Why 100?

Last year I set out to read 100 books, but I ran out of time and only read 75. So this year, I will read one hundred books. And you're my witness :) The only thing stopping me this year is 9 seasons' worth of Seinfeld episodes- wish me luck!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Round the World Challenge

Well, I may be a little off from "new year, new topic" and maybe I didn't do so well last year, but I'm back, in March of 2012 with a new mission that I've been subconsciously working on.... reading books from around the globe.  The first book of this topic was "Memoirs of a Geisha."  Who would've guessed that I didn't read that when it was so popular?  But alas, my roommate had it sitting on our shelf- voila.  I still think that Lisa See has written the best Chinese literature ("Peony in Love" being my favorite).  Second, I hit up the Carribean with "The Pirate's Daughter."  Meh.  Now, I'm in the middle of a surprising novel from the perspective of a servant in India, "White Tiger." I'll let you know how it goes- I'm almost done!  And then I'll get a map that I can cross off.  The question is, how in depth should I get on the map?  Is regional good enough?  Will a country-by-country reading exploration be too hard to find books? 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This was a great book: The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.  Set in 1940s Barcelona, it is a creepy little mystery/love story/book about books that I was shocked by at every turn.  A very mild Gabriel Garcia Marquez.... but overall, I'd recommend it.  But not, as my mom so kindly suggested, to read while you are house sitting or home alone for a long and stormy night.  Unless you want to feel creepy.

Back to my day-to-day:  whatever happened to just laying around and being a lazy bones all day?  Every time I try to do that- and believe me, I try a lot- I just end up getting all sad and antsy and upset at the world.  Why can't I just watch a marathon of TV or a stupid movie while I lay there?  I think it is living with my parents that have made me this way.... unable to just be a slug for an entire day.  My dad had the audacity to ask me why i was laying around inside when it was so beautiful outside that other day.  As if he were outraged.  Big diff, it has been nice out for like 3 months straight, what does it matter if I take one or two days to go into the bat cave?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

guess who's back? tell a friend.

Okay, my new goal was a complete and utter flop.  Since I last wrote (I think...) I have packed up my college life, moved back home, been a part of 2 weddings, and said a sort of goodbye to my habibi, the man of my dreams.  Yes, I miss him.  Yes, I still talk to him almost every day because I can't let go, and I don't think he can either.  There is a chance he may stay here to go to grad school.  Where does that leave me?  I'm not sure.  Since school let out, I got an awesome, albeit sometimes pretty boring, job as a technical writer/phone answerer/website designer/copy writer/dog transporter/lunch fetcher/phone call maker.....  I am now a Girl Friday, but with a little more pizazz than that, because my official position is 'Office Manager'.  Oooh, I'm really stepping up in the world, eh?  But it is a job, it is helping me pay off my post-college/post-dating-long-distance debt.  Not very quickly, but it is a journey, isn't that what they say? 
Anyway, to those of you that read this, or used to read this, or have never read this before in your life, I think I'm back.  I'm not trying to read 100 books this year (or any other year, ever again!)  but I still read.  And I like blabbering about myself.  And my besty told me she would like to read a blog about me and what i do on a day to day business but more in my personality.  so here you go.  AND since i really don't have any sort of social life outside of work and jersey shore, I still read compulsively.  So I guess I'll throw in a book review or two. 
Baby, I'm Back :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

my new goal

for any of you out there that are still tuning in, i realized that i already have a goal for this year and i can document it.  actually my goal is between now and may, when i have to move out, but it is a goal nonetheless.  i have stacks and stacks of magazines that i have set aside for some reason- there was something in it that i wanted to keep or remember or whatever and now that there are about 50 of them, i have no idea what made me set these aside.  perhaps it was laziness and recycling bin proximity issues.... anyway i'm sifting through my stash and i thought i could bring the best of the magazine articles right here on the web.  so that's what i'm probably going to be doing then.  we'll see.  oh and by the way, the first book i finished in the new year was a big, thick, deliciously long diana gabaldon novel- The Fiery Cross.  i'm more than halfway done with the series!  and, while excessively long (1430 pages), it was great.  looking forward to picking up the next.

