Sunday, January 31, 2010


I haven't written in my blog for awhile. I think I felt a bit guilty since I didn't write the best books I read in 2009 post that I had promised. I had planned to do a whole long post and suggest books for each category. Now that January is almost over I think I'll skip that until next year. To assuage my guilt I will say that the best book I read was The Help, followed closely by The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
I did read some wonderful books in December, after being on a bit of a unintentional literary fast.
In the warmer weather I have so many outside chores that reading can get shoved aside a bit. But snowy days seem to be custom made for reading. I've been fortunate enough to have found some very good books to read this month.

1. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - This book reminded me of The Secret Garden, which I read to my children many years ago. In fact, the author of The Secret Garden makes an appearance in the book. Some people didn't like how the book goes back and forth in time and found it confusing. I didn't find this to be a problem. Like the stories told by one of the characters, this book almost seemed like a fairy tale.

2. Beowulf on the Beach by Jack Murnighan. This book has encouraged me to try to read War & Peace and conversely let me know which classics I definitely want to skip. Fun and accessible, but raunchy sometimes.

3. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. I had the absolutely best art history teacher. Through him I was introduced to so many artists and architects. Frank Lloyd Wright was one of my favorites and I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It encouraged me to pull out some of my books and look at some of the houses he designed.

4. Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore. Wow.

5. The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. I enjoyed this but in retrospect I'm not completely sure why. A novel about an artist's obsession, it did mention and discuss many different painters, particularly in the impressionist era. Aha, that is probably why I liked it so much. Kostova also wrote The Historian, which was another novel I really enjoyed, but not everyone I recommended it to did care for it. Kostova writes beautifully, and I think that alone makes her stories compelling.

I'm currently reading another novel that I love, but I won't finish it until February. It's so good I might create a separate blog post just to review it.

Happy reading!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...

I'm enjoying the return of the sun.

I am thinking...

that I soon have to head out for a run.

I am thankful for...

My husband - he brought coffee, the paper, and our kitty upstairs to me for the past 3 mornings.

From the kitchen...

We'll be having creamy potato soup for dinner tonight. And rolls, if I get moving and make them.

I am wearing...

Pj's and my robe and slippers. I need to go up and get into my running clothes.

I am going...

To the bookstore with my hubby in a little while for a cup of coffee and browsing time.

I am reading...

Same Kind of Different as Me. This book is really making me think.

I am hoping...

The new kitty and the other pets all become friends.

I am hearing...

The kitten meowing - she is very cute.

Around the house...

It's a beautiful day and I'm beginning to think about my garden.
One of my favorite things...

A cup of coffee in the morning.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Keep up the running. I ran for years and this past year I just...haven't. I also need to start sorting through some of the curriculum I've accumulated over the years.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A long winter nap

They are not supposed to be on here but I don't think they look too guilty! They know what to do when the winter winds are howling.

Brrr - it's cold outside

The snow here isn't really blowing since all that is left of our 2 foot snowstorm is piles of the frozen white stuff. But the wind is whipping outside and I can't imagine what the wind chills must be. My plan was to take down all the outside decorations and the Christmas tree. Well, the Christmas tree is down and the wreath and our little soldiers outside are safely away. My dear husband braved the cold to take down a few things on our porch. But if this cold and wind doesn't stop, our outside lights might be there until spring. Not really, but at least until it warms up some. I love winter - from the inside looking out. Warm fireplaces, hot coffee, and a cozy blanket and book suit me just fine.
Our Christmas was lovely and the time off with my husband and teens was wonderful. I received lots of books and have spent a lot of time curled up with them (see paragraph above:). I had planned to do the best books I read in 2009 before 2009 ended and never got to it so I'll try to do that this week. We're expecting another snowstorm later this week, so I'm sure I'll have plenty of time!