Not a bad way to start another year
Guess how much I care about the Mariners!

They are taking away the English degree as I type

If I had a Full Length Snapshot to post, I would post it. But our camera wouldn't work that night because (HAR HAR!) we left the battery charging in the car. So we used BIL's camera and BIL does not appear to understand things like, "You do know I'll have to post that when I get home, right?"

I just spent the entire day (THE ENTIRE DAY) at the outlet mall with SIL. Dudes, no one can shop like SIL. She has a nose for the $5.97 Gap jeans, is what I'm saying. And at one point I had to leave the store, find a bench and haul out my book just like all the MEN. Interestingly enough I had about twice as many bags as she did, but 99% of my loot was preschool clothes for Jack. And by "preschool clothes" I mean "elastic waist pants so he can pull them up and down by his own self." I am not the daughter and sister of kindergarten teachers for nothing, folks. 

And you might have noted I pulled out a BOOK and not a KINDLE. This is because I was gifted a Kindle the day after I launched into my fourth Inspector Montalbano mystery and I do not cheat on my books. There are rules. But I did spend a lot of time punching buttons on my Kindle (I did not know there were so many BUTTONS!) and after a while I realized I look just like Phillip when he gets a new gadget. I can finally relate! And I did buy a book, but only after hours of hunting around for a cheap one. I bought one of the few Commissario Brunetti mysteries I haven't read and that's on tap for when I'm done with Inspector Montalbano. It occurs to me that probably none of you know who Commissario Brunetti and Inspector Montalbano are, as probably none of you have delved into the genre of fiction that is Italian Murder Mysteries, but I recommend them both. Brunetti for the Deep Thinking, Montalbano for the Laugh Out Loud Humor, both for the writing. 

AND I finally updated my Goodreads account the other day, which is sort of embarrassing since the last time I updated it was LAST SUMMER. And I realized that some of you had friended me, or whatever it's called on Goodreads, and the friend requests dated from LAST YEAR. For shame. My bad, people who attempted to friend me. But I'm back! I think I might actually use that account now, if only as a place to store the titles I want to read in the future. 

Which makes me think - another reason I was sort of loathe to use Goodreads is because then people would know what I was reading! And you guys, I read a lot of... well, let's say I can't remember the last time I read something Popular and/or Recommended by Oprah. I tend to read mostly kid books, YA to middle grades, and murder mysteries. SORRY GOODREADS FRIENDS! You'll show up at my account looking for something Literary and Important and I'll give you, um, Inspector Montalbano. 

Not that Inspector Montalbano ISN'T fabulous. HE IS. It's just, well, no one's making a movie about HIM, right? (Although I do hear the Italians made a miniseries. Must investigate.) Like this dragon tattoo book. I keep talking to people who think it is All That, but then I also understand that there are many, ah, Graphic and Violent Descriptions and, well, I will not be joining this particular bandwagon. (That goes for my murder mysteries too. Too much about the murder? That book goes in the freezer.) 

Perhaps that makes me sound a bit snobbish, but you guys, I LOVE BANDWAGONS. I read ALL FOUR Twilight books. I'm going to see the next movie! The fact that I cannot discuss whether Veronica Mars would make a good Lisbeth Whatshername is really sort of disappointing. 

So yes, everything I've read lately is an Italian murder mystery, except for this book I read on the airplane coming back from Hawaii. I can't remember the name of it, but it was so bad (SO BAD) that it's for the best. I have spent Actual Time trying to figure out why it was popular enough to have a reading discussion guide in the back. 

Then again, those are the books that give me hope that one day I might be a published author too. So that some snotty girl looking for a quick airplane read can burn through my novel on her flight home and trash it on her blog the next day. 

Books on my to-read list include: 

Will Grayson, Will Grayson because Elizabeth told me she loved it and that's good enough for me. Also I like John Green. I follow him on Twitter. Although I secretly suspect his ego is the size of my house. 

The next Mysterious Benedict Society, whatever it's called. I could look it up, but one of the bylaws of this blog is that I'm allowed to be incredibly lazy. 

