Sunday, November 22, 2015

Weekly Update: November 22, 2015



Hello, friends. It's been a long two weeks since my last update. I spent much of the first week sick with bronchitis, but pulled it together for my husband's birthday weekend in NYC. We had a great time (finally got to see the Hemingway exhibit at The Morgan Library & Museum) but then I ended up with a sinus infection and he caught my original cold. By midweek Twin B was sick, too.

We cancelled our trip to Philadelphia this weekend (Daughter #1 is running the half marathon this morning) and are focused on making a full recovery in time for Thanksgiving. So it's been a low-key weekend...

Current reading//


I've been reading The Last Chronicle of Barset all week and enjoying my time in Barchester, Allington, Framley Court, and Hogglestock. This is a long book (837 pages) and I'm a little more than three quarters done.

And now I'm thinking about book length and page count in general...

Many of the books I've read this year have been over 400 pages, and more than a few have been 500 plus. I don't choose books based on length, but recently I've been thrilled to discover a couple of selections were under 200 pages. Why? For the past two years I've taken part in the goodreads challenge and, while my goal is modest, reading so many chunksters makes it that much harder to reach it. I'm considering a couple of novellas and graphic novels/nonfiction in order to reach this year's goal. But isn't that silly? I should read whatever appeals to me regardless of length. Maybe I'll just skip this challenge next year...

Up next//


The Emma 200th Anniversary Readalong starts next month. Details are here... everyone is welcome to read with us.


Guaranteed to Bleed by Julie Mulhern
The first book in this series was so much fun! This should be a light, entertaining read for the busy holiday week.


On the blog//

Book Brief: Between the World and Me  by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Nontraditional Nonfiction: Amazing Audiobooks
Weekend Cooking: Foodie Nonfiction Favorites


In the kitchen//
Easy and familiar was the name of the game last week - Baked Dijon Salmon is a favorite. Tonight we're having Maple Ginger Roasted Pork Tenderloin. Hope it tastes as good as it looks in this picture!


The week ahead//
... is going to be crazy. Monday and Tuesday I have hair and dental appointments, rescheduled from when I was sick (why did I think that was a good idea?) plus shopping and a lot of cleaning. Twin A will drive home on Tuesday, and I'll pick up Daughter#1 at the train station. Twin A's boyfriend arrives on Wednesday. For the first time in years, I am not hosting Thanksgiving Dinner. That's a big break, but I'll still make two pies (pumpkin and pecan), the cranberry sauce, and a couple of sides.

Friday we'll head to the local Christmas tree farm and cut down the perfect tree. I'll also try to take a picture or two for our annual card... cooperation is sometimes an issue. If we're feeling ambitious, I may even haul out the Christmas decorations.

Saturday is our annual Yankee Auction and Holiday Party with my cousins and their families - an event we look forward to all year. Sunday we crash in exhaustion!


How was your week? What have you been reading lately?


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

58 comments:

  1. Wow, I got tired just reading about your upcoming week! :--) Hope you all feel better!

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    1. Jill - I do this every year... too many activities for one week, but so much fun!

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  2. I love these posts the best! Have a great week, enjoy your family.

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    1. Thanks, Debbie! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too:)

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  3. Ugh, I hope you're all better by turkey day. I've got my 3rd of 3 medical appointments in one week tomorrow and I am over it already. I feel like an old person!

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    1. Kathy - I know how that goes! Hope you appointment goes smoothly. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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  4. Happy almost Thanksgiving! I'm making a note of the pork tenderloin (something I like but never seem to make!) and laughing a little ruefully about page length. Last week I 'slipped in' a 576-page mystery novel...I mean, why is that necessary? --but I must also say that 576 pages of Elizabeth George goes a lot faster than 576 pages of our beloved Mr.. T. Hope you're 100% better soon.

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    1. Audrey - The pork tenderloin was very good, but we ended up cutting it into medallions and grilling it. Not naming names, but the griller slightly overcooked it :(

      So you just 'slipped in' a 576 page mystery?? LOL! I can only read one book at a time, but since we were home all weekend I made great progress with Mr. T. Should finish Last Chronicle this week... so, so good. A couple of plot turns really surprised me, but I won't say more until you get there:)

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  5. Wow! You've got quite a week planned! I definitely think it was smart to cancel this week's trip to focus on getting better. I hate those colds that will not end. Personally I would do the novellas and short books to make my goal but that's because I cannot stand making that Goodreads goal! But I think you're right - read what you want to read! Have a great week!

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    1. Katherine - Canceling Philly was the best decision we made this week! I feel 100% better tonight and had the most relaxing weekend. I'm going to start Guaranteed to Bleed in another day or two and that should be a quick read. I may try to squeeze in a couple more short books before Emma... hate not reaching goals!

