Dewey’s Read-a-thon

Good morning! Dewey’s 24-hour read-a-thon is finally here! It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to participate like I’ve wanted to. Since it’s the beginning of spring break, I can dive in and just spend the day reading.

My stack:

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  • Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi
  • Bull by David Elliot
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James
  • The Iliad illustrated by Gareth Hinds

 

Hour 1 – Getting to Know You Survey

1)What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Southern California. More specifically, my kitchen table.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I’m looking forward to all of them, though I heard that Black Leopard, Red Wolf is pretty gory.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I haven’t bought snacks yet! That’s a big no-no, but I will go out and buy some fruit later on.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’m a single mom of four who’s currently going to school while working. I’ve been participating in the read-a-thon on and off since the very first one.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I wouldn’t do anything differently. My advice to read-a-thoners, whether you are new to this event or not, is to just have fun and enjoy yourself. It’s like a holiday for bookworms.

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Three years

It’s been almost three years since my last post. To say that time flies is such a cliché, but it’s the truth. In three years, my youngest has went from being a newborn to a bouncy toddler. My oldest kids are mostly in high school and life has changed so much. I went from a being a stay-at-home mom to a library clerk and undergrad.

Yet through it all I’ve often thought about writing, about coming back to this blog or finding someone (anyone!) I can discuss books and reading with. I’ve wondered how my blogging friends are doing, what are they up to, and are they still blogging. At times, I’ve found myself on your blogs, peeking in a bit.

I think it’s time for me to come back to blogging. Or at least dip my toe in the waters again. I can’t wait to really see what you all have been up to.

king

Reading:// I’m currently in the middle of Wayétu Moore’s She Would Be King. It’s about the lives of three people gifted with heightened abilities and the creation of Liberia. The book is filled with magical realism. The book’s pace has been slow in places, while sometimes I can’t turn the pages fast enough. It’s beautiful and devastating.

Preparing://For my week. I’ve realized that when I sit down on Sundays to prepare for my week, gather my thoughts, and figure out what I need to accomplish, my week happens more smoothly. I have less hiccups and when the unexpected happens, I’m not caught off guard.

What are you up to today? What are you reading/doing/thinking about?

Sunday Salon

Good morning! It’s early Sunday morning and the whole family’s already up and about. I have a quiet baby in my lap and a cup of coffee next to me. The sun is shining and pancakes are being made. Heaven.

Reading: // Last week, I finished my first audio book in years: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve been waiting for the last installment of The Raven Boys series and Scribd has it. It was a good read, but there are still so many unanswered questions! Jenny, what did you think of it?

After The Raven King was a graphic novel about WWE wrestler Andre the Giant and the latest volume of Rat Queens. Reviews are coming up this week.

Louise Erdrich’s newest book, LaRose, is up next. This tale of loss and redemption has received a lot of positive reviews. Erdrich is one of those writers who’s been on my to-read list for years and yet I’ve still haven’t read anything by her.

Gardening: // I love my little plots at the community garden. Southern California is having some warm weather right now, so I’m there every day to water my plants and do some weeding. We’re growing carrots, tomatoes, onions, basil, beans, strawberries, fennel, corn, and bellpeppers. We’re pretty much growing whatever we can think of!

We’re newbies, so it’s been some hits and misses. Strawberry plants have died, weird mold on the peas. . .but we’re getting there.

This week: // summer vacation is here!! I’m so happy! I’m sure Avram is happy too. Now I can read as much as I can without worrying about homeschooling. I’ll share my summer reading list in a few days with you all.

As much as I love the end of the school year, I also love planning for the new school year. My older kids are both leaving public school to come back home, so I have a lot of planning ahead of me.

Now I’m off to: // have breakfast. What are you up to today?

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon!

2nd Update- Hour 14

Mid-Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now? I started Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg pre-readathon, so I think I’ll finish it now.
2. How many books have you read so far? 2 I recently finished both books from the Delilah Dirk series by Tony Cliff and an essay, Justin Cronin’s “My Daughter and God”.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Hmmm. That’s a good question.  I think it’s the latest volume of The Wicked + the Divine.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Oh my God. I’ve had so many including a kid falling and scrapping their nose and lip. But that’s life for you. I’ve just dealt with it all and read when I could.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? I think the cheering on Twitter. There are so many people tweeting about the readathon guys!!! It’s amazing! I love it.

