Tag Archives: books

Just Read: The Teenage Brain + 10 more

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a book recap and it’s long overdue. I try to ping-pong back and forth between fiction and non-fiction, just to break up my intake. The year started off impressively with All The Light We Cannot See and you can add me to the long list of people who loved this book. If you haven’t read it yet, you can believe the hype.

Scanning the list of books below, you might gather that my non-fiction reading has been hijacked by parenting topics. Maybe this is what happens when one’s child is leaving the cozy nest of elementary school and about to enter the wilds of middle school. It’s my first time, so don’t laugh too hard.

books read in 2015

2015 Books

Since we’re traveling to Amsterdam, Berlin and Iceland this summer, I added Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Iceland: Land of the Sagas by David Roberts & Jon Krakauer to my reading list. After finishing Anne Frank, I passed it along to our daughter to read and will be very interested in her thoughts on it. She knows how the story ends already — I felt like I need to tell her that from the get-go.

Quick Reviews:

  1. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper. (Darkly funny, dysfunctional family, death + divorce, made into a movie)
  2. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer. (WWII historical fiction, told through two characters, a German soldier and a blind French girl)
  3. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. (foster care system, a flower whisperer and the chance to heal old wounds)
  4. The Teenage Brain by Frances Jensen (what kids do during these years has a lasting impact on their brains, i.e. alcohol, drugs, technology habits and sports concussions)
  5. The Myth of the Spoiled Child by Alfie Kohn. (Are modern parenting practices really making a generation of spoiled kids? The evidence says NO.)
  6. Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in Our Busy Lives by Wayne Muller. (Great book for setting boundaries around digital creep. Excellent reminder and strategies for carving out time for renewal. Spiritual/Religious but not overly so.)
  7. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. (Powerful and incredibly well-written.)
  8. The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato. (Armchair travel to Venice with semi-interesting love story + historic intrigue)
  9. Iceland: Land of the Sagas by David Roberts. (A younger John Krakauer supplies the photography for this book. Part history, part travelogue. Just so-so)
  10. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. (10 years on this book seems very relevant to today’s news. Perfect for music lovers. A slow burn.)
  11. The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous and Smart with Money by Ron Lieber. (Excellent book with thoughtful ideas on how to help kids navigate money, responsibility and sense of self in the broader world.)

My favorites of all of these was All the Light We Cannot See, The Opposite of Spoiled, and Sabbath. The rest were plain good, except for The Glassblower of Murano. That one just didn’t do it for me at all.

Lastly, if you have any recommendations (books, sights, restaurants) for Amsterdam, Berlin, and/or Iceland, please let me know! I would love to hear them.

x Laura

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Just Finished: Gone Girl + 4 others

If you’re ready for a modern mystery with egotistical characters, unfathomable plot lines and a wild ride that will keep you on edge, grab Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn for your next read. I tore through this book in August and knew that it would most likely be the best book I’d read in 2012. That’s high praise given I still have a lot of reading to do, but so far it’s holding up. My mom is reading it right now and I can’t wait to see what she thinks of it.

Today I’m reviewing:

  • Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
  • 500 Places To Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up, by Holly Hughs
  • When It Happens To You, by Molly Ringwald
  • The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
  • Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick

For my full reviews of all of these books go to the 2012 Books and Reviews page. I’m lucky to have read a lot a good books this year, but they are all so different. See which ones strike your fancy.

Got a Tween? If you’re looking for a visually stunning book and heartfelt story for your tween reader, please check out Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. He’s the author who wrote The Invention of Hugo Cabret (which was made into the movie Hugo) and it does not disappoint.

Currently Reading

When God Was A Rabbit, by Sarah Winman

We’re all so busy and increasingly our spare moments are being shifted to our iPads, TVs and streaming media. When on earth do you fit in the time to read? Or do you?

x Laura

Catching Up

Time flies when you’re having fun, so I guess that’s a good sign. July sped by with family time, hot days and travel, but I missed you guys and my blogging. With my kiddo out of school, I get wrapped up in summer activities and spend much less time at the computer, creating, writing and hunting down fashion. But now that August is here with fall fashion issues hitting the stands, I’ve been scouring my favorite magazines and dog-earring a bunch of great things.

Amusement
As a parting shout-out to summer, here are a few shots from our day at Elitch Gardens amusement park in Denver this summer: me on the carousel horse, the big ferris wheel and the Twister roller coaster sign. The Twister is a wooden roller coaster modeled on the original design of the roller coaster I rode as a kid, then called Mister Twister. Riding it took me straight back to my youth. What a rush. I would rather go on a roller coaster than anything that spins.

carosel

elitch gardens ferris wheel

twister 2 roller coaster

I managed to get some reading done too, which is great. My 2012 Reading Challenge goal of 30 books is alive and kicking, although I’ve got to get moving on it. At my current pace (13 out of 30 read), I’m four books behind. Gotta get crackin’!

