Inauguration Day Memories and What Would Martin Say? Giveaway

January 20, 2009 at 8:00 am | Posted in Family, LIfe | 12 Comments
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Photograph from Jimmy Carter Library, Atlanta, Georgia

Photograph from Jimmy Carter Library, Atlanta, Georgia

On January 20, 1977, I was just over 5 years old.  I was in kindergarten that year and what I remember was the parade.  What I remember is sitting on the carpet in front of the TV in our first family home in Sparta, MI.  I am not sure if I was watching the original telecast, but I could have been because I was the morning kindergarten class.  It could have been a recast, though.  At first I enjoyed watching President and Mrs. Carter walking down Pennsylvania Ave.  Then, I got very bored of listening to all the talking and wished that I could watch something else.  Today, I think Jimmy Carter’s Inaugural Parade was perfect for him.  He was and is a down to earth, good man.  Although there had already been two presidents during my then short life, Jimmy Carter is the first I remember.  Although my memories of him as president are dark due to the Iran Hostage Crisis that was to come, I am glad to have the memory of what it was like for a very young child to watch such a parade.  Because I remember Jimmy Carter’s day, I know that Emma, my 6 year old kindergartner, will remember Barack Obama’s.

Emma is in school today and I am at work.  She may get to watch the festivities at school, but just in case I’m DVRing it for later.  I would love to sit and watch Obama’s parade with her.  She will be a member of the first generation not to know an America without an African American president.  For her and her classmates, race will not be something that will keep a man from becoming the President of the United States.  When a man can become president, a man can do anything.  I hope that we don’t have to wait for Emma to watch an inaugural parade with her oldest child before the same can be said of women.

cover-of-what-would-martin-say Happy Inauguration Day!  Please leave a comment to this post about your impressions of today’s inauguration.  What did you think of the speech?  The parade?  What do you think was the most memorable moment?  What did you children think?  All comments about the inauguration left today will qualify to win a copy of Clarence B. Jones’ book, What Would Martin Say?

What Would Martin Say? ~ Highlight and Giveaway

January 19, 2009 at 11:26 am | Posted in Books, LIfe | 10 Comments
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If ever there was a cause to celebrate Martin Luther King, it is today.  As we are about to embark upon the first African America presidency, it is apparant just how far we’ve come as a nation.

“I Have a Dream” is one of my favorite American speeches.  It never fails to give me chill bumps.


We know what MLK said, but wouldn’t it be interesting to know what he might say himself today?  Clarence Jones, a close friend, asked himself that same question and has written a book entitled, What Would Martin Say? To give you a little more information about his book, here is some information I found on the HarperCollins website:

On April 4, 1968, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, depriving the world of one of the greatest moral authorities of the twentieth century. He was thirty-nine. King had achieved so much at such a young age that it is hard to believe that he has been gone longer than the brief time he spent on this earth. He spoke out not only on segregation and racism against African Americans, but about many other issues of the day, from police brutality and labor strikes to the Vietnam War. Given the current state of the world, we would all benefit from hearing Martin’s voice, if only he were alive today. . . .

If anyone would have insight into what Martin would say, it would be Clarence B. Jones, King’s personal lawyer and one of his closest principal advisers and confidants. Jones—now seventy-seven, has chosen the occasion of this somber anniversary to break his silence—removing the mythic distance of forty years’ time to reveal the flesh-and-blood man he knew as his friend, Martin. Jones ponders what the outspoken rights leader would say about the serious issues that bedevil contemporary America: Islamic terrorism and the war in Iraq, reparations for slavery, anti-Semitism, affirmative action, illegal immigration, and the vacuum of African American leadership. Delving deep into his memories of the man he worked closely beside, and with help from the King Institute at Stanford University and reams of formerly top-secret and now declassified FBI files, Jones offers the guidance and insight his friend and mentor would have provided for us in these troubled times.

Many Americans today know of Martin Luther King only from video clips and history books. As Jones so aptly reminds us, this legendary figure was also a warm human being full of life—and more relevant now than ever.

You can take a look inside this book by clicking here.  You can buy this book here.

