Book Love

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Memorial weekend was a whirlwind of chaos. There's so much that I want to write about, but not right now.  Right now, I just want to say that I spent a good chunk of the weekend sitting by my in-laws pool with a drink and my little hound girl reading Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected, by Kelle Hampton.

I love, love, loved this book.  I especially love how she talked about finding out that her father is gay and her childhood path to tuning out the church and loving her dad anyway.  Her whole story was beautiful–right down to the book itself.  I almost felt guilty for the dog eared pages because they were too pretty to fold.

And yes, my legs are as white as that very light khaki, and I will not apologize for it no matter how many times my inlaws make fun of me for hiding in the shade.  

Oh, Amazon

I love books.  All kinds of books.  Audiobooks, paperbacks, fiction, non-fiction, teen fiction, little golden books–I just love books.

That's why it surprises me that I never sat down to research any lesbian pregnancy books until this morning.  Oh, sure I've done my online research, courtesy of Dr. Google.  I've listened to Fertility Friend's Charting for Conception podcasts. I've tracked down the myriad lesbian mommy bloggers who have been there/done that. Ask me a technical question, and I can probably give a technical answer that includes all of the acronyms. (Acronyms which, incidentally, make me cringe. Almost as much as it makes me cringe when my boss emails to say, "txs."  Texas?  To excess?  Was it really so hard to type "thanks?" Are three extra keystrokes going to interrupt your golf game?)

But I haven't read any actual books on the subject of pregnancy–lesbian or otherwise.  Not a single one.

I ended up on Amazon.  I browsed for a while–looking up books I've heard of, reading reviews, and following Amazon's suggestions from one place to another.  I added the Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians to my cart, and went in search of the remaining $12 purchase I needed to make to save myself $5 on shipping–because that makes perfect sense.

As usual, Amazon had a few suggestions for me:

Ohamazon

What they don't realize is that purchasing karaoke show tunes is a surefire way for me to end up with a miserable, lonely lesbian pregnancy.  

Silver Linings Playbook

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I never saw the movie when it was in theaters, so once I saw that Silver Linings Playbook was out on video, I decided I'd better read the book before it started calling to us on pay per view.  I'm one of those people who likes to read books before I see the movies.  

I still have about an hour left of the audiobook, but let me just say that I love this book.  I love the writing.  I love how head-on the author addresses depression.  I love how the characters are so real.  No polished edges, just polished writing.

I really had no idea what I was headed into when I downloaded this book, and it's all unfolded like a wonderful surprise.  I can't wait to go sit in Friday rush hour, because it might just give me time to finish it!

Carrying On

A few weeks ago, I read this post on Glennon Doyle's blog, Momastery.  The post hit home for me on many levels–most impornatly (to me), she referred to God and gay people all in one breath without doing a disservice to either.

That's not really my point, though.  My point is that this woman–whose writing I had never read before a couple of weeks ago–really has a way with words.  As evidenced here:

And I don’t mean, Chase, that we would be tolerant of you and your sexuality. If our goal is to be tolerantof people who are different than we are, Chase, then we really are aiming quite low. Traffic jams are to be tolerated. People are to be celebrated.

I love this quote.  

So when her book, "Carry On, Warrior" was released and I saw that it was available on Audible, I went ahead and used my monthly credit for her book. I really wasn't sure what to expect, so I will tell you what you can expect:

Expect to be blown away. Expect to laugh hard–and then to wonder if everyone else stuck in rush hour traffic is staring at you and wondering why you're laughing so hard alone in your car–but it will be so funny, and you will not care. Also expect to cry–because life isn't all funny, and neither is this book.  If you're listening on audible like I am, expect to be hitting the bookmark button more frequently than you have with any other book you've ever listened to.  If you're reading the paper version, expect to highlight, underline, dog ear, etc.

Expect to love this book.  I truly can't recommend it enough.  It is real life with no excuses, and I hope someday that I can be half as bold as Glennon Doyle Melton.

One More Thing I Blame My Mother For

A million years ago when I was in
high school, my mom took me and one of my best friends on a camping trip to the
beach.  It was only about atwo hour
drive, but I remember my mom pulling out a box containing an audiobook and
announcing that she thought it would be fun for us to listen on the way there.

Fifteen year old Molly died a
little bit right there in the front seat of her mother’s Camry.

I could not believe that my mom
expected me and my FRIEND to LISTEN to a BOOK. WHATASTUPIDIDEAOMG.

Cut to our arrival at the
campground where we were all disappointed to have to turn the car off.  It was a John Grisham novel, as I
recall.  I was totally into it.  Typical.

Shortly after that trip, I
promptly forgot all about audiobooks. 
They were very expensive, after all, and when you’re 15 money doesn’t
grow on trees.  It grows from Saturday
night babysitting and pays for Friday night bowling with a gaggle of giggling
gay girlfriends.  At least it did for
me. 

Fast forward to Christmas two
years ago when my mom asked for a subscription to Audible.com.  I didn’t give it to her because I was SO SICK
of hearing about how she was LISTENING to such and such book, and how she fell
asleep for the gazillionth time listening to Jim Dale reading Harry Potter.  Her ipod was ALWAYS in her hand, it
seemed.  Majorly dramatic eyeroll that
would put my fifteen year old self to shame.

