Friday, March 30, 2012

Piling Up on Friday 3/30

This weekly meme is hosted here at Finding Your Gibbee. Feel free to play along, and post a link to your blog in the comments below. List all the books you have added to your To Be Read List this week. 
(These don't have to be titles you have actually purchased.)

I've been in a baking mood lately. I recently purchased a cookie press on eBay, and I plan to keep my cookie jar stocked with lots of sugar cookies. I also pulled out my wheat grinder and ground some flour to make whole wheat bread. I got four loaves of bread dough rising nicely, but then they fell in the oven. Bummer. I'll have to try a different bread recipe. Something with a little gluten added, I think. For dinner last night, we had french dip sandwiches, but I forgot to buy rolls at the store. So I made some of my own. Those turned out terrific, and I had one for breakfast today as well.

Here are some fun titles I found for my TBR list this week. What did you find?

India Becoming by Akash Kapur

The Sickness by Alberto Barrera Tyszka

The Reeducation of Cherry Truong by Aimee Phan
My current read is:

Postcards From Berlin by Margaret Leroy

Happy reading everyone!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Easter Gibbee Giveaway

It's time for another Gibbee Giveaway, and this one is especially for the 
Easter season.  For this giveaway, one lucky winner will receive a copy of 
The Kingdom And the Crown Volume One: Fishers of Men by Gerald N. Lund.

In an ancient land in a time foretold by prophets, a babe was born beneath a shining star. Thirty years later, Jesus of Nazareth began teaching a message of hope, peace, and love. He claimed to be the Son of God, and his words — and his life — would change the world.

This giveaway ends Friday, April 6th. The winner will be announced on the 7th. To enter this giveaway, fill out the entry form below. Only one entry per person, please. Good luck to everyone!

The Bonesetter's Daughter book review

My rating = 4 stars

The Bonesetter's Daughter tells the story of Ruth, a ghostwriter living in San Francisco, and her mother LuLing, who is beginning to show signs of dementia and Alzheimers. Ruth's relationship with her mother has always been strained, and she goes through some soul searching to discover what she herself really wants and needs in life. At the same time, Ruth deals with feelings of guilt and failure as she tries to come to grips with the reality of her mother's dementia.

As Ruth is going through her mother's belongings, she comes across a manuscript LuLing wrote in Chinese, which tells the story of her childhood with "Precious Auntie", her nursemaid, during the prewar days of China in the early 1900s. As Ruth reads her mother's story, she comes to understand LuLing better, strengthening their relationship, and learning about herself as well.

I enjoy reading Amy Tan, although I have to be in the right mood for her. All her books have some heart-wrenching, cry-my-eyes-out moments, and I have to be psyched up for it. This book was a little tamer in terms of drama, but still a wonderful story. Amy Tan often focuses on mother/daughter relationships, their histories, and the effects of those relationships on future decendants. This book uses that same formula, and also discusses with a lot of tenderness what a daughter's duty is towards her mother when the mother cannot take care of herself.

Liebster Blog Award Winner!

I have to thank Emily Wood at Quill and Parchment for this award. She has a beautiful blog all about reading and writing. It always makes my day to find wonderful little treasures, and this award is definitely a treasure for me!
This award is bestowed to blogs that are "the best kept secrets" out there with 200 followers or less.

And now, here are 5 of my own "best kept secrets" that I will share with you.

  1. Alison Love @ Love Family
  2. Julie Carter @ 5-Squared
  3. Lianne Lavoie @ The Towering Pile
  4. Kathy Ward @ A Library For Me
  5. Do Good Feel Good

Winners, here are the rules to participate:
  • Thank the person which nominated you in a blog post.
  • Nominate up to five other blogs.
  • Let them know via comment on their blog.
  • Post the award on your blog.
Happy reading everyone!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Piling Up on Friday 3/16

This weekly meme is hosted here at Finding Your Gibbee. Feel free to play along, and post a link to your blog in the comments below. List all the books you have added to your To Be Read List this week. 
(These don't have to be titles you have actually purchased.)

Here are some fun titles I found for my TBR list this week. 
What did you find?

Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung

The Dog That Talked to God by Jim Kraus

Blue Monday by Nicci French

Mountains of Light by Mark Liebenow

Books Burn Badly by Manuel Rivas

My current read is:

The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Total Money Makeover book review

My rating = 4 stars

What can I say about Dave Ramsey that hasn't already been said? The man has graduated from the School of Financial Hard Knocks, and he's devoted his life to teaching everyone what he's learned so we don't have to go through the pain he did.

I read this book mainly because my husband asked me to. He wants us to work on Ramsey's Baby Steps, even though we have no debt besides our house, and we don't believe most of the financial myths discussed in the beginning of the book. But, as Ramsey says, he wants to teach you how to be financially exceptional, not just average (which is what we are.) I'm all for that!