If you’re doing the readathon today, how’s your reading going? If you’re not, how’s your evening coming along?

1st Update

 

Piper decided to do the readathon with me. Her first book? Secret Paris. It’s about all the places tourists don’t know about and should visit. Her dream is to go to Paris in a few years.

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I’m still on my first book, Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff. I’m almost finished and ready to dive into The Best American Essays 2015 edited by Ariel Levy.

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I’m up, y’all. Barely, but I’m up. With a 5 a.m. start time, it’s a tad harder for me to get up than most read-a-thon participants. I’m currently sitting in bed, next to a sleeping nine month-old and listening to my coffeepot go off.

Opening meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Southern California
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Hmmmm. Maybe the Delilah Dirk series by Tony Cliff. I have so many graphic novels in my stack, that I’m hoping to get through all of them.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Sadly, I haven’t gone to the store yet.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I’m a mom of four who dreams of being a librarian one day. Plus, I’ve participated in most of the read-a-thons since the very first one years ago.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? The one thing I’ll do differently is PARTICIPATE! Life took over last time and I didn’t get a single book read.

Happy reading!

Sunday Salon – April 17, 2016

 

Time: // 11:39 a.m.

The scene: // It’s a quiet Sunday morning as half the house has gone shopping and the baby is asleep.

It’s been so long since my last post, but that’s just life right now. At first, I felt guilty for not being able to blog and read more. Now? I’m okay with it. Sooner or later, I’ll find a balance. In the meantime, I’m squeezing books in when I can and enjoying life with a crawling, giggling, headstrong, adventurous nine-month old.

Reading: // I actually finished five books last week! Granted, they were short books, but that’s five more than my total for the whole month of March. My two adult reads were The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna and Sugar Snaps and Strawberries by Andrea Bellamy. Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box by Michael S. Bandy and and Lillian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter are two children’s books that deal with African Americans and voting. Snap by Hazel Hutchinson is a fantastic children’s book about the power of creativity.

PicMonkey CollageHave you ever been in the middle of a book and knew that you needed to reread it? I’m not a big re-reader, but that’s what I’m currently going through. Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhrigg and How to Tutor Your Own Child by Marina Koestler Ruben are my latest reads. I’m finding that I need to go back and reread both books from the beginning, taking notes as I go. There’s just so much information I want to remember. Plus both are worthy of reviews.

When it comes to nonfiction reads, do you take notes or just hope you remember the important points?

The kids and I bought two plots at our local community garden, so Sugar Snaps gave me a lot of much-needed advice. We started planting seeds at the end of January and until this morning, we had two overgrowing beds filled with veggies. The kids planted so many different seeds that I don’t even remember what everything is.  We’ll do better next time.

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Avram checking out his peas.

 

I would post more pictures, but WordPress doesn’t want to behave itself.

Almost forgot about: // Dewey’s Read-a-thon!! Can you believe it? There’s no way that I’m going to be able to read as much as I want to on Saturday, so I’m thinking about spreading my reading over the next few days and just cheer on Saturday. We’ll see.

What are you up to today?

Sunday Salon

The scene: // It’s a windy and wet Sunday morning. The sun is out, but not for long as rain is in the forecast. I’m typing up a quick post before I start on our Sunday dinner of short ribs.

January was filled with a ton of changes including moving into my new townhouse. I spent February trying to adjust while also turning this new house into a home. Even with the hectic month, I still got a lot of reading done with mainly comics and children’s books. 28 books read in all. The best books of February includes the Lumberjanes series, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor, and biographies about Helen Keller and Typhoid Mary.

My March TBR pile includes books in a variety of genres. My goal is to read more books out of my comfort zone and I think this stack will do just that. There’s no way I can finish this stack in a month, but these are the books I’m focusing on.

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Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong is a book that I started reading a few days ago thanks to Joy. The beginning could’ve been trimmed down a tad, but I’m enjoying it so far.
The Best American Essays 2015 edited by Ariel Levy.
The Long Emancipation: The Demise of Slavery in the United States by Ira Berlin
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Clearly (a read-along with my son)
Pax by Sara Pennypacker (middle grade)
Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor (sci-fi)
The Lives of Frederick Douglas by Robert S Levine
Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain by Dana Suskind
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson (sci-fi)

That’s a lot of heavy reading and I may have to lighten it up some.