I enjoyed all three of these books and they were vastly different, ranging from fantasy to mystery to humor. Click here to see my reviews.

The Night CircusThe Brutal TellingLet's Pretend This Never Happened

  1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (fantasy)
  2. The Brutal Telling by Louse Penny (mystery)
  3. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (humor, blogger)

More to come soon, with lots of fashion ahead. I hope your summer went well!

x Laura

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.
John Barrymore

Read, Click, Eat

I

t’s the brilliance and creativity of people who make this world an innovative and fascinating place. Here are a few things I saw, read, ate, did or clicked this week that are worth sharing:

Read

Rework, by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

I found this book when reading a post on the Penelope Love Lists blog called Two Books That Rocked My World.  Rework is an edgy, new century approach to business, product creation, creativity and work process. Easy to read in 5-minute increments, because each concept is only a page or two. Whether you’re interested in starting a business, amping up your career strategy or just waking-up your thinking, this is a great read. Thanks to Penelope for posting!

I Was Told There’d Be Cake, by Sloane Crosley. Funny, witty essays about a 20-something New Yorker who’s both self-deprecating and likable. Just don’t ask her to be a bridesmaid. See my full review here. Again this is a great book to read in bite-sized pieces.

Click

Fashion Blogs:

That's Not My Age

That’s Not My Age – Proof That Style Begins At Forty – This UK blogger shows how shopping and style for the over-40 crowd is better than ever.

Mistartist.com – Check out this newly-minted blogger out of Paris. I’m predicting that he’ll be big in the street style world. His photos are fantastic!

I Want To Be Her! – Former Lucky Magazine editor and current eBay Creative Director of Fashion, Andrea Linett pulls together an addictive line-up of cool-girls and details what they are wearing. She knocks it out of the park on this blog, which include stylish fashion illustrations by her friend and collaborator, Anne Johnston Albert. The funny thing is that I want to be Andrea Linett. She’s such a cool-girl herself.

Eat

Fat Witch Brownies, by Patricia Helding. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, is a cookbook that is dedicated solely to brownies. Whip up a batch for your sweetie and prepare to be idolized. I’ve made a few of the recipes already and am smitten by the Congo Bars, a coconut, chocolate chunk bar with graham cracker crust. Seriously addictive.

5280 Magazine Six-Pack. Denver Magazine, 5280 put together their dream six-pack of locally brewed, Colorado beers. With over 100 breweries in Colorado, that is no small task. The 5280 six-pack is available at local liquors stores like, Argonaut Liquors, Bonnie Brae Liquors, Applejack Wine & Spirits and Liquor Mart. Only 5, 280 are available, so get one while you can.

I love sharing with you and hope you find these links useful. Let me know if you have something you’ve read, clicked or eaten lately that you love. So many of the best things are discovered by word of mouth.

Here’s a good quote for today’s post. I thought it was very apropos:

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.
George S. Patton

Have a great day!

Bookish

I’m an avid reader and always have one or two books going at all times. Besides reading pretty much any fashion book that gets published, I troll the Sunday Books section and best sellers list of the New York Times to see what looks interesting in Fiction and Non-Fiction. My mom, who’s a prolific reader (and also very fast reader — she will read three or four books to my one), is also a treasure trove of new reading ideas. She and I set up a Goodreads.com account a long time ago to share books and reviews and it is a fantastic way to exchange information. I like Goodreads so much that I’ve set up an additional account for Buckle Button Zip so you can see everything I’m either currently reading, want to read or have already read. Check it out here.

The other day as I was doing my daily reading of fashion blogs, I came across StylishDistractions.blogspot.com and Emily’s list for her 6 Great Reads. She’s got a great blog going on and she inspired me to immediately place holds on three books at my library*. I’ve already read through Amanda Brooks’, I Love Your Style and think it’s well worth a read, especially if you’re struggling to nail down your signature style. Even if you know your style through and through, she inspires each of us to rethink, reinvigorate and spice up a well-edited look. I learned a lot about what shapes, fabrics and cuts define certain genres of style. Emily also unknowingly inspired me to put up books I’m currently reading on my blog home page and to update my Books section, because I know that many of you are avid readers too. Thanks for your inspiration, Emily!!

Here are some other books I want to read:

Have a good one!

*Libraries are truly fantastic and a GREAT source for free, year-round reading material. I’m able to log on through the internet, browse and put a hold on books I want and then pick them up at the branch of my choice, at no cost. Also, in my area, they will mail it to your house for only $1. You don’t even have to leave your house for new reading material. If you’re trying to save money or just don’t want to store all the books you want to read, please check out your local library and find out the services they offer. Alright, this Library PSA has come to a close. We will now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.