Year of the Bookwormz: 2011

52 weeks. 2 friends. 1 challenge.

Book M: LibraryLove July 27, 2011

Gift From The Sea by Ann Morrow

Book description~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh shares her meditations on youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude and contentment as she set them down during a brief vacation by the sea. Drawing inspiration from the shells on the shore, Lindbergh’s musings on the shape of a woman’s life bring new understanding to both men and women at any stage of life. A mother of five, an acclaimed writer and a pioneering aviator, Lindbergh casts an unsentimental eye on the trappings of modernity that threaten to overwhelm us: the time-saving gadgets that complicate rather than simplify, the multiple commitments that take us from our families. And by recording her thoughts during a brief escape from everyday demands, she helps readers find a space for contemplation and creativity within their own lives. The sea and the beach are elements that have been woven throughout Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s life. She spent her childhood summers with her family on a Maine island. After her marriage to Charles Lindbergh in 1929, she accompanied him on his survey flights around the North Atlantic to launch the first transoceanic airlines. The Lindberghs eventually established a permanent home on the Connecticut coast, where they lived quietly, wrote books and raised their family. Now more than ever, Gift from the Sea serves as a spiritual compass guiding us toward inner tranquility in the face of life’s deeper questions.

What a perfect summer palette cleanser of a gem! First published in 1955, Gift From The Sea is a book I will definitely be gifting to friends and will keep close to my heart for always. One of the book club babes selected this perfectly refreshing read for this month’s discussion and brunch. I can’t wait to hear what a group of strong and independent spirits think of this book as well.  This book reads VERY quickly. Both the large font and journal-style entries make this fast paced and fleeting as a fresh breeze. Ann Morrow uses a vacation to the beach, and varying sea shells from the shore as metaphor to set the stage for pondering life as a woman, wife, mother and friend as life changes and morphs for her and those around her. Both in 1955, and now, this book is as relevant as ever. Gift From The Sea steers us toward a life of balance, simplicity, and focus. It is so easy with all our technological advances to hide ourselves and withdraw from both reality and relationships.  After reading this, you will be more aware of your surroundings, the outside stimuli that change your inner sense of balance and wholeness.


I can relate on so many levels to the topics Morrow unearths throughout this work. I often feel torn on how to spend my time. Housework, friends, work, relationships, pets, children. There’s never a dull moment, but this will help you re-frame your reality. A truly uplifting and spiritual read, I recommend you take a copy along in your pool bag this summer!

“When each partner loves so completely that he has forgotten to ask himself whether or not he is loved in return; when he only knows that he loves and is moving to its music– then, and then only, are two people able to dance perfectly in tune to the same rhythm.”

I can’t wait to read this book again when I’ve moved on to The Argonauta stage of life…

5/5 stars

12 down, 14 to go! (Hopefully I’ll make it)…




Book F: Fabookulous July 13, 2011

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Book description:

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn the conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a ground-breaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple, unasked question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study ned in this book: Freakonomics.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of … well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.

Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

Not a book I would typically read, this one came recommended by a friend of a friend (you know how it goes.) So when I hopped onto for a description, all of the above questions seemed interesting and when the library had several copies available, well, everything just lined up. So I got it. To be honest, I did get a little bored about half way in with all of the statistics. The chapter discussing what, if any, link there is between abortion and crime rates seemed to drag on and on. There were pages of names, popular and not, among different races, economic status and other variable factors.

Freakonomics will make you think, that’s for sure. And it’s interesting to see the world in a new way, where there are links between things that are seemingly unrelated. For example, when the description asks what’s more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool, it’s interesting what they discuss. For example, parents may choose to send their children to a friend’s house with a pool rather than to a friend’s house where the parents own a gun, for fear of their safety. When in actuality, more children drown in pools each year due to negligence and the fact that it only takes seconds to happen rather than in a gun accident. Yet there is a bigger fear of guns than pools. Is that because of our familiarity with one over the other? It’s similar to the fear of flying versus driving. A lot of people are more scared to fly on a plane rather than drive their car, when the reality is there is a higher chance something bad would happen in your car rather than on the plane.

I like things that make you go hmmm, so for that reason I enjoyed this book. I’m not sure if I am going to read the sequel, Super Freakonomics just yet but if you are into these sort of titles, I’d recommend this for you.

3.5/5 stars