Now I’m off to start cooking.

What are you up to on this beautiful Sunday?

Sunday Salon

Time: // 5:44 a.m.

The scene: // It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get up early and write a post while the family sleeps. Keeping up (or trying to) with a seven month old is pretty much a full-time job. Before Gigi came along, my youngest was ten years old, so I’m starting all over again, relearning parenting lessons that I should’ve remembered. Like the fact that you almost have to have laser-beam focus on very young kids. Turn your back and your kid will find something to put in their mouths. Since Gigi doesn’t really believe in daytime naps, I’m usually one of the first to go to sleep and sometimes I’m still not the first to wake up.

Drinking: // nothing right now, but after this post I’m putting on some coffee.

This week: // I actually finished two books! I don’t know how it happened, but it needs to happen more often! The first book I read was Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: The Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale. The book is an engaging and fast-paced graphic biography about Harriet Tubman. The intended audience is middle school readers, but don’t let that stop you from picking it up. If you read the Goodreads reviews for this, you’ll see that even adults love it.

Luckily for me, this isn’t the only history-based graphic biography that Hale has published. Before I finished The Underground Abductor, I went online and put all of his other graphic nonfiction on hold.

The second book I read this week was Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story about the Deadliest Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. This is another excellent middle grade nonfiction read that adults can also enjoy.

Reflecting on: // Lent. Every year Bryan writes a post about Lent and what he’s going to give up or add to his life. His posts always makes me want to make a change. This year, I jumped in and decided to give up sugar for Lent. Sugar is such a big thing in my life. I love sweets. It’s been hard and there have been occasions where I ended up eating something sweet without thinking. It’s making me realize how sugar is in so many foods.

Now I’m off to: // make pancakes. The family’s up so it’s time for me to start my day.

What are you up to today?

Dewey’s 24-Hour Read-a-thon is here!!!!

Okay, I wasn’t going to join today’s read-a-thon, but changed my mind at the last minute. It’s not easy missing this event and I can’t help but miss Dewey more on read-a-thon day. She was such an amazing person.  So here I am 5 o’clock in the morning with a fresh cup of coffee and an energetic three month old in my arms. I don’t know much reading I’m going to be able to get done, but that’s okay. I’m just going to read and think of Dewey.

My stack:

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  • The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman (fairy tale retelling)
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X (memoir)
  • A House of My Own by Sandra Cisneros (memoir)
  • The Wrath and the Dawn by Rene Ahdieh (fairy tale retelling)
  • A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (YA)
  • The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (memoir)
  • March Vols. 1 and 2 by John Lewis (graphic memoir)
  • not pictured: Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Sherlock retelling?) and anything interesting that I can find on Scribd

Introduction Survey
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Southern California

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? There’s so many interesting books in my stack and it’s hard to choose just one. Maybe the Arabian Nights retelling The Wrath and the Dawn by Rene Ahdieh.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? For the first time ever, I don’t have many snacks. I’ll probably just eat granola bars. Boring I know.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! For the past eight years, I’ve been blogging. I even participated in the very first read-a-thon with Dewey. Plus, I’m a mother of four kids ages 14, 12, 10, and 3 months.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?  The most important thing is to always have fun.

I’m off to read! Are you joining today’s read-a-thon?

Goodreads Update

Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of ImaginationVery Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

#readathon

View all my reviews

She’s Here!

photo(1)Time: // 9:03 a.m., Sunday morning

The scene: // I’m sitting at my desk, holding my newest arrival. Ms. Gwendolyn a.k.a. Gigi was born a few days after my last post. After 19 hours of labor, she was in my arms. The past week and a half has been surreal. I feel like I’m in a dream and keep wanting to pinch myself, it’s so good. The kids love Gigi and fight over who gets to hold up. I’m so blessed.

Feeling: // pretty good though my daughter insists on being up throughout the night.

