Sunday, June 4, 2023

May Reading Wrap-Up and Summer Begins!


Hello, friends... summer is here! After a week of sunshine and warm temperatures, it turned cloudy, windy, and (by Florida standards) positively frigid in CT this weekend. It was 55 degrees when I took this photo after dinner Saturday night and, with a strong breeze, it felt much colder! Fingers crossed it warms up again this week.


May reading wrap-up//

I finished a grand total of two books last month. A record low, I think. But as hurricane repair continued on our FL home, we were getting packed and organized for our trip north... and then there was the trip itself. At least both books were 5-star reads.


I started the month with nonfiction. Nine Black Robes was excellent and I still plan to write a brief review. Somehow May got away from me...

Next I tried a couple of novels, but set them both aside. A new book by an author I generally enjoy just didn't grab me. After nearly 40% of K√ľnstlers in Paradise by Cathleen Schine, I didn't really care what happened to the characters, so gave up. Then my library hold of Happy Place by Emily Henry, a highly anticipated new release, arrived. That took only a chapter or two to decide it was too light for my current mood.

The dreaded reading slump was descending... and I turned to Jane Austen. Jane's novels never let me down and it was high time for another reread of Pride and Prejudice anyway. Slump averted!


Current reading//


Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Last week I started a book that's been on my TBR (to be read) list for literally decades. I'm reading the nearly 1000 page tome over the next eight weeks or so with a small group from the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club. After our first week's "assignment" of about 100 pages, I've already developed a soft spot for these characters and look forward to reading more.



Current Listening//


No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister
narrated by a full cast

After six months with an injured knee, I've finally resumed my daily walks with an audiobook. Those walks are shorter and a little slower, but they are happening and I couldn't be happier! My first selection is a book Tina raved about earlier in the spring.

I've enjoyed a few of Bauermeister's earlier books and was further tempted by this description:
One book. Nine readers. Ten changed lives. New York Times bestselling author Erica Bauermeister’s No Two Persons is “a gloriously original celebration of fiction, and the ways it deepens our lives.”
When I discovered the audio was a multi-narrator production, I decided to go that route. At the halfway mark, I am thoroughly enjoying it!


In the kitchen//


I tried a new recipe last week for Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas from BudgetBytes. They're simple to make and taste delicious. Add any toppings or accompaniments you like... we just served them with a side salad. We love fajitas and this would probably work just as well with shrimp, steak, or even tofu.

Blueberries were on sale last week, so I pulled out the recipe for Easy Puff Pastry Blueberry Galette from Simply Delicious. I made this multiple times last summer with all sorts of fruit variations. A tasty treat!


The week ahead//

We've been working on the flower beds here and have at least one more trip to the garden store this week. A rose bush didn't make it through the winter and needs to be replaced, and I'd really like to add some peonies on the sunny side of the house.

Later in the week, we'll drive to central NY to see my parents. One of our NYC daughters, along with her fiancé and the grandpup will join us, too!


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


The Sunday Salon is hosted by Deb at Readerbuzz.
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date.







40 comments:

  1. It sure is cold! I like it better than very hot, though!

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  2. I have that Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas recipe in my bookmarks to make soon. I love Budget Bytes! I hope you and your family have a great time together!

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    1. Vicki - I use quite a few Budget Bytes recipes, too. Don't think there's been a dud in the bunch!

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  3. I liked reading No Two Persons; I bet the audio with different voices was good.

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    1. Harvee - Multi-narrator productions are usually among my favorites. I'm enjoying this one so far.

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  4. Lonesome Dove will help make sure that slump doesn't come back for a while. It's my all time favorite novel. Wonderful characters throughout and a plot/adventure that is great fun.

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    1. Sam - I think you're right about avoiding a slump with Lonesome Dove! Didn't know it was your favorite, but the more I read the better I'm able to understand why. Such great characters!

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  5. I can understand how reading a book like Happy Place has to be done during just the right mood. Otherwise it can feel jarring. I do hope Lonesome Dove will ease you through a slump.

