Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review: Gone Girl

If I were to review this book in a single word, it would be WOAH.

Anyone who enjoys thrillers or suspense should pick up this book.  And if you don't?  Read it anyway.  It might just open up a new genre.  Seriously.  I'm not kidding.  Do I look like I'm kidding?  Well that's just my normal face.  Just trust me.

But seriously, Flynn takes her readers through a roller coaster, like the ones that go upside down so many times you're dizzy when you try to get up at the end of the ride.  But it's so awesome that you go back and ride it again.

I had heard a bit of buzz about this book, although I couldn't really place where if you asked me (so don't).  I'd periodically check the library to see if it was available, but it never was and there was a long list waiting.  I didn't put myself on the list because honestly, it could be seriously a year before it would be my turn.  Not to put pressure on any slower readers; I'm just impatient when it comes to good reads.

Then I happened to notice it on the bottom of the book shelf at my sister-in-law's house this past Monday and asked if I could borrow it.  She was gracious in letting me borrow not only this book, but a stack full.  Anyone that knows me knows that I am a full-on nerd when it comes to books and I was pumped to have new reads.

"It doesn't turn out like you think it would" was what she told me.  Fair enough.  Most thrillers don't if they're written well.  100 pages in and I texted her "This guy is a jerk!"  She told me just wait.  HO-LEE-COW.  I understand what she meant though.  You can't give away anything without ruining it. 

Here is the synopsis if you're curious:

Basically, the book starts out like an opening scene for Law and Order.  Flynn gives the reader a bit of time to get acquainted with the situation and the characters and then BA-BAM!

This book was the most technically  engaging book I've read since The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series.  And it's equally as twisted, although not quite as graphic.  I've already told quite a few people that they need to hurry up and read it just so I can discuss it with someone.  This is urgent!

So if you happen to get a gift card to a bookstore this holiday season, I'd definitely recommend Gone Girl.  While it's number 85 on the list of books I've read this year (not counting comic books) I'd rank it in the top 5 for sure.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Review: How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You

My favorite section to look for new books is the humor section.  These books are usually fast, easy reads that take your mind off of whatever you have going on at the time.  But they aren't big commitment books - you can be done with them in a day or two and send them right on back, or pass them on if you purchased a physical copy.

I got the ban on my online library account lifted yesterday after I paid my $4 fine for turning in two movies that I had checked out a day late.  (And the real funny part?  Daven and I didn't even watch them!)  So last night when Daven and I were hanging out in my bed watching Jessie, I got on and looked for something new to read.

I was happy to see that a few new books had been added to the humor section, and I immediately checked out this book - How to Tell if your Cat is Plotting to Kill You.  Now I would personally categorize this as more of a graphic novel - it's a big group of comics put together to make a book.  But the library doesn't really have those available online yet, so it was grouped with the humor.  And it was funny.

I went through this is an hour or less.  And I laughed out loud a handful of times.  Daven laughed, too, because he thought I was laughing at something in his show.  Oh sweet bub, I've seen those episodes so many times now that they can't be funny anymore.  

The illustrations are great, and the whole thing is just witty.  Anyone who has a cat can relate to this book.  And those who hate cats, like my dad, would like it as well.  It's entertaining for sure.

I wouldn't personally buy this, but if you can find it at the library or loan it from someone else for a day, I think you would be amused.  I should probably clarify that my choice to not purchase it is mostly because of lack of funds, but also because it wasn't long enough.  I'd consider it more of a sampler, or a potty read.  Which is fitting, because poop is mentioned quite a bit!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Repurposing Old Candles

You know the kind - candles that have been used so much that the wick is down to the quick even though there's still wax left at the bottom. The glass is more than likely blackened by the hours it spent lit. It should probably just be tossed. But you love the sent!

Don't cry, and don't toss the candle yet.

Melt the wax in the microwave on 50% power until it is liquid. Then carefully, with potholders, pour the wax into cupcake holders.

