Friday, March 26, 2010

I am equally as inadequate... How about you, Little Sis?

I WISH I'd read 75 of them...

Can we classify my answers better? How about...

I've read 49 of them, and I am suitably ashamed.
I've started to read 11 and never finished them. I am embarrassed.
I've watched 15 of them but NOT read the book version. Shame on me! The books are always better!
I can't remember if I read another 18 in school but sort of think I was supposed to have but didn't or started them and didn't finish them.

So all together, since I didn't count any in two categories, I have a relationship with 93 of them, but I can only swear on the Bible that I've read, from start to finish, 49 of them.

Perhaps that book club we sisters started a few years ago would be better modified to where we pick and choose one off the list (perhaps we can each choose one from our list) and we have what? 6 months to read it? (Trust me, I need the time!)

Or we can revel in the fact that we're the only 3 reading this blog and the only 3 that will ever know how illiterate we all are!!!

Now I Feel Inadequate as a Reader

Okay, I'm not one for these big Internet lists, but I had to check this one out: 1001 Books to Read Before You Die, and sadly, I have read only 33.5 books on the list. And only one from the 2000s. How did I get a half in there? I remember starting Cakes and Ale, but I can't remember if I finished it, and I remember starting Walden, but not finishing that either. How pathetic is that? But my Internet reading group is tackling Moonstone in April, so I'll be able to add that to my count, and I have Walden on my Kindle (I think) so if I read that on my next plane flight, I can add that.

Read--not seen a movie version. Big Sister, I bet you're pushing 75.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reading...

Just finished Jodi Picault's House Rules. Love this author! I believe I've read all of hers but one or two of the oldest... House Rules is about a young man with Asperger's Syndrome. He's high functioning and very smart, but socially handicapped. (And no, I don't pretend to be educated in the autism spectrum - please forgive me if I use unacceptable phraseology.) I was predicting a particular ending (no spoiler alert needed!) but admit to being pleasantly surprised by how she wrapped it all up - a tiny bow, all the rough edges smoothed out, but nothing too disappointing or predictable...

Just started Alex Berenson's The Midnight House, the next in the John Wells series. It's described as "...a cutting edge novel of modern suspense" in the espionage genre.

Yes, I'm a comparatively well-rounded reader. Compared to my past incarnation, that is! While I used to be the typical romance reader (those of us who don't, read about it!), as I've had some romance inserted into my life (thanks, Hon!), I've felt less the need to read about it and more the need to expand my literary horizons! But seriously, folks, while I still love a good romance, I find myself picking up more general fiction: criminal procedurals (although not a traditional mystery), suspense fiction, general fiction, political books, and I'm hoping for a good (auto)biography or two soon - so far nothing has really caught my eye in that category...

I'm sure many of you have heard about the terrible floods here in NJ, specifically in the Little Falls area. Yesterday, J and I took a ride through that area of town. I had been in the Willowbrook Mall area earlier last week, en route to a doctor's appointment, and those roads were seriously under water! I took a few pictures of flooded mall entrances, and closed Chinese restaurants. There were blocked roads and I had to make a couple of not-so-legal U-turns in private parking lots to get to the medical building.

When we watched the new reports, we felt so much sympathy for all those poor people who had been flooded out of their homes. One of my dear friends had been in a hotel since the previous Sunday; she lives in Lincoln Park and wasn't anticipating getting home until two days ago. (She lives in Lincoln Park - another flood zone in northern NJ).

Well, nothing prepared us for seeing it in person. The waters had receded, it's true, but to drive down these streets, to see peoples' LIVES out on the street, in dumpsters, damaged beyond repair. J kept saying to me, "Oh my God, this is horrible. Oh, Hon, these poor people. What they must be going through. Look at this house! No, look at the river!"

I know people who were affected by these storms. Personally. Horribly. But I wasn't prepared to see it up close and personal, even in a drive-by scenario.

