Place: // my living room, looking at my Christmas tree. I wish I could take a decent picture of it to show you all. It’s white with bulbs that are dark purple, dark blue, and periwinkle.
Listening to: // Christmas music
Eating:// just finished oxtails and rice. Yum!
Drinking: // what else? A cup of coffee.
Currently reading: // My reading is going slowly. I just started Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller and continuing The Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett.
Up Next: // Flora and Ulysses by Kate Dicamillo.
Promoting: // sign-ups for The Chunkster Challenge. I’m the new host and have made some changes to the rules of the challenge. E-books and audio books are now acceptable. I hope you all think about signing up.
Avoiding but really need to: // write some reviews.
Watching: // Iron Man 3. After that, it’s on to Sweet November with Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron and then the latest Sherlock Holmes movie. Robert Downing Jr. can do no wrong in my book.
Now I’m off to: // read and enjoy the rest of my night.
Eating: // saltine crackers while waiting for my chili to warm up.
Listening to: // Marsha Ambrosius
Celebrating: // the fact that Thanksgiving break is here! It actually started last Wednesday. I am so happy. Now I can dive into all the books I’ve been ignoring.
So far I’ve read: //
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Chew Vol. 6 Space Cakes by John Layman
You and Your Anxious Child by Anne Marie Albano
Currently reading: //
Why Teach? In Defense of a Real Education by Mark Edmundson (essays)
To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care by Cris Beam (Publishers Weekly deemed it one of the best books published this year.)
Did not finish: //The Whatnot by Stefan Bachman
Up next: // who knows? I am eyeing The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, which I never did get a chance to start reading the last time I had it. I need a good fiction read to start on. Other choices include:
Good morning! Once you stop blogging, it’s hard to start back. Hopefully, I can get myself together and start blogging more regularly.
Time: // 8:08 a.m.
The scene: // my living room
Drinking: // coffee. It’s been a hard night.
Eating: // nothing. I couldn’t find any pumpkin muffins at the store.
Just finished: // the graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time illustrated by Hope Larson. What a fantastic adaptation. Now I want to reread the original again.
Reading: // Ingenious: A True Story of Invention, Automotive Daring, and the Race to Revive America by Jason Fagone. Ingenious is about the race to win the Automotive X Prize. I picked it up since it sounds interesting. So far, it is.
Today, I also plan on starting The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri. I checked it out weeks ago from the library. Now, it’s due in a few days. What piqued my interest is that the book has been nominated for the Man Booker and National Book Award.
Today I plan on: // having a mini-read-a-thon. I missed last week’s read-a-thon after I became sick. I’m reading the books I mentioned above.
Promoting: // Aarti’s A More Diverse Universe blog tour. The purpose of the tour is to celebrate the diversity in speculative fiction by highlighting writers of color. There’s still time to sign up.
It’s official. Fall is finally here. I love the need for scarves and cute boots, umbrellas and sweaters. The weather in SoCal has been pretty odd lately. Last night, dark clouds moved in and the air was pretty chilly. Only a few hours before, it was in the 80s. I may have to wait a little longer before I can wear a scarf.
I’ve been pretty much absent from my blog this summer but I did read a lot. Instead of trying to write a bunch of reviews, I decided to share some of my favorite books of summer. Overall, I read a total of 62 books in a variety of genres and formats. Clicking on the titles below will take you either to Goodreads or my review.
Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott. In Help Thanks Wow, Lamott writes about the words help, thanks, and wow are the only words she truly needs for prayer. Lamott’s humorous tone can be found throughout this short read.
Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, Repairby Anne Lamott. The follow-up to Help Thanks Wow, Stitches is quieter in tone than all of Lamott’s other non-fictional reads. Long-time fans of the author’s writing will find this short meditative book a nice addition to their library.
