Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Dumpster Diving!

So yesterday I took a bunch of stuff to the recycling center. You can practically recycle anything these days and yesterday I recycled: batteries, phone books, magazines, glass, and plastics. While I was tossing about 6 months worth of Cosmo, Glamour, and Allure I saw gleaming on top last week's People magazine!! I was so excited!! It was full of just the kind of crap I needed to read yesterday!!

Monday, April 24, 2006


These two books were actually re-reads that I did over the weekend. They are both from Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series about eight British siblings in the Regency Era, circa 1820's. I looooove the Bridgerton books. Well, most of them. I will admit that was wasn't crazy about When He Was Wicked, but it certainly wasn't because of Ms. Quinn's writing ability. She is a fantastic writer of romance because she keeps you interested almost all throughout the book (and that is no small accomplishment - I often find myself skipping boring scenes in romance novels that feature unnecessary secondary characters, certain passionate encounters, ill-plotted mysteries, etc) and she is also hilariously funny. She can really tug on your heartstrings, too. The Bridgerton's father died when the oldest child was just eighteen and the youngest hadn't been born yet, and each time she mentions it in one the books you truly feel sad.

The last installment in this series is coming out this summer and I can't wait! But at the same time it will be sad because I've been reading and awaiting Bridgerton books for four years now!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Earth Day "Stuff"

Happy Earth Day!! This is a great book that I have my students read. It shows how various things are made and the inputs used for things like newspapers, shoes, bicycles, coffee, etc! Its also written by the Northwest Environment Watch! Go NW!!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Daily reading summary:

Today I was so excited when I checked my e-mail this morning!! My secretary told me that the new edition of National Geographic came!!! YEE-HAW!! This month, May 2006, is a good month for the publication. Its main story is about selling Alaska's Frontier but the story I wanted to read was about The Gospel of Judas. Its a very interesting story in terms of how the document was found, sold, survived, put back together and translated.

There is also a very interesting story on Prince Charles's backyard and the spirits of Myanmar.

Definitely worth looking into!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It's a Magical World

Considering that my last contribution was pretty embarrassing, I've decided to post again even though I haven't finished the book I'm reading (and final exams are coming up so I have a good excuse for that, anyway). Besides, Kim wrote about the Venetian whore and her dwarf and she NEVER finished that one.

From the publisher:
After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.

When you put it that way, it sounds a little silly. This is actually a YA (young adult) book, but it's received positive reviews from adults so I decided to give it a try. So far I'm liking it, although Gemma makes me sad because she's so sad over losing her mother. I've never been a big fan or paranormal or magical plots, though, so we'll have to see how I feel when I finish.

What about you guys? Do you like reading about magic or do you prefer to read books that could (theoretically) be grounded in reality?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


The 100 Unsexiest men in the world!!


Found while jumpin' blogs that LL loves!

Its not that great....

I'm sorry. I just CANNOT finish this book. It has no plot, suspense, or anything to keep me wanting to read it! I read 275 pages (out of 350) and feel bad that I have no desire to complete it but I'm positive that the Venetian whore and her dwarf will live happily ever after!

I checked it out from the library and I am compelled to leave a note on page 30 for the future reader who recalled it from me! "Don't read any further! Nothing happens, no deaths, no interesting characters, NOTHING!"

The sad part is that I actually bought another Sarah Dunant book (for a dollar 25) and I am iffy about reading it.

Monday, April 17, 2006

A little red paperclip?

Well, I read other things too, like news and I came across this story today that I thought was funny and super sweet!!



Judith Levine's "Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping" has been a well-reviewed book since it came out last month. So I was looking forward to reading it and eagerly requested it from the library. Then I realized that I wasn't "buying" her argument.

Yeah, she paid off her credit card BUT she still bought high end food from a Co-Op where fruits and veg are expensive and felt items such as caviar and lox were necessary to serve at times! I didn't feel sorry for her, the book didn't make want to try her yearly experiment and I AM SO GLAD I DIDN'T FORK OVER 25 SMACKS FOR THIS BOOK!

Angela Nissel's "The Broke Diaries: The Completely True and Hilarious Midadventures of a Good Girl Gone Broke" was great! It was just what I thought Levine's book would be! Nissel is a script writer for Scrubs now and this book is hilarious!!!

Outcome: Nissel by a landslide!!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Grocery Store Isn't A Great Place For Literary Selection

I bought this book last week at Safeway. 'Nuf said. It was your typical supermarket romance. I knew it would be dumb, but I was bored and knew I could read it in only a few hours.

The heroine was in the witness protection program and the hero was an FBI agent that was investigating her new personality for a crime unrelated to the one she was in the program for. Of course he wanted to shag her without knowing anything about her. Lame-o!


