Monday, December 31, 2007

Book List for 2007

Because I know you've been looking forward to it, here's a list of the books I've read in 2007, set out alphabetically in standard MLA format. Anything marked by an asterisk is a library book.

Adams, Douglas. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story. New

York: Gramercy, 2005.

Atwood, Margaret. Alias Grace. New York: Anchor, 1996.

Atwood, Margaret. The Blind Assassin. New York: Penguin, 2002.

de Beauvoir, Simone. The Second Sex. 1953. Trans. H. M. Parshley. New York: Alfred A.

Knopf, Everyman’s Library, 1993.*

Berridge, Kate. Madame Toussad: A Life in Wax. New York: HarperCollins, 2006.*

Bombeck, Erma. If Life is a Bowl of Cherries—What Am I Doing With the Pits. New York:

Fawcett Crest, 1983.

Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451. 1953. New York: Del Ray, 1993.

Briggs, Kenneth. Double Crossed: Uncovering the Catholic Church’s Betrayal of American

Nuns. New York: Doubleday, 2006.*

Brockmeier, Kevin. Things That Fall from the Sky. New York: Vintage, 2002.

Byatt, A.S. Babel Tower. New York: Random House, 1996.*

Byatt, A.S. The Matisse Stories. 1993. New York: Vintage International edition, 1996.*

Clapp, Patricia. Jane-Emily. 1969. New York: Harper, 2007.

Clark, Clare. The Nature of Monsters. Orlando: Harcourt, 2007.

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. 1902. Mineola: Dover, 1992.

De Quincey, Thomas. Confessions of an English Opium Eater. 1822. New York: Heritage Press,


Drewe, Robert. Ned Kelly. [Orig. Our Sunshine] 1991. New York: Penguin, 2003.

Eco, Umberto. The Name of the Rose. trans. William Weaver. 1980. New York: Knopf

(Everyman’s Library), 2006.*

Evans, Justin. A Good and Happy Child. New York: Shaye Arehearst Books, 2007.

Fforde, Jasper. The Eyre Affair: A Next Thursday Next Novel. New York: Penguin, 2002.

Fforde, Jasper. Lost in a Good Book. New York: Penguin, 2002.

Fisher, Carrie. The Best Awful. 2003. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1925. New York: Scribner, 1995.

Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. 1856. Trans. Francis Steegmuller. New York: The Modern

Library, 1992.*

Franklin, Tom. Smonk, or, Widow town: being the scabrous adventures of E. O. Smonk & of

the whore Evavangeline in Clarke County, Alabama, early in the last century…. New

York: HarperCollins, 2006.

Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique. 1963. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1974.*

Grossman, Austin. Soon I Will Be Invincible. New York: Pantheon, 2007.

Heath, Chip and Dan Heath. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Survive. New

York: Random House, 2007.

Herbert, Brian and Kevin J. Anderson. Dune: House Atreides. New York: Bantam, 1999.*

Herbert, Brian and Kevin J. Anderson. Dune: House Corrino. New York: Bantam, 2001.*

Herbert, Brian and Kevin J. Anderson. Dune: House Harkonen. New York: Bantam, 2000.*

Hornby, Nick. High Fidelity. New York: Riverhead Books, 1995.

Kazantzakis, Nikos. Zorba the Greek. 1953. Trans. Carl Wildman. New York: Ballantine Books,


Knowles, Sir James, ed. King Arthur and His Knights. 1923. New York: HarperCollins, 1994.

Kostova, Elizabeth. The Historian. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2005.

Kushner, Tony. Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. 1995. New York:

Theatre Communications Group, 2003.

Lafayette, Leslie. Why Don’t You Have Kids? Living A Full Life Without Parenthood. New

York: Kensington, 1995.

Millhauser, Steven. Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer. New York: Vintage,


McEwan, Ian. On Chesil Beach. New York: Doubleday, 2007.

O’Hagan, Andrew. Be Near Me. Orlando: Harcourt, 2007.

Oates, Joyce Carol. The Tattooed Girl. New York: HarperCollins, 2003.*

Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. New York: W. W. Norton, 1996.*

Pearl, Matthew. The Dante Club. New York: Random House, 2003. 380 pages*

Puzo, Mario. The Godfather. Greenwich: Fawcett, 1969.

Pynchon, Thomas. V.. 1961. New York: HarperCollins Perennial Classics, 1999.*

Qualls-Corbett, Nancy. The Sacred Prostitute: Eternal Aspect of the Feminine. Toronto: Inner

City Books, 1988.

