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Archive for March, 2009

A Little LOL Cats Book Love

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LIII

A word is dead,

When it is said,

some say.

I say it just

Begins to live

that day.

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So, today I made a trip to the library (and the bookstore) to return a few books and pick up some holds. Inevitably, I checked out more books than I had on hold.

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Yes, that’s High School Musical up there and no I don’t have a tween. I may not have joined the Twilight bandwagon, but the HSM bug got me. The Penderwicks is a YA novel I’ve had on my GoodReads list and it just happened to be on a cart in front of the holds section, along with The Rainbow Fish.

I added Around the World in 80 Days on my hold list yesterday for the 5 Minutes for Books Classics Book Club on April 7th. Will I finish it by then? We’ll see.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is the book I was most eager for. I first heard about it through Simple Mom’s book club and was very intrigued. It’s a memior, of sorts, from author Barbara Kingsolver (she wrote The Poisonwood Bible, which I’ve had for years and still haven’t read!) and her family’s story of how they lived for a year on food that they grew or was raised in their neighborhood. I’m only on page 14, so I haven’t quite made up my mind what I think about it. To be honest, it’s not quite what I expected. But it’s still early…I mean page 14, come on! : )

And then, I checked out a much of children’s books in Spanish to read to the boy and pratice my espanol. Comprende?

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I really enjoyed reading Prisoner of Tehran and was glad to find this interview of the author, Marina Nemat. If you’ve read the book many things will be a repeat, but still interesting to hear Nemat’s voice and responses to questions.

There’s also an excerpt from the book available in the article. You can find the article here:

Survival at a Price in an Iranian Prison

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nightstandLast month was a good month for reading. This month was also good, although I did gett sidetracked with a week of catching up on NCIS. You I do have I Love You This Much memorized. I even sang it to my son while he was screaming in the car this week. We’ve also been reading a lot of There’s a Wocket in My Pocket. I’m sure that’ll be memorized by next month!

This month I finished reading:

I’m still reading:

  • Practicing Hospitality, by Pat Ennis & Lisa Tatlock
  • Montessori from the Start: The Child at Home, From Birth to Age 3, by Paula Polk Lillard & Lynn Lillard Jessen (A chapter & a half left!)

Next month I plan to read:

  • Lady Windermere’s Fan, by Oscar Wilde
  • Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini (I’ve been motivated by Ultimate Blog Party partiers! I think I just made up a word…)
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, by Barbara Kingsolver (I have this on hold at my library.)

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This is a good book for anyone looking to downsize their home or belongings, moving, or even after the death of a loved one. The authors offer a jculbertson_book1practical approach to going through and getting rid of extra, unwanted, or unused items.

What is helpful about this book is it doesn’t just tell you how to get rid of things, but takes the time to look at the process through an emotional and psychological lenses as well. Within each chapter there are stories of the authors clients to help you see more clearly the point they’re trying to make.

The authors also tackle the “bigger (and more) is better” mentality that is so pervasive in American culture. They promote living with only what you need and truly love and to adopt a “Living Large Mission Statement” : I want to…But…So I will. An example would be “I want to travel, but I have a large mortgage, so I will find a smaller, less-expensive home in an area I love.”

I checked out this book because its been my goal for sometime now to downsize our, which means mostly my, belongings. Now that we’re moving this summer it’s the perfect opportunity to do so! The added bonus is that we’ve been living with my father-in-law for about eight months, so we can save for grad school, and have boxes of stuff stored in the garage. It will be interesting to see what we have that we don’t even use.

Overall, it was an informative, useful, and quick read.

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Prisoner of Tehran wasn’t originally on my list for this year, but I saw it in the library laying on top of the biographies and was intrigued. It wasn’t until my next trek to the library that I picked it up.

I read it in two days.

It was really good, but sad. I’m very interested in Middle Eastern culture and literature, especially in regards to Iran. I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe it’s because the Middle East takes precedent in the news or that I was introduced to the plight and suffering of Middle Eastern women in my mom’s Marie Claire magazines. (The magazine use to have a section on women’s issues, that often covered the Middle East.)

The book is the memoir of Marina Nemat a political prisoner during the Islamic Cultural Revolution. Why did she become a prisoner? Because she questioned her teacher on why they were hearing revolution propaganda instead of learning calculus. The book chronicles her life the few weeks before she was arrested, her time in prisoner, and how she was released (which involved marrying one of her interragators).

Marina says in the beginning that the events are recounted as best as she remembers, which might be why some have criticized Prisoner of Tehran as more fiction than fact. Other women who were prisoners in Evin say that certain events and descriptions of the prisoner are incorrect. Either way, it is Nemat’s memoir, her recollection, and shows the horrors that have come out of the Cultural Revolution in Iran.

What fascinated me most about this memoir is that there’s reality to it, even amidst the accusations of it being fiction. These are things that would never happen in America, horrors I would never experience, circumstances that are beyond my ability to fully comprehend.

Torture, imprisonment, revolution.

Prisoner of Tehran will draw you in to a world you cannot imagine and leave you in disbelief that such a place really exists.

You can learn more about the author Marina Nemat at her website (www.marinanemat.com), where you can find pictures from her time in Iran, a short biography, and essays.

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