Bout of Books 19 is coming

Posted by on Apr 25, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Bout of Books | 0 comments

Bout of Books 19

It’s that time again. I’m joining in for my twelfth Bout of Books.

Bout of Books

Bout of Books 19 starts on Monday May 8th.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I love Bout of Books. Three times a year I have an excuse to say “I can’t do that right now, it’s my reading week”. The Hubster is used to it by now. I don’t go into Bout of Books with any expectations of reading for X number of hours straight through. My life doesn’t let that kind of thing happen. The way I approach Bout of Books is to limit things like spending time on Twitter, or playing games on my phone and substituting reading time for all of those little distractions. I also set aside extra time in the evening for reading too.

I like to keep track of the time I spend reading during Bout of Books. I never track pages read but I do track time reading or listening to books. I use a great app on my phone to track my time. It’s called ATracker.

Bout of Books 17

It’s super easy to set up two tasks (reading and listening) and then it’s just a tap to start and stop tracking time. Now that there’s an Apple watch app to do that on my watch instead of my phone.

I think the reason I like to track time is that for me being ‘on the clock’ keeps me from getting distracted by my phone, the TV, that pile of papers on my desk, etc. I enjoy the time tracker and the daily and weekly reports I can get on how much time I’ve actually spent reading.

I won’t set any goal because that’s really not the purpose of Bout of Books. It’s all about a low key week long focus on reading more than usual. I will put together some theoretical reading plans and post them on the 8th. numbers of books.

I hope you’ll check it out and decide to join in on the fun.

Read More

It’s Monday What Are You Reading #79

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 2 comments

Monday What Are You Reading #65

It’s Monday What Are You Reading? is a weekly reading roundup is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

This is technically a weekly meme but I don’t read fast enough to make that worthwhile so I post it every two or three weeks.

Finished in Print

The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys

The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys

Historical fiction with each chapter set in one of the 40 times that the river Thames has frozen solid.

 

Chew Vol. 12: Sour Grapes by John Layman

Chew Vol. 12: Sour Grapes by John Layman

This is the final volume of this oddly interesting series. It was a good wrap up.

 

Started in Print

1776 by David McCullough

1776 by David McCullough

I’m glad I finally read this. It’s been on my shelf for ages. I’m enjoying learning more about the events of this pivotal year.

 

Continued on Audio

Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith narrated by Lisette Lecat

Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith narrated by Lisette Lecat

We were away for a few days so I didn’t get as much audiobook time as normal. I love listening to Lisette Lecat’s narration of this series.

 

Reviews since my last update:

A Symphony of Echoes by Jodi Taylor

Descender Book Three: Singularities by Jeff Lemire

The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys

 

What are you reading?

Read More

Weekend Update – The April 2017 Bookish Nostalgia Edition

Posted by on Apr 23, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Bookish Nostalgia, Weekend Update | 2 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia April 2017

I totally stole this idea from Kay at Kay’s Reading Life. Every month she looks back in her reading records to see what she was reading this month in past years. I decided that would be fun even though my reading spreadsheet doesn’t go back as far as Kay’s records do.

Bookish Nostalgia

I’ve only been tracking my reading since October 2003 but it’s still fun to take a look back occasionally. Anything before mid-2006 hasn’t been on my blog and some of those old reviews are frankly a little embarrassing at this point. I’ll link to my full reviews when I think are worth reading.

Sometimes my reaction is “I can’t believe I read that” and other times it’s “Oh I remember where I was when I read that one”. and occasionally it’s “I really want to read that again.”

Most of these are pre-blog so the links take you to Powell’s for more information. Links for 2007 and later take you to my review.

2004:
Gracelin O’Malley by Ann Moore
Historical fiction and first in a trilogy that begins during the potato famine in Ireland and moves to the United States

Sweet Potato Queens Book of Love by Jill Conner Browne
It was ridiculous and hilarious.

2005:
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (for probably the third time)
One of my all time favorites. I haven’t read the sequels because I’m afraid of falling out of love with it.

2006:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (for the umpteenth time) My favorite edition of this book is the audio narrated by Sissy Spacek.

Upstate by Kalisha Buckhanon
A story of a young couple separated when he is sent to prison. It’s told through their letters. It’s a powerful little book,

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Read More

The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 in 2017, 4.5 stars, Book Review | 1 comment

The Frozen Thames by Helen HumphreysThe Frozen Thames by Helen Humphreys

Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 185
Source: Library

The Book:
From the cover flap:

In its long history, the river Thames has frozen solid forty times. These are the stories of that frozen river.

So begins this breathtaking and original work, which contains forty vignettes based on events that actually took place each time the historic Thames froze solid. Spanning more than seven centuries—from 1142 to 1895—and illustrated with stunning full-color period art, The Frozen Thames is an achingly beautiful feat of the imagination…a work of fiction that transports us back through history to cast us as intimate observers of unforgettable moments in time.

Whether we’re viewing the magnificent spectacle of King Henry VIII riding across the ice highway (while plotting to rid himself of his second wife) or participating in a joyous Frost Fair on the ice, joining lovers meeting on the frozen river during the plague years or coming upon the sight of a massive ship frozen into the Thames…these unforgettable stories are a triumph of the imagination as well as a moving meditation on love, loss, and the transformative powers of nature.

My Thoughts:
This book was highly recommended by several friends on LibraryThing. I’d had it on my list for a while but finally checked it out from the library.

What a unique and interesting little book. It’s a small hardcover and only 185 pages long but there is a lot of information and emotion in this little package. I’m so glad I read it.

Each chapter is set during one of the forty times that the River Thames froze over. Some of the stories feature well known historical figures but most of them are either told by or are about people from the working classes. Some are emotionally touching like the one about two lovers meeting on the ice. He sees that she has the signs of having the plague but feeling he cannot live without her he embraces her knowing it means he will contract the disease.

Some of the stories feature interesting facts. When the weather was so cold that birds were freezing to death people took robins into their homes to live so that the species would not die out in the area.

One thing I found interesting was that several times there were “Frost Fairs” held on the ice. All the elements of a local fair but in the middle of the river.

This is a fascinating little book full of beautifully told vignettes. These are things that will never happen again because of the changes in the bridges and the dredging of the river it cannot freeze over any more.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

Read More