Then, my boss gave me $300 worth
of iTunes gift cards for Christmas.  I am
not a music nut, and I cuoldn’t come up with a need for $300 worth of apps if
my life depended on it, so I started contemplating audiobooks.  Maybe just something funny for my commute
to/from work.  Something to ease the pain
of traffic.  And so there was Chelsea
Handler.  And more Chelsea Handler.  And then the new Janet Evanovich book came
out and god knows I don’t have time to read it, but why not give it a listen.

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Before I knew it, I had my very
own Audible.com subscription and I was also borrowing books from my
mother.  (By the way, if you have never
listened to Jim Dale read Harry Potter as you’re falling asleep, you are
missing out.  It’s like having your
grandpa read you a bedtime story.)

So now, I am a convert with a
library full of audiobooks and the audible.com badges to prove it.  And Catch is the one rolling her eyes and
interrupting to correct me when I say that I’m reading a book.  “You’re LISTENING to a book,” she reminds me
with that disapproving teacher glint in her eyes.

Give it fifteen years and I bet I’ll
convert her, too.

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A (not-so) Vintage Cake

For Christmas, I asked for the book, "Vintage Cakes" by Julie Richardson.  

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I couldn't wait to try out some of the recipes, but since our Meyer lemon tree is abundantly covered in ripe lemons right now, the two lemon cakes were calling to me immediately.  Since we were having a dinner party on Saturday night, I got to try making the Lemon & Almond Streamliner cake.

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The cake itself is made with buttermilk and almond paste, and the result is moist and dense with the most lovely almond flavor.  It's topped with a deliciously tart home made lemon curd in place of icing.  I added some fresh raspberries for color, and they were a lovely compliment to lemon and almond.  

This cake was worth every single minute I spent in the kitchen on Saturday morning.  

This weekend, I'm going to try the Lemon Queen Cakes.  I'll let you know how it goes.  

50 Shades of Don’t Bother

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In recent months, I have become addicted to audiobooks.  (Thank you, Audible.com.) 

It started with my mom’s collection of the Harry Potter series on CD.  Then there was the Hunger Games trilogy.  (Which I have already listened to twice.)  Since then, I’ve added several books and an Audible subscription to my collection.  I can’t get enough of them.

I listen to them in the car.  On my lunch break.  While walking the dogs.  While trying to fall asleep at night.  (It’s like having someone read you a bedtime story!)  I am hooked.  I haven’t listened to a single book that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy.

Recently, I became curious about the Fifty Shades of Grey series.  I figured I’d use a credit and give book one a shot.

To quote a favorite movie of mine?  Big mistake.  HUGE mistake.

Oh my gosh, this book is awful.  Not only does the reader sound like some sort of teenage cheerleader-bimbo, but the writing is atrocious.  Someone really needs to give the author a thesaurus. 

I cannot recommend highly enough that you avoid this book.  If you must read it, but the paperback—on sale.

 

Moving On

From Harry Potter to the Hunger Games.

I have given up on waiting for Dropbox to upload the 5th Harry Potter book.  Either it’s too big, or my mom’s internet is too slow.  If I want it, I’m going to have to go over there and borrow her CDs. 

In the meantime, I’ve moved on to the Hunger Games.  I’m only about an hour in (and it’s more than 11 hours long), but so far I am loving the writing.  I’m not crazy about the reader, but most of the time I’m lost enough in the story that the reader becomes secondary. 

My mom tried to get us to go with her to see the movie on Sunday, but I told her I want to read (er—listen to) the book first.  I guess I’m going to make that happen sooner rather than later.  Go me.

In other news, I am desperately craving a vacation this week.  Nothing extravagant—just a lounge chair, an umbrella, my toes in the sand—and the rest of the dang Harry Potter books!

 

Addicted

Hp_audioIt’s taken me a while to jump on the Harry Potter bandwagon.  A long while.

Sure, I saw all of the movies, but I never read any of the books.  I figured seeing the movies was good enough for me.

And then… I got myself hooked on audiobooks for the drive to and from work.  And then… I realized how freaking expensive audiobooks are.  And after I had finished listening to every book Chelsea Handler ever had a hand in, I was at a loss for what should come next—and I wasn’t feeling much like spending $30 on a new book.

So, I set up a shared dropbox folder with my mom and asked her to send over the Harry Potter books.  She bought the audio version on CD when each book came out and has raved for years about how much she loves the guy who reads them.  She listens to them over and over again, and has even downloaded other books just because it’s this particular guy doing the reading.

I started at the beginning of the series, and soon, I found that instead of listening to and from work, I was also listening while I walked the dogs in the afternoon.  Then I noticed that I was continuing to listen as I watered the garden after our walk was finished.  Then, I was listening while I was washing the previous night’s dishes and starting the prep work on dinner. 

Eventually, I got to a point where I was (sort of) disappointed when Catch would come home because it meant pulling out my headphones.  I even started closing my office door at lunch and listening on my lunch break.

I just finished the fourth book late Saturday night.  Sunday was a lazy, rainy day and I was so looking forward to putting the 5th book on my iphone and listening while I baked oatmeal cookies and made soup for our lunches this week—but to my horror, I discovered that I never got the 5th book from my mom. 

So now, I am going through some severe Harry Potter withdrawal.  I listened to music on my way into work.  I gazed longingly at my iPhone during my silent lunch hour.  I am positively dreading the drive home—music will not distract me from the traffic nearly as well.

What’s a muggle to do?