58 Following

Sorry kids, no feet.

I am a former stay-at-home mom who has given up her hopes and dreams of becoming a professional reader. I now spend my days showing small children how to play games on computers. Right now I'm living vicariously through my 9 year-old who is reading everything she can get her hands on. 

Currently reading

Spinning Silver
Naomi Novik
The Handfasted Wife
Carol McGrath

Reading progress update: I've read 192 out of 393 pages.

The Lady in the Tower - Jean Plaidy

I have been in a little bit of a reading rut lately. I've been going back to "comfort" book in hopes of digging myself out. I started re-reading the Harry Potter novels but that's not helping. 


I have turned to Jean Plaidy to help me out. So far it seems to be working. There is just something about these books that instantly makes me feel better. Maybe it's because they bring me back to my ultimate comfort zone. These books instantly remind me of being 15, curled up in corner of my grandma's sewing room devouring book after book. My grandmother had shelves full of Jean Plaidy books. Even today, reading Plaidy instantly brings me back to that place. 

There Might Be a Happy Dance Going on Over Here!


Look at me with a Festive Season Task all done! 


This is a task for Square 2 and Guy Fawkes Day. I made myself some tea! This particular blend is called African Skies. It is a blend of green rooibos, sunflower petals, freeze-dried blueberries, and cornflower petals. There is this great little tea shop right down the block from my favorite used book store (which is where the book came from). I spent way too much money on my street. This tea is not my favorite from the store. My favorite is actually a white tea called Machu Peach-U but it's more of a summer tea. I'm moving into some of the darker teas as the seasons change. *Side note, I know very little about tea. I know what I like and that's about it. For all I know the above statement was completely out of left field and not related to tea at all.*


I didn't finish my book last night but this book would also apply to the book task listed for Guy Fawkes Day. Anne Boleyn not only falls under the category of English monarch but I think it can easily be argued that any book featuring Anne will be full of political treason and intrigue.  


The Sword in the Grotto - Angie Sage, Jimmy Pickering The Case of the Haunted History Museum (Museum Mysteries) - Steve Brezenoff, Lisa K. Weber The Tail of Emily Windsnap - Liz Kessler, Sarah Gibb

I have a 9 year old who is reading through everything! At school they us the AR point system to track their reading. We have not even finished a quarter of the school year and she's at 82 points. To put that in perspective, most of the other students in her class will achieve that number by the end of the year. I want her to be challenged but I also don't want her reading books with content that's over her head. I linked to some of the books she's read recently and loved. 


Help me find more books for my 9 year old! Currently she's working her way through anything by Beverly Clearly. I'm trying to direct her towards SuperFudge or other Judy Blume books with little success. Piggle Wiggle and Pippi Longstocking are also on my radar. She really likes books in a series. I'm pretty sure she has read and owns just about every American Girl book ever written. 


I have no idea what to do with her. While I have always loved to read, I wasn't the reader she is when I was 9. I just didn't have access to books the way she does. 



The Changeling by Victor Lavalle

The Changeling - Victor LaValle

So lately I have been trying this thing where I judge books by their covers. When I enter my favorite library, I immediately make my way towards the new releases shelf. I'm trying to read outside my bubble. So far my experiment has had some mixed results. This novel was much more successful than the previous novel.


I'm not going to lie, when I found out there were horror elements to this novel, I nearly brought it back. I don't do scary. I don't read Stephen King novels. I don't watch movies about dolls that come to life. I could barely handle the Goosebump books when I was a kid.The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my all time favorite movies but sometimes I close my eyes when Oogie Boogie is trying to murder Santa.  I don't do scary. 


I stuck with this book. Even after Emma does something completely unforgivable and appalling. Something that should have given me nightmares for years. I stuck with this book. It was worth it. 


Even more amazing than the author's ability to weave modern and myth together, was his ability to subtly sneak in his views on society today. Instead of throwing his views in the reader's face and demanding that the reader accept them, he managed to sneak in shots here and there. It was brilliantly done.


If you are looking for a modern day take on old myths that doesn't include Percy Jackson saving the day, I would recommend this book. For those of you participating in Halloween Bingo, I think this book is worth a glance. Even if you aren't participating and you want something to fit the season, this book might just be it for you.


Has this book encouraged me to broaden my horror horizons? Nope. Not even a little bit. Am I glad I tried something new just this one time? Absolutely. 

Sometimes I'm slow

I just realized I could upload my books from Goodreads. Guess what took my computer all day to finish? 


Worth it! Now I just have to go through and sort out my shelves. 



The Goddesses by Swan Huntley

The Goddesses: A Novel - Swan Huntley

I'm not really sure what I just read. 

At the end of the day, all this book did was serve to remind me why I stay away from books classified as "chick-lit". If we're being honest, I picked it up because I was in the mood for something fluffy. I figured between the cover and the fact that the book is set in Hawaii, I'd get lots of fluff. I did get some fluff. Right up until about the last 30% of the book, there was all kinds of fluff. Then at the 70% mark, the book completely went off the rails of the crazy train. In more ways than one. 

Nancy made me want to pull my hair out. I just can't abide bad mothers. I know they exist. I know there's nothing I can do about it. That doesn't mean they can't still drive me bonkers. Nancy drove me bonkers. She completely ignores her teenage twins (Which, as a mother of twins, I can tell you that's a mistake at any age. They are crafty little turds.) and then gets upset when they start misbehaving. Really? 

