Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Still not reading...but I am getting ready for baby!

Ok, that heading isn't entirely true (at least, in regard to reading). I did manage to finish one book last week - Before the Storm by Diane Chamberlain. Great premise (involved a boy with FAS), horrible execution. I only finished reading it because I paid full price for the book and I needed an escape from all of the yucky stuff that was happening. I have been re-reading a random Sandra Brown that I found in a box, but I've been going at it pretty slow because it's so freaking uncomfortable to sit for very long.

However, fun pregnancy things have been happening in the last week or so. David and I had all of our baby classes last week - Baby's First Weeks, Preparing for Childbirth, and Basics of Breastfeeding. Let me tell you - before the classes, I wasn't too scared of labor, but I was terrified of breastfeeding. Now my feelings are COMPLETELY reversed. Breastfeeding looked like a cake walk compared to all they made labor out to be. Yikes! Part way through watching the video of the unmedicated labor, I turned to David and said, "This baby is staying in me." I'm a wuss. :)

We are getting closer and closer to being ready for this baby, though. It's so exciting. We have a list of things to buy before he gets here, but otherwise we are ready! We have a ton of cloth diapers (yes, I still plan on doing that) and last night David and I decided to road trip it to an outlet mall about 45 minutes from our house to buy some baby clothes. Oh. So. Cute. I can see how people can spend SO much money on baby clothes. Currently the rest of the clothes that we bought are in the dryer. Once they are all washed and put away, I'll have to snap a picture and post it. Oddly enough, my favorite article of clothing for our baby so far has been all of the pajamas we've bought. Love baby jammies.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Grandma :(

My grandma passed away last Friday. I am so sad, but at least I know she's with Grandpa now.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Toothless Wonder and Chunky Monkey

Would you believe I haven't finished a book in almost a month? I have been in such a reading rut lately. I've started 3 or 4 books but just haven't been able to get through them. I haven't loved them, I can't fully concentrate on them, and worst of all, I can't really get comfortable while reading. It makes me sad, because I know once the baby comes (60 days!!) I really won't have time to read. Oh well.

I just had to make a post about my two current kids. See this picture of Gabby?
Don't her fangs look awesome? Well, now imagine this picture without her top left front fang. Yes, that's right, she lost her tooth. :( She had been having mouth issues for a couple of weeks (we even took her to the vet for it one day...I was a mess, thinking she had a tumor or something). They didn't find anything wrong, although later in the day David said he thought he saw her front fang tooth go sideways, leading us to believe she had a loose tooth. The vet did say she has pretty bad teeth, so we decided to switch her to an all wet food diet, which she of course LOVES. She has been devouring her wet food four times a day, and while we noticed she was still acting a little funny with her mouth, it didn't stop her appetite or her meowing.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, I guess - it was probably bothering her quite a bit) she ended up loosing her fang tooth on Friday. I was on my way home from my Grandmother's and David called to say he found it on the floor. Poor little girl. Luckily, she's still acting fine and eating normal (or, like a pig - she ate 5 times yesterday). I imagine it's a relief for her to finally have it out.

Of course, Gabby getting wet food means - Toby now gets wet food as well. When we are giving out food, Gabby gets a nice sized portion, while Toby gets what amounts to a taste of it. Unfortunately, Toby has suddenly developed a LOVE for wet food. He doesn't beg for it like Gabby does, but now he devours it - his portion, and then he moves over to help Gabby with hers. David kept swearing over the phone while I was gone that Toby, our little Monkey, had gotten fat, but I kept laughing it off, because I was gone for 3 days only.

Of course, then I walk in the door and realize - holy cow!! Toby is bigger!! Poor little guy is definitely getting rounder in the mid-section. We'll have to keep an eye on him now when they eat to make sure he's not eating all of her food. So now our little Monkey is now our Chunky Monkey. Silly kittens.

Currently they are curled up together next to me sleeping. Gabby's even snoring a little. An example of how cute these two can be:
Aren't they cute little bookends? Too bad they aren't always that sweet...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Book Updates

Well, I'm taking the lazy route again. I haven't updated on the last few books I've read, so I'm just going to lump them together.

'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
- I love me some Stephen King. This wasn't my favorite story of his, but it was exactly what I expected - typical Stephen King. Actually, there were a couple of things in this book that surprised me a bit (that I can't really mentioned without spoiling it). It was a "comfort" read for me. Three stars.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
- I'm pretty sure I saw this movie way back in the day, because some of the story seemed familiar, but I really didn't remember much of it. It was a good novel, but I had a hard time following it sometimes. I wasn't fully concentrating when I first started reading, and kept getting confused when it would jump times (past and present). Three stars.

The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory - I think this is the only book of Gregory's that I hadn't read yet. I was mainly pissed that the back of the book gave so much away - I literally spent the entire book waiting for Amy Dudley to die, since the back of the book says "When Amy is found dead, Elizabeth and Dudley are suddenly plunged into a struggle for survival." Yeah, this happens with about 20 pages left in the 400-some page book. Granted the book his historical fiction, so maybe I was supposed to know more about the story, but the back of the book is pretty deceiving, since the story really isn't about their struggle for survival, it's more about what led up to Amy's death. Anyway, besides that annoyance, the book was just too long and drawn out in general. Not my favorite of Gregory's by far. Three stars.

The Appeal by John Grisham - Ok, a small confession. Remember this post? Refer to number #6 and my books all being the same. Well, this time around, I broke tradition. All of my Grisham books are in paperback - I always wait for it in paperback so I can be consistent. However, I was browsing the clearance section of Half Price Books recently and found the hardcover of this book for only $1! This book was just released in hardcover earlier this year, and paperback probably won't be out for another few months. I'm assuming it was a mistake that the book was marked to a dollar, since it was in fabulous condition, so I had to snatch it up. Of course, a year from now I'll probably replace it with a the paperback version, but in the mean time, it was a sweet find.

Anyway, this book was typical Grisham. I felt like it was moving really slowly at times - it wasn't quite as action-packed as some of his other novels. I also felt like the twists and turns were a little more subtle than the usually are. Still, it was a decent read - more "comfort reading" for me. Three stars.

