Spring Reading Thing Countdown…

Spring Blossoms
Image by jnyemb via Flickr

Katrina over at Callapidder Days is hosting the Spring Thing Reading Challenge, 2011, and I’ve been participating.  It’s hard to believe that it will be done with the first day of summer (YAHOO) next week, but how exciting is that?  It was a pretty loosely defined challenge – challenge yourself to read books during the three months of spring.  You could add to the list, take away from the list, whatever you needed to do to challenge yourself.

My list has expanded greatly since my first post and one book that was on my initial list remains unread – so far.  I still have time.  It is in my possession from the library reserve.  It’s hard to say there was a favorite that stuck out in my spring reading, because there were quite a few books that I loved.  Or really liked, at any rate.  The Harry Potter series is so fun to listen to.  Jane Eyre was a great listen and I’m thankful for that experience.  I’m reading my second Maeve Binchy book of the spring and they just are so comfortable and lovely that they just feel good to read.  I really enjoyed The Carrie Diaries, meeting Carrie Bradshaw pre-NYCThe Twenties Girl was fun fluff.  Major Pettigrew was a nice read.  Both Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet were sweet and not as heavy as I’d feared.

If I had to choose, I’d probably say I’m so glad I found a few Binchy books that I haven’t read.  They are reliably wonderful, in my book.

And when I’m done with Minding Frankie, I’ll start Fly Away Home.  I’ll also finish listening to book 6 in the Harry Potter series, on the list for book 7 from the library.  I’m sure that will conclude my Spring Thing Reading Challenge.

I signed up for a goodreads challenge, to read A Visit from the Goon Squad, which I have on audio, so I’ll listen to that after book 6 of HP, too.

INITIAL LIST:
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman
Heart and Soul by Maeve Binchy
the next book from the library… will have to look it up as it’s downstairs.  It was a new release that grabbed me.
The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

CURRENT LIST:

  • Mockingbird
  • The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
  • Heart and Soul
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey
  • Fly Away Home
  • Winter’s Garden
  • Harry Potter (2)
  • Harry Potter (3)
  • Harry Potter (4)
  • Harry Potter (5)
  • Harry Potter (6)
  • Harry Potter (7)
  • Jane Eyre
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
  • Twenties Girl
  • The Carrie Diaries
  • Minding Frankie
  • Sweet Revenge

Well, off to read!

Did ya miss me?

P question
??? Image via Wikipedia

Wow.  I was blogging pretty regularly for a while and then I stopped!  I’ll tell you what happened.  A few things, actually.

Reason #1- I got an iPad 2 from work.  Less need to sit at the laptop or desk top and less convenient to blog on the iPad.  I now read all my blogs, read tweets, search the library website, check email and facebook, and play Words with Friends all on the iPad!  Tonight I downloaded my first library book to the iPad!  Who has time to blog!  🙂

Reason #2 is that I received some news that kinda rocked my world a few weeks ago – they are looking at cutting my position at work for next year.  It’s been an emotional roller coaster.  Tons of sadness, a little anger, and growing excitement at what may be.  Every day at work is emotional because it is hard to talk about it with coworkers.  Hard to think about not working with them and the district families anymore – after 18 years of being there.  But I’m thankful for the support I am feeling from coworkers and parents so my new coping strategy is an attitude of gratitude.  I hope it helps me sleep at night. 🙂

Reason #3 is that Easter happened!  Monday night (5/2) when I crawled into bed, I realized that it was the third night I’d slept there since April 20.  I went to Mom and Dad’s for quite a few days during my break from work and then we left last Thursday for a trip to Denver for a wedding!  It’s a lot easier to blog when I’m home and alone.

So with all of this going on, my house is suffering.  Tonight I dealt with the piling up of clothes and tomorrow I’ll have to tackle the mail and dust.  As I said, I also tackled downloading an e-book from the library tonight.  That was quite a task.

So about the iPad.  It’ll have to go back if/when I leave my job but I really think that I will need to get my own.   I have the nook, kindle, and iBooks apps on there.  Overkill or what?  And then to download library e-books, I had to download Overdrive and Adobe.  They don’t work together?  I’ve been wondering about just getting a nook or other e-reader, but I might just need the whole iPad she-bang.

