Thursday, January 31, 2013

Book Review: The Morganville Vampire Series, Books 1-8

The first thing that I'm sure most people do when faced with a new vampire book or series is to try to compare it to something else that they've already read.  My current favorite is the Sookie Stackhouse series, which sticks pretty close to the old-school vampire lore.  But at the same time it's funny and sexy; an all-in-all great read.

If only for the simple fact that these books are in the YA genre, I would have to classify them loosely with Twilight.  No, the vampires don't sparkle.  And there are a ton more of them than in Bella's strange little world.  But the main character, Claire, is so young and stupid.  Well, she's incredibly book smart, but I found myself smacking my hand to my head with all the dumb decisions she makes.  I'm sure part of this I could attribute to being a grown adult reading literature aimed at teens.  But wouldn't teenagers still think that some things are just down right stupid to do?

The series starts out with 16 year old Claire, who is so smart that she is already ready for college.  While she wanted to go to some fancy pants school to get her nerd on, her parents insisted that she stay in state.  This leads to her being shipped off to Morganville, Texas to go to the university there.

Apparently the story couldn't get juicy enough there, so Claire gets run out of the dorms because her "I'm smarter than you" attitude gets her death threats.  She stumbles upon The Glass House, where she meets weirdo Eve and two hunky boys.  Here, she learns all about the town and it's secrets, and Claire starts making dumb choices.

What happens in the next handful of books?  She does what everyone else in the books tell her not to, gets beat up, manages to save the day, and smooches on one of her roommates.  For all 8 of them.

They really weren't that bad to read.  Like I said, I wasn't the target audience.  But I'm also not readily hunting down the next million books in the series either.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Birthday Bowling

Ever since Daven saw the Duggars on 19 Kids and Counting take their kids bowling, he's wanted to go, too. After Cory set up a bowling alley in nana's living room with empty plastic bottles last week for him, we decided to make his first bowling trip a birthday event.

We had SO much fun! I'm sure he'll be asking tomorrow to go back, if his arms aren't too sore from bowling two games. I'm so grateful that so many family members got to come with us. We love you all! Happy 3rd birthday, (not so) baby boy!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What's in a name?

Oh, Romeo and Juliet.  No, this post doesn't have anything to do with Shakespeare.  I can't stand trying to read what that guy wrote.

But it is about names.  Or trying to figure out one name.  Let me explain:

Earlier this afternoon, Daven was taking a bath.  He thinks that it is hilarious to stand up and make a fountain in the tub.

Do you see where this is going yet?

He seemed to be deep in thought, standing up, looking down; sitting down and looking and then standing up again.  After a minute or two of this, he looked at me and said, "Mommy, no peeing coming out of this thing."

That thing.  Yes, he was talking about that thing.  He was holding onto it, confused as to why he couldn't pee.  He didn't understand that it was because he had just gone 5 minutes ago.

I tried not to laugh, but was unable to tell him what to call it.  I'm guessing we should call it by the medical term, right?  I don't want to give it a silly name, but at the same time I don't want him shouting out the P-word everywhere we go either.  Then again, kids do say the darnest things and I'm aware that we will have our fair share of embarrassing moments in front of the public eye.

Do you have any advice or experiences to share?

Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Review: Live to Tell

Lisa Gardner is a fantastic author.  I started reading her books last year.  They're crime fiction - suspenseful, who-done-it's with plenty of drama mixed in.

 The most recent book that I finished is the 4th in her Dective D.D Warren series, Live to Tell.  She is a tough detective who works on little sleep and fantasies about a good meal.

This book is bat shit crazy.  But I mean that in a good way.  I spent the majority of the time I was reading it with my mouth hanging open, trying to wrap my head around what had just happened.

An entire family is found dead.  We meet Danielle, a pediatric nurse who works on the psych ward of the hospital.  Twenty-five years ago, everyone in her house besides her was killed.  Then there's Victoria who has an eight year old son, Evan who appears to be just plain psychotic.  More people are introduced, more bad things happen.  And D.D. has to try to fit the pieces of the puzzle together.

I know there is at least one more book so far in this series and I have already placed a hold for it at the library.  If you're looking for a new author to read, I'd highly recommend Gardner.  And if you do, let me know what you think!

