Thursday, September 29, 2011

Do Your Kids Love To Read?

I found an article by James Patterson on today.  It's about a subject that is very near and dear to my heart..."How to get your kid to be a fanatic reader".  Reading is such an important part of every day life, and I am very happy to say that my daughter is a "reading fanatic" and reads every day.   You can read the article by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lots of Great Book Lists...

I've spent the last few days visiting the blogs of others who are participating in Fall Into Reading 2011.  FIR is hosted by Katrina over at Callapidder Days.  I've visited 25 so far, and added many books to my To Be Read list.  If you have some time you should go check out the challenge and those participating.

The Help is on a LOT of people's list, and I've only heard good things.  It's on my list too, and I'm anxious to get to it.  I need to finish  my library books first though.

Sometimes I feel like I'm reading in slow motion...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thomas Jefferson's Library

I love Thomas Jefferson's historic home, Monticello, and I often go check out their website and online catalog (I have a wish list a mile long).  When I visited Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia with my family a couple years ago the library was one of my favorite rooms.  Check out an article about Jefferson's library on Monticello's website HERE.

Library at Monticello

Jefferson Bookstand

Among the many ingenious devices found in Jefferson's Cabinet, this one perhaps most clearly suggests Jefferson's passion for knowledge. One can imagine him turning the stand, completely engrossed, consulting five books at once to find the answer to a burning question. Our bookstand is a line-by-line reproduction of the original, which was made in the joinery at Monticello, probably from Jefferson's own design. It's great for cross-checking information from several sources or just keeping reference books and current reading handy. Made of solid mahogany with a soft, hand-polished finish, the rotating stand holds five books at adjustable angles on rests that fold down to form a 12" cube.  (Source:


I've had some very busy days lately with more to come over the next couple weeks.  My progress on The Southern Belles of Honeysuckle Way is slower than I'd like, but I am reading every day.  That's really all I can ask of myself.  Hoping to finish it tomorrow...

Monday, September 26, 2011


I'm currently reading The Southern Belles of Honeysuckle Way, so I thought I'd do a little research on the honeysuckle.


“The honeysuckle produces large amounts of nectar. It has strongly scented flowers, attracting moths in the evening. In Shakespeare's time, the plant was called woodbine..."

A honeysuckle is a plant that can range from a vine to a shrub. There are around one hundred eighty different varieties of honeysuckle. Some of them are deciduous and some are evergreen. Many of the deciduous honeysuckle can also be evergreen in warmer climates. The height of a mature honeysuckle varies by species, but usually ranges from one to three feet tall. The hardiness of a honeysuckle plant also varies by species, with most hardy in zones five through eight.
(Source:  About Honeysuckle)


Japanese Honeysuckle


I thought I'd look for another book with honeysuckle in the title, and here's what I found...

This one has some great reviews on Goodreads!
Source:  Goodreads

Civil War-no one could flee from the nightmare of battle and the countless lives it devoured. Everyone had sacrificed-suffered profound misery and unimaginable loss. Vivianna Bartholomew was no exception. The war had torn her from her home-orphaned her. The merciless war seemed to take everything-even the man she loved. Still, Vivianna yet knew gratitude-for a kind friend had taken her in upon the death of her parents. Thus, she was cared for-even loved. Yet, as General Lee surrendered signaling the war's imminent end-as Vivianna remained with the remnants of the Turner family-her soul clung to the letters written by her lost soldier-to his memory written in her heart. Could a woman ever heal from the loss of such a love? Could a woman's heart forget that it may find another? Vivianna Bartholomew thought not. Still, it is often in the world that miracles occur-that love endures even after hope has been abandoned. Thus, one balmy Alabama morning-as two ragged soldiers wound the road toward the Turner house-Vivianna began to know-to know that miracles do exist-that love is never truly lost.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Banned Books Week



Banned Books Week

September 24--October 1

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.   (Source:  ALA)


Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Myracle, Lauren
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, by George Beard
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank
(Source:  ALA)


Are there books on this list that I would never want to read?  I am sure there are!  Are there books on this list that may offend or disturb me?  Absolutely!  Will I read these books?  No...Do I think these books should be banned?  NO WAY!!!