My heart goes out to all of these families who have lost so much. I'm off to do a little digging, to find out where I can send some money so that I know it will make it to the locals who need it. My niece is collecting at her school in Little Falls - perhaps I'll just write her a check...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cat Quote of the Day

Yes, it is strange that anyone should dislike cats. But cats themselves are the worst offenders in this respect. They very seldom seem to like one another.

C.S. Lewis

posted by Middle Sister, whose current cats rarely acknowledge each others existence

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Glasses

So I wore my new glasses all day today. Big step, it was, since I don't wear my glasses out unless my eyes are bothering me.

When we went to pick them up last night (J and I both got new glasses this year!), it was the first time I was going to see them on me. You see, I had picked out a few frames before the eye exam (I have to pick them out while I have my contacts in; after they're removed and my eyes are dilated, I can't see for beans!), and narrowed it down to two before I went into the exam.

When I came out I saw these in the case - the optician picked them as "the ones." She said they had a slightly "funky" way about them and that since I didn't want something too far out in left field in case I did have to wear them in public, these were different enough so that I'd feel like I got new glasses, but not so "off" that I'd feel uncomfortable wearing them. (I really don't like to wear my glasses out - I think I look better with contacts.) They have a slight tortoiseshell effect on the frames, with a lime green interior that you just get a glimpse of if I turn my head! Just a glimpse of "funky," I guess!

Anyway, thought I'd give you a bit more of a close-up... Guess from this picture you can tell how weak my eyes are - check out the vision through those lenses!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Sisterly Quote

A sibling may be the keeper of one's identity, the only person with the keys to one's unfettered, more fundamental self. - Marian Sandmaier

Found this one on Write.Click.Scrapbook.

Book Stuff

Several days ago Middle Sister posted a book quote. Well, I couldn't just let that one sit out there, all alone, lonely, so I commented with three more... Middle Sister suggested I post them here, where the world could see! I collect quotes, and keep them in any number of different places: an online file called "Quotes," several mini notebooks (one Moleskin and many that are not), slips of paper and cards that can be found at the bottom of my purse, in my calendar, on the dining room table, etc... Here are the three I posted last week, regarding "books."

"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." - Jorge Luis Borges

"I've never met an independent bookstore staffer who wasn't a ridiculously knowledgeable book freak." - Marta Salij- editor, Detroit Free Press

"If I couldn't read, I couldn't live." - Thelma Green

Also, I'm a week late in posting my February reads, so here they are:

Blood Ties, by Kay Hooper
Impact, by Douglas Preston
Art Journaling, Autumn '09/Somerset Studio
Teach Yourself Visually Collage and Altered Art, by Roni Johnson
Midnight Sons, by Debbie Macomber
The Last Surgeon, by Michael Palmer
The Perfect Christmas, by Debbie Macomber

I also read Star magazine every week, a BH&G issue, an issue of Scrapbooks Etc., a re-read of an issue of Cottage Living (I have a bone to pick with THAT magazine publisher: they released THE SAME MAGAZINE WITH TWO DIFFERENT COVERS THE SAME MONTH. So of course, I bought both magazines and magazines are non-returnable. I WILL be complaining direct to the publisher this week.), an issue of Where Women Create, and any number of other things I've picked up and read and forgotten over the past 4 weeks...

And, despite my anti-Kindle stance, I feel obligated to admit, because we all know Big Brother will rat me out, that I've downloaded the free Kindle for PC application to my home computer along with a few free classics, just to try it out. Middle Sister waxed most enthusiastically about it, even though the inconvenience of toting the laptop around the house was also mentioned, but rather than just spout off about not liking the Kindle, I thought I'd try it out (at least on the computer) and have a reason to not like it! I downloaded (uploaded?) about 5 different things and will browse through them this week, with a review to come. One of the things I "bought" was Anthem, by Ayn Rand. I am a HUGE fan of her fiction - and this one is short enough to read in one sitting, if you have the time, and I like the premise: one is greater than all. I've read this book umpteen times, so I'll be able to compare and contrast the reading experience first hand...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Books are....

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends, they are the most accessible and wisest of couselors, and the most patient of teachers."

Charles W. Eliot, The Happy Life 1896