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books, (“The Secret Garden,” “Today I Will”) books, (“The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner,” “Twilight: The Graphic Novels”), and more books (“A Little Princess,” more friggin’ “Twilight”) and paperwork, my new BFF

July 10th, 2010

Reading this week:

I will do anything not to fill out this paperwork. So far, for the sole purpose of avoiding paperwork, I have…

* vacuumed
* broken the vacuum cleaner
* messed around on the computer
* broken the computer 3 or 4 times, i lose count
* signed the kids up for swim lessons
* took them to taekwondo a bunch
* cooked
* baked
* cleaned
* did all the laundry daily
* went swimming
* gardened
* changed the sheets on all the beds, even the guest bed, which truthfully? didn’t need changing
* paid bills, visited with neighbors, talked on the phone too much, got myself to the dentist, made dental appointments for the kids, made an eye doctor appointment for myself, applied for jobs, ordered a Kindle online, invited kids over to play every day, did the grocery shopping and…
* actually got about 2/3 of the way through The Paperwork and Various Requirements.

Now let’s get to those books. Wacky Girl is reading “The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner” and you know how I feel about Friggin’ Twilight so no, I don’t think it’s getting a review. She also read “Twilight: The Graphic Novel.” I’m sure they’re both bloodthirsty and good.

As a kid, I read (and re-read) Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “A Little Princess” a load of times. I was often forced to cook and clean, and used to fancy myself (in my enormous, clean, and well-appointed upstairs bedroom — a room that stretched the entire length of the house, yes it did) as poor little Sara Crewe. Indentured servitude sucks doesn’t it? I type this as my children are folding and putting away their own laundry. Bitch mother, writing, writing…

But I never read “The Secret Garden.” (I was inspired to read it after finishing “After You.” The book plays a prominent role in the novel. You know — the whole book-within-a-book thing.) We were at Annie Bloom’s yesterday, my old favorite bookstore in Southwest Portland, and found this delicious new release of “The Secret Garden,” with new illustrations by Inga Moore. It is so good. My daughter and I are reading it aloud together, alternating between pages. Ah, summer. Ah, paperwork, okay I need to wrap this up.

The Spinellis, Eileen and Jerry, rocked it with this book we also picked up yesterday — “Today I Will: A Year of Quotes, Notes, and Promises to Myself.” Wacky Girl found it and claimed it, but this is one for the whole family to enjoy. Affirmations, but with a twist. Book recommendations, quotes, thoughts on how to live a better life, and suggestions on how to lively things up. To wit:

“She had eyes in the the back of her heart.” — “A Year Down Yonder,” by Richard Peck

“Isn’t that a nice phrase? It reminds us that vision is not limited to the eyes in the head, nor even the front of the heart. It reminds us that no one’s hurt is too small, no worry too removed, no blessing so elusive that it cannot be seen by the eyes in the back of the human heart.”

“As I am being watched by unseen eyes, I am reminded that I, too, have unseen eyes, eyes that can see the pain behind a smile, the fear in bravado, the affection in a criticism. Today I will open all of my eyes.”

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