That's it! After the wax hardens again you can peel away the paper and pop it into your candle wax warmer. This way you still get to enjoy your favorite sent long after the candle life has passed.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Smartie No-pants

"Don't jump on the couch, Daven. If you want to jump, do it on the floor, please."

Sometimes I'll get an, "Ok, mommy" while other times its, "No! Me jump on couch!"

Recently, he's found a kind of loop hole. He takes the cushions off the couch, sets them on the floor and jumps on them.

Clever, Bub :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Book Review: The Brightest Star in the Sky

Marian Keyes has been one of my favorite authors for many years now.  It started with Sushi for Beginners, which I checked out of the library on a whim.  Since then, I've read just about everything by her and have loved every bit of it. 

I was so excited when this book, Brightest Star in the Sky came out that I had Adam purchase it from Europe because their release date was months ahead of the US.  It came in the mail and I was giddy with excitement.  I opened the book and began to read.  And then I got the newsletter.

I get monthly emails from Marian through her site with her writings about her life and any updates that she has.  But this one was not written by her - it was from her husband, addressing her fans.

Marian had hit a rough patch and wasn't feeling well.  Major depression.  He wanted to let us all know that he wasn't sure when she would be writing to us again, let alone writing another novel.

I'm not sure if I actually cried when I read this, but I know I at least felt like I wanted to.  After this, I couldn't read anymore of the book.  What if it were the last book she writes?  I'd finish it and then wait forever for a new book that wouldn't come out.  I just couldn't do it.  Adam thought I was absolutely nuts.  To his credit, though, I probably am.

 This comic strip describes exactly how I feel!

This was all back in 2009, and the book has been sitting on my shelf every since.  I think I may have tried to read it again once more, but was sad and put it back away.

I'm happy to share that Marian is feeling better.  She's writing again.  She is on twitter now.  And I love her.  So I finally read the book.  Marian didn't disappoint.

"One address.  Four flats.  A houseful of hearts. And the extraordinary visitor about to change their lives forever...66 Star Street.  It's Marian.  It's magic."

The back cover sums it up pretty well.  The reader is submerged into the lives of all the people living in this apartment building, or flat since they're Irish, after all.  

There is some entity floating through their lives and their memories, and you really don't find out what that is all about until the very end.  At first I was a tad irked that you as the reader don't know what is going on.  But after a bit I got so submerged and invested in all of the characters that I stopped fixating on that.  They are all so different and yet by the end of the novel "fate" brings them together.

An older lady and her dog.  Her adult foster son.
A married couple who watch hours of tv and eat lots of sweets
A single woman about to turn 40.
A taxi driver and her two Polish roommates.

If you haven't read any of her books yet, check one out at the library the next time you make a visit.  Let me know what you think.  I'd love to share my love of Marian Keyes with other readers.


Thursday, November 1, 2012


After a month of watching endless shows and movies about Halloween and reading books about it, yesterday was finally the day. I don't think that Daven believed me straight away when I told him that it was. He kept saying, "Not Halloween yet!"

After a long morning of him fussing for candy and being a general grump, (Genral Grump! ::salutes::) he took a nap. I was very thankful for this.

That is, until he woke up and refused to get dressed. We were going to both Nanas' houses, so we were on a time schedule! I'm not really sure how Adam and I finally managed to get him dressed and out the door.

We finally made it to Nana Julie's and Daven went out trick-or-treating with his cousin, Cameron. We were a bit slow-moving, though, and he ended up going on without us. Daven made daddy carry him in between houses. He did walk up to the houses to tell people about his light saber. It was adorable.

After rounding the block, we dropped by his great nana's for a moment. He scored a $5 bill there. Then it was off to my mom's house for another round.

He must have had enough, because Daven wouldn't put his costume back on and go out in my parent's neighborhood. He was all too content playing with aunt Lacey and Leah and didn't want to be bothered with more walking. While I didn't really mind because it was dark by this point and growing colder, I know my mom had been looking forward to taking him out. And Adam was bummed at the lack of candy there ended up being for him to snag later on.

Halloween may be over now, but Daven can still be Yoda any time he wants.