Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Reading Time - November 2018

Because sitting on the couch and reading requires three dogs ... apparently.

Remember, this is a link-up with Steph and Jana, so be sure to click on their names, check out their main posts, and see what everyone else is reading/recommending/DNF'ing ...

Taking a much needed break from running (though contemplating a spring marathon in a new-to-me state) and the time that was spent doing training runs can now be spent on reading, while still avoiding finishing very old DIY projects that I still don't know what the end result was supposed to be.

So, since last month's post ...

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Dear Martin, by Nic Stone
Very very similar to The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas. Very. This one takes place in Atlanta and is from a boy's perspective - but a LOT of similarities. I liked THUG better, but this one was also good ... of course, I'm speaking as a WASP-female who's not had any experience with being racially profiled. (ebook and a really quick read)

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Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall
This was a recommendation from a dear friend who read it in their book club earlier this year. Set in the 1960s in the deep south and focuses on a young runaway and how her eyes are opened to race issues going on in Mississippi and Tennessee. Highly recommend! (real book, borrowed from AKT)

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The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson
Meh - it was OK. I mean, it had a decent story and didn't get political. I've never read anything from James Patterson ... or from Bill Clinton, for that matter ... so I don't know whose writing style I was reading. There's also a ghost writer who didn't get front cover billing (David Ellis) so it could be all his writing too. This one was a chore to read - but mainly because I kept running out of time on the library loans due to other books I was reading and other things going on IRL. First an e-book, then the real book, then the ebook again (even though my library stopped charging overdue fines for late real books, I felt guilty about keeping the real book to finish). And as word got out about the book, the wait list for both the real and e-books kept getting longer so I made sure I finished it on the third loan ...

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Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - this had been on my 'currently reading' list for awhile and I was tired of seeing it, TBH. I had already read it a couple times (once in college and then a few years later when I attempted to reread/actually read the books I had been assigned in college but skimmed over) so this was an easy read ... which is why I didn't stick with it till the end when I started it. Already knew the ending and all that jazz. This was also the selection for a statewide library read to celebrate the 200th anniversary of its publication. (ebook in personal e-library)

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Marathoning for Mortals by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield - granted, this isn't the first time I've read this but I think it's the first time I've listed it on a SUYB post. It definitely helped get me in the mindset for long-distance running and realizing I could do this on a regular basis. Just wanted to list it in case anyone has been thinking about maybe running a full or a half and how to prepare for one. There are training modules in the back for if you want to run the entire time, or if you want to run more than walk, or if you want to walk more than run. I completed three full marathons on their run/walk program and I definitely recommend it! After completing #3 last week, I'm ready for either a new challenge or a new training program. (own copy - but recommended by Rebecca Jo)

Currently reading:
looking for recommendations ... and motivation to finish the house projects.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

What's New With You linkup - Oct recap/Nov lookahead

Grab button for What's New With You
Yay, November! 

But to recap October first:
I completed my first round of the #minsgame (from The Minimalists) and while there were some days that were difficult to complete, I barely scratched the surface of all the crappity-crap at home. If you don't know the 'game', you collect one item on Day 1, two items on Day 2, etc. through 30 items on Day 30 for a total of 465 items donated/recycled/gone from your living space. I didn't count clothing, since we'd already done a closet purge. We took two bags of books to the library for their monthly book sale/fundraiser, one bag of craft items to church, and 4 huge boxes of general items to the Salvation Army. I will definitely be doing this again - most likely January. Join me? 

Fall break - the kids and I just kind of chilled this year rather than go on our annual trip to the beach and it was nice. Plans are in motion for our epic trip in December and it's all I can do not to spill the secrets. 

