Tag Archives: books

My Horizontal Life (no, not MINE)

My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands by Chelsea Handler

My Review:  3 of 5 stars
I found this book to be both hilarious and depressing. It’s part independent-single woman takes charge of her sex life and part sad-pathetic-single woman looking for love in all the wrong orifices. It’s supposed to be a memoir, but at times it felt more like it was trying to force a punchline. Either way, Chelsea delivers a fun, racy, read of her sexual misadventures with this one and proves that she certainly is one of the guys.

Masturbation is a touchy subject.

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach

My Review:  4 of 5 stars
I got this as a bookray from bookcrossing and have since sent it on to the next person, but I may very well purchase a copy of my own. This is my kind of non-fiction. Never boring, filled with fascinating stories and research, and funny. More than you ever wanted to know about the science of sex…er, I mean sexual intercourse.

Harry Potter #6

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

My Review:  4 of 5 stars
I’m glad I waited as long as I did to read this. All of the spoilers and speculations I recall hearing at the time had completely slipped my mind when I finally picked up my copy to read. The characters have matured and the plot has become more complex without failing to persue the original storyline of Harry vs Voldemort. I’m looking forward to the 7th book as soon as it comes out in paperback!

My First Chuck Klosterman

Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman

My Review:  2 of 5 stars
Not as good as I’d hoped it to be. There were some relatable and humorous bits and pieces, but on the whole, I just got tired of listening to this guy “talk.”

P.S. He might have squeezed a third star out of me were it not for him claiming Pamela Anderson is the modern day Marilyn Monroe. May the fleas from one thousand camels infest his crotch for such treachery!

View all my reviews.

Not one of Picoult’s finest

Keeping Faith Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult

My Review:  3 of 5 stars
While it was worth reading, this was not one of Picoult’s better books. It felt a little too after-school-special and formulaic. Her usual twisty endings felt forced and weak in this story. I still enjoyed it, but after reading some of her other works, this one left me a little disappointed and didn’t have me asking as many questions of myself afterwards.

View all my reviews.

Books I Read in 2008

I had been keeping track of these on bookcrossing, but want to clean up my profile over there and not lose the list, so I’m putting it here for safe keeping.  😉

Books Read in 2008:
41. Me vs Me – Sarah Mlynowski
40. Life Laughs – Jenny McCarthy
39. The Black Dahlia – James Ellroy
38. Running With Scissors – Augusten Burroughs
37. The Good Guy – Dean Koontz
36. BOOKRING: Vanishing Acts – Jodi Picoult
35. The Night Crew – John Sandford
34. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
33. Blood Test – Jonathan Kellerman
32. She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb
31. The Darkest Evening of the Year – Dean Koontz
30. The Dead Fathers Club – Matt Haig
29. The Innocent – Harlan Coben
28. The Copper Beech – Maeve Binchy
27. Sex With the Ex – Tyne O’Connell
26. The Husband – Dean Koontz
25. The Voice of the Night – Dean Koontz, AKA Brian Coffey
24. Mercy – Jodi Picoult
23. 2nd Chance – James Patterson
22. True Believer – Nicholas Sparks
21. The Mark – Jason Pinter
20. Talk Talk – T.C. Boyle
19. How to Be Good – Nick Hornby
18. BOOKRING: The Book Thief
17. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
16. The Brooklyn Follies – Paul Auster
15. BOOKRING: Burnt Toast – Teri Hatcher
14. Hidden Prey – John Sandford
13. The Mermaid Chair – Sue Monk Kidd
12. Void Moon – Michael Connelly
11. The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night Time – Mark Haddon
10. Here On Earth – Alice Hoffman
9. A Million Little Pieces – James Frey
8. M is for Malice – Sue Grafton
7. BOOKRING: The Pact – Jodi Picoult
6. Naked Prey – John Sandford
5. Echo Park – Michael Connelly
4. The Room-mating Season – Rona Jaffe
3. Brother Odd – Dean Koontz
2. Perfect Nightmare – John Saul
1. Christine – Stephen King

Books Read in 2007
Books Read in 2006 (starting in May)

Goodreads: Me vs Me by Sarah Mlynowski

Me vs. Me Me vs. Me by Sarah Mlynowski

My Review:  3 of 5 stars
When Gabby Wolf wishes she could keep her fiance AND move to New York, she gets what she asked for in the way of living two seperate lives. Each night, she goes to sleep in one life and then wakes up in the other.

