Decluttering challenge, day 15

I decided to get with it last night and quickly gather the 15 items I would need for today’s challenge.  I walked back into my spare room, thinking I’d dig through the closet again.  Then I saw one of the book shelves.  Mmm hmm…I know I can find some books to get rid of.  I went to the hall closet and picked up a plastic bag and headed back into the spare room.

Of course, in my mind, I have been planning to sell some of my books, at least the ones that are in good condition.  So I didn’t even look at those.  Instead, I gravitated toward the books I’d purchased used, deciding to make a quick trip to Goodwill with those.  I didn’t even give this a lot of thought.  Didn’t page through the books.  Didn’t deliberate, didn’t question whether or not I might want to read each book again.  I was quickly able to gather the 15 books I needed, then decided to go ahead and pick up another 10.  A grand total of 25 books will be dropped off at Goodwill when I get off work today.

Books, books, and more books

Books, books, and more books

Anyone interested in the number of items I’ve managed to let go of in 15 days?  Well, I’ll tell you anyhow.  In 15 days, I’ve eliminated 152 items from my home.  Not too shabby, huh?  Now in the interest of honesty, I didn’t even consider getting rid of books by my favorite authors.  I don’t know about you, but I often reread books that I particularly like.  How about it?  Do you have favorite authors or books that you just won’t let go of?

The Litigators

All 24 John Griham novels as of June 30, 2010

Image via Wikipedia

“The Litigators” is the latest John Grisham novel.  Well, actually it won’t be released until October 25, but I just found out tonight that a free copy is on its way to me as we speak (or as I write and you read, however you want to look at it).  I’m getting the free book simply because I’m a BzzAgent and have created a buzz about John Grisham and one of his books that I’m reading and reviewing, “The Firm”.  That’s a pretty nice perk for doing something that I enjoy anyhow. 

What a pleasant surprise after a long, hard day at work.  It really does pay to be a BzzAgent.  If you get the chance, check it out.  And I’m looking forward to reading “The Litigators”  and giving you all of the buzz on it.

Do I need a Kindle?

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

Sheesh..I know I don’t NEED a Kindle, but I sure do want one.  I’m an avid reader, have been my entire life.  But now I’m trying to declutter my life…trying to get rid of things I don’t use or enjoy…trying to really think things through before I make a purchase.  I guess that’s kind of what I’m doing here…trying to make sure this is something I would truly use.

I have several friends who have Kindles (or other e-readers).  They all talk about how much they love them.  Would I love one?  I pretty much think I would, but do I need one?  I don’t need it, I know I don’t, but I believe I would get a lot of use and enjoyment out of one. I’ve been researching them, seems like there are quite a few options now that weren’t available just a couple of years ago.  So not only do I need to decide whether or not to buy a Kindle, but which one…decisions, decisions…

I have to admit, the thought of buying one for myself for Christmas (don’t tell me I’m the only person who buys Christmas presents for herself?  Come on, at least you know you’re getting something you want that way) has been in my mind frequently of late.

What do you think?  Do you have a Kindle or other e-reader?  Do you get a lot of use out of it?  Are you happy you got one or is it sitting there collecting dust?

New BzzAgent campaign…Grisham

I was invited to take part in a new BzzAgent campaign.  I have to tell you, I was really excited about this one.  I was given the choice of two Grisham books…The Firm and The Confession.  Now many of you may already know, I just posted a blog about The Confession not that long ago.  So that made choosing which book to receive, read, and review just a little easier. 

I received The Firm yesterday.  It was just sitting on my front porch waiting for me when I got home from work.  Of course, I ripped open the package as soon as I brought it in to the house.  There’s nothing like having a new, never-opened book to read. 

Yes, I have read The Firm, many years ago.  I was surprised to learn that this is the 20th anniversary edition of the book.  It certainly doesn’t seem like I’ve been reading Grisham’s books for twenty years, but there you go.  The numbers don’t lie!

I’ve never read a Grisham book that I didn’t like, but I’m anxious to see if The Firm is as enjoyable the second time around.  I’m thinking it most likely will be, I doubt if it’s lost anything over the years.  How exciting is it to be able to do a review about something that you love (reading, Grisham, books)?  I love these BzzAgent campaigns!

