Tuesday, April 29, 2008

LBC Freebie of the Day

Get a free sample of Emergen-C Pink Lemonade.


Friday, April 25, 2008

ONE PERFECT DAY by Rebecca Mead

I don't read a lot of nonfiction but when I saw Rebecca Mead's book, ONE PERFECT DAY: THE SELLING OF THE AMERICAN WEDDING, I was intrigued. I recently got married in July of 2006 and the whole experience is still fairly fresh in my mind. When going through the process of planning a wedding, I realized what a big racket...I mean...industry that wedding planning has become.

ONE PERFECT DAY examines the new trends in weddings and how the ways in which we approach weddings have changed in the last 100 years. We have come to accept certain things as acceptable simply because of the ways they have been marketed to us. Mead offers up interesting views of the wedding industry as well as changing traditions. I found the whole thing really interesting.

For example, I wondered why it is so hard to find a wedding dress under $1000. And then you have to order it months in advance?!! That seemed crazy to me. Mead spends an entire chapter on wedding dresses including the impact that off-the-rack stores such as David's Bridal have had on this segment of the wedding industry.

If you have recently gotten married, will be planning a wedding or are just fascinated with the process, I recommend this book. It might make you angry, however, to see how this institution has been manipulated into a big money-making venture.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I cannot remember if I have read any of Sue Miller's books before but I really enjoyed her latest offering, THE SENATOR'S WIFE. The book opens with some thirty-something newlyweds named Meri and Nathan moving into a duplex that houses a famous senator and his wife on the other side. Meri becomes fascinated with the senator's wife and strikes up a friendship with her. As the marriage of one woman reflects the struggles and joys of just starting out, the marriage of the other woman demonstrates the struggles and joys of a long-term relationship nearing its end.

I found this story really fascinating and it spoke to me as I am also just starting out in marriage and motherhood. The characters of both women are very well-drawn and the somewhat surprising conclusion is fascinating and makes one evaluate your own ideas of ethics and morality.

I highly recommend this one!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

AWAY by Amy Bloom

I have never read any Amy Bloom before so I was interested to read her latest offering, AWAY. AWAY follows the life of Lillian Leyb, a 22-year old Jewish immigrant who comes to America after surviving a Russian pogrom. In the pogrom, Lillian loses all of her family including her 3-yr-old daugher, Sophie. As the book follows Lillian's adventures in the New World, we discover that Sophie may be still alive. This revelation fuels Lillian's quest to find her daughter as she begins an epic journey across North America.

This book is filled with an array of fascinating characters. Lillian, however, was a difficult protagonist for me. Even in the face of her struggles, I had a hard time empathizing with her. Her quest, however, is fascinating. The ending confused me a bit but overall I thought it was a solid book.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Do Something Nice

So, I heard that tomorrow, everyone is supposed to perform an act of kindess or to do something nice. I happen to love the DAILY SHOW and COLBERT REPORT and I heard that Stephen Colbert is supporting Donors Choose. This is such a neat idea! Teachers go and register a project on DonorsChoose and you can go and either fund all or part of the project. You can even search for projects by location so that you can fund something in your area. It is such a great way to help struggling schools get good programs and resources into their schools.

Do something nice tomorrow and go check it out here.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

For Bookfool

This poem is near to my heart. I read it at my grandfather's funeral and it will be read at my funeral someday. Today, I would like to post it for my blogging friend Bookfool in the hope that it provides some sort of comfort.

CROSSING THE BAR by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

Monday, April 07, 2008

HOW THE DEAD DREAM by Lydia Millet

I am finding it hard to post a review about this book. It's difficult to know what to say.

HOW THE DEAD DREAM is a character study of T., a real estate developer who has difficulty making connections with his fellow human beings. Eventually, he starts to draw connections between his role as a developer and the extinction of many of the world's animals. He also recognizes something of himself in the lonely nature of these animals that are placed in zoos for their own protection and he begins breaking into zoos just to commune with the animals.

I found T's struggles to find and understand his place in the world compelling and his identification with the animals moving. The book is well-written and thought-provoking but not especially enjoyable to read. Those of you who are sensitive about animals should be warned. There are some scenes with violence towards and the death of animals that are difficult to get through. Overall, it is a very solid and well-done book but I found it difficult to get through. Not one I would read again.

Oprah Tote 2008

This is a kind of a bummer but worth a try. This year, the Oprah tote will go to 5000 RANDOMLY SELECTED entrants. You can enter until early June.

Here is the link.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

LBC Freebie of the Day

Get a free sample of Caress Brazilian Exotic Oil Infusions Body Wash. Click on the free sample button in the lower right-hand corner.


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

CRAZY SCHOOL by Cornelia Read

I am feeling much better after my brief convalescence. It is really hard for me to lie around and do nothing. But I did get some reading done.

CRAZY SCHOOL is about an unorthodox therapeutic boarding school in Massachusetts for troubled youth that operates under some questionable practices. When two of the students turn up dead, teacher Madeline Dare must figure out what really happened to them.

This book was a quick and fairly enjoyable read. Madeline's character is just snarky enough and the school is filled with eccentric characters. The mystery doesn't kick in until about halfway through the book and is resolved very quickly soon after. Almost too neatly. But I liked the backstory behind the ultimate solution to the mystery. While not the best mystery I have ever read, this makes for a great weekend read.