Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Rachael Ray + Venomous Hate = Huh?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Thanksgiving, SuperSize Edition

Thanksgiving went very well. Dinner turned out even better than I’d hoped, and we didn’t run out of forks. Or wine. But we almost ran out of wine, even though there was quite a bit of it.

Up until this year, Every Family Thanksgiving Since The Beginning Of Time has been at my parents’ house. This year, because my parents are now in Florida and my siblings live in Brooklyn, NY, we decided we should offer to host since we are conveniently located between the two locations.

How we imagined our invitation sounded:

“Hear ye, Hear ye. Thanksgiving is a time for Family Togetherness. And also lots of wine. We would be thrilled to host a big family gathering this year! Please do come! We look forward to welcoming you with open arms. And also lots of wine.”

Here’s how the invitation really sounded:

“Bah! We don’t feel like traveling anywhere. If you want Togetherness, you can come here. Don’t forget to bring wine.”

I was excited to host dinner and started planning the menu back in August. I know. You could accuse me of being Type A, but I prefer to think of myself as an eager epicurean.

Since I don’t eat meat, I told my mom that I was willing to buy a turkey if she wanted to take charge of cooking it. She was in agreement. A few minutes later, I called her back.

Me: Mom, I just realized that I don’t have a roasting pan. Can you bring yours?

Mom: Sure!

A few minutes later, I had to call back again.

Me: I don’t have a baster, either, so you might want to bring yours.

Mom: No problem!

And again:

Me: Hey, it’s me again. I don’t have a carving knife, so can you please bring dad’s electric one?

Mom: Okay.

Hating myself as I dial:

Mom: What do you want now?

Me: Gravy boat.

Mom: You don’t have one?


Mom: You’d better have wine when we come.

Sunday before Thanksgiving. Mom and Dad arrive with their dog Benny in tow. Talk, eat, sleep, go to work. Repeat on Monday and Tuesday. Bah.

Finally: Wednesday! No work! HAPPY.

Wednesday. Mom and I spend all day making the pies, complete with homemade crust. Two apple, two pumpkin, one sweet potato, and one pecan. Worry that there will not be enough pie. Worry that there is too much pie.

Brother arrives with his girlfriend and his dog, BB. Sister arrives with a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers. That night my parents order Chinese for everyone, and nothing goes better with spring rolls than a nice margarita, right?

Thursday. Wake up. Go running with sister. Coffee coffee coffee. Stink. Must take shower.

Dogs are getting along as long as Alex stays out of BB’s face. He doesn’t. BB does not like Alex. Alex is dismayed. All dogs decide that they cannot live without Alex’s drool-crispy dog toy. Battle ensues. BB wins. Proceeds to rip stuffing out of toy. Alex is dismayed.

Cooking, cleaning, cooking, cleaning.

More people arrive. Best friend brings awesome vegetarian appetizers and wine. Wine is opened immediately. Cousin brings a boatload of shimp and more wine. Dogs bark every time the doorbell rings.

This Thanksgiving brought to you by Old Bay!

Mother-in-law and her boyfriend arrive with Caesar salad. And more wine. Everyone cheers. Bark bark bark.

Cooking. Cooking like mad. I ask brother’s girlfriend to mince an entire bulb of garlic. She complies because she is afraid of the Sweaty Apron-Wearing Lunatic.

Table is set. Best friend lights candles and fills water glasses. Everyone helps carry dishes to the table. Everyone finds their places easily because the eager epicurean has made fall-themed place cards. Martha Stewart is jealous.

We sit. Everyone oohs and ahs over the table. We relax. We laugh. M makes a toast and everyone clicks glasses.

Cousin brings out his special super-long Thanksgiving Dinner fork and everyone laughs.

We tell stories that everyone has heard a hundred times and everyone laughs.

We drink more wine and everyone laughs.

I love my family and everyone laughs.

It is a Happy Thanksgiving.


Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Gone

Yes, my friends. They came, they ate, they drank a lot, and they had fun. Now they're all back home, sleeping it off and wishing they had some more of my yummy mashed potatoes.

I plan to write a more detailed account of the week's events, but in general everything went very well. There were enough chairs and plates and silverware, and lots of good food, and lots of laughter. And no one fell down the stairs, a fact that would amaze you if you could see how many empty wine bottles are in my recycling bin at this very moment.