Stay tuned for my review once I’ve read the book again.  Have you read The Firm?  More than once? 

The Confession by John Grisham


Image via Wikipedia

I finished this book in less than two days.  It was that good.  I am a Grisham fan, but I think this may be his best book to date.  It’s possible I feel that way because I have such strong feelings about the subject matter of the book.  That subject is the death penalty.  Yes, this is controversial.   Many people have strong opinions, both proponents and opponents.  I’m no different.  My belief that the death penalty should be abolished isn’t based on any kind of religious views (although, if “thou shalt not kill” applies to people, it should also apply to our government), not because of any sympathy for murderers or rapists, but instead, it’s based on the simple question, “What if you’re wrong?  What if this person is innocent and you execute an innocent person?  How do you remedy that?”

The Confession actually had me in tears.  The story is about a young man wrongly accused and convicted of murdering a female classmate.  From the beginning, the reader understands that the young man did not commit the crime.  I think that made his suffering, sitting on death row awaiting his execution, all the more poignant.  Imagine knowing you were innocent and not being able to get anyone to believe you.  Seeing all of your appeals run their course, knowing that your execution date is getting closer and closer, and not being able to do anything to stop it.

I won’t divulge the entire story, but I will say that this book raises a lot of questions about the death penalty in our country, particularly in Texas, where they sort of have assembly line executions…very few people on death row (and face it, most of the people who are on death row are poor minorities..when was the last time you saw a wealthy white man executed anywhere?) are ever granted a stay of execution. 

The book also raised the question of why so many Christians are in favor of the death penalty.  That’s a question I’ve often asked myself, along with what would Jesus do in regards to the death penalty?  I find it difficult to believe that he would be in favor of it.  Don’t let that stop you from reading it, it’s not overly religious, but it does make you think.

I would hope that thousands upon thousands of people will read this book and question their beliefs about the death penalty, along with the really big question…what if you’re wrong, what if you execute an innocent man?


Sizzling Sixteen…summer reading fun

The Great Seal of the State of New Jersey.

Image via Wikipedia

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love to read.  I’ll read just about anything I can get my hands on, but I do have several authors who are my favorites.  One of those authors is Janet Evanovich.  She’s the author of the fun-to-read Stephanie Plum novels.  If you’re looking for something to stimulate you intellectually, these probably aren’t going to fit the bill.  But if you’re looking for books that will have you laughing out loud, look no further.

I’ve read the full series (with the exception of the latest, just released in hard back, seventeenth in the series.  I’ll wait until it comes out in paperback, no offense, Ms Evanovich, but I tend to be just a tad frugal.).  The book I just finished reading is Sizzling Sixteen

Stephanie is a Jersey girl bounty hunter, although, even she would admit it, not the most adept bounty hunter in New Jersey (or anywhere else, for that matter).  She’s cute and funny, lives in a small apartment with her hamster, Rex, works for her cousin Vinnie (a bail bonds agent), is in on- again, off-again love with Morelli (a gorgeous hunk of a cop) and is in lust with the primo bounty hunter, Ranger (hot and dangerous).

In Sizzling Sixteen, Stephanie has to rescue Vinnie, who has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom until his gambling debts are paid.  Stephanie, along with her co-workers Lulu (a plus-sized former ho’ turned file clerk) and Connie (office manager and Jersey girl through and through), stumble along trying to find and rescue Vinnie.  They end up encountering an attack alligator in an apartment, big guys with big guns, explosions, car crashes (Stephanie is hell on cars..she’s destroyed more cars than I’ve owned), funny bad guys and dangerous bad guys all while consuming more than their fair share of donuts and fried chicken.  And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the underlying sexual tension between Stephanie and both Morelli and Ranger…whew, hard for a girl to choose between those two…

I don’t want to give anything away…suffice it to say, there were times I was laughing aloud at the antics of Stephanie and Lulu.  And that’s just the escape I’m looking for during the hot, sizzling days of summer…