Hannah's Dream by Diane Hammond - I'm just going to come right out and say it - this book was a huge disappointment. I believe the cover says something along the lines of "If you liked Water for Elephants, you'll love Hannah's Dream." Of course, that should have been my first clue, since I didn't love Water for Elephants, but this was an even bigger disappointment. The characters felt too one-sided, like the author was trying to fit each one into a particular mold, and some of the characters were absolutely pointless and really contributed nothing to the story except to make it longer. Two stars.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cloth Diapers

Well, it's official - we are going somewhere I NEVER thought I'd go. David and I have decided to use cloth diapers for our little guy.

I'm not going to get into it a ton, but I have done SO much research (it can get really overwhelming after awhile) and it really seems like this is a great idea for us. We are excited about the cost savings, the positive impact that this will have on the environment, and most importantly - how freaking cute our little guy will look in them (ok, maybe that's not MOST important, but I still can't wait).

We've gone back and forth trying to figure out what first steps we want to take to get started. The cloth diapers that I tend to really like (All In Ones - they are a lot like disposables, which is in part why I find them desirable - the convenience factor is still there) can be pretty expensive. However, we were able to find some pocket AIO cloth diapers on ebay for a very reasonable amount, so I bought them last Thursday. They arrived Monday (positive feedback for that seller!!), and I can't believe how cute they are. Even though they are all the same - plain green - I can't stop touching them and imagining what our baby will look like wearing them.

The best thing about this is that David is completely on board with it as well. I was a little worried about how he'd feel, but he's been so positive and supportive. I think he was sold the minute I told him how much money we'd save. :)

This will be a bit of a trial for us - we've both agreed that if we absolutely hate it and it just isn't working for us, we'll go to disposables. We're keeping a completely open mind about it, which I think is helping us get so excited about it. Yay!

Oh yeah - and according to my handy little ticker on my desktop, only 86 more days until my EDD. Wow, time has flown by!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Baby's Room

I am so excited - we are done with all of the big stuff in the baby's room, and it is officially my favorite room in the house!

David painted the walls about two weeks ago (a color I originally thought I hated when he first started painting - now I LOVE it!), and we put the crib, dresser, and nightstand in that weekend. We finally got the chair in the room last week, and earlier this week we hung the wall decals that match the bedding. I am loving the room, I can't stop going in there to look around. :)

View of the room when you first look in. I love the wall decals. And how cute is Toby laying in the sun? This is the first time he has really gone in there by himself since the room was completed.

Same view, but now you can see the window with the decals around it (and the blue painters tape that David hasn't removed yet).
View from the corner by the crib. The basket of clothes will eventually be washed and put away, and David and I are going to buy a little man chair to set in the corner. In the mean time, we'll keep the basket of clothes where it is, Gabby likes to go in there to stretch and scratch. :)

(The kids apparently like being in as many shots as possible). The door and closet, with a few decals above them. David got a little sick of the decals, otherwise I would've went crazy and put more above the dresser.
And, ta-da! A close up of the crib. Love the bedding, and we have the cutest stuffed animals for our little guy. A Bedtime Bear Carebear (every child needs one of these), a stuffed Hippo from Uncle Bob and Aunt Nikki, and 3 toys that David and I bought. The little green guy says "Blah!" every time you squeeze his stomach. It's hilarious, although I'm not sure how a kid would feel about it. Cookie Monster and Elmo are awesome. You shake them (or just open their mouth) and they say the most hilarious things. David and I can't go near them without giggling. I'm pretty sure Cookie Monster will have to have his batteries replaced before the baby even gets here.

So, that's our little guy's room. There is still SO much more that we need to get, but we are loving what we have done right now. Best room in the house, by FAR!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Blood Memory by Greg Iles

Blood Memory by Greg Iles
800 pages
Finished 8/25/08

Iles writes pretty good mystery/suspense novels - he's an author that I've added to my mental list of authors I tend to like, so I look for his books more when I go to the book store.

I feel like it would take a novel just to give a synopsis of what this book is about (mainly due to the twists and turns), but this book is about a forensic expert named Cat that has had an incredibly messed-up life, beginning when she was 8 years old and her father was murdered. She is an alcoholic and has a married lover, and after having some black-outs at the scene of the crime of multiple homicides that are the work of a serial killer, returns to her hometown to escape. Of course, once there she only finds more mystery, and the story then follows both the mystery of her father and her childhood, along with the serial killings that are going on.

The story itself is pretty interesting (heck, I think I just made it sound a little more interesting than it was!). Unfortunately, the main character is one of the least sympathetic characters I've read in awhile. It just seemed like she had little redeeming qualities, and if I had a nickel for every time she blacked out or almost blacked out, I'd have...a handful of nickels. :)

The plot did wrap up nicely after a zillion different twists and turns, and it wasn't the most predictable read, so that was nice.

Three stars.

Woman in Red by Eileen Goudge

Woman in Red by Eileen Goudge
352 pages
Finished 8/20/08

You know it's a bad sign when you can barely remember a book you finished a week ago, but unfortunately that is the case with this book. Granted, I've completed one other book, and am half way finished with another in that time, but still.

This book is a fiction novel about a woman released from prison after a nine year stint for attempted murder (she tried to run down the man who killed her son) who comes back to her hometown, an extremely small island. She tried to get re-acclimated with the world and her family. At the same time, a man comes back to the island after the death of his grandfather, and the two connect. The story follows what they go through, and it also follows a back story of their grandparents during WWII. (And yes, I just had to look at the back of the book to get this refresher on what it was about)

Overall, the story was a little weak, but I did remember what exactly I hated the most about this book. Apparently it had little to no proofreading done, because there were typos galore throughout the thing, and it drove me nuts. I noticed two within the first 35 pages or so, and that was enough to make me almost quit right there (missing quotation marks was the biggest offender, along with missing capitalization and some spaces issues).

It was a very fast read though, and not as entirely horrible as I've made it sound. I think the typos and the fact that I can't remember much about the book has made the review a little more negative than it would have been if I would have written it last week.

Two and a half stars.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
447 pages
Finished 8/19/08

The Devil in the White City is a true story about the World's Fair that happened in 1893, and tells two stories - the bringing of the World's Fair to Chicago and the building of it, along with the story of a serial killer operating in Chicago at the time.

