finished reading

I'm going to start with the author's afterward: she deliberately wrote Amanda to be fully physically and hormonally transitioned, very feminine, extremely pretty, and always attracted to men. She also writes that whatever the reader's gender identity is, that it's ok. Amanda's story is just a story, not a handbook for transition. The author created a character with universal appeal.

I really liked Amanda's voice. I liked Amanda's friends. And her parents. I will recommend it to my students.

From the publisher:
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won't be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

finished reading

I'm so excited about this book! I was drawn into the story by the end of the first chapter. Then the second chapter had me flipping pages at break-neck speed! It's a sister story.

From the publisher:
Every child prodigy grows up eventually. For the Promise sisters, escaping their mother's narcissism and the notoriety that came with her bestselling book hasn't been easy. Minerva Promise claimed that her three "test tube" daughters--gifted pianist Joanie, artistic Meg, and storyteller Avery--were engineered and molded to be geniuses. In adulthood, their modest lives fall far short of her grand ambitions. But now, twenty years after the book's release, she hopes to redeem herself by taking part in a new documentary.

Meg, who hasn't picked up a paintbrush in years, adamantly refuses to participate, until a car accident leaves her with crushing medical bills. While she recuperates in Seattle, the three sisters reluctantly meet with filmmaker Hal Seeger, another former prodigy. Like them, he's familiar with the weight of failed potential. But as he digs deeper, he uncovers secrets they've hidden from each other--and a revelation that will challenge their beliefs, even as it spurs them to forge their own extraordinary lives at last.

saturday 9

Don't Sleep in the Subway

1) Subways can be bright and noisy. Do you need it dark and quiet before you can fall asleep? not especially

2) In this song, Petula encourages her lover to talk it out instead of walking out. Do you usually remain reasonable during a disagreement? I don't often have disagreements, so... I guess it depends on with whom I am disagreeing

3) Petula was a child star in England during WWII. Her BBC broadcasts were very popular with the British troops, who nicknamed her The Singing Sweetheart. Soldiers pasted her photo onto their tanks for luck as they went into battle. Do you have any little rituals or good luck charms that calm/comfort you when you're afraid? I have daily routines that I stick to, I suppose that's the same thing

4) Now 84, she recently told London's Daily Mail that she's surprised and thrilled to have found love again with a new man. Do you believe you'll ever be too old for romance? I don't think I'll ever be too old, no

5) Her family is far flung. She lives in London, her middle daughter is in Paris, her son is in Los Angeles and her oldest daughter lives in New York with Petula's two grandchildren. Who is your nearest friend or relative? Which one is farthest away? my oldest sister lives around the block and my Virginia sister is about a 20 hour drive away

6) In 1967, when this song was popular, Rolling Stone published its first issue. John Lennon was on the cover. Publisher Jann Wenner reports that, either individually or as a group, the members of The Beatles have appeared on the most Rolling Stone covers. What's the first Beatle song that comes to mind? "Yellow Submarine" it is not my favorite, but it's the first that pops into my head

7) In 1967, Star Trek was in its second season on NBC. Who is your favorite Star Trek character? Scotty (I liked his accent)

8) RANDOM QUESTION: When you slip into jeans or slacks, which foot do you put in first? left

9) As you considered #8, did you mime pulling on your pants? I didn't have to, I do everything left side first


it will never end...


Staycation is almost over. Today was my first opportunity to sleep in--and I did! The week has flown by--where has it gone?? I mean, I know I was in Central Maine for a couple days but the rest of the week is just... gone!

I had to do some adulting this week. I finally convinced my car dealer service department that my front windows are not frozen. And I had to make sure that the warranty covered it, too, and I might have been a bit snarky when I said this is the third time I've mentioned it. Finally, the part is going to be replaced on Tuesday. But I had to stand firm that the warranty covers it.

