Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weekly Update 3/29/15: Palm Sunday


Was this week really only seven days long?  Can it be just last Sunday I drove the girls and Zelda (our greyhound) back to college and the NYC-bound train? We also dealt with issues related to ice dams (unfortunately more repairs are needed later this spring), closed up the house, and headed back to Florida.

We settled in again, restocked the refrigerator, resumed daily beach walks and bike rides, spent time with my FIL, enjoyed an afternoon with old friends and an evening with friends from home we rarely have an opportunity to see.... Overall, a great week!

On the reading front... I finished my first 5-star book of the year! Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope, the second book in both the Barsetshire Chronicles and our #6Barsets project has also earned a place on my goodreads favorites shelf. My inclination is to begin the third installment, Doctor Thorne, immediately, but I will exercise some restraint and wait until May.


In the meantime, my current book is Bittersweet: A Novel by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. It's an absorbing tale of wealth, privilege, secrets, and a summer estate/family compound in Vermont. It didn't get much buzz when it was released last spring, but hopefully next month's paperback release will give it a literary second chance. This is my kind of vacation book!


On audio... Barchester Towers  was a read/listen combination and I haven't quite settled into my next audiobook. I started the nonfiction title On Immunity: An Innoculation by Eula Biss, but was also craving another classic.


Care came to my rescue! I'd planned on reading/listening to Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy before the new film is released, and Care introduced me to the wonders of audible's OneBook feature. It allows a member to share up to ten books from their library with ten different people. It's okay if those ten people are already audible members, too. You can receive only one shared book and I was thrilled to receive this download of Hardy's novel. I listened to the first couple of chapters this morning on my walk. Can't wait to explore this feature!


As for blogging, this week was a complete fail. My only post was the Tuesday Intro for Bittersweet. I missed Bloggiesta entirely and Trish's wildly successful A Day in the Life event, too. Sigh.

Plans for this week... A trip to the Everglades is on the agenda. We're thinking of Shark Valley near Miami and possibly on to Homestead and the Anhinga Trail. Beach walks. Bike rides. Reading. Not sure about blogging yet.

Hope it's a good week for you, too!


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

40 comments:

  1. Oh I would live to visit the Everglades one day, although my only real knowledge of it comes from a tv show I watched as a kid called Gentle Ben!!

    Every rave post you do for Barchester Towers just makes it harder for me to resist... But how am I going to fit it in?!

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    1. Brona - Oh, I remember Gentle Ben! Barchester Towers is just wonderful, but I certainly understand your dilemma ;-)

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  2. I've not heard of Bittersweet, but it sounds really good. I like the premise. Maybe I'll read it too. I tend to like paperbacks more anyway haha.

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    1. Jillian - Even though most members have kindles, my book club still goes by the paperback only rule. Guess this one is fair game now.

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  3. Nice mix of reads. Enjoy them all

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  4. You had me at beach walks and bike rides! Our weather hasn't been bad at all, but you sure make that beach life sound ever so tempting to this Southern California girl! Hard to believe we've been in Nebraska for 23 years now!

    I remember seeing Bittersweet when it first came out. I'll be anxious to hear your thoughts on it. Now off to check out more about Barchester Towers.

    Have a great week, JoAnn!

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    1. Les - Guess I have an affinity for water... it's so soothing and relaxing. Haven't have much time to read in the last several days, but Bittersweet seems to have everything I look for in a vacation read. Maybe tomorrow will be a beach day ;-)

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  5. There is nothing like naming a book a five-star read to send me to Amazon. Thank you for sharing.

    readerbuzz.blogspot.com

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    1. Deb - I was starting to think I wouldn't have any 5 star reads this year!

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  6. I love the cover of Bittersweet and it sounds interesting. Thomas Hardy is one of my favourite authors,..enjoy! Emma @ Onceuponalittlefield

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    1. Emma - I read Tess last year (or was it the year before?) for the Classics Club spin and loved it. Vowed to read more Hardy after that.

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  7. Your beach view is in stark contrast to your lake view. Both beautiful views. I'm glad you enjoyed your books and week so much. Hope this week is just as good.

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    1. Pat - Both views are indeed gorgeous, but I'll take the sparking ocean over a frozen lake any day ;-)

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  8. Bittersweet does sound kinda interesting. I hope you enjoy it!

