Friday, September 05, 2008

August Reads in Review

We have swim meet #2, tomorrow, so before I forget . . . a very wahooey photo of one of the kids on my son's swim team. His name begins with a "J". Cosmic coincidence? No, of course not, but I can have fun if I want to:

August Reads in Review
(if applicable, I've added a link to the review via the title -- I have not yet reviewed two of these books):

Matrimony - Joshua Henkin - Very good story of friendship, marriage and the ups and downs of both. Slow, character-driven read.

High Altitude Leadership - Chris Warner & Don Schmincke - Interesting book in which the principles of mountaineering are applied to business. Hubby & I both read this one and had different thoughts, but we especially enjoyed the climbing stories and both came out of it thinking, "Those guys are nuts." Will post full review, soon.

When Twilight Burns - Colleen Gleason - The 4th in Colleen's vampire series. I love every one of them -- always swash-buckling, knuckle-biting, paranormal fun -- and I was happy with the romantic turn in this book, although at the same time I was a little surprised at how she handled it (not in a bad way).

The Best of Robert Service - Poetry, heavy on rhythm and rhyme but never annoyingly so. I loved the variety, the humor, and the sense of place.

Why Women Shouldn't Marry - Cynthia and Hillary Smith - The authors had some good points but the book was primarily negative -- not about why it's great to be a single woman but more of a bitter perspective on how men can ruin your life if you choose to be tied down.

Don't You Forget About Me - Jancee Dunn - A fun, light read about a woman dealing with the unexpected end of her marriage and immersing herself in memories as her high school reunion approaches. Pretty good for a first novel, although I think she could have elaborated on some of the heroine's characteristics to make it an even better book.

Get Smart: How e-mail can make or break your career and your organization - M. Pulley and J. Hilberry - Just what it sounds like; very brief and could have used more examples but a very good little book that probably everyone who e-mails could stand to read.

A Promise to Remember - Kathryn Cushman - The story of two mothers (one wealthy and wimpy; one a single mother and tough) each dealing with the loss of a son in the same automobile accident. Very good, although I think it was obvious the author hasn't really experienced grief. Still, a good story and I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.

Copper Fire - Suzanne Woods Fisher - A former German Resistance worker finds out she is the only remaining relative of a cousin who survived Dachau and, after fetching the cousin from Germany, must deal with the cousin's emotions as she adjusts while facing a love from her past and searching for clues to the whereabouts of a war criminal. I'd have liked a little more depth, but I still plan to read her first book.

The Importance of Being Married - Gemma Townley - Fluffy book based on The Importance of Being Earnest. I thought it started badly, improved, and then became too transparent. So-so, in general.

Princess Academy - Shannon Hale (YA) - When all the girls from Mt. Eskel between ages 12-17 are sent to a makeshift academy to prepare for the fact that one of them will become princess, Miri finds that she loves learning but isn't certain whether she wants to end up marrying a stranger. Loved this one!

Did I Expect Angels? - Kathryn Maughan - A suicidally depressed widow and mother of one is on the verge of ending her life when a friend shares his own story of grief and becomes, in the process, her angel. Hard reading and yet I couldn't put it down. This author understands grief. Review will be posted on the 14th.

12 books; a little more than 3000 pages, total.

You guys are going to be so envious. I inherited this bunny planter (that's Violet poppet looking up at him -- the doll in the background is not mine):

We stuck the bunny up front in the moving truck, for the drive home. Oklahoma is a state with quite a network of toll roads. We always pay to use the toll roads because the traffic is light (and the path familiar). So, I plunked a bunch of change for the toll roads in the bunny's basket and dubbed him, "The Money Bunny". When we got to Arkansas, we no longer needed to keep change within reach and we both got the munchies. I was driving, so Huzzybuns stuck an open bag of potato chips in bunny's basket and he became "The Potato Bunny". Then, we turned on the iPod, after a time, using a portable speaker. Plunked the speaker and iPod in his basket and he became "The Music Bunny". Darned if I didn't inherit an all-purpose bunny. Everyone should have one.

Soundtrack of our return trip:

America - The Best of America
Jim Croce - Photographs and Memories
Dan Fogelburg - Phoenix
Rich Mullins - Winds of Heaven, Stuff of Earth
Lyle Lovett - The Road to Ensenada

Next up: A guest review of The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson, written by my youngest (frequently referred to as Kiddo).

Happy Weekend! Safe, dry thoughts are going out to those who are having a Hurricane Hanna weekend. May she move quickly and do little damage.


  1. Hi Nancy
    Check my blog. I have a bloggy award for you. :)

  2. Why, thank you, Brittanie.

    I'll jog right over. :)

  3. Cool! I love the walking on water pic! And that does sound like a very handy bunny. :)

  4. Anonymous6:50 AM

    I love that picture!

    Your multi-purpose bunny is cute. Makes for a great driving companion!

    One of my all time favorite CD's is the Jim Croce one. He's got some great stuff on there. My husband went to Villanova with him - many years ago. He died too soon (Jim, not my husband!).

  5. That bunny is the funniest thing I've seen in quite a while. I wish I had one for my classroom - oh, the things I could do with it.

