Monday, November 26, 2018

Books & Such

Good Monday morning.

So, first, I am fine. I don't want to talk about the game. The Tigers finished the regular season with fewer losses than I expected back in August, & they defeated Georgia, something I admittedly once thought impossible. The SEC West is a tough place to play football. A sighted person might be tempted to claim the SEC needs to send their officials to some sort of Referee Camp, but I am putting the whole thing behind me. 

As I told some fellow college football enthusiasts last night, if I could pick the four teams I'd like to see fill the playoff slots, I believe I'd go with Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, & probably Oklahoma. At this point this is not possible since Notre Dame cakewalked through their patsy schedule & won't play in a conference title game since, you know, they're too good to play in a conference. So, Notre Dame is in; Alabama is in (even if they lose the SEC title game to Georgia); Clemson is, I believe, in regardless of the outcome of their conference title game, & so that leaves one spot. I'd like to see that go to Georgia, but for that to happen Georgia has to defeat Alabama next Saturday for the SEC crown. I don't think they will, but I'd love to see it happen. If Georgia loses to Alabama next Saturday, which I believe would dash any chance of Georgia making the playoffs, I'd prefer Oklahoma to any other outlier for the final playoff spot. They have an explosive offense, & that always makes for a fun game. I also believe they play in one of college football's more competitive conferences, & I do think things like strength of schedule should mean something when these decisions are made. 

Moving right along, we had a wonderful week last week. I didn't take a lot of pictures. Actually the only picture from Thanksgiving Day I can share with you was taken by my cousin Jennifer & features cousins Maisie & Marykate with Henry.

Of note, I saw two movies last week, & I recommend you see both of them. The kids & I  joined my mom, my sister, my Aunt Donna, & a host of cousins to see The Grinch last Tuesday. It is just perfect. I may take the kids to see it again if we can squeeze it in between now & Christmas. Michael, my three-year-old nephew who is not known for being still, sat quietly through the entire film. It is well done, features a lot of Christmas music, & has a positive message that isn't laced with anything sinister or political. 

I also saw Instant Family with my mom Friday night. Whew. This film is based on the true story of a couple who decides to become foster parents. They initially take an interest in a teenage girl who is in the foster system, & then they learn she has two younger siblings (also in the foster system). The movie details the process of the siblings & their foster (later adoptive) parents becoming, well, a family. You will cry. You will learn a little bit about the foster system. You will leave with heavy thoughts. You will cry some more. There is a little language, just FYI, but I highly recommend seeing the film.

Since today is Cyber Monday, I plan to rattle off a list of things you might want to consider purchasing online, but first I have one more recommendation for your viewing pleasure. A friend recommended I watch the Netflix documentary The Keepers. It's a seven-episode documentary about a Catholic nun who was murdered in the late sixties. For years her murder was unsolved. The documentary features a handful of her former students (she was teaching English at a Catholic high school when she disappeared) who decide they want to investigate her murder. Their investigation takes them down a long, winding road that reveals a web of sin & corruption that pervaded their Catholic high school. Now, I warn you, this is not a feel-good documentary, but it is very interesting. I stayed up way too late several nights last week watching all seven one-hour episodes. If you're a documentary person, this is one you might want to put on your to-watch list. 

So, as promised here are four things you might want to consider purchasing online today or at some point in the near future. 

First, for the ladies: I recently did something bold & ordered a pair of boots online. These are Sole Society boots, & the brave aspect of this story is that I've never before owned a pair of Sole Society boots. I am pretty attached to my shoe brands, especially when buying online, but I heard good things about this brand & loved the look of their boots, so I took a leap of faith. 

---> This link takes you to Nordstrom's Sole Society listings. Nordstrom has some markdowns today, but you can click here & order from Sole Society & get 30% off the Verona, a cute pull-on boot with some faux fur. These are identical to the pair I ordered (mine are the Natasha) except for the faux fur. I believe all their boots are 30% off today if you order from the Sole Society website. I've found them to be true-to-size. I am a ten, & the ten I ordered fit me perfectly. 

My final recommendations are all books (of course). 

My friend Kristen is probably the healthiest, most organized (& calmest) person I know, & she's written a book most of us probably need to read & apply.

Click here to check our her website, or you can click here to get her book directly from Amazon. 

The second book I'm featuring today was also written by a friend. Cleve & I attended grad school together. Total strangers at first, we quickly got to know each other over the course of two years during which we were forced to complete countless group projects & presentations. If you can walk away from a group project & still call someone a friend, you know you've found a true friend. Cleve & I share a love of memes, & we both teach speech courses for local universities & frequently commiserate about the woes that come with that territory. 

Cleve has written & published a children's book that is absolutely adorable. He sent me a copy as a thanks for helping him iron out some of the details before publication. His plan is to publish a series about the kids in Mrs. Coats's class, each book featuring a different member of the class. Ida Spider Billy Goat Rider is Book I, & it features Ida & her billy goat dealing with playground bullying. You can purchase a copy from Cleve by clicking here. Get a copy for the kids in your life who probably need to read more. 

The third & final book on today's list is one I just ordered for Reagan. Colby's Not-So-Scary Book About T1D: One Kid's Story of Type 1 Diabetes was written by a local mom who homeschools her kids, one of whom is a Type 1 diabetic (he did the illustrations!). 

When 6-year-old Colby suddenly becomes very sick and is taken to the doctor, he is scared to learn he has a disease called Type 1 diabetes. How will this news change things for Colby? Will he have to give up everything he loves? Will his friends still want to play with him? Kids who have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes can follow Colby's real-life journey with T1D. They will find encouragement from and connection with Colby as he learns to manage his disease. And they, too, will learn that being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes isn't as scary as it first seems.

Click here to order a copy of this from Amazon.

As always, if you order a book from Amazon & you love it, leave a review. Reviews drive a lot of things on Amazon where books are concerned. Even if you just say, "I loved it," that's fine. You don't have to write an essay. Even if you say, "It was just okay," that's still a review. It's not the content of the reviews that counts on Amazon but rather the sheer number of reviews. 

A few housekeeping notes now & I will leave you to your online shopping. Last week I discovered Wal-Mart is selling Dear Miss Moreau online. You can find it here; it's $17.26. Sadly the Amazon price has gone back up. I wanted the price drop to be permanent, so I'm going to have to check into that. It is $13.99 at Barnes & Noble online, & the listing says it qualifies for free shipping; that's the lowest price available for a paperback at the moment. 

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. As you begin to mark names off your Christmas list, consider purchasing one of the books above & support local authors (I mean including yours truly if you feel so led). Alternatively, maybe consider buying yourself a new pair of boots because that's never a bad decision. 

December looms. We have nearly all of our Christmas decor up, though the house is in no shape for me to be taking pictures to share with you all. At the moment I plan to continue blogging throughout December. I say "at the moment" because December is just insane. There are the usual holiday happenings, of course, but my dad, Reagan, & Trey all have December birthdays. Trey is turning forty next month; I may need a whole blog to work through that. What I do promise to give you at some point in December are the Dear Miss Moreau excerpts/extras I mentioned a month or so ago. I realize this interests maybe only four or five of you, but I want the four or five of you to be happy, & I did say I would share it. It's basically some extra stuff that didn't make it in the final copy of the book along with the beginning of a sequel. It's set right after the book ends, so it's Christmastime & now feels like a good time to reread it, get it in shape, & share it. I don't want my words to be a total waste, read only by me, so for anyone wanting a teeny bit more of Edie & Dr. Foster, stay tuned. 

Have a wonderful week, & I will, the Lord willing, see you in December. 


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