Unfortunately, I found that the story revolving around the main architect and the building of the fair so incredibly boring. I had to fight my way through it, and only kept reading to get to the parts that mentioned the serial killer. Until the fair was actually built and running, the story was so dense and uninteresting. The story of the serial killer, on the other hand, was extremely interesting. I would have preferred to read a book about the killer than the combined book that I read - it felt like two completely different stories that didn't totally intertwine as well as it should have.

Two stars.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
496 pages
Finished 8/14/08

Those Who Save Us tells two stories - one set in modern day Minnesota, and focusing on Trudy, German native who was brought out of Germany by her mother at the end of WWII when her mother married an American soldier, and the other set in WWII that focuses on Trudy's mother Anna and the decisions she made in the war to support her infant/toddler daughter. In Trudy's storyline, she is working on putting together a history of WWII survivors (mainly German) by interviewing them.

While Anna's story was a pretty compelling one, I found Trudy's to be a little boring and forced. I'm not sure if Trudy was supposed to be a sympathetic character or not - I wavered back and forth while reading it. To be quite honest, I found her more pathetic than anything. It seemed there was a lot that went unexplained in her history that perhaps could have made her a stronger/more likeable character, but it was never really delved into enough to make me care too much about her.

Overall, I found the book very enjoyable until the last 40 or so pages. Then I found that the book made a predictable turn that I was praying it wouldn't make, and it ended up making me feel really let down. Would you believe I was let down because the book gave some closure? I really felt that this was one book where a "happy ending" wasn't necessary, and I was disappointed to find the author went that route anyway.

Still, Three stars.

No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
309 pages
Finished 8/11/08

I picked this book up for a couple of reasons - one, I LOVED The Road by the same author, and two, I vaguely remembered that this had come out as a movie last year, and I thought I remembered that it got great reviews.

I'll start by saying what I didn't like about this book, and that is the author's writing style. While I found McCarthy's quirky style very fitting for The Road, it just seemed too off in this book. I wasn't able to get past that while reading, and so I don't think I was able to fully get into the book as much as I'd have liked to.

That said, it's still an awesome story, no doubt about it. The coolest part when reading the book, though, was realizing when I got to one scene..."Holy cow, I remember seeing this scene in a preview for the movie!" I was then able to place the book to the movie and realized that not only did it get great reviews, but it also one an Academy Award or two (I'm pretty sure it won for Best Actor).

I did some research after reading the book and found that the movie follows the book VERY closely, at times even word for word. That actually sounds great - the book/storyline/characters were overall very good, and I can't wait to see how it translates on screen. This is a movie I actually can't wait to see (which is good, considering how much I hate watching movies).

Overall, I give the book Three stars.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

768 pages
Finished 8/4/08

I've been putting off writing this review for awhile, mainly because I'm still not sure how I feel about the book. This book is the fourth and final installment in the series (following Twilight, New Moon, and Eclipse). As you can see, I had varying degrees of liking the first three books, and this book was no different.

I didn't like the beginning of Breaking Dawn. It tried too hard to be cheesy and romantic, and I just wasn't feeling the G-rated loving that was going on. Yes, I know, this book is written by someone who is highly religious, and the book is for teens, but still.

The problem with this book is that it takes an unexpected twist in the beginning, and the book isn't the same again. By unexpected, I mean...illogical. I saw the twist coming right away (the author tries a little too hard with the foreshadowing), but the twist doesn't make sense. (Wow, it's hard to write this review without giving away a major part of the plot!)

The book gets better as it goes, and I was pleased with the ending (although I know some people definitely are not!).

Overall, I would say three stars. The author wrapped up Bella's story nicely, but also left it open to continue on if the money and demand is there. :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter

Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter
608 pages
Finished August 1, 2008

This book is the sixth book in a series about Georgia pediatrician and medical examiner name Sara and the police chief, Jeffrey. The books can probably be read separately, but I really recommend reading them in order. They are decent mystery/thriller books, although for the strong characters (Sara), the books do have their share of weak characters (Lena, another police officer).

This book centers around Lena and something that happens to her while she is visiting her home town. Sara and Jeffrey rush to her rescue, and have a mystery to unravel.

I will say - I knew a MAJOR spoiler of the book before I read it, and I was still excited to read the book. The ending was fairly shocking, but well worth it.

I definitely recommend checking out the series (starting with Blindsighted).

Three stars.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Fortunate Son by Walter Mosley

Fortunate Son by Walter Mosley
313 pages
Finished 7/27/08

This book is one of the reasons I LOVE Half Price Books. I got the hardcover of this book for only $1, and it was well worth it!

The story revolves around to boys raised as brothers until they were six years old - one black, sickly, and unlucky, and one white, rich, with a golden touch. After the boys are separated, their lives take drastically different turns, and we follow them through their late teens until they are able to meet back up again.

Overall, I loved the book. It was a really fast read, and I had to make myself put it down the night I started reading, otherwise I would have been up until midnight finishing it. There were a couple of things that bothered me a bit about the characters (I think the author went out of his way to make one boy so unlucky & hapless while making the other boy seemed like he could do no wrong in the eyes of everyone around him), but overall it was a really touching story.

Three stars.

Pink Ice by Susanna Carr

Pink Ice by Susanna Carr
304 pages
Finished 7/20/08

Boy, am I glad I only paid 75 cents for this book at a local thrift shop! The book has four short stories that center around 3 sisters and pink diamonds that they bought. Apparently there is supposed to be some mystery/suspense in the story, but it is seriously lacking. The sisters are apparently all gorgeous and well educated, but don't have a man until they have the FABULOUS pink earrings.

It could have been not so eye-rolling if the author stretched out the stories a bit, but she tried to jam them in so quickly that you were left wondering what exactly the men saw in the sisters that made them fall in love so quickly and wrap up each storyline.

Two stars.

Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger

Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger
384 pages
Finished 7/20/08

I bought this book at one of my Goodwill excursions because I had read The Devil Wears Prada and didn't completely hate it (good reasoning, huh?). I'm not usually a big fan of this type of chick lit because they all seem to follow the same format (girls gets fabulous new job, finds true love, loses true love, loses job, finds herself, gets true love back) and there is no imagination in most of the these books.

