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I'm a mommy, wife, chauffeur, zookeeper, reader and book reviewer

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why I run

I have registered for my first 10K (a.k.a. 5mi uptown Oct 22, 2011), am getting ready to run the Dallas White Rock 5 person relay with 4 wonderful women, and I asked myself why? Initially I thought about running when my older daughter was about 18 months (she’s 9 now) and was bored with walking a stroller every day. Next, I wondered if I COULD complete a 5K—after all, I’m no athlete. Somewhere along the way I noticed some health benefits. I also came across a self-defense site (James R. Hannibal's self-defense site) that recommended running as a line of self-defense. The catch is having more endurance than your attacker. Suddenly, images from TV shows and movies of women running over various terrain away from their attackers replayed in my mind.

I’ve come a long way from only running down hill with a stroller and the Couch-to-5k-program. I don’t know if I’m classified as an athlete, but … Oh all right. I’ll admit it.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So much better than I expected!

The Muir HouseThe Muir House by Mary E. DeMuth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Muir House by Mary DeMuth is about a young, determined woman named Willa Muir who is looking for home and a missing year, a missing memory. She turns down a marriage proposal believing her life is too unstable with missing memories. Willa was starting to piece together some fragments when the house she was staying at in Seattle burns to the ground. She feels driven back to where she grew up—Rockwall, Texas. There she tries to sort through her feelings about her deceased father, her dying mother, her old boyfriend, the caretaker of Muir funeral home turned Bed and Breakfast, and the fractured memories that come back to her as she uncovers answers.

I appreciate that Willa is a strong-willing woman, undeterred by those who think the past should be left hidden, buried, or forgotten. There were moments when I wanted to keep turning pages to discover what happened next, but I had to put it down to chew on the concepts Demuth creatively wove into the storyline.

The Muir House includes mystery, suspense, romance, and healing in an order I did not expect. I would definitely recommend this book.

I received this complimentary copy from Zondervan to read and give an honest review.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer Reading Challenger and an American Girl

My older daughter was a reluctant reader, but nothing seems to excite her more than the challenge of beating me—her mom. Our first true week of summer, she checked out the Kaya series—6-7 books—and I checked out a Clive Cussler. Ok, maybe I checked out a couple other books too that I was curious about and to give her a chance to beat me. I thought I was a fast reader.

She is no longer a reluctant reader. She beat me with no trouble at all. It might have something to do with these American Girl books. I decided to read one of these books my daughter was devouring. The Kaya series is well written and definite page turners. And I couldn’t stop at just one. I had to find out if Kaya returned to her family after being kidnapped. I wanted to know if she ever saw her sister Speaking Rain again when she had to leave her behind in a crisis. I had to keep reading to see if she was reunited with her beloved horse Steps High.

I love that the American Girls are about strong-willed girls 8-10 years old who have to deal with conflicts in their time periods. Because Kaya is a Native American Indian in 1764, the stories include the Nimiipu religious traditions but is done in such a way that it fits without trying to brain wash the reader in any way.

I think I will have to restructure the summer reading challenge, however, as my daughter is no longer a reluctant and is beating me too easily.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cute, quick, fun read

Gossip From the Girls' Room: A Blogtastic! NovelGossip From the Girls' Room: A Blogtastic! Novel by Rose Cooper

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I discovered this author via Facebook and Blogger when she was waiting for this book to arrive from the publisher. As she talked about a sixth grade girl named Sofia who wrote down everything in a journal that she thought was blog worthy. Sometimes she recorded hallway rumors and sometimes she learned interesting tidbits when she was unnoticed in a bathroom stall. She then posted to her blog—which is hosted by the school website—when nobody was watching. Sofia uses and assumed name and only her best friend knows the truth, but Sofia still dreams of popularity via her anonymous blog.

The pink and black cover and author’s doodling add to the irresistibility of this book. I checked it out to see if my older daughter (8yo) would be interested. Gossip is such a quick, fun read I had to pass it on to her. She couldn’t put it down! I highly recommend this to 8-12 year old girls. I think it is especially appropriate for the reluctant reader.

Per my 8yo: this was a really good book. Sofia is a really good character because she has a journal where she writes down everything she hears. It’s really cool that she has a blog on the school website because I don’t. I liked the weird jokes, when Sofia practiced writing her names different ways and when Nona’s tongue got stuck on the flagpole. I would recommend this book to other girls my age.

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