Sunday, January 4, 2015

Weekly Update 1/4/15: It's a New Year!


Good morning  and welcome to the first weekly update of 2015. After a small New Year's Eve gathering, a relaxing New Year's Day, and a long weekend, I'd say the year is already off to a good start. I even finished two books - They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple and the graphic memoir Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?  by Roz Chast.

Currently reading:


Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
This is my first post-apocalyptic fiction in nearly ten years. So far, so good. 

Listening to:


Euphoria by Lily King
narrated by Xe Sands and Simon Vance
Under two and a half hours to go and I'm ready to be done with this book. The narrators are excellent, but I can't help wondering whether it would be better in print.

On the blog:
My 2014 Favorites: Fiction
My 2014 Favorites: Audiobook Fiction
My 2014 Favorites: Nonfiction
Review: Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?  by Roz Chast


Other Bookish Thoughts 

2015 will be another no pressure reading year for me - no blog tours, very few review books, no deadlines, no commitments, and more abbreviated reviews. I read pretty much anything I wanted in 2014 and, surprisingly, that meant a lot of new releases and debut novels. We'll see where free range reading takes me this year, but I'm anticipating a return to backlist fiction and classics.


The TBR Double Dog Dare hosted at James Reads Books kicked off last week  The idea is to read books already on your shelves (or e-reader) until April 1st. I've committed for the month of January, but we'll see how it goes after that. I'll be in Florida most of the winter and am not sure I can resist the local library. The little indie bookstore is quite tempting, too. I'll let you know if I decide to continue.

Are you familiar with Zinio? It's a newsstand lending service available through libraries... kind of like overdrive for magazines. I just signed up this week and my iPad is loaded and ready for Friday's flight. I got my mother set up, too. Now I can read The New Yorker  without the stress of all those unread issues piling up on the coffee table. My favorite food and travel magazines are also available, along with many, many more I can't wait to explore.

And finally... It's Downton Day! Will you be watching?



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



67 comments:

  1. Happy New Year to you! I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever finish a book again. I'm loving The Girl on the Train but am having trouble finding time to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy - That's how I was for the whole month of December. Hoping for more reading time now that the holidays are almost over...

      Delete
  2. I've been thinking I should start with Season 1 of Downton and go from there. I've only watched one episode once. It sounds like you've had a great start to the New Year. I will look forward to seeing what you're reading. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pat - Yes, definitely! Start with season one and give Downton a try... it's so good!

      Delete
  3. I'm curious about Station Eleven--I've been thinking of adding it to my TBR list, so I'll be interested in your thoughts about it. Hope to watch Downton Abbey tonight, but I'll be DVRing it in case I go out.

    Did you have to mention piles of unread New Yorker magazines, lol. I usually go through the really old ones and tear out the articles I want to read--and wind up with another pile of unread material. Have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Catherine - The last post-apocolyptic novel I attempted was The Road and it ended up a DNF. This is outside my comfort zone, but good so far.

      Sorry about mentioning those New Yorkers. I finally let my subscription go because I just couldn't keep up :(

      Delete
  4. I am so ready for a stress-free year, with no challenges (except 100 books on Goodreads, my lowest number ever!). I plan to request fewer review books, and I stopped tours in 2013.

    Enjoy your year! Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - Hope we both succeed in eliminating stress and enjoying our reading more this year!

      Delete
  5. I can't wait! And 'The Manners of Downton Abbey' special, and two episodes of The Great British Bake-Off, and Grantchester in two weeks....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Audrey - So much goodness ahead ;-)

      Delete
  6. Happy New Year! Enjoy reading without pressure in 2015 :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sam. Happy New Year to you, too!

      Delete
  7. Of course I'm watching Downton Abbey tonight! I'm really hoping more than anything else that something good happens for Edith. How long can one suffer and muddle along? But I doubt it. Nothing good can come of hiding your bastard child right down the road. Happy viewing and reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frances - Poor, long-suffering Edith... I'm afraid she's in for even more trouble and heartache.