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  6. You do have a busy week. Enjoy and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. And feel better too... :)

    I love going to the Christmas tree farm, although we've been using an artificial tree the alst few years. Debating going back to a real tree...

    The Emma readalong sounds fun.

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    1. Greg - I've lobbied for an artificial tree the past couple of years, but this crew won't go for it. Our Christmas Tree Farms outings are such an ingrained tradition now! Hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving, too.

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  7. Sounds like you have a lot on your plate. I'm having Thanksgiving but think it will go smoothly. Feel better.

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    1. Diane - Thanksgiving week is always packed with activities for us, but it is one of my favorites of the year - lots of family time, food, and fun! Hope you enjoy the day, too.

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  8. I am glad that you are feeling better.

    I had a similar experience with really log books late last year into this year. I usually give no regard to book length when choosing what to read. While I was reading The Last Chronicle of Barset it did dawn on me that I had read a string of really long books that were taking me a long time to finish. At that did choose to read some shorter books.

    I eagerly wait your thoughts on the last The Last Chronicle Of Barset.

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    1. Brian Joseph - I may try to squeeze in a couple of short books before Emma... these last two or three Barsetshire books have been SO long! Not complaining though, as I've loved every page.

      The unexpected weekend at home allowed to spend lots of time reading and I'm 90% finished now. Trollope has surprised me with a couple of twists and I'm happy with the way the plot lines appear to be resolving. Hope to finish in a few days...

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  9. I have also read quite a few 400 + books this year, and some with 500 or more. Mostly they are around the 300s....but seldom less.

    I have grown tired of the Goodreads Challenge...I don't want to feel as if I'm running a race...LOL. I did lower my goal number this year and exceeded it. That felt good, but it was a little way of psyching myself out....small goals, very achievable.

    I'm glad you're feeling better, and hope you have a great holiday week. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I do enjoy the goodreads challenge and tracking my progress throughout the year. Your idea of lowering the goal so page count doesn't become an issue makes a lot of sense. That may be the solution for me next year!

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  10. I hope you feel better soon. It stinks to be sick this time of year. :( I have Julie Mulhern's first book on my TBR and hope to read it next month during the holidays when I play catch up on my TBR for 2015. Get better soon!

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    1. Kathy - Today was my last day of antibiotics and I'm feeling so much better. Hope the rest of the family catches up soon. Mulhern's first book will be a fun diversion during the busy holiday season!

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  11. No one likes to be sick at Thanksgiving! Feel better soon! When you are in Philadelphia I am about 45 minutes away!

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    1. Patty - I'm hoping my daughter dies the race again next year... would love to visit Philly again. Do you go into the city much?

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  12. Sounds like a fun week -- I hope your illness clears up so you can enjoy the holidays with your family.

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    1. Kim - I think the antibiotics have done their job... I'm feeling much better tonight and am ready for the holidays!

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  13. Sorry to hear about the illness and relapse--hope you are on the mend.

    I hear you with regards to the GoodReads challenge. I hate not finishing goals, but I'm hard pressed to see how I will actually finish this year. I like logging my books on GoodReads, but next year I am cutting down so that I can pick those long books without doing the math.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. JaneGS - Reading Victorian novels can be detrimental to reaching any reading goals!! But I'm loving Trollope's novels. Reading the series with friends has been the best.

      I like the idea of lowering the overall goal for next year. Have a feeling I'll be concentrating on classics and nonfiction, and do not want to keep page count in mind when deciding what to read next.

      Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

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  14. Hope you feel better for the holiday! Cannot wait to get started on Emma with our large group.

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    1. Frances - I am much better tonight... we made the right decision to have a quiet weekend at home. Will hopefully finish Trollope in the next few days, have a quick, light read for the holidays and move on to Emma! I'm looking forward to it!

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  15. I hope you all will be fully recovered for the Holiday and the weekend's fun!

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    1. Nise' - Thankfully, I am better tonight and the others are on the mend :)

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  16. Congratulations on reading so many of the longer books. I had some chunksters on my list for this year but only got around to a couple of them. Sounds like fun and exciting plans for the upcoming week! I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you are feeling much better!

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    1. Monica - The number of chunksters I've been reading didn't really dawn on me until last month when I began to slip further and further behind in my goodreads challenge! I've loved the longer books and don't want to adjust what I'm reading simply to meet a numbers goal....

      Hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving, too. I'm finally feeling better tonight, and the other have at least tuned the corner.

