My Long Absence

Since my last post, our lives have been pretty chaotic. Living in a new city, struggling with quite a few health problems including a large kidney stone that had to be removed, gallbladder surgery and most recently, a fall that sprained the ligaments between my thumb and forefinger. As a result, my reading has suffered and so has my blog.

With that being said, I am excited to return to heatherreads and share my views on my latest book reviews. Of course, I am open to any suggestions or requests for books to read if you happen to find my views relevant 🙂 I realize I’ve probably lost many of you along the way, but am hoping to gain new readership and find new friends along the way! 

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It’s been awhile…

Hello readers,

I realize it’s been quite awhile since my last post and I’d like to leave a bit of an explanation. Recently I moved across the country with my wonderful husband and our little Petey. Relocating has been a bit crazy and my reading time has been shortened. Honestly, aside from a few magazines and a couple of chapters of a new novel, I’ve really been deprived! Searching for a new job is a challenge (especially with this economy) and searching for one takes a lot of time. But, on the bright side, my husband and I bought our first house! It’s a loft-style condo in the heart of our new city. Our unpacking has been a little slow as we’ve been enjoying the wonderful summer weather and spending a lot of time with friends and family that we haven’t seen in a long time.

Well, now that I have returned to my blog, I’d love some recommendations for new books! If there’s a great novel you’ve just read, or something you’d like an honest review on, please feel free to pass it along. Finally, as we try to decorate our new home, I am reminded of a wonderful quote that I will certainly keep in mind: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” -Marcus Tullius Cicero 

Hope you’re all enjoying the summer and as always, keep reading!

 

“Wear the old coat and …

“Wear the old coat and buy the new book.”
-Austin Phelps

If there was ever a quote that captured my shopping habits, this is it! Buying new books makes me so happy 🙂 Whether it’s in a chain bookstore, an independently owned, charming little store or on the Kindle, I want to show off my new purchases like a pair of new shoes. 

In other news, I apologize for my recent absence. We have recently moved across the country, spent two weeks touring the east coast and bought a new (and our first) home! Needless to say, I’ve been a little busy and my blog has suffered. However, I am in the middle of a few new books and will post reviews soon. Can’t wait to be in touch with everyone again.

Quick (Personal) Update

As many of my readers (if you’re out there) will notice, I have been a bit absent for the last few days. As you may have read about me is that I’m from a really small town (my graduating class had 47 people in it). Earlier this week, we found that we had lost another. As a 32 year old father of three, this came as a crushing blow to all who knew him. And when you live in a small town, everyone is your neighbor or friend or if you’re lucky enough, both.

Josh and I crossed paths once we entered junior high (seventh grade here). A lot of the girls thought he was attractive (myself) included. For the next 6 years we experienced a lot together and with our other friends. He dated my best friend so from time to time I felt like the third wheel. We sometimes exchanged “that” look but both knew we’d never be anything more than just friends.

When Spring rolled around I was thrilled to have an attractive friend that I could chat with about the mechanics and such of baseball and softball. Usually this sort of pattern repeated its self year after year until it was time to say goodbye.

After graduation, we all went our separate ways; schools, jobs and the military. I was off to a state school ready for a wonderful time. I didn’t really even know what Josh was doing. I know now that he entered the Navy, found the one girl for himself and together they were raising two small girls and a boy just under the age of one.

My heart breaks for the family Josh left behind and the one he won’t get to see grow up. I have a feeling they will be guided by dad for as long as possible. Please keep his memory alive! He deserves so much more than just that, but perhaps the Lord has more in store for him than we could have ever imagined.

Until we meet again my friend…..what’s your “magic” number? 🙂

To Mady, Sophia, and Grayson: your father was a wonderful man with a smile that could make the girls weak in the knees. To Barbara: Although we’ve never met, I cannot imagine what you’re going through and would ALWAYS make myself available to you – even if it’s just to have someone listen while you cry.

Please take the time to say a few prayers for our fallen friend and his family – it would help more than you know.

