female. It is a young adult novel and was written and published in the early '80s (1981 or 82, I can't remember).

In some ways, I think the story was extremely well written. The blossoming love between Annie and Liza was sweet, and I honestly think that anyone who reads it will be able to relate to the feelings they have - nervous, unsure, etc. On the other hand, there were little things about the characters and the story that drove me nuts - mainly the constant foreshadowing ("And by the time the whole thing was over with, I wished she'd known..." and "But, oh, God, neither of us had any way of knowing that I would do something..." are just two examples from the first quarter of the book).

I can definitely see why this book has been challenged, although there are no overt sexual scenes in the story (there are probably more explicit things shown on prime time television).

I give it two and a half stars.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
348 pages
Finished 11/13/07

Wow. That's all I can really say. I thought this book was seriously amazing - I loved it. The plot is pretty crazy - it's basically about a family of "circus freaks" - the catch is that the circus family intended to make a family of freaks. The mother ingests a ton of things during each pregnancy - drugs, insecticides, arsenic, etc.

Geek Love was very well written, interesting, and disturbing all at once. I could barely put it down. The only downside was the sub-plot, which led to an only fair ending. It didn't seem like it really belonged in a book that was so fascinating. Still, that wasn't enough to diminish my love for this book - I would seriously recommend it to everyone. It is probably one of my top five books of all time.

Five stars.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


David and I finally did something yesterday that we had been talking about doing for the last 5 years...we went and got tattoos!

David's is pretty crazy - his is going to take another 2 or 3 sessions to complete - he is basically doing a pretty big tattoo all along his spine. David's next session is in about two weeks - long enough for most of the outlining to heal. Here is how it looks with the first round done - basically just the outline and some black shading. I know it looks like there is red, but that is just the irritation - he only has black right now.

He's so bad ass. :)

I decided to have my tattoo added to - more vines and flowers, plus a hummingbird above it. My previous tattoo was about 6 years old and really weathered and faded. I didn't so much listen when I was told to make sure to put on sunscreen to protect. Years of tanning had taken it's toll, that's for sure. Here is my tattoo before:

And here is my tattoo after:

I absolutely love it. Our artist, Billy at Blue Lotus Tattoo in Madison, did a fabulous job. The hummingbird is adorable, and I am really digging the way he touched up (ie, completely recovered) my old tattoo.

So, hopefully now that I am older and wiser (ha!) maybe I will take better care of this one.

Monday, November 12, 2007

So...God doesn't care who wins reality races?

Hey, did I mention last week how happy I am that The Amazing Race is back? I did? Oh.

Last night's episode was awesome. I love how CBS casts these things. Seriously, how surprising is it that Ronald is crazy psycho? I knew he was a weirdo last episode. People all thought he was the cute old man type, but I knew he was a few cards short of a full deck. I couldn't believe how he kept going off on Christina. Girl did not stand up for herself. I probably would have throat punched him when he made the comment about her needing to lose weight.

The BQ Wanna-be's were able to redeem themselves somewhat this episode. They weren't too annoying, they worked fairly efficiently, and the one that had to do the pole vaulting (no idea which one - I can't tell them apart to save my life) did it with minimal complaining. The same can't be said for Jennifer of Nathan & Jennifer. Holy annoying. The only reason I want to keep them around is because they create good drama (not crazy drama like Ronald).

The Goths - yeah, I'm still liking them. Their make-up looks a hot mess at the end of the runs, but they really work well together and are pretty quirky and funny. Funny how judging from the first few seconds of the first episode I thought they'd be one of the first teams to go, and now I'm rooting them on.

Yay for Jason and Lorena winning the leg! I like them for some reason. I'm really torn between them and TK and Rachel for my favorite team. Lorena's breakdown in the preview for next week look awesome - holy hot mess!

In the end, it was the Lesbian ministers that got the boot from the race. Not really all that surprising, although they did really grow on me this episode. But really, when you have two ministers state that they don't have any illusions about God wanting them to win the race, I knew they'd be all right in my book.

