Monday, June 24, 2019

Library Haul

I popped into the library for a super quick solo trip today and came out with three books.  I almost also grabbed Where the Crawdads Sing but I wasn't sure I'd be able to get it back before it was due (7 day check out). 


I've been on a cozy mystery kick lately.  I really liked the Amanda Flower books I read last winter so I picked up the first books in 2 of her other series.  I have another book of hers in transit from another library.  I was listening to the podcast What Should I Read Next, and heard The Mother - In -Law being promoted and saw it on the New Releases shelf and grabbed it on my way out!

I'm finishing up Oh, Fudge by Nancy Coco and I still have Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson from the library too.  I'm trying to figure out what books to take with me to the library this weekend.  I'm going to need a few books.  Not sure if I will take all library books or a mix of what I have.

Some other options I have on my shelf already, Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, The Madonna's of Leningrad by Debra Dean, or War Brides by Helen Bryan.  Or god knows I may come across another book on my shelf between now and then that sounds good.

What should I read next? Also, what should I take to the beach? And what have you recently checked out of the library?

Friday, June 14, 2019

TGIF!

We've survived our first week of summer vacation with a full week of activity! Monday we spent a gift card at Claires, got a hair cut, out to lunch, library, doc appt, and lots of organizing.  I was on the couch at 3:41 moaning I was so tired ha.  Tuesday she had a friend over for 6 hours and a softball game.  Wednesday we met a friend at a park, went out to lunch, went grocery shopping and she had another softball game.  Thursday went to the library to collect some reading prizes and a friend came to play for a few hours.  She went out to dinner with her grandma and my husband brought home Pad Thai for me! Today she has plans to go to a friends end of the year party and I'm going to Aldi and the local liquor store to get my dad a father's day present.

My favorite picture from the week:  



playing first base in her last game.  She made an awesome out! 

The high of my week was that we had a great week together.  We revisited how to play Phase 10 and got a lot of cleaning / organizing done and had fun.  Next week isn't so exhaustive, but we do have swim 5 days, summer softball league, attending a minor league game, and a library trip planned.

The low of my week was just looking at the work I need to accomplish in our office/new kid room.  I really need a cheerleader or someone to just throw out all the crap in my desk so I don't have to try to decide if I need it or not.  

The book I’m reading is I am just starting Rush by Lisa Patton.  I read Crazy Rich Asians this week and it was hilarious! I really want to see the movie now.




The best money I spent was the donuts the baby wanted. :)

My plans this weekend include absolutely nothing.  We have nothing concrete planned.  So hopefully something will pop up.  And maybe it will stop raining.  We planted our garden just over 3 weeks ago now and we STILL haven't needed to water it.

What was the high of your week? What are you reading?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Summer Vacation Library Haul 1

Yesterday, we had about an hour to spare in our errands and dropped in at the library.  The kiddo ONLY had 3 books left and had finished one in the car as we drove around.  So we stocked up.  11 books for her and one for me later, we were happy customers!


The first book the kiddo dove into was the 2nd book in the Dork Diaries.  They apparently are a hot item at our local library because she read the first in the series almost 2 months ago and this was the first time I found the 2nd one on the shelves!


I picked up Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.  I've heard a lot of good things about it, and figured it would be a good kick off to summer.  I should be starting it today because I finished The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjahlian last night.  Highly recommend!


She was very excited to get the second book in the Zita series.  She actually started writing her own comic after she read the first one a couple weeks ago.  She also was excited to see books about Spirit.  She has been loving the Lola Levine series and I sadly think she is almost done with it.  She got books 2 and 3 in the Never Girl series because she read the first in the series last week.


She is also working her way through the Arthur Chapter Book series and decided to try out the Candy Apple series.  She also grabbed the next Piper Green series.

She has her own goodreads account that we started this year and she has read 101 books.  She adjusted her goal to 180 but I'm pretty sure she will blow that goal out of the water.

We finished The First Four Years in the Little house series and have just begun A Little House Sampler.  We think we will read On the Way Home next and depending on if there is another Little House ish book we may read that or have agreed that Charlotte's Webb will be our next family read aloud.

As you can tell, my kiddo is obsessed with series as much as I am.  I am hoping to get her started on some Boxcar Children and Ramona books this summer. 

What books would you recommend to the 8 year old? What was your recent library haul? Any summer suggestions for me?

Friday, June 7, 2019

TGIF!

Whew! Today is the last day of school for my kiddo! I'd been doing pretty good about the whole getting older and being done and just being excited thing until a fellow mom who is also pregnant mentioned our kids were half-way done with elementary school.  And then I became crazy pants.  Me with pregnancy hormones is not my finest hour.  I am not an emotional/crying person but pregnant me is.  And I CANNOT CONTROL IT.  Eeek.  Watch out world!

My favorite picture from the week:  



First Day vs Last Day! 

The high of my week was so many fun things! I volunteered for Field Day, End of the Year Party, and I had a very fun breakfast with a friend today.  I also have a very fun filled first week of vacation planned for us.  I am trying to fill up our days with some fun stuff ahead of time since summer gets so crazy for everyone.



The low of my week was I lost a picture I had in my pocket to give my mom and it seriously has to be in either my hall closet or my car.  I think at least.  But so annoying, because I have to print it out again.

The book I’m reading is Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bojahlian.  I just started it but it's set in 1915 Syria when an American young woman travels there to help Armenians who have been persecuted and she meets a young Armenian and falls in love.  

The best money I spent was I bought myself two new shirts and the kiddo a new dress!

My plans this weekend include hitting up the library summer reading kick off, a funeral, food truck festival, and lazy times!

What was the high of your week? What are you reading?

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

5 Bookish Things I'm Loving Right Now

I decided that I needed to start a monthly ish post about book related things that I'm currently loving, because every now and then I have an itty bitty thing I want to share but not worthy of a full post.  So ta da! Here we go!

1,

I picked up this book from Amazon after it was shared in a group I'm in.  This is written by a 10 year old girl, her mom, and her grandma.  It is a great diverse girl centric book.  I love that "Don't Call Me Tomboy," is the repeating refrain.  I was always referred to as a tomboy growing up, but let's be real.  I was a girl who liked what I liked but to some people that meant that I liked "boy things".  I have so many issues with "girly girls" and "tomboys."  It's just divisive language to separate women.  Like and be what you want.  Always.  You can pick up the book on amazon

2.  

This lovely bookmark that I got for a birthday present! I about died laughing when I was using this on a 500 page book while laying in bed! It definitely was a workout!

3. This article on Feminist Fairytales found on Book Riot.  Of the books mentioned I've read The Three Ninja Pigs and Lon Po Po and I too, would recommend them! I am interested in checking out the Prince and Knight.

As a kid, I didn't really like fairy tales and as an adult I think it was because so many of them made the girl helpless and the boy the hero.  I can be my own hero, thank you very much! I don't need no stinkin' boys! :) I'm excited to add some more diverse fairy tales and other books to our bookshelves as I get new younger board books for the youngest child.  

4. The Huffington Post shared an article on the 17 LGBTQ Friendly Books to Read to Your Kid in Honor of Pride Month.    The article shares books for young readers that include diverse characters some are nonbinary, gender nonconforming, and teach about different types of families.

One book that I want to check out is Donovan's Big Day, which is a picture book about a young boy who is excited to be a ring bear in a wedding ---- his two moms!

Another one is George by Alex Gino which says it is about a girl named Melissa who the world sees as a boy named George.  



5.  I read an article by PBS entitled, "Why Reading Aloud to Kids Helps Them Thrive".  I've been reading aloud to my kiddo since she was born.  Obviously, anyone whose had a baby knows they don't pay attention to things for long, but that didn't stop us from reading books.  I'd hold her in my lap and read.  I'd sit on the floor next to her while she was playing and read from books.  I'd point out pictures.  I'd read my own books around her.  And she started her life with tons of books from loved ones.  This next child has fewer board books than the first one does because I donated, passed on to little free libraries or they are my moms.  Or some sadly had to get thrown away because of a few too many teeth marks.  The point? Reading to babies is not perfect.  It's just important!!

This paragraph stood out to me from the article...