Top 100 Children’s Books

Top 100 Children’s Books

I came across this link on Pinterest and thought it would be a nice conversation starter. I also must admit that I love about 99% of the books on the list – the other 1% I haven’t had the chance to read yet! What are your favorite children’s books? Do you keep a copy around?

In an earlier post, I wrote about “But No Elephants” – one of my favorites from childhood, but looking at this list, I realize that I have many, MANY favorites and I don’t think I could ever limit myself to just one. My husband and I just bought a condo and I am hoping to make one of the rooms a small library. What books would be on your must-have list? I would love to start getting some feedback and begin collecting my pieces of art!

So, to my wonderful readers, which books are the essentials of a good collection for any age?

“Where is human nature s…

“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?”
-Henry Ward Beecher

I will be the first to admit that once I enter a bookstore, all bets are off. I usually go in with the intention of browsing and writing down books that I would like to read on the Kindle or eventually buy. But then I pick up a book and quickly remember how much I like the feel of it in my hands. Or, I’ll discover that the store is having a 1% sale that day – good enough for me! Imagine the money I would save if I just bought the books I wanted NOW! To keep my book buying addiction to a minimum, I will typically limit the number of times I even go into a book store or I will be sure to bring my husband with. He is Pro-Kindle and I usually am too, but there are times when you need to feel the cover and smell the pages. Anyone know what I mean?

Not So Funny Monday with Rachel Dratch’s “Girl Walks Into a Bar…Comedy Calamities & a Midlife Miracle”

Rachel Dratch is another actress in the world of comedy, appearing  on Saturday Night Life and 30 Rock. Dratch has also appeared in many movies including Just Go With It, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry and Click. In addition, she provides the voices of Koi and Esmargot in the show Fish Hooks. I’m fairly sure that most people have seen her at least once on television or in a movie. When I learned that she had written a book, I was really excited and started thinking that this could be a “sister” to Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Boy was I wrong.

Rachel Dratch

Rachel Dratch

Dratch’s book is written in a similar style as Bossypants: autobiographical in chronological order with attempts at humor mixed in. While Dratch has obviously had success in the T.V. and movie industry, she might want to stay out of the book industry if she wants to continue getting laughs. I think it’s very difficult to write humor that people can really laugh at and I don’t think Dratch has what it takes.

I started to have a bad feeling in the first chapter where Dratch writes about her absence from television, specifically 30 Rock. While I can certainly understand wanting to clear the air or set the record straight as to why she isn’t on the show anymore, I really thought that a comedienne would throw in some humor. Not so much. There were lines that made me smile but disappointingly, never did I laugh out loud.

“Girl Walks Into a Bar…” has a number of chapters, all with individual titles but after reading them the book could essentially be broken into two parts: Pre-Eli and Post-Eli. Eli is Dratch’s son. The “Pre-Eli” section is dedicated to Dratch’s feelings on other people’s babies, baby showers and her belief that she’s too old to have children. While I can sympathize with the frustration of baby “stuff” everywhere when you don’t have a child, I certainly don’t think it’s a great idea to write about it in a book that is supposed to be funny.

The “Post-Eli” (and longest) section is the story of Dratch’s pregnancy, the confusion of her relationship with Eli’s father and how she became one of those mothers that she was so irritated with in the beginning of the book. This part of the book has a few laughs and brought some insight infto Dratch’s life since leaving the public eye.

Before I close, I must point out Dratch’s unresolved dissonance that I was so upset with at the end of the book. In the beginning of “Girl Walks Into a Bar…,” Dratch explains that she’s very tired of being type-cast as an old, overweight, unattractive lesbian. She sets out to change this before accepting more roles or auditions. However, near the end of the book, Dratch receives a phone call from her agent asking if she’d like to play yet another old, overweight, unattractive lesbian. And she actually says yes! I know women have to work especially hard in this field but why settle for something you don’t want to do? Seems a little “sell-out-ish” to me.

In closing, I would urge you to spend your money on a different book. Especially one that is funny, uplifting and exciting! Why not try picking up a copy of Bossypants or anything by Chelsea Handler?

Enjoy and keep reading!

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