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Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Summary:  Yeah, right.  My dad reads this.

Brookie’s Review: Don’t get excited.  We’re not going to discuss this book (per say).  My grandmother reads this y’all, and probably my dad too.  So, there will be no in-depth plot discussions.  That is my disclaimer.

However, there is one thing Iwould like to state for y’all to see, make that two things.  First thing – Anastasia is a whiny brat.  I don’t like her.  Not even a little bit.  This is a rare occurrence.  I typically identify with the lead female character in a book, but definitely not this time.  Perhaps my dislike comes from the fact that this girl is based on Bella Swan, and we all know about my blatant dislike of Bella.  My thing with Ana is this – make a darned decision.  Stop agonizing over every little detail.  It’s not cute.  Either you love the guy and accept his faults and psychotic tendencies, or you don’t.  Seems pretty simple to me.  And with that being said, here’s my second thing – Christian Grey, you are one messed up dude.  Seriously.  I’m sure there’s a kind of explanation for it, but I’ve been told it doesn’t show up until book 3, which is disappointing, I think.  Back story is incredibly important to your character development (this is why non-readers were confused during The Hunger Games movie).

And I get that the author is trying to keep Christian a mystery, to keep you turning the pages, but even mysterious billionaires get tedious after a while.  I’d like a few hints, and more than what the author alludes to – it’s kind of easy to guess after about half the book.

One more thing, the writing style.  Not my favorite.  I’m not hating, if anything, I’m jealous.  Ms. James wrote a fan fiction based on Twilight, and ended up with a three book deal and sold the movie rights.  I’m definitely jealous.  But, I do feel like her editors should have helped her along a bit more.  The limited vocabulary that’s used get old very fast.

I don’t think I would have willingly picked this book up if I hadn’t given in to peer pressure.  Sometimes you just have to see what the hype is all about.  It’s people like me that will make this woman beyond rich.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Summary:  Many people, generally those who have never read the book, consider Wuthering Heights to be a straightforward, if intense, love story — Romeo and Juliet on the Yorkshire Moors. But this is a mistake. Really the story is one of revenge. It follows the life of Heathcliff, a mysterious gypsy-like person, from childhood (about seven years old) to his death in his late thirties. Heathcliff rises in his adopted family and then is reduced to the status of a servant, running away when the young woman he loves decides to marry another. He returns later, rich and educated and sets about gaining his revenge on the two families that he believed ruined his life.

Synopsis courtesy of The Reader’s Guide to Wuthering Heights.

Brookie’s Review:  I finally finished this book.  I feel like it took ages.  Because it did.  You know, it’s not as bad as I expected it to be.  I know that sounds horrible, considering this is classic literature, and I should be clamoring to read it.  But I wasn’t.  Why?  I’ll let you in on a little secret – I’m not a fan of the classics.

Some people are.  I have friends that will fall out of their chairs in a dead faint when someone mentions Mr. Darcy or Heathcliff.  I am not one of these people.  And I know what you’re going to ask – why did you read it?  Because I like to challenge myself sometimes.  I like to have a working knowledge of the classics.  I don’t want to be the one person that hasn’t even thumbed through Sense and Sensibility (which I actually have read) or Moby Dick (which I have not).  If I’m telling the truth, which I usually am around here, the classics mostly bore me.  I find the language difficult.  Not because I have a limited vocabulary, because I don’t.  I think it’s because I have a short attention span.  These classical writers take an entire paragraph to describe a single shrub.  I appreciate the imagery, truly, but I’m more of a cut to the chase girl.  Some people love the classics for that reason – the words.  And while I am a word person, it’s just not my gig.  I will continue to read the classics of course, because I like to broaden my horizons when it comes to the literary front.

Now, onto the good stuff.  Heathcliff is one crazy dude.  For serious.  He’s definitely earned a spot on my list of Top 10 villains.  I’m pretty sure I’ve got him right behind Lord Voldemort, who now resides at number one.  Heathcliff isn’t broody-sexy like some other literary bad boys (I’m lookin’ at you Edward Cullen), he’s just a bad person, straight down to his core.  The man kills a puppy y’all, for no better reason than just to do it.  So few villains act the way they do out of pure spite, but Heathcliff is one of them.