The Lonely Polygamist. I've heard this is excellent. And there's polygamy! That's always a fascinating topic, right? 

What else can I hunt for on my brand new toy? P.S. I do not like anything Gory or Violent or containing a Strong Ick Factor. GO.

(I have a feeling Phillip is seriously going to regret this. You see, he bought it on Woot. The man cannot resist the call of Woot! It whispers in his ear! "Buy me, Phillip Cheung! You must have me! I am wireless and shiny and full of buttons AND I AM ON WOOT FOR ONLY TWO MORE HOURS!")


The Sojourner

Then again, those are the books that give me hope that one day I might be a published author too.

Ohh, yes. Now that I am hardcore editing my novel (with the help of a brutally honest friend) I can hardly read anymore without critically evaluating the author. A lot of the time I then smugly think, "My book is only 1/10 edited and it's better than that!"

I have no recommendations for you, sorry. I haven't even read Harry Potter yet. I'll get to Twilight when I'm 50 or so.


I have resisted spending much time on the consideration of the Kindle and like-minded gadgets, but now that the Cheungs have one, I am reconsidering this. You will have to use it a bunch and keep us/me updated on how you like it. You see, one of my philosophies in life is "always carry a book" and that's fine when my book of the hour is a slim paperback (or even a moderately thin paperback, but do you know how big my purse had to be when I was reading Harry Potter and Twilight? (not together, of course. I'm a bandwagon girl myself and had pre-ordered the Harry Potters after book 3, etc.)

I actually want the iPad, as I am a (former) Mac-junkie anyhow and I like that they have a similar feature (I believe it is called something unoriginal called iBook?) plus, you know, I can check FB, read blogs, and work on my novel... Does Kindle do anything other than act as a book reader? I've been trying to find out.


I read murder mysteries almost exclusively and usually get bored when reading something else (except Harry Potter, of course). I just checked out a few Inspector Brunetti mysteries since you mentioned them a few weeks ago. I'm all about the mystery recommendations. No real literature!


Oh heavens, you are making the right decision regarding "Dragon Tattoo". We just watched the movie on Sunday night (I was completely clueless, and Darren was all, "Let's see what all the hype is about!"). I honestly feel like a lost a part of my soul in watching that movie. Horrific. I find myself praying for the people in it, until I remember that they're, you know, characters and NOT REAL.


I am mad at Goodreads right now because I got a nasty annoyed comment from someone who I've never met before, who is not a bloggy friend or anything, who I've never heard of in any way, for writing a bad review of a book I didn't like. Then I looked at her profile and other than commenting on my review and rating the same book five stars, she had no activity. So either it's her favorite book and she spends her time passionately hunting down bad reviews of it and trying to refute them, or she knows or is related to the author somehow. I'm guessing the latter, but either way, dude, get out of my Goodreads account.


We recently inherited an old iPhone from my brother-in-law, and -- after seeing your photo with the Kindle -- I put an e-reader on it last night. It's a ridiculously small screen, but I love it! So much lighter than trying to hold a hardcover book over my head while lying in bed. Thanks for the inspiration!

Anyway, my latest foray has been into books by the Brontes and Jane Austen. I know that sounds potentially intimidating/like something that is good for you (i.e., not fun), but really, (many) are basically romance novels. And: cheap/free (depending on your device)!


I recommend "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. Just finished it on my Kindle, and LOVE LOVE LOVED it. Such great the end of the book you feel as if you know them all. It was such a great book that I purposefully took lunches by myself during the week so I could read while I ate. heh...dork.


I recommend "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. Just finished it on my Kindle, and LOVE LOVE LOVED it. Such great the end of the book you feel as if you know them all. It was such a great book that I purposely took lunches by myself during the week so I could read while I ate. heh...dork.


Sorry...I had to correct the 'purposefully' misuse from my first comment.

Ellen W

The Girl with the Dragon Tatto, etc do have good mystery but are very dark - I really don't think I want to see the movies. Have you read The Hunger Games & Catching Fire? While the topic may seem somewhat bleak, they are not graphic and keep you on the edge of your seat. I enjoyed them more than the Twilight series.