Thoughts?

And now about books (and maybe a movie) – My Spring Thing reading list is below – and there is progress!  How fun is that?  I just finished “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” and it was good.  Not super good, but good.  I liked the characters, was confused about the inclusion of some of the characters, but would like to meet Major Pettigrew.  Or just travel to England. 🙂  Before that I read “The Hundred Foot Journey.”  Can’t remember if I blogged about that, but I liked that book, too.  Again, not life-changing, but good. I really need to get some good Indian recipes in my repertoire.

On Easter Sunday Marissa and I went to see “Water for Elephants.”  It was good, but not nearly as good as the book (of course).  You just don’t get the emotions and tensions that you get in the book.  The characters were pretty well cast, although I didn’t picture the main guy to be as cute as Pattinson.  🙂  But it was true to the story.

Spring Thing Reading List:

  • Mockingbird
  • The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
  • Heart and Soul
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey
  • Fly Away Home
  • Winter’s Garden
  • Harry Potter (2)
  • Harry Potter (3)
  • Harry Potter (4)
  • Harry Potter (5)
  • Harry Potter (6)
  • Harry Potter (7)
  • Jane Eyre
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Well, off to read!  On the iPad!

Spring Reads – April

Garden with some tulips and narcissus
Spring! Can't wait! Image via Wikipedia

Yay for good books!  As I said, I loved “Heart and Soul,” and “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt” is a sweet book that I can’t wait to discuss at book club.  I’m almost done listening to HP book 3 and picked up book 4 today!  I’m intrigued by “The Hundred Foot Journey,” as I just started it this morning.  Any book about food is fun to read!  It starts in India and moves to London and beyond.  India is so fascinating to me.  But the descriptions of the filth and poverty will deter me from making it a high priority on my visit list.

I’m also saying “yay” about the iPad2 I am using for work!  After I finish with my pile of books, I will hopefully share nook books with friends!

So, although my Spring Reads list is LONG (and getting longer!) I am making progress!

  • Mockingbird
  • The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
  • Heart and Soul
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey
  • Fly Away Home
  • Winter’s Garden
  • Harry Potter (2)
  • Harry Potter (3)
  • Harry Potter (4)
  • Harry Potter (5)
  • Harry Potter (6)
  • Harry Potter (7)
  • Jane Eyre
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

And now to celebrate Poetry month, a poem from “Reflections on a Gift…”  – one of my favorites!

APRIL by Marcia Masters
It’s lemonade, it’s lemonade, it’s daisy.
It’s a roller-skating, scissor-grinding day;
It’s gingham-waisted, chocolate flavored, lazy,
With the children flower-scattered at their play.

It’s the sun like watermelon,
And the sidewalks overlaid
With a glaze of yellow yellow
Like a jar of marmalade.

It’s the mower gently mowing,
And the stars like startled glass,
While the mower keeps on going
Through a waterfall of grass.

Then the rich magenta evening
Like a sauce upon the walk,
And the porches softly swinging
With a hammockful of talk.

It’s the hobo at the corner
With his lilac-sniffing gait,
And the shy departing thunder
Of the fast departing skate.

It’s lemonade, it’s lemonade, it’s April!
A water sprinkler, puddle winking time,
When a boy who peddles slowly, with a smile remote and holy,
Sells you April chocolate flavored for a dime.

April Fool!

alarm clock, bought from IKEA
What is your preferred reading time?

About ten days into spring – and I’m moving along on my Spring Thing List!  I’m almost done with “Heart and Soul” by Binchy and then I’ll start “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.”  I’m going to attempt all the Harry Potter’s on audio this spring, so that’s an addition to my list!  So far, watched one movie (I only cheated because I forgot which book came first and ordered the wrong one from the library!), listened to book 2 and starting book 3.  Maybe I will get them all read by the time part 2 comes out!  A girl can dream…

I’ve been enjoying setting my alarm clock for about 30 minutes before I need to get up and reading in bed in the morning.  Lately, I am not a great night-time reader – probably all of the blog reading I’m doing at night and the getting up early to read in the morning!  Gotta trim time somewhere!  So I am enjoying reading and have only procrastinated a little too long one morning!  Can’t wait for tomorrow… no alarm!

