Monday, October 31, 2011

2012 Support Your Local Library Challenge - Signing Up!

As anyone who reads my blog knows... I'm not big on Challenges.  In fact, I signed up for my very first one this past April... and never got out of the starting gate!!  Not even one post!  Humiliation and failure! Life, and a last minute home purchase and move, just got in the way.

But...Jamie at The Eclectic Bookshelf has come up with a challenge I can really get into and may very well succeed at!  So long humiliation and failure!

2012 Support Your Local Library Challenge
Goes from January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012 

Level 1 - Read 12 library books 
Level 2 - Read 24 library books 
Level 3 - Read 36 library books 
Level 4 - Read 37+ library books

-Anyone can join.
-You don't need a blog to participate.  If you are a non-blogger, leave a comment with a link (if you review elsewhere) to your review or with the book(s) you read.
-Audio, ebooks, bound books are ok.
-No re-reads!
-Create a sign up post and post the link in the linky.

Because, for the most part, all the books I read are library books of one type or other...I think that I am going to succeed in this one. So...I'm going for the big prize! 

I'm challenging myself to LEVEL 4 - 37+ books from the library from 1/1/12 - 12/31/12!!!

I'll keep you updated as I move along...

Monday - 10/31/11

Sheila at Book Journey hosts this weekly event where we celebrate what we are reading for the week, as well as books completed the previous week.

Currently Reading:
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott) 
     - believe it or not, I have never read this
The Central Park Five (Sarah Burns)
Math for Grownups (Laura Laing)

Just Finished:
Pictures of Hollis Wood (Patricia Reilly Giff)
Not Afraid of Life (Bristol Palin)
Go The F**k to Sleep ( Adam Mansbach)
Crossing the Water (Daniel Robb) 

On Deck: 
Life Is Not a Stage: From Broadway Baby to a Lovely Lady and Beyond 
(Florence Henderson) 

Sunday Salon - 10/30/11

Happy Halloween (weekend)!

Hopefully everyone is enjoying the festivities, whether it be an actual Halloween event, or just a celebration of the season. Having no children, and having just moved, we are not sure what the holiday holds for us. We bought candy, just in case, and lit the fireplace this weekend for the first time. It was very calming...and fit in perfectly with the 3-6 inches of snow we got this weekend!

The house wasn't quite ready for the weather...but we were close.

This weekend starts off another show at my theater, Seussical. It should be fun! And I'm hoping for just a few more memberships before year end...if they are coming, it will be during this show.

I had a productive reading weekend, finishing a few books. Reviews will follow soon!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday's Fave Five - 10/28/11

Welcome to Friday's Fave Five.  It's Friday so that makes it time to look back over our week and look for those things we are grateful for.  It may be big or it may be small and you have to dig for it, but there are always things we can be thankful for.  Please join us as we share our favorite five.  If you need the guidelines they are here.

  1. Finishing a book that, while I was enjoying it, was just taking me forever to get through. Not sure why, but I was slogging through this one, despite the fact that I actually enjoyed it. Weird.
  2. Getting three grants sent out this week at work...of the 10+ going out over the next few weeks! Yeah us!
  3. Performing at a local senior's home with my a cappella group - fun, friendship and fame!
  4. Setting up a massage appointment for this weekend - can't wait.  Hoping the pending snow storm doesn't screw it up!
  5. Friday!  'Nough said!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Coraline - Gaiman

Coraline by Neil Gaiman is the story of a recently uprooted, lonely and ignored girl who dreams into existence her own "other" world. Beyond a bricked up doorway in her family's apartment she finds her "other mother", who has created an "other life" for little Coraline, complete with flat-mates who know her correct name ("It's Coraline, not Caroline"), delicious meals, and a bedroom full of color, clothing and toys.  But most of all, her "other mother" offers her something she doesn't get at home...attention.

