Friday, January 15, 2010

Year end book wrap up

I did not realize it, but I have not posted any reading logs since September. So, here is Oct - Dec, 2009. I did make my 100 - just squeaked by.


73. Writings to Young Women: As Told By Her Family, Friends and Neighbors – Laura Ingalls Wilder – 4 – edited by Stephen W. Hines – collection of reminisces about the Wilders.

74. The Girl She Used to Be – 4.75 – great story – Melody has been in the witness protection program since her family witnessed a mob murder when she was 6 – now her worst fear has come true – a man knows who she really is, and has come to get her. And she goes with him. So many twists and turns – loved it.

75. The Prince Lost to Time – 4.5 – Ann Dukthas – excellent story – Nicholas Segalla, a mysterious man who never ages investigates the death/disappearance of the Dauphin of France, the son of Louis VXI and Marie Antoinette.

76. The Language of Bees – 4.75 – Laurie R. King – the last in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series – and it is a cliffhanger! I hope she writes really fast!

77. The Apocalypse Code – 4 – Hank Hanegraaff – excellent book on eschaetology. My favorite Bible teacher.

78. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch – 4 – Jean Lee Latham- read aloud for SL core 3. It was not as good as Johnny Tremain

79. Aunt Dimity Goes West – 4 – Nancy Atherton – one of the better Aunt Dimity books

80. Plum Pudding Murder – 4 – JoAnne Fluke – light fluffy mystery. Just when I thought the series should be coming to an end, a new twist was thrown in!

81. Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter – 4.25 – Nancy Atherton – another fun Aunt Dimity mystery – this time Lori couldn’t be any more wrong as she leaps to conclusions and searches for the vampire (hidden by his vampire family, of course) that her boys saw in the woods near their home.

82. The Lost Art of Gratitude – 3 – Alexander McCall Smith – latest in the Sunday Philosopher Club series. Boring.

83. The Cold Light of Mourning – 3.75 - Elizabeth J. Duncan – Penny Brannigan, manicurist in a small village in Wales, solves the mystery of who killed the bride on her wedding day. Not as good as Aunt Dimity, along the same lines of Constable Evans (also set in Wales). Nice and interesting, but not really much fun.

84. Demon Ex Machina – 4.25 – Julie Kenner – 5th installment in the Demon Hunting Soccer Mom series. A lot of loose ends wrapped up. I really enjoy this series, sort of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, grown up with two kids and living in the suburbs.

85. A Measure of Mercy – Home To Blessing #1 – 3 – Lauraine Snelling – this is now the 4th series about the people in the town of Blessing, South Dakota. The first series of 6 books (Red River of the North) was excellent, as was the second series of three books (Return to Red River). The third series, Daughters of Blessing was good, but not as good. Each one was a romance story of one of the girls in the town. This next series is about Astrid, the daughter of the town founders. It was okay, but not great. Definitely not a “stand alone” book. I enjoy these books, but only because the first ones were so very good, and now after 14 books and 5 or so years I feel like I know the characters. But just on the merits of this book alone, it was not that great.

86. In The Time of the Poisoned Queen – 4.75 – Ann Dukthas – the last Nicholas Segalla mystery! At least I am assuming it is, as it was written in 1998 and no more have come since then. Very sad. Nicholas Segalla, the mysterious Jesuit/detective who lives forever is involved in the mystery surrounding the death of Mary Tudor. Is Queen Mary being poisoned? And if so, by whom….? Great story, great what-ifs.

87. The Lewis and Clark Expedition – 4 – read aloud with the older boys, Landmark Book about their journey. Very good.

88. What’s For Dinner, Mom? – 4 – Lorrie Flem – a food prep/freezer cooking/kitchen organizing/menu planning guide from Lorrie Flem, editor of TEACH magazine. Usually I don’t count cookbooks, unless I read all the way through them. But this was more of a guide than just a collection of recipes. Would be an excellent resource for someone just starting out with meal planning.

89. Where Do I Go? 5.0 – Neta Jackson – House of Hope Series, takes off where Yada Yada Prayer Group leaves off, focusing on Manna House, the shelter for homeless women.

90. Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon – 4 – Nancy Atherton – the last published (so far) Aunt Dimity book. In this one, a Renassance Fair comes to the village of Finch and Lori is investigating a suspicious string of events. Always fun, easy reads.


