Sunday, January 13, 2008

Books, Books and More Books

I’m in a book group that a high school/college friend of mine started over 5 years ago. We are all good friends and love getting together once a month and some of us read the book and sometimes the discussions are longer than others. The book group is great because I have really enjoyed some books that I would have NEVER thought to read in the past and I’ve found new “fluffy” authors to fill my time in between book group readings.

That aside, I have always LOVED to read and usually can read a book pretty quickly – I think that love for reading goes back to when I was a baby and my mom read to me alot…and it probably doesn’t hurt that much of my family are big readers. But I love nothing more than to have a relaxing weekend, with no responsibilities and a good book or two to enjoy in between naps all day.

So, I thought I would mention some of my new favorites (authors and titles) that I learned about or further explored in 2007, by way of book group readings.

1. The Glass Castle by: Jeannette Walls --- Although this book will be my choice reading for the group in 2008, I read it in the fall of 2007 to test it out. A friend at work passed this title along from her book group and it is FANTASTIC. After reading it (which I could NOT put it down), I proceeded to purchase it for my mom and mother-in-law because it was so fascinating. If you haven’t read it, READ IT! If you have read it, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a true story and as you read it, you can’t believe what this woman goes through in her life.

2. Jane Green --- This is a new author that book group turned me on to and her books are great. After reading one for our December book group, I have continued to check out her other books from the library. She is a “fluff” author, but the books are great and very timely for many of us 20 or 30 somethings.

3. The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards --- This is just a great book. I hate to spoil books for just read it!

4. Diane Mott Davidson --- The food author!!! The mystery author!!! All in one! For those of you who love a good mystery and love a good new recipe and hearing about food, this is your girl. Katie, the book group girl who selected this author, made the recipes from the book for our meal at book group that month. Awesome!!

5. Jodi Picoult --- Well, actually, I found her years ago and we have read some of her books over the years in book group, but Mandy and I went to a talk that she gave this spring about her new book Nineteen Minutes and that was just great. She was really interesting to listen to and to hear how long she works on her books, the research, why there is only 1 per year (her next one I think should be out this spring) and more. I highly recommend ALL of her books and if you ever get a chance to hear an author you love speak - DO IT! It's a great experience.

So, if you enjoy reading or need some new thoughts on books here are some of my favorites in the last year. I'm also going to try to post those that I read as I finish them this year.

So far, I've been reading Midwives for my February book group choice. It's good so far and I'm only about 50 pages into it.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Dear Duke

One of Duke's favorite spots in our house...sleeping at the top of the stairs. Sometimes that's where he was waiting for Daddy to come home from work late at night. Sometimes this is where he napped when someone was upstairs and someone was downstairs and he couldn't decide who to be with.

One of the last Mommy and Duke pictures...he always loved to cuddle.

Another of Duke's favorites...going out in the porch in the winter and drink/eating snow/ice mixtures from the chairs...that green chair in the corner was his favorite this year.

The last Daddy and Duke picture...but he always loved sitting with Daddy like this or on his lap!

Dear Duke,

As we say goodbye to you, there are somethings we want to make sure you know. Mommy and Daddy love you more than anything. You were our "first born" shared everything with us since July 2004...moving in together, Mommy's graduation from DePaul, getting married, Daddy's new job, finding out that we are having a baby and so much more. You made us laugh so hard over the years and now we cry for you as we say goodbye to our best little yellow furry buddy. But we know that you are going to a wonderful place, where you will be free of your pain and that all of our family that we miss so dearly will take care of our boy Duke until we can be with you again.

Your sweet face always made us smile and you always knew when we needed a Duke kiss. We will always enjoy looking at our pictures of you, but they will never completely make up for the empty feeling in our hearts and in this house. Thank you for being the best dog a family could ask for and for being such a wonderful part of this family. You are funny, cute, cuddly and faithful. Watch over us angel dog, take care of your new baby brother or sister and remember that we will see you again someday.


Mommy and Daddy