WEEKEND OF READING

These were my original plans for a weekend of reading.

THESE ARE SOME OF THE BOOKS I “READ ON” THIS WEEKEND.

I finished My Epic Spring Break (Up), a YA Romance that was a fast, interesting read and was chosen because it was set in NYC. Since Social Graces, also set in NY, is overdue at the library, I made an effort to “get it done,” but it is Sunday evening, and I covered pages 144-180 so far during the weekend. (The night is not over.) In Peterson’s The Message, I finished the story/book of Job after beginning on chapter 11. Our Sunday School lessons this quarter studied Job, and it ended today. Next up we’ll study one of the Wisdom books, Ecclesiastes. I think I’ll study it in the Living Bible version. Because I had two audio books checked out from the library, I did not even open The Heart’s Invisible Furies this weekend.The copy I am reading from is a personal paperback.

Along with Spring Break, I finished a novelette by Miss Read, whom I’ve just now heard of, The Fairacre Festival. It was a 104 page read and was very pleasant. It reminded me of a cozy mystery, but there was no murder. Instead, there was a calamity the townspeople of Fairacre had to face together.

I was able to finish the audiobook, About Grace by Doerr. I had listened to the point of 67% read before the weekend. It took me three tries to read All the Light We Cannot See, so I tried the audiobook this time. It has magnificent descriptions.

A re-read of this month’s Book Club selection; this month’s meeting is the 20th.

(Thanks to one of my young blogging friend for allowing me to “borrow” her graphic.)

I stalted Listening to audiobook Rules of Civility by Amor Towles, in an attempt to “read” four books set in New York by the end of the summer. p.s. I consider summer’s end to be Labor Day weekend. When do you say, “Summer’s over”?

2021 Non-Fiction Reading Challenge, Update and Alteration

Making some changes to original goals

This challenge was offered by Bookout, a blog I often enjoy. I joined in on the challenge last December. Originally, I decided to go for the “Nibbler” category, where one read six non-fiction books from any category, but I was hoping to read one book from each of the six categories offered.

Although I am enjoying non-fiction far more than I had anticipated, I need to simply read from any of the non-fiction categories, rather than limit my choices. That said, here’s the non-fiction I’ve read so far this year:

The Joy of Teaching

The Happiness Project

Bonjour Happiness

Cowgirl Smarts

Q’s Legacy

Think Again

Oh my! I’ve read six books! CHALLENGE COMPLETED!

“Celebration of Color” update

I am farther along than I realized.

The last book I reviewed was for PINK, Backwards and in Heels.

Since then I have read both PURPLE and BROWN.

A friend gifted me this on my Kindle because she knows I am fascinated with cats.

This purple cover introduced me to Klawde, the Evil Alien Warlord Cat. I don’t know which I enjoyed more, the zany adventure, Rob Mommaerts’ illustrations, or Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth’s zippy dialog and lines. I’m sure it was written with kids in mind, but this old(er) woman enjoyed it a great deal.

This was a lovely book of poetry recommended by blogger friend Jee Wan of Hooked on Books.

I have done well on my efforts to read more poetry during 2020, but I have not reviewed most of the collections I’ve read. That said, let me highly recommend this outstanding collection by Rupi Kaur, who has become a phenomenon in her own right. I will review this book of poems here before long.

All that is left to finish this challenge is “a book with the word “color” in its title” and one by an author of color, which I have started. I am beginning to think I will have to reread The Color Purple, making it my third time to read it in addition to seeing the movie. Do any of you know of another book with the word “Color” in the title. PLEASE HELP!!!

Almost finished…

WEDNESDAY SUMMING UP

I did some good reading this week.

I finished Dinner with Buddha, the Netflix series, Sweet Magnolias and Virgin River, and a poetry collection, When You Ask Me Where I’m Going.

I am continuing to read Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore–nearing the end; I am slowly reading and thinking about Things That Join the Sea and the Sky: Field Notes on Living, and I am close to finishing Redhead by the Side of the Road.

This is WHAT I have finished and WHAT I am reading currently. As far as what’s next–anything goes!

FOURTH OF JULY READ-A-THON REPORT

I set the alarm for “early”, so I’d have time to shower and wash my hair before breakfast and my 7:00 am start time.  I barely made it, munching the last of my crunchy (added granola, walnuts, and raisins) oatmeal and swallowed it down with coffee, as the starting gun found me finishing the last fourth of Uncommon, a novel that will be reviewed on this blog shortly.

Before the first hour was up, I was into where I’d left off (dozed off) on No Ordinary Time, a historical account of FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt’s relationship/marriage on the Home Front in WWII. I found it engaging enough to continue for another hour and a half. I returned to this from time to time during my “Holiday of Reading,” and am currently on page 407 of 636 pages of text.