Things that made me smile this week:

  • Finally admitted that I can’t grow anything in my dark downstairs so moved the herbs to my bedroom.  I don’t know if there’s hope, but we’ll see.
  • Improv Everywhere – a little Friday night fun.
  • Laughing at my crabbiness on Tuesday
  • Marissa’s April Fool’s joke!
  • Reading in bed
  • Next week’s plans – Mexican food and Cosmo Girls!
  • Tomorrow night’s plans – the Minnesota RollerGirls!
  • Fake Baking.  Just a little light therapy.

And now, books on my list:(I’ve added to the list… it’s still a work in progress!  And we’ll see… it’s getting more and more ambitious!)

  • Mockingbird
  • The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • Heart and Soul
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey
  • Fly Away Home
  • Winter’s Garden
  • Harry Potter (2-8)
  • Jane Eyre
  • Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

How are you doing on your spring reading?  What is your preferred time of day to read?  And what made you smile this last week?

Well, off to read!

 

Book Club Blabbering

Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre Image by Stephen Cummings via Flickr

Time is sure flying by!  Last week the FC book club met at Joanie’s house and discussed “Plain Truth” by Jodi Picoult.  For the second time this year, I didn’t have the book finished by book club night!  Yikes.  Just so many books – and I’m just such a slow reader.  So I quickly read the last page – the trademark Picoult shocker – so that they wouldn’t have to worry about spoilers.  The discussion questions included in the book bag were mostly intellectual but we had a good discussion about the Amish and our belief in ghosts.  It was a good discussion with good food and good company.  Now what’s next to read?  We didn’t decide… but will get something picked soon!

I’m listening to “Jane Eyre” on audio and loving it!  I’m on disc 8 out of 18 and finding it easy to listen to and an interesting story.  I haven’t read anything by either of the Bronte sisters nor seen the movies about their books.  I signed up for the goodreads “Jane Eyre” challenge, because I saw the movie trailer and thought it looked good.  It comes out next week, I believe, but we’ll see if it comes to the theatre near me that soon or not.

After I finished “Plain Truth” on Thursday, I picked up “Juliet, Naked” by Nick Hornby.  It’s about a couple who live in England and the guy is obsessed with a band.  They traveled to US to visit the urinal he visited when he decided to quit being a musician, stand outside the woman’s house who caused him to quit being a musician, etc.  It will be interesting.

Next on my TBR list is “Mockingbird,” a YA novel about a kid with autism and on audio it is “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.”  Lots of reading to do!

Any suggestions for my FC book club?  I think we have about exhausted the choices at the Rochester Public Library for their book clubs in a bag.  Everything is either checked out and reserved through 2011 or we’ve read it or we’re not interested… so we’re looking for ideas of things readily available in the library or cheaply available.  Ideas?

So many books…

Cover of "Traveling with Pomegranates: A ...
Cover via Amazon

So little time!

I finished the audio book of “Traveling with Pomegranates,” by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor.  It is fun to have it read by the authors, a mother-daughter duo, from South Carolina.  Sue wrote “The Secret Life of Bees,” and this book was written about the time before she wrote this novel.  She had written “The Dissident Woman” (I think… maybe Mother? Daughter? “The Dissident Daughter” sounds more like it) and had explored spirituality within feminism and this book continues that adventure of discovery.  It was a good listen.

So now… “Jane Eyre” via audio.  18 discs.  I have the print copy on my night stand, but I would rather listen to it.  It seems like a big undertaking, but the goodreads challenge inspired me.  It will be interesting!  I have a little driving happening this week so I’ll get a start on it!

I’m half done with “Plain Truth,” which is our book club pick for Tuesday.  Hopefully I’ll get it done by then!  It will take a little work – why do I have to be such a slow reader??  I enjoy words and savor them when sometimes I should just gobble them up.