Excited for: // The #LiveLikeJulia Project. A few weeks ago, I finished reading Karen Karbo’s Julia Child Rules. The project is inspired by the book and also Child’s life. Bloggers all over the web are living like Julia and following one of the rules in Karbo’s book for one week. There are so many fantastic rules but I’m leaning toward rule #1: Live with Abandon. It means being all in with your life.
Grateful for:// this summer weather is starting to cool off. Southern California is known for its perfect weather but for the last week or two, we’ve almost hit the 100 degrees mark.
In the past two weeks that I’ve been away from my blog, I’ve been doing a lot of non-bookish things. The kids and I have spent as much time as I can handle outside playing and riding everything from skateboards to scooters. There have been a couple of scrapped knees but it’s been fun. We’ve also baked everything from glazed orange pound cake to bread to last night’s brownies.
In between riding on things I have no business being on, baking, and meeting other homeschooling parents, I have read a few books.
Leah Hager Cohen’s I Don’t Know: In Praise of Admitting Ignorance and Doubt (Except When You Shouldn’t)found its way to my doorstep earlier this month. A slim volume of only 128 pages, it took a few days to read the author’s exploration of our fear of being ignorant and what happens when we go through such lengths to hide it. What resonated with me is the section about preventing ourselves from knowing something. Cohen uses the example of people who refuse to see cultural differences between themselves and others even when it would help them understand someone’s background more. She calls it “treating ignorance with ignorance”. I don’t think I’m going to write a full review on this book because I want to read it a few more times. I do recommend it though.
Before I read I Don’t Know, I was in immersed in a totally different genre with the middle grade book, Sky Jumpers by Peggy Eddlemean. Sky Jumpers is the author’s debut novel. It’s set forty years after World War III in a world much different from our own. The main character is a headstrong young girl who pushes through her problems even when it seems like her flaws might hold her back. I can’t wait to get a hardback copy of this for my girls.
Speaking of my girls, I picked up a copy of The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker at the library a few days ago. I checked it out for myself since so many bloggers have raved about this tale of an unlikely friendship between a golem and a jinni in 1899 New York. My eleven-year-old has taken the book for herself so I can’t tell you anything about it just yet. My daughter is a reluctant reader of anything that’s not animé, so The Golem and the Jinni must be great if she’s reading this chunkster (486 pages) of a book and is not complaining about it. We’re having a mother-daughter book club featuring the book for the next few weeks.
I’m currently reading an e-galley of Karen Karbo’s latest book in The Kick Ass Women series, Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life. What I really like about Karbo’s biographies is that they’re more than biographies: they’re also social commentary filled with humor and passages you want to highlight. The book won’t be in stores until October 1st but I recommend putting it on your wish lists now.
My coffee is getting cold so it’s time to wrap this post up. What have you been up to lately? What books have you read or non-bookish things you’ve done?
Eating: // nothing right now. I did have a slice of 7up cake which was delicious.
Drinking: // coffee!!
Just finished and currently reading: // Edwidge Danticat’s newest novel, Claire of the Sea Light. It was a really nice read. I’m still reading How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times by Roy Peter Clark.
Blogging: // about almost nothing. I don’t know what’s going on. It’s almost like I’m losing my blogging mojo.
Promoting: // Carl’s (Stainless Steel Droppings) latest post. Tor.com is celebrating its fifth birthday by releasing a free ebook of all of their short stories. Plus, Carl is hosting a little short story read-along today of “Mrs. Henderson’s Cemetery Dance” by Carrie Cunin. I’m going to try and join.
Also, the High Summer Read-a-thon starts tomorrow. I have no idea what to read. My week has been pretty shitty so I’ll probably stick to comfort reads like Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees.
Thankful for: // my bed which is where I’m off to.
Good morning! It’s the first weekend of summer and I hope you all are enjoying it though I know it’s raining like crazy in some parts of the country. With summer finally here and after looking at a few summer reading piles (Deb and Carl), I decided to post my own pile. I’m hoping to finally get to some of the books I’ve been staring at for awhile. In my pile is a combination of rereads, books that have been on my shelves for months and sometimes years, and a few library books.
