Tuesday, January 29, 2008

More Books!

I finished two more books: Audio Digging to America, by Anne Tyler, and the book I got for Christmas from my children, Born Standing Up, by Steve Martin.

Digging to America was good--I liked it better than I thought I would, but I think Ms. Tyler is falling into a formula pattern, which saddens me. I thought that Saint Maybe was/is one of the best stories, I have ever read, and maybe it is that nothing else she writes stacks up, while coming close often. The body of Digging to America is rich, and I love the character development, and I felt bad when bad things happened to anyone in the book. But I hated the ending. I know that comparing a writier to Shakespeare is generally considered a compliment, but he did have a problem with endings. Ms. Tyler does the same--as if to say "I know how I want this to end, but I am tired a writing." All said, it was satisfying, and I would recommend it to friends, but still think that Saint Maybe is her best work.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Steve Martin: I love his humor, I love his sense of privacy, I love (most) of his artwork, I love his novellas, and I would love to see his plays, should one ever play close to where I am. So his "biography of someone he used to be" was a no-brainer. It took me just a few hours to read, and I loved it and wished it had lasted longer. Mr. Martin is on my cliched list of "10 Famous People You Would Invite to Dinner," and besides my husband, he is the only one that is still living. The apparent ease with which he strings words together are magical for me, and I wish that I could write like he does. I love that I feel as if I know him better, while he really didn't reveal much of his personal life in his book at all. I appreciate that; I didn't want to read a tell-all, or a defense of his life of his work. I loved it, and I eagerly wait for his next writing. I would love to see another original movie (please stop with the Father of the Bride and Cheaper by the Dozen!).

Friday, January 25, 2008

Finished Another Book

I finished another book today: John Grisham's Playing for Pizza. I love John Grisham. I love his legal books (all but one, and I can't remember which one), I love the movies made from his books (except for The Firm, where the book was SO much better than the movie), and I am especially loving his non-legal books. Playing for Pizza was so enjoyable. I wish I could write like him, just because it seems so effortless for him (which means that it is probably really hard, or at least, it used to be for him).

Thank you for such a relaxing, comfortable book.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I Don't Understand Economics

I will be the first to say that I don't understand economics, unless it is really as easy as I think it is. I am having a hard time understanding the coming "recession"--based on the housing market. It seems to me that people have too much stuff. Look at landfills; look at trash cans; look at shows like "Clean House" or "Mission Organization." Do we really need more?

Why are people building more houses, when old houses, beautiful houses, are sitting vacant? Why isn't there a tax relief plan for people to renovate these houses?

So if this is the case, how does saving and doing with less affect the economy? Really, household economics is fairly easy: You make so much money, and you live within those parameters. If you don't you declare bankruptcy.

How much of our money goes into the great gulf of nothingness? Interest payments on mortgages and credit cards, insurance, entertainment--the list could grow a lot here. I am not saying that we don't need these things (well, insurance is a scam, but that is a different rant!), but look at how much money is poured into this abyss.

I guess my basic question is: When is enough enough? If we have enough, why do we (as a country or a culture) continue to spend? Why is the stress put on spending, rather than saving both money and things? I hate the disposable society.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More Books Read

I wish there was a separate space or list so that I could just list all the books I read. However, in addition to the Saint books that I have read this year for Accelerated Reader tests, I have read 2 more novels, and am listening to one on CD (that counts, right?). So, I have finished:

1. The Manny (Holly Peterson) - simply OK. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, but if someone asked me, I would tell them it was just OK. Not a complete waste of time, but close.

2. The Overlook (Michael Connelly) -- I usually like Connelly's Harry Bosch books, but this is probably my least favorite. It didn't feel finished, and I didn't get to understand any more about the character. It just seemed like Connelly wanted to get in on the terrorist novel angle before it went away. A big disappointment, because I like the others so well.

I have a stack of books on my night table now, and in a couple weeks, I will have a couple more titles to share.

Where can I keep a list?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

ACC Basketball Season TODAY!

Since I promised to incorporate more pictures, I thought I would share one of my favorite photos I found on the web. It comes from InsideCarolina, created b y Jim Hawkins (apparently a really talented, wise person), and it used to be my desktop wallpaper:

I know I promised to post on Thursday, but I wanted to wait until today for a good reason: Carolina begins its ACC season in earnest today. I have a lot of blogs bookmarked and I read them regularly (sometimes I spend a LOT of time at the computer). My favorite one is not a sole Carolina blog, but the guy who writes it is really funny and smart enough to make it interesting, even if he does have a misspelled word here and there. Anyway, his blog is "Work Hangover" and I really enjoy reading it.

A couple other I look at regularly are: Tarheel Times, Tar Heel Fan, and TarHeelDaily. Since I live here in Kansas, we don't get coverage like one does on the east coast, especially in God's country, so I search the internet for stories that have things I might not hear otherwise.

So let's look forward to a great season, no more injuries, and a trip to San Antonio in the end. I'll be there!

Friday, January 4, 2008

2008 Goals

One of my goals is to post some of my scrapbooking layouts, pictures of sewing projects, or other artwork that I do through the year to my blog. I think pictures really help make a blog more personal. So, in order to do that, I am going to try to upload a photo of my doggies, Rufus and Mrs. B:
OK, the photos are in, but it didn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to. By the way, Mrs. Baggins is the one with the dot on her head; Rufus is her last baby. I so enjoyed having her puppies around.
So I guess that now that I know how easy it is to upload a photo to this blog, I will publish more pictures of what I work on in my craft room. I will publish pictures of my craft room if I ever get it finished!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Book Read

OK, I said I was going to post, and I mean to do it!

I just finished a book: Father Kino, Priest to the Pimas. I promised the school librarian that I would read this whole stack of easy Saint books in order to write A(ccelerated) R(eading) tests on them for the kids to take and earn points. So here is one read; one test completed.

I really despise books written for children that are poorly written. I swear, I could write these so much better, but I hate the do the research involved!