Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Reading Time - March

It's that time again ... I wasn't expecting to have many books read since the last SUYB - Feb 12 to Mar 12 is a mere 28 days and gone in a blink. However, our illustrious hosts of the monthly link-up added a bonus readathon (thank you again for my prize!). Mix that in with a few winter weather advisories and an unfortunate opportunity to miss another long run, and I was able to read a bit more than originally thought.

Be sure to check out the link-up with Steph or Jana to see what others have posted/read/recommended and let me know if you've read/liked/disliked any of the following.

Please note - the links are only to Goodreads and the off-chance that I actually put a review on there.

The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd
Not sure how this one came to be in my possession - I'm thinking it was a purchase from the Friends of the Library's book sale. It was really good though and I recommend it. I think I thought it'd be similar to The Bees by Laline Paull that was written from the bee's perspective - but, nope. Actually, I recommend The Bees too.

On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas
This is a standalone and only mentions the events of The Hate U Give a couple times, so don't feel like you have to have read THUG before you read this one. Read them both, but in whichever order you want. Just read them both. This one was just as good and as unputdownable.

Mischling, by Affinity Konar
I borrowed this one from the library when I stopped by to pick up On the Come Up. An Auschwitz survivor was on the schedule to speak locally so the library had a table dedicated to the Holocaust. Being a Germanic Studies major/European History minor in college (still, why??), I stopped to see what books they were promoting and selected this one. It was OK, but I don't recommend it. If you have any interest in survivor stories, read one from an actual survivor - not a romanticized artsy version that was just too syrupy/mucky. Not really sure how else to describe it.

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
Ooh - this one was good and I'm going against personal belief by recommending you see the Hulu series first and then reading the book. I think if I had read this first and then saw the series, I'd be lost while reading. It was good - it really was, but it time-jumped around (much like the series did) and I was glad I had seen the show first to help explain what was going on and vice versa. And apparently there's a second book coming out this year called The Testaments. This was also in my personal collection but I kept skipping over it for something else.

Currently reading:
You, by Caroline Kepnes

Does anyone else's library do this?

Also, shout out to Kristen at See You In A Porridge ... I got an email from Amazon about expiring credits for ebooks and I knew to go to her Instastories to find some good deals. I haven't figured out if I can share ebooks (someone, please tell me if I can) so I'm pretty picky about what I spend those credits on since I'll likely have that book forever.

Also-also, I can't remember whose post I read that mentioned the Unread Shelf Challenge (if you're reading this, please let me know if it was your post last month!). This is definitely a challenge I can get behind and will be doing this year. I need to pare down my book stacks and this is a good motivator. In the three months of SUYB posts, I'm about 50-50 on reading my own unread books vs. reading library books. Not bad ... not bad at all ... of course, we've already bought books this year so the Unread Shelf stays about even. I figure if I can read just one book per month of what I already own, I'll do better than what I have in the past. Trying to find a balance between supporting my library and reading-then-donating my books to keep going with the decluttering.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Reading Time - February

Even though I'm no longer blogging, I'm still jumping in on Show Us Your Books with Steph and Jana. I thought I was off to a good start with reading in 2019 and even more so with the 24in48 readathon last month ... but life was already crazy, then it got crazier, and I haven't really done as much reading as I thought I had, but it's still more than before. Crazy times.

Anyhoo ... since my last book post:


Dry, by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman
Not to get into the debate on if climate change is real or not (it is), but this was a good read. YA Fiction about a drought in California reaching catastrophic proportions and what people do to survive ... apparently NOT leave the area, because then there wouldn't be drama or a book. Side note: A few years ago, I went on a field trip with my youngest where we learned there is a finite amount of water in the world. You can't create more water - what's already here on earth evaporates into the atmosphere and then develops into precipitation. Constant cycle. Maybe everyone already knew this, but I was near 40 when I learned this bit of info. I now do what I can to conserve water - stop leaks, turn off taps, shorter showers or use the water-saving feature.


Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, by Balli Kaur Jaswal
Well, this was NOT what I was expecting and I was blushing or skipping past parts. But it was still good and I would recommend it. Got this one from the library in time for the 24in48 readathon.

