Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Young Adults - Size 12 Is Not Fat

If you have some time and are looking for a good summer time book to read, then try Meg Cabot’s Size 12 Is Not Fat (A Heather Wells Mystery). I read it this last week while sitting on the beach and just laughed. I am familiar with Cabot’s Princess series, but have never read them or any of her other books. Not sure why, other than time as I try to read most works by former or current Indiana residents. The title was too funny not to pick up and really hits home with today’s current trends of what is fat and what isn’t. The book really has a sense of humor, which is set amongst a few “accidental” college students’ deaths. Although it would probably fall into your typical adult cozy mystery genre it also seems to really fit into its marketing for young adults.

Anyway, the book is one of what appears to be a series involving the former teen pop star Heather Wells who is trying to start life over without recording contracts. Add a bit of unrequited love, bankruptcy, and college life and you have a funny yet heartstrings tugging book to keep your summer time fun going strong. The story is set in New York, where the main character brings her own little dramatic history and “baggage” with her into a new job as a college residence hall assistant director. (It is funny though to see the various fictional references to locations and buildings that have a very familiar ring to them.) Many issues plague the main character including her mother running off with all her money and her big time singer boyfriend having an affair. Heather not only has to deal with overcoming her past identity, but try to build up her self esteem and face the new challenges ahead of her while trying to convince the police that the "accidental" deaths are really murders all while being a size 12.

Being a bit on the conservative side I would recommend this to high school age (16 or so) on up due to the liberal dialogue and descriptive romantic encounters. As a side note some of the backdrop brought back memories of the 80’s and silly shopping mall singing sensations like “Tiffany” and the 90’s boy bands. According to the author’s notes another in this series was released this past January and another is coming next winter. Also, Cabot lists this book for adults, but most bookstores and libraries I have seen lump it in with Young Adults.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Earth Day and ponderings

With earth day just around the corner (April 22), I did actually stop and think about this while watching the tide roll in every day sitting on the beach. The beautiful clean beaches do attest to the fact that many are doing their part in helping the environment, but we all still have ways to go. There are so many small ways we can help, but the big environmental impacts sometimes amaze me and what really can be done(?). Hang with me hear as I ponder (or check out this link to a previous post I did with kids resources last year).

The place I was just visiting this past weekend recently built a new airport in amongst a wildlife area. We are talking acres upon acres of natural habitat that now have an airport sitting in the middle of it. Plus, for the first time ever since I have been visiting the area I saw these crossing signs on the drive from the airport to the beach. Makes me think is tourism and its convenience worth it? What was wrong with the old airport? Granted I was use to an armadillo sign here and there, but now they have stirred up the panther population.

While visiting an old friend who lives about an hour and half north of this airport we drove through many wildlife areas that were being developed for housing and shopping. In my friends neck of the woods, they live on the farthest point of the peninsula that can be developed due to the water ways and marsh areas. But, despite their being no beaches and such their house is among many that were built around bird sanctuaries and they now have alligators in the water ways behind their home along with various other natural habitat critters and the occasional bobcat. Is the desire to live in an resort and tropic like setting too costly to the environment? Again, no idea of right and wrongs here just pondering.

Anyway, don't forgot to keep Earth day and its purpose in mind everyday. There are plenty of online kid resources at US Gov't Earth Day Kids . Plus, there are so many books and magazines available at your local library.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sunsets and books! How Grand a time!

Oh, how lucky am I. My fabulous husband sent me away. Yes, I said sent me away this past weekend. It was part of a wonderful Christmas offering that I was somewhat reluctant to take him up on. The going away meant the first time I wasn't going to be without my wee one since she was born. Plus, she is too dang funny at times to miss out on. Anyway, I left the wee one in the trusted hands of my husband and headed south to visit an old friend whose father lived next to mine for 44 years and they both passed away within months of each other this past year. Plus, I got to spend a few days on this glorious beach with my mom and just READ. I used to visit this same beach for years with both of my parents before I became so smitten with my husband.

What you see here are two of the beautiful sunsets that I enjoyed. These were taken right outside the place I was staying at on the beach. This one is at low low tide (my nautical term) where you can see the shells digging down in the sand for cover until the tide comes back in.I was able to enjoy this scenery for three nights before I boarded the plane and headed home with weeping eyes and dripping nose from the allergies that infest many of the Floridian residents. Unfortunately, the same wasn't true for my mom who is spending the entire week she is allergy resistent, but developed a nasty head cold instead.

Now, as I return to motherhood I am renewed and actually do not mind the stacks of laundry, dishes, constantly dirty floors, household repairs, bills to pay, meals to prepare and general stay-at-home-mom duties, which I love that I get to do my way. And, I get to read lots and lots of books to my wee one everyday and listen to her laugh and laugh as well as see my husband's handsome face. What else could a girl ask for? Ah, maybe another weekend in 6 months for good behavior?

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