I even survived the annual Black Friday shopping extravaganza with my mom and sister, which was much improved by an early stop at Ann Taylor, where I bought presents for no one but myself. And I love them very much. Thank you, Self. You are very generous. And have great taste in sweaters.

And lest you think that I am Selfish and Self-Absorbed, I should report that I have also made a serious dent in my gift-buying for Others. Self will not be getting any more presents, except for a new food processor which shall be purchased with the help of gift cards and coupons. This is not really Selfish since it will be used to prepare meals that will nourish my family. It is simply a bonus that it is a beautiful piece of machinery that Self has been lusting after for the past year.


And Alex has reached a major developmental milestone. He will tolerate a sweater. This after blatantly refusing to have any type of material attached to his body, including bandanas or snow booties, for the past two years. Here he proudly shows off his new couture:

I'm too sexy for this city!

I'm a model, you know what I mean, and I do a little dance on the sidewalk...


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I Am Thankful For Free Shipping

It is truly a season to give thanks. Look what I got in my email:

Dear Liz,

Wouldn't it be nice to head into next weekend with at least some of your holiday shopping taken care of? Shop now at to see our incredible collection of gifts for everyone on your list. Plus, don't forget our exclusive offer for Registered Members: 4 Free Samples AND Free Standard Shipping!


Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder loves me, see?

In addition to free shipping, I am also thankful for my husband. He deserves some blog space because he gave me a really wonderful Christmas present. And he gave it to me early, because I came home from a really hard day at work and I was crying on the couch and he said "I know what will cheer you up!" (I know, I seem to be crying a lot lately... has someone been slipping hormones into my Aquafina? If so, please stop immediately. I am almost out of Kleenex.)

(Thank you.)

What's more, because said Christmas present takes place on December 10th, I have time to find the perfect outfit. He is a very considerate man, don't you think?

Anyhow, the gift was presented in the form of a "Let's Make a Deal!" game, where I was presented with a series of two clues and then asked to choose one. Except there was none of the pressure and anxiety of the TV version, because hello! I knew he would give me all the presents even if I lost (I think that was in our wedding vows). Also, I was drinking a lovely glass of Cabernet Sauvignon.

The first "prize" I chose was "A glorious night of reorganizing the CD cabinet!". The clue was: "Lots of small things in a large space". Which obviously I thought was going to be a refrigerator box full of diamonds. Wouldn't anyone?

The real gifts ended up being an afternoon at a day spa, dinner at a lovely restaurant, and orchestra pit seats at the Kennedy Center's Nutcracker. Also, a little something sexy to wear underneath my outfit. But I won't go into detail about that. And I think that was really more his prize than mine. ;-)

Have you ever sat really close to the stage at a ballet? You can hear the landings and the grunts and the effort of the dancing. From far away it looks so light and easy. Up close, you can feel the skill and physical strength required. The last time we saw the Nutcracker at the KC was about ten years ago. It's one of those classic DC holiday happenings, just like seeing A Christmas Carol at Ford's Theater. I'm really excited. Thank you, M!

I am also thankful for good books. I can't seem to put this one down. I find myself holding my breath as I read it and I have to take deep gulps of air to make the wooziness go away. Before I knew it the clock read 1:00 a.m. and I had to force myself to turn out the light.

Here are a few other things that deserve thanks:

Pumpkin Spice soy lattes
My parents, who arrived safely from Florida
An empty seat on the Metro
My brother and sister, due to arrive any day now
My dog, who made me laugh this morning as he slept with all four legs in the air
My warm fuzzy socks
Seat warmers in my car
Just enough chairs, stools, or piano benches to seat everyone at Thanksgiving dinner

What are you thankful for, silly or serious?

I may not have time to write much over the next few days, so Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I wish you delicious food, good company, and safe travels!

(And definitely don't slip me any more hormones. We are going shopping on Black Friday and I will need every ounce of emotional stability.)

(Thank you.)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Hung Up

I was just at a company party downstairs, and guess what the DJ played? That's right! I did a little disco dance inside myself while I was standing in the cake line. ;-)

Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Fat Suits

As I read a People magazine yesterday I saw an article about Tyra Banks and her experience wearing a fat suit. I guess she did this for her TV show, which I have never seen.