Next week - please go home Ronald/Christina or Sisters. Pleeease!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

October/November DNFs

I've been in a pretty big reading slump lately. I was a reading machine in September & October - I think I was reading a book every 3 days or so. I haven't finished a book since October 30th/31st (I forget the date). It seems like forever. Since then, I've actually quit reading 3 different books, which actually got me down on reading a little bit. It was really disappointing to pick up the books and not enjoy any of them. I actually ended up going to an old, familiar stand-by - The Long Walk.

Turns out I actually quit 6 books in October and early November:
The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook
The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
Spandeau Phoenix by Greg Iles
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
The Liars' Club by Mary Karr
The Nicholas Effect by Reg Green

Wow! Honestly, they were all so disappointing to me. And I feel really bad about The Nicholas Effect - it is such an inspiring story, but the I just wasn't feeling it.

There are a couple that I plan on trying again eventually - most likely Spandeau Phoenix and The Night Journal. I'm not sure if I'll ever revisit The Jane Austen Book Club - that was seriously painful for me. The same is true for The Liars' Club. Holy cow, that book was annoying! It's weird - I really think it's because there are a couple of things I just can't get a grasp on - first, that there are really families out there like that (yes, I certainly understand that there are, it's just so hard to fathom), and second, and more important - I really can't see how people can "remember" things from so long ago. I think I made it maybe 40 or 50 pages into the book, and the author was still recounting things from her childhood in vivid detail. I can barely remember last year, let alone when I was 4.

So, anyway, I have been a little bummed the last week or so. I was really trying to get back into reading, but hated that I gave up on 3 books recently. I was actually feeling a tad guilty, and that's why I didn't move on to my next book. Yesterday, I decided to say screw it and just pick up a new one - why waste time on a book that I dread picking up?

The good news is that I just started reading a FABULOUS book yesterday - Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. I am loving it so much. I'm about 70 pages into it and relishing every moment that I'm reading it. I can't wait to review it - I hope it continues to be as good as it has started out to be.

Friday, November 9, 2007

21 good books that need to be great films

The A.V. Club always has interesting articles - this is no exception.

As the title suggests, it lists 21 good books that would make great movies (if done correctly). I just had to post it because the first book they list is one of my all time favorites - The Long Walk by Stephen King/Richard Bachman. I actually just finished re-reading this book last night (I probably read it once or twice a year - it's fairly short, and as I said - I LOVE it).

Seriously, why hasn't this book been into a movie yet? It would be amazing. Odd are good that I would even go see it in a theater, which rarely happens.

Of the other 20 books listed, I've read about 5 of them, and another 3 or 4 are on my wish list. It's funny how many books that are on there that I've never heard of, which is intriguing. I'll have to check those out.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Donkeys have souls too - The Amazing Race

Wow, two things that I love most in the world collided on Sunday night: donkeys and The Amazing Race.

I just started watching the Amazing Race religiously two season ago - and only because football kept running late and it was cutting into Cold Case time. I got pretty sucked in, though, and started DVRing the re-runs that are shown at 2 am on the Game Show channel. Anyway, so the point of this whole story is that I am a huge spoiler fan - every season I've watched, I've read spoilers about in the beginning (including last year's All-Stars - boy was I sad when Rob and Amber were eliminated right away, and when Dustin and Kandice didn't win!). After I watched Sunday's episode yesterday (I heart DVR), I immediately went online to look for spoilers! Yeah, I'm good like that. Fortunately, I didn't look very hard, and I didn't find any. Whoo-hoo! My name is Beth, and I have been Amazing Race spoiler free for 3 days.

Anyway, so I thought I should put my predictions/thoughts out there, so that way when the race is done, I can say "I so knew they would win." Hopefully.