After a break to “go outside before it gets too hot and pull weeds,” I tackled the R.A.T. Pack Book Club’s selection due by this coming Wednesday, What the Wind Knows.” This novel closely parallels the Netflix version of The Outlier, which I’m going on the second season of. Both involve romance by a woman who time travels and brings outside influence and knowledge to bear on history being made.  Although alike in many ways, they are two different stories, and so far, I haven’t confused them. I finished my break with a cup of coffee and some homemade cookies I’d baked the night before.

Next, I read and took notes on You Can Do Anything, a non-fiction discussion on the definite value of a Liberal Arts Degree in today’s techie world. My students in the fall may want to read this, and if they are not willing to tackle a whole book, I hope to have sections and notes to guide them to the ideas that are contained between its covers.  This book is by far the best non-fiction read of my year.

At about 12:30 we broke for lunch, once again prepared the night before in preparation for my Read-A-Thon, and since My Better Half agreed to clear the table and clean up, I was back to reading within 20 minutes.

I swung back and forth between Eleanor’s (Roosevelt) plight and that of the heroine of What the Wind Knows for a full two hours and by then was thoroughly saturated with reading about women’s issues and interests, so I stopped and read The Houston Chronicle  for both Wednesday and Thursday, the Fourth, almost cover to cover.  While I was taking some time off from reading in print, I caught up on friends’blogs, commenting wherever I could, for, as a blogger, I know how encouraging comments can be.

By then, it was time to start supper, and we kept it light, a huge chef salad. When we stopped working full time, we began whenever possible to eat our largest or heaviest meal at noon or thereabouts, and our digestions and sleep quality have been very thankful.

After supper, I took the time to read articles and sections/chapters from books that will help me write and teach my new-focused Advanced Writing class in the fall. I read from You Can Do Anything, Writing with Power, Why They Can’t Write, as well as re-read Stephen King’s essay on what one needs to know about writing (which will take 10 minutes or less to read) and Kurt Vonnegut’s essay on Style. Calling a halt to “schoolwork,” I finished with “How to Write Nothing in 500 Words.” I found much I could incorporate into my course.

I had promised to finish by 10 pm, a promise I only missed by 40 minutes. Unfortunately, Eleanor and FDR were at a crucial point, meeting and dealing with Winston Churchill, and the book that had lulled me to sleep the night before, left my light burning until after the bedtime I’d designated.

In all, it was a successful, productive endeavor. I did not clear my TBR shelf, which has been a goal in other Read-A-Thons, but I did get two books ready to turn in to the library this afternoon, and two ready to review on PWR. I am way ahead on my course, and enjoying every minute of my reading time, so I would deem this Read-A-Thon a S*U*C*C*E*S*S* !

UPDATE ON READING MORE NON-FICTION GOAL FOR 2019

One of my reading goals for 2019 was to read more non-fiction. In previous years, I had read novels almost exclusively until my Third Tuesday Book Club began selecting non-fiction books, and beginning with Erik Larson’s books, I found they could be engaging and even fascinating. Here is a list of non-fiction books I have read since January of this year. (They are arranged alphabetically by title. Use the search box to find reviews or mentions of individual titles.)

Afraid of All the Things  (a study of anxieties and worry)

Dove and Sword: Joan of Arc (a YA book dealing with the maid and her vision)

Faces of Oppression and the Price of Justice (written by a colleague describing the harrowing escape from human trafficking of a real woman, and the legal complexities she encountered in applying for asylum)

The Library Book (the story of the horrific fire at the Los Angeles Public Library)

Love Does (the way to live an extraordinary life in an ordinary world)

The Newcomers (a journalistic look at  immigrant newcomers to a Colorado high school and their educational, societal, and legal issues)

Why We Sleep (This one I have just begun, and I am already alarmed at what I have read.)

Worrying (the history of worry and what to do to eliminate it)

Eight so far–and 2019 is only five months old. I think a reasonable goal would be a total of twelve non-fiction books in 2019.

 

 

WWW WEDNESDAY

This fun meme, hosted by MizB at the blog A Daily Rhythm is one several of my blogging friends participate in. Since I haven’t posted a Sunday (Evening) Post on PWR in some time, I thought i’d use this shortcut to update friends on my reading lately.

WHAT are you currently reading? Raising Lazarus by blogger and author Aiden Reid, whom I’ve been following for some time. His novel introduces us to a troubled young man named Lazarus; yes, that Lazarus.  It is a fascinating read from a very creative mind./ In the Shadow of Statues by Mitch Landrieu, the mayor of New Orleans. This non-fiction selection is the November choice by my Third Tuesday Book Club at the Alvin Library. /Max Lucado’s (my favorite inspirational writer) Jesus,which is a compilation of many of his books I have read before, but they are arranged thematically and brings back to thought some of the best of his helpful, lovely writing.

