SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

The last time I did one of these was April 15th. I could blame it on the end of the semester; I could blame it on having back and foot trouble and having to schedule doctor’s visits and “down times,” but I guess I’d better “‘fess up” and tell the truth–I have been incredibly lazy. Not only have I not reported on books read, but I have not kept track of them at all, not even in my reading log. I am sure I have turned in to the library some books I have borrowed and read, and I KNOW I have purchased and read books and passed them along or put them in my LFL (Little Free Library).  This is the best I can do for now.

Books I have read:

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson which I borrowed from the library This one I found at the public library and finished in two days

I finished Kiss Her Goodbye for the “K” in my “Alphabet Challenge.”

Just Thinking, a collection of poems by blogger and author Colin Chappell

Remains of the Day, the April selection for our Third Tuesday Book Club

Tell Me More, a collection of essays

I have set aside (again) Book VII (the end of the series) of Stephen King’s “Dark Tower”

 

Books I have started and am continuing to read:

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Neffenegger  This book was published in 2003; why am I just reading it now? Described to me as a “tear jerker” by the librarian who recommended it, it is a wonderful read I literally can’t put down.

My Better Half and I have begun reading aloud a three book series, book one being The Fifth Season written by N.K. Jemisin.

My current non-fiction read is Rick Warren’s What on Earth Am I Here for? The situation is one is supposed to read one chapter a day and think about it all day.  There are also “talks” that go along with each chapter. I checked this one out of my church library, but it is way overdue, so I probably should buy a copy before continuing.

The Last Apprentice,a YA book I picked for the letter “L,” rescuing it after it was run over in the street near my house, then giving it one last read before tossing it (It was too dilapidated and tattered to put it in my LFL.)

For the letter “M,” I have begun The Man Without a Shadow by Joyce Carol Oates, one which I will definitely want to review (if I can!).

A blogger friend, James J. Cudney of “This is my Truth Now” blog’s second novel (first was Watching Glass Shatter), Father Figure is a recent purchase and one I’m enjoying a great deal.

Finally, I have picked up a book I started many months ago and forgot I had, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. I’m only “in” a few chapters, but I do know it’s one I want to read and will enjoy finishing.

So, grades are posted. A celebratory lunch took place for the end of the semester, and OBVIOUSLY plans for the coming week are to catch up on my reading and finish what I’ve begun!

HAPPY READING

 

 

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SUNDAY POST

It is not yet Sunday, but I am going to do my Sunday(Evening) Post early. Last week I skipped it, giving an update on how I was doing on the Alphabet Challenge instead. This past week…

I finished :

Dying for Space by author and blogger, S.J. Higbee, which I will review during the coming week.

Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Diiie, a collection of poems by Maya Angelou, which counts for the letter “J” in my Alphabet Challenge.

Continued:

Book VII of the “Dark Tower Series”

Began:

Kiss Her Goodbye (Letter “K” in my Alphabet Challenge) by Wendy Corsi Staub

This was an extremely busy week. It reminded me when my mother was alive and living in a retirement home.  She had so many activities to choose from she’d wear herself out at the end of the day and be too tired to sleep at night. I would tell her, “One big thing a day, Mother. One big thing a day.” I am learning to tell myself the same thing, and indeed, I had a big thing every day this past week. Monday I met three students at the Cheesecake Factory in Houston and helped them with an upcoming paper. Tuesday there was a doctor’s appointment in Friendswood first thing. Wednesday is my teaching day at the university, and on the way I stopped and saw a friend in the hospital. Thursday our Bible Support Group met here and we shared a lunch together. Friday brought another  doctor’s appointment, this time in Houston , and today my AAUW group met here for brunch and to fill toiletry bags for the local women’s shelter. Tomorrow I teach fifth graders in Sunday School. I hope to rest and read tomorrow afternoon as well as finish up some school plans and schoolwork.

Hopefully next week will not be quite as demanding, and I’ll have more books read by the next time I do a Sunday (Evening) Post.

 

SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

Last week was Spring Break, and I took a break from my Sunday (Evening) Posts. I am pleased to report that during Spring Break and over this week end, I have been able to work in a good bit of reading. Here’s my “progress report.”

Finished:

The Fortelling by Alice Hoffman (reviewed on this blog this past week)

Second Chance Grill by Christine Nolti, a light, escape-reading romance that will be reviewed soon

Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart, a delightful mystery which kept me turning pages and staying up too late    Shout out to Aurora–Yes, I’ve finished it!

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson, a strange, depressing, but truly beautiful book, which counted for my “H” in The Alphabet Challenge

Started:

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Wasn’t) by Brene Brown, a book I have had for a long while on my TBR shelf and which will count as the letter “I” in the challenge

Holes, by Louis Sacher, a YA novel recommended by the clerk at Half Price Books to place in my Little Free Library for males

Books I purchased and can’t wait to start:

McEvan’s The Children Act and John Irving’s Last Night in Twisted River, both books I have heard of or read ABOUT, but haven’t gotten around to reading. Now I have no excuse.