The teams this year are interesting, to say the least. My thoughts on the teams and the order I'd like to see them finish (oh, and I would have never remembered anyone's name if it wasn't for the CBS website):

Ari & Staella - So glad they were eliminated. Karma in the form of donkeys is always great!
Shana & Jennifer - Dustin & Kandice wanna-be's. I'd like to see them gone next.
Marianna & Julia - Not sure why, but they bugged me. Probably because they said they would use flirting to get their way. Flirting with who? There are no all male teams!
Kate & Pat - These two are very cute, but seriously. For some reason, I hate seeing older people on this show. Bitch!
(...I just realized that I want the three all female teams gone right away...I guess David is right, I do hate girls...)
Nicolas & Donald - The grandpa is a little amusing, but he's also wicked creepy. Just because he's from WI doesn't mean he scores extra points.
Ronald & Christina - It always drives me nuts to see people start out the first leg of the race so sickeningly supportive ("You could never disappoint me, Dad") and then watch it all go down hill (as the previews for next week show). Come on - you both know you are going to drive each other nuts, stop being so unrealistically sweet at first. We all know it will change soon.
Jennifer & Nathan - I was on the fence last night as to whether or not I wanted them to be the first to go. On one hand, they were bastards to the donkey, so it would have been nice to see them get theirs. On the other hand - these two were made for my TV! Thank you CBS - I seriously love that one of the first things we see of these two was Jennifer announcing he's a cheater. And then all of the fighting! It was glorious!

And my final four (because I can't narrow it down to three) would be...
Kynt & Vyxsin - First of all - really? You had to use "Goth" names even? I'd be interesting in learning their real names, because I'd wager money those aren't it. Whatever. They annoyed me from the second they got on my screen. The make-up, the fact that I couldn't tell which one was the guy...ick. Then, a weird thing happened as I watched the show...they slowly started to grow on me. I may have even giggled when Kynt said "Oh my Goth." Granted, if this happens every episode, I'm going to get annoyed, but right now it's amusing, and I'm considering incorporating it into my daily vocab. I was really surprised at how well they did - they work together pretty well (thus far) and didn't get over-emotional when things weren't going their way. I think this will be the surprise team.
Azaria & Hendekea - I don't have a ton of opinion on these two - I think they are cute, and they both seem very level-headed and smart. I think these two will end up making good decisions.
Lorena & Jason - Hi Colin Farrell! Oh, wait, that's not Colin Farrell? Seriously, that's all I kept thinking as I watched the show. I really like this couple for some reason - I think they are going to provide a lot of drama for the season, but hopefully will let it work to their advantage. I see them like a Collin and Christie.
Rachel & TK - This is the team that I'd like see win it all! And my reasoning is ridiculous. It's pretty much because I barely remember them in the episode. No drama? No donkey issues? This could be a good sign. Working well together...what a novelty.

Of course, there has only been one episode. Perceptions will definitely be changed as the weeks go on (heck, probably even next week)! I'm excited to see who wins...

...and so far do not plan on going hunting for spoilers again...

Nothing Lasts Forever by Sidney Sheldon

Nothing Lasts Forever by Sidney Sheldon
384 pages
Finished 10/30/07

The best thing the book had going for it was that it began at the end - Paige on trial, Kat dead, and Honey...sitting there. I like this format of books, and the anticipation is builds. How did Kat die? What really happened with Paige's euthanasia case?

Unfortunately, that is about all the book had going for it. Seriously. It was so random and far-fetched (the women all meet each other on their first day at the hospital and realize that none of them have a place to live, until one girl mentions she had looked at a 3 bedroom apartment that was way out of her price range, and hey! if they roomed together they could afford it. Really? Why would you even look at an apartment like that?) that I was practically groaning and rolling my eyes every 30 seconds.

And I thought I was annoyed with the ending of Lost and Found? This ending didn't even make sense. First of all, I saw it coming a mile away, and second of all..IT DIDN'T MAKE SENSE. I won't spoil it, but come on. It would have never happened that way.

I give it one and a half stars.

Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst

Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst
289 pages
Finished 10/27/07

I first heard of this book a few months ago - I was browsing some website (who knows which one!) and found a list of books that were the new phenomenon - books based on reality TV. Since I am a complete reality TV addict (ooh, just gave me an idea for another post!), I added this to my amazon wish list...and then did what I always do, which is skip over it when I'm ordering books.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I was browsing the website of Jen Lancaster (author of Bitter is the New Black and Bright Lights, Big Ass - she's hilarious) and I saw that she had posted that her favorite book of the year was Lost and Found. That moved the book to the top of my TBR pile.