Toddler Truths

So far we haven't had to try to explain the differences between boys and girls.  Daven is, however, quick to point out the similarities.

Let me set the scene for you:

Daven had just gotten into the bathtub and was playing with handfuls of bubbles.  I was sitting on the edge of the tub, making casual conversation.  He looks down at his chest, brings his hands up to cover it and then says, "Mom-my!"  "Da-ven!" I replied.  "Look mommy, I got nipples!"

I tried not to laugh.  "Yes, Daven, you have nipples."

"Just like you.  You got nipples, too, mommy!"  I cannot imagine what my face must  have looked like at this moment.  I tried very hard not to make a big deal about it though.

"And does daddy have nipples, too?"

He thought about it for a moment.  "Yeah, daddy has nipples just like mommy, too!"

Yep, just like mommy.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Book Reivew...Sort of. (Harry Potter #6)

It's the start of a new year and the only real resolution that I have is to continue to read, and to try to read more books than the year before.  I almost feel like I've fallen behind already, seeing as how it took me 10 days to get the first one done.

It's my reading ADD at it's best - trying to read too many books at once and getting frustrated that I'm not making enough progress in any of them.  But I also don't want it to be just about the number of books I complete; I read because I enjoy it.  Some days I have more time for reading than others.  I was trying to read 4 books at once.

On twitter I proclaimed (cue the stately trumpets) that I would indeed finish the Harry Potter saga this year.  I've been trying to read through them since I was pregnant with Daven.  It's not that I dislike them.  It's just that other books seemed more important to read.  Plus, I've already seen the movies.  I just couldn't get myself motivated.

Today I finished The Half Blood Prince, number 6 in the series.  That means only one more to go!

There was a bit of mystery to it, as I had completely forgotten who the half blood prince was.  And the teenage romances are comical.  I already knew who died at the end, and if I hadn't been prepared for that I probably would have cried my blue little eyes out.  I'd like to say that if I were a character in the books that I would be a member of Dumbledore's army.  In reality (or fiction) I would be too scared.  I'd be a shy Hufflepuff who wouldn't have even registered on the trio's radar.

I wonder if I will be sad when I finish the last book?  That happens with any good series, and this one has finally began to grow on me. 

What do you think about generation Harry Potter?  Do you love him?  Who's your favorite character?  I think mine is a toss-up between Ginny and Neville.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Bloomin' Tea

I love tea. Especially hot tea in the winter. One of my wedding registry items was a shiny, red, electric tea kettle. It boils water crazy fast and among the pizza trays and Pyrex cookware, I use it often. In order to keep it clean, I use it only to boil, never to brew.

Sometimes I'll use a tea ball for my loose leaf tea. Over the summer I scored a really cute teapot with a mesh cup for brewing. The only drawback is it's big enough to only brew one cup at a time.

Mom got me a glass teapot for Christmas. It has a glass strainer for tea leaves. It also came with tea. Green, white, and black tea, as well as a handful of these strange balls of tea that "bloom" during the brewing process. These happen to be green tea with jasmine.

Daven and I watched the process and it was pretty neat. He was even brave enough to try some. We iced his, but he didn't like it. It had a very strong flavor, and could have used some honey! I added some sugar to the remaining tea before I put it in the fridge for later.

Who wants to come over for a tea party? We've got chocolate striped shortbread cookies...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Goodbye, Beautiful

I meant to compose a written tribute to Nora Greene, a fellow Transylvania alumni and exemplary person. But I can't seem to find the words.

How can she be gone? It's been a little over a year since I've seen her, but I know more than anything she wanted to start a family. And now her and her husband will never get that chance. As my tears flow, I think of all of those who were so much closer to her and how much pain they must be in.

I could only find this one picture of us together, probably because most pictures from those days were too inappropriate to post. And through the hurt at losing someone I didn't know nearly as well as I should and didn't keep in close enough contact with, I have to remember to smile at what a wonderful person she was. It wasn't a party without you, Nora.

2012 - The Book List

It truly and completely irks me to know that at the time my ongoing list on my phone magically disappeared, I had 84 books read (before counting comics).  And try as I might, even with the books I've completed since then added, I could only unearth 86 total of them that I for sure read in 2012.  Yet, since my goal was to read 75 books during the year, I never-the-less succeeded. I'll add them to the list as I think of any more.

