Nightstand: May Edition

Reading, reading, always reading!

I always enjoy the What’s On Your Nightstand carnival/meme/thing each month over at 5 Minutes For Books–so fun to glean good book ideas and have some great conversation along the way. Whilst this one happened last Tuesday, I’m just now posting–plenty of reading have I been doing, and most of it OUTSIDE!! Whoot–bring on SUMMERTIME!!

Let’s see…I’ve read lots…

Third Degree by James Patterson was my library book club’s pick for this month–I didn’t vote for it but I did read it. Twas a fast read, really. I’m not sure how much ‘discussion’ it will garner–well, discussion about the book itself anyway–but we’ll see.

Charming Billy by Alice McDermott–I really liked this one, I couldn’t help but love Billy. I also read Child Of My Heart by that same author and was not disappointed. Of the two, Charming Billy was my favorite. I shall write a post on what I liked about both of these soon.

A Day In The Life Of Italy is a big photography book that I brought home from the library that I want for my coffee table. 100 of the world’s leading photojournalists took pictures on the same day–April 27, 2000–in various places in Italy. The book starts with shots taken in the morning and progresses throughout the day…the writings about each picture are short but so informative. Wonderful book.

(My house at twilight on a warm summery eve)

The YadaYada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson was a good read–I plan to check out the others in that series.

Strangers by Anita Brookner is a book that I spotted at the library, on the new releases shelf. It was…odd yet interesting. I had to finish it, had to know what happened…yet it wasn’t a page turner, per se. Does that make sense?? The main character is an old man who finds himself at loose ends in the years after retirement, the story about how he connects with people and how he takes steps to revitalize his life. I don’t regret this read at all…twas just…odd…and I’m not sure why. I might ponder that…might not….~shrug~ It IS summertime!!

Short Stories have I read…many, many short stories from books and magazines. I have noted a few that I really liked, thinking maybe a post on those alone would be fun. Short stories are a particular passion of mine these days. I’ve subscribed to a magazine or two just for that reason.

~Happy Summertime and Happy Reading!!

May Kid’s Picks: Teenager Style

Today is Kid’s Picks over at 5 Minutes For Books, where folks post about what their kiddos are reading lately–check it out!

Let’s see what pages my teenagers have been turning as of late:

The girlie(15) is currently smitten with the Vampire Kisses series by  Ellen Schreiber. There are eight books in this series thus far–the most recent one being released this very day. She finished number seven yesterday and is eagerly awaiting the mail carrier today.

I know there are many folks out there with reservations on vampire stories and my response to that is here. She loves fantasy and knows what fantasy is. I love the fact that she devours pages and comes chatting to me about them–and then puts her latest conquest atop my own current read, ‘you gotta read this’.

The boy(17) is toting around several books on writing science fiction. He’s also reading Tom Sawyer and several Star Wars novels–he really likes those n has quite a collection.

This is the one who just recently asked me ‘so you know about Hemingway, right?’ Yes, I had to laugh. We haven’t been to the library this week to pick him up some Hemingway…I’m thinking he’d like A Farewell To Arms or The Sun Also Rises most of all–we’ll see. I myself had never read any Hemingway–beyond excerpts and quotes–until recently. More to follow on that sometime.

~Happy Reading!

May’s Third Performance Of Monday

Musing Mondays2

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about movies based on books…(click over n see what others have to say–join in if you like!)

What happens when you see a movie based on a book/story, especially one you’ve not read? Do you feel the need to track it down and read it?

If I really, really like a movie, I used to hesitate to mess with a good thing by reading the book…yet I’ve found that I often can’t help myself and give it a go anyway. I’ve learned that there is often so much more in the book version and in a good story–movie or book–I always want more!  Nowadays it seems that if I go after more, it is often far more than just the book version–it might be more about the topic, the character, the time period, the location, the language…wonderfully wild trails, so much to learn!

To further ramble on this topic, because rambling is an apparent passion of mine now and again… In the past, if I liked a movie I didn’t read the book and vice versa–if I liked a book I didn’t see the movie…that has somehow evolved and changed for me.  There are exceptions however…  For example, with Harry Potter I’m a movie fan and haven’t really been pulled into the books like my teenage son has. Same goes for the epic Lord of the Rings trilogy for me–give me the movie any day. The boy disagrees, he says there’s so much more detail in the books and I’m missin’ out.

From the other perspective, I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife book(which I read eons ago, long before the movie) and I loved the movie–even though I do think there was sooo much more detail in the book. I liked The Horse Whisperer book(which I read after I saw the movie) better than the movie version, but yet the movie was good enough. I know there are tons more examples, but those popped to the front of my mind first.

My teenage girlie says that with the Twilight saga, the books were great and she loved the movies, but if the books hadn’t been first for her, she thinks the movies would not have been quite as enjoyable. Knowing ‘the rest of the story’ made the movie a good embellishment–adding pictures per se— to the book version of the saga. I found that interesting…and I agreed, even.

What a musing for this Monday!

Wednesday Duo: Wondrous n Wordless

For today’s double-standard post, I give you first my Wondrous Words Wednesday pick:

malapert: unbecomingly bold or saucy.

Isn’t that an interesting one to take apart??

*mal– a prefix often used to mean bad/odd/not acceptable such as in maladjusted or malappropriate…

*’pert‘ fits the saucy n bold part of the definition!  Might be a stretch for some, but it works for me!!

Click on over to Bemudaonion’s site for more fantastic words!

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And now, without further ado, my Wordless Wednesday entry:

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Atypical by Jesse A. Saperstein


“People,regardless of whether they have a social disability, just want to be acknowledged”–  Jesse A. Saperstein, “Atypical”

As a person who is perpetually intrigued by human psychology, I was eager to read Jesse’s memoir of his life thus far as  a person living with Asperger’s Syndrome.