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    1. Thanks, Deb. It's very readable so far.

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  9. Glad to hear that you've settled back in Florida. And the beach walks sound lovely. I've never been to the Everglades. I will admit that our trips to Florida have mostly centered around Orlando - bet you can guess why. LOL

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    1. Kay - I've been to Disney a couple of times, but theme parks and I do not get along ;-)

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  10. I missed Day in the Life too...no idea how I completely missed that it was going on! I will keep a lookout for the fall version! And - I literally cannot understand how Bittersweet didn't get more play last year...maybe b/c it's unabashedly scandalous and not necessarily "literary", but it's a dang good story and one of my top beach reads ever!

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    1. Sarah - Without much reading time, i haven't gotten to the scandalous part yet... can't wait!!

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  11. I really need to pick up my reading pace but my eye issues really put a damper on things. I hope to have all of that resolved soon because it's really affected my daily reading.

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    1. Ti - Sorry to hear you're still having eye problems. Hope things improve this week.

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  12. I was considering "On Immunity" in audio form, so I will pay close attention to what you think. Non-fiction in the ear is either really good or really bad. I don't find much in between. And welcome to our amazing weather. You got in on the "cold snap" (ha) but I think it is going to heat up again soon.

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    1. Sandy - Yeah, I know what you mean about nonfiction being either really good or really bad. Haven't listened to enough of On Immunity to know where it falls yet.

      Are you still working through Finding Florida? I was pleased to use a couple of tidbits from the book at a recent gathering... but caution people to take it with a grain of salt.

      The weather has been just perfect!! I see a warm-up in the forecast again, but it still beats CNY!

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  13. Five stars!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and that you're reading with me. (I have the Timothy West narration for B.T., but Simon Vance for Doctor Thorne!)

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    1. Audrey - I LOVED Barchester Towers! Simon Vance is the voice of English classics for me and I'll get his narration of Doctor Thorne even if it isn't the one attached to whispersync.

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  14. I can see why you didn't blog much - you had a busy week!

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    1. Kathy - Maybe I'll have more time this week... fingers crossed!

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  15. I missed A Day in the Life too. I know that blogging would suffer if I was in Florida too! Enjoy.

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    1. Thanks, Nise'. I love being down here while the weather is still so unpredictable at home.

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  16. Glad to hear that you are back in Florida! Beach walks and bike rides sounds just perfect! I like the cover of Bittersweet - definitely looks like a vacation setting.

    I hadn't heard of the OneBook feature - now I need to check it out too!

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    1. Athira - After all the tie here this winter, we're seriously considering joining the snowbird crowd ;-)

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  17. I love the look of Bittersweet....it slipped through the cracks for me when it came out, but now I want to add it.

    I totally missed A Day in the Life, too...found out after the fact. LOL.

    Enjoy your new week...and the new month, and thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I have high hopes for Bittersweet and look forward to spending more time with it this week. Think it will be a quick read!

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  18. YAY!!! And please don't read my review until you complete the audio. Hope you like it. Liddy might be my favorite minor character.

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    1. Care - I saw your post, but will take your advice and wait until I finish the book before reading. Only a few chapters in now...

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  19. I always enjoy when you are in Florida having lived in Ft Myers for 14 years before moving to Tasmania 27 years ago. I still have a couple of good friends there. I need to pull B arches ter Towers off the shelf. The more reviews of books I read the more overwhelmed I become about the number of books out there. Enjoy your spring. We're enjoying autumn now.

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    1. Pam - We've been trying to see a lot more of the are this winter. Yesterday we drove to Homestead (Everglades Park) and need up going all the way to Flamingo. Think I'm going to start nudging hubby toward retirement so we can spend the entire winter here... I really love Sanibel.

      I know what you mean about reading too many book reviews! The list of books I want to read is totally and completely out of control...and it can be really hard to prioritize.

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  20. I was quite fond of The Warden, but like you, I loved Barchester Towers! I look forward to picking up Dr. Thorne in May with you all.

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    1. Agoodstoppingpoint - Barchester Towers was excellent. I even loved the characters I didn't like! Looking forward to reading Dr. Thorne with you in May :)

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