Tuesday, December 29, 2015

number 61

Well, so much for not reading another book in 2015!!  Hannah had read it and talked about it - so I got it on Kindle - and the rest is history!!

And much like "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie," I now feel like I need to see the movie!!  Hope it sticks around for a bit so I can get it on my calendar!

Don't know much about this writer -  he has been short-listed several times for the Mann-Booker Prize - which says something good about him! And his prose is easy to read - somewhat lyrical - and for a man, he does a great job of writing from a woman's point of view.

But I'm not sure that I agree with some of the reviewers who were waxing eloquent about what a love story this was - it seems to be more a story about the times and the cultures.  

Maybe that is what love is about!

I may try another of his books.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

When Phoebe was a baby, we got a baby sitter for her and took Bonny and Harry to the first Star Wars movie - it was amazing in our eyes - the world had just never seen this kind of film-making.

Harry wanted to be Luke for Halloween for a couple of years - and it was pretty easy to oblige him.

We are a Star Wars family.

And Harry and I saw the latest tonight - and we are still a Star Wars family!!

It's good - well-done and entertaining - what a movie is supposed to be!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Book number 60!! That's it for 2015!

My goal for 2015 was to read 52 books - which amounts to one a week.  Someone posted the challenge somewhere, and I picked up the gauntlet!!  I hit 52 books a few weeks back, and thought I might as well go to 60 - which amounts to 5 books a month!!  (Somehow that sounds like more!) Also, I sort of need to be reading a book all the time - how else do you pass time in waiting rooms, doctor's offices, and post office lines?

This last one was a random suggestion from Phoebe - I was texting her about some titles she had thrown out to me when we were up there visiting and she threw out a few more!  But I dare not start a book at this point in the holiday season - even mediocre books have a tendency to get me wrapped up in them and I read - and do not much else!

So this one - about which Phoebe said, "I enjoyed this one - but then I think I had low expectations!" was an entertaining read - mostly.  It did bog down with some "preaching" about dreams and expectations - but I am able to skim that kind of stuff.  It started out better than it wrapped up - often a problem with current fiction.

But it's good airplane fiction!

What will be my challenge for 2017?  104 books?  120 books?  

I think I should commit to trying to just read library books!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

57, 58, 59!

Well, my quest to read 52 books in one year was certainly a successful one - I'm wondering if I can get 60 - which would mean 5 a month - somehow seems more impressive than one a week with some left over!!

I am mostly impressed that I've kept track!!  I have read a lot of books in my life - it would be interesting to have a list - but that's not going to happen!!  And I'm sure I've read some forgettable books that don't even deserve to be on a list.  But it's nice to meet a challenge - and book challenges seem to appeal to me.  A couple of years ago I vowed to not buy any physical books.  It happened but I sure bought a lot of Kindle books!!  This year I have tried to use the library more.  I love libraries but I often can't find what I'm looking for and it's just easier to get in on Kindle - because Kindle seems to have everything!!

Eliza referred to the above novel in a blog post - she said it was a kind of remake of House of Mirth - and I loved House of Mirth - in fact I love all things Edith Wharton - so I got it on Kindle of course!! 

Took me longer to read than usual - it really didn't "get" me right away.  But about half-way through the story gained momentum.  One night I could not sleep - I hate insomnia - but thanks to being able to read in the dark with a Kindle, I read - all night - like until 4:35 in the morning!!

I read a couple of reviews - after the fact - and I agree with one.  The reviewer said the House of Mirth comparison was not warranted - and it's been awhile since I read it so I will take her word for it - but she went on to find other aspects of the story that she felt had merit.  Good character development was one.  And a great eye for detail was another.  I really found myself in "another world!"  My big complaint was the "tidy" ending - I wonder why authors have such a hard time "wrapping up" a story.  

Depending on how you feel about Edith Wharton, you may or may not want to check this out.  As a cautionary tale, it has great merit - being sucked into a lifestyle you are not really suited for seems to be a prevalent mistake - and this tale seems bent on having the heroine suffer every indignity as she flounders in way over her head.

