July 19, 2014

New Site!

Hello friends! The blog is currently undergoing some transition... new site, new look, all that good stuff. While construction is happening, click on over here!

June 11, 2014

Good Soil

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” [Mark 4:3-8]

My grandma has a thirst for beauty and a real gift for creating it in any space. She is one of the most creative people I've ever had in my life. Wherever she goes, she's using her hands to make the world a more beautiful place. I've been thinking about her a lot lately. Whenever I think of her house, I picture it simply lush with trailing green plants, large ferns, and towers of African violets. Even in the middle of a cold Indiana winter, her home felt warm and alive. She and my grandpa recently moved into a new condo, and her letters (yes, letters! She is the most precious grandma one could ever wish for) describe their patio garden and the new plants she's putting in. It's inspired me to try my best to turn my brown thumb into a slightly greener one. I've been looking up information online and trying my best to check my plants' soil on a regular basis. This has been filled with a lot of trial and error, and I've lost a plant or two, but the other day I was rewarded by my first African violet bloom in a year!

This is what good soil and tending can do for plants. And it's what they can do for the human heart.

Providing good soil for my children is the best work I can do in their lives, and it is the part of parenting that I take most seriously. Over the last few years, I've been asked by a lot of moms what we do in our house to provide a good soil for the Gospel to take root, and I have three suggestions below, based on what's worked well for our family. I am always interested in how other families are teaching the Gospel at home, so please leave your sweet practices in the comments! Some of these things may seem obvious, some may seem like something you'd like to try, and others may not fit your family at all! The important thing is to cheer each other on as we share Good News with our sweet babies.

+ I'm in the Word. This has looked different at different seasons and I expect it to keep changing and that's fine. Grace, not legalism, right? I get a daily email from She Reads Truth that contains a Bible passage and a devotional. These are really manageable, yet meaty, for a mom of two who has lost a significant amount of brain power in the last three years. I want the Word of God to be written on my kids' hearts, so I absolutely need it to be written on mine. I want wisdom from the Bible to flow as naturally out of my mouth as a little ditty from Daniel Tiger. And it really works. Cruz was feeling nervous about a slide at the playground and I got to tell him, "remember when the disciples felt nervous about the Big Storm?" Be in the Word.

+ Our kids listen to exclusively Christian music (also, a tremendous amount of the Frozen soundtrack, so let me keep it real). I love pop music and hip hop music and we used to listen to that, so please don't think this about me being on any kind of high horse about morality in music. However, one morning I drove Cruz to daycare at 7:50am and our local hip hop station was playing some song that blasted out "sprayin' honeys with champaaaagne." Too early! I thought, and just like that, I was done. Cruz and London love music, so the music they listen to might as well have some redeeming qualities. When Cruz is supposed to be napping, he's often jumping around his room belting out "Come Thou Fount" or "Silent Night" instead. I feel great that those words are written on his heart. I love that I can ask him, "what do you think this song is about?" and we can talk about why there are so many songs about God as a foundation (I mean, really, there are a lot).

+ We pray with our kids and in front of our kids. Pre-dinner and pre-bedtime prayers are so sweet to do with our kids, but I want my children to see how rich and real prayer life can be. Tovi and I often set aside time while we're driving (and the kids are essentially our captive "audience") to praise God and pray for each other, our family, our church... anything that's on our hearts. I hope that this practice demonstrates our dependence on God, thanksgiving for the things He's provided, thanksgiving for salvation, and the truth that we can bring anything to Him in prayer.

If you're looking for more ways to help your children develop an awesome faith life, here are some additional suggestions. And leave your's in the comments below! I would love to keep updating this list with your ideas!
+ The Jesus Storybook Bible 
+ The Power of a Praying Parent 
+ Homelife Magazine 
+ Hello, Darling

May 28, 2014

what's working {in february}

after i posted what's working in january, my friend michelle posted her own version. and from that, i was inspired to start using the 'notes' app on my phone more often. so all month long i've been keeping a running list of the things that seem to be working well for us. so here we go... what's working in february!

+ nutella. yup, i am a million years late to the game on this one. it never occurred to me that as an adult, i could decide to keep nutella in my home. we were recently given a jar of nutella... and we're never going back. this is an eliasen family pantry staple from now on.

+ inkjoy pens. you've seen the commercials, and the pens live up to the hype! great colors, easy flow. they are currently making all my notes and planners and to-do lists look very, very pretty. $1.87 on amazon is a price that can't be beat.

