Tag Archives: reading

creeped out, bored + why dad is in 7th heaven

this past week, i finished two books – numbers thirteen and fourteen on the year. again, i was reading them simultaneously, and you will see why in just a moment.

on thursday, i finished sue grafton’s t is for trespass, part of the kinsey millhone series.

without a doubt, this was the BEST sue grafton i have read. i rate it ***1/2 (three point five stars). funny note, part i: i could only get this book in LARGE PRINT from the library. it was 564 pages long and the size of a door stop. but you sure feel like a speedreader when you can cover 100+ pages in a single day. funny note, part ii: this novel was a complete page turner, but one night i was trying to read it in bed, and i had to set it aside, that’s how much it was giving me the willies. and it was all because of the character of “solana” – she was freaking me out! so i had to stick to day-time reading.

this series is like reading a nancy drew: you know that everything will turn out all right in the end (as also evidenced by the fact that the next book is u is for undertow) but the plot totally hooked me, and i could not wait to see how things would turn out. the only disappointment was the last few pages – the story ends overly-dramatically.

then last night, i thankfully concluded the jane austen book club by susan joy fowler.

i will go on record as saying this was the most boring chick lit-genred novel i have ever read (i should have left it in the garbage room building lending library where i found it). tjabc was both a good and bad bedtime read: good because it made me want to sleep, bad because it took me way longer to finish than it should have, given the very few number of pages i could get through per night. the characters did not engage me (the most interesting of the mini-plots was the love triangle history of sylvia-jocelyn-daniel) and the writing style was flat. to be fair, if i was more familiar with jane austen’s works (i’ve only ever read pride and prejudice and that was at least twenty years ago) the austen comparisons might have meant more, and the novel may have been more interesting. this book gets a *1/2 (one point five star) rating. before reading the novel, i thought i had seen the movie version; now i don’t think i did! absolutely nothing sounded familiar! can’t say i am tempted to rush out and get the dvd!

next up: ready player one, on loan from sil ana. both she and the brother have read it, now it’s my turn! i’m looking forward to what i understand are prolific 80s references. and sticking to my two-books-at-once trend, i just this aft picked up u is for undertow at the library. time to get reading!

~*~*~*~*~

if asked to name his favourite food, i know dad would reply, “french fries.” although, on second thought, maybe he would say apple pie…or mom’s scalloped potatoes??…ok, i guess i am not as sure of my response as i initially thought! anyway, i DO know fries would be right near the top of the list. take a look at what has been parked in uptown waterloo, right in the centre square, starting about a week ago:

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[**important sidenote!!** sadly, this ^^ is NOT the exact truck to which i am referring! when i went to snap my pic this aft -> NO TRUCK. murphy's law! so this is a CLOSE APPROXIMATION of the vehicle you will see in uptown waterloo square!].

needless to say, dad has already paid dave’s french fry truck a visit. his verdict? excellent! i have to laugh because whenever we talk about uptown waterloo plus food choices, dad emphatically states that uptown wat needs a fresh-cut fry truck (any other longtime residents remember when there WAS a bright blue fry truck, parked by the corner of william and king, way back in the late 80s, early 90s?!).

so far, it looks like the fry truck is getting a good flow of traffic up to its take-out window. locals, lmk if you check out dave’s fry truck and give me your opinion! (and don’t be surprised if you bump into dad!).

~*~*~*~*~

on this weekend, way back in ’96, dad and i ran our first marathons in niagara falls. i remember so many details from that day – happy memories!

what are you reading RIGHT NOW?! and give your **** star rating, please!

theme week: top ten tuesday

it’s tuesday! theme week continues with book discussion time!

blog friend zo is the queen of top ten tuesday participation, and it’s thanks to her that i know about ttt!

