Tuesday, June 29, 2010

50 Books in 2010--update #3 (25 weeks, but only 20 books)

I'm still committed my 50 books in a year challenge, but I am falling behind! With all the craziness of moving, C finishing up with school, and trying to settle into a new summer routine, I haven't been doing as much reading lately. Slowly but surely, I did work through 10 more books, several of which I enjoyed a lot. Here they are...

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11. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
I thought this book was great. I wasn't sure I'd get into it initially since the book is written entirely in letter format, but I was quickly drawn in by the characters, and ended up really loving it. Quite a sweet book that I recommended without hesitation to my MIL who also loved it. My own mom is next on the list to borrow it.

12. Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
I enjoyed this book as well. Based on a very sad premise, this was a depressing but interesting look at the Holocaust from a child's point of view.

13. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson
This is second book in the Millennium Trilogy. It was fun to revisit the characters from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I look forward to reading the final book in the series to see where things go from here.  I just picked up the 3rd book last week, so I am sure it will show up in my next book update.

14. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
I loved the Twilight series, so I thought I should check out the first book in the Sookie Stackhouse series. It was an easy read, but I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I enjoyed the Twilight series. I never thought of myself as being really into "vampire" fiction, I was just drawn in by the characters in Twilight. The same didn't happen for me with this book. Perhaps it was too vampirey. I still may try out another book in this series though, since I know a lot of my friends did enjoy these books.

15. Real Boys: Rescuing our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood by William Pollack
I read this book in snippets over a few months while waiting in the school pickup line, in an attempt to figure out how to raise my two boys to be fine young men. It was filled with interesting anecdotes and gave me some ideas. Here's hoping I can figure it all out without screwing them up too much!

16. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
This was a cute book, focused on the detective exploits of an 11 year old girl. As a Harriet the Spy and Sherlock Holmes lover, and a girl who used to pretend to be a spy and solve crimes in the yard, this was a fun new character for me to discover. I look forward to reading Bradley's next book.

17. Raising Cain by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson
Another "raising boys" parenting book. Can you tell what I've been focused on?!  While interesting, this book kind of stressed me out, talking a lot about sex, violence, drugs, and the struggles boys have in adolescence. Yikes! Can they just stay 5 and 3 forever?

18. Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
I had heard of Jennifer Weiner's books (In Her Shoes, etc), but had never read any of them. So when I saw this one for $2 at a book sale, I figured I would check it out, even though I had no idea what it was about. It ended up being a fun, easy read about becoming a mother and the life changes that go with it. Not profound, but a good summer read.

19. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
I really enjoyed this book.  I tend to like historical fiction, and this story about a book conservator and an intriguing journey through the history of a unique book, was right up my alley. It was historical fiction for book lovers!

20. The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall
I always pick up Indian fiction (a small tribute to my heritage, I guess), and I love mysteries, so even though I had never heard of this book before, when I saw it at Costco I had to check it out. And I'm so glad I did, because it was a funny and interesting tale of a private investigator in India. The flow of the speech of the characters and their expressions brought back the voices of my relatives, and I couldn't help but smile as I read along. I am not sure if the author intends to write more books in this vein, but I sure hope he does, because I would love to follow "Vish Puri, India's Most Private Investigator" on a few more adventures.

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I really do want to succeed in reading 50 books this year, so here's hoping I can catch up some this summer. Two books a week will be tough, but I did pick up a few promising new books at the local library's 50c book sale! I've already started book 21, so we'll see how it goes...

Monday, June 21, 2010

NH Numbers

Last week we took a short family vacation to the White Mountains in New Hampshire. We all had a great time, and it worked out well for a relaxing post move vacation. I think fun was had by all. Here's a brief look at our vacation in numbers (and a few pictures)...

# of different license plates seen: 30 states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 1 US government plate

# of holes of mini golf played: 36, and the boys begged for more.

# of motorcycles seen:  We stopped counting after reaching 111, but we surely saw several hundred as, unbeknownst to us, it was also "Bike Week" in the White Mountains. Largest group of motorcycles seen riding together: 22


# of gorges hiked: 2


# of glacial boulders seen: LOTS

# of ants, spiders, and beetles spotted and studied in depth by the boys: I have no idea, but it seemed that every other minute they were looking at some insect.

# of caves explored: 10

# of trains ridden: 3

# of hours at Story Land amusement park: 7.5

# of times the boys rode the roller coaster: 3 (this was the only ride they wanted to repeat)

# of times the boys needed to be carried during all of our long days: 0 (!!!!!!!)

They really are growing up! This vacation would not have been nearly as much fun last year.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Almost a month...

It's been almost a month since I last posted.

I had such high hopes when I started this blog. I was going to post 5 days a week, so I would never forget any of the funny things the boys did. But just like with losing weight and getting regular exercise, it's proven harder to stick with this goal than I thought. Life just gets too busy sometimes.

Soon after my last post, we moved. Which means that several weeks of our lives were focused on these.
We're mostly unpacked now. Just a few straggling boxes are left (which are the hardest to unpack because they're filled with things that we don't quite know what to do with). We would have been further along, but I just couldn't resist taking the boys to do things like this instead.
After all, we've never been strawberry picking before, so when the right weather and the right timing lined up, how could I waste that opportunity? And it was on our list of summer adventures!

Now that life is settling back into our regular routine, I hope to be back posting more. At least until things get busy again... I'll just keep doing my best. Even a little something has to be better than nothing, right?