Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reading: The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield was an AMAZING book!  This book caught me by surprise by being SO wonderful! (The last book club selection was not wonderful at all... One Hundred Years of Solitude... zzzz.)

From the opening phrases I was hooked.  The writing was rich and vibrant.  The words were picturesque and full of life.  I found myself being swept away on a compelling adventure and I could not put this book down. (I considered making my boys miss their soccer practice so I could stay home and continue reading... but luckily for them my urge to be a good parent slightly outweighed my need to read.  Fortunately books are great companions at meals and in the bath!)

The main character, Margaret Lea, is such a fascinating character, not only because of the details given in the story, but also because of details that were absent.  Although Miss Lea has a birthday we never really discover how old she is.  I would like to think that the author made her this way on purpose in order to help  a reader slip into her character more easily.  She is just a woman about to hear the story of a lifetime.

I am fond of mysteries, but this book wasn't just a mystery novel.  It was a multi-mystery novel.  There were so many lovely little pieces waiting to be "figured out" that I was kept constantly busy guessing where the next clue would take me.

I won't say anything more, as I don't want to spoil this book for you, as I HIGHLY recommend you go and read it for yourself right away!

Happy reading and have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.



Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was an Oprah book club choice. Normally I would consider that a good indicator of something great to come! Not this time!  This book was SO boring!  I literally fell asleep about 20 times reading this book. It was frustrating because I kept looking for something that would make this book so popular.  There must be something special in there somewhere, right?  Well... I was the only one in my book club that could even finish the book!  Even though I finished reading it, I did not find a redeeming epiphany, some reason that this book would be considered special... so I would NOT recommend this book!

Unless you need a nap!

Have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Reading: The Hippopotamus

The book club I attend chose The Hippopotamus by Stephen Fry.  It was hard for me to get into this book at first.  The writing was uncomfortable and not my typical reading style, but as I ploughed forward things started to change.  I became interested in the story that was being told.  I became more comfortable with the writing style as I got to know the characters.

The main character is a rude, grumpy, old journalist named Ted Wallace.  He is tasked with unearthing information about what is happening at Swafford Hall when people are miraculously "cured" of what ails them.

At times I found myself laughing, grimacing and completely disgusted.  But even through the awkward parts of this book I found myself compelled to keep reading.  I had to know where this story would take me.  I was very satisfied by the ending.  Everything tied up quite nicely with a sweet little surprise at the end.

Even though I was satisfied with the ending of the book, and I got into the story, I don't think I would recommend this book.  It had some seriously disturbing content, and I thought that overall it was a pretty good book, but not something I would read again.

Have a whimsically wonderful day!
Alice.





Monday, October 18, 2010

Finding Happiness...

Happiness.  It's a funny thing.  When I'm happy I take it for granted, that things will always be like this.  But when things change, and I find myself clouded with unhappy feelings, I get frustrated.  I know that I have an amazing life!  We have so many advantages and wonderful things that SHOULD make me happy.  And I can't explain to myself why I could possibly be unhappy.  So what do I do about it?

Firstly, I give myself permission to wallow.  For a short time.  Possibly a whole afternoon spent lying in bed.  Not even trying to be happy, just letting myself feel that misery.  Allowing myself to feel unhappy FOR AWHILE reminds me that I don't have to be happy all of the time.  It reminds me that I am human.

Once I have had time to truly feel unhappy I start looking for things to change my mood.  My first instinct is to surround myself with people that I enjoy being around.  But although this provides me temporary relief, this doesn't work for me long term... I need the happiness to come from within.  So I start looking for the small things.

The small moments of beauty.
The small moments of pleasure.
The small moments of joy.
The small moments of love.
The small moments of happiness.

I have an Endless Pool.  It is a small pool that has a current that you swim against.  I LOVE to swim.  This is one of those things that SHOULD make me happy.  Mostly it does.  Today I discovered that there is a small moment where I experience pure joy.   After half an hour the current turns off automatically.  I just love that unexpected burst of power that I feel as I propel myself through the now still water.  I LOVE this moment!  Not because I'm finished swimming.  Instead it is because of how powerful I feel for that moment... roughly 5 seconds.  If I can find joy and happiness in those 5 seconds, think of how many opportunities for happiness I have in a whole hour, or a day!

So my new mission:  To Find the Happiness in the Everyday Small Moments.

What's making you happy today?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Attitude Adjustment

When my kids are grumpy, ungrateful and negative it really bothers me.  We have an amazing life!  We are truly spoiled by our wonderful life here in Canada.  When we need a little reality check I try to remind the boys of some ways in which their life is wonderful.  But how do you halt the negativity before they become immersed in it?  I saw this poster the other day and I loved the message:  That you are responsible for your own happiness!  



I plan on printing this and putting it somewhere we can be reminded of it often!