It is my choice what I will and will not read, and in my eyes freedom is all about having a choice.

Books I've read from this list:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The Bluest Eyes
Junie B. Jones
Are You There God? It's Me Margaret

I plan to read Kite Runner in the near future as part of Fall Into Reading.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Into Reading 2011

September 23--December 21
Hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days

Fall Into Reading officially kicks off today, and I'm so happy to be taking part in this great reading challenge.  I am very new to blogging, and this is only my second reading challenge ever.  So wish me luck!!!

Here's my list...

Books From the Library:
  • The Southern Belles of Honeysuckle Way by Linda Bruckheimer
  • The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Love, Charleston by Beth Webb Hart
  • The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
  • A Small Hotel by Robert Olen Butler
  • Coal Miner's Holiday by Kiki DeLancey
  • Catfish Alley by Lynne Bryant

Borrowed From My Sister:

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • Little Alters Everywhere by Rebecca Wells

I have to find this book:
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Books I Own But Have Not Read:
  • This Holler Is My Home by Alyce Faye Bragg
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Hours by Michael Cunningham
  • Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  • Sister's Choice by Emilie Richards
  • Moods by Louisa May Alcott
  • Work: A Story of Experience by Louisa May Alcott
  • Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver
  • The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough
  • The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Oath by Frank Peretti
  • Death of a Stranger by Anne Perry
  • Silas Marner by George Eliot

So there you have it!  Twenty five books in all...

You can visit Calapidder Days to check out other readers' lists by clicking HERE !

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shopping, Lunch, And A Trip To The Library

My sister and I went out to do some shopping and get lunch today, so of course I have some new books at my house...two of them I bought at Goodwill for $1.06.  You can't beat that!  I also checked out five from the library.

These two are the goodwill purchases...

Source:  Goodreads

Source:  Goodreads

These are the books I checked out from the library today...

Source:  Goodreads

Source:  Goodreads

Source:  Goodreads

Source:  Goodreads

Source:  Goodreads

Most of these are southern fiction, and I know I won't get them all in before the Southern Belle Reading Challenge ends, but I'm loving the southern fiction right now so I'll just keep reading.  I'm looking forward to some Halloween-ish reading for the month of October...nothing too scary though!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Campeachy Chair In My Library

Reading Hissy Fit which is heavy on interior design, has made me really think about the first room I want to tackle in my own remodel.  We have a down stairs room that was my daughter's play room that is now empty except for the piano and my book shelf.  This room is going to be my library.

And in my library I would love to have two of these Campeachy Chairs I found at's Online Catalog.  I think this chair is absolutely beautiful and looks so comfy.  I think the wide arm rests would be perfect for reading.

Campeachy Chair

It took Thomas Jefferson many letters and more than ten years to get a Campeachy chair sent from New Orleans. (The first one was lost in a shipwreck.) Once he finally received his chair in 1819, he had several copies made. This reproduction is based on a copy crafted by plantation joiner John Hemings, which is now on display in Monticello's parlor. Made of mahogany, it has the same X-shaped base, curvy arms and distinctive top rail. What makes the Campeachy chair so wonderfully comfortable is the sling seat of reinforced leather. The mahogany for the original chairs made in New Orleans came from the Mexican province of Campeche, hence the curious name. 39"h x 27"w x 24"d. Made to order in the U.S.A. from imported wood.  (Source:

Southern Belle Challenge Book # 4: Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews

Source:  Goodreads

Mary Kay Andrews

Goodreads summary

Keeley Murdock's wedding to A.J. Jernigan should have been the social event of the season. But when she catches her fiance doing the deed with her maid of honor at the country club rehearsal dinner, all bets are off. And so is the wedding. Keeley pitches the hissy fit of the century, earning herself instant notoriety in the small town of Madison, Georgia.
Even worse is the financial pressure A.J.'s banking family brings to bear on Keeley's interior design business. But riding to the rescue — in a vintage yellow Cadillac — is the redheaded stranger who's bought a failing local bra plant. Will Mahoney hires Keeley to redo the derelict antebellum mansion he's bought. Her assignment: decorate it for the woman of his dreams — a woman he's never met.
Only a designing woman like Keeley Murdock can find a way to clear her name and give her cheating varmint of an ex-fiance the comeuppance he so richly deserves. And only Mary Kay Andrews can deliver such delicious social satire. With Hissy Fit, she's created a story as outrageous, dishy, and true as Savannah Blues and Little Bitty Lies.


