Friday, October 01, 2010

Books I Read in September: 2010

I have read 44 books this year, for those of you keeping track. I have also sewn 0 outfits and made cake from scratch 0 times. I think I made lasagna 3 times, but it was at the beginning of the year when I was more motivated. I've moved furniture 20 times.

The first book I finished in October is The Go-Getter Girl's Guide by Debra Shigley. I just wanted to see what it would say. What do go-getter girls do? I don't know. It's mostly about working.

Then I read a love letter from my GA boyfriend, Dieter Uchtdorf.

I guess you can read it if you want--but it's kind of private between me and him. His name is Dieter and he's a pilot. I know it sounds really fake, but it's true.

I also read this cute How-to book. It might be a good gift for someone you don't know well enough to be able to think of a good present for them. It's risky though because if you don't know them very well they might be all, "Are you implying I don't know how to sew buttons on things?" And you'll just have to think to yourself. "It's a present, jerk. Just say 'thanks.'"

I started out REALLY loving I'm Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells.  The premise is totally intriguing and seems somewhat inspired by the show Dexter. It's about a kid who has all the tendencies and predictive behavior of an eventual serial killer. But he doesn't want to be a serial killer. The book takes a bit of a sci-fi turn which I wasn't emotionally prepared for so I was a little disappointed but it's still a good book and could be a really cool series. Just know that there might possibly be a demon involved.

Stranger in the Family by Robert Barnard is a pretty good novel about the kinderluft in WW II. It is weirdly written--people say the strangest things in it. It seems like it was written in another language and translated into English but as far as I can tell, it wasn't. It has a lot to say about the improvisational morality surrounding the Holocaust. It's interesting.

 As a formerly hot woman, I thought My Formerly Hot Life by Stephanie Dolgoff was a really fun read. It articulates a lot of things I've been thinking lately as my 30s are winding down and my kids are getting older. I'm still in the game, but it's different. I've realized lately that I can't get away with what I used to get away with when I was younger. I don't mean partying and eating Zingers by the boxful (Heh. "used to.")

Now I have to consciously remind myself that people view me as an old mom with a teenager. I can be sensitive, introverted, and insecure if I want, but it comes off differently now. It's not endearing. It makes me seem rude, I think. I'm not a new young mom and acting like one just makes me seem like I lack poise (which I do lack.) I don't really know how to act. I don't want to go the know-it-all route because we all know what a gargantuan turn off that is. But I'd like to move into this phase with a little grace, if possible. These are the facts: (1) I only care what my husband and my kids think of my parenting--and not even all that much. I'm not tortured [anymore] by what the moms at the playground think about me. I'm doing the best I can. (2) I am at a place where most of the time I can grocery shop without kids, if I play my cards right. This is life-changing. (3) I have some time to myself each week (5 hours to be exact!) This is only going to increase as Ellen gets older. I love it. I don't feel guilty about it.  I want to spend it well. (4) I shower most days--this doesn't mean I don't remember the spit up/nursing/zombie days. In fact, I still have zombie days. But I don't miss them. Someday I might. But not yet. I feel that this is a time to gird up my loins. I feel that I am in between the physical and emotional trauma of having little babies and the serious and hefty issues that might come with teenagers and adult children.

Dolgoff's book is more about the physical stuff of getting old (slowed metabolism? Whaaaaaaaa?)

I don't know. Maybe I never was hot.

And then I read, fittingly, How to Never Look Fat Again by Charla Krupp.

This is a really useful book. The chapters are divided by which part of you is fat and tells you what to wear and what to avoid if you have that fat part. There's even a part about cankles. I don't have cankles, but based on the doomsday prophecies of Stephanie Dolgoff--I will be lamenting my formerly hot ankles in about 3 years. Best to be prepared, don't you think? She includes a lot of online sources. I went to the internet straight away and ordered me some skinny britches. WHAT? You don't know what skinny britches are? Oh dear. There's no hope for you. Sorry!

