A novel told in a series of connected poems

A creative/fun novel and a darned good read
A wonderful debut novel by Sarah Jio

Continuing to read daily

BOOKS I STARTED THIS WEEK

The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin–this is the third in the “Broken Earth” Series

which I started a couple of years ago. My Better Half and I read the first book aloud to each other; I read the second on my own, and started the third. This week I dragged it out from my book closet in my office and re-started it.

Mindfulness by Lisa Brooks and Marie D. Jones–a 2019 publication I found in Barnes and Noble’s “Book Annex” (markdowns) section on a recent visit.

Dearly by Margaret Atwood–her latest collection of poems I hope to finish during National Poetry Month

Searching for God…Knows What by Donald Miller–a hand-me-down from a friend

DEFINITELY SOMETHING FROM THE CLASSIC CLUB

I have until April 30th to read something from the jar (already set up) full of selections listed on strips that are considered classics.

I have everything all set up, butI am sooooo busy with end of semester grading (6 of the 24 students worked ahead and have finished the semester); observing National Poetry Month on my blogs; throwing a “Celebration of Books” last Sunday outdoors where we gave away over 100 free books in two hours–attendance was poor, but many neighbors “saw” our Little Free Library for the first time, which led to more “stops” later in the week and two bagfuls of donated books; and being a “social butterfly” this week having another couple over for coffee and leftover cookies from the party; having a former student and her ten-year-old son over for supper Friday night; and having a children’s author from a nearby city and her nine-year-old daughter over for lunch (They brought then lunch from a local Mexican restaurant.) and a three hour visit today to talk about her writing career start and to receive her first kid’s novel for me to review soon. This is the first time I have received an advance copy . More on this later!

Whew! I plan to do nothing but minimal grading, reading and resting on Sunday. It is supposed to be a day of rest anyway, and I need one. LOL

HAPPY READING IN THE WEEK AHEAD,

SUNDAY SUMMARY

THIS HAS BEEN A GOOD WEEK FOR READING AND AN EVEN BETTER ONE FOR “WATCHING”

LOOKING BACK

This is an approximation, but since January, 2021, I have read:

13 kids books

7 non-fiction books

1 eBook

3 books of poetry

1 audiobook

and 12 novels

THIS PAST WEEK

I FINISHED

A Read with Jenna Selection

Jenna Bush Hagar’s Book Club on the Today Show
A Beverly Cleary kid’s novel about divorce and being “the new kid”
The third in the Wallace Family series (Begins with A Wrinkle in Time)
My daily check in with my “authentic self”

Currently I am reading:

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

Kissing Annabel by Steven Herrick

The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders

YES, I can keep the books separate in my head. They are all so different.

I ALSO WATCHED A GREAT DEAL OF TV, thanks to a four-day 2nd Covid shot reaction and to a couple of days spent on the couch due to pain in my feet, legs and hip. There are some really good movies and some Netflix series that kept my mind off of things for the duration.

This was my week; how was yours? Let me know in the Reply section below.

Because of the age of my Advanced Writing students, I am always interested in the Millennials. I came across this interesting research this past week.

READ ON!

SUNDAY SUMMARY 2/14/21

HAPPY Valentine’s Day

Grunge rubber stamp with word Finished inside,vector illustration
Reviewed recently on PWR

In spite of the title, this is not a romantic read. Reviewed earlier today on PWR

Reviewed recently on PWR

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

A re-read
re-read on an audiobook format
A delightful read reviewed on “Saturday Morning for Kids, PWR

POETRY

Not yet reviewed
My daily devotional

I finished up two books today, and am planning to start two new ones tonight.

QUICK LOOK BACK–GOALS SET FOR 2021

*Clearing TBR shelves We simply made room for more by adding built-in bookshelves in the guest bedroom at Christmas.

*Reading more non-fiction I am making excellent progress here and starting Think Again by Adam Grant tonight.

*Reading more poetry I am doing well here and am enjoying myself after a neglectful break from poetry.

*Celebration of Color Challenge Completed in January

*Reading books about and by Madeline L’Engle. I re-read two of her books about the Murray family and a biography of L’Engle written by her granddaughters so far.

