Friday, October 29, 2010

November Group Read

It's that time of month again, we need to pick something to read as a group! Leave suggestions in the comments and I will start a poll on the side bar on Monday.

Have a fabulous Halloween weekend!! I am going to see the musical production of The Sound of Music tonight and I am super pumped. It will be my 3rd time seeing it and I love ittttttt! No real big plans besides relaxing and hanging out with family. Oh and eventually purchasing candy for the 1 trick or treater myself. 3 bags should cover it!

Any big Halloween plans? Dressing up? Don't forget to suggest a book!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fallout - Ellen Hopkins

Fallout is the third and final book in a series focusing on Kristina aka Bree who is an addict. Fallout is different from the first two, Crank and Glass, have Kristina as a narrator and are set in when she is a teenager just beginning her addiction to the Monster (meth); but Fallout follows her 3 oldest children Hunter, Autumn and Summer about 19 years later.

I really liked getting to hear the kids perspectives about their "mother" and how their lives were affected and shaped because of Kristina's drug use.

Hunter, the oldest at 19, was adopted by his grandparents (Kristina's mom and step-dad) when he was 3 and has been raised mostly by them besides the brief period when he was born and under 2 when Kristina tried to play mom. He is now 19 and in college getting a degree in communication. He has dabbled in drugs but won't touch meth because he has seen what it has done to Kristina, who he has contact with but no relationship. He has a girlfriend but cheats on her and is struggling with who is father is even after all of this time.

Autumn doesn't even know who her mother is. She has been raised by grandpa and her Aunt Cora because her dad Trey has been in and out of prison her whole life. She has OCD and doesn't know how to interact with boys and sleeps with her boyfriend without protection. She starts drinking when her Aunt Cora meets someone and moves out and gets married. Her dad recently out of prison shows up at her aunt's wedding and family secrets start being revealed.

Summer knows her mother and occasionally talks to her on the phone but she lives with her father or when he is jail/prison she is in foster care. Her beginning years were spent with her paternal grandparents and that was the best period of her life until her grandpa died and her grandma couldn't take care of her anymore. Since then she has been abused, bounced around from home to home and despite all of this is really smart. She does get in a relationship with a guy who is controlling and addicted to drugs.

Summer and Hunter both talk about Kristina's other two children, Donald and David who are younger and still live with Kristina. All of the kids have issues and want to know why their mother can't take care of them and help them and be what they want. But it all comes down to meth is addicting and it kills your brain piece by piece and it turns you into someone else entirely. Kristina can't care for them how they want, she can't love them how they want and she won't ever be able to because her emotions and brain have been screwed over by meth for the last 20 years.

I really enjoyed this series and I am sad to see it end. I would really like another follow-up or a little more extra at the end instead of hanging on, hoping all those lives could turn out semi-normal. It also makes me want to know more about the real Kristina, who the book is based on and how her life and that of her children are from her addiction.

Definitely recommend this entire series to anyone. Ellen Hopkins writing is unique and fresh and very relevant to teens today.

I received this book from Around the World Tours. All comments are mine and mine alone.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

11 weeks

a picture of us from my SILs wedding 2 weeks ago
How far along? 11 weeks
Weight gain/loss: down 4
Maternity clothes? I've been wearing a few shirts to bed/lounge around in. Love hand-me downs from friends!
Stretch marks? Nope
Sleep? Around 10-11 hours a night if I don't have to set an alarm. The peeing is annoying though. If my bladder is the tiniest bit full I wake up and have to go or I can't fall back asleep. The other night, I went to bed at 10:30 went to the bathroom beforehand. Went again at 11:09, AGAIN at 11:21, AGAIN at 11:32 and then AGAIN at 1:30 and again at 3:30 ughhhhh. Good news is that I usually fall right back asleep!
Best moment this week? Probably getting huge bag of maternity clothes from my friend.
Food cravings: oranges and bagels with veggie cream cheese
Belly button in or out? In
What I miss? wine. I had dreams about it the last 2 nights.
What I'm looking forward to: Finish cleaning out our office and then moving our spare bed into it and then cleaning out/doing major work in that room!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

Taken from Chelsea...

