Friday, May 25, 2018

Reading on the porch...

                                          Barn and Silo near Texarkana,TX

I am reading to fulfill my book challenges for Pop Sugar and Read Harder. These book lists diversify
my reading. This month I have listened to Artemis by Andy Weir. An amazing future fic on the moon. Crime, an anti-hero with good friends and tension. Not quite The Martian but so very good.
The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson satisfied the challenge, a book listed by a celebrity book club (Emma Watson). I loved how much she cared for her children and her partner. Extraordinary.
So #netgally in May.  Five Stars to Fredrik Backman’s sequel to Beartown. Us Against Them. The tender moments of love in ordinary lives. The kids suffer devastating violence and heartbreak. Kira and Peter grow apart in their grief. Hockey is central to this story but it is the people I will not forget. Bang. Bang. Bang. #fredrikbackman #usagainstthem

Saw Book Club with Dani and Joanie. We screamed and laughed out loud. 5 stars for fun!

So I am a little worried I am a book snob. I can’t read some authors. Just not enough content after reading Chris Cleave, Jesmyn Ward, Louise Erdrich, Annie Proulx, Anthony Doerr. You get my drift.
Then as I smugly scroll through Goodreads I get my comeuppance. I have read fifteen of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The Raven Cycle Trilogy. Yeah. No snobbery here. I am actually blushing. My guiltiest pleasure. So. No.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Looking forward to reading on the porch in 2018..:

Looking over book challenges for the upcoming year I simply must get a few things off my chest. A few books, I guess.
I do not like or read self help books. No true crime. I’m not in love with murder mysteries. I am done with WWII. You have to admit WWII was very popular in 2017. So hopeless. The outcome is always the same. Politics, ugh, just ugh. I have yet to read a zombie apocalypse book. No mindless drivel, either.
 I am consciously choosing to read more books by women, people of color and different ethnicities than my own. I am choosing authentic voices. I have to work at not choosing vampires. Wait, what? (Nobody is perfect) Classics, memoirs, National Book Award winners, Pulitzer’s. I want to read all the good books. (Thoreau)
Last year was a good year for reading. Sing, Unburied, Sing. The Hate U Give.
But the  Princess Bride, ugh.
I am off to a good start. When Breath Becomes Air is very good. I did not want to read it because DEATH but it is brilliant. Rereading Oscar Wao. I hope I get over my fan fiction addiction.
No movies this week. Ice skating qualifiers for the olympics are fun to watch. I love French pair skaters Vanessa James/ Morgan Cipres.
There I feel better now.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Advanced Pop Sugar...

1. A book recommended by an author you love~Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Recommended by Cathy Lamb Humanity redeemed
2. A best seller from 2016~The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon ⭐️⭐️⭐️
3. A book with a family member term in the title~Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
⭐️⭐️⭐️
4. A book that takes place over a character’s life span~The Nix by Nathan Hill ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Heartbreak, a laugh, and 1968
5. A book about an immigrant or refugee~Brooklyn by Colm Toibin ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
6. A book from a genre/sub genre you’ve never heard of~Saga by Bryan K Vaughn, Fiona Staples ⭐️⭐️⭐️Space opera/fantasy
7. A book with an eccentric character~600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Everybody hurts sometimes...
8. A book with over 800 pages~The Stand by Stephen King⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 823 pages
9. A book you got from a used book sale~A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest P Gaines⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Oh, God...
10. A book that’s been mentioned in another book~ Gilead by Marilynne Robinson ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Mentioned in The End of Your Life Book Club By Will Schwalbe
11. A book about a difficult topic~Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Being out
12. A book based on mythology~The Scorpio Races by Maggie Steifvater ⭐️⭐️⭐️Waterhorse
The audio reader voices were magical.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, 2017...

Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2017

1. A book recommended by a librarian~Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng   5 stars
2. A book that has been on your TBR list for way too long~The Secret Garden by Frances Hogdson Burnett   3 stars I should have read it when I was younger.
3. A book of letters~Gilead by Marilynne Robinson  5 stars An aged father's letter to his young son.
4. An audio book~This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper  3 stars
5. A book by a person of color~A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J Gaines  5 stars
6. A book with one of the four seasons in the title~Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell 4 stars  It's a hard scrabble life.
7. A book that is a story within a story~The Princess Bride by William Goldman  2 stars  I do not get this type of humor!
8. A book with multiple authors~The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly  4 stars
9. An espionage thriller~Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E Wein  4 stars  Julie and Maddie are heartbreakers.
10. A book with a cat on the cover~The Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen  5 stars Beautiful illustrations
11. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym~Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare aka Judith Lewis  3 stars  A dessert of a book!
12. A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read~My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh  4 stars (Crime)
13. A book about a person who has a disability~600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster  4 stars  Asbergers and OCD
14. A book involving travel~State of Wonder by Ann Patchett  4 stars  The jungles of the Amazon
15. A book with a subtitle~The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler  4 stars  "Rock on, Wisconsin"
16. A book published in 2017~Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan  4 stars  May 23, 2017 (pub date)
17. A book involving a mythical creature~Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor  3 stars Seraphim and Chimera
18. A book you have read before that never fails to make you smile~Shotgun  Love Songs by Nickolas Butler  5 stars  So much fun!
19. A book about food~Sourdough by Robin Sloan  3 stars  Fun, quirky
20. A book with career advice~Why Not Me by Mindy Kahling  3 stars
21. A book from a non-human perspective~The Chosen by JR Ward  3 stars  (Vampire)
22. A steampunk novel~Leviathan by Scott Westerfield  3 stars  More punk than steam
23. A book with a red spine~Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead  4 stars  extraordinary
24. A book set in the wilderness~A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson  3 stars  Hiking the Appalachian Trail
25. A book you loved as a child~Robin Hood #
26. A book by an author from a country you have never visited~Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan  4 stars  Kwan was born in Singapore
27. A book with a title that's a character's name~LaRose by Louise Erdrich  5 stars  All the feels
28. A novel set during wartime~Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E Wein  4 stars  Friendship, Sacrifice, WWII
29. A book with an unreliable narrator~Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple  4 stars Eleanor lacks self awareness
30. A book with pictures~The Mermaid by Jan Bret  5 stars (signed copy)
31. A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you~Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon  3 stars  Jamaican
32. A book about an interesting woman~Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman  5 stars  So Good!
33. A book set in two different time periods~Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward  5 stars  Oh, God...
34. A book with a month or day of the week in the title~Saturday's Child by Cal Innes  1 star  Bloody, violent
35. A book set in a hotel~These Foolish Things by Maddie Maggoch aka The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel  3 stars  "Out, out, brief candle"
36. A book written by someone you admire~My Very Best Friend by Cathy Lamb 3 stars 
37. A book that's becoming a movie in 2017~The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls  4 stars 
38. A book set around a holiday other than Christmas~A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby  3 stars New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day
39. The first book in a series you haven't read before~Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor  3 stars
40. A book you bought on a trip~Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler  4 stars  Vero Beach, FLA

Every year I am so pleased to find amazing books to read to complete these challenges. I read 74 books this year. 36 books by men, 38 books by women, 15 books by POC.
I have not added up my pages yet...but I will.





Monday, November 27, 2017

Reading Challege 2017...

