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Archive for the ‘An Ok Read’ Category

Wow really I’m so far behind in my blog reading, apologies to everyone, I hope to catch up soon. I have some time so I thought I’d pop in and let give you guys an update. I’m a bit of a mad women right now so I hope it all makes sense! If you’re just hear for the knittin’ its at the end 😉

The house – the inspection was Friday they are asking for one thing to be fixed, depending on the cost I may or may not do it. I have one more apartment to check out Monday evening. Then that decision will be made.

Wine Charms – if you’ve bought charms I’ll be sending them this week. If you haven’t pop over to the link on the right. It’s a smoking deal on some fabulous charms in amazing themes and it’s for a good cause!

Books – I have had these reviews written for over a week and I don’t see any point in saving them any longer.

The Myth of You and Me – loved it! I didn’t major in literature so I can’t get all fancy with why I liked it. But I enjoyed the story, the twists, the surprises, the idea the even when you know, or think you know everything about someone, they can still surprise you, there are things you might not know. I’d say it’s a story of hope, redemption and regret.

The Book of Air and Shadows – Liked it. I listened to this while I was knitting. It’s the type of book I enjoy listening to while knitting, action, adventure, intrigue, mystery. If you liked the Da Vinci Code you’ll like this one.

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox – Love it. I finished it in only a couple of days. I was waiting for this one to come out, I must have read a review somewhere before it was published because I was almost tempted to buy it. I don’t normally buy fiction novels, that’s why I have a library card, but I came close. It would have been worth it.

I haven’t found as much time to read as I’d like to lately. There is so much going on, plus I’m planning a trip to Italy so I’ve been reading a LOT of travel books.

goodreads.gifIf you like keeping track of the books you own, books you’ve read, etc and you haven’t checked out Goodreads, you should! I know there are other sites out there for organizing your books and I’ve used some of them in the past. But I’m hooked on Goodreads now. They’ll let you import your books from other sites like LibraryThing and you can add unlimited books for free!

Clapotis Two 02Knitting – Right now I have two goals – 1. Finish the Central Park Non Hoodie before I leave for Europe because if it looks as fab as I hope I’ll take it with me. 2. Finish my sisters Clapotis before I leave for Europe because it will be too warm to wear when we get back. You may notice it looks different than the last time you saw it. I switched yarns, I wasn’t happy with the other. So yes, I’m knitting two items in Grey right now. 🙂

Gifts!Emily sent me a package this week! It was a wonderful surprise in the middle of all the madness. Her kindness is unbelievable and so appreciate right now. It’s a ball of Panache, my favorite discontinued KnitPicks yarn and a mini sock key chain (I think this is all part of her evil plan to get me to knit socks! LOL) Isn’t she wonderful? Really, Emily, this made my week!

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some random thoughts

  • why is my toothbrush handle ergonomically correct? Is this a real problem? Are people causing irreversible damage to their hands everyday during the 4 minutes they spend brushing?
  • I am SO close to finishing the Minimalist Cardigan it’s driving me crazy. I leave town this afternoon and I’m not taking it with me, I wont have the space to block it or time to seam it carefully, so it seems silly to take it with me. But it’s driving me crazy, I am SO close!
  • I need a chauffeur. I have to drive 3-4 hours today and that’s good knitting time! I wonder if I could train the boys to drive….
  • I finished Inkheart and liked it. It was recommended to me by Sheepish Annie when I was suffering Harry Potter withdraw. I’m on hold for the next book, Inkspell. I’m also relistening to the Lord of the Rings. I have to say I was very disappointed to read the loathing and abuse heaped on both HP and LotR on a message board lately. Closemindedness knows no limits. I love Austen and Dumas and regularly read nonfiction (wanna talk about African oil?) but I love HP and LotR too. I’ve got lots of love to go around.
  • Thank you to all the friends that commented on my “wiser” list both on the blog and off. Like almost everyone I struggle with my self image and work to be a good person. Remembering the last one “I like me. I’m not perfect but I’m a good person and I’m tired of apologizing for the things others may not like.” has been hard this week. I think I’m going to continue to struggle with it.
  • It’s finally cooling down! woooohoooo! yeah Fall!
  • I’m starting to get excited about new Fall tv shows, how big of a dork does that make me? oh well, let my geek light shine – Dirty Sexy Money (Peter Krause!), Bionic Woman, Cane (I think this conflicts with Boston Legal eek!) get your geek on this one has premiere dates oh and 25 days till Heroes!

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This book was recommended to me by a coworker at the library when we were discussing my other job – waitressing. I really enjoyed reading about the author’s adventures in waitressing. It was interesting to read that the stereotypes on who tips well and who doesn’t seem to be universal. These stereotypes exist for a reason, they’re pretty much true. It also turns out that wait staff and the kitchen staff where I work get on exceptionally well. Which confirmed what I already knew, I got very lucky when I got this second job. My one complaint about the book is the author covers a lot of the drama that goes on behind the scenes in the restaurant business but narrates from a distance, common sense says she had to be involved in some of it. I couldn’t’ help but feel her tone was a slightly superior as if she were above that drama, which isn’t necessarily depicted in a positive light. I get it, you’re writing a book, you don’t want to look bad, so maybe a disclaimer at the beginning stating that for the sake of the book you’ve removed yourself from the stories, but you were smack dab in the middle of the craziness when it was going down. Overall an good read if you’re interested in one view of what happens behind the scenes for waitresses I definitely recommend it. Oh and I think my favorite story was the one where, when a waitress realized that a table she’d worked very hard to please left her a small, rather insulting tip, she ran after them parking lot and threw it back at them.  🙂

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Water for Elephants

I finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen for my online book club. Warning – this review contains spoilers!