Monday, January 3, 2011

year's favorite- my most reccomended novels

10 books out of the 101 that stood out for me for some reason.... how they portray different family, cultural values, relationships, etc.  The following 10 books had some impact on me greater than the others for as yet unidentified reasons:

Peony in Love
100 Years of Solitude
Mapy of Love
White Noise
Sunburned Country
Everything is Illuminated
Language of Baklava
Friday Night Lights
The Help

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I'm both happy and sad to say that my year of reading is over.  I finished it off with another novel by Lisa See- Shanghai Girls.  I was going to read Catcher and the Rye  and end my year with a "classic" novel, but when i started to read it, i realized that i read it a long time ago (and really didn't like it the first time.  although, if heart of darkness by Joseph Conrad is any indication that reading a book more than once *3 1/2 times, actually* will make you respect and like a book more, than i should pick it up again..... but not this year!)  Shanghai Girls was pretty sad, actually, like Peony in Love, but not as ethereal.  I wonder how Snow Flower and Secret Fan or whatever it is called is like....
And, since that book was such a bummer, I read a Christmas gift from my uncle for an accidental bonus 101st book!  Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris was a sick little book of animal stories.  some of them had morals, most of them were just a little disturbing and all of them made me laugh a little and then feel horrible for laughing.  like the one about the cow that picked the turkey for secret santa because she knew the turkey was Christmas Eve dinner and therefore wouldn't need a present.  sick and wrong.... but i kinda liked it.  it is an updated James Thurber, as far as i'm concerned, and its good to see that current move forward.  I like animal stories that are funny.  especially dog ones, because i love dogs.  but you already knew that. 

so i'm wondering what i should do as my goal for this year that began today..... knit 100 scarves?  cook 50 new recipes, a la julie and julia?  i first need to re-teach myself how to read like a normal person, I went a little nutso with my reading skills this year and in turn, i now do not put a book down until i have read 100 pages because i am used to a deadline, damnit!  it'll be nice to pick up a book at leisure and read those big, thick terribly long novels that take me weeks to finish. 

99. whoa

i can't believe i'm so close!  and with one week left.  there is something about the book that i read, The Hazards of Good Breeding by Jessica Shattuck that really reminded me how important beginnings are, but even more so, how important endings are.  and here we are, nearly at the end.  this book was funny in a not funny sort of way- i enjoyed how thought-provoking it was nonetheless. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

97. going greek??

Beginner's Greek by James Collins
There is something so intriguing about love stories that never really work out the way they planned, leaving both parties horribly depressed and alone throughout most of their lives until they realize that the only thing they ever wanted- for person A and themself to get together (finally!), is actually happening.  it sucks for all other parties involved- mother-in-law, dead husband/bff, torn lovers who are instrumental in small pieces lining up in order for fate to signal to the (finally!) happy couple that they are *sigh* meant to be.  i ate this up with a spoon, and then licked the bowl.  in this analogy, i liken Beginner's Greek to the best BEST bread pudding i have ever had, with just the right amount of rasins, and rum sauce, but not so that it becomes too sweet, just eggy and moist and nice and absolute perfection in my mouth for a few seconds as it slides down my throat easily and deliciously.  mmmmmm now i want bread pudding.  damn.  today is christmas eve day!  where is the hustle and bustle and warm comforts?  still asleep, i believe it's only 6:35 in the a.m.  too early to keep my eyes open much longer to also write about book 98. 31 Bond Street.  But i guess there really isn't that much to say about it, otherwise than what a good period writer, what a bad mystery writier.  nothing made sense in the way that mystery/action novels are supposed to all twist and tie together. perhaps i'll write more on 98 later.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

96. thinking on paper

Thinking on Paper by V.A. Howard, Ph.D., & J.H. Barton, M.A.
very technical.  very boring.  but useful.  i have no further comment. :p

Saturday, December 18, 2010

95. the other woman

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
Historical fiction is always sort of a middle ground for me- i love it, especially the weird details from that time period and how scandalous some things are in the past decades that people wouldn't even think twice of now.  historical fiction also borders on boring 95% of the time, and this was one that just fell right over that edge immediately and never came back.  i don't enjoy perspective writing- especially when it is really repetitive and doesn't add anything to the plot and intrigue.  mary, george, and bess are repetitive and besides telling the basic events that shape the stories, they talk about the same thing every single chapter.  because of that, this book was sort of frustrating to read.  i don't remember The Other Boleyn Girl being as boring (although it could've been much sexier, like The Tudors, the very sultry Showtime series.  mmmmmmm....  that's how i like my 16th century historical fiction- nice and sexy.  jonathan rhys myers.... yummmm)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

94. middle eastern conflicts

i've been working on this book for a while.  it read like a textbook, albeit a very interesting textbook, called The Modern Middle East by James L. Gelvin.  i finally learned the background of all the things that people talk about- *warning: i am about to show you just how ignorant i really am* i now know more than the location of the palestine/israel conflict and how yasser arafat ties into that.  i already knew a bit about the iranian revolution, but i got some background on that, too.  and i also learned what rentier states are and how some forms of defying westernization are actually just imitations of what western cultures do (just don't tell the head honchos that!).  i was really frustrated after i read this book.  they spoke about how globalization may either help lessen the tensions and open more of a pathway between middle eastern nations and the rest of the world, but it is also possible that access to all of this information can be what ultimately gives those in power more power because they control it (as seen in saudi arabia).  i was also really frustrated with how the west had meddled with that part of the world.  why do our cultures have to intervene into everyone elses?  yes, sometimes we actually help those parts.  but if you look at how westerners drew up the boundaries of iraq- with little regard for the sparring cultures that they trapped within those boundaries- it is little wonder why there are so many problems there.  and it is even more frustrating because they used to have a lot of the cultural freedoms that we have here today- like secular government (or no real established overall government) and nationalists, westerners and islamists saw that they were going too far and then established strict new rules that threw those nations into the religious state of affairs that people struggle with today.  i'm not really on anyone's "side" at this point, after getting some of the facts, because everyone has screwed up when it comes to what should be done in the middle east.  they really need to be left alone to develop their own culture and allowed to govern themselves, but it is too late for that because they already established corrupt governments to combat other nations meddling in their affairs.  so what to do?  i have no idea.

