The Monday Check-In ~ 10/29/2018

cooltext1850356879 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.

What did I read during the last week?

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: This month’s book group book! My thoughts are here.

A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult: My review is here.

The Walking Dead, volume 30: New World Order: The newest trade paperback volume in the Walking Dead series. Even though I don’t retain much from one volume to the next, these books are always a good time.

In audiobooks, I finished my re-read/listen of Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn. My original review from when I first read the book is here. The story really holds up, and I enjoyed the audio version very much. Can’t wait to read the sequel!

Fresh Catch:

I bought myself a present!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak: The public library comes through for me again! I started this book with very high expectations… but unfortunately, as of about 50%, it’s just not working for me. I’ll continue, but it’s feeling like a slog.

Now playing via audiobook:

First Test (Protector of the Small, #1) by Tamora Pierce: Back to Tortall! I’m diving into Tamora Pierce’s next quartet of books. I do love the worlds she creates.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Classic read: My book group’s current classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot.  We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week. Slow but steady!
  • The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon. An ongoing group read, two chapters per week — we’ll be finished in December. Want to join in? Ask me how!

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday Check-In ~ 10/22/2018

cooltext1850356879 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.

What did I read during the last week?

I read three library books — ones YA, one middle grade, and one picture book. My wrap-up post for all three is here.

Zoe’s Tale – book #4 in the Old Man’s War series by John Scalzi: Another great volume in a terrific sci-fi series. Review to come.

In audiobooks, I finished listening to The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Simply beautiful.

Fresh Catch:

One new book! Of course, I should probably read the first book (Akata Witch) before reading the sequel…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: I was really tempted to just keep going with Old Man’s War… but my book group discussion of Little Fires Everywhere starts this week, so I’d better get moving!

Now playing via audiobook:

Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn: I read this book last year (review) — but I was about to start the sequel, and realized I needed a major refresher! I’ve just started the audiobook, and I’m liking the narration so far.

Ongoing reads:

Book group reads:

  • Classic read: My book group’s current classic read is Middlemarch by George Eliot.  We’re reading and discussing two chapters per week. Slow but steady!
  • The Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon. An ongoing group read, two chapters per week — we’ll be finished in December. Want to join in? Ask me how!

So many books, so little time…

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The Monday agenda 1/14/2013

Not a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

Happy Monday! It’s time to dive right in with this week’s agenda.

From last week:

I’ve just returned from a wonderful 3-day weekend in Victoria, British Columbia, which I shared with my lovely daughter — who happens to be a book fanatic just like me. We spent a good couple of hours haunting used book stores. Oh, what fun! Between the plane rides and some scattered down time in the hotel, I did manage to get in a bit of reading, although I’m now behind on my reviews and blog posts. Totally worth it, as the weekend was fantastic. So here’s where my reading stands:

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley: Done! The review is yet to come, but for now I’ll say that I really enjoyed it — so much so that I stayed up until about 1 a.m. to finish. I can’t wait to read more by this author!

Because I didn’t want to carry too much, I opted not to bring any hardcovers on my trip, and instead started The Cranes Dance by Meg Howrey (which was one of my Wishlist Wednesday books in 2012). I’m about 1/3 of the way into the book, and I’m hooked. (Side note: Are all fictional ballet dancers crazy? Discuss.)

In terms of my online book group commitments, I’ve bowed out of the Jane Eyre read, since I read it again just last year, but I did manage to start re-reading The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon so I can jump into the group discussions.

And this week’s new agenda:

It’ll probably take me a few more days to finish The Cranes Dance.

After that, I’m looking forward to my newest library book, Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn. And if I manage to finish that one as well, I’ll have some choices to make: I may go back to Susanna Kearsley for one of her other books already on my shelves, either Shadowy Horses or Season of Storms.  Or, I could dip back into the YA world and read Just One Day by Gayle Forman. I’ve never read anything by this author, but I keep hearing good things — and I actually won this one in a giveaway!

For The Fiery Cross, we’ll be discussing chapters 2 and 3 this week. And if you happen to be a Diana Gabaldon fan and want to jump in and participate, just let me know and I’d be happy to connect you with the group.

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

The Monday agenda 1/7/2013

Not a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

It’s post-holiday, back-to-work, back-to-reality time. And what better way to prepare than by getting my reading plans in order? Here’s the agenda for this week:

From last week:

Sailor Twain by Mark Siegel: Read the previous week, but finally got the review done last week. Loved this book.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins: Done! A great book for starting off the new year on a happy note. My review is here.

This One Is Mine by Maria Semple: You win some, you lose some. I read it, but didn’t enjoy it. My review is here.

And finally, clearing up my library pile so I can start the new year sans guilty conscience over holding onto books for so long… I read Redshirts by John Scalzi. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to this incredibly fun book. My review is here.

