Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sanibel Sunday: 12/10/17


Good morning from chilly Sanibel, Florida! I had to turn the heat on this morning, but expect no sympathy from family and friends up north. It's been gloriously warm all week and these cooler temps will allow for longer walks and bike rides... and maybe even a little holiday baking.


Finished this week//


A little rain yesterday morning was my excuse to stay indoors and finish this amazing book. A 5-star reading experience and one of my favorite books of 2017, book clubs will have a field day with this novel. I'll be buying a copy or two for gift-giving this season.




Persuasion by Jane Austen

My second Jane Austen novel of the year and my first reread of Persuasion  in nearly 20 years - Jane only improves with age! Juliet Stevenson's narration, as always, was a treat for my ears. I'd forgotten how much I love this novel, and am thankful James' Jane Austen Read All-Along nudged me to pick it up again. It was a joy to come across some old favorite lines, though a "mature" heroine of twenty-eight seems ridiculously young to me these days ;-)

You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope...I have loved none but you.

Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story... the pen has been in their hands.


Current reading//


Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

I've been contemplating a "Rereading High School" project for several years. I'm sure I missed the point of, and certainly did not fully appreciate, many of the books assigned back then. Last night I started reading a sample of this book and was pulled in right away. Looks like project begins now...


Listening to//


by Erik Larson, narrated by Richard Davidson
I started this a day or two ago and am not fully invested yet, but I've enjoyed other Erik Larson books and am interested in weather. It should be a winner.


The week ahead//

I'll finish my Christmas shopping this week, we'll attend a neighborhood holiday gathering, then my BIL and his family fly in on Thursday. We'll overlap a few days before heading back up north for Christmas. It's going to be hard to face the snow and cold again...


How was your week? What are you reading?


This post will link to It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Nonfiction November, Week 5: New to My TBR


Here we are at week 5 of  Nonfiction November.  The topic is "New to my TBR" and our host is Lory at Emerald City Book Review.
It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book!

Naturally I started the month with the best intentions, and a running list of recommendations, complete with source. But you know how it goes... so much excitement, so many new possibilities. Within a few days I was simply adding books to my wish list without notation. Please accept my apologies in advance if I neglect to credit your recommendation.

For the first time ever, I can list recommendations which I actually read during Nonfiction November!


One recommendation was purchased as a Christmas gift for my daughter (Shhhh!)


Finally, here is a sampling of titles added to my wish list this month. I've only included those which I'd not heard of prior to the start of Nonfiction November:




Counting Backwards: A Doctor's Notes on Anesthesia 
by Henry Jay Przybylo
- Katie at Doing Dewey









The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor
by Mark Schatzker
An Adventure in Reading









The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food
by Dan Barber
Based on a True Story









The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind--and Changed the History of Free Speech in America by Thomas Healy
- TJ at My Book Strings









Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life
by Jessica Nutik Zitter
- Tara at Running 'n' Reading









Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening
by Manal Al-Sharif
- Susie at Novel Visits







What's new on your nonfiction TBR list?
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Monday, November 27, 2017

A Post-Thanksgiving Update


What a weekend... family, food, and fun for five days! I am exhausted, but happy. Thanksgiving is, without a doubt, my favorite holiday. As an added bonus, I even managed to squeeze in some reading...


Finished last week//




How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
Anna Quindlen is a favorite and I love books about books and reading, but must admit this is not one of her best. It's enjoyable enough and I'm glad to have read it. However, if you're new to Quindlen, this is not the place to start.




Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker 
This was a such an interesting book! I listened to the audio version, read by the author, and plan to write a review soon.



Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand 
After delivering our daughters to the train station yesterday, I took to the couch with a blanket, a cup of tea, and this fourth and final installment of Hilderbrand's Winter series. It was the perfect ending to a long holiday weekend. Mini-review coming soon.


Current reading//


Persuasion by Jane Austen
It's always a pleasure to spend time with Jane! This reread is a read/listen combination... with Juliet Stevenson narrating, of course.


Likely to read next//


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng 
I've finally made it to the top of the library hold list! Ng's latest is downloaded and ready to go on my kindle.


The week ahead//
Today we pack up fall decorations and get started on Christmas. There's also plenty of post-holiday cleaning and laundry. We're off to Florida for a couple of weeks on Friday, but before that I'd like to wrap up Nonfiction November and write a couple of short reviews. Fingers crossed!


How was you week? What are you reading?

This post will link to It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving Week Update: 11/20/17


The first winter storm of the season is upon us - several inches of snow on the ground now, high winds, and a few school delays/cancellations. Just in time to make holiday preparation a bit more challenging. I have a 4WD vehicle and still plan to do major grocery shopping at Wegmans... it has to happen today!

Our Manhattan daughters arrive tomorrow (on separate trains!), my brother and his family are coming in from Philadelphia and Boston Wednesday, and my sister's German exchange student from several years ago currently has an internship in the US and will fly in Thursday morning. Twenty people will gather around our Thanksgiving table... definitely my favorite holiday.


