winter reading wonderland: 2009-2010

I decided to map out my reading plans for the winter season now that the Fall Into Reading Challenge @ Callapidder Days has come to an end. After perusing my GoodReads.com account for the best of the best and the highest of priority in my To Read folder, here are several books that I’d love to curl up with while the weather outside is most frightful…

  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater : This young adult novel about werewolves seems very appropriate for the cold winter months. Here’s a description: “For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can’t seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human … until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It’s her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human–or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.
  • Splendor by Anna Godberson : It’s only a matter of time before I won’t be able to wait another second to read this latest installment in the popular Luxe series. If I don’t read this book this winter I will not be a very happy camper.
  • The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond : I’ll be opening this book on Christmas morning (yes I wrapped my own present, shut up) and you know I won’t be able to resist cracking into it immediately.
  • Julie and Julia by Julie Powell : I’ve been putting off reading this book for awhile but I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading this one next. Really. I promise.
  • Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran : This book is getting great reviews and I am anxious to read it. It’s been awhile since I’ve delved into some good historical fiction so I’ve got my fingers crossed.
  • Little Children by Tom Perrotta : Another I’ve been meaning to read for awhile, the description says it “exposes the adult dramas unfolding amidst the swingsets and slides of an ordinary American playground.” It deals with child molesters at least partially and I think that’s why I’ve been holding off on reading it, but I’ve been much less emotionally rocky than when BB was first born and I think I might be ready for this one…
  • The Help by Katheryn Stockett : This one looks really good – again, I’ll let the description do the talking – “In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women—mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends—view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.”

Feel free to share with me what books you have slated to read during the winter months…

monday mentions: december 21st

Monday Mentions is an easy way to share any and all of the fun things you’ve discovered recently, online or otherwise. For more information read this post by the mastermind behind this whole thing, Jen @ Daily Mish Mash. Here’s what I’ve discovered this week…

  • Simple Mom wrote a post on how to take Big Trips With Little Kids – I’d love to take my kids to someplace big like Paris someday…
  • Saw this you-tube video @ kottke: playing guitar hero Christmas lights:
  • John Mayer is hosting another Christmas Cake bake-off. If I had any cake decorating skills I’d be all over it. Instead I’ll just blog about it.
  • Blissfully Domestic wrote about pillow gifting – do you do it?
  • Google’s Blog featured a neat tool called Browser Size that allows you to see how others view your website. Sometimes I forget that my monitor is absolutely gigantic…
  • Loved this article @ The Daily Beast – baby name predictions for 2019. What will be in and what will be out?

Fall Into Reading 2009: Wrap Up

Fall Into Reading @ Callapidder DaysWinter is officially upon us, a fact that seems laughable when we’ve had a foot of snow outside for a few weeks now. But the end of Fall also means the end of the Fall Into Reading challenge hosted by Kat @ Callapidder Days. If you aren’t hip to Kat’s reading challenges, you should be – it’s the epitome of open ended challenges – you design your own rules – how many books do you want to read and which ones? I’ve never successfully finished a challenge of mine as my eyes are always too big for my “reading stomach” but it’s always fun to challenge myself and then look back and see what my reading pattern was really like. In September I challenged myself to read – eleven – books because I am absolutely crazy.

Here are the books I successfully read this fall from my FIR challenge:

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – Finished December 5, 2009 – This is the new “it book” going around the reading blogs. Post apocalyptic of sorts, it chronicles a very disutopian society and their annual hunger games which are sort of like the Olympics except it’s a fight to the death. I really, really enjoyed this book – it definitely lived up to it’s hype. – full review
  2. Finger Lickin’ Fifteeen by Janet Evanovich – Finished November 20, 2009 – This series has had some ups and downs, not all books as good as the others but Evanovich has definitely still got it. I really enjoyed the fifteenth installment of the Stephanie Plum series. There was a lot of good food, a lot of romance and a lot of cars totaled. All the things I love in a good Plum book basically.
  3. Queste by Angie Sage – Finished October 23, 2009 – I always enjoy the Septimus Heap series and this one was definitely no different. I love how the story is progressing and it’s always fun to read about magyk and physik especially how the two fields cannot get along at all. I thought the whole “place where all times do meet” thing was very cool and of course now I’m really looking forward to reading Book 5, Syren.

