I don’t know what a MEME is, but I like this list, so I want to participate…I’m going to skip the italicizing bit – I’d like to make my way through the whole list.

Look at the list of books below.
*Bold the ones you’ve read
*Italicize the ones you want to read
*Leave the ones that you aren’t interested in alone.

If you are reading this, tag you’re it!

1.The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2.Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3.To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)

4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10.A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11.Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12.Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13.Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16.Harry Potter and the Sorcerers’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees(Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban(Rowling)

20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie(Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) *My favorite book in the world – the only book I’ve read twice!*
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True(Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)

41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible (parts only)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)

52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54.Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolsoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80.Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth(Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100.Ulysses (James Joyce)

Book #5

Black Tulip

Well, I’ve finally finished The Masque of the Black Tulip.  Let me preface this review with some info. I listened to the first book in this series on audiobook. It was excellent – probably because the reader had an English accent, and it may have been abridged. That said, I did not enjoy this book nearly as much. I found myself skipping entire pages of internal dialog, and found the ending VERY unsatisfying.

Nonetheless, I’ve requested the third book in the series, something about an emerald, from the library. I’m really hoping for a conclusion to a few of the story lines started in the second book. It took me over a week to wade through the 400+ pages of the Black Tulip. If the next one moves as slowly, I will not finish it.

Caveat to readers: If you enjoy historical romance, you may love this book. I only kind of like historical fiction, I like these books more for the spy story lines.  This book was heavy on the victorian detail, light on the espionage.


Well, I’m feeling pretty smart these days. I’ve gotten Apache and PHP loaded on my computer, and I’ve started developing my first site using Dreamweaver 8. That program is amazing. I know there are die-hard hand-coders out there, but not me. I’m all for using Dreamweaver to do the heavy lifting.

Also, my super smart friend Spankratz shared the secret of viewing other peoples’ style sheets. It’s so simple, I feel like an idiot for not figuring it out, but now that I can see what they’ve done, I’m learning so much more about the capabilities of CSS.  Very exciting stuff.

Here’s the latest to do list regarding my online business:

  • Get a PO Box
  • Apply for State and City licenses,  run my newspaper ad, and then apply for Fed. EIN.
  • Keep working on site #1, create landing pages for sites #2 and#3

I’m going to stop there so I don’t get overwhelmed. That’s a lot of work.

School-wise, I’m a little sad that I’m even taking these classes. The good news is that I’m halfway done – 8 weeks to go. The bad news is that I have two midterms due this week, two major projects, the standard pile of homework and reading and five more discussion board entries to write. I wouldn’t mind any of this if it didn’t keep me from working on the things I want to do, like develop my sites.

The worst part is that I took these classes essentially for personal enjoyment/enrichment. They’re neither enjoyable or enriching at this point.

I walked two miles today, uphill. I read Body & Soul magazine while I walked. It was very peaceful. But that magazine is so lame. It’s so full of new-agey crap, that I can hardly find the good info in it. I didn’t renew my subscription, and they sent me a letter that said, “So, we see you’re no longer interested in health.” Ridiculous. There is maybe one good article that actually improves my life in each issue.

So, Martha, I’m still a big fan, but I don’t like that magazine or your other new one, Blueprint. I’ll stick with Everyday Food.

lethargy smethargy…

I thought I’d write an actual post, and not just book reports. I have no interest in any of my interests this week. I don’t want to look at homework. I can’t find my disk with all my web designs saved on it, so I don’t want to work on my websites, because I hate doing stuff from scratch that I already have – and that crap took me a long time to make. Here I was thinking, “oh, I’ll back these up on a CD, and take them off my computer so they’re safe,” and then I can’t find the box with the CDs in it. Annoying. All of my illustrator designs are on that same disk. Also annoying.

All I want to do lately is read fiction. Hence, the numerous book postings in the last few days. I don’t even really want to watch TV (if you know me at all, this is really a big shocker.) My TIVO is almost maxed out with weeks worth of shows I haven’t watched. I even gave up a few shows and erased my Season Pass (DIRT, Apprentice LA, Shark).

Perhaps I need more sleep. I have been going to the gym, though. I’m doing pretty well there. The other day (Friday?), I walked/jogged on the treadmill for a whole hour! It’s because my new gym friend showed up right as I was going to get off (30 min.) and I ended up staying on and talking to her.  It was also the first time I ran a half mile straight. Normally, I’ll walk for .25 miles, jog for .25, etc. But that day, I walked .5, then jogged .5 miles at 5.5 and 6.0. That’s pretty fast for me. Then I walked another .25, then ran .25 at 6.5! This is almost a fitness miracle for me.

Anyway, I’m still as fat as ever. I can feel some muscles in my legs under the layer of winter blubber, but I can’t see them yet. And my pants aren’t fitting any better…so, who knows. Perhaps I shouldn’t have eaten a strawberry shortcake this evening :)

Aah, who cares. At least I’m going everyday. Eventually, that has to make a difference. I mean, I was doing NOTHING for a whole 2 years…so I’m sure progress will happen soon.

Props to my friend Spankratz for making it to the final round of interviews. Soon, she’ll be free from her overworking-drag of a job and onto the new and exciting world of magazine editing!

