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?
I was so excited to learn that another Linklater movie was going to come out this summer… and it did not disappoint!
In 1995, “Before Sunrise” came out – a small independent movie about a couple who meet on a train and have one night in Vienna.
In 2004, “Before Sunset” came out – a small independent movie catching up with this same couple 9 years later.
And now, in 2013 “Before Midnight” is released. The same couple, now in their very early 40s.
I won’t give any spoilers here (links below to many reviews – read at your own risk!), but will simply say that if you love movies with smart dialogue, romantic chemistry, beautiful European settings, and real-world conversations and relationship troubles, you should definitely see all of these movies.
I am thankful that I was able to borrow the first two movies and binge on them a bit before seeing the 3rd movie. It was a great way to reacquaint myself with Jesse and Celine. I plan to buy all three when they’re all out on DVD so that I can binge again!
I was listening to a podcast last night (Filmspotting) and they were wondering (as I was) if since the characters were approximately my age during all three of these movies if I have more of an affinity to love the movies. I would love to have this discussion – if anyone else has seen them! 🙂
I finished “Circle of Friends” by Maeve Binchy this morning. It’s a re-read and I wondered if it would hold up as I’m not in my 20s anymore (like I was when I first read it) but it did. She writes such great stories about great places with great characters. Love it!
I will watch “Anna Karenina” with Cindy tomorrow – and can’t wait for the re-watch! I’m sure there will be vodka and something sorta Russian to eat. Love me a theme!
I had an impromptu game night last Saturday night! Beth came for a planned girl’s night, and we stayed in and invited others over. We played Loaded Questions and “What if…” A great time!
I watched Trajan graduate from 8th grade – such a fun kid.
I celebrated Jenny’s birthday with her at Goonie’s and the Loop! The comedians were fun – the raunchy one leading up to the cerebral one made for some big brain shifts!
I sang with Take Note! at our yearly spring concert, on Over the Back Fence, and during Art in the Park in Lanesboro! Good stuff. I think I finally have the songs committed to memory and now we won’t sing them again!
I listened to music outside during Harmony at Mayo on Monday 6/10. Great band, great food and great company!
I chatted about “Little Wolves” with Sarah, Paul and Heidi. What a delicious meal was prepared and enjoyed al fresco! A beautiful summer evening…
Before the end of Quarter 3 (44 Things)
Here’s my list of 11 things for this quarter… how am I doing? Have til the end of the month…
11 Things: 3rd Quarter:
Book Club – LOVE talking about books, whenever and wherever! April 2 – with rum & Cokes, pizza burgers, and Mississippi Mud Cake!! May 27 – with hot turkey sandwiches we discussed The Accidental Tourist! Good stuff! Next one July 9!
Cosmo Girls – April brought green smoothies, chair massages, and henna! May brought A Cosmo Girl Party to celebrate another year of fun! Next – organize for next year!
A Spring Break facial – and pedicure!
Baseball games and softball games – hopefully in sunshine!
THE GREAT GATSBY movie! Saw it once in the theatre – it was great!
Marissa’s graduation in May with a party to celebrate her Bachelor’s in Biology! Taran’s graduation in June! Both parties were very fun! Very proud of their accomplishments!
Take Note! spring concert – most likely in June! Done! A great concert followed by a get-together at Mom and Dad’s with s’mores around the campfire! Perfect!
New walking shoes – so hopefully many walks! Knee feels better – still no power walks! Just short ones and stretching!
Catch up on the TBR pile – as many as possible! #1 Silver Linings Playbook! #2 Elizabeth the First Wife #3 Little Wolves #4 Circle of Friends – the list is interminable! Oh well!
June will bring Thursdays on First and Rochesterfest – outdoor food, music and fun! And hopefully sunshine! (Can you tell we’ve been without for too long?) Spun through Thursdays last week and plan to go this week – on June 20!
Strike up a conversation with a stranger (NOT a patient!) weekly (?) and WRITE about it! Woot! Haven’t done this really! What was I thinking? Looking for a challenge, I guess. I’m just enjoying getting to know my coworkers and planning things for my “circle of friends.” 🙂
I suppose it’s time to think about my 4th Quarter list… hard to believe that I’m winding down my 44th year and really close to 45! What will the theme of 45 be?
