Lately I’ve been addicted to audiobooks. It’s nice to have something to focus on when you’re stuck in traffic or doing the dishes or binding a quilt. At the same time, I’ve been a little let down by my reading selection. I know I should look back to what others recommended before, but I need a sure fire winner. I’m looking for not just something that you think I might like, I’m talking your favorite book, or one that just blew your mind.

On the other hand, even if I don’t like a book as much as I’d hoped, I’ve been enjoying rating and reviewing things on Goodreads. There I can actually give reason behind why I didn’t like a book or why I did, plus others’ reviews help me choose my next book.

Of the books I recently listened to above, I enjoyed The Red Garden and Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I am a big fan of Alice Hoffman so The Red Garden was easy to love. Quiet was really interesting, especially as a person who is extremely introverted. It highlighted all the talents of introverted people, but it didn’t really lend any advice to fitting in to the real world. Mostly I really enjoyed learning the history of how extroversion became popularized in American culture.

On the other end of the spectrum, I hated A Discovery of Witches. I only got this one because it was on sale and seemed decent but it was awful all the way through. It grosses me out how mediocre writing is celebrated these days. I demand new ideas! I demand editing! I’m only posting this book as a warning so you do not make the same mistake I did.

I also tried out two books by Jeffrey Eugenides. I have always been a fan of The Virgin Suicides so when The Marriage Plot was released I thought I’d give it a go. I suppose these days I’m maybe too aware of feminist issues for this book to work for me. I wonder if this book also was negatively affected for me by a mediocre audio production. Maybe I’ve just outgrown Eugenides as an author. In any case, I wasn’t a fan of this. Middlesex on the other hand was so highly recommended that I thought maybe it would cleanse my palate. It was certainly better but I think I had the wrong idea about it going in. I did really enjoy about two thirds of the novel, but there was one third that dragged on and nearly made me lose interest in the book entirely.

Ok, so what’s the most awesome of awesome books because I need a real winner right now? What do you think about audiobooks, are you a fan?

*note: affiliate links above earn me credit when you buy on amazon

books and books

blackbird house

There’s nothing like getting totally lost in a book. I have a little bit of a book problem, in which I want to compulsively buy books. I refrain mostly, but it’s my one shopping weakness. Some people like shoes or dvds. I like books.

It’s been less of a problem since I got my kindle, since I will only purchase a new book when I finish the one I’m currently reading. I take the darn thing with me everywhere. Best part, no more filling up space on my bookshelves, which are stacked double deep.

Except for cookbooks. I still have that problem.

I just finished Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman. I love her. I want to live in her books. So magical and tragic and wonderful. I need to pick the next one of hers to read.

prometheus rising

I also bought Prometheus Rising as I lost my original copy. It’s a little wacky, but I can totally get behind some of the concepts. I’m finally making Shawn read it.

So what books are you loving right now? I’m always looking for recommendations.

Handmade wedding invitations

One of the biggest projects I undertook for our wedding was making the invitations. I had a crazy idea that this would somehow be simple, despite a multi-step binding process, even though I’d never actually bound a book before. I just knew I could do it. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

lots of cardboard cuttingEvery book started as a sheet of board precisely measured and cut.

making the booksThen each piece was placed and glued to an assortment of colored papers.

enlisted invitation elvesAt this point I got some help from my friend’s Jannatha and Kyle.

sewing paperFor the inside pages, Shawn and I bought a few vintage book plates with images of animals, which we scanned and laid out in our book. We chose a lot of owls and birds. I wrote small stories about us and wove it into the information about the actual wedding.

bindingWe had them printed at a local print shop and then I sewed the insides into the books.

fluffy helperMochi also helped.

stamping reply cardsShawn helped me stamp return envelopes for our reply cards. We were able to use the same envelopes from our save the dates.

a few completed booksI made about 90 of these books. All told it was probably 60 hours of work, but then again I wasn’t exactly keeping track.

Are you ready to see inside?

wedding invitation

invitation inside

owls wedding invitationWhile it was quite a long and arduous process, the responses that we received from guests made it all worth it. That being said, I would never do anything like it on that scale again. I wouldn’t have been able to complete them all in time without help from my friends, Shawn and my mom who helped me stamp and seal all the envelopes.

p.s. Of course I left out a few pages, so you all don’t show up at the wedding, since it hasn’t happened yet, but I’ll be sure to show them off in the end.