The Monday Check-In ~ 9/19/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

This has been a super-slow reading week for me… or maybe it just feels that way because I’m reading a 600+ page book. Nope, it really has been slow — too many distractions!

One fun distraction — through a work giveaway, I got a table-top s’mores maker! So naturally, my son and I had to test it out and make sure all was in order. Yup… yummy!!

And in more fun news… don’t you love it when your favorite authors have special mailings for their subscribers/followers? My birthday is coming up this week, and this arrived in the mail a few days ago (from the amazing Mary Robinette Kowal):

A programming note:

I’m going to be away for a few days next week, and I’m planning to keep online commitments to a minimum… so I probably won’t be doing much blogging. I’ll be back in full swing the week of October 3rd!

What did I read during the last week?

I managed to finish two audiobooks this week, although I’m still slooooowly working my way through the same hardcover book that I started last Sunday.

I finished:

Birds of California by Katie Cotugno: A Hollywood romance with heart (and a very enjoyable audiobook experience). My review is here.

Mr. Perfect on Paper by Jean Meltzer: A Jewish rom-com, fun and light. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

The Handmaid’s Tale is back for a new season… and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m still watching, but this show is so bleak (and does such strange things with its character development) that I’m always on the fence about whether I want to continue.

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Fairy Tale by Stephen King: This book is long, and it feels like it’s taking forever! I’m really liking it so far — I just wish I’d had more substantial reading time this past week.

Now playing via audiobook:

Travel by Bullet by John Scalzi: Book #3 in the Dispatcher series — I really liked the first two books, so weird and twisted! I’ll be starting this one on my Monday morning commute.

Ongoing reads:

My longer-term reading commitments:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’re doing a group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci: I’m reading this story collection in little bits and pieces, but made absolutely no progress this week. (Blame Stephen King and his huge new novel!!)
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain: This is my new Classics Club Spin book! (If you want to know more about this fun challenge, check out my post here). I’m going to read this one via the Serial Reader app — there are 54 installments, but since the challenge due date is October 30th, I’ll need to double-up at least part of the time. I’m pretty happy about ending up with this book — wish me luck!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 9/12/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

One of my hobbies/passions, going all the way back to my teens, has always been Israeli folk dancing. It’s something I let go of for about 10 years while raising kids, working, etc, but just this past spring, as in-person dancing starting up again after two years of not happening during the pandemic, my husband and I decided to try getting back into it, and it’s been amazing.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to two different dancing events, and it was so much fun! It’s incredible how much comes back, despite being away from it all these years. My feet are very sore, but it was worth it!

What did I read during the last week?

Be the Serpent (October Daye, #16) by Seanan McGuire. This new release (in my favorite urban fantasy series) absolutely blew me away! My review is here.

Fangirl, volume 2 (manga) by Rainbow Rowell and Sam Maggs: This manga version of a favorite novel was fine, but didn’t make much of an impression — maybe because it’s only one-quarter of the story, and it didn’t feel like anything that happened in this volume was particularly memorable. *shrug* I’ll still read the rest, whenever the last two volumes are released…

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi: So much fun! The story is amazing, and audiobook narration (by Wil Wheaton) had me laughing out loud in the car (probably causing other drivers to have doubts about my wellbeing). My review is here.

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell: I read this one for my book group (I’m actually a week early!), and once again, I’m very grateful. Without my book group, I might not have gotten around to this lovely book! My review is here.

Birds of California by Katie Cotugno: I just finished the audiobook late Sunday. Review to follow.

Pop culture & TV:

Fantasy prequels continue! The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and The House of the Dragon are both holding my interest much more than expected.

For lighter viewing, I started watching Uncoupled (starring Neil Patrick Harris) this week. Funny, sweet, and doesn’t require much brain power!

Fresh Catch:

Ooooh, new books!

After a botched delivery attempt with a damaged book, a replacement edition of Stephen King’s newest novel arrived over the weekend! Can’t wait to get started.

I also got myself a nice gift — I had some Amazon points stocked up, and used them to get this all-in-one edition of the Paper Girls graphic novels. I read the first 2 or 3 volumes a few years ago, but after watching the TV adaptation, I was feeking inspired to go back and read the whole thing from the beginning.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

What to read, what to read? After finishing Hamnet, I was planning to start Fairy Tale right away… but it’s 600 pages and I do have some September ARCs to consider too.

Now playing via audiobook:

Mr. Perfect on Paper by Jean Meltzer: Just getting started! I enjoyed the author’s previous book (The Matzah Ball), and hope this will be a fun listen.