Family - My sister and I completed a super-speedy and altogether too short trip to see family in Philadelphia. Sadly, we're all at the ages that the only time we see them is for funerals. It was good to see them though and we had a bonus state thrown in the route -- New Jersey - where I *thought* I was finally getting to eat my first cheesesteak sandwich ... only to find out it was roast beef with cheese on it ... which is fine, because I should probably be in Philly for my first "Philly cheesesteak". Twelve states from start to finish in less than 48 hours - yowza. Of the 12 first cousins on that side of the family, five of us were able to gather to say farewell to the third one gone. 

Running - still at it and I get a break after this weekend, but I started the month at the Indy Half in Fort Ben. First time running it and I won an entry to next year so I guess I'll be doing it again! Then met up with some friends to do the Pumpkin 5pice 5k. We were in the portapotty line at the start time so it was fun being able to pass many when we did finally get started. I didn't have any preset goal since it was pretty hilly, but I surprised myself by being able to run the whole thing non-stop and almost got a PR for that distance, even with the hills! 

Reading - meh - I'm still reading but with the weather cooling down, I've been doing more around the house and taking the dogs on walks so it cuts into my reading time. I'll be linking up with Steph and Jana on Nov 13 though so that gives me two weeks to get a move on with the three books I'm currently in the middle of. 

Watching - Alternating between Doctor Who (on #12 now and I admit, I wasn't a fan at the beginning but he's OK now), The Office (finally), finished whatever season of Walking Dead that was recently released on Netflix, and binge-watched Marcella and Bodyguard (both on Netflix). If you like British police dramas, I highly recommend both of those. Marcella is two seasons, but BBC seasons are super-short (5? 6 episodes?). Allie and I also make a point to watch 911 on Monday nights - we're hooked.

Voting - yay for early voting! No excuses, people.

Looking forward to ... 
my 3rd marathon this weekend - don't really have a goal in mind. My first one was to prove to myself I could do it. My 2nd one was a blur since it was during the dumpster fire/emotional trainwreck of 2017 with minimal training (though I did get a PR from the year before). This one will be for me. 

Finalizing plans for the aforementioned epic trip in December - gah! I want to spill the beans!!

My first duathlon later this month

Finishing up some rooms at home

And whatever else life has in store for me.

Your turn ... 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Reading Time - Oct 9

Linking up with Steph's and Jana's Show Us Your Books ...  Skipped last month due to another bookish slump but didn't want to miss SUYB's 4 year anniversary bash! I'd have to say at least 1/3 of the books I've read since I started following Steph and/or Jana have been because of recommendations of their SUYB groupies ... of which I am one. So, thanks!

I've decided to make one of my bookcases into my own personal library hold shelf. It's filled with books that belong to me (or are on loan from my kids) that I haven't read yet. I'm hoping that by having them visible and in a location that I see regularly, that I'll start reading more of them. My 'problem' is that I work a block from a library in a neighboring county from my home library and they have a reciprocal agreement -- so if I live in one and work in another, I can have a library card to the one where I don't live. Meaning, that if I see a book I want to read, I can be on the waiting list for the real book and/or ebook at both locations. So I basically have access to 6 libraries -- work county library, work county ebook library, home county library, home county ebook library, actual home library, and all the ebooks that are on my Kindle/Glose/BookShout/NetGalley apps. Overload ... all circuits are busy ... please try again.

Anyway ... my books recently ... and sadly, only 2??

Hope Never Dies

Hope Never Dies, by Andrew Shaffer
I totally picked this because of the cover. Good mystery, pretty cheesy, and I recommend it. There are no politics in here, so if you like pulp crime, check this one out. Also found out that the author is fairly local. (4 stars and ebook from local library)

You'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times

You'll Get Through This, by Max Lucado
A friend gave this to me during the divorce proceedings and I spaced it out to a chapter at a time as a devotion. Not rating it because it's not a book to read just for fun and not all of it applied to me, though I'm glad I read it. While I do enjoy most of his books, I can only read one every few years. (personal collection)

Currently reading (and hopefully will be on next month's post ... if I can get out of this slump):

Whistling Past the Graveyard
(Borrowed from a friend)

Dear Martin
(Ebook from the library that had magically appeared on my Kindle)

And to close, really looking forward to 'The Hate U Give' coming to theaters this month! I *highly* recommend the book and really hope the movie is as good. My daughter really wants to see the movie so she's reading it now - I'm trying to get both kids into my habit of reading a book before going to see the movie.

