Monthly Archives: May 2013

short for richard…


no-bad-wordsIt happened.  My 9 year old came home from school and asked “what does dick mean?”

I was a little taken aback (to say the least) and ask “why?” (In my head it was, WHY? WHY? WHY?)

So, now my 9 year old daughter wants to know what a dick is.  Ugh.

I go into a long explanation about how it could be, in fact, someone’s name.  Or, it could be a naughty name for a penis.  I also ask her why she wants to know, did something happen at school today, blah, blah, blah (I am long-winded with my explanations, we even sometimes consult a dictionary to give the precise meaning of a word.  In this case, a dictionary was not necessary)

She said that Charlie (a little boy in her class) said “My grandpa’s name is Dick.  Do you know what that means?”  My daughter said “No.”  The teacher heard Charlie’s question and he got in trouble.  She said he was crying and saying “Well, it’s my grandpa’s name!”  So, now my kid wants to know what all the fuss is about… Thanks, Charlie!

Then she said “I already asked daddy in the car after school.”

(I guess she is double checking our answers.   I need to remember this.)

So, I asked her what daddy’s answer was.  Without a beat, she said:

“Short for Richard.  Bad name for penis.”

(Note: I learned something today,  not every question needs a lengthy explanation)


My oldest daughter wanted to know where babies came from, so I read “It’s Not the Stork” to her.  Read about that here.


still reading…


I’m still reading…

I do realize that I really need to stop after I read a book and write a bit about it.  Instead, I keep a list on and I have a “draft” post here on WordPress that includes my list of books to write about.

Someday, I will perfect my system and blog about the books I read…one at a time (that day is not today).

hattieThe Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis was a great book.  It was written from the view of twelve different people.  Hattie’s people.  I have goosebumps just typing about this book.  It was amazing to see how a mother, a single person, can affect the lives of her children… just by things she does or does not do.  It is all in the perception of each word or act or silence.  I loved this book.  Glad to have read it.

Goodreads describes the book:

In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented.  Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave.  She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation.

aliceGo Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks was a quick book to read.  I was recommended this book by someone at work who told me the ending!  I still read the book, but I don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I could have.  Why on earth would someone recommend and book and say “Oh, and by the way… here’s the ending!”  Ugh.  Still, this book was pretty incredible to read.  It is the diary of a teenage girl on drugs.  Sad, eye-opening and heart wrenching.  Even if you’ve heard of this book and know the ending it was quite incredible to read Alice’s words.

Goodreads describes the book:

After you’ve had it, there isn’t even life without drugs….

It started when she was served a soft drink laced with LSD in a dangerous party game. Within months, she was hooked, trapped in a downward spiral that took her from her comfortable home and loving family to the mean streets of an unforgiving city. It was a journey that would rob her of her innocence, her youth — and ultimately her life.

Read her diary.
Enter her world.
You will never forget her.

wives taleThe Wife’s Tale by Lori Lansens was a tiny bit disappointing to me.   I don’t necessarily need a happy ending, but I’d like the story wrapped up and finished.  I felt like this book was unfinished.   Maybe there will be a second book or maybe I didn’t understand the author’s lesson (or maybe I just need to get over it and the ending was the ending).  If you read this book or have already read it — please let me know what you thought of it.  This is one of the many reasons I love bookclubs… everyone has a different view and opinion of the book.  You may look at the book a little differently than when the bookclub discussion started.

I did love hearing about Mary Gooch and her life.  She was stuck and did not know how to regroup.  Interesting to hear her “tale.”

Goodreads describes the book:

On the eve of their Silver Anniversary, Mary Gooch is waiting for her husband Jimmy–still every inch the handsome star athlete he was in high school–to come home. As night turns to day, it becomes frighteningly clear to Mary that he is gone. Through the years, disappointment and worry have brought Mary’s life to a standstill, and she has let her universe shrink to the well-worn path from the bedroom to the refrigerator. But her husband’s disappearance startles her out of her inertia, and she begins a desperate search.

For the first time in her life, she boards a plane and flies across the country to find her lost husband. So used to hiding from the world, Mary finds that in the bright sun and broad vistas of California, she is forced to look up from the pavement. And what she finds fills her with inner strength she’s never felt before. Through it all, Mary not only finds kindred spirits, but reunites with a more intimate stranger no longer sequestered by fear and habit: herself.

alchemistThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho was a book I did not appreciate while I was reading it.  I think I may have missed the point of the entire book.  Then, I discussed it with someone else who had read it who absolutely loved it.  They could not understand why I did not enjoy it as much as I should have.  Apparently, I need to appreciate the journey… I may have to read it again at some point.