I have  encountered the Autism Spectrum several times in my life,  shared paths with parents and children dealing with such a diagnosis. As a result, I have  read much about the world along the spectrum and I believe Jesse’s book is a huge asset–to the ‘neurotypical’ world as well as the Asperger’s world.

To anyone involved in any way with Asperger’s, there is special insight offered as well as admonition given to understand, not fix, those who carry the Asperger’s label.  Jesse says much about how he has had to learn to try and be more ‘socially acceptable’ , yet at the same time, some simple acceptance is necessary.

“Their contempt for me comes from misjudging the AS as a character flaw to be corrected.”

“…social acceptance could only be earned through compromise, but I still had to be myself once in awhile…”

A part of the book that I found particularly heart-tugging was Jesse’s writing about his grandparents–his  memories of childhood days spent in their home and his poignant portrayal of how their deaths affected him and how he reacted with each event. I cannot describe this part of the book and do it any justice, it must be read first-hand.

“…people with Asperger’s have at least one lesson to teach the population at large: Many problems can be resolved and even avoided altogether by just being a little more direct and honest.”

I have already shared my copy of  Atypical with friends who are parenting a child diagnosed with Asperger’s in hopes of shining positive light onto their struggles, highlighting the joys to be found and the hopes that shine brightly. Give it a look, I think you’ll enjoy the insight!

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**My thanks to The Penguin Group for my complimentary copy of this book, there were no strings attached. I blogged my enjoyment in order to share this book with folks ’cause that’s what I do!**

Booking Through Thursday

So … you’re halfway through a book and you’re hating it. It’s boring. It’s trite. It’s badly written. But … you’ve invested all this time to reading the first half.

What do you do? Read the second half? Just to finish out the story? Find out what happens? Or, cut your losses and dump the second half?

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What a timely question for me! I just put down a book–a book club chosen book even–because it was just not worth another moment of my time.

I never force myself to finish a book I do not like, however, I do skim through the  rest of it–hoping for a shiny nugget to rekindle my interest at least somewhat. If it’s a fiction book, I definitely do this skimming thing, for I do need some sort of closure!

Click on over to Booking Through Thursday to see what others had to say about this–oh, and wish Deb a Happy Half Birthday while you’re there!

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Wednesday Oxymoronic Post: Wordless and Wondrous Words

The Wondrous Words meme  over at Bermudaonion’s blog is so much fun for us word junkies!

My word for today is:

noctambulism: sleepwalking

Isn’t that such a neat word?!? What I find so coolie about it is how it’s so easily dissected to discern it’s meaning.

Noct-referring to night

Amble-walk

I’m not sure where I found this word–tis one I scribbled down at some point on a slip of paper that fell from a drawer yesterday…and that’s how it rolls ’round here *nods*

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Wordless Wednesday(click to see many more WW posts):

The view from my front door yesterday…

Hot Off The Presses: I Read It–May Edition

I have read every single book in the ‘In Death’ series written by J.D. Robb.  If a mystery romance novel can ever be called a quick yet good read, these are it. I’m hooked by tough gal cop Eve Dallas and her once-a-poor-Irish -toerag now turned owner-of-most-of-the-world man Roarke. This couple easily ranks as one of my favorite couples to read about–I miss them between installments. They’re eclipsed only by Jamie and Claire…sigh.

Maybe it’s because, in days gone by, my mom used to read these and give them to me…

Maybe it’s because tis refreshing to see a committed, in-love couple and read about their life together instead of about relationship troubles…

All I know for sure is that I sure do enjoy every book and the latest, Fantasy In Death, was no exception.

Click on over to 5 Minutes For Books for more good book recommendations–my list is growing every day!

Upon A Monday In May…

Suppertime Menu Tho’ts:

-chicken enchiladas, salad/fruit

-pasta(penne) with marinara sauce, garlic bread, corn

-japanese pork cutlets(tonkatsu), stir fry vegs, rice

hot browns, chips, tater salad/fruit

-grilled chicken, twice baked taters, green beans, rolls

**click on over to OrgJunkie for more menu plan posts–I always glean a good idea or five from there!

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Magazine Round-Up

I love to read magazines and have been on quite a roll as of late–they’re so easy to pick up and put down,  full of interesting articles, ideas and info. This, of course, being dependent upon reading magazines relevant to your specific interests n all that.

Let me tell you about some neat stuff I’ve read in magazines lately:

*Food Network Magazine- Need I say more?? Yum… The girlie found the recipe for japanese style crispy pork (click for recipe)in the latest issue and–Japanese culture crazy and budding chef that she is–she was gung-ho to give it a go. Oh man, the only complaint we had about that tonkatsu(fried pork cutlet) was that we didn’t double the recipe!  We’ve already made this one a favorite, to say the least.

Great mag, tons of recipes of varying cooking skill levels–almost guaranteed to be something in there that’ll inspire you in your home kitchen, I know it never fails for us.

*Real Simple Magazine The April issue was right in line with what  I’ve come to expect from Real Simple–chock full of good reads, great tips and interesting info. Much of what I enjoyed about this issue is not linked online at this time, so I’ll just say it was a great issue and if you get a chance to pick it up, you’d not likely regret it!

*The Saturday Evening Post-I have recently become smitten with this magazine, I’m sure I’ve mentioned it somewhere along the way. Just love it. The March/April issue had a fantastic article on Norman Rockwell entitled ‘America’s Artist’ that I devoured. Such a great article about an American icon and how some of today’s most renowned creative minds were influenced by Rockwell–creative minds such as George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg. Click the title up there and give the article a  look-see, I think tis well worth your reading time.