That said, I didn't completely hate this book. I was actually pretty amused by it, although probably not for the right reasons. I typically get annoyed with books that name drop celebrities, and I think this book showed why my annoyance is so justified. The main character works with famous people, so she puts together a fabulous party, where Ja Rule is in attendance (a name I haven't heard in years), Ashanti is the surprise guest (yay! three years ago...), and Hef is there with his 6 or 8 girlfriends.

It was a quick, mindless fluff read. Moderately amusing. Ooh, and VERY predictable.

Two and a half stars.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Deception Point by Dan Brown

Deception Point by Dan Brown
752 pages
Finished 7/18/08

Oh, Dan Brown and your simple novels that seem so smart. The only other Dan Brown book I've finished is the much-hyped The Da Vinci Code. I really liked that book the first time I read it, and the second time...not quite as much.

Deception Point would probably have the same affect on me. I didn't really like the book, but I liked it enough. It was interesting and well-researched (either that, or the author is such a good bullshitter that I can't tell the difference. Either way!). It's a very easy read, and even though it is mammoth (752 pages!) I was able to get through it pretty quickly.

My biggest complaint is that the book read a bit like a movie. It was a bit like the author was thinking "Ok, what can I do now to include another action sequence? I know, snipers on an iceberg!" Combine that with a love story that doesn't totally make sense (I have no idea what is actually attracting the two main characters to each other) and you have all of the fixens for a Dan Brown blockbuster movie!

Three stars. But don't make me re-read it, or they will probably drop!

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseni

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseni

384 pages
Finished 7/11/08

I can't even begin to tell you how long I waited to read this book. Actually, you can probably guess - ever since it came out! I have this weird book quirk that generally has me buying only like books. I bought The Kite Runner in paperback, so I have been waiting what seems like forever for ATSS to come out in paperback. However, like The Da Vinci Code before it, it seems the publishers have decided to milk it in hardcover for as long as possible. Grr. I finally broke down earlier this month and bought it.

Overall - I loved it. It was a great story, heartbreaking and eye-opening all at once. Scary to think that all of that really HAS happened in modern day Afghanistan. At times I was reading it and thinking "How could they do that? Women would never stand for it!" But unfortunately, there was just nothing they could do. So sad.

My only complaint about the book is that I actually felt it was too easily written. It was an extremely fast read, even for me, something that The Kite Runner wasn't. It felt a little like ATSS was missing some depth that could have been there. It's a little hard for me to articulate what exactly I thought was missing - blah, me, at a loss for words?

Overall, though, the book was worth the wait, and yes, even worth purchasing in hardcover.

Four stars.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Shh...the baby is sleeping...

I think I've mentioned before that Toby is just about the neediest cat ever. A typical Saturday involves either David or me sitting on the couch with him, because otherwise he walks around the house meowing/screaming. Constantly.

Today we don't have a ton going on - David is going to work in the basement for awhile in the morning, and then we're going to go on a book hunting extravaganza (he's taking me to some thrift shops/used bookstores - yay!). Before David went down to the basement, he asked me to please not take a shower until he was done down there for the morning. I figured he was going to be doing something that involved him turning the water off. Uh, no, he just wanted to make sure that I could keep Toby occupied so he didn't sit at the top of the stairs and meow for David.

I came up to the office to do some nerdy things (fine, I'm updating my book spreadsheet with the newest Baby-sitters Club books I've bought), and that just wasn't acceptable for Toby. He spent literally a half hour walking around the house meowing (mainly standing in the living room, almost like he was beckoning us to the couch). I kept calling for him, David came up at least once to try to get him to be quiet. And yet he continued.

Finally, I think he exhausted himself, because he came into the office, curled up on one of the cardboard boxes littering the room, and finally has fallen asleep. Yay!!

Of course, now the issue is that I don't want to leave the office to take a shower, because that means I will wake the beast, and the vicious cycle of him standing around meowing will start again...

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Dark River by John Twelve Hawks

The Dark River by John Twelve Hawks
432 pages
Finished July 9, 2008

The Dark River
is a sequel to The Traveler. These books are part of a trilogy. The first book, The Traveler, was beyond fabulous. I think the books can be considered dystopian - people aren't living in poverty, but the world is constantly being watched by Big Brother. Everywhere you go, you are on The Grid.

The Traveler follows a Harlequin, Maya, who is out to avenge the death of her father. Before doing so, she must first protect Gabriel, a man who has essentially lived off of the Grid with his brother since they were children. A Traveler is a person who can leave their body in spirit and travel to other realms.

I was so anticipating this second book in the trilogy - the first book was fabulously written, intense, and very imaginative. Unfortunately, I felt like most of the second book (the first quarter, for sure) moved very slowly. I was anticipating a fast moving novel, but it seemed a little lacking at first (with an exception or two).

Luckily, the book picked up, and the ending...WOW. Let's just say I can't WAIT until the final novel in the trilogy comes out (whenever that may be). The end definitely made up for what the first part of the book was lacking, and it definitely made me (as the reader) incredibly anxious for the last installment.

I would definitely recommend checking out this trilogy - I probably didn't do the book justice trying to describe it. :)

Also, one other note - after I read the second book, I started to look up information on the author, and it seems his (or her) identity is a secret. Allegedly even his editor has never met him. The author contacts his editor via a satellite phone, which is not traceable, and also uses a voice scrambler so the voice can't even be recognized. The author also claims to live "off the grid." Crazy - it makes the story even more interesting to me!

Four stars for The Dark River.

Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy

Light a Penny Candle by Maeve Binchy

608 pages
Finished June 29, 2008

I love Binchy's books. They are all about the same (set in Ireland, lots of characters, lots of conflicts, and usually a woman with an unfaithful lover), but that's what I like about them. All of her books read the same, so it's like visiting a comforting friend when I read her books.

Penny isn't her best book, but it still sticks with the same formula, and I really liked it. It did end/wrap up abruptly, but after 600 pages, it was probably time to end it anyway.

Three stars.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Oh. My. Gosh.