+ old navy drawstring jersey pants. are these sweats? are they leggings? who knows, but they're great. a little tip from me to you: size up on these. i like them to fit a little slouchy, more like tapered sweats than leggings.

+ mossimo junior's boyfriend v tee. the other day my friend anna texted me a funny comment about gray t-shirts from target (and wearing them every day). i quickly her back a picture of me captioned, "oh, you mean THIS gray t-shirt from target?" this t-shirt is part of my every day uniform (and yes, i'm wearing one right now). whenever i go to target, i pick up another color. size up if you're into a slouchy fit, although they're a good length to start with.

+ making lunch the night before. i am going crazy trying to figure out how to get us out of the house in a timely manner. one solution that i've come up with is to pack cruz's lunch at night, no matter what. i usually do this if he has daycare the next morning, but now i'm doing it every day so that we can zip off somewhere once london's up from her morning nap. (sidenote: doesn't london's expression kill you? 'mom, how many more pictures do you need of us eating lunch?')

+ trucks app. cruz does not get a tremendous amount of screentime, but he has a couple of apps on my ipad and phone. the 'trucks' app by duck duck moose was one that i originally downloaded onto my phone. he liked it ok, but didn't choose to play with it that often. we recently pulled it up on the ipad, where it is a much better app. i like this app because there's problem solving involved, and no characters. there's a "fix it" shop section, where cars with flat tires get new tires, and cruz has now created an entire fix it shop under my desk, inspired by his game. i don't know if this is creative or disturbing, but let's go with creative.

what's working for you this month? share in the comments or link up!

what's working {in march}

it's time for what worked in march! march is typically my busiest month at work, so i've felt stressed and pulled verrrrrry thin: it didn't always feel like a lot was working. but over the last week i've caught my breath and remember that yes, there are lots of things that are working for us around here.

snapbibs. let me tell you-- i just hate bibs. they are horrible and crusty and never as clean as i want them to be. we recently ordered some cute girlie bibs for london, which turned out to be darling but a totally terrible product. she gave them a loving chomp (as babies do) and within a few days, they looked worn and damaged. then i discovered snapbibs on instagram... and this is the bib we've been looking for. london looks so cute with it on, and it's durable! i can see these being a great go-to baby shower gift. i'm already picking out which colors i want next (for her! right?).

+ coffitivity. i love working at a coffee shop. i love the smell, the energy, and the social pressure to stay focused on my work. because i have two kids at home now, i don't always get to escape to my local starbucks or coffee bean the way i used to. the coffitivity app or website helps make up for some of that. i can get the ambient noise going, and it really does help me to focus.

+ daffodils from trader joe's. honestly, you can't spend a better $1.29.

+ shampoo only. we could just call these next two tips "the lazy gal's guide to beauty." by this point you know that i am all about cutting out excess. and guess what? one morning i was so tired that i forgot to put conditioner in my hair and i ended up with a fantastic hair day! what the what?? i've now gone over two weeks without conditioner and i can only say good things about it. my showers are shorter, and because i'm using less product , i can go longer between washes. now, i have no idea if this will work for your hair, but isn't it worth trying?

+ apple cider vinegar. i've been having wacky postpartum skin. think dry, fine lines, and the occasional breakout. i've been using apple cider vinegar on my breakouts with surprisingly good results! i keep a baby food container of acv in the bathroom, and when i feel a breakout coming on, i use a q-tip to apply a little to my face. it stings, but that's how we know it's working, right? (i could probably even use acv in place of conditioner! #lazygalbeauty)

+ do you ever do serious spring cleaning? for some reason, i've had the itch to spring clean this year. i've followed iheartorganizing's daily plan. i didn't take on a project every day, of course, so there's plenty to keep going with in april. there were some projects that i originally scoffed at, but later realized how desperately my home needed them! (cleaning the fronts of the kitchen cupboards! wow!)

want more things that work?
what's working for you this month? share in the comments below or link up!

