library

Reading All Day

Yes, that is my preferred method of spending time and although it is hard to carve out a whole day, preferably with some iced tea and maybe something sweet to nibble on (like these?), at least I have no shortage of books! Check out this list from NPR – Critics’ List: Summer 2011: NPR I always love their book picks.

After carpools, dog walking and basic house cleanup, oh, yeah, working, and seeing to a mild but persistent addiction to Angry Birds, I am sneaking in some reading time. Pack a car book! Great time to catch up on reading while waiting for children in camp lines or on the sometimes longish drives to camp (books on tape, audio only while driving please).

So far, I’ve read Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder which I could not put down and read straight through in two days, yes, that’s what I was doing and it is reviewed here in the NY Times (not by me, I wish).


“>capability mom reads so many books

capability mom still reading booksBossy Pants, by Tina Fey

Supremely funny, here is the great Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter excerpt, because, Lord, I have seen with my own eyes that Tina Fey can really, really write.

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her

When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

and am pre-reading Young Adult books – yes, that is my story and I am sticking to it.

Journey to the River Sea, Eva Ibbotson Lovely book, Winner of the Smarties Book Prize, and 2001 Whitbread Children’s Book Prize Finalist and a 2001 Carnegie Medal Finalist if you don’t believe me.

capability mom reads so many books - young adult fiction

Lock and Key, Sarah Dessencapability mom pre-reads young adult fiction

Tough topics are handled very well by the author. Fine for High School, middling for Middle Schoolers unless you are either into Good Discussions about Sensitive Topics like drug and alcohol abuse, child abandonment and physical abuse.

and on my iPad:
Egypt: The Uprising (The Battle for Maat, #1)

I just started this and really like it so far but it is my first full read on the iPad and I may crack and get the paper copy from Pragmatic Mom as we are both reviewing it later this summer.

capability mom reading to review books

and Wicked Good by Amy Lewis Faircloth and Joanne Lewis

Two sisters wrote this book together and although I am only 30 pages in, I am already attached to the characters. From the website:

My sister and I have written a novel called Wicked Good. It’s the story of a mother and her son with Asperger’s syndrome. People frequently ask how it came to be that two sisters wrote a novel together while living in different states.It was March. The snow was dirty brown and the sun was absent here in Bangor, Maine. I was spending a lot of time on my sofa, channel surfing and landing nowhere.Joanne called from her home in Florida. “Wanna write a book together?” she asked.I wrapped the afghan around me tighter and yawned from lack of blood flow to my brain. “Sure,” was the best response I could muster.

capability mom reading to review books

I am also on a rereading kick and just put down Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

capability mom rereads books in the summer I don’t know who re-did this cover but I am feeling quite stodgy when I say I do not care for it. I also am a bit put out reading this as a mom, because just maybe it isn’t all Marmee-love over here. Now I have to go read Little Men. Oh, look, they left that cover alone. capability mom rereads classic books in the summerWell, this should get you started, Happy Reading!

I forgot to add two books, a Pramatic Mom recommendation, After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick capability mom's picks for young adult fiction reads this summer– a terrific Young Adult book about the friendship of two boys (who both have cancer), family, middle school crushes and math phobia. Loved this book.

capability mom's picks for young adult fiction reads this summer I am midway through Zeitoun by David Eggers, which both Newton South and Newton North high schools are reading as part of the Two Schools, One Book project this summer but my high school student needed to read it so I handed it over.

I have linked all of these books to Amazon – go ahead and buy them! Last quarter I earned about $.73 – yes, that was a decimal point.

Update, alert and apologies. I just upgraded my blog and I think it cost me the links in this post to Amazon! All is not lost, however, and you can still line my pockets (snort laugh) by going to the conveniently located sidebar for Amazon and order the books there. I have tried to fix this basic link several times already and am past capacity for the frustration of trying one more time, plus I have other stuff to do. Read and enjoy.

Did you notice I have been absent? Is it Writer’s Block?

Nope, (I rarely run out of stuff to talk about – really)  just a case of over-booking – something my husband finds prevalent on my side of the family – as in “Let’s run a road race, have a clambake and maybe build a deck…in the same day!”  Okay, I exaggerate but once we did have a clambake, run a road race and have a 70th birthday party in one weekend (not in that order) with all of my siblings and our spouses and children (all under 10 years of age) and my parents. So we are that kind of family. Oh, did I mention I have three sisters and a brother and that the 70th birthday party included about 30 other people? On the beach? Yeah.

How did I marry someone who doesn’t do this? Maybe self-preservation kicked in. Maybe hearing, “Honey, baking 200 cookies and running the bake sale while planning for a big family event and starting to work is maybe a little too much?” helps me realize what is actually on my plate. I am also really bad at timing meals – the salad gets made whenever it occurs to me (usually  in the middle of the process of cooking something complicated)  – just a fair warning of more of my –  admitted to, anyway  – short-comings.