This was probably a more productive week of reading than is normal for me. That’s what comes of not skiing during a family ski vacation — plenty of time to sit by a fire with a cup of coffee and a book while everyone else is busy on the mountain. Bliss!

And this week’s new agenda:

I’ve just started Mariana by Susanna Kearsley. I’ve enjoyed two of her novels so far, and this one has been on my shelf for a while now. The cover alone made me fall for this book — can’t wait to see if the story lives up to it!

I have three days of travel coming up at the end of this week, and I take my travel book selection very seriously. So far, top contenders are Mrs. Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn (although, as a hardcover, it might not be the wisest choice for shlepping around), or one of the unread selections on my Kindle, most likely Arcadia by Lauren Groff, Dodger by Terry Pratchett, or Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr.

In the world of kids’ books, good news at last! My son and I seem to have finally settled on a book that we can enjoy together, after starting and abandoning several over the last few weeks. We’re now reading Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow, and I think this one will actually stick.

My online book groups are heating up again! Next week, the Outlander Book Club begins its re-read of The Fiery Cross (book #5 in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series) and the week after that is the beginning of a re-read of Jane Eyre. I’ve committed to participating in both of these, but I’m a little worried that I’ll end up stretched a bit thin.

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

The Monday agenda

Not a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

And a very happy Monday morning to one and all! So what’s cooking, reading-wise?

From last week:

Doc by Mary Doria Russell: Just finished last night. I’ll probably need a day or two to digest a bit before writing a review. The short version is: LOVED it. I’m really looking forward to our book group discussion of Doc at the end of this week.

https://i0.wp.com/media.cleveland.com/books_impact/photo/9530972-large.jpg

And that’s it! I didn’t have nearly as much time for reading this week as I would have liked (isn’t that always the case?). Here’s hoping the coming week contains extra minutes each day, by some magical stretch of the time-space continuum.

In ongoing reading, my son and I continued with Magic By The Lake by Edward Eager, and may even be ready for something new before this week is done..

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (group re-read): Back on track!

And this week’s new agenda:

Whew! I just finished Doc, and it’s hard to think about moving on to a different world and a different book. Maybe I should just spend the week watching DVDs of Tombstone and Wyatt Earp?

No? Okay, I’ll admit that it’s impossible that I won’t start a new book today.

I’ve still got a big stack of library books to get through before the library starts sending collection agents after me. I’ll probably start with Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin and then move on to The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin or Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon: Chapters 68 and 69 this week. Another couple of weeks and we’ll be done.

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

The Monday agenda

Not a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

What do you mean it’s Monday? Already? These long holiday weekends make it so hard to return to reality.  Although, when your reality centers around reading, I suppose any day of the week is a good one.

Onward! What’s on the agenda this week?

From last week:

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead: Done! My review is here.

Dare Me by Megan Abbott: Just finished this one over the weekend. See my thoughts here.

My son and I are enjoying Magic By The Lake by Edward Eager, although based on the first few chapters, it’s not quite as captivating as Half Magic.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (group re-read): No chapters this week — the group took time off from the re-read to focus on family time and Thanksgiving celebrations. No, not for shopping (although I’m sure a bit of that happened too).

And this week’s new agenda:

Last week I swore that I’d start reading Doc by Mary Doria Russell by the end of Thanksgiving weekend, and I made it in under the wire! Doc will be my focus all week — it’s a finely detailed, meticulously researched piece of historical fiction, with a huge cast of characters. I think this one will take a lot of concentration, but seeing as it’s written by one of my very favorite authors, I’m sure it’ll be well worth the time and effort.

And if, by some chance, I finish Doc this week, then I’ll resubmerge myself in the big pile of YA novels borrowed from the library. I have a mix of sequels and stand-alones waiting to be read, so I should be able to find something that strikes my fancy. Most likely, I’ll start with Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin and then see which way the winds blow. Very unlikely that I’ll read much besides Doc this week, however.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon: Diving back in with chapters 66 and 67 this week.

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

The Monday agenda

Not a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

The head cold that had been bouncing around my house earlier this week finally caught up with me and did serious damage to my scheduled reading time. Mostly better now, so it’s time to dive back in. What’s on the agenda for this week?

From last week:

Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt: Such a lovely book. My review is here.

The Red House by Mark Haddon: I just couldn’t finish it, despite giving it my best college try. Find out why here.

A Trail of Fire by Diana Gabaldon: Joy! Bliss! A new Diana Gabaldon book! My reaction is here.

The kiddo and I finished Half Magic by Edward Eager, always a delight. Somehow I missed out on this one during my own childhood, but have now had the pleasure of enjoying it with two of my children.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (group re-read): Going strong, getting close to the end.

And this week’s new agenda:

I’m about half-way through with Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead, which is quite a fun read.

