Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Today is the day when little ghosties and ghoulies will be out prowling the streets! When I was a little girl, it was always a special treat when Halloween came on Saturday. It meant we could start trick-or-treating earlier and we had longer to perfect our costume.

This will be the first Halloween for itty bitty David. He's 7 months old now and even though he doesn't care at all about tricks or treats, mom and dad want to show him off! He will be dressed up as Pooh dressed up as Tigger. They spent a fortune on his costume, but ya know, that's OK. They will have fun and Grandma will get to take his picture!

We don't typically get many children on our block. Mostly, that's because we are the only house with the lights on, so it's kind of a waste of time to walk down the street for one treat. We'll get a few, though, so they will make out like bandits.

I will have to turn off the lights for a little while. I need to take pictures of those little witches and goblins for the local newspaper, so I will go over to a friend's house for a while. She always gets lots of visitors for candy. I'll take a few shots and then run over to the Harvest Party at one of the churches and take a couple pictures there, too.

After that, I'll come back home and hope to get rid of some of this candy. If not, we'll have to eat it all ourselves!

Enjoy your day and beware of those things that go bump in the night ... or on your front step!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins we go!

1. It was a dark and stormy night, and Halloween ghosts and goblins were prowling the streets.

2. They were just going to throw them out so I offered to take the books for myself.

3. Rushing out, I ran smack into the UPS guy and sent him tumbling back down the hill.

4. What has Dolly on the prowl...I think she heard a howl!

5. Shhhh... the ghosties may hear you.

6. I want to leave soon so give me something good to eat!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting some of this backlog of writing done, tomorrow my plans include more writing and taking pictures of the little ghoulies for the local paper and Sunday, I want to relax but I have too much work to do!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Great Find!

We had some time to kill this evening, so we decided to wander through the Goodwill Store. There on the bookshelves, I found this marvelous book! It's an Illustrated Junior Library edition of "Little Women!" I couldn't believe my eyes. I'm not going to tell how much I paid for it because you'll never believe me .... OK, you twisted my arm ... $3.99! The book is full of beautiful illustrations of the key scenes in the book and it will make a wonderful addition to the books I'll probably keep forever.

Review: All Men Are Cremated Equal

By Elizabeth Fournier

From the back of the book:

“Elizabeth chronicles her true life dating spree as a marriage-minded mortician in her mid-30’s. Set off by her broken engagement, she enlists everyone in sight to set her up on blind dates in a passionate quest to meet just one really great guy. Armed with a 10-point list of dating criteria, skintight jeans, and flash cards on Nascar, football, and mirco-breweries, she spends one full year doing the blind meet and greet.”

This was kind of a fun book to read. Elizabeth Fournier shares some great anecdotes about her year in the dating scene. Any woman who has been there will smile and roll her eyes as she is reminded of what not to look for in a man.

Elizabeth’s dates run the full gamut – from the guy who stares at all the other women in the room to the ones who are so full of themselves their dates should feel privileged to be with them. Then, there are the men who spend the entire date on their cell phones, twitch their noses constantly or don’t understand a word the woman is saying … not to mention the gay men who are testing the heterosexual waters.

Not only is this an amusing memoir, it’s almost a study in human nature and personalities. Never fear, though, Elizabeth does eventually find Mr. Right. I’m not giving anything away here as it’s on the back of the book where she is described as “a writer, ballroom dance instructor, casino spokesmodel, wife, mother and small-town mortician.”

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Awesome Author Challenge

Alyce over at At Home With Books is hosting this fun challenge for 2010. I'm hoping to use this as an opportunity to clear a few books off my TBR shelf.

If you would like to participate, visit the sign up page.

The Rules:

The challenge starts January 1, 2010 and ends December 31, 2010.

Crossover from other challenges is allowed.

Choose the level at which you would like to participate, post about it and come back and leave a link to your post in Mister Linky.

Titles and authors do not have to be predetermined, and can change at any time.

Books can come from any genre or reading level, the only requirement is that you have heard great things about the author, but haven't yet read any of their works.