I find that I often have conflicting feelings about “experiments” like this. For me, the worst (by far) was when Dr. Phil’s son put on a fat suit and then blathered on and on about how “shocked” he was when people didn’t smile and fawn over him when he didn’t look like his normal studly self. (I have no explanation for it, but I have an almost primal hatred for Jay McGraw. No, he’s never done anything to me. But when I see him on TV I want to pull my toenails off one by one.)

These fat suit experiments always come across as a little… disingenuous, or exploitative, to me. First, I can’t recall a fat suit experiment in which they really made the person attractive. There are plenty of heavier people in the world who are beautiful and stylish. And there are plenty of thinner people who could really use a major makeover. But the people wearing the suits are usually made to look frumpy. Second, the person who wore the suit gets to take it off at the end and say, “WHEW! THAT WAS AWFUL. OUT SOCIETY HAS A VERY SKEWED PERCEPTION OF BEAUTY. GOOD THING I AM REALLY SUPER SKINNY AND GORGEOUS!” Which, apparently, Tyra noted.

But still.

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Marry me, Madonna

I have admitted to having a jar of pumpkin butter in my fridge that is over a year old. I have admitted that I am a blubbering crybaby in rush hour traffic. And now I will admit that I am OBSESSED with Madonna's new song, Hung Up.

Does anyone else like it? I especially love the video. Whenever it comes on I sit there, mesmerized, unable to move until the very end. Then the Black Eyed Peas video for My Humps comes on and I run screaming from the room. My husband works in elementary schools and was dismayed when he heard a third-grade girl singing that song. GAH.

Actually, that sort of reminds me of a long-ago car trip when my little sister was innocently singing EnVogue's My Lovin (You're Never Gonna Get It) in the back seat.

Little sister: Never gonna get it never gonna get it, never gonna get it never gonna get it...


Little sister: I don't know.


I was never allowed to watch MTV when I was younger, so maybe that's part of my fascination with the Madonna video. Because look! She is humping a boom box. Surely that's against the law! I missed the boat on every video except for Thriller. And that one didn't make me run out and become a scary werewolf, did it? I'm sure if I had seen Tiffany dancing around a shopping mall singing I Think We're Alone Now I would have become a sex-crazed lunatic.

I have a real urge to put on a pink leotard and black heels and dance like crazy.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Garden State Extravaganza

I decided that I’m going to refer to my husband as “M” from now on, because typing “my husband” or “hubby” takes too long. And I’ve never really liked the word hubby anyhow, as it seems like a term that a Stepford wife would use. Is there any truth to that suspicion?

When M was growing up, the whole family would take off for New Jersey every year at Christmas time. M mostly grew up in Oyster Bay, Long Island, but most of his relatives are in New Jersey. M’s brother has been known to call this family trip “The Magical Misery Tour.”

From what I can gather these tours involved lots of driving, lots of Italian food, lots of sleeping on the floor and in the car, and loads of family fun. I think there were many parts that my husband liked, but let’s put it this way: as soon as he was old enough to opt out of family trips, he did. ;-)

M has a very large family with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles, and lots of those “once-removed” and “twice-removed” relations, too. His older brother got married soon after we started dating and I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of names I had to try to remember. If you didn’t know, the marriage of the oldest son in an Italian family is a big deal, so this was a HUGE wedding and all I remember is that I cut my spaghetti with a knife during dinner and gasps arose from all sides of the table. Now I know—you never cut the pasta. You use a big spoon to help twirl the long strands on your fork.

This weekend I finally got to participate in a New Jersey whirlwind tour. You may remember that M’s grandfather died right before we went to Italy in September, and we weren’t able to attend the funeral. So we decided that we would drive to Jersey to visit his grandmother and other assorted relatives who live all up and down the glorious New Jersey Turnpike. So M and I, along with my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and the sister-in-law's boyfriend all piled into a car early Saturday morning and headed north.

We were all over the map, from the very top of Jersey to the south, hitting five households altogether. When we were up in northern NJ we went to a big party in a beautiful old Victorian house. Let’s see if I can remember: it belongs to M’s grandmother’s nephew’s wife. I think. If I haven’t mentioned it before, I love old houses and very much want to live in one someday, so I was utterly awestruck when we first walked in. By the end of the night I was weeping and hugging the original wood banister, but M sternly told me that NO, WE COULD NOT MOVE IN. But it was a lovely old house and I was very sad that it didn’t belong to me.

