NOVEMBER WRAP UP

Today is December first, which leads me to reflect on the books I read during the month of November. I was amazed when counting back that I had read eleven books: a book about books, an inspirational book, a memoir, a mystery, a non-fiction book, a Newberry Award winning kid’s novel, three novels, and two YA novels. This floored me, for also during the month of November, I graded 23 research/argument (7-10 pages each) papers; my students finished and presented their Literacy Projects; I caught a four-day virus, which I promptly shared with My Better Half; my brother from Virginia came for a visit; I turned another year older, and we celebrated Thanksgiving.  Whew!

Here is a quick list of titles and authors I read:

Academic Curveball by James J. Cudney (to be reviewed here soon) Kindle

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hasseini (reviewed on this blog recently) audio book

Books For Living by Will Schwalbe (reviewed on this blog recently) borrowed from an e-library

Compulsion ( a YA novel) Kindle

For One More Day by Mitch Albom (to be reviewed here soon)

In The Shadow of the Statues by Mitch Landrieu ( to be reviewed here soon) Book club selection for November

Jesus by Max Lucado borrowed from church library

The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (reviewed on “Saturday Mornings for Kids” on this blog)

Never Stop Walking by Christina Rickardsson (reviewed recently)

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman, which resumes my Alphabet Challenge

Raising Lazarus (to be reviewed here soon)

With the Christmas Holidays fast approaching, I may not do as much reading, but there are still so many books on my TBR shelves, and my “little brother” gave me a Barnes and Nobel gift card for my birthday!

 

 

 

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SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

My last Sunday (Evening) Post was on September 10th, so I have a good deal to post about the reading I have done since then.

Started Reading:

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk  I used this book, which was contributed to my Little Free Library for my First Line Friday post recently and made the comment that the opening was so rough I wondered if I could read it. I read the first chapter so far and am still not sure.

Continuing to Read:

Dogsbody by Gary Paulsen The story seems very promising, but because I have several library books checked out presently, I have had to put it aside.

Fix It, Clean It, and Make It Last by the editors of FC&A (whatever that is) is a DIY book which is going very slowly because I am taking copious notes. It, too, was donated to my LFL.

The Inexplainable Logic of My life is by one of my favorite authors, Saenz, who also wrote Ari and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, which was my introduction to this amazing author  It is on my Kindle app.

My Better Half and I are continuing to read aloud The Obelisk Gate.

Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being is a real “find,” and the perfect follow-up to listening to The Elegance of the Hedgehog.

Finished:

Breakfast with Buddha by Merullo

Just Juice and The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown, two children’s chapter books which will be featured on Saturday’s Saturday Mornings for Kids post this coming week

I Want to Start Soon:

Bluebird, Bluebird, by Attica Locke, the Texas Gulf Coast Read and the October selection for our Third Tuesday Book Club

Evidence of Flossing by blogging friend Jennifer Payne, a collection of poetry

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, a novel we are considering as a book club selection  We have a “rule” that someone in the group has to have read the book before we consider it for a month’s selection.

As you can see, I have my work cut out for me, and since several of these are library books, I need to “get cracking.”

Happy Reading!

 

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”!

 

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.