What Would Martin Say? Giveaway

In celebration of current events, The Literate Housewife Review is offering a copy of this book to one reader.  Since tomorrow will probably be the first inauguration that my daughter Emma remembers, I’m going to write a post about my memories about my first inauguration – Jimmy Carter’s, which was also historic in its own way.

To enter this contest, leave a comment to that post by 11:59pm tomorrow.  In your comments, please give your thoughts about Barak Obama’s inauguration.  I will draw the winner from those comments at noon on January 21st. “Please enter me” comments will not be considered.

Good luck and Happy MLK and Inaugeration day, everyone!

The Sunday Salon ~ I’m Back!

January 11, 2009 at 4:09 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 17 Comments
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The Sunday Salon.comAfter a week of computer frustration, I am back! This afternoon I actually felt like picking my laptop back up and getting back to work again. I’ve missed you guys!

While I’ve been away, I have been getting some things accomplished. I got rid of all my books. I sold them all for $10 and then promptly bought The Reader. Yes, it’s true that the last thing that I need is a book. Still, what a nice trade against boxes filling the back of my Grand Caravan? With the room I’ve made, I’ve been able to able to box up my sprint and summer clothes and put them on the top shelf of my walk-in closet. My clothes will no longer be wrinkled the moment they’re hung up. This also is making more room for my my stamping supplies. I’m not finished organizing the space, but I’ve made some great progress.

I’ve also been reading. Since the New Year, I’ve read My Lady of Cleves, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Etta, and Tomato Girl. My Lady of Cleves and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are both books off of my Just for the Love of It Reading Challenge. Because I’ve also joined the January is ARC Reading Month, I will be reading ARCs the rest of the month. It felt good to be reading non-ARCs. It’s re-energized me for the rest of the month. Etta and Tomato Girl are books off of my 2009 ARC Reading Challenge. I’m well under way. I’m currently reading Mermaids in the Basement for an upcoming book tour and author interview. This is another one for the ARC Reading Challenge. But that’s not all! I forgot about my first read for the War through the Generations Reading Challenge ~ The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I’m listening to it on my Zen Creative (which I LOVE) and enjoying it.

I’ve got a lot of reviews to catch up on now that I no longer get hives touching a computer after work. First up will be my last book of 2008 ~ Loving Frank. Loving Frank is the first book we read in my Facebook Historical Fiction Lovers Book Club. 64 people have signed up and I’m really happy about that. The book for February is Soul Catcher by Michael White. If you want to join in on the fun, there is plenty of time. Most of all, we’d be happy to have you.

The New Year is a time to make resolutions. As someone who is overweight, my resolution is either to lose weight or, when I’m feeling more confident, to learn to love myself. This year I wasn’t sure what I wanted. Over the past 11 days, I decided that I wanted to live healthy – and doesn’t that accomplish both? I joined SparkPeople (Lithousewife is my username). It’s a really cool free site where you can set your goals and meet others getting healthier. Best of all, there is a Bookworm community for those who want to devour more books while easting less. 🙂 You know that’s right up my alley. I’m watching the first episode of this season’s The Biggest Loser and it is very, very motivating.  I look forward to giving you updates on my healthy me challenge as the year progresses.

I hope that all of you are doing well. I will be back on the blogs tonight – right after I do a Wii Fit workout.

Without a Computer of Her Own

January 8, 2009 at 7:25 am | Posted in LIfe | 16 Comments
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despairReaders, it is a sad time for Literate Housewife. Over the weekend, a tragic accident befell my beloved laptop. The blue screen of death announced pretty clearly to my husband that a new hard drive was needed. So, I am using a loaner laptop that is driving me crazy. I’m so annoyed by it all that I didn’t even turn the computer on last night. Although I know that it won’t be fun to recustomize everything again once the new hard drive is installed, just having it back on my lap will make everything seem better.  I hope to be back up and running by the end of the week.

In the meantime, I would like to thank Amy and Darlene for the wonderful awards they gave me yesterday.  You both made my day.  While I’m waiting for some good computer time, I’ll be working on passing these awards along.  I will also be working on my reviews for My Lady of Cleves, Loving Frank, and Etta.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful day.