"Reading aloud to kids has clear cognitive benefits. For example, brain scans show that hearing stories strengthens the part of the brain associated with visual imagery, story comprehension, and word meaning. One study found that kindergarten children who were read to at least three times a week had a “significantly greater phonemic awareness than did children who were read to less often.” And the landmark Becoming a Nation of Readers report from 1985 concluded that “the single most important activity for building knowledge for their eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children.”

We still do read alouds.  Sometimes my daughter and I read a book together and take turns reading.  Sometimes we just snuggle up in my bed with a pile of picture books and I read to her.  Or we attempt to do a daily family read aloud as we go through the Little House series.  As she's gotten more confident in her reading, she wants more and more of the control of reading aloud.  Even though for the most part she'd prefer to read to herself.

One thing I want to stress is that we do not normally do books before bed.  I know most people do.  We read earlier in the day.  When we do the family read alouds that is sometimes right before bed, but it happens in the living room, and sometimes she still has to do her night time routine.  Sometimes we do it in the morning.  But books just aren't a part of our bed time routine and we manage to read all the time.  So do not feel bad if you don't have time at the end of the day.  Heck, my kid reads for over 20 minutes every day in the car, plus whatever she wants to read.  Just make the books accessible!

What are some bookish things that you are loving right now?




Tuesday, June 4, 2019

May Reads

First, I must state that I cannot believe that it is already June.  May flew by! I am 23 plus weeks pregnant! Holy cow.  Summer vacation begins at 3:55 this Friday.  I am so excited for 3 months with my girl.  I kind of feel bad because we are only going on 2 camping trips this summer, but I am unsure how I will do camping.  We add in some more trips after I see how I feel, but I am gearing up for a fun summer doing activities we enjoy in our community.

So May!


I read 9 books, and like April, I was clearing off my bookshelves.  Swimming Lessons was a 'newish' read because I got it for Christmas because it was a book club pick.

My favorites were The Nick Adam Stories by Ernest Hemingway, Hemingway's Girl by Erika Robuck, and Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller.

Hemingway's Girl is set in Key West and is about a Cuban/American young woman who goes to work for the Hemingway family and follows along with her job, Hemingway's temperament and womanizing ways, and finding a love of her own.  It was a good story!

Moonlight Mile by Dennis Lehane was part of a series, that I hadn't read any of the others (whoops) but was fine as a standalone.  There was enough back story given that it wasn't hard.  I will actually probably go back and read others eventually but I would give it more time since some of the back story was given in that book.  It was about a husband/wife team that are private investigators.  They have  a case which takes them back a decade or so and finding a lost young woman whom they searched for when she went missing at age 4. 

The Girls of August by Anne Siddons is about a group of women in their 40s/50s that are wives of doctors that became friends when their husbands were in school/doing residencies.  They start on yearly trips but have taken some time off when one of the wives died.  They start back up with a 20 something new wife of one of the docs, and it's interesting to see how they include her and antagonize her.

Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg is about the residents in a small Missouri town spanning the time from the 1940s until I think it was the 1990s.  It's a long time.  It's a great character book when you like to learn about different people and follow their lives.  Some from childhood through adulthood.

The Hampton Connection by Vincent Lardo is about an amateur detective who is also a famous person in Hollywood and the mysterious death of a young woman found in a locked cabin that was rented by some theater actor friends.

The Nick Adam's Stories by Ernest Hemingway was awesome! I have never read anything by him, only about him and have been scared off by other people.  I LOVED this.  It is a collection of short stories of a character he invented who is Nick Adams.   Nick Adams sounds a LOT like Hemingway and a lot of the short stories are set in Northern Michigan where he spent lots of time growing up.

These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder was the most recent book we read aloud as a family.  We've really enjoyed this series and we don't know what we will start reading aloud next.  We may do Charlotte's Webb because apparently my husband has also never read that book.

Corrupted by Lisa Scottoline is about a lawyer who gets a call from a former client and feels like she owes him from what happened in the past.  The book goes back to that case and to the present and brings up good conversation about how the juvenile justice system is run.  It's based on a real problem in the Pennsylvania Juvenile system.  This is also in the middle of a series, but I didn't have a problem reading it. 

Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller is about a missing/dead mom and the messed up family life caused by the egotistical father.  I wrote more on my review last week, but I'd sum it up as a good book club pick!

Currently I am reading The Winner Maker by Jeff Bond.  It's about an older teacher who picks a special group of students each year called the Winners.  He goes missing and some of his former Winners get together to find him.  It's interesting!

So with 5 months gone in the year I have completed 33/52 books of my goal.  I believe at this point last year I was at 26 books and finished at 81.  So I appear to still be in good shape. I am continuing to clear off some bookshelves but have ventured back to the library (The Winner Maker) and will probably get more books this summer from the library.


The kiddo has been loving the series Lola Levine.  She is already on book 5.  She also is on book 9 of the Sophie Mouse series.  She tried Zita the Spacegirl and wants to read more in that series as well.  She is currently reading Piper Green and the Fairy Tree, which is surprise, another series!  I can't wait for our library trips together this summer.


this was a picture from a library trip earlier this month

What are you reading? What should we read aloud together next?

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Swimming Lessons

I recently finished Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller.  It was a page turner.  I would sit down and suddenly be 50 pages farther.  The book is written where one chapter is set in the present and the next chapter is written in letter form and tells the story of the past.  It was a good format.  I got so frustrated with the characters in a good way!

Ingrid meets Gil when she is in his college class.  He is much older than her and even though she has aspirations of this feminist lifestyle she is going to lead, she falls in love and becomes the wife of the fledgling author who isn't very feminist.

The book opens with Gil many years later who thinks he sees his missing/dead wife.  Because Ingrid disappears.  She leaves one day for a swim and doesn't return.  But as the reader learns, she's left letters.  Letters that are stuffed into the many books that Gil has in their house.  This "sighting" causes a severe injury to Gil and the return of his daughter Flora to the family home.

The book quickly captures the reader into the mystery of what has become of Ingrid and the inner workings of this eccentric family.  The characters grapple with the idea of is it better to know the truth or is it better to just wonder.  This is a theme throughout the book.

It was our book club pick for the month and I can't wait to discuss it.

Description: Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan.

Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he’s getting older and this unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has never believed her mother drowned, returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid. But what Flora doesn’t realize is that the answers to her questions are hidden in the books that surround her. Scandalous and whip-smart, Swimming Lessons holds the Coleman family up to the light, exposing the mysterious truths of a passionate and troubled marriage. 

Would you want to know the truth about a loved ones disappearance or would you rather wonder and have open possibilities?

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Currently

Since it's been about 5 weeks since I posted one of these, I thought it was time to try it again!

Reading: Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg.  I read another book of hers awhile ago and liked it, and got this from the used book sale many moons ago.  It's a story about a bunch of townspeople in Elmwood Springs, Missouri and it begins in the 1940s.  So interesting, but not much plot! Also, this is the 2nd book in a 4 part series.  I've only read this one and the first book I read was book 4.  So, in my opinion you don't really need to read them in order.  But this is my experience with just these two books!

Loving:  my kid.  She cracks me up.  She has such a great sense of humor and doesn't fully get it yet, but man does she crack me up!


Feeling: ready for summer! Not so ready for my kids bday.  She turns 8 soon, and I do not have any idea of what to get her for her bday.  She literally has everything she wants which is made evident every year when people ask her what she wants for her bday/Christmas and she has zero ideas.  Yeah... so far I have a book that I bought months ago, and pjs that were on sale months ago.  Thinking about getting her some softball stuff she doesn't have yet.  But also looking at the local theatre to see if they have any shows she and I could maybe attend this summer.

Anticipating: my 20 week ultrasound.  I'm nervous.  We know it's a girl already because of genetic testing.  We also know that all those tests were negative.  But it wasn't for everything.  And, I just feel like I need some more reassurance.  The news with the daily taking away of women's control of their bodies everywhere doesn't help, when I'm worried about what I may or may not find out.  Let me tell you, I've always been pro-choice, but going through pregnancy/having a child has made me more adamant.  This will be my last pregnancy regardless, so I best be getting on the sterilization train, before even more of my freaking rights get taken away by people who just want to control a woman.  

