We’re Officially Locals Now

Morning all! It’s a brand new week. Our house is now wired up. I’ve got a new Guest Mom to introduce to you today. And I’ll be announcing winners of last Friday’s Giveaways in a bit. Life is good!

While I’m writing today’s posts, here are some pics of our maiden voyage to the library. Library cards were acquired by all.


Most fun thing about our new library: see that phone Oscar has to his ear? When you pick it up, someone on the other end is there to read you a story.

Which reminds me, we have decided to try something new: no cable/DVR. I am a bit of a DVR addict and want to declare from the beginning that I may not last a month without its joys. We’re not giving up TV altogether — we just want to experiment with the downloadable options out there. Maybe Apple TV. Maybe Roku/Netflix. We’ll see.

While we figure things out, the library has suddenly regained it’s prior glory in my life. I’ve got all sorts of reading time on my hands now that I can’t depend on American Idol to keep me entertained. So I’m need of book recommendations. If you’ve read anything wonderful lately, please leave a comment. I’d love a nice long list to plow through.

107 thoughts on “We’re Officially Locals Now”

  1. I recently read “Good Girls” by Jennifer Weiner and I’m reading “Certain Girls” by her right now. They’re both really good.

    Another good author is Rebecca Eckler, I’ve read her book “Wiped!”, it’s hilarious! I bought the first one she wrote called “Knocked Up!” I can’t wait to read it.

    Other good books are the Shopaholic series, the Boleyn series by Philippa Gregory. That’s all I can think of right now

  2. If you don’t already know about Hulu.com here’s my plug. Noah and I haven’t had TV for roughly 8 years and quite honestly I’ve loved not having it. That said, Hulu is fantastic because we get to watch The Office and SNL just a day late.

    As far as good books, I’m loving Bill Bryson’s _A Short History of Nearly Everything_ if you haven’t read it yet.

  3. Since you are a New Yorker, you might enjoy Beverly Swerling’s trilogy about old New York City. City of Dreams, City of Glory and City of God. They are great reads if you enjoy historical fiction.

  4. Hooray for getting settled in! Don’t know if you’ve already ready the teen books series, Twlight, etc., but I finally picked up the first book 3 weeks ago and have since read all 4 of them. They were good.

  5. “Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri was magical. Also, “The Help” is an incredible book. Two of the best books I’ve read in the past couple of years.

  6. Little Heathens.

    I read your blog & have never commented before, but thought I'd plug this memoir about Mildred Armstrong Kalish's girlhood on an Iowa farm. It's hilarious and touching and a very easy read, but it'll make you appreciate everything just a bit more & make you want to simplify.

    Well, it did that for me.

  7. I recently read The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan; I bet you would like it. And, I’m reading “My Little Red Book” right now (stories about first periods). :)

  8. Here is a few of favorite lately:

    Left to Tell by Immaculee Llibagiza – Very dramatic book, written by a survivor of the Rwandan Holocaust

    Little Heathens by Mildred Kalish -Hilarious memoir about growing up in Iowa during the depression, a fun light read.

    Life of Pi by Yann Martel – Fiction, Offers a lot to think about, quite interesting

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon – Written through the perspective of a 15 yr old boy with autism. Has a lot of crude language (just to let you know), but altogether a fascinating book, especially if you know, or have worked with children who have autism.

    Have fun!!

  9. I loved On Agate Hill, and another perpetual favorite is Expecting Adam by Martha Beck. Somehow I always read it whilst pregnant, and I cry all the way through it each time. She had such a unique experience.

  10. I agree with Allysha. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a new favorite. you will LOVE it.

    Also love:
    The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.

    Can I place a vote for you to not waste your TV-free moments with the Twilight series? I know people will hate me for it.

  11. I just read “Enough: Breaking Free From the World of Excess” by John Naish, and I really enjoyed it. While I’m not 100% on board with all of his ideas, it gave me a lot of food for though about what ideas, things, information, and activities make me happy and which ones just eat up my time, energy, and provide a sort of pseudo-happiness that isn’t really fulfilling.

  12. The Devil and the White City by Erik Larson is great! It’s non-fiction, yet not at all boring. :) It’s about the head architect for the Chicago World Fair and a serial killer in Chicago at the same time. Chilling and fascinating.

    I also love Laurie King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mystery series.

  13. we cancelled our cable/dvr and although it’s hard it has been a really good thing. i do miss it though and every other month we almost go back. but it’s been over a year now

  14. Oh goodness, get hooked up on Goodreads.com, find out what your friends are reading, and bingo, you’ve suddenly got a list of 200+ “to-read” books…well, that’s what happens to me anyway! I’ve recently read Anne Lindbergh’s books and poetry: Gift from the Sea, The Unicorn, etc. Just beautiful. I’m currently reading her bio by Susan Hertog. Anne was a wonderful woman who tried to make sense of balancing family, alone time, a writing career and fame. Such an inspiration!