I read The Lonely Polygamist. (ON MY KINDLE!) I was really really looking forward to reading it and I enjoyed it but it was way more... melancholy and depressing than I thought it would be. Which maybe was stupid of me as HELLO, the word LONELY is in the title.

Might I recommend a couple of books then? OK!

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (best book I have read in a few years)

Into the Woods, The Likeness and Faithful Place all by Tana French (I read the first two; Faithful Place just came out but is part of the series. These are definitely mystery/thrillers, but not as dark as the Dragon Tattoo books) (PLUS THERE ARE LOVE TRIANGLES, YAY)

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall, which I know you are going to say is a RUNNING book, but it is FASCINATING, I promise. Much more about the characters in ultrarunning than the technicalities of running. I loved this book and could not put it down.

Any book by Lisa See


Oh and please to remember the name of the terrible book you read on the plane. I do not want to make that mistake.


Get all the Eva Ibbotson books, they are terrific (but, admittedly, for a young audience). Also, read the Penderwicks and the sequel. And everything Madeleine L'Engle ever wrote.

Preschool clothes include shoes with velcro instead of with laces too, right? (Here speaks a former daycare teacher.) (Who still curses the mother who sent in the potty training toddler in lace-up shoes, tights, a leotard, pants, and a long sleeve shirt. I mean, REALLY?) (Also, the mother who sent in the toddler in the too long Halloween costume and told me "you'll have to carry her all day.")

Jenny Ryan

I never read anything Oprah suggests after the first one or two because I always found myself lying on the bottom of a very deep metaphysical hole, wondering if there was even any point to life at all.

Life of a Doctor's Wife

Crap. Pretty much all the books I read are disturbing or horrifying. At least this year, it seems. I even had to go buy a stack of chick lit to intersperse between my gory murder books (including the Stieg Larsson Millenium trilogy) because I was getting all creeped out.

That said, I am going to read The Lonely Polygamist because it sounds awesome! And my husband just bought me a book called The City & The City that sounds interesting.

Spin Mama

I agree with Julie about The Help. Outstanding and un-put-downable. For something different, I loved The Other Boleyn Girl and don't usually read historical stuff. Great story and a little actual education about history!


I cannot resist recommending books. Ones I've liked a lot lately: The sweetness at the bottom of the pie, the Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison, The Big Love by Sara(h?) Dunn(e?) and Committed by Eliz. Gilbert. I read WG, WG and it was good, but I think my expectations were too high.


Hi Maggie! I haven't commented in a while, but I had to this time, because I LOVE BOOKS! Just Sunday I borrowed two from my sister's 'For-Looks, Mostly' shelf, and they are: Mansfield Park and Vanity Fair. Yes, two classics I had never gotten around to reading. I started with Vanity Fair, and based on how much I accomplished reading last night, it may take me a loooong time to plow through it. The new book I'd like to read because I've been seeing reviews and I just think the title is unbelievably catchy is "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake."

I don't know why people use Kindles and Readers and all that. Part of the fun of reading is interacting with the book- feeling its weight in your hands, turning the pages, smelling the either "new book" or "old library" smell. Getting it all smudgy with whatever you happen to be snacking on at the time! (That one may be peculiar to my own experience- I love to read while eating.)

Good luck to Jack in preschool!


I'm always on the lookout for book recommendations. I'll be visiting my library to hunt down some 'Italian' mysteries.
I cannot praise P.D.James enough. The books are a bit thick, but very well written, heavy on the character development, low on gore and smut.
If you are looking for something light and fluffy, MC Beaton's Death of series is fun.


I never read anything that's "good for me." Right now I'm on a comedian kick. I just finished all of Chelsea Handler's books. I loved Jen Lancaster and Celia Rivenbark, too.
I like chick lit and fluff fiction. I have a lot to think about in my life. My brain needs a vacation.


I also want to give a shout out for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. They are YA lit, so quick and easy, though they are somewhat violent. But they are really, really good. And have you read any of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next books? Smart, funny, literary. The first one is The Eyre Affair. You'll want to start with the first one so that you know what the heck is going on in the next ones.

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