This Blog is Dedicated to our dear friend Karen.
When she left this life she left a hole in our hearts as well as several to be read books.
We, her friends, will read these books for her.
This blog will be a sort of book club for us to post our thoughts and feelings about the stories and feelings we have of Karen while we read.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

#82 The Liars' Club by Mary Karr

The Liars' Club

This is another book I read because it was on my sister, Karen's, to-read list. I was kind of surprised to find it on her list, because it doesn't really feel like the kind of book she would have read, but then, a lot of books on her list were ones others had read that she thought would take her out of her comfort zone.

Mary Karr's childhood reminds me of my own. Which is surprising in a way; she grew up in a small oil town on the coast in Texas, while I grew up in (mostly) a small farming town in Missouri. Her daddy was a union laborer for an oil company, while mine worked in middle management in a factory. She had one sister; I'm right smack in the middle of seven kids. But it's the small town, lower middle class upbringing that brings to mind my own childhood. Playing (and fighting) with the neighborhood kids; exploring the nearby creek or woods or pasture; fighting with your siblings (but also fighting along with your siblings against the other neighborhood kids).

There are definitely some differences - my mom didn't get an inheritance, move us to Colorado, and divorce our dad in order to marry some drunk bartender. We didn't ride horses or get stung by a man-o-war or hide from a drunk, knife-wielding parent (or protect a step-father from a drunk, pistol-wielding parent). We didn't (as far as my parents know) use the kind of "colorful" language Mary and (especially) her sister Lecia used against the other neighborhood kids. But, reading this memoir, I still felt at times like I was reliving my own childhood.


Thursday, January 14, 2016

#47 The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey


I went into reading this thinking I wouldn't gain anything as I have read one of Dave Ramsey's books already and I was raised to be financially smart, however, I was pleasantly surprised to be motivated and to change a few things.  The book starts out with Ramsey pretty much defending and sharing how his program works.  I was kind of bored with the first part of the book, however, once he got into the steps I felt curious and then motivated.  I actually gave this book to my husband and told him to read it next so we can be on the same page and now he's reading it, too. 

I do wish Karen had the opportunity to read this one.  I think she would have been pumped and motivated as well. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

#242 I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak


I loved how the book starts out with friends quarreling during a bank robbery.  I literally laughed out loud and read it aloud to my husband as it was so unlikely and inappropriate.  I knew I was going to enjoy this book just by the first few sentences.

Ed is given challenges throughout the book to help other people.  He doesn't know who is behind the project, but knows he has to complete it.  Ed grows as a person and helps many people along the way.  It reminded me of Pay it Forward as well as A Christmas Carol (not sure why the latter, but it did).  My only complaint would be is how the author goes into Ed lusting for different women and goes in detail.  I was going to recommend this to my son, but now feel uncomfortable recommending a book that is filled (okay, just a few times) with a 19 year lusting for women and what he wants to do to them. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

#18 Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King


This isn't my typical choice of books to read, but I think Karen would have really enjoyed it.  It had adventure, fantasy, bad boy turn good and so forth.  I don't believe I will finish the series.