So, it is true, when I agree to do too much – well, it doesn’t always go well. I get run down, cranky and maybe not so much fun. Quite possibly I get sick, too and then I am no use to anyone. I am thinking about how to minimize this self-imposed stress but haven’t exactly worked out how yet. Let me know how you say no to opportunities when they sound  good or make you feel guilty for not saying yes. Do you have a pat one-liner? Years of practice or do you say yes too much?

I like to think that I am an optimist – that does not mean I do not complain – and that it will all work out in the end.  So I have over-booked. It is true. I am getting ready for Thanksgiving (not hosting, phew), writing an article, writing up meeting notes, planning some marketing with a friend for other venues, joining a networking group and taking on some part-time work. Oh, and there is more – meeting about a volunteer position at the library (I love the library) that will take up even more time, scheduling parent-teacher conferences, attending parent-teacher conferences, and the usual day-to-day mom stuff. Yup. I am officially in the weeds. Maybe I will bake a pie today, too.

Inbox reminders from the library and Ten Marks and a good, no a great, read from Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman Indigo at capabilitymom.comIf your email in-box is anything like mine, it is cluttered with a random assortment of things.  While I generally like clutter (sorry, honey) my in-box is someplace I have decided to clean up (again, sorry, honey, not the physical one over the computer that even as I type this threatens to overflow – potentially causing injury, but I digress).

Right now the electronic version has quite a few sales notices (mostly Old Navy and Gap – I did finally unsubscribe to a ton of things, it was time-consuming but worth it) and news alerts that I like to get (even if I don’t always click on the link) and notes from friends and some blogs I subscribe to (yes, it is free and lets you know when a blog you like has been updated). You can subscribe to this site, too… just type in your email address in the sidebar.

So today, nice.  My in-box had a note from a friend, a blog update from Coffee Shop Bloggers, a library reminder that two books are due in two days and a reminder from Ten Marks that one of my daughters has some worksheets to finish up. Nice touch, Ten Marks!  I didn’t realize that I would get a follow-up email (it even includes a reminder of the sign-in code).  Super for the busy parent (and we are all busy – even in summer) and a nice matter-of-fact way for you to prompt your child to look at the other worksheets. (You know…”I just got an email from Ten Marks…” is much better than “Did you do your math worksheets?”)

So book reviews (see – I do eventually get back around to topics) and, no, I wasn’t asked to do this one – usually they are books I just have to share.  I do like the YA and I picked up this book last night and didn’t put it down until I was finished. Fortunately for my family (who would do the laundry, make dinner- oh, we did have take-out …but still), it is a short but beautiful read.

Indigo by Alice Hoffman for Scholastic. (Go to her website for a look at all of the other books she has written- many favorites)

Intense, moving and lovely.  A young girl, Martha Glimmer (her mother has recently died in that very YA way), and her two best friends, Eli and Trevor, (known to one and all as Eel and Trout because they are different in a charming, magical way – think webbed fingers and toes and a propensity for salt water and fish) decide to run away from their small landlocked town to the ocean. I actually stopped reading at one point because of this…

“…What mattered was that Trout McGill was the one person aside from her mother who believed that Martha would someday leave Oak Grove, and that no matter how tall she was, or how uncomfortable with herself, she would be a dancer.  He believed in dreams, in the endings that people told you could never happen, in disappointments reversed and luck that lasted.”

Yeah, so you should read it. Great pre-teen and teen book – one of two off-spring has read it – this morning – a very fast but great read.

Today, I look like an organized and together person when really I am not

While ferrying around in my trusty Mommy Car today, one stop was for the Library fundraiser – I was to drop off blank name cards at a fellow volunteer’s house.  She is going to use her (as yet unsung) skill in calligraphy to transform these randomly cut cards ( so green of me, I used the back of a calendar).  I had a big piece of plastic to protect them from the rain but hadn’t thought to leave them for her in a nice package.  Fortunately, Mommy Car is loaded with stuff and I was able to find a rubber band (from my stack on the gear shift from the take out sushi from Whole Foods) and further searching revealed a post-it note (although slightly wrinkled, not written on save for the cute PMS  joke on it) and a (working) pen.  I wrote a note, thanking my generous friend, put in on the (now ripped to normal size) plastic  over the (green) cards securing it with the rubber band and dropped it on her porch.  It looked like I may have even thought to package it this way before I left the house.  Not so.  Oh, well, now she knows I am really a disorganized wretch that sometimes lands on my feet and is pleased as punch but sometimes feels so guilty for looking together that I tell on myself.

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