Sunday Evening Post (on Saturday night)

Because tomorrow promises to be a full, busy day, I am posting my Sunday wrap-up a few hours ahead of time. The pace of our lives has picked up, as the new school semester rapidly approaches. Public schools here required new teachers to report this past Monday, and all teachers gather again this coming Monday. Students start on Thursday, August 16th, thus easing students (and teachers) into a short week, rather than go for five days in a row, right off the bat. My first class at the university is not until August 29th.  I am ready; sooooo ready.  I may have some time on my hands between now and then, so perhaps I will have time to read.

At the moment I am continuing to read:

Carry Me Like Water on my Kindle app

Singing and Swinging and Making Merry Like Christmas (Maya Angelou’s autobiography, volume 2)

The Fifth Season 

I put aside:

My book club’s selection for this month, Persuasion, by Jane Austin Perhaps the discussion of the book will make me want to go ahead and finish it.

I completed:  (to be totally honest, several were nearly done anyway)

The Dark Tower  by Stephen King, the seventh book in the series of the same name. This has been an on-going project both for King and myself.  We began the series in my junior high teaching days (which seems like another lifetime, definitely another teaching career) and I have enjoyed every book in the series. I think Wolves of the Calla is still my favorite because of the action-packed adventure and the “return” of characters from other stand alone books in this book of the series. The ending? Well, the ending was not totally satisfactory, but I agree with King when he said in his author’s notes at the end, it was the only suitable ending.

Dr. Sleep, also by King, which I reviewed here recently

Before We Were Yours, which I shall review soon

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, a most enjoyable read  This book started out with two original elements, a floating book barge, fully stocked and moored on the River Seine and a bookseller, the main character, who could diagnose his customers and prescribe exactly the book that would cure their “ills” or even change their lives. It was perhaps the best book I read this summer.

This week brings one final medical test, and I am going to make an appointment with my GP to tell him the changes he has made to treat my high blood pressure just isn’t working out.  The medication is causing an annoying, constant cough which is hindering my ability to talk and is keeping me awake almost all night.  This has to be “fixed” before I go back to school.  Ah, the joys of the “Golden Years”!

 

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Sunday (Evening) Post on Monday

Yesterday got away from me, and so I am writing Sunday’s intended post on Monday. Looking back at the last one on June 18th, I found that I had started Dr. Sleep by Stephen King which I am still continuing to read, in fact, nearing the “finish line”; and my, is it good! Also I had started Carry Me Like Water by Saenz, which I am also continuing to read on Kindle.  At the time I was still reading The Lightening Thief by Riordian which I have since finished and reviewed on this blog. We also were continuing our shared project, Book One of the Broken Earth Series as a read-aloud, and this past weekend we made more progress than usual, reading three chapters rather than just two.  I hope to get in a chapter a night during the week this week, so we’ll be ready to move on to Book Two soon.  It is a fun thing to read aloud together, and My Better Half and I are thoroughly enjoying the action, drama, and beautiful writing of this series.

Now on to my post for July 15th. As of Sunday, I completed Finish Strong, an inspirational book which I had set aside several months ago. I am very glad I read the final chapters, for they were some of the most helpful. I also read The Houston Chronicle Sunday edition from cover to cover and now feel prepared to face a new week of issues and news stories with a good background.

I started Maya Angelou’s second book in her seven volume autobiography, Singing and Swinging and Making Merry Like Christmas and several poems from Shaker Why Don’t You Sing? , one of her lesser known collections of poetry. I found both while moving books around on the shelf and discovered I had them but had never read them.

I binged watched several episodes from The Crown on Netflix, nearing the completion of the first season. I also watched two episodes from another Netflix series, Strange Empire.

I quit reading and delegated to my Little Free Library Golden Son,a story about an Indian pre-med student which was just too much like other novels I’d read on the same topic.

I am looking forward to reading Maya Angelou’s Letter to My Daughter, another “find” on my own shelf.

This is already proving to be a very busy week ahead with a doctor’s appointment this morning, a test to be done Thursday, but it also promises lunch with friends to discuss The Great American Read and a concert at the university Thursday night.  Full, yes. But, never boring!

 

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

 

 

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.