Book List-HELP!

So a very dear friend and I are starting a book list.  We have come to the conclusion that as bibliophiles, we have been unable to find a satisfactory “Top 100 Books You Must Read to Be Considered Well-Read” list.  Some of the lists have most of the books we believe should be included and then fall by the wayside.  So we are making our own.  And then tackling all the books on it, that we haven’t yet read.  Now keep in mind, it’s tough to not out all our personal favorites on there.  But since mine would be loaded with Ayn Rand and his with Russian History, we’d bore the rest of the world.  How about you, bloggers?  What are your top 5 essential books?  Help us out!

Let’s see how far we’ve come…

I used to be all about drama.  I mean ALL about drama.

Any girl that went near my ex-husband was bait.  I didn’t want him, but I sure as hell did not want him to be with someone else.  I could…but he could not.  Selfish, yes.  Ridiculous, yes.  Irrational, yes.  Keep in mind, he was the reason our marriage ended-I was forced to make the choice I here to start reading our story.

Fast forward to the present day, I recently loaned his live-in girlfriend my set of Twilight books.  This is no small prize friends.  I love those books.  They might be the only fiction, non classic literature books I truly do love.  But she’s enjoying them.  And it opened up a door to us texting casually.  Both about my daughters love of Pandora charms and about some more personal issues going on in her life.  My daughter loves that we’re chatting a bit more.  I love that I know this person who is present in my daughters life, if only a little bit better.  And I’m starting to wonder what on earth this girl is doing with my ex-husband?  We’ve come a long way baby, when I start feeling bad for the girlfriend.

Book Length.

Here’s a question.  I’m currently writing a book for young adults.  I mean really young.  The target audience is about 9-12.  What length do your children currently enjoy?  How long do they like the Chapters to be?  Especially when it’s a sort of historical fiction?  My daughter has never really been about the American Girl books, because they seemed dry and took too long to finish.  But then again, I’ll have to get her to try the again now that she’s a bit older.  

Of course you’ll all be the first to know when it’s completed and I’d love for you all to edit and review it for me once I’ve already got it out to the publisher.

And obviously I will link to sellers here of course.  But it could be awhile.  My Dad is helping me with some of it, in particular the illustrations.  It’s going to be a great project to work on together.


And my girl is back.  Prettier than ever, happy to see her Mama and does she ever smell amazing.  🙂  We watched 13 going on 30, with Jennifer Garner, and cuddled.  🙂  Yesterday we spent the day with my Dad.  He might possibly be B’s biggest fan  

Eat, Pray, Love-Little B style.

Yes, I’m currently reading this but that phrase fits amply with the photo of the little muffin above.

My little B (not so little anymore, she’s 95 lbs and steadily creeping upwards towards her mother in height (not a huge feat, since I’m slightly exaggerating when I claim to be a whopping 5’4″) and she’s only 8 1/2, is the epitome of a happy person who has really got her inner self in a great spot.  Sure, she has her days sometimes and I get frustrated too, but this kid has figured out something at an early age it’s taken me until age 34 to learn- HAVE FUN!  While reading “Eat, Pray, Love”, I realized that although I strive daily to appreciate all that I have in my life and how blessed I am, my girl tends to do that without even being aware of it.  I’m not sure how to help her hang onto this and God help the person who bitters up that old soul in a spirited youthful body!  She asked me about this book this morning, after having seen it lying around.  When I told her about it, her eyes lit up.  I think she’ll be the one to travel all over when she gets a bit older.  Hopefully she lets me tag along!  

In my late teens and twenties, I, like Elizabeth Gilbert, was always entwined in one or another relationship with a male.  Always some drama, always an attachment.  Does anyone have any ideas how to encourage my daughter to develop her sense of self and to be strong enough to not “need” a man in her life?  I was pretty independent, but I can barely think of a time when I wasn’t somewhat involved with someone on some level, however superficial.  For right now, she’s pretty in love with this one male:

Then again, so am I.  

Another thing, for those of you who don’t know B (this just came to me, because I’m so curious, I’d be just dying to know!  😉  ), do you wonder what her name really is?  Did you figure out it starts with a B?  Did you wager a guess?

Sing a little song.(and an organ donation plug)

Chorus concert tonight for my girl.  She loves to sing, she’s got it in her blood and tonight we have some public witnesses to what is really my life with this child.  She sings ALL the time.  Now, her Dad and grandfather are both musicians and sing non-stop so I should have known.  And since she has a beautiful voice it’s actually quite nice most of the time.  However, it will be nice when she gets past singing about such things as an 8 year old sings about.  :)On another note…I’m currently reading Jon Krakauer’s “Under the Banner of Heaven”, a novel about religious extremism, in particular the Mormon Fundamentalists.  If you’ve ever read “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote and liked it, you will enjoy this as well.  I have to say that it’s got a strong historical basis, which being a non-fiction reader by nature, I love.  I’ve learned so much about a religion that I previously knew nothing about.  I have to say, that when they come knocking on my door, spreading the Word, I will be able to say that I truly am not interested now, instead of just brushing them off.  🙂 I’m Catholic, with a bit of a Buddhist tinge to me…ok, more than a bit, but I definitely think that Mormonism (and especially Fundamentalism) is not for me.  But yet again, Krakauer did not disappoint.  His exhaustive research on the subjects he writes about really educate his readers, without boring to tears, as many history based books can do.   I do realize that this is just one viewpoint as I’m a very discerning reader and research even farther than my books take me, so I know that there is another “side” to the story and am exploring that as well.  I do see why people are attracted, or were attracted to this religion, in light of what they were promised.  “Three Cups of Tea” by Greg Mortenson is a book that I will not soon forget.  I advise everyone to check it out and see the difference that one person with no significant financial means, can make upon this Earth.  His wife should also be commended for enduring the extended absences of Greg Mortenson while he makes all of his wonderful sacrifices, because she’s a guiding force behind his successes as well (as he is the first to admit).   There is mention of him someday receiving the Nobel Peace Prize and it would be well earned.  He’s given so much, to a country that many of us just dismiss.  This book opened my eyes and encouraged me to help try and make a difference and most of all, to increase tolerance of other cultures and religions. And last of all, as many of you know, my husband was  an organ donor eight years ago, before I met him (he donated a lung lobe for his childhood best friend who had cystic fibrosis, in a surgery that nearly cost him his own life).  Hence, we are active in CF fundraising and research and very interested in the possibilities of any cures on the horizon.  In my exploration of the blogosphere, I found Confessions of a CF Husband ( and became very involved in their story.  Nate and Tricia and their adorable daughter Gwyneth have touched the hearts of many people around the world and once you visit this blog, you will be checking it several times daily.  Please swing by and visit and no matter what your faith, say a prayer for these people who have tackled one of the most difficult situations with grace and style and always with immeasurable faith in God.  And I guarantee you’ll enjoy the regular pictures of baby Gwyneth that you get treated to!  And remember, give the gift of life.  Whether it’s while you are living or after death…donate blood, become an organ donor, become active in encouraging others.  It’s the greatest gift you can ever give.  Tricia received “new lungs” late last night and early this morning in an long surgery.  Please pray for her swift and full recovery.