I read this book because I am participating in the Southern Belle Reading Challenge being hosted by Brenda over at Curling Up With a Good Book during the month of September.  I found this book on a list that Brenda provided on her blog.  You can view Brenda's list of "southern" books by clicking HERE.   Hissy Fit is the fourth book I've read for this challenge.  I checked  out the copy that I read from my local library.

I think what lead me to read this book most of all was the title.  "Hissy fit" is a term I've heard and have said all my life, and I've been known to throw a few myself.  I was also drawn to the bright yellow cover.  Hissy Fit was released in 2004 and has 419 pages.  420 if you count the yummy recipe for "Grit's n' Greens Casserole" on the very last page of the book.

I loved this book!  It is so much more than the summary leads you to believe.  Yes, it is very funny and very southern, but it is also serious and heart wrenching at times.  What the summary doesn't tell you about is the family tragedy that haunts every day of Keely's life or how much this tragedy effects her even twenty five years later.

Keely in an interior designer, so there were a lot of shopping trips for antiques and talk of wall color and flowers.  All of which made me want to get my butt in gear and start the remodel of my house that I've been putting off for months!

There were parts in this book that were so hilarious and unexpected that I actually covered my mouth and giggled, but there were also parts that made me shake my head in disgust.  Through it all, Keely is likable and real and very southern.  I respected Andrews' take on the "southern girl".   I found it fair, funny, and very believable.  There was no playing to stereotypes or trying to hard.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mary Kay Andews

Mary Kay Andrews

Mary Kay Andrews is the author of Hissy Fit, the book I'm currently reading. 

Source:  Goodreads

She is also the author of :

Summer Rental
The Fixer Upper
Deep Dish
Blue Christmas
Savannah Breeze
Little Bitty Lies
Savannah Blues

You can find out lots of cool stuff about Mary Kay Andrews, including her real name and what other genre she writes by visiting her website.  You can go there by clicking HERE.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Who Had A Hissy Fit In Madison, Georgia?

I'm currently reading Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews.  I'm on page 159, and I thought I'd take this opportunity to do a little research on the town that the book is set in, Madison, Georgia.

Welcome to Madison, Georgia!!!!
Check in often with the Madison-Morgan Convention & Visitors Bureau to learn about new and exciting events, ticket prices, admission fees, and the ins and outs of Madison & Morgan County. In 2001, Madison was voted the "#1 Small Town in America" by Travel Holiday Magazine. Madison is Georgia's "authentic southern town", with an array of ambient local dining options, 45+ specialty shops and over 160 antique dealers. Just one hour east of Atlanta on I-20, we're the perfect day trip, but an even better weekend get-away. Madison offers a whole host of bed & breakfasts, national brand lodging options, and even a bonafide guest ranch. See why we're the "Town General Sherman Refused to Burn"! (Source: Explore Georgia)

Source:  Explore Georgia

In the book the main character, Keeley, is in the middle of redoing a crumbling antebellum mansion called Mulberry Hill.  This is what I imagine it must look like, or will when she's finished.

Belonging to the period before a war, especially the American Civil War. (Source:

Heritage Hall
Greek Revival Home built in 1811
Source:  Explore Georgia

Greek Revival:  n.An architectural style imitating elements of ancient Greek temple design, popular in the United States and Europe in the first half of the 19th century.  (Source:

If you'd like to visit Madison, Georgia's tourism website, you can do so by clicking HERE.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Book # 3 For the Southern Belle Challenge: Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

395 pages

Goodreads Summary
Here is a folksy and funny, endearing and affecting, southern-fried tale about two very special friendships. In a small town near Birmingham sits the Whistle Shop Cafe, a place alive with the hungry, the heartbroken, the righteous and the garrulous. The cafe is owned by sweet, patient Ruth, and by Idgie, irresistibly big-hearted and big-mouthed. Their story is remembered, years later, in the Rose Terrace Nursing Home. As elderly Cleo Threadgoode chats with her visitor—the over-stuffed, overwrought, menopausal Evelyn Couch—she casts a hypnotic narrative spell: honeysuckle vines and custard pies; births, deaths and marriages; sorrow and laughter; an occasional murder—and even the recipe for fried green tomatoes. And as the past reaches into the present, the Whistle Sop Cafe touches the one thing missing from her existence: life.

