A Monumental Day

Today is a monumental day in our little family. Today is our daughter’s first day of school.

But today, she does not sit facing the board-one among many-waiting to be inspired. No, today my baby will be standing in front of class-alone-hoping to inspire. Today is my girl’s first day as a teacher.

After years of hard work in school today she starts the next phase of a journey she began some time back when she forced her brother and cousins to play school hours on end. We were fairly sure this was her destiny when, at 3, she would tell us she was going to her room to “play books”.

Words can’t describe how proud, her father, her brother, and I are of her. And how excited we are to see what is to come. But today, on her first day of school I just want to wish her luck, patience, and for her to remember one day she will barely remember what it was like not to know how to do this.

And to Ms. D’s 6th grade English class. Congratulations, you have a very dedicated, passionate, and caring teacher. I know you’ll learn to love learning. To quote one of her summer school students when asked to review her teaching “you taught me I could be good at learning”. She will teach you that too.

Not one but two DNFs

a fatal likenessInheritance Natalie Danford

I seem to be on a not so good roll right now so I’m cutting my losses and starting all over again.

My first DNF is Inheritance by Natalie Danford. I loved the story idea, a daughter finds out after her father’s death he owned a house in Italy and has an entire family there she knew nothing about. She heads to Urbino to find out why her father never spoke of any of this to her. The story is told in alternating voice of Olivia and her father, Luigi. Everything should be in place for me to love this book and I have, since putting it down, read a couple of positive reviews but I just couldn’t since my teeth into it and I was finding reasons not to read. I don’t like that. So, it’s bye-bye Inheritance. Maybe I’ll see you later.

My next DNF is for a whole other reason and one the kind of annoys the crap out of me. A Fatal Likeness by Lynn Shepherd is the second in the Charles Maddox Victorian mystery series. Now I’m usually pretty OCD about reading series in order but I got this as an Early Review Copy and forgot I had it, was about to lose it, and thought “What they hey. I’ll just read it out of order”. After all it’s only the second book, Well, this is the exact reason I developed OCD about series. The author, would on several occasions make reference to the previous book but not clearly explain the reference. Something along the like (but not exactly) “we know what happened there” and I’m thinking “no, no I don’t know what happened there. Could I get a little hint?”. Apparently the answer to that is “no, not one little hint.”

I’m in awe of authors of series who manage to seamlessly fill in the blanks of past story lines without aggravating past readers. I know it’s not an easy task and I’ll forgive the author. I’ll also be back, for certain, to read this one once I’ve had a chance to read the first book.

Now I’m on a mission to read a book I enjoy, no let’s say love, from beginning to end and so I’m starting Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield. I loved The Thirteenth Tale and have very high hopes for this one. I’m also reading The Supreme Macaroni Company by Adriana Trigiani. Since she can do no wrong in my book and this is the third in the Valentine series, which I love so I’m not to worried about that. I really want to get back into the reading groove.

supreme macaroni company Bellman & Black

Sunday Post: Back to School Edition

I read a little this weekend. I ditched the not enjoying book for a fast read of “A Fatal Likeness”  by Lynn Shepherd since I’ll lose it on my Nook in a couple of days. I’m liking it a little better than the other book but there are some things that are bothering me.

The rest of the weekend was spent in Back to School activities. We start this coming Wednesday. It’s way to early for me, I love summer and the easy schedule. With a older boy I just tell him to not starve himself and I best not be able to smell him from another room.

Saturday was time for senior pictures which necessitated a quick shopping trip for dress pants since someone sprung up and out and no longer fits into any old dress pants. Unfortunately there was enough time to any other shopping, which meant another trip on Sunday. Nothing like spending the afternoon standing outside a fitting room with half a dozen moms waiting for their gargantuan sons to come out for assessment.

Shopping with my boy is a little different than with my daughter. I don’t remember have this conversation, ever, with my daughter. It goes something like this:

Me: Do you like it?
Son: Yeah, it’s okay.
Me: Will you wear it?
Son: Yeah, I guess I’ll wear it.
Me: If I buy it will it sit in your drawer, never to see the light of day?
Son: Uhhh, probably.
Me: Then why did you say you’d wear it?
Son: I don’t know.


But thankfully we came away with 6 new pairs of pants, 4 new t-shirts, a dress shirt and another pair of shorts. Our weather is just starting to heat up after weeks of wonderful weather (fingers crossed it will come back) so shorts are a necessity.

This week I plan on getting back into a reading groove. After two groove killer books I’m hoping for a roll starting with Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield. I loved The Thirteenth Tale so I have high hopes for this one.

So what was your weekend like? What are your reading plans this week?

Here’s the preview senior picture:
Brett senior 3


Inheritance by Natalie Danford ~~ A midbook review.

