25 November 2015

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Thanks, Christine, for hosting!

10.  I love Thanksgiving.  Mostly because it is about family and food.  We had a friendsgiving, a potluck for G's (my daughter's) daycare and the usual potluck multi-family gathering that we go to tomorrow.  I've been thinking about busting out some maternity pants to wear a la Joey.
9.  I've been MIA on my blog again for lots of reasons, but partially because I've been blogging for a challenge at work.  You can find those posts HERE.
8. Lately I have been reading on my Iphone before bed, and liking reading in e format more and more.  This is mostly because G sleeps in my bedroom and goes to bed before me.  However, I don't like using a blue light screen so I'm thinking of asking for a Kindle (or other ereader) for Christmas.  Does anyone have a basic one that they love?
7.  I've been thinking a lot about gratitude lately, and have been keeping a gratitude journal since G was born.   So, I thought THIS article was really interesting.
6.  Can't wait to see Mockingjay Part II. 
5.  Saw Pixar's Inside Out and loved it.
4.  My daughter started daycare at the beginning of the month which has been an adjustment.  It was earlier that I would have started her, but we got a spot at the daycare at my work.  So, I've been going in to the office a couple of days a week.  I had totally forgot how hard on your body sitting at a computer all day is.  I foresee many trips to the chiro in my future.
3. I recently read The Empathy Exams and didn't love it.  I'm not sure I can pinpoint why.  Did you love it? What did you love about it?
2.  I loved Lena Dunham's book.  She might be my spirit animal.  Or a manatee.  Or this smug sloth...
1. I just finished reading Gold, Fame, Citrus and I really really really liked it.  Claire Vaye Watkins is so talented, and I really want to go back and read Battleborn.

07 October 2015

Bookish and Not So Bookish Thoughts

10. 4-5 p.m. is totally no man's land for me as a stay at home mom.  I don't know what to do with myself or my kid.  Usually she sits in a bouncer while I scroll through FB (I know, terrible).  I am totally open to suggestions for what to do with myself.

9.  I did check out this gem from my public library...
8.The new Silk cashew milk is weird.
7. I'm reading a bunch of stuff right now, and am about 75% through all of it:  Lena Dunham's essay book, Aziz Ansari's Modern Romance, and The Empathy Exams.  I keep the books in different places around the house, so if I'm nursing or rocking G, I can always pick up a book.  One is on my phone so I can read it in the dark before bed.
6.  Saw The Martian!  Didn't fall asleep!  Victory!
5.  Really liked The Martian.  I loved the book when I read it last year, and the movie really captured the tone and the excitement.
4.  If you are a new parent, this podcast is the thing.
3.  I love all of the BabyLit books, but G is especially into this one because it features dudes with facial hair.  No joke, kid loves facial hair.  This bodes well for the $50 Santa portrait session that I just signed up for. 
2.  The reality of my maternity leave ending is finally setting in.  This means two things: 1.  A day will come when I have to wear pants with a waistband; 2.  I need to start coming up with a plan to prep my classes.
1.  I really hope that I teach a class next semester in which I can teach Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried.  I have come to the conclusion that it is my favorite book to teach.

How was your week this week?  What's new in your bookish or non-bookish life?

Thanks to Christine at Bookishly Boisterous for hosting. 

06 October 2015

Top Ten Books that I Have Quit...But Would Like to Pick Up Again

I did my own twist on the TTT topic today. Majoring in English and getting a graduate degree meant lots of weekly reading, and not always finishing. 

These are books I liked enough to hope to return to them someday.

10.  Underworld by Don DeLillo:  I have read half of this book three times, but always feel compelled to start at the beginning with each reread.
9. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon:  We read this for my book club right before G was born.  I got about 250 pages (or 1/4 of the way) in.  I really want to devote the time to the book that it deserves, and my third trimester was not that time.
8. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace:  Are  you sensing a theme?  REALLLY long books might not be my thing.
7. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller:  I think I got the gist of this one, but I would like read the whole thing.
6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy:  This was one of the last books on MA exam study list.  I was pretty sure that no one was going to ask me about it, but I wanted to finish anyway...and I didn't.
5. Middlemarch by George Eliot:  I have actually read this all the way through once.  I was going to read it again for a class in graduate school, and just didn't make it through the second read.  I would still like to return to it.
4. Bleak House by Charles Dickens:  And again, long books, not my thing.  I usually say I read this, because I think I made it to the end, but there was a lot of skimming/speed reading involved...

I can't think of a top three, but this is a robust TBR.  What books did you start and life just got in the way?

03 October 2015

What I Read: Saturday by Ian McEwan

"He's been delivered into a pure
present, free of the weight of the past or any anxieties about the
future. In retrospect, though never at the time, it feels like profound

Grade: A

Have you read Saturday?  Let's chat about it in the comments. 