I put these books in the category that I myself deemed most appropriate.  You may disagree, and that's ok.  Unless, of course, you think that Calico Joe should be listed under thriller like it is in the library.  Uh-uh.  To me, unless someone within in the book is in danger, it's not a thriller.  Sorry, Joe.  NOT a thriller.

Here's what I read in the year of 2012.  Did you read anything off my list?  Talk to me about it!


  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future... Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned – Michael J. Fox
  • Running For my Life: One Boy’s Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games – Lopez Lomong
  • Reading Magic – Mem Fox
  • MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend – Rachel Bertsche
  • Guts – Kristen Johnson
  • The Face Behind the Veil – Donna Gehrke-White
  • Blood, Sweat + Tea – Tom Reynolds 
  • Some Assembly Required - Anne Lamott

  • I Know I am but What are You? – Samantha Bee
  • Sh*t my Dad Says - Oscar  Wilde
  • Awkward Family Photos – Mike Bender
  • Sloppy Seconds: The Tucker Max Leftovers – Max Tucker
  • Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me? – Mindy Kaling
  • Holidays on Ice – David Sedaris
  • Lets Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson

Historical Fiction

  • The Secret Keeper – Julie Thomas
  • A Good American – Alex George
  • The Lola Quartet – Emily St. John Mandel
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet – Jamie Ford


  • Four of a Kind – Valerie Frankel
  • Skipped Parts – Tim Sandlin
  • The Five People you Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
  • The Pile of Stuff at the Bottom of the Stairs – Christina Hopkinson
  • Paradise Valley – Robin Carr
  • The Lucky One – Nicholas Sparks
  • Fat Vampire – Adam Rex
  • Calico Joe – John Grisham
  • The Color of Hope – Susan Madison
  • The Brightest Star in the Sky - Marian Keyes 
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K Rowling 


Janet Evanovich

 She gets her own category since she's my most read author of the year.  I'm so glad that my sister encouraged me to read her books.  They're "who done it" with a load of humor mixed in.
  • One for the Money
  • Two for the Dough
  • Three to get Deadly
  • Four to Score
  • High Five
  • Hot Six
  • Seven Up
  • Hard Eight
  • To the Nines
  • Ten Big Ones
  • Eleven on Top
  • Twelve Sharp
  • Lean Mean Thirteen
  • Fearless Fourteen
  • Finger Lickin’ Fifteen
  • Sizzling Sixteen
  • Smokin’ Seventeen
  • Explosive Eighteen
  • Plum Spookie  
  • Wicked Appetite  
  • Full Blast

  • The Perfect Husband – Lisa Gardner
  • Alone– Lisa Gardner
  • Hide– Lisa Gardner
  • The Neighbor – Lisa Gardner

  • A Bone to Pick– Charlaine Harris
  • Shakespeare’s Landlord– Charlaine Harris
  • Shakespeare’s Champion– Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Sight– Charlaine Harris
  • The Julius House– Charlaine Harris
  • Three Bedrooms, One Corpse– Charlaine Harris
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Companion – Charlaine Harris

  • The Last Policeman – Ben Winters
  • Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn 
  • Ashes – Iisa J. Bick
  • The Collector – Scott Whittenburg
  • For the Love of Livy – JM Grifin

  • Bared to You – Sylvia Day
  • Fifty Shades of Grey – E.L. James
  • Fifty Shades Darker – E.L. James
  • Fifty Shades Freed – E.L. James

Young Adult
  • Blue Bloods – Melissa de la Cruz
  • The Declaration – Gemma Malley
  • The Resistance – Gemma Malley
  • The Legacy – Gemma Malley
  • Legon Awakening – Nicholas Taylor
  • Fairytale – Maggie Shayne
  • Emergency Room – Caroline B. Cooney


  • How to Tell if your cat is plotting to kill you – Matthew Inman
  • The Walking Dead, Book One - Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Book Two - Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Book Three - Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Book Four - Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Book Five - Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Book Six - Robert Kirkman
  • The Walking Dead, Book Seven - Robert Kirkman