    I can't imagine 55 degree weather in the summer. It was cool here this morning at 68, though!

    The Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas look fantastic.

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    1. Deb - Yes, mood is so important for me in deciding when to reach for a beach read. So far, Lonesome Dove seems to be just the thing!

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  6. Blueberry anything sounds great to me. I usually just eat them raw and delicious!
    best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Mae - Nothing like fresh blueberries in season!

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  7. 55 degrees can feel quite blustery with a strong wind. I love the views of the ocean, even with clouds! The chicken fajitas look good! I'll look up the recipe. Hope you enjoy your trip up north!

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    1. Rachel - The cool weather is actually a nice change of pace from the heat and humidity of FL. I always love an ocean view! Hope you get a chance to try the fajitas.

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  8. That really does sound cold for this time of year in CT. I hope you enjoy your family time. Have a great week!

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    1. Yvonne - The cold weekend was a surprise! It's in the mid60s today, but still a little cooler than normal, I think. Looking forward to seeing my parents this weekend!

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  9. Nine Black Roads sounded like quite an undertaking when you were reading it, so I am not surprised you didn't get much else read this past month. You can never go wrong with Pride and Prejudice. I really love that book too. I am glad you are liking Lonesome Dove so far. I go back and forth about whether I want to read that one. My husband, daughter, and I are planning to resume our evening walks. Since I don't walk alone, I don't have the pleasure of listening to an audiobook, but if I did, I certainly would!

    I hope you have safe travels to New York and back and enjoy your time with family. Take care and have a great week!

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    1. Wendy - Pride and Prejudice is always a treat. Funny though, it was my husband who suggested this might be a good time to pick it up. He gets me after all these years! It's good that you can take family walks together now... there will be plenty of time in years to come for solo audio walks. Enjoy!

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  10. Sounds like your transition to CT is going well despite the cooler temperatures. And I am so glad you're able to resume your walks!

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    1. Helen - Definitely an easy transition... we feel very comfortable here. Walking again has been the best! I'm surprised how much not being able to effected my mood.

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  11. Send those temps & any rain this way. We have gone into dust bowl conditions. Strange?! I still need to read Lonesome Dove as well. I look forward to it ... it's almost like I'm saving it but not sure when I will take the dive. Right now I'm in a slump and I think Page 405 of Demon Copperhead might be somewhat to blame. I like it but it's been a journey. Enjoy your week.

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    1. Susan - Yikes... the weather up there has been a challenge this year, hasn't it?! I hear you about Demon Copperhead. There were some parts that were just so hard to read! I wasn't expecting that. At least Kingsolver gives us a hopeful ending.

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  12. Those are two good books for a busy month. I don't think I've read Lonesome Dove, either. Probably high time that I took that on -- maybe a good summer project.

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    1. Joy - I'll always take a month with two 5-star books! As for Lonesome Dove, it took me several years of considering it for a summer project before I finally picked it up. It's never too late ;-)

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  13. I am glad you are enjoying the Bauermeister book. It's not everyone's cuppa tea and I think the expectation was a novel with the same characters following a traditional plot as her other books. What I liked (besides Nola, Kit and the widower) was how a book resonates with an individual differently.

    Right now, I'd trade you weather as it's sooo incredibly humid now. I am getting out early for my walks. Love your fajita recipe, I use a SkinnyTaste one quite a bit. Our flower gardens are flourishing and it's lovley to sit and watch bees and butterflies. Glad your knee is doing better.

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    1. Tina - So far I'm fascinated by what Bauermeister is trying to do - so original! Still wondering if she'll circle back to any of the people. We'll see.

      I'm not complaining about the weather... such a nice change from the heat and humidity we left in FL! Our neighbors here were saying that the one snowfall we had before leaving for FL was it for the whole winter. They never got any snow while we were gone and never had to plow!! I suppose even I could have survived the winter here, lol! Hope you'll post more photos of your flower gardens. Have a great week!