One reviewer felt that Evelyn was not a lovable or sympathetic main character, but I found myself feeling very sorry for her and wishing I could help her!!

No one ever does, but if you do or have read this, let me know what you think!

I found Salem Falls in a little free library on one of my morning walks.  I was up for some total escape fiction - and Jodi Picoult, who writes the same story every time, is good for escape if nothing else!!  It's pretty much just escape!

I did scout out the library one day and picked up a couple of Lisa See novels - they were better than I expected.  Dreams of Joy is a sequel to Shanghai Girls - I love getting my history from a well-told story - and that is what this is.

I  had no idea of the scope and detail of the Cultural Revolution in China and the role Mao played.  I also enjoyed the detail about Chinese life in the country.  It was not a waste of time!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Christmas Memories!

The year we rented the place up in the mountains.  An ill-fated venture!

It did start out well enough though!

And the kids had fun.

And Robbie showed his mettle!!

You need the not so good to appreciate the really good!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Christmas Memories!!

Often, at Christmas time, we think about taking family photos - maybe because we are all together!!

Somebody remind me to wear my glasses - Dad too!

When Kelly set this up, I was convinced it wouldn't work - but it certainly did!!

At long last Noah will not be "a Lone Ranger" and will have Taylor by his side!! The group total will be 33!

But, next year, Ara will be on a mission - and there will only be 32 - unless someone has something to tell us!!

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Christmas Memories!!

Christmas celebrations with Bill and Marjorie - we miss them!!

We miss Karl too!

There are still plenty of babies though!!

And the gift opening on Christmas day is much sparser than in years past - but that's okay too!

The clutter is every year though!!

Monday, December 07, 2015

Christmas Memories!

The Helen Terrill Family party - a few years ago - any guesses - Drake looks pretty young here!!

The "pageant" was a long-running tradition!

The children all love Santa!

It was after 2007 because Doug was doing the Santa honors!

And Lorie was the angel!!

Those parties were fun - there are some great memories we all share!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Christmas Memories!

One of the first Christmases after we moved back to CA - I think it's 1980!

This is Christmas 1971 - our first "family photo!!" And you know where it was taken!

Grandma Helen's family party - 1989 from the looks of Noah!

David's a little boy - and that is Richard behind him - not sure of the year though - I don't think I was living at home - not sure why I took a photo - maybe we were visiting - but we didn't often come down at Christmas.

Billy and Bobby with the neighbor boy - maybe I was in college for this??

There is something to be said for dating photos!! 

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Christmas Memories!!

Christmas 1971 found us all at the Clayton homestead - which called for a group photo!!

This is one of the many Messiah Sing Along performances we have attended over the years - not sure what year! They all blend after awhile.  Ara looks pretty young!

Eve looks young too!!

This is a year ago I think - because Deacon is only two now!

Oh the Christmas seasons come and go!!

Friday, December 04, 2015

Christmas Memories!!

Bonny's first Christmas - spent in SoCal - and she was indeed the apple of everyone's eye!

Christmas in the early 60's at the house on Emery.

Harry's first Christmas - and one of the few candid baby photos of him.

One year - 1998 I think - we rented a house in Laguna - and hired a photographer for a family photo - but Harry F. didn't make it!!

1970 - last time I saw my Grandpa Clayton - at least he got to meet Bonny!

Random memories - so many Christmases - so many memories!!

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Christmas Memories!

Family visits - the best part of Christmas!!

And friends come in a close second!!

Clocker's Corner - still a hit after all these years - we keep thinking we won't do it - but we always do!

Some of the little kids think they are at the races!!

Perhaps a template for an emoji here??

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Christmas Memories!

"Is this Christmas?" Hannah's plaintive question when we gathered to open Bonny and Bruce's wedding gifts!!

Ward Christmas party - maybe Noah didn't want to be there??

These "Christmas" pajama pants were only $2 each at Old Navy!!

Our first tree!


Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Christmas memories!!

When there were 5 grandkids!!

A Relief Society Christmas program - some lovely friends - only 3 of them are still in the ward.  The years fly by.

Heading home for Christmas from BYU in 1963 - talk about years flying by!!