I added a new page to the blog – the list of books I read in 2017 – here it is!
Books I Read in 2017
As I look at this list of books from 2017, it is notable that most of them are for book club! We made an intention in 2016 to meet monthly NO MATTER WHAT and so we have been more organized and planful. I have also read a few books for a work book club, listened to a few audiobooks, and picked up a few kindle books for quick reads.
According to Goodreads, I am “currently reading” 6 books, and that doesn’t include the one I am actually listening to and the one I picked up last night, in the hopes to get out of this slump. Uff. I’m a one-at-a-time girl, so having 8 books in the air is not like me. On Goodreads you can create folders and a while ago I created a “did not finish – taking too long” (DNF in the book blog world). I’ll have to do some updating, I guess, but really these are all books that I do want to finish. So I’ll leave them in my Currently Reading folder and hope to get in the mood to read them soon!
So I’ve implemented a few action steps to hopefully jumpstart my reading again.
I picked up Maeve Binchy. A book of a collection of her short stories was published after her death. They are previously published stories, in magazines, other compilations, etc., and now they’re all together in a book called “A Few of the Girls.” Reading Maeve is like talking to an old friend. I think she’ll keep me reading a bit.
I started listening to “The Girl on the Train.” I’ve heard good things about it and am finding it compelling to listen to. It’s a little hard to follow the audio, as I remember things differently when I listen vs read with my eyes, but I think I’ve gotten past the confusing part and am excited to listen to more.
I went to Books on Tap at Forager Brewery last night. It’s been on my calendar since it began but last night was the first night the stars aligned so I could go. The group is informal and flexible and different every meeting, I think. All you need to do is talk about what you’re reading right now, books you love, books you hate, anything related to books. The moderator from the library kept a running list of every book that was mentioned and will email it out to all. I can talk about books, even if I’m not reading anything currently, and I got some sympathy from the avid readers for the feeling of being in a slump. I didn’t want to go alone, so Jenny was going to meet me there, but she was late and it was ok. I could go alone next time if I had to. Of course, the best part was rehashing books and life and having a little supper afterwards with Jenny, but I could go alone if I had to. Book people are book people!
And yesterday I signed up to do a book blog about a book by Patricia Sands. I read and reviewed “The Promise of Provence” a few years ago and another of her books is being released on May 17 (“I Promise you This”). It’s the 3rd in a trilogy, so I guess I better read the second one quick! See! There’s incentive and desire to read!
Have you ever had a reading slump? What did you do about it?
Here’s a list of things that have made me happy since Christmas –
Christmas with the family on the Ponderosa. A snowfall, a bonfire, good food and laughs with family. Bliss.
“Phantom of the Opera” at the Orpheum with Marissa and my mom (and Mo’s friend, Tricia). The music didn’t disappoint, the set was beautiful, and the chandelier dropping made me jump! Good stuff…
Lots of Laughs (LOL) with Land O’ Lakes (LOL) at their Christmas party at Goonie’s Comedy Club!
New Year’s Day movie watching with Jenny and Chris – The Secret Life of Walter Mitty at the Wehrenberg (loved it!), and take-out Chinese and Don Jonvia my new AppleTV (also making me happy – thanks Chris!).
The day-after-New-Year’s-Day movie watching with Marie – Saving Mr. Banks – a tear-jerker, for sure!
A “Grand Getaway” to Minneapolis (and St. Paul) – the Minnesota History Center for Speakeasy Saturday, a double-date with Deadra and John to see Lorna Landvik at her Party in the Rec Room at the Bryant Lake Bowl, followed by a retro-bar crawl to Nye’s and Honey and brunch at Ike’s. Good stuff. I’m a lucky gal. 🙂
Celebrating Chris Riggle’s birthday with her today! Pizza and brownies… nothing fancy but it was sure delicious! It was fun to catch up!
I made my Goodreads goal for 2013 – 32 books read. I set my goal for this year at 36 and am optimistic that I can make it. 🙂 I’ll continue with Audible for a little while longer, but I’m collecting enough that I have a few banked up to read! Below is a list of the books I read in 2013 – looking forward to hitting more in my TBR pile in 2014!