      Delete
  8. Euphoria and Station Eleven are two books that have received a lot of positive reviews. I haven't used Zinio in a while. Thanks to my library, it's free for patrons. Now that you've mentioned it, I should start using it again. Good luck on the Double Dog Dare!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vasilly - I sure hope Euphoria is better in print. The audio version is not doing much for me. I'm curious to see where Station Eleven is going though.

      Delete
  9. I already have the DVR set for Downton Abbey. Hope this will be a good season. I love your term "free range reading". That me this year, free range reader. Have heard good things about STATION ELEVEN, but so far have resisted. We'll see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay - I've seen the term "free range reading" on several blogs and just love it... wish I knew who coined it though. Station Eleven is definitely a stretch for me, but I'm intrigued so far.Five more hours until Downton ;-)

      Delete
  10. I started Euphoria (in print) yesterday and, I assure you, it isn't better. Of course, that could just be me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb Nance - Oh dear, that's too bad. It's a short book, so I'm going to go ahead and finish.

      Delete
  11. Happy New Year! The Double Dog Dare Challenge sounds fun and I definitely need to clear off some space on my shelves before the cave in. Zinio looks like a lot of fun. I have a few magazine subscriptions but I very rarely get a chance to read them so they end up piling up. Enjoy Downton Abbey!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katherine - My magazines were piling up, too, so I've let most subscriptions go. Now I can just download issues from the library whenever I have time to read them - love it!

      Delete
  12. I keep telling everyone about Zinio -- such an awesome service. Enjoy your free ranging!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth F - I've been aware of Zinio, but never took the time to explore it before now. It is an amazing service. I love my library!

      Delete
  13. Congratulations on finishing two books already! I cannot wait to read Station Eleven - I love Emily St. John Mandel and have yet to read her last two books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Athira - Emily ST. John Mandel's earlier books are on my wish list... have a feeling I'll be checking them out soon.

      Delete
  14. Happy New Year! Happy Travels! I have read the first chapter of Sister Carrie and can't wait to read more. No pressure, of course. AND I have a credit to use for audible but... I'm already audiobooking Five Days at Memorial so my timing is off for that idea. or, I can wait til I'm done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Care - I really loved An American Tragedy and can't wait to get started on Sister Carrie... and I don't consider readalong pressure, it's social :-)

      Five Days at Memorial is a great audio!

      Delete
  15. JoAnn,
    Yes, I use Zinio, but I haven't bought anything within the last six months. I'm so busy with magazines on my Nook HD+. And Ken and I have been scrambling, streaming Season 4 of Downton, just so we have every single nuance in our brains before Season 5. No more streaming after 9pm this evening, I'm afraid. Oh, well.
    And how I wish I could listen to Audible audiobooks in my car. I must see if there's a "safe" way to do that. I don't want earpieces while I'm driving, especially in the winter!
    Best wishes,
    Judith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judith - If you access Zinio through your library, it is all free! I don't drive with earbuds - too dangerous. I used to download audiobooks into iTunes and then burn to CDs to listen in the car. When I got an iPhone, I started listening through the audible app and it is SO much easier. On some cars you can connect it to play through your radio, or get an inexpensive portable speaker, or even just let it play directly from the phone without earbuds.

      Delete
  16. Zinio is great; I use it as well. Enjoy your time in FL JoAnn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane - I never knew there were so many magazines I like to read!

      Delete
  17. I loved Station Eleven...glad you're enjoying it and happy new year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah - I'm surprised by how much I like Station Eleven!

      Delete
  18. Free range ... I like that. Glad you had a good start t othe year, it's been that way here too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Greg - Isn;t that a great term for reading? Wish I could remember where I first saw it...

      Delete
  19. Sounds like a plan! I have similar thoughts for the new year. A few easy challenges, but no pressure, no hops and tours, no requested reviews. Just the simple pleasures of reading and reviewing :) Hope your year is off to a good start.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rita - Fingers crossed we can both stick to it!