What do you have planned – Before Midnight? Before the Summer Solstice? Before the end of the month?
Wow. Last day of February. Did that fly by, or was it just me?
I have a bunch of things that are making me happy, so here’s my list for you to read as February winds down…
Tomorrow is the start of “meteorological” spring! It hasn’t been a horrible winter, but winter always makes spring sweeter!
The SocialICE downtown Rochester was a hit, once again! It was the 4th year I’ve gone with the same crew and it is always a good time! It wasn’t quite as cold as last year, but it still was a bit chilly! The sculptures were fun to look at, the mulled wine was delicious to drink, and the night ended with karaoke at the Viking Lounge! What a hoot.
I had another long weekend (around President’s Day), and I got a haircut, went to the Med City Mafia roller derby, had a delicious Indian meal with Deadra and John before seeing “Book of Mormon” at the Orpheum (so fun!), sang in choir, and then went to book club (The Great Gatsby was discussed for at least 20 minutes, but we met for 4 hours!). A great way to spend time off!
Following Col. Chris Hadfield on Facebook has been so fun. Marissa tuned me in to a Reddit conversation with him and then I’ve been following. He posts amazing things from the International Space Station. Look him up!
Watching the Oscar’s was fun. I had a multi-media empire going on – TweetDeck with #Oscars and #nproscars going, watching MonkeySee live blog the madness and messes, chatting on the phone with Beth prior to the big musical numbers, texting with NYC (who was on tape delay!) and watching the Oscar’s app in my iPad! I mainly watched that when it was over, watching some of the big winners’ interviews and photo shoots off-stage. I know there were a lot of people slamming the host and the music, but I’m an easy critic. I loved the songs, even the throw-back to Chicago from 10 years ago. And I know that the host is getting a lot of flack for the sexist tone he set with the song “I Saw Your Boobs,” but I thought it was pretty funny. There was so much talk about formal wear boob coverage (or lack thereof) before the award shows, so it made me laugh.
Having an adult daughter is pretty awesome. She turned 25 last Thursday, which makes ME feel old, but I wouldn’t change anything. We have fun together and I can still keep up with her (most of the time). I can even outlast her, some of the time.
Days off! I worked overnights last week (and survived) and had some of the weekend off, which was filled with birthday celebrations. DQ cake, BWW, GBB, and Wii. Good stuff. I also had a few days off this week (yesterday and today) and that has been great, too! Just getting stuff done at home (laundry, sheets, taxes (!) and food preparation for the weekend), watching TV and relaxing with coffee, and then getting together with friends for lunch today and drinks last night.
Turning Broadway show pins into magnets for my refrigerator! I knew I would never wear the pins/buttons from Once when I bought them (it’s not the 80s anymore!), but nonetheless I had to have them. When we saw Book of Mormon last week (or so) the seller of the things said she turned her pins/buttons into magnets. How inspiring! I’m so not crafty, but I found the magnets at Michaels and bought a tiny bottle of glue. Job done!
I had my 1 year performance review at Mayo this week – and how refreshing! It was positive and meaningful. My supervisor gave great feedback, as did 3 of my colleagues. It just feels so great to have such support, from a supervisor and colleagues. Ah.
Talking about books always makes me happy! Whether it is in the middle of the night with an ED Nurse, while walking laps at the Mall or Mayo High School, having lunch at Mr. Pizza or Whiskey Creek, or over drinks at Chester’s, good books always come up! So now if only I could devote more of my time to reading books… I have so many piles of great books around me! Must read on!
And speaking of books, I finished A Week in Winter – Maeve Binchy’s last book yesterday. It was bittersweet and there were tears, not because of the content, but because there will be no more. This morning Cindy asked me to inform her niece where to start in the Binchy back bibliography, so I made her a little list – and said that I’d probably blog about it later! So look for that soon!