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  17. I feel like that little Goodreads counter is side-eyeing me! Ahh! But, glad you've got some short ones coming up! That pork looks delicious!!

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    1. Sarah - I like Laurel-Rain's idea of setting a lower goal and then just disregarding page count. The pork was really good, but we overcooked it on the grill... wish I'd just done it in the oven.

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  18. Hope you're feeling tip-top by Thanksgiving Day so you will enjoy the day with good food, family and friends. I'm currently looking for something good to read while I'm house and pet sitting with a sweet little Papillon and a big Maine Coon cat over the holiday. I always have a stack in waiting, but right now I'm anxiously awaiting the latest Robert Galbraith book to come my way from the library. I don't usually cook for Thanksgiving, but will have the pans busy for Christmas. Enjoy!

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    1. JudyMac - Thankfully, I am feeling much better and everyone else is improving, too. Definitely the right decision to stay home last weekend... plus I got lots of reading time. Should finish the Trollope in the next day or two. Sounds like a quiet, peaceful Thanksgiving weekend for you :)

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  19. Hope you are all really well in time for Thanksgiving. When you read chunksters perhaps a lower book count for your goal on Goodreads would count! One year I even lowered my goal. No rule to say you can't change it. Anyway your page count will look good on your stats page.

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    1. Kathryn - Good advice about goodreads. I really should look at the page count this year... never seem to pay much attention to that!

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  20. Sounds like you've got a jam-packed Thanksgiving week, hope you're feeling 100% to enjoy all the fun. mm I love Salmon, heading over to check out the Dijon Salmon.

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    1. Teddyree - That salmon recipe is one of my favorites... so easy and so delicious!

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  21. Oh no, hope the bronchitis is clearing up. Not fun! Especially when the holidays are starting. I know what you mean about book length and trying to make reading goals. I didn't do the goodreads challenge this year because I was also trying to make count by reading shorter fiction. And what do you know? I have read more books this year than in the last year. Mysterious how these things work.

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    1. Athira - Hmm, I may have to see if that will work for me. So great to skip the challenge and actually read more books!!

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  22. Hope you are feeling better. Bronchitis is horrid. Have to say that is one of the best covers for Emma I've seen. Love it. Have a good thanksgiving.

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    1. Emma - Isn't that cover gorgeous? Of course, I didn't NEED another edition of Emma, but I just couldn't resist.

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  23. Hope you are feeling better, JoAnn! The salmon and the pork tenderloin sound wonderful!

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    1. Sharon - I feel better today than I have in the past two and a half weeks - at last!! The salmon is an old stand-by and the pork went over well, too. I grilled it instead of roasting it and it got a little overdone... still good though.

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  24. Sounds like your holiday week will be really busy but also family filled. I hope everyone is feeling their best for the gathering. This is what I read last week. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - I'm pretty much back to normal today and the others are definitely feeling better too. Looks like Thanksgiving is saved ;-)

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  25. Yummy on the dinner photo.

    I am going to NYC for Thanksgiving. Maybe I will have time for the Hemingway Exhibit.

    ENJOY your week and Happy Thanksgiving,

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading

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    1. Elizabeth - Have fun in NYC!! The exhibit is definitely worth the time... my husband was a very good sport to go with me:)

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  26. Yikes! What a bummer about the colds/infections! Glad to see you're feeling better. Nothing like a low-key weekend to heal the body, especially since you have a crazy busy week ahead of you. We've been invited to our good friends' home for Thanksgiving, so I'm rejoicing that I don't have to cook a turkey dinner for just the two of us. Especially since I have to go to work the following day at 6 AM! It will be nice to hang out with our friends and get to bed early.

    Enjoy your holiday with the kids and try to rest a bit. Nothing worse that a relapse!

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    1. Les - I'm completely better now and the others should be there soon. I caught a break with the turkey dinner this year, too. Imagine Friday will be pretty crazy for you at work... I usually avoid shopping then if I can. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  27. That pork looks awesome, hope it turned out. Glad you're on the mend. Looks like you have a fun holiday weekend ahead.

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    1. Beth F - The pork was delicious, but got a little overdone on the grill. We'll be more careful next time ;-)

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  28. It sounds busy there -- but hopefully enjoyable. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. I think you deserve a few "short" reads after all those chunksters. My favorite books are usually 400 or under.

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    1. Susan - I just finished The Last Chronicle of Barset today. It was SO good! Starting the next book club selection next and it's under 300 pages - hurray!!

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  29. I have yet to read a novel by Anthony Trollope - but must have read Emma at one point during my early 20s. Hope you have a great reading week and Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. Thanks, Myra. Emma is the only Jane Austen novel I have yet to read. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

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