At the party there was also the sweetest, most adorable chocolate-colored poodle puppy that was only 8 weeks old. I cuddled and kissed him until the owner became suspicious and made up some excuse about having to take him out to the bathroom. I’m telling you, if I’m ever sick in the hospital, please sneak in a basket full of puppies and I’m sure my health will improve right away. There is nothing better than a soft, sweet puppy.

After the party we drove over two hours south to New Egypt. I had never heard of that place before, and I am disappointed to report that I did not see a single camel while we were there, nor did it look especially “new”. We spent the night (and not on the floor, in a real bed! Being married and not twelve years old has a few advantages) and then drove to Toms River, where we spent Sunday afternoon. We finally got home around 7:30 last night, after sitting in the requisite DC area traffic.


NEW JERSEY BATHROOM REPORT: I have to say, I continue to be impressed by the facilities at the rest stops on the turnpike. There were fresh roses by all the sinks! And minimal line waiting. I would have given it a perfect ten, but there was that one stall with the door that wouldn’t close all the way…


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Take the Liz Quiz

It's Thursday and I've got nothing. So until I cry in my car again or Katie Couric does something else to offend me, how about you mosey over to the link below and take my quiz? Thanks to Lisa, Bdogg, and Bearette for the idea...

Take my Quiz! and then Check out the Scoreboard!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I'll admit it: I cried in the car yesterday

Okay, so now you know what I really wanted to write about yesterday. Poor Katie Couric and her Puggles got the brunt of my misplaced emotion.

I have written before about being driven to tears in DC's traffic, so I was reluctant to write about my most recent roadway breakdown.

(Hee. There were lots of bad puns in that last sentence. You see? I can find the humor even when I am in the depths of despair)

(still channeling Anne-with-an-e)

Here's the scenario. I will be using the word "stupid" a lot. Please indulge me, for I am a pathetic and weepy commuter.

I'm on a 3-lane road. I am in the right lane. This is the lane I loathe, as this is where all the slow people from Florida drive as they're passing through our fair city. Unless they are stupidly hogging the left lane, which is only for people going 120 mph.

Anyway, I want to get into the middle lane. I see that there are three whole luxurious car-lengths of space coming up on my left, so I put my blinker on (stupid me) and start to move over. Suddenly, a white car in the left lane zips into the middle lane (stupid asshole) without signaling, which means that I have to slow my lane change to avoid hitting him. Meanwhile, the huge red truck that used to be three car-lengths away has seen that not one, but TWO stupid cars are daring to get in front of her, so she floors it and comes bearing down on my back bumper.


Wha? I looked in my rearview mirror to see if maybe she was honking at someone else. But no, it was me. She saw me look and gave me a really nasty sneer, along with an exaggerated shrug that said, "WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT, YOU STUPID GIRL? DON'T BE THINKING YOU CAN CHANGE LANES IN THIS TOWN!"

It felt as though I had been quietly studying in a library, minding my own business, when suddenly someone stalked over to my table and yelled, "F*CK YOU!"

At first I thought I'd brushed it off, as I usually do with the road-rude that is rampant here. But then I heard a life insurance commercial come on the radio, and they were playing this sappy music that is supposed to make you want to bake cookies and hug your loved ones, and all of a sudden my eyes were welling up.

Why do people have to be so mean?
sniffle, sniffle
What did I do to deserve that?
Doesn't she see that I have a bumper sticker that says DOG IS LOVE?
shuddery sigh
Only a really nice, caring person who does not deserve to be called out on the highway would have a DOG IS LOVE bumper sticker! OUR SOCIETY IS GOING TO HELLLLLLLLLLLL!


Clearly, I would never cut it in NYC with my delicate little feelings.

And, for good measure:


Monday, November 07, 2005

Monday Rant: Puggle Trouble

Because traffic was bad this morning and I'm a little cranky. And who better to blame everything on than Katie Couric?

Have you heard about the newest puppy rage? Puggles, which are a beagle-pug "hybrid" breed, are all over the news lately. The Today Show did a whole segment on them and their squishy adorableness. Click here to see puggle pictures.