David and I have been trying to remember to take weekly shots of me so we can see the ever changing stomach I have going on. When David got home from work today, one of the first things he said was, "Holy cow, you actually look pregnant." Lately I've been wavering between occasionally looking pregnant and usually looking just down right tubby.

Since today is the day we try to take pictures, I ran for the camera. Um, wow. I realized that I was wearing the same outfit I wore the last time (ahem, ONLY time) I posted a belly shot on my blog. Just to refresh your memory, here is what I looked like at 10 weeks, 6 Days:

Cute, and not at all scary, right?

Now, here is what I look like exactly 7 weeks later at 17 weeks, 6 days:

It's like a freaking different person! I think that part of it is bloat today, but there is definite baby involved these days. I am a stomach sleeper, and it is already getting really uncomfortable to do - I feel this hardness when I lay on my stomach, and it just gets in the way. And to think, I still have 22 weeks to go!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner

Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner
400 pages
Finished June 22, 2008

I have always been a Jennifer Weiner fan, ever since I read her first book, Good in Bed (which is also the prequel to this book). I LOVED Good in Bed, it is by far my favorite book by Weiner (the 12 year old in me is giggling).

I thought this book started out slow. It follows the main character from Good in Bed, Cannie, 12 years later. The beginning of the book wasn't very good - I was annoyed by the main characters (it seems like the author was trying too hard to make them funny/witty), and I was bothered by the lack of communication between Cannie and her daughter. Ha! Of course, I'm not the mother of the a thirteen year old girl, so what do I know? :)

Anyway, the book was an extremely fast read (I finished it in a day), and it definitely got better in the end. I actually was impressed with the end - I liked that Weiner took it where she did, although I will say that it I totally saw it coming within the first chapter of the book (because I'm that good...or I read WAY too much).

Overall, it was decent, but not nearly as good as Good in Bed.

Three and a half stars.

After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell

After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell
384 pages
Finished June 22, 2008

This book had been on my wishlist for quite awhile. I always passed it up for one reason or another - the book looked good, but there was always some book that looked better. I found this at Half Price Books last week and picked it up - and I even started reading it right away, while I was sitting in the truck while David shopped at Menards.

The book was fair. I was annoyed by constant changing in the book within chapters. Within every chapter, time changed constantly - at one point we'd be seeing what was going on real time, a few paragraphs later we'd be years back to when the main character was a little girl, then it would jump to the main character in her twenties, and then back to real time. Not only was that not constant, but the narrative also changed from first to third person within the chapters. So annoying.

I may have been able to get past those things if the book was great, but it wasn't even good. The characters were not developed very well (especially the main character's mother - I wasn't sure where most of her actions came from). It was such a disappointment!

Two stars.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dirty Rotten Blogger

Yes, that's me. I've been horrible about keeping up lately, I know. The good news is that things should be slowing down now (I'm back from FL and my brother's wedding, which was awesome - will post some pictures).

I'm not going to do a full review of the books I've read, but I do want to say that I have read some really good books lately. They include:
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle
Five Fortunes by Beth Gutcheon

Unfortunately, with the good, there is always some bad (or, some not-so-great). Luckily I only had a couple of those:
Lost & Found by Jacqueline Sheehan (and can I just say - what a disappointment! I thought this one would be so good)
The Vision by Dean Koontz (a typical comfort read that didn't turn out so well)

I've also temporarily set aside a book that I know is extremely popular and has gotten rave reviews - I just haven't been able to get into it. That book is Peony in Love by Lisa See. I'll pick it up again eventually.

Meanwhile, yesterday I went to Half Price Books and got five books that I can't wait to read (all for about $20 - and this includes 2 hardcovers, including the new Jennifer Weiner - Certain Girls). Yay!

In my life, things are going great. Baby seems to be doing fine. I have my 16 week appointment this Thursday (when I'll actually be 17 weeks - oh well), and then coming up on July 15th, we find out the sex! So exciting! Hopefully soon I will be able to update more on Baby Hipolito. I haven't been updating because there hasn't been much to say - I still feel fabulous, I'm starting to show a snitch (ie, I look fat, especially at night), and we are seriously slacking in the buying for baby department. On my list of things to do today is to search online for some potential cribs, all while checking with Baby Bargains to see how they rate (Simplicity got an F? Those cribs are everywhere!).

I promise I'll try to update a little more regularily now. Hopefully I can keep up on that - since I seem to have been promising that a lot lately. :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Anonymous Tip by Michael Farris

Anonymous Tip by Michael Farris
470 pages
Finished 5/23/08

I found this book on a fabulous shopping trip to Savers - I ended up getting a total of 7 books (3 of them Baby-Sitters Club) for under $6! Who knew Savers was so cheap? Anyway, I just skimmed the back of the book, and it sounded really interesting - a bitter ex-husband calls in a (very false) anonymous tip to an abuse hotline that his ex-wife is abusing his daughter. It results in some extremely over-zealous child protective agents filing false reports of abuse against the mother, and the book follows what happens after that.

The thing that I really liked about the book is that it moved really quickly - I was surprised at how fast some things happened, which was nice. It really helped to move the story along. However, it was also very predictable, right down to the ending, which really had me rolling my eyes.

The thing that really drove me nuts, though, is that I discovered a little way into the book that I had bought yet another Christian legal thriller. Turns out it said it was on the back of the book, and I just hadn't read it. I really need to start paying better attention - I had a hard time with a lot of the book, including one of the main characters because of the Christian factor. It was entirely too preachy, even for a book, for me.

Two stars.

Keri Arthur Novels

Last month I updated on two of four books in a Vampire/Werewolf series by Keri Arthur. On 5/13/08, I finished the third novel, Tempting Evil, and on 5/16/08 I finished the fourth, Dangerous Games. I'm not going to lie - the books got progressively worse and worse. In some cases, it just seemed like she was throwing in random characters to keep the storyline moving (or to give the book an actual storyline).

The worse thing, though, was that everything was not wrapped up at the end of the four-part series (as it was originally billed). Turns out there are at least two more books out there now, which annoys me because I just it all to be done. I probably wouldn't have read all four books if I had realized that there were actually more. Bitches.