      Delete
  20. I'm all for the free range reading & have begun my year the same.
    Taking off the pressure - seems like my best direction at the moment.

    HapPy Reading & New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Faith Hop Cherrytea - Here's to free range reading in 2015!

      Delete
  21. I'm hearing good things about Station Eleven so I may have to add it to my TBR list!

    Deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb - Not my usual reading fare, but Station Eleven is very good so far!

      Delete
  22. I'm not sure where you winter down here in FL, but let me know!! I need to read more off my shelves but I"m always so eager for the new books...it's an awful habit! Have a good reading week!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anita - We will be in Sanibel. My FIL moved to a senior living community in Ft. Myers and gave us his condo. Last year we came down twice for a couple of weeks each time, but this year I'm going to stay (with one of the twins) for the winter. My husband will travel back and forth a few times, but has managed to arrange coverage for much of the winter. We'll see how it goes...

      Delete
    2. Let me know if you get lonely down there. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Delete
    3. Les - The door is always open!

      Delete
  23. Euphoria sounds like a nice read. I hope you enjoy it!


    Take a look at what I'm reading this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Majanka Verstraete - Euphoria is not exactly what I was expecting, but the narration is very good!

      Delete
  24. I am going to have to check Zinio out! It sounds pretty cool. I am also excited to watch Downton Abbey! I didn't watch it last night, and today it is -10 degrees outside - the perfect day to snuggle on the couch and catch up on a favorite tv show.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erin - You're in for a treat with Downton today! Enjoy!

      Delete
    2. I am so bummed!! My DVR didn't record it. I am hoping I can get it on Amazon Prime.

      Delete
    3. Oh, no!!!! They may have it on the PBS/Masterpiece website in a few days.

      Delete
  25. I so want to read Station Eleven. Have heard nothing but good things. Emma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emma - So far it seems deserving of all the praise!

      Delete
  26. Happy New Year JoAnn! I hope you enjoy Station Eleven, I must read it soon, it's been sitting on the pile too long already. Enjoy Downton, I enjoyed the series just shown here in the UK.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lindsay - I don't usually read post-apocalyptic fiction, but Station Eleven is very good. I loved Downton last night... have missed that show :)

      Delete
  27. Happy New Year! I'm sorry Euphoria isn't working for you, but you may be right--it might be an audio vs. "reading" version. The audio book I recently finished listening to was that way--I probably would have loved it if I had read it, but the audio was hard (and it had nothing to do with the narrator).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melinda- I can't figure out what happened with Euphoria. Those are two excellent narrators and they did a wonderful job, but the book just wasn't as good as I was hoping.

      Delete
  28. Happy New Year! This year I am doing the free range reading as well and so far I'm thoroughly loving it! Here's to cheering each other on in our quest to read deliberately/free range reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stacy - Hope we can both make it work. Happy reading in 2015!

      Delete
  29. Happy New Year, JoAnn. Here's to another great year of reading! Looking forward to reading your recommendations! I actually watched the first episode of Downton when I was in England in September. Loved it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sunday - The first episode of Downton was great... can't wait for the next one! We'll be getting to FL around midnight Friday and will need to get a new television before Sunday evening;-)

      Delete
  30. Happy New Year to you! I liked Station Eleven, look forward to your thoughts. Enjoyed the first episode of Downton Abbey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nise' - Station Eleven is starting to get really good now. It's so good to have Downton back!

      Delete
  31. I like your idea of a no-fuss blogging year! I love that idea and I think it will bring out the natural blogger in you. I've heard great things about Station Eleven. I hope you enjoy it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jillian - That's what I'm hoping. I'm about a third done with Station Eleven and it's getting even better now!

      Delete
  32. Okay - I want to try to get back to more free range reading, too. Now if I could just figure out how to say no to tours!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails