Tag Archive | books

Summer of 6 Pt1

Monday night I acquired 3 more kids, my only niece and 2 of my nephews.  It was a late pick up at the airport and claiming unaccompanied minors is not easy but it isn’t hard.  Home far too late but that’s the way it goes.

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Tuesday I had NOTHING planned on purpose.  This was the day to get used to here, to figure out the way, to deal with cranky kids who stayed up too late (that was all of them since mine stayed up excited to see their cousins).  It was a long day but overall fine, nothing out of the ordinary and we did achieve ‘the list’ of things to do pre-electronics.  For a day with no plans I feel like we ran through a ton of things, I was exhausted by 3 and didn’t feel bad about the TV going on because they had biked, played, eaten, read, done chores, and endless other odd little things that amounted to me feeling like air traffic control speaking in  3 different languages.

Wednesday and today were way more ‘normal’ with better moods, easier activities, and we actually went out and that makes the time fly.  Me trying to do anything is hit or miss, but when did I ever really have the luxury of enough time to do a project.  I’m getting decent at putting stuff down mid project, it has been a solid 7 years of major multitasking.

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Today we have our first book club.  My attempt to make a playdate sound smarter.  We invited two friends of #2’s to read a book and then come over to watch the movie.  So far they consumed a metric ton of popcorn but seem to be actually talking book v movie so the seed planted will grow.  Overall success, be it the movie, friends, or popcorn I’ll take the win.  They are now discussing next books to read, Princess Bride seems to be in the lead.

The odd thing about this week is feeling both like I’m missing someone and also having extra kids.  #1 is at sleep-away camp for the first time.  Looks like she is having a great time and I’m happy she is there and I don’t ‘miss’ her but I do miss her being part of my world.  Meals, car, bed, chores etc – I have her in my head automatically and NOT being here makes me feel like I ‘Just’ have 2.  Second, I’m missing the oldest of my sister’s kids, what should be four is ‘only’ 3.  He isn’t as ingrained as #1 in my head but he is missed and the unit is missing him.  On the other hand, I’m up 3, so, 5 kids is still a bunch to feed and manage.

Speaking of feeding… one of the new ones is diabetic and has an app to monitor his sugar.  Boy stats are addicting to me, I monitor this kid and the mysteries of his body chemistry like its my job.  A friend pointed out that I got myself a real-life tamagotchi.  Do you remember the electronic pet?  I nearly got in a car accident messing with the one I was babysitting for a friend.  Really, it is a bit of a game – he goes high get him to run around or adjusts, he goes low, toss an orange at him.  Calculating food and healthy choices are already part of my life but this is like major league.  Once I get a better feel for the trends I’m sure I won’t need to check so much but it is probably my top app at the moment.

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Tomorrow we add back #1 in the afternoon and then pick up my mom at the airport late so our kid to adult ratio is getting better overall.  It is both a fun and exhausting week but I’m glad I can do it.

Working on the shelfie game

Every box of books in the house or garage is now nearly unpacked.  (Fiona wants to do the kid books personally) I feel like we are missing a few boxes so they may be at our friend’s barn that we have not emptied yet (but will soon!).  This isn’t all the books in the house, there are some upstairs too, this is just the majority.

I’ve missed my books….

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Lilly and the Octopus

I’ve had a good amount of time recently to read books, and, listen to books.  I usually have one of each going all the time.  Chores are more fun and phone games less frivolous if I’m also listening to a book.  Kid TV and line waiting is less brain numbing if you can read a book.

Late last week I was feeling a little blue so when I was hunting up a new book I used the filter ‘humorous’ and Lilly and the Octopus popped up with a mini description that said ‘Hilarious; it will be the next book you have to recommend”.  Not too long ago I read a set of mysteries where a pet sitter was the protagonist and they were indeed funny so I took the computers advice.

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Spoiler and Warning!!!

This book is NOT humorous.  It is about a dog with a brain tumor.  This isn’t much of a spoiler because you learn about it in the first chapter!!!  This poor little dachshund and the even more sad owner have a final month or so and in the end, the description of the agony of choosing to end things was sweet and perfectly descriptive.

This book is very well written.  It paints a picture.  It is the fight of a fiercely lonely and loving owner.  There are a few ‘funny’ parts, basically, the way the author writes how the dog talks made me smile, but, the story is not one that will cheer you up.  In fact, it will make you relive any pet loss you ever had.

