Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Secret words

If you were to spend a substantial amount of time around my family — and heaven help you if you did — you’d probably hear the word “gommy” tossed around, mostly by my mother. It’s a word we use to mean messy or weird or overly complicated. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone else use this word, although it does exist in popular culture. So I’m not sure anyone else would understand exactly what my mother means by it.

1933338172.jpgAll families have their own ways of communicating. Some even go so far as to make up their own words and phrases that would make no sense to outsiders. And Paul Dickson has a new book out — Family Words: A Dictionary of the Secret Language of Families — in which he catalogues many of these quirky idioms and words.

Some of them are downright hilarious:

GRISWOLD, v. — to rush through a museum or other attraction.
(e.g.: “I’m really hungry, so let’s griswold that museum and then eat dinner.”)

Does your family have any secret words?

1 Comment | Category: Books

There are no spoilers in this post. I’d been trying to

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stay away from the Internet so I could discover the ending of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” on my own. I even plugged my ears whenever the kids would bring up the latest rumors from the Web. But after all of the reports of the photos of the actual pages of the actual book, I could feel my fingers tingling whenever I went online to check my e-mail. Then the New York Times came out with a review of “Deathly Hallows” after a New York bookstore put it on sale prematurely. The Baltimore Sun got an early look, too. I knew they wouldn’t divulge the ending, so I read them, and they piqued my interest. And then I couldn’t help myself. It was like I was under the Imperious Curse. Read the rest of this entry »

4 Comments | Category: Books, What's Happening Now

Nancy Drew as feminist: discuss.

Yes, I saw the new Nancy Drew movie. It’s cute and cartoonish and showcases adorable clothes. But it doesn’t capture the one thing that captivated me most when I first discovered Nancy Drew: She’s independent.

Nancy teaches important lessons to young girls: Being on your own. Doing the right thing without being told. Solving problems by yourself.

And the idea that she had her own car and kept an overnight bag in it for emergencies. Well, I’ve based my whole adult emergency-preparedness plan on her example! 

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1 Comment | Category: Books, Women Who Think

summer booksWhat’s on your reading list this summer?

I decided to take a break from working on my master’s this summer because my Corps of Engineers husband got a three-month gig working in New Orleans. (That’s a whole other blog.…)  So, with some time to read non-textbook books, I’ve stocked my shelf with some old and new titles.

I’ve already knocked out “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy (bleak, but beautifully written), “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen (entertaining with some well-written passages, but I thought she wrote the main character as more mature than he would’ve been just out of college), “A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest J. Gaines (the journal entries by the wrongly convicted Jefferson will have you crying at the end), and “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini of  “The Kite Runner” fame. (Read my comments in response to the iDiva’s blog  here; I’m memgal.)

I’m slowly working through Steinbeck’s “East of Eden,” which I never had to read in high school, and then will start on “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert before the final installment of the Harry Potter series hits my doorstep in July. (I’m a fan.)

I want to add something from John Updike and Philip Roth, two authors I’ve inexplicably never read. Where should I start? What other must-read books should I add to my list?

1 Comment | Category: Books, Women Who Think

bigwordsblog.gif Holy moly! I completely forgot how much college textbooks cost. I was checking out some of the online courses I’ll be taking for my master’s and saw that one class has six books. Six! I priced them at the Mizzou bookstore at about $250. I hadn’t factored in that extra expense. Maybe I should’ve waited on that new laptop….

I was complaining to my friend Christa, who recently got her master’s in nursing, and she put me on to bigwords.com. The site searches all the stores for you and gives you a list of the cheapest place to buy all of them as a group and another list that gives you the best price for each individual book. The six books I needed for my class cost only $119 — less than half what they are at the university’s bookstore.

Know any other big ways for college students to save money?
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No Comments | Category: Books, Women Who Think

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