But sometimes attention is not all its cracked up to be. The "other mother's" attention may be a bit too much. In fact, she is willing to stop at nothing to keep Coraline in the "other" world. Coraline must break free of this other world, both physically and mentally, and come to appreciate all she has in her real world.\

A short read, this book was cute, though clearly written for children with active imaginations. Maybe I'm getting old, but I just couldn't get into it enough to truly envision the "other world" fully. Though I've never seen it, I am sure the recently made movie was fabulous. I wish I'd known of this book years ago. 

For children:  
4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.

For adults: 
3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

More opinions at:
IMCPL Kids Blog


Teaser Tuedays - 10/25/11

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along, just do the following:
-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page - BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS 
-Share the title and author too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers...

My Teasers:

"'Look for words that begin with W,' my teacher, Mrs. Evans had said...

'This is a picture of a family, Hollis. A mother, M, a father, F, a brother, B, a sister, S. They're all standing in front of their house, H. I don't see one W word here.'

I opened my mouth to say: How about W for wish, or W for want, or W for 'Wouldn't it be loverly,' like the song the music teacher had taught us?"

Pictures of Hollis Woods, Patricia Reilly Giff, pg. 1

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday - 10/24/11

Sheila at Book Journey hosts this weekly event where we celebrate what we are reading for the week, as well as books completed the previous week.

Currently Reading:
Pictures of Hollis Wood (Patricia Reilly Giff)
Math for Grownups (Laura Laing)

Just Finished:
Crossing the Water (Daniel Robb) 
- I'm so close to done, I'm going to call this finished
On Deck: 
Sing You Home (Jodi Picoult)

Sunday Salon - 10/23/11

A bit behind this week. My fiance has my computer unplugged while he works on another, so I was without it this weekend.

I had jury duty this week (...ah the beloved American tradition, right up there with apple pie, no?!).  Though I haven't been called in years,  I was called shortly after I moved in April ('don't it figure'), and since I don't look particularly good in stripes, I wasn't about to no-show.

My paperwork was clear that I had moved, but the court officer left it to the judge.  After sitting through introductions, the video, a break, the case explanation/questions and being told that the case would last 2 and 1/2 weeks minimum(!), the judge asked if anyone thought there was reason they should not sit on the jury. Nor surprisingly, I was one of the few who did not respond. 

At that point, I thought for sure I was stuck. But I was one of the first folks called and was released for the day because I am in a different county and therefore out of their jurisdiction. Thank goodness! I don't mind doing my share for my country and all...but 2 and 1/2 weeks, seriously?!

My membership drive is holding steady but our next production, Seussical, is coming up quickly. I hope to build my numbers by at least a few more!

I also had a private performance with my a cappella group Saturday, which went very well. And Sunday was another fix-the-house day. So this week was a slow reading week. I hope to finish the book I'm currently reading tonight and move on to a YA/children's novel I've been wanting to read for years, Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff.

What are you reading this week?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Teaser Tuesday - 10/18/11

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! 

Just do the following:
-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
-Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
-LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!


My Teasers:

"We stopped in the house. It was rough-hewn within, with huge knees taken from ancient boats wrecked on the island's coast used as beams and supports. A massive wood-burning stove and chimney stood in the center...; homemade couches gathered around another big wood stove there, and books lined the walls. This was home"

Crossing the Water (Daniel Robb), pg. 25

It does sound homey, doesn't it?!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Speak - Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak is well-known and highly acclaimed.

The story of a young teen trying to find herself after experiencing a rape at a party at the start of her freshman year in high school, she finds herself hiding literally, in janitorial closets, and figuratively by avoiding speaking.  Since her friends (and, in fact, the entire school) has shunned her for calling the police during the party, there is no one with whom she can communicate. What can she say? No one would believe her as the rapist is a well-known and like football player.

But she is still valued and loved by some, least of all by herself. And ultimately she finds her way out of her closet.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I vaguely recalled the story...I'm not sure if someone told me about it, if I saw the movie, or if its just similar to another story. But it was interesting anyway. And, I felt it was quite in touch with how teens (at least teens 10 years ago) thought. I can't help but wonder why I took so long reading it...