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i took a look over at the blog, the broke and the bookish, that hosts top ten tuesdays, and zowie! things work out as they’re meant to be, as i was instantly jazzed by the suggested list for today, tuesday august 21st:

TOP TEN FAVORITE BOOKS YOU’VE READ DURING THE LIFESPAN OF YOUR BLOG

i started my blog in january 2010 (as my 40th bday present to myself) so that means we have two point five years of collected novels from which to choose. once again, i’m super glad i keep a log of the reading i do!

we’ll be short ‘n’ snappy (i’m not linking, you can google if you wish more details on a title!). i’m also sharing the date when i finished the book:

1. good to a fault (february 19th, 2010) – marina endicott (a modern-day classic)

2. best friends forever (october 2nd, 2010) – jennifer weiner (this author knows how to do beach lit)

3. born to run (november 7th, 2010) – christopher mcdougall (some parts are better than others but if you run, you must read this non-fiction work)

4. the hour i first believed (january 25th, 2011) – wally lamb (amazing)

5. the help (may 31st, 2011) – katherine stockett (ditto on amazing)

6. american wife (august 28th, 2011) – curtis sittenfeld (multi-layered story, i loved the protagonist)

7. something borrowed (march 31st, 2012) – emily giffin (the best novel from this popular, best-selling author, imo)

8. she’s come undone (july 4th, 2012) – wally lamb (this was my second time reading this incredible work)

9. the undomestic goddess (july 25th, 2012) – sophie kinsella (A+, four stars, for a light, fantastically enjoyable summer read)

10. explosive eighteen (july 28th, 2012) – janet evanovich (the whole stephanie plum series is mindless fun, great escapism)

if you blog, when did you start blogging? and please share a book title from that timespan that is super-great!

if you do not blog….just share a fantabulous novel that i must read! i am almost done book two of the 50 shades of grey trilogy. review to come on sept 9th with the next project update!

coffee and….just sitting

yesterday, i finally checked off a longstanding item (over a month!) on my to do list [i started work at 4 pm, so had the day to fritter away]. unfortunately, completing said task did not include plugging in the vacuum cleaner nor picking up the windex. fortunately, the outing was way more FUN than tackling cleaning chores! [dust will always be there, right?!].

i took myself to my nearest tim horton’s…

a perfect day for aviators! (please note that it took approx seventeen poses before i could capture some signage in the background)

…and finally cashed in my roll-up-the-rim free coffee that i won back on family day when at TH with sarah. now, normally, i would take a beverage like this home with me to enjoy with knitting and blog reading. however, my ‘hood’s timmies is just far enough away that sloshing six blocks up the sidewalk with a hot coffee in hand is not that appealing an idea. so, i decided to just sit in the coffee shop and drink my coffee at a relaxed pace.

[tangent story: i have to interrupt my word flow to share this anecdote. so i get up to the cash register, camera in hand, because i HAD to take a photo - you will see it in a moment. the girl at the cash says to me, "can i ask why you're taking a picture?" to which i gave my honest reply: "because i think it's very funny that the chocolate chip muffins are all sold out and the low-fat cranberry muffins are overflowing the basket." then the girl says, " you're not supposed to take photos of our product." and i said, "oh, i'm sorry." and proceeded to snap this shot:

don't you find that funny, too, that the choco chip are all gone and the *healthy* muffins are all sitting there??!

ok! now i know that tim horton’s does not allow photos! bizarre. end of tangent].

we’ve got a little cold spell going on right now, so hot coffee was appropriate. last week, it was just too hot to desire a mid-day hot beverage!

as luck would have it, someone left the march 2012 copy of oxygen in our condo lending library yesterday morning! so i took the magazine along with me:

note the coffee cup size...

[that will teach me to be greedy: i could not even finish that extra-large. hey, it was a free coffee - i wanted to get the most out of my win. but i practically floated home. good thing it was decaf or i would have been overly zing'd, for sure!].

i used to subscribe to oxygen, but have not really read it for a good 7-8 years now. it was fun to look through! the magazine has a different air to it than when i got it regularly. can’t say i am left feeling compelled to sign up for home delivery again, but it was a fun way to pass some time.

note the twitter and facebook icons - interactive, online references were not a part of paper magazines a few years ago

before leaving, i just sat at the table for a few minutes and looked out the window, thinking deep thoughts letting my mind wander:

not the most exciting view. at least the sun was out!

i can’t say i solved any of the world’s major issues (will we ever see cheap gas prices again??) but it was a peaceful and enjoyable few minutes of thoughtful contemplation and general happiness.

sadly, i did not win another free something...

on my way home, i stopped and looked in the window of the newest coffee shop in uptown:

DVLB stand for "death valley's little brother," the name of the coffee bar; due to the sun, i could not get a pic of the front window without extreme glare!

from the looks, it’s got a very indy, hip vibe. [if any local wants to meet up at dvlb to try out their coffee, lmk!].