The double-life aspect of this was interesting. Like other reviewers have mentioned, I found myself loathing one Gabby and wishing she would grow a backbone. While one version of her grew, the other became more shrew-like and timid.

When the two “universes” collide, which of the Gabbys will remain? The confident, single television news producer or the engaged, jobless one who lets everyone else get their way?

I’m not telling.

One of Jenny McCarthy’s books

Life Laughs: The Naked Truth about Motherhood, Marriage, and Moving On Life Laughs: The Naked Truth about Motherhood, Marriage, and Moving On by Jenny McCarthy

My Review – 2 of 5 stars
I’ve never been a fan of McCarthy, but received a copy via bookcrossing from a friend of mine and decided to give it a chance.

This is a very short book, filled with several very short chapters that are really each very short stories. There is no cohesiveness between chapters. Each one reads as its own anecdote.

Perhaps because I am neither married nor a mother, I wasn’t as amused by Jenny’s quips on life. It didn’t make me laugh but there were a few chuckles. And I really don’t care if Jenny has a ring-around-her-asshole.

She’s Come Undone

She's Come Undone (Oprah's Book Club) She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb

My review  rating: 2 of 5 stars
I have to agree with some of the other reviews here. Poor Dolores is faced with every horrible thing a girl could face: abandoned by her father, a mental case mother, rape, bullying, and on and on….

Lamb rolls all of these things into one character so much that it becomes cliched and trite. Throw in the whales and it suddenly feels like dark comedy.

I enjoyed parts of the story and found some of the characters believable, but this book just jumps from one tragedy to another, with large bouts of poor judgment in between. It tries too hard, leaps too much, and ultimately, falls flat.

The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

The Darkest Evening of the Year The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz

My review
rating: 4 of 5 stars
When Amy Redwing rescues Nickie, a beautiful golden retriever, and takes her into her own home, it is clear that Nickie is a special animal. It also becomes clear that Amy has a past that is coming back to haunt her.

Not as horrifying as Koontz’s other works, this book manages to be suspenseful while weaving a sweet tale of a woman and her love of dogs. Golden retrievers to be specific.

The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig

The Dead Fathers Club The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig
rating: 3 of 5 stars
My review:  This book is told from the perspective of an 11-year old boy who has just lost his father. At the funeral, his father’s ghost appears with unsettling news about how he died and enlists his son’s help in seeking his revenge.

I liked the point of view from which this was told. Philip’s young voice and logic give a fresh look at this ghostly tale. His loyalty to his father and unquestioning belief in him shines through as he is asked to do the unthinkable.

View all my reviews.

The Innocent by Harlan Coben

The Innocent The Innocent by Harlan Coben

rating: 4 of 5 stars

My review:  An exciting, keep-you-guessing kind of story! Matt Hunter’s past comes back to haunt him when all the signs from three murders are pointing to him. But not before he begins to question his own wife, Olivia, after receiving odd photos from her cell phone of her with another man. Lots of twists and turns, this was a suspenseful book that kept me involved all the way to the final page.

View all my reviews.

Friday

My most anticipated day of the week has finally arrived.  It is sad, really, to look forward to the end of the work week so much.  Working for the weekend has real meaning to me now.

This evening I am going to relax, watch some movies, and maybe clean up around the house a little.  Or start reading something new.  I just finished reading How to Be Good by Nick Hornby and, while everyone raves about its sarcastic wit, it just left me feeling down.  So I think I’ll read something fluffier next.

Tomorrow night it’s dinner at PF Chang’s for a friend’s birthday.

Sunday, out to Fair Park for our employer-sponsored free weekend.  Mexigoalie and I went last year.  It was my first time to visit Fair Park for something other than the State Fair of Texas.  I enjoyed the flower gardens, the Hall of State, and the Musuem of Natural Science.  But not the walking around outdoors in the heat most of the day.  So this year, Mexigoalie, Nala, and V are coming with me and we’re planning to be there earlier in the day.  I’m just excited to have a chance to dust my cameras off again.  I haven’t been making nearly enough photographs lately.

