Friday, October 30, 2015

October 2015 Recap

At one point this month I looked up and realized the autumn was a beautiful one.
Then, I put my nose back into my book.
Then it snowed. (But at least it didn't stick.)
My goal to clean some things off the TBR this month went well. I read everything I planned to, and I even found some treasures that have been on my bookshelves, unread, for years.
My favorites this month were Following Atticus and Big Magic.
One word reviews below...





My November reading list will be posted soon. I'm already reading from it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (bookish fears)

Link up with your own list here: The Broke and the Bookish.
This week, the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish are asking for a Halloween-themed list.
My topic: Top Ten Books I'm Afraid to Read!

Jane Eyre
I’m afraid I won’t like it, and it’s like this book was meant for girls like me.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Slavery, ugh.
Gone with the Wind
The length.


This is my last Jane Austen to experience for the first time. I'm afraid being done with them.

Gone Girl
I want to know what happened, but do I really want to know what happened?

Jews, Nazi Germany, concentration camps—horrific.

Tarzan of the Apes
My husband loves this book—and he loves very few books—that’s a lot of pressure.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe & The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
I’m not into fanciful otherworldly stories.

the Harry Potter books
Will I become disillusioned with society if I find I don’t like Harry and Hogwarts?
So tell me, what are you afraid to read?

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Monday! (10/26/15)

It's Monday! is sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.
Well, we're nearing the end of October already. I've been making a lot of slow-cooker meals (slow cooker turkey breast and gravy this weekend), raking a lot of leaves, folding a lot of sweaters, and just generally getting ready for winter in the north--which one can never really do.
This week, we're having our roof replaced. It will be nice to have this done, finally. So, home is looking like a snug little place to burrow into for the winter.
Last week I finished three books. Anne Lamott did it again with Small Victories. I recognized a couple of the essays in this collection from past collections. There was a lot of Republican-bashing (one of her trademarks), and she seems to have an inordinate amount of friends who are dying of cancer, but overall, this was a pretty good book.
Eats Shoots & Leaves was, I'll say it again, an odd little book. Quirky and informative and kind of weird. But I was happy to learn that I use punctuation correctly and have the same pet peeves about other people abusing it as other writers and readers do.
Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic was a breath of fresh air. I know a lot of folks have a lot of opinions about Gilbert, and I've seen her a bit flaky for my tastes at times, but, in my opinion, she writes a mean book. And she's passionate about what she does. I recommend Big Magic to anyone wanting to reconnect with or deepen their creative instincts. (It's not just for writers.)

With the end of Big Magic, I am down to one more book on my October reading list: The Reading Promise. This is a re-read, and I'm looking forward to a nice, light, comforting little book right about now. I've felt a little overwhelmed and maybe overstimulated lately. Re-reads might help. 

This week I started a book from my November book list; The Art of Losing is a poetry collection by Kevin Young who edited the wonderful The Hungry Ear. Poetry is the best way I know to heal (next to prayer). It's a returning to my deepest self. And if I find just a couple poems that resonate with this season of my life, it will be worth it.

And I've really gotten into my audiobook of A Light in the Window, the second novel in the Mitford series. Love is in the air, and it makes me smile each time I listen to it.
I have a feeling I'll need to start another book this week from the November reading list this week. Good thing, I created it early!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday (Book Genie)

Link up with your own list here: The Broke and the Bookish.
This week, the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish are asking:
What are the Top Ten Wishes You'd Ask the Book Genie to Grant You?
I wish for...

1. Unlimited bookshelf space.

2. An Amazon account where I buy books but never get charged.

3. Yearly books by A.J. Jacobs, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Michael Perry.

4. Classics that I should have read being automatically downloaded into my brain.

5. A system whereby I never miss a book that I’d absolutely love.

6. Biographies that are never boring.

7. No more average books ever (oh, would I even want that?).

8. My marked book passages automatically notated for me.

9. The ability to read while I sleep (is that even healthy?). 

10. The discovery of a long-lost Jane Austen book.
What would you ask the Book Genie?

Monday, October 19, 2015

It's Monday! (10/19/15)

