I gave birth to this sweet little boy.
Happy 8th Birthday, Jacob!
7 Tips to Successfully Navigate Yard Sales
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Yoga instructor and performer Okrant, 35, spent the year 2008 living by Oprah's advice as dispensed via her show, magazine and Web site. The author was fascinated with the way Oprah evokes equal parts admiration and disdain, and curious about whether it's even possible to follow someone else's advice to discover one's authentic self. Despite skepticism about the validity —or possibility —of finding happiness through Oprah, she embarked on 12 months of Oprah-prescribed activities and expenditures, plus blog updates. Monthly tallies detail activities, expenditures and the author's thoughtful observations. The author is honest about her own experiment-inspired conflicts: as a result of her endeavors, she has a book and has lost weight, but is almost always a stressed-out, insecure, exhausted mess. Okrant posits that, in many ways, pursuing a best life detracts from a real life.
Meet the Potluck Club--six women who gather each month to share their insatiable appetite for good friends, great food, and a pinch of prayer. Their seemingly unlikely friendship brings a little spice to life in Summit View, Colorado. But when they send up enough misinformed prayers to bring down a church, things get interesting . . . Evie's niece arrives with a broken heart and a big surprise. Lisa Leann tries to take over. Goldie's marriage turns sour. Donna stews over a strange encounter. Lizzie's librarian eyes are on the lookout for trouble. Vonnie must come to terms with a secret she's kept hidden from her best friends. But who knows what life will serve as The Potluck Club discovers that friendship is no piece of cake and a little dash of grace, like salt, goes a long way.
In her delightful second novel (after Slipstream), Larson injects a jolt of liveliness into the bleak setting of an assisted living home, thanks to the obstinate and crass narrator, 82-year-old Cora Sledge. The overweight, pill-popping Cora is placed in the Palisades by her children after they deem her unfit to care for herself. Once there, she begins writing in the journal her granddaughter gave her, her entries eventually revolving around a big secret from her past. Meanwhile, around the Palisades, Cora is often in the midst of—if not at the center of—resident feuds, both the victim and suspect of a spree of robberies and the recipient of a suave new resident's amorous attention. Perhaps not surprisingly, Cora decides to take control of her life, and as she questions the loyalty of those closest to her, she reveals intimate feelings and personal heartaches that have always been obscured by her rough exterior.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
Cecelia Ahern's Rosie Dunne is the amusing story of Alex and Rosie, best friends who grow up together in Ireland and stay close throughout cross-continental moves, marriages, parenthood, family dramas. and professional triumphs. Friends for close to 50 years, the potential for romance between the pair is always under the surface, yet never seems to find the right time or place to become a reality.
Inspired by the settlement of Dogtown, MA, Diamant reimagines the community of castoffs—widows, prostitutes, orphans, African-Americans and ne'er-do-wells—all eking out a harsh living in the barren terrain of Cape Ann. Black Ruth, the African woman who dresses like a man and works as a stonemason; Mrs. Stanley, who runs the local brothel, and Judy Rhines, an unmarried white woman whose lover Cornelius is a freed slave, are among Dogtown's inhabitants who are considered suspect—even witches—by outsiders. Shifting perspectives among the various residents (including the settlement's dogs, who provide comfort to the lonely), Diamant brings the period alive with domestic details and movingly evokes the surprising bonds the outcasts form in their dying days. This chronicle of a dwindling community strikes a consistently melancholy tone—readers in search of happy endings won't find any here—but Diamant renders these forgotten lives with imagination and sensitivity.
The story is told in alternating chapters by 29-year-old indie record producer Brady, who could have stepped right out of a Nick Hornby novel, and 26-year-old PR maven turned surly waitress Heaven, a veritable modern-day Lucille Ball. The two meet when they become neighbors, and Heaven keeps receiving Brady's mail, which she promptly opens and reads. But irritation soon turns into attraction as the two eventually take a wacky road trip to Seattle, where Brady waxes enthusiastic about signing a young band and attempts to land a meeting with the founder of Starbucks about his idea for a new drink.
Every year in Panem, the dystopic nation that exists where the U.S. used to be, the Capitol holds a televised tournament in which two teen "tributes" from each of the surrounding districts fight a gruesome battle to the death. In The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the tributes from impoverished District Twelve, thwarted the Gamemakers, forcing them to let both teens survive. In this rabidly anticipated sequel, Katniss, again the narrator, returns home to find herself more the center of attention than ever. The sinister President Snow surprises her with a visit, and Katniss’s fear when Snow meets with her alone is both palpable and justified. Catching Fire is divided into three parts: Katniss and Peeta’s mandatory Victory Tour through the districts, preparations for the 75th Annual Hunger Games, and a truncated version of the Games themselves.