01 October 2015

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

...a day late.

10.  Every few weeks, I decide to read some sleep training books.  Then, I get totally overwhelmed by the information in them and resolve to just keep doing whatever "feels right" in regards to Grace's nap and sleep routines.  I'm in the midst of one of those cycles right now. 

9. I am trying to listen to Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse on Audible for my book club.  I  read the book when I was an undergraduate, but don't really remember anything about it except that it was difficult.  Although I love to listen to non-fiction, I'm not great at paying attention to fiction on audio, so we will see how this goes.

8.  I'm really enjoying the new Ryan Murphy series Scream Queens.  I am a fan of his in general, but I don't love all the American Horror seasons,and thought Glee got a little lame at the end.  So, I'm hoping this one keeps up its momentum, since I did love every weird, campy minute of Nip/Tuck.

7.  Jurassic World is coming out in digital this week, and I'm super excited.  When I was pregnant, I would tell my baby to stay in there until I could see JW.  My water broke at Starbucks the day before I was going to see it.  So, boo.  But, now I can watch it from the comfort of my living room.

6.  The new Lana Del Rey album  makes me feel like I've taken muscle relaxants.  I think that is the point?  It's not safe to listen to in the car.

5. In other movie news, I can't wait to see the The Martian.  It will be our first movie in the theater since G was born.  I just hope I don't fall asleep.

4. When we chose the name Grace for our baby, I felt like no one was named Grace.  Now it seems like everyone is...including Lena Dunham's sister, which I learned reading her book while rocking my baby before naps.

3.  I'm really into Jellycat books for babies.  Not sure why.  They are really short and simple, but I just think they are the cutest.

2.  This app is my new obsession. 

1. I'm happy to be blogging a bit instead of scrolling endlessly through my Facebook feed.  Facebook is like crack for new moms.  I don't like it, but I can't stop doing it.

Have a great week all!  Thanks for hosting Christine!

29 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: For Fans Of...

This week's TTT is Top Ten Books for fans off (insert popular book here).  I choose...

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

1. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson:  This book is amazing.  It is Nelson's memoir of her relationship with a transgendered man during transition and the birth of their son.  As a new mother, I found the honesty about motherhood refreshing.
2. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen:  Yeah, it's for kids, but it is the OG survival in the woods story, and it is Ah-mazing.
3. Post Secret books:  Quick coffee table reads with the same confessional tone as Strayed. 
4. The Opposite of Loneliness  by Marina Keegan: These essays by college journalist Keegan, published by her mother posthumously are worth a read.  
5. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey:  Yes, it is the most controversial because it isn't really true memoir ever.  But, it is a hell of a ride, and is a classic of the genre because of the controversy.
6. A Widow's Story by Joyce Carol Oates:  Strayed's memoir is essentially a story of grief, and this memoir is one of the best stories of grief I have read.
7. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson:  Wild is kind of a road trip memoir, and this is a great road trip memoir.
8. Are You My Mother by Alison Bechdel:  A graphic memoir about a mother/daughter relationship.  It isn't as good as Fun Home, but has more in common with Wild.
9. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh:  This memoir from Brosh's popular web comic addresses issues of mental illness that resonate with Strayed.
10. Jennifer, Gwyneth and Me by Rachel Bertsche: I love Bertsche's voice, and this, her memoir of trying to improve her happiness by emulating the lives of celebrities, has the same type of self-help quality as Strayed's work.

What books remind you of Wild?  What are your favorite memoirs?

27 September 2015

Back to Blogging? And my new addition...

It has been a while since I have been on my blog, but I have been working on something...

My daughter Grace was born on June 14th.  I stopped blogging during my pregnancy.  I didn't read much since I was always falling asleep!  Now I am staying home with my daughter, getting some reading in, and hoping to start working on my blog again.  Things might be a little different, but hopefully will be fairly regular.  I thought about moving to Tumblr, but it might just be a little more Tumblr-like around here instead.  Talk soon!

27 January 2015

TLC Book Tour: Wildalone by Krassi Zourkova

Welcome to the TLC Book Tour for Wildalone!

Click on the image to buy it from Powell's
I love the cover for this book, and I love it so much it made me want to read it, even though the book itself isn't something that would necessarily be up my alley.  But, I saw the beautiful cover, and then read that the book is set at Princeton, and I was definitely in.

The book is about an Eastern European girl, Thea Slavin, who is attending Princeton to study music.  Her parents are wary of her going to that particular Ivy, however, since her older sister died there decades before and her body was stolen from the morgue.  Thea never knew her sister, but is interested in the mystery surrounding her disappearance.  So, when she arrives at Princeton, she finds herself not only caught up in the opportunities to perform on the piano that are being offered to her, but in the investigation of her family's (supernatural?) past.  And, on top of all that, a handsome stranger appears at her first performance, and she finds herself in a romance as well.  But nothing is what it first seems to Thea, and she learns that the world is much more full of magic than she ever knew.