~*~*~*~*~

i’m so proud of mom and dad!

on monday, they went out and replaced their cell phone with the newest blackberry bold. i think it’s really cool when people of an older established generation remain hip with the times, signing up for these newfangled communication devices. i’m reminded of my dear grandpa c – way back when home computers were becoming something that “everyone had,” grandpa decided to get one, too. and he took a course so that he would know how to use it. gramps was at least into his 70s, at this time, and even back then, i remember being impressed with his positive attitude and eagerness to learn something new. i agree wholeheartedly with the philosophy of being a life-long learner. so, thumbs up, mom and dad!

when’s the last time you just sat? i’ll tell you that i find it very challenging to just sit. i much prefer to be knitting while watching tv, or being the one driving the vehicle when on the road.

what’s something new you would like to learn? i would like to learn to zumba! it sounds so FUN! at this time, i have no desire to learn another language, learn to cook, or pick up a musical instrument. i would like to advance my technological abilities. it won’t be too long into the future when i am sure little e will be helping aunti learn a thing or two about electronic devices!

the friday night knitting club

when lisa and i last met up, she lent me her copy of the friday night knitting club, a chick lit novel by kate jacobs.

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to be honest, i tried to read this book once before, a couple of years ago – i only got about 20-30 pages into it when i set it aside and moved on to something else. i don’t know if it’s because the book came to me from a friend or if my mind is just in a different place, but i picked up the friday night knitting club again last week and decided to give it another shot. this time ’round, i can’t put it down! i’m loving it! so if all continues as is, the friday night knitting club will be my book #2 for the 12 days of kiki, project #7.

also last week, i received my monthly newsletter from my local yarn shop, shall we knit. [you'll remember that they moved from new hamburg to uptown waterloo, and are now located a mere ten minute walk from the condo casa]. as i scanned over the email, my eye was caught by this tidbit:

Knit & Chat
Every Friday night from 6:00 – 9:00 is Knit & Chat.  Everyone is welcome and we are getting to be such a big group that we are opening another room for the evening.  You have your choice of sitting in the back room on the main level or in the classroom on the second floor.  So bring your knitting and come and enjoy an evening with people who totally understand about our addiction.

the wheels of my mind were set in motion!! ok, i just started reading the friday night knitting club…i now find out i have a friday night knitting club in my ‘hood…karma says i am meant to go participate!!

so, this past friday eve, that’s exactly where i went. after a full day at theOTHERstore, an evening of social knitting sounded perfectly restful…except that it was not without a little doubt that i ventured over to shall we knit. a few what if scenarios whirled in my brain: what if no one talks to me? [hello, don't be silly, you are chatty cathy, YOU can initiate conversation]; what if they are all a bunch of crazieseccentrics, like women who knit bandanas for cats, or something? [then you stay 30 minutes and get up and leave and never go back!]. plans in place, over i went.

i took along my current square for the log cabin blanket in malabrigos rios:

(source)

friday’s status of said square:

easy to transport, at least!

the shall we knit shop looked very inviting on a cold mild february eve!

bright and cheery!

i had such a nice evening!!!

as soon as i walked in, everyone greeted me warmly, and went around the table and made introductions. and how serendipitous – there were twelve of us (get it? 12 days of kiki!…). i loved seeing the womens’ (yes, no men present!) various yarns, projects, needles and methods of knitting! it was a totally casual, relaxed, friendly environment with interesting conversation and banter. the ages represented ranged from mid-20′s to mid-50′s – i like that diversity. my favourite line of the evening: “cashmere makes everything better!”

the room we knit in was lined with fabulous yarns – the colourful atmosphere was very creatively inspiring!

i'll take one of those balls, two of those skeins...

watchful sheep (plus i want that yarn in the background)!

i ended up staying later that i intended – that’s a sign of a successful outing, wouldn’t you say?! i do think i will plan to go back!

what are you reading right now? i’ll be on the friday night knitting club for a good while!

are you currently a member of any clubs? i am not. my lifestyle right now is not conducive to making a commitment to any sort of set schedule!

a day late and a book short

for the past couple of months, blog friend zo has participated in top ten tuesday.