If you want to know more about any book you see in the photo, just go to my Goodreads summer reading shelf here. You can also click on the picture to enlarge it.
My reading plans are pretty ambitious but I don’t have any plans for the summer. I just want to enjoy the weather, have fun with the kids, and read!
If you‘re looking for some great books to curl up with at the beach, I have a few links to share.
Andi’s post lead me to Ricquetta (Nerd in Translation) and the 30-Day Reading Challenge. Participants read a set amount for thirty days. I don’t know if I can read a book a day but I would love to read for at least two hours a day. Hashtag: #30DayRead
So that’s it. I’m off to read. What are you doing today?
Just Finished: // The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I know I’m going to have to reread this book before I review it on Tuesday. Plus, I’m reading Classic Readings in Cultural Anthropology edited by Gary Ferraro. It sounds like a dry read but it’s not.
Listening to: // old Taylor Swift. My musical tastes are all over the place lately.
Also Promoting:// This is week three of SYNC’s YA and Summer Classic pairing. Every week from May 30th to August 21st, SYNC will offer free audio book downloads of a classic book paired with a current YA read. This week’s pair is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. You have until the 20th to download the pair. After that, a new pair of audiobooks will be available.
Eating: // nothing right now. I think I may go out for some donuts.
Drinking: // coffee!
Celebrating: // the fact that the semester is over! Yes! It’s really not over since I have one more paper to turn in, but I’m thinking of it in that way. I turned in my last big paper around midnight. I have one short paper to do and I’m finished.
Reading: // Fables Vol. 18. Cubs in Toyland by Bill Willingham. I’ve been saving this book until the end of the semester and now I can finally read it!
Listening to: // Salt-N-Pepa. God, they were an awesome group.
Blogging: // nothing yet but now I can! I can actually read and write posts! Guys, I can write book reviews!
Promoting: // the Estella Project hosted by Estella Society. It’s a small reading “challenge”. Readers pick three books from the list given to read between now and September 1st. The site is giving one lucky winner a $20 Amazon gift card.
Planning: // my mysterious project. Finally I can think about it more with school out of the way. I need to finish making lists and start writing a few emails for help. Once I a decent draft, I’ll share my plans with you guys.
Joining: // The Japanese Literature Challenge 7 hosted over at Dolce Bellezza. The rules have been expanded this time around and now participants can read children’s books, short stories, sci-fi/fantasy, poetry. . .whatever. I’m so excited. The challenge started yesterday and continues until January 30, 2014.
Thankful for: // school being over with and the year-long break I decided to take.
Eating: // nothing right now. I don’t have an appetite.
Drinking: // I think I’ll wait on the coffee.
Reading: // Don’t Go Back to School by Kio Stark and Introduction to Cataloging and Classification.
Listening too: // The Best of En Vogue and some old Janet Jackson. Hey what’s old is new again.
Wishing: // the semester was over already. I’m ready to read my stack of unread books!
Missed: // International Towel Day which was yesterday. Towel Day is celebrated by fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Heather (Between the Covers) People wrote a great post about her love of the series. How awesome is it that a book gets its own holiday?
Considering: // taking a year off from school. Homeschooling, being a single mom, and going to college is hard. Maybe too hard.
Planning: // a personal project that I’m considering doing for the next year or so.
Promoting: // Jupiter’s Just Feed People, for Fuck’s Sake post. Her post is about the Farm Bill being ok’d by the House Panel and what that means for those who are poor. Plus, there’s her Food not Bombs post. I really think there needs to be a tumblr blog somewhere called “Fuck Yeah, Jupiter”. That’s pretty much all I have to say when I leave a comment on her blog.
Thankful for: // my family, this cool summer weather, and the excitement I feel about my project. I feel more excited about my project than I have about school all semester long.
Now I’m off to: // either get some sleep or do homework.