They're so cute, aren't they? But as I was telling my husband on a walk last night, I think it's kind of irresponsible of these shows to feed the fire when it comes to fad breeds. Here's what I hope won't happen: thousands of people will rush out to buy these puppies for their kids this Christmas or Hanukkah, many of them unaware of the special needs of this breed, or unprepared for what it takes to raise a puppy. And then what happens? The dogs are ignored in the back yard. They end up in shelters. Special puggle rescue leagues are formed. Puppy mills start breeding them like there's no tomorrow.

The website posted a note today saying that due to increased traffic, the site is very slow during peak hours.

The media is not solely to blame. I just wish more people would think of animals as more than just entertainment or gifts, take the time to find responsible breeders, and learn about properly training and raising a dog (or any pet, for that matter). Let's show live footage of those cute little puggles peeing on the carpet, chewing $500 shoes, and whimpering through the night, Katie! C'mon, jump on the REALITY television bandwagon!

Ok, end of rant. I might rant again later if traffic is bad on the way home.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

These are a few of my favorite things...

I'm not a big collector, but I do have a passion for pottery. Specifically, pottery made by Blue Ridge Pottery, a family-owned business out in the Blue Ridge Mountains (one of the prettiest places on earth). I first found it by accident in 1997 when I was heading out for a hike, and I've been going back ever since.

It started with a mug for tea. That was my first purchase. Then I bought a cereal bowl. When my husband and I got married, they made an entire set of dishes for us. Now we make the trek out there every Fall to get a couple of new pieces. It is worth the almost 3-hour drive.

It's like eating off a piece of art every day... it's beautiful stuff. I also have pottery made by other people, but my Blue Ridge pieces are my favorite. Thought you might like to see some of it!

Our set of dishes is this cobalt blue with white and a little red swirled in.

Bread plates!

This is the inside of a bowl. We bought two like this when we traveled out there a few weeks ago. Isn't it beautiful?

Mugs are essential, don't you think? (book on the couch in the background is The Long Winter, of the Little House series. I like to read that one every year when the weather starts to turn.)

The platter is a new addition, too... just in time for hosting a bazillion people for Thanksgiving. They glazed it in these colors especially for us. Guess which mountains those are supposed to be? Go on, guess! (the dog toy in the background is not made by BRP. It is a nasty, dog-eared squeak toy that Alex will not let us throw away).

The patriarch of the family, Alun Ward, is a great guy. He used to be a businessman who traveled all over the world. Now he is a master potter who wears overalls every day. When talking with him, you realize he is that rare person who is doing exactly what he was meant to do.

Blue Ridge Pottery has a new packaging machine, so they can now ship their pottery. Check out their website for details. I'm not affiliated with them in any way; I just love their stuff. ;-)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Unbearable Adolescent Awkwardness

A few months ago I posted a few entries from my childhood Ramona Quimby Diary. Today I unearthed my middle school diary. It fell open to a page where I had written in all caps,


Hmm... don't remember what that was all about. Sorry, Troy. I'm sure I forgave you for whatever you did.

And besides the fact that Troy sucked, I also will admit that in 1989, MacGyver was apparently my favorite TV show.

I wrote that. Yes I did.

I remember having a crush on Richard Dean Anderson, but I didn't remember being a MacGyver fiend. However, I've always admired a clever mind, and MacGyver certainly had that. I also had a crush on Davy Jones from the Monkees, but I planned to marry Michael Landon, who would be just as kind and strong as Pa on the Little House show and would build a log cabin for me and my dogs out in the wilderness. Also, he would always wear those suspenders, which were so very cute.

Around the same time, my favorite color was red, my favorite guy at school was Brian G. (what, you thought it would be Troy?), and my favorite passtimes were drawing, sports, listening to the radio, and dancing.

As evidence of how fickle middle schoolers can be, just ONE MONTH LATER my favorite color was pink, my favorite guy at school was Jim M. (Troy & I still on the outs), and my favorite passtimes were drawing, sports, cooking and playing the piano.

I also dramatically closed each entry with a big "X" in a circle. Don't ask me why.

Then in 8th grade, the biggest drama of my life occured. Steel yourself:

Dear Diary,
I am in a bad situation. Okay, I found out that Danny likes me and was planning to ask me to the graduation dance. I feel bad for him because he is really nice, but really shy around girls, even though we have been friends for 2 years! So he finally called me and asked me. But then Jim told everyone that he likes me and wants to ask me. Jim and Danny are best friends, so this is really bad. I heard from Sonja that in their English class, Jim was talking about me and Les W. got mad and yelled, WHAT ARE YOU DOING JIM, TRYING TO STEAL DAN'S WOMAN?!! The last thing I want is for anyone to be fighting. I don't know what to do.