What's Working {in May}

I have never appreciated spring as a season. I guess growing up in Seattle never felt terribly different from winter. Is there truly a difference between rainy, windy and thirty degrees and rainy, windy and forty-five? In Santa Barbara, our weather hardly fluctuates. I bet you could guess the weather of any day of the year with startling accuracy—75 degrees, sunny, slight breeze. But somehow this year it has felt like spring and I really like it. I’m noticing the blooming trees and flowers in our neighborhood. I appreciate our mild days and cool nights, and I’ve been spring-cleaning and redecorating fearlessly! With Tovi and I both working from home, two active mobile kids, and one dog, it feels as if every inch of our house and space and time needs to be used well right now. We need simplicity and efficiency. There's absolutely no physical, mental, or emotional space for things that don't work. So here’s what has worked in May:

+ Working out as soon as the kids go to bed. There was a point in March when I was working so hard that I actually made myself sick. Migraine headache, throwing up, sick. Tovi said enough was enough, and he has really helped me to build some healthy routines back into my day. One of them is working out as soon as the kids go to bed. It’s an obvious transition in the day, so changing outfits doesn’t feel too weird (does changing outfits keep anyone from working out? Just me?). If you don’t have a regular workout time, I recommend this one!

+  Crystal Light Energy sticks. I’m sure this is not the healthiest trick in the book, but it works! In the afternoon, I stir one of these little powder sticks into my water and have a great boost of energy for the afternoon.

+ Anchors in the week. With Cruz we walk a fine line between helping him to anticipate what’s coming up next in the day or week and helping him to learn flexibility. One way we do this is to have “anchors” in our week; there’s something that happens every Monday, Tuesday, etc that he looks forward to, and then we can fill in the remaining part of the day with non-routine activities. Playdate Tuesdays! Music Class Thursdays! I love being able to schedule our week around these fun anchors.

+ Peaches Skincare. The combination of having a second child and turning thirty really started to show on my face. My skin started getting dry and full of fine lines and I didn’t look or feel like myself. I’ve been using Peaches for a month and my face feels young and fresh! Peaches is a local skincare line (I purchased it at the spa), but you can also order online. As higher-end skincare lines go, it’s totally affordable and I think it’s absolutely worth the price.

+ Anemone bras. My friend Annemarie introduced me to these stretchy bras. They are perfect for nursing and layering a low-cut shirt. They are comfy. They come in tons of colors. And best of all? On Amazon Prime, they’re like $12 for a 2-pack.

+ Honest Co. Conditioning Spray. I am not an Honest Co groupie. I’ve tried other products before and found them to be just okay, but I really like this conditioning spray. London’s curls are growing in, and this spray does a nice job of keeping them from getting too frizzy or wild, while keeping them sweet smelling (a bonus, as she regularly conditions her hair with green beans and sweet potatoes).

How about you? What's working in your life right now?

May 20, 2014

fill her up

when cruz was a year old (london's age now (i know, right? she was born like five minutes ago)), working from home was a breeze for me. after breakfast i would take him to the backyard for "outdoors time," and he would crawl around after the dog, grab sticks, or gaze at passing airplanes until naptime. he was so so happy out there doing his thing. i would take my laptop outside and sit at the table chatting to him while i worked. it was idyllic and i didn't even know it.

then came london, my sweet london. look, she is the world's easiest baby as long as she's with you. she's not introverted, let's just say. she doesn't respond well to mommy ideas like independent play time. do you remember how cruz would (still does) wake up early in the morning and then play happily in his crib until we came to get him? this has never happened with london. london only likes to be with people. the bumper in her crib has a permanent fold in it because the moment she wakes up, she crawls to the corner of her bed closest to the door, scrunches the bumper down so that she can monitor the door, and hollers until we scoop her up. the baby gesture that she mastered first? blowing kisses and arms straight up to be held. let me say this again, she is happy and easy beyond any baby i could have ever dreamed up, but an introvert she is not.

this makes working from home a challenge.

in a perfect world, i wouldn't work too often around the kids, but it's not a perfect world and i often need to get work done while the kids are up and about. cruz wants my one-on-one attention more than he used to, but i don't mind letting him play a game on the ipad or watching a little curious george while i finish up some work. obviously london is too young for this and has no patience for her jumparoo or other independent play time encouraging activities. the best i've been able to do is put her in the high chair (this makes me feel guilty most of the time because she'll lay her head down on the tray so that she can see me under the kitchen table, and then through the living room to my desk).

my new friend kelly is both wise and beautiful. we were at the park the other week talking about the differences between our kids, and when i mentioned this difference between london and cruz, she gave me great advice: fill her up first.

fill her up with lots of face-to-face time and play and kisses and snuggles, and she'll be more likely to play by herself later on in the day. cruz has the same needs, but he doesn't need that kind of togetherness before he plays independently.

in such a simple way, it has totally reframed my mornings and made it much easier to work while london's awake. the kids get as much of my attention as possible, from the time they wake up until london takes her morning nap. we do lots of snuggles in bed, books, breakfast, a craft, singing. i very, very intentionally fill them up (and tovi too, if he's home that morning). while london's napping, i work and cruz does something specific (usually two episodes of curious george). we're all better for our new rhythm (and especially grateful to have wise friends!).

