Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Moon Handbooks

Preparing for Vacation by Reading!

This is the time of year when my thoughts turn toward summer vacation.  When I start planning a vacation, I always reach for Moon Handbooks.  They are by far my favorite.  I like the way the information is presented, the quality of the information, but most importantly...The Resource Section. 

The Resource Section contains a list of recommended books and sometimes movies relating to the area.  I love this!  What better way to prepare for a vacation?  I recommend selecting one or two movies and at least one fiction and one non-fiction book.  See if any of the recommended books are available on CD so the whole family can listen to it one the way.  Get the kids involved too.  There are a plethora of children's books about states, study the map, see if there are any child friendly selections on the list. 

Last year, we went to Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  We watched two movies from the Resource section before hand.  I didn't have time for much reading, but I did a quick review of a couple books.  While in Marquette, I picked-up Anatomy of a murder by Robert Traver from the Resource list.  (The movie based on the book staring Jimmy Stewart is one of the two we watched.)  I am finishing this book now and my thoughts on the book will be coming next.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Life Changing Reads

The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn

This is a compilation book of monthly newsletters written in the 90's by Amy Dacyczyn.  I heard of it from a co-worker back when I was working full-time, but is wasn't until several years later that I began seriously reading it.  At that time, I quit my full-time state job so my husband could pursue an opportunity to further his career.  Needless to say, money was tight.  Reading The Tightwad Gazette completely changed the way I think about spending, saving, and consuming.

We live in a consumer, throw-a-way culture, but we, as individuals, do not need to follow along with this corporate driven model.  The author is pretty extreme about her cost saving measures, doing things I would never do like rinsing out and reusing sandwich bags and aluminum foil, but the book opened me up to a completely new way of thinking about spending.

It is not always easy and I sometimes find myself straying and spending unnecessarily.  That is when I need to reread and strengthen my resolve.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Reading Life by Pat Conroy

I knew about the writer, Pat Conroy, because he is a best selling author, but I was most familiar with him because of the movie, The Great Santini,  based on his book.  Over  the summer my book club read his book, South of Broad and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  So when I saw My Reading Life on the Library shelves, I had to check it out.

Mr. Conroy is such an eloquent writer, I found the book very readable and fascinating.  I, of course, adore books, but to read how a famous author describes his love of reading was a revelation.  The chapters about his writing process were interesting.  The book inspired me to branch out, to try reading books I have not considered before or dismissed.  It also inspired me to read War and Peace.  I read Anna Karenina when I was pregnant with my first Child and I have always aspired to read the great War and Peace.  I think it will be my summer selection for 2011!  (Summers are when I do my heavy reading.)

Finally, as a mother, it inspired me to work harder to introduce my children to classic literature.

Note:  The Great Santini is one of my Dad's favorite movies and I have seen it several times, but I have never read the book.  A situation I plan on rectifying as soon as the book comes in on hold at the Library.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

You know you are a book nerd when:

*  You read book about books.  (Just finished, My Reading Life by Pat Conroy (More about that to come).  Other favorites are The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, Book Smart by Jane Mallison, and Great Books for Girls by Kathleen Odean.)

*  You routinely carry around two books.  (Just in case you finish one or get tired of one.  You always need a back-up!) 

*  You take a book to read during your T.V. watching time.  (Especially if your husband is controlling the remote.  Honesty, only I can pick a good show.  Besides I can get a page or two read during the commercials.)