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.

 

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SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

I can’t believe Sunday is here again already. Its rapid arrival gives a whole new insight into the old saw, “My, how time flies”! The highlights of this past week were teaching my own class Wednesday where we began our blogging, teaching my grandson’s classes on Thursday, and Easter Sunday. Overall it was a good week and one in which I actually did some reading.

Finished this past week:

Holes, a YA novel by Louis Sacher, which I’m sure starts many conversations among kids who have read it

I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Wasn’t) by Brene Brown, a researcher and social work lecturer at UH Main Campus, part of the UH system for which I teach. The research and the book deal with shame, the definition, the concepts and all its many ins and outs.  She specifically introduces her terms “Shame Web” and “Shame Resilience,” helpful tools for exploring women and shame and how to deal with it. She examines the quest for perfection women take upon themselves and well as the social expectations our culture and society lay upon women, especially. The cover subtitle is, “Making the Journey from “What Will People Think?” to “I Am Enough,” a journey she assists readers with quite well. Seven years of research and hundreds of interviews went into the book, and it shows.

I Thought It Was Just Me has been described as having the potential “to turn lives around (Harriet Lerner, PhD author of The Dance of Anger). The insights and even the strategies offered are not only helpful but workable for most women. She gives women specific things to say to prevent saying, “I wish I had said something” after an incident where they, or another person was shamed by a group of women,  The feeling the reader has at the end of the book is, “We are all in this together, and Brown offers a group solution.

Continuing to read:

Dying for Space by blogging friend and author S.J. Higbee, an excellent, action-packed, fast-paced sequel to her outstanding Running Out of Space. I am not necessarily a fan of Space Opera novels, but this one contains all the elements of any good novel and also has “keeps-you-reading-writing.”

I did not have time to start either of the “I-Can”t-Wait-To-Begin selections” I purchased at Half-Priced Books last week. I still have those to look forward to. Also, the Brene Brown book completed the “I” requirement of my Alphabet Challenge (aka known as “The Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge” from Lori Coswell at the blog, “Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book.”

I have a wonderful book for “J,” and since it is a book of poems, I have high hopes of finishing it by next Sunday evening’s post. I plan to KEEP READING and trust you’ll do the same.   

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

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!   

 

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

How quickly Sunday came around again! It has been a full and busy week. I did manage to work in some reading, however.

What I finished this week:

Hillbilly Elegy by Vance, my Third Tuesday Book Club selection/ The Beekeeper’s Daughter  I need some help with this one.  When I recommended this title Monday to a friend, she said she found three novels with this title. The one I read was by Montefiore, but it was in large print from our local library, so there was no information about the author and what other things she had written. Someone recommended this book to me by just the title, and I know nothing about two other authors who have used the same title.If someone has read a novel titled The Beekeeper’s Daughter, please leave a note in the comments section and either give me the author or a little about what the book entailed.

What I began and continued reading this week:

Playing With Fire , a novel by Tess Gerritson, author of the Rissoli and Isles TV series, which I can hardly put down/Boy, Snake, Bird by Helen Oyayemi, a strange but fascinating book

What I am still continuing to read:

Reading the Bible from the Margins, my non-fiction selection/Finish Strong, also non-fiction.  In both books, I’m approaching the end and hope to complete them this week.

What I can hardly wait to begin, but will probably not start this week:

Emerald City, a book of short stories by the author of Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan

My reading time will be limited this week, not only because of Wednesday’s class (Send me in, coach, I’m ready!), but because I have a lunch engagement Tuesday and a book club meeting that evening. I plan to do nothing Monday, MLK Day, but read, read, read!