Last week was so hectic. Between homeschooling and my growing workload for school, I didn’t have enough time to finish even one book. Since I wasn’t able to finish a book, I didn’t really have anything to blog about. The end of the semester is over a month away so I think it’s time to change the way I blog.
Partly inspired by Bryan’s idea to unplug twice a week and the blogging styles of both Bryan and Deb, I’ve decided to change the way I blog. This will still be a book blog but in a pretty informal way. This blog is going to have the feeling of a commonplace book. I plan on sharing my library loot, favorite passages from what I’m reading, photos, book reviews, and anything bookish I can think of. It takes the pressure off of trying to constantly review books when I barely have time to finish them. I’ve also decided to try unplugging at least once a week. I’ll probably unplug on Saturdays and Tuesdays.
Place// At my desk. It’s the only place to get any work done right now.
Eating// Half a pancake. I really don’t have an appetite right now.
Drinking// Coffee of course.
Reading// I’m reading but I’m not finishing anything. I’m currently in the middle of P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia.
Watching// The Kitchen Cousins on HGTV. My family loves this network.
Listening// I was trying to listen to The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathon Evison but I can’t get the audiobook to work on my phone.
Blogging// Who knows? I’m really going to try to get my review of Half-Blood Blues done this week.
Promoting// Bloggers Recommend, a monthly newsletter. Every month bloggers recommend some of their favorite upcoming reads. If you’re looking for fantastic reads, this is the newsletter to subscribe to. Plus, I’m on the advisory board.
Writing// In my new art journal. I love having a new journal in my hands to write and paint in.
Researching// I have several experiments due next month so it’s probably time for me to start doing some research.
Hating// Meat right now. My family and I are tired of eating meat so I need to start looking at vegetarian cookbooks. Any recommendations?
Avoiding// I was avoiding homework yesterday but now that’s probably what I’ll spend the day doing.
Good morning. The skies are cloudy, the birds are silent, and my neighbor’s dog is barking up a storm. Plus, it’s the last day of spring break. It was nice to take a break away from homework. This spring break was pretty low-key. I took the kids to the park almost every day, read as much as I wanted, and did some spring cleaning which included gathering as many books as I could to donate. Not bad.
Last night I finished reading and listening to Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan. What a book. I can definitely see why it was nominated for so many awards. I’m hoping to post my thoughts on it tomorrow. But now I need something lighter to read so I’m thinking about reading Nick Hornby’s latest, More Baths, Less Talking. Reading Hornby’s articles from The Believer is always a great way to pass the time, add books to my tbr list, and see new ways to write about reading. After More Baths, Less Talking, I’ll probably start reading The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman which talks about the time period during which many of the events in Half-Blood Blues took place.
Good morning. For those who celebrate, happy Easter. I’m starting to think my kids are mistaking Easter for Christmas. Every Easter morning, they wake up and run into the living room to see what’s in their baskets. This is why I’ve been up since five this morning with them. At least I have coffee and books to keep me up.
Kate’s Easter Read-a-thon is still going strong. So far, I’ve finished Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell and a handful of children’s books:
Cheetah Can’t Lose by Bob Shea
Fireboy to the Rescue by Edward Miller
Stella, Princess of the Sky by Marie-Louise Gay
Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein
I’ve started listening to Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues, which was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize. The narrator, Kyle Riley, has this amazing voice that fits well with the story. I’m an hour into the story and I can’t wait to go back to it. I should listen to audio books more often.
I’m also reading Margo Lanagan’s newest book, Yellowcake. I’ve read The Brides of Rollrock Island and several of Lanagan’s short stories. Her writing always places me firmly into the story. In Brides of Rollrock Island, I could smell the sea air and feel all the magic. Now with Yellowcake, I’m getting the same feeling. I’ve read the first short story, The Point of Roses, which left me re-reading it over and over. If the last few days are any indication of what’s ahead reading-wise, then April will be a great month.