Films watched:

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Mudbound, both excellent viewing

The week ahead promises to be full, but filled with a variety of activities: class, of course; a guest lecture for my grandson’s writing class; a haircut, needed very badly; and hopefully some shopping and eating out.

I hope your week coming up is as promising and that it brings on Esster weekend as a fresh start and good spirits for all.

SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

This past week was a busy one with doctor’s appointments, a couple of tests (hoops to jump through for insurance coverage of a back procedure I badly need), and readying my Advanced Writing class for Spring Break and the Argument/Research papers that are due on the 21st of March. Therefore, I had a minimum amount of time to read until Friday.  Since then, I have made up for time.

What I finished this past week:

“If you do not like the past, change it”: The Reel Civil Rights Revolution, Historical Memory, and The Making of Utopian Pasts a dissertation for the PhD degree by Dr. Andrew Joseph Pegoda, my grandson   I started this when it was presented to me back in December and have just now finished it. I must admit that it changed my thinking that all dissertations had to be stuffy and rhetorically “stiff.” I am very glad I took on this huge 8″x11″ page-size book as a labor of love, for I learned a great deal about the Civil Rights era and about the films made that represented it.

Speak by Louise Halse Anderson, a YA novel mentioned by several of my students.  I highly recommend this novel.

Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser This 2000 “classic” is a fictional probe into the mind and motivation of a school shooter, which is “vivid, distressing, and all too real.” (Kirkus Review) The stats and facts peppered across the bottoms of the pages are real and should be alarming to us all.

What I quit reading this past week:

Where’d You Go, Bernadette  I rarely give up on a book, but give up I did on this Third Tuesday Book Club selection for March. I had a copy of the book already, and I voted to read it. I gave it a fair try, reading to page 97 before I hollered “Enough!” and put it down.

Continuing to read this past week:

The Dark Tower by Stephen King the seventh and last book in the series  It just keeps getting better and better.

Started and continuing to read this past week:

The Fortelling by Alice Hoffman Hoffman is one of my favorite authors and she is not disappointing in this magical, mythical tale.

Both The Fortelling and Give a Boy a Gun will count as “F” and “G” in my current “Alphabet Challenge” which is an on-going project. (see earlier post, search “Alphabet Challenge”)

I guess I read more than I realized I did this past week, stealing a precious moment and a resting half-hour here and there. This coming week is Spring Break for us, so maybe I’ll have another week of reading accomplishments. Hope you’ll have many reading accomplishments too.

 

Sunday (Evening) Post

Instead of going through what I’ve finished, what I’m continuing to read, and what I’ve begun, I want to give a summary of the January challenge I gave myself– to read six books before February first in an attempt to get a few books off my TBR list/shelf.

Here are the six books that led to a successful meeting of the challenge:

  1. The Whole Cat and Caboodle, a cozy mystery by Sofie Ryan that was due back at the local library. It is the first in Ryan’s “Second Chance” series featuring Sarah Grayson, who owns a second-hand shop (Named Second Chance) in a small town.  I chose the book because of the cat on the cover. (Of course there is a cat, this is a cozy mystery!) Sarah hangs out with her grandmother’s friends (Think The Golden Girls…) and one is found with her current beaux (of dubious reputation), his head lying on her shoulder, “deadder” then the proverbial doornail. Is her Grandma’s friend guilty of murder?  That’s what these funny, endearing “girls” are determined to find out.  Sarah’s reaction is not to get involved, but she can’t help herself, and she meets two prospective love interests (to be further developed as the series progresses) as she becomes entangled in the mystery.  The book is a fun “escape read” and provided just what I needed as I geared up for a new semester.
  2. Running Out of Space by S.J. Higbee, a sci fi thriller, adventure-story for YA and for those of us older readers who still feel like young adults. This book was reviewed Saturday on https://powerfulwomenreaders.wordpress.com
  3. The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Santa Montefiore, also a library loan (chose it because the title “sounded familiar” and it was large print.)  It will be reviewed on PWR soon.
  4. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, a book club “assignment” recently reviewed here on PWR.
  5. Morningstar, A book about Growing Up with Books by Ann Head, which will be reviewed soon on PWR. I chose it because of one of Deb Nance’s Readerbuzz posts featuring “Books about Books.”
  6. Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Life in the Stacks, written by librarian, Annie Spence, which contains hilarious and sometimes pensive letters and break-up notes to various books in her reading life as she culls them from the library shelves. Kirkus Review writes, “…begs to be read with a pencil in hand.” So true! It writes, “Spence will make you think of old favorites in a new way.” Warning: This clever, slim little book will expand your TBR list!