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    2. I don't know where you are in the book so I don't want to give any spoilers but I'll be interested in what you think afterwards.

      Oh, I know you aren't complaining about the weather and this humidity is worthy of a complaint though :-) There are many times I wish Doug and I had moved when we talked about it over the years. Enjoy your walks and reading!

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    3. Tina - I just finished the Nola chapter on my walk this morning - wow! This is really good and I have a feeling there won't be a circle back at the end, but I sure would like one. We'll see...

      The humidity was awful when we left and I'm sure it's even worse now. We love a lot of things about FL, but it seems like more and more negatives have become apparent in the past year. Sigh.

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  14. We have a chilly day today after a scorcher yesterday. Our temps seem to be on a roller coaster. I've never read Pride and Prejudice having a bias against classics. I'm glad you enjoyed your reread. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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    1. Kathy - I agree about the temperature roller coaster! We still haven't rebounded from the weekend, but at least it's up to the mid-60s today. Hope your week is off to a good start!

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  15. I’m glad you avoided the slump, and found something to suit your mood.
    Hope you are comfortably resettled back in CT.

    Wishing you a great reading week

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    1. Shelleyrae - I think I was right on the edge of the slump, but Jane Austen kept me out of it. Now I'm really enjoying both my audio and print book, so I think the danger has passed! ;-)

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  16. 55 degrees - sounds delightful! Happy reading in June!

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    1. Angela - Coming from the heat and humidity of FL, it was quite a change... but a good change! Happy June :)

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  17. Oh I hate reading slumps but isn't it wonderful to have those go-to books or authors? So glad the slump was averted. Very curious about Nine Black Robes! After all the work you've been doing on cleanup hope this will be a very relaxing summer for you and you can enjoy walks again and reading!

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    1. Iliana - Funny story... it was actually my husband who suggested I turn to Jane Austen! Guess he's been paying attention all these years. Nine Black Robes was excellent. It was all information that has been previously reported, but put in context and chronological order it was even more eye-opening!

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  18. 55 in the summer doesn't seem right, does it? That's almost our norm on the Oregon coast, though. I think they've been hitting 60 in Depoe Bay, but we're enjoying lovely temps and lots of sunshine in Alberta this week. It even got up to 80 one day, but we were hiking a very steep trail and it was a little too warm, even for me!

    June will be a record low for my reading numbers, but I anticipated that, in spite of packing 6 books for our trip. Too much to do and see during the day, followed by evenings of catching up with travel journaling after relaxing by our propane firepit and having cocktails with our travel buddies.

    I'm so happy to hear that you're enjoying Lonesome Dove. I think that may be my big book for later in the year. I have the audio, so it will be perfect for long walks. I'll be interested to hear what your final assessment is of Bauermeister's latest book. Glad the audio of that is going well.

    Have a good week, JoAnn!

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    1. Les - It's been a very long time since we experienced 55 degrees, much less this late in the spring! A very nice change of pace from Florida's heat and humidity. Glad you're enjoying some good weather this week...looks even better judging from our photos.

      Your travels are surely the primary focus this month. If you get some reading in, that's a bonus. With days of scenery and adventures, and evenings processing, journaling, and spending time with friends life is more than full. Enjoy every moment!

      Lonesome Dove is a real surprise so far. Somehow in the first 100 pages, the characters have captured my interest. It's going to be fun to get to know them better and follow along on their adventures.

      Bauermeister's book is really good on audio, but I wasn't expecting the disconnect of short stories. Loving so much about it, but hoping to see the characters again. We'll see how it ends...

      Loving your instagram photos. Keep them coming!

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  19. Definitely looks and sounds like a cold day at the beach! It's amazing how much colder wind can make it feel. Rereading is such a good way to avoid a reading slump. So glad yours was averted. I hope you are having a wonderful week!

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    1. Katherine - I'm going to keep rereading in mind the next time a slump threatens. Not sure why I haven't been doing this right along! Hope you're having a good week.

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