Monday, July 1, 2013

Reading in July

So, I'm a terrible blogger lately. I wish I could say that will change, but alas, it will not. I'm certain that things won't really settle down until after we move back home and are settled. That will probably be sometime in September. International moves are insane. I highly recommend living overseas, but the logistics of the move is enough to make me never want to do it again. We won't have our furniture for a least 6 weeks. More likely two months. Nevermind. We won't think about that.

Instead, lets think about books. Now that's a happy place. I haven't had much reading time lately, but have had logged loads of audiobook hours while sorting through belongings in preparation for the move (I tried not to bring it up, I really did). Bill Bryson has been a favorite. Random facts and anecdotes are perfect when you're doing mindless things.

As far as book reading, I finished my Classics Spin book, The Awakening. It was kind of meh for me, but I think it had to do with my current head space, and the timing of when I read it (first half nearly a month ago, and the last half over the past two days). I did also finish Under the Dome this weekend (did anyone else feel like the ending was rushed and a bit abrupt). Now I'm moving on to another readalong. I can't get enough of them. They're just so fun.



I'm planning on joining in with Estella Society's summer readalong of A Prayer for Owen Meany. It starts today, and I'm a few pages in. I have a copy and it's sort of big, so while they're planning on ending in August, I'm going to have to be finished before I move on July 26. (I have only one suitcase to bring on the plane and it's going to have to fit all of the personal belongings I need for three weeks before our air shipment arrives. Sadly, that doesn't leave much room for books, though I have been stocking my kindle so that I have plenty of reading material. Again, everything I do revolves around this move, lately. I can't wait until it's over.)

What are your reading plans for the month? Any exciting events in which you'll be participating in July?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Classics Spin #2



Life has been insane lately, and while I hoped to get back to blogging after tax season, it was not meant to be. I'm still reading, but not finding time to write about what I've finished. I have been neglecting the classics lately because of lack of concentration, but after reading The Great Gatsby last week, I've been excited to get to more classics.

Perfect timing in that the Classics Club is hosting another Classics Spin. You list 20 classics from your list and post it. On Monday, May 20, they'll announce the number, and you read the book that corresponds with that number on your list by July 1. As I mentioned above, my concentration is severely lacking right now due to circumstances I can't control (which is driving me batty), so I'm cheating and using (mostly) my list from the last Classics Spin. With the exception of the book I read for it (Islands of the Blue Dolphins), and one to replace The Great Gatsby as I've read it recently.

  1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  2. Agnes Grey by Anne Bront禱
  3. The Master and the Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  4. My Antonia by Willa Cather
  5. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
  6. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  7. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  8. Howards End by E. M. Forster
  9. Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster
  10. The Wind and the Willows by Kenneth Graham
  11. Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
  12. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  13. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  14. 1984 by George Orwell
  15. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  16. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  17. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  18. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  19. Night by Elie Wiesel
  20. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde



Saturday, April 27, 2013

Read-a-thon!




FINISHED! 

Current Book: Eleanor & Park, Princess Academy (audio)
Pages Read: 460
Books Completed: 3, Where'd You Go Bernadette, Delirium, Who Took the Cookies? (read to my daughter)
Reading Minutes: 420
Listening Minutes: 70
Minutes Visiting Other Blogs: 110

I didn't wake up as early as I'd hoped, but I did get to visit a few more blogs. I also saw that I won a prize after I fell asleep last night for cheering. Woohoo! I had plans this morning and just arrived back home so this is my final tally.

I didn't read as much as I'd hoped, but with kids around and no husband here, I'm pretty pleased with how it went. It has been so extraordinarily fun, and I'm hoping I can join in again for the next one in October. Thanks for all of the encouragement and to all those who hosted. It's been amazing!

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UPDATE HOUR 14, 2:00 am

Current Book: Eleanor & Park, Princess Academy (audio)
Pages Read: 440
Books Completed: 3, Where'd You Go Bernadette, Delirium, Who Took the Cookies? (read to my daughter)
Reading Minutes: 400
Listening Minutes: 70
Minutes Visiting Other Blogs: 80

Well, I've been up for 19 hours and didn't really sleep well last night. This will be my last update until the morning. I'm all ready for bed and am planning to climb under my covers and read until my eyes slam shut. I might try to squeeze in a few more pages in the morning, but I'll definitely do a bit more cheering. Happy reading everyone, and thanks for the supportive comments.