May 15, 2014

a twitterature linkup: what i've been reading lately

today i'm linking up with modern mrs. darcy's monthly twitterature. these are my short reviews of recent reads.

reading is one of my absolute favorite activities. thank goodness i'm a fast reader, because i really only read at night before i go to bed! because of that, i have no problem stopping books that i don't feel connected to. this month i stopped reading three books: still life with breadcrumbs (anna quindlen), the headmaster's wife (thomas christopher greene), and doctor sleep (stephen king). i am also making my way through the luminaries, but i'm no where close to the end (or middle. this book is long!)
code name verity. this is billed as young adult fiction, but plucky young brits during world war ii might be my love language. #crackingstory #goodtwists
the invention of wings. beautifully and painfully told story of abolitionist sarah grimke and hetty, a slave gifted to sarah on her birthday. sarah is a real american hero. there are some graphic scenes of slavery, but that's a part of our history we should understand. #absolutelyrecommend
the dinner. this one is... weird. i liked it, though. for fans of we need to talk about kevin and defending jacob (i liked both of those books better). herman koch does a great job of building tension. couldn't put it down. #badkids
the elite and the one. books two and three of the selection trilogy. essentially, the bachelor meets divergent (i would say hunger games, but that would really be a stretch). this is just fun, popcorn reading if you're into young adult fiction. it's a fun love story, and someone actually calls out the heroine for always (thoughtlessly) taking matters into her own hands. #readin24hours

and you, dear friend? what have you been reading lately?

May 11, 2014

the day date

the day date! what a magical invention. one of tovi's sweet clients gave him a gift certificate to andersen's, one of his favorite breakfast spots. the last couple of times we've been there, it was with our kids, so i did not have a good time, and was willing to try it again, just the two of us.

everything about a day date is the best. we dropped the kids off with tovi's mom really early in the morning and the two of us were sitting down to breakfast by 8:45. we sat outside to people watch. we alternated between coffee and champagne, pastries and eggs. we talked. we dreamed. we agreed that, given the opportunity, we'd move to germany. this is the kind of crazy talk that only happens when our conversation is uninterrupted and unhurried. and it was only 9:15! the whole day was ahead of us!

before our date, tovi had proposed that we each pick somewhere to go after breakfast. i chose the new santa barbara public market  and he chose a walk along the breakwater. it was a simple morning, walking around, checking out the fresh pasta at the market, and the crabs scuttling on the rocks in the harbor. it's so good for us to pause, in the daylight and sunshine, and really see each other and connect. there was something so refreshing about being out together during the day. can't wait for our next day date. 

May 1, 2014

all the beauty

 my amazing mom came to visit us last week, and because it was a short visit, we had to make every single minute count. once the babes were up from their naps, we headed out to ellwood mesa, which is just a few minutes from our house and one of the most magical places on earth.

once you convince your three year old to walk up the hill, you're rewarded with huge fields of wildflowers, gorgeous views on the mountains, the pacific ocean, and if you're really lucky, a pod of dolphins leaping through the waves (we were lucky). we wandered and talked. cruz sang to himself as he walked slower and slower behind, trailing sticks by his side. 

i stretch my arms out, throw my head back, and sometimes i simply can't get over what a beautiful world God created.