That’s it for now.  Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

[x] Say cheese!

Books Read in 2007

I gave myself a goal of 60 books for 2007….and I just barely made it before the year ended!

Books I Read in 2007:

60. Bad Love – Jonathan Kellerman
59. Good Night, Nobody – Jennifer Weiner
58. J is for Judgment – Sue Grafton
57. Darkest Fear – Harlan Coben
56. All Around the Town – Mary Higgins Clark
55. Tart – Jody Gehrman
54. Cold Fire – Dean Koontz
53. A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby
52. 1st To Die – James Patterson
51. Secret Prey – John Sandford
50. The Nanny Diaries – McLaughlin and Kraus
49. At First Sight – Nicholas Sparks
48. Plain Truth – Jodi Picoult – One of my new favorite authors!
47. Love Overboard – Janet Evanovich
46. BOOKRING: Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood – Ann Brashares
45. Mind Prey – John Sandford
44. The Lincoln Lawyer – Michael Connelly
43. The Art of Undressing – Stephanie Lehmann
42. Night Prey – John Sandford
41. His Brother’s Fiance (Trueblood Texas) – Jasmine Cresswell
40. Winter Prey – John Sandford
39. The Knight in Rusty Armor – Robert Fisher
38. BOOKRING: Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood – Ann Brashares
37. BOOKRING: A Spot of Bother – Mark Haddon
36. BOOKRAY: My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult – LOVED IT!!!
35. Silent Prey – John Sandford
34. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan – Sophie Kinsella
33. Basket Case – Carl Hiaasen
32. The Wedding – Nicholas Sparks
31. BOOKRING: The Second Summer of the Sisterhood – Ann Brashares
30. INCOMPLETE: Straight Into Darkness – Faye Kellerman
29. Eyes of Prey – John Sandford
28. Prayers for the Dead – Faye Kellerman
27. Hannibal Rising – Thomas Harris
26. What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day – Pearl Cleage
25. False Prophet – Faye Kellerman
24. Night Shift – Stephen King
23. The Taking – Dean Koontz
22. Dating Without Novocaine – Lisa Cach
21. The Friendship Test – Elizabeth Noble
20. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
19. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro – Really unique, interesting story!
18. The Grief Recovery Handbook – John James & Russell Friedman – Everyone should read this!
17. The Cowboy Wants a Baby (Trueblood Texas) – Jo Leigh
16. BOOKRING: Marley & Me – John Grogran
15. Everyman – Philip Roth
14. Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination – Helen Fielding
13. Chosen Prey – John Sandford
12. The Collector – Cameron Cruise
11. BOOKRING: In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
10. Light Before Day – Christopher Rice
9. Pay It Down! From Debt to Wealth on $10 a Day – Jean Chatzky
8. The Total Money Makeover – Dave Ramsey
7. Forever Odd – Dean Koontz
6. Dead and Dateless: A Novel of Vampire Love – Kimberly Raye
5. Odd Thomas – Dean Koontz
4. BOOKRING: Flowers for Algernon – Daniel Keyes – Can’t believe I waited so long to read this!! Made it to my all-time faves list!
3. Easy Prey – John Sandford
2. BOOKRING: The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards
1. The Historian – Elizabeth Kostava

Your intuition…it will lead you in the right direction.

I finally finished Blink:  The Power of Thinking Without Thinking.  It was an interesting book and confirmed a lot of things that, subconsciously, I already knew (without thinking!).

“Insight is not a lightbulb that goes off inside our heads. 
It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.”

We often do ourselves more harm than good by overthinking things and end up confusing the issue.  The real trick is learning to acknowledge those flickering candles and when to follow your gut because, as this book illustrated time and again, it rarely leads you in the wrong direction.

How many times have you done something that you initally thought you shouldn’t?  But you talked yourself, or allowed yourself to be talked, into it because all logical thought indicated there was no reason not to.  And you end up wondering why you were ever hesitant to begin with.

