Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Reading Year in Review

I thought I'd do a list of all of the books I've read in 2009. I've seen some other bloggers do this and I think it's a great way to catalog and look back on what you've read and possibly a way to make goals of what to read in the coming year. I've never cataloged what I've read in a whole year, but I believe I read about a book a week, so I am intrigued to see what I've accomplished. Obviously I didn't start blogging until the end of September but I started cataloging my reads in February of this year through paperbackswap and Book Army so I think it should be pretty easy for me to remember the whole year. Also I think it might give you a flavor for what I read in an average year.

Let's see how I did.
  1. 'Any Place I Hang My Hat' By Susan Isaacs - Grade B
  2. 'Midwives' By Chris Bohjalian - Grade A
  3. 'The Great Indoors' By Sabine Durrant - Grade C
  4. 'Basic Black: The Essential Guide for Getting Ahead at Work (and in Life)' By Cathie Black - Grade A
  5. 'The Nature of Water and Air' By Regina McBride - Grade C
  6. 'People of the Book' by Geraldine Brooks - Grade A
  7. 'The Ginger Tree' By Oswald Wynd - Grade C
  8. 'Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe' By Bill Bryson - Grade B
  9. 'Summit Avenue' By Mary Sharratt - Grade C
  10. 'More Innocent Times' By Imogen Parker - Grade A
  11. 'The Secret of Lost Things' By Sheridan Hay - Grade C
  12. 'Surrender, Dorothy' By Meg Wolitzer - Grade A
  13. 'I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away' By Bill Bryson - Grade A
  14. 'Beneath a Marble Sky' By John Shors - Grade A
  15. 'The Dearly Departed' By Elinor Lipman - Grade B
  16. 'The Senator's Wife' By Sue Miller - Grade A
  17. 'Kate Caterina' By William Riviere - Grade D
  18. 'Secrets of the Heart' By Elizabeth Buchan - Grade B
  19. 'Man Camp' By Adrienne Brodeur - Grade D
  20. 'Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen' By Julie Powell - Grade B
  21. 'The Lost Continent - Travels in Small-Town America' By Bill Bryson - Grade C
  22. Glass Castle' By Jeannette Walls - Grade B
  23. 'Things I Want My Daughters to Know' By Elizabeth Noble - Grade A
  24. 'The Middle Place' By Kelly Corrigan - Grade A
  25. 'The Ten-Year Nap' By Meg Wolitzer - Grade D
  26. 'Certain Girls' By Jennifer Weiner - Grade B
  27. 'Animal Dreams' By Barbara Kingsolver - Grade B
  28. 'Rattled: A Memoir' By Christine Coppa - Grade A
  29. 'Mother's Milk' By Edward St. Aubyn - Grade C
  30. 'Love Life' By Ray Kluun - Grade C
  31. 'Getting Rid of Matthew' By Jane Fallon - Grade B
  32. 'The Virgin's Lover' By Philippa Gregory - Grade D
  33. 'Lessons in Heartbreak' By Cathy Kelly - Grade A
  34. 'The Visible World' By Mark Slouka - Grade B
  35. 'The Extra Man' By Jonathan Ames - Grade D
  36. 'Lullabies for Little Criminals' By Heather O'Neill - Grade D
  37. 'The Road Home' By Rose Tremain - Grade A
  38. 'Remember Me?' By Sophie Kinsella- Grade D
  39. 'Good-Bye and Amen' By Beth Gutcheon - Grade F
  40. 'The Beach House' By Jane Green - Grade A
  41. 'Women and Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny' By Suze Orman - Grade B
  42. 'The Last Bolyn' By Karen Harper - Grade C
  43. 'The Lost Dog' By Michelle de Kretser - Grade F
  44. 'Snow Flower and The Secret Fan' By Lisa See - Grade B
  45. 'Love, Loss, and What I Wore' By Ilene Beckerman - Grade B
  46. 'Love in the Present Tense' By Catherine Ryan Hyde - Grade A
  47. 'Stop That Girl' By Elizabeth Mckenzie - Grade C
  48. 'Astrid and Veronika' By Linda Olsson - Grade A
  49. 'The French Gardener' By Santa Montefiore - Grade B
  50. 'Working With You is Killing Me: Freeing Yourself From Emotional Traps at Work' By Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster - Grade C
  51. 'The Bastard of Istanbul' by Elif Shafak - Grade F
  52. 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' By Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer - Grade A
  53. 'From Here You Can't See Paris' By Michael Sanders - Grade C
  54. 'Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines' By Stephanie Elizondo Griest - Grade B
  55. 'The Sleeping Beauty Proposal' By Sarah Strohmeyer - Grade B
  56. 'Dear Fatty' By Dawn French - Grade B
  57. 'Love Marriage' By V.V. Ganeshananthan - Grade D
  58. 'A Spot of Bother' By Mark Haddon - Grade B
  59. 'A Catch of Consequence' By Diana Norman - Grade A
  60. 'Lottery' By Patricia Wood - Grade B
  61. 'The Septembers of Shiraz' By Dalia Sofer - Grade C
  62. 'Made in America' By Bill Bryson - Grade C
  63. 'An Offer You Can't Refuse' By Jill Mansel - Grade B
  64. 'A Change of Climate' By Hillary Mantel - Grade C
  65. 'Sweet Love' By Sarah Strohmeyer - Grade B
Wow, so I thought I averaged about a book a week. Clearly I do a little more than that. Sweet!