Looking forward to spending more time reflecting on what my theme for 2014 will be… do you set New Year’s Resolutions or goals?
I checked into Goodreads tonight and was dismayed to see that I am 9 books BEHIND in reaching my book reading goal of 75 books in 2012! Yikes. I know that it’s still early in the year and that reading goals can be amended, but I wonder what I have been doing lately!
I guess the big answer is: I’ve been busy! 🙂 I started working on January 30 and have now finished five weeks of training with one more to go! The training has been great and I’m learning so much, that it’s almost all I can focus on. My evenings have been full, as well, but I am still keeping up with the blogs I follow (although I culled a few) and mostly keeping up with twitter and facebook. I listen to podcasts in the morning and I participated in a readalong with Wallace at Unputdownables.net. I can’t believe that “A Moveable Feast” is the only book I read in February!
Well, I guess I also listened to an audiobook – Mildred Pierce – and I’m now watching the HBO mini-series that is based on the book. Kate Winslet was a big winner last year for her performance in the miniseries. It was an interesting book and the miniseries is pretty good. Two more episodes to watch.
But things are changing. After this week of working 8-5, my crazy all-over-the-place Emergency Department schedule begins. I work next weekend and will work many 12-hour shifts, which means fewer actual days worked. The pile of books – 10 high – is still waiting for me to delve into and I can’t wait.
Our next book club book is “Still Alice,” so I have to get my hands on that and hopefully read it before the end of March! I know I can do it and can’t wait to read it and see my book club friends soon!
I hope that you are reading everything that you want to be reading and enjoying every minute!
The first book I read in 2012 was one written by and about the Rushford Volunteer Fire Department and their response to the flood of 2007. Their thoughts were collected by Bonnie Flaig Prinsen and the book was published with help from the Rushford Community Foundation. It is a great document for posterity and it was good to read it. I entered the information into Goodreads, which is something I haven’t done before, so I hope it gets other views!
The next book I had was terribly overdue to the library so I did some intense browsing/speed reading so I could return it today.
The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks
It was a great book about creating meals from real ingredients. It is something that I like to do – bake bread, make cakes from scratch – and I thought it was very well-written. I loved reading about the evolution of cake mixes and how in the 1950s the women could tell the difference and didn’t like that they just had to add water, so they created them so that we could add eggs, oil AND water. The rest of the ingredients should read flour, sugar, salt, soda, but the ingredient list goes on and on. Crazy.
It was a great book and would be a great gift for someone who is wanting to change their fast-food ways and to learn how simple it is to really prepare real food.
Next I plan to read my back issues of magazines and dig into the pile of books that are on my nightstand! They are books I own, books I was given as gifts, and books I borrowed. And I’ll read the next book for book club – The Center of Everything. Again, I love the book club in a bag concept!
On a book and movie related note – I mentioned that I read and loved “The Paris Wife” and I’m excited about meeting the author on Sunday! Tuesday night I watched the movie “Midnight in Paris” (love it! own it!) and watched carefully the scenes featuring Ernest Hemingway and I ordered the movie “The Sun Also Rises,” based on a Hemingway book of the same name. Very interesting to put it all together – Hemingway living in Paris, with his first wife, drinking in bars and his melancholic diatribes, and the wounded expatriate living in Paris and going to Spain for the bull fights. I hope to actually READ some Hemingway in 2012 – not just read about him! I love it when one book leads you to another…
Well I set my Goodreads goal for the number of books to read in 2012 (70) and that’s the only goal or thought I’ve put into goals so far. It doesn’t mean I won’t “resolve” to do other things, I guess it means that I’m just working on each day as it comes and not doing much planning for 2012 – yet. I’ll get to it, maybe even next week after the busy-ness of life settles down. I’m sure I’ll keep you posted.
One more reflection on 2011 came from WordPress in the form of “Your Year in Blogging – 2011”.