—-COMING SOON— A reading challenge involving New York City for March

Until next time, stay classy lassies (and lads)!

SUNDAY SUMMARY

I finished several books with the end of the old year.
a memoir–recently reviewed

The book I plan to include on my “Celebration of Color” for the category author of color–will review soon

First book finished in the New Year

ALSO FINISHED BUT NOT PICTURED:

Leonard and Hungry Paul and Before the Coffee Gets Cold, both from the library and will be reviewed soon

Beginning at the beginning and already taking notes

borrowed from the library to start a new goal of reading about and from Madeline L’Engle

took off my TBR shelf before the new year started and am continuing to read now

a classic on college teaching I should have read long before now

highly recommended by Deb Nance of Readerbuzz and started in the new year

a really fun read
Perhaps this…

Binged watched a good deal

Effie Gray–a depressing movie which thankfully had a happy ending

George Clooney in The Midnight Sky–I highly recommend it.

Three episodes of Emily in Paris

An episode of The New Girl, thinking of giving this one up

Three episodes of Girl Boss to finish off season 1

Bridgerton, the latest from Shondaland, three episodes…I highly recommend it.

In the Dark, two episodes

Before long class will start and my viewing time will be cut back, so I’m enjoying watching while I can.

SUNDAY SUMMARY

Here’s what I finished this past two weeks:

Reviewed earlier on this blog
To be reviewed soon
Audiobook read for Classic Club
Borrowed from the library
Read for Celebration of Color Challenge–PINK
Taking my daily devotional from this
Almost finished
Haven’t read a memoir in a while
Watched a lot

Virgin River–several episodes

Girl Boss–two episodes including the Christmas episode which was really good

The New Girl–one episode

Emily in Paris–am really enjoying this–two episodes

In the Dark–one episode

Episodes–two episodes

Finished an entire season of Dash and Lily

Began Sophia Loren in The Life Ahead

A couple of Christmas movies

Suggestions?

I’ve had more time to read now that the semester is over, and I’m staying home because I’m scared of Covid.

My friend Susan made these two quilts, one for My Better Half, one for me.

My favorite Christmas present

A good motto to remember

Carry on, and Happy Reading!

SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

The last update on what I have read, am reading, and am going to read was done in a WWW Wednesday on September 26th, a month ago, yesterday. Before that, way back on September 2nd, was my last Sunday (Evening) Post. I realized tonight it had been too long since I had reported in on my ongoing reading efforts and accomplishments. This is an effort to do just that.

Back on September 2nd, I reported that I was reading Amercanah by Ngozi Adichie and enjoying it. I was reading it on my laptop and often forgot to pick it up again. The result? I am still reading it, but I am continuing to enjoy both the story and the characterization of this fine author. I hope to finish it by the end of this week. At that time, I was reading a police procedural, crime-mystery, The Mercy of the Tides by Keith Rosson, a genre I hadn’t read in a long time. I finally gave up on it and passed it along via my Little Free Library.

Since then I have finished:  The Rosie Result, the ending book in the Don Tillman Trilogy (reviewed on PWR recently); Ink and Bone, a book about books by Rachel Caine; The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, a book chosen by my book and film book club, read then viewed, and discussed over lunch (reviewed on PWR recently); Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlen (reviewed); Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story (reviewed); and Shadow of the Wind by Zafon, the last book in my Alphabet Soup Challenge (to be posted at a later date)

When I checked the September 26th report at WWW Wednesdays and added those books I had finished recently, I came up with the following:  The Girl Who Fell From the Sky (not reviewed yet) by Heidi W. Durrow; AHA  by Kyle Idleman; Sea Scope; The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age by Joyce Carol Oates (reviewed on my Literacy blog); Unplug by Suzie Yalof Schwartz (not reviewed yet); The Haunted Bookstore  by Christopher Morely; and A Year of Wednesdays, which completed my Alphabet Soup Challenge.

As of today, Sunday, September 27th, I am still continuing to read: The Stone Sky, by N.K. Jemisin (finally! the third book in The Broken Earth series); Goodnight June by Sarah Jio; My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul, The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks; and I am listening to Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morely.