Goodreads describes the book:

PAULO COELHO’S enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom points Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transformation power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

guiltyGuilty Wives by James Patterson was an entertaining book.  I read it in two days.  It is my neighborhood bookclub’s next book to discuss.  It was a murder-mystery, a quick read, nothing too deep to think about.  Always nice to read a quickie that does not require much effort in between “heavier” books.

Goodreads describes the book:

Only minutes after Abbie Elliot and her three best friends step off of a private helicopter, they enter the most luxurious, sumptuous, sensually pampering hotel they have ever been to. Their lavish presidential suite overlooks Monte Carlo, and they surrender: to the sun and pool, to the sashimi and sake, to the Bruno Paillard champagne. For four days they’re free to live someone else’s life. As the weekend moves into pulsating discos, high-stakes casinos, and beyond, Abbie is transported to the greatest pleasure and release she has ever known.

What happened last night?

In the morning’s harsh light, Abbie awakens on a yacht, surrounded by police. Something awful has happened—something impossible, unthinkable. Abbie, Winnie, Serena, and Bryah are arrested and accused of the foulest crime imaginable. And now the vacation of a lifetime becomes the fight of a lifetime & for survival. GUILTY WIVES is the ultimate indulgence, the kind of nonstop joy-ride of excess, friendship, betrayal, and danger that only James Patterson can create.

itA Child Called It by David Pelzer was such a sad book.  It came across as recommended to me on based on other books I’ve read.  I decided to buy the Kindle version.  I read it very quickly.  It was so shocking and sad that anyone, especially a parent, could hurt a child.  Most of us spend all of our time trying to build up our children’s self esteem, give them nourishment, and at the very least… our love.  This poor child was denied all of that (and then some).

Goodreads describes the book:

This book chronicles the unforgettable account of one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who played tortuous, unpredictable games–games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother’s games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an “it.”

Dave’s bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing or no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive–dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son

wallbangerWallbanger by Alice Clayton was hilarious.  I laughed out loud several times reading this book.  Think along the lines of 50 Shades of Grey… with humor.  Funny and entertaining book, glad to have read it!

Goodreads describes the book:

Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a KitchenAid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking Oprah here, folks). She has a flourishing design career, an office overlooking the bay, a killer zucchini bread recipe, and no O. She has Clive (the best cat ever), great friends, a great rack, and no O.

Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard. Each moan, spank, and–was that a meow?–punctuates the fact that not only is she losing sleep, she still has, yep, you guessed it, no O.

Enter Simon Parker. (No, really, Simon, please enter.) When the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. Their late-night hallway encounter has, well, mixed results. Ahem. With walls this thin, the tension’s gonna be thick…

sharpSharp Objects by Gillian Flynn was another great book (she also wrote Gone Girl, which I posted about last year here).  I have no earthly idea how this author writes her books and thinks up her story lines.  This is a dark, dark tale of an unbelievably dysfunctional family.  Interesting book from beginning to end.  It was hard to put down… I wanted to know what happened next!

Goodreads describes the book:

WICKED above her hipbone, GIRL across her heart
Words are like a road map to reporter Camille Preaker’s troubled past. Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, Camille’s first assignment from the second-rate daily paper where she works brings her reluctantly back to her hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls.

NASTY on her kneecap, BABYDOLL on her leg
Since she left town eight years ago, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed again in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille is haunted by the childhood tragedy she has spent her whole life trying to cut from her memory.

HARMFUL on her wrist, WHORE on her ankle
As Camille works to uncover the truth about these violent crimes, she finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Clues keep leading to dead ends, forcing Camille to unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past to get at the story. Dogged by her own demons, Camille will have to confront what happened to her years before if she wants to survive this homecoming.

oneEvery time I saw a posting about “funny” books on Facebook, Goodreads, or Amazon the author, Janet Evanovich, always (always!!) came up.  So, I read One for the Money!  I have to admit it was a fun read!  Again, this is one of those fun, quick reads that you can just sit, read, and enjoy.  I plan on reading more in her series… Two For the Dough is next!

Goodreads describes the book:

One Fine Mess
Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash – fast – but times are tough, and soon she’s forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family…

One False Move
Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie’s bail bonding company. She’s got no experience. But that doesn’t matter. As does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants, to the time Steph hit him with her father’s Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water-wanted for murder…

One for the Money
Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn’t. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she’ll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight – and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man…

bossyBossypants by Tina Fey was funny.  I like her humor and I’ve watched all of the episodes of 30 Rock available on Netflix.  The book sort of felt like a repeat of that show, but I still enjoyed it.

Goodreads describes the book:

Before Liz Lemon, before “Weekend Update,” before “Sarah Palin,” Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey’s story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

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