Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Goal or Three for the Summer plus My Summer Reading List 2011

I have gotten so behind in my entire life these past few months.  I've barely managed to keep my head above water and still get the necessities done.  It is truly amazing that I've not been late on any bills or forgotten any major appointments (at least, none that I know of!).

When my life is this much out of control, it manifests itself in many ways, but usually three areas are hit the hardest:
  1. My laundry. (I'm at least a hundred loads behind).
  2. My den/office/computer room/craft room (shudder).    
  3. My e-mail inbox (I think there are over 60 emails I need to answer, sorry if you're one of them).
So, now that things are finally calming down (violin recital Sunday!)(piano recital Monday!)(No more  music lessons for my kids for a month!)(I have fewer lessons now that it is summer term, too!)(Etcetera!), I need to get on top of these things!

I promise to catch up on laundry this week.  I'll even fold it and put it away and everything.

(Deep breath.) That's the easy part.  I mean, I can say I'll clean my office, but you have no idea what that means.  So I took some pictures.  Beware.  They are scary.  And also? I do not throw papers on the floor.  This is the room where the kids do all of their projects.  At least, it was until it started looking like this, which was probably sometime circa March.  And I try to pick up a little in here every day, but, well...

Okay, no more excuses.  It is what it is, and I promise to change that this week.  I will somehow clean it and somehow organize it.  And I will somehow keep it that way.

Scary Office 2Scary Office 1

I'm not sure how I'm even sitting here typing amongst all this mess!

I'm immune, that's how.

So, I will clean it.  This week. It may actually take me all week, but it will get done.  And it will stay clean!!! Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.

The email, meh.  I'll catch up.  It's nothing horribly serious.  But, I did spend sometime tonight updating my Goodreads account.  I always start getting a little twitchy when I don't have time to do that, so it was nice to get done.  It was also something to do in order to procrastinate the laundry folding and office cleaning and probably not the best use of my life, but oh well!

So, speaking of Goodreads, I think that the other goal I have for the summer, is to actually read the books I put on my to-read list in 2008.  There are only nine of them, and I've already started one of them, so it shouldn't be too difficult.  And I own most of them, so that makes it even easier!

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards (own it)
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (own it)
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (own it, started it)
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (own it)
The Magician by Michael Scott (own it)
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

I don't even remember the reasons some of these are on my must read list. Have you read them, and are they even worth my time?

Because I'd hate to read a book that isn't worth it when I could be cleaning my office, after all.

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Lara Neves
Lara Neves

Lara is mom to three daughters—two teens and a tween. She loves to share her parenting and homemaking triumphs and failures here at Overstuffed! She was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2015 and has been fighting it ever since. When she isn't working on her mother of the year award, you can find her reading, singing, or taking photos.


  1. I've heard good things about The Red Tent, but I couldn't get it through my library. You'll have to let me know how it is.

    I didn't like the movie for Eat, Pray, Love. I imagine the book has quite a bit of swearing and immorality if the movie followed the book very well.

    So, I'm no help, but happy reading. :)

  2. Your office looks like my bedroom only with a huge bed in the middle!

    And I haven't read any of those books, but I did see the movie Eat,Pray, Love and it was hands down one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Hated the message. Up and leave everything in search of your OWN happiness? TO the complete disregard of committments you had made? Yeah, no bueno for me, but I know a lot of women loved it.

  3. I'm so hearing ya about the laundry! Stuff's a mess around here too. I always laugh when people think I'm organized because I have 12 kids. Twelve kids means I'm a masochist, not the organization queen! Good luck getting your house in order...

  4. I liked "Memory Keeper's Daughter" but it must not have made a huge impression on me, because now I can't remember what it was all about. "Red Tent" was fabulous, one of my favorites, and it's a quick read. I also really liked "Eat, Pray, Love" and found it fascinating from an intellectual and cultural standpoint, but I know a lot of people didn't like it at all.

  5. The Red Tent is on the short list as my all time favorite book. It competes with A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Lone Survivor. Into the Wild was a good read, and The Memory Keepers Daughter was just ok. You have a good list there, and I am adding some of those to my summer reading list. Thanks!

  6. I have read the witch of blackbird pond so many times. I totally love that book. It is an amazing testament to strength and love and the ability to choose right over wrong.

  7. I have read Memory Keeper's Daughter, Atonement and Eat, Pray, Love. I enjoyed both, though I am admittedly easy to please when it comes to entertainment.

    I *loved* the Book Thief. Just remember that the narrator is Death.

  8. I loved The Witch of Blackbird Pond. I need to read that again. Loved The Book Thief, too.

  9. I've read "Into the Wild" (does have a bit of foul language), "The Witch of Blackbird Pond", and "The Magician". I really enjoyed all of them... so I'm assuming you've read "The Alchemyst"? (#1 before The Magician #2) I like them, but his writing style is a bit hard for me to follow, I get a bit lost at times, but I like the story.

