mysecondcupofcoffee


List Lovers Unite!

I have a slight obsession with book lists (i.e. reading lists). I’m not sure if it’s a pathological need to ensure that I am, in fact, well read, or if it’s the simple love of lists (and the subsequent ability to check things off of them). Either way, there is still a deep-seeded love for book lists deep within my soul.

I stumbled across a blog entitled “10 Books You Must Read to Your Daughter (Or How to Keep Your Daughter From Ending Up Like That Horrid Girl in Twilight)” and couldn’t help but read it. I was compelled to peruse this blogger’s thoughts. I mean, come on, aren’t you?

I probably should preface this list by saying that I struggle to criticize a book that I haven’t read, so, though I don’t think Twilight will be the next Pride & Prejudice (damn, that would be depressing…), I did at least read the entire series so that I knew what all the hype was about. Actually, a friend and I have attended the opening night (or, at least, the opening weekend) of each of the Twilight movies. That was an adventure. But I digress. Back to the list!

The books on this blogger’s list were as follows (my thoughts are in green)…

The Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery (maybe just Green Gables and Avonlea)
The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (a classic, though written at a young reader level, that every girl should read)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (good ol’ JK)
Till We Have Face by C.S. Lewis (a lesser-known work of Lewis’, but a brilliant must-read!)
The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien (don’t be fooled by how some characters are portrayed in the movies!)
All six Jane Austen classics
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (I’d mark this one off the list, but that’s just me)
A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (this one has been added to my list: Need To Read)

I was impressed with the list that the blogger had assembled. I not only agree with the list, but whole-heartedly support her suggestions. I don’t have a daughter, but if I did (or do someday), I would want her to mirror the characters in these novels and not the tripe a protagonist (yes, Bella) from Twilight. I have read all but one of the books on her list and, as I noted, that book has been added to my Need To Read list. This list left me in high-spirits. 

A few minutes after climbing onto my high horse, however, I stumbled upon another list (“10 Books Every Girl Should Read in Her Twenties”) that left me in far lower spirits for two reasons: 1) I haven’t read the majority of the books suggested, and 2) the list suggests these books for women to read while in their 20s. Why does point #2 leave my spirits a bit tarnished? Because I only have three years left in my 20s. That thought hit my like a stampeding rhino as I read her blog and I sobbed in the corner for a bit thanks to that startling realization.

Her list went as follows (my thoughts are, again, in green)…

Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic, #1) by Sophie Kinsella
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Oh, I’ve read this one!)
Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank
Bitches on a Budget: Sage Advice for Surviving Tough Times in Style by Rosalyn Hoffman
What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self by Ellyn Spragins
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
What Did I Do Wrong? by Liz Pryor
20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-life Woman’s Guide to Balance and Direction by Christine Hassler
Single: The Art of Being Satisfied, Fulfilled and Independent by Judy Ford

Yup, that’s right, ladies & gentleman. I have only read one of the books on this wise woman’s list and I’m feeling less-than-well-read and a bit ill because of that (if I were a color, I’d be brownish-green… the color of algae on a lake in midsummer).

But, enough sulking! I must press on toward my newly-minted goal: to read all the books mentioned in this post that I haven’t, thus far in life, cracked the cover of. Well, “cracked the cover” is flowery of language as I will, I’m sure, read them on my Nook and therefore, no covers will be cracked. It will be more of an “electronic pages will be swiped from right to left with the tap of a finger,” but you get the point.

The the immortal words of the 10th Doctor, “Allons-y!”


The Great Nerd War of 2012

I must commend the maker of the Nerd box. It is unassumingly strong and surprisingly aerodynamic. When in the course of human events, one must grab the nearest weapon to launch at your opponent and all that is handy is a box of Nerds, it comes through in a pinch. When heaved towards your opponent who deftly dodges and the small missile collides with a corner or a end table or a chair, it holds itself together nicely and keeps its tasty contents intact. It’s a noble feat, truly.

You might ask why I know this. A good question, as this isn’t normally in someones arsenal of thought. Well, my opponent, er, I mean, husband, began to pick on my during an intense episode of Doctor Who. I am not match for him in brute strength, so I waged war with my mind, which was quickly trumped by tickling. As he has built up a resistance to such attacks, I grabbed the nearest weapon (i.e. the box of nerds I was about to open) and flung it in his general direction. Though I missed my target, I had succeeded in distracting him long enough to grab more ammunition and scurry away. Realizing that the rules of war had quickly changed (and in his favor I might add considering his prowess at all things athletic), he grabbed his own arsenal and began his aerial assault as he dove toward cover (i.e. the couch). As he flanked my post, I pelted Nerds toward my target, intermittently hitting and missing my goal, but making an impact none-the-less.

The war waged on, each of us grabbing fallen missiles and relaunching them back toward our foe! Pink and purple boxes were raining down on each of us and yet, the war raged on! I had maintained a fierce control of the dining room and was pushed toward the hallway with a steady barrage of pink and purple Nerd missiles. He, however, had control of the living room including the entryway and was attempting to overtake my right flank as I pushed to control the hallway. His missiles seemed to be hitting  home more often than mine which was devastating to my campaign (he must have equipped his missiles with GPS … or he had better aim…) and the tide of the war quickly turned in his favor as I found myself scrounging for cover underneath the kitchen table. As I grasped at fallen ammo from the edges of my cover, he made one final and bold push toward the dining room and swiped the last piece of lingering ammunition right from underneath my outstretched fingers…

The war was over. He had won. As I conceded the victory and limped wearily toward the couch, he enjoyed the spoils of war gleaned from inside the fallen ammunition that littered the floor. As I surveyed the scene of wreckage at my feet and offered a moment of silence for the casualties of war: the almost empty glass of water now spilled across the coffee table; the DVD cases knocked askew by the wayward artillery; the magazines now scattered on the floor and lay surrounded by the used and unused ammo.

The Great Nerd Box War of 2012 will not soon be forgotten. It’s bloody history will be written in books and made into cinematic masterpieces for years to come. Children will be told of the bravery of their parents as they bolded stepped forward into battle armed only with candy boxes of pink and purple. This war was not able pride or riches; it was about principles and fair play. It was a demonstration of what happens when a man tickles his wife mercilessly and doesn’t weigh the consequences of doing so while she is near a bowl of candy. Let this be a lesson to all of you that might read these words: Draco dormiens dunquam titillandus (A sleeping dragon is never to be tickled).

Epilogue: A full 10 seconds passed before the two side of The Great Nerd Box War of 2012 put their differences aside and joined hands in friendship (and marriage) again. Though they both knew that they would never forgot that glorious battle, they quickly fell about themselves in laughter at the experience. The two sides soon realized that they were much better as a team than as opponents (though they must have known this all along as they were laughing during the entire battle) and vowed to never again wage war against one another with candy… at least until next Halloween.