It's Monday! is sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.
Spent part of Saturday raking leaves. Spent all of Sunday feeling it.
There, that's my autumn poem this year.
I feel kind of bad catching up on blogs today that I didn't participate in the Readathon. I know I'd only make it until about 10:00, though, before I fell asleep. Which almost doesn't seem worth it, considering it's a 24-hour deal. As it is, I got some reading done anyway.
Last week, I finished:
Following Atticus was a superb book. So often books about animals are mediocre at best and are just generally terrible--bad writing, too maudlin, poorly edited. But Following Atticus was different. It's an emotional book, but (spoiler!) Atti doesn't die in the end. I don't think I could have survived right now had he not. 
I also finished How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm. It wasn't bad for a parenting book, but I really didn't learn much of anything new.
This week, I'll continue with:
I almost never want to pick up Eats, Shoots & Leaves, but when I do, I enjoy it. Take that for what you will. It's kind of an odd book, owing mostly to Truss's British sense of humor, I think. And the fact that it's about punctuation, I guess. Punctuation makes some of us punchy, some of us grouchy, and some of us both.
Last week I started:

The fall seems the perfect time for Anne Lamott books. Although I seldom get much out of her faith books anymore (our beliefs differ quite a bit), her writing still feels like going home to me. And her books are as hopeful as they are neurotic.
When I finished Following Atticus, I was looking for another audiobook and having very little luck. I thought I'd listen to a long biography of Walt Disney after watching the PBS special on him recently, but when I realized just how long I'd be listening to it, I passed. I finally settled on the second book in Jan Karon's Mitford series, A Light in the Window. It's not exactly what I want to listen to, but it will do, I think.
Next up (rubs hands together in glee):

Monday, October 12, 2015

It's Monday! (10/12/15)

It's Monday! is sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.
Last week, I finished The Story of My Life by Helen Keller. I read only the autobiography, not the letters, etc. included in the book. I was kind of let down. I expected it to be more inspiring than it was. More complete thoughts later.
Killing Reagan is not what I was expecting. I've read several books on Reagan, including his memoir, An American Life, but O'Reilly presents a very different Reagan than the one I knew. It was disappointing.
I was not disappointed, however, with 180 More. This is one of the best poetry books I read this year.
This week, I'll finish:
Finding Atticus, oh my dear heaven. I don't know how it will end, but so far it's been quite a ride. It constantly undoes me and builds me back up. This might end up in my year's top ten. It's that good.

I've started:
Last week I began one of the oldest TBR books on my shelves, Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots & Leaves. I'm not very far in yet, but I'm enjoying the feeling of solidarity of another picky-about-punctuation person. And it's kind of funny--in a very British-y way. 
Last night, I started How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm. I love parenting books and books about other cultures, and it seems like ages since I've read either one. This book has been on my TBR for so long, so I'm happy to have begun.

 Whatcha reading?

Monday, October 5, 2015

It's Monday! (10/5/15)

It's Monday! is sponsored by Sheila at Book Journey.
Last week, I finished reading:
There was a bit more neurosurgery than I'd expected, but the whole book was fascinating. In my humble opinion, it should be required reading in high school.
This week, I'll continue with 180 More and Following Atticus (on audio):
I don't want either of them to end.
My main book going into the week is Helen Keller's The Story of My Life. My copy includes letters and other misc. appendices, but I think I'll only read the autobiography since that's really the part I'm interested in.

And then I'll pick up:

Which finally came in the mail this weekend!

Friday, October 2, 2015

October 2015 Reading List

This month's reading list:
Finish up two from last month: Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story and 180 More (poems). I'd planned to read Following Atticus this month, but when I found it on audio at the library, I decided to listen to it instead. So far it has surpassed my expectations.
Two new books: Bill O'Reilly's Killing Reagan and Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic. Both are auto-buy authors for me, and I'm really excited about both of these.
And the theme of October is "Clean Up the TBR," so I chose Eats, Shoots, & Leaves (a book that's been on my TBR list perhaps longer than any other), How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm, Anne Lamott's Small Victories, and Helen Keller's The Story of My Life.
Plus, one re-read: The Reading Promise. A comfort read.
I tried to choose books that aren't too heavy in subject matter and that offer the potential to uplift my spirit. I could definitely go for a month of that.

Read anything good lately? Leave a comment.