Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Book: Anson's Way

This book had a lot more to it than I thought it would. It's Young Adult fiction, and the author is a professor at Calvin College, my alma mater. I expected it to be good, as Schmidt is an award-winning author, but it was even better than I expected.
Set in 18th-century Britain, Anson is the young drummer assigned to a military unit tasked with enforcing King George II's rule over the Irish. His own struggle plays out as he both serves in the military, which is not only a family tradition, but in a unit led by his father, yet sees a disparity in why it is necessary to have the laws the unit is then tasked to enforce.

In the end, he is forced to choose between honor of two kinds, making a choice beyond his years.

Unlike the last book club selection, this was a quick read. I enjoyed learning a bit about history and reading along as Anson learned lessons and made his choices.

Anson's Way
by Gary D. Schmidt
Originally posted at:

Book: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

I'm about to post a bunch of books, so probably not going to say a whole lot about them...

I read this book with my book group, all 500+ pages of it. In fact, when our group first met about this book, I had only read about a quarter of it. It's a good book, but not an easy book. There are some sections that seem to drag on, and a few little discrepancies with the timelines that are confusing in the beginning. Very literary, interesting concepts, read if you like long, literary books.

Oh, one other thing... if you follow the Opr*h book club, you may have seen this title there. I didn't know it was one of her selections until after I read it, but I will say it fits perfectly in the type of books she normally selects, so it was not a surprise to learn that.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
by David Wroblewski

Originally posted at:

Friday, March 26, 2010

52:12 Easter Craft

One of the things I enjoy doing in my free time is creative projects. I was inspired by a post on the Make It and Love It blog to make this with my mom, because one of the things that makes creative projects even more fun is working on them with someone else. :)

Originally posted at:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

These days

I was just looking over my blog posts for the last couple of... months, and realized that based on the blog, it looks like I'm reading a little bit and taking exactly one picture per week, you know, keeping VERY busy. But besides all that, I've been doing a few other things.

First of all, I'm job hunting. Yes, I've heard the economy stinks. Yes, actually, that does make job-hunting sort of depressing. But two years ago when I applied to grad school, while the housing market was shaky, nobody knew yet that the financial markets were also going to blow up, and that together these things would cause the "Great Recession." Lovely, isn't it? To many others out there who are also job-hunting: I feel your pain.

When I'm not sending out resumes and looking at job boards, I've really gone crazy on a new hobby, digital scrapbooking. I've gone so completely crazy that I started another whole blog about it. You can check it out here. In fact, I was recently selected to be on the creative team at a scrapbooking website, which has been kind of fun. At least I'm good at something, even though apparently that something isn't job hunting or world peace.

It's St. Patrick's Day today, and although I'm not much of a beer drinker and will admit that green beer is even less appealing in general, I'm pretty sure margaritas are green, too. Oddly, my favorite margaritas are blue, and those are VERY appealing, but that's not important. Today's margarita will be green. Also, in honor of the holiday, I want you to know that if you are reading this....

Thanks for reading!

Originally posted at:

52:11 Poppies

No, not those kind of poppies. I'm job-hunting, remember? I've heard that can be problematic.

Friends, meet the California state flower.

Originally posted at:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

52:10 Give a Day, Get a D*sney Day

Just squeaked in under the wire on this one... the program closed the day after we signed up to volunteer.

Originally posted at

Thursday, March 4, 2010

52:9 Today's Mail

Now if you are (or someone you know is) hiring in this reportedly recovering economy and wants to talk to a brand new Master's graduate, please let me know.

Originally posted at:

Book: A Prayer for Owen Meany

It took me probably a year to read this book. Well maybe not, but I know the first time I picked it up and tried to read it was a looooooong time ago. I've seen this book on the "must read" or "favorites" lists of various people on F*cebook or blogs, and the story of how I came into possession of my copy is kind of interesting. (Warning: tangent!)

I like to buy books at the local library's used book store. They are always cheap and the money goes to a great cause. Then when I'm done with the books, I donate them back to the same place so they can sell them again. It's a beautiful thing! One day I was shopping and had a stack of books already, and was considering this book. A lady I'd never met, after seeing the other titles in my hand, insisted I buy this book because I "would love it!" I wasn't so sure, but she was insistent, and only 50 cents was on the line, so I figured I'd give it a shot. Fast forward about 2 years... and we get back to the book!

First of all, I tried to read this book at least once before, and just couldn't get into it. This time I just forced myself to read it, even though it was still difficult to get into. As the book wore on, the foreshadowing became darker and so the dramatic ending was not without some warning, although there were definite moments of tragedy throughout the book.

The book cover says, "Owen Meany ... believes he is God's instrument; he is." (Warning: tangent!) So I was watching the movie "Evan Almighty" last weekend (yes, I know, completely irreverent, but...) and in the movie, someone asks Evan if he believes God called him to build an ark. His reply is something like, "God calls all of us." I think personally, I feel the idea of Owen being called is so prominent in this book, that the idea that God calls all of us is invisible. I side with Evan on that one.

The book cover also says, "This is John Irving's (the author's) most comic novel...." Really? Unfortunately, the author and I must not have too much in common when it comes to sense of humor. There were a few funny moments, I guess, but I would not call this a comic novel.

Summary... I would read another book by John Irving, primarily because his writing is good enough to make me want to see what else he's written. On the other hand, I really just didn't get it. I understood the book and the events in it, but I don't quite understand those that say this book is a "must read" or who have placed it on their "favorites" list. Maybe I missed something? Maybe I'm just really dense. I feel I'm at risk of being really dumb because the greatness of this book is completely obvious... to everyone else.

So if you've read this book and can enlighten me... I welcome your comments. What did you like about it? What  makes this book so great in your eyes?

A Prayer for Owen Meany
by John Irving

Originally posted at: