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Archive for June, 2009

nightstand

While May was a good month for reading, June’s reading was sidelined with all the packing and moving. I ended up bringing only one of the books on my ‘to read’ for June list, but also added a few more along the way.

This month I finished reading:

I’m still reading:

Next month I plan to read:

These got booted off the list…indefinitely.

Story, by Robert McKee, got knocked off the list. It’ll just have to wait for another time. 

Confessions of a Prep School Mommy Handler, by Wade Rouse, was just not doing it for me. It was entertaining. There were funny stories, but as I kept reading I just wasn’t all that interested in where it was going–and it seemed to be taking awhile to get there. It’d make for a funny movie, most likely.

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Limbo in South Carolina

June 19 - 22 094It’s done. We’ve moved.

We’re still not officially “there” yet. “There” being Louisville. We’re staying at my parents house for about a month visiting, catching up, and making a few road trips.

We’ll probably be in Louisville some time in the beginning of August.

But it’s done. No more boxes for awhile. No more going, “Ack! Where’d that come from…quick find a box!” No more packing and weighing suitcases. No more holding sleeping babies on a plane…no return flight.

We’re on the East Coast and now we can relax…for a few weeks. And, hopefully, be able to get some good reading done.

I’m ready to get back into a regular routine again.

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It’s moving time…

June 8 - 18 172

Bye to our Junior Highers

So it’s finally here. The PODS has arrived, the walls are beginning to look bare, boxes fill the corners of our house and all of our our junk…I mean, very necessary things for life are filling the PODS nicely.

June 8 - 18 299

At Balboa Park

It’s been a crazy week at our house between packing boxes, visiting our favorite places one final time, and hanging out with friends–I’m surprised we’ve squeezed in so much! We’ve been up late and up early…thanks to the two new teeth making their way in my little guy’s upper jaw. And somehow I thought I’d have time to blog during this week. This is actually the first time I’ve been on the computer in three days! You should have seen my Google Reader! Let’s just say things did not get read.

Only a few more days left and we’re gone from San Diego for good…or at least until next summer when we visit for my brother-in-law’s wedding. I’m looking forward to getting semi-settled in South Carolina where we’ll be visiting my parents for about a month before making our way to Louisville. I’m imagining it to be a little relaxing with a lot of playing and reading. We’ll see how that pans out.

The Last of In n Out

The Last of In n Out

I’m still trying to figure out what books to request from PaperBack Swap before I put my account on vacation hold, any suggestions?

Balboa Park

Balboa Park

Oh…and I thought this was pretty niffy. My brother’s an artist, working particularly in graphic design, and made this for his girlfriend’s summer reading list. Maybe if I’m nice he’ll make me one too. You should check out his blog for other cool stuff.

Erins-Reading-List_v2Through all this I have finished some books: The Secret Garden and The Courtship of Nellie Fisher (series)…I thought I’d get more reading done, but apparently I wasn’t being too realistic!

Now it’s off to more packing, but it’s been nice to have this little Internet break…more sleep would be nice to…

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I have a slight problem facing me the last few days. It’s really nothing major. I have 7 credits for PaperBack Swap and I have no idea what books I should request!

I’m moving in about a week and a half and thought I’d stock up on books and have them sent to my parents house where we’ll be staying for at least a month before actually heading to Louisville.

It’s not that there aren’t any books I want to read. There are plenty, but some I’m waiting in line for on my wish list: Julie & Julia, Married in Tehran, The Guernesy Literary and Potato Peel Society, and Jane Austen Ruined My Life.

I’d rather not stock up on chick lit from PaperBack Swap since most libraries carry a plethora of the genre and I’m usually finished so quickly with them. I do plan to read Meg Cabot’s Queen of Babble series this summer and the thought crossed my mind to finish off Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series as well.

As you can tell, I’m planning to have lots of laid-back reading time which will be helped by a couple of road trips.

So, do you have any suggestions? One book I did request was The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs.

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Out of all the Sisters of Holmes County books A Sister’s Hope (Sisters of Holmes County, Book 3) is my favorite. I enjoyed the youngest sistern270531, Martha, probably more than either of the older sisters. Her spunk and determination to not simply sit back while her family continues to be attacked and receive threats, as well as her persistence to not just settle down and get married but pursue her own business set her apart from the other sisters.

