Simply the Simmonds Life

family, life and love on the lake

Thirteen Reasons Why April 26, 2011

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 11:57 am

Clay Jensen returns home to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch.  Inside he discovers  several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker-his classmate and crush-who committed suicide two weeks earlier. 

Hannah’s voice explains that there are thirteen reasons she decided to end her life.  Clay is one of them.  If he listens, he’ll find out why.

Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as a guide.  He becomes a first-hand witness to Hannah’s pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.


Wow!  I loved this book!  I think this should be required reading for young teens today.  So many kids don’t understand the impact the things they say and do can have on somebody else’s life.  For my full review you know where to go- By Book or By Crook.


Cul-de-Sac by David Martin April 25, 2011

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 12:32 pm

  Donald Growler didn’t do it.  And he’s trying to kill everyone who says he did.

  So begin’s David Martin’s frightening and mysterious Cul-de-Sac, a suspense-filled triumph of degradation, desperation, and deceit.  The scene of the crime is a humongous, dilapidated mansion in Maryland known as Cul-de-Sac, once the scene of a grisly murder, which Paul and Annie Milton are today trying to renovate.  When Growler- toughened by his years of jail time served for a crime he didn’t commit- begins stalking the young, attractive couple, Detective Teddy Camel is summoned.

Camel, once known as the Human Lie Detector, is officially retired, forced out for having broken as many departmental rules as homicide cases.  But as a favor to Annie- his onetime lover- Camel reenters the fray and uncovers a trail of corruption and death leading all the way to the society’s elite.  How Camel tracks down Growler,  untangles the real story behind his hideous vengeance, and finally discovers the secret prize all the players have furiously sought makes for a novel of twists and psychological insights.


Creepy, huh!  All of the above came from the books dust jacket.  To hear what I thought of the book go to By Book or By Crook for the full review.


Tiger, Tiger April 22, 2011

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 11:29 am

     Tiger, Tiger: A Memoir by Margaux Fragoso is a story about a seven-year-old girl and her fifty-two-year-old playmate Peter.  It is a story of a pedophile and a girl who just wants to be loved.  It is a story that will sicken you but one I think has great merit.  This book stirred up such a wide range of emotions in me that I couldn’t help but rate it a 5/5 stars. 

     For my full review please visit me at By Book or By Crook.


Highlight Reel April 16th-22nd, 2011

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 5:16 am

Saturday-  Zach stayed at Eli’s house last night but when he got home we headed to town and had Papa Murphy’s pizza with mom & papa.  We tried their new italian crust and it was pretty good!  Later, Zach and I played Battleship and I found he is much better at this game then at chess!

Sunday- Zach and I talked Jeff into going to the church’s ham bingo with us.  We didn’t win anything but we had a good time and after eating the light lunch they provided we went for a ride to visit my mother-in-law but she wasn’t home! 😦

Monday-  I’m on va-caaa-tion!  Today I cleaned a little, read a little, made a trip for groceries, walked with Janeen 2 1/2 miles and went to Scouts.  The boys had a cook off tonight,  They showed off their mad skills at cooking over a fire or a tin can stove.  There were many different dishes! 

Tuesday- I spent some time this morning prepping blog posts for both blogs that I do personally, and the Boy Scout blog I keep up for the troop.  I feel like I’ve accomplished something when I have posts scheduled for about a week in advance.  That way if I have a busy day I don’t feel like I’m going to get behind.

Wednesday- Today is Jeff’s day off and I don’t think he likes me home on his day off.  Come to think of it, I don’t particularly care to have him home during my vacation either.  Hmmm…makes you wonder how we’re going to handle retirement doesn’t it!

Thursday- Tonight was Girls Night Out of GNO in Brainerd.  Usually held on Thursday nights I can never go because I have Bible Study that night and Janeen always has bowling.  This year neither one of us had those commitments because they had finished early but Janeen was scheduled to work later than normal so we still didn’t get to attend.  Bummed, we decided to do our own thing so last night we had our own Ladies’ Night!  Fun!

Friday- Day off, Good Friday Mass at 3 pm, finishing up cleaning, doing some shopping and walking with Janeen.  My kind of day (except for the cleaning part!)


The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie April 21, 2011

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 10:00 am

What a fun book this was!  Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie features eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, a precocious, chemist in the making, busybody who is determined to solve the crime of the dead man  she finds in the cucumber patch.  I found myself laughing out loud at some of the antics and hijinks Flavia finds herself involved in.  To see the full review of this delightful book go to my book blog By Book or By Crook.


Little Princes April 19, 2011

Filed under: Life's Musings — Angie S. @ 10:00 am


 Little Princes is a fantastic non-fiction book about one man’s mission to save the lost children of Nepal.  Who are the lost children?  They are boys and girls, some as young as five-years-old, who are bought from families who believe that by selling their children they will be keeping their children safe from harm as the civil war rages around them.  But these children are not safe, they are sold into slavery and have to live and work in terrible conditions.  Read my full review at By Book or By Crook.


Highlight Reel April 9-15th, 2011 April 17, 2011

Filed under: Highlight Reel — Angie S. @ 12:42 am

Saturday- Medieval Mania

Sunday-  We had Zach’s Birthday party today

Monday- Janeen and I walked 1.4 miles as a starter.  Boy Scouts today was working on rank advancements

Tuesday- Book Club review on Sunday’s at Tiffany’s by James Patterson.  Fun review but I’m excited about next month’s review of a book I read last week titled Room by Emma Donoghue!

Wednesday-  Janeen and I took a quick 2 mile jaunt and then I came home and hubby and I prepared our taxes.  Why did I wait so long?  Let’s see- our refund is $54 from federal and we owe the state $53.  We come out a whole dollar ahead!  Yay us!

Thursday-  I worked late only to rush home and get ready for a Tri-Parish council meeting at 5:30.  There are big changes ahead with restructuring in our diocese!  Zach and I played a game of chess tonight.  He accused me of changing the rules, but truth is he just didn’t listen when I explained them to him!

Friday- Brrr!  Cold and windy today!  Winter can go south at any time now!