Monday, December 6, 2010

93. "God bless us, every one!"

i needed a little incentive to get into the holiday spirit.  i am having an especially difficult time this year for some reason- i've tried forcing myself to listen to christmas songs on the radio, i make myself go into the decorating section of target (where everything sparkles!), and i put in the extra mile when i was wrapping gifts for my loved ones.  but i'm still having a hard time.  first of all, it feels like january outside already.  snow, bitter cold winds, and icy sidewalks= january to me.  second, christmas this year means i'm not going to be with all my loved ones; my habibi's birthday is christmas day and he will either be in a town 6 hours away or on his way to the other side of the planet (literally).  i'm afraid christmas will just magnify the feelings of missing him.  thankfully all of my friends will be at home over this break, so i will have them to lean on. 
anyway, in the effort to get in the christmas spirit and cross another number off my list, i read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  I had never read it, only seen it (most recently in Muppet format :) yay) It was great.  I was surprised by how easy it was to read Dickens' writing.  I thought he would have written in ancient, crotchety Olde English, but that was not the case at all.  And *spoiler alert* Tiny Tim lives to see the Christmases Future, and Scrooge lives happily ever after.  what a lovely story.  *

Sunday, December 5, 2010

92. murderers and rapists oh my!

reading this book was a little like hearing the svu soundtrack through the bedroom wall..... people were being hacked up left and right and there was a rapist stalker on the loose.  spooky, but Micheal McGarrity's Hermit's Peak wasn't too scary and was pretty good.  i do like a little more mystery, though.  there really wasn't a whole lot of suspense and there was absolutely no "whodunit" element.... because the author tells you and makes the connections for you early on.  i prefer to guess until the end, and then have the connections spelled out.  because of this, i was not on the edge of my seat, reading in suspense.  i did get through it pretty quickly though because i wanted to know who was going to get cracked down next.  the love story was pointless and totally unrealistic.  that was unfortunate. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Notebook

91. tear jerkers

when i realized that i could read books for free on my droid phone, i was very excited.  this must have been why i opted to add Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook to my "Shelf."  i'm not saying i regret the decision to read this tear-jerker, but i will say that i didn't appreciate having to hold back the tears on the bus this afternoon.  someone gave me a funny look- i think he thought i was choking or something.  nevertheless, i liked it.  i recently watched the move from beginning to end for the first time (and sobbed like a baby.  then my roommate walked in at the end and had to leave the room to avoid sobbing like a baby)  but in a good way.  which makes me wonder: why do women enjoy making themselves cry?  i don't enjoy crying all the time, in fact it is usually unwelcome as it pops up in unfortunate times and places for very strange reasons- sadness, frustration, happiness, going too long without eating.... you girls know this list all too well, i'm sure.  but i will admit, as will most of the females that i have spoken to in my life, that i enjoy tear-jerker movies, books, tv shows, conversations, etc etc a little too much.  why do i want to make myself blotchy and sniffly?  it's kind of sick really.  although i once read an article that said studies have found that tears actually are one of nature's ways to rid your body of negative toxins.... i wish i had written down where i read that, but it was a legit source and there were many studies done on the positive effects that crying had on the body.  do girls have more toxins to shed or are we just more weepy because of the estrogen?  or maybe guys secretly cry just as much as girls do, they are just ashamed and hide it verrrry well.  anyway, the notebook caused me to choke up in a good way.  one of sparks' books that i give a thumbs up to.  A Walk to Remember is also a good one that causes readers to weep for pages.  in fact, that was one of the first books to make me legitimately cry.  bellissimo.  sometimes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

90. thurber carnivals

The Thurber Carnival by James Thurber
When I first saw this book, in my mom's costco shopping cart, i thought i recognized the name james thurber.  i thought that surely this was one of those books about an author's crazy tales or life from the perspective of another author with creative licenses..... but no, this is thurber's self-made little carnival.  before i picked it up i thought "that thurber guy must be pretty whimsical to name his collection of short stories after a carnival."  i was correct.  he is whimsical, indeed.  while i can't say i understood any of his little "comics," his short stories were great.  i especially enjoyed the one about their childhood dog that bit people because he was in a bad humor.  i love this author!  he writes about dogs as if they are humans and captures their personality quirks perfectly.  how can you not like someone that is able to do that?