Fannie Flagg
Source:  Southern Living


I have been meaning to read this book for years...probably since I watched and loved the movie years ago.  My sister read it a while ago, and she, knowing my taste in books, said I should definitely read it.  She actually did a guest blog on it back in June.  You should go back and read her post if you have the time.  It's really good.  Finish mine first thought :)

As for my thoughts on the book...She was right.  I really really liked this book, and oh how different it is than the movie.  My favorite character was sweet Mrs. Threadgoode.  Her simple honest way of telling her life story to poor discouraged Evelyn won my heart early in the book, and although I liked Idgie, I found myself at times getting aggravated with her.  What I did admire so much about Idgie was her acceptance of everyone...white, black, male, female, rich or hobo...she treated everyone the same, and she understood that everyone has problems and makes mistakes in life.  Another of my favorite characters is Smokey Lonesome simply because I'm a sucker for undying love.  It gets me every time.

I liked how the story was told in short little snippets.  It really gives you the feel of someone telling you their story as the memories flood in, not necessarily in chronological order.  There were parts of the book that were from "The Weems Weekly: Whistlestop, Alabama's Weekly Bulletin" written by Dot Weems.  I always found these very entertaining, and so indicative of small town life.  I think it was unique way to convey information from a different point of view.

This is book number three for the Southern Belle Reading Challenge which I am participating in for the month of September.  This challenge is hosted by Brenda Gail over at Curling Up With a Good Book.  My goal for this challenge is four books.  It's looking like I may be able to do even more than that.  It's been really fun!

BBAW 2011: The Final Day's Topic

BBAW 2011 - Graphic (square, 200px wide)

Today’s TopicThe world of blogging is continually changing. Share 3 things you feel are essential tried and true practices for every blogger and 1-3 new trends or tools you’ve adapted recently or would like to in the future.


I am very new to blogging.  I started my blog in June of this year, and I am learning something new everyday.  There are however a few things I've learned that I know are essential to my blog, and I try to practice every day.

1.  Be Yourself---There are times when I question the content of my blog.   I visit lots of other blogs, and I find myself saying..."I wish I could write that well!  or  "I wish I had something more exciting to write about!"  or  "I need to read more serious smarter books!".  But then I realize that the best thing I can do is be myself.  Yes, I live in a small town.  Yes, I am a wife and mom.  Yes, I live a busy, simple, and quiet life, and I love it.  I would not trade lives with anyone in the world, and the things that I find ordinary about my life, the books I read, or the things I write may be the exact things that someone else finds so interesting.

2.  Visit and Comment On Other Blogs...Visiting and commenting on other blogs is one of the most important things I feel I can do as a blogger.  It's how I learn, and it's a good way to grow my blog.  Being a part of and finding a place in the blogging community is very important to me, and it's something I work on every day.

3.  Be Honest...I knew from the beginning I was going to be completely honest on my blog.  If I like a book I will tell you, but if I don't I''ll tell you that too.  If I'm having trouble finishing a book or if a book is a struggle for me to read I'm going to be honest about it.  I think most people can spot fakeness and lies a mile away, and I'm just not going to do it.  Honesty is the way to go!

I'm always finding new tools and trends that I'd like to add to my blog.  The latest tool I've added to my blog is the "You Might Also Like" feature at the end of each post.  I think it will greatly increase my page views.  I know when I visit a blog I always look at atleast one of the posts listed there.

It's the last day of BBAW, and I've really enjoyed the daily topics.  I've had lots of new visitors to my blog, and I've found so many new blogs to enjoy.