WHAT did you recently finish? Compulsion, a YA romance/mystery/semi-paranormal novel that was a good, fast read, the first in a series that will appeal to many readers on many levels. I do not intend, however, to read the other two books in the series. I also finished an audio book, For One More Day by Mitch Albom, which was a heart-wrenching    novel that had me sobbing as I was getting ready for school. (Try putting on makeup while the tears are streaming down!)

WHAT do you think you’ll read next?  I really want to get back to the alphabet challenge I abandoned last summer, promising to pick it up again in the fall. I hope to read soon Nightbird (for “N” where I left off) by Alice Hoffman. From the cover I would guess it’s aimed at a YA audience, and I can already tell it has Hoffman’s signature touch of the supernatural. I also promised Jay of “This is My Truth Now” that although I could not participate in his Cozy Mystery Marathon, I would read a cozy mystery sometime in October. I missed the deadline, but I will start Assaulted Caramel, the first book in Amanda Flower’s new series, “An Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series” this weekend.

I just have not had that much reading time this month or even in October, for that matter. But, as the holidays approach, I am going to make a concentrated effort to slow down and spend some time reading. I am hoping to get in my own little marathon to clear out a few books on my TBR shelves before the first of the year. Wish me luck with that!

WWW Wednesday

This meme was originated by MizB at A Daily Rhythm, and I discovered it on my friend, Sam’s blog Taking on a World of Words. The meme seems to be spreading, and it is a quick way to give your readers an update on your reading each Wednesday.

Three questions: What are you currently reading? What have you finished lately? and What do you hope/intend to read next? If you have a blog, leave your URL in the respond section; if not, then write the answers to the three questions in that same box.

Here are mine for Wednesday, October 17, 2018:

I am currently reading several books, but the one I have to keep stopping and writing wonderful words in my quote notebook is Spurgeon’s Sermons, Vol. 2.  One of my Advanced Writing students loaned me this book, and although I will return it to her soon, I have read enough to know I want to purchase copies of both Volume 1 and Volume 2. As I read, I can hear the oratorical voice of the old, revered preacher proclaim the lovely, poetic style he writes in.  Here is one of the quotes I wrote down: “Flowers, what are they? They are but the thoughts of God solidified…” This is from the sermon “Harvest Time,” the perfect read for an October afternoon.

I have recently finished Bluebird, Bluebird, by Attica Lowe. Her mystery/thriller is this year’s Gulf Coast Read, and My Better Half and I both read it and had the pleasure of meeting the author in Houston. We discussed it last night at our Third Tuesday Book Club at our local library.  I shall review it on this blog soon.

I hope to finish up several books I have started next.  These include Dog’s Song, a YA novel, Evidence of Flossing, a collection of poetry by a blogging friend that seems so promising already, and Fix It, Clean It, and Make It Last, a DIY book donated to my LFL (Little Free Library) by a close friend who knows his “fixits” and “honey-do’s.” After reading these and posting reviews of them, I will tackle the November book club selection, In the Shadow of Statues, by Mitch Landrieu.

Hmmmm, let’s summarize. I am reading several books I need to finish (a novel, a poetry collection, a DIY handy-person book, and a few more sermons I shall soon purchase). I finished a mystery/thriller, and I shall read sometime before November 27th a non-fiction book. I sure have come a long way from a lit major who only read novels! I think I can officially wear the badge of “Eclectic Reader.” LOL

SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written a Sunday Evening Post, and I thought I had given it up, but several blogging friends write updates of some sort, and they often end with, “What are you reading?” So, I’ve decided to give it another go, and this is my update, my Sunday (Evening) Post.

What I have recently finished:

Today’s Sunday edition of The Houston Chronicle

The Accidental Life by Terry McDonell, recently reviewed on this blog

What on Earth Am I Here for?, an inspirational study by Rick Warren, which I borrowed from my church library, which will be reviewed on this blog soon

The Light Between the Oceans, by M.L. Stedman, also to be reviewed soon

Bitter in the Mouth by Monique Truong, which I read earlier, then reread in a feeble attempt to write a review which would do it justice, but still have not accomplished

What I started this week:

Stephen King’s sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep, which describes the life and “adventures” of a grown up Daniel Torrance, the young son in the novel who had the “shining”

Carry Me Like Water by Saenz, which is on my Kindle, and because of that, may be a challenging read for me

Still reading:

The Lightning Thief , a YA novel by Rick Riordan

Book VII of The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King, which I have been reading for years and can’t bear to be “through”

The Fifth Season, first book of the Broken Earth Trilogy, which my Better Half and I are reading aloud together

What I watched this past week:

A Promise, a love story set in Germany during the war

a heart warming, tear jerker of an episode of “Queer Eye” recommended and sent to me by my grandson

several episodes of a Netflix original series, “Strange Empire”

 

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!