Friday, August 15, 2014

My Stack of Books: August 2014

I'm linking up with Anne again.  I have finally hit my stride with the summer reading.  We have about two weeks left before the kids go back to school, but I have no intentions of slowing down!
I'm feeling lazy this month, so no reviews, only pictures:

See you in September!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Stack of Books: July 2014

I'm linking up with Anne again.  Now that school is out--we ended on June 20th, so we really haven't hit our stride with summer yet--I am able to ramp up my reading.  Evidently I'm in the midst of a unit on the thirties and forties!

Elegy for Eddie by Jacqueline Winspear
Another fine installment in the Maisie Dobbs series.  I believe there is one more after this (so far).  I know Winspear has just published a new, non-Maisie, novel--thus my reading list grows again!

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
More like un-put-down-able.  One thing after another that this man endured!  I found myself wondering about our world now--we are so accustomed to getting a trophy just for playing, could any of us endure what Zamperini (or his entire generation, for that matter) endured?  There are so many lessons to be learned from his generation.  This book should be required reading for everyone.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Set in Seattle in 1942.  A friendship between a Chinese-American boy and a Japanese-American girl.  This book is on the reading list for my ninth-grade daughter.  She didn't want to read it, so I did.  A nice counterpoint to Unbroken.

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
I read this on Anne's recommendation.  It started slowly for me compared to Unbroken, which just pulled me right in.  Nevertheless, the more I read, the more I wanted to read it.  Again, another great story about resilient people.

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Stack of Books: June 2014

I'm linking up with Anne again.  This month has been crazy busy.  We are in our last week of school, and I am very much looking forward to afternoons and evenings full of reading time.  As you will see, not many books were finished over the last month.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
I loaded this on my kindle before our Texas trip, and I read 90% of it on the flight.  I really enjoyed this.

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
This one I read in the mornings while eating breakfast.  Good ideas.

I am off to make my summer reading list!  See you next month.

Friday, May 30, 2014

What I'm Into: May 2014

Linking up with Leigh!
May: flying by faster every year.  Here we go in a nutshell: 

Cell phone ridiculousness.  I am due for an upgrade on June 9.  Verizon did not want to cut me any slack regarding the upgrade date, so I did not get to take advantage of any of the great Mother's Day promotions. 

Had my annual mammogram last week.  All good.

A few hours after the mammogram the whole family hopped a plane to Texas.  Alamo, check. Rodeo, check. Indoor skydiving, check!

And now we're home, Mad Men is over, and we are in search of a new show.  Fargo it is!  We are about two and a half shows in. 

The next couple of weeks promise to be a blur, and then I am going to be all about my summer reading!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Stack of Books: May 2014

We're one day early this month, and that means it's time to link up with Anne. I am so excited to see what's in her summer reading guide for this year!

Longbourn, Jo Baker
I had read a couple of less-than-thrilled twitterature reviews last month, so I went into this one hoping that I would that I would like it.  It was pretty good.  It was funny to see our sainted Eliza Bennet from another perspective--I'd never given any thought to who had to do her laundry after her famous walks.

Moriarty Returns a Letter, Michael Robertson
A quick read.  The fourth in a series.  Amusing, with a little suspense.

The Girl You Left Behind, Jojo Moyes
This one got off to a slow start for me.  I considered walking away from it, but it improved.

Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein
YA historical fiction.  I wish I could get my daughter to read it.  I really enjoyed this.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin
A delight. Started yesterday, finished this morning.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What I'm Into: April 2014

I'm linking up with Leigh again...

The end of this month snuck up on me!  April has seen the return of baseball season and the triple-booked evenings.  The only comfort is that our normally double-booked evenings have helped us establish the habit of eating dinner around 5:30, so now we don't have to adjust to that.

Baseball season again!
When I had spare time over the last month, here's what I was doing:


Breaking Bad.  It is over.  And I feel like I'm mourning.  This was the first series that I've ever watched through from beginning to end.  I'm glad we spread it over three months.  It gave me something to look forward to every evening, and I feel like I had enough time to digest each episode.