Has anyone read this book? Inheritance Natalie Danford

Inheritance by Natalie Danford

This exquisitely written novel asks a simple question: How well do we know our parents? One half of the story begins after the death of Luigi Bonocchio, an Italian immigrant whose daughter, Olivia, discovers a mysterious deed among his possessions. The deed is to a house in Urbino, Italy—the hometown he barely spoke of. Intrigued, Olivia travels there. At first she is charmed by the historic city, the relatives she’s not met before, and the young lawyer she’s hired to help her investigate the claim. But when Olivia tries to sort out the deed, she is met with a puzzling silence. Everyone in the town remembers her father, but they are not eager to tell his story. However, Luigi tells his part of the tale directly to the reader as the chapters alternate between Olivia’s search for the truth and Luigi’s account of his history. By the end of this skillfully constructed book, the reader understands both sides of a heartbreaking yet ultimately satisfying love story.

I’m hoping for some insight. The problem is I’m not loving it. I’m also not hating it, which would help if I did. If I hate a book I have no problem packing it’s bags and kicking it to the curb, but what do I do with a book that I’m just not liking very much?

I don’t want to stop reading it because the story itself (or at least the idea of the story) is interesting. I’m just not drawn in by the writing or the characters. I find myself putting it down for any reason.

So, what do you do when this happens to you? Do you leave? Push through? Save it for another day? Skip to the end? (Sacrilege, I know. Don’t give me the stink eye. We’ve all done it at least once)

I want to know what happens, so I know I’ll end up finishing it but I’m curious what the rest of you do in this situation.

Oh and if you’ve read the book and loved it, hated it, or just made it through I’d love to hear that too.

P.S. I was going to add a disclaimer about it being just me and I’m sure this is a wonderful book tons of people have just loved. But I’ve decided with my return to blogging not to apologize for not liking a book. We can’t all like the same thing, if we did we would never find a book at the library, cookies at the store, or a decent hotel in our favorite destination because everyone else would have gotten there first.

Wow, where does over a year go???

It doesn’t feel like I haven’t blogged in over a year but the proof is right in front of me. To be honest nothing really happened I just got busy and a little burned out and then fell out of the habit. Now I’m hoping to get back into the habit. I’ve read a lot of really great books, many very good books, quite a few good books, and one or two real lemons. But thankfully those have been the rarity.

As for life beyond reading, well that’s gone on. My daughter graduated from University, got accepted into Teach for America and begins teaching 6th grade English in two weeks. My son starts in senior year next week ( I swear school keeps starting earlier, makes me kind of glad this is our last year. My MIL is still living with us. (Enough said about that).

I’ve realized that besides really missing all the people who I’ve met and lost touch with by wandering away from blogging, I’ve stopped recording the books I’ve read. And I, apparently, have an even suckier memory when it comes to the books I’ve read so I’ve got to get back on the stick.

I think I’m going to have to tool around with the look of the blog. Freshen it up and spice it up so I can (hopefully) bring people back to visit.

I’ve missed so many bloggers (though I have been trolling) and can’t wait to get back into the swing again.

Talk to you all soon. Look forward to telling you about some books.

Mailbox Monday


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Happy Mailbox Monday everyone. I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day. Mine was very special. Thursday I rushed home from book club to Skype with my daughter to find her waiting for me at home. Wasn’t that a nice present. I’m a lucky mom. Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia at A Girl and Her Books and is hosted this May by Martha @ Martha’s Bookshelf. Always nice to find another Martha.

This was a full week for me:
From Hogarth Press:
I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits

The Kissing List by Stephanie Reents

The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya

The Dead Do Not Improve by Jay Caspian Kang

I also found:

Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick for BookBrowse Book Club

Shelter by Frances Greenslade from Free Press

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Salt God’s Daughter by Ilie Ruby from Soft Skull Press (and the author, thank you so much!)

What did your mailman bring you last week?

Wondrous Words Wednesday



Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Kathy @ Bermudaonion weblog where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  If you want to play along, grab the button, and join the fun!  (Don’t forget to leave a link in the comments if you’re participating.)

This week’s words come from The Welcome Committee of Butternut Creek by Jane Myers Perrine.

H-E-B — They entered Farm-to-Market–FM– road 1212A, which passed between Whataburger and the H-E-B.

The H-E-B is a supermarket chain in Texas and Mexico.

Cockles–“Must be all the warm bacon fat melting the cockles”whatever cockles were–his heart.”

Okay, so I’ve heard and said ‘warms the cockles of my heart” since I was tiny. It was on of my dad’s favorite sayings. But I never really knew why we said it. According to World Wide Words, and I’m totally paraphrasing here, it looks it comes from the heart looking like a bivalve mollusc. It turns out the saying has been around since the early part of the seventeenth century.

I also wanted to make note that Maurice Sendak passed away yesterday at the age of 83. When my kids were little Where the Wild Things Are was my favorite book to read to them. Not that they didn’t love it, I just think I may have loved it just a little bit more. The movie, not so much. It was a little darker take on the book than I would have had and it bothered me Max didn’t seem to be secure at home. And for me one of the things I love about the book is that Max comes home and finds his dinner waiting. And isn’t that what we all want, no matter how “wild” we are we can always come home and find dinner waiting for us? So, good-bye Mr. Sendak and thank you for all those wonderful hours snuggled up with my little ones.

The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth / and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws / but Max stepped into his private boat and waved good-bye / and sailed back over a year / and in and out of weeks / and through a day / and into the night of his very own room / where he found his supper waiting for him / and it was still hot.”