  10. Those three areas that manifest how organized your life is are the same as mine!! (That was a hideously-constructed sentence....sorry.)

    Eat, Pray, Love - I read this 2/3 through and then got distracted by another book I was more interested in. But I really liked what I read!

    The Witch of Blackbird Pond - One of my favorite books EVER! When you're done, read The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane....

  11. I thought the Memory Keeper's Daughter was okay, but could be really frustrating at times. The story didn't leave me with a great sense of fulfillment.
    Eat, Pray, Love--this is a bit of a polarizing book as you can tell from comments. I read the whole thing and there were parts I really enjoyed simply because I think her writing style is entertaining. That being said, a lot of women hated it because she does come across as a bit selfish in her desires, but I think that we are often viewing that as stay at home moms and with an LDS viewpoint. I think she was searching for happiness and didn't know how to find it. She did give up on her marriage though. I don't know. I think that it makes you think and it definitely makes you want to go to Italy and eat!
    The Book Thief--I already told you I think it's an amazingly unique narrative in having Death be the storyteller.
    The Red Tent was very well done also. I also read another book by her this year which was okay, but not nearly as good as the Red Tent. You'll like it.
    The others I have not read, so you'll have to return the favor and tell me what you think.

  12. The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Such a good book! I LOVE it. You so should read that and not clean.

    You make me laugh. crafting with kids sure can get messy. And it is always easiest to blame the mess on them, right? *wink*

    Good luck getting caught up!

  13. Hi, the Red Tent, The Book Thief and Into the Wild are all excellent. Did not love The Memory Keeper's Daughter or Eat, Pray, Love - a better book to read (if want the Italy/ food experience) is Extra Virgin Olive Oil among the Hills of Liguria - absolutely loved that one! Enjoy your list :)

  14. I've only read two on your list but I loved them both. Just finished 'The Road' and then watched the movie. Love it. I have also read 'Into the Wild.' Love it and I watched the movie too. I always love the books alot more than the movies. So much more detail. Good luck to you on your goals. :)

  15. Before we moved to our current town (in CT) 5 years ago, we lived in the town the borders the town (also in CT) that is the setting of witch of blackbird pond. I read it while we lived there and it made it even more fascinating! It's a classic book and my young daugther read it after me.

    I totally have a thing against reading "Eat, Pray, Love" for some reason. I think it has to do with the fact that it seems like the message is very selfish, but I could be totally wrong.

  16. Loved "The Red Tent" - it is up there on my list of favorites. Also think "The Memory Keeper's Daughter" is worth your time. I myself just started "The Book Thief." And I agree with others' comments - I think you can skip "Eat, Pray, Love" - although I did enjoy the first part of the book (the "Eat" part)!

    Other recommendations: "A Thousand Splendid Suns", "One Thousand White Women", "Carry Me Home", "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle", anything by Kent Haruf. Not that you need to add to your list...

    I'm willing to trade books anytime!

  17. Drop Eat, Pray, Love from your list....not worth your time.
    R in WI

  18. Loved Book Thief, but it did take me twice to start before I finished it. Very powerful. Memory Keeper's Daughter was fine. Don't want to read E, P, L. The Road is very dark and very very good. Witch of Blackbird Pond...I loved it and should reread it. Red Tent I liked, but I still am creeped out by one scene in there. Bleh.

  19. Just do like 10-20 minutes/day it'll be done in NO time. :)

  20. I love that you put those pictures up there. Thank you for being REAL! That's one of the things I love the most about your blog. You might be amazing at a million things, but you still feel OK putting up the few things you're bad at. Can't wait to read your book reviews!

  21. I have almost all those books on my to-read or read list, too.

    I've been trying to clean out (by reading) my to-read list, too. If it's been on there for over 2 years, it needs to be read or removed.

    BTW, I am in the middle of a book right now that I won't mention that has me wondering what made me decide to add it to the list in the first place. It is that bad.

  22. I didn't love the Memory Keeper's Daughter. I read it a couple of years ago and was left wanting much more from the characters. I felt like 90% of the book was glorifying damaging coping skills and the last 10 pages had redeeming value.
    I loved The Road. Very suspenseful and gritty. I loved the plot and character development and the writing is wonderful!
    I read the Witch of Blackbird Pond in elementary school and just loved it! It's on my to-be-re-read list. Very quick, fun read.
    The Red Tent is fascinating and very character-focused, which I loved. It sure makes you think!
    Funny story: the rest of those are on my list too! :) Happy Reading!

  23. You are so funny! Well, your office seems to be about on par with my studio right now. And the sad thing is that my studio is greatly improved...solely because I shoveled the previously-resident piles o' crapola and stuffed them in the closet. How's that for procrastination and denial? Sigh.

    Now where is that article I read about how messy desks are a sign of genius? Oh, right. Under a pile of stuff somewhere.

  24. P.S. LOVED "The Red Tent"—it's a thing of beauty.