Next up: I must make some serious headway on the stack of new YA novels I’ve borrowed from the library. I’m planning to start with a sequel: Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin, book two in the Birthright series. I’ve enjoyed a few of her books previously, including the first Birthright book, All These Things I’ve Done. I’m looking forward to this one. If I have time for one more book, then I’ll start Dare Me by Megan Abbott, which was one of my recent Wishlist Wednesday picks.

I am absolutely committing myself to starting Doc by Mary Doria Russell by the end of Thanksgiving weekend, so I’ll have enough time to read, digest (the book, not my Thanksgiving meal — although perhaps that too), and come up with some thoughtful observations before my book group meets to discuss it in early December.

My son and I have just started Magic By The Lake by Edward Eager, a follow-up to Half Magic. So much fun!

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon: Chapters 66 and 67 this week, I think. I’d better check the group reading calendar — for all I know, we may be on hiatus for Thanksgiving.

Let’s give thanks for all the wonderful books out there just waiting to be read!

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

The Monday agenda

Not a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

So what’s on the agenda for this week?

From last week:

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: I finished this one early in the week. Sadly, not all that impressed. (You can find out why here.)

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple: Done! Loved it. My review is here.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (group re-read): Two more engaging chapters. Almost done.

And this week’s new agenda:

I’m about 2/3 of the way through Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. What a lovely, poignant story. I’ll finish and have a review up in the next few days.

Next, from my library pile, I plan to start either The Red House by Mark Haddon or Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead.

Tiny aside: One of the benefits of having a school-aged child is learning all sorts of useful acronyms. At my son’s school (and probably lots of others), they have DEAR time — Drop Everything And Read — in which everyone stops all other work, picks a book, and reads without interruption for 15 – 20 minutes. When my older kids were that age, it was called Silent Sustained Reading (very cute to hear a 1st-grader say this, by the way).

How is this relevant to the Monday agenda? I expect to have a DEAR moment myself in the next day or two. In my case, this means that I’ll be dropping whatever else I’m reading or planning to read as soon as my copy of A Trail of Fire by Diana Gabaldon arrives. I’ll write more about this book, and why it’s a big deal, when my copy finally gets here… which should be tomorrow (fingers crossed).

My son and I are about half-way (!) through Half Magic by Edward Eager. I was pleasantly surprised when I offered him a stack of eight or nine books and he picked out this children’s classic. It’s been many years since I last read it, but it’s still thoroughly delightful.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon: Chapters 64 and 65 this week. Emotional high points. The end is in sight.

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

The Monday agenda

Not a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

Hurray for a sun-filled weekend, perfect for sitting on the back porch with a book firmly in hand. So what’s on the agenda for this week?

From last week:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: Done! Wow, what a wild ride that was. My review is here.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: Just started this one yesterday… reserving judgement for now.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (group re-read): Great chapters, with summaries written by yours truly. It’s a nice bit of validation when one’s chapter summaries provoke a good discussion. Yet another reason why I love my online book group.

And this week’s new agenda:

I should be done with The Raven Boys in the next day or two.

I managed to come home with a fresh stack of library books again this weekend. Why do I always feel like I’m playing catch-up? Or maybe it’s more like Beat the Clock — can I read all of these books before time runs out?

Next up will be either Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple or Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.

My son and I have made great progress on the book we started last week, and should be ready for something new in the next couple of days. I’m thinking Ella Enchanted or From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler — but he may have a different opinion entirely.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon: Chapters 62 and 63 this week. We’re within 100 pages of the end!

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.

The Monday agenda

Not a lofty, ambitious to-be-read list consisting of 100+ book titles. Just a simple plan for the upcoming week — what I’m reading now, what I plan to read next, and what I’m hoping to squeeze in among the nooks and crannies.

Nothing like the home team playing in (AND SWEEPING) the World Series to seriously interfere with one’s reading agenda! (and I’m not normally a baseball fan at all… but ya gotta go with the flow). Back to the books! What’s on the agenda for this week?

From last week:

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell: I finished my re-read of this beautiful book. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it.

I finally got a chance to attack my pile of library books. First up: Breed by Chase Novak. A great choice for pre-Halloween reading — boy, is this a disturbing book!

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon (group re-read): Another couple of very good chapters.

And this week’s new agenda:

I should be done with Breed either today or tomorrow, assuming I can stomach it.

Next up: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Finally! I’m hoping to get this one read before it’s due back at the library next weekend.

And after that? One of two young adult novels waiting for my attention: Either The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater or Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin.

My son and I have started a new kids’ book by Eva Ibbotson. So far, so good! He does tend to bail on books after a few chapters, so the fact that we’ve gotten about a third of the way through it already is a good sign.

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon: Chapters 60 and 61 this week, and it’s my turn to write chapter summaries for our group re-read. Must put on my thinking cap!

So many book, so little time…

That’s my agenda. What’s yours? Add your comments to share your bookish agenda for the week.