Ongoing reads:

My longer-term reading commitments:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’re doing a group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci: I’m reading this story collection in little bits and pieces. I only read one more story this week — about a cheerleader who hires the school geek group to tutor her on geek culture so she can impress her boyfriend. I really liked it!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 9/5/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

So lovely to have a 3-day weekend! Although I’m a little sad that summer is pretty much over…

What did I read during the last week?

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn: A fun read, although I’m not entirely comfortable with the main concept. I keep wavering between a 3.5 and 4 star rating. My review is here.

When Sorrows Come (October Daye, #15) by Seanan McGuire: An audio re-read, in preparation for the newly released 16th book in the series. I loved this one all over again! My review from my first read is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I actually went out for entertainment this week! My husband and I went to see the national touring company production of Oklahoma (the 2019 Broadway revival version). It was… thought-provoking, different, uncomfortable, sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing. Here’s the trailer, which seems to make it seem very upbeat and full of fun dance moments, but honestly, that’s not the overall mood. Some excellent performances, but also some really weird staging choices (including scenes taking place in utter darkness and the use of huge video projections).

And in home entertainment…

So much fantasy! Between The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and The House of the Dragon, there’s almost too much to choose from!

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Be the Serpent (October Daye, #16) by Seanan McGuire: Well OF COURSE I was going to start this book the first second I could! As of writing this post (Sunday afternoon) I’m getting close to the end, am completely blown away by where the story has gone, and absolutely need to keep reading until I finish. It’s amazing to see how strong a series can be after so many books! Keep an eye out for my review, once I reach the end and recover a bit!

Now playing via audiobook:

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John Scalzi: I bought a hard copy of this book when it came out earlier this year, but didn’t have a chance to get to it until now. Loving the audiobook version, narrated by the super talented Wil Wheaton!

Ongoing reads:

My longer-term reading commitments:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’re doing a group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci: I’m reading this story collection in little bits and pieces. I haven’t gotten very far yet, but the first story — about an encounter between Jedi and Klingon cosplayers at a con — is quite fun.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 8/29/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Another busy week, but at least I managed to squeeze in a little outdoor time over the weekend!

What did I read during the last week?

A Mirror Mended (Fractured Fables, #2) by Alix E. Harrow: I loved the first book in the series (A Spindle Splintered), so why did this sequel feel so “meh” to me? I couldn’t even figure out what to say about it, so I didn’t end up writing a review. It wasn’t a bad read — it just didn’t leave an impression.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot: Awwww… listening to this audiobook is such a warm, lovely experience. My review is here.

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood: I kind of hate the cover art (too cartoon-y), but otherwise really enjoyed this quirky romance starring a woman in STEM. My review is here.

The Most Likely Club by Elyssa Friedland: Engaging contemporary fiction about enduring friendship and its power to change lives. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

Little bits of lots of shows this week! I watched season 2 of Indian Matchmaking (a guilty pleasure for sure!), plus episodes of Revervation Dogs, She-Hulk, and What We Do in the Shadows.

My husband and I finally finished season 1 of The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem (he’s not a binge-watcher, so it took us forever). If I can get him to agree, we’ll start season 2 this week!

And, like millions of people, I started House of the Dragon. Mixed feelings, for sure. I mean, it’s fine — but it’s also nothing new. Dragons, the Iron Throne, people slaughtering each other for no reason… been there, done that. I’ll keep watching, but I’m not exactly awestricken.

Fresh Catch:

I already read an ARC of this book, but absolutely needed the hardcover for my shelves! So pretty…

(I loved this new adventure in the ongoing Mercy series — my review is here.)

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn: Just getting started — but the premise sounds terrific, and I always enjoy this author.

Now playing via audiobook:

When Sorrows Come (October Daye, #15) by Seanan McGuire: The 16th October Daye book will be released in early September… and that means it’s time to reread #15! I always enjoy the Toby audiobooks — this one is particularly fun.

Ongoing reads:

My longer-term reading commitments:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’re doing a group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci: My daughter gave me this story collection a while back, and I thought I’d read it in bits and pieces, rather than all at once. I’m terrible when it comes to reading short stories, but my goal is to read 2 – 3 a week, either until I’m done or I’ve at least read all the stories that interest me.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 8/22/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

It’s been a super busy week at work, and even though I slowed down over the weekend, I still felt like I had no time to read!

What did I read during the last week?