I’ve done it throughout my life.  Quite a few times.  And every time, afterwards, I berated myself for not listening to my own intuitions.  It would’ve saved me, and often times others, a lot of agony and unneeded stress…

I knew, before I ever met Dr H, that I would not be attracted to him.  I knew he wasn’t my “type.”  I knew after spending 5 minutes with him that I didn’t like him like that.  And never would.  Alcohol and sex can’t change that.  I knew there was more to the story with Flirt.  I knew that camera stuff was odd.

I knew, almost every time that Asshole, aka Door #3,  told me he was “working late,” or had some elaborate story about something…even a seemingly innocent story.  I KNEW he was cheating.  But I made myself wait until I had proof.  Screw proof!  I KNEW!  That should’ve been enough.

I won’t bore you with more examples.  The point is…Sometimes, you just know things.  Don’t ignore that or second-guess it or try to explain it.  It happens.  And it’s a good thing.

 

Comments from the old blog:

gak – Jul 20, 06: Daisy!!!! i totally know what you mean. have you taken the myers-briggs- type deal at http://similarminds.com/jung.html

please please tell me that you have a very high “N” because i do too… and it couldn’t reinforce the meaning of this post any more strongly.

amen sistah– listen to your intuition.

xo-
gak, ENFP

Daisy- Jul 30, 06: We had to do the Myers-Briggs thing at work a few years back. I’ll have to go dig and find my result booklet, but I’m pretty sure I was INTJ.

Bookcrossing

I know this isn’t new, but I just recently found out about it and think it’s a fantastic idea!

You register your books on this site and are given a unique ID number to put inside each book (via your own labels or nifty ones you can order from them).  Then you “release” the book by leaving it in some random location, giving it to a friend, a stranger, whatever.  And you add a journal entry on the site for that book ID indicating when and where you released it.

The person who “catches” it is supposed to go to the site, enter the ID number, and create a journal entry indicating they have it.  Once they’ve read it, they should do the same thing and pass it on somehow.

I’m a nerd, I know.  But I love to read.  I don’t allow myself much time for it anymore, but like my photography, I’m trying to change that.  I buy books pretty often and now I won’t feel so bad about it, knowing that I have a good way to pass them on. 

You can also search on the site for books that have been released nearby.  And, if you’re so inclined, you can go searching for them.

I released my first 2 books on Monday.  One I left in the lobby at work, the other, I had Dr Honeydew leave at the airport.  I was sooo excited the next day to find that someone had already caught and journaled the book I left at work!  Very cool!  I know I shouldn’t expect that kind of result all the time, but it was a nice way to get my bookcrossing feet wet.  :)  Especially considering probably only about 10% of books are being journaled when caught it seems.  But maybe that will change as more and more people start doing it.  It’s like catch and release…..but for books. 

Click the banner on the top right of this page if you want to learn more about it.  And if you join, or are already a member, let me know!

That Ditsy Chick is at it again!

Yep.  Another tag.   And holy crap, is it long!!!  So I’d better get started…ok, let’s see.

4 Jobs I Have Had

  1. Catering – From junior high until early college, I did VIP catering at the local university.  Started out working concession stands with our church group, but ended up playing endentured servant at dinner parties held at the University President’s and Chancelor’s homes.  The Chancelor’s wife made us get those damned french maid uniforms (not the porn version, thankfully) for events at her house.  The first time we wore them, I was standing at the door greeting her guests with a tray of champagne.  And she had the nerve to comment about how “cute they look in their uniforms.”  I’ve never wanted to bash someone in the face with a silverplated tray more in my life.
  2. Office Manager at Rentronics – I met the manager in a pool hall while I was in college.  He was looking for a new office manager, I was looking for a part-time job.  I didn’t have to try and sell that crap to customers, just manage the paperwork and computer stuff.  He got fired several months later and the new manager (who apparently was a former manager) was forcing me to do sales so he could bring back his former office person.  Yeah.  I’m going to talk people into spending $10,000 over a few years on a used television.  I think NOT. 
  3. Crap Jewelry Store Manager – After Mission Jewelers shut down, the manager brought me over to manage a new little costume jewelry kiosk in the mall.  That was fun, until his drinking problem surfaced and I was being called at midnight to meet him at bars for “business meetings.”  The kiosk pretty much fell apart not long after, but he gave me the best damn reference that essentially guaranteed my getting my current job, which I started right after college.  Sort of.
  4. CG & Camera Operator for TV station – I wanted to do television production when I first started college.  Really, I wanted to film, but a scholarship to the local school kind of changed my mind for me.  So when I had an chance to get my foot in the door at a local news channel, I grabbed it.  After working the news for a few months, I decided that I would never ever be able to do that for a career. 

