SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

This has been an “off week”, and I took advantage of it by making it a reading week. Tuesday through today (Sunday) my main activity has been reading.

I have finished:

Who Is the Human? by Gary Pegoda — Reviewed recently on this blog.  Good sci-fi action.

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald–Reviewed recently on this blog.

Setting Free the Kites by Alex George–a recent library impulse selection chosen because it was large print and thoroughly enjoyed.  To be reviewed on this blog soon.

The Devil’s Highway by Alberto Urrea–Reviewed recently on this blog.

Continuing to Read:

Set aside temporarily, Garth Stein’s A Sudden Light

My non-fiction attempt to expand my genre preferences, bell hooks’s Feminism is For Everybody: Passionate Politics  I have barely begun, but I feel I should read bel hooks.

A book recommended by a fellow blogger at Brainfluff, The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
A Kindle Purchase written by a blogging friend Notes from a Small Dog by Ani

Watched:

The rest of the TV series, “Genius”, the story of Albert Einstein’s life and work

Rick Steves’ Europe on PBS, Went to Germany, twice; Scotland; parts of England.  I never get tired of him as a tour guide nor his show.  We often watch during meals since they are only thirty minutes long.

Movie, “The  Magdalene Sisters–brutal! A true story from Ireland.

Next week brings doctor’s visits and a few fun things as well, and of course, LOTS of reading!

 

Sunday (Evening) Post

Because I read several books at a time, I often finish several near the same time as well. During the past two weeks, I finished the following books:

The Devil’s Highway by Luis Urrea, a story of the US Border Patrol and its policies toward illegal immigrants–This book was one that although non-fiction, read like a novel, and I polished it off in two days.

Sophie’s World took much longer because it was full of philosophy and required thinking about while one followed the plot of an-about-to-be-fifteen year old girl.  It was educational as well as entertaining.

Before We Visit the Goddess by Chitra Divakaruni, a Houston writer I had read before took only a day and an evening, for it was so good that I stayed up late to finish it.

Gary Pegoda’s sci-fi novel,Who Is Human? also took more time because I had it on my Kindle app and was adjusting to the first novel read in that format, because it was very thought-provoking, and because I often found myself slowing down to admire the excellent writing.

For the time being, I had put aside Garth Stein’s (author of Racing in the Rain, a heartbreaking but engaging novel, told from a dog’s point of view) A Sudden Light in order to return Divakaruni’s novel to the library on time.  I hope to return to it this coming week.

I have just begun the large print version of Katarina Bivald’s The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, also borrowed from the library, which has me laughing out loud and totally delighted by page 355 in just two days.

I did manage to work in the Sunday edition of The Houston Chronicle as my guilty pleasure for a Sunday afternoon, something I reward myself with when I’ve worked hard on various things all week.

I have had out-of-state company all week, and although we have had a lovely time and wonderful visit, I will be glad to have some peace and quiet (they have an 8 year old and a ten year old, brilliant and sweet kids, but exhausting to an old woman like me LOL) before starting teaching summer school at the local college in July. I am sure once the family is out the door I will be missing the happy laughter from the many games of Uno played on the living room floor and the delicious authentic Chinese meals the father of the family has made for us.  I feel like it has been Mother’s Day (week) instead of Father’s Day because of the royal treatment I have been receiving.

I have plans to get some reading done before I get caught up in lesson plans and grading, perhaps I’ll start right now…

Sunday (Evening) Post

It is back to reading, coming with a few rainy days in a row.  I had about finished up several books, so this past few days, I have started a few “new” ones. Striving to work some non-fiction into my reading, my “grandson” loaned me a very readable non-fiction work by Luis Alberto Urrea, The Devil’s Highway, which deals with immigrants’ desperate attempts to achieve a better life in this country and the work of the US Border Patrol.  I am only on chapter two, but am thoroughly “hooked.” I am looking forward to reading more on this book this coming week.

Last week I started a unique review of Philosophy 101 in novel form in the YA “classic”, Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaardner.  The introduction to this, the 20th anniversary edition, by the author is enough to stimulate anyone’s curiosity, and the novel itself is extremely engaging. In a week’s time I have read a little over one half of this hefty, thought provoking, mysterious novel. I also began Garth Stein’s (author of Racing in the Rain) A Sudden Light, also a mysterious, somewhat supernatural novel written in 2014. I am only on chapter seven, which is scarcely into the book, as the chapters are pleasantly short.  All of these books are keeping me reading.  I am also continuing with Gary Pegoda’s Who Is Human?  on my Kindle app on my laptop.  I am definitely going to ask for a real Kindle for my birthday coming up, for the glare does not allow me to read for long periods of time.  The story just keeps getting more and more interesting, and although I cannot predict where it is going, I want to keep reading to find out.

We have been turning the house upside down and inside out, placing new furniture and moving pieces from room to room.  Our sixteen year old cat, Lena, is most upset because nothing is where it used to be (except for the granite topped table in the breakfast room and the large dining room table and assorted furniture in the dining room), and she seems somewhat disoriented and confused.  As long as she has her “box”, food and water bowls, and a window next to the window seat to look out of, I think she will be fine.