Obviously, looking at this list, I'd like to make some goals for next year. I think a good round number to shoot for would be 75 books read for next year and reviewing them all on my blog. I first started reading blogs because I was finding that reading reviews about books in magazines was leading me to read books that left me less then pleased and clearly you can see from my list that there are almost as many C's, D's and F's as there are B's and A's. One of my goals with blogging next year will be to become more thoughtful about my reading choices since I will be reviewing them all so I am hoping to have far more A's and B's to recommend to you, my faithful readers, then to C's, D's and F's no matter how useful they are (to be able to cross them off your lists!).

Now that I've compiled this list, tomorrow I will do my top 5 books of the year post so get excited! Happy New Year everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Just a Thought

'A Change of Climate'
By Hilary Mantel

My lovely mother got me 'Wolf Hall' by Hilary Mantel for Christmas, the Man Booker prize winning novel. Somehow I had managed to pick up one of Ms. Mantel's previous works at a book sale so I thought for my education I should maybe read this one first for a little compare and contrast in writing styles. Not to mention the fact that 'Wolf Hall' is HUGE and this book is a scant 300 pages in comparison so an easier intro to an author's body of work.

I knew going into this that they would inevitably be different. 'A Change of Climate' was written in 1994 and is set in the present day (1980s) and looks back on the life of a married couple some 30 years, where 'Wolf Hall' is written some 14 years later and is set during the life of Cromwell but you get my drift.

'A Change of Climate' is a story of the marriage of Ralph and Anna Eldred. The book opens at the funeral of Ralph's sister's married friend (she was his mistress for 20 years) and Ralph had just found out. Anna knew all along. You think it's painting a picture of their moral makeup. Then the story flashes back to Ralph's boyhood and and how he believed in Darwinism and fought against his parents staunch Victorian beliefs. He wanted to be a geologist. They were going to cut him off and then his sister so he backed down.

Once he meets and marries Anna they decide to become missionaries in Africa in the 1950s. Being that they didn't go to Africa for purely religious reasons in the first place, more as an escape and to prove a point on Ralph's part, and because wives do what their husbands want of them on Anna's part, it almost helped with the foreshadowing that something awful would happen. Their first post is in South Africa and since it is the 1950s it is the age of Apartheid and they blunder badly and are moved again to Bechuanaland (now Botswana) where something awful happens to one of their young children.

Back in the countryside of England, 30 years later, Ralph is having an affair and now after all that they've been through together Anna is not sure she can/should forgive him.

The story had all the makings of a great novel, I won't deny that, but the pace, in the words of my father, moved slower then a turtle with sore knees, and I guess even though in theory it shouldn't have, it really bored me. Does that make me too pedestrian for great works? I don't think so. I just hope for more from 'Wolf Hall' or that is going to be the longest book ever!

