Weekend Update – The February 12th 2017 Edition

Posted by on Feb 12, 2017 in Weekend Update | 10 comments

Weekend Update
I am so over winter. This year has been ridiculous. Yesterday was the first day in what seemed like ages that it didn’t rain or snow. It was so nice to see some blue sky.

Last weekend was our annual beach weekend with some friends. We do this every year on Super Bowl Weekend. It’s a great tradition.

This year the weather was this:

We still had a great time. We played lots of cards and the view was nice despite the rain. We did get one break that allowed us a nice walk on the beach. The trip home was through snow but by the time we got home it was just rain. Then it didn’t stop raining until the end of the week.

The rest of this week seemed busy. After being away from home for four days I felt like I spent the next four days catching up on things. My reading time suffered but I read a couple of great comic collections.

I got back to rowing this week. After a few months off for medical reasons, it was painful and I’m slow but it’s good to be getting back to a regular exercise routine.

Yesterday we had lunch at a German pub that was delicious. On the way home, we made a spur of the moment stop at the zoo. We have an annual membership so stopping in for a quick visit is easy.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Weekend Update – The Bookish Nostalgia January 2017 Edition

Posted by on Jan 29, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Bookish Nostalgia, Weekend Update | 8 comments

Weekend Update

Bookish Nostalgia January 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.

The Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
I remember it seemed like everyone was reading this at the same time. I never saw the movie adaptation. Is it any good?

Homestead by Rosina Lippi
This ‘novel’ is structurally a series of connected stories. They take place over a period of 80 years in a tiny village in Austria. Still one of my favorite books of all time. I loved it.

Hell at the Breech by Tom Franklin
This is proof that I was reading Tom Franklin long before Crooked Letter Crooked Letter hit the bestseller lists. I always describe this book as a brutal story beautifully told. I think it’s brilliant but I mean it when I say it’s brutal. It’s not for the faint of heart but it is just excellent.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
From my review: “This book has it all. Of course, at 1463 pages long there’s room for plenty.” It took me a whole month to read this but I am so glad I did. It will remain near the top of my all time favorites list.

Leavin’ Trunk Blues by Ace Atkins
This is the second in an early series by Ace Atkins. The hero is Nick Travers a former pro football player turned detective who is also a blues historian teaching at Tulane.
From my review:

he takes his Southern Noir style away from the Mississippi Delta and on the road to the South Side of Chicago. He visits both the rich blues history of its past and the danger of its present.

There is a graphic novel adaptation of a short story by Atkins featuring Nick Travers that I need to get my hands on. I’ve seen a few images and it looks good.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Weekend Update – The Ten Things I Liked This Week January 2017 Edition

Posted by on Jan 22, 2017 in Fun, photos, Ten Things, Weekend Update | 10 comments

Ten Things I Liked This Week January 2017

Ten Things I Liked This Week January 2017

I started doing Ten Things I Liked This Week a about a year and a half ago and it’s definitely become my favorite monthly post. I love adding to my list throughout the week.

Here are ten things I liked this week:

1. Snow Castles
We had some significant snow that stuck around for a while. The neighborhood got a little creative

Snow Castle


2. Dungeness Crab
The season was delayed a bit this year but it’s been delicious,


3. This
I saw this on my friend Eleanor’s blog and cracked up.


4. Little elephant playing in the snow
The Oregon Zoo was closed due to the snow but the animals had some fun. Lily is their youngest elephant (four years old) and she is hilarious.


5. 10 Reading Superstitions of Book Fanatics
I loved this list. I don’t agree with all of them but my favorite is “If You Walk Past a Bookstore, You Must Enter”. You have to.
Check out the the full list from The Strand Bookstore.


6. This one
A friend of mine posted this and it happened to be a day I could totally relate to this.
Got out of bed


7. Penguin Awareness Day
I had no idea about this until Katie at Words for Worms alerted me.


8. Finding Dory
Finally watched it this week.
Finding Dory


9. Birthday Brunch
My friend’s birthday was yesterday so we met for brunch before heading to the Women’s March.
Birthday Brunch


10. Women’s Marches
I participated in the Portland march yesterday. It was inspiring and empowering. I was so happy to see so many families there. Our weather was awful. We were all cold and drenched long before any marching started but I’m still glad I was there.

The photos and stories from all the marches all over the world give me hope.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Weekend Update – The Four Things on January 15th Edition

Posted by on Jan 15, 2017 in Weekend Update | 12 comments

Weekend Update

Four things:

  1. I’m done with Winter. Last weekend we had an ice storm then we got nearly a foot of snow Tuesday night and most of it is still here because it’s barely been above freezing since then. Both of these things are unusual for Portland. Luckily, I can work from home.
  2. I love the Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets except for one thing. I have to read the pages with the spiders very fast.
  3. Vacations are nice. We’ve got a couple of long weekend getaways planned and I’m looking forward to both of them.
  4. I’m going to the Women’s March on Portland on Saturday. I know many of my friends are participating in marches all over the country. We’re in this together!!

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Weekend Update – 2017 Reading Plans

Posted by on Jan 8, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Weekend Update | 6 comments

Weekend Update
2017 Reading Plans

I like to keep my reading plans rather nebulous. If they’re too specific or extensive it starts to feel like homework. It’s the same reason I no longer accept review copies. I get resentful when I feel like I HAVE to read this book.

That said, I do have some plans for this year.

Five books this season
I will continue to do my quarterly seasonal “Five Books I Want to Read” lists. Sometimes I read all five and sometimes I don’t but I like picking a few books I want to read in the next few months.

What’s in a Name 2017
I am participating in the What’s in a Name 2017 Challenge. It’s the only challenge I do. This year’s books will be a bit tricky to find but it’s going to be fun.

The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories. (Examples of books you could choose are in brackets – translations and other languages most definitely count!):
• A number in numbers (84, Charing Cross Road; 12 Years A Slave; 31 Dream Street)
• A building (The Old Curiosity Shop; I Capture The Castle; House Of Shadows; The Invisible Library; Jamaica Inn)
• A title which has an ‘X’ somewhere in it (The Girl Next Door; The Running Vixen)
• A compass direction (North and South; Guardians Of The West; The Shadow In The North; NW)
• An item/items of cutlery (The Subtle Knife; Our Spoons Came From Woolworths)
• A title in which at least two words share the same first letter – alliteration! (The Great Gatsby; The Luminous Life Of Lilly Aphrodite; Gone Girl; The Cuckoo’s Calling)

Bout of Books
I’m wrapping up the first Bout of Books for 2017 today. There are two more planned in May and August.
It’s a low key week long readathon that gives me a great excuse to say “not today, it’s my reading week.

Lastly, I’m going to try to read more nonfiction this year. I have quite a bit of nonfiction on my shelves. I know I hesitate to pick them up because most of them are chunksters, I’m going to set a goal of reading one nonfiction book a month this year.

Do you make reading goals? What are yours?

Hope you’re having a great weekend.

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Weekend Update: December 2016 Reading Wrap Up

Posted by on Jan 1, 2017 in Blogging/Reading, Monthly Reading Wrap Up, Weekend Update | 8 comments

Weekend Update
December 2016 Reading Wrap-Up

December 2016 Reading Wrap-Up

As usual the holiday season and the associated general busyness interfered with reading time. Hoping January is much more conducive to spending quality time with my books

Here’s what I finished in December
The Founding by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles

The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

May Day by Jess Lourey

Graphic Novels
Chew Vol. 11: The Last Suppers by John Layman

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes, narrated by Cary Elwes and others from the movie.


Hope you had a great reading month in December. What was the best book you read last month?

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