Two days later...

I told Danny that I would go to the dance with him. He asked me first, plus he is a very nice guy. But I still feel weird. Jim asked my friend Mary Anne to the dance, so everything is fine, I guess. The only thing is that Danny has asked me out twice. He called me and asked me to meet him at the duck pond so he could ask me in person but I felt weird and told him I had to help my mom clean the house. I think I'd like to go to a movie or something, but not go out with him PERMANENTLY. I don't think. !!!!!!!!!! Well, I'd better answer SOON. I don't know what to do!!!!

There was a time when I couldn't read diaries from that time without feeling some amount of self-loathing. I actually thought about throwing that diary away a few times when I was younger. God, how could I have been so... thirteen? How could I have been so clueless?

Did any of you ever want to take a quantum leap and go back in time to save yourself? From yourself?

"Listen, Liz, all you have to do is be a MAN, trot over to the duck pond, and tell Danny politely that you think he's a great guy, but you don't want to date him. That is all. Now cut the drama and HOP TO IT!"

And perhaps as an afterthought I'd have yelled after her, "And stop wearing rolled-up cut-offs! YOU ARE NOT JENNIFER GREY!"

I still cringe when I read some of those entries, but now I can also feel compassion for that girl. She was me. I am her. I wouldn't be the same person today if I hadn't suffered my share of adolescent drama and heartbreak. And worn scrunchies that color-coordinated with my socks.

Plus, we both agree that Richard Dean Anderson is still kinda cute. Any man who can make a helicoptor out of a paper clip and a Dixie cup is hot.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

On the Shelf, Part Deux

Here is another meme idea... what's on one shelf in your refrigerator? (don't be ashamed... we've all had something moldy or way past expired!)

Here's mine:

  • 5 Yoplait yogurts
  • a half-pint of raspberries
  • A cup of leftover homemade veggie chili
  • A jar of wheat germ
  • Leftover green beans with mushrooms marsala
  • Leftover cinnamon-glazed carrots
  • 8 eggs
  • A jar of maraschino cherries

And in the back:
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • A jar of pumpkin butter from last fall
  • A jar of sun-dried tomatoes

And here is Alex relaxing at home today. He is recovering from all the scary noises that Halloween brought last night.

Please call my therapist...

On the Shelf

I got this from Bearette, who suggested that we choose a book shelf and list all the books on it. Keep in mind that my husband is a social worker by day, musician by night. You'll be able to tell which books are his. ;-)

  • The VH1 Rock Stars Encyclopedia
  • Kiss & Make Up (Gene Simmons)
  • Motley Crue: the Dirt
  • Stairway to Heaven
  • The Ramones
  • The Beatles: An Oral History
  • The Lost Writings of Jim Morrison
  • Who Was Eleanor Rigby?
  • Memoirs of a Geisha (Golden)
  • The Little Black Puppy (this is one of those Golden Books... the puppy in the illustrations looks just like Alex. ;-)
  • The Rose Man of Sing Sing (Morris) My mom knows the author and he was very excited when he found out I am a librarian. In the book he wrote, "To Liz: Every day I sing the praises of librarians. Without you, we authors would be lost." :-)
  • Nights of Rain and Stars (Maeve Binchy. Used to love her books, but I have not really enjoyed the last several)
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Gift of Fear (Gavin de Becker... must-read for all women, I think)
  • Cold Mountain
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
  • Tomorrow Will Be Better (Betty SMith)
  • Joy in the Morning (Betty Smith)
  • Death of a Salesman
  • The Girl Who Owned a City (OT Nelson)
  • The Hobbit
  • I Never Promised You a Rose Garden
  • The Accidental Tourist (Tyler)
  • Breathing Lessons (Tyler)
  • Good in Bed (Weiner)
  • White Oleander (Fitch)
  • Misery (King)
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends (Silverstein)
  • The Missing Piece (Silverstein)
  • Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary

There were so many shelves to choose from! Lucky for you all that I didn't choose one of the shelves that houses all our professional books. Lots of social worky, therapy-ish, librarianistic stuff. ;-)