Monday, December 11, 2017

Final 2017 Book Swap

It seems like it was just a few weeks ago when my sister Brenda and I began our 2017 monthly book swap, but it's been almost a whole year now. We didn't actually swap books every month this year as there were a couple of times we needed time for one or the other of us to catch up. We ended up swapping nine books (well, technically, I got ten books since the twins filled in the books one month). The final package we sent each other contained books for the last two months of the year - one fiction, one non-fiction.

I wrapped the books for Brenda and sent them out right before our Europe trip.

The fiction book is The Dollhouse, which I read for my book club meeting in October (and reviewed here). The non-fiction is a small book I enjoy reading during the holiday season. Windows on Christmas shares a look at Christmas from various perspectives or "windows" beginning with Mary & Joseph and including the angels, the shepherds, Anna and Simeon.

My package from Brenda was a wonderfully FUN box full of confetti!

There were two new books for me to read.

And a few FUN scrapbooking goodies, too!

The Privilege of Youth: A Teenager's Story by Dave Pelzer shares his stories from his teenage years and the friends he made during the short time he lived with a foster family Duinsmoore Way in the Suburban Park community in California. I've read this author's previous books (and one of his brother's book), however, I thought this one was not as well-written and was difficult to follow. The timeline jumped around, making it seem disjointed, and it was hard to keep up with the other individuals in the story. His friend, David Howard, for example, was referred to as David or as Howard at various times.

Honestly, I didn't like the author and his friend's shenanigans. He was irresponsible and their pranks were dangerous. He wrecked several vehicles when he was working as a car salesman. And the friends & adult males he considers to have had such an influence on his life weren't really portrayed as all that well-meaning or even nice. The author ended up going in the armed service as he didn't have other options to support himself as he aged out of the foster care system. He obviously made something of his life as a writer, sharing his story, and he now spends his time in efforts involving child-abuse awareness and overcoming obstacles in life. However, in the first chapter he describes the hectic (and dangerous) pace he keeps when traveling with little sleep (he's fallen asleep at the wheel before but now takes precautions like blaring the radio & keeping the windows down). Somehow I feel like that kind of lifestyle negates some of his credibility and indicates his priorities (however altruistic) may be out of alignment.

On the other hand, I truly enjoyed A Plain & Fancy Christmas by Cynthia Keller. This quick easy read is about two babies who were switched at birth. The nurse who discovered this kept it a secret for years, however, she wrote them each a letter when the girls were in their late 20s. One of the girls grew up in New York, one grew up Amish. They end of switching places for a short while, and this story has a very happy ending as each of the families embrace the other and the girls discover what they truly want in life.

If you've been following along this year, you know that Brenda's also been sending me blog topics. I still have a few that I haven't written on yet, so I'll be finishing those up in the next couple of weeks. Here are two for today!

List Your Ten Favorite Foods - I like a lot of foods, so this was really tough; I had to omit some things to only have ten, and I may have forgotten something, but here are ten of my favorite foods.

1. Chocolate
2. Mama's Robbie's Biscuits
3. Grandma's Pecan Pie
4. Beef Stew
5. Robbie's Grilled Hamburgers
6. Peach Cobbler with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top
7. Beef Roast with Potatoes & Carrots
8. These Chocolate Chip Cookies
9. Steak & Baked Potato
10. Praline Sweet Potatoes

Favorite Quote - This one, too, was really hard. I keep a notebook of quotes and often share quotes from books I've read, so it's hard to choose a favorite. However, here's one that comes to mind often.

Failure to prepare on your part
does not necessarily constitute
an emergency on my part.

Brenda and I have decided to continue our book swap next year, with a little added twist. I'll be sharing more about it at the first of the year!


  1. You have had some great book swaps this year, a bonus with the die cut/sticker treats. I don't think I could stop at 10 favourite foods, but I think pizza would be my number one favourite.

  2. Fun post! I'd also have trouble choosing a favorite quote, but I'll think about a top 10 list of foods. One comes right up: fried oysters!


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