Well, okay, I did manage to read some books…

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna: Sweet, whimsical, and magical. My review is here.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare: Done! This was a group read with my book club — we finished this past week. Terrific experience reading and discussing this classic with the group. What can I say? My book group rocks!

Soul Taken (Mercy Thompson, #13) by Patricia Briggs: The awesomeness that is the Mercy Thompson series finally has a new release! This series (and its main character) continues to be an absolute favorite. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I finished the first season of Paper Girls and the third season of Never Have I Ever this week. Two very different shows, but both were terrific!

Also this past week, I tried the first episode of She-Hulk (pretty good so far) and continued with new episodes of Reservation Dogs (excellent) and What We Do In The Shadows (also excellent).

Fresh Catch:

I read an e-ARC of this book when it came out last year (my review), and with its paperback release, the publisher was kind enough to send me a copy! It’s really a great, disturbing, twisty read — highly recommended!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

I haven’t quite settled on my next book, so I’m reading the opening chapters of two! Let’s see which one hooks me first.

Now playing via audiobook:

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot: I’m enjoying this audiobook so much! But — argh — I expected to finish it over the weekend, then ran out of time. I think just one or two more days of driving to work should do it for me!

Ongoing reads:

My longer-term reading commitments:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’re doing a group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome. Update: As of this week, we’re up to chapter 50 — and since there are 155 chapters in all, that means we’re at about 32%. Still a long way to go!
  • Nothing else at the moment! My book group’s next classic read doesn’t start until October, so for now, I’m light on long-term reading commitments, and I’m not hating it.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 8/15/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

I had a great time on our little mini-vacation last week! My husband and I got away to the Monterey area of California, with Big Sur, Pacific Grove, and Carmel as highlights. Lots of beautiful coastline as far as the eye can see! It made me especially happy to wander Cannery Row in Monterey so soon after reading Steinbeck’s classic — while it’s a very touristy area now, there are tons of little signs and artwork and artifacts that pay tribute to Steinbeck and his novel, and I loved seeing all of it!

And on a family note… my youngest — my BABY — turned 20 over the weekend! How is that even possible??? Now it’s official — no more teens chez moi!

Blogging.

Dare I say it? I’ve gotten my pending ARCs list down to fewer than 20 titles! I’m super committed to getting through my outstanding ARCs, and then focusing on reading other things — anything I want, whenever I want. If I can catch up on all the ARCs for books being released through the end of September, I’ll only have six left (for books scheduled for release October – December). Wow, this makes me feel so free!

I mean, sure, I’ll continue to request ARCs for books I really, really want to read no matter what… but I’m going to try to be better at avoiding impulse requests, because I do want to keep my obligation reading to a minimum going forward.

What did I read during the last week?

Lucy Checks In by Dee Ernst: Heart-warming story of second chances, with a lovely setting. My review is here.

Love in the Time of Serial Killers by Alicia Thompson: Surprisingly fun (and no, there are no actual serial killers in the book). My review is here.

Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan: A favorite for 2022! The fact that the author narrates the audiobook, and that the story is about an audiobook narrator, makes this book extra delicious. My review is here.

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen: Overall, I really enjoyed this Western-themed fantasy, but wished the world-building had been clearer. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I made more progress with Paper Girls (on Amazon) — just two episodes left to watch! Definitely recommended!

Next up: Season 3 of Never Have I Ever!

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna: This looks like a good, light read! I’m just getting started, but here’s hoping it’ll turn out to be fun.

Now playing via audiobook:

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot: This is my book group’s pick for August — and I just couldn’t resist listening to the audiobook version narrated by Nicholas Ralph, who stars in the PBS adaptation of the book.

Ongoing reads:

My longer-term reading commitments:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’re doing a group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: It’s our final week! My book group has been reading and discussing one scene per week, and this week, it’s Act V, scene II. Our discussions have been great — I feel like I’ve gotten so much more from this read than I ever did during my college Shakespeare course.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 8/8/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Photo by Avinash Patel on Pexels.com

On the road again! By the time this post goes up, I’ll be on day 2 of a 3-day mini-road trip with my husband. Nothing too fancy, but I couldn’t let the month of August go by without attempting to squeeze in one more little getaway. We’ll be spending time in the Carmel/Monterey/Big Sur area of California, not too far from home, but with some beautiful sights to see — and (we hope) yummy food, great hikes, and pretty places to just spread out on a blanket and relax!

Blogging.

I had an unusual couple of days this past week, in terms of blog stats. Out of nowhere, I had about 3 days in a row with over 2,000 views — and believe me, that is exponentially much more than my normal traffic! What’s behind the big bump? Virgin River! I published a post with my thoughts on season 4 of the Netflix show, and for whatever reason, it got a huge number of views!