  15. NBC shows a bunch of full episodes online. Our house would grind to a halt without ESPN, though…

    I’m currently reading Little Women, and it is glorious.

  16. I just finished reading “a long way gone- memoirs of a boy soldier”- It was sad and moving and eye opening.
    On a lighter note I have always loved the “Big Stone Gap’ books. They are filled with characters to love and a small mountain town to get lost in. There are 3 books in the series. Happy reading!

  17. Yay! We love Koelbel Library!

    Really good books:
    I have to second the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    Hunger Games (YA lit)
    The Cellist of Sarajevo

  18. “Rosie” by Anne Lammott
    “Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger
    “Things I’ve Been Silent About” by Azar Nafisi
    “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion

    All of these are super good! Happy reading!

  19. I just read "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett…It was a fascinating read about black women housekeepers in white households during the 60's. I loved it & it was clean (other than one easy to skip over part when a nakey-guy comes in the yard).

  20. The Keep by Jennifer Egan
    Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
    Grayson by Lynne Cox
    Three Junes by Julia Glass
    I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson
    Emperor of Ocean Park by Stephen Carter

    This should keep you busy!

  21. You should check out the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. It is hilarious AND will keep you in books for quite awhile if you haven’t read any; there are 15 in the main series and she also does “in-betweens” (19 total!). I have loved them all! http://www.evanovich.com/

  22. I skimmed others’ suggestions, and two I was thinking of are already listed so I’ll note them again as a second vote! Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper and Erik Larson’s the Devil in the White City. If you haven’t already, you should definitely read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver – really interesting and educational, as well as inspirational for seeking food (or growing your own!) that is local in and in-season. I know Denver’s got some great farmer’s markets you will have to check out!

  23. Another for Little Heathens!
    Also almost anything by Charles Martin….the dead don’t dance, when crickets cry, where the river ends…all amazing and very sensitive to the human soul.

  24. “The Hunger Games,” definitely! Read that before the “Twilight” series. One of the best books I read last year. I just read “East of Eden” and it’s glorious.

  25. I second the recommendations for The Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell) and Kingsolver’s Animal Vegetable Miracle–along those lines, Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food is life-changing. A.J. Jacobs’ The Year of Living Biblically is also an incredibly interesting read, and if you like Tolkein, you will LOVE Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind.

    And I agree–don’t waste your time with Twilight. (If you want to support a LDS YA author, check out Shannon Hale instead.)

  26. I second “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. Probably the best book I’ve read so far this year.

    I am in the middle of “The School of Essential Ingredients” by Erica Bauermeister. It’s a smaller book, but if you love cooking and food I highly recommend it.

  27. Good for you for giving up TV! We haven’t had it for ages and now I find my time so full with other things that I don’t know how I ever had time for TV in the first place! Netflix and the internet satisfy all our entertainment needs when they do arise.
    As for a good book, our book club juts finished Bel Canto, and before that, The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio. Both extrememly good.
    Happy reading!

  28. I like Wendell Berry – there is a whole series of them, but the one I started with is “Watch With Me,” and my other favorite is “Hannah Coulter.”

    Looks like a great library.

  29. oooh, i highly recommend apple tv—it’s incredible and it really does allow more control of what’s coming into your house and is very easy to use.

  30. Loved Kristen Armstrong’s “Work in Progress: An Unfinished Woman’s Guide to Grace.” Lovely, peaceful, inspiring, entertaining read.

    Lance Armstrong is her “was-band” as she likes to call him. She also has a great blog on Runner’s World online. She’s a great sister in the cause of living a beautiful, happy, peaceful life. :) Happy Reading!

  31. Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik is one of my faves, and is currently a re-read for me (like a rerun, but a re-read!). I know I really love a book if I’m willing to reread it over and over again! It’s a beautifully-written memoir of Gopnik’s family as they live in Paris and expand their family. I studied in Paris as a college student, and this book brings back good memories for me.

  32. Yay! for feeling officially moved and in.

    Though you may have already read them…”Crossing to Safety,” by Wm Stegner and Angle of Repose by the same.

    I also just finished “The Hiding Place,” by Corrie Ten Boom, which was illuminating.

    Thumbs down on Twilight and Hunger Games.

  33. I also second Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, this is the perfect time of year to read it, or anything by Barbara Kingsolver.

    I adore Marian Keyes books when I don’t want to think, Richard Russo tells funny, small town stories (though I wasn’t crazy about Bridge of Sighs) and if you want a book that will keep you reading for awhile, Pillars of the Earth is just awesome.

    Also, Out West by Dayton Duncan is a good read for travelers heading west.

  34. I just finished “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” and loved it. A classic that I’m sure many people have read before they were 27 (I’m a little slow on catching up with the classics my public school education left out), but a wonderful book nonetheless. I am currently reading “The Pilots Wife” by Anita Shreeve and can’t put it down.

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