We have a new contributor!! Her name is Lindsey Lou and SHE LOVES ROMANCE NOVELS!!

Book Battles!! Round 2


I still have not figured out the difference in plots, although one takes place in the U.S.



So, since this is a Templar-related post I feel I too should use the quote, eventhough it has nothing to do with any of the above.

"It has served us well, this myth of Christ." Pope Leo X

Both are disqualified! (because I don't like them and for a lack of originality!)

Saturday, April 15, 2006



Ok, granted I have not officially finished either of these books yet, I would just like to point out how similar their covers are!

I WILL NEVER FINISH "Seductress: Women who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love" by Betsy Prioleau! BORING!! I am yawning just thinking about it! UGH! If you want to know the history behind ravishing women go ahead! Take the book from me! I will even ship the book straight to your door!

The top book, "In the Company of the Courtesan: A Novel" by Sarah Dunant is proving to be better, but when the plot is about a 16th c. Venetian whore and her dwarf what could be better! Besides, she makes fun of whore poetesses!! I would also like to point out that someone feels it is necessary to warn you that THIS IS IN FACT A NOVEL! As if placing the book in general fiction isn't enough!

Winner: Venetian whore + Dwarf

Friday, April 14, 2006

Templars Schlemplars!

This is a simple review: Take The Da Vinci Code insert Templars and question whether Jesus really did resurrect. Now, for those of you who know me I have a knack of predicting books or movies, thus becoming bored. I did finish this book, but I felt it was too much like The Da Vinci Code so I couldn't fully appreciate it. I would recommend it only if you really like Dan Brown's books. I chose this book because its on the NY Times Bestsellers.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

A Great Article!

With the announcement earlier this week about Katie Couric moving to CBS we have been hearing the sentence "(enter name here) will be the first woman to (enter event, occupation, etc.)" This article discusses when this will (and it WILL happen!) end.

NY Times Article

Friday, April 07, 2006

A Friday night read

I was so happy to find out that the library had this book!! Growing up in a poor, disfunctional family I could relate to many of the experiences Walls writes about. Although her stories about growing up among alcoholism and poverty are sad the ways she gets through them are humorous and courageous. I didn't want the book to end! (But I didn't like the way it ended).

Publisher Comments:

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an excitement addict. Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town — and the family — Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Can you pick the one that is different?


Both of these books are on the NY Times Bestseller list and I can't figure out how the plots are different from each other....meaning WHICH ONE DO I ATTEMPT TO READ FIRST?


Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

I like to read some of Kermit's books and this one was great! I have a minor in sustainable development and oftentimes we would come across liberal opinions of how and why international foreign aid or loans do not work, but their opinions were difficult to agree with at times because it is difficult to show quantitatively why loans do not work in the best interest of the entire country. This book shows that yes, loans don't work for the poor, the people who most need assistance in the third world.

Perkins, who worked as an economist for large corporations, would convince countries foreign loans would bring great wealth, but wealth only to those in the upper ranks. Perkins was only concerned with making contractual agreements so that third world countries would take loans they could never re-pay, make agreements with U.S. companies such as Bechtel and Halliburton and thus the loan money would flow back into the U.S. and make U.S. companies richer at the expense of the poor. Perkins eventually changes and is now working on behalf of indigenous tribes in South America fighting against U.S. corporate encroachment on their properties and environment. Go Perkins!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Opal and my auto

How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life
by Kaavya Viswanathan

When you go to the doctor's office, Les Schwab, and Jiffy Lube all in one day you better have a good book to read! I was really excited yesterday to find this in the library and I bet I am the first one to read it! THIS BOOK IS FABULOUS!!

I heard about this book from Yahoo! Reviews:

"There's a reason Opal Mehta needs to get kissed, get wild and get a life.

Right after she was born, her Indian immigrant parents, Amal and Meena, began implementing the HOWGIH (How Opal Will Get into Harvard) plan.

Opal's now 16 and as far as she's concerned, her worst-case life scenario would be to settle for Yale. But Opal, the straight-A student, is so busy with the school recycling program and the Science Bowl team that she has just one friend, her cat, Mr. Muffty. (Related link: Check out an excerpt of How Opal Mehta Got Kissed ...)

When she goes to Harvard for her early admission interview, she gets the shock of her life. The dean of admissions tells her she needs to become well-rounded, make friends and "experience being young."

If Opal Mehta needs to get a life, she can certainly take lessons from her creator, debut author/smart girl Kaavya Viswanathan. A sophomore at Harvard, Viswanathan snagged a two-book, $500,000 contract from Little, Brown at the tender age of 17. Opal Mehta, which has a first printing of 100,000 copies, has been optioned by DreamWorks.

