Monthly Archives: August 2016

DAD Summit

Guess where I am going tomorrow…*drum droll please*

For the next few days I will be in Florida attending the Defending the American Dream Summit!

I am going to get to hear some of my favorite speakers, including Arthur Brooks, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker. There will be breakout sessions, policy discussions, and pools. I’m looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting new friends. Basically, I’m pumped! 

This will be my 3rd year attending the Defending the American Dream Summit and I’m looking forward to getting energized for a busy next few months. It is always inspiring to see just how many people are part of the AFP family. 


I’m officially 19 chapters into Winter by Marissa Meyer and it is taking all my self control not to ignore work and social engagements and just read all day. The problem is, there are 97 chapters. This is no 200 page book I can zip through and still  only be fashionably tardy to my day. This book demands commitment. 

But so far, it is so worth it! It has been far too long since I read Cinder and Scarlet and Cress. If you have not read this futuristic, fairy-tale series,  I highly recommend it. It is so much fun. Maybe I will post a proper review when I’m done…depends if it gets 5 stars. I’m trying not to post as many 5 star reviews on here because you’ll just get repeats of them at the end of the year. 

Fitbit Day 1

I realize 24 hours is hardly enough time to pass judgement on my new Fitbit, but that is basically what I’ve focused on all day so that’s what I’ve got on the brain. My plan to challenge myself seems to be working. I’m just under 13,000 steps today! I think that is good? It also says I’ve done 52 floors (I assume that means stairs and not flights of stairs?) I’ve got green circles (goal met) on everything but calories burned, but I’m only 20 calories short on that and assume it will turn green before I go to bed.

At any rate, I find my Fitbit very motivational. I’m all for green circles! Don’t worry, I’ll try and find something more interesting to write about tomorrow.

Fitbit time

Well folks, I have officially given in and gotten a fitbit. My parents each have one and it seems to be a source of inspiration for them, so hopefully it will inspire me to be more active. I’m not a very active person. I like curling up with a good book and not moving for hours. I can watch endless k dramas not need to stretch. It is a good thing I have a job that requires me to walk a lot or who knows where I would be. It takes quite a bit to get me started. 

However, I’m hoping using the fitbit will help me channel my obsessive temperament. I didn’t just limit my coffee intake this spring, I gave it up. I can’t just post more regularly on this blog, I feel the need to post every day. I’m hoping that same theory will work with my fitbit. Maybe this will challenge me to constantly be active! Or at least more active than I have been. At any rate, it is worth and try!

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Today I finished Lord of the Flies by William Golding. It is one of those classics that you read in high school or hope to never run into again. However, because I didn’t read it in high school,  I decided I needed to give a try.

I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to. I enjoyed The Metamorphosis and Frankenstein and any other number of classics I’ve read this year, but Lord of the Flies was a hard one to get into. There were moments of great poignancy and depth, especially near the end. However, you have to battle tedious chapters and disjointed plot elements to get there. I think I should have read the book in print, via audio it was too easy to get the boys confused. 

The book was worth the time and I think I would re-read it. I give it 3 out of 5 stars. Not a new favorite, but not as dreadful as all the comments on YouTube led me to believe. 


Team Fun and Fulfillment Day

Today the AFP-WI team had a team bonding day and went shooting! It was my first time shooting a shotgun. 

While I will be the first to admit I wasn’t very good at it, I had a lot of fun and I definitely want to do something like it again in the future! 

Another incomplete review…Villette by Charlotte Brontë

I’ve been listening to Villette by Charlotte Brontë on audio book and I’m almost done. I have maybe 40 minutes to go. By this point, I’ve gotten the gist of the story and am now simply waiting for things to be tied together. It is a good book. An interesting one. I might even share a more thorough review once I’m finished with it. The thing is though…I feel like I was lured in under false pretenses. This is how the book was described in its Goodreads bio:

“Arguably Brontë’s most refined and deeply felt work, Villette draws on her profound loneliness following the deaths of her three siblings. Lucy Snowe, the narrator of Villette, flees from an unhappy past in England to begin a new life as a teacher at a French boarding school in the great cosmopolitan capital of Villette. Soon Lucy’s struggle for independence is overshadowed by both her friendship with a worldly English doctor and her feelings for an autocratic schoolmaster. Brontë’s strikingly modern heroine must decide if there is any man in her society with whom she can live and still be free.”

Italics added.

You see, I braced for a love triangle. I expected a “strikingly modern heroine” trying to find a man that would let her continue to teach or at least let have her own opinions or something. That’s not what I’m getting. Lucy Snowe is a somewhat interesting character in the mode of Jane Eyre but nothing spectacular. She doesn’t so much “decide” to look for a man as much as she falls for the only two men of her acquaintance. The one it appears she will end up with in the end is selfish, chauvinistic, sexist, and possibly bipolar. I wouldn’t mind so much if this book wasn’t presented as something modern. Maybe it will end well? We shall see. 


