Friday, January 30, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Book Reviews

I have a long-standing passion for books, passed on to me from my father who had a library in our home while I was growing up. One of my favorite things to do was to stand in his study and just stare at the shelves filled with books. I would read a title off the spine and ask my Daddy what the book was about. He had a little of everything, from Rachel Carson's Silent Spring to Gone With the Wind to The Pentagon Papers to a 12 volume set entitled World Religions, and he had read them all. As a little kid, I was as captivated by the exciting titles and beautiful dust jackets as I was with the world of knowledge and adventure captured inside each volume.
When I was in the 5th grade my paternal grandmother (Margaret Bernice - who my Margaret Jane was named after) gave me a hardback copy of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, it was the first grown up book I remember receiving and I was hooked. At that point I moved past my Dr. Seuss and Encyclopedia Brown days and became a more sophisticated reader.
I now usually opt to read historical non-fiction. I also read books in the spiritual/inspirational category like The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormy Omartian or anything by Max Lucado. My favorite author is John Grisham and I cannot wait to get my hands on his new book, The Associate.
During my first pregnancy, my ability to enjoy a good book took a big hit. Initially, I was so sick all I wanted to do was sleep. Then towards the end it hurt too much to sit or lay in one position long enough to read more than a page or two. So by the time I had Eli, then got pregnant again in the blink of an eye with Margaret Jane my reading days got shoved to the back, dusty corner of the bookshelf.
But, with the turn of the calendar to 2009 my resolve to get a little of the former Ronda back strengthened. This included reading more. My first read of the new year was The Shack. I knew absolutely nothing about this book when I grabbed myself a copy, and I certainly had no idea that it was such a widespread read. I didn't care for it, but am glad I read it. My next book was the book I just finished reading for the book club I started (let me know if you want to join). It is called Blue Hole Back Home by Joy Jordan Lake and it is a wonderful read that I highly recommend. The author is a Southern girl who spent much of her adult life in New England and now lives back in the South. Since I have a similar journey in and out of the Southland, I like her perspective and appreciate her writing style. She can turn a fabulous southern phrase...for example:
Speaking of her Yankee father who settled in the South, the main character in Blue Hole says, "My father believed in what he called The Enunciation, and clung to precise, Dartmouth-man diction like a lifeline, like if he let one "g" go unsounded, he might be sucked whole, quicksanded into the slurred Southern culture around him".
And describing Southern women: "Now, all Southern women keep as a weapon against an uncouth world a certain smile that can be whipped out of storage and tacked up in an instant, covering over a multitude of too-candid moments".
Good stuff. Good book.
The book I'm currently reading is far different and oh so endearing. It is entitled Happy Tails by Linda Hultin Winn and only the dog LOVERS reading this will appreciate this one. The author, who adores her two puppies in a way non-dog lovers find completely ridiculous, manages to tell funny, sad, and heartwarming stories about puppies while linking them to the love God has for each of his children. Sounds crazy, I know. But, I will tell you that it has spoken to my spirit in ways little else ever has. I love my Josey, and to think of God's unconditional love for me being comparable to my unconditional love for Josey makes sense to me. Yes, I have a finite mind.
So, there you have it, my first 3 book reviews of 2009. Ronda the Bibliophile is back! Now if I can only recapture Ronda the Skinny and Ronda the Lucid!
And, any excuse to post a picture of my Josey:

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I snapped this picture of Margaret Jane today playing in her exersaucer. Then I pulled up a picture I took of Eli at the same age in the same toy. So, do you think they look alike?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Margaret Jane at Four Months

Margaret Jane is now 4 months old. She had her check up yesterday and is doing very well. She weighs just over 12 pounds and is long, but I cannot remember the number (I should know those things, huh?) I love a baby at 4 months. I remember so well when Eli turned 4 months old. He evolved into such a fun, interesting baby and MJ has done the same. She is so alert, laughs, smiles, and is interested in everything and she is still a very sweet, happy baby. She rolls over to her side and isn't far from rolling from back to stomach. I'm putting her on a more predictable nap schedule (3 a day) and will start her on rice cereal soon. Also, I've gotten out the exersaucer for her to play in. She's a little small for it, but enjoys it for a while. She is still a 'Momma's Girl', favoring me over everyone else, even her Daddy. Hopefully she'll take to other folks soon, meanwhile I love the attention I get from her!