Monday, November 29, 2010

89. making me hungry for pizza

Playing For Pizza by John Grisham
When someone wakes up in a hospital bed from the worst concussion in the world with an entire city that hates them, apparently they go to italy to play football there!  i hesitated to pick this one up, but my mom insisted that it was "a kinda cute ending," so i gave it a shot.  i'm glad i did.  it was a nice little novel to conclude my interesting little weekend.  and i think i am going to keep the weekend alive by -gasp- skipping my class today!  oh no!  but, with the exception of finishing Playing for Pizza, i am actually going to get some shit done.  and thats a promise. 
Grisham surprised me with his detailed portrayal of both food and football in this book- not a law firm, a football field in italy.  i reccomend that he do this sort of food writing again, because it was making me drool.  and isn't that, after all, the sign of truly good food writing?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

86, 87, 88. seem too good to be true?

.... it's not.  since this weekend was thanksgiving weekend, infamous for time spent around the house doing absolutely nothing except being around family, i took full advantage and read like a mofo.  Peony in Love by Lisa See came in at spot 86, and i really enjoyed it.  i liked how see worked around the plot line of the classic Chinese opera (i'm assuming it actually exists: The Peony Pavilion.... if not, it was still cool) and molded it to her character, while still throwing in some crazy twists and turns.  it managed to be a bit depressing at times, but overall the message of despair was overcome by love and family yada yada yada.  there was also a lot of reference to the intricacies of literary analysis and early female writers barging through the male dominated politics and improprieties.  i liked that.  this would be a good read for any female literature student.  not to be sexist, but it was quite girly and girl-power centered, so yeah. 

number 87: I'm Down by Mishna Wolff
another memoir piece.... its interesting how these are soooooo popular right now.  i'm even writing one for a class (in fact, i should be doing that right now instead of writing this.....) this was one of the more light hearted ones that i have read and i actually laughed out loud at some points.  it was ridiculous.  but enjoyable.  and also really easy and quick, which is an important quality in books i read these days.  mishna is a completely white child that is part of a completely white family but they live in a predominately black neighborhood in seattle that her dad grew up in and therefore identifies more with the african american culture than anything else.  so mishna tries to fit in and "be down" like her dad and little sister but has troubles.... hilarity ensues.  blah blah blah  this would make a funny movie (not as funny as borat though)

number 88: The Bad Girl's Guide to Getting What You Want by Cameron Tuttle
an oldie but goodie.  i read it every time i need a pick me up that makes me feel less guilty and more excited to be alive and do good bad things.  if you haven't read this book, definitely grab it.  again though, more of a women's book.  and it is a little corny, but it tries to be, and its soooo good that it cancels out any corniness.  sooooooo great.  read it now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

85. Writing Makes Perfect

This was an interesting book.  I have to do a "book talk" on it with a partner for a class, so i don't want to spend too much time on it here, but it was a worthwhile read.  it is definitely in the pile to keep for future reference, and i think i will actually reference it at some point, which is saying something.  gallagher has an innovative perspective on actually customizing your teaching to include as much writing as possible and also to cater to what the students need at that moment in time.  for instance, if you notice a lot of students are having issues with run-on sentences, teach about run on sentences then and not later on as a book or curriculum dictates.  also, something i didn't know before, don't make notes to correct every little nitpicky thing..... that wastes your time and they don't even look at it if there are marks everywhere.  i totally didn't know that.  instead, note only a few things that pop up in that students' paper several times and let them fix it.  ah the things i am learning..... i'm learning about learning! ha!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

84. magical realism inspires magical procrastination

I think books are my crack.  I really do.  Instead of facing my blasted homework as I should... finals week is looming closer and closer, I said to myself, "i'll just finish my book, then i'll feel better."  if that isn't an addict's statement, i dont know what is.  I am nearing the end (as in 30 pages away) of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude and it was an interesting, albeit confusing read.  I think I can see in this book the style that must have taken some part in inspiring the strange salman rushdie.  while it is confusing and sometimes grotesque, magical realism is the bomb.  the author describes a normal person's day, in an average portrayal of the world, then BAM! somebody just floats up into the air into infinity while they are helping someone fold a sheet in the courtyard.  you never see these instances coming, nor do you really know what has happened while you are reading it, but then you think "wait a second..." and re-read a few lines and realize that the book is crazy (in a good way).  there were gypsies (give me your tears..... oh borat, how you slay me), flying carpets, massacres, butterflies (yep, rushdie had definitely read this before becoming a writer) that appeared around one person and their memory, 200 year old people, glowing gold, and my favorite so far, a pool filled with champagne!  so delightful.  i have no idea what surprise awaits me in the next 30 or so pages as the book ends, although pretty much every one of the family members has locked themselves up in some form of solitude and died (or lived for hundreds of years)*sorry, but this wasn't a spoiler, if you haven't read it, you definitely know that most of the characters will die at some point.  and, as i still have 30 pages, not everyone has died.  so there.  i will disagree with the critic who said that this book should be required reading right after the book of Genesis, though.  that's kind of sacrilidge.  not cool.  nor did i think it was that over-the-top required reading fantastic.  but what do i know? 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