Surprisingly, there aren’t too many characters in this book.  And it’s also one of the few books in which I don’t have a favorite.  No one jumped out at me, as if to say, “Me!  I’m awesome!”  Which is strange, because there’s usually always one character that I feel strongly about.  Not this time, unless you count my vehement hatred toward Heathcliff.

I’m glad I finished this book, though it was much easier to read than some of the other books I’ve picked up from this time period.  I won’t tell you to read it.  If you’re interested in the classics, chances are you’ve already read it once or twice.

 

The (Sometimes) Daily Brookie

And then I became a real working mama.

It sort of happened overnight.  Literally.  I asked a friend if her company was hiring on a Sunday, and the next Monday I was sitting at my new desk.  On the outside it seemed easy, meant to be perhaps.  But on the inside, I was waging a war with myself.

In the week leading up to my employment, I found myself suddenly bursting into tears at the drop of a hat.  There’s something that I’ve never lied to y’all about – staying home with your children is hard.  Like, hard.  There’s never a break, or a sick day.  But there’s something else I won’t lie to y’all about – leaving you children to go to work is hard.  Heartbreaking more accurately describes what I’ve felt.

Deep in my heart, I know that Little T is okay.  He’s with kids near his own age, he’s learning, and he’s absolutely very well taken care of.  But darn my own vanity – I find myself wondering throughout the day if he’s crying for Mama, or if he needs me, or if he loves his teachers more than me.

Never fear, I’m reassured every evening when Little T comes racing through the front door hollering “Mommy!”.  That’s when I know that he loves me just as much as he always has, that he won’t forget that Mama loves him so much, even if she has to leave him at school every day.

There is something that I’ve been struggling with as a new working mom, and it’s something that I feel every working mother has struggled with at some point in her mothering/careering balancing act.  The Schedule.

For the first time in my life, I know what people mean when they say “There just aren’t enough hours in the day”.  You’re not joking, my friend.  There aren’t.  Not even close.  In a perfect world, the day would have just about 37 hours.  The work day would stay the same, but there would be more time for snuggles after work, more thought put into what I’m going to throw together for dinner, more loads of laundry done after the little is tucked away in his Thomas the Train sheets, and a few more chapters to read before I pass out from sheer exhaustion.

Even the weekends don’t offer much solace.  Weekends around here are spent visiting the grandparents, being outside in the nice weather, and cooking steaks and pork chops on the grill with our closest friends.  It’s hard to fit in the not-so-fun things between the fun ones.  Who wants to rush back in the house to sweep and mop in between ice-cold beers in the front yard and watching the little ones splash in the blow up pool?  Not this girl.

So, long story (sorta) short, things are slipping around here.  The laundry doesn’t stay caught up, my floor could definitely use a good scrubbing, and those dishes in the sink aren’t going to do themselves (however much I wish they would).

But there is one thing that’s not slipping, and that’s the love and snuggles that I get to give my little buddy every evening.  I think I’m okay with a dirty floor, as long as there’s a little guy that knows his Mama loves him.

 

The (Sometimes) Daily Brookie

The date night.

I love date night.  Last week, I partook in a date night.  Alone.  With myself.  It.  Was.  Awesome.

Thursday afternoon, T called to let me know that he would be taking Little T on a weekend trip to the deer lease.  I immediately had a panic attack.  Take my baby?  For 3 days?  Without me? I’m not afraid to admit, the idea grew on me.  After my initial heart attack subsided.  I could clean without tiny hands undoing my work.  I could read in silence, with no Elmo in the background.  I could go to that movie that I saw the previous week again, with no one judging me.

So, I planned a date night with myself.  I went to my favorite nail salon and got a (much-needed) pedicure and manicure.  I went to the mall and walked around leisurely, without worrying about keeping a small person entertained with an endless pile of Goldfish.  I saw a movie at 8:10pm on a Thursday night, with only 4 other people in the whole theater.  And the best part?  I didn’t have to worry about a bedtime.

Of course, I missed my small human.  And if we’re being honest, I missed my big human too.  My boys make my world go around.  They are the center of my universe.  Nothing else matters, as long as they’re taken care of.