An Incomplete Review of Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer

I’ve been re-reading Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer over the past few days. This is my 3rd or 4th time reading the book and I am utterly charmed by it. However, I guess that wasn’t always the case. In fact, perusing my first review of it, I apparently found it dramatic, “thespian” (not really sure what I meant by that), and hardly deserving 4 stars. Now I read it and wonder why I didn’t give it 5. 

I am a little over half way through but I just felt the need to pause and admire the characters and setting of this book. Judith Taverner, the heroine, is absolutely wonderful. Georgete Heyer has a tendency to group her heroines into one of two categories – young and naive, or slightly order and more mature. In that sense, Judith is similar to Sophy and Frederica, two of my favorite characters, not only from Heyer’s works, but possibly in all literature. What sets Judith apart in a way I never fully appreciated, however, is the way she embraces being a darling of society. Not only does she take snuff, she has her own mix. She doesn’t just drive in the park, she drives her own high seated phaeton. She goes from a nobody to best buds with Beau Brummell himself. In short, Judith uses her position to become eccentric. It is hilarious and wonderful and I absolutely love every moment with her.

There are also a host of other brilliant side characters tucked into this book that I had forgotten about. I’ll keep this post short and just share one…Lady Albinia. 

“She was a short sighted, vague woman of no particular beauty, and a total disregard for prevailing fashion. A Paisley shawl, which she wore to protect her from the draughts, was continually slipping from her shoulders and becoming entangled in the furniture…She seemed incapable of helping herself and when she dropped her fan or her handkerchief, as she frequently did, merely waited for someone to pick it up for her, breaking off in the middle of whatever she was saying, and resuming again the instant her property was restored to her. She had a habit of uttering her thoughts aloud, which was disconcerting to those not much acquainted with her, but which no one who knew her paid the least attention to.”

This character barely gets any more attention after that wonderful paragraph, but there is one scene where Judith and Lord Worth walk in on her hosting some neighbors…

Lady Albinia, who in making the necessary introductions turned to the Earl and said: “You see the Fox-Matthews are come to call on us, my dear Worth. So obliging of them! They have been sitting with us more than half an hour. I do not believe they will ever go.”

Maybe you need to read the book to fully appreciate the scene…but it made me chuckle. I will have to provide a more complete review once I have finally finished the book. It is so good, though! How could I ever have been disappointed in it? 


Is it normal to daydream about finishing books? I seem to do it all the time. I don’t even have to have specific books in mind. It is more like, ‘oooh, once I finish this book and that book and that book, my to-read list will be down to 989!’ Or ‘Imagine if I read through that whole stack! My read list would jump and I’d be at…’ 

I love books. I love reading books. I love finishing books. I love reviewing my stats on Goodreads. It is kind of weird. 

Today, however, I am celebrating because I made my 2016 reading goal of 116 new books. It doesn’t surprise me that I made it (my average in a year is like 140) but I am surprised that I got there before September. I almost wish I had made the number higher, but at the time, I didn’t know how busy my year would be. Also, I usually make the number too high and then spend the rest of the year being depressed and playing catch up because I’m 40 books behind my goal. One time, I didn’t make my goal (I tried to read 200 books while taking 19 credit semesters…considering I made it to 173, I don’t think I did too bad) and the neatly categorized 2013 Reading Goal disappeared from my profile…because I didn’t make it! I was rather bummed by that (still am) and concluded it is always better to over-read than under. It is not like I need an incentive to read! 

Anyway, with this sort of head start, who knows where I will end up with my book count this year! Last year I read 162 books and I would like to beat that. Where will I end? I guess you will just have to wait for my awesome, annual end-of-the-year book stats post to find out! 

ALL the books!

I swung by the library today intending to pop in and out and pick up The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima, sequel to The Warrior Heir. A friend of mine had just lent me The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson and  its sequel The Heart of Betrayal so I told myself I didn’t need any more reading material.  40 minutes later and I left the library with…

The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of the Nerd Culture by Glen Weldon 

American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales

All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister

Unplugged by Donna Freitas

Feminism: Reinventing the f-word by Nadia Abushanab Higgins

Nightstruck by Jenna Black

The Girl I Used To Be by April Henry

What I Told My Daughter: Lessons From Leaders on Raising the Next Generation of Empowered Women edited by Nina Tassler

The audio book Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

And most excitingly…The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski 

Note: No Wizard’s Heir

Then, as I was checking out, the librarian reminded me my hold, Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer had come in. That left me with 12 books. 

Then I got home and discovered my amazing friend Kris had sent me the biography Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester which I have longed to read forever. (13 books now!)

THEN my sister got home and brought me Winter by Marissa Meyer! 14!

So many books! So little time!