What's up next?  We have two seasons of Homeland on DVD and the first season of House of Cards on DVD.  The DVR is also filling up with episodes of Fargo.  Now we just have to wait for some free evenings.


I started listening to WXPN radio recently.  I have decided that on the whole it has a pretty good mix of tunes.  The kids hate it, but it is nice to take a break from the top 40 stuff.

Around the House
Wisteria--the new color for Caroline
The mess from Caroline's room in the upstairs hall!

Painting!  We are re-painting the kids' bedrooms.  One down, two to go.  I do not enjoy living with all of the mess that comes along with moving furniture out of the way in order to paint.


I find myself in the middle of a self-designed poetry unit!  Thanks in part to one of Anne's guest posts and my pastor's Easter sermon, I have borrowed most of the library's books by Billy Collins.  I am having fun.

So there is April in a nutshell.  May promises more of the same!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Stack of Books: April 2014

It's the 15th, and that means it's time to link up with Anne.

The Mapping of Love and Death
I think this is the eighth installment in the Maisie Dobbs series.  Once again, Winspear knocks it out of the park.

As I had predicted, this was great.  An alternate history--what if Britain surrendered to Germany in 1940?  A very different world.  Fantastic suspense.

An enjoyable read.  Like meeting the male counterpart to Eleanor or Cath (characters from her other works).

Carry On, Warrior
Okay, I didn't read this one--but I had ordered the paperback and it was delivered last week.  I am looking forward to re-reading!

And that's what I've been reading over the past four weeks.   How about you?

Monday, March 31, 2014

What I'm Into: March 2014

Linking up with Leigh again.
March is over already?  How is it that thirty-one days can seem to go by so slowly and also so quickly?  I know the calendar says that we are in spring, but the thermometer tells a different story.  I am hopeful by the end of next month that I will have packed away the winter coat for good.
Here's what March has brought me:

Remember when Claire was trying to get some kid-free time over the summer?
Thoughts of Late Spring/Early Summer:
Dance recitals, end of year concerts, you name it--they're already on the calendar.  I am already thinking about camps.  Seems wrong.


Nickel Creek
By happy accident, I found a preview of Nickel Creek's first album in about 8 years on the NPR website.  And then I started clicking and I discovered that they are going to be in the area in early May.  I wasted no time in purchasing tickets.  Date night!

I have read all of this author's other works--he has five novels that are part of his Matthew Shardlake series.  Those are set in Tudor England, so what's not to love?  Anyway, I have read strong reviews of this book--a thriller that imagines what if England had surrendered to Germany in 1940.  It is set in 1952.  I had it checked out for a week before I started it, and I'm sure I won't be able to renew it because other people will have it on hold, so I am up against the clock to finish.
Breaking Bad
I had no idea when we started watching this that we would still be at it three months later.  We have three episodes left, so we will certainly finish it this week.   Wow.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

My Stack of Books: March 2014

I'm late to the link-up party--but better late than never!  It has been a long winter, and I have spent many a snow day with my nose in a book.

The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
Perfect for fans of The Penderwicks.

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
What a fun treat.  Books, codes, and google!  Hooks you quickly. 
Eat Move Sleep by Tom Rath
A quick read--very short chapters, each one featuring a point on eat, move, and sleep.  Some of them seemed repetitive.  Informative.

Holy is the Day by Carolyn Weber
I liked her first memoir, although I had some reservations about it.  I'd rate this one about the same.

 The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley
I owe my college roommate a huge thank you for turning me on to Flavia de Luce.  She's an eleven year old chemist and sleuth.  Each book improves upon the last.  My only regret was that I read this too quickly.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I loved Eleanor & Park, and I also loved this one.  Maybe because I'm a big Harry Potter fan.  I don't read fanfic, but I certainly appreciate the love that goes into it.  Loved it.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
A marketing book.  How to effectively use social media.  Not really much in the way of practical application for me personally, but I enjoyed reading it just the same.  I think that any organization or person could learn much from this.  I liked how he presented the material.