Monday, November 22, 2010

Classics Challenge Winter/Spring

Sarah, from Sarah Reads Too Much, has opened this wonderful challenge!! I'm am soooo looking forward to this! I hate winter and this should carry me right through and keep my mind occupied so I won't even notice if it snows.

The Challenge will be open from January - June 2011.  You can list you book choices before the challenge starts, or as you go along....  whatever works best for you.

The goals to complete:

  1. A Banned Book
  2. A Book with a Wartime Setting (can be any war)
  3. A Pulitzer Prize (Fiction) Winner or Runner Up:  a list can be found here
  4. A Children's/Young Adult Classic
  5. 19th Century Classic
  6. 20th Century Classic
  7. A Book you think should be considered a 21st Century Classic
  8. Re-Read a book from your High School/College Classes
Here's My list :
Banned Book  - The Catcher in the Rye
I've read this but it's been soooo long ago I really think I'll come at it from a totally new perspective. Plus I own a copy so that's handy.

War Time Book - The Killer Angels
I've never read this but my X was completely a non-reader yet he wouldn't put this book down.

Pulitzer Prize Winning Book - A Thousand Acres
I made it my New Years Resolution one year to read the Pulitzer books. I didn't get very far but it was my favorite resolution I've ever made! This year is, of course, finish this challenge :) I chose this one from this awesome list in itself because I about had a cow when this book came out and still haven't thought of a new title for the story I'm working on! Yes I had a story called A Thousand Acres as well. Guess that's what I get for procrastinating... mine still isn't done.

Young Adult Classis - Ann of Green Gables
I've never read this book. There were several I wanted to pick (and to be honest this catagory still may change... The Wrinkle in Time books are calling me too!). I've seen the movie but it seems the book should be like a comfy feather bed in February!

 19th Century classic - Mansfield Park
Sue me, but I'm totally unfamiliar with this Austen piece. I'm looking forward to exploring it. I became curious about from the Movie, The Jane Austen Book Club.  I love that movie :) Sappy as it is.

20th Century Classic - The Jungle
This is a very important book to me. I own a copy but it's acquisition may have changed my life. Which is another long story for a different post. Plus I've been doing some reading on food production (and in case you don't know, I work in agri-business at a feed manufacturing plant) and alternatives to how we are doing things. This is a Don't Miss book for that topic from what I understand.

21st Century Classic - Gilead
I've heard good things about this book and am really looking forward to it. Again, so many to choose from it was a hard pick. I was going to read some blurbs and see what appealed to me. I started with Gilead and that was as far as I got...set in Iowa. Gotta read a homespun book.
A Re-Read - 1984

I read this in High School but it stuck with me. It will be awesome to read it again. Would love to do a read-a-long with some folks on this one!

So that's my challenge list. I'll put it in the sidebar when it gets closer to starting. I can't wait to see all your lists and keep up with how your reading goes!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver

I've been reading and watching a lot about practicle responsible sustainable food production, which makes sense since I work for a swine feed manufacturerer. But it's not for work really, it's actually be sort of 'due' to work. And quite a bit of what I'm learning is disconcerting. It never crossed my mind to question WHY we need all this damn corn...why to feed the world obviously but we don't eat field corn. And guess what... by nature cows don't either!

So I've been reading. It started with an assignment in Environmental Science class. I chose Walden. It's funny how there are so many similarities between these two books.

Like who else but an elitist either supported or independently wealthy can even start to try to do this? And where are the NYC folks supposed to grow pumpkins? Farmer's Markets can't do it all either. The book is about Barbara Kingsolver and her family going on a 'factory farming' strike in essence. No CAFO meat, nothing trucked in from over X miles away. And only farmers market purchases from farmers marketers that practice organic or responsible sustainable farming practices. And growing as much as they can!! (perhaps they just had better green thumbs than I do, I had trouble with 4 tomato plants) They even learned to make their own soft cheeses and yogurt.

This does all seem like a step in the right direction, not, perhaps, the whole journey though. I CAN find farmers markets, for some stuff. I can try to grow some of my own stuff...again. I can look for simpler ingredients. From page 348 "Products with fewer ingredients have probably burned less gas. For example, the oatmeal box on our pantry shelf lists one ingredient: rolled oats...By contrast the ...75% organic cereal box lists seventeen ingredients all of which had to be transported to the processing plant." Now THAT I never thought of even though we buy ingredients at the mill from all over the world. Sometimes by the shipping container full. And I do think I'll think twice with what I choose to much as I can.