April 22, 2014

sticker charts for the perfectionist child

cruz turned two and a half right around that london was born. as much as i'd like to tell you that the transition from one to two children was easy, it was not. partly due to his age, and partly due to sharing mommy and daddy with another child, cruz had a rough time. i haven't written too much on this because i understand it and i want to respect cruz's right to have had a tough time with all the change. so yadda yadda yadda, we've been using a lot of sticker charts around here.

i've tried a lot of different sticker chart strategies, and it took some trial and error before we found a system that seemed to work for us. like everyone, we work on multiple behaviors at once. we're being sweet to sister, carrying our dishes to the sink, saying please and thank you without prompting... cruz responds really well to sticker charts, so we used them, but all of a sudden the doors of my kitchen pantry exploded with charts. and there seemed to be a different system for each behavior we were targeting. there are only a few times a day that cruz could earn a sticker for putting his clothes in the hamper, but a seemingly endless number of opportunities for saying thank you! not to mention the times i wanted to give a positive reinforcement for a behavior that didn't have it's own chart.

like a normal person would, cruz was getting frustrated with the array of color-coded charts i had for him. everything he was doing got reduced to a checklist. the rules were constantly changing and he never seemed to get to the end reward. aggravating, right?

so we threw out the old sticker chart rules and ushered in a new system that's been working very well for the last few month: the tower of stickers.

the idea is simple: whenever we want to positively reinforce a behavior, we put a sticker on the chart. the stickers start at the bottom of the page, and we build up until there's a "tower." if there's a tower by friday, cruz gets to have a "jammie movie night." the reward is big enough that he cares about getting a movie night, but he understands that he needs to wait until friday to watch his movie. we aren't stuck with handing out rewards at random times. and importantly, because there's no set number of stickers cruz needs to earn (we're looking at a general positive growth model #statnerds), there hasn't been a sense of despair over "not having enough."

best of all, it's working. cruz understands that good behavior = praise + stickers = movie night. he loves adding to his tower and we've seen his behavior improve because we're able to be consistent with the praise and reward. the other day he was upstairs. i heard him sneeze and then he hollered down, "i said bless you to myself! i'd like a sticker, please!" how could i not, right?

April 15, 2014

a twitterature linkup: what i've been reading lately

today i'm linking up with modern mrs. darcy's monthly twitterature. these are my short reviews of recent reads.

+ love does lately, i have felt the need to step away from "taking a stand" and instead a call to get back to the root of my faith: love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and strength. and love your neighbor as yourself. so, among other things, i bought love does. bob goff is really good at loving others and writing about it enthusiastically. this books has inspired me to make some risky big acts of love. highly recommended. #extraordinaryeverydaylove
+ the unlikely pilgrimage of harold fry you know how netflix makes genre recommendations that are very specific? tovi and i always get "thrilling, emotional documentaries" and "workplace comedies" (#blackfish #parksandrec). if amazon did the same, my genre would be "old british people finding themselves, charmingly." this book fits squarely inside that description, and i really enjoyed it. #oldbritsfindingthemselves #charmingly
+ mr. penumbra's 24-hour bookstore an author with a sense of humor, a mysterious cult, a love letter to books, san francisco. #winningcombination
+ reconstructing amelia this book had all of the ingredients for a winner-- murder mystery, gossip girl-esque cliques, but the adult elements of the book (about teenagers) really threw it off for me. #saynotoprepschools
+ exceptional there are many great dystopian YA novels out there. this is not one of them. if you're writing about an alternative future or universe, you need to build that universe. this book never got close. #skipit

after last month's line-up of disappointing books, i am so happy to have a number of worthy choices to recommend! how about you? read anything good lately?

April 7, 2014

a lovely little day in: san francisco

we took a long weekend up to the bay area a few weeks ago, and snuck in a dreamy day in san francisco. i lived in san francisco for a semester in college and then again for the year between graduation and getting married. i love the city, but have never really experienced it with kids. we go up to the bay area often, but going into the city usually seems like a far-off dream. we planned to visit san francisco this time, but even then i thought, "ah, sure. that'd be nice if it happened." but it did! what a lovely surprise.

seeing san francisco with two kids was fantastic. we gave ourselves some limits (parking only once, keep our route pretty flat), which helped to narrow down our options. our day ended up being predictably touristy, but guess what, we're tourists.

the weather app on my phone had been telling me to expect coooold temps and cloudy skies in san francisco, but as we drove in over the new bay bridge, it was sunny! and kind of warm!

we parked one block off of embarcadero and headed towards the ferry building, but first walked down a long pier, watched some old men fishing, and some young men wearing too many accessories. we doled out snacks and took pictures of the bay bridge and couldn't believe our luck that we had actually made it into san francisco.
it's been years since i'd been to the ferry building, and we loved every inch of it. and every calorie. we seriously ate our way from one end to the other. tovi fell in love with some cinnamon almond brittle while i couldn't get enough of this nutella-filled italian donut (i mean, i literally couldn't get enough because cruz has not quite caught onto the concept of sharing food).

we made it a goal to walk down to pier 39 to look at the sea lions and get lunch. there was so much to look at and listen to the whole way down. the exploratorium had a ton of interactive exhibits outside on the piers, which were cool to see and made me want to check out the museum next time we're in town.
sea lions. street performers. fish and chips.
the kids both fell asleep on the long way back to the car and stayed asleep, so we drove around the city and reminisced about our dating days in san francisco. we held hands so much of the day and i kept saying, "i can't believe we're here!" absolutely perfect day.