Along with Ramsey's step-by-step guide to financial success, this book is full of personal success stories - people who have been thousands and thousands of dollars in debt, and by following Ramsey's guide, have pulled themselves out of dire straits. These are very inspiring stories, and they helped drive home the point that, given the chance, it's always better to improve your financial situation rather than just accept your average status quo.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Timepiece book review

My rating = 3 stars

Timepiece is a very sweet, romantic story about David Parkin, a young business owner and collector of timepieces. He falls in love with MaryAnne, his new secretary. Within a short time they are married, have a baby girl, then suddenly face great hardships together.

The story focuses not only on David & MaryAnne's love. The significance of David's passion for clocks and other timepieces is brought up repeatedly as David learns to find meaning for his life in people and relationships, instead of the passage of time and the measurement of it.

Timepiece is the second of several books written by Richard Paul Evans. If you're looking for clean, sentimental romance novels with a significant message to share, you will absolutely love Evans's books.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Piling Up on Friday 3/9

This weekly meme is hosted here at Finding Your Gibbee. Feel free to play along, and post a link to your blog in the comments below. List all the books you have added to your To Be Read List this week. 
(These don't have to be titles you have actually purchased.)

I love thrifting, which is my sister's word for thrift store shopping/treasure hunting. I have a few local stores I always go to for a good find, and this week I found an interesting little read. After I brought it home, I showed it to my 8-yr old, and she immediately opened it and read to page 30 before saying another word to me!

The Garden of Eve by K.L. Going
Here is the blurb from the book cover:

"Evie doesn't believe in magic anymore. After all, if magic were real, her mom would still be alive. But when Evie moves to Beamont, New York, where her father has bought a withered apple orchard that the townspeople whisper is cursed, she learns about a lost girl, receives a mysterious seed, and meets a boy who claims to be dead. Before long, Evie finds herself in the middle of a fairy tale. And this one is real."

I anticipate I will have a book review for this book soon. It looks like a lot of fun.
Here are the rest of my TBR titles for the week:

The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale

The First Lady of Fleet Street by Eilat Negev

The Helios Conspiracy by Jim DeFelice

I Hadn't Understood by Diego De Silva

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Out of the Spin Cycle book review

Texas Mountain Laurel tree

You know it's springtime in south Texas when the mountain laurels start to bloom. I have one of these trees by my front door, however mine is about a fourth of the size of this one, and doesn't have as nearly as many blooms. Still, this excessively fragrant tree is a lovely, if brief, welcome after the gloomy winter we've had. My family calls this the "lollipop tree" because it smells something like grape lollipops or Koolaid. It's really that sweet!

My rating = 4 stars

Out of the Spin Cycle by Jen Hatmaker is also a sweet little read that I'm sure  moms of all ages and experience will find a delight to read. This 40-day devotional book is full of delicious nuggets of wisdom that will help any mom feel more appreciated and understood, as well as come closer to Jesus Christ daily.

Jen Hatmaker speaks very candidly and honestly about what it's really like to be a mom. She addresses several subjects, including comparing yourself to other moms, feeling like you have to be supermommy, and struggling with being unappreciated in your home. Her candid style brings lots of humor, grace, and love to this book.

Here is one of my most favorite passages:

"Enjoy it! This will be over before you know it!"
This is usually uttered after [a] young mom has let a complaint leak out,       something horribly self-centered like, "I'm sorry I smell like vomit. I haven't showered in three days, and my baby developed a milk allergy so she is throwing up about once an hour." (Insert nice pat on the hand by the well-meaning older mom, who is looking at you like you have the best job on the planet and she would trade her clean Ann Taylor outfit in a heartbeat to once again smell like vomit all day, while you're thinking, "Over before you know it? It better be.)
Out of the Spin Cycle, p. 47

Friday, March 2, 2012

Today is National Read Across America Day

Join the Lorax and Dr Seuss, 
and read with a child today

Piling Up on Friday 3/2

This weekly meme is hosted here at Finding Your Gibbee. Feel free to play along, and post a link to your blog in the comments below. List all the books you have added to your To Be Read List this week. (These don't have to be titles you have actually purchased.)

Welcome, welcome, lovely spring! Yes, here in south Texas it is spring (or pretty darn close to it.) In the last couple weeks the birds have migrated back to our area, so the air is full of beautiful birdsong. My husband recently hung up our bird feeder again by the front door, and I've seen lots of squirrels playing on our back fence. * le sigh * I love this time of year :)

I've been on a sewing frenzy lately. Mainly I work on short & sweet projects for Stars n Stripes, a local charity group that makes crafty things for our military babies and veterans. But I also just finished an Easter dress for my oldest, as well as a drawstring backpack for her, and a wrap skirt for me. (I found a very simple tutorial for the skirt at this website here.)

Now, take a look at these lovely critters. Aren't they just adorable!

I've also been on a crocheting kick, and I've been making lots of toys. I found a pattern for the cute chicks on and I've been crocheting several to get ready for Easter. I plan to put some in my kids' baskets this year.

Here are my new TBR titles for this week:

Red Plenty by Francis Spufford

The Orchid House by Lucinda Riley

Londoners by Craig Taylor

Happy reading everyone and happy spring!