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on this weekday, bloggers are invited to list their favourite selections on a top ten book-related subject, hosted by the blog the broke and the bookish.

i love lists and i love books! i have come to anticipate with glee zo’s tuesday blog entries because it’s fun to see the topic of the week, and to peruse zo’s picks.

well, i no longer blog on tuesdays, so i’m off by a day! to play off the expression a day late and a dollar short, today i have for you: top ten tuesday nine wednesday.

according to the broke and the bookish blog, this week’s/yesterday’s category for the top ten list is:

top ten books i’d recommend to someone who doesn’t read x

(an example: if you adore classics, you could recommend ten classics for someone who typically does not read this genre).

[sidenote: there have been over 80 top ten lists proposed by the broke and the bookish, thus far! see the complete list here!].

initially, it was challenging to decide on my category. i pondered female protagonists, multi-generational family sagas, male writers who write in the first person voice but feature a woman as their lead character (ok, that one is way too wordy, and does anyone seriously avoid a book of that nature??)…in the end, i decided to go with:

the top ten books i’d recommend to someone who doesn’t read

canadian fiction published since the year 2000

ok! that’s still super-awkward! but we’ll work with it. to be solidly patriotic, canada has a lot of talented fiction writers. limiting my choices to just nine oeuvres is no easy task. but, let’s go!

[click on the title if you would like the link to amazon for more details].

1. good to a fault – marina endicott (2008) fabulous

2. a perfect night to go to china – david gilmour (2005) haunting and so sad

3. tempting faith dinapoli – lisa gabriele (2003) quirky, little-known coming-of-age tale that deserves recognition

4. late nights on air – elizabeth hay (2007) very enjoyable, great characters

5. the other side of the bridge – mary lawson (2006) memorable

6. the way the crow flies – ann-marie macdonald (2004) this is the #1 title on this list; phenomenal story

7. unless – carol shields (2002) you can never go wrong with a ms shields novel

8. a complicated kindness – miriam toews (2004) outstandingly quirky and endearing

9. clara callan – richard b wright (2002) you would never guess it was written by a man

as i was reviewing my coil-bound notebook where i log my reading (and rate the books on the **** [four star] system), i realized there are equally at least nine selections to warn you against picking up. red flag! red flag! if you find yourself handling one of the following titles of canadian fiction published since the year 2000, back away! with so many terrific options available, i cannot in good faith recommend these ten nine reads:

1. star – pamela anderson (2004) yes, that would be this pamela anderson

(source)

and she should stick to running on beaches. yikes!

2. oryx & crake – margaret atwood (2004) there are much better atwoods out there

3. the gum thief - douglas coupland (2008) i expected more from mr coupland, given his creative reputation

4. the book of negroes – laurence hill (2007) didn’t match the hype; saccharine

5. the fourth hand – john irving (2001) go read a prayer for owen meanie, instead

6. no great mischief – alistair macleod (2001) grey and depressing

7. the continuity girl – leah mclaren (2006) ms mclaren is one of my fave globe columnists; this is very badly done chic lit

8. alligator – lisa moore (2006) incomprehensible

9. the flying troutmans – miriam toews (2008) disjointed; stick with a complicated kindness

how familiar are you with canadian fiction writers? who have you read? i am right now in the middle of irma voth by miriam toews, and sadly, i cannot recommend this novel at all. irma is past quirky, heading right into messed up/weird. we have not connected. i am only persevering because i have read miriam toews’ other two novels.

any suggestions for me that would be **** (four star) reads of canadian fiction published since the year 2000?! i am eager to move on from irma!!!

reflection and anticipation

on the twenty-ninth day of december...

just before christmas, all of a sudden, i had a flash of divine inspiration, and the 1970kikiproject for next year came together. yippee! i am jazzed to share all the details with you on monday, january 9th.

within the next few days, many of us will turn our attention to making resolutions or setting goals (there’s a difference in the semantics, to my mind). now, while i much prefer the idea of having labour day weekend serve as the “new year,” i am not one to turn away the opportunity to plan ahead!

i came across the following set of reflective thoughts about life on ultrarunner olga’s blog. her list contains more points than i will share, here. i picked the ones that resonate the most, and reordered her list, as well. so, maybe wait until you have a quiet two minutes (my young mom readers are laughing in my face, right now!) and enjoy a meditative moment.