1. What is your favorite decor item in your house?
hmm maybe my candle holders that are on the wall? i have like no decor haahah

2. What is your favorite hair product?
umm i don't usually use any. cuz i hate doing hair.

3. Are you a good dancer?
Better than some, worse than others.

4. You get some good news, who’s the first person you call?
Probably my mom or my husband.

5. Would you rather take pictures, or be in pictures?
take the pictures. i hate how fat i am in photos now.

6. What is your shoe style?
cheap, black and comfortable

7. How often do you eat out?
now that i am pregnant a lot more than normal. i can't stand the smell of food in the house! it is much better to do at a restaurant or take out

8. If someone has food in their teeth, do you tell them?
depends on who it is

9. Do you fold your underwear?
nope they are all flung in the drawer

10. Milk, dark, or white chocolate?
all??? haha

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tutored -

About: Wendy Anderson and Hakiam Powell are at opposite ends of the spectrum—the social spectrum, the financial spectrum, the opportunity spectrum, you name it. Wendy lives in an all-white suburb of Philadelphia, where she’s always felt like the only chip in the cookie. Her dad, who fought his way out of the ghetto, doesn’t want her mingling with “those people.” In fact, all Wendy’s life, her father has told her how terrible “those people” are. He even objects to Wendy’s plan to attend a historically black college. But Wendy feels that her race is more than just the color of her skin, and she takes a job tutoring at an inner-city community center to get a more diverse perspective on life.

Hakiam has never lived in one place for more than a couple of years. When he aged out of foster care in Ohio, he hopped a bus to Philly to start over, but now he’s broke, stuck taking care of his cousin’s premature baby for no pay, and finding it harder than ever to stay out of trouble. When he meets Wendy at the tutoring center, he thinks she’s an uppity snob—she can’t possibly understand his life. But as he gets to know her better, he sees a softer side. And eventually—much to the chagrin of Wendy’s father and Hakiam’s cousin—they begin a rocky, but ultimately enlightening, romance.

This edgy story about a star-crossed couple features strong African American characters and sparkles with smart, quirky dialogue and fresh observations on social pressures and black-on-black prejudice.

This book was a very quick read and told of Wendy and Hakiam meeting and relating to each other from their very different upbringings. However, it lacked depth and ended abruptly and there were some story lines that needed to be closed up before it could just end with the happy for now ending.

I liked Wendy and Hakiam's characters and thought they were well written. Leesa (Hakiam's cousin) also fit into a stereotypical role and was interesting and aggravating to read about.

The author does make you feel for Malikia (Leesa's neglected daughter) and it makes you wonder how Hakiam is going to pull himself out of the ghetto or will he?

But it was mostly just bleh. Didn't keep me on the end of my seat, did not appear edgy at all and ended with quite possibly the stupidest ending possible. It needed to go on for a little longer.

I received this book from Around the World Tours. All opinions are mine

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10 weeks!

I know.. I know.. I've been a bad bad bad blogger. But I have been soooo tired. However, I shall soon have a ton of book reviews today! I've got a TON in the mail this week. Like 4. Eeek. I have a ton of reading ahead of me tomorrow!

I do come with a gift though! I have a picture of my baby!!! I had my first appointment this week and I got to hear the heartbeat and got a surprise ultrasound!!! ;)

How far along? 10weeks
Weight gain/loss: down 2
Maternity clothes? not yet
Stretch marks? None yet, but my belly is expanding
Sleep? Is grand but even though I am exhausted I can't seem to take naps.. I lay around with my eyes closed but I can't fall asleep. But I sleep good at night minus my 3 plus pee breaks.
Best moment this week? hearing the heartbeat and seeing the baby!!
Food cravings: none
Gender: Alien ;)
Belly button in or out? In
Movement? Nope
What I miss? wine and not being exhausted all the time
Milestones: We announced to the world we are having a baby!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