“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, September 15, 2011

BBAW Day 4: Reading and Blogging

BBAW 2011 - Graphic (200px wide)

BBAW Topic #4

We have no blogs without books! Today’s topic explores that even more!
Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these topics and share your thoughts today!


I am very new to blogging...both reading blogs and doing my own blog, but I have quickly grown to LOVE both.

Before I joined the blogging community, I read mostly adult classics, children's classics, and historical fiction.  Those genres are still my favorites but my eyes have been opened to so many great books, and I now see what I've been missing by being such a book snob.

I do a blog post called "Ten Books I Thought I'd Never Read", and that was totally inspired by the realization that I've been missing out on some great books because I thought they just weren't for me.  I came to that realization through reading other people's blogs and through doing research for my own blog.

Another way my reading has changed is that I read with a purpose now.  I'm reading with a book review in mind.  I try to be aware of wonderful quotes from a book, or interesting places or people to research from a book.  I  look for anything new or different that I might be able to blog about.  So in that way, I feel I'm getting more out of my reading now.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Books To Return And Desperate For More

My sister and I took the kiddos to the library after school yesterday.  My daughter had books to return and was desperate for more, so we went to the library where she loaded up her red library book bag with new books while I looked for more "Southern Belle Challenge" books.

I still have Fried Green Tomatoes (I will finish it tonight!) and Hissy Fit, so I only checked out two.



While I was there I picked up a copy of Book Page where I found lots of great information on lots of books.


Book Page also has an online edition that you can visit by clicking HERE.  I think the most interesting book I found inside is The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta.  I'm very interested in this one.


Goodreads Summary
What if—whoosh, right now, with no explanation—a number of us simply vanished?  Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down?
That’s what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened—not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children. 
Kevin Garvey, Mapleton’s new mayor, wants to speed up the healing process, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized community. Kevin’s own family has fallen apart in the wake of the disaster: his wife, Laurie, has left to join the Guilty Remnant, a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence; his son, Tom, is gone, too, dropping out of college to follow a sketchy prophet named Holy Wayne.  Only Kevin’s teenaged daughter, Jill, remains, and she’s definitely not the sweet “A” student she used to be.  Kevin wants to help her, but he’s distracted by his growing relationship with Nora Durst, a woman who lost her entire family on October 14th and is still reeling from the tragedy, even as she struggles to move beyond it and make a new start.
With heart, intelligence and a rare ability to illuminate the struggles inherent in ordinary lives, Tom Perrotta has written a startling, thought-provoking novel about love, connection and loss.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Fair Purchases Part 2

So....My daughter sang in a gospel concert Saturday, we had church Sunday morning and Sunday night, and I volunteered at school Monday.  It's been very busy around here lately, and I haven't been able to read as much as I'd like.  I'm still reading Fried Green Tomatoes  (loving it), but I'm hoping to finish it today.

My daughter did get some more books from the book fair on Monday, and I thought I'd share what she bought...







Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Bloggers Appreciation Week: Community

Book Blogger Appreciation Week kicks off today!  It runs from September 12 thru September 16.  You can find out more about BBAW by clicking HERE.

Today's topic is Community, and I'm going to take this opportunity to highlight a blogger whose blog I love and who has encouraged me.

The blogger I'd like to talk about is Susie at Susie's Blog.  I found her blog by accident not long after I decided to start blogging myself.  I was looking around at all kinds of blogs trying to decide what I liked and didn't like to see what direction I wanted to go with my own blog.

The first thing I noticed about her blog was the beautiful picture of a flower garden at the top of her blog, and then I read her "About Me" section, and I knew that I was interested in what she had to say.  I immediately came across a book on her blog that I was very interested in reading, and it was one I would never have read other wise.  Reading it opened my eyes to all the great books I've been missing.  It was The Secret History by Donna Tartt.


Susie was the fourth subsciber to my blog (and the first besides my husband, my daughter, and my sister), and I was so excited.  I didn't know if anyone would be interested in what I had to say.  I am a wife, a mom, and a high school graduate.  The only qualifications I have to be a book blogger is that I fill my life and my daughter's life with books, I am a Mom of a bookworm, and I have loved books my entire life.  I knew from the beginning that mine would not be a scholarly approach...I share stories from my life, my opinions, and my passion for books.  The fact that someone as smart and educated as Susie would take the time to look at my blog and even comment was so encouraging as I struggled to start my blog.  Susie isn't just a great blogger.  She is smart, fair, compassionate, and just an all around awesome person.  I always learn so much from her.

