Archive for the 'books' Category

52 books: #4 part 1


book 4: plan b further thoughts on faith by anne lamott. 2005, riverhead books. 320 pages.

it’s a bummer in a way to be only 4 weeks into this book a week experiment and have fallen slightly behind schedule. i’ve read 15 of the 24 chapters and likely i’ll finish up tomorrow night. but being a bit behind my self-imposed schedule is worth it. i love reading ms. lamott’s writing. she uses words as both music and paint. there is rhythm and rich imagery in her words and i just enjoy taking my time with them. and then there are the thin places. places that her writing touches my soul in ways for which i have no words of my own, only tears. some are joyful tears and some are tears of deep grieving which need to be released.

i’ll write more about my overall impressions of the book when i’m finished, but for now, here are a couple favorite quotes:

“when God is going to do something wonderful, He or She always starts with a hardship; when God is going to do something amazing; He or She always starts with an impossibility.”

“the usual things helped: some distance, prayer, chocolate.”

“if regular people spotted your hidden, angry inside self, they’d draw back when they saw you coming. they would see you for what you are–human, flawed, more nuts than had been hoped–and they would probably not want to hire or date you.”

“everyone has been having a hard time with life this year; not with all of it, just the waking hours.”

“in fact, i’d like to skip ahead to the resurrection vision of one of the kids in our sunday school, who drew a picture of the easter bunny outside the tomb: everlasting life and a basket full of chocolates. now you’re talking.”

“age has given me what i was looking for my entire life–it has given me me.”

52 books: #3

book 3: waiter rant by steve dublanica aka the waiter. 2008, harper collins. 302 pages.

a co-worker bought this book and i borrowed it from him. it’s a book i’d joked about writing when i was a server and worked in the restaurant industry. actually, since my table-waiting days, i’ve always said that if i ever had one sermon to preach in ‘big church’, it would be about how church people (not all, but a frighteningly large percentage) walk right out of sunday morning church just to generate hell on earth for those unfortunate servers stuck working the sunday lunch shift. the post-church crowd is known worldwide (i’ve waited tables in a dozen states plus canada) for being the highest-maintenance, lowest-tipping crowd you ever encounter. not to mention the messiest. but i digress.

this is one of the many food service industry truisms the waiter hits on in his book. while the main storyline certainly revolves around him, the anecdotes on his customers and what happens in restaurant life is spot on. anyone who ever worked in food service will identify with and appreciate this book. and anyone who hasn’t but either a) thinks they can be a chef or other food service guru, b) has had a high number of ‘bad’ service encounters or c) just finds other subcultures of our society interesting will also find this to be a good read.

and for those of you, dear readers, who have found yourself in group b above, the problem might not be your servers. please cut straight to appendix a: how to be a good customer. yes, i said it. the better customer you are, the better service you’ll get.

next up: plan b: further thoughts on faith

52 books: #2

book 2: shoe addicts annonymous by beth harbison. 2007, st. martin’s press. 327 pages.

this book was a christmas present that i think was meant as a subtle hint–as in if there is such a thing as a shoe addicts anonymous, i should begin attending meetings immediately. seriously, i have shoe issues. currently in my living room i can see 22 pairs of shoes. that doesn’t include all the ones behind the couch and in the closet. but i digress.

this is a fun, chick-lit read. centered around four women who, for various reasons, can no longer afford their shoe addictions. they form a meeting based on a mutual shoe size to trade shoes and feed their never ending compulsion for fabulous new shoes. along the way the four who began as strangers find friendship, find more of their identity beyond the shoes, and solve a mystery along the way. and i have to say, that for a self-confessed shoe addict like myself, the ending has the ultimate dream job.

while this little book won’t win any literary awards, it’s a nice, enjoyable read at the end of a stressful day.

next up: waiter rant

52 books: #1

book 1: she’s come undone by wally lamb. 1992 simon & schuster, inc. 465 pages.

