Sunday, February 28, 2010


The letter of the day at my amazon store is A! Any book with a title or author's last name that begins with A (excluding A, An, or The) is 20% off until midnight tomorrow, March 1st. You can check out my inventory through the link at the top of this page. Don't miss this opportunity to save a little money!


Anyone who knows me knows that I love to cook, and that I have a decent collection of cookbooks. I've been trying to take some of the pressure off my bookshelves and let go of some of the books that I don't absolutely love and use frequently. I've been going through a few of the more obscure, less-used cookbooks, culling the recipes I really like, and then putting the cookbooks on sale at my amazon store. I've also been going through my huge collection of digest-sized cooking magazines, adding the recipes I really like to my big white recipe ringbinder. The recipes are in alphabetical order, housed in page protectors.

One thing I've been finding kind of funny is that I don't like long, elaborate recipes. I suppose that's proof that I'm not a Top Chef, but I think I'm pretty adventurous about ingredients and cuisines. I like my recipes to fit on one side of a college-ruled notebook sheet. I will edit lengthy instructions to ensure that the recipes fit into my book. I'm really enjoying this, and it's relaxing to do it in the evenings while I'm watching TV with my family. I've been especially productive this past two weeks while the Olympics have been on. I'm going to miss it when they're over and we all kind of go our separate ways after supper.

So far, I've tried to be a purist and keep my blog on the subject of books, however tenuous that subject might be. I'm thinking about writing about other things when the impulse strikes. I'll see if I can tie that in with books.

My amazon bookstore is beginning to do pretty well. I'm going to do a letter of the day sale for the first 26 days of each month. So on the first of the month, any book with a title that starts with A or written by an author whose last name starts with A will be on sale for a 10% discount. On the 2nd, it will be letter B, and so on. I want to see if that helps boost my sales at all. I would like to sell 10 books a day.

February ended up being a slow reading month, only eleven books in all, and two of them rather short, but I'll have a lot of time off in March, so maybe I'll be able to read a lot more.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I've only read five books so far this month (which puts me nearly two books behind my self-imposed schedule, if you'll recall), but all of them have been non-fiction. I've read four true crime books and a memoir written by a man who took in a severely emotionally disturbed foster child. Here are the details.


This is the account of a woman who killed seven of her nine children, all before they turned two years of age. (Of the other two, one was stillborn and one died in the hospital shortly after birth). The woman, Marie Noe, lucked out because about the time that her babies were being murdered, SIDS was making headlines, and doctors wanted to use her as a case study. Unfortunately for them, and tragically for these beautiful children, the cause of death was having Marie for a mother.

HOUSE OF SECRETS--Lowell Cauffiel

This book gave me the creeps, because the father was so depraved, committing incest, abuse, assault, fraud, and pretty much every other crime you can think of. The father got his children to kill his son-in-law (their sister's husband) and grandson, and took them on the road in a small camper to escape authorities who wanted to investigate charges of child abuse. The photos in this book are very graphic, particularly two of the infant corpse.

THE THINGS I WANT MOST--Richard F. Miniter

This book comes endorsed by David Pelzer, of "A Child Called It" fame. It's a much milder story, mostly because the assault against young Mike happens before the book begins, as it were, and is fairly clinically described in brief by the author. It was a very compelling read, especially for people who have to deal with children with emotional disorders, because it details how gruelling it can be to try to break through the defenses such children erect to protect themselves from the disappointments of life.


This is the story of the murder of Debra Evans by her so-called friend, who wanted to have a light-skinned biracial baby for her boyfriend, despite the fact that she'd had her tubes tied years before. The woman and two male accomplices (one the boyfriend who wanted the light-skinned baby) shot Evans, cut the baby out of her womb, killed her two oldest children so they couldn't identify them, and left Evans' young son alone with his mother's corpse in an apartment soaked with the blood of his family members. This was a truly heinous crime.


Betty Lou Beets was executed in 2000 for the murders of two of her husbands, whom she buried in her own backyard, one under a storage shed and the other under a wishing well. The horrific thing about her case is that she coerced two of her children into helping her cover up her crimes. She seems to have been a cold-blooded killer, and has the distinction of having been on death row with Karla Faye Tucker, whose execution caused so much controversy because she'd become a born-again Christian while on death row but had a stay of execution refused by future President George W. Bush. The sad thing about this case is that her final victim's son tried to get help investigating his father's disappearance from multiple sources, all of whom dismissed his concerns.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to turn to lighter material for at least part of the month.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


So this is a weird thing that's been on my mind lately, and I wonder what other people think about it. Not that I'd ever do it, of course, but...

When I'm registering books at BookCrossing, the BCID number comes out like a telephone number, three digits, dash, seven digits. XXX-XXXXXXX. I always wonder what would happen if I dialed one of those numbers. Would the person at the other end be a BookCrosser, too? Wouldn't that be cool if s/he were?

My mind works in mysterious ways...

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


These are the books I finished reading in January. I'm quite pleased with the total, and especially with the average pages per book: 338.5. Here's hoping February will be as good!


True Love and Other Disasters--Rachel Gibson; 345 pages
What I Did For Love--Susan Elizabeth Phillips; 390 pages
Certain Poor Shepherds--Elizabeth Marshall Thomas; 128 pages
Getting Lucky--Elaine Barbieri; 294 pages
Dragon Slippers--Jessica Day George; 324 pages
Lady Jane Grey: A Tudor Mystery--Eric Ives; 392 pages
Early Dawn--Catherine Anderson; 417 pages
The Lovely Bones--Alice Sebold; 329 pages
Kissing the Countess--Susan King; 338 pages
Princess Ben--Catherine Gilbert Murdock; 344 pages
The Bride Price--Anne Mallory; 369 pages
Liar--Justine Larbalestier; 376 pages
Ivy--Julie Hearn; 355 pages
Once a Knight--Christina Dodd; 405 pages
The Immortal Highlander--Karen Marie Moning; 348 pages
Succubi Like It Hot--Jill Myles; 338 pages
The Minister's Daughter--Julie Hearn; 263 pages