I won't be reading the rest of the books. I gave the last two books two stars.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Bay-Bay

I haven't put this on the blog yet, but I'm excited to announce that David and I are having a baby! Yay! As of today, I am 11 weeks along and my estimated due date is December 4th. We are pretty excited, although since it is so early, it still doesn't really seem real. We already had one doctor's appointment (when I was 7 weeks, 5 days) where we got to see the little guy and see his little heartbeat. I have another appointment on the 27th - hopefully then I'll get to hear the heartbeat! Plus, the doctor told me he'd get me better baby shots then. Can't wait!

So, to answer a few of the many baby questions that come:

1. Yes, we are sure we aren't having twins. Like I said, we already got to see the little guy, and he was the only one in there.
2. Yes, we will find out the baby's sex - on July 15th.
3. Yes, we have names picked out. No, we will not tell you them. You will find out when the baby is born. Until then, you may refer to the baby as "Hipolito"

David and I have been (trying) to remember to take shots of me to track the progress of my big stomach. Here is me as of last night. The little bump on my stomach is not baby, nor is it really bloat. It's more just the chunk I like to carry along to keep me warm. However, I am pretending it's babe, because it makes me feel better. :)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster

Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster
finished 5/11/08
400 pages

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Jen Lancaster is definitely a girl you want to go have drinks with. In her newest memoir, she tackles her weight, and then publishes for the world to see. I found with this book, that while I love Jen and the person that she is (or should I say "character"?), this book definitely wasn't as good as the first two. I'm not sure why - in some parts it just felt a little forced, like she was trying too hard to be witty (which really wasn't necessary, since she's pretty darn funny in her own right).

There were a few parts that I had to read out loud to David - a part where she talks about how she can't be held responsible for her actions when she is tired or hungry, a part where she discusses The Real World/Road Rules Challenges, and a sentence where she mentions looking at a website for hours that has pictures of cats with funny sayings (!!). David immediately asked if I was sure I didn't write the book.

Still a good book (light-hearted and amusing) and she definitely makes some good points about losing weight (basically all that I tend to agree with). Definitely a funny read, but I would recommend checking out her other two books first.

Still, three and a half stars.

Six Book Updates

I know I typically put books into their own separate posts, but I'm so far behind and I just don't have the energy to type up six different reviews on books. Sorry. The good news is that I will give one recently read book it's own post. The bad news is, as mentioned, six are combined in this post. Here's a shortened version, and hopefully I'll be back on track.

Insomnia by Stephen King (finished 4/26/08) - Meh. Unfortunately, there is not much to say other than it is a typically Stephen King book. Quirky characters and out there ideas. Because not much can diminish my SK love, I still give it three stars. It started off slow, but got better in the last half of the book.

Full Moon Rising by Keri Arthur (finished 4/27/08) - A pretty fast read about a women who is half werewolf, half vampire. The book is also supposed to be erotic and sexy, but it was definitely lacking in that department. Still, the book is the first in a series of four, and it definitely leaves more questions than answers (meaning that I now feel compelled to finish the series. I am currently on book three). Three stars.

L.A. Connections by Jackie Collins
(finished 4/29/08) - A HPB dollar bin find that lived up to it's expectations - very fluffy and trashy, and quite the fast read. (I think the book was originally published as four separate stories). I will say I was curiously unsatisfied with the ending, because it didn't end the way most books of this type do (and usually, I like books that go against the grain. Oh well). I still gave it three stars, although I really don't remember why.

The Ugly Duckling by Iris Johansen
(finished 4/30/08) - How sad is it that I barely remember this book, and I finished it what? two weeks ago? I do know that the whole time I was reading it, I had a sense of deja vu - I'd either read the book a long time ago and couldn't remember the details, or it was so generic it felt like a book I've already read. Either way, it was just an ok read. Three stars.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
(finished 5/9/08) - Yay! Finally, a really good book. I loved it. I found this book in a box of books my mom gave me and decided to check it out because the name was familiar, and it wasn't a book I'd typically read (as you can tell by the 4 books mentioned above, I have been in a bit of a book rut). I ended up loving it, it was really good. Set in Australia from 1915-1970 (or therebout, I don't remember the exact date), the story follows on family. It was a really good book - a little long-winded in places, but still a great story. I'm really glad I picked it up, I feel like it got me reading again (there's something else that got me out of my rut, I'll follow up more below). Anyway, I give this book four and a half stars.

Kissing Sin by Keri Arthur (finished 5/11/08) - The second book in the Riley Jenson series (mentioned above). Not quite as good as the first in storyline, although a little bit better in the erotic parts. Still has me hooked, and like I said, I'm currently reading the third book. I give this one three stars.

Whew. I just have one more book to update, and then I will finally be back on track. Yay! One thing I realized over the weekend - one, that I miss reading really good books, and two, that there is nothing like being able to share your love of books with a good friend. I met my best friend from middle school/high school for a bagel Saturday morning, and it was so nice to be able to talk about great books that we've read lately (and some all time favorites). The whole conversation made me want to read a ton (in fact, I went to HPB that night and picked up a bunch)! Of course, while I still miss reading quality novels, I have still somehow dedicated myself to finishing a series on a vampire/werewolf.

I guess you can take the girl out of the trailer, but not the trailer out of the girl. :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bad Me!

I know I've been really bad about updating lately, but I'm planning on doing some new updates this weekends. The updates should include some books I've read (I finally started reading again near the end of the month), plus an update on life in general...

In the mean time, here are two pictures of the cutest kittens ever.

Toby chillin' on the couch

Gabby hanging out in the hall (probably pulling out her hair)

Friday, April 25, 2008

How bad am I?

Since my last post, I've completed all of two books - Belly Laughs and Baby Laughs, both by Jenny McCarthy. They were both very fast reads, and they were both fair. Amusing, funny, and a little crass (of course, I like crass), but still not quite as good as I was expecting from the reviews I've read.

Otherwise, I have not finished any other books. I've been working on Insomnia by Stephen King, but for whatever reason, I just haven't been into reading lately. I'm hoping my purchases last night will help pick me up - I bought a bunch of books at HPB, including Tuck Everlasting (which I remember reading as a kid and really liking) and the second book in the Bartimaeus Trilogy, The Golem's Eye. So, now all I have to do is finish that Stephen King book, and hopefully I'll be back on a roll!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Many DNFs

Whew. I finally finished updating the last four books I read. I knew I was slacking, but I hadn't realized that I had that many to catch up on. Of course, it didn't help that I was on a reading tear and read them all within a few days.

