Saturday, December 6, 2008

Book Nerd

As I try to figure out what the next step in my life is, I think that it is important to try and budget a little.

(My understanding is that you can't spend whatever you want if you don't have a, you know, income.)

I'm actually pretty good about not spending too much, but it's probably a good idea to evaluate what's allowed right now.

I have to have enough money for the essentials: shelter, groceries, electricity, and the medicine for the doggies (I keep telling Hannah that she's the one with the allergies, so she should really stop being lazy and get a job to pay for them).

And I have to cut out the non-essentials: eating out (at least I need to cut back), makeup, and professional eyebrow waxes (which means I might end up looking like Bert from Sesame Street, or I'll turn into one of those ladies who has to draw on her own eyebrows with a crayon... either way, please don't point and laugh).

Again, I don't waste my money, but my biggest downfall are usually accessories (sure, they're usually from Target, but they add up), but I CANNOT get any new purses (like this, or this).

(Which will make Mike very happy, as I lost the ability to house any more purses in our closet about a year ago... although I'm sure I could make space, Santa.)

Ok, the point of all of this is that I ran into some trouble when breaking purchases down into "essential" and "non-essential".


I know that I should stop buying new, beautiful, exciting books. I know that I should just go to the library, or borrow books from friends and family, or, you know, read the dozens of unread books that are already on the bookshelf.

But I have this thing where I LOVE having my own books. I don't mind buying used books; as long as I can keep the book when I finish it, then I'm happy.

And everytime I finish a book, there are about three new books that I want to read.

I love being able to look at my beautiful bookshelf (designed and built by Mr. Michael) and seeing all of my little accomplishments lined up in a nice, alphabetized row.

I love being able to write the month and year that I finished a book on the first inside page (I think that libraries frown on such a thing).

I love seeing all of the series that I love lined up on the bottom shelf, with their corresponding covers looking so pretty in a group together.

I love being able to have a favorite book at my fingertips, ready for me to read again (and again... and again).

So: do I keep buying books? Do I dare to keep entering into the bookstores, knowing very well that I really won't leave without at least one purchase?

Well, yes.

I think that you have to treat yourself once in awhile. Sure, I'll limit myself, but I figure that buying books is a way better vice than purchasing designer shoes or lattes everyday.

All of this speaking about books makes me want to tell you all about a couple of AWESOME books that I read in New Zealand. I didn't get to read as much as I usually do on vacation. I guess Dad and AJ like to actually, like, do stuff rather than sit around reading. This is very different than what Mike and I do on vacation. Maybe that's because Mike and I usually can't afford to really do anything when we travel on our own... or maybe we're just nerds... lazy nerds.

I'm not complaining, though. It was nice to be able to actually get up and see the country!

Anywhozit, I had the privilege of reading some books that are now new favorites.

But first, some books that I read that were good, but did not make it to the coveted "favorite list".

I read the third and fourth books in the Sookie Stackhouse Series by Charlaine Harris. They were good, very entertaining. I really like the series, so that's good (though none of them are as good as the first book in the series: Dead Until Dark ... and in terms of vampire series, The Twilight Saga is still the best... obviously).

I also read A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin. Truth be told, I didn't really like this book (sorry AJ, since it's one of his faves). I mean, it's just not my kinda style or story. The thing that I find fascinating about these kind of books, though, is how much creativity the author has to create a story like that. It's a fantasy, and the first book in a series, so she had to create so many names and places and creatures, and I find that incredible. So I'm glad that I read it so that I could see how an author creates a story (always learning!).

Now, I said that I read some AMAZING books that are now on my all time favorite list.

First is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I read about this book on Stephenie Meyer's website (I check it everyday because I am an obsessed loser... and kinda a stalker... not really... I think). She loved it so much that she posted her review of it on her homepage, so I went and bought it. It's been sitting on my self for awhile, and I decided to finally take it with me on this trip.

This was the BEST BOOK EVER. It was crazy good. Like I couldn't stop reading it. And I thought about it long after I finished it. It was an extremely well written story about growing up in the most horrific of circumstances.

Seriously, so good!!

Oh, and you should be warned that the book is classified as "young adult". Don't let the label discourage you - some of the BEST books ever written are in that section (enter The Twilight Saga and Harry Potter ). Plus, that means they're easy as pie, which we all need once in awhile.

The other book that is now on my favorite list is called Slam and it is by the one and only Nick Hornby. He is by far one of the best writers out there (High Fidelity, anyone?), and Slam did not disappoint. I actually found this book at the bookstore with my dad. He too is a Hornby fan, so in an effort to secure my spot as winner of the Best Daughter of All Time award, I got the book for him. Of course, this was with the understanding that I could read it after him...

The book is hilarious and touching and you feel like you really are in the mind of a 15-year-old British kid.

So, those are my reviews and suggestions for the holiday season. If you follow my advice and read The Hunger Games and Slam, I hope you enjoy them. And if you don't follow my advice... then you suck.

Not really.

Well... only kinda.

(See how I was able to write another (long) post without actually writting about my trip? Don't get me wrong, it was an awesome trip and I want to share, but, as I said yesterday, it's a bit overwhelming to write about 16 days of activity... but soon, I promise.)

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