My TBR list includes (in order of my hopes of completion): 1) Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby 2) Mockingbird.  That’s all I have in my house but my list is much longer than that!

How about you?  What are you reading?  What have you recently finished?  What will you read next?

Well, off to read!

“One Day” by David Nicholls

Never Judge a Book by its Movie
Image by Enokson via Flickr

Read a big chunk in the book yesterday and then finished it up today.  I loved the premise – one day a year in their life – and I liked the characters.  I loved how it ended but I didn’t love some of the things that happened.  I don’t want to be **SPOILERY** so I am not going to say more than that.  I look forward to discussing it more with others who have read it!

I’m going to start a QUOTES page.  I love quotes and collecting them, and I think it will work to start a page and continually add to it!  So, send your favorite quotes about books or reading or the life of being a reader or a writer or even a quote from your favorite book my way!  Yay!

I’m not so sure I’m crazy about wordpress.  The blogging features I like.  I like the current design of the blog and the widgets available.  I don’t find it difficult to post, although it took some research to be able to incorporate graphics easily.  But I love to read my blog subscriptions and find it very easy with blogger, but through wordpress my blog subscriptions take FOREVER to load!  If they will at all!  (Yesterday and today they won’t.)  I moved all my blog subscriptions about books or writing over to wordpress, since it’s a booky blog, but that maybe wasn’t a great idea.  Hmm.

Any others experience the same frustration?  Ideas to lessen my frustration?

Do you have favorite quotes?  Send them my way!

Have you read “One Day”?  What do you think?

Does anyone else have OSCAR FEVER???  I’m ready and excited to watch!

Well, off to read!

A Walkie Walkie

Cover of "The Position: A Novel"
Cover of The Position: A Novel

Tonight Sarah and I mall walked and did a little planning of “what’s next.”  She’s reading “True Grit” and then going to see the movie.  She’s enjoying the book, so that will be on my TBR list.  She’s also working on “The Magicians.”  Then we’re going to read “The One,” and “Plain Truth.”  I’m gonna jump into “The Summer We Read Gatsby” and am listening to “Every Last One.” Then I’ll read “Plain Truth.”  Oh, it’s so fun to plan and dream about all the books we will read!

This morning I finished “The Position” by Meg Wolitzer.  It was ok.  Don’t know what else to say about it.  It’s about a couple who write a sex book in the 70s and how it affects their four children.  Then (as 10-17 year olds) and now (as adults).  It also is about the relationship of the couple and how it changed.  I’m not gonna recommend it to anyone, but I have a copy if anyone is interested!  🙂

Well, off to read!

Two book club meetings in one week!

Cover of "The Virgin of Small Plains"
Cover of The Virgin of Small Plains

That’s a good week!

Tonight Sarah and I (the Rochester branch of the Walkie Talkies) did some mall walking and discussed not one, but TWO books!  We met a little later than initially planned so that Sarah could finish “The Virgin of Small Plains” by Nancy Pickard.  That was the book that I had to start over because in my reading / falling asleep habit caused me to lose  my spot a few times and about half way through I wondered why the author was so cryptic in her releasing of details!  When I started over I realized that I skipped about 8 chapters!  The book had short chapters, but still!  But when I got into it I couldn’t put it down and stayed up later than I should have one night to finish.  We had a good discussion about the big secrets in a little community, the victims of the secrets, and whether or not there were real miracles performed.

Then we discussed “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana (I think).  We finished the book a little while ago, and the overwhelming feeling was how unbelievable it is that we can continue to learn about new horrors that occurred during WWII.  You think that it couldn’t possibly get any worse – and you learn about something new.  We also discussed a country owning up to its injustices and the shame felt by not doing enough.  And those people who risk their lives to help strangers.  Wow.

So lots of walkie and lots of talkie!  Next on our agenda is “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman and “One Day” by David Nicholls.  Yeah!

Something I’d like to figure out how to do is to import images into the blog without downloading them to my computer and then uploading them to this site.  Maybe that’s not a big deal, but it seems like there should be an easier way.  So, another time.

Off to read!