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2017
1.Read a book about sports~The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbaugh~4 stars The baseball of my childhood.
2. Read a debut novel~My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh ~4 stars
3. Read a book about books~Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan~4 stars So much fun to read, a romp.
4. Read a book set in Central or South America, written by a South or Central American author~#
5. Read a book about an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative~Brooklyn by Colm Toibin~4 stars
6. Read an all-ages comic~The Mouse Guard by David Peterson~3 stars Beautiful art but not much story.
7. Read a book published between 1900-1950~The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett~ 3stars 1910
8. Read a travel memoir~A Walk in The Woods by Bill Bryson~3 stars I did not get his humor...
9. Read a book you've read before~Shot Gun Love Songs by Nickolas Butler 5 stars~Loved it again.
10. Read a book set within 100 miles of your location~The Hearts of Men by Nickolas Butler~ 3 stars Eau Claire, Wisconsin Rock on, Wisconsin!
11. Read a book set more than  5000 miles from your location~Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan~4 stars Singapore
12. Read a fantasy novel~Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor~3 stars Dessert of a read!
13. Read a non-fiction book about technology~To Siri With Love by Judith Newman~4 stars A witty tribute to a son with Autism.
14. Read a book about war~Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein~4 stars Friendship, sacrifice, WWII.
15.Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+ Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard ~4 stars
16. Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country~A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J Gaines~5 stars Must read.
17. Read a classic by an author of color~Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup~4 stars Inhumanity of slavery.
18. Read a super hero comic with a female lead~Runaways by Brian K. Vaughn~2 stars Artwork so good, story not so much.
19. Read a book in which a characer of color goes on a spiritual journey~The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas~5 stars Starr Carter's journey takes her from teen to political activist.
20. Read an LGBTQ+ romance novel~All I Love and Know by Judith Frank~5 stars Compelling love story amidst the fallout from a devastating act of terrorism.
21. Read a book published by a micro press~Men Among Sirens by Jennifer Olmstead~(Titian Press) Author with local ties.
22. Read a collection of stories by a woman~Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee~4 stars
23. Read a collection of poems in translation on a theme other than love~Silent Flowers Japanese Haiku~3 stars Meh.
24. Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color~LaRose by Louise Erdrich
5 stars Erdrich writes with overwhelming humanity.


I have two books marked with # yet to finish. Another year of great reads. LaRose, All I Love and Know, The Hate U Give were exceptional books. There are a few genre's I would not choose for myself, nonfiction tech, for example. But I liked, To Siri, With Love. I wish I would pace myself better. December is so busy. Feeling a little rushed.  Tomorrow I will post my Pop Sugar challenge.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Reading on the porch...


I am making myself crazy or maybe I don’t have to work at this crazy business at all. I just am. I have waited til the last month to finish up my book challenges for 2017. Who knew Underground Railroad wasn’t a classic because it was just published. So I am now reading 12 Years a Slave to satisfy my “Classic by an author of color.” I have at least 6 books to finish up by December 31st.

Then of course my Christmas craziness. Cards, calendars, gifts for 10 grands, candy cane cookies, clique party, downstate family party, Nedeau dinner... I can only get anything done under great pressure. It is how I roll. Eighteen, 18, XVIII, people will be eating, sleeping and be entertained in my house for a week. I love the people so much and I don’t get to see them enough during the year. So I am going to enjoy. I just hope I get the cookies baked and the house cleaned before Christmas Eve.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Wine party at camp...






I photographed my beautiful niece for her senior pictures. Lots of fun for me with the added plus of getting to visit exclusively with Phyllis and Hannah.

Every year I go to a cookie exchange with several women from the Nahma area. Wine, delicious food and cookies, of course. I invited the whole bunch to my camp in Isabella for a wine party. Introduced them to several local Michigan wines. The favorite was SEX from the Lawrence Winery of Traverse City. Just think of the conversation starters!

I finished Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Five stars. So sad to finish. I loved Eleanor and Raymond. Redemption of our humanity...Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell. Light and fluffy fan fic. I started A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby for my  reading challenge-read a book about a holiday other than Christmas. I am so shallow. I enjoy anything written by Mr. Hornby. So snarky. Listening to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon. It has taken some criticism but good so far. I do think a person actually diagnosed with Asberger's would have a better POV.  I watched The Incredible Jessica James on Netflix. I liked it. No one died or made bad jokes. Playwright deals very nicely with  romance, youth, friendship and success.





                                                      Things got a little cheesy!