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

more opinions at:
Fyrefly's Book Blog
Maw Books Blog

Transition - Bono

In his memoir Transition, Chaz Bono (formally Chastity, the only child of Sonny and Cher) recounts his life from childhood through his present 40-something years.  Despite having written previous autobiographies, in Transistion he opens up and admits to deeper secrets, about not feeling like the growing and maturing woman his body indicated he was, about not quite fitting into the lesbian community despite being attracted to woman and years of working as an advocate for the community.  

After almost 30 years, Chaz finally admits his inner struggle and accepts that he is not who nature has told him he is. He admits to himself, and ultimately his family, friends and the public, that he is a man. He is not, and has never been, the little cherubic, blond girl the public remembers from his parents television show from the 1970's. 

He is so "OK" with that fact that the reader can not help but be also.  In fact, he is relieved. He no longer needs to live a lie for others' sake. And, despite spending his life bending to the needs of others, he finally takes control of his life.  Though it takes his family members a while to adjust to what many already knew, he ultimately finds acceptance. And, with the love and strength of his family, friends and bi-sexual girlfriend, he embarks on the process to change his physical gender to match his inner existence, having his breasts removed and taking hormone therapy to transition his body from female to male (FTM). He even speaks candidly, though briefly, about his plans to move forward with additional surgery and how he and his fiance live with their decision.

This memoir was surprisingly readable. Bono has a writing style that puts you at you are sitting on his couch and chatting over a coffee. Admittedly, at moments, I'd wished he had remembered that we barely knew each other, those few moments of "TMI" (too much information) were rare and were presented in a manner that avoided too much discomfort.

This book has been described as "groundbreaking" and "candid", and it is likely both. Though there are many books on GLBT issues, I know of only a few about transgender issues, none of which were written by a celebrity. While I would typically consider this book a "3", read it or not. In this case, I think that just about everyone could learn a little something about acceptance and being different. Therefore, I consider this book...

4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.

more opinions at:

Monday - 10/17/11

Sheila at Book Journey hosts this weekly event where we celebrate what we are reading for the week, as well as books completed the previous week.


Currently Reading:
Crossing the Water (Daniel Robb)
Math for Grownups (Laura Laing)

Just Finished:
Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson)
Transition (Chaz Bono) 

On Deck: 
To be determined...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sunday Salon - 10/16/11

Life this week was less chaotic, thank goodness, though just as busy. Less stress at work and Saturday being lazy, reading and taking a break from "the house". Today will be busy though, back to the grind!

I was reminded again this week of how much I read as a child, but still cannot figure out what the heck I was reading since there are so many fabulous children's books out there that I have never read (Charlotte's Web, Little House on the Prairie series, etc.). I recall lots of Judy Blume...but that's about it.  Yet, I read constantly...WHAT was I reading?!

So, on my weekly library trip I grabbed a bunch of books that I have been meaning to read for a while from my new library's fabulous kid's section. I'm looking forward to digging in and, attempting at least, to read both a child's book and an adult book simultaneously. We'll see how that goes as I don't typically read more than one at a time.

What are your reading plans for the week?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Book Blog Hop - 10/14-17/11

Are you a book blogger? Are you a reader? Then welcome to the place where all of us connect over the weekend and chat about books!

How it Works

As long as you meet the qualifications of a book blogger, you may add your book blog link into the linky list below. But before you do that, there are a few requirements. Read up, to save yourself a headache with the linky! :) 

1. Before you add your link, you must post about the Hop on your blog and link directly back to THIS POST (not just my domain, but the direct post for this Hop). The linky is going to review the link that you enter in your submission, looking for a link to this post on your blog. If it doesn’t find one, your link will not be approved. This is called back linking and I had to institute it because people were taking advantage of the Hop and getting some free advertising without promoting the Hop themselves. You can read more about this here.