Good morning! The sun isn’t out yet and most of the kids are still asleep. Paradise! While the house is still nice and quiet, I thought it would be a good time to write a post. Did you remember to change your clocks forward an hour? I didn’t but luckily most of the clocks did it on their own.
Remember that huge pile of books that I wanted to read from last week? Luckily, I was able to read one book from that list, Shirley Jackson’s Life Among the Savages. It was a good read but one that I didn’t finish. Now I’m in the middle of a number of books including A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. It’s the tale of a young girl who’s writing down the life of her 104 year-old grandmother but also ends up writing about her own life too. There’s something about this book that is really special. I’m 80 pages in but I think I may have to re-read it before reviewing it.
Today is packed with things for me to do. This morning I’m curling up with A Tale for the Time Being. After that, I need to finish my homework and work on my homeschooling plan for the week. Spring is just around the corner and the kids have already picked out which seeds they want to grow (carrots and beans). I guess some seed-shopping is going on online today too.
Just a reminder, the Chunky Book Club’s discussion of The Map of Time starts this Friday and will continue for the rest of the month.
How’s your weekend going? Ever had a book that you needed to re-read before you wrote a post about it?
March is here and there’s so much I want to do. I’m joining several read-alongs and events including the #Estellagram bookish photo-a-day challenge. I’m new to Instagram and I have to admit I can see why it’s a little addicting. Below is my first picture for the challenge.
Day 1: bookshelves
In February I read 15 books. That’s not a bad total but most were children’s books. Quiet by Susan Cain was my favorite book of February. You can find my review here. I’m hoping to read more this month. Way more so below is what my bookstack for March looks like (thanks to Laura for letting me use her bookstack idea).
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I try to read this book every spring.
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Possession by A.S. Byatt
The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma (ARC)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (ARC)
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity by Steven Strogatz (I’m teaching myself math so I think reading this will help motivate me to do math everyday.)
Far From the Tree by Andrew Solomon (I started reading this in December before being tempted by smaller books. The writing is lovely though.)
Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor by Hali Felt. I’ve wanted to read this book for months now. I was finally able to get my hands on it.
Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson. I’m almost finished with this.
Head Off & Split: Poems by Nikky Finney. I bought this book years ago when it won the National Book Award for Poetry. I’m trying to read a poem a day. That way, I’ll finish the book in no time.
Reflections on the Magic of Writing by Diana Wynne Jones.
Strands of Bronze and Gold: The Bluebeard Fairy Tale Retold by Jane Nickerson. (ARC)
Yes, I know. My bookstack this month is crazy but I think it’s possible for me to read 3-4 books a week. We’ll see.
Good morning! Breakfast has been made and now I finally have time to write a post. Last week was been a whirlwind. It seems like there was so much to do and just not enough time. Between homeschooling, studying for classes (biopsychology and library cataloging), and taking care of the house, I need all the extra time I can find.
Last week I didn’t finish a single adult book. I’m almost looking back at that in disbelief. Not one book? I’m still reading the same books that I’ve been reading for the past 2-3 weeks: Far From the Treeby Andrew Solomon, Harlem is Nowhere by Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, and Quiet by Susan Cain. I’m going to try my best to finish at least Harlem is Nowhere and Quiet this week.
Just in case you forgot, next Monday my read-in discussion of Silver Sparrowby Tayari Jones starts. The discussion will go on all week. There’s still time to get a copy and start reading. Silver Sparrow is a page-turner, so you can finish it in a few days.
Good morning! It’s a rainy day here in Southern California, a perfect excuse to stay in the house and curl up with a book or two. On Friday, I realized that I only have ten days before the next semester starts. Talk about bookish panic. There are still so many books that I want to read, I realized that the only way for me to read them all is to have my own little read-a-thon. So that’s what I’m doing. From now until February 4th, I’m going to read as much as I possibly can.
