Book List

Rather than review every book as I read them, which I found quite mundane (I'm...not a reviewer). I thought I'd list out the books I read with links and a general good, great, couldn't put it down, or couldn't finish it.

Here's the books I read in 2011:

1- Vanishing and Other Stories: Loved the first handful of stories than petered out and couldn't finish. But they were all kind of depressing stories and I was kind of depressed which wasn't a good combination. Mix between good and couldn't finish it.

2- Every Last One: Loved it. Couldn't put it down. Which was unfortunate last one night when I realized I had just read about a home invasion and triple homicide right before I was supposed to lay down and go to sleep.

3- Blessings: Loved it. Couldn't put it down and couldn't quite figure out what what going to happen when.

4- The Improper Life of Bezelia Grove: As soon as I read about this one over at The Lost Entwife I knew that like her it was a book for me. Hellllo improper life! It was amazing. I couldn't put it down and read it in two days. So amazing.

5- Putting Away Childish Things- I thought it was a good book. It was a bit academic in it's discussion of faith, but it was a discussion of faith in an academic setting so I wouldn't really have expected less.

6- Girl In Translation - Very good. Inspiring story of a girl growing up straddling the old world and the new world.

7- Room - AMAZING. Could not put it down.

8- Where the God of Love Hangs Out - Only ok. Compilation of short stories, some of which were actually small novellas.

9- Unbearable Lightness - Very good, read 1/2 of it one day and finished it the next

10- Autobiography of Mark Twain Volume 1 -I wanted to like this, I really really did. Since he had put a ban on publishing it for 100 years after his death I thought there would be salacious things in it. It read more like a land survey and political meet and greet. It might have gotten better, but it was a brick of a book and I only made it a few hundred pages in.

11- Black Heels to Tractor Wheels - Couldn't put it down. So swoony and lovely

12- The Distant Hours - So juicily suspenseful and a little creepy. LOVE Kate Morton and am sad that I have finished her last book (there are only 3). READ these books. They are AMAZING.

13- The Weight of Silence - Amazing. Couldn't put it down and read it late in the night and at stoplights

14- These Things Hidden - Same author as #13, also couldn't put it down and gasped audibly at one point (or 4)

15. Little Bird of Heaven -Good, I read it while reading 3 other non-fictions books so it took a bit to get through it but it was worth it by the end

16. Don't Breathe a Word - Couldn't put it down. I read it in about 6 hours straight with a break for making pasta salad for a cookout. Deliciously creepy, I had to finish it in one sitting because I needed to find the logical ending to make sure the creepy other worldly stuff didn't keep me up tonight.

17. Place of Yes -I have a massive slight obsession with Bethenny Frankel. So I bought this book because it was about her and her journey and I loved it. Not everything was my bag, but that's ok, I still think she's amazeballs

18- Alice, I Have Been - SO GOOD. I read it in a weekend. So juicy and historically swoony

19- The Help - I really didn't want to like this book because it was so popular..but I really really loved it and couldn't put it down for the most part. I also talked like domestic help in rural 60's Mississippi which was fun for Pete.

20- The Art of Forgetting- I stayed up way to late reading this book, like 2am when I had to be up at 6am book. Interesting story involving the dynamics of when the more dominant friend changes because of traumatic brain injury. Very..coming into her own story from the point of view of the more submissive friend

21- Heaven- Ok, I know they're garbage. I just got a wild hair to read the series again. So I did.

22- Dark Angel - 2nd in the Heaven series. The more I read them the more appalled I am that I read them before I was even a teenager. But now, they're just campy fun.

23- Fallen Hearts- 3rd in the Heaven series, again...so appalled that I read them so young but can't put them down...again

24- Gates of Paradise- 4th in the Heaven series

25- Web of Dreams- 5th and final installment of the Casteel family drama

25- Last Letter from Your Lover - Very good, a little confusing with all the flashbacks but it all sorted out deliciously.

26 - If I Stay - This and book 27 ago together. So good and compelling.

27- Where She Went - Quick read, but still very compelling and good. Reminder of all the collateral damage that trauma to people you love but aren't technically your "family" can cause and how hard it is to recover from all the fractures.

28- Once Was Lost - Very compelling and I didn't guess who did it which is a big plus

29- Sisters in Sanity - So good, the same author of books 26 & 27

30- The Legacy - Creepily good and a nice twist at the end


Poisoned Fruit

I've been watching a lot of Law & Order lately. When they get to the courtroom scenes there is often a battle over what evidence should be admitted in the trial. If one big piece is omitted then it can have a domino effect on a lot of other smaller pieces of evidence.

Fruit of the poisonous tree is what they call that evidence.

That's how life feels lately.

Every broken relationship
Every cutting comment
Every knock down drag out fight
Every shaming scoff

Fruit of the poisonous tree.

The generational sin and brokenness that feels like poison seething through my veins so I want to rip the roots out of my familiy tree and plant it in less fallow ground.

I feel panicked wondering how I can change my own behaviors and attitudes to help change the tide of bitterness, anger and snark that rears its hideous head.

I feel afraid, wounded and damaged. Wishing I could strike back like a snake. Teaching lessons and hurting those that hurt me, shame me and others. Putting a stop to those who belittle and dimiss others. I wish I could shout loud enough to make their eyes open to the damage their indifference and cruelty is causing.

But I can't. I don't have a pretty bow to wrap this all up. All I know is that I am called to be gracious and loving to everyone; even when I feel like they don't deserve it anymore.

The tension for me is in setting boudaries and keeping them while at the same time being gracious and kind.
Loving the best I can the people in our family even when they behave so unloveable.


Good Things: November

I started late this month, and now I can't remember a good thing for the first 3 days. Whoops!

November 4 Breakfast at work, yum!

November 5 Puss and Boots with Matthew. It was super funny

November 6 Extra hour of sleep!

November 7 Small group time is awesome time. This one time at Meijer...

November 8 Election Day, the day I celebrate the end of hearing about all those electiony things

November 9 Happy Birthday, Katy! I love you!

November 10 Family Night

November 11 Mom and Dad came into town and saw the new kitchen!

November 12 WICKED! LOVE!

November 13 Unexpected Sunday afternoon to myself. I was deliciously unproductive. Extra time with my church peeps too, love them.

November 14 Amber came over to play! Snarky HP watching!

November 15 Therapy is hard, but it's nice being able to share and be validated without emotional blackmail ensuing

November 16 I may never tire of playing Dr. Mario

November 17 Dr. Mario is a game you can play which allows you to not think about anything else

November 18 Friday! It's FRIDAY! I'm so over work right now

November 19 Hair appointment, lunch with a friend and J Edgar movie

November 20 Helping Sharen decorate for Christmas and dinner with friends

November 21 Love my small group. TWINKIES!

November 22 5pm eventually showed up at work, which made me very happy

November 23 Peaceful drive up to my parents house with Sharen, Shelby and Matthew

November 24 Yummy Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping started at 930 and there were some ridiculous laughs in the Elder-Beerman parking lot

November 25 Continued Black Friday shopping until past 4am. A lot of fun!

November 26 Saw the Muppets and laughed a lot

November 27  Sleeping in my own bed!

November 28 Signed up for Pinterest, this may be the beginning of the end

November 29 Entertaining, if useless 4 hour meeting at work where an 80ish year old man talked about his blog more times than required.

November 30 Straight home from work!