My takeaway, after looking at my stats in general, is that in-the-moment Netflix-related posts seem to get much, much more traffic than any book-related posts… but I’m still a book-woman at heart and will always focus on writing about what I read (despite the allure of a spike in blog visits).

What did I read during the last week?

Upgrade by Blake Crouch: Fascinating, scary sci-fi! My review is here.

The Comeback by Lily Chu (narrated by Phillipa Soo): So much fun. My review is here.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: 3.5 stars. The setting makes for an engaging, unusual backdrop, but I felt oddly unengaged by this retelling of a classic. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I finally got out to a movie! Making a date with a friend helps — I’ve been wanting to see the new Thor movie since it came out, but kept procrastinating… until my friend insisted we commit. It was fun! The screaming goats may have been my favorite part…

In home viewing, I watched The Summer I Turned Pretty over on Amazon Video, which was sweet and nicely done, and very faithful to the Jenny Han book (as far as I recall). Weirdly, I know I read the full trilogy (the first season corresponds to book #1), but I have zero memory of what happens in the other books. I guess I’ll have to wait for season 2 and 3 to find out!

I also started Paper Girls (also on Amazon), but haven’t had time to get very far. I read 3 or 4 volumes of the graphic novel series and really liked the story, and the show seems to be doing a great job of adapting it so far.

Fresh Catch:

One new book! I did in fact read this book via Kindle pretty much the second it came out last fall, but it was just released in paperback and I had to have a copy of my own. Plus, with the next October Daye book coming in early September (this will be #16 — can you believe it?), it’s time for a reread!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

These are the two books I have queued up on my Kindle for my road trip — I’m pretty close to finishing Lucy Checks In, and then will be starting Love in the Time of Serial Killers. I’ll share my thoughts when I get back!

Now playing via audiobook:

Thank You For Listening by Julie Whelan: A novel about an audiobook narrator? How could I not listen to the audiobook version, especially when it’s narrated by the author, who is herself an outstanding audiobook narrator! I’ve been loving it so far (at about the midpoint currently), but had to take a break while on my trip. (My husband DOES NOT appreciate my attempts to get him to listen to audiobooks while we’re driving!)

Ongoing reads:

These books will be on my plate for months to come:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’ve started our group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: My book group’s current classic read. We’re reading one scene per week, and we’re close to the end. This week, we’re starting Act V.
  • Tales From Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb: I’ve been trying to read one or two tales per week, and this week read A Winter’s Tale. Really fun project!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 8/1/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Wait… how did it get to be August already? Summer is zipping by!

I made a quick trip to Seattle this past weekend to attend a family wedding, and it was lovely! A truly joyful, loving occasion, plus a wonderful chance to spend time with family I haven’t seen in a long time. What a treat!

Blogging.

I didn’t see a note from WordPress on this (although maybe it happened during a busy week when I wasn’t online much)… but I believe July 2022 marks my 10-year anniversary of blogging! I’ll need to double-check (maybe I have my dates wrong) — but in any case, it’s hard to believe it’s been that long! What a blast it’s all been.

What did I read during the last week?

Heat Wave by TJ Klune: I love the entire The Extraordinaries trilogy, and book #3 is an epic, awesome finale! My review is here.

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck: A surprisingly enjoyable treat! This was my Classics Club spin book for the summer, and I’m so glad I had a challenge to motivate me to read this. My thoughts are here.

Upgrade by Blake Crouch: Finished on the plane home — review to follow. (Short version: Fascinating and impossible to put down).

Pop culture & TV:

Oh dear… I finished season 4 of Virgin River and shared some thoughts, and my post has (I think) become my most-viewed post ever! Not everyone agrees with me… but that’s what blog post discussions are for!

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Just getting started, but I’ve yet to be bored by one of this author’s books!

Now playing via audiobook:

The Comeback by Lily Chu (narrated by Phillipa Soo): I’m loving this audiobook! Only about an hour left to listen to — it’s really fun and engaging.

Ongoing reads:

These books will be on my plate for months to come:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’ve started our group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: My book group’s current classic read. We’re reading one scene per week — almost done with Act IV.
  • Tales From Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb: Progress, finally! I read one more story this week — A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sweet! I’m going to try to read a few each week from here on out.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 7/25/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

A nice relaxing weekend after an intense workweek!

