Links I love and what’s on my nightstand.

Links I love and what’s on my nightstand.

My favorite finds from around the web:

56 delightful Victorian slang terms you should be using. My favorites: butter upon bacon, fifteen puzzle, enthuzimuzzy.

Spoofs of high fashion ads. Some of the spoofs are actually pretty attractive, but others … you’ll see what I mean.

• 24 American behaviors considered rude in other countries. Because forewarned is forearmed.

I followed my mom around Costco and this is what I learned. A good read if you’re a Costco customer. I picked up a few tips.

Why NASA helped Ridley Scott create The Martian film. “If you want to understand why it is that NASA loves The Martian and is so gung ho for this movie, you have to realize that this movie more or less presents exactly their future vision, minus all the drama.”

What I’m reading: 

Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances by Rachel Anne Ridge. This is a pet memoir, about a donkey. Really. (I’m enjoying it.)

The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I just started this one. It’s almost 600 pages: if you have opinions, hit me with them!

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande. You were right: this is a great book. I’m on page 55 and reading it slowly.

On the blog: 

• One year ago: Being the boss lady. “Being the boss doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m not even good at being my own boss some days. (Honestly, I’m kind of hard to manage: I fly by the seat of my pants, dread decisions of any sort, and don’t cut myself enough slack.)”

• Two years ago: Crazy talk. “It wasn’t time to make the decisions or hammer out the details; it was time to talk a little crazy. And we should do it more often.”

• Three years ago: The five rules that shape every post I write.

• Four years ago: The best book you’ve never heard of on making marriage work.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Jess says:

    The Secret History- not worth it. Moments of amazement, just like in The Goldfinch. But overall, just really not that great.

    • Mimi says:

      I agree that The Secret History is not worth your time when there are so many great books calling from your to-be-read list. I did not like any of the characters and the book was soooo long, and so I excused myself from reading The Goldfinch.

  2. Kari says:

    I read The Secret History 20+ years ago when I was an exchange student in Japan. Mostly because it was available, affordable and in English. Three things that were hard to come by in 1994 in Nagano, Japan. I was 19 at the time and remember being engrossed in the novel. Of course looking back on it- I don’t remember much about the book. Other than I found the characters complex.

  3. liz n. says:

    This morning, I realized that I have a rare treat ahead of me: an entire weekend with NOTHING planned, no deadlines, no have-to-do lists, and long stretches of time spent completely by myself…so I’ve brewed what just might be The Perfect Cup of Coffee, lazily browsed through my emails, and am about to relax outside and finally read “Go Set A Watchman.” Bliss.

  4. Stacy says:

    I love how you’re linking to older blog posts in this round up, it’s helping me discover content of yours from before I started reading along!

  5. Sarah M says:

    I can’t wait to see The Martian, so I’m excited to read the article you posted. I didn’t finish it in time that it was due (with soooo many people still behind me), but I wrote down my page number and I’m finally getting it back this weekend! I really enjoyed the first half, I’m sure the second is even better. 😉
    Sarah M

  6. Dana says:

    In my opinion The Secret History is the best of Donna Tartt’s books. The characters are hard to like as a PP mentioned but the story was intriguing enough to keep me going. I really disliked The Little Friend ( a waste of time IMO) and The Goldfinch was uneven although really brilliant in spots, but frustrating near the end.

  7. Tim says:

    Those fashion spoofs were … is unsettling too strong a word? Not all, but some. Others were amusing, and a couple were hard to tell from the original.

    As for Costco, that’s kind of how we shop it too. The only difference is that since it’s on the way home from work I will go a couple times a week sometimes.

  8. Jeannie says:

    So glad to hear that you are liking Being Mortal. I found it both fascinating and comforting — comforting because of my mom’s death nearly a year ago. I could look back at how the home-care and palliative care staff all made her last days as comfortable and peaceful as possible. They supported us all along the way, telling us what to expect, being available around the clock to call if we had questions or concerns, etc. My mom died peacefully in bed with my dad, just the way it “should” be. I know it can’t always be that way and every case is different. But Gawande’s book gives that vision of how dying people and their families can have support and autonomy all the way to the end. The process can feel very scary and overwhelming, but there ARE ways to make it less difficult.

    • Anne says:

      I was afraid the book would be heartbreaking and terrifying—and while there was an element of both, I was surprised to find it comforting more than anything else. I’m so glad to hear that your mother’s experience was peaceful, and that YOU feel peaceful about it, too. He said so much I didn’t expect. What a paradigm changer.

  9. I was thrilled to see your link about The Martian! I saw the movie trailer and then immediately put the ebook on hold at my library. Luckily, it became available a few weeks ago and I was able to finish it before the movie comes out! I adored the blend of humor and suspense in the book. Thanks for sharing the article…now I’m even more eager to see the movie!

  10. Rachel Anne says:

    Aww, I love seeing that Flash is on your nightstand! I’ve had so many people tell me it’s a perfect “one chapter before bed” book. I hope you enjoy the story and that the message lingers after the last page.

  11. Alison says:

    Would love to know what book you would gift to your mother in law or best friend. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? Idea for post?

  12. Melia says:

    Weirdly enough, I just picked Flash and Being Mortal up from the library. They have been on hold for me forever. I started Still Life about three weeks ago after reading your review on Louise Penny and I just started book six in the series. Thank you, thank you for introducing me! There are not many books I buy, but I believe that entire series will need to live in my house.

  13. Stacey says:

    I read A Secret History in only a few days when we were at the beach. I’m to sure if it was because I was able to read it so fast or not but I really liked it. Way more than the Goldfinch which I stopped half way through. I had stopped reading long books a few months ago and The Secret History changed that for me. I did skim a bit in the middle when the length became overwhelming but I would recommend it!

  14. Sarah says:

    The Secret History is one of the few fiction books that I have read more than once. Granted, there were about 18 years that passed between readings. Even on the second pass through, I still maintain it is one of the best debuts ever. Her second book, The Little Friend, was sorely disappointing, but the latest, The Goldfinch, was the best novel I read in 2013.

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