Any suggestions? Have you read any of these? Are you a read-before-movie person too? Or do you have your own books organized with a not-yet-read shelf?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

What's New - Sept recap

I don't do the monthly recaps as often as I should and I should do more since this is a good way to remember what I've done ... especially since September was the longest. month. ever.

Linking up with Kristen :)

Grab button for What's New With You

This isn't even a proper recap since I barely remember what all I've done so here are the highlights and some photos of the month ...

This was on the way to her first dental cleaning. I didn't want to do the cleaning but she had some loose teeth and the vet had been recommending a dental for a few years. However her liver enzymes were double what they should have been and The Google told me that dental issues could cause that so I decided that she'd have it done.

This was the following week. She's not tired, this is depression in dogs. I didn't know it could happen. She wasn't herself, definitely. Didn't want a treat, didn't want to be the first to crate up (she is well-known for dashing to her crate as soon as the word is mentioned), but was drinking a lot of water and just laying around. This is my shadow-dog and I was so incredibly scared at this point, but having to keep it all to myself since the kids were worried too.


And this is Frannie Grace after a 48 hour stay at the vet, back to her smiling self. The vet had suspected cancer but ruled that out when she perked up so quickly with an IV to help flush out her liver. The liquor cabinet now has a lock on it and she's on a specialty diet plus two meds, likely for the rest of her life ... which will be for at least another 30 years, so it's worth it.


Fresh Stop Markets is part of the newroots.org program where they take CSAs into communities that might not have access to fresh food. There are four different levels of participation and everyone receives the same amount of produce, regardless of income. What I like is that there are enough people who purchase the "Justice Share" (at cost plus a little more) so that extra shares are available for donation. This was my first pick-up: 10 different produce items, plus recipes, plus samples of the recipes made by a local chef, all items are locally grown and organic. This benefits the farmers and the community -- win/win!



I just thought this one was funny. :)


This old guy ... Spade Maximus. 7 years old and acts like he's 70.


The month I bid farewell to my Fitbit. I had to get another one right away since I had a Stepbet starting the next week. This little contraption is one of my side hustles with Stepbet, Achievement, points added to my Walgreen's Balance Rewards and Dick's Sporting Goods accounts, and I suppose it helps me stay healthy and motivated too. Whatever.


I got a different Presidential Alert text. I would have preferred this one. RIP Scrimgeour.


This is literally the smallest medal for a race I kicked booty in. It was actually a keychain, but they also provided a lanyard so I ditched the keychain part and made it a medal. First time running this race and scored my best pace ever! Really looking forward to the marathon in LESS THAN A MONTH!


For October, I'm participating in the Minimalist challenge. I don't use Instagram Stories but I guess I'll post the pics on there after I get a few more days so it doesn't clutter up my regular IG profile filled with pictures of pugs and books and food. Look for me on there: @elladams

I'll also be posting Tuesday, Oct. 9 with Jana and Steph's Show Us Your Books. I need to get to reading ... with all the running and running around and spending time with my kids, I'm not reading as much as I used to and I miss it ... but I also enjoy the running and spending time with my kids. They're getting older too quickly but as long as they want to spend time with their mama, I will make sure my attention is on them. 

Your turn ... what's new?


Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Reading Time - August

This is a link-up with Jana and Steph - be sure to check out their links and see what everyone else is reading!

Apparently, I go in phases on wanting to blog vs. wanting to disappear. It's the introvert in me, I suppose. But since it's been a couple months since my last post (re: reading, of course), I figured I'd jump in this month with what I've read since June. Kinda helped having a readathon in there and also a library who REALLY wants me to read all the books. Browsing their website and adding things to my Hold List seems to tell the librarian who lives in my computer that I want each of those books at the same time.