    I'm glad you're dry (drier, if nothing else). We're enjoying Hanna's rain, but no damage was done.

    Congratulations to the boy on swimming.

    Here's to books!

  6. That's a great picture! What great timing!

    Your soundtrack for your return trip is cool. I don't know Lyle Lovett much but I love Rich Mullins.

  7. That pictures is too cool!
    Looks like you had a great reading month too. Enjoy September.

  8. Ooh, I could use a bunny that helpful! Except mine wouldn't be a music bunny because my iPod is DEAD AS A DOORNAIL! So sad.

  9. Marg,

    Thank you. I just love it when those kids walk on water. :)


    Thank you. That bunny is very handy. At the moment, he's a mis-matched sock bunny. :)


    Thank you. That Jim Croce album is one of my all-time favorites, too. How cool that your husband went to Villanova with him! He definitely did die much too young.

    The bunny was very fun to have along in the truck. You have to be creative to pass the time on a 10-hour drive, so we had fun with our little bunny.


    I think you need to go shopping for an all-purpose, classroom adaptable bunny. Definitely. Surely there's one just waiting for you.

    Oh, good, I'm glad Hanna didn't do any damage. I'm hearing we had 10" of rain. Yeah, no wonder we were bailing during Gustav. We're drying out, though -- overcast, but no rain.

    Thanks. The boy has an injured shoulder, but he's still doing okay (he wears down faster than usual and moans a lot). :)

  10. That was a pretty nice pile of reading you got done there!

    That picture is simply wild!

  11. Amy,

    I was trying to get that kind of picture. I love it when they just step into the water and you catch them right on the surface. So funny.

    Lyle Lovett is mostly my husband's. Rich is the only artist all four members of our family love. I think my all-time favorite song is "If I Stand". I can't bear to have anyone talk during that song because I must sing along.


    Thank you. Yep, I think I had a decent month -- not my best of the year, but also not my worst. I enjoyed almost everything I read; that's what really counts. Happy September to you, too! :)


    Awww, so sorry about your dead iPod. I hate it when that happens. I guess you just need to go find an all-purpose bunny so that you can be prepared when you get the replacement iPod, right? Our iPod is getting old. It had to take rest breaks. Kind of funny!

  12. Fantastic photo!! Adorable bunny. Great travel tunes. I LOVE Lyle Lovett. We've been to several of his concerts. The last was at a small venue in Lincoln 3 1/2 years ago. He is such a funny guy with a dry sense of humor. Kind of like my hubby.

  13. Anonymous1:14 PM

    You are seriously funny. Thank you for the levity. Hanna is expected to give us quite a storm tonight (Massachusetts...)

  14. Great bunny!

    Can you imagine the flack guys would get if they wrote "Why Men Shouldn't Marry?" Pitch Forks and Torches.

  15. Debi,

    It was a pretty good month. I always appreciate months when I like most everything! :)

    Isn't that cute? I've got to send that photo to his mother. I'll bet she'll get a kick out of it!


    Thank you from both Bunny and me. I should have known you'd love Lyle. I've never seen him in concert but his songs are funny enough that I can imagine he puts on a terrific concert. Of the artists on that list, we've seen two in concert: Rich Mullins and Dan Fogelburg. Both were loads of fun (and are dead, now -- that list was really heavy on the dead artists).

    Hey Care,

    Any time; I live to make you smile. :) Good luck with Hanna. Those storms are a pain in the patootey. I hope she moves through quickly and you don't get too sloshy! We were seriously bailing around the foundation.

  16. Chris,

    My bunny thanks you. :)

    I actually got an offer for a similar book from the male perspective, just after Why Women Shouldn't Marry, but it was about why men are waiting longer, as opposed to reasons they should ditch the marriage license and be free birds. Yeah, I think a "why men shouldn't marry" book either wouldn't go over well or would raise more than a few eyebrows. LOL

  17. Looks like you had a good month!! My months are so much smaller than yours! I feel so lacking sometimes.

    Oh well...I won a copy of Matrimony and I'm really looking forward to reading it. I also just finished The Bleeding Dusk and I can't wait any longer to read When Twilight Burns. Figure I might as well go for it!!

  18. Stephanie,

    You're a busy young mother. I didn't read half as much as you do, when I had younger kids. Believe me, your day will come! You should be proud of yourself for getting any books read at all, seriously.

    You won a copy of Matrimony? Wahoo! I can't wait to hear your thoughts. And, hey, why not go ahead and read When Twilight Burns! It's really quite difficult waiting between books -- I've read each of them as they've been released. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!!!

  19. Anonymous9:08 AM

    You are right, I am jealous. I want an all-purpose bunny.

  20. Sassymonkey,

    See, I knew someone would be turning green with envy. Now, you should go shopping. Surely there is an all-purpose bunny near you, just waiting to be found.

  21. Ha--I'm sure with 21 comments someone has already mentioned this (and I'm too lazy to read through them to find out), but lots of marriage themed books in August! Did you mean for that to happen??

  22. Trish,

    Shoot I didn't even notice the marriage theme! Funny! Nope, it was not deliberate. I probably would have stopped myself, if I'd noticed a theme. LOL


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