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UPDATE HOUR 11, 11:00 pm

Current Book: Where'd You Go, Bernadette (print), Princess Academy (audio)
Pages Read: 380
Books Completed: 2, Delirium, Who Took the Cookies? (read to my daughter)
Reading Minutes: 340
Listening Minutes: 60
Minutes Visiting Other Blogs: 70

My husband is out of town so I spent a little while chatting on the phone with him. Kids are asleep so I'll probably listen to a bit more audio while I tidy the house then read until I fall asleep. Maybe a bit more cheerleading. We'll see how I feel. Keep on keepin' on readers!


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UPDATE HOUR 8, 8:00 pm

Current Book: Where'd You Go, Bernadette (print), Princess Academy (audio)
Pages Read: 283
Books Completed: 1 (Delirium)
Reading Minutes: 255
Listening Minutes: 60
Minutes Visiting Other Blogs: 60

Going to take a little break for a while to get my kiddos ready for bed. My eyes could use the rest. I'm starting to nod off a bit.


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UPDATE HOUR 6, 6:00 pm

Current Book: Where'd You Go, Bernadette (print), Princess Academy (audio)
Pages Read: 187
Books Completed: 1 (Delirium)
Reading Minutes: 165
Listening Minutes: 50
Minutes Visiting Other Blogs: 50


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UPDATE HOUR 4, 4:00 pm

Current Book: Where'd You Go, Bernadette (print), Princess Academy (audio)
Pages Read: 120
Books Completed: 1 (Delirium)
Reading Minutes: 100
Listening Minutes: 20
Minutes Visiting Other Blogs: 35


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UPDATE HOUR 2, 2:00 pm

Current Book: Delirium by Lauren Oliver (e-book), Princess Academy (audio)
Pages Read: 20
Books Completed: 0
Reading Minutes: 20
Listening Minutes: 20

Thoughts: My kids decided to read with me, but they're kind of more into the snacks. I had an unexpected visitor stop by for a chat, but hoping that it will be smooth sailing for at least the next few hours.


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Introductory Questionnaire

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? I'm reading from Glasgow, Scotland. It's a beautiful sunny day today, which is very rare. Luckily we didn't start until 1 pm, so I got in a little outside sunshine time in the morning.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Where'd You Go Bernadette. Just picked it up from the library yesterday and am really excited. I need a good laugh after the week I've had.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? Green & Blacks Organic Dark Chocolate with Burnt Toffee. Yum.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm a mother of three, American ex-pat living in Scotland, and a CPA. I just finished tax season and trying to recover. This read-a-thon should help.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? This is my first time, but I'm mostly just looking forward to the reading. I have been in a reading slump lately and I'm hoping this will get me out.


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This is my first read-a-thon, and I'm pretty excited! My husband is out of town and it's just me and my three kids (ages 5, 8, and 10). I'm hoping to include them and get tons of reading done, but we'll see how it goes. I'm just planning on one post, and I'll update it throughout the day.

As I'm a Scotland dweller, we don't start until 1 pm. My goal is to make it until I fall asleep. Tomorrow I have to be up and get three kiddos ready to leave the house by 9:30 am (not to return until 1:30 pm) so I'm guessing I'll crash about 1 am. So, I'm only planning for 12 hours, but I'll try to make them count.



My pile. Noticing a trend? Easy. Short. I'll probably start by finishing Delirium then move on from there. I'll use the audiobooks to spend time making dinner and doing a bit of house tidying. If the print books aren't doing it for me, I have a few options on my e-reader listed below

  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver (have about 120 pages left)
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
  • Paper Towns by John Green
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater
I'll be stopping by blogs and doing a bit of cheering as well today. Good luck to everyone and happy reading!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Shining



I finished. Yes, it's the last day, but I finished. I'm not going to do a detailed, well-thought out post. I'm just going to throw up some of my initial thoughts on finishing so I can read the much better posts written by everyone else. 