~*~*~*~*~

1.~It’s much harder to change the length of your life than it is to change the depth of it.

2.~Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  Read.

3~Everything is a life lesson.  Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc.  They’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’  Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way.  If you don’t get a job that you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting.  And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it.

4.~Regardless of how filthy your past has been, your future is still spotless.  Don’t start your day with the broken pieces of yesterday.  Every day is a fresh start.   Every morning we wake up is the first day of the rest of our life.

5.~You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

6.~When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.

7.~One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.

8.~If a person wants to be a part of your life they will make an obvious effort to do so.  Don’t bother reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay.

9.~If you want to fly, you have to give up the things that weigh you down – which is not always as obvious and easy as it sounds.

10.~Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.

11.~Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You don’t fail by falling down.  You fail by never getting back up.

12.~Everyone basically wants the same things.  They want validation, love, happiness, fulfillment and hopes for a better future.  The way they pursue these desires is where things branch off, but the fundamentals are the same.

13.~The more things you own, the more your things own you.  Less truly gives you more freedom.

14.~Making a thousand friends is not a miracle.  A miracle is making one friend who will stand by your side when thousands are against you.

15.~Someone will always be better looking.  Someone will always be smarter.  Someone will always be more charismatic.  But they will never be you.

16.~Making progress involves risk.  Period.  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

17.~Every morning you are faced with two choices:  you can aimlessly stumble through the day not knowing what’s going to happen and simply react to events at a moment’s notice, or you can go through the day directing your own life and making your own decisions and destiny.

18.~Everyone makes mistakes.  If you can’t forgive others, don’t expect others to forgive you.

19.~You can’t take things too personally.  Rarely do people do things because of you.  They do things because of them.

20.~The happiest people I know keep an open mind to new ideas and ventures, use their leisure time as a means of mental development, and love good music, good books, good pictures, good company and good conversation.

~*~*~*~*~

if you care to share, do any of the statements above speak to you? a few years ago (thanks to dr phil, i must say) i realized how true #19 is. once i changed my perspective about what drives people’s actions, the handling of certain situations became a lot easier. and i totally believe in #11 – never give up on a goal.

will you be setting goals or making any resolutions on january 1st? last year, i set out eleven goals for 2011 (recap coming on sunday, january 1st). this year, i am putting all my eggs in the kikiproject basket instead of making any resolutions!

starbucks – yes, movie – no

...on the twenty-eighth day of december...

backtracking to wrestling boxing day!

we had the busiest boxing day of my career at the store! it was a fun work day – zero returns (just easy exchanges), money card redemptions, and shoe sales! the day sped by and before i knew it, it was time to go to…

starbucks!

…and meet up with dad for our december outing of the month.

here we are!

we got to the buck just after 4:30 p.m. the place was packed! just as we were thinking we’d have to stand squooshed in a corner, a guy left a table, and we nabbed it lickety-split.

except, there were no available chairs anywhere! so dad and i both had to squeeeeeeze onto the banquette. my backrest was a tower of boxes!

see?!

good thing dad and i get along! our conversation time was just as great as always. i can’t believe this outing concludes all of my coupon-of-the-month projects for 2011!

~*~*~*~*~

i got four votes via blog comments, and mom telephone-voted in regards to whether i should un-decorate (de-decorate?) the condo casa or watch the time traveler’s wife boxing day evening – it was a unanimous decision in favour of the movie night. i was only too happy to go along with that decision. however…(long story short) when i tried to play nicole‘s dvd, i couldn’t because i needed a security code to play it via itunes, (insert much messaging with nicole here), then the security code would not work, then i got the message the offer had expired!  [the good news is that nicole has access to a regular dvd version, and will lend that to me, asap!].

“someone up there” was sending me a message, i would say – i guess i was meant to keep up my christmas dis-mantling tradition, after all! so i put on some christmas tunes (last chance!) and got to work…

i like putting stuff OUT a lot more than putting it all AWAY! what a downer of a task.

see you next year wise men/snowmen/jingle bell! (and it will not be before november 11th!)

when will you/did you de-christmasize this year? i realize not everyone does it on exactly the same date every year! like some of us.

last time you were at starbucks? our uptown location was even open christmas day!

a santa’s sack of ideas

on the eighteenth day of december...

every week, stephanie shares a “reader grab bag” of cool-i-o blog posts or articles that she has found online. being that it’s the christmas season and all, today we have a santas sack in lieu of a grab bag. yes, i am blatantly stealing sharing [you can't write steal and christmas in the same sentence, it's a rule] stephanie’s idea, and below, you will find reads that are worth your time. enjoy!