March 30, 2014

growth spurt

this little lady. my goodness, how did she get to be ten months old already?
london is so rarely a baby these days. she's got eight teeth and a full head a hair, which just makes her look like a toddler. in the last two weeks she has started crawling, waving, clapping, responding to her name, moving from crawling to sitting, and saying "mama" and "dada" with purpose.
i am watching my baby speed away from me, reaching out for the next thing she wants.
she's friendly and joyful and oh so determined to get what she's after.
london loves books, her babydolls, and mostly loves whatever cruz happens to be playing with at the moment. she giggles when we hold her upside down.
it's only in the middle of the night that she feels like my small baby again. after she's nursed, and is laying on me with her arms above her head, i kiss her milky lips, and for a moment i have my newborn back.

March 25, 2014

a lovely little day in: isla vista

my dad came to visit last week. it was a quick trip, but one that we tried to pack full of lots of silliness and fun things.

we had phenomenal weather while he was here, and took advantage of it by spending a lovely little afternoon in isla vista (the college neighborhood behind us). isla vista is like... peter pan and the lost boys. it's populated almost entirely by college students (like, thousands of 18-20 year olds). but there's a lot of great spots for families too, and i think we came up with a pretty great isla vista agenda.

stop number one: freebirds for nachos to split.
are you ready for a life-changing nacho related tip? get ready to thank me: guacamole and barbecue sauce together. uh.may.zing.

stop number two: crushcakes for cupcakes.
i let cruz eat one before his lunch because i'm the mom of the year. 

stop number three: enjoy it all at the dinosaur park!

it was perfect and warm and full of chasing cruz and moving our cupcakes out of london's ever-increasing radius. isla vista is full of little gems, right here in our backyard. and come back soon, dad! we miss you!

March 17, 2014

a twitterature linkup: what i've been reading lately

today i'm linking up with modern mrs darcy's monthly twitterature. these are my short reviews of recent reads.

[fair warning, dear reader. i've done a lot of unsatisfying reading lately. it's about to get ranty.]

the antelope in the living room. hilarious stories of marriage, best read one or two at a time. #silentlylaughingintomypillowatnight

the silent wife. supposedly the new gone girl. interesting in its own right without the comparison, but the story rarely holds tension. #decentchoice

the husband's secret. ugh, no. i didn't like this one. too many stories, too many narrators, not enough depth. #returned

the rosie project. this was a charming story of one man's ultra-logical, evidence-based search for a wife. #lovedit

police. now, i love unreliable narrators and i love murder mysteries, but this latest chapter in jo nesbo's harry hole series had too much of both. #toneitdownanotch

what alice forgot. by the author of the husband's secret and much, much better. this book stayed lighthearted for the most part, which fit the author's tone much more comfortably. #senseofhumor

circle of wives. uuuggghhhh. this is one of the most frustrating books i've read in a long time. amazon recommended it to me because i like thrillers (i do!) and probably because i'm also fascinated by polygamy. how could a person write a boring book about murder and polygamy?? #tooboringtoconsider

can i take a moment to speak to the authors and editors in the room? there's been a recent rash of new books coming out that are told from multiple perspectives. in this list alone there are three, and i just started another one that moves back and forth between narrators. is it because gone girl was so popular? well, gone girl needed two narrators; that's the whole premise of the book. but rarely, rarely does more than one narrator add to your novel. i just can't take it any more. i almost returned my current read as soon as i saw that there were two narrators. instead of three or four half-hearted plot lines, just tell one story really well.

so because it's st. patrick's day and i forgot to wear green, i'll celebrate by rereading one of my favorite irish authors, tana french. girlfriend can tell a story with tension and clear voice. she writes the dublin murder squad series, four books so far. start with in the woods and get ready to stay up all night reading.

what have you been reading recently? clearly i need some good recommendations!
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