From the description on the book jacket, I thought that there would be heavier fantasy elements to the story.  I was expecting the fantasy to come early in the novel, and was surprised that it came much later and lighter than what I was prepared for.  The beginning of the book was a little slow going for me, but about halfway through I found myself totally caught up in the romance and the mystery of the story.  Slight spoiler:  There is a love triangle, and I found that I didn't even know who to root for (since they were both some handsome and flawed), but I definitely wanted to know what happened. My critique of the book is that there might be just a few too many elements, threads to follow, and I don't know if they all tie up.  However, I certainly enjoyed the journey.

Title: Wildalone
Author:Krassi Zourkove
Publisher: William Morrow
Date: 2015
Genre: Fiction

374 pages.
Where I got it: From the publisher and TLC Book Tours

22 October 2014

TLC BOOK TOUR: David Nicholls, Us

Welcome to the TLC BOOK TOUR for David Nicholls' Us!

Click on the image to purchase the book through my Powell's partner account
I wanted to be on the tour for David Nicholls' new book, because his last book (the bittersweet page turner One Day) made me feel like this:

This new book is also about relationships, this time about a couple whose son is leaving for college and whose marriage is falling apart. The book's narrator, Douglas, learns in the first pages of the book that his wife is planning to leave him, but first, they must go together on a grand European tour that they have planned for their son Albie's graduation.  On this vacation, Douglas hopes to win Connie back, but finds himself instead blundering through so many of the situations that they find themselves in.  The story is told mainly in the present, but also with flashbacks to the exciting beginnings of Connie and Douglas.  The book is structured in short snippets of chapters and sections for each of the European countries the family visits on their tour.  This format made the book really readable, and like, One Day, difficult to put down.

I didn't relate to the characters in Us like I did to those in One Day, although I still found them likeable and was rooting for them, all of them.  The idea of setting the book on a grand European tour is right in my wheelhouse, and I loved seeing Paris, Amsterdam, Venice and Madrid through the eyes of the characters.  Because I loved One Day so much, I think that it may have been a little difficult for this book to live up to my expectations, but this book does capture the same sad, but hopeful, tone and offers a similar picture of a relationship through many stages.  I recommend it to fans of Nicholls and to fans of insightful writing about relationships.

Please be sure to check out other bloggers on the tour!

Monday, October 6th: The Daily Dosage
Tuesday, October 7th: nomadreader
Wednesday, October 8th: From L.A. to LA
Thursday, October 9th: Spiced Latte Reads
Monday, October 13th: BookNAround
Tuesday, October 14th: Bibliosue
Friday, October 17th: 5 Minutes For Books
Monday, October 20th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, October 21st:  A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, October 22nd: Vox Libris
Thursday, October 23rd: The Scarlet letter
Friday, October 24th: Giraffe Days
Monday October 27th: Read. Write. Repeat.
Tuesday, October 28th: Lavish Bookshelf
Wednesday, October 29th: nightlyreading
Thursday, October 30th: Always With a Book
Friday, October 31st: Alison’s Book Marks
Monday, November 3rd: Drey’s Library
Tuesday, November 4th: …the bookworm…
Wednesday, November 5th: More Than Just Magic
Thursday, November 6th: Walking With Nora
Friday, November 7th: Bookshelf Fantasies
Monday, November 10th: Booksie’s Blog
Tuesday, November 11th: BoundbyWords
Wednesday, November 12th: Literary Lindsey
Thursday, November 13th: Books and Bindings
Friday, November 14th: Every Free Chance Book Reviews
Monday, November 17th: Doing Dewey
Tuesday, November 18th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, November 19th: Books in the Burbs
Thursday, November 20th: The Book Binder’s Daughter
Friday, November 21st: Book Loving Hippo
Monday, November 24th: I’d Rather Be At The Beach
Tuesday, November 25th: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, November 26th: missris
TBD: Reading in Black & White

Title: Us
Author: David Nicholls
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date: 2014
Genre: Fiction

392 pages.
Where I got it: From the publisher and TLC Book Tours

18 October 2014

READATHON! Master Post

Well, it is here.  Today is Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon, and I woke up in Hour #3.

1)Where are you reading from today?

Prescott, Arizona

2)Three random facts about me…

My favorite food is macaroni and cheese.
I'm an only child.
My favorite children's book  is Where the Wild Things Are.

3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?

I'd like to read for at least four hours, and fulfill my cheerleading duties.

5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time?

Have fun!


I finally finished a book!!!!  Woohoo! I'm not doing much blogging though, so follow my #readathon updates on Twitter!

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