81 and 82 classroom research

as i have come towards the end of my education studies (YES!), i have come to the realization that not only is my spelling, grammar, and ability to think going downhill, i have also not read nearly enough young adult literature to help any future student out.  which is why i hit the AWFUL college library's young adult/children's section.  it is horrendously under-represented for such a vast and unimpressive library,  and books are only available for 7 day check out, but i will not use this space to air my grievances with the university library here.  i will just say that 81 and 82 were my own form of research, and the book i am in the middle of right now is too.  Dangerous Skies and The Chocolate War kept me company last week, and i can now say that i have no idea why they speak so highly of Cormier's The Chocolate War.  There is a lot of random inferences to "jacking off," as they most commonly refer to it, and really weird boys' school dynamics, but i suppose boys would like it.  i can never see reading this as a classroom though, it'd be pointless.  and Dangerous Skies is my own pick, not something frequently discussed in class, but i thought it'd be worth a chance.  It might be a good introduction to racism in 50's/60's south for 5th or 6th graders.  we'll see i guess, if i even get that chance.  other things are happening, and i hope to sit down with Lois Lowry's Number the Stars tonight and wrap it up.  which would mean 83, in case i don't get to writing it. because i am too busy rushing to the library within 7 days to return it.... don't get me started.
ciao (look how rediculous i am tonight.  crazy weekend results, eh?)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Between love and madness, lies xenophobia

Sunday, November 7, 2010

As 80 approaches, a summary

A summary of what I have read thus far, a count of 79:
1. Ten Days in the Hills, Smiley 2. Who Moved My Blackberry?, Kellaway 3. Girls of Riyahd, Alsnea 4. Dragonfly in Amber, Gabaldon 5. Teaching Poetry in HS, Somers 6. Neither Here nor There, Bryson 7. Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire, Esquith 8/9/10. Bad Boys in Black Tie, Foster, McCarthy, and Leigh 11. The Map of Love, Soueif 12 T.E.T., Gordon 13. The Giver, Lowry 14. Something Blue, Giffin 15. Dear Joh, Sparks 16. Engaging Readers & Writers, Wilhelm 17. Deeper Reading, Gallagher 18. The Moor's Last Sigh, Rushdie 19. Mediterranean summer, shalleck 20. the road, mccarthy 21. second helpings, mccafferty 22. classics in the classroom, jago 23. split second, baldacci 24. you are what you eat, browne 25. little lady agency, browne 26. joey pigza swallowed the key, gantos 27. white noise, delillo 28. the treasure, johansen 29. reading native american literature, goebel 30. sunburned country, bryson 31. the phantom tollbooth, ,juster 32. blogs, wikis, podcasts, richardson 33. the help, stockett 34. room with a view, forster 35. moscow rules, silva 56. little lady, big apple, browne 37. even cowgirls get the blues, robbins 38. little lady and the prince, browne 39. ellen foster, gibbons
40. the scarlet letter, nathaniel hawthorne
41. love the one you're with, emily giffin
42. queen of babble, meg cabot
43.smitten, janet evanovich
44. the secret of lost things, sheridan hay
45. goodnight nobody, jennifer weiner
46. letting go!, mara fox
47. a thousand acres, jane smiley
48. a journey to the east, herman hesse
49. the lost symbol, dan brown
50. everything is illuminated, safran foer
51. pretty little liars, sara shepard
52. fourth comings, megan mccafferty
53. the kitchen god's wife, amy tan
54. vanity fair
55. charlie and the chocolate factory, roald dahl
56. leaf man, ehlert
57. voyager, diana gabaldon
58. is it done yet?, barry gilmore
59. the language of baklava, diana abu-jaber
60. native son, richard wright
61. the love songs of sappho, sappho
62. how to stop worrying and start living, dale carnegie
63. of mice and men, john steinbeck
64. teaching visual literacy, nancy frey and douglas fisher
65. persepolis, marjane satrapi
66. nose down, eyes up, merrill markoe
67. winter in the blood, james welch
68. Jesus, deepak chopra
69. skeleton man, joseph bruchac
70. friday night lights, w.h. bissinger
71. sizzling sixteen, janet evanovich
72. vision in white, nora roberts
73. drums of autumn, diana gabaldon
74. the hidden life of dogs, elizabeth marshall thomas
75. shakespeare's sonnets, shakespeare
76. literacy in the digital age, r.w. burniske
77. the maltese falcon, dashiell hammett
78. the associate, john grisham
79. the legend of sleepy hollow, washington irving
80. the secret, rhonda byrne

oh my gosh, i totally forgot to count a book this summer (a hefty one, too)- a thousand acres, by jane smiley!  so i'm at 80!  yaaaay! happy weekend!!!

77, 78, 79 i know, unbelievable, right?

i've actually been working on some of the books i've been finishing lately for a while- some sat on my desk, collected dust on my bookshelf, or got tossed around in my bookbag for a time with a bookmark firmly inserted somewhere near the middle.  so the winners of this weekend's lottery are.....

77. The Associate by John Grisham (hmm. funny, i remember this plot in two other Grisham books....)
78. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving -a classic-
79. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne -potentially life-changing: i am definitely impressed with the content of this book, although the format/writing could be improved, but i am so overwhelmed (in a good way) with the statetements in here that I don't even know where to begin thinking about how it effects life and religion.  we are all made of energy that has been in existence for the span of mankind and will be in existence once we leave.  that doesn't sound like a lot, but think about it: there are so many spin-offs of thought in this one profound little statement from a book:  does that mean reincarnation exists- if our energy is just transferring to the next generation then aren't we somehow transferring to the next generation?  the power from God is energy which He created us with and the universe with, so we are actually part of God, which makes me wonder if Jesus was God's son, but also an allegory for all human kind that realizes this because in reality we are all God's sons/daughters.  this could totally blow the lid off of why Christianity differs from Judaism and Islam in that Jesus was God's son, whereas he only exists in other religions, but it not God's son.  but if this were English literature at its' finest, then Jesus could be real but also the biggest, most powerful allegory or metaphor of all time!  think about it for a second, because i'm not just raving right now, nor am i blaspheming, in case you were wondering.  I have total faith and belief in God and Jesus, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  don't get me wrong, but i also happen to have a lot of background in literary analysis and it is really getting the most of me, but what if i'm on to something here?  read The Secret and think real hard while you are reading it- it'll blow your mind.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

75 & 76!

well, this is shaping up nicely.  so far, i've read/finished two books this weekend and i am well on my way to finishing off two more- yay extra hour for daylight savings time!!!  ha ha actually, i will probably be enjoying sleep during that hour, but you just never know with me.  i woke up at 5 am this morning ( a saturday, mind you) with every single light on in my room- because i had passed out with my hand on the phone at 11:15.... i must have been tired to sleep with all the lights on for that long, eh?  but don't worry, i promptly went back to sleep until 9:30, appropriate saturday morning time (or really, any morning for me.... damn school getting in the way of my sleeping in!) 
This book about literacy in the digital age was a lot of hooey in my eyes.  It mentioned a couple of good websites, but really its full of a lot of stuff that a teacher would never have time to do and that students would never want to do.  whatevs.
as for the american crime novel classic, the maltese falcon, it reminded me of an old smoke and mirrors black and white movie.  im not even sure what that means.  it was also a whole lot of hooey, but at least it was entertaining- i was on the edge of my seat wondering who would be shot next and whether or not brigid was innocent.  it was kind of racy for the 30s when it first showed up, but according to my standards, not nearly racy enough to accomodate the old school pin-up image of the damsel in distress/deliciously evil and crafty woman... i would have liked that to come into it a bit more.  she was not nearly as attractively described as i would have liked.  no, i don't like women, but i do like a good description, especially in a crime novel where that could come into play later on.... 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

73.-74. shakespeare and dogs

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas' The Hidden Life of Dogs and a book of Shakespeare's sonnets..... 26 more to go in ooohhh let's see... 8 weeks.  how will this happen????  3 or 4 books a week!!!!  luckily i am in the process of reading like 4 others right now for school and i have a semi-free weekend this weekend.  The Hidden Life of Dogs was cool, but not as interesting as I thought it would be.  Marshall Thomas is a crazy woman- she spent thousands of hours following her huskies on walks to see where they went and how they reacted to certain situations like traffic, other dogs, different neighborhoods, etc.  But she left so many questions that I would've liked to have known at "I could never figure out the reason for this.."  I would like to know the reason for this, that is why i'm reading your book: go find the reason or back it up with other instances of other dogs doing something like this!  oh well, it was still a quick and interesting read, plus I enjoy almost anything dog-related, so i enjoyed it overall.  also, i read shakespeare's 152 sonnets for my literature class, which, by the way, is kicking my ass.  we have to read so many poems a week that they all get filtered through the system as if we haven't read them at all, then we are tested on nit-picky details.  thanks a lot, lady.  i'm really learning from your class............................... NOT.  "This suit is black not."  -Borat (a way more entertaining fellow than shakespeare- yup, i said it, I, and english major, said it. borat is more entertaining than shakespeare)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