*****

the perfect foods for health (for baby and you) – i just assumed that babies should eat rice cereal as their first solid food. in this post, on lisa’s blog, she proposes an alternative to that first food for baby. a fascinating read, even if you don’t have a baby.

*****

destination marathons lure casual runners – from last saturday’s k-w record. i am starting to bounce around the idea of doing a running event in a warmer climate in winter, 2013. this article gives a few suggestions of races to consider. i like that stephen of dream travel is quoted – i have dealt with him, personally, and he was super helpful, efficient and informative. ahhh, a get-away from ontario’s cold…i gotta get planning!

*****

my cousin joel’s account of his participation in a pharmaceutical drug trial…in australia, no less! part one, part two, and part three. joel and andrea just came home yesterday from australia – if you poke around further on joel’s blog, you’ll see he’s had quite the new experiences, himself, while living in the land down under!

*****

feeling stressed out of your tree about christmas? read the post “we all know where this leads,” from stephanie, the yarn harlot. i won’t spoil it – just read it, and you will feel better.

*****

sarah hampson, likely my favourite globe and mail writer, interviews regis, likely my favourite (ex)talk show host, in “what i learned from regis philbin.” i liked both the content and the style of this article.

*****

clay baboons: this is stephanie’s (yes, the same stephanie as above) blog which is dedicated solely to her plasticine stories (which also appear on tuesdays on her regular blog (yes, the same link as above). so far, my favourite story is my first running injury (not what you may think) although they are all super funny and fantastically creative.

*****

some children’s cereals have more sugar than a twinkie! click here to read a short news release, and here for the list of the top ten best and worst cereals. i am surprised that my beloved cap’n crunch is *only* number five! i’ve never had numbers 1-4 but based on what i know of the good cap’n, they must be sugar cubes dipped in sugar!

*****

i found this clip in the paper version of last saturday’s globe and mail – it’s so short, i doubt it’s online:

graphic designer christopher rouleau has developed the perfect passive-aggressive solution to the perils of urban co-existence. the toronto etiquette project, a series of cards with printed suggestions of public behaviour modifications, are designed to be handed out to offending strangers. self-righteousness, with a smile! [can you imagine?? "um, excuse me miss, but your high decibel shrieking into your cell phone is offending me. (hand her a card). have a nice day!" not something i see myself trying!].

*****

and lastly: sick of christmas music? play this song! loud!

what’s something neat and interesting that you’ve read this week? help me expand my mind!

how many books could you read in a year?

on the eight day of december...

in saturday’s k-w record, there was a column written by chuck erion, the former (now retired) owner of words worth books. in the article (click here to read it, if you want), mr erion discusses his 2011 goal of reading 52 books in one year. he shares a couple of his favourite choices, and how much of his goal he achieved.

can you guess how many books he has read this year? remember: this gentleman is a former professional in the book world!

got your guesstimate?

(source)

[stalling before i give you the answer...]

(source)

26!

i was surprised! i would have thought this number would be higher! although if some of his choices were 500+ pages, i’ll grant him some slack [actually, i wish he had given his whole list of 2011 reads, instead of just three recommendations].

i did a quick tally of how many books i’ve read this calendar year. if i get through the time traveler’s wife (still 150 pages to go! yikes!) by december 31st, i’ll have read at least six books this year. i say “at least,” because i’m pretty sure i forgot to write down some titles. [shades of my grandpa c, i have a coil-bound notebook, dating back to 2004, where i record the date i finish a book, the title, the author, and my out-of-four-stars review].

here’s what i have:

the hour i first believed ~ wally lamb (started it in 2010, but finished it january 25th, so i’m counting it)

[in my log, i have the word "missing" written here...if i could write down missing, why could i not record titles?!]

the help ~ katherine stockett

[i know i had a few starts and stops in here as nothing was matching the excellence of the help].

sizzling sixteen ~ janet evanovich

sloppy firsts ~ megan mccafferty

american wife ~ curtis sittenfeld

[a few more ditched-after-a-valiant-effort books, here, including the girl with the dragon tattoo].

et c’est tout!

i wonder if i can time my pacing so i finish the time traveler’s wife on december 31st – i’d love to welcome january 1st, 2012 with a brand new read!

how many books have you read this year? 2011′s 6-ish total is a low year, for me.

how many books did you guess for mr erion’s final total? i would have predicted he could do 40, at least.