The book is mainly about 4 teams that are competing in a reality TV show that is essentially like The Amazing Race. To be quite honest - I didn't really find any of the characters all that likable. I understand the part they were all supposed to play (the joking brothers, the already-famous team, the gays, etc), both in the novel and on the reality TV show, but come on - it's one thing to see it on TV, it's another for it to be put into novel form. I think it ended up translating to characters that I felt no empathy for. And don't get me started on the ending! Worst part of the book.

The funny thing is, I still ended up liking the book some. I think it was the reality TV that did me in, especially the behind the scenes bits. It had me thinking - is it really like this? Is that how they do it?

In the end, I gave the book three stars.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Almost Anniversary

On Sunday David and I will be celebrating our two year wedding anniversary! In some ways, it's hard to believe it's already been two years, and in other ways, I can't believe it's ONLY be two years. Time flies.

Anyway, because I am very vain and like looking at pictures of myself, here are some of my favorite wedding pics:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert

Ok, first let me just start out by saying how much I love the cover of this book. Yeah, yeah, you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover (I TOTALLY DO!!), but come on - this cover is gorgeous. I seriously want to lick it. I think it's beautiful. I'm practically in love with it.

Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
384 pages
Finished 10/25/07

Done gushing about the cover now.

I am a little embarrassed to admit this, but before reading the book, I wasn't even entirely sure lepers were real. Yeah, there, I said it. How did I not know? I have no idea. I had always just heard stories about them, or had seen them briefly mentioned it books, and it was always about how body parts were just randomly falling off. Clearly not very accurate. So, when I started reading this book, I really wasn't sure if this was based on a true place, or what. Of course, once I got done reading the book, I did a ton of research on Hansen's disease, because I'm nerdy like that.

So, back to the review, and I must say - I adored this book as much as I adore the cover. I absolutely loved it. I think it was beautifully written, well researched, and an overall very compelling story. I was very drawn in to the characters, and I loved how the book spanned Rachel's lifetime.

I am a champion crier, so it didn't surprise me (too much) that I cried a little in the book. One of the parts touched me so much I marked it with a piece of paper (literally the first time I have ever done that). It was the part where Rachel's father Henry was leaving her after his first visit to the Island, and as she hugs him, she cries and says, "I need you all the time!" It just sounds like something a child hurting would say - it makes me teary just thinking about it.

Seriously, I loved, LOVED this book. One of my all time favorites.

No surprise that I gave it five stars.

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

Hmm, I probably shouldn't take so long to write up reviews on books (or maybe I should not only not take so long to write reviews, but also read 4 more books in the mean time)...I'm already having some troubles remembering this book. Yikes!

Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
288 pages
Finished 10/21/07

This is another one of those books that I put on my wishlist ages ago (in 2005!) but kept skipping over for some reason (probably because it had been so long since I added it, I didn't remember what it was about). I just realized a couple of weeks ago that this book was the basis for the Showtime TV show Dexter. I don't know much about the show, except for the very basic premise (serial killer that kills other serial killers), but it looks interesting. Too bad we are too cheap for premiums (oh, how I'd love to know you Entourage, Weeds, and Dexter)...

Anyway, like I said, I am having a hard time really remembering a lot about the book. It was pretty fast paced, which was nice. It was a pretty quick read. I was a little annoyed by one thing in the book - Dexter would talk about how he doesn't have feelings for other people, but then would mention how the girlfriend's kids are getting to him, or how his adoptive father got to him - it was totally contradicting what he kept saying about himself. (Or maybe that was the point? He thinks of himself as so coolly detached when he really isn't?).

Overall, I liked the book, and will definitely consider reading the sequels. And possibly picking up the TV show DVD. :)

I give it three stars.