In the past month or so, I have also given up on quite a few books. I know I'm missing a couple, but a few I've recently quit are:

Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot - This was seriously one of the worst books ever. I don't always love chick lit, but I didn't expect to hate this book like I did. It was so freaking repetitive - I can't even tell you how many times the main character repeated "Size 12 is not fat!!" (really? Is that the title of the book or something?)
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin - I loved the only other book by him that I read, so I thought I'd try this. Not so much.
I Loved You All by Paula Sharp - I've wanted to read this for a long time. I actually ordered it from a couple of years ago, but then it was out of stock and I cancelled the order. I found this book in the dollar bin at HPB, and was so excited. I think I made it 5 pages into the book - for some reason, I just could not get into it. I'll probably try reading this some other time, when I'm in a different frame of mind.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - A children's classic that I never got around to reading as a kid (because I thought it looked boring). Turns out I was right. It started out good, but I completely lost interest about a third of the way through it.

I think there are a couple of more, but those are the only ones I have handy. I was going to start Anna Karenina today, but I'm not quite sure I'm ready for it, so I'm going for an old stand-by...yes, ANOTHER Stephen King book.

The Trial by Robert Whitlow

The Trial by Robert Whitlow
464 pages
Finished 4/3/08

This book ended up being a huge disappointment for me. It's about a trial lawyer whose wife and sons had died in a car accident years ago. In the beginning of the book, he's considering ending his life when he gets a call from a judge, asking him to represent a man accused of killing a local heiress of a powerful man in town.

I had quite a few problems with the book, one of them being (and I'll admit this isn't a huge thing) that the book is called The Trial. The trial only takes place in a few chapters of the book - it's covered pretty quickly. There is a lot leading up to the trial, and more following the trial.

My biggest gripe has to do with religion. I don't mind reading Christian novels (I've read most of the Left Behind series), but no where on the book did it mention that it was a Christian novel. When the main characters started quoting scriptures (including the lawyer to his client!), I started rolling my eyes. Almost every single main character in the book had a deep faith and were constantly expressing it, and those that didn't have a strong faith in the beginning did by the end. Really? I didn't read the book to be preached to, I wanted to read it for the "court room drama." I was really disappointed in the book, and the fact that it was not promoted or explained on the jacket as it should have been. I probably wouldn't have bought it if I had known.

Two stars.

Anthem by Ayn Rand

Anthem by Ayn Rand
272 pages
Finished 3/31/08

I had no idea how short this book was when I first picked it up. I didn't realize that the copy that I bought included the short story, as well as (to quote "a facsimile of the British version, which bears Rand's handwritten alterations for its American debut."

I'm a pretty big fan of dystopic novels, and this was no exception. The main character is named Equality 7-2521. He lives in a world where there are no individuals (the word "I" is not in their vocabulary - everything is plural "We"), there is no electricity, and you are assigned your job and housing after some schooling.

It was a fast, thought-provoking read. I really liked it. I also really liked seeing Rand's original version, and the edits made to it for distribution in America. It was pretty cool (although a little hard to read at times).

Three stars.

Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz

Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
496 pages
Finished 3/31/08

On the day Jimmy Tock is born, his grandfather predicts that he will have five dates in his life that will contain terrible events. His grandfather even predicts the dates of the said events. After detailing the incidents surrounding Jimmy's birth and his grandfather's predictions, the book basically follows these five days (all falling between ages 20 and 30).

To be honest, I thought the book started out really good. The circumstances around his birth, along with other things that happened at the hospital, made me really get into the book. Unfortunately, the book pretty much fell off there. I think the main characters (including Jimmy, his parents, his grandmother, and wife) were supposed to come off as quirky and funny, but they just came off to me ridiculous and annoying.

The five events were present in a weird manner as well. The first two were incredibly drawn out. There was a car chase that seemed like it was 23 chapters - I had to start scanning because it wouldn't end. It seemed like the last 3 were thrown in there in the last few chapters. It seemed really disproportionate.

It was too bad the book went downhill, because it had started out so good.

Two stars.

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi
689 pages
Finished 3/30/08

I've always wanted to read about this book - I've heard so much about it. I discovered it at Goodwill one day a month or two ago and bought it. Of course, I didn't take a look at the book until I picked it up late last month to read it...and discovered that my book starts on page 11. So annoying. Why don't I check these things out ahead of time? Luckily, that was all that was missing, and it was pretty easy to pick up on the book there.

Helter Skelter is the story of Charles Manson and the Sharon Tate murder. The book is authored by the prosecutor in the book. I think he does a really good job of telling to story - the book is long, and it took awhile to get through, but there is so much detail needed that I couldn't imagine the story being any shorter. It was very interesting, in-depth, and chilling.

Four stars.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

One Reason

Just one reason why David is pretty much the best husband ever:

Saturday morning I woke up around 3:30 am and couldn't fall back to sleep. I had Toby laying between my legs and Gabby laying in my arm, and was so hot and uncomfortable. I spent the next two hours tossing and turning - I got Gabby to leave the bed a couple times, but she's like a boomerang - she just keeps coming back. By 5:3o am, I was still awake and very whiny. When Gabby jumped up for the millionth time, I finally said something to David about how I couldn't fall asleep and I had no room because the cats were hogging the bed. He's so cute he offered to move to the couch in the bedroom to sleep to give me (and the cats) the bed. I felt a little bad for taking him up on the offer, but I was so tired that I was pretty desperate to get some sleep. I had considered moving to the couch myself, but the reality is that if I would have moved to the couch, the cats would have moved with me (especially Gabby).

So, David is so sweet that he got out of bed Saturday morning to go sleep on the couch. Aw.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud
462 pages
Finished 3/19/08

I like to judge books by their covers - so I picked this one up based on it's cover only. I had never heard of the book (and certainly hadn't heard of the Bartimaeus Trilogy, which is the first book of).