Here’s the synopsis:

Martha is the youngest of the Hostettler sisters and the most daring. While her main focus has been on her dog breeding business, Martha has also been troubled about the continuing attacks against her family and home in an Ohio Amish community.

When the prime suspect turns out to be Luke Friesen–the man she loves–Martha decides to play detective. But what will the search for truth cost?

Luke seems to have taken the wrong road in life. With a definite motive and a myriad of methods, he looks guilty as sin. Will Martha’s hope in his innocence be enough to bring the real criminal to justice?

Roman Hostettler disapproves of the love blossoming between his daughter and Luke. In his determination to drive the couple apart, discord and dissension grow within the family.

The author, Wanda Brunstetter, never really tells the reader why Martha falls in love with Luke. She doesn’t really have any interactions with him in the previous books and he’s been painted as a “bad boy” up until this book. So, that aspect didn’t really make sense. Although once they begin working together and seeing more of each other you can see how their relationship and affection develops.

Like I said, this was my favorite in the series but it still had its faults in my opinion. Grace was still whiny and a worry-wart although less so than in A Sister’s Test (Book 2). The dialogue often feels unnatural, very scripted as if the characters (usually the more minor characters) were reading lines rather than being themselves. A few times the Martha’s actions seemed a little too “wild,” I guess is the way to put it, to be Amish–but, hey, what do I know!

I did enjoy seeing Ruth’s story develop and the resolution with the attacks on the family. In the final chapter where the attacks are resolved I felt there was some good depth to the characters and their conversation about God followed naturally, rather than feeling like an obligatory insert as is often the case in Christian fiction.

Overall, I enjoyed the series and recommend it if you’re interested in Amish fiction and looking for a quick read.

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Sisters-Test_02I have a little secret to confess: I have a soft spot for Amish Christian fiction. Give me a book on a fictional Amish family and I’ll devour it in a few hours. If it’s in a series, which most are, I’m likely to finish it within a week.

Why do I like them so much? Like I said before, the culture is fascinating. It’s so foreign to my life and anything I’ve ever known which adds a romantic aspect to the stories.

I was able to get A Sister’s Test (Sisters of Holmes County, Book 2), from PaperBack Swap. Like the A Sister’s Secret, it was a quick read. The story follows Ruth, the middle daughter of the Hostettler family, as she is courting and then married to her beau. The plot continues where Book 1 left off with the attacks on the family still continuing by an unknown perpetrator.

I have to admit I peeked ahead in this one, but it was an accident–honest! I was just trying to see how many pages the story was without the ads, author bio, etc in the back of the book and I saw a detail that turns the story in a way I wasn’t expecting and didn’t want. I quickly flipped through the book to see why it was ending the way it did and what happened. I found out, but I won’t tell.

Here’s the synopsis:

The Hostettler family continues to face an unseen enemy who randomly attacks their property. Despite the unrest, Ruth, the second oldest sister, is about to realize her greatest dream–to marry and raise a family with Martin Gingerich. But in a flash, her world is shattered. Can Ruth stitch together the pieces of her life, with faith and heart intact, or will she forever question her value as a wife?

Overall, I enjoyed the story. I liked the continuation with the family. You’re able to see a bit of development in the main characters of Book 1, but it wasn’t as developed as I would have liked. Grace, the eldest sister, was very whiny, characterized by worry,  and seemed to overreact too much. It was a disappoint to see the main character from the first book fall like that.

It felt lacking, although I can’t exactly put my finger on what I feel it lacked at the moment. It almost seemed to be just the stopping point for the series.

I’ve finished the final book in the series, A Sister’s Hope. You can look for that review in the next day or so.

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childrensclassics

As a child the only book of poetry I can remember having is A Child’s Garden of Verses, a collection of poems by Robert Louis Stevenson. Of course, I got my share of Shel Silverstein at school. He’s great, especially “Homework Machine” and its illustration–I loved that one!

But poems from The Land of Nod brought out the magic and imagination of childhood.

The Land of Nod

From breakfast on through all the day
At home amongst my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do–
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.

Other favorites from this collection are “My Bed Is a Boat,” “The Swing,” “Picture Books in Winter,” “Young Night-Thought,” and “Foreign Lands.”

My husband really enjoys William Blake and often reads his poems to our son. The one I hear him read most often is “The Tiger.”

The Tiger

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

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