Yesterday I read The Bird King: An Artist’s Notebook by Shaun Tan. It was really nice to look at the creative process of an artist. Today I’m finishing up The Procrastination Equation: How To Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done by Piers Steel. I’m finding the book to be very insightful. A few weeks ago, Evelyn from Librarian’s Dreams recommended Carlos Maria Dominguez’s The House of Paper, a book about well, books. Evelyn pretty much recommended it to everyone she knows which piqued my interested in this otherwise unknown book.
If you’ve seen my profile so far this year on Goodreads, you would swear I’ve forgotten about the tbr challenges I’ve signed up for. Not exactly. I’ve been reading so many of the library books I’ve checked out back in 2012 or even books I’ve just bought instead. Firmin: Adventures of a Metropolitan Lowlife by Sam Savage will be my first official tbr read. So many bloggers have recommended this book about a rat that lives in a bookstore and learns to read.
Two three more books that I’m hoping to read includes: Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco’s Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt whose format I can only describe as a graphic novel hybrid, Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, and Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers by Kwame Anthony Appiah after seeing him speak in the documentary Examined Life.
The results are in for next month’s African American Read-In!
Click to enlarge.
The winner is Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones.
My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist. He was already married ten years when he first clamped eyes on my mother. In 1968, she was working at the gift-wrap counter at Davison’s downtown when my father asked her to wrap the carving knife he had bought his wife for their wedding anniversary. Mother said she knew that something wasn’t right between a man and a woman when the gift was a blade. I said that maybe it means there was a kind of trust between them. I love my mother, but we tend to see things a little bit differently. The point is that James’s marriage was never hidden from us. James is what I call him. His other daughter, Chaurisse, the one who grew up in the house with him, she calls him Daddy, even now.
Isn’t that a great opening? The book discussion will start Monday, February 25th. Now I’m off to read. What are you reading today?
We have more than a week before February gets here but it’s still plenty of time to figure out what to read for The 2013 National African American Read-In. It’s a yearly event that’s been going on for the past twenty four years and is hosted by the Black Caucus of NCTE and NCTE itself. Throughout the month of February, people all over the country get together to discuss and celebrate books written by African Americans.
Last year’s online read-in here on 1330v was a lot of fun. I think the event is a great tradition and so I’m hoping you guys will join me once again this year.
I found seven very different books that I think would appeal to a wide range of people. Below is a list of the books along with a small description of each one along with links for more information.
Brother, I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat. Non-fiction/memoir. 2007 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. Family memoir about the author’s complicated childhood in Haiti and America while reflecting on the lives of her father and his older brother and her relationship with the two. The memoir’s first line: “I found out I was pregnant the same day that my father’s rapid weight loss and chronic shortness of breath were positively diagnosed as end-stage pulmonary fibrosis”.
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. Fiction. Silver Sparrow is a book that once you read it, you need to discuss it with someone right away. You’ll probably start talking about it before you even finish it. I know I did. Dana Yarboro is the secret child of James Witherspoon, a bigamist who keeps Dana and her mother hidden in plain view while he spends most of his time with his “first” family. Told from the viewpoint of both daughters, Silver Sparrow is a page-turner that leaves readers wanting to pick up everything Jones has published.
The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle – Fiction/ fantasy. When Pepper finds himself locked up in a mental institution, accused of a crime that he doesn’t remember committing, he’s knows he’s in trouble. Things go from bad to worse when a strange creature visits his room and nearly kills him. Can this creature be stopped?
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer – Fiction/short stories. ZZ Packer is an author whose work has been on my reading list forever and with good reason. Her short story, “Brownies” has been anthologized in magazines and books for years. After reading “Brownies” for myself, I knew this was an author who deserves all the attention she receives.
How to Be Black by Baratunde Thurston. Non-fiction/Humor. What it is: a hilarious, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking look back on the author’s life growing up in D.C. and what being black (and white) means to not only the author but a number of people he interviews. Part guidebook/memoir/mediation, How To be Black is a book you can easily re-read over and over again. M from Buried in Print wrote a review of this.