That's when I decided I need a personal assistant or a butler. Someone to manage those adult details for me. Because they stress me out. I wish I wasn't broke.

the friday 56

The Friday 56

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that's ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it)
*Post it.

I'm reading The Whole Town's Talking

In big cities, neighbors are nice to say hello to or maybe socialize with once in a while, but in small Missouri farming communities, neighbors are very much more important than that. You depended on them for your very survival. It didn't matter if you liked some more than others. They were your neighbors. And in Lordor's community, considering they had all come from different places, and even the Swedish had come from many parts of Sweden, they were a pretty harmonious group.


booking through thursday

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What’s the last book that made you spring to your feet, eager to spread the word and tell everyone how much you enjoyed it? From the archives.

The book I'm reading now: The Promise Girls by Marie Bostwick is one I've been raving about--it's unputdownable!



unraveled wednesday

I'm sad that Ginny @ Yarn Along has stopped hosting. But I'm happy that Kat @ AsKatKnits has picked up the mantle!

Here I am starting a new project--I've got everything picked out and am about ready to cast on! I'm going to knit the Timber Trail Hat in Wool of the Andes Superwash and I'm listening to If I Was Your Girl, which I will start this evening or tomorrow.

w.w.w. wednesday

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words.

• What are you currently reading? I'm reading The Promise Girls by Marie Bostwick, and at school: The Strategic Teacher by Harvey Silver and listening to Superficial by Andy Cohen and If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo.

• What did you recently finish reading? I finished Bellweather Rhapsody by Kate Racculia and The Sherlockian by Graham Moore.

• What do you think you’ll read next? The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg for my May book group selection.


ten things tuesday

1. I'm in Central Maine.

2. I got to spend time at my happy place (photographed here).

3. Mexican food!

4. A hotel stay.

5. No rushing.

6. Vacation week is the best.

7. An informational session on Maine Employees Retirement. I'm not eligible until I'm 62. Drat!

8. It didn't rain on the 3+ hour drive, although I did wake up to snow. And the farther south I got, the more it cleared.

9. I wore spring clothes today and didn't need a jacket.

10. Did I mention that I went to a real bookstore? And touched many books?



I finally saw some robins! A sure sign of spring.

musing mondays

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Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• I’m currently reading…
• Up next I think I’ll read…
• I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
• I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
• I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
• I can’t wait to get a copy of…
• I wish I could read ___, but…
• I blogged about ____ this past week…

This week’s random question: Do you have a favorite time of day to read?

I love reading anytime! But, I find myself reading at night most nights. Sometimes I'll start reading immediately after the evening news.

finished reading

It's a mystery, a ghost story, a coming-of-age story, and a romance set at a state-wide high school music festival that is snowed in by a record-breaking blizzard at a shabby, run-down major hotel.

From the publisher:
A high school music festival goes awry when a young prodigy disappears from a hotel room that was the site of a famous murder/suicide fifteen years earlier, in a whip-smart novel sparkling with the dark and giddy pop culture pleasures of "The Shining," Agatha Christie, and "Glee"

The playlist:


sunday stealing

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The Place for Pumpkin Questions

1. If "happiness" was the global currency, what kind of work would make you a gazillionaire? something in education

2. Would you break the law to save someone you loved? And, if so, how far would you be willing to take it? yes, and it depends on the circumstances--I can't think of a scenario right off the top of my head but I would probably break the law to save someone I love

3. Is it possible to really know the truth without questioning it first? yes

4. Do you remember that one time . . . oh, about 5 years ago or so . . . when you were really, really upset? Does it really matter now? If not now, then when? it's not often that I get really, really upset--so it was significant at the time

5. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil? no

6. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you? I would let the running commentary in my head come out my mouth at faculty meetings

7. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing? I already have more work that I actually enjoy doing

8. Would you rather be an anxious genius, or a tranquil fool? an anxious genius

9. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things? not really either

10. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? people frequently mistake me for being in my 30s


PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard. I like to post one that speaks to me each week.