Tag Archives: books worth reading

it’s not the stork…

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Recently, my friend Claire posted about talking to her kids about the birds and the bees.  (She’s hilarious, by the way, check out her blog here)

She got me thinking about when I talked to my oldest daughter about sex.

I was pregnant with my third baby and she kept asking how I got pregnant and how did the baby get in my tummy.

I always want to give my kids complete information and my thoughts are… when they ask about something, they are ready to know the answer.

Not quite knowing what to say or how to say it… I bought a book.  I bought a book called “It’s NOT the Stork.”

It was a cartoon book about sex.

Correction… it was a graphic, complete and detailed cartoon book about sex.

My mom stood at the bookstore and helped me pick out the book.  Her advice to me was “keep a straight face and keep reading.”

I bought the book home and read it to my daughter.  I took my mother’s advice and kept a straight face and kept reading.

(Note: I had NO idea why she gave me that advice until I actually started reading the book to my daughter.  I didn’t know if I was going to cry or burst out laughing.  Good advice.)

While I was reading (and trying my hardest not to laugh/cry) I could see my daughter’s face out of the corner of my eye.  No exaggeration – her mouth was hanging open in shock.

I kept reading.  I kept a straight face.

And, I hear “Wait. Wait. Wait.  Did you and daddy DO that… THREE TIMES????”   (We were about to have a total of three kids… Yes, we did it THREE TIMES and three times only).

I just said “Yes.” (Honesty, going out the window).

She seemed to recover and I kept reading.  We got to the part about sperm with cartoon pictures of giant sperm with smiley faces.  Again, I see her face out of the corner of my eye… shocked expression again.

Then, I hear “What happens to the thousands of sperm that don’t fertilize the egg?”

I said “They die.”

And, she said “You have DEAD sperm in you?”

We stopped reading the book after that.  It wasn’t my choice…

She said she didn’t want to hear anymore.

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favorite wife…

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I just finished reading “Favorite Wife: Escape From Polygamy.”

I couldn’t put this book down.  When I wasn’t reading it – I was talking about or thinking about it.  It was haunting.

The girls in this cult were raised to marry and bear children as teenagers.  They were raised to be part of polygamist marriages.  They didn’t know any differently.

This the story of Susan Ray Schmidt.  Her story, in her own words, of her marriage (sixth wife), her life, and her escape from the polygamist lifestyle.

I’m so glad I read this book.  I would highly recommend it.

Goodreads describes the book:

She had no choice in the matter-none of the girls did. Her mission was to give birth to and raise many children in devoted service to a shared husband. Susan was fifteen years old when she became the sixth wife of Verlan LeBaron- one of the leaders of a rogue Mormon cult engaged in a blood feud with his brother that, from 1972 to 1988, claimed up to two dozen lives and led one prosecutor to call their descendants a Lord of the Flies generation. In this gripping and eloquent book, Susan Ray Schmidt tells the story of growing up on the inside and of her ultimate escape. Delving more deeply into this mysterious underworld than any previous work, Favorite Wife is a powerful account of the affairs of the heart, coming of age under exceptional circumstances, and the tough choices that are sometimes painfully necessary to preserve human dignity.

If you’ve read this book I’d love to hear your comments.

Check out “reading now…” to see what’s next on my reading list.

better to fold and put away…

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The book I am reading now just made me laugh out loud (lol-literally)!

This is the title of the chapter that made me crack up:

Laundry: Better to fold and put away than to take only what you need from the dryer.

I don’t normally stop in the middle of reading a book to make a post – but this book is turning out to be quite good. And, quite funny!

Completely unexpected.

I need a little sign to hang above the washer and dryer. Or, more specifically – the dining room table, where the clean laundry ends up until I fold it and put it away.

Instead of helping me with the laundry duties… my entire household picks what they need out of the dryer (or the dining room table) and goes about their day. Nobody stops to think about helping fold and put away the laundry.

While I know I have a slightly messy house (read about it here) I am willing to wager that I am not the only mom and wife that encounters this laundry issue.

If you keep a to read list please add “The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband.”

I think every husband should start a Journal of Best Practices.

And, let’s start the journal with…

Laundry: Better to fold and put away than to take only what you need from the dryer.

Brilliant.

josephine, anyone?

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As I mentioned before I am thoroughly enjoying my new blog life.  I have enjoyed writing my blog and I have also enjoyed looking at all the other blogs out there.

While I was perusing the other blogs I ran across one called “Melinda McGuire Writes ” and she is an author!  I always feel so excited to run across a great blog.  And this was one of them.