  • This book grabbed me from the start, but lost steam rather quickly. It suffers from the same issue as most of King's books (in my opinion)--there's too much back story, and it takes too long to get going. Also, too many words.
  • The last 100 pages flew by, but up until then, I struggled. Every time I sat down to read it over the past week, I fell asleep within a few pages.
  • I struggle with reading about physical abuse so right from the outset I was feeling a little uncomfortable.
  • I think it's tough to get into a book when I don't care about the main characters. I despised Jack. He reminded me of Nick from Gone Girl. I didn't want to be in his head and hear how he really felt about women. It made me feel dirty.
  • I understand that times were different, but I guess I can't see why Wendy would stay with a man who broke her child's arm. Lack of control and alcoholism do not a responsible husband and father make. You know? Why not walk away and find a job? She didn't have to go and live with her mom to get away.
  • I was super pissed when I thought that Dick Halloran went all that way only to die before he could help in any way. So glad that I was wrong. 
  • I will not watch the movie because I am a wimp, but I'd imagine that it's much scarier than the book because for whatever reason, it didn't freak me out.
  • Lastly, I just wanted to show you the cover below (I found it while looking at librarything) because it is probably one of the stupidest covers I've ever seen. So subtle. Ha.


This readalong was brought to you by the wonderful Jill over at Fizzy Thoughts. Can't wait for the next one. Under the Dome anyone?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Classics Club Spin List



I have been slacking on my classics lately (and blogging, but shhh...we won't speak of that). Well, the Classics Club hosting a Classics Spin. You list 20 classics from your list and post it. On Monday February 18, they'll announce the number, and you read the book that corresponds with that number on your list by April 1. Easy, right? I'm super busy with work in March so I'm going to cheat and post mostly easy and short ones. I have to be reasonable. I won't have the time or concentration necessary to read Don Quixote, you know?


  1. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  2. Agnes Grey by Anne Bront禱
  3. The Master and the Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  4. My Antonia by Willa Cather
  5. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
  6. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  7. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  8. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
  9. Howards End by E. M. Forster
  10. The Wind and the Willows by Kenneth Graham
  11. Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
  12. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  13. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  14. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
  15. 1984 by George Orwell
  16. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  17. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  18. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  19. Night by Elie Wiesel
  20. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde



Sunday, November 4, 2012

Two Chunkster Readalongs

I know I've said this before, but it is true--I'm so weak when it comes to readalongs. If I see one from a blogger I know, I just can't resist. It's so fun reading in groups.



The first is the Bleak House Read-a-long hosted by Jenny of Jenny Loves to Read. I haven't read any Dickens this year, and as I'm a big fan of 'ol Charlie, that's a shame. This end of the year effort will rectify that. I have the book on my kindle, but I purchased the Simon Vance narration of it on Audible so that will probably be my, go-to format.



The second is The Count of Monte Cristo Readalong hosted by Estella Society. I received the lovely Penguin Classics edition for my birthday the day before this readalong announcement was posted. It was serendipitous. How could I not join? 

I'm hoping to fit in a few other books during this time, but I'd imagine that these two will keep me pretty busy. Also, I've officially decided to give up on my two challenges this year. I don't want to read the books I selected right at this moment, and forcing myself to do so will probably make me hate those books. And who wants to hate books? I certainly don't and they are books that I'm sure to enjoy if I read them when I'm ready.

So, what are your reading plans through the end of the year? Are you joining in any readalongs or reading what suits your mood?





Thursday, November 1, 2012

Reading My Own Books



I have a serious problem, and I blame it all on book blogging. I never used to buy books (I had strict rules for purchasing--had to have already read, and plan to re-read), and now I can't seem to help myself. My book shelves are now double stacked and I'm moving across the ocean in July. We have a limited amount of weight that we can take, and as you all know (from lugging them in your purses) they are HEAVY. (We also bought a piano while here so that's part of the problem. Whoops.)

Enter Michelle of my books. my life. She mentioned on her blog that she was going to read her own books through the end of the year, and made the lovely button above (I'm a sucker for activities with cool buttons). So here I am, committing to read my own books through the end of the year. I will not be checking out any more books from the library (with the exception of audio). I will try to get through some of the books on my overstuffed shelves (before they topple off and bury alive one of my children). This way the books that I don't intend to re-read can find a new home.

I have some good ones on the shelf that I'm really looking forward to reading.

What are your shelves like? I don't think I'm the only one with this problem. Please tell me I'm not alone!