Reading Challenge: Day 36

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Ugh! Have you ever had a day from Hell at work? I love my job, but today was just awful! I’ve barely been able to pick up any book and concentrate on reading. I’m almost halfway done with “Beautiful Ruins”.
More tomorrow.

Reading Challenge: Day 35

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I picked up “Racing in the Rain”.  I have a confession – this is a cheat book.  This is the children’s version of Garth Stein’s “The Art of Racing in the Rain”.  For the reader of this blog, I highly recommend both books, however; I would suggest reading the longer latter one.

The story is told through the eyes of Enzo about his owner and friend, Denny.  It tells how they met, how Denny met his wife and how their daughter was born.  And – SPOILER – it tells of Denny’s custody battle for his daughter with his in-laws.  Told through Enzo’s eyes makes the story seem more compelling, more real.

When I read the original book, I picked it up on a Saturday night and didn’t put it down until I finished it on Sunday afternoon.  This time through was almost the same, except I picked it up on Sunday night and had to put it down to go to work.  I finished it last night, just before bed.  I was as touched this time around as I had been the first time around.

So, with finishing “The Princess Diaries” and “Racing in the Rain”, I have now finished three out of the fifty books most downloaded books.  That’s only forty-seven books to go until the end date of July 14th.  So, you don’t think I’m slacking, I have finished “Ghostly Paws”, “Ghost of a Gamble” and “Dummy of a Ghost” in the same time period.  I better quit writing and start reading!

The Princess Diaries

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I have officially finished a second book from my challenge and it’s only taken me a month! At this rate, I won’t be finished with my challenge for more than two years!

I want to retract my statement from the other day that the movie was better. I think I was a little too quick to judge. The book has more depth. Probably, not enough for me to read the next one, but I’m thinking I’m not Meg Cabot’s target audience. I’m definitely going to pick up a copy for my niece, Julie. I think she’ll like it.

Okay, on to finishing “Dear Cary”… Hopefully, this won’t take so long.

And, if you like this post (or, even if you don’t), please leave a comment. Tell me which book on the list I should read next or recommend another book. I’m always looking for something to read.

Reading Challenge: Day 34

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After stating that I probably wouldn’t read the next book in the Princess Diaries line, prior to finishing the book, once the book was complete, I promptly downloaded the next one and started reading.  I made it in about five chapters before teenage angst overwhelmed me and I had to stop.  Princess Mia is good in small portions.
The Racine Library sent me a notice that “The Giver” was available and I had three days to claim it.  Having waited more than a month for the book, I quickly checked it out.  Unfortunately, I don’t even know what it is about, nor do I know why I put it on hold.  I do know that it isn’t on my reading list, so I’ll have to add it as an extra.  I love being able to put books on hold, but I think I might have to start keeping notes in order to remember why I put a book on hold in the first place.
Speaking of memories, when I set aside Princess Mia, I picked up “Dear Cary” again.  Reading this book by Dyan Cannon is an interesting adventure.  I cringe when suave Mr. Grant has a melt down you wouldn’t expect from such a debonair man.  However; even Cary Grant can’t be CARY GRANT 24/7.  Reading Cannon’s book has led me to watch “His Girl Friday” for the thousandth time.  I believe this movie just might be the best comedy ever.
In addition to watching Mr. Grant’s movies, I found myself picking up “Good Stuff” by Cannon and Grant’s only child, Jennifer Grant.  Reading about a daughter’s memories of her late father is not only interesting, but it is touching.  She sees Cary Grant through eyes that no one could possibly mimic.  There’s a sadness that runs through Jennifer’s tome, as even when she doesn’t mention it, you never forget that her father is gone.  We might mourn the actor, but she mourns her father.

In a Month

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In a month, the first anniversary of losing my mother will pass. Here I sit, a month away from May 14, and it feels like it was last week and not last year.
Mom and I had a contentious relationship. Over the last few years, we had grown much closer, which I think makes the pain of losing her worse.
When I took my grandsons to Memphis, there was a hundred things I wanted to tell Mom. The top of the list was Danny singing on Beale Street. Mom and I often sang Karaoke together.

I know Mom would have enjoyed hearing about Danny and watching his video.

Sometimes when out shopping or on vacation, I’d find a funny sign for Mom, such as “I gave him the skinniest years of my life” or “My house was clean last week, too bad you missed it.”Last week when Cheryl and I were in Cedarberg, I saw a bunch of signs for Mom and my heart tugged at every one of them.
At her wake and funeral – where 250+ people passed through to pay their respects – I was told time and again that it would get easier. They lied. I think it gets harder. You collect more stories to tell, have more questions to ask, need more time. Ironically, while I don’t doubt my brothers’ pain, I sometimes wonder if I hurt more because she and I talked more? Nearly every work day, I would call her on my way home and we would talk – sometimes, it was five minutes, sometimes my whole hour and a half drive home.
I’m pretty sure that my mom is very surprised right now to learn that her most independent child, the one that seemed to need her the least, really needed her the most. She was more than just my pain-in-the-ass mom, who drove me crazy and with whom I would fight. She was my closest friend with whom I could discuss things I don’t discuss with anyone else. And, I miss that. She left way too soon. We had so much more to say.

Reading Challenge: Day Thirty-Three

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Thirty-three days of reading books and what do I have to show for it? A new Scribd account and a full Kindle. It has taken some of the fun out of reading, since I’m constantly trying to update and keep track of what I’m reading. (Hint: Automatic posts to WordPress should be added to both programs.)

That said, I will say that this has certainly been interesting. “The Princess Diaries” would not ever been on my radar. Neither would “Beautiful Ruins”. I’m not sure if either book can count as broadening my horizons, but they’ve opened the door to different books.

On today’s agenda, I’m going to continue with “Dear Cary” and see if I can finish before bedtime once my workday is complete.

Three Hundred Stories

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Have you heard of Dieter Rogiers? No? Well, you’re about to.
Dieter lives in Brussels and he’s a failed (by his own admission) screen writer. On his 35 birthday, almost a year ago, he set out to write 300 stories that are 300 words or less in a year. He’s on story 238.
I haven’t read all of them yet, but I wanted to pass this on to you, dear readers. I think you might find it interesting. Here’s a link to the archive  of his stories.