Sunday, October 30, 2016

Monthly Recap vol. 38 ~ October 2016


40. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Reading Moriarty and getting to the end is like nirvana. She has several storylines going at once, and when she ties them together, I go to a different realm of my own reality. This book was especially thrilling and surprising. It had me on the edge of my seat in such a good way. Highly recommended!  Second favorite after What Alice Forgot, for sure. I'm glad I read this next, because I was beginning to lose hope after The Husband's Secret which was *a little too dark for me.* #HSP #gritty 5/5 stars

41. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
I love books about the struggle of minorities. This book about growing up hispanic in Chicago scratched my itch for a book in this genre, since ethnicity and race in American Lit is one of my favorite genres. I did learn from it. However, to be honest, I kept scratching my head, wondering what the fuss was about this book. She wrote each chapter so that it could be read individually, that is, a part separate from the whole. She explained in the intro that she was telling her story, as well as the stories of her students.  I felt that for me, this strategy was lacking in some way. I wanted to hear her story and I wanted the chapters to hang together. Perhaps she has done that in a future book, I just don't know. 3/5 stars

42. The Little Bookstore at Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch
What a sweet, romantic, heartwarming memoir about the love of books! Wendy Welch lives with such a passion for life, and her book isn't going to disappoint you in the least. This story of independent bookselling awesomeness has such a universal appeal. I think most if not all women - any age- will be able to appreciate this memoir. You'll want to read *even more* books, and then sip tea all day after reading this-- trust me! 5/5 stars

43. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
This was recommended at my local Barnes and Noble. It's a good book to keep on your Kindle and read in little snatches of time. It's entertaining and original. The writing is pretty stellar, which is what my the blurb on "Staff Picks" told me and led me to pick it up;)  It is, centrally, about a cult that does not allow the reproduction of data via scanning- therefore, no Kindles, no internet, no devices. Sometimes novels written by men have less appeal to me, personally, than novels written by women. Well it is a boon to this author that his name is Robin, because I thought he was a woman. LOL!  All in all, I did enjoy it. The lifestyle portrayed had a bit to be desired, which bugged me. I think so often bestsellers can portray a very worldly point of view, and you either just have to roll with it, or it bugs you enough to set the book down. I think you should try reading it, particularly if the issue of screens is a conundrum to you... (maybe even on a Kindle or other device?) and then you can be the judge! ;)

~Kids are reading~

Molly finished the first Harry Potter this Summer, and she is well into the Chamber of Secrets (#2). She has read two Narnia books at night with Daddy, and she is reading Little House in the Big Woods right now, as well.

And with the littles, a million and two read-aloud picture books, as always. The Library is our third best friend!;)

*just noticed I read >>two<< books this month with the word "bookstore" in them- haha!!*
~Also, I'm getting close to my yearly goal, 50 books. I'm working on writing a post condensing thoughts and achievements. ;)


I posted a file to Soundcloud, and it is my response to the accusation on Twitter last month that my book reviews are "rushed." Listen here.


~Funny Things They Say~

{playing bookstore}
Madeleine: You have to pay me cash *and* swipe your credit card.
Me: .... {giving her fake cash}
Madeleine: Swipe your credit card!!
Me: Well. This should bode well for the bookstore industry...!

Stephen: It seems like they are demanding perfection on your Math homework.
Molly: That's what 3rd grade is all about! Perfection!


As usual, I'm listening to all my favorite podcasts. WSIRN, the Jen Fulwiler show, and RAR in constant rotation. I've added a few since the last time we talked podcasts. It has been forever, I think. First, for sure add Happier with Gretchen Rubin if you haven't yet!  Gretchen Rubin discussed with her sister Elizabeth Craft recently the difference between a well-intentioned gift and an ill-intentioned one. This discussion was funny and so interesting, and it really rang true for me. I've had experience with the ill-intentioned gift in the past, and it really can be so hurtful and it can drain your happiness. I was laughing out loud and nodding my head along- so fun, so- listen!
Also check out Smartest Person in the Room with Laura Tremaine and Megan Tietz. ;)
And that's it!

all of them pretty... every single one.;)