2. While you are creating your post, answer the following question (there’s a new prompt each week)!

3. Now it’s time to enter your blog link into the linky below (after the list of instructions!).


  • Click on: You are next – Click here to enter
  • A new page will open
  • In the “Link Title/Blog Title” box, please enter the NAME OF YOUR BLOG and in parentheses after your blog name, please state the main genre that you review (i.e. Crazy-for-Books (contemp. fiction))
  • In the “Link” box, please put a direct link to your blog hop post
  • There is a note about the Back Link requirement. Please make sure you have linked back to this blog hop post in the post on your blog or your link will not be accepted! Be sure to read this important note!
  • Please enter your e-mail address in the box provided in case I need to contact you about your link submission.
  • The list is randomized, so your link will not appear in a specified order. If you are looking for your link, I suggest you do a Ctrl-F on your PC keyboard and type a few letters of your blog name so you can find it easily.

That’s it! Now you can start hopping around, visiting other links in the list, meeting fellow bloggers and chatting about their blogs and books they are reading. If you aren’t a blogger, this is a great opportunity for readers to find new sites to follow and meet some new friends who enjoy reading the same things that they do! I strongly encourage you to take some time to visit these blogs and spend some time with your blog friends. We all work hard on our sites and we enjoy getting company, so let’s read more than just the blog hop post – let’s connect! That’s what the Hop was created for! :) Happy Hopping!

“What is your favorite spooky book (i.e. mystery/suspense, thriller, ghost story, etc.)?”

My Answer: 
I am, admittedly, not at all a fan of mysteries, suspense or ghost stories. I read quite a bit in high school, but lost my taste for it when bad things started happening whenever I read them...


For example, I had stopped reading Stephen King for this reason. Then, I started reading a book one day without realizing who the author was.  An hour or so later, my prom date called to inform me he couldn't go after all. I was heartbroken, and stumped since he was just a friend (no weird date issues there).  When I sat down a bit later, I discovered the SK thing... I dumped the book, literally, and the next day my date called and all was fixed. The prom was back on.  Silly and superstitious, perhaps, but this sort of thing has happened to me more than once!

But...if I had to choose, I would go with a classic like Steven King's Carrie. A great story and I can't help but envision Sissy Spacek covered in blood!

See?!  I just tried to upload a picture and it wouldn't upload...then it froze my computer!  I'm just saying...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Library Loot - 10/19/11

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.   

Currently, I have the following library loot on hand:

New Loot:

Leftover Loot:
No Way Down / Graham Bowley
The Talk Funny Girl / Roland Merillo
Sing Me Home / Jodi Picoult
The Central Park Five / Sarah Burns
Tiger, Tiger / Margaux Fragoso
Transition / Chaz Bono
Little Princes / Connor Grennon
Coraline / Neil Gaiman.
Daughters of the revolution : a novel / Carolyn Cooke.
Mosaic : pieces of my life so far / Amy Grant.

Loretta Lynn : Coal miner's daughter / Loretta Lynn, with George Vecsey.
The hour I first believed : a novel / Wally Lamb.
Don't kill the birthday girl : tales from an allergic life / Sandra Beasley.
Bringing Adam home : the abduction that changed America / Les Standiford with Detective Sergeant Joe
Hope's boy : a memoir / Andrew Bridge.

Not without my sister / Celeste Jones, Kristina Jones and Juliana Buhring.
The Road, Cormac McCarthy.
My stolen son : the Nick Markowitz story / Susan Markowitz with Jenna Glatzer.
Crossing the water : eighteen months on an island working with troubled boys--a teachers memoir.
Lost in Shangri-la : a true story of survival, adventure, and the most incredible rescue mission.
The orchard / Theresa Weir.
Rush Home Road : a novel / Lori Lansens.
The truth is-- : my life in love and music / Melissa Etheridge with Laura Morton.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tuesday Teaser - 10/11/11

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
-Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:
"The kids behind me laugh so loud I know they're laughing at me. I can't help myself. I turn around. It's Rachel... If there is anyone in the entire galaxy I am dying to tell what really happened, it's Rachel. My throat burns."

Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson), pg. 4-5

Let’s Talk Music!

Music Meme

(borrowed from Life...with Books  who borrowed it from others who borrowed it from others...)

This is right up my alley...