(I bought this book at a used book sale)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oh My Lola la-la-la-la Lola la-la-la-la Lola

'An Offer You Can't Refuse'
Jill Mansell

Sorry but with a lead character with the name of Lola I couldn't resist calling this post after The Kinks song. Every time I read her name I was singing that song in my head (don't get me wrong, I love that name. I want to name my someday English bulldog puppy that) but I digress. Onto the book! I have been meaning to read author Jill Mansell for quite sometime. As a HUGE fan of Brit chick-lit I was surprised to discover that there was an author out there with a huge body of work that I hadn't read a darn thing of. What had a been doing all this time? Well I fixed that! The first book of hers that I picked up was this, 'An Offer You Can't Refuse,' and I was not disappointed.

AOYCR obviously centers around Lola. A lovable young woman who had a teenage romance with Doug. They thought they were made for each other; Doug's mother did not. See the problem was Doug and Lola were from two different classes and so Doug's mother decides to see if she can buy her off with 10,000 pounds because Doug is going off to University in Edinburgh and she doesn't want Lola getting in the way of his future. At first Lola is incredulous, of course she won't take it, she loves Doug way too much. Then she goes home and finds her stepfather, Alex, about to leave because he is drowning in debt and sees a solution. She takes the money, gives it to her stepfather, tells Doug in a letter she never wants to see him again, swears to her stepfather that she will tell no one what she has done for him, including her own mother, and goes off to Majorca to start a new life.

Then the book really starts! So begins present day. Lola moves back to London. It's been 10 years and Lola is now 27. She gets a job running a bookstore (I was so jealous), buys a beautiful flat, has fun neighbors, and runs into Doug. When he discovers the real reason that he left her, because his own mom paid him off and Lola, sworn to secrecy out of loyalty to keeping her stepfather's memory alive for her mother, he starts to hate Lola. Lola, having now come back into contact with Doug rekindles her flames for him but he wants nothing to do with her. So do they get back together? You'll have to read it to find out!

In addition to this delightful story is the other cast of characters, Lola's family and friends make for a truly delightful backstory. I found Lola to be really believable and really liked all of the twists and turns in this book. Yes some of it was predictable but overall I really found that a lot of it wasn't. It was charming and it made you smile. I am really looking forward to reading more of Mansell's work!

(I got this book from

Monday, December 28, 2009

Adventures in Cooking

'Jamie's America'
By Jamie Oliver

Most people know Jamie Oliver from his popular cooking shows like 'The Naked Chef' where he makes cooking easy. When I received his latest cookbook for my birthday from my step-grandparents I was thrilled! First of all, I love cooking but there is always more to learn and secondly this is seriously one of the most beautiful cookbooks I have ever seen.

'Jamie's America' is divided into regions of sort: New York, Louisiana, Arizona, Los Angeles, Georgia, and Wild West. Every recipe comes with an
introduction as to where the recipe
originated from or why he mixed it up the way he did. And every recipe comes with a photo. Again for the photos alone, I would covet this cookbook.

For Christmas dinner my boyfriend and I wanted to make something special so I decided to take a look at 'Jamie's America' for inspiration and hit upon the 'Surf 'n'
Turf' recipe. He loves to bbq so I knew this would be up his alley but lobster we have never done before so it would be an adventure for us. The recipe was pretty simple and we cut out the potato salad portion in exchange for a baked potato. The only problem was, since the fishmonger shop (which we didn't know we had 3 blocks away but which is freaking awesome) is closed on Christmas day so we had to buy the lobsters in advance. Jamie recommends having the fishmonger kill and gut the lobster implying that you will then go home and grill them. Well we weren't eating them until the next day. So we had two new pets! If you are a vegetarian you may want to stop reading. Basically, they don't move when they are in the fridge because they are cold blooded but once we pulled them out
they woke right back up. Boiling would be fine but it would defeat the purpose of grilling them. Also everywhere we looked it said that the more humane way to kill them is to cut them in half, not to boil them, as it's quicker. Plus, you want to get the guts stuff out for disease where if you boil them it won't really. That's where the fun began. I'll spare you the details but suffice it to say that once grilled they were the most delicious ever!