There is an element of quaint fantasy here. But the reasoning is mostly valid (if a tad alarmist) and I'm all for simplification. Even if it means more work...oxymoron. Not really, it's just a rearrangement. I see a few delimma's flowing into the 'better food' stream. Health issues, land issues, food issues, economic issues.

With all that said, it may be surprising that I actually did very much enjoy reading this book!! And yes it DID make me want to try those 4 tomato plants again. And, since it's already mid November, I'll wait until February to start thinking about what I could put next to them. Peppers maybe? A salsa garden? hmmm?

If I kept them all alive and un-bunny munched, that would be a miracle :)

Rating: 4/5

Hoppin around again - TGIF!

Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is a meme sponsored by Jennifer at Crazy For Books.
My answer to this week's Blog Hop question:

Since Thanksgiving is coming up next week, let's use this week's Hop to share what we are most thankful for and what our
holiday traditions are!

At the moment I'm very thankful for Nyquil. But that's no where near what I'm most thankful for!!
My kids, hands down, lock stock and barrel, those 2 are my every breath. They are doing pretty good so far and I can't wait to see them grow into adults over the next few years

As far as traditions; I'm a single mom and an only child. Makes for a very casual and laid back day!! We sometimes help set up for the community Thanksgiving and will probably go over to my Aunt's house for some late day dessert.

My mom makes us do the kernels of corn on the plate thing...she puts like 5 kernels of corn on the plate and you have to go around the table with thankfuls moving one kernel off for each gratitude. 
It makes my kids roll their eyes, which makes me laugh.

Now I'm hungry!! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Top Villain - isnt that an oxymoron? No it's Top Ten Tuesday

I'm Joining Top Ten Tuesday, admittedly on Wednesday, over at The Broke and the Bookish. This weeks list? Tell us your top ten villains!

How Fun!! So here, in no particular order, is my take on it.

1.  Hanzel and Gretel's parents... most awful people I've ever heard of. Period!

2. General Woundwart - Watership Down. Gave me the creeps. One foul rrrabbit!

3. Delores Umbridge - makes my skin crawl just remembering her! bleck!

4. Boise - Cold Mountain - The Albino with no conscience

5. The Little Ladykiller - The Shack. Think what you need to about the theology, the story was heart-breakingly tragic!

6. Sauron - LOTR. He was evil personified. Sauroman was probably worse because he knew better and he betrayed his ways.

7. Corrine - The mother in Flowers In The Attic - awful awful woman, from awful awful parents!

8. Randall Flagg aka The man in black akaWalter o’Dim akaMarten Broadcloak/ -Bad enough to be active in a 7 book series and Kings Iconic novel The Stand. This is another evil personified individual!

9. Pennywise the Clown - It - Stephen King. No wonder a whole generation is scared of clowns!

10. Cujo - Stephen King - Seriously, it's become an adjective and a verb! Can you look at a St. Bernard and not see this dog?

So there they are. King has a fair share on this list and I've seen more on the blog hop that were amazingly bad villains. How fun!

Enjoy your stay on the 'bad' side of town!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Follow Friday!!

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. Follow our Featured Bloggers -
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!  
  8. If your new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog! 

What is your usual monthly book budget?


I wouldn't say I have a set amount. If I luck into a yard sale with some goodies I will drop what it takes to pick up what I like. But with yard sales, that's usually not too much thankfully. I have some books I'm looking for to add to my collection in hardback, nice additions. I think usually $10 or under for those.

Some of my summer scores


I never eBay for books I'm looking for collecting. That's cheating if you're on a quest to find something. Much more fun to discover a book on your list in a dark corner on a dusty shelf!!

Other than that, I'm a library girl. Which reminds me! My book is due and I need to call in and re-new it!

Have fun visiting everyone on the hop!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sometimes we hurt the ones we love

Let me start by saying, I love my blog. I love my book lists and I love my content (so far) and I especially love my blog roll and the connection to all you fabulous bookish people!!

But I'm guilty of negligence non-the-less.
I added 3 college course to my life on top of two teenage girls, lots of Church activities and the best full time job in the world. (please re-read that to the tune of 12 days of Christmas )

So I got a lil over busy...

Ok so this isn't REALLY's easy to tell because I don't own a skirt like that.

Ok and Ihave20yearsonherand2x20lbsandmyhairisnothatgreat

But back to the blog...
I'm still reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and am at least thinking about what I'm mindlessly eating which is a start!

The classes are going well and, as usual, I love them!! But I LOVE SCHOOL!! My Environmental Science teacher put a note on the end of my essay test page that made my whole MONTH and will be my fall-back-on-when-I-get-down gratitude... she wrote.... "I love to read your writing!!" (yes double exclamation points!)

 I love to write it! And I've missed it and you, my darling blog, so much!!