Grateful: that I have such a sweet child.  She made me a book for Mother's Day at school that is just so sweet.  It made me tear up, because even at my worst, she sees my best.



Working: on clearing more space on my bookshelf.  I moved the one I'm keeping for myself downstairs, but I have more books than what the bookshelf holds.  So my 'job' has been reading books I know I won't want to keep after I read.  Most I got at 'fill a bag' day at the library over the last few years.   I also have to finish reorganizing the office, but I've been at a standstill for a bit because the daunting task of emptying my desk just isn't appealing ha!

Listening: to lots of podcasts! I've recently listened to the first season of Up and Vanished that I liked and Over My Dead Body.  I'm on waaay long back episodes of Matrimoney and The Girl Next Door Podcast. 
Watching: the last few episodes of The Big Bang Theory and The Code.  I'm excited for new Southern Charm!!

Wishing: a meal planning/making fairy

What are you reading and listening to currently?

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Library Haul Kid Edition

While, I am on a self imposed library break, as I finish off the books on my bookshelf to clear room for the new child's books, I keep hitting it up for the child.  She has really become reading obsessed this year and I'm loving it.  We are keep tracking of her books on goodreads and of the books we can remember she's read, she's already completed 69! Of course some of these are super short, but whatever, she's reading every single day and loving it.  I also like that she lets me bring home books from the library and she'll give them a shot.  She's like me, in the sense that she likes series, so I just keep picking up the next in the series of the books she likes.  I am always looking for new series for her, so if you have any suggestions I'm all ears!

Series that she's read or is currently reading and enjoying - The Little House Series, Tales from Maple Ridge, Dear America, Elephant & Piggie, Mercy Watson, The American Girl books,  Lola Levine, Blast from the Past, Sophie Mouse, Dog Man, Captain Underpants, and Amelia Bedelia. 

Here is what I grabbed for her yesterday.


She also LOVES unicorns.  However, she hasn't gotten super into any of the unicorn series I've tried so far, so if you know a good one let me know!

Her interests include history, strong leaders, and anything about Martin Luther King Jr., that she can read.  My mom got her the illustrated version from Usborne of Anne of Green Gables and I am hoping that I can entice her with that this summer.  I own that whole series, but I think it may still be a bit too hard for her if she attempted it on her own.  I realllllly want her to be interested in Harry Potter with me, but when we tried 2 years ago she wasn't a fan, and she claims she doesn't really care.  Argh!

What books are you reading from the library? Any series that you loved as a child?

Friday, May 10, 2019

TGIF!


All week long, I have felt that it was a day ahead.  Needless to say this week has been busy, filled with activities and exhausting.  The weekend is also full of plans.  I'm hoping that my pregnant tired old lady self can handle it.

My favorite picture from the week:  


I accompanied the kiddo on a field trip on Monday.  We learned about plants and the different ecosystems.

The high of my week was the kiddo's softball game.  She got 3 hits! And what she was especially excited about was that she did not get out any times! She also did a great job fielding.  She has been steadily getting better at batting and I'm proud of her.  She enjoys playing.  She's not in loooove with it, but I'm glad it's a team sport she can enjoy.  

The low of my week was exhaustion.  I'm good for about half day adventures or things and that's about it.  I think part of it is that the weather is poopy and that contributes to my let's just lay under this blanket and read.

The book I’m reading is I just started Standing in the Rainbow  by Flannie Flagg.  Her books always crack me up.  I'm only on page 11 and don't have much to say about it yet, because when I tried starting it last night I started falling asleep! I read The Girls of August by Anne River Siddons in one day yesterday.  It was a good beach read.  The end was a bit hurried.  

 The best money I spent was at Posh Peanut! They are having a sale and markdown this weekend and I got a crib sheet, swaddle, and headband.  Now I need to stay away because I also want a nightgown but I think that I went crazy enough!

My plans this weekend include going down state for a cousin's wedding.  Hoping to have a good sober time.  I'm sure I will end up annoyed at everyone.  Then spending Mothers Day annoyed and disappointed like all other holidays/birthdays.  Woo woo. ;)

What was the high of your week? What are you reading?