4 Movies I Could (and Do) Watch Over and Over Again

  1. Tombstone – Val Kilmer as Doc never gets old.
  2. Pretty in Pink – Jon Cryer as Duckie…I had the biggest crush on him after seeing this movie the first time.  He was my ideal man…when I was 12-18.  He could ride his bike past my house any time! 
  3. The Princess Bride – Just a fun (and also very quotable) movie. 
  4. Any Marilyn Monroe movie – some of my very favs are Some Like it Hot, River of No Return, and Gentleman Prefer Blondes

4 Places I Have Lived – I haven’t moved around much actually.  But here’s what I can come up with.

  1. Memphis, TN – don’t remember it, but I lived there for the first 11 months of my life
  2. Beaumont – with my parents and later in a trailer that was essentially in their backyard. 
  3. DFW area – in a townhome
  4. DFW area – in my very own first home!

4 TV Shows I Love – I don’t watch a lot of tv.  But I do watch a lot of tv shows on dvd after the seasons end.  I’m impatient and forgetful and can never remember the schedules.  So I just watch them all on dvd in a night or two.  Most of them aren’t even being made anymore.  :(

  1. Queer as Folk – I’ve only seen the first two seasons so far (I think the show ended after 5 seasons) but I absolutely love it.
  2. Six Feet Under – Another one I started watching after the show ended.  I’ve watched through the 4th season.  Very dark but also very human and touching.
  3. Carnivale – I still can’t believe those jerks at HBO cancelled this after only two seasons. 
  4. Most anything on HGTV – I love Designed to Sell, House Hunters, Landscaper’s Challenge, Decorator’s Challenge, Curb Appeal, etc.

4 Favorite Books – I read a lot, but in spurts.  I may go months and months without touching a book.  Then, the mood strikes and I’ll knock out 3 or 4 within a few weeks.  I can’t think of any individual favorites…hmmm…

  1. The Mayfair Witches Series by Anne Rice
  2. The Harry Potter books
  3. Most anything by Stephen King or Dean Koontz
  4. Dr. Seuss books – I think all of life’s lessons can be learned from these
  5. BONUS:  The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales

4 Places I Have Vacationed – I haven’t vacationed much, aside from the trips with the family growing up.  But here’s a few.  In a few months, I’ll get to add San Diego to the list!

  1. Memphis – Growing up, this was about the only place we ever got to visit.  It wasn’t until I was much older that we actually got to go out and see some of the city:  Beale Street (which is very cool), The Peabody Hotel, Graceland, etc.
  2. Seattle – Oldest brother, Dilbert, used to live there.  Got to go there a few times.  Pike’s Place Market was fun.  And of course, my beloved Fluevog store was there as well.
  3. France – My youngest brother, Duckie, and I got to go for 2 weeks the summer after my high school graduation.  I’d love to go back someday.
  4. Puerto Vallarta – Badass and I went for a week back in 2000.  Would like to go again someday as well, but with better company.

4 Websites I Read Every Day – Sadly, my job doesn’t allow me much time for daily visits anywhere these days.  But here’s the ones I try to hit as much as possible.

  1. My Blogroll Buddies
  2. Dallas Stars sites
  3. Yahoo 360 – similar to MySpace but cooler, unless you want the whole music scene
  4. Google – my quick source for everything 😛

4 Favorite Food (Groups)

  1. Salty
  2. Sweet
  3. Spicy
  4. Cheese

Tagging:  Anyone who wants to participate.  I’m lazy tonight.  Let me know if you post yours!  :)