I have been feeling too lazy to review the last few books I've read, so while I keep putting that off, here is a pic of some of the 105 jell-o shots I made, all neatly labeled and ready for consumption!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lamb by Christopher Moore

Lamb by Christopher Moore
437 pages
Finished 10/20/07

I'm not going to lie, I was pretty iffy on reading this book. I first heard about it a few years ago (I think it had been on my wishlist since 2004). For some reason, I kept skipping over this book when I went to order books. I really think it was because of my complete lack of knowledge of the Bible and anything religious. I wasn't sure what I'd need to know (if anything) going into this book.

I finally picked it up because it seems to have a resurgence of popularity, and I am hearing about it constantly. I don't do this often, but this is actually one book that I didn't tear through. It actually took me about a week to read, which is a really long time for me when I am loving a book. And that's the thing - I was loving the book so much I didn't want it to end. I kept making myself put it down after a few chapters to extend the reading time. It was actually a pretty unnatural feeling for me.

Overall, I thought the book was great - the author's imagination and wit were outstanding. In regard to the Bible aspects, I liked that I wasn't completely lost when reading the book, although I imagine that some things were probably lost on me. That's to be expected though, and I don't feel like I missed out on the story.

Loved the book and the author, and will definitely check out more of his work.

I give it four and a half stars. (Because for some reason I can't bring myself to five it)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fun at Culver's

Yesterday David was kind enough to take me to Culver's because I was having a craving for one of their Concrete Mixers. David and I also decided to each order a salad, since they have awesome salads. The following was the drive-thru exchange:

David: Yeah, can I get 2 Garden Fresco salads with no peas?
Girl: That's a Garden Fresco salad with no cheese?
David: No, I said 'no Peas'
Girl: Ok, no cheese
David: No, both are with no Peas. We want cheese.
[Long pause]
David: Also, a concrete mixer made with chocolate ice cream and oreos.
Girl: Ok, so that's a Garden Fresco salad with blue cheese, and a concrete mixer
David [face turning red]: No blue cheese. No dressing. Both are without Peas!
[At this point, David and I are both realizing that she only has 1 salad in the order]
Girl: You want a salad with no cheese?
[Steam starts coming out of David's ears. I am laughing my ass off]
David: What comes on the salad?
Girl: Lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, cheese, Asian peas, and croutons.
David: No Asian peas on BOTH salads!
Girl: Ok, so that's 1 Garden Fresco salad with no Asian peas, and a concrete mixer. Please pull ahead.

David finally just said fuck it, and pulled ahead. He was too worked up to eat a salad. I could barely stop laughing. David is usually a mumbler, but for once he was enunciating very well. I know it was probably just the connection that made it hard, but good grief. Getting up to the window wasn't the best, either. We paid, and they gave us the salad (it was correct!). While we were waiting for my mixer, they came back to the window to try to make us pay again. We told them we already did, and they left to find the mixer. Then they had to come back to find out what kind of mixer it was.

I spent the ride home giggling, and I think David finally saw the humor in it eventually. At least we know now to say "Asian peas" instead of regular ol' peas.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar

Instead of starting with the book, I decided to start with the TV show. Gossip Girl (Wednesday nights on the CW) is officially my newest guilty pleasure. It has replaced The OC as the teen soap that I love (Ok, that's a lie. Nothing will ever replace The OC, but it has helped fill the void).

I first tuned into Gossip Girl because I heard it originated as a book. I like books (duh), so I decided to check it out. I wasn't entirely in love in the first episode, but I am now. I am so addicted, mostly because of the actors that play Serena and Dan (both far left in the pic). Looove them.

I decided to check out the book to see how they compare. I thought it would be cool, because it gave me a mental image of all of the characters.

Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar
201 pages
Finished 10/19/07

So, how does the book compare to the TV show? Well, I think I'd be more hooked on the books if I hadn't seen the TV show first. The show's first episode (or two, I can't remember), followed the book in many ways (Serena showing up at a party, Blair having no idea she was coming back, the Kiss on the Lips party, etc). However, there are some pretty different things between the two as well, including the fact that in the book, Serena's brother Eric is older and at college, versus the show, where he is younger and suffering from depression.

