convos with strangers

conversations with strangers #35

i’m speaking with strangers … here’s why.

during softball warm-ups, the ball bounced short of my glove and kept rolling…

past the bench…

past the sidewalk…

and into the street…

where the cars were racing by.

i dutifully hit the crosswalk button and waited for the traffic to clear…

and waited…

and waited.

a guy on the other side of the road noticed me in my bright orange team shirt and bent down to pick up the ball from where it lay quietly against the curb.

now it was his turn to wait until the traffic cleared. it did and i held my glove up signaling i was prepared for the throw.

he threw.


the ball smacked directly into the walk/don’t walk sign above my head.

i scrambled to grab the ball before it bounced back into the street. i gathered it up and waved my thanks as he bent his red cheeks and walked away.

he didn’t say anything, but i read all the words in his blush.

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ears and imaginations

after writing THIS POST and after listening to THE WITNESS, THE SCORPIO RACES and THE GURNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY, i realized there’s one more style of reading.


whether it’s an audio book or someone’s reading aloud to you, there’s nothing quite like this style of reading. there’s something about the words floating to your brain from your ears instead of from your eyes that ignites the imagination. there’s probably a more technical definition, but i think it’s got something to do with the fact that listening requires less brain power than reading which frees up the imagination portion of the mind.

and when the narrator is good, it can really elevate a story. it’s a completely different medium than a movie, but it’s also very different than the regular act of reading. basically, however you want to classify it, i like it.

of course, we all know the original audio book was the bedtime story. snuggled under the covers with dim lighting and a soothing voice reading to you? there’s nothing like it. then again, my bedtime story cannot be of the scary variety because we all know monsters live in the shadows and i don’t want them creeping closer to my bed because they think i like to be scared, no siree. happily ever after, please!

or, well, maybe a story about these guys would be okay.

how about you? do you like audiobooks? being read to? are you an auditory learner or a visual one? does that make a difference? do you like to read aloud? can you make funny voices? how much money is there in being an audiobook narrator? is that enough of a variety of questions to get YOU to comment?

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heat wave

for the first time this summer, the temperatures are rising in the northeast and there’s not much i can do to keep cool other than sit as still as possible and read (and maybe eat ice cream and/or drink very cold beer and/or slurp down some other iced beverages and/or eat flavor ice).


where was i? oh yes, reading. here are some of the very cool books i’ve read lately…

UNDER THE NEVER SKY by veronica rossi
ENDER’S GAME by orson scott card
A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL by suzanne young
THE SINGLES by meredith goldstein
**CODE NAME VERITY by elizabeth wein
*WONDER by r.j. palacio
**THE WITNESS by nora roberts
UNRAVELING by elizabeth norris
THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE by jeff hirsch
THE SEARCH FOR WONDLA by tony diterlizzi

and here are the books i’m working on now…

WILD by cheryl strayed
LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD by tamara morgan

and thanks to the GENIUS that is kelly breakey, i’ve got THREE FATES by nora roberts on my kindle (app). i was so blown away by THE WITNESS by nora roberts that i decided she’s probably a bestselling author for a reason. i turned to kelly for some advice on which book(s) i should read next because kel’s not only a voracious reader, but gives great book recommendations when i decide to branch out of the YA genre (hello, PARADISE).

the next thing i know, i’ve got multiple emails from her. one listing four titles and another containing a download gift link to THREE FATES. what the what?!? girl is so generous and so trusting of ms. roberts’s talents, she gave me one of the books she had just recommended.

granted, this method of delivery probably had to do with the constraint that we’re not next door neighbors, but seriously, it was as heartwarming as if she’d knocked on my door and had a plate of chocolate chip cookies in one hand and THREE FATES in the other.

wait, wasn’t i trying to cool down?

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book club

BOOK HUNGRY: paradise

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, karla nellenbachand myself. we pick a book to read. we discuss via email. we post a review on our individual blogs on the same day (3rd thursday of the month). we link to each other. done. i know, genius. click on each one of their names (above) and it’ll take you to their review. browse. enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is: 

PARADISE by judith mcnaught

what it’s about from amazon: Ruthless corporate raider Matthew Farrell was poised to move in on the legendary department store empire owned by Chicago’s renowned Bancroft family. In the glare of the media spotlight, it was a stunning takeover that overshadowed the electric chemistry between Matt, once a scruffy kid from steel town Indiana, and cool, sophisticated Meredith Bancroft. Their brief, ill-fated marriage sparked with thrilling sensuality — he was the outsider who dared to rock her country club world — and ended with a bitter betrayal. Now, locked in a battle that should be all business, dangerous temptations and bittersweet memories are stirring their hearts. Will they risk everything on a passion too bold to be denied?

my opinion: this book covers many many years and includes many many characters and as such, i felt it was slow to start, but once the engine was revved up, i couldn’t stop reading it.

but first, the bad. one thing that drove me crazy about this book was the lengthy descriptions of everyone’s clothes and surroundings and such. the beginning was crowded with them and i suspect they were there to give a sense of the differences in class levels, but i found myself skimming over them whenever they came up because they didn’t add much to the story and (for me) slowed down the pace of the entire book.

and now, the good. the history between the two main characters (matt and meredith) was fierce, but so was their love. i was rooting for them the entire way through the story and man, they had some obstacles to overcome. the first obstacle was their pride and once they got past that, i figured they were home free, but oh no. mcnaught was just getting started!

but honestly, the best (and worst) part of the book was meredith’s father. he is ruthless and conniving and basically has a heart three sizes too small. it’s amazing he produced a daughter as wonderful and sophisticated and lovely as meredith. i don’t want to say too much more because this gargantuan novel is definitely worth the read, so stop reading this review and get thyself a copy!

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