Monday, July 21, 2008

Bloggy Book Club Week #2

[To All Of You SITS-tas popping over to check out my "saucy" blog, welcome! You may be interested in starting with the posts listed in the sidebar over there to the left. The Parenting For Dummies posts are aimed at those of us who are moms, and the Most Popular Posts category provides more general amusement. Everything is G-rated, as long as you don't mind the lingerie talk in "Size Matters."]

Ha! Bet you didn't think I could finish another book in just a week and still keep up with my blogging addiction, did you? You folks don't know who you are dealing with. Of course, not being able to sleep for the past week provided me with some extra reading time. Seems that every time I manage to doze off, I can snooze for only 15 minutes before I rouse myself with a hacking cough. And when I'm not coughing, Susie is. Fun times!

Bah! Who needs sleep? Not me! Instead of sleeping, I read Fifty Acres And A Poodle by Jeanne Marie Laskas. It is a funny and well-written true story of how she and her boyfriend/fiance, both urban dwellers, buy an honest-to-goodness farm as part of a sort of midlife crisis. She maintains a charmingly self-deprecating tone throughout most of the book (look at us stupid city slickers!), while providing thought-provoking descriptions of the sort of folk one doesn't generally run into in Starbuck's; people, that is, who drive tractors and raise sheep and go hunting.

While Ms. Laskas is an amusing writer who can tell a good tale (and really, it was hard for me to put the book down), she is also an exceedingly self-referential one. If you are someone (like me) who got married and started having kids in your 20's, there is something vaguely disorienting listening to an almost middle-aged person be so wrapped up in what she is thinking and feeling about herself. People who don't have kids, it seems, have so many issues.

No, no, that's not right. We all have issues. But people without kids have time to think about those issues. All I think about is where my next good night of sleep is coming from and who the heck is driving the girls to flute camp in the morning. Oh, and blogging. I think about blogging. In fact (and I am embarrassed to admit this), I dream about blogging.

So maybe it would be healthier for me to be talking about my own personality issues, as Ms. Laskas does, rather than to be obsessed with people I have never even met; but, truth to tell, other people are much more interesting than I am. So I'll stick to being shallow and non-introspective.

There is a lot about animals in this book. Given, Ms. Laskas writes about animals in such a way that even a person as disaffected as I am (when it comes to the animal kingdom) can understand her attachment to her pets and her farm animals. But I still had to draw a line at the mule. (See? You have to read the book.)

[By the way, speaking of animals and wildlife, I sort of wish I didn't know that this could happen. I doubt I will ever reach into my washer again without looking first, you know?]

So, anyway, whoever is interested in reading this book next, please tell me so in the comments.

(Wait, let's make this a little more difficult. You also need to tell me what animal is featured in the news article I linked to 2 paragraphs ago. That will teach you to pay attention!)

(On second thought, never mind - you can cheat by other people's comments. Duh. Read the darn article, will you? It contains important safety information.)

I will hold a drawing on Sunday to determine the winner. Remember, if you win the book, you need to read it, talk about it a little in your blog (and really, no matter what you say, it has got to sound more intelligent than the blather I come up with), and then give it to someone else to read and comment on. Fun, right? Sort of?






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38 comments:

  1. You're right about those of us who have no kids. We do have issues and we do spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about said issues. But here's the deal. I'm SICK of thinking about them. It's as annoying and disrupting as a child throwing up for 6 days straight only we don't care as much about our crap as a parent cares about a sick child.

    Maybe a round of babysitting sick kids would cure us of our hapless solipsism.

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  2. I'll let someone else win this one. I am reading Nineteen Minutes on my vacation. It is great so far, but absolutely HUGE, because I mistakenly checked out the large print edition from the library. So it is twice as thick as it would normally have been, and doubly intimidating as a result.

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  3. Hey, I saw the python story a few days ago and answered their question correctly about what kind of snake it was. I like snakes but not in the house:-)

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  4. I love doing book reviews... and I can't go to the library any more. Peaches keeps disappearing out of sight behind the shelves and turns me into a nervous wreck as I keep fearing she's run out onto the street.

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  5. You are so right. I totally underestimated you. OMG. girl...when DO YOU SLEEP??? hahaha

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  6. Sounds like a book I'd like to read! Maybe it would cure my itch to sell everything I own, buy a farm, and live off the land...

    Kari

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  7. I don't want the book. I don't care for poodles. I just wanted to say, you need to stop reading the Internets so much. Nobody needs to be worrying about the off chance a python will get into their washing machine. (And I'm thinking, if we have a well, that's probably not going to happen anyway, right?)

    I think the difference is, people without kids have a chance to put two thoughts together on a regular basis. I definitely do not, and I only have 2.5 kids. Every time I start to think something, somebody asks me a question or starts screaming. This is why I write everything down as soon as it comes into my head. Otherwise, there's a very good chance we'll completely forget to buy a car seat and be unable to take the baby home from the hospital.

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  8. So, let me get this straight. IF I win.. then I get HOMEWORK assignment???? I have to read the book AND make a report about it?

    If this is so, only enter me if the cliff notes are included! Ü

    HOPE you both feel better soon! Stinks being sick!

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  9. Oh, I love this book!!! It's in my top five. She such a witty but thoughtful writer. She also has a sequel which is good. Nothing like 50 Acres, though.

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  10. I'd like a chance to win the book. I miss having time to read - but if I "have" to then I'm sure I can find an excuse!

