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Showing posts from February, 2011

Reading Roundup: February 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

I'd been hearing a lot about this book, and I admit to feeling a little bit disappointed that it wasn't quite as good as the hype. The plot and many elements of the setting felt like they were derived from other dystopian fiction. But, I still really liked the characters and I do look forward to reading the sequel.

The Cure for Money Madness by Spencer Sherman

I did already comment on this book here in this post. It was a quick read and I skimmed some parts of it. It wasn't the best-written book but still had some good insights. I feel like I learned a lot from it and will be thinking about many of my new insights for a long time.

Counting Stars by Michele Paige Holmes

I read a book by Holmes last year after it was nominated for the Whitney Awards and the plot intrigued me. I also read this one because the plot also sounded interesting to me; the plot certainly had many twists and turns that kept me reading. I'm not usually a big romance fan but this …

The Letters S & T

It's been a long time since we did these countries so hopefully I can remember everything!

South Africa: We read books about the country; the kids especially liked this one and this one. For dinner we had bobotie and geelrys; they were a big hit with everyone

Spain: Mr. Fob and I both served missions in Spain so we already know quite a bit about the country. I supplemented the books we read with some stories and information that I already knew about the country. We had a simple dinner of tortilla espanola with a salad and bread and we had rice pudding for dessert.

Sweden: We found some great books for this country, including this one and this one. For dinner we had meatballs (of course) with potatoes and lingonberries. They were delicious.

Switzerland: The kids thought Switzerland sounded like a fascinating place, especially the fact that people speak so many languages. I bought some fancy cheese to make authentic fondue for dinner, and sadly they thought it was too strong and didn…

This is becoming a bad habit

I'm afraid that my blog is rapidly devolving into irregular updates that focus on my apologies for not regularly blogging. I've been in a funk for the last few months that I can't seem to shake. One of the hardest things about my job is that, while it works in well with my family life, it leaves me with little real free time. And I've been spending too much of my free time doing unfocused things that are just a way to avoid my work. I need to do a better job at just living my life and doing what needs to be done.

I have a lot of good posts in my head and I just have not been taking the time to write that down. Maybe that will be one of my goals next month. I have an idea that it might help me with a lot of things in my life. I'm also trying to decide whether I want to keep teaching next year or not. For this whole year I've had mixed feelings about my job, but I've also invested a lot of time and energy into it and that often means that the second year will…

Money Madness and Coupon Insanity

A few weeks ago I checked out a book from the library called The Cure for Money Madness. I don't normally check out books like this but it was on a display shelf and caught my eye. For years I have tried to do a better job at living within my budget and dealing more effectively with money, and for years I felt like I have not done as well as I would like to. I didn't expect to learn much from the book because I feel like I know a lot already but I just don't know how to do it. It turns out that I've really been converted to this book; it's not the most well-written book and some of it is kind of lame, but the central ideas have been really eye-opening to me. It's actually a pretty simple concept: budgets don't work if you don't fix your emotional issues regarding money. He calls these ideas 'money madness' and talks about how everyone has certain money beliefs that drive their behaviors. If you don't confront those beliefs then you will spen…

Reading Roundup: January 2011

Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick

This is the book I've been talking to everyone about for the last month. It was an amazing read and I think it will go on this year's list of recommended books. I think part of the appeal is the fact that before reading it I didn't know very much about North Korea at all. Every thing in the book was new to me, and the author describes things so clearly that you feel as if things you'd never imagined were completely familiar. She also tells the stories of several different people and their disillusionment and escape from their own country. I did not expect the book to be such a page-turner; the subject doesn't seem that exciting but the way it is written really makes it compelling. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen SimonsonThis was a nice little break in between two more difficult, darker books. This is a nice love story about two very interesting people, but I also liked the fact that it didn&#…