Other things didn't really match up, including the description of Dan in the book, plus spoilers I've read about the book's series (which, thankfully, the TV doesn't seem to be going in that direction...yet).

Overall, for a young adult book, I did think it was pretty interesting. I'll probably pick up the rest of the series eventually, just to see how the original author intended it to go. I have heard that von Ziegesar wrote around 8 or 9 books in the series, and the rest of them are now being ghost written. That should be interesting.

Distancing my complete adoration with the TV show from this book, I give it three stars.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I still don't totally understand the concept, but these things make me laugh. Especially this one - I was on a conference call yesterday when I saw this one, and I kept giggling. I pretty much giggle just thinking about this now. I think it's the "bwinker" that gets me.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Joe College by Tom Perrotta

Joe College by Tom Perrotta
306 pages
Finished 10/15/07

I really wanted to like this book - it seems like all of Perrotta's books get rave reviews. Unfortunately, I just wasn't feeling it too much. The main character was too out there - there were times when I really liked him and his honesty. There were a lot of times throughout the book when I thought "That is so a college boy." For the most party, I thought all of the other characters in the book were completely out there and unrealistic, from Cindy to Matt to Nick.

I was enjoying the book for the first half or so - while Danny was still at Yale. Unfortunately, the book got pretty ridiculous about half way through it, when Danny moved back home for spring break to help out with his dad's lunch truck (which, incidentally, what the hell is that? I've never heard of the thing. Is it an East Coast thing?).

I give it two stars.

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory

The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
514 pages
Finished 10/14/07

I go back and forth on this author - the first book that I read by her (The Other Boleyn Girl) I really liked, but most of her other stuff has been crap. Really.

That being said, overall I did end up liking this book. It's a compelling story, and the author has clearly done her research on the Tudors. Along the same lines, while it's clear she has done her research, I also enjoy how she puts her own spin on things - there is a reason this is called historicalfiction. She will probably never be considered a literary great, but she writes a compelling and interesting story.

I give it three stars.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Night Sins by Tami Hoag

Night Sins, by Tami Hoag
540 pages
Finished 10/10/07 (aka Brett Favre's birthday)

This book was actually a re-read. I had read this book right after it came out (around 1994 or so) and remembered liking it. There was only one part of the book that I remembered, so I spent the whole book waiting for it to happen...turns out the only thing I remember was what happened on the last 3 pages! Oh well. It was still a decent read - a little funny with it's pop culture references (Mariah Carey and her song "Hero" were mentioned a couple of times), and also pretty amusing was the lack of cell phones, etc. One thing I didn't realize - this book didn't have a solid ending. It basically ends so you have to buy the sequel (I think it's called Guilty As Sin). I guess I'll have to re-read that one, too.

I give it three stars.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Specials by Scott Westerfeld

This book is a Young Adult novel. It was supposed to be the 3rd book and final book in a trilogy, but it looks like the series is continuing...

Specials by Scott Westerfeld
372 pages
Finished 10/4/07

I wasn't so sure going into this book, as I had read the first two books in the supposed trilogy and had mixed feelings. I really liked the first book - I thought it was very interesting and original. The second book was way out there - the author created a ton of new terms and used them ALL THE TIME. I wasn't a huge fan of the second book.

Luckily, the author redeemed himself a bit in this book. The silly terms are still there, but they are not used as frequently. Like the other two novels, this book is extremely fast paste (is that the right paste? It looks funny, but I am having a huge brain fart). Don't be fooled by the 372 pages - the print is large and the book is small.

Overall, I liked the book. I thought it wrapped up a lot of storylines in a pretty decent manner.

I give it three and a half stars.

The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger

The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger
299 pages
Finished 10/3/07

I thought this would be a pretty interesting book - I had vaguely heard the story when the movie came out, although I don't remember ever watching the movie.

The Perfect Storm is a great name for the book, as the book revolved around the storm that took out the Andrea Gail. It gave a lot of good information about fishing, but overall I wasn't impressed by the book, especially where it concerns the Andrea Gail. The synopsis on the back of the book annoyed me, because I thought the book was going to be entirely about the Andrea Gail, but it instead seemed to be about the storm itself, past storms, and other accidents that happened during the storm.

