Kids, Camels, & Cairo

Remember how in my last post I had to apologize to the author for taking so long to read her book. Well, it happened again. At the same time as I got a request to review The Vines We Planted, I got another request to review Kids, Camels, & Cairo by Jill Dobbe. The same depression and life events that slowed me down with Vines slowed me down with Cairo. And now it’s October.

I’m sorry for the delay. I even bought a copy of the Kindle ebook instead of relying on the file provided by Ms. Dobbe. It’s the least I could do. (Wait. I didn’t do that for Vines. I’ll be right back after I purchase a Kindle copy)

(Okay, I’m back) Continue reading “Kids, Camels, & Cairo”



rash cover

Everyone gets wanderlust every once in a while.  I know I have.  I believed that if I just went somewhere else, tried a new job, went on a life-changing vacation, then things would be better.  I’d feel normal.  I’d feel fulfilled.

This is a lot like how Lisa Kusel feels at the start of her memoir, Rash.  Lisa is a published author with two novels under her belt, but when her third novel fails to find a publisher, her agent suggests she work on something else.  Lisa herself feels she needs a change of pace.  Her husband Victor, a middle school teacher, is also feeling the urge to do something more, something meaningful.  The perfect opportunity presents itself when Lisa learns about a new eco-friendly school opening in Bali.  Victor can go teach in a brand-new top-of-the-line school, Lisa can write in an exotic new locale, and their six-year-old daughter Loy can get a top-notch education. Victor secures a position as the 7th/8th grade teacher, they make their arrangements, and off they go to Bali. Continue reading “Rash”

Ellie Reads–Audiobook Edition

You may be looking at the title of this blog post and going, “Wait, Ellie. Your blog is about books you read, not books you listen to. What nonsense are you trying to pull?” Well, let me tell you something.

Once upon a time, I worked in a laboratory facility cleaning mouse cages. And the only thing that made it bearable was listening to music. Then, one day, my parents bought me the complete collection of the Chronicles of Narnia radio plays, and it was magical. I listened to the series once a year for all the years I worked there as a poor college student. Continue reading “Ellie Reads–Audiobook Edition”

Book Review: My Story by Elizabeth Smart

elizabeth smart coverThis memoir is one that I’ve been wanting to read for a long time.  I remember when Elizabeth Smart was taken.  I remember the news, the fliers, the little buttons and the blue ribbons (though I only saw the blue ribbons on TV).  Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapping was one of the few news reports, along with reports on the 9-11 attacks, that my family recorded on VHS.  We prayed for Elizabeth, we wished we could go on the search parties (with a mother with a full-time job and a father who was physically unable to go into the heat, and children too young to participate, all we could do was watch), we gulped up the news, devoured it, sat on the edge of our seats waiting, hoping, that Elizabeth would be found.

And me?  I was terrified. Continue reading “Book Review: My Story by Elizabeth Smart”

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Part 1)

heartbreaking work cover

This memoir, by Dave Eggers, is a Pulitzer Prize finalist.  It’s a national bestseller, with great praise on the front cover, back cover, and inside pages from places as varied as The New York Times to The San Francisco Chronicle to London Review of Books.  If you want to read a book with accolades, this is the one.

It’s also very, very long.

I have yet to finish it. Continue reading “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Part 1)”