The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities by Will Allen. Non-fiction. In the past year when I’ve read books about farming in the United States, Will Allen’s name has popped up numerous times. Allen, the son of sharecroppers, cashed in his retirement fund to start farming. In The Good Food Revolution, Allen writes about his journey from corporate America to farming and how the need for good healthy food affects us all.
A Woman Like Me by Bettye LaVette. Non-fiction, memoir. I had no idea who Bettye LaVette was until I saw her on the news last year. LaVette is a singer who was a part of the Motown scene decades ago but only recently became famous. Her memoir is a no-holds-barred account of her life that includes sex, drugs, and plenty of music.
Note: You can vote for up to three books. I’m closing the poll next Saturday, January 27th and will announce the top pick next Sunday. The book discussion will go on Monday, February 25th. Probably with the exception of A Woman Like Me, you should be able to find every book I’ve listed at your local library. I hope you decide to vote and join in next month’s discussion.
Good morning! Today is the last day of the kids’ holiday break and then it’s back to school tomorrow. It’s been fun having them at home all day but I know they’re looking forward to seeing their friends. Our break has been filled with trips to the park, trying new meals, baking, and just having fun.
I’m currently reading a book that I’ve been dying to share with you guys. It’s called Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon. It’s been sitting on my shelves for a weeks. It’s due back at the library on Tuesday so I’m trying to finish this 900+ tome by then. I don’t think I will since I’ve been marking passages on almost every page with post-its.
In Far From the Tree, Solomon interviews parents who face the challenge of raising children who have very different identities from their own. These are parents raising a child who is transgender or deaf, mentally or physically disabled, schizophrenic or gifted. The author explores the question of identity versus illness while examining how society views these identities and how that can affect how parents themselves view their own children.
I’m finding this to be a powerful and moving book. I think if you are a parent or may one day become one, you should read this.
“To look deep into your child’s eyes and see in him both yourself and something utterly strange, and then to develop a zealous attachment to every aspect of him, is to achieve parenthood’s self-regarding, yet unselfish, abandon. It is astonishing how often such mutuality had been realized – how frequently parents who had supposed that they couldn’t care for an exceptional child discover that they can. The parental predisposition to love prevails in the most harrowing of circumstances. There is more imagination in the world than one might think.”
The book trailer:
I’m off to try and make a dent in this book. What are you reading?
I wasn’t sure if I was going to write a post today but after reading just a few posts, I wanted to write a “favorite books of 2012” post too. You guys are adding so many books to my tbr lists. I love reading your excitement over some of your favorite books.
2012 wasn’t a great year for blogging (or reading). I knew I wouldn’t be able to read as many books this year as I did last and I was right. My stats along with my favorite books read this year are listed below. My favorite books aren’t always books that were published this year, but they are books that I will re-read and buy if I don’t already have them.
248: the number of books I’ve read so far this year. That’s down from the 325 books I read in 2011.
55: the number of books I gave a 5-star rating to.
120: the number of books read that received a 4- star rating.
649: the number of pages that A Game of Thrones contained. It was the longest book I read.
Favorite fictional reads:
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. What a quiet and beautiful book about the friendship between a housekeeper, her son, and the professor she worked for.
No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. In my review of this book, I called it a “celebration of the written word and one man’s dedication to it.”
Alcestis by Katharine Beutner. A “fleshing-out” of the Greek myth of Alcestis, a wife who took her husband’s place when Death came from him. I like the book when I first read it and it’s grown on me since.
Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung. Another quiet and beautiful tale set in the United States and Korea about family. I love the descriptions of Korea. The book was realistic and I will definitely read Chung’s next book.
The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan. This was my time reading a novel by Lanagan but it definitely won’t be the last. The Brides of Rollrock Island is a book that once you’ve finished reading it, you want to immediately start re-reading.
There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff. I enjoyed reading this exploration of God as a horny seventeen year old. It reminded me a lot of Douglas Adams’ A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series.