My biggest issue is that no one actually knows what happened on the boat/to the boat - it was never found. The author did make it clear that what he was writing was just a guess based on other boaters and their experiences, but it was pretty annoying to constantly read "Presumably" and "Probably." The Andrea Gail story was basically assumptions about what the Captain and crew decided and did while the ship was going down. I don't consider that nonfiction.
I give it one and a half stars.

Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock

Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock
292 pages
Finished 10/2/07

It feels a little weird to be breaking out the five star rating so soon, but this book definitely deserved it. This was a book that I always walked by in the book stores because I had read another book by the author and wasn't impressed...I wasn't looking to try this one out. I finally decided to give it a whirl after seeing it again at the Half Price Bookstore.

The whole time reading it, I really felt for Carrie and her sister Emma. It was such a sad story. There were a couple of times that I got a little confused and had to go back and re-read the previous page(s). I can't give it the full review I'd like to, because it would spoil the book for those that haven't read it, but it's a book I can't get out of my head.

I loved the book - I am actually considering reading it again very soon.

Like I said, I give it five stars.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Banned Books

So, it's fairly obvious from all of my posts thus far that I am a reader, right? Well, I found this article online today. It is the top 100 books challenged from 1990-2000.

Here is the full article on it -

Their numbers on banned books are pretty interesting - at least 6,364 challenges to shelved books available in schools and libraries.

Here's the full list. I'm a little disappointed in myself - I've only read 26 of the 100! Makes me want to get crackin' though.

1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
2. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
8. Forever by Judy Blume
9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
15. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
19. Sex by Madonna
20. Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
30. The Goats by Brock Cole
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
32. Blubber by Judy Blume
33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
37. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
40. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
46. Deenie by Judy Blume
47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
55. Cujo by Stephen King
56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
61. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
62. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
65. Fade by Robert Cormier
66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
71. Native Son by Richard Wright
72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
74. Jack by A.M. Homes
75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
77. Carrie by Stephen King
78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
88. Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Velocity by Dean Koontz

Velocity by Dean Koontz
460 pages
Finished 10/1/07 (how is it October already?!)

I started reading this last night, and found myself getting really spooked out by it. The book was a really fast read - for a paperback, the print seemed pretty large and there was a lot of spacing (to make the book seem longer than it was?).
I won't lie, though, it was pretty obvious from the first chapter who was behind the notes. I liked it - finished it this morning so I wasn't so creeped out.
I give it three and a half stars.

Breakdown by Eileen McNamara

Breakdown by Eileen McNamara
344 pages
Finished 9/30/07

This is a true crime novel that I picked up at Half Priced Books for $1. I figured it would be a pretty interesting read - it is about a Harvard Medical School student that began going to a Harvard psychiatrist for treatment for depression. Five years later, he commits suicide, and his family blames the psychiatrist, who was extremely unorthodox in her treatment.

The summary of the book made it out to be more interesting than it really was. It was really drawn out with stories repeated throughout, possibly to make it a full length book. It seemed to end abruptly, too, much like my review will.
I give it two stars.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster

This book is a bit of a follow up to the author's first memoir, Bitter is the New Black.

Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster
382 pages
Finished 9/29/07

I don't really like to use the 5 star rating that often, because there aren't many books that I find "amazing." I was a little reluctant to use it for this book, because I don't want to imply that it's literary genius or anything - I just thought it was a really funny book that I was able to lose myself in for a few hours. I think this is the only book that I can actually say I laughed out loud reading...and I did it while I was reading in bed, and I had to stifle the laugh so David wouldn't hear me and think I am crazy (or, crazier).

The book is basically a collection of essays about her life. She adds in her two cents to everything and includes witty footnotes. This will never be called great literature, but it's amusing and really light-hearted. Jen Lancaster is someone that I could see being friends with - she's funny, smart, and likes to drink. :) The only downside is that she's a Republican. Can't win 'em all, huh?

I give it five stars.