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Currently reading: // I haven’t been able to read since giving birth, but I plan on trying to again. Two weeks ago, I started reading Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert D. Putnam. It’s about how the American Dream has become harder for young people to acquire and why that is. Putnam writes about the economy our grandparents and parents were born and thrived in compared to the present economy. He also discusses how familial makeup, the way we parent our children, education, and community play a huge role in whether or not people are able to have the opportunities needed to fulfill their dreams. A lot of what Putnam writes about is not new, but it does remind people why things are the way they are.

Thank you for: // all the well wishes on Instagram and Facebook. It’s easier to post pictures than it is to write a full blog post.

Now: // I’m keeping this short but sweet since Gigi is asleep.

What have you been up to?

Sunday Salon

sunday salonIt’s official. Christmas break is here and the kids and I have wrapped up our last week of homeschooling. That gives me plenty of time to start blogging again after my month-long break.

I can’t blame my break on just homeschooling. I went through the worst reading rut ever. Even though I was checking out books from the library, I couldn’t get myself to finish them. Months went by without me reading books.

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Then something happened. I wanted to try reading a book and picked up Helene Wrecker’s The Golem and the Jinni. Though the chunkster clocks in at almost 500 pages, I consumed the book in a day. The tome about a golem with no master who tries to fit in with the world around her and a thousands-year old jinni who was recently released from his flask, ended up being the perfect book to kick start my reading mojo.

18293427The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin was next. I could see why so many bloggers fell in love with this story about a widowed bookseller, young daughter, and their small community. There were passages about books and reading that I wanted to highlight and who couldn’t help but fall in love with Maya? While I didn’t love the book, I did enjoy it.

A few months ago, SoHo Press sent me a huge stack of books from various genres including The 21416678Bishop’s Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison. I don’t read thrillers or crime fiction at all, but when you’re in a reading rut, it’s good to get out of your comfort zone. A devoted wife and mother goes missing from a Mormon community in a small town in Utah. Most people in the community thinks the mother just walked away, but Linda Wallheim, wife to the community’s bishop thinks otherwise. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about the intricacies of a Mormon community. The details were enlightening and I found them to be universal in some ways. The story had its twists and turns with a satisfying ending.

My reading mojo isn’t totally back but it’s nice to be able to dive into a book. I plan on spending my holiday break trying to read, thinking about my goals for next year, and catching up on blog posts. I’ve missed you all and I know everyone have posted a “favorites” list or two lately.

What are you up to today?

“Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines” by Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, ‘The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.’

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Trans. W.S. Merwin
Poem XX from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924)

Foodie Giveaway: Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good by Kathleen Flinn

 18693752I’m Swedish, which makes me sexy, and I’m Irish, which makes me want to talk about it.

So starts Kathleen Flinn’s entertaining foodie biography about her family, Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good. I’m halfway through the book and it’s pretty good so far. Here’s the publisher’s excerpt:

A family history with recipes, Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good offers a flavorful tale spanning three generations as Flinn returns to the mix of food and memoir readers loved in her New York Times bestseller, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. From a Route 66 trek to San Francisco to their Michigan farm to the shores of Florida, humor and adventure define her family even in the worst of times. You’ll savor Uncle Clarence’s divine corn flake-crusted fried chicken, Grandpa Charles’s spicy San Antonio chili, and Grandma Inez’s birthday-only cinnamon rolls. Through these flavors, Flinn came to understand how meals can be memories and cooking can be communication. Brimming with warmth and wit, fans of Luisa Weiss’s Mr. Berlin Kitchen, Gabrielle Hamilton’s Blood, Bones and Butter, and especially Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn will delight in this revealing look at a family that just might resemble your own.

The publisher loves this book so much that they’re shipping one copy to one lucky reader. To enter this giveaway, just leave a comment. I’ll randomly pick a winner on August 28th. The contest is limited to readers in the United States. Good luck.

The contest is closed! Thank you all for entering. The lucky winner has been contacted.

Ted Talk: Hard choices

“…Hard choices are precious opportunities for us to celebrate what is special about the human condition, that the reasons that govern our choices as correct or incorrect sometimes run out, and it is here, in the space of hard choices, that we have the power to create reasons for ourselves to become the distinctive people that we are.”

My Summer Bucket List 2014

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You might think it’s a bit early to think about a summer bucket list since summer officially starts in late June. With my summer vacation a little bit more than a week away, I figured now is a fantastic time to write down the things I want to do with my kids. I made the list doable so as to not get overwhelmed.