9 Weeks Cooked

How far along? 9 weeks
Weight gain/loss: down 3 pounds
Maternity clothes? no but the bloat as gone done a little but it will be nice to cover up my boobs better soon. i have been holding out on purchasing many new fall things because i don't know how long they will be worn!
Stretch marks? no
Sleep? i keep wanting to take naps but when i try i can't.. but i sleep fine at night except for when i wake up and my legs want to do some dancing jigs but i usually end up back asleep again.
Best moment this week? One of my BFF's from college told me she is pregnant and we are due on the same day!!!!!!
Food cravings: slurpees
Belly button in or out? In
What I miss? I really could have gone for a beer while toasting to a great friend who will be greatly missed yesterday. ;(
What I'm looking forward to: My doctor's appointment which was supposed to be yesterday but I switched it to next week because of the funeral yesterday.
Milestones: Got baby's first present! My friend made small blanket for the car seat that has footballs on it and ribbons on the edges for Ohio State, Michigan State and U of M. ;)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ten Books I Will Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic is Top Ten Books I Will Never Read.

Now I am one to never say never (so says the insane amount of unread books in my house) but there are some places that even I won't go.

1. If Democrats Had Any Brains They'd Be Republicans - Ann Coulter (though I shudder that I just gave her any kind of acknowledgement by posting this on my blog)
2. Pinheads and Patriots:Where you Stand in the Age of Obama- Bill O'Reilly (I personally think HE is a pinhead )
3. Paranormalcy - Kiersten White ( enough with these kinds of books! )
4. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (The idea of the book never interested me, but I did go see the movie and thought it was terrible and that I would equally hate the book cuz the premise was stupid)
5. Eat Pray Love - Elizabeth Gilbert (Everything I have heard about it makes me think I would shoot myself and never finish it)
6. Confessions of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella (Um just no. I would probably want to smack her and tell her to manage her money properly.)
7. The Lord of the Rings Triology - Tolkien ( Just poke my eyes out first. The 2 year old I used to babysit would ONLY be calmed by this movie. Holy crap snoozefest. The books would just make my eyes bleed. )
8. The Obama Diaries - Laura Ingraham (she makes me yell at my radio, I highly doubt I could handle a book. i would probably want to stomp on it, throw it against a wall and burn it)
9. Pride & Prejudice and Zombies - Seth Grahame-Smith (SERIOUSLY??? yeah mom i wrote a book, but totally copied it from Jane Austen but THERE ARE ZOMBIES. It is brilliant. um no)
10. I am Legend - Richard Matheson (uhhh no I do have a lot of other GOOD selections to read)

What is a book you know you will NEVER EVER read? Have you actually *gasp* read one of these books on my list? Are you pissed at me? ;)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Winner of Water for Elephants

is Kelly from She Wears a Red Sox Cap! Thanks for partcipating in September's Group Read and its discussions! If you send me an email I will send out the book asap...unless of course I can find your address saved in my contacts, then I will just email you and tell you not to worry hahaa.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

What are you reading?

Me - Case Histories by Kate Atkinson by reading I mean I am on on page 6. I swear I can't wait for this 1st tri exhaustion to leave so I can read a lot again! This falling asleep mid-read makes it difficult!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

8 Weeks in the Baking

[ source ]
How far along? 8 weeks
Weight gain/loss: down 1 pound
Maternity clothes? no but i bought a size bigger in a pair of jeans and a new huuuge bra haha.. i am just counting down the day until double d is my name
Stretch marks? nope
Sleep? i sleep fine.. wake up to pee.. fall right back to sleep.. repeat
Best moment this week? getting a bra that doesn't hurt tooo bad

Food cravings: none
Gender: today i had the irrational thought of it must be a girl because my beauty is sooo gone. (lame old wives tale)
Belly button in or out? In
What I miss? thinking about stuff besides food. all i do is think about food. food that sounds good. food that sounds bad. anything that will make me full but not too full.

What I'm looking forward to: my first midwife appt. next Tuesday and then hopefully telling everybody else that we haven't
Is it bad that now I want raspberries??

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October Group Read..

is Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen!