Book #3

Babes in Arms by Kathleen O'Brien

Book #2 in the Four Seasons of Firefly Glen, Babes in Arms by Kathleen O’Brien – loved it! I read it in a day, and ordered the other two books in the series off of amazon the same day. Even cooler, I emailed the author to tell her how much I loved the first book, Winter Baby, and she emailed me back! A really nice, friendly email! So, read her books, she’s nice, and she’s an excellent writer.

Back to the book a little, there are some good laugh out loud moments, and I genuinely didn’t know how it was going to all come together in the end – which is a nice change of pace from most series romances. Excellent writing – far superior to a lot of popular romance novelists on the market today!

Book #4

Sammy's Hill by Kristen Gore

Funniest book I’ve read in a long time, and that includes Jon Stewart’s America. The ridiculous situations Sammy faces reminded me of so many people in my life, myself included, that I couldn’t help but relate to her plight. I would not categorize this book as Chick Lit – although I am a die-hard fan of the genre. I think this book would appeal to broader audiences. If so much of the comedy wasn’t in Sammy’s head, it would make an excellent movie.

Favorite moments:

  • Sammy practicing defensive stances against animal attacks
  • Sammy daydreaming about her involvement in just about every happening on Capitol Hill.
  • Sammy being an intelligent, believable character in spite of her ridiculous tendencies.

Read it already!

Book #2

Winter Baby by Kathleen O'Brien

Winter Baby by Kathleen O’Brien.
I’m a Harlequin junkie when the mood hits me, and I got this great book off of eHarlequin months ago. Luckily, I got the Signature Select edition, which has two books in it, so I’m already starting the next one. Great small upstate-New York town, believable characters, sweet love scenes…great find. I especially like that it’s a series, and there are four of the romances, and at least one mystery. Check out the author, Kathleen O’Brien’s website – she’s a stay-at-home mom living the dream! Congrats to her on her success. RWA members rule!

Book #1

Storm Runners

I received this book through First Look, my source of free galley copies. I loved it so much that I started reading all of Parker’s books. He uses simple language, simple characters with depth, and stories that don’t have a lot of Soap Opera twists and backwards turns.

The main gist is a cop’s family is murdered and he’s injured in the attack. When he’s ready to come back and join the living, he takes a job for a friend as a private security/body guard protecting a local weather girl. Her Katherine Hepburnesque character is experimenting with controlling levels of rainfall.

I really liked the unique story lines and interesting characters. This is my favorite Parker novel so far.

back in the saddle

We went to Maryland for a few days to visit my husband’s grandfather. He’s moving into a full-time-care facility, and we were helping my husband’s aunt clean out his cottage. Very depressing. But my grandfather lives in a trailer in Florida and refuses to leave. He’s two years older than my husband’s grandpa. At least one of them is taken care of.

On the mompreneur front, I am supposed to have a business plan prepared to enter into a contest in two days. I haven’t even started. Well, I’ve done a lot of research, and I have bits and pieces spread all over, but I haven’t started typing the actual document into Word yet. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. It’s free money, if I win. 1st place is $1000! That would go a long way as my advertising budget. But still, here I am, typing this blog post instead of my executive summary.

A friend sent me a blog by a girl that reads reads reads. She keeps track of the books she’s read by writing a short blurb in her blog and numbering each one – both keeping track of stories and how many books she reads. I believe I will start this. She also keeps a running journal. I don’t run that much, but I might keep an exercise journal. Basically, I love her blog and I’m going to copy it :) I’ve put her in my blogroll – “She Books It”. Get it? She’s a runner and a reader? Very witty, my friends, very witty.

I’ve already read a few books this year, but I’m just going to start fresh. Exciting news on the book front – the new Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book is out. I didn’t know there would be a #4. I requested it from the library, it looks like its going to be a while. That’s okay though, because it gives me something to look forward to.

The House Inaction

Here’s a letter I got from my representative:


Dear Mrs. <name removed> :

Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts on the Safe Climate Act of 2006 .

Representing the interests of the 49 th Congressional District is made much easier by people like you, who take the time and effort to share their opinions with me. Your comments concerning the Safe Climate Act of 2006 have been noted. I will be sure to keep them in mind when related issues come before me in the House of Representatives.

To view my positions and additional information on current issues, please visit my website at . Each week, I survey comments received from my constituents and post statements on the issues of greatest interest. Please return to the website often as new information is added frequently.

Again, thank you for contacting me about this matter of concern to you.


Darrell Issa
Member of Congress

Not so impressive…I don’t feel confident that he will consider my feelings at all. That’s why I didn’t vote for him. I voted for Jeeni Criscenzo, even though she was a long shot. Issa’s not a bad guy, but the issues he’s dealing with are not my first choice. He has very little sponsored or co-sponsored legislation dealing with anything environmental. He is very supportive of the military though, which I think is important and fitting for our district.

I have letters that my mom received from both Kennedy and Johnson thanking her for expressing her opinions on the legalization of marijuana…I think I’ll write actual letters to my senators and representatives from now on, so my kids know what was important to me :)