Finished last week//


by Jessica Bruder 

I mistakenly thought this was a book about merry bands of retirees exploring America in big RVs. Wrong! Instead, I found myself engrossed in a tale of the American dream gone awry. There is a sizable (and growing) portion of 21st century retirees who roam the country living in vans, RVs, and even cars as they travel from job to job. They make up Amazon's CamperForce, filling a seasonal demand for warehouse help. They are the "workampers" of the sugar beet harvest in North Dakota or your summer hosts at KOA campgrounds. They flip burgers at concession stands during baseball's spring training or at 'premier tourist traps' like Wall Drug in South Dakota... all to make ends meet. The author took to the road in a van of her own for three years. Along the way, she befriended many in the community while learning of their hopes, struggles, and triumphs. A consuming, albeit slightly scary read.




Current reading//


Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

Last week I started the audio version. This week I borrowed a print copy from the library, so now it's a read/listen combination. Who knew a book about wine could be this interesting? Very good so far.




How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen

I also brought this little gem home from the library last week. I think I've read it before, but for whatever reason it doesn't appear on any of my lists. Anna Quindlen is the best.



Up next//


Something light and quick would be perfect for the holiday weekend... like Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand. I devoured the first three books of the series between Christmas and New Year last year. The fourth and final book might be perfect for Black Friday. I certainly won't be shopping!!

Or maybe one of the books I recently purchased at Book Culture... we'll see.


On the blog//
Review: Dear Fahrenheit 451  by Annie Spence
Nonfiction November, Week 3: Books About Books
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (including thoughts on Reading People)


The week ahead//
Thanksgiving week means cleaning, then lots of cooking, followed by four days of nonstop family gatherings. Bring it on!



What are you reading this week? Any big plans for Thanksgiving?


This post will link to It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.
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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence


Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks
by Annie Spence
narrated by Stephanie Spicer
Dreamscape Media, 2017
5 hours and 35 minutes



Dear Annie,

Well done! Dear Fahrenheit 451  was an absolute joy to read. The idea to write love letters (or 'Dear John' letters) to books while weeding the library shelves was brilliant.

I loved hearing about favorites from bygone days. It's gratifying to know these old treasures still merit a place on the shelf. You also had me laughing out loud at some of the discard books. Hard to believe anyone ever thought they might be a good idea.  I'm not even sure they'll find a home at the book sale!

Reading your book made my already unmanageable to-be-read list even more unwieldy. I know it's your job, but you know about a lot of books... and across so many different genres. I only wish I could read faster.

I'm also wondering if you had a say in choosing the audiobook narrator, because Stephanie Spicer is perfect! I imagine you sound just like her... enough snark to be entertaining, but a genuine love of books and reading shines through.

Anyway, thanks for a great book... and I promise to give  Jeffrey Eugenides another try.

Happy reading,
JoAnn


My rating:

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Nonfiction November, Week 3: Books About Books



Nonfiction November moves into to Week 3 with Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert and our host is Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness.

Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and can recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you’d like to read (become the expert).


My topic is ... Books about Books. Here are some of my favorites, but I'd also really appreciate your recommendations. As far as I'm concerned, you can never  read too many books about books.



84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
"This charming classic love story, first published in 1970, brings together twenty years of correspondence between Helene Hanff, at the time, a freelance writer living in New York City, and a used-book dealer in London at 84, Charing Cross Road."




In this book, "a former bookseller and sales representative, celebrates the unique experience of the bookstore--the smell and touch of books, getting lost in the deep canyons of shelves, and the silent community of readers.




The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe 
"A profoundly moving testament to the power of love between a child and parent, and the power of reading in our lives."




"A Gen-X librarian's snarky, laugh-out-loud funny, deeply moving collection of love letters and break-up notes to the books in her life."




"This witty collection of essays recounts a lifelong love affair with books and language."



Have you enjoyed any of these? What are your favorite books about books?
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Monday, November 13, 2017

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?


What a week... brutal, bone-chilling cold (the kind usually reserved for the dead of winter) and snow. Perfect weather to stay indoors and read - especially good timing since it's Nonfiction November!


Finished this week//

by Anne Bogel

You might know Anne Bogel from her blog (Modern Mrs. Darcy) or podcast, but I was a little slow making that association. Personality typing and theories of personality have always interested me, so I literally devoured this short book... and, of course, took another free online typing in the process. Highly recommended, especially if you're into reading about psychology, interpersonal relations, and the like.




by Annie Spence
I loved this book! The audio version, narrated by Stephanie Spicer, is amazing. Review coming soon.



Current reading//


by Jessica Bruder
At the halfway mark, this is not what I was expecting... but it is completely fascinating, and a little scary, too.



Listening to//


Cork Dork by Bianca Bosker

I picked this up because Tina recommended it...and because I love wine. So far I'm enjoying the conversational tone and have already learned a thing or two. The audio version is read by the author.



Up next//
It's hard to say... Nonfiction November is adding to my tbr list by the hour!


On the blog//
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Nonfiction November, Week 2: Book Pairings
The Sunday Salon: Hello, November

How was your week? What are you reading?


This post will link to It's Monday, What Are You Reading?  hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.

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