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  11. That's officially one too many stories about random snakes showing up in people's homes. I can't site you any of them, but I've heard similar stories. Crazy people? If you want to own a large man-eating snake? Please keep it under lock and key in your own home. DO NOT toss it into the wild. It does not belong in the wilds of Maine. It can mess up the balance of the ecosystem AND it can show up in someone else's home! (Dang crazy people and their snakes.)
    Count me in again for the book club. I just finished Angela's Ashes and I'm ready for something new to read.

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  12. I agree--we're too busy to have "issues."

    I'd love to read the book.

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  13. Congrats on being a Saucy Blog this week!

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  14. The book sounds great! And like you, I immediately thought I'd never reach into the washer without looking EVER AGAIN. Aaaacccckkkk.

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  15. I was afraid it was a snake but I clicked the link just to be sure. Sometimes I'm not that crazy about being right.

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  16. I'll read the book and blog about it! It sounds entertaining. Plus, I actually read the article about the PYTHON. It didn't contain much safety information, though. Maybe they should have suggested throwing a rat or bunny in the washer and slamming shut the lid in case of invading pythons! Then the guy wouldn't have been in danger of losing his arm. Feed the dang thing first!

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  17. Oh Lord. Something else to be paranoid about. I thought the local vermin were enough, but now we have exotic vermin?!

    I'm with Kari. I can barely contain my urge to chuck it all, move to a farm, and raise goats and chickens. (Anyone else get "Good Neighbors" on PBS? It's the 1970's version with a British accent.) Best not read this one... ;)

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  18. No, don't want the book but can I say that I do not want to ever find an 8 foot snake in my washer?!?! Seriously?! On the other hand, if I did, I would never do laundry again so maybe this would be a blessing in disguise....

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  19. And maybe HP2 isn't so far fetched. Maybe snakes do have an affinity for pipes - no children chasing them, nice and dark and moist. Eew...still creepy!

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  20. A python. I read it. You have completely nagged me into clicking on your links, I hope you are happy.
    Don't move to Florida. My daughter lives there and people are forever throwing away their animals into the "wild". Alligators, crocodiles, HUGE poisonous toads, millions and billions of lizards from very small to GIANT, etc. You would just curl up and never ever come out again.

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  21. mom on the verge - you definitely should read this book first. Also, read The Egg and I. If all that doesn't dissuade you, then good luck!

    sara - Oh, I do like that idea - just make sure you don't sacrifice the family pet (at least, not in front of the children...)

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  22. I've read the book and it's definitely entertaining.

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  23. This book sounds right up my alley. I have only 1/4 acre in the suburbs, but I farmify it as much as I can. It's really a bit absurd.

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  24. Well if that don't beat all. It never occured to me to check the washer for snakes...I usually just keep my eyes peeled for knives, bullets, rocks, gum and tar...I have 2 boys and a hubby. Although, now that I think of it, there is a very real possibility that a snake could get into the washer via a little boys pocket. Hmm.

    This snake business could totally be a possiblilty at my house. Thanks. Thanks for totally creeping me out. Totally.

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  25. The book sounds great, but I'll let someone else have a shot at winning it.

    A friend and I have often said how glad we are that we had kids so that we're not so self-absorbed.

    That snake story freaked me out. I'm going to pretend I never read it.

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  26. I haven't read this book, but the title is terrific! :-D

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  27. That sounds like a good book. I used to love to read books like that when I was a teenager. I'll definitely read it if I get picked.

    Just,no snakes please.

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  28. I've heard of that book!!! Please please pleasepleaseplease pick me!!!

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  29. You read a book in a week? I am mightily impressed.

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  30. I would like a chance to win the book. (I began my blog TODAY for the sole purpose of entering the contest!!) I will read it, and I will comment on it on the blog (especially because I don't yet have much else to write about yet). and then I'll mail it out again.

    Although actually, your python story link reminded me of the time my dear hubby came home from his night shift job, and woke me at 2 AM to tell me he discovered why his pet (yes, PET!!!) python wouldn't eat the delectable live rat he brought home for him. I could post that story!!!

    Yup, there are MANY reasons I am the Grumpy Momma.

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  31. Does the python eat the poodle, by chance?

    I knew there was a reason I hated washing clothes.

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  32. The story won't load. Something about pythons.

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  33. School's out, and my brain has turned to cream cheese...blogging is suffering too....only another 7 weeks to go!

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  34. Sounds like an interesting book. I like to read anything. Anything except "Duck on a Bike" again.

    I was confused at first when I read about the washer. Here, a washer is what you'd probably call a flannel or a washcloth. What you call the washer - we call the washing machine. (Yes I do tend to skim a bit when trying to get as many blogs-reads into the one spare 5 minute interval I get in my day.)

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  35. Oh Golly, I would NOT like to find a python in the washing machine...with or without clean clothing. I'm glad that I finished the wash last night and won't have a full load to do for a day...I can try to get that snake out of my residual optical memory!

    I would love to read the book!
    A friend of mine owns a "hobby farm" near my home and I love to visit...my girls are asking if we can get chickens...
    I would gladly fulfill the requirements...any excuse to sit down and read for a while!
    Blessings, E

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  36. So what if you win and DON'T read the book? Is there a fine?

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  37. Well, even though there are NO snakes in New Zealand (Not even at the zoo. I know because I asked to see one. They said "no we don't have snakes in New Zealand." I asked why they didn't have one in the zoo just to look at. They said "in case it got out". Never mind the lions, tigers and venomous spiders though.)
    Nevertheless, I'd love a chance to read the book. Are New Zealanders in the running? We're nice....and we have no snakes.

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  38. It sounds like an awesome book and how cool to share it with another blogger after finishing it. I'm in (if I can play from waaaaaay over in Europe :)

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