Roszak, Theodore. The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society

and Its Youthful Opposition. Garden City: Anchor Books, 1969.

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.(7) New York: Scholastic, 2007.

Sedaris, David. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. New York: Little, Brown &

Company, 2004.

Shanghvi, Siddharth Dhanvant. The Last Song of Dusk. New York: Random House, 2006.

Smith, Alisa & J. B. MacKinnon. Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating

Locally. New York: Harmony Books, 2007.

Thomas, Scarlett. PopCo. Orlando: HarperCollins, 2004.*

Thomas, Scarlett. The End of Mr. Y. Orlando: Harcourt, 2006.*

Traig, Jennifer. Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood. New York: Little,

Brown, and Company, 2004.

Weisman, Alan. The World Without Us. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2007.

White, T. H. The Once and Future King. 1958. New York: Ace, 1987.

Wolfe, Tom. I Am Charlotte Simmons. New York: Picador, 2005.

Woolf, Virginia. Orlando: A Biography. 1928. New York: Quality Paperback Book Club, 1993.

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1957.*

Friday, December 28, 2007

Levi had a birthday

(With apologies to Laine and Sara, because I didn't quite have the hang of doing pictures with blogs when they had their birthdays.)

Levi, my brother, turned 19 yesterday. It was such a big deal that I took off work for that day. I mostly took off work so that I could take care of licensing and stuff with my car, which actually seemed pretty fitting because if you've ever met Levi, you'd know that car maintenance and generally anything even remotely related to cars is very important to him. But anyway, amidst the government renewing things and eating and acting out in Starbucks, I nearly forgot that I need to write a birthday blog for ol' Levi Alton.

Some fun and awesome things about Levi.
  • He loves his family. He's good with animals and small children. And old people.
  • He's a hard worker and a good--if not enthusiastic--lifter of all heavy things.
  • He is the proud owner of Terry, the big, green Mercedes.
  • He's a good driver. When he first got his license, I was the only sister old enough to count as an older, licensed passenger. I felt the least nervous riding shotgun with him than with either of our two sisters.
  • He's a pretty good brother. Protective to a fault (we waited until he left the state for Cody to propose, just to be on the safe side), he's a very caring and concerned sibling. Did I mention he was also protective? One of my favorite memories of Cody and Levi together was one of the first times Cody came out to the house. Levi had to go to the post office, and since Cody hadn't seen a lot of Romance, we went with him in Terry. I think this was pre-shocks work. So Levi (17 and incredibly skinny--Cody didn't quite realize how strong he was at this point) decides to be a intimidating and speeds all along the horrible gravel roads, making unnecessarily rough turns and stops and cranks up the radio. I was getting a little nervous, because he was being kind of a jerk, but then I looked back at Cody who was bouncing and sliding around in the back seat singing along with Kenny Rogers's "You've Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille." Now they both think it's hilarious to freak me out while driving. Great.
  • He went to NASCAR pit crew school. He moved halfway across the country to do it. Whenever I tell people about my family, I expect people to kind of make some kind of disparaging remark involving beer bellies and illiterate cousins marrying each other, etc. etc. etc. when I get to Levi (which would not be cool). The vast majority of them, however, are pretty floored to have met someone who knows someone who actually wants to work in that industry. (PS: if you know someone who owns a shop, it's L-E-V-I [not "Eli"] Short and he's a great worker.)
  • He shares initials with Laine. I just think that's cool.
  • He's a pretty good judge of character.
  • He'll read the newspaper all the way through.
  • He looks good in a suit.
  • He's friendly. All of my siblings are friendly, actually. Strange. But Levi always seems to enjoy meeting new people and hearing their stories. He remembers which friends of mine I'm talking about and is interested in what's going on with mine and Laine's in-laws.
  • He's a good friend. When he was little, one of his friends had a lazy eye and would have to do these little exercises every day. He liked doing them more when Levi was over to play because Levi would do them with him. That's still one of my favorite stories.
  • I know kids who idolize him, specifically Dallas and David Lewis. Those boys have a lot of people to look up to, which makes me think that Levi must be as special to other people as he is to us.
  • We have similar tastes in music (this is one of the few similarities we have at all).
So, happy birthday, Levi. Please get over your cold soon.

This is Levi. He is obviously very strong.

Christmas Evening with the Pallones, Part I

Opening presents

Skater has a skateboard.

Mom and Karen discuss coats and Kevlar vests.

This is cute.