Food Network Star
I don't know why I dropped in on one of the later seasons, but as a Food Network fan in general, I really enjoyed Season 9 of this fast-paced show. I was super invested in all of the people, and also so very curious to find out the winner. I fell in love with all of the contestants- especially the women haha. Also, Giada, Alton, and (I guess) Bobby as judges? #lovefoodnetwork

Some of the new Portlandia, season 6
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein make me laugh until I cry. Carrie is so very funny and Fred is in a class all his own, truth be told. This particular season is still seedy in parts , so skip those parts or be warned!;) (I would add that they have dropped some of the weirdo characters of past seasons, thankfully, which may relieve some viewers.... I'm not into creepy-weird, so PARE DOWN PLEASE). The cast is still so spot-on, and you have to watch just to see some of their special guests.... omygosh for example, The Flaming Lips. This show continues to break stereotypes and I truly believe the combo of these two with their director, Jonathan Krisel, and we are talking genius, people. I hope they make a movie, because I think Krisel could be/ already is the next Wes Anderson.

I'm also looking forward to this!

I've dug out a couple of old CD's and the bands I forgot about being so good! It's fun! Stephen has been busting out Weezer's blue album and I've been listening to Flaming Lips and Ace of Base (Yes, really!)  in the car. There's just magic in some of those old songs for me. I don't know why! ;) I tried listening to the Decembrists because they were one of my favorite bands in college and... nope. Way too depressing for me now. I'll work on compiling those others into a Spotify playlist for ya soon. ;) Also you should follow me on Spotify! It's fun, promise ;)


How Tolstoy Called Me Out of My Superficial Life @ Aleteia
I have not read this piece by Rhonda Ortiz, but I have marked it to-read and plan to! ;)

Are You Being Defensive? @ Psychology Today
This story features someone at work who is always on the defensive. I found it very interesting, and I think it applies to all of us at some point in life, because who likes criticism? It's easier to say "You're wrong!" than to really hear the criticism being spoken or brought to light. Worth reading!

Our Budget Friendly Pre-school room @ Sweet Little Ones
I'm all about a budget!;)

Family Fun in NYC @ The Little Caboose
This looked like such a fun trip in a city that I adore. Heart heart heart.

Is Pre-School Good for Kids@ Great Schools
We've put all our kids in Pre-school but not everyday Pre-K. Our kids have a good Catholic Pre-K program, andI will say I believe quality Pre-school will provide opportunities for everything that your child needs. They will have time to run, time to play, plenty of skill-building, computer class (typing, etc) and opportunities to share. They will learn together in community, they will go on field trips, they will be stretched. They've all made incredible friends and have mind-blowingly good teachers IMHO. Plus, our school includes Mass two times a week, learning to pray the rosary, and faith is a central part of all of their learning. They take the Iowa standardized tests (not TCAP) and it is a very good test. My kids have all learned *so* much, and they make amazing friends. You can't put a price tag on that! ;)

How to Build a Hexastix in 72 Easy Steps @ Matt Parker/standupmaths
If you want to keep your kids fascinated for about 15 minutes, have them watch this. It's entertaining and completely engrossing.


31 days of drinks.... no, really. What did we drink? search #31daysofdrinks on instagram to find out;)

Stephen and I are about to celebrate our *10th* wedding anniversary. Feels big, right?! We wanted to go to the Big Apple, but with some personal things going on in our lives, that wasn't in the cards this year. More on that later. We will be able to get away somewhere in a few weekends. I am so excited. I'll keep you abreast of all of our goings on, over on instagram!! ;)


Kendra @ said...

Totally on board with all of your podcast picks; they've all been hitting it out of the park lately! I read Big Little Lies this month as well, and liked it a lot but not as much as What Alice Forgot (isn't that everyone's favorite?!) or The Husband's Secret. I always forget how dark her novels are until I get into them, though!

Tacy said...

Very cool that we've read all of the same ones! I'd love to hear if you have a recommendation for which Moriarty would be good next?!

Michele Morin said...

Podcast recommendations were completely new to me! Thanks for the heads up!

Tacy said...

Hey, no problem! The pleasure is all mine.