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!   

 

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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!

 

 

SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

Tonight’s post needs be brief because I have my fingers in several pies at the moment. We spent the morning at church and heard a great “State of the Church” sermon by our interim pastor, which stated what we had done well in 2017 and gave a stirring challenge for the year to come.  It made me want to “get out there and ‘serve’ .”

Books I am currently reading: My Life With BOB (which stands for Book of Books” and was a gift from a friend.  So far it is a delightful philosophical discussion of books and life in general, each concerning a specific book.

Hillbilly Elegy, our Third Tuesday Book Club selection for January, which I’ve just begun and am not sure yet how I feel about it.

The Beekeeper’s Daughter, a novel that has kept my interest throughout.

A Book I Can Hardly Wait to Start: Emerald City, which was a gift from a friend for Christmas.

I have not done much reviewing since Christmas, but I have entered most of the books I’ve read into my reading log, and shall review them eventually. (Think, “Coming Attractions”)

This coming week is my last chance to invite people over and to socialize by meeting for coffee, lunch or supper before next week, which brings the start of school.  I am ready–sooooo ready. I was so eager to get out of school after Thanksgiving that I can’t believe I am so eager to go back.  I can’t wait to meet my new “crop” of writers and get them started on taking ownership of their writing, plus seeing how my new additions to the course go over. The syllabus is written, and paper copies are ready to hand out; I have pretty well made a (flexible) lesson plan for session one of Advanced Writing.  I have a new group, a new room in an old building I haven’t been in in a long time, and a new start all the way around.  Bring on the new semester!

SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

Ok, so my Sunday post is being written on Monday evening.  Believe me, it has been a hectic weekend and a busy, busy Monday.

What I finished last week:

Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls, author of Glass Castle; My new second Thursday book club’s selection, The Boston Girl; A wonderful novel by a blogging friend, James Cudney, titled Watching Glass Shatter; Anne Lammot’s beautiful essays, all focused around sewing, Stitches; Dragons: Fearsome Monsters from Myth and Fiction; Sandra Cisneros’ book of love poems, Loose Woman.

Continuing to read:

My “grandson’s” dissertation; Max Lucado’s Anxious for Nothing

Begun:

An attempt to get back to my Lit major roots, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, and Renaissance: The Nora White Story by Yecheilyah Ysrayl; Another inspirational book by John Ortberg, I’d Like You More if You Were More Like Me

Finishing and/or reviewing these books ought to be plenty to keep me busy through Thanksgiving.  I’m really looking forward to the holiday.  We are spending it at my “grandson’s”. What are your plans for Turkey Day?

 

Sunday (Evening) Post

After many months of posting Every Other Sunday (Evening), school and life has calmed down enough to where I’m ready to go back to posting a catch up each Sunday evening. School is not out yet, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and the big assignments are basically behind us in both Freshman Composition at the local college and in Advanced Writing at the university. I even find myself reading more and enjoying a few stress free days in a row at times. Now isn’t that nice!

Here’s what I finished since the last Every-Other Sunday (Evening) Post:

The Resurrection of Joan Ashby, an outstanding debut novel (reviewed in the post prior to this one on PWR); Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls a novel based on the unique life of the author’s grandmother, which will be reviewed later this week; A Man Called Ove, our Third Tuesday Book Club’s selection for November and Twice Upon a Time, a children’s book, both of which will be reviewed soon on this blog.

Still continuing to read:

The Grouchy Grammarian, a grammar handbook which illustrates the most common errors in print, enough to make any grammar-lover grouchy, and my “grandson’s” dissertation which I put down to get on with my “Color Coded Challenge,” which I will report on and update in another post.

What I began this past week:

The Boston Girl, a 2014 fast read by Anita Diamond, the selection for November in my second reading group which I shall participate in for the first time this coming Thursday. No worries, I have about one hundred pages to go, and the story is so captivating that it will be a pleasant “chore” to finish.

So, I have a fine week of reading and teaching ahead with doctor’s check-ins and appointments behind me for a while, and a great deal to look ahead to. The Holidays are rapidly approaching, and already my house is decorated for Thanksgiving with my favorite kind of cooking and celebrating to come. It is indeed a time to be grateful and to give thanks for so, so many blessings!

SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Sunday (Evening) Post, and this one will be a catch up and shout to all those sending good wishes and prayers through the post during Hurricane Harvey.  We have been dealing with Harvey and his repercussions since August 24th, and today is September 3rd, the day before the Labor Day Holiday.  Many of our friends will be doing hard labor rather than holidaying, bailing out their houses (those who can even reach them), ripping up carpet and dragging dead limbs and sawed-up trees to the dumpsters and piles around town.  Our biggest problem here in northern Brazoria County has been flooding, flooding unseen before even in 1979 when Tropical Storm Claudette dumped 29 inches of our little town of Alvin in 24 hours. And of course, the huge Texas-sized mosquitoes are loving it.

My Better Half and I had started school at the local community college on the 21st.  He had met his students four times, I, two times.  Had we known we weren’t coming back for a while, we would have said more to them, but it wasn’t even raining on the 24th, and Harvey was the name of an invisible rabbit in a Broadway play/Jimmy Stewart movie. The rains began on Friday, the 25th, and as Paul Harvey used to say…”The rest is history.”

My beginning class at UHCL for the semester was postponed from the 30th of August to September 6th.  During this time, the TV became too stressful, and I turned to reading…mostly escape fiction. LOL

What I finished: All The Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (reviewed on this blog), The Star Place by Vicki Grove (reviewed recently), and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (to be reviewed soon).

What I continued to read: Our America by Filipe Fernandez-Armesto, a Latin American History of the United States.  I have to admit that the only non-fiction I read during this time were the Houston Chronicle and the Alvin Sun, once they were up and running again and the delivery to our flooded town could be resumed.

What I began: Steven King’s Wizard and Glass,fourth book of “The Dark Tower Series,” a book I had skipped and gone on to book five (skipped because I was intimidated by the 893 pages…I am now on page 491).  I have completed book five and book six, and will have to read King’s “catch-up pages” before going on to book seven, the final book in the series. My Better Half read them all in order and finished book seven during the storm. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz, loaned by a friend, has provided a good respite from “heavy reading” although pondering the meaning and secrets of the universe through the eyes of two fifteen year olds can be pretty demanding (in a good way).

And, I have cooked–creatively depending on substitutions during shortages when food trucks couldn’t get through.  One thing I WILL purchase soon is powdered milk. There still is no milk on the shelves in Alvin. Actually, instead of starving, we probably have gained weight, eating comfort foods and snacks several times a day.

I hope this finds my followers well, dry, and in their own homes–and READING!