About: "Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell." Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive "ship of fools." It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival. (from goodreads)

This was one of the last books my grandma gave me with the quote.. " I didn't like it, but it might be a book that you like." hahaha. I wil admit I am hesitate to read it and have been putting it off and putting it off, so here is to hoping it was all for naught!

Happy reading!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Color Purple Discussion

I am not going to post a separate review for this book but I will share some of my thoughts.

I thought it was a well-written novel and discussed some very unpleasant subject matters and it pulled on your heart-strings. I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to other people.

I enjoyed reading about Nettie's experiences in Africa and I liked the book more after Shug took an active role. The beginning parts kind of just blended together and I am having a hard time remembering how it began. Which may be why, it took me awhile to get my head wrapped around the 'true' story of Celie and Nettie's dad and how that all fit together and what not. It seemed a bit of a stretch but stranger things have happened. I think my favorite character was Shug, followed by Celie. Sofia was pretty darn funny and strong as well.

About: Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister," a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self. (From the publisher)

1. What is the effect of not knowing Albert’s last name? In early novels, it was not uncommon for authors to use a blank in place of a character’s name, to create the illusion that the character was someone the reader might know—someone whose identity had to be kept secret. What does it mean that Celie must call her husband Mr. ____? When does she at last begin calling him by his first name?

The leaving the last name blank, irritated me because I don't like blank lines in my reading. I would of course prefer a full name. So I made one up in my head. Mr. Asshat. ;) I think Celie used a blank because she didn't want to write down his real name in her letters to God and in case anyone found them. I believe she didn't call him by his first name until after she found out all the dirt on him and what a douchebag he was to her. Though, I will say reading this book was so hard for me because I could barely concentrate. It was a good book, but I am already having trouble recalling the beginning!

2. Why does Albert tell Harpo to begin beating his wife, Sofia? Why is it so important to Harpo that his wife have no will of her own? Is his relationship with Squeak (Mary Agnes) fulfilling? What do these scenes tell us about the nature of abusive cycles? Is cruelty something that is taught—something that is unnatural? In your opinion, what does it take for someone (male or female) to deserve true respect?

Albert wants him to beat Sofia so she knows she has to obey him. The conversations these guys have about having your wife obey you, make me just cringe and know that I'd kick their ass before I let a finger touch me. Go Sofia! Albert wants Sofia to be obedient and respect him just like he sees Celie doing to Albert. I think in Squeak he finds that person he can dominate and that makes it good for him. I think cruelty is taught, whether it is in person or more today, viewed through tv and video games. I think to have true respect you need to not be demanding, self-righteous and demanding of respect. To earn respect you must show it to other people. Do as you say.

3. Just as Celie grew up being told she was inferior, Shug Avery was always told she was evil. What are your impressions of Shug, from the photo Celie sees early on, to the end of the novel, when Celie and Albert have united in their devotion to Shug? What does Shug teach Celie about being loved, and about finding one’s true self? What price does Sofia pay for being her true self?

4. Why is it difficult for Shug to commit to the people who love her? In what ways does Shug bring both pleasure and heartache to them?

5. Nettie’s life with Corrine and Samuel gives her the first semblance of a healthy family life she has ever known, but Corrine’s jealousy taints this. Only the memory of that crucial early scene, when Celie lays eyes on her daughter at the store, absolves Nettie just before Corrine dies. The Color Purple brims with these intricate turns of plot. List the seemingly minor scenes that turn out to be pivotal in the lives of the characters.

Remember, those who participate and comment are entered to win a copy of the October Group Read which the voting (in the sidebar) will be finished tonight at 7pm. I will announce the winner of the copy of the book Wednesday to give everyone enough time to comment back and forth on here. (Every comment = an entry) If you would like to do a guest post about this book, contact me to win another entry. Thanks for particpating! I always enjoy talking books with you.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I suck, I'm sorry

I JUST got the poll up today for October. It is up until Monday night at 7pm. I also will post discussion questions for the Color Purple on Monday.

Pregnancy is kicking my ass and all I want to do is lay around and be lazy. The ability to concentrate to read is not very strong these days, but I did finish The Color Purple on Friday. ;)

Hope you all have a great weeekend!