this book was a gift from my friend brandi. she’s a huge fan of wally lamb’s writing. when i told her i hadn’t read any of his books, she promptly bought me a copy of this one. at first, i felt like i was rubbernecking at an accident site. i kept reading with a feeling of dread. i could almost hear the type of music played in movies every time something bad or sad happens. ultimately, i ended up being mesmerized by this book. the story of a woman’s unbelievably tragic childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, she’s come undone’s heroine somehow captivates you with her humor and pathos and you just keep reading in hopes something good happens for her.

and regardless of what happens to her, (no spoilers here) lamb’s storytelling is engaging enough to keep the pages turning–in my case fairly rapidly–until the end.

next up: shoe addicts annonymous.

52 books-an idea

i’m a book girl. i love to read, i love books. if i’m feeling blue or bored or lonely, a trip to b&n or borders is usually a good pick me up.

but lately, i’ve been doing more reading that isn’t just for work. it’s just for me. in the first 2 1/2 weeks of the year, i’ve read 3 books, which makes me wonder, can i read a book a week? and books that aren’t for work?

well, i don’t know until i try so i’ve decided to give it a go. i’ll post thoughts about what i’ve read and a preview of what’s next up. here goes…

ambitious reading days

i’m trying to catch up on my reading. i perpetually have books lying around in various stages of progress. at the moment on the table behind my couch, there’s rhett butler’s people (so far so not as good as gone with the wind) that i’m having a hard time really getting into, but am determined to read. there’s also my sister’s keeper by jodi picoult, probably waiting for my next flight. enduring lives which i recently finished and real sex: the naked truth about chastity which i’ve been using as a resource for curriculum for my middle school girls.

this week, i’m focusing on some work-related reading plus one other book. one of the cool things about my job is that we publish really good books for teens–invert books. i read them so i know what they’re about first-hand. we have a bunch of great new ones that have just released or about to so i’m reading those. this evening, i finished it’s easy being green by emma sleeth which released today. i’m almost finished with generation change, an upcoming book from zach hunter that will be available in april. also on the reading schedule for the weekend are confessions of a not-so-super model (i’ve read excerpts but i’m excited to read it from start to finish) and wisdom on…making good decisions.

the plus one other book is why women should rule the world by dee dee myers. she was the first female press secretary in the white house. so far i just love it.

in the upcoming week, i’ll do a little post about each book i’m reading this weekend.

oh happy shopping days

yesterday i stopped by borders just to browse for a bit and they had a huge clearance section, and there tucked away on a top shelf in a corner was a copy of Rhett Butler’s People. it was a hardback copy marked 75% off! and all of the ones at the front of the store were regular price. i took it to the register and asked if the book had something wrong with it or if it was just mismarked. there wasn’t anything wrong with it, and it was mismarked, but the border’s associate honored the discounted price anyway! i brought it home for only $7! i’ve had to hide it from myself because i was reading it instead of getting my chores done! gone with the wind was the first “grown-up” novel i read and i fell in love with it immediately. i read the entire thing in just two days as a freshman in high school. and i’ve seen the movie a ridiculous number of times. i’m so liking reading more about rhett. the funny thing for me is that when i read what he’s saying, i totally have clark gable’s voice in my head.

these shoes were my other happy shopping moment of the weekend. i found them marked 1/3 off in the clearance section at my local dsw shoe warehouse. they were just so fun i couldn’t resist trying them on just for kicks. and then they fit perfectly so i decided to splurge. as i walked away from the clearance section, i saw a whole stack of the same shoe for the regular price. a sales associate was there so i showed her the shoes that were marked sale and pointed out the display of regular priced ones. apparently my pair was from a previous shipment so it didn’t matter they’d received more at the regular price, mine were still on clearance. so yes, i now own these adorable and fun shoes. they’re therapeutic in my recovery from the recent loss of my favorite knee-high, high-heeled, black boots that died due to irrepairable heel breakage while in chicago o’hare.
it’s been happy shopping days. and now i’m stopping while i’m ahead.

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