The PWR ladies met last Sunday (I was too exhausted to do a Sunday (Evening) Post last week because we had such a good time, and although our numbers were small, we had a lovely visit, and we were able to send attendees home with sandwiches for husbands for supper and various baggies full of “snacks” for the coming week.) It was a matter of quality time, and considering that it was Memorial Day Weekend and many had family plans, I was especially pleased.  Everyone took home some books to read, and a couple brought books to loan and magazines for my Bookworm Club (which will meet in July)which we will use to cut up for vocabulary “projects.”

It was a good week, and the week ahead promises to hold many good things as well. I wish the same for you and yours.

Sunday (Evening Post)

This week has been filled with trips to the mall to visit and walk the mall with a friend from Las Vegas, and going four days in a row (each day a larger percentage off) to an estate sale down the road where we purchased a bedside table in anticipation of visitors from Boston in June and a roll-top desk as an early anniversary present to each other. We also brought some smaller items none of which we needed, but all  nice additions to our house and lifestyles.  Because of the unusual busyness, I did very little reading.

I finished Vanishing Grace by Phillip Yancey, borrowed from the church library, which I returned this morning.  A review follows soon.

I am continuing to read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas which deals with a white on black shooting and is so interesting that I am halfway to three fourths of the way through.

I started an old book, Tender Mercies by Taylor Caldwell that a friend brought to donate to my LFL when she attended a book party, and I am wondering why I haven’t heard of it before? It is old-fashioned, but wonderful.

I have been cooking this week: Greek lemon-roasted golden potatoes, spaghetti and meatballs, roast beef in the crockpot, and fresh green beans and new potatoes from a friend’s garden.  We are eating well.

It is hot on the Gulf Coast of Texas, hitting 90 degrees, at least, each day with 0ver 85 to 90 percent humidity.  Whew! With washing clothes, taking extra showers, and watering the plants, I dread seeing my water bill!

The Powerful Women Readers’ “Hen Party” is next Sunday, so I have another busy week ahead, shopping and cleaning in anticipation of that. I have read and prepared book talks on all three “assigned” books, but this get together will focus on food, fellowship and fun.

Sunday (Evening) Post

Happy Mother’s Day.  Although I am not a mother, I had a lovely Mother’s Day Weekend. Saturday my husband and I visited Half-Price Books in Houston and I purchased $30 worth of bargains for my Little Free Library.  While in the same strip shopping center, we went to a consignment store specializing in furniture and accessories, and my husband bought me a lovely basket/vase which I was able to put dried flowers/weeds from a disassembled floral arrangement in, something I’ve wanted to do for a while now.  The clerk at the store said, “Tell me you’re a mother, and you’ll get a twenty percent discount.”  I informed her I was not a mother, but I thought I deserved a discount for being honest.  My Better Half chimed in that I was the only mother our cat, Lena, had ever known, and the kind salesperson came through with the discount!  She made my day. We finished up at Eduardo’s Mexican Kitchen for lunch, thus freeing me from cooking , not only the rest of the day but also for lunch today, thanks to warmed up leftovers.

This morning we cleaned up and moved furniture around in our guest  bedroom, anticipating summer visitors.  It looks so much larger and roomier, and My Better Half hung two pictures on the wall and in the hallway to accommodate the changes we made.  Now to the local Alvin furniture store, Cox’s, for an end table and maybe  a new sofa and loveseat at their Memorial Day Sale.  I told you it was a good weekend, didn’t I?

We worked in the yard again this first full week off from school, planting flowering hawthorne, another hibiscus, a knock-out rosebush, and a lipstick plant in a pot.  Also, our Easter Lillies, hastily stuck in the ground last Easter, are in full bloom for Mother’s Day.  They also have multiplied, so we may have further blooms for Father’s Day, or at least for next spring.

Finished this week: Many Waters by Madeline Engle…great as a part of a series or as a stand alone. (To be reviewed soon) and the very first issue of a delightful magazine, Magnolia Journal, “inspiration for life and home.” As a charter subscriber I was very interested in receiving this magazine, skimmed it ooooohing and aaaaahing when it first arrived, then going back and reading with enjoyment every word. Joanna and Chip Gaines, editor-in-chief and editor-at-large, respectively, are responsible for this excellent piece of readability.

Continuing to read: Have not quite finished today’s edition of The Houston Chronicle, my Sunday afternoon reading material; Who Is Human? a science fiction novel by Gary Pegoda; Beyond Human Nature by Printz; and Phillip Yancey, an excellent inspirational writer who is fast becoming my second favorite inspirational writer (next to Max Lucado) has hooked me on his Vanishing Grace:Whatever Happened to the Good News? 

Started this week: The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas.

I have done a great deal of reading, a chapter here a chapter there, and am probably going to end up with several books to review, all at the same time.

I’ve done little cooking besides warming up from food cooked last week and leftovers I’ve dubbed “Cowboy Stew” which has leftover lean hamburger patties from a lunch and anything in the refrigerator in the way of leftover vegetables that weren’t “spoken for.”  We’ve had it twice, once rolled up in flour tortillas and once over leftover rice from Eduardo’s. Believe it or not, it was most enjoyable.  A friend brought homemade Louisiana gumbo and a scrumptious dessert…more than we could possible eat ourselves, so we were privileged to share with a neighbor for her Mother’s Day.