~*~*~*~*~

as you know, it’s all christmas all the time here in kiki-land. and i fully intended to show your our festively decorated lobby for the condo building, in today’s blog post. the lobby looks so warm and welcoming – it’s simply lovely. but we’re ditching that idea because i have news to share that trumps christmas. yes, it is so.

when i was linking up to chuck erion’s column, another entertainment headline caught my eye:

madonna is performing at the super bowl half time show.

(click here for the link to the newsflash).

to say i am excited to learn this news is the understatement of the month. remember: on my life bucket list is “see madonna live, in concert.” watching a superbowl half-time show on a big-screen tv is one step closer to that dream??!!

february 5th. late aft/early eve. you’ll know where to find me.

page 274 and an outing with mom

october is ticking right along!

you know what was not ticking right along?…the girl with the dragon tattoo.

the paperback is a whopping 847 pages thick!

i am sorry if you are tired of hearing me whine…i know i am. so i solved the problem.

i quit.

i was feeling i should continue since i had read over 200 pages.

then this comment from stephanie – in reply to a comment i left on her blog – sealed the deal:

Dump Dragon Tattoo. I think you’ve given it PLENTY of chances!

that was all the confirmation i needed.

i closed the book for the final time at page 274:

the proof!

i had a whole pile of stuff to take to mom, so i added in dragon girl:

bye bye!

i just could not take the creeping pace at which the story was progressing. let’s do the math: i was on page 274, there are 847 pages and i can read 3-10 pages per night. um, yea – i though you’d agree. the ratio of enjoyment:time is so not there!

the replacement novel? the time traveler’s wife. haven’t seen the movie so i can read the book!

~*~*~*~*~

yesterday afternoon mom and i enjoyed our october outing of the month!

let's go shopping!!

in keeping with my “no repeats” plan – and sticking to a bookish theme – we went to…

sunshine matches a happy outing!

mom and i are two peas in a pod when it comes to chapters visits: we are both very content to wander around, check out the displays…and talk non-stop the whole time (this really slows down our pace).

a few highlights:

christmas cards are front and centre! these were my faves - esp the knitted monkey

it's genetically ingrained from grandpa c to love paper products - these file folders are fun!

we made our way to the toy department [tangent: chapters has hugely expanded their toy and home décor areas in recent years - with the decline of the paper book, it's a smart move]:

a playmo advent calendar! (not paper, plastic - like as in a toy). how divine!

play kitchens have changed a lot since the '70s! check out the phone, the micro, the stainless steel appliances...and the subway tile backsplash! how gluckstein!

mom is in a book club that meets monthly, so we went in search of her next eight months of selections:

ACK!!!!!!

we found most of the titles she was looking for. mom decided to purchase just one, for now:

"state of wonder" by ann patchett. excellent writer. i highly recommend her novel "run," while mom suggests "bel canto"

somehow i doubt there would be a lot of similarities between this book and elizabeth giilbert's "eat PRAY love"...

and a super-fun outing ends with a sighting:

we love our snookster!

…which is a perfect segue because i watched the season finale of jersey shore last night [tangent: i heard a commentary on the radio that said season four, where the js kids are in italy, made the jersey shore phenomenon jump the shark. i have to say i agree. get the kids back stateside, and get back on the GTL track with season five!]

so, that was another successful outing with mom. and guess what: here we are with one week left in the month…and dad and i have not been out yet. well, at least we’re consistent!

~*~*~*~*~

ipod update: dad has an ancient a classic ipod that he does not use – he has loaned it to me until i can get to the apple store. talk about a way back playback!

at least with this style, you PLUG THE IPOD DIRECTLY IN TO YOUR COMPUTER. THERE IS NO CORD!!!

your homework assignment: in five sentences or less, tell me what happens in the girl with the dragon tattoo. go ahead and spill those beans. merci buckets, in advance, for participating and saving me months of reading.

obviously, DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS if you have not yet read the book, and are planning on so doing!


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