This will probably sound silly, but one of the little things I started doing for myself recently is getting my nails all prettified! I hadn’t had a manicure in over 10 years, but last month indulged prior to going to a wedding, and I realized that I really liked it… so I went again yesterday and ended up pink and sparkly.

Kind of fun doing something just for the sake of feeling upbeat — and the process itself felt relaxing and pampering, so a big win all the way around!

What did I read during the last week?

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate: The real history behind the story is interesting, but the novel itself feels muddled and unengaging. If this hadn’t been for my book group, I’m not sure I would have finished. My review is here.

Just Like Home by Sarah Gailey: Creepy and surprising. My review is here.

The No-Show by Beth O’Leary: Excellent! So much more depth and emotion than you might guess from looking at the cover. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I finished watching Stranger Things! Season 4 was a bit oddly constructed, with super long episodes (that season finale was almost 2.5 hours!!) — but overall, I thought it was SO good, and loved how it ties together so much going all the way back to season 1.

I started my Stranger Things binge with season 3, since I’d already seen 1 & 2 when they first dropped… but now I’m thinking I should go back and re-watch season 1 at the very least.

Meanwhile, the new season of Virgin River dropped on Netflix this week. I’ve only had time to watch about half of the episodes. It’s comfort watching — nothing you wouldn’t expect, same gorgeous scenery, same small town quirkiness… all taking place within the same year as seasons 1, 2, and 3! Man, this show moves slowly.

Fresh Catch:

Ooh, some awesome new books arrived this week!

(Yes, I’ve already read Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow — I just loved it so much that I needed to own a hardcover edition of my own!)

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Heat Wave by TJ Klune: It’s the 3rd and final book in the Extraordinaries trilogy! I love these characters SO much. I have a feeling I’m going to want to listen to the audiobook as soon as I finish the print version — I did audio re-reads of books 1 & 2 recently, and the narrator is amazing.

And sometime in the coming week, I need to start:

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck: This is my Classics Club Spin book, and the due date is fast approaching! I haven’t felt really in the mood to pick this up so far, but I think I’m going to need to push myself a bit and just make it happen.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Comeback by Lily Chu (narrated by Phillipa Soo): I really liked my last audiobook by this author and narrator (The Stand-In), and this one is off to a great start!

Ongoing reads:

These books will be on my plate for months to come:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’ve started our group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: My book group’s current classic read. We’re reading one scene per week — almost done with Act IV.
  • Tales From Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb: No progress… but since I’m still planning to get to it, in little bits and pieces, I’m leaving it here a bit longer.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 7/18/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

Whew, I feel like I’ve barely had time to catch my breath this week! After a really fun trip back East to visit family and friends, I got back home last Monday night, then immediately returned to work on Tuesday, and I’ve been running full-tilt ever since.

Finally, over the weekend, I had a chance to slow down a bit, and even managed to squeeze in a long walk and some outdoor reading time, two of my favorite things!

What did I read during the last week?

The Bodyguard by Katherine Center: I finished this fun book at the end of last week, and just posted a review (here) a few days ago.

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin: Easily one of the best books of 2022! Such a powerful, fascinating read. My review is here.

An Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan: The 5th book in the Mure series is sweet, funny, and a delightful reunion with the characters I’ve come to love. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I finished season 3 of Stranger Things on my plane ride home, and I’m now almost done with season 4! I’m loving it — I don’t know why I didn’t watch season 3 when it first came out, but I’m so glad I went back to the series. And tons of bonus points and gold stars to the series for its excellent use of Kate Bush music!!

(Note: Spoilers, obviously…)

See? Kate Bush saves lives!

And — why not? Here’s the original Kate Bush video too:

Fresh Catch:

One new book! I’m backlogged with ARCs right now, but once I get a bit more caught up, I can’t wait to read this one:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate: I really enjoyed this author’s previous novel (Before We Were Yours), but this one feels like such a slog. I’m at about 50% right now — and I’d be tempted not to finish, except it’s my book group’s book for July and I feel obligated to see it through.

Now playing via audiobook:

The No-Show by Beth O’Leary: I always enjoy this author’s books, and this one is fun so far!

Ongoing reads:

These books will be on my plate for months to come:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’ve started our group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: My book group’s current classic read. We’re reading one scene per week — almost done with Act IV.
  • Tales From Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb: I bought this paperback before seeing a production of The Tempest last month, and thought it might be fun to read through all the story summaries. I’ve made zero progress in the last couple of weeks, but I’m leaving this here in my “ongoing” list — maybe that’ll motivate me to pick it back up!

So many books, so little time…

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