It's very easy to see how this book is compared to Harry Potter. This book follows the story of a novice magician named Nathaniel, and what happens when he summons a djinni (or demon) named Bartimaeus to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from a magician that had once humiliated Nathaniel.

The book switches back and forth between Nathaniel and Bartimaeus, but it's definitely Bartimaeus that steals the show. He is shown as a smart, witty, and very self aware. His sections are littered with footnotes to further explain what is happening. I personally love the footnotes, and think they are great - especially when Bartimaeus explains his reasoning for them part way through the book.

I will definitely be looking into the next two books in the trilogy - I have no idea what they are about, but hopefully they will be as good as the first.

Four stars.

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
365 pages
Finished 3/14/08

I've been wanting to read this book since the movie came out years ago - the movie looked fabulous, but I thought that I should read the book first. Fast forward how many years, and I still hadn't read it.

The book is told basically in two views - the first, Colonel Behrani, an immigrant from Iran struggling in America with his wife and teenage son. In Iran, the Colonel was a wealthy, well respected man, but in the US, he is just struggling to make ends meet while his wife still spends and tries to maintain the air of their old wealth. The Colonel buys a foreclosure house at the beginning of the book, and quickly moves in. The second view is that of Kathy, the person whose house was foreclosed on her. She is a recovering addict, and the selling of her house was done due to a tax problem with the county - something that was not her fault. The story then alternates between the two, as Kathy tries to get her house back, and the Colonel tried to regain his pride while keeping the house he bought in good faith.

To be quite honest, I kept going back and forth with this book. I loved the Colonel's story, and whenever it focused on him, I was really into the book. When the story went to Kathy, and her new relationship with a married sheriff, my eyes glassed over and I tried not to fall asleep. Kathy just wasn't an interesting or likable character.

The best part of the book by far was the last 50 pages or so. The ending was awesome - I honestly didn't see it coming. It was great, and that's really what made me end up liking the book overall (and give it a better rating than I was planning for the first 300 pages.

Three stars.

Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore

Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore
322 pages
Finished 3/10/08

This is my second Christopher Moore, after first reading (and LOVING) Lamb. The title of this one is pretty...interesting, and the premise of the book is just an interesting. A pilot name Tucker takes his boss's pink plane (his boss is Mary Jean of Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation - remind you of another company?) on a drunken joy-ride and ends up crashing it. While recovering from injuries to his very special place, he gets an interesting job offer - a pilot for a medical missionary on a small, secluded island that is controlled by a high priestess.

The first couple of chapters were a little hard to get into. Once Tucker left the States to make his way to the island, the story really picked up though. Moore is an extremely witty author and his humor can be so subtle sometimes. Moore also created some great minor characters - my favorite, by far, being a talking bat named Roberto.

The only thing that bothered me about the book is that I felt like I was reading constant product placements - Cheetos, Budweiser, US Magazine were just a few that were mentioned. Still, it was a minor annoyance in an overall very good book.

Four stars.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New Me!

So, I've been a little bad at updating my books. I've finished a couple that I'll get to...eventually. Hopefully tomorrow or so, I'm already beginning to forget them.

Anyway, my big news is that I finally went back to blonde! I suffered through over a year of being a brunette, and while it didn't look horrible on me (because, as we all know, it's my natural color), brown hair just doesn't quite look right on me.

So, here are some before and after shots -

I think we can all agree that I look so much cuter now, right (with the exception of my not-so-great posture)? Brown hair makes me look all white and pasty. Blonde hair makes me look pink and fresh. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tagged (on myspace)

I was tagged on myspace by my friend Kristi to give 10 facts about myself, so I thought I'd post them over here as well. At first it was hard to think of any, but then once I started I realized that I have way more quirks than I thought - and then it was hard to narrow them down. Ah, well, it's what makes us unique, right?

Here's what I had posted:

1. OK, y’all probably know this one, but I am insanely addicted to chapstick. I have a tube near me at all times. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I’ll roll over to put some on. Sometimes I think that I’ll try to stop, but 20 minutes later my lips are dry and feel like they are cracking and I just can’t go on without lube…

2. I am beyond embarrassed that NASCAR is officially my new favorite "sport." I love to be able to relax on Sundays and watch the race. I just don’t want to tell anyone that’s what I’m doing (even though I’m effectively putting it out there right now).

3. Before I go to sleep each night, I have to crack my back, my neck, my knuckles, and my toes. It’s gross.

4. I am very particular about the way my dishes are put away. We have two different color plates and bowls – a blue set and a green set. The dishes MUST be put into the cupboard every other color. If it somehow ends up when I’m putting dishes away that, say, two blue plates would have to be next to each other, I’ll leave one of the plates on the counter just so I won’t have to have the two colors next to each other. This has been troublesome lately, since I’ve broken 2 green bowls. I asked David if I could break a blue bowl to help out the numbers. He said no.

5. I won’t eat food if I don’t like the way it looks. I frequently reject bagels and refuse to eat them if they are "shaped funny." Don’t ask what that means, I just know it when I see it.

6. I like to read a lot. Ok, that’s common knowledge. What you may not know is that I will only read series books (and usually, author books) if they are the same book type as my other books. For instance, if I started reading a series in paperback, I’ll only read the rest of the series in paperback. If I started reading the series in hardcover, I’ll only read the rest of the series in hardcover. It’s a pain in the ass when I am anxious to read a new book, but have to wait months for it to come out in paperback.

7. According to my excel spreadsheet, I own 670 books (not nearly enough, I might add). This is not counting my 80 Baby-Sitters Club books (um, and there are 5 more in the mail on the way) and a couple of box full of young adult books from my youth.

8. I spend most of my "extra" money on myself – massages, pedicures, getting my hair done, etc. I would take a pedicure over buying a new shirt any day. Maybe this is why I hate my wardrobe?

9. I hate wearing shorts. In fact, with the exception of playing kickball, I don’t think I’ve worn shorts in public in the past 2 years. I would rather wear a dress or a skirt any day.

10. I am addicted to gossip websites and all things reality. Ask me what’s going on in a particular celebrity’s life, and chances are good I’ll be able to tell you. And no, this is not something I’m all that proud of. I’d like to think of it as just who I am - I'm a naturally nosy, gossipy person. :)