1.  What’s the most annoying song in the world? There are too many to pick one...

2.  What’s the saddest song in the world? I recall distinctly standing in my mother's bedroom in the mid-70's and crying hysterically to the song Wildfire by Michael Martin Murphey about a pony who runs away in a blizzard and who's owner dies from heartbreak looking for him (or something like that). I was no more 5 or 6 years old.  My mother was terrified, if I remember correctly, thinking I was hurt or something. I was a sensitive child...
3.  What’s the sexiest song in the world? I would have to say Juicyfruit, a 1980's hit by Mtune:

"I’ve had a few
But not that many
But you’re the only love
That gives me good and plenty..."

4.  Name a new, to you, band or music artist that you can’t get enough of. I can't get enough Miranda Lambert. Though she isn't really new, that girl can write!

5.  Have you met any famous musicians? Uh, yes... I performed my first show with my theater, The Footlight Club, in the 1980's (I was about 13) and one of the little boys in my show's kid group, Joseph McIntyre, would go on to New Kids on the Block fame. His family is still involved in the theater, so every once in a while he pops in for a show.

6.  What song best describes your life? I have to think about this one...

7.  How important is your partner’s taste in music to you? Not very, to either of us. Hubby spent years perfecting and eventually teaching speed metal guitar.  He is also really into jazz. I have interest in neither. He has no interest in my country fixation, but he puts up with it because he's a good guy.

8.  Do you sing in the shower? Yes, all the time.

9.  What was the last live music show you attended?  Did you buy a T-shirt?  My last live show was my own, but from the t-shirt question I am assuming that is not what you mean, so... I rarely go to shows, I just hate crowds and having to wait to get out of parking lots!  But, last summer I turned 40 and everyone figured tickets were a great gift. So I saw the Eagles/Dixie Chicks/Keith Urban show, the Tim McGraw/Lady Antebellum show, and Lilith Fair. I bought t-shirts at none.
10.  What’s the sweetest song in the world? The sweetest song I can think of is the lullaby my mother used to sing to my sister and I when we were babies, All The Pretty Horses.

11.  Can you play a musical instrument?  I can play some basic piano and guitar. I am fluent in neither. I am, however, a very good singer.

12.  Are you in a band or are you a performing solo music artist?  If yes, what kind of music do you play? I sing in a four-woman a Capella group called Purely Vocals. We sing a variety of songs from the 1940's to the 1980's, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy to Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. I also sing solo, but live performances are rare.

13.  Have you ever dated a musician? Yes, still do.

14.  Are you a groupie? Depends on how you define "groupie". I don't follow anyone around insanely.

Bonus:  If you listen to the radio, what station and type of music are you tuned to the most? I listen to 102.5 Cat Country (country music) most of the time. Otherwise, it's either local soft rock or classic rock stations.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday - 10/10/11

Sheila at Book Journey hosts this weekly event where we celebrate what we are reading for the week, as well as books completed the previous week.


Currently Reading:
Speak (Laurie Halse Anderson)
Transition (Chaz Bono)
Math for Grownups (Laura Laing)

Just Finished:
Knowing Jessee (Marianne Leone)

On Deck:
Losing My Faculties: A Teacher's Story (Brendan Halpin)

Knowing Jesse - Leone

Marianne Leone's Knowing Jesse is a heartbreaking and moving novel about the too short life of her son.  Though some might recognize the author's name, she is an actress known most recently for her work on The Soprano's, this memoir is by no means about her or her well known actor husband, Chris Cooper (The Bourne Identity, etc.). 

This book is most definitely about the wonderful but all too short life of Jesse, her son, who is born ten weeks early and who, due to a medical episode, was left with cerebral palsy.  He was quadriplegic and non-verbal and spent his seventeen years struggling with horrible seizures. But he is also fiercely smart and, with the right opportunities, capable.

The first half of this book is almost excruciating. Leone is understandably heartbroken. The chapters share her pain and sadness all too well. I like to read memoirs about people's challenges and growth...but I almost put the book down. It was all just a bit too depressing for me. 