Non-challenge books that I read (it’s my own fault for not just adding these to my list – which is allowed – but I’m not very organized apparently:

  1. Close Encounters of a Third Grade Kind by Phillip Done – Finished November 8, 2009 – I really enjoyed this book. While I am neither a teacher nor do I have plans of becoming one, I found Done’s musings from 25 years of teaching in Elementary to be something a lot of people can relate to. It brought back memories of my own childhood and had me looking forward to the future with my own children. – full review
  2. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – Finished December 15, 2009 – I devoured this second installment in the new Hunger Games series. I don’t want to say too much for fear of giving anything away, but Book 2 is very fast paced and what you think you know, is rarely true. Collins has written a very intricately deceptive book where the rules seem to constantly change and nothing is all that it seems. I am, like all fans of Katniss and the Games, now anxiously awaiting Book Three.

And for the past week or so I have been reading Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter which I won in a giveaway on the Mom Lit Facebook Group. I have never read any of Jane Porter’s books before but OMG they are good – they are a classic example of why chick lit books became popular and I am anxiously looking forward to reading all of her books now.

So while I didn’t finish reading all eleven books on my list (let’s be honest, we all knew that wasn’t going to happen) I still enjoy participating – I might have read more this Fall because of the challenge than I would have otherwise and I always find it interesting to look back over my reading habits from time to time.

To wrap up my Wrap Up of the Fall Into Reading Challenge, I thought I’d announce my favorite book of Fall 2009. The winner is:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I think this might be the best book I read in 2009 period. I know this book is being collectively applauded all over the internet and I want to put it out there and agree – this book really is that good and you really should read it immediately if you haven’t yet.

daybook: december 21st

Today…

Outside my window: It would be virtually impossible to not have a White Christmas at this point. With at least a foot of snow already on the ground and more snow predicted every day this week, it will likely be very, very white indeed. Luckily my handsome husband is back home to shovel for me.

I am hearing: The hum of the heater, the rattling of BB swatting at her toys, Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas (recorded on PBS Kids) playing on tv, and the dishwasher doing it’s daily jig (am I the only one who finds the noises of the dishwasher slightly musical – anyone else dancing in their chairs to the sound of their dishes cleaning? Just me?)…

I am thinking: It’s going to be a good week. If it kills me.

I am hoping: that I’m right.

I am reading: Odd Mom Out by Jane Porter which I won in a giveaway on the Mom Lit Facebook Group. I have never read any of Jane Porter’s books before but OMG they are good – they are a classic example of why chick lit books became popular and I am anxiously looking forward to reading all of her books now.

I am creating: I just declared our 2010 Family Calendar complete and hit the necessary buttons to pay for and order it. I am pretty pleased with how it came out – I went with a one picture per month mandate this year and I think it really did wonders for the appearance – the pictures have always been cute but now they are all frame worthy in my humble opinion. I’ll probably post the lucky winners here soon.

I am wearing: pajamas of course – these days Monday is always a pajama day – okay, let’s be honest, most weekdays I only get dressed when it’s time to check the mail… shhhh….

In the kitchen:

Plans for the week: Monday through Wednesday consist of an awful lot of status quo (did I spell that right? Anybody know?) but THURSDAY – Thursday is my 27th birthday!! We’ll be waking up in the morning and beginning the preparations of my birthday cake and by we, I do mean Dan. He’s making me my very own Limoncello torte inspired by the Cheesecake Factory. It’s going to need several hours to chill in the refrigerator so we’ll be starting it in the morning – and also starting our buckeyes for Santa (yeah right) which also need some time to chillax – then we are planning to go have lunch at HuHot – a fun Mongolian Grill that I always see advertised on tv – and kids 3 and under eat at their little “buffet” thingy – aka the Food Bars for free. And then, you know, Friday is Christmas. So that’s pretty cool, too.

A few of my favorite things: watching A Very Monkey Christmas with MM, which then inspired him to draw his OWN Christmas List; our 2010 calendar which is seriously fabulous, playing in the snow, the anticipation of Christmas 2009.

A picture thought – MM’s Christmas List:

all MM wants for Christmas

clockwise from the top left: a sled (as drawn by daddy), the top of a doghouse, a very tall and narrow chair, the rest of the doghouse and a car with The Man in the Yellow Hat driving(as drawn by mommy and daddy collectively)