I wrote 130 new posts in 2011! Wow.
The blog had 1900 views! Wow.
People found the blog by searching for “accordion naked” (among other things)! Wow.
Most visitors were from the US but Germany and the UK weren’t too far behind! Wow.
The blog had visitors from Africa, Asia and Australia as well! Wow.
I like blogging but I don’t know how important it is to me to have my blog seen around the world. It’s kind of fun. I do check stats. And today, for some reason, I’m getting a lot of hits because of a Hungarian site which linked to my post about movies! Crazy… It’s turning into a high traffic day. If you’re a blogger who reads this, how did you decide you wanted to go BIG with your blog rather than keeping it personal?
One thing that I woke up thinking about this morning (and will probably turn into a plan for 2012) is that I read way too many blogs and twitter feeds. It’s becoming cumbersome, so I will do something about that. I love technology but when it feels cumbersome, it’s time to pare it down.
Many of the blogs that I read are aspiring to many book-related challenges and it just wears me out! Non-Fiction challenge; Fiction challenge; Bookshelf challenge; European challenge; Classics challenge; etc. etc. etc. I participated in a few challenges/read-alongs in 2011 and I probably will participate in a few in 2012, but I’m certainly not joining any right now. A year long challenge sounds like a little much right now. I liked the seasonal or book-specific challenges and I think that’s where I’ll stick.
Well, off to read (something besides tweets and blogs!)!
I liked this book enough, but it wasn’t great. I’ve read another Meg Wolitzer book and have another on my TBR shelf. She picks interesting topics. This one is about a high school production of a Greek comedy about a sex strike that women start to try to bring about the end of a war and the “spell” that it casts on the community that it is being performed in.
Finally finished this – we discussed it at book club last Tuesday. What an amazing book. I underestimated its heft, both in the number of pages and in the content. I loved the writing style of Zusak and am hearing great things about his next book so it will be added to my TBR list!
Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness
I honestly skimmed this book. I read the beginning but didn’t connect at all with the author so then I just skimmed through before returning it to the library. It may be helpful to some, but I didn’t find any great insight in there. 🙂
I Feel Bad About My Neck: and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman
I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook, with Nora Ephron narrating her own writings. Until the end. Yikes. Then I was just depressed, thinking about getting older and the “d” word that eventually happens to family and friends. Not that it’s a surprise, but it just was a depressing chapter to end on.
I really liked this book about Ernest Hemingway and his first wife – The Paris Wife. The author captured Hadley’s voice so brilliantly and you can really feel their love for each other. I want to know more about this era and the “characters” that inhabited Paris during this time. I cannot wait to meet the author at the Rochester Public Library next Sunday!
I’m thankful for the readalong that was organized by Wallace, as I don’t think I would have tackled or finished this book without the deadlines and the discussion along the way! Everyone added such intelligence and insight to the book and it made it more interesting and enjoyable!
I knew very little of the book so I encountered many spoilers along the way. It is what it is but I wonder if I would have enjoyed more without the spoilers?
I look forward to watching some movie versions of this classic!
Well I’ve been a bad blogger in December. It’s been a good year and a good month of reading, so I’ll simply recap the rest of the books that I haven’t blogged about, using goodreads reviews.Check out my new page above listing all the books I read in 2011! It’s fun to see them all in list format. Fun for me, anyway! They’re also attached at the end of this post. Happy 2012!
The Paris Wife
I Feel Bad About my Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman**
Slow Love: How I Lost My Job, Put on My Pajamas, and Found Happiness
The Book Thief*
What a Woman Must Do
Gift from the Sea
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life
The Wisdom of My Grandmothers
Vaclav and Lena: A Novel **
A Vintage Affair: A Novel
Then Came You
My Life in France**
Loving Frank *
Ella Minnow Pea
Summer and the City (The Carrie Diaries #2)
Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People **
Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake **
The Lover’s Dictionary
The Invention of Hugo Cabret **
The Piano Teacher
Janice Y.K. Lee
Anybody Out There? (Walsh Family #4) **
The Happiness Project
The Housekeeper and the Professor
The Art of French Kissing
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
Heidi W. Durrow
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
A Visit from the Good Squad **
The Girl in the Garden
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (#7) **
Olive Kitteridge *
Second Thyme Around
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (#6) **
The Carrie Diaries(#1)
Sweet Revenge (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, #14) **
Diane Mott Davidson
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoneix (#5) **
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (#4) **
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand **
The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (#3) **
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt *
Heart and Soul
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (#2) **
Jane Eyre **
Plain Truth *
Traveling With Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story **
In Isabel Wolff’s captivating A Vintage Affair, a treasured child’s coat becomes a thread of hope connecting two very different women.