Christmas Day with Shorts

Christmas dinner

Christmas dessert


Even better

Look at all this yarn!!! Just look at it!

This is my first picture of Mozart!

Christmas on the 18th (my pictures)

In front of the tree.

Not a good one.

(above) Awkwardly posing. (Right here) Laughing at Mrs. Dicy.


Those boys could be twins.

Getting ready for the group pictures. They are really excited about it.

Reading the Bible, trying to figure out which commandments are which.

I'm laughing because this was apparently the first time Spencer had used my camera. The lenses and the flash both freaked him out a little bit. "Just put the strap around your neck. Then it's fine."


Dallas and me, playing around.

Dallas and the monkey, reading the book I got him.

Dallas and the bed buddies in front of the tree.

Cody, sleeping with his eyes partially open.

Dallas and Skater are almost ready for bed. Look at his eyes!

My presents!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I wanted to do a year-end review, but that would take entirely too long. Plus, there were a lot of things that better left unvisited (lay-offs, numerous car problems, various surgeries, the closing of Bella Lana Knitting, etc.). So I've decided to hit the high points. Here are some great things that happened this year that I thought were happy and/or noteworthy.
  • We started off the year by going to Texas for Richard and Alma's wedding! Not only did we get to see people from school, Cody was definitely the most attractive groomsman. Please excuse my bias.
  • Levi graduated. The Short children are all done! Therefor, the Short parents are now done
  • Dallas was voted "Most Studious" out of all the kindergarteners in Rose Bud Elementary
  • Casey and Katie got engaged. I don't have a picture of the ring. Just trust me, it's gorgeous. That family needs more girls in it.
  • Sara got a dog, Kahne
  • Levi moved to North Carolina to pursue his NASCAR endeavors, and graduated from Pit Crew U. He also bought his sisters t-shirts
  • Cody passed Spanish I. Fourth time's the charm.
  • I got a grown-up job with benefits and dual monitors and a real office.
  • We moved closer to where we work. Words do not describe the awesome, awesome convenience.
  • Laine and Robert got married! That was a big one
  • Bill Mallonee and his wife, Muriah, played a house show at the White-Courington house. Trust me, that was huge.
  • All 4 of the Short kids are gainfully employed. At the same time.
  • Mom got a dog, Mozart (no pictures yet)!
  • I got a library card for the Central Arkansas Library System
  • Then Laine one-upped me by getting one for Memphis. Jealousy.
  • Mom and Dad got to take some trips together
  • We had lots of fun gatherings with friends
  • People got engaged: in addition to Casey and Katie, we got to celebrate with Sarah and Robert, and Travis and Alana! Wedding Season in 2008 is going to start early, end late, and just be really, really awesome.
  • Dad got what he wanted for Father's Day--a sit-down dinner with the family
  • I made new friends
  • I went off of Mt. Dew for a while and then started up again. Stopping seemed like a good idea at the time, but going back to drinking it was an even better one
  • We went to not one, but TWO! library basement sales. Glorious. Really. About a fourth of my birthday/Christmas gifts came from there. See your gift somewhere in the pile?
  • We paid off our wedding rings
  • I got a facebook account and a blogger account. No longer are my parents dependent on one of my siblings to print out my monthly and yearly book lists. Um....yay?
  • Kelly Bisby came to my house
  • Monica Meyers came to my house
  • Kayla and I had book and yarn adventures
  • Cody and I went to the farmer's market a lot
  • Cody experimented a lot with cooking...and it usually turned out pretty great
  • I apparently took lots of pictures
  • (:
Anything awesome that I forgot? Add your own, please!


Oh, the Christmases. And my birthday. I think I already wrote about the weekend before my birthday, so we'll skip that. So my birthday was last Monday. I worked. And then Cody and I went to eat Chinese food with friends: Jessi, Jeff, Alana, Sarah, Jason, and Lynn (!), who had just gotten home from Duke that day. Good times and food were had by all.

First Bennett Christmas, 12.18.07
We had Christmas with Cody's family really early because Casey and Katie were in town. There are pictures up of that. I still haven't developed mine. I think I was pretty tired, which is probably why I only took one picture or so from my birthday. (Helpful hint: if you feel incredibly horrible, change decongestants. It will change your life.) But anyway, we got our gifts from Casey and Katie (for one thing, everyone got Razorback t-shirts) and gave them ours. And we ate. And took pictures and learned how to work the timers on Dicy and Katie's cameras. It was great.