So ... since June ...
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Goodbye, Paris - 4 stars. Kind of sappy, kind of what I needed on that particular day. Received the ARC from Simon & Schuster - not sure how or why but when I get a free book in the mail, I don't normally question it. If anyone would want to read it next, let me know and I'll pop it in the mail to you (or meet you for coffee, if you're local).

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The Sense of an Ending - 4 stars too. Pretty good and short. It was listed on Modern Mrs. Darcy's post about short books to read and THAT post came just in time for the 24in48 Readathon. Speaking of the readathon, I didn't complete the full 24 hours and I wasn't really expecting to. I did make it to 13 or maybe 14 hours, which was more than last year. (Library e-book)

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From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - I'd never read this one before but I think we have a copy at the house. I remember seeing this cover in one of the kids' bookcases but it might have been selected for The Great Purge of 2017. Found out about it from the Andrew Luck Book Club selection for rookies in June? July? Also 4 stars and good for adults and kids. The August selection for veterans is Lincoln's Last Trial - looking forward to reading that one and note to self - need to pick it up before the hold expires. (Library real book)

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Every Heart a Doorway - meh ... 3 stars. It was also listed as a short read by Modern Mrs. Darcy. It's listed as the first book of a series, but the entire time I was reading it, I felt like it was probably book 4 or 5 of an 8 or 9 book series ... basically, I was lost. It kept me interested but it seemed like it started with a lot of loose ends and ended with a gazillion more and none of the starting ones were quite cleared up. (Library e-book)

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The Outsiders - 4 stars. Hadn't read it before and still haven't seen the movie. Definitely enjoyed it and now I'm on the hunt for the movie. Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold. (Library e-book)


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The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society - 4.5 stars. Pretty quick read but I didn't catch on until I was well into the book that it was based on letters and telegrams so then I was distracted by thinking how quickly the mail was delivered back in post-war England. From someone with a college degree in Germanic Studies (pretty much useless), the Occupation part really got to me. Definitely recommend and I wanted to finish in time to catch the movie on Netflix (really good but I wish they hadn't cut out/changed so much) (Library e-book)

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The House on Mango Street - another super-quick read (like a couple hours or so) so I think this also came from the short books list from Modern Mrs. Darcy. Also from the local library. Apparently I just like going in and adding random books to my hold list because I got an email that this was automatically loaded to my Kindle and I don't recall requesting it. I opened it up and couldn't put it down ... not a good thing when it's already 11:30 pm on a weeknight. 4 stars though - really good!(Library ebook - already mentioned but consistency rules all)

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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running - I liked this one because the author isn't an elite runner. He writes for a living and he runs for exercise and to clear his mind. I don't write (though I wish I did) but those are the reasons I run as well. I'll never win any races and that's never been my intention. I run to get out of my head, to be outside, to run with a large group of strangers who are running for their own reasons but we all support each other - even for the short few seconds that we're running next to each other ... oh, and I also run for the free banana at the end. And chocolate milk. And a bagel or cookie. (Library real book)


DNF but not through any fault of the author:
Scrappy Little Nobody

I keep trying audiobooks and this one was the recent failure. Some people might be able to multi-task and listen to an audiobook while doing housework or driving or whatever ... I can't. When I'm in a book, I am IN a book. I was trying to multi-task and listen to this while on a trip (can't really be distracted while driving) and also while running (I may have tripped a couple times because I wasn't paying attention) and finally realized I need to stop and return it to the library and just wait for my name to come up for the real book.

So, as usual, let me know if you've read any of these or if you can suggest something else. Also, do you have the same issues as I do with audiobooks? The only audiobooks I've been successful with "reading" were the Harry Potter ones -- considering I had already read the books numerous times and I love listening to Jim Dale's reading voice, I could get distracted and return and know exactly what I had missed.

