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2009 Book List

Since we are spending a quiet new year’s eve at home and away from all the masses of people, I thought I’d take a moment and post a blog. And since it’s the end of the year, I thought I’d look back at my literary progress. Here are the books I read (or re-read) in 2009 (in no particular order):

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith (A very fun take on the original P & P– and I hear Natalie Portman is associated with bringing this to the big screen – should be exciting!)

Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (I found this book to be okay. Not great, but okay. Not something I’d recommend necessarily. Some moments with the characters are touching, but overall, I did not like the characters and found it hard to connect with the book.)

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson (Started out slow, but a great page turner after that. However, there are very adult situations and scenes of violence against women in the book – I would not recommend if you are offended by that.)

The Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan (Okay, this is a kids book – but it was pretty good – kind of Harry Potter-ish, but instead of wizards, the Greek gods are alive and well and wreaking havoc.)

Night – Elie Wiesel (The author’s account of his survival in WWII concentration camps.)

March – Geraldine Brooks (The author writes the story of Mr. March from Little Women. We find out what happened to him during the Civil War and through flashbacks we see how his relationship with Marmee developed. The author touches on SO many themes in this book – family, marriage, war, religion, right/wrong, human nature. The themes are very deep – not a kids book at all – but a good read.)

Year of Wonders – Geraldine Brooks (This book recounts what happens in a small English town when the plague strikes and the townspeople make the courageous decision to seal themselves off from the rest of society for a year to prevent the spread of the disease.)

People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks (Mystery detailing the history of a religous book, set in Sarejevo in 1996 with flashbacks that take you back through time and all over Europe.)

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak (I wrote about this book here.)

What Dreams May Come – Richard Matheson (Oh, the afterlife! I saw the movie based on the book first, but of course, the book is much better. This is the tale of soulmates separated by death and then separated by heaven/hell. Very moving.)

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath (Famous account of the author’s slide into mental illness. I can’t believe I haven’t read this sooner.)

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince – J. K. Rowling (A re-read in anticipation of the movie, which released in July. The book is much better!)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J. K. Rowling (Another re-read: I had to follow up HBP with Deathly Hallows – of course – I couldn’t leave Ron, Harry and Hermione hanging!)

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand (This book has found renewed attention because of people’s fear of socialism. It’s quite a tough (and long) read. I found it to be a good story, but a little bit too optimistic that the powerful capitalists will have everybody’s best intentions in mind and save the country and put food on people’s tables. I think we can look at Wall Street this past year and decide that unbridled capitalism isn’t always what’s best for the country. However, the author grew up in Russia as communism was taking over, so I can understand her point of view. In her world view, capitalists = hero, socialists = evil. I don’t think the issue is that black and white.)

Twilight series – Stephenie Meyer (Yes, a re-read. I’m not ashamed to own up to reading Twilight!)

Currently Reading:

The Case for God – Karen Armstrong (A very tough read due to the subject matter and the author’s extensive vocabulary. I’m only getting through a few paragraphs at a time, which is really unusual for me, but I’m not used to reading heavily philosophic/religious literature. I think I’m going to have to go back and re-read this one a second time to get the most out of it, but I am enjoying seeing the development of our idea of God through the ages. I would not recommend this if you are looking for an easy read.)

The Alchemyst – Michael Scott (Just a few chapters into this one, but Chris stole it from me and I’ve only now gotten it back . . . Chris liked it – he’s already picked up the second book in the series!)

On Deck:

The Bible – Karen Armstrong

Magyk – Angie Sage

I’ve left some books out, but this list encompasses the bulk of what I’ve read this year. I also have a list of “to-read” waiting . . . 2010 should be a very busy reading year for me!

Hope everybody has a happy and healthy 2010!

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Matthew is 6 years old today! I can’t believe it. It seems like just yesterday he was a baby:

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So cute! And he’s still cute, of course. Now he’s a big boy and going off to kindergarten in a few weeks. I can’t believe how time flies. Happy birthday, buddy!

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It Worked!

Yay! It worked – everything finally imported – 4 years of posts! Can you believe it?

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New Stuff

As you know, I have a need to change things up once in a while and so I’m currently working on a new site for this blog. So while I’m fiddling around with the new site, please bear with me – I’ll try to get back to posting as soon as possible.

Oh, and my email is down for some unknown reason – which is really irritating because I’ve become accustomed to checking it every five minutes.

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New Site!

I’m trying out WordPress to see if I like it better than Blogger. You can check out the old site here. It looks like there’s a ton of stuff you can do with WordPress, so bear with me as I try to figure all this out.

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Moon Pie! Moon Pie!

I’m sitting here eating a moon pie. I haven’t had a moon pie in, oh I don’t know, 20 years or so. They are just like I remember – and the same size, too. I swear Chips Ahoy cookies have gotten smaller over the years. It’s a conspiracy.

We procured said moon pies in Illinois, where we spent the weekend with Chris’s mom and her husband. They so graciously invited us to spend last night and today with them and we had a great time touring central Illinois. We ate at a wonderful restaurant in Mt. Vernon – the bread – it was incredible! We went to a park and let the kids play on the playground. I think it was the first time they’ve played on an old-fashioned merry-go-round, mainly because the schools don’t use them anymore – too dangerous, too many lawsuits. But we let the kids play on them anyway and they had a lot of fun.

Brandon has been trying to negotiate either staying up an hour later or waking up at 2:00 am to witness the time change. We keep telling him that there’s nothing special about 2:00 am and we’ll set the clocks back before we go to bed. I most likely will let him stay up an hour later, because I don’t want the kids waking up an hour early – one of the hazards of having young children when you can get an extra hours’ sleep – they don’t have the concept of ‘sleeping late.’

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