Filed under: 52 books, books


Samedi the Deafness

There seem to be three unofficially sanctioned responses to this book: You may heap praise on the author for his brilliance, you can say that you didn't understand it but it's probably brilliant anyway, or you can say that you didn't understand it and you're a little pissed off about that. I'm really not sure which camp I fall in. Really, reading this book was kind of like watching a David Lynch movie. David Lynch movies can be very enjoyable if you're aware that you're watching a David Lynch movie. You know that there are layers you're supposed to get, if you're clever enough, and even if you aren't clever enough you can enjoy the story and certain elements for what they are and the way they're presented. The problem is that I wasn't aware that I was watching a David Lynch movie. As a result, I found myself unfulfilled on the promise that I was given in the first chapters. Samedi the Deafness gives the illusion that it is a spy thriller -- a mystery -- that will be unfolded over the course of its 300 pages. That's not to say it isn't a spy thriller / mystery, or that it isn't resolved in the end, but it didn't play out in the way one expects it to. I don't like to read the "dust jacket" review before starting a book, but in this case it would appear that I should have. This book really wasn't the book I was lead to believe it was, and as a result don't feel very qualified to give it a rating, or make a recommendation about whether or not one should read it. The book is what it is.

Samedi the Deafness, by Jesse Ball


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close


I'm a little conflicted about how to rate this book. I'm really trying hard to stop throwing out four- and five-star reviews so much, but this book really did move me more than most books do. It's a really well told story on the nature of dealing with and moving past loss, and how different people handle the loss of a loved one. It's one of those books that I'm really glad I read, yet I'm not sure I would recommend to just anyone. Some may find it simply depressing, or even emotionally manipulative, but I found it to be really sweet and thoughtful.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer - 4 stars

Along Came a Spider


I very vaguely remember watching this movie a decade or so ago, and I know this series has a couple dozen books, so it has to be good. Right? Wrong. I was, however, genuinely curious about how it would wrap up, so I did manage to read clear to the end. I don't think I'm spoiling anything by telling you that this is the story of a kidnapping by a supposed schitzophrenic sociopath. And, of course, the big question is whether or not he's really schitzophrenic or just faking everyone. Really, though, I just didn't care. Like all of the other characters, he just wasn't at all believable. Granted, it is the first in the Alex Cross series, so maybe Patterson's writing has improved since this one was released, but I'm really not all that interested in finding out.

Along Came a Spider, by James Patterson - 2 stars


Filed under: birthdays, lucy

A few weeks ago we hosted a party to celebrate the one whole year our little Lu has been roaming around this planet.  We had a lovely time making it look as though a rainbow exploded in our house.  Lucy had so much fun playing with all the little people that came (she's still a bit shy of the big people), and chowing down on her first ever cupcake.  It has been such a wonderful pleasure to have watched our little girl go from a sweet newborn to a michevious toddler these past twelve months.  We love her so very much.  To those of you who came to help us celebrate, thank you for filling our teeny tiny house with lots of love and laughter.  We love you too.

XOXO, Team Soell

***Special thanks to my sister for taking pictures of our guests for me!!!


If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, I'm sure you have gathered by now that I am completely and totally obsessed with Instagram.  I LOVE it. Like, LOVE LOVE it.  4-EVA.  This past weekend we loaded up Team Soell minus Gus and the kitties and headed to Philadelphia for a little visit.  We've been wanting to explore the city for a while and so we decided a little trip for my upcoming birthday was in order.  Lucy travels like a pro and handled the eight hour drive so well.  I decided to leave the Big Camera in it's case and captured our trip mostly via iPhone.  

Our Hotel was in the Rittenhouse square area and we spent time mostly exploring the Bella Vista and Queen Village Neighborhoods.  We didn't really get to any of the touristy historical stuff, I guess we'll have to go back soon!

We enjoyed our trip so much.  The weather was beautiful, we got the chance to meet up with some local friends, and ate some really delicious food.  A weekend well spent. 

Restaurants We Loved: Morning Glory Diner (hello goat cheese and berry pancakes!), Slice, Steaks on South, Audrey Claire

Coffee We Loved: Shot Tower

Desinations We Loved: Italian Market



  1. V8
  2. Ethiopean food
  3. Peaches
  4. Mad Men