Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

The Interestings is the very first book selection in the A Beautiful Mess Book Club and since I'm obsessed with Elsie and by default her sister I thought it would be fun to join in. At the time this book was only available in hardcover and I almost always wait until books come out in paperback but I had a gift card from my nephew so I lived large and got it.

The story is about a group of kids who become friends at a summer art camp and dub themselves "The Interestings." OMG I love coming of age stories and these are artistic kids too! I was pumped. After we meet them they grow up and...don't do very many interesting things. The story dragged on and on but I have a pretty strict finish-it-if-I-start-it policy because I'm an optimist and always think the story can come around at the end. Not the case here. In addition, one of my favorite characters didn't even get a wrap-up at the end. Boo.

But one part made me laugh. Jules, one of the main characters, was about to have sex in a bunk bed with her boyfriend and didn't want to climb up the ladder first because she was self-conscious about him watching her from behind. So she goes:

"After you, kind sir," she said--oh God, had she really said that? And why? Was she pretending to be a Victorian prostitute?--sweeping out her arm.

LOL! It just seems like a dorky move I would make.

Here's another quote I liked:

"There was this Grimms' fairy tale that our mother used to read us," she said. "A brother and sister run off into the woods to get away from their evil stepmother. It's always a stepmother, never a stepfather; even fairy tales are sexist."

I wanted so badly to like this book but I just didn't.

P.S. This book counts as my Work of Fiction from the New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2013 book for the Take It or Leave It Challenge. Is there something I'm not getting here?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Project Life May 2013

It's been awhile since I shared my pages but I'm still doing Project Life and loving it. I'm almost done with November.
This week documents a card for Teacher Appreciation Day, watching Dbacks baseball, Survivor, and Mad Men, rereading The Great Gatsby, having a clean-a-thon in the bedroom, and Captain enjoying the backyard.
Angi remembers me on Teacher Appreciation Day every year with a card mailed to the school. So thoughtful. Glad I have this Project as a place to display this super cool card and remind me of one of the many special things she does for me.
The Dbacks logo on the base is from some junk mail, and the Survivor sticker came with a Buff we bought. Reduce, reuse, recycle!
I have a postcard book featuring women in advertising through the years. I tore out this ad from 1962 which is when this season of Mad Men took place. I'm more likely to look at it in here than in the postcard book.
I saved the Chipotle bag, cut out the talk bubble, filled it with brown cardstock, and filled in my own journaling from the night (a run-on sentence but really this is for me right?). More waste saved from the recycle bin!
Spoiler alert from 2 Survivor seasons ago! Cochran wins, and Corey and I were very happy about it. I printed this pic off the internet.
Captain Skippyjon Jones loves relaxing in the "creepy crawly" and it makes for a nice photo op, don't you think? I just added a little scrapbook paper at the bottom.

Just a reminder for people who say scrapbooking is too expensive...on this entire page I only used 3 scraps of scrapbook paper, a post it note, and some letter stickers. The rest of the materials are things I had on hand or scavenged from my life that week, + photographs. You can do it too!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Something Missing by Matthew Dicks

I just read Something Missing with my book club. It's a good example of why I love my book club: I probably never would have picked out this book on my own, but it has exposed me to an author that I think is going to be a favorite!

Martin is a thief. He's different from other thieves because he breaks into the same houses repeatedly to steal things he thinks the owners won't notice are missing, such as a roll of toilet paper or a scoop of laundry detergent. It was fun for me to read about how he methodically catalogues the items in his "clients'" homes and the thing he takes. A part of me wishes I could be as OCD as him.

One member of my book club disliked Martin because she said he's just a criminal, but I grew to love Martin because he believed to have relationships with the homeowners even though he never met them, and he even cared about their lives. I love a story that makes you root for the bad guy.

This was truly a unique and exciting story. You should read it if you're ready for Something Different.

P.S. This book counts as my Book with a Walking or Standing Figure on the Cover for the Take It or Leave It Challenge.

Monday, February 17, 2014

VNSA Book Sale

Yesterday I went on my annual trip to the VNSA book sale with my friend Alana and her mom. It didn't seem like there were as many books this year, but I still managed to bring home 18 books for less than $30, and the money gets donated to Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation and Literacy Volunteers of Maricopa County!

I was most excited to find Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks, one of my new favorite authors, and Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan and The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown, both highly recommended on LibraryThing. I also needed a book by an author from Sub-Saharan Africa for a challenge and found The Granta Book of the African Short Story by Helon Habila.

Time to get reading...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

We read My Robot by Eve Bunting this week, so when I went to Target to get pencils for Valentine's Day I was psyched to see they had robot pencils and robot stickers. I also gave my first graders The 100th Day of School From the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler. The kids proclaimed me the best teacher ever. Yay.

P.S. Peace, Love and Robots is by Raina Gentry.