Obviously, I need to finish the books I have started, but I am looking forward to a book that arrived this weekend: The Crossroads of Should and Must.

The weather here on the Texas Gulf Coast is finally cooler and seems more like fall. Today’s high was only in the low 70s, and I was able to wear a fall sweater-ish top to church. I have been eating and drinking pumpkin-spice flavors since late September, but finally, it feels “right.” I hope your week ahead brings time and weather conducive to much reading!

COFFEE AND A CHAT (Loosely based on Ritu Bhathal’s Chai and a Chat on “But I Smile Anyway”

A blogger from the UK whom I have been following for a few years now is Ritu Bhathal of “But I Smile Anyway.”  Since our blogging friendship began, I have seen her, as a self-described “working mum of two” and an amateur blogger,  become the 2019 recipient of the Annual Blogger Bash award, a published poet (Her Poetic Rituals is a treasured collection of her poetry, reviewed earlier on PWR, that I refuse to part with.), and who is about to morph into a published novelist soon.

Her friendly greeting, “Hey there peeps…” opens many of her posts. (I am embarrassed to admit I asked her what “peeps” were, thinking of those lovely pastel-colored “peeps” that adorned my Easter baskets as a child. She kindly informed me that was blog-speak, English-speak for “people.”) Not too long ago, she began the Monday post “Chai and a Chat” which is an amazingly creative catch-up on her fascinating life and what she has been up to.  It has photographs (a skill I am desperate to learn), colorful, attractive avatars, and a friendly style of addressing her “peeps” and followers. I especially look forward to “Chai and a Chat,” so today, since I did not nake a Sunday (Evening) Post, a la “Brainfluff,” I will offer this catch-up, “Coffee and a Chat” on a Wednesday as a one-time tribute to Ritu’s exceptional blog.

“If we were sipping coffee together… (her standard opening, only “Chai” instead of “Coffee”–you know how the English love their tea!)

“I would tell you…” this was a wacky wonderful week! Since last Sunday my life has turned around, my depression over retirement has lifted, and “Happy Days Are Here Again”!

My friend, Sue’s BD was on the 30th, which gave me the occasion to make a birthday basket, something I love to do, and then Monday I visited her at her home to have her sign an article she had published in an inspirational magazine, which I found copies of at my church library while working with the 5th graders in the library area–we had a photoshoot, and it was professionally done by the two attendees with my iPad

That Thursday, I traveled to the city of Pasadena, Texas, about thirty miles from Lil’ Ole” Alvin to meet one of my former students for lunch and explored the city I had last visited for their Strawberry Festival back in the ’60s. Talk about changes!  I had a wonderful time, and I got to see her spacious little rent house (old houses have big rooms!) and visit with Lilliann, her three-month-old daughter.

Tuesday brought a trip to the ear doctor, where all the news was good, and Wednesday brought a much needed visit from my grandson, who gave me the “shove” I needed to hit “send” on an email asking for my job at the university back.  Yes, after one semester, I’m coming out of retirement, encouraged by my program chair’s reply that started with Five “Yesses” and many exclamation marks. I am so excited and happy I can hardly stand being in the same room with myself!

July Fourth I held my own Readathon (see earlier post) and had a slow-paced, packed-full-of-reading-and-Netflix-viewing weekend.  The fifth brought visits to two friends to deliver BD cakes, and… (Have another cup a coffee! …

When Sunday came again, another former student and her husband came from Seabrook, Texas (again 30 miles away) to have homestyle, slow-cooker pulled pork BBQ and/or beef BBQ (I have two slow cookers) and a light Cool-Whip, pudding, strawberries and graham crackers refrigerator dessert. Later I delivered some BBQ to Deb Nance of “Readerbuzz,” and we talked books, The Texas Book Festival coming up in October and all things “bookish” in her 1900s restored home. What a lovely visit!

