Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Book List for 2009

Jennifer, 1985.

I like reading.

This is what I read this year:

Applehof, Mary. Worms Eat My Garbage. Kalamazoo: Flower Press, 2nd ed. 1997*

Beaujon, Andew. Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock. Cambridge: Da Capo, 2006.*

Blake, William. The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. 1790. New York: Dover, 1994.

Buckley, Christopher. Boomsday. New York: Twelve, 2007.*

Byatt, A.S. A Whistling Woman. New York: Knopf, 2002.*

Capote, Truman. Breakfast at Tiffany's. 1958. New York: Modern Library, 1994.*

Chandler, Raymond. The Big Sleep. 1939. New York: Vintage Crime, 1992.*

Chanin, Natalie, with Stacie Stukin. Alabama Stitch Book: Projects and Stories Celebrating Hand-Sewing, Quilting, & Embroidery for Contemporary Sustainable Style. New York: Stewart, Tabori, & Channing, 2008.*

Chappell, Fred. Family Gathering. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2000.*

---. Wind Mountain. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Press, 1979.*

Church, Francis Pharcellus. Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus. 1897. New York: Delacorte Press, 1992.

Crawford, Christine. Mommie Dearest. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1978.

DeLillo, Don. The Body Artist. New York: Scribner, 2001.*

Tyral of Rebecca Nurse: Transcripts from the Salem Withcraft Trials of 1692. Compiled by Donald Daly. Salem: New England & Virginia Company/Nova Anglia Press.

Dietz, Laura. In the Tenth House. New York: Crown, 2007.*

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan. The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Volume II. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, 2003.

Eastoe, Jane and Sarah Gristwood. Fabulous Frocks. New York: Pavalion, 2008.*

Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002.*

Fitzhugh, Louise. Harriet the Spy. 1969. New York: Dell.

Fowles, John. The French Lieutenant's Woman. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1969.

Forster, E.M. Maurice. 1914. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1974.*

Gibran, Kahlil. The Prophet. 1923. New York: Knopf, 1972.

Goldsmith, Sheherazade, ed. A Slice of Organic Life. New York: DK Publishing, 2007*

Hamilton, John Maxwell. Cassanova Was a Book Lover: And Other Naked Truths and
Provocative Curiosities about the Writing, Selling, and Reading of Books
. New York: Penguin.

Howe, Katherine. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. New York: Voice, 2009.

Joyce, Katherine. Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement. New York: Beacon Press, 2009.*

King, Samantha. Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.*

King, Stephen. The Stand. New York: Signet, 1990.

Kipinis, Laura. Against Love: A Polemic. New York: Vintage Books, 2008.*

L'Engle, Madeleine. Dragons in the Waters. New York: Fararr, Straus and Giroux, 1976.

---. The Love Letters. 1966. New York: Ballantine Books, 1983.

Lessing, Doris. Alfred and Emily. New York: HarperCollins, 2008.*

---. Briefing For a Descent Into Hell. New York: Bantam, 1973.

---. The Cleft. New York: HarperCollins, 2007.*

---. A Proper Marriage. 1966. London: Grafton, 1985.

Levine, Abby and Sarah Levine. Sometimes I Wish I Were Mindy. Middletown: Weekly Reader Books, 1986.

McCullers, Carson. The Member of the Wedding. 1946. Boston: Houghlin Mifflin Company. *

Moore, Alan. Watchmen. New York: DC Comics. 1987.

Nicholson, Joan. Creative Embroidery. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., 1960.*

Reich, Charles. The Greening of America. New York: Bantam, 1970.

Rice, Anne. Lasher. New York: Ballentine Books, 1995.

---. Pandora. New York: Ballantine, 1998.

---. The Queen of the Damned. New York: Ballentine Books, 1988.

Savage, Dan. Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America. New York: Dutton, 2002.*

Spade, Kate. Style. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.*

Stone, Brian, trans. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. 1959. Middlesex: Penguin, 1972.

Tanenhaus, Sam. The Death of Conservatism. New York: Random House, 2009.*

Thomas, Scarlett. Going Out. New York: Anchor Books, 2002.*

Thomis, Malcolm. The Luddites: Machine-Breaking in Regency England. New York: Schocken Books, 1970.