25811 ~ A Look Back at 2008

January 3, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 18 Comments
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After manually compiling the books I read last year, I’ve come up with the following statistics:

The Basics

Total Books Read: 78 (24 more than 2007)
Total Pages Read: 25811 (4800 more than 2007)
Average Number of Pages: 331 (54 less than 2007)

By Category:

Total Books Loved: 23
Total Books Liked: 34
Total Books Neutral: 15
Total Books Irritating: 3
Total Books Hated: 3

Literate Housewife’s Top 10 Books Read in 2008

Of the 23 books I loved last year, I’ve chosen the following as my favorites (displayed in no particular order):

water Gardens of Water by Alan Drew
cover-of-witchs-trinity-pb The Witch’s Trinity by Erika Mailman

lobster Last Night at the Lobster by Stewart O’Nan

cover-of-the-last-queen The Last Queen by C. W. Gortner

cover-of-the-seamstress The Seamstress by Frances De Pontes Peebles

gargolye The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

cover-of-capote-in-kansas Capote in Kansas by Kim Powers
cover-of-reluctant-widow The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer

cover-of-the-front-porch-prophet The Front Porch Prophet by Raymond L. Atkins

cover-of-finding-nouf Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris

Who the Tudor Are You?

December 29, 2008 at 10:38 am | Posted in Historical Fiction, LIfe | 11 Comments
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I found this fun quiz sponsored by The Tudors on today’s Early Buzz on PopCandy (thanks Whitney!).  It’s entitled “Who the Tudor Are You?” and after answering a few simple questions, it identifies who you would be in Tudor England.  To my surprise and shock (being Roman Catholic and all…), I am a Bishop and can expect to live for another 11 years so long as I keep the King happy – lucky me:


Who the Tudor are you?

Bob “Literate Housewife” Cratchit

December 23, 2008 at 10:52 am | Posted in LIfe | 11 Comments

I walked into work this morning at 9:15.  This is what temperature it was inside:

It was 58.2 when the first person came in to the office.  Here is my response to this situation:

Another piece of coal, please!?!?!?!??!  You think I’m exaggerating?  Here are some of my other co-workers:


Need I say more? Happy Festivus everyone!

Mailbox Monday ~ 12.22.08

December 22, 2008 at 12:47 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe | 10 Comments


A ton of stuff came in over the past week or so…  Wow!

In the stores during holiday shopping I picked up the following:

Lady of Quality by Georgette Heyer
Black Sheep by Georgette Heyer
To Hold the Crown by Jean Plady

I snagged the following from November’s Early Reviewers:

Etta by Gerald Kolpan

I am hosting a couple of book tours next month and the following book arrived last week for a date toward the end of January:

The Sinner’s Giude to Confession by Phyllis Schieber

The following all arrived from the publisher:

A Silent Ocean Away by Deva Gantt
The Firemaster’s Mistress by Christie Dickason
The Jewel Trader of Pegu by Jeffrey Hantover
With Violets by Elizabeth Robards
My Mistress’s Sparrow is Dead edited by Jeffrey Eugenides
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (can’t wait to see the movie after I read it!)
Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West

Last but not least, I always forget to use my Audible credits because it takes me so long to get through one book.  So, last night I went hog wild with three credits and downloaded:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Netherland by Joseph O’Neill
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stroud

What’s been in your mailbox?

We’re All Sick and/or Tired

December 15, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Books, Family, LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading | 12 Comments
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Hello everyone.  I haven’t been very prolific in my blogging or my commenting this month because ever since Thanksgiving one or more of us have been sick.  Danny has been sick since Thanksgiving.  Allison has had a cold/congestion last week that kept Danny and I up a couple of hours a night for a few nights until we discovered that nasal spray helped her.  Then, I was off on Friday with Emma.  She had a temperature of 104, keeping us up a good part of the night Friday/Saturday.  Needless to say, I’m a bit exhausted and haven’t had much energy.  What time I do have I need to put into finishing my Christmas cards.  I make them by hand and I’m really under the gun to get them out by Wednesday.  Normally I have them out the first week of December…

I am currently reading The Conqueror by Georgette Heyer.  I’m enjoying it, but it’s not as compelling as The Reluctant Widow (although, it’s becoming more compelling as of what I read during my lunch break).  I was also able to finish The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones (I absolutely loved) and My Husband’s Sweethearts (enjoyable).  I’m hoping to have those reviews between now and Wednesday if I can.