(also ... and boom-shakalaka ... figured out how to add Disqus so hopefully my replies to your comments will actually get back to you now! We shall see ... )

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Reading Time - June

Linking up again for Show Us Your Books with Steph and Jana. It appears I skipped the past few months because I figured I needed to add more books than the few I've read. However, I've since decided to sacrifice my sleep for more reading and I feel that was a good trade.

To the books ...

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Educated by Tara Westover
This one was a difficult read, but interesting. Incredible how much influence a parent has on a child's self-esteem and beliefs. Glad she was able to break away and find her true self.

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Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
This was a quick read - lots of affirmations and it was recommended to me after last year. Also was the first time I'd read anything from her.

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The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
Really good read - also first time I'd read anything from this author as well. If her others are like this, I'll try to read more.

I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
Fast read and yep, she (author) was obsessed. I could totally see how/why as I became obsessed while reading it, especially considering they've arrested a suspect.

DNF:
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I've Been Thinking by Maria Shriver
This was a DNF only because it was an ebook from the library and I realized it was more of a daily devotional book rather than one to read in one sitting. The chapters I read were really good and affirming and I have this in my Amazon list for a future purchase.

Currently reading (re-reading, actually):
Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus

Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley
I had this one in my queue anyway after it was put on the One State/One Story read by the Indiana Humanities Council. Then I recently watched The Frankenstein Chronicles on Netflix so here we are.

Still have a TON of books in my TBR ... and will likely add to that number after checking out everyone else's lists today. No complaints here!


Friday, June 1, 2018

June - life update

Kids are out of school for summer - surprisingly (to me, at least), they both readily agreed when I said I wanted them to read over break. Yay! Our library is providing a Cultural Pass to all students who sign up for the reading program and I'll be picking up the passes this weekend since they won't be with me - not yay. But we'll be able to go to local museums, theaters, state parks on both sides of the river, etc., so yay again!


Doing another half marathon this month while also officially starting training for full marathon #3 to happen in the fall. Went up to Indianapolis for the Mini Marathon at the beginning of May and enjoyed a dinner out with my oldest/dearest friend. My usual pre-race dinner has traditionally been pizza but this one was bratwurst and beer. I'm sure the sodium helped keep my fingers from swelling, as they do when I run longer than a 10k ... and the beer = carbs. Justification. That was also the first race where I was seeing people dropping like flies because of heat exhaustion. Shoulda had a beer?

This was at SunKing brewery in Indpls and that's a Wee Mac (Scottish ale).

We got a puppy in April and it's been all kinds of chaos. The pugs are over it.
Meet Belle. She's part lab, part collie, part shepherd, part kangaroo. 
This was during a calm moment during puppy training class.

Reading came to a halt after puppy arrived -- but I had hit a lull anyway so a break was needed. Happy to say the break has ended and I'm back on the wagon.
Currently reading.

Trying out some new foods. Brandless has been a hit at home - even the kids like it. I like it because the items are all $3 (except for the soups - $1.50) and all items are organic and/or non-GMO and/or vegetarian/vegan and/or kosher ... basically, it's good stuff and great prices, depending on what you order. Better prices than Kroger and the delivery is fairly quick. Full disclosure - if you click on this link and place an order, I think you'll get free shipping? or $6 off your order? or maybe it's $6 off and if you order more than $39, it's free shipping anyway? I don't know - I think I get a free item ($3) and the kids have placed their order for what they want next time ... so if you click and order, thank you from me and the kids!

Strict no/low spend month in progress. It is what it is.

Short week and a lot of things going on ... hard to believe it's June, but then again, it feels like time is finally slowing down and I can catch a breath or two. Also trying to get caught up on blog-reading and possibly writing in this one more than once a blue moon.



Reading Time - November 2018

Because sitting on the couch and reading requires three dogs ... apparently. Remember, this is a link-up with Steph and Jana , so be su...