As I said, it has been a good Mother’s Day weekend.

Sunday (Evening) Post

How can a week be totally uneventful and totally busy at the same time?  I managed to complete an item on my bucket list, visit the Brazos Bookstore in Houston; shop and eat at Central Market not too far away from the bookstore; and celebrate the end of the semester at The Dessert Gallery–all in one day! Wednesday.  This was thanks to our “grandson” driving us from Alvin, negotiating all the crazy traffic (which had us overwhelmed at the thought of driving in it), and returning us safely home at the end of the day.  That’s a good grandson!  It took me a day to recuperate from our adventure, but that, too was a busy day. It seems like the things you have to do (or maybe choose to do, for some of them are fun or productive things) will expand to fill up the time you have to do them in.  I always used to say this about housework, but it seems today my life seems to behave by this principle as well.

This past week I finished reading Memoirs of a Geisha (a selection for this quarter’s PWR) and will try to review it by tomorrow.  I also finished The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, thus checking off the selected book for the Third Tuesday Book Club (thanks to my friend Janet who passed on her copy of the ones reserved on a shelf for us by our fine Alvin Public Librarian.  She has really become an asset to our club and to our city.

I took Printz’s “textbook,” Beyond Human Nature, out into the yard on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, and whether it was the change of scenery or for some other reason, I really “got into it.” I have only about 200 pages left, and although serious, non-fiction is not always my cup ‘o tea, I may be able to finish and can definitely say I’ve read some good evidence and fascinating case studies along the author’s premise. The book could be dry, dry, dry, but the author gives the perfect amount of basic, background review and writes so well that I’m glad I tackled the book. I also am still reading Gary Pegoda’s Who Is Human, but did not get too far this week because it is on my laptop, and I’ve been reading paper books all week. I think I also often slow down to admire the words and the writing.

After purchasing it Wednesday, last night I started The Hate U Give, which tempts me to put everything aside and read from dawn to dusk.  I have a feeling it will “go” all too fast.

I have watched practically nothing, but have worked in the yard, and it does look good.  Thanks to My Better Half for digging all the holes and the watering-in he will do for me this evening when it cools down. I have also cooked in an attempt to smother an unwarranted grumpy mood, and I may mention this in Monday Morning’s post.

A note to PWR members:  Don’t forget we have a get-together at Rae’s on May 28th from 1-4 (or so), and I encourage you to read one of the three books we selected for this quarter: Sea Change (the thinnest), Memoirs of a Geisha (a wonderful book you won’t be able to put down) and Madeline Engle’s Many Waters. I will begin the last mentioned soon, but have copies of both of the others I’m willing to lend.  If anyone would like to volunteer to talk about one of the three books (and spare yourself listening to me!) please contact me by phone or e-mail. I am so hoping some of you can come!

HAPPY READING!

 

Sunday (Evening) Post

My Sunday (Evening) Post, loosely based on Caffeinated Blogger’s Sunday Post, has turned into an Every-Other-Sunday (Evening) Post. For the past two times, busyness and life “got in the way,” and I missed a week; thus, it’s now been two weeks since I attempted to catch friends up with what I’ve been reading, viewing, and doing.

During the past two weeks since Easter Sunday, I have…

Finished: Big Magic, a definition and exploration of creativity, recently reviewed on this site.

Because I’ve had little time for reading as I attempted to close out the semester at the university, I’ve continued but made scant progress on Prinz’s Beyond Human Nature: How Culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind.  This is an easy book to set aside, not because it is not interesting or well written, but because it is a challenge as well as out of my usual genre, but I hope to discipline myself enough to spend some time with it in the coming week.  I am still enjoying the excellent writing of friend, Gary Pegoda’s Who Is Human, a sci fi novel and am really “into” Memories of a Geisha, which has been my “escape read” throughout a mountain of paper grading.

I started Phillip Yancey’s Vanishing Grace, recommended by my church’s librarian, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, began this month’s selection for my Third Tuesday Book Club, a YA novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian.

On TV I found time for a taped episode of “Scorpion”, always suspenseful and always entertaining and have four more episodes awaiting me.  I have watched three episodes of “Rick Steves’ Europe” , a great PBS travel show which is the perfect thirty-minute entertainment while eating a meal. Several mornings of NBC’s” Today Show,” and am up to date on “Superior Doughnuts” and “The Big Bang Theory.” I managed to reward myself for grading with two movies, Jackie and a French film, The Class when I reached certain goals in my grading progress.

I am pleased to report that the Grading Marathon is over, grades are averaged (Everyone did well.  I had an amazing group of writers this semester, one filled with serious students who took ownership of and pride in their writing and assignments. What a blessing!) and all that remains is posting the grades on line.

It will seem strange not going to class Wednesday, but I plan on an outing with a friend to  Central Market in Houston for shopping and lunch in place of class, so I am one happy camper! I hope your coming week is as promising and that you will find some time in it to read something really wonderful.