This book contains recipes for alligator too! Seriously, I highly recommend it!
(This book was a gift)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Keepin' Track

I know that lots of you are big library supporters so when I saw this I knew you might want to get one for yourselves. Maybe some of you have a New Years Resolution of 'return library books on time!' Well if so I have found the thing for you!

Libraries are great because they let you read books for free, unless you forget to take the books back! The Overdue Book Calendar 2010 is designed to help you remember when to take them back. Problem solved right? Plus how freakin' cute is it? Every month of this 2010 calendar has space for you to write in 13-15 library books you have checked out along with their due dates. This printable calendar is emailed to you as a PDF, which you can then print on standard 8.5x11 paper and then you can print it out as many times as you want. Genius.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fingers Crossed

Did everyone have a fabulous Christmas yesterday? I really hope so!

Just a quick post today for me and then back to visiting with friends. I think I may have found my last challenge to sign up for 2010. You never know though - there are still a few days left but I think I should be pretty good to go now! This one I just could NOT resist. I am a certified Anglophile and basically read a ton of British books so when I discovered the Typically British Reading Challenge 2010 hosted by Book Chick City I knew I couldn't resisit! Also, the button, how cute is that? I really want a bulldog someday so that alone makes me want to do it? :)

Here's the rules!
Timeline: 1st Jan 2010~ 31st Dec 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.


1. Anyone can join.

2. I'm joining at the "Cream Crackered" level – Read 8 Typically British novels.

3. Any book format counts. Must be fiction not non-fiction.

4. You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront then you can change them, nothing is set in stone!

5. The books you choose can crossover into other challenges.

6. Obviously only British authors count!

Oh I am so excited!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Eve is upon us and hopefully you have all of your shopping done and are ready to go with whatever your plans are for the coming weekend, be they Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or just friends and family related. We here at Amused headquarters, having done our celebrating early, will be taking it easy on Christmas day and just hanging out at the homestead and exchanging stockings and bbq'ing (well we do live in California after all!). I personally am really looking forward to a change of pace from the usual Christmas family madness (and ensuing drama).

With that I have taken a note from
Constance Reader and would like to share with you two of my favorite Christmas classics that I will be playing in the background over the next two days. Enjoy and best wishes for the season!

The first is truly a classic. We have Bing Crosby with 'White Christmas'. It really tugs at the ol' heartstrings for me and reminds me of my childhood:

Now this one is more of a 'modern' classic and maybe what you should listen to after you've had a few too many but it is, well, awesome! Here, I present The Pogues and 'Fairytale of New York':


Today's Booking Through Thursday asks:

Given the choice, which do you prefer? Real history? Or historical fiction? (Assume, for the purposes of this discussion that they are equally well-written and engaging.)

Ok, ok let me say this, I have a degree in history and will watch the history channel (Pawn Stars anyone?) and a documentary like nobody's business but when it comes to reading and what I do for my my pure pleasure, it is going to pretty much be historical fiction all the way.

Historical fiction is a great way to bring history to the masses. History can get a bit of a bad rap sometimes as being dull and boring so if historical fiction helps to liven things up, by throwing in some people we can relate to when we are following the story along, so be it.

I will say that I've found it harder and harder to find a really good, well written historical fiction book lately as well so when I do I get really excited. I think most people think we can set a book back a couple of hundred years, put it in a castle, throw in a war or two and a bodice ripping romance and call it historical fiction. Well I require a little more so when I find a good one I sing it's praises.

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Need Someone to See into Your Future?

Enter the Book Seer! Ok seriously you have to give this website a try. Powered by Amazon, Library Thing, and Book Army it is sure to offer something for any book you enter into it. You just enter the title and author of the last book you read - or any book you recently enjoyed that you want to find more like - and boom you have a bunch of recommendations. I think the thing I like most about it, besides the kooky sayings at the front that change all the time and the photo of the 'seer', is that it offers direct links from the book recommendations to the site so you can immediately see exactly what they are talking about! Give it a whirl, especially if just to see what you might be missing!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What Say You?

