Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Recent Reads: A Real Housewife, A Trilogy, A TV Show & A Mystery


Hello Everyone!  I am back with another edition of my recent reads.  I try to make these as un-spoilery as possible, so you can still enjoy the twists and turns of each book.  This time I have reviewed a trilogy all in one review, in order to give an overview without giving anything away.  I hope this works better than reviewing each separately, which requires a bit more detail.

Leave me a comment to let me know what you are reading.  I am always looking for my next book!

Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant

The Divergent Trilogy:  Imagine a world where society is divided into groups of people who live by one of five virtues: Candor (honest), Abnegation (selfless), Dauntless (brave), Amity (peaceful), and Erudite (intelligent).   Beatrice (Tris) Prior must choose which faction to join once she turns sixteen.  First, she is given a test to see which she most clearly identifies with.  When her results are unclear making her Divergent, she is told she must hide it from the world or risk death.  She picks a faction, and goes through their grueling initiation process.  Throughout the series she learns more about her parent's backstories, what her divergence really means,  and the actual reason the world as she knows it was divided into factions.  She has to make a lot of difficult choices throughout the three books, which makes for a tumultuous relationship with her love interest.  Each book reveals a little more of the truth, until Tris must make one final choice.  I would give the first book (Divergent) 4 stars, Insurgent 3 stars, and Allegiant 2 stars.  I am still not completely sure how I felt about the ending of the series.  If you have read this, I would love to hear your thoughts.


Where'd You Go, Bernadette
Where'd You Go, Bernadette:  Bernadette Fox has issues.  She doesn't like people and hates leaving her home.  She is married to a genius Microsoft executive, and has a sweet and smart teenage daughter, Bee.  Bee brings home straight A's on her report card, and as a promised reward for her achievements, she wants the family to take a vacation around Antarctica.  Bernedette reluctantly agrees, and hires a virtual assistant in India to help with the planning.  Everything goes downhill from here, leading her husband to misunderstand her, her neighbors to loathe her, and the FBI to investigate her.  Needless to say, hilarity ensues. 

 A few days before the family is supposed to leave on their trip, Bernadette disappears.  Bee pieces together her mother's disappearance through emails, notes, and letters.  This book is a satire, touching and funny, and really well written.  I would give this one five stars overall.


Orange Is The New Black
Orange is the New Black:  Piper Kerman is going to prison ten years after she committed her crime, delivering a suitcase full of drug money.  She is no longer the wild child she was back then, and lives a model life in Manhattan with her fiance.  She is eventually sentenced to 15 months in the Danbury, CT Federal Correctional Institution.  Here she meets women from all walks of life, each there for different reasons.  She learns how to navigate the world of prison and survive the loneliness and isolation from her friends and family.  She makes some unlikely friendships and learns a few new skills (though jobs in the electrical shop and in construction).  Throughout her story, you are led to think about the purpose that prison serves, who we are imprisoning, and what we are doing to rehabilitate the people we send there.  She paints a very vivid picture of her time served, and you root for Piper and her finance to get through this.  I would give this book 5 stars, and say it is definitely worth picking up.  Now to start watching the Neflix series.


Drinking and Tweeting
Drinking and Tweeting:  I love the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, and Brandi Glanville is my favorite.  She always says what is on her mind, so when I heard she was releasing a book about her life, I was pretty stoked to read it.  Here, she gives you all of the dirty details, what it was like growing up in her family, her modeling career, marrying Eddie Cibrian, through the the breakup of their marriage due to his affair with LeAnn Rimes, and becoming selected to star on The Real Housewives.  It was a juicy read, and nothing is held back.  There is something so honest and unfiltered here, it is hard to put down.  Brandy not only calls out the people in her life that have crossed her in some way, she is honest about her own faults and things she needs to work on.  If you are a fan of the show, or followed her divorce scandal, you will enjoy this book.  I'd give it three stars overall.  I will probably pick up her new book, Drinking and Dating some time in the near future.  

See my Books page to keep up with the books I am currently reading.  


Check out my books on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31653089-erin

Monday, June 2, 2014

#100HappyDays Update


I have been participating in the #100happydays challenge.  Simply put, I am documenting one thing that brings joy to my life daily, for 100 straight days.  Today is day 61, and so far, I am loving this.  It is fun to look back and see what really makes me happy.  Not surprisingly, a lot of it involves my pets and my garden.  Here are a few of my highlights.  

Opening a very special bottle we brought back from Scotland.


My tiny, sweet Harriet loves to steal the biggest chewie from Meatball.  Always.


The view from a relative's house.  The Bay Area is just so beautiful.  


Has anyone seen Harriet?  Where can she be hiding?


My beautiful delphiniums. 


My first flower arrangements from our garden this year (plus a special guest star).


My snail Blue, giving a ride to a cherry shrimp.


My frog Hazel Grace and her enormous feet.


Two knuckleheads and a laser beam.


Two of my favorite things: frogs and the Raiders (for my garden).


My peonies bloomed, and they were spectacular.


Yoga frog....Om


Harriet and Petunia, young and beautiful 


Dusk from my backyard.  The thrushes were singing and it was an unusually warm evening.  The dogs were chasing the remaining light across the yard.  My husband was making and amazing dinner and stalking EBay.  I could even see a planet.  In that moment, everything was perfect.  


The fact that Petunia sleeps with her paws crossed.


I know this much is true


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Let me know if you are participating.  I would love to see your pictures.

I'm Erin

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Hi, I'm Erin. I am living back on the east coast after 15 years out west. Currently readjusting to humidity and mosquitos. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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