STACKING THE SHELVES

HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE I’VE DONE ONE OF THESE POSTS?

A looooooong time, for sure!

I was browsing some posts from blogging friends this morning, and I came across one from Stacking the Shelves on Carla’s blog, “Carla Loves Reading. ” It reminded me of this particular meme, so here, at least is a picture of what arrived to stock my shelves this past week, Sept. 18-today, the 23rd.

I HAVE SOME GOOD READING AHEAD!

Happy reading!

A PERSONAL CHALLENGE UPDATE AND A REVIEW: Talking to Strangers by Malcom Gladwell

I started this book years ago, but for some reason, it didn’t catch my interest right away as did Blink or The Tipping Point. Whatever the reason, I gave up on it at that time. Recently it turned up in a box of donations for my LFLs and the possible bookstore. Because I had enjoyed Gladwell in the past, I gave it a second try, and voila! it “took.”

Not my favorite Gladwell offering, but a good non-fiction book

Subtitled “What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know,” this 2019 publication poses the question, “Why do our interactions with strangers so often go wrong?” As usual, Gladwell uses anecdotes and examples from current events, this time, the Sandra Bland case, Hitler’s ability to make people think he was a good guy and to hide his agenda to take over the world from them, how the US was fooled by double spies during the Cold War, how Bernie Madoff was able to fool so many people, and more. Interestingly enough, Gladwell pulls off a skillful writing technique of weaving unequal, seemingly unconnected events and things to get his point across: x happened because we failed to communicate with people we did not know, and thus, were fooled–often to dire results and consequences.

It is an interesting book, well-written, and even though the current events used for examples are now out of date, it gives the reader a cautionary warning that can be heeded in the present.

“Because we do not know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.

I had hoped to read 22 Non-fiction books in 2022. Strangers is number 21.

SUNDAY (EVENING) POST

I haven’t written one of these in over a year. it’s high time I slipped one in. When I first started following blogs, I was intrigued by S.J. Higgins’ “Sunday Post” on Brainfluff. It was where I first learned to enjoy reading blogs. I wanted to do a Sunday update like hers, so when my mind went back to the 50s magazine, Saturday Evening Post, whose covers featured the paintings of Norman Rockwell, I decided to call my post “Sunday Evening Post.” It is an update on what you’ve read the past week, what you are continuing to read, and what you hope to read next. Here’s the “Saturday (Evening) Post” for Sunday, January 23, 2022.

Because I read several books consecutively, I tend to finish several in the same week.

A Page Turners Book Club selection for January, a book written in a unique format.

I have been reading from this book daily passages since the week before Advent. It finally finished up this week.

The last passage from The Risen Christ was part of the fine group of devotionals. “Christ does not change; the preparation for the coming of the Spirit is the same today as two thousand years ago, whether it be the rebirth of Christ in one soul that is in the hard of winter, or for the return from the grave of Christ, whose blood is shed again by the martyrs…[It is] quiet mind, acceptance, and remaining close to God…”

What a nice thought to end my celebration of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany with!

A book that was more of a study, encased in the author’s story that kicked off my 2022 “study” of gratitude.

This was a very helpful book that allowed me to grow in grace through gratitude. I reviewed it recently on this blog.

A book read for three challenges, a classic, What’s in a Name, and Mt. TBR 2022
A book that was published recently, read on my Kindle
A debut novel borrowed from the local library

Continuing to read…

A daily devotional, Daily Wisdom for Women by Carol L.Fitzpatrick

Hoda Kotb’s I Really Needed This Today, a secular “devotional”

A science fantasy novel,

By the author of the Broken Earth series

I really hope to block out some time this week to read on this novel, so it will be…

THIS SHOULD READ, WHAT I SHOULD READ NEXT. LOL

Rain is predicted for Monday, so I plan to stay in, and READ! How about you? Reading plans for your new week are welcome in the Reply/Comments box below.

SUMMER NYC CHALLENGE, 2021

This summer I attempted to read four books set in NYC.

I gave myself until Labor Day, the unofficial “end of summer” here in the U.S. However, today, August 15th, I have finished the fourth book since Memorial Day weekend which was set in NYC.

My four books include:

The Social Graces by Renee Rosen, set in old NYC

Rules of Civility by Amor Towes, set in pre-WWII NYC

My Epic Spring Break (Up) , a YA romance set in NYC by Kristin Rockaway

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

The first two are reviewed on PWR (use search box on your right), and here is the review of Amy Byler:

This book had it all, a super-hot male librarian, a frantic single mom librarian at a small private school, a week-long visit to NYC that turned into a full summer–a totally great read.

This 2019 publication was specifically chosen from my local library because it was set in NYC. It is funny, and the reader roots for and against decisions made by Amy throughout the novel. It has a very satisfactory ending, something I always appreciate in a book.

Amy takes a “#momspringa,” fully documented by a prestigious NYC fashion magazine, which involves a makeover, a wonderful NYC apartment, and several “hot dates.” Amy finds herself enjoying life in The Big Apple but missing her snarky teenage daughter and precocious nerd of a twelve-year-old son, who are at home in their “ner’ do well” father’s care. Her best friends, Talia (owner of the gorgeous NYC apartment) and Lena (a former nun who dispenses practical advice on love, family, etc.) are there for her when catastrophe hits near the end of the narrative.

Its final message is, “Love conquers all.” This book is definitely a darned good read. I assign this novel 5 out of 5 stars.

NYC revisited this summer–virtually by reading four books set there.

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* !