But sometimes you have to take a step back, and think about yourself.  Was a manicure and a pedicure an absolute need?  Not really, but I sure do feel better about myself when my hands and feet are pretty.  And if I feel better about myself, I can be a better wife and mother.  Trust me, it makes sense, at least for me.

I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember.  I can be having the worst possible day, but a new book will remove the clouds that hover overhead.  If I wake up in a horrible mood, I know that a little makeup and clean hair will do wonders to brighten my outlook on life.  If I look bad, I feel bad.  It’s that simple.

I challenge you to do something for you.  And only for you.  We spend so much of our time (especially my mama and wifey friends) worrying about others, and taking care of others, and making sure everyone’s needs are met before our own.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  But we also need to put ourselves first every now and again.

So, do it.  Do something for yourself.  Dinner can wait a few minutes.  I promise.

 

The (Sometimes) Daily Brookie

Here’s something you may or may not know about me – I’m a huge nerd.  Oh, you knew?  Weird.  I thought I’d kept it hidden.

This summer promises to take my nerd level over the top.  It’s the summer of the awesome blockbusters, and I cannot be more excited.  First, The Hunger Games comes out this Friday.  Excited doesn’t even begin to describe what I am.  But trust me when I say that it doesn’t end there.

There’s this one.

That’s The Avengers.  Iron Man & Thor in the same movie (which translates to Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth, I might faint)?  Be still my heart.

And that’s Batman.  I have a long-standing obsession with the Dark Knight.  I own two Batman t-shirts, and you can bet I’ll be wearing one of them to the theater.  Can you guess why I love Batman?  Because he’s a regular Joe.  Sure, he’s got more money than anyone would ever need in seventeen lifetimes, but essentially he’s a normal guy.  He doesn’t have any “superpowers” per say.  Just an awesome suit and a streak of vengeance a country mile wide.

Men in Black 3.  With Josh Brolin.  Are.  You.  Kidding.  Me.

If you need me between the months of May and August, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be at the movies.

What I’m reading this week – March 19, 2012

We are back from our spontaneous road trip.  It wasn’t too terribly bad.  For those that were/are praying for my family, I cannot express to you the gratitude that I’m feeling.  It’s such a tremendous feeling to know that my friends are worried for my family, and can find it in their hearts to pray for a man that they’ve not met.  So, thank you, thank you, thank you.

I finished my new Dexter book, and have now moved onto less green pastures.

Still working on The Two Towers.  I didn’t get a chance to read it much while we were staying with my mom.  Everyone was so exhausted from the drive, and then the constant go-go-go of being in your hometown (hospital visits, eating at the places that I never get to eat at, and stocking up my Oklahoma State gear), that there wasn’t much energy left for reading at the end of the day.

On the way home today, I finally (actually) started Wuthering Heights.  But let me tell you, I have never in my life read a book with so many introductions.  First, there’s the customary introduction by another author (these are very common among older “classics” in their reprints), telling the reader how much they love this book, and what it means to them as a fellow author.  Then, there was the introduction from Charlotte Bronte (the author’s sister), letting the reader know that the books she and her sisters published were in fact written by women, and not men, as they first led their audience to believe.  And then there was an introduction, again by Charlotte Bronte, warning the reader that the language and dialect used in the story might be hard to understand.  Duh Charlotte, the book was written in 1847, it’s definitely gonna be a bit hard to understand.  And then there was yet another introduction by Ms. Bronte, telling the reader that she edited the book after her sister’s death.  And then the story starts.

And the book I’m most excited to be reading this week…The Hunger Games!  The movie comes out on Friday (the 13-year-old fan girl in me is screaming her head off), and I might be more excited about this one movie than the last movie I was so excited to see.  Harry Potter, you’ll always have my heart, but Katniss Everdeen is giving you a run for your money.  I’m re-reading this book in preparation for the movie.  I like to have the story really fresh in my mind when I’m seeing film adaptions.  I’ve heard this one isn’t that far off-base from the book, which thrills me.  The story is so absolutely perfect the way it is, there’s no reason at all to change it.  Of course, some changes have to be made, as most of the story is an inner dialogue of the main character, Katniss.  T and I will probably be seeing this movie on Sunday morning, and I am stoked!

That’s what I’m reading this week.  Be sure to check me out next week, hopefully I’ll have some titles changed by then.  Wish me luck!  🙂