Monday, January 10, 2011

Happy (Belated) New Year and the first book of 2011!

Happy Belated New Year to everyone! I was going to make the lofty goal of 200 books for 2011 but after it took me forever to finish my last few books I decided to reel that goal in a bit.

So my goal for 2011 is to read 111 books. That's 11 more than last year for those who have trouble with math like me.

The first book I finished in 2011 ... "Matched" by Ally Condie.

Cassia Reyes is a model student, daughter, and citizen. How could she not be when the Society has everything planned and functioning perfectly? All of her needs are met: food, shelter, education, career training, and even her future husband are selected by officials who know what is best for each individual by studying statistical data and probable odds. She even knows when she will die, on her 80th birthday, just as the Society dictates. At her Match Banquet she is paired with Xander, her best friend and certainly her soul mate. But when a computer error shows her the face of Ky, an Aberration, instead of Xander, cracks begin to appear in the Society's facade of perfection. A series of events also shakes her dedication to Xander and puts her future in jeopardy.

Most of the reviews I have read talk about how Condie basically ripped off the plot of "The Giver" by Lois Lowry. I haven't read Lowry's book (though I have since purchased it and will read it) so I can't speak to the plagiarism claims. With that in mind, I really enjoyed the book. Its very reminiscent of "The Hunger Games" and other dystopian teen novels.

The puppy doesn't want me to finish this post so I will have to try again later. Apparently, she's not much of a reader. Or panda lover.

Up next is "The Secret Daughter" by Shilpi Somaya Gowda which I have actually almost finished. So look for the review soon.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This pretty much sums up Molly's personality ...

Token cute puppy picture ...

And last but not least ... Babysitting Bement style! Call if you are interested, I think we can squeeze a few more into the cage.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care ...

Even the puppies have stockings for Santa to fill. The humans have stockings made by a friend of ours - Jake's was the first one which is is why his is slightly different. He just realized that this year. I told him his is just that much more special.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Alli was jealous

Alli, our 12-year-old dog, heard I posted pictures of Olive and got mad. Alli (pronounced "alley") wants everyone to know she is just as cute and cuddly as any whippersnapper. Of course, we agree.

I can't even begin to explain what a perfect dog she has been since the moment we got her at eight weeks old. She has never shown an ounce of aggression, never snapped at any person (or any animal) and tolerates a lot of crap from kids (and adults). She is in stage 4 kidney failure (which basically means her kidneys are functioning at 25 percent) so she requires thrice-weekly (is that a word?) subcutaneous fluids and daily medicines. She's also showing some seizure activity which we hope to stop with a tweak in her medicines (specifically her phosphorus binder). Now it sounds like she is decrepit but you'd never know she's sick 99 percent of the time. In fact, people at PetSmart were asking if she was up for adoption. She still loves her walks and her treats and saying "Hi" to everyone she meets (with the occasional lick).

So here is our sweet girl Alli (aka Kelsey's Midnight Alibi) lying on my stomach on a rare occasion when she actually slept in bed with us.

She also loves the snow. While it looks like she is dangerously close to eating some yellow snow, its actually just the bottom of my bird bath that is yellow. Only freshly fallen snow was used in the making of this picture.

Alli knows she is the true Queen of our house.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

I can't resist another picture!

Or maybe two picture ...

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Merry Christmas to me!

Introducing Olive Bement ...

She's an eight-week old Beagle/Lab/?? mix that we adopted from Lake Haven Animal Rescue out of Newaygo, Michigan. Isn't she adorable? The kids are pretty smitten with her too!

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

BOOK #100!

I met my goal for the year! I finished 100 books in 2010. This last one has taken me a lot longer than normal but I finished it last night.

"Haunting Bombay" by Shilpa Agarwal.

Thirteen-year-old Pinky Mittal lives with her obese, matriarchal grandmother, Maji; her alcoholic uncle, Jaginder; bitter aunt Savita; and three teenage male cousins. Taken in as an infant by her grandmother after her mother died, Pinky knows she's Maji's favorite, even if her aunt despises her. Driven by adolescent curiosity, Pinky unlocks a door in her family bungalow that has been bolted her entire life and unleashes the ghost of an infant girl and her midwife, sending her whole family into a tailspin. Surrounded by superstitions and spirituality, Pinky tries to unravel a past rife with pain and deceit as three generations of her formerly stalwart family crumble around her.

The fact that it took me longer to read is not a critique of this book. It is a well- written and engrossing tale of a family in 1960s India who are haunted by a tiny - but revengeful - ghost. But maybe worse than the ghost is the lies, lost love and other secrets inside their bungalow. The author subtly and expertly weaves in information that will be needed further along in the story. The ending was very satisfying while not completely shocking.

Up next is "The Doctor's Wife" by Elizabeth Brundage.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010


I am not sure how to take our local library system KDL's (continual) rejection of my application(s) to be a book shelver at various branches. Their form letter answer is always the same: because someone has more credentials than I.

To stack books. 


I love books. One might even say I am obsessed with books. I can alphabetize. I can lift my arms in an upward shelving motion. I even have a college degree with the intent to get my masters in library science.

So what gives? Do I need to perfect my snarly, disinterested library worker attitude prior to employment? Or perhaps there is a special group out there - the Alphabet Elitists - who know the alphabet better than average citizens. They can easily say it forward and backwards without missing a "p"or missplacing a "q".

Perhaps one day my book shelving dreams will come true. Until then I will just keep organizing my own books.

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