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Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Mean Moms Rule" - Denise Schipani

Finally, a parenting book I can relate to! "Mean Moms Rule' by Denise has brought a smile to my face because I feel like she is telling me what I already think. Mean Mom's isn't about being, well, mean... it's about teaching your children to be ready for the world. It's preparing them for the world, not the world for them.

What does this mean, you may ask? Well, it means you make the kids learn how to clean dishes, mow a lawn, cook, and all those "mean" things that kids aren't doing today. It's teaching them life skills for them to be successful. It teaches them patience and learning that sometimes you have to work hard for what you want!

Denise has Mom Manifestos for being a true "mean mom". These are handy tidbits for mom's to remember when trudging through the path called motherhood. There are 10 manifestos to remember.

1) "It's not about you. It's about them.
2) Hang on to yourself. You many need that person later (and so may your kids).
3) Start as you mean to go on.
4) Don't follow the parenting pack.
5) Take (or take back) control.
6) Say no. Smile. Don't apologize. Repeat as necessary.
7) Teach life skills. If not you, who?
8) Slow it down. Slow it way down.
9) Fail your child, a little bit, every day.
10) Prepare them for the world (not the world for them).
*table of contents, Mean Moms Rule. Denise Schipani. Sourcebooks, Inc. Naperville, IL.

I just finished mean mom manifesto 8, and I'm really enjoying the book. So far, my favorite manifesto is 6. The stories she tells about her own sons makes this chapter comical and easy to relate to.I can so see my son in her stories!

When you get a chance, this is a must read for any mom out there! This is one of the best parenting advice books I've found. It's not sappy, it's real and it's honest. What more can you ask for?!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The White Bone - Barbara Gowdy

This book was recommended to me by a coworker awhile ago. Knowing my love of elephants she told me I had to know about this book. This book is written from a young elephant's point of view.

In this book, you follow the life of a young elephant, Mud. Mud's mother died after childbirth and trapped Mud underneath her when she died. A few days later a heard of cows discovers Mud and frees her from under her mother's corpse. 

The rest of the book from there on out is based from Mud's point of view. I will say that as interesting as I found it, I was not impressed. It is a pretty difficult book to follow. Unless you have a lot of time to decipher what Mud is talking about (i.e. A cheetah is not called a cheetah in the book, but called longbody.) then this book becomes difficult to read. 

I am going to put it at the bottom of my book list and read it later, when I have more time available. Who knows, my opinion might change by then. :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Zombie in Love" - Kelly DiPucchio

"Zombie in Love" - Kelly DiPucchio
Normally I don't put the children's books I read to my son on this blog, but I just had to add this one. I went to pick up my son from my Mom's house and she hands me this book. She said I had to take it home and read it. Atticus was super excited about it, so we sat down to read it the other night. I must say that it is completely adorable.
So some of you may think I'm slightly demented for two reasons: 1) I think that a zombie looking for love in a children's book is adorable and 2) I read it to my 5-year-old son and he thinks it's just as adorable as I do. That's ok, my son and I are a little different but it keeps life interesting. :) Anyway, onto the book!
This book is about a zombie named Mortimer. He's looking forward to the Cupid's ball but doesn't have a date. He wants more than anything to be in love and dance with someone at the ball, but is having some relationship issues in trying to find that someone special. This is his "love story" and it's simplistically enjoyable.
To display the sense of humor in this book, I'll give you a little preview.
"Tall, Dead, & Handsome
If you like taking walks in the graveyard
and falling down in the rain.
If you're not into cooking,
if you have half a brain.
If you like waking up at midnight,
horror films and voodoo,
then I'm the guy who you've looked for
and I'm dying to meet you!" (DiPucchio, pg. 10,2011)
I certainly give this book as many thumbs and fingers up as Mortimer has left and hope that you go borrow it from your local library. Even if you don't have kids, you should read this at least once to yourself. It's a reminder of how simple and complicated love can be all at once. :)
**DiPucchio, K. (2011). Zombie in love. Antheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division. New York, New York. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

"Shirly Jackson, Novels and Short Stories" - Shirley Jackson

"Shirley Jackson, Novels and Short Stories" - Shirley Jackson
 
 
For Christmas this year, my Mom did something pretty cool. Since she has three grown daughters, a son-in-law, a grandson, and a boyfriend-in-law, there are a lot of gifts going around the tree. To simplify things, my mom asked the adults to fill out four questions: Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. After seeing a movie called "Haunting of Hill House", I wanted to read the book it was based off of. So, you can guess, that was my something to read. :) My Mom, being the cool Mom that she is, stepped it up. She got me a collection of Shirley Jackson's novels and stories. I had never heard of any of the other stories, but she said that she'd read one other and it was good.
 
So, to begin, Shirley Jackson was a pretty unknown author to me. When I told my Mom I wanted to read "The Haunting on Hill House" I didn't even know who the author was.... pathetic right?! So let's give an introduction to who Shirley Jackson is before we get to the novels I've been reading. Shirley Jackson is a post war author who wrote novels between the years of approximately 1940 and 1960's. I'm not quite sure what you would call her genera, but there is certainly horror in it, but it's more about the mind being confused and freaked out than the blood and guts of the authors today. I would say it's more psychological than anything. Honestly, that's about all I know, but I'd be interested in learning more.
 
On to the novels! So far I've read parts one and two of "The Lottery", which contains five parts. "The Lottery" consists of short stories that leave you wondering what just happened, and freaks you out a bit. There has been a short story that involves an unexpected apartment switch, a white small-time town afraid of mixing with African-American people until a city single mother comes and throws their world upside down, and two little boys that are creepy but you cannot quite figure out why. The stories in the Lottery start out simple and understandable. The situations are similar to something we'd encounter. While you're reading there are subtle change and before you know it you're left wondering what just happened and why you're freaked out at the end.
 
There are still three other novels in the book that I've yet to read, and a collection of short stories. There are even some sketches in the book that I haven't discovered yet, but I am interested in seeing them. I would say that overall this book is a good read. If you're into suspense books and movies, like Alfred Hitchcock, then this would be a good read for you. The parts of "The Lottery" are small enough that you could read them before bed, like I am, but I will admit they are keeping me awake. My brain is trying to sort out the stories and make sense of the odd emotion I get. I would say go rent it from your library, you'll be happy you did. :)