Traig, Jennifer. Well Enough Alone: A Cultural History of My Hypochondria. New York: Riverheard Books, 2008.*

Truss, Lynn. Eats, Shoots & Leaves. New York: Gotham, 2003.*

Vowell, Sarah. The Wordy Shipmates. New York: Riverhead, 2008.*

Weir, Alison. Queen Isabella: Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England. New York: Ballentine Books, 2005.

Woolf, Virginia. The Voyage Out. San Diego: HBJ. 1920.*

Monday, December 21, 2009

Weekend, ham, thanks, presents

I almost don't want to tell you about my fantastic weekend, or look at digital cameras online, or work on Christmas craft presents.

I want to leave this freezing office and crawl back into bed and subsist on a simple diet of oatmeal for the rest of my miserable days.

Wait. I just realized I haven't taken a decongestant.


And frankly, I don't think it would matter what kind of morning I was having, it would still be a pile of steaming stupid compared to the weekend.

The weekend was just that good.

It's true.

The whole family got together in Laine and Robert's new house and celebrated in fine style.

By "fine style," I mean with noise and laughter and too much food and presents.

Lots of standing in the way in the kitchen and catching up.

Lots of television.

Lots of presents.

Lots of picture-taking and playing with dogs.

We took several tours of the house and praised the paint, refinished floors, decorations, and Christmas tree.

And we

Cody's Christmas bonus was a 17 lb. ham. We brought it. Laine cooked it. Cody carved it up like a champ.

Then the rest of us ate it for dinner.

And snacked on it.

And ate it in sandwiches the next day.

And we didn't cry when Levi went home.

And everyone loved their presents.

And we ate too much.

I know I keep mentioning that business about the eating. It bears repeating.

Oh man. Give me some fruit and water.

My head hurts.

Yes, my head hurts from all that ham.

That's enough whining, though. Let's get to business. That's right, the thank-you notes for my presents.

Here you guys go:

Dear Levi,
Thank you so much for my dustbuster! I'm really glad you let me pick it out, because that wet/dry function will most likely change my life. You're very thoughtful and I'm definitely going to charge it tonight and do a spiteful dance in front of my useless dustpan and broom. It's one of the best birthday presents ever!

Dear Rest of the Family,
Thank you for the gift card! I cannot wait to use it on a digital camera. You are helping me take one step closer to my ultimate goal of being a mommy blogger. * You are also helping me cut back on wasted time, money, and printing of less-than-awesome pictures because I can just delete the bad stuff off my camera right after taking a picture! Which means I probably won't be so uptight if you're not behaving the way I like when I'm trying to take a picture. Which means I will be slightly less obnoxious at picture-taking events now. And because all events are picture-taking events, I'm about to be happier all the time.

This may be even more life-changing than my dustbuster. You make me really happy to be born into this family. Thank you!

I seriously love my birthday presents because they're both day-to-day level things. Really big, really awesome, day-to-day level things that make me happy just to think about them.

And now, for the Christmas presents:

Dear Mom and Dad,
Thank you for the notebook, the random antique milk bottle, the books from Erma Bombeck and Lewis Grizzard, rug, and little handy odds and ends. The milk bottle is already living on the coffee table like a Christmas decoration, and the books are on the shelf. Thanks for letting me pick out my notebook. I can't wait to use it, and I love all of my stuff!

Dear Robert,
I was really happy you drew my name in the gift exchange because I knew Laine would take care of you. Thank you very much for the yoga mat, blue Fiestaware plate that replaces the one Cody broke a few months ago, and....another notebook! I do love notebooks, and all of your gifts were eerily perfect. It's as if you eavesdropped on our daily email conversations or Laine bought the gifts herself or something. And now that I have a yoga mat, I may someday do some exercising! Love you, buddy.

Dear Levi,
Thanks for making the rest of us look like chumps by going the extra mile and getting us all presents! I know this will look insincere in print, but I really do love my #20 Joey Lagano die cast car. The only way it could be cooler was if it was a Home Depot wrap, but that's just because Home Depot is really cool. I tell anyone who will listen that you wrap tons of cars and that you know things about Game Stop sponserships and that you're really cool. I'm totally going to take that piece of paper to work tomorrow and register my car, which is currently displayed with pride on my dining room table. Right next to the dustbuster. Best brother ever.

