Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review: The Book Thief

This is actually a book that I read on my own (the other books I've reviewed were ones that I read with my husband). One of my coworkers suggested it, and I was intrigued by her description of the story. First of all, the story takes place during World War II. The book follows the life of a young girl who lives just outside of Munich. She steals her first book at the age of ten, and is taught to read and write from that book. The subsequent books that she steals over the next several years open her up to ideas and situations that shape her as a person and help her to take a stand for what she believes. The story is told from the viewpoint of Death. This had some pro's and some con's. It gave the storytelling a very unique feel, and the way that Death describes scenes and situations was beautifully crafted. You wouldn't think that a "chocolate colored sky" made perfect sense, but it does. However, Death is not hindered by the chronology of time, and I found that distracting. The stories are not always told in order, which made for some very confusing moments. At one point the reader is told that a character dies, but then you learn that it doesn't happen for a couple more years after the story you are currently being told. I didn't like that. Also, the reader is told the ending before it happens. I didn't like that either. The only other issue I had with the book was that there is a lot of profanity. That may not bother some people, but it bothered me. Granted, about half of the swearing is in German, but it's all the same when you know exactly what's being said. Other than that, it is a beautifully written book. Very moving, and it brings the humanity to a complicated situation like Nazi Germany. It shows that not all Nazi party members were bad people. Some were just trying to survive. Over all, The Book Thief was well worth reading.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Heart List: Steinfeld's Pickles

To some people, pickles are a condiment. Not to my family! We consider them a snack food. For as long as I can remember, a pickle has been something that I grab when I'm feeling a bit peckish. Not just any pickle, though. I'm very particular about my pickle brands. I may be willing to eat most pickles, but I only love Steinfeld's. Probably because they remind me of the pickles that my grandma used to make. Yum! For a long time there were only a few stores that carried this brand, but it's becoming more common. My greatest fear was that they would stop selling them all together. Then what would I do? Anyway, I love these pickles, and I wanted you all to know. I think I'm going to go grab one now...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Halloween Planning

Halloween is a very important holiday in my family. We take our costumes and festivities very seriously. I had been counting on a costume idea that didn't quite pan out last year, in the hopes that this would finally be the year that it was realized. My mom (the resident seamstress of our family) gave me the sad news today that it would not be happening. Now that leaves me with the task of finding an awesome costume idea fast! Costume planning should be done by now, and production should be starting. I only have two months! I don't want to use the old fall-back again this year (my costume last year was a repeat, much to my chagrin). In fact, I feel I need an extra awesome costume to make up for my lack of creativity last year! I need something as awesome as when my best friend dressed up as Madame Heap from Fraggle Rock. (Truly awesome. You have no idea.) Any suggestions would be welcome! Let the costume dash begin...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Adventures of Brain: Hunger

Brain: You are so hungry!

Me: Really?

Brain: Yes! You are DYING of hunger!

Me: Oh, okay. I will make a big dinner, then. What do you feel like eating, Brain?

Brain: Something big and filling. And make sure it takes a lot of effort to make!

Me: Okay! Good plan.

*Later, after much effort*

Me: Look, Stomach, I made you a yummy dinner!

Stomach: Well, I didn't really want that...but I guess I can take it.

Me: But Brain said you wanted it!

Brain: Teeheehee!

Stomach: I'll eat a little of this, but I'm not very hungry.

Me: Brain! What the deuce?!

Brain: Oh, by the way, you aren't that hungry after all. You can just have a bowl of cereal or something. *snicker*

Heart List: Scrabble

Scrabble is one of my very favorite games! There was always a high amount of competition when I played as a youth, because all of my family members are very well-read. I have many fond memories of playing with my older sister (who was my college roommate for a year), and making up words to fit the letters on our trays. Words such as: cabutvj (which is a shout of victory, obviously) and fasmorg (which is hard to's a bit...ethereal). Ah, good times. It was actually a game of Scrabble that set my husband apart from all the other boys I had dated. I had prided myself on my Scrabble skills, and he totally creamed me! He claims that's the only reason I continued dating him. (Not true, by the way!) Anyway, I love this game, and I look forward to many more years of good memories playing it.