What I’m Reading: I finishedThe Great Gatsby for book club next week. I look forward to discussing it and eventually seeing the new movie this
spring! I have done some book ordering lately, so a bunch of new books arrived. The first that I picked up and devoured was 84, Charing Cross Road. Wow! I learned about it through the blogger Wallace who reads it for her birthday yearly. It was so intriguing and only available in print (no virtual book this!). I’m so glad I bought it, because after I lend it to all my friends to devour, I will re-read it yearly! It was tempting to re-read it immediately after finishing, but I will let it out of my grasp for a bit. So unexpectedly fun! I will now look for the movie based on the book!
Other books that I now own include: A Week in Winter(Maeve Binchy‘s final book), Apple of My Eye(same author as 84, Charing Cross Road but about NYC! Yay!), Silver Linings Playbook(hope it’s as good as the movie), and How to be a Woman(Caitlyn Moran – British comedian, cheap book!). Gone with the Wind is waiting to be started, but I think it will wait until after I read Maeve’s book. It’s only fair, right? Gotta pay respects. I learned that my 13 year old nephew is reading GWTW so there is further incentive to get started on it!
What I’m Watching:Last night I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild. It is so fascinating. I didn’t love it, but I was moved by it. I am amazed by the community who lives in the Bathtub and I’ll have to do some research on that. The little gal did a great job and will be fun to watch in the future! I’m also excited to see the final episode of Downton Abbey. I won’t see it tonight (as I’m going to the Book of Mormon!) but I’ll watch it as soon as I can. Last week’s episode was great and feel-good. Hoping for a good ending to this season! Can’t think of anything else that I’ve watched lately… I also bought the (cheap) Blu-Ray DVD of Becoming Jane, which I remember liking a lot. I’ll watch that along with the latest Pride and Prejudice movie sometime soon – maybe this week during my overnight-shift-self-care routine.
What I’m Doing: Last week I hosted a baby shower and it was a lot of fun. Great to socialize with co-workers outside of work and fun to meet the mama-to-be’s mother and sister. Good food, good times. I took a few days off this weekend, so I shopped for shoes (ugh), had coffee with SDL, and had a slumber-party with VN; I watched littlest nephew play BB, ate taco pizza and watched Rochester Roller Derby with Marissa, Gracie and some friends. And now I’m heading to the Cities (well in a little bit) to stay with Deadra and John and to have a delicious dinner before seeing the Book of Mormon! Yay! Can’t wait. We’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time – anticipation of great events is always fun! And I’ll still get to choir and book club this week – sounds perfect, eh?
That’s about it for me! What are you Reading, Watching, and Doing?
I got a text this evening from a friend who said she thought of me when she heard the news of Maeve Binchy’s death today. I hadn’t heard the news yet, so I was thankful to hear it from a friend! I’ve written before on my blog about how Binchy’s books make me feel and even chose one of her books as my favorite read of 2011.
I have vivid memories of discovering her books in the Rushford Public Library and devouring all that were on the shelf, and years later finding comfort in their presence in the corner where we sat for library board meetings. When I’m asked for a book recommendation, I always ask if they’ve read her books. If I’m asked to pick out a book from the library for someone, her books are top on my list. I know that her books have greatly influenced my love of Ireland and all things Irish.
In 2011 I read her most recent book, Minding Frankie, and I was worried before I started reading that maybe it had been so long since I’d read a Binchy book that I had glorified them too much and I wouldn’t love it as much as I remembered loving her books. But it felt like coming home and ended up being my favorite book I read in 2011. Her books are so comfortable and the characters and communities are beautifully and vividly and simply described.
I am thankful that I discovered her years ago and have had her books and characters in my life for probably more than 20 years. I checked amazon.com tonight and found a short story she published in 2011 (A Week in Summer) and I immediately downloaded it. I can’t wait to curl up to another new Binchy book and I’m sad that there won’t be any more.
Off to read a little Binchy before bed. 🙂
Do you have a favorite Binchy book? Who is the author you always find yourself recommending to people?
Following Boof at Book Whisperer, I’m participating in her 40 day book challenge leading up to her birthday. Her second question is:
2) A book I wish I could live in
Well, bouncing off yesterday’s post of my favorite book of 2011, I’m going to say anything by Maeve Binchy. Those quaint little Irish villages are so seductive (as are some of the villagers!). I would love to live in Ireland for a bit…
And reviewing my list from my 40 things… My #2 was
2) Read “Persuasion” by Jane Austen
and I did! In August of 07 (reflecting my belief that Austen is best read in the summer!). Again, no great shakes, but a purposeful wish to do important things.
