Sunday, November 2, 2008

Playing catch-up

I feel so far behind in my blogging... but I finally have some downtime to get everything up to speed. It really feels like it's been a whirlwind lately, between work, the World Series... I can't believe I woke up this morning and it was November 1, and Daylight Savings Time is tomorrow. October seemed to go by so quickly.

Last weekend I went to another book sale with my sister. We went to one in my childhood hometown of Springfield, PA. I lived there from the time I was five years old until the time I was nine years old, and I have some really fond childhood memories of that area. My family and I are not close and we're highly dysfunctional, and the few happy memories I do have mostly seemed to occur in that era. Unfortunately, since my sister is eleven years younger than me, she never got to experience or share these memories with me. I thought it would be nice to go to a book sale and then maybe show her my old elementary school, where I went to Girl Scouts, our old apartment, etc. I thought maybe she'd be interested in seeing it, which I think she was, she thought it was really interesting, but I also think it was a little weird for her too, to see all these things that were such a fond part of my childhood that she wasn't a part of and aren't a part of her history. I don't know. I guess it's like seeing where your parents or grandparents grew up, you know? Now I feel old. Haha.

Anyway, we both had great success at the book sale. Even though I have been an avid reader since I was about three years old, believe it or not, I'd never been to the Springfield Township Library. Most likely because I just used the elementary school library. The sale wasn't held in the actual library, but in some sort of room, maybe in an adjacent community center? But their selection was amazing and I thought the prices were reasonable ($2 per hardback and .50 for each paperback). There were so many books that they couldn't fit them all on the tables- they had boxes and boxes of books under the tables. Luckily I'm little and can duck in and out very easily. And there were a lot of people crammed into such a tiny space! I was started to feel a little sick with dehydration, actually, and eventually I was starting to feel woozy, but we were pretty much finished at that point anyway. Still... ordinarily I'm much more well-prepared. I guess I just didn't expect it to be quite that busy!

So I ended up getting eleven books altogether- six hardbacks and five paperbacks- and it only cost me $14.50. Sweet! Here's what I picked up:


  • Outtakes From a Marriage, by Ann Leary. This is a fiction book, kind of in the chick-lit/mom-lit genre, about a woman who thought she had the perfect marriage, but then suspects her husband is cheating on her, so she does humorous things to try and find out if it's true, like cyberstalking him, showing up on his TV sets in disguise (he's a wealthy soap opera actor, of course-this is most definitely a fluffy read!), and tries to "self-improve herself" by getting Botox and hair extensions and seeing a therapist. The book also goes back to when they met in college, their courting days, etc., so you get their back history. And the mom-lit part of it is that of course she has to deal with the "supermoms" at her kids' elite Manhattan preschool . I'm really into this silly cheesy genre right now, and so I have a feeling I'll love this book.
  • The Wonder Spot, by Melissa Bank. Another fiction novel, about a small-town girl from Pennsylvania (hello!) who feels out of place in her family, goes off to college and finds herself, moves to the city afterwards and establishes the whole great-job-sweet-apartment-cool friends thing, and then has to move back to Pennsylvania when her father dies unexpectedly. The book follows her life twenty-five years after that. It looks like a great read!
  • Hospital: A Novel, by Marcia Rose. Another fiction novel- the plot kind of reminded me of a literary version of Grey's Anatomy, haha. The book is about the lives of the men and women who work at a Manhattan Hospital. I wonder if there will be any "Dr. McDreamys" in this book!   :-D
  • Blood Brother: 33 Reasons My Brother Scott is Guilty, by Anne Bird. This is a true crime book written by Scott Peterson's half-sister. For some reason that even I don't quite seem to understand, I've always been extremely interested in the Laci Peterson case, so I figured I'd pick this up. I already have a few books on the case, but I figured, for $2, why not pick up another one?
  • Don't Eat this Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America, by Morgan Spurlock. I love this kind of stuff... health, nutrition, marketing, advertising, the whole enchilada (no pun intended). I saw Supersize Me a few years ago and was fascinated by it (even though I've never been a fan of McDonald's ever, even as a kid, it definitely had an impact on me!). And I have and have read the book Fast Food Nation, so I thought this book would be a nice addition to my library.
  • Bachelor Girl: The Secret History of Single Women in the Twentieth Century, by Betsy Israel. I was really excited to find this book. The author writes about the stereotypes that have stigmatized single women for years and celebrates their "resourceful sense of spirit, enterprise, and unlimited success in a world where it is no longer unusual or unlikely to be unwed". I'm really looking forward to reading this book!


  • America's Working Women: A Documentary History, 1600 to the Present, compiled and edited by Rosalyn Baxandali, Linda Gordon, and Susan Reverby. I think it's pretty self-explanatory what this book's about- working women, past and present!
  • The Go-Girl Guide: Surviving Your 20s with Savvy, Soul, and Style, by Julia Bourland. Another kind of self-explanatory one... I thought that this sounded really cute.
  • When Food is Love: Exploring the Relationship Between Eating and Intimacy, by Geneen Roth. "The explanation of the link between eating disorders and the need for intimacy explains how eating disorders sabotage relationships and why people overeat to satisfy their emotional hunger."  I've never had an overeating problem, but I've certainly had my fair share of eating struggles, and I figured this could be worth fifty cents. It's interesting- my sister picked up a different book by the same author called Appetites, and since we'd split up at the sale, we didn't realize it until later when we were showing each other our finds.
  • Best Friends, by Martha Moody. A fiction story about two women who meet in college and become- you guessed it- best friends. The book follows them throughout the span of their friendship.
  • This is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America's Best Women Writers, edited by Elizabeth Merrick. Anti-chick lit written by various women authors. I read so much fluffy chick lit, I thought it would be nice to mix it up every now and then, haha.

So those were my exciting finds of last weekend. Anyone read any of these?

I finished The Samurai's Garden last Sunday night, and it was absolutely amazing. A simple story, but just beautifully written. It was about a young man from China recovering from a serious illness, right before the WWII era, and he goes to recover at his family's summer house on the beaches of Japan, where the air is a little fresher and cleaner, and the friendships he develops while he is recuperating. It was the writing that got me- just so vivid and full of imagery- I loved it. I couldn't put it down!

I also read this:

DSCI0648 Cute. A little hokey and sappy at times, but cute. Perfect for people that love the Chicken Soup series.

And last night I started reading this:

DSCI0649 Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home Moms and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, and Their Careers, edited by Leslie Morgan Steiner. Essays written by stay-at-home and career moms about the "battle" between the two different sides. I never realized that there was a battle before, since I don't have kids, but the author notes in her introduction that stay-at-home mothers can take on a holier-than-thou approach, thinking that they love their children more by choosing to put their careers and lives aside to concentrate on raising their children; while career moms look down on women who choose not to have a career and stay at home, since women have struggled and fought to win a respectable place in the workforce. I didn't realize that there was such a division between the two, and thought that was really interesting. I'm only an essay or two into it, but I'm really enjoying it so far.

This is the longest post ever- I apologize! I'll end on this thought- I was driving to the gym yesterday, and a local radio station has already started to play holiday music 24/7. Beginning to sell holiday merchandise is one thing. People like to get all that stuff early. I can understand that (though I certainly don't do that! I am a December 23, whatever's-left-at-the-mall shopper!). But starting with the holiday music now? That's just not necessary.

Hope you're all having a great weekend!!!! Happy Daylight Savings Time to all! I heard on the news today that the sun is going down at 4:57 PM today. I can't tell you how NOT on board I am with that!

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