'Made In America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States'
By Bill Bryson

*This is a mini-review*

Bill Bryson is one of those authors who I'm slowly working my way through his canon of works. For the most part, he's great and his books always make me laugh. At first they were these great travel books and I really related because they were about an American in Europe and I read them as I was travelling through Europe. Then he started writing about being repatriated to the US after living in the UK for 20 some years which also made for humorous reading. Now he's getting a little more scientific and well, that doesn't always make for the most fascinating reading. Luckily he is still pretty humorous so it can work.

'Made in America' takes us basically through the entire history of American English and why we speak the way we do. At times it is a bit, well, tedious. At other times, it was exactly what I was looking for: fascinating and full of factoids. Basically I skipped to the chapters that held subjects that interested me instead of reading every single word. I didn't need to read why the different dialects and accents developed based on who from what countries settled where. I have a degree in history. I knew that much already. What fascinated me more was the social science behind why we speak the way we do. So the chapters on food developments, shopping, manners, advertising, etc. spoke (pun intended) much more to me. Those chapters indeed were worth reading. I found myself wanting to repeat the information I learned in them to others (much I am sure to the boyfriends' chagrin!). It was full of Bryson's usual wit combined with interesting facts for why we speak the way we do compared with other English speaking countries, mainly the UK, so if that sounds like it might float your boat then it'd be worth checking out.

(I got this book from

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not to be Confused with Napa Valley

'The Septembers of Shiraz'
Dalia Sofer

I truly believe that it really matters when you read a book. It needs to be the right place and at the right time. I fear that this may be a case of poor timing on my part so you may want to read this review with a grain of salt. Reading a book about the Iranian Revolution is not recommended for sitting by the beach!

'The Septembers of Shiraz' is centered around Isaac Amin and his family. Early in the book, Isaac is arrested for being a spy in the Iranian Revolution. It appears to be because his father was connected to the Shah. He is initially just upset because he will be missing his lunch date with his wife Farnaz and his daughter Shirin and has been missing them a lot lately. Soon he realizes that he needs to worry about other things because he will be in jail for quite some time.

The story is a mix of family drama and political discourse. With the family you have them dealing with the aftermath of what happens when the husband gets thrown in jail and the family at first really doesn't know. The Amin family is well off and Farnaz tries to go and visit her husband and find out why he is in jail. She wants to protect her young daughter from the truth and busies herself with ridding their home of any other incriminating evidence in case they are raided by the revolutionaries. Shirin is 9 and wants to believe that her father will come home and everything will be back to normal but she is realizing that this might not be true. The Amin's also have a son, Parviz. Parviz is going to college in Brooklyn and strapped for cash. I won't spend too much time on him because I thoroughly disliked him.

The writing is good, the character's are believable, the story is sad but ultimately I just didn't connect with it. Let's just call it bad timing. Anyone else read it?

(I got this book from

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lucky is a State of Mind

By Patricia Wood

There are those books that you pick up and you instantly know you are going to like them. Something about the character interactions, personalities, and the author's writing style makes for that delicious combination for a book that you can really settle down into (for me it was a beach chair) and know you'll be happy. This was one of those books.

'Lottery' is the story of Perry L. Crandall. Perry has an IQ of 76. If he had an IQ of 75 he would be labeled as mentally challenged (or other names that he is frequently called by mean people throughout his life in this book) but since he is a proud 76 he is just slow. Perry lives with his Grandma whom he affectionally calls Gram in Everett, WA. She was a good parent to Perry and armed him well for life. His mother is around as are a few 'cousin-brothers' but they don't want anything to do with Perry or his Gram because they are poor. Perry works at Holsted's Marine Supply for Gary and is a great worker. He works there with his best friend Keith. When Gram passes away he is heartbroken but his friends Gary and Keith rally around him and Perry wants to keep his life the same whereas his mother and cousin-brothers sold his Gram's house which was willed to Perry and, well, just know that these are evil people.

Then Perry's life changes. Perry has always said that Gram told him the 'L' in Perry L. Crandall stood for Lucky and one day that comes true because he wins $12 Million in the Washington State Lottery! He becomes famous and his money grubbing family all of a sudden wants to be his best friends, declare him incompetant, and take over his money but Perry isn't a 75 he's a 76 IQ and he knows better. What entails is a really sweet story of the power of friendship and the true meaning of family. Perry is a wonderful, honest person who has been picked on for most of his life by family and friends and only has a few people he can trust but these people really rally around him and take care of him when he needs it most. It really makes you smile. You just want to root for Perry and those around him. It's a real good vs. evil kind of book. I highly recommend it. Probably the only thing that keeps me from giving it a Grade A is just that the rest of Perry's family made my skin crawl so much!

