Book Nook: A Jar Full of Change and a Chair

When Lily was about a year old, give or take, I took an empty pickle jar and slapped a label on it that said “College Fund.” I was ridiculed for my naivety. But for three years, Ed and I put our change in that jar until it was full, and then we filled another jar to the brim as well. They sat on Ed’s dresser for a while because of our laziness. Finally, a couple of weeks ago, I took both jars to the bank.

The magic number? $303.56! We saved one hundred dollars a year! I divided the money between the girls’ savings and put that jar on the counter to start filling up again.

I had been thinking about this book three years ago when I was scrounging around the kitchen for a jar. I think I ate the rest of the pickles just to have one big enough!

A Chair for My Mother (25th Anniversary Edition) (Reading Rainbow Book) A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

rating: 5 of 5 stars
When Rosa and her mother come home one day, they discover the house they share with Rosa’s grandmother has burned down. Fortunately, they are all safe. Unfortunately, all their possessions are gone. Rosa’s mother brings home a huge jar from the restaurant where she works as a waitress, and all the change from her tips go into that jar. Eventually, the jar is filled to the top, which is enough to buy a comfortable chair for them all to enjoy.

A Chair for My Mother helps us all appreciate our family, hard work, and also that favorite chair in the living room!

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Book Nook: My Favorite Time to Read

When Ed and I brought Lily home from the hospital, she screamed all night long. Literally. It was horrible. I thought she had colic, and that our life would be a living wreck. Around 4:00 a.m., we finally broke down and Ed gave Lily a bottle of formula. I was devastated; I was determined to breastfeed, but my milk was slow to come in after the cesarean, and Lily could only nurse from one breast.

The next day, we took Lily to see the pediatrician. We had gotten no sleep, and were desperate. The doctor didn’t seem to think Lily had colic, and she told me that I could use the time nursing to catch up on my reading. Brilliant!

We were terrified as evening came. We decided to have Ed give her a bottle right before bed. It worked, and Lily did not scream all night. I did get up with her about every two hours to nurse, but that one bottle of formula made all the difference; it filled Lily’s tummy enough for her to sleep, and I was able to get the rest I needed to produce enough milk for Lily the rest of the night. After two months, I was able to nurse Lily exclusively.

Nursing my babies was my time to read. I read dozens of novels while sitting in the glider, rocking and cradling my girls. Now, my time is almost up. Emmy will be 18 months old soon, and I have been trying to wean her. She is most likely our last baby, and I am very sad to give up breastfeeding. Due to my history of breast cancer, however, I need to get a mammogram. To get the best picture possible, the breast center I use will not give me a mammogram while I am nursing. I am so conflicted; I love nursing, and yet I know I need to take care of myself. Emmy is old enough now; she is a good eater and likes cow’s milk, so it is time. But there goes my time to read!

I finished Beautiful Lies and its sequel Sliver of Truth while nursing Emmy.

Beautiful Lies: A Novel Beautiful Lies: A Novel by Lisa Unger

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lisa Unger keeps the plot moving along, and it was an entertaining story. Some of it was pretty predictable, though. The main character had some philosophical “thoughts” which were okay some of the time, but other times drove me nuts! At the end, Ridley waxes on about “There are no villains here. Not really. If you think about it, there are no true villains in life.” So the people who were chasing you and trying to kill you and probably killed others are not villains? I can think of plenty of real villains. Just read the daily newspaper!

Besides that complaint, I would read her other books. She does have an interesting writing style.

Sliver of Truth: A Novel Sliver of Truth: A Novel by Lisa Unger

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ridley is back and more tenacious than ever. We learn more about her mysterious Uncle Max and her moody boyfriend Jake in this novel. Secrets are flying left and right, and lead to a thrilling conclusion. Ridley is philosophical once more, and more realistic. During a moment when Death teases Ridley, she thinks, “I suspect that grief is worse than death. When someone you love has died, it’s almost impossible to get your head around it.”(p. 211) How true. When she covers some unpleasant truths, she tells us, “Many people believe that evil is the presence of something. I think it’s the absence of something.” (p. 230)

I enjoyed Sliver of Truth more than Beautiful Lies, but I think if I hadn’t read Beautiful Lies first, my enjoyment of this book would have been less. Lisa Unger has hooked me, and her next book is now on my “to read” shelf!
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