72. should count as 3 books

Another diana gabaldon book.... i think the fifth one maybe. 1000 + pages is too much for me this late in the game- rookie mistake but im plowing thru it all. Too bad the habibi and the school is so distracting. Im finding it all to be a little much but im happy :) and i will make it to 100 if it kills me.
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Friday, October 15, 2010

71. no pants night continues

the excitement never stops here at mi casa.  no-pants night continues on.  i have finished off the last of another book this evening: Vision in White by Nora Roberts.  Let me just say that was a whole lot of fluff in a whole lot of large-fonted, big-margined pages..... but it works.  the end result made me smile, which i suppose is the point of reading these fluffy nora roberts novels.  i am dissapointed to have finally read one of her books and realized it was so shitty, though.  she produces a lot of books (according to wikipedia, over 165)  she has also been in the number one bestseller slot for over 100 weeks combined with all of these books.  why?  this writing is crappy (no offense, nora, i am ultimately impressed with your skills- i am, after all, the one sitting at home alone on a friday night blogging about your book rather than writing my own....) and the sex scenes aka the entire reason to read one of these shitty romance novels are not good at all.  they are super fake and there arent' enough details to result in lady wood, which is what we all want from these graphic and corny descriptions of loooovvvve making.  so frankly, i just don't get it.  but i can now say that i have read one of these nora roberts stories.  and next time, i will pick up a harlequin blaze novel instead.  they are really graphic and corny and there are more of these looovvvee scenes than there are of the will they- won't they? drama.  VERY NICE! GREAT SUCCESS!  let me sum up my no-pants  night ramblings:
Nora Roberts= bad
Harlequin Blaze series= deliciously bad
*wink wink*

69. and 70. sha-wing

alright, i am a bit behind, i know.  i'm working on it.  i'm also working on several large projects and papers and presentations.... the list goes on.  BUT, i am enjoying everything (as of right now, when i have optimism towards the opportunity to do homework that will pop up all weekend long; talk to me on sunday night) i am liking the process of doing all the menial tasks involved in the GRADUATION process.   yes, graduation.  in seven months, i will have a degree.  from a college, not just my dinky high school diploma.  oh yeah that's right.  it is a little hard to see the forest for the trees right now, but eventually i will remember how glad i am to be so close to that time when i no longer have to look at my clock and think "if i miss this class, how much will it really matter?"  damn i'm going to miss it.  but right now, let's just focus on how much i do not like school.  it is sucking up all my reading time.  naughty naughty school.  but i have managed to squeeze in a few here and there- Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger was a keeper of a true story (no "based on a..." b.s. here) and Sizzling Sixteen, the latest Janet Evanovich novel.  also known as the easiest 309 page book to read found out of the children's section ever.  but it was mildly entertaining, which is all i can ask for in a sea of floppy-backed books about teaching writing for insightful students blah blah blah.  but on another note, i think i may read a little tonight, too.  it is friday, after all, and i have to reward myself for going to class this morning- it's reeeeally hard to make myself put on real clothes and makeup and wait for the bus for 50 minutes worth of class.  i spend more time getting ready and waiting for transit than i do in class.  it's a time issue with me, not a laziness.  ha.  but i did!  then i came home and took some nyquil sinus! yaaaay! then i wrote the first half of a rationale for a midterm project due in like 5 days that i just now started and then i took a nap and watched modern family!!!!!!  it's been a day of excitement for me!!!!!  ha ha ha!!!!!!!  alright, i'm done with the exclamation marks.  so tonight, this monumental night, i am going to be thankful for two things, rather than look at the unpleasant side of them (which i totally could, but i'm not going to): 1. my roommate is too hung over to invite her friends over to drink beer and watch weird crappy godzilla remake movies in our living room, so i can use my kitchen to eat and drink whatever i like without judgement and 2. i have declared tonight a "no pants night."  that's right, i have shed my pajama pants and gone hog wild.  well, not so much hog wild, but i am going to pretend i don't have any pants for the evening, as i once did in the comfort of my private dorm room so many years ago.  while i would do anything to have my boyfriend here to hang out with me, i am going to enjoy the fact that i can go sans pants and enjoy his XL t-shirt without having to look pretty.  which is nice because i'm pretty sure i'm lookin heinous right now, and lookin pretty would  be a lot of effort at this point in time.  i have couch lines on my face from my nap, for instance.  foundation cannot cover that shit up.  trust me, i've tried.  so look- i have a glorious night on my hands.  and the whole weekend to do everything i've ever wanted and everything i did not want to do: homework, presentations, writing assessments, reading ,watching netflix, sleeping, eating, cooking, cleaning, getting coffee...... i know, i'm super exciting. no need to tell me twice. 
p.s. friday night lights: good, but too long-winded
sizzling sixteen: decent, but nothing like to good old days of stephanie plum

