I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all

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I'm a costume designer, makeup artist, teacher, mom, sewer, knitter, baker, want-to-learn-how-to-do-it-all, blogging, Costumed Beagle enthusiast. I am not always pleasant, although through intensive cupcake therapy I have learned not to throw knives at people anymore.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011 By the Books

An extremely wonderful and appropriate Christmas gift
from a friend...I'll be using it proudly

I think little summarizes a person’s goings-ons, life philosophy, interests and general attitude than the books they choose to read.  This does not apply to anyone in any type or level of learning institution.  The first thing I did when I finished graduate school, was hunker down with a nice big fat book of my own choosing: The complete works of Jane Austen.  Now that I am at a point in my life where most of the books I read I do actually chose, it is interesting to look back a see what they’ve been.  Granted, I do still read with my kids, and many of those books I do not exactly choose, although I try…and I still do a bit a “pre-reading” before I let my son adventure too far into the unknown (I had a librarian last year recommend the Hunger Games for him—he was NINE!)
My interest in books are much like my interest in music…far-reaching and difficult to define, although I do like a good historical fiction…something I can visualize awesome costumes with.  When in need of comfort I turn to those with which I am familiar: Jane Austen, Good Omens, Anne of Green Gables…. 
Most of the books mentioned here have my rating and occasionally a review on Goodreads.
Here they are, by category:

YA Fiction: Surprisingly little, I usually layer heftier books w/ a healthy dose of YA
River of Secrets; Books of Bayern #3; Shannon Hale

Good Book Club:
Hotel on The Corner of Bitter and Sweet; Jamie Ford (lovely…)

Comfort Books: All re-reads.  All Wonderful.
Anne’s House of Dreams; L.M. Montgomery
Anne of Ingleside; L.M. Montgomery
Good Omens; Terry Pratchet & Neil Gaiman
Pride & Prejudice; Jane Austin

The Blue Sword; Robin McKinley
War Breaker; Brandon Sanderson

In A Sunburned Country; Bill Bryson (a favorite Author…all about Australia)
Sex, Drugs & Cocoa Puffs; Chuck Klostserman (I really shouldn’t claim this, I was desperate for something to read and someone had given this to me…awful.  Didn’t make it very far—which is saying something, because I like MOST books. Claims title of "worst book I tried to read but couldn't" this year)

Cutting for Stone; Abraham Verghese (probably my fav. Book of the year)
Bel Canto; Ann Patchett (that I didn’t love it proves I am not as pessimistic as I think)
The Last Child;  John Hart
The Time Traveler’s Wife; Audrey Niffennegger
The Blind Assassin; Margaret Atwood
River of Smoke; Amitov Ghose (patiently awaited this second book of trilogy, didn’t pack quite the punch of the first)
Eventide; Kent Haruf
The Elephant Man; Bernard Pomerance (a play)
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky; Heidi Durrow (interesting story telling)

Feel Bad Education; Alfie Kohn
Strength’s Finder 2.0; Tom Rath (seminar book)
Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think; Brain Wansink (very interesting look at stats about what people eat and what people think they eat…)

Got this one for Christmas...I'll probably have to
break this baby up into chunks to read...
Those I found appropriate to read with or alongside my 10-year-old son.
Grip of the Shadow Plague; Fablehaven #3 by Brandon Mull
Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary; Fablehaven #4
The Adventures of Tome Sawyer; Mark Twain (holds up surprisingly well in modern 10 year old boy world)
Keys to the Demon Prison; Fablehaven #5
The Hobbit; JRR Tolkien
Peter and the Starcatchers #1; Dave Barry (Great Series.  We listened on CD while in car—my 6 year old loved it too…)
The Sea of Monsters; Percy Jackson Series; Rick Riordan
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows; Harry Potter #7 (Had to reread-couldn’t remember a thing)
The Found; The Missing #1; Margaret Peterson Haddix (interesting.  Very good for this age.)
The Tale of Despereaux; Kate DiCamillo (actually read w/ Anna….good read aloud book)


  1. I've read a lot of these same books! Right now I'm on a public-domain kick (so I can read them lazily off my phone for free) so i've been very interested to re-read a lot of those High School Honors English books that we all suffered through to some degree. I remember a lot of the general to-dos of the books, but I am getting SO much more out of them. And some of them I just scratch my head at -- "seriously, I read that in HIGH SCHOOL?!?!)
    When I make it back to the library I'll hit up your goodreads list again. I like poaching other people's suggestions :)

  2. Our good reads lists overlaps in interesting ways and diverges in even more interesting ways. And I LOVE LOVE the new wallpaper. New website, new paper. Good choice.