Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Music: The Black Keys - Brothers

We consider ourselves bitches with some funk and soul. Sammi's background is more WASPB-y (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Bitch), but Maggie has roots in R&B, she is brown after all. So we were pleased to find an album that gets our tails twitching and our paws snapping.

The Black Keys have really created an incredible album with 'Brothers.' The music is a great mixture of blues, rock, electronica, and awesome. Many 'Best Albums of 2010' have included it in their numbers (including Spin, Rolling Stone, and Amazon). We love every song on this album, which is rare for a band to pull off.

In a world filled with crappy music, it's great to hear something that is quite as awesome with such a stellar list as 'Brothers.' And if you still need more coercing, there's a song called "Howlin' For You" that seemed especially written for us. Check it out wherever you get your tunes!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Best of 2010

Loyal readers! Like a border collie with a thrown frisbee, we have returned to you with our tails between our legs. We're sorry that it's been so long since we have blogged! We have been busy being big sisters, teaching our little sister Olivia the importance of licking yourself and others. She always seems to have something delicious oozing out of her mouth and doesn't mind our tongues, so it's a win-win!

Sammi and Olivia cuddling, no one appreciates a full-body hug like Sammi does!

During 2010, our mother kept a spreadsheet documenting the books she read for a full year. She had a goal to read 100 books, and fell one book shy of reaching the goad - 99 books completed in 2010! She recorded a bit of information about each book, e.g. genre, medium type, letter grade. Here are some of our favorite stats from her year of reading:

Total Books Read: 99
2010 Book Goal: 100
2011 Book Goal: 109 (10% increase)

Fiction Books: 71
Nonfiction Books: 28

Average Books Read Per Month: 8.25
  • High Month: May (15 books - she went to Europe for a couple of weeks)
  • Low Months: February, March, June, August (6 books each)

Books Divided by Rating:

  • A's - 25
  • B's - 49
  • C's - 20
  • D's - 4
  • F's - 1

Genres with Largest Representation:

  • Mystery (11 Books)
  • Fantasy (9 Books)
  • Historical Fiction (8 Books)
  • Memoir (7 Books)

We'll give a quick review of our favorites of her favorites here:

Favorite Self-Help of 2010: 'The Happiness Project' by Gretchen Rubin

We literally don't know anyone who wouldn't benefit from reading this book. Rubin offers practical advice on enjoying your everyday with the simplest of changes that are universally applicable. We're probably going to read this book every year, it's that good!

Not honored: 'Cesar's Way' by Cesar Millan

Favorite Mystery of 2010: 'The Likeness' by Tana French

We really like mystery novels, they get our tails wagging, and Tana French is a great author. This book is fun, interesting, and keeps you guessing at the murderer's identity until the very end.

Honorable Mention: 'The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie' by Alan Bradley

Favorite Science Fiction of 2010: 'The Passage' by Justin Cronin

What an excellent book! This book reminds us of a mash-up of 'World War Z,' 'The Stand,' and 'The Walking Dead'- yes we know, not a book. This book is a vampire tale, an apocalyptic look at the world, and to top it off it's well written. -- Beware however, this long book is the beginning of a trilogy, don't plan on it to resolve pleasantly at the end.

Honorable Mention: 'The Unincorporated Man' by Dani Kollin and Eytan Kollin

Favorite Literature of 2010: 'The Help' by Kathryn Stockett

A rare finding - this book deserves the hype. We were drooling for more as we read about the black maids of the 1950's waiting on their Southern white employers. We were surprised to hear about the discrimination facing African Americans not so long ago. Maggie is especially sensitive, being a minority herself!

Honorable Mention: 'Room' by Emma Donoghue -- WARNING: Not for the faint of heart.

Favorite Memoir of 2010: 'Shattered Dreams' by Irene Spencer

This is the story of a modern polygamist and her struggle to be one of ten wives. We recommend this to anyone who is interested in polygamy, which we definitely are. Perhaps it's because of our neighbors (real polygamists), or maybe because it's a fascinating lifestyle with local roots. Or perhaps it's because as sisters, we can see ourselves shacking up with the same stud to avoid having to live apart.

Honorable Mention: 'Unbearable Lightness' by Portia de Rossi - A memoir of anorexia.

Favorite Nonfiction of 2010: 'The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' by Rebecca Skloot

The origin story of science's infamous HeLa cells and the woman behind the world's first immortal human cell line. This book dives into poverty, bioethics, science, and is altogether awesome. We are quite knowledgable in scientific matters, but this knowledge was not needed for the enjoyment of this book.

Honorable Mention: 'The Dead Hand' by David Hoffman - Recently declassified information about the Cold War that will chill you to the tail.

Well, that's it for 2010! We look forward to regular posting again, but don't get too mad at us if we forget to post. We're very busy biting our tails, eating snow, and constantly keeping a vigilant guard against that most vicious of enemies - THE MAILMAN.