I have to be honest I didn’t really care for this book, I know it’s on the bestseller list and tends to be popular. Maybe it’s my funky mood of late, maybe it’s that my first introduction to a circus during The Depression was Carnivalé, which I loved and I am still bitter it was canceled, I don’t know. I enjoyed the parts of the book that dealt with an old man reliving his youth and the problems he had dealing with his age and frailty.  Most of us will probably look in the mirror one day and not recognize ourselves and not much like the look of the person staring back. The flashbacks of his youth get bogged down in melodrama. Instead of enjoying what might have been a moving story, I just wanted it hurry up and be over, because we all knew how it would end anyway. The ending was predictable and having Camel and Walter tossed off the train so he wouldn’t have to deal with what would happen to them, was just a little too convenient for my taste. I hate to say it, but I felt like it was written how a woman thinks a man thinks/feels (please send hate mail to everybodyhasone@opinion.com) I’ve also read books that I thought went the other way – a man writing how he thinks women think. I don’t have a problem with women writing about men or visa versa, but something was just off in this one. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate it and obviously a lot more people than me really like it. We’re allowed to like and enjoy different things. I’m looking forward reading everyone else’s thoughts on it when the book club discusses it.

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I finished Time Was Soft There: A Paris Sojourn at Shakespeare & Co. by Jeremy Mercer a couple of weeks ago. I really enjoy reading travel essay or travelogues, you can read about any place you want, escaping the cold Fall in the Midwest to visit a warmer, more exotic locale. In this case Paris, not necessarily warmer but definitely more exotic. While, Time Was Soft There isn’t a true travel essay, the author isn’t traveling to Paris for a vacation, but fleeing problems in his life, it is still a great read for anyone who enjoys that genre. Mercer feeling overwhelmed with problems in his life, runs away to Paris for escape, something we’ve all probably wished we could do. He ends up staying at Shakespeare & Company, a book store opened in 1951 by George Whitman which served as a refuge for such writers as Alan Ginsberg and Henry Miller. Time Was Soft There was a fast, easy read. While offering a fictional escape to Paris in the middle of a deary fall I also learned about a literary landmark. If you enjoy reading travel books I highly recommend this one.

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I picked up this book on CD because I was going to be driving over a weekend. I used to read everything James Patterson wrote, but I quit a couple of years ago and now I remember why; too much drama. Yep, that’s right. I really enjoy the mystery part of the story and how he writes from several perspectives, so you get to read from the point of view of the detective, the victim and the criminals. But, I am so tired of Alex Cross (the main character in many of the books) getting screwed all the time, and I don’t mean in the good way. Something always goes REALLY wrong it that guys life. Ugh. These would would be great reads if it weren’t for the constant drama of our main detective.

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I finally finished Not Buying It. I have to admit when I picked it up I thought the author was my age or at least my generation. She’s a bit older, and that doesn’t really affect the point of her book, but it changed how I looked at the experiment. I know not shopping for a year would be hard for anyone. However, I can’t help but feel that it might be Not Buying Itslightly easier for someone who has an established life, works from home, has an apartment in New York City, a house in the country and while not married and has a long term partner.

I had a couple of small problems with the book. I’m still not exactly sure what she wasn’t buying. The impression was they weren’t eating out but they were still buying “luxury items” to cook at home. If you’re not checking out the lastest books at the public library then shouldn’t what you’re eating be more bare bones too? At one point her niece is graduating and she worries about what to give her for gift without spending money. Levine’s final choice is excellent, but while in Montana to attend the graduation she buys an outfit in a second hand store whose proceeds go to charity. While the outfit only cost $9, it occurred to me that perhaps the time to waiver on not shopping is when it comes to buying a gift for your niece. I was also frustrated near the end of the book, she really focuses on the 2004 presidential election. I know it was a stressful time for many, and who’s in office does affect many parts of consumerism, but I’m not reading a book about the election.

Overall I enjoyed the book, it’s a readable and interesting and many on the subject are dry and preachy. I liked that it was a personal narrative that included some interesting points.

  • What you save in the money you spend at places like Wal-mart you pay for latter through taxes because Wal-mart is notorious for not providing insurance for their employees and paying them very low wages.
  • Because buying organic and natural is so expensive it’s almost a bourgeois privilege.
  • Americans work, on average, 9 more weeks a year than Europeans.
  • Even our leisure activities cost money. For example, you can’t just bicycle anymore; you have to have a top of the line bike with all the clothing and accessories.
  • We have the mindset of consumers. If we don’t like the way one company or industry does something we make the choice to spend our money elsewhere, except who says we have to spend money at all?

Not that the author didn’t come across as preachy on occasion, but the points she was making are good and hopefully a reached a few people who hadn’t thought about them before.

I agree with most of the points she makes, but near the end she seemed to be coming down hard on people who buy and sell, even mentioning we now do both easily through services like eBay. I’m sure its easy to feel superior after not buying for a year, but I have a question for the author – What about her book? She obviously wrote it for the consumer market, hoping people would buy it. Why not choose not to participate in consumerism and chronicle her year on-line for free on a blog like this one?

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