There it is–my successful completion of the January attempt to return books checked out over the holidays to the library, read the selection for two book clubs (They both chose Hillbilly Elegy.), and start in on TBR’s I already own. PWR readers may see an overlap of books because I took on “The Alphabet Challenge” another blogger was continuing shortly after I began my own January-Six-Book challenge, and read accordingly.  More on that challenge in another post.

SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

Tonight’s post needs be brief because I have my fingers in several pies at the moment. We spent the morning at church and heard a great “State of the Church” sermon by our interim pastor, which stated what we had done well in 2017 and gave a stirring challenge for the year to come.  It made me want to “get out there and ‘serve’ .”

Books I am currently reading: My Life With BOB (which stands for Book of Books” and was a gift from a friend.  So far it is a delightful philosophical discussion of books and life in general, each concerning a specific book.

Hillbilly Elegy, our Third Tuesday Book Club selection for January, which I’ve just begun and am not sure yet how I feel about it.

The Beekeeper’s Daughter, a novel that has kept my interest throughout.

A Book I Can Hardly Wait to Start: Emerald City, which was a gift from a friend for Christmas.

I have not done much reviewing since Christmas, but I have entered most of the books I’ve read into my reading log, and shall review them eventually. (Think, “Coming Attractions”)

This coming week is my last chance to invite people over and to socialize by meeting for coffee, lunch or supper before next week, which brings the start of school.  I am ready–sooooo ready. I was so eager to get out of school after Thanksgiving that I can’t believe I am so eager to go back.  I can’t wait to meet my new “crop” of writers and get them started on taking ownership of their writing, plus seeing how my new additions to the course go over. The syllabus is written, and paper copies are ready to hand out; I have pretty well made a (flexible) lesson plan for session one of Advanced Writing.  I have a new group, a new room in an old building I haven’t been in in a long time, and a new start all the way around.  Bring on the new semester!

CHRISTMAS READ-A-THON RESULTS

Saturday, December 23rd, I began my Readathon at 7:00 a.m., and spent the first hour reading my “grandson’s” dissertation, “If You Do Not Like the Past, Change It”: The Reel Civil Rights Revolution, Historical Memory, and the Making of Utopian Pasts. He is a cultural historian and an expert on how films depict history, but even though his dissertation is a very scholarly work, it is surprisingly readable.  Throughout the day, I would return to this huge red book, and covered the end of chapter two and all of chapter three, a total of 130 pages.

By 8:00, I wanted a break and some breakfast, so while I had my coffee and muffin, I read the morning edition of The Houston Chronicle, skimming most, but closely reading two feature articles and all of the comics.

At 8:45, I read on the novel, Manhattan Beach, and over the course of the day, I read approximately 130+ pages.

By 9:00, my e-mails and texts were pinging in, so I dealt with them, plus reading a few blog posts until 9:30 when I returned to Manhattan Beach. It was becoming really interesting by this point.

From then until noon, taking a few minutes out to put dinner in the oven, I read a few chapters of Finish Strong by Richard G. Capen to include some non-fiction reading.

At lunch we had unexpected company, whom, of course, we invited to eat with us, and I broke my Readathon until 3:00 p.m. in order to enjoy a Christmas visit.

Back to the dissertation at 3:00 until 4:00 p.m. when I took a break to clean up the kitchen, grab a snack, and deliver Christmas goodies to neighbors, which, again, required a bit of visiting time.

By 4:30 I was in the mood for Manhattan Beach again, followed by a few pages from Finish Strong when I came to the chapter break of the novel, and then, on to the 5:30 evening news and a light supper.

At 6:00 p.m., I decided to switch to the Kindle app on my laptop and read S. Higbee’s Running Out of Space (I was propelled through several chapters at time-warp speed because of the fast paced action).  The book is an exciting adventure in the future on board a spaceship (and other places). By 8:15, I needed to catch my breath and breathe in some of Earth’s familiar oxygen, so I returned to Finish Strong.  Overall, I managed to read chapters 4-11 of this very inspiring, very readable book.  The only drawback was, while on this book, I often found myself stopping to copy down some parts of it for my quotes book.

Around 8:00 p.m., I secured the house, turned on the outside lights, and prepared myself to finish my reading in bed. Until 9:00, I read on the dissertation, and followed with two of Neil Gaiman’s essays from his The View from the Cheap Seats.  As I became sleepier and sleepier, I decided that approximately 10 hours was a respectable accomplishment for a readathon, and although I didn’t fulfill my goal of finishing a whole book, I did make a good dent in four books on my TBR list.

In spite of not finishing a whole book nor reading for twelve hours, I would deem my little Readathon a success.

Merry Christmas!