In Dreams Awake

Classic literature, tea, and a sweater....

Gone Girl

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn This book is the literary equivalent to an Alanis Morrisette song. Or perhaps Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats". So if you're up for a good crank-it-up, man-hating rant then by all means, Gone Girl is for you. In fairness, this isn't my typical kind of book. I was able to get through the first 200 pages because I knew what was coming. Yes! I finally figured out a mystery before it was revealed. Which means it probably wasn't a big shocker to most, because I'm not usually one to figure out mysteries. I'd say if you're struggling with the beginning, keep going because it gets more fun. Just don't expect to really connect with any of the characters or walk away thinking you won't soon forget them. It's not that kind of book.

Things I enjoyed:
The writing
The Nancy Grace character
The exploration of the idea that people can sometimes not be what they seem

Things that annoyed me:
Overuse of the explanation of wearing things or doing things "ironically" (yea, we get it)
Stereotyped characters- unlikable rather than flawed
The sister's name and creepy relationship with her brother


Sheep - Valerie Hobbs Perfect for a 5th grade boy. Especially a reluctant reader. Just the right blend of humor and sweetness. I loved the message behind this book.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly - Anthony Bourdain The first half (funny and interesting) was much better than the second half (self-indulgent and boring). Brought back a lot of memories. I've worked with the characters Bourdain describes. I would recommend the audiobook. Bourdain, in addition to being a deadpan laugh riot, reads very well.

Belly Up

Belly Up - Stuart Gibbs Funny, engaging, and creative. Good for boys. Just taken aback by the few unnecessary minor swear words sprinkled through the text.

The Read-Aloud Handbook

The Read-Aloud Handbook - Jim Trelease This should be required reading for every parent and teacher.

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health - William  Davis Starting this today. I suffer from excessive bloating 2 weeks out of the month. I exercise a lot, and yet can't seem to get rid of the "bump". Wheat allergy? We'll see how it goes!

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail - Bernadette Dunne, Cheryl Strayed
As another reviewer pointed out, if you want to read a sincere book about the challenges and PREPARATION of embarking upon a long hike, check out Bill Bryson's "A Walk In The Woods".

Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4)

Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) - Stephenie Meyer I got to a point in reading Breaking Dawn where I had a decision to make- I could throw the book across the room or I could embrace the absurdity.

I embraced it. I really only had 2 problems with the book- one was that I couldn't deal with Jacob's "imprinting" on you know who, the one with the ridiculous name. And two, all the vampire lineage just became tedious for a while. Really the book could have been much shorter.

The love story part was delicious. (And was served in the right order)

Twilight and Breaking Dawn were the best books of the series, the other 2 just seemed to "pale" in comparison.


Bossypants - Tina Fey The best part, IMO, the prayer for her daughter. Yes.

“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her

When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.”

Sarah's Key

Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay Sarah's story was heartbreaking and beautifully written. Julia's story was a bit more clunky and didn't work as well. Ultimately, I applaud the author for taking on such a challenging topic and educating a new generation of readers on this dark period of history. I hope holocaust historical novels will always be written. So we never forget.

Panda and Polar Bear

Panda and Polar Bear - Matthew Baek Excellent picture book. Started a number of different discussions.

The Outsiders

The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton Classics in literature, by their very nature, must be understood within the context of the times in which the book was written. "The Outsiders" was written at a time when, according to the author, most books for teens were about Mary Jane going to the prom. S.E. Hinton was 16 years old when she wrote this book about teen violence and tensions between the greasers and the socs (the socials, the ones with money).

When I first read the book as a teen myself, I remember thinking that it was the first book I'd read that opened up to me the struggle of boys. They have to act "tuff" in front of their friends, but what if they want to quote Robert Frost passages or read "Gone with the Wind" with their best friend. Where can I find a guy like this, I wondered. Isn't the criticism that a "real greaser" wouldn't be this sensitive exactly the point of the novel? And isn't the whole aura around a greaser cliche to the point of caricature? Heck, even Danny and Kenickie got sentimental on occasion. And who can argue with the fact that S.E. Hinton based the novel on real rival gangs at her high school. She lived in the working class neighborhood and a classmate of hers got beaten by the rich kids one day on his way home from school.

Ultimately, the theme of the novel transcends generations. Everyone at some point in their life has been the outsider, has been misunderstood, especially teens. This is why the book is still being read in Jr. High English classes everywhere.

Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d'Art

Sacré Bleu: A Comedy d'Art - Christopher Moore Historical fiction meets humor meets fantasy meets Did I just read what I thought I read? This is my first Christopher Moore book, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised how unpretentious it was. And, of course, the Paris setting was the reason it caught my attention.

Goodbye to Shame Removing the Mask

Goodbye to Shame Removing the Mask - Tina Bears I always find it remarkable when someone can open up their life, especially their deepest pain, to share with the world. It's such a brave and transparent thing to do. This book is no exception. Deeply personal and honest,it reads like my friend wrote me a letter. I read the book in one sitting. Though the subject matter may be heavy, I found the message incredibly inspiring. And even though I don't share the experience with Ms. Bears, I found I could relate to so many of her struggles, such as being a people pleaser.

I hope this book reaches those who are currently suffering in an abusive relationship and that it gives them the courage to get help. If you know someone like this, get them this book! I also think it would be a good read for teenage girls who are perhaps just beginning to date, to learn to pay attention to those warning signs.

And the cover is pretty too!

Your Creative Writing Masterclass

Your Creative Writing Masterclass - Jürgen Wolff Full of great inspirational nuggets and practical advice with quotes and examples from the masters.

Ghost Dog Secrets

Ghost Dog Secrets - Peg Kehret Ethan enjoyed this one. It was equal parts suspense and sweetness.

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