Something new…

As part of my 101 in 1001 list, I set a goal of reading 100 books.  I’ve read about 40 so far and I keep a list of books I want to read.  The problem is…I can never decide which book off the list I want to read next.  I check the reviews on Amazon, but I always wish that there was someone I knew personally who could recommend a book to me. 

The other day it hit me that I’ve read a LOT of books and maybe I should be sharing my thoughts and opinions on these books because maybe one of you is looking for something to read and would like to know what I thought was good.  Or, in some cases, what I thought was really bad. 

So I’m going to be starting a new feature here on Fumbling giving you a little review of the books I’ve read that I think should be shared…or not…you’d be surprised at how much garbage is out there. 

I decided to start by sharing some of my favorite books of all time.  This was a hard list to make…I’ve read so many books and I’ve loved most of them.  But these are a few that really stand out…

  1. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume…This is the story of Victoria and Caitlin…school mates who become close friends when Caitlin invites Victoria to spent the summer with her family in Martha’s Vineyard.  The book follows the girls’ friendship from their tween years through adulthood.  I’ve read this book about four times and I love it.  I’m not going to declare it the world’s greatest literature…it’s not that.  But it’s a good story and I think most people will be able to relate to the book in some way. 
  2. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins…I was pretty late to this party.  I think everyone else I know read these books before I did.  Despite many glowing reviews, I just didn’t think it was something I would enjoy.  A postapocalyptic world where children have to fight to the death for purposes of entertainment?  No thanks.  Except…then my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to see what all the fuss was about.  I was really glad I did.  The books were fantastic…and while Katniss really got on my nerves from time to time, I couldn’t put the books down.  If you haven’t read these yet, I suggest you give them a shot.  You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was. 
  3. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty…This is a YA novel and the first of the five-book Jessica Darling series.  I read all the books, but this was by far the best of the five.  Jessica’s best friend Hope moves away from their New Jersey town and Jessica is left to navigate high school on her own.  The book reads like a diary and takes us through Jessica’s relationship with her first boyfriend and her coping with the (geographical) loss of her best friend.  I read a review that compared this book to John Hughes’ work…I wouldn’t go that far.  John Hughes is beyond compare.  But the book is great…a really fun read that will bring you back to high school.
  4. Blue Jelly by Debby Bull…The author’s boyfriend calls her in the middle of a dinner party the two are supposed to be co-hosting to inform her that he’s leaving her.  The book details her path from devastation to healing…which includes self-help seminars, traveling and making jams, jellies and pickled vegetables.  I read this book right after a particularly awful breakup and I found Bull’s insights to be honest, funny, sometimes sad, but always on point.  Even her recipes were amusing as they are interspersed with anecdotes and stories and advice.  It made me want to learn to can and it helped me to realize that a breakup is not the end of the world.
  5. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling…I think everyone loves Harry Potter.  I love the story and the characters, but the things I love the most about these books is the creativity and amazing imagination.  JK Rowling created an entire world in her mind and translated it onto paper so well that it comes alive off the pages.  It’s an extremely complicated story and she didn’t leave out a single detail…even the smallest little things are described for the reader and everything is interconnected seamlessly.  I am in awe of her brilliance and that is what I find most striking when I read these books. 

I could probably add 20 more books to that list and still have more to talk about, but I’m going to save the others for another day.  Check back for new updates and recommendations on Thursdays.

So…what are your favorite books and why?  Also…what should I call this new feature?  I love a catchy title, but I’m really stuck on this one.




Did you miss me???

Hello.  I’m back.  Sorry for the brief hiatus and thank you to everyone who called or emailed to make sure I wasn’t trapped under something heavy or kidnapped by aliens. 

I’m fine.  Last week was just really busy and when I got home every night all I wanted to do was watch TV and not think.  I was not motivated or inspired and instead of just popping in here with some half-assed attempt at a post, I just took a little vacation. 

As for what I was doing while I was on hiatus…

  • I had drinks with Charlotte from My Pixie Blog.  We had a great conversation over some delicious wine.  We also checked out the boys at the bar…not for me…for Charlotte of course!  Unfortunately, none of them were worthy. 
  • I got a call from my boss that started “Can you do me a really big favor?”.  I knew right away that it wasn’t good…because I work for him…he doesn’t have to ask me for favors…it’s my job to do what he needs.  A favor meant that he was going to dump something on me that wasn’t within the scope of my job.  So, I spent a large part of my week last week walking another employee through the process of buying her first house.  It was fun and when we got an accepted offer the woman was so excited and I was so happy for her.  But it was a huge amount of work on top of my regular work. 
  • I went to the midnight premiere of the new Harry Potter movie on Thursday night…which means I got to cross another thing off my 101 list.  I also learned that I am far too old to go to the movies at midnight.  I could barely keep myself awake during the show.  I got home at 3:30 and had to get up at 6:30 and I was completely wrecked all weekend.  I’m still recovering. 
  • I completely changed my hair color.  I’ve been blondish for about two years now and my hairdresser and I were both over the blond.  So I’m back to being a very dark brunette and I LOVE IT!  Great decision. 
  • J and I looked at a house in CT…twice.  Now that moving is looking like a very real possibility, I’m having really mixed feelings about it.  Even though we hate our neighborhood and our neighbors, I love my house.  I love the CT neighborhood and the property the house is on, but the house is awful.  If we do buy it, there will be major construction in my future.  I’m just not sure I’m going to be able to be happy about it.  I’ll keep you all posted.
  • Speaking of the house…we cleaned the house all day yesterday.  We moved furniture and vacuumed every nook and cranny…including inside the heating ducts.  We scrubbed and polished and dusted and scrubbed some more.  We managed to remove all traces of dog hair from the entire second floor and I think it would be tough finding even a speck of dust up there.  The first floor is still a work in progress, but it’s coming along. 
  • I started my Christmas shopping list, though I’m still not done with it.  I have to finish it this week so I can plan out my Black Friday shopping.  I also have to give J my Christmas list…and I have no clue what I want this year.  Any suggestions?
  • I planned out some posts for the next month and a half because I know it’s going to be busy and I don’t want another week-long hiatus.  Now I just have to get them all written!

As you can see…I was busy.  But I’m back now.  Sorry for the slacking.

How was everyone else’s week?