Susie was interested in what I had to say, and that has meant so much to me.

Thanks Susie!

Check out Susie's blog by clicking HERE.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day to Remember

I found this on YouTube and thought it was appropriate for today...I love this song by Randy Travis.

God Bless the families affected by 9/11 and God Bless those who protect us today...Firemen, Police, our Military and all the others across our country who serve!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Two Sisters Talk Books

My sister came over last night, and we were looking around for some new books to read.  We looked through all the blogs I follow, and we did a lot of looking on Goodreads.  We both came up with a decent sized list.  Here are a few that we found and are looking forward to reading in the  near future.


The Book Thief by Markus Zusak seems to be on everyone's list.  I think my sister will be reading this one soon.


Goodreads Summary...
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Narrated by Death, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she discovers something she can't resist- books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found.
With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.


Jennifer Donnelly books seem to be popping up everywhere as well, and these really interest me.  I think the covers are absolutely beautiful!





This last book, The Cellist of Sarajevo, I learned about over at Curling Up With a Good Book.  She did a great review and it sounds like something I'd really like to read.


Goodreads Summary...
In a city ravaged by war, a musician plays his cello for twenty-two days at the site of a mortar attack, in memory of the fallen. Among the strangers drawn into the orbit of his music are a young father in search of water for his family, an older man in search of the humanity he once knew, and a young woman, a sniper, who will decide the fate of the cellist—and the kind of person she wants to be.


Hope you enjoyed this list and maybe found something you'd like to read as well!  Have you read any of these books?  What did you think?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Granny Visits the Book Fair

Today was Grandparent's Day at my daughter's school.  This means that Granny came to eat lunch with her today, and since the book fair is also going on right now, Granny bought her some books.  Here's what she got...







Pretty awesome bunch of books if I do say so myself! 

When my daughter came home from school today she was so excited to show me her purchases, and she said...
"Mama, I feel such a connection to my books! I love to read so much!"
I know exactly how she feels, and I am one proud Mom!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Favorite Children's Books

We love Dr. Seuss at our house!  One of my all time favorites of his is Are You My Mother.  I couldn't tell you how many times my daughter and I have read this one.  She loved it from the time she was a tiny baby.  She used to laugh because I would read it doing different voices.


Goodreads summary...
This is the classic from which many of our staff first learned to read, starting us on a path of unremitting bibliophilia. Are You My Mother? follows a confused baby bird who's been denied the experience of imprinting as he asks cows, planes, and steam shovels the Big Question. In the end he is happily reunited with his maternal parent in a glorious moment of recognition.


Another of our favorite books to read over the years has been Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.  I'm not sure why she was so drawn to this as a toddler but she absolutely loved it.  It was a flea market purchase given to her by my Dad, who she calls "Papaw with the mustache". (Her other papaw does not have a mustache so obviously she calls him "Papaw without a mustache a.k.a "Nanny's Papaw)


Goodreads summary...
Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne make quite a team. The inseparable duo digs the great canals for the big boats to travel through, cuts through the large mountains so trains can pass, and hollows out the deep cellars for the great skyscrapers in the city. But the introduction of gasoline, electric, and diesel shovels means big trouble for Mike and Mary Ann...


My all time favorite book that my daughter and I have read together since she was a baby is our "bed time book".  It makes my eyes misty to think of all the nights we've said good night with this book.  I love it! And I love her!  Time sure does fly, and we don't read these books together much anymore.  She has moved on to bigger and better book.  They now sit on my desk as a reminder of all the special times we've had together with books.


Goodreads summary...
In this delightful companion book to Caterpillar Spring, Butterfly Summer, a cute baby elephant shares his admiration for his mom's specialty talents - using her trunk (a colorful cloth-covered spring that runs through the pages) to reach up high, to play hide-and-seek with him, to give him a quick shower, and to cuddle and kiss him at goodnight.


"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened."
Dr. Seuss