Ana. Pronounced On-a by the way. But don't worry if you can't remember that. The author takes several opportunities to remind you. Don't even get me started on Ana. I guess the thing that irritates me the most is that Ana is clearly suffering from one (or several) mental illness(es). The author had an opportunity with Ana to bring attention to mental illness and instead she decided to go all Fatal Attraction on the reader. I guess we are just suppose to accept that people act this way and it's completely normal. 

It's all my fault really. I should just stick to my guns and stay away from "chick-lit".


Someone posted this article link in a group I moderate for over on GRs:

50 Essential Historical Fiction Books


My first thought was- Nope. Just nope.


Other thoughts were:


1.) It's a pretty Euro-centric list. I understand that part of the problem lies in translation. There just isn't a market for translating Asian or African historical fiction into English. Granted I could learn another language but honestly, I struggle enough with English most days. That aside, that doesn't mean there isn't non-European historical fiction available in English. James Clavell's Shogun is just one example off the top of my head. 


2.) The Other Boleyn Girl is essential reading?!?! Sorry, I can't take you seriously any more. I won't deny the impact the book has had on the genre. I would be ignorant to deny it. Essential? Not so much. I can probably list 20 books about the same time period that are better reading than TOBG. While they may not be any more accurate, Brief Gaudy Hour by Margaret Campbell Brown, The Concubine by Norah Lofts, and The Lady in the Tower are all significantly better stories about the rise and fall of Anne Boleyn. 


3.) This list reads more like a best seller list than an essential list. Quite a few of these novels aren't even ten years old. The creator of this list left of works by Uris, Penman, Shaara, Dunnett, Renault, you get the point for books published in the last three years? I get that there is a lot of historical fiction out there but come on? Where did you look for suggestions? Literary review magazines and the bestseller list on the back page of the newspaper? 


Those are my thoughts. I'd love to know what other readers think. 


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone  - J.K. Rowling, Mary GrandPré No matter how many times I read this book, it will always be 5 stars.

Reading progress update: I've read 4 out of 528 pages.

Heretics  - Leonardo Padura Fuentes

This book was recommended to me by a librarian. I don't think she realized it was the 8th book in a series. 


I was hesitant to try it when she said it was about a painting. The last book I read that involved a painting was The Goldfinch. That book was a horrid waste of my time. Fortunately, I have learned from my past. Life is too short to read books that suck. So if this book doesn't go well, I'm returning it with no shame. 

It's raining.

Since it's raining for the third day in a row, I decided to take advantage of the weather. My girls are so fed up with the raining that they have all retreated to their rooms. I think my oldest has finished ten books in the last three days. I'm not sure what the Twinkers have accomplished and frankly, I'm afraid to find out. 


I still haven't solved some of the problems I was having with my blog but I'm trudging ahead with new posts anyway. Hopefully I stumble upon the solution while I'm working. 


Forget Noah, I'm looking for Steve Carell

Shameless Plug Time

It's cold. It's storming. It's raining. Moana is the only thing keeping my children from clinging to me. 


I've spent the better part of the last week trying to figure out why I can't get my preview page of my blog to match the published page. It's incredibly frustrating as a person who spends nine and a half months out of the year troubleshooting computer problems for other people. Usually I depend on Google to save me. Google is failing me. 


All of this extra work is taking away from my reading. Seriously. It's cold and raining. That is the best weather for reading. But I have to figure out my blog first. See, I started this new thing. I recently became a distributor for SeneGence. I needed a summer job. I have developed an addiction to LipSense. Why not combine those two things? Actually, I had a summer job working at a local winery. One of my other great loves is wine. However, I recently tried to start my face on fire while working. If you are trying to find an alternative to waxing your eyebrows, I don't recommend fire. In addition to developing a sudden fear of fire, I also managed to give myself some nasty burns on half of my right had. That's fine. It's not like I'm right-handed or anything. Oh wait. 


Anyway, if you are all about helping a book obsessed, fire fearing, make-up loving, mother of three girls who will some day develop make-up habits of their own, I have a group over on Facebook. Gettin' Girly with Gretchen


I promise this will be my last shameless plug. Since my in-house IT person has thrown his hands in the air, I must return to my blog problems. The faster I figure this out, the faster I can go back to my books. 





Help Wanted

I'm trying to make some changes to my current blog. My edit screen is showing me one thing but my actual blog looks completely different. Does this problem make sense to anyone? Can anyone help me? For someone who is a member of the technology department for a school district, this is a bad look. Ugh. 

Monday. Monday.

Two blog posts in under a week?!?! There might be some magic in my coffee. 


Or my children were just that exhausted after spending four days with grandma and grandpa with no scheduled bedtimes. 


Maybe both.


A Vacation of Sorts

I Like to Procrastinate

While trying to avoid my to-do list today, I realized I hadn't written a blog post since April. 


Check one thing off my to-do list (even if it was a thing that wasn't originally on my to-do list). 



Reading progress update: I've read 112 out of 592 pages.

American Gods - Neil Gaiman

I want to read all day. No sleep needed! My kids can eat cold pop-tarts and waffles, right?

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network - Kate Quinn

Best book I have read all year and quite possibly my favorite Quinn novel yet. This book proves Quinn can bring any era to life with characters who you will find yourself crying over when it is all said and done. Seriously, I need to go find a corner to curl up in now. I just don't know what to do with myself now that there is no more. Maybe if I go to bed early enough I will dream of Finn *sigh*