91. The New Answers Book: Over 25 Questions on Creation/Evolution and the Bible – 4 – Ken Ham, editor

92. June Bug – 4.25 – Chris Fabry –June Bug and her father live in an RV and travel the country as nomads. One day she walks into a Wal-Mart and sees a picture of herself among the “Missing Children” posters. The rest of the story is her journey to find the truth about herself and her father, and where they came from. Read for church book club. Good, fast-paced story, so I gave it a high rating, but it didn’t leave any real lasting impression. Just an interesting story.

93. Day After Night – 4.5 – Anita Diamant – based on the true story of the rescue of Jews who were held by the British in internment camps in Israel after the end of WWII. It is told through the eyes of 4 young Jewish women who had survived the war – one a concentration camp survivor, a Polish Zionist, a Parisian beauty and a Dutch women who had been in hiding and betrayed. Excellent story.

94. The Mom & Pop Store: How the Unsung Heroes of the American Economy Are Surviving and Thriving – 4 – Robert Spector – a history of the small merchant in America, interwoven with the author’s family history (Russian Jewish immigrants and owners of a meat shop in New Jersey) and interviews around the country with small businesses making a go of it in America.

95. Who Do I Talk To? Yada Yada House of Hope Book 2 – 5 – Neta Jackson – I think I like this series even more than the Yada Yada Prayer Group books. Gabby finds herself homeless, and starts learning to follow God’s leading as opposed to her own plans. Read it in about 24 hours – can’t wait until 6/2010 for Book 3!

96. Christian Unschooling: Growing your Children in the Freedom of Christ – 3.5 – Teri J. Brown and Elissa M. Wahl- it was okay, mainly just a “What is unschooling” and then essays from unschooling families. I don’t see any connection (even after reading the book!) between Christianity or lack of it and unschooling. Apparently others do, though. I did notice that most of the essays that went on and on about the joy and freedom were mostly people with small children – duh, we can all unschool 2nd grade! There were fewer that had families in high school and lo and behold! Most of them were using some curriculum, at least for math. In essence, I think all methods can work for different people at different times in the homeschool journey, but I don’t care for the people (on either end) who get all dogmatic about it.

97. And Only To Deceive – 4.75 – Tasha Alexander – mystery series set in Victorian England society – I think in Emily Ashton I may have found a heroine to tide me over while I wait for the next Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes mystery from Laurie R. King. Emily is a young widow of noble birth who is beginning to think for herself and show independence in a tightly circumscribed society. Good mystery (though I did guess who dunit). I have the next in the series on hold at the library.

98. My Journey With Farrah: A Story of Life, Love and Friendship – 3 – Alana Stewart – basically the journal Alana Stewart kept during the 2 ½ years that Farrah Fawcett was battling cancer. I had a hard time with it, because Alana is very New Age-spiritual, trying anything and everything – but no mention of the Bible (other than Lords Prayer and Psalm 23, which she read out of a Christian Science book), or Christ. Anyway, reading about someone dying is always sad, but this also seemed empty. I do admire her love and devotion to her friend, though.

99. A Window to the World - 3- Susan Meissner – a disappointment, after Why The Sky is Blue and The Shape of Mercy. Jen and Megan are best friends. Then, when they are 8 years old Jen is abducted in front of Megan and disappears off the face of the earth. Just never really got into the characters, and the resolution was way too neat and tidy.

100. The Pioneer Woman Cooks – 4.5 – and yes, I am counting a cookbook as a book! Generally I don’t but I did actually READ the entire book. And, I needed it for 100 this year.

I decided it was okay to count it, because I read a few ebooks this year and didn’t count them, and read several chapter books (Magic Tree House, Beast Quest series, and all the My Father’s Dragon) to my younger boys that I did not count. My page volume of “uncounted books” was enough to put me over the top, imho. And there is probably at least one book that I missed writing down this year!

Baked Oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal

2 cups quick oatmeal
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp. Salt
1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup applesauce
¾ cup milk

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and pour into greased 8x8” pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until done (mine was baked in a glass pan, and very done in 20 minutes) Serve with honey, maple syrup or blueberries.

A whole recipe is 27 WW points. I did use sweetened applesauce (all I had) but next time I will use some of my homemade chunky unsweetened, so that will remove a few sugar points. I also used skim milk. I think you could replace the brown sugar with Splenda Brown Sugar stuff, but I have not had good luck using Splenda in any baking, so I'd rather just have the real stuff and do the treadmill for a bit. We ate ours warm with a drizzle of honey. I think raisins would bake well in this, too.