Favorite non-fiction reads:
How Children Succeed by Paul Tough. It’s a book that I enjoyed so much that I won’t review it until I reread it a second time. Tough shows readers that it’s character traits such as grit, perseverance, and creativity that will help our children succeed, not just academically but in most aspects of life.
How Georgia Became O’Keefe by Karen Karbo. This is a book I loved so much. Karbo is a wonderful writer. Her style reminds me a lot of Michael Lee West. When you read their non-fiction, it’s not like you’re reading a book but more like you’re having a conversation with a new friend. You can sit there for hours and just listen.
Good morning. The sun isn’t up yet, the radio is on, and my kids are already playing in their room. I’m alone at my desk, trying to get maybe an hour to myself before the day officially begins. And yes, I do have a cup of coffee right in front of me.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about 2013 and what I want to accomplish. The years are starting to blur together from lack of doing anything out of the ordinary. I want next year to be different so I decided to join Joy’s New Year’s Resolution Reading Challenge. It sounds too good to pass up.
Joy’s challenge starts December 26 and lasts until January 31 but readers can start now if they want. The goal is to help readers sustain their goals by reading a book on the same topic. There are different levels of participation and I decided to participate at the passionate (4 books) level.
Now only is there a reading challenge, there will also be a Twitter Chat on Wednesday evenings, starting this week. The group read-along of The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg will start January 2nd. So there are a lot of ways to join this challenge and get the support you need for your resolutions.
Here are my goals for 2013:
1. Conquer math. I’m getting tired of this being one of my goals every year. 2013 will be the year that I get through the math classes I need.
2. Eat healthier. I can be such a picky eater. It’s time for me to try new things and eat better so I plan on re-reading The Game-On Diet by Krista Vernoff to get me started in the right direction and use The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman.
3. Read 48 books from my shelves. So far this year, I’ve only read 29 books from my shelves.
5. Write more. I don’t write very often outside of blogging and school, but this year I wrote even less. That needs to change so I’m re-reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and Courage and Craft by Barbara Abercrombie.
Good morning! It’s been so long since I’ve blogged. Now that finals (and the semester) are behind me, it feels good to be back. The next semester doesn’t start until February, so I can read as much as I want with no worries! Yay!
Now that I have the time, I’m going to read the books that I was in the middle of a few weeks ago. Elizabeth McCracken’s The Giant’s Housewas a book I was reading with Carrie (Nomadreader). I’m also going to return to The Peculiar by Stefan Bachman which got off to a great start. Love in a Time of Homeschooling by Laura Brodie is today’s book while A Christmas Carol is one more that I plan to start later on this week for the Dickens in December read-along.
I can’t wait to catch up with everyone’s posts and see what you all have been up to. What are you reading today?
December is just beginning but I’m already feeling the sense of renewal that January brings. Part of the reason for that feeling is that the anthropology program is changing at my school so I have to stay on top of those changes to plan my classes for next year. I’ve also decided to take a gap year from school starting next June so I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with that year away from school. It’s not too early to start planning.
Next week is my last week of classes and then I have almost two months off from school. So between studying for finals and figuring out what to do for the holidays, I’m trying to decide what to do with the rest of my time this month. I know reading will be a big part of my vacation.
Last month I read a measly twelve books, almost all of them were children’s books. My favorite book this month was the middle grade modern classic, Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. Looking at my Goodreads yearly goal, I’m about 32 books short of my goal of reading 250 books this year. I doubt even with my vacation starting in the middle of the month, I’ll be able to make that goal.
Today, I’m curling up with The Giant’s House by Elizabeth McCraken. It’s Carrie’s (Nomadreader) November pick for her Backlist Book Club. I’m really enjoying it. The writing is beautiful; the protagonist is flawed but so very real. I’m pretty sure I’m going to buy this after I finish reading it. After this, I plan on starting The Peculiar by Stefan Bachman, another book that’s landed on a few best of 2012 lists.
What are your plans for December? What are you reading today?