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

67 & 68

i'm at school right now so i have limited time until my next (unfortunate) class.  i can't wait to have someone tell me my opinion of a piece of literature is wrong again, as it is every week.  just kidding.  i in fact am not looking forward to this class and this rude teacher.  and shakespeare.  blech.  so i read two books since i last visited my blog.  Jesus by Deepak Chopra and Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac.  Both interesting and easy to read.  I have to write a "multigenre" paper about Skeleton Man, which should actually be kind of fun.  our assignment is to write a paper but to also incorporate artistic bits such as song lyrics, poems, pictures, newspaper articles, etc. into the writing to create one real full bodied piece.  it should be interesting.  i think i'm going to emulate one of my favorite books from when I was in third grad that i can't even remember what it was called but it was american girl and the pages of the book looked like notebook pages because it was a simulated journal of this girl whose name started with an a.  and i remember specifically this one really cool part where there was an envelope pasted in and you had to pull out the letter that her friend wrote her and i thought that was A-MAZING.  so i'm gonna somehow pull that baby into this paper and wow and amaze my teacher at my three dimensional abilities. i'll let you know how that goes. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

66. winter in the blood or something....

James Welch, author of Fool's Crow, also wrote Winter in the Blood.  i'm going to forget it as soon as I drop it off in the library return slot.... no dishonor to welch, but i just didn't get into itt.  "Remember the Titans," on the hand, I am watching right now and I haven't seen it since 7th or 8th grade, but it is still amazing and i remember all amazing bits of it.  this is one thing im somewhat looking forward to writing a lesson plan around.  dee-lightful.  winter in the blood, not so much.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

64. and 65. what a productive weekend (for reading at least)

since i have spent so much of my weekend reading things that i didn't necessarily need to read for school, i do not have much time to write out my thoughts and feelings on Eyes Up Nose Down by Merrill Mekoe, and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.  Persepolis was actually for a lesson plan assignment for my media literacy class..... apparently "graphic novels" are the next big thing in teaching.  I think i would have hated having to read and dissect this sort of thing in high school.  i don't do well with comics and graphic reading- there's too much going on.  give me the words and let me picture it on my own.  although i will admit that the graphics were pretty um word word word... i can't think right now.  it's a sunday morning and i'm distracted by the fact that my room is (still) a disaster.  and i also am upset that i didn't do this homework last night when i was motivated.  granted, its not due til wednesday, but i feel that i will be much relieved the more i get done today.  i, as of yet, have no misconceptions about how much will actually get done today though.  i have played this game many a sundays before.  im no stranger to the procrastination game (as you can clearly see- i am writing about what i have read this weekend in lieu of actually doing anything....) persepolis was kind of scary and im not sure how appropriate it would be in a classroom because of the violence, anti-government critique, religion, and curse words in it.  they say fuck a few times, which stands out a lot more in a "graphic novel" than in a regular novel because there are fewer words.  anyway, it was a good history lesson for me at least.  i had no idea of how or why or what went down in the islamic revolution of iran.  now i have some idea.  yay me.  i don't regret spending my saturday nigth reading this book and would recommend it to anyone because it was sort of intriguing.  i also liked the little veiled women pictures.  they reminded me of a darker side of madeline picture books. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

63. yep, i finished another one

To be fair, half of the books that I am finishing this week have been in the process for the past month.  but i would still like to recognize the fact that i am finishing them all!  :)  This was an interesting read for future english teachers..... there were some new ways of explaining the importance of alternative media such as comic books and political cartoons.  this would be great if you ever have to give a solid reason why you are using the particular medium in a class to a nosy parent or principle.  i'll copy a few lesson plans out of here.  i will not, however, be reading story books to my older students.  i mean really?  reading the leaf man did nothing for me, even though i am trained to pick up on literary cues.  i'm just sayin'. 
Teaching Visual Literacy, Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Yeah, that's right, I read Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men last night between writing about Cargegie's book and going to bed.  SHWING!  and i was worried about not reading enough books quickly enough.  well, i can.  and i will.  no doubts about it.  i'm going to read read read today (homework, but still) possibly going out to the park to do so.  All I will say about this "classic" american literature is that it is really sad and i am glad that i don't have to live during the depression and the dust bowl and be a migrating worker and yada yada yada.  thank you God for letting me live in an age where i can read about what this was like and then get on the internet and learn how to make a recipe and all the while watching a wedding on live tv (today show.  man i love it)  congrats to the happy couple- the dress was beautiful.
can't wait to take care of my own mouse killer and walk down the aisle in the beatimus white dress..... lacy and silky and -sigh- beautiful.  although my mouse killer does so on purpose and doesn't keep them in his pocket to pet.  and he doesn't kill puppies.  killing puppies isn't okay any way you swing it.  because they look like this. so cute.