September 21st, 2010


Showing appreciation...

I read a funny (and all-too-accurate) list the other day -- which I would link to, but I'm lazy. Anyway, it was a list of what people think about writers as partners/spouses compared to what's really going on in the writer's head.

It got me thinking about relationships, in general, and how easy it is to allow your partner/spouse to fade into the background during busy and stressful times. I have some friends who get stuck in a grumpy place when this type of thing happens -- both on the receiving and working end. I've talked about it with our camping friends before, and P told me that when she was younger, she wanted grand gestures from M. It wasn't enough that he was busy and stressed out beyond belief, but she would add to that by expecting something huge on his part to show her that she still mattered. Of course, we laugh about that now.

After being a relationship for many years, things change, I think. I was never about the grand gestures, though. When DH is stressed and overworked, little things make all the difference. A hug when he comes in the door -- even if it's a few seconds long -- lets me know that I'm on his mind too. A touch of the hand as he walks by me, a warm smile and an extra second to look into my eyes. Even something more practical, like picking up my favorite bread when he's at the store or getting me some Mike's Hard Lemonade during a beer run.

When life starts kicking my butt, I try to do similar things -- but I have to admit, it comes more naturally for me. I love hugs, so taking time out to hold him benefits me too. I try to make sure I put something in our dinner that he likes. Plus, if we can organize our schedules (which he works at too), I give him a back massage every night before bed.

It amazes me how little it takes for the one we love to know that we still love and appreciate him/her every day. What kinds of things do you do when life is frantic?

(because we have to celebrate the leaves!)
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Book Reports (122-124)...

For those of you who happened to Google your title and ended up here, please know that one star is not a bad thing in Robin's world -- just the fact the I picked up your book and started it means that somewhere it's getting good buzz (or that your blurb was really cool). 'R' means it's a re-read. Different colored font means it's an ARC for 2010 (and I'll try to remember to put the month it's released, as well). I'm linking to Tattered Cover's pages for the ARCs.

* I didn't make it beyond the first 20 pages.
** I made it to the end, but I either skimmed or skipped large sections.
*** I might have skipped/skimmed, but I liked it and might read it again.
**** I read at least 95% of the book and it was good -- definitely will be reread.
***** I read every word, and I loved it! A favorite.

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The Duff, by Kody Keplinger ***+ I liked many things about this book -- not the least of which was the compassion and understanding Keplinger shows. It was angsty, which is why I didn't read all of it, but I read the last third very closely -- and I love how the characters found themselves. The story: Wesley approaches Bianca at a club and tells her she's a 'Duff' (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) -- Bianca is insulted and fights back with sex. As time goes on, however, both Bianca and Wesley begin to see each other's heart -- and they can no longer use each other to avoid their personal struggles. (YA contemporary, just released, publisher: Poppy)

Restoring Harmony, by Joelle Anthony **** This was an interesting dystopic novel. It had an old-fashioned feel to it (perhaps because the MC came from a farming family), but I liked the struggles Molly faced as she dared to do something we all take for granted -- travel. It was an interesting look into a possible future, and I thought it was well done. The story: Molly travels from Canada to the U.S. to fetch her grandfather. When she finally reaches him, however, things are not what she thought, and her involvement with a friendly boy becomes both a challenge and a benefit as Molly has to figure out how to get home. (YA dystopic, released 5/2010, publisher: Putnam)

Party, by Tom Leveen ****+ I really enjoyed this one, despite the teen lingo (which kind of annoyed me). Um, yeah, I know it's written for teens ;) Anyway, I thought the multiple POV was well done, and all the voices were quite distinct. I loved how each one of them added to the whole story, and how all the pieces fit together to give us a better view of this night. I especially liked how it came full circle by the end -- it was clever and well put together, imo. The story: There's a party (soon after graduation) and a group of students gather -- students who have personal problems most of the others know nothing about. As the night devolves, they all learn more about one another and themselves. (YA contemporary, released 3/2010, publisher: Random House)(POC challenge)

So you might have guessed I've given myself a new reading challenge -- to finish five books a week (at least). Now that I've gotten busier, I know I'll accomplish more (isn't that how it works?). It's going pretty well so far...

Currently Reading: Immortal Beloved, by Cate Tierney
On Deck: The Replacement; Clockwork Angel