Monday, this week, I took care of two doctor’s tests and discovered a great reflexology studio that made my feet, shoulders, and neck feel re-born.  I shall definitely go back after school and its tension starts up again. Tuesday brought another doctor’s appointment, adventuring with My Better Half, and a visit from my friend Nazia and her son Anas and his Cousin Zeenia. The kids painted and autographed rocks and added them to my flower beds. J.D. and Barbara stopped by to pick up a casserole and to bring me chips to try with the batch of salsa I had made over the weekend. He will be 89 next birthday (He says he thinks he’ll skip 89 and go straight to 90; he’d get more attention that way; and Barbara (who shares a birthday month with me in November) says instead of being 86, she thinks she’ll start saying she’s 68, an idea I love because it would mean in November, I’d be turning 57!

Today, Wednesday, I went early to a local church to make pb&j sandwiches for a local trailer park (They deliver sack lunches there every Wednesday, and leftovers go to hotels and homeless areas where people are grateful for a sandwich, chips, and cookies. Since there were plenty of volunteers (another church-camp group brought kids in to take over our duties), I met My Better Half at the R.A.T Pack (Reading All Together) at our Senior Center to discuss What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon. The discussion was as good as the chicken salad, and there were wonderful sugar cookies the discussion leader brought. After the meeting, I went across the street to the Alvin Museum where I meet an archivist I had subscribed to when her publication, “Beautiful Downtown Alvin” was a newsletter and has since become one of the benefits of membership in the Alvin Museum Society. She was a lovely woman and another “kindred spirit.”

It has been a wacky, wonderful week and a half, and I am looking forward to more adventures, more interesting visits from interesting friends and more chances to catch up with my blogs.  You can be sure coffee will be involved in all these activities!

 

SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

Back to my traditional format for the Sunday (Evening) Post.

Books I have finished since the last post:

Emerald City, a book of short stories by Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach (to be reviewed this coming week)

Boy, Snow, Bird, a strange, really different novel (also to be reviewed this coming week)

Uncommon Type, short stories by Tom Hanks (reviewed recently on this blog)

Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen, author of “Rissoli and Isles,” TV series (book to be reviewed soon)

Barkskins  by Annie Proulx, author of The Shipping News

Continuing to Read:

Finishing Strong

Anticipating Reading: End of Life Book Club, recommended by a blogger friend; and Where’d You Go, Bernadette, my Third Tuesday Book Club selection for March

To be completely honest, I had started several of the books finished earlier in my down time when the start of my semester was delayed by icy weather, but once the semester was underway, much of the time I would have used for reading was spent grading, planning, and creating and typing handouts. We hosted our Bible Study/Support Group on Thursday, and a day was dedicated to shopping for new slacks for school, then returning two of the pairs two days later. It was a busy week, but My Better Half and I accomplished two major projects, including a session with the plumber and a session with our “computer guy”/ friend who checked out our security and “got us up to speed.” It promises to be another busy week, and I can hardly wait to see my class Wednesday and tell them what a wonderful job they did on the three minor writing assignments they did last time. It always is a blessing when you have such wonderful “raw material” to shape into excellent writers. Enjoy your week and KEEP ON READING!   

 

Every-Other-Sunday (Evening) Post/Readathon Update

I have a meme on my phone that I should learn to send out here.  It has an adorable puppy on his back, paws up, saying, “Help! I’m running out of weekend!” Well, it is Sunday after 6 p.m., and I have run out of weekend.

My Better Half and I decided to run 12 hours of the 24 hr. Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. I set aside 13 hours, so I could include 1/2 hour each to heat up and eat lunch and supper.  We started promptly at seven, broke for lunch (although we snacked while reading, mostly trail mix and chocolate) around noon, put the dishes on to soak, and I started chicken marsella in the slow cooker.  Amid delicious smells we spent a rainy, warm afternoon reading relaxing either on the bed, propped up by pillows or in comfortable reading/rocking chairs in the living room. Around sixish, we had a pleasant supper and quit reading at eight to give ourselves the Dr.Oz recommended hour’s rest from screen time before turning in. Since I was subbing for our Sunday School teacher on Sunday, I had to put the “finishing touches” on the lesson, and we slept the best we had in a long time, probably because we had had such a stress-free, relaxing day reading.