The Levels:

Easy: Choose three authors and read at least one title from each author.

Moderate: Choose six authors and read at least one title from each author.

Challenging: Choose ten authors and read at least one title from each author.

Over-Achieving: Anything over ten authors.

My Choices:

I will be participating at the Challenging level and will read one title from 10 authors. The authors I have chosen are:

Barbara Kingsolver

Graham Greene

John Ralston Saul

Lynne Hinton

Margaret A. Stanger

Maya Angelou

Peter James

Richard Ford

Robin Lee Hatcher

Wally Lamb

For some of these authors, I have more than one book on my shelf and have been meaning to read their work for quite some time. This will be a fun opportunity to do that!

A Sportscaster's Guide to Watching Football

By Mark Oristano

From the back of the book:

“Want to know what everyone is cheering about? Learn to enjoy – and understand – the game with the football fanatic in your life. This book is the ultimate guide for the novice fan. … Laced with hilarious and insightful anecdotes from Mark Oristano’s career as a pro football sportscaster, “A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football” will turn you into a football-watching pro, or at least let you fake it.”

I’ve been a fan of football for many years. At one time, I could easily spout off stats, players, teams, coaches … you name it. I haven’t had a lot of time to follow the game the last few years, but I still watch now and then.

That said, I started reading this book with the perspective that I might learn some fun little tricks for when I do find time to watch a game with family or friends. Mark Oristano does offer some funny lines to use that will make everyone around you think you’re the ultimate know-it-all when it comes to the sport.

He also explains the game itself, including offense, defense (pronounced DEE-fense), player positions and more. It was a good chance to catch up on my beloved sport.

I’m not sure, however, how novice you are expected to be when you read this book. Even with my background in the sport (and yes, I’ve also covered a few games in my career as a journalist), there were spots in the book where I wondered if someone coming into it with no experience might have trouble digesting the information. I did a couple double-takes myself, which is why I only gave it 3 books.

I might have read through the book too quickly. For the true novice, slowing down and taking the time to think about what Mark is saying would be more educational.

But, all in all, I did enjoy the book and found it quite entertaining. I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in football, even someone who already thinks they know it all!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My New Look

I decided it was time to change the look of my blog a bit. It was a tough choice because I'd really like a template that uses both sidebars, but I haven't been able to find one that appeals to me, so this is the one I chose. I hope you like it, too!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday Word Skills

It's been a while since I've done a word skills posting. I suppose the main reason is because most of the books I've read lately didn't seem to have any interesting words in them.

However, my current read ("Jackson" by T.P. Jones) does. So, here goes!

1. excoriating = to denounce or berate severely; flay verbally
2. apparatchiks = members of an organization or existing power structure
3. cadge = to obtain by imposing on another's generosity or friendship; to borrow without intent to repay
4. rebbe = a teacher in a Jewish school; a title of respect for a leader of a Hasidic group (Hasidic is a sect founded in Poland in the 18th century characterized by its emphasis on mysticism, prayer, ritual strictness, religious zeal and joy)

So far, I'm only on page 119 of this 539-page book, so there may be more words next week! We can always hope, huh?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wait Until Twilight

By Sang Pak

From the back of the book:

“Not long after his own mother’s death, sixteen-year-old Samuel discovers a set of deformed triplets hidden behind closed doors in his sleepy Georgia community. The babies – whose shut-in mother believes they were immaculately conceived and whose menacing bother is a constant threat – take control of Samuel’s every waking and sleeping thought. His only escape, he realizes, will be to save the monster children.”

I’m not completely sure about my thoughts regarding this book. I did enjoy reading it and found it quite interesting, but there is a lot to it I would call “stereotypical.” Plus, you just kind of know what’s going to happen next and expect it.

All in all, though, it’s a good start for this debut author. He can definitely tell a story and it is well-written. In fact, I’d like to read the next book by Sang Pak and see how it compares.

Although an intriguing book, “Wait Until Twilight” could have used a little more polishing before being released. Still, I think most people will enjoy the story and like this book.