It's clear that Viswanathan has a life, but how does Opal get one? By implementing the HOWGAL (How Opal Will Get a Life) plan. Using the same ingenuity that went into HOWGIH, her dad creates Excel documents that include Conversation Starters with Popular Girls and Essential Party Songs.

Mom buys The O.C. on DVD and all the essential teen movies, including She's All That and Drive Me Crazy. Dad makes slang flash cards and encourages Opal "to get jiggy."

Hell-bent on learning everything about popular culture, Opal scours teen magazines and Vogue so she can debate the merits of Seven vs. Citizens of Humanity jeans and tell the difference between Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Mom even leaves encouraging notes on the fridge for Opal: "Out to pick you up some new high-volume mascara. Your principal called. He said you cut class and were seen getting into a Range Rover with the popular girls. We've never been so proud of you."

Is this any way for a girl geek to get a life and get into Harvard?

How Opal Mehta Got Kissed is a hysterically funny train wreck of a story littered with mean girls, drunken parties, bad boys and enough chandelier earrings to light up the Harvard lawn.

I'll bet you a copy of Laguna Beach: The Complete First Season and a gold lamé Miu Miu bag that you won't read a sweeter, funnier, more charming book this year."

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

My Obituary

The Dead Beat: Lost Souls, Lucky Stiffs, and the Perverse Pleasures of Obituaries
by Marilyn Johnson

As I flew home today I listened to an interview of Johnson's new book "The Dead Beat". This book has been on my "TO READ" list since it came out earlier this year but the library hasn't received it yet!!

What I found interesting was the fact that the New York Times has a room of files of "future" obituaries for people who are super famous and might die tomorrow, or for those who wrote their own obituaries before their death.

And since THIS IS MY SUPER BAD DAY! I thought about what my obituary would say:

Kimberly Elizabeth died of stress-overload in her car on her way home today. She was born in Sunnyside, WA in 1979 to Larry and Carol. She loved to read and loved "Anne of Green Gables" as a child. She graduated from Prosser High School where she was active in theater and cheerleading. After a brief stint as a SeaGal she attended Washington State University where she graduated with two Bachelors degrees in Women's Studies and Comparative Ethnic Studies. It was at WSU that she met her best friend Woosellio and from there they attended the University of Idaho where Kim was working on her Masters of Science in Geography. Kim's other greatest friends include her poochies Ocean, Pixel, Olive, and Spot all of which kept her feet warm.
When she wasn't in school Kim could be found traveling, but only to islands although she did not plan this and has nothing against the mainland. She believes that she learned to laugh in the Philippines, think in England, dance in Cuba, and eat in Japan. She enjoyed antiques, collecting books, stupid jokes and movies, and napping. She is survived by her fabulous boyfriend Kermit whom she couldn't live without, Woosellio, Ocean, Pixel, Olive, Spot, her dear longtime friends Dan, Eric, Masa, Forrest, and Kathy and many other special friends. She is preceded in death by her favorite aunt Beulah Lee, her grandmothers Margaret and Jackie, and her beloved dog Bruno.

I actually feel better now!

My Super Bad Day/ Good Memory of a Book

Weight: They Myth of Atlas and Heracles by Jeanette Winterson

Jeanette Winterson is one of my favorite authors. She has this fantastic ability to take the simplest words and thoughts and transform them into beauty. "Weight" is her new book and I read it two weeks ago in an evening. In it she retells the story of Atlas and Heracles but its the ending I absolutely love!!!

Yes, I AM A SUCKER FOR DOGS! So, all I will tell you is that there is a dog towards the end and the event that takes place melts my heart and lifts all the weight of my bad day off my shoulders. At least I am not Atlas!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Night, Frey and Oprah

Night by Elie Wiesel

I would say that most people had heard of this memoir before Oprah included it in her book club. Its short, and to the point. I first read it in the 9th grade and re-read it the other day since Kermit has a copy. It is very well worth reading. The emotions and loss of mind control that Elie goes through are unimaginable for me. I wonder if he ever re-gained his faith in God?

I wanted to read James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces" before reading "Night", but I only wanted to read it because of the controversy that it is not a memoir but in fact more of a novel. I wonder if Oprah feels better knowing that Night is true; have her book club readers felt better? I would be disappointed too, after finding out a book I thought was true wasn't. I tend to sympathize more reading memoirs than fiction. I think this is why I prefer them. I just don't know how I feel about Oprah's book choice and the message it sends about memoirs and authenticity, NOT THE BOOK "NIGHT" ITSELF, but choosing a book near the other end of the spectrum from "A Million Little Pieces." What do you think?