Her friends are stunned when Phoebe Swift abruptly leaves a plum job at the prestigious Sotheby’s auction house to open her own vintage clothing shop in London—but to Phoebe, it’s the fulfillment of a dream. In the sunlight-flooded interior of Village Vintage, surrounded by Yves Saint Laurent silk scarves, Vivienne Westwood bustle skirts, cupcake dresses, and satin gowns, Phoebe hopes to make her store the hot new place to shop, even as she deals with two ardent suitors, her increasingly difficult mother, and a secret from her past that casts a shadow over her new venture.
For Phoebe, each vintage garment carries its own precious history. Digging for finds in attics and wardrobes, Phoebe is rewarded whenever she finds something truly unique, for she knows that when you buy a piece of vintage clothing, you’re not just buying fabric and thread—you’re buying a piece of someone’s past. But one particular article of clothing will soon unexpectedly change her life.
Thérèse Bell, an elderly Frenchwoman, has an impressive clothing collection. But among the array of smart suits and couture gowns, Phoebe finds a child’s sky-blue coat—an item with which Bell is stubbornly reluctant to part. As the two women become friends, Phoebe will learn the tale of that little blue coat. And she will discover an astonishing connection between herself and Thérèse Bell—one that will help her heal the pain of her own past and allow her to love again.
A sweet little story about how one decision can change your life and about living with regrets. Leaving behind her successful career at Sotheby’s, Phoebe opens a vintage clothing store. Ms. Wolff writes beautifully about the appeal of vintage clothing and the story is simply sweet and touching.
A quaint, easy read with deep meaning. As the residents of Nollop, an island founded by the creator of the “perfect” sentence – The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog – lose the ability to use letter after letter as they fall off his statue, persecution and loss of freedoms become the norm. So the search for an even more perfect sentence is their only hope. Good stuff.
Wow. I have wanted to read this book for some time now, but I didn’t realize how much it would grab me! The story of the enigmatic Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress, Mamah. The sacrifices they made to be with the “real and true” love of their lives. Set between the years 1907-1914 and told mostly in Mamah’s voice, the struggles of women’s equality and what it means from person to person were highlighted. I want to know more about Mr. Frank Lloyd Wright and was happy to see “afterwards” and “acknowledgements” when I finished the book.
***This was read for book club and I can’t wait to discuss tomorrow night!
Following along with Boof’s 40 Day Challenge leading up to her 40th birthday, day 39!
39) A book I expected to hate but loved
Before I started the Stieg Larsson trilogy of books, I never would have imagined that I would have loved them as much. It took me about 75 pages to get into the first book, but then I was hooked. I felt myself wincing a few times, anticipating that things were going to be scary or bad, but they just got up to the edge and never went over for me.
I also didn’t want to read “Angela’s Ashes” because I thought it would be so heavy and sad, but it was nothing of the sort. It was full of hope and good humor. I loved that book, too.
#39 on my list was: Nothing. Here is the point when I have to admit that the list that I found of my “40 things” ends at 38! How depressing is that? I was making my list as I went along (as was evidenced by #37 – penned when the opportunity arose) and was focused on the ones left to do rather than finishing the list. Ugh.
So tomorrow, I will work on a new list of some kind! 5 Things to complete by October end? 10 things to do on my Sabattical? 45 things to do before 45? 50 things to do before 50? I will ponder this and start a list…