Musings and Amusings

Posts tagged ‘books’

Good Read – The Divorce Diet

Have you been knocked sideways by drifting snow and power outages? Has the natural (gloomy) light been enough to read? I hope so.

Today (Monday 2/16) was supposed to be Watercolors-in-my-basement Day, but suddenly I heard beeps; saw flickers; and was plunged into darkness. I felt my way along the wall up the stairs to my reading chair. Thank goodness for the nearby large picture window.

If you’ve ever lived in your head; cared for an infant; been dumped and divorced; dieted and ditched your diet … repeatedly … this recently published book is for you.  The Divorce Diet by Ellen Hawley (available at Amazon)

The Divorce Diet Written in a wickedly funny, Bridget-Jones-like, stream-of-consciousness inner dialogue, Abigail’s pluck carries her through multiple weighty burdens, any one of which is enough to compel a hand grab for calories.

It’s a fast read with loads of chuckles; a few winces; exercise even couch potatoes can embrace; and heartfelt admiration for an in-the-end triumphant Abigail.

The author, Ellen Hawley, is a native New Yorker transplanted to Cornwall, UK by way of decades in Minnesota. If that’s not enough to hint at her quirky perspective on the world, check out her blog.

My favorite-laugh-out loud post is Talking Trash to an I-Pad.

Try her; you’ll like her!

Sum-Sum-Summer Time


My favorite golf holes:






Plus my favorite bike trails:






Plus my good-grief-where’d-all-these-come-from summer reading stash:






Equals not a whole lot of blogging time this summer!


Book List:

An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks

The Baker’s Daughter by Sarah McCoy

This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection by Carol Burnett

Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young

Danny: The Virtues Within by Jeremy Dunlap with Dan Dietz and Cindy Dietz-Marsh

Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, M.D.

Pentimento by Lillian Hellman

Tiger, Meet My Sister … by Rick Reilly

The Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian

My Promised Land by Ari Shavit

The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott

Crazy Salad & Scribble Scribble by Nora Ephron

The True Secret of Writing by Natalie Goldberg

Right Before Your Eyes by Ellen Shanman

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen

Imaginary Friends by Melanie Lee

Collected Stories of Wallace Stegner

DK Eyewitness Books: North American Indian

DK Eyewitness Books: Mesopotamia

“Two Misfits. One Extraordinary Love.”

Eleanor & Park


This is the description on the inside cover of Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. I loved reading this book. It is designated a Young Adult (YA) book, and the writing is concise and uncomplicated. But Eleanor’s and Park’s emotions and actions are universal as they try to find their niche in a confusing, sometimes inhospitable world.

When I look through my library of favorite books – the 5-star books I read again and again; the books I lug with me every time we move; the books I never lend because I can’t bear to lose them – I find many that could be succinctly described as “Two Misfits. One Extraordinary Love.”

Not all are about romantic love. Love between a parent and a child, two siblings or two unlikely companions can be just as palpable and endearing as a romance.

Defining a “misfit” presumes we have an accepted definition for “normal”.  That’s a discussion for another day. The characters in these books affect me because of their circumstantial or social struggles.

Sometimes the misfits dominate the plot; sometimes the extraordinary love is what lies at the heart of the story.

Here, in no particular order, are my favorite “Two Misfits. One Extraordinary Love” books:



  • God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo
  • How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo
  • The Flawless Skin of Ugly People by Doug Crandell
  • Love Is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
  • Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Next in my stack of to-read books that might end up in this category:

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green



Am I missing any “must have” books in this section of my library?


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