The One Where I Keep a Promise. And Use the Word Bowels.

You may remember that sj and I started a book club, one you might even want to join. Welcome to the first official meeting. From the Bowels of Obscurity Children’s Book Club is now in session!

It has been a while. I had big plans, but then I got sick and was too concerned with my actual bowels and various other body parts to do much with a book club. But I’m back, baby, and I’m ready to roll!

Anyone is welcome to join. It’s easy to participate. Have some favorite books from childhood? You can either write a post, or share with us in the comments. If you write a post of your own and include pingback by including a link to this post, your post link will appear at the bottom of this one, and we’ll be able to find and read other participating blogs.

I’m not big on rules, but the main one is that the books you track back should be ones you read as a kid. There are tons of great books hitting shelves everyday. This club is for dusting off the old ones that might have gotten buried. Unless you are an actual kid, under 18, in which case you are free to share your more recent faves.

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for! *insert drum roll here*


First book like this I ever read.

When I was a kid, I read the old standbys. I devoured Superfudge and rolled around in the Ramona series. But I also liked stalking the shelves for books none of my classmates had read. There was nothing I loved more than finding a book that hadn’t been checked out in ten years. This was one. I may, in fact, have been the only kid to ever check it out.

It was my first real taste of historical fiction, taking place at the very beginning of the Great Depression. That’s all I can tell you without giving too much away. This book still gives me chills. I gave an oral book report on it, and I got my first B+ because the teacher thought I gave away the ending. Little did she know.

MiltonI love this book. We received it in the mail from Weekly Reader. I remember my mom tucking me in bed and reading it to me. The words were simple, and the illustrations were adorable.

Fast forward 35 years and all my experience with dogs and the adult in me is shocked to pieces! <spoiler alert> What do you mean Milton knocked up the Great Dane next door?! He’s a year old! Anybody ever heard of hip dysplasia? Has he CERF’d? What about his patellas? Get responsible when you breed, people! Oh, yeah. I found a copy to read to my kids. Because it’s still precious.

And last, but definitely not least:


My favorite time in elementary school was library time. Long after we had graduated from picture books, our librarian found great things to read to us. This was one.

It’s the story of two brothers growing up in the Ozarks. Since the library only had one copy, none of us were allowed to check it out during the six weeks or so she was reading it to us. Waiting to get my hands on it nearly killed me. I was first on the list to check it out. I squirreled it away in my backpack and rushed home to savor every tidbit in my own comfortable bed.

I found the sequel at the public library, and it was like my birthday had come early. It’s as delicious as the original, but freakishly hard to find. I made a few half-hearted bids for it on Ebay over the years, but my limit was $30, which was over a hundred bucks shy of the winning bid every time. Imagine my surprise when I discovered a copy in the free bin at my favorite used book store.

If there’s a book you’re looking for, keep wishing. It will hear your heart and come find you one day.

Now it’s your turn! What’s on your favorites list? Don’t feel pressured to get them all in one post. I haven’t even scratched the surface of personal favorites. We can pace ourselves!

Some folks are way ahead of the game and have already shared some of their childhood favorites with us. Be sure to check them out!

Meet Nerija. Check out her reviews here and here.

And there’s Amy, who shared some goodies with us over at sj’s place!

And last but not least, pay a visit to M and to see her favorite kids’ books!


If you’re on Goodreads, you are welcome to join the club over there, too! Click the widget over on the bottom left. It will take you there.

Is This On Your Summer Reading List?

I am really getting into the NetGalley ARC thing. I pick some books that look like a good fit for my brain, I get sent an advance reader copy for free. I read it. I review it. I have nothing to lose, right?

Yesterday I reviewed Amity & Sorrow by Peggy Riley over at sj’s place. If it’s on your summer reading list, stop over and check it out. If you’ve read the book already, what did you think?


I love this cover. But...

I love this cover. But…

spoiler alert: There’s an image on my review that I may one day come to regret. I’m pretty sure of that, actually.  I invite you to post a similar image of your own. So I’m not alone out there.


Getting Our Groove Back

Yes. It's an oscar. Maybe not the kind you're thinking of, but I couldn't find a license-free image of the statuette. I'm learning to work with what I have.


I love movies. There was a time in my life when I not only had heard of every Academy Award nominee for Best Picture, I had actually seen most of them. The kids are getting older now, and I’m determined to get that movie-buff groove back. On a whim, I decided that 2011 would be my year. My goal was to see every Best Picture nominee from the year. I’m here to review for you the ones that I have seen to date.

Three things you should know about me:

1) I embarrass easily. I prefer movies with no potty mouth and little to no skin, and certainly no dirty parts. And graphic violence makes me hide under the blanket. Movies about nuns or puppies tend to get a thumbs up for me. A movie about nuns with puppies are sheer bliss.

2) I do not read the blurb on movies or books. I don’t like spoilers.

3) There may be spoilers in this post. Please proceed with caution.

And now, without further ado, a review of the Oscar nominees my husband and I have seen so far.

Toy Story III – We’ve seen all the others. Aww. Andy’s all grown up! Wait! Mom, you moron! You just threw out Buzz and the gang! What’s wrong with you? OPEN THE BAG before you take it to the trash! Sorry. I got carried away. Okay, cute bear! No, wait! Evil bear! Psychological warfare! Are they going to melt and die?  Can toys die? Where are my dollies? I need to get them out of storage and tell them I love them forever and always.

The King’s Speech– Beautiful story, wonderfully acted. It always makes me feel good to see Bellatrix LeStrange being nice to people. I wonder if the Dark Lord told her to. Standing ovation. That was great!

Inception –  Whoa. What just happened? Wait. It’s happening again. Is it real? Am I real? Good, fun stuff. Popcorn was a little too salty.

The Social Network – Mark Zuckerberg is a real turd and Facebook is trying to take over the world. And then we watched the movie.

The Kids Are Alright – Hmm. Interesting. No, wait! Did you have to do that? Ugh, no! My eyes! MY EYES! What are they doing? No, really. I don’t get it.  Make up your mind! Him or her? And put your clothes back on! The kids may be alright, but one of their moms is kind of messed up.

We still have a few on our list that we haven’t seen, but I’m not sure I’m going to.

127 Hours seems too long for me.

True Grit is a cowboy movie, and I’ve already seen one of those. Woody nearly got killed.

Winter’s Bone sounds a little violent. Or dirty. Or cold.

Black Swan is next on the list. I think it’s about ballerinas, so it can’t be bad, right?