The Monday Check-In ~ 7/13/2020

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.

Life.

A quiet week, mostly — but hey, the sun was shining and I was able to get outside and enjoy it!

What did I read during the last week?

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss: Such a fun book! My review is here.

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski: I love the audiobook narration for the Witcher series. My review is here.

The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune: Oh my gods. The most adorable thing ever! Review to follow.

Pop culture & TV:

I finally finished my binge of Jane the Virgin — so naturally, I had to write about it. If you’re looking for a perfect binge show, definitely check it out!

Meanwhile, my son decided that we should watch ALL the Harry Potter movies again. So far, we’ve just watched one… good times.

Puzzle of the week:

I’m still limiting myself to one puzzle per week. Here’s the latest:

This was fun! It’s all children’s book covers. It felt a little too easy when I started it, so to make it a challenge, I did the puzzle without referring to the picture on the box. I had a good time figuring out just how many beloved books were included.

Fresh Catch:

No new physical books this week, although I never can resist a good Kindle price break, so I ended up with a few new titles for my e-library:

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

What You Wish For by Katherine Center: I’ve enjoyed this author’s previous books so much. I’m excited to be starting her newest!

Now playing via audiobook:

Agent 355 by Marie Benedict: My new listen is an Audible original, and it’s good so far! It’s just over 2 hours, so I’ll finish up quickly.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club’s re-read of Outlander is underway. We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. This week: Chapter 5, “The Mackenzie”. Anyone who’s interested is welcome to participate, so just ask me how.

Onward with Don Quixote! It feels really good to be caught up with the rest of my book group on this one.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 7/6/2020

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.

Life.

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend! No (official) fireworks, but at least the skies here were blue and I was able to enjoy being outdoors in the sun.

What did I read during the last week?

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: SO good. My review is here. And I LOVE that the publisher has paper dolls to go with it! Check out how amazing there are, here.

Here’s a peek at page 1 of the paper dolls:

Okay, what else did I read?

Alice by Christina Henry. I’ll be honest — I just did not enjoy this book. I’ve loved the two other Christina Henry books that I read (The Girl in Red and The Mermaid), but this one just didn’t appeal to me at all. Violent and dark, but no characters to really care about. So far, I’ve yet to encounter an Alice in Wonderland retelling that I’ve actually liked, so maybe I should stop trying! Unfortunately, I bought the sequel to this book at the same time that I picked up this one, and now I have little interest in reading it.

Well Met by Mary Jen DeLuca: Fun, sweet audiobook set at a RenFaire. My review is here.

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton: Why, oh why, did it take me so long to get around to reading this book? It was AMAZING. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I’m STILL watching Jane the Virgin, but should be done this week and ready for something new to binge. Meanwhile, my son and I have been working our way through the Fast & Furious movies, which are ridiculous and yet so much fun. This week’s pick:

Yup, there’s a submarine in the middle of a car chase. It’s wacky.

Puzzle of the week:

Since I seem to be doing these weekly, I thought I’d make it part of my Monday routine to share my most recent:

Cute, right? This one was a lot of fun. My problem is that I’m a wee bit obsessive when it comes to puzzles, so once I start, I basically don’t do anything else until I finish. So, I’m allowing myself one per week for now. After all, puzzle time takes away from reading time, and we can’t have that.

Fresh Catch:

Why yes, I did get some new books this week!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss: I read the first book in this trilogy, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, about a year ago, and thought it was delightful. And now that the 3rd has arrived, it’s time to continue the series. Picking back up with book #2.

Now playing via audiobook:

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski: And back to The Witcher I go! These audiobooks are so much fun.

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club’s re-read of Outlander is underway. We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. This week: Chapter 4, “I Come To the Castle”. Anyone who’s interested is welcome to participate, so just ask me how.

I took Don Quixote off my reading list a few weeks ago, and then regretted it, so I’m diving back in. My book group is reading and discussing two chapters per week, and I was about 10 chapters behind… but after a big sprint of reading this weekend, I managed to catch up to the group!

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 6/29/2020

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.

Life.

Another busy work week, but what else is new? I did get a little bit more time to relax and get outside this week, so things are improving.

And I did another puzzle!

Maybe you can’t tell from looking at it, but this one was hard! So many pieces of the same color… my poor eyes! And then there was the saga of the missing piece, which took three of us (and some daring lifting of the couch) to find. But I finished! I guess it’s a sign of these crazy times that a little thing like finishing a jigsaw puzzle can be my big accomplishment of the week.

What did I read during the last week?

Hella by David Gerrold: Exciting sci-fi that’s a little longer than it needs to be — but still a good read. My review is here.

The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut, #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal: I loved this audiobook! It was a re-read for me, and so worth it. My review is here.

Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory: Sweet and sexy romance. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

I finished Jane the Virgin! LOVED it. But since I started my binge with season 2 (since I watched season 1 back when it first aired), I decided to wrap things up by rewatching season 1. Such an amazing, clever, touching show. I’ll write up some thoughts once I finish season 1.