How do I decide what to read each month? I go to the new releases shelves at the Provo library. It's like a store! I check out anything that catches my eye. They have a shelf for fiction and a shelf for non-fiction. They also have a shelf for some kind of theme they choose each month. This month it's red books. I actually read a lot of red books this month. I try to keep in mind books that have been recommended to me. I've been trying to get The Book Thief for months, but it is always checked out. Many of you have received frantic messages from me on Thursdays (library day) misspelled and undoubtedly cryptic via my iPhone about a book I'm trying to remember. That's because all the computers at the library are always being used by people playing Farmville while their wives think they are searching for jobs. Harsh? Perhaps. But the Farmville part is true. I confirm it every week. EVERY week. I guess I shouldn't assume that if you're at the library during the day you don't have a job but I'm there and I don't have a job. Anywhoo. Recommendations always appreciated.


  1. Thank you for addressing Brother Uchtdorf's dreaminess. It is the elephant in the room and needs honest treatment.

    I love alone time. When my youngest starts school I am going to get super selfish for a minute and spend all my time (window) shopping and eating out. I will not be doing family history.

  2. We ran into President Uchtdorf at the Thanksgiving Point petting zoo. My stepmom was turning into a puddle at the sight of him, but he reminds me of my dad for some reason.

    I'm not sure who I gave my copy of the Book Thief to. However, I must warn you, I found myself sobbing at the end of that book and Ben came in and said, "what's wrong?!" and I was mad at him because I just wanted to be alone with the book to sob by myself. I am not normally a sobber, so I wanted a good sob. The word "sob" is starting to sound weirder the more I use it.

  3. Oops. Of course I meant *President* Uchtdorf. How Gentile of me!

  4. Wow! 5 whole hours!? Isn't that sad that we've been conditioned, from the Zombie days, to think of something so ordinary as a BIG TREAT!?

    I love being in my late 30's and watching younger/new /older/self-righteous mothers question a parenting technique or mothering "choice" here and there and genuinely NOT CARING and being more CONFIDENT about my own decision-making process. It's liberating. And funny.

  5. Uchdorf/30 Rock jokes. You are my blog hero.

  6. I think you are approaching your age in a very beautiful way. It's no wonder Dieter is your boyfriend.

    I recommend "The Help" if you haven't read that yet.

  7. I didn't know you were seeing Deiter, too.

    See if you can get him to say, "Now's the time on conference when we dance." Or just elbow one of the speakers away from teh podium while saying, "Your talk has grown tiresome."

    That would really make my weekend.

    PS: I am here in MT; I didn't come to UT (sad face)so no date for me-n-you. YET.

  8. Are skinny britches the same as jeggings? Whatever their name, I'm thinking I'm too old/fat/curvaceous for such things.

  9. Thanks for making your book list so fun to read.

    I only read one book this month, but I really just listened to it, so I'm not sure it counts.

    If you haven't read The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio: How My Mother Rasied 10 Kids on 25 Words or less. It seems like a book you'd enjoy.

  10. I have The Book Thief, you may borrow it. I LOVED it. I get most of the books I read from your reviews, thanks for taking the time to do them!

  11. Wow. From your dance picture, I would've hated you in high school. Then again, I would've hated me in high school. Stupid skinny brat. Didn't know how good she had it.

    Wasn't the Silver Fox awesome today?

  12. I can send you my copy of The Book Thief - you really need to read it.

    And have you read Never Let Me Go? I'd love to have a "book conversation" with you some day!!

  13. I loved reading your commentary in regards to My Formerly Hot Life. I can so relate. I have 4 hours this year, and haven't taken my kids grocery shopping in a few months. I am loving this stage.

  14. Anonymous12:33 AM

    Your library method will keep you from reading any of the popular fiction books until they are about four years old. Until then they will be on hold lists and always checked out.

    I would loan you my copy of The Book Thief but I see that's been taken care of. Warning: I thought some of the writing devices in that book were really annoying in the first third of the book--but the story makes it worthwhile. So stick with it if, like me, you don't like writers being cutesily cleverish.

    I can also loan you my copy of The Help after my sister finishes it. That one's VERY worthwhile (and with no annoying writerly devices).

    I could believe a book that said "look less fat than you are," or "dress in a way that doesn't draw undue attention to your fat," or "wear cardboard boxes to conceal your size and shape," but "never look fat again" is obviously an impossible claim.

  15. I'm learning about logic in my Political Reasoning class and I can tell you that your Theory of Library Farmville Joblessness is completely valid.

  16. I hated The Book Thief. The title seems a little misleading, since it's not really about books or theft.

  17. I just discovered your blog. You make me laugh out loud! Thanks!


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