Dear Sara and Chad,
Thanks for paying me back so promptly from when I bought Laine's presents for you. That check is about to be cashed and will be used to take care of the last little bit of Christmas shopping I have left. Superawesome! Thanks a bunch, guys. And Chad, thanks for graciously sharing your birthday festivities with Levi and me. Sorry about you being another December person in this family.

Dear Laine and Robert,
Thanks for graciously hosting family Christmas and December birthday party extravaganza 20 minutes after you moved in. We love your house, and I already think of it as party central. You have space, you have a yard, you are close to unbearably adorable cupcake stores. You're also superhospitable and awesome and we had a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful time.

I'm really sorry I didn't fight harder to keep the family home from church yesterday morning. Your attempt to use up some ham with beans and cornbread would have worked perfectly had the interim minister not preached 15 hours longer than expected. I hope the burnt bean smell dissipates soon. Superthanks to Robert for going out and buying more bread so we could have some ham sandwiches.

And thank you for letting me do my laundry in your new washer and dryer. They are beautiful.

I love my family. I love Christmas. I love ham and decongestants and presents and wrapping paper and dogs and pictures and weekends.

That is all.


*I'm not pregnant, nor do I have any plans to be, but I seriously love mommy bloggers because they have fantastic pictures. I want to be just like them when I grow up even if I never have kids.

Friday, December 18, 2009


By the numbers

First text: Dad, at 5:56 A.M.
Last text: Ateca, at 4:14 P.M.
Texts, total: 7

Birthday cards: 2, from Alana and Mrs. Dicy

Reasons I don't have more
Siblings: I'll see you this weekend and give it to you with your present
Mom: You're going to love your cute card as soon as I find it
Cody: I don't know why cards are such a big deal

Other good mail
Christmas cards: from Travis and Alana, Erin, Stanley and Juanita
Magazines: some music magazine for the people who used to live in our house with Monsters of Folk on the cover, and Martha Stewart Living--it's like a birthday present from Martha herself every month, but still!

Cody: Monsters of Folk's album and Jim James's tribute album to George Harrison. Ignore what I said the other day.

Mom: lunch, and an ornament (see superawesome picture! It makes the sound when you turn the rotary and everything!!!), an instruction manual for a camera I don't have, but may someday, and trail mix.

Mrs. Dicy: a wallet and Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

Other fun birthday things:
I cashed a check at a bank where I don't have an account, and the woman who looked at my ID was really enthusiastic when she wished me a happy birthday.

Casey, Lainey, and a waitress I never remember the name for wished me a happy birthday. And Casey gave me my food in a to-go box and wrote on top of it.

Cody made a three-layer Italian cream cake and saved a piece for me.

I don't have to tell you what comes next, do I?

I enjoyed some Dunkin' Donuts coffee with my birthday cake this morning and I'll have some Chex mix for a snack.

Good birthday. Good day after the birthday.

Thanks for the nice comments and texts and lovely wishes.

And, in case you're wondering, yes.

I do feel different.

It feels good.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November book list

So. We're in December now.

I put up my tree last night. I'd planned to wait until Cody was out of the house because he hates holidays and happiness (not really), but I needed him to pull down the boxes for me.

So my tree is up, my "Merry Christmas" sign is up, my Rudolph card holder is out (fine, he stays out year-round), and tonight I'll bust out my elf figurines.

And today, I'll post my book list for November.

For the past couple of months, I've been trying to cram in short novels in an effort to boost the number of books I read each month. I haven't done the math yet, but I don't think I'll reach my New Year's resolution of reading 70 books this year.

Especially when I made the unwise-on-so-many-levels decision to read The Stand: The Million Page Edition during the height of H1N1 hysteria.

Chappell, Fred. Wind Mountain. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Press, 1979.*
Oh, Fred Chappell. I'm so glad I found your poetry in the library last weekend. There are only so many times I can say "I don't like poetry, but I like Fred Chappell/John Donne/George Herbert/Shakespeare's sonnets/blahblahblah." I think I like poetry. I know I like this guy's.

Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2002.*
Well, I can cross that off the list.

King, Samantha. Pink Ribbons, Inc.: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006.*
This takes a very good look at the tangled mess of charity, corporations, and politics, and the harm and good done by breast cancer awareness projects.

King, Stephen. The Stand. New York: Signet, 1990.
I don't usually post the number of pages anymore, but I have to here: 1,141 pages. Gracious, that was a superlong book. I liked it.