But, it was worth hanging on. The books segues seamlessly into a discussion of how Leone and her husband fought for their son's education. It is the 80's and inclusion is just a developing idea.  She has moved her family from New York to the south shore of Massachusetts as she is told her son will have better opportunities there, but ends up facing a battle. Not everyone understands the concept of handi-capable, not even the Director of Special Ed in her town, who is heard making a comment about how funds are wasted on "these children" as they will offer society nothing. Seriously!!  But this woman is a fighter! She teams up with other families in the area and forces the town to offer her child the education he deserves.

I am glad I read through my initial feelings. I really enjoy stories about education and schools and it was interesting reading about her battles through the system. This book was really very good and though Jesse passes away too quickly, as Leone says the only way to really find Jesse in this world without him is to "be present in the world" and to connect with others.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

more reviews at:

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Sunday Salon - 10/9/11


This has been a productive and beautiful weekend in Mass., and tomorrow is still before me with the day off. Dave and his buddy continued working on the house, which is slowly getting winter-ready, while I worked inside rearranging the living room and cleaning. We await the roofers, any day now, and have decided to contract with a friend's nephew to do some carpentry work. And home depot has a great deal on insulation this weekend, so we are going to buy it while we can and lay it ourselves. At this rate, we may just be ready for the cold!

Work was crazy this week! "Just one of those days" for several days in a row...  I barely survived.  No more need by said. 

I was able to put on my own pair of sneakers for the first time in six months today. The little things that bring us joy! They were tight on the healing foot, but it gave me hope that all those Danskin shoes I bought in the months before breaking my foot will not go to waste!

My membership drive is in a lull, but we have another show opening in just a few short weeks, Seussical. I expect it will pick up again during the production. Then, though we will have three shows left, it will really slow down and become about looking forward to planning next year's drive. It's been a good year so far and I am proud of what I've accomplished. Now I just have to figure out how to beat it next year!

The Wave - Strasser

The Wave by Todd Strasser is a young adult book that is based on a true incident that occurred in a high school history class in California in 1969.  

During a discussion of World War II and Nazis, students question the reality of the events they have heard.  They can not believe that people would not have known what was occurring or that they would follow along like sheep. So, the teacher begins an unsanctioned classroom experiment. 

He creates an organization called The Wave and sparks something in the students. He convinces them to take part in the group and to draw other students in.  Only after the project begins to get out of control, students threatening others who do not want to join and events of prejudice in the name of The Wave's authority, does the teacher find himself forced to show the students that they have joined their own little Nazi-regime.

The premise of this book was quite interesting.  However, it was an older young adult book, written in the 1980's.  Therefore, it was quite simple and short.  It neglected to really get into the meat of the event and read more like a novel, so as to keep young adult's attention. 

In my opinion, the quality of young adult books has gotten better since this was written. I would love to read a "newer" version that expects more of teens readers. But, the story was interesting enough that I'm glad I didn't miss this version.

2/5- Just okay.  Choose with extreme prejudice.

more reviews at:
Read Me Book Blog

From This Moment On - Twain

Shania's Twain's From This Moment On offers sad stories about her childhood, including her family's struggles with poverty, as well as the spousal abuse her mother experienced and the "just-on-the-edge" sexual and verbal abuse Shania faced at the hands of her stepfather. Though, she reminds the reader again and again that she holds no grudges, seeing him as a good person who took on more than his fair share out of the kindness of his heart.

She writes about the loss of her parents and how this changed her life. She found herself no longer being able to stay with boyfriends and friends in "the city", having to return home to deal with her parents "estate", a home and a tree planting business as well as several siblings.  Strangely, this parenting lasted only until her younger brothers were about 16, which I found strange, but maybe life in Canada is/was different than here in the U.S.

She then shares her experiences of a decade of breaking into country music and her whirlwind life trying to stay on top.  She then goes on to offer her view of the breakdown of her marriage, after finding out that her husband was in fact cheating on her with a close friend.

Overall, this book was quite interesting.  It was fairly well written and I enjoyed hearing about her life.

However, I couldn't help but cringe at a few things...