I feel like I am writing this review as a rebuttal to all the people who have labeled this ‘humorous’ but if you go in knowing the subject it is a beautifully written book.

ps. ironically it is exactly a year since we put Mr Pink to sleep

Book Report; The Art of Detection

The Art of Detection

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I’ve been reading so many books over the past few months.  Reading and listening technically.  This one was a listener and it got me through many many miles on the elliptical and also is semi-responsible for my house not being a wreck because I listen while I clean.

This is a crossover book and for that I love it, but, I’m not sure it would be the same if you have not read the Mary Russel books.  The fantastic easter egg of a story in the middle made my week.  It can definitely stand alone but I wonder what I’m missing for not reading that series from the start because there are callbacks to things that I am sure are in other books.

It is a murder mystery – technically two – and it is well written in my opinion but I like the author’s slower and detailed style.  She tends to write the background as a character in the story with tons of attention to what else is happening in the world.  This one has an obvious (but not smack in the face too badly) theme of gay rights and contrasts them from a few different views; modern day, and, 1930-40, the United States and England.   I am glad to live now where there may not be absolute equality but at least there isn’t a death penalty.

I will probably go read the rest of this series, there are more miles to run and clothing to fold.

 

No Obligation but if you would like to…

Donate to my kids read-a-thon!

This is a program that I actually believe in enough to post.  The school retains 80% of donations and the kids get decent prizes.  (So many fundraisers keep up to 50%, those I don’t really bother with)

School is also getting behind this one because it is actually educational, unlike selling wrapping paper etc where you have to squint and say “they learn about money and change…maybe?”.  Every couple days they have an extra fun thing for reading during the read-a-thon.

Zoe                   Niamh                      Fiona

The last day is Thursday so if you feel like donating to a good cause; ie – the PTO that funds the extras that make school fun, consider clicking and donating for one of the kids (or all three!)

I have no idea if putting this out to you all will work at all, but, you can’t say yes if I never ask!

All the light we cannot see

I heard about this book ages ago, so long I don’t remember who said it but they raved and so I went to my book app and reserved it.  That was in JUNE.  I think I was number 85 and the library had 3 copies.  I promptly forgot about it and like a Christmas gift my turn came up while we were in Hawaii.  I powered through the book I was in the middle of (the newest in the scifi Laundry Files series that had way too many shades of Pearl Harbor, or maybe that’s more about where I was) and downloaded.

I’m going to call this my official first book of 2017 because while I started just before new year, the majority was in the past 2 weeks.  On top of that, this is the type of book that colors the world around you.  I can’t look at a snack without thinking of all the times the characters had nearly nothing.  I can tell this will be one of those books I remember at odd times in conjunction with odd things because of what I was doing or where I was when reading.  Do you get the feeling that it was a powerful book?

The writing style is like a fine meal.  The words are carefully chosen and put together in such a way to evoke a feeling.  There is the simplicity of Hemingway and the convergence of all the adjectives of Robert Jordan and this book is riding somewhere in the middle.  I especially like that the two main characters are both children and the story is told through the eyes of kids that grow up in WWII.  One is pulled into the Nazi war machine, the other a blind French girl who finds herself in the resistance.  Nazi and Resistance are both in the story, but, they are side details and only if you actually already know about them do the little bits draw together.  They are kids, regardless of where they are, and the world around them is ‘normal’ like a frog slowly being boiled.

The author also pulls in a few other classic books that parallel the story.  I’m sure it was done on purpose, there is just too many coincidences for it to be accidental.  Hitler v Darwin.  The journey to the center of the earth v trapped in their respective situations.  Captain Nemo being crazy but then again not wanting him to fail and in the end never quite knowing what happens…

Overall the story that knits the lives together is interesting and enough of a link that it is realistic and magical and not prosaic.  I love the ending, both for what actually happened and the fact that it is written like a dream as both characters are so starving and going slightly crazy from life.   I also appreciate that the author ends with a more adult view of what happens when everyone grows up.  There is a shift in tone as we see former children as full adults post-war, but, there is still point of view differences in each based on where they came from and their journey there.  I’m glad that it was not like Journey to the center of the Earth where you just don’t know, I really really like knowing.

It is almost hard to pick up the next book because that will truly finish this one, but, the story is complete and I’m moving on to The Moor, another one I was waiting on, and completely different in every way.  Totally intelligent and adult writing in the Shurlock Homes Genre.