2011 Year in Review: Kindle Book Lists

December 30th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Reviews - (Comments Off on 2011 Year in Review: Kindle Book Lists)

I finally have a working keyboard! This is something to celebrate because about a week and a half ago, my adorable one-year-old daughter knocked an entire glass of water on my old keyboard, so I’ve been operating with only a mouse.


With the end of 2011 this weekend, I figure it’s a good week to look back at what I read this year. I read a surprising number of books considering I started the year out with a three year old, a 19 month old, and a two week old baby to take care of full time. But that’s another post for another day.

This year I read some great books, and I also read some stinkers, all on the Amazon Kindle I received for my birthday last year.  The following lists are all compiled by me and are my own personal opinion.

My Favorites of 2011

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen - It's way, way better than the movie.

This book touched my heart and made me cry. I don't know if this little boy's account of heaven is completely accurate, but it's a wonderful story.

The Secret Garden was one of my favorites when I was a little girl. I re-read it this year and fell in love with the mysterious, beautiful story all over again.


I really enjoyed each and every one of these books. For a book to be a “goodie”, it must have fairly intricate, descriptive story lines and dynamic, believable characters branching out from a solid main plot and a fast pace, along with proper spelling and grammar. Otherwise, I lose interest (See “Stinkers” and “So Boring…” below).


I wanted to like all these books, really, I did. But overall, they just weren’t my bag, baby.


This list is sort of unfair because I didn’t actually read all of any of them. I found each of these books so boring that I couldn’t even finish them. Again, I wanted to like them. Most of these are classics that have been “loved through the ages.” Well, not by me. I could not even make myself finish more than the first quarter of any of these books. If you’ve read any of these and loved them, let me know so I can give it another shot.

Like I said, these are all just my own opinion. I realize that the classics like Pride & Prejudice and Little Women and Wuthering Heights are well loved, but I just could not get into them.

Also, if you have any book suggestions for me based on my lists, feel free to comment below because I’m always looking to devour another good book.

Happy New Year everyone!

Pinterest – My Latest Time-Suck

October 11th, 2011 | Posted by Bryn in Reviews - (Comments Off on Pinterest – My Latest Time-Suck)

The internet has this funny way of just sucking a lot of time out of my day. I check my email, facebook, and sometimes twitter in the morning, then at lunchtime, and in between design projects I’m working on in the afternoon during the kids’ nap time. The last few years, Facebook has been my biggest time-suck.

A few days ago, however, I joined Pinterest. Oh, Pinterest. Sigh. It was love at first sight.

Screen shot of my Pinterest page. I only have five pinboards... so far.

Facebook statuses (stati?) reading, “TGIF” and “Go Cards/Bears/Packers/[insert random professional sports team here]!” and “FML! My life is terrible!” just aren’t looking all that interesting anymore.

So, what is Pinterest?

For those who haven’t heard of Pinterest, the website (pinterest.com) describes it like this.

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

Basically, you can share images you find on the internet with your friends whom you follow much like twitter, except you see their pins (images they have saved) instead of tweets.


It sounds lame at first, but it is a whole new way of browsing the internet. I can quickly and easily find anything I’m interested in just by looking at friends’ pinboards and clicking on the “pins” – images that lead back to the original website from which they were posted.

Pinterest is a great way to network. If I post photos on here that people enjoy, then they can be pinned and re-pinned so that the image (and therefore my website) could be enjoyed by a much larger audience. You shouldn’t join Pinterest just to promote your website, but it has potential to spread the good stuff on the internet much more quickly.

Another great thing about Pinterest is their policy on nudity and explicit images – they just aren’t allowed.

If you are on Pinterest, feel free to “pin” any photos I put on here, follow me, or whatever.


I do like Pinterest, but it does have some downfalls. It seems to be more appealing to women. My honey thinks it just sounds stupid.

Secondly, it is a major time-suck. You can waste many hours going through pictures and their sources, which really doesn’t accomplish much most of the time.

Third, it’s like any other social networking website – not evil in and of itself, but it has the potential to become sort of an idol for people. If you concentrate all of your thinking on one thing, that makes it your idol. Materialism is a really big part of our society, and this website definitely has the potential to make me more materialistic if I let it. I could be constantly browsing “ideas” for home decor, but I have to remember that my house is just fine too. I don’t need any things to make my life happy or fulfilled.


It’s worth a shot. If you are a visual person who likes to share what you enjoy on the internet, make a request to join at Pinterest.com.

Please note: This is not an advertisement for Pinterest, just an honest review of a website I enjoy.