Hello, Sunshine

Hello, Sunshine, by Laura Dave
I found this one in one of my bookcases ... no idea where I got it from though and it's headed to the donation box for the Friends of the Library book sale. Quick read and it kept my attention. Main character is a YouTube/cable cooking star who gets 'outed' for not being who she said she is. Good reminder that social media is just selected snapshots of a person's life, not always true, not always accurate, not always the whole picture. Also read during the readathon.


Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon
I borrowed this one from my daughter, who had recommended it. She had also seen the movie but we're very good about NO SPOILERS in our house, so I didn't know anything about the book, the movie, or the ending ... which I had guessed pretty quickly. It was still a good and very fast read about a girl allergic to literally everything. I vaguely remember the John Travolta movie (Boy in the Bubble) but not all the plot points -- not sure how similar this was though. Also reminded me of Bubble Boy on Seinfeld ...

Currently reading: The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd

Be sure to jump over to the linkup and see what everyone else is reading.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Reading Time - January 2019

Show Us Your Books. Join the Link-Up! Talk books the 2nd Tuesday of Every Month

I finished out the year with some good books, though it helped that we were traveling during some of that time and wi-fi coverage was minimal (if any) in the Grand Canyon. Kicking it old school and thoroughly enjoying it until the kids started complaining.

Since last time ... (links just go to my Goodreads acct - I don't usually leave a review though)

There, There by Tommy Orange


I had wanted to read this anyway and got it from the library during November's Native American History Month ... or let's celebrate turkey and stuffing and give thanks for Manifest Destiny and small pox. I actually finished it on the plane on our way to vacation ... which was mostly located on reservations. Basically, it was a timely book for me. I highly recommend, but I will say that each chapter is in a different POV and it took me a bit to keep the characters straight in my head. (library ebook)

A Dog's Journey by W. Bruce Cameron


First off, didn't realize this was a sequel until I started reading it. I was worried that I should have read the first one, but this is a stand-alone. I will go back and find A Dog's Purpose though. Any book that has me ugly-crying within the first 30 pages should come with a warning. And being 1500 miles away from our doggos while I was reading this? Not good. But I loved this book and highly recommend it to any dog-lovers. I have no desire to see the movie the first book was based on - especially after the controversy that the actor-dogs may have been mistreated ... I can't handle that. I definitely came back home with more empathy? understanding? compassion? for the three pups who greeted us so enthusiastically on our return. (personal collection)


Not really sure what I expected to get out of this but it wasn't what I thought it might be. It was a good book with some good insights, but I skipped over a lot of it. (ebook - own)


I think this was an Amazon First Reads book - it's in my personal ebook collection, but I don't really remember where it came from. Good read though and I recommend it if you like psych thrillers. Apparently it's the first in a series ... because if a book isn't part of a series, is it really a book?

Be sure to check out Steph and Jana's link-up to see what other book nerds are reading. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Reading Time - December

Linking up with Jana and Steph for Show Us Your Books. Didn't get much reading in this month due to overall busy-ness but quality over quantity, amiright? Also, I started 2018 with a Goodreads goal of 40 books and I have 7 to go with 20 days left in the year ... oh well. I hope to knock out a few more, especially during our travel days, but I'm not stressing about it. Comment below with what you've been reading or if you've read any of these, then check out the link-up and see what others are reading.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
As a native of Indianapolis, I'm embarrassed that this is the first Vonnegut I've read. Little bit science fiction, little bit autobiography, little bit dark comedy, little bit rock and roll. A fast read about Billy Pilgrim (a WWII POW who experienced the firebombing of Dresden, as did Vonnegut) and his life. So it goes.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
I had had this one on my TBR for awhile and knew I had to read it after seeing the trailer on Netflix. Great story and highly recommended! Oh ... how different things might have been had I had the self-confidence of 16 year old Willowdean.

Flowers for Algernon
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Another re-read of a book that I read in high school. I didn't think anything about it at the time, but maybe because I have two high-schoolers now, I'm surprised my teacher assigned us this book in sophomore English. Another good story about imposing social norms on those who might be considered lacking - but are they? I wish there were an epilogue though - perhaps from Alice's POV after visiting Charlie at Warren State.

Currently reading: There There, by Tommy Orange

Show Us Your Books. Join the Link-Up! Talk books the 2nd Tuesday of Every Month

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 ...

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)


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)

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 ...

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)

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?

Reading Time - March

It's that time again ... I wasn't expecting to have many books read since the last SUYB - Feb 12 to Mar 12 is a mere 28 days and gon...