I downloaded one of her books for my Kindle called “Josephine: Red Dirt and Whiskey” and I just finished reading it.

This was a great book.  I can’t stop thinking about Josephine.  She was a lonely Southern girl married at 17… and so her story begins.

I have had trouble even starting a new book because I don’t want to let go of Josephine just yet.

I really hope you read this book and enjoy it as much as I did.

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Goodreads describes the book:

It’s the Great Depression in rural northeast Texas, and not much has changed, except in the life of Josephine Killian. After losing her mother and her aunt, Josephine finds herself alone and independent. Loneliness leads her to sacrifice her freedom for the bonds of marriage, and life becomes routine. But, when a mysterious stranger, Ethan, appears, he draws out what Josephine fights to keep hidden. Ethan opens up the doors to lust, secrecy and addiction that could lead to Josephine’s self-destruction. Will the people she knows from church, her neighbors in Hefner Falls, and her own desire to turn away from evil be enough to overcome the temptations Ethan offers? Or, has Josephine gone too far to turn back?

fifty shades of funny…

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I just started reading “Fifty Shades Freed,” the final book of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy.

I stared reading the first book because I really wanted to know what all the hype was about.  This book has been on the news, all over the internet, on Good Morning America, 20/20, and the Today Show.  I wanted to read the books, so that I could discuss it with “everyone.”

What surprised me is that I have totally enjoyed reading the books.  Beyond the sex is a love story with two interesting characters.  It has kept me reading and I want to know what happens at the end.  I will continue to read and hope that the characters end up together.

In my true form, I have been discussing the book, a lot… with anyone who will listen.  I am pleading my case that the books have more to it than just sex (although, there is a lot of sex, don’t get me wrong).

So, last night I am on the phone with my mom and we are discussing the first book in the trilogy,  My husband is sitting by me watching TV (I did not think he was listening to my conversation).  I am telling my mom, in my opinion, the sex parts of the book were written for a woman to read.   The author does not use gross language when she describes any “encounters” and I thought that a man would want to read about the sex in a different way, with different words and different descriptions.

My husband looks up and says “We need pictures.”

I almost fell over laughing.

“State of Wonder” by Ann Patchett…

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This book was recommended to me by several people who loved it. I agree – this was an interesting book to read. When I was not reading it… I was thinking about it. To me, that makes for a great book. If I can put the book down and completely forget about it-it may take me a while to pick it back up again.

“State of Wonder” takes the reader out of their element and into the Amazon Rainforest to a very remote lab where several doctors are attempting to create a drug for a large pharmaceutical company.

This book has interesting characters, great environmental descriptions and makes the reader think about the choices the characters faced with.

If you’ve read “State of Wonder,” I’d love to hear your comments. If not, this is a great book to add to your “to read” list!

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http://www.goodreads.com describes the book:

Award-winning “New York Times”-bestselling author Ann Patchett (Bel Canto, The Magician’s Assistant) returns with a provocative novel of morality and miracles, science and sacrifice set in the Amazon rainforest–a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.

Side Note: I have also read “Bel Canto” by the same author and it remains one of my favorite books.

Please check out the “reading now…” section of my blog for my current book.

the hunger games, anyone?

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I read “The Hunger Games” trilogy and loved the books.  In my true form, I talked about the books constantly – to anyone who would listen.  I even convinced a few people to read them.

When you describe the books to people – post apocalypse North America, children fighting in the annual Hunger Games to the death, starving, desperate people – it’s a hard sell.  I don’t know about you, but my friends don’t want to read “that type” of book.  I had to make some pretty compelling speeches to get people to read the books.

My speeches were so compelling that my oldest daughter wanted to read the books.

I love to read.  If I can pass anything onto my kids… reading would be at the top of the list.  So, when my daughter, who doesn’t read nearly as much I as did at her age, asked to read the books.  I jumped on it.  I was thrilled.  I ordered her the books immediately.

Consequently, I actually got a little flack from “some people” for letting her read the books.  They thought the books were too violent with a terrible subject matter.  If these same people took the time to research the books, even a little, they would see that even Scholastic Books – book seller to the schools – lists the targeted age group for this series as 11-13.  (Now, maybe I should be embarrassed that I loved these books so much!)

I couldn’t be more excited that she is reading and enjoying the books.  She just finished the second book, “Catching Fire,” and has now started reading “Mockingjay,” the final book.

Only once, when I woke up in the morning, was she laying on the floor next to my bed – after reading a scary part in the book.