First half of the Kayla and Jen Christmas, 12.19.07
Cody made pizza. Kayla came over and we gave her our present (a scarf). She'd forgotten to bring ours, so we just ate and watched TV and visited about Christmas plans.

Second half of the Kayla and Jen Christmas, 12.20.07
After some Christmas shopping, Cody and I went to On the Border and sat at Kayla's bar and ate and enjoyed her presents to us (a book of lists for me and a soup cookbook for Cody). I love Kayla. And chicken quesedillas.

Friend Christmas party, 12.22-23.07
Thank God I got half of Friday off. I baked banana nut bread (it's really the only thing I bake), I bought things Cody asked me to buy, I went to Kroger in the daytime (never again), I knitted scarves (yes, plural), and I wrapped things. So on Saturday, I was a little more ready for the friend Christmas party at the White-Courington house. I know I took pictures, but I don't know of what. Attendees: me, Cody, Alana, Jeff, Jason, Sarah, Robert, Bryan, Christina, Jarret, Brad, Jessi, and Lynn. Food was consumed. Gifts were exchanged and enjoyed. Games were played. And we watched that Saturday Night Live episode hosted by Lindsay Lohan when she was still attractive. And then I think we played even more games. And then some people went home and some of us stayed and went to sleep. Fun fact: Jarrett snores a little. Not so fun fact: Cody and I should not be sleeping on the same couch together, but we still do. Not smart.

Bennett pre-Christmas party, 12.24.07
We ate Mexican food with Dicy, Spencer, Cody's Memaw Kierre, Julie, Lainey, Becky, and Randy and gossiped about others who had the misfortune to not be perfect. I fear what they say about me, but not enough to behave myself around them. Oh well. In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have called my own mother-in law a skank. But she didn't seem upset. Here's how it happened: Cody was telling her that Casey was going to mail him some comics he'd finished reading. I made a face because I do not share this enthusiasm for comics. Mrs. Dicy said, "It doesn't really bother me any more" and smiled sweetly at Cody. I yelled, "That's because they both moved out, you skank! You don't have to hear about them any more!" She just laughed at me (because it was true) and said that we could always take home the old issues she has somewhere around the house. I call lots of people skanks. I've even heard my mom call one of my sisters a skank. I wish I could remember which one.

Christmas morning, 12.25.07
Cody and I exchange gifts in a semi-conscious manner. Then we loaded up the car and went to his mom's house. We exchanged gifts with Mrs. Dicy and Spencer. That was fun. We also watched a little bit of the Disney parade. That was terrible. Then we went to Memaw Bennett's house and I learned that you're not supposed to get gifts for your birthday and Christmas if your birthday's in December. That woman is insane, and clearly misinformed. Then we went to Cody's aunt and uncle's house for the big Kierre Christmas. And we ate too much. We let the food settle while we watched people play Dirty Santa and went through old pictures playing 'is it Cody or Casey?' which Mrs. Dicy won. Skank. Then we started getting ready to go. Levi had gotten bored with Christmas by 12:30 and had started calling all his sisters and asking them when they were coming home. We were able to leave before they fed us again.

Christmas afternoon, 12.25.07
We arrive in Romance. We meet Mom's puppy, who has been named Mozart. I think I'm just going to keep calling him 'big dog.' I opened the Wolfmother CD I got from Levi for my birthday and got to listen to it. That took the sting out of the fact that he beat me a bunch of times in Connect 4. Then Laine and Robert came. Then Sara and Marc. Then we opened presents and discovered that the dog likes to eat wrapping paper. So then they put the dog up. Then we opened more presents and it was great fun. Grandmother seemed especially happy with the collector's edition of Elvis Pez dispensers we gave her. It did come with a CD, and had Young, Military, and Fat Elvis heads. And then we ate a whole lot more. Oh man. I got Robert to pose with his gift. Here's a picture of it. I know, it blows your mind, right? Yes. Then, after we digested and fought a little and compared presents, we went to see what Dallas got for Christmas. We gave him our presents and he gave us ours (Cody and I got separate Wal-Mart gift cards!), and some of us went home while Sara and Marc stayed behind to play Sorry! with Dallas and his dad, Mike. Some of the people played Guitar Hero and then Sara came home kind of foul because Dallas beat her. He's quite the game player. I ate some pie. We took some leftovers and made it out of the house by 11ish.

The numbers
Pieces of ham I ate yesterday: 6
Cookbooks Cody got: 5
Slapfights: 3 or so
Times Cody was attacked by dogs: 0

It was a lovely Christmas.