  1. Make watermelon gazpacho
  2. Swimming lessons for the kids
  3. Go to the movies at least three times
  4. Wear sunscreen everyday
  5. Make iced coffee Pioneer Woman style
  6. Tackle math (which I’ve been doing)
  7. Go to Farmer’s Market at least twice a month
  8. Watch a movie at the park
  9. Take kids to an amusement park
  10. Buy an air conditioner
  11. Have a movie marathon day
  12. Make my own ice cream
  13. Make popsicles
  14. Have one date with each kid individually
  15. Introduce the kids to funnel cake
  16. Go to the beach more often
  17. Take the kids ice skating on a really hot day

What are you looking forward to doing this summer?

Instead of blogging, I am . . .

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going on job interviews. I’m hoping to get a summer job once the homeschooling year and the school semester is over in late May. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

baking. There are few activities in my life that make the hours magically pass by. Reading is one along with library cataloging (strangely enough), but baking and cooking are two activities I’m becoming very good at.

visiting everyone’s blogs. I’m not writing on my own blog, but I’m trying to get to everyone else’s.

reading. I’ve been dipping in and out of new (April and May) releases so that’s another reason why I don’t have anything to blog about right now. What I’ve read so far has been a delight.

When you’re not blogging, what are you up to?

Sunday Salon

sunday salon

Time: // 6: 10 a.m. Thanks to WordPress, I just lost my last draft of this post.

The scene: // typing away on the laptop at my desk.

Drinking: // coffee of course.

Listening to: // all kinds of music. I really need something happy to listen to. Any suggestions?

Reading: // I finished Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird earlier this week. I’ve noticed that every year there’s one book that truly stands out for me. Last year, it was The Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. In 2012, there was Please Look For Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin. Oyeyemi’s fairy tale expansion of Snow White is probably this year’s pick. It’s that good. I’m hoping to have my review up tomorrow. There’s so much to talk about with that book.

Do you have years where a certain book stands out above the rest?

Ignoring: // a paper that I need to write and turn in next week. After everything I do during the week, I feel like my weekends should be mine. Sadly, I’ll probably start writing my paper today.

Promoting: // a post that I read on A Beautiful Mess yesterday called “On Changing Dreams“. Emma from A Beautiful Mess writes about how her dreams for her life changed and became something different and totally unexpected. It’s an inspiring post and perfect for anyone who’s doubting the direction of their life.

Now I’m off to: // enjoy my coffee while doing homework.

What are you up to this early Sunday morning?

 

December goals and what I’m currently reading

It’s scary how December is here already! It seems like 2013 may be the fastest year ever. One minute it was January and I was rolling out my resolutions and now it’s December and I’m not halfway done with my list. What is that about?

I figured that I should share my December goals in hopes of being bullied motivated in keeping them. I need all the help I can get.

1. Finish reading the last stack of solicited review copies. There are only 10 books left so that should be do-able. Next year, I plan on reading only my own books and those from the library.

2. Post 2014 sign-ups for the Chunkster Challenge blog. I will be taking over the challenge from Wendy next year.

3. Post more regularly. This year has been so busy that I haven’t been able to blog that much. If I can post at least three times a week, I’m happy.

That’s my list, short but simple.

Currently reading

patchettThanksgiving break has come to an end and I didn’t read as much as I wanted to. I was too busy fighting a cold. Currently I’m reading Ann Patchett’s essay collection, This is The Story of a Happy Marriage. The title story is so beautiful, so honest that I read the whole thing aloud. This is my first time reading something by the author. I tried and fail to get through more than a few pages of Bel Canto. Sometimes reading an author’s non-fiction work is a better experience than reading their fiction.

I’m still dipping in and out of Why Teach? by Mark Edmundson. Essay and short story collections are the only works where readers can weave in and out of as time allows. It’s perfect for me during this hectic season.

What are you reading/watching/listening to this week?

It would have sounded odd. . .

danticat claireIt would have sounded odd—people have been accused of sorcery for less–if she told someone how much she wanted to take all those little girls home, set them up in the many empty rooms of her house, and whenever she was sad, ask them to play with her. There were many days when she wanted to grab a little girl and hold her in her arms, just to inhale her smell, the smell that these men lacked. Their smells were musty: they smelled of roads and dust and cologne that never quite covered their musk. They smelled of work, of sweat, of other women. But little girls smelled of roses and wet leaves, of talcum powder, and the dew.

-Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat

Sunday Salon

sunday salonTime: // 9:11 am – Saturday

The scene: // my desk

Eating: // White Chocolate Macadamia Luna Bar yum!

Drinking: // coffee but now I want water

Listening to: // “Honey” by Erykah Badu

Just Finished: // The Long War by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. My review is scheduled for Monday.

What’s next: // I have no idea. I have a huge stack of ARCs to read for next month. Plus, I have a reading hangover from reading so much this week.

Hating: // that my computer and monitor have decided to start acting up this week. That’s why I haven’t posted anything in the past week or so. It’s also why I’m writing this post so early. When it rains trouble, it pours.

Loving: // the cool weather this morning.

Promoting: // the High Summer Read-a-thon. It’s being hosted by Michelle over at Seasons Reading. The read-a-thon starts on Monday, July 22nd at 12 am CST and ends Sunday, July 28th at 11:59 pm. Participants can read anything they want.

Planning for: // my birthday month of August. I think I’ll follow Bryan’s example and do something bookish and special next month. Bryan decided to read only life-affirming reads during his birthday month. Maybe I’ll spend August rereading some of my favorite books. We’ll see.

Thankful for: // Excedrin and naps. I’ve been hit with migraines left and right every day this week.

Now I’m off to: // write and schedule a few more posts.

What’s on your list today? 

Giveaway winner!

The lucky winner of this month’s giveaway  is . . .

Harvee!

Harvee, I will contact you shortly for your information. Thanks to everyone for entering the giveaway. Be sure to come back next month for another giveaway I plan on hosting.

Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day!

pocket_logo2Each year on Poem in Your Pocket Day, I find one poem to carry around with me all day. I usually end up carrying the poem around all year. I still have last year’s poem, E.E. Cumming’s “I Carry Your Heart with Me (I Carry it In)”. There’s still time to find a poem to carry around with you. Here’s my poem for today:

 

blessing the boats

            (at St. Mary’s)

may the tide

that is entering even now

the lip of our understanding

carry you out

beyond the face of fear

may you kiss

the wind then turn from it

certain that it will

love you back              may you

open your eyes to water

water waving forever

and may you in your innocence

sail through this to that

Lucille Clifton

Giveaway Winner and It’s Monday. What are you reading?

It’s Monday. What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila over at BookJourney.

Last week was a pretty slow reading week for me. I don’t know what happened but it seemed like there was never enough time in the day. I read:

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  • Just Ducks! by Nicola Davies (4 out of 5 stars)
  • A Thousand Mornings: Poems by Mary Oliver (3 out of 5 stars)
  • Home by Novogratz by Robert and Courtney Novogratz (3 out of 5 stars)
  • Fables Vol. 17: Inherit the Wind by Bill Willingham (5 out of 5 stars)

So far this week I’ve read:

Going in Circles by Pamela Ribbon (5 out of 5 stars)

Between read-alongs, advanced reading copies, library books, and my own books, I think I have too many reading choices. There are so many possibilities and I’m getting bogged down. I need to make my book jar soon.

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This week I’m thinking about reading:

  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng. It just won the Man Asian Award.
  • A Map of Time by Felix Palma
  • Anything else that catches my eye.

Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest for a  copy of A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. The winner is Sara! Congratulations. Sara, you have 24 hours to email me back with your personal information.

What are you reading?

Thankfully Reading Weekend Wrap Up

The Thankfully Reading Weekend is over. I ended up reading only a handful of books, mainly children’s books. I thought yesterday was going to be a better day but the kids start playing around and I ended up with a dental emergency on my hands. It’s been a long 24 hours and I’m exhausted.

What I read this weekend:

Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses by Ron Koertge

The Beetle Book by Steven Jenkins

The House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan

One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis – a re-read with my son

My favorite book of the weekend was Bud, Not Buddy. The picture books were also fantastic reads. I can see why each one of them made a best of 2012 list. I still have a stack of books that I want to read and I hope to get to each one real soon.

Now I’m off. Sleep is calling my name. What did you read this weekend?