Monthly Archives: September 2011

Book ’em Dann-o

“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”
― Louisa May Alcott, Work: A Story of Experience

“It’s not right for a woman to read. Soon she starts getting *ideas*, and *thinking*…”
-Gaston, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

I really hate quotes. Worse than re-posting quotes is starting a blog post with them. But if you allow me to break my own rules for a moment…These two reading/book related quotes really amuse me as a woman and a life-long reader.

Dr. Seuss, Judy Blume, classical literature, teen romance – from the time I was 2 years old, I was reading (OK, OK, my mom said I had Green Eggs and Ham memorized so I wasn’t really READING, but it impressed the hell out of company). Reading didn’t stop at just novels, I read encyclopedias (SERIOUSLY), mythology (I fell asleep with D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths almost nightly), magazines, newspapers, cereal boxes, you name it. If it had words and was made of paper, you could find me buried nose-deep in it.

When it comes to novels, I’m a love ’em and leave ’em kind of gal. Reading a book more than twice is like trying to rewrap opened Christmas presents; you can’t fashion that same amount of surprise and wonder at the reveal. Once in awhile, I read something that’s a definite keeper and demands that it be read again and again (and again!!).

And in the last 20 years, I have only read 10 books more than once.

The Stand by Stephen King

I read this one at least 3 times (and want to read again very soon!). I read the unabridged 1200+ page version twice and the abridged TV movie version once. One of the three times I read this was during college lectures. I mean, who wants to listen to the professor drone on about WWI when you can read about the battle for the end of times??

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This was required reading in high school (I think…it was required for something in school). I loved it so much that I read it a couple of years later too. I’m so fascinated with the 1920s – the glimmer and shimmer and excess.

Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck

High school taught me to hate John Steinbeck. The Grapes of Wrath was my near undoing and almost put me off on Steinbeck forever. Good thing I gave him another chance, or I would never have discovered this heartbreaking tale.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I originally read this when I was 9 (I was at a high school reading level back then) and then twice more as an adult. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book and it is one of my all time favorites.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

SAT time – Twilight : 2000s as Thriller : 80s. EVERYONE has a copy and whether they admit it or not, they have read it. And I have read it twice. It’s dreamy and lyrical with that relatable a bit of teenage self loathing. And yes, it features vampires. Your point?

Sphere by Michael Crichton

In the 90s I refused to read anything unless it was Crichton. I just couldn’t find any other books with his blend of realistic sci-fi/drama/fantasy. This was back when you searched for books with the card catalog so no lip on “you should have searched the internet”. Sphere was a psychological mind-f*ck. It’s too bad that the movie really sucked, because the book was AMAZING.

Congo by Michael Crichton

Again with the Crichton. I had this ambitious idea that I wanted to be an anthropologist in the early 90s, so naturally I was hooked on the idea of communicating apes. Again, the movie was a pit of suck; the book was 500x more amazing.

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice

I actually took a lit class in college where this was one of the required readings. SCORE! I had read it the year before, but loved reading it again and picking it apart.

Edge of Midnight by Shannon McKenna

I can’t believe I put this on the list because all the other ones are very literary or pop culture tomes. This is straight up romantic suspense and admittedly is very trashy. Not trashy in the sense of bad, but explicit. VERY explicit. But it is GOOD – the storyline, the characters. She has a way of writing danger that seems very real and you think that the main characters are not going to make it.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This is where the idea for this blog post all started. To be honest, I have only read this once but the second time around is coming soon. In 2009 I heard about this amazing book over and over. OK, I told myself. Just buy the damn thing and read it. I bought it and it sat on my shelf for 2 years! I finally picked it up a month ago and was HOOKED. This book has it all – 3D characters, plot, dialogue, themes out the wazoo. And it keeps you thinking LONG after you’ve read it.


Mr. Watson, come here. I have lockjaw.

Circle the correct description for this photo:

a. Sanford & Son starter kit
b. A million gleaming tetnus shot needles
c. Recycling bin renegade
d. Telephone

My 6-year-old son found this old rusted can in the yard this weekend. His immediate reaction to unearthing this beauty…let’s make a telephone out of it.

My husband’s immediate reaction…let’s make a CORDLESS telephone out of it. Meaning, no assembly required; instant fun accomplished.

Most of you will read this and have a couple of different reactions: 1. Your husband isn’t very handy if he can’t tie string to a can OR 2. You live in a polio pit of germy nastiness.

MY reaction to the whole tin can phone business, how did my 6-year-old know about this? It’s not like you see SpongeBob and Patrick using tin can telephones.

However he came up with this idea, I’m grateful for one thing (well, many things actually but for the purpose of this blog, just the one). In this Wii/smartphone/300+ channel world, my kid doesn’t need technology for fun. He can make his own fun with found treasure from our backyard.

Wanna peek at my junk?

Everyone has at least one: The catch-all spot where stray puzzle pieces, bits of school supplies, takeout soy sauce packets and book matches hibernate until needed.

It’s the home junk drawer; the one space in your home where clutter is completely permissible.

Let’s face it, nothing conjures more household mysticism than the junk drawer.  Missing die for Yahtzee? Pink packet of sweetener for Auntie June? Extra key to that diary you had when you were 6? Some random bit to keep your day flowing? It’s all guaranteed to be in this designated spot.

While my home junk drawer is definitely magical, I’m not going to talk about its contents in this blog. Not only would that be dreadfully boring, but I would probably run out of things to talk about in a couple of months.

‘Junk Drawer’ is the concept for my random, tangential writing style with the plan to focus on a myriad of topics. Food? Yep. Kids/parenting? Sure. Photography? Probably. Music?  You got it. Books? Hell yeah! Celebrities? Eh, maybe.

So stick around and keep checking back. I have a little something for everyone.

And just so I live up to the promise of this blog post title, here’s a peek at my junk. Enjoy!