Friday, January 31, 2014

The Happiness Project

It is the end of the month so it is time to review the first book for my book club.

I had a blast meeting with all the ladies in my book club. We have such a fun group! We had such fun discussing the book (and life and various other subjects) that we didn't realize just how late it had gotten. I would say that our first meeting was a great success!!!

The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Rubin

I actually read this book at the beginning of the month and what I learned about waiting this long to write a post was that I should have taken notes. ;) Something that she is very good about in the book, so I probably should have followed her example!

I made the mistake of borrowing this book from the Library as an e-book. This gave me only a week to read a self-help book, with 12 chapters. When reading Self-help books, I typically like to take my time and read no more then one chapter a day. Due to my time constraints I did not have that luxury. I think I would have enjoyed the book more if I had been able to read it at a more leisurely pace.

I do think this was a great book to start off the new year with because it helped me focus a little more on the type of resolutions I would like to make. I did find the number of resolutions she worked on through out the one year a bit overwhelming. I would much rather make a few resolutions and work on them over the entire year, instead of working on several new ones each month.

So here are the things that I thought would be the most important to my happiness:

1) Marriage: Give more Proofs of Love- I want to "date" my husband more by doing little things that show him how much a love him. It is so easy to get lost in the day to life, my resolution is to make sure we don't forget our romance!

2) Parenthood: Acknowledge the reality of people's feelings. For me this means to remember that my kids are young but their feeling are still important. Instead of getting mad when they throw a tantrum, I want to try to better see things from their perspective. I hope this will help me to yell less; listening first, then reacting! In that chapter she talks about being a treasure house of happy memories and that is exactly what I want for my kids. I want them to look back on their childhood with fondness and love.

3) Money: Indulge in a modest splurge, spend out. Our budget is always pretty tight and I find I often overlook myself in favor of buying for others in my life. This chapter really made me realize that it is ok to spend money on myself sometimes. I want to be able to spend money on myself with out that feeling of buyers remorse that often follows my every purchase. If my splurge is modest and doesn't ruin our budget, I really should be ok with it. So my goal this year... do a little more for me. Maybe that is a little but of a selfish resolution but when I think about my happiness, I can see this really affecting me in a positive way!

Did you make any Resolutions this year?

And the book for February is going to be The Giver, By Lois Lowry. I'm excited the read this book. I remember reading his book, Number the Stars, in school and really liking it so I have high hopes for this story.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting
By Natalie Babbitt

There are certain books from my school years that have really stayed with me and this was one of them. This is the story of a family who discovers a spring that causes them to live forever and the girl who meets them. Before I reread this book I really didn't remember much about it except that it revolved around this family and a special spring in the woods. Even though that was all I could remember, for some reason this story has always stayed with me as being a fun book. I must have really enjoyed reading it when I was a kid. I can't even remember what grade we read this in...

Anyway, I am glad that I took time to read this story again. It really is a fun book and it was neat to read it from an adult perspective. It has been years since I've read this book. It was a quick, easy read (it is a children's book after all) and was just what I expected! I liked everything about it and I love that it really makes you think about the consequences of living forever. It wasn't too complex yet it felt like the  perfect way to get the young minds reading it really thinking about the world around them.

Now I want to watch the movie, again!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


by Dan Brown

Even though I didn't enjoy his last Book the Lost Symbol that much, I was happy to give this book a try. I usually really enjoy his style of writing. It seemed to take me forever to finish this book but it is over a 100 chapters long so that is no big surprise!

I would say that I enjoyed this story much more then the Lost Symbol. As always I found all the history and symbolism fascinating. Even though the book was long, the story was fast paced and kept me intrigued the entire time.

I didn't really buy the whole premise of over-population causing the abrupt extinction of humans in the near future (especially since there are countries where population is actually decreasing) but I reminded myself that this was a fictional story and it did make for a riveting story. Or maybe I'm just in denial, like one of the the characters in the book says, because it is easier to just not worry about it.

Either way I don't think this book is truly just about dealing with the consequences of overpopulation. It is about following clues and trying to stop a mad man from completing his final mission. I think the reason why I like Dan Brown's books so much is that I like following the clues and discovering what comes next.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop


Do you think you will ever read every book in your TBR stack? 


It is really hard to say because I am constantly adding books to my pile or taking books off my pile. Books I find at garage sales or are recommend by a friend. Books that caught my attention but once I take a closer look I decide that there are far more interesting books to spend my time on.

So I guess my answer is no. I probable won't get around to reading every book I add to my list. While I eventually get to most books on my TBR list, there are always ones I start and never finish. Either because I lost interest in the story, I got distract by another book, or I just didn't like it. I will finish just about any book I start but every once in a while I come across one I just don't care to read. 

Which reminds me, I started reading Anna Karenina and only got through the first 3 chapters. I really should give that book a try again. I've heard good things about it. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

New Favorites

The boys got these books for Christmas and they are keepers for sure!

I Love You, Stinky Face
by Lisa Mccourt

This is an adorable story about the unconditional love of a mother. I love that it has such a sweet message and my boys think it is hilarous. Win-Win.

Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever

I loved reading Richard Scarry's books when I was little. I can still remember flipping through the pages and looking at all the little details on each page. I especially loved the page where they are making bread. I have no idea why but I can remember those pictures so vividly.
Luckily my boys have loved this book too. There is so much to see and explore. I think this is a great book to teach words to kids.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Blogger Hop

Book Blogger Hop

Question of the Week: Do you blog for a living or for fun?


I blog for fun. I started this blog to keep track of the books I read and to share all the great books out there with others who may be looking for something new to read. It is nice to have a place where I can look back on the books I've read. Plus, when a friend ask for a book recommend I have the perfect place to find a whole list of great books.

It has also been a great motivator for me to make time for reading. Sometimes it is easy to find other things to fill my time. Life gets busy! Keeping this blog updated encourages me to keep on reading.

There have been countless times when I thought to myself, "Why do I keep this blog up? Does anyone even read this blog?" But I've realized that it does really matter if anyone else is reading my blog because it inspires me to read more and I have fun blogging!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Alchemist

The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho

I was randomly browsing the "Classics" section at the Library and I came across this title. It jumped out at me because I had seen it on several book club list. I'm always interested in finding out why a certain book is so popular.

After reading it I'm not really sure what the hype is all about. I didn't hate the story, but I didn't really like it all that much either. I didn't love the style of writing but that might have more to do with the fact that it was translated.

When I first began reading it I liked where the story was going. The message seemed to be truly insightful. It begins with a young shepherd boy, who goes on a journey to discover a treasure but is impeded at every stop. In those moments it seems like all hope is lost but he gets through those trials and realizes that he gained something important from each of those experiences. I liked that. It is always good to remember that sometimes in our journey through life we have road blocks that seems difficult and unfair but in those moments we might meet someone or learn something that will change our lives for the better. They may lead us down a different path then we planned on but may that just may be the path that will bring us the most happiness.

I think I would have liked the book more if this had been the encompassing message of the story but when the book ended that wasn't what I took away. I began to lose interest towards the end. There were all these "Spiritual" messages, long discussions about the Soul of the World and Personal Legends, and it really overshadowed the story. With all this religious type talk I thought there was going to be some profound message at the end of the story but really I found the whole thing rather Anticlimactic. There just wasn't anything that profound about all his soul searching. At least not for me...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Some Super Heros and a Monkey?

Not surprisingly,  the boys got some new books for Christmas. It is always fun to have some new stories to read and they got a couple Treasuries of stories that they are really loving.

5 Minute Marvel Stories

My boys love all things super heros. Some of there favorite toys are the Imaginext Super Friends play-sets. This treasury is perfect for them and I like it because each story only takes 5 minutes to read. That really is the perfect length at our house. They will also flip through the pages on their own, looking at the pictures, which is great too!

A Treasury of Curious George
by Margret and H. A. Rey

The boys really love these stories. They always involve George getting into something he shouldn't or causing some kind of mischief and I think the boys think it is funny. I have noticed that although George is always doing things he shouldn't, he never really gets in trouble. Hmmm.... I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Which reminds me, I noticed that in descriptions about Curious George books they call him a monkey, but he sure looks more like a Chimpanzee to me. He doesn't have a tail. So doesn't that technically make him an Ape, not a monkey?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Book Club

It is a new year and I can't wait to see what this year brings.

 One of my goals every year is to find new books to read and to explore different genres that I may not have discovered before. (Even if I tend to be draw to certain types of books.)

This year my friends and I decided to start a book club. I am so excited and I think we have a great variety of books on our list. Some I have read already, most I have not. It is going to be lots of fun.

We are starting the year off with a Self- help book which sounds really interesting. Our January Book is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.

I have a feeling this  is  just what I need to be reading right now. I was feeling over tired and a bit grumpy today. My boys were running around the house playing and my first reaction was to be annoyed that they were being so loud. In that instant I knew that I needed to reevaluated my reaction. My boys were having a blast playing with each other and has I listened closer to their conversations I became extremely gratifult that they are such good friends. I want to remember better what a blessing it is to have two healthy boys, who are each other's best friend. I feel truly blessed. This book will hopefully help me learn to enjoy the blessings more and not allow myself to be annoyed as easily.

Do you have any goals for the New Year?
Who's with me and wants to read along with the rest of us? At the end of the month I will write my thoughts on the book and announce the next book on the list. Have fun!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Looking For Alaska

Looking For Alaska
by John Green

I've been trying to decide what exactly I want to write about this book and I'm still not sure. It was definitely an interesting read. It kept my attention and I cared about the characters and their lives. I liked how he portrayed the teens search for answers to  the big questions of life, like where we go when we die and how to deal with suffering that we will all face at some point. This was a very thought provoking book.

There were somethings about this book that I didn't like very much. One, the story takes place at a High School boarding school and there is a lot of smoking, drinking and sex. At one point a pornography video  and a sexual encounter between two teens is  described. The amount of cigarettes, alcohol, and pornography hidden in all the students rooms was for me a little appalling. Maybe I'm a little niave but after reading this book I would really hesitate ever sending my kids to a boarding school if that amount of bad behavior is considered a normal part of teen life. There was also quite a bit if strong language in the story.

That all being said I still liked the overall message of the book. There were definitely consequences to some of the bad behaviors and they learn some important life lessons. But I would really be hesitant to give this book to the younger teen set.