My progress report:

I finished The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, which gave insights into the inner life and general life of an author in novel form (to be reviewed here soon). I had read approximately 1/3 of it going in, and since it was on my computer Kindle app, I read other things (like Friday’s and Saturday’s Houston Chronicle) to rest my eyes from the computer screen. I read about seven chapters from The Grouchy Grammarian, which I hope to give to a grammar-grouch like myself who teaches English in Lake Jackson, Texas.  I have approximately 24 chapters to finish, but they are mercifully short. I skimmed How to Write Haiku and Other Short Poems, looking for material to use in a lecture on poetry theory Thursday, but I should have been alerted by the Scholastic publisher’s label.  It is aimed at younger readers than college level. The basics are there, however, and I am keeping it as a reference book on the “basics” should I ever get to do my dream of teaching a poetry workshop. I began Jeanette Walls memoir, Half Broke Horses (I had read The Glass Castle) and ended on page 113 before quitting. All in all, I had a productive, most enjoyable day, and felt renewed and refreshed when I awoke around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Today was a busy day, teaching in Sunday School, meeting a student for lunch at Starbuck’s to help with a poorly written do-over paper, attending a meeting of the Alvin Museum Society which featured the head of the Brazoria County Museum Society who brought artifacts and reproductions and discussed what the “usual” doughboys took with them into WWI. Much of the material was new to me, and the speaker was generous enough to let us handle the “souvenirs” of the Great War and ask him questions. Our Alvin Museum is doing a temporary display of items from WWI, and I plan to go see them next weekend.

After doing a set of papers and reading the Sunday edition of The Houston Chronicle, filled with the good news of our beloved Astros, managed by a home-town Alvin boy, Reid Ryan, I prepared supper (leftovers) and am seeing what I’ve missed in the blogging world in the past two days.  It has been a very good weekend! 

Every-Other-Sunday-(Evening)-Post

It has been a grueling week, almost too much to handle, but The Good Lord and help from My Better Half and my cleaning friend, Carmen, got me through.  I had direct orders from my “grandson” to “do something fun,” so yesterday we went to our default family grill just up the street about a mile and had a light breakfast- -light for Diana’s, which usually offers a Country Boy Breakfast–use your imagination. Then we went to a nearby town to an estate sale. We bought a few useful items (no big purchases) and decided to return Sunday at one to see if the massage chair (which we don’t  really have room for) was still available and like all other items Sunday ,75% off.  We went back today after church, and it had been sold.  I did find some jewelry I couldn’t live without (at 75% off, remember) and a nice, white bookshelf for $7.50, a steal!

This past two weeks I finished reading the following:

The Good American, a coming-to-America-story, which I reviewed recently on this blog.

Jo Jo Meyer’s Paris For One,a novelette accompanied by several short stories which was good pick-up-put-down, escape reading.  This will  be reviewed this coming week.

I continued to read:

Poetic Rituals by Ritu Bhatal, a blogging friend ,who offers welcome relief from the stress and angst of daily life. I am reading her poems about love and its various forms right now and enjoying them immensely.

Daughter of Time (which is Truth), mentioned last time, which I will probably finish tonight or tomorrow.

The second novel of a friend, The Address, written by Fiona Davis, a New York, NY dweller who writes about famous buildings that are not only settings but practically  characters in her stories and mysteries. I should finish it this coming week.

Notes from A Small Dog by Ani , the dog, and told from her and her owner’s points of view.  It is on my Kindle app, and I should finish it soon. Look for a review.

I have begun Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States by Felipe Fernando-Armesto, my sole attempt to read more non-fiction besides the heart-warming book by Ani.

What I watched:

Very little TV

The Shack, which I read in print years ago, and was surprised to find I liked the movie MUCH better (probably because of the actress who played God, the “Father” part of the Trinity.  I also liked the actor who played Jesus, The Son, as well, especially since it was played by an Arabian-ethnic actor. The younger woman who played The Spirit, the third part of The Trinity ,was excellent also, much better than in the book, where the Spirit reminded me of Ariel or Tinkerbell.

Most of the time I was watching or reading was out of defense from all the school-related reading and work I was doing.  Thankfully, books and the movie provided me with an outlet and a release from the stress I was putting on myself. With two days of R&R and two “fun things” plus a little “cooking for therapy,” I feel like I am caught up and ready to face another week and “Go get ’em.”