The funny things we say

I was cooking an egg this morning and started to think about my mom’s name for a fried egg. She’d ask me if I wanted a runny eggor a dunky egg with my toast. She called an umbrella a brelly; the remote was a clicker my suitcase was a grip. Instead of cock-eyed, she’d say crock-eyedetc., etc. I know there are more I just can’t think of them now.

I too developed this habit with my children. I always asked if they wanted pannycakes, or doddies (doughnuts) for breakfast. I pronounced the ‘t’ in ballet. I still wonder if they want to take the ‘vator (elevator) or the stairs, and whether they want me to turn on the tube (tv). When they fly in I’m picking them up at the ‘port, and when we go travel it’s on a vaca. And instead of swearing when they were little I would say, ishkabibble or ay carambaI guess I was practicing my Yiddish and Spanish? Who knows?!

When I was a kid my dad used to wake me up to the song, “Good morning to you, good morning to you,we’re all in our places with sun shiny faces, and this is the way to start a new day”.  Drove me bananas! Not to burden my kids with that one, I used to wake them up with, “Up and at ’em, Atom Ant!”. I don’t know how that one started, but I used to do it enough that they will never forget it, nor ever want me to repeat it!

I’m sure all families have their own language and habits that they develop over the years, sometimes without even realizing it or knowing how ingrained it becomes in every day speech. I think I was in my early 20’s until I knew how to order a fried egg sunny side up without pointing at the picture in the menu!!

I loved World Book Night!

I’m so happy that I had the privilege of participating in World Book Night 2013. I was a bit anxious today when I set out to pass out my 20 copies of “Girl With the Pearl Earring“, but once I gave away that first title, things became much easier and my only regret was that I didn’t have 20 more to giveaway!


I had a couple of criteria in my own mind about who I wanted to share my books with, I didn’t want to just drop them off at one place, I wanted to give them to a variety of ages, and I wanted to give a few to people I know but not that well.  It didn’t quite go as planned, but you know what they say, “the best laid plans of mice and men…

I had the great idea of heading to my local coffee shop, and while enjoying a cup of Joe passing out a few copies, then I was going to walk around town and pass out the rest whenever the mood struck me.  Well, our continuous precipitation foiled this scenario, and I ended up giving the majority of them away in and around the coffee shop. I still tried to give them to a variety of people, although I have to say I felt more comfortable giving them to women for some reason.

The reactions I got were pretty positive, although there were a couple of skeptics that I think thought I was passing out religious tracts, but I fooled them!  It felt great when a clerk from my local drug store said in all the years she’s worked at the store no one has ever given her anything, and when one lady got so excited when she found out the movie with Scarlett Johansson had been a book first.

I hope I get a chance to do it again next year and maybe someone who got one of my books today will volunteer next year!

The Shortlist

Today the shortlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction was announced, and I have to say I have mixed feelings, mostly because I was really rooting for a title that didn’t make the list, “The Marlowe Papers” by Ros Barber. Oh well, regardless of my wishes the six titles that did make the list are all strong contenders to win the prize and seem to have pleased the majority of the critics that pontificate on these types of things.


I’ve read three of them, “May We Be Forgiven” by A. M. Homes, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple, and “Bring up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel. Of the three I enjoyed Maria Semple’s book the most because of its humor, and I would love to see something funny win a book prize for a change, but Homes’ book too was terrific with its dark humor and rich story, but I have a feeling Mantel might actually win again.

I don’t want to be mean but I kind of hope she doesn’t win, because even though it was a well written book, I had a devil of time getting through the darn thing, and I LOVE Tudor history. Oh well, good thing I’m not a judge, huh?

I plan on reading the other three titles before the prize is awarded on June 5th, so my opinion might change but I doubt it, and if you haven’t had a chance to read “The Marlowe Papers”,  I highly recommend you give it a go!  It’s a great story, written entirely in verse, about Christopher Marlowe and the truth surrounding his ‘death’, his role as a spy, and that casper milquetoast, Shakespeare.

World Book Night 2013 is almost here!

WBNI am getting pretty stoked about April 23rd 2013, because this year I get to participate in World Book Night! This is the second time that we here in the US get to join our brethren across the pond to giveaway books and pass along our love of reading one paperback at a time. According to their website, last year over a half a million books were distributed in over 5,800 hundred places to light or non-readers.  That’s a lot of pulp, huh?  There are 21 titles and I will be passing out my first choice, “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Tracy Chevalier.

girl with pearl earring

Since I’m new to this I’m still not a 100% sure where I’m distributing my 20 copies. I don’t want to give them all to one organization, and I don’t know how confident I would be standing in a shopping mall, or street corner accosting people with a book, but I have a few ideas swirling around in my noggin and maybe some of my readers could give me a suggestion or two?

I have been thinking about a woman’s shelter near my town, maybe a hospital or a retirement home. But I would like to get this book into a few younger hands as well, so maybe I do go to a shopping area or a coffee shop? I believe I still have some pondering to do!

I’m excited for the experience and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

World Book Night 2013

Oh, the weather outside is icy!

photo-4Here in Alaska the neighborhood side streets are ice skating, hockey playing slick. It’s treacherous and pretty scary taking that first step off of the driveway onto the glass-like surface that greets me every chilly morning when Jasmine and I start out on our morning constitutional.  So the other day I got smart and bought myself some grippers for my shoes.

IMG_0088Man these things are great, although a bit loud!

There is no chance of me sneaking up on any wild life, or for that matter hearing any if they decide to sneak up on me!

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2013

women's prize for fiction

This is one of my favorite book awards of the year! Formerly known as the Orange Prize for Fiction this international, women’s only literary prize always seems to have several books on the longlist that I have not only read, but that I’ve actually enjoyed and usually has one or two titles that I haven’t heard of but want to pounce on ASAP!

The Longlist for 2013, of the newly titled Women’s Prize for Fiction, was just announced with 20 pretty diverse novels, including Gillian Flynn’s mystery thriller, “Gone Girl”, the controversial “How Should a Person Be?” (is it really a novel since it’s part memoir?) by Sheila Heti, the ever present “Bring up the Bodies” by Hilary Mantel, and my personal favorite, “Where’d you go Bernadette?” by Maria Semple.
There are 8 Brits on the list and 7 Americans, so it’s not as as diverse in nationalities as it is in content, 6 first time authors (Bonnie Nadzam, Ros Barber, Shani Boianjiu, Francesca Segal and M L Steadman) and 2 previous winners (Barbara Kingsolver and Zadie Smith).
You can visit the Women’s Prize for Fiction website and get the complete list along with a brief synopsis and author bio.
I think the book I’m most excited to read is “The Marlowe Papers” completely written in verse and in the words of Christopher Marlowe, it sounds truly unique and fascinating. Of course I also want to read a few others! I hope I can get these all read before the short list is announced on April 16th!