I am feeling a whole lot better about my near fatal ARC pile up now that I’ve finished over half of those that I promised.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now and it feels good.  I’ve been peaking at what is ahead and I’m really excited.  The Triumph of Deborah is up next, followed by Tomato Girl.  Both of those novels read very well over the first few pages.

I recently found out about a fun Book Club application for Facebook.  I don’t know if any of you have Facebook accounts or not, but you might be interested in it, too.  I’ve been using it some over the weekend and enjoy it.  It allows users to create their own book clubs and I like how that is set up.  I think this might work a whole lot better than what we used for Immortal.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  I’m planning on starting a Historical Fiction book club.  I’ll post an update.  If anyone would like to add me as a friend on Facebook, my email address for that is speedhaven (at) gmail (dot) com.

As much as I love the holidays, I’m looking forward to the New Year and getting back into my blog and yours!

The Sunday Salon ~ Savoring Reading

November 30, 2008 at 8:27 pm | Posted in Books, LIfe, Reading | 12 Comments
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The Sunday Salon.comHappy Sunday, everyone!  I hope that this post finds you fat and happy after a relaxing Thanksgiving weekend.  Thanksgiving was fun this year because both girls had an understanding of what it is about and actually wanted to watch the parade with us Thursday morning.  This also promises to be a fun Christmas as well.  Both girls are starting to get on pins and needles waiting for Santa.  I can’t wait until Christmas morning!  Something tells me they won’t be sleeping in again this year like they did last year.

Savoring Reading

I want to, but I don’t – at least not recently.  This hit home last night as I was finishing up The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer.  I thoroughly enjoyed my first Regency Romance, but as the back cover got closer and closer, my thoughts were already shifting to my Mining ARCs spreadsheet and the book I would be reading next.  When I finished the novel, there wasn’t a minute between putting The Reluctant Widow on my nightstand where it awaits my review (most likely Wednesday) and picking up The Front Porch Prophet by Raymond L. Atkins.  The reviews of this novel have been wonderful and I’ve really been enjoying the first 40 pages.  Still, I know that as I get closer to finishing it, I will start drifting toward whatever might be the next novel on my spreadsheet.  I just don’t like this.

This wasn’t how it always was.  I distinctly remember sitting back in my rocking chair holding my copy of Life of Pi to my chest after I finished it.  I played the novel back through my imagination, stopping from time to time to pick up on portions of Pi’s journey that I missed or overlooked during my reading.  The Monsters of Templeton, Wicked, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, The Last Queen, Gardens of Water, The Thirteenth Tale, The Other Boleyn Girl, Innocent Traitor, The Witch’s Trinity, The Gargoyle, and The Kite Runner had similar affects on me.  I even miss the reactions I’ve had with books I didn’t care for such as Perfect Match and Eat, Pray, Love.  At this point, I’m reading books as fast as I can to fill all of the obligations I’ve made since July.  There doesn’t seem to be room to fully appreciate a great book or get my dander up over a book that pisses me off.  There’s always that next book pushing its way into my consciousness like a permanent tooth unwilling to wait until the Tooth Fairy has been summoned.

Although I was a little blue about this last night, It has occurred to me that all is not lost until my spreadsheet is completed, though.  When I write my reviews, I am also savoring my books in a different way.  It takes me between one and two hours to write my reviews, and that is after a day or more thinking through what I want to say.  That might not feel as luxurious to me as I would like, but it is very much time spent reflecting on what I’ve read.  Between the time I finish my review of A Civil General and Wednesday, I’ll most certainly be reminising over old times with Elinor as I prepare for my review of The Reluctant Widow.  And let’s not forget that there is nothing stopping me for rereading the books I would have wanted to spend more time with after I’ve finished plowing through my ARCs.  That’s even something to look forward to, now isn’t it?

Have you been savoring any books recently?  I’d love to hear about your experiences.  I have no problem living vicariously through others…

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