Boof at the Book Whisperer turns the big 4-0 this year and is counting down to her birthday in October (shortly after mine!) with a 40 Day Book Challenge! I think I’ll play along (when I can) and also will write about my own list of “40 things to do before I turn 40” from a few years ago!
Her first question was: 1) A favourite book of 2011 (so far)
When I looked through my Goodreads “read” shelf, the books that had five stars include all the Harry Potter books, which I listened to on audio this year, two Maeve Binchy books, and “The Girl Who Fell From the Sky”. So I’m going to say my favorite of the year is “Finding Frankie” by Binchy. I’ve expounded on my love of all things Binchy before, so I’ll just leave it at that.
My friend Deadra and I were both looking at turning 40 in 2008 and wanting to commemorate it in some way. We love lists so decided to each write our own list of 40 things to do before turning 40. We wrote the lists in late 2006, giving us plenty of time to accomplish them. Looking at my own list of 40 Things Before 40, my #1 started out simple –
1) Re-read “Pride and Prejudice.”
And I did. To me, Austen is a great book to laze away the summer with, absorbing each word, paragraph and page. It’s relaxing and a lovely way to spend time.
My list of Things was a lot of fun to write and accomplish, even though they were pretty small feats, for the most part. Some of them were more about a way of thinking than doing. It’ll be fun to relive it a little here…
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-NYC. The Twenties Girl was fun fluff. Major Pettigrew was a nice read. Both Saving CeeCee Honeycutt andHotel 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.
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.
Well, not too frigid and beautifully sunny, but cold for spring!
I finished listening to “Jane Eyre” this week – and wrapped up the Jane Eyre challenge on Goodreads! Kind of a silly little challenge, but fun. I had to pick my favorite quote, and there were pages and pages to choose from! I didn’t read beyond the first page of choices and really liked the third quote down. Lazy or not, it grabbed me. I’ll even add it to my book quotes page :). It was: “I would always rather be happy than dignified.” It’s always good to choose happiness. As I said on my goodreads review, I really love the language in these old books. I love when they say the door was “unclosed” rather than plain old “open.” I love it when they take paragraphs to set a scene or describe someone’s character. I’m very glad I read it. I’m sure I’ll see the movie and I’m looking forward to that, too. The only frustration I had with the audiobook was the quality of the CDs. Many had scratches and the last CD seemed especially bad. So the climax when I should be learning about what happened to Mr. Rochester was frustrating to listen to. I miss my iPod for downloading audiobooks.
Another book on my Spring Thing list that I finished this week was “Mockingbird.” It was a YA book about a girl with Asperger’s Syndrome and told from her perspective. At first I was frustrated with the fact that it was another book about a person with ASD who was dealing with tragedy. But I got a little hooked by her voice and the way it was written so that I could really hear her voice. I had a little tear at the end, although I was racing to finish the little thing so I could return it to the library on time. It’s worth reading. It is a lot less cryptic than “The Serious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime,” in that you know almost immediately what is going on. But it is a YA novel, so not too surprising.
So last night I started a Maeve Binchy book called “Heart and Soul.” I haven’t read a Binchy book in ages and it just feels like coming home! I even turned on the light early this morning so that I could read a little before I started my day! And I”m going to read a little now before heading out for the evening! Woot Woot! I’ll have to look at the list of all her books and see if I have missed many. Don’t think it’s possible!
Heading out tonight to a late movie! Hope I can stay awake! I’m looking forward to seeing “Cedar Rapids.” It’s gotta be a LOT better than the last one I saw in the theatre – “Take Me Home Tonight.” Wow. That music video advertising that movie got me inside, but it wasn’t really worth it. Oh well. Any night at the movies is a good night! The most recent netflix movies I’ve seen are: “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” and “Life as You Know It.” Yesterday “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” came in the mail. I think it’s a Woody Allen flick.
Gotta love movies and books!
And now… off to read!