(I got this book from

Friday, December 18, 2009


We made it home safe and sound from our big Hawaii adventure. We had such a wonderful time in Oahu! The weather was perfect, vacationing with family was great, the water was warm, and it was so nice to get a chance to relax after such a busy year. Being there with the constant sunshine, it really made you forget that it was Christmas. Is everyone ready for the season and done with all of their shopping? I still have a couple more stocking stuffers to get and I want to make some Christmas cookies this weekend! I did get some reading done but mainly just some relaxing :)

Is anyone out there fans of the TV show Lost? One of the main reasons we
picked to vacation on the island of Oahu is because that is where the show is filmed and we are huge fans of the show. Well we went on this most awesome tour of a lot of film spots through the show and it was the best way to see the island and it got us all excited for the last season! Here is a shot of the beach camp which they leave set up all of the time (sooooo cool)!

If you are planning a trip soon, the guidebook I used was Lonely Planet's 'Honolulu, Waikiki & O'ahu: 29 Themed Itineraries.' It served us very well!

Now, back to reality!

(The guidebook was a gift)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Can't Stop Myself

There's no point in denying it now, I've created a challenge monster! This will now be the sixth challenge I've signed up for. Maybe I'm fooling myself but they all sound so great and like books I'll be reading next year anyway!

The newest one is the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2010. Coming off of the success of 'A Catch of Consequence' and a couple of other great historical fiction books I've read since starting this blog I really feel like this is a no brainer, especially since this is one of my favorite genres. Since I've signed up for so many challenges, I'm going to sign up for the 'Fascinated' level which is 6 books, that's just one every other month. I think that's definitely doable!

Here's the rules:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
2. There are four levels. I've chosen: Fascinated – Read 6 Historical Fiction novels.
3. Any book format counts.
4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.
6. When you sign up under Mr. Linky, put the direct link to the post about the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. Include the URL so that other participants can find join in and read your reviews and post.

Obviously, I have the awesome books my mom gave me for Christmas to read: 'Wolf Hall', 'The Lacuna', and 'The Help', which all fall into this category so I think that will be a great place to start for me. Who knows where the mood will take me from there!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

You Go Girl!

Christine Coppa

If you haven't been able to tell by now, I love a book with a strong female lead. Maybe it's because I reckon myself as one, so if the woman at the helm of a story is simpering I am more than likely to not enjoy a story but if a woman is strong and able to take control of her life, and laughs at herself while doing so, then I am going to root for her all the way. If the story is a memoir and accomplishes all of these things then I will sing its praises even louder.

My latest read, 'Rattled' is just that. Christine is 26 years old living your normal single gal life in New York City. Working her way up the corporate ladder, she starts dating a great new guy. Three months in she discovers she is pregnant. At first she panics, which is a normal reaction for anyone in that situation. She talks to her boyfriend and he, sadly, bolts (literally wants absolutely no contact with her). She chooses that no matter what she wants to keep the baby. What continues is Christine's fascinating memoir of how she deals with this.

Personally, as someone who dated many guys before finding the right one (hey it's tough out there!) when I read this book I talked about it with my girlfriends because I know we have all had the conversation about "WHAT IF?" This is the ultimate what if scenario? What if you got pregnant just a few months into a relationship and really knew you were in a place to start a family of your own even through the father has no desire to be a part of it, oh how your life would change.

Christine's memoir is heartbreaking, funny and really sweet. She describes how she ultimately pulls herself together and realizes that living in New York is not going to work for her and her unborn baby so she will move closer to her family in New Jersey. As someone who never had to save before, she now learns how to do so and how to find new ways to make money. She also learns what having a baby will do to her social life and what it means to her friendships.

It is such a sweet story of the true meaning of motherhood. Christine now blogs for Glamour Magazine here: Storked!

(I got this book from
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