Fresh Catch:

No new books! I didn’t even buy any e-books this week, and I’m always on the lookout for good price drops on Kindle books.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Ooh. I’m just about done, and I’m loving it. This is my first time reading a book by this author, but I have a feeling I’m going to want to read more!

Now playing via audiobook:

Well Met by Mary Jen DeLuca: Cute! I’ve been in the mood for light, breezy audiobooks lately, and this fits the bill! And hurray for my friend who told me to check Axis360 — I’d only borrowed from my library via OverDrive up to now, but Axis360 has a good selection too!

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club’s re-read of Outlander is underway. We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. Coming this week: Chapter 3. Loving it.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 6/22/2020

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.

Life.

Well, it’s been rough. This was one of the worst workweeks I’ve ever gone through. My “day job” is in human resources, and this week, my organization laid off 150 employees. While I feel fortunate to still have a job, it was awful being on the back-end of all these layoffs, especially since it also meant saying good-bye to people I’ve worked with for many, many years.

Anyway, I don’t come to my blog to dwell on real-life bummers… but between the mood and the sheer amount of work that needed to get done, my reading time this week has been pretty limited and sporadic.

But hey, I did a cute puzzle, so there’s that.

(Sorry, my lighting sucks, but the puzzle really is adorable.)

What did I read during the last week?

How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior: Just a perfect read for me this week — sweet and uplifting! You know those books that you just want to hug? This is one of those. My review is here.

And that’s it! I didn’t manage to finish anything else this week.

Pop culture & TV:

Even more Jane the Virgin! I’m THIS CLOSE to finishing the final season. I’m loving it, and also getting super sad that I’m almost done.

Fresh Catch:

No new books!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Hella by David Gerrold: Sci-fi set on a planet called Hella, because everything there is HELLA huge. (I have to wonder if the author is from the Bay Area… ) It’s entertaining, but I just haven’t made as much progress as I’d hoped to.

Now playing via audiobook:

The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut, #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal: Getting close to the end! I’m enjoying the audiobook so much. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!

Ongoing reads:

Outlander Book Club’s re-read of Outlander started this past week. We’re reading and discussing one chapter per week. Woo hoo! It’s so much fun. And yes, I’ve read this book multiple times already, but it’s always a pleasure to go back to where it all began. Chapter 2 is coming up this week! If you’d like to join in, let me know and I’ll give you the links and info.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 6/15/2020

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.

Life.

Although school already ended and my son got his diploma the previous week, this past week we had the virtual graduation. So now it’s doubly official — my baby is a high school graduate!

What did I read during the last week?

Devolution by Max Brooks: Terrific horror from the author of World War Z. My review is here.

The Ghosts of Sherwood by Carrie Vaughn: A fun, entertaining novella about Robin Hood and Marian’s children. A terrific read! Part 2 of the story will be released in August.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: Just finished this lovely audiobook, right in time for my book group’s discussion this week. My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

More Jane the Virgin! I’ve just started season 5 — the final season — and I’m already getting a little weepy at the idea of the story coming to an end.

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week. But I did treat myself to a few new jigsaw puzzles! And hey, here’s a tip for my fellow puzzlers out there: While prices are very jacked up on Amazon right now, Barnes & Noble has a good selection at normal, pre-pandemic prices. Score!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior: I adored this author’s debut novel, Ellie and the Harpmaker, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her new book, which releases this week! I’ve read about half. It’s adorable!

Now playing via audiobook:

The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut, #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal: This is a re-read for me, although my first time on audio. The author narrates these books, and is wonderful. (She narrates many of Seanan McGuire’s audiobooks too — very talented!). Book #3 in the Lady Astronaut series (The Relentless Moon) comes out next month, and I needed a refresher.

Ongoing reads:

Who’s ready for a re-read? Starting this week, Outlander Book Club is doing a group read of Outlander, reading and discussing one chapter per week. Interested in joining in? Let me know, and I’ll share the details.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

The Monday Check-In ~ 6/8/2020

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.

Life.

In these disturbing times, it’s nice to find a ray of sunshine at home. Without ceremony of any sort, my son finished high school! There’s supposed to be a virtual graduation taking place later this week, although we don’t know any specifics yet. Meanwhile, the school year ended and he was able to pick up his diploma, so it’s official!

What did I read during the last week?

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins: I ended up loving this new prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy. My review is here.

Laughter at the Academy by Seanan McGuire: An excellent short story collection from an author who always makes me happy. My review is here.

500 Miles From You by Jenny Colgan: A sweet romance with a Scottish setting from one of my go-to authors! My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

Continuing my Jane the Virgin binge! I’m on season 4 now — still loving it.

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week.

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Devolution by Max Brooks: The newest from the author of World War Z. I’m just getting started, but I’m already hooked.

Now playing via audiobook:

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: Amazing! I’m at 80% — hope to finish in the next couple of days.

Ongoing reads:

None at the moment. But next week, Outlander Book Club is starting a group re-read of the book that started it all! We’ll be reading and discussing one chapter of Outlander per week. Interested in joining in? Let me know, and I’ll share the details.

So many books, so little time…

boy1