Tuesday, December 18, 2012

In defense of gift cards

Christmas is only a week away and many people still have a few gifts left on their list. Over the last few years, gift cards have gotten a bad rap for being impersonal and not thoughtful. However, let me waste a few minutes of your Tuesday to let you know why I think gift cards are the best gift.

1. I like to budget, which often means I don't have a lot left over to mindlessly shop for myself. Shopping used to be a hobby of mine and I would love to be able to do this without the guilt of wrecking my budget.

2. We have too much crap and we usually can't wait to buy what we truly need. While I know you put a lot of thought into the house plant or the pair of earrings you got me, chances are if I really wanted it, I would have already bought it. Also, odds are your gift will end up in the back of my guest room closet.

3. The things I am waiting to buy are too pricey for me right now. Your gift card will get me closer to my savings goal and get that big gift sooner.

You have seven days to figure out the perfect gift for your cousin/co-worker/in-law.  I say go for the gift card.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Books of 2012



When I started this blog, I would diligently write book reviews as I finished new books, but then something great happened. I started reading so many books so quickly, I just didn't have time to right a thoughtful review for each one.

So, here's a little update on the top 5 books I've read this year.

1. Looking for a lesson in Atlanta history? Where Peachtree Meets Sweet Auburn walks you through the city's history through the families that would produce two mayors. The story telling is beautiful and the interviews with the family's are invaluable. Also, for a book that is told from such a personal perspective, this book is careful to be objective, especially when it comes to failed policy.

2. An uplifting story about the power of the human spirit, Louis Zamperini is a real-life Forrest Gump. From the Olympics to a WWII POW to a difficult return home, Laura Hillenbrand infuses this story with personality, humor and inspiration. By the end of the book, I was in tears!

3. If you're looking for something more light hearted, Sloane Crosley is your girl. Her observational story telling skills are unmatched and I giggled my way through the short stories in the book. My favorite story involves Alaska and bears.

4. I read Team of Rivals before I knew there would be a Lincoln movie out this year. I'll confess, the size is a bit daunting and their are too many characters to keep up with. Goodwin, however, does a good job navigating the plots and adds great flourish to what could have been a stale recounting of history. Got some downtime later this month? This is definitely your book.

5. My husband thinks I'm obsessed. I've now read 6 books at least partially about Zelda Fitzgerald's life. Did her husband's drinking drive her crazy? Did her instability drive her husband to drink? When did the marriage sour? Would F. Scott Fitzgerald ever become the legend he is without his wife/muse? Would he have been able to have a more substantial career without her? The more I read. The more I want to know. This is by far my favorite of her biographies, although they're all great.

If you would still like insight into the books I'm reading, let's be friends on Goodreads. I update this site pretty regular on what I've read since it'll give me new recommendations.