First, the whole "my stepfather was a good guy" thing - poverty or not, parenting children who are not yours or not, you just don't beat on your wife and verbally abuse your kid, repeatedly!  Second, through the whole discussion about the adultery, she goes out of her way to make it clear what a horrible thing her "friend" did to her. Clearly it was very hurtful. I get that.  But there is very little responsibility put on her cheating husband. Now, maybe that is part of the divorce decree, or maybe she is just trying to keep the peace. But, "Come On Over" girl, it takes two to tango! 

I understand writing the book was cathartic and even she laughs at herself when she takes pot-shots at the ex-friend. But, maybe it was all just a bit raw still. Maybe she should have waited just a while longer to release it to the public... Then again, there is always something fun about reading someone get in a few good jabs at someone who has done something shitty and deserves it!

Overall, it was a good read and worth a library trip.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

more reviews at:
The Road Less Travelled 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tuesday Teaser - 10/4/11

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
-Grab your current read
-Open to a random page
-Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
-Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teasers:

"In my cruel and complacent youth, I made fun of people who talked funny, like my mother, or Joe "Me-do", the brain-damaged guy who was the church janitor and could only say "me-do" about his chores."

Knowing Jesse (Marianne Leone)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Monday - 10/3/11

Sheila at Book Journey hosts this weekly event where we celebrate what we are reading for the week, as well as books completed the previous week.


Currently Reading:
Knowing Jessee (Marianne Leone)
Math for Grownups (Laura Laing)

Just Finished:
From This Moment On (Shania Twain)
The Wave (Todd Strasser)

On Deck:
Losing My Faculties: A Teacher's Story (Brendan Halpin)

Monday, October 03, 2011

A joke to make your day!

Never Argue with a Woman...

One morning, the husband returns the boat to their lakeside cottage after several hours of fishing and decides to take a nap.

Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out. She motors out a short distance, anchors, puts her feet up, and begins to read her book.

The peace and solitude are magnificent.

Along comes a Fish and Game Warden in his boat.

He pulls up alongside the woman and says, 'Good morning, Ma'am. What are you doing?'

'Reading a book,' she replies, (thinking, 'Isn't that obvious?')

'You're in a Restricted Fishing Area,' he informs her.

'I'm sorry, officer, but I'm not fishing. I'm reading.'

'Yes, but I see you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment. I'll have to take you in and write you up.'

'If you do that, I'll have to charge you with sexual assault,' says the woman.

'But I haven't even touched you,' says the Game Warden.

'That's true, but you have all the equipment. For all I know you could start at any moment.'

'Have a nice day ma'am,' and he left.

Never argue with a woman who reads... It's likely she can also think!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Sunday Salon - 10/2/11

Happy Sunday everyone!

I've never in my life had any issues with allergies... No hay fever, food allergies, nothing, nada.  Then, about 2-3 years ago, I suddenly began experiencing allergy attacks (5-10 minute sneezing fits followed by terribly itchy eyes, which I just could not avoid touching, which in turn made them swell up like balloons, along with running nose and eyes, etc.). After accusing everything in my home of causing them, and being able to confirm nothing, I finally decided that it was something I was eating...candies with hazelnuts in them. I stopped eating them and voila, bye-bye allergy attacks for over two years!

So, I was very surprised to find myself this week once again smack dab in the middle of an attack, but I swear no hazelnuts!  So, again, I'm running through the household... I've been here 6 months, and no problems whatsoever, so its not likely the air (or rugs, or the cat, etc., etc.). But, it is my first autumn here, maybe its local plants or something.  But a couple days later, I'm over it. Totally fine.  It has to be something I ate once again. Hmmm...besides the things I eat regularly, walnuts.

Have you ever heard of that - developing allergies to foods, specifically tree nuts, later in life? Well, I've got a doctor's appointment later this week to begin my journey down the allergists trail. I will be truly bummed if I am in fact developing tree nut allergies. I LOVE cashews, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, etc. But at least I will know and can avoid the horrific discomfort that comes with such an attack. Interestingly though, no problems with peanuts, which are not a tree nut. Maybe I'll get lucky there... I hope so as I eat peanut butter often.

Anyway, other than that is was a busy weekend at the theater with our production's last two days.  But, I sold several more memberships...

Current 2011-2012 membership drive totals: 248!